All posts by Peter

Back to School

One consequence of our unsuccessful effort to be self employed is that Liz has spent some considerable time thinking about our financial position and her position in particular if I should happen to die before she does. At present, 100% of our income ends when I die, and without an employer sponsored life insurance plan to cover the gap, our current life insurance would only give her a few years at the existing standard of living to figure out how to pay for the costs of life.

As she’s ruminated on this topic over the last several months, she has … Read the rest

So much for that

It’s been over a year since I walked away from industry and government contracts to start my own small business. Some of that time has been awesome. I love being the master of my own time. However, I don’t love being broke. I also don’t love the fact that there is very little chance that I’ll ever make money doing what I had hoped to monetize. At this point, I’m pretty sure that the idea I had hoped to turn into income is never going to amount to much more than a hobby.

What did I do wrong? Well, there … Read the rest

On our own and unafraid!

We did it. Elizabeth and I have started our own business, and I have walked away from a job for which I was well qualified but that I found unsatisfying and often distasteful. At this point, Elizabeth and I are working like mad and juggling each other’s time to balance Michael’s needs, the general needs of maintaining a household, and our need to focus on getting the materials put together that we need to formally launch a few courses come August.

The transition has not been without its challenges. The loss of my former paycheck represents about a 60% cut … Read the rest

Decision the easy way

Several years ago, we purchased a Nissan Versa — a small hatchback car known for being cheap. It was supposed to be the car I drove to keep the mileage down on our other more expensive cars when we didn’t need the capability they presented. It turns out that I don’t need a pickup truck all the time, and that minivans aren’t required when there are only one or two people to transport. This car was supposed to cover the space where these two were ill-suited.

This little car served us relatively well for a few years, but not long … Read the rest

I Have COVID-19

I have COVID-19. I started feeling ill last Saturday with tiredness, a raging headache, and body aches. I almost always feel like that, and we were at the end of a 10 day, high-stress, not always fun, spend 8-10 hours a day in the car with an autistic kid who can’t stand driving, vacation. I wrote it off as vacation fatigue, and went in to work on Monday. By Tuesday afternoon, though, it was clear that it was more than just a vacation hangover, and I left work early. Wednesday, after sleeping for 15 hours or more and feeling like … Read the rest


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. كيف تفوز في روليت A potent flavor of mold overpowered my taste buds and flowed up into my nose. I couldn’t get … Read the rest