Friday, December 14, 2012

Bang; you're dead.

I heard the somber music and the unrehearsed tones of the commentator on the radio when I went to go to the bank before lunch.  It must be very bad, I thought.  Then the story spooled out.  More than 20 dead, lots of dead children.  Shooter dead.  I had to turn it off.  I played some 40+ year-old music.  When I came out to the car from the bank, the commentators were still at it.  I turned it off again.

I imagined the horror of the parents on hearing the news without knowing whether their child was dead.  I imagined the horror of the adults at the school on seeing the dead children.  I imagined the unimaginable horror of the children while they were getting gunned down.  I imagined the unthinkable and life-altering conversations that the parents of the surviving children will have with their children who don't actually know what happened.

I tried and failed to imagine how anyone could stand in front of a classroom of eight and nine year-olds and shoot them.

When I got home and read the thoughtless things that people said in the aftermath, I felt sorry. Sorry for us as a civilization that we simply throw up our hands and say that nothing could have prevented this, that this is "not as bad as (fill in the blank)", that a solution is not even worth trying to discuss, let alone implement.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Happy Birthday

Now I'm a day older than yesterday, but because today is my birthday, somehow that makes me a whole year older in just one day.  It's weird.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Day

As today is Thanksgiving, I want to take a few moments to reflect "aloud" on what I have to be thankful for.  I'll try to leave out the mundane stuff so you can get back to what you were doing.

Life - It isn't permanent so I'll be thankful while I can.
Sharon - She has made my life so rich.
Jessamy - So tiny at first, and now so grown up.
Andy - An amazing man who has taught me so many things.
Danny - Never far from playful imagination.
My home - It keeps me warm, dry and safe.

My family - I am just a leaf of an awesome tree; it's complexity awes me.
My friends - You are legion and you form my social world.  I am never lonely.

Cashews - The perfect nut.

Friday, November 09, 2012

I'm gonna blog

I said I'd post today even though I *just* posted yesterday.  So I posted.

My friends on FB nearly came to keyboard blows over the whole election thing.  I told them that they were real civil to hold it down and not get all e'splody on us.

To my conservative friends: I'm sorry about your inevitable disappointment.  I'm not sorry that the ideas on governance espoused by your standard bearer were rejected, and in all but one of the "swing" states.  320 electoral votes literally means that those ideas were broadly rejected.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

In which I say

I may never make it to 1000 posts, but I'll keep working at it.  Today, since I've been saving up loads of topics and thoughts, I may pile on a bit.  I hope you'll understand.  Bless me readers, for I have not penned; it has been five weeks since my last confession.

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair and Holiday Party is on us again.  The other day I was trying to figure out how many years I've been at this but the closest I got was ten or eleven.  Or maybe nine.  I went back and looked at a lot of pictures and tried to figure out from the date stamps and what I was wearing.  All my life, I have been terrible at remembering chronology and dates, and how long blah blah blah.  If any of you faithful readers really know when I started, please let me know.  The winner gets to sit in my hot tub.

Speaking of boobs, during the naughty french postcards auditions, several of my female cast-mates had whipped out their boobs for the audition pictures (like we all do) and more than ever it was just like they were exposing their elbows, only far smoother and with nipples.  Maybe it's just like they say, "It's just boobs, meh." It was actually something of a relief not to be so damn thrilled to be seeing naked boobs that I couldn't carry on a rational conversation.  Also, my friend Kurt never seems to wear underpants.  I could have gone at least several more hours without witnessing The Spectacle(TM).

And how about our national spectator sport, voting.  It would seem that nowhere near all of us that are eligible actually participate in government by the people, for the people.  It seems so many have decided, in a practical sense that their participation isn't worth it.  I say, "VOTE like your life depended on it!" because in a sense it really does.

Not nearly as close as the RWEC thought.  Also +29 for FLA when they finally get their third-world voting act together, the n00bs.
Regarding the outcomes, I was pretty pleased that the electorate collectively rejected so much Bad Crap.  Let's make a list of Bad Crap, shall we:

Stupid Ideas That Should Never Be Spoken Of Again 

  • Spending nearly infinite sums of money to get a few thousand people who already made up their mind to change their mind is a winning strategy.
  • Rape really isn't that bad, and it doesn't cause pregnancy, or if it does, it's a gift from a deity.
  • Gays have second class relationships because they are second class.
  • Binders full of women!
  • Muslim Kenyan Socialists!
  • Trickle down economics - SO EFFECTIVE!! (do not pay any attention to the contrary data)
  • Karl Rove (holy shit, that dude has some explaining to do)
  • Corporations are people, my friend
  • Abortion is our nation's biggest problem
  • "Contraception" is Kenyan for "Destroying religious freedom!"
  • Job creators just need some more money
  • Benghazi was a partisan failure
  • Sheldon Adelson and The Fabulous Koch Brothers!
  • "Our number one legislative priority is making Obama a one-term president."
  • Newt!
  • Vote suppression is patriotic!
  • FOX
  • Etch-a-Sketch!!
  • The Tea Party
  • The Right-Wing Echo Chamber.
  • I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot here.
Math is real.  When the pollsters did their work, and the data was analyzed scientifically, the outcome of the election was accurately predicted.  I can only hope that in the next cycle, the GOP does not delude itself so much.  It makes us all look like idiots.

Hmmmm.  Two more of my good friends at work are leaving.  There is a lot of opportunity for me at work but at the same time, there has been a lot of change.  So many people that I liked and respected have moved on.  There is a lot of growth on the horizon, but there is also a lot of much-larger-company culture trickling flowing in.  I can't complain about the commute or the compensation, but what is important and what the people are like has changed a lot in my tenure, several times actually.  Luckily, I have a high tolerance for change.

Apparently, I snore.  Also, I tend to hear song lyrics in most everything people say.  Oh, and boobs.

I *promise* I'll post tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

It writes itself

When I sit down to write (like 'write' now) I often have no idea what I'm going to say.  I try to surprise myself.  A friend of mine asked for a story idea.  Here's what I said.

A man awakes to find his wife and children have been replaced with others who know him, but he doesn't know them. When he looks in the mirror, he doesn't recognize himself. He pushes through this and gets in his unrecognizable car which he is oddly certain is his. He starts out to work and drives aimlessly to a place, parks and goes in. Everyone knows him. He walks to an office, sits down and logs into the computer with a guessed password. He starts reading email and making up replies. A meeting notice comes up, and he goes to the meeting full of strangers that know him. At the end of the day he retraces his path to "home", has dinner with his "family", makes love to his "wife", and goes to sleep. In the morning, he wakes up and is greeted by a whole new family, wife, house, car, job, and guessed password.

I thought it was kinda fun.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Once again, with feelings

Welcome back, gentle readers.  I hope you enjoyed the period in which I slacked off and failed to write anything break.  I want to tell you about a friend of mine, and reflect on my thoughts following her death.

In one's life you have many opportunities, 25,550 days worth if you live to 70, to make a difference in people's lives.  To enrich your friends, to help and inspire, to give and receive love.  To help others with their money, help them to learn, to bring beauty into their life.

I have the pleasure, or perhaps treasure, of knowing quite a few people who really matter to me, and who matter to a lot of others too.  I hope that I matter to a lot of others as well.  You get a finite chance to matter.  I hope that by the time my time is up, that I have brought as much joy, shared as much love, and inspired people as much as my friend Surrey.
Many thanks to my friend Dave who took this sweet picture of Surrey and Gregor.

Surrey had an amazing life (to me it was) which started out in World War II in England and ended just a few weeks ago in sunny California.  She was an artist, a writer, a mother, a bank manager, a teacher, and many other things.  Above all else, she was a doer - she shrank from nothing and stopped at nothing to make her dreams come true and to give to others.  In the process, she made a palpable difference to so many of us that it was standing room only at her memorial today in a very large school auditorium.

My dear friend Gregor spoke lovingly of his wife, not of how he missed her, but of what allowed her to cut through the noise and get things done and make a difference.  She had seen violent death up close at an early age and she knew what mattered, and she felt the naked urgency of mortal life.  She knew deep down that she, like all of us, didn't have all the time in the world and that if she was going to make a difference she had better set aside her fears (if she had any) and get started and never stop.  Her daughter told us how even as she was near death in hospice, she was remarking on and caring about the hospice workers and their acting troupe - and that she was writing all of this down to express it because she couldn't speak for the oxygen mask she was wearing.

Take the time to make a difference; to love, to appreciate, to create joy and beauty.  Appreciate what you have and the richness of your life and your friends.  Set aside your fears and take the risks that are the bridges to your dreams.  Do this for your friends and loved ones.  Do this for yourself.  Don't wait.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Taking a night off

Those of you who are feeling well can rest easy in the notion that when you get up in the morning to go to work, or to look for work, or just go fishing, that your throat probably won't feel lousy when you get underway.  Tonight, I'm taking it easy (almost indistinguishable from my usual routine) in order to stave off feeling bleagh.

But I posted anyway.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

No taxation without administration

Taxes are complicated, no matter what they tell you.  If you run a wee business from your house, or if you finally scrape up enough dough and elbow grease to get a place in the woods that you can rent out, you can be sure that you will be soon digging for the numerical answers to numerous inquiries so you can enter them in the magical software that makes sense of all of it, does all the math, and checks your work.

I don't mind paying as much as I mind filing.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

The long and winding road

Working is, the saying goes, for people who can't fish.  I've been fishing a few times.  I didn't really warm to it.  Now work, on the other hand, I seem to keep going back to repeatedly.  I think I actually like it more than fishing.

So, now that the company I work for has been bought, all sorts of things are coming down the pike.  Since I'm now an employee of a publicly traded company, I'll be circumspect.

Looks like in the coming year we'll be growing, a LOT, in the current facility.  Since I'm in charge of the a lot of the parts that will be growing, I think it's going to keep me pretty busy.  If current conditions are a guide, I'll be well rewarded.

Let's just say I'm OKAY with all of that.  If I need fish, I can get it at the grocery store.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Bits and Bobs

Apparently, there is no end in sight for the merriment around here.

We had a wee party with some but not all of the cast of the Naughty French Postcards cast; maybe there was 45 of us.  These people, it is written, can party with the best of them, or at least as long as the best of them.  At 5:55 AM, I told the last three guests that it was time to stop playing naked Twister and go to sleep.  Leading up to the end, we had lots of fun singing and playing along to Rock Band; actually, only four of us did.  The others appeared to be content snapping NSFW pictures or simply rolling their eyes.  For my part, I learned that standing there singing, even very heartily, without a stitch on, allows you to get cold in short order.  I suppose if I had lots of stage lights on that things would be different, though I doubt that would be any more flattering.

I can only post this one picture:

All the rest are much more "artsy."

Then, wouldn't you know it, a certain mother-in-law of mine had an anniversary of her 39th birthday. Decorum dictates that *which* anniversary is left to the reader's imagination but let's just say that it was the sort of anniversary that you would expect there should be a big ass celebration for. Now, of course, there was an element of surprise and danger to this; the party was a surprise and the danger was that the birthday girl would find out. We, being all crafty and stuff, kept the whole thing on the down low so there was only a scintilla of a hint about ten minutes before. At the fateful moment, is was indeed a big surprise, and everybody said it was just about the best party they'd been to. Of course they hadn't been there the week before with all the topless women.

I can only post this one picture:

All the rest are much more "artsy."

When I'm not partying, I often get up and go to work in the morning. Our little company is getting a big upgrade in the structure department. We are being acquired by a much larger company. This event is often viewed by the employees of the acquired company with great skepticism. To date, I have only heard good things, and I have a pretty optimistic outlook on the many changes to come. In one view, it is a fantastic growth opportunity for me. I know that I am ready for it.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Poster Child

Once again, well you know...

Why do I write this blog anyway?  Well, over time it's changed reasons.  At first I wrote it to emulate a friend of mine.  See the very first post or two (~550 posts ago).  Then I really kinda liked the writing.  I thought I was clever.  Then I sprinkled in some sappy poetry.  Very sappy.  Hey, we all have our lousy writer moments, eh?  Then I switched to a more event-driven model, with more remembrances sprinkled in there.  That was better, so I thought.

I had lots more page views in the earlier days.  Probably a big drop off due to my lack of posts.  With your help, I can turn that around!!

I'm setting out to write more regularly and spend less time on that social networking site that sounds like placebrook.  I think a session on Friday evening will maximize things.  No work the next day, plenty of readers bored with placebrook, a good time to reflect on the week.

Now, how about some juicy postage!?

Remember that Suburban I drive.  It now has a new Pittman arm, power steering pump, pan gasket, and shift solenoids, as well as transmission fluid, and a filter.  Its tires have been rotated, and its front end aligned.  The engine is now clean, thanks to a lot of steam.  I'm sure I missed something in there.  All told, it cost a little bit more than the blue book value of the beast.  It no longer leaks oil all over itself like a toddler, and it handles a lot like it did when it was new.

Needless to say, I intend to keep it until the doors fall right off.  It meets my needs for getting there and back, and it holds all my things.  Would you believe it's long since paid off?  There also seems to be about 225,000 miles on it.  If you told me that I was going to drive a quarter-million miles in 1996, I'd have called you a republican.

It really needs a bath, though.