Archive for the Maudlin Missives Category

Who Am I?

Posted in Maudlin Missives with tags on December 25, 2018 by A lo Hawk

Many are saying I’m the best 140 character writer in the world. My fingers are long and beautiful, as, it has been well documented, are various other parts of my body.

The beauty of me is that I’m very rich. I had some beautiful pictures taken in which I had a big smile on my face. I looked like a very nice person, which in theory I am.

I’m intelligent. Some people would say I’m very, very, very intelligent. I think I am actually humble. I think I’m much more humble than you would understand.

I’m good at war. I’ve had a lot of wars of my own. I’m really good at war. I love war in a certain way. But only when I win.

I won with the poorly educated. I love the poorly educated. I am all alone in the White House (poor me).



another day in the life

Posted in Maudlin Missives on October 15, 2009 by A lo Hawk

Woke up for good @ 7. Slept late, no reason. Coffee kick start, same as always.

Return to wire stripping project. Copper wire: valuable at recycling center. Picked up wiring yesterday from a tossed out washing machine. Tedious job- separating wire from insulation, cutting up power cord. Fingers sore, lost some skin off knuckles banging the table when aggressive pull broke free.

Take out marinating chuck roast from refrigerator. Meat was a gift from generous friends in Durango. Put in oven to slow cook.

Walk with wife to library for daily computer time. Check email, blog, new facebook account. Some old friends agree to be new facebook friends. Check job sites. See new ad for paper delivery job. Walk over to Daily Sentinel bldg, fill out short application.

Back home, finally get a hold of woman on the phone I interviewed with last week for McAlister’s Deli minimum wage job. The interview took all of five minutes, I asked most of the questions. Emphasized my years of customer service experience. She complained about the teen-age slackers she wants to replace. On the phone she tells me all their positions are filled but I can apply again in a few weeks.

STUNNED. SHOCKED. Catastrophically Disappointed. You’ve got to be kidding me. Can’t even get a minimum wage restaurant job competing against tweeky teens? Black depression descends like a lead blanket. Five months of job hunting, what to show for it?

Wife tries to be consoling but I’ve hit a ditch, gone off the rails, ship is going down. Strong urge to consume intoxicants, for various reasons that is not possible.

Only one thing left to do to feel productive, give a sense of purpose, accomplishment, freedom => make my rounds and scavenge the city.

Leave the house, spot a partial rainbow curving out of a cloud towards the ground. Find a quarter near a vending machine at the college. A can here, a few more there, they start to add up. Trees are vibrant with yellow and red fall colors. See a dime in the parking lot at Lincoln Park. A dozen beer cans in the trash by the golf course. Discarded liscense plates, any kind of metal. Thankful for the junior high schoolers and their 24 oz Arizona Teas and Rockstar energy drinks. Skateboard park is a reliable score. More copper wiring in an empty lot. Sun is setting, time to head home, arms full of salvageable items.

HOME: Loving wife, lovable cats, hot meal, comfy couch, relaxing intertainment.

No self pity, No need sympathy, No have regrets — Its just another day in the life.


Posted in Dermagraphology, Dulcet Tomes, Enigmatic Corporatic, Hip Histrionics, Insipid Manifestos, Maudlin Missives, Mental Laxatives, Rancid Recollections, Snark File, Trail Tales, Trivial Lists, Zealous Illucidations on October 8, 2009 by A lo Hawk

CDT PTSD — Continental Divide Trail Post Traumatic Stress Diary

Dermagraphology — History of the art that is fit to ink on skin

Dulcet Tomes — The Soft Underbelly

Enigmatic Corporatic — Reworked content from THE CORPORATION at large

Hip Histrionics — Riffs on Pop Culture

Insipid Manifestos — Ode to the Lobe

Maudlin Missives & Mellow Musings

Mental Laxatives — Brain Drano

My Narcissisms — Its all about ME, MY, MINE!

Rancid Recollections — The stories of my life

Snark File — Rated H.T.O.C. (High Tolerance for Offensive Content)

Trail Tales — The Long Strange Trip

Trivial Lists — …and a 1 and a 2 and a 3…

Uncatagorized, Declassified, Substandardized

Zealous Illucidations — Supernatural Ding Dong

Here we go off the Deep End

Posted in Maudlin Missives, Trail Tales on September 1, 2009 by A lo Hawk

There comes a point in any difficult journey where your perceived limits are tested and you question your ability to go on. Runners call it ‘hitting the wall’; climbers call it ‘the crux’.

As you push through, you discover the barrier was merely psychological; your body is much stronger than you realized. When you do this once, it is a fine personal achievement. If you do it repeatedly, day after day, something very unusual happens.

For me this occured while hiking the Appalachian Trail through Massachusetts. The mental and physical fatigue had pegged the scale so long it became irrelevant. The monotony of the trail produced an hypnotic, trance-like state where I no longer felt my legs moving. My personality faded away and my defenses disappeared. All that remained was a soul with flesh and bones in constant forward motion.

In this altered state, I could see myself as raw and unfiltered, but I also saw something else. For me it was like a compass telling me I was headed on the right path. The moment quickly passed but I knew something had changed deep inside my psyche. That day I realized the most incredible part of this journey was not exploring new geographic places; but a quest for discovering new inner landscapes.

Cinematic Intolerance in the late 20th Century

Posted in Maudlin Missives with tags , on August 26, 2009 by A lo Hawk

In 1979 my brother and I wanted to see the new Monty Python movie, “The Life of Brian”. At that time there was controversy over the depiction of Christ in the film. My father, a devoutly religious man, was concerned how this movie would influence his sons so he insisted that he accompany us to the theater.

When we arrived, there were protesters holding signs and picketing the line of people waiting to get tickets. While in line, my father engaged in conversation with some of the protesters. It turned out that none of them had seen the film nor did they know anything of its content.

The Life of Brian turned out to be a humorous satire of early Christians, Jews and Romans with the Pythons playing multiple roles. My father was amused by the film and laughed at several scenes. He did not consider it blasphemous and he felt the protests were unfounded. The experience proved to be a good lesson in self-determination.

The Lockheed Years

Posted in Maudlin Missives on August 22, 2009 by A lo Hawk

Back in the 1980s I completed a BS degree in Electrical Engineering and got a job as a Systems Engineer working for the defense contractor, Lockheed, on their Tomahawk Cruise Missile Program. I spent my days in a labyrinthian sea of cubicles writing weapon system specs and going to tedious meetings run by former military toadies. Typically, I worked for months on some trivial technical paper only to have the government hand down a design change that forced me to start from scratch.

The highlight of my brief engineering career was being sent on a month long boondoggle to the naval shipyard at Long Beach, CA to test the launch program on the USS New Jersey battleship. Being young and single, I used my per diem to go drinking in clubs all night. During the day I was usually AWOL. At some point I got my first tattoo from an old tattoo artist with cataracts (it has since been covered up). Because of my outstanding efforts in the field, Lockheed bestowed on me their ‘Zero Defects Award’ which I proudly display to this day.

The end came when 500 employees had to be laid-off and I had no seniority. Having already made up my mind to go back to school in the fall, I amused myself by taking a job at an ice cream parlor a few blocks from the Lockheed facility. For an entire week, I wore a sandwich board sign and stood near the entrance waving to my former co-workers as they drove by.

To summarize: 10 agonizing semesters of engineering school; 27 worthless months as a cog in the military-industrial complex; one blissful week saying farewell to my old life as I began to look forward to my new one.

The Law of Alohawk

Posted in Maudlin Missives on August 19, 2009 by A lo Hawk

Leave no trace but leave impressions

The origin of a lo hawk

Posted in Maudlin Missives, Trail Tales on August 15, 2009 by A lo Hawk

I have had the tremendous privilege of traversing two of North America’s great long trails — Appalachian (GAME 2008) & Pacific Crest (MEXCAN 2005). For viewers unaware of the thru-hiker culture: most travelers use a trailname during their journey. Although it is customary to use the same trailname for multiple trips; I chose to designate each quest with its own appellation. During PCT ’05, I was known as ‘Mr Roboto’ (for my hiking style, not the STYX song). My AT name came about in a more fateful manner.

New Year’s Eve 2007 was the 20th anniversary of my marriage to wife, Sue. We spent our anniversary on the incredible Hawaiian Islands. On Maui, we hiked down into the crater of Haleakala volcano. At one point I was completely alone, deep in the crater, when a voice spoke to me. The voice instructed me to bring the ‘aloha spirit’ with me on my upcoming appalachian trek and I would have good luck and safe travels. I gave mahalo to the mountain spirit for this wonderful gift.

When I began my AT journey in April ’08, I greeted everyone I met on the trail with a heartfelt ALOHA! On the morning of the third day, I spied a shadow floating low over the treetops in the valley below me. It was at this moment that I realized the trail spirit had given me a new identity: ALOHA–HAWK= A LO HAWK.