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Big Brother By Any Other Name &Raquo; Notes To Self By Mark Obrien

Big Brother by Any Other Name

Among the many magazines that come to our home for Anne, because she’s a designer and decorator, is one called, Architectural Products. A recent edition ran an article called, “The Smartest Building in Austin” (starting at page 28 in the print edition, page 30 in the digital edition). I don’t remember if Big Brother was […]

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Moving On &Raquo; Notes To Self By Mark Obrien

Moving On

Author’s Note: May is Mental Health Awareness Month. I offer this post as a means of sharing my experience, even as I grant I’m more fortunate than many. If you or a loved one struggle with mental health, call the NAMI HelpLine at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), text “HelpLine” to 62640, or email helpline@nami.org. If you or […]

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Third Stone From The Sun &Raquo; Notes To Self By Mark Obrien

Third Stone from the Sun

When I was growing up, our next-door neighbors had some … uh … peculiar notions about housecleaning. As sons of a Marine, my younger brother, Keith, and I would walk into their living room and be astounded at the volume of clutter, the nature of the clutter, and the general lack of order or cleanliness. […]

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Our Friend, Psychology &Raquo; Notes To Self By Mark Obrien

Our Friend, Psychology

If you’re anything like me, you don’t believe in indecision. In an earlier post, I wrote about self-faith and our inner genius. Consistent with what I wrote, I typically assess the situation requiring a decision, trust my senses, apply my intelligence (such as it is), and decide. If my decision turns out to have been […]

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Heard It In A Love Song &Raquo; Notes To Self By Mark Obrien

Heard It in a Love Song

The Marshall Tucker Band released its self-titled debut album on Phil Walden’s Capricorn Records in 1973. As soon as my buddies and I heard “Take the Highway” and “Can’t You See”, we were instant fans. In 1977, the band released its sixth album, Carolina Dreams, which was certified platinum in the same year and was […]

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Chicken Or Egg &Raquo; Notes To Self By Mark Obrien

Chicken or Egg

I was recently in a conversation with a client. We’ll call her Petunia (not her real name; although, I wish it were). Petunia happens to work in a very large (as in global), very dysfunctional (as in no responsibility or accountability) company that has her beyond frustrated. Part of her frustration is that she’s very […]

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We Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet &Raquo; Notes To Self By Mark Obrien

We Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet

We live in a horse race. Two nags, Gluefoot and Gimpy, are neck-and-neck coming down the stretch, and we have no idea which horse will cross the finish line first. Gluefoot represents the uncertainty of whether we’ll persist in our belief that we can control (because we’ll be blamed for) everything. Gimpy represents the uncertainty […]

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The State Of The Onion &Raquo; Notes To Self By Mark Obrien

The State of the Onion

I was going to excerpt portions of President Biden’s 2024 State of the Union remarks and annotate them with snide comments. But four things happened: I realized snark is indistinguishable from truth at this point, and snark doesn’t sit well in some circles. Neither does truth. And here we are. I wouldn’t have enough time […]

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A Silly People &Raquo; Notes To Self By Mark Obrien

A Silly People

On The Scale of Self-Deceit and Frivolity Unto Extinction, there are points well beyond first-world problems. They indicate the extent to which life in the United States is luxurious enough that we can afford to make shit up to worry about. They also confirm the point made by Bill Maher that Americans are a silly […]

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Winter Wonders: Part Two &Raquo; Notes To Self By Mark Obrien

Winter Wonders: Part Two

Last week I wrote about the lethal peril to which we find ourselves subject as the result of anthropogenic climate change and two of its perniciously wayward children, bomb cyclones and weather whiplash. Well, just when you thought it was safe … Last week, the Washington Post ran a story — “This weather phenomenon on […]

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