A Passing Decade

Ten years have passed since the last time I dressed up in a tuxedo.

A lot can happen over ten years. It's amazing when you look back at a span of years and realize what path your life has taken and where you have evolved to as a person, couple and family. Things like moving six times, cycling through 7 different jobs, buying two houses, the birth of two children, losing people that you loved, making new friends, and the fading of others. Holding conversations with youths that you can recall in diapers, and wondering what became of people that you used to know so well.

The last time I wore a tuxedo was on my wedding day. Over ten years ago. Ten years. Wow.

Life is hard. Marriage is work. You don't know that when you're standing there, at the base of the aisle, as your bride-to-be, decked out in all her beauty and glory, comes marching down to be with you forever after. All you are thinking, is "I love her. That will be enough." And it is for a time. But life isn't all about tuxedos, gowns and white packages that say "many happy returns". Those many happy returns are yours to work out. A note can't do much on it's own. Love is not the flutter in your chest. Love runs much deeper, so deep that some days it's hard to find. Marriage isn't always easy. Sometimes it sucks.

In ten short years I have generated a thousand tearful encounters from my thoughtless words and deeds. I have yelled when I should have been understanding, and silent when I should have consoled. I've seen days pass in conflict while solutions are avoided and disregard due to my anger and self pity. I find that 'Why can't you just be this' or 'Why did you do it like this?' are frequent used arrows in my quiver of domestic vocabulary, and that the salve of 'I appreciate everything you do' is, at many times, so very hard to find. In ten years I have created dozens of catastrophes, agonies and broken my share of dishes and hearts.

In ten short years I've uttered ten thousand 'I sorry's, I've begged for forgiveness when it had been handed out so freely only moments before. I've purchased more flowers and boxes of tissue than I can even recall. At times I've felt like a villain and days I was sure I was a saint. Arguments, fights and defeats are a normal part of life. They cannot altogether be avoided, but if you believe you will never see them, then you are assured to find yourself mired in them.

In ten short years, I have been blessed with countess 'I love you's and buried under welcome piles 'thank you's and hugs. I've smiled, sung, danced, and lived happier than any other period in my life. I've laughed with my bride about things, just to laugh and walked hand in hand down the dirtiest street with a smile on my face. I've basked in the glow of her smile and been ignited over her joy of things that had faded to mere embers in my soul. Disneyland, tacos, Christmas, and piles of sharp cheddar cheese to name but a few.

Today you have a chance to recall your ups and downs. Embrace the ups. Recall the love and hope and joy but don't forget the downs. Not so you can dwell on them, but rather as a marker to remind you where you've come from. If you don't remember where you've been, you might find yourself driving back that way someday.

Decades pass and life goes on. Today I've remember that flutter in my heart, standing at the base of church waiting for my life to start and I can't wait to start a fresh again.

Geeks In Mass

So here I am in a classy hotel conference room, listening to an articulate, well groomed marketing rep from a large computer manufacturing firm talking to a pile of greasy, unkempt socially inept geeky network administrators and managers. It's a very interesting way to spend a day.

Geeks are so not cool. Well we are, but not to others. Geeks have a hierarchy just like any society, but it's not based on any traditional pecking order. Not muscle or looks, but mostly aptitude. Applied to any specialized geek field. The geek who knows the most about a particular subject is higher ranked in geekyness and therefore cool. To an outsider you would have trouble sticking a 'cool' label on many of these guys. I say guys, because out of the sixty some odd geeks in the room, there were two females. Both of whom must have been managers, due to their constant furrowed brows during the presentations.

While staring up at the person on the dais in the front of the heavily chandeliered room, I imagined that the marketing people, who were running the show, where the same jocks and cheerleaders who used to shun and jeer these new found "clients". Trying desperately to interact with us, while not having a clue why we are the way we are. Meanwhile the geeks are staring blankly at a bubbly smiling, excited glee-squad-leader trying to get an ounce of emotion from the pale faced masses. Sorry. No dice.

As I look around I see people doing what I'm doing. Nodding sometimes while interfacing with their PDA.

Questions? The geeks look up. A handful of palms raise.

"I'd like to ask a crazy theoretical techy question that has nothing whatsoever to do with your perky presentation."

"Great question. See me after, so I can pretend to care about your dorky question later. Just don't come to close to my crisply pressed trousers."

So the manicured hand and shiny haired individual continues without missing a beat. She smiles, cracks witty well rehearsed jokes, and laughs alone to herself. Probably thinking something like.

"How did I come to this point in my life? Pandering to people I would normally give a wide berth on the street."

The truth is simply this. Geeks don't do interaction well. I'm sorry, its just who we are.

Hey, is that the new smart phone on your hip?

Pitching Bowling Balls

Harry's life as an investment banker wasn't going very well. So far he had already managed to lose $1300 in capitol from his sole customers portfolio since Monday. It was Tuesday. This wasn't going to look good on his resume. What he couldn't be sure of was whether or not he could fix it. Instead of trying to... Harry just quit. It has always worked for him in the past.

Quitting was the only thing that Harry was really good at. It wasn't for lack of trying. He'd held over 100 jobs in his rather stunning career. Most lasted at least a day or so. Some, well, some didn't have as much longevity. Like the night he tried his hand at bar tending. Twenty two minutes into his training, Harry almost killed his boss. He was reaching for the gin, when he bumped a rather expensive bottle of tequila off the top shelf and bludgeoned his manager in the back skull.

As he tried to stop the bleeding Harry joked, "It's true what they say about tequila! That stuff can really knock you out!"

"Your fired"

Harry smiled weakly, "Is that the tequila talking?"

"Get out!"

Mostly things didn't go that bad. He just didn't have the ability to hold down a job. Mostly he quit or just walked out. He'd been a baker, waiter, clerk, bus driver, salesman, grocery stocker, and car wash attendant. He just always felt as though he couldn't cut it. He was used to that feeling, it was like a close and understanding friend.

"This isn't for you," He'd tell Harry. "Let bail."

Harry didn't complain when he got fired. Mostly he expected it. Well, except for the time he lit the pekingese on fired during his week as a professional dog walker. He never saw that one coming!

"Johnny Billmo! Tell mommy what happened!"

"It wasn't my fault!" Harry tried to explain, "This guy just pitched his lit cigarette right in Johnny's path. And the stupid dog went over to sniff it..."

"Johnny Billmo is an purebred..."

"...and then POOF! He went up like a dried out Christmas tree!""

"...award winning Pekingese. He is not a stupid dog!"

"Well he looked pretty stupid running around like a mop on fire! I was working hard to save your dumb dog! It's just superficial!"

"Dumb dog! Superficial! Johnny Billmo hair is mostly gone! And the parts that are left are crispy smoking hard blackened wads! He has a show tomorrow!"

"Well at least he's alive! You should be thanking me!"

"Will you apologize to Johnny Billmo for your slanderous insults?"

"Never mind I quit."

So here he is again, out of work, and out of ideas. Not many jobs were left open in this town. Its amazing how your credibility and good name can tank after only one hundred failed positions. Only one thing to do.

Harry drove down to the bowling alley and sneaked down to the lane. He grabbed a shiny red bowling ball and shuffled out the side door unnoticed by anyone. After a long walk he was up on top of the highest hill in town. He squatted down and released his prize. As he stood there he watched as the shiny red ball began to pick up speed. It disappeared from view over the crest of the hill and he sat down and wondered what would happened.

Republican Rant

I found myself typing up a political rant that I wanted to post. KludgeSpot is not place for serious political conversations, even one sided ones. If you want to weigh in, I would enjoy hearing your viewpoints.

You can do so here.

Title Offerings

There are days when I find that I have more fun coming up with the title of my post than actually writing anything. Recently these days have become more frequent. I'm having trouble thinking of the inconsequential more and more often. My head is involved in politics and work. Two things that do little to add to the inane and bizarre profundities that you all seem so keen on.

So...for no other reason than my sheer desire to have something new on my page, I offer you some titles that have been floating in my head. I have tried to make a couple into posts, but don't get much further than a sentence or two. As such, I'm submitting them to the public, to use, and abuse and change. If you do use one... I'd like to know so I can read it.

Ten Posts With Only A Title-

"Fitting Straight Jackets" (It's a little tight around the waist)

"The Awful Truth Of Shoe Leather" (Dogs and toddlers agree)

"Beating Kittens" (There is a special place in my heart for this one)

"When Coffee Cups Attack" (A recent nightmare of mine)

"The Fingernail Facade" (What are they hiding...?)

"Of Paper Airplanes And Wooden Shoes" (When the real thing just won't do)

"Licking Bob Jones" (Punching or tasting...it's your choice)

"Dead Lifting Servers" (A geeks workout routine)

"Jumping To Belafonte" (Like you've never tried it?!)

"Escape From The Pickle Plant" (...I have no idea where this one came from...)

Chasing Pitchforks

The users are revolting. They've discovered that we are hording vast resources while doing our best to squash their prosperity. We only give them what we deem appropriate then scold them when they step foot outside those confines. It seems that one of the geeks have let it slip that were are sitting on the proverbial pile of food.

Two weeks ago
"Hello? What was that?", Another threating call. "Yes! It's true! We have tons of hard drive space. No. No. No, You still can't have a file share larger than 200MB. I don't care what kind of wood your office furniture is made of! We need the extra space important things, like episodes of Firefly and Planet of The Apes. We can't just give it out to anyone!"

Apparently this was not the correct response. Once word trickled through the office that IT was hording resources for themselves and making everyone else live on a 'perceived unsustainable' amount of drive space. The rebellious mutterings became louder.

"We can take down a load of geeks!"

"It's not about strength it's about power. They control communication and the infrastructure."

"Plus you need a scan card to get into their section."

"We'll find a way."

One weeks ago
We are now under siege. The mail room makes us box up our own packages, the IT supply cabinet always seems a bit bare and recently the security guard has been 'accidentally' ticketing and towing our cars. So it seems the users have given us little choice. We will have to respond.

Three days ago
We've started up a new campaign call '/usr/bin/bad', in an attempt to beat down the masses and reassert our natural right at the top of the office heap. So far We've been randomly deleting email's marked 'urgent', and flushing vast amounts of mp3's from the user shares in an attempt to quell the uprising and bucket their morale.

Today, finance has changed the rules and threatened to bring in the office trebuchet. Otherwise known as 'payroll'. Things just got a whole lot uglier. I'm not sure where this is going, but they are attempting to bypass our scan card doors. Payroll is indeed a might force.

As the scan panels slowly clicked from red to green in all parts of the IT section, we piled into our last bastion of security. The server room. Dawning coats and shaking our heads, our breathing is inaudible over the soothing whir and hum of our faithful masters. Many among us begin to lament their present circumstances.

"Who would have thought that a mass of users who can't even remember their own passwords from day to day would be capable of this?"

"They probably hired a consultant"

So here we were, with our hand on the button of the storage array, threating the users, if they persisted all is lost. And there they are, outside the glass window looking in, as resolute as ever for more, more, more! No matter who it hurts.

I have no idea how this will end. My only real regret is that the servers will have to watch.