August 9, 2019

Random thoughts on a dusty, monsoony-night:

August has always held a special place in my heart. As a kid growing up in Massachusetts, it meant stretches of humid days, cloudy and muggy, where the furniture and dining room chairs got sticky, heat lightning in the distance, the purple lustrife ablaze in the swamps and lowlands, the night sounds of heat bugs and mosquitoes buzzing in your ear, the back to school sales in the department stores. If you were down the Cape, or on the Vineyard, August meant lots of fog and murkiness, with hours before the sun found a way to burn it all off. August, perhaps even more than September (a transitional month by its very nature), always seemed a transitional month to me. After all, it was August where you could really begin to notice the days were getting shorter; it always seemed to me that while the second half of the month was still summer, in the mornings you’d start seeing the heavy condensation on the car windows; and then, with the publishing of the school bus routes in the old Merrimack Valley Advertiser, you knew damned well the jig was up. September would, of course, brings its own transitions – back to school, the cooler nights, that first Canadian cool front that would wipe the air clean of all humidity and those cloudy, murky days into a bright clear blue – but it was August where it all started.

Here in the Valley of the Sun, there isn’t really much of a difference weather-wise from July (or, for that matter, September). It’s monsoon season, so every day is like a Cracker Jack box with a possible surprise in it. The weather folks will predict a busy day and nothing happens, then like last weekend, the know-it-alls predicted a hot, tranquil day and we ended up with very heavy winds and quite a bit of rain. There’s been a lot going on here at the Richard hacienda since my return from Goodboys week and shortly thereafter, and none of it good as far as finances are concerned. Between the pool filter, my sister-in-law’s bird getting sick and ultimately having to be put down, and the car (including two tows in the span of ten hours last Sunday), we’ve been whacked to the tune of nearly $5K, obliterating whatever chances there might have been to do anything much in the way of vacation time. It’s just an odd thing having all these things hit at once, but it’s a damned real thing as far as the checking and savings accounts are concerned.

One of these days I’ll get around to blogging about where I think my golf game is, but frankly, Goodboys weekend seems like it was a lifetime away with so much going on. The clubs are still in their travel bag and sitting on the garage floor. This is the third straight year I’ve left Goodboys weekend with a sour taste in my mouth and I’m really just about over it. Don’t get me wrong: most of the guys are really fun to be around, and I care deeply about them and cherish their friendships, but it’s the dick-heads and creepy old geezers (to me fellow Goodboys, you know who I’m talking about) that wreck it for me. And there was an edge this year involving a couple of them that made me happy to just get the hell out of there. (Heck, for all I know, the same guys are probably not thrilled with being around me, either.) One of them said to me on Saturday night in a nasty tone that I like to run my mouth off purely for the sake of getting a rise off of folks. That might be true: just for yucks, I yanked a bunch of the guys chains over the music of Steely Dan (something I admit to knowing very little about), but it was fun to see them going round and round about something I care and know nothing about. But that’s what happens when you’re around guys you know you have little in common with anymore. San Diego the third weekend of July is sounding better to me every day.

Work has been a bitch the past two weeks. My younger brother Dave is retiring in three weeks and I’m glad for him. Me? I think I’m destined to have to deal with corporate dick-heads for the rest of my natural life. I had one of the execute VPs of the company tell me the perception out there was that I was not a team player. I replied to her that if being a team player means continuing to act as if nothing is wrong when we’re bleeding clients, distributing software that doesn’t work, and replacing skilled and experienced North America employees with untrained India resources, well, what do I know? I’ve only worked in healthcare IT for almost forty years. It’s just a sucky situation right now that will end up playing itself out one way or the other. And just so it’s clear: my team, with its integrated North American and India resources, is the envy of the company. I love and respect my team, and I hope the feeling is mutual. I’m damned f**kin good at what I do, and damn all the new-fangled squirts in management who couldn’t manage their way out of a wet paper bag without instructions.

On the health front, I’ve had two iron infusions for the severe anemia I’ve been diagnosed with and we’re waiting to see the test results. The coming week features an endoscopy and colonoscopy where they hope to find the source of the anemia. The cute Indian doctor told me today that had my red cell count been one number lower when I first presented myself I would have been admitted for an immediate blood transfusion. The thinking is going ’round to that I might have a bleeding ulcer that’s going to need treatment. Here’s the funny thing: the persistent cough that I’ve had since February (it was really bad Goodboys weekend) has virtually disappeared. No one seems to know where it came from, and no one seems to know why it has subsided. I’m pretty happy about that.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 23:14 | Comments Off on August Thoughts
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