Categories
Kevin

Uncles

(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?

Categories
Max

I’m back, but still tired.

I’m back, but still tired. This parenting stuff is hard. BUT, Max and I invented a new rowdy game last night. Before I tell you about it though, I need to talk about Max for a just a minute. Wow, this kid is big and strong for an 18-month old. We have this big sectional in the living room (or, as I call it, the wrestling ring) with these bulky, 15 pound cushions. Max likes to pick them up over his head and throw them over the half-wall into the entry way. And he’s only 18 months old!! What am I going to do when he’s 3 and can kick my butt?

So, the new game. It’s called “The Big Pillow Game” (can you tell I came up with the title?). Max takes a bed pillow, holds it over his head and runs around sectional until he comes to me, and then throws the pillow down on me, and falls on the pillow, making a human-pillow sandwich. This is all lots and lots of fun, because there’s nothing better than the laugh of an 18-month old boy. Nothing at all.

Categories
family

Ugh, what a crappy weekend.

Ugh, what a crappy weekend. Now I know how my wife felt after I blew out my knee. Sorry, honey, I’ll never get hurt again. Jen took a very graceful spill out our front door Friday morning (which I took off so we could work on the house and have some fun, silly me). She twisted her ankle and tweaked her knee, and was semi-immoble all weekend. That state doesn’t work real well with a hyper 18-month-old. So, the whole weekend was pretty much a bust, with me failing to either watch Max, or take care of her successfully, and getting kicked in the eye (tip: Never try to put a kid on your shoulders who doesn’t want to be there – they’ll kick). So, here I am back at work, tired and grumpy, and shamefully happy to be here… I’ll try to continue my story after I finish recovering (so, May?).

Categories
Kevin

Nope, I didn’t almost forget

Nope, I didn’t almost forget today. I read my daily dose o’ news @ Salon while eating my fajita burger from the cafeteria, and here I am, right on time.

Wow, this is really uncomfortable. There was about 5 minutes there between “right on time” and “Wow”. What do I tell you? What can I say that won’t come back and bite me in the butt? Not much, I’ve come to learn. So, let’s do a little history, shall we?
I’ve been on the web since early 95, and have worked for the same company (the giant blue triangle) for almost my entire adult life. I started there in May of ’95, in tech support (which I may talk about at some point, along with some other weird stories from that time period if I get brave). Now, I write frontend/middleware code for one of the largest search engines on the planet. I wonder almost daily about how I got here, why I never went back to school, and what it was about the job that kept me there for so long, when I SHOULD have quit and gone back to school. Not that any of that really matters now. I’m 26, married, have one kid, two cars, a mortgage and am starting to go grey. So, what does thinking about any of this do for me? It’s kind of fun, really.
I loved my first year in tech support. I learned about modems, Win95, Mac System 7.5 (and its babies .1 .2 and .3), and all about how things get gummed up. I took calls from people all over the country, calling about things that had nothing to do with our software, calling about their kids’ saying bad words in chat rooms, and how they HAD to get their e-mail, but couldn’t because their account had been cancelled.

I also met some amazing people (and got in lots of trouble for a good little Mormon boy). Some of them are my best friends, even though we’re 3k miles apart. They helped me grow up and realize that my parents weren’t always right, and that my politics were WAY over in Rush-territory and needed a correction (not through preaching, just because I got to observe people that weren’t like me). I’m rambling now, but it was a real system shock to meet my first lesbian, openly gay man, and wow, lots of other people I’d never met before (transgen guy, my first bisexual couple – they were funny, etc, etc ,etc). The list goes on, and I figured out they’re not the evil people I was brought up to think they were (not through preaching, just by example). I miss that. Here at the “Corporate Headquarters”, everyone’s so apparently normal. I don’t see the variety I did in tech support, and it’s kind of boring.

Tomorrow… Early life online, or How E-Mail Almost Got Me Fired.

Categories
geekery

Ok, I almost forgot today.

Ok, I almost forgot today. This is a process, of course; one which I’ll soon memorize and do daily. Today is an unpaid plug for my favorite OpenSource/Free software. What do I use everyday? A bunch of free stuff. I work for one of the largest companies on the planet, and my favorite toys are free. Is that ironic (or is it just funny?)? So, here’s a list of the stuff you should use if you want to be a cool corporate rebel like me:

  • AOLserver: This is the coolest. I work with AOLserver everyday, and find new reasons to love it all the time. It’s fast, uses Tcl (my favorite language, after English), is threaded, and allows me to create some really cool stuff (like the stuff in the list on the right).
  • Arachnophilia: This is my Windows text editor. It does awesome find-replaces and has cool customizable tool bars. I love it!
  • LinuxPPC: I have this Powerbook on my desk. It’s my “other” computer that I was having a hard time coming up with a use for other than watching DVD’s (a bad thing to do at work while anyone’s watching). So, I figured hey, Linux is fun, let’s try that. LinuxPPC is cool. It’s easy to install and configure, and it rock-solid. It sits on my desk as a glowing testament to cool free stuff (although I paid for my copy).
  • Ximian GNOME: For a comparative newbie like myself, Ximian GNOME is a lifesaver. It provided me with a cool interface, all the programs I wanted, and an easy-to-use updater. And, soon, it will provide a really cool e-mail client (doesn’t currently work with my mail, but I trust it will shortly).
  • Mozilla: Mozilla, how do I love thee? This would be farther up the list if it work work on my Windows machine. But, it’s the best browser Linux has ever seen, and they keep building a LinuxPPC version. How cool is that? I can now get my mail with it, and my pages look almost the same as they do in Windows. Yummy.\
    And, as I think about it, I’d switch to Linux altogether if I didn’t have to keep using Office for work stuff. I love the idea of it; that something done by thousands of different people, all for different reasons, actually works. Linux competes with operating systems built by gigantic corporations, and wins in a lot of cases. I just love the thought of it (actually, sometimes more than the reality of it… Linux still pisses me off too often). But, ok, that’s enough for today. Time to get back to work.
Categories
blogging

I’m going to start keeping

I’m going to start keeping this thing up-to-date, promise. It will be my lunchtime habit from now on. I will post something, ANYTHING. I’ve been writing code too long. I’ve forgotten how to communicate with people, and how to write. I can’t even spell anymore. It’s sad sad sad. So, here we go… whooooopie!

Categories
Kevin

I’m starting to go grey.

I’m starting to go grey. I admit it. I’m 26 and have this nice grey spot on my right temple. I always figured that I would lighten and eventually go white like my dad’s doing (he’s 48, and I didn’t notice until last year… lucky him). Welp, here I am, at 26 with a grey spot the size of a quarter. My brother, Tim, and I always talked about what would happen if we started losing our hair, and I always said I wouldn’t care. I’d shave my head before I’d dye out the grey, or wear a toup. Now that I’m here, though, I’m not so sure. I’m definitely not losing hair, cuz I have to go to the hair-cuttin’ lady’s place every 4 weeks, or I get what I affectionately call “preacher hair”. But grey? Come ON!! I’m not even mature yet. So, here’s my plan. If I go super-grey, like all over, I’m dying my hair Kool-Aid Blue.

Categories
blogging

This is my blog, and

This is my blog, and I’m lame for not updating it. Yep, sure am.

Categories
blogging

I don’t know them. I’ve

I don’t know them. I’ve never even conversed with them through e-mail or in person. So, why do I care that a bunch of people lost their jobs? Meg, Jack and Ev (who didn’t lose his job, but losing a large chunk of a dream has to hurt). Through their writing, a lot of us have come to know them, and many others. It’s a great testament to the idea of weblogging that their problems have affected me, and apparently many others, so deeply. Good luck to all of you, and if I could, I’d hire you tomorrow, even though I don’t know you other than by your writings (and webcams).

Categories
family

You know, we just got

You know, we just got back from Tucson, and you’d think I’d be all refreshed and ready to work after a week of loafing and losing Pinochle games repeatedly (and not to make them feel good or anything; they just kicked our butts) to my in-laws… I’m not. The same old frustrations are still here. Why do we think that things will be different if we’re gone for a week? Duh… silly man.