#25. Do we really care?

Posted: May 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

This topic has been floating around in my head for a couple of weeks now.  The topic of, do we really care.  I have thought about this often over the years, but it surfaced again after the earthquakes in Nepal.  I was having a discussion with at co-worker about the event and I put out there, do we really care?  Sure people put out how horrible it is and what a tragic loss of life, but how long does that feeling last for most people?

Part of the proof of how little we care came to me from Instagram (which will be another topic coming soon).  People on Instagram posted pictures and how we all need to donate money or whatever to help out these people.  But that lasted like a day.  Doesn’t REAL caring last longer?  When someone you care about loses someone close to them, don’t you check in on them more than just the day after?  Most people will continue to ask how they are doing for months and possibly years.  You certainly do a hell of a lot more than just posting something on Instagram the day after and then go back to your self indulgent pictures.

So that leads me to the question, if we don’t care, then why don’t we care?  Is it because they are different than us.  They live differently.  You see the pictures and think, of course the town feel apart.  Might even be thinking, if they had codes that required the building to withstand X earthquake size this wouldn’t happen.  I know I thought that.  You then have to remember that the building wouldn’t be built at all if it had to meet that code.  The cost of the building would be too much.  Do we not care because our lives are so busy now and we just don’t feel we have time to care or to arrange for $50 to be sent to the Red Cross.   It is easy for our first world problems to over take us.  Or maybe humans, in general, are selfish and if it doesn’t affect them directly they don’t bother.

I think all of the above is true.  I don’t think there is one reason we don’t care, or at least most people don’t care.  I am not saying people who don’t care are bad people.  I actually don’t think that at all.  I think what more prompted this for me was the “I care for two seconds to post something and then move on with my life” people.  Why take the time to do that?  If you don’t care you don’t care.  I think we are all fortunate that there are people in the world who do care.  People who will take the time to really put forth the effort to help out during these events.

So the next time something like this happens, ask yourself, Do I really care?

Do you think I care?

#24. Theory

Posted: May 5, 2015 in Uncategorized

In light of all of the issues that we have been experiencing here in the US of A lately I have been working on a theory in my head.  I know not all of the issues are racial, but there is a racial undertone to them.  That being said here is my statement.

If the United States had not won independence from England when we did, would we have the serious issues we have now?

I know this is not one of those things that can be proven, but that is why it is a theory, right?  I am also sure if I did a google search I would find that someone much smarter than I has asked this question as well.  So here we go.

Slavery and man’s natural desire to oppress is the cause of the issues.  Because America allowed slavery this desire to suppress was legalized and commoditized.  Slavery allows one person or group to be legally superior to another group.  This superiority is what I wonder if we are still dealing with today.  Are we still dealing with whites in power feeling they are superior to minorities groups?  We could even take it a bit further.  Has our society continued to evolve in such a way that it isn’t just a racial superiority, but economic as well?  And couldn’t this be traced back to slavery as well?  Is the real problem right now the lack of upward mobility for people?

Back to what I wanted to talk about.  England abolishes slavery in 1833.  So one would guess that as a colony slavery wouldn’t be allowed to happen.  Now I understand this is a simple way to look at this.  I understand that there is a possibility that England would understand that cash crop that cotton was and the need for manpower to plant, cultivate, and harvest this crop.  I do understand that England may have allowed slavery in the south for the purpose of economic growth.  No different than the reason that America needed slavery to grow the agricultural south.   But let us just say that slavery wasn’t allow.  It wasn’t allowed in Canada.  America would still need the manpower, but now it would be paid manpower.  I would imagine that England would offer deals for people to move to the south to work the field for a wage.  This wouldn’t only be offered to whites, but to blacks from their African colonies as well.  If that was the case then blacks would come to America and work as free men and women.  This would establish a level of respect.  Maybe not full respect, but definitely a level of respect.  The respect would have to be there.  As free workers, they could quit and go work a different farm or a different job.  Owners of the farms and business, no different than today, would need to provide a certain amount of respect to keep good workers.   Respect is something slave owners didn’t have.  They believed the slaves to be a lower form of human.  Having workers and not slaves would also expand the buying base.  There would be more people to buy goods and services.   More people to have stores and competition.  Prices would be higher because they had to pay people to works the fields, but I believe the competition would offset those prices.

I feel like I am drifting all over the place.  I guess what I am saying is, how different would we be if we hadn’t gained our independence when we did?  I am not saying it would be perfect. Canada didn’t become independent until the 1900s, and they are not void of racial issues.  But they do seem to be a lot better off than the United States in this area.  I understand this is a very simple way to look at this.  I understand I don’t have all of the details and facts, but look at it from the surface.  Look at it from the simple view that it is coming from.  I just wonder how different it would be.

 

Something to ponder.

So this is going to be more of a post about me and what is going thru my head and heart right now.  Nothing overly insightful.

 

So we, me and the person I live with, used to live in Seattle.  We enjoyed it there.  We go back a couple of times a year to see friends.  We actually just got back from being there.  Everything we are there we both feel the pull to be back there.  This past week was no different.  There are times that we ask ourselves, what are we doing?  It isn’t like we hate living in Colorado, but it just isn’t the same.  Most of our closest friends are in Seattle.  It has been difficult in Colorado to make new friends and there are different reasons for that, some of which are our own fault.  Anyhow once again this past week that question was floating around in our heads, what should we do?  I wish it was as simple as, pick up and move and start over.  Life just is never that simple.

The problems and questions that face us, or maybe it is more me are as follows.

– Will I be able to find a job like I have now?  Not really in what I am doing, but that is going to at least provide the money that we would need it to provide.  I am kind of an oddity in that I have worked for the same company for around 15 years.  They have been good to me.  Very generous.  It is a bit well scary to think about having to start over, and that is what I am kind of afraid I would need to do.

– Will it be the same?  It is strange with this question because we just spent four days there and it was great, but we were on vacation.  It wasn’t real life.  I mean we were really there and living, but you know what I mean.  We get back and I have the feeling of oh it is nice to be back here too.  Like I said, it doesn’t suck here.   Just might not enjoy it as much.  So I wonder, if we go back will it be the same as it was when we were there before?  Is it possible for it to be the same?  I am not sure it is.  Doesn’t mean it wont be good, but it wont be the same.

– Here is kind of a biggie.  My family lives here in Colorado and normally that wouldn’t be a huge deal.  I love them, but it wasn’t bad being away from them for 8 years as well.  The bigger issue is my dad.  My dad has MS.  Has for 30 years.  Over the past ten years or so it has gotten worse.  He will 66 this year and I am not sure he will be walking by the time he is 70.  Actually I am pretty sure he wont be.  So where is my obligation in that?  He would say none.  But I am not sure that is the case.  There are others around to help, but those that know me know my guilt meter might go off the charts.  This one hangs large with me, sorry Christine but it does.

–  Did I mention the job thing?

–  Knowing that our lifestyle will be very different.  In Colorado we have a house.  Not sure we would be able to afford one in Seattle.  Money goes a bit further in Colorado than Seattle.  These are things that float around in my noodle.

Writing this it even feels like everything is in Colorado’s favor, but some of the people I care most for in the world are in Seattle.  Some of my closest friends are in Seattle.  I feel better as a person when I am in Seattle.  But then I think about my dad.  He is my dad!!  That is a pull.

This is just more proof that life isn’t easy.  It is mostly fun, but it isn’t always fun.  Someone once told me this.  The top of mountains are beautiful.  You can see forever and you are on top of the world, but nothing grows up there.   Just rocks.  Very little life.    All of the growth is in the valleys.  I feel like I am in a valley right now.  Not sure I should, but that is how I feel.  Hopefully there is some good growth done.

#22. American Sniper

Posted: January 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

13 - 1

Disclaimer:  I have not seen this movie nor have I read the book.

It appears there is discussion about the movie American Sniper.  People weighing in if he was or was not a hero or coward.  I don’t know.  So I am going to weigh in as well.  Seeing that everyone who reads this knows I was in the Navy I don’t really need to dive into that more, but if you’re new I served on a submarine for four years.  Get that out of the way.

Here is my first statement.  Not everyone who serves in the military is a hero.  There were plenty of us bubbleheads who were not anywhere near what I would consider hero status.  I know one of the people who read this served with me and I know he would agree that our time on the boat did not make us “heroes”.  I am not saying we didn’t do important work, but I don’t think it was hero work.   The majority of the people in the military never face the enemy.  Never are put in war zones.  Never fire a gun, or at least not at an enemy.  So this idea, that all of us are heroes, is hard for me to swallow.

Second.  I don’t believe the military is what preserves our freedoms.  We people of the United States preserve our freedoms, or at least that is how it is supposed to be.  Do most people really believe we are about to be invaded and taken over?  Do people really believe that Joe Marine is what is standing between us and being overrun?  The problem is that even these wars, and yes even after 911 our freedom wasn’t threatened.  They were not in going to knock on our door and make us bow down to Islam.  The truth of the matter is that the military simply enforces policy.  That is what they, or we do.  When I hear that they are preserving our freedom I just roll my eyes.

Third.  I am not sure I care what other people think about this sniper guy.  There are always going to be supporters and there is always going to be non-supporters, and that is ok.  That is actually one of the things that make this country great.  We don’t all have to agree.  This is what I will say about this guy.  From what I know about snipers it is one of the most difficult things to do.  I am not talking skill wise, but that is impressive.  I am talking mentally.  Most guys are the field in a firefight might see the person they shot go down, might not.  But a sniper sees up close and personal what their bullet did to that person.  They see their head explode.  For me, that is not something to be taken lightly.  Does that make him a hero? I don’t know.  Does that make him a coward?  I don’t know, but I tend to think not.  I do think it takes a special person to  mentally take on what this requires.  I do think we need to understand that it can’t be easy do what they do.  He is dead.  How he died is tragic and unfortunate.  It is also truly unfortunate that his widow has to live that again because people need the spotlight to broadcast their opinion.  If you think the movie sucks, then say it sucks. Is it necessary to say he is a coward for doing something that most people would not be able to do, or handle?  Leave him be.  So maybe I do care what people think about this sniper guy.

All of this being said there is nothing I am more proud of than my time in the Navy and serving on the USS Dallas.  I am honored to be part of the submarine fraternity.  I think what all of the men and women in the military do is important work.  Important to the country, but they are not the end all be all.  They are flawed like the rest of us.  The local hockey club, Avalanche, like to point out a military guy in the crowd during the game.  People stand, people applaud.  It is very nice, maybe even touching for some.  Me being the cynic that I am I wonder, what do we really know about this guy?  Are we applauding him simply because he served?  What if he killed babies? But no one knows that. Would we be applauding him?  That is the thing we really never truly know what they have done with their time and service.  I believe we should thank people for their service, but maybe we shouldn’t canonize them because do we really know?

#21. Dream/Story

Posted: January 16, 2015 in Essay

Something a bit different today.  I had a dream last night where I was floating watching what was going on below.  All I saw in the dream were snapshots of what was happening, but enough to get the gist.  So I thought I would try and fill in the blanks with a short story, or maybe it would be better to call it an essay.  Here we go…

broken heart

He sits in the same kitchen that he has sat in a hundred times.  It is different this time however.  Her parents are there, but she has yet to arrive.  He is not sure why is he is there.  He assumes her parents are hoping that they will get back together and give it another try.  He knows it won’t happen.  He knows that her heart is not where it once was.  He also knows that his will not heal anytime soon.

She bounces into the room like a child on a spring day accompanied by 4 guys.  Full of life and possibilities.  He wonders if she knows is as empty as newly finished glass of water.  He wonders which one is the new him.  It is already too much for him to handle.  She sees him and says hello and acts like they are long time friends reunited.  He plays along because you never want to be “that” guy.  You never want to be the heart broken ex who can’t get over some broad.  Her dad pulls him aside and asks, “Are you ok?”

“I need a drink.  Bourbon if you have it.”  He replies.

“Sure”.

The evening goes on.  Dinner is served, stories are told, and people laugh.  It becomes obvious to him who the new him is by the overdone PDA.  He wants to scream.  What was he thinking?  Why would he do this to himself?  The night is blurred like dust sucked up a vacuum.  He feels like he is in a vacuum.

The next day he rides his bike to her mother’s store.  They talk.  She apologizes.  He tells her it is fine and he understands why they had hope.  The new him seems to be a tool.  He tells her that it is done and that he can’t see them anymore, or at least not for a long time.  He needs to find himself again.  Needs to relearn that love doesn’t suck and it is worth pursuing.  She tells him it is and he will find it.  She says he is an amazing guy.  He isn’t too sure.

As he is leaving she rides up on her bike.  Once again happy and carefree.

“Thanks for coming last night.”  She says.

Doesn’t she get it?  Doesn’t she know how hard and well humiliating that was?  “No problem.  It was nice to see you again.  Glad you’re doing well”, he says.  Did she pick up on how he really didn’t mean the last part?  It was nice to see her.  It was nice too long for her again.

“How do you classify it?”

“What?”

“Well Simon, you know my new boyfriend, he likes to classify all of his encounters and meetings of new people.  Isn’t that cool?  I mean so progressive, right?”

“It was fine.  Nothing more than fine.”

He rides off not looking back and knowing that it wasn’t fine.  That is just something you say to people.  He understands that but isn’t sure she does.  He wonders why do we continue to protect people who do not deserve to be protected.  He wonders how long will it be before he finds someone who is deserving of his protection.  Who will appreciate him?  He knows he doesn’t know and knows that no one knows.  All, he knows, is that for now everything is fine.  Nothing more than fine.

#20. Born with

Posted: January 15, 2015 in Uncategorized

ice

 

I believe that women are born with the understanding of where everything is located in a grocery store.  I seem to never be able to find what I am looking for.  Yesterday I was looking for olives.  I had it in my small mind that olives would be with the canned vegetables.  I spent some time in that aisle yesterday.  It appears however that olives are some sort of relative to the pickle because they sit right next to them in their own non-vegetable aisle.  This is a problem for me often, not being able to find stuff in a grocery store.  It however is not a problem for the person I will be related to by marriage someday.  She always seems to know where something will be located.  I have called her before to get directions.  The kicker of this is that she doesn’t even like to go to the grocery store.  I do 95% of our food shopping, mainly because I do most of the cooking.  So how is it that someone who does not even like to go into a grocery store knows where everything is in a grocery store?  Thus I conclude that female types are born with a store layout in their heads.  They know.

We have ice.  I fixed our ice maker at our house.  We purchased a new refrigerator back in May but didn’t have water hooked up at the time.  The ice maker ran for awhile and then stopped.  I recently tapped into a water line and ran water to the refrigerator but it didn’t make ice.  Realized that having an ice maker run without water to it was not a good thing.   Sears was very nice in sending me a new ice maker which I replaced last night and now I have ice.  Pretty cool.  Few things feel better than when you can fix something in your house yourself.   There is a great feeling of achievement.  Even if it is just pulling something out and putting back in a new one.  You still feel good.  I am glad it is working.  I was pretty deflated after running the water to the fridge to find that we were not able to make ice.  Well I guess you could say I am reflated.

I know this post was pretty lame.  Might have made you chuckle a bit, so that is good.  But I am now adding pictures, so that is exciting.

The person I will be related to by marriage suggested that I pick a word for the year and it be my theme.  I thought it was a pretty good idea.  I thought about my past year and how I was and came up with a word.  My word for the year is SOFTEN.  I thought about using relax but got fancy and used the online Thesaurus.  So SOFTEN.

This is how I came to this word.  I have felt this past year I have been too hard about things that I can’t control, and things I can control.  Basically I feel like I haven’t been as nice to people and about situations that I could have been.  This past year the company I work for was purchased and I was too negative about it, mainly because I don’t like change.  Not afraid of it, but just don’t like change.  So I was too negative about that I feel.  I have also been too negative towards people.  I know I need to do a better job of not reacting in a negative way to people when something happens that I don’t like or better yet don’t fully understand.  The fact is that most things in our lives we cannot control.  We can however control how we react to these things.  So that being said I am going to work on being SOFTEN to life, loved ones, and even the annoying situations I have to deal with at work.  I welcome encouragement and calling me out when I am not being SOFTEN.

Something else that has been floating around my small mind is blogging.  My previous post about being in awe of creative people prompted this next part.  I have been reading more people’s blogs and creative side, but also realizing how narcissistic it really is.   And I love it.  It feels like most of us, and maybe including me, are screaming hey look at me, read me, love me!!  I don’t think it is a bad thing, actually I really enjoy narcissism.  People should love themselves and not sure it is bad when they point out how great they are.  Can be annoying, but not always bad.  So I guess that is really my point.  I find it funny how much I enjoy reading other people and walking away thinking and laughing to myself, wow that person really loves them some them!!  No one is harder on me than myself, but I still love me some me!!

Slow start to 2015, but I will do better.

#18. In AWE. 2014 & 2015

Posted: December 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

I am continuously amazed and in AWE of people.  Mainly because they have talents that I wish I had.  What I wish I had more of was creativity.  I float around the wordpress world and other blogging places and am in AWE of how creative people are.  It makes me look at my blog and the content and think, oh yes that is why you only have a handful of people who read this and they all personally know you.  Yet I continue.  This blog I find very funny.  I wish I could be that funny, or feel like I have that many funny things that happen in my life to write about.  I guess if I have kids I would have more.  I have a dog and she has her moments, but not often enough.  So I am in awe of creative funny people.  I will try to do better, but no promises.  I mean I had to make sure I spelled awe correctly.  Just didn’t look right.

So I started this crazy blog thing in February 2014 and they are wanting to know if I am going to renew.  This is only my 18th entry so I am wondering how dedicated I was to this.  Maybe my dedication was the fact I did it at all.  Something to ponder.  At times, like this entry, it has more felt like a journal than anything.  Maybe that is ok.  Maybe that is even better. Because the only people who read this are people who care about me, at least that is their claim to fame, and this gives them a better insight into who I am.  Even if they read stuff that is disturbing.  I think I like that, not the disturbing part but the they get to know and understand me better.  So with that being said I am going to pay WordPress their money and continue into 2015.

So that brings me to 2015 and my goals for blogging this coming year.  I didn’t really have a plan when I started this other than to try and become a better writer.  Not sure how that is going.  I am pretty sure someone will let me know.  This next year I think I have laid out a better plan.  This came to me while I was in the shower.  I do a lot of thinking in the shower and some of the ideas are pretty good.  This next year I am going to plan on writing something once a week, but not limiting myself to only once a week.  It will continue to be random stuff or simply about what happened to me that week.  I wont ever get to personal because I do live with my future wife and not sure how fair that is to her.  Maybe personal about Cleo the black lab.  She has a problem with keeping her tongue in her mouth.  How do you correct licking?  So if you enjoy my random thoughts then you’re in luck, there will be more.  I will even try and be more creative and build my own custom design for this site.  I have been trying out different pre made ones.  Sorry if that has annoyed you.

Well I think that is all for now.

#17. The Axe

Posted: December 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

I know two posts in one day, crazy right?

This time of year, every year, NFL coaches start to sweat.  Yes it is that time of year when coaches get the Axe.  Here is my lame prediction of who is losing or quitting their jobs.

1.  NY Jets.  They haven’t been improving for years, and it is time for something new.

2.  Washington Redskins.  Have you been following what is going on there?  If not, they are going to keep the player before they do a coach

3.  SF 49ers.  He is quitting.  Such a strange thing that happened there.

4.  NO Saints.  Might be time for a change.  Does Brees leave too?

5.  Chicago.  Maybe.  Maybe not, but something needs to change.  Can they unload Cutler’s contract?

6.  Oakland.  Already fired their coach that started the season.  I think they have their eyes on Harbaugh, if he doesn’t go to Michigan.

List isn’t as long as I thought it would be.  We will see if I am right or not.

axe

happy holidays

 

I have been pondering this post for the last week or so and have decided to write something.  Tis the season.  I used to work with these two women who loved the holidays.  They both felt the holiday season started Nov 1st and ran until Jan 2nd.  Two months.  Wow.  I on the other hand have not really ever enjoyed this time of year.  Mainly because of growing up with divorced parents.  I am not saying I had a bad childhood because I didn’t, but the holiday time of year brought on a lot of stress and there was always someone who was disappointed.  I am lucky now to have someone in my life that understands this, but it doesn’t take away her excitement for this holidays.  Over the past three years I have started to enjoy them more and more.  Also helps that I am 41, I am a year past being a man, and I don’t feel like I am obligated like I did in the past.  Bygones.

Now to the real root of this post.  This is the part that some people are going to have issues with.  Live in Seattle gave me a different perspective on the words used during this time of year.  You don’t hear Merry Christmas much in Seattle, some, but not much.  There isn’t an overly huge non Christian population in Seattle, but it is a fairly large city.  Oh and it helps that it is a liberal city.  Anyhow I enjoyed the respect that it shows.  People didn’t assume that everyone was Christian and respected that you might be Jewish, or something else.  Now that we are living in Colorado I hear Merry Christmas all of the time again.  There are times that I want to say “I am Jewish” just to see if they even get that.  I know the response I will get to this, oh they need to be tolerant or something like that.  Why can’t you be tolerant of them?  Why can’t we just both respect each view and support that?  Is it because Christians believe Jews and others are wrong?  And maybe they people Christians are wrong?  Seems odd during this time of year that spouts about love and peace.  I guess understanding is left out during this time of year.  Would it kill people to just simply say, “Happy holidays”.

There is another thing that has crossed my mind on this topic.  I am not a full fledged Christian, and to be honest most of my family isn’t.  This holiday is supposed to be a celebration of the birth of Christ, right?  So should we feel odd about celebrating it, even though we are not really supporters?  I understand this holiday has become more about family and spending time together but it hasn’t always felt right this season for some reason.  Maybe because I think more now about things than I used to.  Maybe I over think.  This all was on my mind the other day when I was driving to the store.  My family puts a lot into this holiday.  Figuring out when we can all get together.  Who is buying stuff for who.  It made me question how close we really are.  We need a holiday, one that don’t fully believe in or maybe support, to have a reason to get together and just be together.  Why do we need a holiday to do that.  Shouldn’t we just be able to schedule that anytime?  Are we really busier the rest of the year?  Would it kill us to figure out something where we all get together once a month?  I am sure we are not the only family like this.  Yes I understand life is busy, but is life so busy that we can’t set time aside for family?  From what I keep hearing in our world nothing is more important than family.  If that is true, then why does it feel like my only gets together like 4 times a year and we all live within an hour of each other.  I guess we are just messed up, but once again I don’t feel like we are alone in this area.  I am not sure where I am going with this.  I guess I am just ranting.

Life is odd.  We spend more time at work and with people that we might not even like, than with our loved ones.  I understand we have to work and you can’t select who you work with, but we can make more of an effort to spend time with the people we enjoy, right?  I am just as guilty of this, but I am not sure why.  I guess my life is just busy.

Merry Christmas…..  see the humor in that?

Image  —  Posted: December 23, 2014 in Uncategorized