Monday, February 13, 2017

So What's a Few Years Between Posts?

A few years have passed since my last post. I am the same person, with the same interests. My life is vastly different, in a good way.

Since my last post:

-Belle and I got married!
-We went to the Bahamas, our first visit to a foreign country together!
-We moved into our first apartment together
-We watched ever episode of Doctor Who
-Belle completed her Master of Arts in Teaching degree and got her first teaching job
-We got our second apartment to be closer to said teaching job
-Tiny Dog got a sister - Boo Bear!
-I left the job I last mentioned for a non-commission, salaried job on the trading floor (it's a lot nerdier than the trading floors shown in 80s and 90s movies)
-We bought a house!
-We drove to Canada, and stayed at the wonderful Ainsley House Bed and Breakfast (which I'm devastated to find out is closed!)
-A health problem of my worsened, but I rose to the challenge
-Belle started working at a closer school
-We remodeled the entire house including:
-Basement Bathroom (with full concrete rough-in)
-Basement Bedroom
-New flooring everywhere except the kitchen and dining room
-Removed wood from walls
-Refinished hardwood floor and banister
-Nursery
-We had a baby boy!
-Belle took some time off from teaching to be with the baby and take care of her mom through some health problems
-I learned about sleep agility and the importance of having it as a parent
-We got a new cat the same age as our boy, an old cat died, another went back to be with her girl, and I adopted a tiny kitten that was actually 8 years old
-Tiny dog went to live with her grandparents because mobile children sort of stress her out
-Belle ran for Congress and garnered substantial support against a well-funded incumbent with virtually no budget
-We traveled to Tybee Island (a suprise vacation I threw for Belle)
-We had another baby boy
-We've been to Disney World twice, once for the first birthday of each little guy
-I started an MBA program
-I was promoted at work and am now responsible for hundreds of people and a big chunk of business
-I have two friends who have published novels
-Belle is a theatre teacher at a good school, and I get to help build multiple sets per year
-Belle and I went to New York City and saw HAMILTON on Broadway, as well as The Front Page, In Transit (the first all acapella musical on Broadway), and a taping of Late Night with Stephen Colbert
-Oh, David Letterman retired and was ultimately replaced by Stephen Colbert; Jimmy Fallon is amazing and replaced Jay Leno, and John Stewart retired and the Daily Show is now hosted by Trevor Noah
-Uh... a reality TV "personality" was elected president, despite my best efforts
-Belle graduates with an Ed Specialist degree in school Administration in May, and I'll graduate with my MBA
-Disney bought LucasFilm from George Lucas
-Not one, but two Star Wars movies have come out and both are amazing
-We went to a lot of weddings, including the Worst Wedding
-My grandpa, Belle's grandma, Alan Rickman, and Carrie Fisher died... along with over 100 other people who led and inspired us... in the same year the reality TV star was elected president. 2016 will not be missed.
-Somewhere in there we both actually bought new cars
-I'm an uncle now, too, as of last weekend!
-I realized that MEAL is a lost window into my thoughts early in our relationship. Belle and I will celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary this October.
-I've spent the last year studying French, and while I have a lot to learn I can have basic conversations and read le Monde for business news.

Throughout these years, I have continued in my quest to be a better person and make the world a better place. I am more confident, due entirely to Belle's influence. Her support gave me the courage to take charge of my life, start the MBA program, develop some real goals for myself, and move into management at my firm. I have learned a great deal about myself during the process, including the myriad ways in which I fall short as a human being. It helps to know before you try to fix it.

The world is a scarier, more uncertain place than it was at the beginning of this decade. Progressive populism lost out in 2016, and an angry nativist populism won. Fascism, racism, and sexism were never entirely gone, but now they hold their heads high in public where they once lurked in the shadows. Many are afraid, but people are standing up against tyranny, too.

Deep down, I always thought I would get married, we'd find good jobs, and I'd eventually settle down into a safe and stable life. If there is one thing I have learned in the last seven years, it's that safety is an illusion. Stability is only a few steps away from chaos.

Change is constant. The most important skill in life-economically, personally, spiritually- is the ability to navigate that change. Change is life. Stagnation is death.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Post Number 100

This is the 100th post in this blog. I'm not sure how to commemorate it. However, I do have The Answers from the Creative Blog Award exercise a few days ago.

1. Like so many boys, I solved initial personality conflicts through rough-and-tumble fistfights. In fact, the only lasting friendships that began before high school began with fisticuffs.

Outrageous Lie. I've never been in a serious fight with any of my close, long-lasting friends. We've had our share of friendly wrestling matches. In general, I abhor violence and consider myself a "realistic pacifist." While I won the childhoods fights I was in, I also cried when they were over because I hated having to hurt others.

2. I've been on the internet for a long time. The first time I ever went online was in 1992 on my uncle's Mac. We tied up the phoneline for countless hours reading a newsgroup dedicated to video editing techniques.

Outrageous Lie. Actually, it's close to the truth. I I first went online in the winter of 1989. I didn't know we were online, though, and wondered why we had to leave that cool program so quickly.

3. We've always been at the cutting edge of technology. In addition to having the latest game systems, each member of my immediate family had a cell phone by the time I entered high school.

Outrageous Lie. We actually got the first cell phone when I was 12. It was a family phone roughly the size and weight of a brick. It cost a fortune to operate, so I was rarely allowed to have it. I was 19 when my whole family finally got individual cell phones.

4. As part of my lifelong quest to be a Renaissance Man, I've played a lot of instruments in my life. My all-time favourite is the tin whistle, which I started after hearing The Chieftains.

Outrageous Lie. Sorry, Yuri. I always admired the tin whistle and wanted to learn how to play, but it is not one of the many instruments I learned. Although I am now half-tempted to try and take it up.

5. Impulsive by nature, I once skipped a week of class because I "just had" to take train to Las Vegas. It didn't do much for my grades, but I did come home $200 richer than I left.

The Most Outrageous of Outrageous Lies. I'm not a fan of Vegas or gambling. The shows are fun, but I don't care for games of chance in casinos on account of I took statistics. On the other hand, I'll bet on myself in a contest... Funny thing, though, is that I almost embarked on this journey a few years ago. It was an impulsive idea and I canceled it when nobody else could make it.

6. Always the businessman, I began quite young. At the age of seven, I cornered the market for flower seeds in my neighbourhood. But my dream was to start my own research facility to develop and market new inventions.

The Truth. I've always loved business, and I've been selling things since I was a wee lad. My lifelong dream is to own my own research facility and use it to develop, then market my own inventions. This moved from a full-time career to a part-time hobby and goal for retirement a few years ago, but it has always been and always shall be.

7. My guilty pleasure is popping anchovies. I've been known to eat them in hiding during breaks, much to the chagrin of students, teachers, and coworkers.

Outrageous Lie. I generally hate anchovies. They make me sick when I eat them.

Congratulations to Mr. Stauffer, who narrowed it down to the Truth and one of the Lies. Thanks to all who participated! It was a lot of fun, and I thoroughly enjoyed the exercise.

This is post 314.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Creative Writer Blogger Award

A few days ago, Amalia passed me the "Creative Writer" Blogger Award. Now, I must tell you six outrageous lies and at least one outrageous truth. I hope that you'll find yourself amused by my list.



1. Like so many boys, I solved initial personality conflicts through rough-and-tumble fistfights. In fact, the only lasting friendships that began before high school began with fisticuffs.

2. I've been on the internet for a long time. The first time I ever went online was in 1992 on my uncle's Mac. We tied up the phoneline for countless hours reading a newsgroup dedicated to video editing techniques.

3. We've always been at the cutting edge of technology. In addition to having the latest game systems, each member of my immediate family had a cell phone by the time I entered high school.

4. As part of my lifelong quest to be a Renaissance Man, I've played a lot of instruments in my life. My all-time favourite is the tin whistle, which I started after hearing The Chieftains.

5. Impulsive by nature, I once skipped a week of class because I "just had" to take train to Las Vegas. It didn't do much for my grades, but I did come home $200 richer than I left.

6. Always the businessman, I began quite young. At the age of seven, I cornered the market for flower seeds in my neighbourhood. But my dream was to start my own research facility to develop and market new inventions.

7. My guilty pleasure is popping anchovies. I've been known to eat them in hiding during breaks, much to the chagrin of students, teachers, and coworkers.

Which one is true? Post any guesses in the comments, and I will follow up soon.

This is post 315.

Pound For Pound Update

Yeah, it's not been going well. I gained four pounds over the last few weeks. We spent a lot of time at the hospital with Grandma and those three days were plagued with terrible food choices. The days since then haven't had a lot of good choices in them, either.

The good thing is that I think at least part of it is muscle. My clothes don't feel any tighter, and my I seem to be progressing in my strength exercises.

This is post 316.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Hooray for Monday!

It's been too long since I've done a Hooray for Monday, so I'm going to highlight a website that Yuri pointed me to. Lifehacker is a pretty neat site, with articles from a variety of blogs that run from interesting to thoroughly helpful.

For example, this article describes how to use a freezer to save waterlogged documents, photos, and books.

One regular series concerns workspaces. They have articles featuring a variety of different offices that are set up in unique and creative ways, like the Window Desk, the Zendo Workspace, and the Emerald and Onyx Balcony Office. Many of the ideas are interesting ones that I'd like to try someday, when I actually have an office.

All in all, it's a neat community of people sharing ideas to help one another out.

This is post 317.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Sweet Mother of Contests!

I've been gone for a bit. Things went a bit crazy in life. But then Amalia told me about this sweet contest. The blog is called Confessions and Ramblings of a Muse in the Fog and the author is giving away a copy of Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran, along with


A Genuine Roman Coin, Complete With Certificate of Authenticity!


Belle is as excited as I am, and as you should be. Go and check it out!

This is post 318.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Update

I've been gone for the last few days, again, because of preoccupation with career-based pursuits. Specifically, I'm taking a licensing exam tomorrow, because if I pass I might get a contract by Friday! After that, I'll have two more to go after before things become slightly more regular.

I should be able to drop another tomorrow. This weekend, I'll be on a train trip and I hope to have a bit of time to devote to a few articles. I'd post more tonight, but I have to leave in ten hours and I must sleep.

This is post 319.