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14 May 2024

A Quick Birthday Greeting

I'll be honest.  It's been a rough few days of a rough couple months of a rough year.  For a lot of reasons.  Right now, my body, mind, and spirit all are in much need of some solid rest.

But still… it wouldn't be 14 May without bloggy cake, however hastily made.  And at this point, I think this blog is old enough to understand that that's what counts.

Happy nineteenth, Randomness.


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04 January 2024

Three Dozen

Today, three dozen years into my life, I had a rather dissonant day.

I started hopeful and productive, then got a bit overwhelmed as I'd set out to do perhaps a bit too much and was developing a headache, then I really needed a nap, then I woke to lots of birthday messages from friends and family, then I felt worse and worse until I decided to take another test.

Yup.  That cold I picked up the other day appears to actually be Covid.  The juror summons I got for my 31st birthday was a better gift!

I'm trying to not let it diminish my spirits, though, even if it's diminishing my faculties at the moment.  I am blessed to have gotten the most important stuff done and to be able to dedicate more time to resting, which my body will need.

So enough with the blogging.  I've hit my limit and am going to bed.  Happy birthday to me.


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01 January 2024


2024 is going to be another one of those years, huh?

One of those years like 2011 or 2017 when, sitting here on 01 January, it feels like everything ahead is shrouded in complete mystery.

Back then, it felt a little daunting.  And truthfully, it still does a bit.  But this time, it feels more exciting.  (Though maybe that's the nice, even number talking.)

This year will continue to represent an era of major change as I continue to recover from the setbacks of 2023 and — perhaps because of that — more than usual, it feels like something worth embracing.

It does mean, though, that I don't have much to write.  (What else is new?)

But at least the old strained "hopefully" from the pandemic years has turned into a modicum of genuine hope, I think.  Even if I don't know where things are headed, it's a nice feeling that has been missing for too long.

Anyway, as it pertains to my annual doodle, among the more minor setbacks of 2023 was losing access to an Adobe license on any computer that operates faster than molasses.  So instead of Illustrator, I whipped this one up a bit more economically in PowerPoint instead.

Just try to ignore the fact that all of these colors are from the default Microsoft Office palette.  I bet you wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't told you.

Random tangent: My parents are in the midst of renovating their downstairs half-bathroom, and the new tile went in yesterday.  Although there are still several steps before the fixtures can actually go in, the long-awaited visible change led my brother to proclaim "new year, new toilet."  I'm sure that's not how it works, but I appreciate his enthusiasm nonetheless.


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31 December 2023

A Sine of the Times


I'm not sure where to start closing out 2023 but "welp".  Since I'd ended 2017 with a similar sentiment, I'd posit that maybe it has something to do with years ending on a Sunday — which does feel weird to me despite years beginning on a Monday feeling quite natural — except 2006 was pretty awesome, so it's probably just a periodic coincidence.

It being a Sunday, there are the usual distractions of football as I write this.  But I have to write this earlier than usual, because Mom is performing in tonight's New Year’s Eve Concert at the Erie Playhouse which, while it will surely be entertaining, will take up a bit of extra time this evening.

So despite the fact that it is still light out as I write this, there is still much of the familiar time pressure to distill the year into something digestible for this blog.  Since I hear that a picture is still worth about a thousand words (more or less, adjusted for inflation) and I'm still a math geek at heart, I think my 2023 can perhaps be most concisely described by this sinusoid:

Very rough and not quite to scale, of course, but still freakishly accurate in spite of its simplicity.

In short, while the first quarter of the year certainly wasn't perfect, most of my 23-based cautious optimism was ultimately panning out.  By March, I was feeling pretty good about most aspects of my life.  That lasted for most of the spring, but heading into May and June things got a little rougher, and then the setbacks truly began in July.  Just as April and May were a new apex, October and November were a new low.

Most people who are close to me know a few details of some of the setbacks that befell me in the second half of this year, and I'm sure those who don't can understand why I am not really going to say much about them here at this time.  Frankly, there are very few people with whom I feel comfortable talking about all of them.  Needless to say, each was significant in its own way and I've been working with those around me to move forward from each as I'm able.

And don't despair for me: I wouldn't have plotted the end of the graph as I did if I didn't truly feel that they're collectively moving toward resolution by this point.

Huh.  "Resolution."  A bit unorthodox, but I'll take it.  Such unbridled optimism is normally far too sanguine for my liking, but I really do need a good dose of it in the year ahead.

So anyway, much like the passing of the seasons are sinusoidal, so, too, has my year gone.  Sure, it's out of phase with the seasons by about 2½ months, but the extremes felt just as wide.

It's not like I'm hoping for a sigmoid in 2024.

And so for a math geek like me who still likes the number 23, all that's left to do is to celebrate one more numerological quirk as we waltz into the new year on 12/31/23, or 1,2,3; 1,2,3.

Ah! Ah! Aah!

Random tangent: NBC has Sunday Night Football tonight, but as hoped ABC and CBS are both breaking their New Year's Eve programming for news at 22:00 EST for a second year.


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