The Bucket List is empty. I have an empty bucket list. Why? I don’t wait. If it’s important enough for the bucket list then I’ll do it. My core narrative over the last sixty-plus years focused on the failures. No white-collar union job I can retire from. The wife turned out to be incapable of moderating her moods. She was binary—either full throttle battle mode or in bed, tired. So we are divorced. Her fault? Not entirely.
Out of that tempestuous marriage came a couple of wins. My son, Tim Webb, is one of them. He is at least the fourth firstborn son in my bloodline. Tim is also the world’s greatest kid. Yes, he’s a grown-ass man now. And other fathers make the same claim about their kids. Don’t care. Tim is the hardest and best thing I ever did. The other is my two-decade-old devotion to giving grace first until it becomes clear that doing so is unwise.
We are in a dystopian mood. The message we hear from our dear leaders and their town criers is that we are evil. It is our fault that Mother Earth is dying, the Proletariat is oppressed, and the Dear Leaders are broke AF. If we would just kowtow to them and pay them more money everything would be awesome.
I’m here because I opted out. Also because the culture warriors have decided it’s my fault. No, not going to recite my adjectives again. What the CW-WTF-NWO clan hasn’t considered is that the time to fight is when you know you are going to die. I’m dead to them, so . . .
What is awesome is this: while rattling about the bottom of the toilet I’ve lived a good life with an empty bucket list. So let’s get into it.
- Never permanently defeated. Each time I and those in my circle of influence fear that this time it really is time to stick a fork in me because I am done, I’m not done. Even better, when things are at their worst it is a good omen. Things are about to get better.
- Gifted with exhortation. I don’t like the search results. I am an orator and a storyteller.
- Good jeans Yeah, it should be spelled “genes”. I know. Back to the point: my genealogy traces back to Guido De Janes. He was a crusader and landed gentry. Other notables in my bloodline–Tallman, Ianthus, Horace, and Samuel Rolfe. One or more of these guys were with Joseph Smith as he got chased out of towns from Pennsylvania to California. Also, my grandfather, Wells Webb, invented a better rocket fuel for RPGs and a way to vacuum fry fruit. Then my Dad, who helped design and build the first generation of the AEGIS Combat System.
There are two through lines in my genealogy. The engineers and scientists tended to marry the artists and social justice warriors. So I have both in me.
A Menial Sin
I do have something to apologize for. Yoast SEO and Grammarly complain when I don’t write in a style they can comprehend. I’d happily continue to build a fifty-item list. But these AI minders would be unhappy. So while the attitude of this site is “no fucks to give” it isn’t entirely that. Thus, the way this post is composed.
- I’m a veteran, sort of. I spent two weeks in Navy Bootcamp in Orlando, FL before washing out. Then another month deciding if I was truly done or not. I was on active duty long enough to achieve veteran status by a few days.
- I got to the SF Bay Area on a Trailways bus that took me to Winnemucca, NV where my GrandDad Wells picked me up. We stayed on Buckskin Mountain where I have distant relatives that once owned the gold mine on this mountain. GrandDad wanted me to stay on the mountain with him. I wanted to finish my journey to Grandma’s house, so I did.
I’ve traversed this country by car, bus, and plane a dozen times. In 2001 I drove our Camry filled with everything it could carry from our apartment in Richmond, CA to Henrico, VA. Ca had nothing left for me and I wanted to be closer to my Dad.
- Taxi Unlimited I got my education in anarchist collectivism from Taxi Unlimited. Norm, a legendary cab driver, and collective member, taught me the art of driving for dollars.
It’s not proper for me or my kin to boast. I grew up in a stew of little narratives about sin and failure. Nothing to confess? Something is wrong. My Dad’s go-to move was to tell you why an idea would fail. His Mom was agin it. Agin what? Everything. She also held a core belief that everything could be fixed if we would just organize ourselves into collectives controlled by the Party. (Hello Mao) My Mom, the social worker, wanted to hear what was wrong. Our social and emotional currency valued trouble and sin, “Hi, my name is Bruce and let me confess my miseries and failings to you.” Awkward.
Not Fears and Failures
So I come by my Red Diaper leanings from authentic roots. I’d get affirmation if I wrote another self-criticism confessing the ways I oppress people I’ve never met. If you must scratch your itch to be outraged then search for the word “adjectives” in this space. I’ll wait. While I wait let’s keep annoying the NWO WTF.
- I’ve been to nearly every state in this country at least once. Still unvisited are Alaska and Hawaii. Also visited are Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick.
- Two vacations in Taiwan to visit my ex-wife’s family.
- Three visits to Niagra Falls.
- Gambled in Reno, Atlantic City, and North Carolina
- Experienced three full solar eclipses
- Virginia Beach 1970
- Prince Edward Island 1972
- Charleston, South Carolina, 2017
- Upcoming: April 2024, Dayton, OH
- Oakland’s Everett and Jones and Flint’s
- Richmond’s ZZQ
- Nashville’s Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint
- Bougie Food
- Bay Wolf
- Chez Panisse Cafe
- Taiwanese Hot Pot in Berkeley and on Clement Street in San Francisco
- Dim Sum at Peony Seafood Restaurant and Richmond’s Full Kee
- American Chinese (everywhere) especially bad buffet.
- Steak in the night market of Shi Lin 士林夜市, Taiwan.
- Diners in South Jersey and Philadelphia, special mention to Wilson’s Diner in Waltham, MA
- Software clients: Montgomery Asset Management, Charles Schwab, and Sales Link. Mostly moving data from one system to another.
- Hardware Break/Fix: Wachovia, SunTrust, and CapitalOne
Miles and Miles
I’ve had three major focuses over my career—Information Technology, Driving, and Art. IT, or whack-a-puter, filled about twenty years. Another twenty was spent driving people for dollars as a cab driver and rideshare driver. Art in the form of writing, graphic design, and painting occupies the in-between times. I’ve traveled an estimated 750,000 miles with a nearly perfect safety record. Number of passengers served? About 100,000.
All those miles and people give me my gift of gab and something else. They taught me to pick up on body language and behavioral queues. So it’s easy for me to seem to intuit someone’s unspoken worries. Also to sound like an incredible expert on anything for the few minutes of an average ride.
Miles and miles of grace and mercy. I mashed up all those short convos with passengers and the promise I made to my son twenty years ago. The ability to listen to micro-expressions, body language, and behavior combined with a continuing commitment to giving grace first has been transforming. It is a gift I treasure.
Too Much To Include
I wrote an essay titled, “100 Things That Make Me Awesome“. The NWO and their WTF devotees say it is a mortal sin I’ve committed to write such a thing. Whatever. My Dad was a brilliant engineer because his nose for trouble was excellent. My Mom was similarly expert at getting to the root of what caused a client to land in a chair next to her desk needing Pimp Daddy Unka Sam’s help. I’m done bemoaning the ways in which I ain’t nothing. I’m an overachiever when it comes to underperforming.
So . . . the uncharted ocean for me is severalfold. Recognize that I have amounted to something. Next, I am capable of much more. And last, I have time left to finish strong. My Empty Bucket List is so because I’ve done all that.
I thought this would be harder. That there aren’t 1500 words of achievements I can point to. Turns out I took 4300 words to write the 100 Things That Make Me Awesome. So actually . . . I’ve only touched the surface of what I’ve done in six decades of life. And that’s the way it is.