NaBloPoMovember: Day 17

Sorry about last night’s cryptic and depressing post.  Had to process a little before I could express it at all.

Quick Version: Someone “found” Arwen’s wallet and cel phone last night, and figured they were going to get rich quick by returning it.  I’m not rich.  If I’m feeling played, the game is over.

Long Version: Arwen was out at a board thing, and I was expecting her to head home around 9.  9:05, phone rang, her cel.  Not-Arwen on the phone said she’d found Arwen’s wallet and phone, and that she was going to head downtown and we could come pick it up (we used to live downtown, and the address on the photo ID would show us being there still.)  Told her we were nearby, and that I could get into a car and come down there, and that I’d pay for a cab downtown for her or something, and then there was a pause.

A long pause.

“This phone’s worth a lot, y’know.  And all this ID would cost hundreds of dollars to replace.  Most people wouldn’t do this.  I could have just kept this.”

My alarm bells went off, and I wondered where Arwen really was – was she okay, had she been mugged and left in an alley somewhere by one of this person’s “friends.”

I ended up waking the kids and hauling them in the car to the Marine Skytrain station literally five minutes later, and getting into a shouting match with an addict who was convinced that she was owed $100 or more for not stealing the phone and wallet she “found on a side street.”  I gave her the $20 I had in my wallet, and after some more guilt-laden back and forth about how most people wouldn’t have called, I finally just said

“Actually lots of people would call.  Lots of people do, and when they do, they don’t ask for MORE money right away – they know they did a good thing today, and they’re happy with whatever they might get.  Look, here’s what’s going to happen, I’m going to take my wife’s phone and wallet back, and you’re going to take this $20 and we’re done.  That’s it, there’s no more money.”

“But I could sell that phone for-”

I took the wallet and phone out of her hands.

“I make a phone call, and this goes from ‘returning a wallet’ to theft and possession of stolen goods.  You want more money, and I don’t have it.  Sorry, but we’re done here.”

“Phone your wife, and see if she has any-”

I held up Arwen’s phone.  “And how am I going to do THAT?”

“Well, she’s probably home by now.”

Again, alarm bells went off in my head “Why would you think that?  If you know where she is, you’d better say so right now.  If not, I’m taking my kids home.  This is over.”

She followed me back to the car, yelling at me that she had “nothing” and that the $20 I had given her was “useless.”  Her friends had left her at the station, and what was she supposed to do now with only $20?

As I closed the door to the car, and the kids in the back seat were panicking, she yelled “I know where you live.  I know where you fuckin’ LIVE.”

I pulled out my Blackberry, and snapped a picture of her, and turned it around to show her, and said “and if anything happens to my house or my family, I’ve got your photo here, and the police and I will come looking for you.  Now get away from the car.”

A bus honked at her as she ran back toward the station, and I did a U-turn towards home.

We arrived at the house to see Arwen opening the front door and then being baffled as to why I was pulling the kids in PJs and jackets out of the back seat.

After explaining to our 8yo that “it was the drugs wanting more drugs” and settling them back to bed, I checked front and back yards, and stood quietly in the shadows near the house, watching.

I know that she probably did NOT have the address of our place (unlikely she would have written it down if she’d found it in the wallet, and as I said before, the address on Arwen’s BCID is two houses ago), but was still freaked out that she and some friends would come do something, and that feeling hasn’t gone away yet.  It’s ugly to think about how that went down, and I keep thinking about how it would have gone if there hadn’t been that pause.  If there hadn’t been the “y’know…” moment in that initial phone conversation.

I would have given more money, maybe even that magical $100, and would have felt really good giving it to someone with so little, even if they were going to spend it in some alarming way.  I would have been happy to give it, but it felt like a shakedown, and it felt wrong.

On the phone tonight, my mom (who’s taught in prisons) suggested that it’s common for “found” items to fence their way up to people who don’t set off the alarms quite so easily, usually women, but then those people have to pay first and then “upsell” whoever they’re giving the stuff back to.  So maybe she’d already given someone money for the stuff.  Maybe she was now out of pocket because she’s paid someone else who’d convinced her the cel and wallet were worth “a lot of money.”

I’m not feeling great about it, and I’m feeling bad I subjected my kids to that.

Not sure I had another option that I would have felt any better about.

NaBloPoMovember: Day 11

Posting this from RockMelt (which is an interesting spin on Chrome, embedding Facebook and Twitter into either side of the browser window).  Okay, no, it WAS being written in RockMelt, but then I bailed on it ’cause the screen framing didn’t wrap properly on my tiny 1024×768 screen, which meant the word “embedding” scrolled off into nowheresville while typing that first sentence.

I have terrible handwriting, but maybe I’d do it more often if I had one of LifeHacker’s freakishly nice pens.  Especially the Namiki ones, from the Chinkin line.

Tomorrow’s Friday, and since I’ve been riding every other day this week, I should ride to/from work, but not if it’s gonna be cold, and it has been *cold* lately.  Not exploding coffee cup weather, but cold enough to make you not want to go work out in it.  The two rides I’ve done this week on the new bike have been good (considering I’ve been off my bike for a month or more).  Wanna see?  Of course you do!  I’ve been using a free Blackberry app called Endomondo which tracks traveling workouts via GPS.  It even tells you over the headphones every kilometer: “Six keelahmeeterrs in ayiteen minutes. Last laptime 3 minutes 22 seconds.”

It also shows GoogleMashed maps with elevation, which is pretty damned cool (if a little creepy, considering I didn’t log into the site as myself to see the information under that link).

In the process of the work I do, I occasionally go looking for people online, and one of the odd things I’ve noticed is that any public running event (SunRun, marathon, triathlon) will publish your name and placing online after the event (it’s in the newspaper, too.)  Doesn’t give you much information, but it does give you a year and a city if you’re tracking someone who’s ghosted on your for a bit.  (Do I even want to tell the story of the con artist in Montreal who I managed to get an alarming amount of data about, up to and including freakin’ ultrasounds of his unborn third child?)

That was a particularly freaky amount of tracking I did.  My accounting manager at the time said “That’s hilarious – don’t do that with me.”

Some Google-Fu and some nice lateral thinking can get you an alarming amount of information on a group of people who don’t lock down their privacy settings on things like Flickr.

It’s Midnight, so I’m a hit Publish, take a picture of the straggly-looking stache, put that in the Mo’10 page, and then head to bed.  (Oh crap, Conan’s on already, I’m toast).

Stood at the cenotaph in downtown Vancouver today while the planes did their flyby and the 21-gun salute was performed with artillery, and it rained and a bajillion kids in uniforms were quiet and strong and trained.  Lots of fresh-faced Asian (and SouthEast Asian) kids there.  Sorta made me proud that Canada has enough of a mixed culture that our population on the street is reflected in the cadets.  Or maybe that’s a bad sign.  Not sure.

But thanks to all those who were once (or currently) somewhere really really far from home, in a place where maybe there’s not a lot of hope (or security), and that the people that sent you there bring you home safe and sane.

Making A Mountain Out of a Hell Hole

I didn’t go to last night’s AGM at Mole Hill.  Not only did I not run for re-election, but I didn’t even go to vote.  Show’s how little faith I have left in whether or not the board is still a functioning part of the Society.

I don’t feel like I’ve given everything I can, but I do feel like I tried to fight the good fight, and that (most of) the folks on the board I was really in direct opposition to are now gone.  Initially it was because the Executive Director was really sketchy, and had a really suspicious background that had obviously not been checked.

I went in swinging, and fought for four months straight before the ED left citing health reasons that made it impossible to fulfill his duties.  Funny that it didn’t stop him from finding a new job two weeks later somewhere else.  The treasurer quit shortly thereafter (or was it just before?) after a heated flamewar in which he told me that “living at Mole Hill, and having cheap rent was a privilege, not a right.”  Lovely.  Just freakin’ lovely.

Been a long two years.  Been a lot of sleepless nights.  A lot of pretty atrocious things said in person and in email.  Some of them to my face, and some of them said by me.  The time approximately half of the board met with BCHousing to discuss the “extraordinary rent increase” (the first of two annual ones they were planning), I was  not invited (nor told about the meeting), but found out about it while walking down the lane, and bumped into another board member (one somewhat infamous for lurking around the block.  Another tenant noticed that there was a meeting happening, but I wasn’t in it, and so it became public that I wasn’t attending this meeting, due to exclusion by the “Executive” members of the board.

The next time I went to a meeting, and someone had sent in a letter asking why not all members were invited to all meetings, the room was told that we were not doing our duty by keeping the inner machinations of the board secret…

Ugly stuff…

Glad there’s a new board coming, and I wish them well, I really do.

Oddly, I haven’t been able to receive emails from the board list since I told them I was no longer seeking re-election.  I guess the Chair took it upon himself to remove me from the list before another “outburst.”

So yeah, I’m done.

This stuff is just too gross to even think about, still, so I’m going to bed.

Oh hai.

So, today the phone rang, and it was my mom, sounding a little shaky, and she said “I’m homeless.”  I had visions of the roof of the house in Chilliwack collapsing or something.  We had a conversation like this once years ago when the University building she was staying in caught fire and she (while still not really awake yet) figured she needed to buy a computer, now, this instant.  I could hear the sirens in the background.  So when a conversation with my mom starts with “I’m homeless,” you take notice.

Turns out she was just between hotel stays with a checkout at Noon and the next checkin at 5 or somehing (geez, don’t DO that), and was looking for a place to kill a few hours, so we all got a free random visit, and a slideshow of elephants, giraffes, and South Sudanese folks in combat fatigues.  Yeah, really.

My mom’s become this total globetrotter, and she’s not doing the jetsetting “what a lovely hotel” thing, at least, she’s not setting out to do that during any of her trips.  Instead, she’s going to places like the South Sudan (Juba) and Bangladesh.  Who’da thunk it?  This teacher from Chilliwack zooming around the world.  Parents can be pretty surprising, given the chance, I guess.  I wonder if my kids’ll ever find me that surprising.  I sure hope so.

Her job now also means that instead of teaching some of BC’s natives to be teachers (so kids stop getting squeezed out before grade 12 because nobody understands why the spirit dancers get a little jumpy at certain times of the year), or teaching basic life skills to guys in prison (she had to convince herself they were all there for cheque fraud) she’s out teaching guys who have been soldiers for most of their adult lives.

That’s using the term “adult” loosely, as many of these guys were in their mid-teens when they were handed a gun (or had to get one because destabilizing forces were terrorizing their villages).  The stories she brings back home are beautiful and sad and uplifting and near-painful when you realize how much more work there is to do there, and that you can’t just throw money at the problems there, ’cause it’ll just be taken away from them.

You can’t take an education away from people, though, so that’s what she’s trying to help them do.  Educate themselves, and rebuild.  Civil war is totally alien to us here in a place like Canada.  Like North America.  Like a decent education and health system.

Like not being shot at, or threatened with death of your entire village.  Like not losing siblings and parents to violence before you’re old enough to go to a school, even if there was one to go to.

On a lighter note…

Nope.  Not so much with the lighter notes tonight.

NobemverPoMoustyclonobo

Long post warning: You has it.

November 2nd.  No point in posting the picture of my alleged moustache, ’cause there’s hardly anything there unless I have *just* finished shaving with a Bic, and I don’t have a camera or the patience to even bother getting anything approaching a macro setting for some hairs on my lip.  Also, even though I initially thought I was going to go for some sorta triple-threat thing and blog every day AND grow a stache for Movember AND ALSO PLUS cycle to work every day, I can’t, ’cause my back tire has a slow(ish?) leak and is currently flat.  Yes, the back time with the kevlar tube guard thing that’ll stop anything sharp from getting anywhere near it unless that sharp thing happens to be on the road, I guess.  Oh!  Story about the crazy who jumped my bike last week.  I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow okay?  Okay.  Coffee?  What coffee, YOU shut up.  Ahem.  Starting now.

[Monty Python Man At Desk]: Good evening.

I like to think I type gibberish like that because it’s witty, somehow, but mostly it’s just that I’ve found that typing damned near anything will get me going off on some tangent, usually with way too many parentheses, and far too few periods.  Especially dangerous at work, lemme just say.

Is it a tangent if I wasn’t going anywhere in the first place, or just mental bumbering?

I remember reading once that one of the signs (not necessarily a warning sign, mind you) of Asperger Syndrome is “atypical use of language.”  This pretty-much includes anyone I’ve ever enjoyed spending more than about an hour around.  Whether it’s friends who enjoy odd sentence structures, or those that use of words that haven’t been in a newspaper or magazine in… oh, maybe a century, or just about anything by Soul Coughing’s front man, Mike Doughty

(and then, instead of continuing to write, I just went out bomping around on the ye mighty ‘net, looking for good examples of why I like Doughty’s stuff, and instead of finding one thing I found about eight and then went looking for a track he did with another guy who normally does music I’m not actually that into but thought that maybe all y’all would be a little more interested in his lesser-known…)

Whoo, lookit that little brain try to skitter away from what it doesn’t wanna do, huh?  Flip the lights on and watch ’em scatter.

Here’s what I’m not saying:  I’ve been thinking about death today.  No, that’s not true.  Not death.  Not even sipping tea and watching ferryman coming for us.  Just thinking about the grandfather figure I mentioned yesterday.  Ace.  He was one of those mythical creatures in my life that gained the less-than-heavy-enough title “Friend of the Family.”  He was a old dude who was a friend and coworker of my mom and step-but-not-really-since-they-married-years-after-I-moved-out dad.  {Imagine a ricochet sound, as I jump to the top of this post and type what you THOUGHT was the first paragraph, but actually the seventh, which ends at the phrase “Good evening.”}

Cool.  Brain doesn’t wanna go there.  Check that out.  Pyeerommm….

Here’s the short version: Ace, an old friend of the family, and, as he would put it “A good shit,” showed me that me playing with computers was something that was possibly a legitimate thing I could do as a job.  Turned out he was right, of course, but before I ever got to be enough of an adult to spend time doing these sorts of things, he died.  I don’t know how to tell his part of my story.  I had a C64, he had a C64, but when he got a C128, and then later a PC, he and I would sit around trying to figure out what we could make these things do.  I’m pretty sure he’s one of the first people I knew who owned a “pc.” annnnd he was a friend, ’cause he would sometimes swear around me, and there was no “Whoops I swore in front of the kid” moment.  He knew that at twelve, I’d heard swearing before, but he also knew that I’d mostly heard it from the kids at school, who had no sense of tone, timing, or delivery.  He would swear with gusto, like he meant it, and like it was okay.  It was fun, it was joyous, it was powerful.  Not everything that contained force has to be ugly or mean, his swearing said.

He and his wife were crazy hippie bastards who’d gotten old, but were still active and still fighting the good fight.  I think Marge may have been a Raging Granny at one point, but don’t quote me on that.  She may have been “A” Raging Granny, but not necessarily “A Raging Granny.”

Fuck it, there’s no short version of Ace’s story, so lemme just tell you my favourite story of Ace, even though I have zero first-hand experience of it, and was told that he always felt really bad about what happened (it’s okay: Ace stays a Good Guy through the whole thing, you don’t have to start reading through your fingers or anything).

Ace had a daughter (or was it two?) and she was grown and out of the house, but came home one day to visit and let herself in.  Ace came home and when she stepped out of one of the bedrooms and spoke to him, he was so surprised that he turned around, bringing both hands up and then down in a sort of air-traffic-controller-guy (with the orange cones) move, hitting her in both collarbones at once, breaking them (or maybe it was just one).  There was something about military training at some point in his younger years.  Something about it all coming back in that split second, when he heard a footstep and a voice behind him he wasn’t expecting, in his own home, when he knew his wife wasn’t in the house.

Something about hearing that story for the first time (when I was still a kid, maybe 14 or so) made me see, in crystal clarity that adults are humans who have lives we didn’t know about.  That parents are humans.  I knew that, of course.  They were people with past lives.  I knew that too.  They were people who’d maybe learned things they hadn’t used in a long long time.  I don’t think I’d really known that.  I just assumed that everyone went to school and then to work, and what they did day in and day out was the culmination of everything they’d learned so far from DNA up to that afternoon.

I came to the slow realization that sometimes people learn things they maybe didn’t want to use in the first place, and maybe never wanted to use again if they could help it.  Left me wondering if this six-foot-something gangly guy with a huge rockstar smile and tinted glasses had at one time been a bad mutha, and had maybe done things he had never quite healed from.  That he had pains that were more than just the limp that I was always told was from some of his many motorcycle accidents of his youth.

He also, without ever a word between us, showed me what a broken heart looks like when you spend your whole life with the person you love most in the world, and then they get older just slightly faster than you do.  He aged fast then.  He was still in there, still driving behind his eyes, but he didn’t have that same spark.  That same fight.  The old crazy hippie bastard who’d marched in peace rallies and swore with grace and warmth had kinda gone out of him.

Yeah, no, there it is.  That’s it.  The fight had gone out of him.  His “military presence” was gone.  He was an old man now.  Old and sitting in a Tim Hortons, having a coffee, by himself.  Thinking about things.  He was still teaching at the College (or the University, or whatever they hell they were calling it that month), and he was teaching old folks about computers.  20 years later, and he’d taking all the stuff he and I had cobbled together about what we thought about computers, and turned that into the end of his career.  Helping the little white haired grandmothers NOT send hundreds of thousands of dollars to Nigerian scammers, or something.  Helping them take whatever gumption they had left and get it online.

I only saw him for a few minutes, but he caught me up really quick on what he was doing.  Folks my age would call themselves techs, nerds, or geeks, but not Ace.  He was “still teaching.”  I got to introduce him to the woman who would later become my wife, and I could see him light up a little at that.  He could read in me that I was happy, and that I was full of all the fire and brimstone and alarmingly deep focus on a topic that he’d had when he was starting out way back when.  He knew I’d found love that’d keep me going until I was old, too.

He died less than a year later, I think.  Never really got to say goodbye.  Don’t think I could have, given the chance.  Wouldn’t have wanted to put him on the spot like that.  I wrote him in my head as a character for a story my buddy Rick and I came up with a few years later, and one that Arwen wrote a chapter for (but it didn’t include Ace).  He was the first line of my version of the same story.  In it, he was a fence for some sorta futuristic information pawnshop, hauling ill-gotten data around between buyer, seller, and thief, and cop.  He’d been caught in the middle of all of it one time too many, and the deal had gone wrong, but he hadn’t disconnected from the technology.  He’d hidden away the last little bit of what they’d come for deep in his mind, and then exported himself into a system that he’d knew our heroes would look through for clues.

He’d passed the torch, expecting us to… no, demanding that we pick up the fight.  That we understood the weapons, the dangers, and the loss of what was to come, but didn’t let any of that leave us standing in the middle of the room when the bad guys came back to clear out the rest of his memories.

Was that what I wanted to write?  Who knows.

Felt like that ricochet swung back round a bit though.

Nablopomo Day 4

In which our hero stays glued to CNN for the evening, watching the election, and constantly feeling like “How are they going to steal it this time?”  Spoiler alert for those of you who TiVoed it: It wasn’t stolen, and Yes, They Did.

I’m not feeling 100% today.  Little sore throat, a tiny headache in the side of my neck (?) but other than that a good day.  Hard to complain when the good guys win, for once, though, woohoo!

Oh, and just in case you’re American, and voted, and felt like it didn’t matter much?  Mr. Saul Williams would like to have a word with you (hat tip to DreamPepper) about the whole idea of history.


Click here for more videos from Vote For Change

My fave piece from this video is this chunk:

Dear History,
You are behind us and we are no longer looking back. We are standing on the threshold of new times, new days, new worlds, and charging forward without battle cry or trumpet, while cynicism, apathy, and cowardice take their place beside you, behind us.

Also, the HipHop-For-Thinkie-Types guy over at Ill Doctrine had some smooth stuff to say about voting, ’cause you’d feel like a real heel if you have to tell your children you sat at home the night Obama almost won.

What else?  Today I figured out how to make Ubuntu perform badly on a network.  Seems like the sort of thing one should avoid, but in this case it’s something we’re TRYING to create.  Some “real world” networking stuff is needed to see what our all-multiplayer-online games are like when you don’t have $50,000 worth of networking gear between you and the server.  I’ve been using Ubuntu as my surfing box for a year or so now, but it’s nice to actually have to learn something at work with it.  Makes me push that much harder/faster to figure out how to make it do something I want to do.  Good times.  No, really, I enjoy that.

Continue reading “Nablopomo Day 4”

JanC passes away – Area code 604’s Dr. Device is offline.

I’m trying to write this before the shock wears off, so apologies now for rambling or moebius story-telling.

So, today I got some news from a succession of people at my old job that the guy I spent the last year and a half sitting next to passed away at his home some time after Monday evening. He’d gone home Monday morning complaining of trouble breathing. Maybe his heart gave out, I dunno. He was a big guy, sizewise, but he always was during the five years I worked there, so it’s not like he suddenly took a downturn in his health. Who knows? Maybe when he went to doctors, he was told to lose weight, instead of actually looking at what was going on? That response from hospitals almost killed my mom last summer. But I digress.

I was laid off from that job three weeks back, and the first thing both my wife and my mom said when I told them was (verbatim) “But you loved that job!” It was true, too. I liked the work, mostly, and enjoyed working for the largest studio of the largest gaming company in the world. Mostly though? It was the people. The people I worked with were the best thing about the job, and for the last 18 months, I’d been working a Nerf-dart’s throw from the sort of techie who would spend an hour figuring out how to mess with another tech’s machine and not get caught. Not for snooping purposes, not for bragging rights, but because it was funny.

We used to joke that we had to sit together in our department, because we would drive anyone else crazy if we were placed elsewhere. We were like the kids’ table at your Grandma’s Thanksgiving dinner: throwing food, making funny faces, quoting Monty Python and Little Britain at each other. In short, we were two big geeks who would often be amazed that we were paid to do what we loved. Even when we didn’t love it, we could commiserate about how much we hated it, and get the poison out of our system before getting back down into our mental trenches and reconfiguring the Retro Encabulators.

He always had a big stainless steel coffee-can full of jelly beans, and while he might have moaned about having to refill it so often, it gave people an excuse to come talk to him, and see what he was doing, without necessarily feeling like they were interrupting. He also had a big red spinning light, like you’d find above the radiation room, referred to as “The F-O Light.” If it was on, it meant he was busy, so “F-O.”

When we weren’t talking shop, we would mostly talk about comedians and comedy. Things we found funny, and things funny people found funny. We could spend ten minutes trying to remember where we’d heard a joke, or the first time we heard a Bill Cosby record, or just randomly saying “Yeah, I know” in Little Britain accents to each other without breaking our different trains of thought. You know how old married couples can finish sentences? We would speak in half-conscious nerdese: deeply obscure IRC and BBS terminology would get bounced back and forth between us, like a pair of HAL9000s talking in their sleep.

I haven’t worked with anyone who so deeply “got” me as a technician. He understood and could help with what made me livid with rage at the injustices of the job (even if he was arguing the other side, and had already resolved to just get it done), and he also joined in the celebrations and Zulu war-dances of finding solutions that were the vastly dangerous shortcuts and time-crunches we were hired to create. The self-taught techs we were? He had done it all, too, and knew how hard it was to put something down when there was still a problem to be fixed.

There are 2,500+ staff at that location, and damn near 3,000 computers running, and if they were running Windows, he was at least partly responsible for each of those machines running as well as they did. I know how hard his job was, ’cause part of my job description was to be his backup when he was away, and brother, that was one hell of a huge ship to try to captain when he was away.

The day after I was laid off, I started to write an email to the department, as my goodbye. It didn’t go anywhere really, so I put it aside, and tried to write a goodbye just to him first, thinking once I got over the barrier of saying goodbye to the guy I could sit next to for eight hours a day (without wanting to yell “Would you shut UP!” even once at), the rest would be easy.

In writing that letter, I got as far as “It was” before I burst into tears.

I know Han Solo, and I’m no Han Solo, but I sure feel like Chewbacca’s gone.

This past weekend, when I was in Bellingham with the kids getting stamps for Arwen, there was a giant bag of Jelly Belly beans for cheap, so I grabbed ’em, thinking “I’ll bring these with me next time I go out there, or send ’em via courier” or something equally nerdy.  While frowned upon, sending food in the interoffice mail system was also one of the things that made us giggle like idiots, and I thought he would know it meant I was still thinking about him, and would make him smile.

He was active in the BBS/modem scene way back when, before most of you fair readers knew what a computer was.  Before a few of you were even alive.  Before we talked about the Internet, and LONG before the World Wide Web.  It’ll take me a while to figure out where his online haunts were, but www.b3ta.com won’t have him making obscurely funny animated graphics.  He won’t be overly harsh with the helpdesk guys any more, ’cause sometimes he would forget that not everybody was seeing the system from his satellite view.

There was one woman he loved, that I know of, and he had wanted to marry her, but she was betrothed to a needle long before he came onto the scene.  Being young and naive, he didn’t see the signs until it was too late, and didn’t get a chance to pull out of the emotional dive before reality came up fast to meet him.  When he spoke of her, which was rarely, he always seemed to miss who he thought she was.  Perhaps he can finally meet that woman again, and this time, they’ll have a chance at something good together.

He was a huge nerd, a good friend, a great technician, and will be missed.

Goodbye Jan, you magnificent bastard.