the a.m.

This is hopefully my final week of this crappy schedule I am on at work.  It is very early in the morning and I haven’t slept in about 22 hours.   I am exhausted from last week to the point  where sleep doesn’t refresh me.  It’s hard to sleep well in the daytime.   I can’t wait to go to Mexico on Saturday and not have to do this for a few weeks.

I am going to be in Playa Del Carmen from Dec 15th to Dec 22nd.  I am trying to figure out if my insurance will cover a rental car while I am there.  If they do then I don’t see a reason not to get a car.  I drove in Puerto Rico last April and it was madness but also really fun.  I imagine that most of where I will be in Mexico will be similar.  Heather and I would prefer to be able to do things on our own schedule and since we have a GPS we’re not too worried about being lost.  Plus, there are a few things we want to do that require driving to remote places and taking boats etc that may be difficult if not impossible to get to via any other means.  Anyway, I will find out tomorrow about the car and at that point we’re going to make some loose plans and just go for it.  If anyone has any suggestions please let me know.

I got my first batch of comments on here the other day.  It was a small and wonderful mix of people I love and a person I don’t know.  My mom posted an experience she had that was similar to my beaver experience.  I never knew about it.  I am sure there is a word or a phrase for what it felt like to read her comment but I don’t know what it is.  For now I am going with Scrumtrulescent.  My friend Sara also posted.  I love reading Sara’s writing on her blog and if you get a chance you really should go and read it.  She turns a beautiful phrase.  The last person to comment was the girl from INDIEchouette.  The principles of detection tell me that her name is Paige.  Perhaps I will find out for sure in the future.  Regardless of her name, she has impeccable taste in music.  Sara suggested that I check out her page and I fucking love it.  I used to get exposure to new music from bands that I recorded that were all much younger than me and much cooler than I’ve ever been.  Since I haven’t been recording bands recently, I think she will fill that need nicely.

I suppose I should work on something productive now that I’ve spent 30 minutes writing this.  I could have got my reverse engineering tool started that I need to have kind of working by the end of the week.  Right now though this is more fun.  I imagine I’ll post more this week.  Look for a very long post or at least a post with lots of pictures of my hot wife in Mexico after we get back too.

We Prepare

Heather and I are supposed to be getting ready for our trip to Mexico next week.  Instead I am sitting on the couch trying to find ways to distract myself and she is with her sister at a potluck at the adoption agency her sister is using to give up her child.  Randy Craig is in my basement working on vocals.  I would go assist with that but he seems to get better takes when I am not around.  Besides, it’s hard for me to sit in a room while he sings the same phrase 300 times.  I don’t know how he has the patience for it but the performance ends up sounding good so I don’t complain too much.

I have several solid 8 hours days of work to do on the 4 songs we want to have done before Christmas and I have to get those days in before December 15th when Heather and I leave.  Randy and I have been working on this record for over a year and we have 4 songs close to being done, 3 or so on deck, and probably 3 more in the incubator… yet to be inspired.  I would like to work on my own music, but I can’t seem to make the time.  We really need to get Randy’s new record done so I can move on to some other things.  I like working on Randy’s stuff but I am 28 and would like to get some of the ideas I have for songs down before I am 30.

I also have lots of work to do at my actual job.  I’ve become an asset to the company I suppose and I actually really like what I have been doing lately.  I have a sense of pride in my work, as corny as that sounds; however, it is exhausting at the end of the year when everyone wants everything done immediately and right now I just want to go on vacation.

I decided earlier this year that I wanted to learn a programming language.  Programming was directly responsible for the difficulty I had in college and I kind of want to kick its ass now that my mind is a little more agile.    I had originally wanted to learn Java; however, the syntax gets in the way and the whole process just seems kind of clunky.  I spent 3 weeks writing a very simple piece of code that logged into a remote Oracle database, grabbed some data and analyzed it, and then updated some tables in said database based on a csv file provided by another company.  I got it about 90% of the way done but that last 10% was a pain in the ass.  I figured I would try python because everyone rants and raves about it.  I literally did the same project, having no experience with python, in about 4 hours only it worked as a standalone app and was much more robust.  It just proved to me that my logic was good but the language was getting in my way.  I’ve always struggled with foreign languages and programming languages don’t seem to be an exception to that.  I’m not bagging on java.  It has its place in the world for sure; but it was actually fun to write python code and not have to look shit up constantly to be able to do it.  Now that I am done with it, I have all kinds of little parts I want to change; however, the project I wrote it for will be over at the end of next week and I’ll probably dump all the code.  Oh well, it was a good learning experience.  If I get bored I will finish the java version.

Anyway, I just started this page and I want to be able to post about the things that interest me.  It’s probably going to be strange mix of all the little things I like to do but it will be good for me to write down.  Sometime later I will put something up on why I think writing it down is important; however, for now I am going to do something a little more productive.  With that, I leave you with a picture of Scarlett Johansson because she’s hot as hell and I’m down with that.

even?

I had a realization today of the moment when my childhood ended. There was actually a moment in time where prior to that exact moment I was a child and after that exact moment I was not. As a child I loved beavers. I am not making a joke; I genuinely did love the aquatic rodents that made their homes in rivers and could cut down trees with their teeth. They were my childhood fascination. I have no idea why I liked them so much, but to me they were the pinnacle of what an animal could be. They weren’t the toughest or the meanest or the fastest; however, they always seemed like a really resourceful creature to me and I really like them and identified with them.

Many years later I grew up a little bit and I worked on a ranch for my uncle. I had to clean out the irrigation ditch every morning. It was a few-mile-long irrigation ditch that was about 5 feet wide. I had to clean it out because beavers built dams in it and if the dams sat there for too long they would cause the water to overflow and ruin the canal. It would have been a huge waste of water in a place where water is very valuable. One particular beaver built a dam every day I worked there that summer. I tried to do things to discourage him but this creek was going to be his house. I finally got fed up with him after about a month and decided I would go take care of him once and for all. I grabbed my grandfather’s 410 shotgun and headed up the canal.

It was about 8:30 at night and just getting dark and he had come out to get his work done. I had brought 2 shells with me. I was a pretty good shot and I figured I would only need one shell but I brought an extra just to be safe. The beaver was just sitting in about 2 feet of water doing his thing. He wasn’t scared of me at all. I walked right up to him, pulled out the shotgun, took aim, and fired. He flinched a little bit, but otherwise he just sat there in the water and looked at me. I immediately felt terrible because I didn’t want to hurt him. I wanted him to die instantly, but he just sat there. I moved a little closer thinking maybe I didn’t get penetration because he was under a few inches of water. I fired again and he flinched again but still just sat there. I was out of shells and he wasn’t dead. Then he slowly started turning over in the water. I thought he was going to turn upside down and die, but every time he would get turned about halfway over he would right himself. He didn’t try to escape or get away, he just didn’t want to be belly up. He still didn’t seem scared of me and I just stood there watching him calmly struggle to stay upright in the water. I debated on trying to drown him because I didn’t want him to suffer; however, I was too much of a pussy to actually kill him with my hands. I can’t think of many times i felt as bad as I did in that moment. I apologized to him. I actually said sorry out loud to him while he looked at me and then I went home. I thought about him all night, wondering how long it took him to die or how much time passed before some coyote finished the job I was too ashamed to do.

The next morning I rode up the trail expecting to be pulling him out of the ditch. I got to where i had shot him and he was nowhere to be seen. There was however the biggest beaver dam that I ever had to pull out of of that ditch. It took me most of the afternoon to tear it apart. I have no idea what happened to the guy I shot. I don’t know if he died and was immediately replaced by a larger beaver or if he survived and worked all night to spite me. In any case, I never fired a gun at a living thing ever again. I don’t care if anyone else does it; I just know it’s not for me. I also never rode up that ditch again that summer without spending at least two hours pulling apart a dam at that exact spot. I really hope that it was the same beaver that I shot that was building those dams. And I hope that by the end of the summer he felt like we were even.

The Beav