Thursday, January 31, 2013

Nuclear Photo Bombed

“Unable to take photo, memory card is full.”
“What the hell? I. How could my memory card be full, I’ve got a two giga-byte micro SD card in there? I can’t have that many pictures on my phone. Can I?” I thought to myself as I quickly thumbed to the photo gallery on my phone. When I got to the gallery, I saw the little icons that read “Camera Roll”, “Folders”, “All Photos” and videos. Normally I just hit “All Photos” with my thumb, but this time I actually looked at the numbers next to the folder titles.
“Camera Roll” 683
“Folders” 4
“All Photos” 893”
“Videos” 6
            Once I saw those numbers I knew I had more than my fair share of media I needed to go through and delete. I started with the videos first, simply because there were less of them and they take up the most memory… two of the videos were identical but sent to me by different people, just some youtube stuff of animals acting like animals. (I really like funny animal videos) There was an “off-color” video I had forgotten about, an accidental video I took while I was trying to take a photograph and a video that I had loaded on to facebook. I deleted all of them.
            I then tried to go through the photos by folders, that didn’t work out too well because some of the photos are from when I sync my phone up to facebook, email and even some of my music. So some of the folders within that particular folder had only one picture, I quickly went back to the “All Photos” folder and opened it up. I was surprised at the photos I had on my phone.
            Each picture a subtle reminder of a moment in my life, a second I wanted to hold on to for one reason or another. An experience I wanted to share with others on some future date or just to hang on to for my own selfish reasons. Of the 893 pictures on the card I tried to classify them as I scrolled quickly through them, family, work, friends, art, stupid and miscellaneous. This is how I sorted them in my mind. I then went through each classified photo and tried to decide if I needed to keep it in my life anymore. This took hours of exhaustive review.
            The first photos I sent to binary hell… the art photos. Don’t need ‘em and if I haven’t uploaded them to Google Plus, Facebook or Twitter by now, it is a good chance I will never do it in the future. Next I went through the stupid photos, ok, let me say this about stupid photos, I like them and anything can fit into a stupid photo category. Most of what I call stupid photos though are pictures you have at least two or three of. You know, the photo you took and it was over-exposed, too little light, or a finger got in the way… yeah, those. I trashed most of those too. Bye Bye. Gone with the touch of a thumb. I did manage to save a few, because not all stupid photos are mistakes, some are just plain funny. Like the one I have of a friend who was in a very manic mood and I got a sweet close up shot of their face. You literally can see the insanity of life dancing in the pupil of their eyes. Of course I’ve been sworn to never show this picture to anyone so I keep it for myself and I look at it occasionally and it cheers me up. After all, is not that one of the many reasons to keep pictures… to make you happy when you are down?
            After the purge of the stupid, I moved to the miscellaneous… most of them didn’t stand a chance. I felt like a World War II flame throwing infantryman on D-Day. I literally scorched all the pixilated memories that fell into this category. It happened quite easily and was done with no remorse. Absolutely none of these classified photos were able to tug on a heart-string or unearth any buried memory in my mind. Hell I even tried my damndest to cultivate any emotion that would stop me. I failed.
            Work photos were next and Friends was on deck. Now, about my work photos, most of them are technical pictures of things I need to remember when working on a certain exhibit. In a perfect world I would transfer these instructional aides to my computer, print them up and put them in little plastic sleeve, then put those into a three ring binder and place the binder on a shelf. But, if you’ve seen my office you know all my bookshelves are overflowing with train books, encyclopedias, dystopian novels, science fiction novels, horror novels and even some binders with instructional photos in them… but they are filled and refuse to snap shut anymore. So the ones on my phone, well, they just sit there in limbo waiting for me to look at them when I need to. I showed mercy. They are still alive and well and living in my black and plastic digital device. One day I will transfer them to my computer… not now. All the train pictures… Ok, I saved those too.
            As for my work mates, well they did not fare as well as the tech photos or train photos. Most of them are now past tense… the pictures that is not the real, live, walking, talking, fleshy beings that I come into contact with every day.
            My friends… well, I saved most of those, some got trashed but I value my friends almost as much as I do my family. Of course some of their more incriminating photos were saved and locked away so no one can see them. They are in a very safe place that only I have access to and if any of them ever become a powerful politician or celebrity… I am going to use them to make sure my life gets moved to easy street. (Ok, maybe my morality won’t let me do that. SHUH! RIGHT!)
            The last classification… Family…, I did transfer a bunch of these pictures but I axed most of them. Why? Simple, most family snapshots look terrible and hold very little meaning to me. Don’t read that improperly, like I don’t care for my family. I do. Just hear me out, or better yet, take your phone out of your pocket, purse, bra or whatever you keep it in and scroll on through all the photos of your family members. But don’t look at them as family members; look at the composition of the picture. I’ll wait…
            Did you do it?
            Now tell me, how many of those pictures show a person with their eyes half closed or fully closed, or someone is in the background photobombing the shot? Or someone is flipping the bird, or their mouth is open or the look on their face is that of an irate orangutan? Yeah, I thought so. Please kill those photos and free up some space. See, these are the pictures I sent away. And you know what… it felt good.
            Good in a way that I didn’t know existed. It was a purging of ugly and uncared for moments that have no place in the ever increasing world of ugly and uncaring digital media. Life is too short to have fond memories destroyed by pictures that make the ones you care about look like fools. The exception to this rule is that if you live with clowns or are a member of a circus, then it is perfectly fine to keep those goofed up photos.
            The result… simple, I went from having 893 photos and 6 videos down to 574 photos and zero videos. I now have room on my SD card for at least 240 more pictures. But the real question is, what am I going to do with the pictures I saved and how in the world will I ever find 240 things to take pictures of?
            One last thing, what kind of memories are you holding on to? Good? Bad? Ugly? Funny? Sad? Indifferent? Joyous? Tender? Beautiful? Painful?

Have a great week.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Severed Ties

Although for three years I’ve been maintaining this blog and writing some short stories, of which I’ve managed to sell a few, I don’t really consider myself a writer. To tell the truth, I don’t consider myself much at all. I just am. I exist in an ever increasing state of flux and I try to make a conscious effort to never truly be classified as one particular thing. This type of flexibility has kept me open to doing some amazing things and has also closed me off to some of the more specific minded people who can only work in a pigeon holed environment. I feel sorry for people like that; they seem to miss out on a lot of really cool stuff.

Where was I? What was my point? Damn, sidetracked again…

Oh, yeah, got it…

Saturday night I got home from work a bit early, my house was dark and empty as I burst through the door with only one thing on my mind, change clothes, grab a cigar, my computer and head out to my porch. I’ve got this short story due in March and it’s only supposed to be six to ten thousand words long and I had already written over twenty-six hundred words and I hadn’t even gotten out of the first act of the tale. So, once I was seated comfortably on my chair and a heady cloud smoke from my Gurkha encompassed my head, an excellent music selection blasting from the speakers and my fingers started to work their mojo on my laptop. After sixty minutes I had added over thirteen-hundred words to the tale and there was even a glint of actual plot and resolution to what I was creating.

It felt good, I was alone, doing something I enjoyed and my muse was dancing to the music of my keyboard. As I finished the scene I was writing, I put the remnants of my cigar in my ashtray and considered lighting up another one and continuing the sock-hop of joy with my muse by blazing up another stogie. But, the temperature was dipping into the thirties, my fingers were getting a bit frosty and I was at a good stopping point. So I packed up my gear, and went inside my toasty home. I quickly went about making myself ready for bed and by the time I got situated in my room with my laptop next to me, my phone charging and my book opened to the page I had marked the night before, I paused and opened my laptop, it had apparently shut itself off.

My heart stopped, I hadn’t saved my progress in the story, I hadn’t shut down any programs, I just closed the lid to what has become an ever present new appendage to my body. I took it in stride, I figured I had accidently hit the on/off button. I was tired and it’d been a long day so I just set it on the floor and tried to not let it bother me too much. I read for a bit, and then went to sleep knowing that all would be ok in the morning.

It wasn’t.

In the AM everything was most defiantly NOT ok. My computer would not start up in normal mode and when I tried to start it up in safe mode, well, it ignored my commands at that as well. The only good thing that happened was the plastic and metal contraption decided it would be ok to back up the sixty-nine gigabytes of hard drive information on my back up drive. Although it was going to take at least a couple hours, I was hopeful. By the time I needed to leave to go to work the machine had transferred eighty percent of my information onto a little black plastic box I had bought on a whim. As I got on my bike to head downtown, my hopes for a full recovery were waning. Horror stories from other writers who had experienced similar events filled my mind and all their lost works. One of whom I know for a fact took a Kimber 1911 and emptied a full magazine into the offending machine. He then buried it under a dead oak tree stump on a full moon. I still tell him to this day he should have framed it and hung it on the wall of his writing room as a warning to all new computers and technology in his office that had the thoughts about going rogue.

He peacefully assured me he had taken care of any and all mystical issues with electronics with his past magical sacrifice. What could I do but agree with him for he is more experienced than I in matters such as mysticism. Of course, he could have just been yanking my chain in an attempt to get a reaction out of me. But if that were the case, he failed. With his telling of the tale, I just nodded my head with an expression of what I hoped was awe on my face. (Of course it could have been gas, but I’m not telling a man with an arsenal that fact or I may end up under a stump on the night of a full moon.)

Unfortunately for me, I hold no “magical” properties, with the exception of my D&D characters I wouldn’t know how to perform a spell and I know if I attempted such a dastardly deed, I’d most likely end up as some demons plaything for all eternity. So, when my computer crashed and I spent what seemed like endless hours agonizing over my lost work, I remembered I had not really lost too much. Sure some photos and my internet exploring history and maybe some games but what did I really lose? Anything tangible? Nope, all my writing I keep on a thumb drive and I have back-ups stored in various places. So I calmed down, borrowed my laptops twin and posted on facebook my computer was kaput. I then placed a call to my computer guy and made an appointment to bring my laptop in. (Although I really did want to introduce my hard drive to a nice 168 grain hydra-shock 10 mm round from my Glock, I restrained myself.)

Not long after I posted my status on facebook, I received a message from my cousin Ray. Now Ray and I have only met once in my life, or so I currently believe, I could be wrong. That meeting took place in the 1970’s while he was visiting Green Bay and on college break from Purdue. (He’s really smart). But since then, we’ve had very little interaction with each other; I’m ok with that, simply because I don’t interact well with most people. But, onward… Ray and I chatted a bit about the status of my six pound paperweight and then he sent me his phone number. I called him.

Quick back story on my cousin, he lives in Washington State, and works for a company that makes computer software and things that computer software operates on as well as phones and other such modern contraptions. They also used to make these really cool music playing devices, but they stopped making them. I’m pissed about that but I try not to let it rule my life. I don’t know if I can say the name of his company so I will call it… “Macro-Hard” (Yeah, no one will get that reference!)

So, Ray and I are talking on the phone, I’m sitting on my front porch, puffing on a cigar, with a dead laptop on my lap and a terabyte back up hard drive plugged into the useless piece of technology. I assume Ray is sitting in his one-thousand square foot office with twenty or thirty modern computers monitors on his desk and NORAD, POTUS and the JCOS all on hold so he can help me get my machine up and running again. Oh, and I’m sure some guy named Bill was pacing back and forth in a hallway outside of Ray’s five-hundred pound petrified redwood double office doors. But that is just an assumption and not a fact.

After what seemed like endless hours of troubleshooting, pushing various buttons and performing some modern binary magic by both Ray and me, my machine was reset to its original factory settings. I then loaded the sixty-nine gigabytes of back up information onto my machine. I quickly thanked Ray and he told me I could remove the ad-hoc headdress made of mashed potatoes, tin foil, day old bread and a dead chipmunk, he also said I could stop dancing the pogo to Oingo Boingo tunes as well as remove the adult diaper. I complied with his orders; except for the dancing to Oingo Boingo… it is after all “A Dead Man’s Party”

And who could ask for more?

Thank you Cousin Ray for giving me back my amputated appendage, I’ve been crippled without it.

You all have a great week.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Consulting 7's

                An interesting thing happened at work today. Ok, let me back things up a bit…

                About three weeks ago a memorandum came down from the Director which stated everyone included in the email had to attend a meeting scheduled for today, 14 January, 2013. No one was exempt and the meeting was to discuss the future direction of the museum. The collective groans from myself and my fellow coworkers was loud enough to cause people to believe an air raid siren was going off in the downtown Portsmouth area. Once we all had our fill of grumbling to each other we quickly forgot about the meeting, simply due to the fact we had work to do and our concentration was needed to perform said work.

                Now, fast forward to this morning, all of us, from my pay grade on up arrived to work relatively on time for the meeting. I know somewhere on some ones email, memo or sticky note there was a message which said we would be meeting with a consultant… But I don’t really remember those words exactly. There were twenty of us in that room, not including the consultant and the Director. And like all groups of people we quickly separated into groups of people we like to sit with and started chatting.

                I made no attempts to hide the fact I was not thrilled with being in this room with all these people, especially since it seemed to be a social situation which I was force into and not one in which I wanted to attend.  But I tried to make the best of things. I laughed at jokes and made a few myself and when we were all told to stand up and mingle… I abstained. That is until I was approached by two people who chided me into standing up and speak with them. Which is about the time the Consultant decided to stop the patter of conversation and team us all up with the people we were talking with, he then initiated a test of knowledge about our Museums. My team tied for first place with another team. I was not surprised.

                After the contest we all ended up back in our seats with the people we had originally started out with and papers were handed out. A test… a D.I.S.C. test; one in which I believe some or most of you are familiar with. I will not say whether or not I’ve taken one of these before but I will say I find them mostly mundane and trivial. Why? Simple, you can only judge what a person answers at the time of the test. If a person is having a bad day or a good day or even a mediocre day, those factors seem to influence the outcome of the scores.

                That being said, I was not really surprised by the outcome of my fellow co-workers. Why? Hmm, tough to answer succinctly, but I will say that I am a person who watches people, not just over short periods of time but over years. I study their behavior and I have always been able to adjust to how they are acting with either the appropriate response or, just for my amusement, poke them with a verbal and mental cattle prod.

                The results… ok, we had several “Directors”, actually borderline directors, a couple “Social” folks, more than our fare share of “Thinkers” and a few “Action” people. Where did yours truly land? Well, I can say for a fact, I landed nowhere on the chart. Yes, I took the test and I was scored on the test and yes I even drew the graph they wanted me to draw. When the Consultant saw my chart he raised an eyebrow, nodded at me and walked on. I was the only one he did not make a comment to or try to match me up with another person with similar traits.

                When he reviewed everyone’s results for us all to hear, he never once mentioned my results or my name.  It seemed everyone fell into one of the four categories on his chart. And no one even looked at me when he was calling out names and traits. Matters of fact, most people were quite happy with their scores and swore by the results. I sat in the back row and shook my head. I wanted to be anywhere but where I was. You get me? You feeling me? I abhor these sorts of tests. I know who and what I am, I also know what is important to me and I will always strive to do the right thing. I do not need justification from my peers as to why I am on this mud ball or even why I do what I do. I discovered a long time ago what I need to do to maintain my sanity. I strive for it. Sometimes I’m successful and sometimes I am not.

                So, when the consultant finished everyone’s results he looked at me and asked if he could reveal my results over the din of conversation of the room. I nodded against my will and immediately regretted the decision. For you see, my dear reader I scored seven’s across the board. Meaning that I was perfectly balanced, I have a unique ability of being able to conform to any and all situations in my life. I am centered. I don’t lose focus in what needs to be done and I always put the greater good before that of myself regardless of the situation. I am a chameleon.

                This fact is not new to me. I could give you endless examples of my abilities to do this but I won’t. Why? Because if you’ve been a “dear reader” of mine over the past three years you know of some of these examples, but to you pleabs, newbies or even johnnie-come-lately you may find this as a revelation. Trust me, I can fit into just about any situation you can throw at me. It is something I have spent a lifetime of trying to perfect and even as I write this I know I will never be  a true master. I’m ok with that fact. Why? Because as a master you get comfortable and are subject to being challenged by younger chameleons and I don’t want to be challenged… ever.

                Now, after the test, the announcement and the shocked stares from my co-workers, I immediately got up and left the room. I don’t like being stared at like a lab rat. It’s not fun and I can only imagine that if you were put behind a glass case to be gawked at by any and all that chose to walk past you, that you would also feel the same way.

                Later in the end of the meeting I was accused by no less than four co-workers and at least one supervisor that I rigged the test. I was told I had taken the test before and I knew the answers. I somehow had gotten the answers and made the adjustments to the test accordingly.  I neither confirmed nor denied any and all accusations. I just smiled and said “The results speak for themselves.”

                I will not confess to you here and now what went through my mind during the test nor will I say I’m surprised by the results. I will say I tried my best to not question the questions or where the eventual outcome may lead. But, and this is a big but, I hate being in any category with anyone else. From the middle of the road, 

Have a great week.


PS. Do you know who your working with?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Skip's Dogma

            I have always tried to keep the many aspects of my life segregated from each other.  Aspects… funny word, because when I say aspects what I really mean are the different “worlds” I live in. Worlds like the one in which I’m a struggling father and husband. Or the world where I’m a waiter or an Exhibit Technician, the world in which I’m in the process of creating as a mediocre writer, and of course the many worlds of my past. A past that includes moving around, getting tossed out of one family or another, my Navy past, my police past and of course all the worlds that contain the various friends I have.

            Usually none of these worlds collide. I’m sort of OCD about that, and I rarely let any one person travel from one of my worlds to another of my worlds. This is done out of a sense of survival and nothing more. I can literally name on one hand how many people have traversed such space and time due to my story telling or literally me dragging the chosen person kicking and screaming into another realm of madness in my mind. There is good reason for this sort of segmentation in my life. I don’t like to get hurt. I’ve been hurt too many times in my life to trust any old drifter full access into my life and all the insanity it has consisted of over the years. (And as I type this, I am listening to a metric-ton of Pink Floyd… can you say “irony”? Good, I knew you could.)

            Here is the thing about this sort of behavior, at least from my non-college educated viewpoint. It becomes extremely habitual and you end up becoming a hypocrite to a lot of people. I am comfortable with being a hypocrite, simply because it affords me the internal peace and privacy I would not have otherwise. Hell, I’ve known people for the past fourteen years and have seen them on an almost weekly basis and they are just now discovering I am married. This is the type of insane control I have over my “worlds”. There are others to whom I have kept so far at arms length that they will never really know who I am or what my name is. I know some of you out there know my true name, but most of you only know me as Skip. Which is cool, since I’ve been going by that moniker for all of my life, it wasn’t until the third grade where I really knew or understood what my birth name was and then it became a point of pride and contention with me to use as a weapon against my teachers in a never ending battle of wills. I lost some of those battles, but I like to think I won the war.

            Also, because of this… dogma? Yeah, I like that, Skip’s Dogma. It takes a lot for me to open up to a person or to even call someone a friend. Usually it takes me going completely bat-shit-nuts in an uncontrollable break down but there are a few exceptions. And those extraordinary exceptional people I run into about once every five to ten years. People who automatically are bonded to me by some unseen force and psychic connection, I treasure those people and those are the people I have on my one hand.

            Sure, I have fond memories of kids who are now adults from elementary school, high school and even my days in the United States Navy. Especially the Navy, a bond was forged there with the men I served with that can never be severed. An umbilical cord forged in the fires of the cold war and the seedy bars and discos across two continents that do not include North America. Those men have seen me at my worst and at my best and I have to say, I would take a bullet for just about any of them (Sorry Brewer and Patrick, you two can die alone and of a horrible disease and I would never shed a tear for you assholes.) But, for the enlisted men who shared the hard times, long hours and weeks long lack of sleep, I would.

            Shit, where was I… oh, yeah… segregated worlds...

            Ok, here is where things get funky, you see, I am also a habitual creature. Habits that to some folks make no sense, and that is ok, I’m fine with people staring at me and then slowly turning away and scratching their heads in either wonder or offensiveness. My skin is thick and I had my feelings removed in bootcamp in 1985. So if you have nothing nice to say about me or to me… go ahead, I am sure it will be answered with the proper offensive response about the origins of how you came into existence. Or, if I like what you said, I may just grab your ass, lick your ear and tell you I love you. Depends on my mood and what you said.

            So, where is all this going? Now that you have some background information.

            Over the past several years my wife, whom I’ve mentioned plenty of times recently, has said, if I, meaning me, ever die and there is a funeral, she would have no clue as to whom most of the people are who attend my service. I always assure her that no one I know or who is close to me would attend my funeral because they all have more important things to do with their busy lives than attend the funeral of some borderline sociopath but she argues to the contrary. All of this stems from the fact I segregate my worlds. (And you will never guess what track is now playing by Pink Floyd… Ok, I’ll tell you so you can continue reading… “Brain Damage”)

            Recently, since my wife is literally brain damaged, she has been a passenger on the life-ride of Skip, and since she is a passenger whom I can’t really ignore or mistreat for fear of ending up sleeping in the gutter or becoming a ghost of the museum, she has unfettered access to certain habitual outings with me. Why? Simple, it’s easier to take her along than deal with trying to explain what I’m doing. Today was no exception. She and I went on a mini-adventure, which is what I consider most of my outings that take me either away from my home or away from my work.

            I can’t speak as to what she was expecting today nor can I say exactly how her day started as I readied myself for another day in my life but I can say she was utterly flabbergasted by her experience and how her passenger status crossed from the world of Wife and Mother to adventurer in an adventurous albeit mundane day with me. A day where once a month I usually treat myself to something that not only brings a smile to my face but also helps out people who have certain issues in life.

            Sharing this experience with her and being able to watch her reactions first hand were beyond priceless. She looked as giddy as a freshman starting their first day of school, as excited as a person landing their first job and as satisfied as any writer I know receiving a check for the first time for something they have poured their heart and soul into. Now, normally, it is either just myself or my daughter and I who share this particular event. But today, things were a bit different and I really wanted to tear down some walls between worlds. Let’s say it was an attempt for us to grow closer together with me opening up a bit where I normally would be inaccessible.

            I’m glad I chose to offer her the insight into some of the more obscure aspects of my life. I don’t know if anyone, including her, is ready for total access to the way I think, or why I act the way I do. But this seems to be a good thing right now and I am not just happy but I am also comfortable with this decision. Truth be told… who really is ready for a carte blanche access into someone else’s life?

            Not me that’s for sure.

            Have a great week.

            Skip Novak.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Good Riddance

            2012 can kiss my ass and 2013 better start to pucker up because I want none of the bullshit it has to offer. And with that statement I shall welcome you to my first blog of the New Year.  A year I don’t want to have anything to do with. Because every time I think about it, I have an un-nerving sense of foreboding. And although I can’t see the darkening clouds of doom on the horizon yet, they have made their presence felt with a palpable stench which is more than psychosomatic and even tougher to wash off.
            I’ve not kept it a secret what has been going on in my family’s life nor have I hidden how I feel about this incident or the ripple effects which will be felt for countless months and maybe even years to come. I have always tried to pride myself on being an observant person of my surrounding s as well as being goal oriented but I don’t think even the great character by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would be able to predict the repercussions of the mess that has been made of my reality.
            With that explanation regurgitated for the umpteenth time in so many weeks, it is not the only reason I am happy 2012 is finally over. There have been many instances in the parenthetical three-sixty-five which drove me absolutely batshit-madcow-ragingbull-crazy. Crazy from frustration, from stagnancy and even the mundane task of trying to fall asleep or wake up, I know I can’t be alone in those feelings. Can I?
            Can one person in this day and age actually be an island of emotion? So secluded in one’s life, regardless of how many people are around them that their solitude creates a world of desolation and grave solemnity. I pray no such instance can occur, but I fear it not only has, but will continue to happen regardless of what barriers we as a society build to damn the tide of frustrated men and women in my situation all over this oversized mud-ball we share with each other.
            The angst we feel as individuals is held in such regard that one can almost imagine those frustrations manifesting themselves into a reality which can drive one to do irrational and improbable actions. It is a walking, talking, fire-breathing, demonic creature which, if given time, will destroy everything you hold near and dear. There is no physical armor or magical sword that can slay this beast. (For you gamers out there, you can’t use your +4 Vorpal blade and there is no saving throw against fire damage. This beast is worse than Cthulu and you have no hope in defending the mental attack you are about to be subjected to.)
            I said physical… not spiritual.
            There are many tools available to one in this situation or situations like the one I am in and I have been abusing these tools more than a thirteen year old boy abuses unfettered access to internet gaming sites. (That is the polite analogy. Not the one I initially thought of.) Do these tools help? Yes, they do. Not completely and not all the time, but they do help calm me down and keep me from going stark-raving-Joker-crazy.
            The bad days are not as bad as I thought and the good days are never going to be as bright as they appear. I am striving to come to terms with all of this information and using all my will to keep heading down the tracks towards a lighter and brighter tomorrow. (I just hope the light I see ahead of me is not another oncoming train.)
            Speaking of tomorrow, I have given some thought to resolutions for this coming year… and I have a few I will put out here for you to enjoy…
1.      I resolve to NOT become a serial killer.
2.      I resolve to NOT become a sociopath.
3.      I resolve to NOT become a crack-head.
4.      I resolve to NOT become a burden on society.
5.      I resolve to do everything in my power to meet all obligations I have agreed to.
6.      I resolve to make the most of the gifts I have.
7.      I resolve to try and meet adversity with good humor.
            Ok, seven resolutions is good. And yes, number seven is the one resolution I always have.

            Happy New Year Dear Readers.
            (There are a couple of personal resolutions that I am not going to mention here, nor will I mention them to anyone else. But, they are more “goal” oriented resolutions. And I try never to share those.)