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At work, Darin was talking about watching a piece on Nova about Antarctic explorers
and he related a quote he really likes: “Adventure is a sign of
incompetence.” This was used in a work context, about how really our
lives should be boring and when they are thrilling things are all
screwed up. That led to a hunt for who made the quote, which led me
back to the page for the Nova episode. I wished I had seen it – I’ll
have to check for repeats. Here is a quote from the page in just this
vein – substitute the context of mountain climbing and exploring for
delivering one’s products in business and I’m all over this philosphy:

There is a quote I think about all the time when I’m climbing or on
expeditions. It’s by the great polar explorer Vilhjalmur Stefanson:
“Adventure is a sign of incompetence.” Stefanson was a guy who bragged
that he never had adventures. He said that if you have an adventure,
you’re doing something wrong, that if you really plan things out in
the vein of Amundsen, you don’t have adventures. (Now, having said
this, Stefanson relates sort of proudly how he almost got ambushed by
a polar bear. Stefanson had plenty of adventures!)

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Sweet dripping Jesus on a sticky bun I am in a lousy lousy mood! My
day at work sucked, my Linux box crashed for the umpteenth time, and
everyone just basically seemed to get on my nerves. The only bright
spot was having lunch with my friend Thomas. I guess you could also
count figuring out that my lawnmower has an oil drain plug. I’ve
changed the oil in this thing once a year for the last 4, and I’ve
always tilted it on its side. Today, I thought “Why do I always do
that? Shouldn’t it have a drain?” Sure enough, it did.

Thomas was telling me he put in his notice as a copywriter for a
marketing firm and will be freelancing – writing and whatever. I must
admit, that lifestyle is looking ever better to me. I had never
contracted until I was laid off in 2001, and then I did two contracts,
counting the one that eventually converted into the one I have. All
told, I like being a contractor better. You don’t have to “drink the
kool-aid” and swallow all the horseshit about what a wonderful family
we all are. You come in with goals, they pay you money to acheive them
and then you go away. If jobs were marriages, contracting would be
prostitution. I kind of liked being a whore. I won’t kiss you on the
mouth or get freaky, here’s my timesheet, leave the money on the
dresser. I also liked having my time be too expensive to waste. Those
days are long gone, and now wasting my time is like an indoor
sport. I know plenty of people are laid off, looking for work and
otherwise in the soup so I feel a little guilty for having a job yet
disliking it so. But I guess, as Bobby Brown sang, “it’s my perogative.”