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]

“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]

Depressed Web Servers and Other Amusing 404 Pages

by Bill Brenner December 16, 2013 Lighthearted

I write a lot about my own episodes of depression and that of others. But I’ve never written about a web server suffering from it. That is, until the student chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) gave me reason to do so. The┬ástudents got creative with a 404 File Not Found page. Instead of the usual 404, you get a depressed web server going on and on…  [Read More]

Mental Disorders on Sesame Street

by Bill Brenner November 20, 2013 Lighthearted

The image below is a brilliant exercise in humor, an important coping tool for getting through all life’s difficulties. I’ve always believed the folks behind Sesame Street should be doing more to educate children on mental health, starting with some hard but necessary lessons in disorder. I share this meme for their benefit. Class is in session. Source: fodrizzle


by Bill Brenner November 7, 2013 Lighthearted

A while back I mentioned a problem I was having with my guitars, a problem only someone with OCD would have. Yesterday, a buddy shared a cartoon that illustrates another problem I could find myself dealing with if I ever decide to play live again: Well, that wouldn’t really happen. But it made me laugh. I think that the title should read OC/DC, however. I get the need to have O-C-D together. But it just…  [Read More]

Curse of the OCD Guitarist

by Bill Brenner May 8, 2013 Lighthearted

For all it’s power as a tool for staying in the moment, there’s one thing about my guitar playing that’s set off a big OCD trigger. Mood music: [spotify:track:4vhTm7eeqJAW4Iq3grUutI] Is it the need to play constantly, every day? Nope. Is it the nagging obsession to acquire a Gibson Les Paul? Nah. I have that obsession, but it’s not OCD. It’s the desire of many guitarists, except for those who already own one. Here’s my problem,…  [Read More]

May Day!

by Bill Brenner May 1, 2013 Lighthearted

Happy May 1st, everyone.

A Revere Kid Celebrates National Grammar Day. Punk-uation, Anyone?

by Bill Brenner March 3, 2013 Adventures in writing

Tomorrow is National Grammar Day. For writers and copyeditors (my wife is both), this is kind of like St. Patrick’s Day and Easter rolled into one. Erin plans to stay glued to her desk all day, weighing in on all the conversation that comes rolling off the Twitter tongue. Given her job, she has no choice, really. Mood music: Being a writer and editor myself, I should be just as excited. But I’m from Revere,…  [Read More]

Packing For #RSAC and #BSidesSF 2013: An OCD Case Study

by Bill Brenner February 22, 2013 For travelers

I’m preparing to pack for five days in San Francisco, where I’ll be writing about goings on at RSA Conference 2013 and Security B-Sides. When you have OCD, packing a suitcase is as ritualistic as the compulsive hand washing you’ve heard about. Mood music: Before I had the OCD under control, packing was an all-day affair. I’d line up all my pants, shirts, socks, suit coats and accessories in order of the days I planned…  [Read More]

But I Made All These End-of-the-World Plans

by Bill Brenner December 21, 2012 Lighthearted

Here I sit at 6 a.m. on December 21. We’re all still here as I expected we would be, despite all the end-of-Mayan-calendar, end-of-the-world talk we’ve been listening to for what seems like an eternity. I’m actually a little disappointed, because there were a few things I was looking forward to, such as: Mood music: [spotify:track:3lP4QgKArqyUAMDFPv3zFk] Avoiding the age-old problem of two kids who refuse to get out of bed on time during the school…  [Read More]