Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Good Bye 2013, and Don't Let the Door Hit You on the Ass

2013 was the worst year of my life.  The first quarter of the year was the heart wrenching experience of watching my father die.  He had cancer.  We knew he was going to die, but he thought we didn't know.  He didn't want us to know.  He wanted to live his final days as if nothing had changed.  It was difficult to watch him die while not being able to discuss his death with him.  He was a great man.  I miss him with all my heart.

Beginning near the end of 2012, I, and others, noticed that my wife was losing her mind.  At first we thought it was dementia. She thought she was fine, but it was obvious she was not.  I flew home from my job (I was commuting by airplane at that time) just to drag her to a doctor to have someone take a look at her.  The doctor also agreed that something was very wrong.  However, my wife refused the MRI of her head that they wanted .  She insisted she was fine, as she continued to decline.  By April of this year, she began lashing out at me as if responding to things I had not said nor done.  By July it was clear that she was hallucinating.  Her usual paranoia gave way to a completely delusional paranoia and she made endless insane accusations and threats. By August she was accusing me of "putting voices in the house."  I put together the pieces of information she left about - things she wrote on the mirror after taking a shower, things she posted on facebook, notes she left around the house, and comments from others that knew her.  She was possessed by a very elaborate delusion, hearing voices, seeing things that were not there, and directing her paranoia at my daughter and I.  In a sentence, she had become overtly schizophrenic.

I reached out to her family for help when it became clear that she would not willingly seek help for her mental illness.  Her family responded with nothing but denial.  I sent her home to El Salvador hoping they would get her treatment, but they did not.  She came back home.  I don't know what to do.

In July, due to my wife's obsession with putting carpet powder on the floors, our cat died of lung cancer.  We had urged her for years to stop putting the powder on the carpet, but she continued to do it no matter how hard we tried to stop her.  She would do it when we were not home.  Our beloved cat of many years coughed and coughed.  I took her to the vet.  She stopped eating.  X-Rays revealed her lung cancer.  One evening, she laid on the floor.  My daughter patted her and she began purring.  She continued purring when my daughter walked away for about 10 minutes.  When she returned, our beloved cat was dead.  My wife didn't care.  My daughter and I were distraught.

Because of my wife's mental illness, I had to leave my job and take a job closer to home.  I realize that things cannot work out.  There is only so much abuse I can take.  I now look forward to a future without a mate.  2013 was the worst year of my life.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Let's Retire Sarah Collins Rudolph, The Fifth Little Girl

On September 15, 2013 the world remembered the four little innocent girls, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Denise McNair, and Carole Robertson who were murdered in the bathroom of the 16th Street Baptist Church 50 years earlier by the KKK in the racially charged city of Birmingham, Alabama. Prayers were prayed, songs were sung, sermons were preached, and bells were tolled.  The title of the sermon to be preached on that terrible Sunday morning was "A Love that Forgives."  It was not "A Love that Forgets" and yet that is what the city of Birmingham did for 50 years.

Because there was a fifth little girl in that bathroom that morning and she survived the blast though she was terribly injured and disfigured by its effects.  Her name was Sarah Collins Rudolph, she was twelve years old and before this year she was rarely mentioned along with the four little girls who died, one of whom was her own sister, Addie Mae Collins.  She was scrubbed from the history books.

Sarah lost her left eye in that blast and suffered cuts and embedded glass throughout her entire body.  On that day her dreams of becoming a nurse or a mother were demolished along with the church and the stained glass face of Jesus that was blown off with it.  And then she was promptly forgotten.

During the service this past weekend no special chair was set aside for the lone survivor of that day, no special parking place, no invitation to speak and tell her story, no fund to benefit her, the lone survivor of that day.  Sarah was indeed an afterthought.  It is shameful!

And the next day September 16, 2013, after everyone had patted themselves on the back for an event that brought in millions of dollars to the city of Birmingham, 62 years old Sarah Collins dragged herself out of bed at 5:30am and prepared herself to go to work cleaning homes in order to pay her ongoing medical bills which are a direct result of that fateful day.

So, since the city of Birmingham and the state of Alabama and even the church, which has an enormous endowment, has not offered to retire Sarah, a real alive National Treasure, from the relief of overwhelming bills and menial labor, let us-- the rest of the world do so.  At the very least let us raise enough money to cover her medical bills and send her on a vacation with her husband.  She deserves that much.  She did not ask to be a national treasure but because hatred tried to take her life and then apathy guaranteed her abandonment, let us not go another day without correcting this horrible miscarriage of justice.  Let's give a woman who has suffered 50 years quietly and in dignity a gift. Let's retire Sarah!

Rev Toni DiPina

Monday, July 29, 2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Zombies We Call Americans

Growing up, I had some opportunities many other American children did not have.  My father was a ham radio operator and he built many shortwave radios with his own hands, the kind that used tubes.  I still have one of them.  He let me keep one in my room and nearly every evening, when others were watching TV, I would tune into Radio Moscow, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Voice of America, The British Broadcasting Corporation, Radio Havana Cuba, and Deutsche Welle.  This was during the 1970s, deep into the Cold War, when the Internet did not exist and most Americans got their news from three national news networks.  I grew up exposed to a wide range of propaganda.

This brought me many advantages.  I would hear coverage of the same stories from many very different points of view.  At times it appeared that these different news services were reporting from different universes, where the same event played out completely differently and had behind it mutually exclusive causes.  Importantly, I also noticed that the USSR would sometimes report on events in the USA that were not reported in American news.  The USA would report on events in the USSR that were not reported on Radio Moscow.  Sometimes even the Canadians would cover things in the USA that the USA would not cover.  For the most part, the three American networks were in lock-step compared to their foreign counterparts.  I grew up very suspicious of any single source of the news.  I used to tell people I was "triangulating" the truth by listening to these different sources.  In time, I realized this was not possible because the various powers shared many concerns as well.  Both the USA and the USSR benefited from the arms race.  They had a mutual interest in promoting the idea that the world could break out into war at any moment, even if they knew secretly that it would not.

When Vietnam invaded Cambodia, I heard the news straight from Vietnam before I heard it in the US media.  The Vietnamese were reporting on the genocidal campaign led by Pol Pot and announced that stopping this genocide was their primary goal.  The American news presented it as a territorial expansion.  Long before most Americans had the opportunity to experience foreign news, I was at it every evening.

As I grew older and studied German and Russian, I would go to Out of Town News in Cambridge, Massachusetts and buy copies of Der Spiegel, Soviet Life, Izvestia, and Pravda.  I did my best to read the German and Russian papers.  I was determined to take in information from beyond the cognitive curtain thrown up by our corporatist society.  When the Internet finally caught up to me, it became my primary source of news and my use of Shortwave and foreign magazines declined.  Unlike most Americans, I am not the product of American Media alone.

Long ago I completely abandoned television.  Occasionally I catch an episode of South Park or Family Guy as I sit at my computer and my daughter watches TV, but I do not get my news from TV - at all.  As the years have passed, I've noticed the growing gap between my understanding of the world and the typical American take on the world.  Ironically, my father hardly ever listened to news on shortwave radio.  He didn't trust those "foreign news sources."  Over the final decade of his life, he watched Fox News exclusively.  By the end of his life, we lived in different cognitive universes and I did my best to avoid any discussions with him regarding the world beyond our family, for it was like communicating with an extraterrestrial.  His world and my world were not the same world.  Within the same country, we were living in parallel universes.  His universe was filled with villains, evil foreign nations, criminals, and American heroes beating back these demons.  My universe was filled with American war criminals and war mongers waging endless war on foreign peoples who were merely trying to get on with their lives.  In his universe, humans were basically bad and needed to be kept in their place.  In my universe, humans were basically good and corporations and governments were feeding on them.

The divide within my own family is profound.  Two nephews have gone to war in Iraq and/or Afghanistan. My sister, mother of one of these nephews, has transformed from a liberal to a conservative and beams with pride about her son's "service" in Iraq.  I love my nephew and, fortunately, he was a medic, so as best I know he did no evil overseas.  My sister is now gun-ho about war.  She cheers the police and she cheers the troops.  She too watches Fox News endlessly.

I find myself increasingly alone.  While a handful of people at the various places I have worked understand, to a degree, that the USA is not angelic, the vast majority see the world exactly as it is created by the American news networks.  A lifetime of public school and corporate media has transformed them into Zombies that voluntarily enforce the world view of their corporate masters.  They have become antibodies for the dominant American memeplex.  No foreign idea can come into their cognitive space without a passionate effort to dismiss it, crush it, or threaten the source that brings it into their awareness.  Words of wonderfully positive and humanistic concepts have been painted with poison by the corporate media and by our education system, and they are flung as if poison darts at anyone that mentions them.  You cannot say "universal healthcare" with being hit by the "socialism" dart.  Sure, it is socialistic and I think that makes it a good thing, but to these antibodies, the word "socialism" is dirty, foreign, and evil.  You cannot criticize the police without the standard poison dart that goes "Yeah, but who will you call in an emergency?"  The obvious answer is "not the cops because they are likely to kill you," but though that is true, it will be construed as mere childishness (despite all the evidence that they do, in fact, kill us more frequently than terrorists do, much more frequently).

If you point out that an employer abuses its workers, the standard poison dart is "You're lucky to have a job.  Millions of people would kill to just have a job" or "Yeah, drive the businesses out of our state!"  When was the last time you heard of anyone killing someone to get a job?  I bet it almost never happens.  That obvious counter-argument will be dismissed out of hand, because antibodies don't argue, they just attack.

For just about any positive goal that could be undertaken to improve the lives of Americans and workers, the corporate media and our public education system has already installed an arsenal of poison darts to shoot at anyone that even mentions one of them.  The poison darts do not hold up to scrutiny, but they don't have to.  All they have to do is make the Zombie feel like his/her world view has been defended and discourage any thinking person from speaking up lest they attract more poison darts, perhaps from someone who can fuck up their lives (e.g. their boss).

As these Zombies fling their darts to protect the virtual world created for them by their slave-masters, they form an immune system that maintains the power of those responsible for creating the suffering of the very Zombies leaping to the system's defense.  It is a sad state of affairs.

Do your Zombie friends and family a favor.  Smash their televisions.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Signs You Are a Fake Christian

I was raised Catholic, but rejected Christianity completely by the time I was a young adult.  I do have respect for many of the moral principles attributed to Jesus, though I doubt strongly that such a man ever existed.  His story seems to be a mere repeat of the stories of many before him: Horus, Attis, Mithra, Krishna, and Dionysus.  Many of the beliefs extolled by Socrates, many centuries before Jesus, are similar to those the alleged Jesus claimed as his own.  I tell you this to make it clear that I am not claiming to be a Christian, though the distance between my behavior and the behavior of a real Christian is much less than the distance between a fake and a real Christian.  I write this because I've grown tired of the false righteousness of fake Christians.

(1) You hold grudges.

If you hold grudges, you are certainly not a Christian.  A real Christian would love his or her enemies, not just in words and platitudes, but with their whole hearts.  Real Christians would forgive.

(2) You seek revenge.

If you seek revenge against those you think have done you harm, then you are no Christian.  A real Christian would not only forgive, but leave it to God to exact any punishment for the wrongs you allege.

(3) You support war.

Jesus taught that the peace makers were blessed.  He made it clear that the warmongers were not blessed.  If you support war, you are an enemy of Jesus, not a friend.  If you fight in a war and you kill, you have broken the Sixth Commandment, "Thou Shalt Not Kill."

(4) You are rich.

If you are rich, or even well off beyond your needs, you are not a good Christian.  A good Christian would give his or her excess wealth to the poor.  As Jesus allegedly said, "And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."

(5) You work for a bank or a financial institution that charges interest.

If you work for a bank or a financial institution that charges interest (e.g. Fidelity, TD, Chase, etc), you are not a Christian.  Jesus condemned usury.

(6) You have stolen someone's wife, spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend.  If you have done one of these, you have violated the 10th Commandment: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s."  You are not a Christian.

(7) You hate Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Atheists, Communists, Anarchists, Blacks, Latinos, Mexicans, Whites, the Mentally Ill, the Diseased, the Infirm, etc.  If you hate any of these, you are not a Christian, for Jesus taught you to love everyone and that whomever loves the least of His brothers loves Him.

(8) If you believe in the death penalty, you are not a Christian, for the death penalty violates the 6th Commandment.

(9) You take as the word of God anything in the Old Testament that contradicts the New Testament.  The whole point of Jesus's teaching was that he was clarifying and laying out the nature and will of God.  Jesus was a refutation of the Old Testament.  If you choose to follow any teaching of the Old Testament that contradicts the New Testament, you are not a Christian.

(10) You are a salesman, politician, or a member of any other occupation that regularly employs lies.  Lying is a violation of the 9th Commandment: "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour."

Quakers are real Christians.

Real Christians?  Look at this Church.  See that wealth?  I doubt these are real Christians.  Real Christians would put this money into supporting the poor, not entertaining themselves.

What does depression feel like?

I've taken a lot of shit over the years regarding depression.  I get the impression that many non-depressed people see depression as an attitude problem or weakness in the face of sorrow or difficulty.  It is an infelicity that the word "depression," has so many meanings.  It is easy for the uneducated to confuse the different meanings of the word because the psychological condition known as "depression" is nothing like the transient mood called "depression."  Psychological depression is not sadness.  Sadness is merely one of the symptoms of psychological depression.

A period of psychological depression (hereafter referred to simply as Depression with a capital "D"), is like being on heavy drugs.  This should be obvious to those who understand the biochemistry of Depression.  Consciousness altering drugs work by binding to the receptors of neurons or by increasing/inhibiting the production of chemicals that bind to the receptors of neurons.  Depression is a disease where the "normal" mix of brain chemicals that bind to neurons (or assist in the propagation of synaptic signals) is abnormal.

To me, being depressed is much like an overdose of Benadryl the extends indefinitely.  I feel like there is a crushing pressure on my skull, much like one would feel while diving deep below water.  I feel like I weigh 10,000 pounds.  In addition to this, my sensory perception changes.  The colors almost go away.  More exact would be that I feel like the meaning of the colors has gone away.  Red transforms from a vibrant color to a simple designation that something has the property of being red.  The effect that red has on the mind disappears, as does the effect of all the other colors.  The same thing happens to taste.  Everything tastes bland.  Nothing feels pleasurable.  Future dreams vanish and the past distorts as if a filter has been placed between oneself and anything good that ever happened.  One's memory is altered to recall on the negative.  The positive is inaccessible.

Feeling that way for a day might be like having a bum trip, as someone on acid might say, but imagine feeling that way for months or years and finding that nothing you do will change it?  Would you want to go on living if life had absolutely no pleasure, and the world was dim, grey, tasteless, and irritating as you slog along carrying 10,000 pounds on your back and your head feels like it is imploding?  I doubt you would wish to go on when you find that it is not something you can "snap out of."  It is, in fact, a bum trip that will not end.

One of the best metaphors for depression is the movie "Melancholia" by Lars von Trier, inspired by a depressive episode he suffered.  Here are some scenes from the movie that impressed me as true metaphors for depression.

And later we have a conversation between two sisters, the blond represents depression and the brunette represents the thinking of the "normal" person.

The sad thing is that the blond sister is correct and the "normal" sister is delusional.  Sometimes I wonder if Depression is what occurs when biology takes away all of the psychotic drugs that the body produces in order to make the suffering of life go away.  Without the naturally produced chemical stew that makes colors seem meaningful, chemicals seem tasty, and life seem hopeful, all that is left is the basic reality that existence is futile.

I share this with you because I think more people need to understand those differently minded from themselves.  I'm not ashamed of having passed through many periods of Depression over my life, only of the stupid things I've done when I felt that way.  It is only because I wish others not have to cope with my Depression that I have done something about my Depression.  I've traded this raw dose of reality for what you call "normal."  I did it for you, not for me.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Memory Loss

Perhaps this is why there are things I cannot remember.  I went to party in 1993 or 1994.  A few days later I ran into someone that was supposedly at the party.  I didn't remember him nor did I remember all this shit he said I did.  I thought it was the alcohol and have limited myself to only two beers since then, but this article is interesting.

Feeling scatterbrained? Can’t remember a thing? It may be “bipolar brain fog”—and you can manage it.

You Don't Know If There Is A Higher Power

Many years ago, at the very beginning of the 1990s, I called an ex-girlfriend to apologize.  She had written me a scathing note and though my memories were not exactly the same as hers, I had memories of the times we were together and I felt terrible about many things, especially the emotional torment I put her through.  During the time I was with her and even at the time we had that phone call, I did not yet know that I was manic depressive.  Later I would learn that I suffered from depression and later than that that my depression was of the bipolar sort, and still later, that I was what they call "bipolar 3," which is a new and not fully accepted classification.  It is a kind of depressive disease where at time a person enters a "mixed state."  A mixed state, in this context, is a state where mania and depression combine to form a boundlessly energetic negative state.  People in that state are more likely to commit suicide than others.  During most of the time she and I were at odds and I was being an asshole, I was in that state.  It was something I could not control without medication.  Since I had not been diagnosed, I had no medication and no understanding of why I was becoming so fucked up.  Nevertheless, I was unbearable at times and for that I was deeply sorry.  I was also very pushy and wanted things to go faster than they were going, probably due to that manic state and an inability to understand other people's desires as intuitively as normal people can (I also meet the definition of Aspergers which is where this lack of an intuitive understanding comes from).

I loved this girl.  I don't say that lightly.  I loved her completely and losing her is something I never completely got over.  In fact, I spent time in Narragansett recently trying to recall various things in the hopes of reconciling the differences between her memories and mine.  I came away with nothing new, just a profound sadness.

Continuing with that conversation, in the course of trying to apologize to her, full of tears as I spoke, she gave me a hard time about many things, accused me of being many things that I am not, and even demonstrated a complete and total ignorance of my age and even where I was from, this from a ex-girlfriend that has been engaged to me 9 years before.  It was clear to me that her memories and mine were not only not in synch, but that her recollections of details about me were patently false (my age, for example).  I was much younger than she thought.  She thought she left me for a younger guy, but she left me for a guy that was older than I am.

One of the disparities in our memories, I believe, was caused by her lack of understanding of my intent.  She completely misunderstood my intent and I completely misunderstood her intent, which is part of what led to our differences in interpretation.  I have much more to say about this, and I will do so someday, but for now I want to concentrate on one particular things he gave me a hard time about, something that really pissed me off (and I was trying so hard to be as nice and understanding to her as I could)..

She went off on a diatribe over my lack of religious belief.  At that time, I was an atheist in the fullest sense of the word.  My atheism didn't come easy.  It was a long process that led me to that conclusion, including much study of philosophy and religion.  My beliefs are somewhat different now, but I am still a non-theist, though not as anti-religion as I was then.  However, my current beliefs can be discussed another time.  At that time I was an atheist.

It was difficult to argue with her because I was trying to make peace with her and I really didn't want to have an argument with her.  However, she was full of hate and bile and along with her thousands of insults and accusations was this diatribe on religion.  She asked me if I believed that there was a "Higher Power."  I thought to myself, what is a higher power?  Assuming she meant God, I figured it should be obvious to her that I did not believe in God, after all, I was an atheist.  I answered, "No, I don't believe there is a Higher Power."

With that insulting tone and hateful voice of hers, she retorted, "So you believe there is nothing in the universe more powerful than yourself?"  Now, this is a pretty stupid question.  Of course there are things in the universe more powerful than I am, but that is so obvious that it could not possibly be what anyone means by "Higher Power."  I would call that a "Greater Power."  In cosmic terms, I am not powerful at all.  If one means, by "Higher Power," a greater intelligence that guides us, at that time my answer would be "No!", not out of some kind of arrogance, but out of lack of proof or evidence.  I could see no reason to believe that there was some intelligent being out there guiding us through life.  I know she can not prove there is a "Higher Power."  No one can prove that, so where did she earn the right to belittle me about my beliefs?

Most ironically, she considers herself a Christian.  Perhaps she has changed.  People do change.  I have changed a lot over the years.  However, Christians believe in making peace, turning the other cheek, forgiveness, and in love, not in hate.  She and her actions since then have proved to me that she is no Christian.  Had I known then how hateful she is, I would never had fallen in love with her.  Perhaps I am fortunate that we did break up.  I could never have been happy with such a hateful person.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Beast in Me

I grew up thinking I am good a person, but when I look back on my life, with the knowledge I have now and the beliefs I've come to have, I don't think I've been a good person... certainly not good enough.  I have always had good intentions, but unfortunately, I failed to understand the people I loved.  I tried to understand them, but I have Aspergers and I suck at understanding people.  I also had an untreated case of manic depression all the way up until I was about 30 years old.  With my lack of comprehension in understanding what people wanted and the cycles of my ups and downs, I made lots of mistakes.  I have a lot of regrets.  I trusted people I should not have trusted.  I accepted bad advice from frenemies that I thought were friends.

To any ex's that I was an asshole to, I am sorry.

The worst thing about taking care of all of your problems and becoming a good person is understanding what a heap of shit one once was.

The Streets of Laredo

I was in Laredo only a few months ago.  My father used to play this song on his "hifi" when I was a child.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Why Older People Drive More Cautiously

When I was young, I was a speed demon.  I clocked 140 MPH on a major freeway in 1985.  I was pulled over for going 101 MPH on the 405 in Westminster, California in 1989 (I got the ticket revised down to 75 MPH by using some twisted logic presented to a traffic clerk that I will not explain here).  I was one of those lane switching assholes that would come up from behind you and then pass you on the left or right at the first opportunity, no matter how fast you were driving.  I once drove from Quebec City to Boston in about 5 hours.  In Rhode Island I was pulled over, not for breaking the law, but for driving like "a Masshole", as the cop called me.  He was right.

The last time I received any kind of traffic violation was in 1994.  I was flying through Pennsylvania at high speed when a cop pulled me over in the middle of the night.  He was very professional.  He calmly told me that he wasn't concerned about my life, but the life of the deer that lived in the area.  I laughed.  He was right too.

After the last time I was pulled over, back in 1994, I had an epiphany.  Driving fast is not really cool.  Cops don't want us to obey the law so much as they want to ticket us.  The truly defiant thing to do is not to speed, which denies the police a chance to exercise their egos, puts one in a situation where a cop may do something insane, like murder someone for speeding, and it is disrespectful to others around you.

When you drive through someone's neighborhood at an unreasonable speed, you endanger their children, their pets, and their property.  In short, you are being disrespectful to the people that live there.  When you weave around cars in traffic, you risk the lives of others on the road.  That is selfish and disrespectful.

That epiphany was just the beginning.  Over the years I've seen many accidents, some with bodies still inside the cars, bodies on the highway, and other horrific sights.  I've seen cars slam into each other right in front of me on the highway in Texas, where I survived only by luck.  Recently I saw a Turkey attempt to fly, only to be slammed by the cargo carrier on top of the car in front of me on a country highway.  I just dodged the careening ball of Turkey by inches.  A deer leaped across a mountainous desert road in front of me in Arizona.  Had I been one second ahead of where I was, I would have been decapitated.  While driving the PCH through Big Sur, a bird crashed into my windshield at sun set while I was driving along a cliff and got stuck on my windshield wiper while driving a stretch upon which I could not stop, smearing blood across my windshield as a drove that windy and dangerous stretch of road.  In Mexico I've seen many trucks impaled on rocks on the sides of mountains below the roads on which I drove.

People I knew were killed in car accidents, not one, but several.  My ex-girlfriend Rosemary died when her motorbike hit a tree.  The neighbor across the cove from my parent's lake house has a plate in her head from an accident.  She is so fucked up in the head now that she ran over a young man, the father of children, killing him and then drove off to a church event without calling the police (for which she was sentenced to house detention for a long stretch of time).

I've missed a tree while spinning on two wheels upon not seeing a curve in time on a dark country road covered with sand.  I've had so many of these experiences, I wonder why I am alive.

As the body count grows and the number of near misses soars, who can blame an older driver for being more cautious?  Unlike the younger driver, we know the score.

Also, as you get older, you realize how much time and money you waste recovering from all the things that go wrong with your car.  You begin to baby your car and keep her in better shape because you know the cost of treating it like a toy.

About a year ago in Los Angeles, an asshole screamed at me from his car, "Nice driving old man!"  I was doing nothing wrong, just following the law and being cautious.  I remembered back to when I was young and when I thought older drivers were simply impaired by age, had slower reflexes, and shouldn't be allowed to drive.  Perhaps that is true for some, but my reflexes are as fast as they were when I was young.  I can still drive with awesome skill.  The difference is that I know the value of life, the value of my car, the stupidity of luring the attention of cops, and I have a strong respect for the well being of those around me.  I'm not slow because I have no choice, I do have a choice.  I'm slow because I'm smarter than the young arrogant driver that has a good chance of never making it to my age.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

I am Thankful to be a Father

Before I became a father, it was all about me.  My every decision, for the most part, was about what I wanted in life, about what made me happiest, about where I was going.  Upon becoming a father, all of this changed.  I departed on a new path where everything was about my daughter.  There was no room for focusing on me.  Even when things were at their worse, sitting down and doing nothing was never an option, for I had the most wonderful gift in the world to take care of.  My daughter has been my reason to exist, my joy, and my goal in life.  I thank her for giving me so much to live for.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Thursday, May 30, 2013