Guilt

For all of Brad’s enthusiasm and collection of photo equipment, he was not a very good photographer. He was not a very good network administrator. He believed in conspiracies. And worst of all he tried to cure his cancer with vitamin B.

I wanted to tell him that he was crazy. Maybe tie him up and force him to get some real medical treatment. Who’s to say which one of us was more in denial? Him in believing that doctors don’t know what they are doing or me believing that there was any hope.

I didn’t know he had cancer when we hired him. I didn’t know he had cancer when his family invested their saving in the failing company. I would have tried to stop him. But that’s Brad, always positive. He came from a family that was positive. Brad’s dad invested the little money he had saved as an electrician into a completely mismanaged start-up. After he signed the check, he came in the office to wire up some equipment. Never seen a guy so happy to be crawling under desk with a screw driver and a flashlight. You’d think he bought the winning lottery ticket.

I know it wasn’t my fault. I didn’t make him any promises. I certainly didn’t suggest that he buy stock in the company. But that doesn’t really lessen the guilt. I was their leader. I didn’t do a very good job protecting them. Lots of people lost money. Some of them can simply write this off. But for some, it was their life savings. The company had spiraled out of control. I had lost any say in what went on from the very beginning. Still, I kept a front.

I really thought I could turn this around. I made some deals and gave up as much as I could to try to fix things. But in the end I lost. I lost my enthusiasm, my best years and nearly my life. But that is nothing compared to what Brad’s family lost. They lost Brad.

So today I thanks these people, and I ask for forgiveness:

Brad, Scott, Jack, Mike, Lorraine, Jenn, Jay, Anthony, TJ, Keith, Estelle, Doreen.

Brad took a fuzzy photo of Elvis

——————————

Brad passed away at 5:12 p.m. Saturday, January 24, 2009. He fought a
long, hard battle with colon cancer for many years. He was 37 years
old.
He was loved so much and will be missed even more.
Sincerely,
Bill and Sherron

Gonna be a tough week

I started driving soon after MOLI.com closed. These photos are taken somewhere in New Mexico. It was one of these forgotten highways whose days have passed since new interstates were built. I didn’t see any cars or gas stations. I was looking for an old spanish missionary I found on google maps. I had a GPS, coordinates, and time. I was lost but also was not lost. I stopped at the proper GPS location but was unsure since there were no road signs. Unsure of where that road lead, but undaunted, I got back in the car and took the turn.

The road continued a while until I reached my destination. The bewildered park ranger asked me how I found the place. Someone else had come here before me, took a photo and left a marker on google maps.

Salinas Pueblo National Monument. I don’t think you can be any more middle-of-New-Mexico than this.

Straight into nothing
A turnoff to nowhere
why are you here?

Whats the difference?

One of my favorite jokes:

A Jew and a Chinese meet each other at a street corner when all of the sudden the Jew punches the Chinese.

“Why did you hit me” The Chinese screamed.

The Jew replied, “That’s for Pearl Harbor”

“But it was the Japanese who bombed Pearl Harbor!” complained the Chinese

“Chinese, Japanese, what’s the difference?” Said the Jew.

The next day, they meet at the street corner again. This time the Chinese punches the Jew.

“Why did you hit me?!” Exclaimed the Jew

“That’s for the Titanic!” Said the Chinese.

“But the Titanic was sank by an iceberg” the Jew cried.

The Chinese calmly replied, “Iceberg, Goldberg, whats the difference?”

Tonight my dad told the same joke to my aunt and uncle. It was largely the same except the punchline. In dad’s version

“Iceberg, Goldberg, they’re the same”

No dad, they are not.

Today I thank: Tammy, David, Cindy, Mario Batali, Dad

Mario Batali and Cindy

Thanks Caron

Sometimes people surprise you. I was surprised by Caron many years ago. I met her some time in the mid 90’s. Not really sure which year. She was a friend of Jenn, and like many of Jenn’s friends, Caron is tall and striking. I didn’t have a whole lot to talk about with Caron but that’s because I prejudged her.

One day I went to her apartment with Jenn. I can’t remember what year that was either but at the time she lived on Avenue A near 14th Street. I remember browsing through her book collection and thinking to myself that I would like to have that collection. Those are wonderful books. Many I have read, and more I would like to read. When I saw her book collection, I opened up and spoke to her. You just can’t judge a book by its cover.

Being able to converse with someone is a rare and exceptional gift. There is an ocean of difference between talking and conversing. And I found that I was able to converse with Caron because there is a free exchange of ideas. I like that Caron is sensitive to statements that she makes. Several times today she said “Tell me if you disagree with this”, and “Tell me if this is inaccurate about you”. I will try to learn from her and not lead with my belief, but with sensitivity.

Then years later, Caron surprised me again. I went to her art exhibit with Chris. I remember saying to myself “I’ll go and be nice. Then I’ll try to get out of there as fast as I can.” Once again, I prejudged her. When I got to the exhibit, I was amazed by her talent. I’m not versed in art, but that doesn’t matter. Something about the way she paints mesmerized me. She agreed to sell me a piece, at a rock bottom price, I cannot wait. I will treasure it.

It was nice to reconnect with Caron today. And her baby is probably going to play profession football one day. The six-month-old did an unassisted pull-up infront of me. We sat in the park and Caron gave me some good advice that I will try.

Today I thank: Caron, LB, Bomee, Jack, Joyce

1000 sit ups

I did 1000 sit ups in the gym today

First Set: 2 x ( 40 x 3) + ( 3 x ( 20 x 3 )) = 420

rest: 1 minute

Second Set: 2 x ( 40 x 3) + ( 3 x ( 20 x 3 )) = 420

rest: 1 minute

Third Set: ( 40 x 3 ) + 40 = 160

Total = 1000

Phew, that was tough but fun. Took a few months of training. If I can do this, you can do this!

Move over "The Situation" make room for "The Circumstance"