Monday, October 8, 2018

Tag it

There isn't much in life that genuinely irritates me, you know, the small things. I don't care where the dishes are stored in the cabinets, well, at least if I can find them when I have to put them away. I don't care how the furniture is arranged in the room. I don't care how many pillows are on the bed, or on the couch, or on a chair. I don't care where we decide to put rugs on the floor, or even if we need them or not.

Okay, so what's the point of this ramble you ask? I hate tags. Yup, tags. Tags that are still attached to pillows, tags that are still attached to blankets. Tags that are still attached to the rugs that are scattered about the house. Tags that are attached to just about anything.

What's the point of them? Okay, they're required by law so the stuffing inside isn't dead rat hair. I get it. But, do you still have a tag sticking out of a pillow that's on your bed? Let me guess; you bought that pillow over five years ago. Have you washed it? Did you read the instructions on the tag before you tossed it in the washer? Maybe once, but if you actually have washed it more than once you didn't read the tag the second time or any time after that.

All that tag now does is stick out the side of the pillow, or the rug, or the towel and ruin the picture perfect image you have crafted for your abode. All the pretty stacked pillows on the bed, all the patterned rugs that tie your decor choices together are ruined by a stupid, overly-long white tag with verbiage that sticks out and looks completely out of place. You know what else it does? It hits you in the neck when you lean against it; it flops across your cheek and just generally irritates the hell out of me. At every turn I just want to rip them off.

It's time we had a revolution in this it it off. You won't read the washing instructions on it anyway.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Admiral Duley Connor

I don't post many excerpts from my books here but every now and then, what the hell ...

From Ghost Fleet: book 2 of the sci-fi Home World Series

     The darkness was offset by the two glistening moons as they paraded across the night sky, their light casting a shimmering cloak over the starlight behind them. Below, the charcoal colored buildings of Fleet Main absorbed the reflected light from the rare, twin full moons. Fleet Main was planted on the outskirts of Galway, the most populace city of New Caledonia. With its placement negotiated in the formative years of the Home World alliance it had become the central core for the defense of the alliance.
     Admiral Duley Connor was doing his best to clean up his desk before he retired for the night, and things weren’t going well. He was the command lead for three of the nine Home World fleets, and his were the most successful. They often had the lead for the heaviest Lorilon engagements and his Third Fleet was currently in the midst of the fight. He hadn’t received transmissions from Stuart Joseph in over three days. He leaned back and tossed his pen on the desk.
     “Damn him.” Duley Connor had a distinguished career running breakneck up the ranks. He flew by officers who had more experience, more connections. But they weren’t always the right connections. On his way up he learned to work the system but along the way, he’d changed. He looked out the wall of dark windows into the night, his office overlooking the central pools of the ringed courtyard. He could see his reflection framed in the windows against the dark sky. He pushed his fingers through his thinning silver hair. Those heady days of running up the ladder were gone. Somewhere along the line with the glad-handing and deal making he became more of a politician in a uniform than a leader of men.
     He pushed himself away from his desk letting his tired gaze fall on the orange moon of Mourne, her rocky reflection in sharp contrast to her pale sister Gullion’s soft light. Joseph was stalling. He was sure of it.
     “What the hell is he waiting for?” Connor asked himself aloud. “Because he ignored my direct order.” A sharp knock on his partially opened door grabbed his attention, pulling his thoughts back into the room.
     “What is it Mairead?” Duley turned his chair slightly, angling it toward his assistant. “I thought I told you to go home hours ago. It’s almost tomorrow.”
     “I just needed to get some of my own work caught up too. Sir, a communique from Third Fleet, eyes only.”
     “Really!” Duley’s eyes shot up in surprise. “About damn time!” He pushed himself away from his desk and stared at the huge com panel on the wall. The bottom of the glass screen was nearly pristine in its blackness except for the single red dot that pulsed twice in three second intervals. He was standing in front of the panel moments later. He placed his hand over the bio-sensor and the unit responded immediately.
     “Connor, Duley. Authorization accepted.”
     “Computer, open eyes only communication. Authentication alpha 3 zeta.”
      Connor listened to the brief message in its entirety, his head down, his arms crossed. His longtime friend was hard to read even in person. A long distance communique made it even more difficult. As Joseph’s words fell away Duley reached out touching the now-black panel shutting it down. He turned and walked to the dark windows and looked up again to the celestial chariots racing across the night sky. Joseph was possibly the best fleet commander in the Alliance, and his friend, but now, he had no choice.

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Thank you.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Generational battles

We all belong to one generational label or another. I suppose it is natural as we age; we become parents and somewhere along the line give birth to the next wave. With that, we love them, hold their hands while they grow up and somehow educate them along the way until we turn them loose into the world.

Then a funny thing happens; we criticize their generation. And before anyone gets on their high horse, it's not just my generation that does this. virtually each generation becomes critical of the next. They think they are stupid, lazy, no work ethic, essentially none of the traits their own generation had. The older generation is sure the next will ruin the world, or, at least their part of it.

You know what is really odd about this is there is nothing that one generation can point to to lay the blame on the next (or the one after that)...until now!

I had a revelation today about why the upcoming generations don't measure up ... I blame it on Friends! Yes, Friends, the television show!!

Look at it this way. What was this show about other than a group of friends hanging out in an apartment or a coffee shop? These characters basically did nothing all day long and still had all the perks of daily life. Other than Ross who held a permanent day job, none of them seemed to actually work and have a steady job. Joey was a struggling actor, Chandler had an office job of sorts but never actually seemed to be there, and the women just seemed to bounce from one dead end job to another, yet they seemed to have every convenience imaginable. Even their apartments were well furnished and spacious, and for a city the size of New York, there's no way they could have afforded to live in them.

The Millennial generation grew up watching this show. It molded their habits and their behaviors. They became ingrained. They believed they could sit around doing nothing and still have all the modern perks and comforts everyone expects to have in this modern world. The older generations currently listen to younger ones complaining about everything imaginable. They feel they are entitled to _________(fill in the blanks). Everything should just be given to them because they deserve it. Mind you, they often haven't earned it, but, that's just beside the point.

There are many who work hard and take nothing from others they didn't earn, they go out and do it themselves to forge their way in the world, but the percentage of that group to the whole is shrinking quickly.

Thanks Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Chandler, Joey and Ross.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Turning my back

I have made no secret over my lifetime that I am Catholic. I don't outwardly celebrate that fact to most others. To me, religion is a personal belief, a way of living one's life. I am not one who speaks freely about my convictions on the subject, though I have penned a few posts in this blog on rare occasion. After all, the internet has become mostly a public forum.

With that being said, I again find myself repulsed by the recent news coming from Pennsylvania where hundreds of priests are yet again accused of molesting children. Though this particular situation is not in my neck of the woods, I no less feel the shame of being associated with these people through this common bond. To be Catholic means to believe in certain core tenets and to the best of your ability, live your life by them. If indeed those accused have violated their oaths and been either one-time or serial abusers of children, there is no place in the Catholic Church for them in any capacity.

At this point in my life I have lost all faith in the leaders of the Church. What is it they are protecting? Certainly it isn't the good name of the religion they profess to love and devote their lives to. It obviously isn't their flock. You don't abuse those you profess to lead. Is it now just a business where they must protect the assets they have built up over the generations? I'm to that point in believing that's all this has come down to.

If the leaders of the Catholic Church want any following going forward, myself included, it is time to wipe this scourge of abuse from their rosters. Anyone found to have abused a child in any way should be defrocked and turned away as well as anyone who has covered up such abuse. I don't care if it leaves them with one hundred priests to cover the entire United States. The time has come to either put your beliefs into practice or close up shop. It is not the religion at fault, it is those who choose to act as leaders without actually leading. You have let the wolves run among the lambs for much too long. It's time to end the hypocrisy even if it costs you your entire portfolio.

If that's all you care about then you are no better than the false prophets we see on television who scam millions of dollars from the ignorant. It's your choice; a religion you live or a lie you profess.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Since it's in the news

With all the hullabaloo in the news about Russia, I thought I'd drop this in here.

As the old saying goes...
The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

We're not perfect

On the eve of our national holiday, the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, it occurs to me that, huh, as a nation, we're not perfect. We're far from it. One reads the feeds from the internet, be in from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or the many other feeds that is the modern world of social media and one gets the impression that our country is sinking into a toilet.

No, we're not perfect. Never have been. There hasn't been a country or government the world has seen that stands the test of criticism from its own people. Well, maybe Canada, perhaps. Not too many others. What if the world of social media suddenly disappeared from our computer pages? Tomorrow on July 4th you wake up and there is no Facebook, no Twitter. How much would you be connected to the thoughts of someone else, a friend or a friend of a friend? Would you still be outraged about things that have been happening for two hundred years but you never gave it a second thought before social media?

What would happen if we walked back in time, lets say to the late 1960's. It was the height of the Vietnam War. American troops were flooding Southeast Asia. To tell us of it, we had mostly two outlets; the nightly news and newspapers. What we didn't have was the opinion of nearly everyone on the planet bombarding our eyes. What would 1970 have looked like if social media was a force for that generation? As it was, that war was the first to be shoved into the American living room. The average family saw first hand the horrors of war, the brutality, the inhumanity we as a species inflicted upon each other.

What we see now is a reflection of the voices in America. It would have been no different fifty years ago. We have not really changed as a country, we just hear more voices that in the past.

On this anniversary of our nation, God bless the United States. For all our trials and tribulations this is still the place more people flock to for a better life, a better world for themselves.

Happy Fourth of July America.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Why we work

Well, that seems like there's an obvious answer to that statement. Mostly you would be correct but the reasons have changed dramatically over time.

Today I was home doing chores on a day off and now that the boy is out of school, he was with me for the day. We strive to make sure his little eyes are not glued to an electronic device from the second he opens his eyes in the morning to the last thing he sees at night before bedtime. Now that summer is here, he needs to help more around the house and yard. He has chores. I had them growing up and My Beloved had them as well. Most of our generation took the torch and carried on.

He asked me a question though when I told him he had to help me work in the yard. He asked why do I have to work? It was a good question from a child and the reasons for work have changed dramatically over the generations. I'm certain in his immediate situation, he simply didn't want to be outside away from a glowing screen. As a nation we are still transitioning from an agrarian society to one that is filled with the hustle an bustle of urban life. It is not so long ago that there was a true reason to go to work. It was to put food on the table. That was it. No work, no eat.

In the past you had to work for every meal. Feed the chickens and gather the eggs for breakfast. It started with the very first meal of the day. Up at dawn or before to work to eat. Now, there is still part of that even in the modern day society. Virtually no one has to do anything before they eat. One simply has to roll out of bed and let their feet carry them to the refrigerator where a cornucopia of delights is ready to tickle the pallet. The thought of working for one's food in mostly an afterthought. Now it is about paying the bills. That was secondary in past generations.

His world knows nothing of a past where every day one must get up to work before the food hits the table. His in one more generation that has taken a step away from the past. What is work? Work is passion. Work is determination. Work is survival.