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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Keep Your Secrets (How to Effectively maintain your privacy)

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GPS, Cell phones and your privacy Keep Your Secrets (How to Effectively maintain your privacy)

Army forces 50,000 soldiers into extended duty - Yahoo! News

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Your Government at work: Diminishing your rights as an American. Army forces 50,000 soldiers into extended duty - Yahoo! News

Hating pizza

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When I was about 5 or 6 years old, I remember having a distinct dislike of pizza --- the smell, the taste, even the sight. That hatred eventually passed. I don't recall when exactly. But, by 12 years of age, I could impress my friends as my scrawny frame easily devoured a large - with the works - pizza.

A few years ago, my mother began to die from leukemia. During our subsequent talks, I asked her about many memories of my past to reconcile my versions with hers.

We talked about my youthful dislike of pizza. She said that incident had surprised my parents because, until that moment of our lives, I loved pizza. Eventually, we realized that my parents would give me pizza on the nights that they were going out on the town. It was a simple, childish feeling of abandonment. And, being a ignorant child, I had associated abandonment with the pizza.

This year, pizza is beginning to get a bum rap from me again. The sight, the smell, the taste is almost nauseating. I have to be staving to eat a slice.

But again, it isn't the food that is at fault. The problem lies with me. I have reached a point of such resentment at having to work a Domino's. And the only thing that I can take my frustration out on is the innocent pizza. The only reason I have to keep working is to untangle my life from the mess that once was my marriage. After 25 years of supporting "her", there is a intertwined mess to undo.

The deadline to get my ex's half of the property as part of the divorce settlement is a week away. The irs and my cpa seem to be playing with each other and delaying my refinance of the property. If my ex had signed the loan paperwork back in July, all would be much, much better! But no, she listened only to her lawyer and ignored all the answers to her questions from the loan people and my cpa. Anyway, I don't know what will happen if I can't make the deadline.

Maybe I'll choke to death on slice of pizza ...

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

RR, remember...?

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Now that the divorce is final, I suddenly became aware of rooms in my house that had sealed memories. Silly how events will make you block out things from right in front of you. I understand love does the same thing. Anyway, I began to clean. One room revealed proof of events long passed, of photographs and pictures drawn by MY children, items that caressed the back of my mind and gave hope that they loved me. One photo showed RR at eight years in an excellent karate strike pose. You could easily envision him becoming the next Steven Segal ... and even better! This was at a time when my family was here and we were a team. My efforts meant something absolutely, or so it felt. Fast forward to his twelfth birthday. My children had been living in Georgia for a couple of years and their mother said that she had been training them, especially since she was a karate instructor ... a 220 pound instructor. They had come back to North Carolina for some special event that my ex's instructor had put on. During this performance, Ronnie was to break a board in two. He tried. Yet it was evident that he had not been trained. My heart broke. I wanted so much to spare him of his embarrassment as he tried repeatedly to break the board but couldn't.

Have you ever had a moment and felt the cross road of a multitude of events crash upon you? I knew that my "wife" wasn't doing what she said ... at so many levels. I felt and still feel a shame that I let my dearest son down. Since then, it has only been downhill.

RR, I don't know if you will ever read these words ... hopefully you won't learn more of my inner stupidity. Now, you're at eighteen. Have too many years passed without my influence? Not that my influence is necessarily better. Yet it would be a contrast to what you had to go through these past five years. The world does not owes us a living. We do have to take charge of our lives. And, as you might have noticed, we do have to correct our past choices. At the same time, I'm fighting to not be a victim of my past choices or of the status quo.

I'm writing this to you because my father died as I was finally get a chance to talk to him on a level that I couldn't as a dependent. Can I help you bypass all the mistakes that I made? You don't have time!

I don't know if you really know this but I love you. Of course, this applies to your sister and brother too. But this is a special message to you. I will try to amend this so that you will know.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

what a company

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Today is Friday the 13th. In true form, my company fired/laid off/disposed of two vice presidents, two engineers, and a maintenance worker. Two of the five people were key to the company's health. Yet this didn't matter. As the owners near retire age, their greed has increased in ways that I could not believe --- they have not given pay raises to anyone in the past six years, they have take a million dollars a month out of the company, we can't get money for test equipment! This is truely a Friday the 13th!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Happy Birthday to ...

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...Me!! I can't believe that I made it to today. When 2005 started, I had such a feeling of impending doom ... that I won't live to see the beginning of 2006, with an even less chance of seeing the anniversary of my 47th year on Earth. I don't know why. Maybe my divorce and fight with the irs were taking such a mental toll ... I know that at times life seemed very bleak.

Still, today was a good one! Friends had a birthday lunch, women hugged me, men shook my hand and slapped me on the back. While I hate being the center of attention, I enjoyed people enjoying themselves with me.

I've read how the great minds of the past would make their homes a center of discuss and meals and music --- of enjoyment and fulfillment, intellectual, emotional, physical. Of course, they had the riches to do so. I would what it would like to be part of such a group? And what would it be like to give such an affair, repeatedly?

Anyway, Happy Birthday to me. Out of my family, at first my oldest son called and left a message of birthday wishes. I should return his call before going to bed. My daughter called shortly after. Hearing from them helped deflect the sting that I didn't matter to them. I felt when my ex forgot three years running and then seemed to remember when she wanted something. That hurt. Yet, as I write this a week later, my youngest never acknowledged my birthday. It is not the matter of my birth. It is the simply idea that he would care enough to say "Happy Birthday". I just don't know where I stand with my youngest since his only contact is with my ex and her 'wonderful' family. I wonder if calling to chat every few days matters to him. I used to travel every weekend to be with them and take care of them. On a few weekends, my youngest would get on his knees, press his hands together and plead for me not to leave. But I had to go back to work. And if my ex had a lick of sense in her head, she would have returned back to our home. But no, she was living her 'good life' where she was. This, of course, lead to our divorce. My life seems to have so many regrets....

Monday, January 09, 2006

Landing The Job

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How the lucky ones landed jobs at Google and the like!

Senators' greed bring proposal to tax Internet shopping

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From CNET.com
This may be the last holiday season to enjoy tax-free Internet shopping, thanks to new legislation in the U.S. Congress.

How our government promotes from identity theft

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A document on the Justice Department website (Executive Office for Immigration Review) listed the name and Social Security number of a woman involved in a 2003 immigration review case. Other searches of the site yielded more Social Security numbers and identifying information. InformationWeek Exclusive: Justice Department Site Reveals Social Security Numbers | December 23, 2005

Morning

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So my alarm clock screams 45 minutes before the time that actually is. I do this to take advantage of that confused state of mind when I first begin to awake. Initially, my mind will look at the clock and panic, "oh no, it's 5:30!!!". Of course, it's really 4:45 AM, but by the time I begin to figure that out, I'm further along in the awaking process.

Working two and three jobs is taking its toll, because I hate getting up in the morning now more than ever. Maybe just because I'm closing in on 50 and I'm more aware of those aches and pains and worries. No matter how much the comfort of my bed called to me this morning, I had vowed to get up right away instead of slapping my alarm repeatedly for an hour. I want and need to arise and exercise and develop the habit of blogging for a few minutes each day. While I don't except earth-shattering revelations to show up in my blog, I do hope to coax creativity in becoming a better part of my life. The exercise should help stave off the aches and pains....

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Cheated as an altar boy

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When I turned 11, I became an altar boy, which is difficult to do when you're Jewish. Just kidding. I was an altar girl. Nah, kidding again. I was an boy and raised in a very catholic household. Yet, at no time did I ever hear about priest molesting anyone. There was an adult who was deemed "brother" and acted as the priest's helper. Of course, we all wondered about some of his friendly ways but never heard about him harming anyone. So, aside from being slapped by Nuns in the second grade, no religious authority ever touched me in a special way. I guess that I should be glad about that. At the same time, I can't help but think ... was there something wrong with me? Was I not cute enough, not desirable enough? Did I not look angelic kneeling in my white cassock with submissively folded hands? Is there something that no one was telling me? Is this why I didn't lose my virginity until I was 19? I think that I'm cute and cuddlely. You know, I was cheated ... and enormously grateful that I was. :)

Company Meeting

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For the next two weeks, our Quality VP is meeting to train us on the new iso9001-2000 policy. It would have been a boring meeting if not for the absurdities between this policy and upper managements application of it. The main thrust to to document what you plan to do and what you do do. The end result is for improvement to products, to customer satisfaction and to the company. The VP continually pointed out how we have external customers and internal ones --- technicians who respond to their customers, the team leaders, warehouse operators who care for their customers, the assemblers. Of course, he never mentioned managements service to its customers, the employees. But after five years without any of us pions receiving a pay raise, I guess it is to be expected. The maddening part is to watch the money that the company brings in and see it (and learning of it) going straight into the owners and VPs pockets.

Yes, we will do everything we can to keep our jobs and make the company succeed. But happens when everyone is tired enough of dealing with the company as though it is a charity case? What will happen when they demand that they be treated as an important part of the business and deserving of a part of the profit pie?

News Flash to the Doom and Gloom Luddites:

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Gulf of Maine census surprises scientists
"The first census of marine life in the Gulf of Maine uncovered more than 3,317 different species -- 50 percent more than was previously thought."

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Ajax calendars

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In attempts to keep my life organized and my memory somewhat intact, I started using the Ajax style calendar at planzo.com. Aside from a few bugs and want of a few features, it works great. My main concern is that the developers haven't been online since September of 2005. Since I can't export anything at the moment (at least until I learn some related programming), I fear that I may loss important history of the last three months. So tonight, I signed on to hipcal.com and calendarhub.com to give their versions a go. Immediately I see how they lack some of the easy of use of Planzo. I shall add comments to this entry as I evaluate the three.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Too much already

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I can't believe the amount of rough drafts that I have waiting in the wings to be released into my blog. While I have made a commitment to write at least once per day, I feel very shy about letting anything see the light of day. Partly because, in the excitement of learning what I can do with blogs, I've added my site to blogs lists. My blog had started out as an attempt to return to writing a journal.

Well, I need to get to bed. With so much going on, last night was a sleepless one as thoughts of problems and desires and regrets and 'what-ifs' screamed for attention. Tomorrow, everyone should be back in business so I can resolve a few key issues --- the divorce will be completed when I can refinance my house. I can refinance when the irs stops screwing around and agrees to what it wants, which I can pay with the refinancing. Then I can perhaps sell the house, get a better job, becoming richer and happier and freer ..... ahhhh, the American Dream.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

whiney, whiney, whiney

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whiney, whiney, whiney
whiney, whiney, whiney
suck it up and hit the road
you whiney, whiney, whiney
you made your bed
so wear it well
and stop your
whiney, whiney, whiney

Toby

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I met a man last night who is struggling with his thoughts of getting a divorce. Another situation where children under 10 are involved. The instinct of taking no action, justifying itself by the thought of "I'll wait until they are older" conflicts with his need to resolve the situation and avoid the pain of a marital prison.

What could I tell him to help? Here is someone going through a painful time that I am sadly familiar with. Regardless of his decision to act, I felt that his first priority was to protect himself and his assets. Unfortunately, I'm not qualified and my experience have been very different. Fortunately, another man at work, Chris, was going through a similar divorce and took action. So, for my part, I persuaded Toby to talk with Chris. Hopefully, Toby's life will be the better for it.

Odd how you usually think of the divorce having an evil partner and a victim. Has anyone ever met someone who is going through the divorce and thought, "A-ha, here is the evil partner! I hope that your victimized spouse triumphs over you!" Instead, I have always seemed to come in contact with the victim of the marriage --- the one who has been done badly by their spouse, the one who has suffered needlessly from the immaturity or stupidity or cruelty of their significant other. Sometimes I wish that I could lend an ear to the other member of the divorce and hear their side of pain. I wish that Rose would have told me her thoughts ....

a new year

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A new day, another start. Many thoughts yet how will I take the time to write them? I need the practice and the therapy of daily writing. A couple of hundred of years ago, many famous people created such influential tomes. Of course, they didn't have the easy access to mindless entertainment that I have today. What would happened if they had? Yet I see and hear and read great works made in my time. So someone had the motivation to write, the drive to think and capture those thoughts.