Friday, November 22, 2013

Neverwhere (aka Randomness)

Its 12:54 am

    Back again...its very cold here in SE Michigan and we are expecting our first real snow tomorrow,about a half of inch is expected to fall tomorrow. Just enough to make traffic rather hairy getting home.

 Paladin is sleeping on our bed,he really is a hoot...he loves to run and play. He has started to make his scratch pad into a tent but better be careful when petting him,he gets really serious about defending that tent! But he and I are doing much,much better. He slept next to me under the covers for six hours,warm as can be. I think being a short haired kitty,he will be affected by the cold winter much more then Derek Jeter and Ginger were.
  My week has been pretty vanilla...we didn't make our volunteer project as last Wednesday night saw our store's department heads having to stay very late to do a major floor set. I actually ended up working two extra hours (thanks Rich and John) helping out in lumber. I left at 10:30 and told my two volunteer partners if it got too late to scrap the trip...and at 12:45 am,I got the call....its wouldn't be right to expect these guys to bust their asses for 12 hours only to be get up at 6 am to do the volunteer project. But there will a lot of chances to contribute somewhere soon.
   Today is 11 November....21 years ago my family lost my brother Peter when he was killed via the most American way...the gun. Still hurts all these years later,still can recall everything about that fateful day. The disbelief,the trip to the airport...the having the same empty hollow feeling knowing his death will be just another of case file sitting in Bremerton Police Dept.
Photo: Another year passes but always yesterday. I can count on both hands how many times the Lord has blessed me with my brother in my dreams but I want to thank the Lord right now for blessing me last night for allowing me to hang out with my brother once again. The beautiful part about it is when he is in my dreams we talk about life right now as I'm living it. I love you Pete!
  I can still see Peter playing baseball,chilling with my other brother,Philip and glad to be alive up in Washington. It was all taken away from us and I find it bitterly ironic that on the day we remember our soldiers in the armed forces who gave all to protect us from enemies foreign,it was a fellow American here on our soil who killed my brother.

   Saw the news this week that Blockbuster is closing its last 300 stores by 1 Jan 14. one time they had over 2,000 stores and were considered too big to fail...but once streaming and Netflix hit,it just crushed them flat. I have a store that I have written about before about a half a mile away from the house. I cruised by a few times to raid the 4 for 20 sale they would run once in a while. Its sort of weird but that store was actually pretty busy,especially at night and during the weekend.

  It will be a real shame as a lot of folks will be losing their jobs at the worst possible time. Just like the used music and bookstores,both seem to be fading away...I know that Barnes and Noble took a major earnings beating last quarter which was a shock considering they are the only real bookstore chain left. Its getting harder and harder to find places to simply get a affordable CD,book or movies. Guess I make one last run over there on Tuesday because I have a gift card I better use before I can't anymore.

  Detroit has a new mayor in Mike Duggan....he is the first white mayor in 40 years. He is walking into his city being run by a emergency manager because of the severe debt the city is in. His city council will be a mixture of decent returnees to the typical Detroit voter voting for a "name" instead of the best person suited for the job. Is Duggan the answer,nope..I personally am dying to know why he ran for the office. I could understand it if you really had a chance to make a real impact but I just don't see it happening for him. You already know there will be sharp clashes with Duggan and the city council,the crime continues to rise...we had two terrible shootings this week....a 19 year old woman was shot by a homeowner when she knocked on his door after being in a car crash. He shot her in the back of the head and didn't bother to call the cops,his neighbors did.
  And at a barbershop,some illegal gambling got outta hand and one player decided to settle up with the house by shooting 10 people,killing two. The new police chief seems rather lost in trying to gain any direction in which to try and slow things down. I think the only thing that may slow things down is the weather. Generally here in Detroit,the colder the weather,the less static because no wants to go out and be cold in committing a crime. Summer means warmer weather and more restless youths that can acquire a gun and get into trouble.
  But a glimmer of hope does beckon for the future,former police chief Warren Evans is gearing up for a run as County Executive for the county I live in,Wayne. I think he will be a force to be reckoned with,just as he was as police chief.

   Been watching the ACA stumble out of the gate with the website crashing and the White House not seeing that the insurance companies would be dropping millions out folks. This is the second major misstep the Obama WH has committed in rolling out this reform,the first allowing employers to abuse the intent of reform to gut the hours of a part-time employee to 29 hours or less and not taking any steps to correct it.

18 Nov

1:49 am

Listening to a massive storm tearing through our town. Last week we had our first snow and today feels like April with a spring like storm bring rain,high winds and over 80 tornadoes down south. I heard there was a tornado in Ann Arbor and a huge gust of wind hit Ypsilanti at 70 mph. As I am typing this,I can hear the wind and rain bounce off the house,our large tree on the NW corner of house...its branches are scrapping the siding. So far,we have done pretty well in terms of not losing power as so many have had the bad luck of doing so. Paladin is curled up on his fleece blanket on the floor.
Incredible home video of a couple whose house was hit by a tornado. You gotta love this dude,he sees his house is all done but he is talking how he hopes his neighbors are alright. We all should be so lucky to have him as a neighbor.

22 Nov

5:34 pm

As you can see,this is a rolling blog as I have been feeling pretty hollow as of late. The holidays are in full swing now. Our store has its live Christmas trees in stock and yes,someone bought one even as we were rolling them out. I saw actress Shanna Moakler posted a picture of her tree already up and raring to go...

  I am staying quiet this day. I was kindly invited to several places but I just am in no mood to give thanks this year. I know...selfish and self-centered but I couldn't really give a damn what others think. Right now,I am just trying to make it through this period of the year.
  The lack of activity on my part is starting to be felt. I have so many good intentions but again,just as in June,once I get home...I am done. I check Paladin's bowl and his litterbox,fix dinner (thanks Barb!) and just retreat within myself. I think about our past Thanksgivings,what we did,what we ate and who came over. I thought maybe I would host a orphan's night for some of my co-workers but maybe next year.
  My insomnia is wicked and is getting worse,twice this week,I was up until 6 am...and I had went to bed at 10 pm both nights!!I even read a book...I finally got a Jack Reacher novel that my dad has highly recommended. I saw clips of the movie on YouTube,the character looks pretty bad-ass as portrayed by Tom Cruise.

  As I started reading the book,I got a sense of deja vu even though it was my first time reading any Reacher books. It wasn't until I came across a bar fight scene in the book that I figured I was reading the novel they based the movie on. When I went back to look at the fight scene,it clicked...that Tom Cruise was 6 inches too short and about 80 pounds too light compared to Jack Reacher in the book.

  Nonetheless,its a good fast read and I will have to tell my pops that he picked out a good writer.
Normally when I read,it tires me out and helps me sleep...but when I found myself halfway through the book,wide awake,I knew I was in trouble.
 My phone has too answering answering machine that comes on when I am not home and a one that kicks in when I'm on the phone. Last week,I decided to check out those messages and clean the box out.
  Imagine my surprise when I heard messages from before May. The doctors,hospice,friends all leaving messages. And one that has totally left me so hurting...Lori calling me from downstairs the night I had been up so long I needed to sleep. It was the night that her fistula has caused her so much grief and I had spent all day trying to keep her clean. Her message was "Michael,where are you. I need you". Jesus hear that today...I am just so hollow and so ashamed. I really did try my best...I swear to God,I did. My poor Lori...
  Needless to say,I am not so well this week. I keep seeing her in the bed...and I just weep. I can't help it...I just do.
  This Tuesday night,St. Thomas aBecket is having its Memorial service for the church members who have passed away the past year. Why two days before Thanksgiving,I couldn't tell you but there you have I will be going once more to get a little cross that hung on the wall. Lori's best friend,Deb and her boyfriend Michael will be going with me to the service. That will be nice as I won't be going alone.

 I went grocery shopping today after clipping my coupons. I paid off my mortgage (thank you God for letting me stay here another month) and then went out onto the floor. The store was busy but not quite as busy as it will be come Tuesday-Wednesday night.Harking back to my Farmer Jack days,Thanksgiving was always a source of amusement to us because normal sane people would get all crazy come the last two days...looking for the last minute deals on turkeys and complaining about prices. You would just smile and nod your head...taking the heat for things beyond your control. But once in a while you get a chance for sweet when some dude would ask how to defrost a turkey the DAY before Thanksgiving. My favorite was telling them to use a blow dryer or put the turkey in a sink full of water overnight. The real challenge was to keep a straight face when suggesting the blow dryer and hope the cashier next you wouldn't start laughing.

  Ah,to have that laugh today....but it was just me and my coupon book hunting bargains while watching the many families shop for the big day. Couples holding hands,kids asking for cherry pie instead of apple while teens wanted popcorn for a movie night. The sounds were festive and joyful. I walked up and down looking for the items I had coupons for and any good deals I may have missed or the store hadn't pushed.
  An hour later I was done and I saw Debbie,our regular cashier. I commented I hadn't seen her very much as of late and she said "They gutted our hours". She went from working 40 hours to 22 and was feeling it (no kidding). She asked how I was doing,she said I looked "haunted". Aye....and then she shared she herself was a widow at age 31. She had a eight year old boy that kept her going she said. She was going to share more but her line suddenly became busy and she had to go.
  Got home and put away the few things I had gotten and then nuked my dinner.
I started to read my book...but started to think about the news I had gotten this week. I got a email from my friend Michelle in North Dakota. She said her husband had been in a terrible crash. Brad drives a semi for a living and he was on his way either going to or dropping off a load. There was a slight snowfall as he drove down a two lane road.
 As he was driving,a Army convoy was going the other way. In between the military trucks was a car. The driver of the car was going too fast for the weather,wasn't paying attention and saw they were too close to the Army truck ahead to be able to stop safely. The driver,instead of going on the shoulder of the road,dashed into the other lane and with Brad only 15-20 feet away,it was too late. They hit head on...

Brad's skill,truck size and his guardian angel saved him. The driver wasn't so blessed and died from the impact. The passenger was critically wounded. The picture above is what remains of Brad's truck. Michelle wrote and said she planned on holding him very tight when he got home.
 I am just so happy that he is okay and I hope he knows there wasn't anything he could have done to avoid this. I know he will have sleepless nights but pray that he finds peace and know that we love love him very much...even if we haven't met.
  My den is a mess. I haven't been into coming up here as much as of late. I don't know why as I actually like the room quite a bit. I am planning to have my pal and fellow fan boy,Dominic,come over and help me hook up my wireless printer. That will happen after Thanksgiving. I am thinking of combining it with a movie night here. It would be my first social interaction here at the house since Lori. I mean,I have had people over but helping me sort thru Lori's things and burying Derek Jeter doesn't rate very high on the "so much fun" meter.

 As many of you know,I don't watch much TV these days. I generally sit downstairs with a DVD on and play with Paladin. But I do watch on Tuesdays (everything else,I catch up with on the iPad),especially my favorite show,"Person of Interest". The show is in its third year and has been very good this season. The writer's decided to wrap up a arc that has been play the first two seasons about a group of corrupt cops called "HR".
  They decided to end it with a 3 part story called "Endgame" and in which they said a member of the regular cast was going to die. The boards were rife with who was going to die. The feeling was Fusco or Shaw was going to die and the previews pretty much looked bad for Lionel.
 So imagine our shock and dismay when the writer's killed off Joss Carter...never saw it coming in the slightest. I was just staring at the screen as Carter slowly died in Reese's arms. Its pretty rare to to see a strong black female lead on TV and to say I'm bitterly disappointed is a understatement. While I like the Shaw and Fusco characters,I would have killed either one of them off before killing Carter. The fallout and the end of the arc ends this month before POI goes on a 3 week hiatus. It will be interesting to see what they come up with...

Sorry this has taken so long to get here and I am thankful you all are still with me.

I can be found on Twitter @Jinzo_2400

Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Shout outs

Cheryl - Thanks for dinner!
Peter T - Enjoying the tea! What a nice thing to have on a cold day.
Sheri - thanks for having my 6
Barb- For everything
Brad and Michelle - You are blessed.
Maren- Sending warm thoughts your way concerning your grandpa
Denise - inside and out,always a jewel
Carl,Susan - #ninjafarts
Melanie and Terrie - just because.
Sue - Thanks for the coffee and friendship. I still owe you a bag of sunflower seeds

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