Personal Blogs are hard when you have no life

Posted on 07/02/2017 in misc

The Circle

Back when I had young kids I had more blog fodder than I knew what to do with. These days, the kids are adults, and I work from home all day. There are weeks that I get to Wednesday or Thursday without putting shoes on. I'm not complaining. I'm fine with not going into an office regularly, or at all. I freaking love it. But never leaving the house does limit the inputs I get to spark writing.

So here we just past the half-way point of 2017. Big stuff is in the works for the O'Donnells, but I'm not offering up any spoilers yet. Stay tuned :) Michelle's first post-radiation mammogram was clear, so that is freaking awesome, and really nothing else actually matters compared to that. Now we just hope modern medicine can keep the cancer from coming back.

We finished up a six month binge watch of Gilmore Girls this week, including the Netflix revival. I thought the the first four seasons were as close to perfect TV as has been created. It stumbles a bit when Rory goes off to college, but it is still entertaining TV. The Netflix revival went completely off the rails, IMO. Rory, who has had a plan since she was 3 and graduated top of her class at Yale as a homeless, unemployed 32 year old "other woman" with her college boyfriend, whose proposal she rejected at graduation, just wasn't believable at all within the arc of the show. Also, they spent zero minutes explaining how her life went so far off course. That would seem to be an important plot point.

To catch up on the Chris 2.0 stuff, I'm down to 180 pounds, right on schedule, so yay me. However, I feel like I can lose another 10 to get back to my college graduation weight, so I'm going to keep on keeping on.

I have continued to read way more than last year. A few books I've read in the last few months include:

The Circle - The story of the company so good at social media that it crushes Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram, and all the rest. It's kind of terrifying to consider a company with that kind of power.

Big Data Baseball: Math, Miracles, and the End of a 20-Year Losing Streak - The story of how the Pittsburgh Pirates used Big Data to become a contender again. It's a fascinating look not just at baseball, but how any organization can use data to make up for a lack of funds.

Underground Airlines - An alternate history in which institutional slavery is still a thing in the South in modern America. The star of our story is a black man that works for the government, tracking down escaped slaves from the South in the North. He thinks he is doing the right thing. He isn't.

The Only Rule Is It Has to Work: Our Wild Experiment Building a New Kind of Baseball Team - What if two stat heads were given control of a professional baseball team, with permission to implement their wildest therores, all back by extensive data of course! It turns out the human element in baseball doesn't always react like you expect. Fun book, but I felt like was ultimately unfilling because the authors failed to boldly go where no baseball team has gone before. It ended up more of a year in the life of an independent league baseball team story, which isn't bad, but it fell short of its potential.

Lexicon. A Novel Words have power. Words can kill. And a shadowy government organization is recruiting kids with a natural inclination towards persuasion and teaching them persuasive powers that border on magic. Of course, they aren't using this power for good, and one of the kids notices and bolts. It starts off with a bit of a Harry Potter / The Magicians vibe, but becomes more of a modern fantasy thriller as the story progresses. I enjoyed the book.

I've done three concerts this year so far, Dan Baird, Jimmy Buffet, and Iron Maiden, with John Mellencamp on tap for tomorrow. I've completed one camping trip, and one solo road trip back to Purdue. The annual reunion with my high school friends is in a couple of weeks. I want to get out camping with Michelle at least once more this summer, and I've got the annual camping trip with my brother over Labor Day.

Several times this year out 17 year old dachshund-beagle got to a point where I decided I would take her in the next day to end her suffering. Every time she would be 500% better the next morning, and the crisis would be delayed. She waited until I was out of town at DrupalCon to hit the wall, and Michelle had to take her in to put her down back at the end of March. We got her when she was around one, so we know she had a great life for 16 years. Teddy (pictured above) seems to adjusted fine to being an only dog.

When I write it all out my life doesn't sound quite so dull! I really am making an effort to do more, especially on the weekends. There is nothing like a cancer diagnosis in the immediate family to make you hyper aware of the passage of time and your own mortality.

So there you go, an old school, rambling blog post with no real point. Just like the good old days of personal blogging.