My second blog. What you get are pieces of me; my humor, my memories: be welcome.
MY BOOK! http://www.lulu.com/davidmac73|
Link to my THIRD blog on WDC
This picture was in the header of my first blog and I wanted to bring it back. Me and my sweetie on our wedding day....it is my favorite picture.
** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
This is my second Blog on WDC. The first Blog, Random Thoughts, is finished and done and I loved almost every minute I spent doing it.
This blog will be somewhat different than the first because I want to use this space for my humor and my memories. The humor may sometimes fall flat and the memories may, at times be boring, but isn't that the way it is with life.
Please join me here and partake in these pieces of me and if sometimes you find the jokes unfunny or the memories dull, then please come back another day and maybe you will find something to your liking. After all, like my daddy always
said: "Some days you get the bear, some days the bear gets you."
Thank you, vivacious for this neat new logo for my blog! Yup, this about says it all, I think!
** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
I thought that Independence Day was the appropriate day to put this great new siggy in my blog....Thank you sultry
** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
Please check out Scarlett's Newsletter for Bloggers: The Blogville News
** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
Thank you, Startiara for this lovely Siggy!!
** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
|I was talking to my good friend, Nada on the phone yesterday and she asked me: “So, are you going to stop at 500 or go on to 750?”
At the time I told her I was not sure, well after sleeping on it, I have decided that I am too much of a traditionalist to go over the old, accepted, 500 mark. Well, Sheila, my sweet big sister and best friend I guess this is the finish line for this particular blog.
So here it is, on August 08, 2008.....the day I do this last and 500th entry to “Pieces of Me”. Interestingly enough it comes just a month short of the two year anniversary of the start of the blog. Two years is a long time to devote to one project especially when you consider that I started it right after I finished my FIRST blog: “Random Thoughts” which also went 500 entries and took an additional year and a half. A lot of damn words, that’s for sure.
Two blogs finished in three and a half years and the blogs were very different from one another. I attempted to write Random Thoughts in a more professional manner...like newspaper columns while Pieces of Me was just what the title implied...pieces of my self; my personal beliefs, hopes, fears, and wishes. While I held a lot of me back in the first one, I think at times I shared too much of me in the second. I believe that is the reason I saw a lot of my readers who followed the first, fall by the wayside during the second one...oh well.
These two blogs have been a grand journey for me, full of ups and downs, highs and lows. The most important thing, however is the opportunity I have had to make some friends who will be with me for the rest of my life and to have touched a few folks along the way.
To those few of you who have put up with me through two blogs, I want to say a simple and heartfelt...Thank you. You each have enriched my life with your comments and your presence, with your support and your guidance. I owe each of you a huge debt.
Now.....having said all that stuff....what next?
Well...and I don’t want to hear any booing in the crowd.....I plan on beginning a third blog. As yet I have no title for it and over the next week or so I plan on figuring out where I want to go with it. This will be even more different for me...actually giving my blog a direction. I have been kicking around a few ideas in my head today at work and believe it or not, I am actually excited about this new venture.
I would like to close this thing out today with one final bit about stats. As most of you know I am a stat hound. Okay, so it’s probably a guy thing...the competition, a way to keep score and see how we do. Maybe it comes from my love of sports and sports stats...whatever. The thing is, I have noticed an anomaly, a glitch in the WDC list of Most Viewed Blogs. I have even doubled checked this with Nada and she saw the same thing. We compared our number of views and her current blog has more views than mine...either of mine....yet she is ranked 4th. That should not be.
Here is how the top four rank on the Most Viewed Page:
2.Pieces of Me....David McClain
3.Random Thoughts....David McClain
4.Nada’s Continuing Blog Part 2...Nada
Well I am here to tell you that the rating is wrong. Nada should be ranked number 2, above either of my blogs and I think it is time that was changed. I enjoyed being #2 but I love the truth even more and Nada should be up there, not me.
Having said that....You just better watch it girl, cause there is a third one coming down the pike soon and I plan on giving you a run for your money.
Before I forget, I have one final bit of business. Now like most of you, I get far more views each day than comments. I normally run about ten to one views to comments. Well just this once, for my last entry, here is what I would like you to do. If you normally come in here to read but not comment, I would love it if you just left something, some emoticon, or a couple of words of greeting...something so I know who you are, so I can put a face to faceless readers. I promise not to bug you if you do...just in and out real quick. Just consider it a favor to me and I thank you in advance.
So, for Pieces of Me and Random Thoughts, this is your author saying: “So long for now, but keep a light on in the window....I’m coming back soon.”
|I am in the process of reading "A Hole in Texas" by Herman Wouk. Mr. Wouk, as some of you know, was also the author of such best sellers as "The Winds of War", "War and Remembrances", "The Caine Mutiny", Marjorie Morningstar" and many other works of fiction.
Now I loved those first three books and was quite delighted when Mel came home from a garage sale a month ago with another Wouk book; "Don't Stop the Carnival". This book was one of his first efforts and it was a modest little effort but, to my surprise, it was possibly one of his best efforts. Where the first three I mentioned were stark dramas, "Don't Stop the Carnival" was almost slapstick comedy and I laughed all the way through it right up until the end when it almost made me tear up...now that's what I call WRITING.
So of course as soon as I finished the book, I had to have more so I ordered "A Hole in Texas" from Amazon.com. I am almost finished with this book and it was not a disappointment. If anything, it may be even better than "Carnival". Not as funny, mind you....just a better story.
I think what I like most is the way Wouk's characters are all of middle-age. He writes with such poignant prose as to make one realize that you don't have to be young and stupid to be the angst-torn hero in a novel....you can also be old and just as stupid. I kinda relate to that.
What about the rest of you writers out there in Blogville....Would you, or could you, see yourself using a fifty or sixty-something for the main character in one of your stories or your novels? If not....why?
I am seriously considering giving it a try.
|"If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"
Pardon me, I seem to have lapsed into a philosophical mood upon opening my blog page. So here I sit, pondering that weighty question.......
And the answer is....."I don't give a shit"!
Really folks, getting even more philosophical here for a moment, I have thought about the question and that is the answer that keeps coming to the forefront of my cerebellum. Who the hell cares if the tree makes a sound when it falls, if there is no one to hear the sound. Does it affect me that the tree fell? Does being too far away to hear it fall make the tree any less upright? Well Duh!
That's me to a tee, you know...I tend to think on a rather direct level, some would say "SIMPLE"...well yeah, that too. Now you take, for instance, all the debate of late on wither or not we should drill more oil wells up there in Alaska. There are those who cry foul and say we would spoil the natural beauty of the state, not to mention doing great harm to the wildlife such as the great Caribou herds, the elk, the moose, and the bear.
Hey, unless you can show me a way to drive a caribou to work, then I say drill. Move all the wildlife down to the lower 48 states if you are concerned with the impact drilling will have on them. Hey! That might be a great idea....give some of those Bubbas in Missouri and Texas a chance to hunt a Grizzly from their four-wheeler.
Yup...I do take a simple view of things. Another example of that simple view is the question of what other countries think of us Americans.....My simple answer to that is: "I don't really give a shit.
I see it on television, read it in the newspapers and even right here on WDC blogs. The world thinks Americans are spoiled, self-centered, uneducated boors. Yeah, right...that's us in a nutshell....until some other country gets in trouble, or has a natural disaster, then they all turn to America with their hands out. Then we are every body's best buddy.
Well that is just bullshit. Personally I believe there is nothing wrong with going in and helping others in need, but we ought to make sure all our problems at home are solved first. What is that old saying...."Charity begins at home"....that is very true. I think that until we manage to feed our own poor, educate our own children, and give medical help to everyone HERE who is in need, we should take a different approach to our aid to other countries.
How about this.....we still jump in and help all who ask for help, but when we solve their little problem, we present them with a bill for services rendered. Yeah, all that aid isn't free you know. The truth is, the aid we send other countries is paid for by every American taxpayer in the form of taxes. So you see, it is the everyday, run-of-the-mill, working American that you folks in other countries love to put down, that are actually footing the bill for all the humanitarian crap our government gets us into. So, just like you pay the butcher for the meat....why can't you pay for help you get from us.
Yup....that's me...just a simple kind of guy. Now you take Crime and Punishment for example. If you do the crime, you take the punishment. If you kill another person, you die. If you molest a child, you die. If you are found guilty of any other crime and you are sentenced to a term in prison then you serve that term...in full. They take you, put you in a cell without television, without computer access...just a bed, and they shut the door. They feed you the minimum required to sustain life and at the end of your sentence, they open the door and let you out.....yeah, that works for me.
Now, in closing, I have to admit something. I think old Mao was on to something when he staged his Cultural Revolution in China. He had the intellectuals rounded up and he put them to work raising pigs and digging ditches. Not a bad idea. You would be surprised how one's thought processes gets boiled down to a more simple form after a few years of looking up the business end of a pig, or digging ditches in a rice paddy. Hey, maybe that would explain my own simple-minded approach to life....I done spent too many years on da pig farm!
|Oh the shame, the embarassment of it all....I BEEN BEAT BY A GIRL!! I will probably have to turn in my "Man License", and just when I was making plans on turning our spare bedroom into my own personal "Man Cave". Damn!
Yeah, you heard me right...a girly-girl beat me into the dirt yesterday, well last night anyway. You see I had come home from work...close to midnight...and before retiring for the evening, Mel and I sat together at the computer to read a few blogs. Well as we finished up I asked her:
"Have you checked your stats today?"
"Oh no," she said, "I never look at those things. I don't do a blog enough to really have a lot of views."
Well here I was feeling all superior and stuff...like the wise mentor with his favorite pupil...so I told her:
"Why don't you sign in and check your "summary stats", want me to show you how?"
"That's alright", she said sweetly, "I think I can do it myself."
So she signed in and opened up her stat page and there it was in black and white.....HER BLOG NUMBERS FOR THE DAY BEAT MINE INTO THE DIRT!!!
BY A LOT!!
NOT EVEN CLOSE!!!
WHAT THE HELL?
"Oh, it must have been some kind of glitch in the system." she assured me in that sweet tone of her's. I know all about that "sweet tone", she usually imployes it rather than come right out and say: "NEENER, NEENER, NEENER!"
I am crushed...I rushed outside and threw myself off the porch. But, since it is only about a foot off the ground, very little damage was done.
All kidding aside though, if you have not read her last entry...and by the looks of the stats, few have missed it .....go over and read "Invalid Entry" . What amazes me is she writes stuff like that and then turns around and insists she is no writer. The woman has a wonderful talent with the written word and it is a shame she doesn't see it and write more.
Love you sweetie....even though you did beat the pants off me. Wait....since the pants are off me....
|Over all, thankfully, Murphy skipped most of this adventure Mel and I found ourselves enjoying. This is not to say that he did not make an appearance. Rather than spoil the beginning, and middle of the trip, old Murph was kind and waited until our trip home.
Ah, where to begin....how about Thursday...yeah, that's good. Well we got up Thursday with a plan of action in place. Our flight out wasn't until Friday morning at 6:40am, but since Seattle is a three hour drive from where we were staying, we decided to head to the city on Thursday, spend the night at a hotel and catch our plane the next morning....simple right....NOT.
Richard had duty on Thursday and Friday and had to remain on base. We didn't want Lindsay to have to make that long drive by herself, with the baby, so we decided to catch the shuttle bus from the small Yakima airport directly to the Seattle airport. From there we would catch another shuttle bus directly to our hotel. Then, the next morning, we planned to take that same shuttle back to the big airport at four in the morning to get there in time to check in through security and board our flight.
Well somewhere along the way Murphy decided to hitch a ride with us. To begin with the first shuttle from Yakima airport was supposed to entail about a three hour ride....NOT. As we boarded the shuttle I noticed a list of other towns written on the side of the bus. Curious, I made inquires about that list to the driver and was told..."Oh yes, those are all the towns between here and Seattle that I have to stop in to pick up other passengers!!"
Oh good lord.....what began as a three hour drive, turned into about a four and a half hour hellish journey in a bus FULL of loud strangers and having what must have been the human inspiration for Bevis and Butthead sitting directly behind us.
So we got into Seattle at ten thirty instead of eight thirty. Then we had a slight case of miscommunication with the hotel which resulted in us sitting at the airport for about forty-five minutes while the shuttle driver tried to find us. Now keep in mind, we had to be up by three-thirty in the morning in order to be ready to catch the four o'clock shuttle back to the airport.
I COULD NOT SLEEP!
So after dozing for maybe a half-hour, I gave up and got out of bed at three and told Mel..."Let's get this damn show on the road."
Our plan was to get to the airport at four, check our bags at the door, outside the terminal....we already had our tickets...then breeze through with time to find a spot to have a nice, leisurely breakfast. Well guess what? Nobody working for Northwest Airlines comes to work before FIVE IN THE FREAKING MORNING.
So we were reduced to standing in a line from hell for one solid hour just to check in our bags. Then we had to HURRY to the security check and I won't even try to explain what happened there, maybe Mel will attempt to explain why my picture is now being circulated to all the major airports in America.
We found ourselves...finally, sitting on our plane. Now this is Friday morning and we have not eaten since lunch on Thursday. My stomach was thinking that my throat was cut. Did I mention I get a bit cranky when I go without food?
Well we got into Memphis about one-thirty in the afternoon and again...thanks to a language barrier...the shuttle left us sitting at the airport for an extra hour. IS THERE ANYONE WHO WORKS IN THE HOTEL INDUSTRY WHO ACTUALLY SPEAKS ENGLISH?
We were finally picked up by Punjab, who stood by talking on his cell phone while I loaded our luggage and helped Mel to board the bus. He continued to talk on that damn cell phone throughout the trip to pick up our truck. Of course he was safe with it, he drove twenty miles an hour all the freaking way to where we had left the truck!
I gotta tell you, after twenty minutes of listening to a non-stop stream of Indian, punctuated with fits of high-pitched giggles, I was ready to strangle both Rudyard Kipling AND Gunga-Din!
Well we made it without me killing the driver, due mainly to Mel's ability to hold my arms immobile, and we arrived at our truck....for another THREE HOURS DRIVE in order to finally arrive home.
To say I am wasted is like saying a survivor of the Bataan Death March was a little winded after the walk.
So today I am happily waving goodbye to Murphy, leaving him with Mel, and heading off to work.....this should be fun!
|Good morning children and welcome to Uncle Tor's story hour. Today is July 30th and our latest adventure is fast drawing to a close. As I type this, Mel and Lindsay are down stairs with the baby enjoying some girl bonding time (talking non-stop about EVERYTHING).
So while they are entertaining themselves, I thought I would take the opportunity to share with you the epic tale of how I conqured Mt. Rainier. Go ahead and pull your chairs up close now and pay attention. What you are about to read is the whole truth and nothing but the truth.....That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
The truth of the matter is, from the time this trip was first mentioned to me, I decided to make it a memorable one by having a high adventure at some point during the week. So with that in mind, I made a list of things I had not yet done, yet had always wanted to accomplish....
1. Go over a waterfall in a barrel....NO, way too wet and besides, I get claustrophobic in barrels.
2. Run with the bulls in Spain, while wearing roller-skates....NO, too few bulls in Wasnington and I can't afford the plane tickets to Europe.
3. Hook Barak Obama to a Lie Detector and have it televised....NO, those machines tend to overload and explode when too much BS is inputed and I knew I could not afford to buy a replacement.
4. Scale a major American Mountain....EUREKA! We have a winner and a fifth choice is not needed. (sorry Scarlett)
And so it was decided.....I would climb a mountain while on vacation. When informed of this plan, Mel went into a frenzy of searching through our personal paperwork just to affirm that the life insurance policy she had taken out on me did not contain a "Capt. Stupid" clause. Capt. Stupid being the one she always blames on taking over my brain when I do some of my more "colorful" adventures. Sure enough, she was pleased to learn that there was, in fact, no such clause. Armed with that information, she happily gave me her blessings to go out and follow my dream....what a girl!
Thus it was that on Monday, the 28th day of July, in the year of our Lord, 2008, the four of us set out on the three hour trip to Mt. Ranier. Now for those of flatlanders who have little or no knowledge of the mountains, let me feed you some facts that might help set the scene.
Mt. Rainier is over 14,000 feet high and is the largest mountain in the Cascade range. There are twenty-six glaicers surrounding the mountain, not to mention hundreds of waterfalls, most coming straight off those glaicers. Needless to say there is snow on the mountain year around, near the summit and there are even large patches of snow at the lower elevations, near the park visitor center where you park.
Mt. Rainier is an active volcano with two volcanic craters at its summit, each over 1,000 feet in diameter. The mountain is surrounded by the Mount Rainier National Park and the land is covered by beautiful, old growth forests of Douglas fir, Hemlock, and Pine. The beautiful, picturesque mountain meadows are covered with an abundance of wild flowers such as Alpine Asterm Broadleaf Lupine, Elephanthead, Harebell, and Tiger Lilly. All of these mix together to present a wild splash of colors that delight the eye.
Okay, enough of the Travel Channel crap. I keep this up you are going to think I'm some kind of damn tree-hugger.....On with the story!
We arrived at the visitor center about one in the afternoon after a leisurily drive through the beautiful alpine scenery, and I was stoked for the climb. After a short consultation with the women folk, which consisted of such phrases as:
"I'm TOOOO tired."
"Can we go eat now?"
"You want to climb what???"
It was decided to leave them and the baby down at the center and Richard and I would forge ahead up the mountain. As we left the car I noticed other climbers gathering together and taking inventory of their equipment.
I don't need no stinking equipment. I got my walking tennis shoes, my jeans and my long sleave shirt (it was cold up there). I had no use for all those dang ropes, crampons, shoes with steel spikes, or artic style gloves and outer wear. I mean, hell, if I have carry all that crap it's just gonna suck all the fun out of the hike....ONWARD!
One hour later:
Me: "Mother of God (spoken in a gasp/death rattle) how much further before we can take a rest?"
Richard: "Uh, just a few more feet, Dave and we will be out of the parking lot."
Me: "Oh....just checking."
Well we finally made our way up to where the trail upward began and we were truly underway. five minutes after that we decided that maybe this time we would take the Nisqually Vista Trail. This trail winds its way for about a half mile up to an observation point where, if you have some really strong optics, you can actually SEE the other climbers as they scale the lower portion of the mountain, headed to the base camp. The trail is known, to climbers, as the Wussy Trail. Myself, I perfer to call it: The Wise Man Trail.
Of course, the hike up that far was not without its mishaps. Nobody told me there would still be deep snow and ice down that low. Our progress was marked with such witty conversation as:
Richard: "Careful here, seems to be quite a bit of ice."
Me: "Not to worry I....."
Richard: "Are you okay, I never saw anyone bounce like that."
Me: (through clenched teeth) "I'm fine, I'm fine...uh, can you move this log off my back?"
In spite of those little set backs...about ten of them, we finally made the observation point and got to SEE those fools who were actually headed toward the summit. I think we saw them, through the telescope they looked like ants. Then we headed back down to the observation center in triumph.
Richard made quite a stir, being one of the few men who had actually made the trip back while carrying a man on his back. I figured it was the least I could do.....let him have the limelight and all.
Of course when we finally came staggering back down, where do we find the girls waiting for us but the Observation Tower.....THE VERY TOP OF THE TOWER!
You guessed it....we then had to climb up seventy-five flights of stairs to tell them that they could now leave their comfy, overstuffed, easy chairs....it was time to go home.
Before we exited the park, I spent the balance of my cash buying twenty portable oxygen bottles. I figured that would be just about enough to revive me enough to be able to survive the ride home......I was right....barely.
|Author's Note: Today is Tuesday and the first day I have had computer access. If I have access tomorrow I will continue the story, otherwise I will have to wait until I return home.
And so it began.....Friday, July 25th we loaded into the car for the three hour drive to Memphis where we were to catch our flight to Seattle, Washington. I am happy to report that Mel's ability to reduce me to a blubbering puddle of driving frustration has not lessened one bit. She is the only person I know who you have to ask:
"Please define: 'Go straight'. Do you mean go straight for the next mile or just the next twenty FREAKING FEET!!"
She is also the queen of the obvious. For example, here we are, tooling along the highway and she suddenly pops up with this pithy observation:
"Well we are ou of the flatlands and are entering the hill country again."
THANK YOU, MS. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC!
I'm driving....I KNOW we are entering the hill country, after all, the damn road is undulating up and down like a dang fornicating Boa Constrictor. Instead of pointing out the obvious, why not try giving me some information I can use.....LIKE WHERE IS THE FREAKING EXIT WE NEED TO TAKE?
Well, inspite of her best efforts, we finally made it to Memphis, Tenn. so of course, as we entered the city limits, Mel began to recite all the tourist based facts she could think of for the city....I swear the woman should have worked for some Chamber of Commerce or something.
Unfortunately she was a bit lacking in the important factiod department for Memphis. I mean, besides Elvis, she was having a hard time reciting any interesting facts about the place. Finally she turned to me and asked:
"Where was Martin Luther King shot?"
I was, at the time, struggling to navigate six lanes of fast moving traffic. My hands were clutched in a death grip on the steering wheel, beads of sweat had popped out on my forehead, and I was trying to consentrate on NOT getting sandwhiched betwen two big trucks....ironically one was a Wal-Mart truck. So I growled back at her....
"In the head, I believe."
That effectively ended conversation until we pulled into the Motel...Thank God!
Well we got checked into our room and it was then that Mel sprang her big surprise on me. Seems she had found this restaurant which had been featured on both the Food channel, and the Travel Channel. The place was famous for two things; its barbque and its "Elvis Motiff" complete with Limo service to and from the restrauant. She had gone online and reserved us a table and...her big surprise...we were getting picked up by the limo!
Now I admit it...I was impressed. This was going to be my very first ride in a limo and I was getting a bit excited. She neglected to tell me that the "Limo" was built the same year as the restrauant was established: 1974!! Oh, did I mention that the Limo was PINK?
It was that dang "Elvis Motiff" again. I felt like an East Dallas Pimp in that dang machine!
The name of the place was Marlowe's and I have to admit it....the dang barbque was some of the best I have ever eaten, and once you block out the life-sized cardboard Elvis in the middle of the dining room, the place wasn't half bad.
After dinner, we boarded the pink cadilac limo again for the trip back to the hotel. On this return trip we shared a ride with two other couples who were staying at another hotel. Now I thought I had seen the height in crass commericalism of a man's name, but I was wrong. These other folks were staying at....get ready for it....
"THE HEARTBREAK HOTEL!"
Actually it was The Heartbreak Hotel and RV park.....Yes, you read right....this large hotel had a freaking RV park behind it. A veritable sea of checked brumuda short, knee-high black socks and dress shoes. Like ten acres of walking commericals for Depends.
All there to drop about sixty dollars a head to walk through Graceland! Well we dropped those folks at their hotel and headed straight back to ours, there would be no Graceland in our future. Besides, we had to get up early for our flight to Seattle.
Tomorrow: Mt. Ranier or Bust.
|Over a month ago Mel's son, Richard, over my strong objections, purchased two round-trip airline tickets for Mel and myself to Seattle, Wa. With the new baby, I thought the money could have been better spent, but he and his wife wanted us THERE to visit and to get to know our new grandchild....so....ROADTRIP!!
Yes, another in a long line of Mel and Tor's Travel Adventures is about to unfold. We leave in the morning and drive to Memphis, Tenn. where we will board our plane for the Great Northwest. We will be gone a full week and I am unsure whether or not there will be access to a computer at our destination, so it may be awhile before I can check in with you, my friends.
An interesting side note here: On the very day we are slated to fly out to the Washington, the Duke of Dumb, the Lord of Skank....ccstring is also boarding a plane. His destination: Disney World, in Flordia. We shall be at two opposite ends of this great nation, with about twenty or so states between us....so what's he up to?
What nefarious scheme has he hatched? This is just like him and I will be doubly on guard against any sneak attack by some of his minions while I am traveling.
So that's it....Next stop: Washington. I wonder, can a man get some decent barbeque there?
|Funk--Tor’s dictionary defines Funk as the inability to string words together to make sentences and sentences together to make paragraphs that make any sense at all.
The question I have been asked is....”Why?”
Fair enough. I need to try to explain, I guess. I have, since the age of twenty-one, suffered from these “Funks” and they do not just manifest themselves in an inability to write. When they strike, they affect all aspects of my life. Some call these episodes, depression but to me, that word does not do them justice. I know, that still does not answer the “Why?” question, does it. Let me try again......
Men....I speak from a man’s point of view for obvious reasons....tend to judge themselves more harshly than they do others, I believe, or at least some do. Weakness, failure, and shortcomings of any sort are judged as things for which punishment needs to be meted out. I believe we punish ourselves by denying access to whatever we love most; whatever brings us joy. In my case it is writing.
Some turn to drugs or alcohol. They use those first as a form of escape, but that turns quickly into their own punishment. Neither of those things worked for me so I learned early on that the best way to punish myself was to withdraw from what brought me the most joy....writing.
Now of course comes the big question: What is it that I am guilty of that needs this sort of punishment?
Lord, it would take a book to list my crimes. I think my biggest crime was merely living past the age of 21, I shouldn’t have you know. To make matters worse, once I figured out that I was going to live....I did nothing with that life. Most men my age are looking forward to retirement and a certain financial security...not me. Most men, when faced with a wife who has a debilitating decease, are able to care for them and relieve them of any worry...not me.
Yes, I believe the biggest crime...other than living, has been that I have pissed away those years of undeserved life....I made nothing of myself. A failure as a husband, father, provider....just to name a few. Guilty as charged.
So you see, from time to time, the weight of my transgressions become to much for me. I punish myself and words dry up, ideas flee and I sit in a sort of solitary confinement. I have seen it last as long as a year or more, and sometimes it only lasts a week or so....I never know when my jailer will unlock my cell and release me. I guess it depends on how long it takes me to rebury all the feelings and begin to act like I deserve to walk among good people again. That is the ultimate in self-delusion, but I can do it if I really try.
So there you have it...The Why of my Funk. I wrote this mainly because of two good friends who called me to check up on me and another good friend who wrote me a very caring and warm and concerned email. You three know who you are and I am forever in your debt for caring enough to ask. I hope I have answered some of your questions and I promise...sooner or later, I will be back. I have no idea what I ever did to deserve three friends such as you, but I am glad I have each of you.
|Sometime in the next hour after posting this, I will reach a goal I set for this blog....Forty Thousand Views in 500 entries. Well this is entry 491 so I am a bit ahead of schedule, I guess. To put this in some sort of perspective; my first blog, Random Thoughts, garnered just over 28k views in five hundred entries.
I thought I would be more excited than I am when I finally reached this goal. It just proves what I have feared for some months now; I have lost my heart for writing.
The Japanese have a saying: "Duty is heavier than a mountain, but death is lighter than a feather."
I would substitute the word "Life" for the word, "Duty" in that little axiom....but I agree with it.
Life weighs us down sometimes and each of us react to this weight in different ways. Some turn to alcohol, some to drugs, some to suicide....some just retreat. Until we learn to lose Life's weight that crushes us we will continue to self-destruct or retreat. I have listened many times to friends who struggle with these problems and I always wish I had some magic words to share with them to make their problems go away....I don't. All I can do is offer my friendship and hope that soon they will be able to find peace.
Pardon me if this sounds like just so much Middle-aged, angst-ridden, drivel; it's not what I intended. The words to explain, to describe, just won't come. So....let's move on shall we.
Today I will reach 40K views. To each and every person who has taken the time and effort to follow this blog I say "Thank you, from the bottom of my heart." You have made this endeavor less like a chore, and more like a treat.
So, I have reached a goal I had set for this thing. In the words of a famous Jewish rabbi: "It is done."
|What? Two entries in one day? Well, yes and no. The first entry was merely a copy of an email and not really anything original at all. You know I have been doing a lot of that lately....reprints, posting email jokes and stuff.
Because after almost a half million words...I am running on empty. I am scraping the bottom of what was, admittedly a shallow well of words. I have a friend to thank for being able to type this much today. I spent about an hour in very pleasurable conversation with a good friend today. We talked about life, love, politics and of course....WDC. He has helped me more than he knows by giving me a call. I needed to be connected again.
Thanks Eric.....you did me a big favor just by listening.
I would like to share with you a tale uniquely American and not just American, but vintage Missouri logic. Mel heard the story on the news yesterday and couldn't wait to share it with me. Seems this guy decided that he no longer wanted to be married and was sure he could not afford a divorce, so of course he decided to kill his wife.
He picks up an axe and strikes her in the head. Unfortunately, she did not die. So there she lay, bleeding on the floor with her husband standing over her. Well the longer he stood there watching her, the worse he felt about the whole thing. He finally decided that he would NOT kill her. So, he bundled her up and threw her in the family car to drive her to the hospital.
Now on the way to said hospital the husband gets to thinking...if she lives, she will press charges and he will end up in prison....all was lost! So while speeding down the road, he makes up his mind to just wreck the car and kill them both; he knew he would never survive prison, after all.
He speeds up, then takes aim at a telephone pole. He strikes the pole head-on. The pole collapses on top of the car....neither he nor his wife are hurt!
Then he changes his mind again, backs the car, which will barely run, out from under the pole and slowly makes his way to the hospital....where his wife is treated for the axe-wound to the head and survives and he is, of course, arrested!
Ain't love grand!
|As you all know, from time to time I enjoy reprinting interesting jokes and stuff sent to me via my hotmail email account. I thought this would be of particular interest to a few "old timers" in here and a very appropriate entry since I already feel about a thousand years old today....Enjoy it and then leave me some of your own memories in the comment section.
Another Goody For The Old Timers
My Mom used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread mayo on the same cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn't seem to get food poisoning.
My Mom used to defrost hamburger on the counter AND I used to eat it raw sometimes, too. Our school sandwiches were wrapped in wax paper in a brown paper bag, not in icepack coolers, but I can't remember getting e.coli.
Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the lake instead of a pristine pool (talk about boring), no beach closures then.
The term cell phone would have conjured up a phone in a jail cell, and a pager was the school PA system.
We all took gym, not PE... and risked permanent injury with a pair of high top Ked's (only worn in gym)
instead of having cross-training athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors. I can't recall any injuries but they must have happened because they tell us how much safer we are now.
Flunking gym was not an option... even for stupid kids! I guess PE must be much harder than gym.
Speaking of school, we all said prayers and sang the national anthem, and staying in detention after school caught all sorts of negative attention.
We must have had horribly damaged psyches. What an archaic health system we had then. Remember school nurses? Ours wore a hat and everything.
I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was allowed to be proud of myself.
I just can't recall how bored we were without computers, Play Station, Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital TV cable stations.
Oh yeah... and where was the Benedryl and sterilization kit when I got that bee sting? I could have been killed!
We played 'king of the hill' on piles of gravel left on vacant construction sites, and when we got hurt, Mom pulled out the 48-cent bottle of Mercurochrome (kids liked it better because it didn't sting like iodine did) and then we got our butt spanked.
Now it's a trip to the emergency room, followed by a 10-day dose of a $49 bottle of antibiotics, and then Mom calls the attorney to sue the contractor for leaving a horribly vicious pile of gravel where it was such a threat.
We didn't act up at the neighbor's house either because if we did, we got our butt spanked there and then we got butt spanked again when we got home..
I recall Donny Reynolds from next door coming over and doing his tricks on the front stoop, just before he fell off. Little did his Mom know that she could have owned our house. Instead, she picked him up and swatted him for being such a goof. It was a neighborhood run amuck.
To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told that they were from a dysfunctional family. How could we possibly have known that?
We needed to get into group therapy and anger management classes? We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills, that we didn't even notice that the entire country wasn't taking Prozac! How did we ever survive?
LOVE TO ALL OF US WHO SHARED THIS ERA, AND TO ALL WHO DIDN'T- SORRY FOR WHAT YOU MISSED. I WOULDN'T TRADE IT FOR ANYTHING
|A cautionary blog entry today on the dangers of complacency and why we should not put forth a lot of effort to pat ourselves on the back for how tolerant we have become as a nation.
Yeah, remember the bad old days of the 60's when we were convinced that this nation was just one step away from a full-blown race war? Well after what I was shown the other day, I think we are even closer now than we were back then. Mel pointed out a discussion taking place on a online forum for the city of Poplar Bluff, Mo. where I work every day. I can not tell you how shocked I was at the depth of hatred that I found on that page.
These are not raving political activists looking to grab a headline with inflammatory language, these are just everyday people venting feelings and frustrations that have probably been simmering for years.
I have heard others warn many times of a "White backlash" in this country and I have now read proof of it. For all of you who believe that everything is just fine in America and that we have put the ugliness of the '60s behind us.....please read the link I am providing here.
I have a question for you. Why is it that the further North I venture in this great land of ours, the more overt racism I run into? Anyone got an answer?
Oh and I would like your opinions on the link I put in here. There are 223 comments to a simple statement:
"How many people hate driving down garfield on a pretty day dodging all the monkey's walking in the middle of the road?"
It goes downhill from there folks.
|It is the 4th of July weekend and you find yourself home from work, with some time on your hands. Maybe you are new to WDC and you are looking for something to read, and in that search you find yourself on the blog page.
Well I am here to help you out, my friend. Take heed this list I have compiled this morning and I guarantee that you will have all the quality reading you could ever want.
11.~Wind in my Wings~
13.bugzy is baaaccck!!
22.Kåre Enga, P.O. 22, Blogville
32. The Literary Penguin
Now this is...at best...a partial list of the blogs I read and try to comment to, when time permits or the subject matter demand. All of the authors listed above have a few things in common. First of all they are all talented, intelligent, articulate human beings. Secondly each and every person listed above do the blog much better than I ever did and I stand in awe of the talent of each of them.
So now quit wasting time in here and go read the folks I read...you won't be sorry, I promise you.
|HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA!! So, now let's go out, get drunk, and burn some meat on a grill!
That is basically what this "holiday" has become now hasn't it....a chance to be off work and drunk.
Forgive me my rather cynical mood today but after spending eight hours in Wal-Mart yesterday witnessing American manic behavior at it's very worse, celebrating is the last thing on my mind.
Yesterday...the 3rd of July...I was slap in the middle of a crush of shoppers roughly TWICE what I have ever seen, even on Christmas. I am convinced that there must have been a World-Wide Stupid Convention held in Poplar Bluff, Mo. and they held the event inside our store. For eight hours I don't think I ever caught up with the flow of stupid.
As usual, as I worked, I cast my mind far away and on other things....it's a Zen thing that keeps me from strangling at least one person a day. I pondered the idea of why all these people were in the store today. I wondered what would happen if each shopper was stopped and asked: "What are you celebrating today?" I daresay that very few would be able to articulate the true reason for the 4th of July. Is all of this what so many good men died for? God, I hope not. Please tell me it was for something more....
This country was born 232 years ago. It survived two wars with Britain before it finally secured its independence. America has also survived a civil war that pitted brother against brother and came out of it stronger and better. Twice in its short life, this country has entered a World War in defense of itself and its friends. Every generation of this country has been asked to sacrifice its youth in a war somewhere in the world....yet the world seems to delight in hating us.
So anyway...what about you? Are you celebrating, today, the 232nd birthday of one of the most unique nations ever to come upon the world scene? Are you paying homage to the sacrifice our forefathers made to keep this shining example of Democracy free?
Or maybe you are just celebrating a three day weekend and a chance to get drunk and burn meat......whatever.
Happy Birthday America...I celebrate you by loving you.
|So, you say you do not believe in capital punishment. Well, I present for your consideration the case of Michael Jacques. This walking horse turd with legs is charged with the sexual assault and murder of 12 year old Brooke Bennett whose body was discovered buried a mile from his house.
Jacques is a convicted pedophile who was a member, authorities believe, of a sex-ring operating in Vermont that included Brooke's former step-father. That poor child never had a chance.
The good folks of Vermont have the most "Enlightened" and liberal laws in the country concerning sex offenders. They brag that they have the best system in America....they treat the sex offender as a sick person....they have a decease, you see.
People who do to young children what was done to Brooke Bennett deserve as painful and as prolonged a death as possible.
I know.....I've stepped over the line....I called Jacques a walking horse turd with legs. I apologize for saying that and insulting every horse turd I ever stepped on. They all deserve better than that.
Look people, at my age and with my own life experiences, I am very rarely moved by the extreme cruelties people do to one another, but when they do these things to children; to innocent little babies, it still tears my heart out. The death penalty, as we have it in this country is not nearly cruel enough for the likes of pedophiles. Think for a moment what Brooke's last couple of hours on this earth was like, and then tell me that whoever did that to her needs treatment and care. No, what they need is to no longer breathe air.
I finished this blog ten minutes ago, but then I checked my email and found the following joke which I had to share in a effort to both lighten the mood of the entry, and to further entertain my liberal friends.
DRINKING WITH A TEXAS GIRL.
A MEXICAN, AN IRAQI, AND A TEXAS GIRL ARE IN THE SAME BAR. WHEN THE MEXICAN FINISHES HIS BEER, HE THROWS HIS GLASS IN THE AIR, PULLS OUT HIS PISTOL, AND SHOOTS THE GLASS TO PIECES. HE SAYS, "IN MEXICO OUR GLASSES ARE SO CHEAP WE DON'T NEED TO DRINK WITH THE SAME ONE TWICE."
OMAR , THE IRAQI, OBVIOUSLY IMPRESSED BY THIS, DRINKS HIS BEER, THROWS THE GLASS INTO THE AIR, PULLS OUT HIS AK-47, AND SHOOTS THE GLASS TO PIECES. HE SAYS, " IN IRAQ, WE HAVE SO MUCH SAND TO MAKE GLASSES THAT WE DON'T NEED TO DRINK WITH THE SAME ONE TWICE EITHER."
THE GIRL FROM TEXAS, COOL AS A CUCUMBER, PICKS UP HER BEER, DOWNS IT IN ONE GULP, THROWS THE GLASS INTO THE AIR, WHIPS OUT HER .45 AND SHOOTS THE MEXICAN AND THE IRAQI. WHILE CATCHING HER GLASS, SETTING IT ON THE BAR, AND CALLING FOR A REFILL, SHE SAYS,
"IN TEXAS, WE HAVE SO MANY ILLEGAL ALIENS THAT WE DON'T HAVE TO DRINK WITH THE SAME ONES TWICE."
GOD BLESS TEXAS
|This morning I plopped down in front of the computer and wondered....what the hell can I possibly write about today. I was about to give up and just say: "To heck with it," but then Mel turned on the television.
My desk and computer sits at the opposite end of the living room from the tv and I sit with my back to it as I type. This morning as I struggled to come up with a subject, I could not help but overhear the news of the day as it vomited forth from the Idiot-box.
THANK GOD! At least now I have a topic.
1. Joe Horn found not guilty by a Grand Jury! For those of you who don't know about this case, Joe Horn is a 61 year-old gentleman who lives in a suburb of Houston. Back in November Mr. Horn looked outside his door and saw two men CRAWLING out of his neighbor's window. They were loaded down with stolen items from said house. Mr. Horn called 911 and reported the crime in progress. The 911 operator told him to go back in his house and stay there...the cops would handle it.
A little aside here....I know the suburb where Mr. Horn lives. I also know that it is a favorite tactic of cops there to arrive well AFTER the event. The thieves get away, and the property is rarely ever recovered. Also...the homes there are VERY close together so that if a thief is standing in your neighbor's yard, he is just feet from your own front door.
Well Joe decided not to do what he was told this time. This time he decided he would protect his property and that of his neighbor. btw...in Texas, the law says you CAN do that. Joe calmly told the 911 operator that he had his shotgun and he was going to confront the robbers.
He killed both men. These poor men were just a pair of ILLEGAL ALIENS trying to live out their American dream of making a good living by robbing people who opted to WORK for a living!
What really ticked me off about this story was the way it was presented by the talking-head, "news" person. She was incensed because, as she said: "All he had to do was go inside his house and ignore what was happening...the cops would have handled it and no one would have died."
People, that is bullshit! There comes a time when a man can not simply ignore crime and wait for someone else to handle it. We are not a nation of sheep...not yet anyway. The commentator said that both men were shot in the back. Mr. Horn told the Grand Jury that one man had turned toward him and was brandishing a crow-bar. The fact of the matter is that there is no difference between an entrance and exit wound with a shotgun...unlike other weapons, so the evidence could not support the idea that they were shot in the back.
So, they found him innocent and I for one am glad they did. To be perfectly honest with you, if I had been in Mr. Horn's place I would have done the same thing. You steal from me or my neighbor and I will put you down...simple as that. Hell I have had to kill men I actually admired....fellow soldiers on the other side...so I have no compunction about killing a damn thief...but that's just me.
To those talking-heads on the Left Coast and the East Coast I would say: "Contrary to what you may want to believe, there are still people in the rest of the country with a back bone."
Yeah, for once the Grand Jury got it right. Mr. Horn is innocent.
|Those of you who read this blog with any regularity at all know that one of my favorite things to do is gripe about modern technology. Well tomorrow or the next day I will probably do that very thing again, but not today. Today I want to tell you about a good thing connected with 21st. century technology that happened in my house last night.
My stepson, Richard clued me in to the fact that the Xbox had the capability of sending video pictures...movies...through the television. Well considering that Richard is in the military, and there is no telling how long it will be before he and Lindsay and the baby will be able to come for a visit, I figured...."I gotta do this."
So we set up a time....last night about seven thirty....and we invited Mel's sister, Evie and her mom over so that they could take part in our cross-country visit. The four of us had dinner, then we settled down in front of the TV. Mom wanted to know what show we were going to watch....she didn't quite understand what was going on. I told her it was a new show but that she would recognize the stars right away.
Mel then called Richard and told him we were all set, then within a few moments there they were, on my television....Richard, Lindsay and my darling little grandson, Aric. Richard and Lindsay were waving...Aric was busy working on his pacifier.
I gotta tell you folks...that boy is beautiful! I was so thrilled to get to see him and his mom and dad too, of course. As much as I loved it, I was even happier that Mom got to see them. She is 91 now and her health is failing; Odds are, she may not be with us by the time the kids get to visit in person. She was the real reason I wanted to set up this video visit. I thought it important for Richard and Lindsay to see her and for her to see Aric.
Anyway, the visit was great. Richard took the camera and turned it this way and that, showing us parts of their house that could be reached by the camera on a short cord. He then brought Aric up close to the camera so Mel could count the boy's fingers and toes....just in case his mom may have missed doing it.
We did have some fun trying to explain to Mel's mom that what she was seeing on the TV was REALLY Richard and his family and that they could also see HER. I'm not sure we ever did really convince her of that fact...even when we told her to wave to them and Richard waved back!
Yes, this was definitely one time when I will not gripe about Technology. Last night it was a good thing. Just think...I got to see my grandson and talk to his mom and dad and visit their home....a thousand miles away!
Don't worry...tomorrow I will be back to normal and bashing technology for all I'm worth!!
|My stepson talked me into getting online capabilities for video games and playing online instead of just on the TV. The experience has proven to be interesting, to say the least and it has brought with it a few insights I thought I might share here in my blog.
The game he has me playing is called "Call of Duty 4" and unlike the previous three games by that name, this one is not set during WW2, but takes place in the present time with existing weapons and technology. Of course the storyline of the game has British and American soldiers fighting Terrorist of the Islamic variety....not very original.
Now when one plays online you can hear and speak to other players via the use of a fairly inexpensive head-set which you wear during the game. Listening to the other players has proven to be the most interesting part of playing this game for me.
Probably 99% of the people who play the game online are between the ages of 15 to 30 with the majority being near the low end of that spectrum. One thing most of them have in common is their habit of "Ohhing" and "Ahhing" over how life-like and real the game experience is for them. They go on and on about how real the "combat" is and how easy it is for them. "Heck, I can be a soldier...nothing to it."
I say nothing. In fact I rarely open my mouth during one of those games. But, I can not help but think to myself what a disservice the game-makers are doing to our youth. We are creating generations of young men and women who believe that warfare has anything in common with with a video game.
If any of these games were anywhere close to realistic, I would not be able to even pick up a controller, much less participate in the game itself....too many memories. No, to me these games are so unrealistic, they might as well be a series of Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd type characters who spend their time shooting each other.
I do have a few suggestions for the creators of these games; ways they might make their games truly a realistic, "life-like" experience for the children who play them.
First of all they need to rig up electrodes to each player which causes their heart rates to race to almost stroke proportions and causes the player's adrenal glands to dump a load of adrenaline into their systems during "combat". Make them feel the fear, feel the gut-wrenching sickness.
When the shooting starts make them KNOW what is like to be so scared you wet yourself....but you still have to carry on. Make is so that by the end of the "fight" all they can do is crouch on all fours and puke their guts out.
Most importantly make it so that they actually FEEL the pain of hot metal tearing through their bodies...yeah, they need to experience that for sure. And, most important of all; do away with the reset button so that once they "die" on screen....that's it. Blackness, nothingness, until they think they really are dead.
Show them, in three dimension, the blood and the gore. Let them smell it, get the awful odor of death in their little nostrils. Show them what it is like when a man dies and his bowl and bladder muscles automatically release. Is he laying next to you in a fighting hole? What are you going to do, climb out of the hole and get shot like him?
Enjoy the "Game".
Yeah, I would love to be able to teach the children the real lesson...War is a dirty, nasty, soul-searing business. It is something never to be looked for but unfortunately something that will always be necessary. That should be the lesson taught our children.
For myself, these games have about as much in common with war as the old "Pong" game had with tennis.
Personally, I will continue to play the game from time to time. I will listen to the children "Trash Talk" about what badasses they are and how this war thing is easy.....and I will smile and think: "Boy, I wish you could play my version of this particular game...just once."
|I was doing some port cleaning this morning and came across this piece written for a contest over a year ago. At the time I wrote this I was just about to finish up my first blog....yeah, that long ago...and in the essay I tried to sum up my feelings about that blog and the art of blog writing. Well as I read it again this morning, I discovered that it still had about it a bit of revalence so I figured I would reprint it here. I hope you enjoy this little piece of the past.
What My Blog Means to Me
Blogging is the fastest form of literary endeavor in the world today. A little over a year ago I finally decided to find out what all the excitement was about and I clicked on WDC's Blog Page. Now, when I did this I had no idea what the heck a blog was. I had never read a blog nor even talked to someone who had seen one; curiosity just got the best of me. I spent a day or so reading blogs, trying to get a sense of how one went about writing the thing then I decided to make the jump and create my own blog. From that day forward, my life changed dramatically.
Blogging has opened up a whole new field of writing for me. Blogging is, in effect, the writing of an Essay. For someone who has only written fiction, this was a grand departure and it has caused me to actually grow as a writer. I have been forced to use more discipline with my words and the immediate feed-back I have received via Comments has shown me what works and what doesn't. This has helped my other writing immensely.
There are many different writing styles employed by Bloggers, some formal and some very informal. I chose to write my Blog the way I would a daily column for a newspaper, patterning it after my favorite newspaper columnists. What resulted was a heightened respect for what those columnist do so very well day in and day out...this is hard work!
I can tell you from experience now that being humorous and informative on a daily basis is a daunting task and not for the weak of heart. Many times I am sure I failed at being either of those things but the act of TRYING has instilled in me a discipline that has carried over to my other works. Blogging has also helped me to explore my own personal feelings and beliefs and has taught me to set them down in words in a clear and concise manner. Furthermore Blogging has helped me to remember the past on those occasions I wrote about one of my favorite topics: The Good Old Days. In remembering those times I found a new understanding of them that I did not have before.
The most important thing writing a blog has done for me though has been to bring me friends. Through the give and take of writing a blog and receiving comments I have come to know, personally a group of people with which I share the love of writing. I have made friends from all over the world simply by opening myself up and sharing my words on the Blog Page. Doing my blog has taught me to respect differing opinions and lifestyles and to see many issues from different points of view.
Doing my blog has served to connect me to people from the world over in a way that could never be achieved through any other medium and I will forever be thankful for that. Whether we are rich or poor, white, black, brown or yellow, we share one thing in common; our love of the written word and our need to communicate those words with others. This is the great truth that doing a blog has shown me and I am richer for it.
Now, to date, my own personal blog has over four hundred entries in it and somewhere in the neighborhood of three hundred and fifty thousand words, all strung together to convey my own personal beliefs, ideas and memories....Now I ask you, what other medium besides a blog would allow us to accomplish such a task?