April 25, 1982.  The whole idea behind this is partially a diary, partially a sketch book, partially a notebook - a continuer of chaotic images, new thoughts, strong feelings.  It is a s rather curious time to being such a project.  I'm in the middle of Nuclear Prototype quals, with barely enough time to remain human, and far behind on returning letters.  And now, I begin.  Why?  Things are happening at such a fantastic pace that I feel like I'm losing touch with myself.  It jus seems important to me to get a few things down before the present "David Dickie" is buried forever. 

Recently, I've been obsessed with transients.  I see things change very quickly.  At NPTU, material and new situations fly be so rapidly.... in the course of a week, I went form a bumbling, self-conscious and very uncertain EOOW to a reasonably decent watch stander.  One week.  And the transients of RPI is making itself painfully obvious - bitterly obvious.  RPI has been my center for so long, I don't know what I do about losing it. 

April 26, 1982.  A short entry in order to get a few letters written.  I'm worried - borderline depression strikes.  I feel a need for a friend.  Someone physically present.  Another aspect f the RPI syndrome.  But it strikes whenever I slow down.  Am I becoming a workaholic? Pat Benatar in the background, a little time for reflection, and I fleet the need to DO something.  God forbid that I should lose my friends.  And yet- I haven't been in touch as much as I should be.  Lack of time, money, psych - working so much leaves little time for anything but sleep. 

May 4th, 1982
- First half of the 100% is over, second half to go.  My final board date is set for the 17th - less than 2 weeks away, assuming I pass the 100.  Making plans for a four day on a 40 ft boat with Dave Wilson, Snyder, Foard, and two others.  two weeks Canada with Eric Haines, and a week in California with Thomas and Bill!

August 15th, 1982 - Eric Haine's party was outstanding.  Persieds generated the following:  The energy from falling Persieds may generate enough power to put nuclear reactors out of business by 1993.  Random, but fun.  The joke:  "How many surrealists does it take to change a light bulb?  Two, one to hold the giraffe and the other to fill the bathtub with brightly colored machine tools" generated a discussion on constellations.  Consensus is that modern constellations fall into two categories, Black and Decker and Sears Handyman.  The  Perseids were outstanding; long sharp streaks racing across the sky.

Sept 20th, 1982 - Harry Balien pointed out just how worth while this journal is.  We live in a time of great change - it'll probably be fascinating to the next generation.  The only things that matter in the past month were two RPI trips and the launching of the Portsmouth, SSN 707 (Harry's boar).  The RPI trips probably weren't worth it; one a sleepless night with Shrerilee because I was ignoring her (not completely true, but close enough; I have other interests and definitely don't have in interest in the Bio Lab  the best that could happen is I would board on my skull).  The other was humdrum. 

Sunday, Sept 26, 1982 - Major events occurred this weekend.  Doesn't feel that way, thought.  The long expected breakup with Sherilee has finally occurred.  A little more sudden than expected, perhaps, Still, I fell like I should feel something more than I'm feeling, instead it's almost like a common occurrence.  "You want to break up?  Oh well, good luck.  Now if you'll excuse me, it is past bedtime."

The visit was otherwise pleasant.  spent the day (Saturday) at the Hudson River Celebration (the Marine ROTC boat sank again for the third year in a row) with Jeff and Alex, spent a couple of hours with Hans (weird as ever, psyched for his classes, captain of a A league soccer team, etc. etc., says everything is going well, and yet is up happy for reasons he wouldn't specify.  In the meantime, he's applying to RPI for grad school.  Spring considering how much he maintained he hated it a year ago).  Spend a lot of time with Jeff, but didn't' actually say much - I feel distance creeping in between us.  Alex's is his usual "flamboyant" self.  Chris Backman is likely to flunk out (again).  So is Sherilee, for that matter. 

Thursday, Oct 7th, 1982 - Alpha sea trials are over.... interesting, but...

Sunday, November 28th, 1982 - but life at sea suck rocks.  Having completed Alpha. Bravo and Charlie sea trials, not to mention our Inserv Inspection, the City of Corpus Christi is ready to become a "real" warship.  Commissioning is scheduled for January 8th.  There are four places you can be on a submarine - at a duty station (I don't have on yet), in your rack (a small coffin shaped box best forgotten), in the wardroom (where the Engineer is always looking for a junior officer to do something for him) or in somebody's way (like when you are doing something for the Engineer).  I can hardly wait for a six month Indian ocean deployment. 

Eric was down for a visit, which was enjoyable as always.  Eric somehow brings out the bets in me - as far as sheer enjoyment of life is concerned.  Things are just funnier, or more entertaining, or more interesting when he is around.  Not to mention all the weird little things he discovers ... we watched video tapes ("Serial" was FUNNY), played games, and just generally had a high-tech weekend.

As a footnote, I've started running; I'll mention next month if I keep it up.

Sunday, December 12th, 1982 - Question... is it better to concentrate on old friends or adapt to the new people around you?  Seems like I'm having a hard time finding people I liked as much as the RPI crowd. 

Spent the weekend in Boston with Al Barr and Eric.  A good time - wandering around Harvard and MIT, going to see Ibsen's "An enemy of the people," visiting Raster Tech.  Raster tech is exhilarating and depressing at the same time.  It had all the hardware you could ask for, and yet, Al doesn't really feel like the people are interesting.  Two dimensional computer nerds. 

Sunday, December 19th, 1982 - Had a really good time at a "wardroom function" for the first time this weekend.  I, the Engineer and his wife, Jeff RIenhart, WOody Stanley, Mark WOoten, his girlfriend and his brother went to Killington Mountain for a ski weekend.  It was a generally excellent time.  I lost everybody early in the day, but skiing was fun.  And the stories and dinner afterward were fun. 

Thursday, 23 December 1982 - I'm home for the Christmas holiday which is nice.  A retreat for reality, with none of the minor hassles involved with staring at my house or visiting.  No little tasks or requirements to constantly interact with someone, yet with the solid comfort of people around - home.

I've finished "The Soul of a New Machine" by Tracy Kidder, an excellent book about computer nerds.  I'm some ways you get the "but for the grace of god go I" feeling - when you're not feeling jealous.  On the other hand... a nuclear submarine really is as close to the sci fi fantasies I've dreamed about since pre-high school as I'm likely to get.  It is an adventure... I need to treat it that way.  Not that I don't way to stay on top of computers, programming, friendships, news, art, history, etc. etc. 

A random quote from "Soul" that I really liked.  After reaching an interim milestone in the design the new computer, Jim Veres remarked he had "a feeling of accomplishment... but there, there lots more feeling of accomplishment to go."