I had a chance to visit the Bay area last weekend.

I used to live there. I spent about 7 years there.

Now that I’ve lived in L.A. and am a homeowner, I look at my old neighborhoods with new eyes.

Fact is, when I lived there I had no chance to become a homeowner. The houses there had nothing to do with my life. I lived in apartments, and the houses I passed on the streets made no impression on me.

I saw them. I appreciated some aspects of them. But it was like the art hanging on the wall of a restaurant I might frequent. I might notice them and admire aspects about them, but they were just background noise.

Now I that i spend a lot of time on and in my home, I have a baseline to compare.

L.A. and the Bay area grew up around the same time. The ranch houses there are very similar. Now I see with new eyes.

I also see better what I always suspected:

I lived in seedy neighborhoods. I tried to find the cheapest possible apartments, and that meant they were a little scary.

I guess it worked out. I made it out of scary rentworld into my own mortgage.

But I have attained a sense of neighborhood. I guess I can trust my own judgement a little more now.


It’s been a while since my last post.


I am doing pretty well. Busy with work and with home, and with life.

The class I am taking is beginning to require a lot of thought. At first, I was reading and ingesting the concepts. As I posted before, I’ve finished the textbook and am now working on finishing the study guide.

I am trying to implement the process the book teaches. But I do feel a little like I’m flying blind. What does a “baseline” look like? that’s the only part that has no illustration.


But the other things have illustrations. They show what a Work Breakdown Structure is supposed to look like. And they show the Network Diagram. I can probably figure out how to do that.

I’m sort of confusing my co-workers though, because they have never seen anything like these mighty paradigms before. I am asking them to give input on how the things should be done before we do them.

“a naming convention? that’s a good idea.”

Yes, but…I want to have one, not just talk about the concept. And to have one before the start of the reconfiguration work.

Well, I guess that’s a big part of the project management world. Getting things done while not quite having any authority. And not taking too long to get them done…





I’ve been groggy the last few days. And yet, the sleep does not come. When it does come, it does not stay long.

I’ve have a decent week. It’s been productive and without strife.

But the sleep is not staying.I find myself wanting to take a pill or something.

The house is strange, with new floors. And more critically, it is strange with all the furniture and things ordered as if we just moved in.

I thought I was done moving.

I guess it can be like that sometimes. Just, hard to sleep.

very very few

SO…I have finished, top to bottom, the PMBOK.


I think I may be one of less than 500 people in the WORLD who have read that esteemed volume.


I bet the people that even WROTE it didn’t read it all the way. It is DENSE.


But I did it. Page 297, end of chapter twelve, at the end of my bus ride in today.


I rule.

the misty angel

I didn’t expect it.

It’s like that saying, If it’s everyone’s job, and anybody can do it, then nobody does it.

That means it never happens.

So if it happens to everyone, at any time, then it always happens, and the ‘always’ is rendered down to never.

But I got the news that my dear dear friend Bonnie has an incurable disease.

Death has come up to walk beside me. It’s too soon. I want this to be not now.

So, as I move through my days, my days whose numbers are the same they were yesterday, one less only, I think about death.

Bonnie’s days are not the same they were last year. She knows it. I know it.

And that knowledge walks with me. The knowledge, the ineffable, walks beside me.

I have known death before. I have had friends die. But not like this. It was a intersection, a flash and gone.

What?! he is dead? you must be mistaken.

But no. And no. No mistake. Only a huge irrevocable one, And the end.

The end.

And no one was ready. Am I ready?

NO. I have too many things to do. I am not willing to let go.

What must Bonnie be thinking? I think she thought NO too.

I avoid death. We all do. Mostly.

Be careful! Do not cross the danger line. Don’t even get close to the danger line.

Wear a sweater. Drink water. Take your vitamins.

Lots of padding between the now and the end. Don’t sit too close to death. Don’t put yourself in the angel’s path.

As death walked with me, I thought of it. It was coming to stay. To stay as long as Bonnie was here. And then probably a bit longer. There is an afterwards.

Okay. Who is this? Cloaked and patient. Sitting at the table, ready to recieve hospitality. Tea would be nice.

Cloaked. I thought. A skeleton? the grim reaper?

no, Not rattley and bright. That’s not this one. This is misty and cloaked.

Man or woman? I regard the presence as it accompanies me. I look for the masculine, the feminine. It is neither. And yes, that is right because death is an angel and angels are neither male nor female.

I see death, that mist. That cloaking, obscuring mist.

Stay away from me! I have things to do! I have things on this earth I still want

I think of the church prayers. Put away the things of this earth and set your sight on heaven.

right, sure. But not yet.

Not really yet.

Except that I have a choice. Bonnie is coming to the end of earthly choices.

The misty angel is sending misty tendrils around her, and they will eventually surround and obscure her.

Gone. No peeking.

My church also has a very explicit understanding of heaven and the afterlife. At least, more explicit than some.

Pictures of all the people who are there already surround us in our homes and in church.

Look, Mary the mother of Jesus! Look, John the baptist, Jesus’s cousin!

And all the saints from America. And St. George the dragon slayer..And Xenia, the hardworking hod carrier. And my personal one, Elizabeth the martyr of Russia. All these people, like the guest list at a party already there when you are arriving fashionably late.

Things of heaven.

This misty angel walks with me. I am not ready for Bonnie to go. I can only wrap myself in the incontravertible fact that there is not a damn thing I can do about it. That every breath I take is a gift from God anyway, and any time he wants to not grant the next breath he can.

That’s not stopping me from praying for a miracle. And it is not stopping my angry tears against the coming loss of my friend.

I got nothing. I don’t know what I can offer her now. She’s always been the one to help me–the one with the bit of wisdom or the obscure reference book to help me out with a question.

I got nothing. I guess I’ll just do what I can, stumble around and hope that whatever i can give- phone calls, visits, whatever-is helpful to her.

Probably we are all stumbling and incompetent right about now.

Lord have mercy.


A friend invited me back to visit my former workplace.

THAT workplace.

I saw a lot of people there that remembered me and were glad to see me.

The only manager left from when I worked there (the rest had ‘gone’) said “It cost us a million and a half dollars after you left.”

I said “It’s too bad I couldn’t have gotten that million.”

“And,” he said, “It took four people to replace you.”

It was nice of him to say that. He didn’t have to. It was true. I knew it was going to cost them when I left. But that’s why I left–they weren’t listening to me about what needed to be done.

They had to find out the hard way.

But it was nice of him to tell me that. He didn’t gain anything by telling me.

Three years later, and I can walk the halls like a celebrity. A celebrity for being as good as I was. A good worker.

A celebrity because people remember me. And a celebrity because even the people who were hired to replace me heard so much about me that they are excited to meet me personally.

Makes me think about what a former friend said when I was sad that I had to quit:
“Don’t kid yourself. They forget about you as soon as the door shuts.”

Not me. ‘Cause I really am that good.

and now for the anticlimax

yeah, it’s pretty much over.

I did one “right thing” after another until I was done with the string of things.

A lot of soul wringing. And now?


very little is different


But I guess it is the little things that count. The few little things that are different now are things that allow me to get a decent night’s rest.

A good night’s sleep can make a big difference.



I’ve been full of thoughts this weekend.

But I’ve also been busy.

A big home project is being finalized. The original wood floors in my home are being unearthed and finished into the floors we will use.

That being so, we are basically kicked out of our home. We’re staying at Judy’s house. That’s Chris’s mom.

Some of the time we are spending in the the office. Me, Chris an the cat. And some of the furniture that would normally be in the house. All in the office.

I planted my vegetable garden. THe planter box was made last week. And the seeds planter in a little greenhouse box.

I bought the dirt and filled in teh planter box. Planted the seeds. Carrots and Lettuce, which are the only two vegeatbles Chris will eat.

It’s been busy.

But the floors will be done Wednesday, and we can rejoin our home on thursday. It will be worth it.