Stuff I remember

Fives Of Years Ago

2014…I was 32. My back had started to degrade but wasn’t useless yet. Chilkoot was ~6mo, Chilkat nearing 3. I think I wasn’t managing a team yet, just a project. I can’t remember if I had actually resumed reading yet (this was triggered by the discovery of Kindle on the iPhone) — based on GoodReads stats, probably not. I’m sure I was tired. Probably at this phase in my life, it was more survival than anything else. I would have been a fairly experienced traveler, having visited Japan several times for several reasons and various spots around the US.

2009…I was 28. I think this was shortly before my first clearly recollectable lower back episode. This is the year KrisDi and I got married, so at this time of year, we were engaged, she was approaching end of her Master degree. We’d been in our current house for about a year — I probably still had a room where we kept all our space (we don’t have any anymore). I was a “System Engineer” writing requirements, using Quick Vision and QVPAK every day, solving and communicating about concrete problems. Kids were a theoretical notion at the time. This was probably only a couple years into serious beer interest — I was probably still searching for Lagunitas Imperial Red.

2004…I was 23. I’d been working for the Navy for less than six months. Living in California, traveling a lot. I had probably already gotten to the point where I knew more about RAM than most people who’d been working on it since I was in middle school (not to be conceited or anything, but totally likely). Still in my original apartment, living alone — not sure if I had bought any furniture or anything yet (or if my futon-mattress on the floor had started molding). I think by this time I had discovered Old Rasputin and started paying some attention to beer — associated with starting to date KrisDi, of course. She was most likely feeding me regularly. I had probably gotten my car running again and I had probably lost 30 pounds by commuting by bicycle in the meantime. I’m not sure if I’d been to Japan yet at this point. The other JPs and I had regular social events like barbecues and parties — maybe the most active and normal my social life has ever been.

1999…I was 18. I was in the middle of my first year of college, living in a dorm at NDSU (with a wrestler named Craig with whom I had absolutely nothing in common). Dating or conflicted about dating Meredith; possibly still conflicted about wanting to date Awz’s cousin. I was probably off of crutches from my 2nd knee surgery at this point. Actually, this might have been about the time that I walked a couple miles to get to PT for my knee, only to have the therapist tell me to go away because I had so taxed my knee walking out there. Of course, all my Beulah friends were still in Beulah, since this was the year I was supposed to graduate — this was before I got my scholarship at OU (or before it was effective, at least). I was hanging out with Abu, Wrong Ryan, John, Big Scary Dave, others of the same crowd. Smoking cigars from time to time. Hadn’t started to drink yet (was still zealously opposed to the idea of drinking). This was probably close to the time that Dave and I took a 12+ hour walk to Minnesota and back, bullshitting and smoking cigars. I walked a lot with my NDSU friends, and we bullshit a lot while walking. We watched horribly made horror movies (like Jason) and threw koosh balls at the TV to express amusement at their cheesiness. I listened to the Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy radio show on mp3 a couple times. I was an EE student, I had probably at least learned what Matlab scripting was. Napster didn’t exist, but I was starting to build an mp3 collection by somehow discovering and downloading them directly from other people’s computers via FTP. I probably still have some of those mp3. I remember marveling at having something like 120 mp3s (currently my kids have nearly 200 on their playlist, and I have 8-9k). I was driving the 1980 Cougar XR7 (RWD v8) I’d gotten when I was 15-16. My knee was too shitty to drive a clutch — I remember helping Wrong Ryan get his stickshift truck out of a snowbank (in a parking lot), and nearly collapsing with knee pain (I was in the driver seat, he was pushing).

1994…I was 13. I was hanging out with JJ a lot, starting to discover “sexy movies” (like Johnny Be Good). I had a hernia surgery somewhere around this time, and this was about the time that I grew a foot in a year — going from one of the smallest kids and getting picked on a lot to being one of the tallest kids and being left the fuck alone. Also, my bones hurt. I remember doing stretches constantly in classes (I think I was trying to keep my muscles and tendons caught up with my skeleton). My 7th grade teacher hadn’t figured out that his pre-algebra extra credit scheme was dumb — if he followed it strictly, I would have gotten a 260% in the class. I understood it better than he did. He was more of a volleyball coach than a teacher. When I got in trouble, he wrote my older brother’s name on the board out of habit. I remember killing some kind of standardized testing that made me eligible for skipping math classes, or something similar. I think I was in track, or running long distance. I remember one particular event where somehow the coach pissed me off beyond my capacity to handle, and I ran something like 5 miles about twice as fast as everyone else while crying the whole time. I can’t remember if I was actually running hurdles at this time — I wasn’t good at it.

1989…I was 8. 2nd grade. Mrs. Swegarden was my teacher. I was learning to read. I think I was primarily hanging out with Awz at this time. There was a kid named Matthew that I hung out with — he may have moved away this year or the year before. I don’t remember what I was reading, but it was pretty simple stuff (Dick and Jane type).

1984…I was 3. I don’t remember anything for sure. We were probably in our second winter in North Dakota. I probably hadn’t met Awz yet. I have either a dream or a memory of when the house was being built — the driveway being piles of dirt, and my brother kicking me in the face and making my nose bleed.

Posted by snaotheus in Stuff I remember, 2 comments

Memories (or lack thereof) and Games

On memories…

At work, we have a few contractors jackhammering at a roughly 10’x8′ rectangle of asphalt in our parking lot, in preparation for pouring a cement foundation for a small bicycle parking structure. It looks really hard, tiring, uncomfortable. Peering out the window at the activity, someone said to me, “Be thankful your parents sent you to college.”

That made me think about it — I don’t really remember my parents “sending” me to college. I don’t really remember them even encouraging me to go to college. I don’t even remember not going to college being a consideration. My recollection is that I always assumed I would go to college. Perhaps my parents set that expectation early enough that I don’t remember the setting of the expectation.

On games…

The kids recently started playing a game together, spontaneously, and apparently both immediately knew the rules of the game. It went something like this (if I remember KrisDi’s description correctly):

Chilkat yells, “Hey! Let’s play CarrotChilkoot!”

Chilkoot responds, “Yeah!” and immediately runs downstairs and begins to orbit the island in the kitchen.

Chilkat starts chasing him, hollering, “Sit down, CarrotChilkoot! Hey! Sit down, little carrot!” and similar, while Chilkoot carries merrily and stompily on.

Eventually, CarrotChilkoot sits down violently, and Chilkat falls upon him, and feasts on his carroty flesh. “I’m eating you! Om nom nom nom!”

CarrotChilkoot’s mortal screams sounded an awful lot like gleeful giggling.


Posted by snaotheus in Family, Stuff I remember, 2 comments

Thanks, Pa

I was talking with Pa on Skype today, and we got to “reminiscing” about how he used to keep the thermostat at 65 degrees.

“But we kept the coal fire burning!”

This coal furnace was fueled on the suffering of his children. I’m about 65% convinced that Dad bred us to haul coal for him. I won’t go into the general horrors of depending on hand-fetched fossil fuels for warmth, because I have one specific thing I wanted to talk about.

When I was 17 — AFTER I had moved away to college — I came home for Thanksgiving. Eldest had already moved away, so Dad took this valuable opportunity to have two warm bodies help him haul coal. As I recall, I had just recently gotten off of crutches after my second knee surgery.

Northwood and I knew from experience that loading and unloading goes faster if you take the largest chunks of coal available, so the two of us grabbed onto a pretty hefty chunk, lifted it up, over the edge of the truckbed, and then my right handhold crumbled away (damn you, crappy lignite!). My left glove got caught on the edge of the coal, and it was way too heavy to hold up one-handed. Northwood’s end started to rise as the weight shifted, resulting in a large chunk of coal landing in a point on the first knuckle of my left middle finger.

Of course, I screamed and swore, my vision started going all dark and tunnelly, I grabbed my hand and ripped the glove off. I bled like crazy, and I could see the whiteness of tendons and bone. Dad gave me tape and toilet paper.

My finger eventually healed crookedly. Scar tissue took the shortcut over the fold in the knuckle, meaning that my finger couldn’t straighten without ripping the skin. Twelve years later, it no longer bleeds when I straighten, but sometimes the skin still cracks and breaks. See the scar as of today. I can feel strange knots on the tendon.

Dad’s recollection of this event?

“I remember a lot of whining. I sure was glad it fell on your hand instead of my truck!”

Thanks, Pa.

Posted by snaotheus in Photo updates, Stuff I remember, 4 comments

Buying Time

Well, I was working on a new post, and getting ready to upload pictures for it, when my laptop hard drive crashed. I’m in the process of salvaging whatever files I can salvage (which seems to be most of them), and then I need to decide whether I replace the hard drive, or the laptop (I was considering replacing the laptop next year). This is on the same day that my work laptop bluescreened, and a week or two after our media computer pooped out and needed a full reinstall. So, computing hasn’t been entirely successful for me lately.

Anyway, in the meantime, I thought I’d share this video from 2004. I’m proud that I won one round. I must confess I was overmatched. It was a good day, though.

Posted by snaotheus in Stuff I remember, 1 comment

Pretty much just pictures

I’ll try not to babble too much, although you don’t get to completely avoid my babbling. It’s my website, so screw you. I’ll go from most recent to least recent.

House pictures, from December 1st 2007 to January 18th 2008. We’re supposed to close in two Thursdays. I’m so damn excited. They start getting more interesting around here, one of the nights we broke in after hours. On the 15th we broke in again, and found lots and lots of blue tape all over the place, marking things that need to be touched up or repaired. But we kept finding stuff that needed to be touched up or repaired, but wasn’t marked. So, we tore up some of the pieces of tape into smaller pieces and put them where we thought they needed to work, too.

On January 4th, we saw my step sister’s band, Sick of Sarah, play at the Aquarium in Fargo. My step sister, Brooke, is the drummer. That was an interesting night. I have never in my life seen so many lesbians in one place.

On New Year’s Day, Dad made us dinner. Steak.

It snowed in Chicago on December 28th.

December 22nd, we took more pictures of E-Dubs’ and Pixel Chick’s little dog.

The day we arrived in Chicago, we went to Hopleaf. We only took two pictures: One where KrisDi’s eyes were closed and everyone else was fine, and one where KrisDi’s eyes were open and no one else looked fine. I photoshopped the eyes from one into the other, so if she looks lopsided, it’s due to my lackluster Photoshop skills.

Old pictures my parents took in 1991. I don’t think I’ll be cute in any of the pictures to follow this set. Out of these, I remember two in particular:

  • This one, of Northwood with a snake. I can’t remember for sure, but I think that’s actually a rattlesnake. As I recall, we were camping in Mobridge, SD, in a pretty regularly-visited campground, and this big old rattler came slithering through. Northwood saw it and went running to Dad, who didn’t believe him until he saw the snake. Then Dad grabbed a shovel and killed it. Didn’t Northwood attempt to tan it or something? I remember him skinning it, pinning the skin out, and putting salt or something all over it. Leedle Brudda, can you verify? If that wasn’t the snake I’m talking about, then it must have been a bull snake or something, I suppose.
  • And this one, in which evil Eldest is seen delighting in torturing me. You see the horrible glee on Eldest’s face — he got me all excited by marking this gigantic box for me from Santa, and loaded it with bricks or something in the bottom to make it seem heavy, and then stuffed it with newspaper and…drum roll…a can of peas. I hate peas. What a terrible person.

Old pictures my parents took in 1990. I remember this BB gun: Eldest sawed off the stock and most of the barrel, then covered it in electrical tape. Afterward, it was suspiciously easy to conceal in a sleeve, and difficult to see in the dark.

I hope that eventually I’ll get some pictures that are actually of the New Year’s Shindig that I can put up here. That would be neat… 🙂

Posted by snaotheus in Photo updates, Stuff I remember, 6 comments