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A time to contemplate

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by slobake, Aug 15, 2019 at 12:53 PM.

  1. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    Most if my life I have always responded to any situation I was in. Not a whole lot of planning but a lot of go, go, go.
    Didn't like what was happening in my life, okay I'm moving to another part of the country.Found myself with a wife and 10-year-old son, learned a trade so I could support them. Church needs a bass player, never played bass before but I'm in. Your phone system crashed? Don't panic, I'll find the problem... etc, etc, etc. Never much planning just a quick response.
    Now, I am in another season with a whole lot of changes in my life. Do I move? Do I volunteer for more things that I like? Do I volunteer because people need help? Do I withdraw from everything, spend time with my wife and contemplate our future?
    I am choosing contemplation right now. I have time and am not forced to react. This is a new way of living for me. Took 18 months of struggle to get to this point, but am finally starting to get this.
    May be taking a year long sabbatical, starting in January or March. Need time to gracefully withdraw from the things I am responsible for. Don't want to just abruptly walk away.
    I like it. :thumbsup:
    Have you ever been in a season like this?
  2. Winslow


    Sep 25, 2011
    "Season?" :D


    I used to be mentally chained to an all-consuming career that ultimately fell to pieces when the industry started its slow-motion implosion. I could feel my life getting terribly out of balance in the last few years of it, and if I'm honest, while the money was good, nothing much else about it was. I needed to get out of there, even if I wasn't always consciously aware of it. The adjustment took some time, but I definitely prefer being on the other side of it now.

    Reflection and contemplation are good, and useful in their own ways. Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing at all. :thumbsup:
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019 at 1:05 PM
    Old Blastard and slobake like this.
  3. Oddly

    Oddly Unofficial TalkBass Cartographer! Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Retirement is supposed to be a time to relax and enjoy the rewards of a well-lived life, isn't it?

    Take some quality time for yourself and Mrs. Slo.
    Make a bucket list and work through it...but in your own good time. Hopefully you've got a few good years left before it's too late.

    That's my plan, anyways.

    (Well, not with Mrs. Slo...ohh you know what I mean!)
  4. Al T.

    Al T. Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2006
    Richmond, VA.
    I am on the other side of 50 years of being a plumber/ gasfitter which was a good choice for me. My last day of that was 2/1/19 and I don't miss it. I work a few short days a week in a warehouse for a friend of mine and in the fall I will help young readers improve their skills. I also spend time in a drop-in place in Richmond talking with drunks, homeless people and the lonely so I have things to do that benefit my community. I am blessed.
  5. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    Have I mentioned laughing while watching all the cars jammed up on the freeway out my back window.
    "Nick, I want to show you something very sad, people on their way to work." Jason Robards from " A Thousand Clowns"
    pjbassist, Oddly and Winslow like this.
  6. That is the lamest rage-quit I've seen for a while.
    There is nothing wrong with taking time, especially for yourself, and thinking about things. Best of luck with whatever you do, or don't do.
    catcauphonic, slobake and S-Bigbottom like this.
  7. You know what I am going to say.

    “He’s awake”. Duane and Diana rushed into the room. Anita stepped back. Rusty sat slowly up and groaned. The room slowly came into a hazy focus around him. “What happened? I feel terrible.


    slobake likes this.
  8. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    Ahhh, you remembered. :D Been working on this too:

    Jack Grady was sound asleep when his comm buzzed. The room was dark and chilly and he was loathe to get out of his warm comfortable bed. He sighed and checked the time, it was three a.m. He knew a call at that hour was never good. Grady inhaled slowly, then opened the link.

    “Good morning Belinda, why are you calling me so early in the morning, when I could be sleeping?”

    “You are needed detective Grady.

    Grady took another deep breath and composed himself.

    “Okay, sorry Bel. Can we start over?”

    “Of course Jack. I will disconnect and comm you again.”

    Grady chuckled and replied. “Ah no, thanks Bel but that is not necessary. Good morning Bel. How are you this morning?”

    Jack thought he heard a smile in her voice when she answered.

    “Good morning Jack, I am the same as always. I have full power, all circuits are functioning and my operating system is up to date. May I inquire into your well-being?

    “Well Bel, it is very early and I could use some coffee. Other than that, I feel good and enjoy talking to you. But I guess I better ask where am I going?”

    “Yes, that is the purpose of my comm, are you recording Jack?”

    “Yeah, it’s on, what do you have for me Bel?”

    “Okay, detective. We have a reported dead Galatian at 747 Howard St.”

    “Isn’t that the old Convention Center?”

    “Yes, that is the location. Several witnesses say they saw the individual incapacitated on the beltway. They managed to roll his body onto an exit and contacted our emergency group. An interspecies medic team was dispatched and have declared the Galatian deceased.”

    “Okay does our team think it was murder?”

    “That has not been determined yet but there are indications that his death was not accidental.”

    “Alright sounds like a job for homicide but why would I take a case involving a Galatian? The folks at the top have made it clear that I am to keep away from interplanetary cases.”

    “No explanation has been given detective, but Captain Ballas has demanded that you take the case.”

    Grady wondered why Ballas would want him on the this one. The stern Galatian captain had made it clear that he only kept Grady around as a ‘token’ human on the force.”

    “Okay, did captain Ballas mention anything about why he assigned this to me? You know he doesn’t think us locals are of much use.”

    “He didn’t say Lieutenant but I would hypothesize that it has to do with your record. He may try to write you off as a human but your record stands for itself even though you techniques are very unusual.”

    Grady grinned “What do you mean unusual?”

    “Well detective you follow leads that no one else thinks are important and often talk about a gut feeling. You also drive and old beat up car and you won’t let your house bot dress you in a more presentable fashion. Additionally, are also the only detective on the force that doesn’t carry a weapon. Based on statistics carrying a weapon gives you a greater chance of


    Grady thought about the Glock hidden in his bedroom that he hadn’t carried since he had been forced to shoot his old partner Hennessy. Once again he saw his partner explode into a mass of decimated flesh and blood. He saw the room covered with bits of flesh that were all that was left of Hennessy. The modified Glock was the only gun that could bring down a Galatian but the exploding shells complete disintegrated human bodies. Not a day went by when Grady didn’t re-experience that horrible night and wonder if there was anything he could have done to prevent his partner’s tragic end.

    “What is a gut feeling Jack?”

    Grady was lost in his thoughts about Hennessy and didn’t hear the com bot’s question.


    “Sorry Bel, what was the question?”

    “I was asking about a gut feeling. I can understand gathering information and coming up with a theory but what is a gut feeling?

    Grady stared at his feet for a moment and ran his hand brought his dark bushy hair.

    “Well you see Bel, I’ve been doing this a long time and sometimes I just get a feeling about something. I have learned to trust those instincts.”

    “That still is not adequate information to determine what a gut feeling is but apparently it works for you, so I advise you to stick with your unusual methods. Neither the Galatians nor I understand what it means but achieving objectives is what we are made for.”

    Jack smiled and ran his hand over his face as he pondered her reply.

    “Well Bel, I do like solving cases but I believe we were made for so much more.”

    There was a several second pause before the com bot replied.

    “I can’t conceive of anything beyond fulfilling my function. is this a common belief shared by all humans or is it just you Detective Grady?”

    “I don’t know about others Bel, but I have learned that life is more than just catching murderers. But I also know that sometimes you just have to go with things I don’t understand. We humans call it faith. Let's just hope my unusual methods can solve this case. I wouldn’t want to disappoint Chief Ballas. Please send me all you have about the case and the victim and I’ll see if my gut comes up with anything.”

    “Of course Jack, ,and I do apologize for the early hour”

    Grady thought he detected a hint of remorse in the comm bot’s voice, but decided he must be imagining things. Still he felt bad for the way he answered her comm.

    “No concerns Bel, I shouldn’t have snapped at you. Have a good day and thanks for the info.”

    He heard a little giggle on his com and smiled.

    “Why, Belinda what’s come over you?”

    “I don’t know if you would understand detective.”

    “Probably not but I would like to give it a shot.”

    Jack heard her giggle again.

    “Detective Grady, you know I am a data relay don’t you?”

    “Of course I do Bel, how long have we been working together?”

    “Five years, 6 weeks, four days, 16 hours and 33 minutes.”

    “Alright so after all that time I do know a little about you. So why are you so cheerful this morning?”

    “Detective, you must know I don’t have moods and you are the only person on the force who talks to me like I am more than just a source of data. You are either a dimwit or a very pleasant man. I haven’t decided yet but I am starting to believe you are a little of both and I found that hypothesis amusing. You are very unusual man, even for a human.”

    Lieutenant Grady paused to ponder this new development. Belinda was acting very strange . He wondered if she was really experiencing emotions. He filed that thought for later, he had a case to work on and would need to focus his attention on that. He would have to continue this conversation with Belinda later.

    “You know we talk to each other a lot Bel so I figure why not make it pleasant? I would love to talk about this some more Gotta get going for now my friend. Let’s continue this conversation, how about over lunch?”

    “Detective you know I don’t eat food.”

    “Right Bel, what I meant to say is why don’t we talk about this some more as I eat lunch.”

    “Okay Jack, how about I comm you at 12:30?”

    “Sounds great Bel, that’s a date.”

    The detective heard more giggles followed by, “Okay detective, Bel out.”

    He disconnected the link and reached out to his house bot, Byers.

    “ Good morning Byers, please make some coffee and lay out a clean set of clothes.”

    “Yes sir, the usual faded tan trousers, white shirt and black tie with the gravy stain? “

    Grady could have sworn he heard a trace of sarcasm in the bot’s usual prim voice.

    “Yes, that’s right Byers”

    “Okay detective, but do try and avoid the press. You look so rumpled when your photo appears in the news. You could at least let me get you a new tie without a gravy stain.”

    “No thanks Byers, that’s my favorite tie.”

    “As you wish detective, would you like a quick rinse before you go?”

    “Good idea Byers, not too hot though”

    The detective pulled off his sleep shirt and headed for the bathroom. The room Illuminated slowly as he stepped into the shower.

    “Okay Byers.”

    The warm water sprayed him from all sides and was followed with a soothing spray of unscented suds. Another warm spray rinsed the suds. The hot air from the dryer ruffled Jack’s dark bushy hair.

    “Thanks Byers.”

    “Of course, detective my function is to meet your needs. Would you care for some breakfast?”

    “Not this morning Bye, just the coffee, thanks.”

    “Of course detective. I will place your coffee on the kitchen counter.”

    He found his tan suit and white shirt hung neatly next to the bathroom mirror. He ran his hand over his dark whiskers and looked at his grizzled face in the mirror . Grady decided he liked having a little stubble on his face. Made him look like an old school noir detective. He knotted his tie and stepped up to the toilet.

    “What do you think Byers? Am I presentable enough for a cop?”

    “Well sir, you are definitely not ready for the cover of Fashion Today. You really could use a shave and I don’t know why you insist on wearing that old faded overcoat. I could at least press it for you“

    Jack chuckled at the response from his house bot. He could be kind of persnickety.

    “Bah, what do you know Bye you’re a bot, you don’t wear clothes and you don’t have a face to shave.”

    “Well, you did ask me Detective”

    Byers had a point there.

    “Yessir, I did. Guess I should be ready for an answer when I ask a question.”

    “Precisely detective.”

    “Well, thanks for your advice anyway Byers. Can you tell Jonsey to get the car ready?”

    “Certainly Detective, it is always a pleasure to be in your service.”

    Jack flushed the toilet and headed out to the dining room. He smiled when he saw the small cup of steaming espresso on the kitchen counter. The cup warmed his hands as he picked it up and inhaled the aroma of the strong dark brew. He savored his first sip of coffee for the day and was not disappointed. He felt the wave of caffeine flowing through his senses.

    “Byers that is a very excellent shot of espresso. You have outdone yourself this morning”

    “Outdone myself ? I have never understood that expression detective but I am pleased you enjoy the espresso. The local roaster has been creating some great blends. This one is called Bernal Piquant”

    “I agree, it tastes fantastic. Tell Martha she has really hit the mark with this one. On mornings like this I think coffee is proof that God loves us.”

    “God, sir?”

    “Yes, God. You know Byers the creator of the universe and our great loving Father.”

    “I wouldn’t know about God sir, I am capable of processing verifiable data and nothing more.”

    “Well, Bye maybe you should check it out. I realize that the Bible is not something that a service bot would concern himself with but you might find it interesting. There are lots versions available. My favorite is the New King James.”

    “I will access that sir, but aren’t there other sacred texts?”

    “Yes there are, why don’t you access them all and let me know what you think. Thanks again for the great coffee Bye, Grady out.”

    “You are welcome sir, it is my pleasure to serve. Byers out.”

    Detective Grady slipped on his scuffed black loafers and overcoat then headed out to the car port. The cool summer air chilled him as he headed outside. His car was already idling and the door slid open as he approached. Jack settled into the warm cocoon of his battered Buick.

    “Good morning Jonesy, thanks for warming up the car.”

    “No problem boss, where are we headed today?”

    Grady smiled at the sound of the gruff Bronx accent. The voice reminded him of an old gangster movie.

    “Why do you always ask me that Jonesy? We both know Belinda already gave you the destination.”

    There was a two second pause almost like his driver bot was thinking about the correct response. Grady shook his head to clear his mind. What was he thinking this morning? First Belinda, then Byers and now Jonesy. These were bots and they didn’t respond in the same way as flesh and blood humans or even Galatians. He realized Jonesy was talking to him.

    “Well, you never know boss, someday you may surprise me with a new destination.”

    “Not today, we’re needed over at the old Moscone Center.”

    “Okay boss, we’re on our way.”

    The old car lifted abruptly off the car port and headed northeast over Bernal Hill. Grady felt his stomach drop as the car lurched up into the traffic zone.

    “Hey, easy there Jonesy , we have a dead body not a murder in progress,

    we don’t need to blast over there.”

    “Sorry boss, the old girl ain’t as smooth as she used to be. Ever think about getting a newer model?”

    “Nope Jonesy, I like this old car and we have had a lot of adventures together. Besides who could imagine a guy like you driving a Cadillac or Benz. I would have to change you out for a British chauffeur, but I prefer you.

    “Gee thanks boss, I enjoy driving for you.”

    Grady reviewed the data on the case as Jonesy piloted the car over the hill and cruised through the Mission district. The victim was a 138-year-old Galatian named Hestod Pune. He was visiting earth on a business trip for Intergalactic Biochem. He had been staying at the Fairmont for the last two weeks.

    Grady mumbled “Huh, must be a good business to put him up in a swanky place like the Fairmont”

    Jonesy cut in to his thoughts “You’re telling me boss, only off worlders and sellouts can afford that joint these days.”

    “Yup, you’re right about that Jonesy, remember when we could afford to live on our own planet. Boy wouldn’t be nice to go back to that.”

    He was thinking about how humans had become second class citizens and worse here on the planet earth. He was pondering if that would have given someone a motive for killing a Galatian businessman when the car alarm screamed.


    Grady was pressed back into his seat as the car abruptly accelerated to maximum speed. He

    grabbed the armrest as the car made several abrupt direction changes.

    “What’s going on Jonesy?”

    “Hold on boss, somebody is shooting at us, I’m trying to shake the rocket loose.”

    Jonesy guided the car due East towards the bay at full speed as the car zig zagged over Potrero Hill. Grady was forced back into his seat as the car jetted up and over the hill and screamed towards the bay. Grady yelped as the Buick headed straight down towards the grey waters of the San Francisco Bay. The wipers came on as water streamed up over the hood and onto the windshield. The car jerked up into a ninety degree ascent seconds before the front bumper hit the water. The small rocket splashed down into the water and disappeared as the car swung West back towards the city.

    Jack Grady was breathing a sigh of relief when the car alarm went off again. Jonesy was saying something but Grady couldn’t hear him over the screaming alarm. The car swerved north over dogpatch then jerked westward and screamed over the mission district. Grady’s hands started to cramp from his vice grip hold on the armrest as his Buick headed straight for Sutro tower. The car whipped in a quick circle around the tower then careened over the Sunset district towards the Pacific Ocean. Jonesy turned the car northward as they reached Ocean Beach. The car flew past the Astro Coaster at New Playland and rocketed down into an ear popping dive. Grady thanked God for Jonesy as his car swung north and dipped under the Golden Gate Bridge between Fort Point and the first tower. Grady’s car raced into a steep climb and then dropped rapidly into another extreme dive. Jonesy circled Coit Tower like an utrasonic merry go round and launched north over the bay. Grady thanked God he had skipped breakfast when the car went into another steep dive. Jonsey circled around Buena Vista and Treasure Island then plunged under the old Bay Bridge.

    Detective Grady tried to comm a distress call to Belinda but got no response.

    His car ripped over the financial district and did a high speed loop around Burrito Force Tower and headed west towards the bay. The car was doing a quick ultra speed circle over the Bay when Jonesy warned detective Grady.

    “Sorry boss, looks like they got us, better hold on.”

    Grady was enveloped in a thick foam shell before he could react. He heard a loud explosion as the cocoon jolted out of the car. A calming wave washed over him as as he slammed into the grass at Aqua Vista park. The cocoon kept him from serious harm but he was jolted and jerked as his body bounced off of the protective foam.The detective felt nauseous as the cocoon spun to a stop. The smell of citrus warned him that that the cocoon was about to melt and he cautiously rose to his feet as the foam dissolved around him. Grady stepped out of the puddle and collapsed on the brown grass. The world started spinning around him as he was thanking God for his survival. He started a short prayer for Jonesy right before he collapsed on to the soft turf and slipped into unconsciousness.
  9. Oddly

    Oddly Unofficial TalkBass Cartographer! Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Loving the Grady adventure!
    I can't wait to read more.
    I'm especially curious about how bad things get once Byers has assimilated all them religious works...:D
    slobake likes this.
  10. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    There is nothing wrong with accessing you priorities. You can't be everything to everyone - better to be what you want to who you want. You owe it to yourself and the missus.
    slobake likes this.
  11. This story is so fake..

    No way Buick survives long enough to be a maker of flying cars. :cautious:
  12. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    Did something very similar. Problem is I am still learning how to say "No". Found myself busier than when I had a full time job.
    S-Bigbottom likes this.
  13. Funky Ghost

    Funky Ghost Translucently Groovy

    Yep. A few years ago I returned after an extended sabbatical. Life was something that I was enduring. I needed a change and implemented it. It was a world changer for me. I wish you the same sort of centering Slo. Get on your bike and just ride. Think. see.... really SEE. Look around and take joy in what you see. I walked a lot along the Sacramento river on the bike trails and foot trails. It was the sort of peace I needed.
    OldDog52, S-Bigbottom and slobake like this.
  14. Oddly

    Oddly Unofficial TalkBass Cartographer! Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.

    I'm guessing they pull a 'Gibson' on the other makers :D
    Funky Ghost, S-Bigbottom and slobake like this.
  15. Funky Ghost

    Funky Ghost Translucently Groovy

    OI ! I drive a Buick!

    It totally doesn't fly...
    S-Bigbottom likes this.
  16. mikeoso

    mikeoso Acoustic Curmudgeon

    Feb 14, 2014
    eastern Iowa
    My approach to life decisions has been to ask myself, "when I'm at the end of my life, what do I want to remember having done with it?". Helps me figure out what really matters.
    Oddly likes this.
  17. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000
    I'll just leave this right here:

    GO PLACIDLY amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

    Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

    Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

    Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

    Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

    Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

    Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

    Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

    Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

    And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

    By Max Ehrmann © 1927
    Original text
    Oddly likes this.
  18. Grrrrrrr.
    Is that Grady story available anywhere?
    I'm hooked already.
    FilterFunk likes this.
  19. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, ChopShopAmps
    I like the story so far but with due reapect, sir Slo, it feels pulpy and a bit trite; albeit sci-fi and engaging. A scruff and old-school detective at odds with changing tides.... I dont know the genre but the character comes off to me as Columbo meets Lenny.

    The writing and plot grabbed me, I'm just not feeling the protagonist.
  20. Tell me about it!
    I have been waiting around five years since Rusty woke up that I posted about in post #7.

    They still have not answered him yet...:nailbiting:

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