Piano World Home Page

Derick's life story:

Posted By: Derick

Derick's life story: - 03/09/02 09:40 AM

Many of you seem 'bothered' by my commentaries that challenge the status quo. You make assumptions about me and my 'fellow whiners' and our lives. But until you've walked a mile in someone's shoes, you should not pass judgement.

I had never planned to tell any of you my life story, primarily because I don't want sympathy. But since Larry praised Dwain as being a "real man" for sharing his misfortune, I'm going to share mine. It's doubtful, but maybe you'll understand why I am so angry and why I want to make MINOR adjustments to the system. Adjustments, that just today, President Bush, has called for. You all adore him right? His statement demanding CEO accountability, complete disclosure, and penalties for ill-obtained profit is, exactly what radical, socialist, Derick has been saying.

But enough on that. I've had a few beers and feel like crying on someone's shoulder. So pull up a chair...

I was born to a working class family. Both my mother and father worked to support the family. As a child I never knew how much I DIDN'T have because of what I DID have - the love of my parent's. And the amazing sacrafice they made for their children.

My parent's and their families lived on Long Island. Being Italian on both sides, it's a tight knit family. We were not rich, but we had a roof over our heads, and, most important, the entire family got together every Sunday afternoon for a nice dinner. Those were, truly the good old days.

I worked my butt off in school. And not to toot my own horn, but I graduated at the top of my class and was fortunate to get enough scholarships to eventually obtain my doctorate.

At 24 I land my first job with a major US corporation. Again, not to blow my own horn, but in the 4 years I worked for them, I obtained 3 patents. The patent portfolio was valued at $10,000,000. I'm telling you this not to brag, but because it's relevant to the rest of the story.

At age 25 I met my first wife. The girl of my dreams. We married, bought a house and wanted to start a family. In the 6th month of my wife's pregnancy she had a minor auto accident and went into labor. But in the ambulance on the way to the hospital her hip shattered and killed our baby. My wife had cancer. The doctors gave her 6 months. She died 7 months later. One month after I buried my wife next to my unborn child, I was fired for 'not producing'. I guess the $10,000,000 patent portfolio was never taken into account, nor was what I had just gone thru. I was too devastated to be bitter about losing my job. I just accepted it.

I found another job and tried to put my life together as best I could and started over. This time, 2 patents. Total worth: $100,000,000. Times got tough. My division was closed down. I lost my job. The CEO and all the executives made the same bonus that year as they did the year before. After I lost my job, I worked night and day trying to land another. But to no avail. I could no longer afford the house and put it on the market. But times were bad for everyone in that area and I'd have to sell it at a loss that I couldn't possibly make up. I lost the house. My journey to becoming an angry young man (I saw that before you edited out of your post Jodi) was just beginning. And with the help of the past, it had a huge head start.

Now, at age 32, I moved AGAIN to employer #3. At this company I met my current wife. She had worked there for several years and we were able, with her credit (mine was/still is shot) to buy a house. Two years after I started my career there, the company bought out another company in India. The story we were given was that the plant in India needed our (my/my wife's) programming area's help to build a similar subsystem on a different platform. Trusting fools that we were, we gladly helped. 6 month's later the company decided they were going to move the US platform to India - cheaper labor there. One day we walked in, handed us our pink slip and marched us out. Did the CEO suffer? Take a wild guess. No, in fact he got an even bigger bonus that year.

Now I should add that no matter how bad one's own situation is, there is always someone who has it worse. In this case, a co-worker who had 4 small children (age 1 to age 6 I think), lost his wife to cancer, and then lost his job. Do you think I'm bitter? Do you think he's bitter? Oh yeah.

Well I had no idea what was in store for me next. Myself, my wife, mom, dad, sisters and my wife's brother flew out to Florida (Disney) for a vacation. My parent's were kind enough to pay for everything and felt we really needed a break. At the end of the week, my father, two sisters, and my wife's brother had to get back. My mom, myself and my wife decided to stay a few more days. They flew into Laguardia (sp???) and then were to take a short commuter flight to Stewart Airport (now Stewart International Airport). The plane went down and everyone was killed. I thought I suffered enough with my first wife, the job losses (nothing in comparison), but now this... My mother was/is/will always be devistated.

I don't know if it's worse to have someone die slowly, as in the case of my first wife, or to have them be here one second and gone the next. I do know, or think I know that the older you get, the harder death hits. I walked around in a daze for over a year after my first wife died. I who love popular music, and can recite the words to almost any song, have no idea what the songs were on the radio that year. I know I turned it on, but I never listened. I wasn't thinking about anything, I just entered another zone - like a nothingness. I knew it was about to happen again with the loss of my father and two sisters. And I knew my wife was going to go thru it as well with the loss of her brother.

But life goes on... I got my current job near my mother. I had. She won't leave the house behind. She's too emotionally fragile for me to even entertain the thought of moving her with us. This is what I was talking about Penny that I didn't want to discuss in public. But I guess if you have enough to drink you bare your soul.

So here I am, stuck in this job. Not really stuck. It's not a bad job. I'm doing well, producing a lot for them. But little by little, one group after another has their operations moved overseas. 800 people here, 400 people there. By the end of last year they had layed off 10,000 US employees. And for the sole purpose of moving operations overseas where they could save money. US employees pensions were cut, and US medical benefits were cut - But the CEO's and executives who have to make those "painful" decisions, were exempt. And they raked in the big bucks and bonuses, while former employees are standing on the unemployment line. Am I bitter? Am I angry? Oh yeah, big time.

I don't want any sympathy. All I want is a little understanding here. It isn't as simple as most of you want to think it is. My story is, hopefully, the exception rather than the rule. But do I really know what other people have gone thru? Absolutely not.

I've said this before, I'll say it again, because I just don't know HOW in God's name to make the point to you people that I could care less how much the CEO or executives make. Just don't make MORE money at the expense of your employees. In other words DON'T STEAL.

Is that such an evil thing? Does that go against the principles of capitalism? I don't think so. Not in the least. I base my ideas on what I feel is right and wrong. And I'm sorry, but I think this is legalized stealing and I think it's wrong. And I honestly cannot, for the life of me, understand WHY you people can not get this thru your heads.

Yeah, I wrote a scathing piece in the other room because I am, quite honestly, sick to death of the incessant attacks. And I'm also amazed at how the ultimate capitalists are too tired to discuss it any further, have disappeared all together, or pretend they haven't read it. Actually, I'm not. It simply puts to light all your principle and how it affect others - and you see that it ain't pretty. But no one is willing to stand up and admit it. Nope. Moving operations overseas to raise the bottom-line is good. Encourage all cost-savings measures by tying executives bonuses to profit - you don't care how they do it, just do it. Right?

I just don't understand that philosophy. Maybe I see things differently because of all that has happened to me. But I honestly feel you people just want to sit there with your heads buried in the sand because life is good for you. Well that's great, I'm happy for you. But guess what, life is not great for a lot of people - and I'm not talking personal tragedies, I'm talking finances, lost jobs, foreclosures, lives in tatters while CEOs and executives get bonues because the shareholders have the right to demand growth. What price are we willing to pay as a nation for growth? Do you not think that this will eventually come back to bite you? If not you, your children?

I don't know what more to say other than OPEN YOUR EYES. It's more than high time you got your head out of the sand and looked at what is going on around you, rather than focusing on your own little world.

I have had too much to drink and am probably making little sense. Even when I'm sober I apparently make little sense on this forum so what's the difference. I'm sure I've gained 200 more enemies, and the people who hate me currently, hate me even more now. And I'll probably regret posting this tomorrow, but for some reason I feel like hitting send.

If it's any consolation to all my enemies, I am incredibly drained by this whole experience of just trying to get you to listen. Totally drained and downright depressed. Depressed over what I've been thru and depressed that you people can defend the indefensible.


[ March 09, 2002: Message edited by: Derick ]
Posted By: Dwain Lee

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/09/02 03:03 PM

Derick, I am genuinely sorry for your losses and setbacks. I hope that you find the peace in your life that you deserve.

The truth is, everyone has personal scars and baggage that forms their opinions. In my earlier post, I mentioned a few things in my life that were relevant specifically to business, but some people on this forum are aware of some other personal things that have occurred in my life (which I'll not discuss publicly) which have deeply affected me. We all have had our measure of life trials. That's why I believe that we can all relate to your situation, and offer our best wishes to you, regardless of whether we agree with your opinions. Life is personal, not political.

This is my first response to you in quite a while. It will also be my last. So I want to try to explain a couple thoughts to you one final time.

I disagree with the ultimate expression of your economic beliefs. I say that carefully, because I do not disagree with some of your thoughts, upon which you base what I believe is an incorrect conclusion. I think in an earlier reply to you, I said something like, "I'm not your enemy, I was with you until..." or something like that. In any case, there are tons of people with whom I disagree on positions, here on this forum and elsewhere. Regardless, I don't disrespect them simply for holding the beliefs. I've often thought of what a wonderful evening it would be to be sitting at a dinner table, discussing everything from pianos to politics, with all the regulars on this forum. I would have no problem warmly welcoming and enjoying the evening, sitting right between pique and Bernard, with whom I've routinely disagreed. Even though I sometimes disagree with them, I respect them.

And there's the catch. Everyone has their own personal yardstick for measuring respect. Mine is a mixed bag of things, but here are a couple criteria.

1. I have a very deep religious faith. It has been, I believe, the one thing that has kept my head above water during the tough times in my life, both the current situation and in times past. It touches every aspect of my life, and my attitudes and opinions in all other areas of my life are formed with my faith as the cornerstone. I am not afraid or ashamed to discuss my faith when appropriate, or if asked, but I do not wear it on my cuff, or bring it up in a discussion to indicate that my opinions are superior to someone else's: "I have deeply seated religious beliefs, so my attitudes must be right, and since you believe otherwise, you must not be a person of faith and you are obviously wrong." Whether you meant them to or not, this is exactly how some of your earlier posts came off, particularly in your comments to Cork and lb.

2. Far more than your actual economic beliefs, the way in which you presented your thoughts was to me, and I think to many others, merely rude and disrespectful. This disrespectful attitude has continued through your creating numerous threads to rehash the same arguments, trying to shift other threads to a conversation centered around your chosen crusade, and continuing into this most recent post, essentially screeching at us about being misguided and having our heads in the sand, etc.

I'm not going to use this post to argue the details of your opinions. I want to express my absolutely sincere sorrow for the things that have happened in your life. Remaining sincere with you, I want to offer you some advice. I'm not preaching to you, I'm not yelling at you, I'm not arguing with you. Just read this, and really think about it:

You have deeply seated beliefs, formed in part by your personal battle scars. Realize that everyone has similar scars, and that they similarly form their beliefs based on these scars. You, who have sufered so much, should understand not to demean and insult those life experiences by dismissing the people as merely being blind or having their heads in the sand. Disagree all you want, but respect the person on the other side of the conversation.

I was recently counseled by a very perceptive person regarding my own problems that the root of my problems was anger. He said, "You know what the problem is? You've always been the smart guy, and now you're mad at yourself that you didn't see this coming. You're mad at yourself that you didn't control the situation and make it come out your way. You're mad at yourself because you weren't perfect. Because you're human, and fallible. You can wrap your story up in all kinds of intricate little details, but the root of your current problem, your current danger isn't the details - it's the anger. If you allow it to, the anger will consume you. It will destroy all of the remaining family ties, friendships, everything positive in your life. If you allow it to, the anger will overtake you and it will utimately destroy you."

Your situation and mine don't have the same details, but I honestly believe that they both have anger as a major cornerstone. I am learning, day to day, how to let go of that anger. I'm not going to tell you that I've completely eliminated the anger, but I have given up most of it. And it does help, Derick. It has helped me to move on with my life. I think you need to do the same in your situation. It's not just me who your words have insulted or hurt, Derick, there are others here. And maybe you really don't even see how your words have put you in the position where you think you have 200 enemies here. I know I have hurt people while blinded by my anger, people that in retrospect I'm amazed didn't punch me in the mouth for things I've said and done. It's sort of "paying forward" for the patience shown to me by them, that I'm offering this sincere and heartfelt advice to you.

I'm not your enemy, Derick. I understand; I went through a two year stint of the "nothingness" you described myself, over personal things that I haven't and won't detail here. But I'm not kidding about the advice; please think about it. Letting go of the anger is not the same as letting go of the people you've lost, and it doesn't change bad things. But it is the only way that you can stay sane, and truly grow. The scars will remain, but at least they'll heal. I know what I'm talking about from personal experience. Learning to let go of the anger has, I believe, literally saved my life. Don't let your anger destroy yours.
Posted By: JBryan

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/09/02 03:32 PM


First I want to thank you for sharing that with us. I am sure it wasn't easy for you.

Many of the inequities you speak of are hard to defend if not impossible. I think I would have to agree that enriching oneself at the expense of subordinates and, in the process, returning nothing to them or even leaving them worse off could very acurately be described as stealing. I offer no defense or carry no brief for the sorts of activities you describe.

I think where we tend to differ (or maybe not) is what is to be done about it. I asked you before for specific solutions and you actually provided a very thoughtful response. I apologize for not responding as I said I would but I felt that such a thoughtful response deserved something equally thoughtful on my part. Not simply flip or sarcastic.

It seems that your answer to these problems involves government regulation of one sort or another through tax policy or legislation.
Although I have a nearly Libertarian outlook towards the role of government I am not one who believes that government has no role in the private sector. Some regulation is called for if our economic system is not to degenerate into the law of the jungle or survival of the fittest.

The burning question is what specific public policy is appropriate to that end. I have for years wondered how this business of pitting our workers head to head with those who make a fraction of their wages in countries with little or no safety or environmental regulation could be anything but an impossible situation. This, I believe, is a major flaw in our trade policy which seems to have been influenced more by investors and manufacturers than by the workers themselves. I woul agre that a lot of work is needed in this area.

When it comes to determining how CEOs and other officers in privately held corporations are compensated, I think we need to tread very lightly lest we erode the forces that make our economy function. I know President Bush has outlined some proposed measures in dealing with the sort of abuse that took place in the Enron fiasco and some of this is probably called for.

I am very afraid when I hear people defining a government presence in board rooms and calling for government measures to determine "fair" compensation. It is obvious to me that you are not really calling for government control of privately held companies but seemingly inoccuous or trivial "tweaks" can gradually become what amounts to the same thing.

I am sorry that I have not been very specific about what I would do to address the abuses you described but they are very complex issues and I have not really been able to arrive at specific measures that do not seem to have their own negative consequences.

It is obvious that you care very deeply about these issues as opposed to being some hidebound ideologue in search of a forum for his leftist views as some may see it. I understand that people on this forum seem very defensive of their position but there is a good reason for that. People on the right have for many years been under assault by the media, policy makers, and academia and have been vilified and portrayed as uncaring heartless monsters. This could not be farther from the truth. For the most part, people on the right (and I tend to be one of them) care very much about the plight of their fellow citizens but are in disagreement as to policy.

Over the years, issues about which reasonable people can disagree have been made into issues where right thinking people believe this and those benighted, greedy, heartless monsters over there would have us believe that they are holding a reasoned point of view. This is the source of the defensiveness you described. There is actually more than one side to these issues. If people disagree with you it is quite possible that they are expressing a reasoned point of view and for you to suggest otherwise will naturally raise their defenses.

I hope I have helped you to understand that people on this board don't necessarily hate you (although I can only speak for myself) but find your approach to discussing issues very irritating. I can see that you are quite intelligent and sometimes intelligent people can become frustrated with what appears to them as willful ignorance. I think you will find a different approach not only helpful in getting your points across but enhancing your appreciation of a point of view that you may not entirely understand. But that is just my opinion.

I actually believe the world needs people like you even though there may be very little about which we agree. Certainly this would be a stagnant existence if there were only one point of view. Sometimes we do need someone to jolt us from our complacency by making us look at things we may have chosen not to see. That works both ways. Thanks again for trying to show us a little more clearly who you are and I , for one, may continue to spar with you in a good natured way but I promise I will try to keep the rhetoric at a civil level.
Posted By: piqué

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/09/02 03:50 PM

dwain, that was a very beautiful and perceptive post.

derick, your pain and anger and loss are palpable as i read your post. i am so sorry.

my family has also been handed a lousy deck of cards, not terribly dissimilar from yours. many, many people reading here, i have a hunch, are not strangers to the kind of loss and suffering you describe.

but as to your experiences being at the root of your beliefs about corporate america, i have to say that i see a theme here:

every time you lost a job, you jumped back into the system that had so poorly rewarded you. you kept believing that some company would put your interests first, and treat you the way you felt you deserved to be treated. and even though it never happened, you continued to keep taking the ticket for that ride.

i see it as a motif in your story, this blind spot.

from my pov, as someone who has also endured huge personal and economic struggles, whether the companies were fair to you is beside the point. you chose to be their victim.

that may sound harsh, but i am trying to make a humane and helpful point here.

as i read your story, i kept waiting for you to choose something different. the capitalist system we live in is lauded by those here who love it because it rewards personal initiative, and those who strike it out on their own.

what those companies did to you was abusive. but whether it was right or just is really not the issue. the issue is, what are you going to do with your own life? are you going to take charge of your own life and put your talents and intelligence to use for YOURSELF.

if it were me, i'd never go back to a major corporation again expecting to be taken care of. i would take care of myself. i'd take my genius for invention and use it to benefit myself. start your own company. become a consultant. make your own way.

no, that is not easy to do, at all. it requires a lot more of talented people than simply working for someone else.

but the reason those here who have successfully worked that system defend it is because through their own hard work they have achieved what it is not possible to achieve as someone else's employee. why would they want someone who isn't willing to make that effort get the same rewards they had to work so hard for? i don't blame them.

the reality is that in america, you get the goodies if you strike out on your own. and if you deliver up all of your talents to the ceo, don't be surprised if he uses that to enrich himself.

now that you know that, what choices are you going to make for yourself? how will you take charge of the future of your own life?

it's a waste of precious, precious energy to rage against the ceo. you need that energy to now move on and do something positive with your life. something to enrich yourself and not him.

please keep us posted. and please stay. i haven't minded your posts one bit. smile
Posted By: jodi

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/09/02 04:30 PM

Wow. Derrick - you have received some tremendous advice here. And, I must say, that was the most thoughtful and genuine post you have ever written. As I said before, for me, its never been so much about what you say - it's how you have said it. Your anger overshadows your words. And just for the record, I did NOT vote for George W. Bush. Jodi
Posted By: Larry

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/09/02 06:19 PM

Originally posted by jodi:
And just for the record, I did NOT vote for George W. Bush. Jodi

I did. And if I could have gotten the Republicans to do like the Democrats did, I'd have voted for him a couple more times........

Posted By: iainhp

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/09/02 07:53 PM

Derick - I guess I was one of those born lucky. I can't relate to your personal life as I really have had no real personal tragedies in my life to date so I can't speak to that.

On the professional level, I too have watched the waves of layoffs. You have only discussed one side of the coin. The other is the hiring of foreign workers to work in the US at a lower wage than their US counterparts (and I'm talking technical jobs, not field labourers). Airline pilots have a union. Why not other technical professions? There are some professional organisations challenging the problems, but it is only a half hearted attempt.

Patents are another issue that no corporation is going to negotiate with an individual. It needs an organised body large enough to get them to wake up and take notice. Arnold Swarzeneger receives royalties on his films (negotiated up front), why not an engineer on his work, especially if it realises large profits?

And the list goes on.....

The ox are slow but the earth is patient.

You ought to tune into Michael Savage's show on the radio.
Posted By: fmelliott

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/09/02 09:09 PM

Derick, you certainly have our sympathy as a group. I grew up in a minister's house and am an officer in the church. People struggle with pain and it is hard to watch and difficult to help. I agree that you should run, not walk away from Corporate America. I got a degree in Government, took a close look at the lunatics running the apparatus, and never looked back for a job. The Limited Liability Corporation is capable of tremendous evil. As a concept it is hard to defend. I don't try. CEO's should be responsible for what they do. If I were King of America, I would place huge penalties on CEO's who loot pension plans. As citizens we should boycot companies who dump workers like trash. I do. Try to remember that the Larrys of this world are more like fathers of families at least in the size and scope of what they do than the fabled CEO. I used to run a little company and know I always paid my employess even if I got no money at all. That happened many weeks.
Still my earliest political memory is of the Hungarian Revolution. People digging up the streets of Budapest looking for underground prisons. It made quite an impression. I also knew lots of Hungarians and Rusians and Chinese who ran for their lives form the people who meted out Socialist justice. Unfortunately the ISM's of this century have, instead of helping, killed more people than anyone can count. If we could harness our passions to help other people without the compulsion of one size fits all social schemes, what a place this would be. Helping people is one at a time. Each time I take a friend to the Veteran's hospital or home from a bar to dry out or pay a widow's bills, I desperately want to do more. I just do what I can one day at a time. Governments are not our friends, our friends are our friends.
Posted By: DT

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/11/02 01:05 PM

Derick: FWIW I work in a fairly large company who lost money this year. The hourly and salaried workers all received performance bonuses. The executives are not expected to get one this year because of the overall results. The attitude here is that responsibility starts at the top and they are the first to get the good or the bad. When we last reorganized, several top execs were asked to resign or retire but no non-execs were fired or laid off. I'm sorry for your experiences and I know that not all companies are like those you've encountered.
Posted By: Derick

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/11/02 08:11 PM

I've tried to write this post several times, and each time have thrown it out and start over again. So I'll just say a sincere 'thank-you' to all those who offered advice, made suggestions, or otherwise commented. I did not, however, appreciate, nor find the joke, appropriate.

Regarding further posts, I will only make piano related comments in the piano forum and will not twist them into anything else.

But, I feel this room is fair game for any type of discussion and will continue to post articles relevant to the causes I believe in. I encourage other's to do the same.

Posted By: Penny

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/11/02 08:15 PM


I've let your post sink in a couple of days because I sure didn't want to sound "trite" in response to it. I just want to say how sorry I am for your life's experiences. They sound horrid.

Yes, I grew "tired" of debating the CEO/capitalist debate, mostly because I saw that you are coming from a place of anger. While passionate about life and "my" causes, I don't share that anger, so it gets tiring. Now I understand the anger better. I think a lot of good advice has been given so I won't add to it. I'll just say, "I'm sorry." I wish you a new turn of events and many blessings on you and your wife despite the past.

Posted By: JBryan

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/11/02 08:58 PM

Originally posted by Derick:

Regarding further posts, I will only make piano related comments in the piano forum and will not twist them into anything else.

But, I feel this room is fair game for any type of discussion and will continue to post articles relevant to the causes I believe in. I encourage other's to do the same.


Fair enough.

Posted By: Stanza

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/11/02 09:03 PM

I have semi-actively invested in the stock market for the last 20 years. As a stockholder of record I always receive notices of meetings and proxy voting materials. A few years ago I just started pitching them into the trash unopened when I finally realized that they basically were 90% issues of compensation for the officers and the board. My ability to vote makes it seem democratic, but the reality is that the boards typically have enough controlling shares that they can do what they want anyway. I am no socialist, but I agree that some compensation packages are obscene, especially when some CEO gets hired away by another company. I think the new CEO for Time Warner is getting something like a 400 million "signing bonus". I guess they couldn't find anyone willing to take the job for less, like only a quarter billion.
Posted By: Larry

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/12/02 12:08 AM

Originally posted by Derick:

I did not, however, appreciate, nor find the joke, appropriate.

Since the only joke was the one I made, I'll only say that it was written with a purpose, knowing full well that you wouldn't appreciate it. It ignored your post, and had anyone taken the bait, would have hijacked the spirit of your thread for the purpose of promoting controversy via my own personal political views. Sort of like you did with Dwain's thread.

I also wrote you a very thoughtful post as well, but for some reason my laptop just refuses to post anything over about 2 paragraphs.

We all have our stories to tell, Derick. And we all have our political views. Controversy creates heat. I don't want your political views rammed down my throat any more than you want mine rammed down yours. So on a discussion board, it is best to stick with things that appeal to the larger community. There's nothing wrong with stating your views, or even defending them to a degree. But once you've made your point, to keep beating the horse isn't going to change anyone's opinions, and they will eventually get tired of being beaten on with it.

As for advice, a lot of people gave some really good advice, but Pique gave you the best advice you could get.

Now, you and I can go on feuding because you don't like my political views, or you and I can be nice to each other again and keep our political views out of each other's faces. You make the call.
Posted By: Derick

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/12/02 04:46 AM


As I said above, I will discuss my political views in this room. I will not discuss them in 'The Piano Forum'.

As you said, it's my call.

Posted By: David Burton

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/12/02 06:54 AM

I just read this thread for the first time tonight. It's as if someone decided to show themselves, to come out from behind the many layers of reaction their posts have produced in this community. After reading Derick's story, anything I said requires considerable reconsideration. Here are the rough outlines of this man's life story:

He came from a fairly normal and stable hard working but close family. He worked hard to secure the highest academic degree possible at a very early age. He is of above average intelligence and concentration.

He was on a great start to a normal life at the age of 25; married, owned a house, had a good corporate job. A minor auto accident killed his unborn child and disabled his first wife who shortly thereafter discovered she had cancer. She died within the year. He lost his corporate job. He was in his mid to late twenties. His rosy but optimistic view of the world and his future in it had been turned upside down by events that were OUT OF HIS CONTROL. This seems so close to the story of Job that I could say, "Derick was Jobed." Circumstances like this can easily cause people to lose their faith, lose their wits, etc.

He got another job because he had the background, both education and experience. Times got tough and he was again laid off.

The third job was hard to come by so he had to sell his house, at a loss. But he couldn't even sell it so it was foreclosed upon, helping to ruin his credit worthiness.

He was becoming "an angry young man."

In his early thirties, he get corporate job #3, met his second wife and was, with her help, able to buy another house. Two years into this job his company decides to play around in the Indian labor market. He and his wife were laid off.

Then he and his family all took a vacation in Florida. He wasn't finished being Jobed. His father, two sisters and his brother in law flew home early and never made it. All were killed.

At this point in his life, he had lost a WIFE, a PARENT, two SIBLINGS, a CLOSE RELATIVE and a CHILD HE NEVER KNEW. That's six people who were or might have been close to him who were "taken out" of his life.

But life goes on...

He got another job near his devastated mother. But in his latest job, one he feels "stuck" in, he is seeing the same patterns; operations moved overseas associated with layoffs. He is probably expecting the same as has happened before.

His tragedy is tremendous. But he is still alive, possibly still fairly healthy, married, owns a house. The greater tragedy is that his outlook has almost fallen into the "route of least resistance."

But before digressing into that, which I wont very much, here are a few comparisons with my own life;

I was born, raised and educated in Northern California, in a very close family who "wanted" their children. Similar to Derick. My father was and is a self made man who started his own business, got married and owned his first house in his early twenties. My mother was a model of a careful, competent mother, the like of which is rarely found these days, mostly because motherhood has lost much of its intrinsic value in today's society. But that's another matter I wont go into here.

I was born and have remained what they call "legally" blind. I never have nor ever will be able to drive a car. But within a few inches, I'm golden. It seems there is a difference between those who were born disabled and those who became disabled. The former are usually less bitter about it. I've never known how bad my eyesight is.

But there were many things that I simply couldn't do because I couldn't see well enough. I had no idea what I was expected to do. I did whatever I was interested in doing, did it well enough to get recognition and went on from there. My first success was as a landscape painter and yes I painted big canvasses in oils. Amazing some people might think but not really. Many famous painters have been half blind.

But I decided to concentrate on music because from the age of ten, I was so keenly interested in it, and because it was more difficult for me to do than painting. I was not a child prodigy but I did perform from about the age of sixteen and went to college intending to study music and see where that led.

But very soon upon entering college, I discovered that the conservatory education and the people in the conservatory were not quite my cup of tea. It was a difficult time (Vietnam), but all times have their difficulties. I had grown up in "a golden cage" and desperately wanted out.

Lacking the ability to specialize, I graduated with a Liberal Arts BA and wandered around for most of my twenties living close to the streets. Nobody wanted to hire me for anything I wanted to do since they thought of me as blind, not that I looked much like the good employee type. But I was fairly happy. Though I became really mal-nourished (when I stood up quickly I felt faint), I had a circle of friends and managed to eke out a limited existence. I had no money, no house, no permanent girlfriend (though I had several sexual partners), very little food. My parents couldn't understand what I was doing or not doing with my life. I didn't know what I was doing either. I wasted a lot of time thinking about ideas that were idealistic and unrealistic. I tried serious alcoholism (drinking to excess every day) but didn't like it. I guess I tried every common drug at least once, but didn't like any of them very much except marijuana. Still don't know why it's illegal. I took up smoking but didn't really see the point of that either.

Finally I got sick of all of it and decided to go back to school and remake myself. It was the first time I did this. It wasn't to be my last. My mother decided to go back to school and finish her degree and asked me to move back home and go to school with her. So I did.

The economics courses that I took turned my head around. I changed from the inside out and became a political and social conservative almost overnight. It was an abrupt turn. I read Ayn Rand and fell under her sway until I figured out her particular flaws; mostly misanthropy. I may not have found it easy to like people. I was usually treated with a combination of superciliousness and mock concern by most people. All they ever saw was, "it's too bad, he's so smart, but he can't see." But I did like people and still do. Rand's philosophy isn't mine.

Halfway into my course for an MBA, I took some tests that revealed I had a potential to do well as a computer programmer. I was accepted into an IBM sponsored program to train programmers and after ten months of intense work, graduated and went to bang on IBM's doors until they let me in.

In my former life, I'd had a shock of long white hair down my back (I'm an albino) and was trying to be a hippy. Now I wore suits, kept my hair short, my shoes polished and went to work every day in the corporate environs.

I had gone to college with many people from the East Coast, specifically from New York City. Every vacation I took for many years was to visit my friends in New York. They all wanted me to move there but I wasn't convinced that I had enough confidence to make it there.

Then on one of these visits, I met my once and future wife. We had a real "soulmate" relationship. But the other shoe was to drop. She had suffered a series of such terrible accidents involving head injuries that she became epileptic (xrays of her cranium looked like a cracked eggshell). She told me that her doctor had warned her that her life could end at any time. I asked her how she wanted to live; carefully or not? She wanted to live each day as if it were her last.

She had a daughter from an earlier marriage. Her divorce had just gone through. This child was the most frightened child I had to that time ever seen. I wondered why. I was about to find out.

I tried to get IBM to transfer me to New York City. Even found someone who wanted to hire me, but it couldn't be worked out so I quit and moved in with her and got a job working for Morgan Stanley on a project that was two years late and $2 million over budget when I started. I was too green to know that when the man who had hired me offered to take me with him down the street to Soloman Bros. that I should have jumped ship and gone with him. Instead I got laid off and went to work for a far worse little outfit that had a contract with (you guessed it) IBM.

I stayed there for the next year, during which we got married, and the conditions affecting my step daughter were becoming clearer. I wont go into details except to say that her father, and his friends, were involved in some very creepy things, that she was being abused while on visitation. What followed was years of a prolonged effort to settle the situation one way or another, in the courts, in psychiatrist's offices, etc.

For five years it went on. In the meantime I went through as many jobs and most of the money that I was able to keep (I was in a 52% tax bracket and my wife was of no financial help) went to lawyers and psychiatrists. I have an inordinate distaste for the former profession and a total disgust with the latter. I have to date convinced four psychiatrists to give up practicing psychiatry and go back to practicing real medicine, even helped one secure a position in Israel. I had met the former deputy mayor of Jerusalem and through a few letters, this man got another lease on his professional life.

My wife's condition made it dangerous for her to have children, but she did it anyway. She suffered two miscarriages. But our daughter was born in New York in 1988.

The court case continued. Finally it was clear that we had to leave New York in order to have a life. We could have gone any number of places, but it was our fate to move to Atlanta where I was very quickly offered work.

We took up residence first just outside Buckhead and later in Chamblee. By 1993, there was something of a climax in everything; we had never lived as well, we had never been as FAT. We saw a lot of her mother, who was also a very close friend. I got a great wife and a great mother in law. Her father had died many years back so I never knew him though heard a lot about him. During this time, my parents and sisters all came to visit us and finally my father gave me his blessing. That's saying a lot, because he wasn't always so encouraging.

But my career was nearing an impasse. My wife's health was beginning imperceptibly to fail. My mother in law was also not as well as she had formerly been. I was taken on as a "partner" in a business involved with the new and burgeoning personal computer market. I traded my grand piano, a Baldwin L, for a Kurzweil 250. Still have it. I used it to redo many of my own compositions but I rarely play it now. Sometimes we know that events are moving toward a point of no return. My wife was mentioning death more often. She knew she was going to be leaving us. Then one weekend in May, 1994, close to Mother's Day, her time came. It was quick, relatively painless for her, and closed a chapter in my life. We were married for ten years.

My kids and I moved out of Atlanta, back to New York, the Hudson Valley this time, to live close to her mother. A few months later, my mother in law also died. 1994 was our tough year.

Since then, my sister, who lived with us for a couple years, and others have been of tremendous help. I am in the process of remaking myself once again. Corporate life was great, I enjoyed it, but I can't do it again. I'm too old. At this time, I am technically a consultant, which means in some circles "perpetually unemployed." I have no viable options but to start and run my own business. Some of you might be able to figure out what it will be. I am about to close on buying my first house. I'm 50 years old.

There are many differences in outlook between Derick and me. Let's take the one where he sees what a CEO makes as "stolen" from employees who are laid off. He seems to think that employees are entitled to remuneration beyond what they get in their paycheck. It's way too complicated but basically they're not so entitled. Derick seems to have fastened on this as a key issue. He's obviously still very angry.

Well, I am guilty of many things. When I raise my voice I am forceful but not necessarily angry. I get VERY quiet when I'm truly angry. I become the general in a war. The enemy is identified and must be destroyed. I don't get angry too often, but when I do, it is of a cold blooded murderous variety that sees the one hated as one who deserves to be "liquidated," to use V. I Lenin's expression. But I haven't felt that way in many years, not since I left New York and the child abuse case behind.

I haven't felt envious either, mostly because I have been able from time to time to get opportunities to entertain or otherwise socialize with some fairly well to do types who have treated me and mine very well. Knowing a few really rich people can dispel the notion that they are really a separate variety of humans from the rest of us. I have met a few people who you would recognize as famous. I wouldn't have wanted to change places with any of them.

I admit to some petty greediness; collecting things that I didn't need, spending on these "hobbies" more than I should have spent. But looking back, I was depressed and these activities helped me get through without resorting to prescription drugs and their side effects. I can relate to Derick's emotions after his losses, though they probably were more devastating than anything I have been through. I knew what was coming, he didn't.

I have from time to time been guilty of gluttony, lust and sloth. I have had an emotional response to good food and drink. I should be a huge fat man, but I've always had a sense of proportion; never going too far with anything like that. These days I'm less inclined to fall pray to any of these things.

I guess that the notions that corporations should "take care of" their employees or that the contributions of employees "count" just doesn't make much sense to me. I've always been an outsider, all my life, even when I was in a corporate job. The only option I ever took was to buy IBM stock cheap and eventually, when we needed it to pay lawyers, to sell it dear. I'm not fooled by "pension plans" or 401k's. These always belong to the corporation not the employee. The big lie is that these are benefits. I know how to read a prospectus. One key thing I look for is the percentage of stock ownership and options owned by those who are getting those big salaries. There's usually a connection. I compare these figures to profitability estimates. If a company has more debt than they can safely cover, sooner or later they will fail, Indian labor savings or not. Competitiveness is likewise an important consideration and you can't find any indices of that in a prospectus. Sometimes the money looks big, but when it's all accounted for in stocks and stock options, it isn't as much as some think.

Don't get me wrong, some of these "fat cats" really do make megabucks. But you and I wouldn't want their lives. They can't ever enjoy what they earn. I don't often really understand why many of them keep at it. And then they all have personal tragedies of their own; wives or children with chronic medical problems, wives who don't love them, children who don't love them. What's the use if you can't even get that out of life?

The advice for Derick to strike out on his own is the best advice. Here's another piece of advice: There's an old saying, "a prophet is without honor in his own country." And sometimes it's not even worth the price of getting that honor in one's home town. Maybe Derick should take his wife and mother out of where he is, find somewhere else to go where he can make a fresh start. He's still young enough to do it. I've done it several times already and as I say, I'm for all practical purposes blind. Believe me, I could not have accomplished in California what I could in New York and Georgia.

In any event, I wish Derick and his family all the best.

[ March 12, 2002: Message edited by: David Burton ]
Posted By: Derick

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/12/02 05:09 PM


Thank-you for your post. You certainly have not had an easy time of things yourself. I imagine it was particularly difficult as a child, since children can be so cruel to those they perceive as 'different'. Or maybe it was worse as an adult as life has dealt you a fair number of knocks.

David, I am trying to write a post that addresses some of the folks who have written in this thread and move away from the anger and more into healthy discussion where we share and explain our views.

I'm looking forward to hearing your views... I think we all have a lot to learn from listening to each other. Even if it forces us to think thru our own conceptions only to validate them in the end.

Posted By: Norbert

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/12/02 10:40 PM

YOU ALL are a great and wonderful people!

May [each and everyone's own] God bless you!

More... than any one CEO...ever could have!!
Posted By: nancyww

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/13/02 05:29 PM


You have been through more than most of us can imagine. But you are smart, resilient and I sense you have a tender heart underneath those scars.

Go find yourself a good patent attorney. With your talent you should be inventing things that will make money for YOU instead of someone else's corporation.
Posted By: Derick

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/13/02 08:04 PM

Thank-you Nancy. I do have a tender heart.

As far as the patent attorney goes, that was something I planned to address in the post I'm working on. But for now, I'll just say that I don't mind the company making a lot of money off my patents. After all, that's what they pay me for, and I've used their, very expensive, equipment for development and testing purposes.

But more on that another time...

Posted By: T2

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/13/02 08:57 PM

To Dave Burton:

I have an interest in music from the perspective of a blind person. I'd like to see you expand on your insights.

I had a blind teacher as a teenager, and she taught me by drawing me into her world. She made me practice and perform blindfolded, relying on the image of the piano in my mind to navigate. I found that I could see more clearly with my eyes closed and that the keyboard in my head was easier to navigate. I also found myself with fewer mental distractions, and this allowed me to get more centered on the music itself and delve more deeply into the fundamental emotions being expressed.

Anyway, I'm interested in your insights on the subject.
Posted By: David Burton

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/15/02 03:48 AM

Originally posted by T2:
To Dave Burton:

I have an interest in music from the perspective of a blind person. I'd like to see you expand on your insights.

I had a blind teacher as a teenager, and she taught me by drawing me into her world. She made me practice and perform blindfolded, relying on the image of the piano in my mind to navigate. I found that I could see more clearly with my eyes closed and that the keyboard in my head was easier to navigate. I also found myself with fewer mental distractions, and this allowed me to get more centered on the music itself and delve more deeply into the fundamental emotions being expressed.

Anyway, I'm interested in your insights on the subject.



Well, Iím not very self conscious about being half blind. Some people donít even know, thatís how well I have compensated for it. I didnít even really admit how blind I am until after my wife died. Then it dawned on me, that I really donít see very well.

Anyway, until fairly recently, when I got a pair of glasses that allows me for the first time in my life to sit at a piano and read the music without having to take the book in one hand, hold it close and play one hand then do the same thing with the other hand and then of course memorize as I go and put both hands together, it used to be much harder for me. My goal is still to memorize everything I really want to play in public so that the music just plays through me. It started when I was young and my first great attraction was the music of Bach. He plays more automatically than most others. By the time one gets into the romantics and moderns, one has to be more conscious of what one is doing and that becomes part of the process of playing. Sometimes I do close my eyes as I play. In spite of the new glasses, I still find it quite a strain to do as much sight reading as Iíd like. It will always be a challenge, but if piano playing were really easy, Iíd have given it up to paint more.
Posted By: SR

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/15/02 03:50 PM

>>>I have had too much to drink and am probably making little sense. Even when I'm sober I apparently make little sense on this forum so what's the difference. <<<<

You can find some solutions in AA meetings. Most people think AA stands for Alcoholics
Anonymous. It more properly stands for Altered Attitudes. Take this suggestion as it is intended, in friendship. I certainly can't label anyone as an alcoholic other than myself. If you would like to communicate more on this topic I'll do it by email only.


Posted By: Derick

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/15/02 04:03 PM


Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't have a problem with alcohol. That night I had more than I should have (at home, so I didn't drive), but I rarely drink. Come to think of it, that was the last time I had anything to drink. And, when I do have a drink, I only have one.

Give me a box of chocolate however, that's a different story! wink

All joking aside, I know a few recovering alcoholics. I dislike that word 'recovering' when people haven't had a drink in 15 years -but since they are never completely 'cured', I suppose recovering is appropriate. FWIW, I think people who are alcoholics but are recovering emerge as some of the most amazing people I have ever met. They all seem incredibly 'in touch' with themselves.

Perhaps that is the silver-lining in this otherwise very, dark, cloud.

Posted By: iainhp

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/15/02 05:36 PM

Haven't heard of Benjamin Barber but came across a short article in the UCSD paper (short clip below). Would be interesting to read a full copy of what he said. I only include it here as it seems to touch on some of the foreign labor issues.

In fact, playing on President George W. Bush's "axis of evil" classification, Barber said, "global capitalism [in its current state] is an engine of exploitation that ... establishes an axis of inequality, despair and rage."

Barber especially criticized the U.S. government for spreading a "myth of independence" while its companies exploit citizens of other countries.

He also discussed what he calls the "pervasive ignorance" of global issues in the United States. He referred to U.S. foreign policy as being the "Lone Ranger of the World," which is as problematic as "ignoring a fire in the basement if you live on the fifth floor."

Barber frequently referred to his hope that Sept. 11 will serve as a wake-up call to the world's problems for U.S. citizens, who he hopes will then vote based on a new, globalized belief system.

"The global capitalist market and terrorists both share the benefits of the global anarchy," Barber said. "I am not a critic of capitalism. I am a critic of capitalism outside of its democratic envelope."

Posted By: jodi

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/15/02 05:37 PM

Not always a silver lining. Recovering is the correct term. My very best friend slipped off the wagon after being a recovering alchoholic for about 13 years, went in and out of the BEST rehabilitation centers for about three, and then out of the lives of her husband and young children (and me). I don't even know if she is still alive. It is a terrible addiction. Jodi

[ March 15, 2002: Message edited by: jodi ]
Posted By: Derick

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/15/02 06:29 PM


Sorry to hear about your friend. Yes, it is a terrible addiction from what I hear. I have never had an emotional connection to anyone who is an 'active' alcoholic, only recovering alcoholics.

Perhaps 'silver lining' was a bad term to use. But what I meant was assuming the recovering alcoholic never takes another drink, many, at least the ones I know, have qualities I greatly admire.

Posted By: Derick

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/15/02 07:03 PM


With all due respect, the quote you posted, which I pasted below, infuriates me.


In fact, playing on President George W. Bush's "axis of evil" classification, Barber said, "global capitalism [in its current state] is an engine of exploitation that ... establishes an axis of inequality, despair and rage."

Barber especially criticized the U.S. government for spreading a "myth of independence" while its companies exploit citizens of other countries.

He also discussed what he calls the "pervasive ignorance" of global issues in the United States. He referred to U.S. foreign policy as being the "Lone Ranger of the World," which is as problematic as "ignoring a fire in the basement if you live on the fifth floor."

Barber frequently referred to his hope that Sept. 11 will serve as a wake-up call to the world's problems for U.S. citizens, who he hopes will then vote based on a new, globalized belief system.

"The global capitalist market and terrorists both share the benefits of the global anarchy," Barber said. "I am not a critic of capitalism. I am a critic of capitalism outside of its democratic envelope."

The only paragraph I agree with in this comment, for which the author should be hung, is the first one.

The US does NOT exploit the citizens of other countries. Yes, we've all heard of the horrors of children working long hours for next to nothing. But, guess what, they provide their families main source of income. Yes, it still sucks, but demonizing the US for this is outrageous. And, by the way, it comes at the expense of US jobs. Considered in that light, such 'exploitation' should be regarded as charitable.

Regarding the US being the "Lone Ranger of the world". Unfortunately, we are out of necessity. The US is the only country that runs to the aid of every single country when a disaster, man-made or natural, strikes. Yet the US rarely, if ever, gets any aid from abroad. "Lone Ranger?" Yes sir.

When the US is attacked we lead the war effort and must convince others to go along. Many won't lift a finger to help. And many waiver in need of continuous convincing that the war effort is in their own best interest as well. "Lone Ranger?" Yes sir.

Mr. Barber can take his "September 11th wake-up call" and shove up his you know what. How dare he even make such a remark. The comment about US citizens voting based on a new globalized belief system is making me sit on my hands so I don't raise my middle finger

I have long been a proponent of the US being out for the US alone. Helping some, even many, countries out has earned us their scorn.

The icing on the cake:

"The global capitalist market and terrorists both share the benefits of the global anarchy..."

Even the 'evil' CEO's that I've spoken of don't hold a candle to the evil of terrorism and evil of the global anarchy that TERRORISM creates.

No, the US isn't perfect, nor is the brand of capitalism that it promotes, but in no way does it compare to terrorism. And not to sound haughty, the the rest of the world owes the US a tremendous debt of gratitude.

Send me Mr. Barber, I have my 2x4 in hand.

Posted By: iainhp

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/16/02 01:18 AM

Wow - just read your reply as I'm about to run out the door. Half of the words in the quote don't mean much to me "global capitilism", "axis of inequality", "myth of independence", "globalized belief system" - sounds like a person trying to impress with complicated words. Guess I should have printed less of the quote.

I was really more interested in the "exploit citizens of other countries". I don't agree with your comment on that. A US company doing business in Mexico must abide by US EPA guideliines. If I remember correctly, Union Carbide was held to US standards in Bhopal. If this holds true then why not apply this to employees working for US companies overseas too (hold companies accountable to minimum employment standards)? Course it's a double edge sword as could make US companies less competitive. However as the US imports way more than it exports, I could almost argue that it might not make a difference.

Have to go or SWMBO will not be happy.
Posted By: Penny

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/16/02 03:36 AM

Wow, Derick! I guess we're not all that far apart after all! wink laugh

Posted By: Derick

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/16/02 04:02 AM

iainhp - I didn't mean to come down that hard in my post, but it really irks me when people make such ridiculous comments about the US. That man's statement reminds me of the whiners who are upset over the US's "treatment" of the detainees in Cuba. You know, the ones who are being held for no good reason. I wish people would think a little - like the US government has nothing better to do than hold those particular Muslims for no good reason.

Penny - See, I am a good American! We just don't happen to agree on CEO salaries. If we could stay away from that topic, I bet you and I would be best friends. wink


[ March 15, 2002: Message edited by: Derick ]
Posted By: JBryan

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/16/02 06:07 AM

Go Derick! No need to sit on those hands, give 'em some of that digital communication. I would. laugh
Posted By: Penny

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/16/02 07:57 AM

Well, we both share a love of chocolate and pianos! So there is an excellent beginning. And I even agree with you that there are some outrageous bonus packages for CEOs who deserve it, believe it or not. But I'm not sure government intervention is the way to go. Active shareholder participation seems like the "obvious" choice for me.

So which half of the best-friends charm do you want??? wink

Posted By: Derick

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/16/02 10:57 PM


Yes, be both love chocolate and pianos and you agree with me that there are some outrageous bonus packages for CEOs who don't deserve it! We have to discuss different philosophies on how to make sure such inequities don't happen.

In the meantime, how 'bout we share a box of See's chocolates. Have you had them? They are from San Francisco (near you?). My mother-in-law sent us a box for Christmas. SWMBO hides them from me and doles me out 1 piece on Sunday. I could easily eat the whole box in 15 minutes. Anyway, I thought it was fantastic chocolate when I first had it, but had never heard of it. In the January edition of Consumer Reports they rated it "A Best Buy" and ranked it very near the $60/box chocolates. See's is only $12/box.

I get first dibs on the dark chocolates ones!

Posted By: Penny

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/17/02 01:57 AM

No way! Dark chocolate is the ONLY chocolate for me! See's is OK. I like their truffles. I'm really liking Scharfen-Berger these days. It's also from the Bay Area. I don't know why such great chocolate comes from San Francisco area (Guittard's, Giradheli). Here's a really interesting article from today's LA Times about chocolate:

article here

Posted By: Derick

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/17/02 07:44 PM


Interesting article. But I see I'm going to have to fight you for those dark chocolates!
Anyway, do you have any suggestions as to who makes the best dark chocolates with liquor in them? Those are my favorites, particularly with Schnops in them. I'm not happy with any I've tried in the NY area.

Posted By: iainhp

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/17/02 10:58 PM

Well the kids finally let me on the internet but my brain is on a "go slow" so won't pick up the discussion I left off on Friday.

Saturday's paper had a good Dilbert.

Ever wonder why the British call it chocolate and milk chocolate instead of chocolate and dark chocolate? I assume because they consider dark chocolate (which they call chocolate) to be normal and milk chocolate to be watered down? Cadbury's Bourneville is my favourite.

You can make your own chocolate liquors. Buy a jar of marachino cherries, empty out the liquid, replace with the liquor of your own choice. Let marinade for about a month in the back of your refrigerator. Melt your favourite chocolate and dip the cherries into it and let cool. And voila!
Posted By: Penny

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/18/02 02:52 AM

The best liquor-filled chocolates I've ever had come from Russia. Don't know where we can get them here. Will do some research! But if you're in New York, there's got to be an immigrant importing them, don't you think?

Russia makes wonderful dark chocolate. Russian chocolate must have the red dome with Russia written on it in cyrillic to be true Russian chocolate (some Swiss and German chocolatiers put pictures of Moscow and other Russian locales on their boxes to full ya!).

I wish I could import the Russia chocolate here. They'd make a fortune. I could even become the CEO of a big company! wink

Posted By: Kathleen

Re: Derick's life story: - 03/23/02 06:23 AM

Mmmm, chocolate. Penny, you and I are of one mind when it comes to chocolate. Scharffenberger (sp?) is the best American chocolate I've found. In July, when the real strawberries ripen, we like to dip them in the dark chocolate.
Why is it that it's so tough to find good chocolate in the U.S.? Last time I was in Germany on a business trip, I went to the supermarket and just filled my cart with a suitcase full of chocolate and chocolate biscuits (I had to fed ex all my paperwork back to the office to make room in my suitcase). What is standard fare in Europe, is exceptional fare here.
© 2017 Piano World Piano & Digital Piano Forums