Time for an update... let's see, what's been going on with me for the
last few months...
First, I should introduce my new best friend Timmy, a Blue Heeler. I bought him from Family Dogs Northwest on August 17, 2002, for $200.
A few days later I discovered he was deaf! At first I thought I would take him back, because who wants a dog you can't yell at? But I figured out how to yell at him in sign langauge, and he took to it very well. Somehow, it just seemed a Fritz thing to do to have a deaf dog and teach him sign language. And he is a very good dog, very smart and does what he's told. He follows me everywhere, trying to keep me in sight if possible. He is very playful, and somewhat timid, I presume because everyone is always sneaking up on him. He absolutely adores children.
I kicked Angelique (a supposed renter) out around the end of the year, due to her drug problems and general irresponsibility. In the year she lived here, she only paid $125 in rent - and if there's one thing you should be able to expect from renters, it should be that they pay rent. I was patient with her, helped her out and gave her lots of chances, but she chose the drugs, so she had to go. I miss the kids somewhat, and feel sorry for them for having two such screwed-up parents (their father isn't any better). Too bad, but there's nothing I can do.
We're in preliminary negotiations for my good friend Heather to rent a room, so the place should be plenty lively!
I spent 10 days in Greece around the beginning of February, and of course, had a grand time! Pictures are available! As usual, I recorded lots of neat stuff and hope to get a journal up eventually, but... has it ever happened? Someday...
Anyway, it was a very strange vacation, because it was anti-tourist season. I hear that the place is swamped with tourists in the summertime, and the Greeks don't like them but tolerate them because tourism is their number one industry, but in the winter they expect to have some time off and go be Greeks. So it's a little strange to be traveling at that time, many hotels and things are closed or nearly empty, many sights are operating limited hours, and in general you're among Greeks and not tourists. Interesting, and bizarre. But I had a great time, the food was terrific, and the language very interesting.
I was also forced to stop off in Munich and Chicago. Long story, just one among many adventures! Way too much to tell here, but just ask and I'll fill your ears!
So what about my personal life, you ask? Things are pretty quiet on that front. Tiffany and I broke up amiably in February 2002 (a year or so ago) and she moved to California. I almost had a sort of thing going with Angelique, but it was pretty obvious from the beginning that she was not a qualifier. I'm good to be just me for the time being. My friend Matt has been trying to persuade me to do some international dating, which sounds like a good idea for an international guy like me, but we'll see. I'm looking into it.
I'm working on a big overhaul of stoneruins.com, where I put all my musical stuff, with more emphasis on providing mp3's to download. Check it out!
That's about all for now... keep in touch!
It is with the utmost personal sorrow that I must lovingly report the passing of my best friend and constant companion of the last 8 years, my dearest Molly. To know me was to know her, as she followed me (or I her) everywhere possible. She was very sociable and well-loved, and I know she is missed by many, besides myself. All agreed she was pretty much the best dog ever.
I bought her for $50 in late summer of 1994. It wasn't long before we were inseparable. She was very well-behaved and always enthusiastic.
I'm not sure what else to say about her. She loved me like nothing else, and could see no rational reason why we should ever have to be apart. Wherever she could go, she would, even if it meant spending most the time waiting in the car. She thought of herself as a large, brave dog, and nobody could talk her out of that. She barked madly at any hint of anyone coming anywhere near the house or car, although she loved all people once she got used to them.
She died in Seattle on July 4, 2002, apparently hit by some sort of vehicle. I was up there with my friend Scott, visiting my brother Steve. I'm not sure what happened - I thought she was right behind me and suddenly there she was lying in the road, looking as though she had unexpectedly fallen asleep. I still can't make sense of it. We took her to the hospital but nothing could be done. But I know she felt no discomfort, and died the happiest dog in the world, on a road trip with dad.
Goodbye, dearest Molly. You were more than a Good Dog. You were the best, I and many others loved you dearly, and you will be sorely missed.
Click here for a few more pictures of her from the last couple years.
Gee, have you noticed how my bolding has gotten completely out of control? When I started, I used boldness only carefully and discriminately, you'd almost say timidly. But as time went by, I got bolder and bolder with the bolding, until now it's almost completely taken over! I think I'll go back to milder boldness.
Also of interest, somebody (do you want credit, Mr. Knighten?) pointed
out that as often as I update my web site, I should write
it in past tense! Well, good point, but a better solution
would be to update my web site a little more often. Hmm, maybe I'll
I do have an excuse this time, but it's a little long-winded (who me? no way!). The more astute of you (you know who you are) would certainly have guessed that after selling my house (see below), I would find a new place to live, and in fact, I bought a whole new house! And it's even better than my other house, which was pretty damn fine, if I do say do myself. But this one is bigger, with plenty of studio space and six bedrooms - one for each night of the week, and on Sunday I can sleep on the couch. I officially took possession (for once, no demons were involved) in January.
More realistically, I now have a guestroom, and a game room (sort of), and a server room for computer stuff, and a room or two to rent out. Scott moved along with me, and... we'll get to that later. But note that I have a guestroom, which means if anybody wants to come visit me for a few days, they're totally hooked up. I have been meaning to join a travel club and get some foreigners in there from time to time, but haven't got to it yet. But, this means you!
So, back to the excuse. Wade and I have big plans involving servers, web hosting, and high-speed internet around here, but it takes a lot of infrastructure work, which has been proceeding at the pace of a procrastinating snail. So in the meantime, I barely have any internet access at all. My fastest connection is 28.8 k, wireless from my laptop, and my main computer is completely internetless. There isn't even a phone line nearby. It's sad! Doing any web work is a big ol' pain in the patootie, and it always looks like real internet access is mere moments away, but then the days go by... so I finally decided today to at least jot down a little something, so y'all wouldn't give up... whoever you are, if you actually exist...
So, I got myself moved and settled in, and life proceeds as normal. Work continues to be demanding, what with hi-tech taking such a beating in the marketplace. We're definitely part of that food chain, so our business has been down a bit. We had layoffs last fall, then an across-the board temporary pay cut this spring. I survived the layoffs, but the pay cut hurt, right when I had extended myself as far as I could to get into my new house. But, no matter, I always have a backup plan, which never works, and somehow the universe throws me something else.
My one backup plan was to find some roommates and rent out another room or two. Sounds ingenious, eh? Well, what actually happened is that I found some roommates that couldn't pay rent and wouldn't go away. Not exactly what I had planned, but whatever. The situation has been a bit complicated, and resulted in some out-kicking and other necessary unpleasantries. The eventual outcome seems to be that I now have another roommate (besides Scott), a certain Angelique, who comes with two young'uns, aged five and eight, on weekends and some evenings. Yikes! Kids in the house!?! Who'da thought? Well, at least it's only on weekends, and I can deal. It's not boring.
While moving and shuffling money around, I finally decided to invest in an entertainment system worthy of me. You'd have to hear it, but the point is, it's nice, full surround, the works. It is so nice...
I also set aside a few thousand from my house sale for independent
projects, and am sending it different ways trying to get something
going. I hired a contractor to do some design for a MIDI box
I want to sell, and I think he's working on it... somewhere, somehow...
we'll see. I also put together a spec for a software project,
and it is out being bid right now. The other project I was working
on with my brothers has been set aside for now, as it's just too big to
bite off. These other two are smaller. Maybe someday one of
them will turn into something.
Musically, things are going equally slow. I'm still playing with Wade, Joe, and Lucy, but things have been a little slow since Lucy's been pregnant and then, ironically, having a baby. My new studio is much better that what I had before, much more space, and re-architected to open up more creative possibilities, especially for multiple participants. Let's get together and jam! I also have room for at least one drum set, so I got mine back from my brother David and have been learning to drum. I'm planning to get an electronic set soon, so that I can play on my own schedule, which means the middle of the night. Real drums tend to get a little loud for a nice quiet neighborhood like this one.
But as usual I've got a few things going on on the side, and they make some progress all the time. Nothing to yell about at the moment, but you'll hear it here first!
Not much else going on. No parties now on the horizon. I guess I'm kind of tiring of them. I always have fun at my parties, and I think other people do too, but there's a dark side as well. Yin and yang everywhere, ya know? But we'll see. I'm sure eventually I'll get party-motivated again, and of course, you'll be invited.
No big travels on the horizon either. I'm trying to put something together for this summer, but not sure yet. I'd like to spend a week in Mexico or somewhere. I was working on a trip to China for work, but it looks like it's not going to pan out.
A couple weeks ago I got to spend a couple days in Texas! It was kind of a sudden and quick trip, and chock full of annoying work stuff, but I did get to go out 'on the town', one late evening each in Dallas and Austin. In Dallas, I ended up at a wonderful rooftop blues bar called The Bone in Deep Ellum. In Austin, I got to cruise about 20 bars in the area of 6th Street, where everything is happening at night. That was about it, most of the rest was work.
As soon as I get my computers together again, I need to get some pictures
up! I have a whole bunch from my travels in Europe last
year and New York this last December, plus my new house and all
sorts of other silly goings-on.
Now that I think of it, I never wrote anything about my New York trip. It was incredible, and we got to see all the important things you have to see in New York, and really got to know the town. We had a blast. Scott met a Special Friend, and I sang karaoke, my rendition of Tears for Fears' Shout, in the style of Marilyn Manson. The audience loved it, if you can define 'love' as a seething, impatient mix of disgust, pity, and irritation. Ah well, I enjoyed it, and one great thing about New York is that you'll never see any of those people ever again. And I lost the great 100th chess game, after I almost had it in the bag. We never did find chess tables in central park, so we played it in a games bar called 'Dive 75' on 75th, on the upper west side where we stayed most nights. We also saw some great museums, and... too much to write about here. Maybe someday I'll write a trip report. I recorded it all on minidisc, so I should have some interesting (?!) recordings to put up as well.
That's about it for now. If you get tired of not seeing anything new, send me some email and bug me, and I'll post an update! I do respond to such pressure! I actually like it, since it means somebody's reading!
First the Big News! My house is sold! Well, 'sold' is sort of relative when it comes to houses; it's not an instantaneous event, it's a process. But we're well into the process, and things are looking good! We should have the deal closed in December.
Scott, Mark and I spent most of the summer working on the place, and boy does it shine! I'm surprised more people didn't buy it! It was only on the market for two weeks, and literally tons of people stopped by or called (not meaning to overgeneralize their individual masses, just to say that there were lots of people interested). Some people have suggested that if it sold so fast, my price was too low, but I don't think so. I think it was just right, and the right buyers just happened by at the right time. I did price it aggressively on purpose because I wanted a quick sale, and I got what I wanted out of the whole deal. So, everybody's happy! And I'm very pleased to be working with these buyers, they're very nice people and couldn't be easier to deal with.
To the right of the page, you see buyer Shawn and myself pulling up the 'For Sale By Owner' sign shortly after signing the Earnest Money Agreement.
So, the next question is whether I have found a place to live yet. Nope, not really. There is one house (or 'home', as the Realtors(R) like to call it) that I am interested in, and I already put in a lo-ball offer for it, which was summarily rejected. I'm thinking of putting in a more reasonable offer in the next few days. If all goes well, I could be moving by the end of the year!
Also of interest to report (well, if any of this is) is that I'm going to New York day-after-tomorrow (November 29th). Terrorists, plane crashes, house sales, and rabid nutria be damned, I'm going anyway. There I will be attending the Audio Engineering Society conference for four days, then taking a few days off. I've never been to NY before, so it should be fun. My friend (and now roommate) Scott is going too - we have been playing chess for 7 years, and have played 99 games. We decided a year or so ago that we should play our 100th game somewhere besides one of our living rooms, and that happened to coincide exactly with my NY AES trip, so we decided to play our 100th game in Central Park, or at least somewhere interesting in New York City. As usual, I will be taking both digital and film cameras, and plunking the pictures up on the web when I get back. There might even be a trip report in there somewhere, assuming I ever get around to writing it.
Mark moved out to go back to school, so now it's just Scott and myself in the household. That's working out well. Molly and Milou and Muezza and Vita now have Kitty (or Booboo, Scott's cat) to deal with in their lives. So actually there are seven of us. We need a bigger house! Well, we're getting one soon enough.
Did you see the pictures from Halloween? The party was co-hosted by myself, Tiffany, and Heather. I chopped off everyone's head, and took pictures, and it was good fun. Lots of pictures here!
My product finally hit the production line, so my work schedule has become more normal, just in time to be taken up by the great house moving project. Oh well. In a few months maybe I'll have a normal life again (I say again, as though it has happened before, but I don't think it really has). Then I can pick up some of my projects again, maybe even update my website a bit! Anyone care to place a bet?
That's it for now! Stay tuned for more updates!
Well, here it is August already. Where has the summer gone?
I'm still busy as heck with work, and that is my excuse for so little web action. All my sites are in ruins, especially stoneruins.com. But that's the price you pay. My project is going well, albeit a little late, and I'm sure it will all work out in the end. Meanwhile, I'm working my butt off 24-7.
I did manage to go to Europe in May, and had an absolutely splendid time. I visited Belgium, the Czech Republic, many places in Germany, and Holland. Ten fast and furious days, and many adventures. Of course I took good journals, and lots of pictures, which I hope I can get posted here eventually. I took a digital camera with me, including accessories allowing me to splat my pictures right up on the web as I went along. Click for pictures! I have several hundred more pictures I took with my other camera, but I haven't got them put up yet. Someday, perhaps along with my trip reports. Lots of stories to tell!
Meanwhile, my house project is moving along, and I have acquired two housemates, Mark and Scott. Mark is here for the summer to work on my house, and Scott... well, he's just here. He's also helping to get the house ready for sale. It should be on the market in mid-September, looking like brand new. Badda bing badda boom and I'll have a new house. Then life will be good. My project at work will be done, and maybe I'll even have a life again. Hope so!
So, that's the update. Thanks for stopping by!
When was Thanksgiving, anyway? Seems like forever ago...
Well, the Thanksgiving party went well. Not quite as exciting as the last one, but... hey, they can't all be that exciting. I don't think my pacemaker could take it. Don't remember it? Click here.
Anyway. I still haven't moved. And I'm getting my house all cleaned up to sell, so I can't have any parties! I know, you're all disappointed, but that's life, you know? Once I get moved, it will be high time for a Party to End All Parties. Or maybe I will be bored of the idea by then.
My house-selling-and-buying plans are sort of set aside for the moment. The house I really wanted got sold, and the only way I could have bought it was if this place was already in the hands of a new owner, so... trying to buy a new house before selling the old one is like putting the card before the hearse... so I gotta sell this place first. Anybody want to buy a really cool house? I've certainly had some adventures here...
The reason the house deal is on the back burner is that work has gotten really busy. Maybe it's just how it is, when you're as important and valuable as I am, but I haven't got used to it yet. I work alla time, man! No kidding, it's 70-hour weeks for me right now, and that's on a good week! Just from now until Mayish. Also, there are perks!
Such as, I am going to Europe in May! This time for certain sure! Audio Precision is sending me over there to see the show, and then I'm taking a few days off to wander around Germany and sprechen deutsch mit die leute! That is, to talk to the people! If any of them will talk to me, that is.
If things go well, I might be taking a few weeks off in July to go to Spanish school in Spain, too, but we'll have to wait and see on that one. Lots has to happen between now and then.
I have lots to add to my website, but I am so busy I can hardly squeeze a web page in sideways. Believe me, I try (and don't start thinking dirty on me here). But I'm working on a couple of other web sites besides this one, and they need even more work. The main one I can't announce quite yet, but go see www.damnnearanywhere.com. It's one of the new ones by myself and my very good friend and musical partner-in-crime Wade. Do you have trouble remembering all your email addresses? Can you be found damn near anywhere on the web? Well, then this is your place! Drop by and get a free email address! Once you're at damn near anywhere, you're damn near everywhere!
That's about it for now. Hopefully I can get pithier soon!
My goodness! Has it been over two months since I updated my site? Egads!
First, let me get to the point. Big party happening at my house the Friday after Thanksgiving, 2000! Be there or be a rhomboid! I've got some big plans, so you'll feel bad if you miss it! Everybody will be talking about it!
This will most likely be my last big party here at this house. Why, you ask, silently into your terminal. Well, because I'm thinking of buying a new house. I've worn out the welcome mat here, and now that I'm making the Big Engineering Buck, I can probably afford more space. So, I'm doing some shopping around, and should be putting this on the market soon... we'll see. Haven't got very far into the process yet... but it will mean no more parties for a while, at least until I get a new place and have a big ol' house-swarming party. So anyway, this is probably the last one. So BE HERE!!!!
The parameters are the usual: bring whatever you want to drink, snacks are provided, drive safely, starts 8ish, everyone in the world invited, so bring your friends. Dogs and kids are invited too (although I suggest they leave at their discretion, as some people's morals tend to turn into pumpkins about 12:00 central time). So far, nobody's brought a dog to any of my parties. Why not? Molly feels left out!
Plus, I have surprises planned...
Anyhoo, what else is news? Not a whole lot. I am so busy I don't have time to get anything done. I moved my studio home (from my friend Wade's house) so that I could do more musical stuff without driving all across town. And I am doing some, but haven't created anything listenable yet. I'm still getting the bugs worked out. And then, whaddya bet, I'll buy a new house and have to start all over!
I am working on a Very Important Project at work that I can't tell the World Wide Rumor Mill about yet, but it keeps me very busy. I get to act like a real engineer! My project is going well, and is due to be released (assuming congruence with the will of your favorite deity) in early May. The target is the Audio Engineering Society trade show in Amsterdam on I think May 9. I'm sure I'll be staying up all night a new nights before that to get the last few finishing touches on, then I'll go to Holland for the show, then spend a couple weeks in Europe! I have a big trip planned - Amsterdam, a week or so in Germany, a few days in France, and the remainder in Spain. How can I afford this, you ask? Maybe you can't. But I can, because I SOLD MY SOUL TO SATAN! HA HA HA! (evil background laughter).
Anyway, I don't know what else to say. I'm a little behind in web stuff - I've got a lot to put up, but I've been so busy, I just haven't got around to it... but I will, very soon, I promise...
I'm doing so much stuff, it's out of hand. I'm still painting, making music, learning languages (now I'm taking another Spanish class), working on a house deal, writing children's books, building voodoo dolls... all sorts of stuff.
I did get a new digital camera. Wowee! Now I can take pictures and splat 'em right up on the web, without having to do that whole buy-take-develop-scan thing. It's so easy, I am almost sickened. Look for new pictures soon!
Hey, has anybody read my Mexico trip report? And if so, did you find it entertaining? I'm just wondering if I should go to the effort of putting the whole sordid tale up... it does get pretty exciting, but that doesn't count for much if nobody reads it... send me some email and let me know what you think!
See you the Friday after Thanksgiving!
Audio Precision sends out newsletters to all our customers and affiliates periodically, and they always feature a 'personalities' column on the last page. Well, guess whose personality they chose to feature this time! Anyway, the article is very funny and quite me, so I have posted it for you here.
Some of you may have noticed that I had a huge party at my house on the 18th. I can't even begin to tell you what happened! Well, as usual, I took some really terrible photos, and wrote the whole sordid tale down, in my own imitable way. To see the full report, click here. It's well worth reading, whether you were there or not!
The same day of my party, my computer completely bit the dirt, so that's why I've been a little tardy in getting the latest stuff up... you can expect a full report of my computer problems soon...
So, what's going on with me, you ask? Lots and lots! So
much, I hardly know where to begin!
|First the BIG NEWS! I
done been gradumabated!
Can you even believe it? A big ol' Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering! I started college in 1987, and only just now did they get tired of me. I'm sure they had a very tense meeting with all the important mucky-mucks to figure out how they could get me out of there without compromising scholastic integrity, and I don't know how they decided to graduate me, but they even threw in some expensive Latin words (magna cum laude), which I think translates to "and stay out".
Not having school hanging over my head means a pretty big lifestyle change for me. Is there life after school?
Well, so far, I've been busier than ever. There are so many things I have been putting off until I got finished with school, that I hardly have time to do any of them.
My first big plan was a trip to Europe. It seemed like a good plan. I really wanted to go to Germany and Spain, since I have been studying their languages and wanted to road-test them. The idea was that I would go as soon as school was out, before I got stuck in any important engineering projects. But, as fate would have it, I ran out of money, and at the exact same instant, fell and injured my back. Plus I got a girlfriend. Why any sane girl would want a half-crippled, stone-broke loser like me is an interesting question, but sane girls have never been my forte.
So, I didn't get to go to Europe, at least not yet. My new plan is to go in the spring. If I plan far enough ahead, I think I can take enough time off to make it a worthwhile venture, and it'll give me time to make a few million and get my back reconstructed. I just have to try not to forget all my German and Spanish in the meantime. So if you speak either of these languages, be sure to talk to me in them to keep my mental gears lubricated.
My back injury is kind of a bummer, and seems to have all of Medical Technology stumped. It was a simple thing, I was 'sparring' (a martial arts term for brawling) with my good friend Thomas, a 260-pound ex-Marine Mexican, and, um, I guess he won, if a few months of incapacitation is any evidence. I fell flat on my back, and haven't been the same since. I'm seeing a massage therapist, a chiropractor, and a physical therapist, but they all blame it on the other ones. They even thought my back was broken, for a while, but x-rays revealed nothing more serious than a .38-caliber pistol lodged in my small intestine. Obviously that's not the problem. Whatever the real problem is, I think it will eventually pass (try not to relate that comment too closely with the intestinal blockage).
And as I mentioned, I have a new girlfriend. Actually, 'new' isn't the right word - she's a fully grown human being of 23 years. She has a degree in French from University of Oregon and spent a whole school year as an exchange student in (guess where) France. She got to visit some cool places as well, including some places where they speak some of the totally cool languages that I have been studying.
So, for the moment, I'm stuck here in this country. Audio Precision (where I work) gave me a respectable raise, and has promoted me to the coveted position of 'Design Engineer'. I really enjoy the job and the people, so I have no plans for any big changes any time in the near future.
Meanwhile, of course, I'm working on a thousand other projects in my 'spare' time. I am doing many things of a musical nature. As always, I write songs, play instruments, create CD's, work with other bands, and all that rot. One of these days I'll get famous for it, but that'll probably be after I die. Oh well, it keeps me busy. Right now I'm working on an album with Piercing Debris, plus my own project, the end result of which will be an album tentatively titled 'Jade', and a few other subsidiary endeavors. To keep up with the latest, see my Music Page.
I have also taken up oil painting, under the expert tutelage of my mother, a quite accomplished painter. I am working on my second painting. I haven't created anything worth showing yet, but you'll see it here first. I intend to put up an Art Page in the near future, featuring some of my other artistic assaults as well.
I am also working on an electronic hardware/software project with my brother Steve and my most excellent friend Monte which may eventually turn into a World Famous Groundbreaking Innovation that will make us all millionaires. We're all very busy, so the going is slow, but we'll see. It's exciting to work on. Unfortunately, I can't say much about it, due to international treaties and national security concerns. As it gets more developed, I'll be able to share more.
I also spend a fair amount of time developing websites. I have two others besides this one that I am working on, but they aren't well enough developed that I am ready to make them public yet. Keep your eyes peeled!
So, what else is news? I suppose for those of you that are really far behind, I should say that Jacki (my previous flame) moved out last November. For those of you even further behind, I got a divorce about three years ago. For those of you really back there, I should say that I got married in 1993. If that doesn't answer all your questions about what's been going on with me, either we need to talk, or you need to submit some questions to my FAQ.
That's about it for now. Keep in touch!