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August 23, 2008

Bill ...

One of the worst, most painful and torturous experiences that you can have is to know that a loved one is in pain but you can’t do anything about it. The realization of impotence, that there could be some key which unlocks joy from the prison of suffering and knowing that you do not have that key, is misery incarnate, futility manifest.

 

Bill Rogokos took his life. Corey called yesterday to tell me and I could hear his pain, I could feel it, because his suffering, his wish that he could have done something to stop Bill’s final choice, became my suffering at hearing the pain in Corey’s voice and unable to do anything save to listen five hundred miles away. This pain multiplies, expands, with the realization that so many of the people I know and love are suffering at loosing Bill; his sister Michelle, Corey, Jared, Paul, Erica, Nolan, Josh, we all grew up in the same neighborhood. I understand the desire to kill ones’ self, to end the suffering of life, but in doing so it creates so much more suffering that the balance is not reset; one weight is lifted but many more are added in the process, weights that can never be removed.

 

I remember in high school, sitting in Corey and Jared’s house reading the entirety of the Steven King’s Langoliers to Bill and the others. How many other fifteen or sixteen year olds would sit there listening to one of their piers read them a story for six hours? How many houses did we toilet paper together? We were never the closest of friends, but we were friends. I respected him. As time and distance separated us and news of him reached me second hand, it was always good news, news that he was a good man. My condolences to his family. To Bill! I raise my glass to him and to all who miss him.

August 05, 2008

Updates from the Fringe

Well, purchasing our first house, getting laid off, starting a new old job, starting the hoop-jumping to get a teaching credential, and a new puppy is the short list of why the blog’s been so silent.

 

The house is going great, despite the dogs keeping the place a mess with the fluffy innards of their stuffed animal toys, and the puppy’s digested meals scattered about. We still need to get the bathrooms fixed as they have slight water damage, just not slight enough to fix cheaply. The peach tree is almost ready have its fruits consumed, but the nectarine and apple trees still need more time.

 

I’m back working for the NASA E/PO group at Sonoma State University. In addition to taking over the secretarial job for the maternity-bound secretary, I’m also engaged in some observing with GORT, writing updates for the Gamma-Ray Burst Real-time Sky Map, and helping write episodes for Epo’s Chronicles.

 

I’m awaiting the test results for the first of three CSET tests in the journey which is getting a Single Subject Teaching Credential. The goal is to start working as a science teacher for high school sometime within the next year or so. However, coming back and working at with the NASA group has been a lot of fun and it would be tempting to continue to work there and help extend the science outreach to schools in the area.

 

New puppy, a long-haired German shepherd named Enkidu. Cthulhu and Enkidu have been getting along splendidly, however there are moments of dominance which can be scary to hear but no one has gotten anything but their egos hurt as of yet (and we’d like to keep it that way).

 

I’ve been play testing 4th edition D&D with my regular game group and I think it’s safe to say that we all enjoy the new combat rules. I am still displeased with it being so combat focused, as it just means either waiting for “fluff” books to come out or devising our own house rules, neither of which makes me happy.

 

Blogs that I’m reading of late:

 

Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy blog which is now under the wing of Discover Magazine’s website, a totally cool event with a hats of to Phil. Dr. Plait is also set to publish his new book later this year, called Death from the Skies!: These Are the Ways the World Will End… which looks very cool and includes death by direct gamma-ray burst. The gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are the things we’re helping track at the NASA E/PO group.

 

P. Z. Myers blog, Pharyngula is an evolution and biology blog that also combats creationism and Intelligent Design as viable “scientific” pursuits. It’s an interesting read for the controversy alone, but the science is great as well (I mean come’on, who doesn’t welcome the cephalopod overlords!).