Happy Seafair Sunday Morning Selfie. My name is Joe Bryant and this is my journal I started as a way to document my lifestyle and hopefully make better decisions regarding my diet in my quest to become healthy and hwp in 2017. Every Sunday morning (or at least most of them) I snap a quick photo of myself and hop on the scale in hopes of seeing smaller numbers and hotter selfies as the months roll by. Actually, at my age the era of taking a “hot” selfie is in the rear view mirror so I better just settle for smaller numbers on the scale. This is my story.
I have lived in Seattle 40 plus years now and, while I remember wildfires affecting our air quality in the past, I can’t recall it ever being quite so thick or prolonged. Western Washington has been in a hot, smoky haze most of the week. As a result there is something I have done less of as well as something I have increased my frequency on.
When I heard the newscaster say “doctors warn you to cut back on outdoor exercise” I took that dire warning to heart and ceased all biking, swimming and even prolonged walking IMMEDIATELY. By order of “doctors” I spent most of this week in air conditioned comfort doing very little in the way of moving more. If a doctor says to cut back on beer and sweets I try to accommodate but when the experts say exercise is bad I take that warning with the utmost of seriousness.
The cool side effect of all this smoke in our atmosphere however is great opportunities to take cool photos of the sun! Here is a pic I snapped of it rising Wednesday morning over Mercer Island and one from last night of sunset over Puget Sound. This one was taken from the deck of my sisters house in Burien where we had a Birthday celebration for my Dad last night.
Happy Birthday Daddy !!
Tomorrow my Dad, Wade Bryant hits the milestone of being 80 years young and I can say without reservation that my father is the finest man I know. He goes thru life with more courtesy and grace for his fellow humans, and seemingly with less personal hang ups than anyone I have ever met… and I think ALL people who have met him will agree.
My dad and I share a lot of things. I have his name, we are both Joel Wade Bryant with me being the “second”. (I assume my dad did not go the “junior” route in hopes there might be a Joel W. Bryant III at some point. Sorry Daddy but doubt that is gonna happen). We also share the same birthday, August 7th. (#54 for me tomorrow)
But the important things we share are not names or dates, but values. My Dad is always looking to help folks when he can, is never unfriendly, does his best to err on the side of integrity and has done an excellent job of providing a solid foundation for our family in every way from economic to emotional.
To give you an idea of the type of guy my dad is I go back to my teen years when I awoke him late one night to announce that I was going to hitchhike to Redrocks in Colorado to see The Grateful Dead. My dad sat up in bed and said, “that’s fine but hitchhiking is a pretty uncertain mode of transportation”. Why don’t you wait a day and I will go with you and we can drive the car”. That was one of many great trips we have had and here is a photo of my dad and I in Zanzibar a couple of Birthdays back.
I am very blessed to have two loving parents. They divorced when I was ten but both never for a minute stopped loving me and letting that be known. Most every “good” quality I have comes directly from these two people and the qualities I learned from my dad are to strive to get along with everyone, do your best in work and in life, take care of yourself and others the best you can and be honest with them AND yourself.
Happy Birthday Daddy and thanks for EVERYTHING. I love you very much.
A Little Politics
One trait I did NOT get from my dad is his ability to keep his political beliefs to himself. My father worked as a Civil Engineer for the FAA and told me that as a government employee he was not permitted to discuss politics. Now I realize that he said that just because he does not like the grief and stress expressing strong political opinions can bring on. In fact one good piece of advice he gave me was it’s best to avoid discussing religion and politics with people as you will be spending plenty of time arguing and everyone has their own beliefs. Better to look for areas of common interests to enjoy talking about to keep harmony.
In this way I suppose I am more like my mom who will tell you EXACTLY what she thinks and is never one to back away from calling a turd a turd. I consider myself to be a Liberal Democrat and am comfortable with both of those labels. What I am NOT comfortable with is the way the political discourse has been going in our nation lately, and more specifically, on my Facebook page.
As a person that was on the radio in Morning Drive for 25 years my job was to pay close attention to the news and share my feelings about the events of the day. Old habits die hard I suppose and I still spend more time concerned about the news cycle than maybe I should. When our President tweets something particularly idiotic I point that out BUT, when there is some good news, such as a million jobs added and a record stock market I will also give him some credit for not COMPLETELY tanking everything.
What I have come to notice is that anytime I post anything remotely political all of a sudden people come out of the woodwork, not so much to challenge me, but to use my page as a platform to argue with each other. I have watched “friends” hurl insults and cuss at each other and also have experienced many people that are not my friends, Facebook or otherwise, jump into the fray. This week I had finally had enough and deleted a particularly venomous thread.
I certainly don’t want to bury my head in the sand. I want to still pay close attention to world events which become more unsettling by the day. BUT, I also have to ask, is the divisive nature our our current political climate helping ANYONE?
Yes, I am frankly a little embarrassed with our current leadership BUT, it is what it is. I am guessing there will be months if not years of legal maneuvering and cable news talk ahead and I need to decide how much of my essence to I want to devote to it. I wont stand passively by and be assimilated but how much am I helping by posting something that sets off little mini crap storms of ill will? This is something I need to think about but I am considering being more like my dad and tempering my political activism in hopes for more harmony and unity. We are all in this together and we need to start acting like that. Lets take care of each other and work on things we DO have some influence over like being caring humans.
I AM A UNION MEMBER
Speaking of unity and politics, I suddenly find myself to be a card carrying Union member for the first time in my life. This is very new to me. In radio I was never Union but did have EXCELLENT representation from an Agent for much of my career. Our agent Paul negotiated some great deals that gave me good compensation, working conditions and plenty of vacation and benefits. He would hammer out multi-year contracts with management then we would sign and honor those agreements. I assume this is what my Union will also do except on a larger scale. Instead of representing a radio show they will be bargaining for my entire District.
I bring this up because it is a contract year for the Mercer Island School District and I will be spending my Birthday morning tomorrow at a Rally to show support for the people doing the negotiating. If you have an interest we will be in the back lot of the District Admin building at 8:30 AM. Put on a red shirt and come join us! I am not sure why red is the chosen color. Apparently it is not one of my favorites as all my red shirts are of the long sleeve, Christmas season variety. So yesterday I went and bought a red polo at…. take a guess…. Target! I figure if every employee has to wear a red shirt they must sell a few and I got a good one for nine bucks. I am going to attend the Rally tomorrow as well as the one on August 11th. Hopefully after that there will be an announcement of a new contract. If not I may need a couple more shirts, some sun block and good walking shoes.
I have always been supportive of workers rights. I have taken many a box of doughnuts to picket lines, reported labor disputes on the radio, let the Bellevue teachers use my home as a relief station when they struck a few years ago, and have even helped write songs in support of labor.
But I have never been a “Union Guy” until now and it will be interesting to see how it goes. My guess is that there are professionals on both sides of the negotiations and all will be good.
BUT, I took a serious pay cut going from the private sector to education. I did not become a teacher for the money but I also would not mind seeing a FAIR CONTRACT like what I was used to when Paul was doing my deals. (Yes different numbers and issues, but still a sense that my work is respected and compensation is in line with other Districts) As of now MISD pays less than ALL neighboring Districts and our class sizes are larger. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE having lots of kids enrolling in my program but when I am looking at 30 plus freshman in a class to learn about radio with enough resources to keep about 20 of them working it can be tough. I will keep you posted and hopefully all goes well and you don’t see me on the news waving a picket sign in September!
My Current Weight
Despite coming off of a Birthday rib feed at my sisters last night I still managed to lose a pound! I am at 224 and have finally cracked thru that 225 pound wall! This is not great but I am pleased. I was even lower when I weighed at 30/10 Weight Loss for Life in Renton on Thursday and Kelli and I came away VERY inspired after chatting with Dr. Linda and listening to a great tape on breaking the old habits. Late night eating is under control and I am feeling VERY motivated to make some more progress. Getting under 220 before school starts at the end of the month is easily within reach. Lets just make sure to cheer for our Bargainers so school does in fact start. I don’t want to be tempted by morning radio guys who bring doughnuts to picket lines!
Happy Seafair, Joe