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Well my boss came to work today, unfortunately. And his answer to nobody else doing their daily reports is to interview us each day concerning what work we're going to do, what work we accomplished yesterday, etc.

I think this plan of his sucks. However, he is the boss. I wish he were not, because he is grossly incompetent, and it is such as pain to work for someone who knows less than you do... wait a minute. Let me be frank... my job has two main aspects:

My boss knows virtually zero about linux.
My boss knows very little about our applications


Will I get over it as I have done so many times in the past????

I suppose, to the casual observer, it's either fairly comical or pathetic. There are four computers in three rooms on two floors in my house. One of them is an Avid Media Composer; it does nothing but cut film so it doesn't count.

Two months ago--about the time I really started to get serious about E2, my DSL line was shut down without notice by someone at InternetConnect (a loathesome operation here in Sourthern California) who had an...odd...sense of humor. I decided to change DSL providers, committed to the guys who give me phone service anyway, and then realized that the phone company had lied to me (duh): it was going to take over two months to obtain my new DSL line.

This would surely affect my XP.

Since my Linux box had no modem, and I wouldn't have the faintest about installing one, I started playing musical computers, moving between my 14-year-old's iMac (which is surrounded by skateboard posters and terminal malaise) and my wife's G3 Laptop (which was totally maintained by her last employer and about which she knows nothing).

Both machines have a single AOL account, and this is where the problem really starts: AOL Sucks, to use my son's vernacular. I don't even think about trying to log on when it's five or six PM in New York. I am dropped several times an hour, no matter what dialup number I use, and the bloody ads and offers are enough to drive a man to tears. I've turned off that moron who tells me I have mail, but my wife LIKES him, so....

This, however, is not the worst of it. I can't get on if HE's on. He can't get on if SHE's on. And if I am on I am reluctant to get OFF. You know how that is.

Now that I have actual WORK to perform here at Everything2, things have gone further downhill. (Is it actual WORK if you don't get paid? Ummm...whatever it is, I'm supposed to do it). My wife has begun to take an unhealthy interest in her e-mail, as though it has suddenly become the sole anchor of her sanity. I believe she begrudges me the use of her laptop at the pool. (I've never had a laptop. I didn't know you could node EVERYWHERE.) The boy knows I'm nuts, but now he has this skateboard video he wants to edit on the iMac. It's for school. What kind or school IS that, do you suppose?

I am persona non grata in my own home.

It was all put into crystalline perspective two days ago. I was nodeing/editing/nuking/wondering about the REAL Power Structure of E2, you know, all the usual stuff, when I heard an enormous CRASH! With an exclamation point. No brake sounds. No horn sounds.

I went calmly downstairs to see four teenagers stumbling out of a late-model Honda sedan, dazed, stoned, but essentially unhurt. The telephone pole in front of my house was totalled. Phone lines, cable TV, electrics. All hung grimly above the street, festooned on the ancient trees the car luckily missed. Dangerous-looking transformers creaked threateningly. I had never noticed how many strange devices they have on telephone poles these days. The car was bad news. A big-ticket crash. Airbags were deployed.

The driver was 18 (that makes him an adult); unlicensed (that makes him stupid); and he had stolen his mother's car (that makes him unwelcome around the house for quite a while).

My wife asked the leader of the platoon of policemen and firemen and paramedics and phone/cable/electric company specialists who came to spend the afternoon on our shady street:

"Do you have to put the handcuffs on him?"

The cop smiled and said "We call that a lesson."

"Watch, honey," I said. "They'll protect his head when they put him in the car."

"Why do they do that?" she asked.

"They always do that. On TV. It's a lesson."

I was offline for about 28 hours. I stood in LINE at the compu-coffee joint, finally, just to get a shot at their T-1. That night I went over to my friend's house and used HIS iMac to log on. I didn't have the nerve to node.

I'm tellin' ya. Everything is really something.

[ Dream Log ]


Hmm, I haven't been making daylogs for a while. =/

Today's stuff: I woke up TOO LATE. My alarm clock previously thought to be infallible and ever-enlighting has FAILED me! This caused me to skip that UI exam! =( =( =( =( =(

Well, fortunately that course isn't 100% critical for my next year studies... and I guess there are chances for me to take it later.

Other stuff that has happened recently: I now work (for this summer) for A Company doing A Product. PHP is involved in this. (Don't we hate NDAs? =)

I also got a new game - Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive - all Western cliches I've ever wanted. Refreshing.

What will happen today... we'll see.


Douglas Adams no more? Black clouds started collecting over our heads. He will be missed.

Speaking of DA, someone really should write a good summary of Bureaucracy, a funny text adventure that DA wrote.


I did what I should have done ages ago (procrastination bad, m'kay?): I updated Wolf's Dreamworld. I guess my inability to post stuff that happened in end of February or so made me break the (good) habit of listing them there, but now they are there! =)

Other day logs o' mine...

Noded today by y.t.: Dream Log: May 12, 2001 Booga-Boo Atlas Death From Above

Updated: sprite Timber Wolf Wolf's Dreamworld Dream Log: April 23, 2001

Belated news: ...updated a lot... and noded: Turbo Vision Y

Awake early, coffee (two (2) espressi from the Atomic), off to the airport to collect a hire car. Home, picked up one (1) wife and two (2) dogs, commence driving to Sydney.

The traffic in Sydney is fucking insane.

A stolen hour in Watsons Bay for fish and chips from the Doyle's take-away, sat on the grass, by the harbour, and watched the dogs have fun (chasing birds, munching potato chips, sniffing).

To the office. Drop off all the company hardware previously at home, pick up a suitcase full of toys from my desk area to bring home.

Stopped into McDonalds at Pheasant's Nest on the way home. Highway stop. Ate two (2) Filet-O-Fish. Gemma had a Quarter Pounder. Molly and Paddy had a sniff.

Most enjoyable CDs over the 7+ hours: Pat Metheny "Letter From Home" & "Still Life Talking" (both on Geffen); MC 900 Foot Jesus "One Step Ahead of the Spider" (on Def American); New Order "Low Life" (on Factory, natch).

Home. Warm. Tomorrow is Sunday.


Today is not a happy day. Douglas Adams died, 49 (that's not old), of a heart attack - http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_1326000/1326657.stm. Tributes are pouring in on /.. (See also http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/entertainment/tv_and_radio/newsid_1326000/1326721.stm if you want pictures. Or h2g2, http://www.bbc.co.uk/h2g2/guide/U42 for more tributes.)


No, I can't think of anything else to say, now.


Douglas Adams


So Long...

...And Thanks...

The deaths that shock are those that come out of the blue. Someone who's always been with you, who's contributed so much to your life, even if you hadn't realised quite how much. I've loved his books for as long as I can remember, and everything else I'd seen spun off from them, but I would not have said he's my favourite author, because they were in the background, part of our common stock of reference... just there.

And now he's not. I knew there was a man behind Marvin and Zaphod and "I think you should know I'm terribly depressed" and thank you the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation, so many things we say from day to day, knowing that everyone else understands all of them, but they're so familiar and established were not being geeky or cliquey. I knew someone very clever had to work them out, and before him there were none. But they were part of the language. Eternal.

It's a sunny, hot, cloudless day outside and I was supposed to be spending it on the grass enjoying myself and not worrying about anything till Monday. I briefly checked in here. Now as more people join in, and everyone (it's not a minority taste), everyone hears and gets upset...

And of course I cry again when someone else does.

In one of the Dirk Gently books they go back in time and change history. One of the things that gets changed is that the music of the spheres is transmitted to a previously obscure composer called J.S. Bach, and in the new history, the one we know, it becomes the Suites for Unaccompanied Cello.

That's the requiem I've got on now as I type and weep and wish I could go out into the sunshine.

A couple of days ago I was crying. My boyfriend (more than, really) and I were having a misunderstanding/disagreement on ICQ (he lives thousands of miles away) and I needed to let the tears out.

My family cares about me, really. And my computer is in the middle of the house, in a room with several open doors leading in to it. So naturally my brother (who is in the room because it is his now) asks me, "Are you okay?"

"I'm fine. Just leave me alone, and pretend like I'm locked away in my own room, even though I don't have one."

My mother, in the kitchen, now has to ask, too.

"Would you pretend like I have some privacy, even though I don't?" I beg.

She (well, everyone) likes to come stand over me and talk to me while I'm on the computer, looking at my screen. Or maybe not, but I feel like they're looking, and even if I am doing something completely innocuous, I don't like it.

My mother brought me a letter I got. It's nice of her to bring me these instead of leaving them with the rest of the mail for me to search out later. However, I don't appreciate her asking me what it is. Especially before I even open it.

"Why are you getting mail with a Somerville, TX return address that was postmarked in Tennessee?" she asked once.

"I don't know," I said, and reached for the envelope. She stood over my shoulder curiously. I didn't open it. Today I got another letter. She handed it to me, asking me what it was, before I opened it even. I snapped at her.

She didn't like that. She started talking about how she's just trying to do her job as a mother and take care of her children. She starts complaining that I don't help her enough. "You've never wanted to work in the kitchen with me like mother and daughter!" she accuses. It's not the kitchen I have so much against (okay, I really don't like cooking, but still) as working with someone... and not as much with someone (provided they are competent) as with a mother who still treats me as if I were a child.

I turned my bedroom over to my brother. My brother is a pig. He junked the room up so bad that one has to rearrange the mess to close the doors. A lot of my stuff is still here. The rest is sprawled in the living room where it was dumped when I moved out of my dorm room earlier this week. If I want privacy, I pretty much have to go in the bathroom and lock the door. And even then someone knocks on the door and asks what I'm doing and when I'll be finished, with a commentary on how long I am taking.

There is a nice, quiet, neat place up in Oregon, where someone willing to share their home and heart would welcome me with open arms. I can't spend very much time there, however, because my parents don't think it's proper and I'm trying to pacify them enough not to feel guilty about all the money they are spending on my education. And because I love them, really. I love my family. They just piss me off.

Will someone please tell me what the hell is wrong with my ass?

Not to sound too earthy, but goddamn, I am torn up. I actually showed up to work this morning, and I was so friggin' miserable they let me go home. They say cancers hold everything in their stomachs. No shit. How about the stress, the food that I over-indulge in, and when I have a moment of intuition, I feel it all under my ribcage, like a sudden elevator drop. Compound that with this weird bug I seem to have contracted and well, you do the math.

I am extremely nervous about tonight and the bitching party. I have no idea how this is going to play out. And I'm going alone.....no Satyr because he's stuck in Dundalk for the weekend. And no Bear.....

We talked last night, and a lot of things came to light. I do not want to lose our friendship.....I mean for what? I'm not ready, and won't be anytime soon, to bite off a piece of this situation. As a friend, I have all the trust and love to give in the world.....in a relationship? I seem to have only tail to give....and maybe a little insight. Bottom line, I don't trust anyone right now, particuliarily myself. So I wouldn't be fair. I just know it.

As for the party, I need to see what has been affected. Grrmly came into work yesterday for a moment, and nervously yelled across the kitchen with that voice that cuts through ice, "Hey, Kir! How's it goin'?" And his black eyes just pinned me. I couldn't concentrate on what I was doing at all after that point. Even the little stoner boy, Jack, was waving his hand in front of my face, asking what had me so zoned out. So that leaves me nowhere. I know Adam pulled the party together for a reason, that's very obvious. Neither of us really knows the other's story, and apparently both of us are on the threshold of feeling really foolish. After thinking it over incessantly, I've decided my best bet is to take it at face value. We both needed a tension release, and well, we got it.

A little history lesson: Weeks ago, when I first moved back here, I went to the new store that I work in now, to see my old boss. He wanted to give me my old job back, so I just strutted right back into the kitchen like I owned the joint. I helped set up that store last spring, so I feel like it's mine. I hugged some of my old buddies, Phyllis and the crew, and then met some new ones.
Standing by the phone, looking at me from the corner of his eye, was a VERY BUILT, dark, smooth-faced guy. A little shorter than me, and there's no use trying to hide that I find that appealing. After chatting for a few minutes with everyone, I turned to leave when I heard, "Kir, right? I've heard a lot about you. I'm Mike." Strong little monster hand clasped mine, and I felt that Szzzut of energy like when I met Ry or Angela. Robert, Scott....the list goes on. I'm learning to listen to those little shocks of electricity.
That night, I asked Satyr who he was. "Hot, isn't he?", Satyr asked, "Yeah, wouldn't have minded getting a hold of that myself. You and those Italian boys. Yeah, he has a girlfriend, but that's okay......I want you to meet my brother. I can't wait to see what you'll think of him.....", yadda, yadda, yadda. I had gotten the information I needed. Mr. Mike was totally off-limits. "It doesn't matter that he has a girlfriend, you could fuck him anyway....I mean...." No, it does matter. I DON'T DO THAT. Besides, what the hell do I have to offer, anyway?

I don't know. I don't know if this is going anywhere or if it's stopping right here. Does it matter? Not like anything could come of it right now......both of us are licking some deep wounds....at least from what I know of his story already. So, I'll just put on my best 'I don't care' smile and roll with it. But that starts tonight. I just hope both of us can put down our guards for even a second so we can be friends and get to know each other. It would suck if that chance were already lost.

One other thing, on a totally different subject. I have scheduled a day off Wednesday, so I can go warehouse shopping. Satyr said he found a really great air matress for me....oh boy, won't that be just like old times? It's that, or the hammock Adam found in a catalogue for me. It's rad! It's made out of parachute material and holds 240 lbs......so that means Windi would have to keep sleeping alone. Sometimes, I think I need that.

I miss Dunedin a lot today. I miss falling asleep in the hammock out back, under the stars and mosquitoes, with Hank licking my face, Ry playing his bass on the bench, my brother talking shit as usual, and Kash's voice creeping into my ear from the phone tucked under my chin.

Hey. Wish me luck.

Douglas Adams had moved to Santa Barbara, CA to be closer to Hollywood, something he was loath to do, to write a screenplay for a filmed, big budget version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

He was my customer, I was his tech support contact for the ISP I work for. At first, he had to settle for frame relay connectivity, because he was too far away from a Verizon (neé GTE) CO for DSL. When we found out that yes, it was that Douglas Adams, we implored, begged, and pleaded with Verizon to upgrade their equipment so DNA could get DSL. And, amazingly enough, they did it. Guess they figured out it was that Douglas Adams, too.

He'd often call us from his cell phone while in the car, and usually his questions were rather arcane. I'd usually start in on a lengthy reply, at which point DNA would realize he'd need to take notes. Something one shouldn't do while driving. He'd then usually crack wise with a statement along the lines of:

"Dammit, Eric, why do you always insist on being useful while I'm driving?"

The irritation in his voice, the self-mocking tone, the very Britishness of the way he'd say this would never fail to amuse me, and quite honestly endeared me to the man even more than his books had done.

We had just set up a couple of extra e-mail accounts for him earlier in the week, and it's very strange, odd, and bizarre to think that I may now have one of the last pieces of Earthly communication from him.

It merely said, "Thanks for all your hard work."

It's the least I could do, DNA. I think you know why.

A long long time ago
I can still remember how his books used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make more people fans
And maybe they'd be happy for a while.

But May 12 made me dread
With every page I'd read
Bad news on slashdot
I couldn't think another thought
I can't remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride
But something touched me deep inside
The day the writer died

So... bye-bye, Mr. Hitchhiker's Guide...

Ah Douglas Adams. I remember the guide on radio and television. How I wish he was only spending a year dead for tax reasons.

Earlier today, my dear, dear love, M. and I met and talked. We are going to be just friends for a while, he's setting me free. We've been trying to figure this out for so long, and he came up with this idea. When he first broached the subject (after we tried several other things) my first reaction was of immense relief. So I know it's right. And he feels the same way. I am so humbled by the immensity of his heart, his love for me. It's like standing in the sun.

I got in my car and felt the peace of my heart. As I drove down the highway, I felt peaceful, serene, calm, beautiful, bright. I had just enjoyed the company of a woman with all of these qualities. It was a blind date - and my only hope was to make a new friend - and I think I did!

We talked about yoga, spirituality, our own healing experiences, our jobs, our dogs, her doctorate, my kids non-stop for over two hours. She's the first gay woman I've had any kind of date with; and the first new friend who has known me first as Jamie. She accepted me completely (and I her) - it was really special. I felt the possibility of becoming friends was real; that I could really be myself without worrying about anything with her. It was superficial and deep, simple and in some way, profound. I guess I feel like our souls sort of touched in a passing way. It felt different than any blind date with a man; more down to earth, and real, no phony bullshit.

Just reading what I've written can't convey how I feel - she's pretty serious, and I hope to see a lighter side of her. But she's very spiritual, centered, and real. She told me about the time she apprenticed under a psychic and learned to visualize what she wanted. We talked about that a little. We didn't touch when we parted; I wanted to shake her hand or give her a little hug, but I have a really bad head cold, and didn't want to presume or give her my germs. She called me when I got home and told me again that she wanted to get together again. I had been thinking about her and planning to call her and say the same thing. I feel so honored! She's so cool!

Today an old friend of mine instant messaged me. It was weird because I had not talked to her in a long time. I suppose it wasn't a bad idea to talk to her. I had admired her for the longest time. Then we had an arguement and we didnt talk to one another for a while.

We didnt say much, just hello. Atleast its a start, I would not mind having her as a friend again.

On the other side, I went home today to visit my mother and sisters. I could have cared less about my father. I've given up on all attempts to bond with him. There is no hope for him or I ever having that father/son relationship. I make do with what I have now.

My mind is dead....I have no inspiration, no creativity, and almost no reason to live.

On the lighter side..... my new monitor came in. 17" viewsonic A70 WooHoo

I woke up at 6am in the bed of a long-haired, bearded pseudo-intellectual who, for all I could tell, had noded all night. I attempted to drive home in the Thunder car through Vancouver's Chinatown. After running a red light due to determined lack of attention, I decided I'd be going much slower as I obviously wasn't awake enough to be driving.

The good thing about having parents in the same area code as you is that in case of emergency, they can be called. For instance, when I spilled a substantial amount of borscht on my rented apartment's carpet, it was quite easy to call up my mother and beg for anything to get beet soup out of my carpet.

To get borscht out of a carpet, first scrape up as much of the soup as possible. Next, dump large amounts of baking soda onto the carpet. This will suck up the moisture and hopefully some of the colour. Vacuum the baking soda off the carpet. Next, place some dry laundry or dishwasher soap on the stain, dry-scrub it with a toothbrush you never want to use again, and hope to god the large purple stain will come out of the carpet. Vacuum the soap off the carpet, attempt to wash the soap up, fail, decide you'll need to steam clean your carpet to get the soap out, and carry on your merry day.

Your talk on fate led me to hope I'd find you at the shop in time, and have a night of words with you, just words, some kissing, no sex - we'll get to that later, I'm quite certain of that.

0330 EST: Jerked off thinking about you

0343 EST: Obi and Ivy suddenly wake up as I was thinking of crawling across their sleeping bodies. I took advantage of the moment and spewed something out to Obi about sneaking out, hitting the island early on in the morning, and calling him in the afternoon. "Don't ask," I said. He didn't. I still feel bad, though, about disappearing all day on them and not coming home for dinner. I kissed his half asleep lips and got ready.

0350 EST: Stumbled my way in the darkness to the door, warmer clothes, change of underwear and bra stashed in my bag, tits flapping about.

0355 EST: Stopped at a payphone on Macdougal to call the shop, got Alex downstairs...repeated the store number while searching for change...you had left not two minutes earlier, damn! Rushed over anyway as my busted shoelace made it near impossible to walk. Asked amigos if you were still around and you luckily were walking up Sixth at that moment in time, with chicas. At that moment I already knew that I wasn't going to be able to whisk you away. My damn optimism made me ask anyway. Thanks for the offer to shoot pool, but I passed because of the company, really. Nothing personal against them, just not what I had a taste for this particular evening. Besides, I was already mentally prepared to find somewhere to curl up and write since I couldn't go back to the house once I left there.

0715 EST: Sittin' on the LIRR listening to an old kooky lady ramble onto strangers. One guy mentions taking too much LSD when he was younger and says that he feels like he's still tripping, a comment which completely goes over her head. I'm waiting for the opportunity after she leaves to turn around and ask if this counts as a bad trip. Spent an hour or so at the net.cafe in Times Square earlier, checking email: Frank didn't go to Boston to visit Kate because the train ride would have consumed half the weekend; Yet another couple seeking a bi female (*rolling my eyes*); Tons of emails on my Burning Man lists, which I'll read when I have more patience. My connection was downright frozen, so I ended up having to write it down in my notebook anyway by hand. I suppose fate prevented me from posting an angsty love letter to the boyfriend for a reason.

The old lady has stopped chattering, and with the silence my mind draws a blank except for names repeating in my head...Obi, Frank, Kate, even Danny, my ex - and greatest love to date - is there. I'd be lying if I said you weren't on my mind, though my mind throws in other streams of consciousness along with that thought, replaying words exchanged in the past hours: Player, Poly, Fate, Sex Drive, "Fresh Meat," Jaded, Piercing, Psychology, Lust, Girlfriend...what takes the cake though is you saying "don't look into my eyes for too long." I can't help but think, "why not?"

You don't know me, "Bangher," but I already know you, if not your story. And my heart welcomes you.

Last night, I planned myself a bar crawl. Two bars: Doc Holliday's and Coyote Ugly. Before I went out to the bars, I had dinner - baked oysters and french fries in Umberto's Clam House. When I had my first drink last year, I ate stuff to... diffuse the drinks... Don't get drunk easily. I should always eat before I drink.

Doc Holliday's

I went out to Doc Holliday's first a a few light drinks. I had a shot of Jack Daniels, and a bottle of Rolling Rock (remembering that I should try something less strong to keep myself awake}. I saw a guy who was wearing a Quake shirt, and we struck up a conversation about his music work (he's a drummer, bass guitarist, and a songwriter), and video games. He said I should check out the works of Deep Purple sometime soon. I saw a few girls in a booth, and asked if I can join in on their conversation. (What are their names again? Ashley and Sheila!) They noticed my "Chicago: The Musical" t-shirt and talked about Karen Ziemba.

Between bars, I waited out for a while by walking around the neighborhood. I went to the nearest video shop to figure out if I can buy the first volume of the Neon Genesis Evangelion DVDs.

Coyote Ugly

I can't believe this place was so close to the path I've taken to Bellevue Hospital Center since I was a young'un in the city. Otherwise, I waited out for a bit for more girls to come in to the place.

I made my first impression by downing a shot with one of the bartending ladies. Then I talked to and shook hands with lots of guys and girls. What? One girl has a boyfriend? I'll say hello to the guy too - he's pretty nice about it.

I saw all kinds of girls coming in later in the night. There was a girl wearing a black and red silk dress, and I like it when she dances with her girlfriends. I asked if she can dance with me, and she said she has a boyfriend. I was okay about it, but I was a bit stubborn when I asked in two separate occasions. Yup... It's the black silk dress that does it for me.

I saw a few girls standing by, with a few toys from their bachelorette party. They dared me to talked to one of the friends of Ms. Black Silk Dress for a phone number. The friends were too busy, but at least the girls who dared me meant good.

A guy named Tim became a wingman for me, helped talking up a storm with a girl who was staying in a Hostel in the city. The girl has a date for the evening, so we moved on. I thanked Tim for the idea, and went on elsewheres in this dive.

Those girls dancing on the bar were great, and so are the girls on the floor. The leg-locking, the grinding, the swinging, the stomping, so on, and so on, and so on.

I can't believe a few I had a glass of Cider from some of the girls. Cool.

Do you want to know how is it like for me to be drunk? I actually listened to people when they talked. I didn't just nod or anything like that, but I took things down to the firmware level. One of the bachelorette party girls told me that if I want to find somebody more meaningful, I should go to a museum, a seminar (like the ones in The 92nd St. Y), just anywhere outside the bar scene. I listened.

I was out of town over the weekend somewhere near George, Washington (which is a city in the U.S. State of Washington in case that looks a little strange) for a concert by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at the Columbia Gorge Amphitheater. The concert was great and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

But being out of town and basically in the middle of nowhere I totally missed the news of Douglas Adams' death. It really saddened me to hear this. When I was in high-school, me and many of my friends read his books. We would joke about them and talk about what we thought were "the best parts".

I particularly remember that the year I took "Trig" we had to buy graphing calculators. These came in soft, black leather cases. But when you pulled them out you saw row after row of strange buttons. It was shocking and intimidating. So I made up a sticker with the words "Don't Panic" printed in large, friendly letters and stuck it to the calculator case.

I think to mourn his death I will now head straight to the bar down the street and order a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster.

Yeah, I'm posting this about a year after the fact. I just read The Salmon of Doubt, was reminded of this little essay, and wanted to post it for you guys. I considered putting it under Douglas Adams, but that node's been closed, so I decided to put it under this date with some of the other tributes. If you can think of a better place to put this, let me know, and I'll move it there.

Here We Are, Standing Dead in this Desolate Five-Star Restaurant

“This,” Max Quordlepleen said, “really is the absolute end, the final chilling desolation, in which the whole majestic sweep of creation becomes extinct. This ladies and gentlemen is the proverbial ‘it’.”

It was a wretched night at Milliways. To the extent that it could ever be said to be a wretched night at Milliways, to the extent that it could ever be said to be a night at Milliways.

Ford Prefect clutched his bottle of Ol‘ Janx Spirit and rolled his eyes at Arthur. “And yet I distinctly remember saying to you ‘The world’s about to end.’”

Arthur Dent, having lost his bathrobe but found his tea, seemed more concerned with gazing into Fenchurch’s limpid eyes than the end of the Universe. Arthur had had quite enough of contemplating the end of the Universe, thank you very much, and was entirely prepared to ignore Ford for the remainder of the evening.

“After this,” said Max from the stage, framed all around by a computer-enhanced rendering of the Ultimate End of Life, the Universe, and Everything, “there is nothing. Void. Emptiness. Oblivion. Absolute nothing ...”

Ford sighed, kicked back the remainder of his fourteenth Ol‘ Janx Spirit, and prepared to slide beneath the table into oblivion.

He was stopped just as his head was about to clear the lavishly upholstered seat cushion. The hand stopping him belonged to Zaphod Beeblebrox, ex-President of the Galaxy. Zaphod’s other hand was busy doing something to Trillian, and his other hand was patiently nursing his other head with a Double-Strength Arcturan Mega-Gin.

“Hey, kid,” Zaphod said, pulling Ford to an upright position. Well, the most nearly upright possible after fourteen Ol‘ Janx Spirits and a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster. “Have another drink, don’t let the monkey get you down. You’re beginning to sound like Marvin.”

“I resent that,” creaked Marvin, the Paranoid Android. “You can’t possibly begin to imagine the extent of my depression. Your brains just can’t fathom the depths.”

“That is,” continued Marvin despondently, “I would resent it if I weren’t just so terribly depressed.”

“Oh, switch off,” said Zaphod, turning to Ford. “Anyway, kid,” he grinned, “Doug is – just this guy, you know?” He toasted, sloshing a bit, threw his right-hand head back and took a long gulp of Mega-Gin.

Ford groaned, rolled over backwards, and ordered another Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster.

Somewhere, a Vogon commander pushed a little red button.

There was a terrible ghastly silence.

There was a terrible ghastly noise.

There was a terrible ghastly silence.


Don’t panic. The above is simply my (mostly harmless, I hope) tribute to that amazingly outstanding frood, Douglas Adams. I didn’t hear about his death until Sunday evening, when I was talking to one of my friends online. At first I was sure he was joking; but then I looked over at cnn.com, and saw for myself. The man who taught me how to fly, and showed me the deeper meaning in a towel, who gave dolphins their due and brought the world Pan-Galactic Gargle Blasters, Forty-Two, Infinite Improbability Drive, and the Triple-Breasted Whore of Eroticon Six, not to mention Dirk Gently, had gone forever. In his own words, “The lights went out in his eyes for absolutely the very last time ever.”

In short, Douglas Adams really knew where his towel was.

I’ve read the Hitchhiker series a number of times, since seventh grade. Every time I find something new . . .

It came as a shock to many people, I’m sure, myself included. To die of a heart attack at only 49 (we can be thankful, anyway, that it wasn’t 42), in the midst of yet another project, with so much joy left to spread to the world. Reminds me of a passage from the Introduction to the Hitchhiker’s Guide:

“. . . one girl sitting on her own in a small cafe in Rickmansworth suddenly realized what it was that had been going wrong all this time, and she finally knew how the world could be made a good and happy place. This time it was right, it would work, and no one would have to get nailed to anything. Sadly, however, before she could get to a phone to tell anyone about it, a terribly stupid catastrophe occurred, and the idea was lost forever.”

Sigh. Terribly stupid catastrophe indeed.

At work today, we flew a towel at half-mast from a bamboo pole.

All this leaves only one thing left to say:

So long, and thanks for all the books.

. . . I think I need a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster.

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