I ran into a friend of mine today, that I hadn't seen in months. Chris has been gone to college, and after that he has been spending a lot of time with his girlfriend.

They started dating a year ago. At first I was thrilled for Chris. No longer could he complain that he was going to end up going to college without every having had a girlfriend or having kissed a girl. It was a nice change also to the fact that last girl he had liked, had treated him awful. She hadn't even had the courtesy to politely tell him she didn't like him. All this thrown together and I was all in favor of him having a girlfriend.

I was close friends with Chris. Our two year age difference made little difference. The only strange thing was that I was best friends with his younger sister, who was my age. This hardly ever posed a problem, until later on in Chris's relationship with his girlfriend, Jenny.

Chris seemed genuinely happy with Jenny. At times she was all he talked about. The next fall I had some classes with Jenny. She too talked often about Chris. She never (or so I hope) full understood all I knew about her and Chris. With Chris away at college, I made an easy confidante. As long as I didn't tell his sister or his parents, he had little worry. I never did tell them anything.

Later on, rumors began to circulate in school. There was talk that Jenny was a lesbian. Close friends of her's told me that this was true. These were friends I trusted and knew where not lying. Chris's sister asked me if the rumors were true? Did Chris know? I didn't know what to say.

How was I suppose to tell Chris? Even though everyone said that she no longer had these relations, it was a part of her past I felt Chris needed to know. I decided not to tell him. Later on, he told me that he knew and that they had talked about it. It was a phase or something.

As the year progressed, Chris began to allude to love and other things like that. He asked me for advice. I had had some serious boyfriends, and he needed some input. I wanted to tell him I thought he was getting too serious for his first girlfriend. But what did I know? Perhaps this was true love. I told him I wanted him to be happy. If he was happy, then he was doing the right thing.

Chris told me often about how much he loved her. I began to get to know Jenny better and realized that she too loved Chris. Perhaps my fears where without basis. Chris began to allude to marriage. Nothing serious. Just pondering about the rest of his life. I began to wonder if they really might get married one day.

There was talk that they might move in together this summer. Chris's parents were against it. She was not eighteen. They had said they would no longer talk to him if they did. He decided to come home for the summer and found a job.

I hadn't talked to him in months when I ran into him this morning. He was trying to find Jenny at the parade, but couldn't. He had suppose to go over to her house this morning but had over slept. I asked if he had called- no. He said something about a little fight and left to go look for her. I thought nothing of it. All people have fights.

His sister told me that they had been fighting for awhile now. And it was serious. I'm not sure what to do. I want to be there for him, but I haven't talked to him in so long. I guess I just have to wait and see what he decides. If he wants to talk to me, fine. I'm just afraid any advice he asks me to give will come out as a "I told you so", when it really isn't. I guess listening is the best idea.

A strange thing happened the other day at lunch...

I walked about 3-4 blocks to these food trucks they have in Cambridge, got my pizza, and sat down on a bench. Across from me was this woman wearing a button, "Sysadmin for hire".

Since my company and in fact my group is looking for people I said, "Do you have a copy of your resume with you?" She said she didn't.

"Well then let me give you my card." And I handed it over to her.

She exclaims, "I used to work there!"

It turns out she had been a summer intern.

What a small world

My Day
A mock Epic

The blaring noise from the alarm clock wakes me from a deep, tranquil state. I stare at the ceiling hoping the new day has not come, but then my dream is broken when my lovely mother comes in and rips the sheets off of me. At that time I leave my cozy, relaxed bed. I receive a rush of freezing winter air. The rush of frigid air awakes me from my tranquil state, and I am able to get ready for the long, extensive day. I walk a mile to the bathroom to take a warm, awakening shower. The hot water beats against my back and I feel the warmth all around me. After my shower I step back into the cold winter air to walk another mile to my bedroom to change into my uncomfortable school clothes. The itchy material rubs against my body, and I realize the horrendous day is about to begin. I walk another mile back to the bathroom to put my mask on to cover the face I don't allow the rest of the world to see. I'm almost ready to head across the world to the old, cold building we call school. I put on my cold, wet shoes and walk several miles to my car. It takes me several hours to get to school, and the dull part of my day is about to begin. Again I hear a blaring noise, and I'm off to my class. I walk to miles of hallway dodging all the bodies that surround me. We push and bump into each other, and it seems to take years before I arrive at my first test of paying attention, class. I walk through the rest of this tedious schedule, the same thing over and over. All day I walk through the same crowds running into each other, the same loud banging of and hearing the same gossip throughout the hallway. As the last bell rings everyone rejoices that the elongated day is over. Again I walk several miles to my car and off I go to another tedious job, homework. Right when I get home I replenish my body with a snack, and then I crack the books. I read pages and pages about dead people and how boring their lives had been, I study thousands of math problems, and conjugate hundreds of verbs into thousands of verb forms. Hopefully by then my homework is complete, and maybe, just maybe I can relax from the distressing day. I turn on the television and then I hear the clanging of dishes in the kitchen, meaning that dinner will be ready in a few minutes. When dinner is ready I eat the vile food, and confer with my family. Sooner or later the jibber-gabber drives me crazy and I need to leave, just to be by myself. Again I turn on the television and watch all the beautiful people act beautiful. I will most likely then get sick of that and get ready for bed. I splash my face with the cool water to wash the tiresome day off of me. I lie in my cozy bed and look back on my boring day, and hope the next is better. Then I slowly doze off and dream about days to come.

Hey guys. I realized I hadn't written any daylogs in a while, and I feel I must rectify this. Besides, I need the xp. ba-dum ching!

Fear and Loathing -
(Without the drugs, nor the violence, and in Vancouver, not Las Vegas)

Part 1

Last weekend I was in Vancouver for the Radiohead concert. I went with a non-noder pal of mine, who we shall call "Spike". Spike and I are good buds. We've partied together, gone to clubs, shared emotions uncharacteristic of men, etc. So I know him pretty well.

Anyway, we arrive in Vancouver on Friday night after a long day of driving, and after a dinner with our hosts - my father's cousin - filled with passionate discourse about globalization, the economy and "those damn protestors", we decide to find a club that will take us in and let us dance.

We go to Gastown, a trendier area, and end up in some club by the name of "Shine". This place is way cooler than anything in Calgary, in terms of atmosphere, design, and music. The DJ is amazing, playing this great downtempo house. Unbelievable. The atmosphere is a little different, but we get into it and start dancing. After a while I get pretty tired because of all the driving we did during the day. I ask Spike if he wants to leave, but he says no. So I stay there, dancing, getting tired and sullen. Finally, I ask again if we can leave, but he still wants to dance. Fine. I go off into a corner to sit with some non-alcoholic beverage and collect my thoughts.

Now, there's something that Spike does often at clubs. Once a night, just before we leave, he tries to randomly pick up the hottest girl on the dance floor. 99% of the time this fails, and there are traceable reasons for this. I mean, imagine yourself a girl dancing in a club when suddenly this strange bloke who you've never seen before comes up and asks you to dance. Remember, you are the prettiest one on the dancefloor. You'd probably say no. And so do they. However, on this night, 926 kilometres from home, in a bar in downtown Vancouver, Spike tries the random pick-up and is met with success. I see him from far away - I'm at the other side of the bar - talking to this sweet young thing, and the two of them pass me by without noticing me, and walk up the stairs out of the bar.

I sit for a moment in shock and confusion. Unsure what to do, I walk up the stairs and follow - keeping a respectful distance, mind. Outside, he's talking to the girl. I sit on a bench and try not to stare, looking off into space. Still, I catch a glimpse of her - red hair, skinny, short, nice breasts - Jesus, did I think that? I resume staring into space. After a while, Spike notices me and he comes over, holding hands with the girl. "This is Tina," he says, (or maybe it was Deana; my ears were ringing). He gets our coats and decides to leave. "Tina" has two friends, and the five of us - me, Spike, Tina and her friends - walk towards the SkyTrain. Spike is still hand-in-hand with Tina, and I'm walking behind with her friends. "Oh, aren't they cute?" remark the friends. If I was smart, I would have grabbed one of their hands. But I wasn't smart, and I will never see them again. After an exchange of telephone numbers, Tina and Spike huggy-wug and Tina and her friends leave on the SkyTrain.

Spike and I go back to the car. "I hope you're not mad," says Spike. Of course not. The only person I know in 926 kilometres and he has to get involved with a fucking girl. And I get nothing, mostly from my own stupidity. I don't know whether to scream or cry but I instead find the incredible urge to laugh. I look at Spike; "926 kilometres from home and you get yourself a girlfriend. This is love kicking your ass, 'cause in three days you'll never see her again." I wasn't being overly cruel as we both knew it was true. Still, I found the whole thing incredibly stupid.

Will Spike new girl call him? (Yup.) Will the boys be dazzled by the big city, and rolled in an alleyway by punks? (Nope.) Will JyZude get laid? (Nope. Not a chance.) Will JyZude find Pseudo Intellectual and shake his hand? (Crap! I didn't know he was a Vancouverite until I came back!) Find out in episode 2 of Fear and Loathing! Coming soon to a daylog near you.

Adventures in the Land of the CD-Rs and VideoCDs!

11:41

Last night I had a Bright Idea. I took Star Wreck videos (parts 4½ to 5) and ran them through FlasKMPEG, producing VideoCD-compliant MPEG clips that I can burn on a VCD and play them on a DVD player.

Too bad I forgot to take one of them to my "parallel encoding" effort, and one encoder accidentally brutally produced a MPEG-2 file.

I'm now finishing the encoding of two last files. In the end of the week I'll be able to demonstrate some people that Finnish independent movie scene is far from death. =)

Annoying stuff:

  1. To burn VCDs in Windows, I would need Easy CD Creator 5.
  2. I have ECDC 4.
  3. Roxio says it would be acceptable to download an upgrade IF I'd have registered my copy.
  4. Sure, I'm willing to register to get the upgrade.
  5. "So, may I see your CD serial number?"
  6. "Where it might be?", I ask.
  7. "Why, printed on the packaging!"
  8. Was the number printed anywhere? Did the program ask it during the installation? I think not.

Back to Linux to mess with vcdimager and cdrdao once I finish this conversion, I guess...

(BTW, this MSIE Google toolbar is pretty neat. Would it be too hard to write this one in XUL or something? I think not?)

14:21

Niiiiice. The files take up 749 megabytes. It's possible to write approximately 730-something megabytes on a 700-megabyte CD-R if you try really hard. I'm not going to leave out any of the features and the trailer, so the SW5 bloopers must be left out (and it will fit on a regular 650-meg CD-R).

I think I have once again seen the cruel face of the CD-Rs: Either the data you try to fit on them is much less than the maximum capacity (less than half full), or just a bit too much.

Make no mistake: Murphy was an optimist.

16:09

...so the damn thing was burned eventually. The final image size turned out to be 665 megabytes. Slight overburning, but at least my player seems to play the last tracks just fine.

22:31

The VCD seemed otherwise pretty nice, except the sound in part 4½ was somewhat choppy. (Apparently FlasKMPEG had problem with converting mono sound to stereo.) Otherwise, sound and picture quality was high enough.

No menus - or even track lists - were displayed. Not nice. Any idea how those could be made in Linux?

02:35

Messed around with VCDImager 0.7 (tried to generate menus, but the damn thing choked on my menu MPEG segments...), submitted information for Rukajärven Tie movie DVD (which I bought today) to iMDB...


Rukovodstvo opazdivaet'.

I am left with that sad confused feeling that always happens a few days after E. Still parts of the weekend were wonderful. I am a consumer right now, not creative. So many things are wrong, lost or broken, imperfect, imperfect, imperfect, but I do not have the energy to fix them. I am hungry and nauseous.

The wonderful things we did on Saturday morning make me smile. I told her I loved her over and over again. I told her why I neede to hear her say it more often. I told her how beautiful she looked, just like that. I won't say like what, that's personal and obscene. I kissed her and wished for a five-foot tongue.

I went outside in the cold winter sunlight, just a few steps, and lay down. I came back inside and told them how wonderful the wet grass smelled. They stared at me. I had bits of grass and dew clinging to my jersey.

The hours flew by and then we had to try to sleep.

My 17 year old son will be going to college soon. He'll enter 12th grade in the fall. And his dad is willing to pay for him to live on campus, in a college in our home state. And my son needs to break away. I just don't like it for myself, that's all. It's very sad to me that my little boy is gone forever. Those days are gone forever, just writing this makes the emotions come up and tears start to flow.

I'm so damn lucky to have had these children, so privileged that I was able to have them and keep them for so long, they didn't get terrible illnesses or injuries, they're bright, beautiful - and they were never mine to begin with. I've always known that and now I have to give them back to the world. And I'm so painfully aware of that with my son more so than my daughter, because he's really been gone for a long time, since he's lived full time at his dad's since age 12. I'm so fortunate, I've been so gifted with him. And I love him so much - it's just painful to know he's really on the cusp of adulthood, it's just getting real now.

Well here in the States July 4th is almost here. In the spirit of a patriotic citizen and a good father I spoke to my daughter about what happened in 1776.

Granted there is a lot there that a 5yo just won't understand but I felt it important that she learn how we became the United States. The conversation went something like this.

Me: Do you know what July 4th is?
Daughter: No

M: It's Independance day.
D: I know that.

M: Do you know what happend on that day?
D: No

M: Well there was a bad king.
D: Why?

M: Because he was mean.
D: Why?

M: Because he was greedy.
D: Why?

M: He wanted the peoples money.
D: Why?
(at this point frustration at the coversation begins to set in but I try to move the conversation along)

M: He was just mean ok?
D: Ok.

M: So the people wrote a letter to the king.
D: I know.

M: And you know what the letter to the king said?
D: He was greedy.

M: Yes he was but do you know what the letter said?
D: He was mean.

M: The letter said to the king SHOVE OFF!
D: Shove off?
(My wife is now about to snort soda out her nose)

M: Yep Shove off.
D: *laughs* thats FUNNY

Now the story that she tells is:
On indipedens day the people wrote a letter to the king and said SHOVE OFF!

I did make sure at school I told her teacher the story so that they can be prepared for a possible onslaught of kids saying shove off.

I just awoke after 10 hours of sleep!!!
Ahhhh, jet lag.....

Yep, last Saturday I got back from Hawaii, which is a 6 hours time difference from Washington DC.
Now that I'm almost over jet lag, I hope, I can fill you all in about my exciting adventures.

We (my fam and I -- which includes Bob the Cow, remember) went to Hawaii for two weeks for our graduation present. Yep -- that's right Bob the Cow and Queequeg have graduated high school!!!
What we did:
First week: In Oahu
Next 2 days and one night: The Big Island, Hawaii
Final week: Maui!!!!

So, obviously we had a great time!!! But, alas, no computer checking down there.... snif!!!!
Have a great summer, everyone!

Oh, I almost forgot. This is also the day that you can call in to get your AP scores!!! Am I going to call? NOPE! I'm not spending one more dime on that stupid college board!

It Ain't Half Hot Mum, and Robo-Maiden from the Ice Planet

That just about sums up my day.

I was getting off the bus to work, and someone gets off at my stop.

Oh my god, she's beautiful.

I'm not one for ogling at girls. At least, not usually. But this woman: Woah.

She looked like she was the lead android in a slightly-corny sci-fi movie.

Her hair was straight, the colour of white gold. It stopped just around her shoulders in an abrupt cut. Her eyes... her eyes had the look of a crystal clear lake. Her skin was flawless and beautiful.

I didn't notice any other parts of her anatomy... I think her breasts were on the small side (which I like), but I can't say I noticed them.

And she works where I work...


The heat today was swealtering. It doesn't help when you're surrounded by glass on three sides. It doesn't help when the air conditioning doesn't work. It doesn't help when it's the hottest, stickiest day of the year.

We'd just moved desks, from the middle of the room to an area nicknamed the Sauna. I got through a can of Tango and a good few bottles (500ml) of water. The temperature gauge read 27.9oC, with 55% humidity. It was colder, drier and breezier outside.

Apparently, the Air Con has broken down, and someone's gotta come out of Glasgow and fix it. Grrr...

Rhapsody in Screwed :: Part (god knows what)
07.02.01 :: 16:17

oh. my. god. what a fucking day. boy said he'd try to call me today, but at last, the battery in my cell phone died horribly, leaving me stuck at werk, unreachable. if he has an ounce of sense, he'll leave a message. but i know him well enough to say he won't. i'm an idiot.

"sick sick sick sick of it all"

but moving back a bit to last night...i decided i needed to do laundry, but i only had enough change for two loads. *sigh* ok, i can live without washing all my laundry. so i walked over to the laundry room at my apartments and !!HOLY SHIT!! the entire floor is crawling with roaches! after expending a massive amount of willpower not to just scream and run, i manage to chase most of the grotesque little things away, and discover to my surprise, that my initial assessment had been correct: holy shit, indeed; a large pile of *human* shit, in fact, caked on the floor by the dryers. the smell was nearly unbearable, and the roaches, well, we know how i feel about roaches. i had to wash my clothes. and so, holding my breath, and holding down the bile, i manage to successfully wash and dry my clothes without bringing home any roaches, or dropping anything in the pile of shit. some days, i hate the world.

"the sky's gone red, but darling, where are you?"

i managed to pass out cold and not make it out to see niall last night. again, i'm an idiot. i came in with my laundry, shaking and sweating, and after checking it for nasty black bugs, i sat down to catch my breath. and then the phone was ringing, and it was 04:30. i apologised profusely, and he said he'd just come see me after werk. i passed out again. i remember very little prior to 11:00. i'm sure i kicked in my sleep. i was hungry and having terrible nightmares, which i only remember in the vaguest detail, but even those flashes are enough to give me the coldsweats.

"and they rolled up the carpet and began to sing / as they danced to the sound of the telephone ring"

i am finally no longer ill. no more throwing up at random intervals. it's a good feeling. however, i'm still hallucinating, and it's starting to frighten me. i'm pretty sure it was just some bad bread that i'm still getting out of my system, but one can never be sure. at least the hallucinations are pleasant ones...old friends, butterflies, kittens...or maybe i'm just slipping gears. totally losing my shit here -- warming up for the final detonation of life and mind...but i don't like to think those things -- even if i am seeing full-colour phantoms.

I don't know what to do with myself. There is no school. There is no job. There are no appointments to keep, no obligations that happen in terms of real things and not money passing from palm to palm. I am trying, but I have no alarms to set for marking days. I could stay awake for 99 hours, put on my tennis shoes and walk all the way home slowly over weeks and weeks. I could ride a horse. I can paint as many paintings as I want, write love letters, go to jail or go to Kansas and play hide and seek alone in a cornfield.

None of this is true, it is the illusion of freedom fresh smelling before the rot stench of marginalization covers it, drawing me down to nausea. I assume. I have never been to this place. I think that I must be dead, because nothing is moving. Lives are going on and progressing or holding, except mine, I am not moving, I am falling and falling not in a bad way. It makes a certain amount of sense. I am over now, finished. What else do I do?

Now what? I am being asked over and over by mouths of strangers and the long lost. I throw up my hands. I have no plans.

My life has always been caught up in the act of action, and I will go wherever I am pushed or invited. But all the assumed goals are accomplished. I am done. Just done.

...and here I am. Gods what a feeling. It's finally July. My student loans are coming due. I am consolidating those I can, but it still leaves me with a hefty chunk to pay a month. (One thing they forget to tell you about private loans is they CANNOT be consolidated, short of a mortgage.)

Well the consolidation papers have yet to go through, so this leaves me with paying the original monthly payment. I'd be okay if it weren't for the fact my car was just in the shop and threw my delicately balanced finances to the sharks. I think I'll be able to cover all my bills this month. Unfortunately this will most likely destroy the amount I had set aside for the vacation that my girlfriend and I have so looked forward to. I hope it won't be the case though... we've surmounted too many obstacles in getting this trip for us.

So I run the numbers again, for the nth time today. How depressing. I think I need another job. I already have a good professional one. Too bad it's a computer/technical job. The market sucks, and I have my job only because I knew the owners of the company. It's worked out well for us, but they can only pay me so much in this, well all expletives aside, unfavorable tech market. The threat of working the night-shift at Walmart or some other such prospect looms.

I guess I shouldn't bitch too much as I have a job at least. Talking to an old friend yesterday I found that many people we graduated near or with in the Comp Tech program got axed in wake of the dot-bomb. One of my buddies (a kick ass CompSci major)has yet to find gainful employment. We graduated in December. He was resorting to selling vacum cleaners door-to-door to make money. Where is this famed surplus of Tech jobs the media keeps yelling about? What state are they in? Perhaps on another plane of existence?!

*looks back at his writing* Wow, that was some angry noding there. Although I guess that's a natural reaction to the fact that 4 years of college will keep you in debt till you are in your forties. Oh and by-the-way; filing bankruptcy won't touch fed loans, and many big bank student loans are just about as iron-clad. Read before you sign that line... you'll thank yourself for it. If you can't get grants and scholarships... work during school to help alleviate the costs. Do not buy into the professor's views of what it'll be like when you get out. One lamentable professor advised us to "...not accept an offer below $45k. It's not worth your time." Right, I'd love to have the ability to jump back to that point in time and warn all of my classmates and I.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. For at the worst, you are prepared. Now I shall end my rather lengthy node/rant. I apologize if this comes off as bitching. I just hope someone can learn from my mistake, misfortune, whining... whatever you view this as.

relocated here.... thanks, dannye.

So my girlfriend and I broke up a week ago, after two and a half years of pretty much solidly good relationship-ing. It was a really good breakup. At more or less the same time, we realized that although we’d had an incredible relationship, and learned more from each other than from anything or anyone else in our short lives thus far, the relationship was not going any farther. There was simply no way for it to do so. We still love each other very much, and we get along very well still. We’ve even hung out several times since then, casually, as friends. It’s been really good.

Today she told me she was going on a date with another guy tonight. I thought I was going to throw up, right there on her shoes. I truly felt nauseous. I didn’t know that would happen. I’m going on a date with another girl tomorrow night, and have already been on one, two nights ago. This “dating new people” thing been a little awkward, but nice. When I told her about them, she had a very similar reaction. She got pale and watery-eyed. There are some things about relationships that it’s best to find out for yourself, but someone should’ve warned me about this. This is awful.

So I'm on my way to sci tech.

About a mile from the expressway (I'm going down Kika De La Garza road) my tire blows out.
I call my aunt and she comes to get me.
I use the jack in her Durango to pick up my truck. My jack was a piece of shit.

Well I'm changing the tire and it starts to rain.
So I'm like," fuck" ,and hurry up and finish the tire.
I'm soaking wet by the time I'm done. I get into the truck and the window won't roll up. So I'm thinkig "fuck...what else could go wrong."
I ran out of gas a mile down the road. I put it in neutral and made it to the store.
I have no god damn money. I had to bum money off of some hic in the store. Well I'm going down the road and my wipers go out.
So I'm driving with my head out the window every now and then.
WELL, I'm pulling into Sebastian and my fucking muffler falls off.
BAD FUCKING JU JU.
I'm praying that nothing more will go wrong but knowing my luck, something will.

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