Insane or stupid?

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Or both?

Conversations recently have me wondering if there is a different between the two. This might not make a whole lot of sense since I won’t be giving all the details (or maybe it will), but it’s got me thinking way harder about the conversations than I probably need to. Sometimes I wonder why I even care.

Generally, people learn or at least have the capability to learn. Some people learn by doing the right thing and having success. Some people learn by doing the wrong thing and having results that are less than successful. Others simply learn by screwing up so badly that they have (seemingly) have no choice but to learn. In any of these three cases, learning is someting that is vital to making headway in life and is a the essence of moving forward with moderate success.

The traditional definition of stupid is easy to understand. We usually associate lack of common sense, intelligence, discernment, etc. with being stupid.

Can you become not stupid? I would like to think so. I believe that is where learning enters in. If you learn from the results of being stupid, you should in fact be less stupid because you would alter your behavior or choices or thinking or reasoning or actions or whatever in order to not repeat the same stupidity. If you didn’t have common sense before, mistakes (even if a made a couple times) should help you learn from them and eventually you should have…common sense, thus making wiser and smarter choices going forward.

But. BUT…there is always a but…

The traditional definition of insane is fairly easy to understand as well. However, there is another definition that sometimes gets referred to as the definition of insanity – “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” This definition has been attributed to Albert Einstein and Ben Franklin, though it appears that neither actually said it. However, for our little discussion today it fits rather nicely no matter who said it. If you continually do the same thing, the same actions, the same approach, think the same thoughts, and you don’t get a different result, then you must be insane. At least it seems that way. But are they really insane or just stupid?

Can you “unlearn” insanity? There may be a debate about that. I tend to lean towards, no, but then with treatment (and maybe drugs) I guess maybe that is something that can be unlearned. But that might not actually be learning so much as adjustment.

Can you “unlearn” stupidity? Most definitely.

So why are there so many people who refuse to unlearn their stupidity and just act like they are insane?

Conversations as of late make it difficult to tell the difference and certain perplex the hell out of me because it makes so much common sense to me, but they fail to see it.

Maybe I am the insane one…for continually hoping they unlearn their stupidity…

What changed?

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Dear family, friends, and co-workers,

I haven’t changed.

I am the same person you liked. The same person you enjoyed hanging out with. Dare I say that you may have even “loved” me?

I still strive to do my very best every day. I still make the same lame jokes you’ve laughed at in the past. I still have hopes, dreams, fears, and challenges, just like I did when we last talked or saw each other. I still make mistakes. I still have successes. I am the same today, as I was yesterday, and will be tomorrow.

I haven’t become the evil you seem to think I have, or that the world is telling you that I am.

So what has changed for you?

I feel your stare when I walk into the room. I hear your whispered conversations when you think I can’t hear you. I feel you treating me, seeing me, thinking of me differently than before. I feel the weight of your opinion about me.

You’ve always told me not to discriminate, to not treat people differently, to “walk in their shoes” for a while. You’ve always told me not to judge people based on their skin color, their economic status, whether they had a home or not, their sexual preference, their religion, their sex, their national origin, their political party, their language, or any number of other things.

Why has that changed for you now? Is it ok to discriminate against me because my choices are different than yours?

Whether I am not vaccinated or I am, does that make me a different person than I was the last time we interacted?

Why is it now necessary for me to feel the need to announce my status when I walk into a building? Attend a function? Arrive at work? Go out to eat? Receive medical treatment? Hang out with you?

Why is it ok for some to give me unlimited access and for others to deny me access completely? Why do some get special treatment and others no treatment at all? Why is this type of discrimination acceptable but others aren’t?

I haven’t changed.

But, for whatever reason, your fear seems to have changed you.

I am the same as I was before. You are not.

I still want the same things you want. That hasn’t changed.

So why are you letting something so little stand in the way of how it used to be?

I am not vaccinated.

I am vaccinated.

Does it really matter in the end?

I am human. You are human. Let’s treat each other like it.

That is all that really matters.

Changing telecommute

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Well, after telecommuting full time for the last 16 months, there is a date to start going back to the office and I am not sure I am all that happy about it. Actually, I am sure that I am not. I lied. I am not happy about it.

Yes, I realize that the expectation to be at the office for work has always been there but this whole situation has fully exposed the fact that we don’t need to be in an office to get our job done. We have proven beyond that shadow of a doubt that our job can be done fully remote and that our clients have been affected to the smallest degree possible. In fact, many have commented over the this time about not really even realizing we were all working from home except that they knew we were working from home. That’s how we roll. There was no break in service, ever.

Anyway, the time has come to get back to the office and there will still be a telecommute policy as before, except that there is a new proposal to expand upon it. Frankly, I don’t think the expansion goes far enough and while I haven’t talked to any of my co-workers yet, I am sure there are quite a few who will express similar feelings.

Prior to the pandemic, we were allowed two days a week (40%, with a few limitations on what days they could be). Now, we are going to be allowed three days a week (60%, not sure of limitations yet). Also what remains to be seen is whether or not this policy has built in flexibility, meaning I don’t have to have a set three days but can pick and choose when I want to telecommute.

Anyway, I don’t think three days is enough.

It could be and should be more.

Perhaps I’ll see what is out there, in regards to full time telecommute and whether or not a change can be had.

Never hurts to have options, right?

Changing time

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It’s time to change…the change of time…

It’s time to dump the silly “Fall back” and “Spring forward” nonsense. It was probably useful at a time, but that time has passed and it is time to move on. Time is ticking…can’t waste even a second…no time like the present…

(It is weird that there are so many “time” clich├ęs?)

Anyway, WA state passed the necessary laws it needed a while back to stay on Daylight Savings time, but they can’t go into effect unless Congress acts and makes it a federal thing. Thankfully, it has been reintroduced in Congress and it might actually have enough traction to pass this time, or time to pass, or…well, you get it.

Business people, health people, regular people all have said it is time to go. Everyone hates this ritual and there are lots of reasons for it’s time to pass. Let’s just hope Congress get’s their act together and makes it happen. This could be the very last time we need to do it (for those of us that have had to do it since it was instituted).

It’s time to make this change permanent…this time.

What do you think? How do you feel about this issue?

(How many times did I use the word time in this blog about the time change?)

Fading

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Seasons change in life, just like the seasons of the year. There are times of newness and excitement (Spring), times of security and comfort (Summer), times of change and passing (Fall), and then times of darkness and cold (Winter). Life has it’s ups and downs and these times fluctuate.

I think I am headed into a literal and figurative “fall season” in life. The weather is changing quickly and I am seeing changes in life too. It’s time to let some things and people go, to let them remain as they were in the past. We can fight the change in seasons, but there really is no stopping it. We can look back fondly on what was, but in the end change will still come.

Things are fading and I am content in that. I know there is a season of darkness and cold not yet come, but I’ll deal with that when it’s here. For now, the cool mornings and falling leaves of life are in this chapter.

Fading.

Saying “Hello” to change and passing on to another time.

Teams

top view photo of people near wooden table

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Transition is hard. Lots of people hate change and resist it when it happens. I am not really one for change for change’s sake and I don’t really fear it, but sometimes change just isn’t necessary. – especially when you have something that serves the purpose fine the way it is.

Software changes should make your life better (either more convenient, streamlined, or all encompassing). At the very least, it should make your life less complicated right off the top. At work, we are going in the wrong direction for ease and internal communication.

We are switching from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams. Never heard of it? Yeah, me neither until now.

I am just learning about this new software and how to use it, but so far I am not all that impressed. It seems to have taken the social media approach to business communication. Teams doesn’t integrate Outlook with it, so not only do I have to have Teams open but I also have to have a separate program open for my calendar and email. How is that really streamlining things? It’s not. At least not yet.

Guess you could say I am not feeling much like a Teams player…

**Thank you, thank you…I’ll be here all week…**

In the mirror

brass framed wall mirror

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Every stand in front of the mirror and wonder, “What happened?”

I mean, this is starting to become a regular occurrence for me. So, I wonder if others have a similar experience any time they are in front of a mirror.

I am not a good judge of myself, at least when it comes to appearance. I’ll say that right off the top. I am hard on myself. But, to be honest, I haven’t ever though that I fall in the “attractive” category. “OK” at best, but probably mostly “Fair” would be safe.

Anyway, the bathroom is becoming my enemy. Well, any place that has a mirror, but mostly the bathroom. Or, you could probably include any picture of me. Those suck too, but that’s a whole other story.

So, morning and night starts and ends in the bathroom for me. I have to “put in my eyes,” as I like to say it, in the morning and “take out my eyes” at night. Blind as a bat…but that too is a post for another day.

I watch my body change. I watch my face change. I watch what “used to be” become my “new normal” and I just wonder, “What the hell happened?” My face could scare small children (and likely does…though it doesn’t crack the mirror so maybe it isn’t that bad…) and my body could be used as a boat anchor, only I probably would still float too well. Aches appear from nowhere. Creaks and pops from the joints that used to be flexible and nimble. Bumps, lines, and spots appear on my face as though I am trying to win a topographical map contest. I stare at it and it stares back. Only the gaze that comes back is different than the one previously.

Age. Is. Unkind. It can’t be denied and it can’t be avoided. I guess there is some control over how it happens and how gracefully you can handle it, but in the end the end still comes.

Some days though, I can’t help but dislike what I see.

 

Precedent can be dangerous

book shelves book stack bookcase books

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Sound the alarms! Everyone to the streets! Crisis! Crisis! Oh my! Let the fear-mongering begin.

Alright people, let’s calm down.

Precedent can be dangerous. The Supreme Court has shown this in the past and is showing it again in the present. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

A court can’t rely solely, or place too much weight on precedent (past SCOTUS decisions), or things can’t/don’t/won’t change for the better.

If the Supreme Court never breaks with precedent, then it isn’t actually doing it’s job and would just continue to “pile on” bad past decisions.

Think of it this way – as a parent, are you allowed to change your mind in how you parent a child if a decision you made previously didn’t have the intended outcome? What if you didn’t have that ability or you were required to maintain the bad decision because that was the way it was always done in the past? Yeah, I don’t think any of us would like that.

The Supreme Court should be no different. Sometimes, the court has to fix its own bad decisions from the past. Prime example: Plessy vs. Ferguson (1896). The “separate but equal” precedent was never a good decision to start with and everyone knows for all intents and purposes that it would not be applied equally. For the next 58 years there were lots of challenges to Plessy and that precedent. The court held with precedent. It wasn’t until 1954 that the court finally broke with precedent and decided that “separate but equal” was not equal in Brown vs. Board (1954), correcting a previously bad decision.

Those who protest about breaking precedent now, in essence, are arguing again correcting previously badly or erroneous interpreted decisions. Is that what you really want from SCOTUS? To never fix their errors?

What the heck, WordPress?

WP menu

Are you like me and logged in this morning to find something different with your WordPress account? Maybe the layout is different? The Sidebar on the left is missing stuff?

Looks like WordPress has made change to the organization of the sidebar and I DON’T LIKE IT!

In the “cleaning up” process, they actually created more clicks for users to start a post. It went from one to three because an “Add Post” button is now buried in the menu.

This sucks. Stop changing stuff and put it back!

Thanks, but no thanks on this one.

Batten down the hatches

silhouette photography of boat on water during sunset

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Crap. This “boat” was sailing in one direction only to have the wind change and now the “sails” are all messed up and there’s a “storm” on the horizon (ok, maybe this was a bad metaphor to use since I am not a sailor…).

Anyway, have you ever gone to bed prepared and juiced up to do something in the morning at work? Like, you totally have all your ducks in a row and you’re psyched to get stuff done! Yeah, that was me last night. I have some projects I need to work on and am excited about doing…

ONLY to find out in the morning your boss has given you a different assignment and your plans are totally out the door? Damn. So much for that “wind in my sails” crap. Deflated and definitely not excited about the day ahead.

So much for progress.