I had the highest hopes, as did we all, for this year. It started with promise, with a houseful of friends over for a black-eyed peas and cornbread dinner I hosted on New Year’s Day, 2006. The humble, earthy flavor of the peas remind us of prosperity through humility.

Springtime brought me a few brief amorous moments; winter thaw, spring hopes, nothing took root, but I didn’t mind. My dry season was over.

July, things went south. I got ill, spent all my time at home alone. One of the hottest, driest summers on record, and my life went cold. When the animal is sick, he seperates himself from the herd to heal. And I healed, physically.

The latter half of 2006 found me on my own, alone. Sure, I’m as much to blame, but there is no motion without desire, no comeradery without kinship, no confiding without confidence. So much I want to say, so much I carry, no one will hear of it. It’s my own weight to bear.

And now I am fully humbled — or humiliated by the demons of my own making — and my prosperity still is not forthcoming.

So on the end of 2006 and the eve of 2007, I stare at my screen, typing the same damned words everyone else says on each new year: may 2007 bring me health, prosperity, and kinship.

Change of Plans

I’m seriously wondering if there will ever be a future for me in technology. My current project, developing a storefront site for a friend of mine, is moving really, really slowly, and it’s all my fault. You see, computers are my hobby; most of my non-work, non-sleeping time is spent at a computer doing god knows what. Sometimes, I even write program code. But when I mix money and heavy expectations in with my love for tech, what I get is cold disdain for the stuff and me not wanting to do much of anything.

The project itself is changing. Previously, we had set forth to write the shopping and catalog system from the ground up. I was planning the database, creating the models, thinking of workflow and interface design, doing what I could to get something usable. But I was moving not fast enough for my client. And there is the rift. What accounts for lead development time is too long for the customer who needs things operational now.

So I’ve completely scrapped the original plans to use Ruby on Rails to build a storefront. Instead, I’m going with an opensource PHP alternative, ZenCart. I know squat about PHP, but what I’m seeing is easy enough to understand somewhat. Nevertheless, the entire solution is prebuilt and usable from the get-go with a little configuration, which is exactly what the customer wants and needs. My plan is to set it up, allow her to add products and categories to her catalog and begin taking orders while I learn the templating system and make changes to the design.

For the paltry price I quoted, I should’ve gone with a prebuilt solution from the start. Now, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I’ve gotten rid of the prideful righteousness that goes with saying “I completely wrote this”; such mindedness serves me no purpose and does a disservice to my client. Seems I’m finally understanding what the Industry considers a standard dictum: prebuilt is cheap, custom-crafted costs money.

By Air or By Ground, Their Man Will Be Found

An hour ago I stepped outside to empty my trash and check mail when heard a sound I don’t normally hear: that of an aircraft engine revving up and down really close to the apartment. I went out back to investigate and found one of the APD helicopters circling over the neighborhood. Its floodlight was in a sweep-and-search pattern; they’re looking for somebody.

I walked down the block to check it out; got to Chesterfield and saw there was a cop parked, with lights flashing, on each end of the street at North Loop and Koenig. They’re definitely searching for somebody. The cop sitting at Koenig spotlighted me as I was walking away to return to my apartment (and me in my black hoodie, heh). I stopped, turned around, showed my face to the cop; he turned off the light. I waited to see if he was going to bark commands. Nothing. So I slowly and deliberately turned around and walked back home.

A half hour later, the chopper is still circling, taking longer arcs. I could still faintly see the reflections of the lights flashing on the car at Koenig from my place. Hope they find the fool and soon; sleeping might be difficult with a rumbling helicopter overhead.

To hell with protecting the public. Screw all this “enforcement of public law” bullshit. I’ve got to sleep!