For Bill

Friday, April 3, 2020

On April 3, 2020, I lit a candle for my sister’s best friend and my brother in law, Bill.

He was her bright, joyful sidekick and my heart aches for his passing.

As I publish this months later, it still very much feels surreal.

So much has happened since.

There has been hardship, worry, uncertainty and loss all around.

But I believe the pendulum swings and we’re due for some good.

I am happy to know that at this very moment, my sister is surrounded by all of her children and grandchildren.

Lifting their spirits, and Bill’s.



William L. Steck Jr.

We called him Bill.

He loved and enjoyed life deeply.

He served our great country proudly in the Air Force after graduating from Bishop Timon.

He was enjoying retirement from Erie County Corrections where he spent his career as an officer.

All Bill needed for a good night was spending time with friends and family around a bonfire for a great night. Throw in some fireworks or a dip in the hot tub.

He enjoyed spending time with a crossword or a good book.

He enjoyed nights of Texas Hold ‘em with his friends and a cold Stella Artois.

He loved his hometown of Buffalo and never missed catching the Bills or Sabre’s play. Even better if there was a double pepperoni sheet pizza and wings from Imperial to pass around. (He also rooted for his brother’s alma mater, Notre Dame.)

He loved meat and potatoes. (In fact, potatoes were his only favorite vegetable.)

He loved the Boss—catching Springsteen and Little Steven anytime they toured.

He loved to travel. You’d find him with a smile on his face if there was sunshine or a beach involved. He also loved heading to Cincinnati to spend time with extended family.

Along with his wife, he loved Halloween a little extra, as was apparent from all the decorations overflowing from their house and on to the lawn. Their yearly celebration in October brought friends and family from all over.

And Bill loved his family, his wife Robin Steck, his sons Nick and Brendan, his Bonus sons Mark, Matthew and daughter Gabrielle, and his 5 grandchildren. His mother Peggy and recently passed dad, Bob Nesslin. He’s survived by his brother and sisters Nick (Kathy) Steck, Cindy (Tony)Turton, Lori (Ray) Conroy, 9 nieces and nephews.

Bill left us too soon.

Until it’s safe for us to get together and celebrate his life—which we will— let’s raise our hearts to him above. May his spirit soar with all the joy and love he put forth in this world.

In lieu of flowers, please wash your hands and hold your loved ones dear. Donations can be made to St. Joseph’s Hospital for all the brave staff.


Remote workout

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Tired old man using workout straps

I’d been getting my trainer set up with Zoom so we could continue our morning workouts. And though bands are no where near as nice as some heavy weights, they work extraordinarily well.

The real reason I like working out with Larry is that he listens to my highs and lows and lends perspective. Keeps me balanced.

Work with friends

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

I needed more hands on deck and Jim was available.

One thing I’ve learned over the years? It helps to work with friends. It makes work enjoyable.

And if you’re not friends with those you work with? Try to get there. It won’t always click, but it beats the alternative.

acutely exposed

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

This was March 31, 2020.

I’m writing from 77 days in the future.

A future where my family will experience loss.

The world will experience loss.

Some will forget or even deny what we’re up against.

The waters of reason grow muddy.

And systemic injustice will be acutely exposed.

Rinse, wash, repeat

Monday, March 30, 2020

I am lucky to have a dishwasher that works.

And boy is it getting a workout.

Listening: “The One Who Stays” Trent Dabbs

Gamified delight

Sunday, March 29, 2020

I’ve been meditating a bit every day to pull weeds, harvest fruit, plant flowers, shop for new outfits and redecorate my little virtual home inside Animal Crossing. Oh, and attempt drawing on little pixelated canvases.

It’s a mechanism that will last for a few months before I tire of the monotony and long for something deeper or simply something different.

But for this moment? It’s helping.

And now when I see a real weed sprouting through the tiles on the patio, I pull it with gamified delight.

Sometimes things change very quickly

Saturday, March 28, 2020

The window to see that change is narrow.

Happy to have caught these Butterfly Magnolia blooms in this sweet moment.


Friday, March 27, 2020

Edie has somehow learned how to get up on a desk and glare at me from across the room.

Listening: “The She” The Breeders

These are the days

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Like many, I’m using this moment to welcome comfort foods.

We’re talking really bad choices.

I bought 3 twelve packs of Coke Zero for F sake.

I allow myself one a day, and honestly I really just drink half a can.

It’s just too much, and also just enough.

I should save the remainder for housework.

Link: Stuff you can clean with Coke.

The co-working studio has been quiet for about a week.

Everyone is sheltering and working from home.

Sometimes I crack my apartment door open and let Edie wander around.

She’ll stop by my desk for a game of Touch Me Don’t Touch Me.

I’ve been using a PC on the side. This particular one is a Surface Go.

It’s pretty fricking solid.

Great build quality.

Runs Adobe Creative Suite fine enough.

And Office is WAY more robust on Windows.

I now know how to make Visio templates with nice designed elements and can set the default attributes of shapes and text boxes in Powerpoint.

This is a major productivity boost.

Listening: “Cut Your Hair” Pavement


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Essential trips include the grocery. I had never used a pick-up option before, but now was a good time to start.

Kroger’s Clicklist (now thankfully renamed “Pickup’) had a learning curve, but surmountable. At this point in the timeline you had to schedule a week in advance. Substitutions were pretty common, but for the most part? The system worked.

Bonus? Having a bright clear day to drive across town.