Sometimes I Really Feel Like…

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…. I’m taking away somehow from things my son really likes to do by asking him to participate in different projects I get involved with. I enjoy sharing knowledge and working with my son. We often learn unexpected things when we journey into fixing things that are broken or building from scratch or refurbishing something special. I didn’t grow up with an Xbox, a computer, a cell phone, the internet, or cable. I think, selfishly, that kids, not just my own, should experience different things. Not just to learn new skills and gain new experiences, but maybe see if there’s other things they enjoy. To be honest, the best feeling for me to experience is seeing the excitement in his face when he does something on his own or when he played a large part in a project. Anyway, I saw this picture and it made me think how true the statement really is and I wanted to share.

Get Ready! Get Set! Let’s Gooooooooo!

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Most people would frown upon having to be at work before the ass-crack of dawn, but not me. This is my time, this is the time I know that all the people working 9-5 during the week are still curled up in their beds, dreading leaving the comforts they have been enjoying all night long. But that’s not me, I’m the person who roams my house at 3:30 a.m. because I’m plain done sleeping. Regardless if I must go to work or not, I’m up, I’ve always been like this, it’s just the way I’m wired I guess. As I roamed the job site I’m at this morning, in the calm of the morning, still dark, it gave me time to review this past week. As I have mentioned, I have started back to work luckily. With my back to it, I feel the sun beginning to break through the treeline, beginning to become visible over the horizon, peeking through the trees, over the buildings, and of course the power lines which litter the view in any direction one looks. Of course, me being me, me being the one who still likes to meet the sunrise which greets me good morning, needs to grab a picture.

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I have missed very few sunrises in my lifetime, and I have a feeling that won’t change. As I took the second picture I could hear my mother whispering in my ear not to look directly into the sun, then I clicked the picture. What can one more picture with me looking directly into a sunrise hurt, right? As I walked the job site, earbuds in, metal cranked up, I saw the overall picture with the changes that had occurred after my departure the evening before. In many ways, I felt a sigh of relief come over me, because it meant that quite possibly that there would have to be very little ass scrambling happening since there is a great deal which must happen today, as smooth as humanly possible, so concrete can be poured first thing Monday morning. I had said I would get into my new job after a few days, lucky you, today is that day, however, there still isn’t much to say, because I’m in training, I’m studying, I’m learning, and luckily for me, remembering things I never even knew that I knew. Don’t get me wrong, I’m learning more that my memory has served me, but combining the two elements has been making my transition easier for me. Whether or not that serves true with my new boss I can’t say, I probably have been frustrating the shit out if him with all of my questions, he has allot on his plate, which he just chews up, only spitting back the plate.

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Hopefully I don’t say all of this wrong, but I will try to explain my new job and the eventual role I will be in. I found quickly that much to do with the commercial construction is about a person’s title, not necessarily one’s actual experience. But then you could have my boss, who comes with many, many years of experience, but still has a title. His experience shows through and is reflected in how he works. He offers perfection, and demands one put out their own perfection, he commands this without asking, which is a great way to learn for me personally, to be mentored in a fashion that is well above “industry standard”. He is a rare breed and he makes coming to work interesting. There are many hours of the day that I spend in what I will call ” observation, collection, and absorption”, because that is part of how I learn. What better way to learn, right or wrong, good or bad, people working at their specific trade. Again, luckily for me, I spent many years working for and with my dad, before he retired, as a residential concrete contractor. To my advantage, for a great deal of what is going on right now, I know what they are doing and the concept of what they are trying to accomplish with concrete. I remember the early days when I was part of the crew, the labor, which is how my own dad taught, which was hands on. One does not know the skill of a shovel in the right hands, one cannot respect a person which the shovel if you have never done what he had done. I spent many years with a shovel in my hands, setting forms, moving concrete, and helping turn a once vacant lot into a home for a family to live. Of course, later in life, after the Air Force, my role did change in the family business, where I had the opportunity to get my feet wet on the management and supervisory side of the concrete contractor business. Those lessons, not what I have learned in school, are lessons that serve me well now, because I am being refreshed in how psychology and the stroking of egos is just as important as raising hell when something is all fucked up. I have missed the construction industry since I’ve been out of it, its great to be given the opportunities to get back in the saddle again.

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In the end, for now, I’m just the new white guy on the job site. Learning and absorbing as much as I can comprehend to build myself a knowledge base which can only benefit me as time progresses, nobody wants to have dumb employees now do they. Plus, for the second time in my life now, here is a job which involves so much more than just being a mindless zombie laboror. Eventhough I never minded the mindless monkey work because it was work and it paid the bills on time. As time progresses over the next few months I will update everyone as to how my chosen path is going. In reality, the “job” chose me, as I’m very lucky that for probably the first time in a very long time, I was in the right place at the right time to accept this outstanding opportunity. Plus, bonus here people, financially it couldn’t have been more perfect timing. I owe a debt of gratitude to the man who set it in motion and even more to the man who has given me an opportunity not to just have a job, but to have an outfuckingstanding job. Can y’all tell I’m happy? I can tell, it feels great. And now I close with a great selfie, have a great day.

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Should We Question Everything?

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The simple answer to that question is, yes, yes we should question everything. How do we better understand anything in our life if we do not ask questions? One will never hear me tell anyone that they shouldn’t ask questions, that one shouldn’t be curious, or that something simply does not have an answer. There are answers for most things if we look hard enough. Some questions are tougher than others and there are times where my knowledge as a father really get stretched to the limit. I will premise this post with letting y’all know that I do not push my beliefs (or lack there of) on anyone, especially my children who I remind when needed that my choices are mine and they need to find the answers to make their own choices.

Last night my son had choir practice at the church my wife and children attend. Not that it matters much, but it is billed as a non-denominational church. As we are pulling into the parking lot, my son, out of the blue, asks “dad, what is a christian atheist”? I asked him what would make him want to ask me such a question. So he pointed to the marquee sign where this particular church put upcoming events and so forth. He was right, there is was. It read “Christian? Atheist?…………..Christian Atheist?” The sign was bewildering, I had this stuck in my head and couldn’t shake it, I had to keep looking back at it, reading it, thinking, reading it. What’s the deal, why am I thinking about this? After a few minutes, my son reminds me that if we stay in the car, he will be late for choir practice. We get out of the car, I had to look back one more time, just to see if the sign still said what I thought it said when I first saw it. Indeed, it has not changed.

I take him down to his classroom, make my way to the restroom, and finally make it to the auditorium where I wait for his class to come out and practice. Under normal conditions, this is the most enjoyable hour and a half that I know exists. Knowing all the “problems” associated with autism and being bipolar, my son seems to make it all go away with the beauty and power in his own voice. His voice truly moves me when he sings, it often brings tears to my eyes because for a brief amount of time he is just Jackson, not the boy that no-one understands or wants to understand.

As I closed my eyes and singled my son’s voice out of the crowd, flashes of that stupid sign kept interfering. What is the deal I keep asking myself. Just words? Just a sign? Hey, your son is pouring his heart out up there, pay attention! Could I really be this distracted? On the way home we talked about his question. I was bothered quite a bit because it seemed to be quite a contradiction in terms. I have never labeled myself with any more than just being a person who does not believe in God. I know that I’m not satisfied with fairytales, the end.  I laid in bed last night, thinking, not being able to sleep, get up, go out onto the deck, smoke a cigarette or three, and try to get my brain off the words of that sign. Good luck with that, yea, I know.

I was more than a little surprised this morning to read exactly what a christian atheist really is. It seems it is an ideology in which the belief in the god of christianity is simply rejected or it is absent because the teachings of jesus are followed. Why? It is believed the stories of jesus relate to modern life but not to be taken literally. In this belief, god is nothing more than a symbol. The christian atheists have removed the fairy tale elements from their beliefs. They see christianity as non-realistic and see a need to believe in only what is considered factual or real. There are writings after writings about what is essential to this belief system. I do really like some of the principles followed and taught but not something I need at this point in my life.

Humanity is forced to take responsibility for everything. Human beings are very powerful and capable of doing things for themselves. No need to waste time trying to explain supernatural things. Religion is no longer the opposition to scientific process. Religion is a product of humanity for humanity. Funny, until last night I had my life sorted out. I still do, I just re-examined why I believe the way I do. This little lesson was needed, I suppose, to clear the cobwebs and re-organize. I still believe it is impossible to know whether there is a god or not. Period. Humanity does not know the answer to that question, therefore the question can never be answered. I do not put faith in hope and a dream that maybe some answer will be shown to me after my death. I live on planet earth, I will be buried on planet earth, journey complete.

In the end, the sign made me think. It made me explore what was real to me. Of course, it was just a sign, set to made you think, and explore your beliefs. Good marketing, it worked. I am not trying to make friends or enemies here, nor trying to split hairs. Just pointing out the power of words and how they get inside you and make you consume and digest them. Sometimes I wish that I didn’t ask questions and sometimes it would be nice not to have to try to help find answers to something I have no interest in. I just don’t know anymore, I know I’m tired of seeing an oxymoron like christian atheist where the question is folded up into the enigma of the statement.

I will confess, today is probably one of the first posts I have gone back and re-read more than once. Usually I just write my posts on the fly, throw the dice, and see who scores. But this one is different, this one proved to be a challenge, perhaps I have been looking to see if I actually said something that was worth posting. Perhaps I was looking to see if somewhere, somehow, I answered the question I was seeking an answer to. But, as usual when I delve into outer aspects of christianity I get a little mad. Mad? Why? Because it frustrates me that I leave the exploration with more questions than answers. So, that’s how y’all got dragged into it because when I write like this every once in a while it’s more like talking to myself to try to work it out in my own mind. By the way, my son wasn’t happy with the definition we looked up. He has plans to bring it up next Sunday in hopes that the pastor might have some new ideas. I hope he doesn’t lose sleep over it because, as I told him already, the sign was put up to make the thinkers think and some questions do not have answers, which is a contradiction to my own belief in the end.

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