Laid off…or Vacation?

I got laid off from my construction job last Friday November the 16th. And to be honest….I welcomed it.


It came as no surprise to me. The company I worked for was almost finished with the three year long road widening project here in my neck of the woods. All that remains is a little more paving and touch up work on the concrete structures. When a project gets that close to being finished, layoffs are inevitable. I knew it would be just a matter of time before I got that pink slip, that same pink slip that 35 others dreadfully received last month. Most of those 35 were shocked, angry, and upset.

Not me. I very much welcomed it. But before anyone draws any conclusions about me, let me explain…I’ve had one vacation in the past seven years and only two vacations in the past nine years. I’ve averaged working between 50-65 hours a week during these times and many times I’ve worked 80 hours or more in a week. I very rarely ever call in sick or take a day off. I’ve battled torrential downpours, blizzards, sub-zero temperatures, and record breaking heat.



I’ve sloshed around in mud up to my knees, and snow up to my waist.



pulling drill steel

I’ve wrestled around with 400 pound joints of drill steel for hours upon hours.




I’ve carried dynamite, caps, and boosters up and down cliffs and mountains from sunrise til sunset. I’ve shoveled enough rocks and dirt to build the Empire State Building from the ground up.




I’ve put together so much gas line that I could easily do it while I’m asleep.




I’ve pushed, pulled, and tugged on multi-ton concrete structures until my body can take it no more.


This is what I’ve been doing day in and day out for at least the past nine years. I need a break. My body needs a break. So this layoff, to me, is a very much needed break.

My only problem with the lay off is what will I do with all this free time? I’ve already taken care of a few projects that needed to be done. I fixed my PlayStation 3. Did tune-ups on my computer and my parents computers. Signed up for unemployment benefits. Started on my Christmas shopping (which should be finished in a couple of weeks).

Speaking of Christmas shopping, I did buy myself a little something to help me kill all this free time I have. I bought Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 which came with Adobe Premiere Elements 11 and I also bought a Canon EOS Rebel T3i from Amazon. The Canon is supposed to be here tomorrow. If anyone has any techniques or tips that they wouldn’t mind sharing I would be forever grateful.

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Daily Prompt: IMHO Death in the Name of Greed

Daily Prompt: IMHO

Link to an item in the news you’ve been thinking about lately, and write the op-ed you’d like to see published on the topic.


Curcumin the mighty cancer killer?

I bet you’ve never seen that on MSN or Yahoo. I bet you’ve never heard it on CNN, FOX, or MSNBC either. I read this bold claim about two months ago while researching alternative cancer treatments and now it pops up on Natural News.  This claim is from researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas, America’s number 1 cancer center for six years straight.

Here’s my beef with this…why wasn’t this reported in mainstream media? MD Anderson is a world renown hospital which means it gets plenty of publicity but yet this discovery hasn’t been made known to the majority of Americans. Are they trying to keep this discovery hid?

You do any research on Western cancer treatment and they’ll have you believing that chemotherapy and radiation is the only effective way to treat cancer. But the sad fact is chemotherapy doesn’t cure cancer and radiation may indeed kill cancer cells but it also causes cancer. Matter of fact, patients often die from the effects of chemotherapy and radiation instead of the cancer itself. Right off the top of my head I can count six friends or family members who have had cancer. Out of those six only ONE has went into remission by using the chemotherapy and radiation.

So why hasn’t the curcumin article been reported by mainstream media? Simple..the higher up powers don’t want it reported because of the profit that cancer and many other ailments generate. Cancer, heart disease, diabetes…all these sicknesses and diseases rise dramatically with each passing year. It’s a vicious cycle really. You have all these companies making garbage they call food, this garbage gets us sick, we go to the doctor, get diagnosed with cancer, heart disease, etc., they write out a prescription for some “miracle drug”, that “miracle drug” makes us feel a little better but the side effects cause problems somewhere else down the line, then it’s back to the doctor for another diagnosis. I’m talking profits up in the billions. The higher up people know that if we aren’t sick then they aren’t making money. We the people need to wake up and see the health care industry for what it truly is….an evil profit generating machine…

But that’s my opinion. My rant for the day. It just infuriates me to no end to see and know that I have family and friends who have suffered enormously…in the name of profit and greed. Hippocrates and St. Luke (may they rest in peace) would roll over in their grave if they knew of this.

Posted in Adulthood, Cancer, Daily Prompt, Life, Post a Day, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Daily Prompt: This Is Your Song

This song has no lyrics…just some really intelligent instrumentation. This reminds me of myself…very few words (no lyrics) but many thoughts and ideas (intelligent instrumentation). But the lack of words doesn’t mean lack of meaning. Quite the opposite actually. Songs with no lyrics can be molded into many different meanings. For example, Asik Veysel by Joe Satriani. I hear this song and immediately I want to grab my air guitar and absolutely jam until my head can’t take it anymore. To me, this song is fast, hard, and never misses a beat…very much the way I sometimes feel like tackling life and it’s many difficult obstacles



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Story Challenge: Letter T


With the towering trees looking down on me, I wondered…what would they tell me? What lessons would they teach? What tales of tragedy and triumph do they silently keep?

Posted in Adulthood, Nature, Photography, Post a Day, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Weekly Writing Challenge: In An Instagram

My brother. Not really a wild child by any means but more of the free bird type. One who decided long ago that he was going to do whatever was in his heart and mind regardless of the potential outcome. It was the Summer of 1997. He had to take summer school that Summer because he didn’t do so well during the school year. He came home that evening, and calmly announced. “I’m signing up for the Navy.” I just looked at him and gave a smirk and said, “Yeah right…the military don’t like rebellious teenagers like you.” Mom was clearly upset about his announcement. Dad had a look of concern but agreed with what I said. Myself…I wouldn’t believe it until I could see it. Until I could see him sign the papers and until I could see him leave for boot camp I wouldn’t believe it. I honestly didn’t think he was serious about it. To me he was a teenager who valued freewill and freedom more than anything. And the military just didn’t seem like a fit for him.


The next few weeks flew by. My brother decided to get a jumpstart on boot camp. He would work out more, study military figures and rituals, anything to gain an edge. We would hang out at the mall, go cruising, talk about women, play video games, fight and argue…typical things that brothers do. Mom put together a surprise going away party for him. I was there along with my brother and our favorite cousins and best friends. But I still wasn’t believing that he would leave. Even after he went for his physical and to get processed I just knew he would decide against joining the military. Or maybe I just didn’t want to believe he was leaving. Maybe I had too much pride to admit that I’d miss him. Too much pride to show my love for the kid brother that I had fought and argued with on a continuous basis over the course of 18 years.


So this is it…the day. It was a cold, rainy, late October day. I was up early because I had to be at work at 7AM but would be home around 11 to have lunch and say goodbye to my brother. I still couldn’t believe he was leaving. I arrived home just a few minutes after 11. Mom was sitting on the couch with tears in her eyes. Dad had just got back from visiting my Granny. We managed to get mom composed enough to take a few family pictures before my brother’s recruiter arrived. Before I knew it my lunch break was nearly over. I walked up to my brother and gave him a big firm handshake. I could see the emotions in his eyes. Emotions of sadness, pride….. love. I released the handshake and threw my arms around around his big broad shoulders and said, “I’m proud of you man. We’re all proud of you. Take care of yourself and don’t forget to write when you can.” The tears flowed from my eyes like a water fountain as I held him. My voice quivered as I said, “I’m gonna miss you man..I love you…”


I walked out the door just as the recruiter arrived. I wanted to say something to him but I just couldn’t find the words through my tears. I just looked down and walked to my truck. The rain beat down even harder as the cold wind blew. “Fade to Black” by Metallica was blaring through my speakers. For some reason the song seemed to fit the mood. I kept it on repeat as I drove back to work.


I cried all day that day…actually, bawled would be more like the word. It takes a lot to make me cry. I suppose one reason, maybe the only reason why, is pride. But on this day no amount of pride could hold back the tears and love that I have for my brother. Both of us grew up a lot that day…and along with growing up, both of us young men were changed.

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St. Louis Rams VS San Francisco 49ers (the afterthought)

A tie….I mean, really? A tie?? My San Francisco 49ers, after trailing at one point 14-0 to the St. Louis Rams, fought back with heart and determination to earn a TIE. As you can tell I have never been a fan of contests that end in a tie. There should always be a winner and a loser. I mean how would you address the team? You couldn’t give them a victory speech because they didn’t win. You couldn’t give them a pep talk because they didn’t lose. A tie doesn’t even have a taste. The sweet taste of victory. The bitter taste of defeat. Would that make a tie bittersweet? I think not. A tie is a burning, agonizing outcome. There is no other way to describe it. All it does is asks you the agonizing question of “What if?” And leaves you with the agonizing answer of, “We’ll never know….” No winner. No loser. It’s the same outcome as if the game was never played. Outstanding efforts from both teams though.

I wonder if Mr. Goodell, the NFL commissioner would fix this if he received enough complaints?

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Story Challenge: Letter “S”


Sunrise at 6AM one morning. I was at work dreading the long busy day ahead of me as we loaded up the supplies we needed. I just happened to look up and saw the sunrise…the view took away my dread…even if only for a few minutes.

Posted in Adulthood, Nature, Photography, Post a Day, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments