you never said that, I don't think.

"How am I going to write a movie called 'The Old Mill' without an old mill?"
"Well, first you're gonna have to change the title."

No blacksmithing pictures this week: we're making spoons, which will take two classes, so I left the pieces at the shop. Essentially they both look like sticks of steel with large gobs of steel on the end. No major injuries, either, although earlier in the day our instructor had apparently run over his thumb with an oxyacetylene torch, which at 4800F means Instant Deep-Roasted Crispy Flesh.

Nearly Thanksgiving, and I've at least managed to delay a decision about what to do. I had my heart set on not going anywhere, including Grass Valley (which is where I always go), and I think I'm going to stick to that plan. Last year was mostly a ton of fun, but that was mostly due to hanging out with the girl I was seeing and twenty of her friends at a beautiful house with a fireplace and a hot tub. I was trapped. It was awful.

I made a joke about my will yesterday and realized that I still haven't gotten off my ass to make one yet, and I want to. Besides specific stuff going to a few different people, I feel like explaining in detail that there should be a big party where my friends and family get to pick over my stuff and take things, either for sentiment (my Woom bunny, the jewelry I made, my non-crappy guitars) or utility (stereo, DVDs, pillows). Most of what I own is pretty useful to me, though it's usually been selected for quality and aesthetics. My Ka-Bar Model 1232 camping knife has some more decades in it.

You know, life is short. And there's this bizarro balance we have to strike between taking our chances and doing things when we have the opportunity, and letting other stuff play out at its own pace. Part of growing up seems to be that both of those get easier, if pay attention and let them.

Now, granted I'm pretty talented in one of the cushiest professions in America, but I still think anyone who would rather be a kid than an adult is really going about adulthood the wrong way. That may or may not be their fault: a lot of people get dealt shitty hands in life, which usually goes along with not being able to play it well. But a lot of folks who have good chances seem to feel stuck in unhappy marriages, or with family or job responsibilities they don't want. It's like...don't do that.

I have an interesting year coming up at work. For one thing, I'm supposed to find an "apprentice"--someone to work with me on my component, since my cow-orker is now my manager and will be only be doing less coding as time goes on. This will take a while, since people well-suited for this kind of job, intellectually and culturally, are sparse. The other task came to us this week, when we discovered we've hit the limits of a major piece of our architecture, which lives in my codebase. It likely wasn't terribly well thought-out to begin with, and now it's untenable. It's complicated, confusing, and vitally important, so Phase One is to write as exhaustive a set of tests as I can stand, to document and establish the current behavior; in Phase Two, I will implement the New Architecture, which I haven't designed yet. It's a good, suitable challenge to stretch my brain.

You know, the day is coming soon when I will really have faith in what I see, no matter what anyone actually tells me. I need to continue getting it through my skull that I really don't generally imagine things, and the stuff I intuit about the world around me is very likely accurate. The way I keep quiet doesn't really help with this; but I'm a respectful person, and people need to reach conclusions in their own way, on their own time. I can't just argue with people about what they believe about themselves and their lives. And we all spout bullshit for our own reasons. We need to keep up a front, we need to maintain a party line, we have things we want to believe, and we tell baldfaced lies to our closest friends, with the tacit acknowledgement that it's crap, because it's not a time to deal with the plain and complicated truth. And as long as I hear the voice inside and have confident in the unspoken reality, that's all perfectly fine.