Recent blog entries for squiggy

I am not a good advogator. I don't post to my diary with any sort of regularity (it's been something well over a month since my last one) and when I do post, it's usually got nothing to do with code. But that's ok, because code has been a secondary crutch in my life for a while now. I just didn't realize it.

This post is also not about code, or computers, or technology, or anything. It's about me. Sorry.

I'm posting now, because I have something to say, and no one to say it to. It's not that I don't have friends, (I have some of the best friends anybody could ask for), it's just that I feel like I need to say this in a more 'generic recipient' way.

I am drunk.

I just walked nearly two miles, through falling snow, wind, and some pretty significant cold. One might ask why I did this. One might ask why I took the "two in the morning, sub twenty degree, walk down to the highway" on this of all nights. And one would be right for doing so.

It wasn't just a walk... it was the bourbon dance.

For you see, I realized tonight... I am either a complete and utter moron, who doesn't even deserve the pathetic life he's just barely managed to live thus far, or I am (as my sig stolen from will testify to) history's greatest genius.

I needed the walk down to the highway to try to figure things out. And I'm not sure that I have,, but at least now I'm tired, and might actually manage to sleep at some point (it's Thu Dec 21 02:50:11 EST 2000 at the moment... shit, I can't even process time right now)

For those of you too dense to realize it on your own... I am completely and utterly retarded over *gasp* a girl. For the purpose of torturing myself and indulging my masochistic nature, tonight I've been reffering to her internally as "The Girl", with the 'T' and the 'G' in capital letters.

I've known her since high school (some 10 years for me now). I had a pretty serious crush on her then. We kept running into each other periodically for the last several years, and we'd chat and stuff. I ran into her last spring, and actuallly had a great conversation with her right there in the grocery store.... the pasta isle.

We traded email addresses. I pulled some strings, and got her phone number. We chatted. We got together for dinner and whatnot, and became good pals. We talked about dating, and decided it wouldn't work out, because we were too different, and she was seeing someone, and blah blah blah blah blah.

Fuck all that. I wanted this girl, and I didn't care who knew it. But I played along with this friends thing, because I knew that I needed her in my life in some capacity, even if it meant just being her friend. Even if it meant torturing myself through a mere fraction of the relationship I wanted.

But something happened. Thanksgiving evening, she came over to watch a movie with me. The entire evening, the air was thick with something... something that was way more than friendship. We both felt it.... I was so shocked by it that I couldn't call her for two or three days afterwards. She was so shocked, she declared that we couldn't be together anymore without some sort of adult supervision.

Things happened pretty quickly after that. we went from being casual friends that had some mutual romantic feelings for each other to being two people with a silly inability to be apart from each other for more than a couple of hours, in a mere matter of days,.

Now here we are... a couple weeks of fabulous romance later. She's trying to get her mind right... trying to get happy with herself, and get in a good space. She's telling me she needs some space, and I...

I actually said I understand. And that I want her to be happy with herself. And I want to be happy with myself. And I want us to be happy together if we're meant to be. I want her to get things right, and then the two of us can go explore what lives between us.

Now I'm second guessing myself. Am I an idiot? Is this meant to be, and I'm doing the right thing? Is this not meant to be and it doesn't matter what I think? Did I just gamble a couple days worth of great sex against a potential future of 'the real thing'? Am I just deluding myself into believing that something could actually happen between me, and this fabulous woman?

I've actually been completely re-writing the 'plan' of the rest of my life around this woman. I've been looking at the kid issue. I've been thinking about moving to Indy. I'm shopping for a bed for christ-sakes. I let this woman touch my feet. When I go to sleep at night, I pretend she's there with me (unless of course she's actually with me) and when I wake in the morning, my first thought is about her.

Shit. jjw just called. One of my servers is hosed, and paging him. So I did the smart thing, and killed the paging script. The actual problem can probably wait until I'm sober.

In order to escape the hidious noise of my brain racing at a million miles an hour, I had to leave the house. My brother came over for a while, we watched 'the Whole Nine Yards', and that helped. But when he left, I was left alone with... well, with my brain.

Lot's of people claim to be their own worst enemy. I have World War Three raging inside me most of the time.

So I realized I had to leave. I grabbed my hip flask, which was already pre stocked with about half a pint of my favorite 100 proof bourbon. I walked a nice straight line, the whole half mile down to the highway.

The wether being what it is, and due to the lateness of the hour, the highway was pretty deserted. So I stood in the middle of it, and drank, defying some stupid car to come squish me. I find I get a bit cavalier with my personal safety when I'm under emotional stress.

The walk home was much less of a straight line. I wobbled all over the place, and it's only the lack of traffic that kept me from getting squished. My tracks through the snow resemble a snake wrapped around a barbers pole. But the upside is... I met a really nice horse on my way home, and he talked some sense to me I think.

I sit here now, remembering what I said to her... I want to be happy, I want her to be happy, and optimally, I want us to be happy together. If that means she needs to go get her mind right for a bit, then so be it... I'll cope. I just didn't realize it'd be this hard. But I guess I'll deal, and she'll call me in a couple of days.

I'm confident that things will work out for the best. Or else, I expect I'm probably not long for the midwest.

What an amazingly quiet weekend. I did't technically leave the house at all yesterday. I mean, I walked outside as far as the car, to grab some CDs, but that was it. I talked to three people (an RLG, eknuth, and cdent who decided to have dinner with me, but then never called. *sigh*) on the phone, and I sort of stared at my email a couple times.

Not a bad day for being on call. In fact, it wasn't really a bad week for being on call, except I really had a strong urge to get blasted (which is considered "poor form" for the on call guy).

Saturday was much the same, except for a trip out to mom & dad's to visit with Grandma. I was kinda mean at one point, interupting to remind her that the "I used to change your diapers" incident she was going on about was something that happened nearly 30 years ago.

I would love to have new happy times with Grandma. But everytime I have any communication with her at all, she hammers me with hours of "Do you remember when...." stories. Uniformly, these stories come from what I consider "the bad old days" and are memories I'd much prefer to leave far far behind. I know it's difficult for anyone that knows me to believe that I'm a happy easy goin' guy relative to what I was then, but it's true.

Friday was fun. Went out to din din and a movie with Ed, Chris, and Kira. Trojan Horse for dinner where once again *gasp* they completly and utterly failed to have the world's best desert on hand. Then we saw "Almost Famous" which I though kicked ass. Ed and I wanna see it again. Then Ed and I went to see Crooked County at the Cellar Lounge.

Didn't work on computer stuff hardly at all. Just a little light housekeeping (deleted about a gig of crap), and looking at the new CD burner, trying to work up the energy to get it working.

I'm told I'm an angry young man. I'm told I look like a serial killer. I'm told I have fabulous hair that most women spend a lot of time and effort to try to fake. It's been a good day. And I've managed to hang on to my anger.. which is nice.

Did some sysadminly duties this morning... creating & tweaking accounts for some support staff. The problem with being reasonably security conscious is dealing with all the security mechanism when the time comes to actually do stuff. *sigh* I reckon a shell script is in order.

21 Sep 2000 (updated 21 Sep 2000 at 19:12 UTC) »

Hmmmm, jlf told me to upgrade myself to "contributer" for DHCPreg, since he used a couple snippits of code I sent him. Right on.

Things have been mighty weird in my life recently. jjw was actually commenting on it. He said something to the effect of "Weird stuff happens to everyone. But weirder stuff seems to happen to you more often." I know. I hate it.

I think I brought it on myself when I was younger. I read a line from a Douglas Adams book... something like this "Something really deeply strange is going on here, and if something strange is happening, I want it to be happening to me". I kinda took it to heart, and now life is giving it to me in spades. I just wish it were more pleasant.

Bought a CD burner the other night. Getting it working is proving to be fun. That's fun in the "man I wish it would just freakin' _work_!!" sense.

Put in a few perl hours yesterday. Might have some more goodies for jlf soon.

Update, post lunch, (where I was accosted by political savages, ran into my ex girlfriend, and I once again got the world's worst service at Arby's) :
Dear Republican and Democrat (and I guess everyone else) bastards... go fuck yourselves. LEAVE ME ALONE!!! Don't fucking talk politics to me, EVER! I hate it. You're all so full of yourselves, and so damn sure yer right about everything, and so sure that what anyone else thinks is wrong... well you've had a couple hundred years to work on these problems, and it seems obvious to me that you aren't making any headway and in many ways, we're all a lot worse off today.... SO SHUT UP ALREADY!! And I'm not talking about the politicians themselves here (they're pretty easy to ignore as a whole, and they pretty much all say and do the same things anyway), but rather their rabid asshole groupies out on the street.

Everyone claims to want to save the damn world... but none of you will shut up long enough to realize maybe we shouldn't save it!! You're too busy beating the hell out of my personal freedoms by telling me what I ought to think to actually realize that YOU are the only thing I need to be saved from.

Some people think I'm joking when I say I'm looking forward to us all gettting squished by a giant space rock... I'M NOT JOKING! I can't wait!! C'mon space rock!!!!

13 Sep 2000 (updated 13 Sep 2000 at 22:16 UTC) »

Late afternoon update : I completely and utterly failed to ride my bike in to work today. And it was such a nice day. But Josh called 'bout lunch just as I was fixin' to launch, so I drove instead. *sigh* So I took a long lunch with jjw and jlf, got back a mere ten minutes late for my 2 oclock change management meeting, and spent the majority of the rest of the afternoon finding excuses to go outside. Had a nice chat with Alix about some crap. Had a nice chat with Josh about some stupid nameserver shti that some people wanna do, and how we're gonna tell them no.

But on the upside, I did come up with some interesting solutions for this mess, each of which completely removes responsibility from my group's shoulders. They wanna have a single hostname resolve to different addresses (on different campuses) depending on where the client machine is. In other words, resolves to if you're in bloomington, and resolves to if you're in Indianapolis.

So my brilliant solutions are as follows : 1) Don't do that... it's a dumb idea, just teach your users to use the right domain. We coddle the users too much anyway, and we're making them sickly and weak. 2) Build a seperate nameserver to host, make it the authoritative source for this domain, give it to 'em and let these guys do whatever they want to with it. 3) Train super intelligent space monkeys to be our new routers. 4) Do some fancy magic with HSRP, VLANs, a brace of High Availability machines with some built in cleverness, and a big prayer. *sigh* /UPDATE

RE: Search engines. Don't those guys _ever_ nuke dead links? I mean seriously... I just spent about half an hour looking for some info, and basically could NOT find a link that still worked. It took 15 - 20 tries refining my search before I finally started weeding it down to pages that said "This page has moved _here_", which still kind of sucks, but at least I could still find it. *sigh*

Whatever happened to sound web design principles?? *giggle*

I did a linux phone consult last night, helpin' my old buddy Otis do a RedHat 6.2 install (Mikey, if yer readin' this.... that's right, I said _Otis_). It went well enough I suppose... we didn't get him running, but we narrowed down the scope of his problems. For some reason, linux isn't recognizing all his memory. In addition, we've begun to suspect his install media is bad. *Sigh*

It's becoming important that I get out into the woods this weekend. I think Jen and Otis are gonna come to town for a bit of a visit as well. Perhaps Camping friday night, and then dinner with those guys maybe sunday afternoon? Eat drink and be merry, for monday I go back on call for a week.

Wow. I actually got to *gasp* write some perl today. It was nothing fancy, and the truth is, my co-worker Haiyen basically wrote the same thing (at my suggestion) the other day. But it seemed interesting, simple, and like I might manage to learn something useful doing it. So I did it. Just a simple script to parse the dhcpd.conf file, and query the nameserver to be sure that the two are more or less in agreement about what is and what isn't a dhcp lease.

Took this morning pretty easy. I decided to work from home for a while. Spent most of the morning reading logs & checking reg DBs for the security boys. *sigh* At some point, I need to give them some sort of graceful access to that data.... or just script the hell out of it.

Ok. I no longer seem to hate my job, my life, and everything surrounding them. All that stuff still sucks, but it's back to the "sucks but managable" level. There's certainly still a lot of work to be done on me, and who / what I am, in order to get me where I want me. I think some of that work is going to have to include some serious goof-off time. Some of that work should include unpacking the rest of my apartment. Need to keep workin' out.

I had a pretty good evening last night... watched the Jets / Pats game w/ jjw, which was nice, and I met my new downstairs neighbor, Brian, and had a beer w/ him. Turns out I might be able to get a good deal on some more camping gear through him. That's TWO good avenues for "friend of the shop" discounts on quality gear.

Now I just need to get my shit together and actually go use some of this stuff. Mayhaps the canoe / camping trip I've been threatening to do would be good for this weekend. I should check the weather.

Wow. How startling. I wrote my diary entry a few days ago, and didn't think much of it. I went back and read some other diaries a few hours later, and basically everyone's diary I read had something to say about what I'd said. Wow.

There's been a lot of supportive comments made in diaries, and a few have written me directly (Hey Joad, sorry I've not had the chance to write back yet. I intend to, but things have been... complicated). Ummmm, thanks. It seems like people aren't just sympathetic, but a lot of us are going through this stuff. If anyone wan't to chat about it more, drop me a line

What's interesting about the whole thing is, I wrote that because I was having a bad morning for other reasons. A personal problem I had seemed completely overwhelming, in a very emotional sort of way. And in order to continue to function as a person, I felt like I had to deal with some of the thoughts I had. But since I couldn't get my mind around problem number one, I instead sat it aside, and focused on problem number 2 or 3... and we got what y'all read.

On a lighter note... the good news is, an actual female seems to be expressing a more than friendly interest in me. The bad news is, she is my 14 year old, 8th grader, next door neighbor. *sigh* I just hope this doesn't end up with me walking in the front door to find her waiting in my living room with a gun. Joy.

Things at work have calmed down a bit. The beginning of semester rush has eased to a managable level. Now I just have to clean up all the little messes I either created or ignored while I was loking at the big problems.

Why is it that DHCP was written in such a way that it's only a traffic cop? All the server really does is stand in the middle of the street, pointing at a client, saying 'ok, you can have that IP'. All the Support Goons think I have some mystical power to revoke leases, and all sorts of other enforcement abilities. And I keep telling them that I'm, basically powerless to do anything about it if a client want's to misbehave.

I think the point may have _started_ to sink in a couple weeks ago, when a bad NIC took out about 2000 datajacks. But they still have pretty unrealistic ideas about how the whole thing "works".

5 Sep 2000 (updated 5 Sep 2000 at 19:40 UTC) »

Well, this is a wholly innappropriate place for me to post this, but I'm doing it anyway. Sorry if it bugs you. This isn't really about open source stuff, or about programming, or even really about computing, except in a tangential sort of way. It's about me, or maybe it's about people in general, but it's hard for me to tell, since my perspective is pretty limited. So we'll call it 'me'.

It's also long, rambling, and borderline incoherent....

I'm depressed. I worked hard to get where I am in my career. I put up with a lot of shit, and I sweat and bled, and sacrificed a lot (JuJitsu, music, most of a relationship, anything to do with my personal happiness, basically anything that wasn't 'pute stuff) to get here. Now I'm more or less here... the job I wanted. And all I can seem to do is look around myself and say "Man... that was dumb."

I raise my arms above my head and scream. I shake my tiny fist at god. I rage at the horrible injustice of working hard just to find out that all my goals really just kinda sucked. Like driving 18 hours straight through to go to the grand canyon, just to discover that it's only a big hole in the ground. *sigh*

I didn't realize that the point was to enjoy the trip out there, and to enjoy it for what it is in wide eyed innocence when you get there. And most of the things in my life have been like that. I do things so that I can say that I've done them. It's really high time I learned to actually enjoy doing things for the pleasure the act of doing them brings me I think.

So now I'm here, and I realize that what I wanted wasn't necessarily this job, but the knowledge that I could do it, and that it wasn't outside my grasp. And I wanted people to see me doing this big important job. And once I started to succeed a little bit at it, the job became less important and other things started to matter again. Being happy with myself, having strong friendships, having diverse interests. are all much bigger desires for me now.

But I ignored all that scenery along the way... all of those things that I did before are _gone_. My band all left town. All my JuJitsu partners are long gone. The relationship was a disaster anyway. I'm too fat to race bikes anymore. I'm completely out of shape. I've never been good at meeting people, and all my friends (old and new alike) either have left or are leaving. All the scenery is disapearing in the rear view mirror. *sigh* And here I sit, staring at a hot dusty hole in the rock, like a cynical old bastard.

I realize that two things that've kept me in my current job(s) for the last couple of years are : 1) a fierce love for and loyalty to some very special people that I've had the pleasure of working for / with, and 2) fear of making a big change... something anyone who knows me can tell you has been a big problem of mine for a long time.

Now most of those coworkers are gone or leaving as well, which leaves me wondering why the hell I'm still doing what I'm doing. And the answer is, fear and apathy; Fear of changing my life, and apathy towards actually doing anything to make myself happier.

So I've been thinking about this a bit, and I've come to some startling (to me) realizations about myself. For instance, I told Chris recently that I am deathly affraid of being alone. But it's not true... sorry Chris, I guess I lied. Or at least that's just an overly simple way of looking at it. I'm really more afraid of being left alone, and left behind to be forgotten. I used to joke about not wanting to be the last one left to turn out the lights when all my friends left for California, but I don't think I was joking. Now that I recognize this problem, I guess I need to figure out what how to address it.

I thought I'd moved to this apartment out in the sticks because I wanted to experiment with living way out by myself for a while. But I think it's more than that. I think I'm using it as a staging area, gathering myself together to make my big jump, wherever that may be to. I think I came out here to try to make some sense of things and to impose some order on my life (sort out the important crap from the not so important crap), before I do whatever it is that comes next.

That sounds pretty drastic I guess. I'm not talking about killing myself or giving away all my stuff and becoming a monk, or anything. At least... I don't think that's what I'm talking about. I think I'm talking about a change of venue, like moving to another state. Or maybe a new career, doing almost anything else... maybe opening a restaurant.... like a cafe in New Mexico, catering to UFO freaks or something. Hell, I may just buy a house in town, and tackle my current job with renewed vigor. I don't know. But I think I'm out here to find out.

I think the important thing is, I think I'm out here to remember to look out the window from time to time. And looking out the window right now, I see beautiful blue skies, and leaves on the trees just barely hinting at starting to turn. I see what looks remarkably like me taking the afternoon off.

I think that over the next few months, I'm going to take some time just for me. I want to travel, and see some things. It's just sort of snapping into focus now that I have some completely silly amount of time off coming to me, and despite all my desperate claims to the contrary, I'm not _really_ cash desperate.

I heard someone on the radio the other day talking about making a coast to coast motorcycle trip, and it sounded a little bit like heaven. I guess I'll have to figure out what the "me" equivilant will be, and do it.

Argh. What a lousy week. I put in an average of 12 or so hours a day at the office last week, and 6 more hours over the weekend. Yucky. And that didn't include moving. I was not a happy boy.

I suspect this week will be better... I'm already off to a better start, since I've only been paged once today.

DHCP was not intended to be used on the scale we're trying to achieve. It really starts to break down when you span across dozens of subnets. Some very painful debugging with some help from the router guys becomes a part of your daily life. Mystical things happen to packets between client and server. Sometimes whole subnets magically dissapear for a while. *sigh* I'm tired of being in the middle.

Undocumented compile options are the best compile options.

Same goes for library dependencies.

Came into my office this morning, actually saw my own corpse, and surveyed the results of last night's marathon compile fest.... 5 empty coke cans, 2 KitKat wrappers, and a big forehead print on my monitor. Oh yeah.... and nothing to show for it.

Afternoon Update : Sat back down in front of this project. Tried to think about what's wrong. Instead, I came up with a list of alternative careers :

  • Rodeo Clown
  • Serial killer
  • Smoke Jumper
  • Beer taster
  • sword swallower
  • lion tamer
  • crazed lunatic
  • bomb defuser
  • Hell's Angel
  • Cleaner (see 'the Professional')

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