Category Archives: Paul

Over The Hump

After being obsessed with a huge project for weeks (ever since we got back from Kansas City at New Year’s) and spending pretty damn near every non-critical moment (i.e., The Long-Suffering Wife’s cancer treatment came first, then my paying job, then Chiefs games, then “The Project”) slaving away it, I’m finally over the hump and can move back to other things.

It’s a really weird feeling. Almost like I’ve forgotten how to not be going at 50K RPM 24/7/365.

Literally. Every. Single. Day. Family taken care of? Check. Not at the office? Check. Chiefs not playing right this second? Check. Time to get to work on “The Project.” Until at least midnight, often later. All weekend. Every day. Every weekend.

Because there was that hard deadline coming up. Can we get it changed or rescheduled? No. But I’ve got these other issues and my wife… No. But… NO!

So — I didn’t quite hit the deadline. It was due Monday morning, I finally got it done last night. There’s some angst over that, but I’ll deal with that. Or, more to the point, they’ll have to deal with it.

*breathe* (again) Repeat as necessary.

I’ve heard it said about writing a book that, “A novel is never finished, merely abandoned.” (I searched for the quote, found a lot of variations – YMMV.) Ditto for this. As it winds down my brain keeps coming up with, “But you should have…” and “You forgot to fix…” and “Wait, this is still…”

Whatever. By definition, it’s done.

For the observant, this might also explain some of the subtext in the last seven weeks’ posts. Yes, it’s been an ordeal.

It’s behind me, and if the next ordeal starts tomorrow (it will!) then I’ll deal with it on its own.

So tonight I felt guilty about sitting in front of the idiot box for a couple of hours and surfing my Twitter feed. You can take the boy out of the Catholic Church, but you can’t always take the voices of those nuns out of the boy.

I’ll survive. I’m sure I’ve got plenty of other things that still have to get taken care of after I take a breath.

Shit, are my Christmas lights still up??!! (They are.)

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Too Stupid To Know When To Quit

It’s not a bug – it’s a feature!

It helped me finish marathons.

It helped me though grad school while holding down a job and being a parent and a husband.

It kept me in a job that I didn’t like much wile I was a single parent.

Tonight (with a little help from my friends) it helps me at least get close (closer? close-ish?) to giving the auditors what they want at 8:00 tomorrow morning.

But I’m definitely going to need a nap tomorrow night!

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Filed under CAF, Paul

Too Many Computers

00:07 Friday morning (Okay, it’s Thursday night…)

I just finished writing (what is now) last night’s “Too Many Numbers” post, the process of which was way, WAY too stressful.

Too tired, too many computers (five right now, counting the iPhone and iPad which I’m using to pull up data), too many screens (seven total), too many numbers…

And suddenly I see that my website directory has vanished. The directory on my local hard drive which keeps all of my working files for my website as well as the original copies of all of the pictures I’ve posted for the past five years or so, as well as the backup documents and…

But that’s okay because it’s on Dropbox! I can recover it! Yeah for Dropbox!

Except that Dropbox isn’t showing ANY of those files in its deleted files list…

Crying starts to sound like a perfectly good option…

There was a power outage today – did that fry something? I’ve gotten an occasional error message from Win 10 that the primary SSD hard disk is doing unexpected things – did that fry something? Do the gods just hate me?

From somewhere a calmer brain takes over. A quick search of Dropbox for the directory name shows that it got moved to be a subdirectory of another directory. It’s now sitting under a directory that used to be next to it alphabetically on the list of directories. Which makes me think that I’m using too many mice, trackballs, and Apple Pencils on too many computers on too many screens.

I wonder if I didn’t point, click, and drag on computer B when I was looking at computer A and computer B did exactly what I told it to, i.e. take this directory and move it and drop it on top of this other directory, which translates in most OS’s as “move this thing into that thing.”

I need a smarter and less literal computer. And an antidote for adrenaline.

23:40 Friday night (not Saturday morning yet!)

Oh, and I had the sense while I was waiting for my heart rate to stop resembling a hummingbird’s to pull out a 6TB external drive and let it run overnight, copying everything off to something less dynamic than DropBox.

When did you run your last full system backup to an external drive?

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Filed under Computers, Paul

Too Many Numbers

Do I owe someone that? Do they owe me that?

My brain is swimming in an unnatural and toxic stew of accounting numbers. And this is just the prep for the audits. The real thing doesn’t start until next week.

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Filed under Paul, Photography

Discombobulated

Like many of us, I like to think that in a crisis or time of stress I will remain relatively calm, level headed, and able to keep my wits about me. I can function even when there’s chaos.

However, as was demonstrated again today, while that might be true to a large extent, it’s also critical to not take it for granted. I can’t simply say, “Oh, yeah, this is stressful, but I’m good when the shit’s incoming to the fan, so let’s just carry on.” No, the lesson I believe is to recognize the stressful situation for what it is and realize that, while I might do better than average or have had some training for how to prioritize and stay more or less functional in the face of chaos, in such a situation it is critical to be extra careful and aware that I might be on thin ice.

We had an appointment at 10:45. All of a sudden it was moved up to 10:15. There’s a significant amount of stress associated with the whole thing. No worries. I’m cool. Cucumbers name their children after me.

Until I got to the appointment and realized that I didn’t have my phone. Or my glasses. I was out of touch and blind as a bat inside arm’s length distances.

No worries! I have my backup pair of glasses that I ALWAYS carry in my briefcase. Except that they weren’t there. They had gotten moved to my backpack for the Seattle & Kansas City trip and never put back.

A little more flustered, a little less confident, I went for the backup backup pair of glasses – they’re in the backpack too.

The pair that I keep in the van I’m normally driving? I’m sure they’re there, but we were driving Hissy today.

I can live without the phone, right? I had my iPad, after all. Except that the day’s events needed me to be available by phone all day.

So once we got the preliminary events out of the way and I had a break where I needed to just wait for an hour, I instead boogied home (fortunately we were only twenty minutes from our house) and solved the problem.

That part at least felt satisfying. But I’m well aware that it’s a problem that I caused with my own carelessness and stupidity.

Stress can’t be avoided.

Dealing and coping with stress can be learned.

But it doesn’t make you Superman.

If you’re smart, it teaches you to recognize the sound of the ice cracking under your feet and makes you be very, very careful.

Today I wasn’t smart. I was discombobulated.

But I recognized it before it was ultimately too late, and I corrected the problem.

Next time I need to avoid it to begin with.

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Filed under Deep Thoughts, Paul

50,000th Tweet

Recently I had been wondering what milestone would be coming up next. Tonight we have an answer and it comes just we’re about to embark on another Nantucket sleigh ride. Which got me to thinking and writing out a big thing on Twitter.

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Hadfield Wisdom

Astronaut Chris Hadfield, who I think is one of the finest human beings out there and someone we should all pay attention to, has said that astronauts know that “there is no problem so bad that you can’t make it worse.”

There’s a lot of wisdom in there – today’s been a fine example. Not that I’ve been the one making the poor decision, but I’m one of those getting affected.

Popcorn optional.

And then we have to go back to work after a long weekend, and it’s going to be a tough week.

Adulting sucks.

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