Says them...

"They", whoever they may be, say a lot of things (I might have mentioned it before). Today, I'd like to pore over one of them.

So, and possibly inspired by the grim news du jour (it's been a pretty grim weekend...), "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger". This sounds well enough, but how well does this work? I'm thinking back about as far as two years. I see three things that did not kill me. Well, I see plenty of things that did not kill me, but if we were to cinsider all these things, we'd live in a beritable bubble of fear (and, having been there for a very brief period - and worse still, having seen the effects of such practive over a long period - it's not something you'd like). So, berakdown time:

A) My hernia: It's been almost two years since I had my first sciatic pain crisis from that hernia I had removed two years ago come February. I still get the occasional pangs along eiter brach of my sciatic nerve from time to time, but nothing worrisome, usually explainable by something as casual as bad posture, and nothing I shouldn't expect, right? So I lived through that, and now, whenever I slip, even if I manage to regain my footing or even if I don't lose my footing at all, I get scared halfway to death. So two slips on the same day could be the death of me (not really, right? Right, you guys?). How is that stronger than when I was at almost my ideal weight, strong as an ox and laughing at these minor adversities?

B) Colleges and Conflicts: It's not really possible to work for an extended period of time with anyone and not disagree on at least some minor, unimportant thing, is it? Often enough, a big fight arises within a short preiod, and that's what happened, about a year ago, give or take. Long story short, I was accused of slacking off, my work was said to be deemed "unusable", yet used and credit for it taken from me, I was threatened in more ways than I care to remeber and it all ended well... with me absolutely never being any warmer than "cordial" to at least one person ever again. So, did I slack off? Well, I might have... a little... I'm fairly sure I did, I'm not one to deny my shortcomings (not all of them, at least), and that's a fact, but here's a few more facts: I wasn't blatatly ripping off others' work, like some colleagues were doing and inciting me to do; I was awaiting feedback from the rest of my group, and got only accusations in turn; I was more aware of the deadline than them, even though they accused me of the contrary; and finally, fuck you, I was the best damn coder of the whole bloody group, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. So I rushed headlong into this with previous, similar experiences, which led me to repeating the phrase, "I just don't learn." I wonder if I'm stronger for it.

C) Family Falling-outs: You might remeber last year's last entry. Well, there's a no-brainer; this one definitely made me stronger. I got my cat, as promised, and we're quite happpy together; she, as the cute, warm and fuzzy lovely pet, and me, as the fat bloke who feeds her, pets her, cuddles with her, shelters her and provides for her needs. At least this much worked out great.

So does it all make us stronger? I, for one, know of people who have, in fact, been made incredably strong for what has nearly killed them, and other who have been very much left for dead, and weaker for the whole ordeal. Perhaps "they" would like to choose their words a bit more carefully. Fat chance!

Pax vobiscum atque vale.

ArabianShark has some brand new speakers to replace two of his old speakers in his kick-arse 5.1 surround speakers. Guess one of the old ones was not made stronger by what didn't kill it, and the other lacked some measure of restraint... and got itself killed.

My Blue Suede Shoes

Right... Not bloody likely!

My Black Suede Shoes

Much better. Not quite right yet, however. A long time ago, perhaps...

My Black Leather Boots

Ah, yes, third time's the charm. And now to start making some sense.

Right... Not bloody - oh, wait, we've done this bit! Onwards!

Quite some time ago, I had a pair of black leather boots. I loved those boots almost as much as I love a certain coat I've come to mention here a few times (and which, by the way, I wore last weekend for the first time since I had the lining changed. And it's still the bee's knees), and I wore them ragged. Now, for some reason, when that happened, instead of just getting a pair just like it, as I've done with just about any pair of trousers, pants or socks I've ever worn and liked anywhere near as much, I got a different pair of boots. Might have been some misguided idea that those boots were unsuitable for the winter, which is silly, since their lithe construction is equally adequate for cold, rainy weather as it is for warmer, drier times. Perhaps they were not in stock at the place where I'd get them. Whatever the case, I ended up buying some comparatively monstruous boots of Spanish design and manufacture. Worst pair of boots I ever had!

Now, that's not fair... Firstly, I have nothing against the Spanish (the French, perhaps, but not the Spanish), as my time helping out two Spanish chaps (of my own volition and for no reward) who came over as exchange students earlier this year will vouch for. Secondly, these boots were comfortable enough. Not splendidly comfortable, but good enough. They held my (still) injured ankle well in place and they were waterproof, which comes as rather silly, since they slip on water like ice on a hot plate. And this makes them very dangerous footwear, especially if the wearer's spine is as frail as mine. Off with them!

So yesterday I went back to the sacred store, where I'd heard the music, years before - Oi! Get out of my blog, Don McLean's "American Pie", as sung by Madonna! Get your own! - so I went to the store where I buy my boots (neat store! A bit like an Army Surplus store, but not quite) and finally got myself a pair just like those which I had had and worn ragged. And today, I put on the best boots I ever set foot in, again. Without furter ado, the 5.11 HRT Urban Boot:

                                                                                      UK size 10.

Snug and comfortable, these puppies feature 5.11's unique Shock Mitigation System for a comfortable stride, sprint, skip, hop, jump or tumble, waterproof leather and 11001 nylon, kevlar lined oil and slip resistant soles and will keep those nasty blood-born pathogens off your feet (you know, in case some crazed assailant leaps out of a shady corner and bleeds on your feet... could happen... Not bloody - oh, alright, I'll stop now).

Pax vobiscum atque vale.

ArabianShark has been having some serious fun with Command & Conquer Red Alert 3 Premier Edition, which I had to send for from abroad, because it seems you absolutely cannot get it in this wretched caricature of a country I live in. But at least you can still get some good boots.*

* While stocks last. Shark Nibbles, it's employees and associates, including, but not limited to, The Disco-Bar Corporation, are not liable for any consequences of misuse of 5.11 products, such as, but not limited to, envy of proprietary by have-nots, overwhelming style, irresistible sexual magnetism, delusions of grandeur and terrorism. Oh, speaking of terrorism, so the USA have a President named "Hussein", eh? Talk about ironic...