Archive for the 'Its all about me-My life.' Category

Jul 18 2014

Traveling man

There just are not enough hours in the day sometimes. Leaving this week for business and to visit my father in the USA. Sitting here in the lounge contemplating the long jump across the Atlantic and then a cramped ride in a DeHaviland Dash 8 to my Dad's place. The shoot down of the Malaysian airliner keeps going through my mind. Those passengers were probably doing the same thing I am doing, relaxing before boarding, thinking about what to do at their destination, when on the plane many were probably asleep or reading-anticipating arrival in Amsterdam. Looking forward to life and a future.

And then……BOOM!

It is just not fair. I'll bet some of those passengers had put in a busy week like I did, trying to get things taken care of so they could relax on vacation. In my case it was a week trying to convince my erstwhile boss that he actually should pay attention to the budget up front-instead of relying on the previous author of the stupid merger to take care of things. Oh, he will take care of things all right-right up your ass. I've told you time and time again, money is one of those things its worth taking time to get right. Certainly a lot moreso than esoteric power points that nobody will read.

But that seems to be the story of my life lately, not being able to convince folks I am right. When KNOW I am. It is tiresome, to say the least.

The S.O. was unexpectedly very sweet to me last night. Very much a surprise-made doubly so because she too has had a busy week and got a scare when she went in to work and found a co-worker had screwed something up. We had a marvelous dinner last night at an outdoor Italian restaurant, and it was a beautiful evening to watch the sun set and be thankful for being able to live in an interesting place. ( Even if it is not Japan). It was more than usually sad to kiss her good bye this morning.

And oh you should see the day today!! The weather is gorgeous . It would be a great day to play golf. To go hiking. To be out and about in a convertible. To be driving a boat. Or flying a plane. Or even riding in one I guess.

I had a good deal of nostalgia last night. The song Maggie May was playing on my I-pod. That song always takes me back to the period 74-75, when I was preparing to attend to The Citadel, turning down the Naval Academy to do it-and contemplating what it would be like "in the Corps". I always think of the Citadel when I hear that song. The line, " I wish I had never seen your face" makes me think about what might have been if I had not met the ex. At that point in the song, nostalgia turns to rueful sadness.

In case you have not guessed-this post is really not about much of anything, just I had some time and I wanted to pour some feelings out. Now its time to go board the plane. Dear God please keep it safe.

Have a great weekend.

 

 

One response so far

Apr 30 2014

Vindication!!!!! In other words, today, I was proven right after all. The feeling is marvelous!

Yesterday and today were really good days for me-even though I had just gotten back from a long drive back from Berlin. ( Pictures and narrative to follow).

As you get more seasoned in a profession ( read older), there comes a time when you know you are right about something. Its not a case of having a difference of opinion-and they took another guy's opinion over yours. Not at all. Its that frustrating feeling of knowing you are right, being able to prove you are right, and having to endure the sheer frustration of not being able to convince the people you need to-because of one's position, (or lack of position), lies told by the other side, or just a simple unwillingness to believe-because empire building is too much of a priority to do the right thing.

Usually, you just have to come to terms with it and move on-and bide your time to hopefully wait out the change agent. However, sometimes events come together in such a way, that you get to see your arguments proven right beyond a shadow of a doubt.

And you get to utter those most satisfying of words: " I told you this was a screwed up thing to do. I warned you it would not work and would cause problems-but you refused to listen to me. And now , as I predicted, you have failed."

Because contrary to popular belief-I know how to run organizations, and I know how to lead people. I also know how to do things the right way and can recognize when important administrative things are being blown off or simply ignored. You do you your best, you bide your time, look for an escape route-or pray for divine intervention.

And yesterday, in a completely unforeseen turn of events-the miracle happened.

The big bosses met and decided that we were right, the "efficient merger" was neither a success or very efficient. In fact one big boss finally stated publicly what we already knew privately-the train had gone off the tracks several months ago. We needed to stop before someone got really hurt. Today the big boss said it to the assembled group-making it more than official.

So tomorrow-the stupid merger will be officially "un-merged". The shotgun marriage from hell has been annulled. Seeing as how it was never consummated, and /or, never based on first principles-it was not a hard thing to justify.

"Yes it appears as if you were right, all along."

Yes I was. This is not my first time to the rodeo,  cowboy.

cheeky

yes

Tomorrow will probably be a return to the routine mendacity of work, but last night, as I sipped my Scotch on the porch, I felt a very contented glow.

These moments don't come often in life-and of course- I truly expect payback to be a bitch. But as Scarlett said, that is for another day.

Today its all about those wonderful words: "I told you so!"

Because I did.

Thanks be to God.

 

 

 

11 responses so far

Apr 06 2014

Mission accomplished?

I wish more bars had WI-fi here, this  growing need to decamp to Starbucks to get any internet stuff done is killing me.

The S.O. and I are in the new house. We were able to get the satellite in and working fairly easily with about 45 minutes effort. ( I did pay for some help-which was worth it). Internet however is another story. After saying that Internet by DSL would be available to the new house, Telkom abruptly changed its mind and said no-you must use LTE. "We will send you a LTE router and you will be set to 20GB usage a month". WTF? I can go through that much data in two weeks! Two days later above said router shows up, with no SIM card. I call Telkom to find out when I will receive the SIM card and when my service will start only to be informed by a lady in German, in a rather huffy manner, that my Auftrag ( order) ist "storniert". ( canceled) They claim it has to do with a lack of ports available in the village to provide internet to the house. And even if they could provide DSL it would only be at 2MBps. "WTF" moment number 2. Vodaphone has initially indicated they can provide DSL at 2MBps, but since Telkom owns all the lines, I am not optimistic. It does not explain the inability to do LTE whatsoever.

So for now the S.O. and I are doing home internet through a succession of visits to Starbucks and libraries, tethering our cell phones to the computer and I also purchased a data plan for my I-pad with a 5GB data plan. It's a better situation than when we first moved to Germany-but for the long haul its going to suck. For now I am drinking way more cappuccino than I should and subsisting on old movies and files on my external hard drive. I have a list of I-Tunes downloads that is just waiting in vain.

It is an interesting side note on the state of the German telecommunications industry. During one of my Starbucks trips I was able to Google the town hall notes from our village where people in our village had complained about the lack of high speed internet. Seems Telkom has an interesting metric of not being able to build in a village until they are sure they will get 90% usage. Even more amazing with this particular village is the speed of your internet ( assuming you can get it) is based on where you are in the village. We are in a new section-so we get slower internet-and no cable is available. Figure that one out if you can. They claim they will bring Very fast DSL to our village and the next one over by 2015. I'm not holding my breath. The city that owns all three villages ( one has VDSL already-just not ours) is complaining to Telkom near as I could figure out by reading the German notes.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, we are enjoying the new house. It has wonderful covered back patio and porch where one can sit out in relative comfort and drink beer and eat outside when the temps get warmer. I several ways its better than our other house. However, since the work situation still sucks due to the poorly thought out and executed merger by the latest iteration of the pointy haired boss-how long we get to live here is speculative. Maybe I should have  packed the S.O. back to Alabama and our Hi-speed cable line we had there. C'est le Guerre.

So blogging will happen when blogging can happen. Till then, I unpack, drink, enjoy my new house and hate my my merged workplace. 

Situation normal again.

 

2 responses so far

Mar 30 2014

Disconnecting

The S.O. and I are in the middle of moving to a new house. Sadly, its not the move I wish was I making of some 5000+ miles back to the promise land of Asia-but less than .1KM down the street. As a result I will be without Internet until the monster that is Deutsche Telekom makes my new connection.

We both had known this day was coming-but I had seriously hoped to be back in Asia before this. Certainly that is not happening any time soon-especially as I live through the current hell of a merger gone totally astray. When I can get to a hot spot I will right about it. Till then, you should note two things: 1) this is the first year I have not written a post about Women's history month. ( go to the comments to read some interesting thoughts on that) and 2) I did not write about my blog birthday. Lots of reasons for that-not many of them good, but I am resolved to get back to political postings just as soon as the connections are restored.

Till then:

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2 responses so far

Feb 03 2014

Traveliing again

On the road again-had a challenging journey yesterday to the other side of the Atlantic. To start with my ICE train to the Frankfurt Airport was going to be delayed by 90 minutes. That was a non starter as it was going to make me late for check in-and my requisite need to "pre-charge" in the lounge. ( The new Lufthansa lounges in the Z terminal of FRA are pretty sweet). Went to the Deutsche Bahn office and got re-routed to an IC train which was taking me to the Frankfurt Main station.

I made it in a ok amount of time-but then using LH's check in kiosks caused a bit of problem when it refused to read my passport. The newest EU immigrant manning the kiosk line-seemed not to grasp the fact that I need to go to a counter where a human could check my passport. Finally got that worked out-and by the grace of God the security line was very short. Landed safely in the lounge.

Then after boarding the plane-saw the change to get an open aisle seat with out someone next to me. Snagged it and figured things were looking up! But I spoke too soon.

The plane required maintenance that delayed us by almost an hour. Now this was a problem because I was hoping to make it time to get in a combat nap at the hotel prior to Super Bowl kickoff. Now I would be lucky to make the kickoff-much less the first quarter.

It turned out ok-made it to my room just as national anthem was being sung. Turns out, of course, I need not have bothered-the game was a Seahawk blowout. They slaughtered the Bronco's, who appeared to have left any offense they had back in Denver.

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On a serious note, James Fallows has been running an excellent series of articles about the use of Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg. "About the service and sacrifice of this brave man and other men and women like him, we cannot say enough." But as Fallows points out-ALL of us should be outraged that he had to make TEN deployments to the various hellholes America has chosen to fight its war without end in. Furhtermore, there is a dichotomy of purpose when you have the architects of a failed policy somehow applauding him-while failing to do the things that might have prevented his suffering in the first place.

The vast majority of us play no part whatsoever in these prolonged overseas campaigns; people like Sgt. Remsburg go out on 10 deployments; we rousingly cheer their courage and will; and then we move on. Last month I mentioned that the most memorable book I read in 2013 was Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, by Ben Fountain. It's about a group of U.S. soldiers who barely survive a terrible encounter in Iraq, and then are paraded around in a halftime tribute at a big Dallas Cowboys game. The crowd at Cowboys Stadium cheers in very much the way the Capitol audience did last night—then they get back to watching the game.

 

Later Fallows examines the implications in clearer detail.

There was another moment in the speech that I think will look worse in the long view. It was the emotionally charged ending, the tribute to the obviously courageous and grievously wounded Sergeant Cory Remsburg.

The moment was powerful human and political drama; it reflected deserved credit and gratitude on Remsburg and his family; and as I wrote earlier today, I think it was entirely sincere on the president's part, as a similar tribute would have been from his predecessor George W. Bush. With the significant difference that Bush initiated the wars these men and women have fought in, and Obama has been winding them down. And so the most favorable reading of the moment, as John Cassidy has argued, is that the president was trying to dramatize to the rest of the government the human cost of the open-ended wars many of them have egged on.

But I don't think that's how it came across to most of the Congress, or was processed by the commentariat. This was not presented as a "never again" moment; it was a "this is America's finest!" moment—which Cory Remsburg himself, and with his family, certainly is. (Also see Peter Beinart on this point.) For America as a whole, the episode did not show us at our finest. In the earlier item, I tried to explain why these few minutes will reflect badly on us and our times when our children's children view them years from now. Since the explanation was buried at the end of a long post, I repeat it at the end of this one.

A Congress that by default is pressuring the country toward war, most recently with Iran, and that would not dream of enacting either a special tax or any kind of enforced or shared service to sustain these wars, gives a prolonged, deserved ovation for a person who has dedicated his all to the country. Tears well up in many eyes; the cheering persists; the admiration for this young man is profound. Then everyone moves right on.

Years from now, people can play this clip and see something about the culture of our times. It's a moment of which only the Remsburg family will be proud. 

 

His long exploration of the historical allusions is also worth a read.

Lunch is over-gotta get back to work. Hope it does not snow tonight.

 

6 responses so far

Jan 30 2014

Meanwhile, back at my work.

The most screwed up reorganization since AT&T split up, continues.

The thought police have come home to roost and provide counseling. Guess who was one of the first ones called into see them?

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This hits pretty close to home-since the personal dynamics of my workplace have changed dramatically-and not for the better. Before,  we used to talk, share stories and ask about people's lives and needs. Now with the new office mates-its all business and no fun. And the megalomaniac behind the merger, has pretty clearly shown the only thing he cares about.

Himself.

Exactly as I predicted.

And he has the balls to wonder why I hate it?

The search for new employment continues.

One response so far

Jan 01 2014

And so it begins…..

Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out , 2013.

For me, 2013 was, in the aggregate, something of a depressing year. For both personal and national reasons which I will explain in this post. It is my sincere hope that 2014 can turn both categories around dramatically, but I'd be lying if I said I was optimistic.

From a personal standpoint, 2013 saw for yet another year, the frustration of my ongoing desire to return to Asia to live on a permanent basis. Sadly too, I was stymied even in my modest efforts to get back for a short duration visit-a situation I hope to rectify this year. For the long term, my hopes were dashed rather repeatedly. I did make the short list twice for positions that would have taken me back to the right side of the international date line, but when the decision was made, they went with another candidate. I also had a chance to get on with a major US company in Istanbul, but in what can only be a case of age discrimination, they went with a younger and more MBA credentialed candidate, so that door also slammed abruptly in my face. Thanks to some rather bone headed policy decisions by current employer, that were not in effect when I took my current position-it would appear that window of opportunity for a return to paradise is rapidly closing, with scant chance of reopening.  Hope springs eternal, however, and I will keep throwing out lines of effort-hoping to use what ever bait I can to lure a prospective Asian employer my way.

I have to. Thanks to the utterly reckless and considerably stupid decisions being made by the increasingly classless generation of military leadership  that is moving up within the ranks of the American defense industry, the rather productive and likeable team I enjoyed working with was sucked into a vacuum bag of uselessness. And as I expected, the selfish man at the heart of the conspiracy remains clueless to the effects of evil machinations on those who must actually do the work. There are still a host of unsolved issues as a result of this stupid merger-and no one is making a serious effort to resolve them.

The words, "I told you this would happen, you pompous twit!", just don't quite say it completely enough right now.

There were other lesser disappointments, which should best be discussed elsewhere, but which center on the tyranny of different needs and expectations. "A little less conversation,  a lot more action please!" in 2014.

On the national front, I am more than a little pessimistic at the future of the great nation I have given my entire adult life to the service of. The country has become infected by a sickness of selfishness combined with apathy-enabled a by a group of charlatans who sow the seeds of national destruction, while trying to dress their effort up as some sort of "victory march". The infected cohort has not reached a critical mass yet-but I fear that if not cured soon- it will consume the body politic of the nation. In its most extreme form, its victims try to dress their selfishness up as the desire the Deity-even when it is clearly at odds with His teachings. If their attitudes are the result of the direction of the Deity, then He must me a rather vindictive and unfair sort at that. I'd like to believe not. Unfairness and vindictiveness are not values of a divine being. I do take some spark of hope at the efforts Pope Francis is undertaking to identify and shame these worthless hypocrites, and in that effort I wish him well. He is making all the right people very uncomfortable. Nonetheless, you are fooling yourself, if you don't think there is a group afoot that seeks to undermine the very fabric what made the United States, well, United. Which is just what their corporate masters want. 

Now there are those who try to console me with the idea that the country has seen worse and got through it, most notably citing the example of the Civil War. I would remind you that in that little fracas more men died than in any other US conflict, and it corrupted US politics for a 100 years. Now in an interconnected, rapidly rising multi-polar world, the potential to inflict real and lasting damage to the nation of my birth is accelerated. This is the source of my pessimism. 

Because too many people are ignoring the brick wall that Ronald Reagan built. And George Bush, refurbished and dramatically strengthened:

The brick wall, of course, is the concentration of wealth and power among the top 0.01%. That's what has sucked all the money out of our economy, and that's what needs to be reversed before our economy will work well again. That's why the young nurse cannot earn enough to pay her rent, feed her family, and pay back her student loans and must instead send her babies to live with their grandparents thousands of miles away. That's why so many must work multiple part-time jobs with unpredictable schedules, wrecking their ability to obtain safe child care or maintain a healthy relationship with their kids.   



None these problems can be solved without reversing the concentration of wealth we've allowed for the past 40 years.

Any competent look at the economics of the last 14 years, clearly shows that the threads of a strong middle class are being wiped out. As one of those folks in the path of this bulldozer-I will remain more than just casually concerned. It used to be that both sides agreed about the core goals, and simply differed on the right pathways to get there. What troubles me deeply is that this is no longer true. Now you have a group who is arguing out loud, ideas that should not even be thought in ones head, much less uttered in any company whatsoever-polite or otherwise. "Something terrible has happened to the soul of the Republican Party. We’ve gone beyond bad economic doctrine. We’ve even gone beyond selfishness and special interests. At this point we’re talking about a state of mind that takes positive glee in inflicting further suffering on the already miserable."

This scares me for the future makes me very worried. Carried to its logical conclusion it will replicate the class struggles of many centuries before. I would remind you that this the year of the 100th anniversary of World War I, a manifest catastrophe, which set the seeds of unimaginable suffering.

So I view the New Year, 2014 with cautious hope and a strong desire for real change, for both myself and for the country that I will always love, even if I don't always like it. But its going to have to be a watchful caution, because there are real predators out and about in the woods of my existence. And they seek to do me harm. So prudent caution must remain the word of the day.

Happy New Year.

18 responses so far

Dec 22 2013

Feeling some deja vu

Yesterday the S.O. had to work. So of course, I got tasked with filling a shopping list from hell. Which was really OK, I needed to restock on beer for the Holiday anyway-and I am still not to the point that I have tried every beer in the getranke markt. So into the car I jumped.

The morning had started as many German mornings in winter do-with thick fog. But once it burned off, the day was glorious. As I spun the VW out onto the B-464 road with its great diesel acceleration, I marveled at the view before me. The ever so typical rolling farmland here, and the ever so GERMAN view of the buildings.

In many ways, Stuttgart is just like shopping mall. Same issues-shopping malls are the same pretty much, but the architecture of the houses here is drastically different. And thus, it just looks and feels different to my American senses. There is of course the fact that the signs are in a different language, which after two years I can read well. ( I also have become reasonably proficient again in the German language, as I proved to myself when I made our restaurant reservations all in German yesterday. Its the small victories that count).

As the car unwound, I savored the real beauty of the day. The sun was out, it was not too cold, and the traffic was unusually light. The music playing on the I-Pod was Rod Stewart. :Maggie May.

 

 

For some reason that song always makes me nostalgic-makes me think back to the world of my time in High School when the song was relatively new. The bulk of my life was ahead then-and what a glorious life I imagined it would be! I knew I wanted to go into the Navy. I knew pretty much by then I would attend a military college. I was going to fly! Those were things that mattered. I was going to be a pilot!

Now as it turned out, more than a few detours ensued subsequent to those days-and perhaps that is why the song strikes a chord with me. The line "I wish I had never seen your face" applies to the ex wife and others. The tone of missed opportunity in the song is interesting to me. I can always listen to it with a combination of melancholy and resigned acceptance.

And as came up to the exit to head to the Westerhof ( the recycling center, a weekly chore the S.O. and I fight over who will do), I reveled in the fact that despite the best efforts of the evil man, to subjugate me to his program, and his stupid vision for my life-I had prevailed. "I'm still here you greasy bastard!"

And that, guaranteed it was going to be a good day. Living on my terms is indeed the best revenge.

Happy Sunday!

One response so far

Nov 10 2013

It is so close to my current situation, it hurts.

As the totally screwed up merger continues:

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While I was back in Shopping Mall, I learned what I long suspected, the little weasel who engineered this abomination had been hard at work over the past six months planting ideas with all the wrong people. This, after he lied to all of us and said he was not.

Time to keep sending out resumes.

 

 

 

2 responses so far

Oct 19 2013

My timing is always bad

For the record, I really hate sand traps. I hate them with a passion.

Today was a beautiful day and so the S.O. and I went to play golf. This may be the last time we get to play this year. But we picked a GREAT day to play. The sun was out, the leaves are in their full color now and it made for really nice walk through 6300 meters of pristine German golf course land.

As for my score-well the less said about that the better. Had some good shots-and some not so good shots. I was able to keep my driver under control today, thus giving me some nice starts on each hole.

Then along came those damn sand traps.

Regardless, I am not going to let it spoil my mood for the weekend. Especially when there are plenty of "life sand traps" that are waiting to suck me in.

Because right after the Shutdown vote was complete-this happened:

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Wait a minute! I already went through this drama two years ago. Taking this job was supposed to be a way to ensure I did not have to go through that personal torture again.

And while two years ago it cost me my job, this time its only going to cost me my self respect.

You see, the organization I work for and with is being "merged" into another organization. The entire proposal is poorly thought out, not a good idea, in that commonest of military situations, its an idea that has been tried before. It failed miserably then-and it will fail again.

Its kind of a personal tragedy for a whole lot of people. For my co-workers all of whom I really like. For our current boss,  who is a gifted officer and an outstanding person. The kind the military produces far too infrequently .Someone we work with- not so much as for-and has been really good at shaping our little group into an effective team.

The place we are merging into? Not so much. Its run by a guy who to put it bluntly-only knows of loyalty as only a one way street. Having decided that the DOPMA imposed restrictions that forced him to retire were not for him, created his current position and then hired himself to fill it. Then as he created his organization-he adopted a deliberate hiring strategy of hiring folks with much less experience than he has, or had, so that he can be the visible face of experience to the chain of command above him. All of my co-workers are aware of this-because all of us civilians were not hired by him when the hiring was going on. We all have as much or more experience and seasoning than this guy who is going to be "our boss". He did not want to hire "old guys"-and that is pretty evident when you look at the makeup of his organization.

Then there is the idea behind the merger. It was the desire of a guy who wanted it when he was on active duty. Our current group told him to take his idea and stick it where the sun does not shine. Now,  as a well paid contractor, he returns routinely to Germany and has been conducting a whispering campaign to get it accomplished. He too, failed to realize his proper role as a retired officer. I've always hated guys who don't understand that the proper role of us retired guys is to be an adviser and keeper of a experience for the current group of military who are having their turn in the sun. I had mine, I quite fine with playing that role of adviser and coach now. As I have noted before-while I treasure my time in the Navy, that box is sealed now. And I am just fine with that.

Some guys are not. And so he got his buddy who now has his old job to ram it down all of our throats.

Whether I will be doing the same things I am doing now-that is still to be seen. I hope so, I like it and I have become good at it. It will be wretched to go from actually liking my job to going back to treating it as just something to be tolerated-in order to keep the bills paid.

So all of us have pretty much come to the same conclusion. Its time to find a new job. So I am back in full job hunting mode again. Its not something I relish, but some things are just unacceptable.

At least I have a job, for now. As the budget dramas play out we will have to see if that remains a true statement.

And that will probably drag me back to the United States, a painful prospect to be sure, but one that may be simply unavoidable. Hopefully it won't be back to Alabama-but that too remains a distinct possibility.

Damn.

I am slowly coming to the realization that I probably will never get back to my beloved Asia, except for occasional "me" trips, of which I plan to avail myself of the opportunity in the coming year. But finding a full time gig there? Its a candle flame that is slowly, and painfully, dying. When I came here I had real hope that I could use my time here in Germany as a springboard to getting back to paradise. Of course, I was not counting on the government going completely and totally insane. Unfortunately it did-and the window of opportunities drastically narrowed.

Double damn.

But I am determined not to let it spoil my good mood. I have time and I have worked for psychopaths before. I can do it again, if need be, till I can hit the EJECT handle. One of my co-workers is still in the Navy reserves-he's already looking into getting called up to active duty till the dust settles. The other folks have no such luxury. We have to search for our own exit ramps.

And today was a beautiful day.

A bad day at the golf course always beats a good day at work. And the prosepct of good days at work has gotten much narrower. It is what it is. You deal with that stuff and you find a way to be happy regardless.

And so I shall.

3 responses so far

Sep 04 2013

Rage against the machine

I have one foot in the graveyard and the other on the bus,
And the passengers do trample each other in the rush.
And the chicken hearted lawman is throwing up his fill
To see the kindly doctor to pass the super pill.
Well, I'm going down, three cheers for Doctor Bogenbroom.
Well, I'm on my way, three cheers for Doctor Bogenbroom

 

I’ve been in a funk for most of the week. Not a 100 percent sure why-but I am and I think it has to do with coming to terms with regret.

I’ve taken to running in the late afternoons. The weather here has been completely gorgeous , and its kind of nice to be outside, seeing the scenery in the light of the  low hanging sun. I have to enjoy it while I can because soon, way too soon, we will begin the long slide into cold darkness that is the German winter. Running is probably a bit of an overstatement-as its more of a “run till I am winded, walk till I can start running again” kind of thing. But it helps me channel the fiery rage that is burning inside of me.

Because I have been reading some books about some rather successful people-I am having to come to grips that I am never going to be one of those people. It appears certain now, that I am destined for the obscurity that clouds literally millions of people. People who work and dream, laugh and play, struggle and persevere –never to be rightfully remembered in the flow of time.

Most times I am Ok with it. Life is about coming to grips with choices and I have made a couple of bad ones.  For the most part they have been forced on me-and I have learned to live with it pretty much.

Actually there is really only one bad choice that I have made-the decision to marry at the young age of 22, and not understand that a life alone is not necessarily a bad thing. I was deceived by the great lie: the idea that you have to be “coupled” and have to live with someone else. Those someone else's have turned out-as they almost always do-to be people who think they had a right to tell me what to do and when to do it.

The great revelation is that they don’t. And they need to be told no-and to head off to their own worlds and stay the hell out of mine. That’s easier said than done, of course, but it is the God’s honest truth. What makes accomplishing the transition to independence is the straight jacket of money-its always the trap of money, the trap of bills unpaid and only enough to keep the bills in good standing, without truly having enough to retire them. Or retire the people who led you into them.

And at about that point of realization is when the fire of the rage is lit. As I said-I carry a lot of rage around, just below my surface, that I have to control and keep from getting out. Rage at the excessive number of stupid people in our society, who think they have a right to judge me; rage at the world for being so fucked up; rage at circumstances for not being better. As Santayana said, “rage is depression spread thin”. It has to be controlled-or it can destroy you.  I know that deep down-but still it stays within me.

I really believe that all of us have a lot of darkness in our souls. Anger, rage, fear, sadness. I don't think that's only reserved for people who have horrible upbringings. I think it really exists and is part of the human condition. I think in the course of your life you figure out ways to deal with that.-Kevin Bacon


The only real regret I have in my life is that I did not learn early enough-that I could live well in solitude. I could take companionship when I needed it and turn it away when I didn’t. Now just like that runner's sun setting on the horizon, it’s kind of late for that revelation. But hopefully there is still joy out there for me. If only I could see and find it.

And that’s what writing is about-getting these emotions out of my system.

Fun and games may or may not resume tomorrow.

 

Well I've tried my best to love you all,
All you hypocrites and whores,
With your eyes on each other and the locks upon your doors.
Well you drowned me in the fountain of life and I hated you
For living while I was dying, we were all just passing through.

7 responses so far

Jul 26 2013

Road trip

"Skippy, Paul Ryan has us on double secret sequester probation,  whatever that is."

" I know that".

" And you are already taking a 20 % pay cut-that you didn't deserve and can't afford."

"I know that too".

" And furthermore-you've got a stack of credit card bills that would choke a horse. American Express is probably going to be sending a hit man your way in short order. And you are still stuck paying all that blood money to that whore of an ex-wife of yours!"

"Hoover, I'm not following you. What is it you're trying to tell me?"

"Damn it man-I'm telling you that you probably need to stay home and save some money! These damn furloughs are no joke!. And furthermore-thanks to what the House did to the Defense budget a few days ago, layoffs next year are pretty much guaranteed. Doesn't that scare you-even a little bit?"

"Well, I'll tell you Hoover-it scares the shit out of me. Don't you think I know all those things? Of course I need money. I need lots of money-and they don't sell Powerball tickets over here. I'm pretty much fucked."

"So what are you going to do?"

"Road trip."

"What?!?!"

" Let me clue you in pal-they are going to nail us no matter what we do, so…we …might ….as …..well….have ….a good time. See you later pal, I'm off to Dublin!"

"You'll be sorry!"

"Probably-especially when I stagger out of the pub. Speaking of which, can I borrow 50 bucks?"

Hoover stomps off cursing.

And on that note-I'm off to Dublin! First pint's on Hoover!

One response so far

Jul 04 2013

Happy Independence Day

Or as the German’s refer to it-just another work day.

But for me it was good-slept for about 12 hours recharging my batteries from hard booming work in Bucharest.

Took the S.O. down to France today-and we did some French wine shopping. Came back to a dinner of Chinese food and German beer. What better way to honor America than by celebrating internationally?

I spent a lot of time today remembering one particular 4th of July, one that truly represented a declaration of Independence for me, 4 July 2000. That literally was a time of great independence for me. I had broken free from the chains of bondage to that unique specimen of womanhood, fat shrew Americanus-and while I still had a many months of legal hassles to work through, to be rid of that and be free to savor the life beyond the marital grave was indeed a wonderful thing. No 4th of July in 13 years hence has had the meaning for me that that particular 4th did.

Because it also represented the freedom from bondage from the “program” of a particular quack, who had 6 months earlier tried to use his medical license to justify his “right” to interfere in my private life. I can honestly say-he is the one person, really the one and only person-that I have hated with a passion that remains unquenchable. To this day I still despise him-and the “system” he misrepresented.  Maybe eventually my hatred for him will dissipate-in the meantime my remembrance of the words, “ a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security” has special personal meaning for me. In other words, through my betrayal and misfortune at his worthless mind and hands-I learned anew for myself about my inner strength and MY RIGHT  to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Perhaps the suffering he inflicted must needs have come-BUT WOE BE UNTO HIM BY WHICH IT CAME. A cheery” fuck you” to him-a worthless excuse for a medical professional. He had no right to interfere in my life then-and he will never have the right or the opportunity again. Neither did his employer-a point he never understood. His job was to dispense medicine-not to make value judgments.   If you want to know where my stridency on the rights of the Sailor came from, while it did not begin there-it most certainly reinforced the need to defend them. I was lucky, I had the means and seniority to break free from his chains. I shudder to think of the long train of victims he inflicted damage to-who never got the chance to break free from his malpractice.

God,  it felt good and liberating to write that-and I only hope that someday he reads it, or better yet I get the chance to deliver the sentiment to him in person. The 13 years of relative victory-with more than a couple of unplanned detours-represent my personal revolution. My independence day victory.

In the final analysis, its the chains that we let be tied around us, they are the ones that really hold us back. Be them from work, or bad personal choices, or money-or the lack thereof-or just simply allowing people to try to exercise a sway they have no right to exert.

Personal declarations of independence are tough-but once in while you can break the bonds that bind you-and find the courage to step boldly into the unknown.

I hope there is still the strength within me to find it again-and to stay on the path less traveled by-for it has made all the difference. Fuck you KMB!

And Happy 4th of July to the rest of you!

 

2 responses so far

May 16 2013

I have seen the whole of the internet…..

And trust me-its not pretty.

I have been in a very pessimistic mood lately. I think it has a lot to do with the transactional nature of the interactions we have with others on the internet. I’ll expand upon that in a couple of paragraphs, but it has me wondering whether the time has come to unplug entirely.  It would probably return a lot of time to me-but that said, I am not sure how I would use it. In the vernacular it is known by the more descriptive term, committing Internet suicide.

NOTE: Please not the word “Internet” in front of the “S” word. I am not mentally disturbed and will not do anything towards my real existence.

I first read about it in a computer article. Internet Suicide is the act of removing your online presence from cyberspace.

Sick of horribly embarrassing things showing up when potential employers Google your name? Tired of everyone knowing you live in a garden level dungeon apartment? Perhaps you just don't like the fact the internet makes you easy to find. Thankfully, it's not that hard to delete yourself entirely. Here's how to do it.

As most bloggers eventually discover, it’s hard to blog in anonymity forever. A lot of people now know my “real” identity and I am fine with that. What I am not fine with is the idea that people think they have a right to make comprehensive value judgments about a person based on solely on what one discusses or argues about on Facebook, in a blog, or on Twitter or any other venue. I am a lot more complex than that-and I think most people are the same way. Yet as I have pointed out in several humorous posts and not so humorous posts-gone on long enough-any internet discussion that goes on, spirals down into an angry oblivion. Especially in today’s politically polarized society. It is a coarsening factor in our American society-and its creating a lot of the political problems that we now have to deal with. Blogs and people were supposed to be better than that. Sadly, they are not.

The herd mentality is alive and well in the world of the blogosphere-a lot more so than when I started blogging back in 2005. The popular response is that “well both sides do it-it is not just a conservative thing”. That’s true-but there are differences between the way conservatives and liberals approach the tactics of internet discussions. Definitions of “civilized discussion” differ a lot. One man’s mannerly discussion is another man’s gang beating.

Conservatives tend to believe in moral absolutes a lot more than liberals seem to. Liberals-not near as much. ( Which is probably why they are liberal-they have seen the world and discovered the hard way that , in general, things are not simply black and white-but rather an overriding shade of gray).

Another thing is that conservatives hate it when you dismiss the source of their information. They come at you saying you are not discussing the main points or “dealing with issues”. I am sorry-in many cases the source is the issue. If you are quoting from Breitbart, the National Review, or several other sources-it means the veracity of the material you cite is suspect to begin with. Sorry, but it is true. There are many sources on the internet-not all of them are good. It is perfectly acceptable to be dismissive of the trash that resides in over half of Memeorandum. Liberals, I feel are not burdened so much-mainly because they place a higher value on providing scrutiny of sources anyway. The “well MSNBC is biased too” argument grows tiresome-they forget that MSNBC is not nearly as successful as Fox is. And as Jon Stewart loves to point out, they have not made it an art form to complain about control of content-while at the same time being the biggest practitioners of it.

One thing I have always been slow to recognize is that there are simply some people that can never be convinced-no matter how hard you try. These people live to make trouble and they love to reinforce their own self worth by trashing the merit of the other person. It has gotten me into online trouble far too often. More so in my early years of Facebooking and Blogging-but it still happens now.  The ideal solution to such a situation is never to play at all-or walk away early. It is not cowardly to that-its actually the more prudent path. Especially,  when you have been drinking. I have a hard time remembering that and I really need to do so. There are a lot of supremely self confident people out there who have perfect lives and hate your life because it does not meet their predetermined moral standard. It must be nice to have that level of self confidence. I know I don’t and certainly don’t place much value in their moral judgments anyway.

At some point, I believe, you have to come to peace with your internet personality-and accept yourself for who you are and be comfortable with who you are on line. If others don’t like that-it is their problem, not yours –and if that means you have to resort to the block button to regain some peace and sanity, then so be it. It’s a lot better than getting an ulcer. So I have made a resolution to be more comfortable in my own internet skin. I am who I am –and more importantly-you are never going to be me. So stop trying to tell me how to live my life.

If you are looking for a point in this post, there really isn’t one. I am writing to work through my own issues and and I am allowing you to be my “counselor” –so relax and enjoy the ride. This is nothing more than "a steam of my conciousness" post. I get to do that from time to time. Unlike the people in the lovely land of certitude-I do not believe in moral certitudes or self confidence. Such is the lot of the man of thought.

Help me to always give 100% at work
12% on Monday.
23% on Tuesday.
40% on Wednesday.
20% on Thursday.
5% on Friday.

And help me to remember…
When I'm having a really bad day,
and it seems that people are trying to piss me off,
that it takes 42 muscles to frown and only 4…
to extend my middle finger and tell them to bite me!
Amen."

One response so far

Mar 17 2013

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

There has been little free time of late-between the preparations for a fairly large meeting this week-made more complex because of the sequester and the rape of our travel money; my Hebrew classes and the general nonsense.  It has meant I have had to put together a string of electronic video conferences. That's some thing I hate-since "all day VTC" meetings never work very well, and they certainly don't accomplish the confidence building that makes for a good rapport with someone from another nation. Especially a society as complex as that of Israel.

And second, I have been fighting off  spell of birthday induced depression, conjured up by being a year older and no closer to my dream of returning to Asia. Curse the financial burdens that weigh upon me! I want to shed them all and move off to paradise. In the olden days one might have been able to do that-now with the advent of electronic banking- they can hunt you down and find your ass(ets).

I can't even celebrate St. Patrick's day in proper style-as I have to be up and gone very early tomorrow.

More to follow when I can break free.

 

someecards.com - There's no gentle way to tell you that you're the designated driver on St. Patrick's Day

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