Fire Pits and Cool Nights

Wrap-up to an interesting week.

Sleep has been all over the board. Fine one night and bad the next. I cannot find the rhyme or reason. But something seems to have gotten dug up because I am still emotionally up and down. It’s more than just the dog. I know that now, but I just don’t know what it is. But it is stealing my weekends. I have no energy and little motivation to get shit done. And I am a guy who is known for being on the move and getting shit done. Saturday and Sunday slipped by and I barely remember what I did. I napped a bit both days because I slept so bad Friday and Saturday nights.

So…..more thinking to do on this.

Had a couple of nice nights by the fire this past week. It’s nice to sit outside and have a cigar and glass of booze of choice. Still reading Stegner and still in awe of him. During the week it’s pretty much all work, cook dinner, read a bit, try to slip in a workout here and there and that’s it. I keep thinking I should have more time but where is it?

I smoked a 5.5 lb. prime rib on Saturday, which I have not done for a long while. Nailed it. Was fucking awesome. I paired it with an excellent recipe of scalloped potatoes from Cooks Illustrated for a lovely Saturday night comfort meal. I have leftovers a plenty. Will freeze most of the prime and one of the dishes of potatoes for a rainy, lazy day.

Tonight, pizza with Caesar salad. At least my eating and drinking sensibility remains sound.

I occasionally work at one of our big operations centers—where a lot of the financial functions are accomplished. Billing, audits, payables, collections et al. It’s a massive building and there are thousands of people working there

On my journey to one conference room or another, I pass cubicle after cubicle of people. Some are animated and apparently alive. Others, if not in body, appear to be dead in spirit. Their eyes have the blank stare of sharks as they peer into their monitor, their finger occasionally pushing the mouse button to advance a screen. It is odd and a bit sad—although I admittedly know nothing about these folks and do not intend this observation to be perceived as judgement. For all I know, they are doing what they were born to do.

But I have never been cut from that cloth. I change jobs on average about every 2 years. The exception is when I am in a fast-paced environment where the challenges keep coming due to growth or some other change. Not to overuse the shark as metaphor, but if I stop learning I will die—such as shark dies when it stops swimming. The exceptions were Sundance, where we built a great company from nothing, and Siebel, where I was part of one of the fasting growing companies in history. Plus I got promoted to a good position of responsibility in an overseas, global role, which was challenging and educational at the time. So the idea of putting in 8 or 10 or 20 years at the same company, performing largely the same job function year after year, is as alien to me as if I had woke up on Mars. I don’t see how they do it. I am sure they have a good work-life balance, so that part must be enjoyable. But it’s the dead hours of repetition without learning or growing or pushing boundaries that would freak me out.

I met Tom and Doreen for breakfast at Gus’s diner Saturday am. Could become a habit. Nice folks and great diner for weekend breakfast.

Yesterday, Cassandra, my neighbor, came over and we sat on the patio by the fire pit and talked for a couple of hours. She was interested to know more about MYO so we chatted about that and Africa and social responsibility. Nice lady and a good neighbor. It’s still just chilly enough that one needs a jacket and the fire to be outside—but it’s worth it.

My friend Catherine is working in Mozambique and South Africa and she has some colleagues who are heading to Namibia on safari and so I am hoping they will stop by and visit MYO.

I managed a 7-mile run today and felt decent. Back and leg held up—just not in the shape I need to be in a week before a 1/2 marathon. But like last year, I will struggle through it.

I took Lyft to town on Friday night to meet Lynn for FNM. Interesting. that experience is all over the board. The guy that took me down had a hard luck story to explain, unsolicited, why he wound up driving. Nice enough guy. But I just wasn’t interested. Sometimes I am interested in chatting to the drivers, but rarely; mostly I just want to be left alone. I have friend who drives and he mentioned what makes the experience unique to him is that people love chatting with the drivers. Not sure how he arrived at that conclusion. It’s no different than taxi’s from this perspective. Maybe some people do want to chat, but my experience is mostly not so much. On the way home, a lady from Romania also had a hard luck story. She had to drive to support her 3 kids. I took the bait and found that her 30-year old son is still living mostly off of her. I asked how in the hell that was her problem and she said he just always needed money. I left it there. I asked enough questions that if he was special needs it would have come up, but it did not. So not sure why he needs so much help other than maybe just lazy? Her other two kids are getting out of high school this year. She had a big sign hanging from her dash that said “tips are welcome and appreciated”. Sure, I suppose so. But it is also best in my view to be more subtle in these matters I think. Sounds kind of dickish, but I just find that many people have problems, but some just don’t feel the need to tell everyone as a way to try to drum up more tips. Or I guess my larger point is that I know plenty of people have have problems but these two did not seem to have the sorts of problems that are serious. More first world kind of problems.


Eric sent a great picture from Chile, where he is climbing. I added a couple others; a nice fish I cooked this week and a photo I took on the run by the lake today.

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