Scions of History

February 4, 2017

Couldn’t really think of a snazzy title, so I just swiped a line from “Ballad of the Comeback Kid” by the New Pornographers.

It can be weird how much we don’t really notice during our childhood.  Like all those things that you learn about years later and make you go, “That makes so much more sense now.”  Generally as I’ve gotten older, there has been a steady reeducation about any number of things that unfolded when I was younger.  A lot of it related to my family’s history with farming.  With the recent foray into solar panels that has begun, I have gotten a few more details I missed.

I recall a conversation with my ex’s parents where they were asking about how my family has farmers on both sides.  I believe the point I made was that “We aren’t really good at it.”  Which partly me giving a bullshit, asshole response and partly truth.

My mother’s parents have a farm that my uncle has since taken over.  Before I was born, my mother worked on farms in various capacities–milking, inspection work, etc.  I’ve touched on some of the events that unfolded there at one point or another, but there have been a number of struggles.

On my father’s side, my dad and one of my uncles on that side had been running a farm–where the solar panels are planned to go–from before I was born to when I was about twelve.  My uncle continued to farm, but at that point my father left and eventually settled into his current job.  My uncle has scaled back the farm considerably, but continues to work it while planning on the solar panels.

Now, here’s what I mean by how “We aren’t really good at” farming.  With my mother’s side, there have been a number of issues related to finances, business and other things.  There were a few events I didn’t find out about until a decade or more after the event.

On my father’s side, it was always relatively small operation.  My father leaving the farm was something at the time I was under the impression that had more to do with him wanting to spend more time with me and my sister.  Which I suppose has some truth to it.  But as I said, the reeducation has enlightened me to a few details that bring the picture into a bit more focus.

My mother has opened up to me about a few details having to do my father leaving the farm and the general dynamic that was going on when I was a child.  The uncle that worked with my dad generally seemed fairly gruff with me and my sister when we were younger.  It kind of made us… not necessarily feeling welcome out in the barn.  At least to me anyway.  As a kid, I was aware of it, but not really capable of comprehending exactly what it meant.  My mother acknowledged that the uncle didn’t really want us on the farm, which I had figured out on some level.  There could be a lot of reasons for it, but suffice to say I was discouraged from doing too much with the farming as a child and that discouragement made me a lot more… wary of farming.  Still does, on some level.

More recently though, I was discussing the solar panels with my mother and she made a comment about something the uncle said recently.  Something about he could have made some changes to the farm after my father left.  The way my mother was talking, I think my father had some frustrations with my uncle’s methodology.  Or that she did.  Nothing I’m really going to ask about, ancient history really.  But it does… raise some questions in my mind.

Point is, the more recent revelations about my family’s farm make me realize how little I really understood about what was unfolding at the age of twelve.  How little we comprehend a lot of events that unfold when we’re kids.  And how those events came to influence me later on.


So many things I wonder about, so little time…

  • Got my first Bro Tank Club order yesterday.  This one is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles themed, with a tagline on the back reading “Will Lift for Pizza.”  I’m really glad I’ve ordered some of these shirts and got that “Mystery Bag”.  Feels like more fun to be working out while wearing the “Maximum Effort” tank top or the “Alpha” unicorn t-shirt.  The down-side to finding out about Flex Comics is that it kinda puts a damper on my plan to do a comic about working out/bodybuilding.  It seems to be a bit pointless when somebody else is already nailing it.  Planning on getting a pic of the new tank and the “Droid Rage” shirt in the coming days.  I do have the Arnold “Come With Me If You Want To Lift” tank top as well, but I’m thinking I’ll save that for a special occasion–not really a huge fan of the Terminator, but two out of three in the Mystery Bag wasn’t bad.
  • Chugging along with a few Order of the Dragon pages.  I’m getting way to easily distracted, but I’m still hopeful.  Giving some thought to revisiting Chlorine and Acid in the near future, maybe restarting with less of defined story to start.  There’s always going to be a story to it, but I would like to get to the point where I’m just having fun with it.  That was a big part of why I lost interest, just not having fun.
  • Getting away from my usual breakfast for a bit, going from a single servings of Greek yogurt and oatmeal to a measured out mix of greek yogurt and granola.  Did the math and I think it is higher on calories, carbs and protein to do it this way.  I was doing a cup of each with a teaspoon of cacao nibs mixed in, but I might drop it down to a half cup of yogurt to make feel like a bit more solid of a meal.
  • Saw something recently about how the triceps make up the majority of your upper arms–never really thought about it, but I guess it is true–so I’ve been focusing on them a bit more.  Liking the progress so far.
  • Thinking a bit about what I said about Independence Day.  I think this country does need a lot of work.  I wonder if we’re making the American Dream come true or just corrupting it and ourselves.  There so many ways we can make this country and the world a better place, but we keep missing those opportunities.  I wonder how many more we can afford to miss?
  • I had included this in my Independence Day post, but later cut it, but I got a bit of an interesting story.  Last week I went shopping for shorts, since all my non-gym pairs are developing holes.  In retrospect, Lenny’s Shoe and Apparel was probably a poor choice, given that they specialize in work/Carhartt clothing.  Anyway, I picked up a couple of shirts and a fleece jacket instead.  On the way home, I realized the fleece jacket was the same type that my ex’s parents got me for Christmas.  During the “Great Passive Aggressive Christmas of 2014”, they had given me a fleece jacket and vest with the name of the farm sewn into the chest.  I remember being pretty overwhelmed by that–a better kind of overwhelmed than what going through at the time.  I remember that just made me feel a lot better about a lot of the shit going on then.  I left those with my ex because it just felt weird keeping something like that.  Looking at the new jacket, I just remembered how much I appreciated and respected her parents.  To be honest, I actually felt worse for the parents than myself when she broke up with me–more because it had already been a rough time with the sister going to Nevada than anything.  It was a good reminder that I actually really did have a lot of admiration and respect for her parents–even if things did bottom out with their daughter.  Just funny what gets the memories going sometimes.

Some odd thoughts for the week, sunburn, politics, a year of being single, unfinished work.

  • It really says something about this country when the two major political parties go out of their way to nominate the two candidates that the majority of the population has a negative opinion of.  I cannot believe I am saying this, but I might end up voting Libertarian this year.  I don’t necessarily agree with Johnson on a few major points–particularly the economy–but at least I can determine where he actually stands.  And he seems less likely to start World War III.  Of course I’m hoping for Sanders to pull off some kind of miracle.
  • I mentioned in the kayak post it will be one year of being single this week.  Figured out the official mark will be Friday.  Maybe I should throw a party or something?  Ha ha, that would be funny.  Pretty cool with it.  I suppose I’d like to get laid a bit more often, but whatever–did all that reading up on the Kamasutra last year, I’m a little saddened to not have taken more advantage of that.  Saw a gym meme about men vs. women and how they handle a break-up.  The joke was that months later the guy will be in the best shape of his life while the girl will be getting fat.  I have put on ten pounds of muscle since then, so… I suppose on my side there is some truth to it.  I’m just trying to enjoy life and wondering how much my gains would have increased if I was getting proper sleep.  I just feel I’ve proven everything I’ve had to prove.*
  • Got a bit sunburned the other day while kayaking.  It’s settled down nice and now I am tanning gloriously.
  • I think reviews at work should be done in the next week or two.  Probably a lot of back and forth about me wanting to go back to pushing cheese.  I can’t help but wonder, would things be better with a union in place?  We do have a good pay rate and benefits without the presence of a union, but I have to wonder if this staffing shortage and the events leading to it would have even happened with a union?  Or if a lot of the malcontents have lasted as long as they did?  You wouldn’t think that about the malcontents, but I think the arbitration of disputes might have a lot more steps without a union and therefore take longer.  Another side would fill in some gaps that create more bureaucracy?  I don’t know.  I think management has made a few missteps–not just on staffing matters, but overall–if only because they don’t really have a real check in place.  Idle speculation mostly.
  • Speaking of work, I had a bit of an interesting conversation there.  An older guy was giving me some wisdom on women and he asked if I knew the origin of the c-word.  It’s a word I rarely use, and if I have it was usually in reference to my coworkers.  He explained it to me as meaning “can’t understand normal thinking.”  Has that same feel as “fornication under consent of the king” to it.  Given the number of people I know that seem to function on their own logic, I can understand that sentiment.  Doesn’t change what a derogatory term it has become though.
  • Might order another Flex Comics tank top or two at some point.  The first one I got was awesome and helped that whole “Under Armour Spokesmodel” thing I had going.  Having comic or nerd related workout gear is really just me.  And brings balance to the force.


*Quick note:  I just wanted to add in some ways I might have taken more responsibility for things that went wrong than I ever should have.  Without passing judgement on anybody else, I can honestly say I tried to make things better.

Got a few thoughts today.  Some better than others.

  • About the same as ever when it comes to comics and writing.  Still grinding away.  Might post some in progress stuff this week, just to prove I’ve been doing something.
  • Pesto Chicken came out fairly well, will make a couple of minor tweaks on the second attempt.  As did the Sweet Potato Fries, even if they were a bit soft.  Sweet Potatoes cook up kinda funky.  Probably will have to use less oil or cook them longer.  Going to spend some time on one of my usual recipes websites to figure out my next experiment.
  • Expanding my music library.  Added more Fall Out Boy, Prince, that last Modest Mouse album I never got around to, some odd tunes I had forgotten to add over the course of recent history.  Mostly I just add whatever I feel the mood for.  Star Wars soundtracks were big for me a few months ago.  Trying to diversify.  Given the way one generation influences another, diversity can be tricky.
  • Still looking around at dogs.  Looking at various types of Shepherds mostly.  There’s an Australian Shepherd that’s caught my attention that’s up for adoption right now.  Thinking about taking a weekend to visit this place for Huskies out in New Hampshire.  A rescue kennel and sled dog education thing.  Looks like it is just off the route I used to take when I went out to Maine, so there a couple of spots along the way I wouldn’t mind popping into.  Could be a fun weekend, although it seems like cleaning a husky could be a pain so I probably won’t go that route.  Ordered a book or two about training dogs off of Amazon.  Mostly to learn and sate some curiosity, always fun to learn more.  Might be wise to wait for a change in my living situation before closing this deal though.  Mom made some crack the other day about Loki wanting “somebody to play with,” hinting at the idea of another cat.  As far as another cat is concerned, right now there’s really only one I would consider.  I do miss the Mustache.  Unfortunately, I don’t foresee any anything with that.  Oh well, Loki seems happy enough right now.
  • The Soul Wars drag on.  In some ways, I’m just hoping to be wrapping up any number of things soon.  The stagnation of process is becoming more and more frustrating.  One of the more annoying things with what’s been going on at work and in my personal life over the last year is how many mixed signals I received all over the place.  People are a lot more convinced you know what you’re doing if you have some conviction and consistency.  If you spend more time trying to convince yourself and everybody else you’re doing the right thing rather than doing the right thing, is it really the right thing?  It can be pretty obvious when people are trying too hard to prove the wrong decision was the right one, but deep down everybody knows it was the wrong one.  Just a thought as I look back on the ruins of the last year.
  • With every episode, I get the feeling this will be the last season of Castle.  Stana Katic announcing that she wasn’t coming back for the potential next season was the latest confirmation of this belief.  When they do make it official, I’ll probably write some kind of fond look back post about it.  Watching Castle was a big part of a relationship and the end of the show will probably bring on some feelings.  The word I’m using to describe this season is “forced.”  I understand trying to keep it going when the ratings were hot as hell and everybody loved it, but eventually the story has to come to a close.
  • I’ve been reflecting on what happened with Curt Schilling last week.  I totally say ESPN did the right thing.  He represents the company and he has crossed lines he should not have multiple times.  If the Red Sox traded him in 2004 after he started campaigning for George W. Bush in a World Series Press Conference, I would not have necessarily complained.  ESPN hired him to talk about baseball, not politics.  However, I would say this on the actual LGBT issues in question: patience.  As much I support advocacy and progress in these issues, we should remember that we are changing our culture and society.  That will take time and there will be struggles and growing pains.  People might need to be eased into new ideas.  Don’t expect everything to happen overnight.  Forcing it a bit can be good, but there is a fine line there.
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