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December 31, 2015

Social Media

In the past few years Social Media sites on the Internet went from something that you could avoid to a requirement. Now you are considered backward or a "tin foil hat" type if you don't have some sort of presence. While it is true that some, if not all people, create a virtual personal brand firewall to show their successes and block their failures, sometimes you still can see the true essence of people in their stressful times. Over the past few years I have seen friends (real world friends, old friends from college and high school, work friends, etc.) talk about their experiences coming out of the closet, issues with addiction/abuse, divorce/dissolution of relationships, mental illness, serious health issues and the death of loved ones.  It really amazed me what people were willing to share.  At the time, social media for me what the place to make connections for business and like pictures of other people's kids when they liked pictures of mine.  Or cats.

Then I was diagnosed with Cancer.  At that point social media, specifically Facebook, became a support network as I went through diagnosis and treatment.  I really appreciated the genuine outpouring of love.  Physically and emotionally I'm back to normal, but I will always appreciate the people that came out of woodwork to support me and encourage me.  People that had been through similar or more traumatic experiences that let me know it was going to be okay.      

October 11, 2013

Day 10

I don't discuss politics online for a lot of different reasons.  But in this one instance I'll give you some insight into how I see things.  As we run into Day 10 of the shut down of the US Government, I've had a chance to talk with many people as I've been out and about taking care of my children, instead of performing a job critical to national security.  In a nutshell: Natural born American citizens have no idea how their government works or how it is supposed to work.  In my interactions around the community, I have head name calling from both sides of the aisle without any valid arguments.  The sad fact is, even college educated adults can't explain the different parts of government, the idea of checks and balances, the difference between a Senator and a Congressman (or the difference between a State Assemblyman and a Congressman).  You should know all you need to know by 8th grade.  Didn't anybody watch Schoolhouse Rock?

I am ashamed to say that the only person that I've talked with that had an accurate working knowledge of our government was the hair stylist who cut my son's hair, who happened to be a naturalized citizen who emigrated from Vietnam.

Some people have no idea of what a wonderful advantage they were born into when it came to the birth lottery.  

And this is why we can't have nice things...

 

September 11, 2011

10 Years

Ten years ago seems like a lifetime ago. I still can't really speak in a cohesive way about my thoughts and emotions.  Almost on a daily basis, I drive past a street named for Tom Burnett.  There are thousands of other victims of 9/11, and they are equally deserving of our prayers, but Tom's story of bravery and selflessness speaks to me.  While driving through that intersection, I always think of his family's loss, but also how his and others bravery on Flight 93 saved the lives of countless thousands.  I can only hope that I honor these people in my daily work and how I live my life.

 

July 16, 2010

Goodbye Ely

My beloved cat Ely finally lost his battle with Cancer yesterday evening. There isn't much else to say except that I never chose him to be my cat, he chose me to be his human.  I miss him so much, but after 19 years it was his time.

 

 
If you want to see some photos of my friend throughout his life feel free to look here:

http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=ely&w=29501028%40N00&ss=2&z=e

 

September 05, 2009

not so lolcat

We've had a pretty awful year in regards to our pets getting sick and dying.  Yesterday we found out that our cat Oprah has diabetes.  While that is awful, it is way better than a diagnosis of something far less treatable.  Sometimes the only way to deal with this crap is through humor.  So I give you the fine musical stylings of Wilford Brimley

June 01, 2009

Several Goodbyes

J.D. aka "JD Boo Boo" We will miss you. 

Last Saturday was a day of a lot of big changes.  J.D., our lovable cat and companion, passed on peacefully while surrounded by friends.  He has been a big part of my life since I met my wife, but he had been with her since 1995.  The cancer that took his life moved so fast.  Even with several rounds of chemotherapy and a fighting spirit didn't stop the growth of his Lymphoma.  Over the weekend I thought about all the good times and stories that center around that cat.  He could be full of piss and vinegar sometimes, but was a sweet soul, sometimes waking me up in the middle of the night as he was grooming my scalp with his sandpaper tongue. I really miss his trilling meow and all of his tomfoolery that usually involved him dry humping pillows.  What a character.  I will never forget him.

The other big change is that Mr. F, who was with our family for exactly one year and one day, has moved to a new home.  He had been struggling with the fact that he was not the only cat for several months.  His new home will allow him to be his lovable over-stuffed self.  I am going to miss him, but I am happy that he has a home that will give him more attention and love.

Rusty - RIP 

Rusty, my in-laws wonderful dog, unexpectedly passed away on May 9th.  She was a sweet girl and a frequent visitor at our house.  The house seems suddenly so much quieter. 

 


April 29, 2009

Swine Flu

Who would have thought that Michael Jackson's usage of surgical masks would have been some forward thinking fashion choice.  If SARS and the Avian Influenza were not bad enough to scare you, the Swine Flu is here to stay. While many would shrug this off as crazy, if you look at the history of the 1918/1919 Spanish Flu outbreak, approximately 25 million people died in the first 25 weeks of the pandemic.  That is in the age before same day transit between continents via commercial airliners.  Scary. 

Swine Flu 

(Photo Courtesy of sarihuella on Flickr)

A great resource on the subject is the CDC Swine Flu page.  This is a clearinghouse of information and links about the current outbreak.

 

Link:

February 12, 2009

Blessings and Lessons

Sometimes when you look back on your experiences, you can clearly see that the world was preparing you for the future.  Over the past two weeks, we've experienced sleepless nights and the need to change poop filled diapers on an inconsolable child.  This is not the first time that Christie and I have experienced this.  Those of you who know the details of our life, know that Duke the Dalmatian was taken from this world last December.  What many people might not know is that the same day that Duke's bladder burst following his cancer surgeries, and we decided to not put him down and do everything we could to bring his life back to normal, is the same day that we found out that we were pregnant with Miles.  We chose life that day. 

 

In some ways Duke gave us Olympic level training.  Changing the blood and feces soaked dressings on a 70 pound dog will always trumph a few ounces of yellow poop.   Dealing with an inconsolable dog that is in pain and is depressed because he can't sleep in your bed anymore due to the mess and safety issues (falling off the bed) will always trumph a baby that can be satiated by a bottle or a diaper change.  Duke gave us the lesson of undying affection and the need to pull out all the stops for a family member.    Whatever the long term outcome, you know you tried your best and explored every possible route.

I don't know what Miles' life is going to be all about, but I'm glad the world has provided us with lessons whether they be blunt or subtle.  Every life has a plan and purpose, but sometimes you just don't see it right away.  

 

December 10, 2008

Sad news

For those of you who know my family, you know that Duke the dalmatian was a big part of things in our household.  I'm sorry to say that Duke has passed on yesterday after a difficult year.  I won't go on about his medical problems, but it truly was his time.  He was surrounded by people that love him and was at peace. 

 RIP Duke...  I love you buddy.

It is asked that in leiu of any sort of flowers or other condolences that you contribute to Pasado's Safe Haven and make sure to cherish the ones you love.

November 20, 2008

The smooth layoff

Okay, the whole economy is going down the toilet.  Everyone now knows someone that is laid off or downsized.  You know it is really bad when business evangelist Guy Kawasaki (and THE original Apple fanboy) starts giving tips on how to lay people off. Dust off your Y2K supplies and batten down the hatches, this is going to be a long recession.

Da Axe!   

(Photo Credit: Chris Campbell on Flickr)

Links:

August 11, 2008

Blogs used for propaganda/PsyOPS

After blogging for a few months, I have gotten used to the automatic content spamming robots that try to fill the comments section and individual postings with trackbacks.  While most of these posts include links to sites that have drive-by malware or send you to sites that sell drugs, I encountered something completely new today.  The trackback was sending a link for the "Real Situation" in the ware between Georgia and Russia.  No malware.  No v1agra.  No Rep1ica.  Just a link to Youtube with a video of some scared to death guy talking about his situation in Georgia with the sounds of bombs and machines guns going off in the background.  Is this the new overt technonological front line for how war will be fought in the future? 

 

June 01, 2008

Mr. F

This post is somewhat humorous and sad at the same time.  We have a new visitor staying at Chateau de Anderer and his name is Mr. F

Mr. F in all his glory 

As you can see, Mr. F is a really big boy.  Here comes the sad part.  Mr. F, or "Mr. Fatty" as she named him, came from the house of my wife's good friend that passed away last week.  Although she only had him for about eight months, he was her beloved companion.  We chose to truncate his name in honor of one of our favorite shows, Arrested Development, and the fact that calling this cat fat is sort of like throwing stones in glass houses. ;) 

 

He's a temporary guest at the ranch right now. Unfortunately he can't fit through the cat doors (actually we installed medium sized dog doors).  While he is spry, he makes our other 18 pound cat look like a dwarf.  He's looking for a permanent home, but until then he'll be camping out on our couch.

You can see more pictures at:

May 31, 2008

Mortality and leading a good life

Over the last few weeks I've been thinking about how short life is and the importance of how you treat people on a daily basis.  Last October, one of my favorite undergrad professors, John Long, passed away of a heart attack.  He was truly an intelligent,  kind and insightful man. 

When I am older and look back at my life, I hope I can have the impact of a man like John.  While I was a student at Chico State he probably worked with a few hundred young people, if not more.  Over the period of his life he touched thousands and positively affected the thinking and careers of all who were under his tutilidge.  Whether you try or not, you do affect the world around you.  You don't have to be a truly selfless person, just try to balance what is best for you with what is good for the world around you.  

I scanned this in from the CSU, Chico Alumni Magazine:

John Long Obituary 

May 28, 2008

It is a joyous day to be alive

One of our favorite family members, Duke the dalmatian, has had a pretty rough patch in the last few days.  Due to some surgical wizardry and lots of love, he's on the road to recovery.  We thought we were going to lose him on Sunday, but he pulled through and is now ambulatory!  Duke has a will to live and is fighting back against the cancer that has caused him all this suffering.

 

Thanks to Christie for the wonderful phone cam pictures that made me smile!  For those not initiated into the ways of vet medicine, the fashionable mesh garment Duke is wearing is not just for aesthetic purposes, it is to help keep swelling down and to protect the sutures on his stomach.  

Thank you to all who have emailed or called with kind wishes for Duke's recovery, it was those good thoughts and prayers that kept him alive through everything. 

Flickr Photoset: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aaron_anderer/sets/72157605311980987/ 

There are other wonderful reasons to smile today, but I'll save those for a later date. 

Update 5/31/2008 - Duke is still doing well, but his rear end is still very tender.  A bit wobbly, but his appetite is back.   

Update 6/3/2008 - Duke's bottom isn't healing like it should.  Most likely another surgery tomorrow. :(

Update 6/5/2008 - He had another surgery yesterday.  Things look really decent and he's in great spirits.  The doctor has us adding metamucil to his food so he'll have more solid stools and has a whole new scheme for using gauze pads to protect the suture sites but still keep it dry and free of fecal matter. 

Update 7/12/2008 - He's out of the woods.  After four surgeries and countless visits to the vet, Duke is on the mend!  He's a bit wobbly, but back to his old self.