The High Strepper

December 1, 2010
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The High Strepper

Seeing my 10 year-old strep throat stricken niece at Thanksgiving a few days ago reminded me of my own yearly confrontation with the virus from grade school through early high school. I believe my body (the spiritual whole) has always had a bit of whimsy when it comes to what sorts of afflictions might be entertaining and when these might be applied. As for the strep throat, it was nearly every year right about the time of this writing through the first week or so of December. It’s almost as if it were not a random infection but a...
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Charge of the Lightweight

November 17, 2010
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Charge of the Lightweight

Growing up in a U.S./Canadian border city with the great wilds of Windsor, Ontario a mere few miles away, there are Canadian cultural curiosities that just seep into your life. When your frame of reference includes radio and television stations that begin with ‘C’, watching Saturday morning curling, knowing who movie host Bill Kennedy was, or listening to the legendary Foster Hewitt do play by play for Hockey Night In Canada games, you are, for all intents and purposes, an honorary Canadian citizen. Most everything I ever learned about hockey in my younger years I gleaned from those Hockey...
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Lineman La Vida Loca

November 10, 2010
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Lineman La Vida Loca

After graduating college, and pondering my next move, I took a job with Bell Telephone (as it was known in 1973) as a lineman. The company was leery (as well they should have been) of a recent college graduate entering the ranks of the line crew with a degree in hand since the majority of the guys went no further than high school. However, my mother’s 30 years with the company accounted for something and they reluctantly hired me. Their fear was not that I’d have more education than everyone (maybe a little of that) but that I’d leave...
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The College of Chaos

November 3, 2010
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The College of Chaos

Reflecting on my freshman year in college, it’s a miracle that I graduated at all because it was one long case of overstimulation, resulting in a grade point average that only a village idiot could be proud of. Sticking to task meant many things to me but studying wasn’t one of them. There were far too many distractions and far too many adjustments in the art of social interaction to make. I had to tweak, tweak, and tweak some more because I came from my home as an only child, having that built-in meditative time, to a place where...
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Smotherly Love

October 29, 2010
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Smotherly Love

I remember saying to someone when I was about 12 or so, “I think I’d like to be a comedian when I grow up”, completely naive to the fact that ascending to any reasonable level of income in that field required years of toil and followed no orderly recipe for success. But what do you want? I was 12. Hey, can I get a sitter here?!? (ba-da-boom!) I was clever enough to be entertaining to my neighborhood audience and, frankly, I thought I could capitalize on my quick wit and scholarly pursuit of comedic style, timing and attitude. I...
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Object of His Affection

October 20, 2010
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Object of His Affection

I never quite detected any real affection from my dad (father #2) when I was a kid and, as detailed in many prior stories, he seemed to be a never ending source of disappointment. I want to believe that he loved me but there’s no concrete proof of that since deeds would be a reliable proof and the only time love was expressed to me directly was when, at the end of an evening visit to his house, he would take my face in his hands and say, “You know I love you, son. You know I love you,...
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Slacktacular in the Woods

October 14, 2010
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Slacktacular in the Woods

To successfully execute the slacker lifestyle it is imperative that one keep busy. Being a slacker is humiliating enough but an inert slacker is a waste of good space. So, with my arrival in Portland, Oregon, my $33 a month rent and my meager unemployment withdrawal I was ready to dive right into the shallow end of the pool. But, what to do, what to do? I don’t recall how the idea became a call to action. It might have come about as the result of some altered state or we were just nutty enough in our natural condition...
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Go West, Young Slacker!

October 6, 2010
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Go West, Young Slacker!

There was a time, my friends, oh what a time, when I had lots and lots of freedom to do… Nothing. It wasn’t necessarily a rewarding time in life…more like leaving the lawnmower idling in the backyard while you go in the kitchen for some lemonade. The mower sits there churning away, gobbling up fossil fuels while the grass keeps growing. I was 24, done with college and a short work stint with Ma Bell, and hellbent for going West. Where was I going?  What route would I take? What would I do once I got to wherever? Didn’t...
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Cultivating a Garden

September 30, 2010
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Cultivating a Garden

By the time I began my junior high school years and could articulate my thoughts on a reasonable level, I started talking to teachers. Not that often in a controlled environment like the classroom but in all the casual haunts throughout the school that would be considered their downtime areas. Between classes, after school, during lunch breaks, I looked for conversation with any teacher, male or female, that had some like interest in me and was comfortable talking about anything and everything. I think I sought out these adults because I was bored with those of my own kind,...
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