Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fear and the Fear of Fear

There I said it all in the title. OK, its out there and lying like a cold dead fish on the counter top, waiting on us to chop it up, roll it around in our own special ideas of how to prepare and serve it. Some love it, others hate it and I think maybe the majority of us spend our lives trying to cope with it. Fear.

I will be the first to admit I am a collection of shivering, wide eyed awake in the middle of the night because I can't sleep fear. I fear the unknown, I fear the expected, I fear Y2K really happened and a huge Government cover-up is hiding the fact that we are now totally back in the stone age. I fear the death, harm, sickness, and possible future of my children. I fear loud thunderstorms, weak bladders, spiders, mean people, and Bigfoot.

I know that the majority of people that ride in cars (which is the majority of the majority of us all) will at some point in their lives be harmed in a major car crash, and that scares the crap out of me every time I pull out of my driveway! Statistically I know I am almost guaranteed to possibly die or be dismembered in a car wreck. And THAT fear doesn't even compare to the gut gnawing sick fear I feel every time my children leave in a car, and I don't care who is driving!

Yeah I gotta lot of fears. I fear poverty, health care, lack of health care and the Dentist. I fear I am not working enough, not getting enough done, not creating the security necessary to care for my family and for the time that will be here all too soon when I need more extensive health care.

But none of those fears even compare to my fear of Facebook.

Yeah that Social Networking thing scares the crap out of me because the walls I established between the real me and the Internet me is slowly getting torn down. So now the friends I gleefully spent years with in AOL Chat rooms where I encouraged Lesbian threesomes, are now making comments on the same page my pastor might visit on a regular basis. My kids go to my page as well as my co-workers, and all of the extended families of my co-workers. The Mayor of my hometown is a fellow graduating classmate of mine, and a Facebook friend.

"Not a big deal," you say? "Relax, Nobody cares about that stuff," you think? OK! OK! OK! Let me give you another example.

A few months ago I would have rushed to the computer to tell you of the verbal exchange between my wife and I. You know, one of those things where I am suggesting we have a bit of "Mom and Dad" time. So innuendo leads to suggestion leads to playful touching that leads to "the look."

Only now I am told, "That's not going to happen, for some reason my bottom hurts."

And while I fearlessly looked her straight in the eye with one arched eyebrow and suavely asked, " think it hurts now...?" followed by a bit of wagging of those arched eyebrows.

OK I am terrified to post that in a blog entry! Did I mention my wife and her friends read this thing? My mother reads this! My kids read this! And there is no way in the WORLD you can have a good entertaining blog if you allow yourself to be controlled by fear. Fear of castration with a dulled butter knife from the kitchen drawer... while sleeping.... in a house in the country... where nobody can hear me scream... that would report it... because they read the Blog too.... and they were probably the ones that suggested it.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

February to Today

So back in February I decided that it was time to upgrade our Internet Service Provider (ISP) from the on-again/off again wireless feed we have had for the past few years. I went high tech dude, $300 and a computer nerd later I had a high flying Norad satellite system on my brand new roof.

Sure it wasn't the same thing I had agreed to over the phone and it wasn't even technically hooked up and they didn't actually give me the new router (or any router) as promised in the ad. But I had lightening fast satellite internet dude! It worked great for 45 days, which was 15 days past the return date. Then it simply quit working.

We had exceeded our bandwidth limit, we were informed by the ISP. We should upgrade to the next highest package, our new ISP told us. Our son watched Youtube one Saturday Afternoon and ruined the internet for the rest of us... or so I told the others. So after a month went by without internet access we paid a little more and upgraded. Then another month went by and Still nothing. Not even able to access Email most of the time. "You're still exceeding the bandwidth limit" we were told. How in the hell we could exceed it without being logged onto the internet was never explained, but we were assured by the new ISP that if we upgrade to the very highest, most expensive package. And of course that never worked either. We were told neighbors were tapping into our feed and stealing the service, we were told many things and finally we were told that the ISP really "couldn't provide internet to everybody."

So we canceled and paid another $300 to buy out the contract we never used because of the service we never could access. For those of you keeping score... this means that while I paid for everything, I tried for months to get basic service, I kept upgrading to more and more expensive packages as advised until I was told THEY could not provide the service... IF you are keeping score... that translates into I BROKE THE DAMN CONTRACT?!!

SO the wife goes out and gets a 3G card from Verison. It's ok, not all that fast but it is OK. Then I get to looking at the contract she had and see it has... wait for it... w a i t for it........... a bandwidth limit! I refused to be trapped into the same situation as I was with the satellite, so after 30 of never being able to access our the website that shows usage, we canceled the service.

And I KNOW what you are thinking. "But Cris, if you canceled your ISP how are you able to post a blog entry two night in a row?"

Simple dear reader. For a mere $75 I called up my old on again/off again service and had it restored. The same service that I used for the nearly 18 months of uninterrupted nightly blog posts.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My Baby Girl

So I made this fire pit out by the barn. We moved all our old porch swings that are too old and ugly to keep by the house over by the barn, took over a few metal chairs and made a bench. It is a nice place to sit around an open fire and visit, cook hot dogs or toast marshmallows.

So tonight my little girl says some of her friends are coming over to the house. Now I am hungry, I ate at the office and didn't even finish. Mrs. Cris took off for some selfish reason like church choir practice and I even though I tried to leave the office around 4:00 pm. I never actually got away until about 6:30 p.m. I was really getting hungry and you know what is a fast meal..? Ball Park franks roasted on a big fork over an open fire, that's what is a quick meal!

So I tell the little girl I will make a fire and roast some Ball Park Franks, IF she and her friends want to sit outside around the fire. They all agree this sounds like a great idea since we are having unseasonably cool weather for the first part of September.

Now I tell you all this to set the stage. I am kicking up this outdoor fire and talking to my 17 year old high school senior "little girl" when I mention I stopped by a friend's house on the way home. I told her as I was there, some woman came over and seemed like she wanted to visit and I felt like eh....

OK my mind was desperately searching for an alternative phrase. "Don't say cock block!" my mind screamed at me. "For God's sake say anything but Cock Block!!"

Before my befuddled and confused mind could reroute a synaptic pathway that would allow me to select alternative verbiage, my sweet and unsoiled child looked at me with sudden comprehension and said, "Oh! You didn't want to block his cock!"

All pretense of friendly father, good time guy disappeared as I roared at her in my most commanding paternal rage, "I DO NOT EVER WANT TO HEAR THOSE WORDS COME OUT OF YOUR MOUTH EVER AGAIN!! AND IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW MUCH I WAS THINKING THE SAME TERM EITHER!!"

Now I can't be sure, but based on her burst of giggles I don't think she took me seriously. And then when she told her friends the story later they all laughed and kept asking me what was the phrase I didn't want my delicate little flower to use..? "Was it Cock? Or was it Block? It bothers you to hear COCK BLOCK?"

No wonder girl children have no value in China.