and now for something completely different

I had been composing in my mind a blog entry on work ennui, but hadn't yet put fingers to keyboard.

Then last Wednesday I had a call with my manager and her manager. They told me that there was a big reorganization happening and I was being given a new job. The work will be very different from what I've been doing the past almost ten years and will involve program management, which I enjoy. Then, on Friday my manager told our team that those of us affected would actually be part of an entirely new organization. Wow!

I found out on Monday that my old manager, whom I lost in January, will be my new manager, at least for now. That is good news.

The thought crossed my mind last week that those of us moving to the new organization were being caught up in the rapture while those staying in the old organization were those left behind. But then, it could be exactly the other way around and those in the old organization are the ones caught up in the rapture. Besides, premillennial dispensationalism is bad theology. It only really came into existence in the nineteenth century. There is no real Biblical basis for it, and no basis in the beliefs and practices of the early church. So enough of that.

In any case, this will be something new and different. I'm looking forward to it. So much for work ennui, at least for now.

needing to get a life

On a recent Saturday evening Terry and I were sitting on the bed with our wine, as is our custom. I had my laptop out and was scanning Facebook. It was about 8:30 and I noticed that eighteen of my friends were on Facebook at the time. Eighteen friends on Facebook at 8:30 on a Saturday evening!

We need to get a life, all of us, folks!

practical and fun

I enjoy my Android apps, and I've got a bunch of them. I came across one recently that is both practical and fun. It's called CardioTrainer. It tracks several different types of exercise, but the one I've used is walking. It tracks your route and records your distance and average speed along with some other statistics as well. A male voice with a British accent tells you your time and distance at intervals that you can configure. And then you can upload your walk data so you can access it from the Web browser on your PC. Very cool!

It's been great for me, because I've been getting bored with the treadmill. It has reinvigorated my motivation to keep up with my exercise.

That's a good thing.

the end of the tail

The ponytail is gone. It left on Saturday. This was prearranged for Saturday's appointment with our hair stylist. I decided it was time for a change and that I didn't want to deal with the ponytail on our Alaska cruise. And while it likely wouldn't have been an issue at all, I didn't want anything that might slow things at customs. (We start the cruise in Vancouver, BC.)

I didn't realize at the time that this was happening the day before Easter, and I didn't know that this would coincide with a big change in my job. More on that the end of this week.

Nor did I realize that it would take just two snips of Debbie's scissors for it to be gone. Wow!

So now, more new and exciting happenings!


ruled by our hopes

If you are a friend on Facebook you know that I've been quoting from The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus by Peter Gomes. There's so much great stuff in there.

This passage really spoke to me in light of all the unrelenting negative news out there in the world.

  I am convinced that not only will there always be outer turmoil, but inner peace will
always be compromised until we recognize and affirm that we cannot be ruled by our fears
but only by our hopes. Inner strength comes from the sure conviction that God
has placed us in the world to do the work of life, and not of death.

This fits in very well with Fr. Phil's Easter sermon where he said that we don't have to take the Resurrection as a literal, repeatable scientific fact. Rather, we can look at it through the perspective of having a positive outlook for the future. He said that much of the Bible is written from the perspective of a utopian vision ("The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox…" —Isaiah 65:25). He said there's nothing wrong with that. That it's a good thing to look to a positive future.

Happy season of Easter 2011!

Sunday paper

After dinner on weekday evenings our routine is to put our feet up and read the morning newspapers. We get both the San Jose Mercury News and the San Francisco Chronicle. We get the paper seven days a week, but in a manner opposite most people, I enjoy the weekday papers more than Sunday. I've looked at discontinuing Sundays, but the money saved is insignificant. So when the Sunday paper is sitting there, especially the Chronicle, I somehow feel obliged to sit down and read it whether I'm particularly interested or not. It occurred to me that this makes little or no sense.

There are a few sections I enjoy: the comics, of course, the book review section, and "Ask Mick LaSalle" and "Radio Waves" in the Datebook section. So I'll just read those.

That makes more sense.


hearing aid annoyances

When I first got my hearing aid I got a couple of month's worth of batteries from the clinic. When I needed more I went to my favorite source for most anything, Amazon. There was a variety of brands to choose from, but based on the reviews I selected Rayovac. That was a good choice. The battery would last six or six-and-a-half days, beep at me and then go out. I could deal with that.

I had about ten month's worth of batteries, and when it came time to get more I went back to Amazon. It appeared that Rayovac was replacing that particular battery with a different, allegedly more eco-friendly, model. The new battery's reviews were not stellar. I looked around, read reviews, and selected Duracell. After all, in my experience they're the bast when it comes to those ubiquitous Alkaline AA and AAA batteries.

With the Duracell I get five or so days. Then it beeps at me but keeps going. Beeps at me again and keeps going. And on. I haven't tried to see how long it will actually go before being completely drained. The beeping would make me batty.

Next time: a different brand.


I haven't been one to use semicolons. I've actually been something of a snob about semicolons, suggesting that only the best craftsmen, for example, writers such a Paul Theroux, should be using them.

There was no good reason for this. I think it goes back to the late 1990's, many managers and a few companies ago. I was a technical writer and my manager gave me a suggested edit that included a semicolon. In that particular instance I thought it was a bad writing choice, and anyway that manager really irked me. I had a rebellious tendency to want to do the opposite of what she suggested.

Recently, though, I have found myself using semicolons upon occasion. A couple of months ago I used a semicolon in a PowerPoint slide, and last week I used one in an email to a former colleague.

That raises the question, of course, will I use semicolons here in my blog?

I don't know; I'm still considering the alternatives.

no passion for the Passion


I skipped church on Palm/Passion Sunday. That's quite unlike me.

Part of it was that I didn't want to try to get acquainted with the procedure for that day at St. John's. Part of it was that I didn't want to hear the passion narrative.

I've heard it said that the Eastern church focuses primarily on the Incarnation, while the Western church, at least the liturgical part of it, focuses primarily on the Passion and Resurrection. I think that that is true. I've come up with this formula, speaking as the Powers that Be of the Western liturgical tradition: "Yes, Advent and Christmas are fine and all that, but what is really important is Lent, Holy Week, and, oh, yes, Easter too."

Now that somewhat unfair, certainly, but I also think that there is a certain amount of truth there. And I guess I'm just feeling it more strongly this year than I have in previous years.

ocean time

If you are a friend on Facebook, you might have seen the photo I uploaded on Saturday from Sunset State Beach. Terry and I are making good on our pledge to spend more time at the ocean this year, and it is wonderful for our well being.

Terry had ordered some napkin rings to go along with our Monterey Bay Aquarium plates from Annie Glass in Watsonville. Those came in, so we drove over to pick them up and then went to Sunset. We love that beach because it was one of the quieter ones in the area. It's wonderful for walking and enjoying the surf. We then went on to the busy and bustling Phil's Fish Market and got fish both for last night's dinner and to seal up and freeze for future dinners.

A good day it was.