• Life

    Time for a Social Media Break

    by We’re all sick of the pandemic, the rotating restrictions, the changing rules, the government incompetence. Social media is an easy way to distract from that, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing, but when you remember that ever social media platform’s primary need is to keep you on it for as long as possible (because you’re the product and never forget that), you should remind yourself to take a look at your social media habits. I’ve caught myself doomscrolling and I’ve caught myself hatescrolling and I’ve caught myself trying to modify the ad algorithms on FB by searching for specific things to click on, hiding or reporting others, and…

  • Fiction,  Life

    In the Immortal Words of Admiral Ackbar

    by So there’s this little rant making the rounds on social media complaining about Pepé le Pew being cancelled. I’ve seen it at least a dozen times in the last two days on Facebook. What follows is direct copypasta. I’ve put it in quotes and changed the justification, but here it is in all its… well, not so much glory as word salad. “Listen up Buttercups! As someone who actually grew up watching PePe LePew (and all those “BAD” Saturday morning cartoons), I never saw Pepe as a rapist or promoting rapist culture. HELL I didn’t even know what a rapist was. I WAS A CHILD! Let me impart my…

  • Life

    Döstädning

    by It’s a word in Swedish that means something like “death cleaning”. I say something like as it seems probable that there are a whole lot of cultural connotations with the word that don’t properly come into English. If they did, I probably wouldn’t feel the need to qualify the two-word translation with the next whole paragraph, and I likely still only have the basic gist of things. My background is half-Scandinavian, but not Swedish. Döstädning is the idea of recognizing your own mortality and doing what you can to lessen the amount of stuff you leave behind for the people you leave behind to deal with. A big chunk…

  • Life

    The Unexamined Life

    by I’ve run across variations on certain a meme a few times now. Text only, it goes something like, “I grew up hearing and learning racist, sexist, and homophobic things. Eventually, I learned to think for myself and unlearned it. You were raised that way? Unlearn it. It’s 2020 and there’s no excuse for it.” Another variant: “You are not responsible for the programming you received in childhood. But as an adult, you are 100% responsible for fixing it.” Or, to borrow from Socrates: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” I grew up in the 1970s and 80s. There was plenty of racist, sexist, and homophobic crap in popular…

  • Life

    And So It Begins

    by I have, ultimately, made the decision on the basic path I want to follow for the next few years and, as of this afternoon, I’ve had the first phone and email exchanges to explore whether my preferred option is even possible. Yes, I know I said I’d take a little time to breathe. I think I also said that there’s a bit of potential time pressure on one path and, well, that’s the path that will give me the most of what I want, that will let me have a shot at the largest number of my dreams. I’m genuinely excited just by the idea of being able to…

  • Life

    What My Life Looks Like Right Now

    by In a word: weird. I’ve more or less become a house-husband, which is kind of cool. The cooking, the housework, the maintenance, pretty much all me. And that’s as it should be since my wife is the one working full time and making sure there’s money for food, utilities, and basic necessities. In between the housework, cooking, and maintenance, I’m getting a fair bit of writing done, plenty of martial arts training, and a surprising number of odd projects (like last week’s composter made of pallets and the tree/brush removal and cleanup we’ve been putting off for several years). I’m available as needed for my kids (all at home…

  • Life

    I’m Actually Not Missing Work At the Moment

    by Meaning, I’m currently at a mental place where I don’t miss work. Really. Some of the people, certainly. But being out of the house 50-55 hours per week to see those people while I bring home a paycheck, not so much. Oh, I’ve been there during this enforced shutdown of my industry, and I’ll get back there too, but right now I’m good. Since I’ve been off, I’ve pounded down the list of household projects to about a quarter of its original length. Of course, there are a couple of big projects (<cough> kitchen <cough>) we can’t afford with me off work, or even very easily if I’m back…

  • Life

    A Daughter’s Birthday

    by In the ongoing saga of, “When did I get so old?”, today is my oldest daughter’s th birthday. In every way marked by our society, she’s now a legal adult. I try not to blog about my kids’ major life events too often, at least partly for privacy concerns, but there are certain milestones that are a big deal, and nineteen is one of them. Strictly speaking, nineteen is absolutely one of them as it takes away the last handful of things that our society puts a legal age minimum on, mainly: Buy/consume alcohol, cigarettes, or cannabis products Buy lottery tickets or go to a casino Adopt a pet…

  • Life

    #CovidCooking

    by I’ve been making the occasional big deal out of learning how to cook during the shutdown. Under ordinary circumstances, my wife does most of the cooking while I do most of the dishes and related cleanup. This division suits us both. She’s a much better cook and seems to enjoy the process, and I don’t mind handling the dirty dishes or dealing with spills and wipe downs, though I’m sometimes entertained by just how many dishes can be generated in the preparation of one meal. But the truth of the matter, and I suspect it’s true for a lot of people who are in similar boats right now, is…

  • Life

    How Are You Coping?

    by There are as many ways of coping with the current isolation practices and how they’re reshaping our lives and society as there are people coping with it. New hobbies or a return to old ones, learning new things, bursts of creativity, exercise, extra housework or jobs around your living environment, reading, binge watching, social media, and on and on. For myself, now on Day 14 of true isolation in the aftermath of my place of work being shut down, I’m doing most of these things. Not because of some drive to make all this extra down time productive, although I’m sure there’s some of that in my psyche somewhere,…