Dave Farquhar, lunch ninja

My boss doesn’t think I’m human. His proof: He asks anyone who knows me if he or she has ever seen me eat. No one has.

They’ve seen evidence of me eating. But actually taking a bite? No. Not even the time we went out for BBQ.

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Just reach for it.

I lost a college classmate this week.

We weren’t close, so I didn’t take it as hard as some of our newsroom-mates undoubtedly did. But at the very least, as a human being with a soul and with two kids, I feel bad for the wife and two kids he left behind. It shook me up enough that a couple of my coworkers asked me Wednesday morning what was going on. I told them.

“Don’t try to make sense of something that doesn’t make sense,” the smartest guy in the room said. Read more

Memories of the land of blue shirts

Internet pal Rob O’Hara reminisced about opening a Best Buy (presumably) megastore in 1994. Interestingly, that summer I was doing basically the same thing, only in Illinois. And I lived within driving distance, so they didn’t put me up for the night, though as I recall they did provide at least one meal a day, and I really think they provided two. After all, we worked really long shifts.

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Losing my lunch

The worst Mondays have to be the day after a long weekend, or, as I’m fond of putting it, when Monday happens on Tuesday.

This particular Monday-on-a-Tuesday didn’t start well. I staggered in to work at 6 AM, and my boss said, well, let’s just say he didn’t say I looked well.

At 11 AM, lunchtime finally came. My lunchtime routine for years now has been to bring a frozen meal from home and microwave it. Everyone knows it. But not today, I didn’t. I went looking for my lunch, and couldn’t find it. “What are you doing?” my boss asked. “And why do you have your coat?”

“I lost my lunch,” I told my boss. That phrase has some history in my parts. Read more

My Wright City adventure

My wife and I trekked out to Wright City this weekend for a surprise anniversary party for one of her uncles. It was in a park in Wright City. Wright City is a small town roughly an hour west of St. Louis on I-70. It’s most famous for Big Boy’s, a roadside hole-in-the-wall restaurant that predated the national chain by a couple of decades, and for the defunct Elvis Is Alive Museum, an old laundromat that a Baptist preacher converted into a tribute to the other Elvis (Presley, not Costello), where he spun theories about what Elvis did after faking his death.

I’ve driven through Wright City more times than I can count, since it’s along I-70 in between St. Louis and Kansas City, but up until this weekend, I’ve never stopped there, even for gas.

More on all that in a minute.

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The phone in the fridge, from generation to generation

We took our kids to a good friend’s birthday party this weekend. Unlike the last birthday party they attended, we only had one meltdown, and it was relatively minor. When I heard the unmistakable sound of two mini-Daves screaming at each other, I excused myself to investigate.

My boys were playing with my friend’s daughters’ kitchen set, and arguing about what you could and couldn’t put in the fridge.

“It’s ironic that my two sons would be arguing about what you can put in a fridge,” I said upon my return. Read more

New digs

Tuesday was my first day on the new job. Who starts a new job the day before a holiday? Me. Hey, I tried to start one the day after Christmas one year. This is completely in character.

The new job uses the pieces of the CISSP I wasn’t using. It’s a stretch. Stretching is good. My new boss handed me a schedule for the next six weeks, with objectives for each week. It’s good to go in knowing what’s expected. He also said I’ll be doing a little Unix work. I was glad to hear that.

Dave vs. Mmm-Bop

NPR recently released its Songs of the Summer, which invokes memories of summers past by conjuring up (or dredging up, in some cases) songs you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing. Songs like “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley (2006), or “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira (also 2006). Or the bane of 1991, the unforgettable “Summertime” by the equally unforgettable DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince.

In 1997, one of the songs of the summer was “MMMBop” by boy-band Hanson. And mercifully, I avoided hearing it. I remember the summer of 1997. While everyone else was listening to that, I was listening to aging bands like The Cure and Echo and the Bunnymen, and that habit saved me. I managed to make it until 2004 without hearing that boy-band staple. It’s an achievement I’m proud of. Read more

It’s not about the money

I made my resignation official on Friday. It was a hard decision to make, but I had a nagging feeling, on a couple of fronts, that I didn’t have a lot of choice.

But I’ll be OK. I had a new gig lined up long before I handed in my resignation. I’ll make a smooth transition and I’ll find some way to contribute on my new job almost immediately. I’ll be working closer to home, in my home state of Missouri, with a better schedule and more options for professional advancement. Still, I’m leaving the best place I ever worked, and that’s difficult. The only thing that made it possible for me to leave was the hostility.

This will be the least professional thing I’ve written in a long time, but I’m upset. Read on, and you’ll see why.

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