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Winston

  1. Beggars Banquret

    I don't make a ton of money at my job, but I stick around 'cause it's generally low stress. I can get time off easily. so I took a few days off this week.
    Before I left Friday, a co-worker left early. I was the only one left, so I yelled after him, "Are you leaving?'. He ignored me. I repeated. Finally, he stormed back around and screamed at me, "You're not my boss!" He vomited-out some more nonsensical grievances. I finally got sick of his butt-hurt nonsense, and ...
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  2. Drifting

    How many swimmers out there? Now how many of you are rocks?

    From my experience, the main difference between the buoyant and not-so-buoyant is simple. Economy.
    You don't have to be strong or talented to be a good swimmer, you just have to learn to not panic. Once you realize that you can float, the strokes and kicks come easy.
    But you can't force it. Folks that thrash and flail burn a ton of energy, lose their breath, then dip below the surface. Learn rhythm. ...
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  3. Theives

    Welcome the 21st Century. Here's how a watch gets stolen, and recovered. And the collateral damage.

    My son's school never has enough money for... anything. This includes something as simple as functioning lockers. At gym class, my son left his wallet, phone and watch in one of those "press your luck" lockers. Minutes after depositing his items, someone told my boy his locker as ajar. Sure enough, the lock mechanism had been pried. He discovered that his smart watch ...
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  4. The Incredible Shrinking Man

    No, not around the waist. We'll call that a stalemate. At least I'm not losing that battle.

    I just feel smaller. Which is funny, cause it' my world that s shrinking.

    We just put our dog down. He had chronic orthopedic issues. It's hard seeing the life still in your friend's eyes, and having to make that call. It's logical to rationalize and justify euthanasia. Still, I set my gym clothes by the stairs, and he's not there. I go to scrape my leftovers in ...
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  5. Skipper Dan Was Wrong

    For those not familiar with the refined, classy works of Weird Al Yankovic, please view this before continuing:



    I've heard this song dozens of times. I suppose I've enjoyed a bit of Schadenfreude in the listening, but something about it always disturbed me.
    Today, it came to me. Skipper Dan isn't a victim to be pitied. He's a pussy.

    Here's the deal: You give up, you lose. If Skipper Dan has really given up, I feel ...
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  6. JWs

    For most of us it's just kind of a gag: "Oh, the Jehovah's Witnesses are approaching the door! Hide!"
    Lately, I've seen them set-up in static locations. In my case, I see them at the ferry terminal with a slick-ish graphic board and their ubiquitous propaganda fliers. I think they still push the Awake! and Watchtower mags, in addition to the two page pamphlets. The JWs look so happy. They probably are. But my experience with them was something other than pleasant.
    ...
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  7. Hyperosmia

    You ever wish you had a super-power? If you did, I bet you wish it wasn't a super sense of smell.

    Well, I've been thusly cursed. At a ball game, I can smell the nachos three rows down. When I cleaned carpets, it sure came in handy. I had a painful, lingering sinus inflammation last year. So bad, my jaw even hurt. Don't know if it was related.

    But yeah, In the Marines, I could smell the other patrol coming 'cause some of their guys used too much cologne and bug ...
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  8. Work Ethic

    I met this guy at the bus stop. He looked healthy, but nearing retirement (like many who work at the shipyard). After talking a few talks. I discovered he was taking care od his sick wife (MS) and he was 67 years old. There was no bitterness in his tone or demeanor. He was thankful to be able to take care of her, and looking forward to spending more time with her. Listening to him, I was humbled. Then I got angry.

    I began to think about all the younger folk out there, bitching ...
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  9. Packin'

    I finally applied for a concealed carry permit.
    I wasn't driven by any specific current events. It was just something that I felt I should do.
    I think of these shootings where literally dozens of people are shot, waiting for "someone" to help. Well, I'm someone. I know that the police will get there... eventually. In the meantime, cowering and playing dead just isn't an option for me. I would just throw a chair or a rock, but there are better options out there. Like ...
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  10. Through and Thoreau

    More and more often, it's just too much. The "it" being everything, life in general. There is no flavor or color. Just survival. The only joy is the absence of pain. And "too much" is a relative term. Sure, I can put up with more, and more... and more. I just really don't feel like it anymore.

    This week was bad. Not the worst on record. Just more.

    I want less.

    I often imagine what it was like to live like Henry David Thoreau. ...
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  11. Not Lucky

    Alvin came down from his upstairs cubicle to visit yesterday. He used to be a working-class schlub like us, but now he's moved up to a better paying desk job.
    While visiting, he noted how clean and organized our work area was. He huffed and shook his head:
    "When I was down here, it was never this slow. You got it easy. You're lucky."
    The fact was, we'd been busting our arses and worked hard to get our work area clean. What Alvin saw was something magical to him. ...
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  12. Straight Edge

    I like my music, and love my history. At some point recently my mind wandered back to the glory days of Punk Rock. Y'know, before Green Day usurped and ruined it. Everyone remembers Punk for it's excesses. Spike Mohawks, piercings, slam dancing. All good stuff. But there was more than the fashion.

    Punk was also a social movement. Modern Hardcore was born out of the economic downturn in Brittan, and rode that wave of malaise to the States in the late 70's. People remember Punk ...
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  13. Heroes Vs. Vapid Hedonists

    God, I wish I had the time to read Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death.. I will get to it soon, I hope.

    I'm just so tired. But I feel moved to write finally. Perhaps not for the best of reasons. Regardless, my wife is going through Hell dealing with her estate executorship and the squabbling sisters. I have to support her. This weekend I'll be busy getting the in-laws' house ready to sell. No time for writing.

    My first catalyst to write (eventually) was ...
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  14. Dave

    I work in a warehouse. You don't need to be a MENSA member to work there. Just don't destroy stuff with a forklift, and you're good.

    Dave worked for the Logistics Agency for thirty years. He was an odd duck, but not lacking in character. If you had a question regarding society, music and politics from the 1960's through 70's, Dave had the answer. He had a habit of talking a lot. But the good thing was, when he was done, you felt like you learned something... usually. His free ...
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  15. It's Just Not Working Out

    It's that silly time of year. Folks lie to themselves, buy a gym membership or a treadmill. Maybe this is you. This time, you REALLY mean it. You are going to start your healthy lifestyle. Burn those calories. Drop some pounds.
    Wake-up call: You failed last year. You will fail this year. You will continue to fail. Here's what I see...

    First off, the gym (or wherever you work out) IS NOT a social club. I see more people standing around talking than moving. When ...
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  16. Another "Get Off My Lawn" Rant

    First off, I've been lean on feelings recently. Stuffed 'em. Just numb. I'm okay with that. They eventually come back.
    Like today. I've been laying around, eating and resting in inappropriate amounts, and watching YouTube, Netflix, and T.V. The news came on.
    You know this ain't going to go well.

    A story in Seattle involved a cyclist suing the city, claiming it's new Light Rail tracks are a hazard. This is rich. A bike Nazi being pissy about the Holy Grail of ...
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  17. From the Desk of Winston Smith...(profane, drunk)

    A picture would paint a thousand words, but I'm a writer, right? Right?

    Top left, to right:
    SF Giants Troll, Crazy Crab, Hula Girl, rubber Devil Duck, a gold watch (given to my grandfather six months prior to retirement in lieu of a fucking pension), sepia photo of my mother on her wedding day, pack of candy cigarettes, Sparkzilla, can of generic beer (unopened), Logitech speaker (1 of 5), bottle of Hillary Clinton Whitewater, Frank Zappa beer bottle (opened), canned coffee ...
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  18. Not The Problem You Think

    We live in the age of Clickbait. In the old days, we used to say "If it bleeds, it leads".
    Let's be honest. Fear sells. If you see some article claiming we are on the cusp of war with North Korea, it grabs your attention. This is serious business. Especially now that the NorKos have a missile with the range to hit anywhere in North America.

    Buried in the bottom of the story, the writer may mention that North Korea has some "technical issues" to solve before ...
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  19. Echo Chamber

    First, get your news and information from multiple sources. With different ideological slants. None of them will be correct, but they paint a more accurate picture than 1 or 2 alone would.

    I think we can all agree that we hate scumbags that prey on women? Agreement, no? Then why in the hell do I have to choke back vomit every time I turn on the news? I was working out yesterday, and flipped between the news channels. Both were talking about Roy Moore and Al Franken. The difference ...
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  20. Birds and Feathers

    We moved up here to "Podunkville" shortly after our first child was born. We wanted to be in a place where our kids would have a healthy environment to grow and develop.
    That was 16 years ago. In retrospect, we made a good choice. A very good one.

    This town is boring, at least on the surface. But there are plenty of things to do. Many things that are actually good for kids.
    My wife was a little "goodie-two-shoes", and I was a Bad Boy. I can ...
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  21. Pottery Avenue

    It's "projects day", so I drove my old pick-up to the Big Box home improvement store. I hate that place. I like the local small hardware store. But my daughter got a job with those big guys. I'm duty bound to support my girl, and her Faustian deal.
    With my three new smoke detectors and a tarp, I headed home. There was a lot of traffic, so I used an alternate route.

    Pottery Avenue runs through an area thick with medical and dental offices, a few small businesses ...
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  22. Late Season Camping

    We had all been busy, but I took the initiative and reserved a camping site nearby for one final outing. Just an overnighter with my kids and nephew.

    We have an old tent trailer. It really doesn't have much life left I it. But it's still serviceable Most of the stuff woks. We've gotten quite adept at getting the thing set-up in about 10 minutes.
    Our site was a stone's throw from the Puget Sound. Off of an inlet called Hood Canal. My teenage son actually put on his swim ...
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  23. Filling The Pantry (profanity)

    It's tough being "middle class". By definition, folks like us are stuck "in the middle", neither rich nor poor.
    For the rich, the benefits are obvious. Power, comfort, safety, opportunity... the list is long.
    For the poor, you own the moral "high-ground". The poor are "victims" and are given societal benefits and "resources" (i.e. Money).

    The middle class, often referred to as the "working class", our great ...
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  24. National Preparadness Month

    This IS a joke. And it is not funny.
    I just sat through about 45 of that horrid movie, "This is The End". It wasn't horrid because it was crass and vapid. It horrified me because it seemed too real.
    I'm just going to pick on you Millennials. I can't help but think about your generation when I think of a major disaster, and the die-off that will follow. Gen X at least has a few years of maturity on you, and the Gen Z kids are flexible with a healthy distrust of authority. ...
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  25. Stand or Fall

    As soon as he fell, the six of us waiting for the bus ran to his aid. The old man, and his motorized chair fell from the raised sidewalk to the street in almost slow-motion. I yelled to the bus driver as I ran, "Get on the horn and call some help!". We all naturally grouped according to our abilities. One guy (with the people skills I lack) calmly re-assured the old man and checked for injuries. I scanned for traffic to stop and divert. Eventually, we righted his chair and got him ...
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