It is better to be an outcast, a stranger in one’s own country, than an outcast from one’s self. It is better to see what is about to befall us and to resist than to retreat into the fantasies embraced by a nation of the blind.
Chris Hedges

Thursday, May 29, 2008


How we all awaited Microsoft's new operating system - Vista. I know Bill is trying to leave the driving to others these days, but gosh, what a botchup. Microsoft did their usual; rush the product to the shelf, let the user find the bugs, then develop massive Service Packs to correct the glitches. But as media/data rich as Vista is, well, 'that dog just won't hunt'. I think people are fed up with being held hostage when purchasing a new computer, because unless you build it yourself, or get a Mac, preloaded Vista is what you get. This is the beginning of the end for Microsoft's dominance in the world market. They know it too and are scrambling to develop Windows 7 on the one hand, while on the other they have made a deal with OLPC (one laptop per child) to install XP on third world laptops.
If the world truly cared about equality they would build on an open source platform, develop a free world ISP with enough bandwidth to stream audio visuals, and build server farms large enough to provide software and storage space for everyone.


After 16 years of absence I tracked down my ex-wife, Helen. My daughter, Audrey, answered the phone. I didn't say anything to her but it was her. Helen was cool, as she always was, and told me Audrey was fine... and what did I want? Good question.
Since everything is about me, I figured Audrey lay awake nights wondering who her father was. What crap. I'm sure it passed through her mind from time to time, but knowing my wife's family she was probably assured I wasn't worth the bother. And they were right to do so.
Looking back over my old blogs was painful. The typos, written when I was full of drink and self-pity; the senseless meanderings, presented as some sort of bohemian genius. I was tempted to obliterate the lot and start over, but I didn't. Because looking through that stuff reminded me what had happened and where I am now.
Thanks be to God I am sober today and have been for some 7 months. The past cannot be deleted as easily as text on a page. Better to trust in the human heart and the capacity within each of us to see the soul, not the wrapper. My phone call to Helen must have put her world in turmoil too. After all, she had the task of raising Audrey and given the results would be reluctant to place our treasure in any kind of jeopardy. I understand and approve. Just for today I am glad to have given her my contact information. In time, we may begin a dialogue. Just for today I am happy my daughter is loved and well.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Paolo the Warrior

Discovering the writing of Paolo Coelho is a good first step in discovering yourself. To some he is self absorbed and pretentious. But to me he is a hero, because he looks inside himself and asks the question; "Why?". I ask the same question of myself. He is the mentor of spiritual discovery, the basis for all serious questions about God and our relationship with him. He is a warrior of the light who could have chosen to keep the secret to himself. Instead he releases all, like the arrow in his bow. He is a guide to fellow travellers everywhere... and he is my friend.

To edit or not to edit

After years of trying to find my daughter, Thea, I feel like I'm getting closer. As she gets older and begins to do what normal teenagers do I believe technology will bridge our connection. But what does one say after 16 years? For many of those missing years I was someone who could not have offered much, but things are different today. I have a lot of amends to make. One quandary I have has to do with this blog... and indeed my life. My first instinct is to blot out all references to anything that does not contribute to a high opinion of me. However, I cannot succumb to that. To do so would be to erase not only the ugly facts, but many of the hard earned truths too.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Much Ado About Nothing

I would rather be dead than go through life not being able to find humour in the tragic. One of the endearing things about my grandson is that his 6 year old mind can trigger a laugh when a train goes off the bridge and crashes into the gorge. Pity those who go through life only seeing the fine print.

One friend of mine endured 18 weeks of intense displeasure at the hands of those much practiced in the art of disquieting the soul. Humour had no place in open discussion, but my friend persisted in trying to introduce parody into what was a surreal experience for many of us. True, he sometimes threw a barb my way but not so much to humiliate, but to humble. At one point, when faced with his removal from the programme, I spoke out and hoped against their judgement. My friend stayed the course and in keeping with tradition passed out thank you cards to our minders. On one card, to one woman, he wrote an invitation to create progeny. I believe Nelson Mandela had a similar relationship with his prison jailer and they got along afterwards. Not so here. The pitchforks came out and the torches were lit. That the woman in question had graduate degrees in psychology proved inadequate to her ability to read between the fine print and see that she was attractive, loved, and in the end truly thanked.

Gosh, I thought it was funny.