Monday, September 17, 2018

No one fucks the fat guy at an orgy.

I like naps. Or at least the idea of them. I take them far less than I'd like, but always when I probably shouldn't. My schedule is a mess. Partly my fault. Partly living in a house where only one of us can drive. The lady works early mornings. I do not. I also tend to be a bit of a night owl. Which is a problem that I've always had. Regardless I rarely ever remember my dreams, whether it be in naps or from a full nights sleep.

But...

Now and then one sticks, and I remember it. And now and then it brings back all the negative shit I've managed to either bury deep, or stop caring about entirely. I don't put much stock in dreams. I'd like them to mean something other than the brain firing off shit that's nesting in it's subconscious. I'd like for dreams to ahve a deeper meaning, or even portend the future.

But I'd be lying if I said that it's anything more than wishful thinking on my part.

But still....

So in this dream, my lady and I end up attending an orgy. Some how the building it's in has a upper level cafe style restaurant where everybody meets and slowly group up in pairs, trios, quartets or more. She mingles. I sit and wait, expectantly. Nervously. And slowly everybody but a handful are gone. And the handful that are left, I'm the only one who appears to be interested in anything more than idle conversation. The groups go down to the lower levels and do what they do. I sit. I wait. I grow more and more depressed. I finally give up and leave. The dream shifts here, because that's what dreams do to an action sequence. Probably my mind trying to tamp down the negative emotions my subconscious brought forth. But it all comes back around at the end. A group of men, after my farcical action sequence, come to me and congratulate me. Being overly affectionate. And it's clear, to my dream mind, that they've been with my lady. I don't have any anger, or animosity for them. Just an overwhelming sadness.... then I wake up.

Ultimately it doesn't matter. Really. It's just a dream. And even though my lady is insanely jealous, and a bit paranoid (though she hides the later well) I am not. It's not the idea that she would go off and explore and experience other people. But the very fact that nobody wanted to do the same with me that hurt about the dream. I don't feel threatened by other men's sexual prowess, or women's sexual prowess. Just my own lack of.... desirability.

For many years in college, most of the time I was enrolled honestly, I chased the norm. The idea of finding somebody to marry, settling down with a career and kids and being happy in that style. It didn't happen. I was in the wrong state to do that in, strangely enough. Instead I remained a bachelor, with a few blips as exceptions until five years ago. Now I'm with somebody, and we may or may not be perfect together, but we're all we have at the moment, and that's fine. We get on fine for the most part. Rarely fight. But yet I feel....

Tired.

I think what the dream has done, more than bring up the depressing realization I had when I was in college that I was not desirable to most of the opposite sex, is bring up the realization that there's something more to life. And I've known that. Not sex, necessarily. But something else. And I 1). Am completely missing out on that thing. And 2). I'm not entirely sure what that thing is. In the dream I never actually saw anybody fucking. I never so anything more than hand-holding and pecks on the cheeks and lips. It wasn't an erotic dream. And though in the dream when I left I walked by the room where, presumably, all the sex was taking place, I couldn't see inside it. So what actually happened was left for my mind (both in reality, and metaphorically) to interpret.

So I am missing out. Life is passing me by. I think it does it to most people, and most people don't know why, or how to do anything about it. I know I don't. But I do know that, at least in my dream, nobody fucks the fat guy at an orgy.


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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

This is it.

So this is it?

This is what all those dreams and aspirations have led me to. Fat, morose, jaded. Working a job I can only tolerate, making not quite enough money to get by and living with a woman I hate as much as I love.

This is it.

It wasn't supposed to be this way. But I'm not sure I ever really knew what I wanted out of life. It's like that equation X then ? = profit. I started out with a big X. I was going to be a composer. I lost my way. I've talked about it before. It's lame. It's my own fault. The thing is, even if I hadn't lost my passion and my drive and my direction, there's still that "?". What the hell was it supposed to be?

I honestly don't know.

Was it success? Maybe? Though I think that would be "profit". I don't know what it was.

I'd never imagined myself married. Not really. Not like my peers. Not like all of the people around me that I interact daily with. I don't grok it like I should. I understand the idea of committing yourself to somebody, but other than crushes, infatuation and some lust, the women I've been in relationships with have been sort of accidental on my part. And even when I have strong feelings for them, there's never a desire for marriage.

Kids? Yes and no. I don't want kids really. But part of me is sad that it's never likely to happen now. I suppose it's the faint desire to see my genes pass on to another generation. I'm not likely to be remembered once I'm gone. So having some kids, and grandkids to tell stories about me after the fact would be one way to be remembered.

It's not to be. She can't have children. And honestly, we're not mentally prepared for them, for different reasons. She's able to fawn over the nieces and nephews, which is quickly making her their favorite aunt. So it works out.

So I don't know. I don't know what I expected. Once I walked away from music, really that was it. Even dabbling in theater for a while was just hanging out to that which I was no longer able to give my all to.

I guess I have the podcasting.
If only I were better at it.

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Monday, July 23, 2018

10 Years

It's been 10 years. 

It's been 10 years since I left Logan to come back to Roosevelt, and my, have things changed. Many... not for the better. Some... are pretty good. 

When I left Logan the plan was to get out of debt, and then move to... well ostensibly Salt Lake City, but some place not the Uintah Basin. 

When I first arrived the job I had hoped for fell through. 

The first job I got, sucked. It was full of tweekers, and the hours were not good. 

The job I ended up with was a good job. Stocking shelves at a grocery store. Good steady work, and I was given some responsibility by the end. But any physical ailment put me out for days or weeks at time there. After that happened a couple of different times over the course of the three years I worked there, I bit the bullet and found an office job. 

The office job was for an oil company doing data entry, verifying sales tickets, and a few random tasks that fell to us in that department. It lasted 3 years, almost to the day I started it (just over actually) before I was laid off. The company still exists, and is doing alright but only has about a 10th of the employees it did when I got hired on. 

I'm back to the grocery store. My official title is "Online Manager" but really I'm a delivery boy. I fulfill the orders and maintain customer satisfaction for the stores online shopping program. It's my principle duty. It's one I'm good at, keeping the customers happy. But it tends to be a pretty draining job. Which has negative effects on all of the other duties I have at the store. I'm not looking for other work. If I could convince them to work me four 10 hour shifts instead of 5 eights, then it would be perfect. Well, not perfect, but better. But that's not likely. If something comes along that's better, I will take it. 

I've had a surgery on a hernia since I've been back. 
I've recovered, it was seven years ago. 

I'm still fat. Well, fatter. Fortunately the job keeps me a tiny bit active. If only I could change my eating habits in a meaningful way. I'd lose weight. I did at one point about a year ago. Then I abandoned it, and have put it all back on, plus a little extra. Losing weight would be beneficial, not just for my health, but for getting in and out of my tiny little car. 

I have had probably the best dog I'll ever own since I've been back. A black lab puppy that I only had for six months. It's none of the dogs I currently have. Don't tell them. I do love them. 

I've also had the second best dog, and one of the sweetest dogs I'll likely ever own since I've been back. She's sleeping on the floor in front of me. 

My mother passed away. 
That's some shit. 
It'll be five years this November. It's one of the reasons I haven't moved. 
Her passing has pretty much anchored me here. She'd already given me the house: Twenty years ago she added my name to the deed. I always thought she'd live till she was at least eighty. Maybe ninety. She barely made it passed seventy. It's hard to believe of the 10 years I've been back in the Uintah Basin she's been gone for half of it. 

So on that note... I have a house. I don't have the money it takes to maintain a house. But I have it. And it needs a lot of work. Work I can't afford really to have done. It's something I guess, that needs addressed. And soon. 

I've got a lady. I've had lady's before. One of which I'm still quite fond of. But this lady has been with me five years. We have fun. Some of the same interests. Though I think she feigns it sometimes. She's still here. I'm not sure why. I'm not mean, or abusive. But I'm neglectful, and that surely has to wear a person. 

I've got a podcast. Something that Tom and I played with the idea of back in like 2004, I now do it some what regularly. It's not "successful". I'm not sure it ever will be. I think i'm lacking something fundamental from it really taking off, and I wish I knew what it was. Drive? Maybe. Energy? Perhaps. Passion? Entirely feasible. I have, and John and I have, and John has, other projects that we want to do. It's a matter of doing them. Maybe we'll find what's missing. Maybe we'll do this another three years and then give up. Maybe.....

So it's been 10 years. 
I've lost two of the guys I gamed with, was good friends with. One in 2011, the other last year in 2017. Another I'm estranged from politically. But it's 2018, that's normal. It's not easy being liberal in the Basin, but it's getting harder and harder as the days and weeks go by. It's been 10 years, and I don't see an end in sight. I'm almost where I was emotionally/mentally in Logan when I left. But this time there's not a light at the end of the tunnel. It turns out the light last time was just a train. 

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

A Good Guy with a Gun

I have a friend -an acquaintance really but he was once a friend- from school who I see in the store I work at from time to time. Nearly each time I see him he has a holster and a gun on his hip. He's a nice guy, we chat and exchange pleasantries now and then. We had stopped hanging out about the end of elementary school and ran in different circles in high-school, but are on pleasant terms now as adults. He has a wife and two kids, both getting close to high-school age. I'm not entirely sure what he's done with his life. I know he moved to the southern part of the state where he met his wife, then moved back to our home town a few years before I did. I know he struggles with a private business. I don't however have any knowledge of military or law enforcement service. That isn't important, but maybe it is, as it may or may not reveal the insistence he has on openly carrying a gun.
He's not the only one. There are a few customers, all men, who come into the store with a gun holstered on their hip. There's one black man that occasionally comes into the store with an open carry, of all the ones I've seen, he perhaps makes the most sense given the rural, predominantly white region we live in. Though most people aren't overtly racist, and wouldn't consider themselves such, they still have a yoke of bigotry around their necks, even if they don't recognize it.

As for my friend, I haven't asked him why he carries the gun. I don't need to honestly. He would likely give me one of two stock answers: for protection against wildlife, which is valid if he finds himself in an area where rattlesnakes and cougars are frequent, or as a deterrent for those that would use violence against him and his loved ones. There is probably in fact a bit of both reasons I'm sure.
I'm not sure how he'd respond if violence were to break out suddenly. He may have had to deal with such violence many times through his life. But just as likely not. I haven't quizzed him about that any more than I have quizzed him about his reasons for the gun. I can say that the thought of him carrying the gun and responding to an armed assailant gives me little comfort.
He's not in shape, though in better shape than me. (At least he looks like he may be able to run a few dozen yards more than me before he gets winded and kills over.) That's small comfort when confronted with violence. The gun as a deterrent is of little comfort to all those unarmed individuals caught in the crossfire. I suppose one could point out that if we, too, had guns then we wouldn't be as defenseless. Maybe not, but we may be just as likely targets.
If an armed man were to appear with intent to kill in the same area with me and my gun carrying friend I think it's quite likely that he would be dead. I think it's likely I would  be too. But if I were somebody with the aim of taking out a lot of people and was observant enough to notice a man (or woman) with a gun holstered on their hip they'd be my first target. But I could be wrong. He may be something of a quick draw. He may be calm, cool and collected. Hell, I've never been in that situation, so I might be as well. But not likely.
Between him and the three to four other semi-frequent customers that come in openly carrying fire-arms, I see it at least once a week. Usually twice a week. Usually him. It's his preferred store, which is fantastic in a way because we like repeat customers. In other places around the country the other customers would be put off by this (and I'm sure there are some that are in our store) but in my store, in my home town it's not a big deal.
For all his good intent, and the need of a security blanket that can kill I'm not sure how much of a deterrent he'd really be. I'm not sure how much of a deadly liability he'd actually be.

Honestly though, for the five or six individuals that open carry in the store, there are at least twice that many who are carrying concealed. That's no comfort either.
In fact that's a bigger concern. If violence were to break out then yes, my open carry friend would be a target. But if he managed to get his gun unholstered and up then he may be a target to some well meaning concealed carrying individual who doesn't know who he is, or if he was the active shooter initially.
That's a fun thought. Or terrifying.
Like a series of dominoes. Each open carry and concealed carry individual bringing their weapons to bear on each other because nobody knows for sure who's the bad guy or who the "good" guy is. I'm fairly sure in this scenario several of the good guys are going to be injured, or killed. The scenario can't really play out in my head in a way where innocent by-standers aren't injured in a firefight. But in his head I'm sure such a scenario plays out differently. I'm sure its the same with all the folks who have concealed guns as well. Though it's not realistic.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

in the shadow of death.

This one hurts.

I've lost a lot of folks over the years. Lisle and Brian were painful. I still feel the sting of my mothers loss each and every day, like a fresh cut on the skin. But Jason Sims? Feels like a stab to the gut.
I'm not sure why.
Jason was somebody born with the hand of Death on his shoulder from day one. His heart, and his lung were precipitously weak, and everyone who knew him well knew that one day the health problems he was born with would eventually kill him.
One day it did.
It doesn't make it hurt any less.

Jason was one of the most amicable people I've ever known. He almost never seemed perturbed by things. He was never quick to ridicule or insult, but when asked his thoughts about something he was willing and able to offer them, so you knew exactly what he thought. He was almost always cheerful, and easy going, and that served him well as he floated from one social group to another effortlessly. When he was with me, he was an unabashed geek. Dice box in hand. Folders with D and D characters carefully placed. He loved playing Dungeons and Dragons, and there was no embarrassment for him. He understood that other folks he spent time with wouldn't get it, but he also knew that those of us he gamed with were not interested in his other pursuits. He loved the rodeo. And he had friends whos interest never overlapped his geekiness, that loved that too. They, like us, took him as he was because he, unlike so many of us, never passed judgement on a person for what they liked. Or if he did, he kept it to himself, which makes him a better person than I ever will be. Jason wasn't perfect though. He was, at times, lacking self awareness of his actions. This was, like all everything about him, without malice, but it did occur.

Jason was one other thing aside from a geek, a sports fan, a rodeo spectator: he was a grandpa. When Jason and Melinda married, nearly 7 years ago most people had their doubts. A lot of people, myself included (to my shame), didn't think seriously of it. I don't know what trials their marriage went through he never spoke about any incident in anger or jest, but I do know that it lasted those 7 years. I also know that Jason took very seriously the family that married into. All of Melinda's children were grown, and a few had children of their own when they were married (they all do now). Jason loved those kids. He made time for them. The grandkids were very important to him, I saw it time and time again. He'd laughingly tell me stories of something that they did or said, he'd rearrange plans so he could make it to birthdays, or little programs they were involved in.

Jason wasn't perfect. No one is. But I know that he was a better friend to me than I ever was to him. I know that he'd text me occasionally, out of the blue if we hadn't seen each other for a while to see what I was up to, and how I was doing. I know he always seemed to enjoy spending time in my company, and was typically eager to come hang out, whether for gaming or just in general as long as he had no other plans. I know he wasn't perfect, but I also know that he never expected anybody else to be perfect either, just to accept him as he was. And he'd do likewise. I know that I'm going to miss him. I'm going to miss seeing him at work when he's came in to grab some groceries, or prescriptions. I know that I'm going to miss him at my game table. I'm know that I'm going to miss that exuberant giggle when he finds something funny. And his explanation to new people when they asked why he was blue.

I knew Jason Sims would eventually be taken from us because of his health issues. But it never seemed liked it was ever going to be anytime soon. I'm glad I knew him. I'm glad I knew him as long as I did. I'm sad I didn't know him better, because I feel like he knew me.

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Monday, July 03, 2017

A Modest Healthcare Proposal

It would seem one of the most vexing concern for the citizens and government of the United States of America would be healthcare. While many people feel that some sort of government run program that gave necessary access to healthcare, with a moderate and sensible tax rate in place would be ideal, those currently in charge, and many of their supporters feel that this is unacceptable. Anybody requiring the support of his or her neighbor, without that neighbor freely giving that support is unacceptable. More to the point having sick and poor people in the healthcare system is an undue burden on that system. This is evident by the rising cost of insurance premiums since the implementation of current healthcare regulations. This is why it’s prudent to evaluate each person by the severity of their health issues, the solvency of their insurance program, their fiduciary contribution to society, and the likelihood that they will be able to pay back any debt accrued from health care and treatment in a timely manner.

This will simplify who has access to healthcare and what healthcare they have access to. An individual (or family) below the poverty line with a broken bone may, given a reasonable amount of time, be able to pay back any debt accrued for their treatment within a few years, barring any other major crises. However the same person with cancer would not be able to pay back the debt within a reasonable time, even with insurance.

In this proposal somebody with a potentially fatal, but treatable and costly illness has three options presented to them when it’s first implemented: the first is do nothing. The sickness will eventually kill you, and it may be a slow painful death, but as long as you’re able to keep working and have family and/or friends willing to support you, you may just wait it out until the inevitable happens. The other option is to save up and gain assisted suicide in those states where it is legal. If you can pay for the cost of assisted suicide, and there is no law barring it where you live, then of course you can seek it out. The third option - and this is an option I assume that those that are currently on any form of welfare would be forced to comply with - is simply volunteer for execution. Now these executions would take place semi-monthly, and would be mass executions. So as not to pour salt on the wound of being forced to seek out execution because one cannot pay their healthcare debt, mass graves will be dug for all those who are to be executed. Though families and friends who want to pay to have the bodies of loved ones transported back to them for proper burial may do so. And it’s safe to assume cremation may be offered at cost in some markets.

Now for the first few years all of these options will be voluntary. Some people, even most people, will probably let nature take its course in the hopes that some sort of windfall comes their way. This seems reasonable., but once this program is rolled out into full swing, financial assessors will be needed at each medical facility or through private insurers to determine the likelihood of payback within the specified timeframe. Those that are deemed to be financially insufficient will be given a week to a month to sort out their affairs, and then be forced to comply with execution. There is a simple reason for this: Organ harvesting.

The cost of the executions, financial advisors and burials (or cremations) though intended to be done in the cheapest way possible will still require money for the workforce and equipment. And while some people may be completely useless in death due to the severity of their illness, many will still have some valuable organs than can be harvested and offered to those who planned better financially, or were just fortunate enough to be deservingly born into wealth. The organs harvested from those who need healthcare at a level they couldn’t not afford will be offered at fair market rates. Those that can afford the new heart, the new liver, retinas and so on, will be contributing to the unfortunate, but necessary system set up for the poor.  And while the poor will still be a burden (how could they not be?) they will be able to contribute to the system for those that can afford it.
Of course there would be several levels to this healthcare system. The top level would have full access to every modern drug and treatment available. The bottom level would only have access to basic vaccines, and low cost treatments for minor ailments that may or may not be effective. Then there would be, at the very bottom, what we call 0 level recipients. These individuals being the homeless and indigent members of society with no close network support of family or friends to help support them. People who find themselves with in this level would be given a short time to climb back up to the next tier, or would be summarily rounded up and executed during the next scheduled purge.

There is more to it than what is written here. Details of what each level provides would need to be detailed, and of course insurance rates would have to be calculated for each level. But the basics are here: no individual would be cause for undue burden on the healthcare system any longer, because they would either be able to pay for their treatment through insurance (if they qualify) or out of pocket. Or their organs would be harvested to be sold into the system. There would also be an option for family members to volunteer for execution to have their organs harvested to cover the cost for other family members, and of course selling a kidney, lung, or even a portion of a healthy liver would be acceptable contribution to help cover healthcare costs. Each person would be accountable for themselves, but could volunteer to help others if they desire.

This is the only fair way to approach health care, to make sure that each person is paying into the system either through cash or through blood. In the long run, I feel it could become a model that other countries could emulate.*


*This is meant to be satire, F. G. Shaw has no desire to see this nightmare of a proposal implemented in any way. And while he believes that most things should be on an open market, his stance is that healthcare should not be one of them. And affordable and decent health care should be available to all people. He also feels the current system is lacking, and the proposals currently in the House and the Senate are a nightmare. He otherwise spends his time working, playing games, watching cartoons and podcasting about them.

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

The perplexity of climate change.

I've been quiet here for some time. I keep meaning to post more, but lack of motivation or time or perhaps just a general malaise prevent me from doing so.

A lot has happened in the last couple of years. First and foremost we have an authoritarian man-child as President of the US. I have a number of thoughts about that, and about the conspiracy of Russia involving themselves in our election, but that will wait. The most significant thing that has happened recently is Trump pulling us, the United States, out of the Paris Accords.

The Paris Accords are (briefly) a set of agreements each country drafts for themselves (each country will have different goals) to help curb the rising temperatures. There's a fund that countries contribute to, to help poorer countries meet their goals. The US was set to donate a great deal to this fund.

But all of that is for another time.

We pulled out of the Paris Accord because.... Well presumably because it was unfair to the US economically. That's one of the things we were told. It's debatable I suppose that it is or isn't, but... I'm not an economist any more than I am a climate scientist, which is where I defer back to both groups on this issue. The climatologists (and most at that) say the earth is warming due to green house gasses in the atmosphere. Economists (many, maybe even most) say that the Paris Accord will likely, in the long run, not hurt the US economy Sure, they know more than I do, though economics seems to be a bit more "fortune teller" like in it's efficacy. I'll come back to this eventually.

So maybe we pulled out because Trump (and apparently many of the GOP) believe that climate change is a hoax. That seems more likely. Not that it is a hoax, that seems very unlikely, especially when you have the military and pretty much every climate scientist employed within and without the US government saying that it is a legitimate concern. And those scientists are only some that are concerned about it. No it's more likely that Trump doesn't believe in it. His daughter Ivanka has indicated she does. But I get the impression that even she is someone that Trump barely listens to.

It's also likely that people with deep pockets have made it apparent that Trump has much to gain by pulling out. I think, honestly that is most likely, and between this and a combination of the above... here we are.

But not believing in climate change? It's odd to me. We, as a species, are able to destroy mountains. Create islands. Cut down entire rain forests bigger than Alaska (there's something you can't deny we did). But the idea that any of our actions my inadvertently be the cause of the climate to go up several degrees is beyond our scope? That just doesn't make any sense.

People have been debating this for about 15 years now... well longer, but the deniers have been taken more seriously the last 15 years. Which is funny, because before that most people accepted it, even though there wasn't as much evidence (still plenty though) as there is today. But because people with deep pockets, and heavy investments stand to lose a lot of cash if their industries are regulated and phased out the deniers have been given equal footing. And now it's a debate here in the US (and in Britain oddly enough).

I'm not going to debate. The idea that we shouldn't stop polluting because it's not hurting the climate is stupid. Even if climate change was a hoax (it's not) we should cut down our emissions because it's unhealthy. That's a no brainer. Well, it should be. Cities all over the country are chocking on air pollution, but no worries, it doesn't cause global warming so it doesn't need to be addressed?

I'll have more on this later. Probably even with links!

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