He Gave and Hath Taken Away

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For 15 years my former company, et alia, provided me a sense of job security, until that security was taken away.

Self Made Storyteller laid the foundation for this story. Here's a little more background and context.

At et alia, our “good times” emerged in cycles, each one increasingly larger than the last – both in good and bad ways. None were as monumental as the final cycle. It ended in spectacular and rapid fashion.

The stakes were high that cycle, which spanned from 2009 to 2014.

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.

The next opportunity was risky, and at the expense of personal financial stability.

It’s give and take, only you don’t take anything. You receive.

Welcome to Devilish Smirk.

Facts of the Matter

et alia had a good run, but a sad ending. What I didn’t realize at the time was the “why” behind its demise.

Extraneous forces were hard at work for years trying to accomplish something. What, exactly, wouldn’t be clear for a while (i.e. years after et alia’s dissolution).

What’s amazing about et alia’s demise was that we were extremely well positioned in our niche within the SAP ecosphere, much to the chagrin of others in the industry.

et alia developed CREW, the SAP’s vertical industry solution for construction, general contractors, specialty trade contractors, and project-based services. All the while, building a database of industry trade secrets from which to develop the Intellectual Property that would ultimately be stolen and sold around the world.

To our face, SAP told us that CREW was their “go to market” solution for construction and project-based contractors. They would tell customers the same thing if any expressed concern about et alia’s longevity due to its size.

“Help Us!”

Every time SAP reached out to et alia for help, they had their tail between their legs. We called those opportunities rescues. A rescue was necessary when SAP initially fell on their face in front of a prospect.

After each rescue, we thought we’d proved ourselves to the point of loyalty. Sadly, no. We’d find out about yet, another rescue.

What became apparent is that SAP would routinely keep us in the dark about their prospects in deals where CREW’s functionality was relevant and essential. They hated their reliance on et alia.

SAP asked us to use et alia’s CREW system for demonstrations, but never invited us to the demos. They even went so far as to ask us to remove the et alia logo from the CREW demo system.

The partnership agreement et alia had with SAP guaranteed et alia a percentage of the SAP software cost when et alia CREW was part of the sales cycle.

Prospects would often wonder why SAP never introduced et alia earlier, but most times it was too little too late. Then, SAP would blame et alia for any loss because our implementation costs were too high.

If anything, we were on the low end of consulting costs.

Even still, SAP would introduce different implementation partners, sometimes using our proposals, at significantly reduced rates (but better licensing profit).

A past prospect of et alia's notified us when SAP returned with our proposal with a different implementation partner and rates.

But one of the most important customer they lied to was Turner Construction Company.

Again?

At the time et alia met Turner, SAP already lost the account. Turner was ready to sign Oracle contracts in mid-2009 when an et alia saleswoman got her foot in the door at a construction networking event.

Coincidence? I'm not so certain anymore.

Shockingly, Turner had never heard of et alia. They didn’t know et alia had actually developed functionality that SAP wasn’t able to show because they didn’t have or develop their own functionality.

Turner invited et alia to demonstrate what we’d built so far. Once they realized et alia had developed the functionality that SAP was unable to address, they put their Oracle signing on pause.

They gave et alia 30-days to develop a list of enhancements on top of what we demonstrated.

We returned in 30 days and demonstrated Turner’s requested enhancements on top of what we already had in CREW.

With that, Turner canceled their Oracle signing and began negotiating with the SAP team that Turner kicked out in the first place.

Then SAP came back to et alia in an effort to renegotiate the software license commission agreement we already had in place.

Ultimately for Turner, according to SAP, they discounted SAP software for the Turner licenses approximately 98%. That’s what they told us. et alia still received roughly $900,000 (which was 20% of the discounted list price).

Convenience has never been so obvious.

Pillars of Importance

A life without learning isn't much of a life at all. That's what happens when threading together the frayed cluster of a rope's loose ends.

What et alia did in the SAP industry helped expose the level of economic crime and fraud in the SAP sales process and subsequent implementations.

No wonder they wanted us as far away from the licensing side of SAP software...but they still needed to sell systems internationally, in construction and contracting.

Now, what others in the SAP world say is anyone’s guess. We had what felt like “good cops” purporting to be champions of et alia, and others who did nothing to mask their disdain for everything about us.

I’ll let et alia’s track record speak for itself. This is not a comprehensive list. These are important highlights of et alia’s last six years.

2009

SAP, both in the USA and Canada, booked the biggest et alia CREW deals to date. Turner Construction in the USA, and Churchill Corporation in Alberta, Canada. Turner’s project began in September 2009, and Churchill started in October.

Turner had significant concerns over et alia’s longevity due to its size and they were about to become our largest project to date.

Turner was the primary project manager for the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

After closing both Turner and Churchill, et alia had grown to 100 fulltime employees.

SAP assured Turner that et alia and CREW were their “go to market” solution for construction.

By some accounts, SAP even mentioned purchasing et alia to Turner.

Fun fact: The CEO of the company that purchased et alia in 2014 joined SAP in December of 2009. Turner contracts were signed in September 2009. His responsibility involved developing SAP's own construction solution. They called it Commercial Project Management (CPM). CPM lacked essential project management and complex union payroll functionality that et alia developed in both US and Canadian implementations.

2010

et alia was actually in discussions to sell as early as 2010 based on the Turner and Churchill success. For one company in particular, we had established a “ballpark” number of $20-something million USD. Those discussions quickly fell apart after an abrupt management change within the interested company.

2011

et alia achieves its highest revenue of any year, nearly $18 million. That was the highest annual revenue for et alia between 1999 and 2014.

2012

In December 2011, Construction Executive magazine names CREW a 2012 Hot Product in Construction. et alia loses its Director of Presales to SAP in January 2012. SAP strong arms et alia into accepting the poach. “Be a good partner, it will be a “win/win” in the future.

et alia doesn’t close another CREW deal for the rest of 2012, and et alia’s rapid decline begins.

2013

et alia’s plunge continues, but sells its final CREW deal. It was a fixed bid, small to midsize construction solution we called CREW Emerging. The customer was LPCiminelli (LPC) in Buffalo, NY. The final bid price was less than $500K, but stretched out over the course of the latter half of the year.

In September, out of financial desperation, et alia offers two executive team members the opportunity to buy in 8% of et alia. One said no, and one bit. The one who bought in 8% was longtime friends with the et alia Director of Presales whom SAP poached in January 2012.

2014

Two companies begin talking to et alia at the same time, Kiewit Construction in the USA (which would change its name to InEight that May) and ILLUMITI in Canada. Somehow, Kiewit became privy to the confidential ILLUMITI discussions (price, specifically), and Kiewit issued a “letter of intent” which halted et alia’s ongoing discussions with ILLUMITI.

et alia sells for the total of its debt with a few dollars on top.

The CEO of the new company is the same gentleman who went to SAP in December 2009, right after et alia and SAP booked the Turner and Churchill deals.

Less than a year later, I was retaliated against for escalating an HR claim to the head of HR who, in turn, forked it over to an HR investigator from Kiewit’s corporate office. The complaint was about the CEO. A week after I was gone, the head of HR was constructively terminated.

Fun Fact: LPC never fully paid et alia at the time of sale in 2014. The way the purchase agreement worked was that all outstanding accounts receivables were received by et alia, paid to Kiewit/InEight, and paid back to et alia. LPC still had an outstanding balance of nearly $45,000 at the time we were terminated. et alia never received that money.

Here in an instant, gone in a flash, what have I done to deserve this?

Suffering is Optional

The past several years have been an intense learning experience about our country and its judicial priorities. What’s clear at this point that the purchase of et alia was a fraudulent transaction, and Kiewit knew it at the time.

The gentleman who signed the purchase agreement knew it, and Kiewit's attorney, who negotiated the contract, but didn't show up to the signing, knew it.

I never knew that until after we were terminated from InEight.

I wonder what would have happened if we pulled out of the sale once the press release announcing the sale was released hours before the signing.

We made the accusation to Kiewit attorneys that the purchase of et alia was fraud on July 7, 2015. More on that in this story that I published in December 2018, a day or so before the government shutdown.

We’ve had lawyers deter us from proceeding, telling us there’s nothing that can be done about this situation. Eventually, in January 2016, we went to the FBI’s Phoenix office and reported everything we knew at the time.

Later that year, after not hearing from the FBI, we contacted a Russian embassy reporting what we knew to be major constitutional violations against us as U.S. citizens.

Meanwhile, the world is over a barrel while the United States deals with its Trump nightmare.

Plenty of people out there would like historic truths about et alia to remain buried or forgotten, except neither are options.

Whether or not I can make a difference in a corrupt world remains to be seen, but I feel a hell of a lot better not sitting on the facts I know.

This is life, and life is a fulltime job.

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Self Made Storyteller

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It's been a wild ride, but I don't regret a thing. I could have done without a few of the moments, but what's done is done and I wouldn't change a thing.

A Writer’s Life

If you’d have asked me five years ago, today, where I’d be in five years, none of my answers would’ve come close to my current reality. I’d have told you, you were out of your expletive mind.

No way in hell. You're crazy. That would never happen.

It happened. Here we are. Words of expressed reflection pouring from my fingertips.

I began writing in 2015, during the time between losing my job and registering Devilish Smirk.

At the time, I didn’t know how or where to begin, not beyond journaling and work email. Since I rarely journaled and had no job, a “blog” was an obvious choice.

Coming up with the name and securing its space was the easy part.

I still don’t know much about being a writer, other than I spend a lot of time doing it.

Writing requires a long game.

In the beginning, I was curious what writers in history had to say. The message that resonated with me was part of a quote slideshow.

I can't recall the exact quote, but the gist of it is "you cannot begin a story until the last word is written."

Whether or not that’s true, it stuck with me ever since. Its impact has everything to do with my mindset at the time: I had no end in sight.

Photo Credit: Jeff Brezovar

Understanding that, I realized my journey to writing signified a beginning.

I had (and have) a lot to learn about my story. I'm plotting my own unchartered path.

That’s when I registered Devilish Smirk.

I affectionately refer to Devilish Smirk as my hobby blog. It’s my training ground, one of the most important development tools on my journey to become a writer.

That was four years ago, in the summer of 2015. But let’s take it one step further, back to April 30, 2014.

It was a day that would become a significant live PIVOT (Personal Insight Visible Over Time) in my life.

Don't worry, this comes full circle.

Five Years Ago

It was April 29, 2014, on the eve of the sale of et alia, I was in the Detroit airport en route to Scottsdale for the signing.

A sudden last minute contingency was placed on the next day’s contracts. It came out of left field and was non-negotiable.

They placed a $600,000 holdback of purchase price, based on passing an SAP audit necessary for partnership status. That responsibility fell directly on my shoulders.

I accepted the responsibility as if I had a choice. My future was contingent on passing that audit, not to mention $600,000.

I missed my connection and stayed in Detroit overnight. I caught the first available flight to Phoenix the next morning.

April 30, 2014

It was finally the day. Four months of negotiations, meetings, and conversations came to a head. The entire day’s meeting was videotaped, or it was set up to look like it was.

The first thing unnatural that happened was the press release announcing the sale went out several hours before the signing.

I didn't know it at the time, but like the Grinch's heart, SAP's market cap increased by two billion that day.

Complete silence from the newest partner who bought in 8% even though he was about to lose half his investment.

His vocal gripe was his moving package. I wasn’t extended a contract. I was coming over as a straight-up employee. There were no guarantees for me; I was dispensable. They could terminate me at any time.

At one point, the CEO asked me how I felt things were going. Before I could answer, he brushed me off like I didn’t matter.

The last 15 years of my life meant nothing.

Not at that moment in time.

That’s a humbling blow at 39.

Dance with the Devil

The partners of et alia sold its assets along with “all known and unknown lawsuits” to Kiewit Technology, Inc.

Kiewit sent a substitute, contract attorney.

“Ever dance with the devil by the pale moonlight?”

After the five partners of et alia signed the purchase agreement, that’s the actual quote the then CEO of Kiewit Technology, Inc. (InEight) muttered.

He said it once the agreements were stacked neatly in front of him.

As he went in to sign I interrupted him, from across the table, with the rest of the quote from 1989’s Batman by Jack Nicholson’s Joker.

“I always ask that of all my prey, I just like the sound of it.”

The CEO’s ears perked up. He looked directly at me from across the table and said, “Travis, I may have underestimated you. I need to get to know you better.”

Then, he signed.

Immediately, my phone vibrated. It was a text from the et alia attorney who joined us at the table.

"Document that" was all it said.

That night, at dinner, I sat across the table from the CEO. He told me that I had no idea how impactful it was that I knew the Joker quote earlier. He said it changed his opinion of me.

What?

I remember it well since it was the first and only time I ever ate a raw oyster.

Another thing that the CEO told me about contracts, when discussing my lack of one, was that “all contracts can be gotten out of through loopholes.”

That stuck with me ever since.

Seeds.

The CEO went on to say that after I moved to Scottsdale, we’d have to get together at his house for dinner, and he would show me his bat cave.

Fun fact: The CEO is a DC comics fanatic. He has a tattoo of Gotham City on his shoulder and wore Batman socks and t-shirts to work.

I was 39 so it’s not like it was a pedophile thing. Needless to say, I never made it to the bat cave.

Another fun fact: The CEO was the CIO of gulf-based contractor, Roy Anderson, who became an early CREW customer, almost immediately following Hurricane Katrina. History.

Over time, the impacts of his actions shed light on motives that began making a lot of other shit potentially make sense.

It was the strangest day of my life; the day we sold et alia.

Set Up to Fail

The 11 months I spent at Kiewit/InEight, I was being set up to fail.

Leading up to the sale, the CEO initially wanted Brad, my co-founding partner, to fire me before the transaction took place. That didn’t happen. When push came to shove, I was at least offered a position.

I don't know what those clowns expected, but I was a co-founder. Sadly for Kiewit, I came with the package.

Even still, the CEO even persisted and regularly informed Brad he was going to have him fire me within a year.

For whatever reason, they wanted me out of the picture.

I passed the SAP audit in June, renewing partnership compliance for one year. et alia received the $600,000 hold back, and I kept my job.

I was promoted twice the latter half of 2014.

At my first review, my manager said, “the expectation was that you’d get here, and you’d fall on your face.”

I was one of three promotions announced in December 2014 for new roles in January.

The review I received in February 2015 was great. My manager was incredibly happy with my performance, his sentiments reflected in the review he wrote.

I never imagined the escalation of HR accusations reported to me, against the CEO, by employees I managed, would result in my ousting.

April 2015 Departures

Brad Nicolaisen laid me off on April 13, 2015. He was constructively terminated on April 22, 2015.

A good place to start for the truth would be Kiewit’s then Director of Government Relations.

Hi Jill.

She only played a role in a few major incidents affecting me. Maybe her side could shed more light on why.

After 11 months and two promotions, they lumped me into a layoff of 30+ employees – some of whom participated in an investigation of anonymously reported HR incident(s) involving the CEO.

All previous attempts to get rid of me failed. They did it that way.

Overnight, I didn’t have anyone to manage, help, or assist. I had had nowhere to be, and no one to see.

I’d spent my entire career bound to the corporate world. After almost 16 years, I found myself jobless without many options.

Certainly, I was not about to return to that industry.

I had mixed feelings about it, but I knew, deep down, I’d rather die than have anything to do with that industry.

Plus, my attention was increasingly focused on other options. And I never signed a confidentiality agreement.

That's the best part.

Making Sense Out of the Nonsensical

I loved to write, but I’d never written anything for myself.

My degree is in Journalism. Of all things. This should come as no surprise. Finally, my college years made more sense.

My college experience was a whirlwind, but I didn’t attribute anything happening in my life because of my degree.

All this time I thought college was for the multitude of other experiences it afforded me. My inner journalist was stoked, but journalists aren’t beloved by everyone in this world.

The End

The end of this story is clear. There’s nowhere to go but up from here.

The events of yesterday matter as much as you make them.

Reel into your core, and have honest conversations with yourself. Look in a mirror if you have to. Eventually, you won’t need one. One day, the scales tip.

I realized the fine line between being careful and careless. Too much in one direction, and the overextended end flips your life in unproductive ways.

It’s hard to be optimistic these days. That’s when I stopped adapting to respond, and started adapting to understand.

It’s a line I toe daily.


The Devil Made Me Do It

I stand up for what’s right, I know how to fight, and that makes me a threat.

Travis Garrod, Devilish Smirk

Five years is a good timespan for the beginning and end of a story.

What the Hell Happened in Scottsdale?

April 2014: Dance with the Devil
2015: Devilish Smirk
2016: Domestic Terrorists Live Among Us
2017: Think Inside the Box, Pivot & Go
2018: Answers
April 2019: Phoenix Emerges from the Colorful Crap Ashes

Reading my stories from the top-down is a reverse version of my evolution, but an evolution nonetheless, but there’s no wrong place to start.

It is a form of Choose Your Own Adventure! Eventually all the stories tie into one another, and yours hopefully makes more sense.

2020: Foresight is 20/20

I feel like I’m crawling out of a steaming pile of extraordinarily colorful crap ashes.
*Currently In theaters in the future*

Where will you be in five years?

What were you doing on April 30, 2014?

I can’t believe I was eating a raw oyster, or that I was celebrating anything.

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Beyond the Cliff

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How do you get beyond the cliff?

Leap!

Whatever happened to that iguana on St. John? I think about that iguana a lot. In case you missed the original, Have You Ever Felt Like a Baby Iguana?

Originally posted September 1, 2017. Hurricane Irma directly hit St. John on September 6, 2017. Irma was deemed a Cat5 hurricane only because Cat6 didn't (and still doesn't) exist.

Last we heard about the iguana, he’d taken a leap off the ledge of a villa’s porch on St. John.

Have You Ever Felt Like a Baby Iguana? Pt. 2

I only know what’s happened to me since I left the island.

Did the iguana survive Hurricane Irma?

I can't imagine he didn't. 

Granted, it was only a month and a half after the encounter that Hurricane Irma annihilated St. John. But, if anything would survive a direct hit along a hurricane’s path, it would be an iguana.

This is the stuff of Survivor!

That’s the stuff iguanas evolve to withstand.

I spent 21 more days on St. John. On my feet.

I returned to Arizona mid-August of 2017. I felt my time on the island was up. My soul was rejuvenated and I was ready to get home and write. I left in the nick of time.

I didn't understand until later exactly how just in time my departure was.

The Premonition

A few weeks before the iguana encounter, the island of St. John was in full swing Independence Day celebration. It was, in some ways an end of season shebang. The locals were excited as the vacation destination’s vacation was looming.

The picture below – of the jeep – was taken by me on July 4, 2017 on St. John at the island’s Independence Day parade.

I was living on St. John during the most memorable and impactful summer of my life.

What happened next rocked the worlds of everyone I’d just met.

Sometime after the unreported international border and customs scandal between the US and British Virgin islands, a succession of storms were brewing, literally. Secrets, secrets...

Along Came Irma

Now this? Life finally caught up with reality.

One of a host of Harbingers as of recent history.

Circle Back to Something Great

Two years ago today, I’d yet to embark on my trip to St. John. It seems appropriate to write a follow up to the original iguana story.

It’s been, after all, nearly two years since he took a leap off the proverbial cliff.

Reading the words I write is a bit like eavesdropping on the conversations I have with my imaginary friends. Except, here I am, handing you the recordings. Optimism. It's cute, isn't it?

A Part of My Soul Stayed on St. John

St. John changed my outlook on life. The people there, that summer restored my faith in humanity. I never felt more home away from home.

Ghosts and spirits are ever present on St. John. I met a lot of people there. Shadows play a funky role in your imagination.

I chose to roll with it.

The shadows played tricks on my eyes, so I had no choice but to see.

Iguana Piece of Me

I caught glimpses of them in the corners of my eyes.

You’re out there somewhere, lurking in the shadows. Don’t stay in those.

I don’t think the iguana from the first story even realizes who he is. All I know for sure is it was a bright, brilliant green and very young.

For the friends I met, three weeks later, St. John was in a much different place. Much like the iguana among them, they landed on their feet, stood still for a minute, and analyzed the situation. They persevered.

St. John survived.

The love for that island proved gravitational. The locals rose to the call of their one love, Love City.

They taught me about getting to the top the right way.

The Write Way to the Top

They taught me what it meant to follow your dreams. I learned what taking risks was all about. It becomes fun when you begin to question everything.

Then it snowballs. Writing is easy when you’ve got nothing to prove.

However, much like Irma, there are powers well at work way above anyone's ability to control, much less sense.

Hunker Down and Pray for Daylight

Listen up, folks. There are too many hypocrisies laying around to count. It’s time to see it for what it is, it’s hypocrisy. It’s never ok.

How long before we realize that’s what this is all about?

Astounding and Too Convenient

Our sitting president has been on record disrespecting women left and right, but Joe Biden gets a pass for pleading ignorant? What Pelosi? No Pelosi.

What Pelosi should have said is "nobody from the past should be elected, and we need to hold leaders to a higher standard. Otherwise we're doomed to repeat history, which would be great because I'm getting paid to do this."

And we act surprised when the past repeats itself. We quickly forget that Biden was part of the administration that led to Trump. Way to hit that Trump reset button for 2024.

Has anyone announced for 2028 yet? Talk about prime political real estate.

Washington stalwarts. They’re like fucking barnacles. Old, crusty barnacles.

Not So Green Anymore

Do I miss any past president? No.

Every last one of them has to do with the paved road that led to Trump. All while trying to pave it for Hillary. Whoops, backfired.

What happened, Obama?

We can’t change our old ways with the old players on the field. Want election reform? How about this? Reform the politicians.

Any official in an elected office before Trump was elected President of the United States, should never run for political office again.

If you currently hold office and have held an elected position in Washington D.C. longer than Trump, you’re the problem.

Bye.

That goes for both sides.

You’ve always been and will always be a problem. You’re (at least part of) the reason why we’re in the mess we’re in.

You’re part of the machine that made Trump possible. Then he won.

Yes, good people can be problems too. They only worsen once their intent far surpasses their ability to deliver, and their story only becomes more painful.

A true public servant offers themselves up for the people without collecting a tax payer funded salary.

An honest public servant can take a step back and realize they hit the iceberg years ago.

I can buy rose colored glasses. Empty words add no color.

The question is, can you solve the problem you’re in before it’s too late?

If you want change, then change.

Take Us To Your Leader

Wait, screw the leaders. Take me to your people. Let’s be real for a second. We are so much more than our leaders.

We are the ones our leaders strive to be.

I Woke Up

Checkmate!

What? It was only April Fools Day yesterday. Late, as usual.
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This Country’s Not Ready for An Election

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Not Today, Satan!

What the hell is going on in this country? I’ll tell you. A bunch of bullshit.

Repetitive bullshit.

The 2020 narrative is a 1974 scandal coupled with an upside down list of 2016 contenders. This time it’s heavy on the D side.

The 2016 election was nothing more than a recycled 1992 ballot with the popular vote winner ultimately losing.

The only difference worth noting is that Florida decided the 2000 winner.

Never Say Never

What’s wrong with this picture?

If this doesn’t make you nervous, you forgot to never forget.

How do you prevent history from repeating itself?

Stop repeating it. Don't taunt the enemy. Stop inciting violence. Treat people equally. Unite Americans. Honor the Constitution. Fund education. Lead by example. Speak the truth. Solve problems. Stop being dicks. Understand your position, and the power of words.

Navigating a maze of metaphors is no way to live. There’s a very dark side to this story.

I don’t want to tell the deeply personal parts of this story from a Bird Box, but I’ll do what I have to do.

Trump is in the White House for one reason and one reason only: Careless oversight of a plan gone awry.

Instead of addressing the issue, they chose to ignore it.

Too big to fail is a myth. It failed. Too big to succeed? The struggle is real.

The unraveling has lasted four cruel summers so far.

I’m being deliberately vague. Details to follow in short order, including every name I know attached to this clusterfuck.

Brad Nicolaisen and I had nothing to do with this fucked up charade.

We’re just two gay citizens of the United States, and our lives have been shredded. Certain rights and civil liberties are out of our reach.

I'm 15% Native American. My grandmother was born on a reservation in North Dakota. She met my grandfather in the military in Virginia. He was born and raised in Alaska.They were married and had their first child in Virginia, then returned to Alaska.

I’ve explained pieces of the puzzle in past stories, but I’ve only scratched the surface.

It gets significantly worse, and the flood will come.

Jesus, Take the Narrative

Announcing 2020 candidacy today is like eating ice cream for breakfast, lunch, dinner and washing your hair with toothpaste. It doesn’t make sense.

We’re still “investigating” the legitimacy of the last election.

I don't believe that's what this investigation is really about, but let's say it is. Stay on script.

If we don’t have answers sooner than later, Russian hacking is the least of the problems we can’t solve.

Scapegoats, scapegoats, all around, but we have an Amber Alert for accountability and responsibility.

Baby steps, America! The narratives grow and multiply like gremlins. Stabilize our current problems before creating more.

Hey Leaders! Here’s an Idea, Lead!

Voters deserve to make an informed decision based on results, not promises.

I know it’s tempting to run for president while holding current office. The current session started in January.

You can’t do your job effectively and run for president. That’s a disservice to your nation.

Take your pick. Either resign and run a 110% campaign, or stay in your current position. Commit to your country or show up for your state.

Campaigning is not your job. It’s do or die.

If you’re going to change the world, then change it. That won’t happen unless you adapt to a new reality.

I believe this ends well for America, but that doesn’t mean it will. I’ve done what I can. The time has come to stop dicking around.

Lives are on the line.

Back to My Bubble

I have nothing to prove and no reason to lie. The only truth I know is mine. That’s all that matters to me.

If I wanted to invent truth, I'd write about having a sex life, a gym membership, and the waterproof butt swab pregnancy test I invented after flunking algebra.

True Feelings

I can’t imagine a worse career than being a public servant serving their own needs over the people they serve.

The only thing I have absolute control over are my own actions.

I don’t know much about the new crop of Congress members. Time will tell which ones get hog tied to the next 50-year corruption scandal.

If you think you’re getting away with something nefarious, think again. Think long and hard. Remember this word: Eventually.

Silly goose, if you want any attention, you have to pull out your wallet. That's how you make friends in Washington.

And then one day…T

Presidents have no business leading a country if they can’t instill confidence in its citizens.

Hope doesn’t cut it anymore. We’re ready to feel something new.

The law of diminishing returns applies to this lesson. This jet will stall.

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A Perfect Stage to Rattle Your Cage, Pt. 3

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But First, the First Two

In case you missed the first two:
A Perfect Stage to Rattle Your Cage, Pt. 1
A Perfect Stage to Rattle Your Cage, Pt. 2

How Long Have I Been in This Cage?

It’s easy to draw parallels between pop culture, politics, and real life.

When a picture I took four years ago resonates with me more than the day I took it, it’s somewhat spooky.

I took title picture of this blog four years ago.

The stage was set in the basement of a restaurant in downtown Phoenix. At the bottom of the basement stairs was a small standing area, roughly 5×5.

The first thing you notice is the fence. And then there was this.

The fencing was moreso wrapped around the people staring at the dolls than the dolls themselves.

What’s funny is that this particular bar is that it’s a “sister” location to a Milwaukee-based restaurant located by Cathedral Square.

I captured that picture before I moved to the area, but I still moved to the area.

How Long Have I Been on This Road?

If there was ever a foreshadowing to my life that I didn’t think twice about, this was it. Talk about being unaware of your surroundings…

Welcome to the Doll Cage, also known as Devilish Smirk.

All the pieces are coming together. Or came together. Coming together. Whatever it is, I’m further ahead than you think.

#desertlife

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