A Depressing Post for Your Thursday

I recently found out that someone I only knew online passed away.  We followed each other on Twitter, but did not communicate much there. We had both been active users of Friendfeed before Facebook bought and killed it. I didn’t really know him, but we he was one of the people on Friendfeed I could count on interacting with my posts. If not for a post on yet another social media site, I might have never known about his death. It’s possible that others I have known online have passed and I missed the news for various reasons.

This made me think – how would people know if something happened to me(I’m pretending here that random people online would care). Facebook friends would be easy. That is a more personal place for me and the majority of the people there are real life friends and family. I’m sure someone in my family would post something and tag me and then people who didn’t already know would know. I’m not really active anywhere else online except for posting here. I do wonder, though, if I should have something in place for the blog. Maybe I should give someone my password so they could post any news that I would be unable to post myself. I would hate to think that my blog would go quiet and no one would ever know why. Hopefully, this will not be something I need to worry about for years, but the death of my online connection put it in my mind.

So, my question for you – do you have someone who is tasked to post on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram etc if something were to happen to you? If you blog, do you have a plan in place for someone to post if something were to happen to you? Do you prefer not to think about such things?

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Destruction Day

It is my morning off and I am surrounded by noise. It is destruction day, the beginning of the remodel of our master bathroom. The old is coming out to make room for the new. We’ve already discovered that we were lucky with out timing. We apparently had a leak behind our shower that could have turned in to a major issue had we not been tearing it down today. I could go deep and use the rest of the post about the metaphors of the morning. Getting rid of the old, damaged self to make room for the new. How the walls you put up hide the damage inside and repair can only come once you break down the walls. I could do that, but I won’t.

I will talk instead about the destruction and rebuild meaning we will be a one bathroom family for a couple of weeks. There are only three of us living here, so it shouldn’t be a problem, but I will have to think about the timing of getting ready for work, especially next week when I will have odd hours. My daughter gave us a list of rules we have to follow if we are going to share her bathroom.  I hope she realizes I won’t necessarily follow those rules. I did think it was funny, though. The big issue with her will be that she will have to try to not be as messy as she normally is. That will be a challenge. It might be a long two weeks.

I will also talk about my weird, annoying dog. She knows the people working on the bathroom. She knows they are in the house. As long as they are working upstairs she is fine and sits on the couch with me. The minute they open the front door she freaks out and starts barking at them like they are intruders. You would think she would figure out the pattern and stop barking when they come back in the house. She;s barking as I type this, so it appears that this won’t happen.

It will all be worth the above when the bathroom is finished. The over 20-year-old bathroom will be replaced with a nice, shiny new one. I can deal with some noise and sharing a bathroom for that.

Is It Time to Jump?

I recently read For Every One by Jason Reynolds. It was very good and one of the messages of the book was to make the jump, whatever that might be. It even included the message that even if you are 50(I’m close) jump anyway.  I would love to be able to take his advice. I feel like there is a jump I need to take, but there are a few issues with this:

  1. Jump where? – It might be a midlife crisis. It might be stress over a few specific things that could be over soon. It might be any number of things, but it doesn’t change the fact that I feel less and less like I am where I should be in my life. The problem? I have no idea what a jump for me would be. Is it as simple as taking the time to find a new hobby or to try to write something more substantial than a blog post? Is it a little more involved and means thinking about a job change? Is it even more extreme and I look to changing careers? A scary thought at the age of 50, especially with some of the other reasons I will list below.
  2. College – In August, I will have two kids in college. One of them will be just starting and the other will be in the final semester of undergrad and then on to grad school. Two kids in college is not a time to make a jump. Two kids in college is time to be happy you have a good, steady job for the next 4-8 years.
  3. Retirement – I am almost 23 years in to my job and that means  I am just about 7 years away from the 30 years of service I need to retire. It seems pretty dumb to think about making a major life change this close to retirement. That would rule out the extreme of a total career change.
  4. Others – Making a jump is easy if you are the only one involved. Making a jump that would affect the life of others is not as easy. Even something as simple as a hobby or writing will affect those around me. It would mean more time away from home or alone in a room. A job change might mean a longer commute and a change in salary. All easier if jumping alone.  I would not be jumping alone.
  5. Fear of the unknown – I will admit that this is also a big one. I’ve been with the same employer for 23 years. The thought of going somewhere new is scary. The thought of going to a new career is even scarier.  Even if all of the above was not an issue, I would still hesitate to jump. I’m just not the jumping sort.

So, after all of this, I will likely not make a major jump. I might try the simple thing of trying to write when I am going to be home alone anyway. That will just mean sitting in a room away from the distraction of the TV and making an effort. It likely won’t go anywhere, but at least I will know that for sure. I likely will never have the courage to make the bigger jump and will instead focus on finding some peace with where I am. But, you should consider jumping if the desire is there.

Tater Takes on a Marriage Quote About Becoming One

I saw the following quote on Facebook this weekend. It was directed at Christian couples on the topic of “becoming one”:

“Separate bank accounts, individual political views, clashing parenting styles, and private friends is not “becoming one.”

I am going to make an effort to coherently give my opinion on each of these areas.

Separate Bank Accounts:  I have mixed feelings on this one. I can how separate bank accounts could be both good and bad for a marriage. It could be good in a case where the only major difference you have is on how you spend your money.  In a perfect world, you would just say you could compromise and come closer in your  ideas of how to spend your joint money.  This is not a perfect world and we are not perfect people. If a separate bank account can help a couple get along better and avoid major money arguments I think it would be a good thing. The bad side is that a separate bank account could lead to suspicion and distrust, especially if it comes later in the marriage. It could lead someone to think there are nefarious reasons why their partner suddenly wants a private bank account.  I think the bank account thing has to be a couple by couple decision. One size does not fit all.

Individual political views: This is an odd one. Are you saying that one person has to change their political beliefs in order to make a marriage work? I don’t think “becoming one” means giving up your personal beliefs. Are you saying that you should never marry someone who has different political views than you?  I can see this in extreme cases. If you are strongly anti-gun you probably shouldn’t marry a gun owning NRA member. If you feel so strongly about an issue that a disagreement would be a deal breaker hopefully you know where the other person stands before you marry them. In general, though, individual political views are not a bad thing. Becoming one does not mean you become less of a person.  You should still be able to have opinions and views that are different from your partner’s.

Clashing parenting styles: I can mostly agree with this one. You have to be in agreement on how you are going to raise your kids. You can’t have one parent undermining that other when it comes to raising and disciplining your kids. Again, this is something that should have been discussed before marriage. It shouldn’t be a surprise if your partner is for or against spanking. Again, though, there are going to be differences. Even if you agree on the basics of how to parent, you each are going to do it a little bit differently than the other. Even if you become one, you are still not going to be robots. There will be differences. I agree that the overall parenting style should be similar, but it can’t be exact.

Private friends: Again, it depends on what they mean by private friends. If the private friends and people who your partner doesn’t know about and you are spending time with them without their knowledge that is likely a red flag. Why would you keep that from your partner unless you are hiding something? If your partner doesn’t want you to ever meet their work friends, but they are going out with them on a regular basis, there might be reason for concern. If you’ve met these friends and your partner is going out with the alone because you don’t want to go, that is a different story. I think it is healthier to have some couple friends instead of each person having their own individual friends. I have friends I spend time with on a regular basis without my wife, but she has met all of them and knows when I am going out with them. This is normal behavior.

In general, I think it is not a good idea to try to fit each couple in to a standard box. Everyone is different and every couple is different and what works for one won’t work for another. Also, unfortunately, there are churches out there that think women are not equal to men and a lot of this is a way to make sure they are kept in their place. You marriage should be patterned in a way that works for both of you.

My Week in Books, Movies and Television

Here it is. My new weekly report on what I am reading and watching. Try to contain your excitement.

Books – My reading pace slowed down significantly this week. I finished American Heart by Laura Moriarty(discussed in last week’s post) and read Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson. I never read the original novel and it’s hard for me to go back and read older books I missed  because I have a steady stream of new books coming to me from the library. It was nice to have the graphic novel version arrive so I could finally read it It is very good.

Movies – We watched American Assassin. I have never read any of the books, so I can’t speak to how it compared. It was a good action movie. Dylan O’Brien seemed a surprising choice for the lead role, but he did a good job. I think his star will continue to rise and he will be our next big movie star. Of course, I once thought the same of Shia LaBeouf, so my judgment is suspect. It was one action movie my daughter willingly watched with us because she loves O’Brien. If you like action movies you should watch it.

Television – Another week of watching a lot of shows on the DVR. Nothing outstanding to report. I’m still, three episodes in, trying to decide if I like Bill Hader’s show Barry on HBO. I like the premise(hit man decides he wants to become an actor) and it has a good cast, but I’m still not sold on it. I recorded the HBO documentary on Elvis, but I want to wait and watch it when I can force my family to watch and understand why I like him so much. We are getting close to the network upfronts and the announcements of next season’s TV schedule. I will have full reports then. Two shows appear to be headed to cancellation. Both Living Biblically and Taken have been pulled from the schedule. Both are mediocre and likely won’t be missed by many.

Hopefully, I will have a report on Noir by Chris Moore in next week’s post. I need to read more this week.

What’s Your Sign?

There are coupons in our staff lounge that are for one free child for each adult at the Baltimore Zoo. My first thought was that I don’t need another child, but then I wonder if they mean a human child or an animal child. If it is an animal child, I might reconsider, depending on the animal. One free child of any kind seems like a good deal, but possibly illegal. It’s an interesting promotion.

slowoutlet

The coupon made me think of other signs(I know the coupon was not a sign) that makes me wonder. There is the classic “Slow Children Playing” sign. I’m never sure if they mean slow mentally or physically but I see the “Slow Men Working” signs and I’m happy that the kids grew up and found a job. I see “No Outlet” signs on a lot of streets and I wonder how they use electrical appliances with no outlets. Maybe those are all Amish streets? One day I will go down one of those streets to investigate. There’s also the classic question of how the deer know that one particular location is where they are supposed to cross and couldn’t we make them cross the street at a more convenient location?

There was a daycare center on my route to my old job. The sign said it was MMA Daycare. I chose to believe that it meant it was a mixed martial arts daycare center and all of the kids were fighting every day after school. Someone I know shared the below sign. It sounds like an interesting fundraiser. I guess they want you to feel good about youself. I assume it can’t be too difficult to fight children with diabetes. diabees

Any funny or interesting signs you’ve seen?

Should I Write About It?

So, I’m sitting here again with an open laptop and a blank mind. There are some current event things recently that I could write about, but I’ve been hesitant. I make the mistake of reading comments on articles and Facebook posts and everyone is angry all the time – on both sides of the issues. I read Twitter and I see post after post of people saying why everyone else is wrong and there are no grey areas. You either agree with me on everything or you are the enemy. It’s tiring and depressing and makes me less likely to discuss anything of importance with anyone ever.

I could post my thoughts on Starbucks, but would that lead to people hating more than they already do because our views don’t match up? I could post about Roseanne and if ABC should have given her a show but, again, would that alienate more people? Is it easier to just keep quiet? That shouldn’t be the case. If everyone kept quiet there would be no possibility of change, but it is sometimes hard to speak up given this environment. I’m already tired, stressed and a little depressed about some things(college decisions, impending empty nest, travel, career stuff, etc). Do I really want to add to it with possibility of people yelling at me about political views? But, if I don’t write about current events what do I write? My life is way too boring to write about it on a consistent basis. I guess I will just have to get over it and deal with the negativity that comes from the posting of opinions.

A brief look at my views on the aforementioned topics:

Starbucks – Yes, someone being arrested for waiting for a friend at Starbucks is bad and people should be upset, but can you really blame all of Starbucks for the action of one manager? Especially when they are already moving forward with trainings to try to keep it from happening again?

Roseanne – I’ve watched three of the episodes. It’s OK, but not great. The first episode is the only one that mentions Trump, so the entire show is not a pro-Trump show. I don’t agree with the people who say ABC should not have given her a show. Her political views should not prevent her from working. You have the choice to not watch. You can’t make that choice for others.