They say that a person evolves on Everything2 in certain steps: the first time your node survives (and garners upvotes), your first C!hing, and when you earn new levels are manifestations of this evolution. Another one is when someone makes a nodeshell about you, and then when someone fills it.

Looks like Yurei jumps two Darwinian steps this day...

Yurei means Ghost in Japanese, and it is a very fitting moniker for the gent who introduced me to E2 back in October of 2000. I've known Yurei IRL for many years; actually, he used to work with me back in the daze of my military service. When I first met Yurei, he was another cocky know-it-all, one of dozens I had dealt with when I was working as an instructor, teaching folks how to work on helicopter avionics. Yurei was in the class that started just after I transferred, and his two lead instructors were good friends of mine who lived across the street from me. We got to talk for the first time at a BBQ party my two pals held for their class.

There was something different about Yurei. He seemed to be more intelligent than the average Joe, and he dealt out insults and jibes as fast as anyone could throw at him. We chatted for a bit, and I decided he was a pretty decent guy.

Jumping forward a year or so, I was transferred from a sea-going outfit to the training squadron again because of some heart problems I was having. When I arrived I found some typical schmucks and a couple of folks who ended up being rather exceptional, foremost of which was Yurei.

In the months since I had met him, he had absorbed the technical manuals. He was one of the few folks that actually read things to learn, something I can't even get my own kids to do. In that short time, he had earned his bullshit. When he realized I wasn't the typical shop supervisor, we became good friends.

We would yack for hours on end on various subjects. I passed on everything I could think of concerning the helicopters. He was one of the few folks who I could trust to actually get off his ass and do things, and do it right. One of the toughest things someone can say is when they have to admit that they've been surpassed by someone else, and I must say that this is the case with Yurei.

He was far from perfect though. There were several times I had to intervene to keep bad thingsTM from happening to him, but he grew and learned. He also was sorely lacking in his addiction to computers, which I helped to correct.

After I got out of the US Navy, I found out something about Yurei that I was not aware of - he could write, and write well. I've read several short stories and a novel-length sci-fi book he was working on. A brand-new short story sits in my email in-box this very moment. His journal entries that have been posted here were written in spare moments while serving on board ships of fools. His factuals are very detailed, and it's all original and superbly crafted, IMHO. It may be easy to dismiss my opinion because Yurei is a friend of mine, but I put it to you to at least read a few of his phase maintenance entries before you write off the praise.

Should you ever be out his direction, have him take you to the Living Room for a cuppa coffee and a few hours of intense conversation. Just don't start talking about the nature of light, trust me on this one.

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