Yesterday is the day the hardware died. I’m going to make a personal holiday of it. Personal holidays off-hand;
18 Jan 1976
14 Feb 1997
Asao & Dan’s Anniversary
– Mar 19–
17 Mar 1997
Hardware Failure Day
Ex-Girlfriend Day (Jeong and Linda’s Birthdays!)
4 Jul 1776
– Aug 19–
– Aug 19–
Well, among all those hard-hitters, I dunno whether Hardware Failure Day can really catch on. Lemme tell ya what happened.
So like 2:45AM I drop by my room and check on my pine session running on at sasquatch. Two new messages. Oooh, I hit return to read them, and get a message from pine saying that a very serious disk error was afoot, the sort you talk to your administrator about. A disk error of “type 5″ and that’s the last I hear.
Well, after some jostling about, dashing an email here and there, I hear from Tom;
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 1997 05:04:52 -0600 (CST)
From: “Thomas H. P—–” <t—-@enteract.com>
To: Dannyman <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: *please* dannyland.org FRIED!
Your machine is making extremely weird loud grinding noises.
I checked all the patch cables and reset the box. Let me know if there’s anything else I can do.
Thomas P—— at EnterAct, L.L.C., Chicago, IL [firstname.lastname@example.org]
“If you’re so special, why aren’t you dead?”
Yeah, that’s like not good. I’ll be coming home for Spring Break on Friday though. The next morning I checked my Amiga’s shell prompt …
PING sasquatch.dannyland.org (18.104.22.168): 56 data bytes
--- sasquatch.dannyland.org ping statistics ---
34749 packets transmitted, 0 packets received, 100% packet loss
Guess I’m in the market for a new hard drive?
But hard drives fail all the time. Hell, this would be my third dead hard disk. Anyways so me and Asao were making out a bit after dinner, and I’d left my glasses on her bed, and we took turns sitting on them. People kissing aren’t so attentive about what they might be sitting on. The arms were bent upwards, and I bent them back just fine. But, well … fine tuning the left arm it broke off. Ouch! Now I have a one-armed eyeglass.
Now Asao’s pretty conscientious about where my glasses keep themselves. She seemed to feel bad about being involved in their untimely destruction. That’s okay though, I’d been wanting to replace the lenses any way, they’re scratched. The frames are obviously quite aged too. This pair has lasted me many years, a good strong piece of workmanship. I’m truly impressed and hope to find an identical frame.
Rachel was wearing stretch pants today with a floral pattern. I thought that rather attractive. But anyway the bigger thing is turns out Rachel’s a budding optician, and offered to mend the “temple” temporarily. If this half-cocked set-up doesn’t work out, I may take her up on that.
I’m thinking, I’ve got some month’s-old backups of my home directory, but this “crash” has taken a lot out of me spiritually .. maybe it’s time to start things over … namely, my web page? We’ll see. I’m glad I’ll have Spring Break to give me free-time for restoring things! About all that’s new so far is I’ve added a recently-written story on line. When it was reviewed in class it was well-received for the convincing tone and excellent detail. The readers were then let down all the more, it would seem, by the somewhat farcical ending. You can judge yourself though.
Young man, there’s no need to feel down
I said, young man, pick yourself off the ground
I said, young man, ’cause your at UIUC
There’s no need to be unhappy.
Young man, there’s a place you can go
I said, young man, when you’re short on your dough
You can work there, and I’m sure you will find
You’ll have a pretty damned cool time.
It’s fun to work for the N.C.S.A.
It’s fun to work for the N.C.S.A.
They have everything that the 31337 enjoy
You can work with our NetDev team.
I got the job, indeed. I start 2 April. All summer I can work full-time. Hate to disappoint Jessica but I guess I won’t be workin’ at EnterAct this summer! Maybe next summer, they’ll have real cool networks and such, and I’ll be super-qualified to monkey given my 31337 NCSA training!
Checked out an apartment yesterday. It was Stacey’s place … I dunno, I think I’ll keep looking, but for $375 for the summer, one can’t complain much. Considering though, that housing gets ridiculously cheap over the summer, I think I could do better. Morris said cheaper could be found even.
And that NCSA pays … $6 an hour .. no, not whole hell of a lot, but good money by my standards. Full-time for summer .. if that’s real, would add up to $6 * 40 * 4 = $960(?) per month! Ai! Not bad … assuming cheap housing and a non-luxuriant lifestyle, could probably cover tuition with that!
Poor Asao is working her arse off on Econ assignments. Word is she was up all last night and still working like crazy. She’s flying to Washington DC tomorrow for break so she’s like even Xeroxing stuff to work on over break in consideration of exams very nearly as soon as she gets back. Three, I think. We’ll be eating together as I work here ’til 7 anyway, and she’ll be swamped ’til then … we want to spend time together before going our separate ways for a while.
Dammit, I wanna get Dannyland back up so’s I can start writing neat SSI apps. You see the bottom of the page there? Yeah, I’m thinking to write some SSI programs to automatically generate a line that will link between the “previous” day and the next, so I won’t have to type that shit in manually all the time.
It’s about 5:11 right now, I’m mighty hungry … ’til 7? Well, we can go out and eat someplace nice, I can strap on the ol’ feed-bag maybe.
Today I started reading William Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury”. I needn’t start ’til after break, but might as well get cracking. For some reason I think I may enjoy this book, though I may be horribly wrong. Very difficult stream-of-consciousness. I don’t know, but we’ll see.
Ray is in the lab right now. He’s the guy I’m replacing over at NCSA. He seems jovial about the whole affair. I may have said how their selection was narrowed down to three people, well they went ahead, it seems, and hired two of us, the third being knocked out by the luck, or lack thereof, of the draw, or somesuch. I’m not sure. I don’t think I’d want to know too much what went in to my specific selection. Ray voiced concern that he was wondering where there’d be room for two of us. I ‘haint about to worry ‘though.
Max is sick. Labored breathing, supposedly fluid in the lungs. Mom took him to an Emergency Veterinarian Sunday afternoon. After some medication and whatnot, he’s doing better, but he wheezes and is not very active. I think he’ll be okay though.
At first though, I was worried. What if he died, you know?
But now I think he’ll be okay. We’re taking him to the Veterinarian this afternoon for a followup exam.
Well, Dannyland is obviously back online! The hard drive was fried. Ouch! Well, bought a new one. Just well … didn’t have backups, so well … this web page is starting over then eh? Dave said he’d let me know later today what he could salvage from cache. I’d pretty much written off but, well …
Got a great deal on the hard drive. Well, not a great deal, but an excellent price. Something tells me there’s a difference. 3.2G for $309! I also bought a 16M SIMM. I saved $20 on the disk by not getting a box. Who needs a box? Well, I think I had forsaken manuals and the like as well, but who needs ‘em?
The drive it is replacing is less than a year old. Time to contact Western Digital about some bad Caviar!
Dannyman’s tip of the day: * 0 * * * is not as cool a crontab entry as 0 0 * * * … I noticed today that it ran my “daily” crontab sixty times between midnight and one. Ooops! Well, now that’s fixed!
It’s chilly here. My hands are cold, fingers really. No fun typing under such conditions, I think I may close for now.
Max seems to be doing better. We took him to the Vet for a follow-on exam. Pretty much it seems he over-exerted his aging heart. He seems better now too. He’ll be on Lasix and antibiotics a while, but he’ll be okay otherwise. He even ran some today, to and from the car.
Mom bought a new hard drive. Same kind I got. I drove the car down to Micro Center. I really like the place. She bought some software too. I’ll be installing Windows95 on a system for my first time when I get home!
It is such a beautiful day today one would prefer to do no work at all. So I’m reluctant to write here. It’s 6:14PM right now, I’m over at EnterAct working for the evening. I figured I’d write here as I haven’t in a few days.
Yesterday I got a postcard from Detroit! It was from Asao, from the airport. Today I got a letter from Washington DC. Yep, girlfriend again. She’s cool. Said she saw a movie and it made her think of me.
To be honest, I haven’t been thinking of her so much. There’s a bit more to occupy me here. I tried upgrading mom’s hard drive. Oh, it did not go very pretty. Oh well, next time I know better. Fuck Microsoft. But now she’s got Windows95. Caveat: if she wants any of her old data we have to swap hardware around and transfer it on to floppies.
Idea: I think we have that old ’386 …. it could use a big-arse 504M hard disk!
I got a haircut today. They sort of styled it all funny and whatnot. It don’t matter so much to me since I just wanted shorter hair anyway, and it’s shorter now, so like, there is conclusion.
The A1200 returned yesterday. I don’t know quite why, maybe because it spins up slower, but the second hard drive doesn’t get recognized. Oh well. 700M on the internal should be more than enough. What I want though is my old data on the other partition. It contains what would be the Dannyland Graphics Archives had they not crashed and burned last week.
Asao should be back in Urbana now. In fact I know she is as I’ve received email from my lovely lady. She has much studying to do prior to a bunch of exams net week. Economics and Economics with a little bit of Business Managements and Economics to make things interesting. Poor dear. She’s got nearly four, well now three solid days to study though.
So what do I do with the page from here? Well, I want to write a friends section where friends will be able to edit what it says about them. Look good for an employer if nothing else. I think if I can also get a guest book system going, along the lines of “chat forum” about various topics I could toss out. Ahh, where to start? And where to go? When to end? How to go, where to end? Augh ’tis complicated!
Well, first I think I’ll make a customer error page for Dannyland. Ciao.
Dannyman starts at NCSA, among numerous other cool goings-on.
Yah, well after English today, where we had a good discussion about Quentin’s section in Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury” I wandered on over to ACB as scheduled and proceeded to start on my new job. I spliced my first patch cable today – that’s a 10 base-T connector used to hook a computer on to a network. I guess at least for now my workstation is a Macintosh, but with a little time I can make it useable, or hopefully “upgrade” to something better.
After that first lesson, we went over to ACB to lay some network cable for some Supercomputers that are being installed. Didn’t actually hook them up – I think that gets done sometime tomorrow. Those monsters are outrageous – something like 4G of RAM and some hundreds of Gigabytes of drive space. I saw a guy sliding a drive in to one of ‘em, he told me it was a 9G Ultra-SCSI. There was a row in that machine of those. The memory, he told me, is installed in 256M SIMMs … and the machines come in pairs of units each with 32 CPUs. Neat! I wondered later what kind of memory cache those CPUs were treated to.
As I was helping place the cable under the floor – 100M fast Ethernet for now, to be augmented by 800M HIPPI cable later, I couldn’t help but flash over to the future sometime when Asao might be telling the grandkids something along the lines of “Back around the turn of the century, your Grandfather actually layed network cable for some of those ‘supercomputers’ they had at NCSA.” Who knows, maybe I’m a little over-psyched about playing a small part in a historical era. Someday though, I know these very same supercomputers that are so exotic today will seem quite quaint by the standards of a future modern day. I however, will be able to remember the old days when a computer with 32 CPUs or hundreds of gigabytes of storage would have been something to babble about.
After dinner, I got up to DCL where SIGNet conducted a tour of “Node 1″ with Charley Kline. It’s an exciting place where cable of all kinds run thick. I understood a good deal, a lot of it was kinda mystical to me. Basically Node 1 is a little bunker where a great many of the Campus’ telephone and telecommunications equipment is routed. Basically a significant part of the campus’ “nervous system” … fascinating. Unfortunately though I accidentally hit the hidden button in my camera that causes it to panic and rewind the film, so no pictures, sorry. Chris should have some on the digital, though to be sure it’s not that visually fascinating anyway.
I’m actually pretty excited about my paper for Rhet 143 for a change. I got a C+ on the last one, which I kind of blew off as a pretty gay assignment. This one though I’d hope for an A. It’ll be on the web too don’t worry, so I’ll not bother to talk about it much for now. Just like to say that I enjoyed “Peer Editing” this morning in class. Actually, I should tell the TA that much, I think it’d do much for her in terms of … whatever.
Speaking of spreading the word of knowledge, I got some most excellent and thoughtful words from Matt Malooly. I agree with him most whole-heartedly. Here is a dude who has much the same beliefs as my own, only he can express them in a more coherent manner. All things in equal opposition, I’ve also been talking with Casey about her Religion, and was even questioned most insightfully on my beliefs by roommate Pat, who is part of the Campus Organised Christian scene. I appreciated his questioning, as for the time his intent was not at all to convert me or anything, but to get a genuine perspective on my beliefs. I was heartening.
Well, I could babble on forever about what a wonderful time I’ve been having of late, how I relish the increasingly busy schedule I face. Well, hey an occasionally Nihilistic guy like myself has to keep hisself outta trouble ya know! But anyways you readers gotta like occasional
In south Australia I was born
(Heave away, haul away!)
In south Australia ’round Cape horn!
(Down in south Australia!)
Augh! Well thank God the end of the year is near! Been workin’ been sleepin’ been bitchin’ been with Asao … eagh, well okay that last bit aint so bad.
Asao may very well be returning to Japan in August. Thing is, it’d take her forever to graduate from here, and she’d have a harder time getting in to grad school and meeting UN age restrictions than if she just went back to Tokyo to graduate from Keio next March.
Meanwhile, I think I’ve found my summer apartment. A nice five bedroom two bathroom affair that’s on the fourth floor and actually has two stories. The living room is very tall ceiling, I like. Plus with so many rooms I may be living with other folks in a communal atmosphere, which I tend to like. The kitchen looks quite acceptable too and for $400 for the summer, I can not complain about the rent. It’s also got bicycle parking, and it’s two blocks from CAB, two and a half from the Union.
Not using so much punctuation you notice? It’s like nearly two AM and truthfully my wrist hurts from typing so much. I look forward to resting a bit after finals, the hot summer spent down here, with me woman, with me work, with me own thoughts. It should be good, I’d hope, a growing experience.
Well, aint said much here for awhile, aint got much to say. Tomorrow is our Signet tour of the machine room with Joe Gross – must remember to buy some film to catch pictures of student cluster. Yum! Meanwhile the wrist hurts and 130 messages waiting in my INBOX, so I’ll cut short here. Yes I’m still alive.
You know, I guess at least with this Win95 telnet, vi doesn’t honor arrow keys. hjkl for me!
So last night was good. Better than the night before at least. After work, Mary Lee and I walked over to Asako’s place for dinner. Wow! Curry rice and bread and some Indonesian food and some cookies I’d made, and numerous glasses of wine. I enjoyed myself. Maybe too much but we all have to live sometime. On parting, I distinctly recall folks saying that they did indeed enjoy themselves and were glad to have come. Asako has a good bunch of friends, who for some miraculous reason, perhaps alcohol, I can remember quite well … let’s see Mark, Paul, Kostas, Hang, Henry, Sarah, Hanif, Jori … and her roommate Joyce.
I also had some Sake last night. I liked that too. Very distinctive flavor that goes down well. Rice wine it is.
The night before, Thursday. Well that was not so pleasant. I made cookies for the party. Not being entirely at peace yet with our kitchen facilities and being pressed for time I bought some cookie dough at Jewel. Didn’t know which was best but my tentative conclusion is the inexpensive Jewel brand. The Nestle brand came out very sticky and left the oven looking like tanned lumps of Peanut Butter. The Pillsbury rivaled Jewel in quality though. Both may have fared better as I turned the over down 25 degrees based on Inez’ analysis that the baking was too hot.
Anyways before that though, Asao, tired as she was, made me dinner. Good food, but she walked out on me saying that I’m a terrible person for being an insensitive clod in the things I say to her. Frankly, myself, well I’m pretty irritated too. Not so much as the fact that I get myself in trouble by what I say so frequently but by the fact that Asao gets so upset about it. It is frustrating, because I say these things with no malicious intention, she may perhaps be offended by something, but she should explain to me the error of my ways so that I might improve. Instead it’s coming off like I’m the grand-master of some evil conspiracy to destroy her emotional well-being.
And what sort of stuff have I said? In my own book, nothing so bad … anyways it’s best not for one to air their dirty laundry too openly on a web page eh?
For now though … some time apart.
I’m at work now. Not working, just physically “at work” where there’s computers I can use. CCSO and stuff closes around 5 nowadays, Library too. I checked out a book, only had time to check one out, by Steve Allen, whom I’ve recently read about in Discover magazine. The book is entitled “Explaining China” tough I’m more looking forward to reading some of his stuff on Christianity. Well, I’ll see how I relate to his writing style.
I was a bit proud of myself that once I did wake up and shower today it was the library I felt like biking over to. Mary Lee too seems to be leading a healthy intellectual life far more than I am. She keeps talking about which library she was over at checking out what books … if she’s not careful, the girl will end up a grad student!
I have things I want to say, things I must express. They must be expressed to Asao though, and right now I’ve neither the desire nor the capacity to express them. We’re going to have to talk, but we should each collect our wits first. She has an exam to study for anyways, so I’d best not interfere with her mental stuff.
I caught “This American Life” on WILL yesterday. I love that show. This week the topic was Canadians. You know, those folks up north who like hockey and are otherwise pretty much like Americans except that they’re Canadians. One issue of concern was whether there really were any differences of note between us.
Ian Brown was perhaps the most interesting Canadian that was featured. At least the most interesting to me. He’s the host of a show from the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. that’s played on NPR. He ends each week with a personal essay and stuff. The show is cool because it has a Canadian perspective on things, which is similar enough to an American perspective that it’s not shocking or anything, but subtly different to the point that it’s actually more interesting.
Well, anyway those who wish to listen to Canadian Radio will do that, I’m not trying to advertise for the CBC here.
One thing that set Ian off on an interesting discussion though, was a question of how a Canadian felt about learning history. Canadian history is just so boring. There was no war for independence and stuff, no slavery, no “We the People ..” catch phrases and the like. Isn’t it harder perhaps to be proud of your country when it’s not marked by these sudden historical events which define it so well?
Ian replied that yes, Canadian history is really dull. Well, what can you do about it? He expressed though that in a way, it was representative of what Canada is. Canada, as you may well know, is a cold place. Folks who survive in the cold tend to think things out, thoroughly, rationally, taking their time before acting, not wanting to act in haste. Compare that to the USA where we got a bunch of impassioned revolutionaries declaring independence and hunkering down to fight a war with the most powerful nation in the world without even a government having been set up to really support them.
Yeah, well so what? Well, it got me to thinkin’ that I am a gradualist, that really I change creakingly slow over time. Of course, it doesn’t really seem that way. I’m like all in to rationalism and stuff, and thinking things out before I really commit myself to something, body and soul, so to speak.
Like I said, it don’t seem that way. I’m the fucker who up and joined the Army after getting an IB diploma in High School. Pretty crazy thing to do, but it was the result of many forces that had been acting on me for a long time, in subtle ways. My desire for community, comradeship, nostalgia for Boy Scouts, a desire to try to impose some sort of order on my life. Well, the factors are even more than that. On the surface the more impulsive rationalization, which wasn’t so much my real reason for joining but an interesting excuse as to why I did, was that I could get out in two and a half years, and go to say University of Illinois on the Veteran’s scholarship, plus $20,000 from the GI Bill.
Anyway, that’s all in the past, but I was no perfect soldier. I tended to be kinda cerebral and preoccupied with my own thoughts. Crazy fun that fighting in a protracted miserable conflict might be, I’m not cut out for it, nor do I think I really would be after Military Training. I was the oddball, who got under DS Sirois’ skin. Somebody pointed out to me that I was really messing the Drill Sergeant’s mind up, I hadn’t even realized. I tended to be kinda outta there, mentally. Training is not the sort of experience that I go for.
Now, reasons aside why I went for it to begin with, the point was that the radically different sort of thinking the Army demanded of me, I was not engaging in. I change slow that way, the way I think. Maybe I’m too complex and self-absorbed. Maybe though it’s good for me. I do feel that despite relying on Financial Aid as opposed to GI Bill and IVS, I am better off the way that I am. But then, I tend to be sort of biased toward myself eh?
Same thing with drinking the other night. Seems kind of impulsive and crazy eh? Well, I was pretty sauced, but not too much, and I view the whole affair as an experiment anyway. An experiment conducted as part of an ongoing investigation with regards to my relationship with alcohol. An investigation that has been going on for many years, where I’ve thought deeply of the problems, presented by alcohol, it’s potential benefits, my own tolerance to it, etc etc etc blah blah blah all of which was hashed over for years before I allowed myself to take much more than a few sips at a time.
Love. Now there’s a difficult thing to work in to this gradualist persona. Mind you, I’ve never really dated, casually and socially as a good American boy is supposed to do. For one I’m shy, and to be honest, for a long time I really didn’t understand what the point to dating was? Comraderie? Well, you don’t need to be sexually attracted to someone to have a fun night out with them. Sex? Well, you don’t really need to have a fun night out with someone in order to have sex. Wouldn’t it be more honest to tell someone right out you wanted to do it rather than wasting a whole evening on silly cultural formalities you’re not really interested in?
Yeah, pretty messed up, but that was early investigation in to the matter. I don’t know that I’ve ever figured out what dating is. I don’t really worry about it either. You go out, you have fun, maybe you fool around some. You perhaps select someone you are attracted to for the intimacy which develops, and/or the possible physical jollies you could share. On the one hand you could go out with a group of friends, or with someone you’re not interested in, but you have more potential payoff, emotionally and sexually, if you select someone you’re attracted to. Well, maybe. I haven’t conducted any grand social study to figure out exactly which is more satisfying more of the time. This is just a possible way of looking at things.
Ooooh, he sounds so clinical!Or is it cynical? (Yes folks. Yin and Yang, two sides to every interpretation.)
Augh, so where does that leave me? In love. First with Linda, then with Jeong, next with Asao. Linda, well that was pretty doomed. Jeong … well that had promise, a lot of it, but I was the one not prepared to really come to when push came to shove, the emotional expenditure that is so great with the distance between us. I have for so long been a loner. If I change gradually, it is something to ask which I can not give, and still be myself, to change so quickly on a deep emotional level.
But change I do, with time. I’m more open to love than I once was with Linda. I understand it and myself better now. I know better what I want. If I’m to try again, it is with a greater amount of success, and despite it’s ups and downs, I think I’ve done quite well with our relationship. So what’s the problem, that causes so much turbulence?
Asao is not like me. In that I mean she is not a gradualist. She may be a gradualist though, then perhaps she is not facing it. That’s an interpretation drawn from what I know of myself, so I’d like to say that’s likely very inaccurate, I am a freak after all, but who is to know? We are not so close yet that I should know her devils better than her, or that she should know my own better than me.
See, Asao is going ahead, rushing full steam with the love thing, or so she tells me. For her, there is no question about it. For me, there is no question about the important thing either. Yes, I love her, I can not contest this fact. Nor do I wish to. But the gradualist side in me wishes to understand what this love is, how it works, what makes it tick, what it really means to embrace it so, before I really can commit myself to such a point where I have no questions over what my feelings for Asao really mean. What they mean to the larger picture, of me, who I am, what I am, and her, who and what she is. What does this love that joins us together really mean, if anything? I want to know before I buy the boat or whatever.
This is not to say, that I can not give myself to her. I believe in all honesty that I can and that I have done so within all limits of my understanding of how to fill such a roll. I love Asao S. I could easily picture my life being spent with her, in marriage, maybe with kids. I have no problem with that.
Then what problem do I have? Well, there is a problem, if we want to ask if there is one. If there were no problem then why would we have the problems that we do? I think my problem, if ever there was one, is my own desire to understand love before I can feel really comfortable with it. To understand this, it is not at all necessary to dismantle our relationship. I can learn this stuff slowly over time, but I want to learn anyway.
Asao seems to resent the opportunity that I see in her departure. I’ve (insensitively) said how I might take the opportunity to take on a “conventional” girlfriend, a romantic companion with whom I am not in love. I might better understand love by experiencing this sort of different thing. I wouldn’t dare do such a thing in her presence of course, but if she would find it acceptable while we are apart, and I think long distance is bad for one’s sanity, well then more power to me. Not that I think I’d have much luck in finding a girl I really liked enough, and who liked me, that we’d go out, not that that’s happened ever before without falling in love first, but I’d hate to waste a potentially educational opportunity were it to present itself at a suitable time.
That is perhaps the most offensive thing to her. What goes hand in hand with this, and what was responsible for a previous argument, was that I seem to be looking forward to her leaving, perhaps as a result of what I mention in the previous paragraph. Like I’m just dying for her to go away so that I may sow my wild oats. Hogwash, but compelling hogwash at that.
I have explained that the other thing that makes me not so glum about her departure is that the time might be good for us. We communicate poorly together right now, perhaps being restricted to email will strengthen our capabilities here. As well, the time, more likely spent alone than with some hypothetical hot babe who digs me, should do me some good, will further my own understanding of who I am, what I want, where my efforts should lie, how I should regard people, etc etc etc etc …. in short I see me as a better person for my friends and whatever future love I might have, which I see as Asao.
So why am I this way? Eh there’s a question I don’t want to try and tackle now. But it relates to another thing Ian Brown said. In America, when you walk in to the wilderness, you get a sense that you have gone to a place where several great people have gone before. Lewis and Clark or whoever. The trouble then is that you feel perhaps less motivated, as there’s nothing new under the sun. Ian said that in the Canadian wilderness, he can get a feeling that he might be somewhere where nobody has ever gone before. Canada is a desolate place. The problem with that mentality, he said, can then become that you feel that what you might set out to accomplish could well be impossible, as no one has ever tried it before.
Well, no one has ever been me before. Can I succeed? I know I have successes and failures, where can I end up? I can look at others as examples of people who have gone before where I might be going, but then I don’t know what that destination is, now if I might succeed in getting there. I think if I were any more unsure of myself I could then be neurotic. God bless then, my cocky side, or I might never get anything done!
Ehhh, time to retire now, from these trains of though. Rather now time to proof and spell-check before unleashing another document on to the web. Oh where will it go? And what will be the result? And how can I know that the packets will get there reliably? (That’s a joke, if you weren’t noticing.)
… but the rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated!
I know it’s been a long while since I wrote here. Apologies to those who wait with the phosphorescence of their monitors burning radiation on their cheeks. It’s been a remarkable few weeks!
Biggest news I’d have to say is breaking up with Asao. Second biggest news, getting a license. Third biggest news: new eyeglasses.
So let’s start at the top. Dunno if I’ll catch up to speed tonight.
First off, MikeyA wrote about the last journal entry, criticizing the idea that I might not commit to something without understanding it first. For the record, I have no trouble going after something I don’t quite understand. The thing to realize is that it is a long while before I can truly feel comfortable, as if something were second-nature. Until that point, well I’m not going to be perfect. I guess this is all really sort of obvious.
You see, on Saturday, I attended Chris Sims’ wedding, which was held outside Foellinger on the Quad – very cool. Well you know the thoughts rattle through my head, among them is the old idea that two folks get married when they’re near the point that they can anticipate each other, that they can leave things unsaid and understand. That’s not something I ever approached having with Asao, and that’s the sort of thing that separates, perhaps, love from marriage. The minister went on something about how one can not have marriage without love. Of course, love is a far cry from marriage.
What this means? Eh, well people who can’t read each other’s minds yet gotta communicate, dammit!
And that’s what broke down with Asao.
I’ll get to that.
Anyways I was home last week. Hell, now it’s not last week but really the week before last. See, I been in Champaign for a week. Okay.
So, first of all, they moved the Greyhound station. It used to be in Urbana, now it’s in Champaign. Good thing I left early and asked the bus driver on the first bus I got on or else things might have been nasty. Anyways one reason to return home was to get a driver’s license, and when I arrived at the bus station I realized I’d left my glasses in the apartment and couldn’t get back to get them in time. Okay, so later in the week I got a new pair, a very nice new pair, at the LensCrafters in Lincolnwood Mall. Good.
So, practiced driving around with Uncle. Made it down to MicroCenter to buy a new keyboard. Another NMB keyboard for $19.95! Damn fine keyboard – highly recommended. I’m whacking my fingers upon it right now!
On Thursday I took the Driver’s Test and passed. Yeehaw!
Anyways later that evening I’m exchanging messages with Asao about the latest round of harassing email from Oakland. Somebody’s learned to forge headers to sneak past the filter I put up for Asao so I say as soon as I get back to town we gotta get together so I can revise things. I’d like to do it right then as she had an exam Thursday. (So, this must have been Wednesday this all took place.)
So I think, no … don’t want her password … just not so comfortable with the idea. I think briefly of .rhosts and mention that as a possibility, but one I’d want to exercise only if she really wanted the filter right then and there.
That’s when things exploded. Slowly though. Next I knew she’s accusing me, but not accusing me, rather interrogating me and trying to get me to admit to something, though she’ll never say quite what she’s getting at. Nearest I can tell she wanted me to admit to some sneak underhanded conspiracy to undermine her account.
That’s when I ended it. I wrote her a message saying that I was sick and tired of her going wacko on me every other month, and accusing me of all sorts of horrendous things on a regular basis which she’d later retract. “No more” I tell her, it’s over.
[ . . . ]
And all along there’s the sort of nagging thought, right as I feel that I am in my judgment logic and decisions, that I might have been able to do better. I’ve never had a girlfriend I rejected because I thought they had a problem that was lethal to the relationship and that I could not solve, so you know, I like to fix things, but it seems like a no-win case. I don’t see what more I can and should do, it’s all over now.
Wow. EnterAct’s Lakeview T1 just went down for a few minutes, but it got fixed pretty quick. I lost this terminal window but as soon as things were back up I got an email from vi stating that it had recovered my work. Sweet!
Well, anyway when I got back to town things were a might lonely. I’ve been making new friends though. I ran in to Sarah, from Asako’s party, exchanged email addresses. I’ve been hanging out on the Quad, running in to folks I know. This weekend Andrew, Ed and Ray were in town and we had a BBQ at Rachel’s where I met new folks, Charlie, Kajorn and the lovely Nelyn. These folks I was out playing volleyball with last night.
It seems weird though, not having Asao present. Her concluding email expressed some intent to never hear of me again. That is painful. Ideally I would have hoped for her to realize the poison in the relationship, or that she might at least understand my point of view, for having done what I did, but then we’re all different, and I think it would be a very difficult spot to be in her shoes.
Well, hopefully I’ll continue adding thoughts and lighter stuff up here tomorrow.
Well, Independence Day certainly rocked. After much dickering and dithering I finally had a BBQ at my house in Chicago, mostly family, but Ed and Rachel dropped by, enjoying themselves much, as I could tell. There’s more families in the neighborhood now, more young fathers with impressionable kids who like fireworks. After the neighbors exhausted their stockpile on the blacktop, we wandered over to Rogers Park and there were several groups visible shooting fireworks off. Some guy, referred to as “the Indian” was shooting off some weird, evidently homemade stuff. A few things shot up in the air and exploded like an M80, setting off car alarms in the neighborhood, whose wailings added to the noisy festivities. Well, until a patrol car happened into the park and told everyone to go home. I took pictures of the works, hope they came out.
On Saturday, after a nice meal in Chinatown with some folks, we went to see “Men in Black” which was a right entertaining movie. I enjoyed it. Brian really dug it. He’s the gentle-sir who drove me to and from Chicago, and to the movie.
I’ve not been writing much in the ol’ journal eh? Well, it gets to br a drag to spend so much time working with computer for pay and then to continue doing stuff just as I always do. Errr, like I mean the weather’s nice, and all the labs close early. I much prefer hanging out somewhere at 1AM writing up here you know?
So I been thinkin’ of heading out for Colorado between 10 August when the lease expires, and the two weeks later when I’m s’posed to start school. Just stash my stuff somewhere you know? It’d be nice to meet dad, possibly head out to California to enjoy once again the San Diego beach.
The bike is in the shop. Some drunk motherfucker must have felt like … well, whatever he felt like, I found the bike splayed off the rack at a funny angle. The front wheel was misaligned, so I eventually bought a wrench to fix that, and noticed that the frame was bent up. In the rear it’s out of spline, and the part that goes out to hold the rear wheel is mashed into that rear wheel. Bogus! The guy told me any other place would have sold me a new bike, but that he could make it rideable again, and relished the challenge. So, in two weeks I should have my cool old Raleigh back and rideable again. I’ll be a really happy camper then!
Ahhh, girls? Eh, try not to worry about them so much, just enjoyin’ the scenery you know? I’ll let what happens happen. Asao is starting to talk to me a little bit now. That’s good.
I’ve started to amass a respectable mp3 collection. There is some Smashing Pumpkins in it. I’ve found that, given my first date was a Smashing Pumpkins concert with Linda, that the music tends to make me miss her of all folks. I think it’s a side-effect of actually hearing a few words from her mixed with the fallout of breaking with Asao. Wonders never cease?
Right now I’m hungry. Mom sent me home with some brats leftover from the party. I’ve finished eating them though. Last night I marinated a pair in beer. They turned out good. I didn’t like the beer so much, but the brats seemed improved by having soaked in it. Anyways, it’s a darker honey brew beer or something, and goes down better if you don’t let it wallow on your tongue-tip.
I may be hooking up with Mary soonish for a movie and/or dinner.
I’m enjoying work. The bloody audit is kinda finished, and we’re working on getting all that data into our DNS database, after which we’ll start tracking unaudited miscreants and getting their data, until the whole inquisition is complete, and we can begin to reap IPs. Funfun!
Well, time to finish this entry up. I’m sorry it’s not very titillating. I’ll hopefully get some better stuff soon. You know, interesting thoughts like. I’ve been keeping those pretty much to myself, however unfortunately for the ol’ web page.
I met a cool freak yesterday at the Union lab. You see why I like labs? We’re both here now. He’s a self-educated computer geek, and a writing studies sort. You see his web page he’s working on a collaborative writing CGI. I was walking past and saw Perl code, did a double-take, and we started talking.
Well, that’s nice. Yesterday was an errand-running day. I returned library books, renewing one by Frederick Pohl that I haven’t finished with. Then I took the bus out to Jewel, spending nearly $40 on groceries, which is more than I’d wanted to spend, but I made a really good haul, so I can’t complain. I’ll be eating well. I bought lunchmeats, cheese, and romaine lettuce for lunchtimes. I’ve settled on purchasing milk, eggs and bread at local convenience stores though. Perishables I go through quickly see? Anyways, I didn’t skimp on ingredients. The cheese is sliced deli cheese, cheddar and swiss. The romaine lettuce don’t seem so cheap either. I also stocked in some Peanut Butter and Jelly, the old standby.
What else? Some Turkey dogs for Mac & Cheese, some spaghetti sauce, and garlic bread … mm! That’s gonna be good. I picked up some Matt’s Fig Newtons as I like Fig Newtons. They seemed right tasty. I made a rule for myself though that I shall only buy one package of cookies per shopping trip. Their expensive and spoil my appetite for a real meal if I’m reckless. Ah well.
Ran into Mary and Phil, we did a little bowling. I caught sight of Asao there and it messed with my game some. I still missed her. Still haven’t figured her out either. Well, managed to get it off my mind pretty well. She seemed to be enjoying her self pretty much. Hard to tell, of course as I didn’t approach her and she tends not to be too expressive.
So, I been thinkin’ you know … about the American electoral process. It sucks you know? You can run out of money, and have to withdraw from an election. That means that to be elected to public office you have to curry favor with the monied interests, and that’s not representative. That and ya got all these lamers who refuse to vote because they just don’t see any point to it. Whoever wins, the results will be pretty much the same, since the Democrats act like lame wannabe Republicans, or so it sometimes seems. Just this morning I heard that the White House put out some document on their thoughts on the Internet, and it was concerned mainly with how commerce could take place, not so much with the human potential the thing offers. As well, old man Clinton was supposedly defending the Communications Decency Act … sheesh!
I remember in PoliSci 150 with Joe Miller. He talked to us some about Proportional Representation, the idea that instead of winner-take-all you kinda break the political spoils down into a certain number of representatives per party depending on what percentage of the vote they got. Each party could have a list of candidates they’d send, and however many the election entitled them to, that’s how many of that list they’d send to office.
I proposed in class that perhaps any state willing to try could easily enact a scheme like this with their House representatives. Say, Illinois has 30 folks or however many they send to the House of Representatives, but instead of picking those by district, they just throw them all in a big ol’ PR pot and depending what percentage of the state vote their party gets, that’s how many get sent to Washington. Joe got all upset about this it seemed saying that it would be bad for people to not be represented geographically, but the way I see it, it’s more what your ideology is, isn’t it? Especially if you’re an obscure “radical” like Joe.
Anyways, if yer worried about rural representation, then a major party would have to represent itself to rural constituencies for fear that they might lose that constituency to another, possibly third party. This would alleviate voter angst somewhat, I’d think, because partys could fill niche rolls for different ideologies and interests. Staunch environmentalists could vote green, say. Farmers could vote for Farm-interest parties. When you get to Washington then the special interests are more clearly marked based on the popular constituencies, and less on PAC or corporate monies. At least, that’s what I’d hope. To be a successful major party then, one would need to develop a platform that appeals in some rational manner to a wide array of newly-awakened popular political interests.
Well, no-one said I was ever an expert.
Another time, I believe, it was proposed that with technology and all, direct participatory democracy could be achieved. Well, we run into the problems of “mobocracy” and the fact that it take a lot of work to run a government. Well, I’d think to take PR to it’s logical extreme conclusion then, which I would think would be proxy democracy.
See, take mom for example. I’m a politics geek moreso than she is. she has better things to do. Sometimes she’s consulted with me on ways to vote, you know, which candidate? Well, why bother with that, when she could say, just give me or someone else whose judgment she respects proxy power over her single vote? This would maybe work again in a forum like a House of Representatives where at least there you are in theory representing the individual voices of several Americans. I could in turn assign my proxy to another proxy broker or whatever, who I can consult with on his decisions, which might in turn be selecting another broker, or direct representative perhaps. See, this way people have much more encouragement to be involved in the system. Anyone could be their proxy, so it comes more instead of deciding between two bozos more of deciding who your ideal candidate might be .. like shopping for a car. By assigning your proxy to someone you’re stating that you feel confident in the decisions they might make. It’s a far more personal fit than a normal election, so you put more effort, more political awareness and activity, in to making the right choice. At least, one would hope.
In theory, you could then perhaps have several multitudes of representatives – small proxy holders. Well, it might get a bit crowded to implement. Of course, tele-whatever could be used for such folks to discuss the fate of their government, and act accordingly. But if you wanted to be more old-fashioned, you could make a cut-off, say … only the top 38 or whatever number of representatives you want get to go to Congress, with each of those representatives having their votes weighed in proportion to the number of voters they represent, the number of proxies they hold. Proxy holders who don’t have enough votes to make it to Congress have to select their most favored representative to assign their proxies to.
This might confuse the hell out of Corporate America, and other monetary contributers, as the system is very populist, a potential nightmare though, to implement! Imagine the paperwork.
But we don’t have to do this zaniness based on election cycle, eh? You know how a corporation works? Who owns the most stock controls the company, or who owns a significant proportion may sit on the board of directors? Well, say some fool starts making bad decisions, he starts losing his proxies. He makes enough bad decisions he’s outta office. The real power then, gets kinda defused in the larger intermediate proxy brokers who have much control over whether a candidate stays in office.
This also distributes the load of a representatives job. They’re responsible directly to a smaller group of proxy holders who trust them to be doing the job right. They can explain their decisions to this perhaps smallish group, and consult with these “wizened” leaders or whatever, who can in turn come around and address their proxy holders as to why the representative is making the calls he makes. Mr. Representative doesn’t have to commute so much to his district to be in touch with voters, his proxy holders give him the poop. And if they start acting too elitist or anything, of course they start losing their powers.
Fraud becomes much easier though. But then, perhaps, less likely, at least at higher levels, where you have a public trust that the media would be very interested in investigating, no?
Eh, I’m wacko.
NOTE – 19 February, 2002: I’m not the only wacko. And some folks take their own ideas more seriously. If this idea strikes your fancy at all, check out http://www.directrep.org/.
I got wet walking from our NetDev Beckman upgrade to the CSIL meeting. Between the wet clothes and the extreme Air Conditioning I was freezing myself cold – silly cold!
So I walked home with a cold can of Coke in my hands. I was drinkin’ it. I went to recycle the can at a receptacle. I had to walk through mud. After gettin’ rid of my aluminum, I noticed a bee, stuck by his wings on his back, well her back, to the garbage can by water.
I don’t like bees, you probably don’t either. Gandhi said though that one should be kind to all living creatures, and I suppose I should try to respect that once in awhile. A Puff of breath righted the bee. I dunno if she could fly so well, but she was upright, and didn’t seem quite so distressed about being stuck in a very vulnerable position.
Well, momma picked me up on Sunday, that was nice. Turns out she’s a bit pickier about speed than Uncle is. Okay, so I had to keep to no more than 75MPH, ah well … it was still a nice drive.
The week before that was pretty frenetic … Beckman upgrade! Ripping out BNC thinnet cabling and installing twisted-pair 10baseT ethernet. I’ll spare the gruesome details, but I let ya know I let me hair grow out in part because I kept hitting my head on the undersides of desks, digging around.
See, also upgrades work better if things aren’t defective … bad jacks, bad splitters, bad cables, all somehow unavoidable and so we gotta keep dealing with them. Not to mention a few old Macintoshes that just wouldn’t listen to an AUI transceiver and were very interested in just sticking with their thinnet.
By week’s end, my mantra had become, once again, “Computers suck!”
Ah, it wasn’t all that bad though, really, just a little more stress-ridden than anyone likes I think.
Paul’s party was very nice. I followed Mike’s example and made myself a little keychain out of a BNC connector. Mike was making one for Paul, but I thought it cute too. Right now I’ve got a tee, a barrel connector, and three terminators on my keychain as well as a wrench I bought to fix the front wheel on my bike. I think the whole ensemble could double for a weapon in a pinch.
Brats, those were good … good food, good desserts, extremely humid and occasionally rainy weather, and soggy chips that went stale absorbing moisture out of the air as a result. We watched “Beavis and Butt-Head do America” on Mike’s DSS setup. It was an excellent movie indeed. I don’t think we ever got around to margaritas, after the movie. Plenty of beer though. Mike boils the brats in cheap beer I guess, and we drink the good stuff.
Paul couldn’t stay long, they have a cat on a feeding tube … if that’s not good devotion to a pet I don’t know what is. Anyhow, this cat gotsa be “fed” kitty goo every few times a day, and Paul comin’ down from Chicago.
We hung up Beckman thinnet around Mike’s yard, told Paul he had to “debug it” … ookey yeah we’re geeks, but there was also … I think his name is John … juggling lit batons! Just wait ’til I get this one picture scanned! Yeah …
A long, long time ago -
I can still remember,
How that music used to make me smile.
And I knew if I had my chance,
That I could make those people dance,
And maybe they’d be happy for awhile …
Excerpt from the Lyrics to “Miss American Pie”
Well … got that van fixed up some. It’s quiet, so now the shimmy is far more noticeable. The shimmy can be fixed by a set of new tires. Mom suggested perhaps I could buy it some tires and hold on to it for awhile … yes, a car downstate … should think about that. Bert over the weekend recommended Sears as they offered him free rotation and whatnot for the life of the tires. All four or just two? Mom says one is kind of new, wouldn’t want that money wasted … wouldn’t it make a nice spare though, perhaps?
Well, to look into. I walked Max down to Fair Muffler, so he could ride back. He likes cars, though maybe he was disappointed because I didn’t really take him anywhere.
Have to read the gas meter also. I tried to do that earlier today but none of the meters I could find had the same numbers as the one on the sheet I’m supposed to fill out. Okay … have to drag Uncle in on that one.
So we took Mom out to Baker’s Square to celebrate her birthday. Turns out they stop making pies after 6PM, preferring to run out of pies instead of having too many … but it’s Baker’s Square! This was likened to McDonald’s not making any burgers after 6PM because they didn’t want to have too many. End result was the birthday girl couldn’t get her French Silk pie, and had to settle for the inferior Chocolate Cream. Our waiter was dumb also, but at least he forgot to charge for the drinks. I liked the busboy better, and gave him two dollars of what I might normally give the waiter, even though he stole my fork!
On a different note, I’m sick and tired of places that don’t have real mashed potatoes! I mean, it’s a restuarant, the place is supposed to be good, no?
Well most places sell reconstituted potato flakes and call them “mashed potatoes” and it seems wrong to me dammit! It’s dishonest. It’s an imitation of mashed potatoes and it doesn’t taste as good as the real thing. It tastes like fucking grits, and I aint no redneck grits-eatin’ southerner. I like my mashed potatoes like I like my hot breakfast cereal – hot and with a lumpy texture. Oatmeal’s good ’cause it’s got texture, it sticks to your ribs, keeps ya warm, makes ya feel filled, makes ya feel like a man. Now grits … or potato flakes, just don’t give ya the same feeling, all they give me is a feeling that I’m more likely to have soft bowel movements, and that doesn’t make me happy. No sir, mashed potatoes, and oatmeal, any day, a real man’s food, a real American’s food!
God bless America, Land that I love!
Stand beside her, and guide her,
To a plate with real mashed potatahs!
From one restaurant, to another, to the cafe-teria!
God bless Idaho, state where they’re from!
God bless America, my home sweet home!