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July's Journal
September's Journal


30/08/2002
[12:00] I've just realised something. When the new PFY arrives back on the ninth of September I'll be extremely limited in when I can have holiday on week days as she'll only be doing three days a week. This means I'm going to be a lot busier, just when I'm possibly going to be moving house and dealing with all kinds of other stresses. I'm sure it's good for me. All part of life's rich tapestry.

[12:30] Hopefully I'm going climbing on a wall I haven't been to for a while this Saturday. I was going to go up North again (see the gallery for August 2002) but I have important things to do on Monday that require me not to be covered in disfiguring injuries or overly tired. As a result I've got a nice day hoped for on Saturday and possibly a day trip to London on Sunday. I don't know if I've recommended a place in London just off Leicester Square on Newport Place called Tokyo Diner.

[14:50] Funnily enough someone on the climbing email list has suggested climbing at The Castle on Sunday now, as well. Gosh, suddenly the weekend looks fairly full. All I need to do is something to do tonight. Probably someone's gamecube if I can wangle it.

29/08/2002
[08:55] Network connectivity here is for shit this morning. I'm trying to get Service Packs down for Windows 2000, trying to find some information on how I can salvage this sodding missing sa password without having to reinstall MSDE and ePolicy Orchestrator on top of it. This will mean repatching MSDE again, and then doing all the security again and then setting up ePO again. Which is really annoying.

[09:40] God, I hate this shit.

[10:20] I'd like to thank Peter C. for his sterling work in saving me six hours and whole lot of stress by helping me reset my sa password. This is why I sit on a MUD and a tech IRC channel all day.

[11:55] Things are reaching a little bit more of a status quo, at least at work. Otherwise, well, I miss her.

[14:30] Well, that was well hidden. Seems The Register have added a new design to their merchandise page. Yes, it's the first edition printing anywhere of Practical Unix Terrorism (revised cover). Head on over there, you won't find it anywhere else at the moment.

[17:30] Network is up and down like a whore's drawers at the moment. I may go home soon rather than sit and stare at a dead ping.

28/08/2002
[12:00] Was doing stuff this morning. Now in work, and getting on with stuff. Meeting someone for lunch at 13:00 and then spending the afternoon off-site doing some web stuff for someone else.

Before lunch I think I'll apply an SQL patch to my ePO server.

[17:20] At least I thought that's what I'd do. Only the sa password doesn't seem to work any more. Shit.

27/08/2002
[14:30] Another driving lesson this morning. The second half of it was pretty good. I don't think it's going terribly, just not as well as it should at the moment. Went to town, did some stuff then headed for lunch.

In work this afternoon, getting back up to speed after a three day weekend. Added some new users, replied to some email, may be going climbing this evening.

Oh, yeah, forgot to mention: I was in a car yesterday in my hometown and saw someone wearing a Windows NT User Obliteration T-shirt. Shocking. If you were walking past a Co-op yesterday in early afternoon in that design then let me know what you look like (so you can prove it was you) and I'll send some kudos your way.

26/08/2002
[27/08/2002 - 14:20] Sorry about yesterday, it was a Bank Holiday and there was no way I was going to come in to work. So what I did was this: I got up, I tidied the house, cleaned the bathroom and vacuumed everywhere. Then I sat down and did my tax return. Unfortunately this lead me to submit a tax return which is going to cost me £543.29 because of the money that Copyleft paid me last year. Hope they get back on track again soon, it's looking better for them as I see it. Anyway, once I'd done that I went climbing at the local wall with my ex. It was O.K. I walked down there with the iPod on, climbed for about twenty minutes continuously with Euphoria Pure on in my ears and then took it off to talk to her. It was O.K.

A friend turned up and we went to lunch before splitting up so that I could head home to host a Gamecube afternoon. Gauntlet and Monkeyball are cool games. I can see how other people I know are very addicted to the latter. We ended up watching some Stargate SG-1 before people headed off.

23/08/2002
[12:15] Machine now set up, just got to security mark it and it's ready for delivery.

[12:45] Got a meeting at 13:30 unbelievably. Still, it means I get to head out and do some other stuff.

[16:50] Cinema tonight. This iPod is really helping my mind at the moment. Music at all times and at really loud volumes, plus Eddie Izzard and I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue (Radio 4 series again) help me get on through. Best purchase in a long time. Oh, the cinema will probably be Reign of Fire. It's been panned in placed, but I'm mostly going for the social aspect more than anything else. And the food.

22/08/2002
The new iPod is filling up nicely. 840 songs and rising (including the entire Lord of the Rings radio play from BBC Radio 4, that's 1GB on its own). I've decided to try cycling with it on (at a very low volume) and it's really rather soothing. Especially in low traffic.

[15:50] It's certainly an odd day when you email The Register, Copyleft, Think Geek and Simes. You don't know Simes, at least not yet.

[17:30] Another day on the ranch over with. It's been... well, a day. Stuff went on. Not great, not abysmal. Still lonely. Tough luck.

21/08/2002
[14:10] Setting up a PC this afternoon, hoping to do something more exciting as soon as possible.

15/08/2002 - 20/08/2002
[21/08/2002 - 11:20] Sorry for the combined entry but things were so busy at the Convention that there wasn't time to write anything down. Suffice to say that it went off with barely a hitch, as Gopher King I got a lot of things done and I and my gophers helped it to be the huge success that it was. I got about four hours sleep per night and one good meal a day (breakfast). It was great.

We started off the weekend very distant from each other but by the end were able to at least talk to each other. I guess this is classed as progress. I'm very lonely at the moment, as I think she is too. I know this isn't a reason to get back together, neither of us can handle any kind of relationship at the moment anyway. I do think that we should be friends, because we're both great people. If something comes from that one day I imagine we'll both be ecstatic, but I need to try not to think about that for now. Maybe later. I actually have no idea. All I do know is that this world is very lonely at the moment.

14/08/2002
[11:00] I tried on my dinner jacket this morning to make sure that all the buttons were there and the shirt still fitted correctly. I appear to have put on no small amount of muscle across my shoulders and my back. It's not ill-fitting or too small, just... different. Have to say, I did look rather good in it. Even if there was no-one to appreciate the sight but me.

Climbing this evening, as opposed to last night. Get to use my harness and kit indoors again, which is nice. I'm looking forward to using it indoors for once. Must buy some more quickdraws. For those of you who care, my taping scheme is WhiteRedWhite.

[11:20] There was a sports day for techies yesterday. While I didn't take part in the races and actually just drank and talked I did managed to take a pull in a tug-of-war and also shoot rifle and pistol well enough to come second behind a Helpdesk operative who obviously had the image of some user projected onto the target. Either way, fairly impressive given how long it's been since I last shot.

[15:00] I have to head off now to do some frankly worrying things. From tomorrow I'll be at the Discworld Convention. I'll be trying to keep a journal and writing it up when I get home, we'll have to see. Everyone stay cool, and with luck and a following wind I'll see you all next Wednesday.

13/08/2002
[11:30] Abysmal morning this morning. I miss having someone to intimately share the good news and the bad news with. It's a shame, but something I guess is one of those things you have to deal with when you're on your own.

[12:15] Having some small difficulties with the site at the moment. Apache not behaving itself when I move the DocumentRoot from one place to another to deal with the amount of pictures I uploaded this morning. Working on it.

[13:10] O.K., thanks to Tom for fixing my apache. Bloody srm.conf I'd never done anything before seemed to have been causing problems. All fixed now. New Gallery section now up, please take a look. Off for the rest of the day now. Time to shoot some air rifles. See people tomorrow.

12/08/2002
[09:15] What an excellent weekend. Time away from home, gritstone under my fingernails and the heady rush of climbing up a sheer slab of rock using only your own strength, balance and skills. Talk about a high!

For those of you in the know I was seconding up Severe, Very Severe and on one memorable occasion a Hard Very Severe. Bit of a rush, I have to tell you. I didn't fall off but on some occasions there was a bit of fun getting gear out while hanging on by only one hand and one leg. I took a lot of photos, which I'll be putting up on a re-organised Gallery section as soon as I have time to do so.

[09:20] I think I've said everything I need to say concerning my unhappiness at the moment. It's probably time I stopped writing about it too. Writing about this stuff and stirring it up now probably isn't the right thing to do. I should stop.

[11:20] I've had many of the ideas I held about the current situation cleared up somewhat. Much of what I've said about how she'd been acting was been based on false assumptions because I was unable to talk to her about things. I only saw what was there, not the reasons for it.

I'd like to think it's fairly understandable that I couldn't talk to the reason for my hurt about why I hurt, but perhaps I should have broached things sooner after the event. Unfortunately I've never been here before so I have no idea how I'm supposed to act and it's been so hard to face things that third-party support has been easier to go to.

So, like I said earlier today, perhaps it's time to see how much of this I can keep to myself and work through in private. If nothing else I won't cause as much uncomfortableness when I'm around my friends. And maybe a decent situation can be arrived at eventually.

[16:50] I'm taking home all of my gallery photos tonight to see if I can come up with some sensible way of arranging them so new sets are more easily added. Gives me something to do for the evening. I'll then be able to put up the Crete photos and the recent climbing ones.

09/08/2002
[09:00] O.K. then. The word has come down from my friends. "It's been two months it's time to stop whining. We'd prefer it if you didn't mention it any more. You've had your grace period and now, well, you should be dealing with it and not talking about it to us any more."

O.K.

I admit that it must be hard for people to keep having it put in their faces all the time. But in my confusion I can't imagine people not realising how much it hurts unless I tell them. I guess they know, but it's not something they want to talk about any more. Yet I want people to know. To be honest I want her to know. I think she does now. But even so it still doesn't help in any tangible or useful way. There's nothing to do but go on, in pain, in a much more muted way. To not talk to people about it any more. Kind of like she did before and now does day to day still. Don't share your pain, just the happiness. People don't have an infinite capacity for listening. I can put myself in other people's places at the moment; I know it's hard.

[10:25] Nothing to do but take the present as it comes. Don't think too far ahead. Have some goals, but nothing important. There is nothing important which can't been changed. The loneliness comes in waves, but there's no cure. There's only a chance for eventual friendship. With this woman who thinks we're so different now. I think that was occasionally one of our strengths, apparently not. Friendship will be painful for a while. Maybe I'll be able to do it, one day. I have to not think of anything more. Because she doesn't want there to be anything more. And she's probably going to be like that forever.

[10:30] Climbing this weekend. I'm leaving work semi-early and heading to Froggatt for some out-doors gritstone climbing this weekend. Plenty of rain, plenty of grass, plenty of time to try and be me, myself on my own. I doubt I'll do much work today.

[11:40] I need to get into a frame of mind where I can write something about a guy who died that everyone liked. There's a tribute to him that my text will be read out at. It needs to be good. It's not just from me.

08/08/2002
[10:20] I've switched to classical music for the moment. It has no lyrics. Brandenburg Concertos for the moment.

And so on to Babylon 5 soundtracks. What I really need is a large corpus of experiences that don't involve her, because frankly at the moment, everything I do, think, say or experience is something that has some link to her. And I guess I need to do some stuff that doesn't.

[12:30] I have some really good photos from Egypt as well as the times I was in Israel which I think I would like to get framed. I may see what I can do next week. I think making the place a little bit different will help.

[14:50] Tonight is DVD evening again. I'd imagine, given the activity on the list, that we'll be watching Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring tonight (four people have bought copies) and something else.

[16:00] Apparently I should be well on the way to getting over it now. I should be O.K. with her being around, able to be her friend and to be in conversations with her as if everything was O.K. now. Can someone explain how this is supposed to be possible?

[17:00] How can I be happy with my life at the moment? Most of what I prized about my life has gone. She can't understand how I feel day to day. She must finally know that I hurt, and that it is much more complicated that she first imagined, but in the end that means nothing. It doesn't help at all. There's nothing I can do but go on, without her. For the rest of my life.

[17:30] Everything I've done in this town, in this job, in my house I did with or for her. Those things I did for me were done more often than not bearing her in mind. I came here because of her. The biggest change in my life at that point was to move from one end of the country to the other. Love did that. I stayed with her when I didn't love her at the beginning because I believed in us. I believed it was right for me to fight myself for her. And I won. But I had to talk to people about it, including my parents. It seems as if she fought with herself over this, but never involved anyone else, or me. So she lost. I told her it was hard, but that I was working through it when it was me. All I got was the end from her, "that's it, no chance to fight for it". I think that if we'd been able to work on it together we might have saved it. But that didn't happen, it wasn't brought to my attention enough for me to see it.

I don't know as talking about it here really helps, except to be able to let the people who've already commented, and others yet to see that it is working its way out of me. Slowly, painfully, like removing a jagged splinter of glass.

Even now I can entertain thoughts of something new, from scratch, in the future. But I have to accept the reality that nothing can happen unless she changes her mind. It's doubtful she ever will. While I don't know why she left I can't understand the reasons why she won't change her mind, but a future where I'm with her, or with someone else can only be gotten to through the same starting point: getting on with my life. And I have to, even though it hurts, even though all the time I can see her not upset by losing the wonderful person I am. And not understanding why.

If I can be the person I'm supposed to be as a single person, and I'm pleased with me and the place I've made for myself in life I'll be more prepared to be with someone else (even her) and, additionally, able to deal with the rejection I'll mostly likely face if I ever feel strong enough to ask her for a drink one day.

I think it's time to go home, tidy the house and prepare for guests. Happy face time.

07/08/2002
[09:50] Excellent time had last night. I made a real hash of one of the climbs I was leading though. Still, it was a very difficult route and I'd only taken six quick-draws up with me meaning that I had to bit a bit silly in gear placement. I won't say that I could have hit the floor at a number of points if I'd come off the wall (last placement being quite a way below)... but... well, I could have taken a few more up.

Setting up a new PC for someone at the moment. They're so demanding it's tempting to install one of my more devious scripts to run at some point when I leave this job so it does something odd to his machine.

More on relationships: (see also 05/08/2002, 06/08/2002)
[14:35] I really miss her at the moment. It's a kind of deep, change in my very personal world-view type of feeling. Everything's so, so different now, and it'll never be as it was again. It's a feeling of dislocation, of a break in continuity with the past. And it's hard. Very hard to come to terms with. There isn't any frame of reference I can call upon to deal with it. I'm not in the same place as I was the last time I was without someone else. There's no other person to lean on for support. There are friends, but no-one who can comfort me as I need, because that person is the one who created this new situation.

[16:10] Three months! Three bloody months for the first appointment! That's no fucking use is it?

[16:45] I would love to share myself with someone. The ability, the permission to share oneself with someone else and have them accept the responsibility is a wonderful thing to behold. It seems even more precious in retrospect. This wonderful experience that isn't your reason to be, but grows to be such a central part of your life that to have it removed without any real warning is as if you had lost a sense.

I could characterise a potential solution as a Zen thought process. "I'm thinking a thought about the subject! O.K., let it flow by, don't think about the thought, move on to the next one." With luck the next one isn't problematic. If you can do that, there's a further step you can take. The spaces between the thoughts... If you can get there, to go without thinking you will find that they are the calmest, most tranquil points in your life. Not everyone can get there. Sometimes I can. I aim to be there more often.

[17:15] Loneliness. There are three kinds. There's the loneliness of singularity, of being a single person far from anyone else, with no means of contact. Humans are social animals. We thrive in company. To be without it is wrong.

Then there's the loneliness of the crowded room. "Alone in a crowd" is a good way to phrase it. You are with people, but for you there's a barrier between you and everyone else. Perhaps it's a subject you can't raise because it'll further distance you from them, discomfort them, make them prefer to be elsewhere. Whatever it is, you can't stop thinking about it, but to be part of the group you must.

The last form of loneliness is the absence of the self. This is a bit of a fib as it's really the absence of what you considered to be the blurring between you and the other person. On the Venn diagram of you both, the more time you spent together the more you overlapped. With both them and the overlap removed you feel as though part of you had gone. And it has. This is the part you are required, forced, to rebuild. There's no option. Don't do that and you're no good to yourself. There are parts of your personality, your life, your inner self there that must be reclaimed or rebuilt if you're going to function again. It's easy to say it, to do it takes an effort of will.

I have to admit. I feel all three at the moment. The first in the house, every evening I go home and every morning when I wake up. The second with every friend I don't want to lose and the third all the time, but it's amplified whenever the other two are in effect. Those of you who have been, are or may be one day will find that the need to talk is overpowering sometimes. Don't overuse your friends, but you'll find that some, a few amazing friends (some you never knew would be there for you in this way) will be there for you as much as you need. Just make sure you give them recharge time. The only people you can ring every morning and every evening without fear or fail will be your parents. They love you, let them show it. When there's no-one else, they're there.

Promise.

06/08/2002
[12:30] Had some nice comments from a few people on yesterday's entry. Please, if it's caused you to think, then let me know. I'd like to know that my situation has helped others. Thanks to the half-dozen or so who've already gotten in touch. Time for lunch now.

[15:50] Right, July's journal now up to date, time to work on the photos. The SCP download is taking a little bit of time.

More on relationships: (see also 05/08/2002)
Look, this stuff is serious. Relationships are an integral part of the human condition, we're born to be together. If you enter a relationship it's a two part thing; you, and them. The moment you give yourself to the other person you must share things that touch on you both as soon as you can. Don't stop to think, say the words. It doesn't really matter if they come out wrong, that's what the love they feel for you is there to help with. They ask questions, you get to modify what you said until it's right. Don't just let it fester because it'll hurt them, and eventually you so much more. I know.

Another part to it is what happens afterwards. No-one can prepare for afterwards, not even the instigator. Don't even think you can, that's bollocks. Things to remember: you hurt, but the other person is fucked. Completely and utterly fucked over. They're a mess, they're crying whenever they think about you. They spend most of the evening and the morning on the phone to anyone who will listen, they'll do anything to not be alone. You, on the other hand feel a relief so huge that it's an effort not to sing out loud. Don't. For the sake of everything you missed Do Not. Everything you say, every expression you show impacts on the other person a thousandfold. Pull it in, hold it down, keep it inside. So you're happier now? They're so much unhappier. Your joy is their despair. Think on that. Let it out slowly, if you never talked about the problems to anyone don't now start talking to everyone about the sudden cessation of them and the greatness of life and your place in it. All you're going to do is utterly rip the person you hid things from apart inside and out, and your friends won't be terribly impressed either, I'd imagine.

I think I'm done, at least for the moment. If this hits too close to home then I'm sorry, but something I've learnt in the last two months is this: better out than in, in every event I've come across since then.

[16:55] Climbing this evening. Should be good. Get my mind off things by hanging from a bolt-on by one hand while trying to find somewhere to attach a quick-draw. Focuses the mind wonderfully.

05/08/2002
[11:20] So the weekend happened. It was good in places, terrible in others. Went to a Convention committee meeting for the upcoming Discworld Convention (see http://www.dwcon.org/ for details) and saw her again for the first time in sixteen days. I'm not going to talk about that, or the party elsewhere in the UK that evening and the following morning. It's just not worth it. Today I'm trying to get on with my life again. Don't ever do this to someone else. Actually, no, O.K. now here's a rant people, listen up.

If you're in a relationship right now then read this. If you've just finished a relationship very recently (as the instigator) then read this. Hell, if you want a relationship and don't have one right now, read this. Talk, talk until your lips bleed. Make your opinions, comments, warnings, reasons commensurate to the other person's level of attention. I don't care if they're not getting it. Make sure they do. Hammer the point home: There Is A Problem. If they look like they're O.K. with what you're saying then you've not got the point across. The only way they're not going to be concerned is if they don't want to be with you in the first place. Otherwise they're going to be as cut up about it as you are.

Talk, for fuck's sake talk to them. They're your lover and your best friend. If not them then who the hell else? You cannot deal with problems between you both or just within yourself on your own if they're going to impact on someone else. And lastly for the moment, remember that your brains and personalities are different. What doesn't faze you may make them feel like someone's tearing out their hearts and ripping them in two. Just because you feel better now, doesn't mean they're going to bounce back 'like that'. There's so much more I could say, and I probably will. For the moment, take this with you back to your browser window. Some stuff hurts, it hurts a lot and it goes on hurting for other people long after you're over it. You can break someone utterly with a ten minute conversation. The scars may last a lifetime. If you need to split up with someone prepare the way, let them down more gently than some brief unhappy conversations and a 07:10 wake up and a sit on the edge of the bed with them. You owe it to them to let them fight for the future, not to simply be told it's over. For everything they've ever given you, for everything you've ever shared, for the sake of both of your happiness, whether you realise it or not. Please.

02/08/2002
[05/08/2002 - 11:20] I can't remember what happened today. Can't be that important, really. I think I did some more work on the July Journal writeup.

01/08/2002
[17:10] Back fron holiday. A week's journal to write up to put in July's page so I'll start that tomorrow. Loads of photos too. No real time at the moment as I'm a bit busy.