The Stress-Relieving Powers of Sarcasm

I'€™m visiting my mother'€™s house. It€'s great and all, except for all the ways in which, over the past year, it€'s become awful. I pretty much let my mother know this back in November. I believe there was no shortage of funny faces, somewhat rude comments, and a variety of other ways in which I was somehow able to say "I'€™m dissatisfied with this."

What I've found is that I've got a similar thing going on now, except that things are a little bit better. However, she is now using other physical cues to tell me that being in her home causes me great stress. Back in May she told me I needed to lose weight because I had somewhat high blood pressure, which was apparently evident because my foot wasn'€™t as bony/veiny as it should'€™ve been. On Thursday when I came back, I thought my foot looked okay and showed it to her, hoping for evidence of some kind of progress with my health, but she said it looked just as bad, and she introduced the possible factor of stress.

It occurred to me that it is probably pretty stressful for me to be here now. It isn'€™t as though I really dislike her or her house, or even my brother, but they'€™ve made some choices in the past year that it'€™s really difficult for me not to comment on. And yet, after some of the disasters that happened last November, I'€™ve managed to do very well holding my tongue in December and then again in May. Mom told me this past Thursday that it must have stressed me out pretty badly, the thought that I'€™d have to come here.

I suppose it did add a bit of stress. At mom'€™s house, I sleep in the office on a couch(1), everybody smokes but me, and the entire thing is allowed to be significantly more messy than it ever was in the past, in addition it'€™s become a much more "€œopen" environment where any one of my mother'€™s many new friends(2) can just walk in and out as they please.

What I wonder, I suppose, is whether or not I'm stressed because I don't feel I can speak openly. One of the things I suppose I became used to at NAU is the expectation that I was able to say pretty much whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to say it. So pretty much everybody knew how I felt about a lot of things, because I didn't feel bad about making snarky little comments about things. Here, on the other hand, the slightest little offhand comment that wasn't intended to mean anything, goes a very long way, down a dark, destructive path. Recovering from those tiny comments takes much longer than it should here too.

Ah well. They'€™re my family and I suppose that means I'€™ve got to love '€˜em. It probably isn'€™t as bad as I think it is, and I'€'m sure it's healthy for my mother to be indulging in such things as having friends, and running her house as she chooses. I'€™m just not quite adjusted to the changes I suppose. I'€™ll be back at dad’s house in a few days anyway, and then back to NAU on the 23rd.

1. Which, believe it or not, is actually worse than just a mattress on the floor.
2. Most of whom I don'€™t particularly like.


Bike Ride


No, I'm not a zombie, but I suppose I'm close. I decided today at about 10 a.m. that it'd be a good idea to return my library book today. (It was LoTR-1 -- and no, I still haven't read it.) Having walked to the library last Saturday, I thought it would be a good idea to go a different way today. (Well, I thought I might give LOTR a try -- I literally fell asleep after reading some of the foreword.) (Or was it the prologue?)

Anyway, I rode my bike to the library today, and discovered that it was an incredibly stupid thing to do on my part. Mainly, it got way hot outside way fast, I didn't bring enough water along, and it turns out that I'm not really *that* great at riding a bike, it takes a lot of strength and energy to do it in the heat like this, and more water than I brought.

So for next time, more water, not biking, and I still need to get a hat, it seems.


New HDD Installed

Today, the replacement hard disc for my iMac came in. I am now booted from the utility partition of the USB2 drive, and am restoring the backup to the primary drive. After that, I am going to think about running all of the software updates. This will be a prime way to test my theory that this particular backup system will be acceptable as a method to use to test new system updates for a few days before deciding whether or not I really want to commit to that update.

Another possibility for backup -- later on -- could be to get an ethernet/usb2 disk that I can back up to over ethernet from one or maybe even multiple computers, and then yank out and hook up directly to the machine with USB2 if I ever need to restore from the drive. we'll see whether or not I ever do that though. For now, the 200gig drive over USB2 will work.

For what it's worth, the "iSight" based iMacs are very complicated. -- Needlessly so. You must remove the front, then lift out the LCD panel (which is a pretty big and delicate part) before being able to access the cool bits of the motherboard, the hard disc or the optical drive.


Getting Things Done

On this luckiest of days, it occurs to me that this summer has been wasted mostly on trivialities, little things that don't matter much in the long run. That's fine with me, but I feel as though I should do something that I feel will have some kind of lasting effect.

More importantly, I've been thinking about the status of the 68kMLA, and the 68k User Base. What I've noticed is that the users of older 68k and PowerPC machines are really just that -- users. We've got very few mega-hobbyists who do programming on them, and get deep into the hardware and architecture of the machines. The 68kMLA/PPCMLA on their own aren't very conducive to those discussions, and most of the people around wouldn't be interested if it were there.

So I feel like I should do something for the retro Mac community -- but what? Should I be writing software? Lobbying for the simplification of websites? I personally don't think that either of those is a very great idea, but I do believe that there are things I can do to help the community.

One of the things I've tried to do before is work on a database of software titles for Macs. This is important for a lot of reasons. It gives me something to do, for starters, and I think it's a fairly important contribution to the community. Especially if I could find information on things such as intro and discontinuation dates on various pieces of software, plus prices to help indicate to people just how much software actually cost.

We'll see though. I'm working on setting up a spot on my own website where potentially, a few people will be able to post information as they get it, but with any information-gathering project, it's not just something we'll be able to do and say "oh cool, done now." It's something that we'll have to work on, pretty much for a long time, I don't think that archiving all of the information about 68k Macs, even just about the software, will ever be done.

Another thing that was pointed out was the fact that the information about Apple's systems is really inconsistent, not only between Apple's website, but given the fact that there were a certain, well-known range of models released, I find it less important to release yet-another specs database.

Anyway, maybe one day I'll start on my Software Titles database, but for now I'm just going to write blog entries about how I think I should. Plus, I'm not entirely sure how I'll coordinate it yet.


Unlucky Bus Ride

The superstitious people are saying that today is a very lucky day, what with it being July (7) Seventh(7), 2007(7). On CNN this morning, there were images of loads of people getting married because of the luck of the day, and I even thought myself that I might have to do some things to test my luck.

I did just that, I rode a bus today. Wasn’t that smart of me? If everything had worked out properly, I should be hurrying right along at the present moment, on my way back home to Kingman, ending out a great week in Tucson. (I was visiting my NAU friends, Glenn, Megan and Ally.)

Unfortunately, the test of my luck (or of the combined efficiency of Autobuses Crucero, USA and Grayhound Lines, Inc) was… unfortunate, let’s say. I found out that the testing of my luck wasn’t the best idea ever. Apparently the bus from Tucson to Phoenix has been delayed significantly several times in the past few days. We were, in fact, lucky that the bus scheduled to depart at 8:40 a.m. left “just” two hours later at 10:40 a.m. The day before it had left at about 1:40 p.m. I suppose I’m glad I wasn’t delayed that much.

On the other hand, any delay at all from Tucson causes me to miss my bus from Phoenix to Flagstaff-then-Kingman. The bus, which was scheduled to depart at 11:40, was missed by more than a whole hour. The only other bus leaving to Kingman today is at 8 p.m. Oh well, I suppose. Too bad I don’t know anybody in Phoenix close enough to have come get me.

Or more accurately, too bad I haven’t got an Internet connection that I could otherwise have used to contact some people I do know that live in Phoenix. It would be quite nice to be able to get food outside of the station here, because I’m not too big on bus station food. Add to that, I don’t know if I’ll have enough time in Flagstaff now that I’m on a different route, to carry out my original plan of eating at the restaurant there. This is especially true now that I estimate I’ll be in Flagstaff at midnight. Yaay.

Luckily though, I had enough money to call dad and tell him I won’t be coming exactly as planned.  The new plan is that I’ll call him whenever I show up in Kingman. Reasonable I suppose, given that the new ETA is comfortably after midnight, as opposed to comfortably prior-to-dinner.

(Yes, I posted this way late, but ohwell.)