Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Hey, all. Life is crazy busy right now and I realized I haven't really written here for quite a while. I hope to sit down in the morning and update some stuff. Hope you are all well and enjoying your summer!


Monday, July 22, 2013

The Wizard of Ahhhs

I thought this was great. Enjoy!


This morning

"Your smile each morning has made my day all week. I am very attracted to the body you live in
and there is something about your presence that makes me want to know who you are when you're not just standing there waiting for me to make your omelette. The morning you wore your glasses down here instead of your contacts made me giggle inside and wonder what you look like when you wake up.  Hi, my name is Daemon. I'm the one who cooks your breakfast."

My brain and mouth locked up  completely and  none of those words came out. I just stood there politely and quietly and asked him what he would like this morning. I've been in crush for the past five days. He stands there impossibly cute and intriguing and I am just a chef with a pan in my hand doing my best to take him all in while studiously avoiding eye contact. Only real attraction ever leaves me at a loss for words. Lust is easy to speak or bark of. This is something else. How can he effect me so? If this was a movie, this is where happy energetic music would start then I would say something incredibly witty and the plot would start rolling. He would smile, throw back his head and laugh then I would invite him for coffee after I get off work. He would agree with a curious look and leave me his number...

This isn't a movie.

And so I cook his eggs. I wish him a nice day. I stare at the back of his neck as he eats his breakfast and plays with his phone. I ask Jen at the front desk what his name is. She tells me. I smile.

Worlds apart.

He's a member of the White House Advance Team staying at our property this week in preparation for the President's visit. From his conversation with peers,  his manner and dress, he appears to be a political science guy with great  and eclectic taste in clothing and a brain that would stun a crowd. He looks scruffy in his work out clothes on his day off. His running shoes had a hole in the left toe. Red shorts look incredibly hot on those legs and ass. I could get lost in those eyes and that smile makes me stop breathing. He will leave when the team goes on, back to whatever strange, interesting and exciting world he lives in and has made for himself. The mysterious guy close to the seat of power and information, with a beautiful wink and a smile. I know he is on our team too but I can't even seem to communicate that with my eyes. Three more days and he will be gone.

I'll still be a chef, standing here with a pan in my hand, cooking breakfast for another slowly waking traveler. I'll be wondering where he is. I'll be wishing about who he was. 

A guy can dream, right?


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Do your Job!

I run into these kids on a weekly basis while going about my daily life. I also have some friends who fit into this category, unfortunately. This humorous and blunt perspective makes me incredibly thankful for my parents, how they raised me and the fact that they had me get my first paying job when I was 14 years old. It also is funny as shit because it is true! DO YOUR JOB!


Thursday, July 11, 2013


It's entirely to easy to get fixated on some thing, a topic, an idea and then tend to let everything else in
our lives fade into the background without focus or attention. We all tend to do this to some extent. I believe it is in someway innate to human nature. Some times it may be completely healthy, for instance, when we use this high powered perception and focus to drive us to learn and educate ourselves about something previously unknown or not understood in our frame of reference or scope of experience. Each person, as they pursue their own education in life, tend to specialize in what ever they find themselves suited for, have an aptitude in, or interest about,  for many and all myriad different reasons. In other instances and circumstances, I think it can be unhealthy or at least not life giving in the long term.

I am all too familiar with fascination, fixation and scrutiny of different concepts to the exclusion of all others. My life has been rather a testament and temple to this type of behaviour. I cannot say that it has always been healthy. Perhaps the study and absorption with the topic at hand has not been ill intended in itself, but rather the the negative part is the exclusion of other things that hold, if not least the same import, possibly even more importance and urgency than whatever or whomever has captured my attention currently. (I am not good at communicating with brevity and clarity yet. My brain needs and editor)

In short, I feel that my personal education in this life, as best outlined and described by my personal talents, aptitudes and abilities, has been ill served by these last years of wandering and milling about seeing never quite farther than the tip of my own nose and  edge of my mind. While I am not defined by what has happened to me or the choices I have made in my past, in many ways, those circumstances, life events, choices and personal decisions have certainly helped shape and create the person that I am this day. I am not a person who lives with or tolerates regret in any fashion but even a cursory examination of my past shows me in detail other paths and choices that would have resulted in a rather far different present than the one I currently inhabit.

Call it a moment of clarity if you will, but considering the fact that I have yet to find anything in life that I cannot learn or do when I put my mind to the task (not that I find anything and everything interesting) I feel that there have been innumerable days and years wasted in the furthering of my own curiosity about ephemera and non-consequential ideas than have been applied diligently and brought to bear in wresting some type of meaning or contribution to myself and others. While I do not bemoan this fact, it certainly gives me a bit of pause.

For instance, the career and employment that I currently am working on is based purely on a whim. I was not surprised to find I have a natural skill and talent for cooking and culinary presentation, but never really in my life past did I give serious consideration towards becoming a Chef in my own right. Beyond idle speculation and cursory examination of the skills and education needed, I can't say it ever really crossed my mind. (I did look at some Culinary schools online, if that counts? In fact, I even visited one!) I do enjoy cooking and it is something that I spent time learning on my own (namely from books and practicing at home and on my friends and family) but it is not something that I picked intentionally for any plausible reason besides passing interest. While that may sound earth shattering or bewildering to some, I am okay with this fact, and am pretty sure that many people in this life find themselves in careers in a rather similar haphazard and random fashion. (Or maybe they don't and I am just crazy.)

In looking back at all the different fields I have worked in, from Submarine Navigation in the Navy to Investment Trading with Massachusetts Financial Service to Polymer and Pigmentation Chemistry with Valspar, I have yet to see any rhyme or reason to what I picked next. I simply saw something interesting, wondered if I could do it, found that I could and when I grew bored or idle with the inanity of it all (barring contracts of course) I simply went to the next thing that caught my interest and eye. I have never been one to be motivated by money either, though it always tends to follow success in its own fashion. If I was driven by the desire for accumulation and spending of money there is nothing in my life that would make any sense at all to the most liberal of accountants. That being said, I do not live with debt and have always been a saver. I spend when I choose and the saving and making is what makes that possible. People who love with and court debt still have yet to learn this. Maybe I benefited from having parents from a different era and style of life, but that is another blog post in and of itself. (Cliffs: Make money. Save money. Do not spend what you do not have. Do not spend other people's money. Profit.)

Some days, namely this moment, I find myself wondering what my life would look like presently if I had had some type of direction or sense of purpose from an early age besides wanting to see the whole of this earth and learn everything I could possibly get my mind around? What am I going to do next? What next whim or interest will take grasp of my and hold me enthralled till the next wind of interest and fancy grasps at my mind? What would it look like if I actually sat down and planned the next step? While that would be completely out of character with the manner in which I have lived to date, I wonder if I could, and if I did...what would that look like?

Surely I am not the only one who thinks like this on occasion. What next?

That is all for now. Once again, I am left with more questions than answers, but I am at least thankful for the questions. They are at least a starting point.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Bert Haanstra - Glas

Glas: Glass Blowing Looks So Fantastically Fun

Bert Haanstra's Glas is a short 10-minute documentary from 1958 about glass that won an Oscar. It's a beautiful short that shows the art of glass blowing versus the character-less mechanism of automated glass bottle making machines. There's no voice over, no narration, just beautiful scenes of glass being made. It's like porn for manufacturing. Even while you don't understand what's going on, it's lovely to see.

Bill Millin:Piper at D-day in Normandy: June 6, 1944

Bill Millin

Bill Millin, piper at the D-Day landings, died on August 17th, aged 88 

ANY reasonable observer might have thought Bill Millin was unarmed as he jumped off the landing ramp at Sword Beach, in Normandy, on June 6th 1944. Unlike his colleagues, the pale 21-year-old held no rifle in his hands. Of course, in full Highland rig as he was, he had his trusty skean dhu, his little dirk, tucked in his right sock. But that was soon under three feet of water as he waded ashore, a weary soldier still smelling his own vomit from a night in a close boat on a choppy sea, and whose kilt in the freezing water was floating prettily round him like a ballerina's skirt.

But Mr Millin was not unarmed; far from it. He held his pipes, high over his head at first to keep them from the wet (for while whisky was said to be good for the bag, salt water wasn't), then cradled in his arms to play. And bagpipes, by long tradition, counted as instruments of war. An English judge had said so after the Scots' great defeat at Culloden in 1746; a piper was a fighter like the rest, and his music was his weapon. The whining skirl of the pipes had struck dread into the Germans on the Somme, who had called the kilted pipers “Ladies from Hell”. And it raised the hearts and minds of the home side, so much so that when Mr Millin played on June 5th, as the troops left for France past the Isle of Wight and he was standing on the bowsprit just about keeping his balance above the waves getting rougher, the wild cheers of the crowd drowned out the sound of his pipes even to himself.

His playing had been planned as part of the operation. On commando training near Fort William he had struck up a friendship with Lord Lovat, the officer in charge of the 1st Special Service Brigade. Not that they had much in common. Mr Millin was short, with a broad cheeky face, the son of a Glasgow policeman; his sharpest childhood memory was of being one of the “poor”, sleeping on deck, on the family's return in 1925 from Canada to Scotland. Lovat was tall, lanky, outrageously handsome and romantic, with a castle towering above the river at Beauly, near Inverness. He had asked Mr Millin to be his personal piper: not a feudal but a military arrangement. The War Office in London now forbade pipers to play in battle, but Mr Millin and Lord Lovat, as Scots, plotted rebellion. In this “greatest invasion in history”, Lovat wanted pipes to lead the way.

He was ordering now, as they waded up Sword Beach, in that drawly voice of his: “Give us a tune, piper.” Mr Millin thought him a mad bastard. The man beside him, on the point of jumping off, had taken a bullet in the face and gone under. But there was Lovat, strolling through fire quite calmly in his aristocratic way, allegedly wearing a monogrammed white pullover under his jacket and carrying an ancient Winchester rifle, so if he was mad Mr Millin thought he might as well be ridiculous too, and struck up “Hielan' Laddie”. Lovat approved it with a thumbs-up, and asked for “The Road to the Isles”. Mr Millin inquired, half-joking, whether he should walk up and down in the traditional way of pipers. “Oh, yes. That would be lovely.”

Three times therefore he walked up and down at the edge of the sea. He remembered the sand shaking under his feet from mortar fire and the dead bodies rolling in the surf, against his legs. For the rest of the day, whenever required, he played. He piped the advancing troops along the raised road by the Caen canal, seeing the flashes from the rifle of a sniper about 100 yards ahead, noticing only after a minute or so that everyone behind him had hit the deck in the dust. When Lovat had dispatched the sniper, he struck up again. He led the company down the main street of Bénouville playing “Blue Bonnets over the Border”, refusing to run when the commander of 6 Commando urged him to; pipers walked as they played.

He took them across two bridges, one (later renamed the Pegasus Bridge) ringing and banging as shrapnel hit the metal sides, one merely with railings which bullets whistled through: “the longest bridge I ever piped across.” Those two crossings marked their successful rendezvous with the troops who had preceded them. All the way, he learned later, German snipers had had him in their sights but, out of pity for this madman, had not fired. That was their story. Mr Millin himself knew he wasn't going to die. Piping was too enjoyable, as he had discovered in the Boys' Brigade band and all through his short army career. And piping protected him.

The Nut-Brown Maiden

The pipes themselves were less lucky, injured by shrapnel as he dived into a ditch. He could still play them, but four days later they took a direct hit on the chanter and the drone when he had laid them down in the grass, and that was that. The last tune they had piped on D-Day was “The Nut-Brown Maiden”, played for a small red-haired French girl who, with her folks cowering behind her, had asked him for music as he passed their farm.

He gave the pipes later to the museum at the Pegasus Bridge, which he often revisited, and sometimes piped across, during his long and quiet post-war career as a mental nurse at Dawlish in Devon. On one such visit, in full Highland rig with his pipes in his arms, he was approached by a smartly dressed woman of a certain age, with faded red hair, who planted a joyous kiss of remembrance on his cheek.

The Economist

This is what he piped.

This last clip features interviews with Bill and his Commander during his lifetime as well as his funeral.



Saturday, July 6, 2013

72 Killed during Gun Confiscation in Boston


National guard units seeking to confiscate a cache of recently banned assault weapons were ambushed on April 19th by elements of a para-military extremist faction. Military and law enforcement sources estimate that 72 were killed and more than 200 injured before government forces were compelled to withdraw.

Speaking after the clash, Massachusetts Governor Thomas Gage declared that the extremist faction, which was made up of local citizens, has links to the radical right-wing tax protest movement. Gage blamed the extremists for recent incidents of vandalism directed against internal revenue offices. The governor, who described the group's organizers as "criminals," issued an executive order authorizing the summary arrest of any individual who has interfered with the government's efforts to secure law and order. The military raid on the extremist arsenal followed wide-spread refusal by the local citizenry to turn over recently outlawed assault weapons.

Gage issued a ban on military-style assault weapons and ammunition earlier in the week. This decision followed a meeting in early this month between government and military leaders at which the governor authorized the forcible confiscation of illegal arms.

One government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, pointed out that "none of these people would have been killed had the extremists obeyed the law and turned over their weapons voluntarily." Government troops initially succeeded in confiscating a large supply of outlawed weapons and ammunition. However, troops attempting to seize arms and ammunition in Lexington met with resistance from heavily-armed extremists who had been tipped off regarding the government's plans. During a tense standoff in Lexington 's town park, National Guard Colonel Francis Smith, commander of the government operation, ordered the armed group to surrender and return to their homes. The impasse was broken by a single shot, which was reportedly fired by one of the right-wing extremists. Eight civilians were killed in the ensuing exchange.

Ironically, the local citizenry blamed government forces rather than the extremists for the civilian deaths. Before order could be restored, armed citizens from surrounding areas had descended upon the guard units. Colonel Smith, finding his forces overmatched by the armed mob, ordered a retreat.

Governor Gage has called upon citizens to support the state/national joint task force in its effort to restore law and order. The governor also demanded the surrender of those responsible for planning and leading the attack against the government troops. Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, and John Hancock, who have been identified as "ringleaders" of the extremist faction, remain at large.

And this, people...is how the American Revolution began.

April 19, 1775

Friday, July 5, 2013


So I am finally writing again. I figured while I was doing some laundry this morning I could jot down
some words and bring this space up to date on my current happenings. I slept in a bit today as I was a bit worn out from all the parties and celebrations yesterday and am currently catching up on a few things around the house before my I start my day properly.

I managed to get the holiday and today off and for that I am incredibly thankful. Unfortunately, my Mom had other ideas for today and called me to let me know that I had been volunteered to head over to my sister's house to do all her yard work before she gets back from Peru. This is NOT what I had in mind today at all and after jumping through some mental hoops regarding familial manipulation, the cost benefit analysis to me and the logic behind why it DID make sense for me to do this, I finally relented. All of that last bit was in my head at least, so I still manage to look like the loving and helpful older brother. (aside: I really still cannot figure out why this responsibility is mine. She has a boy in her neighborhood that mows the yard each week. Why couldn't HE trim all the hedges and manicure the landscaping?) There is nothing quite like an old fashioned guilt trip from Mom to get me motivated. I realize that I am being a bit petulant and selfish about this whole circumstance but it does get old to always be the one giving to others for absolutely nothing in return. /rant

Yesterday was a smashing success. In light of today's scheduled events, I am rather happy that I managed to pack so much fun into one 24 hour period. I got up early, washed and waxed my car, took a long drive around the lake and out in the country and then started dropping in on the different pool parties and BBQ's that I had been invited to. In short, I had a blast. I met a lot of new people, caught up with old friends that I had not seen in quite some time and managed to get some grill time in with some great people. All told, I went to two pool parties and two BBQ's and then a huge group of us went out to Riverfest to watch the fireworks and listen to some live music. A great day indeed. I need to have more days like that or at least remember to start requesting off a few days from work when I have the opportunity to get together with friends. I also managed to pick up quite a bit of sun, thankfully no sunburn to speak of, and got MORE than my share of eye candy. It felt good to be flirting again. I didn't realize that was something that could be missed. Well done Kansas and Missouri! This current crop of gay guys you have produced is one fantastic array of male specimens.

Has my washer always been this slow? I have a load of linen and towels in there and it seems to be taking forever! I really want to get all this done before I head out to my sister's house.

So that wraps up what I did for my holiday weekend  of sorts, but how am I really doing in life? Hmmm...that is not so easy a question to answer. I am still throwing myself into work. There have been a lot of changes in the last few weeks there, namely personnel and management restructuring that has had little effect on my day to day operations. I pretty much work, run errands and come home each day and have been carrying on with the necessities that make my life work for me. There have been some highs and lows, as can be expected and I still feel that I am in some type of transitional phase in life right now. Toward what or in what exact direction internally still remains to be seen.

It does feel good to write something here. The last few weeks I have been more internally focused. New music, reading some amazing books and generally keeping to myself. We have had some amazing weather and I guess I am just over here living. I still have so many questions that are unanswered but I am learning to become content with living in that state of tension, if you will. I get one day at a time, like we all do, and no amount of straining or wishing is going to allow me to see my own future. I will be what I am now becoming. I hope you all are well and thanks for stopping by to read my junk here. I wish it was more exciting but it is what it is. Have a better day!


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Remembering Pride

I realize I haven't said much here lately. I'm working on it. In the meantime, smile and remember with me some of the moments we have all shared either personally or vicariously.

To all of you still scared and hiding for any myriad of reasons, "It does get better. Hold fast."