Communication skills for the crazy

4 Problems with Krypt3ia’s Krampus List

by Bill Brenner December 7, 2015 Infosec

I like Scot “Krypt3ia” Terban. The security researcher has a crotchety communication method I enjoy, and I read his posts a lot. I especially enjoy when he goes after security vendors for FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt). So when he released his annual Krampus List — a naughty list for the security community — I read it and laughed a lot. But as I read through it, I found some of it mean spirited. By…  [Read More]

5 Realizations and Defenses from the Family Business

by Bill Brenner November 2, 2015 Dealing with life

Big pressures aside, I’ve learned much while cleaning up and selling off the old family business and managing trusts Dad left in my hands. Mood music: Until I took on this family business stuff, I’d never had to deal with lawyers or real estate people at this magnitude. I had certainly never managed this kind of money. Here are five realizations — and five defenses — that have saved me from implosion. 5 Realizations Lawyers are the best and worst of humanity….  [Read More]

Coming Soon: The OCD Diaries Book Series

by Bill Brenner October 14, 2015 Adventures in writing

For years, people have told me to write a book based on this blog. And for years I’ve resisted because life was busy enough between work, family and writing for three blogs. But after some brainstorming with Erin last weekend, the decision is made: I’m diving in. The time is right. Mood music: In 2016 I’ll still write fresh posts here, but my main focus as far as The OCD Diaries goes will be on book writing. Not…  [Read More]

Why I Don’t Separate Personal from Professional on Social Media

by Bill Brenner June 2, 2015 Personal Growth

In the world of social media, I’ve seen a lot of folks try to keep their work and personal lives separate. For business, people use LinkedIn. Facebook is for friends and family. But I never even tried to do this. Here’s why. Mood music: I used to think it was possible for me to put on different faces for different crowds. I could have my family face, reserved for when I was at home or…  [Read More]

The Burden of Being Upright, Part 2

by Bill Brenner April 6, 2015 Mental health

I’ve written a lot about the frustrations that come with trying to be a good man when you carry so much baggage. The burden of being upright is something we all carry, but it’s really been weighing on me of late. Mood music: This isn’t a pity party. But I’ve learned over the years that listing my issues and what I’m doing about them can help put them into perspective for me and can encourage…  [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]

Loudmouth Politics and the Damage Done

by Bill Brenner June 23, 2014 Communication skills for the crazy

I love that we live in a country where freedom of speech is an essential right; that you can call your president names without getting thrown in jail. I also love that people are willing to debate their beliefs fervently, whatever those beliefs are. But there’s a downside. For some people, it’s not enough to state a political belief. They have to judge people who believe differently and resort to name calling. Mood music: I…  [Read More]

It’s Not How Far You Have to Go, It’s How Far You’ve Come

by Bill Brenner May 28, 2014 Dealing with life

No matter how much we’ve grown, no matter how far we’ve come, we insist on beating ourselves over the strides we have yet to achieve. When it comes to self-loathing over one’s vulnerabilities, I’m about the best there is. But I’ve worked hard to break myself of that, because the truth is that I have come a long way since the days when I was owned by my OCD, anxiety, fears and dark impulses. Do…  [Read More]

The Misguided Coping Tool of My Teenage Rage

by Bill Brenner April 7, 2014 Coping tools

The first car I ever owned as a kid was a beat-to-shit 1983 Ford LTD wagon. It had a catalytic converter that always flooded and stalled the car. The power steering was gone. And it was the misguided coping tool of my teenage rage. Mood music: The LTD’s exterior was a toxic green, covered over in patches with stickers promoting whatever anarchist political causes I espoused at the time. In one inspired move, I took a…  [Read More]

So You Wanna Blog About Your Demons

by Bill Brenner March 3, 2014 Adventures in writing

Quite a few people are starting to share stories about their mental health challenges and other demons. Some ponder if they should start blogging about it. Having written such a blog for almost five years now, here’s my take. Mood music: If you feel you have reached the right point in your journey to start sharing, then do it. If nothing else, it will help you keep things in perspective. I always feel better after…  [Read More]