The current disaster in New Orleans will showcase the fearlessness, sacrifice, and dedication of some of the most caring and couragous men and women of the USA! Uncle Sam's Can-do Group. Don't forget the men and women who are keeping us safe by risking their lives right here in America while the other branches of the service are off fighting abroad. Go get'em Coasties!!!
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Monday, August 08, 2005
Well, finally got the resolution on the ticket thing. This burns my ass, but I made a deal (through my lawyer) for no points on my record if I plead guilty and pay the fine. Railroaded! The swine! Money grubbing bastards! Now that I've vented, I guess that is not so bad, but I did not deserve the ticket in the first place. I get hit by some schmuck and they give ME the ticket. $800 ($650 for lawyer, $150 for ticket) to keep my record clean. Just goes to show you that we have the best justice system that money can buy.
Took the family on vacation to the Upper Peninsula and hit all of the sights. Mystery spot (where gravity does really weird stuff), Taquaminon Falls (really dry this year, but still great to see), Marquette, Houghton, Gay (had to stop at the GAY BAR), Eagle River (got some thimbleberry jam at the JAMPOT, and Copper Harbor, which is the home of the Estivent Pines. These are the biggest pines in Michigan. Unfortunately, the biggest one (the Monarch of the Forrest) fell over a couple of years back. Eighteen years ago as newlyweds, my wife and I were just awed by the size of it. It was a real disappointment to not be able to show it to the kids. Overall, a fun vacation. It was striking how the area has slipped even further into decline except Marquette, which seemed to show quite a bit of growth. We also stopped in Munising and took the boat tour of the Pictured rocks, which are really pretty. Besides that, it's been a decent summer at home as well.
I'm on the road as I write this, and it has been a rough day. I'm sitting in the Hampton Inn in Wausau, WI. Got here at 9:45 AM, and had to wait until 1:00 PM for my tools to make it. I did my equipment installation, drove back to the airport and still no suitcase! Finally tracked it down. Somehow it was still in Detroit and will be delivered sometime after midnight. Needless to say, all I have is the clothes on my back. I'm either going to St. Cloud or Rochester, MN tomorrow to take care of some more customers, and am hoping to cut this trip short if I can arrange my schedule right, but of course that always depends on whether the equipment arrives and if the surgeries don't interfere with things. I've still got to hit the Cleveland area before the end of the month, and go to our annual service meeting in Denver as well. That actually could be fun because we are going white water rafting on the Colorado River. It is usually a booze fest for at least one night so it will be fun to see that since I have decided to quit drinking until I lose some pounds. Those vacation pics were just SCARY! So I said to myself "Tim, you are not having another beer until you lose that spare tire!" I'm also cutting out any dessert, pasta, etc. I've lost a few pounds in the first week. I've also been increasing the exercise, but I'm telling you, when you're over forty you won't lose any weight if you suck down 5 or 6 beers almost everyday. Not gonna happen!
As an outlet, I've started drawing again.
I have a good friend from the old days (I've known him since 1975) that I haven't seen in forever. He is a professional Comic Book artist and now lives in Israel. He is sort of a walking contradiction. He is Jewish, and Lebanese. I think he is the only Jewish person I have ever met who is also an Arab. After he moved to Israel, he changed his name from Michael Nasser to Michael Netzer. I've really enjoyed getting re-acquainted online and have participated in his blog and forum discussing comics and art. He is really a great guy and very talented. He is also quite off the wall. He has a lot of out there ideas about religion, politics and such. But you know what? He is very creative and I think that creative people push the envelope of convention and therefore move art and civilization forward. He is also quite fearless about what he says and doesn't care who thinks he's a nut, he'll say what he thinks without worrying if you agree.
Mike has also sort of inspired me to be a little more honest with myself and my feelings. I don't think I'm going to go off the deep end and join a kibbutz or anything, but I'm starting to realize that for the last 15 or so years I have been trying to act the way others expect me to be and not who I really am. I think that's why I've been unhappy to a certain degree for quite a while, because I'm suppressing my dreams and therefore suppressing who I am. Some of that fearlessness is rubbing off, for good or ill, I'm not going to try to stuff that genie back in. I'm starting to get my smile back, and Mike, I thank you for that.