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2001: The Viagra Years

Saturday June 9, 2001

On the way to the bus stop yesterday, I happened to see Joyce. She would definitely qualify as "dangerous." Not that it matters. After all, I'm a monk. However, I can't help but wonder if what her friend Geraldine had told me way back was actually true or not.

I left at 6:30 this morning and took the street bus to town. I arrived at the Asylum about an hour later. After a brief Hot or Not session, I worked on my math presentations. My bro called me on my beloved cell phone at 10:30am. Nothing new with pops. I promised to be there later in the afternoon. I went to Taco Bell to buy my lunch. I have been in a daze since this situation with pops came up. I knew what the apparent risks of the surgery were, but I didn't expect this particular outcome. Even as I talked with my bro on the phone, I could hear pops in the background, groaning and sputtering out a few incoherent grunts. I could already picture his arms flailing about while he writhes uncomfortably on the bed. His eyes barely open, looking so sad.

I really didn't want to go to the hospital again. I went to the gym first to make up for at least one of my lost days. I also hoped that it would raise my spirits before seeing pops. When I arrived at the hospital, the scene was the same. Pops was curled up in the fetal position. He was quiet, most likely asleep. Within moments, he was thrashing about again. His groans and grunts were painful to hear. My bro and I went down to the cafeteria so I could buy a soda. I was extremely thirsty. We sat in the cafeteria for over an hour, just talking about all kinds of thing. We tried not to discuss pops' situation exclusively since it is taking a toll on all of us. When we returned to the ward, not much had changed.

I managed to talk with the doctor who had been supervising pops' cancer treatments. I asked about whether pops was possibly conscious and was aware of his situation. Primarily, I wanted to know if he was cognizant enough to be panicking in fear. The doctor did not think so. The dosage of morphine had also been doubled since early this morning. Pops may just be dreaming, he said. His groaning sessions are when he partially awakens but, no, he should not be aware of much. I was not completely satisfied with the answer, since the only words pops had spoken in a week indicated otherwise. As far as putting pops back on nutrition is concerned, that would only increase the agony a few more days. I also asked about whether pops could be sedated to sleep. The doctor said that it was possible, if that is what we wanted.

Shortly after the doctor had departed, pops began thrashing about and went into a longer fit of groaning and grunting. He actually reached out and grasped his wife's arm. Then, he opened his eyes and looked at her for a long time. He actually tried to say a few words, but the morphine has made him even more incoherent. My bro and I stayed on until about 7:30pm. Then, I caught a ride with him. We ended up talking until 1am at moms' house. The situation is getting to my bro. He doesn't really show it but I can sense the stress. Ever since pops experienced the seizures, my bro has been spending almost all day every day at the hospital.

Pops will no doubt expire before the month is over. My guess is that he will not make it to Father's Day. I cannot and should not persuade his wife to make the decision to sedate him. Even if pops is thrashing about out of reflex, that at least gives the impression that he's still alive. I've come to grips with the decision that has been made. I'll have to keep telling myself that pops is not quite awake. He is not in pain.

I'm not certain if I will go to the hospital for the rest of the weekend. Monday is a holiday in Hawai'i, but I may choose to stay home. I am losing my zeal to facilitate any of my classes. Although I should be done with my presentation material soon, I am not certain whether I will be in the frame of mind to function well. Watching pops being starved to death is psychologically traumatizing. Perhaps this is the problem in modern society. We are too sheltered from the truth of our own mortality. That is why we often take life for granted and we cheapen it with our pathetic behavior. Only when I imagine myself in my father's place can I then see the folly of my ways.

Sunday June 10

I woke up pretty early this morning, but I was groggy. However, at about 10:45am, I received the dreaded call. I was on the road by 11 o' clock in my beloved six-four. I arrived at the hospital within 20 minutes. Pops was lying on the bed motionless. All of the tubes had been removed from him. His mouth was open as it has been ever since the seizures. His wife had put his glasses back on. His lips were completely white.

I don't think that I want to detail the rest of the day. Some of the relatives were very helpful today, since no one was prepared for this. I called Hosoi Mortuary. This is the same mortuary that handled Uncle Mike's funeral. Since pops was a veteran, he also wanted to be placed in Punchbowl National Cemetery. That is the cemetery where Uncle Mike is resting. There was a small service held for all of us, which was conducted by one of the hospital chaplains. I spent a little bit of time with my bro after all was said and done. I can tell that he is tired, although he seems to be holding out well emotionally.

I have not been affected much by the ordeal. I am actually relieved that I do not have to ponder anymore about whether pops was suffering or not. The experience was odd to me, and it was not the rite of passage that I had expected and dreaded. Perhaps that is because pops and I were never close. I am, however, looking at life a little differently this evening. Many things have changed, although I may not realize the ramifications until some time later. In one brief moment, a connection with my past (actually my "roots"), had been severed permanently. In the patriarchal family structure, my bro and I are now the current determinants of posterity.

Tomorrow, the immediate family must meet with one of the funeral directors at the mortuary. It is the ritual of the living to pay homage to the departed. There will be much to do before pops is finally laid to rest. We have to come to know pops' wife pretty well, and we will consider her as part of the family. As I mentioned previously, I have not been affected by the ordeal. I am fatigued, but I really just feel numb. That's it. I will say good-bye to my father here. I give thanks to him for my life and for doing the best that he could to be a parent. Many things went awry but all is forgiven. He has passed the family name to me, and I hope that I have somehow made him proud of my accomplishment. No matter what has happened in the past, he is my father. My dad. I will miss him. May he rest in peace.

Monday June 11

The bus ride to town was uneventful. I arrived at the mortuary on time. My bro and pops' wife arrived shortly afterward. I am also not going to detail the meeting with the funeral director because it reminded me of the experience of buying a car. This whole ordeal, from the large morgue that calls itself a hospital to this funeral with optional power steering and air conditioning, has made me ill. The bottom line is money. Frankly, I really didn't sense that anyone cared. Perhaps a few of the nurses were honestly caring. Aside from that, "kicking the bucket" is big business. It's an eternal cash cow.

I unboxed my Bose Acoustic Wave last night just to listen to Hearts of Space. I slept through most of it, which really is an indication of how good the program was. I'm not being sarcastic, by the way. Although I boxed it back up again, I had to wonder about the stupidity of this ritual. On Thursday, I may discover that I suffer the same malady as pops. Then, these foolish rituals of mine may become moot.

Pops' funeral will be on Friday. There will be an open casket viewing on Wednesday. The burial will also occur on Friday. Pops' final resting place will be at the veteran's cemetery in Kane'ohe. It will be an end of yet another era. I look at life somewhat differently now. I'm now wondering whether my decision to become a monk was seriously flawed. Who is to say? These are confusing times, and I must not jump to conclusions until the dust has settled.

Tuesday June 12

I purchased my Apple iBook today. I really only went there to look at it, but I should have known better. It's a really nice computer. The screen is the same size as my beloved Fujitsu computer, but that's where the similarities end. I will be dependent on the Fujitsu for a while because I am so unfamiliar with the Mac OS. And, I don't have the necessary Apple software to maintain LoserNet. On a positive note, the iBook has a DVD drive, so I'll be able to start up my hurdy-gurdy collection soon. Just kidding!

Pops' wife has changed the burial location to the Punchbowl National Cemetery. I talked with the priest who will be presiding over the funeral services. And, I have called a few of the relatives on pops' side of the family to get an idea of how many people will attend the funeral. I have been looking for a picture of pops for the funeral service. There are no pictures of pops alone. It was interesting to look at all of the old pictures. There were a lot of pictures of my bro and I when were kids. A few years ago, moms and I sat and looked at all of the pictures. I wish we could do that again sometime.

Life is returning to normal, although the schedule for the week will be hectic. Pops' passing has had an impact on me. I have been questioning the meaning of life. Sure, there aren't any answers. However, we all tend to forget that there is more meaning to our existence than just the usual mundane crap. I am inclined to look at my life a little more differently from this point forward. That's probably why I bought the iBook. There are changes coming. I'm not exactly sure what I mean by that. I just know that nothing can remain the same anymore.

Wednesday June 13

The viewing of pops' body was today. There were a small handful of people. I can't say that I am pleased with the long, drawn out funeral process. More people are taking the time to see pops now. Where were they when he was alive? My bro has pretty much taken over the organization of the funeral. As the older son, it was mostly my responsibility. However, if he must spread his wings, then so be it. If I had my way, I wouldn't even attend the funeral. My remembrance of pops has nothing to do with this circus of fools.

I continued on with my work today. I was a little fatigued because, frankly, this last week has been a real depressing one. The "dog and pony show" funeral does not help. I'll be glad when all is said and done. I'll be spending some time acquainting myself with my new Apple iBook tonight. Then, I must decide how I will divest myself of all of the other toys and gadgets. The iBook does everything. I need nothing else.

Thursday June 14

A few weeks ago, I had used the Net to find an interactive site about the human anatomy. I wanted to locate the specific organs in the area where I have been feeling a moderate level of discomfort. I used to attribute this to my liver "giving out." In fact, it's not the liver, it is my colon giving me trouble. Fortunately, my appointment at the clinic was today. I had a blood test done. In about three weeks, I will also have an ultrasound test done, and I may even end up getting a CAT scan. The situation is a little disconcerting, given what pops had just gone through. Nonetheless, that was the impetus for me to finally get off my ass and have the problem checked.

I am extremely fatigued. I wish that I had a whole week just to sleep. I can hardly wait for the weekend. I may even unbox my Bose Acoustic Wave to listen to the psychotic classical pieces on public radio. I'll also be playing with my new Apple iBook computer. I finally set it up last night so it could connect to the university modem pool. What is interesting is that the iBook immediately connected (sans my favorite phone trick) and it connected at 48kbps. My beloved Fujitsu notebook has never been able to do that. Could it be the cheesy Viking PC-Card modem?

I saw Mark on the express bus this afternoon. He is preparing for his laser eye surgery. That's coming up in a few weeks. I'm going to relax for the evening. Pops' funeral service is tomorrow and it will take up most of the day. I'll be playing with my Apple iBook later this evening again. The Mac OS sure makes Windows look really clunky. Heck, I'm just glad to be home.

Friday June 15

The funeral service was brief with lunch served right afterward. There were about 40 people in attendance. My cousin Alvin delivered the eulogy. I talked with just a few relatives, although I wasn't moved to do so. I have not seen most of them since I was about four years old. After this portion of the memorial service was completed, my bro and I transported the flowers and the urn containing pops' ashes to the Punchbowl National Cemetery.

Pops was given a full military ceremony. The flag was presented to pops' wife. My bro placed the urn into the niche. After saying to good-bye to the handful of people remaining, my bro and I then went to find Uncle Mike's final resting spot. It took a while for us to find him as I couldn't exactly recall the location.

There was a gathering of family at Alvin's house later in the evening. Alvin also lives in Hawai'i Kai. Moms and I arrived there at about 6:30pm. There was plenty of food of eat. Moms had a good time talking with many of the relatives whom she had not seen in years. I was more aloof, and I'm sure that most people noticed this. Perhaps I've grown too cynical, but I believe that mostly everyone was attempting to cover up their own embarrassment about the ridiculous lapse of personal contact by over-compensating with pretentiousness. I seriously doubt that I will ever see anyone until the next funeral.

Pops' wife called my bro and I for a brief private meeting. She just had a few words to say about pops and she also delivered separate envelopes to us. Upon returning home, I opened the envelope. Pops had set up some kind of annuity and savings account for me. I'm not sure what it is and what I need to do with it.

In the end, I'm glad that this whole ordeal is over. I am totally unprepared for the math class that commences on Monday. I am also completely fatigued. My concept of family has further become nebulous. I am, in essence, ready to become a hermit just as Uncle Mike once was. The only real family that I have includes just my parents and my bro. Pops is gone. My bro and I are not really like siblings. We are more like distant friends, at best. That only leaves moms. That is my last tie with the concept of family. Once that tie is broken, I will disappear into the woodwork.

Pops' wife asked me why I wasn't married and why I wasn't trying to find a mate. I only had my standard answer. "I'm too old already," I said. I don't particularly care about finding a babe. If I do find a babe, it would just be a mess. No doubt, I would be drained of what little dough I have. Then, the ho' would dump the ol' lavahead for a rich guy. No thanks. I'm better off being a hermit in a shack out in the middle of nowhere. I'll have my Apple iBook and several hurdy-gurdy DVDs. I will choke da chicken all day long for entertainment. When all is said and done, I doubt that I have much in the way of regret. The alternatives are no better.

Saturday June 16

I spent most of the day lapsing in and out of a coma. I don't even want to try to prepare for the math class. I am unmotivated to do anything. The doctor called today but I did not hear the phone ring. When I called back, I was told that he already had left for the day. Now, I have to wait until Monday to hear more bad news, I assume.

My cousin Alvin has done well for himself. He lives on waterfront property in an upscale $1 million home. The living room alone is larger than moms' house. Not too shabby from someone who had his roots in the projects. I remember when I was a kid, our family would visit Uncle George and his family in the Palolo Valley Housing (read: da projects). Pops and Uncle George used to sit around and get drunk together. Alvin and I were the same age, so we hung out together. Alvin's wealth should really be attributed to his late sister Carole. She passed away a few years ago because of diabetes. Carole and her husband had founded the company which Alvin now manages.

Certainly, almost everyone else who is in my age group has a real job, a real life, and myriad material possessions. Only my bro and I seem to continue in endless poverty. Alvin's large Sony flat-screen tube is probably worth more than all of my possessions combined. Although I feel completely like a loser in comparison to my peers, I am still not moved to find a real career or to go on a buying spree. Rather, I am even more convinced that I should get rid of everything, even if it means that I must give it all away.

Moms was hounding me this morning about how I should have been more sociable last night. I deliberately isolated myself from most of the people because of my assessment of the situation. In addition, I must be sociable all week as part of my so-called job. The public relations persona doesn't carry on after pau hana time. Last night, moms also made the observation that my bro was a lot like pops. She has noticed that he has become "bossy" and arrogant. Frankly, he was that way when he lived in moms' house. Of course, it was most obvious during this past week as my bro seemed to have wrestled control of the funeral from everyone else. I certainly didn't complain.

In the end, all of this nonsense is moot. I could very well have a health problem right now such that I may not even see the end of my Apple iBook warranty. All I really want is freedom from human slavery, and the latter may be the only way to attain it.

Sunday June 17

An uneventful Father's Day, at best. Since I am a monk, I am not a father. Pops is no longer around, not that my bro or I did anything special in prior years. There was no closeness in our family. I essentially moved to the mainland to get away from pops. I suppose that is why my sporadic attempts at establishing relationships have always ended up in a dysfunctional mess. My friendships are no better. I appear to only have a solid working relationship with my computers.

The Apple iBook crashed on me for the first time. I now must re-think this situation. Could I have bought this new computer in haste? I am still completely reliant upon my beloved Fujitsu notebook computer because the iBook has no equivalent applications. The Mac OS is a resource hog. With 128MB of RAM, it still runs out of memory fairly quickly. I am disillusioned with all of these computers. Perhaps I should have opted for Linux. My reliance on computers is totally superficial anyway. I have no need for them at home since I don't do any work on them. I always have the computing resources on campus that are far superior. My only need for a computer is to access the Net, either for the LoserNet site or to spend hours reading essentially useless crap.

I have got to wean myself of the Net. I spend too many hours cruising around on it for no apparent reason. However, I have no other alternative activities. I don't do anything in my spare time except to lapse in and out of a coma while sitting in my beloved resin chair. I could peruse the iBook and its features, but I would have to unbox it. That's right, it suffers the same fate as the Bose Acoustic Wave. Box. Unbox. Box. Unbox. No wonder I'm going berserk. I've never stopped living out of a suitcase since my homeless days. Why do you think that I always buy notebook computers? Sheesh!

Not much makes any sense. I thought that the Apple iBook was going to replace everything. The iBook has USB and FireWire (i.Link) ports, yet I have nothing (including my digital camera) that interfaces with it. The iBook has no floppy drive either. The iBook is just a $1,600 DVD player, although I own no DVDs and I don't intend on buying or renting any. Maybe I should consider a few hurdy-gurdy titles. Well, this is certainly a curious situation.

Monday June 18

Due to a break in a water main, the express bus ride took one hour and 15 minutes. So, I was late to work at the Asylum. The whole day has been one of playing catch-up after that. I'm not sure how other people get so much done in a day. My work days never span eight hours, yet I cannot seem to get much accomplished.

I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to persevere in the salt mines. My performance in my math class was nothing short of pathetic. I was clearly unprepared and was winging it. I have not slept well in days, which further exacerbated the situation. I'm not sure whether I'm taking an excursion to insanity. All aspects of my life have become extremely surreal. I'm not even certain whether I know which way is up.

Many thanks to the few people have sent condolences in the past week. I have not been able to reply in a timely fashion because I have been swamped with tasks that I have put off for so long. My only relaxation is in the form of my new Apple iBook computer. I spend a few hours a day learning about the Mac OS and the various applications on the computer. I have no regrets in purchasing it. I was surprised to see that the iBook has voice recognition capability and it also can speak. I doubt that I will ever purchase another Windows computer once my beloved Fujitsu gives out. I'm an Apple convert.

Tuesday June 19

I have been extremely busy in what may be just a feeble attempt to make up for lost time. I managed to restore my monk haircut. This may sound absurd, but I believe that I was losin' it because the oversized cranium was over-heating. The thick loser's hair insulates the cranium, and the resulting heat cooks the brain. I have not been able to think clearly for about a week. Once I restored the monk haircut, I felt like a new monk. I was even inspired to create lecture notes for my math class. I am actually solving the problems myself so that I can exhibit some level of proficiency in front of my students.

I have haunted by questions about my own path ever since pops' demise. I have only 30 years before I will be the same age. That's not a long time. What have I got to show for myself? My Apple iBook computer? Sheesh! There is so much uncertainty. So many unanswered questions. I am now so caught up in the daily routine that I have lost all semblance of freedom and independence. Perhaps that really is all there is to life. I am at least happy that the iBook is here to keep me company during these troubled times.

I have spent less and less time at the faculty computer room at the university. I now spend my time at the Asylum's library, if you can believe it. I actually find it much more conducive to my needs. I really don't miss the professors and pseudo-professors. Funny, isn't it? I've returned to my roots. I am comfortable around the locals. They pose no threat. It doesn't matter because the bottom line is the paycheck. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Wednesday June 20

My bereavement is being taken on the run. Nonetheless, I use my quiet moments to reflect on the untimely passing of pops, how that affected me, and how it affects my future. I can already see that the event itself will slowly fade into distant history in the remote confines of the oversized cranium. I am actually somewhat confused at this point in time. My life decisions have never been good ones. Will I continue to plod along down the wrong path? This game we call "Life" is a puzzling one. The rules are determined by the collective masses. The rules keep changing. I play by my own set of rules but most times they are not coincident with the prevailing set of rules. The result? Odd man out.

This has been a rough week. I am extremely fatigued, and I can hardly wait for the weekend. However, I am certain that I will have to go back to town on Saturday to create the exams for my math class. Sheesh! Caroll has moved again. She is also talking about visiting Hawai'i, but she has been saying that for the past year. I doubt that she will visit, and it won't matter because I don't have any spare time. I'm not sure whether this was the kind of life that I wanted.

With each passing day, I become more convinced that the Apple iBook was a good purchase. It's too bad that couldn't really budget for the Titanium PowerBook G4. Maybe I'll be able to afford something like that in four years. The Fujitsu notebook computer will still continue on as the development workstation for LoserNet. All I need now is some hurdy-gurdy DVDs.

Thursday June 21

I may have a buyer for my beloved Fujitsu notebook computer. I'll probably part with it for a mere $250 or so. I'm not sure how I'll be able to maintain LoserNet from that point forward. I suppose that, where there's a will, there will be a way. I may not be able to update the journal for days at a time since I will probably have to do that task at the university. This does not sit well with me because I could easily see the demise of the journal. I'm fully committed to the Apple iBook, so there is no turning back. Eventually, I will find the right software (read: free) to do those tasks.

The Asylum 401k plan is once again available, if I choose to participate. I am really tempted since it could shelter more of the dough that is being paid out in taxes. The only problem is that I won't have access to that dough until I am senile. Sheesh! I finally spoke with the doctor today. The results of my blood test are okay with the exception of my cholesterol levels. I've been hovering at the "Big 240" for several years. Next will be the ultrasound appointment. Let's hope that I don't have an even bigger problem.

I unbox my Apple iBook every evening. I don't do much with it except to explore all of the nooks and crannies of the Mac OS. I'm already looking at uninstalling a few programs just to get rid of them. Some things never change. However, I am at a lost concerning how to uninstall those programs. I may have to make a trip to Barnes & Noble just to read a few books to better understand the technical aspects of the Mac. I also won't install anything new until I know how to get rid of them.

Friday June 22

It is almost certain that my beloved Fujitsu notebook computer will be sold sometime next week. I will have to find some software for the Apple iBook very quickly. I will store the complete LoserNet site on floppy disks as a backup in the interim. However, I should be able to download the files to the iBook once I find an FTP program for it. I may also mirror LoserNet on the Vavo site (in the UK) as added insurance. I have no idea why I still cherish LoserNet. It's time has come and gone. Even the "competitor" has removed all remnants of his site including his ubiquitous journal.

I saw the handmaiden's friend Anne on the bus this afternoon. We exchanged the usual platitudes. Ann had a large sack with what appeared to be a square box inside. Cheap brewskis, no doubt. The weekend is upon us, but I am not inclined to drop back any cheap brewskis. I haven't had any fire water since the time my bro and I were droppin' back the Beck's. I'm better off saving the dough and investing a few good hurdy-gurdy DVDs. There's far more entertainment value in a hurdy-gurdy than in a cheesy Hollywood blockbuster.

Moms is preparing all kinds of food to cook. So, I assume that the kamado will be fired up tomorrow. It's been several weeks since moms has cooked in the kamado. Things are different these days. I believe that my relationship with my bro has improved. My bro has been out of work for over two months. He has been working in the evenings as some kind of janitor to help fill the void and bring in some dough. I am thankful that I am still working, even though the job is grueling. Yet, how can I complain? I am not stuck behind a desk for 40 to 60 hours each week. Sure, I don't make a lot of dough. However, I make a lot more than I would at any other part-time (read: peon) job. I'll be spending most of my time this weekend working on my lectures for my math class. I was able to get enough done such that I don't have to go downtown tomorrow. If I feel up to it, I may go to Barnes & Noble in Kahala Mall to read up on the Mac OS. Oh, what a life I lead!

Saturday June 23

I have archived the bulk of the LoserNet site onto seven regular floppy disks. Somewhat pathetic, isn't it? I have also been uninstalling many of the applications on my beloved Fujitsu notebook computer. I had a lot of trouble with Windows Explorer when I was copying files. These are the aspects of Windows that I will not miss. The Apple iBook has no floppy disk drive, so I will not be transferring any of the files onto it. I have no idea how I will be updating the journal once the Fujitsu is sold. I have not found any equivalent programs for the iBook (at least ones that I can afford).

I use the journal as a means to relax in the evening. That's when I write the bulk of this crap. I doubt that I'll be able to find the inspiration to write anything when I am at the Asylum or the university. So, I will have to get creative. With no floppy disk on the iBook, I have no choice but to attach the files to e-mail and paste everything together on campus. The journal will then only be updated sporadically, which really goes against my own philosophy. Well, I knew that would happen once I decided to switch to the iBook. All Apple computers are strictly for passive end-users. Development is almost totally out of the question. That, of course, is the main advantage of Windows. Perhaps I'm using this as an excuse to free myself of the bonds of the journal.

I updated the LavaheadCam Archives with a few pictures. None of the images appeared on the actual LavaheadCam. Since my digital camera cannot interface with the iBook, I cannot be certain when there will be more pictures. Sheesh! Well, as I mentioned earlier this month, there are some changes coming. A new computer was just the beginning. As you know, the computer is the focal point of my life. So, that alone would cause a major shift in lifestyles. Nonetheless, I'll continue livin' large in a small way.

Sunday June 24

Last night, I was tweaking around with the Mac OS extensions and completely disabled my beloved Apple iBook. I had to use the "restore" CD to restore normal operations. Of course, I chose the wrong option, so it deleted the large music sample library for iTunes. Well, at least I have almost another gigabyte of space on the hard drive. My bro came by while I was in the process. He brought some Huli Huli Pig from the neighbors as there was a party there this evening. He also invited me to come by and talk story with them. I never made it there.

My bro has resumed working again. He hasn't been doing any carpentry for over two months. Going back to work was extremely difficult, he told me. Carpentry is very labor-intensive, so he has been suffering as a result. I can sympathize. That's one of the reasons why I never went into the construction trades. Pops was a journeyman electrician for most of his working career. I could see how physically tiring the job was.

By late this afternoon, I was still having problems with my iBook. Some of the applications are not running properly. This is the kind of stupidity that only I seem privy to. Nonetheless, I am preparing my beloved Fujitsu notebook computer for its new owner. I doubt that I'll buy another computer case once the Fujitsu is gone. I am tired of spending dough on accessories. Heck, the iBook is dirt cheap (retail for $1,500) by any standard except my own. I have noticed that many of my students have far more expensive computers and they don't pamper the equipment. Of course, money grows on trees for most of those kids.

I return to the salt mines tomorrow. So far, it has not been too bad. The math class has kept me busy, and I seem to prefer that over idle time. I'm getting a lot more done these days. The only dilemma that remains is how I will maintain the journal once my beloved Fujitsu computer is gone.

Monday June 25

My beloved Fujitsu computer is to be sold on Wednesday. I am making the final preparations as we speak. I still have no idea about what my game plan will be concerning the journal. Necessity will be the mother of invention in this case. I thought of many ideas earlier today to discuss in the journal. Now, I have a poverty of words.

I have made a real commitment toward the divestiture of all of my toys. Ultimately, I will be left with only my Apple iBook. I won't actively seek to rid myself of this crap. I will just mention what I have to people when appropriate, and leave it that. That's how my beloved Fujitsu computer was sold. In the last month, I have learned even more about how futile it is to collect material possessions. I love my Bose Acoustic Wave, but it must also be divested. I used to like listening to music, but my tastes have changed. Silence is the only music I care to hear. If there must be ambient noise, then only give me the psychotic classical pieces on public radio. Sheesh! I was actually glad that my stupidity ended up causing the loss of the iTunes music sampler. I listened to a few of the tunes and was really disappointed by what we call music.

Not much has made sense since pops' passing. I can't seem to reconcile much of my own existence. I have not slept well in three days. The fatigue seems to just add to surrealism. As I've always said, this is real life like you've never seen it before.

Tuesday June 26

I decided to look into the annuity that pops had set up. It turned out that I was the sole beneficiary of it, and that it was an IRA so he had to take annual distributions. Those distributions were placed in a separate savings account. I ended up establishing a new annuity that would pay out the sum in five years, mostly for tax purposes. The sum was small, but I was touched that pops had thought about me. Since I will never be a parent, I will never really understand any of this. I'm not sure what pops had set up for my bro since there were no other annuities in his name. However, my bro did receive something as well. I don't particularly care to know. I just thought that I could help out my bro by ferreting out some information. More about the savings account will not accessible to me until I can produce a death certificate. I really wish that I didn't have to go through this nonsense.

I felt like crap because I was sitting in an office and essentially cashing out pops' annuity. My discussion with the agent seemed to only center on what would best serve as a tax advantage to me. It's really sickening. Pain, suffering, and kicking the bucket only translates into money. It's a never ending paper chase. Life has become so cheap.

I ran in Pseudo-professor Ralph for the first time in weeks. We ended up having lunch at a Dim Sum joint across the street from the university. He mentioned that Pseudo-professor Robert had broke out the "plastic" to buy an expensive Sony VAIO notebook computer. I had an enjoyable lunch, and it was nice to catch up.

Today was a nice day regardless. I will be making the final preparations for the transfer of ownership of my beloved Fujitsu computer, which occurs tomorrow. I have no idea how I will continue this journal, but I remain committed to it. I have thought about ending the journal many times, but I came to see the folly of my ways. Although I seldom read the old volumes, I must continue to write this epic. I cannot explain the forces behind this phenomenon. Even if the readership were to dwindle to down nothing, I will continue to write the journal. I will soldier on, as my old friend JonnyX would say.

Wednesday June 27

I now only have my Apple iBook as my sole computer. I have set up Netscape Composer again as my HTML editor and I will upload the journal through the Web file transfer. I also submitted an application for an education license (read: free) for Fetch, the sole Mac OS FTP program. I will also look for a decent (read: free) HTML editor as well. The 12.1 inch screen on the iBook is not easy to read in XGA mode. I already knew about this drawback when I first read the reviews. However, there was no way that I could justify the price of the Titanium PowerBook G4. In a couple of years, I will probably purchase one.

"Fatigue" is my middle name. I am already at the point where I consider myself to be delirious. I have not been able to sleep well in a long time. I try to nap during the ride to and from town on the express bus. I put myself in this position because I thought that I needed to earn more dough. What a maroon! All I really need to do is to cut down all unnecessary spending. I wish that I had opted for a relaxing Summer instead of this moronic situation. I should be grading exams or working on my lecture notes this evening. However, I have decided to just vegetate with my iBook. That's what I did last night as well.

I'm really not complaining about anything. I am just making a few observations. I believe that I am living a comfortable life, and that I have met and exceeded my expectations. I have also fulfilled my family obligations which I have shirked for years. Nonetheless, we all still have to pay our dues, as it were. For now, I'm going to relax. The mere fact that I can still update the journal is comforting in and of itself.

Thursday June 28

I managed to set up Fetch on my beloved iBook last night. I was able to take advantage of the educational licensing. It seems to work fine. However, I am not sure about what is going on with Netscape Composer. It does not seem to be functioning properly. In any case. However, I will be downloading all of the LoserNet files to my iBook for archiving. The whole migration process from that dreaded Windows to the Mac has been a nightmare. In some respects, I regret my decision. I am keenly aware that I will have to actually purchase some software for once. And, Mac software isn't cheap.

I ran into Pseudo-professor Robert at the bus stop this afternoon. He showed me his new Compaq iPaq handheld computer. He also told me about the Sony VAIO notebook computer that he purchased. He seems to be extremely happy with his new toys. I mentioned my new iBook computer. "So, you crossed over, I see," he said. There will probably be many more people crossing over as well. I can't see how anyone can continue to support the nefarious business practices of the Gates One. I may also have a buyer for my beloved Palm IIIe. I may as well divest it as Palm will eventually lose the battle to the Gates One. Why, even Pseudo-professor Robert was mesmerized by the Pocket PC device. If all goes well, I'll receive a paltry $60 for it. At least I will be free of yet another expensive toy.

I am certain that I've become delirious. I have even lost some motor control as evidenced this afternoon when I spilled White-Out all over the new carpet in the Asylum's library. Perhaps I really do have a chronic health problem. That could be why I am actively divesting myself of everything. Or, I could just be living up to my dream of consolidating all technology into my iBook alone. I have no idea where I come with these crackpot ideas.

Friday June 29

I am really happy that the weekend is finally here. I want to relax and nerd out with my Apple iBook computer. That's about all that I look forward to these days. I didn't sell my Palm IIIe as expected. I may just give it away to someone. I have no idea why I am obsessed with divesting the few possessions that I own. I am obviously delirious. Lack of sleep causes the mind to play tricks on its owner. I have also been experiencing extremely surrealistic dreams when I do sleep. There is something peculiar about these dreams. Almost everything about my existence has become seemingly peculiar as of late. I can't even begin to articulate the strange thought processes which have intrusively invaded the oversized cranium.

The Registrar at the Asylum has assigned me six classes for the Fall term. That's in addition to the three classes I already have scheduled at the university. I was not quite prepared for this news, since I was hoping that my load would decrease. I suppose that I should make as much dough while I can. Who is to say what the economy will look like in the next year or so. In this respect, I have fully vested myself into wage slavery. Then, why didn't I buy the Titanium PowerBook G4? I gather that much of my overall confusion and anxiety stems from the apparent contradictions that I hold fast to concerning money and possessions. My methodology appears to be somewhat miserly even though there appears to be no sound reason to follow that course. Aside from the Bose Acoustic Wave, I rarely buy high-end merchandise. And, even that was a "factory renewed" unit. Sheesh!

The computer, specifically the iBook, is my only real friend. I'm sure that Pseudo-professor Robert will concur. I have many acquaintances, but I seldom do anything with anyone. Nor do people frequently ask me to do things with them. That should serve as a clue about what kind of impression I make upon others. Clearly, on face value, I have nothing to offer. I have done little to maintain my friendships. Even in the virtual world, I have deliberately cut myself off from my virtual homeys. I remember that, a long time ago, I decided to make myself less reliant upon others for everything including social needs. That's when I became a monk. I believe that I have met and exceeded my original intentions.

Saturday June 30

I retired early last night because I could barely think. As usual, I got up at around 1:30am and then again at 3am. I forced myself to go back to sleep. More strange dreams. I am now convinced that something is seriously wrong. This morning, I was a little groggy but this was the best I have felt in what seems like weeks. I enjoyed a couple of cups of coffee. Then, almost immediately, I unboxed my iBook. In the past week or so, I have confirmed that my only need for a computer is to maintain the journal. The other software means nothing to me. Netscape Composer for the Mac is even more sorry than the version for Windows. Some of the functions do not work. I will be searching for something to replace it.

I have been thinking about what the future has in store for the ol' lavahead. The future, of course, is just around the corner. I have to make major decisions soon. For one thing, am I going to continue with the monk lifestyle? This question is almost purely rhetorical. I have no other options. I certainly am not actively looking for a babe. Even Pseudo-professor Robert is often out on dates. In summary, this aspect of the monk lifestyle has been cast in stone. I will remain single and celibate for the rest of my life. There is no incentive (including da wild thing) to change this. Naturally, this will free myself from ever incurring the obligation to support anyone except the ol' lavahead.

The now brings me to the remaining aspect of the monk lifestyle. I am speaking of mendicancy and poverty, or at least the outward perception of both qualities. I have become even more annoyed by the accumulation of trinkets and associated paraphernalia. The amount of time and money to accessorize and maintain all of that crap is phenomenal. I came to this conclusion this morning as I was charging my beloved cell phone. The same goes for the Palm IIIe and its HotSync cradle and all of the other crap to accessorize it. My paltry CD collection is another case in point. With less than 15 CDs total, it is an embarrassment and a consumerist failure. I will convert a few of the selections to MP3s with my iTunes software and let the latter reside on the iBook. I have promised myself to take the collection to Jelly's in Puck's Alley sometime this Summer and sell them off for pennies on the dollar. Only Chant will be retained. That, of course, only leaves me no choice but to eventually divest the Bose Acoustic Wave. My beloved cell phone will be removed from service when my contract ends in September.

What has brought me to this point? Cynicism? Perhaps. Disillusionment is more like it. The untimely passing of my father has made me realize that nothing is sacred. Kicking the bucket is just another set of dubious financial transactions. The moneychangers have insured that all aspects of life must be paid for in advance. There is no admission without a paid pass. I am not advocating that everything should be free. However, very little is free for enjoyment as it is. Nothing can drive that point home further than the artificial tourist economy of Hawai'i.

I really am thankful for the current state of computer technology. I only wish that it came sooner. We are at a point where the computer can replace almost everything. That wasn't the case five years ago. It is almost shocking to think that a 5-pound notebook computer can do almost everything except cook food. Yes, there is still a need for microwave ovens. Sheesh! I uninstalled the Palm Desktop software which came with the Mac so that I won't get sentimental about the Palm IIIe. I unboxed the Bose Acoustic Wave for a brief spell but I quickly grew tired of the psychotic classical pieces on public radio. I purchased the Acoustic Wave exactly three years ago. I seriously doubt that I could ask much for it if I sold it now. Oh well, I guess the Bose Acoustic Wave is here to stay.

It was extremely hot today. Perhaps that is why I was losin' it. The oversized cranium is overheating. There was not much else to do but vegetate in my favorite chair. I lapsed in and out of a coma. During my conscious moments, I thought about the same old crap. Alas, the sun has set and the evening promises to be cooler. The oversized cranium is also cooling off. I'll spend the evening with my beloved iBook. I should have gone down to Koko Marina and rented a DVD from Blockbuster. Heck, the fee would have been too high anyway. I'm better off waiting until I can start ordering my hurdy-gurdy collection. Just kidding! I'll spend my time looking for a good HTML editor tonight so that I can uninstall Netscape Communicator. I have 8.5GB left on the hard drive and I'm still trying to uninstall applications. Some things never change. I'm sure that it will be another scorcher tomorrow. I'll be babbling incoherently once again.

To be continued ... Go to V.10

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