Archive for 2004


I was just sent an email from a good friend of mine. He tends to be pretty politically active, staying on top of issues both local and federal. He’s especially concerned about environmental things, reinforced by his wife being employed in that field as well (she works for an international symposium on global environmental concerns).

What he forwarded me was the text from this speech. Take a moment to read that so the rest of this post will have some meaning. First, I want to make sure this is taken in context. No, it isn’t true that every single religious affiliation or group believes the things mentioned in there, or that every right wing voter necessarily holds those things to be truths. It does, however, cast a more cynical eye on something that has been bothering me for some time.
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A general statement on health

The years have not been kind. No … I need to rephrase that. I have not been kind to myself over the years. Yeah, thats better. In my advanced age of 34 (har), I am now starting to feel all the deliterious effects of the abuses of my youth, and the continued effects of my overall sloth.

And you know, its the stupid little things that remind you of it, that something’s not right, or that something needs to be fixed. Vaulting up 15 steps, and being winded. Bending over to tie your shoes and feeling uncomfortable because your gut is in the way. An afternoon spent walking around in a local shopping district leaves you tired, cranky and sore. Oh, not to mention the obvious of not having clothes fitting that used to, etc.
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So now we approach another end of year, and lots of people get all reflective and try and do life analysis, figure out where to try and improve and all that. I still assert, and pretty much always have, that every single day is cause for celebration. I realize that based on particular religious practice, or perhaps to celebrate particular a particular person or some country’s achievement. All well and good, I’m down with that.

To me, though … I wake up every day pretty damn thankful that I’m still breathing. I don’t need any more cause than that to celebrate a day. Similarly, I don’t need any other reason to be reflective and try to find ways to improve my life and health.

Happy Holidays and New Year to you and yours.



Name chosen

Smidge. As in Smidgen, or Smidgin, or however you’d prefer to spell that.


New puppy!!!!

Yay. We did it. No name yet. She was puppy #2028 from the Lifeline Puppy Rescue in Colorado. I’ve added in two pics below!!


I’m guess I’m old fashioned…

Cynicism doesn’t really fit me. I don’t like thinking that way, nor having to think that way in order to rationalize a perceived behavior, but you know… thats just the way the world works sometimes. I suppose once you’ve worked for enough companies, or enough larger companies, you will eventually meet people who meet a certain criteria. Namely, those who would seek to rise through corporate ranks and achieve whatever element of success they want through manipulation and exploitation.

Is it so wrong to still believe the right way to go about doing that is by achievement, skill and honorable business practices? I suppose not, but perhaps its just naive to think that everyone would seek to take that path. I don’t even claim to be the holder of some holier-than-thou work ethic, or whatever, but to some of these people, concepts like loyalty, friendship and integrity have no place in their worlds. Sad, really. I suppose it has just always seemed the better path to prove value through deed instead of word. Furthermore, I know it works. It isn’t necessarily a fast process, nor easy. But its definitely satisfying. And not just ‘job well done’ satisfying, but also satisfying in the opinions that other people have of you, and how those get reflected back to you.

“Oh, I’ve heard about you … you’re the one who did X, Y and Z when noone else was willing to”

“Oh, hey, I finally get to meet you, I’ve heard so much about you from person A, B and C”

“Is the company taking care of you? We need to make sure you’re getting what you need”

“You let me know if you’re not happy where you’re at, I have room for someone like you anytime”

Tell me it isn’t satisfying to hear those sorts of comments. I’ve heard all of those within the last week. How you react to those statements is an entirely different matter, and depends on how humble you are, etc, but just to hear them makes alot of effort otherwise expended into the ether worthwhile.

So to those who would succeed through shortcuts, exploitation of relationships (or anything else, really), or manipulation of the truth to further your own ends, regardless of what other consequence that may have, or who else you might be hurting with those actions …. I tell you this:

You will never, ever hear those words. You will never, ever have the satisfaction of knowing your salary, position and compensation are DESERVED. I realize, those are hollow words, because you don’t care about that. Oh well. Your loss.


Possible new puppies

We’re currently looking around to see if we can get a companion for Sasha, our current dog. Sasha is an aussie cattle dog mix. Sasha’s mother was an Aussie cattle dog/chow mix (probably), and we’re really not sure of the father, but one possibility is a Shiba Inu. Anyway, we’re really impressed with Sasha’s temperment and brains. Her size is also perfect. She weighs about 40 pounds (or just shy of that) and thats just right for us. We’re hoping that another dog will also be in that same range for all three of those qualities.

Here are a couple of the candidates we’re looking at:
number one
number two
number three
and number four

The fourth of those is actually pretty astonishing to look at, given how close she looks to Sasha when she was that age. Compare it to this picture from just shortly after we got her home. Or perhaps even this one. Amazing. Almost identical coloring.

Anyway, we’ve emailed the shelter, and we’re trying to arrange to meet with them this Friday late afternoon, early evening. If it all works out, who knows… might be a very busy weekend.


As you might expect…

As with just about any other blog out there, I did recently get hit by the elements out there that would seek to make maintaining a site like this one a more difficult, high maintenance process. Fortunately, wordpress has some excellent facilities for dealing with comments spammers.

I found it an interesting observation that the spammers are not at all seeking click throughs to the sites they are advertising. Instead, they’re simply seeking to have the search engines find as many links to their site as they can, which in turn improves their rankings in searches for things. I suppose any system can be subverted if you throw enough assholes at it.


Coming back from break

It is always hard to come back after a break from work and suddenly be 100% productive again. Whether its some inherent slowness in the brain due to too much intake of tryptophane, or needing to gear things up again after having been idle for a week.

Who knows, either way, it hasn’t been easy. Blah.



Time is such a tenuous thing. You think you have alot of it, and it passes by at an astonishing rate. Its amazing how many concepts around our daily existences revolve around it. We can ‘make time’, ‘pass the time’, ‘let time slip through our fingers’, ‘kill time’, ‘waste time’ and so on.

When we’re young, we think there’s so much time, we can’t hardly find ways to fill it all, and end up bored. We look forward to getting older, becoming like our parents or other idols of our youth. As we get older, we abandon some idols for others or end up in a searching pattern, trying to find our ideals, goals, wonts, desires and faith. At some point, we think we know what we want, or at least accept that it is a moving target, and simply strive to always move to that target. And then we spend the rest of our days seeking that, filling every single minute of every single day in that search.

It may not always feel like it. It may feel like we’re just existing in some sort of wheel, or locked into a cycle or pattern that simply repeats itself endlessly. But to what end? To make money? Find fame? Become a star? Usually nothing so far fetched or unreachable. But it does feel like there isn’t enough time. Why are we in a rush? Is it something we impose on ourselves? Are we so ‘instant gratification’ driven that we can’t be patient with reaching those goals? Is the short term gain always more important than the long term?

Maybe we do need to slow down again. Societal pressure, as well as our own (perhaps misguided) drives make us push hard against that. A scene from a recent movie just struck me as poignant on this thought. In The Last Samurai, in the lord of the village remarks on his poetry, and how he is seeking the perfect spring blossom. Finally, in his death scene, his eyes already clouded over from his impending death, he remarks that they’re all perfect. Maybe we do need to spend more time in the now, looking at the beauty all around us, share in the pleasures and joys that we already have, instead of dwelling so much on things as yet unrealized.

I’ve always used the phrase casually, “Gotta Have Goals”, usually in reference to something lewd or lascivious. And I don’t think thats changed. You do have to have goals, drives and things that get you up every morning and drive you to excel. So the frustration that I’m feeling now revolves strictly around the constraints we face in accomplishing all that we want within the constraints of the time we’re given. I think I need to step back, evaluate again what is important, and not try and do too much at once. And in the meantime, leave myself enough time to enjoy what is around me now.

I miss college. I think many people might say that same thing. Why? Well, perhaps it was because I was so moved to accomplishing the things I did there that I neglected to enjoy the here and now of it. Maybe 4 years of that kind of environment wasn’t enough. But thats simply an example.

I need to think about that some more.


Week off

So next week I have off from work. Family coming into town on Tuesday. So that gives me three days to get my fill of Halflife 2, Metroid Prime 2 and World of Warcraft before they get here. Oh, and clean the house. Oh well, so much for having vacation. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t.

Christmas break will be different. 2 uninterrupted weeks of no obligations or distractions. God help me.



Ok, so you’re right.

I’ll just generate a PDF and provide a link to it. Time to dig out my acrobat license and get to it. Blah.


Another dream

This one was pretty detailed. It started out in a skiing resort type village. Somewhere were there was snow and a gondola. For some reason, the main gondola had some kind of cable problem and one of the gondola ‘pods’ was hanging low over a street. A large SUV or truck came ripping around the corner and nailed it. The main character was in the gondola, and the next thing he knew, he woke up flat on his back on the ground, staring up and two huge pylons, one from the gondola, and one from a power line and transformer. Also notable was that he was surrounded by hundreds of snowballs and that he had a photograph of his best friend (who had come with him on this ski vacation) on his chest.

He was brought to the hospital and checked out, having suffered no overt damage except shock, and eventually went back to the condo they had rented. When he arrives, he finds out that it was his best friend who was in the SUV, and that after the impact, it had careened off the road and fallen down into a frozen pond where his friend had drowned.

After going back home, and getting over that event, as time passed, strange things started to happen to people around him. They would die in strange ways, or would disappear, or apparently be kidnapped and never heard from again. It doesn’t happen constantly, but certainly with a much higher frequency than would normally be associated with one person and those he knows.

Over time, and through hypnosis and counselling, he is able to slowly remember the events of that original accident. What he eventually discovers is that after the impact with the SUV, he was thrown from the gondola, and landed squarely on a power transformer on the other pylon. During that moment where he is being electrocuted, he has a sort of “come to Jesus” moment, and meets his maker. Not having been a religious person at all, he is confused and cautious. As a result, he is given a choice by this being. Either he can die, and be brought “into the Light” of this newfound God, or he can live a full life, and (looking down below in the snow) over his lifespan, people around him would always be dying in mysterious ways, one person for every snowball on the ground.

Again, he then remembers having woken up on his back in the snow, apparently having made his choice. The significance of the photo eventually becomes apparent as well. It seems that every time he really looks at a picture (not just seeing something in passing), someone in the picture then dies or disappears without a trace. One scene in the dream is where he is being shown a picture by a friend of his of this person’s child, who is in the other room. As he looks at the picture, there is a scream from the other room, some other adult just having watched the child vanish from where she was playing on the floor.

After that point, I was sort of waking up from a phone call or two, and there wasn’t much more. I do remember that earlier in the dream (again) I had a feeling that this dream was not ‘original’ and that it had come from a story I had read or movie I had seen or something. Also, in the ending parts, the person had started secluding themselves from society, trying desperately not to view any photographs and cause any more deaths. Then it ended.



A few noteworthy post-election links

I’ll add to this as I get things forwarded to me.

This one is somewhat uplifting in spite of it all. I wish this wasn’t so funny. I don’t want to laugh about any of this. And this one was pre-election, but makes all this that much more frustrating. Also, I have alot of respect for Hunter S. Thompson, so whatever. Here’s something to note if you really just can’t take it anymore. Commentary from George Soros.

I’ll add more as I find them.


Back Tattoo Images

It occurred to me, after receiving an email from Crispin, that I hadn’t put up any of the more recent images of the back tattoo work. It is, in fact, done now. Please note, that in the below images, where you see ‘red’, it isn’t the color of the ink. That is just how skin behaves when you puncture it thousands of times with little needles, and the blood comes closer to the surface of the skin. So, I submit, for you approval or loathing…

Update (9/28/2011) … just linking straight to the gallery.

Note, I need put up one final image from now, which will have everything the right color and shading and such, and I’ll get to that soon. And for reference, the kanji in the small scroll thinger on the left hand side are three pairs for ‘truth’, ‘honesty’ and ‘compassion’.

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