October 06, 2004

Temporary Extended Outage

I'll be out with bronchitis for a few more days.

For ranting, visit The Rott.
For perspective, visit Ripples.
For insight into a life well-lived with wisdom and humor, visit my dear friend, Ethne, at her new home. (Let the DX exodus continue!)

For everything else, take a cruise through the blogroll.

I'll be back later.

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posted by Linda at 05:04 PM : Comments (2)

August 13, 2004

Prayers Winging

To those good folks in Charley's path, please know that good thoughts, prayers, and vibes are coming your way.

We pray for your safety, and the safety of your loved ones, and that the storm will be less than they project. We pray that all will be well, and that you will shortly be greeted by the twinkle of real sunlight, and the kiss of gentle zephyrs on your face.

Be safe.
We're thinking of you.

(Dear Readers: If you like to couple physical action with spiritual, please visit this page to make donations or volunteer.)

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posted by Linda at 09:39 PM : Comments (0)

August 03, 2004


A new job is opening up within my team. It offers a promotion, increased responsibilities, and better pay.

Although the job handles technical escalations, and not technical writing or process-focused duties, I plan to try for it, nevertheless. First, to fail to apply for it after the years that I have spent on the phone would spell professional suicide. (Yes, Virginia, there are nuances to applying for internal promotions. To fail to do so now would be construed as a regrettable lack of motivation, and could disqualify me from serious consideration for future opportunity.)

The job itself really wouldn't be my cup of tea. I and the hiring manager both know it, but we both also know that we need to dance the dance. I need to apply, and he needs to interview me based upon my seniority and experience.

The odds are that I won't get this particular job. There are other applicants with more certifications and degrees who would better fit the position. But by applying, I show that I'm ready for the next phase of my career. It will make managers think of me when a more suitable role is created.

Gods, I hate office politics, but it does put food on the table, and you never know -- I might get the job, and then have the time of my freakin' life. It's 3rd tier support. I would be empowered to say and do things that I could never say and do as a rank-and-file support rep. I would have more power to impact the follow-through on lab-level escalations, and it would give me a whole new perspective on the business. I would be able to advocate for customers like never before.

It's an exciting thought.

Speaking of carpe diem, I've been thinking a lot about how we really do create the circumstances of our lives.

Now, bear with me. I'm trying to put words to an instinctual understanding. What follows will not be perfect, but it is an honest attempt to express something I know to be very true. I can write, revise, and post other entries ont he subject as I begin to articulate my understanding. (Just one of the many reasons why I blog.)

We each guide how our life progresses. No, not to the extent that a rape victim is responsible for being abused, although there may be some responsibility for not carrying a gun, or failing to take a self-defense course, and choosing to do whatever it takes to make sure that the would-be predator is permanently removed from our gene pool.

What I mean is that life is a series of choices, and how we react, what we select, does impact future options.

As an example, two women are faced with unemployment. One woman throws up her hands, and decides 'this is it'. She clearly visualizes the loss of her home, her vehicle, her possessions, etc. It is below her dignity to even begin to consider menial-type jobs, because the job she held before was just oh-so-cool. She instantly rules out positions in food service, retail, entry-level administration, construction -- whatever. In fact, as those options are brought up, she has numerous reasons why these options will never work for her, and why she is incapable of finding a niche other than the one she just lost.

She chooses to paint herself into a corner of helplessness, because she's already defeated in her own mind. She is incapable of considering other options, especially the ones that she considers to be beneath her dignity and physical capability.

This choice limits other choices to come. Each self-defeating choice after that, with all the attendant reasons for the limitation, just narrows the scope further until her worst fears do come to fruition: dispossession, homelessness, hunger, and perhaps -- in the extreme end -- death.

What's worse, these sorts of people tend to lash out at those who try to help them; belittling them as intellectual inferiors because their very hopefulness makes them blind to what this woman perceives to be immutable truth: it's all over. Only the slow spiral to obscurity and death remains.

The other lady looks around, takes stock and sees where her unemployment comes from. She acknowledges her part in it, and takes responsibility for it, even if it really wasn't her fault, as in corporate downsizing or interoffice politics. In fact, this gal probably saw it coming, and has a contingency plan.

Even if she doesn't, she still decides to make certain personal sacrifices in order to make ends meet. Instead of saying that she can't do physical labor because of her bad back or knees, she decides to apply for those jobs anyway, as her resume may convince prospective employers to offer her a different, less physical position. Or, she decides to sell off everything she owns anyway, and simplify her life in a more humble abode until her job prospects can improve.

The point is that this woman clings to hope, and she doesn't make excuses. Instead, she sees her unemployment as a means to make a change, branch out, and diversify her job skills. She knows that sooner or later, she will land (or create!) a job doing something she enjoys, while making a comfortable wage. She knows that dispossession is just the loss of things, and that they can be recovered. She also knows that the object of greatest value -- herself -- can never be taken if she refuses to surrender it.

One woman is hopeless, dejected, resigned, and offers excuses. The other woman is hopeful, creative, determined, and makes no apologies.

One woman vanquishes herself. The other woman beats the situation, and betters herself.

I've always been more like the second woman. Life sometimes sucks. In fact, life can suck for years at a time. But I know that in the end, with perseverance, the wheel does turn. I don't give up, I don't give in, and I sure as hell don't come up with long lists of circumstances that hold me back. I never limit my options, even if it does mean I might wind back up in PT because I strained my bum rotator cuff.

Life is about choice, and about learning as you go. If you let fear or physical discomfort hold you back; if you put on the blinders of limitation, you might as well go lay down in that ditch you dug for yourself.

I choose to live my life with responsibility and accountability for my own choices. I mean to teach my daughter to do the same, without apology. To do anything else is to buy into victim culture and identity.

Self-empowerment or excuses? Which is it?

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posted by Linda at 06:23 PM : Comments (1)

May 19, 2004

Cosmetic changes...

Well, in answer to some feedback I've received, and out of a feminine desire to clean house and change the curtains, as it were, this page has a different look.

(puffs strand of hair out of eyes/dusts off hands)
Whaddaya think?

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posted by Linda at 11:18 PM : Comments (8)
The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler links with: Spring Cleaning...

January 23, 2004

Reminder: Proposed IRS Revenue Ruling 2004-6

A few days ago, I exhorted everyone to take some action, and get hold of their congresscritters to get the IRS to retract their proposed Revenue Ruling 2004-6. Leveraging in the worst possible way off McCain-Feingold, the ruling is broad-based and targeted at silencing many types of special interest groups; including educational services provided by groups like the NRA and GOA. (I name those, because they interest me.)

This is a friendly reminder to do so, if you haven't already. Even if you have, it doesn't hurt to send them a follow-up. I did.

So, write and call them. They only have until January 26th to write the IRS and demand a retraction.

Thank you.

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posted by Linda at 05:23 PM : Comments (0)

January 12, 2004

Training hell

At roughly 4:30 Friday afternoon, I learned that I get to be in training for the next three days. (Way to plan ahead, team. Woo-frickin'-hoo.) The upside is that I really will have a new skill when this is done: working in Corel's XMetal, so's I can publish my technical documentation in the company's new repository, but the downside is that I won't get to be around here as much. (Yes, *sigh*, I'm also a tech writer. Yes, *sigh*, I'm sure someone out there, somewhere, has read one of my FAQ's. No, I won't point it out, because you're already entertained, as it is. Aren't you? Anyone? And the crickets go wild. Oooo-kay, then.)

So, I'll see you later. Take care. I have a couple of articles and rants that are spinning through my head.

Maybe I can draft them in...nah.


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posted by Linda at 06:25 PM : Comments (1)

January 09, 2004

Security Advisory: Yellow

The Office of Homeland Security lowered the threat level to Yellow today. Our security measures are working so far; there has not been a single successful attack on US soil since 9/11.

For those, like me, who like to stay alert and keep their ducks in a row, the "Are You Ready? Guide to Citizen Preparedness" is found at Fema.gov, or by clicking the link I just provided.

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posted by Linda at 05:21 PM : Comments (0)

January 07, 2004

Welcome home.

(Via Blackfive.)

The 101st Airborne is coming home. The first planeload arrived today.

This is a moment of unadulterated joy as I pause to consider just how good it must feel for these soldiers to be home, and how good it must feel for their families to see them safe and sound.

I didn't start bawling until I read the part about the little boy hugging his Daddy's knee.

Thank you all SO MUCH. Welcome home.


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posted by Linda at 10:15 PM : Comments (0)

January 06, 2004

For those who go upon the water

Captain Jim from Smoke on the Water tells us about his friend, Rivrdog, who is currently weathering the winter storm raging along the Oregon coast.

Rivrdog is Port Captain for his yacht club, and mans the watch to keep the weight of the accumulating ice and snow from sinking the floating sheds, and so the boats moored within them. It's cold, brutal work.

Say a prayer for this man and for his wife. May they come through unscathed, with fair winds and following seas thereafter.

Captain Rivrdog is having a rough time of it.

Prayers. Lots of them. Please.

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posted by Linda at 11:16 PM : Comments (2)

December 23, 2003

Test Post

Civilization exists precisely so that there may be no masses but rather men alert enough never to constitute masses.
        — Georges Benaros

It was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.
        — Hunter S. Thompson

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posted by Linda at 12:57 AM : Comments (2)