Monday, October 31, 2005

The Curse of Dan Shaunessy

The fellowship of the miserable survives this Halloween with Count Shaunessy the leader of the blood suckers, who did his best to help run young Theo Epstein out of town so he can continue to ply his trade as the Dark Prince of Negativity, and extend his cottage industry with his new book, Death to Red Sox Nation. It was a master stroke of his to denigrate Theo's achievements, compared to those of the Godfather, "Lucky" Larry Lucchino, and to tick him off just enough to distrust the Red Sox hierarchy and force his hand on principle. Now you have a clear playing field to stoke your negative fires, and maybe conjure up a new curse when Manny is traded, Damon leaves for more money, and Ortiz gets pissed off without another top slugger in front of him in the line up. Yes, you vampire, you'll have a lot of candidates to suck the life out of, as well as the Nation itself, brought to its knees, by an inferior General Manager. You'll smile with glee, and do cartwheels on the floor, when the Red Sox are 10 games out at the end of April 2006. You are the zenith of negativity, and only in your glory when the Red Sox are losers.
You have a real problem, and it probably stems from your youth, or are you as greedy a bastard as the all the Red Sox owners? The glass is always half empty for you when it comes to the Sox. Even when they won, you had a hard time embracing it, since all you know how to do is to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. My suggestion to you is get the hell out of Boston, and move to Tampa Bay. You'd feel right at home down there, and your negative views would do them some good, as you are a Master at explaining excuses when things don't go right. And maybe, just maybe you'll meet your match.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Customers are No.1, but Employees are not No.4

It's a shame, but employees of the human kind is just so much fodder to keep the corporate machine rolling, while it spends money improving software to improve systems, eliminate jobs, outsource the maintenance group that handles any malfunctions and answer questions from frustrated workers who can't get the system to work. And, yes, the IT group is also a vendor selected by the company who have no idea what the system is for, but nevertheless have to justify their multimillion dollar contract, so they put plenty of bells and whistles into it, to make it ridiculously complex and user unfriendly with unnecessary steps that do nothing except slow the process down and add to excessive mouse clicking that produces no final resolution of the problem until the umteenth click, at which point the whole procedure starts over again, or a malfunction occurs in which case you call an 800#, and a guy named Kart in India patiently explains the error like you're in kindergarten, and afterward you have no choice but to thank him, so you can continue on to the next problem, and he can go home and thank Buddha for the global economy he can participate in, and he can live a Rolls Royce life in India. So the global tentacles have reached out and ensnared Kart and his family, while corporations trim down, and RIF, and lay off thousands of workers in America. And the workers in the cubes and pods don't get the training they need to do the job right, but the money rolls in, and the corporate giant keeps trampling everything underfoot. It has gotten to the point where gulp, we are merely extensions of the machine, and are merely there to do its will, with the minmum of management supervision. It doesn't matter who's sitting there clicking the mouse, becuause the systems do all the work, and the better they are, the less people are needed. So, truly it's sad but true, employees are the fourth priority, because unfortunately we are cheapest ones to replace. I now understand the mission statement a lot better than when I began, and it's a horrifying thought. Happy Halloween!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Living With Terror

Okay, we're supposed to continue to live our lives normally, but let's be real, there is no normal with this plague on humanity. There are no rules or ways to fight this, except to be prepared, and keep on guard for anything different or out of the ordinary. Commuters on my train have new visitors, the MBTA SPECIAL FORCES, the black suited policemen, and one eyed me suspiciously when I dared to make eye contact with him at my usual commuter station for the past ten years. Well, my suspicions were correct. This blonde haired moustachioed guy eyed me and my back back for a few seconds with a total blank expression. But the eyes said everything I needed to know. No one is above suspicion, and they are looking for anything suspicious, including me for looking at them. So, forget racial profiling. On the positive side anyone could be a singled out, male or female, black or white or asian, latino, whatever. On the negative side, it feels like a Stephen King movie to have the policeman question me in his mind, even for brief seconds. But I find myself also looking for the odd person, the commuter who doesn't fit. This used to be a pleasant experience to take the Commuter Rail into Boston. Now sleeping is fitful at best, reading is intermittent, and relaxation is at a minimum. Actually, the Men in Black are beginning to be a welcome sight in this new world order.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

London Bombing

It was a nightmare in daytime, horrible, macabre, frightening beyond description, especially if you're a commuter like me who take a train to work every day, not to mention the thousands of people who take the MBTA trains. We all relate to the carnage caused in London and are horrified that God forbid it could happen here or anywhere. We feel for the families and their loved ones who died, and the injured in hospitals who were once again the innocent victims of hatred and terror.

The President came out and said this was an attack against freedom, and we will do everything to stay on the attack to defeat the terrorists. What he didn't say and hasn't said is we will do everything we can to insure the safety of our free citizens, and shore up our security systems for commuters around the country who rely on public transportation. What about the defense, Mr. Bush. He won't make that commitment, except to the airlines, although that would make his commitment to our safety a clear signal that he intends to protect freedom at home.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Old Hippy Concert

You knew it, when this big gray haired guy stood up alone while John Fogerty sang Born on the Bayou, early on pumping his fists in the air, and screaming out. He was dressed normal, but here was a closet hippy. If I close my eyes, I can see him with his bong getting stoned, and passin' it around while CCR blares "Proud Mary". Oh, shit, those were the days, the anti'establishment, get stoned and blast the stereo, while the sixties and seventies fly by. And then there was John Mellencamp, more positive rock and roll, my son said. Yeah, but I still like that song, "Pink Houses." "Ain't that America, you and me, something to see, baby. Little pink houses for you, for you and me, girl. Oh, yeah." The hope of the past seeking fruition in the present. And if you got one, in the middle of the country, you made it, like your parents before you. You got it all. The American dream realized. Isn't that what it's all about?

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

A positive blog

My wife says I should be more positive, that I should be shallow and happy like her. So, what the heck, I'm gonna try to LA, LA, LA, be happy, and enjoy life on my vacation. I mean if you can't chill out on summer vacation, when can you? I guess it's cause I'm a deep person. I think below the surface. But I am surrounded by most people who only see the road or world in front of them, right in front of their face and nothing else. It's a pleasant way to be, a lot less thinking, wondering, worrying, comprehending, or trying to understand THE BIG PICTURE. Who cares? I'm having fun, you're having fun, the sun is out, the Red Sox are in first place, and my back is finally fine. Life is good, and goes on. So roll with it, baby, for a while. Shallow is, don't ask why are people shallow. Shut up! Okay.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

I can't drive 55 was meant to be my first post, but I have a confession or two to make first. One, I decided to "blog", don't like that word, sounds like vomit, but, hey in a way it is, verbal vomit. I like that. Anyway, it's been now 15 days since I turned 55 and I told myself I would create a blog for my birthday, and 13 days later I did, so Two, I'm a procrastinator, and there are far worse things in life, but I'm working on it. Here goes...
SUMMAH, SUMMAH, is here in 2005. A time to let go, release, breathe in the warm fresh (COUGH, COUGH) breezes in Bahston and elsewhere. But Summah 2005 is a lot different than previous summers. Relaxation doesn't last very long, the UV rays are much stronger, the air quality is day to day, unless you live in Maine or Vermont, great places to vacation. And of all things the national politics are smokin'.
I got to get this out of the way, while I'm still doing some Spring cleaning, and then hanging by the pool briefly in the Sun with my sunblock UV 30, (was it last year that 15 was still strong enough) watching the little toddlers jumping gleefully into their parent's arms, and kids splashing and playing Marco Polo, and interrupting my meditation.
The government has let us down, and both parties, the so-called "Republicans" and "Democrats" leave us much to be desired and little to be admired. That's probably a catch-all phrase that even they may use some day. But as my eighth grade teacher used to say, and I wish I remembered her name, "People get as good government as they what? Deserve.". And what more can one say about the Bush administration that seeks to spread Democracy (sic. capitalism) abroad, while pushing extremely hard at home to restrict liberty and liberties we take for granted, and circumvent the Constitution through the expansion of the cleverly named Patriot Act. Read the stories people, know what you are losing. This law affects you, me, and that toasty babe in the pink bikini bathering on her cell phone about her latest date, and her hair coloring appointment on Saturday.
Well, this is what you need to know about how Bush is planning to slowly transform this country, not the Mideast dictatorships, except of course our oily friend Saudi Arabia, into a police state. So baby, oil yourself up and get comfortable. The sun ain't shining here. Oh, and what is that book you're reading, Nora Roberts' latest trashy, er romance novel? Who wants to know? Well, until recently the FBI might have had the power under Section 215 in the anti-terrorism law to obtain a wide range of business records and other "tangible things," like library patron lists, and book sales records or book customer lists.
An amendment passed by the House now will bar terrorist investigatiors to check out the reading habits of patrons of libraries and bookstores. And thankfully 38 Republicans joined 199 Democrats and one Independent to get the amendment passed. Oh, and the Independent just happened to be Representative Bernard Sanders, the amendment's leading proponent. I culled this information of course on line, the last free bastion of thought and freedom of expression, ironically, and it is worth repeating the quote by Mr. Sanders. By the way you'll never see this or hear about it on the "News stations."

"Every member of Congress and every American understands we have to do everything we can to protect the American people from terrorism. That's not the debate. The debate is whether we can and must do that and protect the constitutional rights that make us a free people. That is what Congress voted for today.
This sends a real message to the President that the American people do not want Big Brother looking over their shoulder when they walk into a library or bookstore."

So, honey, you can turn over, you're getting a little burnt, and get into that passage that is making you hot, tan and hot. Ah, summer. Hey, but even that brief statement should be enough to give you goosebumps. You only have to look up and as far away as Washington to see how the Bush Fear Factor is bent on limiting America's freedom in the shadows of the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorial, and in view of the Washington Monument, under the all encompassing, oppressive, mysterious term, "terrorism."
Boy, would that have meant that if you had read "1984", or looked at R.Crumb cartoons, you might be a "terrorist?" It's sort of like an ass backwards Redneck joke, where the joke just might be on you. Unless, of course you live in the red states and have only read "Bambi."
Back to that quote about the government. While Bush is blatant about usurping our freedom, the namby-pamby Democratic party is just that. No cahones, none. Kerry, a joke. Dean, rediculous, Hilary Clinton, a fountain of platitudes and the usual blah, blah, blah, good education, affordable health insurance, clean air, protect the environment, safe streets, blah, blah, blah. But the worst sin is the sin of (C)OMMISION, pick your choice.


Huh!? Better than what? What can we do better? HOW CAN WE DO BETTER?
If you knew how, Bush wouldn't be the President of USA, INC., would he? This third grade slogan picked by a three hundred millionare irritated the hell out of me. Every time they said it, and they still do, I screamed at the TV, "Are you kidding?"
It's the lamest excuse for a rally cry I've ever heard. And do you know to this day they haven't given us any answers. They haven't given us anything concrete, and Kerry, every time he has an opportunity to take a stand, he doesn't. The consummate politician, who plays both sides against the middle and says nothing.

Oh well, there's always the excape mode to the Red Sox, the defending World Champion Boston Red Sox. And then there's Brad, and Jen, and Angelina, and Tom and Katie, and Star Wars Episode Three, Batman Begins, and soon the War of the Worlds. See a pattern here, God, I hope not. People have got to get involved, people have got to care, if not for ourselves than for the kids splashing in the pool.
I now return you to your regular programming. Bush, Cheney, Iraq, insurgents, Social Security, U.N., Bolton, Condoleeza Rice, Oprah, Tom, Katie, Jacko, Manny, Ortiz, Arroyo, Bill Moyers, The Web, Dean. Oh, and don't forget the Daily show.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

King me!

I just went for a Crown last night, my second one, and what a fabulous dental visit it was. It was hot, literally, the A/C was barely working, and my bare legs stuck to the vinyl chair, like adhesive tape, after a while. Boy, was I looking forward to that hour and a half visit, and that lovely novacaine, the needle way back in your mouth that makes you feel like half your face is sliding off. And then it's on to the Big Dig. And for the next hour, you sit and smell the burnt odor while your tooth gets pared down. Actually, it feels like they're hard at work building an underground metropolis in your mouth, with highways, and byways, and tunnels to ease the traffic. The only sounds missing was horns beeping. I swear one time I looked up and he was wearing a hard hat. If only they could put you out and send you somewhere, like Hawaii or Mars like in Total Recall. But no, you have to be awake while they fill your mouth with cotton rolls and other gadgets, not to mention the air tube they hook on your lip, and the mini-vacuum they use to suck up the blood, etc. Then they ask if you're doing okay? Mmmph..., you nod, and hold your hands together in prayer fashion. You look out the window at the palm trees, girls in bikinis, and the rolling waves...Ahh, summer.