Sat. Aug. 18, 2018 – transitions

70F, overcast, clammy here in the not so secret location.

This is a transitional time for the world, for the USA, for my family, and for me personally.

Clearly the world’s geopolitical landscape is shifting- Russia, China, the UK and Europe- old relationships are changing, new relationships are being forged, and the (relatively) stable world order is shifting.

The relationship between the US and the world is shifting too. Internally, the relationship of the people to the government is, in some aspects, already the mirror of what it was. See the militarized police, and the rise of a paternalistic and socialist government as examples.

My family is undergoing a transition as we have lost our patriarch, father, husband, brother, cousin, uncle, and friend. It wasn’t completely unexpected, it’s been coming for years. But it was still sudden. One minute your life is continuing, pretty much the same as always, then, suddenly, it’s different.

That’s the transition. Fraught with danger and opportunity. With things starting to move, the smallest pressure can make a big change.

In the past, the death of one man has changed the order of the world, the fate of kingdoms. In the present, the death of one man also changes the lives of all those he touched, some in the most minor ways, some in the most profound.

I’m writing here because of the death of one man. I’m writing this because of the death of another.

We’re in a time of transition. Choose where you apply your pressure very carefully.

Nick

30 thoughts on “Sat. Aug. 18, 2018 – transitions”

  1. One minute your life is continuing, pretty much the same as always, then, suddenly, it’s different.

    My father-in-law’s passing pulled back the curtain on a lot of bitterness and resentment which had been simmering in my wife’s extended family for decades. Plus it gave us quite an education on Texas law in the areas of probate and nursing, not to mention the racket (and I’ll use that word in the full legal sense) the nurses run at UT Southwestern in Dallas whenever a lonely male patient rolls through the door.

  2. Like most widespread movements, the PoundMeToo movement is now reaching way too far. There are now people using it to get back at former lovers. I just watched the last episode of “Talking Dead” where Chris Hardwick opens it with a tearful thank you of the friends who stood by him during a false accusation of a former girlfriend.
    https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/13/entertainment/chris-hardwick-talking-dead/index.html

    Relationships between men and women are difficult on a good day. We are heading in a direction to make these relationships to have societal and legal consequences if someone gets their feelings hurt. Not good, not good at all.

  3. I’m glad Hardwick was cleared, but there is something about the guy that just pisses me off…

    It does seem like the first wave of accusations has passed. But, we can be sure there will be more waves to come.

    I only work with a few women (engineering work) and we have always had a professional attitude in our office so I don’t worry. But, my male coworkers agree that we think about what we do or are perceived to do more now (even though there was never any harassment that I know of).

    I think a few bad actors have made things worse for all of us (nothing new).

  4. I think a few bad actors have made things worse for all of us (nothing new).

    Sadly, I have worked with a few of those. They are horrible to work with because the ladies in the business hate them and I am so naive that I have no idea what is going on until afterwards (I have been poisoned before by a lady leaving, never eat food (especially chocolate cake) from a person leaving the business).

    I have three ladies working for me. One is my wife (our office manager who fixes everything and I mean everything). I try to treat everyone very professionally, regardless of their gender.


  5. I think a few bad actors have made things worse for all of us

    A few bad actors have provided the excuse for those with bad intentions to attack American culture and those not holding approved beliefs.

  6. I’m glad Hardwick was cleared, but there is something about the guy that just pisses me off…

    Fake geek. Lots of those in my generation (X-er) and the groups that came up after us.

    The young’n’s at work were surprised when, as were talking movies one day, I expressed disgust with John Hughes mid 80s flicks outside of the “Mr. Mom” script and “Ferris Bueller”. “The ‘Brat Pack’ films seemed to give everyone my age a hall pass to fake nerd cred.”

    “They’re not real?”

    “Robert Downey Jr.’s character in ‘Weird Science’ is real. Everyone either acted like that guy or kept their mouths shut, praying not to be the next target of the mob mentality. Nerds were few and picked on. That was high school in the mid 80s.”

  7. Nerds were few and picked on. That was high school in the mid 80s.”

    Try high school in the mid 1970s in Houston. It was worse.

  8. This is annoying. I had the oil changed in the truck. Today I went to check the oil.

    The hood release pivot/attachment broke. Bad words were said. No dogs were kicked.

    Can I find /just/ the green thing? Sort of and finally. Mostly it’s links to buy the entire chunk of assembly, latch and handle, for $40 and up plus shipping.

    It’s a green nylon thing like you see inside of doors for latch linkages. Pops into a hole, rod goes in and pushes the flanges out, and the nylon thing has an “arm” that snaps onto the rod.

    Picture: http://www.clipsandfasteners.com/Chrysler-Door-Lock-Rod-Clip-5-32-Rod-Size-LH-p/a15674.htm

    Or I can buy 50 of the silly part for $19.82 with shipping. Or save $1 and buy from the same folks on eBay.

    I’ll try O’Reilly’s tomorrow. If that fails, the dealer on Monday. I might just go to the hardware store for a locking nut and thread the end of the rod. Or get a push-on locking nut. I can”t drive the truck, I can’t shut the hood and open it again.

    Fun stuff.


  9. Try high school in the mid 1970s in Houston. It was worse.

    I went to high school in Colorado in the mid 1970s. I don’t recall many nerds. Probably because the ones that could not or would not hide it were relentlessly bullied by the cowboys, jocks, bikers, and other outlaw types. My group preferred to spend a minimal amount of time at school and maximize time in the mountains and listening to the music of the day. We had an open campus so it was easy to get lost – great times! It was a rude awakening when we got to the universities and found we actually had to show up, pay attention, and do the work!

  10. I don’t recall any nerds in HS. I didn’t know the word. I’m sure there were and I’m probably in that group just for crazy stuff like field stripping the Xerox machine and fixing record players and the like. Something to do…. other than a few classes, I was done with the place at the end of 10th grade. Just read the books, wander off to the library, take the tests and pass.

    It seemed to me to be anglos, wetbacks, mexican-americans, football, and shop. Plenty of overlap tho not much with anglos in shop. But as far as I know, everyone got along. PA announcements in Spanish annoyed the hell outta me. I’ll skip the rant about being chewed out for not following directions given in Spanish over the PA system… tho after that, they went bi-lingual.

    Wetbacks? Yeah, there were kids that commuted across the river everyday. Or stayed at an aunt’s house during the week.

    Anyway. It’s all history. I’ve never gone back. LaJoya was a 2A school in 1976. Last time I looked it’s 5A with four high schools and there is a HS half a mile from the first house Mom and Dad built. Hell, we use to go pick tomatoes there with the neighbors after the field was professionally harvested.

    Added: It sounds silly but I miss lunch at school. Here we are with a brand new million dollar HS, the old HS is now the middle school, and where do the old ladies cook? At the old HS. Load it up in a van and take to the HS. All they used was the serving line and the dish washing equipment. Holy cow, they could cook. Not a fan of getting a chicken neck with my rice but that meant they liked you.
    A month or so into 11th grade they decided to make lunch free for everyone. It was silly to pay someone to punch cards and collect 35 cents or whatever off of 20 kids a day in a HS of 650. You still had to pay a nickle for each extra milk. Good food and no problem getting seconds.

  11. It was dangerous to be a nerd back in the day.

    I had a friend that was in the bad guy camp by birth, not by choice. His older brothers were true outlaw bikers – guys with no visible means of support. They sure don’t punch a time clock.

    He showed me his leather jacket one day. It had a shot gun pellet pattern on the back. He said that a guy thought it would be funny to shoot him as he was walking away the night before. Of course, I figured he shot it himself. That is, until he showed me where his mother had dug a couple of pellets out of one of his hands that morning.

    Yes, his mother. These were not the type of people that went to the doctor with a runny nose. These were the type of people that nerds had to deal with back then.

  12. It was dangerous to be a nerd back in the day.

    I’m sure some of that went on at my HS. Mr. Salinas, the Principal, tho, he didn’t take shit from anyone. Nor did most of the teachers.

    No one ever gave me sh!t. And I was all of 135 pounds… dressed and wet. Easily pounded into a pulp.

  13. What’s going to come out of Vermont next, someone who openly practices bestiality or pedophilia?”

    Bestiality is a WA State thing. (Google … if you dare).

    Pedophilia? San Francisco. The famed City Lights bookstore is ground zero.

  14. There are several movements to get those classed as protected orientations, just another orientation you are born with.

    It’s the Roman Empire redux.

    N

  15. ” Nerds were few and picked on. That was high school in the mid 80s.”

    Try high school in the mid 1970s in Houston. It was worse.”

    In 1974 I solved this problem by getting into one of the three nerd classes at my high school. After two years of being bullied in the dumb classes it was heaven.

  16. Lynn, why not use your old lady as an intellegence officer to tell you what’s going on? Who’s gay, lezzo, etc. Wives and girlfriends are good for that.

  17. So what is it about real estate agents? Is there a less professional group of people? Maybe used car salesmen?

    We’ve spent the last week looking at real estate, and will do more next week. This involves contacting agents, based on information we’ve found about properties online. First, the information on offer is wildly variable – even on sites that have a “standard” template.

    You’d think the role of the agent would be to “get inside our heads” and figure out what kind of property we are looking for. However, literally the only question they have ever asked is how much money we have to spend.

    One agent showed us four different properties that we had picked out: I sent him a detailed email afterwards, telling him how they fit (or didn’t fit) our criteria, attempting to give him some guidance, and then suggesting that he might consider what other properties he might want to show us. Response? None, deafening silence.

    Other agents don’t bother to warn the people living in the place that we are coming, even though we made an appointment with the agent a couple of weeks ago. One simply refused to show us the inside of the building, probably because the current renters are slobs. But seriously?

    It’s the same experience I’ve always had with agents – in the US, and now in Switzerland. Lazy, disorganized, incompetent – it’s like the only way they ever sell anything is by accident.

    We’ll be putting our current house on the market soon. One of the agents asked if he could have the contract. I managed to avoid laughing at him…

    – – – – –

    Nerd girl porn? As long as we are talking nerds (smart and socially awkward) as opposed to geeks (just awkward), it could be interesting. One of the main reasons I married my wife is because she is so damned smart. I’m just slightly better at math and programming than she is – she’s better at pretty much everything else. She’s the only woman I’ve ever known who is definitely smarter than I am.

  18. I have three ladies working for me. One is my wife (our office manager who fixes everything and I mean everything). I try to treat everyone very professionally, regardless of their gender.

    My new management recently promoted then fired our office manager. She fixed everything like your wife. The whole thing was weird and political. I’ll be careful about any chocolate cakes in the break room.

    I’m hoping to get at least a year out of this place. I hit the six month mark in a week. The shock effect of me actually working has worn off at my wife’s job so they cut her income 20%. I need stability right now.

    (Your GP and/or Pediatrician will probably “shrug” in the Randian sense if things get much worse … like Medicare-for-all passing. Trust me — they’re generally underpaid now.)


  19. Try high school in the mid 1970s in Houston. It was worse.”

    High school in the late ’60s was not much better. I was considered a nerd before the term was coined. I was the one that operated the projector. I wore glasses. I carried a slide rule. I was intelligent. I sometimes drove a loaded hay truck to school. I was doomed.

    I weight about 130 pounds which did not help. But I was strong as I worked on a farm and spent the summers hauling hay for my farm and hired out to others.

    This point was driven home when some jock decided he wanted to establish his higher pecking order. Total of two punches. One he put on me that I largely managed to deflect. One I laid on him, solid, no deflection, straight to the jaw. He went down, crumpled, and saw stars for several seconds. His friend started to intervene. One punch to the friends stomach and he struggled to breathe for several seconds. After that I was pretty much left alone.

  20. It’s the same experience I’ve always had with agents – in the US, and now in Switzerland. Lazy, disorganized, incompetent – it’s like the only way they ever sell anything is by accident.

    Unfortunately, the same thing applies to real estate agents as newscasters. $50 haircuts and a $5 set of brains.

    If you ever find one that is honest, hang on to them for dear life.

  21. Lynn, why not use your old lady as an intellegence officer to tell you what’s going on? Who’s gay, lezzo, etc. Wives and girlfriends are good for that.

    Please, please, please, I don’t want to know. Don’t ask, don’t tell is my motto. And, it is none of my business.

    I keep a loaded .357 revolver in my office desk drawer since one of the ladies had threats made to her during her second divorce many years ago. She is on number three, that seems to be working out as he just bought her a BMW sedan. I sure am not asking.

    I also keep a loaded carbine behind my office door since Harvey. Just seems like the thing to do now. And we are having problems with people banging on our office front door at 7 am on looking for work. I am rarely there at that time but I have walked down the hallway more than once with that revolver in my hand. People tend to move on when they see it.

  22. I’m hoping to get at least a year out of this place. I hit the six month mark in a week. The shock effect of me actually working has worn off at my wife’s job so they cut her income 20%. I need stability right now.

    (Your GP and/or Pediatrician will probably “shrug” in the Randian sense if things get much worse … like Medicare-for-all passing. Trust me — they’re generally underpaid now.)

    The doctor is out? Why physicians are leaving their practices to pursue other careers

    “After 20 years, I quit medicine and none of my colleagues were surprised. In fact, they all said they wish they could do the same,” Dr. Amy Baxter told NBC News.

    “I began to feel like an easily replaceable cog in the healthcare machine. With the [enforcement] of EHRs, I had to spend more time as a scribe. One night a child I was treating had a seizure and I couldn’t get the medicine to enable them to breathe because their chart wasn’t in the system yet. This kid was fixing to die and I, the doctor, couldn’t get the medicine. It was demoralizing.”

    “Baxter left pediatric emergency medicine to head a company that develops physiological products for personal pain management.”

  23. About 25 years ago I considered switching over to medicine. I did (very) well on the MCATs and lined up an Army scholarship* (pending acceptance by a medical school) and got my wife on board with it. And then talked to our family doctor, who advised me to think twice about it. She didn’t exactly tell me “Fly, you fool!” but did say she’d choose a different career if given a do-over.

    * The recruiter, or whatever you call him, was highly enthusiastic about getting me to sign up. I wanted to be a trauma and front-line doc, apparently a specialty in constant critical shortage.


  24. Please, please, please, I don’t want to know. Don’t ask, don’t tell is my motto.

    Seriously. If I wanted to know, I’d ask. Since I didn’t ask, I would much prefer you don’t tell me — about your diet, about your medical problems, about your dating experience, about your supergenius kids, about your neighbors. Unless you’re kin, I probably don’t care. Even if you are kin, I probably don’t care.

    And, it is none of my business.

    That, too. But the urge to gossip is apparently uncontrollable among many people. Not only women.

  25. We found this place in late July 1992. Looked around, walked the place, looked in the house when they were not home. The doors were not locked. It smelled ok. The roof looked good. I crawled under the house and that seemed ok. Then we looked at a couple more places. Told the RE man, we’ll take it. He was, for lack of a better word, astounded. It had been on the market for two years without a nibble. Off for a year, re-listed on Friday, we showed up on Monday and said yes a week later.

    Every light fixture had one 40w bulb. Ok, the overhead in the kitchen had two. But one was burned out. The carpet was, well, who the hell lives in the sticks and has white berber carpet? Glued to the plywood floor? The ceiling fans were sitting on the floor. The kitchen was filthy… though I’ve seen worse. No signs of roaches. the bathrooms were pretty clean. “Dump” would be a usable word for the house.

    They were getting divorced and it was not a happy vibe. Prop taxes were three years late. Over a year behind on the land and house notes. The kitchen and laundry appliances went back to Sears. We had in the contract that the water heater, the wood stove, and the central air stayed. And all light fixtures… ’cause if the ceiling fans are the only light fixture in the room and sitting on the floor, take the fans and leave what is still on the ceiling.

    We /finally/ closed a week before Thanksgiving. Four and half long months. Lazy Realtor? Lazy lawyer? Sluggish mortgage company (who did forgive six months of payments we would have had to cough up)? The surveyor was no ball of fire either. Country vs Austin?

    At close we paid everything. The sellers left with a $358 check and I heard her say “well, we have the truck payment”. Wow. The deal was a total assumption. Basically make up the late payments and keep on paying the same notes. Thirteen years of payments left on 25 years notes. No guilty feelings here.

    Funny thing. When we sold the house in Austin, “to sell it fast, pay for the survey and inspections and blah and blah”. That’s two properties where we paid for everything. It’s not going to be like that when we sell this place. That will be stated up-front. It they don’t like it, oh well kiss me below the belt line.

    It doesn’t look like the same house. The RE guy dropped by a few months after close and was amazed. The neighbors actually thought we would torch the place and re-build or have a double-wide hauled in.

    I like it. It’s been fun. The kitchen is ugly but functional. I’d like to have more than four 10″ wide drawers. Moving the water line for the refrigerator is not a big deal. Same for moving the power for the electric range. Cabinets, wow, are expensive.

    Anyway, I’m not at all impressed with RE agents.

  26. The carpet was, well, who the hell lives in the sticks and has white berber carpet?

    Who has white carpet anywhere ? Even tan carpet is a nightmare.

    The sellers left with a $358 check and I heard her say “well, we have the truck payment”.

    I’ll bet that they were late on truck payments too. Sad.

Comments are closed.