More gruel
Easing Back In

Easing Back In

From once a week, to twice a month, to twice a year, I’ve been slow to post here for a while. Competition for my time has been intense.

After spending 11 years in Houston and 17 in Chicago, we just completed two cross-country moves in two years. They didn’t go smoothly. Be very careful when you hire movers

In a tech industry marked by job hopping, I spent two decades at just two companies, then changed jobs three times in the past two years. 

Cancer sucks. One star, do not recommend. Then again, maybe that’s unfair. The cancer itself has yet to cause me an hour’s worth of discomfort in the almost six years I’ve known about it. Seems like I should apologize to the little bastard because it’s the treatments, not the disease, that have given me trouble. 

There’s a constant hum of drama around dealing with this disease, a CT scan-by-CT scan swing between picking out funeral songs and feeling like I’m gonna beat the thing. Beneath the back and forth, in the nearly two years since I last wrote about it, there’s been no net growth. Still, it eats a lot of mental space.

Then there’s the political environment. I started writing almost 15 years ago when Texas had a pro-choice Republican Senator. Back then a Republican Presidential nominee was shutting down racists at town halls and running on his plan to fight climate change. New York had a Republican Mayor, Massachusetts had a Republican Governor and Minnesota had a Republican Senator. A GOP swing toward Fascism was a threat rather than a reality. 

Back then, the world needed a voice warning of the rising tide of racism in the GOP. Building alternative policies and narratives for the party mattered. That’s no longer relevant.

For a while it seemed like people needed voices explaining why white people were turning to Fascism. Looks like people get it. 

So, what now? 

Maybe there’s value in hearing from a red state refugee. Much of Blue America seems distracted by Trump, unaware of what Republicans are about to do in the places they control – unaware of how red state nightmares are likely to touch their lives in Boston or Seattle. For a while, as we settle into this new and very foreign place, I may try to write again. There may still be something relevant to say about what life is like in the Two Americas. It’s worth a shot.  

Thanks for sticking around through this journey. Attention is such a precious commodity now. I don’t take it for granted. Your comments and feedback have helped me learn and there’s little more valuable than that. Let’s crank this thing up again and see where it goes.


  1. I’m glad you’re here, Chris. And it is truly wonderful to see the familiar posters!

    I get the swing thing. I have had a chronic ailment since age 10. Sometimes I am just so fed up with just trying to talk and walk like a human being. Other times, like now, I seriously consider learning Krav Maga before I age out of their system.

  2. Welcome back. Too bad your move to the Left Coast did not go well. But foul-ups with services seems to be the norm these days, in just about everything. That seems to be one of the slowest recovering areas following the collapse during the pandemic.

    I echo the thoughts of others on your cancer remaining in remission. It is difficult, to face health issues. But as I said there is good health care available in the Bay Area. The accessibility depends considerably on one’s insurance. Personally, my long term 30 year partner continues to have poor health due to inflammatory arthritis and some other issues, Though she has good insurance, continual advocacy is necessary to ensure that she does get the attention of her providers.

    Jumping to the political spectrum, your voice will be very welcome. I always in the past enjoyed your reasonable voice from the moderate to conservative portion of the political spectrum. Though I tend to be moderately liberal, I am not extreme. Common sense and reasoned opinions are always welcome. Often they are totally missing. or are drowned out by noise from both extremes.

    I personally, am totally convinced that the U.S. is entering a very challenging period in our history and very definitely could face threat(s) to our very existence as a democratic republic and perhaps to our continued existence as a unified nation. That could also mean direct great power war. We are presently engaged in a proxy great power kinetic war with Russia over Ukraine. Great power wars historically have a tendency to escalate.

    Currently there are major challenges on the domestic side. What finally happens will probably come to a climax within the next 4-5 years.

    I am currently reading Neil Howe’s “The Fourth Turning is Here”, and finding it very interesting. I am just getting to his discussion of what the Fourth Turning will do our outlooks. Needless to say the Fourth Turning will be quite challenging.

    Having your voice added to the mix will be helpful. WELCOME BACK!

  3. Hey Chris, it’s great to hear from you and we all appreciate the time you’re able to give to us while you have so much going on in your life.

    Your ideas and ability to put them into words and context make them potent weapons in the fight against fascism and authoritarianism.

    Take care of yourself and your family first and foremost. We’ll all be here ready to discuss the next steps we all need to take to prevent things from getting any worse.

  4. I am very happy to see activity here again. I’ve missed everyone here, but I completely understand why you haven’t been posting as much. We need your voice, because there is a dearth of sanity and integrity in the conservative ranks. The GOP richly deserves political extinction for the vile Devil’s bargain they made, but that doesn’t mean I wish for one-party rule by the Democrats. We need a reality based center-right party as a counter balance.

    Wishing you good health and the opportunity to make things better.

  5. Thanks for easing back in, Chris. We’ve missed you, and hoped you were doing as OK as you could.
    Yup, cancer definitely gets one star. I’ve survived 4(!) different kinds of cancer, and know that at least 2 of them could come back. It certainly does hog attention. Thank you for sparing some of your attention to share your insights and analysis with us.

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