Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Looking From The Hallway

I’m looking from the hallway into an empty room that I regretted becoming a reality. An empty bedroom, a few scattered items left behind like the bits of our lives easily forgotten. Amid the forgotten things, I manage to find what reminds me of a still very young life filled with good and purpose. A high school yearbook. A University of Texas yearbook. A fraternity handbook.
Music CD’s that entertained him when he was 14.
A collection of comic books from the ‘Batman’ era when he was 8.
A Cobras baseball t-shirt, the select baseball team I managed and he played for most of his first 18 years. Autographs from the Houston Astros, scribbled across a spring training program from the summer he was 11.
A beaten up metal locker plastered with a thousand stickers. I rescued it from a demolition project at a school and brought it home to fill with tools. He wanted it. No problem.
Carpet stained with the Lord knows what. No, I truly don’t want to know, just rip it up and put it by the curb.

So many nights he was banging around the house at 3 am and I wished for quiet.
Always asking “What’s for dinner?” as if he thought we were servants at his beck.
Sprawled across the couch with remote in hand, playing alpha male as if it weren’t actually MY job in this house.
Little irritations.

Looking from the hallway into an empty room that I regretted becoming a reality.

He’s grown. He’s college educated. He’s employed.
Mostly, I sense he’s gone.
He moved to an apartment this weekend.
BEG said to me tonight, “You do understand he won’t ever live with us again don’t you?”
I stare into the empty room at the reminders he left behind.
But more than anything else I see that he is gone.

I confess now to my own mind that I have not dwelled on this until now. Now on a Tuesday night, tears fill my eyes and I have to stop writing to dry them.

Twenty four years ago we walked into the adoption agency and he was placed into our arms on a Christmas Eve. He was six weeks old. We walked out with smiles the size of Christmas morning itself.

I suppose he’s not really gone, but then again that room is empty, and it has never been empty before. He’s strong, competent and willful just like his dad. BEG knows us both like no one else can know us, and she says he won’t live here again.
So, I stand in the hallway looking at the little bits left behind. Tattered fragments of memories left behind as if fate had choreographed a movie scene. And all I can think to tell his room and the aura of my once upon a time young son is……

“Be sure to save a room in your heart for me, and I’ll save this room in mine for you.”

Deal?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Third On The List

I used to tell people that the way to thwart terrorists on airliners was to fly naked. It makes it very difficult and perhaps painful to hide weapons. I thought I was original in this thought until I saw a NY Times column by Thomas Friedman dated December 26, 2001. It was titled ‘Naked Air’. I was doing a little research on writings that occurred immediately post 911 and ran across the column. It pre-dates my thought but I don’t remember reading the column at the time. Friedman proposes it, but laughs it off as a tongue-in-cheek suggestion as the column rolls along. Today the news is of the new x-ray scan machine that looks through your clothes. It appears the public is in a gigantic panic about the ‘see-through’ x-ray machine.

I am a rebel about clothes. My feelings about clothes go all the way back to my childhood. I can remember as a young boy, 7 or 8 years old, wondering to myself what the great secrecy was all about. I was raised in a fundamentalist religious family. Fighting and thinking my way out of that triple-layered bag has taken a lifetime, but the thing about clothes pre-dates my religious rebellion.

I used to stand at the bathroom window as a child after a bath. I was maybe 4 feet tall, but if I stood on my tip toes I could, wearing only my birthday clothes, peer out the window into the Texas summer heat. I used to stand there and wish I could go outside, but it was totally unacceptable in my childhood household to emerge from behind the locked bathroom door less than fully dressed.

I have been a bit of a rebellious and inquisitive soul from the first moments I can actually remember. My mother spent many years massaging her forehead and giving me that ‘look’ of genuine perplexity. I am curious by nature and also questioning by nature.

I question the necessity of 24/7 clothes.

Nudity is a subject that generates a plethora of reactions in our society. The reactions can be levity, shame, blushing, horror, panic, stupidity, pornography, jokes and all the ones you can think of on your own.

It seems that airline passengers are now horrified that scanners can see through their clothes. I’m wondering what will happen? Will they spontaneously combust? Will God banish them to hell because someone has seen them in their birthday suit? Possible jail time?

I have a contrarian view on all of this. I think our culture’s insistence on clothes 24/7 in all situations actually facilitates sex crimes and unnatural leering. I think our inordinate preoccupation with nudity is founded on the fact that we are not ‘supposed’ to be nude by command of those composing cultural law even as they stand far outside the harmony and simplicity of natural law. What could be more natural and innocent than being nude? Would we put clothes on an apple? On a waterfall? On a tiger? On an antelope? That idea is sophomoric at fist read I confess, but could any truth be more self apparent to even a casual Saturday afternoon philosopher or thinker?

I also hold the view that it is a control mechanism placed on mankind and womankind. It is a puritan and unnatural restriction on the natural beauty of man and woman. Those of you that read here regularly know that I talk often about a world or ‘order’ of natural good. I find nudity perfectly natural and even normal. However, we all willingly accept these restrictions, if not willingly we are generally compliant with little fuss. In doing so we set into motion all of the unnatural behaviors that our society is plagued with. We have ‘strip joints’. We have weird television and movie preoccupations with the subject. We have tittering little jokes about nudity. We have Brazilian women wearing strings on the beach instead of simply going nude. We have Madison Avenue advertising that distorts this cultural repression to the n-th degree and uses it to sell, sell, sell.

All unnatural.

If I consider going to the curb in the morning to collect my newspaper in my god given clothes, I will be summoned straight to jail for being obscene. Obscene? One of the breathless reporters on the x-ray story today said many people feel the see-through machines are generating pornographic images. Pornographic?

Children being massacred in Darfur is pornographic. Television shows and movies with senseless violence as their staple are pornographic. Despite the rave over "Kill Bill', I found it pornographic, and yes, I understand the genre and the implications of the genre of Kill Bill.

I doubt I’ll see the day when my culture owns any semblance of an idea about the innocence of the skin God gave us. I think it’s an intellectual and philosophical shame.

Maybe we all actually understand this, but can we find the courage to overcome it? What do you think? Is nudity pornographic or obscene? And before you answer, no I'm not talking about nudity that is within the framework of sex with animals or bondage or all the mixed up things that occur around sexual activity that involves nudity. To answer nudity "is pornographic if it involves sex with children" is not the discussion I am looking for here. That type answer is readily apparent. I am asking about simple everyday nudity. I am talking about sunning on the ocean's shore, for example. Pornographic or obscene?

If I owned the magic cultural hammer, its the third thing I would change in our 'culture'.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Praying for What?

I am a student of the philosophy that we live in a world of ultimate potential. I also believe in a world of natural law that produces what we request from it, but our request must be available through the application of natural good. The presence of evil, while real, is the illustration to us that we are operating outside the natural law of good. We are choosing evil outside of the natural law, sometimes willfully and sometimes in ignorance. That is a tidy summation in a couple of sentences I know, but I don’t really expect you to understand my beliefs based on the two sentences. Life is complicated and messy, we all know that don’t we?

The logical conclusion of this philosophy is that the one we call God or Creator lives in a perfect balance of always knowing only good. The next step would be to conclude that the total absence of evil from the process of being God render God unable to answer prayers requesting the unnatural because he or she has no knowledge of the unnatural.

Would we consciously pray for the unnatural? Some might. I think a lot of individuals pray for a solution while in the midst of a benign ignorance of what is good natural law and what is not. What do I mean? Assume a ballerina prays that she will dance better than all the other dancers. Assume the ballerina is also the least prepared of the dancers. If God answered this prayer it would mean intervention into the process of ultimate potential I discussed in the first sentence above. Even though our potential is unlimited, it does not mean we gain our skill-sets from nothingness. We must earn them through a world that operates in natural law. If the ballerina prayed, on the other hand, for the strength, stamina and health to practice her craft to her full potential, would God reward this prayer? In my belief system he/she would do so.

Is it possible to conclude that God has evolved to a level that he/she does not recognize the unnatural? Is it possible that unnatural request is not even understood by the Creator?

I think the majority opinion in our culture would dismiss this outright. The common notion in Christian religions is that God operates with full knowledge of all things good and evil and discerns between the two. Still, entertain me, and maybe entertain yourself with the notion that in a world designed to honor the natural law of good is it possible that our highest ascent occurs when the unnatural is totally eliminated from our consciousness? Is it possible that this is when we have become God or God-like?

If we think about the things we pray for and we carefully discern if what we ask for is good and falls under natural law we may find that our prayers become more successful. We can ask to be healed from cancer and we know it works. We know we can pray for the health of others and it works. Can we say that praying we will be the richest man or woman on earth works? No, and for good reason. Such a prayer falls outside of natural law. If we all did this we could not all be the richest man or woman by even the simplest reach of logic. If any one of us were granted this request we would then need to re-define the objective nature of the Creator.

Is it possible that prayer that fits the natural order is answered and prayer that does not fit is rejected because it is not understood by natural law in its perfection? If this premise is entertained it raises the specter that we can learn and understand the natural good and the natural law of the world by the practice of prayer and the faithful observations of its effects.

Do you believe the Creator is capable of recognizing evil? If so, does he/she carry a component of evil or a memory of evil?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Running Behind

I wrote Saturday morning about an LSU professor because I was traveling to Baton Rouge, Louisiana that day. I wasn’t going for Mardi Gras, but I did see some Mardi Gras partiers.

I was running in an indoor track meet on the LSU campus Sunday. Things went well for me and as an added bonus my teammate Bill Collins shattered the World Record in the 55 meters for men over 55 years old. He was in the lane next to me. I finished ½ second behind so I guess I had the best seat in the house for the new World Record. I was pretty close to the record myself, but it wouldn’t have mattered since the record wasn’t merely broken, but instead re-established with complete dominance.

My lasting thought from the trip out to Louisiana is about time, the subject with which Einstein occupied his brain. I like things to run on time. If time is relative to our speed in space it’s OK with me, but I am far more concerned with time running to suit me here on earth under practical conditions. I found myself dwelling on how well we Americans manage time. If you have traveled you understand that this mindset is not a worldwide attribute. Many like to debate if timeliness is in fact an attribute. I believe it is. I think it is an attribute because it is a marker of our ability to respect others. Is there anything more annoying than standing in a line? Yes there is. It is standing in a line where someone is creating difficulty for all those in the line behind them by being poorly prepared. You know the type? I’m talking about the lady that waits to do simple things like getting the checkbook out of her purse until all items are priced? “Your total is $43.96.” OK, let’s see, I know my checkbook is somewhere underneath these vast piles of stuff in my purse. I’ll start looking now while everyone waits in line behind me. I couldn’t actually get it out and start writing the check until I knew the total. Grrrrr.

On a brighter note, what I kept noticing this weekend is how everything happened right on schedule. I witnessed a track meet with legions of races and athletes running exactly on time with remarkable precision. Check

I saw airlines loading folks of all ages, intelligence and physical capability into a small metal flying tube and leaving the airport on time. Check

I saw luggage reaching the conveyor system at the same time as the travelers. Check

Car rental brought to the pick up door as I exited the airport. Check

All of it just like I like it. I don’t care about Einstein’s relativity even if I should. I like it when the world runs on time. When the play starts at 7 pm as advertised instead of 8:23 as it does in Mexico, I like it.

We spend a lot of our time complaining, don’t we? Well, I found something worth applauding this weekend. It could be caused by the wheels of commerce. It could be the American sense of free enterprise. It could be more reasons than I can uncover, but I prefer to think of it as respectfulness. Respect for another’s time and life.

I love this idea we have in our country. If you are late you get left behind. We learn it as children. Maybe it’s cruel, and maybe it is not. After all, we as a culture have safety nets for those that are impaired instead of merely lazy. Are you listening in the Arab world? As you dawdle in your oil money and your insistence that ½ of your citizens live behind veils and in uneducated ignorance, and as you refuse modernity because you bow down to the hate preaching clerics so you can stay in power, are you listening? It is very easy to get left behind Mr. Arab world leader. And worse yet your populations are now 60% under the age of 18. Half of the 60% are women, women sentenced to illiteracy and a life without skills while you cling to the old ways of totalitarian regimes pumping oil, intolerance promulgated by hate filled clerics, and choice that sustains the illiteracy of more than ½ of your population. The clock is ticking, and you are getting left behind.

I love the USA. We run things on time. We do it by allowing our women to be part of the labor source and part of the solution. And we grant a bonus. We also let women go to school and show their faces. We respect people. We respect their time. We respect our women and their time and their life. In this way America and other parts of the world are ‘on time’ while the Middle East and Islam fall farther and farther behind while their young populations demand more and more sustenance. This is the reason for the systemic hate that threatens the free world. It is a loss of simple dignity in a world that is quickly disappearing beyond their vision. Ask any Palestinian that endured Arafat and now suffers additionally under terrorist nation state rule. There is no dignity in throwing rocks at Israeli tanks. I make no excuse for Israel’s insistence on overreaching its boundaries, but rocks and hatred are no match for authentic scholarship, commerce and technology. The proof is in Israel’s economic power. It's trains run on time while the former Arafat’s trains were long ago sold for parts.

I love my ‘running on time’ respectful country. I really do. And, my love isn’t relative, its everyday real.

Friday, February 16, 2007

It's About Time

Well, thank goodness. I'll be sleeping better tonight. Good going Professor Kak!

LSU Professor Resolves Einstein’s Twin Paradox

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Seven Weird Things (about me)

I got tagged by her sweetness the Jennster to report on 10 weird things about me.
This should be no problem. Well, on second thought it did occur to me that the vast range of humans out there might have varying opinions about what is actually weird. My weirdness may pale in comparison to your own, or I may freak you out. So now I enter the chore with some anxiety and dubiousity. Yes, I know dubiousity is not really a word, but I like it and so I’m using it. This is like being attacked by an evil tattle-tale twin brother.

One) I have a couple of sleep disorders. The most serious one is referred to as ‘sleep paralysis’. Did you know your body is paralyzed when you are asleep? It is. But, when you begin to wake the brain sends a signal to your body to become un-paralyzed. That’s the non-scientific explanation. In sleep paralysis disorder the brain delays sending the signal. The effect for the victim is to be somewhere between awake and asleep without the ability to move. I am conscious enough to know I WANT to wake up but when I try, I discover my body remains paralyzed. Nothing, not even fingers will move. Yes, it is scary. Yes, I scream and yell because I am not fully conscious and my family is completely freaked when it happens. Fortunately the brain finally sends signals to allow movement and then I wake up fully.
The less serious disorder is similar to post traumatic stress disorder, but occurs at a sleep level and involves my efforts to save other people in seriously scary nightmares. Yep, lots of screaming on those too. The conclusion of others is it is the result of police work, particularly the crime scenes I was assigned to. (My police specialty)

Two) I go naked in my backyard. All the time. It’s hot in Texas 9 months of the year. There is a swimming pool back there and an 8 foot privacy fence. Fortunately for the neighbors you can’t see in unless you really, really try. You are all invited to join me this summer.
There used to be a teenage girl in the family that lived behind us. They had a volleyball net in the backyard and one day convergent with my swimming nakedness a whole gaggle of her teenage friends were playing volleyball. Naturally the ball got knocked over the fence into my yard. A 16 year old pretty faced female head popped up over the top of the fence, looked at me and screeched “Oh My God, you’re naked!” She disappeared and I heard the high pitched frequency of females exchanging important information, followed by hysterical giggling like you might hear had one of them farted loudly during a slumber party pillow fight.

Three) I participate in masters track and field. I am a member of the Houston Elite Track Club. That’s right, 30, 40, 50, 60 years and older men and women racing one another on the track. Before you laugh, I am faster than you really imagine......but yep, it’s certainly weird.

Four) I don’t say goodbye when I end a conversation on the phone. Several times people have called me back to see if the conversation was actually over. Don’t they go to the movies? No one in the movies says goodbye on the telephone. Usually a federal agent in the movies is given a very long address where the bad guy is located. He just mutters OK and then hangs up the phone. Jack Bauer on 24 never says goodbye and everyone thinks he is ultra cool! I do that too, but it doesn’t work out so well in real life. I learned it from my mom. My mom freaks BEG out doing this. Mom and I should be in the movies or television, because we know how to not say goodbye and be OK with it, just like a real CTU agent.

Five) Remember during the Iraqi war (when it was full blown) and they asked people to donate baby wipes or wet wipes? If it’s good enough for the military it’s good enough for me. I decided to buy some and not send them to Iraq. I used them on my own back-end instead. Liked it. Use them all the time now. Don’t know now why people use toilet paper, I mean, how uncivilized is that? I did rename them. I call them “butt-wipes.” BEG and I both got into the habit of calling them butt wipes. We went to the store one day for supplies. A saleslady asked if we were finding everything. Without a moment’s thought I asked her “Where are the butt-wipes?” She pointed toward the management offices so I don’t think she understood. I use butt-wipes exclusively now.

Six) When I did police work my badge number was ‘823’. Everyone in the department knows you by your badge number. It becomes your name in some ways. When you are in a police car a conversation with a dispatcher sounds like this:
Dispatch: “823”
Me: “823”
That’s the dispatcher asking if I am there and me saying “yes, I am here” All done with numbers, well actually one number. I have heard police friends in casual conversation say to a wife that ‘823’ did this or that. The wife usually laughs and says “honey I don’t know the badge numbers.” You would think police officers at a police incident scene would ask something like “Where’s Jerry?” They don’t. They say “where’s 807?” (That’s Jerry) If I were somewhere in a crowd and someone were to yell out loudly “823” it would be the same as yelling my name. I would immediately start looking for the source to see how I can help. I think that’s a little weird. Of course now I am also ‘7’ but that’s not weird. That's more like working for a very small police department, perhaps in Mayberry.

Seven) I am a craftsman of sorts having grown up in the construction business. I have lots of tools and I keep them all in order and exactly where I intend to keep them. When I work with them I always put them back in their place, often the very moment I quit using them and always within 30 minutes of using them. BEG is the polar opposite, she leaves my tools all over the damn place, only God knows where some of them are now. So, now I lock them up and she is stuck with her tiny little tool box of sorry girl tools. Of course none of her tools are in the box any longer and she can’t find them. Too bad, mine are locked and exactly where they are supposed to be. Before you think of me as a jerk, I fix everything anyway. BEG doesn't need tools she just thinks she does.

Sheesh, that’s only Seven things, but I bet you’re tired of reading, so 823 is 10-7. (That means I’m gone)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Third Grade Valentine Surprise

When I smell fresh grass in the spring I think of baseball. Connecting the smell of grass to baseball occurred in my childhood. At this point in my life it is a connection that is permanent. Newly emerging spring grass or even newly mowed grass equals baseballs, gloves and bats.

When I smell Coppertone suntan lotion I think of the swimming pools of my youth and the long hot summer days of chlorine treated water, diving boards and the whistle of the lifeguard telling me to quit running as the echo of a score of other swimming, diving and yelling children reverberated off the concrete pool apron and rattled around in my ears. I remember all of that as soon as I smell Coppertone.

I’m certain you have sensory connections like these. Sights, smells or sounds that immediately propel you back to a time in your youth. They have the strength to transport you to a time when an experience was new and because it was new it possessed enormous power, a power that could permanently imprint your memory and even shape your behavior.

I think that is the key to why we have these sensory associations all our lives. I believe it occurs because we have discovered something we love. Not only that, it is something we have discovered we love for the very first time. Because it is the first notion of that love the imprint is deep. In the very fertile gray matter of a child an association that will last a lifetime is born.

I remember with vividness a bright day in September when I was 8 years old. It was the first day of school, the first day of the 3rd grade for me that year. However my memory is not of crayons and new pencils or the face of a teacher. The vivid memory that I can conjure in a heartbeat is of an 8 year old girl named Cathy Self. As time would later reveal to me she owned the exact birthday as mine. She was standing in line in the cafeteria when I saw her. Before you misunderstand that I had never seen her before let me inform you that I had spent the entire second grade sitting beside her all day long.

What was different on this first day of 3rd grade must surely have been the result of some type of voodoo magic of the summer holidays. Cathy Self in a plaid skirt, red blouse, white socks and patent black shoes collapsed my senses into a feeling I had never known. It was a good feeling. It was a feeling that I find virtually impossible to describe with words. Maybe I don’t actually have to describe it to you. I’m betting you know the feeling. It was attraction to the opposite sex in a way that seemed to scream at you that nothing would ever be the same again. Girls were no longer vile or unworthy. Cathy Self owned power over my 8 year old senses. Authentic power housed in an 8 year old frame of curling brown hair and sweet smile.

I remain fascinated by the memory now all these years later because I will tell you straight out that as an 8 year old boy I had no sense whatsoever of sexuality. No clue about sexual attraction. No idea what created children, why moms and dads were married and I can’t say that I remember caring about any of it. I was a walking definition of boyhood innocence.

But the attraction to Cathy Self was very real, warm and wonderful. It left an imprint.

And now I’m connecting the dots between baseball and grass, swimming pools and Coppertone, and women and that special feeling of attraction.

Across blogdom we find ourselves in pitched conversations about women and men and our differences and aggravations. Our culture creates bestselling books about men from Mars and women from Venus.

Above the roar of it all I remember a day in Texas, the first day of 3rd grade. I know where it all started for me. I love women and I really can’t defeat or forget that special warm feeling.

I appreciate you. When I see you I want to love you. I want to hug you. I want to touch you. I want to know what you think. I want to please you. I want to take your clothes off as if opening a precious package and then photograph you so I can always own a reflection of your native beauty. I want to hold your hand in church. I want to smile when you smile, especially if it was me that made you smile to begin with. I love you for your devotion to children and family. I love you for your longing cry for peace in a violent and mean world. I love your gentle and comforting way. I love the smell of your hair and the sound of your laughter.

I love women. Yes, all of you.

Happy Valentines Day.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Man Law and Flirting

I recently read and commented on a post written by Teri. If you read the comments here you may have seen that she mentioned my terse comment. Those that know me understand that being a good sport is a requirement in my peculiar world of observations. In fact, Teri was a very good sport about the comment. The comment was made when I was in a slightly combative mood and wasn’t as tempered as it could have been.

The post was about flirting. Most of it was tongue in cheek and well written in an upbeat manner. My comment was “That is so remarkably confusing that an analytical genius like myself is left scratching his head.”

Teri may have thought I was talking about her writing. I wasn’t. I understood what she wrote. What confused me is the female ‘take’ on flirting. I think the explanation and observations of flirting described in the post would confuse any male. In fact I have seen the damage created by this attitude first hand.

In this way I represent the approximately 1.5% of males blogging. It takes great energy to refute 98.5% of popular blogging opinion…..….but, as usual, here goes.

If you read the post, and I recommend it, you will see that the major theme is that flirting is a fun form of word play with the goal being to be quicker and smarter with words than the target with whom you are flirting. The post also contains these quotes:

“Just because you acknowledge the sexuality of someone else, doesn’t mean you have to—or even want to—act on it.”

“Sometimes we flirt with one another and it means absolutely nothing”

“When I put it that way, I could be describing several of my married friends—guys and gals. And why not? Why should the single folks have all the fun?”

Now remember I’m not picking on the writing, and Teri will need to be a good sport again. But……….Here’s the thing. None of this makes sense to American males in my opinion. The gender gap is greatly widened at this juncture and trouble is quite likely. I have seen this trouble over and over.

What I am trying to tell you is this concept of flirting belongs solidly in the ‘women think’ camp.

First off men are far too analytical to let ideas like ‘acknowledging someone else’s sexuality doesn’t mean you have to act on it’ pass without examination. At least this male is such. If you walk up to a man, feel his biceps and tell him he has a sexy butt with a sparkle in your eye, even when done in double entendre style, he understands this differently than you mean it. That is, if what you mean is that you are acknowledging his sexuality and feeling his biceps for ‘smart wordplay’ reasons, he will not ’get that’ on an intuitive level.

Or, if you are a male friend and you flirt openly with my wife, you have seriously violated a cardinal ‘man law’ and are going to be dropped from my circle of friends in a Texas heartbeat. Who needs friends like that? Maybe things are different in California? Sometimes in Texas we jus shoot your ass.

If a married woman flirts with me, BEG usually lets it go, but it is duly noted to me later and it is not a happy notation.

Most men would look at the statement “Sometimes we flirt with one another and it means absolutely nothing" and wonderOK…and the point is what? Trust me I’ve been a guy all my life.

Two life examples addressing no particular point:

Example 1:

I have a platonic girlfriend that is a huge flirt. She needs it for her ego apparently. She will arrange clothing in ways that parts and pieces are made available for observation, make off color comments, feel biceps and chests, and use ‘wordplay’. Later she will call me on the phone and tell me how just totally horrible these men are because they suddenly think she is available and ready to sleep with them. Yammmer…yammer…yammmmer……and just how am I supposed to keep these men off of me? All the while, my brain is simply saying “What the hell do you expect? They are men responding to aggressive marketing.

Example 2:

One of BEG’s acquaintance/friends named Kristen is forever laying hands on me, using ‘wordplay’ and innuendo. It only happens if BEG is absent from the room or situation. Feeling biceps and saying things like “yum”, running her hands down my butt when she hugs me goodbye, saying “if BEG ever gets tired of you, let me know” and so forth.

On New Years Eve she was in high form. I decided to test my own odd male ideas. Fair is fair, eh? In a quiet moment sitting alone at a table with Kristen, I said “Kristen, you look great these days. Can I feel you up sometime?” She was stunned for about 5 seconds at my intended and challenging bluntness. Her answer was as bizarre as my presentation. She said of course I could, but to do it when it wasn’t noticed so much, like she does when she hugs me. Or maybe I could mistake her for BEG while swimming in the pool and it would seem innocent. She had a couple of other ‘innocent – sure you can feel me up’ ideas that you can imagine on your own.What I take from this is the results are the same, but for Kristen the fun is in the sneakiness.

What the heck, now I have myself confused. And this is all I was trying to say to Teri. Men don’t think this way and so please be advised you are flying on female radar, not universal gender radar. If you want to engage in ‘wordplay’ it is much more sensible to a man if we play scrabble. That way we know when we have won or lost because you keep score with numbers. That’s just the way we are; literal, analytical and straightforward. We are remarkably simple in a consistent way. Sexual wordplay can and will confuse us. We don’t know its just a game because there isn’t a scoreboard.

My reader’s gender ratio represents blogdom, being about 98.5% female. They are all comfortable telling ol’ Seven that he is paddling a canoe up ‘ignorant creek’ on Valentines week. So, what are you waiting on? Get started. Confuse me additionally, but please do it with some respectable sneakiness.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

10 Years Later

After threatening you with half-nekkid Thursday I realized I would lose my male readers and friends and maybe the less adventurous female reader. So true to my word it is all or nothing; in this case nothing. But don’t be downcast because I do have a computer generated image of how I might look naked under other circumstances than I occupy at the moment.

But first I want to introduce you to a couple of my track friends that I haven’t shown you until now.

Below is a photo of me with two young track stars. The cutie in the middle is LaShauntea Moore. LaShauntea is a sprinter. She was the 2004 NCAA 200 meter champion. (Fastest collegiate runner in America at that distance is what that means) And she was a member of the US Olympic track team in 2004 advancing all the way to the semi-finals of the 200 meters at the Olympic Games. But wait, there’s more. She is also as cute, playful and sweet as a baby kitten. If it’s alright with her real daddy I’m planning to adopt her. I haven’t told her yet, so keep it a secret for now. La Shauntea is a professional track runner these days.

The young dude is Greg Pevsner, age 20 years old, who has run some eye opening middle distance races and is training toward the 2008 Olympic Trials. I’m not going to adopt Greg because he eats too much.

Now as far as that half-nekkid thang, I decided to show you a pic with my clothes on. Look down below at the elder track cat. But, there is a reason for showing you that pic because a friend of mine in law enforcement knows how to make those slick time-gone-by computer generated images. You know the kind I mean? It’s when they make a missing person look like they would look today after they have been missing 15 years? So, I asked him if he would create a nekkid pic of what I would look like if I quit working out. And also, could he make it 10 years from now and give me a beard. In the interview before he did his thing, he asked ‘how many calories a day would I eat in the 10 years?’ I said if I quit working out I would have time to eat a lot, so use 5,000 calories a day. So…this is what he says I will look like nekkid in 10 years. (With a beard, which I think really makes all the difference in my appearance)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Show and Tell Wednesday

OK. I think I got the terrorist thing out of my system. So, today is show and tell Wednesday. I understand tomorrow (Thursday) is half-nekkid day in blogdom, but I'm not really a half-way kinda guy, its all or nothing from me, fair warning before you visit tomorrow.
For show and tell Wednesday I have some photos of the place I am nearly every noon of any given day. Below is a section of the track at my alma mater. I have spent lots and lots of energy and speed on the track you are looking at. I'm on the track on M-W-F's at noon, business meetings allowing. (Most of my clients don't even try for a noon meeting)

The photo below shows the stands. In winter base training phase I run up those steps, walk down, run up, walk down, run up...see how it works? It's not a Rhodes Scholar kinda mental challenge really.

The next photo is Olympian and World Champion, Jon Drummond (sweatsuit) showing one of his athletes something that I'm sure is vitally important.

The university coaches give me access to the athlete's weight room. I go there on T-Th. Here's what a portion of the weight room looks like.


And, all of these were taken today (Tuesday). I know some of you are suffering with really cold weather right now. Jenn said in her blog that it is in the single digits in Minneapolis. It makes my brain ache to even think about weather that cold. Today in DFW, Texas it was sunny and 67 degrees. Don't hate.
Sunday, February 04, 2007

Obligations of the Worlds Richest Man - Part 2

Have no misunderstanding that corporate warriors are in our future. When an enemy such as Al Qaeda or Hamas works its cause in the absence of nation, it is able to work outside of convention and military honor. It is safe to say George Patton never envisioned strapping bombs to the chests of American soldiers. Even Hitler was not capable of creating such a horrific tactic. A new breed, the paid corporate warrior will fight in the same manner, perhaps not with suicide bombers, but do not dismiss it as a possibility.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the nations of the world are at cross purposes on terrorism. I personally doubt China really cares if Al Qaeda desires to kill every Westerner on earth. This might seem dramatic on my part, and yet Al Qaeda has set this doctrine of ‘extermination of the western civilization’ into print. Does China care if China is not threatened? Does Russia really care? In the first part I discussed the ineptitude of the United Nations, which at this point is a Webster’s definition of greed and corruption. It is safe to say that even if appointed occupants of the UN actually cared they would be incapable of aligned agreements of substance.

When the dust settles over such apathy, confusion and political alignments we are left with the question of what natural law of cause and what natural law of need will surface to combat the spiritually ignorant forces of fanatical Islam? I have suggested the cause will be economic survival of worldwide business concerns; conglomerates that require stability and peace to function toward their stated mission. Stable and peaceful delivery of food, pharmaceutical, internet communications and building products are crucial to the world’s consumer citizens. They are necessary products of survival. Is the natural law of survival the tipping point in the fight against spiritual bankruptcy?

When the corporate warrior emerges to fight against terrorism it will not be a single unit controlled by a central authority. In fact, one of the hallmarks of the economic environment is the complexity of its working parts. It is complex because the affairs and needs of one giant corporation are different from another corporation. The terrorist influence on their well-being will be geographically and ideologically segregated. What matters to a corporation dependent upon labor and material in Indonesia is unlikely to matter to an oil producing concern such as Exxon. Being by definition bodies of economic profit, the corporation is highly unlikely to fight wars unimportant to their bottom line for honors sake alone. A nation can undertake a broader scope of fighting than can a corporation. It can print money and incur debt in ways a corporation cannot do. Proof of this lies in America’s efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq where US national debt has risen with barley a legitimate concern apart from the normal political posturing.

If my theory of corporate need and the segregation of that need is acceptable as a premise, and if their limited economic ability is accepted, it follows that the corporation’s mercenary forces will be controlled and specific in mission. They will also be invisible for obvious reasons. I do believe there will be a loose ‘banding together’ of resource and talent. What is vital to Chevron, Exxon and Shell is vital to each. What is vital to a food producer such as General Mills is the security of ports and shipping lanes. And to illustrate the complexity of these arrangements, the ports and shipping lines are also vital to oil producers. So there may be a combined force funded by oil and food producers jointly for the protection of ports, while the food producers are left out of the equation of protecting oil and gas refineries.

To imagine there is not great danger in these arrangements is naïve. To imagine that mercenary soldiers of ability and experience will not tender resumes to the highest bidder is also naïve. The stealth warrior division of the corporation is an excellent place for selling arms and ammunition to the highest bidder. To believe that worldwide conglomerates and their allies cannot at some point in the future threaten the sovereignty of a nation with stealth tactic is also naïve. You think the CEO of Mega Inc. irritates you today?

I see a future where the nations of the world face new challenges that extend beyond terrorism. I think terrorism will be defeated. I believe it will be defeated because it lies outside the functioning natural law and natural good with which the world is imbued. It will do a great damage, but the force of natural law can and will defeat its spiritual insolvency.

The more important question that lies in front of the world is not the fact of terrorism’s defeat, but rather, “who has fought the war to its conclusion and and thereby now understands how it was accomplished?”

The old saying “To the victor go the spoils” is worth some consideration as nations across the world withdraw in political fear and citizen forced isolation from the task. To whom will the spoils be dealt? Perhaps the old joke that Microsoft has purchased the US Government and intends to replace management is not so funny. I do understand that Mr. Gates desires to retain the Constitution with minor exceptions. That's a good sign, depending on the exceptions of course.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Obligations Of The World's Richest Man

I have a theory that we are moving toward a future where the war against terror will be fought by privately funded mercenary forces. It appears that America’s military involvement in Iraq is headed for an exit and it begs the question of what will be done about the fanatical terrorists in our world. Political activism has once again proven that a confused cry for peace can bring political surrender to the world’s most advanced military force. I say confused cry because it is my belief that anti-war movements produce zero peace, they only serve to extract the American soldier from the conflict. War does not stop when the US soldier comes home. The Iraq war and tangential Middle-East conflicts will continue without us, most likely increasing in furor. This is a repeat of the politically pressured pattern established in Vietnam where approximately 3 million people in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos died in war after we pulled out our American troops.

The United Nations is much a like staggering drunkard, utterly inept and ready to lie in the gutter asleep amid the world’s turmoil. And much like a drunk soiling his own pants, the UN moves from one incontinent greed based scandal to the next greedy ambassador in the line.

As the world has moved increasingly toward globalization it has created worldwide investment by the world’s largest corporations. The opportunities to invest electronically in a nation outside your own have multiplied exponentially and it has been made remarkably easy by the presence of the internet. Investment in physical production facilities abroad has also increased exponentially in the last 20 years. This is true for companies around the world and is in no way limited to the US corporation or conglomerate.

Is it not amazing that Microsoft supplies 90% of the world’s computer operating systems? Bill Gates, understanding the obligations of being the world’s richest man, spends the majority of his time giving billions to charitable causes. How about Cisco Systems and their products that string the internet together? Cisco owns a similar world position as Microsoft’s, and the other side of this remarkable fact is that Microsoft, Cisco and a thousand other giants are completely reliant and even dependent on the production of third party suppliers located around the globe. Instability in Taiwan, for example, is far more injurious to delivery of your new Dell computer than you might realize. Unless you want one that does not contain the electronic parts necessary to make it function. Imagine the product Berkshire Hathaway ships through the world’s ports each day, or envision the value of tankers full of oil navigating ports of terrorist influence on their way to serve the commerce of Australia, courtesy of the employees and technical ability of Shell.

The threading together of businesses throughout the world is a complicated and eye opening network.

I sense that we have reached a time marker in history where the economic survival of the companies that supply our world with product, services and economic well being is stronger than our moral outrage with Jihad.

When terrorists implement their spiritually bankrupt evil it is an evil also visited on the commerce of the world. In this way it becomes a presumptive need of industry to prevent the mindless terrorism of a barbarous medieval mind set. If the nations of the world or the impotent United Nations cannot eradicate terrorism it will be left to the corporate conglomerates of the world.

They will not perform this task with a dressed up army, announcing their intention. It will be accomplished by underground and unseen militias and technology driven tactics that ignore the Geneva Convention and established rules of engagement. They have no governed citizen to answer to and like a terrorist, only a cause to secure. They will be funded by hidden accounting practice and coordinated with the necessary political figures.

I may have given you enough to think about here, and I feel this discussion (on my part) might expand itself into a 4-5 part series here.

If you believe petitioning your government for peace is a solution to violence, think deeper. This discussion point has many areas to explore, including the philosophical and moral implications of mercenary corporate warrior vs. Jihad.

Meanwhile your comments will facilitate discussion.

~More later~

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