Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.

11/27/2009

FotoSketcher

Filed under: Art,Fun,Ooo, shiny...,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:41 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

More photography add-on software.

Now, as regular readers know, I loves me some digital photography.  What not everyone may realize, however, is that, in spite of being a professional geek, I have disturbingly weak photo-editing software skills.  It is my greatest shame.  On the other hand, it’s also one of the ways I’ve sharpened my photography since getting my camera.  I generally haven’t edited any shots I toss up on the web, so any “correction” has been “in camera”, with settings and lighting, not post work.  But, I do sincerely want to change that.

Now, this software may not improve my photographs, but, I suspect, that Fotosketcher will make many of them more interesting.  This FREE software will take your digital photos and make them into drawings or other kinds of line art.  It will convert them to black and white or leave just part of them colorized.  Simpler than Photoshop, though certainly less versatile, but also a whole lot cheaper.  Worth taking a look at, even if you’re as bad a photographer as me!

11/26/2009

So, This Was Thanksgiving…

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Bavarian Death Cake of Love,By Bread Alone,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Pig which is late at night or 11:36 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

So, another Thanksgiving has come and almost gone.

Another holiday.  Another celebration, though not what I’d planned, not what I’d expected.  Good, though.  Better.
Today, instead of the big Thanksgiving dinner I’d been imagining all year long, I had a much quieter, more intimate dinner.  It was better, really.  Tomorrow, I’ll have my big celebration.  Not with the family I was born into, but the family I’ve chosen, the family that I’ve gathered and that has chosen to gather around me.  Today, though, was a different celebration all together.  Rather than distract myself from a bitter anniversary with lots to do and a big crowd, filled with noise, I spent the afternoon and evening with three very dear people.  A friend who saw me through the confirmation of my diagnosis with cancer three years ago.  Who stayed with me when I was checked into the hospital unexpectedly, making sure I was settled, forever earning her a soft spot in my mother’s heart.  And her son, a young man I don’t know too well, but who’s quite something in his own right.  And another friend, who is hard to pin down.  One of the things I enjoy about her, actually, is that just when you think you have her figured out, she reveals some new facet, some new twist that shows you really haven’t figured her out at all.  She’s the riddle to which there is no answer.  And, surely, my readers know by now just how much I love those virtually impossible to solve puzzles, especially when they come in human form.

As always seems to happen during events like this, someone shares a secret with me.  Something intimate and private and not known to the greater mass of people.  I don’t know if it was the tryptophan or sugar-high of the Goode Company pecan pie or some weird vibe I give off, but, well, there it is.  And, outside of mentioning how amazed I am that such a diverse variety of people find me worthy of being trusted with such very intimate details of their lives, I do my best to keep those personal secrets.  In truth, I am honored to be trusted so, since I know so very well how I was not always so trustworthy.  It’s hard for me to remember that these people never knew me in that life, that they have only known me as I am today, not how I was when I was so deeply and painfully enmeshed with my ex-wife and that life we led together.

I’m proud of the fact that I made it through the entire day with out telling the story.  The story of how she left the Sunday before Thanksgiving.  How we’d had a discussion, a somewhat one-sided discussion, about how I knew she’d been cheating on me for months.  I stated it as a fact I knew, though, in truth, I only had circumstantial evidence and a feeling.  Of course, that doesn’t change the fact that I was right.
So, while I was in the shower, without any additional warning, she gathered up her daughter and a couple of suitcases, jumped into the only working car we had and left.  There was no note, no voice-mail.  I had to call her.  Since she didn’t answer her cell-phone, I had to call her parent’s house to find out where she was and find out what was really happening.  I knew, of course, but it was as if my mind refused to understand it, refused to take it all in.  I imagine it was a kind of shock, like what amputees feel when they wake up and find a limb has gone missing.
A week later, she was in Phoenix, Arizona with her lover, who’s become her fourth husband.  And, I’d gotten into her e-mail, where I read everything they’d been e-mailing back and forth for six months or more.  I read every last detail of what she’d told him about me.  Every lie and half-truth, spun to serve her particular purpose.  Worse still was seeing every intimate detail I’d ever shared with her, every embarrassing secret, every fear, every vulnerability vomited out and mocked to paint me as a particular sort of person, to color me through a very much not-rose-tinted lens as something small, dark and twisted.  Something I very much feared I really was and, in my worst moments, believe I still am or can become.

But, today, I was reminded that I am not that man.  Neither the man I was nor the man she tried to make me.  To be honest, I’m not entirely sure who or what I am today, this year, this moment, but I most certainly know what I am not.  I am not the man who was an empty, hollow shell when she left.  Nor am I the fool who was suicidal at the thought that of being left and getting a divorce.  Perhaps most importantly, I am not the man who was ready to stay married to a woman who obviously had grown to hate him nor am I the man who hated himself so much that he felt drawn to someone who never loved him and only wanted, well, wanted something from him.
No, today, people who didn’t even know me five years ago embraced me as part of the family that they chose to be with on this holiday.  They reminded me that I do have integrity and that I am worthy of trust.  That I’m safe.  Safe enough to be truly intimate with in the most important way possible.

So, this was Thanksgiving.  And, this year, though the anniversary that I can’t seem to escape hit me harder this year than it has in several years, I was reminded just how much I have to be thankful for today.
I am thankful for my family, both the one I was born into and the one that has chosen each other.  I am thankful to be employed and reasonably solvent.  I’m thankful that I have a far deeper spirituality today than I did even five years ago.  I’m thankful that I have both the inspiration and means to be artistic, in my way, and have a hobby that I can pursue with as much relish and intensity as I care to put into it.  Most of all, and this has not always been true, I am thankful this year to simply be alive.

Tomorrow, I will have an unknown number of people over throughout the afternoon and evening, for a bit of fellowship and food.  Even though my house is not quite in the shape I’d like it before having people over, I still look forward to seeing everyone who makes it by, for however long they can be here.  I look forward to the celebration of who we are and our friendships.  Though I often feel very alone this time of year, being separated from my biological family and not in a relationship, tomorrow I will celebrate the amazing number and variety of friends who share my life today.  My life looks very different today than I expected it to, and, more importantly, than it did five years ago, but it’s good life, filled with good people, each of whom I treasure for who they are.

So, I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving this year.  I know I did, and I know why I’m thankful.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail."

11/23/2009

Ich Hab Keine Zeit!

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Horse which is around lunchtime or 12:04 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

I have no time!

That’s what that German phrase means.  It’s also very true of me the past couple weeks.  I don’t have time.  Or, at least, not enough time.

First, I apologize, dear readers, for not posting more regularly.  As previously mentioned, I’ve been busy.  Two weeks ago, my parents were in town from Chicago, so I was all about spending quality time with them.  When I get a couple minutes to rub together, I’ll get the pictures processed from our trip to the San Jacinto Monument.  A very tourist thing to do, but cool, too, because the San Jacinto Monument was part of the symbol for my Dad’s military unit when he was in the Army back during the Korean War.  He was drafted and ended up in an activated reserve unit out of Houston.  Phone company guys, mostly, who were in a Combat Engineers unit.  So, it was sort of cool to take Mom and Dad to see this local icon which figured so prominently in his past.  He said he’d always meant to see it, but he never figured it would take 58 years to get here.  Maybe it’s never too late, eh?

Also, I’ve been trying to get ready to have people over the day after Thanksgiving.  Usually, I do something the day of Thanksgiving and had hoped to start a new tradition of hosting a Lost and Wandering Thanksgiving at my house.  (Gee that sort of sounds like the saddest Charlie Brown Speical ever, doesn’t it?)  But, due to unforseen circumstances, that’s been pushed back a day and been slightly transformed into a Black Friday Leftovers celebration.  It’ll be fun, though different.  And, yes, I am headed somewhere for Thanksgiving Day, which I’m very much looking forward to doing.  And, this year, I’ll send out invitations earlier.  Like January.

But, also, dear readers, I’ve hit another slump.
Yesterday, the Sunday before Thanksgiving, is an anniversary, of sorts, for me.  An anniversary that I wish I could forget.  It makes me question who I am and why I am.  How I got here both physically and metaphorically.  Some years it hits harder than others, and this year, much to my surprise, it hit harder than I was expecting.  Maybe it was seeing Mom and Dad and realizing that they may not be around too many more years.  Dad’s 80 and Mom’s not too far behind.  They act like people ten years younger, but, the fact is, time catches us all and is creeping up on some of us faster than others.
Some of it is just that my life doesn’t look like I thought it should at this point.  No wife, no kids, a stalled career that’s become just a job I’m good at doing.  I’m thankful, though, that I have the luxury of my existential pain.  I’m relatively healthy.  I’m losing weight and trimming down.  I have a hobby to obsess over and a surprising number of people who love me.  Outside of the lingering medical debt thanks to surviving cancer and wrestling with a little high blood pressure still, things are going better than I have any right to expect.  Still, I feel the lack.

And, all those things, along with a little dog who likes to bust out windows early in the morning, have left me with little time or inspiration to write.  Oh, make no mistake, dear readers, there’s plenty to write about, just a severe lack of motivation and focus to do so.

So, at least you’ve gotten an update.  Now you all know I’m not dead, or run off with the circus, or abducted by aliens.  Just busy and suffering from a bout of Weltschmerz, or, as John D. MacDonald had, I believe, Travis McGee say, “homesickness for a place I’ve never been”.
Maybe it’s just the melancholy German in me that longs for a kind of fantasy life that I never managed to realize.  Who knows?  All I know is that I feel empty, and lonely, and restless, like I do most years about this time, and it makes it hard to write well and honestly and true and not be depressing.  So I haven’t been.
Maybe I’ll go hide behind my camera for a bit longer after all.

More will come.
Eventually.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced."
   --James Baldwin

11/20/2009

Photo Enlarger

Filed under: Art,Fun,Ooo, shiny...,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:37 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Enlarging photographs is harder than it seems.

No, seriously, getting a section of a digital picture enlarged without introducing all sorts of photographic “noise” is far, far more difficult than you might suppose.  When zooming in, the edges get jagged far more quickly than people realize, even when you’re using a fancy-dancy Canon 5D Mark II and shooting in RAW mode.  (No, I don’t have one either, but I so, so am saving my nickels and dimes to get one!)  So, what is a creative photographer to do?  Simple, use SmillaEnlarger, free, opensource software available on Source Forge.

11/13/2009

Templar Friday

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,News and Current Events,Personal,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:23 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Or, as you commonly know it, Friday the Thirteenth.

I haven’t mentioned this more than once or twice this year, so, enjoy a history lesson, of sorts, while I’m out and about.
Most people in the Western World think of this day as unlucky, though I never really have. For years I wondered why people were so funny and superstitious about Friday the Thirteenth. I always thought it was because Judas was the Thirteenth Apostle or something like that. No, according to this article on GlobalPsychics.com, it has to do with the plot to suppress the Knights Templar. Hey, stop laughing! That’s what it says!! And, I quote:

The modern basis for the Friday the 13th superstition stems from Friday October the 13th, 1307. On this date, the Pope of the church in Rome in Conjunction with the King of France, carried out a secret death warrant against “the Knights Templar”. The Templars were terminated as heretics, never again to hold the power that they had held for so long. There Grand Master, Jacques DeMolay, was arrested and before he was killed, was tortured and crucified. A Black Friday indeed!

So, there you have it, Friday the Thirteenth is a global conspiracy, though, for a nice twist, it’s not the Knights Templar or Freemasons who are behind it! Though, I do suppose they are indirectly involved. Personally, I usually have better luck on Friday the Thirteenth, but, then, I always have been a little out of step with the world. Oh, and here’s a link to some alternate ideas why everyone else is afraid of Friday the Thirteenth.

Personally, I’m just enjoying having my parents in town, so, for me, there’s nothing bad about this particular Friday the Thirteenth.

Enjoy it.

11/10/2009

Brief Joe McNally Seminar Update

Filed under: Art,Fun,Life Goals,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Pig which is in the late evening or 10:40 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

So, I may have mentioned once or twice that I was going to take a photography seminar this past weekend.

To say that two days with Joe McNally, 25+ year veteran of Life, National Geographic, Time and others, learning about flash and portrature was fantastic is an understatement.  I don’t quite know what I was expecting, but I figured that it was mostly going to be over my head.  Still, at a mere $150 for two days worth of access to a brilliant photographer like Joe McNally, anything I might possibly pick up would be worth the money.  I’m so, so glad I took that attitude and just went in with as open a mind as possible, ready to soak up whatever I could.  I learned so much in those two days that I think my brain is going to melt and ooze out my ears.

First of all, I was completely expecting to roll out of that class with a wish list that was filled with all kinds of expensive “big” studio flash and portable power packs.  I was anticipating a list of equipment that ran into the thousands of dollars.  Instead, I was shown what tiny, hot-shoe flashes can do.  I listened to a pro talk at great length about how much we can get out of shaping the light that comes out of many different light sources, but especially how to use these little “pocket” flashes to get big effects.  It was, to say the least, an eye-opener.  It completely changed how I think about light and flash and portraiture.

Secondly, I’ve learned to use my camera in a totally different way.
I now sight with my left eye and use a different stance, which I now think of as the Joe McNally Hold, or the McNally Stance.  It lets me stabilize the camera better, keeping it tight in against my left shoulder and use what turns out to be my strong eye.  For years I’ve known that my left eye was stronger due to my slightly varied perscription, but I’d always forced myself to use my right eye, which I’d thought of as my dominant eye.
I also had gotten used to shooting in full manual mode, but now I’m changing to Aperture Priority mode as my “default”.  Why?  Beacause, as Joe said, using a camera in full manual mode, is “… like driving a Ferrari to church.”  That digital camera is a very sophisticated bit of electronics and not taking advantage of all that built-in smarts is, well, just a waste.  So, now, I’m trying to take full advantage of those smarts for a change.  My learning curve oof photography just got knocked down a peg or two, but I’m okay with that.  I’m hoping that it will result in some better pictures, eventually.

And, finally, based on what I saw this past weekend, the secret to great photography, somehow, is gaffer’s tape.  Man, they used that stuff for everything!

Incidentally, you can see some of the photos I took at the seminar on my Flickr page; Joe McNally Seminar.

If I get time, I may write some more about what I learned at this fantastic seminar.  It’s a little overwelming at times to consider all the “stuff” he poured into our heads.
Again, it was fantastic!

11/6/2009

Finding the GoldenHour

Filed under: Art,Fun,Ooo, shiny...,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:36 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Do you know what the Golden Hour is?

No, it’s not the hour after sex.
And, actually, it’s two hours.  The so-called Golden Hour is the hour right at sunrise and sunset when the light is “perfect” for photography.  It’s when the light is even and indirect and the most flattering.  In other words, it’s just when you want to take beautiful, wonderful pictures of your favorite lover so as to remember them perfectly forever.
But, as lovely as that is, I’m a geek, so I was more excited about the software tool/webapp that helps you find the Golden Hour in your location, called, oddly enough, The Golden Hour Calculator.

So, there it is, the best light, especially for outdoor photography, where ever you happen to be in the world.  Go figure out your local Golden Hour and then get your camera to work!

11/5/2009

All My Exes Have Left Texas

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Bavarian Death Cake of Love,By Bread Alone,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:47 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

It sounds corny, like a line from a Country song, but it’s true.

If I were a superstitious man, I’d be a little worried about the fact that my last two relationships have driven women from the state.  Thankfully, I’m not.  Actually, in a way, it’s convenient.  After all, I never have to worry about accidentally bumping into one of them while I’m out and about.  That’s comforting, in a strange way.
But, I was more or less friendly with the most recent one after the breakup.  Obviously, I’m not talking about the Queen of the Damned here.  And, no, it’s not that I miss the home-made, from scratch, mind you, apple pie.  Oh, I do miss it, but that’s not the point!  With that one, I’d sort of hoped I could finally have one ex-girlfriend that I actually was on speaking terms with and not some kind of blood feud.  (And, yes, I was talking about the Queen of the Damned there, in case she’s reading this.)

So, if you’re reading this, sweet, adorable, Super-Fancy-Dog-Cookie-Business-Owner-Girl-Who-Baked-Me-That-Wonderful-Apple-Pie, know that when I sent that friend request on Facebook, it wasn’t with the hope of a booty-call.  No, it wasn’t even in hopes of getting an other delicious pie out of you.  Rather, it was about having one person who had been in a relationship with me that didn’t spit and curse me under her breath when she heard my name now that it’s over.  It was about a little hope for me as a human-being, that maybe, just maybe, someone, somewhere has a fond memory or two of me.
(Okay, it also may have been a little about the pie.  But, c’mon, that was fantastic pie and it had stars and big bits of raw sugar all over the top of it!)

And, if any of my other exes find me through this blog post, just assume I miss you terribly, too, and I’d send you a friend request on Facebook if I knew you were there.
You can trust me on that.
Honest.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"When you handle yourself, use your head; when you handle other, use your heart."
   --Donna Reed

11/3/2009

Review: Paranormal Activity

Filed under: Fun,Movies,Review — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:34 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous


ParanormalActivities

Originally uploaded by Network Geek

I saw Paranormal Activity Friday.

So, you might have noticed that I haven’t reviewed many movies in the past couple weeks. Well, I’ve been busy. Stop laughing!
Anyway, I wanted to hit a movie and even though it’s not my kind of film normally, a friend convinced me to go see Paranormal Activity. Now, I didn’t find it scary. That’s not why I don’t generally care for these kinds of movies. No, rather, it’s because I’m generally two or three steps ahead in the plot. So, when most people are getting scared, I’m nodding, or adjusting my internal predictions of how things are going to go. And, yes, I do keep that all inside so that I’m not ruining the movie for anyone else with me. I’m not rude. But, I’m also not often wrong when it comes to the plots of movies like this.

I will say this, I actually liked this film.
I liked that it was made on a shoestring budget and still had some pretty decent effects that the actors sold really well. I liked the little tricks they did by filming with a single camera from the point of view of footage recorded by the participants in the film. Sure, it limited them in both scope and certain aspects of cinematography, but as a concept it worked well, especially in this particular scenario.
The basic plot is simple; a couple are being “haunted” and they try to get to the bottom of it with a video camera. As it turns out, she is the one being haunted, not the house or land. The “ghost” follows her and becomes more and more aggressive as she and her fiance try to capture it on film and then also try to enlist a medium to get rid of it. Those attempts fail, incidentally, but that’s only early on in the film. After that, things get much, much worse.

Now, as per usual, I won’t give away too much of the plot here, but eventually we do see a ouija board, sleep walking, and footprints made by an invisible creature. Not to mention all the strange sounds and odd, little camera effects that go on. The director does a fantastic job building up the suspense until the final confrontation with the angry spirit.
There were, for me, few surprises. All I can say is go see the movie and pay close attention to all the hints and you’ll see most of this coming, too. But, I promise you’ll still get a surprise at the end, just like I did.

If you like scary movies, or even if you’re just not scared by them and want to check one out, hit this movie. This really is the sleeper hit of the season. It’s not gory and really not overly violent, though there is violence in the film. It does drag a little in the early stages, but once the momentum starts to build, it just keeps building until things explode!.
Well worth seeing before it gets squeezed out of the theaters by the more “feel good” holiday films. Paranormal Activity is certainly one of the best films of the year.
Go see it!

11/1/2009

Creative Focus

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Life, the Universe, and Everything,NaNoWriMo,News and Current Events,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dragon which is in the early morning or 9:39 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

I have some focus problems.

Forgive me, dear readers, I know it’s been weeks since I’ve had a decent week of real news, commentary or updates.  It’s the season.  Fall always slows me down and throws me off balance.  October and November are always crazy, hectic, chaotic months for me.  Set aside the fact that everything seems to be family oriented, which serves as a reminder that it was August of 2005 when my divorce was final, and the Sunday before Thanksgiving in 2004 when The Queen of the Damned hopped on her broomstick and flew off cackling, leaving me quite effectively without family right before the holidays.

No, set that aside, because, clearly, it doesn’t effect me at all.
Forget, too, that it was the Fall of 2006 when I started coming down with pneumonia that turned into a football sized tumor.  Or that it was August of 2007 when I finished chemotherapy and looked, for all intents and purposes, like a walking corpse, a living ghost.
Because, as much as I’d like to blame the slump on all that, it really has little to do with it.  What’s more true is that I get endlessly, uselessly busy in October, getting ready for the social obligations of November.  Oddly, December has far fewer social obligations than November and I look forward to the relative peace of December, even without snow, and the joy of Christmas, the rebirth of light into the world.

Sadly, I’ve done far too little so far to prepare for November’s fun and games, and I’ve been a little paralyzed with the Herculean task of clearing the clutter in my house.  That, along with an impending visit from my parents, and my usual Thanksgiving party, which is being a little displaced this year, is why I’m not even going to pretend to try my hand at NaNoWriMo this year.  It’s also partly why I’ve been so long between any real updates.
I have been working quite a bit the last two weeks, often working late, sometimes far too late, to try and get things accomplished at work.  Also, I’ve been working out.  Yes, I know, I was doing that before, some, but now I’m doing it more.  Not only in the morning, but, when I can manage it, a second, lighter, workout in the evening.  I’ve been using those iPhone apps I reviewed not too long ago, FoodScan and DailyBurn, to track my inputs and outputs and discovered that I hadn’t been working enough to burn off breakfast!  So, I stepped it up a bit.  I think the results are showing, too.  I’ve dropped a little over 10 pounds in two months, which seems pretty sustainable to me.  More importantly, I feel better physically and, I think, look better, too.
But, that takes time, dear readers, and, while the extra exercise has been helping me sleep, it’s also been putting me out earlier, which means less writing time!

But, it’s not all grim!
I’ve also been busy because I’ve been reading more.  Some fiction, but a little bit more non-fiction, like The Dip and Think And Grow Rich.  I’ve also started to work my way through the backlog of photography books I’ve been accumulating.  Most recently, I’ve been reading The Moment It Clicks by Joe McNally, and I’ll read his other book on photography, The Hot Shoe Diaries, next in my non-fiction queue.  (Who knew that the advice of not bothering to light your subject’s feet would produce a visibly better photo for me?)  Also, I got these two books because this coming weekend, November 7th and 8th, I have signed up for a two-day lighting and portraiture seminar taught by Mr. McNally.  And, to say that I am looking forward to it is beyond understatement.  I recognize that the only way to improve my photography is to take some kind of instruction, and, of course, get out shooting more, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to work on those meager skills.  The class shouldn’t be more than 200 people, so I’m not sure how “hands on” this will be, but, from everything I’ve heard, McNally is a fantastic teacher, so I’m sure I’ll learn something that makes the more than reasonable $150 fee money well spent.  After all, just reading a few pages of The Moment It Clicks has visibly improved my self-portraits, I think.

It may be that I’ve been pouring all my creative energy out either via photography or solving problems at work, but I sure don’t feel like I’ve had anything left to write at all, much less well.  Or, it may be that I’ve just gotten out of the habit of writing every chance I get and not worrying about the quality of the work.
In any case, you’ve just gotten a bit of an update on what I’ve been up to lately, so, I guess, that’s good enough.
For now.


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