Lofty Goals

Human beings are a part of a whole called by us the “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest– a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in it beauty.

Albert Einstein

cherry blossoms

The cherry trees are blossoming in my backyard. Somehow it always starts on a workday. I always imageine walking out on the back porch in the morning withCherry trees in bloom coffee to find a group of people practicing Tai Chi under them.

The papers are filed today. There is a mandatory “parenting” class, and in 45 days, it’s all final. The girls are still not aware of any major changes. It’s very sad, but I carry on. I’m trying to get a handle on the logistics of getting them to school and handled after school until I can get home without loosing the job I have. I honestly don’t know how people do it.

I’ll try to get a picture of the cherry trees in bloom. maybe I can get home before dark….

Cherry trees in bloom another view of the cherry trees blooming

Cooler Warmer Older

Warm but coldToday is my birthday. The HR people are very aware of this and have arranged for a bunch of co-workers to meet after work at the mexican place to celebrate.

The weather has been up and down here lately. You need a jacket one day, and shorts the next, with lots of rain mixed in.

It’s supposed to be nice tomorrow, so I’m thinking of doing some yard work.

chapter nein

M is leaving. I’ve been working really hard at keeping things together, and it hasn’t helped. We have been through a lot of tough times, and now that things are on an even keel, all of this dredge rises to the top of the barrel.

It’s not a fighting, angry, hurtful kind of thing. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t stress or hurt everyone involved, but it’s not as bad, I suppose.

My primary concern is for the girls. I cannot be away from them, and must be a part of their lives. All of my family live pretty close. M hasn’t been very close with her family, but has made mention of going back to that area, in PA on the NJ side.

I think that would be hell on the girls, and for visitation options.

The thing about me keeping them at this point would be work. I leave before they go to school in the mornings, and come home way after they get home from school.

I’m not totally sure what to do.

I’ve given up all my friends over the years, and have put distance between myself and my family as well, being totally devoted to her. I’m wondering what kind of karma I have stored that makes this right. When does the shock subside and the pain start to internalize?

Thanks Giving

After completing my obligation to my former employer, I was facing a 4-day weekend before tackling the first day at my new job. I was on the phone with M and we started talking about how I was facing Thanksgiving alone, and how they would likely leave for the return trip on Saturday, driving all day, an arriving that night, which would leave only Sunday for us to catch up and to get things back into order before my new schedule started.

Granted, it’s a normal working schedule like the Average Joe has, but I haven’t had a schedule like that in a L-O-N-G time.

M’s sister was having a similar discussion with her husband, and we all started checking online for cheap flights to New Jersey. We found the cheapest available, and got two one-ways flying out on Thanksgiving Day. I packed up and cleared the driveway again, and my dad came by the next morning. Dad is interminably early for things, and doesn’t like waiting, either. Those two personality traits have made for some interesting, yet stressful, situations over the years.

When he arrived, I was clearing the driveway again with the blower, and was otherwise ready. we sat and talked for a while, waiting for R to arrive. I packed the dogs, their gear, and my bags in the truck. When R arrived, we hopped in the truck and headed downtown. we decided that it would be better for Dad to drop us at the train station, and we could ride the train to the airport. This would allow him to avoid a lot of traffic on the holiday. We got off the freeway following the signs for the train station, but the signs stopped pointing out the way. We ended up going to one of the stations downtown that we knew. Dad headed home with the dogs, and R and I got on the train after fiddling with the bill acceptor for MARTA tokens for about 20 minutes. (It simply would not take the fiver I had).

After getting to the airport, we checked in and had plenty of time to spare. The security checkpoint has changed considerably since the last time I flew. they require you to take off your shoes now. If I’d known this, I would have worn something that easily slips on and off. It seems that no one else was prepared for this either, because right on the other side of the checkpoint, large globs of people were trying to get all of their things together, and find a place to put their shoes back on, stooping to tie them, etc, all while security people are trying to keep everyone moving along at a steady and orderly pace.

I love to fly. I’ve been in some planes of different sizes, but this flight was on an MD-88. It was the smallest jet I’ve ever been on. I just have to say that when you have turbulence in a larger plane, you hardly notice it. Turbulence in the small ones will get somebody hurt! 🙂 Right after takeoff, I caught a sleeve of Styrofoam coffee cups that bounced out of the flight attendants’ area. We had a really strong tailwind the whole way, and the skies were incredibly clear until we got all the way over Maryland. We landed about 30 minutes early.

The arrival was dampened to me. M stayed at the cabin with A, who was barfing all day with a 24-hour virus that had been going around. K was at the in-laws’ waiting, and being a “huge big helper” in the kitchen. So R and K and their 2 kids got a little reunion, and we drove back to the in-laws. When we got there, K latched on pretty well to me.

We had some Thanksgiving dinner, and packed a bunch of leftovers to take back to the cabin with us. We got back to the cabin, and A was sacked out on the couch. M was having some time with her best friend, who she hadn’t seen in a couple of years.

I was so glad to be with my little family, no matter where we happened to be. we stayed through the next day, taking walks around the lake, and building gigantic fires in the fireplace, and left in the wee hours of Saturday morning so that the girls would be sleeping while we got many miles closer to home.

We got home on Saturday at about dinner time. We were all very glad to be in our own element.


So, I’m down to the last couple of days of my notice, and will be starting my new job next week. at the end of last week, M got a call that her grandmother had died, so she and the girls drove to Pennsylvania to be there for the funeral. It was a long and arduous journey for them, with the winter weather moving in, and following M’s sister.

I stayed here to finish my last 2 days with this company, because I would not have made it back in time to be at work today. I cooked up a storm on saturday, making a few dishes, and packing each up as seperate meals… A big pot of soup became 3 meals. I baked some chicken in some french dressing with tabasco and honey, and with a couple of cups of rice, became 3 more meals.

I did a bunch of yard work as well. I wanted to have the house looking good upon the return of “my women” — my wife and 2 daughters.

The past 2 nights, the storms have been pretty heavy, and this morning I looked outside to find that while the electricity was flickering off and on all night, the storm had also been hsaking all the leaves, debris, and pine needles from all the trees in the area, and depositing them on my lawn. So now it looks as if I’d done nothing in the yard all weekend.

I’ve had no good sleep since they left. I got home Friday evening, helped to pack all of their bags in the car, and off they went.

The dogs have been antsy without the ladies home. I’ve been spending extra time playing ball and letting them in and out of the house. It might be more ad a distraction for myslef than an actual need for Tink and Peyton. I’m sure Tink appreciates the extra rounds of Fetch and Ball, though. She adores playing ball. About 80% of the time, when you throw the ball for her, she is able to be ther and catch the ball before it bounces the first time. She’s a very smart dog. Peyton is doing much better with her house training, but still has issues with chewing. She got in huge trouble last night for it.

I was making some hot chocolate in the kitchen, and she had gone through our bathroom and into our bedroom, then pushed the door closed. forgetting that she could have ject walked back through the bathroom and been out, she thought she had trapped herself in the bedroom. I heard her in there and opened the door to let her out, without going in the bedroom.

When I went to get in the bed, however, I found the mess. While she thought she was trapped, Peyton got on the bed, tore a hole in the top of the comforter, and proceeded to pull all the stuffing out.

Nothing like having something happen to your bed when you haven’t been sleeping well.

The girls are not sure when they are coming back. I might be home alone for the rest of the week. School is out for the week, and M dropped her classes for this half of the semester, so really, that is fine. I wish I could have gone with them. On the phone last night, they were telling me that K was sick all night, convulsing and barfing in the car, not even waking up. They got on the freeway going in the wrong direction, and had to backtrack, so instead of reaching their new temporary digs at about 5 or 6 pm, go there at about 2:30 am. They all just want to be home. I’d love to have them home.

Wacked out videos and a circle of scripts

I recently was given a link. not any link. It’s this link.

Twigger’s Holiday is a really cool miniseries, written from a middle-school perspective, and acted with a lot of heart. The video effects range from really subtle all the way to hilariously overdone. The page that the link goes to has them in reverse order, so you will need to scroll to the bottom and work your way up.

I’ve been working on some of my sites, and wanted a banner rotation tool. I was going to whip up something with Javascript, but then all the places I was looking for advice kept mentioning phpAdsNew.

We have a bunch of customers that use that software to run full advertising campaigns and sell ads, so I figured I may as well try it out. It’s very overblown for my purposes, but it runs rather nicely.

I picked up another script as a hotlink management tool. I just needed a place to dump links, and I was going to build up a small script to display them in a table so that my list of hotlinks could be placed on any page and on any of my sites with a single include.

The script I already had would handle that, but there were other functions that were kind of odd, and also a reciprocal link checker that didn’t work the way I wanted. I started hacking at it to get it to work, and ended up frankensteining and rewriting a lot of it. I should have just whipped up what I wanted in Perl.

I have been reading up on Python over the past few months, and was working on an install of mod_python for Apache 1.3 yesterday. It’s still not completely working, but it’s very promising.