January 20, 2017

It’s a little after 4am on January 20th. I believe it was the cat puking that caused me to wake up. Getting up and stepping in said cat puke on the way to the bathroom only confirmed my awake status.

I apologize in advance for the below rambling note but I have to get this hairball of thoughts out of my system. Read or read not.

I heard that today, January 20th, is an important day for a lot of people. A start of an important weekend in our history. Good and/or bad.

I lay here typing this rambling note in my bed, in my warm house, with a mug full of coffee, on my computer and for all that I am thankful. I am also thankful, although there are plenty of days that I curse it, that I have a great job that pays me well, that allows me to do a little good in this world and that covers most of my health insurance.

I am lucky.

I am also a white, American male. I can’t help that and since I have no desire to change that status I am who I am. I make no apologies for my status.

That said, I am confused by our world these days. I am confused about what I read. Is it real or is it not. We live in a world in which, in my opinion, the majority of external communication and stimulus is driven by the negative.

Because of this I have developed a particular disdain for people. Heck, in my own little electronic community I’ve seen a dramatic increase in the rhetoric of hate and violence from otherwise sane, positive people.

Somewhere we’ve lost the art of the compromise. Somewhere along the way we’ve lost the ability to communicate in respectful terms when we disagree.

It’s okay to disagree. It’s okay to compromise. It’s okay to have divergent opinions. It is critical to have open, respectful discourse with one another.

Spewing hatred and violence is not okay in any circumstance. All it does, in my opinion, is help drive the negative energy in today’s society. A quote I love from Dr. King, “Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love.” Ah, the power of love.

I wish I had answers. For example, I wish I could tell you how to make healthcare work for everyone. Don’t be fooled, healthcare is a business. It’s a business that for a lot of people today, doesn’t work well. Don’t kid yourself, the delivery of healthcare is a business. Big business. A business driven by profits. A business driven to bring value to shareholders first and patients second. A business laden with administrative processes that strangle the ability to deliver quality care to people when, where and how they want it. A business that delivers a health premium to employers characterized by double digit percentage increases in expenses year after year. At this trajectory employers will ultimately not be able to subsidize healthcare for their employees. It’s already happening. A business that needs to put the patient first not profits.

Whoa, that was quite the tangent.

My wish for the nation today is to embrace the three E’s:  Educate, Engage and Empower. Don’t sit back and accept the rhetoric. Be an agent of positive change. It is in your power. It is your responsibility.

Let’s do this together


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Bob? Is that you?

Alcohol, while it has its place, is vastly overrated as a synaptic provocateur.  That said, tonight its place is going to be inside my skull to slowly marinate my neurotransmitters into a state of amnesic bliss.


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Embrace the conspiracy of life

With all its intrigue and treason

Dance to the music

Sway with the breeze

Explore the adventure

Never to be assumed

Always to be celebrated

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autumn fire

All year mother nature works for this moment, October in New England. 
Ripening apples fill the trees. Pumpkins dot the landscape and corn fields are reduced to feed and an occasional maze.

Warm days with fleeting sun augment the chill of frost approaching nights.

Orion begins it’s journey to dominate the night sky.

And the trees, oh the trees. Yellow, orange, green and red colors splash across the landscape highlighting the diverse hardwoods of the region.

The cycle is almost complete. 

Too soon the Autumn fire will be extinguished by the harsh grey and white reality of Winter. 

There is tremendous joy in knowing that the cycle will continue and soon we’ll be experiencing the spring rebirth and a summer of growth and then once again, autumn fire.

Get out into the woods. 

Hear the acorns falling through leaves and striking the ground. 

Take in the beauty as the woods prepare for the approaching winter. 

Take a deep breathe through your nose and smell autumn. 

 Feel the crisp, dry air fill your lungs.  


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The Goal of One

My new nemesis is this thing strapped to my wrist.  No it’s not some kind of law enforcement tracking device, worse, it’s a new FitBit thingee.  It tells me how much or how little activity I do during the day. It also tells me how well I slept.  It records it all in mocking detail for all the world to access. You have the ability to set “step” goals and to monitor your heart rate and it will even track your walks, hikes, runs, etc.

So I was talking with someone the other day.  Someone who wouldn’t typically engage me in conversation but they saw the evil thingee on my wrist and figured we were now some way connected.  “Joy, oh joy,” I thought.  Next they’ll want to friend me on face book and then have me join their little activity measuring online sorority or in my case fraternity.  Ugh

So before even asking a question they started the conversation by stating their step goal for the day.  “My goal is 12,000 steps a day,” they enthusiastically proclaimed, “what’s yours?”

I stood there for a moment, knowing full well that the goal on my activity nemesis was half their total of 12,000, not wanting to be judged a wimp I looked at them and said, “my step goal is one.”

They looked at me like I was some kind of three headed, Plutonian alien.

“How can one be your goal,” they asked with a hint of snarkiness in their voice.  “One isn’t a goal at all,” they continued.

I stood there for a moment and then said:

One is my goal, it’s your goal and it’s the goal for everyone else out there.  For all us of our day starts with that one step we take after getting out of bed.  Without that one step the rest doesn’t happen.  For so many people with either physical or mental disabilities that one step is the most important. That one step may, in some cases, be impossible without help from others.

I waited for a moment to let what I just said sink in and then looked at them and continued.

What we need is a day when everyone with these damn activity tracking thingees on their wrists sets their personal goal to one and we use the opportunity, just one day, to focus as a society on those who need help taking that first step and working to help them achieve that goal.  The goal of one step.

They stood there for a moment, shrugged their shoulders and said, “cool idea, we should really do that,” they then turned and started adding steps to their lofty goal of 12,000.

The Goal of One.

I like the idea.  What a neat way of helping many.  So what do you think?  Any interest in setting your activity tracking thingee to a goal of one for one day?

Let’s make this happen.

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What do you do for a living?

So what do you do for a living? How many times have you been asked that question? How many times do you answer with a description of your current job? I know, so many questions.

I know many people who for them, their job, is their life. At some point they’ve worked at their job for so long they see it as their life. They know nothing else. At some point they come to believe that their job makes them.

For some folks their job is their passion. I am not sure if they’re passionate about their job or their job is their passion. If you can work at your passion, you are very lucky.

For some folks, when that job goes away, either layed-off or retired their life is never the same. Some times, especially in the case of being layed-off, bad things can happen. How man times do you read about someone who worked their whole life and then they retire and after a short while after they pass away.

You make the job. The job doesn’t make you.

What you do for living should be what makes you smile. It should be what makes you feel passion in that place they call a soul. What you do for a living should make other people feel good. What you do for a living should make you feel good. What you do for a living should positively impact this place we call home. What you do for a living should make a positive difference.

What I do for a living, or a least try to do for a living is make people smile, laugh and feel better about being part of this thing we call the human race. What I do for a living is challenge people to be better. To think. To aspire. To love. To care.

So you have a little time to think about your answer. What do you do for a living? I can’t wait to hear.

One last thought, if you really want to fuck with people (like you really thought I’d get through an entire blog posting without using the word fuck – HA. I am my mother’s son after all).

Like I said, if you really want to fuck with people, the next time someone casually asks you, “What do you do?” Look at them with a most puzzled look on your face and reply, “About what?” Hahahaha, it gets them everytime.

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The price is night

Hello loser. Hey you fucking loser. What, are you trying to sleep? So here it comes. Every fucking thing I’ve fucked up, everyone I’ve hurt, everything I’ve lost decides at this moment to come flooding back into my conscious thought process. Oh no, you couldn’t keep quiet tucked into my subconscious. You couldn’t be satisfied with knowing it’s only a matter of time before I add to the considerable pile stashed in the recessed corners of my mind. Oh no, it’s time. I can hear my conscious Bob Barker shouting, “come on down, the price is fucking right, let’s fuck with him now.”

I’d pay big pharmaceutical dollars to not be typing onto this screen at this moment. I’d love to be in a blissful pharmacological stupor. I’d love to not have fucked up literally everything in my life.

The voices are so loud tonight. Louder than they’ve been in a long time. I keep feeding them. I don’t mean to but it all stays inside. It all stays inside.

My earliest memories are of the screaming voices in my head. Not playing in the backyard on a sunny day, not swinging on a swing, not some warm family moment captured forever on the cover of some hallmark card. I remember the feeling of the screaming in my head. I remember how the screaming in my head made me feel. It hurt my stomach.

It’s funny, I don’t recall ever being able to discern words. It was more the physical impact of the screaming inside my head. I guess it’s like people’s reactions to the sound of fingernails on a blackboard. But not really.

A recoil. How do you recoil from a sound in your head. Unlike the blackboard you can’t physically move away from sounds in your head.

Ormond Street. Right off of Bridgeport avenue. That’s where I first heard them. Actually, that’s where I first felt them.

I remember trying to cover my ears so I couldn’t hear them. It didn’t work. Nothing worked. Nothing works.

It’s okay though. They’re my noise and my voices. Weird though, they are not my screams.

There you go, are you happy now? You bastards of cranial cacophony.

Don’t be afraid, it’s all in my head.

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