mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

A pretty good day. I ran through the entire Conflikt set in the morning (doing only a verse+chorus of the ones I already know well), took a 2-mile walk at lunchtime, re-posted the party announcement, paid some bills, and determined the sex of my netbook. (Female, in case it wasn't obvious. Consider the informal name of her pointing device.)

I also ordered a couple of psych books that have been recommended in comments recently.

It was lovely weather for walking; a little warmer than the day before, meaning I could leave my jacket behind. Details were looking sharper even before the new glasses; it makes me wonder whether my glasses affect my mood -- one of the things I notice when a depression is lifting is detail in the landscape, as if things were in better focus.

Several good links in the notes, and a very short dialog with Ame.

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mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

So... a pretty good day. Ok, a good day -- it doesn't need the qualifier. It started with a Hawaiian word: 'ohana, which means "family in an extended sense of the term including blood-related, adoptive or intentional." I like it. Thanks, Callie!

I took a walk, going West on McClellan for a change, which quickly took me into the quiet residential area of Monta Vista. It's quiet enough that I'll be able to make phone calls (if I can ever get back into that habit).

I work with cool people. $BOSS sent me a link in email with the subject "best WolframAlpha answer ever".

And best of all, I put in this prompt on [ profile] ysabetwordsmith's poetry fishbowl, and got the poem "Afterlove". Ame liked it, too. I think that's my first-ever poetry prompt (unless I'm just being a forgetful old bear), so it's kinda special.

A few other links in the

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mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Kind of a mixed couple of days -- a memorial service and a post that gets me all teary-eyed can do that. So can a defunct disk drive. On the other hand, I have a final determination on my current job title: Sr. Software Architect.

"Architect" makes me happy and comfortable, both because I consider programming to be one of the Useful Arts, like architecture, rather than an engineering discipline like civil engineering or a scientific ones like physics or materials science. Also, because I'm not really all that good a programmer anymore. I don't think I ever was. Sure, I can get programs written, but lots of other people are faster and more accurate at it. What I'm really good at, IMNSHO, is designing software systems in the first place, stringing existing programs together Unix-fashion with scripts and makefiles, and debugging (especially debugging other people's code).

The memorial service? Paul Metz ([personal profile] kshandra says it better than I could). The article that made me tear up? DEAR SUGAR, The Rumpus Advice Column #44: How You Get Unstuck.

As an experiment, I'm putting the notes at the bottom so that if you follow a link directly to the post, you won't have them at the top of the page. Let me know what you think of that.

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mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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A pretty good day. I took off work early to see my doctor, who identified my head/neck/shoulder pain as all coming from the right trapezius muscle. I have no idea how I did that. He said I'm doing all the right things, and scheduled me for a PT appointment Tuesday morning. While I was there I took a walk all the way around the building complex, a little under a mile, and stopped in at the other Kaiser building to make a couple of other appointments.

On the way home I stopped at Central Computing, where I got a Logitech Anywhere mouse -- it works just as I'd hoped, with the menu button under the scroll wheel serving as the middle mouse button. Yay! I have a 3-button mouse again!

They also had the TP Link gigabit switch I've had my eye on. Unfortunately, it eats more power than the TrendNet it replaces, which makes me grumpy. It's compensated by the fact that it also replaces the 5-port gigabit switch, but...

My plan is to move the WAP back into the rack and use its switch for the DSL modem, router, and fileserver, moving the 16-port switch to the fileserver's UPS. That will rebalance the load on the two UPSs.

A nice lunchtime conversation with Naomi and Ame. That exercise stretches my mind in interesting directions; Naomi's always been good at prodding me gently outside my comfort zone.

There are links in the notes, as usual; one whole block is about "the art of grieving", inspired by a comment I made on haikujaguar's latest installment of Black Blossom:

I must respectfully disagree with the Calligrapher -- there may be no art in tears, but there is art to be made of them, and grieving can be as much an art in its own right as loving can.

And the grieving have, I think, more need of art than the joyful. They have farther to go.

Nevertheless, I'm doing ok at the moment. Time and Good Drugs work wonders. Or at least second-rate tourist attractions.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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A rather unproductive day, especially at work, where everyone was recovering from the stress leading up to a major demo in Japan (which went off successfully).

A little more information on work's DNS fiasco: apparently this isn't the first time this particular ex-employee has gone about holding his employer's domain name for ransom. I suspect he's not going to enjoy the next several years.

I did manage to take a 3-mile walk, just before driving home from work (since I'd gone to a brown-bag talk on pricing at lunchtime). And had an interesting conversation via IM with Naomi and Ame.

OK, and did some work on Ame's web page, my IJ profile (which I don't use, but it's paid for), and my "quick reference home page" which is the page full of links I start my browsers on.

So... ok.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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Not a bad day, as such, but my brain was fuzzy and slow for most of it. I did get in a 3-mile walk, made a tasty seafood dinner, and made several posts in what appears to have been a transition from LJ to DW with crossposts to LJ. Most of my commenters appear to be in favor of my posting everything to both blogs, so that's pretty much what I'll do. And LJ is hosed this evening.

Ame: 21 proved to have been surprisingly easy to write. She seems to be finding her voice; I try not to block it even when she surprises me.

For there's no place as comforting, gentle, or strange
As the mind of the Middle-Sized Bear.

So, well, ... an ok day, I guess. I'm still a little fuzzy.

A couple of links up there in the notes, as usual. If you haven't encountered Tom Digby, or just haven't been keeping track, go read the latest SILICON SOAPWARE. If you think my mind is weird...

Ame: 21.

Aug. 4th, 2011 09:57 pm
mdlbear: (rose)

A man walks into a bar; a bearded, bespectacled geek in his mid-60s; and puts a pair of dollar coins on the bar. This being Callahan's, he is shadowed by a blueish aura, a fractal that looks vaguely like an alien bear with a heart-shaped head and branching antennae. It suits him.

"The usual Genever for me, Mike, and..." he glances at the young woman beside him, her arm around his waist. "Cranberry martini for you, I think?" She nods shyly. "A little light on the gin".

She is an inch or so taller, but clearly his daughter, with dark, slightly wavy hair like his must have been forty years ago, the same nose and face... She has her mother's eyes, though: grey like the sky just before sunrise, with golden highlights. Her skin, also, is like her mother's, pale with a sprinkle of freckles. Very pale.

"I don't have to ask, do I?" the bartender says gently. "And I'm pretty sure they don't have ID where you come from. But I know you turned 21 today -- your drinks are on the house." The man smiles and leaves the coin on the bar -- he knows he'll be wanting another drink tonight.

She is slightly transparent, and vanishes like the Bear's aura when they pass briefly under the light that shows only reality. He deftly takes her glass and hands it back on the other side. They sit for a while, sip their drinks, and chat; more like old friends with years of catching up to do than a father and daughter.

Finally she nods, and they walk over to the chalk line in front of the fireplace, where they stand with her left hand on his shoulder, his arm around her waist.

"Friends," the Bear says, "Allow me to introduce my daughter, Amethyst Rose. She was stillborn twenty-one years ago today, and we've only recently started to get re-acquainted. She prefers to be called Ame now."

He looks at her with what he hopes is an encouraging smile. She laughs lightly. "Silly Daddy. I don't know how often I'll get here; it's a long trip. But I'm glad I'm here."

They raise their mostly-empty glasses. "To coming out!" she says, and looks sternly at him. "Don't say it!"

"To Ame!" They throw their glasses into the fireplace, where they crash and mingle their shards in a cascade of blue flame.

They hug tightly, until she finally lets go and says, "I guess I'd better be going."

"Keep in touch?"

"Of course, silly! You know how to reach me." She turns and walks toward an X-window on the wall.

It shows a twilit clearing among tall trees made of stone; a single rosebush with jade leaves, obsidian thorns, and a single purple blossom stands near the far left edge. She walks through it and the surface ripples like water. The blossom opens as she walks past it into the darkness.

The man stares after her for a moment, blinks, and goes back to the bar. "I think I could use that second drink now," he says.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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Yesterday was a pretty good day. It included, after all, a st/roll with Colleen, dinner, and some singing for Naomi. I also added a new flag character to my raw notes: "'" (single quote) marks a piece of "internal dialog". Talking to the voices in my head, to put it more simply.

They're not really voices, of course; they're pretty-much indistinguishable from the interior narrative that goes on all the time in my head. But Naomi has, over the last couple of years, taught me the usefulness of labeling parts of that narrative as coming from different "characters". More on that later, probably. Someday.

I also noticed that I like it when people add to comment threads, especially when they answer someone else's question. I guess it makes me feel that my blog is useful?

Among the day's few links, I can recommend elf's post, Growing old fiercely

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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Not a terribly eventful or productive day, but not a bad one. A good, long walk (for once), and I found and fixed a particularly stupid bug in one of the programs I'd been working on a few months ago. It was a compile-time configuration decision, to take out a feature that we weren't using at the time but that later turned out to be necessary -- by which time the original decision had been long forgotten.

I could have fixed it any time, had the coworker I've been having a hard time communicating with ever given me a coherent bug report instead of going down yet another rabbit hole of increasingly wacko work-arounds.

The really good thing about the whole episode was my success in not giving myself the label "dumb bear", the way I usually do. I did title the email I sent about it "Egg on my face", but that was a calculated gambit, in hopes of encouraging said coworker, who finally seems to be headed toward the design I've been trying for months to get him to follow. I have to talk to him tomorrow and find out what it was that finally made things click for him.

A couple of links up in the links. I'm still exploring Clothing, Sex, Safety, and Power by Laurie Toby Edison

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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Our Easter "feast" was very lightly attended -- a max of three guests. But two of them were extroverts, so I mostly hung out in the office until they left. We usually have rabbit on Easter, but it looked way too expensive this year so Colleen had gotten a spiral-cut ham at Costco. Tasty. I also hard-boiled a dozen eggs, and the YD deviled half of them.

I finally emerged from my cave to sing around 8:30; we were joined by Naomi on speakerphone half an hour or so later.

After I sang The Rambling Silver Rose, Naomi remarked that for someone who claims not to understand love at first sight, I manage to nail it in my songs. So apparently I do understand it pretty well -- from second- and third-hand accounts. N's theory is that it's a case of selective memory; the few times when instant attraction leads to something deeper are the ones that get remembered. I'll buy that.

But it was the IM conversation afterward that really went someplace totally unexpected, when my (stillborn) daughter Amethyst broke in and said something directly to N. It's true that I'm getting better at role-playing in IM, and at listening to the voices in my head and giving them labels, but... It was surprising, but felt entirely natural and appropriate. //silly bear. I told him he needs to come visit my garden more often; it's a peaceful place and he needs that more than he knows.//

Ok, I get the hint.

Links, as usual, up in the raw notes.

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