It's been so long my friends and children, I am given to excess tonight, and so I speak to you about it -- this and that. Those things that do not matter, much.

Much is, or rather, was the point. Much knowledge, culled and flinted from this fine abottoir of information that we call here.

Random softlinks and hardly heard hardlinks combining to create a breadth of knowledge deep and wide, yet the database suffered and we waxed slowly upon qualities and quality I lack.

For pleasure and knowledge so freely gained cannot lack a price. The paring of knowledge cannot give joy. Peeling away at the depth leaves us shallow.

It is through information that I seek freedom. And restrictions are pain. My exile continues.

I love you all.


Catharsis, today. Rain, tomorrow. Bright auroras in the skies at five pee em.

Sometimes, the clicks of a keyboard are my catharsis; they are my punching bags, my passions, my feathered pillows and my bruised knuckles. I type, and things burst out by themselves from the tips of my fingers, like inspector gadget, I think, meters and miles of ribbony strands, stretching out.

Something comes out and I look away but my fingers are still crawling and scuttling on the keyboard like stationary crabs. I stare and they stop, deer in headlights, then I sag my head and they start up again with the hum of a familiar motor, churning and grinding. Someone walks in behind me and taps me on the shoulder. I look back, hoping. No, only Andy. Someone calls me and pulls my attention to blinking red light. I lift it up, wondering. No, only Q, or John or Clara or Colin.

Someone picks up a fallen leaf, from afar, and I squint, hoping. This time I'm not sure. I pick one up myself, and it's like a hand, five outstretched fingers, the yellow coming from within, the green pushed to the brink of desperation at the edges. Exploding, I think, and she nods and takes it from me. I take it back. She snatches it again, laughing, and we end up in a scuffle, both of us conscious somewhere in the back of our minds of the deliberate physical contact we are trying to make. Silence descends suddenly and we jump apart and look at each other, the leaf fluttering down quietly between us.

You have sweat on your nose, after one month and four weeks of staring. I am reminded of when I fell, staring at a picture of her with the hazy sun behind and lazy wisps of hair floating around like a halo, not smiling, squinting at the camera, omniscient multicolored multifaceted laugh-out-loud like-to-talk love-to-listen, shearing holes in the sky, piercing through the eclectic sources that I had maintaining my temporary freedom from. Attachment from. To whirl it around myself was good, but to feel someone else touch and feel it was even better.

These things come across as being obvious. A spectator above, I see all but never see anything else. I should, could, but doubts play in my mind like shadows of leaves on quiet sunday mornings, on grass and asphalt and uncombed hair. Hair-thin strands of possibilities dance around, and my thoughts chase themselves around and around until everything combusts spontaneously like a cartoon scuffle, rolling around like a hairball of condensed fury. Just add water and it pops up and makes you mad. They wear each other out, and both thoughts are exhausted and I am left with myself only, wondering where to go. Yes or no? Words need more working. Sometimes the words come out haltingly, tripping over obstacles on the way and I can't say what I want to say.

Sometimes, though, the sky opens up with a cerulean blue and a bright orange, terrible things, wonderful things and thoughts get communicated like cucumbers. Her picture of a cucumber flits over my mind, and I keep wondering how brush strokes and a single image can be so humorous. I imagine her hands like closed mouths; quiet, but smiling and laughing silently, shaking in inaudible mirth with pearly tears tumbling down, and down.


I cut my hair last night and boy does it look it.
I usually do a fair job of it but I was in a hurry.
Cutting my own hair is something I've always wanted to do.
Did you ever have a panic attack in a barber chair?
Sorry I mentioned it but that was my primary motivation.
I bought the clippers last spring.

I was up in the garret when I heard the doorbell. A Trick or Treat customer. I bounded down the stairs. Before I was down to the first floor they were pounding.
"Okay, Okay, I'm coming," I muttered.

We had the front porch light on, even though it was Saturday afternoon. My wife had a plastic "light up" orange pumpkin on the railing. There was no doubt we were open for business.

I was the only one home and took the opportunity to get some papers and files in order. I had everything spread out on the living room floor so I could see it all for quick access. We don't get many Halloweeners so I wanted to stay close to the door. Our record is 13.

Trick or Treating in Oil City has been a daylight activity since the abduction and murder of an eleven year old girl ten years ago. The killer was never caught. So ever since they've had it during the day, which happened to be November 1, 2003. Most of the other communities in our area had their's on Friday night. My son and his friends did well. They attended both sessions.

So, an hour into the daylight activity, we had our first kid. It was my neighbor's granddaughter (that counts). She would be the only one this year. So I'll be taking some candy to work.

I was very tired when I went to work today. I went out to my truck at lunch to do some uninterrupted reading but I started dozing off in the unseasonably warm weather we are having in western Pennsylvania. I put the magazine down (November 2003 Wired with Linus Torvalds on the cover) and put my head back and commenced to taking a series of micronaps. I would doze for 15 seconds to a couple of minutes. Dreams fading in and out and mixing with various states of consciousness. I had hoped not to go completely under.

Earlier this summer I fell asleep in the truck at lunchtime. I went into a deep undisturbed slumber. I woke up an hour later. I wasn't sure where I was or even what day it was. When I looked at my watch It was 1:00 p.m. on the nose. I stumbled into work feeling like I'd been drugged. It took me ten more minutes to completely wake up. That's what happens when you stay up late online and don't get to bed at a decent hour. But I wouldn't trade this for anything in the world, right now, maybe.

My son and his friends each ended up with about five pounds of candy. A couple of them stayed over and after church on Sunday we fixed them French Toast and bacon. While they were waiting they put the TV on to watch the rest of Dumb and Dumber. They had all gone into a sugar coma the night before and only saw the first half. Soon we could hear the rustle of candy wrappers.
"Hey Guys, why don't you hold up on the candy until after breakfast."
"Uh, okay." they said.

Halloween is history, until next year.
So is October, I told my wife, which only saddened her since October is her favorite month.
"...until next year."

The first Tuesday in November has become a bad anniversary for me. Last Melbourne Cup Day I ended up in hospital, it was self-inflicted. I was very nervous this year.

Things are even worse, at least, that's how it felt at the beginning of the day.

I had a test that I passed - although I expected to do very badly in it. I was in self-destruct mode for the last few weeks.

I have been thinking: what did I do last Melbourne Cup? I don't remember it very well. Oh that's right, I put myself in hospital. Hmm, what about the Melbourne Cup before that? Oh, that's right, I ran a sweep at my dream job that I didn't get.

Running a sweep really sucks. That's when you realise it's like a lottery run amongst your work colleagues. And everyone is a greedy bastard. I could have gone in a sweep this year, but I chose not to. It did not feel "unAustralian", although it usually appears that way.

Is it right that a horse race should stop a nation? Do we gamble too much in Australia? 21% of all the poker machines in the world are in New South Wales. CEO's of registered clubs go to Las Vegas to see how they run their poker machines - Casino bosses in Las Vegas should be coming to New South Wales for experience in running poker machines. It is debilitating.

Chicken, champagne and hats. That's the attraction of the Melbourne Cup. I'm not convinced that the festivities are an excuse to encourage the gambling addictions that cause problems for so many Australians.

I missed the Melbourne Cup, two years in a row now. And this time, I feel good.

I woke up this morning feeling really tired. I slept early (10 p.m.) and woke up at about 5:30 in the morning. All night I was dreaming about ice skates and gliding through the vastness of the largest mall in our country. There were celebrities and people of every kind, each telling their own different tales through the look in their lurid eyes. I don't have any idea of what's going on but one thing is for sure, that we are chasing for something beyond my erudition.

I did my morning rituals then I drove from home to the place where they train me to be one of the so-called professionals of tomorrow; one that our fleeceable national hero addresses to be "hope of the nation". How I wish he lived long enough to see the evolutiuon of the youth for the past 105 years since his death. Hell, I myself had the share of the putrid life that he once belong.

Oh well, that does it. I'm sleepy.

Mozilla is seriously starting to piss me off.

It has such potential to be awesome, but it falls short in so many little irritating ways that it's difficult to "stay in love" with it.

In this rant, I am referring to this build and version of Mozilla Firebird: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.5a) Gecko/20031010 Mozilla Firebird/0.6.1

  • It crashes all the damned time. -- Okay, not incredibly often, but at least once a day. It crashes when I have a bunch of tabs open, and it never remembers what tabs were open or what URLs they pointed to when it starts up again. And the tabbed browser extension is supposed to fix that, but doesn't. The crashes are usually random, in that specific URLs crash it, but which URLs will crash the browser changes on a day-to-day basis.
  • It's dog slow. - Yes, I know it's a much faster engine these days, but it's lagging way behind some other browsers. One of them is our friend Internet Explorer, but Opera, Links, w3m, Dillo, etc., also load pages faster. IE always loads pages faster, and for months I thought was just slow until I used it a bit in Links. Then I realized "oh, Mozilla's just slow." Loading any page takes a minimum of five seconds. Anything more complex than a plain HTML page with no tables or frames takes exponentially longer. I work daily on a project with complex layouts (not by choice; I'd have gone with lighter-weight HTML) and each page load can take upwards of twenty seconds. This is on a notebook with a 1GHz CPU and 256MB of memory. Nothing else running, Linux 2.6.x underneath it (2.4.x was the same way). I shouldn't grow gray hairs waiting for pages to load. I hate to compare like this, but if IE can render a complex page in under one second, surely the technologically "better" browser on a superior platform should render it faster still, yes?
  • It professes its standards compliance, but fails spectacularly when faced with non-compliant HTML. - It doesn't just render the page wrong, or anything else management; it fails in the most unusual way possible, going so far as to render the page unusable. My favorite is when a submit button is accidentally nested inside an anchor tag, as in <A NAME="foo" > My spiffy form! <INPUT TYPE="submit" NAME="submit" VALUE="you can't click me in Mozilla!" /></A> ... I am not a standards guru and do not know the "official" position on what should happen in this case, but c'mon -- it's "syntactically" valid even from an XML perspective, and certainly no illegal nesting is happening here. So, while every other browser treats the submit button as normal, Mozilla won't let you submit the form with that submit button. That makes things a real pain in the ass. Even does this sometimes, making it impossible for me to reply to private messages when Mozilla spots this construct and gets a burr up its ass about it.
  • It's a memory hog. - Even Mozilla Firebird chews through memory like a baseball player chews through tobacco. I don't expect it to stay really small ... well, yeah, actually I do ... but it's sure not doing that now. I have two tabs open. Firebird has a virtual memory size of 136 megabytes according to top. It has 47 megabytes resident in memory. Um ... these are not complicated pages. Closing one of the tabs just now caused no change in the virtual image size, but increased (!) the resident size by seven megabytes. This notebook already has a limited amount of memory, and Mozilla isn't helping matters when it grows to the size of a gorilla.

The sad part is it's still the best browser for Linux. Galeon is built from Mozilla's guts just like Firebird is, so you're just trading one set of quirks for another, built on top of the same engine that renders slowly and chews up lots of memory.

The alternatives out there just don't do what Mozilla does right ... tabbed browsing, HTTPS support, graphical mode (text-based browsers are great but I find reading proportionally spaced fonts much easier), JavaScript support (as much as I hate JS, work requires it), antialiased fonts, the DOM Inspector, the plugins (adblock, googlebar), etc. I could deal with the memory hogging if it were faster, didn't crash, and handled dumb HTML mistakes with a bit more grace ... but right now it's just a big fat mess.

End rant mode.

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