Thank you, love. Thank you for the past 16 months.

Thank you for making me feel safe, for erasing the hurts of the past. Thank you for making me happy, making my home a warm place to come back to, making my bed a place I can curl contentedly in your arms.

Thank you for caring for my kids, for giving them the positive male role model they've so badly needed. Thank you for the tears in my daughter's eyes when you gave her her very first (teeny tiny) diamond, for the way my son sometimes flies towards you to hug you when you come home. Thank you for your patience with them, and with me.

Thank you for all you've given up, for the lengths you've gone for us.

I didn't want this to happen, at first. I didn't want my and my children's happiness to depend on anyone else ever again. I was afraid.

I'm not afraid anymore.

Hurry home.

We love you.

And oh, above all others, it was you and always you. Angel mine, lover mine, friend of mine, mine.

Here are the things I think of when you ask me why I look so. I remember staring into your eyes of blue and seeing forever in them. Golden circlet surrounding an eclipse. Clouds of white and the sky. You let me stare and stare and never asked why. What did you see in mine? I don't know; I've always been too afraid to ask.

Long hands entwined in longer hair. Pulling, pulling, softly untangling the curly mess about me. I've never slept so well in my life as I did that first year. You were like an anchor, pulling me down and down. I drowned in you and oh how I drowned and I learned to breathe anew and I can thank you for that lesson as well.

And then somewhere along the way, I got lost. I lost everything, everyone. Nothing was worth getting up in the morning. Not even you - and you saw this and it cut you into pieces. And I can never forgive myself for doing that to you oh no never but you have, you already have and I thank you for that.

There are a thousand words upon my lips my tongue and I could mutter them and scatter them to the winds and whisper them into your neck and I do when I am feeling the urgency and the heat and the oh yes and the oh my and the long whimper and the happy sigh.

I was never good at Valentines but this one will have to do. Brand it with a burning kiss, seal it with the flick of the tongue. Send it off like a rocket until it's going, going, gone.

Love Tips

I have decided to enlighten my fellow users with a few tips on how to make that special someone feel wonderful. I consider my relationship with my girlfriend to be nearly perfect, and I owe it to most of the things I have listed here. Below I have provided a few excellent ideas to make your lover love you even more.

For Her

  1. Show her that you care by bringing her flowers that remind you of her and write her poetry, celebrating her.
  2. Take her dancing and treat her as if she is the only person in the world.
  3. Watch the sunset with her and tell her what you cherish about her and how she makes you feel complete.
  4. Spend a quiet evening with her at home, and let your emotions dictate your words, unless your in a bad mood.
  5. Use the classic dinner and a movie date. Show her that you enjoy spending time with her.

For Him

  1. Take him somewhere he has been wanting to go and you haven't, as a surprise. For example, if your mate loves professional wrestling, buy some tickets.
  2. Read him a love letter you wrote to him.
  3. Show him how much you care by showing an interest in one of his hobbies.
  4. If you want to do something relaxing with him, try giving each other massages. Get some nice massage oil and some candles to set the mood.
  5. Get him chocolate, guys like candy too!
There you have it, a list of great things to do for the one you love.
National Singles Awareness Day - Because you're never more aware that you're single

I hate valentines day

Since my life isn't complicated enough, and since I don't have enough crap I need to cram into my head yesterday, I've decided to start using emacs. Or at least start to learn. Emacs is really friggin' hard. Especially if you are used to Notepad. I mean, how much muscle do you really need in a raw text editor? What am I thinking?

Probably the reason is that I am reading In the Beginning Was the Command Line by Neal Stephenson. He touts the many virtues of emacs, and who am I to argue with the smartest guy in the world?

I'm in the midst of a pissing contest at work. It's IT versus Physical Assets in a no-holds-barred cage match. See, where I work, PA is in charge of the phone system, including our customer service call center's. IT is in charge of information systems. Our call center's phones are tied into several information systems. There is a system that records every call and stores the recording in a database. There is an information system that stores call data (time, duration, etc.) All of these things, from the phones to the information systems, are controlled by PA. The janitors.

In my book, a telephone is an information system and falls under the domain of IT. This is especially true given all the infrastructure connected to the call center's phones. I am Don Quixote in the interdepartmental pissing contest. You see, PA doesn't want to give up control. IT is expected to deliver robust, appropriate information systems and manage the infrastructure supporting them. The call center (referred to hereafter as CS, customer service) just wants a better call accounting and workforce mangement solution.

Do you have time for a story? It all started when the old call center manager, a loyal fan of mine, asked my boss to have me look into a replacement for their antiquated, clunky call management system (Avaya's BCMS). I did this, having been warned that PA is very territorial about this stuff. I found a new CMS (call management system, also from our current vendor, Avaya) and a workforce management solution called IEX TotalView SC. I also found some competitors so that CS would have a choice. The other call management solution was much cheaper but required a call telephony interface (CTI), an $80,000 piece of gear that would double the cost of this project. The WFM tools don't need it -- just this other CMS, called Taske.

I do my research, document my findings, and submit it to the group (consisting of our CIO, the CS manager, some CS worker bees, the PA people, my boss, and myself.) Time passes. The ball is in CS's court to evaluate the options and come back with a decision so we can put together a project plan. Finally, we get a meeting notice that this is all going to go down.

Everything is going fine in the meeting until the PA manager starts talking about some other stuff called call accounting, which I later learn ties a call to your ERP or accounting system for costing purposes. This is a whole new thing that nobody's heard of, and nobody knows what to make of it. He also drops the bomb that, no matter what, we will need to add CTI to our switch. At this point, I don't have all my ducks in a row, so I can't say with total confidence, "Bullshit!" Nothing is settled in this meeting, and we agree to meet later. In the meantime, I go around PA's back and I talk to one of Avaya's system engineers, one that came and demonstrated our upgrade options in November, and learned that their CMS product does not require CTI at all. We've been waiting for a quote from them, and I ask about it. Turns out they've been waiting for our PA manager to call and tell them what's up, and that the PA manager is not returning phone calls. I also confirmed with IEX that TotalView doesn't require CTI.

So PA is totally stonewalling and intentionally muddying the waters wherever possible. And now I have proof. So, being the passive aggressive geek that I am, I have told everyone except PA what I've found. I will be going into tomorrow's meeting armed with two proposals, and I will have not only debunked PA's recent roadblocks, I will have exposed them as not being team players. I hope this meeting will result in a decision.

Today is one of those days I want to move to Canada. For one thing, I have gotten turned on to CBC Radio 3's podcast, and it is simply excellent. From hardcore punk to ambient, the podcast covers the range of indie music north of the DMZ. Second, my government continues to make an ass of itself in front of the whole world. Take Cheney. Please. The man shoots a guy in the chest, and yet he did nothing wrong. Excuse me? I have taken my share of gun safety classes, and a common thread running through all of them is that you are entirely responsible for your weapon while it's in your hand. It can't be more black and white than this. If a gun is in your hand, and it goes off, either you meant to fire it or you were negligent. A device of such power and lethality has no grey area, and if you are so careless as to not appreciate that, then you don't need to be handling one.

But fine. It was an accident. Take ownership. Say "I fucked up." Instead, the Cheney cabal waited nearly a whole day to say anything to anybody. When his spin doctors finally speak, it is to say that he is entirely blameless. And this is the embarassing thing. This administration is totally incapable of admiting guilt. I mean, I bet if Cheney dropped a pencil, they would say that gravity somehow malfunctioned or that the pencil was conspiring with the liberal media or the terrorists.

Here's the thing. If you fuck up, and you own up to it, you are on the front page for a day, and then everything blows over. There's no story. If you obfuscate, hide facts, act guilty, lie, and then deny any culpability, then you can expect the issue to never die.

To a foreigner, all this must be incomprehensible. How we got to this state -- the state where mistakes, flubs, fuckups, or indiscretions are cardinal sins to be denied or spun out of existence -- is beyond me. People fuck up. Own it, apologize, move on. It's not the end of your career, it's not the end of the party.

See, if you lie, then you have to live with it forever. When facts start to emerge that threaten to expose the lie, you have to pile lies on top of lies. Jesus. I am so sick of these knuckleheads I just .... Fuck.

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