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Archive for October 2006

The Talking Pumpkin

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Halloween brings back great childhood memories for me, including home made costumes, parades at school, the phrase … I got a rock”, and a local legend that would visit our front porch every October 31st. All of this while growing up in an era in which the terms ‘Candy’, ‘X-Ray’ and ‘Razor Blade’ would never be used in a sentence, and the open home of an elderly couple with a decorated table and home-made cookies would not risk being shutdown by child protective services.
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Written by gsm

10/31/2006 at 8:00 am

Posted in  Journal 

Diversity Week Humor

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I guess it was ‘Diversity Week’ a few weeks back, or at least it was at our offices, and on that Friday there was a beer bash. I’m all for diversity, but sometimes it seems a bit on the overly PC side, as if we’re all walking on eggshells trying to not offend anybody with anything in anyway. Where’s Don Rickles when you need ’em? There’s many special interest groups, and yet I suspect it’d be un-PC to establish a ‘straight white males’ group, or a ‘non-believers-in-mythical-deities’ group alongside the gays groups, the muslim groups, and the indian groups. It’s not that i have anything against any of these people or their rights to be treated equally on all grounds, as it just simply should be…. but it has snowballed into something ‘work related’ and something that carries an unspoken pressure to give special recognition and validation for one and all… as if we’re all supposed to hold hands and teach the world to sing.

I felt it was a bit overblown and needed some perspective. So before heading over to meet up with some colleages for a beer and some munchies, I sent the following text message invitation to them:

Diversity beerbash and munchies. Come enjoy the ‘male chavunist pigs-in-a-blanket’, the ‘pita bread wth homos’, ‘blackened chicken’ and the ‘who-you-callin-a-shrimp’ salad,. Oh and crackers. Lots and lots of crackers :-)

Please… don’t send me ‘hate mail’… this is a joke. It’s just a joke. Lighten up, people.

Written by gsm

10/30/2006 at 8:00 am

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Somedays I’d Push The Button

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I’ve written repeatedly about the positive experiences of being a parent. Although those are true and sincere thoughts, the reality is that it’s not always that way. That’s not always the case. Sometimes, it’s as exhausting and discouraging as watching more then 5 minutes of Fox News. Today was one of those days. Between a long work week with a significant press to roll out some changes, having my wife be taken out of commission by a nasty stomach flu, staying home to care for the kids all day Friday and most of Saturday… we’ll, it’s been, uh, ‘special’.

The honest truth: As much as I love them and as many positives as there are about parenting, there’s days that make you wonder what the hell you did. There’s days that, were you to walk into a room with a man behind a desk, upon which set a simple red button, and that man were to say ‘If you press that button…’, you’d have already pressed it. Perhaps having leapt to do so.

Written by gsm

10/28/2006 at 10:47 pm

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Somedays I’d Push The Button

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I’ve written repeatedly about the positive experiences of being a parent. Although those are true and sincere thoughts, the reality is that it’s not always that way. That’s not always the case. Sometimes, it’s as exhausting and discouraging as watching more then 5 minutes of Fox News. Today was one of those days. Between a long work week with a significant press to roll out some changes, having my wife be taken out of commission by a nasty stomach flu, staying home to care for the kids all day Friday and most of Saturday… we’ll, it’s been, uh, ‘special’.

The honest truth: As much as I love them and as many positives as there are about parenting, there’s days that make you wonder what the hell you did. There’s days that, were you to walk into a room with a man behind a desk, upon which set a simple red button, and that man were to say ‘If you press that button…’, you’d have already pressed it. Perhaps having leapt to do so.

Written by gsm

10/28/2006 at 10:47 pm

Posted in  Journal 

A Small Place With Big Memories

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My mom’s birthday came around again this year, as it, surprisingly, seems to do at an almost routine interval. Finding something she’d like for a birthday gift has always been a challenge, and this year was no exception. But we ended up finding a wonderful book about the Santa Monica bay, a place she spent her childhood at, having grown up living a mere stroll away from it. When she opened it, we started flipping through the pages, and frequent images would spark memories of her childhood; photos of a pier she’d walk on, the streetcars they’d ride, home styles prevalent to the era and region, the library, schools, and shops. It was wonderful, and one of the more rewarding gifts i’ve given her.

As we talked about her childhood i started thinking about my own. I thought about the street we lived on, the small home [by today’s standards] in which we lived, and all the experiences I associate to it. The experiences of the front yard and family photos taken there, and the back yard, the pets, and the endless afternoons playing on a swing set, which was later replaced with a wooden ‘playhouse’ structure my father built. The memories of his Pegeot parked on the street beneath the tree, and how my ‘magic’ ability to make that same tree turn into two trees uncovered my own visual problems and need for glasses. The memories of the birthday parties beneath the back patio cover, with theme’d cakes and games like pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, and dropping clothespins into empty mayonnaise jars while standing atop a kitchen stool. The memories of a small walkway leading from the garage to the house, the family basset hound, Monty, and later, a sheepdog named Calamity.

8 years of memories. And thanks to my Mom’s suggestion and the help of Zillow… here it is. This is house I grew up in…. and although it’s difficult to determine if the actual structure is the same, there’s the playhouse in the lower right side of the yard.

Written by gsm

10/26/2006 at 4:01 am

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A Lost and Found Weekend

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In our BC years, my wife and I, on such an occasion as a rainy or lazy weekend, would devote the contiguous block of time from Friday evening to Sunday night to watching an entire season of a popular program on DVD. We’d stock up on good food, wine, and spend two days in PJ’s, bundled on the couch, immersed in catching up on some cultural phenomenon such as “24”, The Sopranos”, “Sex and the City”… stuff like that. It’s a great way to watch these, especially if you’ve not seen them at all, which was typically the case.

This weekend we celebrated our 8th anniversary and did something similar, although it required the help of a sitter and having a place to stay overnight. And in the end, the outcome was something Lost and something Found.
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Written by gsm

10/23/2006 at 9:36 am

Posted in  Journal 

There’s Something In The Air

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When you’ve made the decision to, oh, say, buy a new car, and as you consider a specific model, what do you suddenly see everywhere? That model car. At least that’s how it seems to have occurred for me. I know that there’s not a sudden increase in those cars sent to follow my every move and ensure they’re consistently in my thoughts, but nevertheless, i simply see, or ‘consiously’ see, more.

And that’s what I’m starting to notice in the trends of addressing ecological and energy issues. I’m seeing far more awareness then I recall seeing before I myself started to become more educated.

I hope it’s not just another case of seeing more of what you’re more aware of, but that’s it’s an actual honest trend. In the news, on the roads and even in an internal communications meeting at work today, the environment came up more then once. Damn, that felt good. And I don’t recall it being raised in the past, regardless of my own ignorance at the time.

Perhaps our collective awareness and intention to make a change is starting to snowball.

Written by gsm

10/19/2006 at 9:04 am

Posted in  Miscellaneous