Sunday, February 15, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

I was asked a provocative question last week.

"How do you find the time to do a blog?"

It was provocative because it had been a week since I made an entry. Sorry. I was actually feeling a little antsy because I hadn't written anything. Blogs are habitual. But put last week aside for a moment, I'll get around to how that fits in with this narrative. The answer to her question is that I don't 'find' the time. It's not laying around somewhere, I make the time because of Maslow. Maslow's Hierarchy of Need is a well known and well respected actualization model. It attempts to define why we do things, what our motivations are and how they rank. People gotta eat. Gene Kelly said, 'Gotta dance!' I gotta write this crap. And, yes, writing this blog is a little less critical than excretion, but barely.

When I tried to categorize this 'need', I found it spanned all the top four segments. I wrote a little while ago about details of some jobs I had when I was younger. This information may be critically important to someone. . . somewhere. . . sometime.

For example, my father worked for a company called the White Company in Baltimore when he was young. What did he do there? Was it his first job? How old was he? Was he a truck driver, or was this where he was introduced to auto and truck mechanics which he did all the rest of
his life? I'm pretty certain the White Company wasn't some sort of front for a racist organization because apparently, they started out making sewing machines. That's pretty innocuous.

But I can't find out any of this information (yet) because my father didn't keep a blog. So, I won't make that same mistake. As a result, I take a couple of hours and write stuff and insert some spiffy images so people will have something interesting to look at when they get bored and that's practically a certainty.

But why is it so strangely important to me all of a sudden? Well, a symptom of the answer was what kept me from blogging last week.

I run a data center for a company that does data processing for hospitals. That's like the perfect storm of criticality. Computer work itself is important but when you're doing it for hospitals - Oh. . . My. . . GOD! - it doesn't really get much more critical. But it's actually OK, because we're the best in the business and have been doing it longer than everyone else put together. So we have processes and structure and documentation and we're well motivated. But we still have the occasional sixteen hour day
like last week. And it's nothing like it was years ago when that was more normal for me than I like to remember. And I know there are doctors and nurses out there laughing, 'Only sixteen hours? Ha Ha Haaaa!' Hey, talk to me in thirty years. I also put in my three days straight without sleep more than once and have the burst blood vessels in my eyes to prove it.

But the event reminded me that I'd better be writing this stuff down if that's what I want to do. For a vast collection of things, my brother and I are the only ones who have any actual memory. That worries me a lot because my brother has lost almost all of his memory and most of his mind as well.

I mean, who's going to tell the hilarious story of when we were having a bonfire on 118th. Terrace and someone threw in a closed fingernail polish bottle. Of course it exploded and the shards of glass hit the person standing closest to the fire, that would be me, right in the face. Ha ha, good times. Three of the pieces hit within millimeters of my left eye (my left eye again!) at 2 o'clock, 6 o'clock and 10 o'clock. Three near misses, all around the eye! So I run into the house with my face covered in blood, screaming my head off. Boy, that must have been something for a parent to see, huh? It's a shame they didn't have video cameras in those days, that would be great stuff to show at parties and reunions.

The part I remember clearest is walking to North Miami a few times to see the doctor. Mom never learned to drive and there was only one car anyway. Plus, we were down at the end of a dead-end road and the idea of taking a taxi was in about the same league as taking a rocket ship. So, we walked. I remember it was fun taking the walks.

So, I have made a decision to write things down. My brother and I are the carriers of this baton and we're not carrying it alone. So, there.

That's me grabbing at my brother's trike. In the writing business, that's called foreshadowing.


Dave said...

I haven't lost my mind, I just misplaced it for a little while!

Leah Kleylein said...

I can't help but think I see you as a little baby squinting in the tropical noon-day sun of Miami.....that no one suffered from vitamin-D deficiency the way we do now huh?

Rich Kleylein said...

That's true, and I'm willing to bet BIG MONEY that I didn't have a bit of sunscreen on either.