I guess I should wish everybody out there a happy Thanksgiving that celebrates it.
I haven't been around much lately, certainly not as much as I would like to be. Things have been difficult lately, to say the least.
Around this time of year things go completely berserk at my dayjob. For a while I was pulling 14 hour days, capped off with feverishly working three days straight on one of the biggest projects of my career, which not only wound up going off without more than the expected number of hitches but has garnered quite a few kudos from the community. I'm rather proud of how it turned out. Unfortunately, it also took its toll, namely, on my health. During the final leg of the project I noticed that I was starting to get sick, and by that Tuesday my cow-orkers were telling me to go home and sleep because I looked like death warmed over. Unsurprisingly, I've been battling a nasty cold that's kicked the legs out from under me. I still haven't kicked out of big-project mode yet, because the last few times I've started to feel better I've run myself aground again without realizing I was doing so. This is not good. It also seems that I brought this particular nasty home, and now my family is in various stages of fighting it off.
I'm still trying to come to terms with the death of my grandfather earlier this year. It still does't feel real even though the hole in my life is almost tangible. I'm not going home for the holidays this year, and I wonder what effect that's going to have on my family. I miss him. I keep meaning to write about the details of it, but I fear that it's far too morbid for most people, and I don't want to cause casual readers trouble in an attempt to exorcise my own haunted memories.
A couple of weeks ago, somebody I knew on another social network committed suicide. We weren't particularly close though I did hang out in her "conspiracy theory and chill" chats once in a while. She was easily one of the most prolific beings in that particular feed. Her parents, however, chose to dishonor her in death by burying her under her deadname in inappropriate clothing, holding a service for same, and setting things up so that her 'real' family (the people who acted more like family toward her than her bloodline did) would be tripped up and stonewalled in every avenue available to try to set things right. For complex and difficult to serialize reasons I'm quite upset by this. I realize this all sounds clinical and remote, but it isn't. This manner of writing is really the only way I have of expressing what's going on, and it's an effort to get even this far.
This has lead me to consider my own mortality once again, as one might expect. My body's not getting any younger, it's pushing 40 these days, and I think I've hit the point where I don't bounce back the way I used to. So, I've started to lay plans for the future by getting my affairs in order. I'm working on a new iteration of my will and putting mechanisms in place that should fire in the event that I'm incapacitated or happen to die suddenly. I need to find a lawyer to help me figure out how to set everything up. I've also been going through the Networked Mortality wiki to figure out a gameplan.
By the way, if anybody knows of a mailing list provider, or mailing list software that would let me do the following things, please let me know via one of the socnets I monitor:
- A traditional e-mail mailing list.
- One person can send to the list, and everybody on the list will receive it.
- E-mail addresses that are not specifically on the list can still send mail to it. The reason is, if I get hurt I have a card in my wallet that says "If you find me unconscious or dead, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them, and they'll get things moving on my behalf."
- No or minimal public presence on the Net, because I really don't want it indexed by search engines. Alternatively, putting a global deny in a robots.txt file on the page in question should be possible.
A few of my recent experiments haven't gone well. In exploring options for a different online note-taker/text editor I've come across a number of things that just don't work on shared hosting. In point of fact, one might think that shared hosting plans are the red-headed stepchild of the Net these days... I could probably set up a VPS someplace specifically to test some of those applications but right now I really can't be bothered to do so. I think some of it is that I don't actually know what I'm looking for and because of that I don't know what I need or want. I tried setting up another copy of YaCy on a Raspberry Pi at home to index my personal library on Leandra but after a couple of days of tinkering I really don't think that it's a feasible project, even when referencing the official documentation to do so. That's another project I'm putting on the back burner for a while.
I've got some ideas for things to write, which I'll try to get do over the holiday. Possibly while waiting for Thanksgiving dinner and while listening to the yearly MST3k marathon in the living room. We'll see.
All of these things added together have lead me to pretty much go into hiding lately. It seems to require a lot of physical effort to get my body going right now, and consequently I run out of social faster than usual. Probably the only way I've kept myself going as long as I have has been avoiding people as much as is feasible. Lyssa has compared me to the housecat that gets sick and hides under the couch to sleep it off, leading everyone to wonder where it's run off to. I've even passed on a couple of concerts I was really looking forward to simply so I could recuperate somewhat. This has made me not particularly good company, I'm afraid. It's also meant that I've ceded recent control of my socnet accounts to some of my constructs a bit more than usual, which is why I seem to have been posting a fair amount but not really responding much.