Thursday, January 27, 2011

Trying Hard to Smile

A friend's wife lost her job yesterday. The two of them invest too much of their sense of personal worth in their jobs and they attach too much value to money and the things money can buy. I worry about them. They are good, good people. But they are deeply in debt and they have ruined their credit through their own actions and through dealing with this age of putting too much value on things.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Physics....Yeah, Physics

A week or two ago, I listened to a radio program that featured a physicist who discussed a theory of physics that explained the possibility of time travel.

She was not a strange nut-job bent on wowing the listener. She was simply a physicist who could wrap her head around concepts that seem, to me, to be impossible. Her conversation was simple and dry; nothing jolting about it.

It was interesting to me how she described space as a dimension in which we could freely move and then slipped in the concept that time, too, was simply another dimension. The argument, she said, was that there is no fundamental physical reason that one cannot move around as freely in the dimension of time as one can in the dimension of space. She then went on to describe arguments that suggest there may be many more "dimensions" than those of which we are aware.

After hearing the physicist's comments (I wish I could remember her name; she was fascinating), a comedian spoke about his appreciation of physics and, more importantly, physicists. He described them in a way I found funny, but enlightening, saying something like this:

"I like the way these guys think. You know, they base their entire lives on some theory that covers everything...EVERYTHING...and their life's work is all wrapped up in it. And then someone comes along and discovers that the theory is wrong. So everyone in physics just changes their mind. It's like 'oh, my life's work was based on a mistake, that's OK, I'll just change my mind and base the rest of it on this new information.' The rest of us would run screaming from the room, saying 'my life is ruined!' But these guys just say, "oh, OK, I'll just accept it and move on.' I love it."

I cannot imagine the masses accepting new information so quickly and so easily. Just imagine that all the world's religious leaders met inn conference and were confronted with irrefutable evidence that their religions were based on explainable misconceptions. Instead of simply accepting the fact and moving on with a new mindset, I suspect they would hold on to their beliefs regardless of what facts suggest. But physics isn't invested emotionally in beliefs; it's invested intellectually in demonstrable physical laws.

This morning, because I had nothing more important to do between 5:00 am and 5:15 am, I did a little research on how many dimensions there are, or might be. Here's a link to one of the more intriguing bits of information I found.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Father's Pointless Lament

Oh, heavenly father, what the hell were you doing?
You let those boys drown when they went out canoeing.
You're supposed to be watching, but look what you did,
You turned away once, now I've lost my kid.

Oh, Christ almighty, look what you've done!
I don't believe in you, don't believe in your son.
What can I do, now my little boy's died,
What about his poor mother, and the tears that she cried?

Who can now help us, how can we last
Since we have no more future? It's all in the past.
No one to answer his desperate prayer.
No one can listen, no one is there.


I am trying to adopt a more serene outlook on life. It is not easy for me. I'm not saying it's "hard," but it's not easy. That is, serenity does not come naturally to me. I am not a naturally calm person. I have to focus on it.

I have to devote energy and thought and energy to it. I have to reign-in my natural inclination to be intense. There's something wrong with that, I think. Not wrong to have to reign in my inclinations, wrong to have to fight so hard to be at peace. Maybe I don't understand what serenity is. Or maybe I do, but just can't achieve it. I suspect most of us can't, if truth be told. Is the Dalai Lama really at peace? How can he be so intense, then?

How is it that I can achieve some sense of serenity only through rather intense effort? The serenity achieved thereby, I'm afraid, is not serenity. It's more like forced relaxation. There are competing forces at work and they do not comfortably inhabit the same body, nor the same brain.

I've been told yoga could be an answer. But I don't yet know whether I'm asking the right questions. So the answers I might get could be responses to irrelevant remarks, retorts to inquiries about inexplicable tensions between forces that are not opposed but simply incongruous. I mean, the questions may be unrelated and completely disconnected. Like asking whether it's better to be kind to violent children or to prefer morphine to dandruff shampoo.

Am I being sufficiently opaque? I don't mean to be. I really don't. But I'm exploring long explored, but still-uncharted, waters here. These are things I've long questioned, but about which I've never found satisfactory answers.

Perhaps calmness and serenity come only after turmoil and intensity. Smooth stones, frequently seen as symbols of serenity, are the result of long and violent interactions with the forces of nature: water, wind, collisions with other stones and sand. Perhaps my serenity will come only after I, too, have experienced sufficient exposure to the broken shards of life on Earth to wear me down.

Friday, January 21, 2011


A prospective client was to have decided on whether to select us yesterday, but could not finish its deliberations. But, we'll know in another week or less.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Meetings. Budget versus actual. Setting priorities and matching resources to them. Establishing strategic objectives.

It sounds more interesting than it is.

Monday, January 17, 2011


A new week, full of opportunities and potential danger. I hope to make choices that will maximize the opportunities and make the exposure to potential danger worth the ride.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Strange, Silly, and Sauternes

My intent with the creation of another blog was to allow myself to post things that I would be comfortable sharing with the world, not just that small part of it with which I have become comfortable sharing here. But that hasn't quite happened. I'm writing things there that I should be writing here, and perhaps vice versa.

My schizophrenia may have kicked in. Or some other psychosis. Or perhaps old age, senility, or dementia of some form or another has set in earlier than expected.

None of my blogs are dependable sources of anything...humor, gloom, political rants, self-examination...there is nothing consistent about them. I don't want to be consistent...and that's always been my attitude about things.

It doesn't matter to me what readers think of what I write. I hope everyone understands what I mean by that.

When people read what I have written, they tend to see that my attitudes, beliefs, and emotions are subtle and malleable, everything is painted in indistinct shades of grey. I don't know how much clearer I can be about that; it's a plain as the nose on your face...either you get it or you don't, there's no middle ground.

I take great joy in retreating into the deepest recesses of my paralyzing depressive state. From there, I erupt into inconsolable laughter. And then I have a dessert wine to restore my sugary self.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Singing the song with a different voice doesn't make it any better.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


The speed one reaches in getting from joy to despair in the shortest space of time possible is astonishing.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Poor Poems

My best writing begins, and ends, in the shower. It's especially good when I'm alone in the house and I can sing what I write without need to control the volume. If only I captured my poetry there, I'd have something I might consider worthy of publication. But the flashes of brilliance are too dazzling for me to remember, at least I can't remember them correctly. So later, when I try to write them down, they're no longer what they were. The good parts are lost. I'm stuck with what I remember of them. My memory is poor. And so, therefore, are my too-late-recorded poems.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Self-Starvation or Auto-Cannibalism

Dissatisfaction feeds on itself. The way to cure it is to remove its source of nourishment.

If one is dissatisfied with one's self, then, the best way to address the problem is to become someone else. Is that the same thing as starving oneself to death?

And if dissatisfaction feeds on itself, is the person who is not happy with himself engaged in auto-cannibalism?

Monday, January 3, 2011


I'm trying, with my new blog, to improve myself. But maybe I should fully adopt the Buddhist philosophy, which as I understand it would consider that I'm OK as-is. I should be happy with myself. The person I am is the person I am and I should be content with that person.
Maybe next year.
At the moment, I'm feeling very much like strangling somebody (don't worry, you don't know the jerk). I don't want to be so pissed off with the guy, but I don't find it easy to just accept him. He's the sort of guy I would have suggested as a candidate for euthanasia a few months ago. And I may not have gotten beyond that.
In other news, I think the end is near. The end of my time in the business I'm in. Near is a hard term to define, but near (in time) feels to me like 2 years or less. Please, let me be right. And, please, let it be less.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 - Jade's Birthday

Many, many years ago, a woman whose first name was Jade, worked for me. Her birthday was January 2. I suppose her name and her birthday remain the same. For some reason, I always remember her birthday. For years, I sent her birthday cards or birthday messages, but I've lost track of her. I think she's in Iowa now...that's where she lived the last time I had her contact information...which was her home state. She and her husband returned there to rear their children in an environment they thought was more conducive to chid-rearing than was Houston in the early 1980s.

It's extremely unlikely she's see this post. But I'll say it anyway. Happy birthday, Jade! I hope your life is going well and that your children's lives are better for your decision to leave the madness and chaos that was Houston in the early 1980s. Iowa is probably more conservative than is Houston. It's probably a more insulated environment, too.

You're probably in your early fifties now, Jade. I suspect you're still thin and athletic. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 - The First Day

It's Saturday morning, January 1, 2011. As I sit in my kitchen, drinking my first cup of coffee of the new year, I remember my first post of 2010. I recall writing that the new year starts when I decide it starts. That remains my philosophy, but I've decided to begin this new year today. It's a choice I'm happy to be able to make. I'll get to how that came to be, and who helped me adopt what is, for me, truly a new outlook, shortly. First, a little history.

My life really did begin anew rather late in 2010. In August, I decided I needed, desperately, to lose weight. I weighed more than I ever had. While I was not morbidly obese (at least to the same degree that I equate with morbid obesity), I was at least 70 pounds overweight. So, I started what I thought was a diet. That diet turned into a new lifestyle for me. I've not yet achieved my target weight, but I'm well over half the way there and, despite a holiday detour, heading in the right direction.

Losing weight was the objective, but better health was the byproduct and I realize, of course, should have been the objective all along. After a bit of a fright shortly after starting the South Beach diet, it became clear that my new lifestyle was paying dividends in terms of a healthier me. I'm no longer taking medication for high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and high cholesterol. Those problems resolved themselves through my healthier diet.

I suppose it was the remarkable change I've felt and seen since August that has changed my attitude about new beginnings and about controlling things that once seemed beyond me. There were external forces at work in changing my attitude, people who probably have no idea how much they contributed to altering my world view to the extent that I started making better decisions. Many, though not all, of these people are friends I've not met face-to-face. They are people whose comments and experiences have played out in a virtual world, through their blogs or other forms of online presence.

Let me start this new year by acknowledging and expressing my appreciation to the following people (bloggers all), whose words and experiences contributed to my “new” way of thinking: Ellie, Phil, Bev, Robin, Teresa, Kathy , Betsy, Tara, and Audra. Most of these bloggers occasionally come by my blog.

There are many others to whom I owe appreciation for their contributions to whatever newfound wisdom I might have collected during the past year: Clay, Joan, Kathy R., Woods, Tom, Karen, Libba, Cathy, Jane, Jim, Vicki, Maggie, Jennifer, Rebecca, Kim, Julie, Anne, Jeff, Joyce, Elle, and (I am sure) others. My wife, of course, if key among them (she is not a blogger and does not read my blog...maybe she knows something no one else does).

At the core of it all, for me, is this: each of us can control one thing and that one thing is our response to the world around us. We can decide what to do, how to react, and what to feel at each moment. Someone suggested to me that the words of Ram Daas encapsulate that philosophy: Be here now. I like that, but I also like contemplating what I can make of life tomorrow. Whatever I make of it, and whatever it throws at me, I can control my response to it.

I wish everyone a peaceful and productive 2011, filled with opportunity and abundance.