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Under Construction
Oakland Art and Soul festival

September 6th, 2002

Away From Computers
Thursday. This rumor business takes on a life of its own and folks who are more experienced than I don't trade in rumor with friends and acquaintances. As I have done. (And they sure as hell don't post them on the web, but that's another story.) There's a certain element of "dear god, I'm acting the ass, please throw me out on the street with a severance package!" and there's a certain element of addiction, a need for rumor that grows with each medicinal dose. But, hey, it's a free country. Anyone can aspire to be an idiot. And I can quit doing rumor, you know, any time! Really.

Friday. Still employed. I'm not aware of a single termination today in our building.Oakland Gay Pride Festival. My feeling is, OK, that's good, but treat today as if it were in fact my last day on the job and make preparation as if I were out on the street. Every paycheck I receive from here on is found money. This means an updated resume, of course, maybe even sending it out to potential employers - the thought makes me shudder - but I packed my personal items at the end of the day and brought them home, a first step, and found the computer I'd ordered waiting for me when I arrived. The computer was bought with the idea it would be a second step, a tool to learn a few things useful for a guy who might need to pitch for a technical job with a smaller company.

Those of you who could care less about computers, especially other people's computers, should skip this paragraph. A Dell mini-tower with a 2.0GHz processor, 1G of RAM, 160G of hard drive space - EIDE, not fast wide SCSI, but what the hell - CD player, CD burner, Ethernet ready - it's the business model - and a second parallel port since it's going to do all the printing. How long before I break down and set it up? (Remember the webcam? The exotic web server built into a camera housing webcam I acquired at great expense that's been sitting in the corner for the last two years? This server will allow me to connect it again.)

I detect a "sales effort" here, a certain jaundiced disbelief in everything I'm saying. Hearing about someone else's computer is not unlike sitting at a dentist's office, you only do it when something hurts. I've bought maybe a hundred of these particular Dells for the office since the beginning of the year. The first five or six were fun, Dell makes a nice machine. The next fifty held my attention. The last fifty put me to sleep. Of course, this is my Dell, but, ultimately, so what? If it can rekindle some enthusiasm it's worth its weight in gold. Or is that too cute? There was a time when I really enjoyed building one of these things, the right drivers, patches, bits and pieces, but I haven't felt that in some time. No reason it couldn't come back, of course, if I'm careful, handle it with kid gloves, make sure to keep whatever I'm building interesting. Or is this just more "sales effort", more wasted words? Could be. You never know.

Friday afternoon, the weekend ahead, and I'm talking about computers. The Solano Stroll is this Sunday. This is good. Get what I need to update my Stroll page on Art & Life, get me out of the house, away from computers.

The banner photograph was taken at the Oakland Art and Soul festival and the second photograph was taken at the Oakland Gay Pride festival held on the same weekend.