Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Sunday, 22 February 2004

I read something today that made me want to live in Florida again.

I lived in Ft. Lauderdale for two years, from late 1981 until late 1983. I worked for ModComp, which back then made mini-computers that ran their own proprietary real-time operating system. I was hired in to do testing, then moved to the OS development group when most of their OS developers quit to form their own company.

It wasn't really a happy time for me. I was just out of college and found myself overwhelmed. I'd been engaged, but my fiancee moved back to live with her parents and, after a while, broke up with me. I made plenty of money, but didn't know how to live frugally and ended up living kind of hand-to-mouth. I was out of my depth at work.

There were lots of good things. I made friends--I had as many friends there as I've had any place I've ever lived. One group of friends played D&D, another group played racquetball. Several of us used to go down to the strip where the bars had live music.

Still, I found life stressful. I responded by contracting the circle of the things I did. Everyday life was a bit too adventurous, so I refrained from going on any other adventures. I read a lot, but I didn't go do anything.

Today, though, for the first time in a long time, I look back and think that Florida might be a neat place to live after all. Granted, there were too many cars and too many people. Too many of the people were transients--who are annoying because they don't know what they're doing and because they don't have a sense of ownership in the place. Because the transients are annoying, the people who live there are automatically suspicious of anyone who doesn't--which is also annoying. And yet, now I'd do a much better job of living there. I'd take day trips to the Everglades and weekend trips to Key West. I'd go to the beach. It'd be good.

I went for a run. I ran to the olympic athlete's memorial, 4.06 miles in 49:59, so an average pace of 12:17. When I headed out, I'd had in mind that I might run 5 miles, but by 2 miles I was feeling kind of tired, so I just ran around the memorial and then home. Given how tired I feel now, I think leaving it at 4 miles was the right choice.

Still, I'm very pleased. I haven't slowed down to speak of, and I'm not feeling nearly so beat up after a long run as I was after long runs in the spring last year. All I seem to have lost is a bit of endurance, which I'm sure will come back as quickly as I can get some long runs in.


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