Friday, August 31, 2018


I can't sleep.

I keep thinking about how as I've gone through life people just kind of disappear on me.  Figuratively and literally.

I'm cognizant of the fact that these things happen to everyone to some degree but it seems like its more frequent with me. I inevitably run across the kind of people who are at a crossroads and I'm just there to help them see their options.

As though I were just a way-point for others to figure out where they're going.

There's a kind of noble altruism to it all but the personal toll is always heavy as I watch their taillights fade into the distance.

Be it family, friend or lover it makes no difference.  Ultimately my function is to enable theirs for some time before they move on.   As they go I cannot follow for any number of reasons but mostly just because I don't fit anymore.

At some point it has to be about me and not just what I can give.  However selfish that may seem I know it's ultimately true.

But it always seems to end up the same no matter what I do.

Being me is like going through life with a countdown timer running for every relationship.  The shoe will eventually drop and I'll be on my own again waiting for the next weary traveler to show up.  I'll take whatever small measure of happiness I can gather before they too move on.

That's life I suppose.  People come, people go.

I try to do that too but my road goes in circles and I end up back where I started frustrated, alone and unfulfilled. 

Better to have loved and lost they say but for me love isn't something that ever comes easy.  For most its no more than a profile where for me it's a divine symphony whose movements stir the soul.

I've heard the music but the piece is always unfinished. 

A symphony of one isn't a symphony at all.  It's a solo.

And there too, especially there, I stand at those same crossroads and grudgingly start the timer once again.


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

A perfect example of running government "like a business"

 I have a friend...

A friend who knows why the recent 2018 Arizona Primary election found 62 sites not ready to accept voters.

At least as he sees it...

The title kind of says it all.  

Somebody thought it was a good idea to treat a public trust, a sacred act and a cornerstone of democracy like some general contractor picking up day laborers in a Home Depot parking lot.

Treat this as an editorial even if it is grounded in truth.

I know, a rarity especially with all that "Fake News" out there...

The core problem, as reported by the media, revolves around a lack of necessary manpower to effectively get all of Maricopa County's election technology ready in time for Tuesday's primary vote.  

The county blames the contractor who in this case happens to be Insight who Tuesday upon being blamed for botching the setup of the voter ID "sitebooks" in a number of locations, pointed a finger squarely back in the direction of the county.  Insight remained firm in their stance that the "County wasn't ready" after claiming the county equipment wasn't functioning properly and contrary to the county's claims, Insight had provided "more technicians than required"

What you don't know and my friend does is that Insight, the primary contractor, subcontracted with another staffing firm to supplement it's own staff to do the work.

Not that it really mattered... 

I was told that training of subcontractors mirrored Insight's "regular" employee training consisting of watching a 15 minute video and a multi-page instruction sheet that was to be printed out.   In addition technicians were required to view another video on the use of Insight's  SmartPhone APP which was clearly identified as being in BETA.   In other words, not in final WORKING form.  This "APP" was to be the "preferred" means of communicating and managing assigned jobs.

At no point in this process was any other training provided to the subcontractors meaning technicians unfamiliar with both the equipment and Maricopa County election procedure were expected to somehow "magically" set up a site without ever having touched the equipment they were responsible for.  The backup plan, that same printed instructional document and vague references to a support hierarchy which as we now know was insufficient.

In addition my friend related that throughout the preceding week and weekend numerous procedural and  schedule changes were made some right up to an hour before the first work was to be performed creating an atmosphere of chaos with little to no resolution in sight.

The Chaos was further reinforced by a frequent lack of communication between Insight, the County and the secondary contractor.   Ultimately it lead to conflicting directives where my friend would receive multiple communications from multiple sources and no clear path as to which was to be followed.

The key takeaway here isn't who is to blame.  It really isn't folks.

The blame falls squarely on treating an election like just another IT contract.  Governments are NOT businesses.  I've said this before.  

Governments aren't organized to make a profit for shareholders.  That's what corporations are for and their loyalty is to profit not the public good.  

By the Way, I'm way ahead of you.  Don't fool yourself, you're NOT a shareholder any more than the employee of a corporation wields the boardroom power of  a Warren Buffet.

If you still contend that government should be treated like a business then you must also accept that in doing so you may as well tear up the Bill of Rights and surrender such inconsequential tenets of democracy like:

Freedom of Speech - Businesses don't have to allow you to speak your views.  Free speech stops at the street.

Equal rights - Sure you can try to sue if you're wronged but there's a reason most people don't.  It's an expensive, lengthy process in a David Vs. Goliath battle that few rarely win largely done on your dime.  That can be tough if you're out of a job.

A fair days work for a fair day's pay - OK, far too many are trapped making less than a "living wage" but at least we get paid in something we can spend where we choose.  In the 19th century, corporations would frequently engage in the "Company Store" model issuing payment in their own currency useless anywhere but a company owned business.

Perhaps we're too far removed from those days of corporate indentured servitude to recognize the flaw in the logic.

But we're not talking about politics here.  I could care less who you voted for but I do care when something like an election is treated as just another business deal.

What you get is corporate greed, minimal effort and abdication of responsibility with no recourse.

Public/Private partnerships are a great idea but only if the Public part is firmly in control of someone whose interests are to the people and not to a corporate bottom line. 

Especially if it has to do with something like an election.

Dismiss this and you reject the fundamental principles of what this country was founded upon.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Yay it's my Birthday...


I'm with the dog...

I'm sorry if this sounds petty but today was my birthday and you know what...

It sucked ass...again.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not some ungrateful, petty, entitled brat.  I'm just sick of grasping at straws.

Birthdays always seem to suck for me.  At least over the past 15 years or so.

I usually end up spending them alone or working or doing some other crap I'd rather not be doing.

I rarely if ever get to spend them with the people I really want to.

There's a marked scarcity of "happy" in the birthday.  I'm starting to wonder if I used up my portion of all those good things in life.  If so, it wasn't much of a serving from what I've seen.

Excuse the language ( and I really don't care if you don't ) but I'm getting fucking tired of grasping at straws for happiness.  Digging through piles of metaphorical shit just to find the faintest glimmer of a ray of hope.

The worst part is nobody really knows just how unhappy I really am and how badly I need something big and wonderful to happen.

I work hard at it.  I don't expect miracles without a lot of effort but I'm starting to wonder if I'm just fooling myself.

I'm tired of making excuses and giving everyone and everything a pass for walking over me.  Seems it's always about someone else's happiness and fuck mine.

You want to know the worst part of it all?  I'm really only happy when I can share my  happiness with someone else.  

I'm not a great solo act...

The only answer if I dare to complain?

Oh well then...goodbye.

So fuck birthdays, don't bother me with them.  
I'm all about positivity but it seems it's not giving quite enough of a return lately and frankly I'm getting really tired of having to search for or worse spin shitty events in a positive way.

Want an example?  Here's a good one...

I just got on the hook for $2200 to fix my car's transmission.  I put down $750, financed another $750 at 24% and the balance with the tranny shop.

Then to top it all off I had to replace the water pump the day after I got it back home.

Now the positive spin is that I was able to get credit to let the repair happen and I had the ability and  the skills to fix the other issues with the car.

Thing is, that's basically polishing a turd right there.  I'm in more debt now, I was tired as hell at work the next day after working on the car the night before for 3 consecutive nights and I still can't trust the car.

Perspective is everything but getting deeper into the crap you're trying to climb out of just to survive is not my idea of happiness.

I'm not the type to be satisfied with just surviving and that's all I seem to do as of late and I'm fucking sick of it... 
We all need a big win every once in awhile and frankly it's been an uphill battle lately.

The saddest part of all of this?  That to me something big would probably appear very small to you.  

Something small can mean something very big and that means putting self-serving agendas aside.  

Maybe I'm no better.  I'm no altruist but I do try to give more than I take.

Do you? 

Is your internal balance sheet based on a capital investment of your bank balance or your soul? 

Happy Birthday indeed....I'd rather not be reminded of it. 

A little help here folks.  The sunshine well is running a bit low.  We can only hope to reap what we sow but somebody's made off with my crop it seems.

Rant over.  I'm sure I'll blow up some minor positive event to Super Bowl proportions in the near future.

I told you this blog was random....2018 Tax calculator based on Trump's tax law changes

I'm not making any political stands here just facts.

Below is a calculator that uses 2018 tax law changes to estimate your Federal taxes after the Republican Tax bill.

Try it out, it's fascinating what you'll find...

Saturday, August 11, 2018

As though I was witnessing the anger of God...

The Monsoon...

Unbridled power in the skies, thrilling, exciting, terrifying.

That's what goes through my mind as I watch these storms explode across the heavens.

A reminder of perspective.   

Wednesday, August 8, 2018


I did something tonight that anyone that knows me would find shocking...

I went with a friend to see a political documentary, Death of A Nation.

A film that, to be honest, doesn't quite fall within my sphere of beliefs.  Which by the way happen to lie somewhere in the middle.


I'm a strong believer that what we have in common is far greater than what divides.  So as I sat quietly and attentively watching the screen I suspended any pangs of my own ideological leanings in hopes of finding that common ground.

Thing is, strong ideologies tend to dismiss such hopes and this movie ultimately left me feeling like I was watching less documentary and more propaganda piece.

...and I was disappointed.

I was hoping to find that common ground, see an intelligent presentation of an alternative view not colored by extremist ideologies and conspiracy theory.  

That's not what I got.  Instead it was little more than red meat for a political base.  That it was seen in any other light by otherwise well meaning, intelligent people was discouraging. 

I was hoping the overwhelmingly negative reviews that used words like "laughable" and "preaching to the mentally unsound" were unfairly leveled.  

Hard to rebuke such barbs when the core message of the film was that Democrats were aligned with the like of Hitler, Mussolini and ultimately Satan while Republicans walked in the glow of the almighty.  

Not exactly a call to unity...

So at the end when my friend asked what I thought my only response was...


Let me be fair here.  If such a presentation had the opposite political bend I'd be just as disappointed.  

I have a real problem with extreme ideology and a strong believer that truth lies somewhere near if not at the middle.

My friend went on to emphasize her belief in the  "truths" portrayed in the film.  My response...

"Truth is malleable"

"I'm sorry you feel that way,"  said she...

I was sorry she didn't understand what it was I was actually saying.  In case you're wondering what that is it's simply this.  I feel that such a work, regardless of its political bend, is less interested in truth than an agenda.

We all have our own agendas even if we don't acknowledge them.  But agendas are inherently selfish things. Existing often for no other purpose than to manipulate others to get our own way even at their expense if necessary.

In the end I kept my opinions neutral.  I'm not interested in throwing away a relationship over one aspect of someone's personality.

Nor do I evaluate the value of a relationship by such a narrow aspect as politics.  

...but many do.

So here we are.  

Embracing ideologies with no more value than dust in the wind.  

Embrace the wind and you're touched by nothing.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Some songs just move me...

Is it apropros?

Is there a message here?

At certain points in time... yes 

but really now...

It's just about how well ZZ Top fuses blues and hard rock.

That gyrating bass line borders on the pornographic in its sultry repose against the cry of a blues guitar with just enough of a slow grinding drumbeat.

One of my favorite ZZ Top songs is all.

I aint apologizing for it either so just enjoy the groove...

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Storm Punctuates the day...

Back on Monday a strange thing happened...

I was going to work as usual and....

Then I wasn't.

Let's cut to the chase, I now have 2 dead cars and about 3 weeks left on my job..

Time to help along another miracle.

So as I dealt with the immediacy of my tribulation I'd hoped that maybe I'd be entertained by the return of the monsoon.

My wish was granted. a most dramatic way.

See for yourself...

Oh, and at 18:18, take a guess what I was looking forward to or should I say...who...