Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Dear Hugo,

I must say dear fellow, that you once again have proved to be an genius of staggering ability. The rest cure you so gently recommended and foisted upon me has worked absolute WONDERS. I feel almost a new man. Almost, I say because there are still some niggling doubts that the CC shoved me a bit quickly into this cure. However, that is a mere passing thought, and the pills that Dr. Munro give me help the thoughts pass all the more quickly. He is a rather nice chap (for a Scotsman) bit young I suppose, but seems to know his business. If, of course, that business is shoving pills down the throat of a man that is strapped to a bed, and mostly in a daze from whatever pill he gave me last. The good news that everything here is so fucking GREEN, and I am not just talking about the three or four weeds that cling to life outside my window. Whatever possessed this place to paint walls that shade of puke green is beyond me, but I try to remember (like the good doctor told me) that it is a SOOTHING shade, a calming shade that will help me get better. Whatever "better" is exactly I have not been allowed to find out. I do so hope that things are going well with you and yours, and that the CC is running smoothly under your guidance. I also hope that your position in our little "quarrel" may have softened with the passing of time. I now understand your position more clearly (the daily "treatments" have been ever so helpful in that regard). Nothing like a few volts of electricity to sharpen one's focus. They do on occasion allow me out of my room to sit quietly, and not bother anyone else. They even have allowed me to write this letter to you with the promise that they won't "correct" too make of my mistakes in grammar, spelling, etc, etc. Perhaps you will find the time in your overcrowded day to reply. That would be nice, and would give me something to look forward to other than the tasty red jello (my personal favourite) that they give us on Fridays. I hope to hear from you soon. Remember once a member always a member.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dear Coach

Not too many people will recognize the goofy looking fellow above. He is Lars Lagerback, the coach of Sweden's national football team. Has been sole coach since 2004 after being joint coach (not sure if that means he bought all the "grass" or what) since 2000. Anyhoo, M Lagerback is one of the reasons for this post. After failing miserably at Euro 2008 a lot of those happy go lucky Swedes were calling for his head, saying that his time has "passed." I pondered what exactly that meant. It is a common saying about sports coaches, and until lately I did not realize that it translates to other careers. Recently I have realized what "time has passed" means. It is a bit like bread going stale. Perhaps, there is a use by date on things like being the coach of a national team. A couple of friends (scientists they be) have experienced this phenomenon, one going so far as to make a small change in his career by giving up "bench" science. This has made me ponder if we all experience this problem. After 5 years? 10 years? 15 years? Does our time pass? Have we run out of ideas? Do we have a shelf life? If so, what happens at the end of our time? Most of us can not shuffle off to coach Man City for piles and piles of money. The majority of us are unable to just shrug off the failure of our national team get bounced in the first round of the Euros, and move on to coaching the next team. Coaches are a very limited pool of talent. I, for example, am one lawyer amongst a SEA of people with law degrees. If my "time passes" I can not just simply flit away to the next career or job opening. Who knows there might not BE a new job opening, and what in the bloody hell can a lawyer do except talk to damn much for no purpose? The only other thing have detected that I am good at is fantasy football, and I do not think you can make a living out of doing that full time. How can we avoid this from happening? Stay on the "cutting edge" of our particular career path? Make sure that all the new "technology" does not pass us by? How do we assure the powers that be that we are indispensable? Even now someone, somewhere is probably studying harder, working harder, or sucking up harder that we are in hopes of replacing us. A great deal of us, whether we know it or not, have somebody out there in the wide world who thinks our job is worth having. Certainly being the national coach of Tajikistan does not sound appealing to a majority of us, but somewhere it is some damn fool's dream. Perhaps we can only hope that by the time our "time is up" we have obtained the insight into what our next move might be. Maybe leading the Congo through world cup qualifiers is not such a bad gig after all.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Sorry T.S.

With apologies to Mr. Eliot in advance. It appears that I have been labeled a "hard" man. Now this is not due to my Adonis like physique, or to anything to do with stuff below my "Naval" academy. No, I am so labeled because I am "stubborn" and "set in my ways." We hard men do not like to be wrong, we do not like to sell out our principles for any price. We are not the sorrowful men who say "I am so sorry" when we cross swords with you. There is little "give" in us. Don't get me wrong, "hard" does not mean unreasonable, or inflexible. It means that we expect a lot of ourselves, of our friends, of every man, woman, and child that we come across. We do our job/duty, and we expect other people to do the same. We have serious issues with customer service on a regular basis. We have high hopes for people, and usually they consistently disappoint us. We have simple requirements, handle your business in a competent manner, don't make any sudden moves, and everything is all good. You would be surprised at the number of people who fall at the first hurdle, it makes the Grand National look like a stroll in the park. We look at the "final four" of the American political system, and despair for the country of our birth. Luckily, patriotism has never been a trait which we have been accused of having in abundance. I would guess that difficult would be another, more appropriate word to use. We are surly and sometimes prickly but not without purpose. Everyday is a test, a test of ourselves, our friends, the people we meet and interact with. It is a tough test and we do not always pass, in fact, we rarely pass. If we do pass it is not with flying colours. It makes us hard to get along with and a little bit surly at times, but it is who we are. The trick is that we dont really expect too many people to pass the test, if we can't pass it why for fuck's sake would we think anyone else could? We are soft graders the curve is quite wide, and the people we grade have, in some special way already passed the test without really knowing why or how.