Sick

It [almost] never fails.

Whenever I get sick — a flu as far as I can tell in this instance — it happens on the weekend.

:-(

Today was one of the prettiest days in Seattle this January getting up to 64ºF. I was in bed with a fever of 101.9ºF.

Bleh.

At least I got back my iMac from the Apple store after having them replace “the mechanism.” It now can stand by itself again without me having to prop it up. (Ok, the full name of the part is the “chassis tilt mechanism” but everything, including the order, calls it “Mechanism.”) The old one was plastic and this one is aluminum from what they tell me.

At least something got done this weekend.

UPS Store Fail

I wrote earlier in the week about the problem with my Tek MDO3014 scope. Like I said, I agreed to ship it back for a warranty repair. Yeah, it kind of sucks to have a brand new instrument not work out of the box, but shit happens I suppose.

But that’s not what I’m writing about now.

I boxed up the scope, documentation inside and a big RMA number outside and took it to the UPS store up the street from me. Tek was gracious enough to cover the shipping costs both ways and told me to put it on their account. No problem I thought as I walked into the UPS store.

“Umm, we can’t do that here. We can’t look up account numbers at franchises. It’s company policy. You can take it down to the UPS depot at the airport and they can do it there.”

“That’s a UPS fail…” as I walked out of the store.

Walking the big box back to the car I checked the depot’s hours: Monday-Friday 8:30AM – 8:00 PM.

Annoying. At least it saved the drive over to (well, almost) Boeing Field.

So we get back to the house and I log onto the UPS site myself. In a few minutes (I had to create a shipping account with billing info it seems) I was able to print out a shipping label billed to Tek’s account.

What the UPS store is saying is effectively that a random person off the street has more access to UPS systems than they do? You know, the folks that have a UPS logo above the door?

Label printed out and taped on I dropped it off at the Greenwood Sip-n-Ship that’s closer to my house anyway.

Analog time

I’ve been wearing my watch (still love it!) since I turned 40… (give or take a few weeks)

It’s a mechanical watch with hands and stuff.

Walking down the street today someone who was waiting for the bus asked me for the time. “Twenty-till nine.”

Growing up I always heard the idea of half-past, quarter-till, and so on. In Hungarian 8:30 would be “fél kilenc” which directly translates to “half nine.”

I never really got into it.

Today, it felt natural looking at the face of the watch. It never really did before. The realm of digital timepieces lend themselves to just reading out the numbers: eight forty. Looking at the face of the watch I first thought “a third to nine” but quickly corrected myself to not sound like an idiot.

It’s just a little realization I had. I know it’s simple… but somehow it registered when I said it out loud.

Compersion

I’ve been reading a book by one of the hosts of a podcast I listen to. My Life on the Swingset: Adventures in Swinging & Polyamory, by Cooper Beckett. I’ve been listening to the folks on that podcast for a while now. (In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m down with the sex positive folks — just sayin’) I’m about 3/8ths the way through it at the moment and it’s really resonating with me — how, in relationships, while you have to look out for your partner’s/partners’ best interest, you also have to ensure that you’re in good shape as well.

So, what about compersion? It’s being there for your partner — supporting them in what they are doing.

Here’s the fucked up thing… recently the thing I’ve gotten the most jealous about is the compersion I’m seeing in other people.

Keep in mind that compersion is the opposite of jealousy. It’s enjoying your partner’s joy.

I was reading on Reddit (not linking to give too much away) a note that someone got left. It’s everything that I would possibly want to find myself. Of all the things to get jealous about, it’s that.

Maybe it’s not really jealousy I’m feeling. I think it’s more envious. It’s a subtle distinction for sure.

And I don’t have a simple solution to that problem.

Halfway there

Back in November my fat pants were fitting a bit too tight.

I started with a week (well, almost) of Soylent. I think it’s not a silver bullet of course, but it was enough to kick-start a real change in how I’m dealing with my body.

At the start of it I weighted in at right around 215 pounds. This morning I weighed in at 195 on the nose. (The last time I was writing about this a bit, I was wrong and I’d assembled the scale wrong)

A bit of simple algebra will let you derive that my goal weight is 175.

Of course this isn’t just starving myself. I’ve been riding bunches as well. I’ve been getting close to a hundred miles a week.

Eat less. Move more. FTW.

Silicon Valley History

Watching some Netflix with Ennie last night we played American Experience: Silicon Valley.

This charted the course of several men who started at Shockley Semiconductor in the Bay Area in the 50’s. Those men left the company to start their own company — that wasn’t mentioned for a while. As they were going through the history I started thinking about the company they founded.

It wasn’t Hewlett Packard since that was started up in the 30’s. I wracked my brain and I declared to Ennie: “Fairchild.” It was a guess.

Holy crap if I wasn’t right!  :-D

We continued watching and they started showing some of the folks that left Shockley to form Fairchild. The best one was this:

Gordon Moore – Chemist

Such the understatement.

Yes, Gordon Moore is a chemist.

Gordon Moore is also one of the founders of Intel.

Many other companies were spawned off from Fairchild — Intel, AMD, Data General among them.

It’s amazing that many of the movers and shakers of Silicon Valley went through Fairchild Semiconductor.

The Comeback

I’ve been thinking of yesterday’s game a lot since it ended. This isn’t really shocking because of the bigness of the game and how we managed to pull it off.

The thing is I’m used to it. But on the other side of it.

I mentioned it yesterday… but in some way I feel bad for the Packers because I’ve been there myself. Talking about it today at work I think we witnessed something that will have its own page on Wikipedia.

Something that’ll be talked about in 20 and 30 years from now.

Yeah, I feel bad for the Packers fans. I’ve been there.

But no, I’m still happy we won.  :-)

One more game

Ennie and I are used to normal Cleveland sports.

“There’s always next year” is the mantra of the Cleveland sports fan.

Mind you, I have to say that Cleveland fans are some of the most dyed in the wool fans I’ve ever been around. That said, you need to be to survive without trying to jump out a window.

We’re used to coming close. From the Kardiac Kids in the 80’s to The Drive and The Fumble we’re used to almost winning.

At half time the Seahawks were down 16-0 to the Packers. It was painful. It was a pain that was familiar to both of us.

Somehow, with a dose of luck that we’re not used to, the Hawks managed to pull a victory off against all odds.

See ya in a couple of weeks. #GoHawks

Lust, Romantic Love, Attachment

While working out this morning (yes, it was a recovery ride from yesterday’s 37-mile jaunt) I was watching some Netflix.

I started plowing through some TED talks about “Sex, Secrets & Love.” Honestly, this is a topic that I spend quite a bit of time thinking about on a day-to-day basis.

The episode that really got me thinking was the talk by Helen Fisher: “Why We Love and Cheat.”

The underlying concepts in the talk are talking about some of the chemistry of the brain and how things move from the beginning of a relationship, which she labeled lust, through to love, and finally to attachment.

Romantic love, she described, as as the stage of a relationship where you get (not her words) NRE — new relationship energy. This is the part where you can’t not think of the person you you’re in love with. Where everything they do is awesome. The part where you’re just floating on air.

Attachment, on the other hand, is the comfortable period where you’re programmed to (her words) put up with your partner. It’s a constant. A known. It’s stable.

She goes on to say that you can be in different stages of this with different people. Simultaneously. Right around the 17:00 mark on the video she goes over exactly this — mostly glossing over it before moving on to the rest of her talk.

But stopping there to contemplate is something I did. If we are capable or being in these different stages of relationship at the same time, why is it that we societally try to tamp that down? If we are married, for instance, why not also have the opportunity to get some of that NRE charge that you’re brain craves? Or give into lust?

Similarly, if you can be in different stages with different people, can you not also be in the same stage with multiple people? For the “lust” part, certainly. Assuming you’re alive and not self delusional you go through your day thinking at times “damn, aren’t they hot” as some cutie walks past and piques your interests. Similarly, people can date multiple people before choosing to “go steady” with someone. Attachment is trickier. You can’t (legally) marry multiple people… but that’s not to say that people don’t form all sorts of long-term relationships in non-traditional families.

As I’m writing this I’m struck by another notion as well. The sense of directionality of the states as laid out by Ms. Fisher: Lust, Romantic Love, Attachment. As though it’s supposed to be a a path that gets followed. What if you’re happy at romantic love (perhaps a friends with benefits)? Or even just lust (swinger)? Moving all the way to attachment is also possible (polyamory) if that’s where things are destined to go. Oh, and I think this isn’t even just three states that you can navigate between… it’s a continuum where there’s no simple integer that defines the status of a relationship.

I guess this is just a rambling bit of processing for me. Thinking about relationships and how it works in “real life.” It’s way more complicated than it seems, isn’t it?

Warrantee… on the new scope.

Well, going back and forth with Tektronix about the function generator on my scope it has come down to making a warrantee claim on it.

The thought process about repair versus repair went like this… if I return it I’ll likely be out shipping and I’ll still would need a different scope. Not just that but I would want to get something like a function generator as well. I would be able to make due without a spectrum analyzer… but even still I would be spending more than the cost of the Tek scope.

So I guess it’s going back and they told me that they’ll expedite the repair since it’s an issue with a DOA scope.

<sigh/>

I guess all things can fail.

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