May 23rd, 2003


Thursday Night...

LJ seems cross tonight, and was trying to force me to update via the web interface. That isn't my favorite way of updating, so I considered just skipping the entry for tonight. My reasoning was that this might not be such a bad thing since my wrists have felt vaguely as if they were on fire throughout most of the day. I also cannot seem to strike the "i" key with enough force tonight, so I apologize in advance. Fortunately for me Drivel was eventually able to force its way onto the server, and now I have a much happier interface to write in.

I got up on time again this morning. This is a small miracle for me so I feel compelled to comment on it even though it may seem utterly mundane to everyone else. I am the original fan of sleeping in, no matter what the day is. When I worked for Holiday Sports I lead the perfect night owl life: I had a shift from 2:30 to 10:00 PM, I'd come home, have cold dinner (my mother always made me a plate and wrapped it with foil, then left it in the fridge for me), maybe talk to my parents for a bit. They'd go to bed around 10:30 or so, then I'd hop on the computer and surf the 'net and chat with friends until the sun was threatening to come up. Aaaaah, "the bad ol' good ol' days," as I've heard them referred to. It's funny, I remember how in 1995/1996 FurryMUCK was so overloaded, non-optimized and on such slow hardware that a delta save would take fifteen minutes... and a full database dump? I could drive into town, get a pizza and come back before the save completed. I really don't miss that aspect of being online in that time, but some of the other things I do miss. For example, a lot of friends have come and gone since then, and I find that I reflect on that every once in a while and tend to feel a little sad that so much has changed. I shouldn't, though... because with the loss of old friends I have gained some new ones (like my roommates) who are really awesome people I'm lucky to know.

Continuing the reminiscing about my old life: around 5 or so in the morning I'd go to bed, and usually sleep until 11 AM or noon, when I'd get up, shower, have lunch and then go into work. Occasionally I'd have to get up a bit earlier to go in to school (I was on a program that gave me a lot of flexibility with my hours during my senior year... sometime I'll have to write about it) but for the most part that was my routine. And I loved it, it suited my night owl tendancies just fine. Sadly those days seem to be gone for the most part. I find myself crashing out at midnight every night, right after my shower since I've started washing up in the evening instead of the morning to help relieve some of the congestion our single bathroom has in the morning. At least I seem to be waking up on time, as I mentioned earlier.

I got in to work, stashed my lunch in the fridge and sat down at my desk. I cleared one of the two tickets from my helpdesk queue (yay or having that back under control) and then checked in on OpenView. Things still seem to be running normally there, so that's a good sign. Maybe I'll be able to get everything tweaked to perfection before the go-live date for parallel testing with our current monitoring service. I really, really want this to go off without a hitch because if it does I think I've got grounds for demanding one hell of a raise when my November review rolls around. Saving the company $100,000 a year is not a small thing, even when your revenue is measured in the hundreds of millions.

My morning crept along slowly until I received a very pleasant surprise on FurryMUCK when Liin logged on. We talked for quite some time, probably somewhere around four or five hours straight. Most of what we talked about were the things that have been on my mind since the beginning of this week, and... it did a world of good for me. I felt so much better for having had the chance to have somebody to spill myself to. I'm astounded, flattered and deeply touched that she went to such great lengths to find me and took so much time out of her schedule for listening to me. I'm sure that if Liin reads this she'll be reaching for a cluebat, but I'll say it anyway: I still just cannot get over the fact that somebody was that concerned about me that they'd expend all that effort to make sure I was okay.

Naturally I spent the rest of my day feeling very special, which I imagine was the general idea. Thank you, Liin, so very much.

I got home at my usual time, watched a bit of TV with Roho and Kestral, then retreated to my bedroom to try to get some work done on my newly-installed Linux system. I must admit I'm experiencing a certain level of frustration with the operating system, but maybe if I keep giving it a chance to prove itself I'll be pleasantly surprised. Right now I'm quite frustrated with how it seems to be having a number of issues with my IDE subsystem, but then it's IDE, something I detest on general principles to begin with (SCSI rules. SCSI over FC-AL is especially tasty). The redeeming event for this OS came sometime around 9:30 PM tonight when I discovered that the kernel did in fact see my QuickCam 3000, and that I only needed to compile an actual image capture program to grab images from it. It seems the default Mandrake kernel automatically loaded the appropriate module to speak to the camera. Once I built the software (which took me only a few minutes longer to build than it should have... once I realized that the Troubleshooting Page actually had the information I needed -- another first! -- I got everything working) I took it for a quick test drive and was pleased to see that the capture program had a GUI, a preview window, no cryptic commands or options and the ability to upload pictures to a webserver via FTP. All the features work, even! This is definately a new experience for me in the freeware UNIX world. Maybe I should set up the webcam again, although I don't know what I'd point the camera at -- I'm certainly not worth the effort. Maybe I should put my fishtank back online? Sure, this won't have quite the charm of the orginal FishCam (I sank a QuickCam in a waterproof case into my tank with that old system) but it still would at least give me some sort of excuse to fiddle around with the software some more.

Dinner was prepared by Kestral tonight. She made her yummy grilled red peppers with pepperoni, hot sauce (I think it was the plain Tabasco?), grilled onions, grilled chicken and lots of mozzerella cheese. I love eating like this, because the food was tasty and spicey.. and is very Atkins-friendly. Who says the diet has to be boring?! I can eat like this for years to come, and I probably will have to. My metabolism seems to want to reset to zero the minute I stop counting carbs. Oh well, it could be worse.

I was still online tonight at 2230 after dealing with some unpleasantness online. I suspect I may have ruined a friendship by partaking in some of the drama, but... I guess that's the risk I had to take by chosing a position and staying with it. Mostly I just want the drama surrounding the entire thing to go away, and this seems like one of the few things I can do to help resolve the overall problem. The rest of it I'll just have to hope for the best on. Once I realized what time it was I got away from the keyboard, picked up the guitar and practiced for an hour. More of the same old same old that I've been doing for the last week, unfortunately, but I am getting better at the scales and the arpeggios. More importantly I'm starting to learn how to read the notes off the sheet again, although I have to concentrate so much on identifying them right now that my brain sort of shuts down my hands to compensate, resulting in an erosion of my playing skills. If I keep working at it I'll be able to read music and play it at the same time with the same ease I have walking and chewing gum at the same time.

One of the things that came up in my conversation with Liin today was the advice that I should focus on the things around me that are special, all the good things that I should live for and work towards. With that in mind I think I'll be tweaking my journal entries somewhat. I've made a habit of including lyrics as a sort of closing remark to my entry. I think once a week I'll augment that with something good that I have been thinking about, or a memory that has an overwhelmingly positive connotation for me. This might help to serve to keep me grounded away from sorrow and help focus on the positive aspects of the world around me. It's an idea that appeals to me because it's a very good suggestion, and I can sort of take some guidance from Roho's "Good/Bad/Disturbing," scheme.

So, here it is...

Something Good To Remember: How, when you walk barefoot on a beach at night, the sand is cold on your feet... but the water is still warm.

Nothing compares to you
  • Current Music
    Boston - More than a Feeling

No real update tonight...

... because my wrists hurt far too much to write the way I want to. Hopefully I'll have sufficient chance to rest them tonight that they won't ache in the morning, and I can write then. If this keeps up I predict another visit to the doctor, and likely another prescription-strength anti-inflammatories. Yay for 500mg of Aleve at a shot! It's a small wonder my liver and my kidneys haven't failed on me already.

For the purpose of a brief update: my day overall was a good one. My manager was out sick today, which had the overall effect of reducing the time we spent doing stupid things. Case in point: our staff meeting was concluded in fifteen minutes and I didn't have to listen to anybody whine. I wasn't pestered about inconsequential, overdue helpdesk tickets. I didn't have to justify why I breath oxygen instead of generate it.... you get the general gist by this point, I'm sure.

I continue to train my coworker in a vain attempt to have somebody to offload some of my firewall duties onto. I can't say much for BB in way of praise, so I won't say anything at all except that he's very good at coming to me for approval of any actions he might take. He may botch his implementation of what I approved, but at least he asks me if what he's about to undertake is the right thing.

While I had very little else to do during the day I did get to chat online quite a bit, and was pleased to have some very nice company throughout the day. It certainly helped keep me in good spirits. I also saw RB a bit online today, but that's going to take quite a bit more time and effort to write about than I can put in right now because of the tingling in my fingers.

Plans for tomorrow: Clean my bedroom (I'm so domestic!) and take the truck to the mechanic. At the minimum I need the oil changed since I'm 2,000 miles over. If I'm lucky we'll be able to work out why the truck has been running borderline on overheating for the last two weeks. In the mean time there's very little I can do about the problem except hope the commute to and from work isn't warping the heads. If it is, I may well be in for a world of hurt. The new truck cannot get repaired and handed over (or sold, whatever the case may be) to me fast enough with the current trend my F-150 is following. It's like the pickup knows it's got 180,000 miles on it and that it's over ten years old. Are pickups like elephants? Do they know they're dying, and migrate to some secret place in the forest to keep over and die at? It sure seems like my current truck is doing something like that. The good news is that everything has gone through, the title has been transfered and the Expedition is awaiting a lift to my parents' house. From what Mom told me on the phone last night Dad will be picking it up sometime this weekend... but that's only if he can locate a trailer to load it onto since he hasn't gotten a flatbed wrecker yet ('m actually surprised at this). Overall I have good feelings about the new truck and I'm keeping my fingers crossed, that's for sure! I really, really hope that it'll be an easy fix. I know that it won't, but I can hope can't I?

The downer of the truck situation is that I'm missing out on hakeber's BBQ in Madison because of this problem. I think with this abscence I'm brought to a grand total of six or so appearances that I owe the Madison crowd. Undoubtedly hightensile, krag_carbine and kristenq would be more than happy to see me make good on even one those promised visits, but the fates do seem to just be against me right now when it comes to travelling to Wisconsin. I really would like to make good on the promise to visit and stay over (mini-vacation!) because I haven't seen them in ages. I also admit I'm further motivated to go to Madison because I want to go to Prime Quarter for grill-it-yourself steak!

Since my wrists are bothering me so much I won't be practicing the guitar tonight, either. I'll have to make up for that on Saturday as well, if I don't want to start backsliding on all the work I'm doing. The good news is it's a three-day weekend for me, so I'll be able to enjoy Monday off. I really am looking forward to the quiet, in some ways.

Only if you want to will you find a way
  • Current Music
    Gabriel, Peter - Games Without Frontiers [Massive/DM Mix]