Sunday, December 6, 2020

Cranky but untopical

Normally I'm pretty good at dealing with messy thoughts. Put all or most of the them related to X in a bucket where I can get at it, and then make up a to-do list, or blog, or organize something, or do a spreadsheet in a particular way to spin one particular person's eyeballs. (Hint, she loves it!) Whatever it takes, then move onto the next bucket.

All the other thoughts ferment together in their individual buckets with like thoughts, while a meta-thought organizer  (MTO) scampers between buckets assuring them that they are important and will be dealt with in an orderly but semi-timely fashion. Occasionally the MTO carries messages between buckets to keep thought-relatives informed of important developments. 

It's much less chaotic than it sounds. Or rather, it used to be. But just lately my brain has been a confused hot mess. I think what's happened is that my system evolved then things were simpler and didn't move as fast or erratically. And now my poor MTO is overwhelmed. Over-heated. Overstimulated. Overworked. Just plain over.

Once upon a time I was involved with the SCA, and in one of several positions of authority I had what I now view as a preliminary event. A premonition. An early warning. One of my tasks was to chair meetings. It could involve a dozen or so people discussing various issues. On some issues I was a senior advisor while a particular pair of people said the words that actually made the decision. On other issues I was the decider. 

Other meetings involved a lot more people, and if you think of a town hall meeting put on by a local politician, you've pretty much got the idea. I was in a distant town to chair such a meeting, amid other events. I knew perfectly well that it was a polarizing issue, and I had close personal friends on both sides of it. Both sides had assured me they trusted me to listen and come to a fair decision, and to abide by my decision. 

Something you need to know about this group is that people were known by two names. One was the name on their official ID. The other was a name of their choosing to use within the society. Depending on the circumstances, one might call them by either name, and in some confusing cases, the one name was also a nickname suitable to be used almost any time. 

So there I was, seated in front of about 50 people. I'd walked one group through their view of the issue, knowing perfectly well that a good friend, who I had known for years, was waiting patiently to give the other side. I had this lovely segue in mind, and started into it, and got most of the way through, and turned to her as her name was going to be the last word of my introduction, and my name server failed. Completely and totally, and for pretty much the first time. Not even the tip of the tongue, thing. It was gone and I knew it wasn't coming back any time soon. I changed on the fly and turned it over to her, apologizing about the name saying my brain was so focused on their issue it had pushed her name out of mind. Everybody understood, since it was well known we were friends. None the less, I was embarrassed and apologized profusely later.

Shortly after that I had an incident at work where I got handed a spreadsheet of data, and was asked to bring it up to date with regard to some sold properties and updated inspection dates. I had a bad half day there. I recognized my own work, since I had produced that spreadsheet a little while previously. But I could not for the life of me figure out how I had done it. I'd done something really cute in SQL and then tweaked it in XL. 

Then while doing some preliminary investigation I realized someone else had made a cut at tweaking the data, and had corrupted the spreadsheet. I managed to recreate my work to generate the original XL, and from there it was straightforward to do the updates required. Straightforward as in taking about 15 minutes to go through a list, muttering to myself, this sold property is number n1 and exclude it,  that's n2 exclude it, while updating the SQL. The updated inspection dates took care of themselves.

After that I started keeping more formal notes, a logbook of tasks done,  snippets of SQL, draft emails, cost codes and time taken for later billing. One of my bosses came across me updating my notes and asked what it was. Now, this was a much older guy, older than I am now, and lets just say actually typing something was an ordeal for him. He couldn't fathom it, because all he could think of was how long it would take him to do that. Fortunately for me, my mom insisted I take a typing class in high school, and to this day I maintain it was the most useful course I've ever taken, and I've always been grateful to her for insisting, even if her stated reason was "there will be lots of girls in that class."

Which also explains this blog. The question I'm asked most often is "where do you get the time?" Well, the big thing is that I don't watch much network television. The other is that MTO. One of the things it does in the background is organize thoughts to go in the blog. For years I'd be out training for Ironman, and the MTO was scurrying around, doing it's thing, and when I sat in front of the computer the blog would write itself. I don't have any real idea how fast I type but it's pretty quick. 

Sometimes that leads to a full blown rant, and I know you guys love my rants. But just now, while I'm cranky enough for a rant, I'm not organized enough.

The longest and most frustrating part about blogging is usually loading photos. (Though I've got a grip on it just now, fingers crossed, knock wood.) Which gets me to this. Just as I write this, I have no idea which photos I'm going to include. The Of the Day ones are easy. But right now I only have 59 in my not blogged in 3 months folder. That's the lowest it's been in years. 

So I think of the things I'm going to do for my poor MTO is go take more photos. That's almost always a soothing activity, even if I'm not on a beach in New Zealand. So where then? Decisions, decisions.

The other thing is to dial back on Facebook. Just lately it's been a bit of a chore wading through all the crud to get to what I want to see, which is stuff my friends post. And news, holy doodle the news is full of stupid people doing stupid things, and I'm sick of it. 

I'm seriously contemplating an experiment where I review and tweak Facebook settings, then only look at it once a day. No scrolling. Only notifications and a couple specific groups I belong to. For now I'll continue to post notifications about when I blog. And no more news. If anything important happens, as in, more important than COVIDIOTS doing stupid things, and less important than an asteroid striking the earth, I'll probably hear about it whether I want to or not.

Which is another thing. In 2019 I blogged more than once a day, on average. I guess a trip to New Zealand and Yukon helps. This year I'm way down. Today will be blog 239, and I'm guessing I'll end up the year at about 250. This is on par with my historical average, blogging every day and a half or so. But I am thinking about alternatives to blogging and Facebook. No, not Parler like Trump and his idiot followers. Something civilized. Stay tuned.

As I was scrolling through unblogged photos, I found this one from a walk on a cold snowy day with two friends. My MTO loved the patterns of rock.

Of the Day


1 comment:

  1. My dear friend Michelle commented on Facebook, "This was an interesting read. Perhaps your MTO is re-wiring itself to flow among your thoughts which have overflowed their buckets and are now somewhere in the deep end of the pool!"


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