well i never thought that i'd see the day in which america would sink so low...to elect a president who is deadset on ruining a wonderful nation in which the public has choice...we have just voted any choice away...say goodbye to abortion, affirmative action, and gay rights...say hello to conservative supreme court justices who will institute prayer into our public schools...ignoring the seperation of church and state...the religious right will have its way now, as well as the nra...say goodbye to social security...welcome in a new era of inflation...a nation where the top 10% get richer and the rest suffer at the hands of the powerful...goodbye clean air, hello global warming...i am truly dissapointed in you america...you have let me down...

Ship rolls left, cold water that has condensed on the ceiling coalesces into drops that fall onto my head to remind me again that I need to do something about the air conditioner. Slight swells in this part of the Persian Gulf push the gray steel mass from one side to the other in a series of undulations, light reflects off of the running lights in the Kaminski. Why the name was chosen I do not know, only that nearly a dozen ships sit stationary at anchor in the Bell. Waiting for one of the boats from this ship to nuzzle up to the side of the hull and dispatch a team of armed men and women to watch the crew for a twelve-hour stretch. The sounds of taxed electric motors whine through the space I am sitting in signaling the end of another day of watching. Everyone home, the RHIB is pulled back onto the ship and we turn off the few lights we had on to begin with. Tonight there will be no strobe on the tail of the helicopter when it comes in and leaves again for another round of sensor sweeps over the local area. No sense in broadcasting to everyone that can see that we're out and up flying. That and the red light plays hell with the night vision goggles the crews have perpetually mounted on the front of their helmets.

The early morning dawn starts with Fruit Loops on the flight deck, namely the crunching from my own jaw interspersed with sips from a Camelbak holding more than my fair share of ice-cold orange juice. Luxuries are few and far between here. You learn to become quite vicious in the face of those attempting to deny you Fruit Loops and O.J. when this is the last thing in which you take daily comfort. Watching them get ready to leave the ship is sickening. No prayer for the dying, just the soft click of rounds being pushed into magazines and the sound of water lapping against the hull. Somewhere forward of where everyone is standing the hoist from the rigid hull inflatable boat whines in an undulating song that resonates through walls. The boat hits the water with a solid thump as the motor coughs and then growls to life, soon it moves through the water in a slow circle to return to the back end of the ship for the first team to leave. I will not leave with them or with either of the two other teams on the list for today. Part of what I do means that I stay here and go nowhere. There are only a limited number of the people that are fully aware of how to do this job in this or any other part of the world; it isn't like I can just be replaced overnight. This does not aid in the improvement of my demeanor on the other hand. In a way I want to go, not to point guns at people or for the rush of climbing around on some weird ship, just so that I can have faces to associate with whom it is we call the enemy.

They are the enemy, aren't they? This is whom we are supposed to be fighting against? A handful of smugglers attempting to carve out a living hauling the most expensive thing they can find at any given time? This is the enemy, they have no face but these boats are apparently who I am supposed to hate with every fiber of my being. Devious, tricky, baby-eating boats that sneak around in the dead of night like insurgents trying to slip LSD into the water supply. I can't hate an inanimate object. It doesn't make a damn bit of sense. This is a boat. Much like a gun, a cruise missile or a nuclear weapon they possess no innate quality of good or evil. They simply exist. Humanity assigns this moral value to the object based on their perceptions, not based on some hidden inner truths of the material world. Saying a nuclear weapon is evil is essentially the same as saying that the Cadillac Coupe de Ville in your neighbor's driveway is in league with the devil. On the other hand the only thing that a nuclear weapon can be used for isn't a very good thing at all, then again the Caddy could certainly be abused as well. True, the warhead on the end of a Trident II isn't something that your kids could sleep in the back of on the way home from the mall.

Still I have no concept of whom it is that I am not supposed to like here. The Iraqis? The Iranians? Anyone in this area of the world or can I pick any group/individual on the planet? Is there a list of qualifications you have to meet in order to become an enemy of National Security and National Policy of the United States of America or is this a title the government simply bestows on random individuals every now and again? The ghosts of the Cole will never find any peace; there isn't any for them to have here. I heard news broadcasts before I left flatly stating that the crewmembers of the Cole died for their country, that they died protecting freedom and democracy from all enemies foreign and domestic. They died in a hollow stupid war. They died eating lunch. They died for nothing. Now what?

Fuel hose mates with pressure fitting, this time with a minimum of the fiddling the device has been requiring over the course of the last week. (As I work I sing a stupid little song that goes something like this: "Fuel hose is connected to the fuel port, fuel port is connected to the kniffler pin, kniffler pin is connected to the warp drive, warp drive is connected to the phone machine...ad nauseum.") Every time we go to fuel the airplane the fitting seemingly does not want to mate with the plane which requires whoever is handling the hose at the time to mess with it until the connector seats. I clip the grounding wire to one of the nuts on the 120-degree elbow and wave a single extended finger in the air to start the fuel pump. Darkness brings out the color of the fires on the horizon from oil wells belonging to the American consumer culture. Forty-foot balls of fire from vented natural gas burn as bright specks, painting the underside of the thin haze over all of the wells a sickly yellow. Some of the others burn red, orange, and magenta, depending on where we are and the impurities blended into the mix not worth enough to be canned up and shipped off. The fuel rushing through the hose I watch so attentively probably started here some time ago, a few million years before that I wasn't even alive but still prepared to die for the swamps blanketing this area. No, not prepared to die. I volunteered with a different set of aspirations. I have no idea who it is that I am supposed to hate. There is no enemy. Yes, there is. I am the enemy.

This makes sense. This works in the absence of any other rational explanation. This is the end to the means of my existing in this particular place and time. I am the enemy. I am the defiler of temples, the destroyer of women and children, the abuser of the weak. I am beyond redemption, salvation or forgiveness. I am the embodiment of all that it is evil and wrong with the world. I am the disease with no cure. I am hatred, pain and sadness given flesh and sent to run rampant over the face of the earth. I am the drunk, the rapist, the pedophile, the murderer, the serial killer, the sadist and the masochist. I am the monopolist with a chokehold on entire national economies. I shoot endangered species for fun and amusement. I am the Roman nailing Christ to the cross, I am the Nazi gassing Jews, I am the Stalin slaughtering millions of my own, I am the McCarthy persecuting shadows, I am the Khmer Rouge guerrilla shooting peasants in the head. I am the racist spitting epithets at anyone who is not my carbon copy; I am the Farrakhan and the Duke. I am the Imperialist subjugating millions and then lining my own museums with their identity, taking what they own and calling it mine. I am the arbitrary invasion of other countries, I am the puppet government, I am the democracy, the fascism, the communism, the dictatorship, the monarchy, the republic and the anarchy. I am the intolerable roommate, the absentee father, the senile mother, and the cruel stepsister. I am everything that is wrong with the world. I am cable television price hikes, gas prices, hanging chad on presidential election ballots, western devaluation of native culture, McDonald's, the Bible and the Koran. I am the antichrist, the infidel. I am Godzilla. I am the enemy.

Sighing, I disconnect the fuel hose from the side of the aircraft and smack the protective cover over the receptacle so it isn't damaged while we're dragging it across the deck. The hose always has about twenty to thirty gallons of fuel left in it after the pump stops so moving it around without damaging the end is a bit of a challenge. Karin yawns widely causing Trent to laugh. With the bird silent on the deck the characteristic squeak at the end of her yawn bleats softly through the night air in a momentary testament to strange quirks of biology. Karin and Trent are both shoes, meaning that they are part of the ship's crew versus part of the helo detachment. Not being a part of the detachment means they sleep in on Sundays, don't put up with phase maintenance and work on the world's most mediocre equipment. Our not being a part of the crew means no permanent home, suspicion of decisions we make that are critical of the ship, and we're not able to sleep in on Sundays. There is a good-natured rivalry between the two sides, they send us people looking for the keys to the helicopter or rotor wash and we send them people looking to ask the MAA to blow the JOOD. Since the JP-5 that the plane needs is a ship thing and we aren't exactly on an aircraft carrier, the shoes handle the dispensing of fuel and so forth. At least they run the pumps, filters, storage tanks and everything short of dragging the hose around on the deck and hooking it to the side of the plane. Two in the morning, both of them have a full day tomorrow and I have managed to interrupt sleep in the name of refined petroleum byproducts. Karin smiles and makes a quip about not messing with her at this hour. I lay the business end of the fuel line down near the hose reel and meander toward the hanger. Couple more hours until dawn, and another morning of Fruit Loops and orange juice.

"Trent, you know why we're out here?" The question comes in an offhand manner, the flippant tone is probably not the best I could have chosen.
"Nope." He climbs out of the fueling station where Karin is muscling the fitting back onto the mirror image of the port on the side of the helicopter, the pump starts a few seconds later and the trapped fuel drains back into the tanks. "No idea."
"I've been trying to figure it out for the last couple of days, that and who the enemy is."
"Hmm. Dunno man." Trent watches Karin gather up the last of the equipment used to take fuel samples, ground the hose and talk to the pump room several decks below. Eventually she steps up and out of the large rectangular and topless box set into the flight deck housing all of the fueling equipment.
"I mean, near as I can figure, we're the enemy."
"How so?" Karin asks, coiling the ground wire back into a state resembling a diagram of electron orbits. Some time ago the grounding wire was not put back right which is a condition that has persisted over the life of the wire. It now refuses to sit flat and instead flops into a wiry yellow ball despite any effort to the contrary.
"Think about it, we're the only fuckers out here really doing anything to Hussein. We're s'posed to be out here stopping him from acquiring weapons of mass destruction, but he's going to do it anyway. So really we're either doing nothing more than spending a whole pile of money on gas or we're here just because." Silence, or at least what passes for silence on a ship at sea falls for a few seconds.
"Dunno Yurei. I mean the way I look at it we're here because someone told us to go." Trent looks over at the dormant aircraft and shakes his head. "I can think of a few other places I'd rather be though."
"We're here because we're here. A.A. Milne, wrote a poem about world war one with the same title." I laugh at the usual deadpan humor and the futile nature of arguing with the current set of circumstances. "I don't think we're the enemy though." Karin says lightly. "We're just people."
"I suppose. But I still have no good damn idea why we're here."
"I know. Admiral got bored."
"Might be on to something there Trent."

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JeffMagnus node of the day: Lithium

Well today was a swell day, not really again I did not have my car. My good old trusty 1968 chevy Impala yea dam car mabey I should trade it in for a new one mabey a 69 na dont like the body. yea I have just finished having the one meal a day that I have. well I had no money so my friend clearpebbles spotted the cash we had 2 BK chicken sandwiches for 99 cents each. Thats a good deal for starving college students. I should be in my english 1301 class but I decided to skip I missed e2. All and all this day has been great I have spent time with the one I like (but doesnt like me back) I love it when my car breaks down because I am useless and have to bumb rides but that also sucks. Well thats about it my day.

Like lots of others, I come from (and still dwell in) a broken home. My parents divorced when I was... 8, I think. Why? Probably because of my father's mutant work ethic. His marriage to my mother was his third, and he has since remarried. But through all of this he has excelled in the business world, making upwards of $150-$200k annually. Understandably his family, his children, most notably myself and my 16 year-old sister (though he has had others from previous marriages, all of whom have gone on to lead non-productive lives) all take a backseat to his job. He, in spite of his revenue, has several times halted child support in the past, sending our (my mother's, my sister's and my own) living conditions to the brink of poverty. And still he expects us to have a (relatively) normal relationship with him. To keep up the visitations, and all that. At least he pays for the plane tickets to Connecticut.

The rest of my family hates my father for those reasons, as well as others. But whenever the family gathers to talk at dinner and slam my dad, I always defend him. Why? Because he's been there for me so often in recent years, most likely due to my depression... perhaps he's only trying to make up for years of neglect, but it's at least an effort.

This upcoming weekend is another scheduled visit. My sister has something else which she would rather attend. She's afraid to tell my father though. So, she asks me to break the news to him. I gladly accept. So, I call his condo in Stamford, and his wife answers. She tells me that he's at (surprise) a business dinner and won't be back till much later. She tells me that she will forward my call to his cell phone.

So, he answers the cell phone. I tell him that my sister will not be able to see him this weekend due to a prior engagement. He asks to speak to her. I tell him she's in the shower (a little white lie, she's in the other room). He sees right through it. Not to worry, he tells me that it's "not my fault" but thinks that I could have handled the situation better. He asks me to tell her to call him when she's out of the shower. I reluctantly agree.

I tell my sister to call him in a few minutes, and she's visibly shaken. I just head upstairs to do something else.

About ten minutes later, while playing Nethack and Final Fantasy VIII, I hear my sister run upstairs sobbing loudly. I head downstairs to ask my mom what happened, and she tells me my father is "being a prick." I figure nothing could be further from the truth if the result was the way my sister was crying. So my mom goes up to console her.

This was the first time my sister stood up to my father, as far back as I can remember. I would always hear her bitching about him, but just blew it off as exaggeration. But after hearing about the way my father berated her on the phone, I started shaking.

I've always defended my father before, but this kind of bullshit has no place in my family. I don't think I'll ever look at my father the same way again.

I don't think I'll see my sister the same way either. She's got much more courage than I do.

No, yesturday's bitterness about good 'ol Gee-Dubya being elected has not since passed. I am still I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!

I also decided today would be the Monday I would start my annual "post-Thanksgiving Diet-a-thon" until I loose the weight I put on since the Minnesotan Summer has drawn to a close. I won't stop dieting until I look just like those male models...you know: the ones with the six-pack stomachs and the lips parted just so. If I ever look like that, I guarantee a negative effect on my noding libido.

After waking up upset, I went to school. School went like it usually does: walk, sit, listen, talk, walk sit, listen, talk...until it was time to work.

At work somebody was sitting in MY chair, and it wasn't me. I read some more boring literature until he left. Damn California people...thinking they are better than us! All of the knowledge I soaked up came out in the form of technical ("informational") nodes.

I just finished a plate of supermarket sushi, now I am going to go home and do schoolwork until I must sleep. When does the fun ever start? Oh yeah, this is fun.

After three days of rain, everything seems so washed out and grey, as if the rain is slowly removing the color from everything.

I was awake until four this morning due to lack of painkillers for a body slowly rejecting the stiches put in it a week ago. Slept through my alarm and woke to a very dark late morning. In the shower I try to play it safe but still wince as the soap and shampoo residue somehow finds a way to seep into my incisions. I swear, these fuckers haven't healed at all. I could stick a goddamn chopstick straight into my abdomen and tickle my liver if I wanted to. Actually, if I could find a way to sterilize a chopstick I might actually try that...

The rest of the day was eaten up by a doctor's visit (I got a bag of shiny new bandages and other supplies. Alas, no painkillers) and the completion of a paper on the Martyrdom of Shakespeare's Flastaff. Dinner was Cheerios and whats left of the ginger beer.

It's still raining. Im not even looking out the window; you can tell by the sound of the cars as they pass by. I suppose I should be greatful: if this were snow we'd be buried by now. Still, snow would mean snowball fights, lewd snowmen, the feel of a snowflake landing in your ear. Rain just brings the smell of wet wool and floods the walk outside my windoweveryone walking with their head down.

Tonight there are people banging around outside my door. God knows whats going on but they seem to be having a good time. Perhaps they're stir-crazy from the weather. Tonight I pray for reasuring scabs and sunshine.

I flew to Singapore yesterday. En route back to Kluang, my hometown in Malaysia.

The airplane I took was a Boeing 777, run by Singapore Airlines. Good airline, that one. Has personal entertainment screens for everyone, even those in economy class, with a choice of 20 video channels, 12 audio channels and a supposedly interactive system as well. For me, the video and audio worked fine but the interactive system crashed on me a few times. I wonder if it runs on Windows?

Thanks to the screens embedded in the back of every seat, I managed to catch bits of The Perfect Storm (didn't like it very much), Hollow Man, X-Men (seen it before but not bad to flip through it again) and that BBC series about dinosaurs. There was also What Lies Beneath, the Abyss and a few other things on (news, comedy, cartoons, sport) but I didn't have enough time for that.

Airline food is improving. There actually was ice-cream served during the flight as a dessert to lunch. Strawberry. Yummy.

While I'm here in Singapore, I'm looking for a new computer system for my parents to use back home. Hoping to replace the aging Pentium 100 system with something like a sub S$1000 700Mhz Celeron or equivalent system.

For those who are interested, a really good use of the Palm (or other handheld system) is as a star chart. The night before I left, I was at the Gap in Sydney with one back-illuminated Palm Vx, one Planetarium program and one suitably impressed and happy girl. :-)

This date will always stand out for me. It is a very special anniversary.

Two years ago today, my life got a very sharp jolt.

Two years ago today, the world stopped for a moment.

Two years ago today, my mother died.

Today, all I can do is honor her memory.

God, it still hurts.

Big day, started in Sydney. Presented our project 0.99 to all the bigwigs and finance people, over 90 mins, and survived. I think me and my team have been playing the right cards over the past week -- "no more frickin' changes or you're never likely to see this thing". Flew back to Canberra this pm, went straight to a SAGE-AU meeing to hear all about the new TransACT metropolitan broadband cloud that's rolling out here at the moment. 55Mb VDSL to your home. Yeah, baby.

My spectactles are amazing. Just watching some telly last night and looking at a PowerPoint preso tonight, I can hardly believe how blurry my eyesight had become. My optometrist says that most computer folks get slammed eyesight eventually. I bought her a great big bunch of flowers to thank her for getting me into these things so gently and deftly.

The air on the way home from SAGE tonight was filled with the scent of jasmine. Summer evenings are so livable here. Gemma made me a fantastic salad with crispy bits of German bacon and fresh chilli.

2 Everything Development Company shirts were waiting for me when I got in -- "Drugs" and "Nodespotting". They look great...

Word from sensei tonight: he has a flu but is warm and undoubtedly being taken care of. He is much loved.

[Dream Log]


Guess who woke up again a little bit too late??? =)

Damn it, last night I got... a bit further... in Metal Gear Solid... Blasted the tank and got to meet the ninja.

...they shouldn't release games that are this addictive... =)

Wellwell, time to face the challenges of the day.


Another wasted, wasted day! Sleep is a bad substitute for caffeine.

...but at least I noded something remotely interesting... =)

I was supposed to go to IRC with a fox, but apparently he either wasn't there, maybe the message didn't go through or something.

Other day logs o' mine...

Noded today by y.t.: Dream Log: November 28, 2000 Satama Interactive mystery meat navigation anon.penet.fi (supplementary)


back | days | forth

11:50 GMT

Isn't it just grin-inducingly wonderful when you get an unexpected phonecall from your beloved? :-)

Hum, Hum. I have been given the task of maintaining our myriad webservers and sites. Most of these are internal, with one external site (no, I won't tell you the url, cos it would get hacked; it's a windows 2000 server and poorly secured right now...) So, this morning I have been refreshing all my stored web site development knowledge. (hence the dreamweaver node) It's funny looking back and seeing all the things I have accomplished; normally I view my time here at Sony as rather unproductive. But, here is the project website I designed 2 years ago, and here is the department homepage I designed 3 years ago which still looks quite nice.

I'm also reviewing all the different things I have accomplished on PhotoShop; why, oh why did I leave you alone, you wonderful piece of software? Seeing the old images I drew for the DVD authoring project, all the conceptual diagrams and mock DVD menus, seeing all these things makes me proud and warm. You know what? I did stuff. I'm proud to say that I have some artistic ability, something that seems to be very rare among developers and techie types. It's a pity that PhotoShop experts aren't paid as much as perhaps they should be, but if I can get a job where I am doing graphical work as well as web development and programming... Hmmm...

It's getting to the point where I am seriously considering removing Linux from my main work PC (I use it for email only) and install windows 2000. This would allow me to use ICQ, Photoshop, Winamp, DreamWeaver and all the other nice windows apps that I am missing out on... But of course, if I did that I would catch hell from the linux advocates/zealots, both inside work and without. I shall have to consider carefully. I also have to find a way of transferring my 4 gigs of MP3s from ReiserFS to NTFS.

12:45 GMT

Well, the rush is on. The Staff sales Playstation 2s have arrived and all the people who ordered one are beginning to queue for them. What's grimly amusing is the fact that I could have bought one for 250 pounds and sold it on for 600 pounds. An easy 350 quid profit slipped through my fingers... :-( Ah well, at least I won't have the temptation to spend loads of cash on controllers, memory cards and games :-)

15:00 GMT

Andy's new baby, Hannah was misdiagnosed with cataracts yesterday. 3 doctors couldn't get the red eye response which is apparently a test to see if the lens of the eye is letting in light. Andy and Yoko spent a sleepless night praying for a miracle and their prayer was answered when the senior ophthalmologist told them that their new baby wouldn't be blind or have deficient sight; Hannah doesn't have any eye defects. It seems that her asian heritage makes the red eye diagnosis difficult. I couldn't begin to imagine how Andy and Yoko were feeling last night; they had been told their baby's eyes would have to be operated on. Andy told me this experience has grown him considerably; I sincerely hope I don't have to have that kind of experience. I hope that if something like that were to happen to one of mine and Dana's children, then we would be strong enough to cope with the emotional trauma that would come with that amount of worry.

i painted last night, i haven't in a while. i like what turned out. it's interesting. mebbe i'll take a picture of it, and mebbe i won't.

tonight i am to have dinner with my sister. we will be introducing cozmo to phoebe (her border collie). i think they will get along famously. it will be nice for cozmo to have someone to beat up on that isn't 1/4 his size (my cat loves to play hide and seek, but cozmo gets too rough with her after a bit).

i think i will paint more tonight after i get home from my sisters'. i found some small canvasses and i'll see what i can put on them. if nothing wants to show up, then i'll see what i can do on larger canvasses. the larger canvasses are already painted, but they suck so i'll paint over them. i need more paint though. i really had to stretch out my colours last night. and i couldn't find green (dammit, i know i had a tube of green), so i had to make some (which ultimately worked out better).

my kalanchoe is blooming yet again. even after a very severe haircut. Also, I gave the mini roses a hard prune and it's got leaves coming out all over the place. the roses have black spot, and i wanted to prune anyway... so i removed most of the foliage, left the plants for a few days to encourage new bud growth, then cut back some of the long spindly branches. this really isn't necessary for mini's, you can leave them be and they tend to grow well and bushy -- but i'm anal. i want my minis to have branches which mimic the ideals of a large rose bush -- that means lots of branching so the plant is bushier. well, let me move my talk of mini roses over into a new, and more useful, location: miniature roses.
more mundane my-life-shit-that-no-one-ever-reads later, as it occurs...
it's just after noon right now and it's shaping up into an interesting day. today, the CEO officially resigned. this is fabulous news. he'd been running the place poorly. i'll leave it at that. i should've guessed that was coming given that the all-hands meeting where they announced it was called by our CFO who will be taking over the position of CEO. also, the fact that she was moving into his office shoulda been a hint, but i'm a bit dull sometimes.

finally ordered a ring for mom for christmas. she'd requested a mother's ring and so i got one. i decided on only getting two stones (one for me, one for my sis) instead of three (which would have included mom's birthstone) because while opal and amethyst look neat together, opal, amethyst and ruby really would look weird... red clear ruby in the middle, purple clear amethyst on the right and then milky white opaque opal on the left. didn't look right, so i left out the ruby. it saved a few bucks (which i really wouldn't have minded spending). i could have gone for pink tourmaline instead of opal-- but to me, opal is my birthstone, not tourmaline. i really like opal and as such it would be important to my mother to get opal.

in terms of christmas, i've tackled mom and dad. still left are:
  1. grandma
  2. jenn - sister
  3. chris - brother in-law
  4. craig - boyfriend
i know what i'm going to get/make for grandma, it's just a matter of sitting down and actually doing it. jenn wants a blender and something else i can't quite remember. i'll have to ask her again. chris is a pain to shop for. you can't get him clothes, jewellery, or watches, he's terribly picky. i could get him a computer game, but i always kinda feel like that's mean to my sis, takes her husbands' time away from her. i could go for a gift certificate to best buy but that's so impersonal. we'll see how that goes. craig is an absolute impossibility. whatever he wants, he buys himself. so finding appropriate gifts is difficult. he also has expensive tastes, and i am loathe to spend $200 for a tie (which is the only piece of clothing that i could afford to buy him given his preferences). oi. holiday shopping makes me nuts. not that i wasn't already, but more so.
I slept eleven hours last night. Patches in a ball at my side, Bahloo enjoying the warmth between my knees...I couldn't move, but I guess I didn't need to. The beautiful sounds of Garvin Bryars' Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet looped throughout the night like a lovely lullaby.

I met Sylvar the other day. He introduced me to the Gavin Bryars CD. What an interesting guy he is, eight hours of great conversation, beautiful acoustic music, and a drive through 5 acres of garden. A lovely time, indeed!

I am definitely going to the next Florida Everything Get-Together..
On an unhappy note...a man from the mortgage company came by this morning looking for my landlord. Seems Henk's been slacking on his payments...I hope I am not homeless soon.

Well here I am again...

Well, I'm on E2, again. I'm always finding excuses to be on it. I've almost ended a date early so I could go use the rest of my votes before the server reset. I'm beginning to think I'm an Everything2 addict. I don't write many writeups, so it's kinda wierd. I mean... I sit here... and read and read and read...... Is this normal? My school (Etiwanda High) has a SSR reading period, and I actually sit on E2 and read for the 20 min period. I don't read books anymore.

Well... that's the past... here's the the present.

Another boring day in the not-so-famous life of Aaron Nichols. Got my class ring a few days ago (fun stuff.). It's nice. 'Ruby' jem. White gold. An eagle on one side with a computer on the other.

Last night was interesting in Computer Networking... listened in on some computer mumbo-jumbo between Sam and Kelly (better known as Eraser_). Chit-chatting about the no math co-processor in the Celerons again. I'm understanding it more now... I hope they teach me alot of computer stuff.

Hot topic last night... Which would you have: a PIII or Celeron 500?
Kelly's arguement: So what if it has no math CO-... over clocking is the best... now where did I put that pelter (walked into the corner and piffles around.).
Sam's arguement:I agree... but it's pelters. To get to 900Mhz.... it's gunna need a lot of cooling!

Hum.... then there was a talk about video compression, and there were other talks... but hell if I can remember. I don't remember what I don't understand.

That could be a problem...

Still packing. The move is Saturday. My daughter wanted to help me by scribbling on all the boxes. At one point I needed the marker myself and lost my patience. The SO and I had warm words about my reaction and his reaction to my reaction, and right after an old friend called who is living in the house we're moving into. Even at the best of times, listening to him is like pulling teeth - he talks so damn slowly and you can't guess where's he's going. I got off the phone as soon as possible. After that, the evening actually went very well. I guess he served as a lightning rod, the poor dear.

Got up super early this morning so I could go shower at a friend's before work - actually at an empty house, which was very weird considering that all the world was dark and a heavy fog had invested the landscape. The reason for this unusual act is that the man-who-tests-the-water had dosed our well with chlorine (to kill the animolecules). Now the water is back on the job.

At work I'm tracking down a bug in the code I wrote yesterday morning. It dumps core; no debugger available; I am narrowing down my search for the killer...


Welp, the presidency has been decided, but sadly one of our candidates... Hmm... Al G.? Nah, that's too obvious, A. Gore... he still can't face reality. I ask the Democrats out there, do you REALLY want to support this crybaby?

Oh, wait, that's right, our other choice is a killcrazy businessmad Republican Texan. Perfect. We're fucked over either way. And anyhoo, I didn't vote due to our appaling choice of losers for president.

What'll this result in? Every tree-hugging Democrat will start complaining that "Democracy is now dead, all our freedom is lost, all our lovely country is dead". Every corporation-loving Republican will scream "Justice is served and all our freedom will be lost and all our lovely country will be dead if Gore challenges and wins". Whine whine whine.

Anybody here know how little power the president actually has? So, I say, stop bitching about the president and SUPPORT YOUR FUCKING CONGRESSPEOPLE/SENATORS. THEY'RE the ones that make the damn laws.

1:10 PM EST -- A ring in the daytime

There I was, happily playing Banjo-Tooie, when the phone suddenly rang. Having no phone in the floor of the house I was in, I couldn't answer it. (My family takes the wireless phone wherever in the house they are) My brother, however, did. The call came from Ravelco, the small stamping shop my grandfather works in.

My bro yells, "What's dad's pager number?" I respond with the appropriate numbers. I do not quite know what was going on at this point.

2:06 PM EST -- Arrival, departure

The phone rings again. My brother answers it again.

Just then, my dad arrives home, simply asking, "What happened? Your grandfather had a heart attack?" I suddenly realized what had happened. My grandfather had a heart attack in the shop.

But, as I was about to learn, that was the least of his troubles now.

"Yes, and that call was just from the hospital]," my brother replied.

"Grandpa's dead."

He always said he'd die in that shop...

Rest in peace, grandfather.

I ended up with a little cold (well, little enough to make me skip the first day back after Thanksgiving vacation) so I have been absent from E2 for the last couple of days. I decided to chill at home and actually get better instead of dosing myself up on Dayquil and staggering through a week only to get even more sick.

I think that election media circus is going to have a very adverse effect on the average American's interest in politics. People want to win or lose and have the game (honestly, can you not think of the American system of election based on both electoral votes and campaigning as a game?) over with. Although this is probably hyperbole this election may have the chilling effect that Watergate had on the public interest in what actually goes down in Washington. What makes it worse is that there is no scandal per se, only endless legal wrangling. I probably won't be the first American to stand up and say this but:

I am beyond the point of caring anymore.

Put whichever idiot you want in office. With Congress stacked the way that it is and such a narrow margin of victory centrist populism is going to become the dominant force in politics anyhow.

Yeah, so, I probably do *care* but I'm tired of talking about it especially to rabid Gore supporters who want to string me up for voting for Nader. Sheesh.

BTW, all this bullshit about the internet solving all of our problems with inconsistent voting procedure that keeps spewing out of every geek news source is really short sighted. If people really can't deal with a simple concept like punching holes in a card then obviously a GUI isn't really going to help that much no matter how ingeniously designed. It also makes me think of literacy tests and the "privilege" of voting....

Uh, ok... so I've been reading a few theory books on both Sociology and Social Psychology so expect a slew of nodes about related subjects in the days to come. I really, really need a new modem so I can node at home. Sigh.

1...2...3...What the fuck!?! Lemme tell you a story. We live in a little city, Richmond - in BC, Canada. Few months
ago my dad bought a computer in store called Addax (also in Richmond). Since then (february) my dad's harddrive has
been crashing every 2 months(that's 4 harddrives so far!!!!). That's why I say what the fuck!.
Now we came there today during lunch to get the hard drive replaced. I also asked them to replace the mobo. But they said - you guessed it right - no. Incredible. I asked them why. "Well", they said, "we checked it, and it's allright". uh,
! No fuckin' way in hell! A recurring failure every two months?
Can someone say there's something fishy about this? And they are not fixing anything!! Soon the warranty will run out
and we'll have to send the hd to the manufacturer, which means that my dad will be without harrdrive for months.
What the fuck!?argh. i'm pretty pissed off. i'm trying to figure out how to bitch slap them now. all the components are under warranty too. any suggestions will be appreciated.

The moral of the story: don't trade your sanity and the quality of your hardware for meesly 20 bucks!!!


welp. there were some good things about today tho. i got to see Z(that's good). that doesn't happen a lot anymore(that sux). Oh well. I won't let that get to me - you hear!! :). >Goddamn. you know what? i still can't believe you make me feel this way.don't ask me how, but i dont normally feel like that. every time i see you. you butt. bleh to u..dang dang dang. do you think i'm goin insane? i probably am since im talkin to you this way...you so weird!! m
e so weird..stop reading my nodes!

There was a bit of a predicament today with two of my friends at uni - namely, one told the other last night, in a text message that he had a bit of a thing for her. He ws drunk at the time. He very much regretted it this morning. They avoided each other all day.

Tricky, because me and some other folks usually hang out with them, and now there's a bit of a rift.

14.15 gmt

My classes over for the day, I headed down to the beer bar to see if I could find some people I knew. I did. Plus some I didn't, a rather cute lass, presumably a classmate of Dave's. We weren't introduced, but she did give me a particularly evil look as a bit of a joke when I threatened to steal her seat..

15.15 gmt

The univesity's radio station, Subcity, is starting soon - they just have a licence for a month, but like to recruit lots of volunteer DJ's. And they want demo tapes. I have no clue how to go about putting one together, so emailed a presenter at Clyde 1, our local commercial radio station, and got a reply back (yesterday) asking me to call the office after her show that day. But I was at uni all yesterday, so tried calling today. And she'd left, fifteen minutes after the end of her show. Oopsie..

16.00 gmt

I walked down to the dentist's, in the rain, for a check-up. It was nice rain, since it was pretty mild out. I didn't mind too much. What worried me a little was the fact that the dentist did not comment on the fact that my braces had been removed (by the orthodontist) since I saw him last. He didn't mention it. Just scraped around for a bit before telling me to brush my teeth a bit better, and sending me out.

I'm very glad I don't have to pay for these check-ups..

I wrote a really really cathartic node yesterday, and ... wow. I feel all ... better and stuff. A lot of things I guess I’ve been meaning to say. Putting things in the perspective I needed them all to be in.

I love noding. I love E2. They’re both very very good for me. Happy happy poing poing poing.

But. (There’s always a but isn’t there? Especially following sentiments like ‘happy happy poing poing poing’ for goodness’ sake...) But with my head a little clearer now I’m turning back to this old, old wound that is my last long term relationship. I thought this fight was over. But now I see it’s just begun.

Enough time has finally passed, at last, that this scar is not so intensely, immediately painful that I can’t look at it. It still hurts. God, it hurts and it’s starting to make my blood boil. But it’s faded enough I can think about it. It’s healed enough through the simple passage of time (ok, and through a couple new boys that definitely helped dull the pain through their generally yumminess and fun...). I thought it was over because it was just too hot to touch. And now I’m digging in the dirt to heal it for real.

I broke up with him. I broke up with him because I didn’t love him anymore. But now I see that I broke up with him because I was drowning. I was dying and stagnating and I hated myself and he hated himself. I was putting all of my energy into trying to fix him and heal him and it was killing me. I tried to make myself subservient to him. And I’m such a fucking feminist. I prostituted myself to him by coddling all his bullshit, and all the ways that he was weak became the ways that I was weak because I let myself become just like him. I can’t believe I hated myself. I always thought I was so strong.

When I broke up with him he accused me of abandoning him and betraying him and tried to hurt me in every possible way he could, because I had hurt him.

He betrayed me. He betrayed me because you don’t try to hurt the people you love. He betrayed me because he knew I was horribly horribly depressed in the last months of our relationship, and I told him I was ending this because I was dying. Did he want me to die for him? Did he want to be with a person who was dead inside?

It feels so good to be alive again. I’ve been fucked up as hell these past couple of months, but it’s been a good fucked up that is the fucked up of a living, breathing person. But I look back and I can’t believe I was such a shell. How could I die inside for an entire year and not even notice? I’m not mad at him. He didn’t really betray me. But how did this happen? How did I let myself become so small?

How do I stop myself from doing it again???

You can’t fix them. You can’t fix them, and you can’t live for them. There are so many things I want to do with my life and I didn’t do one of them the entire last six months we were together. I languished. How could I do that? How could he do this? What the hell am I going to do? I am so strong. And I will never, ever, ever come second again.
00:35 GMT

This is my 250th writeup, breaking me into level 5.

It figures that my lowest writeup ever was posted last night. I've never gotten anything lower than a -1. I'm not sure what I did wrong, but I was in a weird mood last night. I re-edited it a bit so hopefully it'll eventually get back into positive territory. I had too much energy. I guess noding while overly energetic is almost like noding while drunk.

Today was a very boring day at work. We spent most of the day waiting for our servers to do some batch processing.

Most of us programmers went to lunch together and we ate at a nice place in downtown Delray Beach called The Old School Bakery (or something close to that name). I had a garden salad, and it had all kinds of leafy veggies. It was alright. I haven't had too many different varieties of salad to really know how to rate it, but I finished it completely. The bread that came with it was great. I'm not sure what kind of bread it was, but the crust had some sort of flavor to it that was familiar; I couldn't place it, but it was good.

Then we got back, and still had to wait. TC and I went outside for a while today and we talked with a new programmer that our company just hired. It was a really nice day. The temperature averaged around 75ºF, about 5-10% cloudy, and a nice 2-4mph breeze. It doesn't get any better than that.

Finally, the batch process had finished and I did a quick debug run on my next batch program and verified that it was running correctly. I started it off and it's still running. I guess I might as well go to the gym now. Move along, nothing more to see here.


Went to the gym for an hour, had a healthy dinner. I still haven't lost any significant weight after two weeks. At least I'm getting a lot of energy out of this. I'm sleeping more normal hours now. Before, I would need about 10 hours a night to feel alert the next day, but now I'm doing fine on 8 hours. I haven't had any trouble falling asleep either.

Ok, so I didn't set up my dentist appointment today, but I did get started on my car insurance. I have an appointment tomorrow at 10:30 to go meet someone in person to talk it over and perhaps get signed up. My car insurance would have been about $115/month if I were 25, which I will be in about 2 months. However, since I am still 24, and since someone had to hit my car while it was parked in a parking lot (see my writeup in October 4, 2000), I will be paying $155/month. I don't mind paying a little extra for one term until I turn 25, but having to pay more because someone hit my parked car while I was inside working really seems unjustified. Insurance companies really fucking suck.

Things to do tomorrow:

For now, I guess I'm going to go read or something...

Had to get up in the morning at 6:30 to get to work at 7:30. But first I went to my moms work and got money for a Papa Roach ticket for tonight. I was at work until 9:15 and left to buy my ticket. I bought my ticket and headed to school.

Got to school early and sat outside the classroom with my head on my lap. And just as I was about to fall asleep my friend Rosalie taps my foot with hers. I was startled and looked up to her smile and question, "What are you doing?" I told her I was sleeping and she said, "Well wake up!" We talked for a little while about the concert and how she didn't want to waste her money.

Class started and we went inside to sit down. The professor told us that we needed Blue Books for our departmental exam. So Rosalie and I left to get one, we went to her car first because she had left hers there. We went to the cafeteria and I was about to buy a set of two Blue Books when a friend of mine just gave me his extra. We walked back to class and I was giving the professor my Blue Book and she said to hold on to it. Rosalie called me stupid because everyone else had their Blue Book out on their desk. I hadn't seen that. We got our folders back which I thought was going to be at best an 80 and turned out to be a 94. See I had put together my folder the day it was due in the time of class and Rosalie, who got the same grade, was organized throughout the whole semester. I laughed at her but not too much, I didn't want her to feel bad.

Class ended and I went to find my friend to go home, me taking him that is. I found him and we left to my house to eat. We watched about an hour of Face-Off and I had to take him home so he could go to work. I went home again and got online to node about yesterday, I did and then I talked to a friend of mine, clearpebbles. She was unable to pick me up for the concert later so we devised a plan of me meeting her at Pan Am no later than 6. I left to work.

Work was as it always is, boring. I work with 7th and 8th grade students who have mouths like gangsta rappers. I can't stand the way they talk sometimes so I yell at them to stop, which I know I shouldn't, but oh well. Work ended and I headed home to get ready for the concert.

I left for Pan Am and got there 30 minutes before clearpebbles and I were supposed to meet. I sat on a bench outside in the wind while watching people pass by. I really enjoyed that but had to see what time it was. I headed towards my car and saw that it was five more minutes until we were meeting. I walked back to the bench and as I was getting there, clearpebbles and redboot walked out with a friend of theirs, Sergio. We left for the concert.

Clearpebbles driving in her car and me driving in mine we headed out. Somewhere along the way a buggy passed by and clearpebbles started to reverse in front of me. We were at a stop light and as she reversed I moved forward until we were about an inch apart. The light turned green and we headed on. We got there and saw the long line, we waited for about 3 minutes and decided to go and get something to drink. We talked about midgets and how I saw one this past Friday, clearpebbles was jealous because she has some fetish with them.

We went back to the concert with our drinks and waited in the LONG line. We talked about noding about cigarette lighter instructions that we could not get to. The paper said, "Peel here for instructions" and dumb redboot pulled the whole thing, instructions and all. We spent about 30 minutes trying to pry the instructions free, we had no luck in doing so. We finally got in and got towards the front of the stage.

Concert started with Sought-Out (? I'm not too sure of the name). Clearpebbles and redboot sought off to be more in the front. I stayed with Sergio and then later decided to go. I saw there was only one way to where they were at, and that was through the moshpit.

Bad descision on my part to go through it but I did. I was pushed into the moshpit and was trying to get out and got pushed again, only this time I fell right on my butt. I was quickly brought to my feet by 5 people, thanks you!! I was pissed off and I put my orange beanie back on. I finally got to clearpebbles and reboot, we stayed together the rest of the concert. How did I find them? The three of us wear orange beanies to distinguish ourselves at school and really anywhere else. Clearpebbles' beanie was taken off her head by a crowd surfer so she ripped off his necklace. Near the end of the show her beanie was thrown onstage and we got it back. I got hit in the head about 9 times by crowd surfers and was kicked in the face by one. I have a bruise now on the right side of my face.

Papa Roach put on a real good show and I enjoyed the enthusiasm of their performance. The singer even jumped into the crowd about 3 times. After the concert we grouped up and went to the back for autographs. A group of other people had locked the keys in their van and redboot was trying ot help, he ended up being of no use, at least he tried right? After we had the guitarists signature for the opening band we went to talk and I had lost my ticket. They got more autographs from the opening band and we waited on people from Papa Roach to come out. The guitarist came out first and I handed him my beanie. He asked, "How the hell am I supposed to sign this?" He did anyways, backwards. The drummer came out next and I handed him my beanie and he said the exact same thing as the guitarist. Clearpebbles made the comment, "Just put an X on it." So he did and I glared at her for saying that. I didn't really care though. We talked for a little bit more and I came home to write this lovely node.

It's so easy to lose track.

I'm back from Philly. 'Twas a great trip... Got to see family I either didn't know or forgot I had, and got away from the world in general for a bit. It's great to be home... My webserver stayed up 5 days straight without and crashing, rebooting, or prodding! w0o0o0o0o0t! Over 600 hours of SETI crunching time logged on my three systems...

I missed home... In the 5 days or so of my vacation, I quickly realized exactly how much I like Tampa and my friends here. It might've just been the fact that I had no control - no car, no ability to go off on my own - that made me want to go home...

It's funny how things can go on for awhile without acknowledgement from one of the parties involved. I acknowldge that it's happening, but only recently have I sat down and thought about the ramifications of what's going on. I took off my shirt this afternoon to hop in the shower, and I saw little bruises around my neck - and it set in...

Today, and every day, things change. It changed today, it'll change in the future - but I need to keep up with it... I refuse to lose myself in the tide.

I got to work today, it wasn't so bad. I worked with her, the "bitch", and I didn't say one kind word to her the whole time. It was funny though, she had a "love note" from him, and she was flaunting it around like she thought I would care. It doens't matter to me, I have the power to destroy her at any given time, so little inflections on my ego are relatively harmless. I worked with little lost star as well, she's cool. I'm glad I've gotten to know her recently.

I tried to put out a newspaper today as well. I hate being a news editor, it is so boring, and the staff writer's articles are atrocious. We had to stay at lay-out until 11:00 tonight, and then I couldn't leave because my car is locked on the school campus. My poor car, parked somewhere on the campus, not in my driveway. It is irritating that I will not have a ride to school tomorrow.

I got in an argument with him today, over something misunderstood. My friend Michelle told me some things that he denies, same old story. I'm so tired of his shit, I have to let go. I finally realize that the fact that he is with her disgusts me, and he doesn't appreciate me. It is an epiphany, I haven't had the slightest clue for over two months. So refreshing to be in control of my emotions again.

When I finally got home, I checked my messages. I got a call from Denny's, a restaurant that I applied to work at, and they want me for a second interview. I've been trying to get out of that infernal wasteland of nutrition called McDonald's for over a year now, and now I might have a chance. He doesn't work there anymore, so it's just not the same.

I hope that I can get away, anything will be better. Of course, if I end up getting a job there I will have to change some plans I had regarding the demise of him and her, since I will never see either of them outside of school ever again. It would be so much fun to keep antagonizing her at work, but I need to grow up.

Tai-Chi Chuan class this evening was good. I didn't
feel that I had done particularly well, I'm not very skillful or anything, but my teacher came up to me at the end and gave me a wonderful compliment. She told me that I had done well and that it was a pleasure to watch me during the form! I was totally taken aback... I think I just said thank you or something... I was pretty touched that she had actually came over to me and told me that (and that she thought it in the first place).

An interesting day. School was hell. I fell asleep in a class I normally love. I'm not feeling as comfortable as I'd like to about my grades or learning status in basically any classes right now.

Just after school I met up with my boyfriend. He casually mentions that a certain girl is really pissed at him. He doesn't go into much detail before running off for his ride home. I get a ride with a guy friend and said girl. Evidently, my oh-so-mature boyfriend took a dare and pulled this girl's skirt up or down (I don't know which) and exposed her ass to a ton of guys at lunch.

I didn't know how to take this. I was angry that he would disrespect and embarass her so horribly. I feel awful for her. There's also an element of unfaithfulness, though. If he wants to look at other girl's asses and harass them, he can do that without me.

So I talked to him. Evidently, he only meant it as a joke and thought she would put her hands down and stop him. He didn't mean to actually do it. He apologized profusely to me, and to her. He's still not my favorite person right now, but I'll be over this.

On another note, I made a gingerbread house tonight. I was with a group of girls, many younger than myself. My intelligent friend and I thought of cool geometric shapes to make ours into. Mine was a hexagon. It had been some time since I had last done this sort of project, and I found it surprisingly enjoyable.

It was my birthday today. 19 mediocre years so far, and maybe a few more to come. I spent today as I do any other Tuesday, namely, going to class. Since I went home for Thanksgiving break my folks tried to do have some sort of celebration for me at the big dinner, but since I flew in that afternoon I really wasn't in the mood.

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