In its quest to help ferret out all the nasty illegal things our kids are doing, Microsoft has given us this handy guide, so that when we snoop on their computers, we can understand what the l33t little h4x0rs are saying to their l33t little phr|3nd$:
A Parent's Primer to Computer Slang
Hey, maybe now I'll understand grande a little better! ;-)
I got in to work this morning, and for the second time recently, I have exactly 666 spam emails in my Junk E-mail folder.
Maybe I need to get under my desk and hide.
Derek's father will have been dead three years this coming February.
Nevertheless, today Derek's grandmother received a letter he mailed from Geneva, Switzerland, in 1972, when he was on his way to do some welding at the Suez Canal.
Needless to say, we're all pretty creeped out about this. For some members of the family, it's a very upsetting thing to receive just two days before Christmas, naturally.
yessss... give us the glasssss... we loves the little morsels, yesss we do.... my preciousssss....
Derek's brother Allen, his wife Suzanne, and our niece Carolyn were here with us, and Allen was helping Derek & I with the house, while Suzanne rode herd on Carolyn.
At one point, Derek & Allen were looking inside an access panel in one wall of my office, that provides access to the plumbing for the bathtub in our front bathroom. That tub doesn't have a shower, and they were assessing how easily one might be added. Eventually, we gravitated into the bathroom itself to see how it would work from inside the room. The access panel was screwed back on, and activities continued around the house.
Eventually, Allen, Suzanne, and the baby went back home, and Derek & I settled down to relax, each with our respective computers: he in the recliner with the laptop in the living room, and me with my Macintosh in my office.
I kept thinking I heard scratching, though. And then a meow. It wasn't Pikachu's voice, and Godiva usually only meows if she's stoned on catnip, or the litter box is really really pissing her off.
Then I realized what was going on.
"Derek! Come in here! Bring the screwdriver!"
"Where am I coming?"
"My office! Hurry!"
A few moments of hurried work later, Godiva peeked her head out from the underneath side of the bathtub, looking highly offended at have been sealed up in the wall. Thank heavens she actually decided to meow. Once, we shut her up in a closet accidentally for 12 hours and she never made a peep. It was only when we missed her and started looking that we discovered what had happened.
As I type this, she's sitting on top of my monitor, with a mildly accusing look in her eyes.
I'm sure we'll be punished.
After her nap.
Godiva surveys her domain
Normally I'm a big holiday person. I get that from my mother, who is still like a 4-year-old at Christmas, even though she's 67 now. But, even though I'm not in a bad mood or anything, for some reason, this year I'm having trouble focusing on the fact that Christmas is coming up in three weeks.
Oh, I'm looking forward to some of the activities surrounding it: seeing friends, my family (both biological and chosen), traveling, and having time off. But those are really the only things I've thought about thus far. I've always been bad about waiting to get gifts until the last minute. But that's because, in an odd way, I've always enjoyed the "rush" as things wind down towards the last minute. One of my favorite Christmas shopping trips ever was with my aunt and my cousin, in the snow, on Christmas Eve itself.
Speaking of snow...
I'm also normally very cold-natured. I'm the one lying on my side of the bed, buried under every conceivable blanket, barely (if at all) visible as anything other than a large, upholstered lump. But this year, I'm enjoying the first rush of cold. Last night, we could see our breath outside for the first time, and I loved it. And I find myself really hoping we have some snow sometime this year.
Oh, I was talking about lack of focus. *rolls eyes*
I think it's been because this semester at work has been so manic, and there's just so much going on all around me, in every way. I'm not a great multi-tasker.
I think what I really need for Christmas is another internal processor.
StandardTom9731: GREAT picture! he DOES look like Jay Bush.
StandardTom9731: but DAMN
StandardTom9731: I didn't know he was one of your Dallas pilots
StandardTom9731: oh wait
StandardTom9731: that IS Jay Bush :-P
IrishBeard: that IS jay bush dorkwad!
IrishBeard: like an airplane has a STEERING WHEEL!
I'm the kind of person who is very aware of, interested in, and comforted by ritual, ceremony, convention. And to me, the first Tuesday in November has always been essentially a holiday, when all of us should be doing the same thing. In a nation as diverse as ours, it's one of the few things that brings us all to the table. Or it should, anyway.
I will admit that I've been remiss, but even though I've lived in the city limits of Jackson, in Hinds County, since January of 2001, I haven't yet changed my voter registration from Jackson suburb Ridgeland in Madison County. So, standing in line to vote, less than a hundred yards from the apartment I lived in for ten years before Derek and I moved in together, and talking with the people in line around me was a bit of an emotional experience. There I was, a fortysomething gay man, flanked by a middle-aged (almost certainly straight) white man, a middle-aged black woman, and a quiet young Hispanic man. All there to do the same thing. Not necessarily with the same ideas in our heads about who we'd vote for of course, but no matter. That's the nature of the process. The man, the woman, and I chatted amiably as we waited in the mist, the lady deciding that a plastic Wal-Mart bag from her purse would be just the thing to protect her hair. I got to glad-hand briefly with the mayor of the fair city of Ridgeland, a handsome salt & pepper bearded man, who is actually a heck of a guy, a pretty decent trombone player, and, though he was in a suit today, displays a damn fine set of thick muscular legs covered with dark hair when he's wearing shorts...
Okay... so, what was I talking about? Oh. Right. Elections. Sorry about that.
Whatever happens today, tonight, and in the coming weeks, I have faith that we'll ultimately have a peaceful transfer of power, as we always do. That's something I think we take for granted here in the United States. When someone loses an election, even though they may contest it in the courts, when the courts rule, they go away and the person who won assumes authority.
That's worth a lot, even if you think the person who won is a bastard.
If you've voted, a nod and a "there ya go" to you. If you haven't, you need to get that done. If you aren't registered, do it and get involved next time.
I did a lot of relaxing, but as usual didn't wind up going to bed until obscenely late on Monday morning, so as a result am still somewhat zombified today.
On Saturday, I mainly did some lazing around, and shopping on my own. Then Saturday night, we joined our niece Carolyn for her first time trick-or-treating, along with her parents and Crazy Grandma #1. I got a couple of kinda cool pictures of her with my phone camera, backlit by headlights in a really spooky fashion. :-)
After that, we all went and had pizza (except for Crazy Grandma #1, thankfully). I chatted for a good while before bed with the amazing twilightcub, then called it a night.
Sunday morning, after a nice leisurely wakeup, we spent the afternoot running some errands. I had fun test-driving a Motorola MPx220 smartphone. I really want one of the smartphones, but I'd heard a few horror stories about the MPx220, but my experience with it was pretty good, though admittedly brief. The Best Buy sales lady handed the Cingular-branded phone it to me, and let me pop my AT&T Wireless SIM into it, and except for the expected settings mismatches for sending MMS messages, it worked perfectly. I'm still going to look at the new Audiovox SMT-5600 smartphones too, though. The screen on the Audiovox is a bit bigger, but I like the clamshell form factor of the Motorola better. I'm going to wait awhile, though, due to poverty and the fact that the merger of AT&T Wireless and Cingular currently has a number of factors up in the air that make waiting a bit seem like a good idea.
Once back home, I got busy pressure-washing the front of the house and the walk from the street to the front stoop, followed by watering the trees (it's raining today, thanks guys).
As I was resting for a bit, I got a call from irishbeard as he and digibob were walking through the streets of Boston on their way to hear trapezebear's band perform. They were having a great time, and it was fun listening to both of them rave about how much they loved Boston and the friends they were meeting. I had thoroughly enjoyed Boston during our visit a couple of years ago, and knew they would too.
Following that, I went to the grocery store, came home, cooked supper, cleaned the kitchen, washed and folded two loads of clothes, then sat down tired, yet keyed up, and with a screwed-up internal clock, and wound up staying up until 2:00 in the morning chatting online with kebinjoonzu and my friend Doug in Dayton, OH.
I've not been nearly as tired and non-productive today as that late night would indicate.
After work today, I'm going to go test drive a car. Details to follow.
I got this idea from caviecub. And really, it's pretty interesting.
But let me assure you that I am not pushing up the daisies, I am not singing with the choir eternal, and I have not ceased to be.
But I have been away from LJ for a while.
There's a lot behind that, and a few of my last entries before this one might shed light on some of that. Someday, maybe soon, but maybe not, I hope to write some more about that when I can articulate it a bit better.
Another part of it is that I often rely on down time at work to post to LJ, and there just hasn't been a lot of that this semester. I'm hoping to be through with some of the crap hanging over my head within the next week or so though. So that'll be nice. Then I can return to my usual cushy work schedule.
I want to shout out to some people who are incredibly dear to me, and who have been indispensable lately:
Derek (not on LJ), Ed irishbeard, Mike scbearmike, Matthew vianegativa, Shane tropicstyle, Bob aries470, Bob digibob, Brandon twilightcub, Robert bigsabu, Kevin kebinjoonzu, Gary biguyfriend, and Greg bearinatlanta.
I'm sure I'm missing some people, and probably some extremely important ones, who are now crushed by my lack of recognition, but that's just the way I am. I'm always looking so far ahead that I trip over the things that are right in front of me.
I thought I would end with some tacky, shamelessly comment-whoring question like "So... miss me?" but then I decided that would be, well, shameless and tacky.
Then I decided I was completely cool with that.
So... miss me?
One, an exchange student from Uzbekistan, was dead at the scene. The driver died late Saturday night. Her twin brother is in stable, but guarded condition. Another girl is on life support and has little or no brain activity, and her family is having to make the decision to pull the plug or wait a bit; but even so, her other systems are badly compromised, and she might not live anyway. The fifth girl is evidently not seriously injured, but was conscious during the entire thing and saw every bit of what happened to her friends.
No drugs or alcohol were involved. The driver swerved to avoid a car that cut her off on I-10 in Biloxi, Mississippi, lost control, and hit a concrete barrier. The 4Runner flipped, and two of the kids were thrown.
All of them were 19, except for Maksim, the exchange student, who was 20.
As I write this, we've just got the email that the girl on life support has died.
The families of both girls who died have chosen to donate their organs.
- I got Ed The Slowest Checker In The World at the Sprint Mart on my way in to work this morning. He's the kind of checker that makes you involuntarily groan and say "shit" under your breath when you walk into the store and see him at the counter. You also get the feeling that he was very socially awkward growing up, and has been the Nerd Of All Nerds throughout his life. But you still wish he'd scan that shit quicker.
- Derek can't seem to read my mind. I wonder why this is?
- I had to get up way to early this morning. I don't like getting up. I don't like mornings very much either.
- Dropped Serena off at the vet clinic where our pseudo-niece Tory is a tech. She's going to watch her and feed her for us today. She's also going to see if she can get one of her vets to look at Serena's right eye, which is stuck shut and seeping a lot. Tory says that could be something really simple and not too bad though.
- I'm glad you want to save the whales, visualize whirled peas, and elect John Kerry. And that sure is a nice Volvo. But the accelerator is the long slender pedal on the right. Learn its use.
- I love Diet Pepsi. So I thought I'd give Pepsi One a try. Big mistake. It's nasty.
I'd forgotten things could be this quiet.