by baldilocks

Every now and then I wonder how differently my life might have gone had I made different choices.

For instance, I wonder how deeply I might be involved in the so-called Deep State had I remained a part of the intelligence community. But that’s one decision I have no regrets about. When I exited active duty USAF in 1994, I came home to Los Angeles to be near my great-aunt and great-uncle who were then in their 70s. My uncle was gone six years later and my aunt would follow twelve years after that. The two raised me for the first part of my childhood, so, of course, I am grateful to have been close by when they passed.

Other forks? I love children and I sometimes wish I’d had at least one, but, other than my miscarriage, I can’t really call it a regret. And here’s an odd thing: I don’t think I’m good wife material—something about which my ex-husband would agree. I’m the first-born and was a de facto only child for nine years; I’m ornery and often oblivious.

Since the divorce in 1992, there have been a couple of close remarriage calls, but no cigar. And, the only regret I have about that is that I married at all. I like men; I just haven’t found one that I want around all the time. I’ve certainly been “in love,” but I think that, for me, much of that has been hallucination on my part. Vain imagination.

Relating that to having children, I’m old-school: I believe in being married before having children. Let’s be real here: the main reason that I did get married was because I wanted children.

So, with my beliefs and idiosyncrasies in mind, it’s likely that I would have never given birth even if I had made different decisions. I’m at peace with that.

More roads taken. Just today, I met up with two old friends I’d met through blogging. Wonderful people. These and dozens of other good, fun and kind-hearted people I would have never known had I not begun baldilocks.

I could go on but Yogi Berra’s simple, funny, accidental wisdom holds true: when you come to a fork in the road, take it.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

Originally posted Dec 27th 2008

Woke up on the couch on the 3rd day of Christmas finding myself watching the 1938 version of A Christmas Carol with Reginald Owen.

It is not the best version of the story, Alistair Sim holds that honor helped by first-rate writing.

There was an animated version I watched every year as a kid that was pretty good.

Update: (I didn’t realize it at the first writing that Alastair Sim was Scrooge in this version too.)

The George C. Scott version should be watched at least once as he makes a really first-rate Scrooge (Dr. Who fans will recognize Mark Strickson as young Scrooge)

My wife prefers A Muppet Christmas Carol with Michael Caine

and also Scrooged although we haven’t seen it on TV this year.

My Friend Vinnie from Georgia sent us Rich Little’s Christmas Carol which I haven’t seen in 20 or 30 years as a gift

The Musical version with Albert Finney is just wonderful but I haven’t seen that on the TV either this year

and who can forget Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol made the year before I was born

According to IMDB there have been as of today (12/27/08) 71 versions made or in production starting in 1910 the latest being an animated version due out next year staring Jim Carey in the title role and all of the Ghosts too!

And there is the Patrick Stewart version that I somehow missed from the post back in 2008

It is the classic story that always brings Christmas into my heart, but for some reason Owen always brings the largest smile maybe because it was I knew the most as a child, or maybe because I loved the Lockhearts as the Cratchits or maybe I just love the old Shillings and Pence and all the sliding.

You will read a lot of hemming and hawing on this site concerning politics, religion, my current unemployment and the RedSox but like Ebenezer Scrooge at the end I’ll try to keep Christmas all throughout the year. Life is very good and we all have more to be thankful for than we realize. Keep that in mind you can always produce a smile.

So on this 3rd day of Christmas, God bless us every one!

There are a lot of reasons to give thanks on Thanksgiving day. I want to mention one that recently came up.

As you know with the Radio Show I’m just flat-out. The mornings consist of reading news and getting a few blog posts up and scheduled (in between getting the youngest to school) I’m usually out every day schlepping ads during the day When I get home I’m calling corporate offices or e-mailing my pitch and then working on scripts for people who either have bought or are potential buyers..

That being the case It’s easy to miss an e-mail. As I was setting up my Quickbooks I went to paypal to get the info on some ad payments when I noticed a $100 gift from a person I met in February.

You have to remember three years ago $100 represented 5 hours at my old job. Four weeks ago $100 represented one day of unemployment. Today $100 represents hours of knocking on doors and making my pitch to business after business in the hopes of selling ad space for the Radio Show and 1/12th of my monthly mortgage.

I e-mailed my thanks to the gentleman and reminded him that since I have a radio show now I could apply the money toward an ad for his business if he wanted.

His answer: This is a gift that is my pleasure to give.

How can you not be thankful for something like that?

To all of you out there, readers, listeners, commentators, and to those who I have had the pleasure to meet a Happy Thanksgiving and many more.

As you know I love the book Man of the House In it Tip O’Neill tells the story of Mrs. O’Brien during his 1935 race for the Cambridge City Council. The only race he ever lost. When she says to him that she will vote for him even though he didn’t ask.

When O’Neill protested that he had known her since he was a child, had shoveled her walk and cut her grass, and didn’t think he had to ask for her vote, she replied, “Tom, let me tell you something. People like to be asked.”

Yesterday after my dentist appointment I was going door to door to business in Leominster promoting the show and trying to sell ads. I was having no luck selling when I noticed a small insignificant looking African variety store with a Ghanian flag on the door.

Logic said pass it by after all at best I could hope to sell a $20 ad for a single week, so why bother when Wyman’s Liquor Mart Inc was across the street and Leominster Credit Union was there. But you know I was there and it never hurts to ask. Turned out the man there owns an international shipping company that ships to the gold coast of Africa: Ghana, Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria and when I told him the range of my 50,000 watt radio signal he asked me to come back on Tuesday with Ad samples.

If I had ignored that little story I would have lost my best lead of the day.

Which brings us to the blog htotherdizzle and Hallie Miller.

Last night I found a comment pending for my Good News runneth over post it said the following:

Hi! My name is Hallie and I have entered a Savvy Magazine photo shoot contest. I know you don’t know me but the winners are chosen by the public and if the public doesn’t know they need to vote…well, you guessed it, no one votes! Could you take a moment and look at my photos and decide if you would vote for me or not? Thanks! Here’s the link, could you pass it along?

It had all the classic signs of spam, an icon of a beautiful woman, a link different from the e-mail but I also noticed it was a wordpress blog, and my spam filter didn’t grab it. Intrigued I searched for the name, and did a search for the link and sure enough it goes to a modeling site that is having a contest.

I thought of Tip O’Neill’s story and I thought of all the doors I have knocked on in the last few days and realized she is doing the exact same thing I am. She is chasing her dream unafraid to ask a total stranger to help.

So Hallie Miller this is my gift to you, I am not only approving your comment, and voting for you but I am linking to your post on the contest and putting up this blog post to let everybody know about it.

I hope my readers go to the Explore modeling Site to vote for you.

Happy Thanksgiving Hallie!

Update: I didn’t include a picture of Hallie Miller because I didn’t have her permission, but I did tell the story to Stacy McCain who is a lot less shy.

Oh BTW you can vote once per day. Works for me.

…the reviews from listeners have been uniformly good so far, in fact I seem to be the toughest critic of the show spotting several things I would like to have done over. (I can’t believe I forgot to mention the blogs web site or the show’s e-mail) but so far even the most cynical people I’ve talked to liked the show with only minor critiques. The proof of the pudding was tonight, between the end of the show and the typing of this message a new advertiser signed on for a month of shows!

I really want to thank all of those from both sides of the aisle who have wished me luck, those good wishes and prayers are something that are priceless.

I want again thank my advertisers no matter if you are buying for one show or months of shows you are helping me pay the bills. I am very grateful.

I want to thank Stacy McCain for his very gracious post having Stacy McCain as a friend is an incredible blessing.

And I don’t know how I rate a friend such as Cynthia Yockey.

I will do my best to continue to improve the show to make it worth of the support of my advertisers, listeners and friends.

BTW I am looking for Massachusetts-based conservative bloggers to be in studio guests. I will likely set up a regular roter with people I already know but I’ll wager there are lots of great blogger in the state that I’ve never read, if you are one of them put a link to your blog in comments and I’ll check it out.

I am really going to regret when Christopher Hitchens is gone, and I confess it will be for my own loss of a person who’s writing gives me pleasure and his almost Cryanoistic honesty to his own beliefs (even when they are horribly wrong i.e Christianity) rather than for pity as he has lived a pretty interesting life and everybody has to die eventually.

The latest interview of him in the London Observer conveys all of the joy of reading Hitchens that I have but there is one line that is so important and so true and so totally ignored that it should be screamed from the mountaintops to everyone particularly to Thomas Freedman and the left:

As an aside on Mugabe, he makes one of those observations that are so precisely to the point that you wonder why so few other commentators ever get round to coming to it emphasis mine. “Darfur, Zimbabwe, Burma, North Korea, anywhere that the concept of human rights doesn’t exist, it’s always the Chinese at backstop. And always for reasons that you could write down in three words: blood for oil.”

This is the most vital part of the piece for two reasons. the first being that he cuts to the truth of the current world situation in two sentences, but the second is due to the interviewer Andrew Anthony unintentional indictment of the entire intelligentsia of the world who have not been willing or able to speak that basic truth.

Red China (and yes I use Red deliberately) has long supplanted Russia as the main focus of human rights abuse and supporter of same around the world. The rest of the world fearing their military and coveting their potential economic power ignore this truth but the reality is there. Hitchens is willing to say it. Nobody else dares because they see no personal profit in it, much easier to make a living hitting the United States.

As I said I’ll miss Hitchens when he is gone, and so will millions who stand up for freedom of speech around the world.

Just got back from the airport to pick up DaWife’s nephew and his wife who flew in from Alabama to be here for his older brother’s wedding.

Since it involved a trip to the airport it also meant that a trip to Prince Pizza in Saugus was required.

Da Lunch specials are really special

It was the first time I drove there myself (usually my brother is picking me up) I was surprised to see a lunch special that included all you can eat Pizza and ziti for $5

A nice selection of Pies for the buffet

The pies available varied from Sausage, to Onion, to Plain to pepperoni to Green Pepper to Mushroom and they disappeared rapidly. It being Wednesday I was obliged to go meatless so I stuck with Plain and Onion.

I never had the Ziti or sauce here before, the Ziti was al-dente and the sauce was a good sauce but not as good as DaWife’s (after all what sauce is?) who along with my sister in law, her son and his wife were visiting Prince for the first time.

The real gem of the trip was running into the owner Steve. Since I had always come in the evening I’d never met before, he was gracious enough to give me three minutes of his time on a busy day.

One of my favorite things is something that is done well. Running a first class restaurant isn’t easy but Steve does it well. If you are coming home from the airport I strongly suggest you divert yourself up 517 Broadway, Saugus, MA and give it a shot. It’s on Route 1 South you will have to take Route 1 north and reverse direction once you pass it on the left but it’s worth it.

Yeah I’m upset about the Arizona ruling, the Massachusetts electoral college law and the Keeton case but there is joy in DaTechGuy ville today:

For Rich has started his newest Doctor Who saga Outrage today staring the 6th Doctor and Mel!

So get yourself over there and start enjoying yet another exciting and well drawn Doctor Who serial.

Oh and if you missed his just completed 3rd Doctor Adventure, The Stalker of Norfolk it is now available free as a PDF download.

See life is good

Yesterday my brother picked me up at the airport and we as before went to Prince Pizza. As always the pizza was great and this time I didn’t overeat so there was no pain later.

We had three very pleasant encounters in the place. The first with the former owners of what was my wife’s family’s favorite pizza place in the North End, the European. He and his wife and children were there eating and we struck up a conversation. The 90 year old gentleman came to the US in 1928 and like Annie DiMartino on election talked of the how good America had been to him. It was my great honor to speak with them and I hope to see them at the Madonna della Cava festival in Aug at St. Anthony di Padua. (P.S. For some reason I can’t find the e-mail address you gave me, If you can contact me via comments I’ll be happy to send you that item we discussed).

The third was with a two couples who are engaged who all believed my much older brother was much younger than me. She talked about her oldest graduating college and their impending nuptials. I wish all of them my best.

But it was the second that really struck me. It was a husband and wife with two sons. The parents had been born in India but had migrated to the US and both their children were born and raised here. They came here for a better life and talked the same language that the gentleman who came from Italy in 1920 did, hard work opportunity, and talked about education and how their parents emphasized it as the way to a better life. Apart from two things they could have been my grandparents. The first was their age, a bit younger than me, the second was their religion, they where Muslims.

I have written a lot about radical Islam who are the worst that Islam has to offer, these people were examples of the best. It was a great pleasure to meet and know them. It is Muslim men and woman like them and their families who become Americans that are the best hope to keep us away from a very nasty future.

They came from two different continents and four different countries. One had fled war, another left as a wall fell, and two of them via the visa lottery simply to make a better life for themselves.

The first was born in the old soviet union in the early 60’s and came to the country after the fall of the wall. He went to school and worked hard finally finding himself wearing a ranger’s badge on the Boston Common. He talked about saving his money and educating his children and the appreciation of life in America. He didn’t always agree with his adopted country but it made a better life for him and his family

The second came from Ghana. Driving an overnight shift he talked about how he was able to support his family and make a life for his kids. He drove long hours but felt the rewards and the possibilities were great as long as his children took the time to take advantage of them and stayed true to God.

The driver from Eritrea
The third came from Eritrea, he talked about coming here in 1992 and his wife following the next year. He was amazed at all that was possible in America. Two of his four children were in college and two more were growing up. He spoke with amazement at all that was possible for him and his family.

The fourth came from Ethiopia and eloquently told of his life, His two children were grown now one married and one not. He talked of the 16 hour days he worked both driving cab and in a small variety store he ran. He expressed his disgust as he

An amazing man from Ethiopia
would see people spend hundreds of dollars a week on lottery ticket machines daily just outside his place only to come inside and pay for staples with Food stamps.

Their stories all wound through different path that led to America but they shared so many traits, hard work, a desire to make their lives better, stressing education , responsibility and thrift to their children and simple amazement, particularly of young Americans who neither understood or appreciated the opportunity that is their birthright. They were determined that their children would know and understand the great gift granted them, to live a life in a land where they could even in bad times reach their full potential if only they were willing to do it.

They had one other thing in common. All of them expressed support for the tea party movement. None of them marched or held a sign or rallied, but their pursuit of the American Dream taught them those same values that millions were marching for. Every man and woman who spoke at a rally would have heard and approved of their stories, the details were different but the ending was the same. Their story is the story of America at its best.