Missing in Action

In this most unusual of posts, perhaps I am chasing my past, something I swore I would not do. Well, I don't do it often, at any rate.

There are some people I just have not seen in years and would love to be back in contact with them, even if just to say hey, how are ya, welp, see ya.

Anyone who knows of the whereabouts of these people, please point them here or leave me a way to get ahold of them. I'm not expecting much, considering my comment count is zero, thus far, but hey. The universe has done weirder stuff.

I am looking for:

  • Kevin Moran, formerly of San Marin
  • Chad Jensen, co-conspirator of R&R: 2112
  • Cory Taylor, in-your-face clown in Sgt. Krupke (SFDHS alum)
  • Jonathan Eldridge, chaotic neutral incarnate
  • Cheryl Boyce, all around nice person (the other half-elf)

I expect this list to grow, by the way.

If it's not clear who I am, I was the pianist in "Krupke" in 1983, I ran a role-playing game called R&R: 2112 (actually, I still run it but my adventure-generating skills need a LOT of work), and my first girlfriend was nicknamed "Ducky", though you may have known her as Christi "Clare" Schaefer. We were together from April 1984 through July 1985 and then I became a morose emotional wreck.

All for now -- have a great day.


Observations on Age

It's very strange. Age, that is.

On first glance, and going as logic dictates, one might think that it is simply the process of aging, growing more mature, hopefully acquiring wisdom as we go, which allows us to make the statement as follows:

"Is it just me, or do seventeen-year-olds seem much younger today than they were when we were growing up and not quite seventeen years old?"

It's not just you. Trust me.

In sorting through my yearbooks looking for Robby (see below), I reflected back on these people, and even on looking at the pictures of classes graduated before mine, I determined that these seventeen-year-olds were MUCH more mature then than those of comparable age today, in terms of all of behaviour, appearance, and accomplishment.

Let me provide a concrete example. Back in 1982, the apparent literacy rate was astounding by comparison to today. The ratio of decent thinking people to mindless, careless thugs was MUCH lower, even in places like Oakland and the depths of San Francisco. Today, such thugs run rampant in places they were never present, including Marin County and Santa Cruz, to say NOTHING of Oakland and the formerly nicer parts of San Francisco.

The expundiation of why this is the new status quo is left for a future discussion when I get my brain back, but I stand by the above. It is NOT eracentric; that is, it is not germane to My Generation. The seventeen-year-olds of 20 years ago were more mature than those of ten years ago; those of 10 years ago surpassed the current crop of high school graduates, in general, by miles.

And it is saddening. It seems that, in a world with a life expectancy, biologically speaking, of seven decades or more without blinking an eye, our current set of up-and-coming teens are simultaneously convinced that they will live forever and that they will die tomorrow. It is truly a travesty which we must turn around, somehow (q.v. getting my brain back, above).

My friend died doing what he loved to do, and though he was mature, he held a childlike wonder of the world and he showed it off to us. But he was still more mature than any seventeen-year-old I know today.

My stepdaughter, by contrast, has to be the most mature girl of fourteen I have ever met, so there are exceptions to this rule. I just hope she decides to go out and have a little fun once in a while.

...but I digress. Perhaps there is a longer average life expectancy because these people are taking longer to emotionally mature -- I don't know -- but that's a double-whammy, because now we not only have to deal with people who haven't got the consideration thing figured out, but we have to deal with them LONGER.

Oh, and please feel free to comment. Does anybody read this stuff?


In Memoriam:
Robinson Wadsworth

I will never forget the September day in 1981 when I met Robin (he went by "Robby" back then). He went out of his way to make me feel welcome in the unfamiliar environment which was the S.W.A.S. program at Sir Francis Drake High School. Right away, he was open and friendly.

Through the years, we'd run into each other off and on, and he was always happy to see me.

He was one of those people who made everyone feel as though they were the most important person in the vicinity when he greeted them, regardless of the current company at hand, and whether or not it was a one-on-one or in the company of other friends. He never made one feel left out.

I will always remember his vivacity and passion for life in whatever he did, however much our paths may have diverged over time. Obviously, he did a lot with his life in the short time he was here. The multitude of his friends shows that.

The last time I saw Robin was probably the last year of Northern Faire at Black Point, as we knew it and loved it.

It's usually difficult to regret not staying in touch with someone with whom we do not share common interests. Robin is the exception to the rule. I truly regret that our paths did not cross more often.

Robin, may your spiritual guide see you safely to your next destination, and thank you for touching my life and making it a little brighter.


Meanwhile, in Amerika (five years later)...

I'm positive this isn't to be the only reflective blog on what happened five years ago today.

If you go and look back in my archives, you'll find my thoughts about what happened.

Meanwhile, in Amerika, what has happened since then?

Our civil rights are being trampled, our natural resources are in danger of being raped, the innocence and brilliance which comprise our children -- our future -- have been left to fall through the cracks, and the wisdom and experience of our elders -- our past -- have been left to rot.

Not, all in all, a very good track record, by any reckoning.

So what now? What do we do? How do we manage this?

"Sorry, I got nothin'." I have NO ideas. It is all I can do to slog through the day-to-day bull manure that comprises the bottom layer of my current existence. I find myself quite glad to be at work, because it helps take my mind off that layer.

It may seem very cold, very self-serving, just to think of where I'm going, but if I can't take care of even myself, I can't help anyone else. So I have to fix me first.

And this, too, may seem cold, but here it is:

Five years ago, we got off EASY.

We lost somewhere in the vicinity of 3,000 to 5,000 people that day.

Since then, we have lost probably very close to 3,000 military and paramilitary personnel, reporters and missionaries.

We have probably taken ten times that number in foreign casualties, mostly civilian.

We have committed at least 1,000 reported hate crimes toward people, citizens of this country who looked like our aggressors.

We probably have committed a great number of unreported hate crimes towards more of these citizens.

Are you feeling proud to be a 'Murkin, yet?

We chose our battles unwisely. We changed our focus from Afghanistan/Pakistan, where our instigator is STILL purportedly in hiding (I think he's dead, and our clueless leadership is thinking they're going to show us his body and say, "See? We got 'im!".).

And in doing what we did in Iraq, we won the initial battle.

But we lost the war.

We need to bow out and let whatever will happen happen. "What happens in the Middle East stays in the Middle East," as the saying goes. Or is that Las Vegas? Either way.

Taking out Saddam Hussein was a mistake. Sure, he was a dictator, and his regime was oppressive, but was it more oppressive than anything else going on over there? Come on, what are we going to do, take out every country that doesn't foster democracy?

Something occurred to me a while ago. We're not out to spread democracy, or our politics. We're out to spread our brand of capitalism, to spread our poisonous economy of artifice to the rest of the undeveloped world, even if that means undeveloping other parts of the world.

We were complicit with what happened five years ago. If you don't believe that, you haven't been paying attention.

So we deserved everything we've reaped since then.

Pay Attention. Your future depends on it.


Peripheral perceptions

Ever have a moment where you see something out of the corner of your eye and think it's one thing, and it turns out to be totally different?

Sometimes it happens where you think your black cat is the 8-ball on a pool table until it meows at you and throws your reality askance.

Sometimes you think it's a gas pump holding you up with its nozzle as the gun. Oh, wait -- that one's for real.

Well, to be serious again, it happened to me this morning.

I was stopped at a light at a busy intersection when this late 1970s/early 1980s model car -- the make of which I cannot remember, but I'm reasonably sure it was an Olds or a Pontiac of some sort -- pulls up alongside mine in the left turn lane. I casually glance over, and I note the hood and front sides of the car are covered in aluminium foil, and the body's suffered some pretty general wear and tear in the form of several large, albeit shallow, dents.

My first thought was "Gee, dude, nice POS you have there."

...that is, until I looked at the occupants.

This car was not being piloted by some young latino or black punk with an attitude. It was an old man and his wife. They must have been easily 80 years old each, she in her headscarf and he in his day coat. Two people who probably bought the car way back when it was new and they could afford a last hurrah.

The car's condition on the inside was mediocre at best. The inside paneling was weather-worn but seemed to be holding up; the faux woodgrain on the dashboard was still visible, but I could see signs of fraying on the seats from where I was.

As the car pulled away to turn left, I could further see that the rear bumper was tenuously attached at best.

And I felt so sad for them. I don't know why. I mean, there's no way to tell what they're thinking. They could be thinking of the pleasant things coming as the day unfolds, or they could be sitting there thinking about when the end would come. It could be anything; as someone who's contemplated The End at various times over his life, age doesn't really matter all that much in that regard.

I guess I still have impressions that the elders of our society should be able to spend their time much better off than current economics will allow.

The elders are not taken seriously enough, I think. But that's a rant for another day.

Meanwhile, count your own blessings. If you have things that work, be grateful. If they're pretty and holding on by more than a thread, go and do something nice for someone else.

[Notice: My blog will probably go to "random-what-the-hell" format for a while until I feel so inclined to put more into it. I've been remiss as it is for long enough given the last six months of complete and total chaos, which is also a rant for another day. Deal with it -- but according to my records, nobody reads me anyway...]


Berkelian Rhapsody (Yes, I'm that Greywolf)

Berkelian Rhapsody
(based on Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen)

Is this in real time? Is this in memory?
Caught in a for(;;) loop, no escape from this subroutine...
open() your files, branch through the do{}while()s and see
I'm just the kernel, I need no libraries
Because you boot me up, load and go
Branch from high, store to low
Any way the thread flows
Doesn't really matter to me
To me.

unlink() just killed a file
Filled it's data up with NULLs, cleared the inode, closed the holes
vfork(), life had just begun
Then kill(0, SIGKILL) blew it all away
mmap(), ooooooh, didn't mean to make it die
if (the parent process doesn't fork again) {
carry on, carry on, as if nothing really matters;

Too late, init has died
Flush my buffers out from core, then reboot() and try once more
panic ("freeing free block"); I've got to crash
Got to enter kdb and see the truth
Init, ooooooooh (Any way the thread flows)
I've lost my tty
I wish my page hadn't been swapped out at all...

I see the signal trap vectors into core
Interrupt! Overrun! It will do a fandango
Data's skrogged like lightning, very very frightening me
Dennis Ritchie? Kenneth Thompson? Kirk McKusick? Eric Allman?
Someone help me! Robert Pike?
Oh, Kernighan (-an -an -an -an -an)

I'm just a quick hack, nobody uses me
He just makes sockets in his address family
Spare him a buffer in high memory

bind(); accept(); msg_send(); will it let me go?
munmap(); NO! It will not let you go (LET IT GO!)
munmap() just will not let you go (LET IT GO!)
munmap() just will not let you go (LET IT GO!)
Will not let you go (LET IT GO!)
Will not let you go
Will not let you go oh, oh, oh, oh
No, no, no, no, no, no, no!
kill(0, SIGKILL), exit(0); exit(0); let me go!
BSDi has a daemon set aside for me, for me, for meeeeeeeeeeeeee

So you think you can stomp on my stack space and text?
Skrog my image and data by calling exec()?
Ohh, page-d, can't do this to me page-d
Just gotta switch out, just context switch right out of here

Nothing really hashes, anyone can see
Every process thrashes, every disk drive crashes
On me

Any way the thread flows...

...by Greywolf, with posthumous apologies to Freddie Mercury.

I wrote this back in 1991/1992 after having seen Wayne's World and while still being a UNIX fanatical student (not a lot's changed). I ended up posting it shortly after Freddie Mercury's death.

I must say I'm rather flattered to see that this bit of parody has been mirrored on so many sites -- I got 10+ pages worth of hits when I went to search for it!

Maybe I'll come up with something else someday...

[sound of breathing in as though surfacing from underwater]

Yes, I'm still here. Unfortunately, with a 1.5h commute, while I may think of profound things and the like on the way to work, I don't remember them by the time I have a moment to post. Isn't that the way it goes.

Maybe it's because, in all my ranting, I don't have much to say that hasn't already been said.

When I do, you, the followers of the Journeys of the Sound Chaser, will be the first to know!

My home site over at starwolf.com is down for the moment as I don't have a lot to go on about there, and I'm having a heckuva time setting up a good looking, yet minimally-overloaded web page. Sigh.

Kudos to the BlogSpot team for putting in Word Recognition as a requirement for posting to my pages. I'd hoped it was someone real posting to my pages, but nobody ever seems to.

My comments are currently moderated, but I'll try to pay more attention to this spot, so don't worry that what you say won't be seen (unless I reject it, which is no great loss, considering I'll delete it if I don't like it anyway, so this is just a precursory step to keep it from getting posted in the first place).

Thought: Great One. Have a great one. What's that mean?

  1. A larger-than-average sized bottle of beer; 22 oz. "Have a Great One!"
  2. A better than average intimate experience. "Have a Great One!"
  3. Someone revered -- usually recently deceased or predated, if you are to "Have a Great One!" [Did you want fries with that?]

"This is Pete; go ahead, Honest..."