Living Out Loud
"We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us."
E.M Forster
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Begrudging Riches

I'm a little jealous of Shohei Ohtani's salary but I am not mad at him for earning it.  Professional athletes deserve every penny they get. We live in a capitalist society with a supply and demand economy. There is a demand for people with athletic ability and baseball players have every right to sell their talents to the highest bidder. After all, due to its exemption to anti-trust laws, baseball can still tie a player to one team for up to nine years (minor and majors combined). How would you like to be told you have only one choice as...

Where Do You Find Comfort?

I am a creature of habit. I like to get up at the same time every day, go to bed at the same time, eat my meals at the same time. I'm not at Rainman level when it comes to things. I do have a degree of flexibility when called upon. It's that it’s seldom that I have to exercise that. With blogging, I find it much easier to write every day as opposed to on occasion. I've been partially conditioned this way by my wife. She trains a fair amount for the endurance running she enjoys and needs to...

Questions I Ponder

I've read that some people don't have an inner dialog. There is no conversation going in every person's head. I don't know what that would be like, because the voices are always present in mine. I used to drive 30K-40K a year without listening to the radio, podcasts or audiobooks. I just thought about stuff, stuff like what you see below. If you read this, and it makes you think, feel free to share with me what the voices tell you. 1. Why do men shave their face and why do (American) women shave their legs and armpits? 2. Why...

Why I'm Still on Facebook

No one needs to convince me that Mark Zuckerburg is an evil techbro or that Facebook is net negative on society and responsible for the undermining of American democracy in 2016 when it promoted an orangutan hued failed gameshow host to shock and awe his way into the White House. I wish something existed with widespread adoption that I could use in its place. Unfortunately, it's the hub my extended family chose to use, the repository of a decade and a half of family photographs and the way they plan parties, graduations and retirements. Not everyone in my family plays...

On Grandparenting

I had children early and thus got a head start on becoming a grandparent. That delightful event happened 19 years ago with the birth of Braedyn when I was 40 and has since been repeated a dozen more times. Wonder Woman and I have five grown children ranging in age from 34 to 40. Our youngest grandchild is Genevieve who along with the second youngest, James will start kindergarten this fall.  We had a family birthday party today for my sweet mother-in-law's 80th. I had been with Genevieve at her piano lesson and was a little late arriving, When I...

Working Class Heroes

I love working class people. Most of us find ourselves in that category. That's not to say that if you are a business owner or you're in management that I don't have some feelings for you too, but my people are the working stiffs. In my who time working in education, I have always been the nicest and most solicitous to the custodians and house keepers. Too many people treat them as servants or act as if they are invisible. Not me. I learn their names, including that of Mrs Vivian Teasley, whose picture heads this post. I ask them...

The Fourth Time is a Charm

By the time I was mature enough for marriage, I'd already been married two times, once to my high-school girlfriend with whom I had two children and again to a woman I met in drug and alcohol rehab. I can't say that I'd suggest either one of those places as the ideal location to find your life partner. Marriage #1 lasted about three years. I still see her, of course, we have the kids and the grandkids, and I'm pleased to announce that our early parenthood didn't ruin anyone's life. She is a successful IT security consultant in the DC...

War and Peace

I don't know how much the average American thinks about war. In the 21st century, our involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq dragged out so long and the news from the war zone was so repetitive that it was seldom at the forefront of any outlet's reporting. The names of some remote provinces may have become familiar due to repetition, but military specifics were vague to most folks and uninteresting as well.  We really don't talk too much about the hidden cost of war. The trillions of dollars we wasted go unmentioned while people moan and complain about social spending. It's...

Coffee Buying and Referral Linking

I am all about trying to lift the spirits of my fellow indy bloggers in any way I can. I am a prolific leaver of comments. I am forever clicking on the "send me an email" links. When Jarrod Blundy started the one a month club, I quickly picked out a half dozen different bloggers to support. I subscribe to people's newsletters. And, yes, I do occasionally click on that "buy me a coffee" link. People do nice things for me too. I was surprised today to find out a had a trio of referrals on OMG.LOL. Every time I...

Artificial Intelligence and Me, An Average Guy

When ChatGPT was first announced, I wasn't blogging and didn't spend much time keeping up with tech trends. My online presence at the time was lots of Reddit doomscrolling, some Facebook and Google News. Then I came out of retirement, went back to work in a tech job, turned off the worst of Reddit and started subscribing to RSS feeds from quality sites. I picked up on the AI excitement and went to the Open.ai website and opened an account. I wrote a generic paragraph of text, asked AI to rewrite it for me and took a look at the...

Trail Magic

The experience of hiking the Appalachian Trail with my wife on our honeymoon, a 156-day, 2189-mile adventure was probably the most life changing thing I have ever done. I was a different person at the end of the journey, physically and mentally. Although I had to make every single one of the estimated 5 million steps of the trip by myself, in no way was it a solo effort.  We were helped by many people in a variety of ways. Long distance hikers on the AT, the Pacific Crest Trail and the Continental Divide Trail refer to unexpected largesse from...

The Golden Era

#100DaysToOffload 9/100 In the mid 70s, my family took a break from our yearly or bi-yearly moves and stayed in the same place for my brother and sister and I to put down some roots, albeit shallow ones. We lived in a huge mill-owner sized house on a corner lot with giant mature magnolia trees in the central-North Carolina town of Lillington. We were able to afford the spacious digs under one condition, allowing the landlord, the wife of the local Ford dealer to employ home repair workmen for the entirety of our stay. It was commonplace to wake up...

Adults Making Friends

#100DaysToOffload 8/100 I had lunch today with a couple of guys I've known for more than twenty years. At one time we all worked together but these days we are on separate job paths. We have all had pretty significant impacts on each other's lives. We've known each other through various marriages, jobs, the birth of children (or in my case, grandchildren) and changing views on work, religion and politics. None of us are anything close to the people we were at the beginning of our friendship because life happens, and people change. We get put in different situations where...

My Longest Day

#100DaysToOffload 7/100 I'm a big believer in goal setting. It's worked well for me over the years. As with most things, the joy is often in the journey, rather than the destination. The following is a report of a time when I fell short of a goal - an attempt to complete a 200-mile bike ride in a single day and the lessons I learned. At 6:00AM Saturday morning, 38 cyclists including eight from my home club left the parking lot of Eastern Wayne High School in Goldsboro, NC to attempt a 200 miles ride. The plan was to do...

11th Grade English

#100DaysToOffload 6/100 I started the 11th grade in the fall of 1981 at Westover High School in Fayetteville, NC. It was the 13th public school I'd attended and the first time in my educational career that I'd been with the same group of kids in three different school years. By the luck of the draw, I got Chuck Stanton for English. Everyone in the school knew who he was because of his habit of freely dispensing the candy he carried around in his pocket. You couldn't catch his eye in the hallway without walking away with a peppermint. Although he...