Just Admit You Were Wrong

by Bill Brenner June 1, 2015 Adventures in writing

When you passionately push opinions, it sucks to be proven wrong later. It’s happened to me plenty of times, and I’ve learned to simply correct the record as I go. Doing so keeps me honest. What follows are posts I’ve done here and in my work-related blogs when I’ve had a change of heart. The lesson: When you’re wrong, just admit it. It’s the right thing to do, and it will keep your credibility intact. “The Women…  [Read More]

To the Cop Who Stopped Dimebag’s Killer

by Bill Brenner December 9, 2014 Dealing with life

Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of the murder of Pantera/Damageplan guitarist Darrell Lance Abbott. For metalheads like me, the loss of “Dimebag Darrell” was painful. But for James Niggemeyer, the cop who stopped shooter Nathan Gale before he could kill anyone else, life has been hell. Mood music: More people almost certainly would have died that night at Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, where Damageplan was just beginning to play as the shooting started. Jeff “Mayhem” Thompson, the band’s head…  [Read More]

Depressed Minds, Not Beaten Souls

by Bill Brenner November 18, 2014 Suicide

In 2011, I was sobered by a report in USA Today that said 1 in 100 adults had planned their suicide in the year leading up to the article —  a statistic that didn’t surprise me, knowing what I do about depression. Mood music: I’ve suffered a lot of depression in my day. I’m experiencing it right now. While I’ve never seriously considered ending it, I can easily see how someone in that state of mind could head in…  [Read More]

Eleanor Roosevelt Was a Badass

by Bill Brenner April 8, 2014 Courage

I’ve always admired Eleanor Roosevelt. She defied the society of her day and forged a new path for women. She was a tireless fighter for the disadvantaged. During WWII, she traveled to the front to visit the troops, despite the danger. She was an early fighter for civil rights. One of her most famous quotes was to do something every day that scares you. The older she got, the more badass she became. Mood music: In…  [Read More]

Cancer: Faces of Bravery, Faces of Fear

by Bill Brenner February 21, 2014 Courage

The photos tell the tale clearly. Beth Whaanga, mother of four, has been through hell. She has the scars to prove it. And when she decided to show the world, people on Facebook unfriended her. Mood music: Whaanga has been in a long and brutal battle against cancer. Multiple surgeries have left her body mangled, though when fully clothed, the scars are hidden. She chose to reveal those scars in a photo series called “Under the…  [Read More]

The Courage of Brian Krebs

by Bill Brenner February 20, 2014 Courage

Brian Krebs has been kind enough to compliment me on this blog a few times, telling me I have courage for writing about the demons. Today I celebrate Krebs’ courage, which is far more formidable than anything I could ever hope to possess. Mood music: For years at The Washington Post (which foolishly cut him loose) and more recently through Krebs on Security, the man has relentlessly investigated online crime and written scores of groundbreaking…  [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]

Sending Our Kids to Another School

by Bill Brenner August 9, 2013 Family

After weeks of agonizing, debating, praying and researching, Erin and I made the painful but necessary decision to move the kids from the only school they’ve ever known to someplace new. Mood music: In three weeks, Sean and Duncan won’t be starting school at St. Joseph’s in Haverhill. Instead, they’re going to St. Augustine’s in Andover. We love the St. Joe’s community and always will. But the bottom line is that both boys have extra…  [Read More]

Amputee OT Shows Us How to Have Fun With Adversity

by Bill Brenner July 12, 2013 Coping tools

I found some information about Christina Stephens, the amputee who made herself a limb out of LEGOs. The video of her making the leg was inspiring on its own, but there’s more to this woman than becoming a YouTube sensation. It turns out she has made a series of videos about life as an amputee. Here’s footage of her the day after her amputation: Her YouTube channel has dozens of clips of her learning to…  [Read More]

The First Victim of 9/11

by Bill Brenner June 19, 2013 Courage

I’ve been studying up on Akamai Technologies’s history since starting work in the InfoSec department earlier this month. One of the coolest and most moving lessons has been a study of company co-founder Danny Lewin, who died aboard Flight 11 on 9/11 when terrorists drove it into the north tower of the World Trade Center. Mood music: Lewin is actually considered the first casualty of that terrible day because he was killed during an attempt…  [Read More]