The Stranger In the Woods, or ode to Glenn

I just finished a book that was given to me by the staff at Flexibility called The Stranger In the Woods by Michael Finkel.  What’s weird is that it took until the third-last chapter to draw a comparison between the character in the book, Chris, and my brother, Glenn.

They both escaped society and all its absurdities, couldn’t co-exist with people around, somehow found meaning in solitude, excluded the trappings of modern life from his own.

“He’s done some research; hypothermia, he believes, is a painless way to die.  “It’s the only thing that will make me free.”  (Page 182)  Glenn organized his things immediately around him in such as way that showed he knew exactly what he was doing – planned completely.

“Yeah, the brilliant man,” says Knight, “the brilliant man went to find contentment, and he did.  The brilliant man wishes he weren’t so stupid to do illegal things to find contentment.”  (Page 183)  My brother grew & sold pot as part of his income.  And, yes, he was brilliant, and he was trying to find contentment somehow.

I could go on, but I won’t.  The book is done.  Perhaps this is why Elma chose this book.  Thank you, Elma.  I get it.

dream

Weird dreams last night.  I was in the military, this time the air force.  I was supposed to be someone who flew a small fighter jet, but I didn’t know how.  I tried bluffing my way through.  I was obviously walking in someone else’s shoes.  Nobody wanted to hear the truth.  I don’t think I flew, but people wanted to talk about what accomplishments I made, and I had no idea what to tell them.  I checked the internet for facts.  I believe this is the first time checking the internet in a dream.

Next, my phone broke.  It just snapped right in half.  The weird thing is that it was still working – sort of.  I guess that’s what they call a “dog dream”.

Dreams area supposed to have some correlation in reality, but I cannot place where the plane flying experience comes into play.  The phone?  Well, I’ve broken phones before.  Maybe it’s a sign to be careful.

Midterm exam today, then architectural class, then an English tutoring student.  I’ve been working hard at the architectural plans.  Hopefully they won’t be a waste.  What I mean is, if someone else has already done it, maybe we’ll use theirs.  Gotta be sure that all details are correct.

calm after the storm

Things are settling down now.  I’ve been on my ulcer meds for about two weeks.  Only one somewhat nasty attack during that time.  I’m happy for that.  The doc said the third time I get this there’d be some major s*** to deal with.  I’m hoping this is not the case.

There’s a kind of calm these days.  I can feel it about here and there.  Instructors are not as go-go-go as in the past, no work stress to deal with, no wondering how Father is doing, Mom is doing better these days (made gravy for Sunday’s turkey dinner), Floyd has no issues to speak of, friends (most) are understanding of the various things that have gone down, and the yearly Hell is gone (Pete knows all about this).  Calm before the storm?  No, after.  Feels good.  (Knock on wood.)

I’m not as behind in classes as I was.  I’m actually ahead in one but behind in another.  The rest area good.

I fixed my stereo.  …  Ha!  They don’t call them stereos anymore, do they?  My home entertainment system.

The fan had been making noise, so I cut it out with some metal snips.  In the process, I ended up destroying it.  I just wanted to squirt some WD40 into it.  So much for that.  So I duct-taped a computer fan with a limiter to it.  It seems to work just fine.  A bit overkill, but it is quieter than before.

My little Fujitsu also developed a problem.  A ribbon cable controlling the power supply broke.  I ordered a new used one online and put it in.  It took some monkeying, but it’s working now.  It’s now 12 years old, so it doesn’t compete with today’s computers, but it does make a good background music player.  “Ghibli” on “Study jazz” on YouTube.  Kevin introduced this to me during our final week of last term’s studying.  Look it up – unless you’re allergic to jazz.

loss

Since Father got sick until just a bit ago, things have been stressful for me.  I’m not great with expressing my most inner feelings.  I’m not altogether sure I believe they should be expressed.  As Stanislof once said, “I have religion – I just think it should be a private thing, not yelled out for everyone to hear.”  There are things I don’t really wish to blab discuss.  It obviously does many people a great deal of good to explore, voice, compare, listen, vent, etc.  Those people have a hard time understanding that many of us don’t wish to.  I want to just live my life, not talk about how it is lived.  I feel – I just don’t want to discuss it.  As Curly once said, “I crap bigger than you.”  Well, good for you.  But TMI.  Keep your crap to yourself.
So I lost a friend.  They were upset at me that I didn’t call after Father died.  I was busy talking with many people and dealing with many details.  (Still am.)  Three other friends whom I told next time I spoke with them didn’t get angry.  They instead knew that I needed time to myself.  Acceptance.

On to other things.  I notice that since my old blog, going back to October of 2014 of the Third Generation of the Ongoing Letter (sounds official, eh?), nothing has been said of many things.  So here goes – a kind of rapid-fire update.

The van, a.k.a. “38”, is gone.  I sold it to a young person in Coaldale.  He wanted to buy an older ‘collector’ (and, being older than 25 years, it was) to pimp it.  Last time I saw it, he took the toilet out of it and removed the rear bumper.  I wonder what became of it.  I just know it’s gone, along with the Fun Craft logo Glenn painted on it.

I’m not at Flexibility anymore.  I quit.  I gave my notice before summer began.  Almost six years is enough.  I still see students now and then – Mongali, for example – and I’m happy to see they’re doing well.  New country, new life, new future.  But I wanted to concentrate on my education at the college and my new career.  I have one tutor student at this time.  Not sure if I’ll have more.  I’ve taken down my teaching website but might resurrect it in its new form later on.  Hard to know.  But, for now, I’m done with teaching.

slow server, howling server

If you find the server here at ‘Allan’s Place’ a little slow lately, it’s because it’s doing some boinc work.  The CPUs are maxed out at 100% pretty much full-time now.

Because of that, the server is howling like a freight train, so much so that I couldn’t concentrate on my schoolwork.  So I pulled up its stakes and moved it to the storage room.  Peace and quiet.

…until something else makes noise.

home from hospital

I’m back home. Everything is good. They did an EKG, blood test, urine test. Nothing wrong. Apparently I had an “angry stomach”. Stress, coffee, bourbon, age, etc. all factors in what happened.

So what happened? It started just before breakfast, right after coffee. It escalated to a slow, painful walk to school. It culminated in vomiting, visiting the school nurse, calling Floyd to bring me to the hospital (with more vomiting along the way), and a painful wait at triage.

Then seemingly miraculously, it evaporated to a calm, settling, restful wait for the doc. By the time she arrived, the only pain was from the stomach muscle workout.

Now back home resting in a warm bed … soon. As soon as I put the heating pad on the bed.

By the way – Mom is coming back home from hospital this afternoon. Read her blog under same title but different URL.

in hospital

I’m in hospital now waiting in bed for a doctor. Got sick on my way too classes at college. Strong upper abdominal pain. I asked Randy and Crystal to look after my stuff and went to the nurse’s station. Closed. I vomited a few times in a restroom then went at 8 to see the noise. No triage there, just a nurse. Couldn’t do much. I called Floyd, got my stuff from class, met Floyd outside. I vomited again on our way her. An attendant met me, took me by wheelchair to emergency admitting. Half hour later they put my in bed. Now waiting for doctor. Floyd is visiting Mom.

playing catch-up

I’ve been at classes for about a week now but missed a week of classes while in BC.  With T’s help I’ve managed to get caught up in one class (Process Design) but have more to go.  There’s an exam in Fluid Mechanics tomorrow morning.  I’ll try my best to get caught up before then.

I’ve got Process Design, Fluid Mechanics, Architectural Design II, and Statistics / Applied Research I this term.

auto court in Cranbrook

I’m at an auto court (motel) in Cranbrook, BC, heading back to Lethbridge.  For the first time in years – since before Glenn quit drinking – I’m having a drink.  I bought some expensive Kentucky bourbon and dribbled a somewhat healthy quantity of it with some organic Okanagan beer and am now sitting out here in the courtyard of the auto court.  Although it’s quite cold, it’s also pleasant.

I couldn’t leave Father’s house until about 10am and had been booting in the whole time, but I arrived at Cranbrook about 7pm and decided to take a motel room instead of pushing through.  Got a pain in my stomach, thirsty (didn’t pack water), hungry (forgot my Burger King burger in the fridge at Father’s), and been through hooplah for one week, so it’s probably time to just stop and sleep go again in the morning.

This morning I packed up a few of Father’s things, like his Eaton’s driving safety badges, some photos, Eaton’s blankets, jeans (he’s probably not coming’ back for ’em), and various other keepsakes.  Glenn still has some things in the house, so I’ll pick those things up later – or not.  The shop is full of Father’s machines and machining equipment (welder, spanners, collectible farm implements, and such) and Glenn’s Coca~Cola collectibles; I have a year or so to figure out what to do with them, as does nephew Les.  (Glenn left all his Coke collectibles to Les almost three years ago).

Laura will be living in Father’s house until the time comes to deal with it.  The house is in ‘probate’ until it’s cleared by the courts.  This will take up to one year.  In the mean time, nothing goes in or out without my say.  …  Funny that I’m not there to enforce this.  But Laura is there, and I trust her.

By the way – and this isn’t the Kentucky bourbon talking ’cause I’ve maintained this stance since day-one – if anyone has any problem with Laura’s involvement in this, you’re welcome to talk to me.  That should be clear enough for everyone.