The 2000 Daybook

  There is one advantage to working on Christmas Eve: the self-satisfying feeling that the only folks sorrier than me for working on this holiest of nights are those who are trying to get online, and failing. Not to imply that everyone should be of Judeo-Christian beliefs (can someone take this up with Johnny Hart, who has been incorporating more Christian sentiment into the "B.C." daily strip the last year or three?), but I do believe that all people should have one day out of the year where they get together with family and friends, free of daily strife and spent offline. Tonight would be that night. If for no other reason than because getting help if something goes wrong will be nearly impossible, and likely not immediate if it is possible. C'mon, enjoy each other's company. Put the mouse down and step away from the monitor.
   It's fair to presume that if you are reading this Daybook, you know how to operate a computer well enough to understand the humor of this site: Computer Stupidities ( -- I've only started to read it; it's pretty dense, as are some of the people cited on the site. :)
  So what does R.A.T. do for the holidays? That's a good question, even if you didn't ask. As far as I know...
    · #1 is hanging out with his family back in nordic Yakivegas, along with other relatives sundry around the state and country, and once the dust settles he'll be spending much of the first half of the New Year in Georgia doing a special school (this doesn't involve a small bus, does it?). I'm expecting that after the initial events and before shipping out, he'll tell me what's new with his sisters, who are far more interesting (and talkative!) than my own sister. No offense, Beck, but you gotta reply to your email in the same year that you receive it. Maybe just maybe Chrome will get that Compaq 486/75 notebook back from one of his sisters?
    · #2 visited Leavenworth, Washington over this last weekend but didn't do any touristy things (gotta love Leavenworth Pizza Company) so he's had his icy venture for the year; I'm here at work tonight, when I get home the spouse'll get to open the M&M's tin that has a tanzanite ring and pendant set hidden under the bag of M's [if you ever read this page, darling, you'd know that ahead of time <grin>], and tomorrow will be hosting her family. Beyond that Mushy's life is work work work, with the same schedule as this week -- work on New Year's Eve, arrive home right before midnight (would NOT want to be out on the road half an hour later!), I get New Year's Day off, and that concludes my holiday. The annual letter goes out somewhere between Christmas and New Years, before the postal rate goes up again. BTW, to my own family: Yes, the Ronco rotisserie -- set it and forget it -- works nicely, though it took this long to find a use for it and counter space to use it!
    · #3 is the one who will be having the interesting holiday. Not only is she doing Christmas and New Years with family back in Yakivegas, her mother is getting married somewhere in that timeframe. Congrats, Cookie! Emmer needed a few days away from work and school anyway, the rolling white scenery was starting to affect her little grey brain.
  Everyone's playing Unreal Tournament here, meantime I'm using my bandwidth to pick up Macromedia's DreamWeaver 4 off the Net (24 megs, mostly help files apparently)... If you ever wondered what goes on in the Tech Support department of your ISP between calls (other than submitting doozies to Stupidities or TechComedy), now you know.
  Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.  --#2

   Christmas is a time for reflection. Not as much reflection as a birthday, mayhaps, but when you find yourself laying on your back in the middle of the night around this time of year, staring at the ceiling and recalling seasons of your youth, relatives that have passed into the Great Whatever-After, and wondering the eternal question, "What am I going to put in my annual Christmas letter to family and friends?", there must be some sort of process going on. What else can you do at that hour (try as you might to do something else, like sleep)? I find myself thinking about Aunt Mayme and Uncle Frank, the most moral of compasses I could ever want; of Aunt Lillian who was the most spry nonagenarian you would ever encounter until Alzheimers ate her fucking alive. Of my grandparents, Marge & Barney, who both left the mortal coil in 1985 before they could see any of their grandchildren graduate or pass as much of their legacy onto me as I wanted. Be thankful for the time you get. You don't get it back if you lose it.
   So what can I put in my Christmas letter beside "I moved a mile and a half away from the old place" and "I put on my own snowtires last week"... I don't really know, but I'm writing the sucker tonight. I never know what to put in one of those things. "I have my own domain name, visit my site" and "I survived a year doing ISP tech support when most people run screaming after six months" will likely make it in, while "have you tried Elf Bowling 2: Elves In Paradise yet? it's a scream!" will not, though at this rate it would make good filler. It's enough to make one use the vacation strategy -- send a 4"x6" 20¢ postcard saying "having fun, wish you were here" -- or the cheesy American holiday equivalent of that by mailing a long card with [fill in the blank: a studio portrait of the family, a pro-ish snapshot of the kids or pets, a photo of you at the beach] on the left 2/3 of the card and "Season's Greetings" printed on the right side... and little to nothing handwritten on the back. Ehhh, no thanks. Years ago I found this used roll of film at a thrift store, so I bought it and had it processed. The contents were self-explanatory: someone took pictures of everything that Younger Brother and Mom got for Christmas, then the film was given to charity with a bunch of other stuff after the photographer du jour snapped a picture of Older Brother laying on his bed mooning the camera, something that the rest of the family (and camera's owner, I'm presuming Mom on this one) would not have approved of. I threatened to send out photo Christmas cards using that picture, since I do have the negative and all; then I got married, so that plan got permanently kaibashed. But maybe someday, if we have a truly boring year and Paige takes up hard drinking...
   Today's gauge to tell if you have too much Christmas crap: If you can put a tree up in every room of your house, and are able to decorate each one of them including a string or three of lights for each, and yet still have enough ornaments to set up a display at the library and enough lights to do the front of your house, you have too much crap!  And there we are. Now if someone could hook me up with one or two empty strings of sub-7½ size so I'll have a place to put those four bags of old bubble-lights I found recently...
   This is nowhere as interesting or inspirational as the Daily Bleat on (source of the Eleanor Roosevelt image on our index page) but it's something. Another thing I reflect on is how the Daybook here started [see the very end of the Past Days link at the bottom of this page] with noodling and, well, sometimes gets more noodling, usually from the other R.A.T.s -- I yammer on, but not in a fluff-filled way like some online journals out there. Or sez me. I don't make New Years' resolutions, but if I did, coming up with more thoughtful stuff for this place would be on the list. On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog, as the legendary New Yorker cartoon says, and in cyberspace, no one gives a rat's ass what you had for lunch. And thank your lucky stars that we're not Yet Another Dark Introspection Site the net is rife with. We're a Light Introspection Site without being an "Introspection, Lite" Site. :)  --#2

Hey there. Slight modifications here have been made that you likely won't notice: added a few sentences to the Philosophy link which were overdue, edited the front page to not say we don't use CGI's :) and again stress that you should sign your name across our guestbook. Just thought I'd mention them things. As for my openhousewarming... That went okay, good turnout, though none of the people that I invited attended but most provided good excuses. I know where Chrome was, having a gay old time [chuckle]. And I didn't burn the wassail this year! Advice to people for when you are strapped for cash: host a housewarming, people will bring you gift certificates to all the nicest places. And don't be afraid to recycle giftwrap on outgoing packages. --#2

I've not been posting anything much lately, so...
Out running around with The Youth Gone Wild, he asks me to run along to a friends B-day party. So, that's where we are now. Seeing more of the "seamy" underside of Yakima. Was suprised to find out of the existance of Spending some time considering how far my personal tolerance of "different" people goes. All in all, a good time is being had by all. There are a couple of semi-geeks here so my taking a few minutes to dash this off isn't even blinked at. Woot. --#1

   A quick note to say that Opera has put out version 5.0 -- and I should hope it is NOT actually "final" (unless they mean the release version of 5.00, with the fixes in 5.0x...) as the name implies. I mean, it's pretty darn awesome looking and actually renders our first page properly (4.02 centered the bulleted items!), but the mail client is broken as in crashes when using a mailto: link (such as our Online Email Thingie™) and the problem the folks on Slashdot have noted, that it's now free but ad-ware... and yes, the ads go away when you register/krack. :) But it's always nice to see that progress is progressing. Funny I never heard anything about beta testing, as previous versions had...
   Look! See! We have changed the Email Thingie™ to a Guestbook Thingie™... turns out we do have an ISP-provided guestbook CGI -- even though it's crap, and the maintenance tools Do Not Work!! Pardon the test messages which are in there at this writing. [addendum hours later] Nice that I work inside the firewall, cuz I got someone to fix the Manager... works now, test messages cleared so what's there is All Yours! --#2

Despite #2's prodding, I will not tell you about my knee until I have something to report. I am a klutz, and that is all anyone needs to know about me. Mush can tell you what he will, but I will not. Yes, Monday, the 4th of December, was my 20th birthday. My only comment about this very horrible day was, "What the hell, I'm only 20, I sure feel older." School is tough, so ask me for more comments when finals are over in 2 weeks. Wishing I had some birthday cake to eat... --#3
#2 comments... I guess all I can say here is:  a) Emmer has had some recent mishaps involving slippery surfaces and hurt her knee, making walking and standing difficult, and she's concerned about her knee's future, and  b) despite the brevity of the above note, the email she sent immediately after waxed eloquent; this is the new Rotating Rant. :)

    I didn't claim I had anything really brilliant to say today. :) I've discovered that spackling is like eating potato chips: you can't stop at just one hole or dent. Which I don't think is a bad thing, since in this place there are plenty of holes to fill, but when it gets to be 3:30am and you're walking around with a plastic bucket in one hand and a metal spatula in the other, looking like you are hunting for Easter eggs or a pesky insect, you know you are in the Danger Zone. The fun part is, it's December and I'm going on a quest to fill nailholes, but it won't be until the Spring that we get around to painting (for warm ventilation's sake) and with the number of yellow walls in this place them spackle spots are easily seen. Still, I'd rather look at white spots on off-white surfaces than nail holes, especially the kind we have here -- they used roofing nails, fourpenny fence & stud nails driven in at an angle then yanked downward, and 3/8" drywall insets instead of nice little picture frame nails or even brads. They even used freaking 3"-4" screws in some places. I'm surprised I haven't found a railroad spike, but maybe under the latex paint...
    An editorial comment to the virus writers of the world: If you're trying to make a point about something, do it nicely. The ProLinux virus isn't a good example. Granted, it's a nusance and not an actual troublemaker -- the icon looks like a Flash movie, it drops an executable into the Windows StartUp group which causes the Microsoft-brand mail program to write everyone in your address book a note with the virus attached saying `you wouldn't have this problem if you used Linux` then moves all of your ZIPs and JPGs to the root directory and renames the extention, then politely gives a list of what the filenames are supposed to be. How does this convince anyone to change their operating system? I'm still amazed anyone uses Outhouse Distress as their mail client since so many viruses were written to exploit it. I haven't seen that virus in action yet (yawn) but have this month alone fixed two instances of Navidad. Which is pretty simple, just get rid of the eyeball in the Tray, delete the VXD it creates, and mess with four Registry keys. I guess it's the fact that it keeps EXEcutable files, which are most of the program files in the world, from running that makes some people shit their pants. I'm to the point that I can cure a KAK virus infection in my sleep... and do. If more people moved to a different operating system, more bad people would write virii for those operating systems. R.A.T. always said that to avoid catching a computer virus, make sure your system is an Apple //e. Purists point out there are virii written for the 6502 line, but when was the last time you met anyone who had Festering Hate, CyberAIDS, or Loderunner? Me neither. How many virii are written for the Mac? Yeah, they exist but they just don't make the evening news because the scriptkiddies are using Visual Basic, Java, or some other Windows-based scripting language. Call me when Norton or McAfee announces something called LIN/BleedingPenguin.
    For those in my neck of the woods, kindly stop by the Parkland/Spanaway branch of the Pierce County Library to see the display of antique Christmas ornaments, courtesy of my spouse and I. She wants to put trees up in every room of our house, but our best ormanents are under glass... :) But it's not like we don't have eight more boxes of balls & stuff. And I'm hoping that my wife will get me one of those tubes of reusable tinsel from one of them catalogs, hint hint.
    fyi:  I got my RoadBlasters card an hour after the auction ended, so that's settled. And I discovered the holiday-only liquidator down the road still has three titles I didn't get last year... Who woulda thunk that "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" would be such an intricate, non-airheaded game?
    And the movie of the day is this QuickTime animation which uses 8-bit game-like graphics and Atari 2600 samples. It's dope and the soundtrack kicks ass. They did a good job of making everything look like it really was done on an Atari, with a few changes prevent copyright infringement. Now, whose bright idea was mixing Pitfall, Berzerk, and The Matrix!?
    We had access to a counter all along, I just discovered. They don't tell Tech Support anything useful, I tell ya... Rotating Rant entry coming soon from whichever R.A.T. is up (or down) to the task. Hey Emmer, tell us about your knee! (Happy Birthday, btw) --#2

Mushy survived the holiday, too. Chrome and I had tried to negotiate a meeting during the span (his relatives being within an hour's drive, discounting the rediculous traffic leading up to and over Galloping Gertie's two-lane replacement), but the timing just wasn't there and the Snoqualmie Pass traffic camera revealed that the Pass (which I'd have to cross to take him home, condition of visit depending on day) was fugly. So I spent the days as such...

    Thursday:  Went to my mother-in-law's place and had some bad eggnog -- the fat-free tripe which tasted heavily of ground cloves -- and played a lot of games on my Atari Lynx. Had I know the Lynx was this much fun, I would have opened the thing a year ago, when I bought it NIB from a liquidator, or bought the thing a year ago when the place had a dozen (and chances are a bigger selection of games; anybody got a RoadBlasters card they'd sell?), or even put it on my Christmas wish list a decade ago. The things we figure out late. My brother-in-law Boyd (visit his website, brought his Palm Vx and it's pretty slick, he just got a modem for it. Of course at that moment he didn't have a browser or POP3 mail client so lotta good connecting to Earthspring did... :) I got on the Web and pointed him to PalmScape, and told him that the next time I see him he'd better have it. The food itself was pretty decent, but as said I was knocked off the grid by the "eggnog" so I couldn't even finish the stuffing. And no, she didn't make ham as she normally does, so I was forced to eat turkey. I ate turkey soup for a week before Thanksgiving so...
    Friday:  I stayed home to download plenty-o' Depeche Mode, Rednex (they have a new album out, which the music store sites don't list domestically yet!), and Nena. It took me a week to get 18 tracks of her "Definitive Collection" [in checking CDNow, I find the release has 24 tracks... why haven't I seen the other 6?] so now it's the wild stuff I seek, like the live version of "? (Fragezeichen)" which I got the first 20 seconds of a week ago. Spousal unit went to IKEA for shelving and curtains and, yes, meatballs. I played more Lynx, and the game which has my attention now is Rampart -- which seems to be a combination of Missile Command in firing cannons, Risk in strategic castle building, and timed Tetris in getting the fucking pieces of castle wall together to be seamless in 20 seconds. That last part is the real cause of my demise, I can't move quick enough or place them in the right places with those thumb controls... Late that night my bride and I constructed this huge bookcase thingie which now holds our record collections. Never overestimate the power of pressboard and little wooden dowels. My right hand is bruised from beating on the thing to get it to stay together long enough to put in the final screws.
    Saturday:  Paige's sister, bro-in-law, and neice came over; we did stuff around the house, and we ate pizza. My appetite has returned. And so we're sitting in the livingroom, laughing a lot over Pizza Time pizza with the curtains open, and we see this transient go by across the street. Minutes later, we see a diesel pickup park out front and a woman on her cellphone. Followed by a bearded guy who keeps looking in our direction and walking to and fro. Eventually bearded guy comes over to explain: Transient broke into a house a few doors down (reportedly having stole a couple dozen pairs of panties -- dunno if that's true but it makes the story more interesting), and was seen coming back this-a-way and going into our back yard. So the five of us go piling out to check the shrubbery, and found nothing. Musta jumped a fence. And of all times for the neighbor not to have their pack of hounds out back, geez. The woman with the pickup was trying to get the police to come investigate. Needless to say, we live two miles away from the Pierce County Sheriff's office, so with such a short response time They Didn't Bother To Show Up At All. Later on, we went Christmas shopping and I discovered that NetZero has a deal with Athlete's Foot, the mall shoestore (not related to the -- a photo gallery of, well, foot fungus) and so I got a NetZero 3 CD freeee!
    Sunday:  That's today, and it's back to work for me. My Bamboard-hawkin' brother-in-law Boyd and his family came over this morning and he had indeed picked up PalmScape 3.0 -- the one without the mail client, sigh -- and yes, it browses. Though not for him, since his primary ISP is NetZero, which requires their software and NZ doesn't see fit to write for any platform beside Windoze. The images displayed in PalmScape are even tolerable. Sometime come the spring, Paige 'n I will patch the nail holes in the livingroom and hall (we have plenty, want some?) and repaint in one even shade of white then get her brother to assist in the replacement of the molding along the floor and around the doors. Yet another thing I don't quite comprehend: the door frames are very beautiful fir, which Boyd says is not easy or cheap to acquire, and some previous hosehead painted over them, and badly at that so you can still see what kind of wood it is. Most disturbing is the molding outside the bedroom door, where one wonders what kinda dog or jungle-cat it was that scraped a huge chunk out of the frame -- and what kinda human would paint over this massive concave gouge then pretend it didn't exist.

I guess this means that I am now ready to take on Christmas. I don't have a wish list per se, but you know there's plenty of shit I want. I did find the one thing I've asked people for and tried myself to get online from some of the best resources in the Great White North: Ivan, singer for Men Without Hats, put out a solo album a couple years ago which is out of print. My favorite Canadian music store, A&B Sound, took four months to tell me they couldn't get it, and even the used music places online were drawing blanks. Where did I find it? had it in stock. It's in the mail now. And there was much rejoicing. Now, to find that RoadBlasters card on eBay...
[Addendum 11/27 2:15am] Found someone on eBay with the game card I want, for a buck and a quarter, in an auction that ends tomorrow morning, who lives 15 miles away. Now that is kismet, folks. Also, after translating from Proprietary to Generic, we have the latest White Trash Weekly from Emmer posted to the R.A.T. Philes list -- and in this episode, we learn what Santa Claus is really all about. Check it out, y'all! --#2

11/23/2k Gobble, Gobble.
One more holiday survived. The Turkey is wounded, though not slain. There will leftovers for days, if not weeks. Big photo op, this being the one holiday when everyone is invited, and often willing, to show. Somehow there were no fights, lots of feuds buried or ignored for the duration. Providing moral support for some, avoiding others. A bit of avoidance of some subjects. Etc.

All in all, it's hopeful. If the people I saw can spend a day getting along, maybe some of the other squabbles in the world can be dealt with in some manner. Maybe. --#1

Life is Hell, and life at school is Hell on wheels. Busy is the one word to describe life at college thusfar. I don't mean that I have been a busy bee in my social life, anything but really. I work off campus, and I work in the laboratory, as my biography suggests. I don't know how very useful I am, but I hope that I am really learning some valuable skills. In the uphill battle with my demon of self doubt, I am not gaining much ground. The dream of Cornell is still alive, but barely. It feels cold and distant at this point, as compared to the burning desire I had this spring. A matter of confidence really. A week ago I had almost resigned myself to going to Pharmacy school. Luckily I have sisters who help me keep the dream of Cornell alive. Sometimes though I wonder what place a country bumpkin like me who writes White Trash Weekly could possibly have a place at Cornell, a superior school even by IVY League standards.

I look forward to one day seeing my partners in crime again, and hope that Chrome does indeed come this spring. He is welcome to stay with me if he desires. Truly Moscow is beautiful. I do have to feel myself lucky in at least one regard though. Unlike both of my roommates, and many other women here on campus, my parents aren't pressuring me into matrimony at the tender age of 20. I guess you could say we are bad Mormons because of this (certainly my dad is, and I'm trying to reform). In fact, my own mother has praised me on my rejection of BYU. "Women only go to BYU to get their MRS," says my mother, "That's what I did, and see where it got me?" Indeed Mormon culture is incomprehensible to those who are not in it, and even incomprehensible to me at times. I'm the better for it though. One less thing. --#3

Always digging the underdog, I noticed today on Slashdot that the W3C's own pet browser project, Amaya, has a release for various platforms. You'd think that a tool by the folks who set the specs -- not that anyone follows them -- would be pretty swell. What it does to our front page is removes everything between the top banner's captioning and the "If you have comments" section, though the email button thingie works (though does not send email, it claims "sorry, no GET support for URLs of type 'mailto:'") if you double-click it. Testing the theory, I went to the two places online which most loudly crow their W3C/HTML4 compliance, and, and they both kinda look bad. I don't feel so bad about how our page looks under it now, though it does prove we're not following their rules. This place would look like hell if we did. --#2

Fun weekend: Attended the Fifty-Second annual Northwest Philosophy Conference at Pacific University (in Oregon) over the weekend. Very cool experience. I highly suggest to college students everywhere, who may never read this, TAKE THESE OPPORTUNITIES WHEN YOU GET THEM! Looking forward to Inland NW Phil. Conference in April at the University of Idaho (in Moscow). Gimme an excuse to visit Emmer as well ;-) --#1

Quickies!   It's erection day, as they say in Japan... I hope you over-18's did your civic duty. It's a little late for me to suggest who to vote for, but will give this much about my own ballot: I voted my conscience on the presidential ticket, the guy with a conscience; and the only "so the other guy don't get it" cast was whoever was running against Dale Washam, Pierce County's best-known pain in the ass. Yakima expatriat Kim (Ferguson) Hunt has moved her webcam site from a local server to broadband (and may change servers again; @Home sucks I have been told by many of its users) and is now at for simplicity. notes: first, she doesn't look anything like the characture, heh; second, in the twelve or so years I've known her I have never used the word "perky" to describe her, but YMMV. :) And it was less than a mile from my house that yet another asshole drove like a prick risking my life and limb, then laid on the brake in front of me as though I was the one who had the problem, then chased me around the block. Was one of those kids with a belt-buckle bigger than either his dick or his brain, with various rodeo and cowboy paraphenalia across the back window of his jacked pickup. What I hate worse than gangters or cowboys is fake gangsters or cowboys. I'm from Toppenish, and back home we look at the boots -- the bottoms, not the tops. Real shitkickers, by a law of physics, will have traces of shit down there. Fake cowboys only have the shit between their ears. Local kids gone national (renamed went under awhile ago, and tomorrow their assets are being auctioned off (I lost the link or I'd share). Sorry to see them go, but #1 - the email addys have been transferred to NetZero (which I already have an address at!) so all is not lost, and #2 - last time I fired up FreeI's software there was a rediculous amount of crap onscreen and the browser window in 800x600 was probably five inches high, and that's no way to provide customer satisfaction. And to think they could have hired me a couple years ago, if they had any smarts. I handed out disks for them as a "free agent" at the Everett Mall last year, and judging by who they hired to sit at the kiosk -- folks with not enough work ethic to even show up, never mind that these folks knew nothing about computers or connectivity -- they were on the road to ruin. They gave all their money to Baby Bob's animators and Shaq, instead of saving it so they wouldn't have to put up so much advertising. --#2

How goes my move? Pretty okay. See the Rotating Rant for the full details. No, really, go there, it's pretty long. We went shopping yesterday and bought a lot of supplies, like a ladder and dozens of switchplates at a warehouse store and more shelving (and meatballs) at IKEA plus the obligatory compare/contrast with the likes of Fred Meyers and Target. And one of these days, I'll actually start unpacking. Probably after I install grounded outlets... :)
Funniest thing I have heard today, the RealAudio of Jack In The Box shills The Meaty Cheesy Boys singing "Let's Go Get Some Fries". --#2

OMG, I spotted Jeff K. running around campus today. Wow. --#1

I dont think you can ever analyze where youve been until you have left it all behind. Certainly that is true with me. I pushed it all away, didnt keep a diary, but my mind keep a record of everything, and its all there in my memory, just waiting for the scab to be pulled off and gush all over my consciousness. My father sold the only house Ive ever known. I dont feel any regret about losing the house itself. Certainly it was the seat of the most painful memories of my childhood. Never again will I walk through that door and feel the heaviness that is hopelessness and depression. Never again will I be called into my father's room for him to abuse my mother to my face, and call me names that I dont deserve. I am glad its gone in a very real way. This was the perfect opportunity, though, for my consciousness to rid itself of some old poison at my expense. I find myself feeling everything all over again, but this time all at once, all the things that made my life so terrible before. Loneliness, anger, frustration, old doubts I had believed expelled, constant fear and dread, and a burning resentment towards my father and the daily hell that he made my life. I spent years pushing these thoughts away, with the better thought that these feeling dont help anyone. The childhood belief that negative thoughts are bad, unholy, wrong in some way, and that we should be charitable and think only good things about people, even when the truth is the exact opposite.

These feelings are a part of me though; I have to accept that and move on, learn to love myself despite my past. I have to learn that I am not a bad person because of what I have been through, but that I am better for having been through it. SO many mental tricks to re-learn, going back to the daily mantra of "you can do this, really you can." It would be so easy to give up, but then he would win, and my father would truly have gotten his way. I will not admit defeat to him; he hurt me too bad for me to concede defeat when I have the means to fight back. And so I go, on the long road of self-discovery. Learning the mental tricks to help me become the person who I want to be. Oh so hard, but I cant go back now. --#3

   Welcome to Mushy's thirty-third birthday! For once I'm not all depressed or dour or even philosophic about this (sorry, dear readers!) for the first time in recorded history. After all these years of being either a hermit or a bitch at this time of the year -- I'm just not an autumn person! -- I think I finally got it right, and I didn't even try. I think having a good start had something to do with it. My lovely and talented spousal unit Paigeroo requested I come right home from work because she has festivities planned, and she handed me Blue Man Group's album Audio (borrowed from the library and now ripped to MP3, but contrary to the RIAA's thinking [yet congruent with sales statistics!] I will be buying this sometime). My mother called me this morning, which proves my family hasn't completely forgotten about me, and oddly enough this means something. Then Chrome called me right before I left for work to say he should be able to come visit in a couple weeks and help me us move, and this definitely is meaningful because ever since I met the guy in '92 I have had few birthdays where he wasn't present right then or within a few days. Now if only I had a good excuse not to be at work as I write this (I'm in a better mood when I'm not being confronted by folks with a broken-Windows error and the shouted statement, "What is wrong with your server?")... But my birthday usually falls on a weekday so there's no one available to amuse me thus I don't believe in taking the day off, why feel bad because you're alone? I relegate my good karma to two things: first, that I replaced the kitchen window myself, so should get the damage deposit back (not often I actually use that Y-chromosome!); second, that I stayed an extra 45 minutes at work yesterday to help a newbie fix a customer with the KAK virus, so he's a hero now and I'm a god.  In the gifts given dept: I have the new Jack Handey book, a Yazoo singles compilation disk (the group broke up in 1984, got a single remixed in 1990, and put out a remix disk in 1999... I love Alf Moyet), an Enya interview disk, Zebra's appearance on the King Biscuit Flower Hour on CD (so why didn't they put the full show on? I recorded the show on tape when it was broadcast in '83, happily), and [an anniversary of having this job for a year gift] a USRobotics 56k external faxmodem. I'm a happy little grey 'shroomie who now connects at 49.3k!
   Oh, forgot to put this into my entry a couple weeks ago: Locally there's this ad playing for a cell phone company, showing a shepherd leading a flock across city and countryside, and inexplicably all the people he passed along his way are now following him and his sheep.  Hmmm, what is the message here...  Conform! Conform! Get an electronic leash! Join us! Join us! Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated and pay roaming charges! Me? Nah. I gots a $1200 per month mortgage payment now. I can't afford to keep in touch with anyone who would have the audacity to call me while I'm wandering zenlike through a meadow miles from civilization with a dozen of God's soft furry little creatures in tow, ya know? --#2

Mushroom asked me what I meant about the ICANN election results being fubar'd. Oops, didn't mean to imply that there was anything wrong with the process. That would be a matter of some philisophical debate, and I have not paid enough attention to the actual process to say much about it. Instead, I meant to show that I was surprised at there existing SIGNS OF PROGRESS in changing the current DNS structure. ICANN / etc been dragging thier feet for HOW MANY years now?

Also added a new phile to the R.A.T. list. --#1

The last day or so has been seriously fubar'd:

A new mutation of Pigs has been found that has vestigal wings, and there is a cold front moving across the face of Hell.

Found these on GeekNews.
MS using Corel to ease into Linux
Posted @ 02:15 - October 13, 2000

It sure has been a long night. I read in both in the print version of the Globe and Mail and the electronic form that Microsoft may well be using Corel to ease itself into the Open Source community. Specifically Microsoft may direct Corel to port Microsoft's .NET architecture to Linux. Good thing? Bad thing? Only time will tell I guess.

*and* (Drumroll, please?)
Results of the 2000 At Large Membership Vote
Posted @ 15:42 - October 11, 2000

Jon sent in word via ICQ that the results of the 2000 At Large Membership vote of ICANN are available. Reps from Africa, Asia/Australia/Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and North America have been elected. Read more about it here.

Desperately in search of a raîson.... --#1

I think I must be cursed with mechanical malfunctions, either that or Fate is pretty weak, but still tries to prevent me from getting to the Yakima Valley. I had to go back to Yakima for a stupid doctor's appiontment (yes, I'm fine, it has been confirmed), and for the second time in 2 months, my car died on my way back to Yakima. First time, it was on I-5, a very long way from home; this time I was just on the other side of Moxee, about 15 miles from home. Very irritating, just lost my alternator, not something I can predict, but my mom had to drive me home (and now is staying with me for a few days until I can scrounge money for her bus ticket), and I'm still very irritated. Ah well, at least my teachers like me, even if my car does not. --#3

Customers burned out my brain. Thoughts very random. Bear with the nice man.
   · Twaddled the domain settings with so the domains I bought would actually point somewhere -- one of the caviats was that after getting a DNS with (which is a parter to Register, so you would think there'd be snazzy forms for ease?) not only did Granite Canyon not offer an IP address, the IP address selection among others disappeared from the Register account management page. I put the DNS back to Register's settings (manually; lucky I wrote them down cuz they were not offered a second time) and got the full set of options back. So in the near future, once a person is able to enter in the address line of their browser and actually get somewhere, there will be an ad/navigation bar in the browser. This can be removed for $50. Anyone wanna shell out? :) The other domains should work by the 6th if I did this correctly.
   · The moving process for this guy and his spouse has started. I'm transporting all of my worldly goods from point A to point B after the 27th of the month, the closing date set in our contract. Nice little 3 bedroom, 2 bath with beautiful hardwood floors and a huge yard. And there's fishies! The backyard has a huge storage building and on one corner of it, a fish pond with two mostly-white and black goldfish who look at me kinda frightened. They don't know me yet but they'll come to cherish me because I have the food. Goldfish are like that.
   · A happy birthday to MeLissa Bates come the tenth (19) and to myself come the eighteenth. I never pictured making it to age 33, mostly because I figured the end of the world would come in 1986... which it did, so to speak, because that's when I graduated from high school. I must be getting wisened or getting apathetic; I spent most of my years asking for stuff at such gifting occasions, but this year I have absofuckinglutely no idea what I want. Usually I have a list of records, tapes, or CDs that I would like, but now... only thing I can think of is, I appear to be missing my Denis Leary "No Cure For Cancer" cassette but figure that will resurface during the packing process. Newer stuff, nothing comes to mind. Ask my grandparents, shopping for me has always been a bitch, but this year it seems to be even worse.
   · There's plenty to play with here. On the R.A.T. likes page, I put a pretty icon up for the Bamboard site and added a link to my fluffy former boss' website. And if you haven't visited you really should. In other links... There's a new Rant coming as soon as we can find a writer. You need to see the sample start page if you're using Windows. Along with the thotz.txt item, another development coming soon is Emmer will be putting out a Christmas edition of the White Trash Weekly, and I can hardly wait for it... we need fresh content. Or inspiration to finish what we've started. :)
   · update from 8/3:  There's a new radio ad for Everest Mint Gum. Just as macabre... "You'll recognise Everest the gum by its tin in shades of blue and white. You'll recognise Everest the mountain by your leg in shades of gangrene." Oh, and during the Olympics I kept seeing this new TV ad for Quizno's, where a businessman and a businesswoman are walking along holding hands then suddenly the woman breaks away to extract a wrapper from a trashbin and starts licking it. At least no one died in this ad, but still...
   · Using Windows and have IE5 on your machine somewhere? You should check out Wild Tangent's Butterfly Screensaver and I sugggest setting it to One, Monarch, Slowly. Too bad one can't change the lepidoptera being so large.
   · Jack Handey's new book The Lost Deep Thoughts is out, after years of waiting!!
   · I like my new big black Driza-Bone riding coat because when I wear shorts (which I do a lot nowadays, it's an ISP thang) I look like a flasher.   --#2

Items of the day:
   · A nice site saying what we sympathize with about Web doodads:
   · We're in the works of compiling some more R.A.T. thoughts. Watch the evolution: thotz.txt

Ah, but life is fun these days. Started classes at CWU yesterday, have a steady job, got back pay from one employer, and am waiting on other things. Homework load isn't crushing (yet?), and mayhaps a few cuties around to flirt with.

Mayhaps I'll be putting more material together for the site tangentally to material for English Comp class. Hrm...

Waiting the benefits of College Life to start kicking in ;-) --#1

   I've been fooling around with embedded fonts, that elusive thing which will allow a person to get text in fonts which aren't on a user's machine. You know what our startpage looks like; see it again now in better fonts by going to and then drop us a line to tell what you think. Okay, the basis of this font change is Javascript so that negates one of the statements made on that page, but this is just a demonstration. If implimented, the text will be changed.  <bg>  My issue would be the change in time to load the page (it's not much in Netscape or Opera, yet is quite noticeable in IE according to my tests) but the potential for better-looking pages is there. Note: while this isn't browser-specific or even font-specific, it is OS-specific, since the thing run by the Javascript is a DLL... leaving the Mac, Linux, etc. users viewing Arial or whatever their default font is instead of GeoSlab. Sorry.
   Actual intelligent ramblings forthcoming; life ain't so bad at this moment, unless I suppose you are trying to email Chrome at either of his standard addresses and get "could not deliver" messages back... But here is one rambling to tide you over. One of the nice things about where I live is that we can see the Olympics on America's NBC (tape delay) and Canada's CBC (live), and they cover different events. Another nice thing is that Canadian television has a different ethos, as evidenced by the good comedy that has come out of the Great White North (The Frantics, The Kids In The Hall, Second City) which you couldn't find in the States. There's this ad playing on Canadian TV which really rocked me (okay, so on US teevee, the spots by truth are pretty damn cool) for some service agency that looks out for youth. It starts off with this 18-year-old at a bus stop, sitting in a blanket looking cold, trying to get passersby to give him change. People just walk by. A bus passes the stop and the teenager has been replaced by a 1-year-old. You can guess that the first person to walk by did a double-take, stopped, and came to the baby's rescue. The caption comes up, in language you never see on American TV, "How young do you have to be before people start giving a damn?" I can only say... YOW.
   Coming soon: the ability to get here via and!! Don't try those yet, they don't resolve offhand, but we own those domains. Muhahahahaha!! --#2

   Yo peoples... First, gotta thank Chromie for the redirect. Beats trying to get a domain of our own, or maybe not. And on that particular note, at this rate we may have to take our sanity campaign to the streets using Post-It Notes. I've been working at the Puyallup Fair (which runs until Sept. 24, come see me at the Mad Greek) and the vinyl auto tattoo guy, who is more surly this year than last year when he made me a custom jobbie (red, a stomach with a button and a safety pin in it [hospital symbol for endoscopy], with the caption "Loaded drawers beats a full house!"), said that getting our URL done up would cost $20 each where most anything else he could cut would cost $7-$10. Um, we'll pass, and consider bumperstickers.
   Okay, now for your semi-occasional site worth seeing: Unspeakably Stupid Stories had me laughing pretty hard, and you must check out his Unspeakably Stupid Music link, especially the song "Would You Like My Weenie?". Closer to home, the latest addition to our Funny Text Philes department -- yeah, no new R.A.T.werks yet, we're busy rodents or something -- is He-She.txt (admittedly in HTML format, not TXT, but who's keeping track?). And in other news, yes, someone has put together a successor to the NetZero 1.x bundle. NetZero 3.x's latest dialer iteration (NZTV) won't even complete a connection if it detects the KillBan stuff there, where 1.x would work fine and 2.x would work okay but then Tim Chin would write you a nastygram. But Dilliam has come up with a 3.x ad banner stopper krack... hunt for it. I only reports the news, kids, no links to it here. --#2

Whilest finally getting around to re-registering my vanity domain (, noticed there's a new option... one account can now control five names. So, I went ahead and used a second one ( to be set up as a redirector to our actual homepage of This way, if we ever move it'll be easy to keep up, or something. Now, to get everyone who has a bookmark to update it. Yes, all two of you.

In search of a raîson... --#1

Thank God for second hand stores!! I got a working vacuum cleaner and 2 obnoxious chairs for less than $40.00, and they are both in nice and working conditions! For that matter, thank heavens for the wasteful people who are generous enough to let poor people like me be able to get it used.

I am all settled now, here in Idaho. I even made my bed! (First time for everything). I have been seeking inspiration for White Trash Weekly here in this college town. It's harder because people around here raise wheat instead of pigs. What I have found is that the people here are more redneck than white trash. Walmart may be a white trash store where I come from, but where I came from, Walmart didn't sell guns. Walmart here sells guns, ammunition, and hunting & fishing licenses. My favorite has to be the motel ad I found about 20 miles from here. The motel has laundry facilities... and FISH CLEANING HOUSES!!!

It doesn't get much more redneck than that!! --#3

Mushy only has random thoughts right now, mostly fueled by life around me and what I have heard people say about this site (okay, they're all people who write for the site; we can't prove non-R.A.T.s even read this bitch). So for those keeping score at home....
   · Emmer has moved to Idaho, it's official. Before she left, she posted a couple entries in her corner of the R.A.T. Philes list. And she swears the "Angie" story actually happened. May her deity elevate her.
   · Call it copyright infringement, but the "best illustration of our faith" mentioned on the Philosophy page is up. I miss National Lampoon Magazine, it was pretty good stuff. Frog on a dolly, anyone? First Boner Comics, The O-Team, True Facts, Trots & Bonnie, toonz by B. K. Taylor, Hercules in North America, Letters From The Editor, and parodies of anything that moves. Now all we have are those stupid "Vacation" movies...
   · What does a techno-geek do for fun? He uses his days off and some vacation time so he can work at the Western Washington Fair!  ** Do The Puyallup **  Some people don't get that this is a Zen thing for me. Serving gyros at the Mad Greek (the one between the Blue and Red gates, for any of you who can attend) is definitely a change of pace from fixing the Network Control Panel on people's Windoze boxen. This will be my third year of working there, and the first where it was not out of necessity. That's a good feeling.
   · Didja know about TimeSink? Quick, you Windoze users, launch Windows Explorer and check out the hierarchy to find out if you have a folder by that name in C:\Program Files. Do you have that? Consider yourself a target. It's an ad program which is being run at startup by the Registry, doesn't show on the three-finger-salute Task list, and was put there by the likes of software by eGames or other free/shareware. In fact, read this link, it's found in PKZip (I was shocked to find out this was announced before Paul Katz died) but hey, we're all using WinZip or some other product, or the DOS version of PKZip, anyway...
   · Why don't you people ever write us any email? C'mon, let us know you exist. It won't kill ya. Oh, and speaking of death, what the hell is up with all the ads which are blithe about dying? Everest Gum makes the allusion to the dangers of its namesake mountain, and uses the tagline, "It won't kill you" in its ads (if you haven't heard the radio ad, catch the "Word From Our Sherpas" Flash animation). Then there's the radio ad for Quizno's Subs where the guys are walking on the railroad tracks, and one stops to lick a wrapper he found... In the words of Irish band A House, "Train train train train, watch out, you're dead." His friends' response? "Whoa... He's not moving. I'll get the wrapper!"
   · The wench called again (see the Rant of 8/6/2k) a few days later, but this time I spoke to her long enough to repeatedly emphasize that I really don't want to talk to her, ever, end of story. At least this time she was in a mental hospital (according to the Caller ID even!) and confessed she's not moving to Kansas, but says she's marrying some bloke who lives on Yakima Ridge. To diss a little on my countrymen, the folks who live on the Ridge are there for a reason -- to breed big gnarly dogs and keep away from civilized folk cuz they can't hack having neighbors. Whatever keeps her out of sight and hopefully out of the gene pool. Okay, I'll agree with Paige this time, when we move we might get our number changed afterall -- Trish is a dense one.
   · Yeah, further changes are in the works for this site. Recently the older contents of Rant and Daybook were given their own links at the end of the pages to free up some screen space, and there's always some new photo coming into the Gallery. No, there are none of the three of us together, but talk is of creating some fake ones. :) And we may just stop relying on the good graces of spiders to get our word out -- a little site promotion tool I use on pimping my bro-in-law's business could come in handy, if I figure what category to put us under. Home improvement? Education? Housepets? No plans in the works yet of buying a domain, but maybe someday. Domain name suggestions are always welcome [nudge].
   · Final R.A.T. thought: Lead me not into temptation; I get mine delivered. :) --#2

Yay! Another GREAT way to waste time: NetHack v3.3.1 has been released. What does this mean? Bugfixes! I'm not really concerned that the bug reports I'd submitted weren't listed, as LOTS of other stuff that pretty well made 3.3.0 unplayable has been fixed. Just means I need to try & replicate said bugs. Wow, a project for the evening!

Note to self: job hunting in small towns can really suck. --#1

Inconsequential: Why do these guys call it a "day book" if its only updated weekly?

Consequential: This has probably been one of the most stressful weeks of my life to date. I live out in BFE and its a bad thing when my transportation goes down. This week, my beloved vehicle died, as did 2 others in my family. Normally one would say that 3 out of 4 aint bad, but in this case, it is. This last week has been a lesson in the surreal. Yesterday, as I checked my e-mail, I noticed that the house smelled smoky, and I almost wished that it were my house burning down. You know, one less thing to worry about, and since I am moving to Idaho, and all of my clothes are in my sister's car up on Snoqualmie pass anyway; I figured, whats the loss? The less I have to take with me to Idaho, the better, right? To wish, desperately, that your own house was burning down, and to realize, "that wouldnt be so bad, we could get by, that would actually be nice, not to have to worry about this damned awful house," could be considered a bad thing by many psychiatrists. If you are a psychiatrist, and youre reading this, dont worry too much. Im leaving in a week to live in much nicer quarters, and I will be too busy with my studies to lapse into psychosis. It's under control, really. --#3

Life is what happens while we make other plans....
More Silly Stuff: Could rate a RANT, but me not pissed off enough to do a thorough roast on it.

There are two schools I need to attend. Both are reschedulable. One will be for about four years (Central Washington University) and the other is a four month tradeschool type deal for an extremely part-time job. [previous readers will have figured out {or find it extremely easy to figure out} what this other school is for]. The second [shorter] school will ideally be completed as soon as possible. Getting things arranged so that they won't conflict with each other is getting to be a pain.

Classes for this second school tend to fill up fairly quickly, and I'm low on the priority list. Calling the reason for this "departmental issues" would be close enough.

"How has silliness crept into the situation?" Glad you asked!

About a month ago, got message that I'd been picked up for classes starting Aug 11. Cool. Two days later, I'd been dropped. So, I request a new date in January for start of classes there. This now gives me a decent planning horizon. "Yay!" Can now squeeze in a quarter at CWU before heading off to the other school. So, on the 31st of July, get ball rolling on classes at CWU. On the 4th everything is finalized, have class listings, financial (G.I. Bill, etc) process started, etc etc. On the 5th: get word that I've been scheduled for classes at other school for Aug 11. WTF? Seems acceptance notice was handed down to my management on the 1st, but both of the people that might have handled it were on vacation, one for emergency, the other had been already. So I really did find out on the same day as my management did.

All I can say for sure is there is a breakdown in communication somewhere, as I'd seen proof of my cancellation as well as watched my request for new class dates get put into the personnel system. And after planning for classes to be in January (or later, I could get bumped again by someone with higher priority), there was no way I could have been ready in six days to take off out of state for four months. Am soooo glad there's policy on notification time for this, otherwise could have been a real problem. --#1

Life is tentative. Or as we like to say, don't take it seriously because it's anything but permanent. R.A.T. #1 finds himself this time staying in Ellensburg and going to school RSN if all goes well, never mind that Yakima thought of last week -- which of course is good news. Yeah, he still hasn't got crap ironed out to know whether he can actually stick it out for a term but all things come in time. And to that end, as the biography page points out, he's going to be in transition yet again(?) and he'll put some quantity of his standing webpage on this site in a little while. Imagine not having to depend on his pretty lil' computer to be up just to see his page! Big stuff coming up here soon; grazie for re-tailing my spirits! --#2

unbusiness: If you hadn't noticed, the photo gallery here is full of pretty (or not) pictures of R.A.T. Chances are we'll add more than just of our humble selves, but for now it's just us, so if you're a sniper or stalker you will have some idea what you're after. BTW, we haven't received any nice chest X-rays from our female fans yet [nudge nudge].

business: One of my classmates from college, Andrea, told me that the Yakima Valley is a pit trap: you may leave the place but eventually you return. I suppose that's better than being a Roach Motel but the result is still the same, you die with an apple in your mouth like the main course at a luau. I visited the Valley over the weekend and I had a ball; the company of friends and -- gasp! -- family was very nice. It wasn't quite a week at summer camp, as described on 7/6, but then again there's a lot about my trip that never transpired at camp. In both cases, I came away spiritually and physically refreshed, along with that nice little glow which is good for a few days then diminishes due to the Cold Hard World intruding. I hate the passing of that glow. What makes me a little amused is that in my youth, I went to camp to leave the Valley for mental recharging -- and now, going to the Valley can bring that refreshment from my real life. FHTWO. Whatever keeps me young and sane, ya know? Meanwhile, R.A.T. #1 says that his always-tentative plan of the day is that he's going to head back to the Valley for a few months. Which proves Andrea right once again, even if it's just for the span between About Now and School Come January, with a prolonged stop in Training Whenever. Somehow I doubt that whatever time is spent in Yakima will benefit either his sanity or his youth... but I escaped, more or less, I reserve the right to be cynical. Historically he's had the same sentiment about the place.

really business: And finally, a really R.A.T. statement I saw in the back window of a passing car today. I woulda shook this guy's hand if we hadn't been doing 70 down I-5. --#2

Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!
Evolution is coming!
Don't miss it again!

I've been a real jerk lately. Too many people to apologize to. Too little time, and then too much time. One might think that as you get older, the doubts and uncertanties of Life get to be easier to deal with. Honestly they have, but not nearly so much as it seems they should. The daily grind doesn't always weigh as heavily as it used (though I'm not currently partaking of it at all, that will (and must!) change within a few weeks). No, the major problem is I no longer "rise above the noise and confusion" as we used... that, and the "creative impulse" is almost totally absent anymore. Without going into *too* much detail: Take the Christian (not claiming that I am, but was raised in such society) that Man was created in the image of God. IMvHO, the only aspect of this that truly matters (indeed, can even *be* applicable) is the Creative Impulse. That I've almost entirely lost it is... frightening.

Enough blathering for now, tomorrow waits...--#1

Used to be at about this time of the year, every year from ages 10 to 18, I was off at summercamp for a week. Ahh, yes, Lazy F in the Manastash Canyon, Ellenburg, Washington 98926. This was my first real in situ Reality Avoidance Therapy (if you don't count public school) and positive therapy at that (to get over/around/past public school and more importantly my family). My friend Robin said after a few years of being a happy camper that she wasn't going to go anymore, citing that people are one way 6 days out of the year and some other, not as pleasant in her estimation, way the other 359 days. I replied that that is what I liked most about camp -- people acted better in that microcosm, people treated folks in the manner that they wished to be treated for a week instead of just living for themselves. Why we wound up seeing two facets of the same crystal was because she presumed these folks were as selfless, nice, loving, caring, Christian, and so forth in their regular lives, and it crushed her that they weren't. I didn't worry so much about who the folks were when they were not at camp because I (correctly?) presumed everyone was just like me, folks who had lives and situations they had to deal with on a daily basis, and could let themselves be beautiful only in that insulated Lazy F atmosphere. That's one of the things I miss from my youth -- an escape from life, the opportunity to recharge the batteries for a full week in a place where no one is going to as a course of habit bring you down and you don't have to put on a mask just to survive. --#2

In gathering materials for the Text Philes area from the old 5.25" disks, I came across a few chatlogs and emails I'd saved. There are times when we've recorded our thoughts at a given moment in time, then at some point down the evolutionary path we find that scrap and think, "I felt like that?" I read this particular email from long ago -- name unimportant, date was ages ago (back when I was on the //e) -- and need to get it out of my bloodstream. Again. Mostly because she was just young and foolish enough to say something as meaningless as "I will still be your friend", since she stopped speaking to me of her own volition about three days after I received this. Nearly everyone has received something similar to this in their lives; I read this again and can only say, "You coulda fooled me." --#2

   Subject : Re: Fleeing to Denny's
   Author  : SFZ (#188)
  I am sorry you feel this way. I am sorry you feel as if you aren't getting
  your deserved kisses, conversations, etc. But we aren't a couple, we aren't
  bond by love or anything other than friendship. I don't understand how you
  feel. I am sorry that I was reading instead of talking with you. I haven't
  been able to read a good book for a long time. Or at least been able to read
  for longer than 5 mins. What I am trying to say is that I really am starting
  to think about certain actions that have been carried out by us. I don't
  regret them I am just starting to worry. I think you will want more and I am
  not willing to give more at this time. I like being your friend but I am not
  I like being your "lover" or whatever you wish to call me. I don't want to
  kiss you anymore. I am sorry I am telling you this. Like I said, "I want to
  be like your other angel of mercy". I am willing to be your friend but I am
  not sure I want to be your 'lover'. I am glad I filled your void at this
  point in time. But I anyways, I feel better. I am sorry if this hurts you
  while you read this. I am sorry if you think I used you. I think I did. I
  regret this thought. I hope you don't think you used me. You didn't, you
  have taught me a lot of things. I will still be your friend.

Today was a prime R.A.T. example! My significant spouse and I went to a library booksale, and I came away with some nice record albums. (Vinyl rules. Found an *original* Schoolhouse Rock "Multiplication Rock" LP...) In my looking through the bins, I came across this record with stars-n'-stripes and bald eagles on the cover, and the track list on the back named half a dozen patriotic Sousa marches. The thing that struck me is, this album was a promotional item put out by a pharmacutical company, with their brand of tetracycline prominently featured in several places on the cover. The message I derived: "This record is as American as VD." --#2

Yesterday's entry was good and grim, and I make no apologies. We're not into gloom-n-doom here at R.A.T. Central, we just tell it as it is. To the Trolley Girl's credit, she's a R.A.T. in the good sense of the word: no matter what happened, she was happy, and she had the attitude that got her through bad situations. Logically, two items come to mind: first, you can only have so many sh!t sandwiches before you get full up, and that girl should have gotten her sweet arse out of wherever she was before more and worse happened; second, not every soul who has touched me in my six or so years Here has been transient, though I'm hard-pressed to name more than one which has maintained any sort of longevity. Everyone I cherish lives or lived There. Have I closed my doors? I discussed the matter with my significant spouse, who came to realize she has experienced the same thing, the only people she could call at 1 a.m. are in or from the 509 area code (no matter what the residents of 253 say). So to brighter statements: Welcome to the website. We're glad to have you. It's all coming together slowly, whenever we get stray minutes and the urge/ability to get anything accomplished. --#2

Was thinking yesterday about the differences between Here and There, other than the obvious ones of "It rains a lot here" verses "It's sunny 200 days out of the year there," and "Rent is affordable because no one wants to live in the wasteland," and the child that we called The Trolley Girl came to mind. Every time I'd see her, she'd be on the electric trolley, smiling a lot; her red hair and green eyes and outstanding body had my poor soul pent. She was so attractive, as they say, until she opened her mouth. With this innocent smile she spoke one day at length about how her husband got out of jail recently, came to the trailer court where they lived (near my place), and found her in bed with the guy she'd been seeing for the last six months. I don't recall what she said happened to her boyfriend, but with a glint in her eye she told the person next to her how she got the tar knocked out of her. The difference between There and Here is: Trolley Girl was in the minority, and around here such nonchalence about being either wounded or wounding is the rule. There, friends are friends forever. Here, friends have a shelf-life. The two things I will hopefully never get used to Here are the rain and the people; both leave me cold. --#2


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