Green K

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Less than half an hour before I left work yesterday, I was given the news that a co-worker whose desk is about 10 feet away from mine will not be returning to work... on account that she was murdered last night.

That is not hyperbole.

I'm not going to post the link, but if you Google "murder suicide Aldie VA" she was the victim. I didn't know her well, but she was no stranger, either.

I gotta tell you, for all the crime dramas, murder mysteries, and cop shows I've seen over the years, nothing prepares you for being one-degree of separation from the victim of a homicide. Nothing. And yet, I was nowhere near as shaken as the man who told me - the man who hired her for the help desk a few months ago. And I can only image what her mother (also shot, but not killed) and her children (also on the scene, uninjured) must be enduring.

My friends... cherish everyone you know and love. Cherish every moment of every day you have with them. You never know when the worst might happen, and just like that, they are no longer among us.
Green K

The *real* reason for the shutdown

On my way into work a few days ago, I was thinking about all this mess with the govt. shutdown and the intransigence of the Hard Right over the Affordable Healthcare Act (aka, ObamaCare). My main thought was along the lines of “Why on Earth do these folks have such a bug up their asses about affordable health care?” I mean, even from a purely selfish standpoint, even if we set aside all of the benefits to society and the nation as a whole, a labor pool of healthy workers to draw from is also good for business. Healthy workers are more productive workers, and more productive workers means bigger profits. Ergo, it is in the best interest of even the 1% for everyone to have access to affordable health care. Why fight against it so hard? Heck, why fight it at all?

My mind then turned to wishing how this had been the law of the land during my first marriage. I spent a lot of time being unemployed, and after losing a job with benefits, we had to get COBRA, then when that ran out, something even more expensive, so my first wife and I could keep out insurance going unbroken. Why? Because we both had those accursed pre-existing conditions that could have disqualified us from getting new insurance had our coverage lapsed. So, we had to pay for insurance at rates nothing short of extortion at a time when we were already struggling financially. Small wonder so many people I knew kept working at jobs where they were miserable, mistreated, underpaid and overworked – they could not afford to lose health insurance.

Then it hit me.

That status quo – the one where workers will take any job they are offered, no matter how miserable, underpaid and overworked they are, simply to have health coverage – that is what the 1% and their Hard Right puppets are fighting to protect. Health insurance has long been the most powerful negotiating chip (more like a Billy-club) corporations have had when trying to attract workers – especially skilled workers. When unemployment is high, that’s even better, because then they can offer lower wages. Take away other safety-net measures like food stamps? Now you have the trifecta of a labor force in such desperation, they will do almost anything to land, and keep, a job with health benefits. It’s a perfect storm. The only way things could be any better for the 1% is if we were living in the Feudal era, where the wealthy elite owned the land along with the people who worked the land, and they could do whatever the Hell they wanted because that was the way it was.

But once healthcare is affordable to all, and where no one who wants health insurance can legally be denied coverage, this whole sociopathic house-of-cards begins to tumble. If anyone, even the unemployed, can afford health care, and if even the folks who let coverage lapse can get it back, even with pre-existing conditions, that “We can get you health insurance!” negotiating Billy-club the corporations have had for so long no longer matters. The insurance companies are now competing for customers by offering better prices. This means that corporations will need to compete as well – with higher wages. For everyone.

History has proven that the 1% and their puppets hate anything that places collective bargaining into the hands of We The People. Just look at how income disparity has grown to offensive proportions over the past three decades while the power of labor unions has declined. The one thing the Hard Right hates the most about the ACA is that it gives We The People collective bargaining when it comes to health care, which takes that Billy-club out of the hands of the corporations, which means they can no longer use it as a bludgeon to keep We The People in line. The same logic holds true with food stamps and other “entitlements”. Anything that places more power into the hands of the people is power, and money, taken away from the 1% and their sociopathic agenda of exploitation.

In short, this goes way beyond the Tea-Publicans looking like idiots and losing face once the system they’ve fought against so hard is shown to work: ObamaCare is the beginning of the end of the perfect storm which has created a society filled with easily exploited workers. This is nothing less than a quantum shift in the status quo which has made the sociopathic 1% richer and more powerful than ever. And if there is another lesson history has taught us, it is that those in power rarely, if ever, relinquish any measure of their power, no matter how small, without putting up a fight.

And that, IMHO, is the real reason for the shutdown.
Green K

My Harvest

It is time for the year's final harvest. It is time to take stock of what I have sown, and what I must reap.

Finances continue to be an issue for me: I have had to take out loans against my 401(k) and borrow money from friends to make ends meet. I continue to see reminders of the damage I have done in the past from having broken boundaries. I had to sever ties completely with an individual I tried to help heal, but who proved to be either unable or unwilling to accept my own boundaries.

These are the bitter fruits. I planted the seeds. This is what I have sown. The cycle must be completed. I must reap.

What I have lost and where I have fallen short... all are because of the seeds I planted, and the labors I made, and did not make, in tending those crops.

I accept my actions. I accept my choices. I accept the consequences.

It is what it is.

Even though my workload continues to grow, I am getting things done, and getting them done well enough to keep the high respect and regard among my co-workers, supervisors, and other Higher Ups™ in the company. I have made new friendships. I was able to help bring healing to those in need. I am slowly, but surely, attracting more clients for my healing services. I have continued to nurture, build, and develop my relationship wth my gods, and have started working with new gods as well. I have grown stronger as a mystic, medium, energy worker and healer. My beloved and I were handfasted at Beltane; that bond, and our love, grows stronger each day. I am happier with my life, and feel better about being Who I Am™, than ever before.

Blessed be!

Where I am, what I have, and who I have become... all are because of the seeds I have planted, and the labors I made in tending those crops.

I accept my actions. I accept my choices. I accept the consequences.

It is what it is.

This is all I have sown.

Now I reap.

That which is good, nourishing, and healthy... I take with me and make a part of me.

The detritus, the waste, and the fruits that are tainted... I return to the gods.

This is my Harvest.

So Mote it Be.

Give Thanks!
Gray K

Trouble's Passing

Just as I was winding down my day at work, I got news that Trouble, my cat that I had to leave behind in my divorce, passed away earlier today. I've had a number of pets over the years, but Trouble was the first that was well and truly *my* pet. It really hurt that I had to leave him behind, and it hurts even more that I never got a chance to see him before he was gone.

Rest in Peace, Trouble. May you find many mice to catch in the hereafter.

Trouble 002
Green K

No longer the Answer

As of today, I am no longer The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything.

It was fun while it lasted :)

The second-most fun I've had with my age was the year where I was able to say, "I'm 37! I'm not old!"
Green K


Of all the lessons I have learned in this lifetime, coming to understand... truly understand... the value, nay... the sanctity of boundaries has been among the most important.

Before I understood this lesson, my life was, to be blunt, a wreck. I did not have good boundaries of my own, nor did I maintain them. Even worse, I had little concept of the boundaries of others. Even as I started learning about boundaries, I still found myself crossing them quite frequently. True, sometimes I did so not out of malice, but simple unawareness. And yet, even when done in ignorance, I saw the grievous harm that could still be done. Even then, it still took many times of being on both sides of the boundary violations for me to "get it" on a primal level.

Boundaries matter. They matter in ways few other things do.

Lesson learned.

Ever forward...
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Green K

The -Real- Answer

My birthday has always been the one day of the year when I have freely allowed myself to hold expectations that good things will happen for me.

And now, at the tender age of 42, it has finally sunk through my neutronium-thick skull that this is a big mistake.

Work was really stressful today, but I was OK, and really looking forward to my plans for tonight. I was also looking forward to a birthday celebration this weekend. Well, towards the end of the day, my plans for the weekend got scrubbed. Disappointing, but Life Happens™, and I still had my birthday celebration to look forward to, tonight. Less than half an hour later, that got scrubbed.

Any other day of the year, this would not have hit me so hard. But goddamnit, today is my birthday! I'm not only allowed to have good things happen for me today, they are supposed to happen! And my friends and loved ones are supposed the ones who conspire behind the scenes to make my day a good one... not be the ones who are actively raining on my parade.

Alas, when you have expectations, you set yourself up for disappointment. In The Grand Scheme of Things™, nothing makes the anniversary of one's birth any more or less special than any other day. If it turns out to be an better day for you than most, wonderful. But to have the expectation that it should be... foolish.

The Universe™ does not care about the Way Things "Should Be"™... there is only The Way Things Are™.

Each day is exactly what we make of it.

No exceptions.

Not ever.

Not even for your birthday.

That is the real answer.

The Universe™ is a harsh Mistress.

Lesson learned.

Ever forward...
Green K

The Answer

And so, as of 12:24am on August 10th, 2011, I am, for the next year, the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything.
Green K

I have crossed a line...

For me, gaming, be it of the table-top RPG or online MMO variety, has always been nothing more than a hobby and a fun way to kill time.

However, thanks to this heatwave, I have taken one step closer to the Dark Side of being a "hard core" gamer.

You see, since my present abode does not have you would call state-of-the-art central air conditioning, I have needed to do a number of things to keep my room as cool as possible: multiple fans, room darkening shares, and keeping the lights off as much as possible. Of course, having the lights off makes it hard to type when I'm on the computer...

What? No! I can't turn the computer off to keep things cooler! That's just crazy talk! Besides, a big part of the reason to keep the room cooler is not just for my comfort, but to keep my computer from overheating.

So anyway, not being a touch-typist, I've had to keep some lights on in order to use the computer: the monitor doesn't always generate enough light to see the keys by, and I'm prone enough to typos and missed keystrokes in broad-daylight as it is, already. However, lights generate heat, and a lot of it. Even the flourescent light bulbs. Ergo, hit on the idea of an LED illuminated keyboard. When I was looking at what was available, I saw that for an extra $20, I could get a gamers keyboard with variable hues for the keys and programmable macro keys. I figured, "What the heck," and got it.

Since I play Champions Online, it didn't take me long to start setting up the macro keys. It even has one really nice feature that lets you have the macro key be single-press or a toggle, and programmable with a time delay. For one of my characters in CO, this has been a godsend. He has a power that can be refreshed and stack upon itself... provided I remember in the middle of combat and/or flying around to hit the button for it in that very narrow window between when it's done recharging and when the stacks expire (the refresh time is 24 seconds, but the stacks expire in 28) . However, I now have a macro key that, once I press it, will log in that keystroke every 25 seconds (or at the interval of my choosing), and will keep on doing it until I un-toggle it.

Does this make me a "serious" gamer?

Regardless, at least I know I'm still not hardcore: I don't have guild buddies, I don't make plans around online game events, and I do not consume energy drinks to stay awake for gaming, nor to keep me going at work because I was up gaming too late the night before.

All thanks to the heatwave.
Green K

Please boost the signal...

A dear friend of mine, living in DC, who has been unemployed since early June and is presently recovering from surgery, has just been advised by her landlord that she and her dog have 15-days to move out. Unless DC has laws that allow something other than 30-days notice to evict a person, this 15-days bit is bullshit. However, she is still faced with the problem of needing to find a new place to live (and once that is pet-friendly no less) while she is out of work.

Unfortunately, my living situation doesn't make it possible for me to have her and her mid-sized dog (who is a real sweetie) stay with us. So please boost this signal and/or contact me if you are able to help her out.