Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Sunday, August 11, 2013

  49... and trying to find my navel

Wow. My posts here have declined to nearly nothing - in fact, this is my first post in a year. There's a lot of reasons for that.

1) Social media has changed. In g+ it is too easy to write something bigger than twitter but shorter than a blog. So I now do the g+ thing. I didn't care for twitter, I didn't like joining the flood of tiny little messages on important topics, now I can do stuff that's more bite-sized...

2) My day-to-day communications in life are mostly talks, email and irc these days. I spent the rest of my writing time coding or writing documentation or correcting stuff on other websites. I haven't done a lick of creative writing in ages... aside from giving about 10 public talks in the last 10 months. Writing and giving talks takes a heck of a lot out of me! No matter how natural I might look on youtube, I lose a week under the bed working out what I was going to say. And every time I've tried to write something bigger than that, I've frozen up with terrible, crippling, writers block.

3) I started a different blog only to tire of remembering formating rules of markdown vs textile vs html vs blog-tool-of-the-day. I keep hoping that something better than ikiwiki will show up without much luck... and keep meaning to resume my efforts with ikiwiki only to run out of steam quickly.

4) I don't have a lot to say - sure there's lots of important issues I care about - but while everybody else is off busily "caring" about them (if being noisy on blogs actually made a difference) - I've had a laser like focus on actually *fixing* a problem I care about deeply.

I wouldn't mind if I wrote stuff down more, but I don't feel like sharing much more of myself with the universe than I already do.

And probably my biggest problem has been:

5) A whole bunch of people important to me died last year, and - in particular - after my dad went to the great fishing reef in the sky, I locked down, emotionally, to an extent I've only barely begun to discover, and just took an iron grip on work, and work only, to keep going.

Only in the last few months have I begun to open up and heal a bit, and take in bits of life, and I'm grateful very much to those that have reached out to help.

So, I sit, today, 49 years old, wondering how the heck did I get here? Professionally, I'm really happy with what I've helped accomplish in fixing bufferbloat. Pretty unhappy about the pay scale, but all around, I see signs of adoption and I foresee a much snappier internet in a few years for nearly everyone... But personally... about the only thing I've been feeling semi-positive about is that 14 days ago I smoked what I hope would be my last cigarette, and that even my cravings for the gum are going down. BUT: I have not been fun to deal with for the last month. And the main reason why I felt I could quit and lose the braincells is that the ietf has stepped up with a WG tackling the problem that I've lost so much sleep on. I'm not as needed anymore; the real experts can step up now.

Today started especially badly, but I don't feel like writing that down right now. Trying to remember the previous year...

I totally missed posting last year, and the year before. I have no idea what my state of mind was on those days. I'm mad at myself for letting any form of journal lapse.

So today, in addition to that rather bad morning, I was feeling like I was making no personal progress, that I'm just as stuck now with my life as I was 10 years ago... so I went and looked up what I'd written 10 years ago today...

Wow. Reading that cheered me up tons. The space program is so massively back on track... it's freaking wonderful. I'm missing out on being a part of it, but that's ok, so many others care and are doing something about it, and maybe if I can assure myself the internet is in good hands again, I can re-join....

It still doesn't help my "life", per se'...  but seeing mankind make it into space was my childhood dream and earliest professional goal, and it's happening! it's happening!

Moving forward a year... well, I solved the exercise problem then, I need to get around to solving it again. Outside my yurt now sits the same bike I had then, and unfortunately a MUCH taller mountain. I can't make it anywhere on the thing without gasping for air and walking uphill for what seems like miles.

I spent a few more minutes in my navel looking over that stuff leaping forward to today...

I still don't really have an action plan. Maybe I'll write more after I get better focus on my navel...

1) I need to write more stuff down, but I no longer feel much urge to tell the universe off (as I did for a decade), I just want good backups for whatever's on my mind...

2) I need a viable business model for what I'm doing, or to find a way to reduce it to a background process and do something else. Today, I lean towards doing something else that would let me have a life back again. I have no idea what that is. Maybe tomorrow I'll return to seeking a business model. It turns out that I really enjoy "fixing the internet". It's not a bad job description...

In looking over that sea of blogs from 2003 to 2009 or so, for most of that time I felt I was washed up, and irrelevant, with skills nobody needed anymore. I don't feel that way at all now! (and I'm so glad I took that timeout to change my life and life in nicaragua, surf, play music, and learn spanish)

I do wish I wasn't pushing 50. Everything hurts, from my knees to my hands, to my back, especially. I look forward to being uploaded, or to some form of regeneration. The rest of my life - outside of work - would be more feasible. Most people can golf when they retire, I can't manage 3 holes without calling for a massage therapist.

Aside from that... well, hell. It's been a while since I looked inside myself and there's some ugly in there that's going to take some time to sort out. But it's looking like clear skies for the Perseids tonight, I've got my guitar packed up, and I'm heading somewhere quiet and dark to commune with them again in a few minutes.
 
Comments:
love you!!!! *kitten hugs*
 
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David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


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Uncle Bill's Helicopter - A speech I gave to ITT Tech - Chicken soup for engineers
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Inside the Internet Mind - trying to map the weather within the global supercomputer that consists of humans and google
Sex In Politics - If politicians spent more time pounding the flesh rather than pressing it, it would be a better world
Getting resources from space - An alternative to blowing money on mars using NEAs.
On the Columbia - Why I care about space
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