What opportunities that you’ve passed up do you regret passing? (Flashback to 2015)

I thought that this was a free-write day, but this is what I had in my drafts category, so I’ll go with it.

The answer? Nothing. Are there things I would have done differently? Sure. Is there anything I really regret? No.

I don’t regret not doing anything in particular.

With what I know about my health condition, I wonder what things would look like had I taken a different path. At the same time, I don’t think I’d be in as good a situation now.

How the fuck it worked is beyond me.

Maybe I should reflect a bit more, but I’m in a place where I’m sorta kinda comfortable.

What more can I say?


Tube Cruise

This was really to write about the MRIs I had on Wednesday. I had three, and wasn’t on the sleepy pills because I had to get myself there; the people who’d I’d normally call to ferry me around weren’t available.

I need to send the DVD to my neurologist, but I’m going to see if the imaging center can mail it….because I have to go back and get the fourth scan that somehow got omitted from the order. So something to do Monday night.

For a long time, the only diagnostic tool for MS was a spinal tap. I was diagnosed in 2010, and have had many MRIs.

I drove myself to the first MRI in Norfolk, didn’t have any “downers” then. The old school MRI that was used when I was diagnosed was strange. I went early in the morning, then, and was able to sort of go half-asleep through it. I came out just drenched in sweat.

After I was diagnosed, the neuro who diagnosed me passed me off to one of the other docs in her practice who specialized in MS. He had me start getting my MRIs at a hospital with a newer machine. He also put me on medication to stop some of the spasms that might have messed up my original scans.

I got into a bit of a routine with it. Schedule the earliest appointment available, pretty much stay awake the night before, get to the clinic, take the pills, dip into the tube, wake up an hour later without much memory of the thing. This was more important back then with my negative reactions to getting the reflective agents injected into my veins. As I said recently, I was kinda okay getting a shot, but if you were hitting a vein, I was going to puke, pass out, or both.

Things got knocked askew with my various health insurance issues, moves, etc..

I did have one that was on morphine when I had an infection courtesy the Tysabri and an infection-promoting procedure that landed me in the hospital for my first overnight stays.

I still am inside the tube, but it’s kind of one of those whatever things at this point. /GenX

I guess I’ll find out later whether there’s been anything going on. The immediacy that normally comes with getting it done in a hospital is gone, but the cost difference getting it done at this clinic is incredible.

I’m relatively comfortable with the staff, the procedures, etc..

They did still want face diapers in the office, however.

Had I been on the sedatives, I probably wouldn’t have been as able to work on Thursday morning.


I think I still need to figure out how to burn some leave, unfortunately.


Callback to prompts from 11/18/2012

(And I didn’t paste in what I was planning on writing to, but I dug up the entry from that day….)

1. Are you a risk-taker?Do you weigh the pros and cons or jump right in?
Short answers: “No. Depends.” Longer answers: “I’m actually pretty risk-averse when you get right down to it. Living with my physical limitations kind of demands that. Have I done things that might get me hurt, fired, arrested? Sure. Are there a lot that come immediately to mind? No.”
Those said, considering what you see on TV this time of year, the Internets all year long, etc., I marvel at the paranoia I see. People don’t understand probabilities at all, jump to conclusions. With medical issues, it gets worse. Next on The Doctors, “Is my hangnail due to the chicken I ate in 1987?”

This one is actually pretty interesting a decade later.

My risks are kind of minimized due to the negative experiences I’ve had, but, really on many things, I just don’t give a shit, anymore.

And this is one of the reasons I’m getting mental health care.

Yes, I know that doing something is risky. In too many cases, I just don’t care.

I’ve done the work to get me, and my wife, into position that if something goes awry, it’s really not a big deal.

Maybe teetering so close to oblivion previously affected that, but I think I’ve learned from mistakes, and won’t make the same choices again.

The lack of worry about colossal failure really has ignited odd desires to do things that aren’t terribly dangerous, but are risky.

Can I eat that raw oyster? Is it okay that I don’t put on a seatbelt in the backseat of this taxi? Can I just go and take a trip to..?

So that’s there, mentally, but at the same time, I don’t derive any real pleasure from doing the risky thing. Nothing is thrilling. Few things are really even satisfying at this point.

I guess most people would be bummed out about that, but I really just can’t muster the depression about it. To use a phrase that particularly irks a close relative, “it is what it is.”

And getting upset about that accomplishes absolutely nothing, so why bother?


Write about an experience that changed a long held belief you had (Flashback to 2013)

Hmm. What I wrote in 2015 is here.

I guess, maybe, I’ve come back to some long-held beliefs after entertaining arguments to the contrary; my initial impression maybe wasn’t wrong?

Some of these things I’d rejected when I was younger, but had come back around on, but am now realizing that, no, maybe I was right in the first place. Or, maybe, my initial impressions of the people making the arguments was actually correct.

It’s difficult, however One of the things I’ve taken in lately is the FOX5 DC podcast on the DC Snipers. Generally, I think that people should not be imprisoned indefinitely for crimes they committed as minors. Listening to that, especially the final episode about Lee Malvo, really made me reconsider some things.

But I do think it’s important to change your conclusions if new evidence is presented.

This one is probably too heavy for me today, honestly. I’m definitely feeling end-of-dose lethargy.


Health Update (After l0oking at my entry from 11/16/2016)

This one is somewhat appropriate, as I’m fumbling around trying to burn some time waiting to go get four MRIs.

Things were really going awry while I was on travel recently. Some of it might have been the result of the fall off of the bench at the train station, but it there’s also a chance it could be unknown MS progression.

The prescribing information from my disease-modifying therapy used to recommend MRIs every six months with and without contrast. When I was diagnosed, and for several years after, I really did not deal well with venous puncture. I’m okay, for the most part, with an injection. Hit a vein, I’m gonna puke, pass out, or both.

Obviously, with the switch to Tysabri, and the much more-frequent blood tests, the venous puncture doesn’t bother much.

I started on the Tysabri in the middle of 2015. While the dosing is now dosing is now down to every six weeks.

I do have some mild jitters going into the MRI tube. Ostensibly, the reason my neurologist started putting me on Valium for the MRIs was the bad reaction I’d have to the contrast injection.

Today, it’ll be four scans without sleepy pills.

I’m hoping that the MRIs don’t show any MS-related damage/disease progression.

But if I do, I don’t care. That’s part of the mental health work I’ve been doing.

I really can’t explain how much better in whole I am.

Moving everything into one medical group has really positively-affected my condition. Even earlier today, after getting probably the fourth use-this-new-patient-portal in five years from another specialist, I asked my PCP whether I should go ahead and move that treatment to Georgetown, too.

But back to the topic, in many areas I’m much better than I have been. But there’s things where I can’t perform. Some of that might be aging, but probably most of it is due to the MS.

Thankfully, maybe most importantly, I did get a clean bill of health in May for the condition that saw my dad during surgery to treat.

But I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, professionally, until it goes away, or I physically can’t do it anymore.

The pandemic has actually been a positive in showing that remote work isn’t just screwing off. I don’t miss being in a cube farm.

Cubicles are bad for your health.



Today’s been the first day where what I’m going to write about really didn’t float through my brain throughout the day.

Busy as hell.

But I think there’s some movement on the idea I had about what to do with the empty house.

It’s cold and nasty out here in the Beltway Swamp.

But the Red^H^H^HFoo^H^H^HCommanders beat the Iggles last night, which was nice.

The election’s still not sorted out, officially, but things look pretty much resolved.

The GenXer in me says, “let it all fall apart.”

But where I am with so many things, now, is getting rid of any sort of obfuscation. One of the news stories on the TV was about a five-year-old who got off at the wrong bus stop.

The mother, and the “community members” were upset about two things:

  1. The driver hadn’t been punished publicly, and;
  2. There’s no people on board minding the kids more closely.

Or, to restate, we’re upset that the driver’s life wasn’t ruined, and that there’s not more unfilled jobs for people on busses.

They never say the quiet part aloud. I initially typed, “here,” but it’s true all over. The officiousness, sure, is more pronounced here, but what can you say?

It takes a lot to get the fuck over yourself when it comes to that sort of things. I know it was something that was really holding me back, professionally, for a long time.

I’d say, no, I’m not allowed to do that.

But I so dislike failing, I look for reasons why I’m prohibited from doing whatever was asked, then failing.

Maybe it’s a personality flaw.

Back at it tomorrow. I am so not ready for Thanksgiving. I also ended up not taking as much PTO as I’d intended. *shrug*

It’s just there on paper.


2022 Football So Far

Wow. I don’t know.

The Saints have problems on offense. The For(mer)skinsCommanders aren’t playing horrible ball, now, that the offense is playing more consistent ball. Both teams are pretty much doing a 4-2-5 scheme on defense. Tampa and Green Bay are doing a weird like 2-4-5 thing.

At the same time, maybe some rule changes have changed up the things that had really changed everything to straight man-to-man defense.

Simultaneously, after a few weeks of people trying to figure out what’s going on, there’s been a return to classic football.

Moose Johnston, a fullback who led E. Smith for many years with the Cowboys, is enjoying the hell out of a return to more old school football.

There was something I was watching that actually had pulling linemen as opposed to the weird slide blocking only.

The rule changes surrounding the kicking game and overtime work well for the most part. I still think that the touchback should be the same for punts and other turnovers. Want it to be on the 25? Okay. It’s the 25 everywhere.

There’s a Commanders game tonight. Unfortunately, I’m going to miss a significant portion because I have to work. Pffft.

Halfway point tomorrow.


Luckiest number; just about perfect for the topic.

Travel Recap

Wednesday — I worked about an hour early in the morning, just making sure things were running correctly. No issues, so finish up packing, and wait for my wife to get home to take me to the train station; thank you.

When I got to the station, I was a tad earlier than I’d planned. It wasn’t very cold, the vintage booths inside the station are incredibly uncomfortable, so I’ll just go sit on one of the many benches on the platform and wait. Fine. Whatever.

So I plopped my perpetually-numb derriere on the plastic-rubber-coated steel mesh bench….and slid right off. A nice gentleman who was waiting for the train to Norfolk, and who I’ve not yet emailed, helped me up. I could tell there’d be bruising, maybe a scrape on one of my legs, but everything seemed to be sort of working; I’m fine. I just emailed him this morning, taking a break from writing this, and I feel a bit about that.

I spoke to the man who’d helped me up about how I’d gotten to the Beltway Swamp permanently from where he was. Good conversation. I finally got around to emailing him this morning.

The car attendant helped me get the chairs reconfigured to a bed, and I was able to stretch out and sleep.

Thursday — The train trip was rather uneventful, but I was a bit uncomfortable on the ride. Meals were still odd from COVID adjustments. You’re still eating in your roomette/room, which isn’t exactly ideal; I kind of would like to go to the dining car. When my wife and I went to New Orleans on our honeymoon, we had some good discussions with other couples who got seated in the same booth.

When I got to Hattiesburg, I was missing something that I’d thought I’d used in the car. Nope. Can’t find it. Whatever. It cost probably thirty bucks; I’m not going to spend too much time looking. My aunt, and another family member picked me up at the station, and we went to my mom’s house.

It was dark, but at least the electricity was on. They left, and I wento to take a leak. No water. Fuuuuuuuuck. Look at what local hotels are going to cost, book a room, call my aunt to come back and take me to the hotel. Call my mom, and tell her that I wasn’t going to come see her that night.

I hadn’t gone for dinner on the train as it was earlier than I’d normally eat. Being later in the evening, nothing was open for delivery. So on to the hotel convenience store for….a Barq’s, a Hot Pocket, and some cookies.

Friday — Phone calls to various places to get the water turned back on. This was a bill that didn’t get to my brother who’s paying the bills related to the house. I really thank the folks at d’Iberville Water for helping coordinate getting things turned back on. Went over to see my mom, gave her gifts, spent some time, then back to her house to be there for the water restoration. I’d booked two nights in the hotel. Ordered a Po’Boy from Quayve Brothers, which I think is probably partially-owned by the mayor, who was a high school football teammate of my father’s.

Saturday — Birthday celebration for both my grandfather and my gradfather, and my mother at Cafe New Orleans. Another Po’Boy, though a different variety. Spent some time with family members finding out what’s going on. Stormy weather. People might not understand what a morning Thunderstorm is like; I appreciate it. But it was kind of last pushes of warm weather. It got cold in the afternoon. Well, about at cold as it gets along the Gulf Coast. Some good conversation with family members about my mom’s condition; I’m not going to elaborate. I slept in a recliner in the living room, which wasn’t at all ideal, but it worked, I guess.

Sunday — Wanted some coffee, so I ordered some, and donut holes from the only place that was delivering. Much like the hcaiI really don’t remember too well, unfortunately. Looking through SMS chains with my wife, I think I was spending a considerable amount of time communicating back-and-forth with my neurologist. The fall may have contributed to some of the symptoms I was (and still am) experiencing. I discussed some of how my mother had planned to set up the house. She’d sort of been using the master bedroom (still not going to be used to calling it the “primary bedroom.” Sorry, not sorry.) But she’d kinda-sorta set that up as a TV room, though she said she had planned to use it as a bedroom. I put down some things so I could sleep on the floor, which wasn’t at all ideal.

Monday — Went and spent time with my mom at the care facility. It was her birthday, so I ordered dinner again from Quayve Bros.. Gave her, also, the few donut holes I had left. I didn’t get to eat any of it because of an accident. Given that it was my mother’s birthday, I let her have my sandwich. I went back to the house to watch the Saints’ game. Pfft. I really don’t like hte style of football the Ravens play, but the Saints basically didn’t show up until the fourth quarter. Since I didn’t have anything to eat, I ended up ordering a pizza from one of the chain pizza places. It was not great, but filled me up okay, I suppose. I still didn’t get through the leftovers the next few days, unfortunately. My mother wanted some paintings she had from the house for her room at the retirement community. I had absolutely no idea where some of these things were. So look around a bit, then finally go to sleep. My aunt brought me boxes and shipping labels so I could send some items to my brother in VA.

Tuesday — Had three meetings. First, the person who’s been doing the lawn came over, and we discussed next steps. We decided that he should do the final cut of the season on Friday morning. Since the lawn season is over, he was trying to dig up business for the winter, and said that he could help move things out. He helped move the mattress, and box spring into the master bedroom. I paid him extra for that, as well as for all that he’s done. He wants a loveseat that’s there, which we’ll probably sell to him regardless of whether we rent the house out. While it’s functional, it is old, and kind of beat-up. Second, the property manager I’d found, really the only one who answered my queries, discussed the ins-and-outs of renting out the house. I kind of put together a timeline, but the fees, etc., are acceptable if we want to go that route. Third, the security system guy showed up to hook up the video doorbell. What I’d done to connect the security system to the Internet system was correct, so there’s better alerting and management of the security system, now.

Wednesday — My godmother (my mom’s best friend and roommate from college), and my aunt collaborated a bit to search for things in the house My uncle brought my mother over to look for some of the things she wanted. Unfortunately, with her condition, that was quite unfocused. She bounces from thing-to-thing with little focus on why she’s doing what she’s doing. What I’d set aside for her she ended up not taking; I’m not sure if that’s because it wasn’t what she was looking for, or whether it’s just something she forgot. At the very end of the day, potential of a family member renting the house for his adult kids. That, actually, would be ideal, even if it doesn’t bring in as much revenue.

Thursday — My aunt picked me up, and we went to the airport. I told her that keeping the house “in the family” would probably be the best option, and communicated that we were willing to take less money. Perhaps a lot less. Got to the airport very early. Ate some odd fries at the airport bar. Actually used a paper straw for the first time. It was okay, I guess, for water, but I can see how it wouldn’t work well for anything more involved than water. Would have gotten a bottle of soda, but I couldn’t take it through security, so just free water. Flights back were rather uneventful. It was snowing on the descent into Charlotte. Winter is coming or something.

Very long entry, and I’m going to stop.


Today’s prompt is less daunting than the one that I thought it was. That’s tomorrow for my trip recap.

It’s going to be long. And I need to write about Notes of a Goon over on

So tomorrow might be some longer writing. I keep getting distracted by random things. Today’s was a weird 1990s earworm from something that I wasn’t a big fan of back then. Who knows?

But onto today’s prompt.

What are some qualities of bad bosses? What would you not do if you were supervising others? (Reachback to 2015)

You know, I had a laundry list of things I thought I’d write when I plucked this one out.

Would i speak to some of these folks if I met them in person? Yes, yes, no, yes, maybe, yes, yes, briefly maybe, still do.

Thinking about it, more, the really bad bosses fall into two categories: self-aggrandizers, and “company men.”

For me, it’s complicated by the travails I was experiencing during the bad years.

But there really weren’t many who even attempted to understand what I was going through; the realities of my personal situation.

Maybe that’s something that’s gone on with the pandemic situation, too; I know very little about my coworkers and supervisors. But I guess, too, the big thing the really bad bosses were certainly on top of is really dead. I see stories on the news about spyware on employees’ laptops to see that their asses are in seats moving their cursors at the expected intervals.

But so much of my thinking is flavored by my particular industry. I don’t fit here, anymore. The only representation of success is your Minesweeper skills. There’s no analysis. There’s only whether you can get to 80% on a “test.” You don’t need to write. You don’t need to understand why or how a particular product works. You just need to have the letters after your name.

So…whatever. I’m ready to take my leave whenever that time comes.


Veterans’ Day

the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month. 1918. My dad’s grandfather had been a brand new Army Lieutenant for World War I. My great=grandmother would tell storis about how his instructors had released all of the new soldiers after they finished training to go home for some time (a week, maybe?) before they shipped off to Europe. Don’t go get married! Yeah, of his training unit, about 90% of them (including my great-grandfather) went back and got married.

My dad admired his grandfather so much, and it served as inspiration for my dad to scurry around to finish college so he could go to Vietnam and kill a Commie. He ended up on active duty for almost 25 years.

I tried to be like my dad. I didn’t know, and there probably wasn’t a way to know then, what the hell was going on with me, physically. After experiencing significant problems getting through the physical training, it became pretty clear pretty quickly that I wasn’t going to get a scholarship. I had other things going on in my life that were more interesting things to pursue, so I left. My newfound political perspectives then, too, made me more than a little wary.

As more’s finally come out about WWI, the people who pursued it look worse.

My mind was fucking blown by the stories that came out about how you’re not allowed to dive near Lusitania because of the scads of ordinance that’s deteriorating on the sea floor.

Much like why I’m more worried about conventional weapons if something cooked off between the Norks and someone nearby. Yeah, a nuke is fucking scary. But there’s also a pretty damn good chance it won’t work correctly. The metric tons of conventional ammo that are sitting north of the DMZ will mostly work. And you’ve probably got a million people dead in South Korea before the attack can be stopped.

The NeoHippy crowd are absolutely terrified of nuclear war, but say nothing about the conventional stuff that will (still) work.

Still, after WWI, all of the remaining troops came home. Post-WWII policy really doesn’t allow that to happen very often, unfortunately.

We were in Afghanistan for nearly twenty years. (I think we should probably have left after it was clear OBL wasn’t there anymore….or, definitely, after he was killed in 2012. Instead, we were there until the pols, eager for a new MISSION ACCOMPLISHED moment, screwed up the withdrawal that had been scheduled. Lots more mistakes, like abandoning the air base before everyone was out, but I still haven’t seen anything that says that the delay wasn’t for anything other than political posturing….)

Even with Vietnam, there were things floating around that led to things like The Mayaguez Incident.

Do what you need to do, and go home. War, much like pimpin’ ain’t easy, but it’s necessary.

Thinking about my wife’s commentary on this when it comes up every year — there’s a substantial portion of the US population who don’t even know anyone who served. My feed on the Ginger Dropout’s social networking site is full of people today showing their early career photos from the military.

My father-in-law was in the Navy for years.

Spending as much time as I did in Norfolk, there’s veterans all over.

Is that true in, say, an affluent Northeastern suburb? You know, the kind of place where people are all bent-out-of-shape that the student loan forgiveness whim probably isn’t going to hold up in court. Or, to go to the opposite end of the country, how many people who live in the San Fernando Valley actually know someone who enlisted?

Harry Bailey from It’s A Wonderful LIfe just doesn’t hold anything for many people today; a small, small segment of the population from certain areas go, and they’re really never home permanently.

I thank the people who served. I wish there more spread out among the population.

Are you calling for a draft, then? No, no I’m not. I doubt that even if there was one, many of the people drafted could pass required medical exams.

What would happen to Private Pyle today?

I’ve written enough for today. A bookmark on OD mentioned that it’s amazing that this is alreay a third of the way through. It is, I guess, but there’s still more to do.

As I as landing in Charlotte yesterday, during the descent, we were going through snow squalls. I’m ready for the cold weather.

And coffee. Which I’m going to go do now.