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The Dave Sandwich Beta, Volume 1

Dave Sandwich, Volume 1 – Rescuing Each Other

Jasper (wakes): ‘Whu? sammich? ‘ (lifts and turns head. sigh. best big beggar eyes. Dave’s over at the desk. rolls back over.)
Dave: ‘Hey there sixteeeeeeen. heard you, waddya want? Jazzie … who’s the kid? … Who’s the bud? … Who’s the Jass? … how about a biiiiisssss … (reaches into pocket) … Bisky?’ (nice 20ft biscuit toss to living room … lands within reach)

And so on…..and so on. Life is satisfactory lately in the house of D & J. Let me tell you. We have our health, and we have each other. And … we are busy! We are currently engaged in some interesting thought experiments, which I plan to share with you here. (by way of explanation of the above: for no reason I can remember, I have always used ‘sixteen’ as a word to bridge the inherent divide between me and my numerous canine pals. It seems to get in; it seems to make them relax and smile. It’s versatile, endlessly expandable, easy to remember (increasingly handy around these parts), and all the dogs I’ve ever had have just seemed to like it when I say it.  Especially when they turn sixteeeeeeen! You should see their eyes light up!)

At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

D & J’s moderately exciting announcement: We’ve are tentatively steering this creaky, mutt infested ship from Alpha (embryonic stage of assumed ITF*) into BETA. Because we’re just brave guys, and we feel like it. We’ve been working hard, and some tentative confidence is building. However: We ask that as you explore, please be patient, be gentle, be curious, and please be especially forgiving of: typos, accidental pees, sudden drop-offs, bad smells, probably from rolling in something, and also the frequent ‘just not funny. Not. What were you thinking you Dave?’ category. Sorry about that last one. I’ve always hated that too. The certain, fatal sound of dud.

Around here – you’ll usually know it right away when it’s funny: it’s like the perfect ping of a 20-oz Estwing framing hammer making contact with the head of a 20p spike (yum), and … like …  a piece of firewood thumping against the side of a pig. I can hear that hit the floor in your house from here, like some camel’s turd as she was just passing through. If I was there with you right now,  I’d do you a big favor: I’d pick it up and throw it out the window onto your neighbor’s geraniums. (That guy who said he hated my blog. ha ha*wink. high five i know, i’m such a jerk sometimes). If I had a whip, I’d hand it to you myself, and you could whip Jasper with it right now instead of me, lol. Hey Jass, you there? 

Anyway, back to the funnier stuff…

Jasper: (lifts head, turns) ‘where are you going with this?.’
Dave: ‘go back to sleep. I have to finish this. How bout that crate again? Crate?.’
Jasper: (lowers head and disappears into the night)

Final, I swear, note: the following annoyances and minor issues have been duly noted: blabbering, useless sidetracking, misdirection, sudden forgetting of topic, sudden and absurd changes of topic; stupidness, stupidness again and again, really bad jokes, ridiculous reaches for even worse jokes, complete lack of faith, utter irreverence, and overall laziness. Also complete absence of verbal restraint (on the part of the man). Also, we know, we know – just way way too many words. Way too many.

Trust me (my job description here does after all include typist, web guy, head vacuumist, head chef, vehicles guy, tech guy, weapons guy (cool swiss army), and, finally: to be the ‘real’ door answerer (after door alert guy has finished decimating most recent visitor and retreated),: we are always busy throwing bad words away as fast as we’re making ’em up. I can tell you that with certainty. I’m the one actually at the controls, after all. I’m right here at the keyboard (pic below, exciting! btw I am pointing my finger right at YOU. And I know what you did, lol. Or I’m gonna find out). 

Anyway, again words are all over the floor around here like post-it notes, and still, look at how many are left on this darn page. I need scissors or something. Anybody out the in cyberspace seen a robotic digital scissorhead shity-idea-eating monster with decent taste that I could rent? Call us.

Anyway, look at this word mess. Over there, ny first blog idea for Dave Sandwich. It’s now framed:

Dave, the amateur blogger first try: ‘It was a really great day this morning for Jasper and me. the sun really shined bright today, yay! Gunna go tweet this now, can’t wait lol 🙂 I did screw up the amazing video we were going to post of Jass taking a high speed dump onto a squirrels frozen carcass in the snow. We just posted a cute pic instead. But I still got over59 likes.

And all over the floor, random frags: ‘ What a virulent, loud, nuclear encrusted turdshlocker that guy is’.

But … I think we’re safe as long as jasper is around, munching up these tossed out, silly bits of rejected WordStorm. Unlike me, he has great self-control and an even more voracious appetite . (During what’s now known as the ‘corncob-rattling-around-in-a-tin-can’ episode we had a year ago that lasted a mysterious, undiagnosed, poop-less week, Chris, my most loving veterinarian, where all the ladies just love Jassie, called his appetite ‘Committed, robust, and highly imaginative’. (Maybe he should be the writer and I should be the vet). My reaction was: that’s my boy, just like his Dad! I mean, he. just. loves. to. eat.

My best buddy has a particular fondness for stuff that’s being thrown out: wasted words; wasted emotions; he has a particularly eager nose for old rotten stuff like excessive self-indulgence, greed, ignorance, especially when any of those are stuck in a Dave Sandwich with power, money, fear, suspicion, or violent intent, and set on a sunny windowsill in a Ziploc bag for 2 days. Stinky. You think leftover haddock in the microwave at work is bad.

But Jasper? He can eat that crap for days. Chomp chomp chomp. But I just can’t anymore. Can’t live on BS. As far as I’m concerned, that’s like, I don’t know: A candy cane PB & J with extra anchovies on 2 slices of a overripe tomato and toasted. With mayo. And tasty morsels of melted Charleston Chew. Just, way wrong. Way. And I’m simply too old and tired for that.

When Jasper is done eating anything that is wasted, there is nothing left, and the world is shiny again. He seems to fix everything. Hell, he fixed me. Maybe he can still fix this blog by continually sniffing and eating any words in the blog that start to smell. Just assume he’s kind of doing that all the time in the background. Sniff, sniff. Munch, munch … our hairy little editor. We are all counting on him. Because I can get on a ridiculous roll sometimes. If I go too far on an idea, and freak you out? Jasper is your safety valve. Click on hies picture, pet those ears in your mind, and all will be alright again.

Thanks in advance to animal lovers everywhere, and in particular,  the loving folks at Mary’s Dogs who rescued little then Sterling, his sister, and his Mom, and brought him to me at a time in my life when I needed him the most. How did they know? I named him Jasper Johns Cale after Jasper Johns and J.J. Cale, two American artists who I greatly admire. And their names make good dog names too. Sometimes I call him JJ. Not often anymore.

I’ve already thanked the fabulous veterinarians who looks after my boy, but there’s that link again. Also, Jasper wants to give a big shout out to our dear friend Tracy at Camp Bickford, and her crew of lovables. (That’s where Jassie goes to stay when I’ve gone anywhere for more than a day.) Don’t take this the wrong way, Trace, as I’ve never told you this – but I’ve always thought he was a little too hesitant about jumping in the truck when I come to pick him up. What exactly have you been telling him about me? Not those crazy old work stories? Don’t turn him against me, please!

So, from our house to your house, as this beautiful, sniffable, snuggle-able, hike-able day breaks, before we go outsise, JJ and I would like to offer – this one really is personal – A big, special, slobbering, butt-scratching, suddenly-pooping, bone-dancing, biscuit-chasing shout out and a heartfelt thank you – to dog lovers everywhere. To all my Facebook friends who finally showed me the light. I get it – my politics and ideas are just random, avoidable noise, without the love of this beautiful creature. All any of them want to see, and I mean all – is pictures of that my wonderful, handsome dog’s face. We all need a cute dog in our life, so I’ll be happy to share my life with mine with you. He will be here, laying on the blanket, decimating his favorite chew toy, 24/7. Are you okay with that? If I also have a need to tell my stories, I’ll try to do that in between the cracks, and keep out of sight. And we’ll try to keep the swearing to a minimum. At least I will. I don’t speak for the boy, he’s got his own ideas.

I think dogs are some of the best beings on earth.  They make people better people. How could they not? How can you be in a bad mood when your caught in the sudden, shiny goodness of a wagging, quivering, squealing beam of dog love? You simply can’t. When you get out of bed in the morning, and your buddy comes to your bedside wagging – as he always, always does, without fail – you will now in that moment how your day is going to go. You will just know, because you cannot hide from a dog. He will know. He will smell you out.

People who love their dogs are the best. Jasper, actually, is really the best of them all. In a very real, factuaI, non-fakenewsie sense – and I mean this from the bottom of my heart – I saved Jasper’s life, and then he saved his Dad’s life, and we’ve agreed to owe each other on that forever, and call it even. I can no longer imagine life without him.  I never want to again. That’s why I keep the snowshoes by the door, kilos of biscuits in the cupboard, giant bags of kibble in the pantry, bundles of bones on the in the basket by the door, and Nature’s Little Miracle right under the sink. I’m his daddy. That’s my job. Me and Jasper? I think we actually are one of nature’s little miracles. Stick around, and I just might prove it to you.

The boy and I are so looking forward to sharing our stories – and the wild hairy joy of a life with a dog –  with you and your mutt. Hang around, this could get messy.

With a woof an a lil’ woohoo,

D & J

Last touched: 03/07/17 8:13 am

D.S., Whiteface NH 3/6/2017

** ITF – Immediate and Total Failure 

Dave Sandwich Live Beta, Volume 2

back to Volume 1

So … Why do this Dave Sandwich web/writing project now?

Mostly because I never before had the time required. I have had to to work on other things full time, for most of my life. First, starting at 16 years old, that work was as a house painter with my Cousin Neil in Boston and Cambridge; then I transitioned to banging nails, eventually opened my own cabinet shop in Waltham MA; I moved to NH in 1984, bought a cape house and 15 acres, got a part time carpentry job, and continued my building and RE career in Meredith NH for 12 years, from 1984 to 1996.

Then in 1996, the result of many odd coincidences I’ll got into later, I ended u starting the the 2Square Carromboard Co, and for a fabulous, busy 5 years I  was truly ‘the first US Manufacturer of International Standard Carrom Boards’, in my Meredith NH workshop. I was also a world-trotting international carrom player and competitor. Eventually, however, my carrom dream began to suffer the weight of too much physical work, too many broken deadlines, not enough income, too few tournament glories, and general entropy. Also, critically, my sporting career began to overlap – and conflict, in many cases –  with my other passion: all things computer and software and web, which had  basically ben latent until the day Tim Berners Lee (creator of the www) first shined his little flashlight into my brain, and whispered this:

‘Psssst … hey Dave: every piece of information in the world will soon at your fingertips, and – get this – you now own your own TV station, music business, self help empire, and publishing house. Have fun, Dude.’

The light went on in my head the moment I heard that whisper, and it has never gone off.

Dave’s Geek Years

But I still needed money, like everyone else. So I’ve had an interesting and rewarding Web career. In some kind of order, my skill acquisitions and job situations:

Begin, 1988: Mac+ fonts fun; Corel Draw; Quark, Compuserve and Prodigy; HTML 1; Photoshop and Illustrator; cool late 90’s job at boutique tech firm, Merrimack; Cold Fusion; PHP; ASP; A ski accident, a sudden window, and a year at PSU on deep research in Database Theory, Linux, and Java Programming; ; Early self started ‘Omworks’ web sites for friends’; decision to get out of building web sites for friends; realization that ‘Web Designer’ was no long a cool job; Now not a job at all; cool job as webaster at startup in Meredith; Taxonomy and Design; Web Systems Management and first lessons in corporate opacity, inefficiency and social BS; company lays off 15% of workers so somebody can get rich; Dave laid off for no reason by moderately incompetent, oafish boss (Bubba);

Work break 2003-2007 – Build remote, mountainside, Squam-viewed, off-grid 3000 sq. ft 4 bath dream home for wife and self to heal; begging and borrowing and stealing and grinding for 3 years; live happily in beautiful house; write first draft of Kung Fu-ey stoner thesis on carpentry’s mystical lessons. Decide it sucks. Put it in drawer; take it out again and now decide for sure it;’s really the entire ME that sucks; put back in drawer; and….

And Back to Work: get re-hired 3 years later at same old company becaue I run into Katie at the deli and she tells me about opening; kind of bummed to have to work again (so much for the writing great new boss; great new bosses quality means he is immediately promoted elsewhere; get a series of moderately incompetent management-type bosses who don’t know a thing about web site but want to make their mark; Build web enabled, PHP/MySql, 400-dollar-overhead-a-year Global Service Process and Field Service Parts Tracking and data analysis without really asking my boss for permission, with the help of kindest co-worker in world and best coder,  who is still doing his job and now mine; everybody loves my CMS for 2 years of happiness; managers love the data I output; Bubba becomes boss again (?); Jerry and new disruptor global VP (Jack) think Salesforce is better and go that way without asking Dave’ s advice; at Salesforce summit, Dave is informed that he will build, spec, configure, and launch the SF project and train everyone to use it; Dave leaves next day; Dave works out his anger and goes to Plan C.

I think that gets us to the end of one thread, and the beginning of another …

My Alma Mater makes the National News

There was some big, noisy trouble at my Alma Mater last Thursday, yet another ugly, festering consequence of the current political climate in this country. I’m going to write a lot more on the political climate (ouch) much later, and how I agree some of my favorite people think we should do, but for now I’m going to paste below – when I’m done ruminating – what I wrote this morning on the FB feed of an old Midd buddy, a conservative and Trump voter. I’ve actually been arguing with him about this for a while, as I don’t think he appreciates how extreme the R team, his own team, has suddenly and chaotically become. He even said to me a month ago, when I pointed out that Republican voters didn’t even seem to be listening to their own historical leadership like GW and Cheney, Nd he said without hesitation, ‘ you’re right, we really aren’t Republicans anymore’. The question that I didn’t ask – ‘what the heck are you know?’ – is going to play out whether I like it or not.

But I really don’t like this whole normalization narrative when it comes to it being ojay far-right to simply shill the sales techniques of dictatorships to get votes. I abhor the notion that vile, nationalist views (thinly veiled white supremacist and racist views) should be anywhere in our culture, not to mention ascendent. 

As I have explained in detail here, what this old beat-up Yankee believes – please disregard my utter lack of experience on the matter, lol – is that our best bet for success on this beautiful blue planet is to willingly and purposefully live in peace and harmony, including all people of all colors and from all walks of life, simply because they are interesting, kind, and beautiful. In my extensive travels around the world I have found most people to be super friendly and, I will say, surprisingly accepting of my bizarre old self (even more bizarro lately, I got stories).

If I were TPrez, I would make a law that people all over the world should be memorizing the Declaration of (human) Independence and the Constitution of the United States, making them better every day for every one on the planet, thinking of one new idea a day (unless you’re a guy like this, then you could probably handle up to 10 or more), fixing the fuck out of nature and starting listen to, look at, and live with birds, trees and rocks a lot better, be better friends and custodians to all of them, and try to keep every last one of them that we can alive forever, if we can.

That would be a simple, decent, healthy promise for humans to make to our roommates. It’s the least we can do our animal friends. We love them so. (I love Jasper so much, I can tell you honestly I wouldn’t be writing this blog if he were not here right now. If he had not stood by my with deep loyaly through some difficult times. That’s what the animals do for us. I won’t even start with the trees ( *hint: actually man’s best friend. And I told you I love my dog. But it’s not even close). And there are millions more, animals – and trees – that we haven’t even met. I can’t even get to them all in my own backyard.

Anyway, that’s if I were TPrez, and I know, dumb idea. But anyway, once we got all that done, my mind would naturally turn to what I think is a human’s real business: liking yourself, your family, your friends, your community and your life, as best we can, helping them to grow and get better where we can, chilling, creating art and music, watching old movies with the kids, enjoying a little smoke and wine, making babies, taking the afternoon off and napping, and learning guitar (or origami?), even if you’re no good at it, and for absolutely no reason at all.

That’s my ancient dream of the hippie utopia, and I’m still clinging to it as the flesh sags from my stoned-out, yellowing and – surprising I know – 20-goal-a-year scoring bones. That’s my ridiculous, unDad-like but Mom-like, un-pragmatic, stupid, unrealistic, daisy-toting wet dream for the world – the that one everyone else in the world, for their own bizarre internal reasons – or maybe just out of annoyance and impatience – has been trying to talk me out of for my whole life.

In my little woodsy corner of the planet, I secretly and usually silently believe that in fact language is actually the biggest barrier to global harmony (esperanto anyone), and that fear (and it’s nasty cousins, hate and greed) are the only true enemies in the world (huh, that rings a bell). Further, I believe that often, if not every time, it’s better in the end to just let go of ancient, self-serving, and otherwise smelly-old-rotten ideas that even Jasper wouldn’t swallow, and have, by some estimations, killed – I don’t know, about a zillion? – human beings in the last couple of millennia. Now, there’s some real fake news. Tomorrow, this at the water cooler:

Bill Bob, quizzically: ‘ You online last night? I saw an article that like a zillion people were killed last week by muslim terrorists. You got any idea why we’re still here?’

Jim John, perturbed: ‘You think I have the first clue? I fell at sleep at 7:00 last night watching porn. I haven’t seen any Muslims around all da, armed or not. Amof, I don’t see anyone around. What IS up with this? Is it a company CTO day? The door wasn’t locked. It’s just you and me and we’re both white, last time I checked.’

Bill Bobb: ‘So you fell asleep with your dick in your hand in the man cave again last night? No wonder those terrorists didn’t find you. They probably did find you, got grossed out and booked it.’

Jim John: ‘Fuck you. The dog would have barked. Want me to make some terror on you with this? (points). Besides your ass is still a gianter black hole than mine. (pauses to scratch momentarily) Hey, I have to get back to my cube. Later BillBob’ (heads off)

Bill Bob, watching J.J. walk away: ‘Yo dickhead – steak and cheeses for lunch @ Waterfall or are you still broke?’

Jim John: ‘Dude. I found a 20 on the floor of the truck this morning. ThankGod Rita didn’t find it first thing looking for smokes. Hey, wait … you still got that half a Twix in your pocket? It isn’t melted yet, is it?’

Bill Bob: ‘No, it’s fine, here…’ (digs in back pocket.)

And so on … and so on …

Hell, even us Americans were able to learn a few tricks and do ourselves a few healthy favors in the 20th century. We outgrew littering ( the youngsters don’t even remember the convenience of throwing your used coffee cups out the car window), and public butt smoking (ewwww) in about 20 years. Even this ever-puffing lung-killing numb nuts was able to hang up his pack a day butt habit after 25 years. I changed. Never thought it could happen, butt it did. And look – we’re all still here and apparently standing, if a little dazed and confused.

From my house, it seems that as for making war in the 21st century, really, I gotta tell you I just ain’t seeing the point anymore. You can see Jasper’s last 12 dumps from space – maybe more if it weren’t for the recent snow – you really think somebody can start a new war without us knowing? In 25 seconds? Why don’t we just turn off the TV for a sec, shut down all the listening devices, stand up in our glass house, walk over to the glass door, lean out the door to the wide open yard and say, ‘Hey you – get the fuck off my lawn?’

Why don’t we just do that, right now, with satellites, an android and an app? The End War Entirely Project. Hey, Google, can I set up an alert by text & email if black suited soldiers come up my driveway – let’s say, between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm – on weekdays? Click, click, scroll, scroll. What’s up with war even being possible in this century, anyway? Am I missing something? Is it just that we have so many guns left to get rid of, we just gotta keep shooting ’em? Why don’t we just … stop? Duh. Look in the Bible. Ask the man from Nazareth for some instructions, I’m sure he’d be happy to fax them to you, or send you a link. Your always talking about him anyway. Let’s put him to work.

We humans figured out Space travel, for Christ’s sake. Let’s unleash the power of the imagination of our these best scientists and thinkers and artists and let them do their job, and figure out a way that we can stop desecrating a sacred planet, for money and fear, stop killing each other in the face, and get over, once and for all, this ancient white-guys-gotta-be-the-boss, everyone’s-gotta-hide-their-money, everyone’s-gotta-look-and-act-just-like-me BS? Doesn’t anybody even watch Start Trek anymore? Are you that busy with that smartphone? This is classic stuff! This is learning!

And while we’re at it, we may as well just git on and quit all this believing in ghosts and magic also, these ghouls and goblins and Gods and Monsters.  What say ye? Bzzzz. ‘What is, never gonna happen in this lifetime, Alex?’. I ask you: can we possibly start afresh with reason and logic as our temporary base of operations? Maybe you should start at the beginning on that. Those folks may help. Or at least, can we agree to agree, can we just all throw up our hands and say ‘Well, okay, I guess, maybe Dave’s right on this’: that believing ain’t knowing and knowing ain’t believing. Believing a thing isn’t enough to ever make it actually be true. You just aren’t ever going to know. You just can’t.

Or, as my Mom used to say, ‘It’s very hard to know for sure, dear. Very hard.’ Right on, Sheila. I still get all my wisdom from you.

No, Jasper, calm down … I didn’t mean real BS. lol


Dave’s comment on Gma’s post:

This is a complicated story, but I think it’s a legitimate concern and argument that the right wing – and not the left – has become dangerously extreme in this country. After all, the Libs still voted for a traditional standard-bearer of the party. Rebbubs voted for a white supremacist, nationalist and xenophobic billionaire narcissist with a nasty grudge and a lot of vague Russian connections. Not the same league at all.

From a policy perspective, the country has not moved left but way way right. Trump is now in the process of undoing years of compromise and progress hammered out by both parties. That is, at a minimum, and enormous waste of time that’s going to cost us years of effort to get back. If people were not protesting that angrily, I would actually wonder if we were okay.

Next week, Midd, invite a speaker to talk about the benefits of an 80% tax rate on anything over 10M, free utilities for all, free health care coverage, and instituting a maximum income in the US, and see what happens. (Budget wise, I’m guessing we’d be ahead fyi- and though TPrez and his cronies might have to sell a yacht or two, they’d still be millionaires.) Protecting the excesses of the rich is actually the sacred cow in the room. The minimum wage raises the cost of products? Holy crap. Half of what you pay for your cheeseburger is just a cover the raises that CEOs have gotten since 1970. Are you happy with that?

Alternatively, just put Whoopi Goldberg in the White House and see how Rebbubs react. This is the world Liberals find themselves in today. Keep trying to convince us that your calorie-free nonsense is actually a healthy cheeseburger, and it may get bad.