Fled the Keys to Orlando to ride out Irma. As I mentioned in a previous post, the staff at this place is outstanding. But. Still stuck in the hotel and its grounds. Still unable to travel. Ninety percent of my time spent in two adjoining rooms with the family and the dogs. Love ’em all dearly. Still, the walls were closing in.
One can only do so much in the gym. The mediocrity of this gym was adjudged due to the fact that while it had a laudable amount of floor space, it had little/no useful equipment. Lots of room for Combat Conditioning and other body weight exercises. Lots of room for jumping rope.
You can only do so many push-ups a day (said no Drill Sergeant ever).
So as an excuse to get out of the room, I took up smoking. That’s not the silver lining (okay — it was a silver lining. Ain’t gonna lie, there was a certain pleasure in chuffing down the unfiltered Camels. And, yes, I will quit again ‘pon our return to Casa de Mongo). It was outside, smoking and drinking, that I got to know the boys. Tradesmen that flocked to Orlando to be centrally located so that immediately after the storm, they were positioned to get where the need was greatest and get to working. There were linemen, roofers, power grid assessors, heavy equipment operators. All guys that shower after work, not before it.
This isn’t a dig at folk that are educated or white collar. I’m educated and white collared (okay, maybe polo-shirt collared; I’m not getting paid enough to wear a tie more than twice a year). I hope as life grinds on to get more educated and white collared-er. But this is a hat tip to the men who get stuff done. They were stacked up and ready to go. Cheerful, optimistic hell-raisers on a mission that would give them a mark on the good side of the ledger.
Some were educated. I talked to more than a couple of engineers. One guy was a former Army officer who was commissioned into the Engineer branch. Oh, and he was a native Panamanian who’d earned his commission and served in the USA specifically to get his citizenship. His compañeros were guys whose surnames started with Fitz-, Mc, and Mac. The comments, jibes, and insults that flew amongst them would’ve made a Social Justice Warrior spontaneously combust (oh, and the little brown guy more than held his own).
And that’s the silver lining. There was no rancor, no one looking to take offense — plenty looking to give it, but no one had the desire or inclination to take the bait. All my conservative news feeds — and I admit, I realize I’ve inadvertently built a bubble — make me despair. SJWs, micro-aggressions, lack of any sense of history or the liberalism that built the greatest nation in history all can make me despair and think that we’re doomed. This week was a good shot in the arm.
Whatever media exposure the SJWs at the University of Green Birkenstocks or the snowflakes at Pantytwist U. get and exploit, guys like the ones I’ve spent the last week with are out there.
And they’re out there to get it done.
Anybody got a light?