Andy & Barney kept me company on many a boring day and night

Andy Griffith has made his last curtain call. Playing the perfect, quiet country straight man to his brilliant side kick deputy, Andy and Barney kept me entertained on many otherwise boring days and nights, from college to middle-age. The duo provided fodder for backwater cable TV, the Comedy Channel, and even racy adult-esque music videos (WARNING) like the one below that will live on forever. He was 86 years old. [Read more…]

A midsummer night’s rant

I despise them. I loath them. I hate them. I’m talking of course about computers, specifically windows PCs. Computers were once a blast for me. Tons of fun to play with, I liked them. But that’s back when they were more of a curiosity than a daily necessity. That’s all changed; try applying for a job with out one these days. As a hobby, they’re still fun. As machines we are forced to depend for pretty much everything, they are not ideal Internet platforms and that’s saying it nicely. [Read more…]

Who could have predicted?

I saw the movie Prometheus. It’s worth seeing, especially if you liked any of the Alien movies with Sigourney Weaver. Being a physics and math guy I saw holes you could drive a quasar thru, but this is sci-fi after all. There was a preview for another movie about Abe Lincoln though … I don’t think I can recommend this one: [Read more…]

Long week

It’s only Tuesday and already it’s been a long, scary, painful week. I’ve been trying for the last two days to figure out why FMLA paperwork filled out by my doctor was denied by my employer, while fighting a severe flare up and being forced to work with AS. This is the third set of paperwork, the other two were 1) lost by my employer/processor nexus, 2) filled out incorrectly by the employer/processor nexxus. If I hadn’t insisted on finding out on set number three, I wouldn’t know what happened and the decision would have stood — which would have cost me a twenty cent raise I worked six months for, could affect my bonuses, and would have eliminated any chance for raise or promotion for six months, and was used to threaten my job and by extension my health insurance. Guess who screwed up? [Read more…]

Memorium to Joey

Most of the Vietnam War is a blur in my mind. I wasn’t born when it started and it was wrapping up by the time I was in second grade. But one day stands out clearly, in Kindergarten, we were making drawings with flowers, learning the seasons. Spring was probably not far off, but all I remember was a cold, bleak day with crunchy snowy remnants lining the icy gutters and sidewalks under a sky of slate. The assistant teacher suddenly piped up and said “Hey Joey, come with me for a minute, I’m going to read you a story.” Even at age five I got a really weird vibe, story time was already over … [Read more…]

Take my apartment complex, please …

I’m in Austin these days and I got a little, teeny, tiny studio apartment. It’s claustrophobic small, but that’s all I need thanks to the insane hours required to survive on my horrific Great Recession pay rate. Things were fine for the first year. But a few months ago the complex was sold to a company based out of California called Greystar. My experience since ranks right up there with an unmedicated root canal. [Read more…]

Question: How will western religion ultimately deal with gay rights?

The time is rapidly approaching when opposition to LGBT rights will be judged the same way slavery and Jim Crowe are seen in most parts of the US today. But many faiths, especially Islam and Catholicism, have staked out arguably immovable, hard-line positions backed by centuries of tradition endorsed by authoritarian hierarchies at every level. It’s not just a modern trend, opposition to same-sex relations stretches back millennia, to the very origin of the underlying deities. How can they roll all that back, assuming they wanted to?

Think of the Vatican: Could Catholics — or for that matter conservative evangelicals or Muslims — simply conjure up a new theology embracing gay rights and downplay the past? Or are they trapped by their own theological and cultural inertia? It seems to me they’re damn if they do and damned if they don’t. They either risk civil war in their own ranks now, or they risk going the way of isolated whack-job Klannish cults in the near future.

The dynamics of anger and recession

Most days I get up extra early and work a little O/T. Even with time and a half  it’s a fourth of what I used to make. I barely squeak by each month without dipping into retirement savings or taking a quickie loan, and that’s with zero debt living incredibly frugally. I’m not exaggerating folks, after a lifetime as a successful executive managing millions of dollars, on an inflation adjusted basis I now make at age fifty what I made at age fifteen working as a dishwasher in a barbecue joint. And every morning a neighbor, we’ll call him Ben, is out on his porch sipping coffee taking it easy: Ben is on some kind of disability, he hurt his back a few years ago, doesn’t work at all and he brings home almost exactly what I do every month. [Read more…]