Sunday, February 28, 2010

Morning In America

Good Morning Readers,

Back to the challenges of Life In America. Andrew Carnegie (left) was an enormously successful businessman who used the format of compartmentalizing his life to great personal advantage. The practice of slicing the timeline of one's life into manageable sections, sort of like scenes in a play. Was he a happy man? I do not know. The experiences of my upbringing and early adult life did not introduce me to such a regime. Had such a thing occurred then I no doubt would have been someone far different and my life would be nothing like it is now. For better or worse. It is an easy thing to examine the news of the day to realize that wealth of pocket has little to do with one's happiness, or lack thereof.

So, Carnegie failing me, who can hold the high standard of success before my eyes? I can think of no better example than that of Sam Clemens. It has been far too long since I have read his works as Mark Twain.

What brings such thoughts? Because I feel as though there is a balance between cash flow and the experience of the moment now necessary for one to maintain happiness. I am dreadfully out of balance it would seem. Were I only to sustain my life and my life alone I should be as happy as a clam in white sauce, a Bill Gates in satin sheets, a hobo eating from a can in the luxury of ir-responsibility. But this is not the case. The decision one makes to father a family brings both the joy of parenthood and the chains of the daily wage. Again, I ask myself, what brings such thoughts? Can I blame my dismal economic condition solely on the dismal economic state of national/regional affairs that years of ir-responsible financial regulation under the Bush Regime has produced? I wish that were so. Surely Bush and his cronies drove the final nail in the coffin of everyman prosperity that was so effectively crafted by the dominate forces of the Reagan era. I wish that the future opportunities of my children squashed by the complacency and unconscious greed of the many was the reason for my current economic woes. I find that I must share blame for my lack of gold. By virtue (or lack thereof) of poor health, cloudy judgement, personal deception and desire for 'better days', I permitted inaction to shape the moment I now find myself in.

A day of decision. The shifting complexities of this world now require the current of more cash than I ever dreamed of when I first fostered the notion of Family under the dreamy years of Bill Clinton. If only my life had a 'reset' button! I would not change much, but I would freeze today for the next year just so that I could 'catch up' with the 'in your face' demands that now stand before me like massive and intangible Grand Canyons. Only the comfort of passing time give me the strength to consider my options. The trap of 'what ifs' and 'if only I....' provide a convenient excuse most of the time. But not now. Yesterday, by virtue of digital blunder, I was rocketed back in time some 35 years or so to an event that had little impact on my life. An automobile accident and a young friend's blood on my helping hands. Did such a thing change the course of her life?. The photo of her in today's world does not show the demands of raising a brood of needy humans, in fact she looks young, vital and at ease. Of course I could be way off base as I know nothing of her life but it makes me wonder what my photo would look like had I chosen a different course.

One of my readers posed a question via my blog the other day that I am compelled to answer. The topic was roughly relating to my quandary of parenting - where can I give my children the best life? And more importantly, once such a decision is made - when? So much to consider and no easy way out. In a mad fever I wandered out into the compressed life of my neighborhood, seeking an answer by praying to the gods of the PowerBall Lotto. I reasoned, in such a state, that by driving to 9 or 10 different locations and dropping a dollar in each machine I could conquer the odds and find economic salvation. I was not successful though and I eased my torment by checking out the fine cinematic rendition of David McCullough's 'John Adams'. Outstanding film and I would recommend it to anyone who gave a hoot as to the true nature of the founding of our United States. Film is the great equalizer among us all - the experience is common and as rewarding to the rich of pocket as it is to the Trailer dwellers.

And therein lies the answer to my question and my condition. The army of un and underemployed contractors and construction workers now occupying the workplace force my hand as well. I am better self served by entering the Lotto of Screen writing. While the odds of random success are no better than those of 'hoping and playing', I do feel as though I can throw a more tempting worm to the fish of random fates in this way. To this end I am phasing out my dependence on electric saws, drills, mortar and broken fingers for the far less certain but much more rewarding returns of creative written word. If my work stands on its own no doubt I will need the patient understanding of my family, my friends and the financial understanding of my patrons from time to time. I enjoy spending time on my blog. I hope to use it as a format for my story, leaving less to my casual day to day observations (please check out Weng's blog for those matters) and more to the entertainment of you, my readers.



  1. Good luck to you Francis. You write reasonably well but I would suggest you not quite quit your day job yet. But I am hoping you're successful.

  2. Don,

    You are as bad as my wife!


  3. F, I believe I was the one you refer to, when I asked the question if not now when?
    You are not thinking about the easy ways to make money, only the most difficult. Capitalism is not all bad. You have a great place to stay in Mexico and many people would love to do just that. And maybe to leave their flying trikes behind so that they could travel light and often to Aticama. ? Wow a low cost retreat 2 hrs from the airport, on a hilltop. It doesn't get any better than that.
    You have a wonderful wife that is a great cook. You have kids that thrive in Mexico. And you became well as soon as you got there. Did you know that the rentals in Aticama charge nearly 100.00 per night/ think hostel, campers rest stop etc. Get the heck out of Oregon before your feet grow webs. ( Just kidding about that )

    Your friend,

  4. Good Luck Francis,I hope you Can
    Break out of this with your writing,I have to admit I was Glued to your above article.You won't be the first nor the Last.
    There is a long Trail you are following.
    Hey Look at Tom Bodett of motel 6 fame,he is from construction
    He did it and he is not the only one!GOOD LUCK
    From So Cal