Return of the Blog

…or: How Adam Learned How To Stop Worrying and Love the Inane

So I have seriously neglected this place. If you find this… seriously, you flatter me for keeping me in the corners of your mind for so long. It’s kind of creepy actually. I’d say you’re stalking me, but honestly I haven’t given you much to go on these past few years.

Let me attempt to fix that.

And, if I am talking to myself…

Hey, me. How the hell are you?

Let’s catch up on what we’ve been up to.

The past year has been full of changes. It’s my second year as Tech Director for a local school… and the job would be great if I didn’t feel like I was constantly a month behind. The projects just seem to pile up and I find myself spending more time working on the day to day then I am able to progress any major changes I’d like to see happen. Honestly though it’s a great place to work. The staff is always understanding and grateful for our expertise and help. I have another school year there before I decide wether I stay another year or not. I honestly don’t know what I’ll do quite yet.

I have my own place again. It’s been a welcome change, and I enjoy having my on space again. I will say that it’s also been an excuse to be unsociable and just stay at home… Which is something I want o change this year. My goal s to at east get out on the weekends… wether it’s to explore the local flavor, or to get over to Seattle, which is much closer now. With any luck I can share those experiences here.

Otherwise, it’s business as usual. I still love my music, movies, games and media. Speaking of which, I figured I’d share what I’ve been watching recently.


Mushi-shi is hard to categorize. “Japanese folk-lore retelling with undertones of horror” would probably be closest. The episodes so far stand by themselves, which makes it a fantastic anime to watch in short bursts. I’ve been watching an episode or two when I get home, just after catching up on The Daily Show.

The episodes are steeped with Japanese folk-lore… from forest gods to possessed ink stones. And each episode tells a beautiful, if at times deeply disturbing or distressing story. The episode I just watched, for example, relays the story of a wife that is possessed by a mushi (the titular creatures the stories revolve around) that devours her memories. Her husband has been long missing, and the only reason she remembers him is because of the rituals she keeps every day to keep his memory alive. The episode does not have the happiest ending… most of them don’t. But it is poignant… and unsettling in a way that makes you introspective.

So yes… Mushi-shi. I recommend it.

And hey… You should update your blog more, Adam.

I mean, seriously.

Do I know you?

One thing that sucks about working in the town you grew up in: running into people. For the most part I don’t mind, but occasionally you get the nut job that feels like they need to “catch up” or know “what you’ve been up to”. And the people I knew generally fit into two categories: old classmates or people I knew from church. Neither of which I ever really felt like I related to. And especially don’t feel like I do now.

Especially some of my old classmates. Most of them are married now. Most of them have kids. A good portion of them have multiple kids. Which is great for them… but continues to remind me how different my outlook on things are.

Of course lately I look at myself and wonder what the hell I’m doing.

I’ll be 30 this year.

It just all seems so surreal.

Where has the past 10 years gone?

What will the next 10 years bring?

How scary is it that I have no idea?

On a less introspective note, the little Mexican restaurant Shawn and I found in town is actually quite good. After you get past the whole “old acquaintance showing off their kid to you” bit.

Photo Hunt Week 18: Shadow

Me and a Tree

Wow… it seems like I’ve blinked and two months have gone by. I can’t believe how long its been since I’ve updated this blog… and yet it still seems like hardly any time has passed. A lot has happened though… the week after my last update, my good friend Shawn had a death in his family… and since I’m fairly close to them, it affected me quite a bit too. It was a bit of a downhill slide from there. I haven’t been really active… and have let a lot of the things I love doing slide.

So I’ve recently declared May as the month of catching up. Not only in blog, but in other things as well. Today I waged a full scale assault on my living space. Spring has sprung and it’s time to clean up, shape up, and get things together. My little living area is actually presentable at the moment, and though its taken me most of the day, there’s nothing like the sense of accomplishment that comes with getting your shit together. This was not only a spring cleaning though, but preparations for my summer move. I’m slowly getting things organized for moving out and living on my own again. I’ve come to realize that I need some personal space once more… and a place I can truly call my own. I haven’t made full plans to what I’m going to do in that respect, but my goal is to be moved out before the summer months have passed into autumn. Things are looking good in that respect, though I need to buckle down and actually start looking for a place. Details, details.

I am going to post a photo for this weeks photo hunt, though… as you can see. This was taken really quick today, just as the sun was setting and I headed for home from work. I’ve always loved the carnival-mirror look shadows have just as the sun is setting. My shadow looks a little odd in this shot… but I blame having to hold the camera. It makes me look like I only have one arm.

I’ve got updates lined up for tomorrow… I’ll be posting the missing week 10 and week 11 shots… and will slowly be posting back dated entries for the other missing photos as well.

With a little luck, I’ll actually get around to putting in some of what I’ve been up to lately too.

For now, it’s just good to be back.

Resolutions and Revelations

In your head, in your head,
Zombie, zombie, zombie,
Hey, hey, hey.
What’s in your head…
In your head…
Zombie, zombie, zombie?

– The Cranberries, “Zombie”

It’s been a long time since I had heard this song, but ever since I have, it’s been stuck in my head. The original sentiment may have been an anti-war one, but it seems fitting for me, at this moment, while I’m trying to make sense of up and down, left and right, and where I’m going.

I have quite literally felt like a zombie these past few weeks.

The holidays are seldom a happy time for me, especially as the years pass and I feel like I’ve become more and more distant from those I care about. But this holiday in particular has been especially rough, mainly because once again I find myself wondering where I’m going, and facing a new year trying to figure out what I want to do with myself and where I want to go.

Mid-life crisis? Not really. It’s the same thing I’ve been trying to figure out for a long time.

As a kid, you are asked fairly often what you want to be when you grow up. And then you grow up. What happens when you still don’t know what you want to be? In so many ways I still just feel like a kid. I’ve always been much better at making the best of a situation instead of making a situation the best for me.

I think in a lot of ways it’s just time for me to grow up.

So… for the few of you that actually read this… I do hope your holidays were good, and that you were able to find a little joy in between what is generally one of the most hectic and frazzling times of year. I know I’m a rather reticent individual these days, but if you are here reading this, chances are you are very much in my thoughts.

It’s a New Year, and time to make new starts and set new goals.

I’ll try not to be stranger. 😉

There and back again.

I’m officially back from Australia.

It’s a bit strange, really. I had two fantastic weeks away, and now that I’m back, I’m realizing that this place really doesn’t feel like home anymore. It was kind of surreal stepping off the plane and having to remind myself that this is where I started my journey.

I need a change. A serious change. I’m not happy where I’m at right now, and its past time I moved out, stood on my own once more, and faced my life.

I’ve known this for a while, but have never had it driven home quite as sharply as after getting back from Australia this time. I can honestly say that this last trip was a bit of an eye opener into myself in many ways… and a trip I am not likely to forget anytime soon.

Even more surreal at the moment though is the weather here currently. I’ve gone from an area under drought conditions to the worst flooding this area has seen for years. Almost 12 counties in Washington have had flood alerts issued, and there are quite a few cities that have been overtaken with water. My flights into Seattle were delayed for over two hours as they put flights on a rotational delay due to the inability to handle the usual amount of air traffic into the city with the torrential rain.

Simply driving back from Seattle last night was an adventure, as parts of I-90 had fairly deep water on the roadway and had suffered from washouts here and there. Traffic was slow due to numerous accidents, and the driving conditions were terrible. I have to sincerely thank Danie for getting me home. I was in no state to drive, and she did an excellent job negotiating the rough driving conditions, even if she did have a white-knuckle grip on the steering wheel at moments. From what I understand they stopped in North Bend on the way to pick me up to get gas, and almost ended up stuck there in the process. North Bend has been one of the harder hit communities, with the flooding there actually closing the voting poll location.

This brings me to my final point for today: voting day. Thankfully I didn’t miss the general election for this year, as I had almost feared. Today is voting today, and I was able to get my ballot filled out and turned in. I voted pretty much straight Democrat this year, as I’m not impressed for the most part with the political views of the Republicans. I did have some time today to at least go through and do some research on the referendums up on the ballot, and look at the unknowns in the different legislative and judicial offices opening up. As time goes on, I feel the need to get more and more politically involved as I watch what I once thought were rights and freedoms we had as individuals being taken from us. I am frustrated a lot of the time in being in such an obviously right-wing, religious community. I’ve found that a lot of my political views differ by a large margin to the people around me. Shawn, thankfully, is an exception to this, and our similar viewpoints have been one of the things that keep us amused in our friendship.

For the most part, I’m just relieved that I can no longer be held responsible for everything that’s wrong with America now that I’m actually an active, voting citizen.

Now if I could just stop being ashamed for the country I live in.

Farscape and slack.

I finished watching the second season of Farscape tonight. And was fairly impressed. The first half of the season started out pretty slow, with a few rather predictable, plodding, uninteresting episodes here and there. But the second half grew progressively better… and the season finale was downright good. I chalk it up to that whole “trying to secure finances for the next season” thing. Whatever the reason, it was appreciated. And I’ve been able to nominate Scorpius as my new favorite villian.

Of course, now I get to begin watching season three.

In an attempt to break up the Farscape-fest a little bit, I’ve decided to insert a little anime here and there. For season three, I’ll also be watching a little Witch Hunter Robin, a show that fascinated me when it aired on Cartoon Network not too long ago, but something I was never able to catch all the episodes of.

In other news, things pretty much suck. I am unimpressed with my lack of ability to set and persue goals, especially when I know I am fully capable of doing so. I’m starting to apall even myself with my level of slack.

I’m just realizing once more that I need to kick myself in the ass. Perhaps with some strange Rube Goldbergian device.

I’ll think of something.

Missing In Anime

“If I must be lonely, I think I’d rather be alone.”

Anyone that truly knows me knows that if I’ve been listening to Stabbing Westward, something must be very, very wrong.

And yet, that little corner of my brain says that everything is actually okay.

I’m just being myself.

But what do you do when you’re not happy with yourself anymore?

This is that circular logic that always gets me into heaps and heaps of trouble.

The really amusing thing, though, is that I was given a glimpse of insight the other day. A glimpse of insight offered up by anime. I was watching Neon Genesis Evangelion.

EVA-01Now, I’m disappointed as the next person about the ending of the series. Yes, I can understand and appreciate the artistic aspect of the final two episodes. I’ve watched enough anime to expect it in a way.

But it still doesn’t keep me from wanting a few simple things. Like a big mecha beat down with explosions and stuff. Or maybe… just maybe… an explanation or two about major plot threads that have been the focus of the 20 some odd episodes before the ending.

Presumptuous of myself, I know.

But some small thread of clarity in those last two episodes caused a little introspective on my part.

I hate myself at times, but I am neither more nor less than what I perceive myself to be. Than what I allow myself to be.

I am my own worst enemy, but I am also the only one that can set me free.

And, thankfully, I am not nearly as fucked up as someone that finds validation in driving around a giant biomechanical robot that houses the soul of his dead mother.

I have felt so lost and alone these past few days… these past few weeks. I have a hard time with journals… or with blogs like this… because honestly, I get sick of hearing myself.

Which isn’t good, really… when you have to put up yourself as much as any of us do.

So when a close friend called today… when I had the chance to reach out to someone I care about so much… it felt, in ways, like I allowed myself to feel again. It was just what I needed… and I can’t help but be reassured by a simple, beautiful friendship that I have always cherished.

You know who you are… and I’ve missed you. Just as much, I think, as you’ve missed me. We need to allow ourselves those times to vent, I think.

And… I’m happy.

Genuinely happy.

Something I haven’t felt in a while.

It’s time to put away the Stabbing Westward I think.


Today has been… odd.

And somewhat tiring.

Going into work today, I just had a bad feeling about things. This past week has seemingly drug itself out in so many ways… and I haven’t been feeling 100% up to snuff the past couple of days. I had a hell of a time trying to get some sleep last night. I think it is partly because of the recent temperature shifts here. Spring is definitely here as its been harder and harder to reach my sleeping temperature comfort zone of just above freezing. Anyone that has ever stayed with me before knows how cold I like to keep my living area. I like to be shivering before I get under the covers, and then simply let body heat and insulation do its work.

It also is really effective in waking you up when you have to get out from under the covers and get going in the morning.

But I digress.

I still had a bad feeling about things today.

Things were quite busy once I got to work, and I wasn’t able to get in my general half-hour of e-mail checking and carousing through log reports and traffic analysis.

And then, once things were slowly getting quiet, the power went out.

Which, as any IT support staff or system administrator can tell you, is a complete nightmare.

It seems that the wind was so bad today (another side effect of spring here) that it knocked down a telephone pole. The power was out long enough that I was forced to shut down all the servers and hope that everything came up without any issues. For the most part, they did. We’ll see on Monday how broken things truly are, however.

The combination of stress and lack of sleep finally caught up with me when I got home, though. I laid down to catch a quick nap, and ended up getting about 5 hours of sleep instead. So now I have completely sabotaged my sleep schedule as well.

Though it does seem like a really good excuse to get some World of Warcraft play time in.

I actually always used to really love it when the power went out. As a kid, I have fond memories of lighting the oil lanterns scattered about the house and having fun assembling jigsaw puzzles. My absolute favorite memory, however, is from when the power went out in the middle of the night. I remember going outside and being in sheer, absolute awe at how gorgeous the stars were. I have never seen them so bright, or seeminly so close… like I truly could reach out and draw them down with my hands.

It’s another reason I miss camping, and sleeping under the stars. I truly do believe everyone should sleep outside with nothing but a sleeping bag and the stars at some point in their life.

Some things are just too breathtaking to miss.


I have the social skills of a rabid badger.

With schizophrenia.

I’ve also finished Wayfarer Redemption, and put in an order for four new books: Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon, Charles de Lint’s Wolf Moon, Cecilia Dart-Thornton’s The Ill-made Mute, and the second book in the Wayfarer Redemption series, Sara Douglas’s Enchanter.

I actually thoroughly enjoyed the first Sara Douglass book, and am looking forward to the next one. The world she creates is quite richly detailed, with a history and depth that is refreshing, but not overly complicated.

The description of the Star Gate was breath-taking. And I found myself even a little emotional as I got caught up in the story of the characters.

Which is always a good sign.

I’ve been wondering if I should buy a Nintendo DS today, too. Not for any practical reason, really. I’m a geek. I like gadgets.

And I want to play Nintendogs. I mean… check out that video in the bottom left. Puppy dogs… wearing pirate hats?

How kick ass is that?


There’s one other thing that has been bothering me lately. Something that is for some reason invading my thoughts tonight before I find bed.

My 10 year class reunion is coming up.

This is only recently pervading my thoughts because I have former classmates that are now actively trying to track me down. Not that it’s that difficult to do so, really.

I do, after all, work at the same school I graduated from.

That I spent 12 years of my life in.

This… bothers me. Though I know I have a really good job there… that I thoroughly enjoy (most days)… I cannot help but feel like there is this stigma hanging over me.

That, in essence, I’ve gone nowhere.

It’s shaming, in a way. And I have a hard time thinking about meeting my former classmates with a forced smile in place as they jest about it.

Shallow and petty? Probably. But isn’t that, in essence, what these reunions are all about?

Perhaps I should shake off these feeble fears and realize that rising to the occasion, reacquainting myself with old peers, and turning that forced smile into something genuine would, indeed, make me a better man. After all, what does it matter where I work, or go, as long as I’m content? As long as I’m happy.

Then again… maybe I can just avoid the whole thing and not go.

…I am happy.

Aren’t I?

¿Dónde está la biblioteca?

It’s not hard to fathom what I’ve spent my time doing the past day or so. If you check the post before this one, you’ll see the progress meter for The Wayfarer Redemption has jumped from about 30% to 60%.

I’m pretty sure I’ll easily finish this book before the end of the week.

The bigger decision, I’m afraid, is figuring out what I’ll read next.

So… what else have I been up to? Not much, unfortunately. French bits have been one of those things in the back of my mind… something I constantly remind myself about, but haven’t pursued. I’ll have to buckle down soon and try to make some progress if I want to keep to my goals. And working on my exercise regimen has also been something I’ve had a hard time making time for.

I refuse to give up on my goals, however. Expect some progress very soon on both of these things.

As for my dream journal… I think I need to make a stationary trip and pick up some simple notebooks. I have one that was recently given to me by a very close friend… but I’m hoping I can use it for something even more personal soon. I’d like to pick up my written journal again, and the blank notebook will be needed to fill in once I finish the one I’ve been scribbling in for years now.

Dream journal just needs to be something simple. Functional. Something I can leave bedside without worrying about tripping over it or damaging it in some way. I’m hoping I can simply use it to jot down those floating fragments I find on waking, and use this blog, or something similar, to organize those thoughts into something cohesive.

So… though I tell myself sometimes that it doesn’t seem like I’m getting much done, big things are brewing.

A bevy of books.

I can now check off my second completed item from my 1001 Day Project page. I have finally compiled that long list of authors I’d like to read, and you can now find it under Authors and Books.

You’ll notice that most of the list is Sci-Fi and Fantasy. I’ve always been drawn to that genre of literature for some reason. As with most things, it is something that simply grew from my childhood, and I found myself consuming everything I could find by authors like C.S. Lewis, David Eddings, Peirs Anthony, Susan Cooper, Lloyd Alexander, Terry Brooks, J.R.R. Tolkien, and more. A lot of it was trash, but to my mind, it was still good. It was fodder for my imagination… and as an awkward kid growing up, that was all I needed.

I’ll still never know what Peirs Anthony books was doing in a Middle School library though. They always seemed a bit smutty for 12 year olds.

But then… I never seemed to mind.

This list is a huge thing for me, though. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for some time, because as the years pass, I watch myself read less and less. All that responsibility, work, and the day to day grind has dampened my imagination… and the enjoyment of something I have always considered a deep part of my soul.

Being able to read again will be much like simply finding myself again.

Some may find it strange that I can find myself inbetween the pages of something completely fictionalized. I never did like the constrains of reality, though.

I have to thank Vicky for a few of the titles and authors on this list. Our love of all things bookish was one of the things that cemented our friendship early on, and is still something I cherish to this day. Her book collection is awe-inspiring to me, and I would love to have even half the books she has managed to accumulate over the years. You are not only a bibliophile, but an inspiration.

Now I just need to read another chapter before bed.

No more excuses.

I’m realizing, for the most part, that I find myself intensely boring.

I think I have that ‘nothing ever happens’ syndrome, where I’ve convinced myself that the progress of time is just one of those inexplicable things that you have no control over.

For so long, I’ve been letting things happen to me, instead of making things happen.

I am, in short, lazy.

I can’t really think of anything profound that has happened these last couple of days. I go to work, fix computers, come home, spend some time online… surfing sites, tempting myself with retail therapy, catching up with close friends… and then I sleep.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

I think, in large part, it’s part of the reason I started the list of things I want to do. To give me incentive to go out there and actually pursue some goals.

To make things happen, instead of wait for them.

So… I’ve decided to pick five things I want to work on this month. And I have to spend at least an hour working on them every day, with a progress report of how I’m doing at least every other day.

  1. Complete my author / book list. I have this done partially already… I’ve been accumulating the names of series and authors I’ve wanted to read for a while now. It’s time to put it in a readable list, though. On this site, in the projects area.
  2. Finish The Wayfarer Redemption and start a new book.
  3. Begin my dream journal. This is spurred on in part by the fact that I know I had a strange dream this morning. But already I can’t remember a thing about it.
  4. Make some progress on my French studies. I was doing good on this for a little while, but have let it slip to the wayside of late. I’m hoping that this site can be something that helps me in this regard. With every update to blog, I want to post a little something about what I’m learning. Even if it’s just a simple word or phrase. I expect this to be the hardest thing to keep doing. Learning a language isn’t an easy task, especially if you’re trying to teach yourself. It’s going to take a bit of determination and willpower on my part.
  5. Organize my work-out schedule, and stick to it. I’ve been trying to keep on a schedule of working out on my recent exercise equipment purchase, but this, too, has fallen to the wayside of the late. There’s no excuse really, other than that whole laziness thing. My goal is to work out a solid schedule, including what exercises I’ll be doing, how I’ll rotate in aerobic exercise (which I’m happier about doing now that it’s warming up a bit), and most of all, stick to it. This will all, of course, get posted here.

And that, honestly, should keep my hands full. I have a hard time with forming new habits. I know I need to step up to the plate, but all too often I just find myself falling down.

But honestly, I just need to stop making excuses for myself.

This blog helps, actually. It reminds me of how flimsy those excuses really are when there’s just a little bit of light shed on them. It would be all too easy just to crawl back into my hole if I didn’t make myself come out once and a while. It’s bad enough that there has been so long of a gap in my updates.

We’ll be close friends by the time this month is over, blog.

Winds of change.

Spring has arrived.

There’s no fanfare of flowers or lush greenery to signal its arrival. Nothing overt that you can sense while looking out the window as you enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning. Not even the slight upshift in temperature constitutes the telling factor.

It’s the wind.

The past few days have brought 20mph winds, on average… with gusts up to 40mph in some areas. Othello itself isn’t too bad… but in Royal City, where I work, the wind whips through the valley its nestled in with incredible speed. It’s the true sign that spring has come. In a month or so it will die down and the more visible aspects of spring will show their faces.

Generally I don’t mind this type of weather. Though it does make me wonder why I don’t cut my hair shorter this time of year.

As for work bits, things progress. You may have noticed that there is a new book in my “Currently Reading” section. This is something my supervisor at work actually purchased for me, so it’s not a leisure reading item by any stretch. There’s a serious need for a QoS strategy at Royal, and I’m the person that’s going to have to implement it. And though I know the basics of QoS, I have no clue how to go about implementing something large scale on a predominately Cisco network.

I plan to change that shortcoming in the following weeks.

It has, however, made me question my certification path choice. I do want to get the CCSP certification eventually, as the network security side of things really interests me. And I seem to have a knack for understanding concepts in that area of networking. But the CCIP looks interesting now as well. Especially considering the QoS test is one of the required modules for it.

Either way, I’d be stupid not to take the QoS test after studying up for it, implementing a strategy for Royal, and having the material fresh in my mind. Even if it’s the only test I take in that certification tree.

And I know this must be incredibly boring to most of you.

It’s good to have finally found the weekend, though. I do have some goals for this weekend, beyond just getting some time to read. There’s a package assembled here that was meant to go overseas weeks ago. It’s my top priority to make sure that it does. I also would like to find some time to work on some cosmetic aspects of this blog, since there are some minor issues that are irritating me here and there.

Otherwise, I hope to just enjoy myself, catch up with some friends, and be buffeted by the winds of spring.

I’ll miss you, winter.

Domo arigato.

And the days pass, like dominos.

Mutant, hulking dominos. With teeth.

Okay. That just makes me visualize Domo-kun for some reason.

The past couple of days have been uneventful, however. Work at school is hectic at times… but usually, it’s just a lot of fixing small problems and generally trying to make people happy. Today I had a teacher that was actually afraid of his computer. While trying to get him to explain what was happening, the response I received was that it sounded like “razor blades were flying around” inside of the case.

It was his CPU fan of course.

But the visual of razorblades actually flying around made me chuckle.

Most days that’s what I do. It’s a lot of workstation maintenance and user support. It’s not bad, though. Most of the staff at least know how to turn their computers on, which can’t be said of the people I used to support while doing Internet help desk work.

Whatever you’ve heard about doing Internet help desk work, the stories are true.

Hell, they may even be toned down. Yes, there really are people that stupid in the world.

I do get to have fun at work though. I’ve single handedly implemented a server backbone for about 600 computers. It’s not much, but it’s well organized, maintained, and it works. The network and server maintenance side of things is the stuff I actually, really enjoy. The workstation support keeps me on my toes, but the back-end maintenance is what makes me happy to go into work in the morning.

I’ve effectively become a jack of all trades.

The certification path I want to do will kind of pigeon hole me into Cisco equipment, but I don’t mind too much. Most of the world does run on Cisco equipment, after all. And those basic networking concepts and ideals can be applied pretty much anywhere.

This next payday I think I’ll be purchasing the next book for my certification. Expect to see it on the “Currently Reading” list when that happens.

And of course, other than work, I savor the moments I have to talk to those close to me.

I don’t have much in this world… a good job, and good friends…

But I still consider myself damn lucky.