Dave 50 And Beyond Home Page
or everything you don't need to know about Dave
Short Life Story Update 50 - 60 Update 66 Places I have lived Other Random Info New York, New York Ron's Dave Turns 50 Roast
Short Life Story:
Born 4:30 in the morning of February 20th 1949 in Oceanside NY. I was the 1st grand child of both my mother's and father's parents and of course I was male (this was considered a good thing back then). I was what I now call a "golden child". I was the center of the family's attention, that was until my sister had to come along and spoil things two and a half years later. However, I was still the oldest and still male. Now when you couple my being a 1st tier baby boomer (translation: self absorbed) and being a golden child it's a wonder anyone can stand to be around me for any time at all.
Three things I learned from my parents/family: 1- Self-reliance: as in do things yourself and only ask for help if you are desperate and then only from family or those you trust. 2- "Be the labor great or small, do it well or not at all." (I lean toward the latter choice). This was my Dad's favorite saying. 3- It is my task/responsibility to keep the children in Europe from starving by making sure I eat everything on my plate. If there is an over population problem over there I am partially responsible.
There were 2 world events that were larger than any other event and they were WWII - or the "WAR", and the depression of the 30's - the "Depression". Of course with my grandparents there was also the "Great War", WWI.
I was considered a good and responsible child, the kind other kids' mothers liked. One of the few things I continually got in trouble for was I had to know why all decisions were made. If someone thought something different from me, I needed to know why. If my parents came to a decision on something that effected me and I did not agree I felt they were obligated to explain why. I was generally ok once I knew why. Of course I was less ok about that as a teenager. This is something that still gets me into trouble today with Kris.
So I pretty much had a boring (to the reader), happy, and safe childhood with happily married parents, a stay at home mom, a dad that played with me when he got home, and a sister who was pretty much just in the way. This of course was my child's eye view of the situation. I played sports most of my free time and given the choice I liked to play against others who were just a little bit better than myself. Luckily for me, there always seemed to be an unlimited number of kids who were better than me.
In 1958 my brother joined the family. My mom refers to him as Mr. Perfect. As Coach from Cheers said of his wife beauty - my brother has never been comfortable with his "perfectness". He has since married, and consequently has learned that perfect is indeed not one of his many good traits.
I was entered into high school in the fall of 63 and was released in June of 67. I am sure there was something worth mentioning about my high school years. Maybe someday, I will realize what that is. To paraphrase Grace, those who remember the 60's didn't really experience the 60's. However, I hadn't even discovered drugs at this juncture and besides the 60's she was referring to were just starting in 67, at least for me. If I don't remember anything soon, I'll just make something up and add it later. Hell, if you know me well enough to know about my high school years you don't need to read this anyway.
1967 I went off to college. This wasn't my idea, I wanted a year or two off from school. My father kept telling me it was one of his dreams to send his children to college, something he gave up due to the "WAR". I became involved in the anti-Vietnam war movement due to my affiliation with some civil rights activities I had been involved in. I was a bit late getting into the anti-war thing. It was my father's fault. He was against the war and I was teenager. How could I take a stance that agreed with my father? I learned later that if I coupled being against the war with being against the draft I could still be at odds with good old dad. In 1967/1968 in the Mid-West and just about every where else being against the war was not a popular stance. This became popular at most college campuses in 1968/1969. However, I didn't stick around waiting to be popular. Being a self-absorbed, center-of-attention-trained young person I was not used to having to wait for others to see things my way, so I left school. Since I was prime draft bait, I headed to Toronto Canada, a country close by and somewhat sympathetic to people such as myself (a "pinko commie agitator" in the words of Archie Bunker as well as others).
Uncle Sam came looking for me. After much deliberation with family, friends and even church leaders, the hiding place I chose was the USAF where I became an electronics repairman with an attitude. I repaired navigation equipment on "spy planes". They let me out a year early. I actually achieved the rank of Staff Sargent although I was busted along the way for being AWOL. I also received lots of, shall we say, additional attention for what they called a bad attitude. I didn't think it was attitude as much as I just voiced an opinion that was less than popular and possibly some of my comments could be construed as the smart-ass variety. They seemed to get particularly upset when I would ask "what are you gonna do draft me?" upon their indicating I might be in line for an additional penalty if I didn't shape up.
May of 1972 I was released from active duty and for me it was like getting out of jail or maybe a bad marriage. Well I've had 3 marriages but can't say any of them were bad. Luckily for me my last, Kris has so far decided to keep me. She has somehow turned me into a decent person, well maybe that's a stretch but that's the way I like to think of it. But I digress - I got out of the Air Force a year early by trading some active duty for Air National Guard Duty in Schenectady, New York where I also spend a year at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, New York - aka "Happy Valley" - the school not the town. This is 1972/1973 so you should be able to guess the meaning of the reference
I decided to attend University of Oregon based on advice from friends, the Underground Guide to American colleges, and a visit to rural Oregon (near Medford). Eugene is a great college town. I got to grow my hair long and philosophize about the state of man and the problems with the government. I leaned to give up meat, to backpack, that using a swim suit was no longer necessary, and that maybe "free love" was an oxymoron.
Upon graduation from Oregon I was penniless, so I moved to SF where a good friend of mine lived. I moved in with him and lived on my credit card until I found a job. I spent 10 years in Silicon Valley working for start up companies as a software developer. It was tons of fun if not very stable. I've worked for at least 3 companies that no longer exist, maybe more and have been through 3 layoffs. Two of them I was let go where they virtually eliminated the company, the 3rd my job was likely saved due to EEOC rules and that my salary was below the company average for the position I was in. Seemed kind of cheating to have the EEOC working for me. The intent was to help those who were being discriminated against when people like me were being hired/promoted over them. Just goes to show the problem with following the letter of the law rather than the intent. After all I was the guy born with all the advantages. I had had another job, just after I got out of the Air Force where they tried to remove all those employees of color by laying off all of us and then attempting to hire back just the employee's of no color. I personally took it a an insult, I had worked hard all summer to get a pretty good tan, telling me I was without color was crossing the line, I told them no thanks.
Finally I met Kris. We fell in love, got married, moved to stable Sacramento and got me a cushy government job, or so I thought. I found that I work just as hard, things just don't get there (as in implemented) as fast. Of course I don't do anything as fast as I once did.
While I have reached 50 in fairly good order and have many wonderful memories and friends, maybe you are one of them, I still feel like Im 25, except my body tells me differently. Couldnt have been those drugs, could it?
Hey, now you know more about me than I do. Dave
(back to top)
What Just Happened?:
how i went from why am i here to how did i get here: -
it was like 4 gazillion years ago and i was doing my best to not get caught up in the grind but then one day i'm hangin with this silly valley geek set - it was all weird and stuff, i mean what's a wannabee counter-culture dude from waspville doing in the mother of all high tech suburbs? - but then i spied this xtra cute kinda back to the earth blonde fresh outa Santa Cruz and I says 'hey this is way cosmic, what kina sh*t was i doing this morning anyway" - and so i think what the f#@% 'nd jump on - next thing i know this same blonde chic forces a beer down me and says she's gotta a couch that's callin' my name and hers and when i come down off that trip i am hangin out in suburbia city, blondie's bringin' home the salmon, and the music my parents used to listen to is invading my music collection - i take inventory only to find i'm like stable, with a day-shift g-man job, playing a richman's game on the weekends, drinking rose in the back yard, spying a career in the rearview mirror and my Santa Cruz baby is still with me - like man, wasn't it just a few days ago that eddie and i were wondering what those Beatles were doing with their hair?
Update 50 - 60:
Well 50 was a great year. At that time it seem like I had arrived. The rehearsal wass over. The pressure was off. I was where I was going to be and I did not have to go anywhere else. I could just finally kick back and enjoy the rest of the ride. But then a few years later the other side of that coin showed up (about 54). I began to see that some of the things I do I may not be doing that much longer and now time seemed a bit fleeting. I bought a winter coat a couple of years ago. I had the old one since the middle 70's, almost 30 years ago. I added 30 years to my current age and realized that I might have bought my last coat. That was a very strange feeling. Not necessarily bad as I do not like to shop so it was kind of cool but a sort of wake up and smell the roses knock on the head. So I now have kicked back even more than before. You can ask Kris, this was no small feat as I already was good at kicking back. So looks like I still have potential to grow and I am not talking about my mid-section although I could because it has shown a talent for expanding it's own self. The 50's have been overall quite good. They are making me appreciate work more as I know that I only have a few years left to appreciate it before I start to appreciate retirement. I have converted from beer to wine as my adult beverage of choice although I would not turn down a beer if you are buying me one. We have a pretty well stocked wine cellar, or so it seems to us but of course it's so easy to stock it living here, a short drive to a number of high quality wine regions. I have moved around so much that I have not retained long term friends but recently a couple of old friends just re-established contact which is really nice.
For years I read mostly non-fiction but within the last couple of years I find myself reading more fiction. I used to think fiction was just light reading and other than entertainment, it did not have a lot of value. I have since changed that realizing that even fiction books contain someone's ideas and they are not necessarily constrained what we know or think we know is real. In a sense the author can really get "out of the box" so to speak.
Hey I am still here! I am Retired now - I retired in 2010 - Yes one of those lucky one's who get's out early - Not having any kids was a big help - all my college loans combined would hardly make a dent in the cost of a single semester/term nowadays. We live in a nice old (early 20th century) neighborhood, my house as well as my Mom turned 90 this year. Both my neighbor's houses are over 100. My body is showing a little wear and tear but nothing that keeps me from walking around the park, or playing some golf, or laying out on the deck reading, or listening to music with a glass of wine, or heading down to one of the nearby micro-beer establishments and having a brew or two. And, all those activities can take up quite a bit of time - How in the heck did I find time for a job?... It's a puzzlement! Being retired has been great. Each day has many highlights, just waking up each day is one of them.
I am on the internet, a little anyway. I am on Facebook although I don't really do Facebook. I think my personal best for number of postings/comments/likes in a single day is 2. I somehow have something like 70 friends - I think this is more than the number of friends I have in real (non-internet) life. Of course I have this web-page and I am sure there's a few other things. I got my 1st cell phone a few years back and now even have a "smart" phone. I really wanted a "semi-smart" phone but seems like that's not a option. The phones are either totally smart or dumb. I try not to hang out with my smart phone too much, not fond of being the dumbest thing on my person... On the other hand I've been noticing that the younger people I know tend to look at their phone when they are talking to me. Is their phone more pleasing to the eye than me or just more interesting? Maybe if I had my phone out they might at least look at my phone and I could hold it up next to my head so it might look like they are looking at me. No, I should have my phone talk for me - Goggle, Say something smart and interesting!
A few years ago I was promoted to patriarch. I wasn't exactly campaigning for it. Just sort of happened. Seems to be an easy job as no one really asks me for advice or anything but on the other hand I am often given advice. So I am figuring that neither wisdom nor cell phone expertise is a prerequisite for the position. It also probably helps that I live about 3000 miles from all the rest of the clan.
I still listen to music a lot - I still have about 500 albums, for you younger people I also still have about 800 CDs and for still the younger ones I have over 20K songs on my iTunes. I know Spotify, Pandora and the like are lurking, but I'm not going! Well that's how I feel currently...
Kris retires next year - I'm just hoping she has put away enough money so she can continue to keep me living the lavish lifestyle I've gotten used. I'm looking forward to having her around all the time but hope she can adjust to the level of non-activity I have achieved in the last 6 years. I know that she doesn't have the experience that I have but she has proven herself to be a fast learner in the past so I'm keeping a positive attitude.
Well it's getting time for either a nap or a beer - need to rest up before it's time to get the mail. Like I tell everyone, there's always something to do....
(back to top)
Places I have lived:
|Valley Stream , NY||0-1|
|Huntington Station, NY||7-18|
|Toronto, Canada||19 (Jan 69)|
|Biloxi/Gulf Port, MS||20|
|Marysville/Yuba City, CA||20-22|
|Watervliet (Albany), NY||23-24|
(back to top)
Other Random Info:
Walt Whitman High School: Graduated 1967
Valparaiso University: Dropped out Dec 1968 (just prior to finals)
Hudson Valley Community College: AA 1973
University of Oregon: BS 1978
In spite of all the time I spend in school I was not a good student not overly bright plus for those of you that dont know I am not good at being told what to do and how to do it.
USAF 1969 1972: Honorable discharge, but my CO did not mind losing me.
Air National Guard 1972 1974: - I seemed to be liked here guess the less you see of me, the easier I am to like.
I really like music. If I am not totally engaged in something I would say 90% of the time there is a song running through my head.
In recent years I have found myself listening to more Jazz than Rock N Roll. Why and what does this mean? I don't know.
Drugs: I have adopted the Bill Lee policy I have tested many of them but dont think testing should be mandatory
Favorite Job: Driving a delivery truck for LI Lighting
Favorite Authors: John Barth, Haruki Murakami - Best book: Healing Back Pain by John Sarno
Favorite friend or family member: You but dont tell anyone
Baseball NY Yankee fan until 1980. Started converting to the Oakland As in 1978 and completed conversion in 1980. Favorite moment in baseball Bucky Dent homerun: Most painful: Kirk Gibson HR or Bill Maseroski HR Ive lived with the latter so long I have even grown fond of the memory, but I am still sending requests to Tanya to finish off Kirk's knee. But my all time favorite season was the Oakland A's 2012 season
Me: I liked playing sports, especially baseball and basketball. However not sure my teammates enjoyed my playing as much as I did - they all said Dave's a good guy but never said that sentence with the word player in place of guy...
I like the SF 49's in football but not a huge football fan - I am more of a college fan (U of Oregon alum) - Basketball Sacramento Kings cause it keeps you humble - Hockey, not so much but if I root I will root for the Islanders
(back to top)
New York, New York:
My you can get anything in NYC story:
This is prior to the micro-beer craze hit most the nation. It was just starting in New York City. My brother had lived out in California with me for a number of years. He returned to NY to go back to school. We were both big fans of the Anchor Brewery in San Francisco. They put out a Christmas/Holiday Ale each year (different every year). The year after my brother moves back I return to NY for the Holidays. I wanted to bring back the Anchor Christmas brew and having just moved to Sacramento, I found it difficult to find anyone who was selling it (of course, now you can get it easily). I get a 12pack carry it on the plane and arrive with the 12pack intact. My brother and I decide to go into Manhattan, meet some friends after work, get some dinner and hit a few nightspots. We decided to meet a the new South Port area. Pete, Kris, and I get there a little early so we decided to get a beer. We walk into a bar, and they have 5 or 6 beers on tap. Were thinking ok, good choice and ask the bar tender what beers do they have on tap. Yep, you guessed it, (you did, didnt you?) they have the Anchor Christmas Ale on tap. 1st bar we go in has it! In Sacramento I had trouble just finding it in bottles.
(back to top)
We took a trip to Europe, mostly France in 2001 here was my itinerary My France Itinerary
Military Madness: Things I learned in the military:
· Never, ever volunteer, of course most of the time volunteering was another word for assignment, as in Backus, you are volunteering for.....
· Appearance is more importance that performance - the military has had that style over substance thing going on for years.
· Act dumb. The less you know, the less you have to do and the better you will be liked
· Stealing government property is an admirable pastime. This was not only considered acceptable but is mildly encouraged
· Smoking is good: meaning you get more breaks. It’s also cheap! It’s better to hang out smoking than to stand in formation or continue with the detail. In basic training smoking was not allowed any time for the 1st 3 or 4 weeks. For the last couple of weeks all smokers were provided opportunities to fall-out and take a smoke break at various times during hikes, marching, or work details. It was the old smoke em if you got em in a designated area while the non-smokers (or is that suckers?) stayed in formation. All assigned details came with smoke breaks and only smokers could take them. I had quit smoking before entering the military, but I soon learned that was a mistake and made the appropriate adjustment.
The worst detail may be the easiest. The dirtier the detail the
less thorough the inspection is likely to be. If you are cleaning the latrine,
choose doing the toilets over the sinks. The sinks were inspected closely,
while the toilets were looked at from more of a distance.
Side story: I once had a punishment detail of cleaning the butt cans. Each of the barracks had a cigarette butt can in front of it. I was to clean each of these each night for 2 weeks for a supposedly white glove inspection each morning. These butt cans were red on the outside and dark/black on the inside and didn’t look like something you wanted to touch even when cleaned. I quickly learned that the inspector (Lieutenant) was not about to put his hands into that butt can. So the reality was that they only needed to appear clean. This could be accomplished by merely emptying the cans and spraying them with a hose. The punishment detail that the Lieutenant envisioned I would have to spend the whole evening performing actually took less than 30 minutes and passed inspection each time. Of course I also realized that by waiting to do the cleaning just before the Lieutenant returned to inspect, so the cans would still be wet, helped convince him I actually scrubbed them and it did indeed take a long time.
Share the pain. If given a punishment detail, try to make just as
painful on the giver as it is on you.
Side story 2: I was given an assignment of sweeping a recreation area for 4 hours in the middle of a 100 plus degree afternoon. Each time the person who assigned me the detail walked away I stopped working/sweeping. This forced them to come out and yell at me. They were not only out in the hot sun with me, but they were expending more energy than I was. That 4 hour detail turned into a 1 hour detail.
· Whatever goes wrong with a piece of equipment when asked what is wrong with it the appropriate answer is "It’s fucked up".
· If you have an idea that you hope gets accepted, make sure it’s the idea is of the person in charge. A way to accomplish this is to bring up the idea casually let it be considered, talked about and even trashed without making too much of it yourself. If it looks like it’s an idea that could be accepted bring it back up again later indicating it was the person in charge’s idea, as in Hey, Captain I think your idea about … will work!
(back to top)
Ron's Dave Turns 50 Roast
My brother-in-law Ron roasted me on my 50th - below is a copy of the lies he told about me, ok some of it may be true:
I've just found out from Dave during our stay here this week that I have been Dave's friend longer than anyone else has. And I had to marry his sister to achieve that status. You see, being friends with Dave doesn't come without its price.
Dave has become totally immersed in the West Coast life. He has absorbed the culture and history of California. The history was actually less absorbed than it was crammed down his throat by his well-intentioned father-in-law, Bill. Dave now eats Mexican food, appreciates Spanish architecture, and has even adopted an Indian name, much like Kevin Costner did in Dances with Wolves. Local Native Americans have named Dave "Rah-Rah Chitty-Chitty Kah-Kah", whose formal translation is "He-Loses-With-Underdogs." Locals know him better as "Can't-Win-For-Shit."
More than any time in his life, Dave at 50, now faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness, the other to total extinction. Let us pray that Dave has the wisdom to choose correctly.
It seems that you cannot talk about someone turning 50 without mentioning their livelihood. By the time we reach a half-century, we are fairly well established in our careers. Dave is very fatalistic about his. Dave quotes the noted Zen philosopher, Popeye, who said: "I am what I am. That's all that I am." There are no pretenses with Dave. For most people, our jobs help to define who we are. People ask me, for instance, "What do you do?" I answer, "I'm a teacher."
Somehow, I don't see Dave ever defining himself by his work. Without Kris here to provide a little structure to his life, I could see Dave as a 60's throwback – a kind of anti-establishment, pacifist Easy Rider - where work doesn't necessarily enter into the equation. I still think that Dave has a little "tie - dye" in him.
But work, he must. When Dave was interviewed for his job with the state of California, the line that clinched it for him was when he said: "All I want is the chance to prove that money means absolutely nothing to me." Ah, state government! If it's like local government in New York, it's a place where "No job is so simple that it cannot be done wrong." The place where the civil servant's credo is: "If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried." It's a place, I'm told, where on his first day of work, one colleague cautioned Dave to: "Look out for #1, and don't step in #2 either!" And another said: "If you can't convince them, confuse them." What do you think Bill and I have been doing in classrooms all these years?
I know that Dave's job has something to do with computers. And we all know how important that is. And if Dave has anything to say about this Y2K business, we might all be celebrating in fallout shelters for Dave's 51st birthday. But Dave is living proof that "Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity." A scientist once said: "The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." But Dave is smart because he knows that "90% of being smart is knowing what you're dumb at."
If we look back further in Dave's life, we would have to look at the college years. After all, it spans three decades for, God's sake!
College - you remember the place, guys; where freshman boys were about as well known to coeds as the Unknown Soldier. Dave brags that he held the record in his dorm at Valpariso for the most dates. Romeo, here, had three. To be fair, Dave, you beat me by one.
If we know Dave at all, we know that Dave has high ideals. Dave was a pacifist and a staunch anti-war advocate. Dave became a voracious reader in college. I remember Dave giving me a list of books to read, like Dalton Trumbo's Johnny got his Gun and Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five. Dave spent a good deal of his time pondering the words of Carl Sandburg who asked, "What if they gave a war and nobody came?" One minor thing that Dave forgot to bear in mind was this question: What if I have a class and I don't go? Alas, the three decades!
The sixties were a very confusing time, especially for Dave. Dave began to question everything, even his religious beliefs. One of Dave's favorite bumper stickers read: "Lead me not into temptation. I'll find it myself." Again alas, the three decades.
Dave's father once cautioned him during his radical college days. "Don't be so open-minded, your brains might fall out." Dave's Dad, my father-in-law, was a pragmatist. Home was always a place "where a pat on the back was only a few inches from a kick in the pants."
Home was not only a place where Dave had to survive his dad, but also a place where he had to survive his sister - my wife. In all fairness, being around my wife, while now a joy for me, was not always a joy for Dave. It was often an exasperating experience. Dave's luck competing with Babs, in anything, was always inversely proportional to Babs' amazing good fortune – or "dumb luck", depending on whom you're talking to. From what I've been told, Babs' luck drove Dave insane. Monopoly? Babs was always the one landing on Free Parking, while Dave was busy paying each player $50. Yatzee? Who do you think got all the sixes? Michigan rummy at Gee Gee's? Canasta? Parcheesi? That horse race game you used to play? Forget about it! Miniature golf? Who do you think sank the hole-in-one? Dave? He of perfect grip, and stance, and concentration? Or little sister, who gets up there without hesitation and whacks the ball cross-handed past the windmill, through the clown's mouth and into the hole? (All of this without the least bit of instruction from anyone, God forbid!)
When growing up, Dave had this thing about having his own ice cream that he bought with his own hard-earned money. Since this was his, and only his, and to insure that nobody ate it, Dave would skim the ice cream off the top in a perfectly level plane. He would then mark the inside of the carton with a magic marker. That didn't stop Babs. It only encouraged her to scrape, ever so carefully, a thin layer of ice cream crystals off the top. Even more satisfying to Babs than the taste of the forbidden dessert, was the look on Dave's face as he tried to match his vanilla fudge to it's proper line of demarcation. So, Dave, to mark this reunion with sis, I've brought something you might need during our stay - a new magic marker.
God, fifty years of age - what can be said about it? Philosophers have been pondering the subject of aging for centuries. Said one: "Nothing makes one old so quickly as the ever-present thought that one is growing older." Said another: "Growing old is no more than a bad habit which a busy man has no time to form." I really like this one: "Old age is always 15 years older than I am." Probably the most appropriate one for Dave was this quote about growing older: "The older you get, the stronger the wind gets - and it's always in your face." This was actually said by Jack Nicklaus who must have known how weak Dave was off the tee when he said it!
John Lennon once said, "Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans." Of all the people I've known in my life, Dave has done the best job of living life to the fullest. He's lived most of his 50 years on his own terms. With the possible exception of Frank Sinatra, nobody's done it his way better than Dave has. And he’s been doing that even before Old Blue Eyes began singing about it. I think Dave embodies this next quote as well as anyone I know. "Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a means of traveling." Another saying is: "He who laughs, lasts."
So my friend, I leave you with this thought: "May you live all the days of your life."
(back to top)