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I hope everyone who cares has heard about this (I posted on G+ but didn't post here because I was lazy/lame/busy/injured) but there's a Peter Mayer concert this weekend and you should all come. He's an awesome guitarist/folk-singer with a spirtual (but not religious) side. I highly recommend him.

Lori's post about the concert is here.
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(Yeah, I know, I work for them, shouldn't have been hard--put it down to a combination of stubbornness and slightly misdirected principles.)

If anyone feels like adding me, please feel free, or if my name causes problems, ping me and I'll add you. I'm probably going to be shifting over in that direction away from LJ (partially company loyalty, partially I do find it shiny). And Facebook may get drop-kicked--I've never liked it, and if I can do without it I probably will.
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So I'll say up front that I'm generally a couch potato when it comes to elections. On good elections I'll get someone who's put some real study of the issues (usually, shockingly, [livejournal.com profile] psongster) to give me a summary of the ballot questions and candidates, probe at the funny points, and make my decisions. On bad elections I'll wander into the ballot box wondering "Who am I going to vote for?". And I usually (again, unfortunately) vote something close to straight democratic, for all that I say enrolled as an independent; I just don't have a sense of republican candidates doing a great job of representing me, and the media sources I read and my biases leave me with a fair amount of distaste for what the republican party seems to do.

But here's the thing. The single issue I am most worried about politically today is growing partisanship and demonization. If I was to get politically active, that's where I'd put my time (it's already where I put some of my money). And people I know and respect vote republican. And the media source I think is the most cleanly biased (The Economist, and yes, I'm well aware they have strong biases) takes a fairly evenhanded view of the two parties. And the demonization and partisanship I have the most personal experience with come from the left and go towards the right. And I hate it--I think it's more dangerous for the health of this country than the Economic Crisis, than the National Debt, than Al Queda, than the War on Terror.

So if you're going to vote republican today I say: Go you. I hope the people you vote for represent your issues and values well, and if they don't, that you can over time find candidates that represent them better. And I hope that you and I can keep talking about those issues, and why we have different perspectives on them, and that your representatives and mine can do the same. And that maybe this country will find a way to actually communicate across the growing left/right divide. If we don't hang together, we may end up hanging separately.
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I've just figured out how to make a good hot chocolate at work. This pleases me more than it should :-}; I'm slightly worried it'll reverse the weight loss I've managed since starting this job (presumably from biking to Alewife on a regular basis).
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I've just accepted an offer with Google. I'm both excited and scared; this is going to be different than places I've worked in before. And, of course, it's full time work after several years of part time and six months off. But it's going to be interesting.
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(The shop has "bagels" in the name. I'm not going to name them, because I like them. Phone conversation, reconstructed from memory.)

Me: "I'd like a turkey and cheese, on an onion bagel."
Them: "I'm sorry, we don't have any onion bagels."
Me: "What'd'ya got? Garlic?"
Them: "No. French toast?"
Me: "How about plain?"
Them: "No plain. I've got bread."
Me: "You don't have any bagels?"
Them: "Nope; I've been cleaned out."
Me: "Ok. Thanks anyway."
Them: "No problems."
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Partially in response to a comment by [livejournal.com profile] wolf_grace, I've gone back through my journal and pulled all of my responses to the "five questions" meme together under the "5_questions" tag, in case people new to my journal (i.e. who haven't been reading me since April 2005 :-}) would enjoy going back and reading old entries.

([livejournal.com profile] wolf_grace: Don't worry, I'll post questions for you within a day or so--I need to think about it for a bit.)
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Does anyone have a spare USB keyboard lying around that they wouldn't mind loaning or giving to me? I'm willing to buy a new one if I need to, but it's the kind of thing I suspect several of my friends have gathering dust in their electronics piles :-}. Much thanks in advance ...

(Boston area, of course.)
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So my current mattress is ten years old, and the platform bed on which I sleep is older yet. I have an upgrade in process, but the transportation requirements are a *little* bit more than I can easily handle. Can anyone help me with the loan of either of the following?
* A vehicle that can comfortably fit something that's 83 inches long (39"x4" are the other dimensions, but it's not the only thing I'd be carrying, just the most awkward). The back area of my station wagon goes to 60"; I could probably stick it in and leave the hatch open with sufficient cleverness with ropes, but "the right tool for the job" (i.e. a bigger vehicle) would probably be better.
* A roof rack (the folks I'm buying the bed from advertise that they can tie things solidly to the top of the car, and I'm happy to go with that, but my car's old enough that I'd rather have a *little* more structure :-}).

Assistance with the transportation itself would also be welcome, but I'm less worried about that (because I can probably draft [livejournal.com profile] psongster).

Bribes of backrubs, ice cream, or helping you with your own transportation difficulties can all be arranged :-}.


Jul. 11th, 2009 10:46 am
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Just to get *some* marker in my journal about this: My last day of work was this past Thursday, and I'm now officially free. I'm still a bit in shock; the last six weeks have been awesome--until this past week, very peaceful and happy and enjoying work; little bit of sadness, lot of relief, lot of looking forward to the coming time off. Now ... I'm not sure my gut's convinced yet that I'm actually not working any more :-}. But that's ok, it'll get there.

Current plan is unemployed through September, and start looking for a job in October. It's going to be an interesting summer :-}.
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Does anyone have a drill press they'd be willing to let me use to make a hole in a metal object? (Or, if you feel protective of your tools, willing to make such a hole for me?) I think I need more precision on this hole than I can get from a hand-held drill, and while my immediate instinct is to go out and buy a drill press, recent events are suggesting that care with spending may be in order :-}.

Thanks in advance for any assistance you can offer (I'm not sure what to offer in return, but if you need something that I'm in a position to provide, don't hesitate to ask).

(Background, for the curious: I'm sorta semi becoming the go-to person for problems with the locks at [livejournal.com profile] psongster's church (at least, she's going to me :-}). The bar that goes through a mortise lock broke. The nice folks at Commonwealth lock in Porter found a replacement for me, but it needs to be cut shorter and have the pin hole re-drilled at a different location. I think I can substitute a dremel for a bandsaw for cutting it shorter, but the hole has to be right across the middle of the bar or the holding pin won't go through.)
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Folks: A friend of mine, Matt Ryan, is studying to be a Rubenfeld Synergist and is looking for practice clients. Rubenfeld Synergy is a discipline for understanding of the mind and spirit through the body. At this stage of his training, the client benefit would be getting practice in listening to one's body and exploring mind-body connections. I'd encourage people interested in mind-body connections to give his post a look and maybe get in touch with him.

It's done

Jun. 7th, 2009 09:57 pm
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(Context for this post is long enough ago that I'll include links: here and here.)

After several months of angsting about it (and wearing some ruts in conversation with poor [livejournal.com profile] psongster) I have given notice at my job. I tried to do it at the beginning of last month, but my grand-boss requested I wait until I come down there to make it official; that happened the week of May 18th (I report, and work with, a team that's down in Research Triangle Park, NC, not at my site). My last day is July 9th; I'm trying to do as much information (and perspective, and passion) transfer to the rest of the team between now and then as I can. At that point I'm going to take some time off, and start looking for a job again in the fall.

I'm feeling pretty at peace about it at this point; I'm not even feeling all that upset about the layoffs (well, baseline; I can still get upset when specific aspects of them are brought up :-J). In the end, it came down to two things for me: I'm getting to the point of really wanting a change in the work I'm doing, and my local environment is no longer a particular nurturing environment for me. My project team and management is still pretty darn good, as I was reminded on the trip down to RTP. But the comment I made to my grand-boss was that taking the remote assignment had been a stretch for me, somewhat going out on a limb. And it worked well, and I grew a lot doing it. But they sawed the tree away while I was out on the limb :-{.

This is still a somewhat wrenching change for me--I've been at the company nine years now in one way or another, which is more than four times as long as I've been anywhere else. That's partially because I got to change projects within the company several times in that nine years (I'd count seven quite separate, non-overlapping projects to which I made a substantial contribution in that time). And it's partially because (I still believe) it's a substantially better run company than many that are out there, so I got frustrated by bulls**t less, and when I did there was a better than average chance that complaining about the idiocy would actually change something. But nine years is still a very long time, and I'm not having very much internal second guessing about moving on.

I haven't tried to line up a new job yet; I've been unhappy for a while, and I want some time off to rest, and to think about what it is I really want to do next, and look around at the possibilities. There's part of me that's worried that I'm shooting myself in the foot (or higher :-}), by doing this, but that part's gotten quieter over time. I believe the economy in three months will not be so much worse than the current one that I'll not be able to find a job. I may be wrong; I (we) accept that risk. And I'd have to be really wrong for it to become a survival issue.

But my life ... I was going to say it was about to change dramatically, but the truth is that it already has changed. It'll change again on July 9th, but I'm already in a somewhat different place. I don't know what comes next. But I'm looking forward to finding out.
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If anyone's going to Ikea anytime soon and feels like doing me a favor, there's a light I'd like from them, that they don't sell online, and that I'm not desperate enough to drive to Stoughton myself to get: this one. Obviously not high priority, but I'm guessing that someone on my friends list is likely to hit Ikea sometime soon, and this seems the best way to try and piggyback ....


Nov. 5th, 2008 09:47 am
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Amidst the happiness pouring off my friends page, I want to give my own gratitude for two things about last night's election that touch on issues mattering even more to me then who won:
  • There wasn't any suggestion of widespread voter tampering in the returns. We have four more years to try and clean up our election system so that we can handle another 2000 without leaving half the country feeling like the election was stolen.
  • The race wasn't close enough to have several more months of recounts and legal wrangles. We won't have another round of deepening the already very deep and painful divides between the two sides of the country.

    I'm very grateful for an Obama win. But that's at least partially because I think (I hope) he's well suited to address the cultural divide, "to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences". He's human. He will disappoint. But I'm still daring to hope that he'll leave this country a better place, and specifically a less divided place.
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    In case folks haven't already heard, there's going to be a cool folk concert by Peter Mayer this coming Saturday, April 12th, at 7:30pm. He does amazing things with a guitar (one song, "Awake", I could have sworn the recording had several different instruments doing funky things in the background. Nope, sounds identical in concert). His main songs are spiritual in one way or another, in a way some might consider earth-center, but I tend to think of as "water centered" :-}. He does have christian roots, and they show up in his songs, but not in a way I (as a non-christian) have ever found incompatible with my own spirituality. If you're curious about his music, you should check out his web site; clips from some songs are available here if you'd like to give them a listen. I'd strongly recommend him.

    [livejournal.com profile] psongster is producing the concert, but all proceeds will go to the artist. More details can be found at her LJ; see this post. Hope to see you there!
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    I'm finding myself wanting a Samhain ritual next Wednesday without any pointers on places to go. Anyone have any suggestions for me?