Archive for May, 2014

Tour de Cure

Posted: May 4, 2014 in Diabetes
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Tour de Cure

I’m getting read for my third Tour. I’d love to have you come join Team Red, or donate to the effort to find a cure for diabetes.


There are times when my characters will be cussing. They may be cussing a lot. I’ve been known to cuss like a drunken sailor who stubbed his ingrown toe nail after a week long bender. Words are just groups of phonemes that have been assigned meaning by us over time. Outside of Dune I don’t think the utterance of a specific sound, or group of sounds, has ever directly brought irreparable harm to anyone.

If we think about it ‘cuss‘ is just a modification of the word curse. A curse is ‘a prayer or invocation for harm or injury to come upon one’ (Merriam-Webster). The word profanity derives from profane; the act of treating something sacred with abuse. Both of these words describe an act. My thought then is that one arbitrary grouping of sounds should mean no more than any other arbitrary grouping. There should be no difference between /f/ /u/ /k/ and /f/ /u/ /ng/ /k/, after all three of the phonemes are the same. So why should we prefer the word funk to fuck? Both have their places. What we should have a problem with is intent. Remember that definition of curse?

When I, or my characters, curse we don’t intend harm to anyone (unless I’m voicing a bad guy). For me ‘bad words’ are just another tool in my descriptive language tool box. What I find offensive is that someone would wish harm or injury on another person. Somehow the phrase “fuck this fucking shit” has been seen as more taboo than telling young children that they will burn in a lake of fire for all eternity for simply uttering that phrase. Or, Cthulhu forbid, they dare to have the audacity to love someone that bothers you. If that isn’t wishing harm on someone, I don’t know what is.  Often the same people who have a problem with the word ‘fuck’ see absolutely nothing wrong ‘God hates X’. Personally I find the word ‘hate’ to be way worse than any curse word I’ve ever heard.

If you still can’t deal with it blame my mother. I could cuss in four different languages before I could do subtraction.

I want to try something a little different, since I can’t seem to stay motivated enough to write anything technical. I’m going to start writing an intermittently fictionalized, ultra-hyperbolized, account of the life of a reality challenged phone guy.


[The line for the cash register was growing ever longer. There was only one register open while at least five employees milled about the store doing various nonproductive tasks. Two more were outside collecting trash in a thinly veiled excuse to have a smoke. The Wal-Mart reject in front of me was trying to buy a pack of cigarettes. It’s always fucking cigarettes. Whenever you see a line at a convenience store it’s always coffin nails or lottery tickets. I don’t know what it is about those two things that cause even the most efficient lines to start moving like The Pitch Drop Experiment. There was now at least ten people lined up behind me. The lady in front of me was now getting quite exasperated with the unfortunate cashier, who had the temerity to not be familiar with every brand and style of smoke. He was in high school after all. How could he not know the arcane differences between Marlboro Ultra-light 125’s Golden Blacks, and Marlboro Ultra-Light 100’s Golden Menthol Super Mild’s? He was on his fifth or sixth trip back from the rack now. He either finally got the right ones or she gave up and took what he gave her, I didn’t really care. I was already pushing it to get to work on time. I knew I shouldn’t have stopped to get my morning 88oz diet soda. It never fails, whenever I’m trying to beat the clock I run into some one buying cigarettes or lottery.

Okay, they had finally settled on a pack, maybe we could finally get on with it. Oh shit, out comes the inch thick clear envelope stuffed with lottery slips.

I would like these numbers, plus two double whammy split box combos for the noon drawing, a number 18, two number seventeens, five number ones, and two of those twenty dollar scratch-offs over there, and I need you to check these tickets to see if there are any winners.”]

Okay that’s it. I can’t take this anymore. I brought my left leg up and to the right. Raising my steel toed, steel shanked, heavy logger boot above my head before snapping my foot down in a perfect axe kick to the lady’s head. Those years of taking Tae Kwon Do with my daughter were useful after all, who’d a thunk? I stepped over her unconscious body and made my way up to the shocked teenager standing agape at the register. “Stop staring and ring me up. I ain’t got all day mother fucker.” After they got over their discomforted silence there was a couple of cheers from behind me. It seemed to me that the register jockey was trying very hard not to laugh. At least after he got over his initial shock.

[Jesus Fucking Christ on a pogo stick! Why are these people always in front of me when I’m in a hurry? Why is there one register open at lunch time? I set my drink down on the coffee island and walked out the door. I didn’t have time for this shit. I work seconds and normally don’t come in until midafternoon. Because of stunningly inept managerial incompetence however, we lowly field techs were being forced in on overtime to cover for some of their more egregious mistakes. I mean if we could usually almost cover the work load with two crews of fifteen people each, why shouldn’t we be just fine if we combine those two crews into one. Along with three other smaller crews. While we’re at it the combined crew doesn’t need that many people. Let’s give the new crew fifteen slots total and move everyone around between the garages. What do you mean three of the old timers retired right after we did that? Everything’s way more streamlined, they should be ecstatic. Hence why I was in a gas station during the lunch rush and in a foul mood. I should still be in bed. I could already tell this was going to be a stellar day.

I finally got to work, drinkless, and started the interminable process of logging into my work computer. I swear the thing took at least ten minutes to boot up on a good day. Somehow we were supposed to log in, look over our jobs, restock, and PMCS our trucks; while getting out of the garage in fifteen minutes. I don’t know what hyper caffeinated gerbil came up with that time scale but if I ever meet him he’s getting clubbed.

Oh look. Seven jobs, each taking at least two hours, all with access 8-5, behind me. What fucking genius thought it would be a good idea to load the late tech with a metric crap ton of jobs that should have gone out first thing in the morning? Just like every other time we’ve been forced on overtime I’m going to spend the first half of my shift trying to cram ten pounds of shit into a shoddy five pound bag, and the second half driving around no accessing people. Remember the customer’s number one!

My instant messenger app dings and I’ve got four new messages. One from nine o’clock this morning wondering why I haven’t dispatched on some job or another, two from two different project managers demanding I go on their job before I do any others, and one from my buddy telling me that they sent half our crew down to the southern part of the state to help with storm damage. It looks like I won’t be getting off this turd merry go round for a while. Well I guess that explains why the rest of us poor slobs are on forced OT. Both of the aforementioned jobs are emergencies. They both loose access at five. They are both high priority optical circuits. They’re at least an hour apart in distance and it’s going to take me another forty-five minutes or so just to get to the depot and pick up the equipment to I need to install the circuits. If this ain’t a recipe for disaster I don’t know what is.]