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More Lucid, Less Confused
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9th of June 2000

     Sometimes the most well-intentioned plans can go awry. My wife, who doesn't get off work until 8PM, thought it would be nice to take our new daughter-in-law out to dinner since she's leaving for 10 weeks of military training. She agreed, it was a nice thought, and invited her parents to come along. Problem is, they couldn't wait until Lynn was finished at work, so off they all went without us.

     On top of that, I'm leaving later today for a pleasure weekend with my parents in North Carolina. Again, Lynn can't go because of her job. How do you console someone you love who rightly feels her odd work schedule gets in the way of everything? I'm afraid I'm not doing it very well.

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8th of June 2000

     Apparently contemporary miracles are conducted with less dramatic flair than during Biblical time. While waiting at the auto repair shop today, in drives this big shiny chrome tow truck with an air-brushed picture of Christ and "Jesus Saves" painted on the side. Fortunate accident victim.

      Let the appeals begin. Among the millions of quotes today, this one does a good job of summarizing my opinion of the Microsoft anti-trust matter: "Any country that will screw a company that's created more wealth in the last 10 years is crazy — completely nuts."

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7th of June 2000

     The recent story of a Chicago cocktail waitress receiving a $10,000 tip for a $9 bar tab got me thinking about service. Obviously the service by this particular student moonlighter impressed the patron, but certainly luck played a big part. Imagine if she had been in a grumpy mood.

     There is a restaurant chain where you can frequently find me for lunch. Popular in the Southeast, they have great food at reasonable prices, but they also have a friendly, helpful service staff. The waitresses call me honey or sweety and ask how I've been. They always make sure my glass is full and talk me into eating some veggies instead of fries. I return again and again, as much for the polite and cordial service I receive, as for the meal. Don't have $10,000, but if I did...

     Kitty props. What will she think of next?

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6th of June 2000

     I did some serious thinking through the whole job change thing today. I am better prepared for decision making, but have even more possibilities to consider. Was it a productive exercise? Yes, probably. I feel a bit more at peace with the total process, yet no less confused about the potential. However, I am developing a sense of acceptance toward change, always a good thing. Acceptance is an enormous stress reliever.

     Most importantly, though, I am in control of my own destiny. I wasn't sure of that before today. I have now seemingly rationalized even negative outcomes and determined ways to spin them to my advantage. I am not a commodity to be bought or traded — instead, I am a valuable human resource that will go to the most provocative bidder.

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5th of June 2000

     Isn't it ironic? The Internet was originally created by U.S. research and military establishments — infrastructure built on university campuses — yet when you explore the Web today's mainstream search engines are not operated with scientists in mind.

     Technologies under development should improve this unfortunate aspect of web evolution. As reported by Nature, enhancements to web development will also augment research of scientific manuscripts. XML, inference engines, and prototype neural networks will make searching the entire web by keyword a thing of the past within five years. If these efforts succeed in weaving a seamless web from the scientific literature, researchers should find that the hours spent trawling through pages of irrelevant search returns are consigned to history.

     This bodes well for the layman in us all. What the scientists develop and deploy will become conventional soon afterward. Imagine the day your search for lucid confusion will prove once and for all what an incongruous oxymoron I am.

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4th of June 2000

     The nuclear family is all screwed up. It seems that no one lives with who they're supposed to anymore. Today I attended the wedding of my step-grandson's mother. Think about that for a minute. He is my step-grandson because he's my step-son's son, not my son's son, but my step-son's son. Yet I didn't say I attended my step-son's wedding, because that was back in January to someone who isn't my step-grandson's mother. If you've been paying close attention, you should now also realize my step-grandson's mother married someone today who isn't her son's father. Got that? Just checking.

     Congratulations to Terry Estep, a fellow West Virginian, whose Random Notes journal was a quarterly winner in The Diarist Awards. Told you the links over there ---> were good stuff.


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You're not as young as you used to be. But you're not as old as you're going to be. So watch it.






Men are from Earth. Women are from Earth. Deal with it.






A couple had been married for 25 years and were celebrating their 60th birthdays, which fell on the same day. During the celebration a fairy appeared and said that because they had been such a loving couple for all 25 years, she would give them one wish each.

The wife wanted to travel around the world. The fairy waved her hand, and Boom! She had the tickets in her hand. Next, it was the husband's turn. He paused for a moment, then said shyly, "Well, I'd like to have a woman 30 years younger than me."

The fairy picked up her wand, and Boom! He was ninety.


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