Friday, July 31, 2009

Just another boring day at the office, thinking about shit...

I would have to say that at one point in my job now, I was very happy to be here. It seems to be more of a boring drag as of late. The budget crunch has put a pinch on the amount of IT projects being handed out with most of them going to more senior members of the project management staff. So, you know where that places me. It's not that I don't mind doing a bit of the grunge work, it just sucks. But at least I'm not smoking.

Well, considering where most of my friends are now, I guess I'm glad to have a job. Every couple of weeks, I have lunch with a couple of my friends who have retired from the US Postal Service where I worked for the better part of 6 years. We meet at a local beer pub located downtown Raleigh and discuss all the things that there guys usually discuss, women, beer, women and cars while sipping the golden elixir. Did I say women? I look back at their lives and careers and how they had a relatively easy time building a career road to retirement. I'm still stuck in the game just starting a permanent job so I got a ways to go.
Spending a lot of time as a contractor, I got a lot of job experience but I paid the price of not having the satisfaction of a stable job. I worked for some very large companies. Xerox, Dow Chemical, Eli Lilly, Coca Cola, IBM, HP, US Postal Service, quite a very impressive list. Well, it scares the shit out of people when they read my resume. All these companies, why didn't he stay?

I won't say that things are that gloomy, they actually aren't. I just sometime wish I had had a few of the breaks that my friends got early on in their lives. I guess I can atone it to the choices people make. Had my dad chose to stay in Virginia when he retired from the Air Force or move back to New Jersey with the rest of my mothers family, would things have been any different? I guess we'll never know, since they definitely ain't making any time machines yet. Well lets see how this all came to be.

It seems like moving to Indiana was just one of the most crappiest decisions my dad ever made. I was relatively miserable there. I was so far past most of the kids in knowledge that I tried to dumb myself down to fit in. It didn't work, they could see I was much smarter than they were and I paid a price. Middle school, High school, I was ostracized for being the kid that screwed up the bell curve. Girls wouldn't talk to me and the guys wouldn't play ball or just hang out.

I started smoking Newports to be a bad boy. I never went much farther than that. My moral compass wouldn't let me. A couple girls started to notice me. They would sit on my lap during the bus ride. Maybe to tease or get a rise out of me, or both. The bumpy bus ride provided for some interesting lap dances. One girl actually flipped her dress up over my lap and I could swear she wasn't wearing any panties. I didn't care, I was just happy to get a little attention from someone. It was good while it lasted. The family moved to the other side of town and once again and I had to started rebuilding friendships.

I was smoking Marlboro's now, different set of kids. The west side kids were a bit more should I say "rough". I made friends with a red haired girl who drove her car to school. She would pick me up most days and we seemed to hit it off. We even necked in the parking lot before classes started. By this time, I was nominated to the National Honor Society and got voted in as "Masters of Arms" for student council my sophomore year. This made me a hit with most of the white kids but to the black kids, well, I just didn't fair well. I didn't care.

If things didn't fair any better for me, I was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in my JROTC class, so now the few kids I was pals with were now my subordinates. They kept placing me further away from build friendships, my parents, the schools, even the very kids I wanted to be friends with. I didn't care.

My junior year at school found me at a new high school and now having to start build new friends from kids who had already established friendships. I was smoking Benson Hedges. I was the outsider trying to nudge my way in. Not a good position to put myself in. I made a few friends. Mostly the folks that were like me. My moral compass was starting to twitch a bit when smoking lead to a few joints and an occasional nip of Wild Irish Rose. But, it made me fit in somewhere. I didn't care.

Senior year came and I found myself in a couple of fights and scraps. Not the one to be picked on, I defended myself and I could get down right brutal. I picked one kid up and body slammed him on the teachers desk one day when I had had enough of him. I never saw a teacher move that fast out of the room. Several of the male teachers and a janitor came in and pulled me off the kid while I was still lifting him up off the desk and pounding him back down. I was surprised I didn't kill or injure him. Just knocked the wind out of him, again and again and again. They transferred the kid to another school after they found out all the foul and vile things he was saying to me. I didn't care.

By the end of my senior year in high school, I had made it to the rank of Colonel in JROTC and had been promoted to the lofty position as Executive Officer for the entire division. I got to travel around from school to school harassing all my subordinates. I came upon on young freshman kid during an inspection. He was shaking and I asked him if he was nervous, he replied a resounding "Yes, sir!". I told him don't worry, this is just play, you look fine. I could have nailed him on five or ten gigs on his uniform but what was the sense. This was high school, not the Army. I didn't care.

I would have to say that even though the senior prom was fun, it was not much of a rememberable occasion for me as with most kids proms. Although the girl I was dating at the time was a very nice girl, I was just not into her as I should have been. I tried to make the event rememberable for her. I was thinking about the girls in college. I was smoking Kools. I didn't care.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Keeping up with the bees

This was a an essay we had to write in creative writing about an embarrassing event. Hey, not everything I write is going to have a hot steamy sex scene in it. I have to break up the monotony with some boring stories about my childhood. I wasn't always a wild child eh, adult. I had a tamer more Beaver Cleaver side. But don't ask my brother Wally. No his name was actually Brad, Harold Bradley to be exact. But if you called him Harold or Harry, well, you just didn't.

I often reflect back to my younger days when I would always be on the heels of my grandfather. His wisdom seems to lead me even today, urging me to remember when life was innocent and a little less complicated. My grandfather was a retired steel worker who chose to return to his farming roots. He also kept bees, not as much for profit, but for the shear peace and contentment that it allowed him to enjoy. I learned many things about life from him, but one thing that will stay with me was his teaching me the fine art of bee keeping. From this, I gained not only a respect of the insect but a new found sense of how organized and methodical bees are and the process that it takes to make and extract honey from them.

It was one of those cool sunny mornings that I remember my grandfather asking me if I wanted to help him rob the bees. The term robbing the bees is the process of extracting the honeycomb from the hive. I was excited to be able to go out to the hives and help him extract the honey. I had watched him and my older brothers perform the ritual many times before. I donned a long sleeve shirt and long pants to protect my arms and legs from any potential stings. My grandfather gave me a helmet with a bee screen on it to protect my face and neck. I was ready for the extraction or so I thought.

As we approached the hives, my grandfather picked up one of the smokers and showed me how to pack the canister with material for smoking the bees. In the canister, we packed in leaves, pine needles, and cut up material from an old burlap sack. He said to me, “Now you gently squeeze the bellows while I light the material.” I squeezed the bellows in and out until smoke started to pour out the end of the nozzle. He said to me, “Now you take the smoker and cover me with smoke and then do yourself.” I eagerly complied with his instructions. We now smelled like burnt leaves and rags. He then showed me how to approach and smoke the hive to calm the bees. He then told me, “Now not to much smoke, I need to be able to see what I am doing.”

As I kept a light cloud of smoke going, he lifted the lid of the hive off to expose the top box. He pointed to me and said, “Now squirt some smoke along the top so the bees will move down.” The bees complied with the smoke and started moving towards the lower sections of the hive. My grandfather then took a pry bar and started lifting up the frames laden with honeycomb. He said to me, “See the combs; inside is where the honey is kept.” He then moved the frame to a set of boxes he had set up to place the frames loaded with honey in. He then removed the rest of the frames and placed new frames in their place. He told me, “This is so the bees can make more honey for the winter.”

We went to three more hives and continued the process over again. I was enjoying the time I was spending with my grandfather when a bee decided it had had enough. I thought through all my preparation that I had not missed anything. A bee would soon remind me. I had forgotten one minor detail. In my haste to get out and help my grandfather, I had failed to put on a pair of socks. The curious bee found pay dirt and gave me the pointed end of its argument. As the sting registered about my ankle, I screamed in agony, “Grandpa, a bee stung me!” He said to me, “Calm down and blow the smoke in the hive.” It was too late, I dropped the smoker and before it could hit the ground, I was halfway across the field with bees swarming after me. My grandfather laughed to see me in such distress. Off came the helmet as I ran across the tomato patch. I did not stop until I was inside the house and looking at my grandfather in the far distance going about his business still chuckling. When he finally returned from his chores, he asked me, “Why did you leave me?” I told him, “Grandpa, the bee found my weak spot!” He chuckled again as he hugged me. Several years later, my grandfather was near death and during one of the family visits, he remembered me and said, “You were the one who said the bee found my weak spot.” He smiled as everyone else laughed at my expense and embarrassment.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

NINE WORDS WOMEN USE or Secrets about women all men should know

If you find you self in the doghouse or divorce court, just don't blame me if you didn't see the roadsigns. So your a deer in the headlights, make sure you know the code before you react.
  1. Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up. You are not going to win the argument and that's a fact.

  2. Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house. Never remind her what time it is.

  3. Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.

  4. Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don’t Do It! Just don't, please!

  5. Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to # 3 for the meaning of nothing.)

  6. That’s Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That’s okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will be punished for your mistake.

  7. Thanks: A woman is thanking you, do not question, or faint. Just say you’re welcome. (I want to add in a clause here – This is true, unless she says ‘Thanks a lot’ – that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say “you’re welcome” that will bring on a “whatever”). Boy, have I fallen for that one a few times and It wasn't pretty.

  8. Whatever: Is a woman’s way of saying FUCK YOU! Unless of course she says Fuck You which of course means the same as whatever. The silent whatever is the deadliest.

  9. Don’t worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking “What’s wrong?” For the woman’s response refer to # 3.

So now you know the code, take this message to all men. Fathers, teach your sons. Don't let them go another day without heading these words.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Getting started with this thing...

I thought I would take a little time to get my own blog up and running now that I have enjoyed commenting on other blogs. It really wasn't hard once you get past the intial stages and figure out where everything goes. So, just to get things going, I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your comments. Don't step on any toes and we'll get along fine here. So lets have fun and talk about things and see where it takes us.