Final Chapter

So this is the end, the final chapter. For those who have read this blog over the past few years, I thank you, for those who left comments, I appreciate your candor and for those who just insulted me from afar, well, you were absolutely entitled to your opinions, but now you will have time to put your lack of talents to better use. It’s been fun, it’s been a challenge and now it’s time to move on to other things. While there is pain and suffering all over this planet, while inequalities roam freely from country to country, while battles rage in places where peace seems impossible, I have more to do than sit and pass comment on my computer screen. Who knows, when I return, if that ever happens, maybe there will be a new updated medium that I can communicate through, but unfortunately for now, it’s goodbye. I wish you all a very happy holiday season, a very prosperous 2018 and hope that one day we all find peace and realize we are all just human beings on a planet that’s going nowhere and that my God is the same as your God, so what the heck are we all fighting for anyway?

Namaste, Shalom, and Peace Out.

Cruel Way To Treat Any Animal

I’m taking my dog to the groomers today. She’ll be there about three hours. She hates it, but then again, she hates doing anything where I am not around her. She’s not timid, more set in her ways and as her bestie, she wants to do what I do, when I do it. When I pack a suitcase to leave for a regular trip, she sulks, but when I arrive home, whether it’s after one night or ten nights, she goes crazy with untempered excitement, and will not leave me alone for more than 15 seconds for fear that I might just go away again. She sleeps at the bottom of the bed, until I wake up every morning, where her head can be found resting on my shoulder. She’s manipulated her way to the top of the bed in complete stealth mode, arriving at dawn in the position she craves. Not sure how she manages this because sometimes I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of her snoring, so all credit to her guile and cunning and ability to move like the ninja she can sometimes become. My dog receives treats, great food and lots of petting, every day, deservedly so, and I get incredible enjoyment from her in return. We are both content.

Yesterday, driving home from town in pouring rain, I came across something of nightmare scenario, in my book at least. There, in a wet soaking field, lying still on his belly, a white dog (no idea what breed), guarding his sheep, drenched, sad, and unattended. This scene disturbed me immensely. It shocked me, and frankly made me mad. I know that I live on an island, I realize that I live amongst farmer, I respect that all people treat their animals differently and I also admit that I know nothing about tending sheep or cattle, but come on, what would possess any human being to leave a dog out in the freezing cold rain,(it was 42 degrees), without company, without love and without the constant attention all dogs crave? A working dog, I hear you say? So? Who cares, he’s a friend, a companion, a loved one, I hope. If not, then why put any animal, through this madness? I know that sheep need tending, but here, there are no foxes, no cougars and nothing else that would make a sheep disappear without trace, other than a human thief, and on this island, they are few and far between. We have a bunch of Coyote’s, but again, what would one dog do against 4 of them? No idea really, but it’s something I would like to ask that dog’s owner. I would also question why no shelter is provided for that dog, why, after it turned dark at 5PM last night, the dog was still there, lying soaked and looking forlorn. How can people be this cruel?

I came home yesterday and asked my dog if she realized how spoiled she was, and of course her answer could be found simply in the way she wagged her tail and jumped up on me as if I’d been away for days when in fact it had only been an hour. She has every right to be treated nicely, and so has the dog in that field. I will try to call someone today to see if what they are doing on that farm is classed as animal cruelty. I have my doubts, but I will try anyway. I cannot believe in this day and age that people are so backwards when it comes to animal welfare, or is it that I am just too soft?

Call Me Back, Don’t ignore Me

The one thing that pisses me off more than anything else on this planet right now are people who ignore me. I cannot stand incompetence and worse than incompetence is ignorance. Ignoring emails, telephone calls and letters is just a crime, but it’s a crime that seems to be rife in today’s society. Some of you might say, ‘don’t be foolish, there’s a lot more going on around us that needs our immediate attention than people who just ignore your communications’. I say, “there’s nothing worse than someone who does not respond.’ Perhaps if people responded promptly or indeed courteously, life would be more pleasant, perhaps not? There’s no excuse in this day and age to feign neglect. If I email you, if I call you, if I text you, pick up the damn phone and send me a response back, don’t just ignore me. It’s not just in business either, where the millennial’s hide behind email and never pick up a phone to chat, it’s personal too.

Couple of examples.

I have a very large client, a national company, a global symbol, known as one of the top ten brands on the planet. It’s become ridiculous beyond belief that when going to see someone at their HQ, instead of picking up the phone to cancel or change a meeting, I get one line texts, or emails, ‘sorry, can’t make it’, instead of an apologetic call with an excuse, no matter how fake that excuse might be. That very same organization are synonymous for ignoring repeated requests on email for updates, changes or even just a simple ‘get lost’ in response to a barrage of unanswered questions. Young ‘kids’ out of college, unable to carry on a conversation, and with nothing better to do that hide.

I find myself in a similar situation with friends, although some people would use the term ‘friends’ rather liberally. I leave messages, I stay in touch, I make the effort, and what do I get in return? Nothing. The occasional, ‘I was too busy’ reply, or ‘oh I forgot’ or even, ‘I never got your email’, which in this day and age is highly unlikely. Bullshit! You are all full of crap, and you know exactly who you are. At the end of the day, we are all surrounded by this overload of information, fake or otherwise, but with the devices we have, our instantaneous ability to pick up calls, messages, emails, from any ice-cream shop, airport or toilet, on the planet, for goodness sake, wipe your bum and reply!! We all have busy lives but if we lose our ability to stay in touch because it’s just too easy, what’s the point in staying in touch at all? We might as well all go and live in caves again and talk to no one other than the occasional creep that might decide to walk past us playing games on a device that was invented to talk through.

What Kind Of A World Is this?

When a man in his 60’s can stand on a roof and fire at will with an automatic weapon, killing more than 50 people attending a country rock concert, for no reason at all. When 2 ladies boarding a train in Marseilles are stabbed to death just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, by a maniac with a knife and a belief that suggests an affiliation to a terrorist organization we have all come to find abhorrent. When the President of the worlds most powerful nation has nothing better to do than insult people on Twitter, and has a complete disregard for subtlety and diplomacy. When the leader os a small country, completely insignificant in most people’s mind, decides to detonate an H-bomb, just because he feels like it. When people are paying with their lives, just to cross a body of water and escape persecution caused by color, religion or war. When millions of people are living without food, water and shelter, because of natural disasters and an inability of the wealthier nations to assist in a timely manner. When our lives are seemingly controlled by what the superrich do, how reality TV portrays normality, and our fascination by everything that is meaningless. I have to ask, what kind of world is this and what have we become as a society who cares more for our gadgets, our own self-importance, our dependence on greed,  than we do for those who have so little, are always in harm’s way and will never have anything other than the clothes they wear on their backs?

We are ignorant, we are greedy, we are oblivious, we are in fact disgusting human beings for letting all of this happen. ALL of us, not just some, but ALL! No matter how much you have given,its not enough. No matter how much you care, it’s not enough, and no matter how much you try, it’s NEVER enough. Until you and I, the common people, grab hold of our planet, or society, and wring it by its twisted neck, life, the way it is run at this present moment is doomed. There is not enough goodwill on this planet to resurrect what’s already broken. The question then becomes, will there ever be a fix that makes sense or that can be adopted by everyone who lives on this spinning rock? No one ever died, that we know of, anywhere other than this planet. It’s small, it’s confined, it’s in turmoil, but at the end of the day, it’s going to survive with or without us, and at this point in time, my vote is without!


Completely Bonkers

With my trip already booked and my bags almost packed, that idiot in North Korea has now put the world on the brink. Question is, what is going to happen, and do I go to an area of the planet that might explode into Armageddon, without warning, leaving me stranded, or even worse, stuck in a nuclear vacuum? The trials and tribulations of international travel these days. It’s so disconcerting and sometimes downright scary. One never knows where and when the next conflict will begin and with so many near escapes over the past 40 years, you have to wonder when your luck is going to run out. I have a friend in high places in one of the top governments of the western world. He tells me that action against NK will come, and come soon. We can only hope that it comes swiftly and with minimum loss of life, although any loss of life, in my opinion, is just unacceptable. But now it’s decision time. Do I stay or do I go? The gut says go, the subconscious, stay. All of this reminds me of 1990 when Saddam invaded Kuwait. There I was in the UK, traveling to the USA on business every two weeks, and within days of his invasion, all the flights were suddenly half full. Within two weeks, they were empty. Everyone stopped traveling due to impending threats or terror, which never ever materialized. One flight I made from NY to London on a 747, was just me and 20 crew. Everyone else was upgraded onto Concorde. That flight was one of the best ever, then just 5 days later on an internal flight from London to Scotland, only 3 were on board a plane that held 150. Comfortable to say the least. There’s a huge differential though between Saddam and Kim Jong-un. Saddam was thought to possess chemical weapons, which we now know was untrue, Kim on the other hand seems to have enough ammo to destroy the Korean peninsula and Japan, killing tens of millions. His flagrant disregard for the lives of those in his own country let alone those in surrounding countries, has been astounding. Firing missiles into the air that come close to taking down civilian aircraft and landing on foreign territory, with strong possibility of human and property damage. Who the heck wants to live with this situation? Why isn’t the US and it’s allies taking control and blasting this maniac off the face of our planet. Sanctions? Total nonsense. His population has been starving for years so what difference would sanctions make? None. We need to find a way to make this problem vanish, and vanish before I get on my next flight to HK this week. I would prefer doing business without the threat of death hanging over my head for a week and the obvious action would just be to cancel. But why let him win? I’d love to meet this guy in person. After a swift kick in the balls, let’s see if he’d still be as tough as he makes out to be. North Korea is a place I’ve never been, nor do I intend to go, however, the way things are panning out, North Korea might soon be a place no one can go, for a very long time!


I Did It My Way

Regrets? I’ve had a few, as the Frank Sinatra song says. The question is, have you? Has there been any time in your life where you’ve said, “God, if only I hadn’t done that?”

Some people I know say that to me every day, and some others, rarely, if ever at all. I myself never regret anything I have done for the simple reason, I chose to do it, so why regret it? Makes no sense to say in hindsight, “I wish I hadn’t done that” because it’s already done and you cannot take it back, no matter how hard try, and how much you want to. Fast forward to all those athletes/politicians/celebrities who continually screw up and then decide to come on TV five minutes later announcing to the whole planet that it was ‘a mistake’ and that they are ‘truly sorry’ and it will ‘certainly never happen again’. All of whom are either seeking re election, wanting a larger salary and a new contract or are shooting a movie, have had an affair with a co-star and now want reconciliation with their wife or husband. Standard procedure seems to be, “I checked myself into a clinic for sex addiction” OR, “My words have been misconstrued” OR “Honestly, I never beat her up, she fell and now we are fine” Then when interviewed some time later, and asked, “do you regret doing that?”, mostly ALL without question shy away from the answer and deflect to another subject just praying that the interviewee moves on and never comes back to their disgusting past.

When I emailed a few of my friends recently, I decided to ask about regrets they’d had in their lives and would they be prepared to stand up and discuss them in front of you, my readership. Some of the responses I received are below. Makes for interesting reading. As promised, no names are mentioned.


Friend A, ‘when you’re in your early 20’s you can do yourself a favor by doing exactly the opposite of what your brain tells you to do!”

Friend B ‘my biggest regret in life is every time I check into Facebook and speak to people I haven’t seen for 40 years, knowing I still hate them while pretending to feign interest in their now meaningless lives” OUCH!

Friend C ‘I am sorry to say that I regret every time I have been depressed because life is depressing enough without me adding to it”

Friend D “I regret a relationship I ended when I was 22 and very angry, because when you speak when you’re angry it’ll be the worst speech you ever make”

I’m sure THE DONALD has never had any regrets because he’s the best and most wonderful human that ever lived. He’s tremendous, fantastic and no one ever has done anything better. Do you think he regrets his inadequate vocabulary and his inability to be a good communicator. I was in a taxi from Westchester airport on the east coast, to Manhattan. The driver and I got talking. Turned out his best friend’s nephew was one of Trumps main attorneys in NY. Well, talk about regrets. For more than an hour, the length of the time it took to get into New York, he told me story after story on how Trump just bullies his employees, now proven by everything that’s happened in DC over the past few weeks. His staff at Trump Tower regret every Tweet that Trump has put out since he became Commander-in-Chief and have told him in no uncertain terms to shut the fuck up and get on with running the country. Do you think Trump will regret the way he’s behaved when he’s old and grey and ready to reflect on his legacy? Oh wait, he’s already old, not grey, but old.

Regrets are so easy to hide behind. It’s plain and simple choices that matter, choices you make every day. So just think about what you do before you do it and never regret it, because as I said before, you chose that direction, no one else, just you. I am off to catch a plane now before I regret writing any more crap!


There’s A New Sheriff In Town

A friend of mine received a phone call to work last week. They left a message

“This is King County Sheriff’s Dept, please call us back immediately.”

She did.

“Ma’am you never appeared for jury duty, despite being summoned twice by mail. You are in serious trouble with the judge and have a duty to attend a court hearing today”

Despite protestations that no mail and summons’s had ever been received, the Sheriff was insistent that it could all be resolved at the King County courthouse as long as my friend got in the car immediately, made her way to the courthouse, attended a hearing and paid a small fine, and he suggested the judge would expunge all charges with just a slap on the wrist. Again, protesting that she had work and lived in a remote part of King county, the Sheriff stated clearly that her failure to follow his instructions would lead to arrest and subsequent imprisonment. She had no choice.

Dumping all her current projects, leaving her home and making haste for the city, she asked for a phone number to call on the way there, this, after another conversation where she’d been asked to note her odometer reading in her car and asked to stay in regular contact with the Sheriff in order that the hearing with the judge could be arranged as she neared the courthouse to avoid any unnecessary delays.

Suspicious? Nope, she was convinced this was genuine, the phone number checking out and the facts read back to her regarding her personal life, confirmed several times.

I’m sure you’ve all gathered where this is going now, but read on anyway.

She was then asked to go into one of two supermarkets to buy money vouchers with cash. She did this and read off the serial numbers to the Sheriff, his explanation to her was that this was the system the court used for fines and again, although probably not believable when reading my article, it was more than believable to the lady about to be scammed. Doing as she was asked, she bought the vouchers, called the Sheriff’s dept, read out the numbers and drove on. Of course, when she arrived at the courthouse, she discovered she’d been scammed and she’d lost $2000. The people at the courthouse told her there’d been many like her and that the people responsible had been using this scam for many months.

Feeling completely violated, with no recourse, she asked me to write her story in my blog to warn others not to fall for what seemed like a genuine situation and one that was completely believable at the time it was happening. She panicked, being a good upstanding citizen and fearing jail time, she has never been in any trouble with the law in her entire life. She did what seemed right and what she was asked to do and although she’s by no means a gullible individual, she was completely taken in by this scam and has had several sleepless nights since, wondering if there was indeed anything more she could have done to ‘out’ these criminals. Having now given statements to the police and having now been told she’s not alone as far as this particular scam goes, life is returning to normal, but will not be the same for quite sometime due to her inability to accept her fate.

Look out, do not take calls from strange numbers and if asked to appear before anyone official, or asked to pay money to anyone, no matter how genuine they might seem, ask for it to be put in writing first, on official letterhead with clear instructions and a number to call that checks out on line.

Right, I am off to enjoy my holiday weekend. Stay safe and stay out of trouble.