Archive for November, 2009

Packing. Busy. I got nothing but the following video that made me laugh and reminded me of watching this with the siblings.

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The story is that Ben Franklin thought the wild turkey was a better choice over the bald eagle as the official bird of the new nation. Sounds ridiculous now, after years of indoctrination into the soaring bald eagle club, but it seems to me the big bird with the turkey neck was a good choice. The wild turkey is apparently tough as nails, fearless, a little crazy looking with magnificent visual attributes, and a keen sense of survival. And not as thick headed as we’ve been led to believe (old article but it paints the goofy bird with Jurassic Park Raptor skills and that pleases me). And delicious. Don’t forget delicious. You know…like Americans.

And Ben gave us this kind of pragmatism, and this, with a wink and a smile. So I trust his judgment.

If you would not be forgotten
As soon as you are dead and rotten,
Either write things worthy reading,
Or do things worth the writing.

And, if the football starts to bore you, watch this movie. Really captures the madness wrapped in candy-coating that is Thanksgiving in America.

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While I continue to get my head right, have a look at Henry Morgan Dodd (aka, Chicken Little) who inadvertently was given the same name as the Captain for whom Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum is named. If you knew Baby D at all you would be struck dumbfounded and would quit your heathen ways and get to church because you would recognize that this naming event offers proof that there are no coincidences. He shall be henceforth called “Captain” if I have anything to do with it…

Congratulations Baby D. Amazing Christmas present to yourself.

UPDATE: Good girl. Of course, you’re still a husband pincher and, as a woman, I can’t pretend that I’m okay with that; but I’m glad to see you can think for yourself. I hear they make that pretty hard to do in your industry. So, does this mean the rumored big screen adaptation of Atlas Shrugged will finally become a reality? C’mon girl…you know you’d knock Dagny Taggart out of the park. But then, maybe that’s why this is all being “leaked” right now, eh?

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Moving in a few weeks. It’s a strange fact of life — I think I can say this with authority. I’ve been around long enough to notice the frequency of this happening — that you never quite end up with exactly what you started out going for. Often, depending on perspective, what you get is in fact better than what you thought you wanted. People with an inclination toward spirituality (of which I am one) attribute this to the whole working in mysterious ways thing. But you must have that perspective — you must seek it, grab at it, dig through the filth to get at it and hold it like it’s the most precious commodity on earth. Because really, it is. And Dear Lord in heaven help me it takes work to maintain that perspective. Sometimes it feels as though there are people walking around who have cultivated a purpose in life that is singularly designed to crush that perspective-gathering when they see it happening. (While the quasi-paranoia of that statement is discomforting, I’m not sure it’s not warranted…). A challenge for some (ahem, me) is recognizing that tendency in those around me and either moving away from those people completely or just sort of putting them in a place where they can do as little harm as possible. I only say this because with this move I’ve got to start now in defining how much access I allow those people to what motivates me. In the past, I have been unfocused and weak when it came to letting that kind of nonsense dictate how I operate. It has come to no good. Never. Not once. Very recently, I’ve managed to negotiate a situation that was largely a result of years of living in that swamp of weakness — and that was my doing. I chose to live there and am responsible — into something good, but by the skin of my teeth. I have a debt of gratitude to some folks that I hope one day I can repay. They speak well of their organization and those praises will go with me and I’ll sing them to anyone who will listen.

So, while this move takes me far afield from where I thought I was going and what I believed I wanted and would be doing at this stage in life, it is a move in some direction and that’s been needed for a long, long time. And so I’m open to it and am grabbing at that perspective. And if you are of the mind to try to chip away at it, please be aware you are now officially on notice. I’ve no room nor patience to entertain that kind of thing. If you are determined in your endeavor, please move along. From here on in, only perspective. Confusion will be turned away at the door.

And, because I heard this the other day for the first time in, man…years and years, and, in that mysterious way, was precisely the thing that gave me some of that perspective, here’s a beautiful song. Sometimes, after I’ve had a few beers, I can sing a decent rendition of this song. But it could just be the beer ears that makes it sound decent…

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I’m torn on what to think about this — on the one hand, I’m convinced that healthcare providers have become like pushers over the last decade (maybe longer) and we’re all over-medicated and yet, oddly, less healthy than we would be if we just ate right, exercised a bit, imbibed in moderation, got plenty of sleep and only took drugs when the infection demanded it. However, it does seem like it could be a precursor to rationing because, if for no other reason, the speed at which opinion changed regarding what’s the best tactic for preventing breast cancer is suspect. Where’s the fire? Some thought is required…

Also, there’s no way to overstate how much I like this song when it finds me again after a prolonged period of separation. Especially when my days lately are filled with unfriendly and nasty business that I’ve no choice but to address and resolve. It allows me a moment to be the misunderstood teenager again, and who doesn’t need that in the safety of their car every once in awhile?

Also, meet an old High School friend. There is a cadence and direction of argument that is always familiar to me with these old friends. Coming from somewhere most definitely shapes how you interact with the world and who you choose to interact with. And that’s the random thought of the day my friends…

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Let the apathy begin

Lots going on and the old heart is being forced to harden in order to make the changes necessary. Oddly, for the first time, I don’t know what’s going to happen and how I’ll make things work. I really don’t know. It’s freaking me out. But I have to make it work for reasons that are probably not the right ones but that motivate me anyway: to prove them wrong. You know, them. The ones who’ve disregarded and marginalized, or acted as disruptions and naysayers, or savored the taste of panic and struggle. They must be proven wrong.

It’s troubling that these reasons are not insignificant motivations. The desire to better oneself should take precedence. Maybe it does but it’s less palpable at times, less real.

Anyway, while I slowly go mad with everything that must be done — and trust, when the madness subsides, there will be time for finalizing and putting things in the past (as my Modern Dance teacher says, open your shoulders and face the future! Hokey, I know. Also true and exactly what I need to hear…) — here’s this (thanks D. Matt). One day, things will resemble something other than chaos here and I can communicate rationally again. Here’s hoping.

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Yeah, pretty much what they said. It is important to remember that influences do not take precedence over individual responsibility in the Hasan case. Wait…let me tell you why…

Because, while his fanaticism cannot be discounted and may offer proof to many Americans that homegrown terrorists are the real deal (let’s not even talk about the inconsistency and foolishness of that kind of denial…), it is just as egregious to blame his actions on the alleged harassment for his convictions as it is to blame only his convictions. Wait…let me finish…

Radical Islam fueled the events. Without question. May even have demanded it. But recognizing that Hasan was the type of man who goes in for that kind of fanaticism is likely the same thing that makes him the kind of man who can walk into work, pull a trigger and take many lives, is, I believe, an important thing to do. I guess the question is: if you take radical Islam out of the equation, is Hasan still a timebomb? My bet is yes. So, what’s the answer?

Just reread the last few paragraphs of the WSJ piece. I have no urge to alienate some of our most useful allies — and some of the people who will benefit most from efforts to tame the fanatics — so remaining sober, thoughtful and remembering that we, in this country, do believe in individual responsibility, will be advantageous in our fight against those who seek to destroy the principles by which we live. I’m wondering where Hasan will place the blame…I’m just saying we shouldn’t let him get away with whining about the influences that made him do it.

However, none of this is meant to suggest that his fanaticism and religious conviction do not have a starring role. Perhaps this situation will force some of the political correctness that prevents action to the back of the damn line so that threats can be taken seriously at the time when the hairs on the back of the neck first go up. Which sounds like a long time ago in Hasan’s case.

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