Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My Banana Tree Lucia there's a lesson here

I was fortunate enough to take a trip to St. Lucia in February, 2003 with my dear wife, Lisa. We were amazed by the banana farms all along the way to the hotel. They were to St. Lucia as corn is to Iowa. I enjoyed the trip of course, but the tree life is what stayed with me. 

Last summer my neighbor Justin, who has a green thumb, shared a small bud from his banana tree. "She had babies," he said. I was thrilled since I had been eyeing his tree for the last two summers. It was easy in August when the hose and bright sun were plentiful. Then, as is always the case summer was gone. I was worried about how I would keep this little tree alive all winter long. Well with 15 drops of Miracle Grow per quart of warm water every other day, she has done better than OK. She's huge!

I think a little faith and consistent care allow us to create things not of the natural world. Being human allows us some ability to thwart natures course. After this summer I do not know if she will fit into the house again. I might have to donate her to the rain forest at The Cleveland Metro Parks Zoo, where many people can enjoy seeing a tree native to the Caribbean. 

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Monday, February 27, 2012

The Best a Man Can Hope for is to live like Mr. V

I am writing to share my feelings, I must. To share the pain and sorrow in my friends hearts. The person whom I am referring about would never want this type of public notice, which is why doing it is all the more special. I am walking a fine line between over sharing and not so allow me some latitude here. For now just think of MR. V

The best a man can hope for is a relative question. As an outside observer blessed with the opportunities to share many of the milestones in a close friend's life, I can give my assessment. The man in this story has come about as far as you can on this side of the puddles, as my Grandfather used to say. What is left to do? This is what is meant when you ask the Lord's forgiveness for the things left undone. This man has checked off all of the remarkable items on his honey do list. Go to Korea along with you brother and be haunted by the mayhem and destruction witnessed for the last 60 years -check. Get married and remain married to that woman for decades- check. Have two lovely daughters, and raise them to be thoughtful caring women who gladly stand on either side of you on this day- check. Spend 30+ years working in a production environment to care for, cloth, house, feed, and any other plausible Father's Day Card subtext you can think of- check.

The next is amazing. Spend what is very likely one of your last days here dealing with unimaginable pain from circulation issues, telling the women who are your wife, daughters, and granddaughters how much you appreciate them and everything they did to make his life more comfortable- check.

This man I speak of took time to be a friend to me. He smiled and put on a strong face when I arrived earlier today to offer support for the family. The tears did return as he recounted some of his regrets. That is the whole point. To be a great man is to never think you are but rather to think how could I have done even more. There are no regrets needed at this time period full stop. You are not the seeker of fame nor fortune, the owner of luxury homes nor speed boats. Having a couple of beers on bowling nights were your vices. While a Dos XX commercial about your life is not coming anytime soon, in my mind, you deserve one.You have my deepest respect and admiration for the man you are.

I have more to say, much more. I will wait until the time is right. May the angels who come for you be sweet and beautiful. May God welcome you back to the place you so richly deserve. May the men of your character continue to show the rest of us what the best a man can really hope for is to live life as you have. You will never forgotten Mr V.

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Internet Killed the Mailman Star

Congress has decided to discuss how to tear apart the Post Office just as soon as they return from their recess. Lovely! They will decide who and where cuts to their infrastructure will occur. Sometimes I feel like Doc Brown in Back to The Future, "I wish I would have never invented this infernal thing, it has caused nothing but disaster!" Would you forgo the relative ease where so many communications take place?

Lately, as many of you know, I have been seeking full time employment since August. Admittedly put off by the lack of some IT companies to take on a new graduate, I began to think about this. Dare I say ponder it.If the internet were not here I would imagine a whole swath of jobs dependent upon TCP/IP network communications would be. Would you rather stand in line to discuss your credit card account at the bank? Right, me either. Sending e-mail is so easy. No stamp needed.

I must admit, however, I feel a certain fondness for the mail carrier. They have been coming to my home six days a week since the day I was born. There is a comfort in knowing that at least one person will approach your home in a day. For home bound and senior's this brief visit has lead to many calls to police or fire throughout the years.

I was laid off from a US Mail carrier contractor in 2008. The rising fuel costs over that summer along with some dubious accounting practices forced SLM Trans. Inc. into Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. It was extremely hard to take. I took great pride in making sure the middle leg of route 802Y4 was covered. It was a route that ran from Denver to Springfield, MA. Twice weekly I would depart Richfield, OH. headed to Des Moines, IA overnight and 41 hours later I would return. The emotional toll losing a job like this will play on the postal workers cannot be overstated. On the other hand, There is simply not enough mail to justify all of there mail centers. Some nights I was hauling an empty trailer. It was needed back in Denver.

I know turning off the World Wide Web is not an option. Sometimes you just wonder what the world would be like without it. Can any of us say we are much happier in "The Global Economy"? To me this seems like a fancy code-word for lets take our jobs, technology, property rights, copyrights, and share them all over the world. In return the world will become much richer and our wealth will be greatly diluted. Whats worse is the little bits of resources left will be hoarded by so few. This is like trying so spread a teaspoon of peanut butter evenly over an entire piece of bread.We must stop giving our Jif (I'm a Smuckers Fan) away to save a few bucks on labor costs. It's a crappy deal in the long run.

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012