Mem, version 1.3's Journal
20 most recent posts

Date:2006-08-13 17:56
Mood: nervous

I've moved many thing, if disappointingly not all (Still missing my beloved waterbed). I'm starting to decorate. It's fun. Most of my stuff is moved, and I'm learning how to fill in the spaces. Bought a mirror today (photos to follow when my camera gets fixed...), and I need a little side-table to accompany it.

Too many people and depth of responsibility are the juxtaposed realities. Nesting helps me balance those.

Most of today's waking hours were spent on the phone today. Nobody (except Finn) woke me up, and no calls really came early. But once they started, they came in sequence. My life is surprisingly complicated. And opaque and oblique. To provide some balance, some of those calls came in and some were done because I felt the need for more humans after a particular call. At one point, I got a little mushy. Turns out, complexity I can handle. That's a new point of acceptance for me. Admittedly, it's prolly not news to all my friends, but sometimes I'm also slow.

Bottom line: It's mostly fun.

1 comment | Comments, questions or irate replies....

Date:2006-06-19 17:51
Subject:Oh, Canada!
Mood: cheerful

Tomorrow I'm flying to Toronto to speak at the IdeaCity conference. ( It reminds me of the old group genius meetings at Foresight, and I'm really looking forward to an ecclectic and interesting gathering. My red-headed propmistress friend will be joining me, because the invitation said I could fly first class or fly coach and bring a friend. Though the indulgence of flying first class was tempting, I thought it better to take someone to critique my speech. :)

I've never been to Toronto. This should be fun!

1 comment | Comments, questions or irate replies....

Date:2006-06-16 22:34
Subject:A Home of My Own
Mood: giddy

Someone actually gave me the keys to a house. OMG!

There's stuff the previous owner left that requires disposal, and he did a fine job gouging the wood floors on his way out the door; but I'm very pleased with my purchase and its mountain of new debt.

7 comments | Comments, questions or irate replies....

Date:2005-11-13 01:12
Subject:Hi. It's been a while.

At some point, I'm going to pick up my journal where I left off, but not today. Today, I was playing with the map posted by my firend zderek, trying to remember all the states I've visited. I came up with these:

create your own personalized map of the USA

on the more global scale, I've been to these:

create your own visited country map

4 comments | Comments, questions or irate replies....

Date:2005-06-21 22:08
Subject:Random Observation
Mood: amused

Most days, my brain works faster than my mouth. Does this happen to anyone else?

3 comments | Comments, questions or irate replies....

Date:2005-05-16 18:03
Subject:So Sad.
Mood: sad

A friend died yesterday, suddenly. I found out today, because I was out of town.

Didn't get much work done. Spent a fair amount of time crying. I'm adding his picture to my mantle's collection, and it'll be in a frame that he gave me.

I'll burn a little candle for him on future May 15ths, just like I do for my dad on June 22. It seems fitting, to want to remember. Remembering takes so little space and only a little time, and I love that about our brains.

I'm not a religious person. I don't believe in an afterlife, unless that wacky cryonics actually works; and I don't believe in ghosts. I wish some days that I did. If some ghost out there would just tap me on the shoulder and say hello, I'd be much more sanguine about letting go of family and friends.

(Bonus points if you can explain why *sanguine* has the definitions of: 1. Of the color of blood; red. 2. Of a healthy reddish color; ruddy: a sanguine complexion. 3. Having blood as the dominant humor in terms of medieval physiology. 4. Having the temperament and ruddy complexion formerly thought to be characteristic of a person dominated by this humor; passionate. And yet the finally definition is: 5. Cheerfully confident; optimistic. How did this linguistic shift happen? -- source, clearly I need a new source.)

Dave (and he's not one any of you have met, of those who read this. told you you should have visited more often.), Dave was a wonderful man. He was warm-hearted and generous; he was quick with a hug and a smile; he fed me glasses of wine on particularly stressful days, when I'd take an extended smoke break. Dave was my first non-work-related friend upon returning to this sun-blasted state. I love him, and will miss him terribly.

6 comments | Comments, questions or irate replies....

Date:2005-03-16 20:54
Subject:Have my friends...

... posted? Have they, have they, {hiccup!}

Comments, questions or irate replies....

Date:2004-09-22 00:36
Subject:Scavenger Hunt

Got this from zestyping.

1. Think of a word you would use to describe me.
2. Go to Google Image Search and search for that word.
3. Select the picture you see as most fitting, and post it as a reply to this entry.
4. Post this in your journal if it pleases you.

3 comments | Comments, questions or irate replies....

Date:2004-09-08 21:08
Subject:Funny thing happened on my way to work...

Living not far from the lab, it takes me just a few minutes to get to work. This morning, I was heading in with one of the windows down and the air conditioning running. Though this in itself is not unusual, the dust and particulates that launched themselves through the a/c vents were. It took me a bewildered moment of wondering if my car would suddenly be exploding now, and I shut off the a/c to make it stop blowing crap in my face. I looked around to find the source of this disturbance and ended up blaming a guy holding a leaf blower on the side of the road.

It wasn't until I was leaving the lab and decided to put a little extra air in a low left tire, that I opened my trunk to find the *real* source of the gunk. My fire extinguisher went off all by itself, covering the entire contents of the trunk in dusty residue. Naturally, much of that went right up my nose when I opened the trunk, and I spent a minute or so coughing up a lung. Shortly thereafter, I sent a silent apology to the maligned gardener.

Note to self: when carrying an extinguisher in the trunk, make sure the pin is a little more secure.

1 comment | Comments, questions or irate replies....

Date:2004-07-20 18:18
Subject:Outrageous Claim by Bush

"After launching two wars, President Bush (news - web sites) said on Tuesday he wanted to be a "peace president" and took swipes at his Democratic rivals for being lawyers and weak on defense." (full Yahoo story)

Am I the only one seriously irked by this bald-faced bullshit?

5 comments | Comments, questions or irate replies....

Date:2004-07-11 00:59
Subject:Really Destined to Update

... but not tonight.

I'd fully intended to make some notes, since I'm so bloody far behind in my general chronicling efforts, but it just didn't work out that way. I'm leaving town tomorrow for a few days, and I fully expect this to be a partially unpleasant trip.

What? You think maybe I need a new job?

Stupid stresses.

Comments, questions or irate replies....

Date:2004-06-26 21:52
Subject:Happy Birth(twenty)days!

to cecimoi and all the other party goers

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Date:2004-03-28 01:51
Subject:A Bit of the Perfectly Mundane, Plus a Bonus Cat Fight.
Mood: dorky

Today was a pretty good day, despite not being able to sleep in much. There is something inherently wrong about waking up at 8:30 on a Saturday morning.

I cleaned half my room, started a bunch of laundry, ran errands (including the bank and food), went out to dinner with the Odd one and his mom, grandpa, and friend, and played a good chunk of Diablo. Collected my first Arizona parking ticket during dinner, but that didn't spoil the Kilt Lifters, goat cheese pizza or Coldstone Creamery goodness, prolly because I didn't find out until I'd had a chance to walk it off. A full day off, except for a little email checking and one conversation, but that hardly counts.

A few moments ago, an extremely loud cat fight started in the living room. Some grey came into the house and challenged Finn to a duel. I ran out and clapped loudly, and that cat ran right out the door. It shouldn't have been in here in the first place! Poor Finn was pinned to the tile, and seems to have a bit of a limp now, but he won't let me check. I've given him a treat, and when the adrenaline wears off, I'll check him more closely for wounds. Near as I can tell, there is no blood, but he's getting a little old for mistreatment. I really want to be able to allow him the freedom to come and go as he pleases, but this is the second fight that I've interrupted. One was a coincidence, and two is downright too many.

Going to bed now with a vanilla diet coke and book with a warm and friendly "Don't Panic" on the cover. Tomorrow, it's back to the grindstone with my nose, but I fully intend to work on my gaming chops a little more now that I have another act to anticipate.

Thank you, that is all. Move along. Move along.

1 comment | Comments, questions or irate replies....

Date:2004-03-11 00:43
Subject:Bad Legislation, No Donut
Mood: annoyed

For those of you following cryonics, you're surely already aware of the legislation being proposed to regulate cryonics in Arizona. This bill started out as an attempted ambush for cryonicists in that state, but was sufficiently public that Alcor found out about it.

Until today, it looked like things were going pretty well, negotiations were on-going, and accord growing. But Representative Bob Stump decided to plow ahead with the process, without waiting for the stakeholders to finish sorting out their differences, and now the game has changed from "let's see how we can make this work" to "how do we kill this thing".

Alcor has decided to ask all its members and supporters to email the Arizona's House of Representatives. See their legislative alert for how you can help. I'd like to second (or third or fourth) their call for assistance and ask anyone who cares about good legislation versus bad to read about this situation and send a letter.

It looks like tomorrow's vote is rather like a show of hands, whereby Stump and the rest of the House can establish whether there really is popular support for the legislation, leading up to a formal vote next week. This is the stage of government where one man really can have a say in how things go, and I urge you to join in raising a din against this unwanted, unnecessary, and ill-considered bill.

Thank you.

2 comments | Comments, questions or irate replies....

Date:2004-03-03 01:45
Subject:If it weren't for laundry, I'd be sleeping right now.
Mood: sleepy

It's true, last week was brutal, but this week isn't shaping up any better. The legislative hearing went well, due entirely to a last minute compromise. It was nice to walk in knowing we had the votes we needed to get the job done; but that was not to be. Still, the testimonies went well, even though they ran out of time before I was able to give mine. You know full well it would have been the icing on the cake, and no one really likes all that sweet stuff.

I've been fairly manic of late, a response to the high stress at work and the few hours of rest I get each day. I'm finding myself increasingly impatient with stupidity or sloth, not only in myself, but with those around me. With luck and more hard mental work, I should be able to get a handle on this some day.

I keep meaning to write the family, one of those silly, long letters that updates them on all the crazy stuff I'm doing. While I'd love to bore them senseless with tales of law and disorder, I haven't had the time.

Multiple writing projects are now in my queue, and I'd really like to take the time to get them done, but there may be a few things interfering... like, you know, actually freezing people. Why can't these people just wait until I have time to pencil them in?

On a slightly entertaining note, I was chastised recently for saying that we freeze people. Freezing is so passe, and also not so much what we do anymore. (Ah, the joys of improved technologies...!) I'm already adjusting my vocabulary to eliminate the word "suspension", replacing it with "cryopreservation". That's a hard one, especially since most people now recognize the term cryonic suspension.

Changing out the "freeze" is troublesome to me on more that one level. I remember the day I edited the traditional phrasing of "fight or flight" to accommodate the (then) new world order. Survival instincts are not just fight or flight, but more completely, fight, freeze or flight. If you don't freeze, those pesky snakes will get you every time! Why has the world forsaken this option? I guess they haven't entirely, since there is this sudden urge to regulate.

For fun, I have a break planned in nine days. I'm flying back to the Bay area for a party weekend. Though I'm not sure everyone else will be in the mood, I plan to take advantage of my enforced holiday. Granted, it's only enforced because I bought my ticket, and I hate waste. I'm also planning to attend the Asilomar Microcomputer Workshop again this year, at the end of April. What a shame, that I have to travel to scenic Monterey, to camp by the beach, sleep in, and sit all day listening to geniuses share their latest technological marvels. It may well be my favorite meeting, since the disappointing demise of the group genius format.

Speaking of the group genius format, I still intend to revive that process when I start holding training classes again. It will work well for smaller groups than it ever did for the 200+ person events, and the documentation challenges shouldn't be a problem. The facility should be renovated by the end of the summer, so I expect to have all the space I need to do it right... now all I need is the time to write the prep docs. Should be great fun, mapping out the logistics and the content. I'd really like to write up the process itself, since that is where my primary fascination lies.

Also of note, I ran around all day with a missing button and no one said a word, and some kid(s) egged my car the other day.

2 comments | Comments, questions or irate replies....

Date:2004-01-26 22:28
Subject:Visited Locations

This was fun, thanks fjarlq. I now know I've visited 30 states (60%) and 29 countries (13%).

create your own visited country map
or write about it on the open travel guide

create your own visited states map
or write about it on the open travel guide

Comments, questions or irate replies....

Date:2003-10-19 23:52
Subject:Long time no read...
Mood: awake

Unpacking is going slowly. I've only brought in a few boxes, and fewer still have been fully unpacked. It's hard to organize such a small space, and I'm trying to be selective in choosing which parts of my life to have immediately available and which should/could wait. As this necessitates yet another paring of possessions, I'm once again concerned about clutter. But there is good news on this front, as my space uncluttering book was readily available at the top of a box. I pulled it out and read a few pages.

I'm trying to assimilate these four categories of clutter:

  • Things I do not use or love

  • Things that are untidy or disorganized

  • Too many things in too small a space</li>
  • Anything unfinished

The first category is fairly simple. A little painting I picked up in Paris is always the first beloved thing positioned in every new house. At first, it hung in my bedroom/office; but I moved it to a vacant nail in the hall. But while the first one category is clear enough, I have some trouble with the other three. Sigh. So much organizing, so little time.

I'm having trouble sleeping. It's not me so much, as it is Finn. Last night was my first night back from a ten day trip to the East Coast, and if he woke me up once, he woke me a dozen times. Reaching out a single claw to scratch my face, Finn learned over the years this is sufficient to wake me from the deepest sleep. All he needs is a little petting, then he lets me sleep again; but this is cutting seriously into my REM. I really need a way to break this behavior, but nothing has worked thus far. Damn cat, too smart for my own good.

It would be hard to underestimate how busy it is at work, and how much a wish for a full night's rest. It got busier still while I was away. Admittedly, it was not the best time to leave the lab, but when your mother threatens both your life and your cryonic suspension, you know she needs to see you.

On my vacation, I was fairly sleep deprived. My brother and I put nearly two thousand miles on his car as he took me to see all the family I've been missing all these years. Saw both grandfathers, cousin and step brother, and step dad briefly. Had a few days at the beach with mom and step mom, the aforementioned younger brother, and my two precious nephews. I'm having camera trouble, and may lose half my photos to a disk/write error of some kind. I'm going to ignore that until tomorrow, and focus instead on those happy days at the beach.

I'd packed my kite, and while my nephews didn't quite understand the dynamics, they had a grand time running with it across the sand. Their daddy was the one who couldn't handle the pressure. He took over for the boys at one point, and tried to break the kite height record that was set in May 2001 at a certain little girl's birthday party. He didn't quite succeed, as the wind was significantly stronger off the water, but he came real close. (I'm using my kite user pick in honor of the kite that done good. Granted, you can't really see the kite, but I know it's there.)

As he was winding it back in as we were preparing to leave, disaster struck. I looked up at the oh, shit, and stared into my brothers startled eyes. With only maybe fifteen feet of rewind left, a gust of wind had ripped the string from his grasp, and the kite took off with vigor. By the time my brother got halfway to the water, it was already crossing the first waves, dragging the bouncing roll of twine violently. My nephews were both shocked that daddy could lose their kite, and particularly smug as they informed Oma of events when we returned home. We collected shells, starfish, and shark eggs, watched the sunsets and paddled in the surf for several days; and all too soon it was time to return.

I worked a good chunk of today, but it will be a long week that culminates in a training class for which I'm currently unprepared. I have five days to get ready, and I think it's doable if few interruptions occur.

Tired now, going to bed. Maybe tonight is the night I get to sleep through.

2 comments | Comments, questions or irate replies....

Date:2003-09-21 19:34
Subject:Landlady or Demon? You be the judge.

Before the memory fades into blissful oblivion, I want to detail the final annoyance provided by my landlady. In honor of my impending departure, she decided to place a three-day eviction notice on my door in an attempt to extort an additional $420 in rent. When I declined to pay anything extra, she laid in wait for other opportunities.

My movers arrived, a couple hours after they were scheduled, but were very nice once they arrived. One of them was nice, the other was very, very quiet. He was probably tired, as they'd driven in from Portland to make my pickup. Most of my stuff was actually packed, but I was missing a few lids. They shrink wrapped those boxes and threw them on the truck with the rest. Every time I came downstairs from my frenzied box-toss upstairs, another chunk of stuff had been loaded. Unfortunately, they didn't move quite fast enough. I think they were a bit taken aback by the sheer number of books and the lab equipment I recently acquired for my once and future employer.

The newly-hired gardener is starting to serve as a bit of a manager as my landlady was dealing with health issues. He spotted my intrepid movers and called her right away. She parked out front and watched them load for a while. I called bogo to come over and provide backup. In case she got nasty.

She said nothing to me. But she did waylay one of the movers and start asking questions. They thought she would maybe want to become a client and provided basic information on their company and services. When she started asking questions about me specifically, they shut up and came inside to let me know. A few minutes later, the headquarters rep with whom I'd been making my arrangements called the driver. That woman actually had the nerve to call them up and start attempting to extract information long-distance. I'm not really sure why she wanted this information, but she lied to them about a few things. I know the market is tough right now, but this is crossing several lines!

I don't know what she can do to me. I'm leaving the state, I've paid all my rent, and I'm writing off my deposit. Even though I think the place is pretty clean, except for the ton or two of cat hair. Since she gave me a three day notice to pay more or quit, I quit. This only cut short my tenancy by two days, but those were the days I'm intended to clean the house. The movers didn't leave until 11pm, and I was exhausted a couple hours before that.

This latest attempt at extortion was exceedingly irritating, at least until one of the movers pointed out she was evil. He said, "She's an egoist, evil, and not too nice to look at." Or something like that. I'm inclined to agree. I will have nothing more to do with this woman, if I can help it. She made an already tense move into something exceedingly stressful.

Since then, life has been better.

Friday morning, before the movers arrived, I brought Finn over to bogo's for the weekend, and I had to pour him into his cage for the drive. He cried the entire way, but it wasn't really far. He's spent nearly all the time since hiding under the bed. It's late Sunday evening, and he's only starting to venture forth. I've haven't told him yet about the 12-14 hour drive we have scheduled for Tuesday. I may have to pull out a pair or earplugs or play the stereo really loud. His cries are heartbreaking, and I'm so conditioned to respond.

It'll be better soon. We'll be staying in temporary accommodations with roommate(s) for a while, which I look for a house, and that means one more move ahead. But it's a small one comparatively, and it will be into a house of our own. I'm really looking forward to that.

Last night, I dropped by to see howdy and conty, finally handing them the hoarded baby blanket I made for them. I kept insisting it wasn't done (and it wasn't), but I ran out of time to finish. I'm so very bad at mailing packages, that I decided premature disasturbation was too tiring. The good news was, they seemed to like it, despite its slightly trapezoidal shape and complete lack of fringe. It also needed a bath, as the kitties liked the yarn about as much as I did. Soft, warm, what's not to like? Oh, right. Allergies.

We watched the latest Survivor opener, and they fed me chinese. Contemplectable started having the hiccups, and conty let me feel. That made me giggle like a girl. I've been watching a lot of Angel with bogo, managing to rest up and recuperate some before I start the next stage of my unexpected adventures.

3 comments | Comments, questions or irate replies....

Date:2003-09-06 18:00
Subject:A Future Plan
Mood: devious

My just-before-bed book just became Callahan's Key, and once again, I find myself wishing to contact Spider Robinson.

Robinson wrote a book that I read as an early teen, a book with a plot that haunted me for years, despite the title and author agents having long since faded. When I first read Mindkiller, I found it disturbing. The characters, setting, and story itself were all intruiging, with implications and developments I found myself wanting to fight. I'm reluctant to say much about it, because I'd hate to spoil it for anyone. Haven't read the book but a couple times in the twenty or so years since I nosed the first pages aside. Now that it's come up again, I'll have to track down my copy (easy since I'm currently boxing up books) and give it another read.

It was bogo who introduced me to Spider Robinson's comedic series. I've loved those Callahan books ever since. Not only are the stories wild and entertaining, but he has the Heinleinian touch for presenting a comprehensive, consistent world view. Granted, one of the reasons I'm so entertained by these books is because the ideology agrees so well with my own. Can't help that, don't want to....

In this current and virgin work, Robinson has evolved one of his characters into a modern day hunter, with the prey being DNA. The trophies in his personal quest are samples from prominent authors. I applaud this quest, and it's one of my pet potential future projects. Oddly enough, I'm about to again be in a position to store DNA samples; and I'm wondering if Spider asked, (see how we're already on a first name basis...) would it be more likely that DNA will be preserved? I'm thinking, yes.

I know from my work at [that nano org], I need an outlet for dream in my work. If I don't have that, I get bored and start faltering in my effort. It was Chris Peterson who got me speculating about this fixation being a form of altruism, and after much deliberation, I decided it was merely selfish. I can actually see a better world that I want to continue to live in, and I'm determined to help bring that world into being. Selfish, selfish, selfish. But if this particular bout of selfishes manages to preserve the DNA of multiple beloved individuals, I'm so going to exploit that!

For years, I've felt that imaginitive part of myself dying, finding relief only at rare gatherings and infrequent parties. Since I started reading seriously again, and since I took this job, I'm feeling somewhat invigorated. This invigoration is tempered with fear and doubt, mostly because I know what I'm getting into; but I welcome those demons. Calling them by name often gives me the means to shoot them down.

I'm feeling rather optimistic,looking to do good work and forge new relationships. It is time. I'm hoping now only that I have a strong soul. I'm going to need it.

Comments, questions or irate replies....

Date:2003-09-05 02:09
Subject:The Pains of Paine

Reading Thomas Paine's Common Sense during my lunch half-hour lately. Sitting at a wooden desk, writing with a quill, pondering a revolution now hundreds of years past, he declared, "These are the times that try men's souls." War was brewing over the freedom to live un-oppressed, taxation was an issue in a land where acres could be had for silver pennies. But his troubles then have strong parallels to our troubles now.

Much of the manuscript highlights Paine's belief in God and a man's responsibility to live up to Christian values, and I find my eyes occasionally glaze over as my tolerance for duration in this message dwindles. Many spellings were slightly different, like connexion. After the introduction of each new configuration of letters, adjusting to the words was fairly easy, yet each encounter left with with a sense of the age of the text. The birth of our nation only feels so long ago, mostly because I wasn't around to witness it. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were the ideals of the day, and those freedoms had to be earned. War came and went, leaving the colonies with a rare opportunity to cast down one system of government and try to build anew. Paine wrote, "Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness."p.24 This was a neat turn of phrase that is sticking with me, a seemingly beautiful summation that begs many questions.

One of the things I most dislike about our current regime is how eagerly some politicians are threatening other countries. Some of those countries are dangerous, as their beliefs require stomping out the wicked; and the wicked are currently us. Though he was referring to British rule and the number of enemies that automatically bestowed upon the colonies by association, my heart twinged when Paine asked, "[Can you] hereafter love, honor, and faithfully serve the power that hath carried fire and sword to your land?" The truth is, I cannot.

It is a true shame that there are no new frontiers currently open to colonization, where a determined group of people can set aside a damaged governance and start anew. While I'm hopeful for efforts like the Free State Project, and will probably participate when it becomes a reality, I'm still curious about what will replace the current convolutions in law. Will it be possible to whittle the massive legal system to a bare minimum, to gain representation by people of honor, people I trust? I have my doubts.

I'm sure some of my doubts are self-inflicted. Dammit, I want a new frontier! And though a new frontier may be carved from Mars or from a chunk of Montana, there are few challenges so grand as ensuring survival, preserving independence, and choosing happiness. Installing a new, less intrusive, less target-provoking government would be lovely, especially if that government focused on the true costs of its activities and not just the self-serving ones. But even if that could be done to my satisfaction tomorrow, I'll still need to remember one other point Paine made, "Virtue is not hereditary, neither is it perpetual."p.65

This is the point where Professor Moody stands and shouts, "Constant vigilance!"

1 comment | Comments, questions or irate replies....

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