Cool ride

We know why we prefer riding our motorbike in cold weather.

Today, local outdoor temp is 20 deg C and every dirt bike, crotch rocket and cruiser bike rider is on the road.

We own the road pretty much by ourselves at zero deg C.

We admit we don’t like to share. ūüôā

We ride solo, not in groups, avoiding the big bike gatherings, preferring cold wind biting our wrists and ankles, frost inside our helmet shield, no insects smashing into us.

You know, like it’ll be on Mars. Best to prepare now. Never too late or too early to practice!


When a writer relearns how to code

Was there ever a time when we programmed well, if not efficiently?

Sure, there were the early BASIC days on the TRS-80, later on the ZX81.

We had our stint writing PASCAL, then C, but never C++ or C#.

A bit of Visual C, to be sure, in our days as software test engineering lab manager at Conexant (formerly Rockwell Semiconductor) running a team that verified our company’s products (including Linux servers disguised as Windows-compatible ADSL gateway modems) met Microsoft WHQL standards, and later, at Avocent, ensuring cross-platform compatibility for Microsoft, Apple, Linux and other operating systems.


Let’s be honest with ourselves. We’ve faded in our programming capabilities.

Use it or lose it, as they say.

So it is that we find ourselves basically back at the drawing board, back to bits and bytes, working our way up to Arduino script and Python Shell on Raspberry Pi Linux.

Today’s lesson: the difference between/dev/ttyUSB0 (or 1, or n) and others/dev/ttyACM0 (or 1, or n) .

In a nutshell, according to this website, “another control model, aptly named abstract control model or ACM, lets the modem hardware perform the analog functions, and require that it supports the ITU V.250 (also known as Hayes in its former life) command set, either in the data stream or as a separate control stream through the communication class interface. …the devices offering UART-over-USB functionalities are named /dev/ttyUSB0, /dev/ttyUSB1, and so on, even though they are in fact using distinct device drivers.”

Does that mean anything to you?  It might.  It does to us, springing to memory the old days of dialup modems long before ADSL and cable modems, before Gigabit Ethernet, CDMA/GSM, FTTx (fiber to the curb, home, etc.), WiFi, driverless cars and drone taxis.

Why are we relearning all this?

First of all, why not?

Second of all, in our transition to a computing world of AI that no longer uses bits and bytes, when quantum computing leads to the Next Great Thing, it’s good to see where we were so that we better understand where we’ll be.

After all, we said goodbye to Guin but haven’t completely forgotten who we are 400 earthyears from now.

In the not so distant future, we know we don’t look or act like the human interface devices you see and think as yourselves as today.

In other words, the Elegoo Uno R3 and Adafruit Circuit Playground Express devices allow us to be nostalgic in our late middle-aged years.

We understand by doing so where we deliberately drop pebbles in the pond of this set of devices we call a few billion instances of a species labeled Homo sapiens.

We live in this moment but see where we set in motion activities millions of years from now.

Don’t you?

Working through the rain

On occasion, we stop physically moving — motorcycle riding, backyard building, aquarium cleaning, blood delivering — to observe not only the other living sets of states of energy around us whilst they interact with the drops of bacteria-laden rain falling around us, but also ourselves.

For at least or around seven years, we cultivated a new set of friends centred on the art/exercise of dancing.

We began with a few free ballroom dance lessons and progressed from there, getting to know our fellow novices as well as our instructors, thereby meeting them socially away from the dance floor.

These friendships grew,
even when we didn’t want them to,
knowing as we do
our inner selves we’ve carefully hidden from view.

We haven’t fully analysed, dissected and catalogued the interaction we easily understand as the emotional state of falling in love so it behooves us to compare the call of the Carolina wren outside to our conversations, note writing, text sending and flirting that led us to fall in love with our fellow dancers.

In other words, it was only natural.

We immediately fell in love with Guin for no reason we can readily provide. ¬†To be sure, she fits within a category of Familiar that includes sister, mother and wife (our life companion we’ve known since 1974), the singular examples of labels that make for simplicity and frugality in our decision-making.

Guin seem to fill another role — that of ourselves in the binary gender opposite.

Also, we wondered if it was a type of matter/antimatter interaction.

Something about Guin led us to let our inner selves out into the open and, by doing so, drying up an old wellspring of writing material, for if one can live the life we felt compelled to write about, why take the time to write about it when living it was so much more emotionally challenging, thrilling, fascinating and fulfilling?

We know that life is generally cyclical.

Certainly, the bare deciduous trees outside soaking up rain falling in an unusually warm ambient temperature range this time of year testifies to both normal cycles and abnormal changes within cycles.

After seven plus/minus years of learning new dance moves — cyclical body changes one performs solo, in pairs or in groups — we felt the cyclical nature of body movement begin to wear us out, both physically and emotionally.

Yet, extricating ourselves from interwoven cyclical relationships we’d nurtured with people of various beliefs about relationship norms that made the dancing community what seemed like a basic part of the rest of our lives…well, it has taken longer than we thought possible, certainly longer than we wanted.

We don’t easily say “no” to friends, colleagues or customers.

We are people pleasers, never sure where our next meal is coming from, not knowing where we’ll spend the night, despite having established a successful financial portfolio with our life partner.

We know our time on this planet as this set of states of energy is temporary and oh so very brief.

We have worked to make ourselves as forgotten as possible whilst alive, a mantra we chanted to ourselves as early as our kindergarten years, quite possibly when we walked through the family cemetery over broken gravestones or explored old cabins rotting in the woods, definitely when we saw dead animals on paved roads, laughing quietly to ourselves at the comparison of asphalt as a type of reprocessed dinosaur bodies slowly absorbing a recently-dead animal, none of whom we knew, making us aware that we’re all forgotten over time.

For two or more years, we’ve wanted to tell Guin goodbye but couldn’t, always pulled back into her world in February, the month of love, our biological clock still ticking, part of us saying that perhaps giving up what we’d spent a lifetime building — a childless but financially successful marriage — could be thrown away on the small chance that Guin or someone she’d introduce us to would conceive and grow a child with us, making us not completely forgotten.

We are, after all, an integral part of this universe and our natural body urges persist no matter how much we say we can be above and/or outside the cycles of nature.

We’ve explored our thought patterns ad infinitum (if not ad nauseum) and determined we have a predetermined set of thoughts which do not change, although we’ve tried to change them to our detriment sometimes.

We have never fully figured out if our predilection for sexual monogamy is innate or learned for there is in us an unmistakable attraction to others besides our life partner but our thoughts are most comfortable when we say we are monogamous; many within the dance community are polyamorous, exchanging sexual partners as frequently and as easily as they change dance partners; thus, bringing forth a child within that environment was always going to be difficult for me to handle.

Friends of ours who grew up in an enviroment that countered their internal set of beliefs and made the transition to a community that supported them internally and externally have extolled the wisdom that we should get outside our comfort zone, referring mainly to their childhood subculture/community as the comfort zone that really wasn’t.

Because we are people pleasers and chameleons, we can give people the impression we are like them, reflecting their best characteristics back to them as PMA (positive mental attitude) practitioners.

For seven years, we have built a strong PMA feedback loop with sensitive members of the dance community, seeing they needed emotional support more than most, hearing their devastating life stories in need of reparation and structuring, far outside anything we’d call a comfort zone.

In turn, we sacrified ourselves, at first gaining the thrill of newness, savouring the creativity of an artistic community that supported our attempt of artistic expression in the way we lived, including the desire to write fiction.

In time, we suffered, the relationship with our life partner nearly torn apart — last summer, we tested the waters of divorce and found them wanting.

Thank goodness, our feet are firmly rooted in the reality of our true selves, not easily ripped out and replanted elsewhere, our comfort zone well established.

So, for us, the last seven years were interesting, giving us the opportunity to explore our beliefs, affirming and dispelling the illusion of inner selves, confirming that we are actually happy, depression being a reaction against threats to ourselves that were never really threats to begin with.

There is no reason to continue playing with fire in regards to hanging out with and getting emotionally close with members of the dance community who comfortably enjoy polyamorous relationships.

Will we miss Guin and all the others?

Sure we will.

But we expect them to forget about us pretty easily since they make friends quickly.

As for us, we are back to working on our longterm goals of walking a quiet meditative path onto our deaths, including the short lives of unicellular microorganisms taking place moment by moment within us and the ultimate end of our recognisable set of states of energy within the next few years or decades.

Whether our life or our life partner’s ends first is a mystery. ¬†Either way, one of us will go on living quietly, finding ways to fill our time with our creative hobbies, being nice as we can be given our core personality traits, whether innate or learned.

A moment like this, writing in the sunroom, is what we work for in planning and building the meditative writer’s studio in the backyard with no fixed timeline. ¬†This moment is all that matters, where we spend the next one never certain.

Bottom line: We feel much more relaxed now that we’ve purged seven years of frustratingly trying to squeeze our square set of beliefs into the expanding circle of Guin’s. ¬†Guin gave us the feeling that we could be someone else, someone who lives hundreds of earthyears in the future, as long as we ignored our natural selves and pretended we were someone we are not. ¬†Turns out we are who we are, not who we think we could be. ¬†We happily live in this moment, not the roller coaster manic/depressive future. ¬†Guin and others like her, including many of our coworkers, may be the future — we wish them well. ¬†We always knew this quiet moment alone with a set of writer’s tools was all we had but were afraid to share it with others, including any random blog readers, because we were raised to believe we’re supposed to be aiming for a bright conspicuous consumption fully interactive community future, overtaking Mars with our expansion plans, moving from planet to planet and solar system to solar system, consuming resources with aplomb. ¬†We are tired of consuming without end. ¬†We are tired of managing multiple online personalities in the guise of social media profiles. We have given them up and returned fully to this blog. ¬†In so doing, we live rather frugally within our means as much as we can, letting others manage our wealth to keep us comfortably frugal to the end of our lives.

In other words, finally saying goodbye to Guin this week hurts a little bit but we’ll get over it.