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.

National Journal Writers’ Month

They call it “NoJoMo,” for what reason, I can’t comprehend. I’ve been doing it for the past few years, normally in my usual (private) writing outlet. I posted my entries last year to no fanfare, whatsoever, but.. Whatever. This is where I bloviate.

(And someone at the other place said the “No” is for “November.” OIC)

On to the prompts….

Day 1 – Write about what makes your family unique.

I suppose the real question here is, “what do I consider family?” In the conventional sense (you know, marry, rent a house from the bank, form babby), it’s just me and my wife. I don’t anticipate that changing until one (or both) of us dies. She puts up with a lot living with a slovenly nerd like me; I don’t want anyone else. Ever.

The family from which I came is kind of a traditional family. For my hipster acquaintances, it might be called, “nuclear.” I am the elder of two boys. My parents were together for over forty years. We lived many places around the US, and overseas. And if a Farker reads this, yes, I was born in Florida. My dad spent nearly 25 years in the Army. I attended three high schools. My parents both were from the vicinity of that land mass between New Orleans and Mobile.

My wife’s situation is similar, though kind of a mirror opposite. Her dad was Navy. She’s the younger of two daughters. She spent most of her life in Virginia, attended just one high school, etc.. Even though she, too, was downloaded in East AlabamaFlorida. Kinda got that yin-yang thing going on. (I wanted to link the video of the end of Fight Club here, but YouTube is as broken as right now…) Her family is from near the opposite end of US Route 11. (And now I could totally go for some chips.)

Extended family, it gets confusing. I know next to nothing about my paternal grandfather. My paternal grandmother was a fascinating lady, but I don’t know a ton about her. My maternal grandfather is still alive (and I need to call him; it’s his birthday next week). My dad’s two younger brothers are still around (and one of them shares a birthday with my grandpa, so two calls! And a Birthday Problem.).

So what makes that unique? Hell if I know. But it is mine, and mine, alone. So, in that sense, it is unique, I suppose..

And, with the prompt exhausted, so am I (unlike the oven in Fight Club). I didn’t think about writing this year until a couple of days ago. Same thing with trying to buy Shmoocon ticket(s). Well, at least I can say I didn’t fail at starting on one of them….

Death Rattle

It’s something with which I am not terribly familiar, thankfully, when it comes to someone’s health.  When it comes to technology, on the other hand….

As I said before, in the event that I’m still around in my current position by the end of the year, I’m expected to buy some more letters to go after my name.  They’ll signify that I can pick out keywords, and click through a multiple choice test.


How can anyone argue with those credentials?

Unfortunately for me, I do pay attention to the material, and understand that there’s an assumption that using any of these latest and greatest methods assumes your organization has complete latitude in the decision-making process.

In reality, in many circumstances, outside the private sector, you do not have full latitude.  The decisions are made at higher levels, and your struggle is trying to accommodate those decisions made elsewhere.

(I think it’d be slick to have a cluestick certification.  Joe Engineer, BWTFCS…)

How do you play the hand you’re dealt?  You might be an expert at how you’d deal with an ideal situation, but I think how you deal with adversity speaks more to your talent.

But, then, I’m naive, and don’t have unlimited time or resources to buy extra letters after my name.

And, I’m also half-blind, which makes me hate those perfect Skillsoft courses all the more.


Follow-up to this.

Since I’ve basically been told I need to buy the letters, “ITIL” to go after my name to keep my job, one of the concepts there is doing analysis to determine whether it makes sense to keep a service in-house versus outsourcing it.

But what happens when you’re compelled to outsource something, even something that wouldn’t pass the analysis?  Do you need to still do the analysis?

tic-toc tic-toc tic-toc…..

Wouldn’t the time spent on figuring out whether you should outsource, and sketching out a potential in-house replacement be better spent figuring out the transition plan?

I shouldn’t ask these sorts of questions;  I’m not a team player.

Cloudy Days

Background music.  Please refrain from vomiting.

I will try to do the same, myself.

I’ve been working through, since late last week, something rather significant that’ll forever change the way people do IS design.

Enterprise-grade services don’t have to be hosted locally, anymore.

Linus Torvalds once said something along the lines of everything-is-a-stream-of-bytes.  What’s the compelling reason those streams of bytes have to go to ::1 (or, for those of you stuck in the 1970s with your networks), or shmem?  Someone please give me four compelling reasons why that stream of bytes can’t have its datastore somewhere else.

Or, maybe, the datastore is in “the cloud,” and there’s periodic replication….?

My blog, which sucks (as does yours, if you have one), uses a rather ubiquitous database as its backend.  What’s to stop me from using something somewhere else?

The same could be said for lots of things.

And it’d all probably be more reliable than my ham-handed  sekurity measures.

Yes, I’d be completely unaccustomed to operating that way.  But it wasn’t too long ago that I was completely unaccustomed to operating the way I have been for the past decade or so.

Big deal.  Technology changes.  Get over it.

I understand this is easier said than done for the graying middle managers who’ve artfully crafted the business argument that places the utmost emphasis on schedule adherence.  You may be doing the wrong thing, but, goddamnit, you met the schedule.

I want to deliver quality products.  If that makes me a bad person, so be it.