Poor Planning = Staycation

I have this horrible habit of taking time off work without having made any plans in advance. I definitely need the time off from work but I hate that these PTO days get wasted as staycations.

I will admit that I am a bit frugal when it comes to vacations so maybe I just need to loosen the purse strings and get out to some exotic island for once.

For this staycation, I had hoped to take some day trips 3 or 4 days out of the week to try some highly rated BBQ joints outside of Austin, TX. I had done this once before, during a previous staycation, but I did not document my adventures at the time, so I don’t recall which places I enjoyed most.

This time around, I got lazy during my first two days of the week so I went nowhere and binged on Netflix shows. I ended up working unexpectedly in the middle of the week for one day, but Thur and Fri were open and available to me. I managed to get out late on Thur so I didn’t want to risk driving for an hour and a half only to find the BBQ joint of choice sold out. (The good ones sell out by 1pm). So I told myself on Thur night that I would get out early for sure on Fri.

Didn’t happen. Well not quite anyway. I ended up leaving the house by 11:30, but didn’t have a hankering for BBQ as I was driving. Ended up at a Chinese buffet in south Austin.  Not a total waste, but disappointing in the end.

My next scheduled PTO is during my son’s spring break in March. I plan to meet with him in January so we can plan something together. Hopefully I’ll be blogging about the awesome time we had on that vacation.


When Will The Senseless Violence Stop?

I posted this message a few weeks ago in response to a friend’s FB post concerning this video series on YouTube:
In light of the recent mass shooting in San Bernadino, I figured I ought to post my thoughts in blog form.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.
I think it ultimately boils down to the fact that we as a society have lost any sense of value for human life – life and nature in general, really. We’ve let man-made concepts like race, religion, politics, government, gender and sexuality (to name a few) consume us.
It’s hard for people to think in terms of a unified, global identity (humankind). We constantly look for ways to place ourselves into little boxes (compartments and categories) for reassurance and purpose. There’s a sense of comfort in thinking that way instead of looking at the bigger picture.
We’ve become desensitized when we hear about loss of human life, whether it is a tragedy in another country or in our own back yard. We don’t feel torn to pieces when these events occur unless it is really close to home.
Now certainly it’s unfair of me to speak so generally about people at large. Surely there are people who do get really torn up and emotional when they hear news of any loss of life, but I would venture a guess that most people’s reaction is “Whew, glad it wasn’t me or my friends/family or anyone I know”.
Unfortunately all I have to offer is my personal observation on the matter and I don’t have an immediate solution/suggestion to address the root cause.
Maybe we are beyond help. The larger a population is, the harder it is to unify said population toward a common cause/sentiment. Exactly how do we get everyone on the planet to value life and nature despite the differences we have in culture, traditions, religion, etc? Does the answer lie in breaking down those man-made, divisive constructs mentioned earlier which are seemingly tearing us apart as people?
I wish I knew how to solve the root question/problem, but something tells me this is an effort that we have to take on as a unified collective.