Cursed by aging

So, one of my resolutions was to cut back on one of my favorite things in the world, Coke. It is my vice, yes, but it is so good. Well, I don’t think I’m going to have much of a choice at this point. Let me explain.

Last spring (I can’t seem to pinpoint exactly when), I started experiencing serious headaches. Like not just passing things, but ones that made me hurt getting up from a chair. Thinking they were just diet-related, or exercise-related, or even environment-related (on a trip to Colorado), I fought through it a bit before seeking some medical attention. When they didn’t go away by themselves, I went to see my normal doctor, an ENT, and even a neurologist. Lots of tests, two MRI’s (a third one ordered), and two pairs of reading glasses later, we finally found a preventative medicine that seems to work pretty well.

Yay, right? Pretty good outcome, if not a bit lengthy.


I started noticing about 10 days ago that my drinks were tasting funny. Not all drinks. Not water. Not coffee. Not even cocktails. No, only carbonated drinks. Most especially, my beloved Cokes. They don’t taste like the nectar from the gods like I’m used to. No, no. Now, they just taste like a syrupy mess.

And it’s an unbelievable letdown for me. (I was going to say it’s ****ing me off, but I thought I’d try to practice a little restraint 🙂 )



2019 Resolutions

  • Simplify, Simplify, Simplify: In a continued effort to not drive myself crazy trying to do everything, or try to complicate everything, it’s time to really take a step back and evaluate what I should be doing every day with my time and effort. Where am I best deployed? What could I be doing right now to help further X, Y, or Z? More importantly, what should I NOT be doing? Simplify everything. Professionally. Personally. All over.
  • Less Cokes: These things are my vice, I admit it. They are so good. And yet they are so bad for you (and by you, I mean me). I can’t go cold turkey, I know that. But I can cut back. And that’s what I’m going to do.
  • Less Cursing: It’s interesting, we’ve been working on image at work. I’ve cleaned my act up a lot over the past couple of years. I will say that cursing is the last vestige of college that still exists in my repertoire. In an effort to do my part, I will make the attempt. But it also starts at home. I can’t succeed by simply removing that notion at work. It’s got to become part of my routine. And it can only help at home as well.
  • More Writing: I miss writing. Back to the first resolution above, I’ve been so busy at being busy. And I’ve let writing slip. Renewed commitment. Starting here and now. Boom. Done.

What’s with the four digit numbers in a square thing?

Ironically, the very same road I drive down to take Brian and Lucas to school has a large, brick mailbox that has its 4-digit street address arranged in a square pattern. I would have commented on it to Brian himself, but it’s going the other way away from the school. So, no one’s in the car with me when I pass it. (Of course, that didn’t stop me from commenting on it to no one in particular.)

This mailbox’s numeric address is supposed to be 1624. But that’s not obvious, nor is it easy to decipher. The numbers are stacked like this:

1 6

2 4

So, is that 1624 or 1264 or 1246? I have no idea in the quick second I glance at it. Now, I know it because of context clues, like the house before and the house after it. But isn’t the entire purpose of the number on the mailbox to make it easier to find the house in question quickly?

I even noticed this at Starbucks recently. This is a picture from the coffee Caroline got on Saturday morning:

I’m assuming it’s supposed to be 1971 because 1791 or 1719 wouldn’t make much sense. But I don’t know that right off hand. The only context clue I have is that I’m pretty sure Starbucks was not around in 1791 or 1719. In fact, Washington state wasn’t even Washington state back then (that happened in 1889, if you were wondering).

But why make this difficult? To be cutesy? To be designer-y? To me, it just makes the user experience that much more difficult. And that defeats the purpose. Boo 😦

A Character Test? Really?!?

I was recently listening to one of my weekly podcasts (Do By Friday, if you were curious), and Max brought up an interesting conundrum that he asked the panel of hosts. It went something like this:

You are interviewing for a job. The CEO of the company invites you to a breakfast in a downtown restaurant to have a chit chat to see what you’re like. Unbeknownst to you, the CEO has asked the waiter to intentionally mess something up in your order. The breakfast is brought out, and you recognize that it is not what and/or how you ordered it. What do you do?

Max went on to say that the point of this scenario is to specifically see how you’d act in the given situation. Do you stop the waiter and say “excuse me, but I think something may be wrong with my breakfast” or do you more boldly say “Please take this back, it’s just wrong”? Are you rude or empathetic? Nice or mean? Haughty or humble?

I asked a friend of mine what she thought and she said it would depend on how messed up it was, how busy the restaurant was, and what her current mood was that would determine her reaction. But overall, she thought it was a shit “test”. “It’s not a good way to judge one’s character” is the way she later phrased it.

I can’t say that I blame her for thinking that. In the podcast, Max went on to say that this is rumored to happen in the big investment firms on Wall Street to test the candidate’s “alpha”-ness. Sigh.

What a dick way to judge someone who’s going to be working for you. I mean, honestly. Is there even a right way to react and/or behave in this scenario? Are you really expecting the candidate to be a dick to the waiter and show their butts in the middle of restaurant to prove that they’re not there to take any crap from some lowly waiter? Is that a sign that you’re looking for?

I’m sorry, but if that’s the person you want me to be, and that’s the way you want me to behave, and that’s considered GOOD, then no thank you. I’ll be looking somewhere else, thank you.


I guess I had never really noticed this on my previous trips to Seattle, but in downtown (at least), whenever possible, there are overhangs for people walking on the sidewalks.

It rained yesterday afternoon, and I walked 8 blocks without getting really wet. I was amazed, if not a little embarrassed, that I hadn’t seen this right above my head the entire time.

Kudos, Seattle!


So, every time we got a new car, Sirius XM is always an option on the car’s entertainment system. It’s also signed up (automatically) for a 3-month trial. Sounds great, right?

Well, The calendar just ticked over to month 4, day 1 for my new-ish A4, and sure enough, the XM Preview channel is screaming at me (yet again) to subscribe.

“Never miss the great music of yesterday and today!”

“Want to take your music everywhere you are? Subscribe to SiriusXM!”

“Follow your favorite team for every goal, touchdown, and home run!”

Umm, no. I’m good. And that’s when I reach for the iPhone cord and plug in my phone to use CarPlay.

Ahh, back to normal.

But, yesterday, I was in the process of getting out of my car to walk in the grocery store. And right before I open the door, I hear a terrible, terrible noise. Imagine the sound a grinder makes on bare metal mixed with TV static. A screeching, ear-splitting sound at top volume. Horrible on so many levels. Surely this is a mistake, right?


It was a commercial that went something like this: “Hate this sound? (Sound plays for 5 seconds) Yeah, who wouldn’t?! (Sound plays again for 5 seconds) Subscribe to SiriusXM to make sure you never hear it again!”

Are you fucking kidding me?!?!

Just shameless. And pathetic.

Guess what you’ve successfully done, Sirius? You’ve ensured I will never, ever again subscribe to your service.

Job well done.