Archive for the ‘General’ Category

I’m not dead

January 31, 2014

No, I’m not dead.

I just took some time off-line.

Facebook had gotten out of control for me.

With its belabored, oftentimes ignorant, political rants, random pictures of starving animals, stories of death, disaster, and for causing wasted hours at playing voyeur into the lives of people I may once had known but at this point, didn’t really care to “friend”.

Yes, it was nice to see what people were up to, but it ultimately became pathetic to see how hard some people were trying just to present themselves as something that they really were not and everyone knew it.

It got tiresome…

So, I decided to commit Facebook suicide and I deactivated my account.

My wife said that it was weird how all of my pictures faded from her Facebook. Like a ghost, I was there one minute and gone the next. She still sees me all the time so she got over it fast but it makes me wonder if anybody else misses me on their Facebook or if they ever even noticed that I was gone?

Oh well, it’s a small price to pay to be clean of the addiction known as Social Media. I never did really start to Twitter much, but to me now, it too seems like an opiate for people that thrive on drama and a need to be intimate. An opiate that’s awfully hard to kick.

Somehow, miraculously, without Facebook for 6 months I’m still in touch with most of the people that I care about and I don’t feel much of a loss over the rest.

Just before I gave it up, I ran into a Facebook friend that I had not actually seen since high school nor did we ever communicate directly. The only thing we ever did was friend each other and I can’t recall who “friended” who. Yet, from that point forward we both knew what was going on in each others lives as if we were related. Most of it I never noticed but some of it, I couldn’t help but follow.

So, what I think could have turned out to be a nice encounter with an old pal turned out to be an awkward 5 minutes and I felt as though I had “too much information” once again.

I knew about the gravity of his personal problems just as he knew my current lot in life, which then, as now, is quite happy. It made me feel guilty and I certainly didn’t want to talk to him about it then, at that moment, in that location or ever.

I couldn’t even think of a way to bring it up without sounding pitiful and small, talking about the weather or some obscure recollection from our collective experience.

And that was it. I gave it up. I pulled the plug.

I couldn’t go offline completely, as work requires me to maintain a professional presence but I could completely give up writing anything about myself in the public domain.

For me, Facebook had morphed my love of writing into a love of “checking in” and its embarrassing to think back of how trite I had become.

Now, after about 6 months of abstention, I’m ready to write again but this time try to only share things through a well-filtered lens, and only on certain subjects.

I will be writing short stories, vignettes, spoofs as well as a few other random musings but I’m no longer going to share my every move with a haphazard collection of “friends” that I managed to collect yet never truly connected with.

If you have read this I thank you and I hope that I present a few things that you find entertaining in the near future.

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Free Will is the root of all evil…

October 10, 2010

We live in such a schizophrenic world.

And, it’s each individual’s unique array of opinions that is the DNA of this mass-schizophrenia.

With so many issues dividing us, so many individual interests to appease, what’s a global society to do?

I think that it all boils down to free-will and and how free-will forms our opinions.

If God had wanted, He could have made us all love Him and He could have also made us all get along.

But He clearly did not do this when He created free-will.

For without free-will our love for Him and each other would be wonderful but meaningless.

Is being forced to love the same as loving through your own free-will?

For love to be true, there has to be free-will.

And so, this thing we call free-will seems to be at the root of all of our problems and stands in the way of so many things in so many ways.

The list is too long to even start.

Is free-will therefore evil?

Is free-will the Devil?

I guess it’s all how it’s used…

The Legend of JoJo the Jackrabbit

September 5, 2010

Once upon a time in a big field west of a large forest, a Jackrabbit named JoJo grew up in a lush Strawberry patch. JoJo was a very lucky Jackrabbit who came from a wonderful family that was always very nice to him but JoJo turned out to be a bit of a wild rabbit, hopping around from place to place and usually getting into some sort of mischief….

Not far from the Strawberry patch where JoJo grew up, was a Rasberry patch where a girl bunny rabbit grew up named BeeKee. She was also a really lucky rabbit from another great family and like JoJo she too was a bit of wild rabbit at times but the two of them never met even though they played in the same field for all of their childhood.

Amazingly enough, JoJo and BeeKee even went to the same elementary rabbit school but never knew each other and they were only one grade apart for over 7 years until JoJo got sent away to bad rabbit reform school. JoJo even knew some of BeeKees friends, but he didn’t know BeeKee at all.

When JoJo was young a young rabbit, he had big dreams. JoJo thought that he was going to grow up to be a rich rabbit and that everything was going to be easy in life. All JoJo wanted to do was to set out and see the countryside and happen upon his fortune.

BeeKee, on the other hand was content with living in the field and was happy staying at home and being with all of the rabbit friends that she had grown up with. BeeKee had lots of really good friends and the longer that she stayed in the field, the more friends that she made. She was a great friend to have too, because she always cared about her friends and they cared about her too.

JoJo on the other hand, didn’t have many friends around home since he was not interested in staying in the field. His friends were all from faraway places making him want to get out of the field as much as possible.

So there they were, growing up so close to one another and yet never knowing one another.

During one of his journeys away from the field, JoJo met a bunny that he thought he wanted to start a family with. He married the bunny but there was a lot of trouble in the place where they settled. They did have a wonderful little boy leveret (which is a baby rabbit in case you didn’t know) that JoJo adored more than anything else in the entire world. But JoJo’s bad bunny ways and his wanderlust to see the countryside didn’t quite fit in with the way that his son’s mother wanted things to be, so she and JoJo decided to part ways.

Meanwhile, back in the field, Beekee was busy making even more friends.

So, even though JoJo hated to leave his son, he went back out into the wilderness to wonder around some more. He had fun for a few months but then realized that being close to his son was the only important thing in life so he found a nearby hole to crawl into and set up camp. Fortunately, it was back in the field where he grew up, and not far from where his son was living.

Things got pretty boring in his rabbit hole so JoJo decided to head out and visit a cave that he used to hang out at when he was a younger rabbit. It was a big cave where lots of bunnies would go called Chrones Cavern. When JoJo’s mother heard that he was hanging out at Chrone’s Cavern she wasn’t very happy. She had heard that there were a lot of Biker bunnies that hung out there and even though that used to be true, the bad Biker Bunnies had long since left and the place had turned into quite the respectable establishment.

So, as JoJo would go to Chrones Cavern, he met BeeKee for the first time. He thought BeeKee was very nice and she would always listened attentively to his tale of woe. She listened to him tell her how he had wanted to wonder off and make his fortune and see the countryside but now he realized that there were much more important things than money and that his son bunny came first.

Apparently BeeKee thought that these were fine qualities in a JackRabbit and she continued to talk to JoJo and be his friend. If he had been a shallow rabbit at one time in his life, to her he seemed like he had changed.

One day, when BeeKee and her friends had destroyed the hole that they were living in with all the social gathering they had there, BeeKee asked all of her friends frp, Chrones Cavern to help her move to a new rabbit hole in the next town over which was owned by a police rabbit friend of hers. She asked JoJo if he could help too, but he couldn’t because he had his son that night and he didn’t want to miss any time with him.

Feeling sorry that he couldn’t help out, JoJo bought BeeKee a housewarming gift, which BeeKee must have thought was very sweet because she invited him over to her new rabbit hole for a really nice dinner of carrots and cauliflower.

Being a bachelor rabbit again, JoJo jumped at the opportunity and seeing what a wonderful dinner BeeKee had prepared he thought that he had died and gone to rabbit heaven.

That night as JoJo left, he rubbed noses which BeeKee to show her how much he appreciated the amount of care that must have gone into making that dinner.

And from that night forward, they became the best of friends and JoJo knew that BeeKee was a very special rabbit for she always let JoJo do the things he needed to do and be with his son. Over time she became good friends with JoJo’s son as well.

So, as the months rolled by and the friendship grew, it grew into much more. Slowly at first, but it just kept growing.

It wasn’t always easy…and JoJo had a lot of things to worry about during those early years but BeeKee was always there for him.

It took a while for JoJo to get things together, but BeeKee knew that if she let JoJo do what JoJo needed to do, that he was really a pretty good rabbit deep down inside and worth sticking around for.

And so JoJo fell in love with BeeKee and knew that he had found a rabbit that loved him for who he was, that would let him travel the countryside when he needed to and who even helped out with his son when he was away.

And even though BeeKee had never traveled much before she met JoJo, she started to travel to far away places with him so that he could get it out his system and she quickly learned that going places was really fun too and now they do it all the time.

She also found JoJo funny.

The other rabbits didn’t know that JoJo was a funny rabbit when he wanted to be; but BeeKee knew.

So now, JoJo and BeeKee have the best of both worlds. They live close to the Strawberry Patch and the Raspberry Patch where they grew up, they are close to JoJo’s son, which is so important to both of them, and they travel to far away places and always have lots of fun.

And after 10 years of being the best of friends they decided to get married and to spend the rest of their lives together hopping around, rabbit foot in rabbit foot, looking for adventure wherever they go.

 So, the moral of this story?

Is, you don’t need to look very far to find love. Sometimes it’s right next to you and you never even see it. But, when you least expect it, there it is. Right where you’ve been all along.

Who needs jet fuel?

September 26, 2008
2004 Special Olympics Plane Pull
2004 Special Olympics Plane Pull

In September of 2004 I participated in The Plane Pull for Special Olympics and my team came in third for the low body weight competition. Matt Higgins and I pulled together at first and got the 737 rolling but when the front wheel of the plane hit a small manhole cover in the tarmac, the plane stopped dead in its tracks.

We were then joined by Eileen Bretz, Chris Battiloro and John Cuzzo who helped us get it rolling again and over the finishline within the two minute requirement. Weiging in at 1,155 lbs we came in third place.

Back then I was an easy 275 lbs and was lifting heavy in the gym on a regular basis.

I tried again in 2005 without any success as I was harboring a knee injury and simply could not pull. Coupled with a bad choice in footwear, I was worthless.

I did not pull in 2006 or 2007 for reasons that I can not recall. However, this year I feel as though I am ready to pull and even though my weight is down to 255 lbs, my lifts in the gym are easily as strong as they were back then.

Unfortunately, they are calling for rain, which should make things interesting. I raised $250 for the team and the team raised over $4K….all for a great cause.

Hopefully I’ll post some pictures tomorrow and have a trophy to show off.

Wish me luck!

I Need Another Job to Support My Charities

May 22, 2008

Besides donating regularly to my church and my alma maters, I try to donate money to various charities as much as possible.

I like to think that the list of donees is pretty long and includes the ASPCA, Audubon, Ducks Unlimited, 3Bays, Christian Children’s Fund, Children International, just to name a few.

Not having made my millions, my donations are usually at the basic level since I prefer to spread my donations around rather than choosing only one or two.

What troubles me is the vast amount of solicitation that I receive from some of the organizations continually asking me to give more.

One of the worst offenders is definitely the ASPCA. Every day it seems I receive another piece of mail containing some gimmick like stickers with my name on it, an offer for a fuzzy sweatshirt or most recently a sheet of magnetized stickers that I could use to spell cute phrases on my refrigerator based upon my preferred pet.

It seems to me that they must spend more money on postage and materials than my meager donation can ever subsidize.

I love little fuzzy animals but I simply don’t want to donate more than I choose to do, during my annual flurry of donations around December 31st.

Almost as bad as the ASPCA are both Christian Children’s Fund and Children International. Both of these organizations are already getting close to $25 per month yet they feel the need to solicit me at least once every few weeks with a horrible tale of children suffering somewhere or with another request to provide something for the two children that I sponsor. As much as I would like to give more, I can only do so much.

I wish that these organizations would spend more of my money supporting the cause and less asking me to give, give, give.

I might even be willing to give more if I could somehow stop them from the bombardment.

Of course I’ll continue to give and each year I’ll try to find another charity or two to join the list but I find the charity that simply sends me a quarterly newsletter letting me know how my money is being spent far more pleasant than the charity that feels as though they can extract another donation by inundating me with solicitations.

 

When Ladies Were Ladies and Men Held the Door…

April 1, 2008

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I have long been a fan of the Gilded Age.

It all started when I was helping my good friend Christian move some furniture after college from his house in Cotuit down to Washington DC.

In his bookshelf was a paperback copy of The Great Gatsby and I recalled jokingly how I was supposed to have read it in high school.

Thank God for Monarch Notes!

Christian, being far more scholarly than I, said that it was a must read and let me have it and with that I got turned on to Fitzgerald and eventually to Edith Wharton and Henry James.

As embarrassing as it is to say, I found out that I am a romantic!

In my younger days I was what I would call a very impatient romantic, for lack of a better way of describing my impetuous behavior. For me, the act of courtship was high art, or at least I wanted it to be.

Lately, Kerry and I have been watching the Jane Austen series on PBS and loving every episode more and more. Ms. Austen epitomized what I am referring to regarding the interplay between men and women and the amount of lustful desire that they could froth up by being very proper.

They would all have heart attacks if they could see how we behave today!

I recently watched the movie Atonement, set just prior to World War II. Based upon the movie, it seems pretty clear to me that the War was a watershed moment concerning romance, as it seemed to change everything between men and women.

Before the War, the genteel nature of men and women was still holding on, albeit tenuously, but after the War the sexes seemed to be catapulted into a time where women were fast and men were pigs.

Immeasurable death and carnage must do that.

I do remember that the Monarch Notes for Ernest Hemmingway’s A Farewell to Arms said something about “Carpe Diem” aka “Seize The Day”, which might have signaled the beginning of the end…

After all, if you know that you might die in a few minutes, you may as well throw propriety to the wind!

It would be nice however, if something came along to help the pendulum swing the other way again.

It’s not like the end is near…

At least not that near!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating for ankle length swimsuits again, but a little more modesty and politeness would certainly go a long way at rekindling a little romance between the sexes, which could only be a good thing.

Snow Day!

February 22, 2008

boys-in-snow.jpg 

Waking up this morning I looked out of the window and there was a good 5 inches of fluffy white stuff covering everything outside.

I was supposed to drive to Norwalk today to visit a prospective client and was out shoveling my truck from under its wintery coat when my boss called and told me that the meeting was off.

Like a child back in school, my heart lifted and the same feeling came over me that I remember when my mother would come into my room to announce the wonderful news!

Back then, I would jump from my bed and ready myself for a day of fun in the snow. Now, all I want to do is crawl back into bed and get some much needed rest.

Unfortunately, working from home when I’m not traveling, it’s not a day off by any means.

After making a breakfast that more than replaced the calories that I burned while shoveling, I’ve now fired up the Laptop and I am sitting with a cup of coffee reviewing my never ending to-do list.

Perhaps I’ll knock off a few of the lingering items and then go outside and play in the snow with the puppies.

Message in a Bloggle….

February 2, 2008

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Posting a blog entry is much like putting a message in a bottle and setting it adrift…

You never know if it will be found and if it is found, by whom…

Now that I’ve been blogging for a while and enjoying the fact that I get a random email or two out of it, I was checking out my WordPress Blog Stats and I was fascinated by what I saw.

First of all, I’m not writing this bog to become popular; I gave up on trying to be popular years ago…

Nevertheless, one of my entries seems to get the most activity time and time again and I was intrigued by what it was.

Drum roll please!!!

It happens to be the entry entitled “It’s Texas Time”.

As it turns out, WordPress lets you see the search terms that bring people to your site and so I get to see what people are searching for that brings them to that entry.

The Texas entry gets found based upon terms such as “A picture of Texas” and “Texas Flag” as well as many others but nonetheless, they find my blog and I am given the chance to show off my wares.

It’s obviously the popularity of the great state of Texas that people want….not me. However, I’ll take the traffic any way that I can get it.

Alas…

Not that I’m trying to be popular, but I think that I’m going to end each entry with a litany of words like Texas, Laser, Dog, Cotuit and so on and try to think of some other key words to put in there that might drive traffic.

I’m sure there are a few words that would get me noticed but it would probably be the FBI that takes an interest in me…

I’ll avoid doing that…

Where Do Pelicans Live?

June 8, 2007

Pelicans

A few months back, when visiting some dear friends at their stunning new home in Stuart, Florida, we had another occasion to coin a phrase; a pejorative one of course.

As we sat sipping cocktails while sitting at a lovely waterfront bar during an afternoon sun shower, we all noticed how rather disgusting pelicans seemed to be relative to other birds, not that all birds are not somewhat disgusting.

While projecting these attributes onto certain people that we know, we collectively coined the phrase “Pelican” to politely allow us to talk about those people, without really talking about them.

So, if you ever hear people referring to pelicans in unusually human terms, I only hope they are not talking about you.

Have you seen this man?

January 4, 2007

joe.jpg

If so, buy him a Captain Morgan and Cranberry!