Wacky Dream

I don’t typically remember my dreams anymore…or if I do it’s just bits and pieces. However, I vividly remember a very creepy/disturbing/random dream from last night. I think I need someone to interpret this dream. It’s really wacked.

In the dream, I somehow end up in a house where paranormal activities occur. I think I was there with a team of experts like from Ghost Hunters. I don’t recall any specific interaction with the team–just that I was there for purposes of investigation. Well, it seems that I got tired during the evening and laid down on the floor for a nap. As I was falling asleep, my dream (within a dream) cycle was starting up. I was dreaming of something like a blue mist and a creepy buzzing sound started.

This scared me and I woke up from my dream (within a dream). Before I realized what was going on, I was being hoisted up by my left shirt sleeve by some unseen entity. It lifted me all the way up to the ceiling, then gently put me back down on the floor. This happened two more times in immediate succession. The fourth time it lifted me up, something or someone told me or it just occurred to me to lift my left hand, palm facing up. When my hand neared the ceiling, a $50 bill appeared in it. Then the unseen thing gently put me back on the floor. End of dream.

What is up with that? Is that some messed up stuff or what?

Hitting the Reset Button

We’ve done a lot of cleaning, purging, and rearranging of “stuff” around the house the past couple of weeks. For many reasons, this seems very appropriate now. Given the way things have gone in this country the last few years and a lot of things in my life in the last year, it’s time for a reset. Part of this is simplifying life and getting rid of stuff that is really not needed.

Last weekend, we tackled the office. It was a disaster. There were boxes and boxes of paperwork that I spent hours reviewing and either tossing or organizing into files. There were also many boxes of things that got the same treatment. When we were done, it was very satisfying to have accomplished something. However, I was surprised that there were some sad moments along the way. Why? Well, several things really. Other than precious keepsakes now packed away, all evidence that we ever had small children has been removed. No more toys, kids books, crayons, or Barbie dolls. I get it…kids grow up and you can’t keep the place looking like Romper Room forever. It just makes me sad sometimes that fun of those young childhood years is in the past. We also ran across things that reminded us of beloved pets and family member that are no longer with us.

Overall, it was a good thing. The office got cleaned up, we got rid of unneeded clutter, and we can now actually find paperwork when we need it. Along the way, we got the chance to refresh some memories and reflect on some good times in the past. Now it’s time to treasure and do the best we can with today and build for a better tomorrow.

Posted in Life. 4 Comments »

Everything Happens for a Reason

Most of you are familiar with the Byrds song Turn! Turn! Turn! adapted from the Book of Ecclesiastes. In particular the start of the song: “To everything (turn, turn, turn), there is a season (turn, turn, turn), and a time to every purpose under heaven.”

As the time rolls on, I become more and more convinced that everything…both good and bad…happens for a reason. The reason may not be apparent to us immediately. But there is a reason. A couple of examples:

I was laid off from two jobs within 14 months. I enjoyed both jobs and did not want to leave. But economic realities forced the companies to downsize. However, now I am in a position that I enjoy much more than the previous two. It was only a series of two layoffs that lead me down a winding road to my current job.

I heard of a more dramatic example of this recently. I young man was diagnosed with brain cancer. He needed costly surgery, so a small community pulled together to organize a fundraiser to help pay for the surgery. Part of the event involved people asking for sponsorship to get their heads shaved in solidarity for this young man who would also have his head shaved. A couple of weeks later, a lady who had her head shaved was diagnosed with skin cancer–on her head! Since it was caught early, hopefully her prognosis is good. Without her head being shaved, the cancer would likely have grown for months or years and likely spread.

Things are tough with a lot of people right now. Just try to keep in mind that even the bad things happen for a reason. We may not know why immediately, maybe not for week or months, maybe even never. But there is a reason. We just have to make the best of the hand we are dealt, and learn and grow from it.

Happy 2nd Blogosversary to Me

The 2nd anniversary of this blog came and went without fanfare on November 30th. I guess that shouldn’t be surprising since my posting has been very sparse this year. I blame this on two things: Facebook and a tough year of life in general.

Yes, this year, after a critical mass of friends finally joined, I became addicted to Facebook and all of the time-sucking games that go along with it. I have finally gotten myself dialed back to just playing Mafia Wars. But that still takes up more time than it should.

Life. What can I say. This year has royally sucked overall. I dealt with a period of unemployment and a multitude of other setbacks–most of which I can’t go into in such a public forum. Let’s just say that on midnight of January 1, 2010, it will be more accurate to say that I’m celebrating the end of 2009 than the beginning of 2010. I take that back. Life has its ups and downs. The downs are a time to reset and build a better future. So I am looking forward to 2010 and making the best of lessons learned in 2009 and my (mumble) years of life prior to that.

If I still have any followers, thanks for still being here. I want to strive to post regularly again. As always, I hope that my posts may make you laugh, make you think, inform you, or just make you think “what’s wrong with this guy?”

Bring on year 3!

Man in the Mirror

The dreaded song demons are at it again. With the death of Michael Jackson, I have been listening to some of his songs the last few days. Man in the Mirror really speaks to the journey I started a couple of weeks ago. Yes, any change I want to make must start with me.

For the record, I love his music–particularly 80s and early 90s. I just want to enjoy his music for what it is. I refuse to watch the tabloid stuff about the problems in his life and ultimately his death.

Enjoy…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbzMsIcp6fI

A Shiny, New Bryan

For my regular readers (was kind of surprised that there were any left given how little I have posted lately), you have probably been wondering what’s going on. First off, my posting has dropped to almost nil. Then I posted 3 relatively profound songs and vague details on something percolating in my life. I have always been a very private person by nature (so I have a blog why again?), but I do want to provide a thumbnail sketch of what is going on.

Several week ago, I had what I like to call an awakening. It was a realization that I was not the person that I want to be and deciding that now is the time to make the changes I want to transition to the person that I do want to be. Mid-life crises, maybe; becoming the person I want to be, absolutely.

Don’t panic too much. We’re not talking about radical changes–at least from an outward standpoint. You might not have even noticed any real changes if I didn’t talk about them in my blog. I’m not going to get 12 tattoos (hmmm, 1? maybe), not going to start skydiving (hmmm once? maybe), not going to buy sports car or a motorcycle, no torrid affairs.

So here are some of the things I want the new me to be:

  • Self-confident
  • Comfortable with myself
  • Not willing to always put myself last–and not feel guilty
  • Accepting of compliments without feeling unworthy or guilty
  • Accepting of help without feeling unworthy or guilty
  • Willing to try new things
  • Willing to be out of my comfort zone

Basically, I will no longer to be the painfully shy, angst-filled person that I have been since I was a teenager–if not earlier.

I also want to care more about those around me. With my family and friends, I want to speak kinder, be more patient, be more loving, compliment more often, and show how very much I care for and love them. For the next circle of people I interact with, anywhere from co-workers to the convenience store clerk, I want to always give a smile and genuinely take an interest in their lives.

Really, most of these changes are internal in how I look at myself and how I choose to interact with others in a more positive way. I have already started transitioning to the new me (1 week and counting) and I seriously already “feel” it. I am happier, more relaxed, more confident, and feel more control of my life than perhaps ever.

Well, I think that’s quite enough for now. If you made it this far, congratulations!

Cool Car on I-84

I think I smell a new regular feature to get me posting regularly again. Maybe I’ll entitle it “Seen on I-84” or something like that.

Anyway, this is a picture of a cool old car that I took while driving riding on I-84 at the Flying Wye interchange. However, I really need to get a phone with a better camera if this is to be a new feature.

untitled2

Posted in Life. 1 Comment »

Danger on I-84?

Okay, I took this picture while driving riding on I-84 between Nampa and Caldwell. I mean, is this something I should be concerned about at all? Something doesn’t look quite right, but I can’t put my finger on it.

untitled1

One Step at a Time

Okay, the song demons are at it again. Here’s the song speaking to me today: One Step at a Time by Jordin Sparks. I had just always thought it was fun to listen. But now the lyrics are hitting home.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzyys6kW8yg

Things Can Only Get Better

It’s been quite a sucky week, month, year, etc. I was listening to this 80s classic by Howard Jones and it seems to really speak to me today. The video is pretty wacky. Maybe watch the video and then go back and play it a second time with your eyes closed to take in the words.

Posted in Life, Music. Tags: , . 5 Comments »

The Impossible Dream?

I need to have a serious discussion with my brain. I am simply not happy with its performance in regards to dreams. First of all, I’m seeing too many repeats. They say that we use only 10% of our brain’s potential, so I think it’s got plenty of time to come up with original material. I simply won’t put up with this laziness anymore. It wouldn’t be so bothersome if it was a good dream being repeated, but in this case it is an unpleasant dream. I can’t remember the details now, but I know that it was not fun.

Secondly, I want to see my dream requests fulfilled. After all, it’s my brain and it darn well better do what I ask. I have always wanted to experience space travel. However, I can’t afford such a trip. Even if it were free, I might very well chicken out. So, I want a nice space travel dream. But has my wish been granted yet? Of course not.

So brain: Stop with the repeats and give me my space trip or there will be serious consequences!

High School MeMe

John recently completed this high school meme. It looked like fun, so I’m following suite. Feel free to post your own and let me know.

1. Did you date someone from your school? My high school years were sad and pathetic romantically (and in most other ways as well). I didn’t date in high school. 

2. Did you marry someone from your high school? No, I married someone from my wife’s high school.

3. Did you car pool to school? Sometimes. Mostly though, I walked before I got my license and drove by myself after. 

4. What kind of car did you have? A puke-green 1975 Chevy Vega. This may explain my answer to #1.

5. What kind of car do you have now? A red 2008 Toyota Corolla.

6. Its Friday night…where are you now? Watching TV and having a beer.

7. It is Friday night…where were you then? You would probably find me with John. Either at his house, my house, a high school sports game, or cruising. And if we were cruising, you’d find us chugging…a 7-11 Super Big Gulp. 

8. What kind of job did you have in high school? I was a gas station attendant at a Chevron gas station.

9. What kind of job do you do now? I’m an IS Administrator.

10. Were you a party animal? No.

11. Were you considered a flirt? No.

12. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir? Yes, I was a band nerd. Yet more evidence for #1.

13. Were you a nerd? I won the trifecta of nerd-dom: band, science club, and chess club.

14. Did you get suspended from school? No, not in high school. I was suspended once or twice in Middle School.

15. Can you sing the fight song? No. However, it is to the tune of On Wisconsin. I guess our school was too poor to come up with its own song.

16. Who was/were your favorite teacher? Ms. Richter (Math) and Mr. Endicott (Social Studies).

17. Where did you sit during lunch? In a chair like everyone else.

18. What was your school’s full name? Ontario High School

19. Where did you party the most? My place or John’s.

20. What was your school mascot? The Tigers! And this was during the 80s. In band, we played Eye of the Tigers so much it made our ears bleed.

21. Would you do it again? Only if I could do it right this time.

22. Did you have fun at Prom? Do we have to keep bringing up dating? Are you tring to rub salt into the wound? Please again refer to #1.

23. Do you still talk to the person you went to Prom with? One last time, see #1.

24. Are you planning on going to your next reunion? Most likely. It makes for some cheap entertainment.

25. Do you still talk to people from school? A few of them.

26. What are/were your school’s colors? Cardinal & Corn, whatever the heck those are. How about red and yellow?

England Swings

I’m not sure what’s in the water lately, but I’ve got two friends on different ends of the country considering a move to England. The way things are going in the US, maybe it’s not a bad idea. I think England would be a blast.

Anyway, in their honor, here is England Swings by Roger Miller.

Posted in Life, Music. 4 Comments »

Tired

Okay, I’m forcing you to join me in my boredom at the tire shop. Hey, get back here. I need some company.

Yesterday, we woke up to some snow on the ground. The Older Daughter is now driving to school every day. Being an adult with lots of life experience, I advised her to keep her speed down and not follow too close. Then I headed out to work.

It really wasn’t that slick…until…the final road leading to my workplace. Me…the responsible adult…with all my life experience…found myself going a little faster than I should have and following a little too close. I discovered this fact when the truck in front of me came to a sudden, dead stop. I hit the brakes, but just slid. All I had time to do was swerve to avoid rear-ending the truck. I jumped the curb and then ran over some concrete scraps. There was a nasty scraping noise underneath the car. Not missing a beat, I regained control and got right back on the road. There didn’t seem by be anything wrong with the car.

Backtrack with me to a few months ago. Same tire shop said that I needed new tires, but that they could go a little longer. Looking at the bank account and the economy, I decided to wait. I was hoping I could milk them until next fall to save a few bucks. This is the responsible, smart adult thinking again. I had noticed some loss of traction…particularly with water, dirt, or gravel on the road. After yesterday, it would appear that this same loss of traction also applies to ice and snow. Go figure.

toyo

Since I drive about 30,000 miles per year, I decided to go with tire that has the longest tread life, longest warranty, and, therefore, the highest price. They are the Toyo Eclipse. It’s going to be a little under $600 out the door for the 4 tires. The warranty is for 70,000 miles. Sheesh, they’re only going to last a little over 2 years. Oh well, better $600 every couple years than $400 every year I guess.

While I’m here, they’re going to hoist the car up high enough to see if there is any damage under the car. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. However, given my luck, you’ll see another post soon about the damage.

Thanks for hanging out with me at the tire shop and listening to my sad, boring tale. You may go now if you would like. I might just take a nap while I wait.

It’s My God-given Right…

It’s my God-given right to:

  • Empty every last little bit of trash out of my car when I get gas
  • Try every sample at Costco and walk away during the sales pitch without feeling any guilt
  • Get new sheets and towels EVERY day in a hotel and not feel guilty about the environment
  • Look at all the hot chicks I want to. If they’re displaying it, I can look as long as I don’t touch. The Wife and I have an understanding on that.
  • Rudely end a sales call…particularly if they won’t take no for an answer when I’m nice
  • Pee outside. I live on a 20-acre ranch. I can find plenty of places to fulfill this primal need without exposing myself to the public.
  • Get 27 refills of my soft drink if the restaurant offers free refills

It’s my God-given right.

Lights Out

We had a major thunderstorm last night. It took our power out for a couple of hours. Having the power go out really messes me up. You’ll find me stumbling around the house searching for flashlights and candles. We have plenty of them, but I think that they have some secret evil pact in which they hide from me when I actually need them. Plus, there must have been at least a dozen times that I walked into a room and thought to myself “Hey, it’s dark in here…I need to turn the light on.” And I actually tried turning it on before realizing that…duh…it won’t work.

After the rain passed, we grabbed some lawn chairs, a few brewskies, and headed out to watch the storm. We just love watching thunderstorms at night. It was in the distance, so it wasn’t that risky. We had some nice conversation and enjoyed the nice breeze. Good times.

50 Random Things About Me

Thanks to John via Chris for this one.

Here’s a meme with 50 seemingly random questions that I will answer with my expert writing abilities.

  1. What do you add to your coffee? I love the smell of coffee but generally need creamer to withstand the taste. Actually as I age and my taste buds die off, black coffee is starting to work for me.
  2. What are you reading now? I have kids. When do I have time to read? During vacation next week, I plan on reading Who in Hell is Wanda Fuca? by G.M. Ford.
  3. Do you own a gun?  No, two (evil laughter).
  4. Are you registered to vote? Absolutely. If you don’t want to participate in our democracy, shut up if you don’t like what’s going on.
  5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Doctors freak me out. I have to lay down when they draw blood out of fear of passing out.
  6. What do you think of hot dogs? I love them, but don’t ever tell me what’s in them or how they are made. 
  7. Favorite Christmas Song? No contest. Bing Crosby’s White Christmas
  8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Diet Mountain Dew
  9. Can you do push ups? I don’t know. It’s better that I not try…I might be embarrased.
  10. What was the name of your first boyfriend/girlfriend? I’m such a freak. My first girlfriend’s name was Lee. And this was in college (laugh amongst yourselves). The kicker is that I turned her into a lesbian. Yes, I was the last guy she dated before switching teams.
  11. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? My wedding ring is my favorite (and only) jewelry I wear.
  12. Favorite hobby? I have kids. When do I have time for hobbies? I guess the closest thing I have to a hobby is blogging.
  13. Do you work with people who idolize you? (Dies laughing and is unable to answer)
  14. Do you have ADD? I do not believe so.
  15. What’s one trait that you hate about yourself? I’ll answer tomorrow.
  16. What’s your Middle name? Too paranoid to answer. You might track me down.
  17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment. How can I find a way to be on vacation permanently? Pizza rules. Beer rules.
  18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday. Gas, t-shirt, dinner at Subway.
  19. Name 3 beverages you regularly drink. Diet Mountain Dew, water, beer.
  20. Current worry right now?  Being successful in my new job.
  21. What side do you dress to? I’m not really sure what this means. Left-right? Gay-straight? I don’t know how to answer.
  22. Favorite place to be? The Oregon Coast
  23. How did you bring in the New Year? I watched New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with the Younger Daughter.
  24. Where would you like to go? Hawaii
  25. Name three people who will complete this. No
  26. Whose answers do you want to read the most? I want everyone to play along. Do it.
  27. What color shirt are you wearing? Dark blue
  28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?.  No, I’m not a chick.
  29. Can you whistle?  Yes
  30. Favorite color? Red
  31. Could you be a pirate? Unlikely
  32. What songs do you sing in the shower? Our of respect for my family members, I do not sing in the shower.
  33. Favorite girls name?  Heather
  34. Favorite boy’s name? Jeff
  35. What’s in your pocket right now?  Cell phone, keys, and $0.50
  36. Last thing that made you laugh? I looked in the mirror.
  37. Best bed sheets as a child? Star Wars
  38. Worst injury you’ve ever had? I sprained my ankle so badly when I was a junior in high school that I was on crutches for several day.
  39. Do you love where you live? I like it, but don’t love it.
  40. How many TVs do you have in your house?  5, but only 2 are used regularly.
  41. Who is your loudest friend?  Probably John (sorry John)
  42. How many dogs do you have? Two
  43. Does anyone have a crush on you? Not that I’m aware of.
  44. What are the most fun things you ever did? I don’t know.
  45. What are your favorite books? Refer back to #2.
  46. What is your favorite candy? M&Ms
  47. Favorite Team? Portland Trailblazers
  48. What songs do you want played at your funeral? I don’t want a funeral. Please have a party and laugh about the good times we had.
  49. What were you doing at 12 AM? On the computer when I should have been sleeping.
  50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? Morning comes much to early in the day. Can we start it at about noon?

DITH On Location in Cascade, Idaho

For the next week, DITH will be on location in beautiful Cascade, Idaho keeping you up to date on the latest events there. This may include none, one, some, or all of the following:

  • Reflections on my recently-completed employment of 17 years (yawn)
  • Thoughts on my new job starting soon (double yawn)
  • Exciting happenings in Cascade (crickets)
  • Random blatherings from my mind (razor blades to the wrist)
  • Fishing experiences from novice fishermen, fisherpeople..whatever we have to call them now (there may actually be something funny stuff from this).

As always, this exclusive content is available at no extra charge. However, contributions are always happily accepted.

Unemployed

For the first time in 17 years, I found myself unemployed on Friday. Regular readers know that I found out that I would be losing my job last fall and that I have, in fact, found a new job that I will start in about a week. So I’m actually only going to be unemployed for a week. But it makes for a good headline, no?

The final week at the old job was quite a challenge. I had accepted the finality of it and just wanted the week to be over so that I could move on. I grew more excited that the end was near as the week wore on. Then Friday rolled around. I had decided that I would spend the morning saying good-bye to as many people as I could. As I made the rounds, I felt a profound sadness. After all, these are the folks that I have shared a substantial part of my last 17 years with. We have shared teamwork, laughter, hard work, success (most of the time), and failure (occasionally). But we have always been a team…at times like a family. That’s the toughest thing to leave behind–the wonderful people.

As I walked out the door for the final time, a smile swept across my face. And in fact this smile lasted the rest of the day. It was a selfish smile. One celebrating the accomplishments of my time there, the fact that the turmoil is finished for me, and that I am moving on to a new, exciting chapter in my career.

For my colleagues that remain, I wish nothing but the best for them. Despite the huge personnel cuts, I still have a lot of friends at the company and the company means a lot to the local economy. I wish nothing but success for the company and my former colleagues going forward.

I’ve Got a Job!

Those of you that follow this blog regularly may recall that I found out last fall that I would be losing my job to outsourcing in July. I’ve been looking inside and outside my company since then and had not been successful in finding something that was a good fit.

Well, that has finally changed for the good. I was just offered a position as the IT Administrator for a small manufacturing company. Basically, I’m going to be their one-man IT department. It is going to be a radical change from being in a very specialized position at a large company to a jack of all trades at a small company. However, I’m looking forward to the new challenge, and thankfully they are willing let me work through the learning curve on some of the areas that I’m not as strong in.

Since one blog is not enough, I’m starting a new blog called One Man IT Shop to chronicle my transformation from a Fortune 500 IT foot soldier to the general of a one-man IT army. It’s going to bore the snot out of just about everyone. I put the chances at less than 50% that even one person will be interested. But it’s mostly there for me anyway.