My Uncle Paul

…passed away last night. He was only 69, which is not that old these days. I really wish I had words to explain how I feel, but I just don’t. I am upset but at the same time I am not. He was a good man and always enjoyed the times we spent visiting or chatting on the phone. I guess, really, nothing more needs to be said.

Feelings and Admissions

I actually wrote this 3 years ago and somehow managed to never post it. Since I believe these thoughts are true regardless of time, I figured I’d go ahead and post it. Enjoy.

How do you tell someone the depth of you feelings? How do you tell someone they are not so deep? Human emotion is a very tricky thing to deal with. It takes logic and rationality and throws them out the window. The Human heart is probably the most complex thing any of us will ever encounter and if it is our own, well that just makes the adventure all the more interesting.

Neither telling someone you love them nor telling someone you just don’t feel that way are easy. In the former you are opening yourself…leaving yourself vulnerable to anything between great joy or nigh unbearable sorrow. Of course, these are extremes but they are possible. In the latter you run the risk of being on the other side of those extremes…of being the one causing said feelings. How does anyone ever admit their true feelings?

The Human Race is amazing in many, many ways. Despite the potential of failure or embarrassment or even just coming off as crazy, we still find it within ourselves to come clean and admit how we feel about one another. Now this certainly is not always the case as there are many unrequited loves out there and many that lament in silence as they pine away for someone too afraid to take the plunge and speak of their true feelings. There are even those who make it known without ever actually saying it, waiting for some sign of approval that it will be okay to come forth and say those things that are in one’s heart. The situations are myriad and, without a doubt, range in complexity. How do we handle these?

I wish I had an answer to give. If I did, I would not be in one of those situations. And yet here I am. I do not have all of the answers and have no idea what will happen in mine. Life would definitely be easier if it had a script we could review. And don’t look to Hollywood’s version of things. They spin yarns of things that just don’t work in the real world…well at least 99% of the time. So what do we do? It all depends.

One thing is certain: Communication is necessary. The better your communication the better things will work out. This does not necessarily mean that the recipient of your affections will reciprocate; but with good communication, you will not be walking into a confession of feelings blind. I don’t know about anyone else, but I would like to have a pretty good idea of how my admission will be received before I vocalize it.

Because of the sheer diversity possible in these situations, I can offer no more than some very generic advice. First, believe nothing you’ve seen come out of Hollywood. It’s great to watch but life isn’t like that. Second, be sure to communicate. That means really paying attention to things that are said…and things that aren’t. Body language is a very effective form of communication and if you do not pay attention to that, you are missing at least half of the conversation. Third, do not get impatient. Many things take time and the amount they take can be painfully long. Remember, you aren’t only dealing with your own heart.

That last one is probably the most important thing I have said in this piece of advice I can offer. One of the worst mistakes anyone can make is to get so blinded by their own desires and feelings that they overlook those of anyone else. This is especially true when dealing with relationships whether friendships or romantic. The potential to cause inadvertent hurt is greatly increased in these situations…and yet it remains a very common affliction in relationships. All we can do is listen and pay attention and be cognizant of those with which we interact.

Oh, and if you are wondering how things turned out for me in this…I made my admission and it was considered but ultimately we went separate ways. We remain friends, though, because our friendship was always our most important aspect of our relationship throughout all of its weird turns.

Of Things SBR

I had an apostrophe today. Lightning just struck my brain. SBR is my site. It’s whatever I want it to be. SBR is a reflection of whatever is going through my mind and whatever has my attention at the moment. So I’ve decided to stop worrying about where to focus this site. I think what makes a good blog is that it’s personable. What I mean is that you feel that by reading it you have gained a connection to the author. I give you Wil Wheaton’s blog WWdN as an example. I’ve never met Wil. Odds are I probably will never be lucky enough to sit back with him and just chat about gaming and sci-fi and just general geeky things. But every time I visit his site and read his posts I feel that I know him a little better and that we could be friends. That’s what a good blog is about.

So in that spirit, I think it is time that I simply start writing again about anything and everything. Sure there will be a lot of tech stuff here. I’m a geek and I work at an awesome software company. But I’m a study of human folly and love to cook. I was raised in a mechanic’s household through much of my teenage years and early 20’s so I can do many things with wrenches and hammers and lovely lovely power tools. I’ve worked in commercial construction. I’ve been in IT related jobs for the majority of my working years. I’ve had jobs that have made me want to gouge my eyeballs out with a small European country. I’ve had jobs that were really hard to leave. I’m currently in my dream job and I never would have guessed that this would be the position to make me this happy. Heck, I voluntarily worked for like 5 hours this past Saturday from home. That says a lot about how I feel about this job.

What’s my point? I don’t really have one on this post. It’s the springboard for me writing posts that individually are focused on a particular subject while the site itself is focused on nothing but my general interests. As a matter of fact I will probably be finishing the half-dozen or so drafts I’ve got sitting in the wings just waiting for me to stop procrastinating. Then again, I’ll be adding at least a dozen more I’ve been considering for some time now. I won’t promise a regular posting schedule. That’s for companies and businesses. This is a hobby and I’ll add something when I feel it’s time.

On that note, I’m off to start the next post which will be up “soon”.

Still Alive

No, I haven’t abandoned SBR.Net. I’m still here but life has been busy and I’ve been considering whether or not I want to continue technology commentary here. There are already a ridiculous number of tech sites out there but not so many that cover humanology as my occasional rants do. So that’s why I’ve been so quiet. I am deciding the future direction for my site and don’t want to clutter it up until I have made a firm decision.

A-Loan in the Dark

Have you ever noticed that important paperwork is right where you put it for safe keeping…until the moment you need it? Take for instance the situation I am currently in. I have one of those small fireproof boxes in my house for the purpose of keeping my deed, car titles, and custody paperwork. These are documents I don’t want to lose, whether from misplacement or fire. Everything I put in there is right where I left it, too. Well…everything except the title to my Amigo. Which is odd since I haven’t touched that box since I put the title in there.

Why does this matter since I’m not selling my vehicle? I need it for loan collateral. The problem now is that I need the money for the loan in my account by the last day of the month and it takes about 14 days to get a title replaced. The way around this is to go to the local tax commision office where they actually print the things and for a $30 premium you can get one within minutes. Seems easy enough so I choose that course of action. It takes half of my lunch break just to get to the backwoods alternate reality where they located this massive chuck of steel building. But I did manage to find it and fill out my little form with the VIN (and you better know you’re VIN because they will NOT look it up…yay for customer service) and other relevant information.

Then the lady hands me a newly printed form which, by the way, is the exact same form I filled out with ink and handed her save for one little change. Apparently something got screwed up when I paid it off over three years ago. The bank is still listed as the lien holder. I certainly hope I don’t owe them anything. I haven’t made a payment in nearly four years. And I am completely certain I got a title from the State that did not list any lien holders. Yet there it was on screen as plain as day. Of course the lady couldn’t tell me how in the world I got a correct title when the information in the system was wrong. So now I have to get a lien release form from the bank so I can get a copy of the title to hand them so they can put a lien on the title. Still with me? Good because here’s where it gets bumpy.

I tried calling the bank and got stuck on hold for about 45 minutes. Now I only get an hour for lunch and it took 30 minutes to get here and then another 15 to do the paperwork shuffle. Now I’ve been on hold for another 3/4 of an hour and have another 30 minute ride in 98 degree weather to look forward to. Frustrated I contact my mother for reinforcement on trying to get the bank on the phone. She has worked with the lady that’s handling my loan for years so she’s got back lines of communication that I do not have. It also frees me up to make the sweltering ride back to work. Murphy’s Law is having a lot of fun at this point and decides to let my whole family share the joy.

Nobody I know can get anyone at the bank to answer and now I’m back at work with a screwed up laptop, a faulty wireless NIC driver, a problem with a cellular air card, and two weeks of reports that people want done in a matter of minutes. Oh, and let’s not forget the scanner system that lost all of its settings. I make alternate arrangements via SMS for collateral until I can get my title situation figured out. I now have to get everything done at work by 4PM so I have time to finish the bank stuff up today. Somehow I manage. I don’t know how but I manage to get all the broken stuff fixed by 4:04PM. So I run out the back door and head towards my bike.

You guessed it. I have another problem. Now I park my bike out back under the huge shed. It’s about the only place that is concrete and not gravel. The slab is huge and usually mostly empty. For the last week, though, people seem to have been going out of their way to pile pallets and trailers and boxes and cars around the bike so I cannot get out to go home. Today I tried parking right at the edge of the slab instead of the middle to fix that. What did they do? They parked closer and boxed me in more tightly than before. I swear that if I didn’t love my bike so much I would ram it smooth into their $40k plus cages. It’s not like I’m asking for super special treatment and climate controlled parking. I just want something solid under the kickstand and a path out when I get ready to go. It seems this is far too much to ask.

A few more minutes of wriggling and I’m able to squeeze the bike between the rusty Toyota and the Ford SVT pickup. It’s a good thing I’m not spiteful or I would have “accidentally” dragged the highway bar pegs down that lovely white paint job on the SVT…or the black paint of the Pontiac G8. But I didn’t and now I’m off to finally get the money in my account from the loan. Of course the reason I couldn’t get the lady on the phone is that she’s out today. Also, she’s been talking to me on and off for two weeks now about this loan and everything has been approved and is ready to go…except the other ladies cannot find any record of it in the system. So now I have to start all over. This is after the 12 minutes it takes to fill in the 6 blanks on the release of lien form. Eventually I get everything finished. And by that I mean I waited 45 minutes while the lady tapped away on her keyboard so I could sign one piece of paper on a line she drew with a pen.

Why can’t things just be simple? Oh and for those that think this isn’t enough…I just picked up the GMC truck that I’m buying from my dad on a deferred payment. He can’t find the title and after driving over 140 miles back to my house I notice the tag expired two months ago. Now I can’t get him on the phone to tell him I need a bill of sale so I can title, tag, and insure it ASAP. As usual, Murphy’s Imp of Perverse is right on top of things.

Big Little People

Thanks to a tweet from rstevens, I’ve been introduced so some amusing but disturbing images. Some of these are really well done which makes them all the more creepy. The site is called ManBabies and it seems the premise is a picture with a man and a baby is Photoshopped to swap their heads. I found myself looking on further and further into the site much like one would stare at a train wreck. Some things you see are profoundly disturbing but you just can’t bring yourself to look away.

Enjoy ^_^

Lifehacker – A Wil Wheaton Moment

[aka Revenge of the Sixth]

I dropped in a blurb yesterday about how Gina of Lifehacker met Wil Wheaton. She had a great picture of how he signed her book and had many nice things to say about the little bit of time she got to spend with him. While browsing around last night I decided to drop in on his blog (which I hate to admit…I haven’t been to in a while) and found that he had nothing but “the nicest thing in the universe” to say about Gina and Lifehacker (It’s about halfway down the post).

It’s like a mutual adoration club and that’s wonderful in my book. From the way Wil describes it, you would be hard pressed to decide who is the bigger fan of whom. We’ve always known Wil to be a geek’s geek and to just be a really nice and down to earth guy. But it really is great when you can see how true that statement is through things like this. And Wil, I wasn’t sure you could earn any more geek points, but that Portal reference just gave you double.

Wil Wheaton – A Lifehacker Moment

So I stumbled over this post at Lifehacker. Seems Gina got to meet Wil Wheaton…and he’s a huge fan. It just goes to show that not only is Wil a great guy and truly a geek’s geek, but the guy’s got taste. Lifehacker is probably one of my favorite sites in the internet and is so chocked full of information that I sometimes fear permanently fusing all of my synapses into a solid mass from the informational overload. And yet I cannot stop reading every new post like a kid with the latest issue of his favorite comic.

Swing by Lifehacker and check out the post if you are curious about what computers and software Wil uses on a regular basis. Oh…and don’t forget to look at how he signed Gina’s book, because the cake is a lie.

In the works

So here’s SBR all new and shiny and actually still in the bubble wrap. I’ve got many, many things that must still be done to take the new code and make it my own. So for a little while, the old rants and prose won’t be available. Don’t worry. I won’t make the update take the same amount of time as my old posts. I just want to have a few minutes to get the feel ‘right’ before I put out the final version.

Unfortunately, my web host requires all web files to be deleted when you switch from Microsoft to Linux hosting. And, of course, that is exactly what I had to do to get the blog format for my site up and running the way I wanted it. Now, sit back and relax…go have some Fourth of July fun and check back later in the week for the all new SBR.