“May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.”

"This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave." ~ Captain Malcom Reynolds

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Native Observations

This one will probably hit some buttons, or annoy others, but it's been sitting in my mind... So - I'm half Native-American (or, American Indian for those of my generation, or First Nations, or other names/labels for those who may care. Whatever. You get the point). In particular, from a Western mountain/high desert tribe, with our own particular cultural outlooks. BUT, I didn't grow up on the Rez (early exposure yes, but that wasn't "my" life), and the choices of my career and such have me living far from regions where there's a large Native presence. And - for most of the US, that's life - "Indians" are something in history books, not a day-to-day group you interact with, or people with their own history and culture. Doesn't mean I don't miss it... Anyway, what brought this on was travel over the past year, to a few different spots each having a much larger Native presence. And, in each, I felt a different "vibe" as it were towards my people. NOTE - THIS IS NOT DENIGRATING ANY GROUP OR PLACE, JUST MY PERSONAL IMPRESSION AND KINSHIP FEELINGS. For the one, I ended up in Alaska (first visit) - where, as soon as I was walking out through the airport I was mentally thinking "Wow, those are native, but they aren't *my* people..." It's hard to describe in a post, but it was distinct. While the people and the vibe were certainly indiginous, they weren't a group I felt kinship with, or that immediate connection. As in, they were certainly an integral part of the local community - *I* was the outsider, despite my background. The second? Upper midwest plains, near several large reservations. On the one hand, there were plenty of stores, a national park, and other things celebrating 'America's Native Heritage'; on the other? Drunk workers panhandling at 8am... a distinct "us vs. them" distance when groups co-mingled... a visible poverty-line difference in just a hundred yards of roadside travel between reservation and town land. It wasn't segregation, but there was absolutely a boundary between the groups. Third, I was in the southwest - milage wise closest to my home tribe, though culturally and ecosystem wise not as much. But? It was the only of the three I saw natives as "just there." People in Walmart. A few stores or shops. Someone with a sticker on a truck. While one part of me noticed the increased Indian presence compared to where I currently lived, the other part distinctly saw it as "not a big deal" as far as the local community was concerned. I'm not looking at any "assimilation/integration" questions on this, or trying to push any sort of agenda. Just more the fact I wanted to get my thoughts down on seeing the cultural mix in each area, rather than simply looking at proportions and demographics. And, if I wanted to, I could probably deep dive a number of thoughts regarding the makeup and history of each region. But... in the simplest answer. I think I'd rather end up where I'm "just another person" than one of the other options.

Happy New Year - 2023 Entry

A happy New Year to everyone out there. 

I, for one, am ending it better than I started. 

Challenges along the way, but great things too. 

Resolution? I need to not just write more, but *share* what I write. . . 

May this be the start. . .  

Monday, July 4, 2022

Independence Day

 In 1776 our founders set forth with a bold experiment - that government existed to serve the people, and not the reverse. 

There were some things that could have been better then. There have been mistakes along the way. We have drifted in many ways from that initial vision, sadly. 

But, consider the fact that to this day we are blessed enough to live in a nation that people will literally risk death to enter. Despite the challenges we face, we have freedoms and abundance which are unequaled in history.

May we strive to remember this, and to find our unity once again.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

All I Can Say

 I had a rather epic rant begun about the law enforcement (lack of) response to the Texas shooting last week.

But. I just can't. 

Too many people are talking, and the obvious is plain to see. 

It feels as if the past 25 years of lessons we've learned, taught, and tried to change the mindset on have been completely wasted. 

Men and women who swore to serve and protect abandoned their duty and chose cowardice.

Decades of promoting risk-adverse leadership and preaching officer safety as the supreme mantra above all else have resulted in a fundamental failure of the profession, yet again.

All I can do now is pray for the victims and their families, and hope that maybe this will lead to a soul-searching among those still wearing the badge nationwide.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Data Sampling Through Observation

 The current position has me in airports and on planes anywhere from 15-20 times a month, covering the country. I see large and small, liberal and conservative and so forth. So, I was curious what would happen when the federal mask mandate on commercial travel would finally expire (or, be shut down in this case).

NOTE - this post is NOT a comment on the efficacy of masking for COVID-19, either during travel or in daily life. Just an observation from last week on what people are DOING.

Last Sunday's flight? Typical of what I've seen - everyone was cooperative on the aircraft, and most people in the airport were diligent. Travelers have figured out the locations to eat and drink, or have a video call, or whatever in order to pull the mask off for a while, but for the most part you saw them in place. I've been fortunate to avoid any of the flights with drama of someone refusing to wear theirs, and slowing things down for everyone else while it's dealt with. 

Monday, a federal judge struck down the ruling, with both airlines and government agencies stating they were immediately out of the enforcement business. If you wanted to wear one, fine, but no one was going to play "mask police".

Much gnashing of teeth and wailing occurred from both sides. Some outlets showed cheering passengers and in-flight announcements with celebrations of the demise of the mandate. Others reported the "majority" of people wanted them to stay in place. No surprise to find media looking at the extremes.

Where's the truth? As always, probably in the mid-range somewhere. 

So - on Wednesday's travel, I did some simple observations, with both a smaller and a major airport, and two different aircraft involved. 

Roughly 5% of travelers were still masking, either in the airport or on the plane. Some locations still had employees (particularly in food service) masked, while others weren't. I didn't see any flight crew masked on the ground or in the air. 

Notably (and, perhaps my favorite part) - I also didn't see anyone giving other people crap one way or another. No one made comments if someone was still masked, and there were no tantrums about being around the unclean. In general, people were respecting individual decisions and boundaries, and going on with their lives. 

Maybe there's some hope for the species. 

Thursday, March 31, 2022


 Tonight I landed in *namaeless Stateside airport* and my coworker and I stopped for a bite to eat after the long day. 

While walking to select a table I passed a group of five exiting gentlemen who caught my eye. 

All reasonably fit. Muted browns/greys/dull colors. 

Slightly long-ish hair, forearm tats, and Oakleys. 

Either muted t-shirts or logos for obscure yet in-the-know brands.

Two with identical, front-worn "fanny-packs".

Come on, guys. I thought we sorted out "grey" a bit better... Because I called the group as soon as I walked in.

Fair disclosure, I have many similar tells too... 

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Indistinguishable From Magic

 I had to spend far too much time the other day trying to explain to a college-educated professional that "the cloud" wasn't some magical, infinite digital universe.

That just because data "on the cloud" wasn't on *our* servers didn't mean it wasn't taking up memory on a physical computer elsewhere. 

And, that this is a finite resource that, sooner or later, they will want more money if we fill. 

The worst part is, they still don't fully grasp the concept. 

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Plague v2

Down with the C19 again. 

First bout was early 20, so no testing was available, but that round was pretty straightforward.

This one is positive, and still mostly "flu-like symptoms" - achy, no energy, mild congestion. 

Difference is that this go around my sense of smell and taste are DEFINITELY affected; not absent but "muffled" for want of a better word. 

Anyway, I'm fortunately able to be home right now and not working, so I'm resting and working on recovery. Hoping that I'm past the peak and everything is downhill now. 

Friday, January 21, 2022

Returnings... as I don't have a better word

 Back in a place this week I literally haven't been in almost 3 decades, but that seemed to form a transition in my life for a few years. 

I didn't grow up here. I never claimed it as "home". But, it was where I went from a boy (who thought otherwise) to a young man (who still had no clue). Where I had solidified my plans for how life would be, and who I would become.

I've literally lived two other full lives since I left this place, for good and bad. And, no spoiler necessary, neither were what I had planned. 

The thing is - I've blown off, and diminished, this location's influence on my life. To myself, more than anyone. Told them it was just a place. Told myself it was just a time. I actually think I believed it, until I showed up here.

Yes, landing today. Seeing familiar locations mixed with the growth of the years. Sitting in a hotel room looking down on places I walked in another world. Remembering people and times and thoughts and plans. It brought ghosts back I hadn't planned on. 

I can see him, looking back. Younger. (MUCH) fitter. With a longing in his eyes. Seeking that challenge - half of it based on a lie. Sure he had it figured out. 

I look at me now. Maybe not broken, but bent. A different... I can't say wisdom... but, knowledge as to what certain things come with. Less focused on proving myself and more on finding myself. 

My life hasn't gone where I thought it would back then - where I thought it *had* to, to be honest. And... that's ok. Honestly, I ended up a better man. Similarly, I can look back at who I was, and acknowledge the mistakes I made not only in my own life, but how I was with others.

It would be easy enough to write it off as nothing. Similarly as saying things move on. Or, I could get all maudlin and play the "what if?" game. 

Neither fits. 

There are ghosts walking tonight, as I sit on a balcony in a room I wouldn't have imagined back then. Not braggadico, just a fact.  Similarly, there's a longing for the young man I was, so much potential - some embraced, some thrown away. 

I'm not who I thought, or planned, or dreamed I had to be back then. I've screwed up a lot of things, and hurt people who deserved better. I've failed myself and those who gave me opportunities. Far of too often, I've chosen "easy" instead of "right". 

Yet, somehow, I've learned from this and grown. I'm FAR from perfect, or even decent. But, I'm working on it. I've found a niche which I am able to fill and excel in, and gotten to do and see things I never would have imagined those years ago. My wife and children aren't at all who I predicted, and are so much more amazing than I deserve. I've failed over and over again, and yet moved forward to good things. 

I'm not who I was then, and that's a good thing. I can walk here and lay some spirits to rest that I didn't know haunted me. 

And, I hope that young man can look forward and, even if he's confused, realize things turned out ok. 

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Story Seed

 This picture just gave me the smile of a thought. A person who becomes some vampire/undead/magically immortal being not in a search for power, or through some curse, or whatever. No, their sole motivation is they don't want to give up life until they have read *every* book in the library. 

Which, as new books come in, means they potentially will never move on...

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Hidden Treasures

Wrapped up my week with a 12-hour workday, driving to and from a location only to be unable to accomplish our task due to weather and logistics issues. So, slightly frustrating on that front. 

On the other hand, during the drive, for the first time in my life I had the opportunity to see a wolf running in the wild. 

Worth it. 

Monday, January 3, 2022

People in the World

 As part of my current job I do a LOT of travel, to all sorts of places around the country. This week is another of those. 

Which, of course, raises questions from those who haven't gone many places over the past 2 years - what's it like, how bad are the airline cancellations/hotel policies/local restrictions/whatever? Which has a myriad of answers, depending on where you go.

But, one thing I noticed today (and, to be honest, most every trip the past month). Big or small airport, commuter plane or jumbo, rental car company, restaurant or hotel chain - people out there are being decent, kind, and just genuinely nice and understanding and patient. I don't think I've run into a surly employee or manager in the past few months. 

It speaks well to human nature.

Sunday, January 2, 2022


 It's one thing to see early mornings when I must, in order to travel for work or do something pressing.

However, it's becoming tiresome to see them because my brain has decided the pre-dawn hours were lacking in activity...

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Starting a New Year

 Accomplishments so far:

- Managed to get back to sleep after the first three times the animals woke me up. Made it past 7 am. Major accomplishment.

- Another bag of things started for donations/disposal.

- 2 1/2 mile walk with the dog. 

Things I need to focus on:

- Actually write again, whether here or elsewhere.

- Refocus on health instead of excuses. 

- Come out of the work-from-home bubble and interact with the world more.