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Just got back from the volleyball tournament (for charity) that myself and some people from work played in. We did very well for a bunch of overweight and out of shape geeks. We actually won a few games. All of them in fact. Of course, while we were registered in the competitive section, they (The CATT Fund, who gives toys and donations to needy families in the winter) didn't have enough so we got mixed in with the fun section. It was still good though. The couple of practices we've had after work have paid off... we actually did the 3 hit thing, bump, set, spike (well, not always technically a spike....), and I think we looked good out there. The second game, when we couldn't sub players in (we were playing 6 aside and only had 6 members) we worked up quite a sweat. Huge congratulations go out to all my teammates!

Mom stopped by this morning on her way to some class to drop off a birthday present from my granny in England (who I used to call "granny dog" (she boards dogs) as opposed to my mom's mom, who was "granny no-dog"). I haven't opened it yet, want to finish this off first. It was a good thing that she came by too, as she not only got to meet the new kitten, but I forgot to set or turn on my alarm clock this morning so I could have quite easily slept through the first game! That's still not a good way to be woken up though, with a grunt of "You're mom's at the door" coming from your SO beside you.

I haven't noded in a while, and of course this node will be about work. I mean, I have nothing else going on in my life. Oh sure, I'm moving, which will save me about 80 minutes a day (not having to ride the T but walk instead...

No, I guess that everything I've thought about my boss is being vindicated by my boss's boss... we'll see how well it goes, basically my boss's boss said to me, lets just change things and see how your boss reacts...

I did have a great Thanksgiving, and after all, I do have a lot to be thankful for, a great job, a place to lay my head, a nice truck, etc. etc. I just have to remember those things, and also the poem I loved in middle school so many years ago, Things Can Always Be Worse

I am sitting here waiting for something to happen. That "something" is currently undecided, but i'm sure it will be profound and enlightening. Patience is a virtue, just another to add to my list. Funny how the only way I can think to change my life is to end it, but then thats just a little counter-productive.

Recently I have been asking just about anyone, whether they would rather be God's worst enemy or nothing. Much to my surprise, I am the only person (so far) who would rather be God's worst enemy. I don't particularly like the question, because it implies the existence of God, but it's interesting nonetheless. Surely any sort of existence is better then being nothing? I suppose the definition of nothing must mean that you couldn't know you're nothing, so I guess its not that bad. Even so, I find the idea of being God's worst enemy quite exhilarating, because you are going to be the second most powerful thing in the universe (some might even say the most powerful). There is however a sense of irony which keeps haunting me; God (by definition) must have created his/her worst enemy his/herself, which must then collapse God's omnipotence. The more I think about omnipotence the more it seems utterly impossible. I won't combine the God of philosophy with the God of religion, because they are two completely different concepts. Does God even have a worst enemy anyway?

The "something" I am awaiting, must be to become God's worst enemy! It is profound, it is enlightening and it will definitely change my life!

Just need to get that 666 tattoo...

When I started on E2, I typically used Dreamweaver 4 to create my new writeups, copied and pasted. Nowadays, I simply type them directly into the edit box. Ah, progress. Hairless apes can be taught new tricks.

Well, I completed the task I set for myself- upvoting all the relevant writeups regarding the September 11, 2001 attacks. I used up every last vote and all I have left is a C!. I only use chings for special occasions.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday I got to visit with my sister and brother-in-law (who is also my cousin... don't ask, it'll only boggle your mind- suffice it to say that my sister and her husband are not related to each other in any way, but I appear to be somewhat of an anomaly). Anyway, when speaking with them, the topic of the WTC attacks, of course, came up. You see, they lived in Manhattan when it occurred, but they have since left New York and moved to Atlanta, where they feel eminently safer. I can't vouch for the safety of Atlanta, but if they feel safe, who am I to argue?

It turns out that my information on Giachery's (my brother-in-law) wherabouts during the attacks was false. He was not sleeping a few blocks away, at a friend's apartment. He was, in truth, inside the first tower that had been hit. He had just debarked from the train and was milling about in the lower levels of the building when the first plane struck. He felt the shaking, heard the explosion, saw the falling debris- saw the people who'd jumped to their deaths. As soon as he realized what had happened and how tenuous his presence there was, he ran. He ran for 25 New York City blocks and didn't stop until he couldn't run anymore. He was unwilling to say more than that and I didn't press him for details. Honestly, he didn't need to say anything more; his facial expressions, his body language, spoke volumes. I now wish that my original, false information about his whereabouts at the time had indeed been true. He's a good man and does right by his wife, my sister, in all regards- to see the pain etched in his face at the memory of what he'd seen was more gutwrenching than anything he'd said.

That's when something occurred to me: the true victims in all of this are not the people who died, but the people who survived them or had to watch. The ones who perished when those planes hit were spared all kinds of misery. The ones who leaped to their deaths, who entered those buildings with an eye towards saving lives... yes, they were victims- as were the people on the streets, at the feet of those now gone towers, who had to watch countless people suffer a no-win scenario.

My gut is talking to me again. I hate it when it does that- it's very rarely good news, and this particular instance seems to be par for the course. "Gut" is to be equated with "the probability engine that is my brain." It works at higher levels sometimes, crunching potential outcomes of all kinds of things, like a supercomputer with organic parts (which, technically speaking, it is). With most contemporary computers, like the ones we're used to and that plug into a wall somewhere, it is possible to type in wind speed, velocity, trajectory, mass and other datum to find out where things in the physical world might be headed. My brain works in a similar fashion. A sort of "program" has been running in my brain for a while now, not too long, and the result it has spit out isn't making my true gut (stomach) very happy.

I hope it's wrong.

In case you're interested, here is what it says: one week, not much more and certainly not much less.

I don't know what that means, to be honest. It could mean that I'll get fired sometime this week (which is entirely possible. Hell, it's even very likely). It could mean that we will have another attack on American domestic soil. It could mean that our military action in the Middle East could escalate. It could mean that I'll fall in love with a woman tomorrow. It could be all of those things. I just don't know.

But I do know that this next week is going to be interesting to watch unfold.

The Answer to Life, The Universe and Everything is "Forty-two." I'm still eagerly awaiting the Question. Today I will start reading the third book in the four-part Douglas Adams Hitchhiker's Guide Trilogy. I've never read any of the books until the day before yesterday and I'm wondering why I allowed myself to neglect such a wonderfully funny series of books.

I have a cat!

I got her yesterday. I'd been thinking about it for a while and my mom came home and decided we should go look at the animal shelter. So we did. Half an hour later, I came home with a little black cat. Her name is Napster. She (as most cats) seems to have 2 modes: off and overdrive. She also happens to like chewing on wires. This is going to have to change. She'll attack and attempt to eat just about anything. Like the phone cord to the DSL modem. Or my dice bag. Or spiders. This makes me really happy, because it means less spiders. Also, with the volume of spiders she eats, maybe less cat food. Heheheh...

I've got D&D in half an hour, with my gravy Air Genasi wizard. I haven't figured out a familiar for him yet, but I think it's going to be a lizard or a bird.

Life is good

Three in a waterbed: noders come to Bristol

I've just had a weekend with noders! It was so good.

On Friday night I was having a second housewarming party. My household had had the first party just after we moved in a couple of months ago, and enjoyed it so much we decided we wanted another. The London Noder Meet last weekend had shown me how noders like to partay, so, in a moment of inspired madness on Wednesday, I blurted an invite into the catbox for my favourite noders to come down Bristol way and join the fun. Bring a sleeping bag! And your stash!

Considering the short notice, my hopes weren't too high, but I'd underestimated the pulling power of party.

  • wertperch used his famous charm, which seems to even work when directed at moving vehicles, to hitch down from Nottingham.
  • (darsi) left the evil empire without her service for the afternoon and came down.
  • BlueDragon didn't have to travel far, so wasn't getting out of this one.
  • call was bullied by everyone else, and agreed to come on down after work.

A catalogue of disaster conspired to prevent call making it to Bristol on Friday night. His epic journey was followed avidly by the partygoers. SMSs detailed the nightmares he was undergoing as his ETA was pushed further and further back. Finally, the news of a suicide on the train line pushed his estimated arrival time beyond midnight, and he chose to cut his losses and miss the party. Shame.

The party was pretty low key, but this was fine. (darsi) was high as a kite on codeine, due to me cracking her rib at the London Meet. My guilt knows no bounds! Just remember: beware ascorbic's Death Grip Hugglez. (my guilt is unending)

There was no way this party was going to end with bed at 4 am, so (darsi) and wertperch agreed to make a weekend of it and stay Saturday night as well. BlueDragon was poorly, and couldn't make the second day. Not alcohol related! We were joined by call, who, against all odds, managed to beat the system and came down us in the morning. Meeting him off the ferry from the station we headed of to the pub. This was to become a recurring theme.

Exploring the shops of Bristol, wertperch spotted the back care shop, and we were soon inside, lying on the waterbeds. Mmmmmmmmm...nice. Waterbeds rock my world! We were in agreement: we must have one. At £950 they are a little pricy, but we decided we'd work out a time share system and share one between us.

Books and CDs were bought, coffee and green tea were drunk (what! No oolong?), and we made the grand ascent of Cabot Tower. This has views over the whole city, and I'm on a mission to get noders to move to Bristol. It was dark by now, and the parkie wanted us out, so it was time for another pub.

Back at the house we were entertained by (darsi) teasing people in the catbox, and also by the arrival of a fuck off bag of skunk. call coveted my TiVO. We all missed the other member of our circle.

Next morn, wertperch had to make an early start for his grand journey oop north. My flatmate walks in:

"Matt, are these more geeks?"

(darsi) protests loudly. (darsi) is not a geek! Despite the fact she was arguing the finer points of motherboard design at this point.

Afetr Sunday papers were consumed, me, the gorgeous (darsi) and the newly huggable call headed into town for lunch and more caffeine. The Watershed is a "media centre", but has good food, good coffee, good beer and... free internet access on a 10 foot screen. After scaring the kid looking at Harry Potter sites, the three of us were noding cinema-style. Catbox silliness, and admiring SharQ's pyromania lifesize. We now want a 10 foot screen and projector to go with our waterbed. Non-geek (darsi) informed us the projector cost £8000 ("But it's a Mitsubishi. They're easy!").

All in all, this was a weekend to remember. These noders make great houseguests. I'd recommend them to anyone. Even if wertperch did scare some of the party guests.

This is my first daylog here.

As I've noted on my homenode, several years ago I was an editor/writer for BioTech Resources, an educational website run out of the chemistry department at Indiana University. We had a kick-ass site full of biochemical information goodness. I became obsessed with creating the biggest, bestest science dictionary on the Web. And, for a few months, we had just that.

But we were operating on grants and other soft money. Not good. The grants ran out. Tensions ran high. As a result, I had some of the absolute worst interactions with a supervisor I've ever had. I nearly grew an ulcer. We tried hard to get other funding, but it just didn't work out. (actually, we were foiled at nearly every turn by IU's Office of Technology Transfer, but that's a whole separate rant).

The project ended, and most of us moved to other cities for work because Bloomington has a pitiful economy. The professor who had been sponsoring the project moved to the University of Texas and the BioTech site moved with him.

There it has remained, mothballed, subject to link rot and increasing obsolescence. I've tried to do maintenance work on it when I've had time, but after their server got hacked by script kiddies, they locked it down and it's been hard to do decent work on it, as both Telnet and FTP access have been cut off.

And in recent months, the server keeps going down. Every time, I'm afraid it won't come back up for air.

And then I joined e2. And lo, the light dawned.

I thought, "Yea, for what I hath writteneth, I shall nodeth, and thus the information shall liveth forever on a decent servereth, and nay, it shall not disappeareth into the aether."

So I've been noding like a madwoman.

Being sick really sucks, especially when it's a flu that doesn't affect you all that much, but you can't quite defeat and it goes on for about two weeks on and off. I guess my immune system is out of practice since I haven't gotten a flu in about five years.

In any case, I woke up this morning and turned on the TV instead of running straight to the computers as I normally do. I was channel surfing when I came across this bizarre program called Zooboomafoo. It's hosted by the Kratt brothers, known for their previous show Kratt's Creatures. This show, on the other hand, is 95% silliness and 5% actual content about animals. Kratt's Creatures was much more informative and interesting, which kept me watching even though I was twice the target age group. Funny how television programming degrades to satisfy the lowest common denominator.

Then this adorable show called Sagwa: The Chinese Siamese Cat comes on. This show is so saccharine and kawaii that I sit there with my tongue lolling out for about 25 minutes as I watch this. It's like a drug. I suppose it was also the state of mind that I was in, feeling achy and sick and not wanting to get up.

Ahh well, feeling better now, and sanity is returning to me. I don't write day logs very often but I figured I might as well contribute since this was a bizarre day for me. Now to play some more Arkanoid II on my Apple IIgs...

0 | - | +

My second day staying with infy & co. in New York.

... lunch at the dominican place ... meet up with dead ... dv8 ... london for the second time + ansate's first single glove ... visiting dee unnanounced ...

Before Christine shoved us out into the street I purchased a lovely bong from her shop. It is my first bong, I was so happy. I can't wait to obtain some fine tobbaco products to pop its cherry.

Two rounds of Guiness. One round of The Glenlivet 12 Year. Dee complains the scotch did nothing for her. Soon I am patiently explaining to the bartender (with whom dead seemed obsessed) how to make a proper Mind Eraser for the four now-interested noders. Unfortunately dee starts stirring hers just as i'm explaing the concept behind the lack of mixing. Combined with her dislike of licorice she wasn't too thrilled with the taste. But like a good girl she sucked it down like the rest of us. Back at the table, she complains of her un-drunkedness again. Moments later she feels it and apologises most sweetly for doubting me.

A drink or two more into the evening, I'm really noticing dee's piercings, in particular the little horeshoe has in her tragus. So as a piercing virgin, to her I say, "I should get my tragus pierced." She says, "I won't do it while I'm drunk," which we were, "but we can just go to Wherever and my friend will do you." "Good deal," I said.

Minutes (and $15) later, I sit in the chair. Someone says they want to watch, I urge all the assembled noders to satisfy their voyuristic urges. Seeing them all cram into the back of the shop is amusing. The chick asks, "are you ready?" I answer in the affermative, close my eyes, and feel the pinch of the needle and it's done.

The rush is something crazy.

After tipping the piercer, offhand-like I say to the assembled "I've always wanted to get my nipples pierced." Dead offers to pay for it, initially saying he'd do his if I did mine. He chickend out I guess, but still paid for both my nipples. Though it hurt a little more, the wierd high afterwards was that much better. The pain lasts for a fraction of a second, the little tingles lasted all night.

Dee discouraged me from doing anything more, three was enough for one night. It is crazy addictive, I see that now.

I like them. I'm happy. Wheeee!

... subway bondage ... late night pizza ... bleeding ... funny noises in the night ...

I grew up a little bit this weekend. Love, Life and Mortality

I dumped my girlfriend for a couple of hours -- until I realised there still might be a way for me to life my life with her in it. Paradoxically, this requires shouting (when I'm angry) and/or ignoring her calls (when I don't want to talk to her).

I endured spiteful british weather and a chaotic rail system to attend the ritualistic clan gathering in honour of my grandad's birthday. Three hours of clucking judgment by people I have fondness for but precious little else to share but our genes. We live in utterly detached worlds: Theirs of memories, routine and security; mine of learning, growth and uncertainty. It's not their fault -- they're just old. And I'm young, which means I'm impatient and critical.

As I came back to the station my girlfriend started trying to get me on my mobile. By her tone, it was clear something was up. She took a moment then told me a mutual friend had been killed in a car accident during the week. I say friend but he had actually become a bit of an annoyance lately and was terribly self-obsessed. My girlfriend screened his calls on her answer-machine. Still, he had just as much right to life as anyone. He was not yet 30. He had been working at a new job for just 3 days. Now he's dead.

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