The Big One Is Coming

Sep 8, 2017 | No Comments

The Big One Is Coming

A note from me: Everyone once in-a-while I write something but never finish or publish that post. This is one of those times, as I originally started this over 2 years but never finished. With the latest tech breach at Equifax, I’ve dusted this one out of the draft files and finished it off.

If you are in your 50s like I am, you remember air raid drills from your elementary school daze. You’d be in school, the siren would sound, you’d walk to your locker, and squat down. Of course, you learned later on in life that you’d “kiss your ass goodbye.” In the 20th century, the bomb was the “big one” you feared.

In the 21st century, that big boom we’ve heard recently isn’t a bomb (unless the bad haircut man in North Korea does something really, really stupid). It’s the sound of technology crashing all around us. The sound of an airline being grounded because of a computer glitch. The sound of the world’s largest financial markets grinding to a halt because of an unknown technical glitch. It’s the sound of a massive data breach at a major government or at a company like Equifax that likes to tell you what your financial is but couldn’t keep that information protection. It’s the constant sound of the cloud being hacked, almost like thunder coming out of nature’s clouds, not the one man has made.

All these computer safety issues freak me out. I feel like my whole life is an open book, just waiting for someone to open it and steal my it away from me. Our society has become so married to technology that we don’t know how to live without it, which makes us incredibly vulnerable to anyone and everyone who would exploit the complete lack of security that is supposed to be protecting all this digital data. Seems to me that the information super highway has a bunch of on ramps and there doesn’t appear to be any way to get off.

Let me bring this a little closer to home (and home it will be). Cable TV, internet and phone providers are now offering full home security packages. These are not only alarm systems, but gives the homeowner complete remote access to their house via their computer, phone, tablet, whatever floats your digital boat. Gives you the ability to control your lights, appliances, whatever is hooked up to the system.

This sounds so great…right? No so fast. If you have remote access to your home, couldn’t someone else gain that access by hacking the system? And don’t give me this BS about how secure things because let me tell you, they ain’t and this not an original thought. It came up in a discussion I had with someone who works for a large multi-national insurance company and this is one of things they are starting to deal with – remote home invasions.

You get one of these systems, leave your home for an hour, a day, a week, etc, etc, etc.  Just as easily as you can see what’s going on in your house, so can the hackers who are thinking we’ve had our fun with Wall Street, let’s see what’s happening on Main Street. The next thing you know, you come home to a house with no electricity and a fridge full of yuck! Like I said before, this is not something I made up because I’m just not that devious. People who are way smarter than I am are dealing with this stuff and trying to figure out how to make all this technology safe for us all. Newsflash – they can’t.

Everytime you put your personal information out there into the cloud and into cyberspace, just remember – nothing that big stays aloft forever. Eventually gravity (or a computer hacker) causes everything to crash and burn.

Wedding Proposal Daze

Wedding Proposal Daze

Jul 13, 2017 | No Comments

With kudos to Jeff for taking what is widely considered to be everyone’s favorite photo of the happy couple.

Wedding Proposal Daze

Two of my favorite movie wedding proposals belong to John Cusack. #1 is Grosse Pointe Blank, followed closely by High Fidelity. Wedding proposals

PornoPromography

Jul 13, 2017 | No Comments

PornoPromography

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine sent me a picture of his son and his prom date. She was wearing a fire engine red dress with a plunging neckline. Because all men are dogs, I knew that my friend was very proud of his son and the babe he had scored for his prom date. This would be the first (and certainly not the last) of many such images that would become a constant reminder that it now prom season, and that parents of young ladies would be posting many such pictures of their daughters wearing even more revealing prom dresses. So, I have come up with a name for this syndrome, social media phenomenon, call it whatever you want but I’m calling it PornoPromography.

I’m going to take you back to April 2005, to my very own daughter’s Sweet 16 birthday party. Now (and Allie please don’t shoot me over this one) one of the standard lines I had to repeat to my 16 year old daughter was “Allie, do you have to be so in love with your cleavage?” When it comes to this type of stuff, I have plenty of personal experience….and there was nothing I could do to stop it.

The night of her Sweet 16 – an all female event – there were several other young ladies who were equally “in love with their cleavage.” So much so, that I felt I should be walking around with blinders on. It’s not that I was looking, it was just that you couldn’t avoid them!

When we got in the car to head home, I commented to Allie that several of her friends were definitely suffering from the “love my cleavage” syndrome. Without hesitation Allie said “you mean Jen, April and Chrissie.” Moving on.

At this time of year, pretty much any day you take a look at your Facebook page, there they are. The smiling faces of teenage boys and girls heading to their prom. Maybe it’s my imagination but it seems like each year the dresses get more revealing and the parents seem prouder to share their daughter’s assets with the world.

Where a few years back you had cleavage, now you have those side cut dresses that seem to be all the rage with high fashion set. On a model or cheap tart reality TV star (and I think you all know who I mean…because there are so many of them…but one that really just annoys the hell out of me….but that’s a story for another day), show off  3/4 of your boobs is one thing. You are trying to draw attention to “me” because after all, in your mind it’s all about “me.”

When you are a teenage girl, who are you showing off to? But in my mind the real question is who bought you that dress? Why are they letting you out of the house without it on? And why are they showing you off to the rest of the world in a dress like that? And why didn’t they buy a pair of blinders for your prom date!

Ina Sez Goodbye

Ina Sez Goodbye

Jun 1, 2017 | No Comments

Ina Sez Goodbye

Allie, Grandma Ina and Zach at the Steely Dan Concert in Bend Oregon

The Cancer Tsunamis

Apr 3, 2017 | No Comments

The Cancer Tsunamis

On November 14, 2016, my mother-in-law (Ina) was told that she not only had a spot on her pancreas, but she also had spots on her adrenal gland and liver. As I was sitting in the doctor’s office with her and my wife, I was 99.99% sure I knew what that meant. You know the 5 stages of grief? I skipped the first 4 realizing that I needed to be the one to keep my emotions in check while others around me might not be able to. That was Cancer Tsunami #1.

A little more than 2 weeks later, Ina would have a biopsy (actually for the second time). That same day, I was on a business trip to Syracuse University with my friend (and fellow SU alum) Betsy. I called my wife to check in, when she informed me that they had done a rush biopsy and that the cancer had been confirmed into 2 locations. 99.99% is now 100%. I have to go into a meeting and keep my shit together. On the ride home, I inform Betsy of what my wife are about to speak about. December 1, 2016 – Cancer Tsunami #2.

After spending most of Christmas week in the hospital dealing with post-chemo and pain issues, Ina moves in with Linda and me on New Year’s Day, 2017. The next 2-1/2 months are a whirlwind of doctors visits, chemo treatments, pain management (Fentanyl – a.k.a. legal heroin; morphine supplements; other stuff), most of which falls on Linda. FYI, I’ve been told by certain family members my Nobel Prize is waiting for me! Cancer Tsunami #3.

But the big CANCER TSUNAMI is the floodgates that were opened when all of this was swirling around Linda and me. It feels like cancer is an epidemic and once it hits you, the epidemic comes at you like a huge tidal wave…a tsunmai. Everyone you speak to, everyone you interact with in person or via social media, everyone is touched by cancer. Relatives, friends, business colleagues, casual acquaintances. I feel like I can’t go on Facebook without reading a post from someone who isn’t dealing with cancer on a personal level. They are raising money, they ask you to pray for a friend or relative, they post stories and photos of their own battle with cancer. Every time I hear or read about someone with cancer, I feel like that tsunami is pushing me down beneath the wave. I know that I can survive the tsunami and that I will eventually come up for air. I also know that there will be days when the weight of the water will make me feel like almost all the air is being squeezed out of my lungs.

Even when the tsunami has me down and almost out, I know that the battle against cancer is one we must wage so that we win the war. That the tsunami will end and leave only calm waters in it’s place.

 

My Cell Phone Ate My Life

Mar 15, 2017 | No Comments

My Cell Phone Ate My Life

I remember fondly the daze before cell phones. No calls from clients on weekends; no midnight texts from friends and family; no people banging into you walking down the street with their noses buried in their phones.

It’s The First Amendment!

Feb 24, 2017 | No Comments

It’s The First Amendment!

For those of you that don’t know this one, this is The First Amendment of the Constitution of The United States of America:

Pathologicalnarcissism

Feb 16, 2017 | No Comments


Pathologicalnarcissism

After months on the sidelines, for a variety of reasons, I’m back. I’m also on the edge. On the edge of what, I have no idea. The edge of reason, the edge of insanity, the edge of drinking myself into a stupor. I’m not sure but I’m on the edge.

Memory Savant

Nov 23, 2016 | No Comments

Memory Savant

Have I ever told you about my crazy long-term memory? Well I got one. I often remember things about people that they don’t remember about themselves. As I’m fond of saying, “If I tell you something about yourself, chances are it’s true.” Don’t believe me? Just ask the roomies from SU…they will back me up.

Hit Reply All!

Sep 26, 2016 | No Comments

Hit Reply All…Sometimes

I’m sometimes wonder if people do things just to piss me off. Well not me, but they do it just to piss off other people in general.