In semiconductor device research there are often surprises when the device or circuit designed does not operate as it should.  “Device parasitics”.  Ugh.  This means that some part of the device, or circuit, is behaving like something it is not supposed to be…

While the device or circuit may seem to be running normally, when pushed into operation outside normal conditions, it may take a massive electronic dump, shutting down unexpectedly, and perhaps taking out very expensive systems as collateral damage.

In other news…

“We really need to get together again!  That was SO much fun last time!”

“Are you going to the party at Twyla and Grover’s place this weekend?  You always get the dancing started!  Bring your drums and hula hoop!”

“Can you make it to the workshop on the east coast in November?  It’s going to suck.  We need you there for post-session therapy!”

Fuck it folks.  i’m down for the count.  Something in my circuits is behaving badly.

Stay out of my intestines for a bit while i recover…  My party circuits shot a massive load over the past few weeks and are broken.  Contrary to the rumors, i am not a perpetual motion machine, fueled by bacon.

My efficiency is low, and what little energy i have at the moment is focused on driving the massive quantities of snot from my cranial cavities.

Yeah.  Drop dead sexy.  That’s me.  Now leave me alone and pass the fucking Nyquil.

Parasite Pals are availble here – Get ’em before the Christmas rush!

Unspoken Question

It was a very long week.  Thursday evening was the first night i had nothing scheduled…. and my four days at work, post-vacation, were extremely smelly.

Battling a headcoldfromhell, i got the car in the driveway around 5pm, and took Mr. Pickles out for a quick walk.  Coming back through the garage, i was mentally preparing to throw on the jammies and call it a night.

Mr. P had other ideas.

Instead of heading in the house, he turned and jumped in the Jeep.

Yes, my dearest pup!  It has been awhile since we’ve gone to the dog park.


And he had a ball….

In your own skin…

During a moment of exhaustion reflection on the dive boat last week, i realized that i was the second youngest person in our group.  Only the 40-year-old woman – married to the oldest man, aged 70 – was younger.

One of the most accomplished divers is 68 years old – she’s logged over 650 dives, and takes the most remarkable photographs!  She loves sharing her ‘finds’ underwater, and is a lovely coach and mentor.

SCUBA is a hobby that can last a lifetime.

Even more important, however, is the fact that we were all quite comfortable together in the barest of bare essentials on that dive boat.  Men AND women.  Not one hard-bodied supermodel in the bunch, yet not an ounce of apparent self-consciousness.

No whining about saddlebags, poochy guts, baggy boobs.  “Doing the Dance” to wriggle into our wetsuits and dive skins when the dive master called “Five Minutes!”, there wasn’t enough room on the boat for privacy.  It was a floating co-ed locker room.

There are many reasons i have gotten sucked into this activity.  But being around adventurous older women, who couldn’t give a fractional shit about being thin enough, trapping a man, or what they look like* in a bikini?  Sheer delight!

Here’s to shedding meaningless societal constraints, and living your own life!

* The technicolor diveskins serve two purposes.  In warmer water, a thicker wetsuit isn’t necessary for warmth, but having a 1mm “skin” to protect from reef rash, stinging ‘fire coral’, and other scrapes and scratches is nice.  The colors?  When you’re in gear, and underwater?  Everyone looks alike.  A distinctive ‘skin’ can help your buddy keep track of you…  Plus they’re just big damn fun!

Into the drink

My body still feels the motion of the ocean.  Seven days diving in the Western Caribbean, from Utila Island, Honduras.  When i wrote about this before, i was just getting started – following the childhood dream to channel Raquel Welch in that white wetsuit in “Fantastic Voyage”.

Now?  It’s more than that.  A lot more.

Since my brain is still scrambled, and i haven’t finished knocking the stink from the SCUBA gear, just some random thoughts on that thing that is diving…

– No longer just a thrill to breathe underwater, or see pretty colored fish, it felt different this time.  i didn’t struggle to conserve air – i stayed down for an hour, with the required ‘psi’ left in the tank when i climbed back on the boat.  Floating, floating, floating.  The sound of my breathing.  Focused on nothing other than the moment.  This is as close to meditation as i will likely come.

– The little stuff.  Nudibranchs.  Slugs that are teeny-tiny, and wear kaleidoscopic colors.  Ok, not slugs, but soft-bodied marine gastropod mollusks.  One of the divers with my group is skilled at finding these – and loves sharing the joy of the little stuff.  What a delight!

– Floated face to face with a green moray eel, hanging out in a coral cave.  Blue eyes.  Kind of reminds me of a dog.  Spotted my first octopus during a night dive – watched it turn from brown to blue when i hit it with the spotlight.  Blew my mind!

– “It’s like being an astronaut!  I get suited up, and visit an alien world!”  The words of a young diver from Arizona who spent time with our group.  He’s right.  i DO feel like an astronaut.  And no need for diapers…  Speaking of which…

– i have to wonder if there is a medical condition known as “SCUBA-Induced Incontinence”.  There are two types of divers – those who pee in their wetsuits, and those who lie about peeing in their wetsuits.  While diving, you pee when you need to.  Made me wonder how things would be once i got back on dry land…

– Divers, in general, are folks who might have adventurous tendencies.  And they also like to play!  To spend a week hanging out with such folks – who find joy in being alive?  A true pleasure.

More later… But for now?  i need to boil my diveskin….

The summer winds…

Another pinning point passes.  Labor Day marks the “end of summer”.  A good time to take a quick look back and see how it went…

Three months.  Very little time at home.  That’s what winter is for…

– Long weekend with two cousins i like.  We got tired of seeing each other only when we were putting somebody in the ground.  Planned it in the Spring, and managed to pull it together and have a great time in August!

– On about two weeks notice, my daughter packed up and moved overseas for a year.  Poof!  Onward!

– Grand holiday in the big cities!  Two weeks of farting around with glorious companions!  My first NYC off-Broadway show, and comedy club.  And a few more blog mates stepped out from inside my computer…

– Re-established the reading habit, clearing a few books off the pile on the nightstand.  Also started pumping up the guns via “30 Days”.

– First zipline tour.  My paralyzing fear of heights can be managed, and should go fuck itself.  Ha!

Baby’s First Roofie.

– Acquired a new hobby: backpacking.  First overnight, plus a few conditioning hikes under my belt…

– Twenty pounds vaporized since Memorial Day.  Winning a small battle in a life-long war… At least 25 more to go… target is another 20 before Christmas.

– Stage Monkey working local Celtic Festival.  Danced, laughed, and sweated myself into a coma for three days.  Alcohol may have been a factor… 

– Pedaled my arse all over town.  Still bicycling.  More public advocacy ahead…

– Played with a serious band at the big summer picnic, checking something off the ol’ bucket list.  Did it with only three weeks of rehearsals.  The answer is “yes, i have what it takes to front a rock and roll band for three hours”.  The corollary is “No, i do not wish to do this for realz… it’s a lot of work and i’m really pretty lazy.”

– First river float!  After 30 years of driving past the outfitter on my way to The Park and saying “Damn, i really want to do that one of these days”, managed to get in a float this past weekend – just making the ‘end of summer’ target.  It’s not whitewater rafting, but it’s a good time.  Have successfully checked “Class 0.005 Rapids” off of my life list…

– Turned 49.  Realized that the 40’s have been my best decade.  So far… Bring on another year… and another decade…