Time To Get This File Off My Desktop

I’ve had this Word file on my desktop for at least two years called “Blog Stream of Consciousness.” I decided it had to go. It was one of those things you leave thinking “I’ll get to that someday,” but you never do. So, I opened it to see if there was anything worth saving. I was surprised that it didn’t contain what I thought it did. At one time it, was a list of topics I jotted down that I thought I’d write about later. I guess I must have edited it since, because it contained only this passage:

Sitting here at the Lake House, where there is just barely any cell phone coverage and certainly not any Internet service, I’m reminded how our computers have really become nothing more than Internet terminals. Without the network, I’m relegated to using my computer as a media center for movies and music, doing some writing as I’m doing right now, and…

I’ve now deleted the file, and I guess it did serve its purpose, as it did make it into a blog post. The previous sentence contains many occurrences of the word “it.”

By the way, happy Rush day: 2/1/12.

Some Random Stuff

Yeah, this might be a placeholder post, I’m still avoiding just buckling down and posting the five or six half-finished posts I’ve started.  Sorry, Amy. I’ll get on that real soon.

Random thoughts:

  1. Perhaps twitter has fried my brain and I can’t write more than 140 characters at a time?
  2. This is a weekend of some historical significance–
  3. Three years ago, The Shaner died.  RIP, my brother.  I haven’t been on a motorcycle since.
  4. Two years ago, I was at Norwich University graduating from my Master’s program.
  5. One year ago, I was at my brother’s graduation in Houston, obsessively checking the iPhone for updates on the Stanley Cup Game Seven, and texting my favorite hockey fan about it.  The next day, I drove one of my brother’s  cars home from Houston to Kentucky solo.  That was a LONG trip.
  6. Tonight, Dad and I met the guy who builds covered docks down at the lake.  I hope this covered dock thing actually happens.  You have no idea how much easier it would make life down at the lake to not have to struggle with that messy, nasty “canvas.”
  7. Nashville once again reminds me it is a fun town…I had a great time on Monday at the NHL Tweetup and flood relief fundraiser.  There might have even been some photos. Shortly after that photo of me was taken (you did look, right?), the ladies confiscated my belt clip for my iPhone.  Katie called it “Chick Repellent.”  Ok, so looking at the photo…she might have a point.
  8. Mike is here tonight, we continued our tradition of watching non-family-safe movies while he’s away and has the chance to do so.  Tonight’s selection: Shutter Island. Freaky.
  9. I got the Jetta back!  More testing is needed, but we think it was all due to a faulty crank sensor. Time will tell.  For the first time in my life, I now have a backup vehicle.  It’s about time!
  10. I’ve managed to spend time in Nashville the last 2-3 weekends (I think), it’s all a blur.  It’s true what they say about time seeming to go faster as we age…is it really June already?  I never thought summer would get here, now it’s flying by WAY too fast.
  11. I’m still hoping to make it to Wisconsin for a summer visit, but I don’t know if my [lack of] “vacation” schedule will allow for it.
  12. I’ve been slacking on the running due to injury and illness.  Time to get back on the horse.  Also:  Strength training.  Time to push through the soreness and pain.  Ouch.
  13. I discovered there will be a Field Day operation here in Hopkinsville.  I think I’ll offer to help out as an operator rather than try to set up my own single-op station.
  14. Clark Milam is the best dog ever.
  15. Oh, and I hope to cross a couple of “bucket list” items off this weekend.

Finally…I’ve been staring at this quote from a text I sent a while back for too long and I need to just drop it here and get it over with because I’m sick of seeing it in my drafts folder:

“I just wonder if anyone in the old Nashville crew ever wonders what happened to that Chuck guy from Kentucky.”

When I wrote that, I was kind of maudlin.  Now, after some recent events…I’m cool.  The old reliable Nashville crew never forgot me…and there’s some new members that are all kinds of awesome.  With that, I’m out…time for bed.  Friday tomorrow!  Oh, that reminds me:  Fridays used to be party nights…now it seems they’re for rest, packing and preparation for the weekend, and it’s not just me doing it.  We must be getting old.  Heh.

This Is A Placeholder Post

Yes, I know that placeholder posts are lame, but I’m tired, it’s late…and I’ll have to get to all this later this week. Topics to possibly include: The end of the Predators 2009-2010 season (and how that means “closure”), the trip to Vegas (wait, what?), the start of spring and possibly the start of some other new things–we’ll see how much I feel like letting out of the bag later on.

Where Did Those Posts Go?

Let’s be honest: I don’t have many regular readers here. This blog has come and gone, been active and stagnated for over eight years now. (Really? That long? Wow.) So, I doubt anyone has even really noticed that some posts from earlier this month disappeared.

If you did notice and wonder what happened, the explanation is simple: I took those posts down after some recent personal life events caused me to reevaluate how much I wanted to reveal to the world at large about my feelings and my personal life. These same life events made one post in particular look rather foolish.

Maybe someday I’ll put those posts back up when things aren’t so raw for me. Time heals, and all that stuff. For now, I’m going to be in a more private mode here. Not so much the “Heart of Chuck,” but maybe more “What’s Up on the Farm” and “Why We Make Irrational Choices About Computers.”  Oh, and yes, lots of Clark photos and stories, I’m sure.

I Need a New Blog Title

Hive mind, I need your help here. I have determined that the title of this blog: “Chuck Milam’s Musings – Random Thoughts From a Not-So Random Dude,” is hideous, weak, and lame.

I’m now taking suggestions for a new blog title from those of you that are better with the creative than I. Leave it in the comments below. Thanks.

This is NOT a List of New Year’s Resolutions

Looking back at that post about Swatches, I am a little embarrassed about it. It’s weak. Confession time: That post’s content was actually a short off-the-cuff E-mail reply sent to Jane Q. Public, and I pretty much just cut-n-pasted it from my E-mail sent folder. I guess I was just stretching to add something—anything—here to keep from blogfading. (Is that a word? I was thinking of the term “podfading.”)

I like to say that I’m not much for New Year’s resolutions, but I think it’s funny that I end up doing them anyway even if I don’t declare them as such.

So, as they say, if you want to achieve a goal, make it specific and write it down. Here is my list of goals (not resolutions) for this year:

1. I will update this blog at least once a week. Surely something of interest will happen around here every seven days. Even though I tried to blame facebook and twitter for my lack of posting here last year, I need to post here more often. Let’s face it, 140 characters isn’t the best way to improve one’s writing skills, and facebook is mostly just a 24/7 class reunion. Sometimes this free-form blog format is the best for what I want to say. Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention some things happened in 2009 that helped me to get out of the house, step away and look up from the keyboard, and start to enjoy my life here. I shudder to think where I would be or what I’d look like today if I continued down the “post-grad-school come home, flop into the Lay-Z-Boy and spend hours on facebook/twitter” path I was on. Now, I’m spending more time in the real physical world, outside of the Interwebs. This gives me more material to write about instead of just posting inane status updates like “Watching the corn grow.”

2. I will get back into shape. While I’m not in terrible shape for a guy my age who does manage to keep up with play as a high school soccer referee, I could always do better. See, there’s a little something bugging me: I missed a chance at going to the FBI academy because I applied with less than three months to prepare and couldn’t get myself up to the physical standards before I ran out of time due to my age (Cue: @janeqpublic with an “Oldie Twobuckles” comment). This has always kind of bugged me. I’m not bothered that I didn’t go the FBI route.  I think it’s because I couldn’t pass the physical tests at the time. I think if I can just get to the point where I know I do meet that standard, I’ll be happy. Also, it will help with soccer and hockey work to be in better shape. Ok, I also have to admit, I want to look better, feel better, and just plain feel better about how I look. I don’t want to end up on hotchickswithdouchebags.com. Because seriously, have you seen @janeqpublic? Rawr.

3. I will lose the weight. Obviously, this is a positive side benefit of getting back in shape as described above, but diet is also a key component of the weight loss process. I’ve been inspired by some friends, some of which have lost over 35 pounds in just a year. The challenge of living in this part of the country is not only the high-calorie food; it’s the rituals that are attached to the consumption of food. Special occasion? There must be a huge spread of food! Lots of desserts! Deep fried everything! No big deal, if it’s not an everyday thing, right? Well, what makes a special occasion down here? Anything. Tuesday. My solution: Eat less, do more, and make use of the calorie counting apps on the iPhone that really help with the dietary reality checks.

4. I will get moving on the IT Certifications again. I admit I slacked off last year after I got the CISSP, but the market is more competitive than ever and certifications are in vogue again as a means to differentiate job candidates. At the very least, it’s time I knocked off the one certification in particular that I’ve started/stopped on for five years now.

5. I will start and keep up with a budget. It seems that every year I say “I’m going to use Quicken to track my expenses and I’m going to keep up with it…” and then I quit after a month. This year will be different. I’m considering some major moves this year that will simply require that I make a written budget plan and stick with it. Which finally leads me to the big one…

6. I will stop living in fear. What? Yeah, I said it. Time to stop denying that I’ve been living in fear for the last few years. I’ve come to realize that losing my job while having a mortgage over my head really did a number on me. I had mostly given up on things like owning a house and having a wife and kids because I was scared to take the leap. Not. Any. More. I’m going to get back to living life, because someone showed me it’s all worth the risks.

Disclaimer, as Required by…Policy?

Ah, what a difference a few years makes.  After being away from the then-wild-and-new blogging scene for a few years in order to finish my master’s degree, I return to a world where employers (who used to not even know what the term “blog” meant) now have formal policies regarding personal blogging by their employees.

As a result of my enjoying the benefit of a regular paycheck from one such employer, and given my desire to continue to receive this bi-monthly benefit in the form of direct deposits to my bank account, I present to you, dear reader, the following required verbiage:

“The thoughts and opinions expressed in this blog’s posts are Chuck Milam’s alone and are not representative, unless clearly and unequivocally stated, of those of any past, present, or future client or employer.”

Actually, that’s not half-bad.  I might keep that disclaimer around even after I move on to greener pastures.

It’s Been A While

It’s been quite some time–maybe two years or more–since this web space has held any more than a simple stub placeholder that I hacked up in about five minutes using vi directly on the web host via an SSH connection (yes, that means something to my technical readers).  After a long hiatus, I’ve decided to bring the blog back for a number of reasons:

  1. Sometimes I want to share stuff with the world at large, and I don’t always want to subject people to signing up for facebook or the social network du jour just to read what I have to say (Hi there, Uncle Bernie!)
  2. I noticed on my web log reports that people were getting referred here from twitter, so I figured I should give them something to look at beyond the “under construction” disappointment page.
  3. I hear that blogging gets you noticed by employers or something.  Sometimes this is not a good thing.  We will see.

The discerning and technical readers out there will notice that I’ve switched content management systems again.  I chose WordPress mostly because it has a iPhone app that lets me post and manage things remotely.  No kidding, that was my main decision point.  Seriously folks, if you’re not developing mobile clients for your systems, you stand to lose out.

I am considering converting my posts from back in the day (2003-2005 time frame), but that’s a project for another day and will require some SQL geekery to make the import from Geeklog to WordPress happen.