Tom Petty

Posted in family, life with tags , , , , , on October 8, 2017 by me

So I’m sure there’s tons of people writing their odes to Tom Petty.  This isn’t that.  It could be.  He’s definitely been a big part of the sound track of my life.  And music a lot of my family bonded over.  Full Moon Fever came out when my sister was in college and she brought a copy home for my Dad.  As well as the first Traveling Wilburies CD.  He played both extensively.  Tom Petty is always in rotation for me, and is a staple on road trips.

But this isn’t about that.  Hearing about him dying this week, and how young he was, reminded me of my Dad’s bypass.  My Dad’s surgery was the year my son was born 17 years ago.  I was talking to him about it tonight and I thought he was 60, like Petty was, when it happened, but he was actually 58.  And as blocked as he was then, he could’ve actually had a heart attack sooner.  I can’t believe how lucky we are that they caught it when they did, nor can I imagine having spend the last 17 years without him.

I’m not saying that I didn’t have a reaction at the time that it happened.  But we were so busy, trying to get the family together, a car rented and get us down to Arizona for the operation that I was able to be a little disconnected.  Then things moved so fast and we were focused on recovery.  We were definitely horrified and scared before the operation, and thankful afterwards.  But for some reason, the announcement of Petty’s death has caused a lot more reflection and gratitude.  Maybe it’s the ability to look back and see how the last 17 years have been.  Since the operation, my older sister passed away and we grew a lot closer together as a family.

One of the biggest things that happened over the last 17 years, was how much we’ve bonded over our military experiences.  After my deployments he finally started to open up about his Vietnam experiences, and we were able to help one another through the various pains of dealing with the VA.  It’s great to be able to talk to him about things, he “gets it”, and he’s always been my hero.

I’ve also loved the relationship he has with my son.  My grandpa died when I was still relatively young, so seeing my Dad and my son joke and tease one another, and seeing my son turn towards my Dad for advice is amazing.  So maybe it’s looking at these things in hindsight that makes me so much more grateful?

 

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Protest

Posted in life, politics, society, writing with tags on September 26, 2017 by me

When I was a kid, I’d drool over exotic cars.  From time to time, I’d read an article about some insanely wealthy guy who’d buy a brand new Ferrari or the like, have it delivered to his house, and put on display in his living room, only driven on and off the truck from the factory.  This never made sense to me.  Why would you own such an unique and expensive piece of machinery and never take it out?  If I was the guy who designed or hand built such a machine, I’d rather it be wrecked on the track, pushed to its limits than rot away in a living room or barn or museum.  The Ferrari in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?  Painful as that scene was to watch, it was a lot more fitting end in my mind.

I’m good with the way Kaepernick kneeled during the playing of the anthem.  He felt there is injustice in the country and wanted to draw attention to it.  As a veteran who dedicated a significant portion of his adult life fulfilling his promise to protect and defend the constitutional rights of the citizens, I’m thrilled to see people responsibly exercise them.  I’m also good with people complaining about it.  And if the NFL or the team owners fine, suspend or fire players to protect their businesses that’s ok with me too.  The fact that freedom of speech is a right, doesn’t mean speech doesn’t come with consequences.  But those rights are so unique and expensive, I’m glad that they are being used, exercised, appreciated.  They shouldn’t just be theoretical, or museum show-pieces.

The fact that the President of the United States can be so mad he curses the players in speeches and tweets about them but can’t take any official action to prosecute them is wonderful to see.  I wonder how many people really appreciate the beauty of this?  Are people upset?  Sure.  That’s probably why we need protected speech, right?  So people can say unpleasant, unpopular things without fear of prosecution.  But kneeling is such a peaceful form of protest.  And the fact that they can protest and not have it turn into a Tienanmen Square situation is a sign of how lucky we are to be U.S. citizens.

Years ago, when I was new to social media, I’d rant and rave about whatever celebrity used their status as a soapbox.  Eventually I realized no one cared, my rants just made me look stupid and weren’t changing anything.  Then I finally grew up and realized if I didn’t want to listen, I didn’t have to.

Do I agree with the protests?  Meh.  I get what Kaepernick claims he was protesting.  But I think it’s been bastardized, the message is lost in the noise.  I don’t think the current players kneeling are being effective in getting their point across.  If it was me, I’d find a different channel.  But I’m proud that I was willing to defend their rights to speak.

One thing that I do find funny.  For years, I’ve gotten offended when I’ve been at a professional sporting event and people around me would keep sitting and eating or drinking or would carry on conversations while the National Anthem played.  To me, that was much more disrespectful.  When these guys kneel, they’re quiet, and it’s a deliberate, thoughtful action.

 

 

 

Sheets

Posted in bed, home, life with tags , , , on September 24, 2017 by me

After years in the Army and sleeping in sleeping bags, or in my uniform, ready to go at a moment’s notice, I started pampering myself and buying the best sheets I could reasonably afford.  When my bed got too saggy I splurged on a new mattress, good pillows, etc.  I have problems sleeping, so I just do everything I can to help the process and make it as luxurious as possible.

I have a set of sheets that I got and liked so much that I went back and got two more sets in different colors.  650tc, so not the best, but good enough to be soft and smooth from the beginning.  As the years have gone by and these have been subjected toany wash and use cycles they’ve gotten softer and softer.  Just as they were attaining a level of perfection they ripped last night.  Apparently I toss and turn so much that I just wore a hole though them with me heels over the years.  I never even considered that as a possibility.  

I have no idea what makes this story blog worthy, other than the fact that I haven’t written in awhile and I was just wondering what stories these sheets could tell.

A Master…

Posted in books, writing with tags , , , , , on September 20, 2017 by me

I love the way he wrote this:

Acquaintance rather than friend.  The dividing line is communication, I think.  A friend is someone to whom you can say any jackass thing that enters your mind.  With acquaintances, you are forever aware of their slightly unreal image of you, and to keep them content, you edit yourself to fit.  Many marriages are between acquaintances.  You can be with a person for three hours of your life and have a friend.  Another one will remain an acquaintance for thirty years.

John D. MacDonald “Bright Orange for the Shroud”.

Pump Up the Volume

Posted in Childhood, life, Movies with tags , , , , , on September 19, 2017 by me

 I used to love this movie for a number of reasons. It was supposed to take place in Arizona, the rebel message, and Samantha Mathis topless. At that point in my life, I thought she had the most perfect pair of breasts ever.

Funny though, it’s another one of those things kids can’t relate to today. Pirate radio? Why, when you can just get on the internet with a blog, vlog or podcast?

 

I love traveling

Posted in Uncategorized on September 18, 2017 by me

I’m sitting at DCA/Reagan and waiting for my flight.  Sure, 14 hour flights stuck between two huge people in a tiny coach seat suck.  But other than that, I love being on the go.  Checking out new airports on layovers.  Metros.  Figuring out ground transportation in new cities.  Getting lost.  Trying not new foods and people watching.  And the act of traveling itself.  The thought that goes I to packing, joking with security and ticket reps, trying not to be the typical jackass that makes their day worse.  Refining my systems to make life easier.  Enjoying good purchases and systems that are paying off and helping me to enjoy the experience more.  Photography, curating my social media during downtimes.  Reading and watching movies.  All of it.

Dropping warheads on foreheads

Posted in Uncategorized on September 17, 2017 by me

This weekend while I’ve been in DC a friend of mine who lives in Maine was in town for business.  So after her meetings on Friday we had lunch.  Between lunch conversation and texts this weekend she dropped a lot of knowledge on me.  I’m not claiming it’s GOOD knowledge, but it’s knowledge and should be recorded for posterity.  Or something.

The first little kernel:

“What do we call people that we love hanging out with but don’t have sex with?  That’s right.  A friend”

And:

“Maybe you just need to have her over, put a movie on, then part way through say ‘Slut, suck my cock!’ When you do this, proper movie selection is crucial.”

Then:

“You need to get yourself some east coast underwear.” When I was complaining about the humidity.