…whom I choose to call Dad. I’m lucky – I got to have two fathers. My second one showed me how to be honest, gentle, gently pursuasive, non-confrontational, silent before speaking.
I’m writing this post via Livejournal because I don’t think it belongs on my geeky blog. Its too personal.
Anyway. Dad died on Tuesday. I was driving up to be with the family. I could have left home sooner.. I could have left Monday night.. I could have left Monday morning … but at the time, he seemed very stable, there was no rush. But, as I drove, I got the call that his numbers had tanked, and then I got the call that they were waiting for two more people to arrive.. and then I got the call that he was gone.
I cried during the drive. I was also very numb during the drive. It was like.. i could see my body doing the driving, but I couldn’t feel it. Nothing was real. I told the lady about it at McDonalds as I picked up lunch. She smiled and took the next person’s order.
Some detail on him. He got cancer several years back .. 2005? Chemo worked, but left his heart running at 10%. The numbers are all wrong, but focus on the intent. He got accepted into an experimental? program, got an LVAD – a heart pump. That kept him going for a strong 5 years – which he put to good use.
He got to spend time with his grandchildren, who all got to know him.
He taught some of his grandchildren how to play Bridge.
He became a Daddy to his son’s wife – she who left her whole family behind in India, who needed family here.
He wrote incessantly – a Family history, about LVAD’s, about Bridge.
He became the primary article writer for a political organization (North American Punjab Association?)
Then, all of a sudden – things didn’t work. Turned out, a clog had formed (lots of clogs forming these days in LVAD’s) – which lead to things getting weaker. They tried to supplement, get things strong enough to inject some clog removing stuff – but things didn’t get stronger, and they realized they couldn’t keep him. So, they let him go .. turned off the machinery that gave him some extra years. He passed almost immediately.
I’m here at my mother’s right now. She’s doing .. better. Lots of phone calls, lots of people to talk to.
I got to go through all of Dad’s writing – on the computer – organize it, preserve it, make copies for all the kids (5 total). It took me a full day, one document at a time. 100+ megs of word documents, mostly text.
Amongst that, I found example after example of him writing on behalf of other people.. using his political ties to helpful ends. One political asylum here; one land grant case there; vouching for people. Good man.
He had also asked me to help him, once. He had written a family history – he wanted to make it look better. He had pictures that needed to be inserted, and .. it needed some maps and satellite photographs and various things to finish it. I never did get around to helping him with that, while he was alive.
That’s what I’ll be doing tomorrow. I don’t know that I know enough about the content to figure out which chapters which photographs go with .. but I do know something about page layout and prettiness. I’ll be trying out blurbook.com for the initial layout, see how that works.. if the family approves it, I’ll continue it; and ask for help in figuring out what additional content (pictures, which he had already scanned) to add to which chapters (several of which have phrases like “insert picture of statue here”). Its not a one day task, but I hope to do enough tomorrow to determine if I should continue with it or not.
There’s a service at the local temple here on Sunday, but mainly, there’s going to be a memorial service in March for him in Columbus. (He donated his body to science, so no visitation or funeral).
Good man. I’m going to miss him. And his stories.
God, I hope I can capture some of his stories. “Sunny Beta.. did I ever tell you about when I met Gandhi?” Perfectly paced storytelling.
I think I have audio of him teaching me how to make Chai. I’ll post that at some point.
9:32am at a La Quinta Inn in Germantown, just outside of Memphis TN.
I’m sitting on the floor next to the window, whose blinds are mostly pulled down.. the teenager has half an hour more he can sleep.. but I can see the sun peeking through the bottom of the blinds, and I feel warm.
The inspiration of this post was the feeling of ZOMG! There’s NOTHING I need to do! … for the first time in, well, what the heck have I been doing?
So I have 20 more minutes of relative down time now.. and then some soccer to watch.. and then sit back and do nothing (?!) .. and then more soccer.. and then nothing (or maybe the parents will decide to conglomerate for dinner and I’ll have a margarita, but Donna Hulsman is not in this group, so I don’t think there will be any peer pressure)… and some more nothing tomorrow, and some soccer, and a drive.
Perfect. Electronics off / time to sit in the sun / peeking under the blinds / playing on the floor / it knows more.
Watching the coverage after the wining declaration, before the speeches. Those on Facebook would have seen my flip-flopping – actually, I had started out on the Democrat side, but because I married into a Republican family, and I really like some of the ideas of limited government, I forced myself to investigate, soak up, digest, get sick, and puke, on information.
Here’s the perspective I ended up with.
|The Worst He Could Be||The Best He Could Be||What I felt He Was|
|Romney||(blogs) Ruthless; detached; people are pawns unless you’re in his inner circle; a faithful follower of whichever group he was representing, no beliefs of his own||“The Real Romney” -- Loving, compassionate, honestly cares about people, very smart, can get the economy going.||A representative of powers that would love to rip the country apart even more, because they will get rich as a result.|
|Obama||“Amateur” => delusions of Grandeur; overwhelmed; enjoying being rich for once; controlled by his wife; will do anything to look good||“Showdown” – very smart, holding his cards close, influencing the right people, make the right deal to get the most that can be gotten in a hostile climate||Trying to do the right thing; fairness and equality for all; least budget spent since FDR? Representing my opinion that tax cuts for the rich does not improve the economy. #zombie idea|
So, I voted, and my state went to Romney anyway; but that’s okay. If Romney had won, I would have hoped he was closer to column #2, than to column #1.
Probably the biggest turn-off I had about Romney was in reading what I *thought* was a pro-Romney book. (Maybe it wasn’t?) When it got to the kind of work he did at Bain Capital – it became pretty obvious to me – he doesn’t know how to build businesses. He knows how to exploit the weak ones via control and extract profit from them. Maybe the democrats did a spin job on me… maybe not.
If I were to go conspiracy theory, I would propose that the same folks Bush are the same folks behind Romney .. and that the war in Iraq was planned, not a result of 9/11. I might even go down the #truther road, but therein lies some madness.. but yeah, I think there are folks out there who are ruthless enough that they would do something like that. And I do not want them in positions of power. (Note: if these folks do exist, and Obama is their enemy, then either some scandal will occur like it did for Clinton, or something more like JFK will happen.) #IHopeImWrong
But, conspiracy theories are bad for me. My mind gets stuck in them.. a cycle of neurological triggers, there was an xkcd comic on it.
How the heck do I reconcile “Appropriate Government” with Obama? What do I think is the right role of government?
|Fed Govt Yes||I don’t know||Fed Govt No|
|Infrastructure – roads, train lines, phone networks, etc||When there is not an economic incentive for a single company to build, then yes. Example: interstates|
|Education||There probably is a better role.||Don’t lay down testing standards – and $ based on testing. #NoChildLeftBehindFail|
|Healthcare||Very basic health care available with bad service. #cheap #lines #waiting||Compare other countries to us – why we so costly?||Still want private healthcare available|
|Food stamps||Probably has to be federal because places hit hard don’t have the funds?||I haven’t been on them.||Less than current budget, I would hope?|
|Military||Hell Yes. #smarter|
|Hell Yes, Promote (via states?)|
|Gun Control||There is some level at which building a personal army should be discouraged|
|Illegal substances||Legalize, or give to states to legalize||Waste of $ to try to fight; use economics instead, like alcohol.|
|Church||Spiritual acceptable||Religious No|
|Energy||Yes.||Energy Sources causes wars. #care|
I haven’t spent a lot of time on this list, but that’s my feel so far. Maybe it is better represented as “too much”, and “too little” .. I’ll try that sometime.
And now my brain is blank, and I can sleep.
In this year, I’ve switched my main blogging place to geekygulati.wordpress.com, as I’ve wanted to focus on my more technical side as well as build up a history of “here is who I am (hire me)” for the future. But when it comes to my philosophical posts.. I have so much history here on LiveJournal, I may as well continue that vein of thoughts here.
Biggest changes I’ve noticed this year:
What can I change about this year? (this is effectively my “New Year’s Eve”)
Big Changes coming this year
That’s about it. Thank you all you beautiful people for your love of me and mine…
I started this post while in Evansville for Q's soccer stuff.. and then, the whole family fell sick. As I write this, I've just had my first big meal since the illness, and wow, I'm bloated. Maybe not the best time to think about this... but hey, why not. Maybe I'll be realistic rather than optimistic.
|BEST||Be Vewwy Caweful||NOT GOOD that i like|
|Breakfast In||Yogurt Plain and Fiber1
Green Monster Homemade Juice
|Yogurt with Fruit Dipping Sauces
Cereal (Cheerios) and Milk
Chocolate Fudge Poptarts
Fruit Juices in quantity
Bananas in quantity
|Breakfast Out||Panera Apple||Panera Chocolate Chip Bagel with Plain Cream Cheese||IHOP/ CB Pancakes!|
|Lunch In||Yogurt and Fiber1
Veggies and Cheese (String, Square, etc)
|Frozen Microwave Meals
Making Sandwiches (bread is my enemy)
|Lunch Out|| Jason's Deli (Salad bar)
QDo'ba (naked, lite rice)
Smashburger Veggie burger no bun, no fries
|General TSO's from Yangkee Noodle? (don't eat the rice!)
Jimmy Johns (careful on bread portions)
Subway 6" (bread portions)
Pita Pit Falafel Wrap
|General Tso's from LingLing|
Beef Fried Rice (PFC)
|Dinner In||Home Made Stir Fry (control the rice)
Beef Crockpot Homemade
Chicken Crockpot Homemade
|Home Made Fried Rice (control the rice)
Spagetti Portion Controlled
anything, Mashed Potatoes on the side
Spagetti All Out and Breadsticks
| Dinner Out
(too many to list)
|Salad Salad Salad
Fajitas (ignore the tortillas and rice)
|Pasta based things|
Rice based things
Diet Sprite, Pepsi
Minute Maid Lite Lemonade
|There is no middle ground.||Coke|
|Snackeroos||Peanuts, Cashews, Nuts||Popcorn (Quantity!)||Chocolate Chip Cookies|
Ice Cream Sundae
|Monitor blood sugars after meals
Monitor morning blood pressure
Log all food intake (FatSecret Calorie Counter)
Go Vegetarian and Low Carb again
Exercise ALL THE TIME
|Monitor morning (fasting) sugars
Some kind of exercising
|Eating just before bed|