This Bloody Tyrant Called Time…

It’s exactly 3:12am if you are living in California and the sun won’t rise here for another four and a half hours yet in London England someone is busy at work thinking about having a mid morning break and in Tokyo they are just finishing supper. Doesn’t anyone besides me find that amazing? Maybe I’m simple minded but time zones fascinate me.

Here’s a question, what would happen if due to some cosmic malfunction our planet began to spin in the reverse direction? Would we in California be ahead of New York? I know this sounds like the thinking of a madman but it’s  what the Upanishads call Maya, The Grand Illusion. 

The other day, I was hearing a discussion on NPR on how big the universe is and the guest said, “We believe the universe is 89 billion light years wide!” Let me ask you this, if an astronaut in a year’s mission floats around the earth 365 times does that mean he/she has lived 365 years? They saw 365 sunrises or sunsets? My belief that this is The Grand Illusion is no more wild than the professor thinking the universe is 89 billion light years wide… This too will pass

Obama Is A Muslin…

This afternoon a man wearing a Red White and Blue shirt with Stars and Bars suspenders decided he needed to hold his handpainted sign on an Interstate 80 overpass this afternoon. The sign proclaimed,  “Hail Trump! Obama Is A Muslin!” I guess President Obama fooled us all, he wasn’t a Muslim but a loosely woven cotton material. This too will pass

2016 Go Away…

The last 364 days were lousy and it wasn’t all about the election of Donald Trump or the countless celebrities who passed away, it was the rest of the nutty things that happened in this mad mad world of ours. In a land far away we have an up and coming dictator who boasts he’s driven around on a motorcycle killing people. Presidente Rodrigo Duterte is that foul mouthed ignorant psychopath taking justice into his hands and be damned with civil liberties.

Let’s see, we have a bloody civil war in Syria where thousands of women and children are being systematically killed and zealots burning people alive in cages and what do we focus on? A former track star becoming a transgendered woman and her daily struggles being rich and being accepted.

Wait it gets worse, I know you haven’t noticed it but the ocean waters are rising ever so slightly and ships can now travel in the North Pole waters year round; oh and polar bears are drowning yet what are we told to focus on? What perfume will Taylor Swift be wearing at the next awards show and will Bob Dylan show up to receive his Nobel Prize.

Think about this, Americans have been dumbed down to a point where they would actually elect a man simply because he had a reality television show. The same man who said, “I like dumb people because they are easily led and you can tell them anything.” God have mercy in our souls… This too will pass

Overtime Greed…

In all likelihood my greed for obtaining one of my biggest paychecks will do me in. I worked last Sunday at time and a half, then Monday for 11 hours at double time and a half, plus Tuesday and Wednesday for ten hours; well that brings me to today when I looked at the duty board and sure enough today I was scheduled off working this coming Saturday… I know it doesn’t make sense but winters are when we make the money…

I haven’t had a day off since the day I came back from San Diego. Yes I’m tired but I’m functioning with the help of DayQuil and nose sniffy spray… So all day tomorrow and Saturday will be double time and then I’m again required to work on New Years Day and the observed day after again at double time and a half. 

Rob worked so much overtime this last period, his paycheck was pretty good. Even though the Feds and California took out 5000 dollars he brought home a check of 7500 dollars. What blue collar job can you do that now-a-days? Even elevator technicians don’t haul that money in, they make more per hour but rarely do they get overtime. 

The only reason I’m mentioning any of this is because I’m slacking on writing. I drive-sleep-work-drive and sleep. I’ve caught myself sleeping in my truck which is a no-no. The World’s Largest Telecommunications Company doesn’t care why you slept in their truck only that you slept… This too will pass

Exit BERG, Enter Jaka 

I awaken from my slumber at approximately 3:30am each morning, play my solitaire game, write a post and then feed my cat. Wait before you turn to someone else’s post, I then head south to Oakland California and you know you’re in Oakland when you see the multiple homeless encampments under the freeway overpasses. One such group is so bold that they painted a sheet of plywood with, “Homeless Lives Matter Too!” A tagger has added BERG to the placard proclaiming his existence. 

A few blocks past them is my company garage, a build covered in graffiti. It seems someone named “BERG” continually feels the need to mark his or her territory. The building people paint over artwork daily but BERG insists on retagging it. Even the door opening keypad has been tagged with a Sharpie pen, “Berg B Here!” I guess mom and dad never gave little Berg much attention as a child. 

After morning roll call, we jump in our trucks and turn onto 23rd street. At the corner of MLK and 23rd is a stop sign, evidently BERG own that sign too. Proceeding down MLK Blvd, to the right and to the left is BERG’s land. A good five miles from the garage, we leave BERG’s domain and enter JAKA’s area. JAKA must own Berkeley. God I love Oakland and Berkeley… This too will pass

 

Reporting For Duty Sir!

There is no sick bay at The World’s Largest Telecommunications Company anymore; when my mother worked for Ma Bell, her manager would tell her to go up the in company medical office and rest. Now our managers call out to the crew, “Row well and live! We keep you alive to serve this ship!” I woke up at seven this morning after passing out on NyQuil last night.

Funny thing about NyQuil, they changed the horrible licorice taste  to a nasty smokey cherry flavor. I guzzled it directly out of the bottle. The next thing I remembered was Toonce clawing at my face meowing, “It’s light out. Didn’t you volunteer for two hours overtime?” I got up and took a shower to somehow wash the stench of death from me, fed my beloved ward and headed back down to the land of wonder what we call Oakland.

I arrived at the garage at exactly 9am thanks to the lack of traffic. Davy, the truck mechanic, passed by me bundled in a thick coat and greeted me, “You sick too?! Everyone else is.” I nodded, “Yes.” I walked into the manager’s office and said, “Please shoot me.” Marco replied, “I asked you the other day for you to finish me off and you refused.” We smiled. So here I am, they say if you keep moving you won’t die… I indeed on keeping moving. This too will pass

Tomas de Torquemada

The World’s Largest Telecommunications Company must have hired the Spanish Inquisition’s Father Torquemada’s great great great great grandchild to oversee their attendance policy. It was exactly at 11:24am when I said to myself, “You’re getting sick and soon you will be worthless.” Meanwhile the guy I was sent out to help bailed on me because he was in the advanced stages of whatever is going around the garage. 

When I first started 36 years ago they said you could have a job for the rest of your life if you followed these three rules: 1. Be where you’re supposed to be. 2. Do what you’re supposed to be doing. 3. Don’t call in sick. Tomorrow, if I’m feeling worse I will be calling in sick. Everyone is sneezing, coughing and one guy passed out yesterday. The creeping crud and low blood sugar had him on the floor.

The CEO of TWLTC, or at least management wants a living bodies in their trucks. I knew I was sick when after an hour of not finding my dialtone, I realized I wasn’t at 1215 54th Street, I was at 1115 54th Street. No wonder I was having trouble…  I told my workmate of my mistake and he said, “That’s okay. You’re sick like me.” This too will pass

They Say 2016 Was Tough…

It’s this time of year when the lists of famous people who have died comes out. Usually they tell us what they did or what they were a part of, “Steve R. played third sax for such and such group. Mary P. was acted in many daytime soap operas in the early 60’s.” Sometimes I’ll say to myself, “Oh I remember him.” Mostly I’ll be thinking, “I thought he died years ago?!”

David Bowie and Prince died this past year and so did Florence Henderson and that guy from the television show, The White Shadow. None of the four knew I existed and thus, with all sincerity, I couldn’t careless about their passing. I know it sounds terrible but it is what it is…

Now that Toonce has been diagnosed with lung cancer and he will eventually die from it, I’ll have a tear in my eye for days when it’s his time. He comforts me when I’m down and only asks for an occasional scratch behind the ears; well that and some cat yums… Don’t think I’m cold blooded about the other people’s deaths, I’m not. My friend Toonce C. Booncie USA friend of mine and I’ll miss his fur… This too will pass 

Only In Richmond…

“Have it your way at Burger King!” If I remember, that was their theme back in the 1980’s? I guess it hasn’t changed much since then, you can still have it your way. If you want some crack or OxyContin with your Whopper with cheese all you need to do is see one of the regulars lounging in the dining area. 

They sent me to the worst part of Richmond today and it being a holiday, all of my usual restaurants were closed. I had no choice but to pick up something fast at this dining establishment. I walked in and I first noticed not one of the tables had been bussed in days. Sleeping single men with all their belongings occupied most of the seating and of those who were wide awake seemed to be awake if you get my drift.

I walked up to the counter and Esmeralda, the manager, looked at me as if to say, “You aren’t DEA are you?!” I placed my order and she quickly said, “Quieres para llevar!” I replied, “No para aqui.” She looked to a man sitting at a near by table and got the nod that it was okay. Within a minute, I had my food. I looked at her and said, “To go. I changed my mind.” 

Meanwhile at another table, men were shaking the contents of prescription bottles into hands and cash was flowing. It didn’t take a DEA agent to know what’s going on there. I got my food and got the heck out of there as fast asI could. The non-uniformed guard in the expensive tennis shoes, a black parka and a blunt wished me well. This too will pass

What Is It Good For?

The Battle of Cannae was pretty horrific if you ask me. Tell me you remember that battle where 92,000 men were so willingly shed their blood? If you didn’t that’s okay, it really doesn’t matter anymore. It happened in 216BC during the Second Punic War, I didn’t even know there was a First Punic War. 

Then there was the Battle of Salsu, that happened during Goguryeo-Sui Wars where 300,000 died. I haven’t a clue where that battle took place, all I know is it happened in 612AD. Wow, for having that many die, it must have been quite an important issue. Let’s see, here’s another one…

In 1709, during The War of Spanish Succession at The Battle of Malpacquet, 95,000 died during that bloodbath. I’m not a history scholar thus I haven’t a clue what their beef was about but that’s a lot of dead combatants. Maybe I’ll skip to something more recent. 

Here’s one, The Battle of Borodino during The French Invasion of Russia. 95,000 men died there. We all know The French Army Grand got their come up-pens there yet I still don’t know why Napoleon even headed east. Does it even matter? I do know this, when it’s all said and done; what is it good for?  Absolutely nothing, Good God! This too will pass