Just some thoughts and ideas going around in my head while trying to figure out where I am and where everyone else is going.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The plane! The plane!

Why do people get tattoos? Can anyone actually answer this?

Now I am not talking about the body tattoos that you get when you become a man in Samoa or some other Pacific island where hot running water is a luxury. No, I am talking about the ones people from the so called developed world; get between a trip to the local Cineplex and the 7-11. The tattoos you get when you flash your ID and hope that the tools that are being used won’t give you hepatitis or beriberi. Does anyone really know why it seems that people, more than ever, are covering their bodies with designs, symbols and emblems that haven’t been seen as body art since, oh I don’t know, the Iron Age?

I remember when I was younger; the thought of permanently marking your body was something that was done only by two types of people: 1) drunken sailors in some seedy port that was covered by a dense fog, you know the place, found only in an old Warner Brothers movie and 2) the ones that would ride about the country on Harleys bringing mayhem and violence to small sleepy towns. Now almost everyone has a tattoo or knows someone who does. But almost no one can say why they got it other than they liked the idea of it and so they got it.

back tattoo
So instead of saying that getting a tattoo is a call by people for their ancestral and cultural heritage, maybe it’s just a fashion statement, a fad waiting for the next thing to excite us. But if that’s the case, why do I have one?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Why this Title?

It would seem that a title like "Limited Means" would be dour and self defeating. Indeed, it is not the kind of statement that makes you run, singing and dancing into the middle of the street proclaiming how, "God is in his Heaven and all's right with the world," because we all know that in a world of global warming, uncertain national economies and political instabilities, that is not true. But it also is not a statement telling you of how sad my life has been or will be.

The title is simply just two words telling you that here is where I am and like so many institutions, like so many people doing what I can with what I have. So what am I doing? Well, primarily, I don't know.

I am reminded of my maternal grandmother when she went to Florida to live with my parents who had moved there earlier when they retired, isn't that such a cliche? Well anyway, she was telling me about how she was getting along there, living in a suburb outside of Tampa, and how nothing ever happened there. After her neighbors had left for work in the morning, the streets were empty and everyone else who was left was locked up in the air conditioned homes or they went to the air conditioned malls to spend the day. She had never driven a day in her life and now she was alone, not knowing anyone and unable to get do anything beyond a certain boundary. She told me, "there is nothing left for me to do but die." That was the last she ever spoke about the subject. That was seven years ago and she is still not dead, but I doubt that she has become any happier.

Well I don't want to just wait for death without saying a few things like grandmother, so this will be my effort. There will be no difined direction in which I will go, but will be about me and my goals and aspirations. It will be about the people I have met, friends and others. It will be about where some of us are heading or how some of us will affect the outcomes of those around us.

Of course all of this will done from my own perspective, without the help of other people or institutions. There will be no "think tank" to help me focus my thoughts or head me in the right direction. It will all be done by me. Using my sources of reasoning. Using my experiences. Using my thoughts. Using my limited means.


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