Friday, September 22, 2017

This Time Tomorrow

Tomorrow our daughter, Michelle, and I will again become momentary members of Sue's Crew IX (this time) in support of the YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge and South Amboy (New Jersey) Janice Garbolino 5 K Run/Walk in Edison, New Jersey. You have probably already guessed which event I'm hoping to do, even if I do it badly.

My brother, Adam and his wife, Margaret and members of their family have been involved in this event for almost a decade (actually, VIII years but who's counting) for sadly familiar reasons that we can only hope someday will only be a memory as we work to make cancer history. As was the case last year (when this photo was taken) I am very much in it for the tee-shirt when should I finish.

Suze Crew VIII (2016)/Photo courtesy of Sarah Lyn Thomas
Having made this trip from Connecticut any number of time, I can tell you it's quite a drive for us, and we're not the only travelers nor I suspect was ours the anywhere near the longest journey, but it's well worth it for the cause and for the people involved in it.

To be proven again on the morrow
There's a long way yet to go in the battle against breast cancer and all that's been made so far is a very good start. But we've come a long way and it's been a long ride. We've come a long way to be here tonight.
-bill kenny  

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Time Passages

It was twenty-six years ago this past Tuesday I worked my last day as an employee of the US Air Force (civilian type) in Europe. I tell myself I still haven't decided if I'm angry or sad about how the end happened and why, but I lie. That I still mark the anniversary should tell me what I don't want to know.

I didn't lose my job, it sort of lost me. Historically, in less time than it takes to explain the appeal of totalitarianism to Eastern Europeans, that appeal evaporated into thin air and where there had been two Germanys for four and a half decades, there was suddenly only one. 

As a card carrying grey eminence of the NATO occupation forces, and with Exchange and Commissary privileges to prove it (not forgetting my Mainz-Kastel Audio -Video Club Frequent Shopper Membership), I was part of the 'everything must go!' overhead the United States Armed Forces parted with in their Getting Out of Europe sale. 

In dribs and drabs over the course of a couple of years, many of those with whom I had worked, in and out of uniform, found themselves in the same place and space-where the road and the sky collide with very little time to think once much less twice.

I was considering all of that (and the role a pair of talentless right bastard career Air Force officers both of them, Captain Mary and Colonel Tom, played in engineering my exit) while watching the images of the President speaking to the United Nations and the now united Germany's ambassador to the UN trying to sort out, as are so many others around the globe, exactly whom it is some of us elected to be President. 

Western Europe which Amercian armed forces saved twice in the last century is doing just fine without us, it seems to me, as both we and they struggle to maintain both our equilibrium in a slippery slope of a new world order as well as the candow, courage and communications that marked so many decades of our relationships with one another.

It amazes and heartens me to watch from a distance. If I'd known then what would happen to my life now and that of my family, I don't think I'd have changed a thing for my family or the world in whcih we lived, despite or because of that knowledge. We are the sum of everyone we've ever known and the journey so far has been as educational as it has been inspirational and entertaining. 

Sometimes this story each of us is writing can be a bit tricky as farewell often becomes goodbye and at other times, it's yet another hello.
-bill kenny 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

As Wild Ideas Go....

My last original thought died of loneliness, so I hang on to any glimmer of an idea which crosses or crawls over my front lobes very tightly with both hands (which makes typing difficult). Humor me, or try. 

Like lots and lots of people across the region, I was unpleasantly surprised when Benny's announced it was closing all of its stores. It was sad, though admittedly to a certain extent not altogether unexpected news. 

The rate and pace of change in our lives continues to accelerate so much that I wonder what we'll look like by the end of this sentence, much less the end of the decade. I thought about ordering a black armband from Amazon to wear in mourning of the passing of another brick and mortar retailer but then realized maybe that particular purchasing habit was at the root of the problem.

I've been told experience is what you get when you didn't get what you want and we have certainly had a lot of experience with disappointments of all manner around here but, just sayin' (and stay with me on this), what if the closing of the Norwich Benny's could prove to be the opening of that Community Center we've taken a kajillion surveys about since surveys were invented that always tells us that's what we say we need here in Norwich (when we mean we'd like to have).

I know what you're thinking (actually I have no idea, but that's a great way to transition from one paragraph to another and vamp for time) but I'm not kidding. I've been in the store far more times than I can remember (as have you, right?) and it's a large space in what I think is a pretty nice location for a community center (based on my seconds of experience as a planner).

The building is next door to a passive recreation area (I didn't mean Gorin's; I meant on the other side) with a large parking area for cars, and on a bus route for those without cars. It's down the street (four-minute walk or so) from the Norwichtown Green and across the street from the Norwichtown Commons. 

My point in putting the building into play this way is we fall in love around here with complex and complicated planning for facilities and activities that never get to Square One so we devote all of our energy to pursuing mirages. Yes, I know the building is on the property tax rolls but in this daydream, I'm not concerned about that. 

Let's pretend the store is empty and pretty soon we won't be pretending. How many tremendously good ideas to put that empty space can we develop, how many children, youth and family activities can we house there? What would we need to build inside that space and what will any or all of that cost? I have no idea and don't pretend to, though all of those are excellent questions.

My part of this was in asking "what happens if we do?", and with the strike of a few keys on a computer keyboard, my part is already done. I got this started and since life is a relay, pick it up and carry it forward. If you want something either you find a way or make an excuse. Your choice.
-bill kenny      


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

One Serving of Comeuppance Coming Up

Schadenfreude is German for rejoicing at the misfortune of others. I find it amusing how people with no grasp of foreign languages despite that varsity letter from Glossolalia University (go "Rabid Wombats"!) still know the word and the concept of schadenfreude. 

Except when it comes to General Michael Flynn. No matter what happens to that piece of trash, it's not enough, as far as I'm concerned and none of that emotion has anything to do with schadenfreude. 

Admittedly, I'm talking about Old Testament level vengeance here, that's what I want to be meted out. And not so much because of that imbecile Sean Spicer's efforts for normalization seen most recently on the Emmy's on Sunday evening, but because of this news item.  

Spicer is/was the empty-header prattler and liar at the press podium in the White House, when he wasn't arguing about why dippin'dots wasn't actually ice cream (and you thought I was making that up, didn't you?). 

Flynn is the most angry General officer to ever inject himself into a national political campaign and a hateful, baleful, excrement-stuffed piece of skin who fit in perfectly with the Trump National Zoo of Aggrieved Imbeciles and Overly Entitled Morons.

And now what's this I see, a begging bowl? 
Donate to the little bastard's fund-raiser? HA!
I wouldn't give him the skin off my ....teeth. Lock him up.
-bill kenny 

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Rosebuds Have Been Gathered

Yesterday marked the last summer weekend of 2017, which comes as a shock, I suspect, to millions of the nation's schoolchildren who've been back to the academic grindstone for weeks now and are already looking forward to the Thanksgiving break.

Back when I was a wee slip of a lad, summers seemed to go on forever. We used to spring out of bed to better get a head start on doing absolutely nothing until late in the afternoon when, with a little luck, a marathon baseball game would break out on the dirt field up the street from the Girard's house. 

No one kept score and nobody cared who won or lost. Players would come and go for hours, heading home for dinner or to go shopping with Mom and then return hours later sometimes having to be on the other team. 

Usually what we did, depending on how good the player returning really was might be that he would have to wait to rejoin the game until another player showed up to balance him out. Mid-inning trades were also not unknown. The games went on until the daylight was dying or, more correctly, had died and then Mr. Girard would back his car out of the carport and turn the headlights on to wash over the field so we could wrap it finally (until tomorrow when it began again).

We did this for years until someone bought the lot and built a house on it. We all hated the people who moved into that house. And, much later, when the house burned down, I felt a twinge of guilt even though I had nothing to do with what happened-the power of wishing and its consequences, I guess.

As I got older the summers got shorter and when our Pat and Mike were smaller it was fun to watch the cycle begin again with them. We're a few weeks away from the 'leaf peeping' that everyone associates with New England weekends in the fall. But for me, it's already too late. I hate autumn-I can smell the scent of all things dying even before they actually do and I'm left with memories of the summer to get me through the winter into the following spring. Enjoy what you have, while you have it.
-bill kenny

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Cursive! Foiled Again!

I don't lead a large life. I've learned to savor and celebrate the small things and enjoy what I have when I have it because sometimes while you look for better and bigger, what you already have disappears. 

Yesterday morning struggling to wash my hair in the shower I lost my grip on the shampoo bottle. I tend to use those 3-in-1 shampoos with wash, conditioner and body soap(? because I'm lazy and lousy at fractions so I can never get a bottle of shampoo AND a bottle of conditioner to run out at the same time (and I eye suspiciously anyone who can).

It's only 3-in-1 because they don't make much-more-manyer because if they did I'd be buying that instead. A shampoo that also checks the sports scores, adds the right amount of cream to my coffee (it's easy for our son Patrick who drinks it black), checks the tire pressure on that right rear one that's been giving me trouble...You get the idea. 

Anyway, the bottle is almost empty and picking it up in the shower I thought perhaps I'd just undo the top of the new shampoo bottle, that comes with a pump, and add them together. The shower is on and beating down on me while I'm holding the two bottles, old and new, in my hands when I suddenly realize, they are not the same products

I've purchased a completely different kind of 3-in-1 shampoo which absolutely amazed me. How could this have happened (pretending that I pay that kind of attention to any aspect of my life much less to the brand of shampoo I purchase), I discover both have one syllable names and both labels have the name spelled in  what an acquaintance from the UK calls, 'joined together letters,' or what we call in these parts, cursive writing.

Fair's fair, I guess. I'm a product of the A. N. Palmer method of handwriting, and grateful for it, though to read my scribblings you'd never guess it. I'm a little chagrined to admit this but I had another point I wanted to make about shampoo in general I think but I can't read my own note. Something about petard, which is weird because I don't watch a lot Star Trek.

-bill kenny

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Elect a Clown, Expect a Circus

If you're within driving distance of our nation's Capitol, you might wish to get on your bad motor scooter and ride as today is the day some of us have waited for (I'm guessing) an entire year to get here, the 2017 Juggalo March on Washington

I appreciate the way the link outlines a rather full day for those so inclined. If you're going, be not deterred that during this, of all years, your appearance and participation in this annual pilgrimage does not seem to be out of place or unusual, because of course, it's not. 

I'm having my doubts about Our New Normal and confess that I've grown tired of winning.
-bill kenny