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Well, the search for a decent Linux distro is finally over: After long to - and froing Suse 8.2 (and soon 9.1) has finally made it onto the HD of Stinker (the compi in question) and stayed there for more than 4 weeks. It's just beautiful: stable, secure, good looking (thanks to KDE) and so far I had no compatibility probs with the rest of my setup.

Well, not quite.

There is the little problem of the two Wlan cards I bought. Two so called "Cameo WLB-1201"'s, now sitting in Stinker and Stinker2 (don't ask). There's only one problem: they lack pretty much any support for Linux (The Custodian called them "Taiwan Trash"). There's a Linuxant Driver (for which they charge) which seems to be working and the ndis-project, which might just be a bit too tricky for me. Nevertheless, things are now ready and set-up: There's a wireless router serving my cottage (and probably half the community) with a WLAN connection, protected by a US Robotics firewall from the outside, Stinker standing in the study running Suse and connected via WLAN to the net (even sporting a working printer!). Stinker2 is an old Cyrix686 machine with 64MB running Suse barebone and being used as a CD-Player and MP3 Player, standing somewhere in the livingroom (after some extensive repainting of the case to fit in with my neomodernist minimalist interior), controlled by either Stinker or an G4 Ibook that's just lying around the place, connected via Wlan to the Router. This has the added benefit that I can listen to my favourite Radio4 programs in bed via the Ibook. Perfect for a lazy sunday.

Speaking about BBC Radio 4:

Last Friday, "Any Questions" came from the Normandy (to celebrate D-Day), and they had a "historian" called Andrew Roberts on the panel, who, when one of the panelists (who happened to be Dr Ulrike Guerot from the German Marshall Fund, a rather trans-atlantic leaning organisation) spoke about the Euro being one of the domineering currencies worldwide, said that he shudders when he hears a German speak about domination.

Now how bigotted is that? That's exactly the sort of bashing that the right wing tabloid press in the UK has been doing for decades, and will probably never stop. Fortunately the audience was pretty upset by this and shouted "Shame" after that sneering comment. Dr Guerot was quite restraint in her answer, saying that she would rather see the UK as an domineering member of the EU than as a Dollar-wielding 52 state of the U.S.

Very true.

Go Girl!

everything changes. everything falls apart.

this is different. but these fingers do seem attached to me, and these limbs and this head - all mine. how very peculiar.

i would begin this with something along the lines of in my absence were it not for the fact that i have been here, daily, observing. i'm mostly sure now that it is what i am best at.

i think this is what it's like to be happy. i'd spent so long trapped inside of my own brain that i am not entirely sure what happy is supposed to feel like but i think that this is it, anyway. still ups and downs though and i am thankful for this. i never expected to use antidepressants, it still frightens me to alter the chemicals inside of my head but then - isn't that what i was doing with my escapist tendencies? i should think so. i suppose mostly this little section is for anyone who might stumble across it who suffers from a consistently deranged head that chooses more often than not to leave you numb, cold, and a little bit more dead than any living person should be. two little capsules each night and i am the one who decides when i will go outside, when i will talk to people. two small pills and i don't pray for sweet death for weeks at a time.

this is not to say i think it will work for everyone.. but i do have to wonder how many people are like me. hesitant to try anything that might help for fear of losing yourself. but the truth is you can tell if the dose is too high. this was a comfort to me, despite the numb unfeeling that gripped me for a couple of days. i simply had to mess with my dose a while to figure out which worked best and i think that despite the initial fears it has been worth it. it took almost four months before i found the right dose and let it take hold but, having said that, it seemed a far cry from the many, many years i spent tortured by my own head.

aside from this rambling on about medication i thought i would toss out a few words regarding what i have been up to the last while for any curious citizens of the internet. i've managed to drop my weight considerably - hey, what do you know? a healthy set of eating habits and daily excercise really can do wonders. (not that i don't partake in the occasional - okay fairly frequent consumption of chocolate cake.) it turns out you can even get away with consuming a decent amount of chocolate if you're willing to set aside an hour or two for excercise every day.

i've finally managed to get away from the immense stress of long distance relationships. i won't even begin to say that this past one wasn't worth every bit of the stress - it was. it changed me, i loved him, it was wonderful to travel and experience everything that i did. i'd go as far as to encourage a long distance relationship, really. i am personally just finished with it and have found myself in love with someone much closer. while i won't say it hasn't been just as taxing at times, i am very glad for the change. relationships require a lot of work and it has taken me quite some time to realize the enormous amount of patience and compassion required for two people to exist with their lives so closely entwined.

that being said, i still have so much to do. so much of my life is beginnings right now. so many paths, doors to be opened, that sort of thing. at least i've the frame of mind that these things are possible now.

i miss boston, sometimes a lot. i miss the people mostly, the streets and the way it felt to walk alone in enormous crowds of strangers. it just doesn't happen out here, not really. all surrounded with tiny baby goats and any number of other creatures. i adore it, though. i've just had to accept that there are two very different people in my head - half of me belongs to tall buildings and anonymity.

the other half will always be right here.
Another Uberman's Sleep Schedule Blog. (cont.)


4:12 AM Monday June 7, 2004 - Oops I did it again. I over-slept this morning, though not nearly as badly. My 7:00 AM nap ran until 9:00 AM. Oh well. But it's better than last night I guess. Because of the extra sleep I skipped my 3:00 PM nap with no noticeable side-effects. Hopefully tonight I can make it through without any over-sleeping at all. I've also been falling asleep much faster in my naps. At first I barely slept at all, and if I did, it was very briefly at the end of my 20 minutes. Now it takes me around 5 minutes to fall asleep, so I just add 5 more minutes to my alarm to compensate. One thing I'm disappointed with, however, is my lack of remembering my dreams. I was hoping I would have increased dream recall and possibly start lucid dreaming again, but no such luck. I think it may be due to my waking up and jumping right out of bed. I don't spend 5 minutes laying awake like I used to when I slept 'normally'. So I'm going to work on this. Otherwise, besides the over-sleeping, it's going great! I bought two jugs of grape juice today as was suggested, so I will be drinking that regularly. I'm going to continue to log my progress until I stop over-sleeping, and am in the full-swing of the schedule.


Saturday morning I tossed and turned as the sunlight beamed through my bedroom window. As I drifted in and out of consciousness I realized my wife had left for work with my cigarettes in the car, and if I were to wake, I'd have to walk to the store. Staying in bed seemed much easier and I nodded back into a blissful dream. But I received a rude awakening. My wife burst through the door sobbing and collapsed on the bed. "What's wrong, why aren't you at work?" I asked.

"Charlie Voss was killed this morning in a car accident."

She got the call at work. She wasn't going to do anyone any good, so her boss sent her home. She tried to call me, but I was doing my best cat impression and never heard the phone. She filled me in on the details and we immediately decided we needed to be with our friends and his family. In an hour and a half we were southbound from Bellingham on our way to Wenatchee.

Charles, Charlie, Chuck-o was one of our dear friends. He was part of our tight group of friends in high school and beyond; a common patron of our parties, role playing games, and camping trips. Actually, five years ago at one such camping trip he helped shape our identity. Our friends were (are) fanatical about amine, samurai, ninjas, kendo, and basically Japanese culture in general. So you can imagine a bunch of drunken geeks sparring with shinai around the camp fire whist up-talking their samurai abilities. But it was this trip, Charlie decided he was no longer a samurai, but a pirate. Ah, what a delight this was for me. I hate amine. As much as I loved the sword fighting, I couldn't stand all the Fist of the North Star bull shit that went along with it. But the swashbuckler was something I, with my piracies on the information high seas, could really relate to. Though there were a few holdouts it wasn't long before we all shunned the way of the samurai for the way of the pirate.

Charlie was also involved with founding a back-yard wrestling group called the Piss Drunk Pirates. Though I was not involved, the crew consisted of my best friend, my brother-in-law, and other high school palls who took on pirate aliases and costumes in order to beat each other senseless for the video camera. Additionally, my friends founded a troupe called Pirate Theatre Ensemble which my wife and I were very involved. Though Charlie was only on stage for one play, he was active backstage, on the writing table, and of course at the cast parties.

It didn't happen all at once, but over the years we have all assimilated. You will always see a bottle of Captain Morgan's at our parties or see us drinking Morgan's Silver and Seven with a lime, the closest thing to pirate's grog one can get in a bar. We all have shirts, tattoos, and jewelry to adorn ourselves with skulls and crossbones. We exclaim "Yar!" and "Ahoy!" in each other's company. We are most definitely a salty crew, but Charlie was truly the greatest pirate of us all.

It was pure tragedy. Charlie's family was on their way home from a fishing trip. He rode with his older brother Larry Jr. At two o'clock in the morning one of their tires blew out; the car veered off the road and struck an electrical poll. Their sister, Little Larry, and others were following their car and were able to respond instantly. However, attempts at CPR and first aid were futile and the two brothers, 25 and 38, died at the scene.

Our three hour drive from Bellingham to Wenatchee was somber to say the least. My wife and I talked on occasion but we mostly left each other to our own thoughts. Honestly, we were waiting for the call. A call that would tell us it was all a big mistake, simply vicious gossip, and Charlie was truly ok. I guess we are still waiting. On our trip over the mountains, we spotted a flag at half staff. Both our eyes fixed on it as we passed. "That's odd," I said, as I wracked my brain for any reason someone would have their fag at half staff on this particular Saturday. We talked about it for a little while. I told my wife that it doesn't always take a national tragedy for someone to be honored in such a way. Perhaps a local firefighter or police officer was killed, we thought.

We arrived at his sister's house and our friends were already gathering on the lawn, telling stories and throwing back some Pabst Blue Ribbon and Captain and Coke. We all just dropped what we were doing and came home from all over the state (the Portlanders should be here today) to pay our respect to our fallen friend. We left briefly to have dinner with my in-laws and learned why the flag was at half staff, and today it is all I see. So Chuck-o, say hi to the president for me, he should be just behind you in line.

Our standards be at half mast fur ye, matey!

Settling into the New House

Well, after a fairly long absence from normal life, I finally am able to do some real work on the computer again. The heavy work of moving into my new digs is now 2 months behind me, and thankfully in my rearview mirror. Ahead still lies more landscaping, setting up my ham shack, and scrambling to come up with the bread to make my mortgage payments on the new digs. I also have the ongoing task of bugging the builder to complete a few finishing touches on the house. I have been able to check in from time to time with an old IBM laptop, but its tiny flickering screen and agonizingly slow processor made going online a painful experience. In a way this has been okay, since it discouraged me from spending too much time on the computer. Most of what I have needed to do with the house has more to do with shovels and rakes than with disks and mice.

The yard is starting to take shape, and despite the cicadas, most of my 32 transplanted trees and bushes seem to be doing quite well. I have been busy with the lawn as well, and have put down 35 bales of straw and 75 pounds of Kentucky 31 fescue, and haved picked up several tons of rocks and stones. I am putting the stones to good use by dumping them in the low spots on the ground of my pole building, which my contractor has been promising to pave with concrete since March. Oh well, hopefully someday the concrete guys will catch up to me. Same can be said about the guy who is supposed to finish my pole building.

I could get rich selling these guys a software program to generate excuses for them. The bottom line is that there is a building boom around here that is being fueled by low interest rates and the reconstruction business generated as a result of Hurricane Isabel, which destroyed or damaged thousands of homes in this region. Most people in the building trades have more work than they can handle, and are also having problems with materials shortages. It will all work out in the long run I tell myself, the ruined houses will soon be rebuilt, and interest rates are already starting to climb, putting a bit of a damper on new home construction. Despite the remaining items on the punchout list, the new house is comfortable and superior in just about every way compared to the old place. Good insulation, tight windows, a dry basement, and a well laid out kitchen are things to be appreciated, even by a guy, after you haven't had them for a while.

With the landscaping doing well and spring plantings done, rain this past weekend gave me a reason to work inside and get my computer/radio room together. Up to this point, it has been a repository for boxes and other stuff, such as Grandma's old crocheted blankets. I plan to make this room the nerve center of the house, and to start I have run a phone line in to establish basic connectivity. I was able to find a wall plate that can can accomodate 4 Ethernet jacks and 2 phone jacks in the same box. Eventually I will run cabling for TV and audio, as well as data, but first I want to get my ham radio station back on the air. I also would like to find a futon or small sleeper sofa, so I can entertain and sleep over a small crowd if I want. I still have a lot to do, but at least I got a start.

Though his mind has been all but dead by many accounts for several years due to the ravages of Alzheimer's Disease, I was saddened to hear of the final passing of our former President Ronald Reagan. He effectively led our country through a difficult time in our history, a time in which our country seemed to be losing its way and seemed to be in decline. Though his administration's policies demanded the sacrifices of many, I believe that history will show that he did the right thing, and made the world today a better place.

May the Gipper Rest in Peace.

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