Thursday, April 30, 2009

If I were Miss California

If I were Miss America, I would use all of my powers to try to make the world a better place. I would go to the United Nations and use all of my influence with world leaders so that bleach can be made available to all of the brown and black skinned peoples of the world. Follow the example of St Michael. When he stopped making that colored music and focused all of his attention to becoming a white woman, he proved for all others that you too can be just as good as the rest of us.

If I was Miss America I would visit all the hospitals and infirmaries so I could sit and share my faith with the poor sick and crippled children of the world. I would take their feeble little hands and I would pray that God forgive them for their homosexual thoughts and deeds that led them to be cursed with sickness and ugliness rather than beauty like normal people. Because I believe that if we all raise our voices together God can make all things right and maybe he will reign down his wrath on Muslims and Jews and women who think they are the equal of men.

If I were Miss America...

OK OK OK I can't go on! I can't even pretend to be this stupid twat who thinks she is being persecuted for her faith rather than her bigotry. She is the worst kind of low life. The kind who push hate and intolerance and call it Christian faith.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Play Revisited

Yes this play was weeks ago. A buddy of mine has been writing his own murder mystery plays for a community fund raiser for several years now. Actually the first play was produced by my office for some cause or another. That program fell apart and my buddy took the idea and ran with it as his agency's fund raiser. Since he had agreed to be in one for my group I knew I had to be in one for his. Quid Pro Quo and all that rigmarole.

The thing is, this little bitty community theater kind of works like organized crime. Once you get in, it is impossible to get back out! No matter how bad an actor you are! Like Michael Corleone, every time I think I am out, they pull me back in again!

So a few weeks ago I put on an embroidered western shirt under a fringed jacket with a ten gallon hat and stumped around a room full of friends and neighbors as Filbert Fimpleman, King of the Cowboy Catsup. As part of my back story, I would mill around the audience as they ate dinner and try to shill the goods, which was the catsup bottles on their table. My pitch was that it was the traditional cowboy recipe where the tomatoes were roasted over an open prairie fire. And since we all know there is a terrible lack of trees on the prairie, the authentic cowboy roasting fire for authentic COWBOY Catsup had to be made of cow and buffalo chips. "Mmmm if you close your eyes and think about it, sometimes you can actually taste the cow chip flavoring."

Yeah, when I am in a murder mystery, people ALWAYS WANT me to be the guy who gets killed.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Work Bitch and Lizard Spit

OK I know I said a year or so ago I did not want this blog to be a daily post about how busy my life becomes. I really don't want to be that guy. I also don't want this blog to be about "Oh poor me, I am so unappreciated at work." I really don't want to be that guy. Really!

But today, there I was working with the grant writing team trying to create needed programs for an area in great need while generating 4-6 jobs in an area that leads the nation in poverty. I mean the tension is high as we batter our way through the extended hoops and obstacles of the Federal Government while at the same time I am trying to maintain management of three other programs and 6 other employees working in 23 communities, when suddenly I am accused of NOT paying attention!

Me! The site manager! The programming director. The director of operations. The overlord of the West. ...ok the last title is honorary that I have been trying for years to give myself, but OSU administration wont allow it. Evidently it conflicts with job duties approved by HR. ...ANYdoodle... There I am accused of not paying attention in my own office by the very grant team-mates that are gathered around my computer!

Do they even stop to consider that at that moment I might be working on an important email that will ensure the survival of all current grant programs? Do they even ask if I am setting up yet another super powerful community coalition that will sweep in and save the day for all identified problems?! Do they even care I was on track to break my personal best at Brickbreaker on my Blackberry?

Oh HELL to the no! They simply did not care. But I am an adult. I can take that abuse and let it roll off me like water off a duck's back. ...as soon as I finish this game.

OK there is one other thing. See, my doctor put me on a new drug a couple of months ago. He gave me free samples. The samples lowered the blood sugar and then he gave me a full prescription. It cost over $100 even with Insurance. Still, if it keeps me alive.. I guess it is worth it, right? Only last weekend I saw the drug advertised on TV and NOT in a good way. Yeah, seems people are dropping like flies all over the country because it tends to ruin hearts. SO I stop taking it and had every intention to call my MD and discuss the medicines during the week. But I was busy and never got around to it.

So then there I was last Sunday talking to a friend following church. We both go to the same doctor and we both have type II diabetes. Our Doctor goes to the same church and he walks by, and really, I have always made it a point to NOT talk medicine with him in social functions, but the guy I am with mentions his meds. He is on a new medicine that not only lowers blood sugar but it decreases appetite. He mentions how much he likes the new meds. So, since the door was open, I decided to tell him I had seen my meds on the news.

Well, it looks the drugs I have been taking will be changed because some attorneys will force it off the market simply because it kills people. In spite of its effectiveness at lowering blood sugar! I suggest I might want to try the meds my friend is on, and my Doc agrees we might consider that move.



The next day my friend visits my office. Turns out the meds he is on are shots, not oral medication. I really do NOT want to have to inject myself, let alone twice a day. The other thing I found out is the meds are made from the saliva of Gila Monsters. Oh yeah, not only would I have to inject myself, but I would be injecting lizard spit! So then the moral dilemma occurs to me, would I rather have it injected into me.. or would I rather swallow it?!!

Which would YOU choose?

Monday, April 27, 2009

GM, Swine Flu, and Other Big Topics

WARNING: The following probably wont be very funny. But then again, Opprobrious Readers are used to that.

What's good for General Motors is good for America! That used to be the standard that this country followed for most of the past century. If it was good for GM to use unions, it was good for the country. If it was good to offer health insurance, retirement benefits, or flex spending plans, it was good for the entire nation. If it was good to focus on math and science and engineer a better mouse trap it was what was in the best interest of the United States of America.

Up until that time when it wasn't. People of Flint Michigan think they know about when that time came. A time where the corporation stopped thinking about serving their customers and only focuses on serving their board of directors. When GM hired Roger Smith and abandoned the Steel City area for the low wages of foreign work forces? Cost went down but prices stayed the same or continued to rise. Profits became the driving force behind the big three. "Damn the customer, full speed ahead." Profits, bottom lines, black ink all wrapped up in investment banker lingo of stock options, deferred payments and eh, well... you know... (b-a-i-l-o-u-t-s). What was never mentioned was service. Sure there was a lot of talk about product loyalty, but somewhere along the line GM and Corporate America forgot to be loyalty, responsible, and truthworthy. The end result was they could build a nice paper report but they knew nothing about running a business. A business is a partnership with the customer. And GM, like most of Corporate America, was not interested in partnerships.

Boy Scout traits like that have no place in American Business of the later 20th Century. When Japanese autos started threatening the big three, there was never talk about creating new and innovative machines that were dependable and reliable. What was produced were pale imitations and medicine show financing schemes. Corporate America took the legacy of Henry Ford, Frank Buick and General Bob Motors and ...(OK I made the last 2 names up) ...and moved away from the concept of service for a price. They believed America owed them loyalty because what was good for GM was good for the country.

Well GM is going belly up. Can the rest of the nation be far behind?

The news reports are full of the newest end of the world. Swine Flu pandemic is here! Swine Flu pandemic is here! There is no cure! There is no immunity nor vaccine nor medicine to treat it! The world is about to end in a coughing, sneezing explosion of vomit and diarrhea. The good news is: maybe you will part of the 50% that lives. The bad news: Not all the people you love will make it.

As for me: Until people start dropping off like a Stephen King novel, I am going to assume this is another Y2K scare.

Finally, we have heard a lot in the news lately about the Pirate situation along the African coast. Yes it is bad. Yes there are people losing their lives. No, I don't really know anything about it. But I do think I found a picture of one of these bastids.

WARNING: The picture you are about to see is a graphic representation







OK admit it... THAT was funny! Right? Hello?




EDITORS NOTE: The editorial staff discussed the above joke and came to the conclusion many Opprobrious Readers will not recognize a Somali (small E) Pirate if it sailed up and fired a cannon salvo in their ass!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Windy Tale

Man it is windy where I live! Did I ever tell you the worst tornado in the history of these parts came right over the lot where my house is sitting? Yeah, I heard THAT story several times right AFTER I bought the place.

SO the first year we are out here we get a strong wind and I look out in the back yard and the kid's trampoline is gone! I mean it is nowhere to be found. The next day we locate it a quarter of a mile away and smashed to pieces. After the second trampoline blew away I started driving steel T-Posts into the ground and wiring the frame to the post and the porch.

The first year I was out here the wind blew chunks off my roof. I quickly had to replace it with a much better quality roof. The wind blew apart some little pest repellent windmills. It blew so hard it wore out the ball bearing of the turbine within weeks!

But what bugs the hell out of me is when the wind blows stuff OUT of the ground. Last week we had a steady 60 mph wind for about 20 minutes. I am not kidding, it blew that hard for that long, non-stop. It blew chunks off my new high quality and damn expensive roof. It blew trellis poles out of my front flower garden, the down spout off the rain gutter and it blew so damn hard it blew my 3 year old butterfly bush right out of the ground!

Now blowing so hard it plants out of the ground... now THAT'S some wind!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Fun Night

So here it is Friday night. Growing up Fridays were the nights for big time TV. And by big time TV, I am talking the three networks of ABC, CBS and NBC. Yes, this was long before Fox, UPN, CW, ESPN or even HBO. Friday was the night of the Brady Bunch (Shut up! Everybody actually watched that freakin show) The Partridge Family, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island and other American staples. Friday night was TV fun night in America and it was all free.

So tonight was Friday night. A quick look at the $120 a month digital Satellite TV reception system that beams a choice of around 300 channels into my living room so that my family can enjoy the pristine entertainment on our 40 inch plasma screen HDTV; and it quickly becomes obvious there ain't a damn thing worth watching. Not to worry! Mrs. Cris comes home with a DVD!

Hey it had Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson and some big yellow dog. It even had a cute name about a dead reggae singer. What could go wrong, right?

Now, two hours later, my entire family is snubbing like they just saw Bambi's mother get shot by hunters. My son is sadly playing with our two dogs and Mrs. Cris is curled into a tight introspective fetal position.

Wheeee!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Loser

OK I am a loser. I admit it. Sure, from time to time I try to hide it, only to have others in my life OH SO Publicly point out that no, I am, in fact, a loser. Sure, sometimes, when I am alone I can get all puffed up and think, "Not this time! I am a winner! I can be cool!"

But always there are those that know me. The kids that know I might have wet my pants back in Kindergarten... that's an example.. a hypothetical example... it might not be true! Honest! Maybe! There are those classmates sitting on the city council that might remember the day I freaked out when I spider crawled across my desk in 4th grade and some girl ran up and squished it. ... again... probably just a fictional account. There are way too many that remember the middle and high school exploits.

Who knew stepping on a corner of the Homecoming Football game field, when walking back to the band stands, would result in a penalty and the eventual loss of the game? Did the Varsity team even care a Freshman might not know all the rules of football? ...eh... Whew! Glad I wasn't THAT loser! heh heh.. I mean, that could cause a guy trouble for life. If he lived in his hometown. Where he was born and went to school and raises his own kids. Where his parents went to school. Where his Uncles went to school and where one of those Uncles taught school. Yeah... that would be bad. If it were real. And I am not saying it is, mostly.

But here is the thing. You know how from time to freakin time, I end up posting the occasional typo on this blog during the 20 minutes I spend nightly just before bed...? Well, sure it is embarrassing and sure I feel like a loser. But I have felt worse. You want to know when I felt worse than posting big stupid typos? The other day I did a Google search for Tagamilf. And this blog barely even showed up for a fictional product I created and continue to post on my Google blog!

Sheeesh! What a loser!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Work

I am disgusted. I just got in from work. We checked out nearly all beer vendors in my County. We did really good except in my home town where half of the convenience stores sold to a group of 17 year old girls.

HALF!

At Prom season!

Just before Graduation.

Half!

That means after nearly two years of hard work trying to establish compliance checks, we still have almost totally unfettered access to low point beer.

Houston we have a problem. Tomorrow we can form a community action plan to deal with the situation. Trust me, hell will be raised.

Monday, April 20, 2009

You Can Relax!

You can relax! The father of that little girl in Slumdog Millionaire now claims he was not trying to sell his little girl for $300,000. He also did not say what his current asking price is now that has received so much interest (advertisement) from the press. Evidently Slumdogs don't have Criagslist.

You can relax! While greedy communication conglomerates are trying to bill you every time you access the Internet, your calls and complaints to your elected officials have kept the World Wide Webosphere free for a moderately high monthly service charge. Actually that is an interesting article that describes how we pay for Internet services compared to other nations like Japan.

You can relax! I still hate to eat fishy flavored food! But I recently started making a breaded Tilapia made with a tossed together mix of soy flour, ground flax seed and old bay seasoning. I also toss in a few creole spices. I just set the fish (bought at Wal-Mart and sealed in individual packages) in warm water for a few minutes while I make my dry mix and beat an egg. Then I make like chicken fry. Let me tell you, I do NOT like fish. But I could eat that stuff all day long. One $4 pack of fish will feed four people. I steamed some veggies and served with cottage cheese.

You can relax! This is not going to turn into a cooking blog. It's just that I bough a bag of soy flour and a bag of flax meal nearly a year ago and I felt compelled to use it. Sooooo I tried it out on fish. That way if it was awful, it wouldn't bother me if I ruined it. Turns out... it is KICK ASS!

You can relax! Sure the TV season is winding down, children will be free to roam the streets unsupervised all hours of the day and night as school lets out and the only safe haven you can find is in the house where you face endless reruns. But hey, your old buddy the BLOGGERS keep making new posts every day. Just some of them about are about dinner. Fish dinner.

OK we're all screwed.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Tech Support

So a lot of my friends decided to open a secret Facebook group. They want it secret because we are a collection of professional nerds that went to High School together. Yes we were on the Debate team so you KNOW we were smothered in groupies, fans and hot chicks trying to get knocked up so we would be forced to marry them.

Actually, nailing nerds did become a popular theme for high school girls about 10 years AFTER I graduated. Fuckers! But at any rate, we have Doctors and Lawyers and business owners and such. Real Captains of Industry, but when we hang out we tend to revert back to the 10th grade and comments reflect that regression. "Fuck you, you fucking fuck!" is still met with glee and a fresh round of drinks. So, needless to say, what is said in that super secret Facebook Fortress of Nerd Solitude STAYS in the Facebook fortress.

So then I start getting questions on "How do i...?" Hell I don't know! I really only glance at the comments on my phone. I have no idea how to even get to other pages nor do I know who all can see whatever you write. So don't ask me, OK? Just start doing it, and when all the others tell you that you are a stupid asshole that is doing it wrong... then we will BOTH know how it is done.

And THAT'S how we learned on the great American High School Debate circuit.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Needing Your Help

OK OK OK so now I think I need some help here. See have I been sick since about Wednesday night. I stayed home and read up on some impending projects on Thursday and Friday. I started taking supplemental medicines on Saturday, so I have been asleep most all day.

Here's the problem, I still feel like crap and these freakin deadbeats around here are beginning to grouse about waiting on me hand and foot! SO I need new ideas to keep them engaged and nurturing, and I need them quick!

Should I lie and start acting like it is a much worse situation than a mere cold? It COULD be pneumonia (most defiantly is not)... but it COULD be!

Should I play up other injuries? When I eh... cough it really hurts my inflamed muscles on my injured back. Add that to the aching chest and it's too much pain... could you get me a Fresca?

Look when we move beyond those few old standards, I have used my entire bag of manipulative tricks! I need some new ideas and I need them NOW!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Rant (Non-Political)


You know what really grinds my gears? What gets my goat? You got any idea at all what chaps my hide, burns my ass or gnashes my teeth? People! Yeah, freakin people! Oh and don't look all surprised them glance around the room, because you and I BOTH know that YOU'RE one of them!

People who don't care enough to recycle or try to save the planet. People too freakin lazy to put refuse from their car in a disposable and biodegradable refuse bag rather than tossing that Styrofoam cup out of the window and into my yard. I am not just talking about litter. Luckily we are having unprecedented grass fires around here, so most the litter is getting burned up. Besides, mowing season is about to start and that gets rid of a lot of it too.

Like I said I am not talking about the random litterer, although those fuckers that trash out my yard need to be strung up in a public square by their balls... which I would then set on fire. Maybe hang them by their burning balls and they can have one free hand... holding a meat tenderizer! Yeah! That's what ought to happen to those fuckers.

But really it is society. We all treat everything around us like it was disposable. We have disposable dishes, and cups and diapers.. but I don't want to rant on a topic that has already been ranted to death. No I want fresh material that will get you thinking and maybe talking and hopefully testing out some new ideas (like that hanging litterers up by their burning balls and giving them a meat tenderizer to put the flames out with.. that's a good one! Wright it down for later) So what really pisses me off today is my porch swing.

I know, I know, this seems way off topic from the green piece you started reading, but hear me out. Around two years ago for mother's day I got Mrs. Cris a brand spanking new porch swing for the back porch. We can go out on nice mornings and peacefully swing while enjoying coffee and the beautiful country side. In the summer evenings, we come in and watch the children swim or jump on the trampoline. Occasionally I will break out the old guitar and bust out an old Clapton or Eagles song in the peaceful tranquility. Til the dogs start howling so much I get mad and go back in the house.

But last year the canopy top of the swing started to tear and ended up in tatters. This year the cushions got a rip (from the little freakin dog that wont stay off) and now the cushions are shot. So I don't even know where to find a new canopy and closest I can come to replacement cushions cost the same as a new swing that looks exactly like the old one! So... I am really forced into considering the old swing disposable. I don't want to throw it away. I don't want to replace it with a new one when it can easily be returned to almost pristine condition. But I would be a fool to not recognize that for the same price I can have NEW rather than not new and no canopy top. And that pisses me off!

I would much rather go to Wal Mart, buy new cushions and a top for about half the price, then put the old ones in a plastic garbage bag and send it off to the land fill. ...what? Hey I don't make the freakin rules for trash pick up! That's how they roll, and you either play by their rules or you have to become your own trash service. Which, by the way would take WAY more time and end up costing way more money. And THAT'S what grinds my gears!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sick Daze

I didn't go to work today. I didn't feel all that bad, but I have been feeling really run down, and I know I am coming down with something. I also know it will get a lot worse before it gets better, but I have a lot of work back at the office and I had a hope I might make a rapid recovery. So I called in sick, I took it easy and sure enough I am feeling worse.

All kinds of sick bugs seem to be going around right now. I think it is the last Huzzah of the school year. The Government compulsory germ factory of every community. I think I was sick at this point last year too. And nothing has changed... I still freakin HATE feeling sick!!

Oh well, I will get worse, but my body will adapt to feeling like crap. Then about the time I feel I would rather die than keep living like this, I usually get over it. I have so far. I will assume I will again.

But tonight, but head is pounding, my lungs are burning, my bowels are... well they are making their presence known as well. I will weather the storm, I will suffer in dignity, I will be a man. A man with hot compresses on my feet, ice packs on my head and Mentholatum on every surface of my bedroom, bathroom, computer and TV room. A force to be reckoned with as I weakly ask the nearest family member for a fresh icy cold drink or a softer pillow. A man among men that leads by example for all in his home. Because THAT'S how I roll!

Now if you will excuse me, I need to see if I can score some ice cream ... for my burning throat. ......Oh Mrs. Cris..!!! Honey..?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Restaurant

So there we were. Six of us gathered for a professional lunch. Most of us had been to a two hour teleconference meeting of state programs. We had discussed a lot of topics, mostly while we were SUPPOSED to be listening to the meeting. When it was all said and done, we agreed to go to lunch.

We picked the local Mexican Restaurant we enjoy. Authentic Mexican American food. Not really Mexican, because nobody in Mexico eats that crap. But we had our Taco Salads, and Fajita Burritos and Pollo Loco. This place is great but it gets really crowded at lunch and that means it keeps getting louder and louder. We are having a good time when I get an email alert from Progress America that claims, "Conservatives are Tea Bagging Washington."

Now I follow the news. OK, I follow the news headlines on Google news reader. I mean, I might not know what the hell is going on in the world, but I know OF them. So I ask my co-worker who is at the far end of our table, "What is all this I keep reading about Washington and Tea Parties?"

Let me warn you here, THAT WAS A MISTAKE!

HER: "Oh it is a bunch of dumb ass Republicans claiming they are taxed without representation. SO they want to protest like the Boston Tea Party. They are Tea Baggers and they plan to TEA BAG Washington!"

ME: I get real uncomfortable, "uh... could you not shout that out please?"

HER: "Why? We are in a Democrat stronghold. Everybody around here agrees they are a bunch of TEA BAGGING Conservative assholes!"

ME: Cringing. "Keep it down! Sheeesh! You act like you don't know what that means?"

HER: Confused. "What...? Tea Bagging? TEA BAGGING has another meaning? I never heard of any other meaning for TEA BAGGING!"

The others at our table get up and go to the front (before we are asked to leave) so they can pay their bill and get out of town. The director of the visiting agency is trying to decide if she is amused or outraged. She leans over and pats my co-worker in an understanding manner, "It does have another meaning."

HER: "What else could you mean talking about Tea Bags?"

About this time the wait staff hurry her bill and promptly check her out. I turn to the new guy and ask, "Do you mind taking her outside and explaining what that term means?"

HER: (Still yelling in the restaurant) "He's going to take me outside and explain TEA BAGGING to me in the parking lot?"

She swears she had never heard the term. She swears she never saw the Emails of the passed out drunks that listed the expense of an evening on the town only to pass out and have some dude's room mates tea bag his open, snoring mouth. Priceless.

Yeah... I kind of feel the same way YOU feel right now.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Unsophisticated TV

My Aunt once told me the compulsion to line things up in a rank and file was a characteristic of siciopaths and mass murderers. Of course she is also the woman who told her three children to draw and color a tree. Her two sons drew and colored trees like you would see outside in the bleak winter. Bare shrunken trunks devoid of any fresh life. Looking old, gnarled and uninviting. Then her daughter, the youngest child drew a full bodied tree, so full of life it was too big to fit on the paper. It was full of abundent life and promises of fun times for the adventurous willing to climb or peaceful promises for those that want to lie back and enjoy the shade. My Aunt framed those pictures and kept them in her dining room. When the kids left the room she would say it was a representation of sex drive and she was concerned about her little girl.

ANYhooo tonight my son demands that I name the best show on TV. This is not a problem since I have been saying it for sometime. But maybe, just maybe I should put forth the final answer for best of TV viewing.

10. Supernatural
9. Bones
8. Hereos
7. House
6. Phych
5. Fringe
4. Burn Notice
3. Deadliest Catch
2. Reaper
1. Chuck

My system is simple. If I had to choose which show I could watch if I could only watch one, I would pick Chuck over all the others, then Reaper and so on and so on. The sad part is, Reaper is a damn good show that will never see another season. Oh and granted, if the bottom half fell off of TV I would hardly even care, which speaks as to how freakin bad TV shows have become in our lifetime.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Senior and the Freshman

She was three when he was born. Filled with excitement at the prospect of her very own baby brudder. From the moment we brought him home, he was all hers. She nurtured him, she pandered to him, she spoiled him as much or more than his own mother. He was HER baby brudder and he was all she ever wanted.

As he grew and struggled in school she was there for him every night. Patiently going over his homework. Explaining the intricacies of elementary school in a way that no adult could ever understand. In middle school she coached him in how to dance, how to talk to girls and she approved his "sexy walk."

In less than a month she will begin her final year of high school. In less than a month he will begin his first year of high school. Together again, the big sister and baby brudder that have never really been separated, despite the gap in ages, schools, or friends. They are each others best buddy and share a bond I will never know. I love them both and I know they love me, but they have a love, a concern, a closeness that I will never have, and I know they will share it forever.

So next year, when she assumes her traditional role of the Senior that initiates the incoming Freshman class, I know she will be gentle and loving as she oversees the swirlies, the tossing in trash cans and stuffing in lockers. She might walk among him and his little friends with the strut and confidence of a full grown upperclassman, but I have total confidence she will not try to intimidate her baby brudder whom she loves so much. That's the love between a big sister and a little brother.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lazy Easter Blog

A Meme stolen from Facebook


You are supposed to write a note with the ABC's of YOU. At the end, choose 26 people to be tagged. You have to tag me so really you just need 25 more people. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you - but not in a creepy stalker kind of way.

p.s. Cris is not tagging anybody, play if you think it is fun.


A - Age: 48

B - Bed size: flower (ok ok ok) King

C - Chore you hate: All of them! I am a guy.

D - Dog's name: Lucy and Argyle Barkley McFurry

E - Essential start your day item: strong coffee and internet news.

F - Favorite color: I can't answer this question. I have to have a purpose for color.

G - Gold or Silver: teeth filling? Gold is safer isn't it?

H - Height: 5'4" sadly

I - Instruments you play(ed): Guitar

J - Job title: Overlord of the West for a small branch of a grant funded program at a state university

K - Kid(s): 2 - Amanda and Colin

L - Living arrangements: 1 wife, 2 kids, 2 dogs, 1 cat named Kali for the Hindu six armed Goddess of Destruction

M - Mom's name: Pat

N - Nicknames: Dumbass, Asshole, rat bastard, butthead, and sweetie. Oddly only my wife uses those nick names.

O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: Around age 40 I had Gall bladder surgery and found out I was type II (fat ass) diabetic. It was a rough few weeks.

P - Pet Peeve: People who don't follow through

Q - Quote from a movie: "I found the ass end!" Kevin Beacon in Tremmors

R - Right or left handed: Right

S - Siblings: 1 sister. I am the baby of the family

T - Time you wake up: 7ish A.M.ish unless I have early obligations

U- Underwear: they start off clean

V - Vegetable you dislike: potatoes dislike me. Actually they dislike my pants. If I eat them, my pants wont fit.

W - Ways you run late: Pain. A lot of back pain in the past year

X - X-rays you've had: I expect pretty much the whole body, though oddly enough I have never broken a bone. I have dislocated, pulled, herniated, separated, banged and/or bruised every part of my body for fun and pleasure.

Y - Yummy food you make: I like nearly all the food I make. I have no idea if others would like it.

Z - Zoo favorite: free day pass

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter

So it is finally Easter. There is no talk of colored eggs, there is no talk of pretty dresses or little bunnies. It is Easter here and it marks one full year we have attended the new church. See, we are converted Baptists. Actually I am a converted Luthern who converted to Baptist but never liked the message and ended up converting to Presbyterian. I know, I know, BORING!! Not what you want to read and to tell you the truth, I would have clicked out of this post by now myself.

Except in the past year I have felt a sense of belonging I never suspected I would feel. And, well... a bit of vindication. The church I go to greets you with the words that you are loved beyond your ability to even realize. You are embraced in this warm glow of love and forgiveness of whatever you did, or will do, because face it, we're all a bunch of fuck ups.

Granted, right now, the evil part of me wants to start thinking of scenarios to test that thesis, but right now I am feeling reverent and will suppress those urges.

However, it might make a good contest and the best, most opprobrious suggestion wins a chocolate Easter Bunny.

OK, now where was I? So the thing is I went to that Seder with my kids. I have always wanted to go to a Seder, but could never get invited. I also suspected this would be a typical church diner that was simply called a Seder. But MAN was I wrong! It was the full Monty baby! I mean they had traditional Hebrew prayers, the roles of the family and traditional food... although how Jews wandering in the desert were able to make bar-B-Q brisket when they couldn't even make fluffy bread, is beyond me. I mean, sheeesh, even the Mexicans could make a tortilla... is THAT so hard?

ANYhooo, we had a great time and then last night was Good Friday. Now this is a small church. We are the youngest regularly attending family and we are in the early 50s age bracket. There might be about 25 people attending church on most Sundays. But for this night they hired a stringed orchestra to accompany the music director and the choir. Plus, some good singers came over from some near-by churches. It was really special.

Now I tell you this because all of my adult life I have felt we celebrate religious holidays backwards. Sure Christmas should be celebrated. It was a great gift to everybody. But Easter is the real day that needs to be acknowledged. Without the events of Easter weekend there would be no Christianity. And what I realized last night while being blown away by the service, was that unknown to me, that is exactly how my new church treats the holidays. And once again, things fit together like Forrest and Jenny, peas and carrots, and Jews and banking.

So I guess what I am saying is, May the peace of God be with you this Easter. I think, for maybe the first time ever, it is with me.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Storm Troopers

So there I am driving home from a day of meetings in Oklahoma City. The new guy in the office is with me. He is a former cop, former storm chaser, former EMT (who resents it if you pronounce that as Empty). So there we are driving home and we get a few splatters of rain.

"Oh this is on north of us," said the experienced weather guy. "Its really going to make a rough storm about 60 miles north of here. Its that big of a system."

So I drive through the smattering of rain. I have an experienced storm chaser here with me! Hell, this is better than Dopler Radar dude! So I punch the car on up to about 80 MPH when I hear, "Yeah this is how one of our cops got killed. (pause) Hydroplaning." So I back it back off to about 65. He is, after all, the expert.

Then I see speckles around the large rain drops. "Uh-oh," I said while thinking about my poor 2007 Fleet Silver Chevy Malibu. "We are about to get some hail."

The new guy looks around confused, since there is no hail falling. "Nawwww, the hail is all north of us."

Immediately we are met with the pinging sound of semi-solid hail chunks ricocheting off the car body. Soon we hear the CRACK! WHACK! of larger, harder stones trying to crack through the windshield.

"I thought you said this was all north of us!" I demanded at the new guy. About then both of our cell phones buzz and we get an urgent storm warning from the local TV weather guy (costs about $7 per year for the service). We are in a severe thunderstorm, do not venture into it unless you are a total douche bag that doesn't care if his car is beat to hell.

"Look up ahead," the guy soon to be known as "Short timer" said to me. The sun is shining, so there is no hail there."

I speed up to hit the clear spot sooner.

"Hydroplaning kills people!"

I slow down and endure the click clack cracking of the hail stones on my car. Soon enough we are driving in sunshine. "See," said the former employee, "It all went to the North. We are free and clear now!"

OK two more hail storms later, each worse than the one before it, and we finally made it home. I hate driving in Oklahoma Spring weather.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

SADER

No I am not sad. Tomorrow my children and I are going to a semi-traditional Sader. I say semi-traditional because it will be held by the good people at the Presbyterian Church and it wont really focus on Passover or the Festival of lights and... well... an Easter Ham might be involved.

So tomorrow night will begin the Easter weekend festivities. Easter Sunday will mark a full year we have been going to our new church. From what I understand, we have a Sader on Thursday, we do some kind of somber ceremony on Good (depressing) Friday and Easter Sunday is a much happier day.

Oddly enough I have wanted to attend a Sader for years! In fact I kept trying to get the few Jewish people I knew to invite me over. Plus it involved a lot of free food... which my church says makes me an ideal Presbyterian in my thinking. So the whole dang thing has moved in a puzzling circle for me. I have been a cynical, non-practicing person of faith that was interested in tradition and wanted to experience a Sader and all it involved. As a reward I will get to go to a Sader because I joined a different Christian church.

OK you gotta admit, if you are still reading... that's pretty damn cool.

Things I have learned Lately:
1. Deadliest Catch comes back for another short season in about a week!
2. It is not good to answer your Supervisor's text of, "I have a Dr. confirmed case of the flu. I will be out all week." with: "WooHoo! Fuck Yeah!! Party at the office! Woot!!"
And of course there is my old standby Life lesson"
3. Never keep the toothpaste in the same drawer as the Preparation H.

Oh yeah... and I am pretty sure Nina at Flibbertigibbet invited me to a sleepover at her house this weekend. I REALLY want to show up with a bottle of Patrone (it makes your clothes fall off) and visit. But it's Easter weekend and I love my kids.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Monday, April 6, 2009

Mr. Touchy Feely

Men don't cry damnit! That's all there is to it and if you don't know that you ain't no man! And its not just my Mom that keeps saying that to me. You never saw John Wayne cry and he got shot a lot! You never saw Denny McClain, Indiana Jones or that Transporter guy cry and they always get kicked in the nads.

So in my world that I like to think I live in, real men don't cry. ...except maybe at movies or real sentimental TV shows or reading some email because people are fucking with their emotions and deserve their ass kicked for doing it. So there, I have stated my position and that is how I try to live my life, as my Daddy taught me and as I taught my son who never listens to me.

Sure, you end up with an emotional cripple. That's what we call MEN! HELLO! Thank you for keeping up with the story to date.

So today I go to work and a girl I work with tells me she has an unexpected doctor's visit. I ask if things are OK and get the feeling we might need to talk. "If I talk about it, I'll probably start crying." She says.

Good enough for me! Case dropped! New subject introduced, can't wait til that freakin football season starts up, how about you?

Then I go by an old friend's office to invite her to lunch with the group and introduce her to a co-worker who wants to contract with her for training. I am met by a distraught woman who's son is having some control problems and a family (grown children) situation that is getting out of hand. Stress level is REALLY high!

So there I stand, seeing all of this vulnerability of a dear friend and I take action as a real man in my world will! I sprang to her verbal defense by eloquently saying something like, "Uh... sorry about your uh... son and stuff. Uh.. you can hug me if it will make you feel better."

Oddly enough, this dear friend recoiled as if a sulfur bomb had exploded in the space between us. Then looking at me from this now exaggerated distance from her leaning away, sneering in disgust and acting like a general gramophone, she says, "No, I am afraid if you did I might cry."

So I go on to lunch, trying not to feel too sensitive about how two women threatened to break down into tears if I even came close to touching them. We have a lunch with the majority of co-workers, including my wife, sitting as far away from me on the other side of the restaurant as possible.

OK I don't need to go into great detail here but there were others today who seemed ready to break into tears at my mere touch. They did NOT seem like tears of joy. They were not happy tears. No, those seemed like the beginning of tears of misery and heartbreak. And there I am, armed with my life's experience and ingrained certainty that I will be imprisoned as a sex offender if I even accidentally brush against a female co-worker.

You know, the problem here just might be that I am just too darned manly. I am just too dog-gone macho for all the women I have to deal with in life. I am no Dr. Phil, who can seem to answer any problem by forcing guilt on the person feeling like dog crap, with a simple, "So how's that working out for ya?"

Damnit! Here I am overwhelmed with an inability to help or make things better and all I really needed to do was act like an asshole, then tell everybody I am helping them deal with their feelings! Yup! That's me from now on! Mr. Sensitivity! What, you are the one who felt bored and decided to see if there was something more interesting than your family on-line. SO how's that working for you?

heh heh heh It's Brilliant!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Fun With Blackberry


So there I am in church. All dressed up with my really religious tie and trying not to fall asleep in the pew. Then I realize, as I sit there in the pew, with my head bowed and hands in my lap... nobody would be able to tell if I am praying, reading the bible or playing with my Blackberry. So here is my top 5 fun things to do with a Blackberry while in Church.

5. Go to Google Image search, turn off the safe search filters, and search each female church member by first name only. "Amber" or "Heather" etc.

4. Brickbreaker

3. Go to the phone book section and Text all of your friends, "I'm currently in church so that means I am holier than you are, you fucker!"

2. Craigslist personals

and the number one fun thing to do with your Blackberry while in Church...

1. Call other church members to see if they remembered to put their phones on silent.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Plays The Thing

So tonight we performed. Last night was the one and only semi dress rehearsal that included blocking. It was terrible. A lot of it was my fault, the script I thought was in the back seat of my car turned out to be a grant RFP we have decided not to write. My bad!

So the rehearsal went bad and we never had a good idea of how the play would look. It had been written by a community member so this would be the first and maybe only performance. Than around noon today I get an email on my Blackberry. "We decided to change the blocking so that most of the play will be wandering through the audience. No need to rehearse, we'll wing it."

So we do the play. I wander around the audience and try to make myself hated to the point everybody wants me dead. It is a murder mystery and I die first. So I wander around, pick on people, try to publicly embarrass as many as I can before the beginning of the play.

So we do it. We finish. There is laughter. Afterward I walk around and visit with friends in the audience. There is my friend Micah, whose wife was in the play. He does not look amused. When I ask if the play was all he expected, he makes a disgusted snort and agrees that it was.

Thinking I might get my needed positive affirmation elsewhere, I wander over to a group from our church. I sit down asking if they enjoyed the show. I am greeted by stony silence. Finally, the old retired minister in the group advises, "Don't quit your day job." The wife of one of the actors leaned in and seems to support the assessment.

The old adage is true. Dying is easy, comedy is hard. Community Murder Mystery Theater is Way harder.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Futureshock


I want to be a good parent, but I don't feel I am reaching my goal lately. Oh hell, let's be honest, I don't know if I have ever felt I was reaching that goal. I am here for my kids. I provide for them, I am able to take off and do things with them. I am involved in the community and everybody knows they are my kids, so there is a good level of safety. But I always have this nagging fear that I am the thing that ruins any hope of a future for my kids.

Sure they have food, clothing and shelter. They have the best medical, dental and vision care that can be found in this neck of the woods. They are loved and they are held to high standards of school performance, and they suffer consequences (grounding) if they do not meet those standards. They are provided with a variety of entertainment options and their friends are constantly in my house, eating my food and watching my big ass TV with Cartoon Network crap rather than football.

But that is today. Tomorrow they will need to go to college to get an education so they can be happy successful adults. Sure, you don't have to have a college degree to do that, you might be special and smarter than the average bear. On the other hand, who the hell is dumb enough to count on that?! No, they need a paper ticket to get into the game and make a life. And that is where I will fail them.

Sure I have some money put back for their college. But it is no where near enough! Holy crap I barely have enough set back to send one kid to a state college, I have no idea what would happen if either or both of them decide to go to bigger out of state schools. I can try to save, but it is not realistic to save enough on my middle class income. I do, however, make just enough to assure they will receive no help from the Government other than loans! So while all the other kids are skipping off to a new life of productivity, my kids will be looking at huge loans before they even get a chance at graduate school. What if they want to go into medicine, law, or some other expensive school?

So I talk to my father about these fears. He chuckles and tells me its good to have to earn your degree. But I actually graduated from college. Its a lot of hard work and it is damn hard to concentrate when you are concerned about the next meal or where you will sleep. And THAT could be my kids future because I make a little over the cut off line for student aid. If you make $75,000 or below, your kid gets a free education. If you make above that... you will wish you hadn't. Well, your kids will blame you because their life involves shaking the french fryer at McDonalds while the classmates that copied their homework are driving off in new cars. OH you KNOW I am going to be blamed for that!

So my Dad calls me today. "I been thinking about this. I got a bunch of money in an IRA that needs to come out. We need to find a way I can move it to a college savings plan and not pay taxes on it."

OK readers, any ideas from you guys...? Any...? Any at all? Really, I would entertain any ideas on how to do that. Honest!

So we discuss many options and end the conversation in frustrated silence. I share the problem with my co-worker who says, "Why doesn't he just give you the money and you pay the taxes on it? You would get a 4-1 return." And as simple and brilliant as the solution seems, I don't think my Dad would ever agree to it. It's not the providing the money for an education that appeals to him, it's the screwing the government out of taxes. And you know what...? In 20 years that's somehow going to be all my freakin fault too!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

undisciplined

I am not stupid. I don't think I will ever be the guy that knows he is the brightest person in the room, not by any means. But I am not stupid. What I am, is undisciplined. I lack the strength of perseverance for the everyday and the mundane.

Maybe that makes me a product of my time. The generation that formed with giant corporations investing millions and millions of dollars to get my attention. As a kid growing up, I was clearly defenseless for the flashy, slick productions that vied for my notice. Taking the good old path of least resistance, I am a product of my time.

Now take into consideration Nathaniel Hawthorne is a really big deal, not because he was a great writer. I never thought he was that interesting. But he was one of the first people in the early days of the white occupation of this nation that had enough leisure time that he could write stories for his and other people's amusement.

We went from that to games to physical activity to Television to cable TV to video games and VCRs and DVDs and Wii and Holy crap how am I supposed to pay enough attention to the things I have to do when it takes all of my concentration to focus on what I want to do?!!

SO again, I will say I am not stupid. I am a product of my time. I see the teaching of Francis Bacon and I know his scientific method is an easy to use, highly effective way to plot actions and make recordable improvements. But I also know I lack the discipline to actually follow all of those mundane steps. (I also suspect this is why I sucked at algebra) I will have every intention to record how much rain is in the rain gauge every day... but I wont actually get around to doing it. I will have every intention of filing away the proof of purchase of things I buy so I can collect a warranty if they fail, but I never get around to it. I have every intention of recording each expense and bill I accrue as I go through my business life, but there are always those few big ticket items that I miss because I lack the basic bone in my head that provides discipline.

And it is that discipline that separate the men from the boys. It is that attention to detail, taking that little bit of time to do what you know needs to be done that makes leaders not followers, that makes managers not workers, that makes success not failure.

I mention all of this to you because people keep asking me how I am doing with my Apple Cider Vinegar Pills. And the sad truth is, I keep forgetting to take them! I take the one in the morning, and then forget the other two. I have had many great suggestions. And I know I should follow through with them but....