RIP Tickets

The goal today was to knock down my tickets by half. I thought I remembered having 13 to tackle, so seven done today was the goal. It turns out I only started with 11, but three more were added today. End result is the same, seven was the number to hit. I did not get seven.

I got ten. Of the remaining four, two are wrapping up testing before going to change management, one is waiting on customer confirmation, and one was on hold as the customer was out until tomorrow.

I will say, it makes the day fly by. This is the second day in a row I seriously considered staying late to finish up just one more thing, but it’s harder to justify when there’s no overtime pay. But I needed this, needed the pressure and the expectations. It feels good to remember there’s that extra gear of productivity available, that I can do solid work on short notice. It feels good to be fully engaged, to bring my mind to bear on a problem and tear the problem down. It makes me feel in rare form. Is it sustainable? I have no idea. It’s usually not needed for long periods of time. If I had to guess, it might just be sustainable. I don’t feel burned out, I feel invigorated. But that’s not really the point of a lot of sysadmin jobs. There doesn’t need to be 110% effort and focus around the clock, there are times when that mental recharge period is necessary.

In any case, I feel like I’m earning my pay. Part of the reason I was selected for this job was the generalist background; since the position needs to know Linux, Windows, and networking, and also be able to communicate and collaborate with the application developers and the database admins and the helpdesk technicians at their level or something very near. This week, more than any other time in my job so far, has been my opportunity to show that I can do exactly that, and I don’t think it’s going unnoticed, particularly from those other sections.

What’s probably my biggest source of anxiety right now is the fact that I’m on a probationary period until late November. I can be fired at any time for any reason up to that point. It doesn’t seem likely to happen, of course, but when I can string together some “wins” it’s good reassurance, and good insulation against the times I fall flat. Like, I’ve had to admit that I don’t know shit about Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services. And in fairness, my Windows Server guy doesn’t know anything about it either. I know it used to be on the Microsoft Certified Master exam, and that it’s still called ADAM in most of the binaries, and that it looks like an incredible pain in the ass. There are going to be times where I don’t have the answer they’re hoping for. I just want to minimize those times.

I hadn’t thought about it until just now, but I think the single biggest determining factor in whether I am kept or let go will be these two gigantor projects, the Nutanix implementation and migration, and the new file server. If I nail those, I’m in. If they go badly, it’s likely entirely on my shoulders. Oh, and Nutanix starts Tuesday after next. Good. The sooner I get that win, the sooner I can relax a little. The file server piece starts as soon as Nutanix migrations are done. We’ve got something resembling a hard deadline of June 30th to get the existing file server P2V’d, and that will be a big win to achieve, it’ll knock tens of thousands of dollars off the budget for next year. After that, we get to reinvent everything about how the end-users work with the file servers. We’ve got enterprise-grade ideas involving DFS Namespaces and Replication, Access-Based Enumeration, a lot of lofty goals. We’re in the lab with it right now, trying to figure out when those lofty goals break down when met with reality. It’s been the most useful test-lab in my professional career.

If it goes badly, it’s certainly not going to be for want of planning or effort.

mrognin

It took about 20 minutes before I realized I was on the train. Having a hard time waking up, not to mention a delightful sore throat and post-nasal drip. I’m inclined to blame the cold snap that’s going on right now, though. At least nobody’s at the office to infect.

My goal today is to close half my tickets, so 7. I think I’ll be able to manage that, I like the odds. More meetings today that are tangentially related to work; I would much prefer to get the notes later on how it went. Hopefully they’ll be understanding of that.

I’ve been playing a fair amount of FIFA 13, I mentioned a few days ago. Despite their best intentions, and some talented programmers, the “be the goalkeeper” mode in Career mode is terribly boring. Reducing the chess battle to a circle you should stand in, using one analog stick to abstract away all your movement? Both boring and frustrating. I was defending in a crowded 6-yard box, an attacker gets the ball around the penalty mark and gets turned toward me. Due to the way people are positioned I can tell if he shoots it’s gonna be to my bottom-right corner, but I need to hold my spot until he winds up because there’s another attacker to my left. He winds up. In real life, the motion would be a quick wide step to my right and fall forward onto the shot. What happens in the game is I run to the right, I’m in the path of the shot, and then I dive to the right, to get out of the way of the shot. Rage.

And if the one analog stick is too much control, you can hold down LB instead and the guy automatically positions himself, diving for balls, punching away dangerous overhead passes. Your whole involvement in this is being the guy that holds the button that lets the AI work.

Maybe I should see if 16 is any better after all.

I’m really irritated with the housing market in Santa Fe. Not only because the houses are about double the cost of owning in Albuquerque, but also because of the luddite mindset towards cooling. It’s absurd how many houses here not only don’t have even a swamp cooler, they don’t have ductwork or vents should they decide they might need one in the future. In the desert. With global warming setting record highs every year. “It just doesn’t get that hot at 7000 feet.” You mean, it didn’t. It does nowadays. Last year had 4 straight months with an average high above 87. It’s never hit 100 degrees here, but I have a funny feeling that’s changing this summer. I’ve gone back and forth on this, I’m willing to try a swamp cooler, but these places that don’t even have ductwork? Fuck ’em. Those houses aren’t selling in 20 years when the average high is 95 for four straight months. I’m starting to wonder if we’re better off getting a house built, just to be assured it’s got something resembling modern air conditioning.

Tempo can catch these hands.

As it turns out, I was well within my rights to be apprehensive about today. It wasn’t just because it was crazy busy, it was more the urgency of the matters at hand to fix, with regularly interspersed meetings that could honestly be done some other time when my hair isn’t on fire.

Oh, Meraki can catch these hands too. I’ve got a new access point deployed at the opposite end of the state, configured identically to other working networks. People can associate with it, and get to the internet. I can see it from the cloud dashboard and even run packet captures on it. But the AP won’t sync with Meraki’s fucking cloud to get config changes. There’s nothing in the way here! A client on the Meraki can get to the same IP that the AP says it cannot. There’s a part of me that would really like to bring the Cisco rep in, bring the Meraki AP in, and set the AP on fire in front of the guy. Then go Ubiquiti for wireless.

Pain in the ass.

I think what really bothers me about it is that this wasn’t on my horizon of “things that could absolutely wrong,” as Meraki APs have pretty much always been plug-and-play devices, or very nearly. What I was worried about today going in, was a stream of tickets related to a LOB application called Tempo. Out of 13 tickets in my queue right now, 11 are related to LOB applications. Why are they in my fucking queue, you might ask? Because they aren’t working, and they’re accessed via Terminal Server. QED. End-user can’t print? Server problem. Application installed locally to the workstation and acting up? Server…problem..? No. Coming to a consensus on who gets what problem this decades-old pile of kludge decides is in fashion today seems to elude us.

Right now my priority is solving the bugs that I can solve before we get Nutanix installed, because I’m going to be way, way too busy to really even bother once we get started.

I sat on one of those inflatable balls instead of a chair for about an hour today before deciding it was a horrible decision. Somehow my back still hurts. Is it supposed to do that?

Mother Nature is on some bullshit today.

There’s no good reason for it to be snowing this late into March. Not in New Mexico. It is rather tranquil, watching a bunch of snow-covered roofs zip by to the strings of See You On The Other Side.

This morning I’m trying WriteMonkey, which they affectionately call ‘Zenware.’ There’s plenty to play with from a customization standpoint. But somehow these distraction-free workspaces seem to always use way more RAM than they have any reason to. It’s using >100MB of RAM just for gray text on a black background, a word count, and the clock. It has a little button that randomly picks the color scheme. It’s kind of fun, until you get yellow on hot pink and your eyeballs fall out.

I’m a little pensive this morning. I’m concerned about how shorthanded things will be today. I wonder if I gave someone good advice yesterday, I was certainly trying to. My mind is generally sort of scattered, and that’s usually a good indication that I need to do a weekly review outside of my normal schedule of Fridays at 2:30. Come to think of it, it was a half-day on Friday so I missed it last week. I won’t want to feel this scattered all the way to Friday, so it’s something to be done rather early today.

I need to do better with GTD in general, I’ve fallen out of that capturing habit. It’s not for a lack of ability or resources, just lack of effort. It needs a little refocusing every now and then. Once you stop habitually capturing everything, it stops being effective as a tool to enable a clear mind, a mind like water.

The theme lately in writing has been accountability, and there’s not a significant difference between holding myself accountable at work versus at home. Hell, without work, home is probably an alley somewhere. It needs equal respect and attention when it comes to self-improvement.

It’s funny, I’ve mentioned before on a particularly long-winded Facebook post that a self-help book like GTD was something that teenage me thought I’d never use, never need. Now it’s the realization that I can listen to someone that’s got their shit together more than I do and it’s not some big admission of inferiority.

And a sincere thanks to OneNote here, not only for being my GTD capturing tool but for Office Lens OCR, which saved this blog post when my Surface Pro 3 hard-locked on the train for no good reason. Appreciate that.

No good clippers.

I realized today that the amount of writing I’ve done this month probably exceeded what I’d done for a very long time before. I looked it up and it’s roughly exceeded the count of the last three and a half years prior. And I’m happy I’m getting back into it, I feel like it’s beneficial to me. I get to see who refers clicks to the blog, I average roughly one click per article from Facebook most days which is just fine. Truth be told, I’m writing for myself, and I don’t feel any particular way on the audience or lack thereof.

The results of the CT scan and the doctor visit were pretty unhelpful. Nothing to confirm what I do have, but it did at least eliminate the scarier possibilities of what it could have been, so I’ll take it. I also found out I’ve lost about five pounds since the last visit, which means the amount of weight to lose is far closer to 30 pounds than to 40. For some reason that’s a much, much more reasonable number to me, far more than the actual difference. And I feel good today, in a way that’s hard to elaborate on. Happier. I think it’s because I’m doing a better job of pulling my weight at work. Tomorrow, two of my three employees and my supervisor are all out. Those two employees are out all week actually, and one is out all next week too. So I have to be much more alert and responsive, and I’m doing it. The training wheels and excuse-making period is long passed. Being able to hold my own in this period will look really good, and anything beyond that will look fantastic. Time to get it in, you know? Just hoping there aren’t any major fires to fight solo. That would be awesome.

I was looking through old emails for some contact information from someone I haven’t spoken to in quite a while, and the last note I have from him was really something I should never have lost sight of. I really admire the guy’s writing, and he indicated that getting me to write more, to exercise and train that talent, would justify all of his work. I feel bad for betraying that confidence, that tacit endorsement that I was doing good work. It’s got me thinking about some longer-term plans for the blog, something resembling a return to those roots.

Also, this is the funniest goddamn NBA commercial I’ve seen in years. Just, look at it.

Like Slug said, but without the volleyball line.

I’m trying to find a balance (I’m trying to build a balance) when it comes to my writing software. OmmWriter has been the one for quite a while, but it has some warts. No spell-check, which is bearable as WordPress catches that anyway. But the bigger thing is that it will slow down the system, and if you decide to go edit something at the top of a big paragraph, it runs like molasses, just trying to figure out the word wrap. I mean, I don’t think I can write a better program or anything. But it’s distracting, and that runs counter to what a “distraction-free workspace” is after.

It’s kind of funny that we take things for granted with programs, like word wrap not slowing the system down. I’m in a different piece of software now called FocusWriter, and I’ve also had WriteMonkey recommended to me. FocusWriter seems to hit the basics. Full screen, check. Spell check…check. Adjustable fonts/sizes/backgrounds, check. Adjustable margins, check. That’s it. I bring my own music anyway, I’m working on a writing playlist that I’ll put on Spotify when it’s finished. I add to it a train ride at a time. Right now I’m listening to what I still consider my favorite album, full stop. That would be This Binary Universe by BT.

Small aside for one of the bigger little regrets of my life. When the aforementioned album came out, I was a freshman at Louisville. Louisville football had managed to play their way to the Orange Bowl at Joe Robbie Stadium (I don’t remember or care what it was called that year, it’s Joe Robbie) in Miami. So Dad and I have a little road trip to go see old friends and catch the game. While I’m down there, I find out BT is having a black-tie release party for This Binary Universe, on New Years Eve, 2006 if I recall correctly, also in Miami. I want to say it was like $250 a head and they’d screen the film that went with the album, I’d get to meet BT who I’d been following since ‘98 or ‘99. You can do the math there easily enough, I was into his stuff from a very young age.

I didn’t go. I really should’ve fucking gone. This is a timeless album and there’ll never be another party for it like there was that night. Dang.

Since my post last week, where I was brimming with optimism about this new house, I feel I should mention that less than 10 minutes after publishing that post, I found out the house already went under contract to some other fucking guy. And since we backed out of the deal for the other house, we’re back to square one. It hit Diana pretty hard, she fell for the place quick. I’m bummed it’s gone but I’m seeing more houses come up for less money as we get into spring. Gotta stay upbeat.

I got back the results from my CT scan over the weekend. I talk to the doc about it tomorrow. It’s going to involve having to convince the guy that I’m not an alcoholic, just overweight, because they’re seeing fatty deposits in my liver. Not what I went in for, in fact they don’t have any leads on what the actual problem I’m complaining about is from an imaging standpoint.

I haven’t decided if the reason I’m as calm as I am about needing to lose nearly 40 pounds is because I’m a mature, stoic person or because I haven’t fully grasped how much fucking work it’s going to be. Probably the latter, I don’t really have a basis for comparison. I could to some math. 4 pounds of fat is around 14,000 calories, so 40 pounds is a net calorie deficit of 140,000 calories. I’m pretty sure the equivalent diet is like three months with no food, or six months at 800 calories. I know that ain’t happening, so the exercise is going to have to come way, way up. My mind is surprisingly clear on this. Normally it puts up a fight when we’re talking about a shitload of labor, not because it’s scared of the work, but because I’m afraid I’m gonna injure myself in some way. I could fucking injure myself eating toast or writing this blog. That part of me is full of shit and more than a little bit of a hypochondriac. You eat too many burritos and cake, shit happens.

Now, if I was presented with a button, where if I press it someone I’ve never met or known will die and I could eat like teenage me…nah, I probably wouldn’t. But I’d think about it! Baby back ribs are just the best, you know?

He must’ve been awfully bad at golf.

Last week, from a professional standpoint, is hard to describe without using the word “cluster.” I would probably take a mulligan on it. It’s part of why there weren’t any posts from me last week. I think I know where it all went wrong, too. Around this time last week, I forgot my thermos, you see. My thermos serves double duty as morning life-giver and lunchtime Ramen Water Measuring Apparatus. So I’m already fucked up from a lack of coffee, and I decide to go hit up the local food truck for eight bucks rather than the ramen I already have and paid a quarter for. Anyway, get home, end up with nasty food poisoning, stomach’s cramping like mad, whole nine yards.

Then we’re in bed, and we hear the dog barf, not hard since he sleeps beside the bed about a foot from my ear. I’m trying very hard not to throw up in the first place, dog isn’t helping, Diana goes and cleans it up. In the middle of cleaning it up, she knocks over a glass in the kitchen. I hear it roll to the edge of the table, then fall off. This thing detonates. It absolutely pulverized, a jet of glass about six feet in every direction. It’s after midnight at this point. I have to hold barf-dog while Diana makes an attempt at getting the glass out of the bedroom carpet. A lint roller is quite good at it, it turns out. It’s after 1 at this point, I’m still feeling very ill and need to be up in four hours, Diana is pretty much done. We decide to both take a sick day. And I don’t regret it, it was the right choice. I’m just bummed that I’m totally out of sick leave for a while. I have like 90 seconds of sick leave left and a doctor’s appointment tomorrow.

We spent several hours of the sick day training, I was teaching her some introductory HTML, CSS, and PHP.

Harder to justify, though, was missing the train the next two opportunities I had. That was just being a lazy asshole, and not very clever either. Yes, I’d rather sit on the couch all sleepy and miss the train, so I get to drive up which requires actual manual doing of things. I don’t even go back to sleep. I don’t get it. Rational awake me doesn’t get it, but irrational half-awake me things it makes total sense.

Friday was a joke of a day, a half-day thanks to “Seasonal Observances.” I was able to script away some work that needed automation for a long while, I’ll probably put that script up as a short post to bluesoul.me.

It just felt like a disjointed week. I was irritated with myself for having to use the sick day, then irritated with myself for needing to drive up three days out of four. It’s needless wear and tear on my car, and it’s needless risk to myself. Plus, I could be doing something in that time. like writing these pieces, or playing something.

The thing is, it’s my fault. Sometimes I have a hard time taking blame when blame is due. It’s well and good for others to hold you accountable, but there also needs to be self-accountability. To say, “yup, I fucked up, that’s on me.” Nobody really likes being blamed, even when there’s no evading the truth of the matter, but it’s necessary. There’s no growth without accountability. If you went your whole life being told that everything you did or said was correct and nothing was your fault, you’d end up insufferable and stupid.

I got some Cities: Skylines in over the week. I’ve got a new city up to pop. 32,000 or so right now, the trouble when you’re a modern city trying to get away from dirty industry is balancing unemployment with overeducated workers. It’s great to have this nice-looking city, but when unemployment is 26% it’s hard to grow the population, and building businesses that hire at the appropriate educational level needs a lot of overhead and infrastructure in place. It’s a great game.

There’s also a telltale grid pattern on my touch-screen. I missed Puzzle Quest.

And yesterday, on a whim, I jumped into FIFA 13. I haven’t bought one since, if you don’t care about rosters or their card game there’s very little reason to buy the new one each year. I’ve never been any good at the game outside of playing as a striker. In my head it’s like, “Oh, it’d be a lot of fun to play as a left center back, really intense meaningful action” and it ends up being player vs. controls, and player vs. camera, and what should be intense is merely frustrating. The whole combination of “camera automatically rotates, and you must magically know which way it’s going to rotate because your directional controls are relative to the camera” is an abominable control scheme nine times out of ten.

Maybe they fixed that in 16. I kind of doubt it.

Wouldn’t you not want to never not pass up this deal?

I saw one of the dumber attempts at deceptive advertising today by Comcast. Really, the sort of thing that makes you wonder where that “most hated company in America” title came from. In looking at internet options for the area of the house we’re looking at buying, their site gives the breakouts; you get 5Mbps for this much, 25 for this much, 75 for this much, 150 for this much…and 2000Mbps.

Wait, what? 2Gbps service? I mean, as a professional nerd, I don’t even have to look at the terms and conditions to know something stupid is being presented. For non-nerds, nothing in your house has the capability to go past 1Gbps for download. So what Comcast is doing here is listing the 1Gbps down, the 1Gbps up, and adding them up to get 2Gbps to make them look twice as good as Google Fiber, even though it’s the exact same service. This is the only one in their lineup that they present in such a manner. The others are only your download speed, and this one is download + upload.

The thing is, it’s $300 a month. It’s gigabit internet. Who are you trying to deceive, Comcast? The one demographic that immediately sees through your shady bait-and-switch, nerds that want gigabit speeds and are only going with Comcast because Google Fiber isn’t in their market yet. I’m one of those! And I’m not impressed or amused.

I played a fair bit of Cities: Skylines yesterday for the first time in a few months. The last few cities I built made use of the Unlimited Money/All Buildings Unlocked mods that come stock with the game (and a big thanks to Colossal Order for that and the Steam Workshop integration). Going back to a standard playthrough, it was rather liberating because you’re dirt poor in the early game, you can’t build out a perfect cookie cutter city with beautiful interchanges and traffic circles. You build a little bit, make do, wait for some more demand, make some more, wait for some more demand, and so on. It’s what gives your cities their character (as well as their traffic problems). Not having the choice but to just jump right in changes the whole complexion of the game, for the first few in-game years anyway.

I made a rich-person district high on a gently sloping cliff with a great view of the city and the bay. The bay’s half full of shitty water because we weren’t fancy enough for a sewage treatment facility for a while, but it’s improving. It was pretty fun switching from the perfect gridlines that makes your places look like any other sprawling suburbia hell, to the freeform tool along a hillside. It looks like a community for the super-rich, which was exactly the point. Just gotta get the poor people out of there, now. I added tax hikes for the district and all, maybe they’ll take a hint.

I See a Red Door and I Want to Leave it Red

I really want to believe there will come a time again where I don’t need to wear my ski jacket to catch the 6:34 train. It’s unreasonably cold every morning.

I just sent one of the more potentially life-altering texts of my life. Diana and I have an offer in on a house. The price is hard to beat for the city, but it had as many things that concerned us as things we liked about the place. Since it was a short sale, we’ve gone from early January to now without anyone bothering to look at or accept our offer, and nothing had come up on the market in the last few months to justify jumping ship on it. Nothing until Saturday, that is. We were supposed to be looking at two properties. One of them cancelled on us at the last minute, but another came on the market the day prior, and it was just a couple of blocks from our non-cancelled appointment.

By sheer serendipity we managed to get a time for a viewing within an hour, and let me tell you, it’s got a lot more right than it does wrong. The things I dislike are no different than the house we’ve been on the hook for (air conditioning and ductwork are alien concepts to a city at 7000 feet), but it gets a lot of our concerns about the other property right. It also represents about a 20% increase in price, but it looks like that premium might be needed to not have to sink an equivalent amount into repairs and maintenance right away. I told Diana that anything at this price range would have to be damn near perfect. This one is. So we’re retracting our offer and putting in one for this new place. I just sent the text message to our broker to make it so.

It is farther away from work, farther away from the gym. Both tough to give up, but both by small amounts. I’ll live. It’s a difference of about 8 minutes for each. If that’s the biggest downside, we’re in great shape. It’s the first place we’ve looked with an honest-to-god “view.” No pretending there’s one to reassure ourselves about the place, this one’s backed up against an arroyo and that’s land that will never be built on. I feel so much better about this place. I don’t have to worry about an eight-foot-tall stone fence that’s leaning a good 25 degrees towards the side of our house, and would for sure demolish the place if it ever fell.

I feel good. I feel like we made the right decision. Wish us luck.

Stream of Consciousness, 3/18/16

It’s no small concern of mine that nobody is asking me for a house-buying license during the process of trying to find a home in Santa Fe. At what point was I mentally capable of processing the reality of a 30-year mortgage? When was the class on repairing the myriad items and components that make up a domicile? I missed it. I missed a lot of classes, though. That’s not a big surprise.

That we collectively decided that agreeing to terms of payment on the next 30 years of life is odd. If you’re in a position where you need a mortgage, you’re also not in a position to guarantee that things will be just as good 30 years down the road, really. Hell, getting into state government is one of the safest possible choices in that regard, once you’re in and off your probationary period getting fired is a battle. Things could happen, though.

We’re looking at two more houses tomorrow, we’ve had an offer in on a different one for over two months now, but they weren’t lying when they said it was a “short sale opportunity for the patient buyer.” One is more “homey” and with a great location, a ten-minute bike ride to work if that. The other looks ridiculously nice, like in the realm of “What the hell? I get to live here?” kind of nice. So it appears in the pictures, anyway. Maybe it’s actually a small house photographed by a smaller human, or an iguana.

I was a little bit bothered a few days ago when someone mentioned that they were diagnosed bipolar and one of the markers was having days where they just stay inside and hide from the world, for lack of a better description. That was me not terribly long ago, and I’d like to tell myself that at least I’m not bipolar. But I was a real mess, it seems at least plausible.

I had a weird thing happen last night, and I think it’s the second time it’s happened in as many weeks but only the third time I can remember. I was trying to get to sleep, which was problematic as I took a rather long nap after the CT scan that I wrote about. But all of a sudden, I started feeling really hot, started sweating, and my heart was beating like crazy. The first time this happened, I ended up making my way to the bathroom just in time to vomit for the the first time since I was an 18-year old college kid drinking way too much whiskey. So it freaked me out when I had the same feeling, but not the same result. Just took all the blankets off and cooled down for a few minutes. I don’t know if it’s something to worry about or not.

With this piece I’ve written 3 articles today, the first time I’ve managed that in quite a while. While I’m not clear what I’m getting out of it, it does have a bit of a centering, therapeutic quality. I seem to be able to write out my problems in a way I would never be willing to articulate. I was thinking about this last night when trying to sleep, there’s a disconnect in writing that lets me take those walls down. If pressed how I was doing in the hallway, I’m not likely to offer much beyond “fine, thanks.” But when I’m taking a backseat to that part of the brain that is really keeping tabs on things, I could spend an hour just writing about the fear that I might let myself slip into a lifestyle of slovenly, apathetic nihilism if given a chance.

I keep telling myself I’m going to exercise more as it gets warmer out. Well, it’s fucking warmer out now, isn’t it? It’s 72 and sunny outside. What’s the excuse gonna be today? Not feeling it? Wrong shoes? Haven’t eaten? Just ate? Too early? Too late? Too clever to perform some basic, overdue, preventative maintenance on the one fucking body I’m gonna have? Too complacent to improve my mental and physical health? It’s fucking horseshit. Listen. I’ve said this before. Complacency will fucking kill you. Why does it turn into this big a deal every fucking time?

That’s really the fucking worst part. I’ll know good goddamn well I should be out on a run, or doing some resistance band training, or going over to Dave and Buster’s to play on a fucking great PIU cabinet. But I don’t, I’ll sit on my ass and look at my Steam library, look at reddit, get off reddit, look at the Steam library. Didn’t actually end up doing anything with that time, and I feel miserable even in the moment. What the hell kind of enjoyment was that wasted time, really? It’s in those moments that I feel myself aging, feel myself dying, and I’m letting them come to pass. I have the ability to prevent those moments, to alter the narrative mid-passage. That’s real power. Why let anything else win?

I gotta put an end to that.

I’m averaging 1500 words an hour given that all of the above has been written in under a half hour on the train ride so far. If this IT thing ends up not working out I still feel like I could make a…something, out of writing. I mean, nobody’s paying for this, hell I don’t even run ads. But I enjoy the feeling of getting into a stream of consciousness and knowing that whatever comes out is more honest than just about any other way I could express myself.

I’ve been using a minimalist writing platform called OmmWriter. Since I write everything in Markdown anyway, I don’t need anything but a blank slate to write on it. It serves that purpose very, very well. It even includes some ambient music. It’s a novel little piece of software, obviously a labor of love.

For so long I thought I was talking into dead air with this platform. I don’t know why that ever mattered. It turned out to be wrong, too, if I had bothered to look at the traffic stats. But it shouldn’t have mattered. Diana keeps a diary. The business of externalizing problems is one we have in common, but I’m fine with making them a matter of public record. I’m not running for fucking Mayor anytime soon. And maybe I’ll end up reaching someone that didn’t realize that they weren’t the only one feeling a certain way, going through a certain mental problem. I was lousy to a lot of people. A lot of people were lousy to me back. But being a decent person sometimes involves throwing a life-preserver to someone you’ve never met or thought of because you have one and it’s the right thing to do. It’s one thing to offer the platitude that “everybody hurts,” and it’s another altogether to really come to terms with it. There really shouldn’t be any reason for someone to feel alone in this world. Maybe this will help. Maybe I just want to play a hero on TV. But does there have to be altruistic reasoning for everything?

I feel like I’m atoning for something as I write this. I don’t know what. If I figure it out, I’ll let you know.