December 20, 2014

waste

Super Saturday bah humbug. If you raced out today to complete your holiday shopping you are an idiot. Traffic was ridiculous and any normal errand I wanted to run took twice as long. I didn't even go watch the boy wrestle because the tournament was an hour away and I would have had to drive by two major shopping center pinch points. Good thing too as he forgot his shoes and could not compete. I was all set to light him on fire via text when he let me know that he witnessed his friend get his arm broken in half.

"Just kind of hanging there Dad. The wrong way."

It gave me a shiver from an hour away and my child was still a little shaken later when I picked him up from school. His timing was perfect protection against the verbal onslaught that was in the chamber. I'm still a little raw over the whole thing but I'm trying to hold it in. Seriously?! Forgot your shoes?! This sport has 2 required pieces of equipment; shoes and headgear. You forgot a full fifty percent of your total responsibility.

Enough talk about my knucklehead for now. I joined this new cheap gym down the street. They had a grand opening special $100 paid up front for a years membership or $200 for the premium year. Since my company reimburses half of any dues and seeing as I've never taken advantage of this before I decided to treat myself to the better option. Plus I get to bring a guest every visit so I can drag one of the kids along if I get bored.

The premium thing also comes with some water massage thing that I am highly skeptical about and unlimited tanning. I have never been a tanning booth person but the evil little voice in the back of my head is thinking there might be some funny lurking there... Sometimes I need saving from myself.

Anyway I got a light starter workout plan from a friend. Nothing big just something to get me moving a bit more. They have machines there and he has me a new group every day. So this morning I decided to follow his walking and basic no equipment plan. Yikes. I am so far out of shape that I might actually be forming a yet undiscovered configuration.

I laughed at the things he suggested until I did them. Air squats sound easy until you are pushing your fat ass up for the tenth time. Burpees suck just as hard as I remember from High School and this diabolical rest your arms and pull your legs up thing he ad me seek out was just mean spirited. I like the nice safe circuit machines where he has me picking a relatively low weight to get used to the motions before I start looking for a challenge.

This whole thing is a challenge. Yesterday I felt like our older dog on the treadmill. My left foot would just randomly drag. I laughed the third time it happened when I flashed to my tripping and flying off the back like a staged YouTube video. I figure if I can go every day for a month then I might set this as a habit. Or at the very least it won't have been a complete waste of money.

December 19, 2014

beardnomo

I was growing some awesome facial hair for my upcoming 50th birthday. The no shave November thing started it off (which I still don't fully understand by the way but that's for another time) and once December hit I was cracking myself up every morning when I looked in the mirror so it was staying. (I really need to cut down on these thought bubbles because that sentence was atrocious.) I should have realized that this relationship wasn't going to work out when I was shopping for mustache wax on the line. Instead my broken brain romanticized the ass-pain and ordered the wax and a tiny comb.

I should let you know that the reason I don't fully shave is pure lazy necessity. If I were to shave clean in the morning, by early afternoon I would have a weird blue looking Fu Manchu thing going on. This could be taken care of by an inconvenient afternoon touch-up shave but aint nobody got time fo dat. So I grow a once a week mowed facial lawn around my mouth. I used to have a full beard but once the hair went away the beard to nowhere cracked me up but came with its own problems.

I took this selfie to send to my eldest child and asked what she thought of my new look. I knew I was going to take the thing out because it was getting annoying. The night before when I was having sleep troubles I swore that the beard woke me up at least once.
The crazy looking away thing was for dramatic effect (again eff off if that was incorrect) and I think it worked splendidly.
Take a gander at homeless stupidtom in all of his crazy glory. There will be some stubble on my face and head as shaving will become a luxury but you get the idea.
Here is things have gone horribly wrong biker gang tom. Facial flair designed to scare. (crap, there is that rhyming thing again)
If I ever decided to shave the blue lines I think I might leave this dandy looking soup strainer up for personal entertainment purposes.
And finally back to as normal as I get. a side note while I'm staring at my cringe worthy mug. After 25 years of marriage my wife just realized that my nose is tragically curved. I was trying on glasses and the ones with full dark frames make the hook look hilarious but nothing I can rock if I wish to be taken seriously.





December 18, 2014

confuse d

I can't sleep for shit and its starting to creep in to my existence. I was out returning some internet purchases at lunch which means I was taking the boxes and throwing them in to the UPS store when I appropriately stopped for a red light. I thought I was day dreaming but it might have transitioned to an eyes open sleep situation because I was startled by the horn behind me. I was thinking about the things I need to get done and it knocked me the eff out.

I know this is a byproduct of overtired but I now think a little stress reaction was at work as well. This is an unsettling development as the pressure isn't due to let up until the end of January. Me thinks it might be time to reevaluate some things in the land of stupidtom. I have a two and a half day push ahead of me next week then I am going to try and forget work over the holiday. Wish me luck.

The Christmas spending is flipping my shit a bit but I think the worst has passed. Crap, did you just feel that tragic jinx pass through me like a ghost of xmas past? The only way to solve my love hate relationship with the holidays would be... enough. I'm a f*cking idiot. This is just how things are going to be until I can get right with me. (I think that might be the second time I've rhymed today and it scares me just a bit. Maybe I'm developing some pathetic but awesome mental disorder that has me blurt out random rhymes tourette style. If this comes true someone name it after me.) I really need to just suck it up and by it I mean all of this wishy washy woe is me nonsense.

In other news my beard has reached a ludicrous state that can only be described in pictures. Unfortunately my phone is in jail as I am attempting to be less available and connected in an effort to get more done. So far it seems to be working. I have shut notifications down for everything but a ring for phone calls and a noise for texts. Other than those two things that are necessary for work I'm trying to keep away from the not so little screen. I will take pictures of my facial topiary tomorrow as I fear it might be time to trim.

December 17, 2014

Gus

The hundred year old man that lurks just below my surface wanted to punch a stranger yesterday. I should let you know that he is always near by and hates most things. He is a child of the depression so he has little time for new stuff like technology or fancy ways of getting things done. He is the reason that beer snobs bother me so much and why I would love to boil my life down to a single bag of possessions. I've come to call him Gus because that name itself is distilled down to its essential elements.

No I'm not crazy. yet. I started down this road a couple years ago when I noticed that a lot of celebrity creative types had alter egos. Some think its part of what makes them stand out at their chosen field of performance. Even writers sometimes scribble under a different name to try something new or just to mix things up. Whatever the reason, cuckoo makes me smile so I began to think about my own...

I landed on the cranky old guy because that's how I feel from time to time. Especially during prolonged periods of stress. Last night I drove downtown to pick up the middle child from school. Traffic turned a half hour ride into a two hour stop and go roll so I was a little tuned up already as I entered the parking garage. After parking I rode the elevator down to the street. When the doors opened I was rammed by an idiot on his phone.

Completely looking down he must have raced into the car when he heard the ding. He hit me hard enough to fumble his phone and then had the nerve to look up at me with hard eyes. I stared at him waiting for an apology that never came. That's where dreams of a solid facial shot drifted across my brain. I think he was more upset about the interruption in whatever communicating he was doing than his breach of human interactivity. I was pissed.

Knowing that I needed to reset myself before I saw my child I let Gus out for the walk down the alley. Mental ranting about the constant need to be in contact with everything except the world around us. Virtual idiots. Overpriced devices making us slaves to someone else's idea of how a life should be lived. I actually let one of my personalities convince another one that his own stuff is getting out of hand. (I think that breaks some law of multiple personalities but I always confuse those with time travel. sorry) 

I didn't use my phone the rest of the night. Ignoring notifications that mean nothing in the grand scheme of my existence. Today as well, I took a step back from my electronic leash. We managed to do some pretty incredible crap in the world before we were so connected to everything and just maybe because of that fact. You don't hear a lot about people getting lost in a project for hours. Singular focus on solving a problem with no distractions seems like a thing of the past.

Watching my children do homework with three other things going on exhausts me and I wonder what it will be like for their kids. Enough already. I need to hit publish before this mounting full body douche-chill about exposing Gus forces me to delete this. I've always felt that the ones that sting a little to put out there are probably the most fun to read.


December 16, 2014

whheee

If life and its moods are a roller coaster then I am at the bottom of a hill where it feels like your nuts are up in your throat. If you are reading this and have no nuts swap out uterus or that feeling when you just jumped or fell a long way. This state of being is brought to me by the good people at Work Pressure and their fine subsidiary company Fear of Failure. Both are fully in effect (screw you if I used the wrong one) as I am in the final stages of building a 3 day class that I have been working on for more than a year.

There is other work to do along with the content creation and I really need to stop treating my regular duties like someone was torturing me. The pressure on this one is a pisser because I identified the need for this class, sketched it out, pitched it, built it, and am now getting ready to deliver it in a month. The work now consists of thinking through each segment and figuring out how I will teach each one. Then I need to document that for myself and the two other times I will deliver it in 2015.

Most of this pressure comes from inside of my own skull but that doesn't make it any less real. The participants are going to pay a bunch of money for this experience and they deserve my best shot. Everyone keeps telling me that it will be great but somehow that just ramps up the angst. Random calls from people legitimately looking for my help are making me twitch as I feel myself falling further and further behind. Then why are you writing this dumbass?

Great question. I have five to ten minutes to kill as my set appointment needed a little time to gather up all of the people I'm supposed to be talking to and once the phone rings I AM ON. So this relatively mindless exercise is perfect for murdering some time and not trying to get back into something that needs full attention only to be ripped away to something else that needs complete mental presence. (take a deep mental breath after that run-on sentence) There is also a very small part of me that hopes this will calm the storm a bit...

And then a text from the boy shows up needing his weekly forgotten object dropped off at school. It's not that far away but they have a bunch of new security nonsense that triples the time it takes. If it wasn't raining I would throw the bag in a bush and just tell him where to look. But then I flash to someone seeing it, reporting the incident, them thinking its something its not, school being evacuated, etc. And who has time to be detained and interrogated this close to the holidays?

December 15, 2014

therapy

I was going to start out with a question. Something like "Do you ever feel like life is running you over?" but three seconds in and I already think myself an idiot. Of course most people feel that way from time to time. It's like saying "Do you ever feel a little anxious?" I want to type New Age Hippie bullshit but I'm not sure if New Age and Hippies are still a thing. I also think this might be an off track record as we are nowhere near my original thought in the first paragraph.

I've been feeling a little out of control lately and I don't like it. Work is going great but I am so busy that I have time and energy for little else. I never thought I would even think those words let alone live them but this is my reality. I love what I do and that comes with a price. Unfortunately it is at the expense of my outside relationships.

I should clarify the outside part. I consider family an inside relationship. These are the people who are forced to deal with me on a constant basis. My wife and I are in a great place right now. The girls are both busier than they want to be with college and I'll see them in a few days. The boy is still trying to figure out High School while the wrestling / homework combo continues to kick his ass. It's not them that are on my mind. (Holy horseshit sentence Batman!)

I have an impressive set of friends. They all crack me up and they are my friends because I like hanging out with them. The thing that has me all knotted up right now is I have barely seen them in the last couple of months and while I get ready to secure my January travel arrangements its not going to get better. I just realized after typing all of this nonsense that I need to make a plan. There is no excuse other than pressure I'm putting on myself to do well at work.

Time to stop writing this nonsense and figure out when I'm going to see my friends this holiday season.

December 13, 2014

morning assignment complete

A thirteen team wrestling tournament is some high quality people watching even if you know next to nothing about the sport. It was so good in fact that I started categorizing folks:

That Could Have Been Me! This individual is reliving something through his child but also holds a little resentment toward the kid and his success. They are screaming "tips" no matter the score or result of the match. A douche of the highest order.

What Are You Looking At? These people let the testosterone levels of four continuous fights get the better of them and start looking around like wild animals. This is also a byproduct of a wrestler once thought to be great getting beat by anyone. These were the most fun for me as I was assigned to security. No real problems but some hard looks that I haven't seen since bar work in college.

Did My Child Go Yet? These idiots can't be bothered. They spend more time reading or playing on their phones than paying attention to the event. I don't begrudge this behavior as some of my children were swimmers and dancers over the years but they need to figure things out. Ask when your kid is up and then set an alarm or ask the person next to you to throw an elbow when your kid hits the mat.

Quiet Assassins. These guys can still do the work. Just by the way they move through the crowd you know that they are capable of taking you down. Body shape and demeanor gives off a vibe that says they wouldn't mind if some shit went down. Even the moronic What Are You Looking At dudes don't give these guys a second glance.

I only caught one cheap asshole trying to sneak in my door without paying and I sent him back to take care of it or go home. If you can't cover the $5 to watch your child some reflective time alone in your car might do some good. Other than a couple calls to the janitorial staff to take care of blood in the drinking fountains and bathrooms everything went smoothly. This sport is not for the weak.

December 12, 2014

ateaandtee

I needed to head to the at&t flagship store near my house last night to get my mom a phone. Dad is already on our plan and it was time to add mom as well for Christmas. We knew exactly what we wanted and it should have been an in and out transaction but the system at this store drives me crazy. Alas, someone I pay for a service wasting my time is not the point of this piece.

My parents are Amazon people. They are Prime members and each have a Kindle. My Dad can search the thing like a savant so when he refused to get a smartphone of any kind (opting instead to have anyone who wanted to text him to send it to my mom for interpretation) I knew I had only one shot at getting him to leave his flip and that was the Amazon phone. When you go to buy one of these people treat you like your trying to buy a ticket on the short bus.

I'm not sure what it is. Maybe because it's not the republican or democrat of phone types and they all line up into one of those camps. These devices are treated like the Green Party phone. Oh,... you want on of Those... It bothers me because these morons should just shut up and sell me what I want. I would have given the guy a little shit but Mom does not approve of full on stupidtom. OK its not an Apple phone but my parents are not nor ever will be ready to immerse themselves into that universe. And it's not really Android as far as the Google heads are concerned. So they all look down on it because they can.

They can also F*CK OFF because these little beauties come with a little bit of magic called the Mayday Button. My parents just push the thing and a tiny live person pops up on their screen ready to help. They will walk them through how to what they are asking or take control of the phone and do it for them if they wish. I especially love this feature because it cuts down calls to their other tech support department. ME

The guy that helped ended up being very nice but he couldn't get her pictures to transfer from her 1st generation windows phone. (the only smartphone that gets more shit than the fire. I was not involved in that tragic decision. A nice young man at T-Mobile probably got a huge spiff for moving one) If Dad or the magic button can't figure it out I'll take care of it Christmas morning. Anyway, what should have taken 45 minutes tops was double that and I can't help but leave that place thinking there has got to be a better way.

I can't put my finger on it but something big is going to change as it always does I hope these big companies take it square in the nuts. Everything about personal communication devices is so hard. There is no reason for it. The first company with truly great speed, reliability, and no hidden or extra fees is going to win. I just hope I'm around to complain about what an asspain phones used to be.

December 11, 2014

organizr

The twitter blurb yesterday had me thinking about my digital life and simplifying said same. I keep a lot of things in a lot of places and that practice has to change. Not only is it unorganized but it makes finding stuff extremely frustrating. So last night I started my consolidation.

First up was my Google Chrome bookmarks. By rough count I had just shy of a thousand. It turns out that I am a link hoarder from way back. A full third of the things I went through no longer existed but I had to click on them to find that out. I finally bailed on the exercise at 11:00 (which is my drop dead I don't care if I lie in the dark with my eyes open bedtime so I can get up and work the next day) and will fire up again tonight once I get a few other things done.

In my defense I have been using chrome since it was first rolled out and once it started syncing everywhere I installed it my collection grew exponentially. I do have a handle on things now and there is light at the end of this tunnel but that shit got out of hand. I'm splitting most of the keeper information between three things. First, all text that I want to someday reference will get clipped to Evernote. I've been a long time user of that as well but its searchable and much easier to organize. I even paid for the pro upgrade which I rarely do with anything so that means I am a fan.

Next up I will store all visual things in Pinterest. What I initially thought to be a place where people shared crafting ideas turns out to be a great way to organize images and web pages. I am stealing this idea from a number of tip sites I read and I like it because it doesn't clog up my already crowded Evernote. Plus I follow Evernote on Pinterest so they even use the thing.

And finally some of this stuff will stay in the browser. People I actively stalk, places I regularly read, work and home reference material, mostly useful things just boiled down to the essentials. My goal is to have almost everything cleaned up this weekend. I can do this because I'm signed up to work 2 shifts as security at the high school wrestling tournament tomorrow and Saturday. Should be plenty of time to stare at my phone and sift through junk web links.

I'm not sure if it's this time of year or the fact that I really need to get in to my own office but I am cleaning things up in all aspects of life. I just took a look at my computer files and shuddered. One thing at a time...

December 10, 2014

twitter is exhausting

I don't think I'm doing it right. I go to the site online or from my phone and it's an endless stream of things I don't want to read. If someone could invent glasses that won't let me waste my precious time trying to figure out if something is a paid ad or not I would greatly appreciate it. Right now the thing just makes me crazy. It's going to end up in my internet of ignore right alongside of facebook. What happened to being funny and talking crap.

It might be time to dust off my old idea of an all ball busting network called shitter. The name already dominates as well as the permutations. (no clue if that was the correct word by the way) I just sent shat at you, shit me when you get a chance, I've got to check my shitter feed. Endless toilet humor possibilities. The key to my networks success would be ads that run only on the sides not disguised in your shit stream. I wish I know more about this whole internet programming thing so I could make this happen...

Anyway this topic came up as I was trying to use the tweeter to get a question answered. A day later and I'm still no smarter. I think twitter is made for someone who is going to allow the thing to notify you every time something comes up or someone who checks it more than once a day. Neither of those people are me. Sometimes I feel like Gary Busey from those Amazon commercials because I just want to scream at the internet SHOW ME THE GOOD STUFF. I will be a terrible member of the matrix unless they figure out how to tame the nest of snakes in my head.

December 9, 2014

troglodyte

I just finished getting a lecture on writing daily. Speaking with someone at work about the amount of creative writing I have had to do lately and the subject turned to journaling. This person went on to tell me what a huge mistake I was making by not forcing myself to write something down every day. I just sat here and took it as I was not about to expose this crap to a bunch of random work scrutiny and I didn't feel like making up an entire physical diary. By the end I found myself getting pissed but I had to eat it due to the customer status of the wise one on the other end of the phone.

It must have bothered me more than I thought since I couldn't contain the smart-ass once the topic turned toward technology. I am a bit of a technophile (not sure if that is a word or not but I was looking for big fan of technology) and usually light up during these types of conversations. When the bragging commenced about his new smart-watch I couldn't help myself. Specifically when I was told that I HAD to get one.

"Why?" I asked with genuine interest trying to find a reason I might have overlooked from the two I had already purchased and returned. He listed four or five nonsense reasons and when he took a breath I said "But doesn't your phone have to be close?" He gave me some made up answer and before he could finish his bullshit I chimed in with a couple rapid fire questions. "Don't you have to charge them like every other day at least?" and "Why is a vibration on my wrist better than in my pocket?" He spent a bunch on his new toy so he was ready but I was no longer in the mood to play.

If you want to really piss off someone with a moto 360 ask them about the dead black zone where the six should be. They will probably have some half baked excuse but I find a mumbled "looks kind of dumb" to be extremely effective. Then I was finished playing with him so I told of my smart watch purchase history in an effort to make it stop. No such luck. It's like he had a press release for the dam thing right in front of him. As he pushed me on my reasons for return in an invitation to debate kind of way I finally said "I felt like a giant douche petting my watch."

We were done discussing after that. I really should write things down. I wonder what his daily entry says about me? Probably contains the word troglodyte.

December 8, 2014

quickly

I had to run a bag to the boy today at school and it was a nut-flick fun experience. He forgot his wrestling bag and I'm sure there is some punishment involved if you show up to practice without your shoes and such so I figured I would do him a solid. The next thing I know I'm giving my license and waiting for the security escort to take me to the attendance window where I had to fill out a tiny piece of paper with his name on it. I was thinking more like my day where I barely walked in to the school and mumbled something about my idiot kid to the lady behind the desk and she would stash it until he came looking.

I'm all for the security thing but as the parent of a forgetful child I endured five times the ass pain. Anyway, I know the place where my child's brain resides right now as I was the same kid. Freshman year was all about survival. Some kids "get it" early but that was not me. Just do what has to get done and hope I don't screw up to bad. My child has a little of that going on right now along with hard homework and a terrible schedule I just hope his fog doesn't last as long as my own did.

I was still a complete idiot all the way through college which is a huge part of why I did not graduate. Looking in the rear-view mirror of life I should have done a ton of things differently. But then I get all twisted up in the puzzle of different choices, different life. I would change very little about my current life except for the whole education life path thing and some tragic money management and real estate decisions. I have some people related regrets but it could be argued that those mistakes led me to the happy place where I now find myself.

I'm making myself dizzy and my writing moment is up. Plus I was coming dangerously close to some deeper thinking than I ever want to do here. Luckily two minutes ago the UPS man must have come because the dogs have been throwing themselves against the front door ever since. I need to go stop it as the team doctor won't let Nemo play with another concussion.

December 7, 2014

dodged

I dodged a big bullet today in the form of missing the confirmation class Day of Service. The boy is our last to go through the program and I am not even his teacher but it seems that these young men have some trouble behaving during the class so there was discussion that I might need to drive and partake in the festivities to make sure they remain on point. (take a deep mental breath after that awful sentence. sorry) As I have coached most of them at one time or another that wouldn't be a problem but I had a bear of a week and Sunday is football day. Luckily I have a wife who can tell that I am entering the danger zone and she got me out of it.

So I have been locked in to the NFL ADD channel or Red Zone to everyone else and I don't think I napped but the next thing I knew it was after 5:00 and I hadn't done a single productive thing. I was washing the Boy's potential Mat Rot infested wrestling gear and getting a couple other things busted out before they get home when I figured that writing something here might make me feel better. I'm not sure this is going to work but the completion will allow my broken brain to check something off as complete.

There is something I wanted to tell you about as it will probably get me kicked off of the face book. I became more irritated than usual at some of my friends this week for their posting behavior. I've talked about this before, endless re-postings, a thousand recipes, religious and or political nonsense, and incessant begging that has ramped up for the holiday season. This meant it was time to trim the friend fat. And I didn't want to be a chickenshit about the process like most people. I was going to let these folks know exactly why I will no longer follow their nonsense.

That lasted two whole people before I was exhausted so everyone else just got a "f*ck you" message from yours truly. I typed it with the asshole symbol to replace the u so any who were offended and chose to report me would be tattling on an inferred (I hated that word the second I typed it. Reader infers writer implies I think but I know dam well what I wrote. Oh well, anyway...) swear word. It wouldn't kill me to get banned but when the duck-blind works its a lot of fun.

Case in point: I have an old friend melting down over the dissolution of his marriage and the stuff he is posting is priceless. It sucks that I have to sift through so much nonsense to get to the crazy but I've started mainlining his page and that seems to help. Gots to go, things to do, enjoy your day.

December 5, 2014

crank

I am on the road teaching and creating content this week followed by the company holiday party. My lovely bride has joined me for the party a day early and it is really jamming up my travel flow. When I check in to a room I have a specific routine and any deviation sets of OCD alarms.  First, I don't use maid service because I don't want people digging through my stuff. No real rationale other than if I were a maid I would consider spying on guests a perk of my job. And maidtom would look through EVERYTHING. The no housekeeping deal can't be done with the hurricane I now have as a roommate. When she arrives anywhere there is a blast radius. It's a known fact and I just have to live with it.

She also uses an alarming number of towels for such a small person. This means that I have to allow people to mill around my space while I'm away. I don't like it. Next up is the placement of my stuff. I use the bag holder that usually lives in the closet to keep my bag out in the room. The wheels of luggage are staggering to think about and I don't want them ever on my bed. If there is a couch or chair I could set it on those because I never do. I have yet to see a maid cart with a steam cleaner so I'm pretty sure evidence of all questionable behavior just builds up on fabric covered furniture.

I'm heading down a germ road and I don't want you to get the wrong idea. I have a friend who walks in to a hotel room and immediately puts the remote in a baggie from his supply. He makes the solid case that it is the dirtiest thing in the room. This guy also brings a sleeping bag and his own pillow so I doubt I will ever reach his level but I am a logic player. Anyway, I let this get off track, I was talking about my wife disturbing the force of my travel...

This morning at 4:00am she was up and talking. I thought it was the dogs that caused this at home but they are nowhere near this state. I felt around and tried to silence her with the hand over mouth hint to no avail. Holy crap she is shot out of a cannon in the morning and I usually don't have to speak to another human for at least an hour. Needless to say I am on tilt today. Luckily I am just a guy on the side for most of this section. In fact I'm typing this right now as one of my friends delivers some content that I've listened to in some form or another at least 50 times. The number I came up with while I was killing time calculating it was 53 but I rounded down as my mind isn't as sharp as I would like.

This is the home stretch before lunch so my hope is that some food might reset things. Cranky is not the best way to do my job.

December 1, 2014

a phone is a phone

I was at the boy's wrestling meet this weekend just minding my own business while I waited for the anxiety filled treat that is watching your child in a combat sport. It doesn't help that I know little about the technical aspects of his winter activity as this is the first year he has ever competed. It was at the urging of the football coaches and I can see enormous benefits for his favorite sport but the viewing is really taking it out of me. Anyway, me being a pussy is not the point of this piece.

I have written before in other places about my lack of care regarding electronic communications devices. My thinking is if it works for you then great. There is this human need to make the best choice and have everyone admire you for the shite you carry around but I don't have it. I am a gadget geek so if I ever comment on anything its because I think its cool and I want to check it out.

So it always puts me on my heels when anyone, especially a complete stranger, wants to talk shit about my phone. Remember I was using the Chinese OnePlus One until the thing bricked on me and I couldn't get service or a replacement for at least 3 weeks. I couldn't be without a communication device for that long so I went back to a Samsung Galaxy Note. And it was between matches that I cared about (my son) where I was drawing on my phone (phone comes with attached pen and I am a doodler) when a guy near me decided that crap talk would be a good opener.

"Is that one of those Galaxy Note things?" Why yes it is I replied noticing his iPhone 6 conveniently lying on the bleachers next to him where I could easily see it. When I didn't reciprocate he let me know that my phone was way too big for him and that's why he didn't get the 6+. I was a little annoyed at the passive aggressive tone he took and not really looking for a new friend so I mentioned that if you aren't careful those can fold in half as well... trying to be both smart-ass and off-putting.

He took that harder than intended seeing as he didn't even own that phone but I guess it was a shot at his brand so he tried a couple of weak android shots that I just ignored. Again, I don't really care. I didn't build this phone or write any programs for it. I'm just the idiot who payed too much to own it. And just like my writing, my mind drifted off in another direction.

I'm not really sure why but something in him escalated. Maybe it was my ignoring his shots, possibly the testosterone filled wrestling meet atmosphere, or maybe he was just a dick, whatever the reason he was going to verbally burn me. "Your phone is so big and complicated you need a pen to use it."

The burn sucked but I was tired of this interaction so I decided to fire back:
Look Dude, I'm sorry that your tiny hands wont allow you to get a bigger phone and you'll want a pen too as soon as Apple "perfects it" and lets you know that you need one. Why don't we stop talking about our phones now I don't want folks to think we're dating.
Upon further review I might have had a little anti-Apple built up after all.

November 28, 2014

Thanxday

I love today because it means I can sit on my fat ass and do whatever I want. We have a loose tradition of setting up the Christmas tree today but there is no deadline and no rush. My two biggest challenges so far were getting the boy to wrestling practice and delivering record breaking garbage loads to the curb. The garbage was not just Thanksgiving by the way. When I am out of town there is definitely a work slow down around this place. Not a complete stoppage but things that are generally considered my responsibility just don't get done.

I'm happy that there wasn't an a-hole with a camera filming me jumping up and down in the big can this morning. I am the human trash compactor but it isn't pretty. As things break under my feet balance is constantly shifting and I almost went down more than once. And I audibly cursed my brother as I slipped on some garbage he brought me.

You see my beloved younger sibling is one of my favorite kinds of asshole. He and I have things that crack only the two of us up and one of them is to bring each other useless shite whenever we get together. My Thanksgiving bag included a giant Costco sized plastic tub of cashews that might have had a dozen left inside if you could reassemble all of the pieces. So as I was attempting to crush the thing underfoot and I slipped, almost dumping me and the can all over the yard, I laughed again. This is a game of strategy and he is hosting Christmas.  Thinking cap engaged.

And while I'm talking about him I thought my beard was getting pretty awesome. This no shave November donate to charity thing has me thinking I want to go full Olde Timey facial hair for my upcoming 50th birthday. I thought I had the holiday weird facial hair thing locked but no. His crazy ass facial hair would make a hobo look away in shame. The neck hair alone made me itch just looking at it but then when he stretched it out to show me the overall length I had to bow to its awesomeness.

I do so love the holidays.

November 26, 2014

I just cant stop

I have a metric shitton of work to do and I tried chipping away last night. I was all geeked up after the boy's first wrestling meet so sleep wasn't really an option anyway. I sat down at my desk with the best intentions and started to get things done when I went looking for a funny picture for a PowerPoint slide. That's when the productivity train derailed.

I ended up in yet another old stupidtom.com image depository and all was lost. I'm just going to post them and let you fill in the blanks. Most were made for me by others but everything made me laugh when I saw it again.




November 24, 2014

hold please

siting and waiting, standing and waiting, pacing and waiting. It sounds like the opening line to a poemish sort of thing but its just the sum of my life today. Right now I'm adding writing and waiting as yet another appointment has asked me to "hold on for five minutes or so." With the average delay working out to be 15 I should have enough time to craft something utterly disappointing before the telephone rings.

Holiday weeks are a pisser for most companies and mine is no exception. The people who need my help let the holidays somehow slip their minds and a palpable panic fills the phone lines. Which is the treat that I not-so patiently await. I would normally welcome the break but this holding pattern doesn't let me get any real work done and that's where this guy gets frustrated. I will probably work a little later into the evening as the house is at an elevated Thanksgiving Prep Threat Level.

The boy and I have it set at a high yellow with a predicted move into orange sometime tomorrow. Wednesday is anyone's guess as wife and son are off of school, eldest will be driving home, and I have been volunteered to pick up the art bunch from downtown. It would seem that the center child has picked up a couple of holiday strays. Nice kids who have been out to eat with us before but cramming them into this castle can only add to the fun.

They had better be ready to roll when I get down there because I have pre scheduled yearly questionable behavior followed by an early morning football game on turkey day. With the festivities at our house my traditional muscle relaxant shower will not be followed by a delicious nap but these are the sacrifices that we make. I came across another pile of old blog fun from the ambulance company days. If memory serves this was my going away party as I headed to Tucson. Enjoy a young stupidtom still desperately holding on to some hair on his head.


November 23, 2014

forgot this was here

This last travel stretch was an absolute ass kicking. This is not whining but a kind of excuse for my internet disappearing act. The week was spent creating content for an upcoming class and ten straight hours of content creation followed by a couple hours of big group dinner every day rendered me useless by the time I got back to the room. I tell you this to explain the lack of posting but to also set the table for this mess.

I woke up the second night in a complete cold sweat from a nightmare I couldn't remember. The volume on the TV was pinned and a language that I didn't understand was blaring at me. I think I fell asleep with the thing on and somewhere around 3:00am I must have rolled over onto the remote turning the channels and cranking the volume. Whatever my subconscious did with all of that stimulus wasn't good but thankfully the same brain that scared the crap out of me flushed the horror from my memory. I did have a little trouble falling back to sleep with the racing heart, overall moistness, and complete confusion.

I have a coworker going through a major health crisis and aside from her being one of my favorite people in the company she is by far the most productive. What this means is I had a few precious days with her to get an ass-load of work done within this workshop we were attending. It was great but I was cramming my agenda into the smallest scheduling crack and annoying my group by bringing everything we talked about back to MY class.

The final day was Saturday and when it ended at two I decided I would just drive home. Popped a five our energy and headed out from St. Paul. On the way back the normally pleasant drive got bumpy. I have no need for the GPS on that trip because I do it so often but after my second drifting mind wrong turn I decided to have it running as backstop.

Just when I get my mind right and begin to come down from the energy shot I hit a wall of dead stop traffic the likes of which I hadn't experienced in a long time. So bad that I counted two cars that ran out of gas during the fun. There was an awesome road rage incident where a dude in a truck jumped out and screamed at the top of his lungs at the driver behind him. Something about being up his ass and no one going more than two miles per hour.

I mention this because the girl he was yelling at was brilliant. She just stared straight ahead not looking at him or her passenger. Then at the height of him losing his lid she decided to hit the wiper fluid and clean her field of vision. This cranked him up even more so I locked that move away for future potential use. I was a little concerned that he might flip completely and back over her monster truck style but whatever help line he called seemed to calm him down.

That shitshow plus my mental blunders turned a normal five and a half hour drive into just under nine so once again I was spent. Right now I'm writing this to calm down and take a day off. Part of me wants to get back to work because I need a clean slate this week before Wednesday night. Dad's behaving badly or Black Wednesday is one of my favorite events of the year. I need to go bang out my honeydo list before football begins for the day.

November 18, 2014

tommy fileseed

Last night found me time traveling through various online note taking and file saving systems until midnight. I don't know what it is but I seem to have a problem with all things online. I am an early adopter always looking for the latest and greatest but once something disappoints its dead to me. Except the content that I stored or created there remains until you go through the painful process of housecleaning.

I began the journey with Evernote. I used to love this thing because it was a place to jot down and store my very thought, idea, note, and even web clipping all in a searchable database. The only problem is once you store up a giant pile of nonsense what are you supposed to do with it? It's like I had three years worth of paper scraps in a real neat pile and they want me to pay for the upgrade to handle all of the services that they activated on all of my stuff. (OK I get that I said yes but it all seemed like a great idea at the time...) Saving pictures from my phone and computer, data from various apps, plus whatever else I could generate. It was enough already.

Like and good hoarder before I could delete that thing from my life I had to go through each piece of trash. A long and laborious process that yielded a few gems but a lot of memory triggers. I found a folder that contained phrases from unsent emails. Before I learned restraint I used to have myself on a delay like a radio station. I would type whatever angry response and then wait at least a day before sending. Rarely did one of those missiles get launched but I did manage to keep some that made me smile. I'll post a few and remember that these are business setting communications.
"Listen you smug little turd..."
"If you know so much why did you ask for my help in the first place?"
"Maybe if you weren't so busy pretending to work..."
"you are GREAT at mediocrity"
"I'm sorry but my eyes crossed halfway through your filibuster email"
"I just counted and this is our twelfth email about the same thing. Should I use a different font?"
It was painful and fun all rolled into one. Then I started to look at the different online storage units I rent. Once I realized they have all been culling various amounts of files, pictures, and music, I got overwhelmed and went to bed. I'm hitting the road this week and my off-time goal is to clean up and simplify my digital life. I will leave you with a puzzle. This was in a folder called stupidtom so I'm assuming I wrote about it but I can't for the life of me figure out what it is...


November 16, 2014

got the phunk

I'm not sure what it is about these long travel bouts but they put me in a very strange place. Mentally speaking I am no stranger to strange but the mood swings are like an amusement car ride. I find myself in a perpetual state of trying to get things done but never feeling satisfied that I have done said same. Pair those good feelings with this first snow of the year and you get some palpable agitation amongst the snakes in my head. You know those days where everything you look at turns into a steaming pile? Dead nuts in the middle of one.

Anyway this post is not to bleat about my perceived troubles but to reinforce the mental punch in the face I gave myself about an hour ago. Everything I was complaining about didn't really matter. There are people with real problems and my own are so small its almost like I'm looking for trouble. I was whining about things like... not being able to pay the bills. NOT BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE THE MONEY TO DO SO BUT THE BANK IS UPDATING ITS WEBSITE. not being able to watch football today BECAUSE MY MIDDLE CHILD ACTUALLY WANTED TO SPEND TIME WITH ME. I am an idiot.

The only thing I am in the midst of is turning myself into a human sphincter. I bitch about travel for a job I truly love and then when I'm finally home I find things to complain about here. HOLY SHITSTICKS I need a mental makeover. Time to stop myself from turning into a song cliche.