LoserNet Home | Index | Previous | Next Old Man Stories and Other Strange Tales

The Year of Living Dangerously
Art of Noise

Note: This volume has been edited beyond recognition. The next 32 chapters of the journal have been pruned signficantly. This has altered the context and integrity of the journal. Some continuity has been preserved, but there are still many major gaps in chronolgy.


It is difficult to be excited about the new year. After all, everything is a mess. I am not surprised that the majority of people are seemingly oblivious to it all. Rampant consumerism has been the cornerstone of a totally alienated and self-absorbed populace. While most of the nation is content with downloading "free" music, the powers-that-be are robbing us blind and moving us ever closer to apocalyptic confrontations. The Shrub foreign policy ruse is only serving an elite group of moneychangers. We are willing to decimate various nations in order to continue the voracious consumption patterns of a small percentage of the world population. Yet, controlling the last of the world's non-peaked petroleum reserves does little to solve the problem that we will face in 20 years when those reserves are gone forever. No one seems to care, which is what disturbs me. Caring in an open-minded fashion is now considered "unpatriotic." The neo-Capo are really only interested in their own survival. Don't you find it odd that the demand for SUV gashogs is basically what is keeping the economy afloat (aside from the mortgage and credit bubble)? In a war precipitated only by greed, the blood of the victims will be on our hands. An already ravaged people will pay with their lives so that a select few can enjoy modern conveniences. I find it interesting that I rarely see anybody in the 'hood. They walk out the door and immediately get into their automobiles. If I see anyone, it is because I can see them waving as they drive by. I don't need to elaborate any further. Otherwise, I will have a slew of goose-stepping pricks like Chimpo getting on my case.

Of course, we have our own problems to worry about. So, who cares if a few "towelheads" get blown to bits? The hypocritical religious zealots don't seem to care, especially these so-called "Christians." They are eager to seek retribution for the persecution of their supposed religious ancestors as chronicled in the Good Book. Little do they realize that in subsequent periods, there were waves of European imperialism which altered the geopolitics of the region permanently. Our current problems will involve the economy. We were told to shop like crazy to keep the economy afloat. I fail to see how that would have done anything. Since most of the products are made outside of the country, the purchase of the latter would only serve to increase our trade deficit. In addition, we have high levels of unemployment with either inflation or deflation looming on the horizon. Waging wars is not going to bring about the prosperity of the fifties like so many believe. It's only going to line the pockets of the benefactors of the military-industrial complex and increase government debt. Alas, no one seems to care. Downloading "free" music is about the only revolution against the "corporate state" that I would expect from a docile and complacent populace.

I am not optimistic about the upcoming year. I am already certain that I will not make the goal of my five-year plan. I wanted to purchase a telescope, but that will have to wait. I need a "nine." There is no telling what will happen once people realize that they have been taken in by the ruse. If they can no longer download "free" music, they may resort to violence. I sense that there is an exponential increase in cases of depression and dysthymia. I believe that the majority of people are depressed and emotionally troubled. They have, of course, buried themselves in diversions (read: denial). The sad part is they defend their actions and claim to be perfectly happy. As I look around, I do not see any signs of a happy society. I see a powderkeg ready to blow. Happy New Year!

Wednesday January 1, 2003

The new year will require extensive defensive strategies. I have already divested one mutual fund account, incurring a capital loss of two AWUs (although I have no idea when I will be able to deduct the loss). I am also considering the consolidation of my existing loans with a low interest rate lock. This will lower my monthly payments. My term will increase, but it does not matter since I plan to pay it off by the end of Year 2005. I am also seriously considering the conversion of my money market funds to an insured Certificate of Deposit account. Gold bouillon is also a consideration. I am going into full survival mode. The only sad part is the fact that I have to invest in a "nine." This is a tragic sign of the times. What's the bottom line? I don't believe that many of us have any control over our own dough anymore, no less our lives. The only thing that we can do is to not waste money on useless junk and to invest as prudently as possible.

Insofar as our lives are concerned, we must try to live in a productive and meaningful way. We can choose to spend time with quality people and do what we can to restore faith in humanity. It does us no good to waste our time with scum. I have been fortunate to be blessed with good friends who have been able to tolerate the ol' lavahead's quirks. My friends are my family. Well, we made it through another year, eh? I am glad that you are all still here with me. In this new year, I promise that you will be right here with me to experience all of the pain and heartache that is life. There will be a few joyful moments, and you will experience them as well. All of us at LoserNet hope that you had a great time and that a fantastic year lies ahead.

Pseudo-professor John sent New Year's greetings by e-mail yesterday. I have not heard from Pseudo-professor Robert, so I am wondering what is going on. I suspect that he has lapsed into despair. The dysfunctional family get-together was, naturally, as dysfunctional as ever. I made myself conspicuously absent from the dinner table. The former sibling didn't even bother to show up. Moms ordered pizza. While the Ninja Turds went gallivanting around da 'hood, moms waited up for them to return and take the rest of the pizza home.

"I doubt that they are are going to show up," moms said.

"Then, why are you waiting up for them?" I asked, exasperated by the sheer stupidity.

"In case they show up," moms replied.

I gave up. Moms kept calling up the Turds' place. After a while, I was ready to lose it. Moms should let the Turds move back in immediately because she obviously misses all of the abuse. Shirley called and left a message. She received the gift card and thanked me. That is why I wanted moms to meet Shirley. Then, moms could see first-hand that there are some good people around, in contrast to certain family members. Oh well, this is dysfunction at its best.

The New Year's Eve festivities can be summarized as a dud. The fireworks activity in da 'hood was lame, a substantial decrease from last year. It seemed as though most people were just going through the motions of celebration. Can you blame them? The year is starting off dismally, and it may get worse. Nonetheless, the odor of sulfur was at asphyxiating levels all evening because the trade winds were conspicuously absent. I could barely breathe.

I lapsed in and out of a coma in my favorite chair for half the day. I spent the rest of the time perusing the Modern Thought catalog, specifically the refractor telescopes. Yep, I may purchase a telescope instead of a "nine." The refractor type is probably the best for the oversized cranium. I would like a fully manual telescope. I am tired of all of the battery powered crap. The only quandary is whether to choose an equatorial mount or the cheaper Altazimuth mount. Well, so much for the holiday. Sheesh!

Thursday January 2

Shirley had called and left a message again last night. I left a voicemail message seven hours later. I have been in a bad way for most of my unpaid vacation. I need to go into permanent seclusion. I do not want to deal with people anymore. I have my iBook and my Bose Acoustic Wave to keep me company. Perhaps I will have a new telescope to occupy my evenings as well. I want to explore the night sky while listening to the psychotic classical pieces on public radio. Just me, myself, and I. Mary Ann sent e-mail, just as I expected. She seemingly enjoys her new job. Roach threw a farewell potluck lunch for her. She also mentioned that she went out partying on New Year's Eve and got wasted. The more I think about it, the more obvious it becomes that I must exit society.

I read an interesting article "reprinted" in the McClendon Report by Don Stott titled "Hadacol." Stott describes how and why he bought a moosehead named Herman for $300 at an auction. "I got out of dollars, in other words. Would I rather have Herman looking over my shoulder as I talk to you guys and write this drivel, or have $300 in my wallet?" asks Stott. Will the alternative financial press prove correct? Are we heading for dire straits? Personally, I believe that the evidence points in that direction.

I fasted for 12 hours. Then, I went in for my blood test at the Kaiser clinic in Hawai'i Kai. I ended up in town again. The ride on the street bus was very enjoyable this morning. I worked on my syllabi for an hour. I also spent some time perusing vendor sites for telescopes. Then, I went to the gym. An uneventful day, at best. I've been thinking about the nature of the universe lately. I suppose that is what got me excited about procuring a telescope. I believe that there are some profound answers available through the lens of a telescope. That is what I want to discover. A telescope seems much more useful to me than a moosehead.

Friday January 3

American Century posted my account closure on December 31st. I will be able to deduct my capital loss as planned. I installed the new iCal update and it screwed everything up. So, there may be no more updates to the on-line calendar. I am a little perturbed by this nonsense. Last night, moms expressed some concern because the former sibling has been working every day without rest. It is fairly obvious that his family life is on the rocks. I've already warned moms about what's going to happen when she gives them the house. The dolt file clerk is going to take the former sibling to the cleaners after she divorces him. The loser insurance company that pays the small quarterly annuity to me is three days late with the check. I am sure that the company is ready to go under.

I ended up in town again today. I managed to get some work done. I also listed a few items on eBay. Hopefully, everything will sell. I managed to pick up a math class for the Summer. It is a quantitative methods class, which is basically applied statistics. I think that I am way over my head now. However, I have no choice but to facilitate the class. My income is already diminishing, and I have just absorbed my first capital loss. I saw Mary Ann sitting at her desk when I went in to see the academic coordinator. I did not have time to visit with her, but she did seem distant again. I also did more research on telescopes. I was disappointed to learn that the view from most of the affordable telescopes will be somewhat mediocre. Objects will still be small and also appear blurry. I am probably better off with a "nine."

I haven't heard from Shirley for a few days. That's okay. I've been on the edge. I feel as though I could explode in a violent rampage at any time. The fiasco with iCal last night almost did it for me. The non-existent annuity check also pushed me close to the edge. Man, I need a "nine"! I probably should go to Foodland and purchase a big ass bottle of the Hammer. I need something to calm my nerves. heck, I would be a basket case right now if it were not for the gym. I honestly believe that I would have some serious health issues if I did not work out. Well, there are two more days left of my unpaid vacation. Then, back to the salt mines.

Saturday January 4

I changed the light fixtures in Mark's kitchen. It took about 30 minutes, which would have been a fortune at an electrician's rate. Mark then treated me to a late lunch at the new Paradise Café in Koko Marina. We spent the rest of the afternoon talking story out on his balcony. I did not make it to the gym, but I am okay with that. When I returned home, I discovered that Shirley had called and left a message. So, I called her back. She told me about what she has been doing for the past few days. She also said that she would be available to do lunch tomorrow. That was fine with me. The annuity check arrived today. I am feeling less stressed now. I will spend the evening with my usual toys and peruse the Modern Thoughts telescope catalog again.

Sunday January 5

Shirley called to cancel lunch. She sounded like she had a hangover. I lapsed in and out of a coma in my favorite chair until it was time to walk to the gym. I struggled through my workout. All of the crap food that I have been eating during my unpaid vacation has taken a toll on me. The whole telescope fiasco is beginning to get on my nerves. Should I spend the the dough, or should I not? What if the telescope is a piece of crap? I keep deliberating these kinds of questions over and over in my head. Yet, I have no other hobbies or interests. I plan to order an Orion Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope, rather than a reflector or refractor type. Whoa! This just in! I tried to order the telescope on-line. Then, I discovered that the shipping cost would be $105 since "2Day" service is the only option. Well, so much for astronomy as a hobby. Back to the salt mines tomorrow!

Monday January 6

An uneventful day at the Asylum. I received an e-mail from Mary Ann. She said that she was taken aback when she heard someone call out "Boss" to her on Friday. That someone was the ol' lavahead, of course. She misses the Asylum gang. Oddly, she invited a few of them to her place last night. Why weren't kevin and I invited? Whassup wi' dat? I called Orion Telescopes today. There is no way to ship anything to Hawai'i except "2Day" service. I also called Hardin Optical. I learned that the Hardin telescopes are made in China just like the Orion models. In fact, most of the inexpensive telescopes for all brands are made at the same factory. Although I was given more shipping options at Hardin, the telescopes were significantly higher in price.

Later, I went to the gym. My favorite Asian babe was there. I observed that she went through the same circuit of machines that I did, which was fairly obvious since she was following right behind me. Baby was looking real fine. When I returned home, I continued my research concerning telescopes. I discovered that I really can't ask for much since I am looking at the "low budget" spectrum. I am probably better off buying the short-tube refractor. Unlike the catadioptric telescopes, the refractors do not require routine collimation. I will not be able to squeeze out much magnification, but it is small, portable, and easy to set up. Upon attempting to continue my research, I discovered that the Diploma Mill's authentication server for the modem pool was down. So, I could not go on-line. Is this an omen?

Well, I was finally able to connect to the Net via the Asylum's ISP. I received e-mail from Caroll. Things have gotten worse for her. She was arrested for the bad check situation of a few months ago. She wants me to call her. I assume that she needs money. In her last e-mail, she described the ordeal that she went through to get a judge drop a speeding ticket. I am afraid that I may have to disassociate from Caroll. Something just isn't right about her stories.

Tuesday January 7

Last night, I walked outside and looked up at the night sky. I could not believe the number of objects that I could see. It was nothing short of spectacular. My decision to purchase a telescope was made. I ordered an Orion 80mm short-tube refractor on an equatorial mount. I know that it is not a great telescope, but it is a good beginning. Later, I would like to purchase a Newtonian reflector telescope. However, it is much larger and more cumbersome to tote around. Since my little 80mm telescope is being shipped via the "2Day" service, it should be here in two days.

An uneventful day at the Asylum. I was fatigued because the young ho' was making a lot of noise all night long. I checked the Orion site and found that my telescope was not shipped yet. I was somewhat perturbed, considering the shipping cost. None of my eBay items have any bids. Apple introduced a new line of notebook computers at the Macworld Expo. For now, I am happy with my beloved iBook. As always, another day, another dollar ... short.

Wednesday January 8

Bug attempted a surprise visit to my class. However, I had no lecture planned for today since I am way ahead of schedule. Bug is planning to come by again, but the smarmy little insect will be surprised by the absence of a lecture. I ended up in the faculty computer room at the Diploma Mill as usual. I ended up chatting with Pseudo-professor Tony about Macs. He is one of the few Mac people that I have run into. I have also been tracking my telescope order through the FedEx site. It was still at the Oakland hub in Cali at 2pm. This give a whole new meaning to "2Day" service. Whassup wi' dat?

I also received confirmation that my programming class will be canceled. So, the prophesy is being fulfilled — "The tribulation will increase with each passing month. I will be pushed to the limit of sanity. I will be tempted with what I cannot have. Then, I will be denied my dignity." Sheesh!

Thursday January 9

An uneventful day, at best. I checked on the shipping status of my telescope. It apparently arrived in Honolulu yesterday at 3pm. However, it was no delivered today. Things are different in Hawai'i. This is the concept of "Hawai'ian time." Always add at least an hour to a promised time. Add at least one day to a promised day. No one will be home tomorrow to accept any delivery. So, I will not see my new telescope until Monday evening, which essentially is the same as if I had it sent through regular mail. I paid a premium for the same mediocre result. It's easy to see why life is so frustrating. My problems are minimal, though. There are people on the other side of the planet just waiting for the bombs to drop.

I want to minimize the blood on my hands, so to speak. Therefore, I am making it a point to divest myself of crap that I do not need. I want to minimize my use of technology to the iBook and the Bose Acoustic Wave, both of which are energy efficient. I do not want any battery powered devices (aside from the iBook) around anymore. I also want to limit my overall consumption even further. Almost everything that I own was made in Taiwan or China. Only the Bose Acoustic Wave was manufactured in the US. I no longer want to contribute to the trade deficit, if possible.

The night sky was clear, unlike last night. I took some time to peruse the universe. I printed out a star chart to aid in my observation. I am somewhat perturbed because I am certain that I cannot locate Polaris from the yard. It should appear about 20 degrees above the northern horizon. We are caged in by the ugly high fences of the neighbors. So, my equatorial mount may be useless. In addition, the light pollution is pretty high. I am already thwarted before I can even begin. It doesn't matter. I believe that the universe holds a few answers for the ol' lavahead, something that can no longer be ascertained on this planet. the universe is a Grand Design. Few of us look into the night sky, perhaps because it makes us realize how truly insignificant we really are.

Friday January 10

After another uneventful day at the Asylum, I caught the CityExpress to go to the Kaiser Clinic. So far, the ol' lavahead is in good health except for that damned cholesterol problem. I am also going in for another blood test tomorrow. It's for a prostate screen. I had to undergo the "prostate probe" as well. I made it back to town in time to go to the gym for a quick cardio workout. When I returned home, I found three boxes waiting for me. Yep, the telescope has arrived! I had tracked it earlier this morning. I knew that the cartons were on the delivery truck at 9am. Fortunately, moms was home to accept the shipment.

I spent about an hour assembling the tripod and the telescope. Then, it started raining. So, I was not able to calibrate the finder scope. I also wasn't able to take the telescope outside for a test run. Hopefully, I can complete the calibration tomorrow. Perhaps the skies will be clear, too. The telescope looks rather impressive even though it is quite small. However, upon closer scrutiny, it is obvious that my compact Orion is not in the same league as a TeleVue or a Takahashi model. Well, I won't be around any astronomy snobs anyway. If all goes well, astronomy may become a lifetime hobby for me. At least I figured out how to align my telescope to the approximate location of the Northern Celestial Pole. I just need a cheap compass!

Saturday January 11

It rained all night. It was still raining this morning, but the weather miraculously cleared up by 9am. I drove my six-four to the Post Office to mail a package of music CDs to the person who bid on them on eBay. Then, I went to the Kaiser clinic for another blood test. When I returned home, I took my telescope outside and aimed it at the top of Koko Crater. Later, I completed the alignment of the finder scope. Moms cooked a whole mess of food on the decrepit hibachi. I walked to the gym and did my usual workout. While I was gone, moms delivered the food to the Ninja Turds.

The sky looks somewhat clear this evening. I will probably study the sky and compare it to my star chart. Then, I will take my telescope outside for an evening of fun. The cheap equatorial mount is a real pain in the ass to use. Once the telescope is aligned to the Northern Celestial Pole, then only Right Ascension and Declination axes can be changed. In other words, the telescope must be contorted in odd positions to see different portions of the sky. I am concerned that I must invest more dough in my little telescope. I have an erecting image prism diagonal instead of a star diagonal. So, I may have to purchase one and also a 6.3mm Plössl eyepiece. Well, let's hope that the sky remains moderately clear tonight.

Sunday January 12

The clouds rolled in at 7pm, obscuring everything. So, I listened to the psychotic classical pieces on public radio all evening. I woke up this morning with a sore throat. I was not feeling well. I spent most of the day lapsing in and out of a coma in my favorite chair. I walked to the gym and did a mediocre cardio workout. As I was walking home, I observed that the sky was almost completely clouded over. I was ready to embark on a violent rampage. I decided to water the yard earlier since it was overcast. Just as I was almost done, there was a small break in the cloud cover just around the sun. I wasted my time because the heat completely evaporated the water. The rest of the sky was completely clouded over. Naturally, I had to water the yard again an hour later at dusk.

I don't expect the skies to be clear tonight. The sinister kahuna will make sure of that. I also have to deal with another dickhead who has decided to renege on his eBay bid. Why do these [copulating] losers bid on something when they are not going to follow through? Shirley called last night, but I did not feel like calling back. I am feeling very reclusive. I only wish that I could view the night sky through my beloved telescope. So far, reading the Orion telescope catalog over and over again has been the closest that I've gotten to astronomy. Sheesh!

Monday January 13

The sky was almost completely clear by 8pm last night. I carried my telescope outside and spent an hour gazing into the heavens. If I had not done a lot of research prior, then I would have been extremely disappointed. I could have used the tube from a toilet paper roll, covered one end with aluminum foil, poked a few small holes in the foil, and pointed it at a dim light bulb for the same effect. The moon, however, was an amazing sight. The whole purpose of stargazing must then be redefined. I am enthralled by the small dots of light. Each comes from solar systems an infinite distance away. The dots of light that I am seeing was emanated from the source eons ago. I have been thinking profusely about the universe. I cannot subscribe to the "big bang" theory. All of the large bodies in the universe are round. Each has a definitive gravitational property. There is no possible way that such conditions could exist after a big explosion.

An uneventful day at the Asylum. I discovered that the bidder had indeed paid for the auction item, so I will mail it tomorrow. I installed the software that came with my telescope on one of the computers at the Diploma Mill. It is called The Sky. It has a complete celestial database. I also chatted with Pseudo-professor Linda. I have not seen her in ages. She is moving to England. She's actually flying out tomorrow. She told me an interesting tale of romance, which is the reason she is moving. I was happy for her. She is embarking on a great adventure. Later, I went to the gym. My favorite Asian babe came in a little later than usual. All I could think about was what it would be like to do da wild thing with her. Perhaps it's because I am still under the weather. I am not thinking clearly. Heck, I don't need a babe. I have my beloved telescope. Sheesh! I located another source where I can order what I need for my telescope. The shipping (FedEx) for a few small items from Orion was calculated at $34, which is highway robbery. Well, I will spend the evening with my iBook. I have a few more items to list on eBay.

Tuesday January 14

I neglected to mention that Shirley and I chatted over the phone two days ago. Her mom discovered that Shirley had a tattoo on her back. So, her parents were both in an uproar. The foolish part is that she got it over three years ago. The eBay bidder tried to renege, but he had already paid for the item. So, I just shipped it off anyway. I only have a few more things to sell and then I'm done with eBay. The day was uneventful. Professor Brian said that he recently received e-mail from Pseudo-professor Amber. The reason she left Hawai'i abruptly is some kind of chronic allergy problem. I really can't buy that story.

I have decided that I must purchase a decent mirror star diagonal for my beloved telescope. The prism diagonal's reflectivity is too low. In addition, the light pollution in this area is high. I may need a narrowband filter as well. I am not sure why I am committed to beefing up my telescope. It's a hobby and a challenge, I suppose. I have lost interest in my five-year financial plan. I am uncertain whether I will make my final goal, and I do not seem to care anymore. I just want to get to the point where I can sit and watch the night sky for hours.

Wednesday January 15

I did not sleep well last night. I kept thinking about the fact that I will be making about $400 less per month for the next four months. If my Summer class does not fill, then that time period will continue through August. The day was uneventful. Bug came by to observe my class for the farcical annual evaluation. The whole purpose is just to find a reason to deny me a pay raise. I have made sure that I can defer my lectures in order to thwart Bug. What a stupid game. My favorite Asian babe has been at the gym every day. I won't go into what a babe she is because that's a given.

I ordered a mirror star diagonal and a Barlow lens from Stellarvue Telescopes. I probably should have purchased my telescope from Stellarvue, but the prices are somewhat high. The telescopes are handmade and highly rated. That's the last purchase I am making for my telescope. I will continue to sell off my other useless possession to offset the cost. It's good to know that life has returned to normal, eh?

Thursday January 16

Kevin met with Bug for his annual evaluation. The experience was, of course, predictable. No pay raise. A variety of lame reasons were offered, all of which we already knew. I restored my monk haircut. Then, I went to the gym. I have been in a bad way all week so far. It's probably obvious by the terse journal entries of late. I have been trying to trace the source, but I cannot seem to isolate any particular cause. I am generally dissatisfied with the state of affairs. I am sickened by the fact that we are going to invade a country and obliterate many of its citizens for dubious reasons. The majority of people have somehow been convinced that Saddam was behind the alleged "terrorist" attacks. Shrub and his cronies have done well. They have studied the gullible nature of the population and have capitalized upon the proliferation of stupidity. I really need to buy a copy of that Orwell book because we have arrived, albeit almost 20 years late. The economy is giving me the willies. I am watching gold prices rise as the equity markets are continuing on a downward trend. The situation in Venezuela is going to be the catalyst for problems, as well as our provocation of North Korea. The end game is near because we are on a collision course with fate. The human race has now brought itself face-to-face with its own destruction because of rampant stupidity. Politically, economically, and ecologically, we are near the end of the line. In the microcosm, community and family have disintegrated into volatile units of feigned "peaceful" coalition. I sense the stress. It permeates all walks of life. It drives me to divest my possessions and flee. My instinct tells me to search for the answer. So, I purchased a telescope to look as far as I can into the universe.

What have I learned so far? The earth is an infinitesimally small planet. It is infested by a life form that believes it is far greater than it is. The flames which emanate from the sun could easily engulf this whole planet. The sheer power of these fiery orbs called stars should make us stop and think. What is the source of these orbs? As we run amuck destroying ourselves and our home, we are oblivious to how truly powerless we are. We make absolutely no difference in the universe. Small changes in universal physics would destroy us all. Can we not see the trivial nature of our own existence in comparison? I have discovered the sheer futility of everyday living. There is no security. Saving money for the future or spending it like crazy makes no difference. Everything is vanity. Humans never seem to learn. Heck, it's seems like yesterday when Moses came down from Mount Horeb to discover his people worshiping the golden calf. This is the same kind of silliness going on today. When am I finally just going to say, "That's it, I'm through"?

Friday January 17

Another uneventful day. Kevin and I discussed the situation at the Asylum. He wants the both of us to resign at the same time, provided that we can find other jobs. The Director of Placement and his assistant both resigned in the span of two weeks. Everything is coming apart at the seams. I believe that we will be able to make it through another year there. However, Kevin is right. We need to move on.

My favorite Asian babe was at the gym. We both entered the meathead room at the same time, and we ended up on machines that were right next to each other. Baby was less than a foot away. There are some seemingly strange things going on, but I merely attribute them to coincidence. Whenever baby is working out on an adjacent machine, somehow she is always facing in my direction. When I am on one of the cardio machines, she goes into the aerobics room and does her stretches. She seems to position herself in the back of the dark room, but she is always directly in my line of sight through the glass panels. It's just coincidence. My mind is starting playing tricks on me. During the ride home on the express bus, I wondered why I am not dating a babe like my favorite Asian babe. Why am I sitting at home and waiting for the skies to clear so I can observe the stars through my beloved telescope?

I unwrapped my Bose Acoustic Wave for an evening of psychotic classical pieces on public radio. If the skies do clear up, then I will take my telescope outside for a couple of hours. If not, I will spend most of the evening with my beloved iBook. Too bad I am not spending the evening with my favorite Asian babe, eh? Well, that's why I am a monk. Sheesh!

Saturday January 18

I lapsed in and out of a coma for most of the day. Then, I walked to the gym and did a quick cardio workout. I did my yardboy chores when I returned home. I was in a bad way for most of the day. What do other people do on the weekends? Hang out with their homeys? Shopping? Watch the tube? I have absolutely nothing to do. I see people driving around. Where are they going?

I walked outside after dusk to survey the sky. There is too much light pollution. The idiotic neighbor on the hill is no help. He is constantly turning his floodlights on and off all night long. Naturally, his lights all aim straight into the backyard where I would be sitting with my telescope. The idiot also put a board up against his fence for some stupid reason. Even in the mildest breeze, it continually swings back and forth and hits the fence. I was on the verge of violence this afternoon, so I climbed the hill and flung the stupid board aside. If he ever says anything, then I am going to wring his puny neck. Well, what's in store for the evening? Can you guess? Did you say, "Bose Acoustic Wave, psychotic classical pieces, iBook, and telescope"?

Sunday January 19

The sky was fairly clear last night. However, the full moon was the most predominant object. I observed the moon for a while, noting that my eyepieces in combination with my telescope provide little in the way of magnification. I aimed the telescope in various locations and observed what I could. Nothing exciting. The erecting image prism diagonal is now getting on my nerves. I am also somewhat chagrined about my equatorial mount. Contorting it to aim the telescope in any direction is a general pain in the ass. In retrospect, I now see that I should have bought a small reflector telescope on a Dobson mount. That's water under the bridge. I have to make do with what I have. So far, though, I have not noticed any chromatic aberrations (which these cheap achromatic refractors are known for).

I lapsed in and out of a coma for most of the day. Shirley called and left a message. She said that she would stop by after attending a "pre-game" (read: football) party at Erin's place. I walked to the gym earlier than usual and did my mediocre workout. Shirley never came by, which was fine because I was not in a socializing mood. The sky is completely overcast, so I will not be spending any time outside with my telescope tonight. Perhaps I will spend the evening in contemplation of my life as a monk.

Monday January 20

I ended up at Barnes & Noble in Kahala Mall for about an hour for lack of anything better to do. Otherwise, I would have lapsed in and out of a coma all day. I walked to the gym later. I did a mediocre workout, although that's better than the alternative. Moms cooked a whole mess of food. She will be spending the night at the Ninja Turd's place. Moms has to "baby-sit" Turd Jr. tomorrow for some stupid reason. The dolt file clerk was supposed to pick moms up this afternoon. When I returned from the gym, moms was still waiting. Moms discovered that the dolt just decided not to show up. So, moms ended up taking the street bus. I must return to the salt mines tomorrow. I am dreading the first day of the new term at the Diploma Mill. I really need to re-evaluate my situation. Work has no meaning for me. I derive little pleasure from it, nor do I derive any sense of identity as a result of my labor. The money is meaningless as well, after all survival needs are met. The key to real success is to curb the desire to accumulate useless possessions, especially those that require maintenance or accrue periodic service fees. There is truth in the old adage, "Less is more."

Tuesday January 21

I received e-mail from Mary Ann last night. She has been under the weather for a week. She mentioned that she was at the Asylum about a week ago. She had a discussion with Vivian, the human resources person, about Roach. Mary Ann did not elaborate but it sounds as though Roach is beginning to tighten the noose around his own neck. The day was uneventful. I already know that I just have to "bite the bullet" and continue on. I cannot quit before the end of my five-year plan. I went to the gym after my classes. My favorite Asian babe was not there. When I returned home, I discovered that my order from Stellarvue had not arrived. Frankly, I don't even think it has been shipped. My credit card was charged a week ago, and I have paid for UPS "2nd Day Air" service. So, a week has now gone by. The company refuses to reply to any of my e-mail. Have I been victimized by shysters? The bottom line is that one should not take up any hobbies unless one can afford it. Trying to save a few dollars here and there is ridiculous and time consuming. I really can't afford to do much beyond sitting in my favorite chair and lapsing in and out of a coma. My crap on eBay did not sell, so I am done with that nonsense for now. However, I am in awe at the number of people who have made eBay a full-time preoccupation. Don't they have anything else better to do? Well, now that my Nova Spirit will be here with me forever, then perhaps I should use it more often. There are many craniums that need a good jolt, including my own. Baha! Ha! Ha! Haaaa!

Wednesday January 22

At the Asylum, Bug attempted to evaluate my class again. Bug is clearly attempting to "catch me in the act," since the visits are clearly surprises. I have cleverly developed means to thwart Bug by always having a contingent lesson plan that requires little lecture material. This was Bug's third attempt, which now has raised suspicion amongst the students. Earlier, I had seen an article written by Bug for the Asylum's newsletter. It was a bunch of nauseating hype. I highlighted the text which exposed Bug's hypocrisy, and then I posted it up on the bulletin board in my class. I feigned surprise at seeing the "excellent" article and pointed out that its author was sitting right there in class, in case anyone had any questions. Naturally, that caught Bug by surprise.

When I returned home, I discovered that my order from Stellarvue had not arrived. Eight days have now gone by. And, still no response to my e-mail. I will try to call the firm tomorrow and cancel my order. That put me in a really bad way.

Thursday January 23

I had a confrontation with Bug, which I instigated when I asked, "Do you love your job?" Bug had that stupid kabuki mask smirk, which is what prompted me to ask. Naturally, Bug loves being Roach's minion. Goebbels and Himmler also loved their jobs, too. The confrontation naturally led Bug to finally describe how she perceives that I am not happy at the Asylum. "That's odd," I said. "You sound like Roach. Are you parroting Roach?" The conversation left a bad taste in my mouth. However, there is no question that I am growing defiant of the Roach regime. My classes at the Diploma Mill seem to be going well. My favorite Asian babe was at the gym again today. My gut feeling is that she is looking for a stud. After all, V-Day is right around the corner.

Gold prices are still going up. The stock market is dropping like a lead balloon. That megalomaniac Shrub is hell-bent on bringing on the Apocalypse while the nation falls apart. Hawai'i has positioned itself to begin the Nazi smallpox vaccinations at any time. I am now concerned that there will be another staged "terrorist" attack to dupe the gullible public again. There has been little news coverage about the final agreement for the Afghanistan pipeline. Day in and day out, we are subjected to countless lies, denials, and evil machinations by our own people. The general populace is either drunk, stoned, or locked in endless distractions to even care anymore. We have also become so selfish that nothing can come in the way of our life-style and our conveniences. With that, I have add that Stellarvue has not responded to my e-mail, nor did I receive the order yet. I will be lodging a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. There is no one who can be trusted anymore. It's every man (and his money) for himself. The greed and corruption is at a fever pitch, and both will approach epidemic and violent proportions as the economy continues to disintegrate. The alternative financial press is warning us to get out. The Good Book is warning us to get out. And, to think, all I wanted was a good mirror star diagonal for my telescope so I could stare peacefully into the night sky. Sheesh!

Friday January 24

I sent e-mail to Stellarvue this morning to request a cancellation of my order. I received an e-mail less than two hours later. My order was allegedly shipped on the 21st and should be here today. I had posted my dilemma on the "80f5" e-group (named for the 80mm short-tube telescopes). There were mixed responses concerning Stellarvue's customer service record. I really should have just bought the stuff from Orion. At the Asylum, Kevin informed me that one of the other computer faculty is going to resign at the end of the term. This will really put Bug and Roach in a tizzy as they will have to cancel four classes. Kevin and I were laughing our asses off.

I walked to the post office after my classes. I mailed a package with two hurdy-gurdy DVDs to the winning eBay bidder. Fortunately, my favorite Asian babe was not at the gym. My mind would have probably snapped after being overloaded. When I returned home, I immediately unwrapped my Bose Acoustic Wave. I will be listening to the psychotic classical pieces on public radio in order to calm my nerves. The rains have started up again, so I won't be using my telescope tonight.

Saturday January 25

I finally updated my net worth summary, and I repaired my on-line iCal calendar. I finally received the package from Stellarvue. It was sent by Priority Mail, not UPS. So, I now have a mirror star diagonal on my telescope. I thought that I ordered a "shorty" Barlow lens, but I received a standard Barlow. I may have to return it. By the way, I did not get reimbursed the $16 difference in shipping cost. Well, I was extremely fatigued today, so I lapsed in and out of a coma for most of the day. I walked to the gym, as usual. The experience is always unnerving because I must constantly dodge the myriad idiots who display no courtesy to pedestrians. These are the idiots who are directly and indirectly backing Shrub in the so-called "war" to take control of Iraqi oil.

The skies are not clear this evening, so I will spend time with my beloved iBook. I will also ponder the reason why the sinister kahuna keeps taunting me with babes that I can never have. This seems to be some kind of sick game to push the ol' lavahead to the edge of sanity. What's the solution? Once again, it's mind over matter. Sheesh!

To be continued ... Go to D.02

© Copyright 2003. All rights reserved.