Memories of Before

I’m clicking around on Canva for no reason in particular. It does seem that I’ve been here before, but I couldn’t recall when or why.

Oh, look — there’s a login function and it does appear that my Mac keychain has stored a username and password that I’d used on here before, so we’ll give it a go.

Well, that worked.

Hey, look, there’s also a “All your designs” section. I wonder what’s there…

…and suddenly it all became a bit more clear, about why I had memories of having been here before. I was trying out this new “Canva” thing and seeing if it would have any value for our team or for presentations. In fact, I could even say with absolute certainty that it was on December, 20, 2017 — just days before The Fall.

Apparently, I was trying out a humorous visual aide for a talk that I was planning on giving at the end of Christmas when the teams returned at the beginning of the year and that I’d include in a discussion with onboarding of the Noida team.

Breaker of Stuff, Doer of Things — Bitesize: Enabling Efficiency

Probably only really meaningful to maybe two or three hundred people around the globe.

I certainly do miss being involved with the motley crew of most capable and admirable designers, developers, and engineers.

On Burnout…

Never push loyal people to the point where they don’t give a damn.

Peter Drucker, 1909 – 2005

Thinking back, there were signs of a somewhat lessening interest in Pearson in particular and in Computer Science in general somewhere around about October, 2017. That was right about the time that one of the greatest champions of the team announced his departure.

People move on.

That year, after a business trip to Austin for KubeCon in early December, I was feeling quite burned out. We were planning another trip to Noida to transition a team in February, 2018, but I’d settled that after Christmas (of 2017), it’ll be time to start seeking in earnest opportunities elsewhere.

And The Universe said, “Oh, you have plans, do you? Here, try some gravity…” And the fall and TBI happened.

Strike one.

In the coming months, while struggling with rewiring my brain and body, the entirety of the team who’d pioneered the evolution within the company from the long-standing Mode 1 hardware model into a Mode 2 infrastructure model — which, by design, would slash spend dramatically across from the company — would disperse.

And The Universe said, “Ah, while you’re in the prolonged recovery, here’s some innocuous bacteria…” Then the infection.

Strike two.

Clearly, I’d end up being more dependent upon modern healthcare and needed to relocate to larger city. Moses Lake wasn’t nearly as connected to technologies as I’d have hoped. So, we’d planned on moving to Spokane — not only because it was a large city, but also because it wasn’t nearly as expensive as the Seattle metro area was.

And The Universe said, “Oh, you’re still coming up with ideas, are you? How about this…” Then the layoff and all of its psychological stressors.

Strike three.

My confidence in Computer Science at that moment was not only shaken… it was shattered. I doubted everything related to computer-anything. Programming, development, design, experimentation — I stopped caring about everything: the pursuit of work, life, self.

I would spend the next several months seeking desperately a reason to continue — a reason to do. What I needed most was sense of purpose.

Alright, Universe… what else you got?

Locusts? Ha!

Pandemic? Please.

Earthquakes? Hey, we all get a bit wobbly with age.

Riots? Amateurs.

Wildfires? Bah!

So, bring it on.

The Son of Gerber Incident

How in the world did I manage to break the tip of the #0 (#2?) flathead screwdriver on my multitool?

I do have a rather very vague memory of damaging it. I also know that it was perhaps a few years ago.

Was it around the time of my TBI? Just a few days before? Separating the sequence of events around that time is a bit of a jumble.

I can only assume that I thought at the time, “Oh, that’s annoying… could’ve been worse… I’ll fix it/order a replacement”.

Also, no, I would not have damaged it by using the screwdriver as a pry-bar. A screwdriver is a screwdriver and I know that hardened steel will break, not bend.

So, that’s two MP400s that I’ve damaged in 33 years.

**sigh**

Yep, I’ll keep this one. No need to throw it out. It’d be a good reason to break out the bastard file and see about shaving it down.