October, 2002: 48 posts.
Jennifer Simpson is a cool friend. Some of her poetry is really awesome. I went with her to take part in the Full Moon Poets in September and it was great. She had many many poems, and some of them were quite moving and witty and good.
I myself read a version of Two Ships. How do I get to meet so many wonderful talented people? I don’t know. But I try to meet people. Getting out into the world is a good thing.
It’s funny, one of the best pieces of advice I got from my father when Jenny left me was that I should be writing, journaling, expressing myself. He said that such activity would be healthy and therapuetic.
He was 100% right.
A site I worked on has been launched – LANGNews.com – search engines, feel free to index it! Ready, set, google!
Potential clients, check my clean code and hire me. No, really.
Okay, proposals to work on that are very overdue. Back to work.
Now, listen carefully:
– Dr. Stephen Falken, WarGames
I am up late. I am contemplating a word. The word is “stench” and I am not explaining what I mean here. But know that I am in deep contemplation right now. I must now sleep. I am contemplating redemption right now. Many many thoughts in my head. More than I can possibly relate here.
And now I am thinking of a woman who I have known for two weeks. It’s like a lifetime. It’s like an eyeblink.
I wonder, what is love??
And now I must go to sleep.
So last night was really cool. I got to go have fondue and see a great movie with great people. A good time with good people is not unprecented.
The fondue was really awesome. It was pricey, but awesome. We dipped bread and veggies and apples in a garlic-y cheese fondue pot as the first course, along with salads. The second course was various meats (marinated chicken, top sirloin, shrimp, lobster) and vegetables (mushrooms, potatoes, zucchini, carrots) which you place in a special broth that’s boiling. You cook your own food, and they give you an array of sauces. This was all at Forever Fondue in Mission Valley. It was a social fun food thing. None of this is unprecedented.
The dessert was various fruits and some cake and cheesecake which we dipped or drizzled in melted milk chocolate from the fondue pot. Highly yummy. This also is not unprecedented.
After, we went and saw the very funny movie Barbershop (Cedric the Entertainer cracks me up). It had us all laughing! I really like Ice Cube as an actor. The movie was maybe a little predictable, but the textures of what feels like real life. While I’m not black, I remember going to the barbershop as a teenager and getting the same kind of comfort and banter you can only get at a barbershop. As to the reaction the movie has gotten from “black leaders,” I really like Oliver Willis’ How “Barbershop” Exposed Jesse & Al, and having now seen it, I couldn’t agree more with Oliver. Again, none of the above is unprecedented.
As Jennifer said in her journal, the Fondue Foursome was unique. It was unique in that the “party of four” consisted of my good good and longtime friend Erin (we worked at the San Diego Public Library together in the late 1980’s); Jennifer, the wife from whom I’m separated and will, we have decided, divorce; and my new girlfriend, Leah came. Yes, it sounds strange. We remarked that someone should be filming this or that it’s like something from a Woody Allen movie, but really, it was unremarkable in how it looked. We got along wonderfully. Jennifer and I have come to this interesting space where we are good good friends. We agree that we no longer want to have a relationship that is marital. We have gone through counseling, and speak and have spoken at length about what we want for the future. For neither of us does that future include a world where Joe and Jennifer are married. Having deep knowledge of that is a blessing for both of us, and it took quite some time to realize it. At the beginning of the separation I desperately wanted her back, and she wanted nothing to do with me. We went to counseling, and later, she wanted me back, and I found myself not wanting her back. As we have spent more time hanging out as friends, we realize that neither of us really wants the other back. Friends, yes. Husband and wife, no. Anyone I or Jenny or Leah or Erin told about this particular Friday night at Fondue and Movies before the fact did not believe it. So I suppose that it really is unprecedented.
Which brings me to say something more about Leah. She’s a wonderful person, and I have not known her very long at all. It is true that we have moved very fast, and we realize that danger and are attempting to turn the pot down so we don’t boil over. Neither of us wants to get scalded. But I know that we have a wonderful time together, we are both creative in a visual way, and when I look into her eyes there’s a familiarity there that I can’t say I’ve ever felt before. My Mother, who definitely reads this journal, has warned me of this concept of “glimmerance” – that new love blinds. She’s right, and is backed up by my counselor, who warns me to slow down. She describes new love as a kind of temporary insanity. So my new girlfriend and I feel like sailors on the sea, trying to find a way out of the fog of newness, and see where we stand when we can see each other clearly and rationally. The irrationality and mania of new love is wonderful, but it is not, uh, encouraging of rational decision-making. Some may say that the Fondue party was a bad idea to begin with, but as it was not based in malice or a desire to create jealousy or enmity, I can’t see how it was a bad thing. We had a great time, I think.
And so it goes, my unique life with unexpected things happening all the time. I had been quite nervous about it all, but life will surprise you when you’re honest and open your heart.
I’m working on this theory about stupid/fearless. That when you open your heart and are honest with people you’re in this stupid/fearless mode. You must be prepared for rejection, for bad feelings, but if you open your heart to people who are coming also from a place of honesty and openness, the risk in being stupid/fearless goes way down, and things are stupid melts away, and it’s fearless – fearless truth, and fearless honesty. If it all is based on respect, it is good.
And things are good. I realize with every waking hour how lucky I am to have the friends and family that I have.
Yesterday my girlfriend and I spoke at length on the subject of religion. I came to realizations about how I think and what I am about. I am not throwing any of this in any faces. This is what I feel, and what I believe for myself in how to live my life. She is coming to grips with her own religious feelings and ambitions. Ambition may sound a queer word for religious inquiry, but I think it’s wonderful that she has a vision for herself in the future, about what her faith means to her.
Likewise, I also have put to words my own feelings. I have received much feedback via this journal on the subject of God, faith, and religion.
It’s important to remind you that I have the UTMOST respect for people of faith. When I worked in the hospital I saw very well that faith can bring strength and comfort to the afflicted and to those who are experiencing loss. I do not have any disdain for faith as practiced in love. I definitely have a problem with faith that intrudes on others in a way that’s aggressive. Gentleness is a positive attribute in religion, I think. Gentleness manifests itself in compassion, in empathy, in love, in caring, in understanding people. I think I try and live my life that way.
Yesterday was very intense because I realize something about myself. I found myself profoundly moved by a web page. I was researching Leah’s faith, the faith she desires to return to, and a word I had heard my father use popped into my head. The word was “freethinker.”
I am a freethinker.
The words on this page: What is a Freethinker? ring so true to me. I must say that I don’t agree with every word on that page.
Some parts I can affirmatively agree with are these:
What do Freethinkers Believe?
Freethinkers attach much more importance to the ‘why’ of belief than to the ‘what.’ Freethinkers believe in the sort of human understanding that naturally follows from a careful and rational consideration of the relevant factual evidence. With regard to the natural world of human experience, therefore, freethinkers regard the scientific method as the proper approach and scientific knowledge as the most reliable sort of human understanding. Freethinkers also acknowledge that there is an inner, private, subjective world of human experience. But they also recognize that our feelings and emotions cannot and should not be the basis of what we believe about the reality of the world which all human beings share.
How Can Life Have Meaning for Freethinkers?
Freethinkers believe that if life is to have authentic meaning, they must create it or discover it for themselves. To live life in compliance with or in obedience to someone else’s purpose, even the unknowable purpose(s) of a god or gods, is to be an unthinking slave. Freethinkers, therefore, look for and find meaning in their daily lives: in their efforts to learn, to grow, to understand, to help others, and to try, at least, to leave the world perhaps a little better place than they found it.
How Can Freethinkers Have Hope Without A Belief In An Afterlife?
Freethinkers consider this life as the only one we can be sure of having. They regard it as shameful to trivialize this life by supposing that a better one will follow … they lament the false optimism of an afterlife with a system of future rewards and punishments that encourages complacency about suffering and death in this life. But freethinkers, like other human beings, continually hope for a better future. Their hope, while not extending beyond the grave, yet persists as long as life persists, for life is hope. (emphasis added) Freethinkers do not expect to ever see again their loved ones who have died. But, as with believers in an afterlife, their memories of their loss remain with them as a comfort and remembrance.
Their greatest attachment and commitment is to truth, and to learning to know and do what is right. They are honest with themselves, and with others. They prefer to form their opinions based on fact and evidence, but are not afraid of making mistakes, and learning from them. For they know that human beings aren’t born with their beliefs, nor can honest people truly believe in something by sheer force of will or ‘faith.’ Freethinkers submit themselves to facts and reason, following humbly wherever and to whatever they are led. They speak their minds, and are unafraid of saying, ‘I don’t know.’ And in return for all of this, freethinkers respect themselves, they have sympathy for their fellow human beings, and they lay legitimate claim to the best and noblest of what the human condition offers.
One of the things my counselor has said is that the spiritual is a part of myself I must explore. And I have been. I have tried to speak openly and honestly with my friends and family. I have been reading about spirituality in many forms and have found nothing more true for me than these words above on the nature of being a freethinker.
I will continue to seek the truth and try and understand the worlds inside and outside myself. I may yet come to other conclusions about the nature of reality and existence for myself. My heart is open and honest.
In being open and honest, it hurt yesterday, because my convictions are at odds with the convictions of the woman I am in love with. I love her even more for she has considered her options and has thought about how she looks at the world, and desires a faith. If it is so that we are at odds on this issue, then so be it. We must, each of us — “to thine own self be true”. For myself, I am pleased to be in love with someone so whole, so real and so authentic.
Who can say what tomorrow will bring?
These were sent to me by my good friend Erin after my posting about Religion and freethought. These are excellent food for thought and have given me much to think about. I was raised Roman Catholic, and always have presumed that I would return to that sphere, IF I went back to religion in any way. I am thankful for Erin, and further, my parents, both of whom sent me excellent advice today. Email from loved ones is a wonderful thing.
» The Jesus Seminar: inquiry after the voice of Jesus
Jennifer has an interesting and good take on hers and my good relationship. Hey, the girl is cool. And yes, for a while we absolutely felt hatred and enmity. But you know what? Hatred stinks. Nothing but trouble it is. One interesting tidbit, or not very-interesting tidbit — she will likely keep the last name she got via me. It’s not really mine per se, I was given it to me through my father. It’s not a bad name, and easy to spell.
We had a good lunch and good conversation. And hey, we got free brownies at Oscar’s because they missed something on our order. What’s that you say? Should you be eating brownies Joe? Aren’t you losing weight? Well, yes. I’m currently at pre-separation weight minus 70 pounds. That’s 70 pounds in 5 months. Weight loss has slowed, but I’m fitter than I used to be by several million miles. Still much weight to lose.
Well, fit other than a cold which is coming on me now, Racquetball is still excellent for my activity. Two times a week and very fun, racquetball is. Talk like Yoda I will now stop.
I AM BEHIND
Yes, this blog has not been updated. Patience, sil vous plait, por favor, bitte, please.
Belated! I missed Matt Haughey’s Birthday. Happy Belated Birthday Matt! If you are a regular reader of this blog (hi Mom!) you can blame Matt for turning me onto blogs some long time ago.
This Herman Goering Quote is chilling (from Erin)
On 10/10/2002 my Mom wrote in an email:
You have a great day and look at the beauty in everything and everyone.
Is there any nicer wish someone could wish someone?
Interesting: The Political Oddsmaker (from John)
Wonderful Article About Defense Strategy post-911
Failsafe: On September 11, passengers armed only with cellphones and courage succeeded where a multibillion-dollar military failed. Does their achievement mean that 50 years of American defense policy is all wrong?
excerpt: For the past year, we have spoken unceasingly about the events of Sept. 11. But one aspect of that day has not yet been the topic of open discussion: the difficulty we had as a country defending ourselves. As it happened, the only successful defense was carried out not by our professional defense apparatus but by the passengers on Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania. The purpose of this essay is to examine the failures of Sept. 11, and the one success, and ask if they suggest that something in our defense arrangements needs to be changed.
I think Charles is back in business with his blog. Go Charles!
Some cool words: alas, oft, bereft.
Lura says, about San Diego Blog Meetups:
A popular person needs to organize this so as to draw from a larger base. Joe, I nominate you. Be our leader, our local hero. Please take these ideas as your own and make this whole thing work better.
Let me think about it. If folks have ideas about how to handle this, or want to be notified if something happens with this, please drop me a note. I have some possible ideas – probably a simple notification list that sends out notes on some regular basis that it’s happening, and by soliciting feedback in the form of locations or whatever… So many ideas, so little time…
L.A. (Being A Recap Of Last Weekend’s Trip to Los Angeles):
On Sunday Erin and Jenny and I went to Los Angeles. It was quite fun. On the way I some Wireless (WiFi aka 802.11b aka AirPort) Access Point scanning. Driving north on Interstate 5 (we call them “freeways” in California) I turned on my clamshell iBook in Orange County. MacStumbler almost immediately started alerting me to APs. I was quite surprised that driving at freeway speeds we would spot any. Obviously at freeway speeds there was no time to join any of these networks and use their net connections, but it was enough time to “see” them. So this makes me want to do more “war-driving” – just to see what’s out there. Supposedly the government wants to make this illegal, but it’s illegal to use computer resources – wardriving strikes me more like mapping or exploring. It’s certainly not nefarious when practiced by someone who is merely curious.
Anyway, we went to several places, here are my brief experiences of them:
World Book & News: Greatest newsstand ever, still. On Cahuenga just off Hollywood Blvd. No real finds, but it was cool.
Amoeba Music: Massive new record store (part of a small chain) on Sunset and Cahuenga – near the site of the Cinerama Dome. Great record store with excellent new and used sections – lots of DVDs, including import/non-US encoded/region discs. Definitely a place I’d return to. They had some Zappa vinyl that made me think twice about abandoning vinyl. I have no turntable – so who needs vinyl now? Maybe when I make my millions.
Canter’s Deli: Pastrami delights. Classic.
Aron’s Records: On North Highland Avenue North of Sunset Blvd, worth a visit. Much smaller than Ameoba, but with great quality.
Giant Robot: West of the 405 on Sawtelle. Very excellent and clever merchandise, but too expensive.
Santa Monica Promenade: Always fun for a visit.
Hennessey + Ingalls: Great art & architecture bookstore. Also in the category of “when I get rich, I’ll buy lots” – just looking for books I can look for at the library this trip.
It was a great trip.
The book Creating Applications with Mozilla is available online.
AudioHijack is an excellent piece of shareware that will let you record whatever audio is playing on your Mac to an AIFF file. Very cool.
Back in early September, Ben Forta, Cold Fusion guru spoke at UCSD on Cold Fusion MX and other things. I’ve (uh, finally) written up my notes and they may be of value to someone. Feel free to check them out at:
It may, perhaps, possibly, be of interest to folks out there. The most compelling stuff was definitely the web services capabilities of CFMX. And Forta is a great speaker overall.
I’ve added an RSS XML addition to the blog. It’s not strictly speaking a full RSS Feed but it will do for now as it will update when the blog is updated.
Regular readers may have noted the new header on the blog which was put in place on 18 Oct 2002. It features an image of my very own right iris as taken by Jon Miles of Miles Research. It’s really nifty to get closeup images of your own iris like that.
Turn The Tables on Telemarketers
The Direct Marketing sector regards the telephone as one of its most successful tools. Consumers experience telemarketing from a completely different point of view: more than 92% perceive commercial telephone calls as a violation of privacy. Telemarketers make use of a telescript – a guideline for a telephone conversation. This script creates an imbalance in the conversation between the marketer and the consumer. It is this imbalance, most of all, that makes telemarketing successful. The EGBG Counterscript attempts to redress that balance. (from John)
The NOAA Photo Library has lots of great free clipart/stock photos. I think of stock photography and clip art interchangeably. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has so many cool images. Mmmmm, weather.
Darpa’s Information Awareness Office has a logo which conspiracy theorists will love.
A QuickBooks Software Development Kit is available. They’re encouraging developers to check it out.
Asteroid Impact Could Have Led To Nuclear War (between Pakistan and India)
On October 11th I saw Stew play music at Java Joe’s in Ocean Beach. He did something unusual for him as a solo artist, as even as part of his band The Negro Problem: he played a cover. The one he played was a song I had never heard before. A remarkable number from the Rolling Stone’s Beggars’s Banquet: it’s called Stray Cat Blues. He prefaced this with the note that this album came out in 1967 or 1968 – and given that the Stones were at the time the biggest band in pop, the lyrical content of the song is unbelievably. He said it was the kind of thing that maybe R.Kelly would write about if he actually had the guts to write about what he does. The song is pretty unbelievable when you think about it. Stew was right when he shared with the audience that any artist couldn’t put out a record like this, even the hardest rapper wouldn’t dare make allusions to sexual interactions with underage girls as boldly as this song does. And yet the Stones were huge at the time. You can check the lyrics to Stray Cat Blues here.
The last few days I’ve been deep in thought. I haven’t been blogging all my deepest thoughts here though. I’m still having thoughts though. I have lots of thoughts: about divorce, weight loss, work, freelancing, work in respiratory therapy, girlfriends, old girlfriends, friendships, honesty, religion, faith, abstract emotions, love, mistakes, learning from mistakes, and much more. I do feel pretty good lately, but with a side dish of stress. I still have so much to learn from life, and I’m trying to make a go of it the best way I know how. As much as I think I’ve reached a plateau of enlightenment in the past five months, I still have much more to learn. It continues to be an interesting life, filled with love from many quarters, as well as challenges galore.
Still and all, I am a very lucky man.
You know, I believe we have two lives.
How … what do you mean?
The life we learn with and the life we live with after that.
from The Natural
Dori of BackupBrain writes:
To which I think aloud:
“in between Word and Excel”
I feel great today. The weather is a little gray. But I feel great today. More to come later…
Check this: http://www.youmaybenext.com/ —
“a company in San Diego, Pangea Intellectual Properties (PANIP LLC) is suing companies all across the country. They claim that if you use graphical and textural information on a video screen for purposes of making a sale, then you are infringing on their patent. US Patent No 5,576,951.
And if you accept information to conduct automatic financial transactions via a telephone line & video screen, you’re infringing on their patent. US Patent No. 6,289,319″
Read the linked news articles to assess legitimacy.
It’s also interesting that the list of known defendents include none in California.
It’s the poor craftsman that blames his tools (or racquet). I’m playing this afternoon.
DeeIsChristina.com (link from Erin). The new record by Christina Aguilera should be good. I’m going to pick it up when cashflow is a bit better. So far I’m actually impressed. Check out christinaaguilera.to for current Xtina (yeah, that’s apparently her nickname) news. And yes, I think her fashion choices stink lately.
All Kinds of Lab Stuff
Articles and code snippets for web geeks: some new, some old, all have been enhanced lately. Bookmark it and tell your friends!
» Change Form Input Direction
» Onmouseover in a TR tag
» Changing the color of a form element when it’s blank
» Mozilla Rounded Corners
» HTML Tags for Java Applets, circa 1999
» Dropdown Navigation Where Only Some Links Open New Windows