What I'm doing now: Oct 2016

Well, here we are folks. October.  It's been a while, so join me in a moment of rambling so you can sleep tonight knowing that you're all up to date.


The mornings leading up to daylight savings are so dark. Kinda hate it. No, not kinda. Definitely.  Yet here at global warming ground zero of Southern California, it's disturbingly  un-cold at 6:00 AM.

Cycling to work now requires full reflective and light strategies.  I've got a wicked rear red blinking light that I'm sure annoys other commuters sitting in their cars.  It's strong, bright and commonly causes headaches if stared at directly.

Yet it's not nearly as annoying as my front LED night rider mt bike light. It's made for (and bought it for) night mounting biking. It blasts enough brightness far ahead to confidently allow full downhill screaming in rough terrain. In pitch blackness, no less.

I started using it for dark commutes to and from the office as well, setting it to "Strobe".  Wow, do drivers hate that.  But, they won't run me over for not being able to see me.  Most likely it will be because they've had enough of the massive blinking beast.

Sadly, a thief made off with this awesome light while it was stored in a front pouch of my SOMA on campus.  I got a little distracted one morning while "de-biking" and it never made it inside. So boys and girls, learn a lesson from Uncle Doug: Don't leave stuff on your ride while it's parked outside!


Our house is currently a disaster. Oh, yay!  Thankfully it's because of something really exciting, that being a full kitchen remodel. Un-sarcastic yay!

But the process for us, in our little home is very disruptive.  The living room had to be cleared to make way for the old fridge, kitchen table, bins and more bins of stuff. Everything from making morning coffee, to heating a microwave dinner is just a huge pain.

The back patio is full of the old appliances, some new ones that just got delivered, and lots of cardboard piled everywhere from the cabinet install.

Our office, once a safe haven from accumulated junk, now is junk central. The back yard has a huge pile of debris that yours truly created when I demoed the old kitchen.

Look away. We are hideous.


And what's with the endless expectations from the contractor and sub-contractors that we be home during the install of this or that.  Virginia and I are barely able to juggle our schedules to cover all the ".... and the homeowner must be present to sign-off with.... " situations.  Hello??? If you want your next payment we actually need to, ya know, go to work!


The old kitchen was original to the house, 78 years old.  If you are among normal homeowners,  you have long, long ago got the kitchen remodel over with.

We, on the other hand somehow managed to procrastinate nearly a decade.  That must be some sort of record.

And I think we deserve some recognition for our self-imposed exposure to gross colored tiles, curling and chipped flooring, inefficient cabinets storage and old wiring that we later found out could have burned us to cinders.

Yeah, everyone wants pictures and I am getting there. I'll put together a photo essay and post it here, but there are other things pulling my free time into oblivion.


October is wife-birthday month. We went out to a Mexican place. I wrote her a poem and put it in a handmade card.  Happy Birthday dear 😊! Next year we'll celebrate in our new kitchen.


I am working with some computer science graduates students at work, office of the Provost IT dept.  We have hired a bunch to help us with project overload.

They are polite, eager, hardworking and so programming savvy.  I am learning tons of technical stuff, and am sharing with them all the real-world stuff that they haven't thought of. They need help with their resume's, interview skills and writing cover letters.

But they are the antithesis of what I was when I was in college. I was sort of confused, didn't know my direction in life, unaware of my strengths and weaknesses, hung out with the "Animal House" crowd and often did as little as possible to get by.

Yet somehow I got by and still did OK.  USC certainly has a high bar on the quality of students they allow in.  They will do more than just "OK", it's almost a given.

I often walk around this campus wondering where all the college shenanigans takes place.  It must be over on Frat Row or Sorority Lane.  Not on any of the main quads, that's for sure. Or on campus at all, as far as I can tell.

Even the freshman dorms host well dressed, studious, bright-eyed young adults that seemingly have figured out the secret to life at a tender age. I am on campus quite early.  They are up & about and ready to take on the day. No keggers? No food fights? Seriously?

Me as a freshman? Pffft! Look away. I was hideous.


There you have it, now  you can rest easy.  I hope you are doing well, survive Halloween, this ridiculous election and daylight savings.  If you'd like to leave a comment, the password is easy:

Life is good

Which leads me to a question I often get: Why is there a password required to leave a comment?  It stems from the fact that SPAM is no longer relegated to email. It's happening on websites too, especially where a website offers input from users, like a comment form. SPAM content is mostly created by a computer program, so if a password is required, the evil SPAM robot usually cannot submit the comment form.

Before I set up the password configuration, there were many comments coming in that were obviously not written by or submitted by humans. The contents of which would be familiar to anyone who has flagged incoming email as "junk".  Ads for sexy Asian ladies, anti-aging skin creams,  travel deals, stop paying your mortgage, dental implants, and super duper amazing online coupons. Isn't the internet awesome?


I'll catch up to you at Thanksgiving!


Comments (2) -

Elizabeth O'Keefe
Elizabeth O'Keefe 10/30/2016 5:15:27 PM

Hey Doug, thanks for the update!  You're a very good writer.  In your spare time you might want to write a novel...


<blush> Gee, Thank you!  The novel I could write in my spare time would be very short. Perhaps I could invent a new format. The downsized, super-mini, wee-novelette. Smile

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