I’m Not… But I Am…

One of the hardest things in life is self-reflection. I don’t mean for the big moments. Self-reflection on how you act when someone’s sick, or someone’s dying is commonplace. Those are moments out of time, the ones life asks that you be a better you so that the moment can be supported and carried through. I’m talking about about the small moments when you feel absolutely justified in how you act, or the moments when life asks for a quick reaction and how you react won’t stay long in your memory or others. Somehow, when we think of ourselves, we…

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To Close Schools or Not to Close Schools

What is the right move in this day of instant communication across the world? A world where politics, greed, power and a disregard for people and things that are “other”, combined to create scores of folks disaffected enough to strike out? Today, schools in Los Angeles received an email that threatened bombs in schools. The email apparently referenced backpacks and bombs. No specific school was named in the threat and yet the school supervisors deemed it credible enough to close the entire. school. district. Over a thousand. Apparently, New York got the same email (and they are claiming schools all over…

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This Year’s Raiders Aren’t This Last Decade’s Raiders

Yesterday, I kept exclaiming after the game, “Raiders won! Against Denver! In Mile High!” After each exclamation, Westina nodded in understanding. For 12 years she witnessed my frustrations, my depression after Football Sundays, especially after the bi-annual Broncos games. You see, I had developed a very healthy (actually it’s unhealthy but let’s not go there) hatred for the foes in orange and blue. Back when I was teaching myself the fine art of US football, my education was handed to me by the Raiders and the 49’ers. While the 49’ers showed me what ease and finesse looked like, the Raiders…

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Toxic Employees

There’s a new study from Harvard Business Schools that apparently says that hiring superstars who are toxic employees is more detrimental to your workplace than hiring regular folks who aren’t toxic. I actually experienced this first hand. I used to work for a small firm who had about 7-10 employees at any given time. One of the employees, “G” was a friend of the owner’s. A free spirit, G was lots of fun. He was also very quick at his job. Because he could see the big picture, he saw how the industry we were in at the time, was a…

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“Serious” Games vs “Casual” Games

My boss went to a PS4 event and came back with brochures and free gifts. Somehow, he and I got into a big discussion about games, who plays them etc. It started when I noticed the audience for the Street Fighter tournament (which he attended) was 99% male. In fact, in his small video scan of the audience, I don’t think I saw a single female. I noted this fact so he comes back with, “Well, games are played by boys.” When I pushed back on this statement, he then made the subsequent and false observation, “Boys play ‘serious’ games while…

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Never Underestimate the Power of Loneliness

I’ve been reading up on the San Bernadino shooting. The picture that’s emerging seems to be that the wife was the extremist and that the husband joined her gladly. The other side of the picture seems to be an argument with an Israeli defender at the Holiday party. As a writer, the most plausible story-line is that the guy was a lonely young man who found his wife through an online search that took him to the other side of the world. The wife he chose (or was chosen for him) had already made up her mind about non-Muslims so when…

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A Kinder, Gentler Me

I used to be an asshole. Well, to be honest, I still am sometimes but I’ve curbed my assholery down to a minimum. Why? Because living with someone whose empathy surpasses mine makes it hard. I am a very empathetic person. The thing is, because of my family background, I was very content to keep that empathy restricted to folks I knew or met. Strangers? Why you’re not part of my tribe. Before I met my wife, I used to stack all the phonecalls I had to make to utilities onto a PMS day. Then already irritated, I’d unleash fumes of wrath…

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Breathing Space!

Whelp, so much for doing Nanowrimo this year. I started okay for the first week in November, but then life happened. More specifically, work happened. You see, my day job is in health insurance, specializing in small group health insurance. December is the worst month in our business… worst in terms of time and focus, best in terms of income. December is when most groups renew. Why? Because rates change on Jan. 1 and if you renew in December, you’re getting 2015 rates for 11 out of 12 months in 2016. Hence the workload. What’s made this year worse is…

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Reputations – As in, How Do We Know?

Boing Boing has an interesting post today called What is Reputation? It references Gloria Origgi who had written a book called La Reputation, and an essay from her on the website Edge. In the essay, she speaks about the reputation of doctors which is interesting because everyone is convinced they have the best doctors. This tracks with an observation of mine. Coming from a mother who has an opinion about everything and a background of bad health, I’ve noticed that folks will make an opinion without experience. Here’s what I’m talking about. My wife’s oncologist came with high recommendations from nurses and other…

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Hippo Birdie Two Me

52 and counting. Never thought I’d make it past 30 and look at me now. Regarding the graphic: I’m a 3rd generation rabbit. My grandfather on my mother’s side and my grandmother on my father’s side were rabbits, as was my Dad. Unfortunately, I’m the last of the run. My sister didn’t have any rabbits and well, my dogs don’t count, do they? And what would I like for my birthday? Why, thank you for asking. Please buy copies of my book and if you’ve already read it, give a copy to someone who might enjoy it.

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