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Jun. 14th, 2005 | 12:17 pm

A lot has been going on for me in the last two weeks I don't want to bore people with all of it, but I want to write it down so I guess I will cut the least interesting bits.


Last weekend on June 4 2005 I went to the "change your mind festival thing", I had been looking up Buddhism the week before, and found out there was an event about it. I learned that there were many kinds of Buddhism including a branch that I think of as "lazy Buddhists". They aren't vegetarian, they don't seem to do any meditation, they don't have monks. All they seem to do is burn incense say the name of the Buddha, and eat. On the other end are those who send their kids to camp where they make them get up super early, and meditate in silence for a long time. They have to stay quiet from when the bell wakes them up until after meditation, and breakfast. They seem so strict. I didn't learn as much as I wanted to, but I was kind of scared to talk to people. I liked the presentations the best, but seeing all of them would have taken all day, and one that I went to seemed to assume that I already knew how to meditate, and a bunch about Buddhism. I kept getting distracted. I think I should read more, and try to decide carefully where I might want to visit. I just keep remembering the effect the Dali Lama had on me. Everyone seemed to feel so at peace. It was wonderful, and I would like to feel that way again.

After that I ate at "It's a beautiful pizza", and went to my friend Ben Helgren's place. I hadn't seen him in months, and it was good to hang out. He wasn't home when I got there though, and I ended up watching "NEXT" with his wife's little sister. It seems to bring out some of the worst in people :/

I stayed long enough to actually get hungry again, and Ben cooked some corn, on the cob, and gardenburgers, and I think some chicken for the carnivores.

We got to Portland after the Starlight parade we were heading to had already started. We had to park way out of the way, and even then finding a spot was a pain. They spotted a place, and I had to go around the block to get it. Just as I was pulling in the other people in the car told me to stop. The car in front of us was I guess planning to back in. But by the time I shifted into reverse to let them take it they had taken off so I pulled in, and the jokes about him waiting around to beat me up when I came back to my car lasted all night. We ended up being near the beginning of the parade rather than near the end like I wanted so we had to walk a long ways (perhaps a mile) to see the beginning of the parade. I think it is my favorite parade. I like it even better than the one in honor of my birthday that I go to religiously.


The toilet ride, freegeek

After the parade we walked about a mile, and a half down to the festival since it was free for one night only. Ben, and Kara needed to use the bathrooms, and apparently most of the toilets were so gross as to be unusable. Kara kept checking, and rejecting. After we continued walking we came across the Charmin Ultra booth. It had a line that looked like the line for a ride. There were plasma screens playing one of their TV commercials in a loop. It was as infectious as the song on the "It's a small world" ride at Disneyland. And what was this line for? Flush toilets. A line of individual bathrooms with sinks, and everything. After a bathroom was used some young attractive guy, or girl would clean the bathroom before offering it to the next person. Ben, and I thought, hey if we had known about this it would have been a lot better, but the girls thought otherwise. They didn't want to be put on the spot like that, so I just said something like "seriously it's got to be better than poop on the seat".

I think with the walk back to my car that I probably did 6 miles of walking that evening, and I thought it was going to be one of my lazy days.

FREEGEEK!!!

Okay this part is important. Last week Ryan Sayre suggested that I volunteer at free geek to get a line on my resume after looking at it and deciding that employers wouldn't want to hire me. Much of my experience with things like Linux doesn't have anything to back it up. So I can say that I am pretty good, but people don't want to hire someone just based on their assertion that they don't suck. So this is my way to improve my chances of getting a job radically while at the same time supporting a good cause. I had never been to free geek until Friday when I went to the tour, and to find out more about volunteering. I had no idea the scale of the place. I would guess it is an acre of land, and is the whole city block. Not that a city block means much in of itself because they come in a wide range of sizes.


On June 11 2005 I was pretty busy. I got up early, and met my friends Deren, and Becky, and Deren's little sister Taren (sp?) for breakfast at Maggie's Buns. The food there is so amazing. Deren showed me the creation he got which was I think French toast (freedom toast?) I think, but instead of bread it was a cinnamon roll, or something crazy like that. The hot chocolate was good, as well as my breakfast. We walked over to Eaton's internet cafe, but DDR was broken so we left pretty quick. I don't know who's great idea it is to play DDR right after eating though.

The main point was to go to the upick, and get fresh strawberries for making jam. With the price difference from the store I saved them more money than the money they spent buying my breakfast. That was nice of them. We picked 25 pounds of strawberries. I went back to my house to start laundry, but as my luck would turn out the washer was busy, so after reading stuff on the net for a while I met them at their house for making jam. Taren got all the fun jobs so I just ended up washing berries.

I met up with Corwin to see "Howl's moving castle" at the fox tower, but he didn't give me much warning considering my distance from Portland so it was sold out by the time I got to the front of the line, but he, and his friend Cory already had tickets so they had to go through the line again to exchange them for the next show. We walked over to Portland's living room, and Corwin wanted to point out the brick with his name on it. The movie is pretty good, but it leaves you asking a lot of questions.

Finally I went back to Deren, and Becky's house to play Poker which is the usual drill on Saturday nights recently. I felt like I was doing better than usual for a while till someone called my bluff, and I was out.

The world naked bike ride started, and ended at free geek. I was in the big room with the naked party goers in it just the day before the event. I knew about it, but I'm not brave enough for that. I agree for what it stands for. Freeing the streets of so many cars so that it is safe to ride again is something I think I have wanted since I first learned to ride. As I write this I am leaving in only a few hours to work at a place where people are committed to saving the environment, teaching people valuable skills, promoting FOSS as the moral way to go. I think I might feel like I am in a group of my moral peers for the first time in my life. Especially if there are a significant number of vegetarians in the group. I'm just very excited, and nervous.


On Sunday I drove my grandparents to the beach. Telling them about how I was going to work at free geek, and how that would help my jobless situation. My sister lives at the beach so we brought the birthday party to her. I mostly assembled the barbecue grill that dad got her as a present. I have some mixed feelings about that. I doubt she will be using it to cook food I would approve of. I got some vegetarian pizza for lunch as part of her celebration. I thought it was random that the week long strike at the Tillamook cheese factory happened to end in the short time between when we got there, and when we went out for lunch. I drove my dad's car home so that he could play with the GPS software on his laptop. For a while it was trying to give me directions to someplace else, and telling me to turn at almost every street because it thought I was going the wrong way until dad figured out how to turn that feature off. I was so tired when I got home that I just crashed for a few hours.

Monday I got much more exercise than usual. I think I am slowly getting fitter. I could jog farther than I could on Friday, and Friday I could jog more than the time before that. I also walked around the huge "Rood Bridge Park" more than once which is a record. It is rare that I see such dramatic improvement so quickly in anything I do. For a long time I have felt like I would be in good shape physically about the same time that I had the rest of my life together. I just thought that since they both require continuous effort over a long period of time.


New friends!, oh, and pdxlug booth preparations!

I've been a regular at pdxlug meetings, and in the freenode #orlug, and #pdxlug channels for months now. Just the other day I announced that since I think of many of them as pals now that I ought to have some of them on my friends list, and because of that I have several new people listing me a s friend. Two of them I have even talked to in real life within the last week. So I guess that along with working for free geek are positive steps toward having a more active social life.

Oh, and I have been organizing with some of the other pdxlug group members toward setting up a booth for the Open Source Developers Conference which will hopefully be fun.

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