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 The rumors of my demise...

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George Kaplan

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Age : 47
Location : Kalamazoo, MI
Registration date : 2012-01-07

PostSubject: The rumors of my demise...   Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:39 pm

Öhave been slightly exaggerated. Iím not dead yet, although Iíve kinda felt like it for a time since we last met. Iíve never been one to complain when my life gets rough, but I feel I owe you all an explanation for my sudden disappearance. Events in my life required I take a long summer vacation from society and the modern world. I dropped off the grid, about as far as one can these days. No phone, no internet, no electricity or plumbing. Iíve gone native in Michiganís Upper Peninsula.
I'm edging slowly back into civilization, and I'll be back later with details of the last nine months if anyone's interested. For now though, I'm catching up on my reading and correspondences here. I've missed you guys.

George
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flytyer

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Age : 50
Location : N E Pa.
Registration date : 2009-03-22

PostSubject: Re: The rumors of my demise...   Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:54 pm

Welcome back! I figured you just left like some people do...although I'm more of a reader of the forum than an active participant I took notice of your absence , good to see you back.
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Ocelot55

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Location : Columbus, OH
Registration date : 2012-03-28

PostSubject: Re: The rumors of my demise...   Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:04 pm

Glad to have you back George. We all understand that in life things happen. We're just glad to know your ok.
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monbla256

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Age : 71
Location : DFW Metroplex, Texas
Registration date : 2012-01-15

PostSubject: Re: The rumors of my demise...   Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:24 pm

Good to see you're still with us !! Take your time and do it "your way " †Smile
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Hiram-2011

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Age : 39
Location : Illinois
Registration date : 2012-03-23

PostSubject: Re: The rumors of my demise...   Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:46 pm

Good to have you back sir.
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Rob_In_MO

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Age : 44
Location : Park Hills, MO
Registration date : 2011-01-19

PostSubject: Re: The rumors of my demise...   Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:38 pm

See George, that's what happens when you shoot your neighbors with a crossbow. †Laughing

Stay thirsty, my friend. †Cool
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MisterE
Moderator
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Location : Mexico City
Registration date : 2009-08-24

PostSubject: Re: The rumors of my demise...   Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:55 pm

Rob_In_MO wrote:
See George, that's what happens when you shoot your neighbors with a crossbow. ††Laughing

Stay thirsty, my friend. ††Cool

lol!lol!lol!lol!

I heard it was an unfortunate spearhunting incident...†Rolling Eyes

_________________
Many of the greatest pleasures in life are illegal, immoral, or smelly.

-Yak
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Brewdude

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Age : 64
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: The rumors of my demise...   Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:05 pm

Good to read you again George.

Life happens.

Don't be a stranger, we appreciate your continued participation.



Cheers,

RR
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Growley

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Age : 42
Location : Fairhope, Al
Registration date : 2012-04-10

PostSubject: Re: The rumors of my demise...   Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:46 pm

Welcome back George. I wish I could do the same! Hope you're well.
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gravel

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Age : 43
Location : Oregon
Registration date : 2011-12-07

PostSubject: Re: The rumors of my demise...   Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:58 pm

Ocelot55 wrote:
Glad to have you back George. We all understand that in life things happen. We're just glad to know your ok.

Exactly this.
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George Kaplan

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Age : 47
Location : Kalamazoo, MI
Registration date : 2012-01-07

PostSubject: Re: The rumors of my demise...   Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:15 pm

Thanks for the welcome, brothers. If you knew me personally, youíd know I hate goodbyes, preferring the olí ďIrish FadeĒ. I never meant to vanish without a trace from the forum. I apologize for that, but things moved fairly quickly and communication was difficult. For anyone interested in ďThe Adventures of George Kaplan, Man of MysteryĒ, here ya go. Fair warning: this story is a long one and only funny in an absurdly tragic, Russian comedy sort of way.

Ever since that spear gun incident, my sanity has been in question here on this forum. All joking aside, I have needed professional help before, namely during my divorce a few years ago. When the stress and remorse of that time began affecting my health, I went on a number of meds for anxiety and depression. They only seemed to make things worse. Therapy was another failure. Did I ever mention my ex-wife was cheating on me with her therapist? I hear theyíre married now, living on the east coast somewhere. I donít place a lot of trust in therapists.

I only mention this because of what I learned from it at the time. I learned my limits, and the warning signs of when they were drawing near. I can see the patterns now. When crap starts piling up on me, I tend to bury myself in distractions. I take on responsibilities I canít handle, and set myself up for failure. Around May of last year things came to a head and I finally broke the cycle.

Want the gory details? Fine then. For a big chunk of the spring, I was doing back-flips at work in an attempt to dodge the latest round of downsizing. All the things they promised I wouldnít have to do any more, (the travel, the swing-shifts, etc) I was actually doing more of. Notice I said ďattempt to dodgeĒ? In May they basically said ďThanks for all the hard work. Hereís your final paycheck.Ē During the final month of my employment, I was also helping my girlfriend and her two kids move. To Wisconsin. So in the span of about 3 days I lost my job and my girlfriend, and both had sort-of taken advantage of me in the process. As I was thinking about this on my drive home from a disastrous job interview, I blew the transmission out of my only car. After a long, expensive tow -truck ride home, I found my house had been broken into and, among other things, my computer stolen. The cat was long gone. You guys remember Talullah the Cob Cat? I assumed she had run off when the robbers broke in, but after a day with no sign of her I started looking. I found her dead, under a neighborís porch. She was an old cat. It was bound to happen eventually, but the timing was just awful.

In a moment of clarity I took a good look at what the universe was handing me and saw the common theme. My ties to the world I knew were being cut, one by one. For most of my life, Iíve had a deep-seated belief that things would be better if I could just pack up and leave; put the world I knew behind me. Blame it on reading too much Thoreau, Abbey, and Steinbeck as a kid. For the first time in my adult life I had no responsibilities holding me back. I said to myself, ďWhy the hell not? If I donít do it now, Iíll never know.Ē So I bugged out. I packed a bag, sublet my apartment to a gal-pal and caught the next bus north. Iíve got some family and old friends in Michiganís U.P. (that place on the map that looks like Wisconsinís silly hat) and hatís where I went.

I actually lived in the woods for quite a few weeks. A Dutch oven, a .22 and a bag of rice and beans were the only company I could tolerate. Itís strange to think of that as my comfort zone, but there I was. No mountain top for meditation, but a nice limestone gully and plenty of old cedar trees to listen to my troubles.

Once I deemed myself fit for human contact, I paid my mother a visit. Sheís willingly lived alone on the north end of Green Bay since my step father passed in the summer of 2012. He had left quite a bit of unfinished work on their lakeside house, so I dusted off his tools and returned to my roots as a carpenter. I moved into a 1960 Airstream trailer in the woods down the road from her house, and split my time between that and working part time on a commercial fishing vessel netting Lake Michigan Whitefish. Iíve always found carpentry to be very therapeutic work. Fishing, on the other hand, is just hard, but in a good way. I actually enjoyed living in the camper. No amenities to speak of, but it was lakefront property with no neighbors save a flock of pelicans that hung around most of the summer.

Now Iíve shifted my view to Lake Superior. Iím staying with old friends in Marquette, on the other side of the peninsula. Nice town. Metropolitan by UP standards. So now Iíve got indoor plumbing, a borrowed computer, and a library card. Iím getting soft. Even got a date with a schoolteacher tomorrow night. Iím looking for work here, but the pickings are slim. Whether I stay up here or not, Iíll need to head back downstate soon. Iíve still got an apartment full of my stuff and a dead car in Kalamazoo. Itís cold up here right now, with ice capping most of the lake. Iím driving a ragtop Jeep (courtesy of my late stepdad) with a dodgy heater core, so an eight-hour trip on the highway isnít really appealing to me. I suppose I should have left with the pelicans, but my momís house wasnít finished until October. Neither was whitefish season, and then there was hunting season, and then the holidays. This is my life now. Iíll be here until I have a better reason to be elsewhere. Most guy just buy a sports car for their mid-life crisis.

Iím not the man I used to be, but then again I havenít been for a long time now. I think Iíll just take it easy and work toward being the man Iím gonna be.

Thanks for indulging me. It feels good to voice all of this.

George of the North
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Rob_In_MO

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Age : 44
Location : Park Hills, MO
Registration date : 2011-01-19

PostSubject: Re: The rumors of my demise...   Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:20 pm

Hang in there, George. Post when you can and do what you need to do. We'll be here when you're ready... †Cool
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George Kaplan

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Age : 47
Location : Kalamazoo, MI
Registration date : 2012-01-07

PostSubject: Re: The rumors of my demise...   Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:26 pm

Rob_In_MO wrote:
Hang in there, George. †Post when you can and do what you need to do. †We'll be here when you're ready... ††Cool

One thing I forgot to add:
Eff you, Rob! †Laughing
(Always ready for you, bro. †Wink†)
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Cartaphilus

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Age : 63
Location : East Texas
Registration date : 2011-12-15

PostSubject: Re: The rumors of my demise...   Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:43 pm

George, It sounds like your getting your life squared away slowly but, surely in a way that is best for you. Don't let them get you down, just stick it in there face and march forward sir.

Did I ever tell you that I caught my then wife cheating on me with my best (so called) friend. Yep, and they got married and had more kids too but, no fairy tale ending here. He ran off and left her with 3 kids and never paid child support and was never seen again. Now, who had the last laugh? True story my friend. It all happens for a reason, yours was to get a 2nd chance at life and start over fresh.†Wink
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George Kaplan

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Age : 47
Location : Kalamazoo, MI
Registration date : 2012-01-07

PostSubject: Re: The rumors of my demise...   Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:08 am

Dang, Cart! Seems like whenever ex-wives come up, thereís always someone with a worse horror story. I feel sorry for the guy who had it worse than you.

Okay, I just re-read that LONG post and realized how godawful depressing it sounded all at once like that. Thatís way out of character for me. Hereís a recent (pipe related) story of my new Yooper life thatís far more in keeping with my usual light-heartedness.
Last †November †I was hunting near the edge of Hiawatha National Forest with some of my late stepdadís old buddies. By ďhuntingĒ I mean drinking in a nameless bar when our camp was running low on supplies. I had met these guys the previous season when drought and a virus had decimated the downstate deer heard. At that time, I had given each of them a corncob pipe and some tobacco. One of the guys, Cloise by name, still had his and pulled it out in the bar to ask me something about packing. I got Cloise sorted out by showing him with my own pipe. Then he did something shocking: he lit the pipe! (no indoor smoking in Michigan) When I pointed this out he just laughed and pointed to the old lady tending the bar, puffing away on a Virginia Slim. ďIf the Lansing governor wants to enforce Lansing law up here,Ē he said, ďheíll send up some Lansing cops to take care of it.Ē
What could I do at that point, besides light my own pipe?
So there we were, smoking pipes and drinking whiskey and telling lies about women in the time honored tradition of nameless bars everywhere. Suddenly, all conversation at the table stopped. Cloise and the other three guys were looking over my head, behind me. I turned in my chair, pipe in mouth, to find myself face-to-belt buckle with a long-haired Tribal Policeman pulling out his ticket book. The statewide smoking ban has been in effect for about three or four years now, but I honestly had no idea what the actual penalties were for violation. Just as I was worrying that he might confiscate my pipe, I realized that wasnít a ticket book in his hand, but his WALLET.
With a voice like Graham Green he asked, ďHey, can any of you fellas break a fifty?Ē

I think I like it up here.
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rothnh



Location : Midcoast Maine
Registration date : 2012-08-26

PostSubject: Re: The rumors of my demise...   Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:36 am

When life gives us lemons, we make lemonade.

I don't know you, George, but wish you all the best.

Thanks for sharing and welcome back.
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Briar Spirit

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Age : 49
Location : England UK
Registration date : 2012-08-30

PostSubject: Re: The rumors of my demise...   Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:43 am

Good to see you back George, hope things get better for you Bro. †sunny
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George Kaplan

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Age : 47
Location : Kalamazoo, MI
Registration date : 2012-01-07

PostSubject: Re: The rumors of my demise...   Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:31 am

Oi, Briar Spirit, you look just like a bloke called Kirk I used to know here. †Wink
How've you been, old drwg?
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Briar Spirit

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Age : 49
Location : England UK
Registration date : 2012-08-30

PostSubject: Re: The rumors of my demise...   Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:42 am

George Kaplan wrote:
Oi, Briar Spirit, you look just like a bloke called Kirk I used to know here. †Wink
How've you been, old drwg?

That'll be me good Buddy, got me username changed a while back, not doing all that bad chap, a few hiccups here and there, you know how it is with life, looks like life has decided to give you a roller coaster ride of late, don't you just love it when life does that, very pleased to see you back with us. †I love yousunny
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Rob_In_MO

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Age : 44
Location : Park Hills, MO
Registration date : 2011-01-19

PostSubject: Re: The rumors of my demise...   Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:19 am

Up yours, George!

Cool
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Cartaphilus

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Age : 63
Location : East Texas
Registration date : 2011-12-15

PostSubject: Re: The rumors of my demise...   Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:29 am

George Kaplan wrote:
Dang, Cart! Seems like whenever ex-wives come up, thereís always someone with a worse horror story. I feel sorry for the guy who had it worse than you.

Okay, I just re-read that LONG post and realized how godawful depressing it sounded all at once like that. Thatís way out of character for me. Hereís a recent (pipe related) story of my new Yooper life thatís far more in keeping with my usual light-heartedness.
Last †November †I was hunting near the edge of Hiawatha National Forest with some of my late stepdadís old buddies. By ďhuntingĒ I mean drinking in a nameless bar when our camp was running low on supplies. I had met these guys the previous season when drought and a virus had decimated the downstate deer heard. At that time, I had given each of them a corncob pipe and some tobacco. One of the guys, Cloise by name, still had his and pulled it out in the bar to ask me something about packing. I got Cloise sorted out by showing him with my own pipe. Then he did something shocking: he lit the pipe! (no indoor smoking in Michigan) When I pointed this out he just laughed and pointed to the old lady tending the bar, puffing away on a Virginia Slim. ďIf the Lansing governor wants to enforce Lansing law up here,Ē he said, ďheíll send up some Lansing cops to take care of it.Ē
What could I do at that point, besides light my own pipe?
So there we were, smoking pipes and drinking whiskey and telling lies about women in the time honored tradition of nameless bars everywhere. Suddenly, all conversation at the table stopped. Cloise and the other three guys were looking over my head, behind me. I turned in my chair, pipe in mouth, to find myself face-to-belt buckle with a long-haired Tribal Policeman pulling out his ticket book. The statewide smoking ban has been in effect for about three or four years now, but I honestly had no idea what the actual penalties were for violation. Just as I was worrying that he might confiscate my pipe, I realized that wasnít a ticket book in his hand, but his WALLET.
With a voice like Graham Green he asked, ďHey, can any of you fellas break a fifty?Ē

I think I like it up here.

George, Your tale was not of self pity or whining it was just straight forward about how things are going in your life right now and how your dealing with it. I thought it was interesting and refreshing. And as for your last tale I have to ask, did you have to change your britches after that? I know my heart skipped a beat. †
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holymolar

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Registration date : 2014-01-31

PostSubject: Re: The rumors of my demise...   Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:54 am

George,
Glad to read that you are not demised (I think that's the past tense of demise). There are many new members, like me, who are looking forward to getting to know you and reading your posts.
Joyal
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Hawker

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Age : 51
Location : Alberta
Registration date : 2012-05-15

PostSubject: Re: The rumors of my demise...   Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:10 pm

Glad to see your back GK. Missed your wit & humour around here.

Looks like your getting things sorted out your way with an awesome sounding therapy program. Never been to Michigan but the area your in sounds very laid back and just what you need for a little self healing.
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Buckshot

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Age : 70
Location : Southeast Michigan
Registration date : 2011-07-17

PostSubject: Re: The rumors of my demise...   Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:54 pm

Welcome back, George. †cheers
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Trifecta13

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Age : 37
Location : Peoria, IL
Registration date : 2013-02-25

PostSubject: Re: The rumors of my demise...   Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:05 pm

Wow George... Just wow. Sounds like life handed you an all-you-can-eat buffet of misery in a very short time. Your reaction seems like the most logical one I can think of (even from my cozy suburban background). I've often wondered what it would be like to do as you did. All bad motivations aside, I envy you for having the fortitude to do it. I'm a believer in karmic balance personally, so I truly feel that you've got good things heading your way. All the best, brother.
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