Bill Brenner

Robert C. Corthell, 1948-2017: Trucker, Teacher, Family Man

by Bill Brenner November 9, 2017 Gratitude

Robert C. Corthell of Haverhill, Mass., died peacefully at Lahey Burlington Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, surrounded by loved ones, after suffering a pulmonary embolism. He was 69. He fought his brief illness with the same stubbornness and grit by which he lived. His family and friends knew him as Bob, Bobby, Dad and Grandpa. He was born and raised in Haverhill and, after serving in the U.S. Army, spent the rest of his life there,…  [Read More]

I Was Lost But Now I’m Found

by Bill Brenner April 3, 2017 Dealing with life

There are plenty of reasons I haven’t written in this blog in a long time. The easy reasons are that my career has been busy and I’ve been managing a family building on the side. I also decided awhile back that I shouldn’t write unless I had something to say. To be honest, I just didn’t feel like opening up like I used to. But lately my willingness has returned. Mood music: The last year has included…  [Read More]

Thought I Was a Security Rockstar. Was Just Stupid

by Bill Brenner March 24, 2017 Dealing with life

In pretty much every industry of late, people of great talent, drive and achievement are being labeled rock stars. I certainly see it as I work in the information security industry. Those who get the label tend to deserve it. But there’s a dangerous side-effect: The term rock star can bloat the egos of those it’s bestowed upon. It leads to big heads and bad attitudes. I’ve watched many handle it with humble grace. And…  [Read More]

Depression and Anxiety in the Age of Trump

by Bill Brenner November 18, 2016 Political discourse

This post isn’t to endorse or condemn either of this year’s presidential candidates. It IS acknowledgement that people are shaken by the election of Donald Trump as president. For many, the uncertainty and fear translates into depression and anxiety. If Hillary Clinton had won, there’d be a lot of Trump supporters suffering in similar fashion. So I would have been writing this post anyway. The big question is how to move forward if the election has…  [Read More]

Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers on My Right

by Bill Brenner November 16, 2016 Political discourse

The morning after Donald Trump was elected president, I posted this: I didn’t vote for Trump. I don’t like him. I didn’t like Bush, either. But the left survived Bush and the right survived Obama. We’ll survive Trump, too. If we as individuals keep doing our best every day and be the blessing to friends, family and colleagues, everything will be fine. A better world starts with you. I also posted this, after seeing a Trump…  [Read More]

Make a List to Realize You’re Not Completely Screwed

by Bill Brenner September 13, 2016 Dealing with life

I’ve been going through a major bout of insecurity lately as a result of juggling so many responsibilities at once. We all go through this on occasion, so I don’t claim to be a special snowflake in this regard. In an effort to feel a little less overwhelmed, I turned to a tool I should use more often: list making. After writing it all down, I find that I’m not quite as screwed as first thought….  [Read More]

One Woman’s Experiences Show How Nasty The Internet Can Be

by Bill Brenner August 17, 2016 Dealing with life

We’ve all seen how nasty the Internet can be. Scroll Facebook, Twitter or any number of blogs on a given day and you’ll see people going out of their way to rip each other apart in the most cowardly way possible — hidden in the shadows. Many of us have stories about being attacked online. Usually, it’s because we offered an opinion people disagreed with. But Amanda Nickerson has been living with something a lot more…  [Read More]

Why the Hell Am I Still Sober?

by Bill Brenner August 3, 2016 Addiction

This is the second in a series of posts about navigating through the unexpected. It’s based on experiences I’ve had since my father’s death last year. A lot of legal paper pushing, hand-holding and arguing has gone into managing the building my late father left in my care. I’ve never dealt with lawyers so much in my life. Sorting out the various trusts, deeds, real-estate negotiations and environmental cleanup tasks has been a full-time job on…  [Read More]

Time to Stop Separating Women from Men

by Bill Brenner July 30, 2016 gender issues

A few years ago, I used to do a bunch of lists of security people to follow on Twitter every Friday. For a while I did a separate one on “women in security.” That is, until one of my peers called me out on it. Essentially, my friend, Wendy Nather, said that I was contributing to sexism in the industry by separating the women from the men. That’s how I took it, anyway. She was…  [Read More]

This Wasn’t Part of the Plan

by Bill Brenner July 26, 2016 Dealing with life

This is the first in a series of posts about navigating through the unexpected. It’s based on experiences I’ve had since my father’s death last year. I’ve tried to follow the words of Winston Churchill, who once said, “If you’re going through Hell, keep going.” I’ve had shitty years before — 1984, when my brother died, the year following my best friend’s suicide in 1997, and 2004, when another close friend died and I came closest to an emotional…  [Read More]