First and foremost I must apologize to the one or two readers of this blog that it has been such a length of time since I've last posted. I tried to make a commitment when moving out so far away that I'd at least post a blog post frequently, and here I am almost 5 months later sitting down to write a post about lots of nothing. 

I'm not going to take this post to do a giant update of what we've been doing... I'll save that for a rainy day when I'm bored. Because right now I'm not bored. 

Right now I'm in a space of my head that I don't like. 

Sure, it's easy to always pretend that things are happy grand and terrific. You've got to put on a certain face for people so that you don't burden them with baggage. Everyone has their own baggage that they need to deal with and having to feign interest in dealing with other people's baggage is not something I like doing nor do I want other people to feel. 

Really, this post isn't for you, the reader, it's for me. It's a way for me to get thoughts out of my head in a way that doesn't waste the limited number of key strokes that I have left in my fingers (though, since this is a new keyboard I am hitting the backspace a lot). If someone just happens to read this and think "huh... me to" then my keystrokes won't be considered completely wasted.

It was the same age that Niamonster was. 

I have such a love/hate relationship with the age of 2. It's the age where a child finally starts coming to their own and finding their personality. They're interactive, loving, cuddly. They run around and say words instead of grunts, eat food with their own fingers, drink out of straws and glasses. They're even starting to be curious with using the toilet instead of dropping loads in their pants. 

But one thing is also very consistent with a child of this age. They are complete, unrelenting, persistent little shits. I have very little patience for people who choose to be bad. See, logically, I know that a child of that age does not know any better because they are still learning just what it means to be a little human. 

Logic has nothing to do with this.

When you have a child that is consistently being a holy terror for 4 hours straight, you aren't logically processing anything. You are biting your tongue, clutching that cup of coffee a wee harder than you should be, you are walking to the other room so that you don't "accidentally" smash their face into a wall. 

I have a breaking point, and my son took me to it today. He woke me up at 7 with his yelling, he was throwing toast around, hitting his sister, and screaming when he didn't get his way. He was actively ignoring any direction I gave him and would purposely wait until I wasn't looking to go get in other trouble. 

It got to the point where he screamed in anger one too many times at my wife and I snapped. I hopped up out of my chair, wrapped my arm around his chest under his arms, and carried him to his "timeout" chair. 

"Uh... Shank... that's pretty normal, it's called discipline."

Yeah... but here's the deal. I yelled. It wasn't loud yelling. It wasn't "daddy getting attention" yelling. It was anger. I was mad... nay... pissed. My son was being someone that I despise. He's freaking not even two years old yet... and the thing is... I don't anger yell. Ever! It's not something I do. I manipulate, I subvert, I redirect, I get sarcastic... but I don't yell when I'm angry. 

Since I don't yell, my kids never hear that voice. He heard it and it scared the be-jesus out of him. Which, on one hand, good... but on the other, he's probably now scared of me. That's no good.

At a certain age, I miss the "still a kid" thing.

Once my kids start interacting with me, I forget that they are still little drunk monkeys. I figure in my head that since they can carry on conversations with me that they should start acting like adults. Dumb. I know. But when it comes to emotionally heated moments you forget logic and reason, and you go with the first thing by muscle memory. 

It's not just him I scared

My wife is strong, beautiful, and charismatic. She's overcome things in life that you don't talk about because of how uncomfortable it makes people. You know... those things you sweep under the rug for generations, she was vocal about and triumphed. I've learned to not use my "angry voice", not just because I believe children should never experience, but because it takes my wife to a place in her head that she shouldn't be. 

It turns me, albeit temporarily, into one of the demons that she's spent her whole life surviving. 

And that, my dear readers, is why I'm in a bad head space right now. 

Regret is a terrible hangover. It clouds you and makes you think about things that you know are illogical... it takes your happiness and craps all over it. It's like an IV of depression slowly dripping into your veins. I've found that the best way to rip the needle out of your skin and start getting over regret is to admit and apologize to those affected by your decisions. 

To the wife of today and BMan of the future:

I'm sorry I allowed myself to grow horns and turn into a demon that will haunt you. That isn't me and certainly isn't someone that I want to be. I won't promise it won't happen again because I fail at perfection, but I do promise that if it does happen again, the horns will be a little smaller and the voice a little quieter.


My wife's birthdays depress me.
(whoa, ShankRabbit, you're such a dick)

Ok... hold on... let me explain, because it really isn't totally about birthdays as it is more about large holidays in which my wife should be the center of attention. 

First, you have to understand that my wife is amazing. I know that lots of men say that about their wives, but here me out - my wife is one of those wives that lots of men wish they had. "Well, not everyone has it as good as you...", I have heard many times before. 

Even her flaws, which like every human she has, just seem to fit well with my flaws. If I may quote some lyrics of a song I enjoy, "what's wrong with you is good with what's wrong with me"

And that is precisely why it's depressing. 

Whether self-inflicted or a pattern of middle class life, I feel stretched way too thin. There's always so much going on, so much poop to clean up, so many spills on the floor, so much work to do, so many last minute timelines, so many boxes to unpack (still... ugh). With everything that goes on, sadly, me pampering and giving the attention and love that my wife deserves many times comes second place. Crying kid vs. pampering wife? Yeah, probably the crying kid. Deployment for big job vs. nightly cuddles and tv? Yeah... probably the deployment. 

Sad, right? 

The fact of the matter is:

She deserves better than me. 

"Blah blah blah - you're such an attention seeking whore, Shank"... well yes... yes I am. But this is something I've always truly felt. Perhaps it's because I'm a terrible perfectionist. "Terrible" because mentally I demand perfection, but in execution I'm bumbling around in completion and actions. Most of the time I get away with it because I've become a master of shortcuts and smoke-and-mirrors. 

(Those of you closest to me are probably nodding your heads... "yeah... "... [senior art show cough cough])

But I can't fool my wife again and again - she's caught on. She knows. 

This especially smacks me in my face on big special days (full circle here). I have grand aspirations of fanfare, parties, long walks on the beach, far off vacations all to celebrate these moments in her life. But what it came down to was a weekend full of unpacking and putting together Ikea furniture, me working more than I should have, and a slaughtered, terrible breakfast. 

Happy. Freaking. Birthday. Enjoy your bland sausage.

I'm an overly lucky guy.

She's with me. She stays with me. She puts up with the most ridiculous jokes and lame actions ever conceived, handles me not always being perfect, supports me when I'm needy, and STILL loves me more than I could ever imagine. And for some, unknown, reason... she doesn't want to leave me!

The stars somehow aligned in some way where this is reality and I'm the lucky recipient of something I shouldn't have been given.

So I say this to you, Isabella:

When the world is on its last breath and in an instant more will grow dark, the gods or God or flying spaghetti monster will look down at a universe that lived its course and agree with one another that the love born from your heart and given freely to your friends, your children, and especially to me, was a love that was matched by no other. And they will learn from your soul and model their next universe with that love as a template of perfection.


Happy Birthday, my angel.


A few thoughts about the area:

By now I'm sure you've seen in the news the reports of the crazy heat wave blowing across the western US right now. Las Vegas hitting 116 - that's hot!. Pheonix getting scary records around 120? - that's also hot! 


As many of you know by now, my family and I are now residents of the great state of Washington (well, not officially yet... right now we're "just visiting" - but soon), and there is one thing I would like to convey  to my fellow Washintonians: 

86 degrees F is NOT hot!

In fact, 86F is quite enjoyable. Sure, most places don't have AC, but this area is filled with apartment and condo complexes, and most of these complexes have multiple pools and have common areas that do have AC. But why would you need AC? Because this weather is not hot. 

There's a nice gentle breeze, there's the ocean air, there are trees literally everywhere. The air is not humid, it's got a little moisture in it, but no where near humid by midwest standards. 

Whoever designed the highway interchanges should get a talkin' to:

Traffic is pretty bad over here in the Puget Sound area. Any by pretty bad, I mean horribly unessessary bad. Why is it unnessesay you may ask? As far as I can tell there are two specific reasons:

1. Many of the people are transplants from other countries. Microsoft, Amazon, etc are constantly recruiting from all over the world. This means smashing drivers from all different areas with different driving styles into one small little area.
2. The roads were designed by someone who maybe should have paid more attention in road design class.

Allow for me to ruin your eyes with my awesome MS Paint skills and describe how the roads are laid out here.


This is a perfect example of some craziness. Ok, so lets say the main highway is northbound 405. The highways up here have a dedicated car pool lane in the far left (or the far right if you're on the 520... consistency be damned here). This means that during rush hour, everyone who is carpooling is dying to zoom over to the far left as fast as they can. Which means is they're merging on from... say... the 520 - they are merging 5 times. 5 FREAKING TIMES. But of course, let's not forget about the people merging on from the left... yes... the left. Now, the people merging on from the left are NOT carpooling, which means that they have to merge twice so they get out of the carpool lane. 

Add all thing to humanity's innability to merge properly in the first place, and now you can see why traffic is horrible here. 

Ugh.. traffic.

copyright... uh... the makers of The Whole Nine Yards... or something.


Long time no post. 

I tend to do that when things are either a) super crazy or b) super calm. However, when things are just slightly off kilter is when I love to write the most. And right now, things are just ever so slightly off kilter. See, here's my life in the past few months. 

As a young pup right out of college until a few days ago I've worked for small companies who usually have the "big dog" client that keeps them viable and in business. That one client that found this small, service based company which they did everything and anything for. 

However, the two companies which I worked for in the past 10 years, both cases had that big company leave and it left those companies in shambles as the C levels scrambled around trying to figure out what their new identity was going to be. It was interesting to be apart of the two ecosystems because each company handled it completely differently. 

The first company hunkered down and tried to keep doing exactly what it had been, just with smaller clients. Well, it turns out you can't treat smaller clients like larger clients... they just don't like it. 

The second company turned into a proverbial chicken with its head cut off. Running everywhere except to a logical destination with its lifeblood squirting out of a small hole where its head used to be. We abused the word "game changer" and were promised "wheelbarrows of cash" on more than one occasion as the executive team kept coming up with the "next big thing". We were always "close to signing" the next huge contract which would drawf the huge players such as companies that rhyme with schmoogle or schmricrosoft. 

Can you tell a sales guy ran the last company?

But you know what? I was ok with it. I was ok with just riding the company into the ground as the plane spiraled out of control. I made decent enough money that I was certainly not lacking. The products that our engineering team cranked out actually did have potential. And my confidence in my ability had finally become solid enough that I knew the minute the plane did hit the ground, I'd bounce off and get another job with no issues what so ever. Yes, there was always the level of uncertainty... and there was a healthy fear for the financial well being of my family - but darn it, we'd be ok.

Then some kid tossed a fun little nugget over the cube wall... he'd just pushed me into a pool

It really wasn't as extreme as that. What it came down to was he was asked by a recruiter if he "knew anyone else who she could contact" - and he didn't even ask first - he just threw my name into the pool.

I went home that night and actually thought about the company in whose pool I was just thrown into and I had a battle in my head between the "safe" life I was living, and the "out of comfort zone" life that this new company offered me. I had to battle because on one hand I feel that my family always comes first and that means financially, time, health, everything and that's why I stayed where I was. However, persuing the life of moving to another company seemed selfish - it was all about me, all about growing my career and at the expense of what? Stability within my family?

So I did the only thing that any sane married man would do. I asked the wife. 

Well, she apparently has this thing were she wants me to be "happy" or some crap like that. Pfft... "happy"... I don't need to be happy - I need to be stable for my family even if that means unhappy in my career... it means I'm happy at home. 

Happy wife, happy life, right?

But my family feeds off of my emotions

And that was a hard lesson to learn for me. I would come home from work and would hate myself for being there, would feel disgusting at the oft times borderline unethical decisions that company made, and would be "mad"-ish most of the time. I would need time to "wind down" after work. Whether that meant drinking or working out. 

So I made the decision to actually start caring about this interview. I studied my little butt off, brushed up on my interviewing skills, and gave it my all. There were HR interviews, and tech interviews, and then 6 hours of in person interviews. They made dang sure that I was who I said I was and that I could provide for them some awesome skills. Although I didn't think I knocked it out of the park, I guess what I did was awesome enough to land myself a job. 

Not just a job... but a dream job. A job that I never in a million years thought I would have for a company that I thought was so way out of my league... but I got it.

Of course... what I didn't mention yet was that this job was located 1,400 miles away to the west. 

And that is why I'm on a plane.


I've been working my tail off recently to make some miracles on code-street happen. Big projects, high reward, high risk. So far the reward has been paying off very nicely. 

Because of that I was finally able to get back into a love of mine that I've had since college: photography. 

I went and got myself a new baby with some fun accessories

The Canon 60D

She's a beautiful little camera and does everything I've ever wanted in a digital camera without having to pretend like I'm some sort of professional. 

With that, I reactivated my Flickr account so that I can share the bazillion images that I will be taking. 


Boom: http://flickr.com/shankrabbit/



I don't like the open nature of the web when it comes to my family, so I have everything locked down for Friends and Family only. 

So get yourself a Flickr account and send me a friend request and I'll add you straight away. I just need to have control over who gets to see who my family is.