Wolfpack

Back when camping was still fun and didn’t require lugging a 60lb lead acid battery around to power a CPAP, I decided to take Isaac camping and hunting for small game. At the time, we were living within the confines of Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks, Alaska — a fairly small outpost of humanity in the vastness of the Alaskan wilderness. As a reference, the Fairbanks North Star Borough (a county equivalent that included Fairbanks and Eielson) is roughly the size of New Jersey, contains the second largest city in the state, and was home to less than 100,000 … Read the rest

Am I Responsible or Risk Averse?

Today, again, I ask my self why I’m still doing what I do professionally. From outward appearances, my career is successful; I am well respected in my professional enclave; I have influence over large things; I am plenty far up the food chain within my organization; I’m recognized as an expert among a field of very highly educated and trained people; and I have had a series of projects that have successfully accomplished something to be proud of. I should be happy. I’m not. Not really.

Why aren’t I happy? Some of it could be because I have ideological differences … Read the rest

A Week

It’s Tuesday, and I’m already done for the week. I’ve had enough. I can’t handle any more fun.

Work sucks. For the last few weeks the sword of Damocles has been hanging over our head as our customer has progressively dropped hints that they were going to re-scope our effort. Once they admitted to the fact that they were going to be changing things, they reassured us that “we’d like most of it,” but wouldn’t tell us anything about what the changes were or why we’d like them. I didn’t buy it, and after the “big reveal” today, I still … Read the rest

Summers are Better

The sun has come out, I’ve had at least enough time outside to turn my skin from a ghostly white to something more normal, and I’m the better for it. Winters have always been hard. This one was no exception. But as the sun comes out, the temperatures climb, and the world comes out of hibernation, it’s easier to overlook the stupid in the world and crap that bothers me to find a few minutes of joy — or at least peace — with my bare feet in the cool grass or straddling my motorcycle with wind in my face. … Read the rest

a Contaminated Mind

A few years ago, I picked up a pear that one of my kids had taken a single bite out of and discarded. The irrational miser in me couldn’t stand to see it go to waste, so I picked it up and took a bite with the intention to finish it off. No sooner had I sunk my teeth into the fruit than I understood why it had been discarded. The apparently healthy, ripe, juicy fruit tasted awful. A potent flavor of mold overpowered my taste buds and flowed up into my nose. I couldn’t get the piece of fruit … Read the rest

No Time for a Side Hustle

I had a relatively long talk with a co-worker in the parking lot yesterday. He had pulled a page from his Army days and confronted a battle buddy he thought was struggling. He was right. I’m struggling. Standing there in the first sunny day of what looks like spring, we talked for quite a while about options and off-ramps.

We’ve both chewed up some of the same dirt, and have many of the same frustrations with regard to where we are professionally. It’s good to bounce ideas and thoughts off of someone like that, knowing that they aren’t going to … Read the rest

Quicksand

It looked firm as I stepped forward
Believing then in solid ground
It gave away and pulled me in
Yielding with a sucking sound

Struggle only pulls me deeper
Suffocation in the wings
Standing frozen cannot save me
Without aid from other things

No one seems to see or hear me
As I draw closer to death
Sinking slowly ever deeper
Anticipating my last breath.

Frustrated

I hasn’t been a good week, and that is on a scale that has been recalibrated to accommodate the fucked up “new normal” prevalent in early 2021. Every day this week, I’ve allowed myself to get angry. Every day, I’ve suffered a shame hangover after getting angry. Most days, I’ve wondered how bad I want the things that my job pays for. Today, at the end of the day, I’m still suffering the emotional impact of yesterday.

I’ve continually struggled to convince myself the bullshit that I put up with at work from my customer is worth it all. I’m … Read the rest

Mindfulness

In my continuing efforts to improve mental health, I was referred to a mindfulness clinic at the VA. At this point in my life, I’m willing to try just about anything — even things that I can’t apply a rational basis to. In this case, mindfulness has a reasonably robust basis, supposedly supported by research (for what that’s worth… most published “research” is fundamentally flawed and total crap). I know people who have benefited greatly from the practice (a much stronger argument). And, it costs me nothing but my time, so I agreed and signed up for the online class. … Read the rest

Invalidated by virtue of birth

Today: an angry rant. Read no more if you know what’s’ good for you. If I heeded what I knew was good for me, I’d not write this. Today, I don’t care.

I have always striven to take people for who they are, and generally judge them only when I have to — and even then, only based on the outcomes of their actions. I couldn’t care less where, when, to whom, how, or what you were born. Unless you are a surgeon about to cut me open, or in a similarly specialized field, I don’t care how much education … Read the rest

Peter's Prose, Poetry, and Random Ramblings