Friday, December 27, 2013

A New Year... a Chance for a Clean Slate

I have learned to build walls. I have hidden behind them. I am an expert mason. I have taught myself that the only person I can trust is me.

Consequently, I have walled myself off from others. It is a lonely, cold place to be. I have Scrooged myself and probably hurt those I do care about in ways I cannot measure.

For 2014, I pledge to change that. I pledge to love each of you better. Whether you are a friend or a family member, I pledge to love you in the best way I know how. You may get a hug. I may look you in the eye and tell you that I love you. It may be awkward... but you're getting it.

The last time I spoke to my mother about 16 years ago, I told her “I love you.” I can go to my grave not regretting that. I have plenty of other regrets in life... I don't need to add to the pile.

So there you go. My New Year's resolution is not to quit some bad habit (working on that too.) But it is to form a new habit. To love you.

How is that?

Thursday, December 26, 2013


I don't know how else to  title this post. It just seems appropriate.

I have thought of doing this publicly, of metaphorically painting myself into a corner. Facebook is an avenue, but I don't trust all of those people. They are not all true friends. I don't fear much in life, yet I fear those judgmental eyes. I will likely fail repeatedly, I will likely fall flat on my face multiple times, much like a toddler learning to walk.

I could throw it out there to the 100+ people who claim to be my friends, or I can share it with the select few of you who have chosen to listen to me. I trust you far more.

Here is my original post, destined for Facebook... but I wimped out.


Dear friends... I have a revelation to share with you.

I almost did this a few months ago, but I felt too many judgmental eyes staring at me. Paranoia, perhaps. Maybe this is not the best way to go about this, but I am betting it all on this single roll of the dice.

Now, I simply don't give a shit.

And if you are going to sit in judgment of me... then I further don't care. I don't want you as a friend.

As we enter the New Year, I will admit....

I drink too much.

I have been drinking since I was 11 or 12, when I first discovered some of my dad's whiskey. I managed to be functional... I graduated High School, I have an associate's degree (AAS) and continue to this day to be working on a bachelor's. I even held down a career in the U.S. Air Force. I have done things which you can only imagine. I don't even want to try to calculate how much this has cost me over the years.

My dad was an asshole, he murdered my mother. There are other facts I can bring into this, feelings of pain and loss, but I am really no different than you.

I have been running from pain and, I suppose, life. A close and intimate friend reminded me of that recently. My life sucked... but didn't all of ours? I don't hold a monopoly on suck-ism. I am simply sick and tired of being sick and tired.

I will likely fall flat on my face, at least a few times. But I am turning and fighting back.

As we go into the New Year, I am cleaning house. All I ask as we move forward... if you are a true friend, remain so. If you are a new friend, become a better (and true) friend.

I am not asking for your pity or sympathy. I am simply asking for you to be a true and loyal friend as I venture down a road I have never traversed.


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

War is over... if you want it

So this is Christmas.

Anyone who knows me would never accuse me of being a pacifist.  I will go on testosterone infused rants, I pack a pistol most places I go, and if anyone dares to cross me by invading my house or threatening my loved ones, they do so at their own peril.

But I *AM* a pacifist.

I do not wish to harm anyone else, and I don't want to be bothered.  But I will inflict egregious harm if the need arises.  Leave me alone, I will leave you alone too.  Live and let live. I served 20 years in the U.S. Air Force, I was prepared to fight, to harm others, or die myself. Fortunately, it did not come down to that level of self-sacrifice, but I did participate in campaigns...  the first Gulf War, Kosovo, etc.  I actually don't know how much blood is on my own hands. Yet no one despises war more than the warrior. The armchair generals & politicians are far too generous with pawns and the blood of others.

So this is Christmas.

I am reflecting.

(If you can watch this emotionless, you are a tougher sumbitch than yours truly)

I landed in Guam a few hours before the horrendous attacks of 9/11/01. It was supposed to be a 15 month tour in a tropical paradise, but I awakened to a changed world. I helped with the transit of a massive amount of troops and armament headed to Afghanistan in that post-apocalyptic world. I came back at the end of 2002, and then I got to participate in the build up to the 2003 Iraq war. I retired in 2004, just because it was time. I came into the USAF at the height of the Cold War, when things were black & white. Somehow the lines became blurry, and the shades merged into gray.

Back to the subject... We went into Afghanistan, we bombed the hell out of them, and then we bombed them some more. At some point, all we did was make the rubble bounce.

Now, I am not saying we should not have started it, for the Taliban government was giving Osama bin Laden safe asylum, and by most accounts they were not exactly a humanitarian form of government.

Yet we are still there, 13 years later. Why?

The countries of central Asia and the middle east do not have traditions of democracy, and no matter how much we cram it down their throats, all the copies of the Magna Carta  you can muster will not make them eat, breathe, and sleep representative government.

Unlike WW II, when the country was committed to victory, we are now happy with mediocrity.  We have become so efficient at war that the country does not feel it.

So this is Christmas, and what have you done?

War is over... if you want it.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace." -- Jimi Hendrix

Just some semi-random thoughts.

Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.

Let's hope 2014 brings us a little closer to "Peace on Earth."

Here are the lyrics to go with the above video, if you're inclined to listen to the words and understand with your heart.

So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun

And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The world is so wrong

And so happy Christmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let's stop all the fight

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas
And what have we done
Another year over
And a new one just begun

And so Happy Christmas
We hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas

And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

War is over over
If you want it
War is over

Monday, December 23, 2013

Woefully Behind Times...

So I've been (as the subject implies) woefully behind times.  A lot of stuff on my mind, and have also been busy with my college classes.

Of course plowing my car into a utility pole on Nov 24th didn't help, and it put me into a bit of a funk... lost car, and the ensuing soreness. In addition to soreness (aren't airbags supposed to be SOFT?) I felt depressed & hopeless for a while after that.

Volvoritos go "Crunch" when you eat 'em!

Just before that accident, I had taken a step forward and earned an industry certificate. (CIW Web Foundations Associate).  But that whole situation had to go by the wayside.  The remainder of my term, which ends on 12/31, was at risk. My advisor/mentor told me what was at risk.  So in about 1 weeks' time, I managed to crank through two classes of material and two exams. Together, those equate to my CompTIA A+ certification. It wasn't easy. I did everything except sleep in front of my PC. Were it not for my 30+ years experience working with computers, it would have been nearly impossible. It wasn't rocket science, but it wasn't super easy either.

So here ya go... I'm going to try and write more soon... but don't hold your breath. I'll do what I can, when I can.