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Life on the Plains
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Date:2011-09-05 21:12
Subject:Writer's Block: It happened one night

What is the best thing that's happened to you so far?
Where to begin?  I think very likely after having surviving many, many things that should have seen me scattered
in ashes over the waters of my favourite great lake, it is this: Melinda at my bedside after I suffered a pretty good
myocardial infarction this year. Surviving that is second best. Melinda and I have a long and not altogether happy
history, but at the end of the day we've loved each other enough to be there for each other when it counted.

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Date:2009-10-10 23:18

So. It's now the fall of the Year 2009 of the Common Era. I am currently listening to a marvelous pair of recordings of Alan Hovanhess' "Prayer of Saint Gregory", one in the original transcription, for trumpet and organ, the other for trumpet and string ensemble. I much prefer the first, myself. Hovanhess is an under-appreciated composer...go find copies of the first two recordings, then find "And God Created Great Whales"...and you'll be hooked. His mastery of the chordal structures rivals Takemitsu at his best - no mean feat.

Life has not been quiet - work has been somewhat all-consumimg. I wish to retreat from the world a bit, go vagabonding. There are places I wish to see, people I need to visit.

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Date:2009-03-09 21:36
Subject:Spring storms

We're into the first part of Spring, for sure - second night in a row of some big boomers. The raingear got a good test this afternoon on the ride home from work. It passed. ;)

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Date:2009-01-16 21:21
Subject:Good ghu almighty, it's an update!

This has been an odd winter. Mind you, I'll take the oddity - the above normal temperatures mean my gas bill has been staying under $150. It's also been a dry winter - today marked only the second snow of the year and it wasn't much. Only a couple of inches - just enough to make me throw on the studded snow tires.

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Date:2008-09-06 22:29
Subject:Semi-annual update
Mood: contemplative

I'm alive, I think. This may surprise some of my friends for whom I have been MIA, though I do poke my nose into this and that spot to stay abreast of some of the news.

A love affair ended, though not badly - it was, in retrospect, meant to be a healing relationship. It succeeded in that. We remain close friends. The friends I made through that relationship remain friends. The mutual friends remain mutual friends. The only thing that has changed is that it is no longer a romantic relationship. I'm ok with that.

A bicycle accident exposed an underlying keg'o'dynamite - I have degenerative arthritis of the cervical column. We initially thought I might have broken my neck - but it turned out to be something much less dramatic than that - and more pernicious. Dammit. (The bicycle is fine, btw - a little truing of the wheels and she was back on the road. So am I, but being much more careful about my neck posture. )

There is a new/old job to be contemplated - negotiations are underway. It will mark a return to an earlier phase of my career(s) - back into the world of R&D and embedded systems programming. There is much to think about - including whether to contract with my current job. Or keep my current job and do the new one on contract. All are options. All require careful thought. I'm leaning towards Door #1, mind - take the new job and contract with the old.

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Date:2008-01-15 22:35
Subject:A half-year in a life

Gee, it's only been a bit over six months since I posted anything.  So what happened?  Well, quite a lot, actually.  Nothing quite so dramatic as getting shipped overseas or anything like that. I'm still in Lawrence.  At least I'm still in Lawrence for the foreseeable future.  Maybe. Perhaps.

Those who know me in real life know that I am somewhat fanatical about not using a motor vehicle. When I do drive (and I do possess a perfectly good driver's license), it is cause for some sharp intakes of breath.  The Shock! The Horror! He *actually* DROVE!  Mind, this usually happens when the cats are out of cat food and there is over 6" of snow on the ground.

With that bit of background, I've been spending a fair bit of my free time working with the local sustainability group.  I'm currently on the sustainable development committee that is advising our local government on ways to reduce the carbon footprint of the city. This sucks an amazing amount of time - even people who are otherwise "green" have grown addicted to their automobile. My goal is to shift the perception that one needs a motor vehicle in any but a few special circumstances. 

Grocery shopping?  Not a problem.  There are trailers that can haul up to 500 lbs - more than most people would like to pull. Even the little canvas Burley kid haulers can hold a good 150 lbs of groceries.  The fact that the store might be a few miles away should be no obstacle - the *closest* store to me is 4 miles. 

Cold weather? Again, not a problem. There are inexpensive methods of layering clothing.  The problem is going to be shedding excess heat, not cold.  Etc, ad nauseum.

You see, we spend a lot of time, money and effort doing things because we don't think things through.  We say we "need" vehicles, plasma televisions, the latest and greatest.  The fact of the matter is - we don't.  Each of those "things" has an environmental cost, from the time of manufacture to the time of disposal.  I want to change the outlook - do more with much less.
It can be done, but the choices are not always easy.  It requires work and effort.

I'll be speaking more on this in future posts.

Until then, I remain yr o'bdnt svnt (to quote my favourite 17th century closing)

Blogged with Flock

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Date:2007-07-15 22:39
Subject:First Post - testing flock

One of the problems with using things like LiveJournal, WordPress, Blogger, etc. is the gawdawful editing interface. There just aren't good tools out there that let you write offline, edit at leisure - and then simply *upload* the finished work to the webpage. Enter a tool I'm trying for the first time - flock. It's touted as a "social networking" browser/editor. So we'll see. Who knows - if it works, there may actually be some content here!

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