From the Persian Gulf:

I keep trying to get the connector seated on the damn airplane and for some reason it will not stop cross threading. This goes on for a couple of seconds until the TNC RF connector seats straight finally and threads down to where it is supposed to be sitting. Hop in the cockpit and turn everything on that I can lay my hands on; Doppler Nav Radar, Data Link, Search Radar in radiate, mission power, that sort of thing. It is a little hotter than it was last night so the avionics fans come on at once, two shrieking whines pushing air at 450 cubic feet a minute to remind everyone where we are and what is about to happen. I like these little times just between when the pilots finish doing their preflight checks and flight quarters starts. Just me, the airplane and an errant receiver transmitter which has decided that it doesn't like me very much tonight. Cursing at it accomplishes very little except enlighten Mongo that I am having some sort of problem. Mongo is having his own battle with a seat that doesn't want to line up with the mounting in the floor right so it makes for a pleasant evening of incoherent obscenity all around. Eventually I elect to deny the transmitter electrical power by pulling the corresponding circuit breaker in the hopes that this will enable it to realize that I really do mean business. This does the trick and this time the software test of the system passes with a minimum of fidgeting.
The whole process takes about fifteen minutes, leaving me with enough time to wander around the flight deck for a few minutes and then sit back in the cockpit to monitor the systems until the pilots come out and take over. From experience with the ghost of the oft verbally crucified Mr. Murphy, I know that if I decide to leave the computers will go kooky, the radar waveguides will depressurize, and the navigation system will decide that the plane is somewhere east of Eden, (or Aden for that matter.) Hence it has been determined by karma, fate and the sirens that Yurei will sit on the flight deck until the pilots come out to make airplane go now. Or something close to that.

I cut the power cord for the television in the helo maintenance shop in half today; they stood there watching me like I was from Mars. 'EMBRACE NIHILISM' scrawled in black magic marker across the masking tape holding the dead end to the screen. Tired of getting yelled at for watching television when we're supposed to be doing something that we probably have already finished doing. This is the inherent problem with enlistment contracts and with efficiency. Enlistment contracts because they are the mother of all tenure, you cannot be fired once you sign your ass over to The Man for four years. Efficiency because if you get too good at your job people expect you to run around like your head is on fire twenty-four hours a day. People need slack. Too much slack on the other hand means that someone else is doing what you are supposed to be doing and you cannot be fired for being a shiftless bum, so we're back to enlistment contracts again.
The idea that this cruise represents my last LAMPS detachment keeps rolling through my head as I watch the GPS system doing it's best to not acquire a new constellation of satellites. For some odd reason the GPS in the SH-60B requires about fifteen to twenty minutes after you begin feeding it 115 VAC 400 Hz to finish figuring out where it is, this of course after you tell it where it is to begin with. (That and it is the firm opinion of this technician that the satellites turn on and off at random intervals in order to further complicate the process.) When I came out here I had set a process in motion at home that I did not think would come as far as it has, and now things are getting complicated. Watching the satellites shift signal strength from one extreme to the other I remember the beginning of what may become a giant mistake.

"Yurei, you ever thought about staying in?" Chief Eckks is sitting at the desk in maintenance control pouring over the paperwork that I just completed to ensure it is free from error. It probably has issues, as I have never been very good at doing paperwork. To be brutally honest, I could sooner reverse the direction of the planet than do paperwork without making at least one mistake. This particular Chief is one of those rare souls on the night shift in San Diego that we respect and like at the same time.
"I dunno." I seriously at this point do not know, actually the prospect of getting out makes me a wee weak in the bladder. Leaning back in an overstuffed chair, another whiff of southern California late summer evening drifts through the space along with the sound of rotors somewhere on the flight line. I flip a copy of 'Link' back onto the desk, decide that was a bad idea and then begin flipping through it as disinterestedly as possible. Considering where I am in the job market Link is my best friend at the moment as the Navy's recruiting magazine. More of an internal thing, it lets the people that are already in read articles by people that have no idea what they're talking about concerning other commands. The last squadron I was in has an article in this month's issue, Chief Eckks and I have already had a decent laugh when I read the text aloud. There is another article on page 43, something I am reading for the fourth time tonight. "Hey, Chief, check this out."
"So what's that all about now?" We're standing in the smoking area a few minutes later, watching the indigo bleed out of the evening and into night. Chief listened evenly while I read at a measured pace, careful to watch the tone. This is a dangerous dance for me, I am supposed to be getting out and everyone knows this. "Drones?"
"Sorta, UAV's." I light the second cigarette still cold and uncertain. I know what my battleship mouth is about to get my rowboat ass into. "Unmanned aerial vehicles, black bag shit I think."
"Like what, you fix the things?" Chief is slowly massaging the answers out of my head.
"No, I fly the things. Turns out enlisted guys fly them." Several seconds of noise cut into the conversation as an F/A-18 takes off from the runway a half-mile away giving me time to form the next sentence without sounding like a goon. Oddly enough, the last time I seriously talked about staying in I was in Thailand and drunk out of my gourd after unintentionally crashing the CAG staff party. (Read: The highest-ranking man in the bar was an admiral, the lowest ranking person in the room was none other than the Yurei. The next highest-ranking person in the bar above the Yurei was an Ensign, who thought the Yurei was a Lieutenant and kept calling the Yurei 'sir.' This amused the Yurei greatly, being called 'sir.') I sat with the CAG LSO (landing signal, officer,) and the CAG MO (maintenance officer,) who attempted to convince me that I should go to one of the F/A-18 E/F squadrons when the new model hits the fleet. I thought it was an attractive offer until it occurred to me that I would have to board a carrier at some point, something that loonies such as myself do not mix altogether well with. On the other hand, UAV detachments do not do that sort of thing hence my narrow ass has a good chance of not getting sucked up an intake anytime soon. "Chief, you think Chief Gooz could get me a set of orders there?"
"Yeah, I don't see why not." Chief Eckks knows as I do that if I talk to the career counselor, (Gozeman, we call him Gooz,) the deal is all but done.
"You think you could talk to him for me?" I finally break down and say it, the beginning of the skid greasing necessary for the ticket to be written on my own terms. I learned from the last time, if you want the brass ring then ask for the damn thing. If you sit in the shadows and mealy-mouth around then bad things are bound to happen.
"No problem, Yurei, I'll talk to him in the morning before we go home." Regarding me with an even eye, Chief shakes his head slowly. "So it's all classified eh?"
"Yeah, black hole secret squirrel." Deadpan, the joke is at the same time a spoken marker in the conversation and testament to the dream all of us harbor in the quiet corner. Black ops, black bag, black hole, spec ops, secret squirrel; whatever synonym that you can think of to describe the things that go bump in the night it is all the same. There is a cult of sorts in the military around things that are classified beyond what most of the people running around ever see. The rumors about insertions of SEAL teams into places that they aren't supposed to go, the urban myths about silent helicopters hovering over major cities and spying on the population, this is black bag. All myths have some start in truth and the only distinction between beginning and ending being how many minotaurs eat humans in mazes or how many strange boxes are attached to the system at the end. I had a daughter once, a girl named Pandora that I brought up from birth to the point at which someone from no such agency decided that it was time for her to live somewhere else. Plausible deniability becomes critical in situations like this due to the need to distance oneself from the possible repercussions of doing something illegal. The more illegal, the more cloistered behind heavy steel doors with electronic combination locks and obscure brevity codes, the blacker the project and the deeper the hole. If you think that this doesn't apply to people, well, I'm sorry. I know people that have fallen off of the face of the earth. They're not dead, just gone. The silence is the strange part as it is universally accepted by anyone that has come into contact with this sort of work in the past.
The first problem with black work is that by nature it is sort of addictive to an extreme. You never forget the little brush with the world so large beyond what you thought you knew. There are those that are happy not to know and have no desire to do anything other than what they are told. Behind the eyes of a small segment lives the bright spark that they know, that they understand and they're not even going to hint as to how much they know. This is the one identifying characteristic between a bullshit artist and someone telling the truth. The bullshit artist is going to try and make you think that they're the most elite badass to ever walk the face of the earth. They're going to tell you adventure stories of HAIR-RAISING and SPINE-TINGLING quality that you could be sold a seat to, but YOU'D ONLY NEED THE EDGE. They'll baffle you with flabbergasting facts that no one has ever heard and they'll ask you for your silence. In a conspiracy of two, they'll lean across the table and whisper about WHAT THEY SAW and WHAT THEY DID when THEY WERE THERE. In all reality they probably were in charge of moving pallets of toilet paper across a warehouse for four years.
Chances are that if you are in contact with the military on a regular basis you have already seen someone who technically doesn't exist and never had any idea. I hate to say this and burst everyone's bubble but if you can buy a book about the unit's history or they've been on A&E then this is not what I am talking about. Organizations like the SEAL teams and the FBI HRT are just the tip of the iceberg when you start looking at the intelligence and spec ops community. This church of secrecy has a congregation and their mouths are all taped shut. Strangely enough this obscurity worshipping religion results in a serious problem. With all of the distancing, plausible deniability and covert subversion of the actual truth going on no one really knows what actually happened several years later. People remember but as time passes those memories fade, the crews and teams are broken apart and truth becomes nothing more substantial than a shifting dune on an anonymous beach. Granted the beach itself does not ever move, on the other hand the highs and lows are never the same the next year. Books like the recently published 'Blind Man's Bluff' are an attempt to catalogue the events that never were, only half of that book itself is something of a fiction. This is actually a fairly good accounting as far as the standard goes. No one remembers because this is the addiction. Live for the now and forget tomorrow.

"Yurei." It is Senior Chief Racine, someone that I have a great deal of respect for and that I worked for some time ago. In his left hand, a thin stack of papers and at his right, two people that I have never seen before. The two Chiefs with Senior have no nametags and look out of place standing in the smoking area in the squadron patio with the dirtball technician Yurei and a Senior Chief who is now bumming cigarettes from him. The sun beams down on the smoking area a full year prior to my talking with Chief Eckks. "Gotta question for you."
"Senior." We exchange pleasantries and I manage to not seem like an idiot in front of the two new people with dirty hands, encased in grease and sealant streaked coveralls topped by a cigarette hanging out one side of my mouth. Just to complete the picture my hair is poking out at a number of angles that do not inspire thoughts of military bearing. "So what's your question?"
"You see this?" Senior Racine spreads an 11 by 14 sheet of wiring diagram in front of me. I know the system well. "You think you could figure out a way to send audio through here?"
"Yeah, depends on what kind." Thoughtful scratch of one side of the head and a drag on the cigarette later I have an understanding of what Senior is after. "Oh. Yeah, I could do that."
"How long for you to have this done?" Chief Thing A speaks in a gravel baritone from behind arms folded across his chest and doubting eyes. The question is almost a statement, as if there never were any reservations about whether or not I would finish. It occurs to me that Senior perhaps has been talking to them and that I had been picked out for this job when he first heard. Senior Racine has done this several times before now with jobs he knew he wanted completed. Chief Thing B perks up slightly and then returns immediately to staring at me skeptically. I tend to tilt my head to one side and mumble a bit when I am thinking about doing something complicated to the airplane. In all honesty this is by no stretch of the imagination difficult, but when someone brings you a question about sending audio and possibly narrowband data through a system not intended to handle that you tend to think. Especially when the external condition of the people asking the questions not telling you too much about the why behind the what is added to the equation.
"How much time you got, Chief?" Ponk, the ball goes arcing merrily back across the net.
"We're looking at a month." Thwap, ball hurtles toward Yurei.
"Gimmie a week. You want the interface hardware done or what by then too?" Smack.
"If you please. We'll need supporting documentation and prototype hardware." Plink.
"When do we see a prototype?" Smock.
"Hopefully by week's end." Donk.
"Standard sub-mini jack here right? 8 ohm impedance or is it something screwy?" WHAMO!
"Commercial stuff, standard 8 ohm." Blip.
"Hmm, you guys thought about running this down encrypted?" Yurei fades back and sets the thing on fire with a massive overhand.
"If you can manage." Chief Thing A looks at Senior Racine and then to his counterpart. Hands are shaken and business cards exchanged, Senior Racine wanders back over to where I am standing with Chief Davit in the smoking area after a few minutes of laughing and happy play nice time.
"Yurei, you sure you can do this now?"
"Shit Senior, no damn problem." I mean it too; I already know what I need from the electronics surplus store before I go home and what I'll need to steal from work tonight. The interface hardware will be done by dawn, the paperwork by the end of the week and I will probably have the first of the firmware tests done on the system in two days. Senior knows this and can see it behind my eyes.
"Yurei, for all intensive purposes what you are working on doesn't exist until I say so, okay?" Eyeing me warily Senior Racine looks at Chief Davit and laughs through a deep smile. "Seriously."
"This thing have a name Senior or should I call it 'The Thingy?'"
"Pandora." Racine grins again and I for the first time I glimpse the second problem with this sort of thing. "Pandora like as in box."
"Right. Box."

Yesterday my car wouldn't start at South Padre Island, about an hour and some odd mintues away from my house. Had to call my parents to help me, grr. My parents and I went to fix it at around 10pm, it was my parents, my grandma, and I. Don't ask why my grandma went, she wanted to. We didn't get it up and running at the island until it was midnight. I drove home with my grandma, we talked about many things, I love her, she's funny. Got home and went to my room to get on the internet. My browser randomly spurts out 666 and a lot of 8's in the start button. Then my font is all messed up and randomly changes which letter it does not have with a lovely box (Windows users may know what I'm talking about). My virus scanner can't figure out whats wrong, stupid Norton. I decided to reformat, besides, I hadn't defragged in a while because it said I needed to run Scan Disk. And when I ran scan disk and ctl-alt-del everything BUT Scan Disk, it still said something was writing to the drive and restarting. GRR!! Didn't have the disk to fix it, had to wait until I woke up, so I went to sleep.

Got up and went to look for the disks, reformatted but had to go say goodbye to a dear friend. Since my car was broken I called a friend of mine who is more like a brother, Abe. He took me and went to a friend of ours, I was sad that she was leaving, and as I said goodbye when Abe came back I cried. Real tears came running down my cheek, I know I'll still talk to her and stuff but she's moving and we got along so well. Abe and I went back to our friends house. My friend saw my shoe which has a reference to my old girlfriend, "I'm in love with Ruby, (a heart) RJ" and she got really mad, she said, "What the hell! I'm in love with who? No, don't talk to me." Normally I would have seen this as a joke but I saw the look on her face and she didn't look like she was kidding. I've known this girl since 5th grade and maybe she has feelings for me. She made some other kind of comments on things that hinted that she liked me but I don't know, I really see her more as a friend, and besides, I do like this other girl a lot. I saw Toy Story 2 and Gladiator for the first time. Then we saw Fight Club, my friend and her sister made Abe and I food, spaghetti and a chocolate cake, the only problem was that Abe and I had to go and get all the materials we needed. And we made about 4 seperate trips. After we left Abe and I just drove around talkling, it was a lot of fun, I hadn't talked to him in quite a while. We had nothing to do in the whole driving experience though we looked for something to do, so we went old school. We bought pizza and rented movies: Loser and Road Trip. We stayed up until 4 and went to sleep. In the morning, he left.


Haha! Still not sleeping in the Humane Times, and my Head Hurts™, but one thing is cool:

Gnus actually works now. I use leafnode to get my fresh hot articles, over ssh pipe to the university.

And it even looks like slrn, but is, of course, a lot more configurable (I know some elisp but not s-lang at all). Way cool, bab3z! =) Even some keys (like "o" to save article, "c" to catch-up) work similiarly!

Some small config-related things to iron out, still but otherwise this should work.

So, again, good night, E2, we'll see later.


Morning! =)

Slight headache, but I'm alive. Onward to Other Places...

No one will care whether or not I would like to be an editor, but...


Yeehaw. Someone FINALLY sent me an E-mail worm (Hybris, aka "Snowhite (sic) and the Seven Dwarfs"). I obviously have too many Unix geeks as friends... =)


...this is not a typical way for me to spend a Sunday: had TinySex. First time with another male. *g*


...and this year's first NoCeM shell was shot by the glorious Mortar with the help of Gnus.

::WWWWolf peers at the horizont, waiting for the shells to hit the targets::

The actual notice posting is neat, but it could be a lot more neater, still...

Other day logs o' mine...

Noded today by y.t.: What is Everything? Leafnode

I've spent the last several days at my Dad's house. I have severe cabin fever -- I'm in Binghamton, NY, where there's even less to do than there is in southern New Jersey. I installed Windows 2000, with less bumps than I expected, and played with a few of my Dad's toys (specifically, the REX6000 personal organizer -- a PDA that's also a PCMCIA card)...

This is now officially the longest time I've been away from kanon42 since we met in September. I won't see her again until Wednesday. The separation is doing good, I think -- I long for her, a feeling I haven't really felt in some time. It's easy to take someone totally for granted when you're around them nearly 24/7 for three months.

My Dad's cats are taking their toll on me, though not as badly as usual -- I suppose being around Sam and Pepper (Maggie's cats) has innoculated me somewhat.

About now is when I stop reading Red Meat, in order that I might not wake up the neighborhood with my raucous laughter.

There's blood on my right pinky, and I don't know why.

There's this girl that I like and well she keeps talking to me about some other guy and when I ask her about us, she blows me off. What the hell am I supposed to think? What am I supposed to do? I am nothing in this non-relationship but a pawn to feed off the emotions that are not mine. And maybe that's fine for her but it's not for me. What the hell am I doing still thinking about her, and wanting to be with her, to hold her, to love her? Why should I still care? Why should I be trying to put forth effort in this shit? Why do I have to be the only one that seems to want a relationship? And why can't I force myself to not like her? Why do I still like her? Why can't there be anyone out there that would give me the fucking time of day in the street? Why do I avert my eyes from girls that like me? Why don't I just ask them out? Apparently I should because shit is coming from this and I don't know how much more I can take. I don't know what will be it, and I don't know what will happen when that comes. And maybe she does this to make me jealous, but fuck that, I don't need to feel jealous.

It was so perfect. I couldn't see his face. He was looking at a screen the same time I was, hundreds of miles away. Both of us waiting anxiously for the other to respond. He told me he loved someone else before awhile back. So I asked him, "How long did you know her, before you realized you loved her?"

"A month or two. After she came to visit me, yup yup."
"Visit you from where?"

I froze. My heart was beating so fast. I didn't know how to respond, nor what I was feeling. He loves me.


I feel content. Here I am asking him about the mysterious girl from his past, and he's talking about me. It was unexpected. It was great. After a long while, I responded...

No. No. You can't know my response. =P

A pretty good day. Got to out and eat at the Tumbleweed with my SO. We watched two rented movies: Summer Fling and Permanent Midnight. Neither were any good. Summer Fling puts Christina Ricci's name on the cover but she's in the movie for like 15 minutes. Curses!

It seems EDB doesn't like me. I've never been eaten, and after wondering what happens when many people get eaten at once (from their perspective), a whole slew of people around me where borged away. And now that I think of it, they didn't even answer my question when they got back. Oh well.

Now to start planning on how to avoid going to Church...

errr... well.

woke up at 6am this morning.
had a coffee,
cleaned the walls of my aparto,
retried installing win98 on my friends laptop.
....more difficult than it sounds,
it currently has a japanese version on it,
so i must go into dos, remove windows (but not the drivers)
it seems the japanese character set confuses the english win98.
so i must find and delete all the japanese on it manually.
would like to just format it but you see,
it doesnt have an A: drive
failed again.
im really not too good with hardware,
but i know my way around most application software.
so my friends assume i know something about OS's,
too polite to decline the request at attempting it.

in general,
did very little,
but hey!
its sunday.

do your worst, ive got xp to burn.
A daylog during the weekend? Well, that is unheard of!

Until now.

I had just woken up and received a call from my Love. I must say, that one of the worst things to wake up to in the morning is to listen to your girlfriend tell you that she's going to see movies with her guy friends especially when everyone knows that some of them are disrespectful slimeballs. And worst of all, this leads to a discussion of how she reacts towards my own friends, an uptight disliking of them. It seems as though we only hang around her friends, and not around mine. That is very disconcerting.

To top it off, all the movies she has been watching, or at least 50% of them have been without me. Talk about excluding the boyfriend of the more pleasurable activities! I'm being left out! I can't stand it! And especially when going out with slimeball guys like that, makes me have burn in the brain jealousy, but with very good reason.

Talk about ruining my morning.

I hope to feel better once I've eaten something substantial. If I don't, I just might be in my worst moods today. That would suck. Especially on the weekend.

I should not be here.

I should be in a jet somewhere above the prairies, cursing the bad food, and trying to wrap my mind around the idea that classes start tommorrow.

Classes start tommorrow, and I will not be there, due to what an Air Canada rep called, "An act of God."

I said my goodbyes last night. I hate saying goodbye, but these goodbyes felt okay. I don't want to do it all over again on Monday night.

No one will want to party Monday night, hell, I don't want to party Monday night.

I would love to stay if it were still Christmas break, but it is definately over now, and I want to get out of here!

Damn snowstorm!
Princes Street, Edinburgh. Soundtrack: Lust for Life, Iggy Pop Legs run along the pavement. They are martin's.
Just behind him is the number 3 bus. He is belting along.
As he travels, various objects threaten to fall from his backpack.
It's 12.31, and the bus to Glasgow should have left a minute ago.

Thankfully, he gets to St Andrew's Square and the Citylink 900 is still at the stance, and he can get home in time.

She'd been trying to persuade me for a while, but my friend Lucy finally convinced me to come through to Edinburgh for a night out there. So, yesterday I stuffed a sleeping bag in my backpack, put on some smartish clothes, and jumped on a bus to the East Coast.

As I discovered when I had been working at PC World in Edinburgh, the McDonald's next door has an unbeliveably cute McDonald's Girl working in it. I stopped by to see her, but she wasn't there. So, I decided not to bother with the Chicken McNuggets (which were two for the price of one), and tried to find Pollock Halls instead. Not so easy, since I was actually on the other side of town. However, two buses later, and I made it to Lucy's place.

We got a curry from somewhere nearby and ate it in the kitchen, then went out along with her boyfriend Chris, and one of her friends from halls.

First stop was the Frankensten Bar, which was really cool, but also really packed. We managed to nab three seats for the four of us, which wasn't exactly all that great (since I drew the short straw). So we left for a club after one drink, and ended up at Gaia, because it was cheap. It started getting busy at 11-ish, but not really with many students. Still, we had a pretty good time, and left at 2.

Not a lot happened this morning... I woke up early-ish, mainly due to the rather hard floor. Not like I expected anything else, of course. We eventually left the room at noon, and I managed to miss most of the buses into town - one eventually turned up after 20 minutes, but I was in a bit of a panic when it got to the Waverley Steps just after the bus to Glasgow was supposed to have left. Then, once I got to Glasgow, dad gave me a lift home, I ate a sandwich on the way there, and immediately had to go out again for a two hour driving lesson.

Oh, and I did nothing for the rest of the day.

On Friday I took my car in to the dealership and learned that it needs open heart surgery to replace the seals on the transmission; like the O-rings on Challenger, they become inflexible in unusually cold Florida weather of 32°F (0° C). This is a labor intensive repair, so not only will it take until Monday, but it's also going to cost me about $1800. I had JUST paid off my credit card completely, damn it to hell, and now it's about to get maxed out again.

I got a ride from tregoweth so I could get a couple of rolls of quarters for laundry. I came home to find that, of the six washers serving our community of around 100 apartment units, only two were working, and one of them was in use. But it gets better -- after I did a load of whites, I found that of the six communal dryers, zero of them were working.

My shirts, socks, towels and -- oh yes -- my unmentionables are now hanging on various bits of furniture on my lanai for all to see. Too freaking bad if it's unsightly. I regret only that the sun will go down shortly, leaving little chance for my clothes to dry. Thank heavens I only washed one load!

I'll have to dress up for my appointment with the ENT specialist tomorrow, as I don't have any clean casual clothes to wear. No laundry, no car... THIS S*U*C*K*S.

so i get on irc today, and mention that i am getting frustrated with how much time my man spends a long time from home. someone responds by recommending masturbation. now i don't know this guy, and i find it creepy when people i don't know start talking sex... i didn't make any mention of sex, nor is my frustration with my man being gone related to sex. i made it known that i find that sort of talk innapropriate with someone i don't know. and yet they persist. hey man, you're not going to talk to your grandma about masturbation... and if you need to think of me as grandmotherly, then fine. but not everyone is as rabidly interested in the topic of sex as you, nor do they find it an appropriate public conversation. grow up.

NOTE: Unfortunatelz I have no idea where the square brackets are on this kezboard. I will have to go back later with a normal kezboard and link this. Mz apologies.


Todaz is the second daz that I have been in Germanz. After a few hours, I have no patience whatsoever for this darned kezboard and zou will all have to suffer the consequences. If anzone reads this stuff anzwaz. The bigest thing zou will notice is the switching of the yäs and the zäs and the fact that mz apostrophies are reallz ä's. I should be able to use a normal kezboard soon, as I have mz powerbook with me, however, I am currentlz at mz coworkeräs (Daniel Eggeräs) home, and do not want to ruin all of the kezboard settings just because I am too layz to paz attention to what I am tzping. It is, however, amaying how manz times zou use the letter "z" (actuallz "y") when writing something.

Well, I had a lovelz, long flight over here. For some reason Phillz was verz snowz, and it took forever for them to let our plane leave. First the flight crew was late. Then, the Captain was late. Finallz, the plane had been sitting for so long that thez had to de-ice everzthing again, and wait a long time to take off because thez had to de-ice the runwaz too. I think that I am mostlz recovered from the jet lag, if not wanting a nap in the afternoon.

Well, after finallz arriving in Germanz, earlz in the morning, I was met bz Daniel Egger at the airport in Munich. This was nice, especiallz because mz plane was more than a bit late. His girlfriend Kathi was with him. I think she understands more English than she lets on, but is shz about speaking it. Oh well. I never know if she can understand what I am sazing or not. We went to Danieläs house, and had some breakfast. I canät remember most of the daz, I think I was a little bit "out of it". Eventuallz, I ended up taking a nap in the afternoon, and then Daniel came to get me later. We went to the nice restaurant in Pfaffenhoffen that I canät remember the name of now. Thez apparentlz call it Paf-town, because all of the license plates start with the letters "PAF-". I had a nice duck with a big potato dumpling and some red Kraut. It was verz sweet kraut made of red cabbage. It was not to bad of a price for the meal, which was good because Daniel had to paz. (I forgot completelz to change monez when I got off of the plane in the airport, and it was a national holidaz on Saturdaz, so all of the banks were closed.) Then, we went to a Jay concert in the basement of an old wood shop. That was fun, if not extremelz smokez.

Todaz, I was to go to brunch with Daniel and Kathi. I got bored in mz hotel room, waiting for them, and so I wandered downstairs thinking I would grab a cup of kaffe. I think the nice fellow who works there does not zet realiye that I do not speak a word of German, because everz time we have talked together, he has done most of the speaking, and I have been under the impression that I understood most of what he said, so I mostlz saz "ja" and "danke". I got a cup of kaffe to drink until Daniel and Kathi came. I figured Iäd have some Kaffe and a cigarette. Thez got there faster than I expected so I made a hastz exit. It seemed the hotel staff was disappointed that I did not staz for the buffet, which seemed to consist of some drz cereal, bread, and zogurt. One entertaining thing was a bunch of suited German men having breakfast at an adjacent table. I am guessing thez just came from church, as there is a church behind the Gast-haus (spelling correction) and thez were all wearing nice suites. Thez were all drinking Bier, which seemed a strange thing at that time of the morning to me. Welkommen bie Deutschland!

I gave Daniel a hard time, because he had been verz insistant the daz before that it never snowed in Germanz. Guess what it was doing in the morning when I woke up, and for a good deal of the rest of the daz?

We had a nice, long brunch, which was quite good. Thez had lots of different food, but I mostlz enjozed the baguette with cheeses, meat, and cucumbers. I am weird like that. Thez even had caprise salad, though Daniel was not aware it was called that. After this, we went to Daniel's house. We plazed a game similar to Uno, except with lots of extra, confusing rules with his 2 sisters, and his stepsister.

I got tired eventuallz and went back to the hotel for a nap. After this, Daniel grabbed me again and took me over to his house for a nice dinner of schnityel and potato salad. His mom is quite a good cook.

I have remained at Danieläs house ever since. I have been messing with the computer and talking to people in IRC mostlz, while drinking Bier for manz hours at this point. It is around two-something in the morning at this point. I have been deserted bz Daniel because his brotheräs girlfriend got the car stuck in the middle of some field somewhere, and his brother didnät think about turning off the lights when he went to rescue her, so now he has not batterz. Isnät snow wonderful? I was going to go, but Daniel said he was going to run there, and I doubt if I am in the shape to keep up at the moment. So I opted to staz here. I will probablz go smoke a cigarette, and then head back to the hotel, if I do not see them soon.

Oh, there was one other thing that I remembered. I managed to get a hold of mz good friend, Matt, in Swityerland. I should be able to go visit him at some point. That will be nice.

Well, let's see... I didn't have a birthday (like randir, btw, happy birthday) and I didn't have anyone tell me they love me (damn you, zozo, damn you) and I certainly don't have some tale from some faraway country (Yurei), but I'm me and that's pretty damn good in my book.

Actually, it kind of is a faraway country to me. You see, I started college today. I've been doubly looking forward to this day and fearing it. My months in Chicago on my own was just a warm up, because it's all on the line: my money (yes, all of my goddamned money, but that's a story for another node), my future, my self-respect. So today found me standing in Kettering University, ready to do battle with fate.

I got off to a good start, leaving the majority of the paperwork I needed at home (yeah, it's only 40 minutes away, but I don't have a car handy). I recovered and got moved in and my parents sent off all in short order. Several meetings later, a new-found compatriot of mine and I explored the Academic Building. We had a lot of laughs and I'm sure it will be a warm memory for years to come.

Oh yeah, it snowed lightly this morning.


I was feeling really good today, after my successful date with Sara yesterday. Then I went to check my snail-mail.

I got:

Then I went to work for a couple of hours. Nothing special happened there. I stopped by Taco Bell on the way home. When am I going to learn not to go there?

I feel good about my date, it went well and she's interested in getting together again. The only downside I've felt towards it is that I get the impression that she just wants to be good friends. I guess it's too early to tell. I guess it's also good not to look into getting too involved if she is going to Europe in the fall for college.

I've got a lot of stuff to do tomorrow. I need to get a parking sticker from the university, then put it on my car so I can park somewhere and go to class. I need to get some school materials as well for taking notes and such.

I had to put another notch in my belt yesterday. When I was purchasing a new pair of blue jeans, I thought that I should try them on to make sure they fit, since my waist has been going down. My old jeans are 42W30L. I tried 38W30L and they fit perfectly, with room to spare. When I put on my belt though, it served no purpose as it just hung loosely around my waist on the smallest notch. So I had to put another hole in it. Hooray for exercise :)

Exercise is the only way to lose weight correctly. Don't listen to all of the other scams. They are all quick-fix schemes to avoid the real thing. When you exercise, not only do you lose weight, but you value yourself more because you are improving your health the right way. You will watch what you eat as a side-effect of exercising. After a good workout, you don't want to go waste the effort you just put in by loading up on calories. There are no shortcuts for something that is really worth doing. If you want to lose weight, skip all of the pathetic scams and just go exercise.

My weekend routine (as opposed to my weekday routine in my home node):
  • Wake up at some point in the afternoon.
  • Disorientation.
  • Stagger around house in stupor.
  • Stumble into room with a shower; bathe, groom.
  • Read slashdot, everything.
  • Read some more.
  • Still reading.
  • Eat first meal of day (dinner, to most of you)
  • Homework.
  • Lie in bed feeling sorry for self. Worry about things.
  • Repeat.

    Typical dull stare inducing day. Should consider going into the big blue room more often.

    I rediscovered the joys of masturbation. Aside for the developement of a potentially dangerous fixation with They Might Be Giants (possibly related to my rediscovery of the joys of masturbation) nothing else noteworthy.

  • Saw Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon this evening with J. It was excellent. The Bytowne, a small local repertory theater had a full house. The movie had pretty good special effects. The acting wasn't the greatest, but the story was epic and the scenery beautiful.

    Before and after the movie J and I went for drinks. We talked about so many things. J is interesting and almost everyone likes him but he can be very confusing and mysterious. He is so accommodating that it is tough to see what he is really thinking.

    Anyway, he is so successful. It seemed to highlight my failures, especially when he started making fun of the business drones. That is my job. It made me feel so horrible about some of the decisions that I have made. I guess I have to work within my limitations: the main one is that I have been screwed by my family at every turn. There are certainly worse limitations than that. It is great that there are people like J whose family is so supportive, and they turn out so smart and strong. Oh well, my family has no chance to screw me now since they are totally gone. I also can't ignore that I have limited myself and shot myself in the foot many times too.

    But, it really was a good night.

    Today, although a Sunday was a day of work. When you work for yourself, you pretty much end up working all the time. Of course, after a while it's really no big deal. For me, now, I almost don't mind putting in 12 hours days every day of the week. Someday I'm sure it'll be all worth it.

    I really love this town. Two weeks ago it was -30 degrees Celcius, and today it's +8. It's so warm in fact that most of the snow has melted from the major roads and I saw some hardcore guys riding their motorbikes; one on a harley and one on a sport bike. I wanted to get mine out of the garage but unfortunately my back alley is still covered in ice.

    The other crappy thing about working for yourself is more often than not, at least for me, it seems like you have to divide your time between about 6 different projects. The rest of my employees all are dedicated to single projects, whereas I have to work on little bits of everything here and there.

    Cell phone woke me at noon - my blind date was wondering if I would like to go shopping. I semi-politely refused, not being very interested in a relationship und so weiter.

    Coaxed John into trying out the blue cheese/walnut pizza.

    Got some work done at the office. A power outage left both Solaris boxen in limbo, the volume management is acting weird and refuses to start. Gave up and worked out for a while (first time in six months, I think). Update 20010109: Yup, must have been the first time in six months. The pain!

    Watched Gattaca on DVD at a friend's place. Moved Gattaca to the top of my Best Movies Ever list, knocking The City of Lost Children down to second.

    All in all, I give this Sunday three stars out of five.

    SOTD: Michael Nyman's soundtrack to Gattaca ('fcourse).

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