Hell of a Guy
I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them - Isaac Asimov

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Three Guys and a Conundrum…


Early one beautiful spring morning four guys entered a coffee shop – a Baptist preacher, a Methodist minister, a Catholic priest and a slightly pudgy, balding, retired guy.  They get coffee and take their seats, the men of the cloth at one table, the old guy at another.  The three begin a conversation the old man is privy to because his table is just a few feet away.  It is obvious the three are conflicted.  The conversation is about gay marriage.  The conflict is between head and heart, between conscience and belief and right and wrong.

The three believe in the sanctity of the Bible, and they all believe it is written in the Bible homosexuality is wrong.  Two of these guys appear to be in their late forties while the third has indicated he is approaching his sixty-fifth birthday.  Up until a few years ago this whole issue of gay marriage was never discussed, ever, it just did not come up, but this is today.  In their discussion it is obvious they are of the opinion homosexuality is not a choice but a condition of birth.  And while some would say “it can be cured,” these three know that one’s sexual preference is in the fabric that is the soul and not a choice one gets to make.  It only adds to the issue.

The conundrum is what to do if same-sex couples in their congregations should want these guys to marry them?  And this is the gist of their conversation, their conflict.  They know some of the older of their parishioners would be less that tolerant of it.  Their discussion is centered on how to balance tradition and the new awareness, the new reality.

My own feeling on this is that marriage, traditional marriage, is one man and one woman, but my feelings on this are much like mine on abortion, which I am against; however, I am not about to interfere with a woman’s right to choose what to do with her body, nor would I do anything to stop a loving couple from joining in marriage.  I think these three gentlemen may have similar feelings with regard to gay marriage, but I don’t believe any would agree with mine on abortion.

As this old man finished his coffee and packed up his laptop and stuff, the conversation on gay marriage droned on never coming to any conclusion I could discern.  I suppose it will continue for some time to come, as will the conflict.  I also suppose this kind of conversation happens often when clergy get together. 
I am glad my mother did not get her wish.  She wanted me to be a preacher.  I chose sales…better money, less issues.

And that is all I have to say about that…       

Thursday, May 24, 2012



From the title you might wonder where this one is going, but believe me, I know.  But, I have to admit these kinds of holes bother the hell out of me.  Perhaps it is I just do not understand.  I may get some blowback on this one.  Here goes!  The holes of which I refer are those some of my fellow humans punch in their bodies.

What is it that causes an otherwise intelligent, sophisticated human being to put a hole in their noses, the bridge of their noses, their lips, their eyebrows, their tongues, or other body parts I won’t get into?  I don’t get it.

Not long ago I stopped in a sandwich shop in Richmond, Virginia – a Firehouse something or other.  As I waited in line to order a sub (that they really screwed up), I saw a young man, maybe early twenties, with holes punched everywhere on his face.  He had several rings stuck in his ears from top to bottom, maybe four or five in each.  He had a horseshoe looking device in his nose, rings through his nostrils, several rings in each of his eyebrows, gaping holes in his earlobes and rings at the corners of his lips.  To top all of this off, when he spoke it was more than evident he had also pierced his tongue.  Very frankly, I thought him freakish, sideshowish, and could not help but wonder why someone would do this?  What is the fascination?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not condemning him or really judging him.  I just don’t understand, but then I don’t get some peoples fascination with tattoos.  Hell, I was visibly upset when I had surgery and it left a scar…afterall, “my body is a temple” (a line I stole from a former boss).

As I said earlier, I suppose I just don’t get people.  I think of myself as a regular guy and am more than content to be part of the unadorned, the mundane.  I want for people to be who they truly are, to live their dreams and to enjoy life.  If part of that enjoyment includes punching holes in their faces, so be it.

I will shut up now.

And that is all I have to say about that…

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Solution…


The world is in crisis, on the brink of another World War.  This one has the potential to bring total annihilation of the human race as nuclear devices are detonated by the countries that possess them.  World leaders have assembled at the United Nations to see if there is any way possible to avoid this conflict that seemingly is unavoidable.  There has to be a way out, but…

This is the computer age.  The vast amount of the accumulated human knowledge and history is stored in the computers of the world.  It is decided as a last-ditch resort to link them and search them for a solution.  This is a monumental task.  Time is of the essence and searching thousands of years of history on thousands of computers could take months, perhaps longer, and there may not be enough time before hostilities boil over.  Tensions continue to mount as the computer experts link these super computers. 

Finally, it is time to begin the search.  The question is entered and the button is pushed and the machines begin to hum.  The seconds begin to tick off when suddenly the linked computers stop the function.  The computer gurus are stunned; the process ended as quickly as it started.  Those gathered around the screens are totally mesmerized, the solution to allow the peoples of this world to live in peace lights up the screen.  It is but twelve simple words. 

“Do unto others what you would have them do to you.”

Back in 1963 I took a public speaking course at the University of Baltimore.  One of my classmates was an older man (perhaps in his 40s) with a pleasant smile and a deep, baritone voice.  The above is the short speech he made as a one of our class assignments.  I do not recall what the assignment was or the theme or what we were to convey, but here I am forty-nine years later remembering the gist of an impactful two minute speech wondering if the ills of the world could be that simply cured, all the while knowing they could but won’t.

Rodney King asked this question in March 1991, “Can’t we all just get along?”  Apparently we cannot, but the solution is as simple as those twelve little words.

And that is all I have to say about that…

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Feeling Like A Working Stiff…


Today I am traveling to Orange Beach, Alabama to cover a conference for my former company.  It’s a “consulting” gig I have previously debunked as nothing more than a part time job that we older retired folks like to label as consulting because it sounds a thousand times better.  The bottom line of this is simply that I get paid for doing this and it allows me to continue to purchase massive amounts of my favorite brewed beverages.

As this very moment I am holed up at the far end of the Orlando airport waiting to board my connection to Pensacola, Florida.  The connection is delayed so I get to hang out here for another two hours, three totaled.  I suppose I don’t mind the wait, but it does throw off my consumption plans by couple of hours (the conference doesn’t start until tomorrow morning).  As it stands, I get to rent a car once we arrive in Pensacola and drive for 30 or 40 miles to my final destination, the Perdido Resort, where I will get to spend three glorious nights all by myself.

The “myself” point is the troublesome part.  I have become so used to being near The Nancy 24/7, this alone thing bothers the hell out of me.  I have, to come to the point, become a homebody, a momma’s boy of sorts.  When I leave The Farm, in almost an instant I long to be back there.  I miss it.  I am now a farm boy.  There is just something magical about that old house sitting a half-mile off the paved road in the middle of an old 120-acre farm.  If West Virginia is “Almost Heaven” then The Farm must surely be Cloud 9.  Perhaps I should add The Nancy is my angel, just in case she reads this.

I will muddle through the next three days and serve as eye candy for the masses.  After all, that is what consulting is all about.  Now all I need is a plane to get on and all will be cool.

And that is all I have to say about that…

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