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.

#change, #lateral-promotion, #minimalism, #moving-offices

Weekend “Would You Rather?” 29

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

After playing an interesting round of “Would You Rather?” 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

#art, #back-in-the-day, #birthdays, #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?

#family-2, #mothers-day, #technology

Three Things Thursday – 05/11/2017

#Bathwater

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

BRING THE HAPPY!

The Dog

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Seriously?  Why you no pet me?

I worked from home on Monday and apparently the dog was a little lonely.  She came down to visit me in my office in the basement and after jamming her wet nose into my elbow a few times, she finally gave up and sat down against the wall.  She kept looking at me with a horribly sad look on her face.  I’m not sure if she is cleverly manipulative or I’m projecting my own human emotions onto her canine facial expressions, but she ended up getting to sit in my recliner to the left out of view.

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No, I not drooling on your comforter.

Later on Monday, after a long hard day of staring at me with “puppy dog eyes”, she was apparently really tired.  That must be really hard work.  She took to slowly sliding down the chaise lounge chair in the corner of my bedroom while the wife read.

Increasing Viewership

EPV_Views

I’ve been writing for EPV now for just over 3 months and am loving every minute of it.  I doubled my unique views from March to April to end up with the above number.  If only I could get that kind of viewership here, that’d be really cool.  Rather than toss out as many pieces as I can, I’ve taken a more measured approach and take my time writing and publishing a piece every few days.  It really paid off for April and I’m on track to do more views in May.  Hard to believe the EPV site is only 8 months old!

Back In The Day:  ROFL Copter

ROFL-Copter

Something a little new and hopefully a regular entry to my TTT weekly post.  I was sent this from a colleague at work for saying something really funny on a conference call that no one could actually laugh to.  It’s now made the rounds several times over between all of us at work and it’s still going.  It made me quietly reflect for several days of all the things we used to do “back in teh day” when computers were new and relegated to the nerds and geeks of the world.  I’ll be digging into my past and pulling out some gems to remind myself of days long past when it was actually fun to talk to most people you found online, aka Pre-Troll-ERA.

TTT Weekly Music Recommendation

rockondaughter

Royals (Rock Version)

by Relic Hearts

#dogs, #relic-hearts, #rofl-copter, #writing

Derailed by the Norovirus

It’s a bad day (and weekend) when the only person to get the virus in the house was ME.  No one else got it, no one else shared in my pain and all too well-known symptoms of this nasty and pointless virus that is living upon this Earth.  Really, what’s it’s purpose anyway?

Norovirus

MyNotFriendNorovirus

Got way too comfortable in my gut for my comfort!

I’m glad it’s gone now, still don’t have an appetite though.  Nothing got done this past weekend, was barely moving on Friday.  Sorry for the disconnect this weekend, however I’m better now and almost recovered.  Fingers crossed that no one yet has shown any symptoms that they caught what I suffered through.

#blah, #fever, #norovirus, #weekend

Three Things Thursday – 05/04/2017

three-things-thursday-badge

Inspired by Nerd in the Brain

BRING THE HAPPY!

Daughter at Work

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It was National Bring Your Son or Daughter To Work Day last Thursday.  Naturally I brought the daughter with me to work so she could be bored to death all day and see just how boring my job really is.  Surprisingly though, she enjoyed herself and even brought a laptop so she could “work” on things like finding new backgrounds, researching her book battle authors and pretending to do what I do; stare at screens pretending to work 🙂

We Have Tomatoes

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The wife decided that we needed to try our hand again at growing things.  We’ve not had a good track record these last few years and it comes down to either not enough watering or too much watering.  I try to remember, but trying to figure out what she’s done things will typically get overwatered and drown.  This tomato plant is small, and has a lot of dirt under it with holes in the bottom of the pot, hopefully they won’t die and I’ll get fresh tomatoes later this year.  We planted Chocolate Mint and Basil plants as well along with some weeds (aka lettuce).

Todoist

Todoist

I don’t think this is the first time I’ve talked about this one, but I’ve come to love it again after a brief period of ignoring it’s reminders that I had crap overdue.  They recently updated it and the whole experience is so much more seamless across devices that it’s made it rather easy to remember to do things.  It’s only $30US or so per year and well worth the money if you need help remembering to do things when they need to actually be done.  Disclaimer, I’m not paid in any way for endorsing this application.

TTT Weekly Music Recommendation

rockondaughter

Fading Star

by Weaving The Fate

#daughter-at-work, #todoist, #tomatoes, #weaving-the-fate

I’m ready for a vacation

The last few months I’ve become painfully aware of one truth that I had, for years, denied myself from believing. It’s the truth that unless something drastically changes in the lives of my family, we’re going to forever be owing money to other people. Mortgage loan servicers, credit card companies, auto financiers, utility companies, insurance companies, etc.. The list goes on and on and anyone living the “American Dream” is painfully aware of how difficult and out of reach that dream really is. I’m far from being uncomfortable right now, in fact, I think we’re living just inside our means as I’ve consistently said “No” more than I’ve said “Yes” for the last year since moving into our current home. The problem is that we’re in a home where we aren’t certain what has and has not been properly maintained and it seems we find out when its the most inconvenient. Murphy’s Law in full effect for our household. In the last year, we’ve repaired or replaced:

  • Main water line (inside the house)
  • Water softener
  • Hot water heater
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Front door
  • Garage doors and openers

We’ve also had the back yard fenced in with post & rail with green goat fence stapled to the inside. We really didn’t need a fence, but the dog was getting bolder in going after rabbits and would make it much farther into the field before deciding to listen to our screams to come back. She’s a good dog, but damn, that girl is determined to get a rabbit in her mouth. We paid cash for the fence, cash that I had saved up rather painfully for several months to establish a cushion. One bank statement a few months back that the wife looked at saw the money and was like “we have money, we’re getting a fence.” Who am I to argue. My back thanked me for not having to sleep on the sofa if I said anything other than “Yes.” I’ve since converted our statements to paperless and they’re emailed to my account now 🙂

The wife isn’t working through the summer, it’s school break time. We have very little cushion at this point and it’s started to irritate my normally pragmatic approach to finances. I should have held my ground firmer and explained what the savings were for, like the hidden problem that will cost a few hundred or more that we’re not aware of yet for example. I know the air conditioner is too small for the house and it’s only a matter of time before the thing overloads and burns out. Internet and air conditioning are two necessities that I rank higher than anything else in the household; only the mortgage is higher priority. She doesn’t get it and is rather impatient with the whole waiting to replace things aspect of having a house that wasn’t built to our specifications. I have sometimes questioned why we moved in the first place when a few changes could have made our previous house workable. Hindsight is a bitch.

I’ve made so many changes and cuts to our monthly budget with very little difference to show for it. Every time I think we’re backing away from the edge some unforseen repair or payment pushes me back to the edge again. The most depressing part about all of this is that I’m nursing pants, shirts, shoes and other items to their bitter end before breaking down and buying some new stuff. Not because I want to, but more because I know that the daughter needs them more than I do. That girl grew almost 2″ from November to now and she is in the same size shoe as my wife……the daughter is 10 by the way. I’m not growing that much and can handle a few stitch repairs to extend the life of a shirt, but she literally is growing out of her stuff every 6-9 months.

What to do, what to do. The summer is going to be really tight and with me doing all the finances, I’m the one that worries and bears the burden of making sure there’s a roof with utilities for us to live in. I may just have to swallow my disgust and start letting people know I’m doing computer work on the side again to bring in some extra cash. I can only take so many “I don’t know how that malware got there” excuses before I get cranky with people’s attitudes towards security, or lack thereof. I need a vacation.

#budgets, #finances, #home-ownership, #vacation

Mystery Blogger Award

The mystery bloggers award

Dacia of Britestfyrefly nominated me for the Mystery Blogger’s Award, and I thank her for doing so as I was in a rut as to what my topic today should be.  Here is her Mystery Blogger’s Award post if you’re interested in seeing her questions and answers.  I’ve been following her for a while now and I can’t recall if she followed me first or if I followed her first; it really doesn’t matter.  Something about her writing, how she presented herself, is what kept me following.  It didn’t hurt that we had similar interests and I think my sagely advice might have helped a little too 🙂

This award was originally created by Okoto Enigma and you can find her blog HERE.

As part of the award, I have to answer 5 questions she has asked of me.  First though, there are some rules.  It’s an honor to reciprocate this award, but there is a little more to it:

  1. Post the award/ image on your blog (see above)
  2. Thank whoever nominated you and give a link back to their blog.
  3. Mention the creator of the award and give a link back to their blog.
  4. Tell your readers three things about yourself.
  5. Nominate 10-20 deserving bloggers and notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  6. Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice; including one weird or funny question.
  7. Share a link to your best post.

Three things about me:

  1. I’ve lived in Pennsylvania since I was 4 years old.
  2. My blogging career spans more than two decades; 11 pen/paper, 10 online, last 5 at this blog site.
  3. Been married for 17 years and have a 10 year old daughter, who’s a handful at times and growing up way too fast.

Here are the questions Dacia posed to me:

  1. If your blog had a theme song, what would it be and why?

    The cover of “The Sound Of Silence” by Disturbed.  Although I’ve heard this already from Simon & Garfunkel a hundred times, it was something totally new after hearing it from Disturbed.  At various points of time in my life, I’ve connected with the lyrics of the song and being an introvert, it’s comforting in a way to listen to this and know that things will pass eventually and get better.  It’s a reminder that music can and does heal everything.

  2. What is your writing routine?  Do you have one?  Should you have one?  What would be your ideal writing life?

    This is four questions in one and is bending the rules slightly 😀  I tend to write when the mood strikes or there is something rolling around in my head that needs to be processed in a way that writing it out can solve.  The routine is random, so not really much of a routine, but I do average at least a few hours through the week to sit down and write.  At any given time, there are several drafts in-progress saved to my laptop.  I’m not sold on the rigid writing routine as anything creative tends to be random and when the mood strikes.  My ideal writing life would be a sound proof room, disconnected from everything, with the ability to write whenever I feel it necessary to do so without the worry of having to work and pay the bills.

  3. In the movie of your life, what actor could best portray you?

    Drew Carey, hands down.  I’m a geek and proud to be one too.  Drew is similar in build, appearance, and temperament.  With a few tweaks of his clothes and glasses, he would be a perfect actor to protray me.  The movie of course would be really boring and filled with lots of “processing” while sitting at computer.

  4. What are you currently reading?

    I actually don’t actively read despite the fact that I’ve read a lot of books.  I get into a groove every so often where I’ll rip through two or three books and then not pick one up for months.  I do read online news sites, blogs, and opinion sites on a daily basis though as I contribute to another blog focused on political opinion.  The link to that is in the sidebar.

  5. Describe the most trying time of your life?

    Hands down, high school.  It was the only time so far in my life where I felt completely lost and worthless to the world.  It took me more than a decade to get past the issues I pushed deep down before I dug them out and dealt with it in my adult life.  I’ve not attended or seen anyone from that time of my life and I doubt I ever will.  There is nothing from high school that I want to celebrate or even remember as people can be damagingly cruel to others.  I’ve since lived my life in a place of tolerance, respect, and understanding.

Here are the lucky 10 bloggers that I’ve bestowed this award on:

  1. Erika at DorkyMomDoodles
  2. John at The Ripening Wanderer
  3. Emily at Nerd In The Brain
  4. Deb at The Moster In Your Closet
  5. Juls at The Indecisive Eejit
  6. The Snail of Happiness
  7. Ally at The Spectacled Bean
  8. The Chatty Introvert
  9. In Search of It All
  10. Lobotero at In Saner Thought

Here are the questions I’ve asked of them:

  1. When did you start blogging and why?
  2. If you had one vehicle to puchase in your entire life, what would it be and why?
  3. Are you a citizen of more than one country?  Which ones?
  4. What is your favorite meal?
  5. If you could be anyone for a day, who would it be and why?

My best post:

By far, my best post and one of the most active with over 44 comments.  I’d never broken more than 20 on anything previous.  The post is titled The inauguration speech and is a break down of the speech Donald Trump gave on January 20th, 2017.  This was one of those posts that I was fired up about and need to process it through writing.

#the-mystery-blogger-award