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Giving Thanks

I am taking this time tonight, slightly coasting on a layer of contented wine, to say thanks.

I am thankful that our new president offers a chance for change. I don’t know that he will make all of my dreams true. I do not know that he will fix America and make it again the pride of our world. I do not know if he will be able to deliver on all of his promises, exceed my expectations and vindicate me in the face of all of the opposition who says, “I hope you like taxes,” All I know is that he offers a chance. The other option was a certainty. Certain that the wars would continue, our economy would continue to fall and most of all that we would continue to be a disgrace in the eyes of the world. For the first time in 6 years, I see American flags flying outside our homes, and I am proud to see them.

I am thankful that I live in a country where I can see the good and the bad, and the options before me. I have chosen a risky path, filled with uncertainty and doubt. I feel the eyes of my friends and the whispers of my colleges. I hear envy, worry, exasperation and pride. A strange signal. But it is a rare world where I can pick up and change my life entirely. I hope that through this unorthodox change of pace, my friends will see me at the end.

This has been a year … really a month to rival all years. Everything has changed and I am better for it. I find myself at times exhaling. I sound content but what I am doing is staving off my disbelief. I am so happy right now that it is hard for me to accept that this is all truly happening. I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. Slow and steady wins the race.

I am thankful to be alive. Thank you Mother. Thank you Father. I hope that I do not disappoint. Thank you for every minute of my life.

-Aaron

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Transition

Today is my last day at Falafel Software. From there it is off into the wild blue yonder. Of course it is a scary thing I am doing but I think it will be well worth it in the end.

I attended a party at NextSpace in full pirate regalia. I thought it was a good idea to make a good first impression. Nothing breaks the ice like full pirate regalia. I talked to many people there. Discussions ranged from what I do for a living to re-enacting naval battles in Monterey Bay.

Today my mom is coming to visit. I’m ordering Italian food from Lillian’s and we’ll have dinner on the boat. Neat!

-Aaron

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Strange boat dream

To date I have had a few strange dreams sleeping on my boat, not the least of which is a dream where I wake up and the boat is filling with water. Last night I had a strange one and for some reason I am remembering it in every detail.

I decide that I am going to take my boat out using the engine but I cannot remember all of the switches I am supposed to flip on to get it started. I think I have it right and go ahead and fire it up. Flames shoot out the back of a rocket engine type opening in the back. I jump out into the water which is only a few feet deep and adjust the fuel to air ratio using a knob outside the boat until the flame is bright blue. I get back in the boat to maneuver it through a dystopian tunnel full of dirty looking people who could have been cast for the movie Waterworld. The engine is acting up a bit so I pull over to ask someone for help. A kind man with only two bottom teeth offers to take a look at it while I talk to a friend about my mission. As I get the details of this mission for which I am ordered to go to another world, I turn my attention back to my boat. The engine is now completely disassembled and separated by saran wrap. I look around and there is the two-toothed man and he shrugs and says, “I thought that’s what you wanted me to do.”

I try re-assembling the engine but I am losing many of the ball bearings and bolts as they slip from my fingers into the dust, garbage and water. I ask the man to put it all back together for me and he agrees while I follow my friend to go on this mission. He takes me to a stargate and we walk through to another world. It is nighttime there and I am following a row of troops wearing body armor and brandishing M-16s. They take me to a stronghold where I converse with everyone there about my new boating hobby and the ill-fated encounter with the two-toothed mechanic. The general approaches everyone in the center of the room and says, “Enemy forces are on their way!”

He turns to me and tells me to assemble the pulse cannon. I go to work unfolding the tripod and mounting the cannon barrel but the pieces don’t fit together very well. It seems like something is missing. I see a line of troops moving past the glass walls, the general turns on the flood lights and an alarm sounds. A firefight begins and I still cannot get the pulse cannon together. The general declares that the stronghold is lost and we are to retreat to the stargate. I pick up all of the parts of the pulse cannon, lest it fall into enemy hands. We all walk back to the stargate. On the way we pass a shop. My dad steps out of the shop and asks us where we are going. I tell him we are retreating from the planet. He smiles and says, “See you later!”

The pulse cannon is really awkward to carry and I wish someone would help me with it.

Yep, that’s about it.

-Aaron

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Ahoy!

I have slept on the boat 4 nights now. I really dig it! There is totally enough room to do whatever I want, I have adjusted to the food situation, I am getting internet today hopefully and I am about ready to go get those sailing lessons. It is a little cold at night and in the mornings right now so I am going to go look at space heaters today. Not that I am cold in bed, that’s fine. My mom got me some really great sheets and the fitted sheet has elastic all the way around it so it fits pretty well on the V berth. I use one of those fuzzy acrylic blankets with the quilt my grandma made on top and it’s plenty warm. Randall brought over a great fishing reel so now I just need the sea fishing rod and some tackle and I am set. I looked into fishing seasons and it seems in the winter you can only fish for sand dabs and halibut … and crab. So I was planning on getting a couple crab pots. It seems you just drop the crab pot wherever you want and it has a float on top. You take the GPS coordinates and leave them there for a day. Just that easy!

Everything I own has either been sold or given away now except the gas scooter and I am considering keeping that. Today I should have everything else moved into storage. I am giving up on the microwave idea. Most microwave food is frozen so I cannot justify it. Instead I am going with a rice cooker after reading this article.

Here is a list of things I still need if anyone is not using them:

* Rice cooker
* Space heater
* Sea fishing rod
* Crab pots
* Blankets

-Aaron

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The red carpet

I held off on making the comparison after the election because I thought it was too soon. I can’t hold it in any longer though…

I just hope she doesn’t eat my new hero.

-Aaron

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Living Aboard

Last night was my first night sleeping on the boat. I installed the 26″ LCD TV on the swing arm and I think I have the devices all worked out. I played on the XBox 360 last night. Totally sweet! Almost went out to dinner after moving in but realized that in all the excitement I wasn’t that hungry. Decided to turn everything off, open the hatch and listen to the sounds of the marina instead. Went to sleep and besides a few nightmares about the boat filling up with water, I slept really well. It was no colder than camping, a little bit more damp. The swaying of the waves was very comforting. Moving back onto dry land almost feels uncomfortable in comparison. Took my cargo bag to the bathroom and shower. The facilities are great! You get the shower (there are two of them) all to yourself with a lock on the door. It is actually better than using the bathroom in my studio because it is bigger and I don’t need to clean it. Overall, I am thrilled!

AARON LIQUIDATION SALE UPDATE!

There are some things I need and if you have this stuff lying around I will buy it:

* Sea fishing rod and reel
* Travel bag big enough to hold a change of clothes, towel and bathroom bag.
* Crab pot
* Magma gas grill
* Microwave

Still stuff for sale. If you are reading it from this site, if it is under $20 you can take this stuff for free now. Need it gone sooner than later.

* Easel and drawing pad.
* Antique liquor decanters.
* Digital alarm clock
* Green banker’s light.
* Wooden pedestal.
* Candle holders.
* Long black velvet blackout drapes.
* Knee high 30 hole Underground boots
* Linksys 4 port router
* Linksys 5 port switch
* Go-Ped gas standing scooter
* Extra large black fencing vest
* Set of stoneware serving dishes that have wrought iron stands

-Aaron

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Rock N Roll

For those of you interested in more specifics about the boat, HERE are pictures and specs. I bought a 26″ LCD TV and a swing arm mount to put in it and plan to start moving stuff in this week. I have been pondering the problem of how to mount my various electronic gadgets. I will obviously need a custom bracket or some way to wire or strap them into place so they don’t move around when underway. At the same time I need to have access to the point where media is inserted into those devices and the infra-red ports must be visible. If anyone has suggestions on how to elegantly achieve this based on THIS picture, please do.

There are some things I need and if you have this stuff lying around I will buy it:

* Sea fishing rod and reel
* Travel bag big enough to hold a change of clothes, towel and bathroom bag.
* Crab pot
* Magma gas grill
* Microwave

Also, here is an update of my for sale stuff:

* Easel and drawing pad.
* Antique liquor decanters.
* Digital alarm clock
* Green banker’s light.
* Wooden pedestal.
* Candle holders.
* Long black velvet blackout drapes.
* Knee high 60 hole Stompers boots
* Linksys 4 port router
* Linksys 5 port switch
* 7-in-1 Gaming table
* Go-Ped gas standing scooter
* Extra large black fencing vest
* Pint glasses, flutes and belgian tulips
* 47″ Vizio plasma TV
* Set of stoneware serving dishes that have wrought iron stands

-Aaron

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Oh Captain, My Captain

I now own a sailboat.

Here are some pictures of her out of water.


I am officially one step closer to being a real pirate.

-Aaron

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America is back! … unless you are gay of course.

Well, it was a great election. I feel very proud of our country today. Last night I was in tears of joy. I went downtown dressed as a pirate colonial and drank a pint at the Poet and Patriot. I feel like America is back, and I think so does the rest of the world. We needed this.

There was a lot of talk about how momentous the occasion is because our president elect is black and I have to wholeheartedly disagree. When I saw him speak for the first time, the color of his skin never entered my mind. I think a lot of my generation agree that his race played no role in our decision to like him and truly want him to lead our country. We have moved on from that. We have outgrown that way of thinking. There is no longer a majority of people in America that believe race matters, and it becomes more true over time. This fact is what makes me proud today.

Unfortunately, America still has to outgrow the way it thinks about sexuality. This is the last frontier of equality and we are so close, but the numbers don’t lie. We cannot explain away the votes by blaming false campaign messages or lack of trying. It comes down to the people that voted to take rights away from other people because of how they live. Like all of the civil rights issues in the past, this will be overcome, but it will take time to convince people that they don’t need to be afraid and time for those who can’t be convinced to pass on. I have confidence that we will overcome this in the future and for all of my friends and other people who are directly affected by this, you have my condolences and support.

For now, I can’t wait until we take out the trash in the White House and add some real class to the place.

-Aaron

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A Tale of the Politically Aloof

If there is one thing President George W. Bush has done for me, it would be turning my carefree ear toward the world of politics. The first time I voted because it meant a few hours off work. The second time, I voted and watched in horror as America voluntarily, masochistically chose to re-elect the worst president in American history. I thought I did all that I could to prevent that from happening, I was wrong.

I can do more, I can and I will right now. I was taught by society that it is rude to talk about politics. True, arguments and hurt feelings are often the result as beliefs are a core part of our being. This time, it is too important to sit idly by as these historic events unfold tomorrow. So, I will be rude, I will tell everyone I know what I think. Hooray for blogs!

In every election past I have had a choice between two people I didn’t know very well, and I choose the one that I thought could be trusted more; the lesser of two evils as it were. For the first time I feel that there is a candidate that I want running the Executive Branch. I am looking forward to seeing what Barack Obama could do for us as the President of the United States. He makes me feel proud of being an American again. He gives me hope; not an intangible emotional hope, but a real hope that I can see in him. With him as our leader, we could restore our good standing in the world, help Americans back onto their feet and we can stop leading our country with fear and start leading it with pride. He is ahead in the polls but I am not so presumptuous that I will call it a done deal. Things could go wrong, and I don’t want to jinx it.

I am also very concerned about Proposition 8. This is the civil rights issue of the 21st century. If anyone supporting this proposal has read the history of America, they would know that opposing the rights of other human beings generally ends in the condemnation of those who opposed those rights. On the other hand, if I read the same history of America, I would see that we have a long history of repeated mistakes. I don’t even know how proposing a law that restricts the rights of others based on a religious belief can be legal! More appalling is that nearly half of California disagrees with me. It is so hard for me to believe that if I look around me, half of the people I see are walking around, proud to vote against equal rights of others. Proud to be a bigot.

Though I have never been as ashamed to be an American as I have in the last 5 years or so, we live in a great country. I live in comfort, I am well fed and entertained and it would be easy to close my eyes and ignore my responsibility as a citizen; easy to say these wars, laws and greedy acts are the fault of others, but it would not be true. It is my responsibility. We are all responsible for what happens tomorrow. We are all responsible for everything that has happened. We can never say that we have done all that we could.

This time I will not sit idly by.

UPDATE:

What is that feeling welling up inside me, tugging at the corners of my mouth? I do declare, I think it’s pride.

-Aaron