Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Factory Defects

On Facebook this morning I ran across the image to the right. My usual routine is to read a comment or two before moving on with the more important duty of finding something truly deserving to be righteously indignant about.

This comment from Daryl caught my eye:

" Without it we cannot think, ........ "

Daryl was right of course. At first I felt a twinge of annoyance at the fact he felt it necessary to point out the obvious.  

My response were the first words that came to me after my knee jerked:

"Apparently there are many of us walking around with it either not installed or not turned on."

I would not normally share the off the cuff remarks I made on some social media site, but my words stuck with me. 

This meme helped me find some clarity regarding the current period of rampant stupidity that has apparently befallen the Human Race. I decided four decades ago that while technology was always going to innovate, the Human Species was not.  We were trapped in an evil spiral of devolution which has created a revolving scenario that causes us to make the same mistakes time and time again.

And now finally, I know why. We are re-populating the species with factory defects. Many are being born with no brains installed or the brains installed are not turned on before deployment. Either way means disaster unless headquarters gets it shit together. Time is running out.

Later ............................................

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Erie, Pennsylvania, or How I Got My Handle

The ELO tour had become a real grind. Between the winter weather and number of shows crammed into so few weeks, I was ready to take a break when we hit the Spectrum in Philadelphia on February 12th, 1977 for a two night stand. 

I had over two days free from driving coming so I invited old college friends from the DC/Baltimore area up for some memory swapping, substance abusing, and general all around mayhem. The seven of us shared my single room at the Philadelphia Hilton for 36 hours. Incredibly, the room was immaculate when we left compared to the usual mess I left behind. It had to be because there were girlfriends involved; one of whom in particular was not fond of guys and their messes. She kept us straight.

I scored back stage passes for the second night’s show. ELO were hot that night and the concert was excellent. The after-partying at my room ran until five or six AM before the last loose dog finally passed out. Around noon, we hit the hotel restaurant for a great brunch of crepes, omelets, bacon, scrapple, home fries and Bloody Mary’s. We spent the next few hours visiting the Liberty Bell and being booted out of Independence Hall for being a tad too rowdy. Apparently Independence Hall is a somber place meant for serious reflection on our country’s noble past and not on our then all too rowdy present. The security guys were friendly and laughed with us as they showed us the door. Damn Kids.

My friends slipped away home by late afternoon leaving me over sixteen hours to make it to Erie for the 10:00 AM stage call the next day. I should have left then, but after my shower, I made the mistake of falling asleep on the bed. I woke up in a panic around midnight. Still plenty of time, but I couldn’t screw around. I hooked up my trailer and headed to I-76 west and then onto I-79 north.

After fifty or so miles of I-79 north I ran into a freezing mist. The super slab had become slicker than snot on a doorknob. I crossed my first bridge in the mist and watched in my mirror for what the trailer was doing.

Pennsylvania roads have always favored bad transitions between the varied surfaces that make up their highways. Not sure why, but it seems to be state policy. Regardless, the truck jumped from the transition and the trailer began to twitch some to the right. I compensated to the same side and my front wheel hit the transition between the roadway and the shoulder. I did not appreciate the height differences between the road surface and the shoulder. Once I had the trailer under control, I just steered back onto the highway and then all Hell broke loose.

My mistake was not easing back. My steering tires caught the uneven transition and in an instant I was jack knifing the other way and headed toward a guardrail on the median with a ravine on the other side. I almost regained control when my left front wheel caught the guardrail as it came out of the ground. At that point, I was off to the races. All I could do was take my hands off the steering wheel and ride it out.

NOTE – a lesson learned a month earlier in Canada saved me from serious injury. I was heading east on Hwy17 between Toronto and Montreal. I was maybe 60 yards or so behind a Canadian truck and we were both scooting along happy as if we had brains. Just as I saw the pavement was iced, the truck ahead of me jack knifed hard in both directions. The driver tried fruitlessly to control his rig. When his truck finally stopped, I ran up to his rig and opened the crunched driver door. Inside, the driver was laid out on the doghouse with his head hanging down on his seat. His failure to wear the seatbelt provided 
caused the him to be tossed around the inside of that cab like a rag doll. I am guessing no body part escaped at least some kind of indignity. He was bleeding hard from several wounds to his head. Thankfully he was conscious and in decent spirits when the ambulance hauled him away.

I had never worn a seat belt up to that point in my life. When I got back in my rig that morning, I began to use the one that had previously hung empty before. Wearing the seat belt kept me behind the steering wheel when it came my time to jack knife. I was not tossed around like that poor SOB in Canada. All I received injury wise was a sore left side of my head, some bruising from the belt, and a dinged right knee.

I remember being jostled hard up, down, and all around as terrible sounds of metal being punished in ungodly ways emphasized the damage being done. All was suddenly quiet and I realized I was okay. I had been listening to Aerosmith’s “Long Train Running” before I jacked and it was still playing when the rig finally came to a halt. To this day, I won’t play that song and drive at the same time.

I sat for a few seconds or more and contemplated my situation. At some point I decided to jump out of the cab. When I did, I sank into snow up to my neck. All the winter snow that had been plowed into the ravine that winter cushioned the final moments of the crash. Between the seat belt and the deep snow, I was very lucky.

It took several minutes of thrashing and some help from folks who stopped to get me up and out of that deep snow. It was then I was able to see the trajectory of my crash and the third stroke of luck I had that day. The tractor and trailer had torn up many feet of guardrail as it went into the ravine. Luckily for me and the tour, the trailer wheels hooked up on the guardrail and kept the truck and trailer from going deeper into the gully.

Within 20 minutes the crash site had become a circus. Many state cops, ambulances, and numerous rubber neckers clogged the highway; all for a one vehicle accident. I realized I was screwed. The show in Erie would have to be canceled. I began to wrap my brain around the idea that my dream driving job was over before it really got started. And it was my fault.

A Pennsylvania State Police commander showed up. He took charge, made sure his boys were directing traffic to the right lane and the shoulder. Then he found me being checked out by an EMT doing his best to get me to agree to go to a hospital while I kept insisting I would not. The ambulance left without me.

The cop and I talked. He was not happy about what I had done to his highway. I explained to him that while I admitted fault, weather and the poorly constructed transitions of the road contributed greatly to the accident. I was not cited. I will always remember him looking at my miserable self and nodding his head. And then he told me it might be a few days before they could yank the trailer out. But right now they were going to lift the trailer and set it on the inside of the guardrail so traffic could pass unimpeded. Our conversation went something like:

“So, you are going to call a wrecker out now,” I asked? “And then lift and leave it in the ravine?”

“Uh, yes that is the plan.”

I thought about what he was telling me and suddenly it dawned on me that more than just the concert in Erie was threatened. The foreseeable future of the tour could be in danger. I felt sick to my stomach. My screw up just magnified tenfold.

“Would it be possible to yank the tractor and trailer out today? I have show equipment on board and if I don’t make it to Erie, 5000 fans will be some disappointed tonight.”

He looked at me and began shaking his head. The look on my face must have been pitiful enough that he stopped and said, “How much money do you have driver? Cash money, not credit cards.”

Suddenly I felt a glimmer of hope. As it turns out, every SHOWCO driver was expected to have at least $2000 in cash on them at all times. The honches in Dallas did not want a tour disrupted because of a lack of money for unforeseen emergencies like this crash.

“I have over $2000 in my wallet and I will spend it all to try and make the show in Erie.”

“Sit tight Driver, I’ll make some calls. No promises. We’ll see.” He disappeared back towards his vehicle.

Apparently that state cop knew who to call. In under an hour, two huge wreckers showed up with a crew of guys in overalls carrying shovels, chains, and one guy had a repair truck complete with torch and welding rigs on board. If this crew could not make it happen, no one would.

It was now almost 10:00 AM. I asked the head cop to get hold of my boss in Dallas and let him know what happened. He would then get hold of the folks on the tour cooling their heels up at the Erie County Fieldhouse.

With the crew in overalls and myself helping where I could, six or so tough hours later, two wreckers successfully yanked my rig out of the ravine and moved it to the next exit on the northbound side of I-79 at Stonboro. My tractor was cranked up backwards behind one tow truck and the trailer rode high in a fool’s web of cable and straps on the back of the other wrecker. One of the fuel tanks was torn open and dangling and the corner of the cab was seriously crunched. The trailer had a good sized hole where the tractor nailed it, the under carriage had been mangled and the damaged landing gear had been cut off to allow the tow cables unencumbered movement pulling the trailer out of the ravine. 

I was about to send the wrecker with the trailer ahead to the venue when a single axle GMC cabover showed up. It was the state cop commander’s brother in law. He was an owner operator from nearby and happened to be home for some off time. For $500 he would haul my trailer for the foreseeable future. The wrecker crew dropped the trailer onto Gerald's tractor and we headed to Erie.

All in all, that day was probably my best day ever behind the wheel of a truck. I ended up the hero and not the zero by finding some way to allow the show to go on. The concert started 2 hours late, but it started. The crowd went wild when the trailer showed up. We could hear them roar at the announcement from outside as Gerald backed into the loading dock. I never saw SHOWCO roadies work so fast as they did that night setting up the sound equipment from my trailer.

The two wreckers and repair crew cost a touch over $1000 ($4500 in 2021 dollars). Gerald, the owner operator, stuck with the tour for several shows while my tractor was repaired at a garage near the Green Shingle Truckstop outside Erie. Gerald pocketed my $500 and a sizable bonus from the Lead engineer on the tour for the use of him and his tractor for a week.

I have thought about this accident many times in the last forty plus years. I have vacillated back and forth between taking credit and giving credit to the fine people who rallied on my behalf so that the show could go on. I have decided any credit I deserve would be limited to my being a pain in the ass to the folks who actually pulled it off for me and ELO. I was not going to accept failure. And it worked out. My job was saved.

And last but not least, I decided that my CB handle from that day forward would be “Guardrail”, as it was later determined that Lloyds of London, our insurance carrier, was charged for replacing 100 feet of Pennsylvania guardrail at a rate of $100 per foot.

Keep it ‘tween the ditches ………………………..

__________________________________________
@ 2100 words

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Potato Nightmares

Maine Spuds

I had run into some legal trouble driving for SHOWCO when we were in Michigan in late 1978. I was on a Black Sabbath tour. I was snagged having too much fun in public. The trouble was enough of a head’s up that I decided to take a break from Rock n Roll and go back home to Maryland where life was less fast lane and more slow lane.

A friend hooked me up with a smallish freight hauler out of Salisbury on the Eastern Shore. The carrier was Wheatley Trucking. They delivered mostly processed food stuffs and fresh produce on the back hauls up and down the Atlantic seaboard.

Being the low man on the totem pole, I was issued a very tired International Transtar with a 250 Cummins engine that was barely able to get out of its own way. The steering wheel had 8 inches of dead play from center. There was serious side to side motion when I checked the front wheels. It was filthy. But it meant I had a job, so I cleaned it up and drove it.

The other negative of being the "new guy" was I picked up the runs none of the other drivers wanted. Mostly they were loads that were not skidded and had to be loaded by hand. At the big distribution centers like Hunts Point, I could hire some help to load or unload, but since the per mile pay was so lousy, I often just toughed it out alone.

I only mention my experience with Wheatley because of two specific back hauls I suffered through. The first one came in my third week. 

I had delivered canned soup to Hunts Point in the Bronx. My back haul was a load of potatoes to be picked up in Aroostook County, Maine over 600 miles from Hunt's Point. Empty miles were not paid at the same rate as loaded miles. I whined some about the distance and managed to talk them out of a cent or two more per mile. Dispatch though contended the loaded miles coming back would be excellent. I never did see excellent miles at any point with Wheatley.

I headed to Maine to find Aroostook County. I had an address and a phone number but that was it. At that time much of Aroostook County had few official towns. They were designated as unorganized townships (TWP with a number). I ended up lost on a dirt road that ran from nowhere to more nowhere and offered nowhere to turn around. So I backed up for what seemed like miles though it probably wasn't. I don’t know why a truck backing up covers more ground relative to truck moving forward.

I finally spotted a local Mainer in overalls who was quite helpful and got me back on track. I found the farm. Farmer guy was waiting at the gate. I was going to have to back in from the black top he told me. The ground around the barn was too soft to circle. I was sure to get stuck. I looked at his home and barn about a 1/4 mile away in the middle of a harvested potato field and realized that of course I will have to back in. That was how my day, my week , my life was going at the moment. I backed in to a makeshift dock at his barn around 3:00 PM. Farmer guy points to a huge pile of potatoes packed in 25 pound bags and says, "There's your load bub. I would help you but I'm off to fix the potato harvester. I can't stop the harvest now. And by the way, the load needs to be in Hunt's Point by 3:00 PM tomorrow afternoon."

And off he went to do his farmer guy stuff while I hopped up in the trailer to ready my pallets and pallet jack.

I have to say looking at that pile of potatoes in 25 pound bags was one of the most dejection filled moments in my life to that point. But I bore down, hustled and had all those potatoes on skids and the doors of the trailer closed by 10:00 PM. I then collapsed in the sleeper, waking in a panic around 1:00 AM. Then it was off to Dysarts in Bangor for some grub and fuel and then hammer time it to NYC. I landed at Hunt's Point with 30 minutes to spare.

The off load ended up being an anticlimactic event. Normally I would have muscled the load off with my pallet jack. Instead, I hired a fellow for $30 to fork lift that load out of my life while I collapsed in the sleeper for forty winks.

Sweet Potatoes from North Carolina

The final straw and last bit of evidence that I was not meant to haul food stuffs of any kind, either raw or processed, came on the last day I drove for Wheatley. I was to pick up my back haul that trip in the form of loose sweet potatoes loaded by a conveyer belt in Tabor City, North Carolina. Then all I had to do was bring the load the 400 or so miles back to the yard in Salisbury, Maryland on the Eastern Shore. Drop the trailer, park the truck and head back to Baltimore for a much needed 3 day break.

Sounded easy enough. And it should have been. But as I was cursed, it turned into a nightmare. I landed in Tabor City at dark thirty in the A.M.. I had been told if the dock was empty I could back in and hit the rack. Someone would wake me when it was time to load.

Around 8:00 AM or so someone pounded on my door. I woke up, rubbed the sleep crap out of my eyes and walked in the door next to my truck. There waiting to load my trailer was the coolest looking set up of multi conveyor belts stretching off into the dark nether regions of the warehouse. A guy wearing a hard hat asked me how much of load I wanted. I remember that I was still groggy and mumbled something about Oh whatever is the usual. Load er up. I cannot remember if he looked at me funny, but in retrospect I am sure he did. He punched the big green button and my trailer started to fill up with sweet potatoes.

Figuring they had control, I walked back to my truck and went back to sleep.

Again, someone pounding on my door brought me back to the present. I crawled out of the sleeper and while I was putting on my shoes, another fellow without a hard hat but wearing a tie hopped up on the step of the truck and pushed a clipboard in my direction. I signed off, took my receipt and fired up that awesome 250 Cummins engine and warmed her up. After my my pre-trip inspection, I climbed back in the cab, released the brakes and slipped the transmission into first.

I expected some resistance as the truck was now loaded and backed in a downhill loading position against the dock. But when I tried to pull away it was as if I had been nailed in place. The truck and trailer were not moving, no way, no how, not anytime soon.

I jumped out of the truck and headed toward the door. Standing in the door was the guy wearing the hard hat and the guy wearing the tie. And both of them were laughing. It did not take an Einstein to know it was me they were laughing at.

I passed them both and looked into the back of the trailer. There were loose sweet potatoes piled to within a foot of the ceiling near the front and tapering down to about six feet high near the rear.. I immediately understood what had happened. I was overloaded and not just a little overloaded, I was in deep overloaded trouble.

I looked at the two jerks who loaded me. They were still grinning hard, snickering and just having a good ole boy laugh at my expense.

“So how much weight do you two clowns figure I have on now?”

Hard hat guy says, “Well, we don’t know exactly but you are at least 40,000 extra pounds over that line there.” And he pointed to a faded black line at waist high that apparently marked the standard 40,000 pound load.

And then he follows up with, “You may have the record. If you can get the load back to Wheatley, we’ll know then.”

“Can I use your phone”, were the last words I spoke to those chuckleheads.

When I called dispatch up in Maryland, there was silence on the other end of the phone after I described how many sweet potatoes were on my trailer. I heard some muffled cursing, some heated verbal exchanges and then nice and calm as if it was just another day on the planet,”Driver, do you think you can make back here with the load?”

“If I can pull it off the dock I might.”

“Okay, call me back when you get it off the dock and on flat ground.”

It took some doing, some serious smoke and bucking, but I managed to inch that trailer off the dock and onto the level black top surrounding their warehouse. Once I had the doors closed, instead of stopping and calling my dispatch, I kept going out onto the two lane country road and headed north. It took that underpowered 250 Cummins engine several miles on the flat to break 50 mph. About 10 miles into it, I spotted a restaurant with diesel pumps out back. I pulled up to the pumps, got out and went in to grab some breakfast and call Wheatley back.

The dispatcher was apologetic. This situation had occurred before in Tabor City. He forgot I was brand new in produce. The yahoos there thought it was funny to seriously overload inattentive drivers. And I was certainly inattentive. I had no clue and naively trusted the people who were in charge.

Anyway, I spent many minutes on the phone getting instructions on how to bring the load back to Salisbury without getting caught. I was to travel all back roads to Norfolk and then jump on the Chesapeake Bay Tunnel. The scale there would be no problem he assured me. At this point I had lost confidence in any reassurances.

It took me 16 hours to make it back to Salisbury. The back roads of North Carolina and Virginia had towns strategically placed so that as soon as I broke 50 mph, I had to start gearing down for the next little burg. And so it went, 5 miles to gain some speed and a couple of miles of downshifting and light braking to slow down.

Before I hit the scale at the Chesapeake Bay Tunnel, I considered parking the truck and catching a bus I was so angry. But I drove up onto the scale. It seemed an eternity but then I heard over the speaker, “You’re Okay driver, move along.”

I looked over to the window of the scale house and the guy looking at me had a very odd look on his face. It was a kind of grin but his eyes had widened like he could not believe what he was seeing.

I made it the rest of the way to Salisbury without incident, landing there about two in the morning. Instead of dropping the trailer as instructed, I left the tractor and trailer blocking their scale and left a note on the driver’s seat, “I quit.”

A week later I became a Teamster hauling Lever Brothers product coast to coast on a weekly schedule. Best money I ever made as a truck driver. 

Post Script –In the end, the scale weight at Wheatley was over 110,000 pounds GVW. Based on the legal GVW limit at the time of 72,500 pounds, I was seriously overweight. I never did it again.

Keep it 'tween the ditches ........................................
_________________________________________________

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

I Got Around

1977-Philly-W/college friends - ELO Tour
~ The next day- jack knifed my truck into a ravine
I have always been interested in turning the clock back and enjoying the memories of times gone by.  Whether they were good times or bad times, it really did not matter. I enjoyed the respite from the drudgery of the here and now.  Combine this love of my past with my love of writing and it is understandable I have now written over 50,000 words recording my trips down memory lane.

The compilation is a hodge-podge collection of stories and tales that follow no discernible timeline and often appear to be nothing but sadly constructed rhymes looking for a reason. But throughout all of them is a taste of what I was back then, whenever then was.

I have always endeavored to write the truth and barring that, mimic it at the least.  Some of my stories are fictional narratives based on real events and/or people. But most are written down as I remembered them with only enough embellishment to keep the flow going. I have strived hard to nail down specific facts from my past that really put me in that place, that time, that situation.

In my effort to be true to the stories of my life, I have acquired a taste for researching basic data from my past.  Real dates, old addresses, old friend’s names, old schools, etc. I went to 14 schools before college, and lived in 18 different locations before I was out of my 20’s. That’s a lot of crap that was easy to forget back in the day once I had moved on to the next burg on my map. Just locating tangible information of where I existed and with who only helped to add weight  to the stories I was telling.

What made me think of my crazy assortment of adventures, trials, and tribulations was the meme from Facebook about a guy who got around. He had a most interesting life and shared parts of it with people worthy of note. As I read the meme, I realized that I too had gotten around. And like him, I also occasionally ran in the same circles inhabited by the famous and beautiful.

So, as I sit here at age 69 and troll my past for some of the adrenalin I wasted and left behind, I realize I had lived a lifetime before I lived the lifetime that is now approaching an uncertain time limit in my future. I have experienced two different lives, one as a solo act; the other as a member of an ensemble cast. And I would not trade one for the other. They are both what made me what I became and for better or worse, at least I got around and have lived long enough to put it down in writing. 

Later Gator ...................................................

_________________________________________

 (465 words)

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Covidiots

 

Biting Off Their Nose to Spite Their Face

So, I have tried hard to not lose myself in a rant about anything Covid. It was easy at first. I just blew off any extended focus on the ring of stupidity that surrounded the pandemic. It was just more mindless madness kept in play by the Trump Death Cult.

You know them. They are the bozos who insist on using stupidity to make a point that will somehow own us. They would rather own us and put us in our place by using their right to be stupid. Common Sense has long since vacated their cranial voids. Getting over on the rest of us is more important than their own health, their loved one's health, or the health of the community they exist in. An almost “Kill us all, God will sort us out later" kind of mentality.

What it shows me, well, I gave up trying to figure that out. They are now just selfish lunatics on the wrong side of the fence as far as I am concerned.

For too long I have tolerated Covidiots with their stupidity, their embracing of hearsay bullshit, and general Fuck You selfishness over communal health. My tolerance and understanding quiver is now empty. I can no longer concern myself with what happens to the No Vaxers. Any trouble, pain, or disrespect they receive now is their own fault. They are brain dead to me.

Day in and day out, common sense information saturates the many media platforms pointing out the obvious benefits to everyone if everyone gets vaccinated. Other than extreme cases, there is no reason that even approaches being a sane reason to not be vaccinated.

So what reasoning does that leave the Typhoid Trumpers for their resistance? What is left is a disorganized cluster fuck of idiotic mealy mouthed claims of rights violations and unproven conspiratorial allegations. What is really going on is that being stubbornly stupid is in their minds their path to religious and patriotic Heaven. God and/or Trump have shown them the way.

What a bunch of rubes.

It does appear there is an easing of the Anti-Vaxers inflexible grip on Stupidity as it relates to Covid. The Delta Variant of Covid 19 is winning converts among the empty minded minions of the Right. The Delta Variant is ripping the unvaccinated a new asshole. And now the foxhole they were sure only God existed in is making room for Bill Nye the science guy. The result is a rise in vaccinations over the previous plateau stubbornly supported by the stupid. And this a good thing, but I am past handing out any "atta boy's". Stupid does not deserve any kind of reward or encouragement.

I know, I know. Existing here on the empathetic side, the do gooder side, the limp wristed, pinko commie and PC side, I should respect the Stupid's right to be stupid. Respect from me needs to be earned. Being stupid does not make the grade.

Keep it 'tween the Ditches ...................................
______________________________________________

Saturday, August 07, 2021

Ok Boomer


Though Jeff and I are FB friends and tend to lean the same direction politically, we often clash. It’s like we are both on the same team but choose to shout at each other from different ends of the bench. We have engaged in heated and sometimes hurtful exchanges.

I ran across this Facebook meme on the left on Jeff’s page. It asks an unrelated question based on suppositions not even alluded to in the body of the rant. 

A 26 year old millennial is complaining about the planet sized shit bag they are expected to own now that they are productive members of our society. These are predictable complaints with a few new ones I had not considered thrown in for good measure. He is not impressed with what is being handed off. He is in no way indicating his generation would like to die.

I have to agree with him. It must suck to be facing the looming disasters that lurk in the not so distant future. He and his generation will be required to face the many bad results of previous generations’ poor choices and lousy stewardship of the planet.

So, rather than get huffy over the fact they are casting their evil eye on me, the Boomer who is leaving them the shit show of their futures, I just smile and nod my head. They are right to be pissed, put upon, and letdown.  It seems to be one of the predictable results for every generation to be disappointed in the generations that preceded them. They are wrong though if they feel they are the only generation to inherit dangerous problems and headaches.

The World and all that is in it has always been a dangerous place. There will never be an end to the disasters, mayhem, and mistakes waiting in the shadows to take us out.  Human kind has always been its own worst enemy. That will never change. Every generation is faced with challenges they either choose to address or ignore.  Most seem to take on a few yet kick the can down the road on others unless that problem has become too prominent and full of disaster to not address.

My generation addressed many wrongs back in the day.  Sadly, many of the wrongs and world ills they at least identified became nothing more than guilty footnotes instead of positive action.  Like the many generations before them, my generation aged out of idealistic youth and was forced to face Reality full on. The “what we should be doing stuff” was relegated to guilty after thoughts overshadowed by meeting mortgages and raising the generational ingrates of the future.  It is a never-ending loop humans cannot escape.  We cannot expect to get off scot free when the kids we weaned grow up and see us for who we really are, flawed and not the pinnacles of stability they knew us to be when they were eight.

Regardless, I am more optimistic now than I was 30 years ago about a generation and the one following it.  Finally after a blank of 60 years since Boomers actually did work for positive change, Millennial’s and the younger Gen Z kids seem to be as serious about how screwed up the world is as I was when I was their age.

The world I lived in when I was 26 seemed just as hopeless at times as it does now. And by all accounts, it has not gotten better. But that is Life sometimes. To survive, we have to dig in while we bitch and complain.  The rule is piss and moan all you want, just do not give up.

I look at living as a battle to defeat Life and the inevitable misery that is part of it.

Keep it ‘tween the ditches …………………………….