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August 14, 1999 2300PDT

Read something in the Washington Post which mentioned 'acid reflux': this British eye at least, the United States is inhabited by a population consumed by the problems of acid reflux and martyrs to the perils of overactive bladder syndrome.
In the past I've been confused by smirking references from sarcastic voices in the popular media to adult diapers (used for incontinence); eventually I came to the conclusion there's lots of commercials on television somewhere or sometime for these products. I'm wondering what this British eye is viewing, more TV to which I'm oblivious? The latter condition mentioned's apparently a frequent need for urination, caused perhaps by an appropriate and healthy amount of hydration;1 but what on earth is "acid reflux"? More research leaves me bewildered, still not sure what's being talking about. Looking for symptoms I found that
Regurgitation of stomach contents into the mouth can also occur. This is felt as a warm, salty bitter taste. It frequently occurs with belching, and may be associated with excessive saliva production. This latter phenomenon is called water brash.
Hmmm. Sounds like the condition we called "barficide" in the Boy Scouts, when you're not quite able to inhibit a puke (but don't allow anything to escape; and thereby know the flavor of bile).

Last night I attended another singles' dinner up in the City, but this one was different than previous since it was composed of members of the newer organization I've joined, where we choose from various volunteer activities to participate in. Therefore we had something in common rather than just being a group of supposedly compatible people. The meal was at a place I'd been to with the previous organization, a restaurant called Indigo near the Civic center.2 Met someone it seems I'll see again, a British woman named Fi (short for Fiona?) who wants to go dancing. Not an activity one would guess I'd do; but she got to talking about this whole swing thing and I allowed as to how A) I had received formal ballroom dance training way back when and B) I do enjoy Big Band music. So, since I am curious about the new ballroom trends, it'd be a pleasure to mingle among the women dressed so sexy, and her accent makes me melt; looks like I'll be making a fool of myself on the dancefloor in a couple weeks (but first, the upcoming SoCal adventure).

on the laptop, utilizing the Red Hat package my Dad passed along. Had to repeat the process several times, with more success each iteration; finally it's working! Nowhere near complete yet, however; no colors or fonts, just monochrome xterm windows, and certainly no internet connectivity (have to get a modem first) so I can't put my "Powered by vi" graphic on these pages yet; but since I have used the vi editor on my laptop, I can display the penguin:

Linux Penguin

Turns out the task is actually something I'm familiar with, doing Unix system installs - they were a major part of my job around 1993 and 1995. (Although then as now I didn't actually comprehend all the details of what's happening inside the machine; still, there are familiarities.) Setting the time zone revealed a curiosity: in addition to the usual choices US/Arizona, US/East-Indiana, US/Indiana-Starke and US/Michigan were available. Isn't Daylight Savings Time forbidden in Arizona? Maybe that's what it's all about; but the Indiana settings sound mighty peculiar.

To mark this new phase I'm changing my standard password, moving away from the familiar old standby. Instead of today's entry into the world of Linux, the catalyst was on-the-job: we were instructed to change passwords due to some security breach, so I came up with a new paradigm based on a pattern of adjacent keyboard characters rather than my old mainframe ID at Goddard from the mid-1980s, which is what I've been using for many years.

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1 During marathon training I heard that one's urine should be clear; that when it has no color you're drinking enough water. (Very rarely am I able to "hydrate" that much, however.)

2 Walking there from the BART station I was able to examine the elaborate near-rococo gilded ornamentation of San Francisco City Hall, my first time walking rather than driving through its surrounding UN Plaza.