Saturday, August 25, 2007

Bless the Beasts and the Children

I am in a Karen Carpenter mood tonight, and since I can't post videos on here I turned the title into a link to a video of one of my favorite Carpenter's songs. Actually there aren't many of their songs that aren't a favorite. Karen was such an incredibly talented musician with an unbelievable voice... hers was the saddest celebrity loss for me.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Place I Never Visit Anymore

When we first bought this house seventeen years ago my mind was filled with ideas. Endless possibilities at redesigning our new house and finally, after moving out of a two bedroom apartment, space to work in. I claimed the basement as mine right away, which was fine with my wife because she rarely set foot down there (fear of spiders I think). Within the first few weeks here I had built an impressive workbench and worked on adding a few much needed tools to my collection. Having done a bit of woodworking in the past, mainly finishing and refinishing, I set about to see what I could accomplish with my own workspace. Over the next few years in my basement workshop I turned out shelves, benches, and even a decent set of end tables that looked great. I always wanted to progress into bigger projects, having plans for a new bedroom suite, among other things. Money for material and tools was scarce, however, and when our last son came into the picture there never seemed to be time to start any new projects. We went through several years of living paycheck to paycheck, then my wife quit her job and went to nursing school, forcing us to stretch our budget even tighter, certainly no time to be buying lumber to indulge my hobby. When she graduated and started her nursing career our financial situation go a little better, but then there was a need for a reliable car to get her to and from work so we had a new car payment, along with the student loan payments which merrily made their way into our mailbox each month and have found a permanent place among our monthly bills ever since. Basically, over the last few years I have only gone into the basement when there is something I need to fix or repair, and my workbench has become a catch-all for loose tools and extra parts. I was working on the plumbing today and got to looking through some of the stuff I still have and I realized how little I've actually done in the way of being creative. I think I would like to get back that excited feeling I had when I first moved here, but it just seems like there's so much actual work to be done that there's little time for me to get back to the basement and do the things I like to do. Maybe someday though.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

There were giants in the earth in those days.—Genesis, VI, 4

I've been researching some interesting articles on the internet about the possible existence of humans walking the earth long before the scientifically accepted time line for mankind's arrival. Lot and lots of supposed evidence and theories that challenge the biblical time references, some placing man's existence as far back as 1.9 billion years. Metal pots and other man made objects supposedly found inside chunks of coal or solid rock dating millions to billions of years old, humans remains found inside rock deposits... the evidence mostly discarded by the "learned" populace as hoaxes or just plain dismissed without discussion. Personally I find it exciting to think that there is so much more to the world and its past than most people are willing to believe. We've been conditioned throughout our lives to live within the confines of certain beliefs, whether those are dictated to us through our religion or by the scientific minds of the day. Neither medium is willing to look outside the cozy world they built and see the possibility that things may be totally different than either of them want to believe.

The last couple of days I've been reading about the bones of giants which have been found all over the world, including several places right here in Ohio. Although they differ from find to find there was one oddity that struck me. A great number of the jawbones, taken from all parts of the world, contained double rows of teeth. The bible makes several references to giants throughout its pages, and there are numerous legends from many cultures of large people living long ago, so the possibility that there was once a civilization of these people who flourished just before our written history is something that I would certainly say is worth investigating. The finding of these remains coupled with the many reports of Bigfoot- like creatures in this day and age makes the subject hard to ignore, and fascinates people like me.

The more I dig into these offbeat subjects the more they branch off to reveal connecting stories, folklore, and underground scientific ideologies which sometimes make more sense than I want them too. I just keep an open mind and try to sort through all the data available to form my own opinions on what I find. It's just an interesting hobby after all, right?

Monday, August 06, 2007

Captain Fantastic Limps Into Oblivion

A lot of people are into personalizing their possessions by naming them. I guess that's ok to an extent, like maybe their dog, but some people go to extremes by giving names to their guns, cars, purses, kids and fishing poles. I was never into that, rarely even calling my wife by her name. "Hey you" works just fine, especially when Alzheimer's is on the horizon and I won't remember that I ever got married in the first place.
I wonder, though, if assigning names to things might just make it feel like you've got a friend - one who doesn't say much. A lot of guys name their genitals; Big Ted, Big Al, Little Buddy. I suppose I could do that. Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboys comes to mind, although the reference to Elton John when talking about my genitals makes me very uneasy, and I doubt that my wife would ever give in to my ego boost by calling that part of me Captain Fantastic, so I'd better skip that idea, but darned if it isn't a great name. Old Blue for my car would fit, since it's past its prime and still blue. Shopping Chaperone for my wife's car, since it's usually at the mall or Wal-Mart. My guns I could call.....umm... aw heck with it... I just can't be that redneck, no matter how hard I try. So no more names for anything, and if my kids ever have kids then they'd better put a nametag on them because I probably won't know who they are by then anyway.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Wisdom of Obi Ron Pierogie

A Fast Work Day

Your day starts at 6:30 A.M. You have loads to do so you get cranking. After working about ten minutes you look up and see that it's really been two hours and you're farther behind than when you started... Must move faster. You turn up the speed and it seems like you're just starting to make headway. Glance at the clock - 11:30, lunchtime. Grab a cup of coffee and a sandwich and start to relax. After five minutes of being in a wonderful place in your mind where there are no deadlines you're startled out of your dreamy world by the fact that thirty two minutes have slipped by and you're two minutes late. While at lunch three more orders came in and you're told you have to completely redo the sales ad you finished last Friday because someone lost all the paperwork, and it has to be sent to the printers by 12:30. You work like mad for the next four hours to catch up, staying a half hour over just to get things ready to finish tomorrow.

A Slow Day Work Day

Start at 6:30 and dive into the day's workload, which isn't very much at all, so you slow down the pace. After about two hours you think a coffee break is in order since you got most of your work done for the day already. You mosey toward the time clock and run into the 7:00 cashier who's just clocked in. It's 7:03. You need something to kill time, so you average out your sales for the last month. Then the last six months. You check your sales for the year and compare them to last year's, looking as busy as you can when the boss comes through. You made it to your 9:30 fifteen minute break, so you get a coffee and head to the break room when a salesman stops you and tells you that all the prices will be going up again, then fumbles through his briefcase for five minutes to find an important flyer to give you with all his new items on it. It's the same one you got in the mail last week. By the time you get to the break room it's time to go back to work. The next two hours are spent rearranging your paperwork and organizing it, then redoing it until you end up with things the way they were when you started. With the day dragging you look forward to a long half hour for lunch and start a new page on your crossword puzzle. On nine down you get a strange sensation of speed and see that lunchtime is over already. Maybe the rest of the day will start getting faster now...yeah, right.... The rest of the day would have moved more quickly if you were in a Monopoly marathon, and by three o'clock your brain is screaming from boredom. You run to your car and vow never to come back.