Sunday, November 30, 2008

We range from humorous to grimly ironic

Rogues are preferable to imbeciles because they sometimes take a rest. - Alexandre Dumas

I am caught is somewhat of a dilema about what to do with my life. Literally. Do I sleep more or not? I have always been happy on 4-6 hours of sleep per night, and I figure I average 5 or so a night. I go to bed at 10:30 PM and get up at 03:45 AM on weeknights and keep close to that on weekends.

I have read that each persons body will dictate it's natural sleep rythm and needs and that all is well if you follow that. But I have also read that sleep allows your body to "idle". Your heart then beats at a much slower rate, saving lots of wear and tear on it. That makes sense, too.

In regards to the natural sleep rythm, I say, OK cool. I get more living done if I am awake 19 hours a day than if I am awake 16. Although, in the spirit of full disclosure, I must question the quality of some of those hours. Particularly the oh dark thirty hours when I nod off watching TV in my easy chair and dump hot coffee in my pajama clad lap. I don't enjoy that hour so much although, in the spirit of further disclosure, that spilt cup o' joe tends to wake me quicker and more fully than most.

As far as letting my body idle, I think, "I'll live longer, which is cool." Then I think how it's a little akin to dozing off in a theater. Yeah, you paid full price to get in and technically you've been to that movie. But you didn't see the movie. You were there, but not really. So, aside from the medical and scientific definitions, how is sleeping living? you're there, but you're not. See my point? But again, in the spirit of full disclosure, some of my dreams happen in a cooler place and in cooler ways than real life. Those are fun, especially the sexy ones and adventure ones. Not so much the melodrama ones. The question is: Is a pseudo-life well lived a fair trade off for real life not lived? That's one ripe for further pondering.

I always liked the idea of retiring and doing some easy going county job. One with benefits and a pension, but so laid back that I wouldn't mind going in. Security Guard had the laid back part going on, but the benefits and pension were $10.50 hr...period. Pay your own medical, contribute to your own 401(Ed) plan. The job I'd really like to have is the guy standing down the road from the highway construction holding the sign that says SLOW. I could go for that, even though I am unclear if it is a traffic command or a job description. Either way....

I seem to be in a black rebellion. Not a race thing, a color thing. In the navy black was the official color. Black socks with your boondockers. You must use black pen. It must be a black umbrella (once they finally let us use umbrellas, that is. Apparently, for some long time it was considered more manly to be soaking wet than use an unbrella.Go figure.). Hell, even navy blue is actually just black. we called our "navy blue" service uniform our Johnny Cashes after, you know, the man in navy blue.

So anyway, without realizing it, I have shifted everything over to browns. I have brown, tan, khaki. I probably even have taupe and just call it tan. I have greens also. The olivey kinds that are kinda brown. I have Dockers style slacks in "sand", which is really, you guessed it, a brownish white. Why? I do not know. We'll have to ask the twisted little troll that is my subconscious. I just do what he tells me and he told me "BROWN!"

Anybody watch those Thursday edition Saturday Night Live shows during the primaries? I loved the black guy (still black, not brown) that would come on and answer every observation with "Fix it!!" If you did not see the shows, that would seem stupid. But it was, I thought, clever.

The best way out is always through.
Ramblin' Ed

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Discourse & Dispassion

Sometimes we get away from who we are. From what we are. Sometimes we try to reinvent ourselves, to rub away the rougher edges and clip the Irish pennants. Sometimes we are content. Just as often, we are not. But, as the saying goes, "if wishes were fishes..."

I don't get to pick. I am not given the opportunity to choose. Today I am what I am today. It should say that on my coffee mug. Instead my mug just says Krispy Kreme. In fact, Krispy Kreme looks good on the mug. The green and red add a certain authoritative orderliness to things. And makes the kitchen seem to smell better than it really does.


Destiny knew the shadows were not her friends. Not that her friends were necessarily her friends, either. But the shadows particularly. So why, then, did they persist? Why should they call out to her when there was such apprehension and mistrust hanging in the warm, damp night air? Slithering silently around the ragamuffin edges, just beyond the lopsided cone of dim, yellowish light falling halfheartedly from the lone streetlamp. The lone, forgotten streetlamp. The one that trusted the shadows no more than she. The shadows called. The evening sighed. Destiny resisted.

How does it come to this? One does not normally seek the murk over the light, the slippery over the concrete. There must, then, be some truth to the notion that, regardless of our best intentions, in spite of our most fevered prayers and intonations, life happens. Unguided, unprincipled, unrelenting. You sit there, and life happens. You seek cover, it happens. You set into motion great plans and machinations, and life could not care one bit less. No, try as you may to escape it, life...just...happens. Still, Destiny resisted.

Destiny did not see herself as a fighter. She was not born into great struggle nor prone to resistance. She could claim no defiant high ground in any instance, great or small. High school consisted of the right jeans, shoes that accented appropriately, and homework assignments that, while not particularly inspired, were consistently turned in on time. College as a precursor to normality, a job upon graduation that paid the bills while providing a surface distraction, and little else. Adventure? You could fit it on a post card. Excitement? Yeah, just gimmee a minute. Life happens. Destiny resisted.

I have never met Destiny. The paths of the luckless are winding and ill defined. Often crossing, but seldom intersecting. However, I understand her. Or more correctly, I understand about her. Her shadows call, mine close in. Her roads have been unlighted, mine unilluminated. She resists, I fight blindly. We know who we want to be, we all do. Just as surely as we know who we are not. Who we want to be and who we are not; well, I am far from a scholar, but from where I stand, here on the periphery, who we would be and who we are not. That's who we are. Destiny knows this. Destiny resists.

Don't forget where you belong, out
Ramblin' Ed

"Stories interest me more than beliefs. I'd rather hear you regale me with tales of your travels than listen to you regale me with your dogmas." - Evelyn Rodriguez

Monday, November 24, 2008

Attention, I'm feeling minty...

Was reading comments on another blog yesterday. One of the statements a reader posted made me ponder this:

The same people who believe that the only good homo is a dead homo, don't want to put them in the Army and send them to a war zone. Just seems to me like it would be one or the other.

And he took their awful goggles in the morning, out
Ramblin' Ed

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sea Spray & Butt Jarring Landings

Went fishing on Tampa Bay yesterday. Contrary to popular belief, Tampa Bay is not a city. It is either a body of water or all the communities in the area surrounding said body of water. Depends on context, really. And in the context I am using, it was a cold, choppy, get me bone soaking wet from the sea spray body of water. Would not have gotten quite so wet had I not been riding with a wild man with a "Damn the torpedos" mentality who kept us at 30 knots, going airborne and crashing back down in a butt jarring landing, despite the sea state. And I would have expected no less from him.

If I put in at the Alafia River, shoot out the mouth and into the Bay, I can be in St. Pete in 30 minutes. I was actually fishing, unsuccessfully...but still fishing, dang near to my office. If it would not be altogether inconvienient, impractical, and prohibitively costly in terms of fuel consumption, I could get to work faster by boat at 34 MPH than by car at 50-60 MPH. It's a straight line being the shortest distance kind of thing.

So to recap:Yesterday cold and I, wet.Tampa Bay not a zip code.Not possible to take boat to work.

Permit paid by Ramblin' Ed, out

Ramblin' Ed

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Cats & Politicians

I go to "Icanhas" a lot. The lolcats make me laugh. Along the top are links to loldogs, political potshots, fun with charts, and Engrish. All are worth a look except maybe fun with charts. One I particularly like is "Fail". It's kind of like a cross between candid camera and Leno's stupid newspaper headlines. A sample is below.

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

Basement Cat, out
Ramblin' Ed

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Give me liberty to know

One of the things that made me stop in my tracks over and over were the elevated trains snaking in, around and out of downtown. I loved them. They seemed alternately futuristic and cool retro. Made me realize something about myself.

I am fast approaching 49 years old. If life is a hill I am headed back down from where I started. But despite the years and miles, the dusty and the shiny, I have never lost my sense of wonderment. Like a large child, I suppose. No matter how many trains I have ridden, I stared anew and thought, "How cooool!", like I was seeing one for the first time. No matter how many fishing trips include an alligator sighting, I still smile and snap yet another picture. They are so primeval. For me, everything cool is necessarily timeless. And nearly everything is cool. Maybe that's why I love living.

I think you will see from the below pictures, which simply must be enlarged to appreciate the expansiveness of some of them, that skyscrapers had my rapt attention. I loved walking in the canyons they made. In Chicago, they were so strong and imposing, so powerful and reassuring. I would stop, sit, and look up at them all, my imagination in overdrive.

Tampa has no skyline to speak of. Not like this, anyway. We used to have the Big Sombrero, where the Bucs played, but it has been replaced by Raymond James Stadium. Ray Jay, as they say. Raymond James is a financial outfit, so it might actually be Ling Xiu Stadium now.

Anyway, we all evolve. I love Boston, LA, Chicago, and Dallas. Baltimore has a charm and Minneapolis is as quirky as they come. Time was when my little redneck self, living on wooded acerage in rural Virginia or Northwest Louisiana would scoff at the idea of even visiting a large city. I'd puff all up, country proud, and expalin as how "I didn't lose nothing up there." Now I know better. Now I let myself really live and enjoy. Why deny yourself half of the experiences our great nation has to offer? Do I want to live in the big city? No, not really. But there is a difference between living there and visiting. Now when I am in the city I go looking to find what needs getting done. And what needs getting done often includes tavern food like burgers or pastrami.

Here's the pics from my 3 weeks in the windy city. My next destination is New Orleans and/or Baton Rouge. I have always LOVED New Orleans. This time, I'll do Bourbon Street with an expense account. That's gotta be better, right?

First building I passed on Michigan Ave. Whoa factor pretty high on this one. Git biggerize it and look at all the detail work on the facade. You, also, will say "whoa."

The Chicago Tribune building.

Me and Orland, god of windy sidewalks.

The buildings in the background were awesome. This whole photo screams, "Git bigger! Git bigger!"

Shiny building along the river, also screaming out "Git bigger! Git bigger!"

Yeah, Buddy. And where else can I go to a HoB? Why, New Orleans of course. Won't be there on a Sunday morning this trip, but the N.O. HoB has a fun Sunday Gospel Brunch.

Ummmm, yeah. Not gonna pay that for a bottle of water. French or otherwise.

Ooooooh..... a train!!!

Looking out my hotel at Grant Park where Obama was to speak election night. I was so close that every time on election night that another set of polls closed and the delegate count was announced, I'd get a simultaneous cheer wafting in my open window. I was asleep when he passed 270, but the roar that went out woke me and I knew that he'd just sealed the deal. I went back to sleep. I still had to work in the morning.

Lights. Camera. Idiot.

Ooooooh..... a train!!!

Good googly moogly! How'd I get all crotch level like this? Well, they say sometimes you feel like a nut.

Looks like a bunch of buildings, but that was the Chicago Hilton where I was staying. This is election night and the folks on the hill are looking down and going to try to get a picture of Obama later.

This was all romantical, I thought.

The bridge to get in to Obama's rally. Had a real rock concert vibe to it all.

It's about 4 or 5 PM and the crowds are starting to gather. They gave away 70,000 tickets, but then decided that everybody who wanted to could go in. That was cool of them.

Youngins. Gonna be a part of history. From right here on the curb. Yep.

Pick your opponent, the sign said. Street chess. Obviously.

Yeah, right. They weren't getting any attention to speak of. I stopped briefly, mostly to get this picture. I don't recall that the guy with the microphone was levitating, but he sure seems to be. Damn communist levitators. Anti-government and anti-gravity.
Now with 30% more friendliness, out
Ramblin' Ed

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Every fool gets to be young once

The newscaster on the local news misspoke this morning. She said that a big thing on voters minds was the "ecomedy". Tragicomic, but...fair enough. Nice to smile at 5:10 in the morning.

Was out at the Obama rally last night. Seems that when I booked the hotel last month, I picked one right across the street from Grant Park. Who knew? Up until Monday I didn't know that meant anything. It was on Monday that I was informed by the hotel that all the roads around the hotel would be closed. I asked why, they told me, I fretted getting back to the hotel after work, my fears were for naught. As the crowd started gathering, and since I needed to go find supper anyway, I went out into it all.

I must tell you, as cliched as it may sound, for as far as I cared to walk the cowds were electric. There was a sense of something in the air. And except for the lone sidewalk provocateur calling for revoloution and communism (I did read the phamplet and it was pretty out there), there was a positive energy to it all. There were cops anout every 50 feet everywhere, but they were mostly standing around watching the giddy young folks stream by.

I know that all may not agree with me, and I am good with that since we all get to have our opinions, but I think that we have done a good thing here. I suppose only time will tell. I was one who bought into a "compassionate conservatism" that I can't recall ever coming into play, so I repeat, only time will tell. I do, however, feel secure in the knowledge that while I believe Barak is steady and even tempered, I believe even more that Michele will scarce tolerate foolishness and screwing up. I think she probably has our back, as it were.

I took pictures as I wandered around. They are to follow when I am either feeling more energetic or less non-energetic. You know me, I'm good for my word. Yes, I might start off slow, then I might tend to taper off, but I will get the photos posted.

Victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance to make that change, out
Ramblin' Ed