Old Dog, New Tricks, Young Pups

May 28, 2012

One of my favorite things to watch is an older dog with a younger dog. The younger dog proceeds to chew on the older dog’s ears, and generally make a nuisance of himself until the old dog growls “enough!”

I’ve been finding myself in the role of the old dog lately, working with a very bright, very energetic, much younger coworker who, if the truth be told, is a better coder than I can ever hope to be.

Part of me resents the fact that I’m probably past my prime, and part of me is insanely jealous that the nice role I thought I had carved out for myself at work got completely usurped.

I’m past all that, after some hard thinking, but I’m beginning to realize I’ve been coasting for a while and maybe need to get my shit together.



May 27, 2012

I found out Friday that the current contract I’m working under won’t be extended past June.  Being a contractor, it’s expected, but it isn’t any less anxiety causing.  Especially since I’m starting to face up to the fact that my age is going to start having an impact on my employability.

One of my coworkers is a few years older than me and went through two years of unemployment before he landed this job.  He’s done at the same time I am.  His experiences in trying to find work make me wonder if I’ll find another gig anytime soon.  I’ve been unemployed before, but it’s always a situation filled with dread, since there’s always a chance that I’m going to go a few months trying to live off unemployment, which is not particularly fun, especially when I’m trying to pay off things I got behind the last time I was unemployed. 

Mid Life Crisis

February 4, 2011

Lately I have been suffering from middle aged angst. This differentiates itself from teenage angst in that you actually have something to be angst ridden about, since you have a good 35 to 50 years to look back on.

In my case, it came down to one question: “What the hell have you done with your life?” It’s easy to look back and not be able to see anything but the forest of failures, while missing the few trees that managed to survive.

I think more than anything, it’s been a matter of wondering whether I will ever accomplish anything more than existing.

Being nearly 50, I’m trying to figure out what to do with the next 1/3 or so of my life span. I kinda shot the first 2/3 on all kinds of stupid stuff, so the next 1/3 isn’t looking like all that much fun. I’m not suicidal or anything, just trying to figure out a way forward. There are lots of people who managed to reinvent themselves at 50, I’m sure. I guess what I need to do is identify them and start figuring out what I can do t emulate them.

We’ll do better next time

November 10, 2010

I am diabetic, through every fault of my own. Sure I knew I needed to start losing some weight and get some exercise, but I kept putting it off thinking that I could wait until it got bad and then take it seriously. Guess what, I’m really struggling with taking it seriously now.

Yeah, I know the risks of losing various appendages, heart disease, kidney failure and everything else, but for the most part I still feel fine, so it’s hard for me to make the lifestyle changes I need to in order to get healthy.

Global Warming is a lot like that. It’s easy to blow it off, because so far, we feel fine. But the time we have to reverse the damage we’ve already done is getting smaller and smaller every day. It’s not a very long way to go from a lot of weird weather to pretty soon we can’t live on this planet anymore.

The people who want to tell you that it’s all a myth are a lot like me. They know they should make the changes but they don’t want to face up to the challenges and sacrifices required, so they’ll continue to be in denial until the end.


November 5, 2010

I’ve always been more of an anti idiotarian than a liberal. I despise hypocrisy and unthinking platitudes when they take the place of thoughtful, thorough discussion, on either side.

What disturbs me right now is that hypocrisy and unthinking platitudes have pretty much taken over one party and the other is trying hard to catch up.k

But that probably is a side effect of the embrace of the religious right by the GOP in the 80s. I have nothing against religious people as long as they keep it to themselves unless I ask. To me, religious affiliation is a lot like sexual orientation, I don’t really care to know, unless I want to get involved.

I don’t want to know that you are a born again Christian any more than I want to know that your significant other is the same gender or even the same species. I just don’t fucking care.

That being said, I have a definite prejudice against people who will use belief as a buffer or shield against reality. Let me give you an example. Our local historical society holds a “ghost tour” of a set of historical buildings (most of which were moved to the site). The local ghost hunters of course show up and proceed to spin all sorts of convoluted tales about spirits etc. I being a hard core skeptic and general asshole proceeded to debunk most of what they were describing mostly by asking questions about the things being shifted around couldn’t have been squirrels or raccoons, etc.

That did not make me a popular person, let me tell you. I was labeled Mr. Negative for the rest of the tour because I wasn’t a “believer”. I’m not unwilling to believe, but I want more evidence.

The same goes for what passes for the conservative movement these days. I’d like to believe they actually had some good plans for reducing the defecit without bringing the whole house of cards down but I don’t see any evidence. Now that they’ve got the opportunity to start presenting their case in actual practice, I hope they succeed.

It’s over, but it ain’t

November 5, 2010

I got an email from a wingnut friend (I don’t have that many) the other day consisting of the subject line “No, you can’t” That’s as much gloating as I’ve seen after the GOP retook the House.

In the meantime, even in victory, the hard core conservatives continue to be the whiners they’ve always been.

The liberal media is picking on us because it won’t stick to our preferred narrative!

We’re being persecuted because we can’t impose Dominionist values on the rest of the country!

The nasty liberals don’t like us!

Nobody says anything nice about us!

How about you quit complaining about the problems and start working toward some solutions, for a change?

Juan Williams shoots off his big mouth

October 22, 2010

Juan Williams got himself shitcanned at NPR for saying he fears flying with Muslims.

Now the right wing is all aghast at NPR infringing on his freedom of speech.

I call bullshit.

Look, Juan didn’t lose his right to say what he said, he lost his priveledge of using NPR’s equipment and network to say it on.

NPR was well within their rights to terminate Williams’ employment without giving any reason whatsoever. In fact what they should have done is simply insisted that he make a choice between Fox and NPR and let it be his choice. I suspect he would have chosen Fox (especially now that they gave him a $2 million payoff)