Rise before dawn breaks,
Moonlight lingers, eyes still wide—
Clock strikes one eleven.

Late to bed struggle to rise.

Why is there not an easier way to manage home screens and app organization in iOS? It’s been way too long in its life to only have the minimal tools available.

I need to write more. Ideas strike me to write but I’m usually driving. Not sure how to capture those ideas.


I am now officially a AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner… I know it’s a foundational certification but it feels good being able to say I’m certified in something other than mental illness. Lol but no really lol.


Since my father passed away in February of ’22, my mind and heart have been screaming for me to slow down and take a break. Instead, I pushed harder and faster, thinking that I was okay, but as the end of ’23 approached, I realized that I had only fooled myself.

This year has been one of me constantly being sick and stressed; I’ve greyed more in this year than the previous 42. I’ve been in physical therapy for Posterior Tibial Tendonosis for the majority of the year after being in and out of the boot for over a year. I know what it feels like to literally break down.

I have it worse than some people and a lot better than many, and I try not to lose sight of that.

With all this being said, here is my end-of-2023 goals for these last couple of weeks:

  1. Trim my podcasts down to a few daily/weekly podcasts and no more than one binge of a whole season at a time. I’ve gone from over 30 down to these 10, and while it’s still a lot, they tend to be spaced out nicely.

  2. Do the same thing with my TV shows, but I’m not sure of the exact ratio yet. Mainly because shows vary in # of episodes and run at different times.

    • I started to list all of my shows out of Television Time App, and then I realized I have over 75 shows, so yeah, I’m trimming now.
    • Update: I’m down to 34, and most of these shows are coming up on their last seasons or have a long time between seasons. So I think I’m good here.
  3. I’ve got 2 more months of free credits from Audible, and then I’m stopping my collection of audiobooks. I’m going to work through my list of unfinished books (32) in 2024, and I should have enough time with my podcast commitment limited.

  4. The hardest thing is passing this AWS CCP Exam on Sunday, then diving right into learning all of SQL so I can pass Data Applications all before the last day of the year when my term ends at school. Then I’m taking a 3-month break to let life settle down before I jump back in and finish my IT Management BS and then do my MS.

We’ll see how this goes.

Nothing Special Saturday Morn

Spending a couple hours this morning organizing my Notion board and watching 6Underground.

There are great Ryan Reynolds films and equally subpar ones but he always brings that RR flair that even though you see it coming a mile away it still draws you in.

Now to go grab some breakfast and then jump headlong into prepping for this SQL exam.

Scribe came through in the clutch

I’ve been wanting to write for a while but I really haven’t had time and as I sit here going through training I got to thinking about how much of my good short writing time is when I’m using a Windows 11 machine.  While I’m waiting for tasks to run or pull data down from a database I can fire off quick thoughts.

Then I realized I needed an editor for that I could use in Windows 11.  I couldn’t find any and then it hit me that a few weeks back I saw a web editor and without much effort, I located Scribe.

It’s a nice clean interface.

I’ll be back with more later.

Monday Quick Hits

Life has been crazy the last few weeks… I haven’t disappeared yet…

Quick Updates:

  • Still in school… trying to knock out this UI/UX class before it knocks me out.
  • Have 40 more episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation to go and then I’ll head over to Deep Space 9.
  • Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is very quickly overtaking the other series as my all-time favorite. The actors and especially the writers are on point with the show.
  • Foundation is pretty solid so far… when this season is over with I may go back and watch Season 1 and 2 over binge style.
  • I literally cried quietly at work today… nothing bad… actually really good. We had a food drive for the month of July and after thinking my team wasn’t going to show up they did at the last minute and crushed the goal (pulverized it really). A lot of individuals and families will get some help in the coming months. As someone who has been on the receiving end of charity organizations when I was young it definitely hit the spot. I’ve already set a goal for myself to set aside money from my paychecks to go to next year’s food drive (or sooner if a need pops up in the community).
  • Won’t say much about my family’s health but it’s a shame how piss poor the medical system is in parts of North Carolina (specifically Eastern NC).

How Far? This Far.

As I was sitting in church today at a Men’s Day service with Brothers from my Lodge I realized that as many valleys as I’ve walked through or been carried through by Him I never took time to look back.

People will tell you to not look back in life but I realized today that sometimes when you hit those peaks before heading into the next valley you gotta take a moment and look back to see how far you’ve come.

I know I’ve spent a lot of time in my life just trying to push through until I could catch a breather but as I look back on the last 43 years… I have to acknowledge the beauty in the struggle as well as the highs.

But then again that’s how it is in the physical peaks and valleys. You reach a peak and the contrast and depth between the peaks you see before you and the valleys that go between them create the beauty of the picture.

Books and Mo Books

Going through and adding books to my Bookshelves and i want to add most of the books I’ve read over the years but having to pull from memory is hard! Luckily I have a lot in Audible, Kindle, and Apple Books.

More to come.


Finished reading: The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X 📚 This should be required reading in all High Schools. Enough said.

Penniless vs Bitter - I’ll take Penniless

Came across this gem on Hacker News this morning.

The funny thing is when I turned 40 in the gracious year of 2020, I re-read Don Quixote just as Austin Kleon did, but I didn’t associate it at the time with a mid-life crisis. However, amid a self-described midlife “evaluation,” I can see the correlation.

Kleon quotes Higgs with the most transparent advice I’ve come upon in a long time-

You should never waste your midlife crisis. You can do great things with a midlife crisis. If you just waste it on like a car, it’s just a lack of imagination. Mine was the decision to write books and attempt to make a living there.

The options seemed to be: If I went for it, I’d be penniless, and if I didn’t go for it, I’d be bitter. I’d be bitter going forward. Penniless certainly beats bitter. So I made the decision. And that was ten years ago! And I’m still going.

  • John Higgs

Now I’m must explore the writing’s of Austin Kleon and John Higgs

Seems like I always find the good stuff when I look around one more time right before bed.

Finished reading: You’ve Been Chosen by Cynt Marshall 📚

I knew I had to read the book after hearing Cynt Marshall on Justin Richmond’s Started From The Bottom. She has a huge warm personality and an even more incredible story to tell. I laughed, cried and everything in between.

Deadlines... are like brickwalls

So I took my exam last night and I actually knocked it out of the park. This morning I decided to really do some thinking of how long of a break from school I want to take 1, 2, or 3 months. So… doing the 2023 way of doing things I enlisted the help of ChatGPT+,

I’ll call this personality of CGPT that I created with a prompt focusing on it being able to help with burnout “Dr. Lichen” (no idea why) and the first thing it highlighted was the burnout inventories available for use. So I went to and took the AWS/MBI “The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) is a psychological assessment tool that is often used in combination with the Areas of Worklife Survey (AWS). The MBI is considered the “gold standard” for measuring burnout and has been validated by over 35 years of research. The MBI has three scales: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment. The AWS specifies six areas that are relevant to occupational health: workload, control, reward, community, fairness, and values.” - Bard

My MBI-GS Percentile Scores

So I started this post on 01JUL2023 and stepped away from it for a few days… so today on 03JUL2023 I brought it back up to finish. So what’s happened?

Having a couple days to decompress and really think things through I decided not to take a break from school. I processed my new term registration minutes before starting back writing this post.

I’m going to start working on my classes now and get to a good point before I go to work but I’m also building out a weekly schedule template in Notion for me to stick with instead of just floating from one activity to the next. My gut instinct just felt if I took a break even for a month I was losing a great starting point.

We’ll see. Now to focus on restructuring to avoid burnout. If you’ve got tips let me know.

Tomorrow is my last work day until July 16th. I took a two week vacation last year but it wasn’t planned. I took my usual July 4th week off and when it was time to go back I couldn’t put a name to it but I knew I wasn’t ready to go back. Fortunately my director is very gracious and let me use another week of vacation. I came back better than when I left but I was far from ok (looking back in retrospect).

I’ve spent the last half of the year and so far the first part of this year winding myself up into knots by overcommitting and underdelivering at work and mostly in my personal life. In times past I could just power through the fatigue, fogginess, and unrelenting pace but this time has been different. Between pursuing my BS/MS in IT Management through an accelerated program, still processing my father’s death from Pancreatic Cancer in February of last year, simultaneously having to be the main point of contact for my stepfather’s affairs while he was in the middle of a medical crisis, making the best efforts to maintain something that resembled a marriage on my part (my wife was wonderful and supportive throughout) and then make sure I didn’t drop the ball on my work projects and personal projects (podcast, civic organization, etc…) while maintaining my health.

You can probably guess… balls got dropped… health detonated… starting failing people all around but most importantly failing myself.

So this year I decided to be proactive and scheduled my 2 weeks in advance. I don’t plan on any major trips… maybe some day trips to get out and about but my main goal is to detach… decompress… then rebuild my own internal structures that I’ve neglected for far too long. The reason this was different is I realized I finally reached burnout… not the burnout where you can relax for a few days and go back at it until it’s time to rest but the burnout when there’s nothing left and nothing will start the engine back up. So I have to take some time and recognize who I am now and adjust my life accordingly. Set new boundaries for myself and others and find out what brings me peace. I’m not too concerned about the life long pursuit of happiness… give me peace and I’ll be ok.

So I have 24 hours until I have to take my final exam for this semester to meet my minimum credit hours and I just started the class on Sunday night after passing my last exam that took me 3 months to start on. Once I finish my exam tomorrow regardless if I pass or not I am going to take at least a 2 month term break (max is 3). Between doing this and with my boss letting all my current projects wind down for me to finish tomorrow so when I come back after vacation I’ll have a clean plate to work from.

This will give me time to really clear everything off my plate… decide if I want to continue with school… decide what I want my day to day schedule to look like between work and home… decide what I want to do that will bring me peace… and for the first time in a while… I see a point where I’m not in fight or flight mode.

Two things today are really driving me to get to 3:30pm tomorrow.

Heart Rate Variability - Read More…

Spending a few moments at work today donating blood. Sitting here looking out the window, while the A/C is blasting, high humidity, and being drained of something that I don’t think of until it’s time to donate again. From a 15,000 ft level it’s quite dreary but honestly I love rainy days with the A/C cranked wide open.

I haven’t been much in a writing mood as of late. Not sure if it’s because my brain is shutting down or if I’m just purposely not doing anything that requires creativity.

I do know that I’m taking vacation from work July 1st-15th and I plan to restructure my life to get out of this burnout I am in.

This video from TikTok made me look at burnout in a whole new way.

I’ve never understood the whole high school graduation… I mean I get it but it seems antiquated in today’s time. At least in the form and presentation. My thoughts behind it are for another day as I celebrate my 2nd oldest nephews graduation.

What a whirlwind of a week… actually no it’s been long and drawn out. Just hope tomorrow wraps up early. If so I’m coming home taking a 5 hour nap.

I haven’t had any time to dig into #WWDC outcomes but hopefully I will be able to tonight. I did see the headset will probably be a 2.0 purchase for me. Also looks like the Studio got updated so…. adding it to my purchase list for the summer.

Spending the morning playing with FormWise.AI and then heading downtown with my wife to check out the Pride Events going on. I really need to be working on closing out my HTML/CSS/JS class for this semester, but I still haven’t recovered after failing the exam.

Any suggestions on how to come back from complete utter burnout? I have nothing left in the tank to just power through.

After seeing The Verge’s review of the Walmart Onn 4k branded ChromeTV for $20 I had to get one to try out.

For $20 this little streaming box (oyster) flies. I didn’t experience any lag. The longest part of setup was it installing apps after the updates were done.. I’ve never used the branded chrome cast before but if it’s the same or better than this one it’s a beast. Switching menus was seamless no stuttering like Amazons FireTV and not ad central like Amazon also.

The AppleTV is still king in my house but I definitely picked up another Onn 4k Chromecast for the other TV that had FireTV built in.

I finally forced myself out of the recliner and went to replace my parents ceiling fan. Seems like home projects are never easy. After an hour of trying to hold a heavy motor in one hand and twist wires and cap them off with the other I finally got it. Then I packed everything else up neatly and I’ll go back tomorrow to finish installing the rest of the fan. Having to stand on a bed while also looking up isn’t fun at all.

But I’ll get it done for them.

Stayed up until 4a and then slept until 11a so it’s probably needless to say that my day has been slow moving so far. I’ve got a thousand things I want to do… 20 things I need to do… and the drive to do zero.

My day so far has consisted of washing one load of clothes… and utilizing the Pigment app on my iPad.

I gotta get some momentum built up.