Sunday, November 17, 2013

Omnibus Post

Since I don’t have one all encompassing subject, I thought I’d throw down a few things to catch-up.  

Sickness Absolutely Sucks:  First and foremost, the last twenty days have sucked.  A dry, hacking cough that comes in spells, they last for upwards to two minutes straight.  At the end of it, I’m curled up into a ball, my stomach crying out like I just finished 500 sit-ups, face flushed and eyes bloodshot.  Sounds like fun, right?  I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.  It got so bad that I started scaring my girls; while I was on all fours trying not to die, my youngest got the courage to come and rub my back, consoling me that ‘everything will be alright.’  Cute, right?  

One particularly bad night found me bruising several ribs and straining my diaphragm, making it pretty hard to breathe and near impossible to sleep.  After watching one of my bouts, the doctor pretty much just confirmed I didn’t have pneumonia and prescribed a narcotic cough suppressant (goodness doesn’t methadone work like charm); sure made going to work an unusual experience.  Three doctors later and I am still coughing like an idiot.

Frustrating NaNoWriMo:  As a result of the previous issue, my NaNoWriMo has so far been a bust.  Its pretty hard to commit to writing when all you want to do every waking minute is go to sleep.  And stop coughing.  It’s not that I don’t have the material to work with, just neither the will or the physical capability to concentrate long enough to capture what I would.  Things have improved enough for me to work on this blog post, which means I will soon be addressing my significantly deficient contribution to NaNoWriMo.  Do I think 50k is doable?  Likely not, but I’m gonna’ give it my damndest, despite work.  I may have to cut back on the cough suppressant and just hope my body is near done fighting this bug off.

Work Life:  Normally fairly hectic and occupied throughout the day, there are bouts of time where I’m suddenly without anything critically occupying my time.  Under these circumstances I typically open up whatever I’m working on at the time and throw down whatever I can in the time I have.  Most recently a rash of documents and administration seems to have eaten away these pockets of time.  Next week I’ve been requested/tasked to run a Base-wide security training exercise.  It’s been a while since I’ve been in an operational context and I’m looking forward to getting back to tradecraft and pointy-end of stick activities.

Queensryche:  I’ll admit that the Empire album (released 1990) had some absolutely spectacular tunes.  The depth and impact of the lyrics, combined with the soaring (and sometimes haunting) voice of Geoff Tate made this one of my favourite bands during that era.  For almost two decades though, I completely lost touch with their music.  Not until a recent trip of reminiscence on YouTube did I come across Silent Lucidity, one of their greatest hits.  I then did a quick search to discover the factions that split the band.  That said, I spent some time searching for the songs on their recent albums and have to say that the addition of Todd La Torre has rekindled the older vibe, and quite frankly, rekindled my interest in the band and their music.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Making Lemonade From Lemons

So, as any parent will attest to, Halloween has come and gone.  The build up for this event for smaller children is, in some cases, just shy of that for Christmas.  In my case, my two girls, princesses both (in real life and by virtue of their costumes), were ramped up to the max, to the point of near intolerance from my wife and I.  That said, they were promised a good go, so off went my wife to escort them, while I stayed at home handing out the candy.

Not my child, but a pros pos
Part of the tradition of Halloween is getting dressed up for school, or in the case of my youngest, daycare.  On the way to daycare, she snapped her plastic wand in two.  In the midst of traffic, I’m sure every car within throwing distance heard the commotion.  For my part, I tried consoling the child for a couple of minutes and then simply turned up the radio volume.  After about five minutes of screeching (no simple crying for this child), she suddenly stops.  I’m adjusting my rear view mirror to ensure she didn’t go and decide to try and choke herself on a piece of plastic, or some other silliness.

With the two pieces of plastic in her hands, tears still rolling down her cheeks, she’s smiling and staring wonder at the two pieces and gives me this: “Daddy, now I have TWO magic wands!”
And despite how frustrating they can be at times, it is at moments like these that you have to smile and think everything is good and right in life.
Edit:  Same child, after 90 minutes of door-to-door candy-grabbing, she enters the house, plops down and says, “Daddy, I’m tired!”


So, I decided to take the plunge this year and registered for NaNoWriMo.  It’s two days into the month and neither my mustache for Movember nor my novel for NaNoWriMo have seen much progress.  I’ve got some sketched out chapters and outline plots to flesh out, but nothing on paper due to some fangled illness.

Given the previous anecdote of my daughter, I can’t help but realize that 4 weeks is actually a decent amount of time to get things done.  The target of 50k words is daunting enough, but something I’m going to try my damndest to complete.  Not wuite a ‘two magic wands’ kind of statement, but a commitment nonetheless.