Category Archives: Paul

A Lousy Day To Be An American

Yesterday I wrote about “Thriving Amid Adversity” and said

“Yet we do have the ability within us to be like this flower, finding a way to get up when the world knocks us down. We can bring the tiniest bit of beauty and joy to the world, even if it sucks. We can still make it better.”

It was easy to say then, harder to do today.

There’s a fair amount of rage to deal with today. I’m functional, deadlines to keep, places to go, people to piss off, but it’s more autopilot than innovation.

“Be the flower,” I said.

Yeah, right now I might be something with thorns, at best, and I don’t mean a rose, or even a cactus. More like one of those invasive species with the pollen that’s incredibly toxic and the sap that blisters, burns, and blinds.

Tomorrow I’ll see what I can do about channeling that into something productive.

Tonight?

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Filed under Paul, Politics

Thriving Amid Adversity

There’s a drought, fourth year. We’ve got some significant watering restrictions outdoors. It’s been hot, pushing into the upper 90’s almost every day for weeks.

The lawn is turning brown. The dirt is hard packed.

Yet my little pal next to the driveway has found a way to thrive. (Assuming I can avoid running him over when I park.)

It’s hard out there for all of us. Politics. The economy. Inflation. Gas prices. COVID. Stress. Uncertainty.

Yet we do have the ability within us to be like this flower, finding a way to get up when the world knocks us down. We can bring the tiniest bit of beauty and joy to the world, even if it sucks. We can still make it better.

Even if you have to fake it. Function follows form.

Be the flower.

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Filed under Deep Thoughts, Flowers, Paul, Photography

No Context For You – June 16th

So, for last night’s post, were there zero likes because no one actually read it, or was it because folks read it and it didn’t make any damn sense?

What I truly love is waking up at about 02:30 with my brain going, “Knock, knock! You forgot the punchline!”

With that title referring to an old joke, I never mentioned which old joke. So, for the record after feeling good, having the computer issue, and then not feeling so good, the old joke in question was the one about discovering that the light at the end of the tunnel being an oncoming train.

I didn’t say it was a particularly good joke.

And once I powered down the system, let it sit for a few, and turning it back on, it powered up just fine. No worries.

Still not out of that tunnel, but maybe that actually is daylight. Stranger things have happened.

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Filed under Freakin' Idiots!, Paul, Photography

An Old Joke, But No Less True

Hey, what’s that feeling? Could it be … optimism? Satisfaction? Relief? Maybe even just a tiny touch of, dare I say it, happiness?

You met all of those deadlines today! Yeah, you! Sure, not everything on that to-do list from Hell got done, but that’s never going to happen. The important, critical stuff got done!

A couple of those things you have been working on for weeks! And maybe the whole project isn’t done, but at least those really big, hard, key components are done! The hard part might actually be behind you!

You might even get this upcoming three-day weekend off! Like, really REALLY off, not just that kinda sorta “I’ll just have to do a little work” off. It could happen!

Wait! What? I’m soooooooooooory! I didn’t mean it!

That wasn’t “happiness!” There’s no “satisfaction” or “relief” here! It was just gas!

I take it all back! Nooooooooooooooo!

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Filed under Computers, Paul

Focused Elsewhere

Yeah, that’s obvious. There’s a LOT going on right now. Home. Work. Life. The World.

Oh, yeah, all of that shit. I’m sure you all have the same to a greater or lesser extent.

In the fog of just trying to keep one’s head above water in the chaos, something or the other will sometimes trigger a meloncholy moment, a memory, often of someone gone or at least no longer in contact, and I’ll get into that “what if?” mindset. Occasionally there are regrets, but always of the sort where I regret NOT doing something, not regrets over something I did.

At the same time, if you look at the pictures and quick snippets here, you know that I encourage and value the tiny pleasures, the small moments, the subtle beauties all around us. The birds, lizards, flowers, clouds…

So meld those thoughts just a bit and I was wandering off on a whistful train of thoughts. To wit – if I could speak to my younger self in those moments when I had to decide whether or not to step out of my comfort zone, to take a risk, to “go for it,” what would I say? And more critically, when I make a moment to breathe now, pushing away the chaos and pressure for a few precious moments, instead of wishing things were different and just being frustrated with it all, what might my future self be wanting to tell me if he could reach back and talk to me now?

Can that message be heard if I listen closely enough? I wish I knew. Maybe it’s just not that easy.

I hope some of this makes sense, but I doubt it. It’s really late, I was up really, really late last night, and the rest of the week looks to be “exciting.”

Keep breathing, keep helping each other, keep on accepting help when it’s offered. We’ll make it through together.

For probably the dozenth time or more in the 9+ years of this blog…

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Filed under Music, Paul

Another Thin White Line

Another thin white line across the sky. Another tube full of people going somewhere I’m not.

Can you see it there, 40,000 feet up, from San Diego behind us to the south, headed toward Sacramento far beyond the horizon up that way?

And here we are. One day at a time.

Beats the alternative. But it would be nice to have options.

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Filed under Flying, Paul, Photography

Some Days

Will WordPress post a GIF? More to the point, will it show it animated?

One way to find out.

For the record, I stand corrected from last night. It hasn’t been 80 years since D-Day, it’s only been 78.

For the record, “Come From Away” was utterly spectacular, amazing, emotional, hilarious, astounding, and anyone who knows me at all will know exactly which song, and which line in that song, hit me like a gut punch.

Let’s not do today again, okay?

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Skyscapes – June 05th

So much time being spent looking backwards this weekend.

Forty years ago, in 1984, so many classic movies came out. Blade Runnier. E.T. Poltergeist. The Wrath of Khan. The Thing. Tron. Ghostbusters. The Last Starfighter.

Eighty years ago tonight and tomorrow morning, the largest armada in world history left England and hit the beaches in Normandy. Omaha. Sword. Utah. Gold. Juno.

I’m wondering if I’m thinking so much about the past because there’s so much about the future that’s so scary.

But face it we must.

The clouds? They don’t care.

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Filed under Paul, Photography, Weather

Wrinkles Maximus

One of the problems with shaving your head…

…is that when you get this face, the wrinkles don’t just stop at your eyes and forehead, they go all the way over the top and back down your spine. For all I know my … never mind.

The good news about doing it at this age is that you don’t really give a rat’s ass about it. You shouldn’t be spending a lot of time and effort trying to impress anyone. If you are, you probably deserve what you’re bringing down on yourself.

Those who love you and want you in their lives will do so even if you’re involuntarily prunish. They’ll understand that you look like a shar-pei and laugh “with you” when you make funny faces, even (especially?) when you’re not trying to make a funny face.

Those who don’t will hate you whether you look like this or like George Clooney, so invite them to take a long hike off of a short pier.

It also helps if you’re a decent human being and not a flaming asshole, but that’s a different discussion altogether. One for another day.

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Filed under Paul, Photography

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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Filed under Deep Thoughts, Paul, Photography