Sony Disc 18 Dream

Dreamland had a big party and I don’t remember everything. Basically my grandparents Davis’ house, and the kitchen was a living room. All of the cabinets and where the stove were had a bunch more cabinets, and we had a lot of books and storage information.

I’d just met up with one of the two really tall guys that we all knew from the parallel universe. He had a Sony video recorder that used Disc 18 which was basically an 18 inch analog laser disk. It had a 10 inch LCD on the other side. It had a 1.8 inch camera lens on one of the edge near the corner.

It had hand straps on both sides so it was easy to hold while watching playback. The recording quality was excellent, but it was a little bit of an older unit. Everything had been replaced with digital and gotten more compact but the guy who had it really liked it and wasn’t ready to make the change.

Another one of the guys had a special type of mask that he was trying to use so that he would be allowed to formally date his girlfriend from the other universe, but he kept forgetting to wear it, and was probably going to get denied.

The mask had a patch of blue surgical mask fabric that covered almost the entire bridge of the nose as a sort of clamp to hold it in place. It had elastic straps down to a small patch that cover just the nostrils and then another elastic patch that maybe hung off the lip or something.

I’m having trouble remembering exactly but it seems like possibly everyone from both universes maybe had more than two nostrils. This is one of those things that you just kind of don’t remember the details because it is so mundane.

It was all very vivid and probably spawned by some memories from when I looked up my moms house on Google Maps the other day, as there were similar memory feels, and vivid connections between the houses.


Dream: Time Travel to Isol

Had a dream where I was time travelling in my dream, and I got to hand our with my grandmother who IRL died when I was 8. Giant hugs were had. I got to see her as a fearless young woman, and she was testing out some roof slats on a shed before putting on the metal. I explained to her the other times I would dream visit as a kid and such, then showed her a bunch of modern technology. Dream grandmother was modelled after an acquaintance of mine who reminds me of her, and is pretty amazing. Dream prompt was probably connected because my IRL diet drug cancellation was due to slight cancer risk, and my maternal grandmother died of cancer (metastic colon cancer in the brain).

Dream: Time Travel to Isol

Had a dream where I was time travelling in my dream, and I got to hand our with my grandmother who IRL died when I was 8. Giant hugs were had. I got to see her as a fearless young woman, and she was testing out some roof slats on a shed before putting on the metal. I explained to her the other times I would dream visit as a kid and such, then showed her a bunch of modern technology. Dream grandmother was modelled after an acquaintance of mine who reminds me of her, and is pretty amazing. Dream prompt was probably connected because my IRL diet drug cancellation was due to slight cancer risk, and my maternal grandmother died of cancer (metastic colon cancer in the brain).

Three Dinosaur Giraffe Butts, and a shovel

Phrase for 2017-2018 school year is “Three Dinosaur Giraffe Butts”.

The mantra is “Shovel” from grovel from gravel from gratitude.

The shovel head is the size of a spoon, and the handle is 35 feet long, and at a sharp angle. It is designed to move a piece of gravel weighing 18 tons, and about 2cm in diameter.

This is the result of lunch with Khai and Erica.


What is a friend?

One of my buddies just got riffed from his company. I know he’ll be fine. He’s one of those kind of people that just make things work. He’s good with people, and knows how all the parts fit together within a big company. More importantly, he’s good people. You can tell he’s got a big heart.

It got me to thinking about the layers and components of friendship. I might have passed 100k people, met 10k, have 1k as friendly acquaintances. How many people are your active friends, vs inactive friends? What level of friendship and trust do you have with them? Some people just shine, or we feel an attachment towards. Where do celebrities fit in here?

Then you get into the obligation factors. Some, you know want or need help all the time. There’s a distance there, because it’s a hassle. Others, you would help out any time because you know it’s just simple, convenient stuff, or the scales will always balance out. Others, you know would never ask for anything, so if they actually needed something, it would be major, and you’d step right up and help.

Then the time factor. This varies by people, both sides, but sometimes, you want to spend time with people, and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes, it’s to *do* something, and sometimes, it’s to do nothing. Maybe a movie, or video games, or sports, or drinks and cards. Or maybe it’s just being in proximity of someone who’s easy to hang around. One person reads, another person works, another person naps.

And then, Family comes into play. Blood relation is one type of family, but then there’s “non-people”, or chosen family, as well.

Anyway, I’m not going anywhere with this. Just, caffeine, plus recent events got me thinking. By will alone I set my mind in motion.


Kids, Family, Life rambles

The question I ask myself pretty often, obviously not as much in the heat of the moment, but in post-reflection, is “What is best for my kids.” This does not mean “What is best for my wishes for my kids.”

There are all sorts of things I want for my kids, and things I want them to do, or want them to want to do. But that does not really matter.

What do my kids want? How will this affect them in 20 years? Does this have any effect on their future ability to be self sufficient and happy? Did I do anything like this as a kid that I can compare? If they are making a mistake, will it harm them? If I make a mistake in judgement, will it hinder them?

Sometimes, I have to be a little more on alert. Maybe some activity seems risky, yet I cannot properly justify preventing that action. Sometimes, the prevention is unenforceable, or enforcement would take huge resources. In those situations, there are frequent discussions of my concerns, their decision factors, and how they’re doing.

Sometimes, it’s just nothing. They were curious, but after discussion, they realize it’s not worth the effort or risk. Other times, they have to continue forward until they tire of the experience. As long as it’s not something that is unrecoverable (risk of death or incarceration), I feel it still needs to be their decision.

How can they learn to make good decisions if they are not allowed to make them? Seeing decisions taken apart and discussed, and making decisions, are how people learn. If I decide for them, and tell them how it will be, they learn no thinking skills – only memorization.

This ramble came about because I have several sets of friends with kids who have divorced. Some of them have maintained a child-focused mentality. They have been polite, and respectful, even to the point of being friendly. Maybe they don’t hang out all the time like when they were together, but they discuss life beyond “here is the school schedule”, and are willing to help each-other be happy because that helps their kids see happiness as an example.

However, some of the couples are constantly at odds. There is distrust, lack of communication (I plan to do this because I am concerned about this), and lack of coordination and agreement in what needs to happen. Maybe kids are excluded from activity with one parent. Maybe discussions occur with the kids that push their judgement of the other parent onto the kids. Some parents have rights with their kids curtailed because of health or income disparity when it really does not matter. These too teach the kids how to behave. They learn to be manipulative, exclusive, and not how to have a partner in life.

It’s not sad to me the sheer number of divorced parents I know, but it is disappointing in how many are so self-important that they do not even see how their actions are affecting their kids.

It takes a village to rear a child, and that village, when at all possible, should include both biological parents as long as they both love the kid. All parts of the family should be on speaking terms, and step-parents or equivalents have to understand that while they have input, and duties, the bio-parents get to set the rules. Persuade them with logic, but not force/guilt/manipulation.

Everyone must be prepared to compromise their own goals as much as possible. If the gap is still just too great, then someone is not putting their child first, most likely all of the parents.

This is especially important as kids get into their mid-teens, because they will be smarter, more driven, and more manipulative to get what they want. It is very easy for a parent to fall into this trap, or even to use the child’s mindset to self-reinforce. “I want this, and the kid wants it, so it must be right.” is not a valid statement.

Anyway, super rambly. This is about an amalgamation of a whole bunch of people who are having both good and bad times with this whole family thing.

I have no solution. Emotions, both surface and deep-seated ones, are what control us. We rationalize, and explain it all, but our animal brains are what control us most of the time. Sometimes, fixing issues means having a discussion with the part of our minds which feels. Maybe we strike up an agreement. Maybe we don’t.

It’s really difficult, as evidenced by people who stay overweight for decades (MEEEE!), or people who struggle with substance abuse for years, or people who struggle with depression for years. Emotions, affect, feelings, etc rule. You cannot command them in words and rational thought. You can only speak to them in feelings. You can re-train them in what you want to feel.

Maybe if we lived for 200 years, we could sort out all of our internal demons. Until then, whether you are having a good time, or a bad time, I hope all things improve. Keep trying to be better. Review what seems important, and whether you’re on the right track. Be compassionate. When you mess up, and it will happen a whole bunch, do not punish yourself or others. Just try to be better. What can you do to trick yourself into being better. How can you set yourself up so that when you fail, you still succeed?

ramble ramble ramble.

If you got to this part, and read everything in the middle, I’m impressed. This was just stream of thought. Actually, I might be worried for your sanity. Take a break. You’ve earned it.


Kidstuff

Max and Khai decided an XBox-360 was in order. Lots of cheap games. A new 360E was the best option, so Max went that route. He put in $155 (vs $94+SH + Accessories for used, or $156 for refurb). Khai put in $20. I put in $5, plus bought a 320GB drive ($45). No Kinect. Halo 3 was bought for $6 by Max. Our DVD player has gone stale since we set up a media PC, so the XB360 will take over that HDMI port.


Checkpoint / Summary

This was an email to a friend and coworker I haven’t seen in a while, and it seemed like a good overall current-life summary. I’m posting it here so I can find it again in the future.

The kids are a wrapped up in more elaborate game design stuff. Max gets out of the house to visit friends, and Khai does Karate 2x/week. Both still growing, but Max is formally a teen now.

Erica got a job at the Lewisville library. Part time, but it’s sort of a ramp-up to her having regular paychecks (a self-validation thing for her), and getting the kids used to being a little more self sufficient (unpossible). She still does her graphic design stuff about 25 hours per month. She wrote a book called “Secrets in the Ink”. It’s “done”, but she has a final formatting verify before activating the listing on Amazon.

Haven’t lost any weight in a while. Stuck between 260 and 265. Not super worried. Dropping more makes me VERY hungry, which slows me down on the bike. Definitely have continued to improve on riding. It’s been mostly mental, and stats help me with that. Also, it’s a good group socially.

Work-wise, I long for the days of one project at a time consisting only of new-system deployments with 100% access and few complications.

Mentally, I *feel* middle aged this year. I’m so ready to have retirement funded, but that’s so far away. At least it’s on track so far, but I see the next couple decades more as a grind than anything else. You know, that part of a game where everything looks just like the last 10 levels, but with different sparkles and all of the items are renamed.

Biking is the thing that’s different right now. I haven’t figure out “the next thing” yet, but I’ve toyed with the idea of jogging/running *gasp*. Cheaper than getting back in the cockpit.

I think it’s time we work out a company paintball or laser-tag or get-drunk-and-eat-food gathering. You know, for Thanks-July-mas.


Valentine’s Day

I’m not much of a holiday person at all, especially the ones that seem to exist for the sole purpose of keeping retail sales from slumping between the “big” holidays.

But, Erica made me a bunch of neat cards all week. Some are little squares, some are cross-stitched folded-cards, and one is a watercolor BMO valentine from Etsy.

So, the best I could do was make a simple card with a beautiful but web-stolen graphic of hearts in a tree of life on the front, and a few simple words inside:

Dearest Erica,
You are so good to me.
I appreciate all of the daily things.
I appreciate your love, tolerance, and friendship.
I don't want you to be just my valentine.
Please get old with me.
We can count wrinkles and ailments together.

Love Always,
Josh Posh Squash

Also, I offered to pay for a Groupon for house cleaning.
Her life-long goal is to have a housekeepr.
I don’t really have the $$ to pay a full time keeper,
but from time to time, as a gift — I can do that.

But not me. I’m personally lazy.
I’ll work on other things for money, and
trade that money to pay someone else to clean.