Well, it’s been a while hasn't it?
Gallivanting about the globe, harassing people, pets, and computers (and sometimes all three at the same time) ahhh...
As watch the Star Wars movies for the umpteenth time, I'm thinking, perhaps George Lucas in his stories has a social point that is applicable. The parallels seem a little too similar between what is happening now and the stories (specifically the prequels). So Star Wars fans, rejoice. I am on your side... ahh... but which side.
You don't follow? Ahh, then allow me to explain for a sec.
In the prequel stories, we have the emperor (excuse me, "senator") Palpatine, who is seemingly an innocent that is encouraged through a chain of events to assume the role of chancellor, then Supreme Chancellor, then as we know later, emperor.
Notions of the force aside, it’s been done by the careful manipulation of various groups and a lot of FUD ("Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt" for you less acronym savvy people) being passed to the masses that just want to feel "secure" and "safe". So what does he do? He creates a war and works very hard to frighten the masses. These same masses through fear, allow him to "consolidate" his power so he has the authority to "protect" the people while lessening the bonds of bureaucracy under the "promise" that the powers granted will be relinquished once the crisis has abated. Sound familiar to anyone? (2006 Military Commissions Act, the P.A.T.R.O.I.T Act, the FISA Courts, and many many others)
Now let’s look at this a little more closely.
1. A war was brought to the people of naboo who then decided to appoint a more "forceful/effective" member to the senate. What we find out later was the war was instigated by Darth Sideous (i.e.: palpatine) who gave them a reason to create a separatist movement (i.e.: the way the republic works was wrong). But again, on the surface, everything looked plausible and reasonable. Bad guys over there committing "terrorist" acts, we don't know, so we have to lock it all down... "for the sake of the children" (By the way: When you hear these words from anyone, assume they are an alien and run fast and far from them as quickly as your legs/car/airplane/magic carpet can take you. The aliens are wise now; they don't say "Take me to your leader" anymore. These days that can be anyone).
2. This same "effective/forceful" senate member then quickly appoints other members to his cabinet to take over key roles in the senate. These same members all have connections to the "bad guys" (in this case the Trade Federation, etc...).
3. The war gets fresh blood to intensify by the creation of a clone army. The creation of this army helps to show the people that action is being taken, it puts their faith in their choice (i.e.: palpatine), but also serves to lengthen the war and drive people to the breaking point of wanting it to end at any cost.
4. As the war intensifies (which we know was through palpatine's influence and his cronies) people fear for their lives. So many relinquish their freedom and grant palpatine more power who then institutes "death camps" and mass society spying calling anyone with a dissenting viewpoint a separatist. The few that are above the rabble get enveloped into a senate that will eventually get dismantled. The ones that cheer the most for the new changes have the greatest the gain. (Producing the eventual Death Star, Genetic modifications for Storm Troopers, etc... (e.g.: Military and related suppliers).
5. During this time, their charter or constitution is re-written to grant further powers and to reduce or eliminate potential opposition. (e.g.: I just changed the law, so you see, I am acting within the confines of the law). This greatly lessens (and in some cases eliminates the senate in all but name).
6. Finally things reach a head where people, have been duped into believing that he is their only salvation, and so they turn over all power, converting the republic into an empire (singular rule vs. democratic). Sith influence true... but a smooth talker with a very persuasive argument and a scared population are pretty much what is needed...
So, now that we have established the timeline of events... lets take a little look at our situation:
1. A war was brought to the people and so they decided to elect a "forceful and effective leader". We don't know for sure if the elected official instigated said war of beliefs or merely encouraged it. What we do know is that Bush has been running quite a campaigning on "Peace and Security" (quite similar to what his father ran on I might add, but that is a different topic).
2. This same "effective/forceful" leader then quickly appoints other members to his cabinet to take over key roles in the government. These same members all have connections in some fashion to the "bad guys". (i.e.: Halliburton (Donald Rumsfeld) , "Big Oil" (Bush himself and Condoleezza Rice), other groups which provided arms and funding to the "bad guys" through various means. Sounds a little too close to a conflict of interest to me, but hey, what do I know).
3. The war gets fresh blood to intensify the battle by service recall notices to various members of armed forces and massive military spending. The recall of these people helps to show the people that action is being taken, it puts their faith in their choice, but also serves to lengthen the war and drive people to the breaking point of wanting it to end at any cost.
4. As the war intensifies (which we know part of which is due to the actions of the current leader) people fear for their lives. so they quickly relinquish much of their freedom under the guise of "preserving freedom" and grant the leader more power who then institutes "mass public spying, wiretapping, a "concentration camp", and calling anyone with a dissenting viewpoint unpatriotic and quietly threatening them which detainment (note: I said detainment, not incarceration. Detainment can be indefinite (we can hold you as long as we need to for your "protection" and for "evidence"), vs. incarceration falls under the "charge me or let me go" rule).
5. During this time, the constitution is being re-written to grant further powers and to reduce or eliminate potential opposition. (e.g.: If the law is changed to allow me to do this, then I am acting in a completely legal fashion). This greatly lessens (and in some cases eliminates the judicial and legislative branches in all but name)
And now boys and girls, we are at step six. If things continue to follow the path of these movies, it’s not going to look good as I think things got a LOT worse before they got better.
So I ask, do you think the
Well, it’s been a while hasn't it?
I've been accused of being somewhat obsessed with my computer. Nothing could be further from the truth. (after all, its through this wonderful device that such words of prose echo). *Will you PLEASE stop the snickering?*
So in the interest of admitting that perhaps I do have a small (microscopic, ittybitty) problem, I am posting a little cartoon from the wonderful people over at Userfriendly.
I have to say, after reading this.. I am a little ashamed.
Will I stop? Of course not.. don't be ridiculous.
But I am a little ashamed.
I'm much better now... (I have a PDA that does the same thing)
*The lights dim and the crowd goes into their pre-performance hush, a few small coughs come from the back row as the standard banter gives way to the hushed tones preceeding the performance.
A well dressed figure walks from the side of the stage to the podium with a stack of papers in his hand. The papers look slightly dishevelled and unkempt which is in contrast to the surroundings and the person holding them.
When he reaches the podium, he sets the papers down and takes a sip of water. He looks at the crowd as they grow silent. The crowd looks expectantly as he adjusts his glasses and coughs softly to clear his throat. The speech is mostly outline. The bulk comes from his mind so concentration is important. He over looks the crowd once more picking out the friendly faces he can key in to gauge the audience, picks up the little remote control for his prepared slides and begins to speak*
Ok.. So I can't pull of a southern accent (nor would I try).
This little entry is about my family. I've never written specifically of them and I am sure after this, I will have to change my name (any suggestions?... any CLEAN suggestions?) So let us begin shall we?
The main people in my family. My Parents (mother and father), my Sister and yours truly. There are are numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, nephews, nieces, great uncles, great aunts, not-so-great uncles and aunts. (The list is long, extensive, and not the subject for this entry. If you want to know more, please send $10.00 USD to me. ($55.00 if you want addresses too))
They are an interesting study in contrasts. Both are mirrors and composites for each other.
- Where my father is strong my mother is weak.
- Where my mother is direct and blunt (sometimes to a fault) my father is diplomatic and sometimes evasive (again sometimes to a fault).
- Where my father is furious my mother is calm (shocking, I know)
- Where my mother is the sheath (comforting, enveloping, protecting), my father is the sword (direct, powerful, serene)
- Where my father is knowledgeable and knowing, my mother is intuitive and cunning.
- Where my mother is savvy and wise, my father is playful.
- Where my father has a dry wit, my mother is more conventional in her humour.
- Where my mother is fearful and trepidatious my father is fearless and bold.
- Where my father enjoys actual travel, my mother enjoys the concept of travel.
To say they work well together and go together is a bit like saying "Rice and Beans are good together" or "Rice and Pickles makes a dandy dish" (or any other combo you can think of). Your immediate impression once you know them is "Well, DUH!!!" They seem to get the job done. My formidable and formative dynamic Duo (Batman and Robin has nothing on these two) .
Between these two pillars, I've learned much about the world; both its dark places and its light. They are my staunchest allies, my harshest critics, my most insightful mentors, and my most cherished friends. They have been both my anchor and my motor. Not to say it was all sunshine and roses (well, in my case, cheap computer parts and free airfare, but you get the idea), but for all the bad times (some I am reluctant to admit were my own doing, HAPPY? I admit it ok? Yes, I put the water in the oil tank... The rest of it was not me. Is it my fault that everyone that can corroborate the stories about me are either missing or dead?) There were far more memorable times.
I value them greatly and look to them as my models for what I can be, what my family life can be, and what I can accomplish with the right foundation.
She and I are reflections of our parents and are composites and mirrors of each other as well. There are times when if I said "black" I'll give you 10:1 odds on any amount of money you care to name that she will say "white" (unfortunately I never won this bet, no one would take me up on it... we're siblings not telepathic)
I have the utmost respect for her and what she has accomplished and will yet accomplish in her life and in some ways I am a little envious. I think she would say the same about me in someway. (A little sibling rivalry... it makes life fun).
When younger, she was the shy one and I was the outgoing one (yes it’s true; I was the extrovert as a child). As we grew up, she became the extrovert (a la mother) and I became the introvert (a la my father). Time has settled us with a halfway point for us. (She being a cautious extrovert and I being a introvert with extrovert like tendencies)
She is very adaptable and capable woman, gifted in linguistics (meaning the subtleties of language) and seems to understand the core of people intuitively. (VERY envious of this, I could take over the world if I had that power, but she has little interest for world domination... the pay is great, but the stress... Oy'vey.)
She is most similar to my mother in personality, temperament (thankfully she also has a healthy dose of my father's calm), and perspective. Both share similar abilities and strengths (which as you might expect, has pros and cons)You know that thing you hate about yourself.... what happens when you deal with someone who has the exact same trait?... and its your mother/daughter?... think on it, I'll come back)
I don't often write about her because she is my sister and my writing cuts a little too quick to the bone at times (and the fact that she has an uncanny ability to track people down means my life wouldn't be worth a fiat dollar if I said the wrong thing . I think she is in the wrong business, she needs to be a counter-intelligence spy or a bounty hunter), but she keeps me grounded to reality and helps me to gain perspective and understanding (and quite a large amount of patience... I repeat, we are SIBLINGS. The fact that we have both survived without killing each other ("that which does not kill you makes you stronger"), or destroying a house (though there was that one time... err.. nevermind) is a testimony to my our abilities, my parents, and lots and lots of Valium and the fine people at Sears and Pergaments *Sam, you did a great job on that roof and the windows in 79, 83, 87, and 89. Mary, we hardly knew you, but those bars on the doors... EXCELLENT job and almost impervious to acetylene torches. Mr. Fitzgerald, sorry about the noise and about those rocks. Mark, the shockgards were top notch amigo, and Judge Hernandez, Thanks for understanding that siblings will be siblings* What?.. This never happened to you?
Well, what can I say that has not already been said? To know me is to know my family. (Scared aren't you?) We are jokesters, kidders, we can be your best ally, your fiercest supporter, or your most dangerous enemy (Let "poison Pen Sally" (i.e.: my sister) have a whack at them, they will be so distraught that only strong will stay; the weak will crawl away and seek someplace dark to live out their days). As my sister leans more towards my mother in abilities, temperament, and personality, I lean more towards my father. Similar reading materials, similar hobbies, same dark and somewhat quirky sense of humour, similar interests. He has been my father, my tutor, my mentor, and my blood brother. Mother always did claim I beat her poor stomach as an infant (in the womb) but that my father's hand would calm me down. And to some extent this is true. I am most alike to our father as my sister is most alike to our mother.
My family I would not trade for all the tea in
Where else can you be praised, chastised, beaten and kissed, loved, and hated, engage in a battle of witty remarks and sly comebacks and also be reminded "if you ever...." than one's own family. They are secret club I am glad to be part of. (I’ll sell you the secret handshake for those parts in
For all the good and bad, they are my best friends and my comfort.
No? What about just half of the parts in
Its times like this that I do wonder how we even function. Prohibiting Toothpaste?.. Hair Gel, on carry on luggage? I mean come on, its KILLING the business traveler. Mom and Dad on their vacation with noisy Johnny and brat Jane can avoid to stuff everything in cargo (Dad and perhaps even Mom at times) I'm sure wishes he could stuff the kids there too, giving them a little private time.
Ummm...... I thought all of those little gadgets that sniff and check for trace amounts of drugs and explosive compounds, that check for electronics that don't look quite right (read: X-Ray machines and now Gamma Ray machines for cargo). All of the metal detectors and pat downs (hey, I made some new friends when traveling this way.. Sadly all men. *No George, I will NOT call you back. You patted me down, that entitles you to one drink that's all*) was supposed to... say it with me: PROTECT the passengers.
So if that is the case, why can't I,
- as a heavy business traveler (frequency not weight thank you very much Megan);
- as a person who does not want to wait the additional HOUR (max time was 2 hours on a US domestic flight. Don't get me started on international flights to/from the US. Ironically international domestic flights always get my luggage within 35 minutes or less... Perhaps the domino's guys got a new gig) to get my luggage at the endpoint of my flight;
- as a person who does not trust the screeners and handlers from stealing items from my checked in luggage (its happened to me three times and all the TSA says is: "well, it can't be helped, we don't control everything");
- as a person who is pulled for "random" screening almost every time; (yeah, I only WISH my luck was that good. I would be in Vegas at the Craps Table instead of writing this cra..err. I mean putting to prose this wonderful blog);
- as a person who deals with this on a weekly (and sometimes daily) basis.
- as a person who NEEDS to get on that plane to keep himself from going bonkers. (its on my HMO plan, so shut up alright?)
Because they want to appear busy. I seem to recall a line in Mel Brook's History of the World (funny movie) where something tragic happened to the town of Rockridge. His words were "Gentlemen, we have to do something. We have to protect our phony baloney jobs"
A joke, but I think its pretty much dead on right now with the TSA.
My own personal vote, (and don't think it won't come to pass.. just wait):
- Treat us all like criminals (we already are, we just have not been finger printed, ID's taken and given an orange (or the colour of your local prison) jumpsuit. Ummm.. on second thought, just the jumpsuit. Everything else has already been done.
- Anesthetize everyone when boarding, stack the bodies like the morgue. (the airlines will LOVE that. More bodies, less complaints. No feeding, or peeing, or anything. Just look at the little LEDs: Green is good. Red is Bad. If no one is awake, no one can pull any triggers, or set any explosives. And it means the Red Eye Flight is no different than any other flight. One upside to this, no screaming baby that we all want to eject. (Invite him in to play with the blue water) The downside, you can't chatup that cute girl who is setting next to you in my dreams only. (every flight I have ever been on, she's walking 10 rows ahead or behind me. and I sit next to the hyper chatty Mr. Gab. Or the Somber Mr. Gloom, or the "husky" Mr. Flab. They all reek of chilly or garlic or Gin (or in some strange cases all three) and I'm sure their mother's were hampsters and their father's smelled of elderberries.
- More leg room.
- No More Crappy movies. (I'm downright insulted by some of the movies that were playing. To be in their presence while playing made me feel dirty and cheap. Damn you Delta. Damn you to hell)
- No more bad airline food. (trust me, your doctors will thank you later for this)
- Makes the argument of who sits where a little less important. (Most annoying when you have a prime location (first exit row, aisle seat, next to that smashingly cute lady I mentioned before, and you are just about to whip out your best Noel Coward witty banter) and some tribe of 30 rolls down the aisle and wants to sit together. Your seating choices are now:
- Next to the toilet (you might meet that lady again, but I think your topics of conversation are limited and just a bit hurried)
- Next to that fat guy that reeks of the items I mentioned above.
So just wait my friends. Someone on high in the TSA or even their lapdog, the FAA will make this suggestion, put the right spin on it, and then you and I my fellow travelers are frequent flyer-sicles.
Its a wonder I leave the house huh?
Her, a *erased by her censorship squad* year old Real Estate (Finance) Professional. The rest you will discover from this entry. What you don't know from this little entry is your problem. (*sticking my tongue out*)
Things are moving along quite nicely I must say... some minor little hiccups here and there, but overall quite well. She's a a wonderful person with strengths and flaws that sadly we both share, I must admit. Its the downside of being very similar, which is ironic considering how different we both are and were come from.
For example, the differences:
- Myself, I am Costa Rican with a little bit of everything tossed in (go far enough up the tree and the only group that my family doesn't have in our little melting pot is Chinese or Japanese. (Or Taiwanese for that matter) ironic given my particular bent, but that is a blog for another time). She on the otherhand is 100% Taiwanese. Though again, I suspect if you go far enough up the tree some other fruit may fall. But again, another blog, another time, with permission.
- I've made it a goal and my life's work (both professionally and personally) to explore and learn as much as I can about this little planet and all its cultural differences. VS. She is most decidedly a home body (I am as well, to a large degree, but my home ranges all over the planet *grin*). Not to say she has no desire to travel (simply not true as my first love, a Ms. Delta and her sisters (Continental, Singapore Air, JAL, Asiana, ANA, BMI, and Northwest) would disown me), but where my second thought when waking is "Where can/do I go today?" (My first thought is about her, and that is none of your business) her's is more domestic and local. But she is willing, so I don't have to give up my mistresses. YEAH!!! (was a man ever so blessed?)
- My (extended: Cousins, aunts, uncles, etc...) family is more loosenit. We are close, but not that close. A person or twenty may drop off the map (sometimes its a good thing), and its no harm, no foul. Her family (extended, and I do mean extended) is much more cohesive, with constant checks and reports. Some of this, I am sure, is due to her being an unmarried female living alone, but the main thing is the family is just very close. (Personally, I vote for the middle ground: very close to the family, but with some distance so you can control the frequency, duration, and timing of the checks)
- Naturally our approaches to conflict are different, more from a gender separation than a cultural one. (ahhh, the eternal struggle between man and woman)
- We have different interests, expected given that she is herself and I am myself. (Its an easy cheap one, but I'll add it here to round things out)
Now for the similarities:
- Both of us have a strong sense of family (and our desires and interests are identical)
- Both of us have an identical deep sense of honour and respect
- Both of us have similar financial aspirations, though we differ a little on where we would spend money: With me, its electronics, with her its clothes and shoes. (Anyone shocked yet?)
- Both of us have similar educational goals and our respetive career paths are pretty compatible. She a Master's in Mathematics, me a Doctorate of Computer Science. She handles the real estate and how to get the home, I can handle what to do with the home once we get it. (see, it works!)
- Both of us have similar home styles (we are Condo/Townhome people, not "Yard" people. Lazy sods we are)
- Both of us value, cherish, and demand our privacy (ironically this is a slight source of conflict we are also trying to relax this more between us)
- Both of us have similar asthetic styles, though she is more utilitarian than me. I've been hanging around too many artists. (mother always did say if you lay with dogs, you will get fleas)
- Both of us want to see the world. I've seen a bigger part of it so far and still have a LOT more to go, but now I want to see it with someone else. Someone to share my "world" with as well as teach. (I should have changed professions, I knew it)
- Our sense of humour is nearly identical and we both suffer a similar problem of accepting the joke as literal some times. (which can be bad, as we both tell such darkly humorous lines regarding the "other man or the other woman" (I suspect this feeds into our own insecurities))
- Both of us believe in being polite and civil for its own sake, though she has a much shorter fuse than me.
- Our cuisine preferences are very similar (though I will eat raw fish, she will not. Hey, I said SIMILAR, not identical)
- Even our families are very similar: Strong matriarchal structure with a firm patriarch at the head. (Think queen, and her right hand hatchet man). Both of our familes enjoy humour, laughter, and the same "round table" like banter at the dinner table.
- Our family sizes are similar but uneven. (Mine is immense on one side and small on the other, vs. her's is large all over.
- And for a cheap one: We are both April babies; 3 years and 3 days apart (and I think even 3 hours apart, but I am not sure)
- And there are many many other similarities, I won't go into them all or this poor blog entry will be much much longer, and I am sure I won't live to see the next day once she reads it.
What strikes me as amusing is just how culturally similar we are. I am less surprised by this than her (mostly because I've seen enough in this world to realize that the only think that separates me from other person is a name and a location, otherwise, we are all pretty much the same). Because of her surprise, I have to ask the question: WHY?
Now granted, I am not the worlds best person to go down this route, given my hobbies, interests, and strong desire to experience and learn about all cultures all around this world (and if possible, a few beyond. That's right NASA and SETI, get your arse's in gear.. ok? Flying car my rosy rear end. I was jipped.. Jipped I say. 2005.. bleah!) And granted, she's been more isolated than I have in terms of experiencing the world and various cultures. Family restrictions.
Much of what goes on in the world is repeated numerous times by all. As chere papa quite often quips:
or to put it another by a quote from the same man (not sure its his, but I'll attribute it to him anyway, if its not, don't correct me, I pack an OED and a rifle. A man's quotes are not to be abused):
All of this is to say, despite a trick of geography which has given us different starts, it does not negate the notion that ultimately we are both humans (stop laughing), and humans, for good or bad, are the same. Similar desires, similar interests, similar aspirations, etc... ad nasuisum. In fact, I can prove to you with math (not fair, as I can prove pretty much anything mathematically. Now whether its socially sound is another story) that pretty much all of human endeavors and drives stem from probably about 5 - 7 core drivers. (and not windows you freak).
If you think hard enough, I am sure you can name a few without furling your brow. How does a happy safe family sound? What about some recognition? Sex anyone? (not offering, just saying) Anyone want a child? (I got two real cheap from the flight I was on, whiny little bas.. err.. I mean such angels)
These are some basic drives. For what purpose you want those things, how you go about getting them, and in what percentages you want them or to what extent they play in your life are unique to you. (I don't want to know... really.. I have my own problems)
Some want to bang everything and everyone in sight. (I highly recommend never drinking with these people, you may experience more than you want. But hey, its your life, all I ask is photos for later. A man has to make money some how). For some, their family is their goal, but they view money as the path to achieve such success. (Trust me, it never works. At best, little Johnny or Jane is not in jail... at worst, you are dog food. Anyone remember the menendez brothers? 'nuff said)
So we've established to some degree that despite locale, age, gender, race, creed, or religion, we are all pretty the same animals drinking from the same trough. This natrually (huh?) loops back to the question of our similarities. If everything in human history (damn monkey's) has been done before, merely the tools used and the approach differ, why should she be surprised that excepting some minor differences we are pretty much the same and that once I accept those differences I ("L" word) her?
I suppose it comes down to numbers. (yumm... Number O's) And, what wine do you have by the bottle?)
I once mentioned to a friend of mine (you know who you are) that the odds of me meeting someone of mutual interest, someone of intelligence, hell, lets wrap it all up into "someone of quality" (see the similarities above, my fingers hurt) is pretty low to nill (so how did I get her?.. would you believe voodoo? what about bribery? I kidnapped her? Oh come on...) here is how I break it down:
On any given day, I meet about 150 people (I'm rounding here so shut up Alexi)
Out of that 150 people, lets assume about half of that number is male (sorry folks, me down swing that way. They make good friends, colleagues, even drinking buddies and travel guys, but for my bedmate, I prefer someone soft with three PHYSICAL parts (stop giggling) I don't possess.
So that leaves us with about 75 people. Now out of that number, lets assume I have even a passing interest in about half of them. (this is based on limited factors: age, apparent intelligence, decorum, appearance, etc...)
So that drops it to 37.5 people. (isn't math fun?) From that number we have to deal with their interest in me. I am a great guy (its on my business card.. right there, in small print. Well, use the magnifying glass, but trust me its there) but some people just don't get my particular brand of me'ness and the reasons are varied and far ranging:
- From the stupid: Wrong colour (Their words, not mine. Sucks don't it?)
- To the mundane: "I don't like people in IT" (I will refrain from commenting as this is a family blog... mostly)
- To the moronic: "I didn't know people of that colour were intelligent" (this is an actual statement a lady said to me once when I was in phoenix. The world can be a lousy place at times)
- To the confusing "You are almost what I want, but not quite" (again an actual statement, this time by a lady in Miami while we were in the airport)
- To the direct "No, sorry, not interested" (I laughed at this because I met her not more than 2 seconds and my total interaction time with her was saying that most hated and vile of words "Hello". Some people are just so jaded that any attempts to engage them are met with WOMD).
Now we enter into the other factors.
Timing = -4 (I miss her on the train, she misses me at the wine club, etc... Plus I travel a great deal, which makes it even more difficult.
Circumstance = -2 (A great person, but one or both of us had a hard day and so we are a little more snappish than what we normally would be, or some other extenuating factor. Or its at work and she's a vendor/client/bosses daughter (hey, its happened. How? The less said the better))
Ability = -2 (I am not a Romeo (Destined), I'm not a Cassanova (Suave), I am not a lothario (Persistant and charming), I am not even a Garfield (hey, they cat is lazy, but he talks to everyone.. trust me, he's getting a little kitty on the side of his Pasta). In almost every case I have "chatted up" a lady, there has been some reason to engage her in conversation. I am too old world English (read: prude) to just speak to a lady like that. I love a good conversation, I enjoy debate, but there must be an obvious and stated reason to do so. Anything less would be improper.
Situation = -2 (You meet someone, she is great. Stimulating conversation, great sense of humour, a body that would make a priest kick little johnny, a smile that could melt a glacier and have it begging to come back. The kind of woman that men have been known to propose to on the spot. BUT, she's a co-worker (Rule #22: NEVER date a co-worker, don't even think in that direction, in fact, you have no "female" (or "male" for my female readers) co-workers, just waldos). See my client/bosses daughter line above. (Old Line Quoted by The Shadow #89901: Never dip your pen in the company ink)
Luck = -1 (Don't ignore luck! Many a Battle, Job, Yen (or dollar for you other people), or fair heart have been won/saved through pure dumb luck. Don't believe me? Example: You break through your fear and trepidation and strike up a conversation with someone that meets all of the above qualities (and she has to, I'm picky).. Its a great conversation with the lady. You have incredible chemistry, she's got a body, yadda yadda yadda... and "Oh, and here is Bob, my husband, Bob say hello to the shadow" And well, you can imagine how the rest went. ("...tail between the legs" about sums it up) Bob that bum got there first. Especially when you find out that Bob was a former college mate of yours and moved into the building across the street and while you were gallivanting about the globe looking for the next great adventure, bob, was out there wooing Ms. Right. *breathing to calm myself* But I digress, that little example my friends is dumb luck. Don't discount it.
So we are left with 1 possible person per day.. 1 out of our 150. Not good odds I would say. And with that 1 person, its down to lots of other factors I won't even mention or this entry will get longer than it already is).
So, how did I meet this little wonder that I plan on making an "honest woman"? Remember my small speech about luck? (if you do, you get a cookie, send me an email and we discuss terms and flavours) It cuts both ways. So yes, I had to to some 5500+ miles away.. shorten to only 2200 because I'm a nice guy (see, right there) to find her but I found her. Difficult to find, a slippery little thing, but worth hanging on to.
And despite all the hoopla, all the potential differences (paper does not match the reality), all the dumb luck (again with the luck thing), all the reasons I can think of that we both should run
like the wind, hide our heads in the sand singing loudly to make it all go away. Dispite all of that, we are so similar it is frightening (remember that luck thing? I told you not to discount it) and I think we want the best for each other.
I can't wait to see what happens next.
It should be fun.
I understand them... to a degree
I get them... to a degree
I even believe they are correct... to a degree
But notice the similarity of all those statements.. to a degree, and in most cases that degree is somewhere between 0-25. (closer to the o than the 25).
Anyway.. if anyone, even some members of the other camp... (hey, knowledge is knowledge, I don't question its source, only its intent) care to chime in.. I am all ears.
(meaing, for now, I am Seattle/Redmond)
I do wonder about a firm that actually has the words "Evangelize" as part of their program. I get the fever.. and I even understand it to some degree so its not completely alien to me. But this notion of embrace, envelop, and destroy makes me think things are no good... No dear reader, it will not be skynet that does us in... Terminator was a wuss. It will be a bald man with a fevered pitch, and a short man in glasses that does us in.
I don't recall a single story in the realm of fiction (all speculation about the future are by definition fiction) in which an umbrella corporation (those all encompassing firms that have their tentacles in every aspect of our daily lives.. (sound familiar?) have are up to good.. Oh, their utopian ideas and notions of the betterment of man are pitched and believed.. but along the way, things go wonky and some nut job with a power trip and one too few toys decides we (the little people) don't know how to live.. and snap...
Between Orwellian prophecy getting frighteningly real (government spying on EVERYONE under the guise of "protection") freedoms being eroded faster than you can say P.A.T.R.I.O.T. II Act, education and knowledge being shunned and even ridiculed, and with a monolithic empire (and yes, I do use the word for a specific reason) covering everything else.
So I ask.. what is a boy to do. Nature says Run.. run far, run fast, and hide. But the reality is.. where?.. running around in a circle just makes you a target. Stopping makes you a target. and sadly it seems that running itself makes you a target.
Oh well..... Perhaps I can catch a ride with those dolphins that are leaving.
Anyway, I'm an ordinary bloke with quite a number of interests (did I hear someone in the background mumble: dilettante? If you mean that in its most positive sense, then yes I am.. otherwise, the exit is to your left.. Thank you for coming)
I was born (YEAH Baby), I came (it is how I got here), I saw (there *pointing*), I laughed (a lot), I cried (some), I have hated (damn you Tony!!!) and have loved (singing Sandy)
My accomplishments have been in tune with some of my desires.. I've made mistakes (blasted Worldcom), and have succeeded in places I've never imagined. (hehe, sorry, what was that again?)
In essence, I'm human for all my faults, strengths, inadequacies, accomplishments, failures, and successes, I'm just me. (Scary huh?)
Take from that what you will.
As you may have noticed from this blog, travel is IMPORTANT to me. I have had the fortune and pleasure of visiting/exploring/living on a pretty good chunk of this planet (Mostly through Asia, but also through Europe, both of the poles, all throughout North America, quite a few places in South America, Morocco and Johannesburg). I feel its important to mention this because, as my friends have joked, travel is my lover and spouse. So I suppose I am "taken" in this particular context. *smile*
Another little point (they just keep coming up don't they?) I should mention that my friends provided the descriptive words above. Such wonderful friends I have... now if you will excuse me, I have to go "discuss" something with them. *picking up my bat*
Suffice to say, it has been an interesting few months, but I will hit the highlights:
- Being absorbed by the evil empire (those of you who know me are aware of who this virulent presence is).
- Work (like there was a choice in this)
- Travel (Ditto. Its my therapy dammit!)
- Finished my move from
142nd Streeto 42nd Street(from west to east)
Now that I've gotten all the preliminaries out of the way, I have to vent a little:
All in all, pretty unadventurous... My father and I were discussing some rather interesting topics and one that struck me as rather amusing is how society has changed in the past few decades. We have gone from a fairly open (if racially biased), fairly literate (always a few stragglers on this one), and pretty responsible group of people to a extremely distrustful (still racially biased, but now add on gender biased as well on both sides, and I will come back to this in a moment with examples), almost illiterate (I find it is getting harder and harder to find people in my daily interactions who actually READ), irresponsible group of people.
(Stop rubbing that gun and let me explain)
Openness (lets get the big one out of the way)
For openness, much of this is due to fear. Fear of their economic situation, fear of their neighbours (which is being fostered in my opinion by the government in an effort to distract people, but that is a topic for another time). Not too long ago, even for one of my limited age (I'm a child of the 70's) more people were actually willing engage in banter (and for a person travelling, its important to me… how else do I get my jollies? Ikea is forever out of stock on them) now I am met with a wall of silence. Am I a fed or a priest because I get that one too (Father Doc *shaking head*) I don’t think I look like one, but I get that all the time. I don't know if that is a complement or a criticism on my dress. People have in essence become extremely distrustful of each other and everyone around them and it’s a closed loop. (I fear you -> you fear me - we fear them, they fear us -> they fear me -> I fear you, etc...).
As I said before, I blame much of this on government, but I also blame it on the zealots of various types. Pick your flavour, I don't care, the behaviour is pretty much all the same. I will also add that with regards to gender and race, we have performed a little about face. Society has flipped from a patriarchal (kind but indifferent to women) society to a pseudo matriarchal one that demonizes men (and in some twisted way, is still somewhat indifferent to women). A particular pet peeve of mine is this notion of education for the young. It pains me greatly to see this major push on women's
Also related to this topic of openness is one of my major peeves, civility. Its been declining for a while with everyone proclaiming "freedom" while they gut their neighbour(s) (interesting that the same proclaimers of freedom are the same ones that are so quick to give up their freedom.. and forgetting that once its given, it is extremely difficult to get back.. but I digress). I fail to see how a modicum of thought for one's neighbour and simple respect for their rights is "impinging my rights". It’s annoying to realize that these people just don't understand a basic principle. If you don't want it done to you, then stop doing it to them. Or for the theologians among us: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (Matthew 7:14)". I don't do some things around people because I feel it’s not fair. Why blast my music to half the neighbourhood? Yes, I CAN do it, but that doesn't mean I SHOULD do it... (Yes, I'm talking to you people on
Someone once quipped that "Chivalry was sick, but feminism killed it". I used to not believe that, but I have to say, I am considering calling homicide with an anonymous tip or two. Example #1 (1 year ago): Coming out of Brooks Brothers in Downtown Manhattan. I as I almost always do (these days I am more skittish and you will see why in a bit) hold the door for the patron behind me. (See my rant about civility above). The women I held the door for completely freaked out and called me everything from a "male chauvinistic pig" to a "lecher who was just trying to get in her pants". Now first, anyone that knows me can pretty much vouch for the fact that I am as close to a eunuch as possible without getting a certain thing removed. (In my case if you are interested, it has cobwebs on it from lack of use). And second, my holding the door was simple courtesy. It has nothing to do with gender or anything else. If the person behind me was a man, woman, leprechaun, or a KKK member (though on that last one, my walking pace would be much closer to a sprint than my usual jogging pace) I would do the same. Well, things escalated, and wonders upon wonders; I get called to the police station over this. I have never in my life set foot in one for anything other than work of visiting friends (I have friends in various police forces around the world and my job takes me to many different work venues). So as you can imagine, I am pretty much saying to myself.. WTF? Well, pretty much the only thing that saved me was the statement from several of the store personnel, the video tape from the store, and 20 characters witnesses (including from the NYPD themselves) that made this whole thing blow over.. time out of my life: 39 hours. Potential damage: SERIOUS loss of reputation. Now I know many of you will say, well, gee, that’s an isolated incident. And there are nut jobs all over. Well, I would normally say yes... but considering that this same problem (to a lesser degree) has happened 10 times, not to mention this happening to many of my friends who have a similar social bent, as well as several of my female friends saying "Don't hold the door for me, its derogatory" has me asking.. What the heck does holding the door for someone have to do with any derogatory behaviour? Someone Please give me a clue on this one because I am lost. I have many more examples, but I tire of this section so let me move on.
Illiteracy - What?.. no bookie for you?
I am finding more and more people simply don't WANT to read. Oh, they can... and will if necessary (work, school, that McDonalds’ menu, etc...) But it is truly sad and very self-damaging. I know this is not a minority (yet) but I worry because it is this same group of non-readers that are the ones complaining to father (i.e.: the government) about what to have and what not to have in the library, or what not to print. And let me be clear about this. I don't mean simply looking at words. Any monkey with at least one good eye can do that. (and if it can do braille then skip the good eye part) I mean COMPREHENSION. I mean (where applicable) application of the data before them. I won't sit here and proselytize the virtues of reading and what happens when a society as a whole is stunted intellectually... *cough* the Romans *cough* the Greeks... Blasted cold.. Anyway... more has been written (ah haa!!) on that topic than care to put here, and certainly in a more eloquent fashion by people more gifted than little me. Let me just say.. DO IT!!.. 'nuff said. (And while we are on the subject of literacy and peeves.. PLEASE STOP SCREWING AROUND WITH THE LANGUAGE. SPELL OUT THE DAMN WORD AND STOP THIS PHONICS CRAP!! There, that felt better.
Responsibility - Muhahahhaha... the deceptively simple one.
I know I am in the minority here when I say this, but to me, honour is important to me. It is something I strive for in all facets of my life. To bring honour and respect to my family. I don't mean this in the more traditional English sense, I mean this more in the traditional Japanese sense. To me, that means that I am accountable for all my actions, (large and small; seen and unseen) and that I am bound to correct them where possible or seek obeisance (or restitution) to those I have wronged. The point I am driving here is that one must be responsible for their actions. Far too often I hear everything from "They caused this" (no one can cause you to do something you have not already decided to do) to "The devil made me do it" (have you looked in a mirror lately?) to its not my fault. From what I have seen... That "act of god" line pretty much only covers about maybe 3 - 5% of our daily life. The rest dear reader is on your shoulder. Far too often I hear of reproductive parents (and I will make a VERY clear line here because it doesn't take much but an egg, some sperm and about 2 - 5 minutes of one's time to make a baby (assuming you just want the kid and with no fun) It takes YEARS to be a parent. And granted, I am not one, but I have been a VERY involved uncle for my nephew and two nieces.. trust me, even on my side, its work, and I'm JUST the uncle) complaining to the government about little Johnny and Jane playing video games, reading porn, watching movies, listening to rush Limbaugh. May I ask one question of these would-be criers of protection? Why aren't you doing YOUR job? It is not the government’s job to police the libraries. It is not the government’s job to instil morality in your child. It is not the government’s job to prevent little Johnny or Jane from watching/listening/reading subject matter that YOU find objectionable. It is... (Say it with me) YOUR JOB!! It is foolish that companies are being sued because someone else made a mod that displays pixelated porn (i.e.: non-live people) in a game that is already borderline in my humble opinion). (oh sure, we can blow up a house, shoot 90 cops, curse until the devil himself says "God...enough!" but show a little T&A and some Sim's doing the nasty GIF and all of a sudden its a hunt for their heads). It is moronic that companies are spending trillions (that's right folks, the "T" word) of dollars on legal protection and warning labels because some moron of a parent doesn't have the sense to say to little Johnny or Jane "No". It is unbelievable that schools are becoming prisons essentially for children because their parents claim "I don't have the time" (blasted, make time) And all of this can be traced back people who simply do not wish to admit that "I was wrong", "I screwed up", "it is my fault". Parent A does not want to admit that they should have kept an eye on little Jane while their friend/co-worker/lover/drug dealer/whatever was over, so when little Jane drowns, they sue the pool company for not making it "safe" (its bloody water ok? What… you will blame god because the ocean is there? I would love to see the court case on that). Parent B refuses to admit that they should be monitoring their child's internet activities and learning right along with them about proper socializing. And when little Johnny gets mailed back to them in pieces, they want to sue the internet provider and the PC manufacturer for not putting little warning labels on things and telling them this could happen. (Would you let your child walk alone in a dark alley near the subway tracks? No? Then why would you let them do the electronics equivalent? I'm sure that if little Johnny brought home "Ted" his new best friend (a 45 year old knife holding nutter, you would be beating him back with the family car and dialling 911 before you can say "You have mail!") so again, why would you allow them to bring home the equiv. (And yes, I know I an focusing here on parents for a bit.. it is because much of these oppressive laws (and it is a shame that these are laws) that are being churned out are due to these people that scream family values while doing absolutely NOTHING of value for their family).
It seems that this people are unwilling to take any responsibility for their actions and so they run to Poppa (i.e.: the government) who then sets the rules so that they feel nice and safe. Let me ask you some questions:
If you were with someone that took no responsibility for their actions; every decision, every action that was initiated by you was met with them saying "its up to you", how long would it be before you simply stopped asking and just did it. If they didn't want it, then its their own fault.
Assuming you were that person that kept saying "it’s up to you", once you have given away (through words and deed) your ability to choose, what right have you to complain when eventually (and I promise you, it will happen) decisions are being made for you and you don't like them?
Well i an leaving my girlfriend behind once again and it is painful in some ways and a relief in others. But overall it has, as always, been a wonderful time. Just have to break her of the biting as i dont believe my insurance covers bites from humans.
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