Back to the Beginning

Life appears to be a cycle, at least to me.  Endlessly repeating coincidences and events that lead you right back to where you may have been years before.  For me, it seems to revolve around the name Anne.  My mother’s middle name is Anne, I’ve had several girlfriends who were either named Anne or Angie, or had the middle name Anne, and my wife’s name is Anne.  And now I’m heading back to work in my home town.

Home has always been somewhat of a variable term with me.  My parents moved a lot when I was growing up.  In fact, I never lived anywhere longer than 5 or 6 years until I dropped out of college.  My parents moved at least 6 times after I left home, though they finally seemed to settle down after while.  I don’t know if it was mostly my Dad or my mom, I think they were both in professions (ministry and pharmacy) where there weren’t that many jobs in their chosen fields in the small towns they preferred to live in.  In that respect, I’m somewhat fortunate, in that there are several places to find IT work within an hour and a half drive of the town I’ve lived in for the last 14 years.

I never thought I would live anywhere for 14 years.  My life hasn’t always been stable enough to support that kind of locational longevity. Instead it’s been a collection of  3 or 4 year stays, before moving on to another job, another life, another opportunity.  I wonder sometimes if this is why I finally ended up doing contracting, working on a project for a few months before moving on to another assignment.  It may be I have some kind of aversion to commitment, but I think it has more to do with getting bored easily, not an unwillingness to sticking with something.  After all, I will have been married to my wife fourteen years this year.  I think I’ve also not really found something that fit my predilections.  The job I accepted will very much be a good fit, as it’s with a small department where everyone does everything rather than just one thing at a time.




Snow! Snow! Really?

I have lived in the Midwest my entire life, so weird weather is pretty much a state of being.  Today I had to drive 80 miles to get to a job interview, which was an exercise much like war, in that it was long periods of mindless boredom punctuated by brief moments of sheer terror.  I quit conducting the CID (Cars in Ditch) count after the first 15 or so.

Driving by a car on the side of the road or in a ditch is most of all an exercise in “There but for the grace of God, go I”  I’m a pretty careful driver, but that’s because I have a overwhelming fear of fiery death because I was going too fast or not paying attention to what I was doing.  The only accidents I ‘ve had in the last 10 years have been car/animal encounters, one with a deer and one with an Ihavenoidea.

Hitting a large or small animal with your vehicle is a fairly traumatic experience when you think about it.  The deer took out an entire fender, my front bumper and the hood of my car.  I knew it was a deer not because of the brief flash I saw in the headlights but by the chunks of hair and flesh that were jammed into the cracks in the body work.  The USA (Unidentified Scuttling Animal) that crossed my path one dark winter’s night took out my radiator, my air conditioning unit and all sort of other damage.  Needless to say, neither the deer or the critter had liability insurance.

I should be used to it by now, but I still find it difficult to accept that there are animals too stupid to get out of the way of my car or to at least stay out of the way.  There was the squirrel who insisted on trying to beat me across the road and who got flattened for his trouble.  There was the large rooster pheasant who ran out in front of my car and met his demise in a cloud of feathers out the back end as I ran over him.  I don’t like running over innocent animals, I really don’t, but perhaps I’m doing my part for evolution in thinning the herd of the idiots.

The interview completed, I drove back home, this time the roads were wet instead of slushy, and other than the same cars that I saw coming in, only on the other side of the road, it was a much more pleasant drive.  I did get the word that I got the gig earlier today, so I will be making that drive on a daily basis through the end of the year or so.  I’m looking forward to it.  A long drive each day is a great way to let your brain relax and to grant yourself the opportunity to have a BFI (Blinding Flash of Insight).  I’m looking forward to it.

Looking for food in all the wrong places

Mickey Gilley is gonna sue me, but what the hell.  For those of you who don’t know the reference, GET OFF MY LAWN!

Being a long range commuter (70 miles + each way, each day) I havfe to admit my diet leaves a lot to be desired.  It seems like I’m unable to resist the temptations of McDonalds, Taco Johns, and where ever else I happen to pass on my way to and from my intended destination.  The everlovin’ of course is aware of this, because among my many faults I am a terrible slob.  The passenger side floor is fileld to the brim with the detritus of my dietary indescretions.  “Taco Johns today?” she asks, with an arch of one eyebrow telling me that she is NOT amused.  That’s not to say that she is imperious, holier than thou or anything else, she just tries to keep an eye on my diet so she can hopefully keep me around a bit longer.

I think the hardest thing about avoiding such temptations is that driving bores the hell out of me.  If I had the money, I’d have a Google self driving car right now.  To me, the height of luxury would be climbing into my vehicle, punching in my destination and then sitting back and reading my phone or listening to the radio without the distraction of trying to avoid flaming death by veering off the road and into a ditch somewhere.  Not gonna happen in my lifetime.  The only hope I really have is to find someplace to work where I can telecommute instead.

Telecommuting is a bit of a razor edge unfortunately.  On one hand you can climb out of bed and go straight to work in your shorts if you really want to (I’ll thank you to keep your mental images to yourself, I know they’re not pretty) but on the other hand, my family, meaning my dogs, don’t seem to be aware of the fact that if I’m working I can’t be getting up every five minutes to let them in and out.  Toby is especially bad about this.  First Buster the Lhasa Apso goes out.  After he comes in, Toby the Flat Coated Retriever has to go out and check what Buster did.  Then when I let Toby back in, Buster feels he has to go out and see what Toby did, and on and on until I think I should just give it all up and become a doggie doorman.  Toby is especially bad.  He walks to the door, then walks back to me.  Even if I tell him “No! You just went out!”, he continues back and forth and back and forth like a pooch pendulum too the door and back to me.  Whine a bit, then walk back to the door.  Lay down after I tell him to lay down, for about 5 minutes before getting back up rather creakily (Toby is 9 or 10) and then walking back over to me to whine a little more and then walk back to the door.  Essentially it’s Chinese Water Torture with 4 legs.

So I guess it’s really unhealthy food on one hand or mental infirmity brought on by my dog.  Maybe I should just start taking the dogs for a walk, they’d be too tired to bug me and I could use the exercise.  Who am I kidding.