PermaLink You should hit BACK right now03/26/2011 03:09 AM
Maybe the hardest blog entry I have ever written

The year was 1980. A professor in the Department of Biomechanics dropped an Apple ][+ on my desk at my work-study job at Michigan State and basically said, "we heard you farted around with microcomputers in high school, we just spent $3500 worth of grant money on this, can you make it do something?

For my sins, I did. It's been downhill for thirty years.

I never finished a degree at Michigan State. I ran out of money during the Reagan Depression, and I left and never went back. I went from job to job, parlaying one set of skills into a better job and a better job, until I found myself looking at a desk in 1993. Under that desk was a hopped-up 486 running OS/2, and on that desk was a box marked "Lotus Notes." It was purple and white.

It's been downhill since then.

I made the contents of that box dance on that server, and on dozens of other servers that followed it. The boxes got bigger and yellower, and then blue-er, until there were no more boxes, and until the box not only wasn't under my desk, it wasn't even in my building, or under my direct control. Still, the dancing continued.

I think the dance may be done.

Domino was the sort of technology that makes you believe that you can do anything.

For more than 19 years, I believed that. And suddenly, now I don't believe I can do anything.

The Turtle has been crushed.

And it's about a woman, and about wabbits.

It's not that I don't believe in the technology, or the dance. I do.

I just don't believe in my own dancing skills any more.

Who, exactly, do I have anything to prove to? I live with a woman who believes I am fatally broken. I have lost so many of my beloved friends, wabbits and cats in recent years. I have nothing of substance to give back to the technical community to whom I owe years of success. I tried to move to a new realm, something that meant something vital to me, and I have lost all inroads in that realm, not for the sake of my ability and resolve, but for the sake of the one thing I've I always known to be my shortcoming: ill-informed opinions of other humans.

I can't do this any more.

Somebody say something good.

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1. The Turtle03/31/2011 03:54:46 AM

OK, it's been a bit of time and I've let things here ferment. I just have to ask: who the fuck is Jerry Carter, and what in the fuck makes him think he has all the fucking answers? And who the fuck is he to co-opt the names of trusted friends to push his fucking fundy agenda on my own website?

Notice that while I could do it -- it's Domino, after all -- I've chosen not to nuke his leisure-suit-wearin', vinyl-coated-slick-haired-"bible"-thumpin' horseshit comments. I wanna leave them out to to fray in the wind right up there with his pathetic "faith."

Yeah, I'm on a tough time, but I am still the fucking TURTLE.

And your lame-ass "God" failed me years ago. You are dealing with a Renaissance humanist of the first water. Get your pasty white Protestant slit-eyed ass the fuck off my website, Carter. Cart your fucking lame ass down the road. Do not taunty Happy Fun Ball.

Oh, and did I mention auto-fellatio? I recommend it for people who hand out "god" as a remedy for everything.

Eat my ass, Barney.

2. Jerry Carter03/28/2011 12:37:51 PM


I'm going to give the response that in not popular, not PC, and will earn me no points. It will probably earn me immediate scorn.

You need a relationship that surpasses and encompasses all relationships of all types. You need to know God, not a religion, God. There is but one example of complete grace and truth that I know of - Jesus Christ - yes, the most reviled name in all of history. You need to get to know this guy. You won't find every answer reading the Bible or even going to a Bible study but that's one book you can trust the answers it does provide. Don't trust what people tell you about it, for or against, as many people tend to use it as a tool to promote their own ends - check it out for yourself without bias or opinions from others. Trust the Bible - you can trust it. Then after a while, if it seems good to you, I encourage you to trust Jesus. You get an eternal perspective with this trust that makes the short term depression and emotional damage seem not so bad. I'm not saying don't see a Dr. and I'm not saying don't take meds if needed - God knows we're broken and provides for us. If you need it and it doesn't make things worse, pray about it and do what needs to be done if it seems good and Godly.

I had the fortune to be at the bottom and lost about 16 years ago. I had three choices: continue at the bottom, step off a cliff, or trust God because frankly, I was broken and worthless and had NO clue as to how to fix it. I simply asked God to open doors that I would know I could step through and be moving in the right direction. 16 years later, God is still opening doors and I am still stepping through them, sometimes with fear and trepidation, but always with the faith that what I see on the other side matches what I read in the Bible as being wise and good... and what can I say - so far, so good. Based on that, I expect I can keep trusting God - more than any person or situation or man made thing.

English has a poor word we use to mean too many things. Love. So I'm going to say something else unpopular. I love you the way the Bible says I should - as Rich said -as another Human who is broken and in need of a solution... a savior. We're brothers in this brokenness and we can be brothers in finding the salvation too. I found it - it's beyond words. It's not always easy - sometimes I fail to remember who is in control (not us) and rely on my own abilities when I should just trust God. But it is much much better than any alternative I have tried.

Go with God, beloved Turtle.

Editorial note: "beloved?" I don't even know this motherfucker. This is the worst form of spam. "Jerry Carter" is welcome to climb up his own asshole until he disappears in a flash of heavenly light. Fuck off, shit-for-brains.

3. Mike VandeVelde03/27/2011 03:39:11 PM

Ah, women. They make the highs higher and the lows more frequent.

4. Richard Schwartz03/26/2011 02:45:05 PM

Broken? Aren't we all, my friend? At some time or other, aren't we all? There is a word for this condition. It is called "human". It is the down that goes with the ups in life.

But fatally broken? No. Not while we understand we are human. Now while we know who we are, care about others and, most importantly, allow others to care about us. That, my friend, can be harder than any mere technical, intellectual or physical challenge that we face. It is not a challenge we want, but it is a challenge we have, and I know you're up to it.

5. Dan Soares03/26/2011 12:05:03 PM

Hang in there bud. None of us are perfect but none of us are 'fatally' flawed either or beyond redemption. You've got friends here who care for you and believe in you. Call/email anytime you wanna talk.


6. Thomas Duff03/26/2011 11:39:32 AM

We've talked through this before, and you know you're a survivor. Some things in your life aren't going to change, and as painful as it will be, you need to scrub those out. Lunacy is doing the same things over and over, expecting different results.

The IT world is nuts to begin with, so maybe it *is* time to move on. The friends you've made here aren't just friends because you "do computers." They'll be friends regardless. If you want to open up a business repairing old tractors or making sure diesels with 200K+ miles are still road-worthy, go for it. We'll still be here, and you'll have a fresh start.

You're definitely in a low spot right now, but you have friends that care. Take the steps that you know you need to take, however painful they may be, and start building the life that *you* will be happy with, not the one you think you need to live as it's been the thing you've done for the last 20 years.

7. The Widow03/26/2011 09:41:41 AM

I wish I could tell you something that will change things.

But it won't.

What I can tell you is this:
When I joined this community (recently, thanks to another fanatic we both know and love), a personality I was fascinated and intrigued by was the turtle. He made it into blog posts and was the topic of discussion more than once. To someone like me, the turtle is legendary.

I won't pretend to understand; no one can. However, what you're feeling isn't a stranger to me. That war inside your head isn't always quelled in the ways we may think... But it does go away. There's so much I want to tell you, though a public forum isn't the place. I'm glad you sought help. That means you haven't lost hope, but perhaps, merely direction.

Regardless, ill keep you in my thoughts. Things will get better. Its just that the pendulum swings left sometimes. The good news is, it swings right too.

Please keep us updated. You have friends out there, and fans.

A web of her own,
The Widow

8. Jason03/26/2011 09:30:27 AM

You are not fatally broken. You are functioning and functional. If I could offer you some practical advice: seek out some talking therapy. Spend a little money to buy some time for you to talk to some one who doesn't know you, will not judge you, and can probably help lead you through any current muddles you might have. It will take pressure off your relationship. Lots of people do it you and more should.<br><br>You will feel a little better for taking a bit of control back.<br><br>Good luck don't give up.

9. Tony03/26/2011 08:23:57 AM

I'm sorry to hear that...
This quote has taught me alot about life: "You can have it all, but not all at the same time". Once I understood that it made me much happier.
Are you passionate about IBM/Lotus/(insert item here)? Then follow that. Are you passionate about your woman? Then follow her. It takes a fine bit of tightrope walking to be able to follow both. Many people fail. But it can be done.

10. Andy03/26/2011 06:50:34 AM

At this stage, I went to my doctor, got some pills I didn't take. A while later, one morning I found myself crying under the table. Somebody got me the hospital. Burnout and depression was my diagnosis. The only thing I wanted to do was to die. This time I listened to the people, who cared for me. It took just one year to recover, and I began my new job. In exactly 2 days, I have my third breakdown anniversary, and I am feeling better than ever before. That's why I suggest to see a shrink, too. Depression is just a disease, and there is cure for it. OK, it's not "done" in 10 days.
And by the way, Turtle, I too know, that you ARE good, as many others know. I think you need somebody who you could trust, who could reestablish your self confidence.
Yes, I was "on Notes and Domino", too, and still I am. It's not the reason .

11. Christian Tillmanns03/26/2011 05:34:11 AM

My english is probably not good enough, to read between the lines and understand completely what you mean, but my gut feeling tells me two things, you either have a depression or you just need something new to do.
If you have a depression, you are not the first one. The only thing I can tell you there, seek help. Professional help. See a doctor. A depression is nothing to be ashamed of, it's just something that happens. I had coworkers that were depressed and you can work your way out of it, too. It's not easy, but you can not do it yourself.
If I get it right, then you think you are not worthy. I can tell you a thousand times, that this is not true, you will probably not believe it. I like turtles BTW.
If you just want to talk, you have my email. Drop me a message and we will see from there.
If you just need to do something new, go for it. Notes/Domino is not a religion. It is just a software. If you are happier being a carpenter, go for it. Don't look back, your life is more important than computers.

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