December 2011

A H5N1 Case Study In Fear

by Bill Brenner December 30, 2011 Coping tools

Sometimes my work writings crash head-on into this blog. Last week I wrote a post in CSO’s SaltedHash blog about how I thought scientists were reckless to mutate the H5N1 strain of bird flu. While there’s the obvious security component, part of my feelings on the subject go back to my years living with fear and anxiety. Mood music: http://youtu.be/-q-MorIES5I This isn’t a post to say I’ve changed my mind about this strain of bird…  [Read More]

It’s The Stinkin’ Truth, Kids

by Bill Brenner December 30, 2011 Children's issues

Strep Will Trigger OCD, And The Beatles White Album Will Make You Kill

by Bill Brenner December 27, 2011 Mental disorders

An interesting news clip caught my eye this morning about how strep infections can trigger OCD. Thanks to my friend Traci Foust for sharing. Now for my skepticism. Mood music: As a clinical OCD case, I always have an eye out for articles on how OCD works and what the triggers are. I’m several years into managing my case, but you’re never past the point of learning new things. First, the news that brings me…  [Read More]

‘No Man Is A Failure Who Has Friends’

by Bill Brenner December 26, 2011 Depression

Part of the holiday tradition around here is a viewing of “It’s A Wonderful Life.” The ending used to make me sad, because it seemed to sum up what was missing in my life. For a long time, I didn’t feel like I had any friends. It was nobody’s fault. I had crawled so far inside myself that I chose dozing off on the couch with the TV remote in my hand over going outside…  [Read More]

Regarding Mike Dahn And The BSides Controversy

by Bill Brenner December 23, 2011 Communication skills for the crazy

This is really an issue for my security blog, but this week’s blow-up over alleged mismanagement of Security B-Sides connects with me on a personal level best expressed here. Mood music: A couple days ago, a Security Errata article appeared detailing financial mismanagement of the Security B-Sides events. It singled out Mike Dahn, one of BSides’ founders, for mismanaging things and lying about it. Dahn published a response in his blog yesterday. I’ll let the…  [Read More]

Readings From The Book Of Crap: Christmas Edition

by Bill Brenner December 22, 2011 Uncategorized

I’m coming around to the idea that Christmas isn’t the problem. It’s that this time of year amplifies human stupidity as much as it does human goodness. To a brain starving for more daylight, the stupidity will dwarf the goodness every time. So please indulge me while I point out a few things… Mood music: Principal Lorene Marx of Molin Upper Elementary School in Newburyport, Mass., isn’t letting her students get into the giving spirit because…  [Read More]

Taking The Different Kids Out With The Trash

by Bill Brenner December 21, 2011 Children's issues

Wherein the author laments the inability of educational institutions to embrace the different children. Mood music: http://youtu.be/4994186umUU As a problem kid in grades K-12, I’m all too aware of how good kids can get lost in an education system designed for only the so-called normal kids. I used to think this was just a Revere Public Schools thing. Now I see it for the universal scourge that it is. I’ve written at length about my…  [Read More]

You’re Missing The Point

by Bill Brenner December 20, 2011 Depression

Based on some of the reader feedback I’ve received lately, it’s a safe bet that some people miss the point of this blog. Mood music: When they read about the tougher things I’ve been through, they walk away with the notion that this is about stewing over childhood pain and obsessing over the challenges of everyday life. But that’s not the point at all. This is about finding the beauty in life and celebrating the…  [Read More]

Merry Christmas, Mr. And Mrs. @gattaca

by Bill Brenner December 19, 2011 Courage

My friend Dave Lewis and his wife Diana have had a brutal year, with her fight against cancer and all. But she has made huge progress since her summer diagnosis. Mood music: Many of you know Dave (@gattaca on Twitter) as founder of the Liquidmatrix Security Digest. He is also senior security analyst at AMD and someone who works tirelessly to promote events that make security professionals smarter and better. Diana had to go back…  [Read More]

R.I.P., Karen LaPierre

by Bill Brenner December 19, 2011 Faith

I’m sad to hear that Haverhill resident Karen LaPierre was killed yesterday morning by an alleged drunk driver. Mood music: Here’s what happened, as told by Eagle-Tribune reporter Mike LaBella: Karen LaPierre, who with her husband Bill LaPierre ran the Angelo Petrozzelli Food Pantry at Sacred Hearts Church, was standing behind her 2010 Ford Taurus parked in front of 55 South Main St. at 5:20 a.m. Police said she was struck from behind by a 2003 Nissan…  [Read More]