Don't quite know what drove me to write this, I guess just memories coming back for some reason or another during my reflection time in the morning. I realized I could never have done anything I am doing now without my gram. She sacrificed a lot for me, some kid she wanted nothing to do with at first. Gave me so much, even when I was a rebellious asshole she still gave me so much. We were poor but she would do crazy feats to make things work.

Halloween, right. We couldn't afford the expensive costumes but she had a sewing machine and the patterns were cheap and fabric was cheap so she would make these really great halloween costumes for me every year, rather than buy em. Halloween remains my favorite time of the year.

I got my love and fascination of lights from decorating the christmas tree every year and sitting in the living room only luminated by the tree's multi-colored lights as the tinsel wavered in the heat from the big iron radiator several feet away. Listening to low, christmas carols off a cheap stereo with a cassette of Bing Crosby specifically being common. The smell of the pine. She gave me a lot in those days, around halloween and christmas.

My family wasn't traditional by any means, my grandmother raised me and she did a hell of a job considering I was a rebel from a young age. She had to fight me a lot of the way and man it would get ugly sometimes but she never gave up on me. She bought me pens so I could draw, guitars and fronted the cash on my first paycheck to buy my first ocarina. She bought me software to make music on the living room computer as long as I had headphones on. She always tested me though, made me get the cheapest possible version of the thing to see if that sucking would deter me.

I do it the same way now, that's how I try anything. I have a whole network of servers around the US running tons of projects and support systems and automation for projects. Even got myself a few game servers so I can experiment with stuff on them and kinda pick apart how MMOs function and how I can implement them. But my grandmother paid for my first VPS. My first Shared host. She bought a computer with windows XP which was brand new at the time and held up a long time for me, still kinda lives on in spirit to this day. All my ghetto rigs that stay strong for me and keep me moving forward through the years have embodied that little machine that could.

In my rebellious youth you see, I punched the PC in rage because, like I said... I was a VEEEERY rebelious kid. I always had to learn everything for myself and would not take anyone's word for anything. It lead to a lot of... heated discussions. I'd always punch a wall, once I punched a perfect circle into the glass of my window. Stupid kid, very lucky. Learned all I know by approaching new things stupid and bumbling my way, bruised and beaten to somewhat competent. It's probably my grandmother who instilled the will into me to be such a rebel in the first place.

I punched the face plate off the computer, right. So here I am with a broken PC and she's about to buy a new one for the living room because she needs her emails and again I was a very lucky kid. This was after we sold our house to live in a little apartment, so she was spending money on nicer things I guess to make the smaller space more comfortable. I guess that was about when she was giving up. But she still never gave up on me. She financed my second guitar for me shortly before she passed. It was an epiphone les paul, black with little copper knobs. It was the perfect guitar. I later sold it to buy my brothers of all things a call of duty game on launch. They became for a summer, those 12 year olds you hear screaming expletives in CoD. I can only imagine it's worse now... anyway. The PC was busted and I put it in my room and stared at it for a while until I got up the courage to try my hand at reverse engineering what I broke and fixing it.

So she's got a new PC now in the living room, I am not allowed near it for obvious reasons and I was very aware I was not to be messing with it after what I had done and saw that as fair. I also saw a problem of me needing to have a computer and that broken one being my only chance. So once I got down to it I popped the case open and looked inside, for where the wires that ripped off when the face plate came off might connect.

Dupont connector

My hope was that the switch was still intact and if I could decipher the strange symbols I would have a computer again, no internet (still dialup era, needed a credit card for that) but creative, hopeful, about to bumble off on a new adventure. So I looked all over the board, trying to find something with matching labels to the connectors. I found a little cluster near the bottom that matched the snd and usb and then there was another one, led with a + and - so I matched the + and - for it on the board and then there was switch which was 2 individual connectors, dupont style you know?  One was + the other was -, I put them in place, switched the power supply back on and my ass cheeks took a bite out of my chair when I pressed the power button. Got the beep from bios, got the flicker on the screen, then it booted right up and was alive again.

I was quite chuffed, managing to repair something for the first time as a kid without any help or guide or any clue what I was doing aside from basics of electricity like positive and negative being quite important.

Later on I would get into arduino and that would lead to Big Clive on youtube and yeah, now I have a bunch of electronic hobby projects (mostly weird lights or things for taking care of lizards or bugs) but yeah. It started in her letting me try and fix that thing myself. She thought that I knew what I was doing in fact. She thought I staged it.

She was so mad when I got it working, she kept accusing me of knowing how it would break when I punched it and knowing I could fix it so I could get my own computer.

In reality I was just a very angry at the world kid not knowing how to express the weird shit going on in his head. I got lucky. I always learned and got lucky and a lot of what I learned I was lucky to have learned. All the animal friends I had, my first hamster. Tramp, my cat and caretaker until adulthood. Lucky, my first dog. Charlie Brown, my first hamster.

She took care of my Tamagotchis when I was at school. She got cable internet real early and netflix for me back when it was a DVD mail service. She bought me all the art supplies, pencils, clay. Let me explore as many things as I wanted. Took me fishing, took me to basketball practice once for me to learn I wasn't about to be playing team sports. Took me on trips, little adventures sometimes out to a park or along a nice road to drive.

Took me to Disney World, hung out with me wandering around Orlando when our Epcot day got rained out and the rest of our party went to Universal Studios instead. We went to town, got pancakes and looked around souvenir stores at all the strange things I had never seen before at that point. I value that far more than the rest of that entire trip. She also taught me how to cook for myself and shop for food and how to spot bullshit, how to live cheap. My servers only cost my $55 a month to run the whole network and I have yet to run out of resources across em with all my whimsical container use.

She was maybe not the nicest old lady but she sure had to put up with a lot from me and my dad, so I can see how she might have got that way. Still, she never gave up on me.

I have only one accoustic guitar and I call it Barb, after her. It hurts like hell to play because the action is so damn high but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Have a good weekend, whoever's out there. I got some work to do.