Saturday, May 31, 2014

How Many Days Until Retirement?

I took my annual Boys' Trip vacation last week.  "Boys' Trip" has become a euphemism though, because girls have been allowed for the last three to five years.  That in and of itself is kind of a funny story.  I've got two daughters.  By the time they were 10 or so, they started asking if they could go on our trips.  My friends said no, so I was out-voted.  Now, my friends have daughters interested in going, they finally see my point, and girls are allowed on the Boys' Trip.  But I'm digressing.

Those of you who know me, know that I believe in God.  Though I've gone to church for several years now, there is no time or place I feel closer to God than when I'm on these trips.  Yes, I feel close to God in general when I'm outdoors, but the Boys' Trips in particular tend to be very spiritual for me.  I am never closer to nature, and there is always a bit of alone time to ponder the miracle of creation.  It's calming and awe-inspiring at the same time.  I always return home appreciative of what God's provided... a loving family... a close circle of great friends... a roof over my head and food in my stomach....

This year, I realized that I'm no longer fulfilled by my job.  I'm a computer geek.  I know computers and networks, and to some extent, I enjoy computers and networks.  But I realized that it's no longer my passion.  If I could retire today, I'd stop working on computers and never look back.

When I came back from my trip, and I tried to talk to several people about my realization... my wife... my friends... one of my pastors... my kids.  But they were all wrapped in their own problems.  Their problem du jour seemed to overshadow my issue.  When I got back to work, I had to hit the ground running, and for the next couple of days, the crazy pace continued, as did my realization that, in the grand scheme of things, my job really doesn't matter.  I tried to share this with a couple of other friends, but once again, when I tried to share my thoughts, it quickly became obvious that they were more interested in talking than listening, so this revelation has remained unrevealed... until now.

That's right.  I am no longer fulfilled by my job.  I've said it.  It's out.  As soon as I can, I will retire from my current career, and start the next phase of my life.  What I'd like to do is become a permanent volunteer.  This way I could do what I want, when I want, for whichever cause I choose.  I could work in hospice for a month or two... then work for VA for a while... then work for the Humane Society for a bit.  The point is that I've reached a point in my life where doing menial stuff for worthwhile organizations is more rewarding than being well compensated to do tasks that really don't advance mankind as a whole.

I want to be clear about this... I'm not a malcontent.  I'm not crying in my millions (relatively speaking).  I'm not having a midlife crisis or existential issue.  I've merely reached the point where I can acknowledge my lack of fulfillment, and am realistic enough to know that it will be a while before I can actually do something (outside of the house) that's personally rewarding.  Either way though, it's kind of liberating to know this, and be able to say it.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Giving an Obliviot Her Comeuppance

I was out riding my motorcycle earlier today, with my older daughter riding on the back.  Fortunately for us, I ride defensively, because some stupid bitch who was too busy talking on her cell phone, decided to turn left immediately in front of us, to the point that I locked my back brake during the emergency stop.

I actually saw all of this coming, thanks to experience and some pointers I picked up during my motorcycle safety course.  (Watch their wheels... if the wheels start rolling, they're going.)  As a result, I wasn't panicked, and catastrophe was avoided.  But I did lay on the horn during the stop, and I watched the chick as she continued her left turn in front of me.  She never looked at me, and she never stopped talking on the phone.  It was as if I didn't exist.  It was as if she never realized she could have seriously injured my daughter and me.

If she'd have acknowledged that she screwed up, (you know... the wave) that would have been the end of it.  But she didn't.  I was incensed... furious to the point that I (safely) made a U-turn and followed her to her destination, (a local grocery store) where I gave her a piece of my mind.

"Hey!" I screamed.  "I just wanted to thank you for being too fucking busy talking on your cell phone to see that you cut me off!"

She tried to say that she wasn't talking on her phone, but my daughter saw it too, and called her on her lie.

"Oh, I didn't see you because of that other car," she finally muttered.

"Yeah, that's because you were too busy talking on your fucking cell phone to watch for motorcycles."

"Do I need to call the cops?" she retorted, defensively.

"Why, to tell them you can't drive?"  Reminder, I'm screaming at her this whole time.  My objective was to publicly shame her, and possibly scare her, with the idea that she looks out for bikes in the future.

"No, because you're causing a scene."

"That's because you're a stupid fucking cunt who doesn't watch for motorcycles!"

At this point, people in the parking lot started paying attention.  This is what I wanted.  It's apparent that she didn't want the attention.  She walked into the store.  My daughter and I got back on the bike and continued our ride.

Now for my commentary on the whole thing...

-The bitch deserved to get her ass chewed.

-I kind of enjoyed being the hammer of justice... the voice of righteous indignation.  Kind of un-Christian of me, eh?

-The primary reason that I did this is because she looked right through me... even when she realized that she did wrong, she never gave the wave, or anything to acknowledge that she made a mistake.  A very close second is to hopefully sear the encounter into her little brain housing group, and get her to watch for bikes in the future.  I don't expect this to happen.

-I will admit that I swear more than I should, but I know that 'cunt' is a particularly offensive word, and I reserve it for the most grievous of situations.  This woman deserved the word.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Illinois Tollway F*cking Sucks!

I did everything I was supposed to do.  I bought an iPass.  I activated it.  I linked it to my truck.  I made sure that there was money on the iPass.  Unfortunately, there was a flaw in the activation and I ended up getting a ticket for $155!  After receiving the ticket, I checked to make sure that my iPass still had money on it, but somehow my iPass had completely disappeared from their system, as if I had never activated it.  To make matters worse, when I originally activated it, I tossed the box that the iPass originally came in, so I can't activate it.  This means that I did the right thing, and I'm out $200 bucks for my effort!  It would have been 10 times cheaper to pay cash for the tolls!

Furthermore, though the ticket alleges approximately ten infractions, there's only one picture of my truck's license plate, with no date time stamp to give any indication of when or where the picture was taken.  This means that there's no real evidence indicating that I even ran through the tollways in the first place.  This screams Class Action Lawsuit.  Yep, no doubt about it, the Illinois Tollway f*cking sucks!