Jack Frost is biting hard today.  Our boiler is broke.  I have called eon 3 times.  The first call was 8pm last night.  Three times, three different call reps, each have started our conversation with, “My system is down at the moment.  Can I take your details and arrange to have the planning team call you back.”  I called again at 8am.  The call rep assured me someone would call me before noon.  They didn’t.  I called at 12.45.  The rep I spoke to in the morning was not at his desk.  The new rep tells me her system is down.  She takes my number.  She calls me back in 20 minutes.  She says that the planning team have no capacity to ring me at the moment, which means they cannot make an appointment for me yet for someone to come and fix our boiler.  She reminds me that they are open until 8pm.  Someone should call before then.  Have a nice day.  Meanwhile, we have no heat and no hot water.  At what point do I get to become an irate customer and call back and wreak havoc?

(The photo is of me on a training exercise back in the day.  Note:  I have an AK47 in my hand.  Rawdawg will appreciate that.  Click on the photo to see a larger version.)


Here is a little known fact: by formal education, I am a military historian.  You start life down one path, then end up on another.  I had every intention of being a working military historian.  Things happen.  People change.  Life moves on. But that is another story, for another day.

I was rummaging through my attic looking for an old journal of mine that contained a passage I wanted to quote in an essay.  In the messy process of searching for this journal (I am so glad we now have things like blogs, and macjournal, with search functions) I stumbled across one of my old military history notebooks.  I couldn’t resist having a skim through it.  This passage caught my eye:

9 reasons why governments go to war:

– to reclaim certain rights or defend them
– to protect interests of the state
– to maintain balance of power
– to fulfill treaties and alliances
– to promote political or religious theories
– to acquire territory
– to defend independence of state
– to avenge insulted honor
– for conquest

I suspect a combination of these reasons could work as well.  I am just thinking what category might places like Iraq and Afghanistan fit.  I see Iraq being about protecting the interests of the state and possibly about the balance of power.  That’s just me speculating.  My mind no longer occupies this kind of space anymore.  I have no desire to go deep with this.  I am curious, though, about where other current conflicts might sit.

By the way, I cite in my notebook, Antoine-Henri Jomini as the originator of the 9 reasons governments go to war.

Perhaps some of you arm chair generals and politicians out there might want to have a go at classifying some of the current conflicts.

Does finding your life path mean you then need to put a price tag on it and sell it to other people? That seems to be the trend.  And then these same people get disillusioned when they find that nobody wants to buy their ˜passion.” People in the helping industry (coaching, therapy, alternative medicine, holistic whatever) seem to be most prone to this.  How many times have you heard, ˜I am passionate about helping people?”  I wonder if these folks have stopped to ask the question, ˜do people want to be helped?”  I think the advertising and media machine would have us believe so.  Just take a walk down any magazine aisle and read the headlines.  I personally don’t think people want to be helped.  They like to self-destruct, which is why we are so good at it.

Pursue your passion for the sake of it.  If people want to buy it, that’s fine.  But if you want to sell it, you’ll find you’ll have to become a whole other animal to sell well.

I feel I am coming into my own at last in finding my what and my why.  It is imperative that I keep the will up.  As Mohammad Ali once said, “it’s not the skill of a man, it’s a the will of man that makes the difference.”

i am worn out today.  i had a small breakfast and missed lunch, which is not a good thing when you are running 1000 miles an hour; i need some fuel.  my henry rollins books came in the post today, along with the first issue of my subscription to philosophy now; more reading material.  another turn of the wheel is taking place; i smell big changes on the wind.  i like change, but it is the aftermath i could do without.  in the locker room, a naked old man told me i looked fit.  he was the third naked old man to say that this week; should i be worried?

I’m on a rampage
against the fool
and the sage

independence
is a privilege
of the strong

I long for war
not peace, fuck
peace

can there ever
be peace, Tupac
knew the answer

I thump my chest
bring it on you cave
minotaurs of conscience

rip me limb
from limb
I don’t care

the meek shall
inherit
shit

only the weak
huddle in
corners

stand firm against
the temptations of
the herd

Contrary to the rumors, I am still around.  I’m sitting in Wetherspoon’s having a burger.  I have about 2 1/2 hours to kill before my flight.  The burger is substandard.  It’s like a barely edible hockey puck.  I don’t think I’ll eat here again.