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 By: Philip Gleason
Thoughts of my father.  Tuesday, 28 September 2004 06:06

It has been a little over three years since my dad passed away. His heart stopped beating a week before 911, hardly having enough time to grieve before being confronted by another tragedy. His memoir seems to be echoed in ever event lately. The anniversary of the terrorist attack, transporting me back to the loss. He lived a long full life, dieing five year short of an even century. This first generation Irish boy raised on the banks of the Hudson River in New York with his nine other brothers and sisters. He learned the new contraptions, the automobile and later the sound recorder, moved into a career of motion picture sound recording with his brother when voices in the theaters were novel and movies were called talkies.

As the gray hairs gather on my head I gain more and more appreciation for this man. A man that I never had one heart felt conversation with. He is a man who has grown in his stature with each passing day. It was the death of my father that brought tears to my eyes. My mother left this earth three weeks before he did, and it was almost a relief to have her lying silently. She had had enough of life and wanted to meet her maker. My father loved life and even when the end was near he would struggle for each breath coping with the tubes and imposed quarantine. Lying out there on the gurney here was a man who worn out every ounce of his life. He was covered from head to tow with injuries as he careened through his world.

To give you an idea of the stamina of this man, at the age of 77 while bicycling in Central Park he flew over the handlebars only to pop up to his feet and suggest a trip to the hospital. He was not flashy, unless you consider the spotted plaid pants that he acquired from a widowed neighbor. He conserved his resources and was devoted to his wife. My mother was blind the last five year of her life and needed his care and drive. He was Irish, and from time to time sought escape in drink. He was indomitable, impossible to live with but he was alive. He was always active applying his deteriorated capabilities to the upkeep of their home in Florida. You would find him under the sink or out in the shed searching through his 60 year collection of nuts and bolts looking for the proper fit.

He and my mother survived in that free standing house for years, never willing to turn over his existence to other be it family or the state. I thought of him this morning as I looked up at my bathroom ceiling and saw the paint peeling. My father would have never stood for that. He would be up on a ladder. Now that the rewards of being cleaver are being exhausted for me it is time to roll up my sleeves and join the salt of the earth. Love you dad.

Bulking up Sunday, 26 September 2004 08:17

Once again lying in repose, this time on the green couch in the living room and am stirred into action with the thoughts in my head. This time it is about the process itself, writing these messages. In the last day I have contributed more words here then I wrote in my four year as an engineering student. I am fueled by a passion but also realize that I need to decorate the site with content. Without content this portal is an empty shell. The level of competence presented by other web logs on the net is impressive and I feel humble in my contributions but there is no other way, I need to make my case.

This goes for developing a successful e-commerce site. The days when it was enough to just hang a page on the Internet are over. Expanding your reach to global markets means that those international players, Microsoft, Amazon can penetrate your local markets you thought were protected by loyal patronage. The only way to compete against this irrevocable force is to present rich content to the customer over the net. It will not cut it if you have trouble logging in and visit the site only once a week. The site needs to be more then a shingle presenting you. The site needs to augment the in store experience. William Sonoma understands this and places kiosks in the store to help reduce the demand for customer service and give the customer access to their bridal registries. But I am unable to inspire only incite. So I turn my efforts to writing these notes, hoping that the lone straggler who browses to my site will be richly rewarded and return to extend and enrich.

Cycles Sunday, 26 September 2004 06:53

The day begins and my driving force is still the same. I wake up composing sentences. With the cool winds of September, my thoughts are of the cycles that dictate our lives.

The day itself, a twenty four hour cycle, presents me with a pointed physical reminder of my body’s mandate which I choose to neglect in my solitude. As for the moon, I am apprehensive of the road trip with the mother of my child will fall on a full moon. Her age could mean that I might be confronted with her life cycle, but we do not share such details, and I have no experience personally with the woman life changing event.

I find myself in the company of youngsters when I do get tired of playing solitaire. I attribute this pairing not to a personal preference but to the open willingness of the young and her lack of failed relationships in her life. Recently I am without my companion who completed me and now am facing the void. My nature is incapable of quickly substituting a replacement and need to let time run its course. Projecting a few months forward to the cold dark days of winter, I am aware of how the confluence will extract its toll on my well being.

Oh no, so let me pull back and objectify. I developed a skill at reverse engineering software. I would do the forensics and take the code, look at the outputs and observer the flow and arrive at an understanding of its functioning. This would process would aid in my understanding more then abstracts or documentation, which would inevitable would be out of sync with the working system. Why do I segue and change topics? It is exactly what I am attempting to do with the forces that control my life. I know I am out of my league and that analyzing your own life is a fool’s folly, full of rationalizations and distorted perceptions. But it is not going to stop this fool from trying. The day is beginning and the light is appearing over the trees. I am ready to begin it all again.

Purge the spirit, free the soul. Saturday, 25 September 2004 23:25

It is time to clear the deck, and listen to the beating of my heart. I have been carousing on the streets of New York since all my buddies have departed. It filled a void I had and allowed me to lumber through the final days of summer. My social circle did not expand doing this activity, for I refused to accept this world was mine. It has been a week without these nightly jaunts and what I miss most is the jukebox and the chatter of voices.

Except for the whirling of hard drives, the silence is closing in. I check the activity logs and find that I’m the only visitor. Like naked in front of the Park windows I’m alone, I think. I write these notes and become bolder as I feel my isolation. Only months ago I was with different people every night. But now I’m alone except I am in the center of the largest city in the country and typing words that can be accessed by millions.

Tomorrow I’m going to be transported by my ex wife to see my son I can not wait to see.. Normally I would protect myself by declining the lift and take the train and bring my bicycle. But I’m curious and even looking forward to the company, no matter how objectionable. I have nightmare that her and her husband will take me in a land fill in New Jersey a la Soprano style. Her husband is coming to protect the innocent of their child from the battle that might erupt between us. I know differently, even when I was a stud and making a fortune I could not stand up to my ex wife’s stinging tongue.

I can assure him that I’m not fool to take that broken path. But, I have come to understand the ready access past lovers have and understand his concern. You must forgive my remembrances for the encounter is soon. Today I watched the French film Madam Bovey. It was the first book I read after the divorce. It was the start of quest that has defiantly muddied my objectivity. I can only watch the first half where Emma seduction is not assured.

I was lying in bed and these thoughts were streaming out of my head, I needed to come to the computer to write them down. The three tacos I ate are still heavy in my belly. I am abstaining from alcohol but If I am really courageous I would stop drinking coffee, but I don’t think I have the strength. But who knows the power of positive thinking is.

I am in the mood to communicate Saturday, 25 September 2004 15:47

With my best efforts I have been unable to work on the site. There are things to be done, like allowing the user to sort the blog from oldest to newest. This is required if you wanted to read the messages as they were written. Or to highlight all messages that are new, and so on and so forth.

All I have any motivation to do is express my thoughts. I just completed a run around Central Park. And during the journey I composed in my head streams of words. I can’t recall any of them now but it was about coping with the others that occupy this world with us. Lately, many people who I come into contact with seem to be suffering under the weight of living. It makes me want to run away and surround myself with denial.

This is a time in my life where I feel the urgency, the desperation to act. Others are affected by me with strong emotion. In the past I have exploited this energy to give me courage and commitment to improve. Today I don’t seem to be able to refocus and accomplish the work. Too much contact, tomorrow I will go see my son play football in New Jersey. I will get there in a car with my ex and the man she married. God bless them, but I come to this encounter without the bravado. She humbled me when I stood tall now it will be a challenged just to survive. I am planning to tune them out with my MP3 player. I could take the train and ride my bike but I am challenged by the encounter. Tomorrow will tell.

I can not give up Saturday, 25 September 2004 07:05

Peering out of this box of technical wizardry, I am becoming aware that I am neglecting the lives of others. If you want to know about your own existence you have to look beyond your own world. It is not sufficient to think that dealing with people is not your strength. Neglecting others in your decisions can affect the quality of our lives. Even if the choice is to return to the fascination with things we must accept it is only natural to connect with others. From a very young age I have gravitated towards items and abstract thoughts and have avoiding people. The pain and frustration did not seem to be worth the effort. This was a way I could establish a place in the community without cooperating.

Perfecting a skill with things was the answer. I learned sound and traveled the world. I wrote software and sat silently in the middle of a large trading floor typing code, sitting safely with the understanding I was contributing. It did not require me to extend myself to others. People who entered my world were offered my skills I would gladly share for their effort. This arrangement worked for many years never requesting, confronting or understanding. Magically from situation to situation I was installed to play the tunes I learned so well. This merry-go-round stopped.

In 2001 I quit working on Wall Street, lost both my parents and we all know what else happened in the big apple. It is not fair to hold any of life’s coping strategies responsible for set backs, for we don’t get out of this world alive. Something is going to get us. But we are resourceful creatures, and can adapt and change. The software you are looking at this on, I wrote. But now I am constructing the message. I don’t expect to be very good at it, and it will take some time to shake out the cob webs.

Dealing with people and letting my needs be known has not been easy but the journey will be worth it. I am now becoming aware.

It all looks very clear from my perspective. haha Friday, 24 September 2004 09:15

It all looks very clear from my perspective. I don’t believe in the Darwinian perspective of vanquishing your opponent. It is not a zero sum game we live in. Thoughtful understand and solutions improve the world for everyone. But that is not how I am being perceived. My communications are received as challanging. That is not what I am intending. As an engineer I dismiss this as an impedance mismatch, like bicycling up a hill in high gear. My mind has been tuned to communicate with the prodigies of man’s scientific endover, the computer. The computer does not take offence at declarative statements (x=3) it only protests text it can not process with a compile error. And if you resolve the issue it maintains no history of the error.

I can not afford to restrict myself to commuting with machines no matter how enraptured I get in the process. The ultimate outcome must be to benefit people. I am going through a tricky transition presently. I have completed the major construction on this site, a passion which has fused me to the process. Now I must get the word out. So far, my solicitations have been difficult. I am hoping as I distance myself from the machine I will limprove my ability to present my case.

The Man who knew to much Tuesday, 21 September 2004 02:21

I had the need to pull myself away from this project and tend to the waiting list of priorities that are building in my life. Yesterday I was offered a diversion. Not week in the Caribbean but an opportunity. The call came in to resolve a conflict between a father and his daughter. He needed a home network. I have been running a home network for years and I have been operating a windows domain with SQL server , domain servers, DLT tape back and print server all right around the corner from where I prepare my linguine and clam sauce.

The system has been running without issue. Last year I hosted an internet site from behind the firewall. Keeping the system running has required the dedication of a systems administrator. Could I install the basic functionality for the user without the complication? Well I seemed to have achieved just that. A Wi/Fi network running 802.11 g and all connected to the internet through PPP. Part of what was required to accomplish this was to forget everything I knew.

The factors involved in having it all work were enormous, the ISP, the router, encryption, the DSL modem any set to the wrong setting would make the system fail. As it turned out we had been lockout from connecting because the router kept requesting a login and the password for the PPP had not been set. No matter what was attempted there was no way the system was going to work without contacting the ISP. Now that get me to the point I am trying to make.

Most of what I had attempted could have been accomplished by someone ignorant of how complex the process is. The disk supplied has installation software that investigates most every configuration. My attempts of understanding might actually lead to a situation that could not be resolved by the automatic setup, causing even more troubles. I left successful with the daughter browsing on Itunes and the markets rates being updated on the machine, great! But, well aware that the automation that I helped usher in with the programs I developed were now challenging my usefulness in supplying a service. What goes around comes around.

Monday morning blues Monday, 20 September 2004 06:13

The reality is settling in. The summer heat is gone and the primary construction of the e-commerce site is completed. The concept was to build it and they will come. Who is going to take their time to explore another clever implementation of technology? If you have the time to browse the Internet you can discover expert opinions or famous comments none of which is presented here. What I hope to accomplish is expert implementation.

I want to evolve the medium along with the message. After I finish this note I am going to work on the blog, I will make it possible for anonymous users to make comments and flag new messages that have arrived since the last viewing and also make it so that the internal email actually can send messages over the Internet.

Finished the E-Commerce Site Friday, 17 September 2004 20:18

The primary construction for the theWellSeasonedNest E-Commerce site is completed. Undoubtedly their will be more to do. What happens is that once a feature is completed a new feature is conceived. but it is best that the site go out and do what it was designed to do, before more time is spent on improving it. It is a labor of love and one must focus on the bottem line in order to come back and do it another day. I am pleased what has been produced and feel that it is very solid. I had wished to have more people testing the site but it is hard to inspire someone to test the features when the site is not yet complete.

In the Zone Wednesday, 15 September 2004 06:16

I have been neglecting my comments here. It is not that I have been taken away from the site; it is that I have been working on the plumbing. This weekend I explored the automation of the graphics using Photoshop. Set the font, button and effect and voila all the sites buttons are now the same. I can remember when I graduated as an engineer, I was trying to do work that incorporated calculus and fluid mechanics. I found the opportunity to apply my education on Wall Street. Now after I've become experienced with Microsoft technologies and the Web I am trying to elevate the work to an expression that will help me. Build the framework and take it for a drive.

It’s 3 O’Clock in the morning Friday, 10 September 2004 03:59

Peering out of this box of technical wizardry, I am becoming aware that I am neglecting the lives of others. If you want to know about your own existence you have to look beyond your own world. It is not sufficient to think that dealing with people is not your strength. Neglecting others in your decisions can affect the quality of our lives. Even if the choice is to return to the fascination with things we must accept it is only natural to connect with others. From a very young age I have gravitated towards items and abstract thoughts and have avoiding people. The pain and frustration did not seem to be worth the effort. This was a way I could establish a place in the community without cooperating.

Perfecting a skill with things was the answer. I learned sound and traveled the world. I wrote software and sat silently in the middle of a large trading floor typing code, sitting safely with the understanding I was contributing. It did not require me to extend myself to others. People who entered my world were offered my skills I would gladly share for their effort. This arrangement worked for many years never requesting, confronting or understanding. Magically from situation to situation I was installed to play the tunes I learned so well. This merry-go-round stopped.

In 2001 I quit working on Wall Street, lost both my parents and we all know what else happened in the big apple. It is not fair to hold any of life’s coping strategies responsible for set backs, for we don’t get out of this world alive. Something is going to get us. But we are resourceful creatures, and can adapt and change. The software you are looking at this on, I wrote. But now I am constructing the message. I don’t expect to be very good at it, and it will take some time to shake out the cob webs.

Dealing with people and letting my needs be known has not been easy but the journey will be worth it. I am now becoming aware.

reflexivity Wednesday, 08 September 2004 21:19

Last few years I have attempted to develop a writing style. Never before have I worked at it. “I’m not good at it, why try?” I would say. But with the changes in the tech market and traumatic events, I have come to appreciate the advantage of communicating in English

My reading and writing were all part of my plan to adjust to changes in circumstances. Reading over what I started to write, I could not sometimes understand what I had just wrote; other times peoples response would be totally different then what I had intended. Mostly it was only the ten second scan.

Last year I stopped writing code and was dedicated to improving my reading and writing, this year, not having found anyone to pay me to write English, I am back to coding. I explored books on financial trading learning about its history and notable events in recent history like the collapse of Long Term Capital. I was involved in past employment, never having an opportunity to read about the history, my contribution was strictly technical. The books I read then were strictly technical. I build models to translate from one value to another. Always under the sponsorship of a trader who was responsible to combine the results from the models and take the risk.

The models never could encompass the whole problem; there was other element. This perception reinforced what I felt happening in my life. I had certain control over the physical world yet felt victim when dealing with people. How could this be? How come people so readily disregard the rules? I had to be missing something. Focusing on the models keep me in food and cloths but left me without much control over my destiny.

Let me list some of the title of the books that put clarity on this problem. “The Alchemy of Finance” by George Soros, “Fooled by Randomness” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb and “When Genius Failed” by Roger Lowenstein. The common point of these books was that logical deductions are inadequate in solving problems that extend beyond simple technical problems.

Soros coins the phrase reflexivity. The central idea of which is -when two people enter into a trade they develop a mythology that they both can agree upon. It starts with a common understanding of the fundamentals but extends beyond. This is why markets bubble up and crash. In Lowenstein’s book the story is told about long-term capital management a fund that was managed by “geniuses” from MIT. They thought they had a sure thing and managed trillions of dollars under their hedge fund only to crash badly during the late nineties and needed to be bailed out by the government to keep the markets from collapsing.

Dancing with myself Wednesday, 08 September 2004 07:12

I never was a big fan of Billy Idol, but his songs stick in my head. I have been discouraged by the number of visitors. I find that the quality of the web logs on the internet is quite high, and I will have a hard time competing on a literary basis alone. I am hoping that the combination of thoughts and technology will distinguish it here.

I am free to modify the format of how the information is delivered. Currently I am working on adding user icons along with the efforts to develop a shopping cart and registry. I had long ago developed a page that displayed photo albums but found it to difficult to update and rearrange. With what I have learned from building the shopping cart I am planning to update my photo album to be more flexible. Writing to this log will be a new routine, like running around the park, I hope to lose the pounds of needless adjectives .

Testing the further simplicity of this Mod Monday, 06 September 2004 22:25

Ok, I know that in the morning I will delete this entry, but I will attempt to make an entry. For the last 30 days I have been enjoying this city. Never knowing when I will lose the opportunity to carouse here. I have now taken advantage of it. The experiment has not been an overwhelming success and when I come to my senses,soon I hope, I will choose a more acceptable form of behavior. But as for now a stroll down Broadway is my vocation.

Its a start. Monday, 06 September 2004 17:17

This is the first entry on this blog. I built it, now I have to use it! I would imagine that I'll be adding cleaver features to the blog, rather that putting much effort into what I am saying. The justification for typing out innane thoughts is that it is testing the software. Happy Labor Day to all.

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