February 2015

Walk All Night Against Suicide

by Bill Brenner February 25, 2015 Suicide

Update: I’ve set up my donations page. To donate, click here. Though this blog is about dealing with the challenges we face, I started it to raise awareness and bust down stigmas around depression and suicide. It’s time for me to take that fight to the next level. Mood music: I’ve been inspired to do more by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, which will hold an overnight walk in Boston June 27-28. My legs work almost as…  [Read More]

My Biggest Critic Sounds Off: Two Angry Responses

by Bill Brenner February 24, 2015 Humor

I once wrote that writers like me need our critics to keep honest. This post is a tribute to my biggest critic: fellow infosec professional Dave Marcus. Mood music: A few things about Dave: Despite everything that follows, we’re good friends with similar musical tastes. He owns some of the coolest guitars on the market, but he doesn’t play. The guitars hang on a wall like Han Solo frozen in carbonite. He’s an avid weight lifter. His…  [Read More]

A Generation of Do-Nothing Kids

by Bill Brenner February 20, 2015 Children's issues

An article in The Huffington Post asks an important question: Are we raising a generation of helpless kids? It would be wrong to paint every parent with one broad brushstroke, but we can’t deny there’s a problem. Mood music: The HuffPo article begins with the story of a college freshman who dissolves into a puddle of mush after getting a C- on her first exam: Sobbing, she texted her mother who called back, demanding to…  [Read More]

First Heavy Metal Church of Christ: It Exists!

by Bill Brenner February 18, 2015 Spirituality

From the no-joke file: There’s a church that uses heavy metal to preach Christ’s teachings. I was skeptical when reading about it on Vice.com, because that site runs a lot of bullshit. But I looked around and sure enough, The First Heavy Metal Church of Christ is for real. Mood music: As a devout but rebellious Catholic and heavy metal fan, this was a thrilling find. The church uses some awesome slogans: A Church Where Every…  [Read More]

8 Things You Should Know About This Blog

by Bill Brenner February 16, 2015 Adventures in writing

Many family members have recently started reading this blog. Given the semi-autobiographical nature of this beast, misunderstandings have caused friction with a couple people along the way. I’ve written what follows in hopes of clarifying a few things. Mood music: I don’t come here to complain about life. Parts of the blog are dark. Other parts are chock-full of my blunt opinions. Some misinterpret that as unhappiness on my part. That’s not the case. Everyone has…  [Read More]

Monogamy Isn’t Dead, It’s Just Missing a Hashtag

by Bill Brenner February 13, 2015 Marriage and relationships

Chris Messina, the self-proclaimed inventor of the hashtag and advocate for open-web initiatives, has written an article for CNN about why he chooses non-monogamy. I respect his beliefs. People should be free to love who they want to love. I’m also a happily married, old-fashioned romantic who wonders if people have stopped trying. Mood music: Messina writes about being a child of divorce and having had the notion of “happily ever after” monogamy shoved down his…  [Read More]

I Can Be Hell on the Marriage

by Bill Brenner February 12, 2015 Depression

Erin and I have a strong marriage. But every marriage requires constant work, and ours is no exception. That work often requires me to look in the mirror. Mood music: For Erin, it means seeing my bad days for what they are and helping me work through them. For me, it means doubling down and fighting back the demons that make me difficult to live with sometimes. Having experienced all this, an article in Communication Monographs caught our interest….  [Read More]

The Bright Side of Being Buried Alive

by Bill Brenner February 11, 2015 Gratitude

Here in Massachusetts, hell has frozen over. We have six feet of snow on the ground and at least two more snowstorms in the forecast. The kids have had 2-3 snow days a week since late January. Public transportation is at a standstill. Words like “unprecedented” and “historic” keep surfacing. Mood music (sure, this song is about cocaine, but the title fits): But I’m here to tell my fellow citizens that it could be worse….  [Read More]

Brian Williams and the Line Between Truth-Lie

by Bill Brenner February 10, 2015 News

Brian Williams lied and ought to be fired. Mood music:  The NBC Nightly News anchor says he “conflated” events when he told the world he was on a chopper that was shot at during the Iraq War. In fact, he was in another chopper an hour behind. I don’t see how one could possibly misremember something as huge as getting shot at. As this shitstorm intensifies, we’re hearing about other points where he embellished his…  [Read More]

New OCD Diaries Banner

by Bill Brenner February 9, 2015 Adventures in writing

So, you might have noticed something different about the blog’s appearance in recent days. Your eyes do not deceive you. That IS a new banner. It’s the work of Eddie Mize, a security professional popularly known as EddieTheYeti. I’ve written a lot about his art and have done a lot of posts where I put words to his images. Think of the new banner as a continuation of that project. Like the last banner, this…  [Read More]