Look at this child soldier fighting in the civil war in Liberia.


You see what I saw, right? A boy of ten or so years with an assault rifle- probably pressed into service after his parents were killed by one side or the other (that’s how they “recruit” these children) … he looks kind of crazy, too young to fully comprehend the consequences of his actions, and therefore a perfect killer. He looks like he’d kill you before he drew his next breath. There are thousands like him in Liberia.

Now look closer.

He’s got a pink teddy-bear backpack on, and someone else’s (a grownup’s) military shirt.






I don’t know what to say. I am past words.

Today Rock’d

I fixed a bunch of problems for people today, and in the process found a capoeira group to join. Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that involves drumming and dancing and, basically, Flying Through the Air. It’s a huge aerobic workout, the culture around capoeira is refreshingly free of all the bogus posturing that you find around most martial arts, and it all happens to a rocking samba groove. What could be better? I have been interested in capoeira for ten years, and have just never been able to find anyone that knew anything about it. Then today a guy that was having trouble with his email called and I asked him “what’s your email address?” and he said “C…A…P…O…E…I…” (and at this point, a little part of me thought, “He’s not about to spell capoeira……. no way…”) “R…A…at…” and I totally interrupted him…

It’s Monday and Wednesday nights that they meet at the University’s gym and everybody gets airborne. It’ll be three years before I can even start to fly, even if I start hitting it heavy right now… but I can’t wait.

It’s so beautiful- traditional capoeira students wear all-white and the movements and shapes are distinctly African- Capoeira developed in Brazil when West-African slaves were forbidden to practice their religion and to practice fighting- so they simply disguised it as music and dancing.

Here’s hoping that I don’t get too ambitious and hurt myself…

Here’s a secret-

I am a little intimidated at my new job. Walk down the hall, randomly select someone…. find out what they do- sorta casual like…

And then ask them a question about what they do…

It’s like uncorking a bottle of champagne that someone gave a vigorous shake. They just bubble over. I have learned more in three days than I could have in six months on my own.

I asked this guy named Jonathan a question about MySQL today. About three minutes later my head was so full of new data that I had to throw up both hands and say “O……K….. stop!” Guy’s probably ten or more years younger than me, and smaaaaart.

I need to dig in and start studying, just so I can hang with this crowd. So many geniuses, so many specialties, so much information! It’s dizzying, exhilarating, and really intimidating.

I have a lot to learn.

Waking up is hard to do

I don’t suppose there’s any point in blogging about having trouble getting moving in the a.m. It’s not like the entire rest of the country isn’t having the same problem at roughly the same time that I am.

This morning was a jump and run kind of morning. That’s all.

Had friends in to visit the new house last night. First company in the new digs. They sat on the couch, I sat on a big pillow on the floor- we are still a little light on furniture. This was after I came home, started dinner, then fell asleep on the couch waiting for a cup of tea to steep. That’s pretty tragic, when one can’t stay awake for the entire four minutes it takes to make tea.

Woke up to dinner being a little further along that I had planned, but nothing burned. I was so dazed. I think it’s just a matter of being somewhat overwhelmed by the move and everything.

First day at the new job

Yesterday was the first day at the new job- it was good. Like it here so far. I have a nice new Powerbook for my work machine, and there’s a smoking Pentium IV machine over there for when I have to do windows support.

I have an external monitor set up to run a parallel desktop, and this guy is looking at me from over there….


So far, so good.

estoy aqui

Here is my new place. Here are the windows without any sort of covering. Here are the pajamas that I am going to have to sleep in.

Here are the dogs checking out the new digs.

Here is LTGF, noticing that there are no window treatments, by which I think that she means “blinds and stuff.”

Here is Athens. My town. Again…

Like the Plague

Just went to this website and created a map that shows every state that I played in when I was a traveling musician. The red states are states where Five-Eight played, the green states are states where I have probably had a cup of coffee or filled a tank of gas, but we didn’t unpack our instruments there.

Looka that thing. Weird how all the states in the West that we didn’t play are connected. I know we drove threw them all, except North Dakota. I think that on this map, North Dakota is the only state that I haven’t been to except for Alaska and Hawaii. I have no idea why we never played Oklahoma. We should have played Stillwater or Norman at some point.

What a life. I wish that there was some way that I could make little icons appear in every state that Mike Mantione lost something- a little wallet in Washington State, a capo is every red state…. his mind in Florida- we could use a little brain icon.