Tuesday, November 23, 2004

I hate hardware

The frelling KVM stopped working. I don't know if it's just being stupid or if I did some kind of damage to it on my blackout day. I don't feel like crawling under the desk to muck with it. I was hoping to use this box for OS reviewing and such until I can do something about snowball.

Crap, I'm falling all over the keyboard again. I better get to bed so I can get up around 8am to get my son to school by 9am, I know, I have such a hard life. Anyone who wants to trade for this life just holler. I'd be more than happy for domronmr rldr to rfua wha Olm xivinv,.

Oop! Definitely time to get off. I canlt .........................

Monday, November 22, 2004

Catching up with things

And so another day begins.

First off, I found my iPod. It somehow found it's way between my night stand and some boxes. No clue how it got there.

I mentioned the other day I was trying to switch from Mozilla to Firefox. Well, I switched back. I think it would be easier to move to Firefox if I was starting from scratch. There's just a lot of tweaking I've done to Mozilla to make it run the way I want.

It's time to start looking for a new job. Or at least looking into what I need to do to look for a new job. One thing I know I've got to do is redo my resume. It's pretty caught up as far as working goes but I need to put it into a better format.

Gotta run over to my moms place to look at some paperwork that my ex-employer sent for me to sign. It's their severance package. Probably filled with lots of lawyer-speak.

I've registered the domain name YourLinuxGuru.com. Hopefully I can do something with it. It would be nice to get paid for my Linux expertise.

It's time to plan out my plan. I have to get organized and block off at least a hour a day for "class". I should also block off at least an hour for job hunting. And this week I'll need to block off as much time as I can to straighten up the house to get ready for this weekend.

I guess that's about it for now. Need to jump into the shower and get dressed. At least I did remember to do the laundry last night so I have clean underwear again.

I might be in trouble

I don't know what happened because I can't remember but I think I almost OD'd on sleeping pills Saturday night. All the pills are gone (and I remember having at least 15 left) and I have bruises on my body from falling down somewhere. My cell phone was burred under junk in my bedroom but the last time I had it was in the living room. My iPod is missing and I distinctly remember putting it in the dock to sync it up. Lastly my brother came over Sunday afternoon to check on me and found the front door unlocked and me passed out on my bed. I woke up Sunday at what I thought was 6am but it really was 6pm. And somewhere along the line I smoked a cigar, which I kinda remember. Almost.

The real puzzling thing for me is I don't remember. This worries me a bit. I'll have to try and figure out what might have happened soon because my son will be back with me after school Monday. Can't be going around OD'ing on stuff with him here.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

So far? Interesting.

It seems that being let go hasn't been all that much or a difficulty for me. Sure I'm still worried about the money situation and I'll still need to find a job but my psych is feeling pretty good. I guess I was even more unhappy in my old position than I thought. Maybe this is one of those good turning points in life. Maybe.

I'm trying to switch to firefox again. I've been using mozilla since forever and haven't been disappointed with it really. But the future of the mozilla based browser is firefox so I'd better get used to it. I've already found most of the extensions for it that I use and it looks like it picked up some of the ones installed for mozilla. The Gmail modifier seems to be twiddling it's thumbs and not logging in but that could be for many reasons. Ah, it finally worked. Of course it's not like I get any mail at my Gmail address(es). No one knows them 'cause I haven't passed that info out. If anyone cares the two that I want to keep are joe.klemmer@gmail.com and linux.guru@gmail.com. If anyone out there doesn't already have a Gmail account I got a boat-load of invites I can send out.

Got a call a little while ago from a woman. Remember the dating service I signed up with? She was the current referral. Just got her info today. Normally I've had to be the one to call but she took the initiative and called first. That's fine with me. I think we're going to try and get together tomorrow. Maybe.

Speaking of women, next weekend I'm supposed to cook dinner for my Chinese friend. She and her daughter are going to come over for dinner to my place. I like the idea, especially the cooking as I don't get enough opportunities to do it lately, is a good one except for one thing... This place is really trashed.

[Begin Rod Serling voiceover]
Imagine, if you will, a place where two men, one in his early 40's and one in 2nd grade, live alone in a house. The older man is disabled and the younger a bit spoiled. Think of the possibilities for mess and clutter to set in. No matter how hard you try to get out, the TrashedHouse Zone will pull you back in.
[End Rod Serling voiceover]

Yes, it is that messy, even a little dirty. But it's the clutter that makes the difference. Most of the furniture is burred under magazines and books and paper and games. Even clothes (clean, not dirty, I'm not that bad)! At least I have a week to clean up. And since I'll be home all day that "should" give me enough time to get the place in some semblance of decency. I say "should" because I am a prolific procrastinator. I can not get things done better than just about anyone. But if I don't we won't have any place to sit and eat so it looks like I'll have to clean up no matter what. Maybe.

But back to the whole job thing, I think I'm going to also look into those work from home shills^H^H^H^H^H^H adverts and see if any of them are worth the effort of trying. Can't hurt to look into it, huh? Well, maybe it can so I'd better be careful. I really would like to get back into programming, though. Starting next week I'm going to have to try and setup a schedule where I work on my plan. It's time I made an effort to put a little discipline in my life.

Maybe.

Thunk!

Or maybe Thud? Crash isn't right. Ker-plunk just doesn't do it either. I think that Thunk best describes my life. It's fallen out of control again and I've landed hard on reality.

You know, reality is really overrated. I've been on both sides of the line and while there's may good points about reality there's just as many good points about being stoned out of your mind on hash, for example. It's been a very long time since I had the pleasure of that reality. It's not a reality I'd want to experience these days, having a son and all. Aahh, but there are times when the carefree days of being young (say 19 to 25) are remembered fondly. At least those memories that are still accessible. Quite a bit of it is a blur, for obvious reasons. Now don't get me wrong, I don't want to go back to that time. It had it's own set of daemons I had to wrestle with.

Whoever said the youth is the best time if life was definitely stoned. The hardest and most painful time in life is the teen years followed closely by the early to mid twenties. With all the ups and downs and out-of-control'ness that happened during that time of life it makes it really bad sometimes. Everyone in there 30's and 40's would likely agree that their teen years were hard but they'd love to live them over again. What they mean is they'd love to live them over again with the knowledge and wisdom they have now. Hell, if I could go back and be 13 but keep all the knowledge and experience I have now I'd fucking rule the world!

Anyway, gotta get some sleep. It's not like I've got much to do now but I still need to get someone off to school in the morning.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Well, it's finally happened

I've been terminated from the part-time job I had. It doesn't come as a complete surprise but it's still a bit of a blow. They let me go because of a lack of attendance. I wasn't making it into work because the FM has been quite bad lately. Maybe it's for the best. I've been steadily moving backwards in my technical skills and I guess a change would be a good thing. The problem will be trying to find a job I can do that will allow for telecommuting.

Crap, I need to get my son from school. Gotta jump in the shower.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Not again...

Damn! Fell asleep at the wheel again. I just woke up and I'm sitting in front of the computer. Again. This is like the third or forth (maybe fifth) time it's happened. I go to check email before hitting the bed and then wake up 5 hours later all hunched over the keyboard. My butt hurts and I can't focus my eyes. Between the two-and-a-half hours sleep I got last night and this I'll probably fall out all over the place today at work. Speaking of which...

Now I just remembered why I'm sitting here in the first place. I had another "episode" where I was awake but not. I fell into all the toys and junk and boxes in my bedroom. This time I pretty much woke up so my son didn't have to get up and look after me.

Crap! I did it again. Just blinked through nearly an hour while composing this. I need some frelling HELP!! God damn it there has to be SOMETHING that I can do to get back on track. I'm going to call the therapist in the morning and try to get her to see me again. Somehow.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Why? Simply, why?

There has to be a reason. Doesn't there? I mean, we're not talking about the immaculate reception. Why the pain? Why the debilitating, crushing, grinding pain? Why the weakness and numbness? Isn't the pain enough? Why do all the meds I take impair cognitive abilities? Why is it getting worse? Why can't I get some help? I know that I am my worst enemy in many ways (just ask my mother about my [not] getting a flu shot). I missed two appointments; one with the talker and one with the doctor. The former was really more important than the latter but I can't get a hold of the practitioner to try and reschedule. I think she's decided that I am not worth "treating" and am not in a great need of her services. If that's the case then she'll be in for a surprise when I end up in the emergency room with slits on my wrists.

Speaking of which, in a former post I had pondered about how I would do the deed. This weekend would be a good time for it. He'll be with his mother (at least he is supposed to be with her) so I could just hole up and bleed out. It's supposed to be fairly painless and you just pass out and die. Not an unpleasant thought, really. If the warm water would hold out the wrist slitting in the shower thing does seem the best way. But we're getting into the cold time of year here in the northern hemisphere so the hot water doesn't last that long. It would need to last until I lost consciousness. I really hate taking a cold shower.

I also hate getting into a cold pool. My son has no hesitations. He's a water baby and will not get out of the pool even when his lips and fingers are blue and he's chattering so hard he can hardly talk. He swims like a fish and fears nothing when it comes to water play. Luckily last summer Grandma was able to take the kids to the pool at the country club. The girls are good but he is great. His mother was a great swimmer and $DEITY knows he didn't get my physique, thankfully. He's going to be a great athletes in whatever sport he will play. I think it'll have running as a bases for it, though. Running is his #1 favorites thing to do. Well, that and watching cartoons. Kinda contradictory there, huh?

Hmm... This is an interesting post. I started out with the pain into suicide thing then moved over to my son. And damned if talking about him didn't completely distract me from the black thoughts. It is true. A truth so strong and fundamental as to be gospel... Without him I would have already committed suicide. Definitely. No question. No him? No reason for a me? Why? Because I have no other benefit I can give to society. I cost more than I produce so I run at a loss. No business can run at a loss and survive for long. And the reason for this is the pain and weakness and pain and numbness and pain I have from the FM.

So, we're full circle. Why? Why must I fight against so much pain? Why do I have such a wonderful boy? Why is the desire to end the pain using drastic measures becoming so strong? Why is it that my only hold on life is my son? Why isn't there SOMETHING out there that could help me?

To quote a great man, "This shit is really fucked, man."

Life is seriously unfair

I was home sick today (hopefully I'll still have a job on Tuesday, but that's another story) and got caught watching Maury. Lately it's all lie detector and paternity tests. This one was the latter.

They had three women on who had, all totaled up, tested 25 men for paternity of their children. One woman cheated on her man with 8 different guys so she wasn't sure at all who the father was.

Now, besides the commentary this might make on the moral fiber of our culture, this made me think of one thing... Where do I have to go to meet one of these women who are sleeping with 5, 6, 8 men in the span of a week? It seems that some women and men are getting far more than their share of sex in this world. I can't even buy it. Well, I probably could but it's to much work to do it here. In Germany, where prostitution was legal, I'd just go down to the red light district and get a blowjob or something. But here it's, as I said, to much work.

I hit puberty and from there get sex a couple of times a decade. Hell, I went the last 6 years of my marriage with no sex (except for the two days in February when I was damn near forced into it so that our son could be conceived). Anyone who doubts the female "biological clock" just doesn't know any women in their mid to late 30's who don't have any kids. I mean it even overpowered the sex drive of a lesbian, fer cryin' out loud!

To be perfectly honest, I'm not looking for a sex kitten. I doubt that I could do more than once every couple of weeks. What I am looking for is someone to be with. Heart, mind & soul. To take care of and to be taken care of. To hold and to be held by. To talk to and to listen to. I want someone to be with, and all that that implies. Young people today don't appreciate the value of the kiss. Just necking, that's what our parents called it. Making out.

You can be sure that I was completely felled when I heard that making out to the current crop of young people meant everything excluding vaginal intercourse. Everything up to, and including, oral sex isn't considered as sex. Kids go hangout with their friends, get some burgers, engage in some fellatio, see a movie and go home. Some might say that I am just jealous because this wasn't the way when I was young. Damn straight, bubba! But also I see it as one who just turned 42 and cares for a son who is soon to be 8. There are 8 year olds having sex these days. You think it's mostly in the urban areas but it's all over. I'd rather he not learn this lesson for about 8 to 10 more years.

Anyway, life is unfair. When I was 8 we weren't having sex (for the most part). When I was 18 I wasn't having much sex because I was a desperate and horny dork. Nothing like a dork who's desperately needing to get laid to make a girl turn away. When I got in my 20's I got more than I thought I did at the time. In my 30's I was married and maybe got sex, of any kind, about 8 or 10 times IN THE DECADE! I'm now in my 40's and a cripple. If I could perform a good bout of mish it'd be a miracle. That or I'd be dead right after. I don't know where this rekindling (of something that I'm not sure is there) with the very nice Chinese lady will go anywhere, but I hope that there's some happiness, for both of us, no matter where it takes us.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Damn! I missed the Kyushu cutoff

I've mentioned before that I partake in online Sumo games (kind of like Fantasy Football). I've been playing about a year but this is the first time I missed the deadline for the games. More specifically the one game I really prefer, Totoro's Sumo Hoshitori Game. Due to this I will end up falling in rank quite a bit. See, if you can't make a Basho you have to register yourself as kyujo, which the sumo glossary defines as -
kyujo, injury; injured rikishi forced either to skip a whole honbasho (zen-kyu) or retire from a honbasho due to an injury sustained during it (tochu-kyujo), see kosho seido, yasumi
Something I hadn't done. So now I'm looking at a free fall in the ranks. It's just as well, I guess. I've had less and less time to devote to things lately. I'm, like, 275 messages behind in the sumo list. And it's not what you'd call a high traffic list.

I'll just have to make a big run in 2005.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

You load 16 tons, whadaya get...

Another birthday gone by. I'm 42 years old, as of the 12th. It still amazes me that I am this old. When I was in my mid-20's I didn't think I'd make it much past 30. OC, with the physical condition I'm in it's not exactly like I'm living in the tall cotton. This thing manifested itself in my early to mid 30's so maybe I was kinda right after all. Still I don't feel middle aged. Not in my soul. I feel crushed by life and pain but not age. My father was like that about age. It didn't seem to make a difference to him what the calendar said. He was as sharp and fun and intelligent and funny as ever (until he got sick). Man I still miss him.

We spent a weekend over at my brothers house. Kind of a sleep over with Grandma, really. I slept in her bed while my son slept on the couch (it's a really good and comfortable couch) while she slept in the recliner chair (she likes sleeping there). I got to get a mattress like she has. It was the best sleep I've had in a long time.

I have to say something about my son. He's really a wonderful kid. A few nights ago I had a really bad time and was hallucinating. He came in and took care of me, made sure I didn't walk into to many things (I know I walked into a wall and maybe some other furniture) and helped me to the bathroom and back to bed. I was not responding right and he knew it so he called my mother and she and my brothers came and got us. I really don't remember much of anything from that night but do I know that my son is on the job so I don't have to worry about that. Wish I knew what the heck happened, though.

What else... There's a lot of crap going on but I can't think of anything specific off-hand. The Steelers won. That's good. Go Black 'n' Gold!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Strange sleeping habits

For the last 5 or 6 days I have been experiencing some very strange sleeping situations. I get my son to bed between 2130 and 2230, depending on how cooperative he is and how much pain I have. Once he's asleep I come into the computer room to catch up on mail and other stuff. The very next instant I'm waking up in front of the computer and it's 0330! It seems that I am passing out in the chair and sleeping for 4 or 5 hours. Last night I knocked my glasses off during this sleeping time and it took a while to find them, especially since I can't see at all without them. Oh, and the funniest thing about last night was that I had been in the middle of typing something and, when I fell out, I seem to have left my hand in such a position that I typed 5 pages of the letter "z". Now that's funny. I even snore when I'm online.

Speaking of vision problems, my son needs glasses. It has become very clear that he is near sighted. I'm way overdue for my eye exam checkup so I'm going to plan for us to go together and get new vision some day soon (where soon <= 12 months). This should help him in school, too.

Ok, I have a bunch of things to get done tomorrow (today) so I'm going to try and catch a few more z's but in my own bed this time. I'm starting to fade out here again already.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Feel... Like... $hit...

$DEITY I am way to old for this all night stuff. I just got up from a quick hour of napping. But the reason I got up is because the bank was calling me and wants me to pay the past due amount on my CC. I got like $100 in my checking account and need to pay over $600 to bring the CC to under it's limit. Between that and the bills I'm juggling it's gonna be a fun few weeks/months.

My ex is dropping my son off this evening. I'm happy for having more time with him but I wish she'd have worked out her schedule a bit better this weekend. I could use another many hours of sleep to try and get my body back in rhythm.

The rest of my family is going out to this local sports bar for the Pittsburgh Steelers game. I'd love to go but I need to get laundry done and dishes washed. I'm on my third load of the former and have been putting off the latter pretty well so far.

I'd better go take my meds now. I'm about an hour overdue. This whole pain thing is really getting old. And now, since I missed the first scheduled appointment of babble-help. Now I'll bet that the babble helper will think I'm just a fruit with no real problems. Wouldn't be surprised if that happened. No one ever takes the time to get past my shell. Granted I don't make it easy for anyone to, but still...

Sometimes it sucks to be me.

A night to remember

Well, not really. Especially since I have the memory of a gnat. But it was still a good night.

I had another date with my Chinese lady friend. We'd talked about going to this restaurant down by where I live. It's supposed to be very good. I was going to drive up and get her then drive back down. Once I got there her daughter wasn't home yet from the library. If you ask me that girl studies to much. But then again, this coming from a Collage drop-out. Anyway, we wait for her daughter who was supposed to be home in about an hour. That worked out 'cause my lady friend had been painting outside so this gave her some time to get ready. I just watched some Steven Seagal movie that was on TV. Under Siege 2: Dark Territory I believe it was. So she gets ready and we spend some time chatting waiting for her daughter. The girl finally comes in about a half-hour late. This isn't surprising nor is it worrisome. What else would you expect a 16 year old girl to do? Now, the daughter and I get along pretty well so we spent some time talking then all three of us were talking and before we knew it the time was 1900. So we started thinking about dinner. My lady friend said that it didn't make sense to drive all the way back down just to eat so we decided to go somewhere around there. I said that, if she wanted to come, her daughter was welcome to join us. At first the girl was all about "No, I need to study" but we convinced her to come along. We went to this Lebanese place and had some very good food. I ate to much, that's for sure. The daughter tried the non-alcoholic version of Becks beer and we all shared a giant piece of cheese cake. It was chocolate brownie cheese cake. Then we went back to her place and talked a bit before her daughter went to her room to study. While my lady friend graded some homework (she does some teaching) we put on a movie. I fell out sawing some serious logs for half the movie. Got to see the beginning and end. After I woke up we talked for a few more hours which I barely remember because I was 85% asleep. However I was able to get home ok. I left her place about 0130 but when I got home I couldn't sleep. I felt exhausted but just couldn't sleep. So I watched some movies and TV shows I "TiVo'ed" and then went about catching up on some email and junk. Which leaves me here. I hope I can at least take a nap a bit later today. Still, it was very nice and comfortable being with her and her daughter.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Programming Paradigms

Just ran across this today...
Using Design by Contract in C by Charlie Mills -- Design by Contract is a programming approach that formalizes the interface between callers and callees, leading to more robust and disciplined code. If your language lacks formal support for DBC, though, are you stuck? No--Charles Mills describes the design and implementation of Design by Contract for the C programming language.
Design by Contract is a really great way to develop applications. It was first put forward in 1988 with the book Object-Oriented Software Construction by Dr. Bertrand Meyer (2nd edition published in 1997). This book was the impetus for the development of one of the best OO languages that exists, Eiffel. What is interesting about the article by Mr. Miller is that not only has he described a way of developing C programs under the DBC methodology, it's also that C is capable of using this mythology without becoming so convoluted and complex that the code is unmanageable and unmaintainable. It won't be a elegant as an Eiffel program but it will be something you can easily include in your systems development or any large project.

Ok, call me a geek but I think this stuff is fascinating. I am wanting to get back into programming so learning C and also DBC will be a Very Good Thing™. In another life I was a professional programmer. Between 1989 and 1995 I was a mainframe COBOL programmer (developing under MVS, for those who might know these kinds of things). I'm not going to go into my "Why COBOL doesn't suck" rant right now but suffice to say that it was a good and fun time. Then I accidentally became a UNIX sysadmin and web developer overnight and haven't had the chance to do any major development since. Oh, I do get to hack stuff here and there, mostly using bash, perl and php. But it's not the same as developing something that can be more than just a minor little tool or one-off. So I have decided to try and get back into being a "real" programmer.

The plan is to teach myself using some of the better books and web resources. So far I have worked out a program like this -
  1. (Re)learn basic programming fundamentals using the book Programming From The Ground Up by Jonathan Bartlett
  2. (Re(re))learn C using the book C Programming for the Absolute Beginner by Michael Vine
  3. Build on that with more advanced C using Linux Programming by Example by Arnold Robbins
  4. Finally, GUI programming with GTK+ Programming in C by Syd Logan
I also have the books User Interface Design for Programmers by Joel Spolsky and C Nitty-Gritty by Klaus Schröder as well as K&R 2e and a plethora of other books to draw on for information and help as needed. The only difficulty I have is that it's hard to do anything with a 7yo around. If I can get 15 minutes without hearing "DAAAAAAAAAD! Come here!" it'd a miracle.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Geek voting

Geek voting
Geek voting,
originally uploaded by x-nc.
I was wearing my Red Hat Official Mirror t-shirt when I voted. No one knew what the heck it meant but I figured I'd show a little spirit for the community.

Image hosting compliments of flickr.com.

I Voted

That's what the sticker on my shirt says. And I honestly didn't know who I'd vote for until that last second before I pulled the lever. It doesn't really matter, though. This election is going to be far worse than 2000 with the litigation and accusations and recounts. It's possible that we will not know who won the election until after Inauguration Day. This whole system is breaking down. We need a new way to run this country. Unfortunately there's no way to fix it short of revolution. I definitely don't want that extreme of a "solution." We should get rid of the electoral Collage at least. It served it's purpose once but that was a long time ago. Also, it would be good to withhold results of all the states votes until after every state in the union has closed their polls. These two things would help make for a better election process and also would be more accurate WRT who wins and who loses. Oh well... It's not gonna happen. There's way to much money involved in the current governmental process. None of the elected members of our government would want things to change.

The rest of the day was a total bust. I couldn't make it into work so there's another day or doom on my chart. [Side comment: The only reason I was able to vote is because the school is right behind my house. I was able to drag myself there and back but that's about all I'm good for today.] My mail server went down this morning. It's funny how much we rely on email these days. I feel like there's a big hole in my day. The server is my own so I know what the likely causes are. The only problem is that it's co-located in another state. Not with one of those big name companies but with a friend of mine. He's got a little business and he's been letting me ride his pipe for free. I just need to make sure that my mirrors don't suck up all the bandwidth. Got to throttle ftp quite seriously. I've been trying to get a pipe to where I'm living for over two years now but I can't get a decent line that works. Verizon(sucks!) is the only game in town as they have not let any other provider, like Covad, put equipment in their CO. I tried a Verizon DSL link twice. The first time it never worked at all. The second time it worked for a couple of months then went whack-o again. I was paying ~$100/month for 1.5M/128K and it was broken. Speakeasy(yea!) has a line that's, and I'm not exaggerating, 6M/768K for $115/month. Speakeasy uses Covad. Therefore I'm s-k-rude. Verizon has just started rolling out fiber pipes to end users. They are claiming 6M/2M lines. That's ungodly big and would be wonderful to get but who knows when (or if) it will be available in my area. I think they've done a test run in TX and the word is that some of the cities up north of me have it available. We'll just have to wait and see.

I only thought of killing myself once today. Doing the car wreck thing, you know, but that's to unpredictable and really messy. I'd have to drive off a cliff or something for it to really be viable but there's no cliffs around here. I must say that the thoughts of suicide are getting fewer and smaller lately. Maybe because I'm deluding myself into thinking that the nice Chinese lady (have I mentioned her?) might actually be interested in pursuing a relationship. Maybe it's the Wellbutrin. Who knows? I don't.

I guess that's about it. My son is with my mom and my nieces today (no school due to elections) so I should take some time to rest before he comes back home. I should watch some of the TV shows I've recorded. The last new episode of Star Trek: Enterprise would work. I doubt I'd have enough time to watch the Farscape mini-mini-series. One hour vs four hours and all...