Slight apology for the truncated NoJoMo post earlier. I was kind of distracted trying to find a photo of my dad from late in his time in the Army. I did find it squirreled away in social media I’d hidden from public view back during the great de-monetizing of about summer 2019.

That is really the only photo I have of him kind of as I remember him from his time on active duty. He retired from the Army maybe six weeks after I’d finished high school, and, really before the ubiquity of digital photographs.

Attempts at on-line dating in about 1999 were difficult with things like the QuickCam.

Let’s do a camera over the parallel port with power coming from the PS/2 mouse port…

So there’s not lots of photos.

With a good, modern scanner, I might be able to import some things, but that’d require access to the photos (and books) where they reside. Unfortunately, those are split among various boxes at my mother’s house, and various relatives’ houses after they’d scooped up what they could in amongst moving her to assisted living.

Doing much of anything is difficult from nearly a thousand miles away.

But I eventually did find it, and sent it to the coordinator at the facility where she is now.

I’ve also been distracted by various news things that are popping up.

I guess the woke contingent are upset at John Fetterman for supporting Ismael. So, too, I saw something on X that Elizabeth Warren was trending because people came and bothered her at dinner for her support of Israel.

While my initial reaction was, “you reap what you sow,” I’m not going to go there.

It was bad when the BLM protestors were doing it to diners at Le Diplomat.

It’s bad when they’re doing to to Senator Warren wherever the hell she was.

Don’t do that.

Don’t ever tolerate those who do.

Even if your blessed DEI training tells you otherwise.

Leave people alone. If you don’t like what they stand for, you can always leave.



Um. Figures I’d pull the free-write when I don’t really have anything particularly concerning on my min.

I’m looking for a photo of my dad in uniform to send to the memory care coordinator at my mom’s retirement community.

My mom’s dad, as well as my dad’s dad were too young for World War II. Both were in the Navy during the interwar period.

But the biggest male role model as a kid was his maternal grandfather (so my great-grandfather). He was an Army officer during World War I. My dad wanted to be like his grandpa. And ended up being on active duty from 1973 (last days of Vietnam) to 1997.

I have some photos of him in his civilian capacity, but I’m not finding the one I’d dug of him in his civilian clothes, but I’m not seeing him in his uniform.

Obviously, with him retiring in 1997, that was kind of before the ubiquity of digital phots.

And I’m getting distracted from a bunch of things.

There’s so much going on.

The football game last night was actually sortakinda interesting, though I kept flipping back-and-forth with something on the DVR.

Still trying to figure out what’s going on with the situation in Gaza.

It is absolutely amazing to me how you can be on the wrong side of almost every single issue.

I should go get some coffee.


Trip Recap

I was a little circumspect about what we were doing over the past week. My wife, the dog, and I went down to Biloxi to see my mother and grandfather.

My wife was really uncomfortable flying in the past. She did have to fly sometime earlier in the year for work. It was on one of the frequently-used, now, regional jets. National to her destination in New England. Economy in one of those is tough to say the least, but she made it, and was a little more open to flying.

Hm. Let’s see how she does in the Kmele Foster never-fly-coach method.

I also found that American has a direct flight from National to New Orleans.

Biloxi and New Orleans are about an hour and a half apart by car.

I’m kind of in a thrice-per-year visit schedule to visit my mother.

Would you like ot come? You can get to experience first class. We’ll rent a car, so getting to and rom the airport, and to various places on the Land Mass.

We were going to board the pup, but we chose to bring her, which required selecting different seats on the plane. We wouldn’t be sitting together because the dog couldn’t be sitting with us in the first row.

My wife and the dog ended up in the second row, with me on the starboard side up front.

Whatever. It was a relaxing flight.

New Orleans has a new airport. I think what they did was just built a new terminal, and are using the same runways. They’re still using the old terminal infrastructure for the rental cars, so you have to ride a bus around to the rental car facility in what was the old airport building.

The pandemic really took a toll on the rental car industry.

The company we rented the car from used to be a smaller national chain. They’re now in with a couple of other smaller national companies. They share the same queues, etc..

It’s strange.

Birthdays dinner for my grandpa, and mom were at Cafe New Orleans. As usual, the food was good. Several people I didn’t know, of course, and very few of them had met my wife.

We’ve just been away.

Some of the younger people I’d met, maybe, when they were babies.

I’ve kind of lost my focus on this.

Other notable bits:

  • We ended at Waffle House a couple of times. The food was good, affordable, and always available.
  • Applebee’s got a couple of visits, mainly because they’re across the parking lot from the hotel where we stayed. One night was okay. One night wasn’t great. *shrug* It’s incredible how great I would have once thought it was.
  • I would say that regional jets suck, but I’m not sure they’d be big enough to even do that. The flight to New Orleans on the A319 was relaxing, even if we weren’t sitting tightener due to the late-addition of the dog, but regional jet we had going home wasn’t great.
  • My wife asked if we could relocate my mother’s house up here. Um. No. It’s on a slab, hon. But it is a nice little place. There’s nothing we can do similar here near the Beltway.
  • Little dog is very happy to be home.

I will be putting up bits later in the month as I remember them.

We’re home. Time to relax.


I’d penciled this in as birthday round-up. I’ll roll the celebrations into the trip recap tomorrow. We’re finishing up packing to go home this evening.

It’s been a somewhat-good trip.

Saw the Saints’ game on Sunday. Sort-kinda watched election returns last night, but I really don’t care.

There’s nothing I can do about it. I tried to explain this to several people during the get-out-the-vote pushes over the past few days.

Virginia is one again “blue.” Just the way Harry Byrd intended. Whatever.

I’ll vote in the primaries agains the most bad.

Potentially the bright spot of the night:

She was so awful, one of the Circuit judges in Loudoun pulled her off cases.

I honestly can’t remember that ever happening.

Still not amped on the idea of living in Loudoun again, but I guess it’s back on the table.

About two hours to vacate the hotel. Then to NOLA to fly back to DC.


Bucket List (Flashback to 2013, again)

Reviewing that one, and it sucked, it wasn’t as bad as the ones that would follow for a few years.

That said, the answer I gave then is still where I am — “I don’t have one.”

Is there an aspirational nature to the question, maybe?

I need to do these things before I die.

And if you don’t?

Maybe it’s a follow-up, and I’ll call it “lazy,” to the sorts of lists you’re supposed to put together as a young person.

But if everyone you encounter thinks you’re an asshole, what does it matter?

I do know that there’s people who’ll miss me, and that there’s very few people around who won’t communicate with me.

So, maybe there’s only one things in my list — be the sort of person someone, maybe several, will miss.

That’s pretty dark, but it’s where I am with it.

A decade ago, I wrote something about wanting to see Halleys Comet again.

At this point, in my current condition, and the prognosis for me physically, 2061 seems like a stretch.

A visit with extended family yesterday drives that home even more.

The 2013 post was probably about the time that I’d really come to terms with my limited mortality.

So it goes. So shall I.


What job would you never take?

Flashback to 2012.

At this point, I have no idea. As I’ve gotten closer to resolution on my time spent working for someone else, there’s still a few things burbling around in my head, but I don’t know that I’ll be in a position again where I have to ardently just to meet the bare necessities of life.

I think I showed that there wasn’t a hell of a lot I wouldn’t do to keep the lights turned on.

Regrets? A few, certainly, but I’m now at the point where I can be somewhat choosy about what I do.

We’ve done what we need to do so that we don’t have to make those hard choices again.

What I’m not going to do is take a job like the ones I had mourned 2016-7. I understand that that model of working is what’s kind of the approach of many companies these days, but whatever.

I’m not participating anymore.

It fits with my whole You-Can-Leave approach on many things.

Maybe this is something that aligns with the overall performance of the larger economy; I don’t know. But I’m not going to be abused again. I don’t need to be.

Do you have any idea how much it fucking sucks when you’re looking at the holidays approaching, and you know that you’re just going to earn less for the next two months because Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.

But, like, paid family leave!!1!

Yeah, I don’t care about that. And it doesn’t make a bit of difference when government policies have really eliminated what was “full-time” employment.

I suppose the answer, then, is just about anything that doesn’t give me some personal fulfillment.

Running NetBackup on a busted-ass NT4 domain never did that.

So I won’t do it.

And I won’t be in a position, again, where I’m so desperate, financially, that I have to make that choice again.

I really should dig more into what I’m going to be doing when I get back “home.”

Next up will be the visit to the Reason new office in DC.


What job would you never take? (Flashback to 2013)

Yeah, I’m all sorts of backwards on this prompt. Couldn’t be because I’m licking spare cream cheese off my thumbs in a hotel breakfast area, now could it?

After what appeared to be an elderly guy with a much-younger family member cleared out, it’s been complete empty here.

Just the one guy at the table in the corner licking errant cream cheese off his thumb.

I will write more about what we were doing yesterday later, but I think it went well. Later in the evening, on the other hand, was not good. Little dog is having problems.

So, I guess today will be free-write, which is okay, I guess.

I don’t know. I’ve been making efforts to stay disconnected from work. So far they’ve been successful, but things are gnawing at me.

If I don’t do this right now, I’m going to be really screwed over next year. Or beyond that. Or whatever.

No, you need to settle the fuck down, and relax. Even on this trip, I’m not completely doing that. I’m worried about family issues, and miscellany associated.

Just relax, guy.

Yeah, good luck with that. Not how I behave, unfortunately.

Trying to figure out when would be a time where I could take a break absent calendar distractions.

It seems like there’s something going on almostt every single month.

Am I doing that to myself?

Even in what should be a slack day, I’m, with the formerly cream cheese-covered digit, thumbing in things to do.

Oh well.

I could write about football, but there’s not a lot I’ve really consumed lately.

Maybe I should write something more tonight. Probably not.


Kind of a quiet day. Lots of resting up after hectic day of travel.

But some time to relax, reconnect.

Little dog is getting significant attention, especially from the hotel staff. She is so cute!

We know?

Today is combined November birthdays celebration later this morning. I’m hoping it goes well.

For the prompt, digging back to 2012…

What is your strangest tic or habit? For example feeling compelled to sniff your food before eating it or always counting steps when you go up or down stairs.

I’m definitely sensing a trend in these randomly-selected things. It’s almost as if I’ve been spending a lot of time in mental health treatment lately.


But the answer here is somewhat-similar when I first took this back in 2012. Pretty much nothing.

I am finding myself really patterning things, lately. Maybe it’s an attempt to do things as efficiently as possible. Brush teeth in the sink. Shake electric toothbrush in the shower while I’m putting the head that’s been hanging down to drain back in the main holster. Turn on the shower. Finish drying the toothbrush handle on the bath towel. Put bath towel on the hook outside the shower. Put the toothbrush in its perch above the sink. Fill mouth with mouthwash. Check to see that the water’s warm. Get in the shower. Spit out mouthwash sometime while I’m washing myself.

I’m saving seconds, maybe, but this sis the sort of thing I go through with many normal everyday tasks.

Does it help?

Probably not.

Is that a tic? No, I’m not a seventeen year-old girl trying to find out she’s got an issue.

I spent so much of my life trying to avoid having anything about me be notable/abnormal.

I’m not special.

So all of these “trends” are really confusing to me.


The date was going well until he proposed.

This provoked a healthy chuckle, as my wife and I went out to the sort of restaurant we used to often frequent early in our relationship.

It was not good.

this is really difficult to answer. I really haven’t dated the tmany people, and the options were pretty limited living in Tidewater.

I’m strange. My life is strange. I never really could date like a normal person would.

Early when we were dating, I was working all sorts of odd hours pushing out really bad code because my then-boss had determined I was the guy to program for the company. (Newsflash: I really was never that great a coder…)

Then just before we actually married, they figured out what the hell was wrong with me, physically.

Then inability to drive/travel. Financial problems. Moves. Pandemic.

I think when we went out to the chain restaurant across the parking lot, that was probably the first time we’ve had dinner out, just the two of us, in probably more than five years.

I think much of the discussion was particularly about getting to where we are, what we’d do differently, the dog, and so on.

But we did make it. Tomorrow and Sunday have a few things planned, bug I don’t think we’re going to do much of anything today.

So I write, drink not-very-good coffee, and stay on schedule with this.

((complaining about this laptop’s keyboard deleted…))

Though tempted, I’m not going to work at work stuff. Just not going to do it. It can wait until we’re home.

But back to the date thing, I think a lot of Sarah and my remembrances surrounding dates would involve stupid things said by other pushy patrons near us.

The guy in the tweed blazer with patches on the elbows who was very upset that the burger he ordered had mushrooms on it.

He’d specifically asked for no musicrooms on the burger, because he’s “deathly allergic.”


He’d ordered the Mushroom-Swiss burger.

Or the one time the guy at the table next to us went on and on about how the food scene in LA is better than Norfolk’s. See, he’s from LA, and knows about these things.

Okay, guy.

But there aren’t any that come to mind between the two of us.

Might explain why we’ve lasted so long.

So I feel like I’m finished with the topic, unlike the weird burger I ordered last night. There was probably a point in time where I would have been intrigued by it.


I figure I’ll knock this out during the in-between of packing and travelling.

We’re pretty much as good as we’re going to get; deal with what comes as it comes.

This really kind of fits with my approach to a lot of different things; things happen, you deal, and move forward as best you can.

You can’t plan everything.

And your inability to plan everything doesn’t make you a bad person. Yes, you should take reasonable measures, but things just happen someimes.

How you react to those things speaks more to you as a pest, I think.

Today’s prompt really pairs well with the line of thinking —

 Are you superstitious?

The older I get, the less superstitious I am.

That doesn’t go well with many of the standard OCD behaviors. No, nothing bad is going to happen because you didn’t check the lock on the door a certain number of times.

You didn’t lock the door.

Most probable: Nothing happens at all.

A bit worse: Someone comes in

Worse, still, they take your stuff

Worst of at all, he/she hurts you

But unless you live in a really bad place, the first option is the most likely.

Something to discuss with my shrink next time I speak to her; what’s her take on things like superstition? Am I doing it wrong that it really doesn’t bother me much anymore?

(No. I’m pretty sure she’d say that my response is the healthy one. It’s like I’m learning or something.)

But, even absent the cogitative behavioral therapy techniques, I viewed most of the things people did as just foolish. (And thinking that makes me a bad person….ANOTHER THING I SHOULDN’T THINK!)

Prepare appropriately in a reasonable amount of time you’ve dedicated to preparation.

Then go do it. Whatever it is.