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7/29/2017 11:07 am  #471


Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Here you go, CT.  It's a quote I used during a eulogy I delivered at the funeral service of my best friend who passed away way to soon at the age of 42. I've never found a better definition of what it means to be a success.  

That Man is a Success (Robert Louis Stevenson)


That man is a success
Who has lived well, laughed often and loved much;
Who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of children;
Who has filled his niche and accomplished his task;
Who leaves the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy or a perfect poem or a rescued soul;
Who never lacked appreciation of earth's beauty  or failed to express it;
Who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had.

 

Last edited by Just Fred (7/29/2017 11:08 am)

 

8/02/2017 5:53 am  #472


Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

I've thought a lot about life, and success lately.
It is a summer of transitions in Goose-world.

The "Baby" graduated from High School in June. Going to college in three weeks, and leaving an empty nest behind.
#3 earns her associates degree, looking for a job.
Goose and Gander to celebrate our 30th anniversary  next month in Venice.
Moving my parents to assisted living.
My father-in law in hospice with advanced cancer.




"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance"


 

Last edited by Goose (8/02/2017 7:39 am)


"The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.'
 

8/02/2017 3:08 pm  #473


Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Glad you are going to celebrate the 3-0 in grand style.

I hope that none of the transitions scuttle those plans.

Having done a lot of critical incident stress debriefings:  Watch the stressors.  They are mounting up; mostly ones that you cannot control.  So control the ones that you can.
 


Life is an Orthros.
 

8/02/2017 4:19 pm  #474


Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Tarnation wrote:

Glad you are going to celebrate the 3-0 in grand style.

I hope that none of the transitions scuttle those plans.

Having done a lot of critical incident stress debriefings:  Watch the stressors.  They are mounting up; mostly ones that you cannot control.  So control the ones that you can.
 

Grazie.

Sei molto gentile! 


"The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.'
 

8/03/2017 2:16 pm  #475


Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Wow, happy 30th Goose!


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8/03/2017 2:18 pm  #476


Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

08/03/2017

 The mood is great.

 This is also a first-in-a-long-time thing. A great mood. What do I do with one of these, exactly? Anyone? It's just so...foreign.

 But I'm not complaining. Not at all.

 I've had more social contact with people in the past four weeks than I'd had in an of the preceding two years. I'd always had difficulty meeting people and making new friends but I hadn't been trying because I was too wiped out at the end of every day.

 Run myself into the ground, spend all night wandering around the house sleepwalking, and repeat.

 I'm happy to say I haven't had a single sleepwalking episode since the middle of June. Or, if I have been doing it, I've been far more circumspect and less inclined to actively attempt injure myself.

 Toward the end, I was drinking as many as ten to twelve sixteen-ounce bottles of Diet Mountain Dew daily. This meant a lot of trips to the grocery store. And trying to cram eight bottles into a cooler made for six. I've had two Diet Dew's far today. I just opened number three a few minutes ago.

 I stopped having to take sedatives to get enough sleep to function. I've been falling asleep on my own and sleeping until it's time to get up. I no longer fall asleep sitting up about half an hour after getting up in the morning. This usually resulted in me dropping something on myself.

 I went to dinner with my friend Rick last Friday at some Chinese place in West York.

 We got to spend some time talking. Apart from Nice Wendy, he's the first friend I'd been around since I retired so we had lots to talk about.

 As I was leaving I noticed a group of people standing in front of the store next to the restaurant (it's a strip-mall). The place next door is a comic-book store. The people milling around in front of the place were geeks. Game geeks!

 My people!

 I stopped to look at some of the stuff in the windows but I really wanted to listen in on their conversation. They were talking role-playing game talk. It was a game I'd neither heard of nor played...but game-geek language is the same regardless of the game.

 They were talking about mana points and spells and monsters....that I understood.

 I'd been an avid role-playing gamer since I was fifteen. Every base I was stationed to had a recreation center and every rec-center had a gaming group...sometimes two or three of them. Role-playing games were hugely popular with barracks-rats since you didn't need money to play and you could play anywhere.

 I mostly played Dungeons and Dragons but I did dabble in some others. I stuck with D&D because there was always a group to join. But after I got out I had no connection to any gaming group, had little idea how to find one, and was lacking in the self-confidence to approach a group of strangers.

 I took down the number of the store. I haven't been back or called yet but I'm working my way up to it. While it's mostly free to play, any role-playing game has an initial outlay for books, paper, pencils, dice, etc... some can be quite expensive to get started.

 Once the retirement pay is settled and I know how much I can spare I plan to stop by, talk with the owner/manager about their group, and possibly buy some books to familiarize myself with whatever they're playing.

 I'm looking forward to that.

 I spent the morning with my friend Brett. He needed to pick up a vehicle to bring back to York so he can work on it. Brett's a very talented auto mechanic. Talented enough to keep Bad Wendy's Mercedes running...that's some serious talent. We rode to Hershey together then he drove a Jeep Liberty back.

 We stopped at Ruby Tuesday for lunch. I have to say I wasn't impressed in the least. The burger was good..had a very nice hickory flavor, woody without being overpowering or chemical. The place was deserted but service was slow. The fries were okay...just okay.

 I give them two-and-a-half stars out of five. They nailed mediocre.

 Brett's doing the brakes on the Jeep he picked up today then I'm picking him up in Hershey when he takes it back tomorrow. I enjoyed the road trip. Traffic is a whole lot different during the day...like there being much, much less of it.

 I've been going out. I've been meeting people. I've been doing things.

 One of my biggest concerns when deciding to retire was just how I was going to keep myself occupied after working full time for forty years and change with no breaks. What would I do with myself?

 It was when I realized that I don't have to be doing anything that I got my first good, solid sleep.

 The idea of motion for the sake of motion. That is what was driving me. But motion is choice.

 When it's not, it's just a matter of time before you work yourself into the ground.

 Figuratively and literally.

 Thanks for listening.

Last edited by Conspiracy Theory (8/03/2017 2:29 pm)


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8/07/2017 11:21 am  #477


Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

08/07/2017

 The mood is relaxed.

 The day is cool and dreary. The sunlight feeble through a covering of a cloud layer the color of slate. Rain's falling in a steady patter, dripping rhythmically from the gutter-less roof. There's less traffic, less noise. It's August but the temperature is barely into the sixties.

 It's the sort of day where I can go outside without all the excess covering to protect my skin.

 I was supposed to meet up with Brett today to return the car we collected on Friday but with the weather the way it is and the area we have to drive through it's best not to do it.

 The roads around here were designed by people who were clearly stoned.

 So it's going to be a lazy day. I had a shave and a shower. Went to the mailbox and decided to walk for awhile. Tried to read but I'm too distracted. My head is in the past so I thought I'd empty it out a little.

 As children, me and my three brothers spent a great deal of time at my grandmother's house.

 My grandmother was very smart in the area of child management. She was a firm believer in keeping a good supply of the kind of toys that kids use to build other toys. Things like Lincoln Logs and Tinker Toys.

 I'm not sure if either of these two things still exist but Lincoln Longs were tiny logs like the type used to build log cabins. They had notches so they fit together. It was kind of restricted as far as what I could build but I incorporated it with my favorite toy:

 The Tinker Toys.

 Tinker Toys were different colored sticks in different lengths with joints that were also in different shapes with holes all over them so they could be assembled in dozens of different ways.

 My grandmother once told me that every time we went there and she brought out the toys, my brothers would wait to see what I was doing before they started building things.

 Because, even as a child, there were whole other worlds in my mind.

 My head was rarely in this world so any chance to step away for a time was used to it's fullest potential. I once built a massive space station featuring a huge log fortress in the center. I built struts and docks and storage facilities and reactor chambers...

 And I built ships.

 Big fat freighters, tiny fast fighters, ponderous battle cruisers. I'd explore worlds and mine asteroids for metals with near-magical properties. I'd fight massive space battles that ranged from the basement to the far-flung frozen worlds of the attic.

 I would literally spend ten to twelve hours building another reality.

 You see, even at the age of six I could already see the patterns of this world. The one I'm living in. I had no idea people didn't see the same things I did. It was perfectly natural to extend those recurring events in this world to a world I made up myself.

 When I look back at some of the very few surviving stories I wrote down as a child, while the writing itself is...well....childish, the level of sophistication of the actual story is years ahead of its time.

 Unfortunately, it's a talent that was never nurtured.

 Learning to do something as a child and learning to do the same thing as an adult are not the same thing. A child's brain is still developing as they learn so the things they learn become intuitive. Part of their personality, if you will.

 As an adult, what we are learning is a translation of the real thing. A set of instructions, not a behavior.

 What I'm getting at is this; if you have a child that shows any kind of creative instinct, allow them to explore it fully.

 Life isn't just about the world we live in. It's also about the worlds that live within us. What we imagine, what we believe, is what drives us to create. To change. To grow.

 A well balanced life needs art as much as it needs security.

 Without it, we're just place-marks in history.

 Thanks for listening.


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8/10/2017 7:15 pm  #478


Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

08/10/2017

 The mood is even.

 Today is my mother's birthday. For the longest time, I would become upset, reclusive, irritable...just a whole range of negative emotions around this time of the year.

 At some point in the past five years I found my peace with this. I can't point to an exact place or time but I just accepted it as I'm learning to accept everything else. My mother committed suicide. It is what it is and it can't be undone.

 Get this, I actually stopped by my brother's (Chris Weikert) house yesterday.

 I'm working on accepting Chris as he is. Chris is who he is and he does what he does. I worry about him a great deal. I'm terrified he's going to end up with cirrhosis...the only cure being a transplant which he's never going to get...the list goes on.

 But I have to do this one step at a time so I went yesterday and talked to Jeannie.

 Chris and Jeannie live in Jeannie's house. Jeannie's adult daughter Dana lives there too. Chris works during the day. Jeannie is blind so she's usually at home.

 I knocked on the door. When Jeannie got there I had to say who I was, she didn't recognize my voice anymore. It's been a little over three years since our falling-out so this was understandable.

 I had a nice chat with Jeannie. Her daughter, Dana, went to school for computers and is trying to break into the IT field. She's in her first job in her field and her employer is a jerk. Dana hates the place.

 This all sounded very familiar.

 I used to to quality assurance for a background investigation agency. I watched as my employer broke the law all day every day and couldn't say a thing about it without being fired. I hated that employer thoroughly. They were supposed to be weeding out criminals applying for jobs instead they were the criminals.

 Just an aside, those agencies that do background checks for employment are reporting things about you they legally can't report. If you've been denied employment and weren't told why and your employer did a background check, this is probably the reason. 

 But I digress, 

 I stumbled on to the caseworker when I was referred by my VA employment counselor.

 So I left Dana the web address and some limited instructions. I told Jeannie to encourage Dana to take a look. That could be a life-changing decision for her...it certainly was for me.

 I had tried, years ago, to encourage Chris to look at jobs with Penn DOT (that's the Pennsylvania Department Of Transportation for my out of state friends). Chris has decades of CDL experience. He dropped out of high-school but there were plenty of “equivalent experience” positions available.

 You see Chris also grew up under the rule of the Tyrant.

 The Tyrant was the kind of person who thought education was useless and people with degrees were stupid. Stop me if any of this sounds familiar. He rarely missed an opportunity to point out how stupid, useless, and/or simple we all were. He said this sort of thing to us on a daily basis.

 The only difference between Chris and me is that when the Tyrant told us we were stupid and simple—Chris believed him.

 His sense of self-worth is so shattered he couldn't even work up the confidence to make the attempt. He fears anything that isn't status-quo. He fears he will have to work for the rest of his life but won't take steps to change things.

 This is my brother. And it's my responsibility to accept him as he is.

 For all the friction.

 All the issues.

 At the end of the day, he's still family.

 Thanks for listening. 


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Following someone and learning their routine in order to avoid them.
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8/11/2017 4:27 pm  #479


Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

08/11/2017

 The mood is optimistic.

 It.

 Is.

 Coming.

 Drive on any road in this area and you will see rows and rows of corn. Rows that are military-straight marching over hills and across them and down the other side. The stalks have just grown their golden caps.

 It's harvest time.

 For the next four weeks or so, York County sweet corn will be available nearly anywhere. It's the time I called Sweet Corn Madness. Everyone has their way of cooking corn on the cob and their way of eating it.

 There are raging arguments about boiling versus steaming (steaming being vastly superior, of course), how to apply butter. Seasoning. The list goes on. People around here are seriously crazy when it comes to the corn.

 Well...not Children of the Corn crazy...but crazy enough.

 As a child, I lived in a household consisting of myself, my three brothers, my mum, and The Tyrant. I would go with my mother to the Central Market on Philadelphia street every Saturday. At the age we were, going on the shopping trip was optional. I always went anyway...mostly because she would tell me about how to cook the things we were buying.

 Off topic.

 During August, we'd go to the market and come back with a gross of ears that had been picked the day before. The Tyrant would, of course, assign the children to shucking duties. I didn't mind, I thought it was fun.

 We'd eat a few dozen over a couple of days then we'd cut the corn off the remaining cobs that mum would can.

 On average, we'd eat about eighteen ears of corn at dinner. I've known households that eat far more. This stuff is like crack. I've lived all over the world. I've had locally grown corn at the places I lived. And nothing compares to York County sweet corn. I don't know if it's the soil or the water or if it's just my imagination. Maybe it's just that it reminds me of home.

 My own Sweet Corn Madness, you know?

 This first month of retirement is not going as badly as I thought.

 I'm still in the limbo period. That's the period between when I last received a paycheck and when I first receive a pension payment. My last paycheck was actually a month ago and it was only for a few days so it was nothing to celebrate about.

 I get a VA disability pension so I've been able to keep up, somewhat.

 I have to get through the rest of the month with around a hundred bucks but all of my bills are otherwise paid. Mostly. But I'm not stressing about any of it. I went over my finances and when the dust finally clears I won't be as bad off as I imagined. I can keep my head above water long enough for the pension to be settled.

 Things change. We adapt and grow. We can walk in to changes calmly or we can go raging, or kicking and screaming, or bemoaning our fate, we can even believe things can be the way they were.

 But this moment is different from the previous one. And that moment is gone. The moments that were no longer matter. Once I was able to accept this, I was able to let go of all of the moments I was holding on to and look forward instead.

 It's the moments ahead that matter.

 Turn around, and see for yourself.

  Thanks for listening


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Following someone and learning their routine in order to avoid them.
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8/12/2017 7:53 pm  #480


Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

08/12/2017

 The mood is thoughtful.

 Something just occurred to me a few minutes ago. Something that should have occurred to me years ago but never did.

 In November of 2006 I was living in an apartment in Dallastown while my pops was having my house remodeled for sale. I was still trying to get a caseworker job in Florida. I was just three months away from being offered a job there.

 The relationship between my older brother and my parents was not good.

 They'd had a falling-out over money years before. Both my brother and my parents handled things poorly and neither would make the first step needed to heal things.

 My grandmother was supposed to come to my folk's house for Thanksgiving.

 My mother knew my grandmother wouldn't make it to another Thanksgiving but chose not to say anything to anyone. Just a few days beforehand, she finally picked up the phone and invited Chris to Thanksgiving dinner.

 And he accepted.

 On Thanksgiving day, my grandmother wasn't feeling up to the trip to my folk's house so we loaded everything up in my car (I had a hatchback), and took it all to my grandmother's apartment. She lived on the sixth floor of a senior citizens' high-rise so it was a little tricky.

 That was the last year we had a Thanksgiving.

 The following year I was in Florida. My grandmother had died. I'm not sure what kind of relationship Chris had with my folks after I left but he was communicating with mum on a regular basis.

 On the day before my mum took her own life, she'd talked to Chris. The were talking about drug interaction. Mum had a lot of medication prescribed so she was sorting them out and making a list. It was why I found all of the pill bottles on the counter.

 Mum had also called me the day before but this isn't about me.

 I never stopped to consider what Chris's relationship with my mother was like.

 You see, it'd been so may years where no one had any contact with anyone else that it was automatic to relegate them all to an “other” status. Those are people I know little or nothing about. It just never occurred to me how the whole event might have affected him.

 I guess, in that respect, I was not a good brother.

 That's all I have today.

 Thanks for listening 


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Following someone and learning their routine in order to avoid them.
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