January 2014

Taking Lunch from Children Is Never OK

by Bill Brenner January 31, 2014 Children's issues

The headline was so outrageous I didn’t believe it at first. I see a lot of crazy stuff on the Internet that doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. Unfortunately, this one is true: Administrators  at Uintah Elementary School in Salt Lake City confiscated and trashed the lunches of up to 40 students because their parents were apparently behind in payments. Mood music: From The Salt Lake City Tribune: Jason Olsen, a Salt Lake City District spokesman, said…  [Read More]

Death by Regimentation

by Bill Brenner January 30, 2014 Depression

I lead a pretty regimented life. I’ve gotten good at juggling multiple activities at once and sticking to carefully mapped out schedules. Regimens are good for me. I need specific plans for eating, exercise and career/family management. But I have to admit, all that regimentation is like a noose around my neck lately. Mood music: I recently reined in my eating plan and got back to exercising because my health was beginning to drift. I…  [Read More]

Proof That Mental Illness Needn’t Be A Career Killer

by Bill Brenner January 29, 2014 Courage

A few months back, I was interviewed for a Forbes article on people who turned their mental illnesses into a career strength. I’m happy to discover there are more success stories to share. Mood music: A good friend forwarded me “Why I Hired an Executive with a Mental Illness” by Rob Lachenauer, CEO and a co-founder of Banyan Family Business Advisors. Lachenauer describes hiring someone after a job interview in which the candidate came right…  [Read More]

Cable News and the Justin Bieber Effect

by Bill Brenner January 28, 2014 Communication skills for the crazy

I lost faith in cable news as a conduit for useful, balanced information long ago. Once I stopped watching, the drop in my depression and anxiety was considerable. I grew a lot less bored, too. When I see respected journalists like MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell cutting off an interview with a former congresswoman to report breaking news about Justin Bieber’s DUI arrest, I know all the more that shutting it off was the right course of…  [Read More]

Downworthy: The Answer to All Those Stupid Headlines

by Bill Brenner January 27, 2014 Lighthearted

I loathe the link-bait bullshit that’s taken over my Facebook newsfeed. Upworthy. Opposing Views. Even The Huffington Post. They’re all guilty to varying degrees. Call me a snob, if you will. I was a journalist for 20 years, and I like my headlines straightforward and to the point. All I see these days is shit that goes something like, “Michael asked his mom for a Pepsi. What came next will blow your mind.” Mood music:…  [Read More]

Wherein I Run Afoul Of The U.S. Secret Service

by Bill Brenner January 24, 2014 Communication skills for the crazy

My resolve against the inner demons is tested regularly. Some are little tests, like being put in a room with all the food and alcohol I once binged on daily to see if I can resist the temptation. Some are bigger tests, like getting lost en route to Washington D.C a few years ago with my wife and kids in the car. Getting lost in a car used to be the stuff my anxiety attacks were made…  [Read More]

How to Apply for Social Security Benefits for OCD Suffers

by Bill Brenner January 24, 2014 OCD

Guest blogger Ram Meyyappan explains how severe-OCD sufferers can receive financial help. If you suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits may be available to you. Before applying, you will want to learn more about the application, review, and qualification processes with the Social Security Administration (SSA). The following tips will help you better understand the programs available and the process of applying. Tip #1: Understand How to Medically Qualify for…  [Read More]

“It’s a Miserable Life,” Starring Chief O’Brien

by Bill Brenner January 23, 2014 Lighthearted

Of all the Star Trek series, Deep Space 9 (DS9) remains my favorite. It has the best character development and explores the darker side of humanity in a way the other shows wouldn’t have dared. Mood music: DS9 explores constant misery through Chief Myles O’Brien. In one episode he is put into a 20-minute program that simulates a 20-year prison sentence. In another, an evil spirit possesses his wife, Keiko. Then there is the episode…  [Read More]

Don’t Let Social Awkwardness Get You Down

by Bill Brenner January 22, 2014 Communication skills for the crazy

I’m a pretty public guy. I’ve given many public presentations about this blog and the security industry I work in. Blogging by itself means I’m putting myself out there every day. So, you would think I’d be comfortable in public by now. But sometimes I’m not. Mood music: I was reminded of this over the weekend, when I attended the ShmooCon hacker conference in Washington, DC. I got to see many friends and had a…  [Read More]

When Patriots Fans Eat Their Own

by Bill Brenner January 21, 2014 Communication skills for the crazy

My interest in football is minimal. I love a good story of an athlete overcoming the odds and showing us that anything’s possible. In that regard, Tom Brady is a hell of a role model. I’m not a fan of the Patriots quarterback’s wife, Gisele Bundchen. I don’t dislike her, I’m just not big on the modeling culture. But here’s something I like even less: Whenever the Patriots lose a big game, as happened Sunday, the Bundchen…  [Read More]