100 Days

upcomingI’ve been encountering a bit of blog blah recently, and it’s tempting to go on another hiatus until I retire and don’t feel the work pressure and negative energy. But I have a growing backlog—new ideas keep popping up—and I really do enjoy the writing.

Things are returning to normal around here; page hits are finally back to their low numbers. The party has died down considerably, and that lets the host leave the remaining guests so he can whip up some new treats (and maybe open that bottle of wine I’ve been saving).

Speaking of which, I meant to open two bottles this weekend, but life did one of those unexpected detour things. I’ll pour both those articles very soon, but today’s snack catches up on some things.

WhyIn fact, this would be a Brain Bubbles post, but I’m re-thinking the BB concept. I keep inventing a “channel” for brief, pity things and then using it to write long posts (the curse of the highly detail-oriented). Sidebands and, now, Brain Bubbles have both become just more of the same.

I either need to make a plan and stick to it or dump both ideas and just use WordPress Categories like Blogger intended. (Although even that’s becoming a mare’s nest. Is a post “Science” or “Physics” or both? Project for 2013: revise and simplify Categories!)

I have been pondering a new blog for some of the more technical stuff. I found that having a baseball blog in addition to this was too much (or maybe I just didn’t really do well having a baseball blog).

BoB Link 1I mentioned recently I was considering starting a new blog where I could talk about a computer language, BOOL, that I’ve been idly designing (emphasis on “idly”) for many years (emphasis on “years”).  I have an unpublishable 400+ page book about the language (which even my best friends won’t read). Suddenly the light bulb went on: I could start a BOOL Blog.

Which I have. Drop by and check it out… I just realized I should create some sort of “Guestbook” for fun… depending on when you read this, I may have done so.

[I rather like the WP Theme I’m using. It’s elegant, clean and simple. There was a retro Macintosh theme I started with, but I really didn’t care for its layout. Pity; I loved the theme!]

Five by Five

You might recall my Looking Forward wish, which I tried to express along the lines of the final five gifts in the 12 Days Christmas song. Sadly, my muse muttered and mumbled, so I missed many of her messages. My mind went blank on items three and two!

My muse is still out mucking about, but she mentioned in a memo some matters of meaning, and so now my pentagram is complete. Therefore I give you now, Five Wishes for 2013.

five starsFIVE Guiding Stars to find for yourself. Principles to follow; compass points in the darkness of the world. Seek them and keep them in your mind’s eye. Mine are:

  • Freedom
  • Responsibility
  • Honesty
  • Education
  • Humor

I want to live in a world brightened by the light of these stars, and I will devote myself to following them. What are your guiding principles?

stoolFOUR Square Legs on which to base your work life. Upon this stable platform build your reputation and professionalism, for they will stand you in good stead throughout your career. I have a plaque at work that reads:

  • Ownership
  • Excellence
  • Understanding
  • Precision

Own your work (be responsible), strive for excellence in everything you do, seek to understand all that you do, and use precision (it leads to excellence).

How do you approach your work life? What are your “work legs?”.

three threadsTHREE threads that run through your life and most identify who you are. The exercise of self-discovery that comes from deciding what your three words are can be revealing and exciting. Mine are:

  1. Artist / Teacher
  2. Philosopher / Scientist
  3. Builder / Fixer

You should plan to spend months—even years—pondering these. Pick three then live with them for a while. People talk about finding themselves, which I’ve always found silly. You’re right there, so how much looking do you need exactly?

Try listening rather than looking.

two-sidesTWO sides (at least) to any discussion. The “other guy” always has some sort of point, and you do well to listen to what it is and take it seriously. But that is not to say all sides of an argument are valid. Not all opinions are equal, and some of them are pure shit.

Learning to tell the difference is wisdom.

(And keep in mind that even the stinkiest, shittiest opinions may have some nugget of value. Very few things in life are 100% shit!)

expect the bestAnd finally, ONE Goal for Change: Expect from our politicians and sports figures the same standards of behavior and professional excellence we do from airline pilots and doctors. Expect from ourselves the same standards we would look for in our kids’ teachers or our bank teller.

Various & Sundry

The Versatile BloggerI was given the Versatile Blogger award by Gwen Bristol last week. I kind of don’t engage in the blogger award system (see my Disclaimer page), but I am very much touched by the gesture. Thank you muchliness!

As a gesture of good will, and in thanks (and because who doesn’t like making up digging up interesting facts about themselves), I will have a go at the seven questions.  Let’s see… humor or serious, real or real (but only in my head)?

  1. I have owned three blue cars, but no blue SUVs. One of my SUVs was not black. All my vehicles have had four wheels.
  2. I haven’t ridden a horse in over 40 years. But I have recently ridden an elephant (elephants, again!) and a camel. I preferred the elephant.
  3. Blonde is my least favorite hair color. Ironically, I married someone so fair you could lose her in the glare of a sunny day.
  4. I am not afraid of clowns. (And I kinda don’t get the whole fear of clowns things. Apparently it’s serious, but it mystifies me.)
  5. I do not have a secret crush on anybody right now (although there are a few bloggers I find very attractive—nope, not going to say).
  6. When it comes to the Beatles or Elvis, I’m basically, “Yeah, whatever.” No negativity; just really no opinion or interest.

I was going to add a seventh item along the lines of not following directions well but realized that would defeat the point.

Smythehenge Jan 12

The sun appears!

In other important business, this post (or one like it) should have been posted this weekend with the mild word-play title “Saturday Sunny.” The reason being that, finally, the sun has gotten to the point where it gets past the rather deep well of my skylight and now reaches down into my living room.

Considering the Solstice was nearly a month ago, I’ve been waiting almost patiently for the sunlight to appear. That small bar you see will get bigger and lower until it reaches the floor. It’ll creep across the floor several feet  until, sadly, in June it reverses direction.

Smythehenge Jan 12

1/12: The Sun!

I have my own personal little Stonehenge!

And speaking of dates, today is doubly significant. Today, way back in 1980, in a small office in California, The Company offered me a job. I took their offer on the spot (and cancelled the interview I had elsewhere later). Today, as far as TC is concerned, I turned 33.

Smythehenge Jan 8

No sun on 1/8!

And the post’s title? That’s how many working days I have left (as of today) if I follow through on my plans to retire. Which, as that old Eight Ball used to say, all indicators point to. I find myself feeling a little guilty sometimes. I was just hired by this guy last September, and in June I’ll do a runner. Usually the protocol is to give someone two years. It’s just fair.

But then I actually go to work and realize how much I hate almost every aspect of it. Today also marks the four-month point, and when I look back at what (stinkin’ little) I’ve accomplished in that time… well, fuck me!

In life, sure, but I am not used to being this ineffective at work, and it’s making me really miserable (and cutting into my blogging time). This is not how I wanted to end a 33-year career.

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

16 responses to “100 Days

  • minisculegiants

    I enjoyed reading the facts you posted about yourself.

    Best wishes always!

  • The Green Study

    Sorry the new job turned out to be a dud. Hopefully, it will soon just be an bad memory. Checked out your BOOL blog, but since I am of the non-technical genre, I decided to take a Tylenol instead. Good luck – there’s certainly a niche audience for it!

    • Wyrd Smythe

      A really, really tiny niche! Very possibly a niche, population me! But you never know… there might be a couple serious language geeks out there who are sufficiently bored enough to get into it.

      Thanks for dropping by and checking out! Very kind of you to make the effort!!

      • The Green Study

        I think I was being optimistic – I’m always open to new information, but it seemed like I might need to do some homework first!

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Yeah, and in this case the homework would be formidable. You’d need to study programming language theory, data type theory, computer architecture and probably a few other areas. I’ve been doing this for almost 40 years, so I have a bit of a head start! 🙂

  • heysugarsugar

    Well what an awesome post, I shall now spend ages replying as I am using my tablet and touchscreen and it takes ages like watching paint dry! OK firstly Blonde is your least favourite colour? Shock horror ! I am a fabulous blonde but yeah fake so does that earn me kudos? who are your fantasy bloggers Smitty ..hmm? 😉 ok 5 guiding stars …Integrity, Truth, Self Worth, RealIsm, Knowledge. 4 Square Legs….PrIde, DIlIgence, Hardwork, Commitment . 3 Threads….Writer/Creater Lover/Friend Thinker/Reader 🙂 Ceri

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Hair color clearly isn’t hugely significant with me, since I married a really blonde blonde (whose hair is now going straight to white without stopping at gray).

      My lips are sealed when it comes to blogger fantasies! (Although maybe one of these days I’ll start that erotic fiction blog I’ve been considering.)

      Those are good stars (“realism,” especially, speaks to me) and your “work legs” are good, too! Good start on the three threads,but you really do need to live with them for a while to see if you still agree over time…. you might surprise yourself; I know I did!

  • heysugarsugar

    P.S. I am off to cast my eyes over The book of Bool 😉

  • indytony

    Many thoughts here…I’ll comment on just one. The guiding principle I try to follow in my writing is a partial Bible verse – “speak the truth in love.” If we try to love without speaking the truth, we wind up enabling sin. If we try to speak the truth in unloving ways, we wind up being abusive. We need to balance the two – and be lovingly truthful in what we say and what we write.

    Thanks for the thoughtful post.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      That’s a very good point, and it’s something I’ve struggled with a lot as an adult. I’ve always been one to speak truth (as I see it, obviously, got that part down pat. Even got the loving part down in most cases, but the problem often seems to be presentation. It’s hard to get across that your words are offered in love—the human love of growth and completeness.

      One question I’ve never resolved: are some people just incapable of hearing truth, or am I really that bad at speaking it? That journey continues.

      Also a good point about loving and not speaking truth. I can relate.

  • charmarie221

    I’m a big believer in Life Being Too Short To Be Miserable mantra… within reason of course. Financial stability, medical issues (insurance, anyone?), etc etc have to be considered. But if all that boring scuttlebutt is taken care of, then fly, be free, and don’t look back. I envy those with such freedom. Truly.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Yep, exactly. I imagine very few ended their lives wishing they’d had less fun, but equally I imagine quite a few go out wishing they’d had more. One of my life goals has been not being in that second group.

      And there was that whole “birds of the air, lilies of the field” thing… I took that pretty seriously.

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