How are you today?

Which reminds me that I need to find a new place closer to our new home.

Physical therapy is severely underrated. (no matter how high it is rated. it would still be underrated)


Apparently I have an outer ear infection. Ow.


Hey all.

Things are occasionally terrible. I urge all of you to talk to someone about whatever is worrying you.

Semi regular reminder that if you ever want to post things anonymously, we can arrange it.


I am back at work! And it doesn’t suck!!!

Really nice environment, and nice colleagues.

I just thought I’d post something positive, thanks everybody for the support.


I am VERY mildly annoyed. Baloney (our doggie) tried to wake me up around 5 AM today, but I just told him to go back to sleep. Well, turns out he REALLY needed me to wake up and take him outside, since when I got downstairs to turn my computer on, I stepped into a puddle of pee.

My fault, really. He never wakes me up for no reason.


Take comfort. At least you didn’t let your 1 year old “cry it out” to find her in a puddle of vomit the next morning.

Oops. (this was 2 years ago now)


We live, and we learn.


I spent all day preparing for our house-warming party tomorrow. We are expecting something around 25 guests including teenagers (for some obscure coincidence all 4 families with kids and toddlers couldn‘t make it, so we‘ll have 10 fewer young kids at the party).

We cleaned up lots more boxes, moved some furniture, took away trash and generally made most areas presentable. My partner has been smoking 3 pork shoulders all day and I‘ve been in the kitchen when I haven‘t been busy around the house.

We still had 2 sets of craftspeople in the house today and our household helper was here assisting my dad with some gardening. So I got to serve lots of espresso.

All this as preface to what I really want to say. Maybe I said it before after the move, I don‘t remember but since the experience keeps repeating, I might just as well.

I may have complained about the renovations, the discussions and the stress we had because my dad kept throwing wrenches into our plans. I may have complained a lot. It was stressful.

Now. Every time my dad comes into our part of the house—which in summertime when all the windows are open all the time and we‘re home and not at work is often enough—he stops to admire the new views.
„Oh the kitchen turned out so well, I would have loved to have it this way.“
„Oh the stairs, I have to admire them every time I step on them.“
„Oh, the floors are so nice. I wish this existed when we built the house.“

Almost daily, I get to hear how well it all turned out.

And that is so nice. To know we did good for us and him. He built quite the modern house in 1981 and we managed to pull it 4 decades into its future and make it modern again.


Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
(The last few weeks have been really hard)

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
(Work is heading into the busy season. I can’t finish my novel. Andy is in pain)

To the last syllable of recorded time;
(Will tomorrow be different? Probably. It will be worse.)

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
(I feel… empty. Exhausted. I write, and in 18 months AI is going to kill any chance I ever had to be a writer… if I ever had a chance… and 18 months is probably being optimistic)

The way to dusty death.
(Death… I haven’t seriously considered ending my life, but I have wondered if it would make things… less awful. But not seriously. Too much of a coward, too much unknown. A permanent solution to a temporary problem… even if “temporary” is going on twenty years)

Out, out, brief candle!
(Not everything is bad. There are moment. But… they’re distractions. Brief, flickering lights in a sea of darkness. A laugh here. A game shared with friends. A meal with Andy where things… feel… less hopeless.)

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
(But then it comes back. I’m broke. The roof over my head, the food in the fridge, the paltry possessions I can claim as my own… none of it is stable. None of it I have any rights to. None of it is really mine. My life… is borrowed. Loaned. Tied to whims and fancies beyond my power or control.)

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
(Does everyone feel like this? I can’t believe it. People must be happy. Some people, some of the time, at least. A sense of… purpose. Of worth. Of value. I have none of these. I survive today so that, with luck, I might survive tomorrow. Beyond that… what’s the point? I’m useless.)

And then is heard no more.
(Here lies Marc Q. He accomplished nothing, and then he died.)

It is a tale
(I just want to tell stories. Stupid, silly little stories that make people feel hope. That make people feel less alone. That… for a short time, makes people feel exactly all the ways I don’t. And, ideally, not starve in the process. Why is that so difficult?)

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
(Yeah, well. That’s me. Idiot and tales told, sound and fury and powerless rage. Definition of insanity is attempting the same experiment over and over and expecting different results. I don’t know why everything has to be so hard. So pointless. So stupid.)


Well, that sucks. I’m not very good at comforting words, but this is what I have:

Many of us, myself included, produce nothing of real value at work, to anyone other than our corporate overlords. We can find value in the things we do outside of work, but even that need not be of significant value to anyone else! I do niche programming on a platform hardly anyone uses, and I might get no more than a few thanks from the small worldwide population of users of that platform for weeks of effort. That doesn’t matter though, because I know that what I made is good, and that’s enough. Hopefully you can feel value in your own writing in a similar way.

The AI threat seems vastly overstated to me. Translation has been under threat for much longer, and little has come of it. AI won’t be writing anything worthwhile in 18 months time. Now, that’s not saying that consumer spending won’t be affected - as with translation, more people will probably settle for less, but if what you do is good, there will still be a market for it.

You don’t have to be useful, or gauge your value by others’ sense of value. It certainly helps to feel valued, but I don’t think it’s essential (maybe I’m unusual in that, or deluding myself…)

Anyway, back to work. Hope you see a path forward soon.


I haven’t got much to add to what @Benkyo already said.

I agree that the AI threat is vastly overrated, for the most part by those people who make “AI”, I dare say. I think we took a big step forward with the tech recently. But nothing that will replace us as creators of art and other similarly creative endeavors. It’s still all just a very fancy search and auto-complete that we tend to anthropomorphize.

Most of my jobs have been largely … pointless in the grand scheme of things. I once programmed a software that automated firmware upgrades that tended to destroy cheap DSL modems. It made a lot of trouble for the corporate overlords and for the people who didn’t have internet after their modem died a sparky death.

Improvements to the overall state of the world even in my current job are minuscule. What really makes this job better is the people I work with.

And that’s what I want to say. People. Each and every one of us affects people around us in many small and sometimes bigger ways, every day. Most of us don’t change the world in big ways. Most of the time, we are just people being people with other people who find delight in the small things, the niche software and the smiles and beautiful moments we gift each other. And I tell myself that that counts for something. I am not alone in all of this. And you are also not alone. Not here at least :slightly_smiling_face:


As someone fairly deeply in the field: “AI” is going to be (is already being) used as an excuse by big companies to screw over the little guy. But its primary actual use is stuff people don’t want to read: formal reports where all that matters is the keywords, and of course spam. The people currently boosting it are mostly the former cryptocurrency scammers who haven’t been arrested yet.

One reason I’m in the job I’m in now is that I was briefly the webmaster for S Club 7 (a popular beat combo of the early 2000s m’lud) and didn’t want to carry on selling rubbish to kids. But I realise that not everyone gets to do that.

I’m not in general a happy person, particularly since my country plunged into economic and social suicide in 2016, but since I began my policy of avoiding the news it is at least possible. The news always wants me to be unhappy and stressed. (If I were on Facebook or Twitter it would be even worse, so I’ve never been.)


:rofl: :rofl:


I actually got to say that to a retired judge (one of our trustees), and he got the joke.


My boss has been looking into AI stuff recently, mainly as a way to solve a major problem with e-learning stuff: auto-marking anything that isn’t a multiple choice question. Basically, give a user a text field and they’ll find amazing eccentric ways to type out the simplest of answers.

So I got to do an afternoon of research and come back with the answer that hosting our own private system and training it would require a lot of money and computing power and would still be kind of crap.


Not being a retired judge, I don’t get it.


I also didn’t get it, but Wikipedia to the rescue:


I am tired.

But, I must tell myself, things could be worse.

Some of you may have noticed I haven’t been around to chime in with my halfwitticisms for a few weeks. There’s a reason for that! My summer ended up way more hectic than I could have possibly imagined. This was mostly the function of having 3 young children at home, further complicated by having one of the hottest summers in recent years (including a heat-wave that positioned my little anti-corner of the US as the hottest place in the country for a few days) which meant I couldn’t adequately get my children outside enough. And to add to that, a couple of my work projects that were supposed to be ordinary both went completely wonky (when considering those and the project that I had go crazy this last spring, I sincerely sat there thinking, “Is it me? Am I doing this? Am I the problem?”) and ended up causing a great deal of stress.

Surely, then, getting the kids back in school will solve that problem! Wow, I certainly thought that, but it has been a rough few weeks as we try to find a routine for the two new schools and all that that entails.

Yesterday morning, I was sat in my home office and my house was quiet and everyone who was supposed to be at school was at school and nobody was sick and I turned and, for the first time in forever (just feels like that, it’s probably more like 2 months), thought clearly about my workload and made a decisive plan of action for my day and completed a task in the allotted amount of time with the allotted amount of effort. No big deal… it’s only the start of week 6 of school.

Then the baby started crying, of course, while my partner was upstairs putting some clothes away. But I can’t really complain about that, right? I choose to work from home and it’s a privilege to do so. And the reason I chose it was so that I could be here to help. But I will certainly be so happy when they are all in school

So, I’m tired. But now, at least, I’m tired with better clarity. And more time and energy to spend on my own mental wellness.


Welcome back then. Being tired right after waking up, I feel your post. Hope you get to have some more restful moments, find some time for games and recover from the summer.


There’s actually a reason for that sort of thing - by asking an obvious question, the judge gets the answer written into the case transcript, so in 200 years’ time some other lawyer or judge can make sense of what was being talked about.