Category Archives: Family Stuff

General-interest stuff about our family

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

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

Fragile Ego

I’ve spent most of the last few months working with a customer to define a project. They came to us knowing that the scope and requirements weren’t well defined, and asking for our expert opinion to help them simultaneously develop the experiment they wanted to carry out and the hardware to conduct it on. And, do all of this on a very short time-frame. We signed up to the challenge, believing they believed in us and that we would be successful in overcoming the current shortfalls.

As the last several months have dragged painfully on, we have made almost no … Read the rest

FML

A little while ago, I came across a picture on the internet that showed a garage where the door had been opened to reveal a wall of snow completely filling the opening, and a snow blower sitting in the garage. On the wall of snow there were three letters in spray paint — FML. Shorthand for the rather crude phrase, “Fu*k My Life.” At the time I chuckled. All of us have that thought from time to time, I expect. Most people don’t actually believe it.

Unfortunately, much of the time I think that thought and mean it. At the … Read the rest

It's been a while – but COVID-19 has me Pissed Off

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything outside of my day job. Life has been too busy and challenging to spend much time on anything other than getting from point A to point B. I expect I’ll write more on that later, when the terms of my probation/conditional release/whatever are actually expired and I am free to fully speak my mind. In the meantime, I’m saving a few thoughts for later.

As I write this, the world is deeply immersed in the mass-panic that is COVID-19. In the last week or so, politicians too scared to accept the risk … Read the rest