As you can no doubt tell, I filed the last few entries all at once. I've been keeping notes, but I haven't felt like finishing an entry. To be honest, I only uploaded them like that because I know that my journal script will break if I have a half-month with no entries.

My comments about IRC taking up my time were true, but not complete. I think I allowed it to consume my time as an escape. I keep thinking I'm finally recovering from my depression, then something happens to throw me.

Like my DVD player.

It's only a few months old, but it stopped reading DVDs. It would still read CDs, so it can't be a serious problem, I guess, just dirt or alignment, but a cleaning disk didn't help.

Which is no dig deal. Upsetting, but not serious. I just take it back to the store...

Except that I can't find the receipt. I bought an extended warranty with it, and that's gone too... the receipt was stapled to it, of course.

Well, the store can track purchases. Except that somehow they can't, this time, and they're not able to say why. They should be able to look me up by address, but according to that, I haven't bought anything there in two years. Which is absolutely wrong, I've spent at least a couple hundred dollars there, apart from the DVD.

They can track by credit card use. But my card doesn't show up on the computer. It was a debit card; they say that makes no difference. I could show them the purchase, fax the bank statement, but it wouldn't help, they need the cross-reference in their system.

Of course, this took days longer than it should have, because the day I started with this was the day the lovebug worm struck, and the store's computers were down for two days.

Finally one guy took pity on me, and did some magic which either found the contract or created a new one. I wasn't about to ask too closely. So the unit is in for repair.

Of course, there was the lovebug worm itself, and the problems that resulted at work. The worry - yeah, I have been worrying - about Darrell.

Even haying two finished stories hasn't seemed to lift my spirits. I'll see if I can upload them tonight. I have some other changes I need to make. I think it depends on whether I decide it's worth missing an evening in the spa...


And I didn't upload it, even then. I don't even recall if we did do the spa thing that night. I think we watched a movie. Video, not DVD, though over the weekend we picked up the repaired DVD player, which improved my spirits immensely.

Just in time for my birthday :-)

That's probably another reason for my feeling down so much lately. Turning thirty. Okay, I know it isn't old, but leaving my twenties behind... especially since my lover is firmly in the middle of his twenties. Clarice and I were going to be young and single for ever. Now she'll be a mother, and I'll be a thirty-something. (She doesn't even hit that point until next year).

It isn't rational, I know, and I'm happier than I've ever been, which is why it's so strange feeling depressed... but I am coming out of it. I truly have a huge amount of respect for people like David, who have serious depression and still manage to function. Me, I get just a little down and everything starts falling apart.

At least I can prioritize. My work hasn't suffered. I don't think it has affected my time with Brian. I just get to the end of the day and can't be bothered to do things like finish off my journal entries or go through proofing and uploading them...

After tomorrow, it will be too late to worry about turning thirty :-)


I had a suspicion that Brian was buying me inline skates for my birthday. He's been dropping hints about spending more time outside, and mentioned our skating date, and how we'd both enjoyed it.

Well, I was on the right track, but I was wrong. He's bought me a bike! A really nice lightweight one... He has a bike, brought it with him when he moved in, but it sits forlorn in the garage, since I can't ride with him. Well, now I can.

And he suggested we ride tomorrow to lose the excess pounds from my birthday dinner tonight. We're taking Rob and Clarice out to the Japanese restaurant that they treated us to last year.


Well, we had a lovely evening last night. After dinner, we all went to a Mexican restaurant / bar where we could sit outside and drink until the wee hours. Clarice insisted on driving us, even though we were treating her to dinner, because of her alcohol-free state. So we could relax. I only had a couple of Margaritas over about three hours anyway. My ice kept melting :-)

Rob has a hearing or some legal proceeding in California late next month. After that his divorce will be final.

When we woke this morning it wasn't morning :-) I think we got to bed about two, and I didn't wake up until noon. But I'd promised myself a ride on my new bike, so we rode a few miles to the park.

Coming back was mainly uphill, and in the afternoon heat it was hard. But I made it. If we do this every week it will get easier... (I hope :-)

We took a shower after getting home, and it wasn't until much later that I noticed the answering machine was blinking. Ken had called, left his home number for an urgent return call...

So I called him. He wants me to go to Florida. Tomorrow.

There's a meeting of distributors, and he wants me to make a presentation on our product, software and hardware both. It's a sales engineer's job, and they do have sales people heading out there, but the one who was going to give this part of the program has been taken ill, and they don't want to cover it with someone else who's out there, because it would look too much like a sales pitch than a technical presentation...

I'd take Brian, but he doesn't feel that he can skip work.

So I'm on an 11 a.m. flight tomorrow, coming back Thursday. And I have a presentation to write... Ken sent me the sales engineer's notes, but I can't make too much sense of them. I'm using them for an outline and writing my own. Which is what I just took a break from to write this, and what I need to get back to...


Here I am in Miami Beach <waves to readers> :-)

I brought the swimsuit that Brian gave me, but I haven't worn it. Not that I haven't seen equally daring clothing... but on vacationers, not conference attendees. I did bring a more modest bikini, which I've worn when we get together outside the conference center. No-one is wearing business clothing; fortunately Ken warned me of that, and I didn't bring a suit. It's very casual.

We finish the last session mid-afternoon, and adjourn to the outside bar or to the beach. The ocean is warm, but there's a strong current. Swimming's fine, walking back up the hot beach to where you started isn't :-)

My presentation was yesterday. It went very well, and our post-meeting beach session was well attended with people with follow-up questions. After the scheduled evening entertainment, I stayed up partying with a couple of guys from Minneapolis. This is what a conference should be :-)

I got back to my room a little after midnight, and decided to get my site into shape. Of course, it's all on my notebook, so I rearranged things, cleaned up the unfinished entries, and uploaded the changes this morning.

I tried to write this entry on the notebook outside, but the sun is so bright I can't even tell whether the computer is powered up. So I'm using my Palm Pilot instead, which doesn't rely on backlighting. I'll upload it to the notebook and upload the results after the final session, with luck.

Today's the last day of the conference. I would have headed back, but Ken wanted me to be available for customers who weren't leaving immediately. I'm not leaving until almost five tomorrow, perhaps I can play vacationer and put Brian's swimsuit to use at least once :-)

Besides, the guys from Minneapolis want to buy me dinner.