Monday, December 26, 2005

Update long overdue

Someone remind me to do an update on life in the near future. There's some very good things that have been happening which I should post.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas, more or less

Christmas has always been a time of happiness and fun for me. The only exception being the song "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." However, things haven't been completely happy and fun for a few years.

When my father get sick is was difficult. But it was on December 26th, 1999 when he was put into the hospital for the last time. We were down spending Christmas with my ex's as this was their year (plus her father had just passed away two months earlier after a 20+ year battle with Parkinson's). Anyone who's married knows the whole alternating holidays schedule thing. What we'd planned on was to open the presents when we got back home. Now with him in the hospital we just planed on opening them when he was back home. Well, that never happened. Early morning on February 2nd, 2000 my father passed away. It was a month and a half from Christmas but I still link the two events in my mind.

So Christmas is now a little bittersweet for me.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

We are all ...

I have been subscribed to the Doctor Dictionary "Word of the Day" for a little while now. Most of the time I get words I already know but occasionally I get one that's completely new (which is really exciting) or one that is fun with potential realworld usefulness. Todays word is digerati. Pass it on to everyone.

digerati \dij-uh-RAH-tee\, plural noun:
Persons knowledgeable about computers and technology.

As high tech spreads outward from Silicon Valley to
American society at large and people spend more and more
time in cyberspace, the journalist Paulina Borsook steps
back to look at the digerati and their view of the world.
--Michiko Kakutani, "Silicon Valley Views the Economy as a
Rain Forest," [1]New York Times, July 25, 2000

[T]his week, over 3,000 digerati will converge at a swank
theater where chef Julia Child and pundit Arianna
Huffington, among others, will judge 135 Web sites.
--David Whitman, "The calm before the storms," [2]U.S.News
& World Report, May 15, 2000

Digerati was formed by analogy with literati, "persons
knowledgeable about literature."

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Comments on the Chinese GP (Finally!!!)

It only took, what, two months.

The race wasn't bad but was hampered by being only one week from the insane, fantastic, unreal Japanese GP. Compared to it, this one was boring. It wasn't completely boring, though. The day started off with an ominous sign. During the initial "get on the track" laps Minardi's Christijan "No, I really am an F1 driver" Albers ran over Michael "Is the season finished yet?" Schumacher's Ferrari. Both drivers had to scramble for their backup cars. This wouldn't really have effected the outcome of the race, though, so it just ended up an interesting footnote. The only thing that had any meaning for this race was the outcome of the Constructors Championship. Renault was leading McLaren by 2 points going in. And while the team kept downplaying the championship as immaterial, they brought in a specially built engine just for this race.

The race started with an all Renault front as Fernando "I'm so happy" Alonso and Giancarlo "Why I can not win?" Fisichella lined up P1 & P2. Right behind them was the winningest loser of the season, Kimi "Mumble" Räikkönen, who put his McLaren-Mercedes in P3. His teammate JP "It's never my fault" Montoya was in P5 just behind Jenson "The Invisible man" Button's BAR-Honda. The only other thing of note was Takuma "The one point wonder" Sato tucking his BAR-Honda in P17. Taku had a miserable season. With all the promise of 2004 he just was such a non-entity this year it's questionable whether he'll have a ride for 2006.

So anyway, on to the race. The start sees Alonzo blast out in front while Fisi blocked everyone else. Kimi was pushing hard but couldn't make it around the Italian. JP was able to pass Jenson to take up 4th. This seemed to be a fitting order as the only two teams with anything to gain looked like they would be battling it out. It didn't quite happen that way, though. Actually the first move of any consequence, other than Alonzo whipping out a 15s lead, was that the first one out of the race was Michael. On lap 22 he just spun his Ferrari into the gravel. It was a disappointing, yet fitting, end to the season.

Then just 2 laps later JP runs over a drainage cover and trashes his ride. This pretty much sealed the Championship for Renault. But it wouldn't be a walk, it seemed. The Safety Car was brought out so that the track workers could fix the big hole that JP left behind. Thus Alonzo's lead was brought back to nothing. But when the SC came off it was as if the slowdown never occurred. Fernando blasted out to a double digit lead again. Then it was deja-vou all over again.

Narain "I am wondering" Karthikeyan decided he didn't like his Jordan-Toyota today so he splashed it all over the guard wall and across the track. It was a bit disturbing, though, as the Jordan just seemed to disintegrate throwing parts of the car off that shouldn't have come lose at all (the nose cone, tires, suspension). This brought out the SC again and once again Fernando's lead got all sucked up. After the track was cleaned and the race restarted it was deja-vou all over again again as he launched into another >15s lead. From there is was Good Night Irene as the Spaniard never lost the lead for the rest of the race. Kimi was able to jump over Fisi into 2nd and some really good driving from Ralf "Damn-it, my name is not The Other" Schumacher got him from P9 to 3rd. Fisi dropped into 4th and there they would all stay to the finish.

One good bit of work that went virtually unnoticed was Christian "Mister" Klien bringing his Red Bull from P14 to 5th. Other notables were Rubens "I think I'm better than Michael" Barrichello languishing back in 12th, Jarno "What? There's more than 2 gears" Trulli starting P12 and ending up 15th, Felipe "I'm a Ferrari driver!" Massa going from P11 to 6th and the complete suckage of Taku who ended up out of the race on lap 34.

So that's how it all ended. The season could be summed up by what Fernando was sining as he crossed the finish line...

"We are the Champions"

See everyone in 2006!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Sino-American Relations

Speaking of China, it seems an official and final ruling has come down from on high. Ok, not "from on high" but more like eased in when nobody was looking. The simple fact of the matter is that I don't make enough money for her to invest time in a relationship with me. Now, it's not as cold blooded mercenary bitch as it seems. See, she's going through some very bad times. I've already helped her through one crisis but now she's dealing with something that is not only financially crippling but emotionally crippling as well. This has clouded her mind so much that she can't even see first base. I offered to help her, just as I did with her previous problem, but she can't see any way for anyone to help outside of financial. She's always said "Actions speak louder than words." Well, her actions have never been very communicative (with one exception) yet it is always I who must prove myself every day. For her, talk is just air and has no meaning or value. I'm thinking a whole host of psychotherapists would have something to say abut that. My belief is that actions are the end result of words. Without the words (i.e. Communication) there can be no actions. This became an impasse so...

I R officially Single again.

I gotta tell you, though, I think this was my last chance; the last glimmer of possibility. From this point on I don't think I'll ever get a girlfriend. Ever.

Which sucks royally.

Free Tibet?

This morning I was watching CCTV, which is Chinese news broadcast in English on the MHz Network. Besides looking at the beautiful Chinese woman reporting the news, I get a very good idea at what is happening in the world from a PRC point of view. This can often be quite interesting as what news is reported can oft' times differ in varying degrees from that reported by the rest of the worlds news centers.

There was a piece on a meeting between Chinese president Hu Jintao and the 11th Pauchan Erdeni Quigyi Gyeibo of Tibet, who is 14 years old. I missed the beginning of it so I don't know what the context of the meeting was but I did get to hear a fair portion of President Hu's comments. Seems that the religious, cultural, technological & social insights that the 11th Pauchan have are treasured by China and fit right in with the grand scheme of the Communist Party (PRC). President Hu said many, many times in his speech that he hopes the Pauchan will follow the precedent set by the 10th Pauchan and embrace the "patriotic" ways of the PRC. The multi-cultural world of China is brought together by the great benevolence of the PRC and Tibet is a valued part of that. The work that the Pauchan can do to being religious and cultural teachings to The People is applauded by the PRC and the PRC will help in this dissemination of understanding and piece.

Blah, blah, blah...

There are times when the BS meter gets pegged so hard the whole thing breaks. This is one such time. You don't have to know anything about Tibet or Buddhism or even Chinese culture to know that 99% of Mr. Hu's speech was full or crap. The PRC wants the open and honest sharing of religion and culture as much as it wants a free Internet. That don't call it the "Great Firewall of China" for nothing.

Watching this did bring a few things to mind, though. It's been forever since I really visited the Thai Buddhist Temple. Once in what much be three years now. I know that my friend there, Phra Aroon, is now in California doing great things which leave no one there who will know me. Still, there was no one who knew me the first time I went and met Phra Aroon and Phra Wichian. If only the temple wasn't so far away. Maybe after he holidays I'll try and hit it at least once a month. We'll see.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

[clubsack] banned Xbox 360 ad

-------- Forwarded Message --------
From: Stephen <...@...>
To: clubsacc
Subject: [clubsack] banned Xbox 360 ad
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 14:34:35 -0500

Friday, November 25, 2005


I'm feeling better. Don't call out the army.

If I remember to I'll post what happened at the doctor (and afterwords) tomorrow.

And for those who don't know what the title is referring to just go to this link on the IMDB and search for "defcon".

Very, very bad

Today is not a good day. Nothing particularly bad has happened (other than a pathetic performance in the Fantasy Sumo Game I play) and I don't foresee anything bad coming up. The problem is that I just don't want to do anything today. And I mean anything. I'm here typing this to keep from curling up in a ball in the closet. I don't know what happened or why I'm feeling this but I haven't felt this depressed since I sent myself to the psychologist last year. If I were alone in this world I would be seriously thinking about calling it a day. Thankfully I am not alone in that my son is my anchor. He should be back tomorrow evening. I hope I can last that long.

Damn! This is really bothering me. I have never thought of, the phrase used by the medical people is, "Hurting Myself or Others" before. The closest I had come was thinking about thinking about it (if you know what I mean). But today... I don't know. I don't understand.

I'm seeing a Neurologist at 1500 EST today. Maybe I'll be feeling better by then.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Micro Heart Attacks - What Are They?

Or more importantly, do they exist.

For months now I have been having chest pain. It usually comes as a sharp pain in the heart area but doesn't last for more than a second or two. The problem I have is that with all the other medical things going on I'm a little worried that they maybe masking something. The only symptom I have that isn't something I've already had for over 12 years now is extreme shortness of breath. I was never in good shape, well not recently anyway, but i could get out of bed and stand up without losing breath and needed a few minutes just to catch my breath. The only reason this bothers me is that a guy I used to work with had strange and very sudden extreme shortness of breath and they had him under the knife right away. It was a good thing, too, as he was a massive heart attack waiting to happen. That's all I'd need is a heart attack. My life sucks enough but I'll be damned if I'm ready to put this kind of burden on my son. Losing a parent is traumatic no matter the age of the parent & child. But it's harder on little kids and teens. There's so much I want to see and do with him. If things don't get better I'll call the doctor on Friday.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

It's been a while...

Not the Stained song, though. I have been pretty bad at keeping this blog updated. Lots of stuff has been going on. Nothing extreme but stuff I should put up. Maybe it's the blues. The anti-psychotic... uh, I mean anti-depressants aren't helping to much. Maybe tonight I'll post a "oh poor Joe has it bad" entry. Or not.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

This'll be fun

Somehow I got talked into running for PTA president at my sons school. Since the rest of the world has a little common sense, no one ran against me so I won. I don't know if I have the right temperament to do this kind of task but more important is the question of whether I will have the resources, both physically and mentally, to do the job. We'll see how it goes but I smell a faint whiff of smoke that could be preceding a real crash-n-burn on this one. The first PTA meeting is tonight.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Spinnin' my wheels

I'm going in circles.

Every day I do nothing and every day nothing does me.

Tomorrow (the 12th) I turn 43. That makes me, well, middle-aged I guess. I'm not old but I'm definitely not young. When I came to this country I was 25 years old. I was also about 75 pounds lighter but that's beside the point. At 25 you think you're an adult and ready for the world. And you are, to some extent. But you aren't ready for the world to just blaze past you like Kimi in his McLaren-Mercedes. Half of my 20's and all of my 30's are gone. Where? Hell, I don't have a clue.

When I came here I didn't have a job or friends or anything outside of my family. Today, I am in almost the same boat. Except that now I have a passenger in the form of a soon-to-be 9 year old son. Oh I have friends now. Or, more accurately, I have drifted through some friendships over the years. But it seems that once the direct contact is lost they fade away into the past. Glen. Bruce. Erik (but only a little bit). Now John and Rick will likely be added to the list. And there's more names, I just can't remember anything because I am extremely tired. I should have been asleep almost 4 hours ago. I can hardly see the monitor my eyes are so tired.

To top it all off my body has given out on me. At this point I'm fairly sure than some of the mess I'm in is due to the abuse I put it through when I was young and indestructible. But I'm not Captain Scarlet. None of us are. So not there's all kinds of shit broken or damaged that could have been prevented. But that's water under the bridge. The best I can do is to help my son to not do the same things I did. Or at least lead a slightly healthier lifestyle than I did. So far I'm not doing all that good a job.

Got a new furness today. Or is it a heat pump. I don't know. All I know is that about two weeks ago the heat stopped working. Thankfully we're having another Indian Summer so it hasn't been a real problem. here have been a few cold nights when I had to turn on the oven to warm up the place enough to live in. And yes, I know how dangerous it is to leave a gas oven running overnight with he door open. But the new one is in and we're snug as a bug in a rug.

Still hooked on Killzone. My mom was not happy at all when she found out that the game is rated M. My son is the master of the game in this house. I do ok but he's got those PS2 enabled fingers. Even if my fingers worked right they'd still never be a match to his. I am doing alright in it, though. Killzone 2 is supposed to be coming out next year (2006) sometime. I hope it's 1st quarter.

Man, I am so tired I can't see straight. It doesn't help that my glasses aren't quite right. I have an appointment someday next week (I think, we'll have to check jpilot to be sure).

Whoops! Fell out in the chair in front of the computer. Guess I'll take another crack at sleeping in the bed.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

and put up a parking lot

Ever have one of those days when a song gets stuck in your head? If you're lucky it's a song you like. But more often than not it's a song you either don't like or outright hate. Occasionally it's a song you are indifferent to. That's what I had today. Over and over in my head I'm hearing...

"They paved paradise
and put up a parking lot"

Oh well.

Friday, November 04, 2005

I'm Burnin' For You down the Highway To Hell

Back a few weeks ago I was listening to the radio and there were two guys debating the relative impact that Blue Oyster Cult has had on music. One was taking the position that, while BOC has produced some great and alltime classic songs, they haven't had an effect on music the way some other bands/artists had. Of course the other guy took the opposing view. While I didn't listen to it for to long a time (I want music or news on my car radio, period) it got me thinking about the question at hand; what makes a musical artists influential?
  • There are those that change the course of music: the Beatles, Elvis, Hendrix, Sabbath, Van Halen, Nirvana

  • There are those who have more subtle, though no less serious, effects: Metallica, CCR, Skynyrd, SRV, Deep Purple, Scorpions, Thin Lizzy

  • Then there are those who just crank out serious Rock 'n' Roll: AC/DC, Boston, Kiss, REO, Styx, Ted Nugent, ZZ top
I believe that BOC definitely falls into the third category. And if you ask me, the world needs more BOC's and AC/DC's and the like. It's music. There's nothing wrong with being a Bob Dylan or a Paul McCartney. Making change in music, culture and even society is a good thing. But sometimes... I'll let the boys from down under say it.

"Rock 'n' Roll ain't noise pollution
Rock 'n' Roll ain't gonna die
Rock 'n' Roll ain't noise pollution
Rock 'n' Roll
Rock 'n' Roll
is just Rock 'n' Roll, yeah

Monday, October 31, 2005

Comments on the Japanese GP

Well, more like spotty highlights.

This was one of the best races of the season, There are all kinds of fun that was brought on by the fact that most of the top drivers ended up starting from the back of the grid for various reasons. Kimi started dead last and both Michael and Fernando were back in the upper teens. The actual racing and strategies used were more than the usual intrigue. Some of the points I remember from it are that JP got knocked out of the race for the umteenth time. Giancarlo ran a great race that had him leading for most of the latter portions of the race. Alonzo started 16th and came in 3rd. Michael started 14th and ended up 7th. If it weren't for the whole Bridgestone thing he'd have made the podium. Antonio Pizzonia's Williams caught fire in the pit but they just put it out and he was back on the track. Native son Takuma Sato had a real bad race. He started 5th but got buried in the back after a mess-up early on in the race and eventually for DQ'd. Poor Taku. But the most exciting thing of the race was the finish. Giancarlo had been leading but Kimi had worked his way up to 2nd with something like 7 laps to go. Surly not enough for him to catch the Italian, huh? Well, the McLaren was it's usual self and Kimi took huge chunks out of the G-man's lead. By lap 2 he was all over the back of the Renault. Finally, just as they started the last lap, he dove down and took the lead. This gave the Flying Finn his 7th win of the season. But in the constructors championship, with JP out and both Renaults on the podium the lead shifted to the French team by 4 points going into Shanghai.

So, if/when I get around to watching the Chinese race I will post my comments then. With luck it will be before the start of next season.

Your mother was right!

This is to funny.

I just saw a commercial on the TV about some law firm hawking their services for people who have experienced vision problems while on Viagra, Cialis, etc. I other words, people who have had sudden blindness while taking ED medication. I couldn't stop laughing for 10 minutes.

Friday, October 28, 2005

You don't know what it's like

I ran across this on the net the other day and wanted to pass it on. It is an Open Letter To Those Without Invisible Disability Or Chronic Illness. There are also some variations of it available which target CFS/FM, MS [for you e] and more. The one on ID/IDA, CFS/FM and Chronic Pain pertain to me best and the one for people who love someone with fibro I will be emailing to a number of people after I finish this post.

The gist of this is that things which can't be easily measured or qualified by immediate sensory feedback tend to get ignored or greatly misunderstood. Example; If, $DEITY forbid, I were to have lost my legs, either the use of them or they were physically removed, I'd be stuck in a wheelchair and would be easily and obviously seen as disabled. But you know something? I'd be so much better off then than I am now. Really! It would suck and I'd hate it but I'd be able to work and sleep and go out and play with my son and have a social life. I'd be able to brush my teeth or do the dishes or wash the laundry or cook dinner. I'd only need some minor adjustments and off I'd be. But today; right now; I am unable to do just about everything on that list. Thankfully I can still take a shower, get dressed and go to the bathroom. But how long will that last?

Lately I've been trying to take a more active role in my treatment in that I'm working on cutting back in the meds and trying Acupuncture. It's still very early into this but they seem to be helping a bit. My hope is that they will help a lot. But understand, "a lot" means that the pain level is lowered noticeably. If I could cut my pain level in half I'd be potentially able to do the dishes and cook dinner. Now I know some people would have expected an answer like maybe I'd be able to work and live full-time again. Well, that would take a miracle. Because not only am I fighting the pain I'm fighting everything else. All the other things wrong with my body, and my mind, that have accumulated over the decades. My psudo-girlfriend (a relationship pretty much dead but that's for another time) talks about how I am the most intelligent person she has ever known and all I'd need to do is put a little effort into something, ANYTHING, and I'd be happy as a clam. While it's true that I lack ambition, it is actually that I lack great ambition. So even if I was healthy I'd never be Linus or ESR or Billy-boy but I would be someone who was making a good living at my profession. But that is not something I can do. I repeat, I can not do that. I can't make a decent living. I can't even work for minimum wage.

Which brings up the coup de gras of my situation. I am becoming more and more hampered by depression. Clinical depression. The kind that you just can't shake off or push through. Just do it is the most infuriating, though. That's like asking a person to "just push that mountain range over a few miles." It's idiotic and shows a complete lack of understanding. If there were any way I could change the chemicals in my brain to stop the depression and make it all better don't you think I'd have tried it by now?

That's enough for now. I have more I want to say on this, though. More to come, eh?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

On target

Every day sends me a word-o-the-day. Most of them I know, I happen to have an above average vocabulary which I got from reading (primarily S&FS), but every so often I get a good one I hadn't know or remembered. Today's word is

loquacious \loh-KWAY-shuhs\, adjective:
1. Very talkative.
2. Full of excessive talk; wordy.

It's a word I had already known but it is also a word that describes me to a T. To put it mildly, talkative is what you'd descried me on a day I barely say anything. Even my son knows all about it. Whenever I start explaining something to him he'll stop me and as if this will be one of the usual long and boring talks or if I could keep it short. I have been working on not dominating conversations and had gotten pretty good at it. But lately I find that I'm back on the never shutting up track. I have to try and remember it's just as important when not to say anything as it is when to.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


About a week ago I was playing on the couch with my son. We were just pseudo-wrestling (basically I lie there while he jumps on me) and sometime during the fun his hear hit mine. Right over the right eyebrow. Simply put, he knocked me cold. I was only out for a minute 'cause he thought I was joking and jumped on my stomach. When I'm prepared for it I can still withstand something like that once or twice week, but 100% unprepared? Not even if I was awake. It did have the side effect of waking me, though.

Since then I have been having troubles not FM related. I can't stay awake (day or night) nor can I keep my thoughts organized. I know I'm forgetful but not like this! Hell, I've fallen out three times since I started thus message, My ever caring and wise mother said I should have gone to the doctor right away in-case I had a concussion, I probably should have done so. Probably.

Today I spent the vast majority of time either sleeping or wandering around delirious. Things have been settled down since around 5pm but that doesn't mean anything. My next acupuncture appointment is Tuesday so I hope I'm over this enough to drive up there. Even right now I'm fighting it hard.

A lot of this could be mental, as in psychological. Last tie I was wandering off delirious it was helped when i went t the shrink. I just need to get a hold of someone up there to make an appointment.

Besides delirium, passing out and sleepwalking my head is very much in pain. It's like there's a layer of metal between my brain and skull. A hot metal that burns whenever I try to use it or it gets shaken (Ike a sneeze).

Friday, October 21, 2005

Exploading sinuses

You know, there are days where you feel like shit. then there are days when you feel like 30-day old dried up shit from a long drought. This morning I got some good old fashioned shit. Somewhen I picked up a bug and now I have a fever and sore throat along with tremendous sinus congesting. When your head feels it's going to explode from all the pressure. All this does, of course, is exacerbate the FM symptoms to the point where I can not walk or sit for very long nor can I do anything requiring much "cognitive" capacity. As long as my head is plugged up and I'm taking medicating I'll be useless. Once things clear up I'll post the comments on the Japanese and Chinese Grand Prix races. Maybe.

Saturday, October 15, 2005


Man, I am totally hooked on this game. I need to get the PS2 connected so I can play online. It's funny but I was never a big fan of FPS's as they all seemed to be variations on a theme (run, kill, die, respawn, repeat) but this game has some good play involved in the Campaign mode. The Arcade mode has the requisite deathmatch, etc. options but they tend to get boring after a while. The story part of this game is good. It's challenging enough to keep you interested yet not so obscure that you need a 6 volume tome to get through it (can you say Myst?) Anyway, my son and I are most of the way through it. I spent 6 hours,total, on it today and will likely spend a few more tomorrow. If the language were toned down a bit and there was a little less blood it'd be a great game for kids, but as it stands now, I can't in good conscience let my 8 year old son play it alone.

Well, that's all for now. I still need to get the Japanese Grand Prix comments up. I should at least get them online before the Chinese race on Sunday. But don't hold your breath.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Comments off

I am turning off comments indefinitely as the comment spam was starting to get noticeably annoying. For those that do post with anything decently relevant to say <koff> "Erik!" <koff> I will make a workaround or something.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Comments on the Brazilian GP

Late as usual.

As far as races go it was a fairly uneventful race. There was some fun at the start as a few of the drivers decided to play pinball but after that it was fairly quiet. Kimi, JP and Alonso jumped into 1st, 2nd & 3rd right off the bat and they would finish in the same order. This made Fernando Alonso the youngest Driver Champion in Formula 1 history. He'd just turned 24 a few weeks earlier. The 1-2 finish for McLaren (the first of the year, if you can believe it) did help them get a slightly better handle on the Drivers Championship but it's still a two horse race as Renault is not backing down.

Tomorrow we will see what kind of fun Suzuka will have in store for us.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

this is cool

This is cool!
You know, back in the day there was an attempt to create Application Service Providers where servers would host the normal office apps that people use. This way they didn't have to manage this part oftheir IT infrastructure. While this idea didn't actually fail, it didn't pick up outside of some special virtical markets. But now, with AJAX, this idea could become a reality. One app. Oneserver. Dozens (hundreds?) of users. No per-seatlicenses. I reiterate -
This is cool!

{The above is a document that I created on Zoho Writer. It's a web based word processor made possible by the use of AJAX You can go to the site and try a demo. It's worth a look.}

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Lots of stuff

$DEITY it's late. Not so much the hour as the time. Since it's been a while I thought I'd throw up (upchuck?) a quick update.

I need to post my comments on the Brazilian Grand Prix. The summery is that Fernando Alonso came in third but won the drivers championship to become the youngest driver champion in GP history. He'd just turned 24 a short while ago. God how I hate young kids. :-P

I did get setup to start acupuncture in a few days. What the hell, can't hurt. Been weaning off of the meds as much as possible. Got one down (Elavil) and am starting on a second (Ultram). They also found that I have some fairly non-trivial arthritis in my neck at C2 & C3. Now I know why I can't turn my head as far as it used to go.

I'm going to call the shrink and make an appointment with the therapist. I don't know if I'm depressed or not (Wellbutrin ROCKS!) but I'm having a seriously difficult time keeping my thoughts straight. I can't stop obsessing over Asian women and women's feet (especially Asian womens feet). Yes, I have what normally is a healthy foot fetish (just like looking; no stomping or other stuff) but now I'm going out of my way to try and spot even the slightest flash of a woman in sandals or barefoot. With winter coming I'm going to be without for a while. It's almost as bad with Asian women.

Part of that might be due to the fact that any potential long-term relationship with my Chinese girlfriend has evaporated to 0.001% now. She'd be all for it if I were rich or even just had a job with a fair income. I can't see me finding any woman of any race, creed or color at this point. I fail all cost/benefit analysis's. Old, broken-down cripple-boy with no job, high debt and a young son. Oh yea, if I were a single professional woman I'd be just begging to get it on with someone like me.

My son is the one bright spot in the universe. He is doing much better in grade 3 this year. Still having trouble keeping quiet and controlling his impulses but no where near what 2nd grade was like.

There's much more but I'm to tired to remember anything else. All I need is a break. Just one small break and I could start rebuilding. But the only break in my future is the ground cracking to swallow me up whole.

"What do you do when your falling you've got 30 degrees and your stalling out
And its 24 miles to the beacon there's a crack in the sky and the warnings out"
"The traffic controller is calling Victor Juliet your identity
I have lost in the violet storm communicate or squawk emergency"

Twenty credits to anyone who can tell me the name and artist.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Mail programs are annoying

I'm changing back to Evolution for my mail program. I had been using Thunderbird for quite a while but it just became to difficult to mess with. Don't get me wrong. I like T-bird much more than Evolution but the way that things tend to be setup by default in the current distros tends to force your hand. This has gotten me to thinking about email and the different mail programs I've used over the years.

My first real email program was something called PROFS that ran on the mainframe. It was supposed to be something like Groupware but it just sucked. Once I started using Linux in 1991 I became a pine user. And a very happy pine user I was, too. I continued to use pine up until the fall of 2001. Then I switched to Evolution. I didn't want to switch but it was just easier switch than to try and get Outlook/Outlook Express users to use a decent, standards based email client. Well, I used Evolution for a while but every time they would release an update for it the program would become more and more like Outlook. Thus is became more and more useless as an email client. When Evolution 2.x was released I'd finally had enough. It was time to try T-bird. I made th change in early 2004. At first it was a little squirrelly but once I found some of the plug-ins I was happily wailing along. Until I upgraded to Fedora Core 4.

It seems that in the quest to make Linux into a "desktop" OS the vendors and distro development teams are working very hard to make Linux look-n-feel as much like MS-Windows as possible. Thus there are all kinds of default setting that have everything all setup for you before you even finish the install. FC4 defaults to the GNOME desktop environment and with that, all the app bindings are preset for you. The significant app binding is the one between Firefox and Evolution. I had setup T-bird and was all set but whenever I clicked a mailto: link on a page it would start up Evolution. Unfortunately the wonderful F-fox plug-in MozEX has not been updated for a while and is incompatible with the version of F-fox. There's another plug-in called Launchy that is supposed to do the same thing but it doesn't seem to want to work at all for me. So, it was back to Evolution for me.

There are a ton of other email clients out there. KMail, Sylpheed, Mutt, Balsa plus a ton of other options. I just wish someone would make a mail program that would do what I want it to do.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Comments on the Belguim GP

Ah Spa. There's nothing like it. Rain, rain and then, wait? No, just more rain. The weekend was like a scene from Noah's days as the teams did their best to qualify in a torrential downpour. Come race time the rain let up but the track was still quite wet. Just about everyone went out on intermediates and the changing climate conditions rule was put into effect so teams could change tired as needed/desired. This would cause some teams & drivers some heartburn later on.

The front row of the grid was all McLaren as JP and Kimi went 1 and 2. Giancarlo Fisichella qualified in P3, two positions ahead of Alonso but was docked the 10 places for an engine change. This put Trulli and Alonso on the second row. The third row was all Schumacher as Ralf nipped his big brother by 0.075s.

When the race started there was water all over the track but after a few laps the upper part started drying out quickly. This led to some teams trying a gamble and putting slicks on. It was disastrous. The lower part of the track was still quite flooded. Every car that tried the dry weather tires ended up sliding all over the place. They'd come back in after a lap or two to put the intermediates back on. Again, this would prove to be a crucial aspect of the race finish.

As the race went on the McLaren boys went away and opened a gap quite early, per norm. It wasn't a mega-gap due to conditions. Alonso got around Jarno and was happily tooling along in third. But Giancarlo was driving like nothing I'd seen in a while. Within a few laps he was up into 9th and pushing to get into the points. It all looked very good until he caught the curb at the top of Eau Rouge on lap 11. Bam! Into the wall. He was not a happy camper.

Later on Ralf had worked his way into 2nd place and was looking great ripping off fast lap after fast lap. But when he went in for his scheduled pit stop someone had the bright idea to try sending him back out on slicks. After sliding all over the place for one lap he came back for another tire change and that put him out of the running for the day.

The tire gamble would also cost Michael a finish. Taku was on slicks and lost it going into one of the S's. He plowed into the mack of Michael taking them both out. Michael was not pleased with this at all. He jumped out of his car and read the riot act to Taku ending up with a slap to Taku's helmet visor.

Towards the end of the race it was looking good for both McLaren and Alonso s they were running 1 & 2 (Kimi & JP) while he was happily in third. It would mean McLaren would take the lead in the constructors championship while keeping Kimi just a little farther away from catching Alonso for the drivers cup. But then another FUBAR on dries. Antonio Pizzonia was trying to keep from being lapped by JP when he lost it and took them both out with only three laps to go. This gave Alonso 2nd and fairly shut the door on Kimi's chances. Alonso could become the youngest F1 champion in history in Brazil. All he needs is 6 points over the last three races and it's done.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Comments on the Italian GP

Wow! What a race. First off, Kimi qualifies fastest by a good margin but gets penalized 10 places on the starting grid due to an engine change (stupid rule). This puts JP and Alonso in P1 and P2. Another interesting thing was that Antonio Pizzonia was starting in place of Nick Heidfeld due to the latter being under the weather. Pizzonia hadn't been in a car for 3 months yet was called up on Saturday to race on Sunday. He started 16th on the grid but brought his Williams-BMW in at 7th place.. Additionally this was the first time that all the cars were running at the end of a race since 1960-something, not counting that sham of a race at Indy. That's not to say there weren't some bumps and bruises along the way. Especially the first turn. But the real action was in the strategies. Unknown to everyone outside of McLaren-Mercedes he was running on a very heave full load. The plan was for him to have a one stop race. After being held up by slower traffic for a good many laps he was able to push his car up to 2nd behind JP. He then went in for his one and only scheduled pit. After taking on a good load of fuel he came back out in 5th but looking very good as all the others in front of him would have to pit sometime. Unfortunately for him his left rear tire decided it didn't want to play anymore. It started to come apart on the past tread so three laps he had to pit for a tire change. This dropped him back to 14th and from then on he was out of contention for winning. The real fun came a few laps later when JP's left rear started degrading in the exact same way as Kimi's. The team knew that if they brought him in it would be all over as there were less than 15 laps left. So JP stuck it out and kept on going. He had a large enough lead so that he was able to back off and still win the race. Alonzo, though, was charging like a madman. he ended up just behind JP at the flag. This extended his lead in the drivers championship but the McLaren boys cut into the team championship and look in a very good position for Spa the next weekend.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Minor break

As it happens, school has started and I have a brand-spankin' new 3rd grader to have fun with. That plus the fact that I hosed my main system1 will make blogging a little more sporadic. I have the bulk of the "Comments on the Italian GP" done, just got to find them. They are at Spa tomorrow (Sunday) so I might end up posting both of them on the same day. I'll tell you this much, Monza was fabulous. A real fun race to watch.

I also have a girlfriend who's doing her best to have a heart attack or stroke that I need to try and calm down. $DEITY, why do (some) women have to go out of there way to add stress to their lives? You'd think they'd be happy what what life brings them. Oh well...

1 There''s an old saying; If it ain't broke, hack/tweak/thrash/reconfig it 'till it is. At least that's the techie way.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Death to all Bush haters!

The other day I was watching an old-school "adult movie" (Candy Stripers, 1978) and it brought up something I've been wondering for a while now. When, and more importantly how, did shaving off all your pubic hair become all the rage? I've heard a number of different reasons but they are all ridiculous. I can understand a woman wanting to keep the bikini line trim, but completely bald just doesn't make sense. At least not to me. If I were ever with a shaved woman I would be turned-off by it. It's to much like child molesting or something. Hopefully this will just be a cycle and bush will make a comeback. Of course, by the time it does I'll either be dead or to old to care. <sigh>

And you thought this was going to be a political rant.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Little lost boy

There's a song by Styx called "Man in the Wilderness" (off of The Grand Illusion album) which occasionally represents my state in this reality. I can definitely say that it makes no sense at all.

The problem is, as the song says, I am drifting with the tide. There's things I could/should be doing but I'm letting them just go along their merry way untouched. This isn't a good state to be in, however. Being washed along the river of life, letting it just toss you into whatever comes along (look out for that bolder!) isn't living. It's just existing. There are a number of external reasons I'm in this state but the biggest reason is inside me. I'm nearly paralyzed with fear. Fear of what? Let's see...

I'm afraid of making any move that will change my situation with respect to my son. I'm not in a position to afford any legal help. Being in my present situation I fear that my son will be taken away from me if I don't stay under the radar. There's also his mother. Every time anything happens, anything at all, she gets all paranoid and accuses me of trying to take him from her. I have absolutely no intention of ever, ever, EVER taking him away from her. She's a pain in the ass but she's his mother and she loves him. And he loves her, just as it should be. But by not wanting to cause any kind of tremors with her I am not doing things that would be better for my son and myself.

There are other fears but right now I just decided to pass over them. After writing the above it put things in a better focus and the rest of the fear is now virtually irrelevant. Oh, there is the whole relationship thing. That's not quite irrelevant. But it's not as big an issue as I seem to think it is. That part is just fear of being alone. I come from a big family with an Italian heritage. My desire was to have a family in that same mold. Even though the possibility of this actually happening is nil, I still hold onto it. See my rantings on my current girlfriend. The odds of a relationship with her are, well, let's say very slim and leave it at that. But this is a secondary issue right now.

And so we come to my greatest roadblock. The pain. If you have never had chronic pain it's hard to describe. But after 10 or 12 years of it you get so worn down that you don't do anything because it might make it hurt more. I say hurt more because you always hurt. Not like a bee sting or a sprained ankle. It's an over whelming pain that occupies the biggest part of your consciousness. And that's on a good day. You see why it becomes the #1 thought of every instant of every day and night. "If I do this will it make the pain worse?" This question is invoked for everything you do. Everything. When I go to get up out of a chair the first thing that happens is I do an internal cost/benefit analysis of getting up.
  • If I get up will it hurt more?
  • Will it hurt just a little more or a lot more?
  • Why do I need to get up?
  • Is that reason worth the pain that will be endured?
This is the process that happens for every movement I do. It even happens when I go to use the remote to change the channel on the TV. If you can imagine living like this for over a decade then you might have some idea of what I have to contend with. Just the fact that I got out of bed this morning is an achievement on the scale of climbing Mt. Everest.

That's the situation. If I do anything I risk losing my son and I will incur significant pain doing it. So I don't do anything.

And that's got to stop.

But how?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Still can't sleep!!!

Goddamn motherfucking shit-ass son-of-a-goddamn-fucking-bitch insomnia! I want to SLEEP!!!!!

Monday, August 29, 2005

Back to school

School starts next week, after the holiday. I knew it was coming but it really snuck up on me anyway. So now I have to get us both back into the school schedule. Today isn't going so well as it's already 1:30 hours after someone's bedtime and he's still up. He's not all to blame, though. I didn't exactly do the best I could have at getting him in bed in the first place. But something extraordinary happened and I couldn't let it go.

Sometimes, when we get ready for bed, my son will ask questions about life, the world, people, whatever. They are pretty good questions and I try and answer them as honestly as I can. Tonight we started out talking about math. Multiplication and division, specifically. He known that any number divided by 1 is itself and that any number divided by itself is one. He'll be starting 3rd grade so it's good to talk about these kind of things. Anyway, while talking about division I told him about dividing by zero. Anything divided by 0 is not 0 or even nothing. It just isn't. He kinda understood this in a general way. I then commented that black holes were where the universe divided by zero. This started a discussion on quantum physics.

Seriously. No, at 8 years old he doesn't have the knowledge or experience to understand the specifics of a discussion on how black holes work and the fundamental aspects of gravity wells and all that. However, when he was explaining it back to me (he used an analogy to a Danny Phantom episode; how cute is that!) it was clear that he was following what I was saying quite well. I used to have discussions like this with his mother and he's catching on quicker than she did. OC, she had a big handicap to get past so it's understandable that she didn't get it all on the first few passes anyway. Still, for an 8 year old just going into 3rd grade I thought he did a splendid job of it. Maybe he'll have a love for math like I had. Or even a knack for the sciences like his Pap Pap, my father, had.

You know, of all the classes I ever took in school, from K through a second semester of university, the most fun and enjoyment I ever got from a class was Calc II. The concept of imaginary numbers and infinite infinities is pure heaven.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Comments on the (First) Turkish GP

There were some interesting happenings and one major gift at this first ever GP race in Turkey. I'm not up to going through the race, unfortunately. You can get the info and interviews at the official Formula 1 site. I'll try and be back with my commentary for Monza next weekend.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Kissing vs Culture

This comment on kisses is a good representation of the state of affairs WRT my romantic life. I didn't feel like doing a rehash of it as a new post. Aren't I lazy today.

The way to ultimate happiness

The way to ultimate happiness is actually simple. It's about understanding that life is not a zero sum game and no matter how bad it gets there's always something you can be happy about. My life is currently not exactly all roses and wine. The whole "no money coming in and lots of bills & debts to be paid" thing has my life in a precarious position. Homelessness before the end of the year is very likely. What am I going to do and how am I going to do it. I have pretty much bankrupted my mother because she's always spending her retirement savings on food and stuff. I know she's doing it for my son, her grandson (and me, her son, too) and is doing it of her own volition. But it still makes me feel like I'm causing her trouble she shouldn't have to be going through. Plus school is starting again. That's going to be very difficult, for reasons I don't feel like going into. So - No job, no money, no support (outside of my mother), no potential and no future. I should be already digging my own grave or something. But...

I'm happy much more often than I'm not. Some of this has to do with the meds I'm on (Wellbutrin rocks!) but most of it is due to the fact that I have learned to live in the moment. I'm not worried about what's "down the road" but what I am doing right now. I'll admit I haven't gotten it all worked out yet. There's a balance you need to have where you live in the moment but still work towards the future. If you only live in the moment you end up laying on the couch all day watching TV and getting up only to go to the bathroom and check email. Yes, I've had days (weeks!) like that. If you get caught in that sand trap it can easily become a quicksand trap and you'll never get off the couch again. So I'm trying to get more balanced in this. But I can tell you that while I am with my girlfriend I don't worry about, or even think about, my troubles. I just bask in the glow of her holding my hand or just sitting next to me. Then, at that exact moment, I am very happy.

You know, I've experienced some drastically serious pain over the years. When I was about 12 years old I tore my Achilles tendon. When I was 16 my knee got whacked in a football scrimmage game that tore some cartilage. When I was 18 a doctor (more like a butcher) did a small operation on my big toe and botches it all up to where I was in so much pain I couldn't talk let alone walk (and this is a surgery that should end up with no pain after; I know because over the years I've had it done on both my big toes over 20 times each). And finally I discovered what a 10 is on the 1-10 pain scale. At the age of 38 I had viral Spinal Meningitis. When my knee blew I actually went blind from the pain. All I could see was red. The Meningitis was worse. I went blind, deaf and mute. Nothing but blackness and pain so bad I could actually hear it. Pain was all I could see and hear. Pain that is unsurpassed. Oh, there are other things that might be able to equal it, to be sure. But nothing is worse. There have also been many other times when I was injured or in pain but these are the most severe.

Why did I recount all of that? Because even in through worst of it, in the depth of pain that can consume you and be so bad it becomes your entire universe. Even through all of that I found small glimmers of hope and happiness. Lying in the hospital in so much pain I was virtually catatonic, I remember thinking that when the tests came back and confirmed that I didn't have bacterial Spinal Meningitis it was a good thing because I wanted to hold my son again. And at that moment... That split second of time when I thought of him, there was no pain. There was only happiness.

No matter how bad life can be, there's a flower or a bird song or a snowflake somewhere. There's a child's laugh. A warm breeze. The smell of fresh fruit. The hand of a loved one. There will always be something to grasp, if you want to. It's all in you.

Happy. Unhappy. Every moment of every hour of every day you will find yourself with something good on one side and something bad on the other. It will be your choice as to which one you grab hold of.

Choose the good things.

Choose happiness.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

On the rocks with a twist

It seems to me that I might be in a one sided relationship. Something lately seems to have struck a cord and the resonance frequency isn't right. The feeling is that while I may be her boyfriend she really isn't my girlfriend. OC, that could just be my oh-dark-thirty "you need to get some sleep there, boy" insecurities banging on the drums talking. Still, the feeling has been there for a few days now. There are a few ideas floating around in my head as to why this feeling has come up. I don't want to go into them now. Let's just say that I haven't figured out whether it's me or her. It really would help if we were a bit closer in culture and language. Most of the time I'm fine but there's those other times when I can't understand her. Where she's coming from and why she's doing what she's doing. Occasionally it's dead obvious what's wrong. But then there's the times when it's like I'm in a crystal ball and nothing I do or say or feel is even noticed by anyone outside. I don't know. Again, it's just probably the sleep deprivation talking. Hopefully I'll see her tomorrow and get a better feel for things.

Maybe I'm just not destined to have a wife and family. That would really suck.


I've disabled Anonymous comment posting on here. I don't get all that many comments (thanks E-man) so it shouldn't be an issue but some of the recent comments seem like comment spamming so...

Fathers and sons

I was watching ST:TNG reruns today and they had the episode where Alexander comes to live with Worf on the Enterprise. The issues and some of the situations reminded me of the stuff that has been going on between my son and I (though I'm not Klingon). There's a lot of stress he's going through due to everything that's happening in my and my ex's lives. Plus school's starting back up. I wish there was something more I could do for him. I went to the bookstore and looked up some "Father/Son" books that look good, but I can't buy them because I don't have the money. I'll be getting him back in a few weeks and that will help. Plus we are all going to be on the school hard to make sure that they are doing right for him. We'll be on him to behave better, too, but I worry that he's been labeled a "trouble maker" and will now just automatically get blamed for things.

Like all parents I worry about all the stuff I might be doing wrong that will have him in therapy for years when he's an adult. I know I could be more strict with him. He does get away with a lot, though not as much as he does when he's with his mother. There's so much to do when you're a dad. There's so many things I want to teach him and do with him and everything. I just don't know how I'll be able to do most of them when I can barely walk.

I wish Dad were here.

Sunday, August 21, 2005


Last night I went to my first Texas Hold'em poke tournament. My brothers have been going for a while. My youngest "little" brother even one one of the tourneys last week. Seems many of the sports bars and some restaurants are getting into it. It's free to play, they give you chips and you play till you're out. The money they make in on drinks and food.

Anyway, I had played a little TH before when we'd have poker nights back at my last job. I had some idea of how it was played. But there are strategies and all kinds of things that the long-time players know. I just played then same way I play pool; poke-n-hope. Clueless is my middle name.

So I'm playing and they have 8 people at each table. There must have been 5 or 6 tables running. I'm playing with a mix or newbies like myself and seasoned veterans. My game goes fairly much as it usually does for me, I bet stupid and lose a lot. But when I got down to a relatively small stash I went "all in" and won. This brought me up to the second most "money" at the table. I then hung on while 4 of the original 8 ended up out. When you have less than 5 at a table they will start consolidating so 2 more people came over to our table to play. I coasted in neutral for a few hands then bet big on a low percentage hand. And won. This knocked two more people out so another two were brought in. One of them, a nice lady in a pink top, had a BOATLOAD of chips. After trying to hang in for a few hands (all of which Ms. Pink won) I ended up with only $47K in chips so I went "all in" again on a crap hand. Needless to say Ms Pink won again and I was out.

All in all I had a great time. I don't think I'll get all poker obsessive as some people do. Nor be a fanatic like my brothers and sister. But I will try and go to some of these tournaments when I can and have fun. The poker is free so what the hell, right? It's not like I got anything better to do, it seems. (But that is for another day)

Bed <-> Heaven

Someday I'm going to get some sleep again. It better happen soon 'cause I don't think it would be good to keep up this kind of schedule when school starts.

Friday, August 19, 2005

No one ever listens to me

It's interesting how people who excel at something which involves others have this innate inability to do the same for themselves. Doctors make the worst patients; Cops have a tough time dealing as crime victims; Shrinks can't analyze themselves for love or money. I, myself, have this kind of problem.

See, I am very good at fixing things dealing with people and relationships. Well, not exactly relationships like "relationships" but more like the interrelationships people wave with each other and with the world. I can't solve my way out of a paper bag when it comes to my life. But with others I seem to have a keen sense of, I don't know, insight maybe?

For whatever the reason, people often come to me with troubles or problems or just plain confusion about things both grandiose and insignificant. I am able to give advice and sometimes directly help them. Nearly every time the other person follows my advice things work out fine. When they don't follow it, anything from disappointment to disaster is likely. One person I am pretty much dead on about is my ex. I'll tell her that it would be better if she did or didn't do something and I always seem to turn out right. The trouble she has is she hardly ever listens to me and most times does the exact opposite. With less that splendid results. There are others who I have tried to help who, for whatever reason, don't or can't hear what I'm saying. And I turn out, almost always, to be right then as well. Now don't get me wrong, I'm never 100% right. No one is. But my batting average is something in the range of 85% to 90% hits.

I say this because it frustrates me to no end when people don't listen to me. It's mostly people who are close to me that I get frustrated by, of course. I have a vested interest in trying to see them have the best. Right now I am very frustrated by my girl. She is totally blocking me out on anything I say with respect to a particular problem she is having. I mean blocking to the point where she doesn't even hear me when I talk about it. Now, this issue is extremely complex and complicated. Not something that could be fixed by a simple answer. Yet that is exactly when she is trying to do. Put a band-aid on a severed leg. There are some definite cultural factors playing part in this as well as the whole "I've been working this dock all my life while you have only seen it for a few months/years" thing. It's difficult to get over that kind of blockage.

The thing that cranks me off is that I'm not trying to completely solve her troubles in one fell swoop. I'm trying to get her to take a step back and see the bigger picture. She's so forest and trees I don't think she has any idea of what might be going on around her. And what "might" be going on could end up really, horribly, painfully tragic. It's not a certainty, but the odds are very good. But, as is most often the case, she won't listen to me.

No one listens to me though I'm usually almost always right.

And that's the frustrating part.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The way to this mans heart...

Ok, one more Blogthings test result and I'm finished. No, really. I swear.

The Keys to Your Heart

You are attracted to those who are unbridled, untrammeled, and free.

In love, you feel the most alive when your partner is patient and never willing to give up on you.

You'd like to your lover to think you are loyal and faithful... that you'll never change.

You would be forced to break up with someone who was arrogant, acting like the dictator of your life.

Your ideal relationship is lasting. You want a relationship that looks to the future... one you can grow with.

Your risk of cheating is zero. You care about society and morality. You would never break a commitment.

You think of marriage as something precious. You'll treasure marriage and treat it as sacred.

In this moment, you think of love as commitment. Love only works when both people are totally devoted.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

For all you women out there

According to the vast majority of historical kissies, this turns out to be right on the button. I may not be much but I am a good kisser. And now I'm getting away from Blogthings before I spend all night taking these stupid tests.

Part Expert Kisser

You're a kissing pro, but it's all about quality and not quantity.
You've perfected your kissing technique and can knock anyone's socks off.
And you're adaptable, giving each partner what they crave.
When it comes down to it, your kisses are truly unforgettable.

How American Are You?

I ran across this today. Before I took the test I guessed that I'd score something in the 58% to 63% range. Pretty close guess, I think. As with all of these "tests" they mean absolutely nothing and are not a reflection of anything in the real world. Well, maybe with the exception of hello kittie.

You Are 65% American
Most times you are proud to be an American,
though sometimes the good ole US of A makes you cringe.
Still, you know there's no place better suited to be your home.
You love your freedom and no one's going to take it away from you!

It's official!

I've been doing some soul searching (more like watching Buffy reruns again, but they were very good episodes dealing with love and loss and all that) and I can say with honest sincerity that I am in love. Not the kind of love you get at 16, or even at 26. The kind you get when you're mature enough to know what it's all about. Ok, not all about it but more like mostly about it.

I still have the "I want to be with her all the time" and the "I can't keep my hands from touching her" just like at 16, but it's not the all consuming fire that burns worlds into tinder. It's the "I really like being with her" and "she makes me feel comfortable and happy" kind of thing. What more could an old cripple boy like me want in life? Ok, a Lamborghini wold be nice. But she is even more nice than that. I don't know where this is going but do know that I want to be on the train for the ride.

But I'm off to bed now. Hopefully to get at least 8 hours sleep. Maybe.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Open mouth...

You know what my biggest problem is? I don't know when to shut up.

I just finished a very pleasant evening with my girl. It was kind of a working date as I'm helping her with some things but we still had some fun and good conversation. After we ran over to the mall so she could buy some shoes. On the way out I was babbling, as is my habit, and blurted out that I mentioned her on this blog. I could have shot myself in the head.

It's not that I don't want her to see this. It's part of me and a very good insight into how my mind works (or doesn't work, depending on who's defining the word "work"). I was just hoping to wait for a little while longer before subjecting her to the insanities and insights and general rantings that are on here. Oh well, I think we might be at a point where this won't scare her off. I hope so.

Man, I really do have it bad for this wonderful woman. We just need a little more kissing. ;-)

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Four years of blogging

Jun 11th, 2001

That's the date I made my first "blog" post. OC, it wasn't called blogging back then. This post was done on K5 in the diary section. Back then K5 was a quality place with some good content. But, just like /., the freaks found it and it got less useful.

Next I switched to my .Mac account using iBlog on June 16, 2004. That had some very nice features and was a joy to work with but I could only post when I was on a Mac with iBlog. This got to be a little limiting. That's when, on May 30, 2004, I switched to Blogger.

Having the decent web interface made it easy to post something no matter where I was. And recently I found Drivel, a wonderful little tool to write blog entries offline. The email-to-post system for Blogger works fine but I haven't used that much at all. It's nice knowing it's there, though.

Over this time many, many things have happened to me and to the world. I know my blog isn't one people are going to flock to. All I ever do is rant about my life, just like the zillion other bloggs out there. Maybe someday I'll have something to say. In the mean time I'll just keep plugging away and posting useless crap here as long as I can. What else can you do?

What to do?

Things here haven't been that well since I was canned. The debt collectors are calling and I just don't have anything to give them. The job outlook is bleak at best. It looks like there's going to be some major life changes happening around here soon.

One of the things that my mother has mentioned is for her to move in with us. This is a good idea, I think. But the house I'm in now isn't really big enough. With some very tight maneuvering I think I can get the computers out of the third bedroom. She has been looking for a place in the area that we could rent, or even maybe buy, but there's nothing that we can afford together with me not having a job. One other suggestion would be to move out to the west into the panhandle. It'd be about four or five hours away from where we are now. Houses there are going for $80K! The dinky little place I'm in now is valued at somewhere around $320K. If she and I move out there we could live on our retirement pay and not worry about me having to get a job in order for us to survive. Additionally, the word is that the tech firms in the Research Triangle area of NC are moving up here due to the high cost of real estate there. I could find a job doing consulting or something, just to keep busy and make some extra dough. I like the idea, really, but it would mean changing the custody arrangement again. We'd have to do something like having him spend all the school year with me then all of the summer with her. No alternating weekends. I don't like the idea of him being gone from me for 3 months. I couldn't take it the 4 weeks when I was in PA.

So the options come down to this;
  • stay here, move mum in and try to shoehorn everything into this place hoping a job comes along
  • move to the panhandle where the financial problems will be negated by the much lower cost of living but not have my son for 3 months a year
Neither sounds ideal.

But there's one more thing about moving way out. I'm becoming so much of a hermit lately that I don't want to be around any people. Exceptions being family and my lady. But that's not really likely to go anywhere. She may have found some feelings for me but in the end I don't think I'm the guy she wants/needs in her life. Moving out to BFE will probably cause me to become even less social than I am now (though that's hard to imagine). Even with everything against me I still want to have a wife and family. I have no problem with mum living with me, it's much more natural in European cultures than here in the States. If my dad were still here...

Oh, man, don't start down that path. It's been, what, five years and seven months since he passed. I can't help thinking that if he were still here my mother and I wouldn't be in this mess. I miss him so much.

Anyway, that's the sich! What to do, what to do.

Cranky is as cranky does

My son is with me for the weekend. He's got a friend sleeping over. I can't wait 'till school starts so he'll be here all the time. But there's one thing that's bothering me.

He has gotten such a smart @$$ mouth lately. And he's being all mean and cranky. This, in turn, gets me all cranky. I don't like being cranky with him. With the rest of the world, yes, but not him. It always seems that when he's spent some time with his mother he gets all sarcastic and acts mean. But that's just what it seems like to me. I have to try and be on my guard and not let the crankiness pull me in.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Comments on the Hungarian GP

Here are my (late as usual) comments on the Hungarian GP. This one one very exciting race with a lot of action so I hope I didn't forget to much.

The biggest surprise before the race began was that Michael was sitting on pole for the first time this year. Bridgestone had some some serious work on tire compound and it looked like they might have gotten something competitive this time out. JP joined Michael on the front row followed by Jarno and Kimi in P3 & P4 respectively. Alonso started off in P6.

As the race got under way there was all kinds of fun and excitement in turn one. Rubens hit the back of Jarno causing the Brazilian to come in for a nose change, Fernando got dangled up in, I think it was Ralf's Toyota and lost his front wing, Christian Klien bumped the front tire of Jacques Villeneuve's Sauber which sent his Red Bull car into a flying flipping roll. Fernando had to come in right away, as did Rubens. Then before they could make it all the way around the track once, DC's Red Bull ran over the remnants of Fernando's nose which completely trashed the front right suspension on his car sending him flying out on turn one as well. All in all, not a good day for Red Bull. The loss of time needed to change the nose of Fernando's Renault put him so far back he never really had a chance to catch up.

The initial scrum also saw Kimi jump into second ahead of JP. There was some speculation that this was done on team orders (McLaren are known to let their drivers drive and not give them orders for the race) but it was more likely that JP was slowed by a much heaver car. Both Kimi and Michael were on a 3 stopper while JP was on a two stop strategy.

Once the fun was had and racing got under way Kimi and Michael were trading fast lap as they blasted away from everyone but JP. But while everyone was watching the two frontrunner's, JP was quietly setting himself up for a race win. After the first stop by the leaders, he ran off a number of fast laps that allowed him to stay with the other two after his first stop. He came out of that 6 seconds behind Michael and 4 behind Kimi. If things held together he'd have the race well in hand after their last stops. But, OC, this wasn't to be. The McLaren's penchant for mechanical problems, that has bitten Kimi all year, hit JP this time. With the race in hand his driveshaft failed, putting Michael and Kimi back into 1-2.

As the race was progressing there was a lot of focus on the Ferrari's right rear tire. Would it hold up? After about half of the race was done you could see that it's inside wall was starting to wear away. His lap times were getting slower and slower but he remained ahead of Kimi. And you know how hard it is to pass the 7 time world champion. But McLaren made a brilliant strategical move. When the next round of pit stops was under way, they stayed out one lap longer than Michael and then short-filled Kimi to get him out in front of the Ferrari. Once that was done it was only a question whether the car would hold together. It did. Michael finished second and brother Ralf, third.

Some other highlights of the race were the Williams cars. The team has been steadily falling further and further back in the pack all season. This race they came in 6-7 for their best finish of the season. Taku also had his best race, finishing 8th for his first points of the season. He was the only full-time driver without a point up to now. This has led to some real speculation as to his ride for 2006.

Let's see, what else. Oh, the Sauber's had some fun times, too. Jacques car went up in flames during one of his stops while his teammate, Felipe Massa, saw his car go up just 7 laps later. The word is that the team will be changing from Ferrari engines to Toyota for next season. Jarno did a good job of finishing 4th considering there was some damage to the rear of his car from the contact with Rubens.

Speaking of Rubens, during the pre-race show the talk was all on what is known as the "silly season." Getting towards the end of the season rumors start flying around about who's going to be driving where for next season. One of them was that Rubens would be leaving Ferrari for a #1 driving slot with either BAR-Honda or Toyota. All of the commentators agreed that this would be a stupid move by the Brazilian. Sure he's going to be #2 as long as Michael is racing, but the prestige and business opportunities for him as a team Ferrari driver would far outweigh what he might be able to get WRT race wins. Well, not long after the race it was confirmed that Rubens was leaving Ferrari. I don't know where to yet but Ferrari has already signed Massa to take his seat. I think that Rubens might believe he's as good a driver any anyone, including Michael. Maybe once upon a time he might have had the potential but he never came back 100% from his crash at Imola in '94, the same race that claimed the life of the great Ayrton Sena. Sena's record for pole's is finally in jeopardy. The last significant record Michael has to achieve is number of poles. After his pole at Hungary, his 64th, he's now one away from tying Sena. Ayrton only ran 161 races to Michael's 230 (and counting) though. Ah, what would the landscape of F1 be like if not for Tamburello.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Waking up

$DEITY help us! I so very much don't want to wake up now. Got to sleep after 5am again. I need some sleep.

It keeps you runnin'

I should be in bed.

The lack of sleep I've been having caught up with me last night. I ended up sleeping something like 16 hours. Now, of course, I can't get to sleep. I better start getting back into a normal routine soon 'cause school's starting and I'll have to be able to manage my son. He'll be in 3rd grade this year. Man, time flies.

Looks like my ex might be moving back here to this area after all. Her move to MD was very disruptive and difficult. But having her back locally will make things much easier. It's still up in the air whether her girlfriend will move down here. She wants to stay in MD. Whatever. I believe that my ex's lease is up in December so things won't happen until then anyway.

I spent most of the time I've been awake out with my, what did I decide to call her? Damn, I need to come up with something better than "Chinese Lady." Anyway, she had an appointment with someone (who ended up not showing ) so we went to eat and she wanted to do some quick shopping. For clothes. The words "woman", "shopping", "clothes" and "quick" just don't go together. I guess it was only about 2 to 3 hours and she did get some serious bargains, including three par of slides for about $45 total. I almost was able to talk her into these metallic green thong sandals but she didn't go for it. Man, those would have been very sweet on her.

Have I mentioned that I have a small but healthy foot fetish? I like to see women feet. Barefoot or sandals are always good. That's one of the reasons I like spring and summer. For the record, I'm not into stomping or foot bondage or extreme licking and sucking and all that. I like to look, occasionally touch and, when ever possible, some kissing and, well, ok, a little licking. It's not mandatory that this be a part of every intimate encounter but when it avails itself I'm more than happy to enjoy.

Speaking of intimate contact, I wish she (the Chinese Lady, not my ex) would be more into it. Not extreme sexual stuff, though that's always good. I mean just hand holding and hugs and smooching. It's not like she doesn't like it, she just doesn't seem comfortable with it. Sometimes. But it's ok. I am just fine being the initiator. Heck, it could be cultural, what do I know.

I did find out today that she was one of the people who took to the streets in protest during the Tiananmen Square incident. Man, I remember that time. I honestly thought that the communist party in China was going to find itself in the same boat as with Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. I guess that I was overly optimistic due to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now that's something I still, to this day, have strong feelings about. There's no way to describe it to someone who wasn't there. Especially in the mid-to-late 80's. I once worked about 20 kilometers from Pershing missile silos. Oh what fun days those were.

There's a lot of dust here in the "computer room." Right now there's only two systems running. I've had as many as 6 or 7 up at the same time but it's not worth the extra electricity to run anything else at the moment. The poor Untra 5 is just to old (re: weak and under powered) for any real use. Still, I have it for any potential Solaris work I might encounter. Or hope to encounter.

Anyone know a good "Good Luck" spell or charm? I could use one about now.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Hungaroring moments

I just finished watching the recording of the Hungarian F1 Grand Prix. I'm a bit dodgy right now (lack of sleep) so I'll post comments tomorrow. Hope I can remember all the good stuff. There was so much this race. Very exciting time.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Benny & Joon and me

After a long time of seeing bits and pieces of this movie I have finally gotten the chance to watch it. First off, Johnny Depp rocks. His homage to Buster Keaton was wonderful. I think that if more people today could see Buster in his prime they'd realize what a treasure he was.

Anyway, Benny & Joon is a movie that anyone who has a "complicated" life should see. If they did they'd realize that everything isn't all that harrowing. Life isn't a zero sum game. He who dies with the most toys doesn't win.

This movie also shows me just how far away I am from being Sam, or even Joon. I'm exactly one 8 year old boy away from it. I was talking to mum yesterday and we both know and understand that I should not be let out into the world alone. Oh, I can function. I'm not going to be disturbing the grand order of things. But I'm just not in sync with this reality. Not completely anyway. See, there's to much noise in this existence. To much commotion and bedlam and chaos. All things that distract us from the truth. Sam knew the truth. He knew what it was and is that he should be and how he should be.

The truth is that life is about giving. It's not about getting. Life is 90% giving and 10% getting. If you give and don't demand or expect something in return then you have found the key. The one thing Curly talked about in City Slickers.

It's not an easy thing to do. We're all bombarded with the images of greed and power. It's the only way we know how to measure the value of others. By these standards I am not worth very much. A fact that has been ingrained into me for the last 42 & 3/4 years. My insecurity and inferiority have become such a part of me that I couldn't get rid of them just as I couldn't get rid of my bones. But knowing is half the battle. At least that's what they say.

But I know that I'm still here. As long as I'm still breathing I will continue to do all that I am capable of for my son, even knowing that it might not be enough. It's all I got. It's all I can give.

This is scary

ehh.. sorta fucked.

Amber Benson, I hope you find this

Just read where Amber like to google her name. In the (very) off chance she finds this I want to talk a bit about her role as Tara on Buffy. Why? Because it's my blog.

There were many reasons I liked Tara. Her vulnerability and shyness just made you want to hold her and protect her fro the universe. The way she looked in the funky fashions that the show had for their characters was both plain and exotic at the same time. Side note: what's with TV witches and their really, um, questionable fashion sense? It wasn't to bad on Buffy but Charmed? They look ridiculous.

Anyway, back to Tara. I know that some guys liked the whole lesbian thing, especially when Willow and Tara were kissing and such. But I liked it more from the perspective that these were two people in love and they made such a romantically cute couple. Tara's love for Willow was very pure and lasted through Willows bit of magic addiction. Side note again: I was married to a lesbian for 11 years so I have a little insight on some things gay related.

Tara was also very warm and hugable. Another side note: Amber, don't ever listen to those people talking about, "If you'd just lose 20 pounds blah blah blah." You are perfect as you are.

All of the above I attribute to Amber's acting ability. She made Tara something very special. I remember her last episode. The show began and Amber finally got billing up front in the main credits during the opening theme song the show. I was like, "Damn! It's about time!" Then she's dead. Oh man, I was so angry. I was all ready to start writing nastygrams to Joss for that one.

I've been watching the reruns on FX lately and they just had the Buffy Musical episode. I've always wondered if all the actors used their real voices for the singing. It seemed like it. I know that A.S.H. can sing. There weren't any "XYZ's voice sung by" credits at the end of the show but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. Still another side note: I remember in the Xena Musical episode R.O'C. used a sing-in (even though she's said to have a wonderful singing voice).

You know, sometimes I wish I could spend some time just sitting and talking to some celebrates like Amber. Don't worry girl, I'm not going to be stalking you. But some people I find very interesting and would just like to spend a little time chatting about stuff. Not specifically about "The Business." Skynyrd had a great song that expressed what I think most famous people feel in Don't Ask Me No Questions. With Amber I'd like to ask about her interests and why she's a vegetarian (I've found that people have some very interesting reasons for eschewing meat). Side... well, you know: When we lived in Germany we became good friends with a fairly famous regional band because we didn't ask them about music and touring and gigs and all.

So, that's my mini-commentary to Amber Benson. If she does happen across this post then, well...

Hi Amber

Monday, August 08, 2005

Can I really be so different?

Ok, I know I'm not quite on the same page of music that the rest of the world is on but lately it seems I'm not even on the same stage. Maybe it's time to call the shrink again. I'll do that after I go in about the chest pains and shortness of breath. i.e. Not until I'm on a slab. You know the whole time I was in Pittsburgh I smoked maybe 4 cigarettes a day. And I couldn't catch my breath for anything. Just getting up out of a chair and I was completely winded. Now that I'm back I'm doing a pack a day again but breathing fine. Go figure. It's a good thing my bank account is empty now. I just don't have any money to buy any more.

Anyway, back to my sanity thing.

I had a long talk with ZY and she's having some difficulties that are really stressing her out. The thing is that I could absorb all that stress and it would be like spitin' in the ocean. There's just so much I can do for her if I had a chance. There's so much I could show her. Even so, there's things that she's dealing with that are just ridiculously stupid. Not that what she's going through is stupid, the fact that it's happening in the first place is insane. At least it seems so to me. It's like, "What the fuck? Over." This reality is so tied up with it's petty little things and it just spreads to everyone and then we're stuck in the petty little things, too. Maybe it's because I watched The Matrix and Ella Enchanted today. Never Never Land is closer than you think.

Wait. I can't make any sense of this. My brain's fried. No sleep. No hope. And my son is not here in my arms.

I gotta listen to some "head clearing music" for a bit. Skynyrd, Pronounced. Yeah, that'll do. Tuesdays Gone, Simple Man, Free Bird. Maybe then I can make sense of things.

Or not.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

ftp back up

$DEITY! I put the new server online, what, one/two months ago? And all this time the access to /pub was not set right. You'd think SOMEONE would have mentioned it to me by now. Anyway, it's fixed. Now I will probably get slammed and have to try and workout bandwidth limiting without cbq.

FW: Dust Off as a drug

I got an email that was forwarded from my ex that seems to be making the rounds in the ether. Normally I delete messages that have "send this to everyone and his brother" exhortation in them. But this one, I think, might be worth sharing.
If you have children or grandchildren, PLEASE read this officer's story carefully. You can also verify the story at Dust Off (or a variant of the product) is available everywhere there's a computer.
First off, I feel for this man. The hardest thing a parent can ever endure is the death of a child. Doesn't matter how old they are, they are your babies and the proper evolution is for them to outlive you. But I wonder sometimes about the mentality of the world these days. Don't these people remember their youth? I'm not saying every adult was a head at 17 but those who grew up in the late 60's, the 70's and early 80's should have some clue about what kids can do. If it can be sniffed, snorted, smoked, eaten, drank or any other way of getting into the body someone's gonna do it. I remember the one and only time I tried poppers I damn near lost it completely. I remember passing out and not being able to break out of the black. To this day I still don't know how I was able to wake up. Once was almost once to much for me. But parents should know that if Nutmeg is a powerful hallucinogen when snorted anything that can be imbibed should be considered dangerous.

Writing a book?

I don't get it. Why can't I sleep?

One of the interesting things that came up while I was on holiday last week was the depth and breadth of stories I had about Germany and Europe from the 70's and 80's. Big things, small things, things no one but a small handful of people would even care about. My aunt J suggested that I write these memories/stories/musings/observations down. This was especially so because I have a memory like a sieve and can only randomly recall things from my past. I thought that it would make for a good series of posts to this blog. But both mum and aunt J said I should do it in the form of a book and see if anyone would buy it. My first reaction was incomprehension. I never think of selling myself or my works, which is a sore spot among some family members. It just never occurs to me at all. I am so used to giving out help, info and advice freely that the thought of money never enters my head. Another reason why I am not in the best of financial shape. But that's beside the point. The point is that I am going to write stuff down and then see if I can't get a book out of it. I'm sure that no one will buy it but what the hell, right?

Just spent a couple of hours tweaking my personal home page. I get so caught up in the minutia it's frightening. I spent 45 minutes getting one little line break adjusted. Sometimes this tunnel vision is a benefit, but mostly it's an hindrance.

I like this free flow stream of consciousness way of blogging. Got to figure out how to do it at times other than oh-dark-thirty, though.

There's so many things I need to get done before school starts. Time to make a list and check it twice. I know I'll forget things but if I have a list then I'll know that I forgot something. kao-jai mai krap

Languages... I've been sluffing off on them lately. I have gotten quite a ways into the Thai tapes but then switched back to Chinese because of you-know-who. But you-know-who has been MIA for a bit and it's still confusing to me where who and I are.

Ich verstehe nicht nichts.


Saturday, August 06, 2005

To shower or not to shower

That, as that say, is the question.

I've been sitting in my PJ's all day watching TV. I have no money to do anything so I can't go out. I could conceivably stay like this until Monday (I've done it before) but I'm not quite in the mood for that. I just don't have any compelling treason to get showered and dressed. My lady seems to be incommunicado (or avoiding me; whatever) so that leaves me with nothing but TV and cereal, if I wash some bowls.

Ah, in the end it will all come down to how much I can stand the smudges on my glasses. I have unusually long eye lashes and, compounded with the Italian genes, makes my glasses very smudged.

Someone remind me why I'm doing this? Blogging I mean. Other than the E-man no one really reads this stuff. Whatever.

Ok, I've decided! After I'm done chewing this piece of Hubba Bubba Max Sour Double Berry bubble gum I'm off to the shower.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Traveling sucks

Man, I hate traveling. Not that I hate visiting someplace either new and exciting or old and familiar. I hate the actual getting there and coming back of it all. As far as I'm concerned they can't invent teleportation devices soon enough. I know many people who love to get in their car and drive. The journey is as wonderful as the destination. At one time I may have been something close to that. Back in Germany it was a pleasure to drive and the trip wasn't as bad as it could have been. But in the decades since then I have had to endure the US highway system (there's a joke) and I have become far more brittle of bone and achy of muscle. I can handle driving for a few hours, today I did a stint of 2h and another of 6h. While I am capable of doing the latter I will end up being damn near immovable tomorrow. But enough grumbling about the ride, let's get to the vacation part.

We initially went up to central PA for a family reunion. This was the second year that they put together a big cross section of the family tree. The beginning was my mothers fathers father. Since he had 9 siblings and my grandfather had 10 and my mother had 9 this leads to a veritable forest. Last year it was quite fun. Well organized with the exception of things that kids could do. But there were group pictures of each branch and the elders would tell stories of their youth. An altogether enjoyable gathering. This year they bettered last by having organized games for the kids. However, other than that the reunion was a bit of a disappointment. One of the branches of the tree held their own reunion just days before so they weren't very sociable (understandable as three days of reunion is more than enough for any family). The organizer(s) did put together a four inch book of old documents and pictures as well as each family tree and pictures more current. About a third of it was junk for our line because it was about people so far removed that they were virtual strangers at best and, well, let's just say that they weren't well tolerated by my section of the tree. They screwed up my sisters family name even after getting three corrections to it before hand. Even with all this it wasn't that bad. The turnout was far lower than expected but I did get to meet and talk to some relatives that I would only see at this reunion. There are a lot of really hot women in the tree, too, so the eye candy was nice. Side Track: I always think of the Jeff Foxworthey joke, "If you go to a family reunion looking for a wife, you might be a redneck." In the end it wasn't a total loss but wasn't quite worth the trip up.

After the reunion we drove to Pittsburgh to spend the week with my mum's sister(s). Two of the four girls in the family live just across a park from each other. The fourth is in Colorado but she's not very mobile, I'm afraid. While there my son and I did a LOT of nothing. resting watching TV and playing down in the park. He went out with mum and my one aunt shopping and had a great time of it. I stayed home and washed laundry (and vegged in front of the TV while doing it). We always do enjoy visiting with them. I was a little disappointed that I couldn't spend time with one of my cousins. She was born exactly one day before me. So we like to kid each other about her being the "old foggy" and me being the "young whippersnapper." The aunt we stayed with, she and her husband are 80 years old. And man, I couldn't try and keep up with uncle J. He's basically blind and can just hear a bit with his hearing aid and still does "more before 9am than I will all day," to borrow a phrase. Aunt J is just as spry and in better shape but she adds the quality of being able to talk forever. This is, of course, what Italian grandmothers do, you know. The other aunt is, I believe, 76 years old. And if you met her you'd think she was in her 40's by appearance and in her 20's by her actions. I've never known anyone with as much energy and stamina as aunt A has with the exception of young children. It's exhausting just watching her.

The trip home was, as already mentioned, chalk-full of suckieness. Looks like there's a storm brewing WRT my ex about custody and all. But I'm putting that off 'till next week. Right now I'm going to rest and spend the weekend catching up on recorded Buffy reruns and the piles of email that have stacked up. Maybe post a few more things on here.

We'll see.