Sunday, February 22, 2015

Postcards from the Past

"Having a great time here, being the king.  Jenny got a rash on the beach.  Tim got stung by a bee.  Wish you were here!"
  A few readers are wondering, "Hey, why hasn't Mike made a blog in a freakin' month?"  Some suspect I was on vacation, or that William Blake's Urizen had taken me to the Elysium Fields.  Fear not, I'm not dead, though I have no excuses except the Muse, "Calliope" has not visited me recently.  I must have insulted her in some way.  Perhaps I should make an alter and offer her chocolates?  Muses love chocolates.
Serendipity is actually not a Muse"d".  Sorry, Selma.  You are pretty hot though.
  I recently went with a colleague to see Billy Idol in Denver a few weeks ago.  Quite a satisfactory performance, especially considering his age and the altitude. 
The couple, no idea who they were, but they didn't have tickets to the sold-out concert, later mugged by a gay poodle.
  Ate across the way at 5280 Burger Bar on 16th Street (known in Denver as an outdoor city-mall area where cars are not permitted).  Burger looked okay but again, like many things in Colorado, bland.  I find the blandness disappointing here.  One could argue the lack of air causes less taste for those scientistific readers here, but I can surely detect an amount of such rare spices as "salt" pretty easily, or especially it's lack. 
  I gave them a mediocre review on Yelp which devolved into a "tip" because I was fairly speechless on it's boringness.  Meat quality was fair to above-average though.  Flavor was void.  Literally, you could taste the element of "void" in it.  Some would say the fifth-element is "love" so I'll say it's the 6th.  I could go on and on about void is love etc. but that's too philosophical and silly, so I'll not go there except to say that love is not tangible so therefore a void, and yet it's the most tangible thing.  Discuss amongst yourselves, I'm feeling verklempt.
5280 Burger Bar is pretty fail.
  Back to Billy Idol... the only low-light was the drum solo.  I'm a bit spoiled with Rush's drummer Neil Peart playing a very entertaining drum solo that might last 20 weeks to Erik Eldenius' effort.  He's only been with the band for 2 years to Neil's 40 years so...  In a surprise-move, Billy Idol's guitarist Steve Stevens played a flamenco guitar solo.  Not expecting that.  Brilliant work throughout and the concert fully enjoyable. 
 My colleague and his wife waited in the parking garage for an hour or so and got to have both Billy and Steve sign their shirts, which is impressive.  Upon his wife's commenting that she was wearing a shirt from his '80s concert, he remarked in full Idol accent, "A classic!"  Nice.
  Lately, I've been going back to Denver quite a bit on business, in-particular, a place I used to work when I was in the USAF.  That place is what made me retire from active duty a little early.  There's a lot of memories there, mostly bad ones.  I had tyrannical leaders that did things like take away chairs to which we had to type and stand for 12 hours at-a-time, take away meals, talking, etc.  When you're 38 years old you're pretty much done with being treated like a dog.  It wasn't just me, it was all of us, and it wasn't my fault. Corporal punishment from another section. We were working 29 out of 30 days at-a-time for months on-end out of mere spite and lack of planning.  Those good at their job were "rewarded" with more shift work, those bad at it got the day off more often than not. 
  It sounds unreal but it happened and I have witnesses of the inhuman atrocities that occurred.  I can only hope that karma gets back at them.  If it had been a necessity, a war-fighting situation, I could understand it.  Instead it was just per-whim, and I call that a foul.  During this period I had a hard time getting my run-standard up to-par as the USAF required a certain time-limit to complete it, but going for a run after no food and standing all day in silence, typing hunched made for a difficult go.  Our squadron leader at the time wouldn't allow us to practice during work, a mandate from higher headquarters.  I'm not saying we were set-up for failure but... a lot of us weren't doing so great, and then we were threatened discharge if we did not succeed.  I was able to meet the standard and exceed it out of sheer gusto. 
  I remember thinking during my very last run, "Well, if I die of a heart-attack, it'll be their fault."  We were required to have a 32-inch waist at the time as well, and perform 60 push-ups and sit-ups, each of those within 1 minute for a male age 38.  I did all of that.  Out of spite, I did 68 of both.  The evaluator looked horrified, "Mike.. um.. Mike you only have to do.."  I growled at him and kept going, then when I was done it all, I resigned from the USAF.  I played their game, beat it, and left on my own terms.  I am not a number!  I am a free man!  My life is my own!  A lot of guys stay in for various reasons, family, a pension, etc.  I took all of that and gave it back.  Too many guys staying in the last bit are effectless, just laying low until the 20 is up, not doing the work needed at their rank, just skating-by.  I would not.  Did I surrender?  Not really.  I got employed fairly quickly as a contractor for a reputable company under the DoD doing about the same work at higher pay, so I get to still harass the Russians, and really, that's all that matters.  You may have noticed Putin hasn't quite taken Ukraine yet.  Heh.  I'd like to think I'm a part of that failure.  Just a cog, sure, but a part of it.
When I got back to the same location I used to work for some software concerns, it was like walking back to a nuclear crater.  I had gone back 5 years ago but the real issue was in 2007 when I was dealing with things.  It's been 8 years.  After 3 years, there was still some memory of it, some lingering evil of my own demise.  This time it was different.  Though the images flashed back some memories, like sunken ghost-ship, the evil that existed there, even the afterimage ghosts were long-gone.  The spirits had moved-on, maybe in myself, maybe there. 
  If you've ever been to a place of a great atrocity, such as Hiroshima & Nagasaki, or the Sand Creek Massacre of Colorado, or a place where a loved-one had died, if it's within a few months or even a few years, the violence there, the pain still lingers.  Ghosts haunt the place.  I'd like to think I'm sensitive to those ethereal elements a bit, those intangible "Postcards from the Past".  When I walked that land again this time, however, there was nothing.  Time had erased it like surf over a beach.  It was peaceful and changed and different.  Billy's new song, nothing is more apt...
  Like a ghost-ship sunk, coral had taken-over.  Tropical marine fish had made it their home, and in the end, it was just a thing, a place submerged.  Plankton and sea-greens had encased it in a living-organism tomb, all the evil had fled and been banished elsewhere.  Sand Creek is now just a meadow with a plaque.  There's no haunting there, not any longer.  Even the most sensitive of paranormal who can detect violent ends cannot scry any strings from the skein that is events of time.  No heartstrings left.  The beach of Time has altered it, changed it, cleansed it.  Even these things move on.  A stranger could advance upon it and there would only be a quiet still, a hush, a nod from Nature, a sad smile and a tear that the visitor would not understand but wonder.
I strode the area silent to myself, searching my own memory banks for completion, but it was not even there now.  Gone.  Like as in the end of Blade Runner, lost like tears in the rain.


  Oh, a lot of you just like to see the "pictures", because I have a fan-base that just likes that I guess.  Time and time again I get, "Where do you get those pictures?!"  Sigh.  Okay.  Like a band who has to play their one radio hit from 45 years ago forever like some Sisyphus, here you go kiddies... as a master-bard I bow to your requests... 
First some eye-candy...
Sasha Grey embodies my feeling of "Postcards from the Past"
and for the ladies of course...
Dude looks like he works-out.
 Now for the rest..

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