My other blog is now private, until further notice

My programming blog is now private, and will remain as such until I can review its content.

This is due to a new confidentiality agreement sent to everyone by my employer. The terms used to describe intellectual property are ambiguous, and while its concept of proprietary information does exclude “generic knowledge that I would have learned in the course of similar employment elsewhere”, the clauses about source code are ambiguous enough to warrant a concern.

While I feel that the source code and programming examples I shared were generic, and were written at home to describe solutions for programming problems I solved at work, coded into examples that referred to no proprietary information from my employer, I can’t be certain that the content doesn’t contravene their definition of intellectual property.

My apologies to anyone who found this looking for the other blog, and to my followers of the other blog.

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Why Aishah is important to me

Let’s try this again… Hopefully this will be my last post on this subject for now, and I will try my best not to write bad things about Megan.

Background: Megan is my ex, and the mother of Josh, my ten year old son who is with me. Aishah is Megan’s daughter, so she’s Josh’s half sister. In September 2013, they moved in to my apartment, and on that day, I quit using drugs. (Meth.) Somehow the beautiful little three month old baby girl was my motivation to be clean, which has left me feeling guilty for years because Josh didn’t motivate me the same way.

I waited a year, and then with one year’s sobriety I took part in the two programs that were stipulated by a court order to get Josh back, as he was in foster care. I took Megan along and we did those two programs together. Eventually I did get Josh back (on 15 December 2015), but by then Megan had moved away. She only stayed just short of two years, then initially stayed close by for a year before moving to Cape Town.

Recently they stayed with us again for just over three months, with Aishah now five years old. These are some of the many things that Aishah did, making it impossible for me to stop thinking of her:

  • Every day, she waited for me to come home from work.
  • In the first two weeks, we had a “bring your kid to work day” at work, so I took both Aishah and Josh. They had worksheets they were given by the receptionist, who Aishah called “teacher”, having all the other children follow suit.
  • For weeks, Aishah would carry on writing on those sheets, saying she was “doing homework”. She stashed them under the bed, where they were forgotten.
  • Every day, she’d ask me, “Are you going to work tomorrow?” and try to convince me to stay. We used this opportunity to teach her the days of the week. She knows them well now.
  • Even though she’s old enough to eat on her own, she’d insist I feed her, or wouldn’t finish her food.
  • Every night, she’d insist that I brush her teeth, or that she brush teeth with Josh and I.
  • After they were here for a month or so, she decided that she preferred to be bathed by me, not “mommy”. Actually it was like this for most things while I was at home, even brushing her hair.
  • She’d sit beside me when I played Diablo 3 on the X Box One, demanding that I “Sit back” so that one arm could go around her.
  • She played too. At first, she had to “finish all the bounties (in a town)”, and then she learned about key wardens and infernal machines, which she called “keyboards” and “machines”. She could navigate to any act to find the key warden, play it, and then go back to Act 1 to open the portal to the infernal machine. She also played standard nephilim rifts, but didn’t quite master the greater rifts which have a time limit. Sometimes some of the maps would confuse her or some of the monsters would frighten her, so she’d want my help. Also every time I levelled up, she insisted on putting my Paragon points on for me.
  • Every evening I play Diablo shortly before we all sit down and watch whatever series we are watching. (I’m a creature of habit.) While I play, my mother makes me a cup of coffee. Aishah loves coffee and would often drink half of mine. Megan did not like this, just like she didn’t like me giving Aishah soda at night. I don’t see a problem with such things… Sugar rushes are a myth, and if giving children what they want, but not doing so excessively, makes them happy, why not? After all, a happy child is… happy.
  • Sleeping arrangements were awkward, since my mother has the children’s room. My room has a queen size bed and a single bed, one for Josh and one for me. At first, the plan was for me to sleep in the queen size bed with Josh, so Megan and Aishah would sleep in his bed. But Aishah wanted to lie next to me. Both children wanted me to turn to them, so to compromise I’d lie on my back, with one arm around each of them. Then they’d fight over who could put their hand on my chest. Another compromise – they’d each get a turn on alternate days. After Aishah fell asleep, Megan would move her to the other bed; then she’d sneak back to me in the middle of the night. Last night I slept like that, reaching out my right arm to where Aishah used to be.
  • I’d take both children to the park, and Aishah would love me to push her on the swing.
  • Every day, she wanted me to play hide and seek with her.
  • When I get tired over weekends, I put my glasses on the table and lie down. She’d pick them up, bring them to me, and say “Put on your glasses”, meaning she wanted me to play with her. Other times when she was tired, she’d say “Take off your glasses” and then take them off and put them on the table, showing me that she wanted me to lie down and nap with her.
  • Every day she asked when it would be warm enough to swim. I took her to the pool, and she’d just play on the steps, waiting for the time when I could swim with her, but they left before that time could come. Even on the last day she asked me about this, and I had to tell her that she wouldn’t be here. (It is warm enough now.)

Those are just some of the things that I remember. No doubt I have left out many others. I literally can’t do anything without thinking of Aishah, and it breaks my heart that they left so soon.

For reasons that I can’t understand, I’ve been blocked on Megan’s phone now. Before these three months, we used to call them every night, so that I could speak to Aishah, and Josh could say goodnight to his mother. Now he can’t. Effectively she has blocked her son too and it breaks my heart.

Here is Aishah playing on the steps at the pool:

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And here she jumped on my shoulders while I played Diablo:

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She was settled and happy here, and our bond was unbreakable. I love Aishah. I can’t look at these photos without crying, and I can’t fathom why this bond had to be so abruptly and cruelly broken. It’s not right.

Posted in Family, Parenting, Recovery, Relationships | Tagged | 13 Comments

The last three posts are password-protected now.

The last three posts were personal, maybe too personal, and contain some stuff about my ex, Megan, that’s unflattering, to say the least.

Those posts are now password-protected.

@Megan, the password is your gmail password, which by the way, I should probably not know. But you don’t need to change it… I have never and will never log into your gmail.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Protected: I miss Aishah and it hurts

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Protected: A letter to Aishah

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Protected: Why do we repeat the same mistakes?

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Yet another reminder that atheism isn’t a religion

Honestly I’m tired of repeating this, but recently someone asserted that my atheism is religious because I write about it. I also have a programming blog. Does that mean c# is my religion too? This isn’t even an atheism blog or a recovery blog for that matter… it is a blog by a former addict, and I write about whatever I’m passionate about. I write about atheism precisely because of people who impose their religious views on me and my son, and who claim that my atheism is a religion. So my writing may often be a response to sentiments exactly like this claim; that’s apart from the claim itself being a non sequitur. And I write about recovery in the same way, since my skeptical approach to sobriety does not involve being “in recovery”. I haven’t heard anybody claim that not following a 12 step program is another kind of 12 step program.

When I see such claims that atheism is a religion, I wonder how much of it is a combination of these two factors:

  1. Tu quoque: It’s like a little child pointing the finger and saying “But you are also naughty”. Or a men’s rights activist claiming that women who fight for their equality are oppressing men, or a white bigot claiming that Black Lives Matter is all about oppressing white people.
  2. A failure to understand what atheism is: Maybe someone who can not imagine not believing in god somehow thinks that atheism is thus an opposing ideology, like a religion that believes the opposite of them. OK, let’s call this what it is… ignorance.

When a child stops believing in Santa, they don’t suddenly start believing that presents are brought to the children worldwide by some alternate Santa. Likewise, atheism isn’t about some “opposite” kind of creationism. We reject the claims that a god created everything, and thus (while I can only speak for myself) reject everything that comes along with it, like creation, an afterlife, Heaven and Hell, and so on. Rejecting a claim does not imply an opposing claim in the same way you don’t believe in some “other” kind of Santa. It really is that simple. People who assert that atheism is a religion need to grow some fucking brain cells.

Posted in Skepticism | Tagged , | 6 Comments