Unsettling News

My boss gave notice on Friday.

It took this fucking company and its prima donna management less than a year to burn through another great I.T. Manager. I really liked Chris and was frankly amazed that he was able to push through so many of the needed fixes and improvements that the previous manager couldn’t seem to. And just when we were on the verge of really getting our house in order, he’s decided to “leave to pursue other opportunities.”

Yeah, we all know what that means. He pissed off the wrong person. I wonder which one of the self-important assholes with an “O” after name it was?

I had confided to him a couple weeks ago that I was burnt out and asked how he handled being in that situation himself. I was surprised that he opened up and confessed that he was growing increasingly tired of the disarray and the almost pathological resistance to change this company possesses, so Friday’s announcement didn’t come as a complete surprise.

Immediately afterward Friday’s meeting, I went back on Monster and Dice and updated my resume to tone down the “I want to do Mac!” vibe I’d imparted a few weeks ago. At this point I can’t afford to be that picky. I just need to find another desktop support job and get out. I’m not going to go through another three months of hell that was the last time we were without a director while they took their sweet time finding a replacement; three months that I became the de facto whipping boy for the alcoholic CEO and clueless COO. Fuck that shit.

Wish me luck.


From the Analog Archives

I wasn’t raised there, but Tucson was the first place I lived as an adult after moving out of my parents’ house, and I suppose that’s why it holds such a special place in my heart. It’s also where two of my lifelong friends still live.

While I loved the years I spent in San Francisco, Tucson will always elicit the warm fuzzies of “Home” for me. No matter how long I’ve been away, or how much the city (slowly) changes, I always feel welcome whenever I go back.

While I know Ben is resistant to the idea because of the cut in pay he would suffer by moving, if we do decide to go somewhere else when his indentured servitude in Denver comes to an end, it is my sincerest wish that Tucson be our destination. I know the politics in Arizona right now is Crazy Town on steroids, but in that sea of deep red madness, Pima County (the Gabby Giffords shooting notwithstanding) has always been a relative island of clear blue sanity.

Even if we don’t move back, it is my intention that Tucson be my final resting place. And when thinking about exactly where I want my ashes scattered there when that day eventually comes, for me it’s a no brainer—Sabino Canyon:

The following photos aren’t of Sabino, but were taken in northeast Tucson on the same trip in 1997.

You’ve got to admit that the place is photogenic…

Unintended Consequences

One of the unintended consequences of scanning my dad’s photo albums is discovering that I have about twenty years of my own photos that have never been digitized. I realized this while trying to locate some of Dad’s photos that I knew I’d pulled from his albums over the past couple years and never put back.

I didn’t really find what I was looking for, but it prompted another scanning project that I started last weekend.

I’ve already started posting some of my favorites.  I’ll continue to do so as I make my slowly through the mountains of photos I took.

As always, you can click on any of them to get full size.

Soylent Green…is PEOPLE!

Another one from the vaults.

I always used to think that every time I passed this facility on Interstate 10 while driving from Phoenix to Los Angeles. On one of the trips I decided to pull off and actually snap some photos.

Fuck It

I called out sick today, for no reason other than I simply didn’t want to deal with the rank stupidity of my workplace.

There was only one other place in my employment history that I hated going to as much I do this one. It was in 1997 at an architectural firm in San Francisco that was owned—ironically—by a very cool guy I’d worked with about fifteen years prior in Phoenix. It turned out while he owned the place, he didn’t really run the office and the guy who did had no management skills whatsoever.

While I was working as an architectural drafter at the time, the owner knew of my mad PC skillz, going so far as to say it would be a tremendous asset at the office. But as it turned out, even with my skills, I wasn’t allowed to touch anything when stuff broke because a friend of the office manager “handled all that.” So every time something went down (which happened on a fairly regular basis), we had to wait—sometimes for days—for the friend to show up and fix it.

I’d discussed this with the owner on more than one occasion, willing to take on the responsibility myself, and he said that would be great, but nothing ever came of it. It made me wonder who was actually in charge of the place.

Anyhow, sometime shortly after the fifth or sixth time we were required to do mandatory weekend overtime because of this ongoing bullshit with the system going down, I’d decided I’d had enough. One morning I had a particularly frustrating commute via the good ol’ SF MUNI, and by the time I got off at the Montgomery Station, I knew was going to end up being about 20 minutes late. I said, “Fuck this!” and turned around and got on the next outbound train and returned home. I spent the rest of the day composing my resignation letter.

The following day was Friday (and pay day), so I returned to work, intending to deliver my resignation to the owner in person and explain why I was leaving, but fate didn’t afford me the opportunity; he wasn’t in the office and wasn’t due back until the following week. So, after receiving my check, I left the letter on his desk, quietly packed my things, and left for lunch—and never went back.

As much as I’d like to do the same thing where I’m at now, I simply can’t afford to. Those carefree days of youth are gone and I can’t just walk into a new job like I used to be able to. I have to at least act like a responsible adult and make sure I have something else lined up first.

To that end, I’ve been in contact with a recruiter who has submitted me for a full time, benefits-paid position at a non-healthcare-related company that’s in the same general area where I’m working now. This place also has the benefit of being a mixed Apple/Microsoft environment, something I’ve been really hoping to get into. Their hiring manager was out all last week, so I’m hoping to get a phone call this week saying they want to talk to me.

Found Photos

Culled from an album I found dumped in the trash room in one of the San Francisco apartments I lived in during 1994.

Diving Headlong into the Past

One of the guys I follow on Instagram posts nothing but what look to be scans of old found photos; the kind you run across in antique shops. I also spend way too much time visiting the Shorpy Historical Photo Archive. I love these voyeuristic glimpses into the past, especially the ones that record the most mundane of daily activities. While looking at scenes from the 50s, 60s, and 70s, I often catch myself thinking, “Wow. That looks like something that I’d see in my family’s photo albums.”

When my mom and dad divorced in the 80s, they split up the family albums. There were lots of duplicates in my grandmother’s collection that they threw into the mix to help ensure the split was mostly equitable, but not everything is in both sets of albums, and it has been my long term goal to get everything scanned and put back into a single unified virtual album that both my sister and I can have.

After Mom’s passing, I started that project, but was so overwhelmed by the sheer number of photos involved in her collection I gave up and returned all the physical media to my sister.

About a year before Ben and I left Phoenix, I got the urge to revisit this project and made off with my dad’s albums (with his permission, of course), intending to scan and return them within a couple months.

Like so many of these well-intentioned projects, life intervened and even this modest beginning was put on the back burner. Oh hell…it was shelved and pretty much forgotten about until Dad’s passing a month ago when my sister started cleaning out his place and asked if I had them.

So a couple weeks ago I jumped back into it, and unlike times past, I have not given up. I’m nearly finished with Dad’s albums and will swap them for Mom’s when I see my sister in October. What struck me the most about all this is how so many of these photos really could easily appear on Retronaut or show up in that found-photos Instagram feed:

Mom, me, and our next door neighbor “Gammy” Johnson, 1960

I’m also surprised at how well Photoshop is able to bring so many of these faded shots back to life. It doesn’t always work, but when it does it’s amazing. The original prints have been faded for so long that it’s how they’re burned into my memory, so in many cases it’s like I’m seeing them for the very first time.

One of the saddest things about looking over all these photos is the realization that since neither my sister or I have children to inherit them, it’s quite likely that all them will one day end up in an antique shop as mere curiosities of a time long gone.