22 March, 1999

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/1999/03/22/22-march-1999/

So, over Spring Break I got very little work that I needed to get done done. Instead, once I got car insurance at a cheaper rate on account of living in Urbana, we drove up to visit Grandma in the UP.

Actually, we is me and dad, and since I still didn’t have the insurance Wednesday he drove us up there in my Beetle. He drove rather well, despite Mom’s misgivings. He even fixed the brake lights three different times, and replaced a tail light.

We got there I think about 0200h Thursday morning, and spent Thursday with Grandma and Uncle Bill. We drove back Friday afternoon so I could get a head start on working. Well, heh, I headed back to Champaign Saturday afternoon and have hunkered down pretty well as of today.

Grandma’s doing great. As someone had said earlier, she’s fine and her only health problem is old age. She’s tired and more forgetful though. It is so nice to spend time with her, even if it was one day. Every time I seen her lately she’d talk about stuff I knew little or nothing about. She’s a bit more random I think these days, and I listened to things she had to say about Grandpa, most of them critical, but she said everything honestly, not like some bitter old hag. Candor is a good trait. I’m glad to see it in my family tree.

And Grandma’s my ancestral lefty, though she had the habit whacked out of her as a kid.

Anyway, enough misty reminiscence.

So, today I woke up at around 0800h, and showered, and got to class on the bike in the cold around 0910h, and then spent the morning reading the DI and a good Vonnegut novel I ripped off of my sister. I sprang for a lunch at Zorba’s – medium gyros, fries and a coke, and sat down at eesn24.ews.uiuc.edu around 1300h. I spent four hours working on Greg Jackson’s control center, then I headed home, went shopping at Schnucks, downed two roast beef on toast with cheese and lettuce sandwiches, some chips, two cokes and headed to work, where I am now.

I’ve since had another warm coke and a Twix bar. I head home at midnite. At the end of the day, I’ll have earned about $125.

Yesterday I tidyed my room some. Found my tax forms. Must file taxes already dammit … didn’t bother last year. Didn’t really care and the refund I was probably in line for is piddly enough I figured I wasn’t about to get busted by the IRS or anything.

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Grow Up!

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/1999/03/30/grow-up/

It is a damned fine day out today. Sun is shining, and the Quad is filled with students, many of whom are attractive women.

At 12:30 I had an Interview with Cisco. Cisco, like EnterAct, is one of the few companies I’d particularly like to work for, and in both cases the biggest part of that reason is that both companies seem to have their act together, and know what they’re doing better than their competitors. Cisco to an even greater degree than EnterAct, though to be sure, EnterAct is the “local” favorite.

I can’t tell how well or not the Interview went. I’m not worried.

I’ve been reading more lately. It is good, I believe, for my morale. Though it tends to make me even more quieter and introspective than usual, I think. I haven’t been talking to too many folks of late. Any time I get like this, it is usually followed by a reaction in the other way. I’m a bit sensitive about getting too nerdy or shut off or whatever, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be, even if someone needs the occasional vacation from humanity.

I’ve been thinking about this bombing Serbia thing. I can’t say that I see quite why NATO is taking the initiative to bomb Serbia. If Russia had the resources to cause a fuss, things would be very messy about now. I don’t think anybody in Yugoslavia knows what the heck they’re doing, with the possible exception of the pilots who fly in there on their assigned sorties.

The other day, a lot of pro-Serbian chalk appeared all over the Quad, comparing Bill Clinton to Adolf Hitler and saying that NATO was an evil baby-killing terrorist organization. Later in the day, these chalkings were countered by others sharing the opposite point of view and comparing Milosevic to Hitler.

My reaction to the chalkings, presumably by Serbian-Americans, is that maybe if you have sense enough to get your ass out of a fucked-up situation like that, you might just shut the hell up instead of stoking the fires. But then, maybe I have too high of expectations. Hell, if it were me, I’d probably be a fire-breathing hothead myself. Human nature, or something.

And while I may not understand the logic or the authority under which the bombings are carried out, another gut feeling of mine is that if we are going to take so much military action, why not ground forces? What is perhaps the best solution is for the UN to raise its own Army, and then march it into the whole of the former Yugoslavia and occupy the place for a good fifty years or more, treating the entire population like the children they allow to lead them, and lecturing constantly about how all people are basically decent human beings and you shouldn’t be an ignorant little fascist pin-head.

I saw in the DI a little editorial excerpt from Singapore or Malaysia which was somewhat bemused by the fact that we were taking military action to defend Muslims for a change.

I don’t know … any wonder I’m more introspective? I guess reading two Kurt Vonnegut novels doesn’t help much. I think I said something about ripping one off my sister? Well, I borrowed another from our Library, which was an autobiography of a Nazi war criminal written from an Israeli prison cell. Now I’m reading Arthur C Clarke, still got the title here … “Childhood’s End” – basically the aliens come and make Earth a Utopia. I’m getting to the part where Earth has been a Utopia for a while now, but the other shoe is supposed to drop soon. It has been … foreshadowed!

A man walks down the street,
It’s a street in a strange world.
Maybe it’s the Third World.
Maybe it’s his first time around.
He doesn’t speak the language,
He holds no currency.
He is a foreign man,
He is surrounded by the sound, sound ….

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Arrr! . . . Avast!
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