Monday, August 30, 2004

Butch the UPS Guy....

Butch just came and left and boy are the kids excited!

Butch our local UPS delivery driver is a very insightful and wise man. As he would say, he is black, but for political correctness I will say he is an Afro-American male. My family and me are mostly white (I am Cherokee Indian) as my wife is just about as European as one could get.

I mention the differences in skin color due to the fact that most of the "long-time" residents of our community are white/Indian, and people different than ourselves are given a long strange look. In this community the Indian segment (which is most everyone) is seperated by their physical look. If you show your Cherokee heritage, you just "ain't the same" as the rest of us. This rule is unspoken of course. We try to live in the "new" time, but our eye's and secret communications reveal our real thoughts. When I say "we", I am talking about the community and not my household.

What is interesting is the fact that with all the poultry production and the need for many workers, our hispanic/immigrant community is growing very fast. It is very common to walk into a local places of business and hear much spanish being spoken. The general concensus is that things would be much better if "they" would just go home. Funny how eagerly we accept their money though.........

This is where you will be able to reason "why" we want to move from this particular area of the country....maybe a county or two over!

Next time!

Pondering School...

Once again, it is time to get back into the school mode. Not just for our children who are homeschooled, but for myself as well.

It seems that every day we are receiving packages in the mail containing the curriculum for the kids, and they are quite excited! They do enjoy their education. I myself, on the other hand, am becoming frustrated with the tasks placed before me.

I have gone to the campus bookstore and purchased everything I have needed. Then have returned to return what they sold me that was not necessary. This case was really no one's fault, just happened. Now I find myself having to go back once again to exchange my algebra text bundle as I was sold the one for the "in-class" course and not "online". In all this I am falling behind in the class.

What really gets me is the fact that I am a middle age man who knows what he wants out of life, but am having to take classes such as this in order to gain the degree I want. Not to say that Algebra is not important, as I have had to fall back on it on many occasions, but it is totally unrelated to my current direction.

Direction? Yes I do have a direction! I am seeking double major's in both communications and history. I love them both, and am yet to find a relationship between math, biology, or philosophy, and most especially introduction to computers! Math....well I have been involved in corporate finance and planning, built extremely intricate spreadsheets and such for some of the world's largest corporations, and can figure my checkbook just fine! Biology, to be honest, I can eat just fine, my eyes and ears work, know where babies come from, and am quite content with what I know in this area. Philosophy? Everybody has one, and only a fool will not take the time to study and understand those of their neighbors on their own. And finally, the computer......not even going to touch that one!

Back to my direction...My intentions are to get a Masters in Communication and a doctorate in History. I love history, love reading it, talking about it, and just pondering history and it's impact on both the past and the future occupies much of my thoughts and always have. I want to read, teach, and write history! As far as communications go, I love the fact that so much can be given through the conduit of communication, and I intend to be as proficient in it as I can possibly be.

Here's the point of my gripe session. Why am I being forced to take so many classes at my age that are not related to my intended outcome? Time and Money are two very important things at this stage in my life. Got the wife and a pile of kids to feed and tend too, and they are both very valuable to me at the present.

Would love to see the American education system learn to survey the needs of those who are paying their way...

Enough griping for probably have much more to gripe about later!

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

The Fat Man Melts Away Into Reality...

The last few days have been wonderful! Temps in the 70's and lower 80' kind of weather! Now it seems like the weather is trying to match the season as we are moving back into the 90's.

Have been thinking much about how my plans and my realities behave much like the weather. Plans have been what one would expect, but realities are more like the extremes of.... of weather...either freezing cold or blistering hot.


Work hard, move up the ladder in industry, get the old retirement plan running (have our own business) and live life out to the end with a certain amount of security. By now we would moved from the two bedroom starter home to a three bedroom family home and at the moment we should be in a large custom home built to fit family and allow some room for convenience.

The next phase would have been to buy a couple of vacation homes sometime in the next ten years or so then retire, get the RV and take the grandkids hopping around the country, with an end of leaving some form of legacy and resource for the descendants.

Managed to get a good job early on, was moving up the ladder, married a genius beauty queen, and had a baby son on the way. Had the starter home and good cars. Life was on Track!

During wife's pregnancy, we were in an automoblie accident and long story short, damaged spine meant long rehab time and in the process was replaced at job, in addition to having to deal with a certain degree of disability. Son was born three months after accident. I was now the stay-at-home dad as wife made the income...Life was off track!

After a year, managed to get a job that didn't pay much but did help my self-esteem. This job was really physically demanding and took much out of me due to physical condition, but served to heal my spirit somewhat. Later I left this job and went into business with an associate, which proved to be a very bad move. We had different agenda's; he wanted to get by financially and I wanted to secure financial security for the future. I ended up breaking the association and was again without income for family. Was on-track for awhile, then suddenly jumps track again, but, I could at least see the track.

About a month later I land a job working with disabled and handicapped people. Absolutely loved it, but the pay simply was not there. I worked my way up the ladder to a position of second in command with a promise of taking lead position when present boss retired. The pay rose sharply as well and life seemed to be ontrack again!

While working at this job, I was hit by a car while trying to get an intoxicated girl out of a busy hiway. Fives surgeries and a month in the hospital, I came out more disabled. Job was still there due to the nature of the business....good thing.

Was still in "starter" home and drove older vehicles, but hope was in the air! Wife really wanted to move to a larger home, but I kept putting her off till the top position at work was mine. "Pay bills off now and invest with more clout later." Seemed like a good plan to me...Yeah, that was the plan.

When my boss finally retired after grooming me somewhat, I was set for the new position, but another man "fairly new" had managed to politic his way into the position and shortly shared that he had every intention of firing me as soon as possible. I did manage to stay until about a year after his appointment,when the company closed it's doors. Not part of the plan at all! I was now moving closer to middle age and my body was deteriorating due to all the damage and resulting disease. I did manage to draw unemployment and sent out probably 300 resume's which resulted in two interviews one call to a second interview and no job. I was too old, too gimped and too undereducated to hire. My train was not only off-track, but my train had fallen over the side of a bridge...

What to do:
I had now fallen to a level below anything I could have ever envisioned. Throughout my whole adult life, every last plan I tried had come unravelled...At this low point I had to do something so I applied for disability insurance and was twice denied, got an attorney and appealed. I also went to state rehab services and found that they would help me go to college which I did. I was now doing something and was feeling like I somewhat resembled my vision of manhood, but not fully there yet.

I worked hard in school, managed to get good grades (4.0), went to all the right doctors, got all the right meds, and physical condition kept getting worse. The appeal was once again denied and we filed for a hearing before a judge. A very long wait and things started looking very bad...

Finally in June we had the hearing and the Judge granted me the disability insurance. My condition combined with the meds is continuing to cause me much pain and mental impairment, yet still I go...waiting for disability to start, loving my family, and going to college (praying for the ability to complete).

Hopefully my reality will turn for the good and I will somehow find a niche in this world of ours...