Thursday, November 17, 2011

Don’t touch me I’m a real live wire

Psycho KillerMan, I don’t know what is going on with my state of mind the past couple of days, but I’m feeling like a loaded gun with a hair trigger.

NO, I am not PMSing, mmmkay?

After a wonderful vacation with wonderful friends, I’ve been trying to get caught up on various things, getting back into my workouts, working towards my goal of reading 52 books this year (I’m at 44!), and gearing up for the holidays. I’ve also gotten back into my routine of keeping up with politics, and I think that’s the culprit here. In fact, I’m sure of it.

As I watch the shuffling parade of incompetence that is the Republican primary field, I find myself getting more and more stabby. As I observe people actually thinking that someone like Herb Cain or Newt Gingrich would make a good president, I want to take them by the shoulders and shake some sense into them. As I follow the super-committee’s latest proposals (quickly followed by the other side saying “That’s laughable!” and an immediate refusal) and continued unsuccessful negotiations, I just want to throttle the whole lot of them. There’s a reason Congress is less popular than not only Paris Hilton, but also the United States of America turning Communist, and it’s because they’re all behaving like petulant children with more than a little touch of brain damage.

And as I see the Occupy Wall Street protesters and those of us who support them categorized as lazy bums who want a handout and spend our days smoking weed and shitting on cop cars, I get very, very angry. Are there bad apples involved with the movement? Undoubtedly. You encounter douches in every walk of life. But the majority are people who see the vast and ever-increasing gap between the haves and have-nots and would like to see that change. Do we want to see the highest wage earners give away all their money? Do we want them to NOT make money? Of course not! However, it strikes me as fundamentally wrong to see CEOs making millions in salaries and bonuses, not creating any jobs, and slowly squeezing the life out of the American middle class.

Middle fingersThose who criticize the Occupy movement and see them as nothing more than unwashed hippies apparently missed the fact that the “American Dream” is on life support, and with the way we’re going, I’m not sure it can be revived. It is no longer enough to work hard and pull yourself up and get an education. I know plenty of college graduates who have been down-sized and downtrodden; when there are four people vying for every job available, there are no guarantees that you’ll find a job anytime soon. Our manufacturing jobs are being sent overseas, and I doubt they’re coming back. Our populace is under-educated and unqualified for many of the jobs that are out there. Yet the Republicans talk about cutting funds for Pell grants, and job training programs, and we just keep going deeper into the rabbit hole.

So yes. I’m angry, and I’m on edge. Washington would be wise to get it through their heads that I’m not alone in my anger.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A brief programming note

11-22-63I still have tons (one might even say ‘loads and loads,’ right Shane?) of pictures to edit, and much to write about our recent vacation, but this past week, I got the second part of my birthday present in the mail, thanks to my sister Diana and her husband Tom. It’s the new Stephen King novel, and although I can’t pinpoint the exact time that it happened (I think it was sometime around noon today), I have reached that wonderful tipping point in a book when I am completely (and happily) ensnared. I’m having a hard time getting anything else done because I don’t want to stop reading this book. As King himself wrote in a line that I marked as one of my favorites, “That’s the curse of the reading class. We can be seduced by a good story at the least opportune moments.”

The story has seduced me, and I plan on spending lots of quality time with this book as I work my way through it. Once I’ve had my way with it and I’m spent, I’ll be back here to get some pictures posted and relive our Philadelphia and New York experiences.

Until then, carry on, citizens.