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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Living with the Threat of Suicide

As I have alluded to in a few recent posts and in recent times, I have begun to pay more attention to the reality of the aging process, growing old and to the preparation and reality of dying.

One of the effects of that attentive preoccupation and study is that it makes me want to live what time I have left in life with that much more activity and purpose.

I want to Live My Life.

Not Take My Life.

Which is the subject of this post -

The Act of Taking One's Life aka....


When I told a friend of mine that I have been thinking a lot about Death lately and recently about Suicide, she made it clear that she was available and willing to talk about both at anytime.

I got her drift and explained quickly that I was not a candidate for suicide as I loved me far too much to ever kill me.

But I do want to talk a little about an aspect of Suicide that is potentially far worse than Suicide itself - if that is possible.

And that is the Threat of Suicide.

And that is something I can talk about because I've been on the receiving end of it.

This is a subject and content I have revealed to only a few people in my life for what will be obvious reasons.

In a nutshell, I grew up in a pretty dysfunctional family.

My Dad was pretty much a rage-a-holic and my Mom, either because of my Dad or some congenital contributions, was a Depressed Suicidal person.

I have 2 older sisters, one 9 years older and one 10 years older, and because of my Dad's domestic mental, physical and emotional abuse, my Mom sent my sisters off to a parochial academy for high school.

Which left me home with the 2 dysfunctional parents starting at age 4 or 5 - I don't remember exactly.

But what I do remember was the frequent and consistent depressed bouts of crying that my Mom displayed during which she espoused her desire to kill herself.

I guess that was back in the days before there was readily available material or counseling on the effects that this sort of maternal behavior has on a 5 year old kid, but suffice it to say I remember vividly to this day hugging my mom and crying with her and begging her not to kill herself.

It scared the shit out of me and made me feel even more insecure than my dad's angry, abusive tirades.

This went on for years until I got old enough to realize that this kinda shit was neither normal nor proper.

I don't remember what age it was - probably 12, 13 or 14 - one day my mom went into another one of her depressed suicidal episodes and I just stood over her and said....

"Hey - why don't you just go ahead and kill yourself and put us all out of your misery."

Maybe things got better after that - I really don't remember, but at least I got loose of the stranglehold that the threat of suicide by my mother had on my emotions.

She ended up never killing herself but died of congestive heart failure at age 74.

Well - she really did commit suicide but just did it over most of her lifetime by not eating right, not exercising and not taking care of herself, which is basically the recipe for the soup of congestive heart failure.

It's kinda funny, some years back, I talked to my sisters about this whole subject and their reaction was -

"We don't believe you.  Why are you making this up?  Why would you say such a terrible thing?"

I was shocked.... for about 10 seconds. And then responded -

"How the fuck would you two know what went on at the house after you were 14 years old?  You were 200 miles off at a parochial high school.  I lived this shit. I know what happened."

Based on my experience and the relating of similar circumstances to me by others, the biggest takeaway for me on the subject of suicide is not what it does to the self-executioner but more importantly how it affects those around them.

And perhaps the most negative and destructive effects are seen and felt from the threat of suicide even more so that the realized act of suicide.

Death, of any kind in any manner, brings closure.  There is finality and there are memories of the lost but there is not the present and living mental and emotional abuse that the threat of suicide offers.

In many cases, the threat of suicide is a plea - for help - and it should be addressed as such.

But in other cases, the threat of suicide is a ploy - for manipulation - and it too should be addressed as such.

And in fact, it may be the worse of the two because it bastardizes and belittles the real act and meaning of a suicidal threat from a person who is actually suicidal and just trying to ask for help.

For those that practice either type of suicidal threats - get help.

Seek counseling, communication and support for whatever the source is inside you that creates this behavior.

Because Life is Precious and should be shared with those you care about.

But the Threat of Taking Your Own Life is the best way to destroy the relationships with those same people and leave them with emotional scars they will carry for a lifetime.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tuesday Praxis Workout!

Looked like an All Body All Everything Workout so I signed up for the 9:00 am class.

With my early morning stretch and mini workout in front of a blazing fire.

Loaded the 2 - 80# bags of Sakrete in the back of the Stang for traction cause it snowed last night and thought they felt kinda light.

Turns out they were as I walked up the 5 sets of deadlifts to 275# for 6 reps with ease.

Didn't hurt that I had the BADDEST SHE BEAST Brittany in the WOD right next to me!!!

With my favorite instructor - the indomitable Sheila B - keeping a close eye on things.

We ended up sub'g in 1 arm DB snatches for the KB swings which I thought was better anyway.

Knew I would never come close to the Bad Ass Brittany but made a good showing.

Best All Body Workout I've had in a long time!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Living a Life that Death would be Proud of

This may be one of the most difficult posts to piece together that I've ever done.

Because that's just what it is - a bunch of pieces....

Concepts, ideas and phrases that I have collected, thought about and experienced over a Lifetime but much more intensely in recent months.

With that stated, I'll just list the pieces of the puzzle that will be assembled to create this image of Life and Death:
  • It's not how you die that counts... It's how you live that really matters.
  • Getting a Divorce from Myself.
  • Practicing the Art of Growing Old.
  • Recent Interest in Death and Music about Death.
  • A Life to be Thankful For.
It's not how you die that counts... It's how you live that really matters.

This is really a controversial statement because obviously there are a lot of people that have died heroic deaths in sacrifice of their fellow man.  And of course, there are countless others who have died courageous deaths in the face of debilitating disease and sickness.  In these cases, how these people died may have been the defining point of their lives.  This is not what I'm talking about.

For the majority of us, we have 65 - 95 years of daily activities to define our lives - and we do it one 24 hour day, one 60 minute hour, one 60 second minute at a time.  We are all given the same 24 hour day to work with and yet a select few seem to make so much more of their day.... and their lives.

These people are not looking forward to dying.  They are too busy living lives of honor, integrity, accomplishment, with expression of love, peace of spirit, development of mind and strength of body.

I have to shake my head when I hear people talking about looking forward to heaven or the next life.

My first thought is "What's wrong with this life? What are you doing to make this life better for you and those you come in contact with?"

For these people, 10 lives wouldn't make things better, because they have never learned how to live 1 life.

Getting a Divorce from Myself

Part of the reasons why marriages don't last is because people change over time - physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.

Their interests and activities change and for people who are married, if they can't find a way to deal with that, then they grow apart and after a while there are "irreconcilable differences".

I got to thinking about this in connection with a transition I've gone through over the past 7 - 8 years.

It probably began in 2009 when I realized my 2nd marriage was just not working and that most of the blame for that lay on my shoulders.

I was unhappy with Myself and My Life.

I really didn't like Me and what I had become.

I wanted a Divorce from Myself.

I mean, seriously, that's what you do with a spouse - right?

You get to a point where you just don't like them anymore and don't want to be around them so you get a divorce.

Same thing can be applied to yourself.

You can just look yourself in the mirror and say "Hey Mother Fucker - I don't like you and I want a Divorce!"

Now obviously, I'm not talking about getting rid of yourself physically, aka Suicide, although I will list a song about Suicide later in this post.

What I'm talking about is removing from your life, your being and your interaction with the world, those things that have led you to this Tipping Point of Personal Despair.

For me it was the Fat, the Love of Money, the Anger and the Frustration of Living in a Climate and Community that neither Supported nor Appreciated the Body and Spirit that I was made of.

I Divorced Myself from the Past and the Man I was and Married the Right Guy this time.

And I'm not even Gay.

Moving on...

Practicing the Art of Growing Old

When I was doing research several years ago on the city I wanted to move to from the Texas Gulf Coast, I included several criteria such as Climate, Terrain, Infrastructure, Proximity to Airport, Cost of Living, etc.

One of the things I missed was Average Age of the Population.

You know what the Average Age of the Santa Fe NM population is?


Yep - it's basically a Retirement Community.

The irony of this stat is that it's off by about 15 years when measured by how people look and act and live.

On the Gulf Coast of Texas, I could usually guess a person's age within 2 - 3 years.

In Santa Fe, there's no way to guess because this city is a natural filter for those people seeking longevity, activity and quality of life through good health and balanced lifestyle.

A person who looks 40 might be 55 and a woman who's 67 might look 55.

Hell - there's 75 - 80 year old men and women on the strenuous-grade hikes with me every week.

I mean - first of all, the city is at 7200' elevation so just breathing adds a 20% workout compared to breathing at sea level.

Plus this place is an Outdoor Enthusiast wonderland with Mountain Biking, Road Cycling, Hiking, Skiing, Hunting and Fishing and more.

A lot of People move here and live here because they want to live longer and more active lives.

I have become fascinated with the observation of this for almost 2 years now.

It's become especially significant to me during that same time frame because I have suffered many physical setbacks highlighted by a left knee replacement in April of this year.

The realization that I am aging and growing old is setting in.

And because of that I have turned my attention to these living examples of Life Enhancement, Extension and Activity that exist all around me in Santa Fe.

These people that are 10, 15, 20 , 25 years older than me that have not only defied the effects of age but in some cases have reversed it right before my very eyes.

Such is the case of my Dancer friend from Group Exercise Classes at Anytime Fitness.

After working out with her for a couple of months in early 2015, she started asking me about building muscle and getting stronger.

I answered her questions and gave her general concepts and specific recommendations based on what I have learned, experienced and practiced.

And she starting practicing them.

And getting stronger and more muscular.

At the beginning of this year, she came to me and expressed frustration with seeming to hit a sticking point.

She wanted to advance even further.

I knew she was a strict vegetarian and I told her "Look - I understand you want to be a vegetarian but if you really want to add muscle and get strong, quit eating all those beans and lentils and all those other shit carbs that vegetarians use for protein and start eating Lean Meat and lots of it. Cut the bad carbs and sugar and focus on meat and low carb veggies. Believe me, if you do that and you keep working out like you're doing, you're not gonna believe what you look like in 6 months".

Well - not too long after that I went to Texas to have my Left Knee Replacement surgery and then was in Texas working on and off so I really didn't get to see my Dancer friend for several months.

Then about late July, I saw her in a local dance club and she was wearing this sleeveless outfit that really showed her arms and shoulders and she looked like a Fucking Bodybuilder.

I couldn't believe it - I told her "My God, you've put on 5 pounds of lean muscle just in your upper body!"

And soaking wet, she only weighs a buck 02 so 5 pounds of muscle is a lot on her frame.

Seriously, I could see the entire deltoid rounded and defined from the bicep and triceps and she had veins running down her bicep and about an 1-1/2" of traps coming up behind her neck.

It was an amazing athletic and bodybuilding transformation.

And Oh.... did I forget to tell you this lady just turned 73 years old!

Talking about inspiring and giving me the confidence of knowing that it can be done because I see it nearly every day!

Interest in Music about Death

I was talking to another friend recently about my recent interest in Death and Music about Death.

She asked me why I was interested in Death and I didn't really have a good answer for her.

Perhaps it's been my visits with my 89 year old Dad in Beaumont - another one of those people who just continues to defy the odds.  Needless to say, I realize and he realizes and has talked to me about the fact that he is just trying to live each day to its fullest because he knows he is reaching the end of his life.

It's hard to listen to this kind of thing coming from someone you love and have known your entire life and not be affected by it.

Perhaps it's been my affiliation with and affinity towards people who are older than me.

Frankly, people who are older than me are more interesting, inspiring and attractive to me than people my age or younger than me.

And maybe, as I alluded to above, it's my own realization that there is far more life and even far more active life behind me than ahead of me.

And maybe, it's the fact that I've been alone for so long.

Alone and Death seem to go together - don't they?

So in consideration of all of that, I offer to you my top 3 songs about death from completely different genres, styles and contents....

Death by Suicide by Hollywood Undead - Bullet

It's funny how such a happy sounding song can deal with such a final and fatal subject.

Death by Hedonistic Indulgence a la Lemmy Kilmster - Killed by Death by Motorhead

I heard this song and sent the YouTube video link to my son and daughter and told them that's what I wanted on my tombstone -

He Lived a Good Life and was Killed by Death!

And finally one of the most beautifully tragic love songs I have heard in a long time and a concept that is a reality for many - when one of a couple dies, the other simply cannot live without them and chooses to quickly follow.

I Will Follow You into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie

A Life to be Thankful For

In the days following one of the most memorable Thanksgivings of my Life, I have thought about these Matters of Life and Death - and realize that this is a subject that has been contemplated by many since the first life and death.

And one of the wisest men in History, Solomon, documented his Life Learnings and Lessons in what, for me, is the best book of the Bible - Ecclesiastes.

In conclusion, I leave you with these 2 admonitions from Solomon from Ecclesiastes 3:18 - 21

18 I also said to myself, “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. 19 Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath[c]; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. 20 All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. 21 Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”

And from Ecclesiastes 12:13

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.

I'll keep working on that as I...

Live a Life that Death would be Proud of.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Seeking Grace to fill the Holes in My Life

2016 has been a Year that has revealed Many Holes in my Game of Life.

I'll write a separate post on what I've learned about myself and life in general based on the incredible dynamics I have been a part of this year, but will use this reality and concept as a basis for a more specific learning that is the subject of this post.

Grace is a characteristic or attribute I have had no understanding or appreciation of for most of my life.

In fact, I probably considered it a weakness, which, in retrospect, was a weakness.

And a Gap or a Hole in my Life.

Grace is one of those things that is hard to describe but you know it when you see it or experience it - kinda like Charisma.

  1. 1.
    simple elegance or refinement of movement.
    "she moved through the water with effortless grace"
    synonyms:elegancepoise, gracefulness, finesseMore
  2. 2.
    (in Christian belief) the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.
  1. 1.
    do honor or credit to (someone or something) by one's presence.
    "she bowed out from the sport she has graced for two decades"

See what I mean?

Have had the good fortune of getting to know a person who personifies the Concept of Grace.

For the sake of Simplicity and the Purpose of this Post, I will just call her Grace.

Frankly, it made me uncomfortable at first.... being in the presence of Grace.

It was kind of one of those Moth to the Flame sort of things.

I realized if I got too close it was gonna be destructive to what I was.  Which it turns out is probably not a bad thing.

My Aggressive, Crude and Edgy persona coming in contact with the Soft Face and Space of Grace.

Through the Circumstances of Time and Effort, I grudgingly and gradually began to realize the Benefits of Grace.

Grace separates itself from the Menial and Mundane Machinations of Life.

She rises above the Petty and Petulant and Guides, Leads and Counsels by Presence.

Anyone taking the time to appreciate Grace realizes that Grace is experienced and not influenced.

Grace makes her own way in Life and Parts the Seas of Daily Challenges in front of her.

Grace suggests and provides opportunity for consideration, reflection and change..... Uggggh..... there's that Socratic Method again that I so loathe.

But in reality, it is the best way to affect change because it leads a person to Realization which is the first of the R's on the Road to Recovery.

And in so doing, Grace guided me toward a Softer Side of Music - see how Grace uses those things we value most to affect change in things we need the most?

A simple song from Coldplay - The Scientist -

Brought me to a song from Snow Patrol - a group I had never listened to - and a song I had never heard...

Chasing Cars -

Every great song has a hook and for me the hook for this song was the line....

"I need your Grace to remind me to find my Own".

Grace accepts and realizes that too much Grace is not always a Good Thing either.

Part of the Grace of Grace is the Willingness to Accept and Change the fact that Grace is not an End all and Be All for Life but an Advantage that can be Honed and Edited.

So Grace gains some Edge and I become more Grace-ful.

Cause we all have Holes in our Hearts and Holes in our Lives....

And Sometimes all it takes is a little Grace to fill them.

I Always try to Never say 2 Words - Always and Never!

I know - kind of a strange title and concept for a Thanksgiving morning but it's part of a bigger picture that I am thankful for - so I figured it might be a good way to start off the day.

While professing to be an Extremist.....

Which I am.

And what I consider to be a "Fringe" person -

Which I am.

I have learned and adapted to the reality that there are No Absolutes in Life.

Things have happened that I thought would NEVER happen - there ya go - I did it already.

I have done things I NEVER thought I would do - Good and Bad.

But, despite, my natural tendency to be unique and different, I have realized the need and the benefit of not ALWAYS being so.

Or at least not being so much so.

People are initially comically amused and perhaps even interested in Extreme, Fringe people but quickly are offended, challenged or threatened by those who think and do differently from themselves.

It's difficult to be confident and committed to your own life style and life principles and still be considerate of and give credence to diverse and different viewpoints of how to live life.

Used to be, my initial reaction was to engage in a "debate" or to defend my way of doing things and attack or "constructively criticize" (another one of those "what I really mean when I say" kinda phrases) the other person's methodology.

Turns out it's just a waste of Time and Energy and creates a negative interaction.

Maybe there's nothing wrong with seeking a Middle Ground between the Poles of Right and Wrong.

It's one of the reasons I no longer Burn Bridges.

You simply cannot understand how the Complexities of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness can Conspire to Create Circumstances and Controversies that will force you to retreat to a place of Scorched Earth.

I had an experience recently where a person I cared about told me "I will NEVER ask for your help again.".

And my first reaction was to say....

"Ooh..... I would NEVER say that".

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

When I say ______, What I Really Mean is ______!

This is a post that I have content on going back over 20 years when I worked at a chemical plant in Freeport Texas.

The operators I worked with developed this "2nd language" to communicate between themselves about the stupid shit and people they had to deal with on a daily basis.

They actually had small business card sized laminated badges that they attached behind their company badge to refer to for this 2nd language.

Phrases and responses I remember with their real meanings were as follows:

  • "I think you just need some more training" which really meant "You're a fucking idiot."
  • "That's very interesting" which translates to "Who gives a shit what you think?"
  • "Let me give that idea some more thought" aka "Why don't you take that idea and run it up your ass!"
You can probably understand now why I cuss so much.  It was part of the language and culture I worked in for over 20 years.

Nowadays the "Hidden Meaning" of things is much more socially acceptable and camouflaged.

For instance, I had a friend of mine tell me the other day "Well we just have differences in style."  I told her...

"Yeah - what you really mean is that you can't believe I think or act that way!" 

Another good one I heard was "I need some time to digest this".  

What that really means is "What you just said made me want to throw up!" 

Yeah I hear this kind of counter speak all the time and it frankly makes me want to throw up.

I'm continuously telling people that I give a shit about.... just tell me what you think in simple and direct English.

I'm a Big Boy - I can take it - and if I don't like it, I'll tell you as much real quickly and directly.

Reminds me of a conversation I had with another friend this morning who texted me and said she had just read my blog and thought there was "an interesting array of topics."

"Interesting is a nice way of saying weird and deviant" was my response.

Or when someone says you have a "diverse" view of things what they probably mean is you have a "perverse" view of things.

It's no secret.... I loathe the Socratic Method.

I don't like double speak or being protected or manipulated in a conversation.

Just tell me what you think in plain simple English.

And let me make my own conclusions.

That's what I said....

And that's what I mean.

Thanksgiving Braised Pork Shoulder and Veggies

Anybody that knows me knows that pork is my favorite meat.

It's cheap, flavorful and if you don't cook it to death can be just as moist and juicy as beef.

Well there are 2 ways of cooking it a long time that yield that unctious delicacy known as pulled pork....

Both are low and slow - Smoking and Braising.

I prefer the Braising method cause I don't wanna tend a fire for 6 hours.

I've done my braised Pork Butt on this blog before but it's been a while so I figured I'd do an update for this Thanksgiving.

I start with an array of root veggies - sweet potatoes, turnips, rutabagas and parsnip.

And of course and array of colorful peppers - Poblano, Jalapeno and Red - Green - Orange Bell peppers.

And sweet onion.

I love the taste of ginger and garlic too so we'll dice some of that up and throw in the mix eventually.

And a few bay leaves.

That's the Pork Butt on the left which has been seasoned for 2 days with a thick dry rub of Meat Tenderizer, Salt, Pepper, Curry mix, Garam Masala, Allspice, Cumin and Turmeric.

So first off, dice up all the root veggies and season with the same seasoning - spice combination as the meat.

I season and brown everything first in smoking hot cast iron skillets before I braise it.

I've done it both ways - no browning and browning - and browning by far yields the better taste for the braising liquid, veggies and meat.  There's something about the high heat searing of the seasoning to the outside of the veggies and meat that creates a whole nother depth of flavor.

Next is the peppers.

And then the sweet onions.

Then I give the meat itself a helluva browning on every side.

Summer Squash...

Holy Blindness Batman - I almost forgot the carrots!

Put the meat in the bottom of the pot and pile all the veggies in and then add a quart of chicken broth / stock to the pot.

Add water to bring the liquid level up to the brim of the pot.

Then in a 225 - 275 degree oven for 5 - 6 hours.

I could braise at 225 degF at sea level in Lake Jackson Tx but here in Santa Fe at 7200' elevation, the braising seems to work better around 275 degF.

After about 4-1/2 - 5 hours, dice up your final soft veggies and greens like Baby Bella mushrooms, cilantro and basil.

And add to the pots.

Add water as necessary to bring the level back up in the pot.

Finally, put a good bit of seasoned kale in the pot.

Back in the oven for another hour.

And there ya go.... that's a pot of veggie - meat - broth goodness that will make you happy on Thanksgiving or any other day of the year!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Did anybody ever tell you that you look like.....

Clint Eastwood, Sean Penn, Barry Manilow, Siegfried of Siegfried and Roy, Johnny Hallyday, Steve McQueen....

I've been told I look like all of the above and a few more over the last couple of years.

I was gonna post pictures of myself with pictures of each of these to compare but frankly, I don't think I look like any of them....

Well maybe Clint Eastwood.

But it brings up an interesting question about human behavior or perhaps human perceptions.

Why do some people think I look like someone famous?

I asked my astute and world-wise son this question.

And he replied almost instantaneously in his concise, matter of fact manner....

"Because you're lean, tan and muscular like a lot of famous people."

To which I replied....

"Well I guess (like being an Engineer), there's worst things in the World than being lean, tan and muscular."

Being an Engineer isn't the Worst Thing in the World

Didn't know I was an Engineer?

Yep - a Chemical Engineer - graduated from Lamar University in 1984 with a B.S. in Chem E.

Went to work at Dow Chemical in Freeport Tx and worked there for 22 years in a variety of Petrochemical Plant Operations, Maintenance, Project, Safety, Quality Assurance / Quality Control, Estimating, Planning, Scheduling and Commissioning functions.

You name it... if it had to do with running, maintaining, designing, building, commissioning, starting up or shutting down a petrochemical plant... I probably did it or watched it done or was involved in it in some way.

And got ridiculed, belittled and criticized for being an Engineer that whole time.

Oh, part of it was the uneducated Redneck culture of much of the Operators and Maintenance people I worked with and the general populous who doesn't have a fucking clue what an Engineer does or what he / she knows.

And, frankly, part of it was that a lot of Engineers can quote the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics and write several equations based on it, but don't have a practical, functional, real World Understanding of Much of Anything and can't apply any of the theory they pontificate to anything meaningful in life, such as getting work done.

Now with all that said, here's what a Good Engineer does know.

They know how the World Works.

They understand the physical, functional, mechanical, chemical, electrical, biochemical and economical basis and makeup of the World and much of everything in it.

And they understand why the World doesn't Work.... and how to fix it.

And here's the most important part.....

They understand how to solve problems... maybe not psychological, emotional or relational problems -

But they understand how to analyze a system, a work process or a challenge and apply the scientific method or at least an organized and analytical approach to solving a problem.

They know and understand how to organize the 3 M's of work:  Manpower, Machinery and Materials and can coordinate that with the 4th Dimension of getting work done.....


And they know when someone is Bullshitting them.

It's hard to run a con or to mislead an Engineer because they can disseminate information and extract mistruths and divergences from it.

Because that's the way an Engineer's mind works.

And yes, I understand, Engineers can be rigid know-it-all's.

Part of the Problem is that Engineers don't know it all, but they know a lot, and frankly, they get tired of dealing with people who don't know very much but purport the opposite.

At this point in my career, I can walk into about any physical / functional problem solving situation or scenario and make a positive contribution.  I've been doing it for the last 10 years as an Independent Contractor. I don't have to know the business or the technology or be an expert in the area.  The ability to problem solve is transferable, universal and knows no boundaries of field, vocation or geography.

And I guess that's the thing that has impressed me the most about being an Engineer over the last few years.

I've realized that all that anal retentiveness, making lists and plans and approaching everyday in a somewhat organized and methodical way....

Has its advantages.

It puts me way ahead....

Of those that don't.

Take Time before you have Sex

I know.... I sound like your mother.

And this is another one of those topics and opinions that has as many approaches and opinions as there are penises and vaginas in the world.

But here me out on this.

And first off, let me say I am no expert on this subject....

Having Sex or When to Have Sex.

But as usual, let me remind you, this is my blog and I'll write about what I want to write about while trying not to offend or defend anyone in the process.

So here goes.

I think there's a lot of advantages to a relatively extended period of time between the time you meet someone and the time you have intimate relations with them.

And of course, I realize it depends on the individuals and how much time they spend together in any given period of time and blah blah blah.

And of course, if you don't care about taking risks or you just want to have sex for the sake and purpose of having sex, then by all means meet the guy or girl and take them home that night.

But here are a few reasons why not to do that.

I'd like to think I'm a pretty good judge of character and that I can size people up pretty well in a first meeting but let's face it.... I'm not and I can't.

You meet someone for the first time and you get a good impression and good vibes but there is no way on God's Green Earth that you can know the true character and disposition of that person in one meeting.

And people can act.... And they can fool you.... for a long time.

So how the fuck do you know you're not having a one night stand with some really deranged person or not?

And what their history is?

And how many people they've slept with?

And I know you should use protection but that's not the point. There are ways to get stuff that a condom doesn't protect you against.

Now if you're around that same person 5, 10, 15, 20 times over a period of months and you see them in a variety of situations, environments, settings.... then maybe just maybe you might just get to know the real person that you're wanting to have sex with.

Ok, Fine.... you take the fast lane and you have sex with a person on the first or second date and then God forbid, you find out you really don't like the person and then there's all the awkwardness and bad feelings you have to go through dealing with that.

For those lucky enough to live in a big city, that's probably no big deal.  They just fade into the populated landscape and hopefully you don't have to end up blocking them from your cell phone or email.

In a place like Santa Fe where everybody knows everybody or they know somebody who knows you, you might as well be going to bed with all of Santa Fe.  Think 2 degrees of separation.

Now let's address a more significant issue.

And again, I realize this doesn't apply to everyone.  Some people can have great sex and enjoy it and not think anything about whether they know the person or even like them.

Great.... for them.

But for me, the special part of sex or making love or whatever you want to call it, is actually feeling somewhat close and comfortable with your partner.  For me, it's all about Quality and not Quantity.

When I have sex, I want it to be memorable.  Let me rephrase that.... I want to Make a Memory.

Hell - if I want a daily physical activity, I can just go work out.

When I make love, I want it to be a great physical experience but more importantly I want it to be a memorable spiritual and emotional experience.

And for me, to get to that point....

It takes time.

The Seasons Pass whether we are there or not

This simple fact of life has gained more meaning with me over the past couple of years.

Despite having relocated to Santa Fe NM from the Gulf Coast of Texas, the fact is that my travel back and forth, whether it be to deal with the results of a lifetime of old injuries and physical deterioration or to work and make money so I can afford to stay in Santa Fe, has caused me to miss much of the transition of the seasons which was the reason I moved to Santa Fe in the first place.

Kind of ironic but perhaps appropriate.

That which we seek - for me a refuge and change from the one season of culture and seasons - is the very reason for missing the change of seasons I seek.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

I lost my "Q"

As I have grown older, I have found greater significance and meaning in the small, inconsequential and mundane happenings in life.

Such an event occurred the other day when I was typing on my 6 year old Windows XP laptop.... a hand me down from my 2nd wife that is indicative of my life in many ways.

One of my more recently excepted and accepted Life Axioms is.....

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

If it fulfills a function - meets a need - does the job, just keep using it and doing it..... until it doesn't anymore.

Complete failure is an option that I now weave into my fabric of life as a hint to take action..... aka.....

And this fucking Dell Windows XP laptop with Office 2007 just won't quit.

Oh, it's caught a couple of viruses recently, but I took it to my computer doc in Santa Fe and he fixed it and handed it back to me with the recommendation..... "You know - you really need to get a new computer."

Obviously, he doesn't read my blog.

So anyway, I was typing up a report the other day on my antiquated laptop and went to type the word "questions" and ended up with "uestions" which is a really weird looking word or a word looking weird - which is pretty much the same thing only backwards and what happens when you take the "Q" from a word where it belongs.

I quickly realized my "Q" wasn't working.... which in and of itself conjures up all kinds of Life Theme sort of Thoughts.....

Well it does for me anyway.

At first, I just worked around my missing "Q" by using the symbol "?'s" for "questions" but quickly found out that this doesn't work for all the "Q's" in my vocabulary or my life.

Because despite the fact that the letter "Q" represents the thinnest slice in the dictionary pie, it does contribute a lot of really cool words that we can't do without in our vocabulary or our life....

Quiet, Quake, inQuire, reQuire, Quest, Question, uniQue, Queen, Queer.....

I mean these are really meaningful words, many of which I resemble at times.

"Q" is like EF Hutton - doesn't have much to say but when it does you better listen.

Oh and for you X's, Y's, Millenials or anybody that isn't more than 50 years old, who doesn't have a clue who EF Hutton is.....

I remember a series of Star Trek: The Next Generation, that featured a character named "Q" who was kind of an intergalactic Brat Know-it-All who didn't have complete control of his seeming omnipotence....

From that Wikipedia link:

Q is a fictional character in Star Trek: The Next GenerationStar Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager, as well as in related media. In all of these programs, he is portrayed by John de Lancie. Q is a being who is unconstrained by, and possesses power over, normal human notions of timespace, and even reality itself – his fellow Q and he are said to be omnipotent, and he is continually evasive regarding his motivations. The name "Q" also applies to all other individuals of the Q Continuum – an alternate dimension accessible to only the Q and their guests. The true nature of the realm is said to be beyond the comprehension of "lesser beings" such as humans, therefore it is shown to humans only in ways they can understand.

Here's a few tongue in cheek YouTube clips to better link (pardon the punny) the concept of "Q" from STNG with the importance of "Q" in life -

Incidentally that rotating blue object in the clip above does kind of resemble my Dell laptop.... and love the Mr Data ad lib overdub.

At the 1:54 mark..... A kick in our complacency?  Really - what a concept!

So when I lost my "Q" on my keyboard and intermittently started generating word gibberish, I kinda felt like I had entered a different dimension of lesser being.

So naturally, I had to get my "Q" back, so I Googled "Losing my Q" and found all kinds of IT and other lifestyle suggestions, of which the simplest, easiest one was to just plug a new keyboard into my laptop via a USB cable and press on...

Which I did.

Now my Rocked World is Rock Steady with my "Q" restored.

But it made me Think.....

Which is never a Safe and Secure State....

I hope I never lose my "Q" in Life.