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January 19, 1999
a year ago

Cool Toys and Memories

I ordered the Circa system stuff this morning. Along with a few interesting office supplies, like easily used and easily reused substitutes for staples, a portable reading stand so that I wouldn't have to hold books open with hands that really do get tired holding them open. Which is something I never thought I'd say, but it's actually something that makes my wrists ache. It was good to finally finish on that whole thing and get on with the rest of my life.

Also, during a meeting with some folks from the Boulder facility, we all got rearview mirrors for our monitors. Turns out that some software developers had put car and bike rearview mirrors on their monitors, to see folks coming in from behind their backs. So the internal group that likes to make toys that the internal folks will actually use, came up with rearview mirrors for monitors that just velcro on. They're really cool and have enough sphere properties to cover most of the room behind me.

Pretty cool toys.

Got the angel off to Beth today and she edited it to fit. That was cool. So it looks like it might get in. So I am pleased. Though it's definitely the simpler version. I'm now thinking of writing up something interesting with the more in-depth version, a cool story or another of Bubbha/Bigtha. Angels of Confusion really should have fun.

Work was work. I got interrupted a lot, though, for various reasons. One was the visitors from Boulder, the others were folks from downstairs, Chronology, another spin-off from Data I/O which had a good number of ex-Data I/O employees wandering up here and asking me and Bob and a few of the others about what all this 'moving' business was all about. Turns out that their head-hunter told 'em that they'ed called all of us and we'd all said that we had accepted jobs with Xilinx and weren't really interested.

That was... interesting. I should be better about telling people to just go when they are only interrupting me. But I'm not.

Carl made a very cool point against my fear of writing on the stupid Levenger sheets of paper. That even if the paper is fifty cents a page, if I were paid a Washington minimum wage of $5.75 an hour, and I wrote up a whole page in an hour (both sides even!), then my thoughts would be worth more than 10 times more than the paper's cost. And I'm paid significantly more than minimum wage. So that's a cool argument.


I realize, more and more, that my life is mostly a battle to find out how to rely more on internal justification rather than always looking for external justification as my sole source of integrity. Step by step, bit by bit, I'm figuring it out.

Some of it was really explicit in the evening, when we went out to dinner with Jenny, Tom, Lily, and Betsy Bowns. The two kids are really rambunctious and really, really know how to express themselves, though I guess that the flip side is that they weren't particularly tractable to parental control. The kids had fine internal integrity, though, and I was mildly envious in some ways. It would be nice, sometimes, to just do what I wanted without thinking about all the repercussions on the people around me or what they wanted...

But I'm built to take into account nearly everyone else's opinion before my own, and while I'm fighting that, it's like swimming against the current. It's another excuse, in some ways, for my not writing. I think. Having Beth say, specifically, that she needed and wanted the write up of the angel that I put together was the main reason I did it. Outside need. But there have been plenty of people outside of me that say that they like my writing, it's the few that have said that something was wrong with what I did that have always been a stopper.

Em was really taking criticism hard today, and I saw real echos of how I used to react to negative, useless, non-constructive criticism, eventhough I knew they didn't know what they were talking about or hadn't taken into consideration the reason I wrote it in a way they didn't like. It just destroys ones confidence, especially when one really didn't have that much to begin with. It brought in hard echos of my own emotional reactions.

Maybe that's why I hooked up with Raven so long ago. One of his most recent journal entries really reflects my own long-standing battle, though, for him, it seems a more recent observation, and a far more... uhm... abrupt approach. Problem is that I've never been able to do it all at once the way he seems determined to do. I've tried that, gotten disappointed and shot myself with the thoughts of how I'd never be True to Myself if I couldn't *always* do it. But I've learned. Slowly. Painfully in some ways, that in many cases *every* small win I make is something.

Sometimes I think I do journals in order to figure out my intent, figure out what I really think. It's the only thing that is solely mine, solely about me, the real me. I found three years worth of journals on my laptop when I was cleaning stuff off it. Kept it, saved it away to ZIP disk. Remembered the dozens of notebooks and three ring binders that hold the thoughts and words of at least that many years. It was interesting to go through some of them, see the mangled language, the similarities to what I do even now, and the purpose, even back then of figuring out what it was that I, and only I thought. I've always had to do this, just the form has changed over the years.

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