What is it like…

[06-11 04:18] friend: so what is it like to be jericho?

Seems a simple question, but I’d be curious to see what anyone else replies with if asked the same question. the answer will greatly vary from month to month, more so year to year I bet.

Many years ago, while watching The Thomas Crown Affair, a particular line caught my attention. Catherine Banning (Rene Russo) tells Thomas Crown (Peirce Brosnan) “you live very well” to which he replies “thank you”. While I am never going to be as wealthy as Crown is portrayed in that movie, the line stuck with me as much as the response. I’ve strived for years to get to a place in life where I am happy and comfortable, and live well by my standards. A place where I can answer that question with “I live well” or “Comfortably“. Doesn’t matter if anyone else sees it that way.

Many aspects of my life most people would see as foreign, disagree with or consider a sign of ‘problems’. In many cases, sure. In mine, not at all. I spend most of my time in my home, alone, except for 2 cats and 6 guinea pigs. I don’t like hanging out with big groups of people. Most of my friends do not live in this state, and we talk daily via IM or e-mail. I see my parents every week or two for dinner; get along great with mom, get into frequent social/political debates (read: heated arguments) with my step-dad. Social with, but not particularly close with, my biological father. I venture out for food, groceries, pet supplies or occasionally because I want to.

I have a very small group of good friends who I seek contact with regularly. I’ve met them all at some point, but even virtually they are dear friends and i would do about anything for their well being. When life is good for me, it immediately trickles downhill to friends, family and special interests. Special interests mean the Denver Zoo, Denver Dumb Friend’s League, Cavy Care or other groups that seek to preserve. I live in a condo looking out onto Denver downtown. It is not luxurious by any definition, but it is ideally suited for me and has every luxury I want.

My pets are dear to me, they are my kids. Two boys, six girls currently. My two cats rule the house and do as they please. My six girls are treated as best as humanly possible, receiving as close to perfect care as guinea pigs can be provided. Expert vet care, fresh timothy hay, fresh vegetables daily, a large habitat and more. They are all more important to me than your negative opinion of them. Snide comments or insults toward them typically get rewarded in a verbal lashing and public humiliation. They are good and innocent, you most certainly are not.

I play online games, I work on osvdb.org / datalossdb.org / attrition.org, I work 40+ hours a week in the computer security realm. I am deeply connected with music and have an extensive playlist that probably has dozens (or hundreds) of artists you haven’t heard of. I enjoy movies and well written TV shows / series while I work. I truly enjoy my day job, have the best supervisor you could ask for, and a great CEO who truly appreciates the ‘one-off’ employees who may not fit the perfect corporate model, but bring a lot more to the table. To those types of managers, I am fiercely loyal to and will work as much as it takes to make them happy.

I believe in personal ethics, I fight against the industry I am a part of. I believe in honesty, at least to a degree that can fool the masses; meaning 99.9% of the world spews lies that are easily seen through. The industry believes that 99.9% of the time they should lie, hide behind ignorant standards, limp certifications or bullshit resumes. I cannot tolerate that, and I will not hold my tongue. If I reply to you in a public forum, odds are strong that you are part of the problem, not a solution. I will suffer hardship to stand for what I believe in. I will sever business / professional ties without second thought, if my friends or integrity should come first.

As normal as the above may sound, it isn’t. I know this based on just about every real-world person that has met me or gotten to know me. Many have said parts of the above, very few have lived up to it. The few that have, are the close friends I spoke of; the rest I have trouble remembering their names. The need of those few, certainly outweigh the need of the many (sheep of our society).

A Bad Month for Critters…

I lost Pringle mid-April, and lost Juineapig mid-May. This month, Nugget had a growth on her flank that required removal. After diagnosis, a second trip for surgery (under anesthesia so risky), and what will be a third trip to remove sutures is required. It is benign and mostly proactive care, but a Trichofolliculoma can cause ongoing problems and will never go away on it’s own.

Nugget is home and doing well, but she must be segregated while she heals. I have her restricted to the bottom floor of the mansion, originally with Biscuit, now with Tater. I’ll swap in other pigs as I can. Given the location of the sutures, the only threat to her is another pig dominance mounting her. Biscuit has never done that to any pig that I have seen, Tater has only done it once or twice. The only other piggie I can swap in possibly is Waffle, who seems to have bonded with Nugget long ago.

(Pringle / Nugget / JuineaPig)

For the cats, Badger is doing great, healthy as can be. Speedbump on the other hand has serious issues with his teeth and more. A blood workup shows his kidney is failing and becoming a renal-failure cat, common for 15+ year old felines. His teeth are in bad shape and is due for surgery next week to get them cleaned, many removed and more. After that he goes on a special diet as well. His surgery will cost between $500 – 1k. Of course the little bastard is worth it.

Between the three pigs and two cats, I think I crossed the ~ $2500 mark for the last 6 weeks of pet care. Guess i need to curb my sushi, hooker and blow habbit.

(Speedump / Badger)