Welcome to the Random Thought Table

Just got back from a walk with the dog on a gorgeous April evening. Probably still 72 degrees with a light wind. I'm wearing a pair of shorts and a shirt, both stained with the grease from the Beef Brisket Donna made for dinner. I probably shouldn't have left the house in them. I always worry about running into someone I know and looking like I've got some eating disorder or something.

I do that a lot. I won't go out in public with just sweats on. I think it's sloth looking and I don't want to be that guy. It's like Jerry Seinfeld said when he saw George in sweats. "You know what that says to people? I give up."

So true, that statement. People have become so lazy they can't even get changed to go out. C'mon, how old are we? PJ bottoms and flip-flops in the grocery store? Really? C'mon. Spare me the visual, guy.

Yesterday was writing class. Only five people showed, and most of those were poems. It was a nice change and I got some good critiques. One of the three I brought is included at the bottom of this post.

Tuesday of this week was the Bike Rodeo at Boys Club. I always enjoy this event, every year. Like all years, it starts off with boys "warming up" by screaming around the courses willy-nilly until two of them crash and go down in a heap. Of course one was a kid from MY post, but he got the good end of the crash. The red-headed boy, not so much. Got the wind knocked out of him and a good scrape on his hand, but that was about it. It's a classic case of the thrill of speed overtaking you to the point of distraction, and then Wham! Game over! Luckily for all, he was able to gut check it and finish each of the events later that night.

I was thinking as I watched all the boys having fun with everything how much I will miss the whole boys club thing next year. Ben's last year is this year and I've decided not to continue. For all the griping I've done, I do enjoy the camaraderie of working with the boys. It really is the disorganization that I can't take. Part of that likely falls on my shoulders, but much does not. I have enjoyed being able to be a mentor to the boys and Ben and will always treasure these times, but need to take a sabbatical from it for a few years I think. :-)

I got an e-mail today inviting me to the Office Closing Party for Ramtech, (aka. Analytical Surveys Inc, aka Intelligraphics International, aka, Donohue Intelligraphics, aka Donohue Telecom). http://www.anlt.com/index.html They are moving their offices out of WI forever to Stillwater, MN. It is really kind of sad, but the company has been dying a slow death since...well, since I was there.

I look at it as a chance to reconnect with some fun people from my distant past. (I left there in 1992). The company itself was OK to work for, despite the nickel and dime raises (seriously). They had decent benefits and the work environment was great. Lots of young, mostly smart, people working hard. Because it paid for crap, you had your comers-and-goers too. We called them warm bodies because they would take anyone with a pulse for a while. Hard to find good help.

My friend Bill will be there and if no one else shows up, it'll be good to see him. The guy cracks me up. He left before me and his parting blast was that if he needed a good shot of radiation, he'd just put his face on the copier and hit copy. (We worked on HUGE CAD machines...dual screen beasts that beamed the neurons at your face.) Probably not real good for you in either case.

The freakin' fridge is on the fritz again. What was life like when I didn't own such large, expensive appliances? I sometimes wonder. We think the stupid coils are frosting up and shutting down the thermostat. So, we're in defrost mode again, with the intent on cleaning out ALL the water that we find when it's done. We think there was some trapped water that vaporized and then froze to the coils since we did this 3 weeks ago.

This weekend is the Writer's retreat for allwriters.org. It's a three day deal in IL, and gives you a chance for some great feedback as well as a lot of free-write time. Sounds like heaven, but it wasn't in the cards this year.

I will be going fishing next weekend though, so that's cool. Steve and I are heading up to St. Germain, WI for a long weekend (Thurs after work til Sunday.) Hopefully we'll hook into some walleye and pike. Heck even crappies sound good right now, shoot.

Otherwise, not too much else is happening. I ran two miles today without stopping, so am getting my wind back. It should be in good shape by the time I run in the Lombardi Classic in mid-June.
I'm looking for sponsors if you're interested.


Here's the poem, in it's rough form:

Shades of Grey Matter

The mind of an eleven year old boy
Lives out its dreams, its fears, its wants
In a reckless, serpentine fashion
Understood only by like kind

It fuels itself on sugar, noise and virtual violence
Ingesting all three en route to something else
Creating a combustible mixture
Of scabs, belches and bad jokes

Gathering steam as the afternoon warms
It pushes the boy to unreasoned risk and thoughtless action
Like a circus trainer, it cracks a whip
And its helpless host climbs a tree, rides a skateboard

Flitting from dreams to fear and back again
It molds the boy into a superhero afraid of the dark
Breathing fire into his parents lives
Leaving a wake of smoke and melted plastic

As nightfall approaches the mind beds down early
Demanding less of the boy, he settles for TV

A hard candy shell soon covers the mind
Their breath is best saved for tomorrow


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