Day 11

Interesting conversation on Twitter this morning with a fellow MSer from the UK. She was wondering who else in her office would pause at 11. It’s somewhat incredible to me how little people today know about why Veterans’ Day is 11 November. (And, for the locals, what the significance of the Victory Arch is…or that it even exists.)

Obviously, World War II gets the attention simply due to the number of Americans who served. Pretty much everyone has someone in his/her family who served. Unless you’re very young, you’ve probably spoken to that family member.

Vietnam gets a lot of attention, simply because of the combatants’ generation (it’s all about the Boomers!). It was a big deal, and lasted across four presidents’ administrations.

So many younger people seem to know next to nothing about World War I. My great-grandmother would tell stories about how my great-grandfather came home after basic training, and married her. This was despite his drill sergeant’s explicit instructions not to go and get married during the week they had off before they shipped out to Europe.

Seems pretty much everybody else in his class did exactly the same thing he did. I was very young when he died; I don’t remember him at all. Googling reveals little; I don’t even know his middle initial, much less his name (or even if he had one, as lots of folks from that generation didn’t….).

He came back, reunited with his young wife, formed lots of babbys, and lived to see several great-grandchildren.

People also don’t know much about Korea. Both of my grandfathers were naval reservists after World War II. By the time they’d have been recalled for service in Korea, they were both married with expectant wives (my parents were both born in 1951) — not exactly draft/deploy material. I did have a couple of great uncles who fought in Korea — one Navy, one Army. (They also both were in Vietnam.)

A few months ago, when Kim Jong number Un was flexing his minuscule muscles, along with something else where I started reading up on LTC Page, I realized how little people, myself included, actually understand about the ongoing situation in Korea. That war never ended. An astounding number of people were killed in a very short time (over 30K Americans KIA in just over three years of fighting).

The media, trying to please the audience they’re trying to serve (you know, the ones who are really interested in the ED and Low-T meds advertised during the nightly news), are worried about the Norks’ nukes.  (Duck-and-cover drills throughout your childhood will do that to you.)

I’m worried about the hundreds of thousands of people who’d die in a very short time if they opened up with their conventional weapons.  Yes, we are able to effectively stomp them, but a lot of people would die while we’re getting things into place.

Who is the most influential person in your life and why?

My wife. She is everything to me, and the reason I haven’t quit on a lot of things.

Day 10

A third of the way through this.

Am I really satisfied with what I’ve done so far? Why do I ask myself these sorts of questions?

I do it, because I do care about getting something out of it, personally. I care about the work being quality, whatever that means.

Is this? I don’t know. Scant few readers might tell me it is to stroke my ailing ego, but…

Or maybe this is more about commitment — getting into a routine?

Yesterday’s prompt asked about what excuses I’ve used to avoid responsibilities or commitments. I didn’t have many. Even though I have far more legitimate excuses than I used to have (or than most people have), I’m still hesitant to use them.

What was the last thing on your mind as you fell asleep last night?

Going to bed before the SNL rerun even starts? Man, I’m lameold.

(Admittedly, amazing food plus half a bottle of wine probably didn’t hurt.)

Day 9

It’s early on a Saturday morning. I woke up somewhat unexpectedly, hit the head, took my morning cocktail of pills, then tried to fall back asleep. Fail.

The cool weather makes me sleep more soundly. When I do wake up, however, I’m awake.

I suppose that’s okay, because there’s some things I want to do online today.

There’s also some folks I’d like to get in touch with; I hope to do that over the next couple of weeks in my rapidly-dwindling spare time.

Do I absolutely need to talk to these folks? No. Do I just want to catch up, see what’s happening? Yes.

It’s incredible how much things can change in a year’s time. And, as I’ve said many times, just doing the same broken things faster doesn’t make them any better. Professionally, I’m seeing a lot of biggerfasterhardermore. What I’d like to see is smallersimpleeffectivedifferent.

Bigger and harder yield better gross profits. If, and only if, the market is static or growing. In my field, it’s actually getting smaller.

So doing it faster will mean it’s better, right? No, not necessarily.

(Aside: I really have gotten fed up lately with the sales gerbil language. Adding, “right?” to the end of a questionable statement doesn’t make it any less questionable.)

So, the prompt…

What was the most creative excuse you’ve come up with to get out of a date, an appointment, or doing a task?

I’ve been thinking about this for awhile now, and don’t really have a good answer. I try not to make commitments I know I’ll have trouble keeping. My mother has myriad stories of what I’d do as a little kid.

I’m not that little kid, anymore.

Day 8

Progressing along with whatever else it is I’m working on….. I’m exhausted, but excited by the prospects.

Just like what I’ve managed to do with

One of those, “Really? I’m not completely worthless?” times. I do still have things to offer. And doggone it, people like me. (Okay, so maybe that’s a stretch….)

I’m excited for the weekend. Relaxing tonight. Birfday dinner at a great restaurant tomorrow. Football Sunday. Working from home Monday, thinking of the Veterans on Armistice Day. (People now so little about World War I….it’s kinda shameful.)


Write about a mistake you made once (or more than once) that you never want to make again.

It involved exhaustion, over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, dancing, and Dutch beer. I think I was about 21.

Day 7

I am incredibly busy, though I’d rather not talk about what I’m doing, aside from being rude to people I care about. I am a horrible person, husband, panda, Candy Crush player, etc..

Things are going to change soon, and I’ll discuss with those interested after it happens. In the meantime, I’m going to continue doing whatever it is that I do.

And will never be satisfied with shoddy work.

Maybe that’s another of my personality flaws.

What is on your bucket list? (A bucket list is a list of things you want to do before you die)

I don’t have one. Something about not knowing the time or place…

Are there still things I’d like to do? Certainly. Are most of them in the realm of possibility? No idea. My horizon’s changed quite a bit last few years.

If I died tomorrow, I don’t know what would be really a regret for missing.

My goal for a long time was to live long enough to see Halley’s Comet again, but, considering my genetics, health, etc., I don’t really think that’s going to happen.

Day 6

Nothing much is doing for me lately. I didn’t tweet yesterday’s entry, or post it to G+ for obvious reasons.

But if someone reads it, asks me about it, I’m not going to deny the emotion that went into it.

Similarly, I won’t deny my reaction to the election yesterday. A few years ago, one of the local pundits write a tome about how Governor McDonnell was the heir to the Byrd Organization.

Uh, no. The Byrd Organization would not have been okay with an Irish Catholic Republican Notre Dame alumnus for anything above garbage collection.

The out-of-state interest groups that ran ads banked on the fact that the young hipsters would be so ignorant of history that they’d happily vote for old school Southern Democrat.

Politicians are prohibited from voting their religious convictions if those convictions don’t align with “progressive” orthodoxy. I sincerely hope some of those elected yesterday really are a new breed of bigotry-free Democrat.

I’m not holding my breath, honestly.

Not that the Republican ticket was much to write home about, but…

(As for Democratic side, McAuliffe might have some redeeming qualities. I did see them at one time, but haven’t in a long time. The other two ticket nominees, OTOH…..everything that’s was wrong with old school WASP Dixiecrats. Something something leopard spots something something. Cluestick: these are the people who shut schools rather than integrate. Yet, now they’re all about progress? Really? Seriously?)


What does being courageous mean to you?

I’m not courageous; I don’t know.

Day 5

Yes, I’m getting in a bit late this afternoon. No, I don’t care to make excuses for it. Hit three out of four on the November birthdays, with number four still on the way.

What more can I do, really?

I did get out, and voted for six candidates that’ll likely lose. I understand that making statements at the poll ultimately don’t count for much.

What job would you never take?

If I knew the realities of the one I’m currently in, it. I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve been so disappointed in the work I’m doing. Maybe if I’d bought a few more letters after my name, my attitude about it might be different. Maybe.

I wrote eysterday about not wasting spoons on things, yet I continue to just to keep myself fed and clothed.



NoJoMo Day 4

Saints lost to the Jets?!? C’mon, y’all.

I stopped following someone on Twitter. Misperception of being a stalker. But, really, I don’t respond to everything. Some shit is too nonsensical to even warrant a response.

Of course, the same goes for me.

But I know when I’m not welcome most of the time; it is what it is.

I really want people to understand having me on their side really isn’t a bad thing. Maybe I’m too pushy sometimes.

But, in my situation, I don’t have many spoons to waste. So I won’t.

Maybe that’s part of why I don’t suffer fools wit grace anymore.

At work, I’ve been disappointed in what I’ve produced lately. I’ve been amazed at the stunning lack of quality others are willing to accept. “We have no time.”

Maybe that’s true. But if you actually tried, you might see that doing the right thing takes just as much time as doing it wrong.

But you have to at least make an attempt.

Onto the prompt…

Day 4 – All the different roles you play in your life (i.e. wife, mother, sister, teacher, etc.)

Husband, son, brother, resident nerd. But I’m not an engineer anymore, which irks me more than a little.

NoJoMo Day 3

**Emphatic yawn**

Still suspicious on how much electricity this whole Daylight Savings Time saves. I’m sure people have quantified it, but I’m still skeptical. Maybe that has a lot to do with my homebody lifestyle, work in an energy-hog office building (this is despite the green placards covering the stone pillar at the external doors…). That said, I still wonder what the macroeconomic effect is — how much does changing forward and back cost?

One more of those things I probably spend too much time thinking about. Maybe if I just stopped thinking, altogether, I’d be happier. And more likely to vote for an iffy party wonk, as my city elders would like.

Speaking of that, last night’s SNL was the best one this new cast has done so far. I guess I’d missed the host’s (Kerry Washington) show during my near total ignorance of whatever ABC has on, but….saw her on with Kimmel a few weeks ago, and was impressed.  I like seeing dramatic actors doing comedy well;  she’s got it down.

NBC did try hard to ruin a funny-as-hell open by rolling out Al Sharpton.  Was Nancy Snyderman unavailable? Matt Lauer? Ann Curry? SMH.  FWIW, Keith Morrison could take over the announcer role once the incumbent leaves.

(And Kerry Washington is much better-looking than either Michelle Obama or Oprah.)

Now, for something completely different….

Election day here in Virginia is Tuesday. I will take a last look at the polls before I go vote, and make my decision based on what I see. Though I would have voted for him in 2009, I am absolutely not voting for Terry McAuliffe.

The same is true for my State Senator, Ralph Northam, someone I have previously voted for.

That seemingly every political ad from one party goes to abortion and contraception speaks to resurgent Anti-Catholic bias. It’d be amusing if it didn’t show how ignorant the young “progressives” are of history.

I could continue to write about that for a long time, but I’d rather not.  The hipster progressives get all emo when you point out that they’re fighting for the Klan’s causes, using the Klan’s tactics in the political sphere.

I’m against both abortion and capital punishment. I recognize eliminating either would require amending the Constitution. What I would like to see is someone really fix the stupidity of US health care, which was only exacerbated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  

I’d be fine with a system much like many countries in Western Europe have where you’re compelled to buy insurance. I’d also be okay with a single national insurance program like Australia has (and what Medicare is).

Note that neither of these is like the Canadian or British systems. Or the Veterans’ Administration. Distinction between single-payer, and single-provider.

There’s more court-time for “Obamacare” to come, but I think eventually things will shake out to where employers can’t expense the cost of benefits beyond the penalty for not buying insurance. People will have to buy health insurance like auto or homeowners’ insurance. Only part of that will be with pre-tax money.

Employers who want to continue offering benefits may, but workers will have to count the costs above the penalty as regular income (and employers will have to take withholdings on that).  Workers will be amazed to see just how much of their paychecks they’re actually not seeing.

With individuals paying for insurance policies, the politicians can meddle all they want. The Kardashian party can mandate coverage of cosmetic procedures (including laser hair removal to get rid of those mustaches….And, yes, I am growing for MoVember), contraception, abortion, whatever. Don’t mandate that churches pay for things they believe to be mortal sins.

I’m going to stop here, but, I’ll hit the prompt….

What are usually your first thoughts as you wake up in the morning?

Do I really have to go to work this morning? There’s little I’d less rather do.

NoJoMo Day 2

Was thinking quite a bit yesterday afternoon about why I’ve been doing this. Maybe it’s an attempt at normalcy — something I can keep for a time. Yes, I know it’s only one month out of the year, but I think it helps center me.

This year, and I’m sure some people reading will understand why, it’s different.

That it’s different is okay, I suppose, but my desire to do something quality, and get something out of it hasn’t.

Is it the process of taking the time every single day to do something? I don’t know. I’m using different tools, but I’m still doing it. Too often, professionally, I see tools and traditional daily inanities overemphasized.

Does having me sit in a cubicle every single day make my work better?
Does cutting corners actually make the work better?
Is the work better because I was wearing a tie while doing it?

(And though I’ve been consciously been trying to avoid food or car comparisons, I started thinking of “first you make a roux.” They actually sell jarred roux. Really? It’s not that hard to make it from scratch. I can’t ever see a time where I’d buy a jar of roux. But some people might like shaving that bit of time off a recipe. Maybe it works. I don’t know.)

Getting a bit far afield. It happens. The bottom line is that I don’t like doing lousy work. The tools I use might differ, as might the circumstances, but I still want the work product to be good. If there’s not time for it to be even passable, why turn it in, and embarrass yourself?

Maybe there’s some letters after my name I can buy that’d tell me why.

in the meantime, the prompt…

If you had to relive one day of your life over and over and could choose which day, which day would you choose?

I think it would have been December 5th, 2009. A snowy night in Washington, DC. The details are a bit fuzzy, courtesy the cold weather, adult beverages, etc.. Weird-looking National Christmas Tree. I might be getting trips mixed up. Maybe they all run together over time.

I miss being more ambulatory. I miss having the means to explore. I miss having the financial flexibility to do those things.

Oh well.