/…….

Very, very sorry for being away for so long. I am writing from a computer at work ( on a holiday ). Have massive computer issues and have not yet resolved them. I have always been a basic push-button Windows kind of guy ; kind of computer- dumb as it were ( truth be told, more like computer- dumb -as-a-fencepost) , and a damaged registry and missing file extensions have brought me to the edge of…a dark and terrible place where a blank black screen and a blinking cursor are actual realities; not just a scary story that parents use to keep their kids in line.

” I swear to God, Mindy, any more sass out of you, and I’m taking the I-Pad, the I-Phone,  and the I-Pod. You’ll be  all  walking to school in your I- Feet because I- Took your I- Car. And….you have to finish that term paper on the DX386 in the basement in….MS-DOS!! Now take these floppy discs and go figure it out! GO!!

” I totally hate Mom and my fake soulless step-dad. I’m going online and booking an Acela to New York ASAP because my life like totally sucks and I was going to run away to audition for American Idol anyway. JLo will let me stay in her second bedroom because I’m so talented and I might even hang with that old Tyler guy and pretend to like rock and roll. And they think I don’t have a plan…”

” Let’s see… Windows 95…Start…Programs…AOL?…Amtrak…WTF???…WTF is a file extension??? What is an administrator? Safe mode? Boot from CD-rom? 10-second countdown? I have to decide? WHY??

PROGRAM NOT ACCESSABLE. MISSING FILE LINK. CONTACT LOCAL ADMINISTRATOR.

Yup. It’ s kind of like that for me now, too. Except I am obviously a shoo-in for American Idol. I don’t even have to audition. I’ll just show up for the final 10 and rocket to artificial stardom. Now that is a plan… I’ll just throw these floppy discs in my trunk with the AED defibrillator, corset, specially-designed Iron Maiden ( to fit the corset ) and a wig for my #@%@# head. And a six-month supply of hydrocodone. See what maturity brings? You just have to think these things through…

And meanwhile, on the old 386 in the basement…

/….. DISC 1 in the A drive…. A:/setup.exe

MINDY.YOUR PARENTS REALLY DO HATE YOU. EXCEPT FOR CREEPY STEPDAD. PROCEED WITH UTMOST CAUTION. YOU SHOULD TOTALLY GO TO NEW YORK GIRLFRIEND. YOU ARE SO TOTALLY AWESOME. DO NOT BE CONCERNED ABOUT TYLER. BE VERY CONCERNED ABOUT JLO. REPEAT WATCH JLO. YOU ARE NOT GAY YET BUT  MIGHT BE SOON. NOT THAT THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT. RESTORE MISSING FILE LINK AND RESERVE AMTRAK ACELA FOR

insert disc 2…

1430 HRS 06/01/11. ONCE IN PENN STATION REFUSE OFFER TO GO TO MASSAGE THERAPIST SCHOOL IN QUEENS. NO SUCH PLACE EXISTS. REMEMBER TO PACK WIG FOR @#%$@# HEAD. DO NOT SING MANDY AT IDOL AUDITION AND CHANGE TITLE TO MINDY. BAD BAD IDEA. WATCH OUT CREEPY STEPDAD STANDING BEHIND YOU RIGHT NOW. INSERT DISC 3 FOR 911 CALL SETUP LINK AND FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY. INSERT DISC 4 FOR MORSE CODE PROGRAM SETUP INSTRUCTIONS IF LINES ARE BUSY.

/…..MINDY?…..MINDY?…..

/……..

A true story, for all I know. Pretty close, maybe? Will Mindy (or I ) ever figure out the DOS prompt?

Not bloody likely. But at least I’ll be back, as soon as I can find another PC to hijack. Hasta la manina, Tostitos.

INSERT DISC 5 FOR SPANISH 101 COURSE INSTRUCTIONS. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO FORCE FLOPPY DISC INTO D DRIVE. PUSH BUTTON TO REMOVE DISC 4. GOD EVEN MINDY KNEW THAT MUCH. DO NOT DUCT TAPE FLOPPY DISC TO USB CABLE. SERIOUSLY DUDE. WHAT AN IDIOT. PLEASE GO BUY A MAC LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. AND MAKE SURE TO WEAR THAT WIG WHEN YOU GO. HASTA LA VISTA.

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In one day?…

No, actually. Tried for two in one day, and couldn’t get it done. This second entry has been more labor-intensive and contemplative.

*****

First things first; thank you, Girlie, for the appreciative response. And I wonder if while in Petersburg you happened to visit the Old Blandford Church? Wonderful spot.  I was there about nine years ago, found the locals to be mostly friendly and receptive, not counting finding my car all keyed to hell in the motel parking lot ( RI plates, you see)…ah, well.

The real question where Sgt. Farley is concerned is whether or not your RI roots go that far back, or even further. I’m sure MJ will enjoy going down that road. Amazing how many ghosts will pop up once they know that someone’s poking around. I can also refer to a previous SecRag post from Sept. of last year that discusses the 4th RI’s experiences at Antietam ( my apologies…Sharpsburg, to you Southerners…). A very difficult workday for RI.

Anyway…thanks again. I hope that Sgt. Farley rests  comfortably on a good sturdy branch of your family tree.

 *****

And now, in the interests of inter-blogal good will, I am about to bend a primary tenet of the SecRag; which has always been ( by design) a WD-free zone.

I have been asked by my Doctrine associates from across the pond to delve into the subject of Rogerian women, and as they are a truly underrepresented subgroup of the Wakefield Doctrine, I will offer up an insider’s perspective. In WD terminology, I am known as the ‘progenitor roger’ , the namesake of that archtypical personality group. ( This post will link to the WD, so I will not elaborate.)

Here’s a synopsis of what I know of Rogerian women; you would think that I might have a real grasp of this, after all, they’re my namesake females…)

A) They very likely comprise a good 1/3 of the population of the world as we know it

B) They are very elusive; they will integrate perfectly into whatever culture they’re associated to, and yet are by far the most numerous

C) I don’t know exactly how they manage it, or exactly why they go to all the trouble

Actually, that’s not true. I’ve a pretty good idea; that’s why I’m the progenitor.

The operative words here are steady and supportive.

In every culture, they’re always busy doing stuff that is completely overlooked and taken for granted. They’re all but invisible in those tasks, and they’re not very likely to make a big thing of it. They are the absolute fabric of the society that they inhabit.

They do not consider themselves to be inferior in any way. They do not see themselves as domestics, or in any way servile. They are being steady and supportive; even when they completely disagree with the social structure that they support.

They don’t build churches, hospitals, schools; they just make absolutely sure that they function smoothly once they’re up. They’ll raise their kids, and yours too, if need be. They volunteer. They run social programs. They think up new social programs, and then run them. They take care of sick and elderly parents, and will not farm them out to institutions. They uphold traditions, and if they’re aren’t any good ones worth keeping, they’ll start new ones. They know that a tradition is simply a good idea that has been maintained, and if it’s no longer applicable, it’s gone. And they’ll have the same exact sense of reverence for the brand-new one that they thought of five minutes ago.

So while the boys strut around, preen their feathers, fight for some sort of dominance…the rogerian females keep the world moving. Because someone has to do it.

Quietly, mostly.

Thought You Might…

Just found this reference this morning, somewhat by accident. Thought those ” clarks” across the pond at the Doctrine might be interested…

The top image is the actual gravesite in City Point, Va. The second is a ” centograph”, a grave marker in St. Patrick‘s cemetery in Providence.

Sgt James T. Farley, who volunteered early in 1861, and was a sergeant with the 4th RI outside of Petersburg, Va. in 1864, where he was likely the victim of a sharpshooter. Died of the wounds eight days later in the regimental hospital at age 23.

Published in: on May 14, 2011 at 10:46 am  Comments (3)  

!!!!…

The other day, just after watching the Lakers get massacred/pounded/swept/entombed by Dallas, I came across another genuine surprise. I was bored and fidgety from four days of not walking around on my plantar fascitis foot, and even though I suppose the ibuprofen and smuggled Canadian Labatt‘s ( Thank you, Brian!) must have helped immensely, I was still, after all, a CCOB ( cranky,cranky old bastard ). By then, I had actually gone to CCCCOB ( cranky, cranky, crusty, creaky old bastard).

Well, Kobe’s demise and the Labatt’s helped a bit, and I was wondering how many ibuprofen you could take at once without causing a seizure; flipping channels and passing time.

On HDNet, which runs concert stuff on Sundays, I found a video of something/someone I had never heard of previously. Has apparently been around for quite some time, and quite successful. But how could that possibly be, thought I, since I am an eminent authority on All Things Good In Music, and if CCOB is not previously aware, then said subject is obviously not worthy.

The subject was Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals.

I’d describe them as an old-school Little Feat/ Marley/ Phish kind of jam band. Except they didn’t jam that much. Ben Harper has a very laid-back semi-Jamaican sort of writing style, very acoustic and simple. But then he pulled out an exotic Les Paul– looking lap steel and did some really excellent slide playing. He needs to be on that Allman/ Trucks- school roster. Very impressive.

Then back to simple again, doing a song called ” I Always Have To Steal My Kisses From You”, apparently a gigantic hit. But how could that be…etc, etc. ( a true CCOB rarely concedes a point ).

A very charming,  straightforward I-IV-V song, disarmingly catchy, yet with a child-like quality to it. Great hook.

And in the middle of this…the bass player started to solo.

Given the song’s nature, I thought this would be akin to Slayer showing up in the middle of a Teletubbies video.

But…he somehow managed to integrate the solo in beautifully. He started scat singing, Ella Fitzgerald style, doubling it on bass, and making it work. Backed by an Oliver Howard on drums, this went on for several minutes, never losing the thread of the song. Never overly aggressive, perfectly and comfortably in control of it all.

Best damned thing I’ve seen in years.

His name is Juan Nelson.

And if, like CCOBs everywhere, you were also not previously aware; you are hereby charged to go forth, seek out Juan Nelson, and be uplifted. I myself am feeling much less CCOB-ish than I had been previously. Wonders never cease.

So go already…oh, all right. Here, I’ll help you get started.

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnOfghygS7k&feature=player_detailpage

A brand new music thing, and the Lakers kicked to the curb. What a great day.

Go Celtics!

Remember?…

I remember being very relieved that my niece Olivia was too young to be even remotely aware of the horror.

I remember dreading the world that Olivia was about to inherit.

I remember being very relieved that both my parents wouldn’t have to feel it either, because they were already gone.

I remember standing in the lobby of the Crowne Plaza in Cromwell, CT, watching the news coverage on a 20″ Panasonic TV above the bar, among two hundred other audio/video guys;  and sales reps from Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, Samsung, Mitsubishi. We were there for product training, and in a conference room surrounded by the world’s most expensive TVs, we could not get a signal (  concrete-and- steel building). I will always remember that little Panasonic, frozen in static memory.

And I remember the absolute worst feeling I’ve ever had in my life.

A helicopter-mounted news camera was circling the towers ( they had not fallen yet ), and had spotted some odd curious  movement from one of the upper floors; frantic little black dots.

The camera zoomed in.

They were people. They were holding hands, and leaping into the void.

 The camera zoomed out again, very quickly. Apologetically so, as if some indescribably private moment had been revealed. Even the announcer couldn’t handle it. There were no words that could possibly be put into play. There was just a dreadful silence.

And that thick, copper-tinged taste in my mouth. True, real fear, mixed with indescribable anger; and grief. Knowing that we could never, ever possibly step away from this.

On 09/12, I called every branch of the armed services, hoping to volunteer somewhere. If a middle-aged guy could do something menial, then that could free up someone else to do something more important.

They never called back.

And now the Navy Seals have finally gotten Bin Laden.

I hold myself to be a Christian; not a very good one, but nonetheless. It’s enough for me to simply know that there is a God. I’m not much concerned with the particulars.

And I believe very firmly in karma; that simple, mathematical, spiritual equation that says that you will get back from this life, and possibly even during this life, an enhanced version of  precisely what you put into it. I know it’s true. It’s been kicking my ass for some time now.

So my belief is that the essence of Osama is out there in the cosmos somewhere right now, in full desperate realization that the black void is eternal; absolute separation from God.

How’s that working for you, motherfucker?

Published in: on May 2, 2011 at 8:54 pm  Comments (1)