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Below are the 5 most recent journal entries recorded in Jeff's LiveJournal:

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Sunday, March 12th, 2017
11:52 pm
Doing Nothing
For some reason, things have become oddly "dull". It isn't that anything is bad. On the contrary, things are actually going very well, by all real accounts. Still, I don't feel as though I "do" very much.

One thing I need to seriously get back to is making my YouTube videos. I just find the process often very tedious. Overall, though, my main channel has over 61K views, so someone must be finding it valuable. My other channel gets less attention but someone recently linked to it to explain a concept which came up in a book they published, so that is a nice gesture.

I just need to get out more. Once the spring gets into full swing, my plan is to go biking along the lake more often. I am going to take this year off from roller-blading since the MRI found that I have a torn meniscus in my right knee and the physiotherapist said that it should eventually heal, if I get good exercise, but the location was unusual and is typically due to a kind of twisting strain.


Current Mood: bored
Saturday, December 17th, 2016
10:08 pm
Read-only existence
I write so infrequently, these days.

It seems to be a microcosm for how much of my life feels: Just doing my job, interacting with people I know, looking for distractions... Never really creating something from my mind, the way I used to.

I miss that inspiration to write or create great things. Solving interesting problems has been the fascination of much of my adult life. These days, I don't solve the ones I seek out but lament that I am not given interesting ones.

Uggh, I have become such a waste. I have become sedated by the distractions of the world, distracted by the frustrations which circumscribe my existence, but no longer someone who pushes the boundaries of my abilities.

I think that I fell too hard with the failure of OpenAutonomy. The realizations that technical ideas and effective implementation was not enough to build a company... it seemed to kill something in me.

I need to get back to that. Back to that era where the journey was the exciting part, damn the impossibilities of the destination. That was where great ideas were possible.

I just need to turn off the world and let myself listen to my muse,
Monday, September 5th, 2016
3:42 am
The Earthen Hammer
Clearing my mind, I spent some time alone in the mind-scape, on a simple beach. I was there to build a great sandcastle, much as my yearnings usually dictate.

As I finished the structure, I decided to forage around for the stones to represent the citizens and the soldiers representing the military. Small pebbles for every person weren't hard to find.

The king, however, would be a different matter. The beach was very smooth with no large stone piles to prevent erosion so I decided to forage by digging.

Eventually, I found what appeared to be a large stone. After dumping a great deal of water on it and digging around until I could find a hand-hold, I manage to unwrench it, pulling it up into the air. Eclipsing my view of the sun, I could see its shape: a hammer.

I heard a scurrying behind me heard a voice: "Maybe that is what you were looking for. What does it do?".

A little startled but thinking the same thing, I stood and brought it down on the sand.

My ears rang with what sounded like metal on metal, but this hammer appeared to be some kind of stone and the ground was nothing but sand and water. I managed to clear my mind and open my eyes to see the shock-wave continue across the beach. In its wake was emptiness and stillness. The other people had disappeared, the waves ceased, and the wind seemed to halt.

Looking at this tool, seemingly untarnished by the strike into the sand, I smiled at my sudden companion: "I think think you might be on to something".

Maybe digging through the sand, all alone, is more correct than I had previously assumed,
Saturday, August 13th, 2016
4:21 am
...that night in Toronto...
My feelings of isolation are not as bad as they once were but they are still there. It leads to the odd problems associated with feeling disconnected. This means that I am oddly moved to emotion. While, at work, a pointless argument will quickly cause me to fly into a rage while, at home, it sometimes means odd things move me to tears.

I was watching some videos of The Tragically Hip performing their farewell tour, as it stops in Toronto. Seeing the crowd erupt, while they play Bobcaygeon, at the line "that night in Toronto" can easily move me to tears.

It is a beautiful moment where we realize that we are all here, together. We build this great city, simply by existing within it, connected to each other through economics, culture, transportation, and a myriad of other dimensions.

It makes me happy... but also sad.

We are all here, together, but how come I don't know any of these people?

It is a great reminder that we are connected, but why do I still feel so alone?

'Bout a quarter after nine,
Sunday, July 24th, 2016
12:55 am
A world without magic
Is this why everything has shifted to the grey?

Once upon a time, I gazed into the future and wondered my place. I knew then that I would be in a position of stability, as I knew how secure those who had the education I sought were, in turn, sought by the industry. It was an uncommon privilege, and I made good on it, more of less.

But that was nearly half a life-time ago, when I first knew my place on this path was secured. It wasn't easy to walk it, but it happened and I completed it, more than a decade ago.

The time since then has rarely been easy, but every hardship has been something I could understand and overcome.

Now, what of it?

I find the movement to inspiration so difficult. I have, for some time, thought that my present-day dysphoria is because I "forgot" something from my past. Tonight, during the ritual, I may have unearthed it: I have lost the magic.

When I was a child, I always loved the wizards of fantasy worlds. As a nerd, it spoke to me that someone who wasn't the physical paragon of their age could still turn around to move worlds though their understanding of the world, though study.

So, I became that. I spent my life learning the nature of the machine and becoming a force to be reckoned with when it came to understanding the machine or the abstract logic of the craft.

After a few years in my professional career, I was sought as a member of an all-star team of great creators to define the next generation of my area of technology (by several years the youngest of my companions). I loved the world in that fray. I loved those who fought the same problems, at my side, and I loved my commander. He eventually came to call me one of his "heavy artillery": someone who you send into an impassible problem to break it open for the rest of our legion. Together, we redefined the world of our technology. We were like gods, standing together at the whiteboard. Those days, at IBM, were thoroughly engaging. If the religious could have experienced that era, they would have no need for gods, as they would be them.

Then, things changed. I left that world. I entered one which disappointed me, so I left. I decided to forge my own world. It was beautiful, but I couldn't sell the idea.

I tended it, until I was drawn to something which sounded like that old world. It was/is good.

But, in the moments outside of work, I can have engagement. I have grown to find the taste of this fray sour. Why? Why would the single defining element of my life become empty? Is my life to end? I am still healthy and I still have responsibilities so that seems a bit premature (we will talk, again, after the Ash cat has completed a long and happy life).

I think I realize what I have lost. It is the magic. In the space ignorance occupied there was something else: dreams. Magic consumes dreams to give them form. While banishing ignorance was arguable a good thing, I miss the dreams and the magic which were swept away with it.

Without those things, all problems are small and solved, all life is without meaning.

The 90s was an unusually magical era. Maybe the last we could ever have. I miss the dreams and dreamers of that era. They don't miss me, it seems, or they could have come for me. After all, I do little to hide myself from those who look for me.

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