Bedridden

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I’ve been sick all week with the flu. Started late Tuesday night; vomiting, leaky butt, all that good stuff. Lasted for about 10 hours – with no sleep – until finally I went to the hospital. I got 3 bags of IV, some drugs for my intestines and some anti-nausea pills that would help me sleep. 36 hours of sleep and water later I ate my first meal.

I don’t remember ever being this sick. The back of my head still feels like a melon. I feel dizzy when I stand up and my body is weak. Oh the wonders of influenza.

I’ll have the weekend to get better and I’ll just have to conquer the world on Monday.

No matter how shitty things get, at least be grateful for your health.

Judging by Contents

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Between 4 particular emails last week, I counted 9 different fonts, 6 different colors, and images totalling over 5MB. They were all either butchered rich-text or MS-HTML. Topping the charts was a 3MB bitmap screenshot of an IE window displaying a 40K JPEG.

It seems that people put no thought into what they communicate. And, if they do, it’s put all in the wrong place. Surely thinking about what you say is not an unreasonable thing to do. It should at least take precedence over how well gift-wrapped your bullshit is.

Fonts, colors, flash, all the bullshit — for what? If you had meaningful content, and people had a real reason to listen to you, they would. The most powerful messages speak for themselves. The most powerful tools are simple. Google is a good example of how little all of the marketing noise is compared to the quality of a tool.

Tell you what – think a minute longer about what you write and send out to hundreds of people. Reduce it, simplify it, and say something meaningful. People will listen, they may even respond. But don’t ever substitute colors or shitty images for meaning.

All the flash, images and techo fonts in the world can’t make up for shitty content.

Time

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So Rick is off to Portland. We got the gang together at Squirrel’s one last time to send him off. Makes me think about how fast things move along. I’ve seen so many friends come and go. They leave Corvallis but never really leave… I still keep in touch with most of them. I just don’t see them as much. Life goes on.

Oddly enough, of the friends I’ve had, some of the ones still in Corvallis are farthest away. It doesn’t take distance to drift or grow apart. Sometimes all it takes is a series of stupid arguments. But, like I said, life goes on.

At times of change I think about the past. My emotions are always mixed. I’m old enough now to know that with work and all of our little worries fear of ‘losing a friend’ is pretty stupid. Work makes weekends the only time you really have to hang out anyway; so what’s a couple hours of driving here and there? Still — distance makes it hard to keep in touch. But you’ll always be friends.

When I look back, I wonder where the time goes. When beer sits on a table, bubbles float to the top and fly away. Coffee consumes the cream after you see it cloud in swirls. And water finds its way down somewhere.

Maybe time never was; it’s just a constant. Though it seems that in any system, even the constants inevitably wear. Glass erodes, much like river rock, and cream slithers down to the bottom of every cup. It all changes, separates, finds some place to rest.

Time erodes – its sediments caught in memory. We carry it around, like a river of people, a stream of minds. And at the end, we find that we have been through so much, we slow down, heavy and saturated.

Sitting on this delta of history, we look back. We did all that? We were loved by all those people? Wow, guess so…

Atlantis

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“If you fail, as men have failed in their quest for a vision that should have been possible, yet has remained forever beyond their reach — if, like them, you come to think that one’s highest values are not to be attained and one’s greatest vision is not to be made real — don’t damn this earth, as they did, don’t damn existence. You have seen the Atlantis they were seeking, it is here, it exists — but one must enter it naked and alone, with no rags from the falsehoods of centuries, with the purest clarity of mind — not an innocent heart, but that which is much rarer: an intransigent mind — as one’s only possession and key. You will not enter it until you learn that you do not need to convince or to conquer the world. When you learn it, you will see that through all the years of your struggle, nothing had barred you from Atlantis and there were no chains to hold you, except the chains you were willing to wear. Through all those years, that which you most wished to win was waiting for you” — he looked at her as if he were speaking to the unspoken words in her mind — “waiting as unremittingly as you were fighting, as passionately, as desperately but — with a greater certainty than yours. Go out to continue your struggle. Go on carrying unchosen burdens, taking undeserved punishment and believing that justice can be served by the offer of your own spirit to the most unjust of tortures. But in your worst and darkest moments, remember that you have seen another kind of world. Remember that you can reach it whenever you choose to see. Remember that it will be waiting and that it’s real, it’s possible — it’s yours.” (Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand)

John Galt to Dagney when she was deciding to leave the valley.

Stuff

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  • In Office Space, I realized the “people guy” Tom Smykowski was probably a very important person in their software development team and it was a play on managerial ignorance.
  • Went to San Francisco and met some cool people at the Mozilla Foundation. I learned about their build process, got to meet people face to face, and we had some great discussions about UMO and Bouncer.
  • I got to see Sarah and Harri. Their cat has worms.
  • Businesses don’t get ‘open source’. Neither do most open source people.
  • Community development tools need to be created to manage distributed development.
  • Junior is meowing all the time and I don’t know why. I think it’s puberty.
  • How someone plays basketball is a reflection of who they are in real life.
  • Bush is going to make ignorant people in this country forget about the war that wasn’t supposed to happen in the first place. Unfortunately, having an election doesn’t mean much. Helping a country establish a government that can operate on its own, has electricity and provides for its people is another thing. Don’t be so proud yet …
  • In regards to Social Security, the “New Deal” will become the “Raw Deal”. Privatizing social security benefits people who have enough money and hurts just about everyone else (probably).
  • It always rains within 4 hours of washing your car.
  • Picasa2 is pretty cool.
  • Static variables are not global variables. If you think this, you need to sleep more.
  • Scott Kveton can traverse highway overpasses like a champ. He “don’t be needin’ no stinkin’ footbridge, sucka!”.
  • Beefy cheesy macaroni is a good soup. You can try it at Tommy’s (4th street, Corvallis) on Saturdays.
  • Don’t ever buy this heater from Black and Decker because it’s a piece of shit and will break.

If there is too much crap going on, just make a list.