Work – 1 / Life – 0

The last time I posted something was May 22nd and all my plans to stick to a schedule got thrown out the window. Work reared its ugly head and has been kicking my ass for the last several weeks with little reprieve or consideration for my personal time. Getting home after working since 5:30am meant getting dinner ready, cleaning up, doing anything that needed to be done around the house and nothing was left in the tank for me. I ended up going to bed most nights earlier than usual just to keep up with the next days work load. I’ve slacked on writing, reading and generally keeping life balanced with work. There is light at the end of the tunnel though, but it’s still a few weeks off at this point and will unfortunately start back up again towards the end of August.

I’m still writing sporadically for EatPrayVote.org as I still do managed to read the news every day and write when I’m passionate about certain subjects; mainly political stuff though. They’re quick drive-bys around 400-500 words mostly that are mostly reporting with a sprinkle of opinion for good measure. I find it cathartic to write out the politics clanging around in my head keeping me from becoming too jaded with all the crap that’s been flung at us in the last few weeks from Washington, D.C. Even writing political opinion has tapered off in recent weeks and I get about 2-3 pieces submitted and published when just a few weeks ago, I was submitting 1-2 per day.

Funny how you can make so many changes to keep things balanced between all your commitments and one thing can throw the whole thing out the window. I’ve kept pushing myself to minimize as much as possible and, interestingly, the less I have around me the easier I find it to stay closer to feeling balanced regardless of whether I actually am or not. The majority of the items that I find add value to my life have been moved and organized into my office space in the basement. The family is in a separate category of course, but material possessions now fit into a single 11×12 foot room with little feeling of clutter. Once I get the closet built around the radon mitigation tube going into the floor, I’ll have even more items packed away behind a closet door. It’ll quickly become a refuse that will help me recharge my batteries.

Last night I took a few hours to watch some Dr. Who, which was a feat in of itself as I had to utilize my VPN client to log me into a UK-based server to allow me to stream the content through BBC One iPlayer. The new season has started out slow and I’m looking forward to getting into some more action packed episodes. The mix of different writers has brought a lot of different types of stories and has varied the show without leaving behind the core of what makes Dr. Who “feel” like Dr. Who. It was good to get some uninterrupted time to watch some shows. I also am now taking the daughter to archery classes, which she’s been doing for almost a year now. I’ve started taking her because I want to start shooting with her and it just makes sense that I take her if I’m there already ūüôā I’ll be shooting with her next week as they didn’t have a bow big enough to accommodate my string pull distance.

I can’t make any promises when I’ll be back more regularly until I get a better idea of how things shake out at work in terms of audits and organization changes. I moved to a different building in the same campus and am now reporting to a new Director that is most certainly going to make additional changes. It might pan out that I get a bump in salary and position so that I can, at some point in the future, build out my own audit team. It remains to be seen how that plays out though, but I’m hopeful the changes will be positive.

Looking forward to some life when work decides to take some time off ūüôā

A change of scenery

For those that have followed me for a bit, you might have recalled me going for a posted position within my company that would have been a promotion. I didn’t get it, but I already knew that going into it based on how the description was written. My goal was more to let upper management know that I’m not opposed to taking on new roles that may be slightly outside of my wheel house for the sake of the challenge. It worked. The new Director starts today, remotely from Colorado, then from Pennsylvania next week. I already know that my current manager and I are going to report to him as well as another individual from the Networking team. My job isn’t changing all that much except that a heaping pile of “conflict of interest” is going away now that I’m not inside the group that I’ve been auditing the last two years.

With the move comes a new desk in a different building but on the same campus. Moving to the third floor of the newest building on our campus is exciting. More so the fact that it will bring with it new challenges from management that is coming in from outside. We already got a new CIO from outside that is already making waves and with a Director to back her up, the change will keep coming. My work is already starting to make people worried in that the results of my reviews and audits are being reviewed and actioned on by senior management with more purpose and intent to get future audits looking better. It only makes my job easier as the more support I can get for the work I’m doing, the easier it will be to have people engage when I ask them for evidence. A recent audit of change requests in one particular group was actually quite poor and the results have not gone over well for those tasked with providing me what I was asking for. It’s probably good I’m moving to I’m no longer in the same building as the people I’m auditing.

The new space brings with it a quieter workspace and upgraded furniture and chairs. Overall, despite the lower cubicle walls to promote “collaboration”, I’m looking forward to not having the kids of distractions I have currently in my soon to be vacated space. You can view the archives for previous posts that detailed my daily living hell putting up with the people around me. I’ll also have a lot more face time with the CIO and new Director because they are in the same building and floor that I’m moving to. Face time as most IT people know is crucial for those moments when they’re trying to figure out who from within is worth promoting into whatever new idea they have and need bodies to run it. Not that I do my job in order to get a better job, but doing my job and being recognized for it is important to me. One of my many motivations. I’ll also be working remote two days per week instead of just one as I’m no longer in the reporting chain that enforces restrictions. My manager sees that I work just as hard (if not harder) at home then when I’m in the office.

Hopefully the rain holds off today long enough for me to move my stuff, freshly minimalized, to the new building across the main parking lot. Otherwise, I’ll have to try to move everything tomorrow. I like change, the more the better.

Weekend “Would You Rather?” 29

Sorry for the few weeks I missed, I’m back in a normal routine again ūüôā

After playing an interesting round of ‚ÄúWould You Rather?‚ÄĚ with the family, I thought it would be fun to get into the game of a weekly blog post. ¬†Feel free to join in on your own blog and be sure to give an answer to the question of the week.

**I will keep these questions rated G**


good-would-you-rather-questions

Would you rather accidentally drop a hammer on your toe or

OR

Accidentally drop a hammer on the toe of a complete stranger?


Be sure to leave your answer (and justification) in the comments!

My answer to this doesn’t follow normal convention. ¬†I would accidentally drop a hammer on my own toe and I’ll explain why. ¬†My wife would be recording this event on her phone as she thinks its funny to see me do things with tools where usually every other word is a curse. ¬†Upon dropping the hammer on my toe, she would laugh so hard she would accidentally share the video to YouTube and within a few days, it quickly goes viral. ¬†My pain is apparently funny to a lot of people and it quickly gets the attention of several talk shows, of which I do the regular circuit over a few weeks. ¬†Just as quickly as the fame appeared, it quickly goes away when the next viral video takes the country by storm. ¬†By this time, my toe would have healed up and it would just be a distant memory. ¬†None of that would have happened if I accidentally dropped the hammer on the toe of a complete stranger…… ¬†I’d just be in jail awaiting trial because I couldn’t afford bail.

Three Things Thursday – 05/18/2017

#Bathwater

Hosted by There She Goes
Originally inspired by Nerd in the Brain

BRING THE HAPPY!

Daughter Art

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I can’t recall if I shared this already, but it’s a good one none the less. ¬†The daughter did this drawing for me when she came to work with me a few weeks ago. ¬†Obsessed with dragons, dinosaurs and Pokemon, her abilities as an artist are exponentially growing the more she draws. ¬†This particular one was done by finding a picture online, and then freehanding it onto paper. ¬†The colors are her own because she told me the original colors were boring. ¬†I hope this is something she keeps with her well into adulthood as drawing apparently is extremely cathartic.

Happy Birthday Shenanigans

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My cubicle neighbor turned 50 this past Sunday. ¬†Not to be outdone in returned favors, a co-worker that turned 50 a few weeks back, with a decorated cubicle by my neighbor, had the favor returned using the same materials. ¬†She walked in and left it up most of the morning before taking it down. ¬†That’s a good sport in my book. ¬†No one knows my birthday in the office for this very reason, so no decorations for me, which is how I like it to be.

Back In The Day:  All your base belong to us!

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Before there were PS4’s and XBox Ones, with their near reality resolution and graphics, we had to put up with graphics like in the picture above. ¬†This was advanced for the time and often, translations were done rather poorly resulting in the iconic line displayed. ¬†This was the rally cry of nerds everywhere when they achieved a major accomplishment in the games of the time. ¬†It certainly brought back memories of playing Quake III: ¬†Arena and StarCraft: ¬†Brood Wars. ¬†Both games had their own iconic sayings that I fondly remember. ¬†I miss the days of games that, well, looked like games.

TTT Weekly Music Recommendation

rockondaughter

Give Me A Sign

by Burn Halo

Family ties to technology

I didn’t have a good weekend. It rained all day Saturday and we were running around all day Sunday because it was Mother’s Day. Of course the daughter decided that Sunday would be a day she would grind against the grain of everyone else and, as much as I love her, single-handedly ruined an otherwise good day with family. I’m starting to notice a pattern though and will be putting in some strict restrictions on the use of anything that contains a screen and run on electricity. She lost her iPhone for 4 weeks because of her last quarter grades. We both noticed a marked improvement in her attitude and behavior that regressed literally an hour or two after she got it back. The girl is hopelessly addicted to all things screen and her typical “I’m not stopping until I want to” attitude always gets in the way. My wife doesn’t help matters either as she is just as addicted to her mobile as well and it’s been a struggle to hold a conversation with her that wasn’t disconnected and unintelligible. I’ve since refused to talk with her when her attention is on the phone screen as I already know, you can’t multi-task with an electronic device, it just isn’t possible. Anyone out there who thinks they can multi-task; verbal conversation and use their phone, they’re just fooling themselves and doing two things barely mediocre.

My level of frustration the last few weeks has unfortunately gone up. My wife tells the daughter to stop yelling at her, yet my wife yells at her to stop yelling. It really is counter-productive in my opinion. I, on the other hand, have manged to keep my tone and outward display of anger to a minimum (for the most part) as it tends to get better results. Our daughter is old enough to know and understand the impact of what she says and how she says certain things, so there really is no excuse for downright disrespect for the sake of exercising control despite her losing the privileged of what she’s trying to control. The whole thing is just counter-productive and doesn’t really make any sense to me. The daughter refuses to do anything when she’s on her phone, playing what I consider real stupid time-suck games, and only listens to either of us once we’ve taken the phone away. Then of course its a fight to get her to do what we’re asking because now she’s angry she lost her phone as a result of her own actions; but it’s our fault, always.

The evaluation of technology in my life is taking a very dark and negative turn, to the point where I get frustrated with anyone using a device near me when I’m trying to say or do something. I’ve respected them by putting my phone, laptop, etc. down but rarely get that in return. The old adage “lead by example” just doesn’t seem to fit when technology is involved. I’m not even going to the “do unto others” space right now. My wife has conveniently forgotten, consistently, that I deleted Facebook and has conversations with me based on Facebook information. When I say I’m not on Facebook anymore, she’s reminded that I abandoned the platform and just stops talking; the subject doesn’t change, she just stops and returns to the screen. I just don’t get it. Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, at least that’s what we’ve been told for years, but all I ever see is the negative side of it. People who can’t hold a conversation unless it’s in text form. Social gatherings consist of an entire table of people on their phones. Parents hold up iPads at recitals to “record” their children without a seconds thought of the 9.4″ of blocking capability the iPad produces for the people behind them. Having a conversation with someone under the age of 30 consists of “so”, “like” and “uhm” being practically every¬†fourth word. Call me crazy, but I don’t say any of those words when holding conversation with people. Hearing them tossed at me just derails my train of thought and makes it difficult to actually listen.

There are days that I wish someone would set off an electro-magnetic pulse bomb rendering anything electronic essentially a brick. Our civilization would literally fall apart in the span of a few days though, so it’s not a wish rooted in logic. It’s a wish rooted in frustration, as in “See, technology doesn’t make anything better, none of you can actually hold a conversation to literally save your lives.” Our futures in this world are in jeopardy if we can’t learn to ride the fine line between technology assistance and technology addiction. The Internet was commercially available around 1992, anyone born after that date has never lived without it. What ever happened to learning the hard way first in order to appreciate the easy way second?