Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thursday at the House

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Sarah, Ethan and I are hanging out in the living room after a slightly gluttonous "pizza night" extravaganza. Sarah enjoyed her dance class as usual, and I enjoyed my time with Ethan in the interim. Now I sit and scan the latest Twitter trends and news headlines, knowing pretty much what to expect.

Aside from the mass avalanche of swine flu stories, the other dog is still wagging quite visibly -- the recession, of which I'm painfully aware as my wife is out tonight with soon to be ex-colleagues who are treating her to a fond (seriously) farewell party. She has become a mere statistic, wrenched from a job that she loved, and that loved her back. Again, seriously.

We'll be good for 6-8 months, depending on what expenses may or may not arise between now and then. Only a year ago, that would seem like more than enough time to take a few vacations and then find a new job, but as it is, even though she has already been networking and baiting potential opportunities, she's nervous nothing will come through and we'll be essentially toast. Tent city, baby. Sure, it could happen. There is no guarantee that I'm staying in my job even one more day.

So, we take it day by day. We basically go through the twelve steps after losing a job (yes, it IS personal, even though it's just "business"), and are then faced with either reaping the satisfaction of burning massive bridges, or eating crow by helping our new divorcee with their transition and transfer of knowledge (and all that other garbage) in the hopes that such honorable consideration on our part might somehow pave a yellow brick road back to employment within that same company, or one of its affiliates.

We play the game like good sports :/

Please don't go thinking I'm speaking solely from the perspective of my wife because I've been down this road myself. The only two differences between her situation and mine: 1) I didn't love that job, and 2) I found a better opportunity in roughly three weeks because jobs were anything but scarce at the time.

So, here's wishing you and me and Julie, and everyone else who suffered at the mass irresponsibility of the banking and large corporate industries, the luck and fighting spirit we'll need to ride out this self-inflicted recession. In contrast to the media's current fixation, the issue I've outlined here seems much more dire and I look forward to it being moved back to the front burner.

Thursday at the Office

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And so I've already become hyper-sensitive to the sounds of people coughing, sneezing and clearing their throats here at the office. As I sift through my morning to-do list, I'm offhandedly wondering whether I should be wearing a mask; not because I think this new flu strain (Swine Flu? Mexican Flu?) would kill me and damn my soul to eternal pig hell, but that it would be a major inconvenience to have any type of flu in general.

As the mainstream media (don't EVEN get me started on Twitter) chugs on with its coverage, I note the usual reporting trends that range from the responsible to the sensational. DON'T PANIC should be the letterhead atop every story covering this event. Perhaps even a smiling and confident picture of Ford Prefect to ease the concerns of hypochondriacs and the like. I've so far fought back the urge to don a mask here in the office, whether it be out of the fear of looking completely paranoid and ridiculous, or possibly even inciting a second floor panic-stricken riot, during which I would most certainly become trampled and left for dead. Those of you who have never experienced a multicultural riot involving a diverse array of geeks (programmers, statisticians, medical writers) can consider yourselves truly blessed.

I'll be sure to let you know when the first mask makes its appearance. Until then, enjoy your day. :)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Oink Guilt

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Yeah, so I'm feeling slightly bad for putting a minor "fear of God" into my kids for telling them that there is a special type of flu out there that can really hurt us sometimes, therefore here are a few things you NEED to try and do, etc etc. My daughter is 7 and my son is 5. I know they're both going to take this to school and tell everyone they're going to die if they don't wash their hands. I'm bracing for Teacher Impact (which I'll just let my wife handle, hah!). I don't subscribe to the panic principle, but I also don't want my children to be clueless because that just isn't fair to them.

I can't wait to see how this plays out.


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So, everyone keeps telling me I should blog. I seem to have much to say, yet most of my thoughts come out in short spurts; not nearly blog-esque, but maybe just a wee bit more than micro-blogging (Tweets?).

I'm game. I'll see where this goes. I enjoy technology, politics and off-beat humor -- will it be possible to share both here without being too confusing? We shall see...