Chocolate Death

Of all the ways to die, Svetlana Roslina found the sweetest. The Russian chocolate factory worker fell into a vat of chocolate earlier this week and she did not live to tell the sweet tale. There are conflicting stories circulating surrounding the circumstances of this horrible tragedy. Some say she fell in while adding ingredients to the mix, others say she dropped her mobile phone in the vat and unsuccessfully tried to retrieve it. No one has claimed that she actually wanted to die in a vat of chocolate, though many have admitted to wanting to bathe themselves in chocolate on a daily basis. This is her:

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Svetlana Roslina, a sweetheart

A local source said “She was minced. Only her legs were left.” Minced. This is what minced pork looks like:

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When you hear about someone falling into a vat of chocolate you really want them to come out looking something like this:

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Not this:

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Or this:

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Very sad, she had a husband and two young children. That being said, if you had to die… would a vat of chocolate be that bad? Yes?

Here is the original article: Mother dies after falling into huge vat of melted chocolate

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Life is Loud.

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I’ve been thinking a lot about life lately. It was never all roses but there were a few…and now those have started to go bad. The road has been bumpy for me as of late and only now am I regaining my feet. Ever since my mom passed away last year I haven’t been able to do much right. Nothing is the same, nothing will ever be the same. I lost my father 17 years ago but when he went, I still had mom. Now I am an orphan at 36. There were no siblings. So I have an entirely new life right now. It’s not the same in any way. I am different. This is not a new chapter, the book ended. This is a new book. Though this new book started out like an ember in hell, I’ve learned that I am a much stronger reader than I thought. I don’t really have a point here. There is no great revelation… at least not yet. I’m lonely and sad most days, but for me it’s normal. Normal is good. You can get used to normal very quickly. I have a different look in my eyes… I think more than I ever have. I have a thousand yard stare sometimes that I am trying to get rid of, you know the one. A million things going on around you but you are focused on that point in the far distance. I’m still listening, but I stare off. Though I am alone and though I am sad, I am not depressed. That is key to my survival. Life is a series of guaranteed losses, the gains are up in the air. I  want nothing more than to gain a few things in this next book of life. Perhaps a family. Does anyone know where I can find one? Well I am going to make an effort to start writing again. I am thinking much clearer these days. I think I am ready.

 

 

No Limit Soldiers of Fortune

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A friend of mine got me thinking about the U.S. presidency, more specifically the term limits that come coupled with the office. It sounds great if you just take the concept at face value; we don’t want someone to maintain the position of President of the United States for too long so we give them a 2 term limit. Or at least the 22nd Amendment does. So why was the amendment needed in the first place?

Well if you ask me, it wasn’t. We all know that FDR is the only president to serve more than two terms. Only a handful of other presidents have thought to get elected to a third term (Grant, Cleveland, T. Roosevelt, and Wilson). Over the course of 225 years and 44 presidents, it hasn’t posed much of a problem. In fact, could the lifting of term limit restrictions on the office of the president be exactly what the country ordered?

Obama is not the only person I am talking about, he just happens to be in office now and I had never considered the thought prior to a week ago. You run for office on dreams and promises. What you’ve dreamt up for the future of this great country and the promise of actions that will execute your 8 year plan for success. Your first run is incentive based and lined with boundless opportunity. During your second run you still have that glimmer in the eye and a perceived purposeful resolve. Then you get elected to your second term in office and your actions are no longer incentive based. You don’t have to fight for your job or maintain a glowing image because there is no future for you in the high office you hold. It’s only natural for someone to take their foot off the gas, much like a soldier at war that is going home in 2 weeks. Perhaps you drop back a bit. Maybe you don’t throw yourself in the face of danger and instead, opt to standby cloaked in stoicism. Not so bad, but not so fantastic either. You have an agenda and now that there is no fear of botching an election and becoming a proverbial loser, whatever you personally want to do becomes what happens regardless of the best interests of the country. Bipartisan effort doesn’t mean as much, and if you go far left or far right (whichever you may be) you don’t risk losing anything as long as you don’t do something outlandish that will get you impeached.

But what if that wasn’t the case. What if come year 6, you had to consider your public future as president. What if there existed no red line that you cross then no longer have to worry about an election. Do you try harder? Are you more concerned about keeping the middle thinking portion of the country happy? It’s a big portion. Wouldn’t you be more objective and keep your fire fueled with the same intensity and willingness that landed you in office? I am thinking that might be the case. We are not a country that just sits on its ass and does nothing. Well OK we are, but we have the internets and TVs with 500 channels. This enables us to know more and make our own decisions (if we aren’t being blindly swayed by someone else’s opinion) so the chances of a tyrant getting into office and remaining there indefinitely are slim to none. If someone does remain in office for 3 or possibly 4 terms, you have to reckon they deserve it. You simply can’t be mediocre and march on to a third term. As a country we get fed up with anything and everything. There is no real threat of an office dominance that can be likened to dictatorships or a monarchy. It’s virtually impossible. We vote people out of office, it’s what we do. The average age of a US President entering office is 55 and while I don’t disagree with the current age minimum of 35, I wouldn’t be opposed to raising that minimum to 45 years of age. (I originally had my facts mixed up) A decade of decision making and life experience makes a huge difference. This may raise the average age of incoming presidents and lessen the already rare possibility of a 20 year presidency. Again, in the rare instance that it happens, you have to believe that the person deserves it. Right now the American public thinks 4 years is not enough to do anything, which pretty much mandates a second term. 8 years is a good duration of time to gauge results and decide if a person is heading the country in a certain direction.

This could very well be one of the most asinine things I have ever tried to explain, but for me what it boils down to is incentive. Humans react well to incentive; it’s a driving force that can move mountains. When it’s gone we don’t reach further or try harder, quite the opposite actually and it’s not anyone’s fault… it’s just human nature. I’m eager to hear other people’s opinion about this, especially people that disagree 100%.  I am fully aware of the downside and dangers of not having term limits. I think they should exist, just in different areas of congress. That actually leads me to another crackpot theory that we need limits on the terms of congressman and as an alternate process, let them elect the president. We don’t have to work with the president, they do. We restrict Congress’s powers and keep the people happy by increasing the frequency of elections for the senate, and then put some kind of restriction on consecutive terms. You can be a career politician, but not in a row. Keeping Congress on a tighter leash might keep them honest and as a result, make them the most capable of electing a president they are willing to work with and support.

I am going to try and not go on about politics for at least 6 months. Now that I’ve lost your attention, here is your reward:

Tomorrow Is Not Enough

Were there no grey skies, the phrase “clear skies ahead” would too not exist. Or at least that is what I keep telling myself. Last night I spoke to a dear friend on the phone. It was late, a bit past 1AM.  It wasn’t a talk you ever want to have, but one that will consistently pop up throughout life. The topic was death.

This new year brought her a new pain. On the first, her father was abruptly bed ridden. On the second, he was in the hospital diagnosed with cancer… everywhere. Today, January 14th, he will be taken off life support. I don’t think she’s blinked once yet.

And so it is. That is how fast life can change. It takes no time at all to turn your world upside down. 13 years ago, I lost my father. And I don’t mean I misplaced him at the mall. I came home late one night, five days before Christmas and found him dead in the living room chair. These things happen, there is no real way to prepare yourself. We can only accept that it will happen one day, then live and celebrate life for the precious gift it is. Death doesn’t mean it is over, it doesn’t mean someone is gone forever. It just means their role in your life has changed, they will now guide you in ways you were unable to let them in their living days. The lessons my father taught me became so apparent and profound in the years after his passing, why hadn’t I noticed them earlier? It is wonderful, really. It makes me smile when a little jewel of information is revealed to me, even so long after his passing. How did he do that? It’s amazing, kind of like those time-released Ambiens.

It never gets easy, only less hard. I can joke about it now, but even after I have a laugh.. I look off into the distance and daydream into a fond memory. It is the only way to get by. A big part of life seems to be learning how to cope with loss. It’s best we figure it out sooner than later.  I could take the bleak look and say we go through life losing people, then people lose us. It’s not that bad though, I think of the people I’ve lost and I have a smile. I think of a good laugh we had or a timeless memorable moment, and just keep moving forward. After all, they are coming with me.

Well… to my friend I offer support and the guarantee that time will heal. There will be a lot of awkward silences to come; much emptiness in the void that until now, was never left vacant. Your heart will fill back up. You’ll cry again, but most importantly and most assuredly, you’ll smile again. Stay strong D.B.