Yes Folks – This Is the 500th Bear Feed Post. For nearly six years, I’ve been cranking out these poorly written, slightly sarcastic, and always self-deprecating mashup of meaningless words for all of you to click, look at, and (on rare occasions) read. I gave a history of the Bear Feed in the The 495th Bear Feed Post; so I am not going to dwell on that today. Instead, consider this a ‘Best Of ..” Post.
Over the last month, I took the time to read nearly all 500 posts (because one of us had to). In doing so, I looked for moments – bits of text that caught my eye – all with the intent of sharing those bits as part of a celebration of the whole. Turns out, my ego was strong enough that I had some narrowing down to do. I had pulled from 51 different posts — which while is only 10% of the overall; that’s still an awful lot of things for y’all to read. So I broke it down further – pulled out what to me is what I like and what I want to remember of the last 499 posts. So consider this a wander through the words passed down over post after post.
These are my favorite moments. Whether just linking a post I enjoyed, or giving you the actual text that made it a favorite, it is a favorite of mine. I the end, the Bunny Count for this post is:
- 31 Posts Mentioned (all with links for your curiosity)
- 14 Posts Quoted (random editing applied)
- 6 mentions of the proper name “Auggie the Doggie”
- 1 Post that I consider to be my ‘Favorite Post’ <– it’s at the end, so you better be patient
Now, with no further ado, no intention to edit grammar/spelling, and little respect for spoilers …
LET’S GET STARTED:
Sometimes it is just random nonsense that fits the situation, like the time I visited McCarthy, AK (McCarthy, AK – Something Special); Or times I thought I was being funny, but … kinda wasn’t … like in Touching Uranus: The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, or biological observations in Frickin’ Ray of Sunshine
Stupid long days of good weather.
Stupid Vitamin D that makes me feel happier
(finish this one for me Jeremy)
I realized that I had commented on things that are more mainstream than I thought. Stuff like sports. Like when talking about football in a cross-over reference in There’s No Joy In Mudville, or when I wrote a poem about visiting Fenway Park in Boston in The (Fen)Way to Fight Boredom
I took me out to the ball game, Red Sox at Fenway Park.
I skipped on the peanuts & cracker jack, If they keep serving Goose Island I’ll never come back
It looked, looked looked like a rain out; the Sox didn’t win, that’s a shame
But i had One … Two … Three cups of beer at the old ball game!
Or my Star Wars Experience whether it is being a nerd at JPL in Geek Boy or either time going nuts about the movie whether in A New Hope Awakens Strikes Back or this from the original A New Hope Awakens
You are sitting there … waiting … anticipating. They put up the distributor names, the Lucasfilms thingy, and then black screen with the words:
“Long ago, in a galaxy far far away”
There is silence.
That One Note! That One Big Note! The fanfare that follows is as iconic as icons can be in world in the last 40 years.
(Auggie) showed his gratitude by:
1) Throwing up on my car seat
2) Pooping on my couch
3) Chewing on my watch
4) Fought the leash
5) He nipped my nose hard enough to break the skin
6) He cried and cried when he first went into the (Auggie) dome
7) Ran nonstop around the room for the last two hours
And it … was … awesome!!!!
And, there were a few cases of sarcasm. I mean … I already established that I think I am funny. Usually it was complaining about something like Good Thing It Gets Dark at Night
Here I was thinking I could get through the entire summer where I wouldn’t ever want to complain about the daylight hours, with all that nonsense of getting constant dark; and I thought there wouldn’t be anything to complain about
… well played daylight, well played.
… or the weather Shut Up About the Weather
Now, I get that 99% of you reading this are probably saying “Whoopdie Do, that sounds like a comfortable night out on the town.”
Well, y’all can Whoopdie Do yourself right on off there, because this is hot.
… or a post I did on Boston’s Freedom Trail giving out dos and donts as Cynically Freedom Trailed
Don’t be surprised if someone tries to cross a street when the light says not to. Those people are called “Locals”. They are immune to getting run over, and are deaf to car horns. As a Tourist, your job is to wait until the light turns green, and then open your map and look lost.
But those are the random moments.
Less random was when I became reminiscent. I mean, this blog is nothing but a series of 500 stories on different topics, and what’s a story teller if he isn’t going back to the old days. Whether it was random or on some anniversary, I liked how I caught key times in my life. Occasionally it would be on something historic – like telling my 9/11 story on Eleven Years Ago, It was a Tuesday …, remembering the Battle of Gettysburg in … little note, nor long remember …Sometimes it was drum corps or marching band related like in Colts 50 Years, 20 Years Later, and You Can’t Take That Away From Me, or just the act of reminiscing in that activity as in this moment from Best Day of the Year where I describe running into old Drum Corps friends at a World Championship Quarterfinals.
All of this time sharing the moments with good friends, and old friends. We posted, we texted, we messaged, we hung out, we discussed, we argued, we judged, we complained, we drank beer, we remembered, we shared we reminisced, and we Loved … We LOVED!
I did touch on some of my old work stories, from whenever time I used to work. Like when I was floored to be treated like an expert by a big burly German guy in a hotel for Fiesta Inn, my first day at JPL for Lost In Space, or the time I went to a Nadcap meeting and had dinner with some Cessna colleagues where we had Another Night at Joe’s:
There is one thing true about us, we were definitely … DEFINITELY getting older. To steal from a great movie, Waking Ned Devine: “We grew old together, but there were times when we laughed that we grew younger.”
But we were definitely older.
There were times when little things were actually big things. A few times related to my car, specifically in RAV4 Milestone, more subtle in Chapter Closes With a Whimper. The changes of attitude in those moments come too, like realizing I fully moved into California in A Return “Home” (Quotation Marks Required). Or when I realized how excited I was to move here in SITREP – Day 6 – And … Done
But the last few days, it felt like I was heading somewhere, and the meaning of what I was doing was changing. I wasn’t so focused on just arriving at a point and starting a job. I made two trips like this in the last couple of years and it felt just like that. This time, it was like momentum. Like I couldn’t get to Burbank fast enough, I couldn’t get to California fast enough. I wanted to be here, be ready, and be fired up for the days that came.
This wasn’t nostalgia for what had passed.
This was excitement for what is coming my way.
Like I mentioned yesterday, and probably can’t put any better today … the fact this is ‘Day 6’ seems minor to me right now; because tomorrow is Day 1 … Day 1 of the rest of my life.
Yet many times it was the simple things being simple. Like the smell of rain on a day that reminded me of The Smell of Alaska – A Two Year Retrospective or a simple walk in London’s Hyde Park in the aptly named A Walk in the Park, or a vivid memory from almost 20 years ago to the day from Remembering Ohio Sunrises:
This country was healthy farm land, still flat, and mostly treeless. So as the sun was coming up, with just a hint of orange in the air. A bit of the morning dew turned into a wisps of fog hanging low on the fields. The angle of the road, allowed for the sun to not hit me directly in the eyes, but wasn’t so out of the way I couldn’t soak in the whole of the start of this day. In the twenty years since that drive, no memory remains as strong as that sunrise. I have seen hundreds of sunrises since then, some more grand and more beautiful, but none more important. After a long night of driving, this was the first point that I fully realized that I was nowhere near where I lived. As much as the destination was my goal, the whole desire for this trip was to break free – and that sun rising up that morning told me I had broken free, and the road ahead was all going to be new.
What I really enjoyed was remembering the posts that — in retrospect – gave me a case of ‘the feels’. That’s where I am really giving you my favorite Bear Feed Moments.
First of all, one that began as a post on another media then turned into something bigger. I was visiting a plant in Texas for my work in 2016, walking down a hallway, and passed by one of the office worker’s with a wave. Later that night, that man was killed in an unfortunate accident. I didn’t want pity or condolences, as I wasn’t close enough to him to deserve that what his friends & family deserved. Instead, I turned that moment into something retrospective in Hallways:
I want that image to etch in my mind, because I need that reminder. For everyone who lives a long and happy life, there are some that leave us too quickly. As fearless and driven that we could be, it can be taken from us in the simplest of turns. It’s as easy for us to not think of what it means to be mortal – so we need reminder of the opposite. We need to do the opposite.
Or moment I’d rather not give an explanation to in Rutter’s Magnificat:
For some reason, I thought about a friend I really hadn’t thought much about for years; leading me to dig out old pictures, find some old things to make me remember. Being the technical age, I poked around and learned probably more that I wanted from google and I won’t lie .. It made me shed a couple tears for the days long gone by. Not for something bad; but just one of those stories that reminds you that you are alive. It’s not a story I want to blog about, not all are, but I pulled the pup onto my lap while sitting in the park and I told him the whole thing.
It all comes down to this … my favorite post.
That’s right folks. pay attention.
My Favorite Post!
This post went up on my birthday, November 5, 2014 – and to put it simply was a pretty low point in my life. In the months running up to that date, I had found myself in some pretty rough situations, somewhat based on circumstance, but mostly of my own doing. Simply put, I was pretty wrecked, and if you know me that means I was pretty rough on myself as well.
The post tells the story of what happened the night before. I had just moved to Boston, living in corporate housing downtown, and as such was relegated to take Auggie out for his business in city streets where we could. This evening, as we neared the housing entrance after doing our business, Auggie took a liking to a fellow walking along the street. Auggie started wagging his tail, getting all riled up, and even tried to jump up to get pets from the man. The man, rather than rebuke this, simply stated “Man oh man, what’s it like to be you,” as if my life – in all it’s self inflicted ruin – was something to be in awe of.
This man turned out to be Eddy.
I thought it was just a play on my emotions really. A guy trying to get a few bucks by making me feel guilty. So when I pushed it off he followed it up more directly. He said: “Here you are, a guy who lives here so he does really well for himself. Yet he isn’t afraid to talk to me.”
Eddy turned out to be a self proclaimed ‘former Fire Fighter, but current homeless hungry black man’. It wasn’t odd for a homeless man to talk to you, but while most had intent to ask for help, Eddy just wanted to know what my life was like – as if the dream of my life was all he needed. He asked questions about me, asked about where I lived and what I did. When I acted modest, he pushed back on those efforts, wouldn’t hear it.
He asked who my sweetheart was, who did I have to go home to. I told him all I had was the pup. “Let me guess,” Eddy said, “its because you don’t think you are good enough. It’s because you don’t think that they would talk to you is it? Well do this. Next time you see a pretty girl you think you would like to talk to you go up to her and you say: ‘Eddy said I needed to talk to you’ then you see what happens. Praise Jesus.”
Eddy single handedly pulled back the layers of my life, and poked at the things that I should be thankful for. Not just that, he gave me blunt, direct statements to make changes. Actions that seemed so simple in concept, that they shouldn’t work – but usually did. All the time including him saying “You tell them that “Eddy Said …”. Probably more pointed to two of the most consistent Bear Feeders I have:
As our conversion continued, he got back to what he thought was the heart of what he thought was the source of it all: “What you need to do is to talk to your parents. You say to your mom and dad: ‘Eddy Says Congratulations’. You tell them that.”
I don’t know what happened to Eddy, I never saw him again after that night. I did end up giving him something, but I told myself it was birthday money from my parents … and they probably would want me to spend it on something that makes me feel happy.
So that’s it. That’s my favorite post.
And that’s 500 posts.
To any of you who made it this far, thank you … whether this is the first Bear Feed you read, or the 500th, thanks for letting my meaningless words grace your random computer screen.