28 December, 2006

Earrings + touch screen phone = bad news

Yea, title says it all. I just placed my phone on my shoulder, held it with my head as I've done many times before .... and suddenly it went quiet. I glance quickly at my phone, only to realize that it's put my current call on hold and started dialing another number! Nooooo! Luckily I didn't miss anything important. Still not good though. I'm going to have to be very careful with these things.

Moral dilemmas

These are the most difficult decisions to face in your life, but also probably the most important. Perhaps the situation they relate to isn't all that important, but the choices you make set a precedent for future choices. If you make a choice now that hangs on your conscience, it will make it much easier to do the next time. If, however, you make a choice to keep your conscience clear, it can also make these choices easier. The difference here, I suppose, is how you wish to lead your life. It may not seem like it with the individual choices you make, but they do add up over time. The accumulation of these choices is what ends up being known as a person, you. Each individual choice helps to mold that person.

I'm facing one such dilemma currently. On one hand, I can clear my conscience and provide a bit of a warning and openness to a friend... but at the same time, risk trouble for myself at work. On the other hand, I can keep my mouth shut, have that blemish on my conscience, and risk losing the trust of my friend. As cold as it may sound, friends come and go. But at the same time, so do jobs. The question is which one I would rather risk, and which has less chance of failing. The more important question, however, is whether I want that blemish on my conscience.

25 December, 2006



"Never take your loved ones for granted: they could be gone tomorrow"
all of my dreams seem to fall by the side like a discarded thought or the day's fading light
but I know that if I could just see you tonight forever at times we may fall,
like we all tend to do but I'll reach out and find that I've run into you
your strength is the power that carried me through forever

Your kindness for weakness I never mistook I worried you often,
yet you understood that life is so fleeting,
these troubles won't last forever inspired me truly you did from the start to not be afraid
and to follow my heart there's a piece of you with me they can't tear apart forever

Forever I'll find you, forever we'll be
Forever your power and strength stays with me

21 December, 2006

Branching Out

So I'm working on branching out some lately, expanding my horizons as it were. I've complained a fair bit that I don't get out enough, don't meet new people... so I'm doing something about it now.

Last night, I went to the grand opening of a local club, "The Cherry Lounge & Pit". It was a VIP only event, free drinks until 11pm, and I was offered a ticket... so hell yea! The place actually turned out to be very nice. The crowd was definitely a mixture that I wasn't expecting. The sign on the door claimed "strict dress code".. but the clientele didn't quite show evidence of that. Perhaps this was simply because of the nature of the event, but I was very happy with the diversity. While there, I met several new people, found a good new club, and perhaps somewhere I may try to spin in the future.

Today for lunch, I also decided to try something new. I had to run an errand at lunch, so I decided to stop somewhere near there for lunch: Teakwood Tavern & Grill. This place surprised me, I like it. My first impression when I walked in was that it was a total dive... albeit a bit bigger than your typical dive. Not that this is a bad thing, I've haunted my share of dives. The staff was very friendly; perhaps a bit slow, but it was a busy lunch time so that's excusable. I took my seat at the bar, got a glass of Kilt Lifter (bonus!) and ordered some kind of... honey mustard chicken sandwich. This thing comes out, and holy hell it was big. Tasty too! I couldn't taste too much of the honey mustard, probably not enough with the huge chunk of chicken on there. It also came with a small cup of "fresh" fruit.. well, mostly fresh anyhow. I may have just gotten a bad part of a pineapple, who knows. Overall though, I was pleasantly surprised. I can definitely see going back there again.

I gotta keep this up, I like this whole "new" thing. It suits me.


...at the wrong time, or too late, can have disastrous consequences.

But in every change, there is good. It just depends how you handle the change and how you adapt to the results.

19 December, 2006

Self awareness

Whether or not I've said it, admitted it, whatever.. I've been on a journey of self awareness for a while now. Strange that L and I should be doing this at the same time... but it works.

Obviously, according to my last post, I'm changing. I have been changing. Hell, I've made that pretty obvious in many of my previous posts. Some of this I've done on my own... some I've done through the help of teachers, some through friends like L, and also through the Landmark Education Center. (Thank you Sonia!) (Yes, there is one in Portland also. Yes, you are going.. some day. You know who you are.)

All this has made for the most challenging.. emotional rollercoaster period of my life so far. But it's also the most rewarding. The lows may be low, but the highs are in the clouds. Where am I going to end up from all this? I'm not really sure... but I like that idea. The future is open, a canvas yet to be drawn on. I know that I'm becoming much more aware of the world, the environment, my personal impact on it.. and the impact of our people as a whole. I would like to think that eventually I will make some kind of impact as far as that is concerned. Do my part to make things better. Perhaps I already am, simply by talking and helping educate others. I want to be able to reach more people though, a broader audience.

Coming up in February, I'm going to be attending a Landmark Forum... this is going to be something very big. I've seen the impact that it has had on Sonia, and I can see that she is a completely new person since attending... a much happier, more open person. I'm actually a bit scared of attending, because I don't really know what I'll discover about myself there. Even just attending the Introduction opened many doors in my mind, and incited many breakthroughs for myself. Attending a 3-day forum... who knows what may happen.

18 December, 2006

The search for a better life

"The grass is always greener on the other side." Right?

No, not always.

But that doesn't mean you should just stop and settle down once you've found a decently green patch of life. See, that's what I've got right now. I've got a pretty decent life. I make a decent salary, working a decent job. I live in a decent house in a decent city. I own lots of decent things. This should all make me a happy person.

But it doesn't.

The one thing I'm still searching for is the life that I actually want to stick with. The life where I'm no longer discontented with my situation; where I don't feel the need to improve my situation, because I'm certain I could be happier living differently. My greatest problem in this regard is, in fact, perhaps my greatest strength. I am constantly growing and improving as a person; and as a result, I need my surroundings to grow as well. I need my situation to change along with me. I've outgrown this city. I've outgrown this house. Though I've only been there for just over 6 months, I have more than outgrown my job. In essence, I've outgrown all of my surroundings... and yet, I still find myself in them. This is a constant point of frustration for me. I have, in fact, been looking for a new place to live for some time now. Currently, Portland is a very strong contender. I don't know that I could stay in Portland, however. It's a wonderful city, full of wonderful people, and I believe that it would be a good fit for me at this point in my life. I fear though that even Portland may not allow me to keep up my momentum of personal growth.

Guaranteed, as soon as it's a viable option, I will be dropping off the radar completely and living out my days on some remote island with nary a care aside from whether or not I want to get up from my chair for another drink.

15 December, 2006

Being Irish

So today I went out to lunch with the guys here at work. We had this little joke running about "Oh, you like that? Well that's just cause you're Irish." Oddly enough, it fits for a lot of things. Some of the things named were:
  • Dropkick Murphys. Irish punk music.
  • The Corrs. Irish pop-folk music.
  • Drinking. Go figure. This also fits with the German in me.
  • Guinness. Goes along with the drinking, but it's really in a class all its own.
  • Boondock Saints. A movie about Irish Boston.
  • Meat & potatoes. I grew up on them. What do you expect in an Irish family?
That's all I can think of off the top of my head. I'm sure there's more, but yea... those really do seem to fit.

12 December, 2006


My eyelid won't stop twitching. It's really starting to irk me.

I want to stab it.
That might suck though, since I'd end up stabbing myself in the eye.

Code Restructuring

Recently it was decided that I need to go into a documentation/maintenance phase at work, which I'm totally cool with. There was next to no documentation for me to work with when I came into this position, and I've had to figure everything out from the ground up. Some things I'm still not fully sure of... but that's what this period of time is for.

I've decided to take this to the next level though. Notice I said "documentation/maintenance", not just documentation. I'm taking the opportunity to rewrite and refactor a lot of the core functionality of our code. Build it the way it should have been done to begin with. Reorganize things, make things more readable and understandable, and document the whole process as I go, of course.

This is really turning into quite the project... one of those ones where I'm not really sure how it's ever going to end. Right now, I'm working on rewriting all of our database connection code... which is a large undertaking in itself. I think overall, this is going to be a very worthy project though. I'm building a more solid base for our code to run on, trimming a lot of fat in the code, getting it all figured out for myself and any future developers... plus I'm increasing my own understanding of PHP's object oriented programming, and in fact object oriented programming in general. This whole thing will definitely be good for my resume and my future experiences in programming.

I just hope I can actually give this project a finite timeline...

08 December, 2006

Movies != Real Life.


Yea.. that guy is awesome. He's my hero of the day.

07 December, 2006

My (lack of) style

So my webpage right now is pretty ugly.

At least I think it is.

I've been wanting for quite some time to update the style, make it not so sucky. The problem has been that I just can't come up with a design that DOESN'T suck. Technically, I'm very good with XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, whatever... I can make web pages do lots of fancy things. What I can't do, however, is create a site design to fancy up. I've had a couple of failed attempts at new designs... both with different concepts, different layouts, different colors, all that. Those were definite failures though.

However, this time, I think I've got it! I got a wild hair up my ass and managed to throw together a layout that I'm actually happy with! Of course, I did have some helpful advice this time, from an excellent designer. I'm sure I'll be getting more advice before this is finished as well.

Anyhow, this means my site is actually going to get the rewrite it greatly deserves! I'll be trimming the fat, pulling off all the bs pages that are never really used (Including my guestbook... all it gets is spam these days) and sprucing up the pages that really need it. I will have a real programming section now, with full code samples, and lots of them! In fact, I even have one I just wrote up to aggregate the contents of this blog and display them on my page. OoooOoOoh, fancy!

So now, for your previewing and critiquing pleasure, here is the new design: http://tarken.lyrical.net/testsite/test3.htm

06 December, 2006

Song of the day

Dropkick Murphys - Bastards On Parade

I've lost all the time that I have in this world
I spent it unwisely, unwisely you see
And I can't get it back and I can't move forward
I'm broken and I'm empty, it's over for me
If I could undo all the wrongs that I've caused
Fall to my knees, pray for swiftness and just
For I'm just a fool, a fool driven to dust
And the world ain't gonna change for me

So give me one more chance to prove these problems and frustrations
Aren't just manifest in memories we're destined to repeat
A second chance to prove I know right from wrong
I swear I'll do things different but can't promise to be strong

So come on all you losers, you bastards and cheats
Vagrants and barflies down on the street
Follow this path to salvation, vindication awaits
We're marching on East Broadway street tonight

If you could look into this old face and try to see the young man
I swear I once was pretty, not the monster you now see
But I squandered all my chances, lost my faith and took for granted
This life and precious one chance, the whirlwind I'll reap

If I could undo all the wrongs that I've caused
Fall to my knees, pray for swiftness and just
For I'm just a fool, a fool driven to dust
And the world ain't gonna change for me


Element Shift

When I started out 2 years ago, my life was ruled primarily by the element of earth, with an underlying tone of water. Earth is about docility, receptiveness, acceptance. I let people trample all over me, never stood up for myself. Water is about danger, change... water is always adjusting, compensating... I would roll with the punches. I would accept the shit that people would throw at me, and I would adapt to it.

Earlier this year, I changed. Those two elements switched, and my life was ruled more by water. Everything about me has been changing. I'm a totally different person from who I was before. But I've still been taking people's shit with no retribution. I'm constantly changing and rising to new challenges... but I'm still not standing up as much as I should. I've been on the path to the person I should be, but I haven't arrived.

Now is the time to be. This period of change is coming to a close. It's time for my life to be ruled by two completely new elements, wood and sky. Wood is about penetration, following. It's about strength and power. Sky is strength, creativity and pure will. Sky is being the person I've been working towards. It's time to stop dreaming and start living in what I've been working towards. I have no reason not to. My own doubts and fears are all that's been holding me back, I realize that now. It's time to shed those and live the way I'm meant to.

You think I've changed?

You ain't seen nothing yet.

05 December, 2006

The First Agreement.

Be impeccable with your word - Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

\Im*pec"ca*ble\, a. [L. impeccabilis; pref. im- not +
   peccare to err, to sin: cf. F. impeccable.]
Not liable to sin; exempt from the possibility of doing
wrong. -- n. One who is impeccable; esp., one of a sect of
Gnostic heretics who asserted their sinlessness.

Of all the four agreements, this is possibly the most difficult. This means not only to be honest, to be truthful... but to speak whole truths, hide nothing. It's like they say in court, "I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. So help me God."

That is the gist of this agreement.

And breaking this agreement can have incredibly dire consequences.

04 December, 2006

Sustainability; aka, Living The Way It Was Meant

Having just read the story of Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn, I can't help but think that we have it all wrong. The way we live is at odds with nature. The way we go about our every day routines is not the way it was meant to be.

In the grand scheme of things, we believe ourselves to be not only the heirs of the world, but the divinely appointed monarchical rulers of the world. We are the end all, be all of evolution. But this is obviously not so. If this were so, then we would not be destroying the world as we are. If we were meant to rule the world, then we would know how to rule the world, we would have a way to obtain this knowledge. There is, however, no way to obtain this knowledge, as there is in fact no such knowledge.

Actually, let me rephrase that. The way to rule the world.. the way to conquer the world.. is to be at peace with the world, to allow others around us to grow as we have. We must become benevolent, helpful leaders, rather than the tyrannical, dominating, power hungry beasts we are now.

This is the way it was meant to be.

And if this is not the way that comes to be, then we will come to realize the end... not only of mankind, of our own species, but of everything around us. What we do in our culture, in our lives, effects not only us but everything in our environs. Everybody sees this, but nobody accepts this fact. It stares us in the face through deforestation, holes in the ozone layer, extinction of countless species... and yet people still don't realize that we are causing this, and at an ever accelerating rate. More importantly, people don't realize that we can change this. People don't realize that we can stop being this way, live at peace with the world.

Am I trying to say that we should live like aborigines, or like American Indians, or perhaps like a cannibal tribe in the Amazon? Certainly not. They all have their own ways, and those ways work wonderfully for them, but they would not work for our people as a whole. No, the way we can accomplish this is through a move forward. We can accomplish this by ceasing to destroy the environment with harmful chemicals. We can accomplish this through discontinuing the destruction of natural habitats, killing off everything that gets in our way. We can do this by realizing that our culture itself needs to evolve.

Of course, perhaps an evolution isn't enough. We've been progressing towards our destruction at a steadily growing rate of speed for centuries now. Who's to say that this speed won't grow so intensely that we seal our own doomed fate within the next ten years? Perhaps the next five? Hell why stop there, what if we perfect our destruction of our environs so absolutely that we end our very existence in the next year? Is that so inconceivable? Not to this mind. So then what needs to take place, if an evolution is not enough? The only other option... a revolution. All people... society as a whole, needs to be brought into the realization of what is happening in the world... what they, themselves, are doing to the world. They need to learn, and quickly. That is the only way to prevent our untimely demise, and that of the world itself.


If anybody is ever in Portland, Oregon wanting to get pierced.. go to Captain Jack's Tattoo and Piercing Studio, and ask for Fara Te. She is the best. She rules. I hope to be in Portland when I get my next piercing(s) so that I can have her do them as well.

And if you do go there, be sure to give her a hug and tell her she's awesome!