A response to “Regret”

Today I read a post by That Precarious Gait. It was broadly about regret. Everyone has decisions that worked out well and ones that did not. I commented and decided that I waffled on enough that perhaps my comment could be tailored to become a post in its own right.

Here are my comments on the topic of Regret, tailored to stand alone than respond to the original post:

First and foremost, I think we all make key decisions in our lives that create a fork in the road. In my own case, I have dozens of decisions that changed my life and those of my future grand-children and descendants. Do I regret them? Any of them?

  • I generally feel that regret is not very valuable. But…it’s not to be ignored completely. When I make a poor decision and regret it, often I use that regret to weight the contributors to future decisions differently.
  • I generally feel that regret is not valuable because usually I make decisions based on the information available at the time, and based on my desires. Should I have dessert with the meal? Should I take the job in another state or country? Should I stay or should I go? Life doesn’t offer me the opportunity to test out different paths in life and so I run with what I know, sometimes choosing poorly if I allow my heart to overrule my mind or vice versa.

It doesn’t help a sensible discussion of regret that the media tends to glamorize risk-taking. For example, the person that decided to stop and play the Lottery on a whim, even though it was his/her last few bucks. Or the chance meeting and chancier follow-up that turned into a loving marriage and lots of beautiful children (that are NOT teenagers you will notice). Or the programmer that gave up a Harvard education to start a business that became a global behemoth. These kinds of things play well in books and on TV, but don’t reflect the harsher reality that almost all Lottery players lose, many marriages fail, and most small business fail. (Note that it’s a particularly American thing to celebrate the chancy successes in this way; I don’t recall this in other countries at all.)

We all yearn for success in life, love and/or business and allow ourselves to be entranced with the what-if scenarios. We sometimes wallow in the decisions that we made that didn’t pan out as well as we’d anticipated. I’ve made some big decisions over the years. Most of those decisions are irrevocable. Maybe some could still be ‘undone’ if I were minded to backtrack some part of my life. (Which is not like me at all.) But then, if we talked about going back to re-visit decisions, we’re less talking about regret than about chance and free will. I firmly believe we control our own destinies, even as we are often slaves to our desires. It is me that chooses how disciplined to be in setting someone aside that doesn’t work for me, in how often to have dessert, in deciding whether or not to play the Lottery, etc. Finally, in the corporate world, in more senior roles, decision-making includes more experience but less information. Big decisions are often made with incomplete information. Objective analysis of this for share traders suggests that chance plays a bigger part than people want to believe. Hence, none of us can pick “correctly” or “poorly” in many situations. We can simply pick a path and see where it goes, hope the journey is exciting, and the destination is somewhere that is pleasant.

Posted in Miscellaneous | Tagged , | 2 Comments

My superpowers

I wrote a post last year that covered a few things, including the end of a seaside vacation I took with Brigitte and Charlotte.

As I’d like to be able to cross-reference my superpowers in other blog posts, I’ve decided to abtract some of the text from that post into its own post to avoid future confusion.

I have two magical skills in this life:

1. I can show up at a busy venue (major shopping mall, cinema complex, Presidential Inauguration, busy city center, you name it) and a parking space that’s extremely convenient will open up for me. Even people who have driven with me many times gape and say it’s not possible for it to happen so frequently, that the universe’s laws of probability are being violated. As a trivial example, some years ago the family stopped at the Mall of America, the biggest shopping mall in the USA (as far as I know), and I drove up and immediately found a space right outside the front door as other drivers cruised around in circles like sharks.

2. When I go somewhere on vacation, the weather might be forecast to be terrible. But it won’t be. It will usually change to suit me. Don’t ask me why…or how. For example, the vacation that inspired the first publication of this text had a weather forecast of drizzle, rain, and possible thunderstorms. Instead, it was decided that it was only allowed to rain at night. It cleared up for the day, and dried out by the time the two girls and I went to fun things like go-karting. Also, when I say the weather will “suit me,” I don’t mean sunny and hot necessarily, because go-karting is more fun when it’s cloudy and dry. The same thing happened on a larger scale when I moved to the USA in mid-2001. The fall season at the end of the year dragged on for months and I was able to spend a lot of time outdoors and walking with new friends. The following winter, when I was settled into the new house and had a 4WD vehicle, the snow came down heavily, and I loved it! You can’t be trained to do this…

I didn’t ask for these superpowers and, if I had been asked me which ones I’d like to have, I can think of much cooler ones I might select. Still, you will NOT hear me complaining about them!

Posted in Humor, Miscellaneous | Tagged | 9 Comments

It’s summer!

It’s been a long time since I posted anything significant. I have a number of draft posts that remain unfinished and unpublished. I’ve been very busy and not had time to write them to my satisfaction. They cover some of the difficulties of 2012 (which was unexpected as I had scheduled this to be a good year by comparison with 2011), primarily problems with ill children. They also cover the genuine delights of finding someone special and integrating lives together. I’ll get back to those eventually.

For now, it’s summer.

I can tell it’s summer because the sun has moved about 3/4 of the way from its usual position and is now hovering not far off the surface of the earth. I know this because the other day it was a very pleasant 70F (21C). Today, including the simmering Washington DC humidity, the heat index is already in triple digits (38C — Which is a much more boring temperature measure than 100F by the way. Although I still envy the simple-to-understand 0C versus the useless 32F for freezing.). Tomorrow is going to be hotter still. After that, the sun intends to withdraw a little and it will simply be hot instead of blazing hot.

My middle daughter, Brigitte, has a pool party planned at the local swimming club with her school friends. I warned her that she will be burned to death, that heat stroke will turn her brain into that of a sports celebrity (**), and then skin cancer will kill her before she turns 21. She’s not fazed, even though our entire family is as white as fresh Alpine snow. I told her she needs to find someone else to nurse her back to health. Teens are curiously persistent about things though…

(**) As a side note, I accept that being a top sports star (for example only, a top-notch NFL football player or NBA basketball player) is very hard work. You don’t just need natural height and strength and commitment to training, you need the very best doctors to give you top-quality steroids when no one is looking, and you need someone to take care of the millions of dollars that you are inexplicably paid. But this doesn’t mean you have any brains. It certainly doesn’t mean you should be allowed near an open microphone. Yet, after a big game, it’s not uncommon for local radio stations to let some hapless half-wit of a sports star describe how their team won the game. After listening to their rambling description of strategy and tactics, I usually think the most accurate description of how the team won would be: “accidentally”.

My girlfriend, Lillian, has a daughter who leaves next week to go back to California for most of the summer. With Harriet gone, Lillian won’t be woken up early most mornings by what sounds like a stampeding elephant let loose on a staircase scattered with scary mice. She won’t have to respond to knocks on the bedroom door long after it has been closed and locked and the occupant(s) might be presumed to be asleep or, if not, definitely not interested in conversation. Lillian won’t have to share the single bathroom in her rented house with that of a teen that is apparently very keen on cleanliness–why else would it take around an hour (and a full unit of water from the hot water heater) to have a shower? As you can imagine Lillian is looking forward to reluctantly going to put her daughter on a plane. I believe she intends to get to the airport the day before just to be on the safe side. Now that’s good parenting!

Yesterday, in the spirit of summer freedom, Lillian and I booked flights to Colorado. We’ll be heading out West in July for 4 or 5 days. At this point, I don’t know who will be looking after my kids and I don’t care. Well I do, but I haven’t alotted time for caring yet…I’m going to book that for next week if I’m not too busy. Naturally, I’ll post some kind of commentary on the visit, perhaps even photos. Stay tuned!

To my friends and family in Australia and anywhere else south of the equator where you’re supposed to be having winter. From what I’ve seen on my iPhone Weather app, it’s not very cold for you. So please don’t begrudge me enjoying this season of hotter weather but some FREEDOM at last!

Posted in Family Life, Humor, Miscellaneous | Tagged , , , , , , | 13 Comments

A new page to formalize the names

As part of bringing material across from the new blog, I decided the “Who’s Who” is useful: Who’s Who

This is a new page, up there with “About Me”

The humiliating thing is that I can’t remember exactly what blog name I have been using for my runaway wife. I rarely use the name and am now fixated on the one I picked for the new blog. If you can remember it, please feel free to remind me via a comment to this post. *blush*

Posted in Humor | Tagged | 6 Comments

Do you want some… ?

No, it’s not what you think. My, you do you have a dirty mind, don’t you?

I have moved some old posts from my new blog into my old blog so that you can see them as if they are new. Get it? Geez! Doing it this way means that the comments are not deleted.

Here is a fun post I did: Do you want some fur with that?

And a follow-up: Do you want some time with that?

Posted in Divorce | 1 Comment

My New Blog – CANCELED

I NO LONGER have a new blog. I NO LONGER have one that will remain hidden from my sweet but too-inquisitive daughter.

It’s not that she found the new blog; it’s just that I gave it a lot of thought and decided I no longer care if she reads my blog. Also, I didn’t want to go to the effort of managing and ‘growing’ a new blog only to discover that she’d found some sneaky way to uncover the new blog anyway.

So, with a great deal of embarrassment, I am — again — back.. 🙂

This URL and blog will continue to be my launching point. There is where the ups and downs of post-separation life will be documented. You’re stuck with me. At least until you find how to stop receiving my mails!

I twisted and tickled WordPress until it gave up and let me transfer the blog to this userid. This means that my “past” posts on this blog now include some past posts from the other blog. *sigh*

Posted in Miscellaneous | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Peek-a-boo! Can anyone find me? (Yet again)

Inspired by a fellow blogger, I have (yet again) checked out the recent search terms that landed someone on my blog. Here are some:

“thomas murray virgin islands”
“thomas murray vi”
“thomas murray jenni”
“beware of thomas murray”
“thomas murray puerto rico”
(and 8 other variations on this theme)
Glad to help women discover that this person is not who he claimed to be. My own blog on this topic merely pointed to those of others. You’re welcome…

“samuel j levine immigration lawyer misrepresent”
Ooh, I’m not the only person to discover that he too isn’t exactly what he claims to be. That is, he’s not very good nor helpful.

“joseph fiennes”
“joseph fiennes hot”
Thanks a bunch Lady E! Thanks to our guest post, I’m now the end point for searches by horny women looking for the visage of *your* Joseph!!

“uh speed dating”
As we know, I never found the time to go speed dating (I’m still not sure if I would have enjoyed it or not), but what I don’t get is “uh”. Huh??

“match.com winking pointless”
Excellent. People are getting the message. If you do ever want to use Match.com, use it sensibly. Winking is pointless unless you’re a woman trying to get a man to demonstrate interest. Frankly, they should simply disable the option for men to wink. But that’s just my opinion.

“respond ignore match.com emails”
Excellent. Again, get the message ladies. If someone sends you a *normal* message on Match.com, respond. Even if it’s to simply say “No thanks” (and there’s a button for that). Again, in the daily e-mails I get (I would have to logon to switch them off and I don’t want to logon again at the moment), when I looked at them, I used to notice that the women who had studiously ignored me often showed up in my are-you-sure-none-of-these-lovely-ladies-is-appealing list from time to time. On the other hand, you have my ‘permission’, recommendation, and support for permanently blocking anyone who sends something extremely dumb or rude; that’s different.

“word press [first-name] [last-name]”
I removed the person’s name. It’s not mentioned anywhere on my blog. Perhaps this is the name of someone who reads my blog and wanted to search for…her own name. But why? And how did WordPress land them on MY blog as a result?

Posted in Miscellaneous | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Do you want some time with that?

There was a time when I had some.

(Note: For the images, you may need to click on them to see the details.)

This is my personal calendar for a week from last year:

A Week - Home - Last Year

This is my personal calendar for the same week recently:

A Week - Home - This Year

This is my work calendar for a busy week:

A Week - Work - This Year

It’s pretty clear that my life has changed quite significantly since separation. The most recent calendar does take into account the reasonable expectation that it’s nice to spend some time with my new beau; some of those appointments include her.

In any case, it’s interesting how time and our perception of how much time we have changes…over time.

As youngsters, the days are long, the summers are endless, and time is to be frittered away.

As teens, the pressure builds. There is increasing homework, we consider college/university and cram more information into our brains. Friends add to the demands.

As college (university) students, it’s back to the heady days where time is as freely distributed as music on networks. Save for exams, the years at college aren’t pressured.

As new workers, we realize that free time has a price. Doing our jobs takes time, and requires us to be on time. But we benefit from the knowledge that when we leave work, all of the time is ours.

As couples, we discover that some of the after-work free time isn’t ours. There are lots of compensations and love and affection to make up for it, so it’s not a loss. But we discover that work on the house, or shopping for something useful for the house, or organizing dinners is time-consuming.

Then we have kids.

Time: All. Gone.

It doesn’t matter whether we want to walk together, sit and talk, or have wild monkey sex. Time has to be found by carving out chunks from an often-committed day. Some of the things we used to be able to do when we felt the urge (and let’s mention sex again here) can require some planning that spoils the spontaneity.

Then the kids grow up a little. They don’t need the constant attention, they sleep through the night, they play together and only occasionally murder each other. There is some free time. We are lavish with it. Freedom! Sex! OK, q-u-i-e-t sex, but still. Yay! Sometimes, if we’ve been smart enough to live near accomodating grandparents, there’s the chance to go away as a couple for a few days.

Then the kids get bigger: “Dad, can you drive me to school to pick up the music folder I forgot to bring home, then we need to go to the grocery store to pick up cookie dough for the party at school tomorrow, then can you drop me off at Sarah’s for the night?” And later: “Dad, could you bring me my toothbrush? Oh, and the face wash. Not that one, the special one, you know, with the thing on it. It’s a kind of an orange color. Where did I leave it? I don’t know. Don’t you know? Geez. It’s in the bathroom somewhere. Or somewhere else in the house. But I need it right now because we’re going to bed. Why are you yelling — were you doing something?”

Then you run away to somewhere remote, like Boulder. At least that’s my plan to avoid whatever’s next. It might get crowded if you all join me there in your own escape, so could some of you find somewhere else? Thanks. I hear Seattle is nice during the summer season.

Posted in Family Life, Humor, Separation | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Thomas Murray (Virgin Islands) – BEWARE

I now know of multiple women who he has arranged to meet in Puerto Rico…so they won’t see him at home with his wife.

I also know of MANY women that he has tried successfully and unsuccessfully to chat up via e-mail, texts, phone calls, and instant messages.

His story is outlined here in loving detail: Thomas Murray – A Cautionary Tale

His disruption to one fellow blogger is detailed here over many posts in February and March 2012: Oh Jenni – Another beautiful day in chaos

Jenni’s trip is detailed in these posts:
Puerto Rico – Part 1
Puerto Rico – Part 2
Puerto Rico – Part 3
Puerto Rico – Part 4
And here you can see the guy who did it all:
Thomas Murray



(May 2012) Some updates and new blogs on the same topic:

Struck down by his own ego…

thomas murray, epilogue

Posted in Miscellaneous | Tagged , , , | 27 Comments

Do you want some fur with that?

Note: This was originally published on my ‘new’, no defunct, blog. It is, therefore, out-of-date. But I hope you enjoy it anyway…


I’m dating. Yay me!!

You know in the movies how you find that special someone and they’re *everything* you ever wanted? Well, it doesn’t work like that in the real world. At least, not for me. She’s everything I want. But she has extras, more than I want.

She has a daughter and I’m fine with that. She’s a little like I was at that age and I wonder how she will develop over time. She’s the extra I don’t mind.

She has also two dogs.

I happen to like dogs although I’ve never had one as a pet. When I was younger, my dad was convinced that I wouldn’t remember to feed or walk a dog. It annoys me to say that he might have been right, even though I’m sure that a dog would have been quite happy to remind me about feeding and walking.

Dogs have useful communications skills, even if we ignore the yapping breeds. They are quite capable of conveying hunger via a clever combination of boundless enthusiasm (when you do food-related things like stand up, get out of bed, or leave the bathroom) and looking at you with very sad and hurt eyes (when you try to leave the house).

My girlfriend’s dogs’ skills fall mainly into the fur category.

Both of the dogs are black and I suspect that, if she could get away with it, she’d give serious thought to black floors, black sheets, black countertops — an overall Goth feel to the house. Her thinking would be that it would save on the endless vacuuming and cleaning the dogs generate as a result of shedding fur everywhere, all the time. I swear that when one of them sneezes, it briefly disappears in a cloud of fur that gently drifts around and disperses. Somehow this fur defies Einstein’s gravity and drifts upwards onto benches and clothes.

The dogs are both labradors although one of them has, umm, obviously come from a cleverer breeding line than the other, if you get my drift.

Yes, one of them is a little slow. For example, I thought all dogs knew how to play Fetch. It’s not complicated. I throw a ball or something similar, the clever little dog runs for it, picks it up, and brings it back. Some dogs struggle with the concept of returning the ball and only give it up at gunpoint. Other dogs will play the game long past the time when low blood sugar has turned their brains into those of goldfish. In my girlfriend’s case, the…slower…dog doesn’t quite get the concept. He may run off to the ball and gaze at it. He will look at it, deep in thought, as if perhaps it might open and reveal some mystery of the universe or–more importantly–a cache of dog food. Or he will run past it without picking it up, and return happily, mission accomplished. Huh? From now on, I’ll call this dog Harry.

The other dog is much quieter and easier to play with. His only downfall is that he’s large for a labrador. As in, OMG, he’s heavy! He saddens me sometimes because he’s so sweet. Every time I visit, he will run off and get a ball or bone for me to take off him and throw for him to fetch. It doesn’t matter if I’ve been outside to empty the trash or been gone for a few days. The sad thing is that I often don’t notice the ball for a while, sometimes until he drops it. But he never gives up and is always cheerful to see me. Awwww. From now on, I’ll call this dog Barry.

If you come over for dinner, remember to be clear whether or not you want fur on the side. If you don’t, we might need to cook it next door and bring it over when it’s ready. I hope you’ll understand.

Posted in Family Life, Humor | Tagged , , , , , | 22 Comments