Hunter’s Sister/Brother…

Hunter took the news a new baby was on its way , well better than when R. and I told Chris he was going a big brother. Chris was in his car seat and he looked at me as if I had betrayed him. It reminds me of the Simpsons episode when Marge and Homer had just had Lisa. Bart was so jealous he attempted to get attention by whatever means… This too will pass

A Post About Death…

Upon hearing that Ryan had committed suicide and what might have been the final straw, it got me to thinking. Here was a young man who was willing to take his life over a broken down used car. If he had said, “Juan, my car is messed up. I need help.” I would have helped him. He did mention he was having car problems but it didn’t sound like it was a crisis. I’ve had my junkers break down and never did I once think, “That’s it. I’m out of here.”

The thing is, I really know nothing about who Ryan was. All I know is that he would do his job and that he liked movies. I know this sounds quite cold but it is what it is. When they placed him on the autopsy table, they won’t say, “Ryan was a good guy and he loved movies on Netflix!”  They will measure the fluid content in his body and do other scientific things. 

Around the world people die everyday. Here we check for cause of death and set up GPS triangulation coordinates should it be out in the open. Street camera videos are researched and possible witnesses sought but it’s only about the body. In India, you see a body floating down the Ganges and they say, “It will float away when the flow rises a little.” I’m sure that in a few days Ryan’s body will be disposed of in some manor. As for me, all I know is he had a beaten up white Toyota that had problems. I guess I am no different than a coronor’s assistant. This too will pass

I Guess I’m Going To Have Two Grandchildren…

The other day I get a call from Tashi and M. saying, “Is Elena pregnant?” I responded, “I haven’t a clue. Why?” They went on to tell me how Chris had posted on his Facebook thing, “I am blessed to have Elena in my life.” “That’s strange” I thought, There are a lot of words Chris uses: moron, imbicile and stupid but I’ve never ever heard him say blessed. When asked he said, “Oh she made these cheese sage biscuits and spaghetti last night.” 

Today they revealed a being of light will arrive sometime around December 27th. I then asked M., who knows astrology, what might be instore for the little one. Venus will be here and Jupiter will cross over there and the Sun will transit somewhere too. The little one will be a Rooster if you happen to follow the Chinese aspect of things. The main thing is I just want the little family to be happy…

Here’s what concerns me, Chris is barely doing what he’s doing as in providing. I’m cutting him a break when it comes to him helping me make the mortgage payment. Now he will be feeding four. I’m sure it will all work out, it always does. At least they won’t be raising their kids in that miserable tenement in Newark. 

It’s Sunday April 30th and in 2 hours I’ll start my commute to work in the jewel of the East Bay, Oakland. Yesterday, my youngest son called and asked if I could help him with his rent. I did to the tune of 700 dollars. At some point this overtime gravy train will slow down for the summer months. When that happens, Chris better think about getting a second and third job. I must admit, I shook my head in sadness when I heard about the new baby’s arrival. This too will pass

I Liked Ryan…

He was a good man. The crew this morning casually talked about his passing. One of the managers walked into the room and said, “If any of you feel stressed or feel you need someone to talk to, we have services.” Someone asked if he knew when services would be held. He did not know.

The mechanic had heard Ryan had been having car and girlfriend trouble and saw the only way out was to take his life. Being he was a refuse environment specialist, I guess he felt bad than he was sorting thru disposable pee bags, old Chinese food cartons and cardboard. I probably would feel bad too. Ryan was smart and he had a college degree. I guess he felt as if he was stuck in a miserable job even if he was making real good money…

I’m actually going to miss Ryan. He would clue me onto good movies and I’d tell him to watch some old masterpieces. I guess having a broken down car was the final thing to send him into despair and darkness. This too will pass

Ryan Olsen Had Had Enough…

The crew received bad news today, it seems the young man who’s job it was to sort thru our garage’s garbage, took his life on Tuesday. The manor of suicide hasn’t been let out. I liked Ryan, he was a real nice guy. He always called me dad…

It wasn’t that he was stuck in a low paying job with no future or maybe he thought he was. I think 30 an hour to sort trash is okay and garbage sorter wasn’t his real title, environmental waste manager was. He would place empty aerosol cans in big drums and hazardous waste in others. The State of California had tightened up so much on waste disposal that a ball point pen is now concidered hazardous waste. 

Everyday, he and I would talk about movies, we had nothing else in common. He always parked his personal car in my space but I didn’t mind because he’d always be gone before I got back to the garage. I swear it hurts knowing he took his life. He being young had never seen Doctor Zhivago and I turned him on to it. I don’t think he was older than 29. It really hurts… This too will pass

 I Have Contrition… My Fingers Were Crossed

I was told by my outgoing manager that the safety investigation meeting would tomorrow at 9am. I told him that I wouldn’t have time to assemble my crack team of legal scholars to defend me. That’s when he blew up and said, “On my last day here, you can’t give it a break?” I replied, “John, I will be found guilty of hitting the parked car and a stiff penalty will be meted out. Okay, assemble the kangaroo court and I’ll be there.” 

I told him that as with any trial prior to sentencing would I be allowed to make a short statement? He agreed. Even a condemned prisoner gets the privilege to do that prior to execution. I then typed this statement:

Thank you for allowing me to read this statement prior to the beginning this investigation. I take responsibility for striking the vehicle with the right rear corner of my truck. There were many things I could have done to prevent the collision. In my brain, me circling the block rather than backing up to access the pole was enough but in hindsight, I could have gotten out of my truck and placed a few safety cones near the cars so as to offer myself a safety zone. I actually thought about doing this but being that the roadway was narrow, I chose incorrectly and chose to maneuver in front of the pole as quickly as possible as not to hinder traffic flow. I should have also tried to make a helper ticket but since it was late in the afternoon, I decided not to.
The customer had waited all day for us to arrive and I felt rushed to get her new fiber in service. Again, I failed to put safety first. When I think of this incident, I actually have a tear in my eye because I let JOHN Fortenberry, Jeffery Sharp and AT&T down by my careless actions. Maybe it was that I had attempted to install three fiber services in one day and maybe after being sick for the two prior weeks, my mind wasn’t right with the job. 

I can only apologize and accept the penalty that will be meted out to me. I throw myself on this court and ask for misery. I calculated last night that I have driven various company vehicles for now 36 years and 150,000 miles for the most part I have not had any at fault accidents other than in 1987 when I backed into a pole. I have given my knees, shoulders to this company and I can only hope those who will judge me take my service into consideration

I guess those in power want me to feel bad for hitting the car. The truth is, for the previous two weeks I was sick as a dog. I checked my last gross earnings balance and saw that I am 500 dollars short of hitting the 70,000 dollar mark… I will make it up somehow and after filing a grievence I will get four of my 5 days back… This too will pass

Pine Cone Danger

 I’ve seen a lot of strange things in my career but this one takes the cake. I drove up to one of our cross connect boxes and noticed a helmet sitting on top of the box along with a rather large pinecone. On the hard hat were these words, “Put on this helmet. Pinecones drop without notice!” I picked up the helmet and found a family of snails had found shelter in it. I went back to my truck and got mine…

I walked back to the box and just as I got to it, a heard a rather big pinecone drop with a thud. While I stood there I constantly kept looking up. I wasn’t that worried about a pine cone dropping, what concerned me was a dead branch breaking loose high above and falling.

Loggers call this sort of branches “Widow Makers.” I can totally see why they do. Some day a technician will get hit by a falling branch and a hard hat won’t save them from injury or death. Maybe just getting in and out of that box as fast as possible is the only way to be safe. This too will pass

This Is The Country We Live In…

He walked into the little cafe I treat myself to a warm cherry turnover now and then and instantly made a few of the patrons uneasy. It took me a second to realize he wasn’t with The Migra but from one of the local breweries. 

The vineyard workers come here to buy their morning cafe and una pastele dulce before hitting the fields. One of the men said in Spanish, “I was ready to run.” Everyone laughed it off. If they do deport the undocumented workers, I hope wine prices triple in price. 

No one and I mean no one wants to pick grapes. They’re spraying sulfur on the vines now, another miserable job and who wants to be paid by the pound when it comes to picking grapes. The Orange One says, “Give great paying jobs to Americans!” Here’s a question: I wonder if his winery employs documented workers? I truly doubt it… This too will pass 


I know this is an unpleasant subject to write about but it is what it is. The Arkansas Department of Corrections executed three condemned men in short order the other day. Why? Because the state’s supply of numbing agent was about to expire and the good folks at McKesson Corporation probably weren’t about to sell them anymore of the drug. Why? Because they say the Arkansas Department of Corrections misled the company by saying, “We’re going to take care of some our prisoners with it.” The thing was, “take care” meant execute some prisoners with it. 

Here’s a little background about the Mc Kesson Corporation. It started in San Francisco as Foremost and McKesson, two local dairys got together and formed a pretty good sized organization. Soon the word Foremost was dropped and I guess McKesson turned away from producing milk to making heart stopping drugs… That seems like a big shift but that’s business.

When I was a kid back in the 60’s, I remembered the quart sized orange containers of milk. I believe low fat was blue and buttermilk was green. Anyway, I wish I could remember their motto. I think it was something about being “wholesome for families.” I don’t know but it seems as if they strayed away from their original motto too. Wouldn’t it be ironic if the drug they produced was milky white? Just a thought… This too will pass

Take Your Hate Elsewhere Please…

Berkeley California, the center of the free speech movement in the 60’s is now being called the center for stifling of speech. The thing is, few want to hear Ann Coulter and Milo What’s-his-beak spew their hate for liberals here. Both of these people love to incite protests so they can say, “See how awful The Left have become.” I want them to speak but how about in Orange County where people thing The Guy in Office is doing a great job…

Ann Coulter isn’t listening but here’s a little advice, “If you’re afraid of bees stinging you, then don’t poke at a bee hive unless you really want to get cranky bees attacking you.” Now I don’t want windows broken on Telegraph Ave. but sometimes a few eggs to be broken when you’re making a quiche.

I hope Ann Coulter does actually come here and she’s given a Berkeley welcome. If I had the guts, I would be along side the protesters but on the last week of May, I’m heading back to see Hunter. Let me say this, not hearing from your ill son is enough torture for one lifetime but I would trade that pain for being douced with pepper spray or a bean bag round to the chest… This too will pass