Skragnon's Blog

Musings

May 17, 2010
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So, I haven’t posted in a while.  Reasons abound, but the short version is that life got in the way.

Work ramped up, school is still in session and the deadlines tend not to shift.  One week I saw my wife, while conscious I must add, for a total of about 5 minutes.

The good news is that work has returned to normal (as normal as that can be), and my wife is happy to have me home.  Well, at least as far as I don’t disturb her routine.

Summer is quickly approaching, with the harbinger date of Memorial Day just around the corner.  The last week of classes will swiftly pass, exams will arrive and depart with nary a whimper, and my summer will begin.  Four more years of school (at the minimum) yet lay before me.  Being on the downhill end of this educational slog means I can see the end, if not virtually taste the graduation glass of Scotch on my parched lips.  I’ll have to make sure I get something especially nice for the occasion.  Steak dinner for all?  Maybe.  There are many days between now and then.

Many nights of study and head shaking at the priorities of those kids in college.  Do I really get to call them kids?  I think so.  Hell, many of my fellow students were being born the year I graduated high school.  Do you think that qualifies?  Maybe I’m being ageist, but I would argue that a couple of more years, a marriage, three kids, a couple of cats and dogs, military service, travel and good friends who give one a healthy dose of reality gives one a perspective on life that I wish I could impart upon my fellow students.

Alas, I feel slightly melancholy over the whole prospect.  In the fall I will start classes with students I will never see again, and I will graduate with more that I have not yet seen.  Oddly enough I’m guessing a couple of the instructors at the school will have retired before I graduate.  I’m not a 90 year old great-grandmother getting her masters, but a near middle aged man working on that bachelors degree.  An associates can only take you so far before you run into the reality of the world.  A bachelors is the new high school diploma.  Sad really.

I’ve been listening to the 5,000 Year Leap.  It’s been excellent so far.  The discussion of the writings that shaped the Founding Father’s thoughts and beliefs was enlightening.  I already knew the concept of Natural Law, but never really delved into the origins.  Cicero?  The guy predates Christ!  I look forward to the rest.

Also reading Crucible of War, and Dust of Dreams.  Both are interesting.  Crucible really delves into the personalities that shaped the events of the world’s first global war.  The other is a fantasy novel, but the author in many ways examines philosophical views through his characters.  I usually can chew through fantasy novels pretty fast, but Erikson’s novels seem to need crib sheets and a handy reference for Kant.

More thoughts down the road.


I regret to inform you …

December 27, 2009
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that needing to reconstruct your computer after having to do a format and reinstall of your operating system is probably the closest thing a man will ever experience to giving childbirth.

The emotional pain wracks one’s soul as you try to wring out all of your most common bookmarks from the recesses of your mind.  The rooting around looking for those discs (or otherwise) to reinstall your software gnaws at the bottom of your gut.  Did I get them all?  I couldn’t have, the list was much longer before the *(&*%)&^)*&%(&*^ system had to be redone.  ARRGHH!

Ah, well.  Hundreds of bookmarks gone, but a silver lining was to be found.  I had transferred all my e-mail contacts to my Blackberry a couple of weeks ago.  Salvation!  I would have dug out the straight razor if I had to try and reconstruct that nightmare.


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The coming Christmas

December 19, 2009
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As we once again roll into the final stretch of the Christmas season we will soon find ourselves surrounded by our family, loving and otherwise.

I’ve found these last couple of years that Christmas is a holiday with mixed feelings.  As a Catholic I am joyful that we will shortly be celebrating the birth of our Savior, yet I am also saddened by the absence of friends or family that we have lost in the several years past.  Lost through distance or being welcomed into the loving arms of God himself.  Joy and sorrow.  Two sides of the same coin.  Can I strive to not let the sadness permeate the joy?  All I can do is try, despite the melancholy surroundings of the seasons here in the Upper Midwest.

Truth be told, I prefer the snow over the rain.  Yeah, it may be cold and wet, but it is also beautiful.  Silent snowflakes falling in the moonlit darkness, a silent whisper on the wind of a coming chill, the crunch of the snow beneath your feet as you walk amongst the fragrant pines of the woods in search of that perfect tree.  Glittering snow off in the distance reflecting the moon’s glow from high above revealing all that is about you.  A feeling of being watched?  Of course, the owl in the tree aloft is looking over its shoulder and considering the nature of the intrusion.  In a flurry of wings and drifting flakes it is gone, a silent hunter of the night.

Ah, magic is all about us in nature.  We merely need to let our eyes remain open and be receptive of God’s creation.


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Late night phone calls.

September 26, 2009
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Ever been laying on the couch late at night, or crawling into bed, after a day of working hard?  Your body is exhausted and your mind is beginning to shut down for that well needed rest.  The only thing you are looking forward to is closing your eyes and drifting off into dreamland.

Then the damn phone rings.  You’re up with a start and looking around the room going “What the hell was that?”.  After the second ring you realize that the barking handset is your evening’s nemesis.  Reaching over you pick up the handset and look at the caller ID and go “Who the hell is that?”.  The heart starts to beat a little faster.  Is it the police?  Has something happened to a parent?  Sibling?  Really, who is calling this late a night and it not be an emergency?  You answer.

“Hey honey, (hic) whatcha’ wearing?”

Oh, hell.  The wife is out with some friends for the weekend and she’s drunk.  I love her. 🙂  Send me pictures, and let me get back to sleep.

Do I really care if my wife is out having a good time?  Hell no!  She needs time away from me and the kids as much (if not more so) than I.  Was I really upset that she called?  After realizing that it wasn’t the drunk tank or a cop on the side of the road calling about something more serious, I was fine.

Love is a funny thing.  We’re so much more likely to forgive something that our loved ones do, than someone else in our lives.  Passion of the heart will lead our misery away.


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The grrr factor.

September 16, 2009
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Have you ever noticed that just when you think things are improving, something happens?  Car breaks down, kids get sick, the economy takes an enormous dump the size of the Marianna Trench, etc.

Well, it’s those random acts of the universe that I consider the grrr factor.  There isn’t anything you can do about them, you just have to deal with the issue at hand.  Yet you have this undeniable urge to just grit your teeth and go “grrrrr”.  The only thing it does is to serve as a relief valve.

Long story short, I’m employing the grrr factor a lot these last couple of weeks and it is keeping me sane.

Grrr on, my friends.


Labor Day (con’t.)

September 9, 2009
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Some further ramblings regarding unions:

Some may have heard of the issue between Mercury Marine and their labor union.

Mercury put what they characterized as their final best offer on the table.  If it failed, then the plant was moving to Stillwater, OK.  The union voted against the proposal, and when Mercury said that they would leave town, all of a sudden the union is waving its arms around going “We thought Mercury was going to come back to further negotiate!”.

I’m sorry, do we need to review the definition of “final”?  This is where relying on someone else to determine what you earn, or even if you have a job will lead you.  Right to the edge of losing your job.  Here’s some commentary from another blog.

The worst part is that these drones were so focused on their own pocket book that their consideration of the long term impact wasn’t even on the radar.  Now I don’t advocate that people should be considering everyone else when making decisions for themselves, but they should have considered the impact of their decision.  It wasn’t like Mercury Marine was looking to substantially cut pay and benefits for current workers, they wanted to start new hires at a reduced pay, and to bring benefits in line with those of the non-union employees.  Hardly earth shattering.  Instead, 450 or so people got to determine the livelihood of nearly 5,900 people in the area.

Eventually the union revoted (after the deadline) to accept the offer from Mercury Marine.  Personally, I would have voted to decertify the union and take my chance with the free market.

Oh, and if anyone had was at a loss for the definition of final, see below.

fi⋅nal

[fahyn-l]

–adjective

1. pertaining to or coming at the end; last in place, order, or time: the final meeting of the year.
2. ultimate: The final goal is world peace.
3. conclusive or decisive: a final decision.
4. constituting the end or purpose: a final result.
5. pertaining to or expressing the end or purpose: a final clause.
6. Law.

a. precluding further controversy on the questions passed upon: The judicial determination of the Supreme Court is final.
b. determining all issues presented, so that no further decision upon the merits of the issues is necessary: a final judgment or decree.
7. Phonetics. occurring at the end of a word or syllable, as the (t) sound in bit or bite.

–noun

8. that which is last; that which forms an end or termination.
9. Often, finals.

a. the last and decisive game, match, contest, or round in a series, as in sports.
b. the last, usually comprehensive, examination in a course of study.
10. the last edition of a newspaper published on any day.
11. Music. the tonic note of a church mode.

Got nothing to say? Most of the time.

September 5, 2009
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Blogging is an attempt to express one’s self in a public manner, while maintaining the anonymity that is afford by the internet.

I’ve been torn for a while about the possibility of  blogging.  On the one hand I can tell people to their face what I believe, on the other I don’t actually see a lot of people during my day.

So, let us begin with an experiment in modern profundity.


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    The profundity continues …

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