March 3, 2015
It snowed overnight and I knew traffic and travel in general would be a struggle today so I left with plenty of time to get to O'Hare. I wasn't feeling well after the brief trip through our neighborhood so I noticed too late that she was getting on the wrong highway ramp. I told her as we were about halfway up and she got really rattled. She hit the gas as if speed would make up for her navigational error and the car began to fishtail.
Time really does slow down in those situations. I clearly remember thinking "it's OK we are going to hit the guardrail but I am a five minute walk from home and I can start over. My driver had other ideas that probably included keeping her car safe from said same steel rail. Instead she over-corrected to the left which sent us spinning into traffic. Two full revolutions and during the second one she took her right hand off of the wheel and began to cross herself.
That's when I snapped back into reality and began screaming for her to put her hand back on the wheel and take her foot OFF of the gas. We came to rest sort of in the middle lane of the 3 facing oncoming traffic and she was in a full panic. She reached for the shift lever as if to put us in reverse and I barked out instructions again. The oncoming drivers were swerving and slowing so there was an opening to get straight back to the ramp and head in the correct direction. Luckily heading northbound on that particular road isn't very popular (real life friends this is Palatine to 53) from where I live so the move was flawless.
She merged onto the highway and we went up to the next street to turn back into the right direction. In the three minutes it took we were headed back past the site of out spin and there was a huge accident. One vehicle had flipped completely on its head and it looked like five or six total in the calamity. She began crossing herself like crazy and neither of us spoke about her obvious culpability in that whole mess.
After she calmed down she got real chatty. I'm not sure if she thought I was going to report her or if there was some guilt flowing out with the adrenalin but she could not shut up. Probably best because I was fending off motion sickness and her constant chatter was keeping my mind off of an internal evacuation.
I'm at the airport now. Everything is delayed. I sent the required I love you test to my immediate family just in case this is my day and that was just a warning shot pr preview. The sweating and shaking as well as my side order of nausea have all subsided. As soon as I finish thumbtyping this I am going to find something really bad for me to eat. I have no idea how to end this because I am suddenly exhausted.
March 2, 2015
First I read all magazines in que starting with the actual printed ones moving on to the electronic subscriptions. Once that was done and the eyes ached a bit it was time for the DVR. That took most of the day and I diluted all that television with internet. I have a constant backlog of things to look at on the world wide waste of time. I throw most of it into an Evernote folder named Bored. This can be anything that I think might take me down a trail, and, at the moment of discovery, I don't have the time to burn. (Captain Comma just chopped the mess out of that last sentence.) MAN my brain works in some strange ways.
Take this video for instance...
I also had time to get in on a couple of flame wars. I thought about taking screen shots but I don't want to give away all of my real and secret identities in one place. I realize that anyone smart enough can find anything out but I like to pose a little challenge, play hard to get... Anyway, this is the week of the largest cell phone show on the planet MWC or Mobile World Congress where everyone but Apple shows their stuff. I tell you this not only because it is on my bucket list to attend but this week everyone wants to brag and argue about stuff they buy and are going to get.
I really get a kick out of stirring up sh*t. Yesterday I spent a full half hour telling a dude with an htc tattoo (yup, you read that right, smartphone brand on his dumbbody) that I worked for the company and we were in a lot of trouble. I told him that we overspent on celebrity commercials and things were not looking good. He was understandably upset. I even ended the communication with a fake warning from my "corporate security department." Yes, I can be quite the a-hole when I wanna.
This wasn't a random attack by the way. He had spent way too much time going after some Apple and Samsung people and frankly once it annoyed me I jumped in. I might not understand why people feel the need to declare their stuff the best but I do so enjoy arguing with them about it. My latest trick involves confusing the technology in a post. Mention something Android and then mix in a feature exclusively Apple as if they were part of the same system and wait. people. go. crazy.
That even bores the crud out of me after a while once the realization and sadness of a life dedicated to a brand kicks in so I went back to cleaning out my web trash pile. Spend enough time on the internet and you begin to understand why we might be about due for a meteor strike do-over button on the entire human race. We can be a troublesome bunch.
February 28, 2015
I have to speak next week and that in itself isn't a big deal as that is what I do. My problem is this will be my least favorite way to deliver a presentation. I will be on the big stage which means lights in my face, giant screens on either side of me, big sound system, microphones, and little of my beloved audience feedback. I love to work a room but part of that love is the give and take with the crowd. When I don't have that I tend to get nervous. And once I get rattled potential trouble begins to brew.
To get around this flaw in my game I tend to over prepare. That's why I am writing this. I just went through my slides and presentation because I have almost two full hours until life requires my services again and I need a break before trying again. For most folks all this practice would be a good thing but for me it's a constant state of "improvement." In other words I keep changing sh*t every time I run it through. After this last time I was exhausted because I'm not convinced it is any better than my original draft.
I would be better served by doing an "ask the idiot" segment from the stage. Just take rapid fire questions as they come, no prep, no sweat. I get the feeling that I have set a new personal best comma record with this little post. While typing that last sentence those commas felt way too familiar. Okay, back at it. By the way this is just a way to express my crazy not a fishing expedition for praise of any kind. Just the fact that it could be taken that way makes me not want to post it. That and this full body douche chill I'm now experiencing. yuck.
February 27, 2015
Second, I want to start interviewing random drivers. Maybe some kind of identifier where I could send a couple questions anonymously. I need to know how someone is confounded by weather. This morning was cold and sunny as a mutha. I drove behind a gal (I do so love that weird word) that had no solar protection for their eyes and skipped the part about the visor during their vehicle orientation. She kept randomly slamming on the brakes, I think as her retinas heated up placing large solid looking shapes in her path. It was infuriating and I hope the first time she had EVER driven east during a sunrise. Hours later I still want to know what was happening, thus the need for some kind of interview system.
Thirdly, (I just typed that and it clanked in my brain. Possibly a non-word or incorrect usage but what's done is done) if I am a member of your rewards club stop giving me a printed receipt. I've already granted you permission to track my every purchase so stop handing me the annoying hunk of creepy feeling paper. If I need to return something I expect your system to know all of my purchase details. And while were talking here tell your people to buckle up if they give me eye attitude when I ask them to just throw it out before they hand it to me. I have something to say about anything that might leave their mouth as you might have guessed.
Finally, internet. Stop trying to tell me what I should care about... I've already ditched local news for that very same behavior. There is some dress that is causing a color controversy clogging up my news feeds. Really? A DRESS AND ITS COLOR? Holy shitsticks has everything else been fixed? All the worlds problems cured whilst I slept. I barely care about the color of the things I wear and now I'm supposed to waste time thinking about this nonsense. I know you need filler, mention it once and let those of us who aren't interested move on.
OK I feel better now.
February 25, 2015
I like running things. I'm sure there are a number of psychological reasons but the thing I enjoy the most is solving problems with a group. I've always had a knack for viewing stuff from different perspectives and cutting through nonsense. When you are young that gets you in a lot of trouble if you're not "careful" and sadly that word didn't really describe my youth. Smartass got used a lot in my presence but I never took it as a shot. To me ass just meant that I had some strong opinions and wasn't afraid to argue them. And smart, well that just feels good any way you slice it. When you are leading a team or project that same behavior is considered challenging and I used it to teach my people to stop trying to make things perfect from their individual point of view.
Anyway, I am droning on about this only because its been on my mind since completing the questions. For the last two nights I've gone to sleep thinking about what the next chapter in my life will contain. This could also have something to do with changes my bride is currently going through. Her story is not mine to tell but I can say that a forced job change is eminent. And we have been talking about how much it costs to just exist in this broken state. The current plan has us finding something small to rent here and moving to the lake full time once that feels right. No one knows what the future holds but that is a possibility that I really like.
The eldest child is about to graduate from college and all of the thinking about her life and what lies ahead is also a factor. Money in general is a constant pressure point but that should ease up after I travel like a mental patient this spring and getting back to just one in school. I do need to figure out how to move my office however. Sharing with the boy is becoming increasingly difficult for reasons that are mostly my own but that is a story for another time.
Back to the management thing; I might be able to scratch that itch if I start a side project or some volunteering. I've got a couple ideas percolating and as I said a very busy spring travel schedule which means alone time in a hotel room... so you never know what the snakes in my head will think of next. I do know that whenever I get feelings like this something is about to change.
February 24, 2015
An appointment was missed. I did everything I could to make sure it was not. Even calling five minutes into the appointed time frame to see if we were still on. Then at the ten minute mark I sent my customary email inquiring about a possible reschedule. My calendar is on some tight time tolerances which means that people can't call me 25 minutes into a half hour appointment and expect to get anything done. I should also let you know that this happens all the time. The world gets in the way of plans and I am never upset by these situations. In fact I sometimes welcome the unscheduled break.
I tell you all that to frame the trouble. An email arrived accusing me of dropping the ball and as I am far from perfect I took no immediate offense. That is until I noticed that the accuser copied the world in their message. This pisses me off for a bunch of reasons not the least of which is it smells like a blame shift and I really don't like those. If I screwed up I will be the first to let you know and apologize. I might even throw in what I'm going to do to make sure it doesn't happen again. People who use email to dodge blame are weak but I can't come right out and say that.
So I too copied the world with my reply showing the original appointment and all of my follow-up work. Minutes after the message my phone rang... The details aren't important but you need to know the voice on the other end was raised and got progressively louder. I have a trick I use that when things get loud I get quiet and it makes me happy on so many levels. Anyway it came out that there might have been some lying about things and I was probably mistaken about the details.
The more I stayed calm and stuck to the facts the louder the other end. I also love when someone is yelling at me to ask if they could repeat what they just said. It's really hard to maintain original intensity and the second time you do it they usually lose their sh*t. it ended with a flurry of poorly formed swear parings and a dial tone.
I'm laughing but I am also steaming. I want to write an email detailing all of the reasons that I think this idiot should be let go. Instead I write this to no one in particular. I am going to wait this one out. Right now stories are being told and I'm sure the offender has shifted into job preservation mode. I don't know the whole story but I would bet there is more going on than I can imagine. This reaction is extreme for a single missed appointment. I am guessing that some poor performance blame is being pointed my way because my spider-sense is tingling. Time to line up my ducks. Pull all of our conversations and see what the day is going to reveal.
February 23, 2015
That being said I will jump in if were busting someones balls or if my reply will cause a reaction especially with my kids. I am not on permanent mute I am just numb to anything forwarded or clipped from somewhere else. I spend 2 hours a day trolling some very specific web sites that aggregate the world for me. This allows me to blow past what's going on and popular at the moment. It's 6:45 right now and I'm typing this because I know that more than half of the places I go will be filled with Oscar nonsense I care nothing about. The Oscars are unwatchable for me. It boils down to the speeches, I can't take em.
Anyway, back to communicating with this particular mental patient; This is also why I rarely comment on anything posted anywhere. I read early in the morning or late in the evening so I miss the time when most people post "fresh" stuff. I will never type lol unless something actually made me laugh out loud and if you ever send me rofl you should know that I am flipping you off. Literally giving the finger to whatever screen I am reading. The last time I got one of those I sent back a text that said "prove it." Then when there was no response I suggested they find someone close to take a video of their seizure. Again, no response.
Maybe I have too much electronic traffic to sort throughout my day? Right now I'm getting a little antsy about opening my Outlook because my phone already let me know the raw number of emails that await my gaze. There will be spam and nonsense but some will come with action items and I am six months in to a successful run of Inbox Zero (no time to explain, look it up if curious) so I want to get started. Plus I am on the big stage next week and that anxiety is creeping in...
Focus Grasshopper... digital ignore. I also know how it is from a posting point of view. I went through it hard ten years ago when I started writing this crap. (those who are new I apologize but stupidtom in its original form was taken down and archived for a number of reasons too numerous and boring to go into now. Just know it was a long bumpy run) I would post something and then obsessively check the page view counter. Then some genius invented comments and my world revolved around those.
It took me about a year to realize that everyone wasn't sitting at their computers (no smartphones or tablets back then) waiting for my words to come on the screen. In fact most people only remembered to stop by once a week or so. I watch my wife go through it with things she posts on Facebook. She's watches who likes and is on the lookout for comments in the same way I used to obsess over blog posts. That is yet another reason that I am almost done with that service. People sharing shite that has been posted a thousand times before and wondering why no one hit the upward thumb.
Holy crap I just realized how long this one is and my email is tapping me on the shoulder so I need to go. Plus I wandered down the road so long I forgot my original point.
February 21, 2015
I can't wait for the name customization feature that is speculated because I want to name it something different right now. Mrs. Livingston, Sh*thead, Alfred, Jarvis, the list goes on and on. Crazy privacy people out there will not like the always listening feature but it comes with a plug that can be removed from the wall so put your tinfoil hats away. I personally don't care. They keep proving that our cell phones can pick up audio without our knowledge or consent but I really like the convenience of the thing so I'll live with that. When it comes time for revolution planning that is best done far from a population center - underground - inside of a Faraday cage - but I digress.
With my new spirit of paring down to the essentials this thing will make the cut. Much smaller than an entire stereo, decent sound, will connect to my phone via Bluetooth, and hopefully soon it will be able to do more than just tell me the time, weather, and answer simple questions.
February 20, 2015
So I am attacking all aspects of my life. The work computer and more specifically what is on it and how I work with said same is under attack. I have developed a new system and am well on my way to complete conversion. Without boring you to death with details I was keeping a ton of stuff in a lot of different places and now I am down to 3. Outlook because my company is tied to this terrible way of doing things, Evernote will now contain every note (get it?) in a searchable by content or title database, and the computer itself for the files I need every day.
My phone has been deep cleaned as well. Apps, pictures, music, even contacts have been drastically reduced and it feels great. Nobody needs six weather apps and games that haven't been played in three months needed to go away. I am a sampler of new things but there is no need to be a collector. If I find something that works and that I love the rest can go away. The phone actually feels lighter and that's a good thing because I just ordered it a present that will double its outer dimensions but that is a story for another time.
Even at night this week I found myself cleaning up the DVR. Who knew deleting digital junk could give me the same satisfying feeling? This weekend's project is going to be the office and more specifically the file cabinet. In this modern age there is little reason to keep as much physical paper as I do. The goal, and mind you this is a stretch goal, not going to happen this weekend, is to become completely paperless. The first step in getting this done is getting rid of the stuff I've saved just because I didn't want to put any thought into its actual use and or value.
I realize that this post is probably boring as plain toast to read but the subject makes me extremely happy. I didn't write anything yesterday because I was neck deep in the throws of throwing things out and I just couldn't stop. I'm writing now between meetings because there is no time to start another project and I can't be distracted during the call. That's weird, writing this as a way to prevent distraction...
February 18, 2015
February 17, 2015
This wasn't my only one in the last week either. I had another guy incorrectly tell me that Android made Apple change the text bubble color. Not one to let bullsh*t stand I informed him that is was in fact a marketing thing on Apple's end and the internet was ripe with proof. He claimed to have read a lawsuit that forced Apple to change the bubble to "Android Green" and I let him know that he was misinformed and shouldn't repeat nonsense as it made him look a bit dim. iMessage is in a calm blue, anything else is in an annoying green. Simple as that.
I actually think this is smart on Apple's part. Make folks look down on other platforms. It's the American way and I'm all for it. For it to affect me personally I would have to care what others think. I like the phone I've got for a bunch of reasons that are mine alone. I think I should start carrying around a picture of the minivan I drive to give random strangers some idea of my don't give a f*ck. From now on any questions about my phone will be met with silence and a blank stare. In my head I will immediately begin to catalog all of the terrible things that happened to the person talking to me that has lead them to this sad point in their lives.
A place where a small hunk of metal plastic and glass defines them as a person.
Anyway, We are all stuck in here while we wait on 2 more trials to be decided. The first one struck a deal greatly reducing my odds of being chosen to sit. Between that and my soon to be stated gift for instantly knowing guilt or innocence based on a 2 second first impression I think I'll be headed home today. "I just KNOW your honor."
There is a dude at one of the tables who considers himself extremely important. He has brought his entire office with him. If he wasn't so fidgety I would take a picture for you but I think he is on something and this is not the place to get in a dust-up with a tweaker. He has a laptop, a tablet, his phone, a legal pad, some files, assorted writing instruments, a stapler, and his rolling bag that I don't think is completely empty just yet. I don't know if this is his dodge attempt but it looked like a lot of work to bring and unpack. Plus he is now plugging his giant noise canceling headphones into the iPad and this room is really quiet.
I am enjoying the alone not talking time save that minor phone talk annoyance. I had an older gentleman try to strike up a friendship when I first walked in but I shut that down right away. I think he might be a professional jurist. He has a bag filled with snacks and supplies. I on the other hand brought this phone and my jacket. I almost left my jury summons in the car but luckily I remembered to bring it. The ladies who run this place have been beaten down and tempered into a hardened material over the years and they take no mess.
I'm tired of thumb typing now and the judge just came in to talk to us. Hopefully good news.
February 16, 2015
There are a lot of ways I can go with this thing. Dress completely crazy... but that seems too obvious. Maybe just piss my pants before I get called in to the room. Subtle but sends a strong message. Fake Tourettes would at least be entertaining but I think there is a jail in most court houses and that is a young mans game. I did the overnight stay in college but I think that was to teach me a lesson. What I learned is when you are hot and drunk, concrete is a lovely sleeping surface.
Anyway, I don't know what the rules are in the room but if I have a bunch of idle time I will try and post some observations. Maybe I should announce myself as a member of the worldwide press? I could show them my still strong Bulgarian audience from the blogger weekly stats page.
Pageviews by Countries
February 15, 2015
February 13, 2015
February 12, 2015
Silver Honda Odysseys are somewhat popular so whenever I see another one with the boy in the car I whisper "we're everywhere" very slowly. It's creepy in a conspiracy theory kind of way and once I started doing it I just can't stop. Luckily Odyssey owners aren't as annoying as Jeep people. I drove a Jeep in College and every time you passed another one the people would wave. It drove me crazy. I'm supposed to say an enthusiastic hello because we both drive roughly the same car? Yuck. It just feels so forced and phony.
Come to think of it that is probably the reason I despise the "boat wave" when at the lake. There its not even make or model based. Just two idiots dumb enough to buy floating money vacuums enjoying two seconds of each others long distance company while driving guests around on the water. My friends that go up every year for guys weekend were going to get me a flag with a red circle slash around a waiving hand but now there is no point as I have sold the big pig pontoon.
This awesomely cold weather has me thinking about floating in the lake with a beer. I'm not sure if that's good or just makes me hate right now more. I've got to get back to work and its 7:30pm.
February 11, 2015
They all have very strict orders to pull the plug as soon as possible or plant me in a home somewhere if murder charges would result from the first directive. I annoy them to ensure that my wishes are carried out. Case in point... dadchat. I was bored a few days ago while waiting for a conference call to begin. If any of you out there use GoTo Meeting you know that the beep before a meeting starts can drive you insane if you don't occupy your mind.
SO I took a stupid picture of myself and texted it to my three children announcing their membership in my new online service. The girls immediately got the spirit of the thing and dadchatted back but the boy is of an age where it just confuses him. I have no idea why but doing this cracks me up. I just sent all of them a picture of nothing and it made me laugh. The best part is when the girls come home I'm going to use this like its a real thing in front of their friends. "OK you guys have fun tonight and DadChat me if there is anything cool to see."
February 10, 2015
February 9, 2015
I don't really know where I was going with this and the parenthetical voices in my head are acting up again. The anti-cold cocktail I have in my system right now is in no way good for brain or motor function. I am trying some of my wife's voodoo nonsense along with every -quil known to man. A normal person might take a day off and rest but I don't have that luxury this week. Not whining just the facts. I did the stupid neti pot so many times yesterday that I didn't need to salt any of my food and my snot now melts ice. If you don't know what that is just look up the name or device for pouring salt water through your sinus cavity.
One quick public service announcement: chewing the Nyquil liquid caps DOES NOT taste like the shot with the same name nor does it make them act with any more haste. I'm popping the things like Betty Ford in need of a mouthwash run. Check that, might be working, I'm channeling 80's substance abuse humor out of nowhere...
February 7, 2015
So last night I wasn't much better and then I somehow got bamboozled into going over to the neighborhood elementary school to watch the talent show. Now, my God Daughter was performing but that didn't really take the sting out of heading to an event that I thought was clearly in my rear-view mirror. My bride committed me to the event and not even I can go back on a promised appearance like that. Plus the child in question has these huge eyes like a Margaret Keane painting. Disappointing those giant alien eyes is a soul crushing experience and one I was not up for this week. In fact she caught me in such a weakened state that I now find myself heading to a karate tournament tomorrow.
Anyway, my brain is still mush so I'm going to cut this short but I wanted to share something else really quickly. I was sitting in a conference room waiting for someone to be fired on my recommendation when I realized that I had been staring at a bottle of Diet Coke for almost 20 minutes. No one else in the room and the only reason I knew how much time had passed was the person doing the deed announced the time before she left me. I was so disturbed by this catatonic state that I took a picture of the bottle for some strange reason.
February 3, 2015
I've discovered yet another personal defect and that is an inability to fake like things. I can bullsh*t with the best but people with whom I have a relationship get my honest answer to most questions. And sadly it isn't always taken as intended.
This came up as I was talking with someone today who was dreading a trip to his brother's house. I was already confused because I love seeing my brother and family but I understand that families are all different. This guy's complaint was about a meal that his sister in law always makes for him.
It includes dishes and even a beer that he doesn't really care for. As we talked he realized that over the years he had claimed to enjoy all of these things. I told him that his brother's wife was awesome and just trying to make him feel welcome. She is using the only data she has to work with and it's no one's fault but his own.
I'm not talking about being rude and I have plowed through plenty of questionable eats in my time but the truth doesn't have to hurt. My admittedly mental patient rules regarding this subject are very simple; I will "like" almost anything but if asked about love, favorite, do I want it again, the real answer will come out.
And for the most part it's my boring taste that is the problem. I like things simple chili and barbecue are as far from just plain meat as I go. Completely my problem not yours.
I don't know where I was going with this and I'm tired of thumbtyping now.