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Greens 'n Cornbread



Pass the pepper sauce, please.



Updated: 2018-01-16T08:58:10.713-05:00

 



Lindley Woodford

2010-07-13T15:08:27.443-04:00

A week ago last Saturday an era came to a close. You'd think the world would have shook, but there was nary a tremble. My father in-law, Lindley Woodford, passed away.I met this man at the Kansas City airport 3 days before I married his daughter. Our first encounter included a trip to the Jackson County courthouse in Kansas City where we were granted a waiver on the normal waiting period before being given a marriage license. He drove, I sat in back, and I don't recall much of anything being said.I proposed to his daughter 3 months previously - you'd think he'd be full of questions and stern fatherly warnings for someone about to marry his erstwhile favorite daughter. He didn't. Instead he pointed out various points of interest while on the way to the courthouse. This was to lay the foundation for our relationship for the next 25 years.He was a quiet man. Tall, gentle, and a devout Christian. In the truest sense of the word. He was tolerant of all, accepting of most, using his dry humor to test each of us. He liked to drop quiet little bombshells to test the waters of our beliefs. He liked to tease. Being soft-spoken, my (at the time) young daughter would often ask that he repeat himself. He would tell her she was a little girl who could not hear. Fed up with the taunt, she once responded that he was an old man who could not talk. He would repeat that back to her occasionally as she grew up. I think he found it funnier than we did.With me being in the military, we moved a good bit and visited when we could. He and I shared an interest in military history and this led to many a discussion. His father (and uncles, too, I believe) served in world war one, and he served in world war two. He was a sheet metal mechanic in the Army Air Corps in Africa and Italy, working on various aircraft. He had 3 brothers, all of whom served in the military. He transcribed his father's war diaries and collected the war-time experiences of his brothers, entering them all into Word documents which he then printed, bound, and distributed to various family members. I have my copy stored in my desk.After the war he worked for the government as an inspector, checking on the production of various war materials. He eventually became a tool and die maker. He met and married Ellen Kennedy in 1948 and they had 8 children. They came in 2 waves with a 10 year break in between the first 5 and last 3. 7 girls, 1 boy. I married Laura, oldest of the younger 3. There are 5 surviving daughters and his one son, 4 of which live in or around Kansas City. Holidays were always celebrated at his house, filled to overflowing with children, grandchildren, and eventually great-grandchildren. I don't know what Thanksgiving or Christmas will be like without him to provide the center, our center, the unquestioning focus of the family gatherings.He was in many ways typical of his generation. He provided for his family and his wife kept their home and raised their kids. There was that clear separation of duties - all things domestic was her responsibility including supper on the table when he arrived home from work. About 11 years or so ago, soon after he retired, his wife Ellen started to have a series of increasingly debilitating strokes. It wasn't long into this that she ceased being able to take care of him. So, he took care of her. It was as if he had done it all of his life. He not only took care of her, but he took to keeping house as if born to it. He had the kitchen remodeled to suit him. He bought every kitchen gadget he encountered. He would ask his daughters for their recipes and would approach them with the same diligence he did when designing a new die. How many minutes at what temperature, how many times and when do you turn it? He made notes and tried his own variations. He tested various cleaning methods and materials, finding those he felt did the best job. He bought a Dyson vacuum cleaner when it came out.In between these new domestic duties, he nursed his wife. He quietly teased her into doing her mobility e[...]



Here we go again

2008-10-30T02:50:09.832-04:00

Well - I'm in Bahrain again. I left home last weekend. Last time I flew direct from Atlanta to Dubai - over 14 hours in the air. argh. (I will have that to look forward to on the way home. argh) This time, however, I flew to Amsterdam, had an 8 hour layover and then flew here. Since I had such a long layover, I was determined to see something. As I was walking between terminals I ran across a tour booth advertising 2 and 3 hour tours. Serendipity struck, I whipped out my credit card and off we went. There were 7 of us in a mini-bus. The tour started at a wooden shoe factory, then out to the country where we saw various windmills and sheep and assorted waterlogged countryside. We drove into Amsterdam and around, then finished up with an hour's cruise through the canals. Despite the overcast, chilly (since I was heading to a hot climate I didn't bring a coat with me, I was in short-sleeves) and wet morning I had a good time and turned what was going to be a long and boring layover into a (seemingly) short and enjoyable one.

(I would've posted pictures, but even though blogger acted as if they uploaded - they didn't. So, here's a link to the set.)



Tag, I'm it.

2008-10-14T15:22:09.992-04:00

The lovely (but deluded) Astrogirl426 from Notes from the Bunker has tagged me (she claims to heart my blog - I think she's been living in the woods too long) and I am to relay 6 random facts about myself. I will attempt to reveal something new about myself, but most of you have been around here long enough to know all most of my secrets.

1. I moved 9 times between birth and 15 years, living in 4 states (MS, CA, GA, TX) and 1 foreign country(Germany). I have moved 7 times since then, living in 4 states (GA, CA, TX, MD) and 1 foreign country (Greece). In and amongst all of that I have visited, driven through, or otherwise took up space in 27 other states, the District of Columbia, and 7 other foreign countries.

2. I got to fly an Air Force T-37 jet trainer.

3. I was born a poor, black child*.

4. I had a part-time job that involved moving equipment from building to building between passes of soviet spy satellites.

5. I have stood on the point from which every distance in France is measured.

6. I ran into Dudley Moore in a McDonald's in Pacific Grove, CA. He was even shorter than he looked in the movies. I ran into Stevie Wonder coming out of an ice cream store in Monterey, CA. I waved but he didn't wave back, the stuck-up b@st@rd.

As usual, I don't tag people. If any of you are game, have at it.

*if you recognize this, you're as old a fart as I am.



There, but for the grace of God......

2008-09-21T15:31:33.473-04:00

I have been reading "Things I Learned About My Dad (in therapy)", a compilation of essays on fatherhood compiled & edited by Heather Armstrong. I was struck particularly strongly by Doug French's essay. I remember several months ago when he went public in his blog about his impending divorce (because of it being mentioned in his essay in the book). It has always been readily apparent to me in reading his blog (and the essay) that he loves his boys very much and really enjoys being a father. Reading the essay re-awoke in me the memories of a time in my marriage when we came close to divorce. Laura had moved out. The kids stayed with me in our home as it was least disruptive of their daily routines - school, etc. Since they stayed with me during the week, they spent the weekends with Laura. During the week I was kept busy with taking care of two elementary school-aged kids, fixing meals, cleaning the house, laundry, working, etc. Then Friday afternoon the kids would be gone, and my weekends were a vast wasteland of nothingness. I had been on business trips before, a week at a time, sometimes two, but that time away affected me nothing like this did. I couldn't believe how much I missed the kids. I'm sure that it was partially due to the knowledge that this was probably going to be permanent. But whatever the reason, there was an ache that I couldn't assuage. I tried to tell myself that this was better for the kids, not having to grow up living in a house where their parents didn't love each other. They would grow up happier, Laura and I would be better parents without the emotional chaos that our marriage had turned into, etc. But there was still the emptiness inside of me, knowing they would be like so many other children having separate sets of parents, vacations divided between homes, everything having to be negotiated.

I had told Laura early in our marriage, during a discussion about how so many couples during (and after) divorce use their kids to torture their exes, that I would never let anyone take my children away from me. It wasn't an ultimatum so much as it was a statement that I would ALWAYS be there for my children, a major force in their lives. At the time I never thought we would get to where we had, living apart and discussing divorce. During that 6 month separation we never fought in front of them, and none of the fights were about them. We always put them first, We both went to school events they were involved with. We both attended their soccer games. We discussed rules for them and disciplinary actions - if they were being punished for something, the punishment applied at both homes. Despite this, it still pained me, knowing the inevitable hurt the kids were going to experience because Laura and I couldn't stay together.

Of course, we did stay together. Laura and I resolved those differences as you all know (I am assuming that no one is reading this post during their first visit to this blog!) as we are still married. But I still carry that hurt around, deep in my memories of that time. It makes me especially sensitive to similar situations when small kids are involved. Doug writes so eloquently of fatherhood and what he is experiencing during this difficult time in his life. I hurt for him, having some small measure of knowledge of what he is experiencing.

I had almost forgot.



Annie get your gun

2008-09-04T22:29:32.764-04:00

I don't discuss politics here, nor am I going to start today. But I do want to talk about what I am learning about myself within the context of the new vice-presidential candidate of the Republican party - Ms. Sarah Palin.I find myself wondering if I am more of a sexist than I thought I was.I have no problem with a woman in the White House - in either job, president or vice-president. I have no problem with a woman having any job - not even in combat on the battlefield. (I've always felt that women as well as men should have to sign up for the draft - ever since I did when I turned 18. Israel, for instance, has mandatory military service, women included.)My problem with Sarah Palin originates with the fact that she has a baby with down's syndrome and I can't understand why she would want a job that will take virtually all of her time - away from her baby. That's where the sexist part comes in, because I wouldn't have had a thought about her husband pursuing such a demanding job as governor or vice-president.I've always prided myself that I consider women as equals. I remember having an essay I wrote arguing for equal rights when I was a junior in high school printed in the local newspaper. I always tried to instill in my daughter as she grew up the attitude that she can do anything she set her mind to. I have never subscribed to the clap-trap that women are the weaker sex and are fundamentally incapable of performing certain jobs. It upsets me that to this day women don't earn the same pay for the same work as men - and therefore have to work harder to get promoted when competing with men for a job.But I am having a hard time understanding why a mother of a down's syndrome child would choose to work if she didn't have to. I don't know what their finances are, but the Palins don't appear to be poor. Mayors of small towns usually don't draw a large salary but have the same duties as large-town mayors. Nor does Ms. Palin appear to be a career woman who was checking off the "have a child experience" on her life's list - after all, she has 5 children and didn't run for office until after she had had several children. I have no reason to think that her husband can't take care of the baby, and I don't actually know if he isn't already taking full-time care of the child. I don't know anything about who takes care of their baby when she is governing or campaigning for vice-president, which is another reason why I'm uncomfortable with my feelings toward her and her decision to run for vice-president.I just can't help thinking that her political career is more important to her than being the primary care-giver of that child. This is where I guess my buried sexism is coming out. I am disappointed in myself.I don't know if she should have given up her governorship to take care of their baby. But I've always had the belief that children should be raised by their parent. In today's economy I realize that is extremely difficult - it usually takes two incomes to survive. Laura and I were lucky in that we were able to afford for her to stay at home until the kids were in school. We certainly couldn't afford to do that now, though. I have always felt that women deserve the same opportunity as men to pursue a career. I have always thought that men were as capable as women to care for infants, so no - I don't think that it is a woman's place to raise the babies while the men work. I just think that the best person to raise a child is its parents. When possible.So, maybe Mr. Palin (I assume that's his name) is a full-time dad to their down's syndrome baby, freeing Ms. Palin to pursue her political ambitions. Or maybe Ms. Palin feels that she has a unique contribution to make to politics and has therefore a higher calling to answer.Or maybe I am just failing to truly understand equality for the sexes and that mothers everywhere are proud to see her as their potential vice-president, that she is raising the cei[...]



college days

2008-08-25T15:34:26.802-04:00

I meant to write this last Friday as it was prompted by the most recent Poetry Friday challenge. But - I wouldn't want to start a trend by blogging on schedule, or anything. I might garner a few regular readers if I did something like that - which is anathema to my blogstyle of whatever-whenever.

anyway.

I, like most folks, have done a few things that I probably shouldn't have when I was in college.

My dorm was right across the street from the chapel. Every Sunday morning for about an hour before services the pastor would sit on the front steps of the chapel and play hymns over the loudspeakers. This somewhat annoyed those trying to sleep off a Saturday night's debauchery, myself sometimes included. Well, one Saturday night we returned to our dorms somewhat worse for wear and someone brought up the hymn-playing disruption of our Sunday-morning sleep-in. During the following discussion a plan was formed that, in our inebriated state, we thought would put a stop to these recitals. We sneaked into the church via an unlocked window and pulled the cassette tape that was queued in the public address system. We took it back to the dorm and recorded some rather earthy Frank Zappa over the middle of the tape and returned the tape to the church. Alarms were set so we wouldn't miss the new music and we went to bed. The next morning we straggled out and gathered on the front steps of the dorm and waited. And waited. And waited. We sat there until services started and the music was stopped. No Frank Zappa. We retired to bed disappointed and seeking hang-over remedies.

Three weeks later I was walking to work Sunday morning, having lost the weekend work shift lottery. I was passing the front of the chapel, having just waved to the pastor, when the music hiccuped and Frank Zappa came blaring out in all his inappropriate glory. The pastor look confused, and he must have started to understand what he was hearing because he leapt up and ran inside. A second or two later the music stopped. I almost tripped over myself laughing as I continued to work.

We didn't manage to shut down our Sunday morning concerts, the hymns continued next Sunday on schedule. But I'll bet the windows were locked after that.



when I was a kid.....

2008-08-15T12:22:00.513-04:00

When I was growing up, I lived on my bicycle. There was no sitting in front of the TV, Atari hadn't come out yet, nor had PCs, so no video games to play for hours on end. Mom would throw us out of the house and told us to go play. It was good for us (and we were out of her hair). So, we would get on our bikes and take off looking for the other kids who had similarly been unceremoniously thrown out.

We would be gone for hours. We would ride up and down the street seeing who could pop a wheelie the longest. We would build ramps and pretend to be evel knievel, jumping for distance or jumping over each other. (I once jumped 6 kids. we were uncommonly stupid then, and I had scars on my elbows and knees for years to prove it). We would search the ditches for coke bottles and go to the store, redeem them and use the money to buy ourselves a coke.

We would take off to explore neighboring communities, getting ourselves lost and spending the afternoon finding our way back home. During the fall and spring we would ride our bikes to school. We would put sissy bars on them, extend the forks to make choppers, put 6-foot antenna-like poles that had flags on (That would trip us up when trying a rolling dismount). We'd put playing cards on with clothes pins so they'd flap in the spokes and pretend this was the motor and we were riding motorcycles.

Do kids do these things today? I rarely see kids out riding bikes in my neighborhood. My bike was a ticket to independence. When it was taken away for punishment, it HURT! I was trapped - all I could do was stand by and watch the others have fun. I see kids walking down the sidewalk, one or more talking on a cell phone, on their way somewhere. I don't see them on bikes.

It's a shame, really. Within weeks of moving into a new house, I knew the neighborhood like the back of my hand. I met the kids in the neighborhood 'cause they were out riding too. Our moms didn't get together and organize play-dates or stuff like that - we just rode around and found someone else who was outside and played. It seems like these days everything is so tightly organized, all of kids' time is scheduled down to the minute.

Do kids just go outside and play anymore?



As I was saying......

2008-08-08T17:49:24.538-04:00

Well, hello there. anyone? anyone?

I took some time off, trying to decide if I really am a blogger, or a blogger wanna-be. I mean, there are blogs that I read because merely because they are well written and invariably entertaining. There are other blogs I read that go beyond this, they are written by people I feel a connection to and I want to keep up with what's going on in their lives. These are the blogs where I feel drawn to comment and these are the ones that inspired me to write my own blog, so I could share something of myself and my experiences beyond the smidgen of space allowed in a comment.

Blogging had given me a way to join what I saw were interlocking circles of friends. People whom not only commented on each others blogs but exchanged emails, IM's, or even phone calls on the side. A very few even visited each other. For a while I experienced this myself, and felt I really had made a some new friends. And then - I hadn't. There were a few people that faded out of that circle, that moved on leaving me behind. These were people that I had regular contact with outside of the realm of blogging, one of which I had actually met. I thought I had made some real friends and it turned out I hadn't.

As you can imagine, this was really disappointing. It made me really wonder about myself. Had I mistaken the depth of the connection? Had I done or said something that drove them away? I mean, I realize that things can go great until a certain point is reached and then something stops clicking or something becomes apparent that causes the other person to decide to back away. But what? In some ways I felt like a teenager again - unsure of anything or anyone. So I took some time off to see if I could figure it out.

I didn't reach any conclusions with regard to my lost friendships, but I did come to a few other realizations.

I missed you guys. I shouldn't abandon this community just because I was disappointed. And - I DO have some friends out there that don't deserve my abandoning them. So, I slowly started back. At first I used my reader to lurk here and there. Then I started posting an occasional comment where I couldn't not. And recently I found myself reading all of you again - but it wasn't the same. Because I wasn't participating.

So - I'm going to stop lurking, start commenting, and maybe even start writing a post here and there. Not that I'm a great writer, or have a burning within me to impart some important message. But I am a part of this and want to share it with you. I hope that there are a few of you that still care enough to read, but if not - well, it's my own damned fault and I can live with that.



TTFN

2008-06-17T10:37:41.721-04:00

I am taking a break from blogging. I find myself with nothing to share and would rather say nothing than ramble for the sake of posting. As this has been gradually happening anyway, I am sure this isn't much of a surprise to anyone. I have been aware these past months of a dearth of decent content here and am now formalizing the foregone conclusion.

I am also cutting back on my blog reading. I need a break. I might dip my toe into the pool every so often, though.

I am leaving the blog up for now. My email address is at the top right of this page should anyone have something to share.

I shall miss you all.



Then and Now

2008-05-21T19:18:13.814-04:00

Then:

(image)

Spring in Paris.


Now:

(image)

deburred shoulder.



my job

2008-05-05T17:41:01.408-04:00

I know that I was lucky to keep my job. One of the options was to outsource all of the IT department. I know that I am better off than those who were told their jobs were eliminated - at least I am right now. I know that I have bills to pay and a family that depends on me to earn a living that keeps us fed and a roof over our heads.

But that doesn't mean that I have to like the changes taking place. Where else can I bitch about it if I can't do it in my own blog?

I think it sucks that people who have worked here a long time, some over 30 years, others who were hired at the same time I was, have been told their jobs are being given to someone overseas. I think it sucks that every time I fly overseas I am making it easier for this company to shut down another domestic plant and between 300 and 400 of my friends and neighbors lose their jobs. I think it sucks that, having seen the costs associated with outsourcing production, this company could've been more competitive and kept on manufacturing domestically - to a certain degree. Outsourcing isn't inevitable.

I see those around me who are going to be leaving send out resumes and know that a difficult time in their lives have just begun, but I also wonder if the jobs they will be getting are more secure than the one I have now. Who's to say that, having made the decision to outsource part of IT, management won't decide next year to outsource the rest of it? How secure is my job?

Yes, there are things I can do about that. I could elect to job hunt myself, look for another, more secure job. I might. But I'm not right now, I'm not ready. I still feel a vestige of responsibility to the people who rely on me and the knowledge I've accumulated over the last 18 years. I'm not ready to fix my house up to sell. I'm not ready to consider a commute knowing the cost of gas and time it would incur. I'm not ready to sell myself to someone else. I'm not ready.

I can elect to have a better attitude about the whole thing. I will have a better attitude about the whole thing. Given some time to accept the change.

But in the mean time, If I've appeared bitchy & whiney in my last few posts, well, dammit, I am for the moment. I'm allowed. its my party and I'll whine if I want to.



good news, bad news

2008-05-02T15:57:35.473-04:00

The good news is that I am keeping my job.

The bad news is that they are cutting over half the IT people and their function will be outsourced to India.

I was the only manager who told their direct reports that their job had been eliminated. The other managers left it to the director and CIO. I couldn't understand it. I had no input into who stayed or went, but these were my people and I felt a responsibility to be there when they were told.

The blow was lessened somewhat by them not having to leave immediately. The company we are outsourcing to is bringing in people to learn the jobs of those who are leaving. Some key people were given an incentive to stay until the knowledge transfer is complete. The others still have a few months before they have to leave. They say it is easier to find a job if you have one, so I really hope that they do.

I feel like absolute crap. Some of these people have been with this company 30+ years. One woman is the sole support for several of her kids and grandkids. Another's wife just lost her job too. We live in small town and there aren't that many IT jobs here, and hardly any that pay what these people earn here.

The transition plan in its current state will give those who were asked to stay their job until mid-December. But it might change. maybe shorter, but probably longer. Still - I told my people not to turn down any decent job offers. If they stay until told to go, they will get the severance benefit (one week pay per year of service (but this company in its current incarnation has only been in existance for not quite 3 years), compensation for any untaken vacation and COBRA coverage. The incentive to stay until told to go adds to this: a small bonus (about a month's pay, some more a few a bit less).

The company has applied for TAA coverage (jobs eliminated due to NAFTA) and if it is granted there will be some benefits (a tax deduction for part of their COBRA insurance dues, unemployment insurance for longer, potential tech school training and if their new jobs pay less than their current, additional compensation for some period of time.

But they only earn these benefits if they stay until the company tells them to leave. If they quit, then they quit and no benefits whatsoever.

my job sucks sometimes. I wonder who is better off - them or me.



and the beat goes on....

2008-04-28T23:49:43.767-04:00

surgery. tah dah. Doc thinks that the impingement is what is causing the pain. so, break out the arthroscope and take a look. he anticipates griding some bone off of the bottom of my clavicle to make more room in the joint, thus reducing the impingement.

I've had a few surgeries before, but as it happened both were accomplished with the equivalent of local anesthesia (spinal blocks and twilight shots). this will be the first time I will have been put out using general anesthesia and I'm a little apprehensive. I wish I could be awake, I'd like to see the surgery, weirdly enough. I wonder if he has tivo?

Meanwhile we are still working on our itinerary for Paris. The eiffel tower, of course - but at night or during the day? eat a the restaurant there? We've decided to eat most of our meals out at lunch, as prices are cheaper. We can do a bread, wine, fruit & cheese thing for supper either out somewhere or in our room. There is the place that only serves one dish - steak w/fries - the only thing you tell the waiter is how you like your steak cooked. There is also (you fans of Harry Potter aught to get a kick out of this) a restaurant in the home of Nicholas Flamel (or named after him or something like that - Laura knows but is napping right now). There is also the restaurant in the catacombs (amongst the bones?) and the restaurant that specializes in hog knuckles (or something like that - I should have waited for Laura to wake up to write this). And, as we are staying in Monmartre, there is always the little brasserie that Amelie worked in - a possibility, especially if we take a gnome with us. Anyway - food is an important part of our trip!

We are definitely going to Versailles, that will take a whole day. I'd also like to spend one day in the country somewhere outside of Paris. (someplace that is too beautiful for Bob to have come from). Laura offered to let me include The beaches at Normandy, but sites such as this are my fascination, not hers, and I'd hate to spend a whole day (and possibly more) on myself. The Louvre will also probably be most of a day. We will probably go to either Sacre Coeur or Notre Dame, and most probably a ride down the Seine.

All of a sudden, 7 days is not so long after all.



A foggy day, in London town...

2008-04-22T14:28:13.876-04:00

....meaning it's the same-old, same-old around here.

I have these pain pills I take before I go to bed so my shoulder won't wake me up with the impulse to cut it off immediately. The pain of the amputation would both distract me from the pain in my shoulder and it at least would go away eventually. In the moments between when the meds take affect and when I drift off to sleep I write these wildly elaborate blog posts in my head, meandering from topic to topic that are so clearly within everyone's experience that I would garner many comments regaling me on my observations and my profound way of summing up everyman's life experience in such a succinct way.

And the next day you are subjected to this. dreck.

Nothing much is happening around here. All we lack getting ready for our trip to Paris next month are purchasing some cheap sunglasses that, should they be lost, won't be missed. Laura is still working on her french, she is loath to be in the same situation as last year in Versailles - having TO GO really badly and not understanding the french directions to the loo in the back forty somewhere or another. Euros were purchased last month, not in time to get ahead of the tanking dollar, but ahead of this month's tank. We bought a street map Sunday and are finalizing our itinerary. We are staying in Montmartre and going hither and yon on the metro.

As for my shoulder, I moved my next appointment up to this Friday as the cortisone might as well have been water for all of the good it did. We will see.



Round Two

2008-04-15T14:48:12.526-04:00

***updated below***

"There is a small degenerative subchondral cyst seen at the greater tuberosity. There is marginal hypertrophic involvement involving the acromioclavicular joint consistent with marginal impingement. There is no definite abnormal joint effusion. I cannot confirm any tear of the supraspinatous tendon. The long head of the biceps tendon is intact. There is no subcutaneous edema. There is some irregularity of the anterior labrum. There could be an anterior labral injury.

Impression:
I. Possible anterior labral tear.
II. Marginal hypertrophic changes of the AC joint causing marginal impingement.
III. No definitive rotator cuff tear.
IV. Degenerative subchondral cyst identified at the humeral head near the greater tuberosity. If shoulder pain persists, shoulder arthrogram and MR arthrography may be indicated.


so - off to see an orthopedic specialist tomorrow.

update
wait and see. got a shot and made an appointment to return in 3 weeks.



Here Comes the Party! WOOT!

2008-04-11T23:53:22.333-04:00

My weekend: Saturday starts at 5:30 AM when I get up and head for work. We have to implement a project we've been working on since January. If everything goes well, I'll be home by 4:00 PM. Saturday night will be either British comedies on the local PBS channel or - Police Squad. My son gave me a DVD with the original TV show episodes. either way, a good way to wind down after a tense day at work. Well, that and maybe a fermented beverage or three. Sunday will be lawn day - I can't put off the back yard any longer.

Exciting, huh?

I hope everyone in blogland has a good weekend.



Q&A, part 2

2008-04-04T20:47:00.558-04:00

I will start with the 2nd of Maggie's questions: My best life advice?That is a difficult question to answer as it is rarely asked of me. get the best education you can afford. be curious. take the time to know, and most importantly like yourself. be as honest as you can be. travel as often as you can afford, and find a way to visit another country. read as much as you can, make time for it. look for the best in people. remember your manners especially in the face of rudeness.De asked: If I could do anything (notwithstanding age, education, etc.) as a second career, what would it be and why does that interest me?I would be a pilot. Ever since I can remember, I've wanted to learn how to fly. I'm not sure I can express why I want this. I've wanted to so long I don't know the reasons why. I've had a fascination with flight forever. In my mind, it is associated with going places, exploration, freedom even.she also asked: How do I like the new music I picked up a while back?I'm still getting to know these new albums and so far I like them all - I like to play new music several times and kinda let my feelings about it come from inside - kind of a gestalt. It's too soon to tell.De finished with: Can I dance?HA! I used to try when I was a young man. Now days I am obligated to once a year - at my wife's company Christmas party. I can do what my daughter refers to as the "daddy dance" which is merely designed to embarrass her. I sometimes wish I could do the typical ballroom dances - waltz, fox trot, etc. And when I'm feeling my oats - swing.Puss asks: What's greens & cornbread?greens are one of 3 leafs that are cooked in a way particular to the American south. There are collard greens, turnip greens, and mustard greens in order of popularity. They are typically stewed with a piece of smoked pork - a knuckle is most common where I was growing up. They are most commonly served with cornbread (of which there are MANY varieties) and pepper sauce.She goes on to ask: Am I feeling any less depressed?nope.Puss ends with: Where do I stand on the naked body - show it off, or hide it away?on a personal level, do what you are comfortable with. I think that if enough people were comfortable in their own skin we could solve a host of societal ills. Over here, unfortunately, nudity is equated with sex - so if you are showing skin you must be looking to knock boots. At a more abstract level, I think that there is beauty in the human body. And by that I do not mean solely a 6 foot tall, 16 year old waif with breast implants and a bolemic-ally small waist. Male or female, large or small, short or tall - there is something fascinating about the human form. When we are naked we are at our most vulnerable - and therefore most honest state. there's nothing left to hide, from ourselves or from everyone else.Pat asks: a lot! He/She seems to be fascinated with procrastination and wants to know a lot about how I feel about various aspects of it.I think that in some ways depression defines procrastination in it's extreme. At my worst, I have stayed in bed for days doing nothing but sleeping. That is the utmost in procrastination. I cannot compare the ways in which I procrastinate with the way other people do - I don't know but one or two people well enough to know how they procrastinate and therefore have no basis for comparison. I tend to procrastinate when making life-changing decisions - I, like many people, have a certain fear of change, of the unknown. I hate that I do this and am not proud of it. I don't know how to over come it.[...]



Q&A

2008-04-04T07:38:44.861-04:00

No new questions have rolled in for over day, so time to answer those that did.Meno asked: What was the MRI for?I have been having having increasing problems with my right shoulder. It's gotten so that I cannot sleep through the night, every time I roll over the pain wakes me up. My doctor suspects a rotator cuff injury. If it is torn, it'll mean surgery. I'll find out the 14th.she also asked how're the kids doing?Both Zack and Kris are doing fine. Zack is still working 2nd shift (3:30 to 12:30) and isn't in a hurry to change it. Kris just changed majors and is happier with school. She had already declared a minor in English, so this shouldn't set her back very much, maybe just a semester.Jen asked: When was the last time I laughed really, really hard.As it happens, I bust my gut laughing twice on Monday. The first time was while reading this. The second time was later in the evening. When I was a kid I used to love watching the Dean Martin Roasts. My favorite part was when Foster Brooks would get up to speak. Well, a few weeks ago Dad gave me 6 DVDs of these comedy roasts and I watched one Monday night. I still laugh so hard I cry when Foster does his bit. Here's a taste:Liv asked: What's my favorite book.the simple answer is, I don't have one. I've been reading voraciously since I was in grade school. I would participate in the summer reading programs and use 3 or 4 sheets to list all of the books I'd read. So, in lieu of a favorite book, I'd thought I'd instead list some of my favorites.the Doctor Dolittle series by Hugh Lofting. I LOVED these when I was in grade school, I used to imagine what it would be like to be able to understand what animals were saying. I just never found me a Polynesia to teach me.The Hardy Boys series by Franklin W. Dixon. This was my introduction to mysteries. I read every one of them (of the original series), and still have about 10 or 15 of them that were given me as presents. I always saw myself as Frank but I wasn't much interested in "his steady date" Callie Shaw - not being into girls yet. I think everyone knows by now that this series, along with Nancy Drew, the Bobbsey Twins, Tom Swift and one or two other series were all the idea of one man, Edward Stratemeyer and were written by a series of ghost writers under various pen names - Carolyn Keene for Nancy Drew, etc.The Foundation series by Isaac Asmiov. I got interested in science fiction in high school. I still prefer those athors I found first - Asimov, Arthur Clark, Larry Niven, etc. Asimov writes in such a way that his worlds seem eminently possible. (It helps that he was an actual scientist). Ditto Arthur Clark. He was also - I prefer for the science in science fiction to be so, I don't know, inevitable, that it fades into the background and allows the story to come out. You aren't constantly thinking - there's no way that could happen.The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. I found these while in high school and they remain at the top of my all-time favorite list. Every few years I re-read them. He created such a complete world with complex back-stories for all of the creatures in them, why they react to each other as they do, whey they behave as they do, you get completely lost in the Third World - and mourn it's passing at the end of the trilogy.Agatha Christie's Poirot and Mrs. Marple mysteries - classics. I think I've read them all, I still pick one up and re-read it occasionally. Part of this is that I think I am a closet Anglophile. This are the epitome of the drawing room mystery.Sherlock Holmes by Si[...]



let me have it!

2008-03-31T08:41:42.356-04:00

Between the crud, pine pollen and an MRI I've not had much motivation to blog lately. I've just not had anything I've wanted to talk about enough to find the energy to put an entry together.

So, I'd thought I'd borrow this "meme" and take questions from the floor. Ask anything you wish in the comments and I'll write a post of the answers. Now's your chance to find out about that thing that's been nagging you in the back of your head, or stuck in your craw. Nothing is sacred although I reserve the right to protect the privacy of the other people in my life.



wow, part 2

2008-03-20T12:55:12.780-04:00

I cannot remember a time when I haven't been depressed. It is my status quo, my point of equilibrium. My problems reach way back into my childhood. I remember going to a child psychologist for a little while when I was about 11 years old, all I really remember is playing cards and that he/she (I can't remember which) had a neat machine for shuffling them.)

The wow that started this was the quote from Tuesday. The reason for wow has to do with almost a year of therapy that I thought didn't do me any good. This was about 10 years go, and the therapist's conclusion was that my depression was rooted in my relationship with my father. I had not received the love/support/attention/whatever from my dad that I needed. The problem I had with this conclusion was that I didn't believe it. I love my dad and respect him for who he is and what he's accomplished in his life. I just couldn't reconcile what I felt for my dad and what my therapist told me was the problem.

And then I read the wow passage and it slapped me in the face. I didn't have to defend my feelings for my dad by denying what the therapist told me. It wouldn't be a betrayal to acknowledge his role in my emotional state.

I don't know if I agree with my therapist, even with this realization. But I really wish I could have read this back then, I might have been able to get something out of therapy other than a huge bill.

I have a lot to think about.



wow

2008-03-18T09:39:04.846-04:00

I just read something.

"It never occurred to me that I can examine the past and accept that my childhood was not normal without being vindictive or resentful toward my Mom and Dad. They screwed up a lot; so do I. It doesn't make me love them any less fiercely than I do and it doesn't make me think for one second that they were bad parents."

I wouldn't say that my parents screwed up a lot, but SOMETHING SOMEWHERE caused this constant, unrelenting depression that NOTHING has been able to relieve.

Maybe life can be a happy experience?



Playlist

2008-03-10T23:57:26.927-04:00

okay, here's what was ordered:

Wilco - Sky Blue Sky
Amy Winehouse - Back to Black
The Killers - Sam's Town
The Dandy Warhols - Odditorium or Warlords of Mars
Ok Go - Oh No
Feist - The Reminder
U2 - How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
John Coltrane - Blue Train
Susan Tedeschi - Hope and Desire
Madeleine Peyroux - Half the Perfect World

a mix of new(ish) stuff and older standards. Thanks for all of your recommendations. I wish I could've ordered twice as much - but I still wouldn't have been able to get all of the new music you've shared with me.



I don't know about Omnipotence

2008-03-04T12:59:04.344-05:00

Daisy has tagged me for this meme and I guess as she commands, I obey (kinda old-testamenty vibe here).

1) If I were an all-powerful being and ruled this world, I would:

Make sure every child was raised in a safe and happy home; well fed and educated to the extent they are capable. This would solve the majority of the problems in the world within a generation.

2) If I could be all-knowing, I would want to know:

The reality of all of the mysteries of the past. Did Nero burn Rome? Who was Lucy’s ancestor and descendants? Was Mary Magdalene Jesus’ wife, the “head” disciple, or camp follower? What did the seven wonders of the world really look like? Did Oswald act alone? Did Atlantis really exist? How is my first love doing? Where are my missing socks?

3) If I could move the heavens and the earth, I would:

Give people the wisdom to peacefully coexist.

4) If I had the power to shift time (or move through time) I would:

Go back and watch the world come into being. Watch the first spark of curiosity in mankind. Watch my children being born. Give people the opportunity to really see their what ifs……

5) If, in my infinite wisdom, I were able to bestow anything on anyone, I would:

Give everyone the ability to be happy.

6) If, looking back, I realized I had goofed when I made the world, I would fix:

How easy it is to hate.

As usual, I won't tag anyone - but if you feel compelled, take this up and link back so we can see.



who remember's 78's?

2008-02-25T15:41:29.423-05:00

Having been recently reminded of my neanderthal music collection, I am considering taking up a music's club periodic offer on discounted discs. The implication being that I need guidance in this area, in order to make sure I get an adequate sampling of current music, I am asking for suggestions. If you feel so inclined you could tell me why I should choose this over that - but it isn't necessary to justify your suggestions.

Please share some of your favorite music with me. Don't limit your suggestions to something you think I might like - I have an eclectic range of interests and am always open to new experiences.

Even if it took me 10 years to accumulate more CDs than I had records.



every day, in every way

2008-02-14T01:12:37.569-05:00

"And then it happens. She steps into a permanent spot formed by his embrace, the years fall away...."