I randomly decided to look in on this blog after many, many years. Honestly, the 2016 election among other things kind of killed it for me. I was listening to an episode of the Jordan Harbinger Show podcast and the guest was talking about how he gave up on blogging for five years, and the opportunity that he may have missed because of that. Do people Blog any more? I guess it doesn’t matter. This space only really functioned for me to put down ideas in some sort of findable space.
What’s new / What’s different / What’s the same:
I got divorced. I got re-married (major upgrade there!). I still work for the same company. I’d like to think I’m even better at my job than I was before. I certainly spend enough time doing it. I probably need to do something else instead.
I still read. I kind of stopped doing that for a year or so, but COVID-19 certainly got me back in that habit. I’ve gone back to re-read many old friends over the last year, and the Amazon fairy brought me some others that I missed, or that missed me. Dead tree editions are still the way to go. No e-reader for me. I really have no interest in non-fiction right now. The world is just too real I guess.
I still get random 5GW thoughts when thinking about current events. I’m kind of glad, and simultaneously horrified, that those concepts have been born out by history in many ways.
I still don’t get Twitter. I gave it another try at the beginning of the pandemic, but it just won’t take. I do listen to a lot of podcasts. They kind of serve the same role as blogs used to back in the day for me, generating ideas for me to think about when I should probably be thinking about something else.
I don’t make De-Motivational posters any more, but I do generate memes to amuse my friends and family. That’s super-fun.
I don’t play Ingress any more. I really don’t play games of any kind.
Current Favorite Authors: Neal Stephenson, Brandon Sanderson, and I just finished the Demon Cycle Series by Peter V. Brett.
Just finished watching Superstore on Hulu. Good show, mostly not painful (as some shows where the characters do painfully stupid things tend to be for me), and This is a Robbery on Netflix about the Gardener Museum Heist (as a palate cleanser). Not sure what I’ll watch next. I would like to know why I ever had cable though? I just wish there weren’t 20 streaming services. At some point it might as well be cable.
I’m going to try something new. Maybe it will start a conversation. Maybe it will only happen once. Maybe it will alleviate some boredom…
The purpose of The State of Distraction is to throw out some things that may be of interest that may not get their own posts or that I may not get around to posting about.
We will see how it goes.
I just got done with Ghost in the Wires the autobiography / memoir of Kevin Mitnick. I liked it as much as The Art of Deception and The Art of Intrusion (both are must-reads on the 5GW bookshelf). I might get around to doing a more complete post about this one but in short I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in security or cyber-security.
I’m currently reading Storm Front by Jim Butcher. I’ve heard a lot about how good The Dresden Files are but never picked up the novels. So far I am enjoying it quite a bit and I will probably end up reading the series, though I probably won’t post reviews about them. Storm Front came out in 2000 after all so there isn’t much new there to talk about. My local library seems to have all of the books available and I already have Fool Moon waiting on deck. I might have to make it a point to go back and read up on series that I didn’t read because they were already a couple of books in before I noticed them. Suggestions would be great.
Of the wines I’ve been sampling lately a couple have stood out from the rest. One is the S.I.P. certified (a classification that goes beyond the organic tag) 2009 Carmel Road Pinot Noir from Monterey California. It has a nice, rich cherry / plum flavor and a beautiful black tea-like character. It also has very nice structure and balance and is worth looking for.
Another winner is a Spanish Rioja, the 2005 Marques de Murrieta Reserva. This is a wine at its peak right now showing a wonderful glowing garnet (going brickish) color, and a nice fruit / earth / wood balance with a delicious finish.
Most recently I’ve been drinking (rī)¹ and it is delicious. I have lately been kind of developing a taste for high-rye bourbon and straight rye whiskey. I guess something about that extra spicy character and extra touch of heat appeals to my palate. This one is exceptionally complex with layers of nuanced flavor. My preferred way to enjoy this one is in a Glencairn glass with no ice.
Who couldn’t be diverted by the Presidential primaries right now. It looks like it is coming down to Mit and Newt (though Mit has the upper hand I would say). As an independent moderate (if I can be called anything except cynical) I really should like Mit, but he seems like a weaksauce politician to me who will do anything to get a vote. Newt appeals to me (I hate to admit) because he seems more like a political animal rather than a politician. I acknowledge his strategic ability but I have doubts about his ability to lead. I guess if you show me a real leader with the ability to deliberately improve the position domestic and international position of my country beyond the next election’s time frame, then I’ll vote for that candidate. It’s pretty much that simple for me, I just don’t see that guy on the ticket.
I finally can’t take it any more. I know that picture of the guy in the grape costume is funny and all but I’m tired of looking at it and I guess I should get back to blogging and make it go away.
So what happened?
Well, I took the summer off to enjoy “The Summer of the Re-Read 2011”. The latest books in several series that I have been following for years (including George R. R. Martin’s A Dance with Dragons) dropped over the summer and I decided to take a break from blogging in order to go back and re-read those series from the beginning. The idea was to get more free time in order to more quickly burn through those books…
And then there was Civ World…
As diversions, distractions and things to think about when you should be doing something else go (in other words a true Red Herring), the game / insanity known as Civ World reigns (or at least reigned) supreme. For those of you out there who didn’t get sucked in by it, you are lucky, and I also feel very, very sorry for you. Civ World is a Sid Meier Civilization game created for Facebook. Honestly though, at this time I have very mixed feelings about Civ World. When it started I had no idea what I was doing and there was little to no documentation to explain the tricks. On one hand this was great because it was an honest, actual, STRATEGY game. You had to figure them out and those that played the most efficiently ruled. I spent hours playing and thinking about better ways of playing. Hours that I should have been doing more important things (like reading those books and getting back to blogging). On the other hand it was buggy, frustrating, constantly having its rules and gameplay mechanics changed in maddening ways, and then they went and tried to monetize it, and ruined it forever.
I would have to say the very best thing about Civ World is the awesome group of players I was very fortunate enough to team up with. The Civ World Strategy Group came from all corners of the globe: China, Bangladesh, Norway, Sweden, British Columbia (some guy named Sean Meade in South Carolina) and Alabama. These were wonderful, funny and incredibly devious and utterly implacable people. We had the game wired. We knew all the best plays. We crushed all opposition without mercy or remorse. If you were in a game with us, You Were Going To Lose. It was that simple.
I miss Civ World.
The third thing that changed how much blogging I can do is that at work I was promoted. I am now the General Manager of three stores of purveyors of fine wines, spirits and beers. This is great! I am really happy in my new position and it challenges me in ways that managing a single store didn’t, and I still get to help customers find the great stuff they are looking for, my favorite part of my previous position. The downside, at least as far as blogging is concerned, is that I don’t have an office of my own anymore (though that should change eventually) and I have a lot more stuff to do so I generally work later.
New Job = Less Free Time.
Oh well, I get to try even more tasty wines, spirits and beers and I’m working on ways to create time to share the most tasty of them here. So it will all work out in the end with a little patience.
So, that’s the update. Blogging should increase in the near future. Thanks for reading!