Social Media mobs

It feels like we are stuck at the low hanging fruit stage of the internet informing people.

Instead of digesting what is laid out as “proof” of something it appears people are grabbing and eating these apples as if they are thr brand Ed Robertson sells in one of my favorite BNL songs.

It is easy to spot what bears more investigation. I am far from perfect in my grammar and syntax. Oh how I wish I were as good at spotting my own foibles as I am others. That raises a flag.

Worse is absolute opinion being presented as fact. If it is uproarious enough people will react without a thought. I have hopes that it is keyboard courage, but you never know. I’ve had dustups with people I am sure are decent. I learned from it.

I’m not sure exactly what all of this says about cognitive thought, other than cognitive disonance is not only on the rise, but is in a loving embrace with a growing segment of the population.

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Posted by on 11/30/2014 in Dirt


Lessons from a cardboard box

I have learned how to pace myself a lot over the last year plus. There are moments that force a hand, a relative in need plus my compunction to be helpful. I truly believe this impulse was ground into me from my 18 plus years of being an identical twin. Sharing was at a level most of the world treats anywhere from an illusion to ridiculous- we are knee deep in the “Where’s mine” phase of the world.

My Mother in Law is moving. She has worked hard to shield me from typical guy assignment- she reads my pain from the moment she reads my posture- though on this occassion digging in was required. She is behind in processing what to keep/what to dump. It was causing consternation for her. This will not stand, man.

So my wife and I went to deal with the store room. It was a time machine. There was a Sanio box proclaiming not only was this 19″ wonder’s box made in the USA, but so was the TV inside. Eureka!

We found more toss than keep, but there were gems between the piles of cardboard- a Poloriod camera, a few record players, Christmas decorations made by Grandma B. and so on.

Home Depot shopping cart loaded again and again (fascinating its role considering yesterdays diatribe) taken outside to sprinkle its contents amongst garbage and recycling.

It had gotten to a point where we started taking boxes outside to break down. I eyeballed that Sanyo box, jumped up and landed on it… only to stumble, chest hitting the cart, right pinkie finger getting caught in a hole, wrenched and the front of my left leg was treated to a “what if you were a washboard moment.

Today I am feeling more ramification than proper. It is like I went three rounds in an octagon with Box Lesner.

My wife tried to console me. She is my rock. But getting served by a cardboard box was humbling, telling as well as a missed opportunity as the big prize on America’s Funniest Home Videos. So it goes.

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Posted by on 11/24/2014 in Dirt


Fucking Fracking

Nothing has sapped hope for humanity from me quite like fracking. Search the blog if you want some past thoughts on the subject. This is likely to be a straight up rant.

Darth P purchasing what amounts to a core portion of my past primary entertainment sources is a blessing in disguise for many reasons.

The first week, the home opener was tough. I cried. Thirty years of the main tether to my Dad versus conviction. While I only hit golf balls with him once since I will cobble together a golf game and we can tether together over triple bogies. I can’t drink victory in the modern gladatorial stadium (though it will always remain a unique and treasured feeling- that hum), though I am made of Red, White and Blue; it’s just American, not Bills in nature.

The Buffalo News has been littered with more Letters to the Editor, encouraging us to reconsider fracking. Home Depot Billionaire I don’t give a fuck what his name is McGee is now adding the pressure of funding.

I am torn, barely.I see what the money has done. I’ve walked past and through the progress for the last three years. But if progress mean pollution, well, we are supposed to be moving past that if we are truly evolving as a society. This is shitting where you drink, folks.

I wonder if when the cost comes how long it will take people to blanch at it? It is invariably too late at that point.

I am not suggesting that this is cataclysmic, rather just very stupid. Short sighted? Oh yeah. People will get rich. The price, eh pass it on.

If fracking is allowed in New York State it is “check, please” moment for me and my family as residents. I didn’t stay local to see our rise come from this or to see our fall.

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Posted by on 11/23/2014 in Dirt


And then…

I find myself thinking of those endless summers of youth lately. I can’t get over how fast a calendar peels away at 40. I live for weekends, though wishing time away feels criminal.

So I have mellowed, to a degree- a Jonafied mellow, to be sure- not necessarily taking in every moment, rather recognizing what moments I shouldn’t allow to take me over.

This last year has witnessed a lot of stumbling, an epic fall or two and to give credit where it is due, equally epic examples of getting up from the foibles, errors and taking the lesson to heart.

I still ponder endlessly, though with more contentment, a few dashes of purpose and a belief that as long as I lead with my best and be mindful of not allowing the worst a place at the table I should not only feel more fulfilled, but actually be fulfilled.

While a change of venue for work would be nice it has to be forward movement, not sideways.

I work with many hard working, intelligent, thoughtful and all around wonderful human beings. The issue at hand is a shield being reforged into a sword. To make matters worse the sword is swung over fluff. So it goes. As hopeful one day I will too.

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Posted by on 11/08/2014 in Dirt


To and Fro…

I walked through a cold downpour on Friday. It affected me very strongly- Just about every muscle in my body had a knot in it. Half of these muscles still do.

It was too windy for an umbrella. I learned a hard but valuable lesson: my body can no longer handle my former Joe Cool approach to Buffalo in the Fall and Winter- how little can I wear. I will have layers for this coming season, punctuated with a parka.

So I spent my whole weekend recovering from my week. I did so little I was getting upset at myself. The issue is what I did was proper. Recovering from the week is what my weekend has become over the last year plus.

Now it is not a choice. It is how I prepare for the week. Thankfully my wife is a saint.

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Posted by on 10/20/2014 in Dirt


10.12.13 resonates

I am not going to claim a family budget free of bloat (obviously I am one of the lead bloaters, no matter whose behalf I bloat on) I attempt to limit anything that is too short term impact.

Concerts, especially something as audacious as a national act, were pretty verboten. The tense is correct. On 10.12.13 I went solo to see Pearl Jam and it was as transformative an experience as I’ve had since my children were born.

Already a year and a half into some challenges and any change I made was yielding mixed results. Not committed enough, not the right approach, I couldn’t tell you.

What I can say for sure is I was reminded of the power of a single experience.

My wife can read me like I am a rudimentary reader of the “Run Spot, run” variety. I lobbied (“you need this” -direct quote) for an overpriced bad seat purchase a day or two prior and through the magic of Facebook I had my ticket secured. I actually formulated and shared a Wishlist set. Off he goes.

I parked on Delaware and made the mile plus mosey down Pearl Street. A preshow palaver with a friend and her husband set the tone further and I was ready.

I was in the land of misfit toys of the arena. I had a decent view of the inner workings of stage left. The guy next to me had to head to work at some point. The woman on my left had a fiancé two sections over. The band was late to start. Guy to the right of me was displeased with the first three songs. They rocked me.

Pendulum was the opener. It was my first time hearing it. Haunting, it grabbed me- “This might pass, this might last, this may grow” I didn’t fall into how on the nose that was for me, though I’ve pondered it a time or three since.

The next song is a favorite, Low Light. I am not one to quibble with a well placed F bomb, and to be fair Eddie could’ve been feeling this way this Autumn evening, but “All I feel is calm” would’ve sufficed. Eh, small detail- he was feeling it. Ed Ved was definitely getting smashed throughout the evening, the good kind.

Sometimes was another treat. I took in new (I had yet to listen to Lightning Bolt) and old with delight. Relaxed. Anxious. Both at the same time. No battle. They just were. I just was.

And I am. Better, though worse. More intune, though out of focus to some. That one experience. One year later it still feeds me. It still informs me.

All I feel is fucking calm.

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Posted by on 10/12/2014 in Weekapaug Groove


7 days a difference

As far as hard years go I am sure my version doesn’t make the top four or five billion. It is what I have to navigate though and waters are choppy, deep or both.

This year has been one of challenge, change and difficulty. I have dealt with much of it well.

Not equally, but gaining ground is the dealing poorly with it. I am learning, though some lessons are repeats. So it goes.

The confidence of last week has retreated, but I figure it to be tactical. See, I can find a bright side.

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Posted by on 10/07/2014 in Dirt