Thursday, July 28, 2016

Seventh ping

Considering I'd done all the prep work already for a pitch I heard of another ping opportunity and, fuck it, I took it.

Seventh ping is away.


GLF—where Mikey takes a tough question and considers the state of his dress

I've been blessed with support for the GLF which included a sit down with a professional recruiter for my trade.

The first question she asked was why I wasn't higher in rank.

I told her that it was the work that held my interest and that I chose to remain at my level because I got to do coalface work—even if that work came at a physical and mental cost because of that low status. She said my problem was I thought and acted strategically but I had to deal with tactical types and the uninformed; hence the cost. That I needed to get higher if I wanted to be heard and to deliver outcomes my way.

Later, I had an escorted trip to the shops to get some dress shoes and consider to suits—suits! For if I am to GLF then I need to suit up—literally.

So bring on the GLF and I'll meet it face-to-face in my snazzy new duds.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

I am a golden god

With thanks to Almost Famous.

I had to vet a client's brief and saw that the core strategy document that underpinned it was missing.

So I emailed to ask for it. Sheepishly she called to say that document had not been started.

It was a hole and I was a hole filler so I volunteered to do it for her.

I bashed that fucker out in under 30 minutes and pinged it back for feedback; I saved her hours of work. 

Later I texted the ex-boss who taught me how to write strategy documents to humble-brag and to thank her for the knowledge and she replied to say those skills were already there.

That was nice of her to say and it fitted with her tradition of total niceness—she took a broken person, fixed him up and skilled him up as well.

I have all these phat skillz thanks to people who cared enough to teach me and now I'm ready to put them to use in the GLF.


Monday, July 25, 2016

I'm in!

When you lived caked in pain you get used to deflecting questions about how you are travelling.

For years I've used a cheery "I'm in!" if anyone says good morning and then asks how I am. The unusual blend of a happily implied illness enough to deflect a follow up.

An ex boss of mine saw me one morning, asked how I was, and I gave my usual reply.

"Yeah," he said, "but you didn't actually tell me how you are."

I was blown away. He was the first person who had never been deflected. I replied to that effect, that he was the first person to have ever done it, and he walked away all chuffed.

But I still didn't have to tell him how shit I felt—because I feel shit every waking second. It's the degrees of shit that is the issue in play, not its presence.

Yes, Mikey is the concealer ... the concealer of pain!

(throws down ninja smoke bomb, coughs, smoke wafts away to reveal I'm still there as I couldn't bother moving).

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The purge

I awoke from a dream where I had been calmly telling off an antagonist while they were in bed to find myself in IBS-afflicted reality. I lay supine in the dark as echos of the dream faded and the screaming pain of the now registered. I staggered off to the toilet and went; it was a double flusher.

But, after some meds and time, the spasms are passing. I think both my mind and body are purging ahead of the GLF. In my dream I wasn't yelling, I was simply stating my case. And instead of the dream spawning a longform grief-stricken space out I've had but mini ones; they flit about my head like a butterfly before flying away.

My mind and body agree; bring on the GLF and lets see where it takes us.


Friday, July 22, 2016

I committed air (prop) guitar to "Blaze of Glory"

I have a skeleton hand-themed back scratcher (1). The other day I found myself air (prop) guitaring with it—as in miming along to the instrumental with the scratcher as a guitar (2)—to "Blaze of Glory".

It's such a hair metal song—is it even metal?—but also so very awesome that I think air (prop) guitaring with a skeletal themed back scratcher looks most-metal.

I am a child-to-teen of the '80s and man of the '90s (3) and that song is imprinted on my high school mind.

Hooray for personal computers (4), VCRs and music television.

(1) For more details see footnote (1).
(2) The irony being that my fucked-up skeletal parts of my hand,s along with trembles, means I can never play an actual guitar. It's also painful to play a keyboard unless I play two-finger because I cannot touch type nor play a piano with all the fingers. Thanks, body and injury.
(3) As '90s man I had a beard, pony tail and wore flannelette. The latter not because it was fashion but because the shirts were seven dollars from Woolwoths. 
(4) For me that includes pre-internet. So old.

Cushions; cats with seven less lives

A cushion lives to show one side at a time. So if you ruin one side, for example, from seep through you can flip it and show the not contaminated view.

But you only get the one extra go. 

So it's underpants and PJs from now on when on the IKEA seat cushion as bought by thewife.

Stupid IBS flare; timed nicely with the back strain and anxiety, thank-you very much. 

At least the knots on the cushion that held it to the chair were easy to untie. With my shaking hands and lack of fine dexterity it could have induced a HULK SMASH! of a flip out. A flip out immediately followed by a HULK HURT BACK MORE! and HULK SEEK APPOINTMENT WITH CHIRO; IT EMERGENCY!

You just had to hope he'd gone Banner by the time he rolled up for his appointment; but don't crank him up with bad back-cruncher bedside manner or HULK THROW TINY BACK MAN THROUGH DRYWALL.

Strained back

I strained my back getting off the floor after a meditation session. How dumb that something so Zen lead to something so un-Zen?

It's healing; it's not that bad. But moving is difficult—or should I say more difficult since easy bending and I parted company in the last Millennium. 

Of course having a strained back and not being able to bend, combined with the delicious powers of pharmacological (slash) psychological induced hand tremours, means stuff  dropped stays on the floor until someone else comes along to take care of it.

Or something, like a cat—and they'll eat anything small and seeming edible in under 20 seconds unless you get to it first. 

Fortunately I didn't drop any head meds this morning; on the doses I'm on that cat would be well-Shr√∂dingered—you wouldn't even need to open the box to know.

At least it's a Friday which means the weekend to heal and I'll be back gingerly to work the week after. 

So a strained back but time to heal; at least I saved it for the weekend.

(Feebly raises arm in shaky triumph then winces from back stress).

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Great Leap Forward

The trouble with Great Leaps Forward is the potential for them to go pear-shaped

But then to Sit and Relive Pain is already a failed state. It's just a known failed state against the unknown (potential failure) of a Great Leap.

Whatever happens I acknowledge I am ready and I am capable.

What are my legs? 

Steel springs.

What are they going to do?

Hurl me down the fucking track.


Monday, July 18, 2016

Vacillating Noble

In the most-excellent wargame Kingmaker one of the event cards you can draw is "Vacillating Noble". Your forces are made up of various nobles from various houses and drawing that card means one of them can't move during your go; it's like they were having second thoughts about being in the faction they were in.

I'm like that with thoughts of the future; on one hand I know I am a shiny golden penny and ready to be picked up by someone who needs someone who gives a fuck. On the other hand I worry I'll end up in a moment of full hysteria and be yelling, crying or huddled in a corner somewhere unable to move.

That I can be both at once is maddening. I am so fucking strong all over my body and in my mind but I am so fucking fragile in parts of my body and in some places of my mind.

But the only path is forward and whatever happens I know I'm supported and that I am healing. I can master anything because I've done everything. I stepped up and survived, hell, even thrived and I spent this day fixing a site to make it sparkling and clean.

In Kingmaker after your go ends the noble always returns; it's just that turn they had a wobble. Maybe that's my journey too? I have a wobble but I keep moving forward.

I can accept that.


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Spontaneous Ferrell

theboy was in the lounge room when he suddenly starting singing "Tight Pants" from the Christina Aguilera, Jimmy Fallon and Will Ferrell bit from the The Tonight Show.

"... and every night he gets swaddled in the tightest of pants..."

Total gold.

Friday, July 15, 2016

It was like a crystal radio experience

I had to listen to an audio file but the jack on my box doesn't like the plug of my buds. Yes, I just wrote that and it makes total sense. So I had to lean forward and physically jam the plug into the box so it would not sproing out for the 12 or so minutes the file ran for. 

I felt like a kid from the '30s when they had their crystal radio that they listened to with an earplug ear-piece, all doe-eyed with excitement and completely unaware of the utter horror that lay in their immediate future.

The best thing was that what I listed to was sometimes pretty funny and at one point I snortled. I felt like saying "The Huns said a jolly, chaps!" to explain my snort-choked laughter. 

It still sucks that my buds won't jack in, and I suspect the box's age is at fault, but I don't want to report it. A new box means new this and new that and it's a whole aching mess; forget about it!

Besides, it added to the moment which made my day, listening to something of joy and wonder.


A call mid-motion

I had a career first—I took a phone call in the middle of a shit. 

I've never been in a position where I've had to do that professionally—through I do once remember taking a personal call whilst on the toilet some ten years ago—but as part of stepping up I had to stay in contact with people; make calls, receive calls and basically push things through.

And so it came to pass that I was pushing something through when a call came in about pushing something through. I had to take it and take it I did.

Afterwards I walked through to the far end of the building to A—'s desk to tell him all about it but I was so excited he had to give me the "shh" wave in a somewhat frantic manner given my volume, the topic and all the other people working nearby.

It was both disgusting and amusing and disgusting things have amused me all my life.

So really, that was a total me moment. To have done it and then to have told people about it.

I even texted thewife. She read it to theboy; he was disgusted. 

I do, however, hope to not to make a habit of it. Not for me LBJ-esque toilet behaviour 

Besides, with my tremour-afflicted hands, to take a call from the throne is to run the real risk of my dropping the phone in the toot.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Sixth ping

I'd not registered the fifth ping but the sixth ping is a bigger version of the fifth ping.

I spent ages revising the document supporting the sixth ping before sending it off and lucky I had.

For it was yesterday I found the typo, "be" instead of "me", in that core document—a document I'd been using for three years. I winced when I saw it—a turd in the pool—and it was a reminder from a boss long ago to read a document aloud before sending.

It's such a basic safety move and that I failed to do it shows my ravenous ego feeds complacency. I am not that great that I can't still fuck up (1).

Anyway, sixth ping. Will anything come from it? I'd say not; but it's better to ping than sit mute in the dark.


UPDATE: Followed it up with a phone call to confirm receipt and that someone is looking at it. Hooray!

UPDATE2: Late-July and being waved in for a chat. TBC...

UPDATE3: Time and date confirmed; WFTW.

(1) That follows from the other day when someone pointed out that my fucking website lacked a homepage button on the left-hand menu. I hadn't registered it was not there. Again, a basic safety feature I should have had from the start (face-palm).

Project managed

As part of stepping up to bigger things I had to manage a project to a successful conclusion. In truth it was a self-steerer, the project so wondrous it succeeded from its own power, but, none the less, I was technically in charge.

And it paid off; project managed. It was a scary one, first time I'd done that part of the gig, but hopefully it will give us long-term benefits. 

It was scary stepping into the fray but all stakeholders were enthused and we all just got along.

I do love it when a project comes together.

(Lights up metaphoric cigar and puffs with contentment and satisfaction). 


Mind the gap

Toilet seats, I've decided, are not designed with men in mind. The hole is not big enough, for one, because you have to go sideways to get to your arse because your junk is in the way. The other anti-man issue is the gap between the lid and the porcelain. 

When you piss sitting down unless you actively manage the situation, which I failed to do, there's a chance that flow will lift you enough that the spray or stream will go between that most delicate of places, the gap between lid and toilet, and out into the void beyond.

Then down on to the clothes below.

For some reason this gap is larger when in a disabled toilet. I don't know why—thicker ridges lifting the seat to take the weight of someone in a harness? Either way it's a big gap and I didn't manage the situation.

I didn't know at first; it was maybe for a minute or two and I registered the damp. Fortunately the damage was inner, no seep through, but it was unpleasant until it dried

And it was a reminder that, when seated, you need to actively manage the situation. Because if you don't your situation may just be enduring a piss-dampened arse the rest of the day.

A total toilet fail; a TTF, if you will.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Special Agent Rimmer—yet more Rimmering

I travelled through a flurry of snowflakes on the bus ride in—a rare experience to have snow in Canberra in spite of the lying postcards we sell—and it proved an apt metaphor for the day ahead. A flurry of activity across multiple strata of what I do. 

I was full Special Agent Rimmer, mastering this and perfecting that. And even as the stress and worry tore through me I had a buzz on from the frenetic and gainful activity. Though the burden came at a cost I got to make then implement decisions.

Being a low echelon super competent has its drawbacks, the main one being the first one. I choose to stay low because it affords me the ability to do what I do without the burden of managing others—I don't want to be a manger even though I'd excel at that too.

But to step up and take a bigger chunk of the job and then make calls and be respected for them is fucking awesome—and it turned out face-to-face is a big part of it so my spiffing my hair and clothes actually paid off

Rising to the challenge and sucking the blood out of it for the win.

Take that into your back-face.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Delayed blast fireball

I never had an occasion to use a delayed blast fireball, but they sound nifty and I can see the appeal. 

I had a trigger pull earlier but it didn't blow, fire or manifest until after the daily bike ride where I had thought about the triggering event and as I got off it all blew with a crump—I had re-traumatized myself.

I had to grapple with logic and was rightly counseled that I'd feel different later. Now I am dealing with the physicality of shaking hands, body tremours, crying, anger and of course, snot.

How could we forget snot? My people are ugly criers. 

So the trigger got pulled and now it's fired. I've had meds and I'll ride the anxiety out with CBT and other wellness tools. It's already tapering based purely on the lessening of snot flow. 

A sniffly WFTW.

I am Harry Tuttle

The character Harry Tuttle from Terry Gilliam's movie Brazil lives in a futuristic industrial bureaucratic dystopia. He's a heating engineer who has gone rogue and is heroically fixing things. He sees a problem, nips in, fixes it, then dashes off.

I spent my entire weekend fretting after realising a problem I'd been alerted to weeks before was way bigger than I realised; that it needed to be fixed now and refined later because we could not provide what was needed until the fix was complete.

I got in, got the jobs I needed to done, then with three websites and an excel spreadsheet, put the fix together and sent it off—begging forgiveness for acting than being bogged down from input.

I told people what I had done after the fact; but they were cool with it.

I am Harry Tuttle.


UPDATE: I chatted with IT peeps and realised I'd asked for way more than I needed; I didn't have to worry about case-type, for example. So I have to revise the Tuttle. But it's better to have Tuttled than not Tuttle because to not Tuttle is to not care. And I care too much to do that. It also turned out all the back-end admin I'd been doing had fixed the hole I'd been worried about. So is that a reverse Tuttle? I'm not sure. Anyway, the important thing is that I fixed it; fixed it good and hard.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Lookin' all purty for meet 'n' greets

I have to do face-to-face liaising in the coming week so I have to pay closer attention to my appearance.

Whilst I have to wear sneakers because of my completely flat feet, failing knees and failing remaining hip, the otherwise black shoes have a pink outlined "Z" on each side of the shoe (or "N" depending on your point of view). They're a little lurid for the workplace even though they're the only shoes I have.

So I coloured in the "Z" with a black sharpie. The pink is still showing so it will need another go.

I only ever have the one pair of shoes on the go because I can only wear the one type of shoe. So I've no choice but to have done a Boris Johnson and resort to a cosmetic touch-up using a tool at hand (1).

It will mean wearing a business collared shirt and belted pants, the latter if my IBS allows. But no tie; I won't cross that threshold. 

I'll also have to get a haircut because my brand of balding when my hair shags up is "mad scientist"—the hairs sprout out and with my bulging eyes I look like I've just dashed into a room of important people with papers in fist to declare them fools for not listening to me. 

My hair has shagged to full "MWHAHAHA!" length.

Perception is a fickle mistress. I know and prove my worth; my appearance should not affect people's judgement. But it does and since I am doing face-to-face ministry I need to look the part.

Can I get an Amen? 

UPDATE: Haircut achieved. I walked a dozen paces into a shopping centre then into a salon and within thirty seconds the cut was on. Ten minutes and I was out the gate like a newly shorn sheep. A quick change of shirt later, to wipe away the little hairs that drop down the neck and to swap out the now hair-afflicted shirt for a hair-free shirt, and I was off to lunch. No longer will my long hair and balding combo frighten the children and serious men alike.

(1) Boris legendary for taking care of stains on a white shirt using tippex (AKA liquid paper) according to the biography I am reading. 

Friday, July 08, 2016

Rack 'em and stack 'em

I got another walk-in-the-pod thanks for whipping up six pages of concept diagrams using the drawing tools in Word. They needed it for a meeting the next working day and needed someone with the ability to pull this sort of shit out of their arse.

I am a workplace magician; I make things happen. Lights on, hot water and cold water on, magic pictures carved from the bones of a Microsoft Word file, delivered. 

I loved it. I glowed after being flooded with praise. What a rush. 

It's moments like that which make you love your furious-pace work self. I am the what-I-do equivalent of a 10xer, the engineer term for a coder whose code is so elegant it would have taken ten others to match in terms of outcome.

So three cheers for me, work-Captain Vegetable, with my Word carrot and SharePoint celery.

Double secret WFTW.

Thursday, July 07, 2016


Our meditation group is using Buddhist-themed mental foci to concentrate on to reach bliss point—a wafty dreamlike state of presence (slash) there is no presence but the present. 

The most-recent foci was water. 

The foci was supposed to be us thinking of a saucer of water, and repeating the word "water" or synonyms there of whilst contemplating the water in the saucer but just the water without seeing its colour.

It was a tricky thing to wrap the noggin around. But it was a start point and many of us had drifted into our own concepts of what water meant. 

For me my water was a half-elf sitting cross-legged and staring into a disc-shaped infinity pool of a rippling, silvery liquid. What he was looking at, I'm not sure. I was jealous—he was slender and was sitting cross-legged, something I am not and cannot do.

I guess fantasy is so infused within that I fall back on those images because I lived and breathed that state as my escape during a childhood riddled with scorn and pain.

So it's a comforting to know my mind drifts back to where I lived as I child, escaping this fucked world for a far better one where I was most def. 

Am I using that right? Probably not (1). Kids ... and their music. 

Next is fire. Now I see a half-orc at a forge. See? It's insidious. My auto-drift is set to swords and sorcery and I'm loving every minute of it.


(1) I am not.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

No brakes, no problem

I didn't miss my bus connection and there were no over-loud air brakes suddenly kicking off anywhere near me.

And instead of the long walk from lifts to my desk where I was clutching an umbrella like it was a crucifix V onrushing vampires I got to give a cheery wave about forty metres out to let fox pod comrades know I was okay and happy.

It's amazing what a difference 24 hours makes. And it's amazing what not being exposed to a trigger does—it doesn't get pulled if it's not fucking there.

I had raging IBS, but fought through it without pills to give my system a break from pharmaceutical-empowered blowback, and stayed the day. Though there were moments of stress from engaging in tasks I don't like doing I got through them too.

I still have the elevated sensitivity to sudden, loud noise so I'll likely have another attack.

But the arc of health bends towards recovery—even if it's a jagged fucking arc.


Tuesday, July 05, 2016

I H8 Air Brakes

I was standing at the bus stop awaiting the next connection, having missed the mark by three minutes, when a bus went past me. 

All normal; nothing to be alarmed about.

Then it hit its air brakes and it hit them hard; at least, that's what it seemed to me.

The sudden noise of the air brakes shot through my brain and body leaving trembling shock in its wake. Without any logical reason but purely on instinct I went into fight (slash) flight.

I stood there, both hands clutching my umbrella, as the wave of panic flooded my nervous system and I started crying. I made "ooo" noises and I cried.

I stayed in a ready position, double handed death grip on brolly, and didn't stop crying until I reached my desk.

Even though I knew it was a reaction to a sudden noise, and that I was okay, my body and hidden mind did not. It took 20 minutes to calm and it needed assist from Valium. Then I lost myself in work and stayed the day.

My fox pod buds were across my condition; it's not an uncommon sight for me to roll up, tears flowing. It's all part of the delicious journey that is recovery from psychological injury.

It's a fucked journey; there are many fucked moments in it. Today's was a splendid example of just how fucked it can be.

But it's still just a journey and that means there's an end.


Sunday, July 03, 2016


Well it's an interesting time for Oz what with that election result. I shall be curious as to the impact.

Most curious (strokes chin).

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Lost temper; loathed effect

The desktop PC is old and dodgy. I tried to close out programs and the task manager itself failed. I stomped around bellowing in frustration and radiating anger; that anger combined with rage at the modem's repeated dropping of out.

Then I could see the impact on my son who was meek and withdrawn from the area because of my cranking.

Fuck I hate that. My son shouldn't have to back away from me because of IT frustration and my injury manifesting.

It blows goats; have proof.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Re-used a wet one

I'm not ashamed to say I re-use tissues. If I've run out I'll fish about in the bin and go the re-blow.

Unfortunately, especially when you've been blowing a lot, you may end up with a wet one.

It happened the other day but it was too late, discovery occurring upon press of wet tissue to below nose.

Even I—and I am on record on not being easily disgusted or grossed out, or afraid to talk about such—was disgusted and grossed out. 

I still blew though as the damage was done.

It was days ago but I'm just telling you now while the Master is gone. Wait, the Master returns! Shh, we did not speak.

(restores gag, closes wardrobe door).