Well, yesterday has to go on record as one of my wierdest and least successful days ever. In lunch, I was told to come to the Housemaster's Study straight away afterwards. Normally this would get me worried. It was no exception. My immediate reaction was to think 'what have I done for which I could get busted?' But it's the end of term, and he's not in a vindictive mood, so I was lucky.

There were two of us in the study with Him, and we were given a mission. No, a Mission! We had to go to the house of one Nick George, and 'persuade' him. No, really. He was planning to come to Winchester College next year, starting at 16. He would be here for 2 years, get some A-levels, and leave. But it seems he couldn't face it. He claimed he felt behind on the Maths and Physics, but if he got in, surely he can't be? We thought there must be something else... We realised that he should be at least talked to.

We were told that we were 'ill' for the afternoon, and that the matron would cover for us. Although she did not look happy at all, she consented to this, and we were given £45. We were also (unfortunately) told that we had to return any change. And provide receipts. We looked at this guy's file. We found his address and phone number. We made a plan. We moved.

The first step was to get to Alton, which was the nearest big town to his village. This, in practice, meant taking the two sides of a triangle, due to the wonderful layout of British Rail's network. Once again, we take off our hats to them. We also had a long wait for a connecting train in Woking. I used this opportunity to slip off into town and buy Operation Flashpoint. It looks amazing.

The train to Alton, when it finally deigned to arrive, was slow and packed. We got there eventually though, despite all the best efforts of conspiring fate. Reaching Alton, phase 2 was to reach the town village sleepy hamlet of Medstead. The phone number for the taxi company in the window of the station was, obviously, not connected to anything at the other end. However, in a bizarre twist of fate, the bus that we got onto to ask directions actually went to the town village center. So, twenty minutes later, we disembarked, and found ourselves standing in front of a little old Village Shop(pe). We went in, nervously. For those of you who have ever seen 'The League of Gentlemen', we were strongly expecting to hear a voice call out 'Are you local?'

In the event they were actually very helpful. The house was the third on the right, down the second road on the left. However, what they didn't tell us was that the roads were half a mile apart, and the houses as much so again. Finally, three hours after we had set out, we had arrived at a place that was annoyingly close to that from which we had come. We knocked on the door. No reply. We knocked again. No reply. We tried the handle. It was open, but we thought that breaking and entering was not a good thing to add to stalking. We tried a third time. Third time lucky. Nick's sister came to the door. I don't know whether I was tired or just desperate, but she was really a sight for sore eyes. And guess what she said? 'Nick went out 10 minutes ago. You just missed him.' I went down on my knees and cursed the gods.

We returned to Winchester by a better route: one about half the length of that by which we reached the house the first time. We reported back, and admitted our failure. We're going again today. But this time we have a much better plan. A very cunning plan...

I had very open-hearted discussion today morning. I moved into my flat just a week ago and I haven't meet my flatmate yet because he has been gone.

At the morning his mother was there. We started talking about studies and as the discussion went onwards we touched pretty much everything. For some reason we were immediately on the same level.

It's very strange.. Sometimes you may know a person for years seeing em weekly or even more but you just don't go into anything in detail. If you tried to do so you fail and both will feel uncomfortable.

There's only one disadvantage being that open-hearted and that's if other person is not trustworthy speaking out your personal things behind your back, making them (more) bad through altering them slightly.

But I loved the experience a lot, very. This was what a friendship should be all about.

Oh man! I can see, I CAN SEE!! The world looks different. It doesn't matter that this is the Westfield Shoppingtown I grew up with. It hasn't looked like this for such a long time.

That's how I walked out of the optometrist's place today. I was trialing the new Acuvue contact lenses by Johnson & Johnson for the day. For 6 hours, to be precise; and the world was different. Mr. Optometrist, who is as serious as he was when I first saw him 13 years ago, was kind enough to let me trial 2 different brands, one in each eye, for 15 mins sometime last week. I picked the better fitting one, Acuvue, to have a "full-day" trial.

I could see everything - no sharp demarcation between through-the-lens and from-the-periphery. One continuous image. My own house looked different: I've never looked into my bedroom from the kitchen. Yikes!

It was even better when I did not need to go hunt for my glasses to do some lazy reading from the newspaper and cereal boxes. Or have to wipe off the fingerprints from them. Or take them off to wear a jumper. Or put them aside when trying on new clothes whilst shopping.

As you can tell, my eye-sight is not that bad to necessitate wearing glasses 24 hours a day - just enough to make life inconvenient. And just annoying enough to make me loose a bit of sharpness in vision when wearing contact lenses because they cannot compensate for astigmatism.

And there's the decision (again) whether to put prescription lenses my in new loupes. 3.5 times magnification (up from my current 2.6X). Makes a little bit of decay look like a big festering bog of micro-organisms and food particles. Hehehehe.

Well work is still bad. Nothing ever changes. I know I've said it before, and the response from pretty much everybody was to jump ship. Well after many emails, and online job searches I have an interview. I actually think I may like working there IF I get the job.

One of the weirdest things is that i only have 1 pair of khaki pants and no jacket. Ok so the weather is hot. But the question of "Am I dressed up enough" is still nagging me.

Doubts of if I'm good enough for what I'm asking for are really running around in my head.

Well I'll just go and see what happens.

Update: Good interview, nice people, nice company. I didn't hit a home run but scored a few run.

Okay, I ain't really that happy aboot being a year older today, but I am quite surprised at the number of noders who figured it out:

Topic for #everything is Happy Birthday Xunker!!

Do you people actually have jobs or do you all just sit around celebrating peoples' birthdays? Hmm.. Apparently I have the ever-thoughtful Karla to thank for spreading the word around to everyone. I still feel a little depressed, but I'm getting better. Thanks, everyone.

Blatant Plug: On an aside, I'd like to invite you all to have a gander at the new web service I'm officially putting into beta stage, living at http://textish.com, and if you have an internet-enabled cell phone with minutes to burn, you can give the actual service a try-out.

How to check your car's fluids.

If, like me, you are lacking in the common sense department read the abovementioned write-up. Learn it by rote. Bookmark it! Above all, heed the advise imparted.

Don't ignore that red flashing light, that symbol that looks like an oil-can.

You too could find yourself red-faced by the side of the road as the AA-man explains to you the basics of car engines.

I'm telling you now, that lots worth twenty five quid for the braking gear. Look I'll play you a tune (proceeds to rev up the engine to hear that nice ball bearing breaking sound).

You're significant other will be either consumed with mirth or not at all impressed that the days expedition to the wildlife park has been curtailed by your lack of greasy fingers.

So go read the write-up and avoid that the day when that knocking sound comes a....knocking.

Damn, life is complicated!! And weird! And strange! An old "sort of" boyfriend e-mailed me with an offer to be my slave for a month. He's been hinting around about this for years, and trying to get me to be his dom, at least for a while, but I've always turned him down. This time he didn't ask in person but sent an e-mail that said, in effect, he would be my slave whether I agreed or not until August 2, 2001.

Now, most people who get into this control freak type of thing agree that both have agree to do it, and to establish rules (he included ten rules). You don't just freaking e-mail some one and tell them, "Hey, I'm your slave, and even if you ignore me and this e-mail, I'm still your slave and it turns me on. Oh, yeah, and even if you say no, I'm still your slave, so you can't even say no." I'm actually quite pissed off about it.

I mean, he kept pushing me to do it when we hung out before and I didn't step up to the plate, why does he think I'm going to do it now? And in an e-mail, for God's sake! Is he just desperate for this kind of action? Even if I do nothing at all? I'm so mad, cause I wrote him a scathing letter and then pushed the wrong damn button and lost it. Now I just feel like ranting and raving at him. Pisses me off.

I can create my own sex life, any kind of life, thank you very much. He offered to do everything from clean my house to be my sex toy, so I might just let him clean my house, damn him. (It needs it.) Now, of course, this does appeal to me somewhat. Who wouldn't want a slave for a month to clean their house and give a good massage or two? But I don't know - I would feel like I was using him. Something to think about, that's for sure. Hmmmm....

Ok, I'm done ranting. Things are good otherwise, still dating the girl, still trying to meet others slowly, and my art car is 95% complete - I need to paint my life size doll's head (her name is Lump, yes because of the song) and get the wig to some how become a beehive but almost all the lawn ornaments are glued on. And tomorrow it will be on display outside of the American Visionary Arts Museum in Bawlmer hon!!!

It's been a bit of a diy frenzy here, lately, which is why I've not been noding, I guess... But this weekend and today we have:
  • Replaced floor joists in kitchen (to be)

    The subfloor isn't very deep and the damp-proof course between the wood and the supports had been breached in a number of places. Where the soil was against the wood, the wood, naturally, had begun rotting. Nice...

  • Had the Gas Board back to redo their, uh, plumbing.

    The two we had today quipped "did the last lot come on horseback"... They took an hour to replace what had originally taken a day to install. It looks so much better!

We were so taken with the plumber today we took his phone number...

I managed to resist temptation. I did not daylog from work!

That's it, my second day of work. It's supposed to be Java servlet programming (well, they are 'enhanced' droplets, running on something called ATG Dynamo or something like that)/XML stuff and whatever. It's just that today, half an hour before leaving, they found some work for me to do.

Actually, I was bored. Really bored. I didn't want to procrastinate (at least five work days before that :) so I was just getting updated on SAX, some Java and ATG. Weird bit was when my boss' boss comes to my table and nurses my computer; screwing in some screws and tidying it a little bit. If that's the big boss job, I think I'll be washing socks anyday.

Anyway, summer is coming up nice. I'll be working July, August and September 8 hours a day (9-6 in theory), but that's fine for me. The money also helps. Just one subject (dreaded Software Engineering II) still ungraded. That's the dubious grade, I've passed the other five, so not much studying then.

Just have to fix a thing or two and everything will be schmooooth.

Kevin came over today, and wanted Dan and I to go to dinner with him, Brandi, and Brandi's mom, and then to see a movie with him and Brandi afterward. We agreed, and went to have Chinese with the three of them. Dinner was interesting, rather like having dinner with my mom. The boys had their fork-vs-chopstick battles, Brandi threatened Dan's life if he hurt Kevin at all, and I tried to get them to settle down enough that the rest of the restaurant would quit looking at us so openly... *grins* But, it was fun.

Then we went over to the mall and sat at a table, quietly feeling sick for a few minutes. (The restaurant we'd gone to invariably makes me ill after I eat there.) Dan and I looked around Electronics Boutique for a bit, then I wandered into Walden Books, like usual. As the mall was closing, we sat around an talked for a bit. (The movie didn't start until 10pm, and the mall closed at 9pm.) Dan and I were talking about my going away to college, and the fact that I'm not entirely certain that I will be able to make myself go. At present, the thought of leaving and being so far from Dan is enough to send me into hysterics. Literally. Ex: A few nights ago while I was at work, Dan came to visit and we were cuddling. A line from Edward Bear's song "Close Your Eyes" came on, and Dan pulled me tight against him and whispered "I think I'm going to be saying that a lot once you leave. 'Close your eyes, I'm right beside you.'" My reaction? Immediate tears. I didn't even have time to think. They just started falling before I could even think to try and stop them. Given that reaction from one comment about my being gone, what type of shape will I be in to actually do any learning once I really am 550 miles away?

Anyhow, I calmed myself down slightly, and Kevin started petting my hair and making soothing sounds at me to help me calm down more. I stood up and hugged Kevin tightly, "I don't know if I can leave him." This started some fresh tears (though not hysterical ones this time.) Kevin responded by petting me more and telling me that if Dan comes to live with him, that they'll come visit me in Chicago every chance they get, and that we can both have digital cameras so we can talk and see each other. I just nodded, knowing that the issue wouldn't be resolved for awhile, and besides, "A.I." was going to start shortly.

It's ironic, really. I was having this long email thread with Gunnar Ljungstrand about the supernatural phenomena, specifically OBE and its implications to the nature of reality. It began as an email reply to his post in slashdot in a creationist discussion. In the thread, he claimed that he is able to enter some sort of astral plane or such, which in some way connected to real world, but said he wasn't particularly interested in being a test rabbit to scientists. Although I found his ideas a bit kooky, he came about as a fairly intelligent person. In the thread we drifter into the nature of reality, and at the final mail he told me he believed brain was just an interface to our actual soul.

And just was I was preparing my dazzling reply, today, I checked my mail to see a mail from his email address. It was his little brother who told me his older brother had died in an accident. I didn't really know him, but death is always a bit sad. I guess there isn't any specific reason, but this reminds me of the case of another fellow. He was a wizard in a MUD and great babylon 5 -fan. His plans often had dynamic counters to when b5 begins again, when next episode comes et cetera. Now, the first run of b5 in Finland on TV2 was nearing its end, the last episode (Sleeping In Light, the one where John Sheridan dies) was to be shown next saturday. I'm not certain of the exact timing, but he died in that week, I think, maybe 3 days before the last episode. I found that a bit ironic, too. If that means I have a twisted sense of humor, so be it (of course, some of his friends in the same mud set their plans to "Let Him Sleep in Light...").

Midst this death of people I never knew, my old boring life continues. For 5 days now, I've had this huge (2 floors, 13 largish rooms) house all to myself; my mother, little brother and two of his friends went to vacation. I didn't feel like coming along, so here I am. Making my own food, remembering to water the flowers, not locking myself out and all that type of thing is, unsurprisingly, not really that difficult feat as she seemed to think. I guess all mothers are like that. However, I do find this silent house a bit creepy. I mean, it's nice that I won't have this 11-year-old fellow constantly nagging me to reboot into windows so he can play nhl 2000, but sometimes it feels just strange not to see another human being for days. I suppose I should go out more before I turn mökkihöperö (according to my dictionary, it's stir-crazy in english), but I really don't know where and how. I suppose that's why I spend about 4 hours online every day, even though I really don't have anything to do even here besides writing overly lengthy daylogs.

I can say this, though: never, ever mix tarball and rpm style glibcs. My system is seriously screwed up after a couple of such attempts. The first one, year ago, barely left my system alive, and now, even seemingly simple operation of upgrading a RPM-installed glibc 2.1.3 to RPM glibc 2.2.3 totally screwed up my system. Now, after a couple of stuns and borrowed redhat CD, my system has again stabilized into a semblance of functionality with glibc 2.1.93, although for some reason cat file | head -2 spam a "broken pipe" error everytime if file is larger than 8192 bytes with more than two lines. The same doesn't happen if I, instead of cat file, generate the very same input dynamically through, say, perl. Exactly why this happens (and why screwing around with glibc and gcc) is a mystery to me, but I guess some things just aren't meant to be understood.

Rhapsody in Screwed :: Part (who gives a rat's ass)
16:51 :: 07.03.01

ok, kiddies, this'll be a nice short one. i just broke a finger that is vital to my typing skills. ok, it went a little something like this: i was trying to lower an inhumanly heavy box down to the basement on a metal cart. the cart, being aluminum (which no-one saw fit to tell me), decided to become scrap metal about halfway down the stairs. i managed to save myself, most of the cart, and the box from plunging into the cement abyss below, but i sacrificed a finger on my left hand in the process. i am now nicely splinted up with two file-folder tabs and some duct tape.

and you're thinking: wow, how does one person get sick/broken/screwed so often? i have an immune disorder, and it makes me subject to lots of nasty diseases, it makes me tired, and it also makes my bones a bit more brittle than i'd like. there. i've said it. and no, i'm not contagious. it's a genetic defect. i think it came from my dad.

in other news, niall is werking on his birthday. he asked to not be werking graveyard anymore, so whatever asshole writes the schedules put him on 22:00-06:00 on the days he requested off -- his birthday (tomorrow) and thursdays. and this request from the guy who werks six days a week, 8-12 hrs a day. i swear, if i find out who did this, i will personally kick him/her/it in the eye, brittle bones or no.

It's after 2am, I don't want to go to sleep, I never do, But I think I should since I don’t want to be late for work again, I always am, my bosses don’t seem to mind, at least they don’t tell me they do, I’m never more then 20 minutes late, I know they hate that.

I should get up early and go take a motorcycle-driving lesson; I want to get a license already. But… I AM A LAZY BUM! Everyone says so, well everyone who knows me well,.. People who don’t... they think I work really hard (well I do work long hours) and have done a lot to become what I have become (a lowly sysadmin, but to them it looks like I am some kind of computer genius)

This is my first day log, I think I like the idea… ‘cept for watching my spelling and making it readable… that is annoying, I am typing this up in Microsoft Word, so that I have the autocheck on.

I wish there was an autocheck for mirc… YES I AM A WINDOZE KIDDIE, other O/S tire me.

Anyways, I should go to sleep… I don’t want to drink redbulls all day tomorrow again… maybe that’s why I can never sleep….. I used to have the same thing with Coca Cola.. I was an addict, my doctor told me to stop drinking it… I have not had one drop of Cola in 8 years I think.

Most of the day was business as usual. Going to work at OSU with a little time out to take a Swahili class. I had been paged out of class the day before so I was a little nervous about the quiz. We were going over addresses and cardinal directions. I had missed the introduction of the directions the day before, and was hurrying trying to find a way to remember them easily. North and East would be no problem. I am a brewer, and North and East have names that relate to brewing. North is 'kaskazini', and East is 'Masheriki'. All I could remember about West was it started with an 'M' had the French 'R' sound that in Swahili is written 'gh', and ended in ibi. Hopefully that would be enough to get credit. I remember South starting with an 'S' and ending in 'ini', but that is it, and I feel that was not enough. Work was uneventful the rest of the day, but at least my professor is giving us an extra day off after the Fourth of July holiday. My wife picked me up early from work, and we tried to make it through downtown Columbus traffic to my father's house in German Village. From there we could walk to the fireworks.

Red, White, and Boom is advertised as the largest fireworks display in the Midwest, and this year, it drew a crowd of about 500,000. The rain earlier in the day held many away or else there would have been many more. We waited for my friends Ben and Betty to arrive, and then headed out on foot. It is probably about a mile and a half walk from my father's house to Bicentennial Park on the banks of the Scioto river. We made it with our backpacks, picnic baskets and lawn chairs in tow. Six o'clock; only four hours more to wait. My wife had brought fruit; far too healthy for my tastes. I went to the street merchants for a gyro and french-fries.

After we had eaten, I broke out my paints. Jeannette wanted purple fireworks on one of her cheeks, but I didn't want to mix colors, so she got red and blue ones instead. Lee-anne not having seen me paint Jeannette's face asked Jeannette where she got that. When Jeannette told her I had done it, she said, "With what?!?" I was really happy with that design, and ended up repeating it four times that night; once more on my stepmother, and twice again on two little kids who were watching fascinatedly as I was painting others. I painted an American flag waving in the wind with fireworks behind it on Ben's arm, and a white star on a red and blue field on Betty's. By this time it was getting dark, and the fireworks were about to begin. I put away my paints, and prepared my camera.

I only had a few exposures left on my only roll of film, so I spent them all at the beginning. Plus this way, I would get less of the smoke giving its hazy glow to my photos. I spent the rest of the 25 minute display realizing what I should have taken pictures of. That being a picture of a little kid gazing up toward the sky with her mouth hanging open, and the six story American flag raised up the side of the Columbia Gas building, and the reflections of fireworks that surrounded it in the windows.

With the final Boom, 500,000 people took off on the 5k race to return home. All with different finish lines. We made it back to my father's house only having lost one person. Woody later called to let us know that he had made it to his home all right despite us abandoning him. I criticized him for storming off ahead of everyone and then having the gall to accuse us of abandonment. Everyone else knew how to stay together. My wife and I waited about an hour for the traffic to die down, and then headed home ourselves. Traffic was still a nightmare, and being directed by cops. I really think that the lights would have managed traffic better right then. It took us about 45 minutes to travel the seven miles to home, but then off to bed to rest and endure the following day's Independence day celebrations.

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