Skipping Down Memory Lane  

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My grandparents were from the depression era. They didn't waste anything. I remember my grandmother using a paper towel and then laying it out flat to dry, because she could use it at least two more times before it wasn't any good.

They cooked huge dinners for the family and I can assure you that whatever went on your plate was eaten. It was a waste not want not dinner table. I like to think some of that wore off on me, and I try my best not to be too wasteful. I admit that in this fast food, one use, disposable world we live in I have been let's just say less than vigilant at times. I also feel a tinge of guilt when I don't save, because I know that my grandparents look at me from where they are and shake their heads at me because I didn't use that paper towel more than once.

I bring that up to say this. My grandfather didn't waste time doing things that weren't going to accomplish something. It just wasn't in his nature. He planted a garden because it was wasteful to buy at the store what you could grow in your backyard. He hunted because it was wasteful to buy at a restaurant what he could cook at home. The same thing held true for fishing. I do not enjoy fishing, it's just not something I ever developed the patience to appreciate I suppose. However when my grandfather wanted to go fishing, I definitely wanted to be with him because I enjoyed our time together.

His favorite fishing spot was some grimy old canal about 30 minutes from our town. My favorite fishing spot was Manzanita lake, and that was far further than 30 minutes away. Needless to say we went to the grimy canal bank more often than the lake. When we did go to the lake though it was a great trip.

I can remember waking up around 4 in the morning and I could hear my grandfather cooking in the kitchen. He was scrambling up eggs and cooking hotdogs. That was our lunch for the trip and I was excited everytime I smelled those eggs and dogs. We would leave the house around 4:30 and take the slow drive ( he was old and drove very very slow) to the lake. It was a good 2 hour drive and the whole way there he would tell me about how things were back when he wasa young man. How the roads had changed and the old stores that used to dot the highway where we were passing. I could almost see it as we drove past.

Now the lake was a catch and release facility. Meaning...yep you guessed don't keep em....barbless hooks and fake lures....Which just meant that I didn't get to catch worms in the back yard the day before. Because at the canal we brought worms. No sense paying for bait at the store that you can get out of your own back yard. So we would reach the lake and make our walk to "the spot". This was the exact same spot we went to every single time we went. Nobody was ever there and I could never figure that out. It was a perfect spot. There was a big shady tree not 10 feet from the water's edge. and the shade went out in the water for about 5 feet. We would set up out chairs and fish for a few hours. By the way we never in all the years we fished there ever caught even one fish. so I guess that explains the reason nobody was in our spot. They were pretty certain that there was no fish where we were, and that could have been partially because I was a young man with lots of questions and my grandfather was a patient old man with a lot of answers. This was our time for Q and A. I would ask about this tree or that and what kind of bug was that on the tree. What kind of fish were supposed to be in the water because we never saw them.

We would eat at about 11:30 everytime and those were the best sandwiches I've ever had. I don't know why they were so darn good, but I just loved em. We didn't fish in the afternoon. After lunch we would take a little walk around the lake and find this little waterfall and toss rocks into the water for about 20 or 30 minutes. Once again this was a time for Q and A. Different questions and different answers. I'm convinced to this day that I learned more up there than I ever did in a classroom.

By mid afternoon we were loaded up and headed back home. It was never dark by the the time we came back into the driveway. My grandmother would ask how we did, and the answer was always the same. "We got a couple bites, but no luck. Maybe next time will be our lucky day." I would hang out with my grandfather and we would clean up our gear and put things away. Dinner would come and then Mom and Dad would take me home.

My grandfather has been gone for 12 years now. Funny I can still remember his face like it was yesterday. I can still see him making his little gestures and most of all I can still see him with that fishing hat on showing me how to cast a line. That's a little piece of my past that will never go away. It's locked away in my memory as safely as my wedding day, the birth of my children and my graduation from boot camp. I miss that man, but on days like this I can put a smile on my face and remember those great days at the lake along with those egg and hotdog sandwiches.

Good times...............

Something to Believe In  

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I try for the most part to leave my political beliefs out of my blogging world. It's not my intent to start huge political debates about who's right and who's wrong. In all fairness, they are both wrong and we are paying for it.

It was with some regret that I watched a portion of the State of the Union address. I can't remember the last time I felt so deflated by the words of a politician. I used to generally hold the president outside of the realm of everyday politician. I considered them naively to be above the everyday mudslinging of those we sent to the hill. Bill Clinton changed my way of looking at the president. Not because he did anything worse than others, but because he did it when I was of an age to understand and recognize it for what it was. It was pure and simply deceit. He cheated, and lied to his wife, himself, and us. I have read plenty of history on our presidents, and I understand that they are only human and bound to make mistakes as we all do.

Our President got on camera and lied straight to our faces. It was a purely political speech, and it did nothing to boost morale in the country, and at the same time did much to divide us further. This us and them mindset has to stop. The only us and them I see anymore is US= the public and them= the politicians of EVERY party.

I stepped away from all of that and started reading another western, because if you read a good western you are brought back to a time when a man's word stood for something, and if you lied or cheated you were held accountable for it. I know that those days are behind us, but I want a taste of that back. I want to be able to believe somebody that stands in front of me and tells me that they are working to improve the bad things that have come about. I don't want them to blame the other guy, and point fingers. It's time to roll up OUR sleeves and take care of those things our elected officials are too busy arguing about to take care of.

Hell in a hand basket is a perfect term for where we are headed. I'm past scared, and have moved on to pissed off. I want somebody I can rely on and I just don't see that man/woman in the spotlight as of yet. I know that as Americans we are considered arrogant and selfish by many, but we are also innovative, compassionate, resilient, and determined. We need somebody to believe in and we need that somebody now.....

Patience is a Virtue???  

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Throughout my childhood I was constantly told "Patience is a Virtue". If I would just take my time with something it would be a more pleasant experience, I would get it right the first time, and of course I would retain the knowledge of how I did it.
Well that may be true, but sometimes.....I consider myself a fairly patient man. I don't fly off handle (much) when people are driving WAY too slow, or taking a long time in the restroom at the restaurant. I figure everybody has their pace and they are just going at "their" pace.

The young man at the Save Mart was an exception to the rule. He didn't have a pace unless there is a reverse pace somewhere that I'm not yet aware of. 7 items is absolutely few enough to get into the express lane. He had 7 items. Shouldn't take more than a couple minutes. This guy wanted to discuss the ingredients of his freakin' chili with the cashier. Does she hold some degree in Chili innovation? She looked at him like he was from a different planet (or at least a different country) and told him that she really didn't know if the meat in this chili was beef or not. Simple answer would have been yes...He would have said ok, and moved on. She felt the need to be honest at first I thought well that's pretty good, she is admitting that she isn't sure and should be commended. That was until he asked her to call someone who knew. So the cashier is calling for the butcher over the loud speaker. It only took him about 10 minutes to get up to the register. Do you think that during this time she worked any of us through the "express" line while we waited for the butcher? I'll give you a hint....NO.

So the butcher shows up and she poses the question to which he says he's not sure but assumes it's beef because otherwise it would say pork or chicken or whatever other kind of meat is available. This guy has to know before he will purchase the item. He asks...well no he insists that she call a manager or somebody with knowledge of chili products to give him an answer. So she calls over the loudspeaker once again. By this time the line is about 15 people long. Everybody is getting a little bit more than a little bit on edge. I see the manager coming and know right away that this guy is no chili expert either. He looks at it and says that there is no way to tell for sure unless they call the manufacturer of the product and they can't do that because they are closed at this time of the evening. Are you serious? People really call asking these questions? I was more than pissed and my kids were surely ready to go home. I excused myself past a woman next to me and walked up to this guy and grabbed the can out of his hand. The cashier was nervous because I guess I looked a little bit ticked off...Imagine that.... I turned the can to the back where the ingredients are and sure enough .."Using only choice cuts of USDA approved BEEF!!!!!!!

I almost stuck the can down the guys throat as I handed it back to him. He had the nerve to thank me. I was going to say something, but my kids were standing next to me, and they thought this was funny cause dad doesn't get mad very often. The lady next to me saved any need for a comment. She told him "You mean to tell me I've been standing in line waiting for 20 minutes so you could find out if that is beef in that can and you and this girl didn't even bother to read the can?" She then proceeded to call him a dumbass and left. I laughed and purchased my few items for the evening and a couple of other people were relaxed now that it was confirmed that this guy was indeed a dumbass. Here's a tip...If it's chili con carne from dinty moore...It's real beef!!!

BTW...I was going to share 4 blogs with you guys, but instead I'm going to share one. I have been on the prowl for blogs as of late...don't know why really, as I can barely keep up with the ones I'm reading...(but they are so dang good I have to)... So here's one I found and although I'm having trouble getting it to allow me to follow I would suggest you give it a read...Some good stuff... CloudsAbound Check out this post here to see what I mean...Really good stuff...

Caution Road Construction Ahead  

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I am a firm believer in improving infrastructure. I don't like the way they are handling it though (they being the govt. and their agencies). These "revitalization" projects re nothing but an excuse for in my case CalTrans to make a mess of the road I drive on for about 5 months now. There has been no improvement in the road unless you consider the new yellow lines. The road had it's share of small potholes, but they surely weren't large or dangerous. The parking lots of the few minor business establishments along the way have faired well though, since good ol CalTrans repaired the parking lots as well along the way. Basically "my" road (from mon-fri) is the same width and has new yellow lines, but I still have to take an extra 20-30 minutes to get to work because of it.

I have noticed that along with the road crews, I'm getting to deal with people that don't understand how their lights work in their vehicles. I have had a license for about 26 years, but I'm pretty sure I remember when to use all the lights and flashers in my vehicle. Ian at Daily Dose mentioned this particular topic not long ago in a post found here. He brought up a very good point, and I'd like to go a little further with it.

Fog lights are for FOG!!! They are not to make your 15 year old ugly ass car look cool. Here's a tip if you have 7 different colors of paint on your car, the fog lights aren't gonna tie all that together to make it Pop! If you are a big redneck with your huge lifted truck then fog lights get in my eyes with my regular size truck. By the way, yes I've been called a redneck a time or two and I'm not disagreeing with that. So from one good ol' boy to another, adjust your fog lights and use them WHEN IT'S FOGGY! They are not so that you can look like a big rig with a running light setup. If you can see 50-100 ft. fog lights are not required partner, trust me on this one. I really hate when a normal truck that has a 4 or 8" lift kit on it is running fog lights in the light haze of morning. It blinds you twice, because you can see through the lights and from distance that light just shines on the fog and you can't see through it.

Use your brakes more than 10 feet before you come to a stop sign if the weather is crappy. Many of the drivers behind you are looking at your lights as well as the road. Do us all a favor and brake early and often please! I encountered a bright young man on Thursday who decided that he was going to go from 50-0 in 2.6 seconds. Mind you the fog wasn't here, it was a slight drizzle at the time. He realized entirely too late that the constant drizzle was making the road a little slick. As he slid all the way through the stop sign and ended up on the other side of the road about 5 feet from an almond tree I'm sure his pea brain was starting to digest that information.
I pulled over and asked if he was ok, or if his car was stuck. He said he was fine, and just got distracted. I made sure he got out and he took off and guess what happened at the next stop sign about 1/2 mile up the road? Yep you guessed it he slid about 5 feet past that one as well. So I took down his license plate, cause I'm pretty sure I'm gonna read about this guy in the paper real soon. It will also not be a favorable article. I'm thinking something along the lines of "Unidentified man found in ditch trapped in his car."

I'm almost done preaching, but I have one more that is just driving me nuts. High beams are not meant to be used during dusk with oncoming traffic close to you. It's also not meant to be used if you are right behind somebody. To those of you traveling my road consider yourselves lucky that I don't carry a firearm in the vehicle. There are plenty of farmers out here that do. So if you get buckshot through your windshield, don't blame anybody but yourself. I will admit that I have on occassion turned on the high beams at oncoming cars who have theirs on as well. I think about it afterwards and realize that I'm gonna make them crash by blinding them.

Ok, my complaining is done for the morning. (well at least for this post.)

Monday I'm hopeful of bringing you 4 blogs that you haven't seen before...(Yeah I'm gonna raise your reading time a bit)

Very Cool Stuff Here!!  

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I was fortunate enough to receive this very cool award from Kristy at This Train of Thought has been Derailed

If you follow me, then I'm pretty sure you are following her...In case you aren't...Immediately stop reading this and go over there (you can always come back here). She is a tremendous writer, and you will see that it's very easy to visualize all that she blogs about. One day she will be a published author and I will be able to say.."Oh yeah I've been following her blog for ages."

So as there are rules (ugh rules). I'm obligated to sorta follow them :)

10 things that make me happy..hmmmm

1. My kids. Nothing can brighten up my day, like going to get my kids at their after school activities. Granted the first 10 minutes are loud, and very unorganized to the untrained ear, but to me it's a symphony. I never realized that somebody else could cause that much happiness and I get to multiply that by 3. :)

2. Reading. Louis L'Amour is just awesome. I read many other authors, but I'm sure that on any given day I have at least one of his books opened and being read (i love my bookmarks)

3. Online Gaming... I'm a closet nerd. I love video games online and play them very regularly. I enjoy the conversation as much as the gaming. These gaming friends are an extension of my life. I don't get to see them, but if I don't talk to them for a couple days, I'M GRUMPY!

4. Movies.... I love my movies. I'm a big Sci-Fi (not SyFy) fan. Independence Day being up there around the top. I watch at least 3 or 4 movies a week. We have a pretty big dvd collection and NetFlix is just awesome.

5. Winter Nights...I love cold dark winter nights. I love sitting out on the patio with a hot cup of coffee and watching the lightning stretching across the sky. It's amazing to me that something that beautiful is so deadly. When I retire I think I'll end up being one of those crazy stormchasers.

6. Talk Radio...I'm a talk radio freak. Not for the same reason as many people. I am very strong in my political beliefs, but I don't listen so much for the political side of things. I love to listen so that I can then turn on the TV and see how the other side will respond. It's a big game, and if they think we are too stupid to realize that then they are truly clueless.

7. Baseball...Not watching it, playing it. It was my first true love. I enjoyed it for many many years as a youngster, and then as an oldster playing softball. I've recently been forced into a semi-retirement from it due to that nagging arm injury I mentioned.

8. NFL...I can't wait for football season to start. I'm a Cowboy fan, but I just love a good football game. The fact that there are people that big, with that much natural athletic ability is mind boggling to me.

9. Telemarketers...These guys give me an endless amount of entertainment. I often let them get through there whole routine, before I start asking a ton of questions about their product, and warranty options. Do I get a discount if I reccommend people for the product? It's just too much fun sometimes..(I know I'm weird)

10. Staying up LATE!!! I'm a nightowl...I have always been a nightowl...But I used to get tired around 1 or 2 in the morning. But thanks to Guillain Barre (I blogged once about it). That's not a problem anymore. I decided that instead of getting grumpy about staying up late, I'm gonna try napping during the day and then my sleep totals are good enough :)

I'm gonna pull an Ian and pass this on to people over the next couple days ( I like to modify the rules..)

Today I will offer you this young man...

I have given him an award once before, and I believe he is defnitely worth checking out...He makes me think twice every time I read his posts...He is still fairly new to the blogging world. Invidus Voice is a fun read. I have to say that while I don't understand poetry very well, he has some that has actually hit home and I can relate to (Yay Me!!!).... Check him out...

Chicks dig Scars  

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When I was 12, I ran through a sliding glass door at a birthday party...It basically split my face wide open and required 104 stitches...Yeah not my brightest moment...

I also learned a valuable lesson....At 12 girls are shallow...They are in it for the looks...There was a girl that had a crush on me before this happened. After I couldn't even get her to talk to me...(That's right I still remember you Laurie).

Fortunately for me, that allowed me to work on my personality a little bit. I will say that other than ruining my 6th grade camp and causing my friend's mom and my parents some grief the whole experience was not terrible.. Yeah there was some pain and a little discomfort but all in all it was a pretty good learning experience. It taught me not to judge people for their words but by their actions. My real friends continued to be my real friends.

The next year I met a whole new group of people. It was 7th grade and we moved from elementary school to junior high. A very unsettling experience, but I figured if I could split my face wide open and get past it, what else could be worse. Turns out that some of the girls in 7th grade thought that big ol' nasty scar in the middle of my face was really cool and wanted to know over and over how it happened. I was more than happy to tell the story, and I'm sure that I might have added a bit here and there.

Well 7th grade was looking pretty good at this point and then......I got the flu. No big deal everybody gets the flu right? Well I couldn't get over this flu. My fever kept getting worse, and I was having these terrible headaches, and I couldn't bend my head down. Convulsions and I woke up in the hospital overhearing the doctors telling my parents that it didn't look good. Now that is something to make you wonder on. Not quite 13 years old and I'm overhearing that I might die. Well HAH! I didn't...It was a 6 month recovery and I was out the rest of the school year. But the next year I was back and playing football and all sorts of other activities that I had enjoyed before. I had to learn how to walk again, so I figured heck if I can beat that I can beat anything.

Well it turns out that a friend of mine spread the story that my scar had split open and I had lost soooo much blood that I was in the hospital receiving transfusions and they didn't know if I would make it. I got a ton of phone calls that summer and eventually I had to come clean, but they sure did like that scar.

I am older and sometimes wiser now. I have added a few other scars to my collection over the years. I had a torn distal tendon in my arm that they reattached, I almost cut off a couple fingers, and they even managed to cut open my knee ONCE (never again). I don't have the scar on my face any longer, it went away years ago. I have the others and they are great conversation pieces.

Through everything I have had happen in my life, the one constant I have witnessed is this, Chicks dig Scars...They wanna know how you got em, if you saved a baby from a burning building, were you in a knife fight? Did you shoot it out in the military? I have been known to maybe stretch the boundaries of truth on occassion (artistic license and all).

I must say that running through that sliding glass door and getting all those stitches is one of the luckiest things to ever happen to me. It taught me to look at people for what they do, not what they say. I believe whole heartedly that you should never judge a book by it's cover. Stiches healed up the scar went away, but the lesson remained with me all this time...

Plus Chicks really dig scars!!!

Guest Blogger - Ian from The Daily Dose of Reality  


Want to give a big thanks to Ian for being gracious enough to offer up a post for my blog...He has done a lot for those of us that follow him to bring other readers to our blogs...Just drop by The Daily Dose of Reality and give him a read (if you haven't already)


Co-workers, A Love Story

First and foremost, I'd like to thanks Bendigo for not only reading all 470+ of my blog posts, but being able to win the scavanger hunt this past week. In return, I promised him that I'd write an entry for him on his blog. The topic is co-workers, and there's always alot of discussion surrounding this topic. Fasten your seat belts, another classic rant is in the making.

Co-workers. Love em? Hate em? Depending on the day it can go back and forth several times. I always joke around and say that the world would be a better place if nobody was in it. I feel that way about some of the past jobs I've had and the crappy coworkers within. Something my boss told me in my first full time job that's always stuck with me. Challenge your co-workers. Challenge them to outproduce you or to further the team, dept, division, etc. Challenge them if you feel as though they are wrong. The same goes for someone one step higher than you. And here's the kicker - anyone who's two steps higher than you should be considered untouchable. That's what's stuck with me all these years. If you look at things that way, you'll do just fine. But there's one last thing my boss said to me as I was leaving his office that day. Anytime you plan on challeging a co-worker, especially when something you feel is done wrong, then you had better be respectful about it.

Case in point. I happen to work with this fresh out of college person who is as green as the money he/she spends. I happen to be one notch higher than this person and I am constantly called out on the carpet in person and over email. Granted I am not the type to snitch on other people but he/she is on my very last nerve at time. Yes, I have been working for 12 years full time at what I do. You are damn lucky that they decided to hire college students for the recent openings. 12 months ago they were hiring people for your role at least 3-5 years of experience. Guess what? I needed at least 7 years direct experience to even apply for my job. So you are lucky in that aspect. But the next time you plan on calling me out over email thinking that you happen to know something moreso than I do, then I'm going to go ape sh*t. And this happens nearly every day.

All I am saying is that you have to deal with your co-workers for a longer period of time during the day than you are awake in the given day. Just make life a bit easier on your co-workers and with any luck they will return the favor.

But we all know the truth. We know the world's a screwed up place and it just doesn't work out that way. We can only hope and pray that the next person your manager decides to hire isn't a complete and total utter douchebag.

In a Rut!!  

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I'm definitely in a rut. I have tried and tried, but I just can't get past it. There doesn't seem to be anything I can do about it at this point.

No matter what I try, I can't get past medium difficulty on Guitar Hero III. It's very frustrating for me. My 12 year old son can play on expert and he is so patronizing as he tells me what a great improvement I've made since I started trying this obviously satanic game. Ok granted I can beat the 8 yr. old, and the 17 year old (yay me!). BUT my nephew and son continue to shame me at this and I'm about fed up.

So I have decided that from now on I'm going to practice in private. I'm going to wait till everybody is in bed, and then I'm putting on the headset, and playing for a couple hours until I can at least get to the hard level. I figure that within a couple weeks, I will be at least there, and then I've reached some level of accomplishment with this silly (did I mention satanic) game.

In other news....It's pouring rain. This is a totally uncommon thing in my neck of the woods for about the last 4 years. We have been in a drought according to the State Government (California). Farmers are happy, which means my boss is happy. unfortunately for all these guys that apply chemicals (pesticides and fertilizers), they don't have a whole heck of a lot to do at the moment. That means they are forced to deal with me, the friendly neighborhood safety guy. I have the pleasant task of catching them up on any safety related stuff they haven't been able to do over the past month or so. They are starting to hate me, which means that I'm doing my job fairly well at this point.

On a sad note. My cowboys were demolished this weekend. I mostly blame Romo, but I know that there were some breakdowns in the offensive line (He could have still held on to the stupid ball). So football season is over and now I just wait to see if my Dodgers will make a run for it this year or not. I'm starting to think that maybe I should just give up being a sports fan and focus on something else like....Well if I can't even think of something else to focus on then I'll remain a loyal (if ignorant) fan of my Cowboys, and Dodgers....

Story of my Life is now stuck in my head because of that awful awful game.

The Obligation  

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He lived in an abusive household. His mom was strung out on dope and his dad, well he didn't know his dad. The guy that shared the house with his mom beat him up from time to time. Most of the beating went to his younger brother. I can't imagine the life they led for the first 9 years of his life. They had no power sometimes, often cooking off of a camping range in the kitchen with cans of sterno cooking fuel. The meals consisting mostly of ramen noodles and cool aid. The house was dirty all the time and his mom was stoned and the "father" was just mean.

He came to our house at the age of 11. He was quiet and a complete introvert by this time. My wife and I felt that we had to help this kid out. We couldn't handle all three of the children, but we felt that surely one more would be ok. He didn't want to talk about anything, especially to me. I was a man so that meant that I was probably mean and nasty like the last man he knew. He was much closer to his aunt. She had been around him when he was a baby, back before it was totally terrible at that house. She was only 10 years older than him, so there was a closer bond than between he and I. I figured he could use some team activities to get him to connect with some other kids so we signed him up for baseball. I was coaching and figured this might be a good way for us to bond. We had a great season and he really took to baseball. We won our city championship that year for the minor leagues and you couldn't have asked for a better ending. He hit a single that scored the go ahead run. I felt that maybe we had made some progress.

After baseball it was cubscouts, but that didn't work so well for him. We then tried bowling. That was a hit and he did better than average at that as well. The kid is a fairly decent athlete. He just had zero self confidence. We worked on that and tried to keep him active and connected. It seemed to work for a while. There were a few calls from school, but for the most part he did his work and everything was going ok.

The teen years came and he became a little bit rebellious. He wanted to live with his grandparents. My wife and I didn't like that idea, but we figure that maybe it could be good. It turned out to be a bad thing. There was no discipline in that house. They pretty much let him do as he wished. Stay up late, pretend he was sick and stay home. Don't bother finishing homework, no problem he wouldn't get in trouble for that.

It lasted his sophmore year and then he wanted to come back. There were other things that led him to going to his grandparents. He and my wife fought often ( they were almost like siblings). It was becoming a real problem for her especially with our small child. We didn't feel that it was healthy for him to see all the conflict going on. But I was promised that things would be different. Things had changed and he was going to walk the straight and narrow. It lasted for a while. Don't get me wrong there were little hiccups in the road. He got drunk one night with some friends (I wish I only did that once as a teen). Regardless of all the little and sometimes not so little stuff. We got him through high school. The one other thing he had developed on his own was a love for the guitar and I must say he's good.

So high school is over and he finds a little job, telling us that he didn't really see college in his future. I explained that I understood, but some form of higher learnig could only do good for him. He decided against it and at 19 he was out on his own, with a couple of friends. They had jobs and were renting a house together. I was happy for him, and felt that considering his start he was gonna be ok.

He lost his job and mooched off his friends for a while. Couldn't find another job (I know it's hard) and ended up moving to another town with some other friends to look there. Got in a little trouble and came back to town and here he is again.

I must say that I feel the failure. I honestly thought that he had a shot, but I can't put the drive and determination into him. I have come to the realization that he thinks the world owes him something. And while deep down inside I might agree, because nobody deserves the hand he was dealt. I also get angry, because not everybody gets the second chance he got.

My obligation to him ended when I saw him through high school healthy and graduated. I feel now that his obligation is to me. He needs to show me that he learned something from his 8 years with this family. We are far from perfect, but we did everything we could to help him become a young adult with some hope for the future. I might have failed him at some level by not being there everytime, but he has failed me by not being determined and driven.

It's a sad time for me, but I have come to the conclusion that there isn't much else I can do. He has a little time left and he will have to find other ways besides my wife and I for his living arrangements. He is like a son to me in many regards, but he has never shown me that level of respect that my other children do. I am hoping that he clears his head and realizes that we are here for support not To support him.

Family is great and the most important thing in my life, but sometimes it just hurts too damned much....

After this message from our Sponser  

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I haven't had a really good rant in a while, and I figured I'm due.
What is the problem with the networks? Can they not go more than 11 minutes without a commercial? I can't watch a movie that isn't dvr'd or on demand because I'm just fed up with commercials. I don't want to buy a new car or get a payday cash advance. I don't need to call the General for car insurance and I don't need to wear my pajamas while going to college from home. I'm not against advertisement completely (just most of it). Tastefully done and in moderation it's an absolute necessity to the networks and I understand that they have to make their money too.

So here's my biggest problem with commercials....If they are going to interuupt programming for these so regularly how about if they play the shows I want them to at least??? DO YOU HEAR ME SYFY????? I'm sick of your crap shows and then following them with a commercial every 7-11 minutes. The only plus is that I'm not into the show, so it's not taking away that much. I'm one of those dummies that keeps thinking that if I only watch for a few more minutes the show will get better. Like the guy is going to magically learn how to act about 45 minutes into the program. Or the graphics will suddenly change to something bordering on good.

I've decided that from now on, maybe the best idea is netflix and on demand. I can watch sliders all I want (first 3 seasons only). Stargate and Enterprise...The only time I look forward to the commercials are in early Feb. let's say around the 7th when the Super Bowl is on. They have the best commercials in the states. Other than that, when I need pimple cream (don't have pimples) or a new tube of toothpaste, or a 12 pack of beer I'll just run to the store. I don't need the constant irritating reminder from some guy or gal on the idiot box. The fact that I'm spending that much time in front of the dang thing should be proof enough that my brain cells aren't exactly firing on all cylinders.

This brings me to my question ( I seem to have lots of them lately)...What's the lamest commercial you have seen lately? I'm sure you guys will have something good for me.

Oh yeah I do like the real men of genius commercials on the radio :)

An Award for Me??  

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Nothing can cheer up my day faster than to be acknowledged...I don't know what it is, I guess I just like being noticed. Ian has been so kind to me and I thank you... If you want some top notch ranting just jump on over there and check him out..You won't be disappointed. Of course I'm pretty sure that everybody that follows me is following him (half of you came from there).

I do believe that I am supposed to recognize 10 others and the only problem I have with that is making a list that short..But here goes.

1. Rae at The Weather Vane just great all around stuff...She has a little something for everyone, and more than a few times I find myself reading and rereading her posts (yeah they are that good).

2. Sarah at Sarah Landry Writer in Making Sarah is an aspiring writer. You be the judge, I have had to quiet down my chuckling a couple times at work while reading some of her daily adventures (yeah I know I'm supposed to be working while reading this stuff)

3. Reid at Invidus' Voice
If you enjoy poetry or some deeper thinking (he's a college boy). This is the guy for you. He is new to the blogosphere, but I promise you that his posts will increase and he has a lot to say (I know him in real life). Check him out..

4. Plenty more fish out of water I have to say that when I first started reading this, I wasn't so sure. I have to say that now it's my own little soap opera to follow...Good stuff within so be prepared to check back a few posts to catch up...Very entertaining...

5. Dayne at Coach your Mind
If you have ever had that nagging feeling that something is bothering you or you're just in a funk and can't figure it out. Just go check this guy out. His posts are great medicine for your mind. I have printed out so much of his stuff and taped it all over my desk that I get made fun of sometimes (sigh the things I do for self improvement)..Seriously good stuff here.

6. Hunter at The Time Crook This guy is a very talented writer. He can make you see exactly what he's talking about. I can tell you that what he's talking about is anything and everything. His blog is full of wit and just overall great writing...Take a few minutes and read a few of his posts and you're hooked.

7. Kristy at This Train of thought has been Derailed Talk about somebody who gets it...She is great and one of the main reasons I became so interested in blogs. I started following her after reading a snippet of her work on her home site..She is a good writer and an awesome ranter...How can you ask for more than that in 1 Gal...

8. Desertson at Writersoup read his latest post and you will understand why his blog is worth reading...Wow that was an awesome and heartwrenching post...

I think that I'm going to leave it at 8 (cause if not I'll have to make it 15).

Thanks again Ian...

TV or a good book???  

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I'm sure I've mentioned this a few hundred times... I'm a huge Louis L'Amour fan. I have read everything he's written (even the short stories and poems). I read and reread his books and they never seem to get old for me.

Lately I have found that TV is becoming more and more irritating. The shows they have come up with nowadays are completely pathetic for the most part in my opinion. Even the brainless ESPN has become boring for the most part. I really don't care much about the opinions of some washed up athlete that was only mediocre as a player. Then they want to pay him some ginormous amount of money for his opinion. If he was that damn good he would be an assistant coach for a team instead of an opinionated dumb ass for the network (they tend to rile me).

With that said I have been rereading a few L'Amour books as of late. The problem I'm finding is that I can't put the dang book down. I read for 4-6 hours on the weekends at a sitting. At night before I go to sleep I make sure that I give my self a minimum of 45 minutes to read. I don't know if that's an illness, but I just can't seem to get the same excitement from a movie as I can from a good book.

So what do you think? I know some of you are avid fans of some of the TV programming on right now. Are the shows better than the books? Does the movie do justice for the book it is based on? I tend to think no for the most part, especially lately. I will have to admit that I went and saw Avatar and that is one of the few movies I've seen in recent years where the imagination of the Producer/Director/Writer is on par with mine.

So if you are a TV person instead of a writer what are the shows I should be checking out? If you are a book person instead of a TV person what are some new authors to try. I like anything well written. Westerns are just a favorite because L'Amour is so good at what he does. Clancy, Cussler, Koontz, and Griffin are a few of my other reads.

Chivalry...Good Manners??  

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I was raised to open the door for people as we entered a building. It didn't matter if it was a man, woman, or child. I can almost feel the flick on the back of my head if I didn't open the door at the bank, or shoe store to this day.

With that in mind, I was at the convenience store yesterday. I jumped out of the truck and headed to the door. Coming up the sidewalk was a young gal (20's) and an older man (60's). I just opened the door without thinking of it, to let them go first. The girl stopped and looked at me with a somewhat dirty look and asked me, "Do I look helpless?" I told her of course not, I was just trying to be considerate. The old man walked right by her with a little smile and thanked me then proceeded to walk in the door. She stood there waiting for me to close the door so she could open it herself. I am stubborn though so I just stood there with the door open and she finally gave in and walked through.

It got me to thinking, is that normal now? Are we bad people if we open the door for somebody? Whatever happened to a little big of consideration for your fellow man/woman? I was just a little bit irritated and almost felt guilty for trying to be a nice person.

If not for the older gentleman I woulda been pretty ticked. As we were waiting in line, he stepped to the side and told me to go ahead. I smiled and thanked him and bought my iced tea and was gone.

Some people need to learn the difference between an insult and a kind gesture. I wonder about the household she grew up in. Doesn't anybody do nice things just because anymore???

Refinance Now!!!!  


I seem to be a beacon for telemarketers. I have switched numbers, had my name taken off numerous lists, went to a cell phone only and none of it seems to work. The latest and greatest called to ask if I would be interested in refinancing my home. Doesn't sound like a bad idea oh but wait.....I don't own my home.

I sold my house roughly 14 years ago, and we decided not to buy again until we moved to our final stop (hopefully) and guess what it's not California. So I explained to this rather friendly if not too bright person on the phone that I leased my home and that I'm quite sure it would be a waste to try and refinance my lease payments. He didn't seem to understand all that well. He thanked me for my time though and we parted company. That was the end of it, or you would have thought that was the end of it.

This wonderful little phone call took place about a day after I got home from our trip to Disneyland. Well guess what arrived in the mail today? I won't keep you in suspense, it was a check for $50,000.00 The stipulation on this check was simple. If I deposited this check I agree to the terms of the refinancing agreement made with the associate over the phone recently. I decided to make a phone call and explain to them that they had made some sort of error and sent me a check by mistake.

The phone call was made to some place back in Georgia. The young gal (young sounding voice) was very pleasant and had one of those really soothing southern accents that I just love. I explained to her that I received a check and that it had to be a mistake because I didn't own a home and so how could I refinance something that I didn't make payments to own. She looked it up and told me that I was wrong.....I must have made a mistake when I spoke with the Loan adjuster (who's name was Michael I found out). I decided that these guys were gems, so I explained to her that the only mistake was theirs, because I DON'T OWN MY FLIPPIN HOUSE!!!!!! She curtly told me that I didn't need to get loud and nasty. She then proceeded to tell me that if I had changed my mind about the refinancing all I had to do was tell them I changed my mind.

I told her no that was fine, I was going to keep the check and go ahead and refinance. So I deposited the check. It is of course on hold, because it's $50,000.00. I just wonder how long it will take them to realize that they gave me a check for $50,000.00 and I have no collateral to take that loan against. That's if the check is any good. I verified that it was indeed a real company and they are a large investment firm that deals with refinancing. So the check is sitting in my savings account and I figure I'll get a couple bucks in interest before they demand it back.

So if you don't own a home and you don't want to buy a house, but you want $50,000.00 maybe you will be the next lucky recipient of the refinancing company with an obviously extra spot of cash. I can hardly wait for the next phone call from these "professionals". I do believe that Ian has named it best...Carnival of Idiocy....And then they wonder why we are in a financial meltdown...Classic!!

Full Circle  

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I remember when I was in my freshman year of High School the big deal was Sony Walkman. It was a very cool thing to be able to carry a cassette player (bit pre ipod here) and a head set to listen to your favorite music whenever you wanted. A few of my friends had one. They were rather expensive and so the families with the cash were of course buying them for the spoiled kids they were raising. I say this with a memory of the envy I felt. I always wanted to be one of the rich kids that had everything whenever they chose.

Christmas came around that year and under the tree was a small rectangular box. I had no idea what could be in a box so small. Since I didn't wear jewelery (a lot of guys wore gold chains back then, not my thing) I hadn't a clue what it could be. I opened it a bit slowly trying to figure out what it could be before the package was revealed, but without the slightest luck. It was a plain brown box, no identifying features on it. Having decided that I couldn't figure it out I tore open the box and what could be in there but a cassette player just LIKE a Sony Walkman. This particular one wasn't a Sony though. It was an emerson and unlike the cool silver case that came with the real deal. This one had a leather carrying pouch. Now by my adult self standards, this one would absolutely be better than the crappy plastic cased silver walkman. Unfortunately I wasn't judging by adult standards, I was judging by teenager standards. I didn't say anything for a couple of minutes. My dad was immediately apologetic as he explained about this cassette player he bought me. He tried to tell me how he understood that it wasn't the fancy brand, but it did all the things that the other one did, and it even had a few features that the cool one didn't. I could see on his face that he wished that he could afford the fancy name brand. I could feel inside that I really wanted the fancy name brand. However this was far more important than some stupid cassette player. My pea brained 14 year old self realized that too. I told him it was just about the coolest thing I could ask for. I immediately ran into my room and found a cassette (AC/DC) and started playing it. The smile on my dad's face was a great as if I would have received a brand new car.

The hard part was bringing the player to school the following monday. I knew that there would be other kids with new Sony Walkman's and mine was just not cool. I didn't care that much and was determined to bring it and in fact use it at school. I got to my first break of the day and pulled out the player and sure enough there was a couple of other kids with the cool name brand, BUT there were also a couple kids looking at me carrying the same player that I had. Relief washed over me in a matter of seconds. I was at ease and those kids and I had formed an unspoken bond right then and there. We ended up seeing each other at lunch and talking about what kinds of music we liked. I made 3 new friends that day. We aren't the best of friends now, but we still see each other from time to time and still talk.

I find myself at my fathers junction now. My kids wanted a certain game and I just think it's a bit expensive and they are still pretty young. So I bought them a knock off version of it. I got it for them for no occassion other than I wanted to get it for them. In many ways I'm still a kid at heart and this is one of those little pockets of proof that I'm not grown up yet.

My kids saw the game and realized immediately that it wasn't the one they wanted. They didn't bat an eye though, they were all smiles and managed at least 5 or 6 thank you's as we opened the box and got all the wires plug into their appropriate places. Now granted the games are a lower quality than the real thing, and the selection is a bit less, but for the money it's a pretty good deal.

I overheard my middle son talking to his friend on the phone. He was explaining that they had a new game at home, that dad picked up for them. I heard him tell his friend "We don't need the other one, this thing is cool, and besides dad likes it so it's probably better anyway." My son gave me that same smile that I gave my dad all those years ago. I don't know if he said that cause he knew I was listening or not, but it doesn't even matter. Either he really believes that what I like is good enough to be awesome, or he believes that my feelings are enough to be saved with a little white lie. I think my parenting is coming full circle with my childhood and it's a pretty good feeling....

Resolutions?? Hmmm  


Well, it's that time of year where everybody (maybe not everybody) has made their New Years resolution. A bunch of us make promises to lose weight, get to work on time, stop drinking, stop smoking, hell the list goes on and on.

I too have done this so often that it hurts. I decided this year that I was going to take a bit of a different approach to the whole resolution thing. I read a post by dayne at Coach your mind. He asked what our IT was. I knew that my IT was procrastination. I realized that I do that entirely too much.

I printed out that post and taped it to my desk. That has become my New Years Resolution. Here's my reasoning. If I can stop procrastinating, then all of those crappy resolutions I've made in the past will definitely come true. I will indeed change my eating habits and I will definitely start exercising regularly. My sleep habits will improve and I'll definitely not be cussing in front of my kids.

It all comes down to following through with what we want to do. As a procrastinator I find that I don't follow through with my plans, regardless of the intentions. I know that often times they are the right thing at the wrong time, but that really isn't the point is it. If there was a right time for it, I would have done IT a long long time ago. I think the right time is NOW. So procrastination be gone. I'm tired of letting myself down and this is my first step towards fixing that.

Anybody else out there have the procrastination bug following them around? Isn't he an irritating little bugger (notice I called it a He).

I'm a Winner!  


I was fortunate enough to be acknowledged by Ian with an award for "The F Facebook Award ".

Thanks much it's definitely appreciated. I am glad that I have chosen blogging over delving deeper into the facebook irritation. I'm pretty sure that blogging has kept me on keel if nothing else..

Thanks again :)