Category Archives: Deep Thoughts

Not A Marathon Or Even A Triathalon

That finish line? It’s not, just the start of the next race.

Off in those branches there used to be two adult squirrels. In the last couple of weeks there were two adult squirrels and at least three, maybe four (or more?) baby squirrels. Now there are two adults and two former baby squirrels, so presumably there’s also a well-fed hawk or owl around. Circle of life.

The squirrels don’t race. They just are. Trust me, with brains the size of peanuts, nothing profound passes across those squirrelly neurons beyond stealing bird seed.

We race, and if we expect something at the end of a marathon other than another race, well, that’s on us, not on the races.

If we think we’re running a triathalon and we expect something after the swimming, biking, and marathon other than some other kind of race, and then another, we don’t have any cause to be disappointed when our expectations turn out to be bogus.

As Hawkeye Pierce said (more or less), “Carry on! Cary Grant! Carry me back to old Virginny!”

Hawkeye kept on going. He didn’t have a choice. And neither do we.

Stupid squirrels.

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No Context For You – May 09th

Blurred. That’s what reality feels like at times these days. Like a Twilight Zone episode where you suddenly can start to see the machinery behind the scenes or be able to poke your finger through the fabric of spacetime and see what’s lying underneath, maybe give it a little tear.

Too many deadlines some days, too little time to breathe, headaches just a bit too sharp, everything just too, Too, TOO!

Maybe there was a dream that was a bit too vivid, a bit too desirable, an inch too far out of reach when we woke up. Maybe the news was a bit too bizarre, a touch too threatening, a dollop too insane.

Maybe all of the above.

Keep moving, don’t look too closely into the corners or shadows.

Keep moving.

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Skyscapes – May 08th

Some days you have pretty clouds and skies and trees and you just have to allow yourself to sink into the combination of them all while listening to the birds.

Better days ahead, worse days ahead.

Hopefully far more of the former and far fewer of the latter!

Either way, you have to take them both.

Some days it sucks, but that’s sort of how the game is played.

Yes, the game is rigged that way, but if you didn’t have the bad, how would you know how wonderful the good is?

Maybe you got to spend some good time with your mother today, either in-person or electronically. Good for you!

Maybe you couldn’t, but you got to remember her and talk to her anyway. Maybe she talked back. Good for you!

Maybe you’re a mother yourself. Good for you!

Whatever the circumstances were, I hope you had a good weekend and are ready to kick Monday’s pathetic ass.

Make Monday your bitch! Report back in here afterwards to sing the songs of your battles and tell of the glorious downfall of your fallen foe.

(No, I haven’t had anything at all to drink. Why do you ask?)

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Okay May, Let’s Talk

First of all, April? Long hike, short pier, don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split ‘ya! Capiche? You were better than January, February, or March, but that bar wasn’t set very high and we had such hopes for you. Which you failed at delivering.

May, listen up! I don’t want there to be any misunderstandings!

Big picture – if the stock market could start recovering and stop plunging, if gas prices could get back under $5/gallon, and if the Russians could stop whatever insanity they’re up to that would all be super great! Make it so.

It’s good that the Kings made the playoffs and the Angels are off to a hot start and in first place after three weeks or so. It’s a little icing on the cake that the Ducks, Sharks, and Golden Knights are sitting at home watching the playoffs on cable, and the Dodgers aren’t in first place while we are. (What, me petty and vengeful? Damn straight!) Now let’s see those things continuing and improving even more. It’s that whole “Big Mo” thing (momentum, for the non sports addicted) and we need to see it snowballing.

It’s been pretty good at work and I’m hoping that continues, although there are always storm clouds on the horizon. If those could hold off another month or so, so much the better. If not, then at least give me a bit of a heads up, okay?

On the personal time management and existential stress front, some time to get caught up on “Picard,” get started on “Strange New Worlds,” and get to the theater for “Top Gun 2” would really push your evaluation score towards an A+.

And as always, if you really want to graduate cumma sum laude, you could do something appropriate with COVID or the GOP. Do both and you’ll be a freakin’ legend.

It’s up to you, May! We’re dancing as fast as we can here, a little help on your part would really be appreciated!

You’re on in 36 minutes.

Good talk!

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No Context For You – April 26th

First of all, I notice that the filename on the WordPress server for this is “no-context-for-you-april-26th-3” which means that it’s actually the fourth time I’ve posted one of these “No Context For You” posts on April 26th. (The WordPress file naming convention for duplicate file names is pretty obvious.) They’re supposed to be more or less at random, so the fact that this particular date (which also happens to be my brother’s birthday) has had one of these particular posts four out of nine years is really odd. I wonder if there might be something that’s causing it. (It’s not that I’m out partying with my brother – we’re thousands of miles apart.)


It occurs to me (and probably should be far more obvious than it is) that if you’re frustrated with what you have, it helps a lot to have an actual clue about what it is you want to have instead. “Not this” can be the simple answer, but it’s not always intuitive that “different” is equivalent to “better.”

This insight, in turn, can add to the frustration if you have no clear idea of what it is that you want or how to answer that question. The knowledge that you’re actually at least one step further away from the answer isn’t necessarily useful.

There’s probably some theory named after a 16th Century Lithuanian philosopher that states that more eloquently, but looking that up and figuring it out is left as an exercise for the student.

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Random Old Photos – April 18th

June, 2010. Such a different world it seems.

San Francisco, as seen from near the shore in Berkeley. A couple of careers ago, almost twelve years, a vastly different zeitgeist ago.

That project, that company, that career, that world, all gone. And yet not gone, all now just a little piece of the whole that makes up today’s puzzle.

No matter how much we want to know why, some days we just have to keep moving without an answer. Days like today.


Filed under Deep Thoughts, Photography, Travel


I lesson I’ve learned but need to remember and use in times of need has to do with being “stuck.”

Let’s say things aren’t working, or at least, not working well.

Something needs to change, but you’re not sure what.

You’re caught up in the “fog of war,” so to speak.

You’re concerned that you could do the wrong thing and make things worse.

So, you do nothing, which in and of itself could well be making things worse.

What to do?


Maybe you’re not moving in the ideal direction.

There’s a potential for you to be moving in the worst possible direction.

But if you do a quick gut check, think about what you know and don’t know, and make your best possible decision, the odds are it will be at least somewhat better.

And even if it’s not fantastic, even if it is worse, you can see that from a different perspective and correct course.

Triangulate. Get new data.

Change the variables.

Flip the problem on its head.

Get some tiny part of the puzzle taken care of and set aside, see what new avenues that opens up.

It’s like playing a game where every move affects all other potential moves.

Somewhere in there is a solution, a path.

But if you can’t see that path now, MOVE!

Find a different perspective, the view that will show you the next part of the maze.

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An open list of suggestions to the MLB Players Association and owners, who are currently involved in a months-long pissing contest which is delaying the opening of spring training camps and threatens to very soon delay or eliminate a chunk of the regular season —

As I said above – READ THE ROOM!!! In case it might not be obvious to all of you chuckleheads, we, the American and baseball-loving public, are ***NOT*** in the mood for your shit right now.

  • Russia is invading Ukraine while Madman Putin threatens worldwide destruction.
  • It’s year three of COVID, where we still have over 1,800 deaths PER DAY in the United States, but the CDC is bowing to political pressure from morons and cultists and reducing mask useage mandates.
  • It’s year seven of the GOP revealing itself as a fascist cult and enemy of democracy in the United States.
  • The aforementioned fascist, white supremacist, anti-science, anti-knowledge, anti-democracy cultists are trying to ban and burn books, ban medical care regarding abortion and medical treatment for trans folks.

Given all of this, we’re exhausted, frustrated, and furious. We need a break. We were really looking forward to going to the park, sitting in the bleachers, having a beverage and a couple of hot dogs, and catching a game.

But again, it’s the greedy billionaires vs the greedy millionaires, debating once again which group is the most clueless and selfish.

Guess what, guys? WE DON’T CARE ABOUT THE DETAILS. We really and truly don’t.

But we’re going to care a LOT for completely different reasons if you don’t pull your heads out the bodily orifices where you’ve stuck them. If we don’t actually have baseball to go to in April, if we don’t have a way to shut out all of the things above for a couple of hours, if you can’t see common sense and compromise, we’re all going to be mightily pissed off.

We’re not going to be pissed off at the players. We’re not going to be pissed off at the owners. We’re going to be pissed off at ***ALL*** of you.

You think you’ll get by because you have massive TV and radio contracts… which are worthless if you’re not playing games. You have massive naming rights on your stadiums… which are worthless if no one’s in the stands.

Consider also all of those who rely on you for jobs at your stadiums, parking, office staff, and all of the tens of thousands of suppliers and merchants near your stadiums. Bars, restaurants, and so on.

It’s been one thing when you’ve pulled this stunt before, in relatively good times. We got by, although your finances and attendance and popularity always took a hit.

No worries! The fans will always come back! Right?

But these aren’t good times, relatively or not. Things sort of suck right now. We need a pick me up, we need a break – and you’re going to pile on just to prove that you can be more petty and shortsighted than the other guys?

Think very, very carefully about that decision. Take a look at what’s going on in Ukraine and ponder how badly Putin has miscalculated. Your decisions are inconsequential compared to Putin’s mistakes, but for those who love the game, who need the game, and whose livelihoods depend on the game, they’re non-trivial.

Don’t screw up.


Filed under Deep Thoughts, Freakin' Idiots!, LA Angels, Paul

Deuces Wild!

Lots of twos today. “Tues”day. 02-22-2022. Celebrating, or at least noting the occurrence, at 10:22 PM, or 22:22 02-22-2022 if you’re on military time. I think that I missed precisely 22:22:22 02-22-2022 exactly for a whole new level of obsessive-compulsive behavior.

We humans do love our numerology and symbolism. Especially when it means NOTHING.

Days are well defined whether we’re here or not. The year is a fact, or at least can be defined for any body orbiting a central star. It’s just Newtonian celestial mechanics.

It’s that zero point, that starting point that’s tricky. Year zero, month zero, day zero, hour zero, minute zero, second zero is when? And how do you know? Hell, 2/3 of your units are 100% arbitrary!

But we’ll ignore that when someone finds “prophecies” in a document thousands of years old, totally made up, 100% fiction, translated from one language to another to a third to another… And based on that we’ll calculate to seventeen decimal places when the end of the world will be, or when a god will return, or when the alien mothership will show up in our skies to take only the select few home to Valhalla. Or something like that.

It’s a matter of hoping we have a shred of control or order in a Universe which has very little order and over which we have very, very little control. So is it better to believe nonsense and feel better, or to face the cold, hard truth and feel like shit?

Tough call.

I’m going to go with acknowledging the ridiculous, use it as an excuse for some joy (although, damn it, today was also National Margarita Day and I didn’t celebrate or observe the holiday!) because we all know there are too few reasons for joy, and avoid letting anyone pick your pocket or mistake your celebration for gullibility. If someone tells you that their precise to seventeen decimal places calculation means you should give them all of your life savings, maybe skip that round of grape flavored cyanide and have a margarita instead.

Just make it yourself. Just to be sure.

The fact that the deuces were wild today doesn’t mean that the cosmic slot machine is going to spill out treasure.

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Taco Bell And The Morlocks

Sometime in the mid 1960’s, when it was a big freakin’ deal to have a movie shown on TV! It meant either NBC or CBS was showing it in prime time, and I had to finagle permission to stay up past my bedtime. A big hit for me with lots of long-lasting memories was “The Time Machine.” Made by George Pal and starring Rod Taylor and Yvette Mimieux in 1960, the pre-teen Paul was very impressionable and large parts of the movie scared the crap out of me. (It seems I wasn’t alone.)

What really scared me was when the air raid sirens went off and the peaceful, dull, childlike Eloi all went slack jawed and started marching zombie-like into the caves of the Morlocks, where obviously the Morlocks were going to kill them and eat them. We were living in Kansas City at the time (remember, huge Chiefs fan here!) and tornadoes were not uncommon for about six months of each year. When they got close, the air raid sirens went off to warn folks to take cover. Needless to say, the summers after seeing “The Time Machine” had a whole new interpretation of that!

Skip forward fifty-six or fifty-seven years, to 2022. You’re watching television and a Taco Bell commercial comes on:

  • There’s a beach party, a young lady skips off into the darkness to snog that sexy young dude in the dark. A buoy tips over, causing a “bell” to ring (the signature and no doubt trademarked Taco Bell sound), and your hormonal teenager turns into a zombie, leaves Boy Wonder on the beach wondering what happened, and she marches off to Taco Bell to get something disgusting.
  • A subway platform, a geek dude cosplaying some sort of elf warrior with a shield spies a geek girl with the exact same costume and shield. Their eyes meet, they step toward each other, her shield hits a metal trash can, we hear that “bell” sound, she gets glassy eyed and wanders off to Taco Bell.
  • Two dudes are going for the all-time high score in the universe on Dance Dance Revolution at which point the machine music makes that “bell” sound, they stop mid-game, and head off for some brodude Taco Bell munchies.
  • The high schooler with the purple hair is at the back of the orchestra with a pair of cymbals, waiting for her one big moment, when someone tips over a music stand, it hits the tuba, makes that “bell” sound, and half the orchestra wanders off in search of greasy ground beef and runny fake cheese.

Aside from the fact that I’m not a fan of Taco Bell’s food, all of these examples remind me constantly of one thing – THE ELOI!!! The protagonists in every one of these ads act exactly like the Eloi in “The Time Machine!”

So, Taco Bell’s advertising agency and marketing gurus, look how you’ve made me think of your food!

I’m about to have the romantic, hormonal, passionate night that I’ve always fantasized about and which I’ll remember for the rest of my life – until I turn into an Eloi and march into the Morlocks’ cave to be killed. And YOU’RE the Morlocks!

I’m a lonely geek who’s suddenly found my soulmate, only to have her snatched away into zombieland just feet away from my embrace. And YOU’RE the zombies!

You get the drift.

Obviously, I’m not the target market for these ads, both because of my tastes in food and because of my age (and probably a half-dozen or more other traits), but jeez louise!! Did NO ONE look at these ads and think, “Wait…maybe…”

Or, worse, did they look at it and think, “Whatever! As long as they spend money at our place!”

Go find a taco truck, or a mom & pop style Mexican place with real food. And hoist a margarita and a burrito to Yvette Mimieux, who passed away at age 80 this afternoon.


Filed under Deep Thoughts, Entertainment, Movies, Paul