Friday, November 09, 2018

Veteran's Day 2018

     Veteran's Day is this Sunday. The 100th year anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended the War to end all Wars, at least until 1939.
      And of course, all the hubbub about veterans and how best to honor them. Among  the offerings of the obligatory veteran's discounts.
      I'm not really a big chaser of veteran's discounts. I don't feel that my tour of duty warrants them. If I saw combat, if I was injured and earned a Purple Heart, if I came home with PTSD or some other mental issue, that's one thing. But I came home pretty much the way I left. More than a few pounds heavier, a little bit more mature, a little irritated in retrospect that I didn't do more to make more of my time in.
      I didn't join the service because I wanted to uphold some great family tradition of military service. I joined because I had crap grades out of high school, I wasn't prepared in the least for college, and Homewood in 1980 was a place I desperately wanted to leave. Because my black ass might not be alive today had I decided to stick around. 
      Look on my DD214, not a helluva lot on there worth noting. A grand total of two decorations. Neither of them took any special effort to earn. More or less, just being in the right place at the right time and keeping my nose clean for four years.  And while I wear my ship's ball caps, and am proud to rep the veteran status, and while I appreciate that veteran's discounts exist. I'm not big on chasing them down.
      I'm not in great financial shape, but I don't want to be looked on as a charity case.
      I'm uncomfortable with people thanking me for my service. My service wasn't really all that much. I wasn't a Rambo or a war hero. I didn't come out with a chest full of medals. I didn't jump out of a perfectly good airplane. My Navy career isn't the stuff of Tom Clancy thrillers. I was a cook. I served chow. Pretty good chow, but cooks don't make it on to recruiting posters. Hollywood doesn't make movies about stewburners, at least not stewburners that aren't secretly Navy SEAL's. That celebrity treatment's for the SEAL's and the fighter jocks.
      That wasn't even my first choice of careers.  I ended up doing that because I bombed out of my first choice job and was willing to go to San Diego for six weeks to go to a school, damn near any school rather than go to the fleet as a deckape. I f'd up more than a few times, when I was in the service. But I succeeded in keeping my crow, getting my Good Boy medal and not going up to Captain's Mast. Big Whoop.  Thanks to all those who put on this country's uniform. Especially those who were just a face in the crowd, a cog in the machine. Who came home neither as a hero, nor as a mental case, or in a flag draped coffin.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Exercise Your Franchise...

This might piss a few folks off, but I personally don't care. If yinz don't like that I'm not foursquare voting for the 'Blue Wave', unfriend away. People who choose to shun me because I didn't vote the way they did, aren't really my friends, and therefore, not worth my time.

I'm not one of these voters, even in the age of Trump, who believes Democrats, good. Republicans, bad. I don't trust either party. To me, they are two sides of the same coin. There are sleazy Democrats as well as sleazy Republicans.  There are good Republicans as well as good Democrats. I hate that we live in a state that forces us to vote straight party in the primaries. I hate that we live in a state where the Republicrats make it so hard for a third party to get candidates on the ballot.
Especially considering that in Pittsburgh, Democrats hold a 9 to 1 edge in terms of voting strength. And we have had plenty of Democrats who've run this region into the ground. I have no problem voting across the aisle. My politics might lean to the left, but I  also hold some conservative positions. I hold some libertarian positions. I hold some positions that are downright draconian.  I want to vote for the person, not the party. Today will be no different. I'll vote for some Democrats as well as some Republicans. Mostly Democrats because they are the party on the outside and Trump's wackiness needs to be checked.  But I won't be surprised if the Democrats do a faceplant and end up as ineffective as the Republicans. Where there are third party candidates, I'll vote for them to throw up a middle finger to the Republicrats. Call me a skeptic and a cynic, but i believe in compromise and bi-partisanship.
I'm registered Democrat. But that's only so I can vote in the primaries, because Pennsylvania has this insane rule that requires it. But in the general election, I do not vote straight party. I go across the aisle.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

On Today's Shooting at Tree of Life.

     There is a reason why churches, synagogues, etc call their worship space a sanctuary. A sanctuary should be a place where people can worship God in whatever form they choose in spirit and in truth. A sanctuary should be a place where people can come to worship and have no fear that the violence of the outside world will intrude on their sacred space.
      But as had been seen in Charleston, SC when a sick individual gunned down nine people who were at worship, and at Tree of Life, today where at least 11 were gunned down while worshipping the God of peace, the outside world has made its way into the sacred space and defiled it, blasphemed it, and shed innocent blood.  
      The President put the blame on the synagogue for not having adequate protection (meaning armed guards?)
      Is this what we've come to? That we must worship God with armed guards to keep us safe?  Is that what is needed?
       I'm not sure what the answer is, but it's a sad day when we cannot even worship God without having armed guards to protect us.
      And if there was an armed guard in the space and the gunman came in, who would he go after first? Right, the armed guard. 
      And if something like this can happen in Squirrel Hill, one of Pittsburgh's safest and highest profile  communities, then no where is safe.
      May the souls of the departed rest in peace and may light perpetual shine upon them. And may the God of healing and peace provide those things to those who's lives were irreparably changed by today's incident.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

What would I do with $1.6 billion?

     I'm not into throwing my limited financial resources down a rathole like the lottery, but if I won $1.6 billion, after paying off debts, giving a bunch of it to my church, my Legion, downsizing into an apartment, giving to various charities, and such, I'd have a helluva time trying to figure out what to do with the rest of it.
      All the activities I mentioned would take a couple million or so. What could I do with the rest of it? I don't drive, so I wouldn't buy a car. I'd still continue to work, although I'd get a gig that I actually want to do instead of one that I have to do.
     I could put about half in the bank and live off the interest. I don't have kids, nor am I interested in siring any, so I can't leave it to them, although I'd give a nice bit to my friend's family, especially her little boy's college fund, for a full ride to any college he wanted, although I'd lean very hard on him to go to Robert Morris.
     Most of my family are dead or estranged more or less, although I have a feeling a bunch of them would want to renew relations with me. There are a few things I'd like to do, I could give some to my various alma maters. All told, I could probably do all I wanted to do with about $200 million, at the most.
     But what would I do with the other $1.4 billion. I could hide it off-shore, so Uncle Sam can't get his grubby paws on it. Anybody have any suggestions? I know one thing I'd definitely need, an unlisted phone number because everybody and their little brown dog would be hitting me up for loans, dodgy investment offers, donations for causes, real or imagined, and more golddigging women than I could count.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Facebook Page for the Scribbler.

      I created a page on teh Facebook to show the wordage I've put on to the Scribbler since its inception in 2006.    
      The posts that are on this FB page are but a sample of the stuff I've written to the real Moonlight Scribbler at www.moonlightscribbler.info 
       There are close to 300 essays, posts, brain dumps, and other literary desecrations that go back to 2006. I just started this page on FB in 2018 to draw a little attention to the real blog and because everybody these days has a brand. Why not me? 
      As I've said many times, I really don't care whether people read this thing or the real blog. They are both attempts to carve out my little piece of digital real estate on the Internet.
       It's the equivalent of the tiny log cabin in the woods miles away from civilization. And I just live there puttering around, yelling at clouds and doing my thing. If people come to visit, fine. If not, no worries. 
       Doesn't cost me all that much. Just $15 and change a year to keep the domain. The blog rests on Blogger (Does anybody still use that service anymore?) And this page rests on Facebook, for better or worse.
       And as long as Google figures they can still make money off people's old school blogs, they'll keep it around. Hopefully when they decide to get rid of Blogger, they'll give me plenty of warning of how to export this data. There's a lot of good stuff there and I'd like to see it end up taking up space on someone's server.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Uncle P's Relationship To Female Ladies of the Opposite Sex.

      I seem to have a weird relationship with women. There are times that I wish I had a special someone in my life.
      But I'm not really interested in pursuing a relationship. I'm a loner by nature. I value my Independence and I don't really want to hold myself to someone else's schedule and priorities.
       I'll go out with someone to a function, but if she wants to leave, and I want to stay, she goes home alone. And vice versa.
       I don't dress to impress, I don't go out to clubs or a lot of social functions. I don't really date, didn't even date in high school, and here's a real shocker. I've never had a steady girlfriend.
       The closest thing I have to a serious relationship is a woman that I've known for about 25 years. We met in college and at best, we are very close friends who care about each other very much. We go to dinner occasionally and I've babysat her son and I'd take a bullet for her family in a minute. (Happy Birthday, Denise) But we don't have a romantic relationship, just a very strong platonic one.
       Most of the women in my life are good friends, drinking buddies, and people that I like to hang out with.  Which works out fine for me. I don't have to dress up for them, I don't have to do some kind of mating dance to impress them, most of them are married anyway.  I'd like a few more like that.

       I believe every man needs at least one good platonic non-sexual relationship with women. Don't really need a full-blown relationship. My broke ass can't support one anyway. I'm old school. I insist on paying for dinner and I'm not used to a woman splitting or even picking up the check. Even if the woman has more money than I do, which covers about 99 percent of the US female population. I'll accept it if it happens, but I won't feel good about it.
      I figure my situation isn't like most guys. But I don't march to the beat of a different drummer, I dance to the beat of a different band altogether. Gotta be me.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Happy 56th Birthday to Me.

      According to my birth certificate, at this very moment, 11:45am on Sept 13, I officially turn 56 years old. 
      What an interesting life thus far. A lot of blessings, missed opportunities, lucky breaks and more than a few f**k ups, but God has been good.
       I'm more or less in good health. Some body parts don't work as well as others and I wish I could have a few redos, but I can't complain. It could be a helluva lot worse.
       I have a home albeit one being held up by duct tape and chicken wire, friends and people who give a damn about me. I had to work today, so I can't say it's been an enjoyable day, but I'll go to Waterworks after work and have a birthday beer. 
       Depends on what's on tap, but I could use a real big strong nasty Imperial Russian Stout. The kind that puts hair on your chest. The ones that get you buzzed after half a glass.
        I'll have to wait until next week to really celebrate because the birthday falls between paydays and my broke ass gotta watch the wallet. But I have enough to splurge on a decent beer. Because life's too short to drink crap beer. Especially on one's birthday. 😀😋😉

Another Year Older, Another Year Wiser...Maybe

     Ok, kids. Thanks for the birthday wishes. They were greatly appreciated. Another year older, another year presumably wiser.
      If only I could take all this supposed wisdom of my 50's and apply it to my 20's, a lot of things would have turned out differently. Maybe better, maybe worse.
      Every decision we make creates a new fork for our lives to follow. Think of all the decisions you've had to make in your life, either major, like whether to have children, or minor, like buying Wheaties rather than Corn Flakes.
      Each of those decisions creates a fork. Look at those forks as branches of a tree, and by the time it comes to cashing out, you'd have a tree with as many branches as there are stars in the sky.
      So many choices, so many branches, so many roads to follow. Some work out better than others.
       I've had my share of branches that worked out, I've had my share that ended up in a dead end. I've had branches I thought were dead ends that ended being the right choice, I've had others I thought were the real deal that ended up being crap. 
       But once you go down one of those branches, it can be hard to backtrack and reconsider your path. Sometimes you catch a break and get a do-over. Most of the time you don't.
        In those cases all you can't do is to try and make the best of the situation. Life can be a bitch sometimes, but it can also be great, but one way or another, it's never boring. 
        Have a good day, kids. Hug your spouses, significant others, kids, critters. Tell them you love them. Be nice to each other. Be civil if you must, be decent if you can, strive to be excellent.