Thursday, April 28, 2011

Final post

In the interest of compressing all my content and writing into a single, shiny, streamlined blog, I an shutting this blog down.  as with my other blogs, I will be keeping this up for posterity and linking, but stripping much of the extraneous content.  If you have this blog in your blogroll, please feel free to update:

Patrick M Speaks (despite advice to the contrary)

Thanks for visiting.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Frank C Murray, 1946-2011

If you haven't guessed, this is not one of my regular posts.  So no references to cleaning or masturbation (except there) for you today. 

I was sitting last night, 11pm, working through the twitter feed, yakking it up with Lars, my 3x2 hetero-life mate, and rocking the original Starcraft (which holds up after over a decade), when my phone rang.  Saw it was my sister (who had said she was going to bed when I talked to her earlier).  Answered it, and it was my brother in law.  He said my dad was taken to the hospital and that my mom had come home and found him "unresponsive."  I didn't ask further, just sat there a little stunned for a bit.  I knew there were two possibilities for "unresponsive."  The first would be some kind of stroke or something that rendered him unconscious, and not responsive.  I was hoping for this.  Because the other option for unresponsive would be a heart attack, which, untreated because he was home alone, could only end one day.

Now since I still had to get one child to school and my ass to work (and because it was our annual chili cook off at work), I got my chili for the next day started as I waited and my kids slept soundly.

(complete side note: As I was tasting chili, at least one of the dozen that were second-rate compared to mine reminded me of his chili.  It was like making love in a canoe.  In other words, fucking close to water.)

My mother called 10 minutes later  to tell my my father had died.  He was 64.

One other bit of info:  This happened with no warning, no sickness, and no expectation that he wasn't going to go for another couple decades.

I don't yet have the definitive cause of death, or even the details (as I've only heard from my mom and sister while they were still at the hospital last night.

I did hit Facebook and Twitter and post on both.  And I also hit Google to start finding pics and info to link to for this post, which I had no energy to write (as I still had things to do.  I really couldn't find pictures or mentions of him anywhere online (which was surprising, because he tended to be a complete media whore).  I finally remembered his business site, which did give me one paltry pic.  Which is kind of one reason I tend to post a lot here: making a mark on the world.

So I'm left to write the first of what is bound to be many tributes to a man who did make a significant mark on the world.  And usually, he'd be the first person I'd ask when I have something important to do.

As for Frank C's mark on the world (If you were wondering why I adopted the moniker of Patrick M on 3x2, my father is why), it was significant.  He was raised in a family that served others, in a house my grandfather built.  He left home at a tender age to shuffle through the shit of Vietnam (where he worked on air bases and drank until the Tet Offensive, where he got shot at).  He came home to pursue a career in wildlife.  When that went nowhere (due to his politics), he ran for county commissioner as a Democrat (yeah, there was a shudder there), losing the race but having leftover combs he was handing out that lasted decades.  I was goign to ask him about running for that said office sometime this year....

He did remain active in wildlife, primarily hunting.  It's what started my lifelong love of the outdoors, despite me tendencies to go all hermit-like with the electronics.  I was looking forward to him helping me start my kids out hunting....

He eventually went to work for his father-in-law, bending sheet metal and doing HVAC work, then took over the business, transforming it into a manufacturing venture, running that until yesterday.  I grew up working around sheet metal and tools.  It was in that shop that we sat for a week when his mother died a decade ago, no phones ringing, no work, and just memories.  I may have to stop there after I get off of work, although it may be too empty now.

In further pursuit of making the world a better place (and feeding his almost-massive-as mine ego (which is where I got my penchant for grandiosity)) he became involved in the local chamber of commerce, helping it make more money and expanding its base; the local tourism bureau (which he helped found; and most notably, lots of work with Rotary International, which led him to plenty of works in the local area, a trip to Haiti to help out the international basket case, a fire truck to a poor community in Montana, and a stream of medical supplies/vehicles to some of the poorer parts of Mexico.

Now the above list is neither definitive, and may have factual inaccuracy, depending on my memory at the moment.  Which, considering the lack of sleep (I had to drift off to TV after 1am and I woke up before my alarm went off at 6:45) is pretty damn good today.

While I have heard it from two people, begun to get condolences, and have seen a stub on the local paper's website informing me he died at 10:59 last night in the emergency room, there's still (thankfully) a part of this that is still not real (being I have to work at least another hour).  It will get a little more real when I try to explain this to my nearly 5-year-old daughter (who still won't really understand, as she's never really seen death).  Not going to worry about my son yet, as he doesn't have the attention span it requires to even listen, much less the interest in those he cannot see (ah, the relative bliss of autism).

And after I have my kids secured and shipped off to their mother for a pre-scheduled visitation, it will get extremely real, as I'll be going to see my mother, as well as at least one sister (because she'll be out at the house).  The other sister is in Illinois, so she may not be home yet today. 

So I'm still in the numb.

Now it's time to go and sort things out.  I'd trail off as I usually do, but this is less of a continuation of my story and more an end of his.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

...redoing the layout on the other blog and other misadventures of weekends alone.

Since we got into the Christmas rush, I really haven't had a weekend off.  Partially, this has been good, as weekends tend to be less productive. 

Take this weekend.  Other than the editing of the 3x2cast and working (the reason I'm home all alone by myself), I haven't got shit done (other than following the attack in Tucson.  Between screen time and old-school RPG'ing (yeah, getting my geek on big time) with hetero life-mate Lars the Pseudo-Kiwi, I didn't even get my usual sit on my ass TV time. 

Although TV time is more streaming-based since I ditched all but the budget cable (mostly shit I could get with an antenna).  And when it gets warm enough I can dick with an antenna, out goes the budget cable. 

To be honest, between the cold and the time I waste, I hardly feel like masturbating more that twice a day (as though I'd let a post go off without some reference to my personal time).

But today, after a marathon of calls where I can't fix the problem (an non-outage outage or two (read as: shitty customer service)), I'll get the younglings, sled them until they freeze, then come home and make extra-meaty chili....

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

...ear infections and a day with pseudo-wood.

I know it's been a month and a half since I posted anything, but that's because I was getting to a point to where every post was a lamentation that I needed to clean (which I still do, of course) then  followed by a masturbatory reference (since I generally have to wait until the kids are asleep or away before wanking).

Not that the political blog hasn't suffered (December sucked ass), but I completely dropped the ball, partially because I was barely posting there, and working on the 3x2cast, and dealing with the usual Christmas shit (which has stories of cookies and presents and all that shit).  And I may, as the cold months continue, share the pics and stories that I remember.

But I want to get this blog steaming again.  So let's reboot the whole damned thing. 

Today's installment deals with ear infections.  My daughter started the whine last night (as she has many times), and the not wanting to sleep, which led to a late-night run to the emergency room to get the prescription to clear it up.  So I crawled out this morning tired to get my son out the door for school.  And it looks like he spend a good portion of the night on the couch because HE has an earache.  In the same damned ear.  And he wasn't wanting to move at all today.  So I called him off school and called the doctor's office (because at least he lets me sleep), and got an appointment which we could have made had he gone to school.

So I was tired already.  And we had something under the tree from the orgy of presents still unopened.  It was his Real Construction building set.

First of all, when I saw this, I thought it was a cool-assed choice for a child who's damned near impossible to buy for.  Essentially, it has a safe "wood" which you can cut, nail, screw, and build things out of.  And because it doesn't create a significant mess and requires little supervision for safety, it would be cool once I showed him some basics.  And he might actually learn something despite the lack of schoolage.

So we whipped that sucker out, printed some instructions from the site, and set to build something.

*commencing the bitching*

First of all, all measurements from the instructions on the site are in millimeters or in decimal inches (as in 2.55" or 65mm).  And the square they include lacks any precision near this.  So does my tape measure, but that's beyond the point.  Not a user-friendly thing for a new user.  Or someone who knows, more or less what he is doing.

Second, the "wood" itself, well, sucks.  It's not bad out of the box, except if you're trying to nail into it, then it's like trying to drive nails into a rolling pile of foam.  I'm sure the screws are easier, but it was a challenge to build the simplest item (a little tool box).  And of course, my daughter is now sawing all the wood while my son rolls on my bed totally uninterested now.

On the plus, in my frustration, I tightened all the bolts and screws on their bunk bed (which stopped the wobbling) and fixed my foldup table that holds the laptop I'm typing on now (as it was also wobbling like a drunk in an earthquake).  So not all was lost.

I think the next project with building that I'll let the kids tackle will wait until it's warm.  Then I'll give them some nails, screws, a hammer and a drill, and let them go ape shit with real wood.  Then I'll teach them how to dress the resulting wounds.  Bonus.

And before you scream about the bloodletting, be glad I'm not letting a 5 and 6-year-old operate a power saw....