Friday, December 30, 2005

Happy New Calendar!

I'm getting ready to head back out to Binghamton to ring in the New Year with TWIL. We aren't sure what we will be doing {Going to the First Night festivities, a movie, or something else entirely} but I know it will be great as long I am with her.


Recently TWIL, The Sprout, and I were sitting around the living room, playing cards, having a great time. At one point I looked over at TWIL, saw her smiling and laughing... Let me say that TWIL is a beautiful woman, but the sight of her smile lighting up the room like that was enough to take my breath away. I forgot myself and what I was doing.


I hope everyone enjoys their weekend and the celebrations going on this weekend.

Anyone making any resolutions? Share them and maybe I'll share mine.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Merry Christmas (or Whatever) To All

I hope everyone has been having a good holiday season, whatever holidays you happen to celebrate. {Even if the only thing you celebrate is not having to go into work for a couple of days.} Mine have been very busy but also very good.

I have been very busy with work, but all I'm going to say about that is that I have spent a lot of time processing a file with over 600,000 records in it to generate a 32,568 page report. This includes logging in remotely to "finish up work" on it over the weekend. Now I've been told that the client sent us bad data and will be resending the file for it to be reprocessed.

I hope that we were notified before the report was printed.

Outside of work a lot of time has been spent travelling. Christmas was spent with TWIL and her family, including having Christmas Eve dinner with The Sprout, her father, his SO and their parents at his house. The Sprout was staying over there for the night, which made it a little easier for Santa to do his thing with out having to worry as much about people waking up.

When everyone showed up Christmas morning with more presents, well let's just say there wasn't much room left. Especially after wrapping paper started to fly. TWIL's mother has surprisingly good aim when she wants to.

All told, I think the best present I got this year was being there and spending Christmas with everyone.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Domain Hosting

For those who don't know, I run this journal through Blogger but have it published to my own domain hosting account. I was doing this because I had other things hosted and planning on doing a lot more with the space. However, the other day I was thinking about my hosting and what I am actually doing with it.

Currently I don't really have anything on here other than my journal and my linkblog. There are still other things that I am thinking of putting up here, but I'm not sure when, or if, they will show up. So should I still being paying for hosting or should I move my blogs to Blog*Spot instead? {I'd still use my domain name, just as a redirect instead of having it hosted.}

I'm interested in hearing your opinions on this. Feel free to share them in the comments.

Of course I have decided to continue with my hosting for the moment. This is partly because of the of the recent outages that have happened on Blog*Spot and partly because of the hosting package I currently get. I am paying less than $4 a month for 5GB of storage, 250GB of monthly bandwidth, along with lots of email, access to PHP and MySQL, and lots more. I have been wanting to learn more about PHP and MySQL so I figure it is worth it to have all of this setup and usable.

I'm still interested in your opinions since there may come a time when I decide to move hosts or just do away with it all together.

I am not going to switch my current blogs away from Blogger. But who knows what I'll do with any new ones, if there are any.


I'll be back soon with a real entry...
Until then,

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving.US

The week has been rushed and greatly compressed. Partly this is because of how tired a felt on Monday after driving back from TWIL's on Sunday night. Well, it wasn't all from the drive, it was also due to the stress I had been under last week. {I'll tell you about some of it later, I'm still rushed right now.} As I'm sure happens to some of you as well, when I'm under a lot of stress and it is removed, my system relaxes and I start to feel very tired and rundown for a while.

The weekend with TWIL and The Sprout was great and at the end of it I had three people telling me I should stay. I would have stayed if it was possible, but I only had enough of my meds {I'm diabetic, remember?} to last until Wednesday or Thursday. So I came back for three days.

Now I'm getting ready to go head back. I'll be leaving in the next few minutes and will be there through the weekend.

Sounds like a Happy Thanksgiving.US to me.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Odds and Ends

It's been too long since I wrote anything, but I am kind of rushed right now and don't have time to write as much as I'd like. So let me just cover a few things that might be of interest.

I keep seeing news stories, web sites, etc. that make me think "I need to share this with someone." In some cases I feel like my head is going to explode if I don't pass some it along. However, I didn't want to clutter this journal with entries that do nothing but say "Check this out" so I started a new blog specifically for this purpose. You can find it at I have already made a couple of posts over there, so go check them out.

That blog is just using one of Blogger's standard templates for the moment while I do some final tweaking on the template for my journal. Once that is complete you will see both updated to use the new template. Then I'll get to work on the new CSS that so the look of the whole domain will be changing a lot. Although it might happen in stages.


I was in Salem, MA the weekend before Hallowe'en. I do not recommend this. Actually, I'm not sure I'd recommend Salem at any time during the month of October. But if you are going to go, the earlier in October the better.

I did enjoy myself, but that had more to do with watching the tourists in the crowd and listening to some of the things that were being asked and said. There was also a very good art show based around the theme of Hallowe'en and Terror. I also bumped into Daniel GreenWolf although I didn't have much time to catch up with him. {I know at least one of you will know him as well, although maybe not by that name.}


I also ran into my friend Fox and her daughter a couple of weeks before that while walking through Boston Common. We had somewhere around 4 years to catch up. Luckily neither of us were in a hurry and we had time to talk.


I'm heading out to spend the weekend with TWIL and The Sprout. I'm not sure what the plans for the weekend are other than TWIL and I will be going to see Sol Dog tomorrow night. {Great band, great guys, great CD}

Friday, October 28, 2005

'Net connection has been restored.

In case anyone was wondering, I have been offline for the better part of a week while my cable Internet connection was down. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Comcast Sucks!

But in case anyone is interested, it is back up and running now and I have full 'net access from home again.

Of course, that doesn't mean that you are going to get much right now, as I have to get ready to leave for the weekend. Off to spend time with TWIL. Unfortunately, I am stuck at work right now waiting for someone else, which is how I have time to post from here, and will not be be able to leave for NY until the morning.

And as I write this, the 2-hour process, which was going to keep me here until 9PM, is officially 1 hour late getting started. and I am on a conference call listening to the others who are trying to get the process started. They are discovering more issues which are delaying things even longer.

This is SOOOO much fun.

Anyway... I need to go give some people a swift kick in the ... pants. Metaphorically. At least to start.

Don't expect much more than this out of me tonight. After I get out of here I still need to go home, pack a bag, call TWIL and get some sleep. I hope I can get all of that finished before midnight.

Who am I trying to kid... I hope I'll get out of here before midnight.


Update [12:50AM] : Well, I'm finally done for the night. Now to pack and get some sleep.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Sleepy Thoughts

I was doing a lot of thinking over the weekend, and some writing to go along with it. Unfortunately {for me} none of the writing is in a condition that I would be comfortable sharing. Fortunately {for you} I realized just how crap it was before posting it. I imagine that some of it will make it here once it is cleaned up somewhat.

However, it has been a while since I talked about the sleep test and results. So, let me give you an update on that...

As you may remember, I went for a sleep study {described here} and I briefly gave initial results from it in this post but haven't said anything else about it since.

I talked to my doctor and we discussed the fact that my sleep apnea is very mild at this point and "the machine" wasn't necessary, although it would be worth a try to see if it helped. Well, we contacted my usual medical supply store to see about getting setup with the machine.

It turns out that they couldn't give me one because I lived too far away. They suggested I find a closer supplier and get the machine from them.

So far I have had no luck finding a closer supplier and have not gotten a machine. And while I have looked, to be honest, I am not really concerned about getting one at this point.

I am sleeping better and getting more rest from it for a couple of months now. I may go back and see about getting the machine if my sleep problems get bad again, but while I am sleeping relatively well I am not going to worry about it since wearing the mask and having the machine running by my bed would disrupt my sleep as much as it might help at this point.

And speaking of sleep...


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Another Year Older

What a week {2 weeks?} it has been. The end of last week was nuts and had me working ten to eleven hours days in order to finish a project I as working on.

I did get it finished and managed to leave a little early on Friday so I could head out and spend the weekend with my girlfriend. {Here after referred to as TWIL, at least for now.} You see, Saturday was my birthday and I really didn't want to spend it anywhere else.

I got out early enough that I managed to get there in time to spend some time with The Sprout {TWIL's daughter} before she went to bed. We hung out and made some balloon animals.

Of course shortly after The Sprout was in bed I got a call from work and spent over an hour on the phone troubleshooting and fixing problems. Luckily, that was it for the weekend. Once I was off that call we had the rest of the weekend alone together.

Well, there were the three of us until Saturday afternoon when The Sprout's father picked her up. The there was just the two of us.

We spent the weekend enjoying each other's company since we don't get to spend time together physically often enough. Much of the time was spent talking and holding each other. Including a very good neck rub TWIL gave me after the call from work Friday night {Thank you, Beautiful} and a walk in the park Sunday night.

And to celebrate my birthday on Saturday night, we went out to dinner at a very nice restaurant and went to the movies.

I'd write some more, but I have to go. It is time for our nightly call.


Monday, September 12, 2005

Has it really been a month?

I'm not sure what to write, so I'll just start writing and see what comes out. Let's start with Pennsic...

I got to Pennsic on Saturday and my tent was already pitched, I had sent it along with friends who had gone earlier. So all I had to do was move my stuff into it and get my space set up which didn't take too long. After that I spent the rest of the evening (until almost sunrise) hanging out with my brother and a couple other friends. It was a good night.

Sunday afternoon was the wedding. I have been to weddings in the past. I have even been in the wedding party once or twice. But this was the first wedding I have performed. First time I have seen or filled out a wedding licence as well.

Have I mentioned that I don't like public speaking? No. Well, I don't.

I got several compliments on my speaking voice and my projection. One person was at the entrance to the space, about 30-35 meters from where I was standing, who said he could hear every word quiet clearly. A couple of other people said "I told you said you weren't any good at public speaking." To which I had to reply, "No, I said I didn't like public speaking, there is a difference."

Anyway, the wedding went well and my friends are now married. {I'd say it went off without a hitch, but then I'd have to get my coat.} The rest of the week was spent relaxing, hanging out with friends, and going to the occasional party. All in all, a good time.

And as it turns out I spent three weekends in a row driving for around ten hours. Driving to Pennsic one weekend, driving back the next, and then round trip to see my girlfriend the next. The third weekend being the best of the three.

Not everything went well the weekend I spent with my girlfriend. Don't get me wrong, everything went well with us, but I got an emergency call from my brother and had to leave for a while to help him out.


I just looked at the clock and saw how late it's getting. I'm going to leave it here for tonight and go get some sleep. I'll pick it back up later.

I still don't get to see and hold my girlfriend often enough, but we are still talking every night. I am going to be spending this weekend with her, and with her daughter for part of Saturday, and I am very much looking forward to all of it.

Walk in Beauty.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Posting when I should be Packing

I can't take long to do this because I should be packing, but I thought I'd make a quick post while printing out driving directions.

I had a great time on Wednesday with my girlfriend and her daughter, we all seemed to get along great and I ended up spending every night with them this week. Until tonight.

All three of us wanted for me to go over and see them again tonight but I have to pack for my trip. I'm leaving in the morning, and will be gone until next weekend. I am heading to Pennsic for a vacation and for a good friend's wedding. I'll tell you all about it when I get back.

I will be missing my girlfriend terribly while I am away so it's a good thing I will have my cell phone with me. I expect to call her most nights while there.

If anyone else is headed that way {With 10 to 15 thousand people going you never know...} Feel free to ask around for Bjarni Bjornson. You best bet to find me would be around Casa Bardicci or Camp Rubber Duckie. Most of the people who know me are in those camps. But please, no stalkers. I've had two and that is more than enough. {If you ask nicely, maybe I'll tell you about them sometime.}

Anyway, my directions finished printing and I must go.

Be back in a week...

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

A Big Step

A while back I started getting seeing someone, and we have been dating for a while now. It is a long distance relationship, for now, but that is not a bad thing. It has ensured that we spend time talking, which we have been doing a lot.

When our schedules allow, I make the 5-6 hour drive out to New York state and we spend as much time as we can together, although this is usually just the weekend. We do have been doing this once or twice a month since May. When we can't be together we talk. Either on the phone or through instant messenger.

We have talked every day since May. Sometimes for 15 minutes, more often for anywhere from one and a quarter to three hours, but it has been every night.

Yes, it is serious. And last night we took a big step in our relationship.

I met her daughter.

Because her daughter is 9 we were being careful and my girlfriend didn't want to bring me into her daughter's life too early in the relationship. A reasonable way to handle things and one which I understood and agreed with. And then yesterday they came to Boston for their vacation, a trip which had been in planning before we started dated, and I met them for dinner after I got off work.

We had a good dinner with good desserts. {What else would you expect from "The Cheesecake Factory"?} And we had a good time hanging out and walking around a bit after dinner. Later on, when it was time for the daughter to go to bed, we went back to their hotel, the daughter went to bed and my girlfriend and I sat up and talked for a while longer.

It was a very good night.

And tomorrow I am taking the day off work to spend it with the two of them.

It may be time for me to come up with an alias to use for my girlfriend when I refer to her on here.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Pain is Temporary... and Repeating

[Editor: This was written on Wednesday and apparently not posted, so I am posting it again tonight.]

I was planning on writing about some of the good stuff in this entry, but then some more "stuff" happened. So I am going to talk about that stuff, and my tooth, again.

You'd think that a temporary crown would stay on for the three or four weeks until the permanent is ready, not just fall off after four days while eating dinner. And then come off again four or five days later while eating lunch. You'd think that, but you'd be wrong.

So this week, while eating lunch, the crown came off again. I had just taken a bite of a piece of boneless chicken breast and found myself biting into what seemed to be a piece of chicken bone. I proceeded to spit the pieces into a napkin and took a drink of ice water to clear my mouth. that's when the pain really started.

I mentioned last time that the uncovered tooth is extremely sensitive right? Well, it still is.

As soon as I could I called the dentist. I was in pain and already pissed off, a great combination... Their response was "We can get you in tomorrow afternoon." This didn't help me calm down.

After much talking, and surprisingly little swearing, I got them to fit me in that day, about 2 hours after the crown had come off. This time they said they used a stronger cement and that it should stay on now. I didn't go off about how it should have stayed on in the first place.

What I did ask was if I should make an appointment for next week already. Even though they chuckled I don't think they thought it was funny.

[Follow up: As of tonight (Sunday) it is still attached and holding.]

Friday, July 22, 2005

Pain is Temporary

In my last post I said "the vast majority" of the goings-on over the past couple of weeks have been good. But that still leaves a few things that weren't so good. And if you keep reading you are going to hear about one of them...

Last Friday night I broke a tooth, one of my molars to be precise, and while it wasn't very painful most of the time if I was careful, it was a bad break and had to be dealt with. They managed to get me into the dentists chair early Monday morning and they started work on it. Because of how bad a break it was (about 1/4 of the exposed tooth was gone) there wasn't much they could do except start work on putting a crown on it.

Lots of impressions, and much drilling and grinding later they had finished all the prep work and put a temporary crown on the tooth while we wait for the permanent crown to be ready. And we all know how pleasant it is to be a dentist's chair and have them drilling and grinding away on your teeth.

We also know what the word temporary means.

In this case temporary didn't even live up to the few weeks it was supposed to stay on. It came off last night while I was eating dinner, exposing the raw tooth and the "dental tubules" which act as open pathways to the nerve. Needless to say, IT HURT! And I had to deal with it being like that all night.

To the dentist's credit, when I called them this morning they got me right in and got the temporary crown reattached. Good thing they got me in that quick, too. Until the crown was back in place I couldn't eat or drink anything because it was too sensitive. I couldn't brush my teeth either because I couldn't even have water in my mouth without intense pain.

Hopefully this time the temporary will last until they put the permanent crown in place.


I'll try to talk about something pleasant next time.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

I'm still here

So much for my plan to make sure I posted at least once a week, preferably more. I have had a lot going on since my last post, and the vast majority of it has been good. I'll fill in you in soon. For now I mainly want to like people know I was still around and I'm sorry I have been lax in posting.

Hopefully you will understand why once I get going again. In the meantime I will try, as I said above, to make sure I post at least once a week, preferably more often. I guess it would depend on whether you get lots of short posts or fewer posts, but each of which will have much more to say.

How about it, which would you prefer? I promise to read* all comments and suggestions.

* and quite possibly ignore

Friday, July 01, 2005

My "Happy Canada Day" post which doesn't actually mention Canada

Well, it is official, I have a bit of sleep apnea. It isn't too bad, but I still need to sit and talk with my doctor about what we can do about it. I'll let you know how that goes. I just hope that they don't want me to go through another night wired up. I'm pretty sure that someone other than me would end the night in a lot of discomfort.

If the techs put all the short cables on so there barely reach around me, let alone to the control box, I might end up punching someone in the chest.

But on to better things... I have been travelling a lot lately.

On June 11th I went to the southern edge of the state for a Powwow. (Not really that far, but I am only starting.)

The following weekend (June 18th) I went up to Maine for my friend Laurie's birthday party. I'll leave it up to her if she wants to say anything about it (or which birthday it was) in the comments. I will say that it was a very good time and it was good to see people I don't get to see often enough. It was especially good to see Laurie having a good time.

A lot of the evening and into the night was taken up with people just sitting around talking and having a good time hanging out. Although we did take a break from talking to watch the fire spinner playing with her poi. It certainly didn't hurt that she is a very cute girl.

Last weekend (June 25th) I went to New York (state, not city, Binghamton to be specific) and had a wonderful time. When talk of the trip first started (back at Rites of Spring, see earlier posts here and here) it was brought up as a chance to see Sol Dog but it soon became much more than that. And by the time the trip actually happened I was going to see someone specific and the two of us were going to go see the band together.

The only thing which could have made the weekend better is if my brother, Smulch, could have made it to the show as well. (He doesn't have a website or I'd link it.) Unfortunately thing seemed to conspire to keep that from happening.

And now this weekend I am travelling again, back to New York. If I can get in touch with Smulch in time I will be heading to see him on Saturday and then to Binghamton for the rest of the weekend. If I can't reach Smulch in time I will just head right to Binghamton.

I know I will see Smulch in August, but it would be nice to see him sooner if things work out.

I do miss you, brother.


A couple more quick things before I close this post out:

At least one of my readers should get a kick out of this... Somehow I am currently the number one result for "Ricardipus" on Google Check it yourself.

I found this out through StatCounter, which you may have noticed in my sidebar. It isn't a bad utility, but if anyone can suggest others I'd like to hear about them. I know I'd like to have the stats, but I have not settled on a particular service yet.

Last and almost certainly least, once I have the time I will be playing around with the site design through CSS. I almost have the template finished so that the layout will be completely controlled through CSS. It won't be the CSS Zen Garden but then again, what is really? So expect the look of the site to change drastically sometime in the foreseeable future.

Your weary, but happy, traveller.

P.S. Is it any wonder my truck is in the shop? It least the rental is covered by my extended warranty along with (most of) the parts and labour.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

It's been a long week

... and it is not getting shorter yet.

I have been spending time with a good friend of mine as she and her family try to get everything taken care of for the viewing and service tonight.

Her mother died Monday night.

And there was the additional stress of trying to get the Army to grant her son leave so he could come home from Iraq for his grandmother's service and funeral.

So the service is tonight, but the funeral itself is not until next weekend because they wanted to make sure there was time for him to get back. They didn't want him to miss everything. If everything went as planned he should be on a transport now to arrive back in the states at some point tomorrow. It would be nice if he could be back for tonight, but it doesn't look good.

So I have a service to go to tonight.

Once I am back from the service, depending on the time, I will go back to getting ready for my trip this weekend. If it is too late, and I am not going to leave the service early, I will be spending tomorrow night getting ready to leave early Saturday morning.

I am looking forward to the trip, but first I need to make sure of how people are doing tonight.

Oh, and this is after not sleeping soundly the last couple of nights. I was doing good until then.

And No, I have not received the results of the sleep study yet. I guess I should go and call my doctor again while I am thinking of it.


And a piece of advice: Let people know you care about them. You never know when they could be gone.

It's not always easy. I should know, I'm still working on it myself.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Quote of the Day(?)

The temperature finally broke after 11 days of 30+C in a row. Since I don't have anything else which I feel like typing up right now I am going to mention something that I should have mentioned a while back.

A few years ago I started a quotation mailing list for myself and a couple of friends. It started out with 3 members, which is about what I expected. (It now has 51 members.) It slowly grew, and the service I was using got bought after a couple of years so I moved it to Yahoo Groups, where it has been since June 25, 2001.

The group is called "WyldWoods' Quote of the Day(?)". The question mark is there because I don't always get a quote sent every day, but I was sending about 25-28 a month. Then it lapsed for a while and over the last few months I was averaging about 10-15 a month.

I have now picked it back up and am running with it again. So far this month I have only missed one day. And since it is running again, I figured I would mention it here, let all of you know, and see if any of you want to join.

It is a low traffic group, only moderators can post, and there are only two of us. Myself and my brother who has covered for me when I am going to be away without computer access. There is at most one quote per day, and the occasional admin post, maybe 4 per year.

You can find it on Yahoo Groups at:

And you can signup there and have the emails sent to any address associated with your Yahoo ID, which does not have to be a Yahoo Mail address.

Or if you prefer you can subscribe, or unsubscribe by email using the following addresses: ("encoded" to prevent spam harvesting)

Subscribe: WyldWoods-QotD-subscribe(at)yahoogroups(dot)com
Unsubscribe: WyldWoods-QotD-unsubscribe(at)yahoogroups(dot)com
List owner: WyldWoods-QotD-owner(at)yahoogroups(dot)com

We now return you to your irregularly scheduled blog.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

The Sleep Study

Some of you are probably wondering how the sleep study went. Others are probably wondering what it was. The majority are probably thinking "Who cares?" Well, too bad. I'm going to tell you about it anyway.

I got to the hospital about 8:00 Thursday night for my appointment and ended up sitting in the waiting room for twenty minutes or so before the technicians came out to get me. And then I ended up sitting in the clinic for about an hour while they got everything ready and dealt with the other two people there for studies. Good thing I brought a book.

After the others were done it was my turn to get changed and get wired up for bed. This meant putting on the shorts I brought to sleep in and then sitting and listening to the tech tell me about the study and about what causes sleep apnea. Then they started attaching the electrodes.

However, before the could attach the electrodes they had to clean the areas.

I tried not to be offended at the implication.

They had this scrub they used to clean the areas. I guess it is specially formulated to breakdown and remove all the oils, etc. from the skin. The real problem I had with it was that it was abrasive. VERY abrasive. The spots on my scalp that they scrubbed are still a little tender today.

After scrubbing the spots and making them tender it was time to glue on the electrodes, two on my legs, five on my scalp and in my hair, one on my forehead, each cheek, behind each ear, beside each eye, and one of each side of my chest. I think that covers all of them. Oh, and there were two belts wrapped around my torso.

Each of these had a long wire coming from it and attached to a control box hanging beside the bed. Plus there was another control box attached to one of the belts which was connected to the first box via a cable. A short cable. (This will come into play in a moment.)

Once all the wires were attached they asked if I wanted to go to sleep then or if I wanted to read some more. Since I couldn't put my glasses back on with a couple of the electrodes in the way, I decided to try to sleep. It was about 11:00 or 11:30 by this time

The hospital bed was smaller than a twin and it was uncomfortable. I am used to a queen sized bed that is (in my opinion) quite comfortable. This wasn't looking good.

So I lay there for half an hour or so before managing to fall asleep. And then I woke up quite suddenly during the night. I guess that will happen when you go to roll over and something stops you unexpectedly.

Remember that cable I said was short? When I rolled over in my sleep I found out just how short it was. Not quite long enough for me to roll onto my side. So when I tried during the night I had this cable holding me back and the sudden shock of the pulling woke me up.

Once I realized what had happened I hit the call button and asked the technician what time it was and if i could get up then. He said it was 3:30, and no. I had to be monitored for a minimum of 6 hours.

After trying to get comfortable again, and failing miserably, I managed to get back to sleep about half an hour or an hour later.

And then at 5:30 they woke me up said that we had to get out because another clinic used the space during the day and would be showing up by 6:30.

It seemed to take hours for them to get all the wires off so I could move around (and head for the toilet) but they probably had it done in about 15 minutes.

After that I did what I had to do. I washed up. I got dressed. And I left. And I still had left over paste in my hair from the electrodes on my scalp.

So I headed home for a hot shower, and it was only hot so that it would get rid of the last of the paste and glue that all the electrodes were attached with. Leaving only the tenderness and sore spots behind.

They told me that my doctor and I would have the results in a week or so. i am just hoping that all the issues caused by the small, uncomfortable bed, and having all the attached wires which kept me from moving, and woke me up, don't skew the results and make them think there are problems that aren't there.

I mean I felt so miserable when I left. Lack of sleep. Being rudely awoken twice. I was exhausted and felt like I hadn't slept at all.

However, the next night I slept in my own bed, and slept better than I had in months. I slept for about 10 hours and woke up refreshed and ready to go.

And I had a good day.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Short post now...

... the longer one will have to wait. Although it will not be tomorrow (or should I say tonight at this point) since I will be spending the night at the hospital.

It is time for the sleep study my doctor is sending me for. She wants to find out what they can about the sleep problems I have been having. And there is a chance I have Sleep Apnea. I guess we are going to find out. Although I will find out a bit before you guys do.

In the meantime you will have to wait a little bit longer to find out more about Rites. Or you could read some more about it on Journey's LiveJournal Page where she is talking about her experiences. She knows what I have hinted at, but don't expect her to talk about it. You'll have to come back here to get that info.


I have to start writing these things earlier in the evening s I have time to write more.

Until then,
Peace and Pleasant Dreams.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Rites of Spring 2005 :: Part 2

Although I felt like crap at the beginning [Editor: See Part 1] things shifted as I spent more time there.

Even though I know it is still there lurking in the background I felt like I had pulled completely out of my depression. I still feel good even after a couple of days back at work.

It was good spending time with good friends, and getting to know people better.

There were a couple of things that made my spirit soar.

I want to tell you all about it, but I am not going to just yet. But I will say that my heart is singing, and you should be glad that it is only my heart.

For now, I'm going to sleep, something that has also been doing better since Rites.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Rites of Spring 2005 :: Part 1

Let me start by transcribing the entry I wrote on Tuesday (5/24) while I was at Rites. I wrote it in the Dining Hall around 9:50PM.

It's the second day and I feel like crap.

Yesterday we arrived to find out that the campsite is in the middle of a dispute with the town. Thus the town is clamping down on the camp, checking all permits, reinspecting all buildings, generally doing everything in their power to cause pain to the camp owners.

Since I don't know the history of the dispute, except that the camp has not done necessary repairs and upgrades for years, I am not going to take sides. Just observe that it is causing us no end of problems and headaches so far. The biggest one so far being that the cabins had not been inspected by the time we arrived. Although by late last night enough had passed that we could house the hundred that are here.

Of course we aren't sure about housing for the 400 more who should be arriving tomorrow.

But back to last night...

After we unloaded my truck into our cabin I had to move it [Editor: my truck, not the cabin] into long-term parking since it won't be moving again until we pack to leave on Monday.

While walking back from the lot I stopped to watch a deer. He was grazing and munching on twigs just off the road I was walking. When he moved I moved with him, following along on the road. By the end I was standing about 12-15 feet from him. All told, I watched and followed him for almost 20 minutes.

It was a beautiful thing and kicked me out of my depression for a while.

Today wasn't so good. I was on the verge of collapse all day. About two thirds of that was physical, the other third being emotional.

The emotional collapse was things triggering the depression at the same time I was dealing with seeing people who mean a lot to me that I only get to see here. And, of course, seeing one of my stalkers didn't help. [Editor: I'll cover this another time if there is interest.]

The physical issues were brought on by all the work helping to setup the camp, and by having my bloodsugar crash at least 3 times today. They were all fairly minor crashes and I was able to control it but it still takes a lot out of me.

It is getting harder and harder to hold a pen and write this in my notebook right now. (My carpal tunnel as it were) Therefore I am going to put the pen down and pay more attention to the Bardic Circle going on at the other end of the hall.

It doesn't hurt that the next up is my good friend Rev of Sol Dog [Editor: buy their CD at CD Baby (US) or Bärchen Records (Germany)]


More to come.

Monday, May 30, 2005

He returns!

I'm back from Rites of Spring and will resume my regular [read: sporadic] posting schedule as soon as I have showered and slept.

I only wrote out one post while I was there, but I will have much to say I am sure. The whole thing did wonderful thing for me and my mood. [Editor: for once there is no sarcasm in that statement.]

In the meantime let me leave you with some words from the band Spirit of the West:

You'll have to forgive me, I'm not at my best.
I've been gone for a week, I've been drunk since I left.
This so called vacation will soon be my death
I'm so sick from the drink I need home for a rest.

Until then...

Sunday, May 22, 2005

I should really be asleep

It is not like I have to get up and go to work in the morning. Instead I am getting up even earlier and driving for 3 hours.

I am off work for the week and am going to Rites Of Spring and will not be back until next Monday, May 30. So don't expect much out of me until then.

Actually, don't expect anything out of me at all until then. We will be at a campsite and I will not have access to a computer. I could have access to a phone, but I am going to try to avoid it. There is one payphone on the 90-acre site and only a couple of small spots that have any cell phone service.

It will be good to get away even though I am not ready.

I am mostly packed, everything that can be packed before the morning, but that is not what I mean. I feel like Rites is still about a month away. I'm hoping this changes by the morning or it could be a rude awakening when I get there. This can happen when you go to a spiritual pagan gathering if you aren't ready for it.

I'll let you know how it went when I get back.

Oh, and for those who might notice, my sister flew up from Tucson, AZ and is going as well.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Quick post

So far the sleeping pill doesn't seem to be doing much to help me get to sleep. It has been helping me sleep better, and deeper, but that is not necessarily a good thing on its own.

If I don't get to sleep any earlier but still sleep deeper I can, and have, end up sleeping through my alarm clocks. Yes, plural. I currently have multiple set for staggered times. I figure this way there is less of a chance of me sleeping through all of them and being very late for work.

I am trying to find the best time to take the pill. It's all trial and error at this point.

Next time I'll try to start writing earlier so I have time for a real post.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Between the sleeping pill and bed

I had an appointment with my doctor, a followup on some diabetic blood sugar issues I was having. We talked about everything that's been going on: diabetes, depression, insomnia... Each of these seems to affect the others causing a never ending spiral.

Well, it's time to break the cycle. We talked about which of the issues we were going to start with and decided to try starting with the sleep problems.

So now I have another pill to take daily. Trazodone. It has a sedative effect and should help me get to sleep at a reasonable time. Apparently it is also a mild anti-depressant when taken in larger doses, although it is rarely used that way these days. It is mainly used as a sleep aid because it doesn't have the same dependence problems that often develop with sleeping pills.

We'll see how it goes. And I'll let you know of course.

I'd write more, but I already took the pill for tonight and really have to get offline and into bed. But before I do that, my sister is on IM and I want to talk with her for a bit. I told her I'd be back in a bit when we talked briefly while I was in the middle of this post.

Peace and pleasant dreams.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Does he think that looks good?

Why do people do things like that to their vehicles? And why do it in such a way that half the vehicle's usefulness is destroyed?

Case in point...

I was driving home and found myself behind a Hummer H2 that had been customized. "Blinged" as the kids say.

It had been painted metallic black and every accessory and accent piece on it was painted gold. The door handles, the hitch, the tow shackles, parts of the bumpers, the mirrors and the rims. Spinner rims at that.

And it wasn't just gold, it was some kind of matte gold. So the black shone while the gold accents just kind of sat there.

But it didn't stop there. They also put on low-profile street tires and had lowered the whole thing.

A lowered Hummer with street tires?

It was lowered to such an extent that it might have scraped going over speed bumps.

Did I mention that the whole thing looked like it had never had a speck of dust on it, let alone any really dirt or mud?

I couldn't help but wonder "Why do this to a Hummer H2?" They look like a brick on wheels to start. Now it looked like a lowered brick with a tacky paint job. They had taken the Hummer style away and turned it into a vehicle which didn't look like it could stand up to a gravel driveway. Forget taking it off-road.

I guess they just like the 8 miles per gallon gas mileage it gets.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Cinco De Mayo

I hate loud bars. Or at least I hate one particular type of loud bar. I was reminded of this as I stopped to eat after work tonight.

What I have a problem with are bars where the din is deafening and all the noise is from people talking, or should I say yelling, back and forth. This is what I had to deal with tonight.

Everyone in the bar was yelling to be heard by the others at their tables. this meant that people at nearby tables felt they had to talk that much louder. And thus another vicious circle was born.

Even after half the bar had cleared out the volume barely dropped. It dropped just enough to be able to hear that the bar also had the volume up on the TVs for the commentary on the NBA playoffs. AND they were blaring good Cinco De Mayo music over the PA. [Editor: Music like "Word Up" and "Rock Me Amadeus"]

The guy threatening to strip in order to get a string of beads from a waitress was a bit much and a lovely topper to the evening.


And let me say in closing that Comcast sucks! However, if they screw up enough, and you get mad enough, and you complain to the right people loudly enough, you can get decent service out of them. I'll put the details in a later post if there is any interest.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

I'm tired and I ache

I got a good night's sleep Friday night and then spent Saturday evening at Borders picking up a couple of books. I had gone looking for a couple of O'Reilly books. I only bought one of them though. The other one only seemed to have about 20 (out of 350+) pages which covered anything I was interested in. It was OK though, the coupon I had was only good for 30% off one of them anyway.

From there I went and met up with some people from work. One of them is in a band called Stout and the rest of us were going to listen to them play and generally support them.

It was a good show at a small venue. And it felt good to get out of the house. Especially since my depression was kicking in a bit in the days leading up to this. I was glad I got out of the house to go to Borders, making it to the show was just that much better.

The problems started later that night. After I got home I had a hard time sleeping. I was tossing and turning, and got less than 6 hours sleep.

Feeling very tired on Sunday, I still managed to make it through the day and felt wide awake by the evening. Of course I still felt wide awake that night, right through until I left for work Monday morning.

It is not easy to make it through a full day of work without having slept the night before. I think I managed, but I am not entirely sure. I know I came close to nodding off a few times.

Anyway, I made it to the end of the day and headed home. Windows down, cool wind whipping through the truck to keep me awake.

Once home I figured it would not be a good idea to cook something because of the very real possibility of burning the place if I fell asleep while it was still on the stove. So I ordered Chinese. And promptly nodded off in the living room while waiting for it to arrive and the again when I was through eating.

I woke up hours later, staggered to my room, and collapsed into the bed.

Waking up this morning I found I had slept through my alarms (I had set 4 at different times just to make sure) but somehow managed to make it to work without being TOO late.

Hopefully this will help straighten out my internal clock rather than screw it up further.

And even though I managed to shake off the last of the sleep which kept hanging on for the first few hours of work, I have not yet managed to shake the aches my body picked up from being that tired.

Any suggestions? (Other than the obvious "Get some sleep.")

Friday, April 22, 2005

Why would she say that?

I don't know how long this will be since I got home later than I expected and I have to get up early in the morning (I hate having to do that on the weekend) for an eye exam. Probably get a new pair of glasses while I am at it. Especially since my coverage will pay for the lenses and most of the cost of the frames as well.


I was in Borders Books tonight and was checking out some CDs while I was there. While I was checking out the Spoken Word section one of the clerks walked by, looked at me and said "If you are looking for the new CD from the Blue Collar Tour guy, it is at the front of the store." Then she walked off.

I was thrown by it for a second wondering why she would assume I was looking for that CD. I don't even know who she was talking about. Granted I watched both of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour movies and know who all four of the guys are, but she didn't say which one it was and I haven't paid attention to CD releases from any of them.

So why did she say it?

OK, I was a big guy wearing jeans and work boots.

OK, I was wearing an old work shirt, open and untucked, over a plain t-shirt.

OK, I was wearing a woodland camo bandana as a do-rag to keep my hair out of the way. (You can look at this picture to see how much hair it had to deal with.)

But even with all that she had no way to know that I was a country boy who spent a lot of time in my younger years working on my grandparent's (and uncle's) farms. Helping with the harvest in the vegetable fields and the orchard. Not to mention the time I spent bailing hay.

The thing is I was holding two CDs when she said it. One was classical music and the other was Monty Python.

Although I do have to admit, even though I work as a web developer, which I guess is a white collar job, I am more of a blue collar person after all.

Night, y'all.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

No more putting it off

So I have problems. And they are worse than I want to admit. I am still coming to terms with some of it and have not talked about much or it. What I have talked about I have only discussed with a handful of people. My doctor, my chosen family, a couple of close friends and, as of two days ago, my mother.

I knew I had some physical problems. These include: diabetes, gout, bad knees, carpal tunnel, ... And recently I found out that my brain is out of whack as well.

To be precise, I was diagnosed as suffering from depression. I don't mean that I was feeling a little down. I mean I am suffering from depression. I have a chemical imbalance that is causing depression which has gotten bad enough that it is truly making me suffer.

While talking to my doctor about this there was a list we went over. "If you answer yes to three out of the following ten items..."


I answered yes to nine out of ten.

One of the effects of all this is that I have lost my motivation. For pretty much everything. Even more so for things that I don't like doing. [Editor: Like writing this post or admitting how bad the depression has gotten.]


Of course these issues don't stop with depression. They also continue along to compulsive behaviour. Not major behaviours, but several of them. Mainly they take the form of "nervous habits". Ticks and twitches. Bouncing my leg while seated. Arm and hand movements.

Maybe not enough to notice unless you are looking for it. Or if you are there all the time, like I am. And the more I try to control it, the worse it gets. [Editor: Which reminds me, there will be a later post on Control.]

To top it off (for now) I have a "mood disorder". Which is just a polite way of saying that my emotions are screwed up, too.

Most of the time I am fine. Well, as fine as I can be with everything else I have already covered. But there are times when my emotions get... heightened. And when this happens I either end up sobbing or in a rage. Which way it goes depends on what is happening at the time. If something makes me angry, like drivers in and around Boston, the rage takes hold. Otherwise I'll be sobbing. Probably because even if their is nothing else right then, there is always the depression lurking around.


I just reread this entry and I have to say that, relatively speaking, I didn't really say much. And I kept what I did say relatively unemotional and restrained. But that was so that I could get through it.

I should say that I have been trying to keep from having this journal get too dark and depressed, but screw that. I am depressed and this is my journal. It is going to reflect me. That is just how it is. I will try to throw in some more fun stories from my past when I can, but you will get what you get. I am writing this as something I can enjoy doing and it is turning out to be a form of therapy for me.

Hope you understand.

Feel free to leave comments, I read all of them. Or send me email at journal(at) which I have sent up specifically for this purpose.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Drinking with the Vikings

As you might be able to tell I have been putting off writing "the entry" again. I am still coming to grips with it myself and have only talked to about five or six people about it. I have only recently talked to my mother about it. However, it is still coming. Eventually.

In the meantime, I still owe you a post about the first weekend of this month. So that's what I have come to write tonight.

I have a group of Asatru friends. They make up Hammer Kindred, based out of Connecticut. A couple of times a year they have a Viking Party. These parties involve some role-playing as they are set around 750 C.E. and everyone is required to wear appropriate garb and take on a period persona. Mine is Bjarni.

The first of these parties this year, and the first one I have been to due to limited space and therefore invitations, was held April 2nd. There were a few anachronisms, like the digital camera, but as few as possible. All phones are turned off, and the only lighting is from candles or lanterns. Get the idea?

Anyway, there was a great deal of mead which I hit quite hard. My drinking was early and often, just like voting.

And just like voting, all the results were not pleasant. Let me transcribe one of the conversations I had later in the night. I think I had this conversation with Ragnar but it night have been Starkad. Actually it could have been any of the Vikings...

Viking: Bjarni, you alright over there?

Me: Not good.

Viking: What do you need?

Me: **YARCH**

Viking: A bucket, got it.

At least it happened outside. My thanks go out to Ulf and Ragnar for everything. Including the bucket and hose.

I also need to thank Starkad and Magnus for their help, which mainly consisted of helping me get around. Since I am 6 foot 5 and over 300 pounds, it occasionally took both of them to support me once my legs turned to rubber.

You can read a couple other comments about the party here and here. Or you can check out some pictures.

One quick word of warning...

If you are ever drinking with Vikings, and have already been drinking pretty heavy, you probably want to sit out when they start the drinking games.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Did anyone get the number of that truck?

I hate being sick. And yet, that's what I've been lately.

Last week I was sick enough that I ended up missing two days of work.* I spent those days in bed, trying to get whatever it was out of my system. This was the first time since 1998 that I have missed two consecutive days of work due to illness.

Since then I have been rundown and been fighting a bad sinus cold. It let up a bit over the weekend, which let me travel to Connecticut for a get together in Norwalk. But I'll post more about that in a later entry.

This week I have been extremely rundown again. Partly because of the weekend, but mostly because the sinus cold has kicked into gear again. And it has also settled into my chest as well.

I don't know. There's something about being able to breathe properly, or at all, that helps put some pep in your step.

* Well, not really "missing" work, but you know what I mean.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Easter thoughts and memories

[Editor: This post has been backdated to the time and date that it was written originally as opposed to time it is being transcribed. The same goes for the mention of my location.]

A lot of places I expected to be open today are closed. But then again, there are places that are open today that I was sure would be closed. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. I passed two CVS pharmacies today, one was open, the other wasn't.

How are those of us who don't celebrate Easter supposed to figure it out?

A Little Background

I grew up in a Protestant family and we celebrated Easter and all the other holidays. However, I tended to take after my father who was not a religious man, although he was very spiritual. I was too young to realize this at the time, but it is very obvious when I look back at it.

Anyway, as I went through my later teen years things always seemed to come up around Easter. One year I had the flu, another I sprained my ankle, another I came close to breaking my knee.

This culminated the year I was 21. That year my father died Easter weekend. To be a bit more specific, he would not wake up Thursday morning (one day before Good Friday) and was declared dead that night.

We mourned through the weekend and had the memorial service first thing after the holiday, on Tuesday.

Since then I have only been to (if I remember correctly) two Easter dinners. I usually worked if I had a job which needed someone those days, and spent it alone otherwise. Like today...

I am at Chili's in an almost empty bar. Then I will either head into the woods for a while or find some other quiet place.

Anyone feel like sharing their own Easter memories, good or bad, in the comments?

A filler post

I have been trying to compose an entry, a specific entry, for a few days now and I have gotten nowhere with it. I think I have been trying too hard and thinking about it too much. So I am putting it aside and posting something else.

I recently found a book I wrote in for a while and thought I would share one of the entries from it:

I am on top of Blue Hill. I was in Boston earlier, but even though I had intended to walk around the city I found myself unable to stay. I did not feel comfortable. The city felt even more "off" than usual. With the way I have been feeling lately, I could not see myself wandering around through that many people today.

So I came here.

Not intentionally, at least not at first. My first intention was to get out of the city. I think I was going to go shopping, but as I left the city, and after eating, I decided to come here.

On the way up the hill I stopped at my usual spot and stood a couple of stones. I'm glad I did because while I was doing it I was focusing everything on the act and the stones. When I walked away I felt lighter and completely exhausted.

It was like I put a lot of the things that have been pressing down on me into the rocks. I know that I have too much in my past and present to say that I left my problems behind, but it feels like I have put some of them aside for a time.

So while I feel lighter, I also feel tired. There was the physical exertion, but more than that...

In a way the problems have been what's been driving me. I have been going around, going nowhere, doing nothing, to avoid the issues. By putting them aside I have freed myself to slow down and rest. And as soon as I started to slow down I could feel how tired I've been.

I wrote this in August of 1999 but, thinking back on the feelings I was going through, it could have been written yesterday.

Actually, I'm not sure it could have been written yesterday since things have gotten worse. More about that in the entry I have stopped trying to write. I stopped trying to write it and will be sitting down soon to just go ahead and write it.

For my friends in North America, I hope you don't see this until at least the morning because you are sleeping. Someone should be.


Saturday, March 26, 2005

A Celebrity Viewpoint

"Frist" Posted by: wilwheaton

Wil Wheaton (yes, that Wil Wheaton) posted this picture on Buzznet and used it to express his views on the Terri Schiavo situation.

Worth a visit in my opinion. And this is from someone who thought he had heard MORE than enough about this whole thing. Don't expect me to post any more about this, I surprised myself by posting this much about it.


Saturday, March 19, 2005

Another late night entry

3:30am and I am too tired to sleep. Too tired to write as well, but it is easier to force myself to type than to sleep. I also wanted to get something down while I was thinking about it:

The thought occurred to me today that I felt ... not good but a bit better than I have lately when I was stressed about work, etc. I think the problems and stress gave me something to focus on and kept me from realizing how bad I was really doing.

So even though I feel worse now I am in a better position to attempt to deal with the real issues and maybe even work them through.

And I still have hope. Actually, "still" might not be the best word to use. I feel like I should almost say I once again have hope. I have a lot of hope that I will eventually feel better. It is not always easy to hold onto that hope, but I am doing my best.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

How do people do it?

Millions of people living what would be considered a "normal" life. Working, living, loving, having children, raising families... And to all appearances being happy.

I know I am not the only one who feels the way I do, but that doesn't stop me from feeling like I am.


I can't do this right now...

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Sleeping "Habits"?

I'm hoping to be asleep soon but I am not tired yet. I was getting in bed but I couldn't lay still so I got up and figured I'd write something while waiting for the sleeping pill to kick in.

I have been dealing with these sleep problems for quite a while now and my doctor gave me a prescription to help me sleep. I don't take it every night, only when it gets too bad and I NEED to get a night's sleep. The last time I took one was weeks ago. Now it is time again.

I have gotten no more than 5 hours sleep a night for the past week or two. I say no more than 5 hours but it has probably been averaging a little under 4 real hours of sleep. That is not enough.

Luckily I only have to make it through tomorrow and then I have some time off work. I booked this Thursday and Friday off work at the start of January. Little did I know how timely it would be.

Of course there are times I get more sleep. There are days on the weekend when I can't seem to do anything but sleep. I get to sleep about 2-3AM, wakeup about noon and manage to climb out of bed around 3PM.

I don't like this. It pretty much kills off my weekend. There's not much you can do when you are in bed for most of the day and don't feel up to being in a crowded bar at night. I've been trying to change this and get into a reasonable sleep pattern seven days a week. I'm sure I'll let you know how it goes.

For now, let try climbing into bed again and see how that sleeping pill is working now.

Peace and Pleasant Dreams to all.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

That'll wake you up

As you should all know by now, I have trouble sleeping. Sometimes the lack of sleep will pile up to a point where I fall asleep whenever / wherever I happen to be. This is usually at home with the lights / TV / CD / whatever still on.

If I feel tired I'll turn all that off and turn in to try to sleep. If not, I try to do something to tire myself out. And in the cases where it is my mind keeping me up, too many thoughts racing around, I'll turn on the TV because as we all know turning on a TV will turn off the brain. The "Sleep" feature on TVs is a great thing. (That's the feature where it turns itself off after a set amount of time.) I'll the timer for when I should be asleep and let it, and myself, go. If I am still awake when the set turns off I'll either reset it or try something else.

A few days ago I fell asleep like that, but apparently I left a candle burning as well. It was one of those supermarket glass candles, sometimes known as a seven-day or advent candle. There wasn't much left in this one.

So around 5AM I was woken up by a rather loud bang. It didn't take long to figure out where the noise came from. While the candle was burning the last of its wax the flame was burning directly on the bottom of the jar. This caused the glass to overheat and eventually explode.

I got up and checked around. The candle had gone out as the jar exploded. There were no flames anywhere. There wasn't even any wax anywhere, not even where the candle had been standing. Apparently it had waited until the flame had burned the last drop of wax before exploding. Very considerate I think.

Since the glass was confined to one small (and safe) area, I went back to bed and waited until I was fully awake in the morning before cleaning it up.

Usually I stick to tea lights if the candle could be burning after I fall asleep, you don't have to worry about the metal cup, and this was a good reminder of why.

But, all in all, I still got a good night's sleep that night. One of only two that I have gotten in the past couple of weeks.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Ghost Stories

On Friday Scaryduck posted his Haunted Holiday story, describing a ghostly encounter he and his family had. This has inspired me to write about our "ghost."

I share a house with some friends, however the residents of the house have changed a lot since my friends first moved in. The following was first noticed by the original crew before I moved in, but is still brought up once in a while to this day.

A while after my friends moved in they started to notice something, and they called this something "The Ghost."

The Ghost was never (that I know of) seen in person but would often show up in photographs. The photos were usually, but not always, ones that had been taken when there were a lot of people gathered in the living room. Not that it means anything, but when The Ghost showed up in pictures certain people would often say "I thought something was going on in that room" but they never said anything while the pictures were being taken.

The Ghost would appear as a floating apparition, a cloud, mist, or somesuch. The same "certain people" referenced above would often point to the cloud and start pointing out features. An eye here. A hint of a face. A dress. It made for an interesting Rorschach Test, but it was rare that there was anything recognizable in The Ghost, even with someone tried desperately to point them out.

No one ever seemed to notice that the more people, and indeed the more smokers, in the area at the time, the more likely The Ghost would make an appearance. But only if the pictures were taken using a camera with a flash. You see where this is going don't you...

I am convinced that The Ghost was a reflection of the flash off the smoke in the room. I am even more convinced after looking at some of the pictures again. [Editor:Unfortunately I don't have any in digital format at the moment, and we don't have a scanner, or I would post them. I'll see if I can't get one or two posted later though.] Of course, other people don't want to hear this. They want to believe there is an actual ghost in the house.

Let me just finish by saying I don't disbelieve in ghosts. I just don't believe that is what it was in this case.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Sorry about the Feed

I am at work on the template I use for this blog again, making several changes to improve / clean up the code. Sometimes this will mean I have to republish one or more of the old entries. This isn't a problem if you are visiting my site since everything will still show up with the same date, and in the right places. However, those people reading this through the Atom XML Feed may see these entries show up again.

Over the past few days I believe I took care of all the entries which needed to be fixed to work properly with the template and setting changes, but this caused a few entries to reappear in the feed.

Sorry. I should not have to change anything else, so we shouldn't have to worry about this in the foreseeable future. (Although I am still working on template, so we can't be sure...)

Anyway, just wanted to let you know what happened and let you know that it shouldn't happen again.

Monday, February 28, 2005

A dilemma, and a problem at home

Since I started this journal I have wondered how much I should write, how much I should share. Up to this point it has not been much of an issue, but now I have run head-first into a dilemma. Something happened recently and I am not sure how much of it to share. Should I write about it here? How safe a place have I built here?

I am going to keep it to myself for a bit longer while I try to work this out. But I have a feeling I will need to share it with someone, sometime soon, or things could get worse.

But now for something completely different... We have a bit of a situation at home.

I guess I should briefly mention, for those of you who don't already know, I live in a house with 3 other people. We are not related, but we are all friends and are renting a house together to share expenses, and in one case to get out of his mother's house. Besides the 4 people, we also have 5 cats in the house.

Or we should have 5 cats in the house. For the last few days we have had 4. That's the situation.

All of the cats are indoor cats, and have always been indoor cats. Well, we have a second floor deck which the cats are sometimes allowed to wander on because they can't get off of it to get away from the house. But other than when they are in carriers they are never away from the house.

Now one of them got out and has disappeared. His name is Fire so we can't really go walking around the neighbourhood calling his name hoping to find him, but we did put up fliers and let our neighbours know what was going on.

So far we have heard about a couple of possible sightings over the weekend and we found fresh tracks (which could be his) in the snow around the house. Mellisa has been sitting in the living room watching the windows a lot recently, when she is not out looking around the neighbourhood. She has raised Fire from a kitten and is feeling worse the more days that pass.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Questionable Posture

I don't know what the root cause is, but I seem to be turning into a question mark...

A couple of days ago I started to feel some discomfort in my back. That discomfort kept getting worse until yesterday when it turned into intense pain. The pain gets worse when I stand and/or try to walk. I can't stand up straight without having sharp pain shot through my back, and as I walk I find that the pain forces me into a bent posture with my back getting more bent the further I walk.

With my legs being slightly bent and my back curved and stooped as I walk, my profile is in the shape of a question mark.

As you can imagine, I am not moving around any more than I absolutely have to. I lie on the bed when I am home, and if I make it to work, I just stay at my desk. That's where I am right now. Sitting here on a short lunch break, typing this up because otherwise I would get the urge to go for a walk and my back won't take it right now.

I have no idea what caused it. I don't remember doing anything that would have put a strain on my back.

The only thing I am think of is that last week I was having issues with my blood-sugar (remember that I am diabetic) bad enough that I had to go see the doctor about it. My doctor adjusted and changed my medication. I don't know if this is related to the medication change, or if that is even possible, but I called my doctor just in case. I am still waiting for her to call me back.

Hopefully this will not last. I have had more than my share of back pain in my life and don't need any more.

I hope you are all feeling better than this. Although I already know that Zoe of My Boyfriend is a Twat is also having back problems. [She has my sympathy on that, but I am still on Scaryduck's side in their recent war.]

Let me know how you are doing. And that there is someone out there who is healthy these days.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Philosophy on the T

Have you ever had one of those moments where something out of the blue, something someone says for example, just hits a chord with you? It happened to me on Sunday.

I was riding the T (that's what Boston calls their subway system) and got off the Orange line at Downtown Crossing in order to change to the Red line. There were a bunch of us walking to other platform, some changing trains like me, and some entering from the street and joining our little herd. I don't know which of these types she was since she was walking behind me.

When we got to the proper platform I found a quiet place to stand where I would have plenty of room. Unlike most of the lemmings who just got to the platform and stopped in a large mass waiting to jump into the next train that came along. That's when I noticed her. She was one of the very few who separated from the mass ... and she was kind of cute when she walked by.

Anyway, she walked past, stopped, and then turned and walked right back to me. So she looks at me and says "You have long hair and a long coat. How do you manage?" Needless to say I was a little confused. How do I manage what? I looked at her and shrugged to which she replied "Oh, you just do." Then she walked away.

Not only did she walk away, but she disappeared. Well, I blinked a couple of times and when I looked around again she was nowhere to be seen. And I did scan the area for her.

I don't know what she was talking about when she asked the question, but the answer struck home.

How do you manage? You just do.

Profound. Especially for a random subway encounter.

Any of you have any interesting, profound and/or subway stories to share?

Saturday, February 05, 2005

A Beautiful Day For A Drive

[Editor's Note: I wrote this late last night and didn't realize that it didn't post. So I am posting it now, but I am doing no editing of it.]

Today was the day I had to make my annual trip to get a new work visa. I have been making this trip for several years, and at this time of year for most of those. (I used to make it in the early fall, but that is another story.)

The weather today was beautiful, at least it was once I was into the trip. It was a very grey morning in Massachusetts, but the sun was bright and warm in New Hampshire and Vermont. The roads were clear and dry, and relatively free of traffic.

I should say that this was a very pleasant change from the previous years, especially the last two. Last year I had to make the drive during a snow storm that dropped about 45cm of snow. The year before that I made the drive in a snow storm that kept getting worse and ended up officially being declared a blizzard.

Sunny, above freezing (about 3C), dry roads, ... very nice change. Enough to remind me of how beautiful a drive it can be. It can be a relaxing drive as well. Although when making it to see if the Department of Homeland Security will allow me to continue living my current life, vs having to pull up all roots and leave the country immediately, the drive up is never relaxing. But there was a lot to see.

It is virtually all interstate highway and winds its way through the mountains, valleys, and forests of New England. All of it covered by a blanket of snow.

There are still snow banks as tall as me around Boston, but get a little bit north of here and the snow thins out and is only a few inches deep. And looking out the side windows, as long as I looked a few feet past the edge of the ploughed shoulder of the road, the snow was still clean and white. And full of tracks. Rabbit. Fox. Deer. Coyote. Moose. Several animals had left their tracks in the snow. I think I saw one or two of these animals moving just beyond the tree line, but I could not be sure.

That is not to say that I only saw tracks. I also saw crows. Lots of crows. They were almost everywhere I looked, and several of them seemed to be watching me as I went by. Black eyes staring out of islands of darkness in a sea of white. In direct sunlight the contrast was such that the blackness of the crows appeared as an empty hole in the world.

Another one of the sights that caught my eye was the ice.

On several of the exposed rock faces there were sheets of ice. Well, no. Not really sheets, but what looked like frozen waterfalls. Imagine a raging waterfall coming through the cracks in a shattered rockface, and that waterfall being frozen solid in an instant. That is what it looked like.

Did mention the colour? The ice was white, of course, but in some of the larger "icefalls" there were patches that were somewhat clear. Then there were the streams of pale blue throughout some of the thicker portions. I wish I could have gotten some pictures of the most beautiful, but this was on an interstate highway as I said. No stopping. I did take a couple of pictures at rest areas when I stopped to stretch my legs. If they turn out (I wasn't sure about the light or the batteries in the camera) I will be posting them in my Buzznet account.

I left the most impressive sight for last.

On the way back I was coming around a bend in the highway just as the sun was going down and right there, about 10 feet from the shoulder, was a large hawk. I wish I could tell you what kind, but I was travelling at highway speed (although I almost slammed on the brakes when I saw it) and could not get a long enough view to identify it. I can tell you it was about twice the size of a Red-Tailed hawk. It was chowing down on a recent kill, but seemed to acknowledge me as I passed.

I will admit to feeling a bit of a thrill when I saw him.

That's enough typing for tonight. It was a long day of driving, and I need to get some sleep.

If you are interested I'll tell you about what happened at the border crossing with INS. Not that it was interesting.

Walk in Beauty.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

[Drifted Emergency Exit] Well, it has been snowing. And snowing. We got hit by a blizzard over the weekend and I was stuck in the house until Sunday night when I went and shovelled out my truck. Of course, having 4-wheel drive helped... I didn't have to shovel as much before I could get my truck out of the way.

So I had things cleaned up and ready to go for work on Monday morning, at least until I was waking up in the morning to the sounds of the plough making another pass and covering my truck up to the windows again. Some more quick shovelling and some more 4-wheel drive, and I was off to work where I took the picture I'm including in this post.

They are still cleaning up from the blizzard and we are getting more snow. It started again last night, and snowed through today. This snow was light and fluffy, and extremely slippery on the roads. I kept seeing people sliding into snowbanks in my mirrors, and I passed a couple of accidents on the highway where one car had slid sideways and been T-boned by someone else.

But I didn't really come on here to write about the snow...

However, I am feeling very tired and I'm not sure I am up to writing anything serious right now. So I will just play weatherman for now and leave the rest for later. Hope you don't mind.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

What Dreams May Come

A while back I told you that it is a very rare occasion when I remember a dream. Well, one of those occasions has come again. This one disturbed me greatly for some reason and has stuck with me for more than a day now. So I thought I would share it, at least the short version, and see if anyone has any insights...

I don't remember how the dream started, so I'll just pick it up from a later point...

At this point I was roommates with a good friend of mine, one that those of you who know me might have heard of, and we were renting a good sized house which we had been living in for a while.

Anyway, my friend (let's call him James for now) decided to throw a huge party and was making arrangements for it quite a bit in advance. Because people were likely to be in no shape to travel afterwards, James was giving people the option to apply to rent crash space for the night. He even had a application form made up which he was handing out to people.

So anyway, the night of the party rolls around and James comes over to me, hands me an application and says "You haven't filled one of these out yet."

Of course I handed the application back saying that I wasn't going to apply for crash space in my own home.

James then angrily handed the application back saying "This is my party and EVERYONE has to fill one out."

Not being willing to put up with this kind of shit in my own home, I took the application, crumpled it up, and threw it in James' face.

From there, things escalated quickly and we were about to come to blows when I woke up.

I'm not sure what this dream was trying to tell me, if anything. I do know that it disturbed me. What disturbs me even more is how vivid still the parts I recited above are in my mind. Especially since I had this dream the night of the first.

If you have any thoughts (or questions) on this leave a comment below. Or if you are not comfortable with that, you can send an email to journal(at) If you choose the email option (although, I think I would prefer it in comments) please put "New Year's Dream" (or the title of this post) in the subject so that I will know it directly relates to this post.

Any insight would be appreciated.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Happy New Year

I don't know what the new year will bring, but here's hoping for the best.

As I said a while back, I am resolving to write more in the coming year. I am also resolving to get in better shape and reduce my debt. Notice that those are all relative things. That way I figure I have a much better shot at pulling it off.

I am too tired to write much more tonight, which I hope means I will be able to sleep well tonight. Keep your fingers crossed for me...

Any of you have any interesting resolutions?