December 31, 2018

I’m writing this post on a late Saturday night instead of New Year’s Eve so the whole “rolling of the year” nonsense doesn’t influence this post with any kind of sentimentality. The twins are fast asleep and it’s just me, a cold Sam Adams Boston Lager at the ready, and Marlie the rabbit in her rabbit area behind me, the sounds of typing in an otherwise-quiet house.

Whenever I start my last post of any year, the first thing I do is copy the last post from the previous year to see if it contains anything relevant to what I might use as a muse for this year’s. Reading the very first paragraph of last year’s December 31 post, I had to laugh (italics mine):

And so another year goes into the history books. While this year was a far improvement over 2016 – a year when we lost my mom and our beloved rabbit Cosmo – the shadows cast by this past month and the ongoing crisis at work remain long and deep, with the chaos promising to extend into the first few weeks of 2018, if not longer. As a result, my job security isn’t what it seemed to be just five long weeks ago; when and if the dust settles on this particular engagement you can bet folks are going to lose their jobs and everyone will be looking for scapegoats. I just hope mine is not one of them, but you never know..

What a laugh. The chaos lasted longer than a “first few weeks”. Try, instead, the better part of five months. Five. Friggin’. Months. And, after hundreds of thousands of dollars – if not a million – given away to “The Client Who Shall Remain Nameless” in order to get their software solution stable, no one – and I mean no one – has lost their job. The incompetents, morons, and dick-heads are all still around – some in different positions, others still inflicting the same kind of damage on other clients, but no one (at least to my knowledge) on the unemployment rolls. It’s pretty damned pathetic when you think of it.

Me and my team? We’re all still slogging away, still working towards a “final solution” where we can finish our implementation and move on. But I will say this: perhaps it’s all in one’s perception. One of the big-wigs we have been working with at “TCWSRN” and I were both talking after a call. He told me that, while there were a few of his cohorts who were still pissed at being promised functionality that really wasn’t there (something I had nothing to do with) overall he and his unit were very satisfied at the responsiveness, competence, and dedication of my team to make things right. He told me how one of his industry cohorts in a similar position at another company implementing a similar solution from another software vendor were still struggling to get the basic fundamentals down five years after their initial implementation. That may well be true, but it’s still not solace for how badly I was treated those first chaotic months of 2018 when no one – and I mean no one had my back. Not only will I never forget, I won’t forgive, either.

Looking back, 2018 was really a tale of two years: the first five months and the last seven. And while the first five months were really bad between work, worrying about my dad’s health and living arrangements, losing my beloved Auntie Marge (my mom’s sister), and Tracey reinjuring her shoulder, during that time who could have known that the seeds were being planted for the kind of turnaround the second half of the year would bring. Dad’s illness in January led to my exploratory visit on a bitterly cold and icy afternoon to the senior living facility he would eventually move into in August. At the time, it seemed a huge stretch with too many hoops and hurdles to overcome, but while the process was incredibly stressful for everyone involved (not the least, Dad), we slowly and gradually worked through them all, and everything ended up working out better than any of us could have reasonably hoped. By the end of April, my team had finally figured out a way to stabilize things at “TCWSRN”, and so the daily 7 AM and nightly 10 PM calls finally dwindled away to nothing.

By the time July came, all the focus was on my dad’s inevitable move. After a few months of looking at the options available, he was ready for a visit to Summer Place. After which we sat down, ran the numbers, and knew we could make it happen. All of a sudden there was lots to do (after all, he and my mom had lived in the same apartment for the better part of fifteen years) but Dad was excited about the move and that made it all so much easier. Within six weeks, he was in his new digs, he had turned in the last car he would ever drive, and was happy in his new living arrangements, which in turn made all of us who love and care for him happy as well!

Around that time we had our annual Goodboys Invitational weekend, but with everything else going on at the time my heart wasn’t really in it. I hadn’t worked as hard on my golf game as I had in the past, and I was still learning how to play with new graphite irons, so between everything going on off and on the course I didn’t play well. On top of that, the hotel arrangements for the Goodboys I thought I had locked down tight with the Foxwoods folks didn’t turn out to be locked down at all. They screwed everything up, and it was left to you-know-who to get all the arrangements re-worked out. To me, the weekend was just more stress on top of the stress I was already feeling, and I was too burned out to enjoy myself at all.

Actually, it wasn’t until late September and nine holes played on the last 100-degree day of the year at TPC Scottsdale that my love for the game was re-kindled. It wasn’t due to anything in particular – the staff, the course, and the people I played with just made it such an enjoyable experience that I was able to remove all the expectations and just play the game for the love of it. A couple of weeks later, I got a great golf tip from my Goodboys pal Killer, and it has really helped out my game. In December, I finally decided to have my right hand worked on to correct the Dupuytren’s contracture that had become more than just a passing nuisance. Until the guy showing us back patio replacement doors shook my hand earlier today, my recovery seemed to be progressing nicely. Now I’m not so sure. But we’ll see what the doc says at my follow-up appointment in a week’s time.

So that’s about it in a nutshell. Another year older and survived. More time passed to see just how quickly the passage of time now passes. I’m sixty-three years old, and next October we’ll be meeting with our finance guy to look at – gasp! – Medicare options. Sigh. Forget the idea of what folks call the “golden years”. Not to get maudlin about it, but where’s the “golden” in a future where more bodily functions and parts stop working as efficiently or as you’ve been accustomed to? I guess all you can do is try to keep yourself in as good a shape as possible.

So what about 2019? Well, for starters I’m planning on following in my dad’s footsteps – he’s always loved to walk and is religious about it – and start walking a brisk two-mile walk three times a week. Our subdivision is perfectly designed for taking walks without the risk of getting killed, so I’m going to do it as soon as work is finished for the day. I’d like to start playing more golf in 2019, but I’m not as optimistic as I felt just a few days ago. Tonight my hand hurts, and badly. I’ve been thinking a lot about the blog and just how long I can keep it going. While a favorite Beach Boys board disappeared without so much of a murmur and another of my favorite bloggers recently tossed in the towel, I’m planning to keep on keeping on as long I’m (and I hope y’all) are entertained enough with what I write. But as Betsy decided, I won’t blog just for the sake of blogging. When I feel I’ve said everything that needs to be said, or it becomes more of a chore than enjoyment, I too will shut the lid on the PC and just walk away.

So that’s that. Another year in the books. Who knows what will happen in 2019. Will I still be blogging? Will I still be employed? Will I still be a Goodboy? Will I still be alive? Who knows? But y’all will be there to witness the ride as long as the ride is good. I want to sincerely thank everyone who considers this outpost in the blogsphere a part of your daily (or occasional) Internet habit. I enjoy writing for the entertainment it provides, but it’s always nicer when you know there are people who occasionally read what you write. So thank you for that.

OK, time to skedaddle. See y’all on the flip of the calendar and the start of a New Year. I know I’m ready for that flip, are you? Take us outta here, George!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:03 | Comments Off on Auld Lang Syne
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