Sometimes life gets busy, and in a good way. Something clicks in your brain. Things seem different. More possible. Inertia decreases. Momentum increases. Fog: Now gone. And if you’re me, you suddenly find that you’ve found yourself a new place to live. My days in this place where I’ve lived for six years — six years! — are now finally, officially, numbered.
I’ve had a two-concert weekend, and lord, how it has soothed my soul. Friday night I saw blues legend B.B. King play out at Chronicle Pavillion. What a fantastic treat. I was never much into the blues until this past year, and now I just can’t get enough. I’ve discovered there’s nothing better to listen to when you’re down: The blues doesn’t hold you down in your depths; they make you realize that we all hit rough spots, that overall things aren’t so bad, and that even in the midst of adversity, you can still let your light shine, and you can still create something breathtakingly beautiful. I feel blessed to have seen B.B. play. He’s getting on up there in years, and we may not have him around for too much longer, although he looked and sounded awfully good to me. I’d bet my last dollar he keeps performing …
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One of the highlights of my recent week away was getting to make friends with a dog named Dutch. He is a golden retriever / german shepherd mix. Last night I hung out with a friend and Cinnamon, her energetic mutt. And for the next couple of days, I am caring for Henry, a camera-shy feline who very nearly got me thinking I need a cat. (I don’t. Do I?) What I really need is a dog, but that’s not going to happen until I have a house and a yard someday. Dogs need yards.
On the Fourth of July, Americans celebrate not only liberty, independence, and freedom; we also celebrate the power of the written word. Other countries celebrate their independence on the day a jail was stormed, the day a monarch granted autonomy, the day a war was won. Americans celebrate the day the country’s founders put quill to ink and crafted an elegant screed. Word up.
We don’t have a monarch here in America, but we do have sacred texts that we hold every bit as dear. The Declaration of Independence, like its brother the Constitution, is a brilliant document but an imperfect one. We cringe now at the Constitution’s three-fifths compromise, and similarly, this bit from the Declaration, recalling one of the crimes of King George, certainly clashes with the premise than all men are created equal:
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring …
Last night as I was preparing dinner, there was a strange and alarming noise outside. It sounded sort of like someone setting off some firecrackers in the nearby parking lot, but I took a look out there and saw nothing. Today I discovered the source: The large tree outside our apartment lost one of its main branches.
Last week there were some birds beginning to nest in that tree. They chirped nearly constantly in the morning and at twilight. Today there was no sign of them.
When I was little, I saw the moon in the sky one afternoon. My four- or five-year-old mind was encountering data that violated a pattern I thought I understood. The moon was out, and yet it was not nighttime. So I asked my dad why the moon was out.
Dad looked up at the moon and said, “Well, I guess the guys who take it down in the morning forgot, and left it up there.”
I cannot remember how long I believed that there were in fact men responsible for putting the moon up and taking it down. But I know I believed it that afternoon.
At some point during my teenage years, I came down with the idea that when lonely people look up at a full moon, the mates they have yet to discover look up at the same moment; that connections are strengthened in these instants; and …
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How’s this for a Monday morning? You arrive at work to discover that, for the second time in as many years, an A/C unit on the floor above you malfunctioned over the weekend, sending water dripping down into your cube for hours and hours, destroying dead-tree files, soaking yer chair, and turning the carpet all spongy. As before, nothing expensive (yet replaceable) was damaged; the only casualties were cheap (but irreplaceable): interesting handouts from a training session I attended last year, docs and specs from older projects for which there never were electronic copies, and so forth. I have a funny feeling that since there is no immediate cost tied to this, in another year’s time I’ll go through this yet again. I wish the flood had destroyed my PC and monitor. That might have gotten a beancounter’s attention — when that happens, things get done. Hmmph.
Yesterday afternoon, I had already done my “work” (read: apartment hunting) for the day, so I headed into the City for a walk on the beach. If you’re me, you need walks on the beach from time to time. I’ve had one coming for a few weeks now. It was overdue.
Walks at Ocean Beach are one of the very few rituals in my life. The rules are simple.
Drive to Ocean Beach; park at the southmost end of the lot near the foot of Lincoln Way.
Shoes and socks come off. Pants get rolled up. It’s better if you wear shorts, or those crazy cargo pants whose shins zip off, resulting in a long, many-pocketed pair of shorts.
Walk straight out to the water’s edge, get feet wet. It hurts at first.
Turn right. Walk northward till you arrive at the cliff wall where further progress is impossible.
I was installing Mandrake 9.1 and told it to go ahead and resize XP’s NTFS partition. It did that, but it also corrupted said partition. I actually don’t know for certain that the data loss is Mandrake’s fault — through a stupid mistake of my own that I cannot bring myself to detail here, the partition may have been in a damaged state when I told Mandrake to resize it. But I did not realize that until it was too late. And now I’ll never know.
The machine in question is a brand-spankin’-new Dell that I’ve only had for two months, and I still have my old machine, so I’ve really only lost two months’ worth of data. (Plus, a lot of my work — email included — lives on a server, not on my local drive.) The main loss …
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It’s all about baseball: April’s not even past us yet, and I’ve already taken in a National League game and an American League game. Today my afternoon consisted of beautiful sunshine, hot dogs, beer, a large soft pretzel with mustard, and a spanking of the Texas Rangers by the Oakland Athletics, 12-2.
I’d really like to be a hardcore A’s fan, but I don’t think it’s ever going to happen. Nearly every game they play is marred by the designated hitter rule, one of the foulest creations known to man. Interestingly enough, there is an entire Web site devoted to abolishing the DH, but in reality, that will never happen as long as there is a players’ union. Here’s a bit of irony: History’s first designated hitter can’t believe the rule is still in place.
In a dream I had last night, there was no Pacific Bell Park five blocks from my office; instead, there was a massive, abandoned high-rise hotel down by the water. I think my mind based this structure on pictures I’ve seen of Detroit’s Book-Cadillac Hotel (more on that fantastic structure here).
At any rate, in the dream, I headed down to the hotel with several coworkers. Exploration was our goal, Dark Passage-style. Urban archeology. We broke in—it wasn’t hard—and began poking around. To our astonishment, one of the elevators was in working order. It arrived with a tremendous groaning sound just seconds after LB pressed the call button.
We got in. The buttons for the highest floors did not seem to work, but we were able to get up to the thirty-second floor. The hallway was filled with detritus and kipple, but there was a window at the …!-->
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Yes, the blog has stalled. This is because I have been sick (mostly in bed) for the last four days and am only now beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. As soon as I stop coughing up ectoplasm, I’ll devote more time to the site.