May 25 - May 31

Five Things for the Week

Hello, is it 2021 yet? Though, if we have learned anything about history it’s that the beginning of a new calendar year very (VERY) rarely changes any of our circumstances. You know what changes our circumstances? Our actions.

But there’s no reason for me to expand upon this. If you’re paying attention, you are already acknowledging (I hope, at least thinking about) this. By now, we should know that change begins with ourselves, our own thoughts, awareness, and behaviors.

It took more than 40 years but I’m finally beginning to be more comfortable, more accepting of myself. One of the big turning points to arrive here? Acknowledging that I can change (in myself) what I want to change. Related: accepting and being accountable for past behaviors.

I do not, nor cannot, fully understand everything that is happening in our world this week. I know that I’m saddened, angry, frustrated, and confused. I want to help but I don’t know how. Not yet.

If I may, some unsolicited advice for you: look for good things and, if you have trouble finding them, create.

Please take care of yourselves this week.


[one] that sandwich

I wrote about wanting to try some breakfast sandwiches, from Camellia Coffee, a few weeks back. I still do but, earlier this week we had two brioche-style buns (leftover from weekend burgers) and inspiration hit me…

I grilled two chicken-apple sausage patties. I generously buttered and toasted the buns on the same grill, nice and indulgent. I then took extra care to make a velvety (as much as I could), fluffy omelette (with dill, milk, and salt) to place on top.

The photo (above) is rushed and plain (i.e. not styled) because I wanted to eat it before the egg and sausage got cold.

My wife has mentioned this sandwich to me, and to others, multiple times this week.

Reader, it was wonderful.

I’m considering this sandwich as the base, a foundation to build upon. I have many more ideas for varieties that I plan to make.

[two] i might start a tech blog?

I’m part of a few Slack instances for IT professionals (mostly focused for project managers, systems analysts, engineers, and business analysts). There’s a lot of good general networking happening, along with professional resources and funny shared stories. It’s a great learning resource. 

This week I participated in a discussion on being the “IT Support” for friends and family. Some hate the role, or at least are irritated by it. Some treat it with indifference, accepting it as their “role” in their family or friend group. I found myself siding more towards the group that seemed enthusiastic about it. They found enjoyment and satisfaction in being the ones to help people around them figure things out, set themselves up for efficiency, and be more aware of cybersecurity. 

We found our conversation started to focus on identifying ways to make technology more accessible to everyone. Of course, this isn’t anything new. Technology has many barriers to entry and understanding. But, what can technology professionals do to make it more accessible to those implementing it in their homes, their lives? There are thousands of sites and blogs out there that can be resources but, where do you start? Who do you trust and follow? Who can, and how can we, make it more personal? 

So we split off and created a new Slack channel to continue this discussion and to try to find some solutions. I’m so happy and excited to be a part of this. 

[three] comfort from the freezer

My appreciation — and nostalgia — for Drumsticks has returned. They were an especially nice indulgence during this week’s heat wave. Also, a Digiorno pizza tastes way better than one would expect from a frozen pizza. Even better when slightly overcooked (for a nice crunchy crust). 

[four] note to self: be present

More so this week than last week, or even the past few weeks, I used work as a form of escapism. I need to be careful with this; I have used it in unhealthy ways before. Multiple times. It can be healthy in small doses but, where I let it happen for long spans of time is when I caused myself (and others around me) the most pain. 

[five] applicable to thought, planning, and action

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” —African Proverb


Recently Read

The Reeducation of Cherry Truong by Amy Phan - I really appreciate stories that juxtaposition “coming of age” stories, like the lives of young adults against the same timeframe that other generations (parents, grandparents) faced during the same time in their lives. There’s so much consciously or not, shared or kept hidden, that shape who we are and why we do what we do. Author Amy Phan did a wonderful job telling this story.  

Cabins We Wouldn't Mind Being Stuck in Right Now - Any of these will do. 

The editor of Taco Bell Quarterly explains how to make art out of a fast food brand - I read this article twice because the first time I couldn’t stop thinking “there’s a Taco Bell magazine?”

We don’t own our digital lives and it’s time we started caring about it - Remember when something disappeared from your music or movie library, the first thought was that a friend/family/roommate had taken it? Now, it’s corporations. 

The story of a weird world I was warned never to tell - *insert dropped jaw emoji* 

Recently Watched

Dragonheart (1996) - I don’t remember why I was talking about it but I discovered that my wife had never seen this (or didn’t remember any part of it). Not only did we find it on Netflix but, we discovered there are 3 sequels. I wasn’t aware of any of them. Unfortunately, none of them look all that great (judging from their previews). 

Get Smart (2008) - Funnier than I remember and Steve Carell is a perfect Maxwell Smart. Alan Arkin’s delivery of “I don't know. Were you thinking, ‘Holy shit, holy shit, a swordfish almost went through my head’? If so, then yes.” had me rolling. 

Star Trek: Voyager - currently at s7 e15. I noticed a lot of B’Elanna side eye and Janeway rolling her eyes during this span. “Blink of an Eye was interesting and well done. Fascinating concept having Voyager be “stuck” orbiting a planet where time passes much faster on the surface. I really liked how they explored that. Also nice to see a Daniel Dae Kim appearance. Episodes where they are able to make brief contact with the Federation fascinate me. I have grown to like and appreciate Lt. Barclay. I also like Icheb; he’s a good character that I wish they had more time to explore. Klingons on a pilgrimage. There should have been a franchise spinoff following Naomi Wildman’s journey through Starfleet Academy and her career to become a captain. And yet again, *shakes fist at Ferengi*.

Reunited Apart - episodes “Splash” and “Lord of the Rings”. I’m a sucker for cast reunions on Youtube. I miss John Candy. The Lord of the Rings cast is just fun to watch. 

Recently Listened

This week’s rotation included Mala Rodriguez, Ana Tijoux, N.W.A., Rage Against the Machine, and Rainer Maria

[Single] “Quién Manda” by Mala Rodriguez - the chorus (loosely translated) is: 

“Who’s in charge? Who?
Time to watch people rise up
I don’t need power”

[Podcast] KCRW Good Food: Roxane Gay, plant-based Mexican, Indian spices - The link is to the conversation segment with Roxane Gay though, the entire episode is great (as usual). It’s a great conversation between her and Evan about food, our relationship to it and our self image. 

[Podcast] Vergecast: Slack CEO Stuart Butterfield on competing with Microsoft, the future of work, and managing all those notifications - An interesting listen and it coincides with some of the conversations I had with colleagues, this week. Work is changing, not just because of COVID-19 but because of many factors. Our approach to work, and technology, needs to continue to evolve as well. 

Recently Posted (on the blog)

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