After the hours of pain I am alone. Hurting. Empty. There is no peace here, even at night… There is no peace anywhere.

My views were formed as a person who had never experienced the reality of being responsible for more than my own life. My core problem anytime…

You kept me company on the sleepless nights as I counted each crack in the ceiling and pondered my almost nonexistent list of options. I felt your presence while I missed everything else.

I think I’ll never get back to sleep. Unnerved by the stress, the fear, the loneliness. I’m not sure how to explain the wonder and the desolation that I felt, so I won’t. I was already lost without you. I’m so sorry I can’t keep you safe. I would give anything if I could. I don’t know how I am going to leave here empty and sore and aching. I don’t know how. But I will.

A dead German sat in front of his television set for five years, the lights on his Christmas tree flashing beside him, and none of his neighbours noticed. „Someone said once that he had gone off to a home, I didn’t ask any more,“ said Monika Majarres, who lived in the same Hamburg block of flats as Wolfgang Dircks, a divorced, disabled loner who died in 1993, aged 43.

Other tenants in the 18-flat block minded their own business. Bild newspaper said on Thursday the dead man’s letter box, which might have raised the alarm when it overflowed, had been emptied every now and then, though no one knows by whom. The landlords came knocking only after the bank account from which Dirck’s rent and bills were paid ran dry.

Beside the broken television set and the still twinkling tree they found his skeleton – his TV listings magazine still on his lap and open on the page for Dec. 5, 1993.

Reuters – Bonn. Windsor Star, November 20, 1998

Saturday night is the loneliest night in the week
‘Cause that’s the night that my sweetie and I
Used to dance cheek to cheek
(Barry Manilow)

The holidays are prime time for loneliness. You might actually be alone this year which is exceedingly difficult when the rest of the world is telling you that you must be with people at this time. Or, you might be surrounded by people and still feel lonely as events and interactions don’t go exactly as planned.

The best way to handle loneliness, and any other emotion, is to understand that it is OK to feel this way. You might then realize that absolutely everyone feels this way at times. In fact, loneliness is a common feeling, even for people without anxiety disorders. Stop criticizing yourself for feeling a certain way.

After truly understanding and accepting that it’s OK to feel lonely, you might then go on to think about what these feelings can teach you about yourself. Our emotions can teach us a lot. They can help us make changes in our lives.

The feelings are part of us. None are bad, and we are not bad for having them. And, just as you might tell me not to be afraid of my anger, I’m telling you not to fear being alone. Because, really, even when we are alone, we have ourselves. And that’s not so bad at all!

The last thing I want to do on Christmas Eve is to sit in front of my computer. But today I was at work. It’s a fate – I’m a support engineer. But I have no interest in being with other people much like myself or dancing in jammed nightclub. There is far more loneliness in the crowded places. The worst kind of loneliness is that which comes when you are WITH other people.

It’s Christmas Eve. I’m alone. Feeling all the monotony, all the sameness of this big town – it all comes to a crashing halt one day each Christmas Eve. There are no sporting events on this night. Dark. There isn’t even erotic shows on the TV.

I feel myself like there are no meaningful relationships to treasure on this night. I ate a hamburger on Christmas Eve. Large fries with a beer. I didn’t even bother to drink a beer or glass of wine on this special night. It is an unusual night for me. Most unusual.

I’m alone with my thoughts. I feel a sense of empowerment. I feel alive. Excitement rushes over me. I feel alive. I feel dizzy. I’m trying to look deep into the universe of myself and saw galaxies that were not visible down below in the city full of so many distractions. Now, without them, all alone and confronted with the spinster of solitude, I now see more clearly than ever before. Above me and all around me, I see and feel the presence of God. My own God – myself… And now I know the real meaning of Christmas.

Recently me and my old and loyal laptop parted good friends. It was Toshiba Tecra 8000 and we’d were inseparable friends for more than two years. Sad, but is hard to stay on PII/350MHz these days…

Now I have a second-hand ThinkPad. Searching for that perfect laptop for Linux? It’s IBM T22!

First I took the „Designed for MS Windows“ sticker off my ThinkPad and paste it on my wastebasket. I think it’s a great symbolic gesture. After that I started installation of Fedora Core 1. Everything is OK!

The 900MHz Pentium III is right up there and it is perfect and almost cold. The memory expansion is fairly standard for this class of notebook offering 128MB with one open expansion port. I am with another 128MB inside it already. The mobile Savage video chip is OK for me and works perfect. So, I will never play s’thing that want me to have at least GeForce2 Go. The sound is pretty standard with no faults. The location of the speakers seems like something that IBM should have considered a bit more as they are poorly placed on the front of the laptop angled down. Only the modem… well, it’s a WinModem and as most know, these are resource hogs since almost all the work is off-loaded to the CPU and they require large modules but it is Lucent 56k and it’s Linux friendly. Actually I have another 3Com PCMCIA modem but I don’t have plans for modems anymore… I hope ;)

Well, historically this is IBM’s first model with Linux pre-installed (and first Linux computer in the industry to ship with a fully licensed software DVD player actually). And it is perfect for the Linux enthusiast like me!

Long live IBM!

Most Westerners find Bulgarians exotic – but they often don’t realize that the consciousness of being exotic is painful. As a result of the international isolation during the Communist period, Bulgarians are as interested in and informed about the rest of the world as the world knows little about them. And if a Westerner who has never been to Bulgaria has scarce, if any, knowledge about Bulgarians, the stereotypes are usually negative: spiritless gray crowds or brainwashed peasants with souls destroyed by Communism, or nationalists obsessed with revenge for wars lost generations ago.

While the problems of the past are more complicated than people from Western countries can understand, there is an equally simple consensus on the Bulgarian national aspiration today: Bulgaria wants to be a „normal“ nation among European nations.

Wants but it can’t… The real example is last Bulgaria’s Local Elections… The pre-elections campain was dully, candidates – silly, voters – dumb…

The main Bulgarian problem is the growing numb in the society. Democracy means activity… not numb… And there is no such question as to vote or not… There are too many mistakes from the past elections and this mistakes has to be fixed first by the same voters. It’s easy to belive in ex-kings but it’s harder to stand…

I cannot see a society here in Bulgaria. Where is the feeling for a team or a group? Where?…

If we don’t want to live in country with corrupt police force, bloated bureaucracy, both of which are intertwined with organised crime we are the guys who can change it together – voters or not. While other Eastern-bloc countries, such as the Czech Republic, Polland or Hungary, have stormed ahead economically, we languish in corruption, backwardness and stalled reforms.

The right question is to want or not to… live here…

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar… and the beer.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous „yes.“ The professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

„Now,“ said the professor, as the laughter subsided, „I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things– your family, your children, your health, your friends, your favorite passions– things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. „The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else– the small stuff“

If you put the sand into the jar first,“ he continued, „there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups, take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house, and fix the disposal.

„Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.“

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented. The professor smiled. „I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of beers.“

Well, the reason that my site is a kind of blog at the moment is that more than a year I read other blogs, thinking if I really want to build a blog for myself. Next step was to find my kind of blog software… Finally I chose MovableType… Why? I am a fan of free and open source software…

Before a month ago Zak Greant in Salle’s car told me that he wants to support a small projects like MovableType even it isn’t open source… OK, but this wasn’t the right argument for me… There are a lot of useless small projects… OK – MovableType is great… but this is not enough again…

I found MovableType before an year. I tested it and I liked it, but the moment is different now… I needed that year to decide for myself what I preffer – free software (free as freedom, not as free beer) or open source software… After many hours of thinking I chose open… because of openness, because of evolution… because of open-minding…

Freedom is nothing without a reason for freedom… without something that gives me a meaning for freedom… And that reason is the Evolution, creativity, making things good… That’s why I chose MovableType – because of promotion of Creative Commons Licenses. Because for me the most important than freedom is sharing… Sharing knowledge, emotions, experience and again freedom of course… Blogging is sharing also…

It is stupid to keep freedom with rules or prohibitions. Nobody can ban freedom. It cannot be a taboo to open your freedom the way you want it. If you can’t do that you are not free at all.

So I decided that most important feature of my definition for freedom is that I can redefine it… And to be sure that I can guarantee for my own evolution…

Zak Greant’s blog Polymorph (link no longer exists):

„Yovko looks like a hipster who is pretending to be the host of a 1972 instructional science film.“

Zak, I will be waiting for your Sofia IV essay :-)