So, a little while back, I got into dropping by the Barnes and Noble cafe and sipping on a Tazo tea whilst browsing / reading. Why tea? Well, coffee is best in the mornings, and a fruit drink, that’s nice for the afternoon or evening. Tazo’s the only stuff they have that’s made with sugar instead of corn syrup, so I figure, that’s righteous.
But I could not for the life of me divine the caffeine content from the labelling.
So, I asked the intarweb . . . . nada.
So, I e-mailed Tazo, and they wrote back:
We have 14 bottled tea flavors and four of them are caffeine-free:
These four will also have a caffeine-free stamp on the front of the label.
So, if you were asking the Internet, there’s your answer.
I threw out the divorce papers.
My position has all along been that there was no difficulty in our marriage that was not surmountable, and that if we worked together, we could have a great life together. The only thing missing from the equation was my wife’s will.
I accept that I have no wife. But I can not agree that her actions, her decision is right. She needs to take responsibility for seeing this through. I have heard the horror stories of men screwed over in divorce by vindictive wives, and I appreciate that it is in my own best interest to drive the divorce process. But even more than this, I will not be party to something that I disagree with. I feel this is the right action: the divorce is her cross to bear and hers alone.
Possibly . . . well, anything is possible. I won’t hold my breath expecting a miracle, but I am comforted by the fact that for immigration purposes, she must have begun the divorce proceedings before our second anniversary in October. The divorce process takes six months beyond that. Six months, add up to four . . . a small price to pay for the years together, for the compact that I made for her to be the most important person in my life, to be loved, for better or for worse.
And until the end . . . I will maintain my emotional independence. I will also engage her with all the positivity I have to muster. For me, it is an exercise, an “experiment in truth” to see what my positivity, love, compassion, and understanding can do to a person who is willing to destroy my heart out of their own short-term selfish desire. I will continue to believe, rightly or wrongly, that the woman I married is in fact a good person. What follows from that is anyone’s guess.
So, we had this “swamp cooler” that had been used to augment cooling in the machine room for a time. It has been sitting unused since before I started working here a few years ago. It takes up some space, but I could never remove it because it was attached to a hose in the wall, to drain the water.
Well, this morning my colleague complained that the water was starting to smell, so I took it upon myself as the Senior Systems Administrator to solve the problem, once and for all!
We found that the tube actually ran to the sink in the kitchen next to the machine room. I pondered many ways to remove the tube without spilling water in our machine room. Tourniquet? Well, the zip-ties couldn’t compress the hose enough. In the end, I unfastened the hose from under the sink and plugged it with a pen.
From there, it was a straightforward task to pull the tube back through the wall and remove the swamp cooler, freeing us up several cubic feet of valuable machine room!
I was digging around under the sink when a coworker asked “so you’re a plumber now, huh?” I confessed that us systems guys like to think we can do hardware, but really we’re just kind of dangerous, and the right solution would have been to call the facilities people.
I started a set on Flickr to catalog such feats.
From the Talmud, via http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/revenge/:
“Live well. It is the greatest revenge.”
I am totally getting my revenge. :)
The tomatoes are still green and I need a trellis for the beans . . . though, I am moving in a few weeks anyway. But, I picked the first beans from my garden. I look forward to the meal that will feature these!
It is hot and I decided I needed some exercise. I needed to sweat! So, for the first time in a long time I hopped on my bike, and began to pedal . . . down the street, down another street, across another street, down a street, taking a fork in the road . . .
It occurred to me that I could get lost, but I decided that was okay, because I know that with enough time, patience, and faith, I can always find my way back. So, I kept going, knowing that wherever I am, I am always Here. So . . . I kept going, looping slowly onto more familiar territory, and back home.
Now, time to head down to the peninsula for a party. I feel really good lately, and I attribute it to the fact that on Tuesday, I followed my idea of “direct action” down to the book store, and found what I believe to be sufficient knowledge of How People Work, and How Relationships Work, specifically romantic love and extra-marital affairs, to finally understand some of the details that have bugged me the most. Now that I understand, my mind has very little need to obsessively ask itself what happened, any more. Tranquility.
This morning I attended my first “Men’s Breakfast” at MDUUC. I had no idea what to expect, but . . . man, it was a wonderfully powerful sharing among a lot of older, mostly wiser men, about their lives. That was really good stuff.
One thing that caught in my head is an observation that . . . in Western culture, we tend to perceive the Mind as the Self. But in some of the traditions that stress meditation, the Mind joins the Body, as a conjoined set of tools, through which the Self then experiences the world. With that understanding, you can allow yourself to experience a given moment more fully, and with a little discipline, you learn to allow the Self to step outside the Mind, and examine and shape your behavior in the context of what you hope to achieve.
Right now, I’m going to get Mind and Body packed up in the Car, and enjoy my afternoon down in Cupertino.
So, let us see. In the past few days:
- Met up with Yayoi for the first time in months. Gave her my last present and a cooler full of months-old frozen foods.
- Took a day off work, because I needed a “me day” . . .
- . . . bought shoes . . .
- . . . and mailed some last stuff to the Mother-in-Law in Japan.
- Had a job interview in San Francisco, for a company that caught my fancy . . .
- . . . which culminated in a job offer.
- Yayoi came by and we signed the divorce papers.
- Gave notice at work.
- Went drinking with DESL and friends to celebrate his birthday . . .
- . . . informed that I will be attending Burning Man . . .
- . . . we will drive there in my station wagon!
- Goodbye lunch at work.
- Give Firefox 2.0 Beta 1 a whirl.
- Major software release at work. (As I write this!)
- Next week, working in Washington, DC. Setting up the network that has been my professional objective these past few months.
- Find a place to live, probably in San Francisco, near BART/Muni metro. Looking for cat-friendly one-bedroom in greater Mission or Inner Sunset, maybe under $1,500?
- Possibly some storage / staying with a friend between places.
- Get caught up on new job, then finally take a little vacation: Mom in Chicago, Dad in Pueblo, and Burning Man.
So, life is moving along nicely, yes! No rest for the weary, though. Not just yet!
As jotted on the Sidekick:
I know that I have not yet cried the last of my tears over the life that I have lost this year. That said, I think things are going as well as, or perhaps even better than anyone would reasonably expect. I have learned a great deal about the strength of my love and my ability to perservere through hard-love times. I have been reminded of the value of being a friend, a family member, a coworker, a parishioner, or just plain nice guy on the street for folks going through a bad patch.
I have learned to be less shy about reaching out, asking for an ear, asking for a hand, or just asking to be included.
I have a stronger bond with my Mother, Grandmother, Sister, Uncle John, Uncle Bill, Dad and Gwen.
There was the time I came home and couldn’t deal with the empty house and I called Mom and she could hear my shaky voice and she let me cry, yet again, and she knew the pain that I was in. I tear up just recounting this story, but it means the world to me.
Tonight I have to pack, not merely for a week-long business trip to Washington, DC but also I need to pack up the stuff remaining in the house–my stuff, which needs to get moved to San Francisco the day after I return from my trip. The trip should go well but it’ll be a pretty intense work experience with the guy who is replacing me. And while this guy is a thoroughly wonderful guy, I mean, working long hours in the data center followed by a shared hotel room is maybe going to be a bit much. Also, Northern Virginia is a suburban hellhole.
So, another tough week ahead, hopefully with its share of joy: meeting old friends in DC and spending time with my coworker and our boss. Then, a busy weekend of moving, then, a new life.
With no pause in between.
I know that in San Francisco I will yet shed tears over my wife, my love, my marriage, the Japanese side of my family, and the life I lost. But month after month those tears will grow fewer, and before long there will be no tears at all.
At least, no tears about the past. The future holds many tears of joy and sorrow yet to be shed.
Alas, I ended up a bit melancholy and ended up watching a DVD of Newsradio instead. And the week has been going less-than-awesome, such that my return may potentially be postponed a bit. But, we do what we gotta do . . .
Well, I hope to give some cool narrative of the big move to San Francisco, the awesomeness of my new pad, and the joy joy experience of a hip new job, but for now, I’ll share a little Unix trick.
You ever had a job to do that consisted of issuing a time-consuming command, waiting a long time, then issuing the next time-consuming command, waiting a long time . . . meanwhile, you wander off and focus on other things and the time-consuming command has completed but long ago you stopped paying any attention whatever?
Well, what I do, is ask Unix to page me when the command completes. “Hey, boss! Wake up! Time to look at me again!”
This is pretty easy to rig up. For example, this morning I had to copy a series of CD-ROMs, swapping between each copy, so my command looks like:
cp -rp /media/cdrom/* 10.1 && echo "copy done" | mail -s "copy done" firstname.lastname@example.org
If you don’t already “get” it, I’ll explain:
cp -rp /media/cdrom/* 10.1
- This is the time-consuming command: copy the contents of the CD-ROM to a directory.
- This means “if the last command completed successfully, execute the next command.” Like a conditional operator in your favorite programming language. Of course, in this context,
;; is probably smarter, as it means “after the last command terminates, successfully or otherwise, execute the next command.” (Even if the copy screws up, I still want to know, right?)
echo "copy done" | mail -s "copy done" email@example.com
- Say “copy done” and send that to the
mail command, with the subject “copy done”, and send that to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hrmmm, my pager just went off. I guess I am done posting for now!
So, it’s 5:30 on a Friday, and someone brings me a beer. “This is just a clever ploy to get me to work late on Friday!” “You got it!” Well, maybe I’ll “work” on my web site.
So, I moved last Sunday, from the 100 degree heat of Walnut Creek to the 70whatever of the inner sunset of San Francisco. Due to the heat wave, there was no fog in my new neighborhood, so I could see the ocean!
Whilst waiting at the toll plaza to cross the Bay Bridge for my big move, a car of girls pulled up next to me to rave on my “Bin Laden Used Your Gas Money” bumper sticker. I noticed the passenger was toking off a glass pipe, and next I looked, the driver was getting her own hit, waiting to pay the toll. “Ahhh, welcome to San Francisco,” I thought.
Since then life has been quite a hustle of the new job, unpacking, going out . . . I’m not keen on giving a lot of details online, but let us just say that my first week in San Francisco features two first dates, and I haven’t even unpacked everything yet! So, I’m off to a good start and work is groovy too. It’s a sexy little dot-com downtown, and I get to ride the Muni L to work, which is cool for a Chicago boy like me.
I showed up at maybe 9:15 on Monday. Turns out the engineers tend to drift in around 10. So, I have been sleeping pretty well this week. Flex time, how I have missed you!
Let’s see. On my block there’s groceries, laundry, sushi, and a few blocks away is a bar filled with Irish people.
. . .