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I love fog and weather in general. Though I will say that it's a bit odd that it's 3:30-4 PM and we're getting very thick fog rolling in here at work. Jon likes to talk about fog being a threshold. Traveling through fog is symbolic of a new reality or a new way of being. I've been having a bit of a hard day waiting to hear back from one of the teams here at work at the possibility of working for them from MN.

Maybe the fog is a good sign.
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So I haven't updated in a while. And this isn't going to be long, but it's certainly interesting for me.

I've gone back to school with the intention of getting my BS in Computer Engineering. Just started last week. In a whirlwind of calls and e-mails everything was sorted out in a surprisingly short time. It's a 2 year 8 month process that I'm doin' 1/2 time so I should be wrapping up my degree about the time thumbcat is wrapping up her internships after she graduates with her DVM.

I'm starting to work on a patent submission for some of the methodology work that I've been refining over the last few years. This is looking like it will be 3 different patents to cover the different aspects of everything we've learned about it over the last couple years. I'm excited. This may lead to writing a book about the process and what we learned while executing it. While it's not as exciting as those who are just entering the NANOWRIMO craziness, I'm looking forward to putting my ideas out in the world at a greater level. It's taking a risk and putting myself out in a way that I never really thought was possible or realistic before. Evidence of selling myself short.

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Current Rumblings: hopeful hopeful
Current Noise: Metallica - OOOLLLLLD Metallica

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This is more for my own notes than anything else. Some of my other notes, I'll be transcribing here as well.

I lead by example in truth and integrity.

What am I doing today to live that statement?
What am I doing today to be one step healthier?

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Current Rumblings: productive productive
Current Noise: DI.FM

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Another problem with my laptop was that there was some bad ram. It wasn't something too severe that it would make the machine unusable, but it was annoying. Yesterday, my new ram came in and the machine now works even more like a dream. Last night on Skype with thumbcat meant no more video weirdness. I could have Quicken and/or Firefox running at the same time and not worry about that it may have issues with Skype.

YAY!

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Current Rumblings: busy busy

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Just finished that last major step of installing Windows 7 x64 on my laptop. I have OS, NIS, Skype, Quicken, Ventrilo, WoW (This really wasn't an install as much as just ensuring it still worked since it's on an external HD.), Office, Visual Studio, Perforce, Firefox, etc...

There are always additional things that I have to still add, but getting Office installed was the last major hurdle, so I'm back up to running at 95% but with the new OS. Win7 is SOOO much nicer than Vista, it's really quite amazing. The other nifty thing is that I can take advantage of the x64 processor that neither the original OS nor the XP image that I was using could really do. So that helps a bit on performance and when I get the RAM replaced, will be able to take it to that 4GB+256MB video total and properly address all of is.

An interesting side-benefit is that even though I was running XP, the on-disk footprint of this Win7 image is smaller than the XP footprint. I'm guessing it's because of all the left-overs from countless MSFT patches and hot-fixes, so I don't really expect that to last.

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Current Rumblings: amused amused

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We're now Minnesotan homeowners. Never mind that we can't move till the end of July. We own a home. I haven't been too excited until now.

Now I'm all sorts of giddy.

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Current Location: work
Current Rumblings: ecstatic ecstatic
Current Noise: Metallica - One

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We have recently gotten a couple 3+ week old male kittens. They were dropped off over the weekend at the Vet clinic where thumbcat. works. They need a home. They are both healthy and energetic. One is black and white (Moose) and the other is grey and white (Pig). Pig was named first because he makes little snorting noises when he's playing and digging around. Moose was well, just needed a good name with character. They're very cute. Please get the word out if you, or someone you know may want one. Just look behind the cut!

Very cute!Collapse )

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Current Rumblings: productive productive

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Current Rumblings: aggravated aggravated

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Who:
We welcome to any initated men (MKP) and women (Women Within/HER). We welcome senior men and women to come even if it is to visit and help build this new container.

Where:
Home of
Alex Bender (Desert Dragon)
Donna Cook (Mother Wolf)
Jon King (Enduring Stag)

When:
Thursdays
7:30pm - 10pm (Door opens 15 mins prior)
First session 03/19/2009

Why:
To have a safe container to challenge both Men and Women to do their work.

Logistics:
We have cats. We will have them sequestered during group, but for those with allergies, please be aware and take care of yourself.

Contact:
Alex Bender
shazear@hotmail.com

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions and location information, and forward this to any/all interested individuals. I know the reach of this may be far shorter than those who may be interested.

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Current Rumblings: content content

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  1. Studied classical ballet for 10 years with enough skill to seriously consider it as a career choice.
  2. If I had taken that road, I'd also be working on my degree in some Physics or Space related field.
  3. At one time, I was training for and considering competitive cycling.
  4. At one time, I considered being a graphic artist. Even made my logo - my default LJ Icon.
  5. I wouldn't exchange my current life for any of the possible previous "what ifs."
  6. I am a sucker for cats. (Ok any cute furry thing really.)
  7. I have very narrow feet: 10.5-11 A sized shoes
  8. At one time, I had a sexual relationship (of some sort) with up to 4 different women, with full disclosure.
  9. I am a first generation American on my father's side.
  10. There is something known as the "Bender Estate."
  11. I'm generally happy when a computer "blue screens."
  12. thumbcat and I have the same length inseam.
  13. I grew up w/o any of the 'standard' boy's toys: army men, toy guns or swords, etc. (anything my mom considered violent)
  14. Everyone in my direct and extended blood family is allergic to animals (fur/feathers).
  15. I was too until I decided to not be allergic any more and by the end of puberty wasn't.
  16. I asked thumbcat out when we were both 18-19ish and her response was "Ew, no."
  17. I used to watch Fight Club every other day while getting ready for work. I did this for about 3-4 months (maybe longer).
  18. thumbcat's singing always puts a smile on my face.
  19. I have written software for fun, in my spare time, and that code has been used by people other than myself and my immediate family.
  20. At one type I worked at the World Headquarters for Spinning (Indoor cycling). For the closing of the site, a 12-hour ultra endurance ride was planned. My training for the event turned into pulling an all-nighter getting the place setup, and still riding for 3 hours.
  21. I don't remember a time when there wasn't a computer in the house. In 1st grade, I was already learning how to use a word processor. (Word Star on my dad's IBM PC)
  22. When I was dancing, I was burning 10,000+ calories per-day. It would take me 3+ hours to eat dinner. Dinner was often as much spaghetti w/ meat sauce as I now use to feed myself, thumbcat, and xenoterra, and still have left-overs.
  23. At one time I had less than 2% body-fat. During this same time, I had the strongest lower-body strength in my high-school class.
  24. I have a very poor sense of smell. At one time, I didn't have any.
  25. At one time I ran the 2nd largest Vampire/Werewolf/etc (World of Darkness) LARP in Los Angeles, with over 120 members. (Range of characters: Camarilla, Sabbat, Anarch, Garou, Bastet, Corax, Mage, FBI SAD)

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Current Rumblings: blank blank

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Y'know what I love?
Setting up automation to run over the weekend and coming in on Monday and finding that my test machine is unresponsive. "OOOh," I think, "Looks like we found something here." So what if I can't break in w/ the debugger. Must've forgot to get it setup. I'll just re-boot and re-set w/ the debugger setup so I can catch it next time.

Y'know what I hate?
When the machine doesn't want to come back up. Staying powered on for only a second or two before going back down. Never even getting to POST. So I take the chasis case off and look as it sounds like maybe there's some dust or paper or something caught in a fan. A couple more pokes w/ the power and POP!

Oh sad... that wasn't dust... that was the powersupply arcing across a short. No more test machine for me.

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Current Rumblings: sad sad

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My Political Views
I am a right social libertarian
Right: 3.83, Libertarian: 3.57

Political Spectrum Quiz
My Foreign Policy Views
Score: 2.29

Political Spectrum Quiz
My Culture War Stance
Score: -3.88

Political Spectrum Quiz

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Current Rumblings: relieved relieved

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I realized today while medicating Levi that I am very attached to all the mammalian animals in the house. Can't say that I'm very attached to the fish, but I look to the cats both for better and worse as well as the rats and know that I care about them. That despite the troubles that one or many of them may cause, I would miss them deeply when they are gone, just like I miss Jacob. Even as he was a dick to the other cats, he'd curl up with me in bed when it came time to go to sleep. Yes, he was one of the first ones awake in the morning to remind me that it was time to feed them, but this was all part of his charm to me. As thumbcat likes to say, I have a soft spot for the hard cases. Just look at my 2 cats: Honey (see icon) who is cute and fluffy, but is very nearly the Omega cat in the house. She's needy and drooly, and pokey and doesn't really know how to settle down. Then there's Amy who is a hellion. She doesn't like to be touched or held, and is only now (after like 6+ years) coming around to be pet by me, or sit by me, and she doesn't like anyone else.

The rats, while not quite as engaging as the cats, since they have to stay in the rat-condo, are also very much a boon in my life. Just looking at them and petting them through the bars, or even taking Levi out for meds makes me happy. Yes, they can be a pain, just like anything else, but I'm like Thumbcat brought them home. I didn't know what I was missing.

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Current Rumblings: busy busy

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Something has happened to Levi. We wake up one morning and Levi really isn't doing so well. I don't get the impression he's dead, but I can't tell for sure. But in response, someone give me Mo and says that I have to euthanise (sp?) him. That I'm the only one that can and I MUST do it. I look at this person in horror. It's a faceless person. Female, but not Donna. Donna is off to one side soothing Levi, holding him close to her chest. There's something about we have too many animals and now that one has fallen, might as well prune down to just a few now. I look around, and find a list that has other animals on the "chopping block": Honey, Amy, Jacob. This is when I woke up.
Thoughts:
1) It's rare that I remember dreaming, let alone remember what the dream was.
2) It's been a rough weekend for me dealing with the decreasing count of animals in the house. Having Jacob go away was much harder on me than I expected. And then yesterday, Donna was saying that Levi wasn't feeling well and may need to go to the vet.

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Current Rumblings: busy busy

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I just created a twitter acct.
just to follow Questionable Content.

Not the comic, I follow that via LJ just fine.

just the fictional characters that the creator/writer created twitters for.

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Current Rumblings: giggly giggly

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For some on my FL, this may be nothing note-worthy, however, for me, this is pretty significant. I haven't spent any time reading for pleasure in many many years. Reading Harry Potter is the only exception to this reading drought. This reading was a bit more like exercising than just reading for pleasure, with long bouts of not actually picking up the book at all. But last night, I finally finished reading Dragon Wing by Weis & Hickman. It's the 1st book in the Death Gate Cycle. Something that Donna has mentioned I should read for quite some time. I'm not going to put any goals around the reading as it is supposed to be for pleasure, but we'll see how I do at finishing the Death Gate series.

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Current Rumblings: accomplished accomplished

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This past weekend was my 2nd opportunity to staff MKP's New Warrior Training Adventure. I've talked about it quite a bit with those around me who are either directly or indirectly involved, so I'm not sure where to start on this post. Well, first off, my sponsor was also staffing, as well as xenoterra attended as a participant. He now can understand a bit better the language thumbcat and I use when we talk about things.

My experience for this training was different than the previous NWTA as well as staffing the H.E.R. Weekend. As a rookie of both those staffings, much of my time was spent just taking in how everything worked and what it means to be a staff. It's just like the first time in any new situation. I'm just there to get my feet under me and serve with the rest of staff to the best of my ability without totally over-extending myself. My exposure to the participants, and how I worked with them provided me a certain connection. Certainly with the HER weekend, I'm experiencing the process for the first time, just like the participants. That connection with the participants was not as strong this time around, however, I felt a very strong connection to the rest of staff. In fact, there were a surprising number of men who were initiated on my rookie staffing, who came back to staff their rookie weekend this trip. It was very good to see them and watch how some of them have grown even over this short period of time.

I look forward to future staffings, be they HER weekends that I can staff with Thumbcat to help women, or NWTA where I can help men heal those wounds and become more whole individuals. I look forward to getting involved with different aspects of the community. I know for those who are on my FL, not all of them will be drawn to participate in these kinds of weekends, but some will. I encourage anyone who even may be thinking about it, to give it a shot. I know I have found the experiences very fulfilling.

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Current Rumblings: cheerful cheerful
Current Noise: Master of Puppets - Metallica

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xenoterra is going on this weekend leaving on Friday. I will be staffing, leaving on Thursday. That means thumbcat will be home fending for herself. This note is for our mutual friends so that you know she may be calling to pester you. Hell, you could even call her, though she may just hide in the house working on homework. I doubt she'll spend all of her time doing that, since she'll want to get out at some point.

See ya when we get back.

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Current Rumblings: excited excited

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[QUOTE]
So..... why do you do it? Why drive so far, give so much, work so hard, play even harder.... why this venue, why THIS character? Why these people? And I don't mean "cuz it's fun" answers.
[/QUOTE]

Stew and some of the others know that I can go on for a while, so I'll try to keep this one short.

Over the last year, I've had to think a bit more about this than I might have in the past. I've come and gone from the Faire scene a few times over the 16 years since I started participating. I started in Strapwell, then to Antares, a year with O'Neill and finally, I'm on the doorstep of DHF. When I left Corona a few years back, I thought I was done with Faire. It was getting in the way of my career and at the time, I was having hard enough time just trying to keep work and family balanced. Adding Faire into the mix just made doing basic life tasks next to impossible. This was the first year for people like Kat Koziar and Miles, and my last. It was also the hardest year for me to walk away. After a year away from Faire completely, Donna Cook and Jon King convinced me to participate at the first year of Southern at Santa Fe Dam with O'Neill, thinking that it was Southern Faire and that atmosphere that I was missing. That the military of Southern, and 3+ parades a day was what could get me re-interested in doing faire again. So with a newly updated kit and a musket that would finally get regular use, I trudged through that year at Southern feeling even more burnt out than before.

That gives a bit of history and context for those who might not know me as well so that I may answer the questions provided.

Why Corona?
Because I've done both and Corona feels more like home. I stepped on the site with Stew and Frog those 10+ years ago and saw what it could become, and nothing else compares to having that kind of history and memory. After leaving Southern Faire, the visits never sparked my interest and what few ties I have left, are not nearly interesting enough to draw me back.

Why German?
Because I want to be in a military guild. I left Antares in part because the military section was falling apart, and I felt my efforts were ineffective. I went to the "Army of O'Neill" thinking that with a name like that, it's gotta be military enough for me. I was wrong. They were Irish first. So there was only one last place that I knew I could be military and do faire: DHF. I love the military and I love the look of the Germans. (I happen to like my look in my Irish too, but what the hey.)

Why DHF?
Well, I saw that the military at Southern didn't have it. And I know a significant number of those who make DHF what it is. I knew what I was getting into, both good and bad. We all have changed and grown over the years, but really, at our cores, these are still my friends that I've worked with at Corona for all these years. Kristoff and Cher convinced Donna that we should do faire this year. I contacted Stew and was welcomed by those friends with open arms even after all this time. Finally, this guild welcomed Donna as an individual, and not just as "Bender's Wife."

Edit: It was commented to me that I never mentioned what about the military was missing in those other guilds:
Military to me is a simple experience. I look for strong leadership, and the desire to do military things: Fight, and march and look good while doing it. I want a guild whose primary purpose is to do those things. O'Neill was Irish first, military a distant second. The chain of command and respect for it was non-existent if Thomas wasn't around, and even when it was, it still felt like flavor text. With Antares, as more of the guild was settling down and having families and such, the military was loosing ground to the crafts. While doing my leatherwork and working the forge is nice flavor, for me it left me feeling incomplete. I enjoy the role of Webel/Sergeant/etc. Yelling at and being yelled at for close-order-drill and going out on the field. The feel of the drums and the esprit de corps that only comes from a military guild.

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Current Rumblings: thoughtful thoughtful

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Growth comes ...
  • when I can honestly look at a situation, and recognize the behaviour I don't like.
  • when, without needing someone to explain it to me, I can see how I do those very same things.
  • when I can recognize when that behaviour happens in the moment.
  • when I can apologize for the bad behaviour to those who are affected by it.
  • when I can step back and immediately correct the mistake without shame.
  • when I listen to both the internal and external voices who care about me.

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Current Rumblings: contemplative contemplative

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