The down side to my recent vacation was a major back spasm midway through it. The day before NYE to be exact. I’m not sure what caused it but boy was it a doozy. We were right in the middle of a nice lunch with Shawn’s sister and her new bf. I started to bend over to untangle Cooper and before I got even halfway it hit me. I stood back up hoping it was just quick and gone but no. The muscles were completely fucked and painful. We had to cut it short and I could barely get in the damn car, much less drive. I spent the rest of the day laying on an air mattress back at the condo avoiding movement. I hoped and prayed with rest, ice, and staying off of it would make it go away quickly. In a word, no.

So yours truly spent NYE laying on a mattress watching The Last Holiday on my tablet. Glorious huh? haha Honestly, I wasn’t upset about missing the holiday. I’m usually stuck at work and being anywhere but at work during that nightmare is a blessing. Seriously, even the spasm was better than working NYE.

Thankfully, one of Shawn’s friends kindly gave us a few vicodin to help with the pain. While not the best choice, muscle relaxers would have been better, it helped take the bite out of the worst pain. It wasn’t the best choice but sure as hell helped and I was grateful to his friend.  I managed to get to a local Chiro doc the next day for an adjustment. It helped but the muscles were inflamed and I just had to wait it out and stay off my feet as much as possible. By the time we drove back to LA, I was able to get up and move around. I let Shawn drive and honestly, it was nice to be a passenger for a change. hehehe

By day three, I could move better but was still in pain. I could drive at a least. I made it home in one piece. I was so angry at myself. Granted, I couldn’t really have done anything to prevent it but logic didn’t really matter. I hate not being able to function. It just aggregated the hell out of me. By the time vacation was over, I was able to get up and down w/o much pain.

Sleeping at night was a mess as I don’t sleep on my back and that was the best position to avoid more pain. Luckily, I had a few vicodin left. And cold meds work great too! Unfortunately for poor Shawn I snore when I sleep on my back. He had to put up with me snoring for about a week. He’d randomly wake me up sometimes when it got back. Poor thing.

It was an additional week before I felt almost normal again. I kept babying it to avoid a relapse. The last time I went thru this a few years ago I had a 2nd spasm right when I was starting to get better. I definitely didn’t want that again. This one seemed to take longer than last time though. Not sure if it was just worse or I’m just getting older. hehehe Either way, not fun.


There has been some major drama at work lately. While I was gone on the PHX trip, 3 of our union chapter officers resigned. There are only 5 positions. (I leave for a week and all hell breaks loose apparently. Oy!)

Frankly, the whole mess was completely counter-productive to our goals. It has already set us back on several ongoing critical negotiations w/management. While I won’t be fleshing out the details, the point is I got drafted to be the acting chief steward again. If you read with any frequency, you’ll remember I chose not to run in the last election. After 12 years, I needed a break. And the break has been nice. I show up to work with no cares.1 I only have to be responsible for myself and I’ve loved it. But, we have to have a functioning chapter. If we don’t, we give up a lot. It is my hope that more folks will step up for the interim elections for the 3 positions vacated.

One of my continuing frustrations from within is the lack of support. Many employees think because they pay dues that absolves them from any involvement. WRONG! A union is only as strong as it’s members. Members that work together toward common goals are capable of changing just about anything. Sadly, it just isn’t that case in my department. There is a lot of infighting and conspiracies. It borders on high-school to be honest.

I think part of the problem is the chapter doesn’t communicate well to its members. We put out meeting notes from one of our monthly meetings from management but that is just a snapshot. There is so much more going on behind the scenes. The antics aside, it is human nature to fill in details with guesswork when we don’t understand. I get it. People need to know what is going on.

I’m left with the choice of stepping down again after the interim election in a couple months or stepping up for a bigger position. I have time to think it over. Part of me wants to go back to being just a member. No worries, no cares, just work and go home. I did my time and then some. It is somebody else’s turn. Then the other part of me sees the big picture and really wants to step up to see if I can really make a difference. I have no idea what I’m going to do. Maybe someone else strong will run and I won’t have to. Yeah yeah, that’s it. I’m totally sure that will happen.

  1. I realize the irony in thinking just handling life/death calls is less stressful than my Union duties. []


Poor Kim, she is being played for the victim and being left out to dry. Once the crazies are done fund-raising off of her, they will leave her high and dry to pick up the pieces of her broken life. She will scuttle back into obscurity to be randomly evoked as a bad joke.

Of course, a simple civics lesson might have helped educate her on how her job role and the government actually works. She then might have avoided be played for the fool. Sadly, that isn’t the case. And her willful ignorance is not going to save her, no matter how the crazies spin it. They want her to lose so they can hold her up as their new martyr.

As an elected clerk, she took an oath to uphold the law. You have the right as a citizen to have a religious belief. You have the right not to be persecuted by the government (and your employer when different) for that belief. You can even request a reasonable accommodation for said belief. However, you do not have the right to refuse to do your job based on belief. An important distinction the people taking advantage of her are deliberately obfuscating. The moment the SCOTUS ruled on the Obergefell vs Hodges case, it became defacto law. If she now feels she can no longer follow her duty/oath of office because it violates her "god’s law," then she should resign. You are not guaranteed employment if you feel your personal religious belief conflicts with your employment requirements.

Not only did she refuse to do her job, she also refused to allow any of the deputy clerks to do their job. The judge gave her a way to save face and not be in contempt and she still refused.1 This negates any possible resolution through accommodating her belief. She has repeatedly and steadfastly projected her bigotry onto her subordinates. In the best possible twist of ironies, her employees could now sue her for religious discrimination. Wouldn’t that be lovely!? hehehe

Of course, the fundies might take her on as a spokesperson after she loses. Like previous made up martyrs, they’ll trot her around until the money-making dries up and then she’ll be abandoned. She’ll be the punchline of memes and jokes for awhile and after that forgotten completely. The annals of history will not remember her. And their failed (and marginalizing) attempts to align her with such great civil-rights activists such as MLK and Rosa Parks are frankly insulting.

  1. again, it appears based on advice from her representation with an agenda []


I’ve mentioned a few times I’ve become addicted to Instagram, partly for the narcissism and party for inspiration. It can be very uplifting one minute and a total shit-show the next.

I opened a can of worms a few weeks ago. This body builder guy was posting pics on his public profile of his legs, torso, and buttocks. To clarify, he was clearly a legit bodybuilder and his pics focused on showing off his hard work. The pics were also often very revealing and left little to the imagination regarding his generous package. Said pics routinely got lots of hearts and comments. One day, I guess he’d had enough with what he felt were insulting comments on his sexiness (and his generous anatomy) and goes off on a rant. Basically, he didn’t like when people left comments about how nice his groin/butt is, how sexy he is, etc when he is just trying to track his progress.

I couldn’t help myself and left this comment:

While I can understand your frustration, it is unrealistic and somewhat hypocritical to post the types of pics you do in a public forum and then act upset when people see you in a sexual way. Yes, it may not be your purpose but your implying that every random person who finds your profile should just know that your pics are meant to be solely about your progress, not your manhood or overall good looks. Of course, this set off a firestorm of comments on both sides. The comments ranged from polite banter to the extreme of being compared to rape. I think he has since made his profile private. (smart man)

I have no idea if the guy was gay or straight, it wasn’t really relevant. I just found his faux outrage humorous. If you don’t want people gawking at your naughty bits, don’t put them out there.


I’m totally hooked on this game. Ugh! It has been over a year and I still play

Destiny, The Game
Destiny, The Game

it at least once a week. Bungie’s goal was to create a game that would be a francize for up to 10 years. I think they might have succeeded. The game is continually updated every 3-6 months with new DLC (downloadable content) to expand its maps. It also incorporates online play, alone or with others.

I’ve always been a gamer who plays for fun. While I am competitive, I prefer to do so with fun in mind. I have never been someone who focused solely on winning. The developers have managed to capture aspects of both types of game play, competitive and fun, to reach a very broad range of players. If you are a competitive player, you have to reach a certain level thru the campaigns, but once you do you can be as competitive as you like. There are whole segments that deal solely with competing. You can play in a group of friends against the game or against other players. If you’re like me and you enjoy campaign modes, there is plenty to keep you busy.

I judge my games by 1) if I finish it, 2) how many times I finish or continue to play it. The game by its nature is designed to never end. Well, not anytime soon anyway. hahaha  New content expands the breadth of the game all while tying into what you already know. I have to say the developers did a good job of building a game that will indeed last for a decade.

If you’re reading this and are a more hardcore gamer, you’re probably familiar with much of the drama that has unfolded in social media and Bungie’s own forums. Frankly, I find it a bit childish and counter-productive. First and foremost, developers rarely give the level of interaction and feedback to players that Bungie has with this game. Maybe they’ve given too much because many have taken to acting all butt-hurt and entitled because the game didn’t live up to some of the promises put forward before the game was released. One, the game wasn’t designed solely for the  hardcore player. It was designed to appeal to all manner of players. Two, if the game was such a disappointment, don’t play it.

Anyhoo, I’m still addicted to it. It has captured my attention like no game before it. Even more than the original Prototype and the Dead Space series. I eagerly await the next set of expansions.


Unless you’re a stranger to the internet, you’re probably aware of the ongoing drama with a certain brand name getting raked over the coals for bashing their own.You’d think that seeing the outcry they would apologize and shut up for awhile. As of today, they continue to dig-in in an every expanding failure to defend comments that should have been kept private.1  And frankly, no matter how you slice it, the comments were demeaning. 

You can think whatever you like and are even free to say it, but you are not free from the consequences. And acting like spoiled little brats doesn’t after the fact doesn’t improve your standing. If you own a brand name directly associated with your name is it really a good idea to insult many of the people who help make you wealthy? It is a hard lesson in the changing world though. No one is immune from the viral effects of the internet. 

As for the calls for boycott, I’m not really for it. Not every disagreement needs to result in a boycott. If I purchased their products, I’d probably stop as a personal decision. I would not however try to ruin them for simply disagreeing with me. Being free means people are allowed to disagree, even our own. Boycotts should be for those who actively work against us, not just anyone with an unfavorable opinion. Calling for a boycott marginalizes the big issues and minimize their effectiveness as well. 

Hopefully, they’ll just shut up and let things die down again. People will forget and move on to the next big scandal. However, the more they run their mouth the more inflamed it will become. 

  1. Do these people not have publicists? []


Everyone is jockeying for the moral high ground after the Ferguson verdict. Social media is a shit-show of everyone pointing fingers at each other. I won’t even go into all the judge/juries that have appointed them selves verdict makers on Brown/Wilson’s implied guilt.

I feel like I have a unique perspective on the subject.1   There is my work side that deals with law-enforcement issues every day of my career. I can see valid points from the officer’s story. There were several things Brown could have done to avoid the confrontation. Then there is my gay side that grew up at the hands of very rough and not so friendly police on more than one occasion. I can see valid points from Brown’s family. The police could have handled the situation better and not necessarily let it escalate out of control. 

The reality is neither side is blameless. No one has the moral high ground here. And no one should walk away feeling like they lost/won. We all lost. People often can’t resolve the cognitive dissonance created by the ambiguity of fault or blame. And because of this, we can’t admit that neither side is blameless. Brown refused to comply, Wilson overreacted.2

No matter who’s side you are on it still means nothing unless we act. If we truly want to fix these problems, we must move beyond the never-ending and condescending tantrums via social media. And while petitions and marches in the streets are excellent displays of solidarity, they are not enough. These things depend on someone else to fix our problems.

We as a citizenry must be involved. We cannot abandon, thru indifference, our oversight of those we place in power and be surprised when it suddenly becomes corrupt. Civic duty is not just serving jury duty or voting, begrudgingly. It is our guaranteed right thru the freedoms granted us. But we must exercise those rights. It should not be something we only do when it is convenient. It should be a part of our daily lives.3  If more of us get involved, we won’t need to constantly focus on blame. We’ll be in forums to constantly give oversight, feedback, and accountability to both sides.

Basically, I’m saying be involved or shut up and accept your servitude. It is that simple. Like any living thing, democracy must be fed or it dies from neglect. Go to your local police community meetings. If they aren’t offered,  rally your neighbors and friends and demand they have them. Go to your governing body’s public meetings. Call, write, and/or email your local and state leaders. And don’t do it once and call it good. Involvement is ongoing. Embrace your civic duties. Then and only then can we see real change.

  1. No surprise there right? lol []
  2. Please spare me unnecessary rants on the variances of this over simplification []
  3. Do me a favor and read this paragraph again []


​I’ve gotten more than a few inquiries on my thoughts regarding the Missouri incident.  In a word, it’s a mess. You have a citizenry that is under-educated and have all but abandoned their civic duties. Granted, they can’t be blamed so much for that but looting your own community demonstrates a level of ignorance that is becoming more and mor prevelant in this country.

I come from very poor means. It is hard to care about community involvement when your sole existence is about survival. But, if we hope to stop problems like this we have to encourage said communities to be and do better. We need to shift our priorities away from the accumulation of wealth and to the betterment of people. Education is a huge component. An educated community is often more involved. Of course, the powers that be want you to be dumb because you are easier to control.

Then you have a police force in a small town that has all the authority and very little oversight. This is not unusual per se. Visit any small rural area and you’ll see similar stories. Does that mean all rural depts are bad? No, of course not. But as the facts unfold, it is glaringly obvious the agency is lacking in any sort of oversight or accountability from its citizens. The abundance of hard-core military grade gadgets is simply crazy.

At the end of the day a young man lost his life. His implied guilt or innocence is not a valid reason on its own for his death. And as the facts are told and clarified, there is a larger cloud over the agency vs the officer involved. The often inflammatory (and even sometimes inaccurate) reporting from many media outlets hasn’t helped the situation. And of course, the emergent mob-mentality of our social media commentary is just icing on the cake. If social media is your only source of news, you are part of the problem. If you don’t know the details of a story or incident, keep your mouth shut until you do. Don’t share links you haven’t read because of a link-baiting headline. And you f**kers who share every story with the idea “it can’t hurt“, need a serious ass-whooping. /rant

Are there bad officers? Of course there are. But for every bad cop, there are easily 100 more you never hear about. Why? Because cops doing their duty don’t generate sensational headlines or ad-clicks.1  A few bad cops do not make them all bad and isolated stories of abuse do not paint an accurate picture.  Yes, our law-enforcement should be held to a higher standard, but humans are fallible no matter their position in life. To avoid the corruption we as the citizenry must be involved.

And speaking of, our citizenry is becoming ill-educated every day it seems. Subjective validation is often more important than facts or reason. Religious fanatacism and personal greed have trumped our morals. We’ve gone from ‘what can I do for my society‘ to ‘what can society do for me?‘ The idea of civic duty or responsibility is a foreign idea to most folks these days. A citizenry that abandons it’s overseers is quickly overrun by their own indifference. Absolute power corrupts absolute as the old adage goes. You cannot give away your power thru inaction and then wonder why the abuses keep happening. Proclaming your outrage on social media and demanding change does nothing to help and only serves to feed the problem.

Perform your civic duties. Vote, serve on jury duty and most of all, be involved in your community. Go to community meetings. Know your local policy makers and pay attention to their actions. Only then will your actions carry weight and effect change. Otherwise, you end up just being another sheep being guided by those in power, often to your detriment.

  1. Poor comparison but I see the same mis-characterization in my volunteer work with animals regarding pitbulls. []


Today was the first day in weeks I came home and did not become a heap of exhausted flesh curled up on the sofa. While I am worn out, I’m not bone tired. As the work project has moved into it’s final phase, deployment, things have been busy. Being someone who can’t just say, ‘Oh look, time to go home’ I’ve put in some long days lately. But my part is almost done. I volunteered for this project out of a desire to make our work environment better. I also didn’t want the users to get the shaft by having people who don’t use the system on a daily basis making decisions about what we got. A year and 2 months of my life has flown by and I’m proud of my work. It may not be everything I wanted but it is 5 times better than what we would have ended up with otherwise.

From a technical stand point, the rollout went off without too many major hiccups. The biggest unexpected glitches dealt with interface connections. Overall, once the new system went up, it stayed up. The glitches are still being worked on but the list is down to less than a handful.

From a user stand point, many of my coworkers hate it (so far). While we stayed with the same vendor, we switched to a new product. It looks similar in many ways but the underlying architecture is completely different. This translates into many of our day to day tasks being different or even an extra step at times. And for people who rely heavily on cognitive muscle-memory and reflex, this can be a royal pain. You, in essence, have to relearn your basic job functions over again. Throw in a healthy dose of random unexpected configuration issues1 , functions that are similar but different, and  you have a recipe for some consternation. Two weeks in and we are still whittling down the list of issues. And while mostly minor, together they collectively make for some very frustrating attempts to get thru what used to be 2nd nature.

Once we work out the kinks and the settings that work best for everyone, I think many will come to enjoy it, or at least not mind it. Right now everyone is in full ‘I hate this crap’ mode. Having the luxury of 13 years on the job, I remember when we upgraded from a very limited custom map software to a newer one. Everyone moaned and groaned about it and now those same people would cut you if you tried to take their map away. Change is hard when you develop a skill set based on not having to think about menial tasks. Ironically, coworkers who’ve been thru previous upgrades aren’t as irate. Anyway, I know after things settle in people we feel better about it.2

For myself, I’m looking forward to going back to my normal job. I miss it. Hell, I even miss talking to the public. More than anything I’m looking forward to regular schedules, hours, and days. Naturally, I have a trainee starting with me next week. He’ll be with me for at least 4 weeks, maybe 5. He scored with a trainer who knows the new system inside and out. And I don’t mind having a trainee as I enjoy teaching.

On a side note, my blog should pick up again. You know you missed me.

  1. Even something as simple as new screen resolution has been an issue []
  2. I do admit that every issue I knew would cause heads to explode has done just that. If they only knew my head exploded too. hehehe []


After almost 2 decades, I finally won a battle against my technical school, that may sound like eye-tee-tee, and the DOE (Dept of Education).

In a nut shell, I attended said school for a whopping two semesters before dropping out. I dropped out because I was misled by the school and the recruiter on the necessary prerequisites required. The ploy was the class didn’t require 2 years experience yet all of the instructors expected you to have it and taught based on that assumption. I’m smart but I could not overcome a 2 year difference between what was expected of me and what I had. After going thru the process, I was supposed to only be billed for the two semesters.

Fast forward to the end of my loan, I was notified I still owed more. Apparently, the school had billed me for the entire first year, or more to the point,they billed the DOE. I disputed the amount and sent in the documentation showing my attendance and termination. I heard nothing and assumed it was done.

Fast forward again to the mid 90’s, while I’m living in Colorado, I get a collection bill for the outstanding amount plus interest. It’s been almost 10 years atthis point and having survived a bout of being homeless, I could not find my copies of the original records. I call, go thru the process, and request my records from the school. The school first refuses then sends me everything but my attendance dates. I submit everything and once again hear nothing.

Fast forward one more time to earlier this year. I get a new collection notice along with a new bill for interest which is twice the actual amount being billed. I am like, “oh hell naw!” I call and dispute yet again. I get the same run around as before even after they admit they can see all the original documentation notes. Yet, w/o any of the actual copies they are unwilling to proceed. I languish in limbo while attempting to have them contact the school and get my attendance records, since the school will not send them to me.1  A few months go by and I hear nothing. This time I am unwilling to just ignore the problem. I call back and get more excuses. I’m feeling very annoyed and not at all content with this nonsense.

One day, I happened to be digging thru some old papers in an unrelated attempt to clear some clutter and what do I discover? My old documentation. It had somehow survived in the two boxes I managed to keep all these years. Color me surprised. I notify the DOE, get to the proper forms in the mail, fill them out, attach all the documents, school records, etc. The school of course tries to dispute it, but being on their original forms they were unsuccessful.

I was notified today that not only am I no longer expected to pay the outstanding 2 semesters, I am also due a check for just over $500 from an overpayment! Reading between the lines here means that school will have to cough up that money. I’m absolutely tickled.

  1. Having made a dispute, legally the debt – holder has to show proof the debt is valid. []