What's Tony Thinking

Curmudgeonly Notes No. 12


I’m noticing that, as June 16 fades away, I haven’t turned over the calendar page from the month of May. Better get on it before June slips by as this lovely month is now more than half over. See a previous post for, “Who knows where the time goes?”

In the upper right hand corner of my computer screen there’s an urgent message asking if I want do start “updates” now or tonight? Is “never” an option?

On my email there’s a message from a business with which I did a transaction today. They want to know how “my experience” was? Would I please complete a quick survey? I liked it better when I went someplace, did my business, and called if I had a problem.

Stop sending me “customer satisfaction surveys,” please. Besides, when I have expressed “dis-satisfaction” I have never gotten a response, which suggests to me that these “surveys” are feckless. A good example, though, of how technology while promising to reduce work actually increases it.

Rude awakening category . . . I am going to Pittsburgh next week, against my better judgment, for part of the Association of Theological Schools Annual Meeting that bears on my seminary work. Yesterday it was pointed out to me that my existing flight arrangements would have me showing up as the portion of the meeting I was to participate in, would be ending. A Freudian slip, I’d say. As some of you know, I left pastoral ministry explaining, “I’ve figured it out: I was bad in a previous life and my sentence was endless meetings. After 30 years of pastoral ministry I declare my time served, my sentence remitted.” I don’t mind all meetings. I like the ones I run.

Related . . . heard an interesting new term this week, “shadow job.” Meaning all the stuff that isn’t the real work but comes in tow. I can do my work as an engineer or a minister or doc, it’s all the other stuff, the shadow stuff, the office politics, the toxic people, etc. It’s the “shadow job” that causes people to leave their jobs, to say “f–k it.”

My punishment for my flight schedule SNAFU: a Monday night red-eye to Pittsburgh arriving in time for all day meetings Tuesday. 

Did a beach-walk-guide stint today in my capacity as a volunteer naturalist for the Seattle Parks. Very low tide. One photo of a bunch of eggs on the side of a rock. The work of a fish called a “Midshipman,” who was about 4 to 6 inches long. We took care to keep Mrs. Midshipman’s eggs moist and cool until we returned the rock to its place.

Lots of sea cucumbers (the orange guys), this one with its tentacles extended, partly, foraging for food. These suckers must do a lot of yoga as they are incredibly flexible. Of course, being in invertebrate helps.

About 20′ offshore a river otter was fishing, with far greater success than I usually have when doing the same. That said, I don’t swim around underwater snatching fish in my teeth. Maybe I ought to try that?

Overhead, an osprey glided by, while on the beach a heron stood in balletic posture.

And today’s hearing of the 1/6 team? Line of the day: Trump to Pence. “Mike, I won’t be your friend any more if you don’t do this,” i.e. overturn the election and American democracy. Note to Self: careful, you’re edging close to a delayed episode of “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”

Someone at the gym asked me, “How will it all end?” “The DOJ will indict Trump,” said I. “No, never happen,” said my friend. I think it will. Call me Pollyanna.

Pollyanna the Curmudgeon.


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