Thursday, March 27, 2008

Awkward Thought

The first,
the unrehearsed,
the reaction to the unforeseen
speaks what we can clearly know
of any other
one of us.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Managerial Posting Introduction

BEGIN: Authenticated Fragment

It gets very dark on Mars. The sun is small on the horizon. Human presence is thin on the ground. If you are used to living in an urban area, you are going to feel it deep. Dark. Thin. Assignment to a mars base earns hazard pay, the psychological challenges are serious. Ten percent “attrition” rates during a first mars tour are normative. No one can be sent home early due to obvious travel logistics and idle time increases an employee’s hazard to him or herself, so even employees in crisis must be left on functioning teams. Most employees rotate out as soon as possible. Some don't. Some stay. Weird employees thrive here. Discipline is relaxed. A mild form of organizational anarchy is the only management style that can keep the bases even minimally staffed. The strange get stranger, or more themselves as they are apt to assure us.

Every team has their own billeting area, motto, mascot and flag; small group identity is encouraged. Downtime is abundant and ways to spend it are scarce. There are numerous gymnasiums and recreation areas but primarily the small groups compete to entertain themselves. The line between work hours and off hours is thin and teams often use work assignments as competitive exercises. Teams often reproduce the work of other teams in off hours to publically exhibit their prowess. Management has often used these off hour reproductions in place of the original deliverables when they exceed testing metrics. Metrics must be public and defined with extreme clarity. Subjectivity in this is highly dangerous to the manager’s person and to team moral.

Substance abuse\use is the norm, although usage is usually kept to off hours. Experiments with complete restriction of mind altering substances have all led to severe team failure rates. Attrition rates exceeded 25% in the first quarter of the trial, at which point it was terminated due to ethical concerns and resultant personnel shortages.

END: Authenticated Fragment

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Comfort of the Unforeseen

Worry
is for the foreseen;
that which we can imagine.

The unforeseen,
the unimagined,
is never worried for.

The uninvited is received
by our most natural reaction.

A credit and a testament
unto ourselves.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Thoughts on Time and Living

Worry for retirement:
one link in a short chain
binding hands and feet
restraining us from acting
leaving us conservative of mind
hoping against change
desiring stasis,
unnatural.

Retirement
like all future states
should be planned for
but unworried.
The unforeseen is the majority
of the future.
Store away your savings,
your potential energy.
Relieve yourself from debt
so you can react freely
when change comes.

Now prepared,
hope for change
not stasis.
-

Life is closer to surfing
than mountain climbing.
Life is closer to hand gliding
than horse races.

Its about balance
and conflicting currents.
-

There is no race.
There is no prize.
There are no competitors
and no spectators.
We simply live.
The only ones really
faring better than others
are those enjoying their brief time more.
Those that smiled more,
lived freely
as themselves,
and found others
to love along the way.
-

There is nowhere to go
where life does not end.
There is no reason to think
that we won't each die unexpectedly.
No achievement changes the basic equation
that each moment is vastly more real
and potent than imagined future.
-

The power that is dynamic social change
resides in the present.
Now, is an elemental power
through which every potent human intention has transpired.
Before you commit to acting
return to the middle
return to now
center
before you act
Before you commit to acting
pull those aroun dyou to the middle
return them to the center
make them aware of now
the present.
The power of social change
is in our feet, hands and hunger
it is the present
and nothing else.
-

The duration can only be valued
by the quality of the duration.
Optimal goals enrich the duration
by their pursuit, and their achievement.
-

Our challenge is simple
live free, live well,
and live as true selves
to the extent achieveable.

To be more free, we must be free of debt.
To be free to choose our own goals
we must be free of conflicting desires
we must be free of deliterious goals
we must be free to value
our daily lives
we must be free to value
the duration more than
imagined future states
while still remaining free to imagine.
-

We each possess the
resource of time
which we must spend
to survive
Time is the true means of production
Time is the most personally limited resource
This is the land we sell
for beads
and trinkets.
-

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sometimes I Wish but Don't Mean It, Not Really

Sometimes
I wish I was less experienced,
maybe even oblivious,
aware of the obvious
aware of only enough
to navigate the room
to the fridge,
bathroom,
and bed.

Then, I think
Then I could just
kick back and ride it out.
I could ease in and watch days pass
like a child
looking out a school bus window,
occasionally wiping the fog in a circle
so I could get a better look
but detached enough
to just watch
and think
about lunch
and the cute
girl across the isle.
-


When asked how your day was
how do you most often reply

Ask yourself every day
score it on a scale
record the daily value
chart this out

(Selfawareness for those
stuck in ruts)

If it is below a certain score
you really should make some
changes -
screw risk!
an average of a two
can not stand
you must make a change
you simply won't make it otherwise
you can score a two in jail
in the nuthouse
working at fast food.
You've got to do something.

Numbers help the overly conscious
to select lines of reason
and feel firm in a decision

Monday, March 17, 2008

Incremental Solutions

Teenagers are often angry
at their parents,
for not solving,
for not finding a way,
through the problems
left remaining
with living.

Parents solve some,
some solve many,
all pass on
what they have received
and what they have achieved
and take pride from it
and credit for it
but the teenager
the teenager notices
what is left to be solved,
what remains,
and looks to the parent
giving them credit
for this too.
-


Sorry baby,
I never figured it out.
I never learned
how to be normal, or
how to find fulfillment in what I had.
I tried to find it.
What you see of me now
is an approximation.
I got close.
You can do better.

Arena Decisions

I have to think about the future
as something worth experiencing

I decide to live this life,
every day.

I must feel like today,
(the suffering
the frustration
the waste)
is building,
contributing.
to a life worth living,
to a series of days worth risking
for another.

Each day its thumbs up
or down, like an emperor
at the finish of
combat, a decision must be made
I put down the wine glass
and decide.

The mob has not always supported my decision
but mostly the throng cheers.
I remember those responses
and vote again,
thumbs up
spare him,
thumbs up
let him have another shot
at glory.
-

One of the most powerful
counters to suicide
that I have found
is the conception
that
if you are going to kill yourself
then you should really try out
some really radical stuff first.

If you are already going to end it
why not try out all sorts of different angles first?
It could be interesting,
could be a good time,
could make life worth living.

There is no real risk
when you don't want to keep
what you have

Kill your life
before you kill your self.
Kill your life style
and be reborn
make a new one
try it out
who gives a shit
your going to kill yourself anyway
why not check out all the perspectives
first.
-

Before you die,
why not become a pot head
why not loose yourself to
science fiction novels
why not eat only the tastiest foods
why not take up smoking
why not
-

20 LIVES

Paint a canvas
a spreadsheet
a day dream
a bullet list
with every extreme form of living
that you can imagine
everything that
sounds worth it
everything that
sounds interesting enough to live through it

Assign values between one and twenty
to each item
make sure you name a few

---
Numbers 1 through five
go to dedicated stoner
and occasional poet,
six and seven go to perpetual student,
eight through 12 go to extreme Montana loner
lost in books and thought,
13 goes to making music,
14 goes to painting,
15 through 19 go to writing
intelligent software,
20 I'm leaving open
---

When you feel
like change is required
when cutting
when violent drunks
and desperate usage
grows within you
when it swells
when it calls
and says NOW

Roll a twenty sided dice
-go buy one-
you have already decided what extreme
choices sounded best
you wrote your note
never want to make that list in the moment
can't trust emotions so much
that type of trust often leads to the need
to force change
better to let a list
of crossed off items be your testament
your note
your reason

not that one is required

Roll the dice
when you must,
and if the first roll
hits twenty,
if the time is now,
roll again
and let that number seal your fate
let all the force
of your need
to escape, follow the roll
give it up
let it go
you are done with now
and you have chosen

if it doesn't work out
mark it off the list
and wait until you
must roll
again.
-

End your life
before it kills you.
-

There is no better
depressing music
than that depressing music
first found in college.
-

After college
most people know better
than to bond with depressing music
-it didn't really pay off-
so college music remains
the soundtrack of down drunks
and late night despondency
well into old age.
-

She was the first
to make me question survival
and I go back to her
when I feel especially tired.

Before you die
you should
experiment with living

Some people start their lives over
several times before
not.
Others let the first one kill them.

Survival,
its fundamentally about flexibility.

Living Purpose

The necessity of survival;
no such thing for the individual.
Survival only becomes
necessary,
when living serves a purpose
beyond survival.

There are lots of ways to commit suicide
but you might as well call all but the last
rebirth.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

There are always things to say
but bridges are most often
built with silence
rather than sand.

Drinking with Hank Jr.

A Country Boy Can survive
by Hank Williams Junior.
God I can get drunk to this song.
Karaoke was born of drunk fathers
singing laments
in the kitchen
after drinking whiskey
for hours.
Life is harder for
for those with expectations
that don't meet
modern expectations.
Hank Jr. knew that.
Everyone from Tulsa knows that.
Some people are proud to survive
Some expect to thrive
Some expect more
and suffer for it.
My best friends from youth
knew to celebrate survival
they stayed in town
they married local
they got a job out of college
and kept it.
I didn't know shit.
Eight colleges.
A dozen towns.
What I didn't know
I learned
in my own way,
bent
but strong.
I married in the town
I matured in.
Matured...
You know what I mean.

I'm still not like you,
but you can like me know.
-

She had several small holes in her panties.
Her skirt,
so punk and school girl
four years earlier, was
frayed at the edges.
All quietly betraying
a wife used hard, a young mother
who has chosen poorly
more than once;
so much like her mom.
-

My old selves surface
in a flood of easy drunkenness
they surface and sing
they all know the country tunes
they all know how to make me feel
they are tyrants,
these
people I've been.
I've finally escaped them
and I've usurped control
but they are still family
so I listen
and suffer
as little as necessary
for their familiar support.
-

My uncle had
good taste in music
he smoked out
and enjoyed his friends
children seemed to strip him
of these enjoyments
he seems narrower in some small way
even though I know he chose right.
-

I am responsible for the police forces
of an entire nation
at least how they are organized
and vetted
as true.
this adds a bit of pressure to my day.
I am not given the budget or time to properly
prepare for the problems
of a formative
war torn nation,
but I do my best.
We all do
but stress follows
unbeckoned, but expected.

Lift a glass to the obsessive personality
organizing your infrastructure
you are lucky to have him
and unlucky that
he is so time impoverished.
-

My hong kong,
London,
and eastern block friends
should drink whatever you drink
deep
drink deep
(I'll drink two to your one)
and listen to Hank Williams junior.

Then you will hear me
time zones away
singing
drunk
reveling
in family karaoke
of the first order.
Dad is full of passion again
drinking and singing
of simple life
and family devotion.

They know they have this
often unhinged scion
trailing behind them
talking
shouting
compelling
with a lifetime of
tumble
and trial
fueling every over aggressive
word
and deed
in their favor.

Ask yourself if you have
anyone
anyone at all
as devoted and desperate to fulfill your destiny
as this whisky bet relative offers.

Bring on hell
sounds relaxing.

Bring on poverty
sounds restful.

Bring on disdain
sounds familiar
and clean.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Quality Requires Time

"Time is money"
I have come to hate how that slogan is used
to justify a mad dash for profit
over quality.

I agree that time is
valuable and that each individual
has individually valuable time
based on activity
All time is not equal
but all time is fundamentally
the only meaningful unit
of currency.
If it is spent exclusively
to generate money
then that is all it will generate
quality and value of many
different kinds looses out
and slides away
until we are left with money
and little else.

Reinvestment is essential,
true for any organism,
Quality comes at the expense of time
time must be lavished
to generate deep quality
Reimagining "Time is money"
to mean simply
time must be paid for
and should be used wisely.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

love was outside of my experience

In my later thirties I realized
that several women have loved me
but I have only really loved one.
She married me
and had a baby with me.
I just wasn't capable before.
I had affection,
but love,
love was outside of my experience.

Social Creatures

I need little,
from all
but a minority,
and from them
much.