Old Daily Shows--August 2003

Find the archive of past entries at archive.htm. Today's entry is at daily.htm.

Monday August 4, 2003 The witching hour

It's late, and I've been writing code for a long time. Feels good, though, like a habit left behind for too long. I've been pumping out pages of code, and it all seems to work, for the moment.

The weather has cooled a bit, now that the sun's been down for a long time. All is quiet, with the exception of the crotch-rocket motorcycle that's been driving up and down our hill for the last ten minutes. There are few distractions at this time of day, when it seems that the only things moving are the fan, the motorcycle, the omnipresent summer insects, and me.

I never used to understand why my dad gets up so early in the morning. I think some of it's biological, but I'd hazard a guess that he values the quiet as I have learned to do.

I spent a lot of nights writing code, nights a lot later than this one, during the last four years. I've learned and forgotten programming languages, learned other ones, and generally gained a pretty decent grounding in the field, I hope. I feel like I know what I'm doing, now, and that's a nice thing.

When you read this, it will be nine days until I leave for Scotland. Nine days in which to do everything! Or not to do it, I think. There will be so many loose ends. It's sometimes difficult to try, knowing that much will be left undone. I was chatting with my mother this evening, and said that I look forward to the day when I can be in a place without deadlines.

I don't mean that my work will have no time constraints. I mean that I want to be able to work on something until it's done, not until I have to leave to go back to school, or to Scotland, or whatever. I find myself longing for stability and longevity.

The Watson year is a Wanderjahr, a time for exploring, one of picking up and moving on rather than of putting down roots and sinking in. I wonder--will I tire of that? My project is already much less mobile than many. Sometimes I wish I'd submitted my other project, wish that I was going to travel around Europe and Asia learning to bake breads. Imagine the lines I would have crossed, wandering the world in search of ovens, heat, and flour.

Instead I chose the more introspective route. What will that bring?

There's a film called Oxford Blues that features beautiful scenery, limp storyline, and spectacularly... interesting acting by Rob Lowe and friends. The main character asks a question of Oxford's headmaster, and receives this answer:

"The answer you seek lies somewhere on the other side of that door. Open it, walk through, and close it. This is most important: close it."

I don't know why, but that seems appropriate today.

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Thursday August 7, 2003 Chateaugay

Headed off for the last concert of the season. I leave a week and two hours from now.

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Tuesday August 12, 2003 Goodbyes again

A few more goodbyes today: Grandma, Byron, Elizabeth. I'll see Eliz again at the airport, of course.

Strange to think that I've got about forty hours left in this hemisphere during the next year.

Strange to think of a lot of things.

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Wednesday August 13, 2003 Across

Farewell, New York. Tomorrow sees me across the Atlantic into Glasgow International.

It's on from there into a new set of somewheres i have never traveled. Does Scottish rain have small hands? I can hope so.

Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.

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Friday August 22, 2003 Glasgow

At the time I begin writing, I've been in Glasgow just an hour or two more than a week. It's been a tough one, certainly.

Thus far, Scotland's been very little like what I expected, though I can't remember exactly what that was. For one thing, the housing market is ridiculous here. I've pounded the pavement day after day (I walked more than 14 miles one day, looking at flats and listings) with little success. I've got one lead now that I think I'll take. Not ideal, a bit too expensive, but a real offer, and it almost seems that any decision is better than none.

Limbo has always disagreed with me. I sometimes feel like a bad Watsoner for being upset by it, and that--predictably--makes it worse. Scotland hasn't been easy, not by a long shot.

But we shall overcome! Now it's off to the Piping Centre to meet with Roddy. Wish me luck, friends!

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