4.20.2002

Just found a great site and even included it in the links to the left....Puppy Bowling! The New American Sport. LOL.

Took the plunge today and bought a digital camera. I am still planning on doing some things on eBay and I wanted to be able to send some pictures home of the area, the dogs, cats, etc., so it will be used quite a bit. I need to figure out what is the ideal resolution and file size to email these things without bogging everyone's mail down. It takes great pictures because I have it set as high as it will go right now, but I like having the high res original and then I can dial it back for emailing. Good to have a CDR too, I can burn these onto a CD for long-term storage and save my hard drive.

Have done some research on posting images to a blog site and I will need to get set up with an email account somewhere that gives you free disk space on their server to host the photos. I think there are some freebies out there or it may just cost a little bit to do that.

My friend Julie bought a digital camera over a year ago before she took off for England and the whole time she was there, she sent one damn picture! At a housewarming party at her new place a month ago, she took all kinds of great pictures, but has she sent them out? No. I make this pledge: I will email cool pictures to my friends and family and not let months and months go by before I do so. LOL

Oh, and I have this friend who has a friend that the first friend, not the second friend.....LOL. Good grief. What a mess. Whatever. Inside joke I guess.

g'night

J
Hey Howdy,
Didn't get a chance to finish my thoughts yesterday regarding BS and the increasing levels of it that surrounds me. Reminds me of that parable of the little bird that was flying along and froze and landed in a pile of cow flop then got thawed out. That is all I can remember of that at the moment, I will dig around in my email and find it. Also makes me think of the scorpion and the frog, you remember that one? The scorpion asked the frog to let him ride on the frog's back across the stream and the frog said no, you will sting me, the scorpion said, no I won't. The scorpion hopped on the frog's back, they started across the stream and the scorpion stung the frog. As the frog was being paralyzed by the scorpion's sting, slowly going under the water with the soon-to-be-doomed scorpion, he asked, why did you do that? The scorpion replied, I am a scorpion, that is my nature.

Not sure why I brought that one up, I think it was in some movie or a tv show recently, maybe that is why I remember it.

Nuttin' much else going on today. Dan is still up north with Kathy and her girls, he called this morning and they were in a hotel a block or so away from where he and I lived up in south Everett. He was planning on taking them to Snohomish and around to some of his old haunts up there today, sounds like fun.

(came back to these and have changed the names to protect the innocent and the guilty)
Talked with my buddy "Mike" from "Company X", got filled in on his trip back to "South Carolina" to see his "dad" that he had't seen in 7 or 8 years. No, I promise, Mom and Dad, it won't be that long before I get home! He also filled me in on "Company X" and the new clients and projects going on out there. "Bill", who is "Mike's" boss and who used to be mine is now affectionately called Shithead by those that work for him. One of the instances where someone was promoted to their level of incompetancy. His office is lined with how-to-manage books, I don't think he has ever cracked the spine on any of them. 'Nuff said on that deal.

It would sure suck to be a cork on the ocean that is Company X at the moment. Many people there are so frustrated, they want to do a good job, earn a decent wage and contribute to the place, be successful, but the folks in charge never seem to catch a clue. Most of the top managers out there are from the old school style of management and that is what they know and that is how they operate. Woe unto you if you are a female or if you don't play their game. Every now and then you could see a glimmer of hope, one of those guys slowly starting to think outside of the box then, with an audible whip-crack sound, they would revert back to what they know, crushing dreams and hopes in the process. Blah, blah, blah. If I had to give advice to anyone that worked there, I would say to use the chance to earn a devent living, use the high-speed bandwidth internet connectivity out there to surf the job sites, use the workout room and other facilities as much as possible and plan their escape. I got sucked into it out there too, you think that things are so bad out in the world that oh-my-gosh, you are just plum lucky to have a job, thank god for Company X! God Bless them! Sheesh, I AM bitter. I think that I have been holding this stuff in for a while, it is good to get it out!

My mom sent me an email with a reference to a book I just saw yesterday in the bookstore "A Confederacy of Dunces", sounds like it might relate to my ranting above!

On to a new topic.

If it was a crappy day out, I would take the time to get the Grand Canyon Trip down in here, but I will wait for a day that doesn't have blue skies and semi-warm weather. So, I am going to sign off and go run some errands and see what is going on in the world. I went out earlier, hit the gym and got a mocha as a reward but now I am clean shaven, did some laundry and now I need to hit Target for some new socks, or I might hit Costco. It's the little things that make the world go 'round! I hope everyone has a grand day!

Via con Dios,
Jason

4.19.2002

Friday afternoon and all is well.
Paycheck arrived, it IS Friday, and I AM CHAMPION OF THE ELLIPTICAL TRAINER!!!!!!! YES! I did 5320 or so this morning after my dismal showing yesterday, crushing, obliterating, smashing my previous best. I thought yesterday that all was lost, that taking a few days off, having one too many Guiness beers to drink, made me revert to the shape I was in 6 weeks ago, but NO! Damn, that felt good this morning. After that I worked on my shoulders and I could barely drive home.

Not much philosophically to report today. Have been getting some good work done on the VB app I am working on and I am also working on some real-time data access pages for another application that we are discussing in the office. Kind of still in the proto-type, tossing around ideas phase, but it could be cool and it could be big. Have also started working on my business plan for the Oly office, laying the foundation to get into more IS/IT consulting work.

If anyone ever asked me what my biggest pet peeve is, what one thing in the world pisses me off the most, it would be injustice. I have had my soul tweaked so many times in my life by injustices big and small. It hurts and it scars you deep and it lasts a long time when you observe or are part of one of these. As a manager in a couple of past jobs, I was presented with the assignment of evoking and applying injustice to those that worked for me. I usually was able to talk to my boss about my perception of this and explain to them why I was balking at implementing whatever lame-ass procedure or policy the geniouses thought up. Usually it worked. Sometimes it didn't. It was always, For The Good Of The Company, or, That Is The Way That Big Companies Do It. No it's not. Successful companies don't lie or mistreat their employees! Successful companies can take anyone, from the lowest paid junior administrative person all the way to the CEO and make them feel a part of a team, make it feel like they are involved, they empower their employees, what they have to say is WORTH something. There is so much bullshit going on out there in the world at these places that it absolutely, positively amazes me that these fricking places are still in business. Maybe it is just me! Am I the one that is crazy? Am I the lowest common denominator, the one thing that all of these places have in common? Well crap, maybe so. Maybe to be successful, you have to mistreat your employees, under-pay them, lie to them, use smoke and mirrors and shiny baubles to distract them from what is really going on and bullshit your clients and tell them bald-faced lies. It is all for the good of the company, right? All about making more money, right? Bull Shit.

Of course, my former employer, "Company X" is one of these places. A true-life example of the Septic Tank Philosophy of Business, the Big Turds Rise to the Top, or Promoted To The Appropriate Level Of Incompetency. Many folks that work there are held captive by these morons simply because they chose to make their life in "Blue" Harbor County. They have families there, they see the potential in the company and they like the people they work with. Being a victim of the layoffs has, of course, made me a bit bitter about the whole place. But, and I need to think of a good example.....oh, remember the Jim Jones bit, his followers sat and drank the poison, and kept drinking, even after they saw their first fellow cult-member flop over dead? Well, maybe not that bad, but it is bad there. The folks in the trenches work hard, they perform, as my friend "Nick James" put it, "heroic acts" almost every week to get the sites out, keep it going and updated, to get new code pushed, to get the application done for the client. They go to bed every night with visions of "Comapny X" in their heads and then they wake up and get right back to it the next morning, working their tails off for a couple hundred shares of stock and a big bag of dreams. With the right folks behind the wheel out there, that place could do okay. Graft, corruption, crony-ism, good grief. Absolutely amazing.

I hope that whoever took my place after I left never has to walk one of their employees down the hall to tell them they got laid off and then turn right around, going against every grain of sensibility and justice in your body, tell the rest of the folks that work for you that things will be okay.

I gotta run to the bank and do a couple other errands, but I will be back later to wrap this rant up.

4.18.2002

Alrighty then,
Thursday about 1:30 or so, trying to get a little work done, the sun is coming out and it is making it hard to be in here. Going to take a lunch break here in a little bit and run the dog for a while, hope she doesn't take off like she did on Dan the other day while I was gone.

Haven't heard anything from Tim yet regarding the navy presentation that he went to this morning, I hope it went well and that they are out celebrating!

Not too much else going on, got a few more stories rolling around in my head, silly things like The Trip to the Grand Canyon or How Sun Chips Saved Us, got more philosophical BS in me that I need to get out and process through the blog site too. Still pretty tired today and totally sucked during the workout this morning. Hopefully it is just because I was tired after the trip and not because I didn't work out for a couple of days, that would not be good.

Sat next to a mom and her two kids on the way from San Diego to Seattle yesterday. They were heading to Silverdale to see her brother who has lung cancer and is about ready to die. The daughters were very cute, one was 10, named Maria and the other was 19 months, named Paula. The mom was Phillipino and her daughters were hispanic/phillipino, very, very cute. The older one was fascinated by my computer and sat totally mesmerized by the application I was working on and the document I worked on for a bit. About 2 hours into the flight, the mother asked me to get down one of their bags for her so she could change the diapers on the baby, yikes! I got the bag down but luckily, she had put the diaper stuff in the checked-on luggage. Not sure what I would have done having to smell ka-ka confined in an airplane! Gak! The older girl was very polite and friendly and we had some interesting conversations about books and school and she asked me if I had been to the Kitsap Mall before, etc., etc. Overall, it was a good flight.

This weekend is shaping up to be a good one. The weather is supposed to be nice and the annual Procession of the Species is this weekend too in Olympia. It is quite an amazing spectacle with all kinds of yahoos dressed up like animals and woodland things: trees, streams, bushes, animals, etc. It is quite a deal. The Art Walk is coming up as well. Local businesses host this, showing local artists' work in their shops and stores, there are wine tastings, food, music, lots of good things going on. Last year, one of the guys that worked for me at SafeHarbor was actually displayed in a picture painted by his girlfriend! That was pretty funny.

Getting the fishing gear out this weekend too, need to get things cleaned up, stretched out, refreshed and ready to go. Going to get as many days in fishing this year as I can. Also, the local GIS user's conference is down in Bend Oregon this year so I will be taking a week off to fly fish that famous area. A gal that owns a consulting firm down in Bend is arranging for a couple of drift boats and it should be a great time. That is a beautiful part of the country. If I didn't enjoy Oly so much, I would trek down there and live. Mountains, high desert, world class trout fishing, lots of good mountain biking and skiing. Hopefully by then I will have a digital camera and will be able to take some great pictures.

When I was in San Diego this week, I had dinner with the owner/president of the company a couple of times, I think I mentioned that. Besides being a pilot, he is also an amatuer photographer, with lots of really high-end digital photographic equipment, even has his own large-format photo printer. Anyhow, in the office, the walls are covered with framed photos that I found out were taken by him of the Sun Valley area over in Idaho. That is another beautiful place that I visited a couple of times. I actually remembered seeing some of the same vistas and views of the valley that Jim photographed. His daughter lives/works over there so he just pops in his turbo-jet and flies over there whenever he feels like it! Sounds pretty rough....

I need to get back to work now so I will write some more later. Hope everyone is doing good out there!

Jason

Almost midnight, and will be by the time I post this. Made it back okay, had a good flight and then took Tim home and polished the Needs Assessment proposal that he is delivering tomorrow, will be a good job for is for about 50k then addtional work afterwards of several million, nice. Got to hit the hay cuz I have to work out in the morning, I will write more tomorrow when I get a chance.

- Jake

4.17.2002

Hi,
Just finished helping Tim with a Needs Assessment for a potentially HUGE client. He is going to let me PM the project if we get it and it will be a multi-year, multi-million dollar deal, so I am pretty excited.

Had dinner with Tim and the boss again tonight at a place called Cabo’s just south of here. The place had really good food but the best thing was the view from the restaurant – it is on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and it was amazing, I could see the coast all the way to the horizon, waves crashing in, people walking, jogging, playing with their dogs, flying kites.

We went to Pendleton this morning. It is a freaking gigantic place but I wasn’t too impressed with the office we met in. I am not sure what I expected but it sure didn’t measure up to my vision. We met with the head of the GIS department who handles all of the facility management and discussed additional work for them. Saw a large group of Marines on a football field, fully loaded for bear, going through the process of lunging and stabbing. Didn’t get a chance to go anywhere else, so, sorry Dad, we will have to track down a Marine Corps ring some other way.

The weather today was much better than yesterday. When I walked out of the hotel room, the sun was out, blue skies, a little warmer – it was spectacular. I hope tomorrow holds more of the same, I will have to watch the weather tonight.

I am using Word right now to type up my blog for the day. Not sure if the local phone charges are per minute or not, so I will type and then cut and paste in a little while.

Wow, some dude fell off of the cliff in La Jolla! And Lived! (news is on while I type)

I am ready to head home. I miss by own bed, as lame as it is and I miss working out in the mornings. I have to get up early here and there is not enough time to put myself through any paces. I will have to hit it hard Thursday morning! I am still trying to achieve the ability to run in the 5 Mile run in about a month or so. I think I can make it now, but I don’t want to be last!

Still pondering what I want to say about The River Why. It is my favorite book of all time; it would be the one book I took with me on the deserted island. ‘Nuff said for now. Maybe that is enough. Naw, I will write a huge exposition on it when I get back home.

A friend of mine is feeling down and out tonight and I am suffering too, what do they call it with childbirth? Sympathetic pains? They have had a tough time with some things and it is hard for me too because they have always been the one I looked too for inspiration, the things they have had to deal with during their life would make anyone else crumble. It is life, I know, things can be hard and you always have to get back up and get back to it and I want so much to be there to help and talk it through but I can’t. All I can say is this, they are one of my heroes and I know they will get their feet back under them and they will succeed. Never give up, NEVER EVER.

We all grow up with dreams and visions of how our lives will be. The things that happen to us shape us, mold us, affect us, make us cry, make us laugh, make us humble, make us proud. I have had a fortunate life, I have a family that cares for me, I have been lucky to be involved with groups like the Boy Scouts and the fraternity and I have had awesome jobs, working with incredible people that affected me. I had great teachers like Ivan Slaughter and my many writing instructors (should have paid more attention to them based on all of these rambling, run-on sentences!), I have had the pleasure of listening to my Chemistry professor in college tell me of his trips to Glacier Park where he ran a convenience store during the summer. I have the best friends that anyone could have.

I have also had heartbreaks and sorrows that to me, made it seem like the world was ending, why should I go on at all? What is the use of even trying, why should I keep going? I was lucky enough to have people like my Mom and Dad and my grandparents there to offer assistance and support and encouragement and a kick in the butt when I needed it. I keep dreaming, I keep trying to achieve these things I have in my mind.

I guess what I am getting at is this: my story that I wrote in high school that I talked about waaaay too much in a previous post, well, I am going to hold on to that dream. Not the part about the house or the barn or being a writer, those things were all just fringe elements, they were the frame to the picture. What that story was all about was love; pure and simple, love of life and family.

This blogging process has given me the chance to write all of these things that are in my head, things that I never talked to anyone about. Talking about a lot of these things in the past would have felt weak to me, they were my inner thoughts, they were mine and people might have laughed at me or felt ashamed for me if I revealed all of these things. But, this process has given me the chance to lay it all out and it sure feels better. Weird how thinking that holding things in would make me feel stronger because now that I have done it, spread it all out on the table, I feel stronger than ever. I feel like telling these stories to anyone who will listen! Got a sec, let me tell you about my family, my friends, my pet, the first time I heard my dad say the “F” word, the time I did this thing or that thing. And the funniest part is thinking that anybody cares about this. LOL!!!! But, it sure has been a good release for me.

One of my best friends told me about a month ago that they were upset because I never talked. I was totally close-lipped about some things that were embarrassing or made me feel vulnerable and I held it all in, trying to deal with these things on my own terms. Pretty stupid and ultimately, the biggest tragedy in my life. But I have learned the hard way that I can talk to my friends and family about these things and imagine this, it makes me feel better. It is probably weirding everybody else out though.

I almost have it all out of my system, which is a good thing. I want to continue writing in here, relaying stories that I remember of my childhood and of growing up and the funny, sad and joyous things that have happened to me.

New version of The Story: Light breeze blowing across the field that is cleared for my house, sun shining, blue skies and fluffy clouds. Not any specific house, but a place where love and laughter live every day and every night. There, on the porch or patio or out back behind the shed or around the corner of the mobile home are my folks and all of my friends. Laughter is almost non-stop as dogs and kids of all ages run through the grass, some folks are playing horseshoes, others hanging out around the keg or the BBQ grill. Me, I am sitting back, watching, listening, as the people that I care for and love are all here, talking, telling their stories and it makes me smile. Somewhere, there is a woman who cares for me and loves me and understands my weirdness and she is getting the sun tea jar from the back stoop. I am the luckiest man in the world.

I will NEVER EVER give up on that dream.

Wrapping up now:
More work in Carlsbad tomorrow, flying home later in the evening, hitting the airport at 9 or so then the long drive home.

If you ever get the chance, grab any book of poetry written by Pablo Neruda. Your life will be changed.

Go rent "Mind Walk" 1991, Sam Waterson, Liv Ullman, John Heard. This is the first place I ever heard a Pablo Neruda poem.

Last thought for the day, not sure where I heard this but it is always in my thoughts:
"We judge ourselves by our intentions, we judge others by their actions". Something to think about.

Muchas Gracias.

JFH


4.15.2002

Hello from Beautiful San Diego!
Well, not actually. I think the weather followed us down here - it was 55 degrees and rainy when we touched down this morning. Yuck. I was hoping to get a little sun and let the warm weather dry some of the moss that has grown on me over the past few months.

The day started at 3 AM after getting about 2 hours or so of restless sleep. I always have a hard time sleeping before early flights, I think I am too paranoid about over-sleeping and missing the flight, plus, I had to pick up Tim at his home in Puyallup. We were going to get a ride from his wife, but she was under the weather so I drove and parked at the airport.

This is the first time I have flown since the terrorist attacks on Sept 11th. I remember that day still very clearly, where I was, what I was doing, who I was with, when the phone rang and when were told to turn on the TV. Seeing images of all that still brings back painful memories and will for a long, long time although I am fortunate to have been with someone I care for very much when it all happened

Our flight was set to take off at 6:50, so we got there fairly early and it was a good thing! We had to wait in a pretty long line, although it grew to 10 times the length after we got there. Had to show my boarding pass and my license, pull out the laptop and send it through the x-ray machine. After I cruised through the metal detector, I was singled out, apparently looking like a dangerous criminal in my suit! Before hand, I had gone through every pocket of my computer bag, my carry-on bag, pockets of my suit coat and pants, and had even removed the cigar cutter shaped like a loaded cartridge that Jim Box gave me for Christmas years ago!

As they pulled me out of line, I had to tell the airport security person that they better catch my $2000 laptop before it clattered down the rollers after making it through the x-ray. She did get it for me and set it aside, then I had to empty my pockets, wallet and micro-roll of certs into the bucket after she inspected the certs and dug through my wallet. She used the hand wand all over me, had to remove my belt, then take off my shoes for another trip through the x-ray machine. Good grief. I was afraid Tim had gone ahead without me, but I saw him still waiting for me and we went on to the gate together.

You may think this part is silly and sentimental and not very brave of me, but I was worried about flying so I took some pictures with me and had them in my hand as we took off on the plane. They were pictures of my grandparents, parents, brother and other folks that I care for and yes, even one of Sage! I wanted their images in my head just in case anything happened. I know, I know, plane travel is probably safer now than ever; it is more dangerous to go to the 7-11 in Tumwater. But, I was still worried. I am glad I have these pictures with me; I am going to make that a habit and carry them with me all of the time.

Of course, the flight was safe and uneventful. Had a wonderful breakfast of a micro-bowl of cereal, the world’s smallest milk container (4 oz), a banana and a little muffin about the size of a quarter. We made it in to San Diego with no problems, fetched our rental car and made our way to the office in Carlsbad.

I had forgotten how pretty this area is. From the window in my hotel room I can see, hear and smell the ocean. Even though it is overcast, it is still a beautiful area. We are off to Camp Pendleton tomorrow, have another meeting in the afternoon, then Chris, our CTO is heading back to Seattle so we are taking him to the airport, stopping for dinner somewhere. I will try to get into the PX Dad, but not too confidant on that! Maybe one of our contacts can go do it for me!

Chris Wade, our CTO, is an interesting fellow. He is my age and has worked with Jim Young, our owner and president for about 7 years or so at various other companies. He is married, has three kids ranging from 1.5 to 12, lives supposedly in a great place on the Peninsula and commutes from there several times a week to our office in Bothell. His wife plays semi-pro football! That is all I know about that so far but it is intriguing to me! Doesn’t that make you curious too? Chris says she is very competitive and plays as many sports as she can and still manages to take care of the kids. I am impressed. Chris is a good guy and I really enjoy working with him.

I mentioned in the previous post that I wasn’t sure what I was going to ramble on about in this edition. A HUGE topic could be my favorite book, The River Why and why I should have named my dog after the gal in the story whose name was Edwina and preferred to go by “Eddie”, but I will save that for another day when I am using a regular keyboard because I can’t type quick enough on the laptop to keep up with my thoughts on that topic!

I have spent a lot of time thinking about what I wrote yesterday about The Story. I want to write more on that later this week after I figure out what it is I want to say.

Well, I need to hit the hay and first make sure that I have my clothes ironed and ready to go tomorrow. I hope everyone is safe and sound out there; I miss all of you more than I can say.

J


4.14.2002

Just got back from running a few errands, got a HUGE coffee, picked up a book and a magazine for the trip to San Diego tomorrow morning and did a couple of other things. Got up a little earlier today than I did yesterday and I feel better about the day already. Sometimes it sucks to sleep in when you have things to do and you miss out on part of the day.

Was just listening to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in the truck. Damn, that music brings back some fun times and some great memories. When I was in college, I worked for a company called B&J Waterproofing. The two owners of that company, Bob and John, were great guys to work for. Bob was so into music that when we bought new 2 ton trucks for the work we did, he had them put in awesome steroes and speakers so we would be flying down the road with the music blasting, singing our lungs out, that was fun. Bob's older brother Josh was a song writer and musician who played with the NGDB so we listened to a lot of their music. You may have heard of "You and Me Goin' Fishin' in the Dark" or "Mr. Bo Jangles", or "I Love Only You". We sang "You and Me Goin' Fishin'...." so many times I think I could still belt out all the words if I was held at gunpoint in a Karaoke Bar! Get this, I was just looking at a web site for the NGDB NGDB Site and they have a timeline of the band and they were in "Paint Your Wagon" - the very odd Western Musical with Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood and they were also the backing band for Steve Martin when he did "King Tut" (Gotta condo made-a stone-a)!!!

Working for Bob and John was pretty awesome. Bob had lost some fingers on his right hand but he could still handle a shovel like it was no one's business. If I remember right, he worked at one of the car plants in KC and lost his fingers in a press, youch! Not sure if anyone is interested in this or not, but thought I would jot it down in here..... We would load up the trucks every morning with as much gravel as we could haul, usually about 15 cubic yards, swing by 7-11 for soda and juice or a BBQ rib sandwich for breakfast, lol, then go across to the gas station and gas up and then hit the road. Most of our work was over on the Kansas side with all the new gigantic homes being built so we usually had about a 30 minute drive at least.

Basically, what we did was this: John would usually get there ahead of us and start on the waterproofing spray on the outside of the foundation, following the plan view of the house as designed by the builder. Once we arrived there, we would assess the situation, decide how we were going to attack the job ahead of us and get to work. Sometimes it really sucked because of rain or the excavator dug too big of a hole and we would have to walk 5 gallon buckets full of gravel from the road. Typically though, we could back the truck up and start. We carried with us several rolls of the perforated black drainage piping with us as well as a bucket for the sump pump. One of us would hop into the basement and locate where they wanted the sump pump, dig a hole about 3 foot deep, dig a hole under the footer for the pipe to reach the sump and set it all up and then get back out of the hole. Meanwhile, the rest of the crew would lay out the rest of the pipe along the top of the footer at the base of the outside wall. Once that was complete, we would get the truck in position, raise the bed and start scooping with large scoop shovels, covering the drain pipe and most of the footer with gravel, the NGDB or Van Halen blasting on the stereo, god that was fun

It was hard work and there were some days where it just totally sucked, but it was fun. I remember one or two of the jobs that had so much water in the basement already that we were standing in three feet of water. Normally we would not have done those jobs until the water had been pumped out but the builder wanted it done so they could build the rest of the house. I imagine that those few houses have water problems now.

I worked for three summers with those guys and damn, I was in good shape! All of us were huge and we would walk into some hoity-toity lunch place in Lenexa, stinking from the waterproof oil and dusty and grimy from the gravel and people would slowly move out of the way!

Bob would buy that nasty Kodiak Snuff and a small bottle of Jack Daniel's and spike the snuff with that! We would also buy huge stoogies and do our best imitations of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Bob had a sweeeet harley that he would blast all over town in. I think he laid it down once cuz he had problems holding onto it with the missing fingers! Fridays were always the best, Bob or John would pick up a 12 pack and put it on ice and pull it out during the last job of the day, we would sit in the shadow of the truck, just plum wore out, throat parched and drink those beers. It was the best. It didn't matter if the beer was nasty Milwaukee Best Light, as long as it was cold and tasted like beer.

That was one of the most rewarding jobs I have ever had. I made about 7 or 8 bucks an hour back then but on payday, I was the King of the World! It was always rewarding to drive through those neighborhoods afterwards and point out the houses we had waterproofed.

Boy, an essay on "Waterpoofing Basements and Good Times"! That is not at all where I was going with all of this, but it works!

Where I was originally going with this was towards Love and wrapping it all into my thoughts and feelings in relation to the damn Fishing story. I can imagine the strange looks on folks faces out there as they read this!

The NGDB songs made me start thinking about all of this and it ties in to many other aspects and attributes of me and my life and things that have happened to me. Strange how things are all connected like that. Start thinking about "Fishing in the Dark", then that thought turns towards an explanation of waterproofing then on to love and then to a story I wrote in High School in Creative Writing class, then an optimist's view of how all this wraps in together with everything else. I guess what I am getting at is that all of this stuff is connected and things happen for a reason and who knows which way things will turn next!

Happen for a reason....that is my mantra lately and I believe it is true. Whether it is to find a new line of work, find new love, discover something new about myself or even re-discover something that I had forgotten, things happen for a reason. It is really easy to get down on things, to let life pull you down to it's level but screw that! I like being the pilot of my own destiny, I let other things drive that part of my life for a while, you think you know what you are doing and you try but in reality you don't have a clue and then it gets all out of whack and you realize too late what you have screwed up and lost. What I have discovered over the past few months is that I was not being myself and I ended up hurting others in the process.

The Creative Writing Story.

I have it, I thought I had lost it. When I was going through some stuff a week ago I found it again.. I wrote it during my senior year in Creative Writing class with Ms. Fricke, who also sponsored and supervised the school newspaper. The purpose of the exercise was to write a story about our future and how we saw it. Most of the kids in the class wrote about having cool jobs or fancy cars but I wrote what was in my heart at the time, even at that point in my life I was a hopeless romantic. Good grief I hear you say, talking about this damn story again, but this blog process is good for me to get all of these things out of my system. The story revolved around my ideal future, the basic premise was, and you can imagine this in your head pretty easily if you know me at all, a nice log home, wrap around porch, a barn, about 40 acres or so, partially wooded with a large clearing around the house. Me, out back splitting wood, kids running around all over the place, chasing chickens or the ducks, a large garden off to one side - even back then when I wrote the story I loved tomatoes! One of the dogs was a black lab, although now I can't iamgine having any other dog other than Sage, she is the best. I was a writer and had a studio in the top of the barn where I wrote books. There was a woman there too, the qualites of whom were my ideal at the time: she loved me, I loved her with all that I had, enough said.

When you meet someone that you truly, really love, with everything that you have, it doesn't matter where you live, how you live or what you do, all that matters is to be with that person, to be next to them, to share life. Live in a trailer park, live in a split-level ranch or a custom log home, write books, make chains at the factory, be rich, be poor, be in-between. The most important things don't have anything to do with money or stuff, it is about being trusted and trusting someone with your heart and soul, it is about wanting to be with that person no matter what the situation is, good or bad, the love that you feel for each other transcends all other needs and wants. Can a person write a story about it and ever really truly communicate to the reader what all of this really means? I don't think so. I think each and every one of us has an idea of what we want, good or bad, right or wrong and there aren't words that can describe it and it can't be explained. There are songs, like the "Fishing in the Dark" song that make us remember flashes in time, those perfect times that no camera could ever catch, no painting could ever capture. We all try and lord knows I have tried, I have written pages and pages about this, am I crazy? Am I too idealistic?

So, I tossed the story away the other day after I read it and realized what I was doing. I used that sucker for too long as a frame of reference for my life and my happiness. Can I change my mind on all of this? Hell yes! At any time. Can we turn back the clock and ask forgiveness and ever really truly get full forgiveness? I sure hope. I don't think, like the song says, that we are "dust in the wind". I like to think of myself as that one particle of dust with an onboard jet engine and thrusters that I can push one way or the other as I see fit! I am starting to ramble on and on here so I need to wrap this up.

I don't think I came to any conclusions in this rant and ramble today but that is ok. I am still looking for the words and will never stop trying to find them. I am sure the folks that know about this site are reading through this and wondering what in the world is going on in my head, should they send for help or recommend a therapist? LOL, no, I am ok, in fact, I am better than I have been in years. You just get to read all of my thought processes, me working towards understanding who I am and what I am going to be. So, to wrap this all up, in the immortal words and musical stylings of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, here is one of my all-time favorite songs:

Fishin' in the Dark
Lazy yellow moon comin' up tonite,
shinin' thru the trees,
Crickets are singin' and lightning bugs
are floatin on the breeze
Baby get ready.....

Across the field where the creek turns back by the ole stump road
I'm gonna take you to a special place that nobody knows
Baby get ready.....OooooooOooo

You and me going fishing in the dark,
Lying on our backs and counting the stars
Where the cool grass grows.
Down by the river in the full moon light,
We'll be fallin' in love in the middle of the night
Just movin' slow...

Stayin' the whole night thru, feels so good to be with you...

Spring is almost over and the summer's come
and the days are gettin' long
Waited all winter for the time to be right, just to take you along
Baby get ready.....

And it don't matter if we sit forever and the fish don't bite
Jump in the river and cool ourselves from the heat of the night
Baby get ready.....OoooooooOoo.



Thanks for reading, got to get stuff ready for San Diego and my trip in the morning. Take care and talk to all of you soon.

Up Next, well, who knows. Could be more Edgar stuff, my commentary on the Outlander Series of books (on #4 now), or, I might discuss my favorite book ever, The River Why, and why I should have named my dog Eddie.