Thursday, January 26, 2006

The day after

Well, I am now officially 40 years old, as I celebrated my birthday yesterday. The funny thing about it is that being 40 seems to be affecting those around me more than me. To me the big 4-0 is just another number, but it is freaking Teri out, making my siblings to feel old, and causing the in-laws to reminisce about when Teri and I first started seeing each other 17 or so years ago. I think the funniest thing about the birthday was the gift my 16 year old son got me. He didn't go with anything geeky or sentimental like he did for us on Christmas or for Teri on her birthday. No my son bought me some Icy-hot thermal bandages and a hot/cold reusable gel pack. Since I occasionally get hip/back pain due to my scoliosis, this was actually a cool gift, but man do I feel old. Teri, of course got me a 49ers 'Brandon Lloyd' football jersey (I always wanted an authentic 49ers jersey with my name on it) and a set of Good Eats DVDs (thanks Martin). I even went out with the in-laws to dinner to Olive Garden and had a noteworthy waitress story happen there (Do servers realize now-a-days that they are hired to make customers eating experiences enjoyable, not just bring out plates?) The real excitement will be on Saturday, however, as Teri and I and the friends get together for dinner and the annual 'Can we get Teri drunk-Lloyd birthday party', thank you for playing Martin and Amy. I will let everyone know how it turns out.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

We should listen to the founding fathers.

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

Benjamin Franklin

***I am adding this picture to this blog post on 01-24-06 since it seems appropiate***

I sometimes wonder what the founding fathers would make of our country if they were alive today. I wonder if they would nod their heads and say, "See. Told you we had to put that in the Constitution, so that our descendants will not have to live through the same mistakes we did." Maybe they would be surprised at how things turned out. Maybe they would just grin at the explosive growth and influence of the press. I know one thing that would have them turning in their graves though; the gradual erosion of freedom that government has seized in the name of security. Did you know that when Social Security was first envisioned there was concern that a national social system would be abused and the government would use Social Security numbers to track citizens and we would slip into the style of facist governments and track our people's every move. Remind you of George Orwell and Big Brother? Maybe some people rest easy at night, safe in the knowledge that the government is only doing this to protect them from the big bad terrorists. Maybe we should just give the selfless people in Washington DC the ability to do whatever they want to protect us from the bad guys. Lets throw up cameras on every street corner and monitor the comings and goings of everyone. Lets create a national database with everybody's names in it so that we will know when a terrorist slips into the country. While we are at it lets outlaw the ability for everyone to make their own choices. Heaven knows the majority of the country is next to illiterate and shouldn't be trusted with the decision making ability of whether or not to have an abortion, or when they should be able to end their own life. I know I want the concerned bureaucracy in Washington to keep out all those darn foreigners who are stealing hard working American's jobs. I mean come on those illegal immigrant Mexican workers in California are worse than the Irish were in New York in the 19th century...

Ok maybe someone out there didn't realize that I had slipped into sarcasm and started to think that I am an outright bigot. What I really wanted to do is write a controversial blog, maybe to get some of the people who read this thinking about what we are giving up lately in our quest for safety. Maybe they will tell their friends, who will tell their friends... I have gotten extremely nervous about what is happening around the country lately, the Big Brother knows best attitude of the Federal Government, the feeling that it is right for the President or Congress to decide how everyone lives their lives. Its easy to give in a little bit and then wonder what happened when the inch you gave up has become a foot then a yard. Maybe someone out there reading this will become motivated to vote or to let their elected leaders know that we are not going to take their bullying any longer. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions...

Monday, January 09, 2006

This old Mann

As my 40th birthday draws ever nearer, I find myself feeling older and older. I don't know if its the aches and pains that I am getting so used to that I don't even notice them anymore, or the fact that I am seeing myself more and more in my son, but different, since he is growing up in a different time. Maybe its the fact that I find myself reminiscing about the good old days more and more, wanting the days back when you didn't have to worry about some deranged maniac with a gun or a car wrecking someone's life. I sometimes wax nostalgic about the 80's and how innocent we were as teens, with sex and drugs and alcohol being thought about as things hard to obtain, not something that permeated our entire society. As a history major, I am very familiar with the concept of cycles and how things ever seem to repeat throughout history. I do wonder though if ever there were so many new things impinging themselves on human thought and attitudes. I also think that we may be slowly sinking into one of those lull periods where all the new ideas are digested into the human psyche and people dig in their heels and scream, "Enough!" when it comes to innovation. Maybe today's anti-science, religious conservative backlash is a reaction by people who are so overwhelmed by new things that they feel like locking themselves in a closet and hiding. I find myself asking where the sense of adventure has gone in today's world, where the thirst for the stars has disappeared to. I feel old, reveling in the new - new technologies, new thoughts and ideas, new science, all seem blase' in today's world. Am I relic of yesteryear with my delight in the unknown? Are there any other grailseekers out there looking for truth in the far corners of modern day existence? Does anyone else wonder what tomorrow brings or are we all just looking for a way to get off the ride for awhile and gather our thoughts for another day at the amusement park of life?

Monday, January 02, 2006

Over the hill...

Well my vacation is over, I have to go back to work tomorrow after 11 glorious days off. It really feels like I am a kid again, a student who just had Christmas break and now has to go back to school. Its kind of weird that sometimes I feel like such a child, going through the motions, playing at being an adult. It has really started to hit me that I am going to be 40 this month. I feel old, even if I really am just a kid disguised as an adult on the inside. I wonder if everyone feels this way, like they are just playing lets pretend, you know make believe or dress up. Do you ever feel like you belong in the world or have you just tried to fake it the best you can? I wonder if every generation goes through this or are there just a few people in the world who "get it" and they are the ones running things. Maybe its just me and I have a 'Peter Pan' complex and am stuck in my own version of Neverland. It would explain a lot, giving reason to all the silliness in the world. Maybe it would also make things easier in real life if we all just looked at each other as overgrown teenagers...