Thursday, May 31, 2012

24 May 2012

We had a little turmoil over in one department of our company, and one of the peeps there stepped in to exert some leadership. Although I'm certain this will all work out for the better, I'm not so certain the peep in question really wanted to take charge of the situation. This is often the case as leadership can be a whole lot of extra work, and I doubt his job description even comes close to mentioning the L-word. Nonetheless, he did it, things are calming down, and I'm glad he is there. And that's all I need to say about that.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

23 May 2012

Starting back with the running along with the other prep for the Tough Mudder means I go through several t-shirts a day, and that was putting a strain on my collection, which was generally sufficient for watching TV.

I also have a problem with some corporate logos, depending on the corporation, and I'd as soon not have any more shirts like that, unless the company that hires me wants to advertise on my back, then we can talk. However, I follow this fellow on Twitter who apparently makes his living creating and distributing t-shirts with snarky social and political statements.

His company has saved the eyes, if not the noses, of my neighbors because with a few additions, I don't have to wear the morning's dried shirt in the evening. There are also a couple that invariable have people stopping me to get a better look. In fact, when I travel back home, I go out of my way to make sure what I'm wearing is not going to have me fighting my way out.

I love these shirts, not only for the statements and illustrations but also for the soft style of cotton used. There like crushed silk, and if you've run long enough to soak your shirt in sweat AND you've foregone certain foundation garments, you're grateful for the soft fabric. If my nipples could write, they'd sign the card I'm sending today.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

22 May 2012

Many organizations have interns, especially during the summer, to help with some details that might otherwise go lacking while giving the intern a little enriching experience and a glimpse into what the work-a-day world might be like. Our company joins those ranks for the first time this summer, and so far, it's all looking good.

I need to also add this is a paid internship. We have a name for the unpaid internship: Slavery. Those appointments do little more than to make an alluring case for free labor, the idea being that the experience and contacts will pay a dividend later. My problem is that unpaid internships only serve those who can afford to go without payment for their labor. Let me be clear: It's generally the children of the rich who can afford to work for free. This means the rest lose an opportunity for upward mobility, and organizations reap the benefits of planting false hopes.

Nonetheless, I've been in favor of supporting an internship at work for a decade now. The problem was that I lacked the patience to play the game to make it happen. I'm not very politic that way. I don't have much patience with explaining the self-evident to those who choose to not see.

So we hired a new guy last year, and this spring he maintained the pressure to hire a summer intern in the face of substantial resistance. Today, we had lunch with our new, and first, intern. This is a very good thing. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

21 May 2012

Like many organizations, mine uses Outlook for email, and for all it's foibles, email is a primary communication channel by which we live and breathe, something that I suspect is true for many organizations.

This past week has been migration week for the email support guys. They're moving everything from one system to another as they seek higher reliability.

And then it was my turn, and the fellow appears at my door asking it was a good time for the migration. Well, there's never a good time, there are just times, and some are better than others. Given that I could leave my computer running over the evening and night, it seemed like a good enough time.

So we did it. He put everything in place, and I left the machine running as I departed for the night. While we were at it, we also updated the cell phones so we could all keep up even when we're fishing at the lake. I'm not sure email on phones is the good thing it's marketed to be, but it is, apparently, at least a necessary evil these days. And I can turn the phone off at night.

I'm certain he'd rather have a good night's sleep than a card at this point, and maybe he will get back to a normal schedule soon. Until then, he has my gratitude for making the work life easier.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

20 May 2012

Josh visited today. The idea was to bring me the scorpion he adopted in Daytona. He also picked up a couple of bags his godfather brought back from Florida. The real thing was he wanted to drive his new car on the interstate, and then show it off a little here.

He arrived. We brought in Antonov, my grand-scorpion. We went for lunch. Even had some dessert. We went to the orchid nursery where we swapped out some pots. He helped carry the stuff, which kept me from making three trips. We chatted. We laughed. We went to get gas in his car before he left.

A few words by the gas pump, and he was gone. Standing there watching him roar off through the traffic, I realized I wouldn't see him again before Christmas, and possibly not then if the schedules don't work out.

That hit a lot harder than this card for a scorpion will cover. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

19 May 2012

When I came out some 10 years ago, I lost a lot of friends, and for as sad as that was, I saw it as a necessity. If those people could not deal with me as a gay man, and that was the only difference and change before them, I considered them not worth the trouble, and unlikely to have been friends in the first place.

Nonetheless, many of those people maintained contacts with the ex and the children. I considered that reasonable. I still do, especially now that the children are grown and able to process information and make decisions for themselves.

One of those lost souls was Josh's godfather. We had dinner once after the grand announcement by the ex of my coming out, and that was that. He was very nervous then. I don't know what that was about. I can't imagine I was the first gay person he knew. Maybe he figured I was going to hit on him, or something. Maybe he thought I was planning to abandon the children. Frankly, I didn't spend much time sorting through it. I just wrote him off.

Then he appears at Josh's graduation, missing his own grandson's graduation to be there. It was a pleasant, if brief, reunion. Today, he brought over a suitcase he transported for Josh, along with a CD of graduation pictures for me. We'll see how this progresses.

Friday, May 25, 2012

18 May 2012

I've said it before: I don't work in a vacuum. Few of us do. However, I do spend a lot of time working off in some corner of the world where I can plow through the details with fewer interruption and greater efficiency.

This seclusion means that I occassionally do not have access to some office materials, though I tend to keep copies of those things I routinely need. However, I can't have everything, and there are many files I so rarely need that I don't bother with keeping links and copies. Besides, many of those more obscure items change periodically, and whatever I have not might not be up-to-date, which leaves me having to ask for materials now and again.

And so Friday, I had to ask. In the time I could pour another glass of calorie-free flavored water, I have the six files I needed. Sort of like corporate Christmas. Now, we all understand that the peep who replied to my email already had a full schedule, one that she interrupted just for me, and I do try to keep such requests to a minimum, but I'm going to stop what I'm doing now and write her a note.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

17 May 2012

You already know my feeling towards work meetings, especially those that are hardly more than extended precision water cooler discussions and that could be easily replaced with a short email if people ever bothered to express themselves in writing anymore and if the other people ever bothered to open their eyes and read.

Besides, it's been well-documented that we get dumber when we gather in these meeting. More time? More people? More dumb. Period. This is not way to spend time and call it work. Frankly, it's an irresponsible activity that occurs all too often.

Now, this is not to say that we don't need some meetings. There are the occasions where we need group discussion. What we don't need are the endless hours of the inane dribble.

Today, we had one such meeting. It occurs monthly. The agenda was long, and we've demonstrated the ability to go a half-day on far less. I griped to the acting chair. She placed time limits on the discussion, and then just to make everyone smile, she placed me in charge of the clock.

We finished on the dot after a seven-minute late start. I suspect we irritated more than a few in that hour, but we congratulated ourselves anyway, and now she's getting a card.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

16 May 2012

Today was Birthday Day at work. Each month towards the middle, we have cake and other goodies to celebrate the peeps who made it through another year on this planet. Mind you, I'm not sure what all there is to celebrate in that success, but we do it anyway.

Okay, that was a jest. I think.

Today, we had an ice cream cake and a bowl of fruit. This means someone had to go out and fetch the ice cream cake and bowl of fruit, and I can assure you that such a detail is not in anyone's written job description. Someone had to stop whatever was going on, get some cash, and head out to the grocery store.

No, it's not a big thing, but it is a thing, one more thing in the middle of a busy day, and it's a thing that we need to do, perhaps even more often, even when we're busy, and frankly especially when we're busy. It's important that we slow down periodically and be glad for what and who we have around us.

That someone who fetched our afternoon birthday treats deserves at least a card. Maybe even an extra cone of ice cream that she doesn't have to share. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

15 May 2012

A peep at work went shopping. Imagine that. The peeps exist outside the office. That can be hard to imagine. Remember your teachers when you met them outside the school? Some students took a while to come to grips with that. But I digress. Again.

So the peep went shopping, and in the checkout line, then paused to let the woman behind him, the one with a few items and a small child, go ahead of him.

Common courtesy. We see this now and again, but we don't see enough of it. Let's see if we can do something to encourage more of it.

Monday, May 21, 2012

14 May 2012

Many of my ex-in-laws were in attendance for Danger's commissioning and graduation activities this past weekend. As you might expect, I was often in a position of needing to comport myself in a manner typically beyond my means. However, there was one exception. Mark.

Mark married one of the cool nieces. He's seen many tours of duty in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq with This Man's Army, as my daddy would say. To this end, he's seen a lot in his short time on this earth. He was even obliquely on CNN a decade ago when his helicopter fell from the sky. The soldier next to him died slumped in his lap. Mark survived because a voice in his head told him to put on his safety gear. Quickly.

Mark came to Danger's commissioning, and helped pin some color and decoration on Danger's uniform. I cannot think of a better person with whom to share that moment.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

13 May 2012

I dislike large dinner parties. Small ones are not problem. Having four, sometimes even six, people at the table? Not a problem. 17? Now I’m worried, not because I’m shy in front of so many people. Hell, I sang in front of 500 and more when we did Oklahoma way back. Making an ass of myself is not the issue. Hearing all the independently talking people is the issue.

So, we're all gathered for Danger's graduation. Lots of ex-in-laws. I'm hosting a dinner at the hotel I’m using. Note that I’m staying where none of the others are. A little togetherness goes a very long way. Besides, this place has a decent restaurant.

For some over two hours, we dined. Not one big table, but two smaller ones. Thank you, Sweet Baby Jesus! I selected the table with the young people. Folks, they are just more interesting. All went well. Some even had smores for dessert.

Our two waiters did a fine job. They didn't miss a beat. In fact, I don't believe they made any mistakes. For this, they received a good tip, but don't get all that excited. Waitstaff often scrape by under minimum wage, which I think is just wrong. They'll also receive cards in a few days. I wonder how many guests have ever sent them cards, and I suspect it's none, but maybe this precedent will set a trend for them. They certainly deserve it.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

12 May 2012

Josh commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Air Force today. It was an interesting ceremony that in and of itself is a capstone event, though in this case it is also a preliminary activity to graduation. When we were running on the beach, he spoke of the Colonel who oversees the AFROTC detachment that has been Josh's second home, perhaps even more, these past three years.

To use Josh's word, the Colonel is chill. I believe that is high praise from the young people these days.

All I can really report is that I like the maturation I've witnessed in #1 these last three years, and I’m pretty sure that did not happen by accident. It takes a lot of stage craft and leadership to make a successful program such as this one, and I want this one colonel to know that this one dad appreciates the effort that has gone into setting the stage upon which a fine young man has found his place in the world. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

11 May 2012

So here we all are, piled up in our respective parts of Daytona Beach in preparation for Josh's graduation from Embry-Riddle. Well, he also commissions in the USAF, which probably makes this twice the deal. It does if the requirement for a saber is any indicator.

Mostly, I've been hanging by myself, running along the shore, breathing salt air, and otherwise gathering my energy for the coming huge crowds of people. There'll be some hell to pay for not spending every afternoon with the ex-in-laws who talk loudly all at once while one or more TVs drone with some inane football game, but part of the benefit of being an old fart is the simple ability to say “No, I’m not doing that.”

Don't worry. They won't get it. They never did.

However, Josh is on the ball, and he is planning Death on the Beach for us tomorrow morning. It'll involve sandbags, running, and what he calls statics. No, I have no idea. I just know I'll have sore muscles soon despite multiple four mile jogs down the beach.

I’m looking forward to this. There won't be many more opportunities to sweat with him, and truth be told, I'll be slowing him down substantially when we run, but he'll oblige, just as he always does.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

10 May 2012

After the horrid election that placed North Carolina front and center in the international news, and yes I know this because we had a peep in Belgium reporting what she was seeing on TV in a bar, I left the state heavy of heart for a week-long visit to Daytona for Danger's graduation. Of course, Florida is no better than North Carolina when it comes to enlightened thinkers, but I will be a week by the sea, and even if it rains, I can get my lungs full of salty air as I run my cares away.

Note: The perennial sinus infection dried up within 30 minute of stepping into the sea breeze. I should learn a lesson from that, but I doubt I do.

As I’m prepping for my first trot along the shore, I notice a tweet. And then another. And then a million more. The president of these United States is on national news, and he's endorsing same sex marriage because it's the right thing to do. I never expected to live to see a black man in that office, much less hear him endorse gay marriage. My heart soared, not that I ever expect to marry again, but that should be by choice, not law.

Along the beach, mind sailing through the nothingness that is moving meditation, I look to the left. A storm has moved out to sea, still raining out there, sun shining here, and what forms in the span of twenty steps out over the Gulf Stream but the complete arc of a rainbow.

Yes, I’m sending Mr. President a thank you card.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

09 May 2012

Yeah, Grandpa's back aches, and he recognizes the why. It has to do with uneven movement in the context of extended periods of sitting at a desk. There are several ways to handle this, and one is an inflatable ball that costs about a quarter the price of going to the chiropractor.

However, there was a reason for the low price, that being the supposed pump to inflate the ball. I'm not sure the pump is sufficiently substantial to respond to gravity, much less inflate the ball. This left me huffing and puffing, and that worked for a while, but human lungs can only go so far.

Enter the woman at work who sits on a Pilates ball all day instead of a regular chair. She says sitting like that builds her core. No, I have no idea. Nonetheless, she had a good pump, and she let me borrow it. She even demonstrated its use after I thought it was battery operated. That demonstration led to additional discussion and a bit of blushing. Okay, a lot of blushing.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

08 May 2012

Of course, we need more than an editor to turn the Moon blog posts into poster size creations ready for framing, and our CEO has offered to foot that bill. All we have to do is get the prints ready. Yep, that's all we have to do. Like I could do any part of that.

Regardless, it takes a lot of negotiating and communicating accompanied by a mountain of trial and error to make something like this happen. I can only imagine what the 12 framed color prints are going to cost when it's all said and done.

One person stands at the focus of this work, and she needs a card. Well, she needs more than that, but the card's the limit of propriety for the moment. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

07 May 2012

You might remember the moons project from last year. Or not if you actually have a life of your own. Well, that project is seeing a second wind in that our company's CEO has decided to print and frame the 12 paintings and essays for public display in our building. He wouldn't admit to this, but I suspect he wants to create a legacy of beauty, and who am I to argue with that?

To make this happen, the artist and I needed an editor to replace the one who left for greener pastures last week, and before I could phrase the question, our highly qualified colleague stepped in to handle our problem, that being how to make the blog posts look like posters.

In a very few minutes, she had the problem solved, and now we're on our way to printing the first proof of concept copy. Our savior du jour is making us look real good. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

06 May 2012

A few days ago after casting my early vote, I stopped by my favorite bistro for an early dinner. I was the only one in the place, and I sat at the bar to make life a little simpler for the one person in the place. Making her life a little easier makes my life a little easier, and it was a touch warm to be sitting outside anyway.

I had the daily special sided with mac-n-cheese chased with iced water. Yeah, I'm extravagant that way. Dessert was going to be a Rice Krispie Treat, and that's what I ordered, but she didn't bring it to me. Instead, she brought me a sad face and a story about the Treats not being decent to serve.

We exchanged our personal histories with Treats, agreed that little was better, and then I requisitioned a warm brownie with vanilla ice cream. What can I say? It's been a rough season.

She surely saved my life that afternoon. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

05 May 2012

Do you suppose many people send the doc a thank you note for a colonoscopy? It's hard to imagine that I'm about to be the first. Nonetheless, I'm doing it, not so much because of his excellent butt-side manner, as I was sound asleep enjoying my single serving of Proponol at that time, but more for the general friendliness of the staff, which includes the doc.

They didn't even blanch over my word choice as I expressed myself with more colorful language than usual, but (1) I was venting nervous energy while speaking with people who'd likely never see me again, and (2) his signature really did resemble a steaming pile of horse crap, and as one professional to another, I thought, at least at the moment, that he needed to know. Now, not so much, but they all endured and indulged me very well.

In particular, the anesthetist was a delight. There was a sparkle of deep mischievousness resident in her eyes as she assured me that I'd be able to moon walk better than Michael Jackson after she was finished. In the procedure room, she showed me the large syringe of milk of amnesia, smiled with her twinkling eyes, and continued her work as I informed her that she was becoming fuzzy. Very fuzzy.

The next thing I recall was waking up back in my little screened cubicle singing show tunes and farting with gay abandon. By the way, they didn't find the gerbil. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

04 May 2012

Dinner and a movie is nearly cliché. Dinner and a colonoscopy, not so much, but that's where I was last month as I listened to the nurse assure me that a taxi to the clinic was not sufficient. I needed someone who would stay while I was bottoms up, someone who would listen to the doctor while I was coming out of the anesthesia, someone whom I could trust because this someone would probably bear witness to my mysteries, which in my case is more likely to stunt someone's growth than anything else.

So I made my list, which was short on personal peeps and long on work peeps. Last time, I asked a work peep I knew long before we worked together. This time, I wanted to keep the work folk out of it, if I did have offers from the boss and the CEO to handle this detail.

Fortunately, the first peep on the list agreed to dinner a dinner or two at the places of her choosing in exchange for taking me, staying, and bringing me home. That evening, we had bento boxes with sushi. I was starving, as is to be expected what with the dietary restriction of the past several days, and I nearly ate the table. The peep, being more petite and inclined to stay that way, requisitioned a doggie bag that stayed in my refrigerator while we strolled the J.C. Raulston Arboretum. It made a nice snack the next morning, and I thanked her for being forgetful.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

03 May 2012

Lily's friends often jest about how one day she will be known as the Cat Lady. Yes, like her dad, Lil has a soft spot for kittens. Unlike her dad, she lives somewhere that permits pets. (My apartment building should take note that one of my reasons for looking afield at housing is the pet policy.)

As luck would have it, Lily came home the other day only to find a friendly lost kitten by her door. No tag. No collar. No hint as to where the wee beast belonged. For the next three days, Lil cared for the cat while working and looking for its home. (We have no word regarding how the other cats in the apartment took to the invasion.)

And then, it was over. Lily found the owner, and in doing so, she decided the kitten had received more care in the last three days than it had through the rest of its life. This made us all sad, but Lil recognized that she couldn't keep, much less save, them all, and so, the kitten returned to its home.

Regardless, the cat found the right door that day. This world could use more doors like that. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

02 May 2012

Our leader didn't just make full-time benefits available at 30 hours out of the blue. We had someone working in the background. This is just about always the case, folks, every time. Very few things leap forth on this earth fully formed from the mind of a single person. That noteworthy something that someone does is usually the result of many other people working unseen behind the scenes.

Enter our HR Director. She reports to the president, which I value and encourage because human resource is the most important function in any organization. Bar none. She found a set of policies regarding employment benefits that had grown over time, and as you might expect, each was slightly different in implementation. Nothing odd here, but it is a whole lot for one person to understand, much less explain to hard headed people like me. She brought order and consistency to those policies, and in doing so, made her life simpler while making our company and world better.

Do you see what I recruited this woman for the Tough Mudder in October? (Yeah, she declined, but I still I'm not giving up. Yet.)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

01 May 2012

My company recently moved a part-timer to full-time status. This is a good thing all by itself. One more person out there has health insurance, paid leave, and those many other things that are so good about having a real job with a good employer with a rich palette of employment benefits. Sort of like when straight people get married with all those 1200 or so legal benefits, but I digress inopportunely.

What I didn't know until a few days later, and by a few days, I mean today, is that we've had a shift in corporate policy that permits full-time status to occur at 30 hours a week. This is even a better thing. The company can better attract people without the burden of 40 hours of pay. People can consider the company when they cannot commit to 40 hours of work. This small change in policy presents a major win-win as the business like to say to everyone involved.

This didn't happen by accident, and how the stage got set is a matter for tomorrow's card. However, the policy had to be approved by management, and that means someone had to stop what he was doing, pay attention to the people around him, see how he could make this world a better place, and then make it all happen. Writing today's card is going to be a pure delight.

Monday, May 7, 2012

April in review

My advancing years leave me seeing time as assuredly non-linear and, very often, non-sequential. Looking back over a period of events, I often lose track of what happened when. More to the point, I really don't care. I'm neither a historian nor a court witness. Those few times I know I need to track what happened when, I write it down lest someone reconstruct that history for me, or to use a more appropriate preposition in those cases, against me.

Regardless, the month flew by. The Rugged Maniac made it cear to me that I have a long way to go before think the Tough Mudder is a possibility. However, the physical preparation will come. It's a matter of slow but sure, and I'll get there.

The bigger matter arose in the planning for the periodic torture of Old Farts like me. The clinic requires that I arrive with a driver who will hang around for the duration. I hesitated to reach into the pool of work peeps to ask who might drive me, and the the clinic made it clear that a taxi was not sufficient.

So I made my list, and fortunately, the first one on the list came through. Sometimes even I get lucky. (Another half dozen at work also volunteered.) The planning left me saying out loud that I need to get out more. However, in retrospect, I realize that I do get out. A lot. There's rarely an evening I spend at home. The thing is that my evenings out are generally out alone. Dining. Running. Gym. Bike. These things are not going to get me to meeting people, and for the most part, I'm okay with that.

However, there comes a time when we need a little help from our friends, and there's the rub. That, or I just convince the clinic to change its policy. Given what I know about me, it's probably going to be easier to get the clinic to change. 

30 April 2012

Like every other organization, the one that pays me these days has a particular style for use with publications, and although I would prefer a strict adherence to APA style because it's so prevalent (and I've used it so long), I have a greater preference for a continued paycheck, and for that reason, I go with the program and use the local style. Mostly.

Nonetheless, when it comes down to it, how tables and charts are presented really doesn't matter to me, especially if there's someone who can and will handle those final formatting details that often elude me. Of course, I do try to be nice and get the draft copy in as good a condition as I can, but I do have limits. In particular, I often have limits on time, but more frequently, my knowledge is what's limited. Yeah, I don't know everything. Yet.

Last week, I was wrestling with a set of imported tables in Word, and the text in the tables had some kind of background color I clicked all the usual suspects, but nothing improved. I finally gave it up and turned in the copy with a note about the background colors and the futility of my efforts. About 30 minutes later in return email, Ms. Editor told me that she used something called “remove all formatting” to make the correction.

I had seen that option in the menus, but I failed to use it, probably because I feared the drudgery having to reapply formatting everywhere after I clicked the option incorrectly. Perhaps writing today's card will make me braver and smarter next time. Yeah, right.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

29 April 2012

This morning, I posted to Facebook my reaction to one of the ads that supports the constitutional amendment. The ad features a sugary sweet voice, the kind I associate with the smiling face of thinly veiled evil, going on about the importance of preserving the sanctity of marriages in the state. (I doubt she's ever watched the news outside the 700 Club.) The spot ends with a closeup on a shiny black and brand new Bible. It's too bad these people rarely bother to read the text, much less watch the news to see what happens when government intertwines with religion, especially one religion, the kind with mess like Christian Soldiers and such.

Can you tell I have some steam to vent?

So a Facebook peep chimes in that some people take a different message from the Bible and support a separation of Church and State. I do hope that she and her peeps are in the majority for this election. However, I don't high hopes. It seems we're in a season where hate is popular.

Nonetheless, she's getting a card for providing an uplifting moment to my Sunday morning.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

28 April 2012

This season, we're voting. It's much the usual with one exception, that exception being a constitutional amendment that make marriage legal only when one man and one woman are involved. The rest of us can go kiss a flying brick, or better, leave the state. Yes, the political climate is not particularly inviting these days except for straight white Christians.

So I get this email from the ex. She told me she voted today. Against the amendment. In honor of me. (I did much the same yesterday followed by a hot brownie with vanilla ice cream in celebration.) I expected her to vote against the amendment as that's in keeping with her political leaning. It's the part about me that was the surprise.

It's going to take a minute, maybe two, for me to lower my guard and accept this note for what it probably is, that being a simple gesture of friendship, and I'm going to do it and write her a note for two reasons. First, Josh has his graduation coming up, and we need to be civil for a few days. Second, it's the right thing to do. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

27 April 2012

As you might know from some other posts, I've been smitten by a book this year, so much so that I sent the author a note. I might never know if she gets it, as I had to send it to the agency that handles here bookings. The book? Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that won't stop talking by Susan Cain.

So I sent a copy of this book to m'Lil. She, much like me, prefers her times quiet. She's not particularly shy, but she does prefer her groups small and comfortable. I know this part of her well. Ages ago, we both were labeled autistic by one who should have known better, but that one, being a loud extrovert, just didn't know any better. I'm not sure she does yet.

Today, Lil posted a picture on her Facebook page. It's a list of admonishments to extroverts for dealing with introverts if you really want to get somewhere. If nothing else, she now has a clue that she's not broken, and that's the important thing.

Many will say this is a stretch, but she's getting a card for this bold step forward.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

26 April 2012

There aren't many, with the possible exception of MeetingBoy on Twitter, less amenable to the typical corporate meeting than I am. I can count on one hand the number of staff meetings across seven jobs that could not have been replaced with a single screen of email. Mind you, I'm not talking about the two- and three-day meetings where we crank through an agenda to produce some manner of job analysis or passing standard study. No. I'm talking about staff getting together to do what often would have been better accomplished over drinks after work or during lunch. If not beside the water cooler.

So yesterday, we gathered for a staff meeting. I had already reviewed the agenda, which could easily be handled in a single short email, if not a scroll on a flaming arrow, and I sent the meeting organizer a challenge to prove me a liar: See to it that the meeting really did terminate in 30 minutes.

We started four minutes late. The second speaker took 13 minutes. It's not looking good for the home team. The facilitator picked up the pace by telling people how long they had to speak. “Can you tell us in 1 minute...” We adjourned at four minutes past the deadline.

I claimed the victory because I don't want him to get a big(ger) head, but he did good and met the spirit of my challenge. We'll see if he can make a habit of it.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

25 April 2012

A peep at work brought me a poster from an art sale in Durham. The poster shows a dozen or so different kinds of families, all in black and white except for the hearts of the individuals. Those are in red. She thought I would like it, and she's correct, what with the vote on the amendment to further marginalize gay people in NC coming up in a couple of weeks.

That the amendment seeks to relegate the homos to second class status is bad enough, but it goes even further, and makes illegal other forms of domestic unions, in turn producing endless revenue generating opportunities for many lawyers. The haters will always be with us, though their numbers will decrease if not by education and learning then by limited lifespan.

I think I might like that she's voting against the amendment even more than the poster, and I said that in the card. It's people like her, the younger among us, who bring some hope to my failing vision of this ugly world filled with its hating people. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

24 April 2012

Last December when I thought I was about to permanently lock up, I broke down and arranged for a periodic massage, in-house because of my demonstrated inability to locomote safely after these things. That's not all I did at the turn of the year, but it's probably the best of the several I selected.

Last Saturday, I ran a 5K mud run called Rugged Maniac. In my case, it should have been called Ragged Maniac because I barely made it out under my own power, but I did, and that's what counts. It's good to know our limits, physical and otherwise. Next month, we'll do it again, but this week, Massage Man comes out to put me back together.

Now, before you get all bent out of shape about the expense, remember what a trip to a specialist physician costs. However, I have a card to write, and then I'm stepping out for a run. He can't take all the credit, but he's getting the larger chunk today, along with a card.