The sick thing keeps holding on and continues to be sick – I wasn’t actually referring to the President but it applies there too.

My cough remains (and it drains me, saps all my energy) and the more I talk the less I can talk – it seems. I folded a load of laundry this weekend and had to take a nap after as I was beat. The only thing that has been alleviated since I started the antibiotic is pain. My throat doesn’t hurt any more and that’s a really nice thing – thank you science.

I’m going to call my doctor this morning and try to see him to see if this is something else or just a virus thing. Hopefully he can get this all sorted out.

Work folks think it’s a nice change from me talking all the time and my friend Vanessa is happy I’m not singing at my desk all day (I’m never sure if she doesn’t like my singing or just finds it odd that someone sings at the job). Continue reading

Vacationing Harder

Today I’m sick, horribly sick: coughing, fever, chills, diarrhea, tired… actually I feel better right now than I have in a while. I’ve been on an antibiotic since Saturday morning for what I’m thinking is Cruise Crud -having just been on a cruise for 4 days and it started on the boat with a mild sore throat which just kept getting worse. This morning I started craving solid foods, having been on liquids really for the past several days. Ice-cream feels so good on my throat…. aaahhhhh

I did, however, have a really great time on vacation with my two best friends Eric and Suzanne. They had never met before and it was nice to see them get along right away. They’ve both said very nice things about the other in private and both said “I can see why he/she is your best friend.” They are pretty amazing people.

I arrived in Ft Lauderdale on Saturday evening and after the Uber driver took a few wrong turns and I just got out of the vehicle when she was lost one more time – I finally arrived at my hotel. Eric was staying at the same hotel, and though we didn’t know it at the time, Suzanne was at the hotel next door (I had asked her earlier in the day where she was staying and she said “I don’t know yet” – that would drive me crazy).

Eric and I had dinner at a local cuban restaurant which was pretty decent food. Then went back to the hotel bar to watch football – sadly the Patriots won. It was late Suzanne and crew asked us to dinner but we had already eaten so we declined.

Suzanne was determined to see me though so as I texted her that I was going to bed she texted that she had just arrived at my hotel downstairs, so I went to see her and her friend Jeff (one of the organizers of Shiprocked). It was a brief meeting but nice to see her. She volunteered me to help with lanyards the next day and I went to bed.

On Sunday night I was already excited at the prospect of going home…. usually my vacations are a few short days and then back to work and my little bedroom. My preferred place to be. The idea that I would be spending time on a ship with a couple of thousand people for 5 days was pushed out of my mind. I like my scheduled life where I get up early have two cups of coffee with breakfast before heading to work and then return home to play video games and sleep. I was going on this cruise with my two best friends and I had committed to it so here I was.

Getting on the ship wasn’t a problem, long lines but they went by very fast. I was with Eric during that time and we had Uber’d over to the port. We got to our room – four people would be in that room for 4 days – it was small. One bunk bed type with the bottom bunk for a very short person – as Eric is the shortest of us he was volunteered. I took the top bunk and our roommates shared the bed. I knew one of them – Jerry – an old friend; he had brought along his best friend John (they didn’t really enjoy the cruise).

The first night as we debarked we were supposed to hear Sevendust perform as we pulled away, but some problem with customs kept their gear from being allowed on the ship and what was to be a 4 o’clock show was 7 or something.

Every day there were a great number of mini-concerts to see and the bands (most of them) were out amongst the regular guests being all regular and stuff. It was very intimate.

There was plenty of eye candy night and day – bearded, beefy guys in bands and just on the ship were everywhere. Some drunk girl hit on me, that was interesting.

The one port of call we had was to Grand Turks – not much to do there so we just relaxed on the beach. I should let it be known that Eric and I hung out together most of the cruise – Suzanne has this need to be very active and involved in everything so she was doing her own thing – apparently water skiing in Grand Turks.

The best performance on the ship that I saw was by Avatar – great band and very entertaining. After that I’d say Breaking Benjamin and Lacey Sturm.

Other performers: Papa Roach, Sevendust, Living Sacrifice, 12 Stones, Wilson, Crobot and more.. such a great time.

On Wednesday I woke up with a sore throat which progressively got worse so I didn’t get to see all the shows I wanted. Everything I saw was great and it was great to spend that time with my friends.

Now I’m home, recovering with an antibiotic and plenty of liquids (the body craved solid food so I went to get some today – didn’t get much in me before the body said “bad idea”). I wanted to be at the office today and all that’s happened now is that I’ll have even more to do tomorrow. Ugh.

I’m appreciative of my bosses for allowing me the time to go on a cruise. The folks who put the cruise together. And of course the two best friends a guy could ask for Eric and Suzanne. I’m glad they like one another.


The Extractor

In 2028 the US Government took a dramatic swing from Democrat and Republican to Technocrat. After over twelve years of decline into the superstition of religion and the fear it breeds, the population rose up and replaced those running on old ideas and replaced them with those who had scientific knowledge and acumen to change the course of the country.

Technocrats and the Technocracy movement abolished old ideas keeping the country from progressing. Instead of interfering with scientific progress that might offend the religious we jumped into the deep end and made real change. One of the first major changes, after hard fought years was the removal of tax-exempt status for any religious organization involved in politics at any level. There was first outrage yet afterwards the populace found progress, real progress towards fixing the country and the world was happening. What faith and fear held back inquiry and investigation into the worlds of science blossomed new generations and ideas. Continue reading

Now I’m 46

Another year has come and gone – this one seemed to go by very quickly for me. I had a lot going on, many changes began here and continued.

I left Alcoholics Anonymous

It was a while in the making. I finally saw the inner workings of the service side of AA, what I assumed would be the most spiritual was the most sick I guess. It seemed all anyone wanted was what they wanted, not what was best for AA as a whole. So to me I had lost a second part of the triangle, the one I believed in most – Service. Between that and the “fake it til you make it” dishonesty in an honesty program. I’m really an atheist and cannot swallow what others do in its entirety. Don’t miss it, gives me lots of free time and less to be resentful at. I did go to a meeting with Flo when I was in Albuquerque but that was for him, I was just along. No one from AA has really reached out to me asking me about it – some have said they want to leave too, so that’s interesting. Continue reading


For Christmas one year I was given a Hershey’s Kiss 3D puzzle and another puzzle. The Hershey’s Kiss puzzle was little plastic chocolate colored pieces with pegs and holes… it didn’t have many pieces so I solved it quickly and wondered what possessed my mother to buy me a puzzle.

It occurred to me that it was likely someone providing gifts to needy children. Mom wanted us to have a good Christmas so she signed us up for a charity. That was rather forward thinking of her – she was very self centered.

The other puzzle I can’t remember except it was solved easily too – a chain comes to mind. Soon I was finished with my Christmas presents and wondered what I’d do now for entertainment.

Continue reading

Eric John – An Interlude

Somewhere over the Atlantic ocean a man named Eric john listened to the ice cubes hit his glass as he swirled his drink over the sound of the droning of the aircraft and the various conversations by the other passengers. The brandy waters down by the ice cubes but would have to do, it was a last minute flight he was lucky to get a first class seat at all.

He hadn’t had time to shave before departure, as always his face by the end of the day looked like it had been a day or two, many men admired the speed he could grow a beard but he found it tiring to have to shave so often. The salt in his dark beard bothered him more than he could explain – age had caught up with him before he was ready. That’s what the old always claimed, time goes faster as you get older. He should have listened.

He closed his eyes set his seat back and focused on his destination, he was finally going to put this all to rest. The boy had been found after all these years, in just a few hours this journey would reach it’s conclusion. That woman… that woman would pay for her interference and meddling.

He was still lost in thought when he felt a tap on his shoulder. He opened his eyes, assuming the flight attendant must have something very important to say. Across the aisle was a pretty blonde woman, she was dressed as a professional would be and was smiling at him.

“Do you know the time?” she asked

Eric John couldn’t quite believe the question, the interruption to his own thoughts and her rudeness. He stared at her with a cold glare, reached into his pocket for his ear buds and lost himself in his music. He overheard her mumble something but just closed his eyes, focusing on the music.

Women, he thought, were always a bother. This one was just another in a long line of nuisances he’d run across in the last few years. Not to be trusted, not to be held close… only to be used and then very carefully, so as not to get caught in their schemes or let them ruin his plans.

In just a few hours the plane would land and he would finally retrieve the boy – that was all that mattered now, nothing else can interfere with that.

Earlier chapters of this story begin here: Eric John

Training Tribulations

I do a wide variety of tasks at the office. I like to think I do them all pretty well. One of the things I do that others think I do well is train people.

All I really do is share what I know. It’s akin to Alcoholics Anonymous – someone shared with me so I can do this better so now I’m sharing it with you. I may on occasion have to modify my message to be heard by someone who can’t relate to it a certain way or other but still share the same message. AA gave me that and I’ve been using it for quite a few years now.

It works for me with the people that have come into the office to be trained. I don’t lecture, or teach I share. I’ll sometimes say “this is the problem, and here is how I found a solution” and then show them how I did it. Action (that’s another thing I learned from AA), take the steps to show others how to get past an obstacle. This has worked time and time again.

But now I have a new problem. Continue reading

Eric John – Part VIII

The beginning of this story can be found here: Eric John

Eric John had been missing two days now.

The police had questioned Mrs Smithton, but she had slipped into a shock where she couldn’t seem to talk at all. She would just stare straight ahead at nothing. Once in a while a tear would form in her eye and run down her cheek. The cheery, helpful Mrs. Smithton that had helped so many children was gone, she might never make it back from this nightmare.

The police also placed an APB and combed  areas between the Smithton’s house and the school but nothing turned up. They were already talking about the length of time the boy had been missing. They started wondering if Mr. Smithton had been part of a larger child sex slavery ring that they should be looking for.

Also were questions of the boy’s father, who was he and did he just come back for the boy and the mother. The missing mother was a quandary – where was she and why hadn’t she come forward after hearing of the boys disappearance on the news.

Children’s services were trying to stay out-of-the-way. This was now a police matter, they decided, and the best resources available were being used – they had other children to look after. Continue reading

Fleeing Facebook

I deactivated my Facebook account today, there are several reasons – mostly the election results and the realization of how many of my “friends” are racist, haters and hypocrites.

But honestly for me it’s almost as big a time sink as World of Warcraft was.  Continue reading


I’ve been up for a few hours thinking about a revolution.

Thinking about America the broken.

Last night I wrote about acceptance and turning the other cheek so to speak… but even as I finished writing it I thought “what a bunch of pollyanna bullshit”.

Looking back and seeing hate, vitriol and santorum (look it up) win state after state, primary after primary and each and every time it was downplayed (first by the Republicans) as a fluke. A rarity that couldn’t possibly happen again and again. We underestimated the power of .. well, the dark side. The possibility of such an asshole being elected to the seat of President were so absurd we stopped really fighting it.

We, the People, let both sides lie and manipulate us again. We let the Republican’s continue to believe they are “value voters” and the Democrats that they could win against orange skinned hate mongers.

The American Tea Party – a bunch of well off, old, white Christians, and Ben Carson – thought they were leading a revolution. They thought to accomplish this by obstructing the American government with such notable brain trusts as Sarah Palin, Chuck Norris and the aforementioned Dr. Carson. They succeeded in preventing change from happening, preventing growth of the economy, protection of rights and values. They succeeded in protecting the only things that ever mattered to them: their wallets and their white nation (with Ben along, for show). [disclaimer: I am an old, white man] Continue reading