Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Known To The Law

Hello everyone. It's been a pretty interesting last little while. Today, I've already been out to the police station to get myself fingerprinted. This is so they can have my prints on file in case anything should happen and so they can complete my police check that everyone who volunteers with "vulnerable" people needs to get. It didn't take long at all. Nor was it a problem finding where we needed to be. I guess dad tends to think things wil be more difficult and time-consuming than they are sometimes. The process was different than I expected. I thought I'd be feeling some sort of soft velvet-like pad rather than the hard serfice where my prints presumeably ended up alright. Pretty soon, I guess even ink will be a thing of the past and everything will be digital. I can't say I heard anything very interesting while in the police station. Not really certain what I expected there but it just sounded like any other work environment I've passed through over the years. Mom and I stopped for brunch at Kora's. I hadn't eaten there in quite some time and enjoyed that thoroughly. Mom's digging into the first of the computer adventure games I've gotten her for her upcoming birthday. They're older games repackaged for WindowsXP and above. What got me started on that tack was one called The Last Express. It's a sort of adventure mystery simulation all rapped up into one and takes place on the Orient Express just before the first world war starts. She's plunging right in and seems to enjoy it so far. These more complex adventures should last her longer than the casual games she's speeding through.

Last weekend was terrific as I had visitors both friday and saturday evening. Nan and Doug plus their four sons came over for a Swiss Chalet dinner which went quite well. It was good to have the apartment so full of people for once. We had a great conversation. On saturday, I saw Mark and Wendy for dinner. I now have my brother's family's old kitchen table as my dining table capable of seeting four should the occasion demand it. It fits quite well against the wall with three of the chairs neatly tucked away. The other is in my bedroom and may occasionally come in handy in there should I have overnight company. I now have all the major permanent pieces of furnature I'll need. There are just a couple of slingback chairs for my balcony that I hope to acquire this year. There's also the tredmill which I'll eventually get from mom and dad's house as well as all my new computer stuff. Once that's all in and I've had a chance to grow accustomed to it all, this place will at last start to have that sense of stable sameness that a home ought to. I guess that process has begun already in a gradual sort of non-intrusive way. Over the past while, that sense of this being the right place for me has grown stronger. Now that I've lived here for a full year, things don't seem quite so tenuous. It was so good having friends over. I know there'll still be times when I feel isolated, disconnected and all that; Weekends where nothing at all goes on and weeks where the days start to blend together into one agonisingly long stretch of sameness. Just now though, I'm feeling remarkably whole. My life is certainly a different one than most peoples' but I no longer have such a profound sense of missing out on everything. Finally having gotten a good sleep last night without recourse to medication also helps. Things seem in their proper shape. I'll be folunteering at The Dam this afternoon in a couple of hours. It's slowly starting to become a normal part of the week. I'm still probably too driven to acomplish stuff with the kids rather than just hang out there as they seem to want me to do. It's getting better though. I'm starting to get used to doing that. I guess it'll grow and change in time as people there get to know me better slowly.

It's early in the evening now. I didn't bother at all with dinner. Just wasn't hungry after that wonderful brunch. Time at The Dam passed slowly today. I'm not quite as used to just hanging around there as I thought. Had a nice chat with some people in the states who have one of these conference line things. Skype makes it affordable for me to participate and it certainly helps the evening move along. They were quite an interesting group of people. I just get tired of wearing a headset after a while.. I'm actually pretty tired period. I'll definitely have some medication tonight to make certain I get a second good sleep in a row. Need to ditch this round of insomnia for a long while. At least now, it's biting off part of an empty evening rather than a day. It's a whole lot easier to live with that.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Obtaining an iPHONE and Other Happenings

Hello everyone. It's a quiet saturday evening and a good time for another blog entry. Things are going pretty well. I'm now the happy owner of an iPHONE 4. Already, I think it'll prove to be the best investment I make in the next good long while. I now have a fully accessible smartphone. I'm still a little slow at answerring calls and finding out the quick tricks of navigating around the screens. However, I've managed to buy a bunch of nifty aps. One of them, Digit-eyes, is even better than my refurbished IDmate2 in terms of telling me what stuff is. However, it does so at a slower speed. That's fine by me. I've got the time to give in exchange for less mystery and surprises where groceries are concerned. I've bought some games and obtained a bunch of free aps. That's an area where I'll have to be somewhat more financially conscious. They're quite cheep individually but it's *so* easy to impulse shop. So far though, I've only found two that I felt compelled to delete. Sadly, nethack is inaccessible on the iPHONE. So is Rogue. Too bad. Those would have been fun. This afternoon, I managed to load my classic Infocom games into Frotz for the iPHONE. I like the idea of having those text adventures available again in a completely accessible form. My iPHONE is already proving quite the useful gadget. There's still a whole lot to learn about it. I've accidentally declined a few calls I actually meant to answer. That should happen less often now as I master the thing. Sorry to anybody I quite accidentally hung up on over the past few days.

Getting my new iPHONE on tuesday morning and then going to the Dam in the afternoon made for a nicely busy if not overly productive day. My second afternoon at the Dam felt very unsatisfying. The place is really too noisy for audio games. Only one kid showed any interest at all and I'm frankly amazed he did as well as he did given the background ambience. Played some audio dramas as well but nothing seemed to intrigue them. I think part of the problem is that sitting there with my stuff out on my lap makes me look too disengaged, like I'm off in my own world doing my own thing and would prefer not to be interrupted. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I have most of any given week plus weekends to do my own thing. There has to be some way of getting more engaged with them. The only thing I can think to try next week is to stay on my feet and hang around them hoping for some thread of conversation I can naturally join in on. They all just seem to want to blow off steam rather than relate but doubtless, a lot of visual body language comes into play for them. I can't fall into the trap of disenchantment and presume there's just no hope and no insight to be found. I'm far from resigned to exclusion over the next couple of years.

Today has been a fairly quiet but interesting one. Shirley came over to keep up to date with email and such. It makes a big difference just having someone come around more often. I'm just glad I can actually help someone out in a meaningful way. We're getting to hear more about each other's lives and that adds an important element for me. She's taken that step from being just another nice person willing to help where possible to actually being a friend. It's damned nice to know that's actually possible here. On these last couple of visits, I must confess to a little inattentiveness as I struggled to come to grips with my iPHONE. I think it did both our spirits good for her to see me struggle a little with new technology and hear my self-directed mutterings. Those come pretty naturally when your gadgets have been talking to you all your life. Hopefully, I'll get to know more people better over this spring and summer here.

We're moving ahead with obtaining my new computer equipment. Frontier Computing came through in good style with a price quote I'm happy to go with. It'll be different having an iMAC. I'm looking forward to the challenges ahead technology-wise. There'll be a whole lot to learn and look into on these all too plentiful more quiet days. Once I'm comfortable with the braille display, I believe I'll consider starting a podcast of some sort. I've simply got to keep more busy doing something which connects me more with other people. There's also the ever-present drive I've always had to share my blessings with others in whatever way I can. If I can't find more to do in the offline "real" world, then perhaps, I should play to my strengths and put something else out into the online one. It's not really what I hoped for from life, but it's what I have to work with. The world where people meet up in places for good conversation and actually value a man of thought seems to be a thing of the past. Any way you slice it, I'm in for a lot of long solitary days. I guess I've come to a point where I'm enough at peace with that prospect to start looking at how I can contribute more from that place rather than trying to force it to go away. There doesn't seem to be any real way to recoup a decade of effort rendered lost by a failed marriage and a near miss. Now that I've learned all sorts of painful lessons about relationships, it seems the universe is out to make certain that hard-won wisdom does me no good at all. Still, there's at least a spark of hope for that in me yet. Also, I still think there's a lot of reason to hope for finding more friends who are close in geographical terms as well as in friendship. It'll just take lots and lots of time and patience.

The dishes are all done and everythings' squared away now. I've got winamp playing some nice relaxing instrumental music as I crank out this blog. Aura is holding up its end of the bargain as well presenting me with forest night sounds plus a bonfire ambience. I've enjoyed a nice Black Oak beer with my dinner. As usual, one has proved more than sufficient for a night like this. I have no desire to get anywhere near drunk alone. Better to go put some of this relaxation music onto my iPHONE. I certainly have space for it and may find it nice to have while on the move. I'll also stick on Raymond Feist's Rift War Sauga. Roy Avers did such a brilliant job recording those stories. Listenning to them has become the sonic equivalent of comfort food for me that not much else I've heard over the years really has. Tomorrow is a thankfully busy day. Church has games night plus a class on the Belhar Confession so I could be there most of the day with people who actually take a bit of an interest in me. That'll be nice.