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So, here I am in a rainy port in Scotland, not so far from Glasgow. Wonder what there is to do here? I better find out, because it's one of precious few breaks I get in the next two years.

You know, I'm not averse to working long and hard if there's a reward in it, but this... This isn't working toward a goal, or for a reward, or even just for the satisfaction of a job well done. This is working hard to avoid the overseer's whip, swimming as hard as you can for the surface just to sink to the bottom a little slower, and there's no light at the end of the tunnel. I can endure anything for a week, but can I say that 104 more times?

I sincerely hope this ship won't cost me my sanity. Of all the things I stand to lose, it's my mind I fear losing the most. I'm not sure I'd be willing to go to jail to avoid that, but just about anything else...

In happier news, I'm finally getting my home network set up the way I'd like. It's taking a bit, but I'm getting there. It's the one home project I can work on in my limited downtime at work, so I'm doing it with gusto. By the end of October I should mostly have Kerberos with an LDAP backend working, I hope. After that, LDAP+StartTLS and maybe PKInit, just so I can understand how all that works. Then more stuff, but by then I'll be low on things I don't need to be physically present for.

Well, I learned personal observances and that belongs here in these daylogs, so I'll tell my story here.

Our daughter Joan moved to the city, Atlanta area. I'm a fogey, for sure, and a right one. I like the general look and feel of the old timey South. Jokes about toothless hicks blowin' on jugs aside, let's not throw away the baby with the bathwater, the antebellum South produced some beautiful architecture and some nice things before the Yankees burned Atlanta to the ground in the War of Northern Aggresssion.

But she likes this new school, all beige walls, candles, Turkish whorehouse red curtains and all kinds of carryin on like you see in them showrooms in rental properties out in Gwinnett county. They're all readin' the same damn magazine and I reckon the entire county paid the same decorator. Maw Maw wanted to sell up and move into one of these places, thought the fireplace in the central buildin' was right charming. Til I told the Mary Kay lookin saleslady to take us to the actual rental property in question, and Maw Maw got to smellin' the curry all these fellers from the technology park were cookin, and heard every toilet from here to Buckhead flushing upstairs and next door. We stayed where we were. And the walls ain't beige.

So anyhow, I go into the bathroom and there's not only a glass dish from Target full of pebbles and some damn lava lamp lookin candle on the top tank of the toilet, but she done splashed paint on the walls. Why people put things on the top tank astounds me. Maw Maw puts all manner of crocheted toilet paper roll holders on there. Looks like a poodle's swallered a gallon can of baked beans, but she says it's a way to hide the paper and make the place more delicate. All I know is when the toilet backed up I had to waste precious time clearin' off the top and ended up moppin' the floors. But there's a time and a place to argue with womans, and I ain't never figgered out when that is. So I keep quiet and read the AJC.

No foolin, the walls are that same damn o-fficial Alpharetta new development beige, but she done flicked, literally, a paintbrush with grey-blue paint in different patterns. Looked like Roman Polanski's parlor, if Sharon Tate had been Mr. Spock. Or one of them blue fellers in Vegas who buys his drums from Home Depot exploded.

She's kin, so I called to her from the toilet and asked what in the Sam Hill possessed her to Norman Bates the toilet, and she says back through the door that it's classier. Well, I finished readin the sports page and went to wash my hands.

That's when I saw the roach on the wall in the mirror.

It's gettin' on winter time, and when the seasons change the roaches decide to go infest in their future. They get curious, like, and start skitterin' around, and end up wanderin in, and occasionally gettin' the boot. Sure, there's vermin infested slums, but for the most part roaches are simply an occasional fact of life in the South, big bugs that just wander in. Some call em "palmetto bugs" or "water bugs" but they're roaches. And this little feller was wavin' his antennas around sniffin' the grits and coffee I had that mornin'.

So I quietly open the door to not scare him much and go grab one o' Maw Maw's sandals and sneak back in, to find the little bugger'd vanished.

Now, them damn things move quick, but not that quick, and he'd been on a big expanse of beige wall. He'd not have had time to make it to any crack or hole.

I'm gettin' on in years but I'm still sharp as a tack, managed to master these here Internets at my age. So I look around, quizzically, in case I really have dropped a marble here or there, when I see this piece of tin roof Joan's got hung up on the wall as some kind of decoration. The very tips of his antennas were pokin' out from underneath a twitchet hair. Now I know how that hockey feller felt chasin' them girls around that camp, realisin she's under the bed cause the tip of her platform heel's pokin out.

So I tapped the piece of tin.

That little feller lit out from under there in circles like Mrs. Abernathy's cat when the barn caught fire. And then I let him have it with the sandal.

There's been a lot of rain and floodin' in these here parts, and roaches don't easily lose water. That's one of their evolutionary traits, if you will. So he was like a raisin you'd left in the whisky to soak too long, barely able to contain all that likker. And this little bastard fair exploded into a giant splatter of pond-scum green.

So I lit the candle and headed on out and put the sandal back, and Joan gets to askin what that bang was. So I tell her I kilt a roach, no big deal, and she goes in and comes out hollerin' like the Reverend Jesse Jackson.

I'm trying to tell her, ain't no difference between my dollar bill sized pond green splatter and her gigantic slashes of blue paint, and that that brillo pad haired feller on the public TV says that blue and green go together. But she wasn't havin any of that, runnin' for the Fantastik and sayin' I was goin' messin up her wall.

And she got sore I went and lit her forty five dollar candle. I reckoned that anyone who puts a scented candle in the toilet was just doin' the more bouge-ois method of removin' the after-effects of usin' the thing as the old Marine trick of lightin' a match and droppin' it in the bowl. Claims I ruined her high-dollar Martha Stewart-y candle. I told her if she's got that kind of money to burn then lightin' the end off the candle's no big deal. Who the hell buys three bottles of Wild Turkey's worth of money on a candle she ain't never goin' to light? She says it ain't a burnin' candle, it's a lookin' candle. What the hell is the point of a candle except to light it?

Well, obviously Maw Maw sided with Joan and next thing I know I'm gettin' yelled at in stereo. So I naturally did the only sane thing a man can do to get some peace. Grabbed the comics section and a pen and went back in, claiming that the brussels sprouts she'd just served us was showin' up for Round Two. Sat there on the lid with my britches up til the knuckles of my hind end went numb. They'd calmed down by then.

The things a man has to put up with some days. I'll never understand.

Eye doctors are mean. They make you wear glasses. I don't think I'll look good in glasses; I'm getting contacts as soon as I can (a year!) and something tells me I won't wear the glasses very often; I'll only wear them as much as it takes to make my eyes/head stop hurting.

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