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Don’t expect people to change

tcr! · 5 days ago

Ask any diehard Bears fan to watch a Packers’ game. They might amuse you and watch and listen but inside they’ll be uneasy and resistant. And then next Sunday the TV will have players on Solider Field. Because Bears fan.

People don’t change” has become one of my personal mantras for the last few years. A scorpion is a scorpion and a dog that bites will sink its teeth. That bomb will blow up. And alcoholics will drink.

People will continue to be who they are until their California falls into the Pacific by way of San Andrés. And it won’t be just because of the earthquake. It’ll be because the aftershocks rattled them for months on end afterward. Every day. Ten miles deep.

I don’t really see this personal mantra as pessimistic. My seismograph is valid. For better or worse people are humans and we’re all designed to fail. That’s the biology in the pudding. The good news is that the Cosmic Spirit or the Holy Ghost or God or Ditka or whoever you pray to can fundamentally change who we are. At the atomic level. But only after we’re broken.

But I don’t want to talk about the cosmos making us better people. I want to talk about another well accepted mantra. The one about “expectations” being bad. I don’t buy that any more than I buy that everything is an illusion. Expectations are indifferent on their own. Just like outcomes and assumptions.

My point is that if I expect somebody to be any different than they are, that’s a loss. If I expect somebody to be exactly who they are, that’s a win.

It’s my job to manage expectations in ways that make sense. Dynamite is for big holes kinda thing. I’m not an ace at this by any means being more of an emotional firecracker, but knowing which road to take is still a good thing to write down when I’m not sure.

And then the magic of expectations is really the things in life that I don’t expect to happen. The things without seismometer blips.

The sudden sunshine after a Thursday thunderstorm. A favorite can of soda forgotten and found. A four leaf clover on February 14th. Alanis Morissette on the radio after a shit day at work.

Those are the phenomenons worth paying attention to. The miracles and blessings that I never knew were coming. Those open my eyes to a way of seeing the universe like I hadn’t before. To a way that I didn’t even know that I didn’t know about.

To tie it all together with a hopeful plaid bow, let people surprise you with their change. It’s not our job to manage that. It’s theirs.

Skeleton at Von Maur

And then thank Horace Walpole.

#advancedsoul

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Developer laments, a Cobain quote, and more!

tcr! · 6 days ago

Being a dork web developer who:

  • loves code
  • is forced to use WordPress to manage a client’s hideous content
  • because the client sends me mangled rich-text emails
  • loves the WP theme devs who hard-code sort columns and orders in their PHP

Well, I guess all of that combined makes me want to punch myself in the face.

#devhell

See also:

“I have a request for our fans. If any of you in any way hate homosexuals, people of different color, or women, please do this one favor for us — leave us the fuck alone! Don’t come to our shows and don’t buy our records.”
Kurt Cobain

While I’m here, I might suggest you watch this ten minute video of Jackson Pollock. He’s one of the few heroes of mine who I could actually pull of his hair style. The cigarette dangling out of his mouth is most appealing.

And finally, as a note, if you jump off the deep end I’m probably not going to follow you.

#advancedsoul

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Frosty mini pumpkin

tcr! · Dec 10, 2018 at 9:44 am

Frosty mini pumpkin

Please note: everything’s not as bad as it seems.

#photos #advancedsoul #pumpkins

2 comments

sara sara · Dec 10, 2018 at 11:55 am

You sit on a throne of lies.

fiatlux423 · Dec 10, 2018 at 12:00 pm

I just watched that last night.

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I gradually lost sight of her

tcr! · Oct 30, 2018 at 1:39 pm

Fall driving

I was driving to work this morning as I do. A black Honda Civic sports car pulled up alongside me, a lady about 10 years older than me behind the wheel. When we got to the next stop light she continued to inch her Honda closer and closer toward the intersection.

I said to myself, “You wanna race? I’ll give you a race. I’ve got a 1999 V6 that runs good on regular gas.”

I didn’t have my racing gloves with me but that didn’t matter. And then I couldn’t go full balls when the Christmas lights lit up anyway. With the other cars in front of us and all.

So then as we barreled north, she in her black car and me in my black truck, she continued to apply horsepower. As did I. As the traffic would allow.

But then I had thought that wasn’t my own.[1] Here’s this little old lady in a sports car, probably having the time of her life. Roaring around like Thelma and Louise and then here I am wanting to take that away from her, not even attempting to be my best self.

And then I slowed down.

Let other people win, peeps.

#trafficnews #advancedsoul


  1. Because my best ones are never mine

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Oct 29th, 2018 at 6:33:33 pm

tcr! · Oct 29, 2018 at 6:33 pm

I can’t subscribe to the gospel of any one book. I believe God is bigger than that.

📜 #advancedsoul

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Oct 25th, 2018 at 9:04:32 am

tcr! · Oct 25, 2018 at 9:04 am

Maggie: that’s a whole lotta crazy.

You maybe wondering what’s crazy. And rightfully so.

However, what I’d hopefully like to infer is that if a 13-year-old is declaring crazy, then that’s all you really need to know. 😉

#maggie #advancedsoul

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SQLite — Code Of Conduct

tcr! · Oct 24, 2018 at 11:48 am

If you have a smart phone in your pocket most likely it’s using SQLite to store your data. It’s public domain software that any body or any company can freely use.

Most free or open source software is written by a team of developers from all over the world. Most of these development groups have a code of conduct.

This is SQLite’s: sqlite.org/codeofconduct.html

53 is my favorite: do not love much talking.

#advancedsoul

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Reverse the numbers

tcr! · Oct 18, 2018 at 8:28 am

lightswitch

March 8, 2015 at 8:52 am

While congregating with Saint Henry, Frank had learned to look for the god within. Addictive people look to the outside to fill their holes. Reverse the numbers and flip the math. God’s already inside, just turn on the light.

#advancedsoul

6 comments

fiatlux423 · Oct 18, 2018 at 8:35 am

wtf travis

tcr! tcr! · Oct 18, 2018 at 8:39 am

Too early for god math?

fiatlux423 · Oct 18, 2018 at 8:39 am

never a good time for math to be honest

tcr! tcr! · Oct 18, 2018 at 10:37 am

I like math on Tuesdays.

fiatlux423 · Oct 18, 2018 at 10:37 am

Bro it’s Thursday

tcr! tcr! · Oct 18, 2018 at 10:38 am

Child’s play

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If I’m feeling the same way

tcr! · Oct 17, 2018 at 7:35 pm

Truck with pink cloud

If I’m feeling the same way a few days later I need to make peace with it. Or not.

It’s true that only thing I have to do with my feelings is feel them but sometimes they linger. They don’t resolve. And then I have to do something, I need to take action.

Often times that action is just accepting whatever happened that caused my unrest to begin with. If the situation involved another person, for example, how would I act around them if it didn’t happen at all?

That’s how I accept things. It’s not hard once I decide that I want to move forward in life. Regardless of where my feelings are at.

Acting differently than how I feel isn’t denying my feelings or pretending whatever didn’t happened. It’s me deciding that I’m done with all that and am going to move on even if my heart is telling me something else.

It’s not usual when the only closure I get is accepting that I won’t get a resolution. That’s a realization I get to in my head because feelings can be icky and sticky.

Like watching somebody leave when I want them to stay. I give them a hug and a kiss on the cheek, watch them get into the car and drive down the street. My heart twists as the taillights drive away. The physical bond between us stretches and dissolves as the car gets smaller.

To the left. Around a bend. Disappear. Gone is gone.

I turn and hobble up the sidewalk, the fallen leaves are too coincidental. The chilly air a nuisance, the gray sky unwanted.

Inside the tears drip down like droplets over the outside of a boiling pot. Steam on the lid and mist in my eyes making it too hard to see what’s inside. Everything’s overflowing. Everything’s too much.

The house isn’t empty but I’d rather be by myself. Alone I turn off the stove and the pot and the water start to cool. Just a minute ago they were there and now I only have a fading memory.

Okay stop. Enough with the melodrama.

There was never a stove. Nor a boiling pot.

Feelings are beautiful, magical things and experiencing them makes us whole human beings. They’re the yin to the intellect’s yan.

But they don’t run the show and allowing them to will only end up making life miserable.

#advancedsoul

2 comments

Richard · Oct 19, 2018 at 5:18 am

Nice.
Got it.
Thanks.

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marney0160 marney0160 · Oct 20, 2018 at 9:04 am

Nice! Thanks for the reminder…

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He was a nervous, jittery guy

tcr! · Oct 10, 2018 at 12:30 pm

Teen Paranormal Romance

Years ago I used to work with this client, aliased Jack, who would continually get on my nerves. He wasn’t a bad guy but every now and then he would email[1] me a question, looking for an answer to something we’d been over and over again.

I would read his email and think, “Why the fuck are you asking me this? We’ve already talked about it. More than once. I got better shit to do than repeat myself. For the third time.”

I saw the email conversations as nothing but ridiculous.

No, the world’s not gonna blow up if you click that button. If it could blow up, my annoying little friend, you wouldn’t be able to see the button, let alone click the fucking button.

Obviously customer service doesn’t run in my blood. I like talking with my friends and family but I’m not a big fan of talking to people when I “have to.” By and large there’s little interest in me to hand out warm fuzzies to the clients. I like to write code at work, not give hugs.

So back to Jack.

I was thinking about him this morning because thoughts come and go, as they do. He was a nervous, jittery guy. Anxious pretty much every time I spoke with him. He would often get five steps ahead of me when we were reviewing his projects and I’d be like, “dude, slow down.” I would actually call him “dude” which is my polite way of saying “you moron.”

And because time equals clarity, I think with those calls and emails what he was after was reassurance. He was looking to be comforted in someway if you will. Don’t make that weird because it’s not. But maybe he was homosexual, I don’t know.[2]

I doubt if him wanting a professional “hug” was a front-burner thought. It’s not unusual for people to create little messes in their mind, get themselves all worked up and bent out of shape, and then lean on somebody they trust, someone who’ll tell them it’s okay, that everything’s fine. Someone who’ll offer solutions to their problems.

And then life can be right for a moment.

I don’t know for sure that’s what was up with Jack but it’s what I’m inclined to think.

Being in touch with what other people are feeling or needing is not something that comes naturally to me. I’m a man, not an empath. I have to consciously pay attention to those around me or else I’ll be content in my own imaginary land of Hobbitses and/or Synthetics.

That will sometimes get me in trouble, too.

Having poor empathy skills can lead to serious consequences. It can lead to conflict born of misunderstanding. Without it we can feel lonely within a relationship. Lack of empathy can cause companies to make catastrophic blunders that alienate their customers or employees and it can even incite violence.[3]

Hopefully I’ve never incited violence. I do have the occasion thought of hitting someone on the head with a hammer though.

Thinking about Jack in the here and now it’s easier to see where his antics were coming from, hindsight being 20/20 and all that. There’s nothing I can do about that relationship now but I can maybe carry a little extra empathy into my present day interactions with Jill, aliased of course.

Last paragraph: sometimes we make amends to someone by being a little bit nicer to the next guy.

#advancedsoul


  1. He stopped calling me once he figured out I always sent him to voicemail.

  2. I was being silly just then.

  3. Source: I Don’t Feel Your Pain: Overcoming Roadblocks to Empathy.

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