26 things about me

26 things about me @ 26 (thanks to Jodi for the idea):

  1. I’ve been married to Jen since 1/23/98.
  2. I have a 20 month old son named Max who’s really really cute (and smart… really really smart).
  3. I work for AOL building search engines (now who else can say that?)
  4. I drive a ’97 Chevy Blazer with two stickers on the back, the Apple logo and a Linux sticker (since I couldn’t find a LinuxPPC or YellowDog sticker @ ThinkGeek).
  5. I think Linux is is fun. I think it’s the most fun I’ve had with an OS ever.
  6. I think MacOS 9 is stupid the more I have to use it. My PC crashed (video card fried) and I had to use my Powerbook to do actual work on for about 4 days. The more I used it, the more infuriated I got, hence, my love of Linux on the Mac.
  7. I think MacOS X sucks. I wish they’d finished it before they released it.
  8. I love HBO. I love Sex and the City, The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Dennis Miller Live and Oz, not in that order, and all for different reasons.
  9. I miss my friends in Tucson.
  10. I like Morphine (the band, hence the M instead of an m).
  11. I like Massive Attack.
  12. I realized yesterday that I’m an adult because I’m grumpy and teenagers seem young and stupid to me (not cool and intimidating like they used).
  13. I remember times I consider “the good old days” of Pac-Man, saturday morning cartoons, GI Joe, Star Wars toys and our Coleco Adam computer, where I wrote my first Basic program, a super crappy game a lot like Robotron only with one robot and one guy.
  14. This is number 14. When I was fourteen, I earned my Eagle Scout, which I keep forgetting I’ve earned. I haven’t been to a scout meeting since my brother Steve got his Eagle almost 5 years ago.
  15. I think I’m smart. But, as I get older I realize the world is much more complicated, evil, good and beautiful than I ever imagined.
  16. I used to be a Republican, because my parents were, but they scare the crap out of me. I was going to be a Democrat, but they’re just as scary, just for different reasons. So, I’m a political wanderer at the moment.
  17. I really wish John McCain did have a necklace with human ears on it that he wore for every press conference. This is an old Joke between Jon Morris and me from our days in PrimeHost. Wouldn’t it be funny if for every news conference, John McCain came out wearing his ear necklace and then anytime someone asked him a tough question he’d start yelling incoherently about the War and how he was a prisoner of war. Ok, maybe it’s not so funny… but we laughed and laughed at the time.
  18. I used to do a public access TV show in Tucson called Tech X. It was all about computers and getting away with stuff. I was Otto the HED and wore a blue sheet so I was this fat floating head. It was a lot of fun.
  19. I learned how to write Tcl and build web pages because I worked for PrimeHost, a crappy web hosting company that used to be owned by AOL.
  20. I’ve been online since February 1995.
  21. My AOL account has been active since May of 1995.
  22. I used Netscape 2.0.
  23. My dad was in the Air Force and we moved around a lot. I’ve moved 19 times in my 26 years on this planet.
  24. I hate moving. My least favorite move was from Fairfax, Virginia to Vicksburg, Mississippi in the middle of my junior year of high school. Because of that one, I am an embarrassed graduate of Vicksburg High School, class of ’93.
  25. I love Dr. Pepper. My affair with the good doctor began when I worked nights doing tech support and couldn’t stay awake. It also goes well with Tucson’s bargain Mexican food.
  26. And Number 26: I am really really bad when it comes to video games. I’m chum when it comes to Unreal Tournament or any other shooter. I suck at puzzle games. You’d think I’d be better at it, but I’m not.
Categorized as Kevin

Ahhhh, the smell of burnout.

Ahhhh, the smell of burnout. It’s funny that I can smell it coming. I’m tired of working on a million different projects and dealing with a million different people who all think they get a say in everything. It would be nice if we all concentrated on what we were supposed to do and did it right. Instead, I have to work with groups and people who have decided that they can stick their hands into everything and make my life hell. People who deal with the backend and hardware shouldn’t care what color something is. People who deal with the design shouldn’t care what the backend looks like as long as things work. Maybe my problem is that I’m in the middle and have to deal with all of it… or at least am touched by all of it. Hopefully, my trip to Boston will help, and I’ll come back ready to deal with them some more. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Categorized as Kevin

I love Sunday afternoons. It’s

I love Sunday afternoons. It’s this time, after church and lunch, and everyone’s come home and changed clothes that I feel like I have nothing to do and nowhere to be and I love it. Jen and Max are asleep; I keep listening for them, trying to decipher creaks and sounds from the baby monitor as the signs of waking. The TV is on, providing background noise to my surfing and goofing off. The laptop is on the dining room table, and I’m not working. All is quiet, and peaceful. I’m a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a friend – and right now I’m all alone doing nothing, all of those things that I am in the background to me being me to myself, doing nothing but sitting and taking a break. This is the best time…

Categorized as Kevin

I’ve realized that I have

I’ve realized that I have a gigantic set of blinders on. I can ignore stuff that doesn’t work or look good as long as I think it’s cool, or even worse, if I built it. It happens at work all the time, I’ve just been oblivious to it. This fabulous intranet I built for our group is cool. I built it. Therefore, I’ve reserved my biggest blinders for criticism of it. Now, I realize that the criticism is valid, and the site is really geeky (look at who built it) and not terribly easy to navigate.

At least I’m being big about it and admitting it. I had to send mail asking for help, “I know it sucks, how can I fix it.” What fun! I should leave the design stuff to the experts and just stick to building stuff and then make it look like they want. But, will pride let me? Maybe, maybe not. We’ll just have to wait and see. Meanwhile, I’m wearing my humble little blinders and trying not to make much noise… let’s see how that works.

Categorized as Kevin

Why am I such a baby?

Why am I such a baby? Someone sent me a flame mail about our group’s site. It’s someone in the group, but not someone I work with. Basically, the trashed everything I’d done on the site for three months and said it was unusable. Normally, this wouldn’t bother me, and I’m not sure why this did. Is it because I spent a lot of time on it, built some amazingly cool AOLserver stuff, did it all myself, configured the box from scratch (installed RedHat, AOLserver, PostgreSQL, etc), and then pored over it every day for a month (in between my real work)? Or, was it the dismissive tone? “and I hate the studio site.. ” Wow, thanks, that was constructive, baby. That told me what you think is REALLY wrong with the site. Educated, and thorough in your criticism.

Or, wait, is it because it’s the Friday before Memorial Day and I’m the only person in my group left in the building, because I had to go to some stupid two hour meeting AFTER solving the world’s problems and continuing to make this company millions? Oh maybe… Maybe I just need a vacation and two Exedrin.

Categorized as Kevin

When will it end? I

When will it end? I went to the doctor this morning because I keep coughing up lovely chunks of lung goo, and haven’t felt well in almost two weeks. What do I find out? I have a wonderfully advanced and special sinus infection and I need to lose 100 pounds. How scary is that? I’m to a point where losing 100 pounds will get me to a normal weight. Dammit, I’m fat! So, my goal is to lose 52 pounds a year for two years and get down to slightly fluffy instead of the round mound of rolling pudge. Ahhhh, what fun.

Categorized as Kevin

I’m very tired today, and tomorrow’s going to be worse

I’m very tired today, and tomorrow’s going to be worse. I have to get up really early to go substitute teach a class for church (Friday morning, you ask? Seminary for the high school kids. I have no idea how I did perfect attendance for four years – amazing).

Today? Let’s talk about being a “grown-up”. It’s hard stuff, especially when I still think “When I grow up, I wanna be…” all the time. I don’t FEEL like a grown up. But, when I look in the mirror, there it is, my grown up face staring back at me with the grey circles under my eyes and glasses. I’m married, have a son, own two cars, have a job with responsibility and pay a mortgage every month. I guess that qualifies me as a member of the adult club. It’s not what I expected. I thought I’d be wise, and know how to do things. I’m not, and I don’t.

This is all stemming from a realization I had a little while ago. I realized that who I am now is probably who I’ll be for the rest of my life. I always thought, deep down, that there would be some great awakening where I would suddenly feel mature and a part of the great flow of grown ups in the world. I figured I had time to be stupid and lazy a little while longer. Now, I’ve realized I didn’t have all that time, and that I’m pretty much the same guy I was when I was 19, just slower, fatter and with more stuff to do every day. I’m no more industrious or “together” now than I was then. I still have the same problems with time management, responsibility and authority I had then. I still feel I’m “missing something”. Like a part that makes the adult me wasn’t included in the original package. The real problem is I don’t know what that part is, or how to fix it.

This all sounds pretty bad and unhappy. It’s not. It’s just puzzling. I’ve been reflecting on decisions I’ve made, the experiences that got me to this point, and wondering how it all happened like it did. I truly like where I am. I love my family. I like my job (love it some days). I am content with who I am at its core. But, there’s still that nagging feeling that something’s not there that should be.

Ok, all this navel gazing is tedious. I’m done for now…

Categorized as Kevin


(preface: I know I said I’d continue the Tucson story, but I don’t feel like it. Get over it)

I’ve decided something. I don’t have enough uncles. I have one that I have any contact with, and well, that’s just not enough. My wife has a ton of them. There’s something cool about watching them all together. Her dad has four brothers and two sisters, who I now see more often than my own solitary uncle. They’re all funny, slightly raunchy (in a Sunday-old-man kind of way, stuff you grandma might blush at, but nothing really awful) and narcoleptic. One uncle fell asleep mid-sentence at Thanksgiving dinner a couple years ago. I’m straying a bit, but you get the idea. There are even the in-law uncles, Norm and Watts (first name, not last), who are great too. That’s a grand total of 6 semi-uncles I have now. I love them to death (well, most of them). But, they’re not MY uncles. I get them by association.

We’ve gone to visit them in Michigan a couple times now, and they all came to Tucson for our wedding. I love seeing this giant nuclear family together. I just wish my side of the family were more like that. Maybe it will once the other kids go and start families, and we become the aunts and uncles (one way being the oldest sucks).

Back to my original point of not having enough uncles. Uncles are fun. Uncles do cool things. Uncles should be good for embarrassing stories about your parents. I have one uncle who I don’t talk to enough, and doesn’t seem to dish the dirt on my mom (I think because he knows she could kill him even though she’s 5’6″ and he’s 6’4″). Uncles should also be good for advice. You should be able to go to your uncles for manly advice about things you wouldn’t ask your dad about. And here’s what I realized today, I want Garrison Keilor to be my uncle. I listen to Prairie Home Companion whenever I’m in the car on Saturday night, and sometimes on Sunday mornings, and his voice is always so wise and comforting, even when it’s funny. I read his column @ Salon.com, and he says wise, comforting, funny, uncle-y things to the people who write in. He seems like a good guy to go to dinner with. And who can ever have enough people to enjoy going to dinner with?

Categorized as Kevin