Waiting for a Friend Wednesday, 08 June 2005 04:07
Tuesday night I did my ritual of stopping by the Ding Dong for a beer—half price Tuesdays—Krissy, in all her tattooed glory, was bartending, supplying fine strands of fulfillment for us souls needing comfort. I was not alone, behind me was a well dressed Latin man ordering a short drink and a smile. Krissy introduced us in a effort to relieve her burden of entertaining, but we were not there to socialize.
I spied a couple I knew sitting at a round table, the husband worked on the Street and now teaches math in a New York public high school. He would engage me with theoretical discussions of calculus and rock and roll. He informed me that he was “Waiting for a friend” definitely a higher calling then being a groupie for the barmaid. I blurted out that I produced the Rolling Stones Video “Waiting for a Friend.” 734 He quizzed me not believing all he hears in such a context. Asking what bar they went to in the video. I did not know. CBGB I was told. Live and learn. These past memories are now common knowledge of thousands of fans. James Braddock training camp in 1937 held that place for my father—Glory days.
Scanning pictures into this site I looked long and hard for a couple of stills from that music video. They were no where to be found. First I suspected my brother, and then I remembered I accused him of lifting a photo from another project 663 only to discover my copy later. Then I though it might have been my ex Wife who filled in as a production manager because of union issues. She ran around with a clipboard and flirted with the stars. She managed to get an autograph copy of Mick and Keith. I lifted the photo during our divorce, so it would only be fare if she had.
Living in the past becomes as ill fitting as an old suit. You need to move beyond the glory and the grievances. Actually, living those days was no picnic. The events unfolded like a blockbuster on the movie screen, too quickly to comprehend. Now life is richer, knowing who you are and who you are not—Confident in your achievements and accepting the short comings. The impermanence of it all becomes paramount—life is short—not to be squandered with unhappiness and regrets.
Cinderella Baby Tuesday, 07 June 2005 09:06
I recently watched the movie Cinderella Baby and for the first ten minutes thought the fighters name James Braddock was very familiar. Then I realized that I scanned a photo of my Father while he was working at the fighters training camp preparing to defend the title against Joe Louis. 72 the fight depicted the hardship that James Braddock suffered during the depression. The pictures I have of my father tell a different story, fancy cloths, fast cars and woman. By the time he got around to raising a family he was ready to just cruise through life.
lost links Sunday, 05 June 2005 06:25
I have recently moved my ISP and lost this entry that had a couple of interesting links. a New York Times article discussing that Researchers are arguing romantic love is a biological urge distinct from sexual arousal. And if romance is too much to handle you can follow the exploits of a retired computer consultant who is posting a weblog about his attempt to visit 1000 New York City bars in one year. He apparently has the support of his wife in this dubious task, which I think is more amazing. thousandbars.blogspot.com
Watching New Love as It Sears the Brain: 31love.html
Intimacy Tuesday, 31 May 2005 06:55
When it is missing—you long for it, a faint memory clearly in view—you taste it. Like water hardly a concern, thou without it you are desperate. Thoughts can reaffirm a sense of self worth, an exercise I am attempting on these pages. My quest is believing you are reading these words—an allusion no more then those of your past lost dreams.
Last night I awoke throughout the night, prodded by fragments of dreams. In the morning I felt bankrupt. Not depressed for I knew I could take action—write, walk out the door. I don’t know if everyone feels this but I am visited now and again by an understanding of myself, supported by too many memories, not to be dismissed.
But with it comes a resolve to not be condemned my past.
Enough talk, if I continue this I will only be picking at a sore. The day waits. It is not about the past or the future. John Maynard Keynes said “Long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead” have a nice day
Home Alone Sunday, 29 May 2005 10:57
Life goes by unnoticed. Work, chores, friends, we fill our hours carrying out the tasks. Weekends and holiday are a respite, a time to revel in personal joys which we work hard to afford. Though this is not how the time has evolved in my life—it held a mirror up to vacuum that existed. The cure was to push five into seven days and use the time for strategic expansion of my life’s purpose, a purpose consisting of programming, technology and mental skills.
Now on this beautiful Memorial Day weekend I contemplate other needs. Although I could finish reading a book on style sheets or implement a control that displays recent additions on my site, I don’t wish to. Holidays are to be shared by those you love, a time to reflect upon memories and feel thankful for the shared experience. Good food, a walk in the sun—a time of perfection. Or so the story goes, but this has rarely been my reality. Fulfilling these dreams have been as allusive as the “father knows best” on the TV screen.
So I am alone. I know what I don’t want. I don’t want to spent time bolstered by denigrating others. this effort to rise above it only reinforces the limitation that bound us. I don’t want to absorb the pain of others as a trade to end loneliness. All relationships require give and take and knowing how to set that balance requires relying on your feelings. Obstacles are always going to come into our paths, and good friends can help with compassion, advice and motivation. Where it does not work is when the relationship propagates inhibitions, loss of hope and fear.
How do we learn to accept each other as we are, in our heart, while making it possible for them to be all they can be? I don’t think I know how to do it. A book I just finished held some answers—be positive. Even when dealing with what we want to change, feel the light, show the light. Dream a future and a path to a brighter day, and in dreaming we just might realize we are almost there.
So I embrace my weekend not by thinking about what is missing, loved ones, but what I have, those that are in my heart now and in the future. Life is a precious thing I am not intending to waste; I see the rays of sun—bright and the trees of Central Park—green and softly moving in the wind. It is a great time to be alive, and I plan to make the most of it whether alone or not.
Now or Later Friday, 27 May 2005 11:57
I recently had the opportunity to have a long discussion with a family member. There is something special shared so much history.
My family didn’t easily accept criticism—who does? I kept my mouth shut. As the youngest I needed to rely upon other tactics then a frontal assault. I developed a reputation for being sneaky, I am told.
Now, after working hard learning to articulate myself— I speak up, still resorting to a crafty presentation of words. The objective of a discourse, for me is mutual benefit giving good reason to sustain the communication later. To accomplish this I need to adhere to rules.
there is no benefit to ad hominem arguments, appealing to personal considerations rather than to logic or reason: Prefacing a remark with “I know you won’t understand” only evokes a contentious reply, causing one to defend their ability to understand, a discussion which is too general to resolve.
I can be faulted with pushing the discussion into uncomfortable territory. I find in conducting a successful chat it is necessary to manage emotions. This is where I might be accused of sneakiness. Offering praise on what you agree on to make it easier to challenge without having to duck for cover.
The topic of great interest to me as of late is—Do we conduct our life to attain a future objective or live for the moment? In the past, I have felt good when working to accomplish a goal. I have been on that path most of my life. always a believer in the power of technology and used all my waking hours to learn and explore. As a result I was rewarded for my effort, and efforts I loved.
Food and fitness were fuel and maintenance on the quest. This model only can sustain itself if you believe in a future payoff. But as life progresses and love ones leave this earth, you come to realize that right now is the most important time. But you can’t just rush out and buy a pack of cigarettes, for the rush is not worth the cost of a long painful death.
So this was the topic I discussed. Now or later—knowing that later may never come. Writing has been key on pursuing this topic. Bringing my thoughts from the sky down to my own personal experience, the words have helped me feel.
There is a sense to my quest for the now, hopefully satisfy my needs for tomorrow. Thomas Friedman in “the world is flat” explains very clearly and frightfully how Indies and Chinese can compete inexpensively with USA software talent—Me. The only was to adapt successfully is to learn what I want. And what they will want when they attain more prosperity. Now eating, drinking and loving might be the quickest path to self destruction but it also is going to require great effort to combine the great strides of progress the world is now making with the very person needs that we have and can not forget.
Perception Sunday, 22 May 2005 09:15
This past week I have shifted strategy. Rather then think about what needs to be done next, I am paying attention to my feelings. So far it has gotten me in trouble. I have upset others. When I hear words like “unfortunate”, “guilty”,”despite” I take issue. Criticizing negative words is negative to, resulting in a disconnect.
I am an avid reader of non-fiction. Politics, Economics, Psychology, I read to understand the forces dictating my life. Yet understanding has not helped. Being aware is depressing for the conclusions are mostly bad. Thinking about terrorism, disease and outsourcing makes it difficult to envision a positive future.
So when a friend, a dentist with a practice on Central Park South suggested reading a book on feelings I went online and ordered it from Amazon. I was interested because of her recommendation, A book I might otherwise dismiss for lack of footnotes. The book, “excuse me, your life is waiting” by Lynn Grabhorn did require suspending critical analysis. It states everything in life is controlled by your feelings and whether you put out positive or negative vibration determines whether you attract good fortune or bad.
This idea conformed to past experiences. When times are good they only get better yet when they are bad, well you know the story. I had always sustained this unspoken belief that some force was guiding me through life. Working in the Oval Office, producing a Rolling Stones video and computing in the heart of Wall Street, I did these things not by force and determination but by joy and wonder. I learned much effortlessly and passionately.
Somewhere my luck turned; maybe it was divorce, death or 911. Now a cloud hovers, no longer thinking about the future with goose bumps tomorrow’s tapestry has holes in it. Lynn, the author, would say that I was focusing on negative feelings and the result would be bad. Whether its cosmic force or common sense I know that if you can not see a positive outcome you won’t have one.
Now that I am pushing forward with a positive attitude, I see others fighting a rear guard action. The most favorable outcome is not failing, not getting sick or not being depressed. This is a no win situation. So I am trying to change by setting a goal to experience joy.
Yesterday morning I walked across Central Park and visited the Conservatory Gardens there I sat alone amongst a ring of violet and pink tulips. Last night I cooked a leg of lamp with asparagus and roasted potatoes and feasted alone. I am not home free yet, there was a stressful moment causing rift with an intimate friend. Interpreting her words as negative and objecting, Later discovering that she was upset over test results.
There are going to be events that happen in our lives which make us sad. These events require some morning. But we need to come up for air and smell the roses or we will drown. Empathy is important, but I never want to get to comfortable with my hardship. I want to
Waterloo Monday, 25 April 2005 07:36
We live a fragile existence, working hard to put on a brave face while facing our challenges. As I drag myself out to the park for a run, I inflate my ego with images of athletic prowess—strong and fit— running victoriously throughout the heard. The vision is shattered when I get passed by an overweight woman who looks like she is speed walking. Is it a delusion or a dose of self confidence we need to get through another day?
Even when built on false allusions and dreams, believing in yourself can give you the strength to prevail when there is no evidence or support. No one has ever accomplished the extraordinary without some blind faith. It is the effort that follows that faith that leads us to our goal one step at a time.
But what if that goal is not worthy? At what point do we weigh the evidence and give up? Or do we just struggle on? It is possible to live your whole life supported by those close and willing to sustain our allusion, friends and lovers, living in a protected cocoon reinforcing each others meritocracy. Some of us venture out and win the praise of the world, like the Beatles or Picasso but most of us are stuck with talents that only a mother could love.
So it is with this awareness that I am forced to come to terms with the dreams of my life: This site. It was to be my ultimate achievement—Built with years of effort on a software foundation which successfully delivered profits to my past employers. I have to realize this effort is not working.
I have had a free hand: working months, reading dozens of books and exploring numerous sites. I worked with commercial sites, corporate portals; and even functioned as an ISP. The image was always clear. Create a portal where I could exert my professional competence and make a living by reacting to the visitors that arrived. But nobody came. It is as if I am broadcasting on a channel nobody can tune in. This dismal lack of commerce is also evident on the ecommerce site I built. I state this confession here because I am not worried anyone will read it.
I could have spent the last three years lying on a beach rather then getting up each day at five and working. I wanted this place to reflect every part of me. I worked on skills like grammar to help convey the message. The dream was that at first I would supply the words and software but over time collaboration would develop and new and productive interchanges would happen.
Not even close. No one is coming. It did not help to I upload a thousand pictures and make possible for all visitors to add content. No one is interested. Most web sites that people create are not interesting to others, but I was hoping that those with a common shared experience would help build upon it. It is not happening.
I have yet to admit defeat. My last effort was to strip out the presentation layer and replace it with strict HTML and style sheets. If I am foolish enough to continue this effort I will pr
On Love Saturday, 16 April 2005 15:58
By the time I retire, I will understand life. Though I fear I will pave over any opportunity to love. The lessons of life are ruthless when diagramed yet awareness of people’s wants and needs alerts us before any damage is done, neglect results in a painful lose.
I come to this quest having neglected my own needs; I took refuge in mastering the physical world. Engineers use defined rules. For me, engineering gave way to computers, machines with a vision into a better world, built upon efficiency and truth. This filled me with elation. I would wonder if it was not my mistress.
With the crash of the tech boom, the mistress left me. That was not the only jolt; cast aside by a partner whom I did not understand as I did not understand myself. I vowed this would never happen again and began to listen, study and live.
What do I want, not what do I think. I applied the rational tools familiar to me. This time it was about life and love. Before, the line between thought and feelings was clear. I had no feelings. Now I had to manage the welling up inside as I peeled back the layers.
Life had never presented a conflict. I never felt any urge to cheat on my wife. Deception would undermine the rules I lived by. How could I dream when I myself was corrupt? But the price was high. I could not taste the joys of life without it first being process by thought.
I thrived in a bubble, protected by those I produced for, constructing derivatives based upon theoretical models and learning and teaching the tools we use. When I moved beyond the bubble into a fight for supremacy I soon was lost in a world of deception. This was true in business and in personal life.
Learning to live there was no clear way to analyze as the engineer might want. The best way to start is by discovering what you want not what you think you want. This helps to become aware of the wants of others. You make you discover the conflicts with these needs. Getting into the messy stuff.
One such lesson I’ve learned is to be aware of criticizes without cause. Loved ones are privy to all your struggles and learn many of your weaknesses. It is appropriate for a wife to be angry at a husband who misses an engagement when he is known to philander. But when your fault is presented back without provocation, it is time to be concerned.
Now the signals are all clear, echoing in ever encounter. I am not defenseless. Reason and intuition can fuse to help navigate through this minefield of competing self interest. Making it possible in getting needs meet without victimizing others. A thoughtful understanding can protect others from natural tendency to promote your own interests
Our interest is to live in a world that is not cruel, a world which adds up to more then the sum of the parts. We don’t always have to take from others to succeed. We don’t need to deny others to get our needs meet. It’s a dream and a belief.
Friends Sunday, 03 April 2005 08:38
We are nourished with friends. We benefit from the people in our lives and not all are friends: A boss or a client who pays us, neighbors, coworkers or classmates who share a common struggle, and at times, just to not to be alone. I do not consider these friends, though a friend can develop.
Love, romance and sex also bring people together. We fulfill this need as we are compelled to eat. With six billion people populating this earth it no longer mandated for the survival of the human race, but this drive is programmed and we can not deny it. One of life’s strongest bonds, the family is created from this union, but not always making friends to the two people responsible. Desires fad with the preponderance of competition and only sustained by commitment and the values taught during our upbringing.
I have yet to give up. Maturity might teach us acceptance of others and ourselves making it possible to find friendship in this natural of all bonds. But I have not observed this first hand.
What is a friend? A friendship has to be worth investing the time, requiring thinking outside of you. Some people have associations not friends with different people all their life long, the relationships never lasting beyond its immediate benefit. Friendships can evolve from a romance yet it is never clear what the priority is and the truth often becomes a causality.
With the few close friends I have, there are months we do not communicate but the bond still exists. There is an acceptance of each others humanity and a commitment to sustain the friendship. Not always perfect and often needing understanding and forgiveness. Now it seems the more I need the more I give in the hope that someday I will receive, quite selfish actually.
I post my comments here to sustaining old friends and cultivating new ones. My words are broadcast for all to receive, anonymously directed, with the ease of access this site I am hoping to connect, creating a foundation for the bond to grow.
Sleep Thursday, 31 March 2005 06:27
Some nights I just can not sleep. Last Night was one of those nights. I did not get up and fix myself a cup of warm milk and read a chapter of what ever I am reading, but I did roust to check the time ever two hours.
If I am not pressed for sleep I try to analyze what could be the cause. Was it the trip to the dentist on Tuesday and thinking about the expense and pain, or was it the excitement of style sheets developing that was planned for today, then it might have been the affairs of the heart, yesterday the first warm spring day creates a strong effect, or finally was it something I eat or drank?.
My mind flashed through all then and finally found a restful thought that brought sleep. I am awake now, ready to charge forward with work. Work seems to be the only thing that we have any control over.
Joke Tuesday, 29 March 2005 15:28
A married Irishman went into the confessional and said to his priest, "I almost had an affair with another woman." The priest said, "What do you mean, almost?"
The Irishman said, "Well, we got undressed and rubbed together, but then I stopped."
The priest said, "Rubbing together is the same as putting it in. You're not to see that woman again. For your penance, say five Hail Mary's and put $50 in the poor box."
The Irishman left the confessional, said his prayers, and then walked over to the poor box. He paused for a moment and then started to leave. The priest, who was watching, quickly ran over to him saying, "I saw that. You didn't put any money in the poor box!"
The Irishman replied, "Yeah, but I rubbed the $50 on the box, and according to you, that's the same as putting it in."
Running Sunday, 27 March 2005 14:18
On this cloudy Easter Sunday I down my finest threads, LL Bean blue nylon running suit, Saucony Hurricanes, shirt, shorts, socks and essential support, and not to forget, my MP3 radio with spare battery in the right pocket. The music helps me bounce all the way. I alternate The Saucony’s with Asics’ Kayano, keeping the pressure off specific muscles and joints.
The running serves up the same relief I find in less productive endeavors. I experience elation as I start my five mile journey through Central Park, before my legs have an opportunity to register with my brain. The music I enjoyed as a youth I now only allow myself to consume when my feet are moving fast beneath me. The tunes lay the tracks, the scenery is supplied by the city of New York and it is up to me to complete the story and arrive back at my door. Besides the music there is much to distract from this chore: Runners approaching or receding, Bicyclist in their flashy clothes.
Sometimes the run is anguishing, each step fraught with pain, other times it is exhilarating. But it is always a challenge. I could play tennis or golf but it is running I pursue. I never excelled in eye hand coordination and the effort of having to arrange with others my fitness schedule was too much. So dismissed it all as undue ego affirmation and hit the streets.
Not that running is a solitary sport. I am beyond the age when no one passes me. Today a young man pasted me with a baby and a sports stroller only to be passed on the hill. He is kidding himself if he thinks tending to the flock is not going to slow him down as I maintained my lead, never to see him or his stroller again.
Forged by this athletic activity, I dream of conquests and victories, fueling the passion to move faster. Young women pass on a regular basis. I then seem to speed up or they slow down resulting in us running in sync of a spell. I am not sure whether it is the added adrenalin quickens my step as I gaze on her form. I do appreciate the motivation.
Passing the Metropolitan Museum of Art, my body is now in its most stressed state, just completing the largest incline of the circuit. And not close enough to home to dream of comfort. This is when I start thinking of the pain. Others I know are suffering from cancer, work or divorce; if I push a little harder I will be preparing myself for these challenges ahead.
I wonder how it will end. As I get older will the injuries limit my running to a quarter of a mile. Or will I go out in some explosive spasm right there in front of the reflecting pool. For now I am strong and virile and eating everyone’s dust. Pant,Pant Close to finishing, thank god.
Friendship Saturday, 26 March 2005 12:02
I am sitting here with a blank document. I want to talk about thoughts and feeling running around my head, but it is difficult to start. I can write close friends and discuss intimate details but a public discussion log limits me from saying anything that might be inappropriate. A business contacts might think I am revealing too much of myself and a personal friends might think I am revealing too much about them. Therefore I try to limit discussions to broad topics about faith, work or life.
What I want to talk about now has to do with friendship. Determining what you mean to others and what others mean to you. People can have the best intentions when they make a vow or commitment but circumstances change and what was said can always be reinterpreted. I have been deceived by words.
Most of my life I have not been a good friend. I was on a fabulous ride through life and felt there was room for more then one. But when it came to thinking about their needs, I was clueless. I am trying to be better now. Life has a way of humbling you and making you aware of the importance of family and friends.
Now I work at it. I place myself in the shoes of those in my life and try to make it better for them. I am not there yet for I am still clinging to my own dreams. For instance, this site is my golden calf. Dance the dance, walk the walk and the whole world will notice. I was hoping to create a dialog here and have others adopt this framework as theirs. But it is not working out that way.
The whole spectrum is available here. I can work on some cleaver technology or reach out and have my voice heard and listen to your response.
This transition from self absorbed to sharing person is making me aware of how I have lived. I have managed my own needs and did not ask much from those in my life. With isolation, I craved the attention of other and would accept friendships no matter how deceitful. As long as they did all the work I would accept them.
To improve life I need to do the following. To reach out and ask for what I need, to care for friends and help them reach their goals and to Share when it hurts. Life is a learning process and every day something new shows me how long the journey is to understanding.
Faith (part 2) Monday, 21 March 2005 07:12
He thought I was presumptuous of thinking I could know who God was and I thought he was limiting for thinking of God as having the characteristic of human consciousness. I went on to try to explain myself.
Early on in life I sought refuge in physical world away from the challenges other people presented me with. A mechanical engineer, sound recordist and computer programmer, Learn your craft and getting recognition. It is while working with computers when I gained some confidence in believing I understood the “Big Picture”
Developing software for Wall Street , I explored many different areas like event driven systems, databases, currency predictions, and neural networks, using them all to solving real world problems and make money for my employer.
Computers gave me an understanding about how our brain functions. My programs were no where near the majesty of human intelligence but the principles are the same. The entire world is composed of physical matter. To survive, Living creatures need to be dedicated to there self interest bringing alert to thing like the dangers of crossing the street , the building a community and passing on of DNA.
The crossing the street problem could be programmed with a computer. Look both way and keep an ear out for speeding cars. As for community and children, we have developed desires and created mythologies to nurture these essential needs.
I don’t know if he bought my argument. I was not denying the existence of God just commenting on that the unknowable parts of the Devine is patterned by our unique experiences of human history, is that not presumptuous .
Grammar Monday, 14 March 2005 16:54
I just read a chapter about split infinitives and gerunds. I am enjoying the book- “Who’s (oops) Whose Grammar book is it anyway?” by Edward Good. This is my second book about writing and the English language. I am probable beyond hope but I have to give it a try. I can’t be undone by those who snicker at my disuse of the language. I can remember at a dinner party, my ex had me humbled all night because of my unwise use of an adjective.
Writing papers in collage was and exercise in pain. Saying what I wrote was English was like saying Van Gogh was realism. I would space the periods out and pour in about fifteen words. Noun verb combinations, I knew that much, and most of the rest were these, that’s and those. If I needed a thousands words, I would pause ever two lines to count them up. 885,886, 887, I have 113 left to go. Writing ended up becoming a math exercise.
Now with all the software jobs in India it work to just know your sub routines and function calls. I never was a straight ahead programmer and always managing to get assignment where I had creative control. But now I will sell my soul by crafting enchanting prose rather then just another pretty face with a keyboard.
Tipping Point Monday, 14 March 2005 16:12
It does take time, but I am hoping NOW is the tipping point. This month, with it not even half over; I have had more visitors then any prior month. Most are search engine bots but I’ll take who ever I can get cyborg or not. I believe the trick is to constantly update your content, this takes time and energy, but people want change. I have add two RSS feeds and will have to check the logs to see how much they have contributed.