Showing posts from June, 2005

Moving Day (again)

I've worked for my current employer for about 4.5 years (hired January, 2001). This Friday I need to pack up my cube for my 5th move. For the first time, I'm going upstairs. (Feels like being called to the Majors or something)

It's a good move because we will be closer to Product Management and Programming, but farther away from Product Support.

I do find it amusing that my boss and I have been requesting this move for over a year now and there has been "no availability" each time we have asked. This time, one of our senior execs asks us to be moved and ... surprise surprise ... there suddenly are a couple of choices of offices and cubicles into which we can move.

A Small Effort


Sensual lips
Soft caresses
Strangers kiss
Sinful excesses
Summer bliss ---- As always with my poems, do not use or copy without permission of the author-- me.


I've been preoccupied the last two weeks. It is funny, though, because most of the time I'm preoccupied it has adverse side effects on the rest of my life. So far my current adversities include:Watching very little TVReading moreCleaning my apartment more conscientiously (still in process)Writing more (blogs, emails, and my own stuff)Doing more at work, and faster, so I can get homeVolunteering more at work for new assignmentsEven delaying reading comic books, because some things are actually more fun than comic books (did I write that? Who am I? and what happened to John??) ;-)I guess, in the end, it depends on the preoccupation? The right one can drive you forward, the wrong one can hold you back.

Follow up to the Follow up

It was nice to see mom post she has the same problem with her body going all wonky with insomnia. Maybe my semi-annual insomnia-fest and lack of eating is a genetic thing? Of course, since she indicates she still experiences it, that means I may get to experience this for my whole life. Oh joy!

Anyway, sure enough, I went to bed about 10 pm last night, very early for me, and was asleep by 10:30 or so. My alarm startled me awake at 7:15. So I good a good, healthy amount of sleep. Feel great today.

And the hunger issue is gone, as well.

Happy happy joy joy.
(imagine very white man, with no inherent rhythm or dance skills, cabbage-patching and duck-walking around-- hmmm, better yet, don't) ;-D

Also, I'm very glad for another reason-- Insurance Man (Alan) is coming to apartment today so we can discuss investments, retirement savings, house buying, and my insurance/ death/ disability requirements. Yes, I'm only 34 and I have an Insurance guy. You should too! Give him a little $$ …

Fun with Light

Waste time on this site.

Follow up

Well, I barely slept at all last night. Was up until almost three, then fell into a light, fitful sleep. Was awakened around 4 by neighbor opening garage (right beneath me) and working on motorcycle for about half hour, then letting it idle for another half hour while he finished tinkering. Then Calypso decided to start chasing a big pile of nothing in the middle of the floor and then running and leaping onto the bed with me. This amused her for quite awhile. Cat came close to reincarnation.

Slept for another half hour or maybe forty-five minutes at six, and then was pretty much awake until the alarm went off at 7:15.

However, this is all a good thing. I am certain I will sleep well tonight.

And, on way into work today, I get peckish and stopped at store and picked up some water, chocolate milk, and a morning snack item. So the hunger issue looks to be heading back to normal.

All in all, except for the deep bags under my eyes, it is a good day.

Sometimes you just have to empty your cache a…

Lon McCallister

Before logging off to read, I happened to see this article. What an amazing life. I love the attitude of this man and how he stuck to his guns, even when he was enjoying all that success. There's a lesson to be learned there.

If he were a star today, he wouldn't go gracefully out while on top... he would fade into bad TV pilots and "reality" TV shows designed around celebrities.

1 am and all is well

Had a great time today, chatting. It is a rare gift when two people can just... chat. About any and everything. Thanx.

I am juiced. For whatever reason, my body is undergoing its semi-annual metamorphosis. This means I am no longer hungry and cannot seem to get to sleep. Usually takes about two weeks and I snap back into a normal food/sleep pattern. I have been going through this since at least high school. I have no idea what triggers it and it happens usually not more than twice in a year, frequently only once.

So, for example, I just didn't eat today. I finally thought about going to lunch at about 2 pm, but then wasn't really hungry. My boss came to me with a new problem she wanted me to work and that took my mind off it entirely, so I never even left. So, since Saturday morning I've eaten an omelette (around 9 am), a bowl of pasta with some Ragu poured over it on Sunday (around 12:30 pm), and nothing today. I am hopeful tomorrow will be a hungry day. Least I never lose …

Batman Begins

I have been a Batman fan for many years, owning probably around 1000 comics starring the character, spanning from the 1970s through today.

The 1989 Batman with Michael Keaton and directed by Tim Burton was good. It was dark, moody, and gave us the “Dark Knight” for the first time on the screen. I enjoyed it. However, each sequel got a little worse, with the two Joel Schumacher movies killing the franchise with the poor choices the director made.

Memento is now one of my all-time favorite movies. Insomnia was insightful and intriguing, even if I did not ultimately like it. Christopher Nolan is someone I really respect. Upon hearing that this man would take over the relaunch of the Batman franchise, I was ecstatic.

As I watched Batman Begins, I kept thinking, “This is what I’ve been waiting for.” Although Act 1 was a little long, and I hated the use of flashbacks (and some in the audience became a little confused by them… just put the flashbacks at the beginning as actual story, and go …


Closer, the movie starring Natalie Portman, Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, and Jude Law, is a beautiful piece of shit.

The direction is superb and understated. The acting is spot on and powerfully real. The sound and cinematography are sublime. The score is worth the listen.

The story, however, had no focus. All the movie shows us is the banality of life. The lowest of the low decisions people make. At each opportunity that the characters have to turn back from the train wreck that is quickly becoming their lives, they choose the poorest option. The repetition of these poor decisions is so consistent as to be absurd. Pure random chance would cause some of this story to turn out better than it did.

Closer is about four people whose lives commingle in such a way so that everyone’s life is lost in the banal.

Movies can be about real life, and I have enjoyed films that are. Films can be about common people making common decisions, and they can be good. But in these cases they usually hold a mirro…

Another Earthquake

Hmm... we just had a >=5.0 earthquake that lasted about 10 seconds (which is pretty long for an earthquake). This one was located in Yucaipa, which is very close to Irvine. That's two of similar magnitude near Yucaipa in less than 1 week. Plus the one just the other day at >7.0 up north of San Francisco. You have to wonder.

Actually, our building is still moving from aftershocks, too. Just felt another shift and roll.

Gotta love it.

Thursday Thoughts

Three best “love” scenes in cinema (in no particular order):The trunk scene in Out of Sight. George Clooney kidnaps Jennifer Lopez and they escape in the trunk of a car driven by Clooney’s companion. During the drive, and the ensuing conversation, sparks fly. Note Clooney’s hand as he ever so gently touches her arm, hip, and waist with his fingertips.Shaving scene from Phenomenon. John Travolta has finally reached his “quiet place” and is learning to deal with the strange new thoughts and lack of sleep. He decides to go speak at a local event so that people won’t be afraid of him. Kyra Sedgewick visits and gives him a haircut and a shave to help him prepare for his presentation. Note how she is continually brushing against him, touching his neck and back, and, at the end, presses her cheek to his.The Player. Tim Robbins is having sex with Greta Scacchi. On screen, Robert Altman (the director) chooses to show only their faces in front of a fireplace. Without showing any overt actions, …


I started this blog so I could stand naked on my metaphorical mountaintop, flipping the bird to the world. I needed a place where I could vent all of the shit that goes through my head at work and at 2 am on those (many) sleepless nights. Some of my closest friends are quite happy that I started this, because they were tired of listening to my wild conjectures, lengthy discourses on comic books and movies, and weird political ideas. I honestly believed for the longest time that no one would read it or that they would stop in once and move on, never to return. I certainly never expected the response I have received!

One of my best and oldest friends reads this regularly. His girlfriend reads it. My mother is a faithful reader and commenter. An intriguing new female friend and her compatriots have become regular readers. Other friends and coworkers are at least semi-regulars. My ephemeral anonymity is gone. Many of these people see me often and know me well.

This is a good thing; it allow…

Idle Thought, Appropos of nothing

Time and distance suck.

Specifically 4 hours and approximately 3350 miles (or around 5400 kilometers).

(cracks open a book on wormhole theories)

Tsunami in California?

With the huge destruction of life and property in the Indian Ocean still fresh in mind, it came as quite a shock to have the Emergency Broadcast System interrupt my TV viewing last night with a tsunami warning for the west coast of America.

I have lived in California all my life and earthquakes are a fact of life. Having the rational knowledge that earthquakes in the sea floor are the number one reason for tsunami creation does not necessarily translate to real-world expectations, however. From what I can see, the last tsunami to really hit this coast was back in 1964. That is prior to my birth and outside of my experience.

Secondly, I have only lived near the coast for a little over 4 years now. I am around 8 miles inland and live on the second floor, which should mean I am safe from the vast majority of tsunami effects. Because the coastal region in California has a number of challenges, including floods, liquefaction, mudslides, earthquakes, storms, and fires, tsunamis become somethi…

Flows like Water

Well, I took some advice from Chris and once again took a stab at fixing my overly complicated DVD, VHS, Receiver, TiVo, TV setup. I picked up some S-Video cables recently, and used that to link to my receiver. I have everything running through the receiver and out to the TV now, which means I got rid of two cables and the entire switch box I was using before. The only thing sound-wise not going through the receiver is my TV. This is good because the cable signal, for some reason, winds up a half-second behind the display when I run the TV through the Receiver. It shouldn't, but does, so every show is like watchng Kung Fu Theatre on Saturday morning. This is bad because one of the speakers on the TV has a small short in it and sometimes gets real quiet. Best to just ignore the receiver and use the speakers. It's not like I watch a lot of TV without the TiVo anyway.

The other bad thing is that I had to take the VHS out of the loop for now. I couldn't get it to display and h…

Working on a Saturday

I became a technical writer for many reasons. Some of those reasons are that it is a generally low-stress, don't have to work much overtime, never get paged in the wee-hours of the morning type of job.

So here I am, at work on a Saturday, wondering where I went wrong. Now, I don't mind the occasional overtime; it comes with the job (any job, for that matter). But this is already the third time this year I have felt the need to work on a weekend to stay caught up. Frustrating.

The good thing about it is that you can get so much more done without the constant bustle and distraction of the other people with whom you work. In only a couple of hours today I have managed to do about the same amount as I can on a work day. My email hasn't twitched once since coming in this morning. My phone has only sounded once, and that is my friend with whom I arranged to have lunch today. The rest has been music-turned-loud, nose-to-the-grind-stone get stuff DONE time.

And, I think I have done e…

Shave or not to Shave

I've been letting my hair, such as it is, grow out. Now I am sitting here debating on whether to shave it bald again. It's been warm enough to handle the shaved head (you would be amazed at how cold you get without any hair at all!), but I've had it so short or shaved for so long I've been toying with the idea of growning it out again.

Pic of me on the side is with head shaved bald. Decision will be made tomorrow morning, so comment before then if you want to weigh in on the debate.

New TV

I need to buy a new television. I would like to get one that fits into my current cabinet, which limits the sizes I can purchase. I currently have a 27" TV with about 4-5 inches to spare in my cabinet, so up to around 30" is likely doable (yes, I need to measure exactly; I'm getting there!).

Whatever I get MUST play DVDs as clearly as possible. I have some 120 DVDs (and counting), and equal number of VHS, and am a Netflix whore. Which means I'm leaning toward a TV with the nice digital connectors for DVD and VHS players. I also have a surround sound receiver and speakers to which I would want to connect the TV (which I cannot do with my existing TV).

Do I stay with a standard TV picture tube? Should I look long-term at a rear projection TV or a flat-panel TV of some sort? Should I get the movie aspect ratio screen (16:9) or a standard square picture?

I am constantly reading about the changing standards in TVs and in the broadcast signals which makes the decision more di…

Thursday Thoughts

It is funny how much reinforcement can make the difference. At work, I was slacking a bit. I had a project that I did not care for, and was working with a group of people who were difficult at best. Because of this, I was not giving one hundred percent and knew it. My boss sensed it and she took me into her office and basically said, “John, I know you can do more and can work harder than this. How can I help?” We worked out some ways in which I could be better motivated to do those tasks and, when it recently came time for my mid-year review, I was given a good mark to go with what I had accomplished since that little talking to.

So, my boss gave me some reinforcement by suggesting I was not working as hard as I could and helping me to reconstruct my priorities so that I could, and followed it by giving me the at-a-boy I deserved for kicking it back into gear and getting back on top. Now I want to continue on this trend so I can continue to succeed.

I play a cooperative game called City…