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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tearing up roots

I am a nomad.  I prefer to never put down roots, always moving.  Stability is a curse, the dark allure of home is pain.

So, here in Tulsa, this is my nemesis.

I have more friends here than ever, people who actually care and worry. And I hate that.

Why? It's a burden of responsibility to be there for them, to not just pack up and go.  To feel some.. insane.. connection to people whom I've spent time with, face to face.  People as real as breathing.

I will die in not too many years, between the diabetes and the blood pressure and the cumulation of 40 years of bad life choices, like a tall tree in the woods, I will fall. And I don't want to take anyone with me.

This is why I want to be alone.  I can't give my heart to anyone because Sabine took it with her when she passed, and every relationship I've had since is haunted by her memory.  And I know my self-destructive habits will pull me down without love to hold me back, and that's never happening again.

So, as hard as people try to call me in, I drive myself away.  I will move and vanish, again, to keep my course into a dark place where, I hope, I will be reunited with my Lady.

The sidewinder travels the desert alone, complete unto himself.   Call me the Feathered Serpent, for that is who I am.

Take care, be well all.  Be warm and safe!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Cold Turkey

I guess it's time to force myself to reduce my time online, I have to much I want to do and I'm throwing a huge amount of my free time down the rat-hole.

The main issue is real-time chat.  It's very addictive for me, I love to jump in and amuse the heck out of folks, and get amused in return.. but I end up spending 2-3 hours A NIGHT in chat, and that's time I could use making music, working on album art, or teaching myself C#/.NET.

Everything else is minor.  Maybe 20 minutes on the DAZ forum, about the same on Ambient Online, 5-10 blogging, 5 on Facebook.. and that's if I didn't do it during dead time at work!

So, I don't need to cut back on chat, that ever work, I get sucked in and it's over.  I just need to flat-out QUIT.

And no more Web-only relationships.  I have plenty of drama in my life, adding to it with unrealistic expectations on my part is stupid beyond words.

With any luck, there'll be more music and art as a result of this.

Wish me luck!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Moving on!

I took a look back over my career as a software dude, and I can't believe it - I've been programming for pay since my senior year in high school, back in 1978!  Holy carp!

I've been doing embedded system work off and on for the past 20 years, and let me tell you, it's getting BORING.  There are only a few things I haven't done in the embedded space, wireless is one of them.. and wireless is getting SUPER popular..

So, in the "career enhancement" frame of mind, I just spent $120 on a bunch of Texas Instruments hardware that will let me attach sensors (light, pressure, temperature, humidity) to a wireless-enabled microcontroller, the microcontroller board itself,. an an additional plug-in board with a 96x96 monochrome LCD display!

During lunch, I'll be programming the board to capture all the sensor data and make it available via WiFi.. this will let me learn networking and wireless communication on the cheap (cheap is good).

But that's just to enhance my embedded marketability.  Because I intend to change specialty!

Evenings, 1-2 days a week, I will take a break from music to tech myself C# and .NET.   My intention is to develop a commercial-grade application, which I will then sell.  I found a very under-served niche, and better, I'm part of that niche so I can "eat my own dog food" and use my app for my own media-based work.

I hope to quit embedded systems work in 2-3 years, become a C#/.NET guy, and then I can work.. pretty much anywhere!

90% of embedded systems work is in tech-hub areas, and while there are some good places (Silicon Valley, Atlanta) I'd rather have more freedom to choose where my next contract will be.

This is how I got into the games business.. prove my skill by making a product.  It's VERY effective, if you can pull it off.

Until later!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Stupor Bowl Sundae!

It's that time of year again!  The time when testosterone calls men everywhere to watch a bunch of dudes grab a ball and run around with it while hitting each other.  What could be more fun?

So here I am, pizza and wings pre-ordered, NFL for Windows 8 running on my Windows 8 tablet (yep, football 24/7), eating leftover Chinese food for breakfast and drinking a nice tall mug of Velton's coffee, hand-ground by me, freshly brewed.  Can't get much better, a few exotic dancers would be nice but distract me from the game.

Before the actual GAME starts, I'm going to try to get the basic tracks down for a new tune, called "Alone With My Demons", for the Ambient Online Compilation #4.  I finished one song yesterday, a light-side tune called "Crystallinear".  Obviously, today is equal time for the Dark Side.

Ugh, the video stream is HD and it hiccups on occasion on the tablet.. but plenty smooth to watch out of the corner of my eye.

Happy Stupor Bowl!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Fate can Grate

I'm an incredibly stubborn person.  Even before I knew what a Taurus was (lol) and I still think most astrology is off base.  But.. still.. geesh am I stubborn.

When I get pushed on, I tend to push back.  Especially if it's not ME pushing on ME, if I do it, fine.. but an outside force? FEEL MY HORNS!

What brought this rant on?  There was a woman I met online.. lovely, amazing woman.. super personality.. a smile like the sunrise.  We clicked immediately, and hard.

Of course I felt like this was a real imposition on my life.  Me, free-swimming single nomadic programmer, finding a lady to settle down with? NEVER! Dig in, horns out, and SHOVE LIFE BACK!

This worked out about as badly as you could imagine.  Stress level into the stratosphere, poor sleep, nightmares, reduced productivity (not that anyone noticed), digestive system went to Hell (that's where my stress goes), all kind of lovely misery.

But still, I PUSHED BACK!

This definitely would not have ended well for me.  My foot wounds weren't healing, my blood glucose was up despite my meds.. not a good prognosis.

Then, somehow, I managed to grab myself by the scruff of my own neck (bad visual, I know) and shake myself Real Hard.  I knew that if I kept this up I'd never finish an album, or compose anything that would survive my brief time in the Sun.

So, finally, The Engineer stepped in and told me what I needed to do.  And damn it if He wasn't right.

I quit writing because, while I was good at it, it stressed me out extreme.  I dropped working on an animated short film.  I reduced my artwork to pinup stills and album art.  And I focused only on ambient, light and dark. And I admitted that I needed someone in my life to spark off of.  That was the hardest thing, to admit I wasn't complete in myself.

And now, I have my music on 3 compilations, soon to be four, I'm making great progress on my album, my blood pressure is near normal WITHOUT DRUGS, my blood glucose is stable again.. and I sleep like a brick.

My lady? We are back together, and I've never been happier in my life.  She inspires me to create happy music, and she makes me feel.. well.. needed.

When there is midnight, there is also dawn.

Be well, my friends!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The past is like pain..

Have you ever woken  up in the morning, feeling like you've made a huge mistake but there's no going back?

Welcome to my life.

One of the worst things about getting old is how regrets pile up.  When I was 25, the world was all in the future, what did the present matter but to be  a place for me to run wild?  No regrets, no worries, just flow in the Now, tomorrow will take care of itself..

..except that it didn't.  The Piper waited, because he will always be paid, in blood for that matter.

The memories are nightmares now, the things I have done an Albatross on my neck, the bright flames of Life now dark ashes waiting for me.  And while there are things I might, with immense hardship, fix.. there are places that, with all my power, I cannot reach.  I have done things that I cannot repair, lost people I can never see again.

Some things, my friends, are eternal.  Be careful with your decisions, they will define you.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Work Makes My Brain Hurt!

Things at the office have become horrifically complex.  I've had to cobble together, using wires/breadboards/modules and/or discrete components to create a "wire-connected" prototype of the actual hardware so we could get software development going.  My work area looks like I'm a hardware designer! I have an LCD wired into a breadboard wired into a microcontroller prototyping board, with a motor control evaluation board ALSO wired into it through a breadboard, and finally an Ethernet controller I'm wiring up.. it looks like a nightmare and I've had the enginering department manager tell me he can't believe it works at all.

Nor can I, actually.  This is the most complex bread-boarded prototype I've seen in all 35+ years of my life as a software engineer.

I suppose I should shut up about it.  This company has paid me to learn to do basic hardware design, a VERY useful skill.  I'm also the only software guy,so I get to do it all.. drivers, graphics, apps, the works.

It'll look GREAT on a resume', should I survive all this.

I disprove the "Can't teach an old dog new tricks" saying, even if I'm not a dog.  I am old, though.  And having to learn new things quickly, and many new things at once, while actually producing working circuits and code is a real strain on me.  If I had a family, I'd likely have quit this job months ago.

So, my brain hurts again, even as people get all excited that my spit-and-bailing-wire hardware makes a cute little motor spin round and round (and let me tell you, it's NOT easy to make it happen).  hat's a major milestone!  Grabbing a six pack of microbrew tonight, going to put on some metal, get into chat, and finally relax!

Until tomorrow, anyway.