"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

More Archival Brilliance

Oh my god, I wrote some good shit back in the day: Monkey Summer 2002:

He talked about seeing one of his peers almost drown recently at the pool near his house and how they hadn't let any of the kids see the CPR. He talked about emailing the President and NASA, trying to get his point across. He talked about how it was sometimes hard for him to connect with the other kids, about his parents and how it was sometimes hard to relate to them. He told me, "sometimes when you think your going to get the greatest reward, you just end up getting into trouble. And sometimes, when you think you're going to get in trouble, you end up with the greatest reward," neatly summarizing a whole morning's contemplation of the previous night's fiasco. The conversation naturally drew to a close. He was 12 after all and our prospective topics were rather limited. I thanked him for his time, asked him to look for us next year and bit a fond fair well to KC. I couldn't help but wonder how adolescence would treat him. Trouble vs. the greatest reward. Pure genius. I sat in the grass and contemplated his brilliant rendering of my fitful evening prior.

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Classic Content is Back!

Oh man. It's baaaaaaack.

Thanks to me remembering how to use sed and bash (handy dandies from the hardcore geek toolbelt) and updating a few PHP scripts from their clunky 2001-style coding, I've resurrected my "classic" content!!!

This is really good stuff, the first two years of outlandishjosh.com. That was a special time and place to be: North Brooklyn in 2001-2003, right in the sweet spot for the second-wave, before the war, and before the eurotrash and Single Guys In Finance started showing up.

Some of this is of course fantastically out of date, and my intention at this point is to bring it all into the new system... it's a TODO I may or may not ever get around do, but I'm happy to make the juicy stuff available again. Heck, if only for myself. It's as good as an old journal. Personal archeology.

Some highlights:

  • Ren Fayre: Bugs, Drugs, Neitzche -- a gonzo account of my trip to Luke's graduation-year extravaganza at Reed College.
  • For that matter, the whole Life section is pretty good. That's where the juicy stuff is.
  • Bridgetrips -- I used to do a ritual of writing the thoughts that came from reflections on riding my old first city bike over the W-burg bridge.
  • Performance Texts -- stuff that I wrote to perform in front of people in a theatrical setting.
  • One Year Later -- a rant written on the first anneversary of 9/11

There's a lot of gold in the day to day archive of that old frontpage. Shames me every time I read it. I used to be so good!

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Saturday Sun

After pissing down all yesterday, the sky has opened up. Time to take a last chance to visit with nature sans-rain slicker. Time to clean the gutters!

I spent a quiet evening at home, lounging in front of the fire and contemplating/introspecting. The Love question is getting bigger and bigger in my mind. I've started trying to date -- a truly atavistic endeavor for me -- with mixed results so far; really just getting back out there, as they say.

Still, it's more than enough to remind me what I miss about womanly companionship; enough to set me off on reminiscing, and wondering when and from whence the next big bolt of romantic electricity will come. Who knows. Who knows.

I've had a lucky and full life in love thus far, maybe more than my fair share -- though really I don't believe this is something in finite supply -- but I'm still hungry, dammit.

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Fiscal Solvency

Lots of wrangling around bills lately. Starting this new company (and having about five grand in back-pay outstanding at my old gig) has left me close to tapped out. I'm also switching banks -- no Citibank in the HC -- and I just realized I hadn't paid one of my student loans. Time to take stock:

Accounts Payable

Low-interest student loans:         $12,086.78
High-interest plastic debt:         $9,454.02
Unknown medical bills from 2005:   ~$2,000
Unknown back taxes from 2002-2003: ~$5,000

Accounts Due

Summer back pay:      $5,125
Oct salary:           $6,300

Looming Expenses/Purchases

Monthly minumum bill load:            ~$1,100
Travel to LA for niece's Bat Mitzvah: ~$800
New lappy:                            ~$1,800
Xmas Gifts/Travel:                     $???
Automobile:                            $???
2006 taxes:                           ~$6,000

At the moment my cash on hand is healthy though most of that is in the new bank account for which I don't yet have a card or anything. But that should work itself out. I don't anticipate having to beg, borrow or steal to make ends meet.

This is actually looking pretty good, all things considered. Chapter Three should be cash-flow-positive through the end of the year, meaning I'm optimistic about paying my Oct, Nov and Dec salaries. If my back-pay from this summer comes through I'll be sitting pretty. If not, I'll still get by.

I can be very austere if I need to. My general cost of living really can be as low as $1100 a month, including debt maintenance. I can live without a car for a few more months, and the laptop (while necessary in the next year) isn't needed right this second. If it all goes wrong, I'll survive with my credit rating intact.

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Although I had no gig (a choice I don't regret) in yesterday's election, it was still a sort of big pivot-point for me subconsciously, one of those dates you mentally hang things around, a good arbitrary marker in time.

And so here it is the day after, and life is going to go on. Like some folks I've talked to, there's a possible sense of lightness and hope. I'm no political virgin here so I'm not expecting much (anything) to really happen in the next two years, but it's deeply heartening to win, to understand once again that this country isn't crazy, that there's always a chance for something better to happen.

It's getting me thinking about my role in all this, and my life going forward. I'm starting a company at the moment, that's my job, but I'm not really in it for the job or the paycheck or the work or the elections... I'm in it for the results, for something to happen, for change and effects and excitement (and recognition, sure) and for the prospect of a real step forward for Everyone.

Here's a quote that sticks out from the Kesey book I'm reading of late:

During the decade of our friendship we had shared a vision, a cause if you will. We were comrades in that elite though somewhat nebulous campaign dedicated to the overthrow of thought control. We dreamed of actually changing the human mind to make way for a loftier consciousness. Only from this unclouded vantage, we maintained, could humanity finally rise out of its repetitious history of turds and turmoil and realize that mighty goal of One World. One World Well Fed, Treated Fair, At Peace, Turned On, and In Tune with the Universal Harmony of the Spheres and the Eternal Everchanging Dharma of... of... Anyway, One Wonderful World.

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'Stauche (for the record)

This shit itches.


I'm cutting it off tonight.

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A Taste of the Red Dawn

Got to have a little power outage last night -- probably wind-related -- a taste of the Red Dawn to come. It was kind of fun to set up the candles, inverter, headlamps, dominos, etc.

It creates a new kind of camradre in the household, goes well with the previous car-related feelings that lean me towards feeling like Westhaven is home.

And now, some borat:

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The Soreness

Made a return trip to the gym yesterday evening, after nearly a month of being lax and slacky. This was following a day of working at the the coffeeshop in town, so without any bike ride to warm up with I started on the recumbant cycle for 10 mins, then moved through a pretty standard weight circult (chest, arms, shoulders, chest, back, arms) in about 45 minutes, and finished with another 15 minutes on the stand-up cycle.

I generally don't use the stand-up because in my experience they're kind of uncomfortable relative to the recumbant, but the Community Pool isn't the highest-quality gym in the world and their recumbant doesn't let you make the ride harder. The practical outcome is that in order to get much of a workout you have to push 100+ rpms for a while. On the other hand, the stand-up cycle has a great set of longhorn bars, which let you stretch out forward while you proj, which is sort of what my body wants to do after the weights: a sort of cyclists child's pose to close it out. Worked good.

About midway through I felt like I was going to die, likely a result of stirring up my lymph system, which has been fighting a cold since my weekend in NYC. This happens when I don't ride for a while too: I get a pounding sensation in my face centered around the sinuses after the first big uphill, and then it fades. Next time I ride, assuming that's within the week, it's much less sharp, or gone alltogether.

So today we have the soreness, and tomorrow we'll go back.

Tomorrow we'll also see the Vagabond Opera, which my oldest friend Robin is in. Should be good times down at humbrews.

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Datacenter in a Shipping Container

Sun Black Box
Saw today on slashdot that Sun Microsystems is working on a datacenter in a box. Google's been rumored to have a similar plan.

The idea is simple and smart: you take a shipping container and retrofit it with racks, HVAC, security and networking/electic cables, then you drop it on some dark fiber line, throw in a grip of servers and you've got a local datacenter. Build a national nodal network; give a city blazing-fast access to content via local caching; the possibilities are many.

Back in the 90s, at my first tech job, we were working on plans for stuff like this. It was a wild and shady outfit: the bosses played fast and loose and smoked tons of pot, but they had a vision and a few talented people (not me: I was just a young padwan learner at the time) and for a little while they even had money (of which I got none). But it all went up in a puff of bad management, shoddy/nonexistant planning, and a double-dose of being a decade ahead of your time. C'est la vie.

Anyway, at the time we were calling the concept "Microproperty" and the idea was that there would be all sorts of buisness for geographically localized data services. This was before the Big Bells broke the backs of the so-called CLECs (Competative Local Exchange Carriers -- smaller business that were supposed to be able to compete w/the likes of Verizon), so the initial applications were around telephony. There were also plans for all sorts of verticals: cable tv, electricity, even goods and services. It was a nice dream for world domination, but sadly world domination doesn't usually work out and this was no exception.

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Manic Monday -- Weekend Update

And so another week begins. I've got to get back into the autobio practice (what this is trying to return to) so I'll recap my weekend. I want to be a little careful and intentional here, as I'm trying to walk a couple of lines:

  • No a secret diary -- the original genesis of this whole thing was to open up my life a bit more and to lift up my conduct and being all around, not to have a place where I write things instead of saying them. It's a easy slip to have this be a substitute for more immediate expression, rather than the poetical mass-communication and aspiration I want it to be.
  • Don't burn people -- I've gone over the general concept of what stories are mine to tell and what aren't, usually in the context of "kissing and blogging," but trying to get back into autobiographical writing means being careful about what I say about other people. I've already done things like remove old posts about friends who've become lawyers and have questionable google results because of something i wrote in 2002.
  • Keep it interesting -- while I've got a certain confidence in the palatability of the reality-TV equivalent of blogging, I don't want to tumble down some hallway of self-obsession and inward-looking myopia. Intriguing introspection is the ideal; don't want to run off my little readership with a bunch of pathetic navel-gazing.

Anyway, enough disclaimer. This is an evolution. Let's get started. 1500+ words after the jump.

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