Category Archives: Mad rambling

Is it still 2012?



Wow, I have been bad. Just caught up in sooooooooooo many things. Who ever thought retirement would be so busy? If I die young, I guarantee it will NOT be from boredom! Let’s see:
Starshot project….. I am still waiting for proofing on Book One. Don’t want to pressure the Editor. Have not heard a peep from the Artist for the cover. Need to email him.
Activities…… OK I am now involved with a re-boot of ChicagoLand Roadsters. Been to a few meetings, met some great people and am running the club website (
Spring hit so we went through cleaning and recovery from winter as well as planting, reinstalling a garden sprinkling system, deck repair and set-up and use of a new grill… Whew!
Vacation Planning….. Finally settled on our vacation plans. We will be driving down to Pigeon Forge TN, Gatlinburg, TN as well as Asheville, NC. We have reserved a nice cabin in Pigeon Forge, plan on visiting the local sights and activities there and in Gatlinburg. Plan on driving The Tail Of The Dragon as well. Then off to North Carolina to see Biltmore Mansion and Estate. My little yellow roadster is dying to get out on the road!!!
Remodel, repair, finish…… Since I re-did my workshop/Office it is now time to drywall, tape and paint the garage.
Grandkid activities….. An aborted Soccer season – my eldest grand daughter has a hip injury that ended her season early, sad to say. It was fun watching her play. My oldest grandson is playing baseball (I could watch that all day). Over the Spring I saw recitals, Graduations, a tour of a firehouse and many other things — I have 6 great grandkids and can barely keep up!!!
Weightloss…. Just begun — I want to drop 50 lbs. and get down to 210. I was water weighed years ago and was told that my ideal weight is 190, but I got near that once and never felt good. I figure 20 lbs over is better than 70! So I have begun 3.5 off so far (one full week).
Other writing…… The well is dry, please try again tomorrow

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It Has Been A While, Sorry

February 10th was my last one??? Sorry. Work on Starshot has really eaten into my time. I have now signed on with both B&N and Amazon to e-publish Starshot. I am working on the REAL formatting on the nook version as I type. Well, not really since I can barely type one thing at a time, let alone two.

As usual the forums are the places to go to find real knowledge and the forums at PubIt set me straight on nook formatting and led me to a GREAT epub editor that is just wonderful. So I have the first part (now proudly named — Book One…) formatted and I downloaded it onto my nook and my wife’s color nook. Not bad!!!. Now I am being read by her for typos, punctuation, sentence structure etc — so I am just weeks away. Nothing new in the world for Cover Art. I have a local artist working on a cover, but am still willing to look at anyone’s work if they want to contact me. Just get in touch through here and we can talk.

Also eating up my time has been a construction project. I needed to expand my workshop in the basement a bit. I now have adequate storage, workspace and a nice separation of office and tool room. I find I tend to work very slowly now that I am retired. Two reasons, One; No deadlines. Two; Take the time to get it right.

I have been busy reading others blogs as well, not been commenting much but trying to keep up!


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Email has made me mad

So last week Yahoo tells me that they are moving all the email addresses from their S******L accounts to Yahoo servers. I’d keep the same address as before and everything would remain the same for me. OK I had no real choice so I followed the instructions and hit ENTER

All my emails history, contacts and folders ……. gone.

Another reason to come to gmail

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Moving Forward – Or Part Two (substitute really cool name — if you have one)

Part Two rewrite begins. Also working on a catch end hook for Part One; you know the “stay tuned for the next exciting chapter!” tag to get the reader to move on to the next part.

Speaking of parts. . . . Still Part One (Ho Hum…) Part Two (Oh what a great statement after the first part!!) and finally Part Three… Yeah Part 3. BORING! I like names! I hate just numbering Chapters and I am going to number whole parts? I don’t think so. I am still racking my brain to come up with named parts, that are great but do not foreshadow too much. So far I have come up with a few – but no real ring to it, if you know what I mean.

OK I have Music Star, so Music based? Star based? I have the whole complex novel that breaks easily into three main parts Beginning, Conflict and Resolution (Oh god that would be horrid…)

Stars – Thermonuclear Fusion, Super Nova & Blue giant (or alternatingly Red Dwarf) – Alright I think I threw up in my mouth a little.

Music? …   ……   No clue.

Any of you readers PLEASE feel free to make suggestions. I am open to ideas.

Backto the grind…

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Oh Lord, More Mad Ramblings

Started out my day with a discussion about voting rights here in the USofA. Those on Facebook have read the shortaned version of this, perhaps.

Great reading here this morning. I had to stop and think. For me any restriction, test, requirement that somehow disenfranchises ANYONE from voting really restricts our freedoms and rights in this Republic. Beyond the basic registration, votes should be counted and the winner fairly awarded victory. Sometimes we (the voters) make mistakes. In general, the wisdom of the masses rules. Media can affect the information we gather, but most know we need to gather it — not just read what lays on top. I really don’t anyone who regularly votes has ever voted for the perfect candidate. Perhaps some have used the vote against someone rather than for someone. Many have held their nose. I bet some wish there was a do-over election. Regardless, we as a majority get who we vote for. Uninformed people, ignorant people, well educated, misinformed, overloaded, gullible, well-schooled, paid off, lied to, and good people just guessing, all vote. Rather than cloud the pull, restrict some one, or deny their rights: If you are a citizen, you get a vote.

As I look over results and comments of people and votes and reasoning, especially around voting times (which seems never-ending any more) I see more and more division. A deeper chasm between parties, and candidates. It also seems all candidates try to be all things to all voters. Read above, we have never voted for an ideal candidate; even if we thought so at the time. Depending on where you read and how many versions, the Conservative block of voters has a majority, if slight proportions, The Liberal faction is a minority and the Dependents a smaller cut yet. The reason is somewhat simple in my mind, and while I have believed this for some time, in the last decade or two it truly has shown itself. There used to be a Right, a swing towards Moderate-Conservatisim, Centrist, Moderate-Liberalism, and Left. Wider on either side was considered Anarchy and/or Totalitarianism. But there were DEGREES. I remember Clinton being called a Moderate Liberal Democrat. Think he’d be called that now?  HW Bush certainly was a more Moderate Conservative than his son, George W. . I find it amusing amid the charges of Socialist and outright Communist leanings of Barack Obama that he is considered a Centrist in his views. With little effort though this fact is borne out. So the problem that has arisen is not a choice of who will steer the Ship of State, through the wide channel of Democracy, guiding it between sandbars and past wrecks, through reefs of danger and threat toward a Shining Future. Governing this country is now being offered to whomever can skim the right edge of this channel, ignoring the rocks that lay so close to that edge, the threats to lives, finances and freedom, or to those who might veer so far left that the same threats loom for those citizen passengers as well. Has anyone even tried to sail up the middle? Yet the current pilot is viewed by nearly every disinterested expert as the one that really wants to steer the Ship of State in the middle.

The Right has a numerical majority because they (for what ever reason they say/choose) have been able to lock their block in with a belief system that works for few, but is backed by many. They tend to vote for who they like – or not at all.

The Left is in the minority because Progressiveness or Liberalism can not be defined. The definition can not be nailed down. It would be like hanging Jello as wallpaper. The views and levels are so fractured that even those who identify themselves such can not agree. When they find a rally-point they tend to back the choice, and the Independents tend to flow their way.  Liberals, tend to either back their candidate enthusiastically, or not vote.

The Independents tend to vote. If they split — elections are close. If they flow either direction in great numbers the vote count is swung.

I think less people identify themselves as Independent so that swing is less. We cheer, yell, back the right or the left, but elect pretty much – In The Middle.

That’s my mad ramble……

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I Know its Been a Week, ’cause I’m doing Laundry again

So, while I officially still have one day to show up at work again (Thursday Jan, 12) I pretty much have retired from my work of over 44 years. Still, there is so much living to do. Still there is so much day-to-day life to do. Which brings me to today. It is laundry day once again. I figured if I have time off, I should at least try to use some of it to take a portion of the load off my dear spouse. I figured laundry being more  time sap rather than an exercise in mental acuity, would be a good thing to do. My first attempt (last week) showed that I could handle it. Clothes were clean. I managed to fold them — but I am unaware of where my wife’s clothes go! Towels turned out to be a mystery. Clean, folded, they did not fit into the shelves where we store them! Clearly this project has an apprenticeship I am unaware of.  So round two begins to day (whites are started and  am sipping tea and typing.). I’ll get round to letting you know how it goes

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I’ve Worked 44 Years and WHAT??!?!

So when I was 18 , literally by days, I was standing in line. No concert tickets for me — no sireee, I was waiting in line for a job. Little did I know back in the summer of 1968, that standing in line for jobs was going to be a reoccurring story, or at least a setting in my life. My brother had dropped me off at 600 West Washington, Chicago, Illinois. The Union Hall for the IBEW Local 134. I was going to be an Electrician! I got out of the car, I had a fresh copy of The Godfather to read, some food, a few cans of soda, some cash and determination.

Back then, here was the best way to become an Electrician. Know someone. Ok we are done here. Actually, having a Sponsoring Contractor was what was needed. This was a company that said, for all intents and purposes, that they were going to employ you for the next 4 years. Your 4 year Apprenticeship was covered. You’d be a made man in 48 months. So in line I got. Oh By the way the doors opened at 8:30 AM Monday. It was 5:30 AM Sunday. I was given a card that designated my place in line after I sat on teh sidewalk for about 5 hours. I was 134th in line. Wow, an omen — 134 was the Local number too. Destiny.

By the time I was allowed in the building (about Noon, Monday), I had more than my first beer (of the week), had played softball on Washington Ave, I had taken a 2 hour watch with a baseball bat in hand to watch for “line cutters” overnight. The highlight was offering a local (Things were not as PC) Wino a $20 to climb a 10 foot tall pyramid of empty beer cans. He did – he fell we laughed and gave him $30. The next morning someone bought him coffee and a single serve cereal (Corn Flakes), which he poured Orange-A-Go-Go fortified wine. I never saw Willie the Wino again — but he seemed a nice guy.

Flash forward. Its 2012. I have worked many, many jobs. Stood in line for some. Walked by those standing in lines at places I worked. I have worked with many people, some fantastic, some so fucking bad — I actually have to say I can hate. As much as that bothers me. Sure I can hate someone threatening my family — even myself, but to hate someone who only interaction with you is his job…. That my friend is a visceral, basic hate. Yeah — I can do that hate.

I was in the middle of the 1970’s gas wars with embargoes and recession hitting. Off work for 27 months. One son born and my second during some of the poorest times in our lives. My wife and I still laugh about the Federal Cheese, the wonderful neighbor’s apple tree, the Bacon my brother got for working side jobs. I had a trade, I was able to supplement the years of Unemployment Insurance I collected. We made it and when I made the decision to go into maintenance and get out of the building trade, we were better for it. Our marriage was better, we learned to save money, we learned to laugh at adversity. We learned that sometimes working was not important – it was working for a purpose that really made a difference. Even so, work was tough. Remember I was entering the Manufacturing sector which would begin and continue to shrink. Until I established some seniority or hung on longer than others I had to lose, find and lose jobs again. My personal record was 6 jobs in one year. Still, by 1988, I had not worked one job for more than 9 years……

Finally after joining with Union Carbide in early 1988, I managed to stay in one place for nearly 24 years. Sure – three owners (UCC the The Dow Chemical Company (UCC was then a wholly owned subsidiary of TDCC) which then had to sell us (FTC came knocking!!) to Arkema. What a ride. Training, schooling experience, travel…. what a rush. In all that, I kept thinking that one day I’d retire.

Well….. It has. Now a new life begins….

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Seriously… 2012??

I remember way back in the Twentieth Century, laying in bed, up because I was young…. excited about every day, that I’d be alive at the turn of the Century. Well, I was right (at the time there was no doubt). But 11 years after, no jet packs, where are the flying cars we all were supposed to have? Ah, well… it has been fun and continues to be so. But I have changed and re-changed and even in somethings – changed again.

They say as we get older the more conservative we get. That is true, but it’s not — yet — yes, yes it is.I was a bit of a political radical when young — and went from a pretty conservative viewpoint to a VERY liberal. Then as a worker, parent and citizen, I think I went right-leaning once more; still to the left of many of my friends a co-workers, but still right-ish for me. Now though… I am  complex political animal. I tend to be conservative at the local level, where I feel I have the most control. At county, state a federal I lean more and more left as I was to see more control over what my single vote can easily affect. The guards are thicker at the federal level, the checks and balances work. Less so as one gets closer to home. But things have happened to the stance of the paties. The Left – Democrats are Centrist at their most liberal lean, and the conservatives have de-evolved into a quasi-theocracy.

On thing I have noticed in my 61 plus years of observation is often, in fact, most often the harder thing to do (name the issue) the is most often the “right” thing. A quick, knee jerk instant answer is easy, but not, in the light of day, the right thing. Conservatism, at its root, is the easy way, being liberal and trying to improve the good is the hard way, often so hard it may be impossible. As columnist Mike Royko once wrote, “Being a Conservative is easy as it simpler to give a guy the finger rather than a hand.”

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See, I warned you

Truly mad ramblings. Here it is nearly a week later and I have little to say. Looks like it’s gonna include force! Still, I feel as if I am swallowed up in a whirlwind, so many changes in my life and in those around me. Still I look at it as a new life or not just a new chapter – but a whole new book of my life. The core is the same (because that is me) but what I do and why I do will be different. Boring stuff to read, I know, but one of the selfish reasons I want to do this (even by force – ha, ha) is to gather polish, apply it and rub my work to a gloss. For me it will be hard as the bronze is as corroded as the copper and when green they look the same.

Always looking for comments — let’s talk..

Another real reason

Tick tock time continues is never-ending movement. We don’t standstill yet often it seems we are moved along. One reason I talk about writing more is the simple fact that I’ll have more time. Retirement looms (in a nice way) and a new work week brings me closer to the goal. I think I have 12 work days left and this week will drop that number. It’s fun, it’s frightening – but it’s real

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