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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Ommmmmmm  §

So the MacBook Pro is finally all ‘Zenned out’ and ready to serve as a dedicated writing machine. It’s a luxury. I don’t deserve it in the least. But it is a necessary luxury for my productivity.

I do need a machine for doing the grinding everyday ticky-tack work on the web, in spreadsheets, in databases, making charts and graphs, VOIPing in one way or another with clients and co-workers and committee members and all that jazz.

That’s what the desktop (probably the last one I’ll ever build, and a fabulous Hackintosh so far) is for.

But I’m a writer. That’s what pays the bills and has since 1997. And I struggle, as in struggle to actually write productivity in a computing environment where all of those distractions are present.

— § —

Thoughts on writing tools at this stage in my career:

Tandy Model 102—One of the coolest writing tools ever, and great for flow and distraction-free writing. The age of the technology and the unavailability of replacements or spare parts make it implausible for serious work anymore. To get your text out of the damned thing, you need to connect to a PC via an RS-232 null modem cable, then transfer as raw ASCII using a terminal emulator. Try doing that with any modern machine without wanting to beat your head against the wall. Awesome keyboard, though.

Apple Newton 2100—Same problem in many ways, only worse. At least you can get the data off of a Model 102 anymore if you’re really dedicated. All that you have to do for a Newton 2100 is get ahold of an old Motorola 68k Mac (from the Mac II series circa the late ’80s and early ’90s), download the ROM to a file, compile a Mac 68k emulator (BasiliskII), manage to compile the aging Netatalk codebase on your host side, try to remember how to configure it, track down a copy of Mac System 7, then install it in your emulator and transfer the files from Newton to emulator, then from emulator via virtualized network interface to your host—oh, and then do file conversion. In short, no. It’s a pity—the Newton environment was very conducive to writing and thinking, though the keyboard was tiny and did not last.

Bog standard laptop or desktop where you do your other work—Don’t try it. You’ll just end up multitasking, attending to other pressing priorities, managing your burgeoning email box, or even browsing the web. Disastrous.

AlphaSmart 2000—Fabulous for flow, but the screen is just a touch too small and the keyboard ages poorly, freezing up and sticking something fierce. Very clacky, too—annoyingly soo—and looks like a kid’s toy. Also, while the USB keyboard interface is ingenous, transferring files that way takes far too long. Type 10,000 words and spent an entire afternoon slowly downloading and naming them one-by-one.

AlphaSmart Neo—Solves every issue that faced the 2000 with flying colors, save but one: download speed. The rest of this device is freaking awesome—fabulous keyboard, great display, amazing battery life, highly portable, looks reasonably professional, and so on. But you’re still stuck with long waiting periods to get at your work.

AlphaSmart Dana—Still have two of these on hand. Like them well enough; the keyboard is the same as the Neo, so that’s fabulous, and the Dana does away with the download issue. It’s Palm-based, so you can use Palm sync to get your files off of it quickly. This does require another virtual machine, as was the case with the Newton, but in this case it’s just a Windows 2000 virtual machine running in VirtualBox or Parallels or similar, which is much more manageable. The Dana problem is that the battery life is back to being measured in hours of on-time, rather than in weeks of on-time, and that it’s Palm interface is fiddly once again, presenting like a word processor, with fonts, styles, alignments, pagination, and all the crap that led you to look for a dedicated writing device in the first place.

iPad—Getting there. Deadalus is fabulous and I’ve now written half a dissertation on it (or four dissertations if you’re just going by page count). There is probably no better writing software anywhere on the planet. The basic problem is the hardware; the on-screen keyboard is a no-go for serious writing work, obviously, and while Apple’s bluetooth keyboard is great, it’s also one extra thing to cart around and have to connect and disconnect. Some accessories (i.e. the Logitech solar folio) go some way toward correcting this, but at the cost of a worse and less-than-full-size keyboard that’s far less well-suited to touch typing. And if you’re going to go with a full-size keyboard, which is physically larger than the iPad, and the battery life constraints and portability constraints that these impose, you’re basically back to…

Macbook Pro—Yup, an entire 13-inch 2010 unibody MBP dedicated to writing. We’re about to give it a try. It’s still in great shape, has a fabulous full-sized Apple keyboard, and has been tricked out with 8GB memory and a 240GB SSD to ensure that response is always immediate. I’ve un-installed everything but my writing tools, have emptied out and hidden the dock, have removed just about everything that I can remove from the menu/status bar and from the desktop, and set a dark-neutral wallpaper. It’s synced to my Dropbox and the plan is to make sure that I only ever save files there, to avoid any temptation to give this machine a “presence” as an actual computer. I even pulled out the optical drive, just to keep myself honest. We’ll see if it works out.

— § —

Yeah, this is a bit OCD and something of an obsession. I’ve been pursuing writing tools of various kinds for well over a decade now in an endless search for the holy grail of writing tools: minimal, instant, effortless, without technical issues or complications, full-sized keyboard, able to to hold lots of text, minimal eye-strain, no distractions, cheap.

Obviously this last criterion has fallen down, in a more-than-ridiculous way, with the assignment of a MacBook Pro to this task. But we’ll see what happens.

— § —

As an aside, I haven’t mentioned here nearly as many devices as I’ve actually tried, only the devices that I’d thought—for a moment—were my “one and only” before learning, over weeks or months of using them, that we’d likely have to part ways in the end after all.

The best runner ups that didn’t get mentioned above? A Sharp Tripad PV-6000 and a Palm smartphone with a fold-up portable keyboard (I kid you not). Neither made the cut for more than an afternoon, but neither was so ridiculous as to make me laugh, either.

— § —

I think, as writers go, I qualify as fidgity and a bit of a prima donna. (Okay, I know. I mean, look at this.)

But I write good copy, and I get better with every passing year. That’s what it’s all about, right?

Drought and flood, flood and drought  §

Umpteen posts of frivolous length yesterdays, nothing today.

Oh well. That is the way of things. It isn’t for want of thoughts, just for want of time and access.

But now it is midnight, and I am off.

Against small-mindedness or exemplifying it, one of the two  §

One of the things that makes white-collar life, whether in academics or in business, less fulfilling than it might otherwise be is the fact that you can’t really have a good meltdown now and again. Instead, you have to be judicious, calm, and civil; you repress it. You take it home and eat it as your midnight snack.

That’s all fine and good as far as civility and society goes, but workers on the trucks (as I once was) have the latitude to let loose every now and again about their frustrations and prejudices—to use a few four-letter words and to hit the wall (or the side of the truck) a few times with their fists in frustration.

White-collar workers are amongst the most repressed individuals on the planet, and while that’s good for business, it’s not so good in many ways for them.

— § —

Of course, in the halls of management and the deans’ and provosts’ offices out there, there’s a kind of ideology of perfection that taints the air. It’s not that anger and “injudicious” behavior are repressed, it’s that all of these people are just far too evolved to ever have any emotion; they are intrinsically calm, analytical, and diplomatic. They are Spock and the Dalai Lama and Ward Cleaver all rolled into one, with overtones of Bill Gates.

Of course it’s all bullshit, but everyone in the white-collar world goes on pretending that it’s so, and we regulate to this effect, and tend to apply it only in the white-collar world, so that’s that.

— § —

The problem isn’t so much that racism and sexism get eliminated. That’s a pretty great thing.

The problem is also that personality and individual preference get eliminated. Everybody likes the same shirts as the CFO, everybody likes the same restaurant as their senior manager, and everybody is okay with pizza for the team party.

Nobody ever says that the CFO’s shirts are the same ones a corpse might wear or that the senior manager apparently can’t tell a good steak from a radiator cap, or that no, no, no, pizza is for teenagers and losers and the teenager-loser quotient on the team is precisely why they missed target, so let’s make a fresh start and turn things toward the better by agreeing never, ever to have pizza again.

(For the record, I love pizza, far too much. This is about the point, not about the food items.)

I’d just like it if there were more people in the world and fewer drones, and if I hadn’t felt over the course of my entire life that dronehood was a kind of infection that I was always trying to catch and to intensify so as to be able to make more money and advance.

— § —

Moving on, but only slightly, I am driven absolutely fucking nuts by SJs. Yes, I’m talking about the Myers-Briggs/Jungian personality typing system, and if you hate it or think it’s unempirical or whatever, stop reading now and go climb the stairs of your ivory tower and read some nice demographic data tables from the census. Don’t stop until you can recite the entire database from memory, because that’s the only way to be REALLY FUCKING NUMBERS DRIVEN AND EMPIRICAL, BOO-YAH BOO-YAH, and ensure that you are as superior to the huge variety of people in the world of business that use MBTI typing to good effect as you think you are.

But I digress.

Yes, SJs. As an NP, let me outline the problems with SJs succinctly:

– They know that the world is so very obviously flat
– They know that history doesn’t exist and new things can’t happen
– They understand that their own personal senses are the only reality
– They know that ketchup vs. mayo is a morally implicated debate
– And that surrogacy and artificial intelligence are not
– And that no philosophical tradition has ever said anything useful
– And that no mistake has ever come from the most wild sort of haste

Oh, and they tend to be insufferable narcissists that discount everyone else’s preferences, thoughts, opinions, personhoods, and so on, then project this behavior onto that very same everyone else any time there is a slight deviation from their (continuous) prescriptions.

And yet, my entire life seems to have been shot through with SJs. I draw them like flies. I appear to be drawn to them in the same way, at least long enough to begin to get scoldings for the deeply antisocial ways in which I wear my socks and the moral failings associated with my toothpaste choices.

— § —

This is good. I haven’t felt like this as I posted in a very, very long time. As in, the better part of a decade.

And I’m looking around me and realizing several things:

– The iPad is the best writing tool ever
– The backed UI/UX of a blog really, really, really matter
– I need to empty out my space, bigtime
– I haven’t been outside nearly enough in recent months
– I am getting old

— § —

Well that’s about enough for now. If this doesn’t damage my career prospects, nothing will.

But dammit, I am a human being, not a human resource.

The drones will just have to condemn me.

(I have no doubt that they will.)

—  §

L’enfer, c’est les autres.

Crescendo  §

There are those days when you don’t see it coming, but somehow, over the course of the day, or perhaps even the previous few days—it’s always hard to tell—things have been building. Building toward a crescendo of frustration that you realize, only at the end, exists and has arrived.

You are at a loss, nothing works, there is no solution, any words from any others grate for no particular reason, and you simply want to go—though to where remains an unanswered and unanswerable question.

— § —

It’s one of those days.

Peeve  §

People that don’t care about anyone else’s feelings and that regularly accuse everyone else of not caring about anyone else’s feelings.

Indicates narcissism; prevalence is regrettable.

— § —

Things that I sometimes imagine (fantasize?) to be coming wars:

Males vs. females
Introverts vs. extroverts
Scientists vs. business leaders
Leftists vs. rightists

Not that I want wars or anything. It’s just that sometimes you get an inkling of just how delicious satisfaction might be.

Everything and nothing, for the umpteenth time  §

I have no idea how many times I’ve used this particular subject line over the years.


Subject lines are funny things; I didn’t use them in the early versions of my blog—the ones I coded up myself. That really wasn’t the format. It wasn’t about a set of “articles” or anything so formal as that.

I almost thought of designing subject lines out in this case, but decided to keep them. There’s a certain charm about them.

— § —

This is working well; it feels almost like the old days. I’ve got an app in my dock; it loads up OmmWriter and chucks that onto my Dropbox, and from there the file is automatically pulled into WordPress. Gets me out of HTML forms.

And out of the structure. Structure kills. (Don’t tell my wife I said that. But it does.)

— § —

One of the trickiest but most necessary tasks in life is self-admitting, i.e. admitting things to yourself. Things about what your’e like, what you’re good at, what you’re bad at, what you want despite yourself, what you’re going to do, what you’re not going to do, why you did what you did… Did I miss any?

It takes courage to know yourself and to admit to yourself who you really are and what you’re going to do.

I don’t think people make “bad choices” or “unconscious choices” nearly so often as the popular imagination would have it so. Or rather, I think we do a disservice by labeling choices this way.

What people do is make real choices—choices that reflect their values. My wife would actually agree here; what you’re working on “reflects your priorities,” she says, repeating the truism.

I think that’s absolutely so. People do what they decide to do, knowing at some level what the potential problems are, and they hope against hope that things will work out well.

— § —

Me, I’m tired of choices. I’m particularly tired of choices amongst options that are “objectively great,” i.e. desirable to many, yet at the same time not particularly fulfilling to me.

I want, in my list of choices, to be faced with options that make me feel something. That excite me, enthuse me.

— § —

That’s not to say that I’m not enthusiastic about my work now. One of the problems that I have is compulsively doing work and checking work stuff even when not “on the clock” or even during “non-working hours.”

But it’s not life stuff. It’s not about building an identity, it’s about ROI and climbing and competitiveness and all that stuff.

— § —

The operative question is: what do I really want?

And the vague answer is: I want a research professorship at an R1 or similar.

Will I ever have it? Odds right now are like playing craps. I’m from the underclass. I haven’t developed the persona or the body of work in some of the ways that the competition has. Why? Because I was always trying to figure out where rent was going to come from and how I was going to eat and pay the bills.

But it doesn’t change what I really want. I want to think about questions that fascinate me and to research questions that fascinate me and to write about questions that fascinate me.

I love teaching, I really do. But teaching alone—different ball of wax. Although—and at the same time—I could see myself teaching troubled kids at the high school level, if push came to shove.

In the long term, I need a cause, a field of inquiry, a field of activism. Drawing a paycheck turns me on, but it doesn’t turn me on if that makes any sense.

— § —

I also want to write.

Funny, that’s all I’ve ever actually managed to do. Write, write, write. Books, articles, papers. Just about every paycheck I’ve drawn as an adult comes down to writing in the end.

I am, in fact, a professional writer, one that has by turns been paid both poorly and very well for my writing.

And yet, I still find myself saying, “By god, I wish I could write for a living!” on a regular basis, as though I’ve never been paid for a word in my life. This tells me several things:

(1) Historically and in the aggregate, I’ve not been paid well enough for the writing that I do, causing me to think about it in terms other than “making a living” in many cases. I’ve been “living on it,” but that’s entirely different from “making a living.”

(2) The other jobs I’ve had were aberrations.

(3) I’m not doing the right kind of writing yet.

Of these, I think that the third item is the most important and most essential. The fact is, I want to make a living from academic writing and/or from creative writing.

I’m a writer, but I’m a writer of “assets” or, to use another multi-industry buzzword, “collateral.”

I’m good at it. Good enough to have earned a living. Good enough to have published six books. Good enough to be able to chuck out a publication-quality, well-researched, persuasive, fun, authoritative article on just about any topic you can name on earth, given an Internet connection and a free two-hour block.

But “good at it” is separate from “fulfilled by it.”

— § —

Of course, all of this must be qualified by the presence of kids and family. Maybe it has to wait—until they’re grown, until I’m retired, who knows.

But here’s the deal, in the final analysis: I have to get a Ph.D. and I have to earn a living writing things that are personal. Until this happens, I’ll still be working on it, whether I like it or not, consciously or not, whether I try to stop myself or not.

And “working on it” while I’m actually, officially working on other things is inefficient. The other things—they suffer. Always have, always will.

Convergence and unity, the defragmentation and compartmentalization of my identity: these are the only way to success for me. It’s been a long time now that I’ve been around and working to make it all work; I know.

I don’t always admit it to myself, but I know.

— § —

I haven’t camped out in the national park in many years.

I haven’t camped out in federal wilderness area in 22 years.

Tonight—as it rains and I look at the silhouettes of towering pine trees swaying in the wind, between myself and the moon—I wonder whether I’ll ever actually manage to do this again.

Life is full of firsts and lasts and “onlies.” They get obscured by some of the endless repetitions, but the fact that so many things are so historical in such a narrowly bounded way is really actually tragic and bittersweet.

If you can stand to think about that stuff, and to talk that way.

— § —

Most of the time, most people… can’t.

The inevitable shrinkage of time  §

So, following my posts of this morning, the predictable thing has happened—good intentions on the front end have turned into a race to finish at least 15 percent of what I’d planed for the day at the tail end.

Dissertation work? Planned for this afternoon, now pushed off until tomorrow—as always.

Actual other work done? Not nearly as much as I thought I’d get done this morning.

New tasks added for tomorrow? Yes, manifold. Including some out-of-house and meta/logistics stuff.

In short, it’s as though I’d never read any of those books at all, didn’t have a plethora of tools to fall back on, and so on.

— § —

Somepin’s gotta give. But the question is—what?

One hour down  §

At just after nine, with the morning routine finally done for the kids, I was trying to decide how to prioritize.

I ended up deciding to eat breakfast for once, something healthy no less, and to shower. Great. So now it’s just after ten.

One hour down and now less than two hours left until the mid-day kid routine. That’s how days disappear, and how all of the different projects in my life right now—gig one, gig two, teaching, and dissertation—end up in a state of perpetual go-slow.

— § —

Oh, and good-bye, old cat. You were around for a very long time, and had a good life. You have lived through not just years, but eras. You’ll be missed. Good-bye.

Mornings in Family Life  §

It’s just after nine in the morning. The routine has finally run to its completion for me—kids are clothed and fed, wife has started the day and been able to shower, dress, etc., and the others have gone in the Volvo for “driving nap time” during which the one-year-old will have a nap and the two-year-old will make trouble for mom.

At 12:00 it will be “big” naptime (both of them) and I’ll be involved in childcare again. At 6:00 it will be bedtime, which these days, with toddler hijinks and daily toy+mess tidying, runs to about 9:30 with both parents full engaged.

The operative question as I sit here in silence is: Now what?

This moment during the day every day is one of the key exemplars of what’s amiss in my life right now, a hint or reflection of the larger reason, which I can’t quite articulate, that things aren’t getting done in the way or at the rate I’d like.

I have eight free hours to work with, plus maybe two hours after bedtime, if I stay up until nearly midnight. But what do I do first? Right now?

Do I focus on personal care basics like a human being to start my day?

– Eat junk? It will still eat half an hour.
– Eat well? My diet has been horrible, but cooking takes time!
– Shower? Personal hygeine seems basic.
– Tidy my space/files? Work areas, real and virtual, are neglected.

Or do I blow past these (as I often decide to do) and simply get to work? If so, what do I work on?

– My dissertation? It’s well behind schedule.
– Gig one? I’m not delivering at the level I’d like.
– Gig two? This one has slid over the last few months.
– Teaching prep? This tends to slip through the cracks.

In general, I can squeeze at most two of these, and usually just one of these, into a day in a productive way. And if I do any of the personal care things I outlined, then I can definitely only squeeze one of them into the day in a substantive, got-a-good-amount-of-actual-work-done way.

I can sometimes get myself an extra two hours at night if I work until 11:30 after the kids are finally in bed and the house reclaimed by 9:30, but then I’m sleep-deprived and my mornings don’t go as well.

— § —

I’ve now read a pile of productivity, life practices, personal organization, and other similar self-help books in the wee hours while laying in bed over the last few years.

But I still lack an operative principle to make these kinds of decisions in a satisfying way, or to make everything work.

Probably the best are Babauta’s The Power of Less and Goldsmith’s Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back if You Lose It, but in practice I’m still in the woods despite all the reading since 2010.

— § —

Obviously, the decision this morning was to write something and post it, which scores points toward another goal of mine that matters to me, but again, at the expense of everything else.

— § —

Too many important things.
Not nearly enough time or energy.
No acceptable way to prioritize.

Fighting against reality like Don Quixote, basically.

On plans and parental growth  §

We need a plan.

It’s becoming more and more clear to me that we don’t have one, and we need one.

We are operating in microtime—one minute, one hour, sometimes one day at a time, but rarely more than that. We chase fires and put them out, but we have no idea where the next fire will occur, how many there will be, or what in hell’s name we will do with ourselves if they ever stop appearing.

— § —

This is the sort of thing that kids do to you.

Before they’re born, you go plugging right along through life, assuming that identity is essential. Mom gets an inkling of something different first, during gestation, but it still doesn’t really register.

Then, they’re born.

Time stops.

Everything disappears—everything but your children. Even yourself is hazy, if not invisible.

You marvel at them as you realize it’s been weeks since they were born.

You measure their lives in months.

And suddenly, you look at yourself in the mirror and realize that years are passing and have passed.

And that, during those years, precious little, if anything—apart from daily feedings and daily hugs (which I do not wish to minimize in any way)—has been done or even thought about.

— § —

Parenthood is a kind of time machine, the only one known to humankind. You step onto the parenthood train and while the rest of the world continues to age, time to pass around you, inside the train time stands still.

— § —

Slowly, imperceptibly, time has begun to move again. The oldest is going to be three years old very soon. She now spends most of the day taking care of herself.

Before anyone calls child services, I’ll qualify that and say that I mean this in comparison to the way things were just short months, or even weeks, ago. Constant attention and hand-holding are no longer required (or demanded). She feeds herself; she plays with herself; she has her own opinions about what she wants to do next; she turns away from hugs because she’s busy; she helps to care for her brother.

Brother is still young—just a year old—but now, having seen how things progress, we can more clearly see what’s on the horizon.

In another flash of time, both of them will be in school—and time will be passing again for the parents. The world will exist; the sun will rise again, set again; the rain will fall again; there will be things to do again that do not involve caring for little bodies and minds; these “other” things will seem important again in all of the ways that they haven’t—that they have been completely invisible—since 2010.

— § —

But we don’t have a plan.

Our plans right now amount to things like “get them both off of the bottle” (just achieved) or “find a nice second class of some kind for toddlers to take them both to once a week.”

We have had no particular discussions about what we are to be doing in ten years, who we are or have become. We talk only about them.

This is as it should be, and the experience has been everything to us. But the experience doesn’t last forever; it is our job to send them, eventually, on their way, independent human beings with life trajectories separate from (though forever related to) ours.

— § —

If you were to ask me what I “like” right now, I wouldn’t have an answer that isn’t child-centric. I like spending time with my daughter and son. I like playing in pretend tends. I like pulling children in a wagon. I like picnics at the “castle park” with horrible but oh-so-special McDonald’s food. I like Saturdays at “music class” where we sing and dance together.

But if we’re already seeing hints of “I have my own life, thanks” at two-and-a-half, it’s going to be untenable to have only this set of likes at five, or at ten.

There was once more to us than this.

There must be more to use than this once again.

But it will have to be rediscovered.

— § —

Step one is to confront the fact that we don’t have a plan.

Step two is to actually begin to talk about creating one.

— § —

But step zero is to force ourselves to take a long, hard look in the mirror every day—and perhaps several times a day—in the mirror right now, between the fires that we, at present, continue to endlessly chase and extinguish.

Because in order to confront the fact that we don’t have a plan, we will have to come to the realization once again that there is a “we” at all—two people that exist, as separate from our children, and who will be here, together, as they grow up and spend less and less time with us until, if we are successful, they spend hardly any at all in the end.

When that happens, I’d like to think that we’ll be living full, fulfilled, exemplary (for our children) lives still, rather than being stuck on the train, frozen in time, long after our children have disembarked—or worse, clinging to them as they try to do so.

— § —

Step zero, here we come.

Steps one and two to follow.

Probably not easy, but exciting. And necessary.

Feelings are for the unfeeling?  §

It strikes me that the most expressive people I’ve known have often been the ones least comfortable with deep and explicit discussions about feelings.

Those that have been accused of being unfeeling and overly analytical, on the other hand and contrary to television stereotype, have often been extremely able when it comes to talk about emotions, emotional life, and their effects.

I wonder if others have had the same experience, if this is a cultural phenomenon, etc.

Deadlines?  §

Some days you look around at your life and all you feel is deadline pressure, from all sides. Fires, fires, fires.

Other days you look around at your life and you can’t seem to feel that connected to it; you watch yourself from afar, wondering if this idiot even cares that there are deadlines.

Dark URLs. Naps. What next?  §

Getting close to having this production-ready and to taking it live. For the moment, I am the only person in the world that knows to go to this URL at this domain.*

How many other “dark URLs” are out there in netland?
If a URL exists in the network but nobody knows to visit it, is it actually live?

* Well, myself and a couple of plugin providers.

— § —

Bought the diapers. The brand is “Huggies Slip-Ons” and everywhere on the box they are marked this way. But on this promotional box, which includes ten free diapers, there is a big yellow bubble labeled “10 Free Diaper-Pants!”

What is a “diaper-pant” and which person in marketing decided not to use the more obvious “10 Free Slip-Ons!” phrase?

— § —


Thing is, I’m getting old. I can tell because things ache, and often I’m uncomfortable in my own body, without the discomfort being located anywhere in particular.

Bodily awareness is supposed to be a virtue, but I often feel like it’s just another annoyance that can’t be escaped as aging happens.

— § —

Taking a day today. It’s a holiday, after all. Problem is, I didn’t notify anyone in advance, and it isn’t a holiday everywhere (including some of the places where my work ends up taking place).

I’m a contractor on a self-set flex schedule in all of my gigs, so why do I feel both nervous and guilty about taking a day on a national U.S. holiday?

That’s the problem with work life in the present; one feels guilty when one is not working, full stop. Thanks to a changing global culture and changing technology, it doesn’t matter what time of day or what day of the week it is, nor does it matter where a person happens to be.

Regardless of context, nowadays it’s always true that you could, in fact, be working.

Add this to the sense, when working, that you could be spending time with your family or friends, or even on personal development, and the foundation is laid for a life of perpetual regret and distraction.

— § —

Coke Zero: Great in small doses, blah in large doeses.

Compare to: Mountain Dew.

Polish Wives, of course, frown on either. I probably ought to as well, but I’m an American. Soda has been a regular thing since before I can remember (literally).

— § —

Maybe, on this holiday, it’s nap time for dad as well.

Tap, tap, tap, tap…  §

Waiting for naptime to begin so that I can go buy diapers. It’s any moment now, meaning that I can’t possibly start or get engrossed in work. It just won’t happen.

How freaking domestic is this?

— § —

I suppose most people post these kinds of updates on Facebook these days. Or rather, they used to post them on Facebook and now do it through Pheed or Path or something.

I’m not just behind the times, I’m several times behind the times.

Blogs. How ’90s is that?