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12 October 2017

Thursday 3-point update [More:]
1. I love this time of year, the leaves turning, not quite time for gloves and scarves, but cool, crisp weather.

2. I am so sad about something that's happened at work, to a colleague, not to me (although it has impacted on many of us). I knew senior management were pusillanimous c*nts, but now apparently nobody is allowed to make an honest mistake. Morale is in the toilet.

3. I have another week's holiday left to take before the end of the year. I've booked the time off for the middle of next month. Closer to the time, I'll find a last-minute getaway, maybe somewhere warm, but possibly back to Iceland. I didn't get to see everything in my last short visit, and I fell in love with the place and the people. But equally, I might just find somewhere warm, with a pool and a buffet, and do nothing but read and swim for a week.

So, what's going on with you?
1. Physically, no energy, no endurance, poor balance and pain in right arm; cardiologist confirms my heart is working at very low capacity but can't figure why. But it gives me an excuse to lay around and very slowly & in small bits, clean up the apartment.

2. Since I made an inquiry with Lending Club, 90% of my junk mail (and almost 90% of all mail) is from people trying to lend me money. Except, after not going to the mailbox for 3 days, all that was in there were 2 paper spam letters from... the Neptune Society (re: cremation and ash scattering). Great time to remind me of mortality...

3. My email is much less spammy but one list I voluntarily subscribed to is from the CityOfSanLuisObispoPD with a daily summary of police calls in the South end of the city (even though I'm over a mile outside the city). today's highlight:
Type: Suspicious
Addr: 12500 LOS OSOS VALLEY; STRAWBERRY STAND; Clearance Code:Gone on Arrival
A little random weirdness makes the day go faster.
posted by oneswellfoop 12 October | 22:50
Old school!

1. I'm still reeling from some devastating personal news.

2. for work I'm attending a conference in the US: Austin. Usually when I visit a EU conference I try to tag on a day to see the sights. But here I have no idea what to go do or see. I guess there's probably not something like an old city centre to explore. Perhaps I should rent a car to see some surroundings.
Also I'm not looking forward to encountering US customs. Does anybody know what to expect there? Senyar?

3. I'm thinking of studying a new programming language during time away. But perhaps it's not a good idea to do so much work related stuff in your own time during a time of personal stress.
posted by jouke 13 October | 00:35
1. Tired and recognizing the signs of burnout that led me to quit my last job (staying in bed until the last possible moment in the morning, yelling at drivers on the way home who aren't behaving *that* badly for the area, and a steady blurring of the lines between work and not-work hours).

2. Trying to offset #1 by finally burning my use-it-or-lose-it PTO. Taking two days off next week which should last me through my co-worker/manager's vacation the next two weeks. Then November & December is nothing but three-day weeks with a couple of full-week breaks. Maybe I'll actually go to the beach and photograph terns & plovers or something.

3. Wondering if that pain in my leg is the same pain that seemed lower down a few months ago, and still lower a year or two ago. Putting off long-overdue doctor/dentist/vision checkups because my insurance is kind of crappy.
posted by sysinfo v2.0 13 October | 01:35
1. Been depressed. Not "black dogs circling" depressed but the "fuck me it takes all the energy I have just to do the day" kind.

I feel I am failing my wife and my son and my granddaughter and anyone who likes me, and, the cats I take care of.

My ex-wife is looking at minor heart surgery, if sticking things into your heart is ever minor, and I am not supposed to know that. I should call her but I have not.

2. I have been asked to sit, and accepted positions, on 2 arts group's boards of directors. Been to 2 meetings in 3 days. This has been good. I am helping with 2 fund-raisers and a digital media strategy.

I do thrive when I can stand up in front of a group of people and try to sell ideas. Sales and marketing have a justifiably bad rap but they are also cool. Many people know what they want to do but lack the, drive?, will?, knowledge?, to do it. Or maybe they just can't get up and tell what they want to others? I am good in front of people.

It has been over a decade since my younger son died and it has been (for the most part) that long since I have been up in front of people (I did lead a couple of music video productions and helped lead 3 protests and helped with many arts events with small children).

3. I really will have an update on the feral cats I posted about. Soon.

Because of a number of outside and inside issues money is tight and I will need to do a crowd funding drive. Everything I know about crowd funding tells me that social media is key.

I find social media a cesspool of misogyny and racism and stupidity. I miss shared spaces like this one. They are almost history now. I have the gofundme ready to go.

Back in 1993 when my friends and I were pooling money to start an Internet company I believed we were doing something great that would make the world wonderful. I wonder if the folks working on internal combustion engines in the Victorian era lived to regret it? If they lived to see WW1 I bet they did.

A lot of my younger life taught me never to show weakness and to never ask for help. I find that I may have no other choice.

Reading this thread I wish only good things for all of you even if my wishes do nothing for you.
posted by arse_hat 13 October | 03:09
Also I'm not looking forward to encountering US customs. Does anybody know what to expect there? Senyar?

I had to renew my ESTA (the visa waiver form) before my last trip and it took forever. What used to be a 2-minute online form to complete is now the online equivalent of the Spanish Inquisition. Screens and screens of questions wanting to know the ins and outs of a duck's arse. So I was worried about how much questioning I'd get when I landed in the States.

But it seems that the interrogation is now front-loaded with this online form taking the place of f2f questioning, because when I got to Chicago there were row and rows of electronic booths to scan my passport, fingerprints and take a photo - similar to the check-in booths at the airport. It was all approved in a few seconds and a docket printed off which I simply had to hand to the border agent in the booth.

I don't know if they'll have these at the city you're flying into - they may if you're flying into Houston, as that's a major hub. But it was painless and quick, much to my amazement.
posted by Senyar 13 October | 15:51
Sysinfo can you do something about your work-life balance? It's much better to prevent burnout than to treat it I think.

arsehat thank you for your wishes! Even if my thanking does nothing for you. :-)

Senyar, it sounds like the customs experience got a bit better. I'm not looking forward to the cattle like experience of flying. We'll see I guess.
posted by jouke 14 October | 07:56
1. Recently hosted one English and two Australian friends at our place for 10 days. If any of you need a close-to-perfect hosting experience, these three are the people to call. Srsly, no dead fish smells whatsoever. ;-) We packed a lot of my city (and several multi-hour day trips) into those 10 days.

2. Trying to make myself do a routine writing assignment that rotates at the office and comes around twice a year for me. Ugh, I'd rather eat nothing but canned asparagus for a month than do this.

3. I have been more or less faithfully following a daily yoga/Pilates routine this year and am seeing results, not so much in the weight column but definitely in the tone, definition and inches-lost columns. I feel great about that, as much for my ability to stick to the program as the body results.
posted by initapplette 14 October | 15:19
Jouke- *hugs*
posted by initapplette 14 October | 15:20
1. Good friend's annual visit is in progress. Friendtober is happy inducing, not least because there is a certain amount of going out to eat and drinking of coffee and beer, not at the same time, mostly.

2. While working outdoors, I fell and landed, hard, on my tailbone. so much ouch. It's healing, but will definitely take a while.

3. I am almost done applying treatment to the deck, really needs it, and feels good to be getting stuff done, esp. since I'm injured.

4. Maine. October. Sunshine. Changing and falling leaves. It helps me deal with the daily awfulness of 2017 in the US.

5. Hugs to everybody that wants 'em.
posted by theora55 16 October | 11:59
I just did a course || buns