Showing posts from August, 2008

2008 State of the Head Address

Madam Speaker, Mister Vice President, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow cephalids: It had been a year since my last MRI, and in the strange way of memory, the noisiness of the tube had become exaggerated in my mind. This time, I almost managed to snooze through it, the rhythmic buzzing and knocking and whirring lulling me into drowsiness. But, then, I can sleep almost anywhere, especially when I'm bereft of anything to hold my attention. A week later, this past Monday, m'lady and I met with Dr Stovall to compare and contrast the new with the old. It seems that in the intervening year, my meningiomic mind mite has been busy. Although I've experienced no change in symptoms (yay, carbamzapine!), I'm carrying around even more non-brain material in my head. It's now approaching a size that raises concern, having grown along all axes. It would seem that now is the time to act, or at least, to plan. The preferred treatment is surgical removal. While it

Why I Toast

I wrote this up for the company newsletter; we're trying to recruit members for our chapter of Toastmasters. It'll be interesting to see if this attracts anyone. The promotional literature for Toastmasters generally presents a litany of reasons for joining up: there's the appeal to the shy, that they might become more confident; the paean to enhanced leadership skills; and always the promise of camaraderie and bonhomie. While worthy reasons to explore our bold, competent and amicable group, they don't capture the opportunity Toastmasters offers that caught my eye. I've not been shy in front of an audience in decades, being an officer lacks appeal, and being gregarious has never been a personal goal. What I was seeking, although I didn't realize it, was a place to give a speech. Backing up a bit: I was a competitive debater and speaker back in my school days. Adult life, though, doesn't have much to offer in terms of opportunities to exercise rhetoric and ora


It's always a bit of a chore explaining just what it is that I do at work. It still amazes me the fraction of the public who, upon hearing the word "parcel," first think "package" instead of "land." I blame UPS. Folks will ask, often in lieu of understanding, whether I enjoy what I do or not. Oh, I do enjoy it. It feels worthwhile; a project that should have been undertaken ages ago, but is just now becoming really do-able. It always feels like we're advancing the state of the art. These are all things I like about my job, my career, if you will. Few ever ask, though, what I don't like about it. There's not much, really. As order-phillic as I am, I even kinda like the chaos that our many priorities bring. Petty as it is, the thing that bothers me most on a day-to-day level is comically mundane. I work in a modest office building of four stories, all of which are part of our company or parent company. It's a great place to work, clean an