Get A Life!  


I'm not sure if you guys have ever noticed, but I'm a wee bit opinionated . I think it's healthy to have an opinion and to go a step further it's pretty healthy to voice it as well. I say voice it, not force it on someone else. Remember that part............

I enjoy taking a break during my work day and reading through some of the news stories that circulate. I think that my main reason for reading them is so I can become annoyed or enraged by my perceived ignorance of someone else. I lie to myself and say that I read them to be "informed".

So I'm popping through the yahoo news and I come across a little item from Santa Clara County. For those of you unfamiliar, that is a county in California. Santa Clara Valley is sometimes called Silicon Valley. It's the southern tip of San Francisco area. Alright now that we have the geography down, let's get to the reason for Santa Clara County being in the news.

It seems that in unincorporated Santa Clara County the "Board of Supervisors" have voted to have toys removed from kids meals in fast food restaurants, if the meal exceeds 485 calories, gets more than 35 percent of the calories from fat, or 10% from added sweetners, or has more than 600 mg of sodium.

Well thanks to the Board for deciding my child should not get a toy if I decide to be a lazy parent that night, and head to my local fast food for a meal. I was a little bit irritated by this, but I decided that maybe I should look into it a little closer before making these rash decisions about the ignorance of a total board of supervisors. So I did some math (yep, us rednecks can count).

I compared a mighty kids happy meal with a make at home meal to see just how much more the calorie intake would be for my precious little angels . Here's what I managed to come up with

I took a 6 pc chicken mcnugget small fries and a kids size sprite. I also took a double cheeseburger small fries and a hi-c orange

Little son will eat this:

6 pc nugget 250 calories 15 grams fat
small fries 230 calories 11 grams fat
small sprite 110 calories 0 grams fat
ketchup (4) 40 calories 0 grams fat
(can't forget my little ones ketchup)
It gave me a total of 630 calories 26 grams fat

The middle son will eat this:

double cheeseburger 460 calories 23 grams fat
small fries 230 calories 11 grams fat
small hi-c orange 160 calories 0 grams fat
no ketchup
(he's weird that way)

total count 850 calories 34 grams fat

Yikes...I decided to compare that to a nice italian meal I like to make at home...Lasagna with garlic bread and mixed veggies

Lasagna... 377 calories 14 grams fat
garlic bread (2) 372 calories 10 grams fat
mixed veggies 67 calories (.3)0 grams fat
vitamin D milk (12oz) 225 calories 8 grams fat

Let's check out the difference......

Survey says.............1139 calories 32 grams fat

Now granted I could have made a differnt choice for a dinner, I could have had something much healthier I suppose. The point is I didn't, because we like lasagna. We like garlic bread and my kids like mixed veggies (usually). Milk does a body good, as the commecial says, and my boys love milk (even though the little one says he's lactose intolerant). The thing is this group of morons has tried to decide that by taking the toy out of the kids meal they are going to dictate what we should feed our children. Granted fast food is not healthy, but last time I checked I didn't ask them to decide my menu for me. So if I don't go to the fast food restaurant and instead stay home and cook this meal is that better for my child? Probably. Is it going to hurt my kids to have fast food once in a while? Is it going to hurt them to get the little batman, or avatar toy in their might kids meal? Probably not, but evidently what I as a parent think doesn't matter too much anymore. We have a new way of dealing with things nowadays, and I for one don't like it.

I decided that The Santa Clara Board of Supervisors are most deserving of my Get A Life! Award. It's all new and improved and they should be happy to receive such a prestigious award. One last thought for you supervisors...How about if you worry about making sure roads are free of potholes, not too much dope is being slung around the neighborhoods, and not too many gang bangers are shooting up the neighborhoods. Maybe you could do that and let us parents raise our kids.


Volunteer For Your Local School Today...or Not!  

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I might have mentioned that I was going to be a camp counselor for my son's 6th grade camp. The parents were informed that without volunteers the children would not be able to have a 6th grade camp, so a few of us were more than happy to jump in.

I was told that all I need to do is get my fingerprints taken to verify that I'm not some sicko child molester in hiding. Fair enough I can understand that, and I fully agree with the concept. I was told to head down to the local Unified School District office to get this done.

I show up at the office to get my fingerprints done. The woman behind the counter ignored me for a few minutes first (about 5). I figured she must be busy, but I soon realized she was just killing time, so after clearing my throat without response for the 3rd time I simply said "Excuse me". She turned around and acted like I was really interrupting her work schedule. Strike one... I was then told that I needed to get a TB test before getting my fingerprints done. I didn't realize that, mostly because NOBODY bothered to tell me. I figured what the heck, it's for my son I can handle that. Well the county health department only does that on two days and that wasn't one of them. So now I'm having to wait an extra couple days to get the TB test before I can get my fingerprints. Still no problem, I can work my schedule around it and take care of the TB test then the fingerprints. I'm then told that fingerprints will cost $62.00. I stood there staring at her for a minute letting that sink in. "Excuse me?", says I. She explains that it will be $62.00. $15.00 for them to do the fingerprints and $47.00 for the district, to I guess process the fingerprints??? She didn't know why the district charged all that money when the people that are actually going to print me are charging $15.00. I maintain some level of calm and say ok, and out the door I go.

I get my TB test done, the following Tuesday and have to wait for the end of the week so they can read it and verify that I'm tested negative. No problem there and Friday I get my little receipt showing that I'm A OK ready to go. I show back up today to get my prints done, and I'm informed that I need to schedule my fingerprints and it will cost $47.00 in cash, check, or money order. Exact change only. I have had just about enough of these people at this point. I calmly expressed my opinion that maybe they should make that information known when telling us that we will be paying this money to VOLUNTEER in the first place. She has the nerve to laugh and tell me that they wouldn't get nearly as many volunteers if they did that. I am forced to go across the street to a liquor store to get change, since I'm a guy and as most guys will tell you we don't carry check books usually and I'm pretty sure I don't have the means to make a money order in my truck. I'm a cash and debit card kinda guy. I bring her the money in small bills and some change (a little payback). I'm then told that I can go down tomorrow to get my fingerprints done. I leave with a controlled thank you.

Is it just me or does this seem a bit extreme for somebody who is a volunteer? I've always been of the opinion that if somebody is going to volunteer their time, the least I can do is try to make it as simple as possible. It seems to me that they go out of their way to make it harder, almost to the point of disuading you from offering to help. They have already had one father drop out and I'm sure that will leave me with more kids in my cabin which is no big deal since I'm sure we will have a good time.

So here is a little bit of advice to all of you administrators looking for volunteers. How about you have the district foot the bill for the fingerprints, and how about if you give clear, concise instructions regarding EXACTLY what is required and then maybe just maybe you could manage to allow us to get these things done in a couple of visits instead of 4 or 5. Perhaps you could even tell the person at the window that they are meeting the public and some social skills are helpful. You could maybe even go a step further and tell them that social skills are required and a bit of knowledge about your job is also helpful. Some professionalism would be greatly appreciated.

The bottom line is my son is going to have his dad there as a counselor, but I'm quite sure the principal is going to get an earful from not just this parent, but at least 3 others that I know of. We don't mind stepping in, but I'll be damned if I'm going to jump over hoops when they could handle all the footwork beforehand.

Wake up schools and school districts you could get so much more from your community if you would listen a little bit, and actually take what we think and want into consideration. Volunteer today, but make sure you know what you are getting into before you sign that paper....

Linkin' Up the Monday Minute!  

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Alright so I'm laggin' on the blog thing today...Well sorta laggin' on the blog thing this past week...Work has been a bit overloaded, so I'm getting here when I can..I should be back under control in a week or so...

Enough of that...This is that world famous (sounds good) Monday Minute from Ian over at Daily Dose

1 - What drugs have you done in your life?
Ummmm...Are there character limits on this thing? I have done a little bit of just about everything. I never injected anything, but black beauties, cross tops, pot, crank, coke, dusters, and about a dozen others I didn't know the name of. I was very fortunate in that I stopped it all when I left high school. This was a strictly Teen Weekend thing. I know I was weird....

2 - A/S/L?


3 - Do you pick your nose?
You can pick your nose and you can pick your friends, but you can't pick your friend's nose... Let's yeah that's the qualifier right there...

4 - What's your favorite childhood cartoon

I had two....Underdog and Bugs Bunny

5 - List the URL, of what you believe to be the best blog post you've ever done
This one about my Hero (who just happens to be my dad)

Well you know that you can grab Ian's answers here

So quit wasting your time here, and go check em out...I will have a nice little post tomorrow (well don't know about nice, and probably not that little either)...

Buyer Beware?? No...Driver Beware!  

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On occasion (when my boss hates me), I have to drive to a few workshops or other informational seminars regarding some of the "stuff" I have to handle. Lots of regulations, policies, and procedures to remember and they feel that sometimes it's a good idea to have a refresher or two. I don't have a problem with the concept.

My problem starts when they inform me that I will travel a few hours for a class that is only a few hours. It's counterproductive in my opinion. I found out that my opinion doesn't matter all that much, so off I went. It was a shorter trip than some as I was only expected to travel up to the Stockton area which is only about 3 hours from where I work. No problem thinks me, I can get there, get er' done and get back by the end of the actual work day. I forgot to factor one thing in my equation that would have told me how long it would take.....The other driver.

We have all had our fair share of bad drivers I'm sure. Too slow, too fast, texting, talking on the phone. I have great luck in that I encountered all of these on the way. There were a few more as well. One bright guy was reading his newspaper that was sitting on his passenger seat as he drove 55 mph in the fast lane. A woman was putting on some form of makeup around her eyes or on her eyes or eyelashes, I couldn't really tell which since she went flying by me at about 85 mph and not more than 5 minutes later I was passing her because she was now doing about 50 mph.

I got to the point that I figured it was my duty as a good citizen to make these people aware of their thoughtless ways. I made a point of honking at every driver who was text messaging while driving. I honked at every driver who was talking on their phone. I honked at one guy who was taking a leak on the side of the highway...ON THE SIDE OF THE HIGHWAY in mid morning traffic...Are you serious??

I started to realize that maybe those 5 cups of coffee might be adding to my frustration, so I stopped at Starbucks for a 6th. I was back on the road and ready to face them all. By the time I reached my destination, I'm quite sure my battery was losing a charge from all the honking I did. I'm also sure that my finger was cramping from all the people I gave the #1 sign to.

My glorious trip was made complete by the fact that our meeting took exactly 25 minutes less than my drive to this place. Now that is some time management. I made sure that I called my boss on the way back (I use blue ant) and told him what a wonderful guy he is, and what a command management decision he made in having me "refresh my memory" on this particular subject.

So to hell with caution when you are buying, because we are all broke anyway. Be far more nervous when you are driving. I think that they need to take all these furloughed DMV people we have here in California and maybe have them give a workshop on how to friggin drive on the highway. They can get their Friday workday back and maybe just maybe one or two of these less than enlightened individuals will get a clue!

The only other option I have come up with is purchasing a tank with a working turret. Now let's see you cut me off while you are text messaging your girlfriend you snot nosed brat!

The Comeback Kid....  

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I enjoyed talking about my little baseball adventure even if I didn't get much enjoyment out of the jerks that I ended up discussing. That said it put me on the path to thinking about some of the things I have dealt with in my life, sports and otherwise.

When I was in 7th grade I had meningitis. It was bacterial and they were unsure if I would live through the ordeal. I lost 40 pounds and missed most of my 7th grade year. To say that it was a scary time in my life would be a lie. I was oblivious to the danger associated with this illness. I was a kid and my thoughts were limited to when I would see my friends again, when I would have to go to class again and more importantly when I would be able to play sports again.

After a lengthy stay in the hospital (weeks) I was finally told that I was on the road to recovery and could go home. My parents were I'm sure happier than I was. They would no longer have to take turns at the hospital watching over me day and night. Yeah my parents didn't go home together...ever. There was always one or the other of them either in my room or in the waiting room. They wouldn't let them sleep in my room, so the waiting room became a temporary bedroom for one of the two. I believe more often than not it was my father. My mom still had two other kids to get ready for school and all the other things that a housewife was expected to do. It was a different time and roles were far more defined than they are now. I don't know if that is better or worse, but it sure made it much easier for a husband and wife to know what was expected.

So I get home and I am unable to walk. Weeks in a hospital bed fighting for my life had left me with not much in the way of muscle mass. I had shrunk from 110 lbs to around 70 lbs. I am a big boned person, and for that matter I was a rather big boned kid. Never tall but what they would usually call husky. I didn't know fat till I was an adult (or at least late teen). I was able to hide the fact that I was so thin by wearing sweaters if I had to. Without a shirt though I look emaciated. There is no better way to describe the skeleton that was me without a shirt to hide my ribs.

I had to learn how to walk again. I developed strength in my arms fairly fast, but I had no coordination and my brain didn't tell my legs to work the way they should. I became a monkey of sorts, simply dragging myself from couch to chair to table to get around the family room and kitchen. It wasn't through any great will power on my part to be able to walk again except for the promise that my father made to me. I once asked when I got home if I would be able to play football next season. His answer was simple, if I could run and do all the things every other kid my age was able to do AND if the doctor said it was ok he would allow it. My father told me later that there was no way he was going to let me play football after all that they had been through with me. I accepted the answer and began my own private rehab. I would sit on my bed at night and stand myself up. Sit back down. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Thousands of times I did that just to get some strength in my legs. It worked fairly well, and soon I was able to get to the bathroom without hollering for someone to bring me in there (now that is freedom).

A home tutor was brought into my house and I began my schooling once again. Mrs. Moreno was my teacher and she was an angel in disguise. She gave me no pity, and didn't accept my BS excuses for not getting something done. She told me that I could do it or give up. It didn't matter to her because she was paid all the same. If I wanted to quit that was fine with her, she didn't expect much more out of a boy anyway. Well that was all I needed as far as motivation went. She pushed exactly the right buttons to make me want to excel. Not just because I wanted to get better, but I wanted to prove to her that I was no quitter. I struggled daily with the lessons, and she was there to offer help when she knew I was in over my head. She quietly helped me through the hardest hurdle in my young life.

Walking was pretty normal now and I was able to visit friends, well they were able to visit me. I wasn't let out of my parents sight for more than a few minutes at a time unless I was in "class". Eventually I was allowed to get out in the front yard and not long after I was playing catch with a friend, and then me and my dad were playing catch again. That in itself was one of the most awesome feelings in my life. The first time my dad heard me ask if he wanted to have a catch he told me that it might not be a good idea yet. I explained to him that I had been playing catch for a couple weeks and thought he might want to join in finally. Reluctantly he accepted and the smile on his face the first time I threw the ball back was from ear to ear. It didn't take but a couple of days of this before we were playing burnout again (throw it back and forth as hard as you can till somebody drops it).

In no time I was back at school to finish up the 7th grade. I got to be involved in the last quarter of the year. I might add that I had 4 F's a D and an A that quarter. My wonderful home teacher had begun teaching me from the wrong place in our books and I was completely lost. I didn't care though I was just happy to be back in school. I should also explain that my one A was in Physical Education. I was able to play all the sports that everybody else did and I promise I was dressed out for P.E. every day.

Summer came and we were pretty much back to normal. I got tired sometimes but not enough to notice. I was also still doing my silly stand up sit down exercise, but now I was doing it from the ground. I also added a jump to it. I would sit on the ground and then stand up, jump as high as I could and then sit back down. Over and over again I did these in the bedroom before bed. It was my one way to exercise in private without anybody knowing I was doing it. I wanted to be ready to try out for football and this was something to help or so I thought.

With a month of Summer left, football sign ups came. I asked my father if I could try out and his response was NO! I called him a liar and ran out of the house. Did I mention I ran out of the house? He chased after me and yelled for me to come back. I would have no part of that. I ran out of the cul de sac and down the street, with my father trying to catch up. After about 3 blocks I got tired and started walking. I turned around and my father wasn't following anymore. I figured I had a little time before he caught up so I wasn't too concerned. I was just mad that he didn't do like he said. Not more than a couple of minutes later there was my dad in the car telling me to get in. I didn't say a word I just climbed in. We drove straight to the family doctor (yeah there used to be those guys back then). He gave me a physical and told my dad that I was as healthy as you could hope for. The next Saturday I was signed up for football.

I was scared during those first weeks of tryouts. What if I couldn't keep up? What if my coordination wasn't back? What if I just wasn't good enough anymore? I made the team, and was put on second string. Now normally I would have been pretty upset by that. I had always been a starter before this, but figured that maybe I had lost a step since I was so sick all that time. It didn't take long for the coaches to see that I was still the same player I always was. I was moved up to first string before the first scrimmage and there I stayed.

The first game is the only one I can remember from that season. I was petrified. I hadn't been face to face with another team since before I was sick. All those doubts came back to me in a flash. What if was everywhere. Our coach huddled us up and told us all the normal pre game garbage. Pumping us up and getting our blood boiling. We all broke out of the huddle in a frenzy ready to kill anything and everything. My coach grabbed me and took me to the side. He explained to me that I shouldn't be nervous. I didn't know it showed, but he obviously saw it. He told me I was ready, slapped me on the helmet and let me go back to the team. We were on defense first and I was out there with em. My blood pressure had to be reaching stroke level by this time. I made my first tackle and everything was ok after that. I was calm and back in my element. The game went by fairly smoothly for the first half. The second half came and one of the coaches told me I looked tired so he was taking me out. The head coach would have none of it. He told me if I was tired to get off his field. I told coach I wasn't tired and wanted back in there. That's all he wanted to hear. Out I went ready to prove it. First play and they tried to pass it. I was a short guy back then, and most quarterbacks tried their luck against me. They didn't figure I was fast enough or tall enough to intercept their passes.....WRONG! I interecepted the ball and ran back about 30 yards before I was tackled. That was the icing on the cake for me. We won by a ton that game, but I don't even remember the score.

At then end of the season we were at our party to see who would get the awards for best offensive and defensive players. Top rusher and all that good stuff. Coach came out and told us that he had a special one to present. He called me up front and gave me a plaque that was presented to The Comeback Kid....I received the most inspirational player award that day. No award before or since has meant more to me than that one. He told all the parents and players that day that he was inspired by a 7th grader who gave everything he had to be a part of this team. I was embarrassed by all of the goo he was slinging, but I walked away with my award and my head was held pretty high. Nothing is impossible if you believe enough...There is always Hope.....

Linkin' Up The Monday Minute!  


Monday Minute

It's that time again...This is the Monday Minute and you know what that means..Answer em up guys...Head over to Daily Dose of Reality to see Ian's answers..
I think that maybe he should have offered to give a portion of that money to good ol' Bendigo..but hey that's just me.. :)

1 - Ever take a Poo (pg for my boy in case) in the woods?
Well I was in the Military...Umm I'm sure the woods were involved at least once.

2 - If you won $1,000, what's the first thing you would do with it besides give me a cut?
That would be a new flat screen :)

3 - What's your favorite phrase?
Ian's is a close 2nd for me....Mine is "I didn't tell you? Must not be any of your business."

4 - Fill in the blank - the world would be a better place if ______ left the planet.
Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, and every other baseball player that has made my son think that all ball players use steroids :/

5 - How do you take your coffee or tea?
I like my coffee like I like my women. Black and strong...(my wife might take a second look at this one

A Sign of the Times  

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I guess that I grew up a child of the 70's. Although I was born in the 60's my childhood until teen years was spent in the 70's. I have so many great memories of playing sports, riding bikes, catching pollywogs at the pond. We would get the wrist rocket (slingshot) and go out shooting cans. There were the occasions with the bb guns as well. All in all we had a great time. In my town there wasn't a great fear of many things happening. No worrying about the crazy guy in the van stealing kids, or gangs. We worried about getting sick sometimes when a bad flu season came, but other than that life was pretty simple.

My first big baseball game was in 1977. I was in the Little League City Championship. This was my first year in little league. Back in those days you played tee ball through 8 years old. Then you would try out for Little League. If you were good enough at 10 you could play major league. If you weren't you played minor league. ALL 9 year olds played minor league. It gave them a chance to learn the fundamentals of the game, and to grow up a little bit and see how the game is really played when not using a tee.

Now everybody on our team was not 9 years old. There were some 10, 11, and even one 12 year old. The important thing was they played at the same level as us 9 year olds. It wasn't a matter of holding someone back to win the minor league games, because kids our age wanted to be in the major league. They wanted to hang out with their other friends that were also on a major league team. So here we were a group of 12 kids. I was the smallest, but I understood the game fairly well. Unfortunately one thing that hasn't changed is the smallest kid usually ends up in right field. Let me correct that statement. The smallest, worst or second left hander on the team. The bigger left hander would be the first baseman. I had two strikes against me. I was the smallest and the second left hander. I didn't care though I loved the game and would play anywhere the put me WITHOUT an argument.

So there I was playing my heart out. Surprisingly enough a good amount of action happens in right field when you are in minor leagues. A lot of the players swing late and hit quite a few balls onto the right side of the field. Needless to say with two good teams we had a busy day in the outfield on both sides.

My coach was a fair man. His name was Harry and his assistant was named Mike. They were both HUGE men. Not just to a kid either. Harry was 6'3" and Mike was 6'4". They both had a number of years playing and coaching baseball and we listened to every word they said. The equalizer on our team was a 10 year old named Brian. He could hit.....HARD! So many homeruns it was crazy. We loved having him on the team and he was a humble kid with a good bat, and even though his glove was only passing good, it was good enough.

So the rules say that every kid plays a minimum of 2 innings in the field and one at bat. I had 4 innings in right field and I must say I had a good day. Two base hits, and I caught a few fly balls and even threw a kid out at second base. The coach told me that I had to stay in the next inning because we had two other kids that needed to play. I was a bit upset but that was the rule and I didn't question coach.

The next inning comes and goes with no damage. 3 up 3 down on both sides of the field. This sets up the last inning and we are in the lead by 1. 6-5 and they have a runner on first. The next kid hits a ball to third base and our player bobbles it. Two kids on base and the next kid up hits a HIGH fly ball to guess where......Right field.....The new right fielder backs up and gets under it just like we had been taught all year long. We are all on our feet, and it's so quiet you could hear a pin drop. I think that our whole bench was holding their breath. He's under it and has his glove open to receive it. One hand under the glove to "guide it in. That's when the ball hits the palm of his glove and he drops it. By the time that poor kid picks up the ball and throws it in the batter had scored an in the park home run. We are now losing by 2 runs. We pat him on the back and tell him don't worry we will get it back.

The bottom of the inning and we get a runner on 1st. The next pitch and he steals 2nd. The batter hits a high fly ball to right field (told you there was action out there). The right fielder catches it and our runner gets to 3rd. That brings up the power hitter. He hits a hard grounder right to the short stop. Our runner jumps off the base and makes the short stop hold the ball so our batter can make it to first. Two runners on base and who comes up to bat? Yep the right fielder. It's only one out so we figure that the worst thing that could happen is he will get out and we have one more chance. First pitch he hits a slow ball to the pitcher who throws to 2nd and then to 1st for the only double play of the game. We lost 8-6.

Do you know what happened after the game to that kid? He went to the pizza party with us and we had a great time. We laughed about the season and all the silly things that happened. There wasn't a cuss word spoken on the field. My parents were out there just like everybody else's parents to hug us and embarass us telling us how wonderful we did.

Funny thing, my life didn't end because I wasn't out in right field to catch that ball. I wasn't up to bat to make a base hit and be the hero. Who knows maybe I would have dropped that ball too (NOT). I coulda struck out or hit into a double play as well(NOT AGAIN). I'll never know, but he made it through all of that as well. Nobody beat him up, he wasn't shunned at school, his parents didn't embarass him by shouting what a loser he was on the field. We just accepted it as part of the game.

I watch a good deal of baseball nowadays. I see coaches cheating to get certain players on the team. I watch parents lie about their childs age so he can get one more year at the younger age group and be the hero. I listen to parents criticize their child on the field, as well as someone else's child. The fact that a child makes a mistake is not acceptable any more. We don't allow our children to learn from those childhood errors. We want them to grow up now. We want them to be just little adults even when they are 10 years old.

I spoke with a friend of mine this weekend. He told me that a sponsor pulled out because they didn't feel they were getting the proper exposure because the team wasn't very good. Are you serious???? These are children. They aren't out there to offer exposure to a business. They are out there to learn how to play a game, but more important than that they are going to take the lessons learned on the field and apply them to the rest of their lives. So parents/coaches remember that when you are teaching your kids how to play. Remember that play is part of the game. It's not all work. It's not all about success either. We learn far more from the hard losses than the easy wins.

It's a sign of the times, that people are moving too fast now. They want to get their kids grown up and out of the house, moving towards their careers before they are teenagers. Here's an idea, let your kid be a kid. Let them experience all the great things that kids are supposed to experience. They will have plenty of time to experience all the crap of adulthood.

So sign your kids up for youth sports and support your local teams. Cheer em on, but don't put em down. Our kids need us to show them how good it CAN be. On a side note, the business that pulled out of sponsorship received such a backlash from a portion of the community that they jumped right back in. I promise you that regardless I won't do business there ever again. They have shown their true colors and that's enough for me. I should also make note that those parents that got together to offer their time and money to cover the expense of sponsorship should be commended. Many of them didn't have the money to do it, but they wanted their children to have that opportunity. Kudos to you!

A Simple Measure of Respect  

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Earlier this week a man I worked with for about 13 years passed away. Gary was a machine operator and worked in Shipping/Receiving for many years. He was an old hippy and a true fan of music and the Raiders. He liked it all from 60's era music to opera. I surely didn't agree with his viewpoints on most things, but that didn't matter we enjoyed our arguments and never a bitter word was spoken from that man.

In 31 years he had perfect attendance for I believe 28 years. That's simply amazing to me...He didn't call in sick he didn't come to work late, he didn't leave early. He was there and did his job day in and day out for 31 years with no complaints and a ready comment for you when you passed by. To say that he was congenial is an understatement. Gary didn't have many close friends, but he had a ton of acquaintances. He was forever chatting with someone and you just felt comfortable talking to him.

I wasn't especially close to Gary, but as I said we used to chat, and argue and I enjoyed working with him. I haven't worked for that company for a little over a year now, but I found out about his tragic passing and made sure that I went to his memorial today. There were a couple dozen workers there to pay their last respects to this man. He had many friends and family there as well and it was a nice service that did justice to his memory. It was ended with a nice song that was written and sung by another former co-worker. I felt better as I left realizing that Gary did indeed get to do so many things that he enjoyed throughout his life.

The one really sour point of the day for me was when I realized that neither the Manager of the plant, nor the superintendant, nor even the Human Resources Manager showed up to pay their respects to this man who put his whole life into the company that they represent. I started thinking about that as I left. 31 years is a long time to do anything. They couldn't show this man the most simple measure of respect by being there to tell his father how sorry they were for the loss, and what a great person Gary was.

It impressed me that there were a number of us that don't work at the company any longer that did show up. I hope Gary realizes that not everybody is only concerned with the bottom line.

We will miss you Gary...God Bless you...You were a good man, a tireless worker, and it was my honor to have known you....

What's the Draw? 4  

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I apologize for not posting this when I intended..That crappy real life stuff got in the way..More on that later :)

So I have a few more blogs that you really need to check out if you don't already..

Being a father of 3 boys I understand all the good and bad stuff that is coming along with being a dad. I have no idea how it is to be on the other side of it though. Being a mom and grandmother is as foreign to me as say wearing fishnet stockings (how bout you Ian?). I read a couple of blogs that give me some insight into that crazy world and so much more. One of these great women would be Ms. Anthropy Sarcastic Granny. If you want to read someone with a great take on life that's your place. she has a keen (love that word) sense of what's important. A sometimes dry sense of humor, and always an entertaining take on whatever subject she decides to talk about. She has been missing for about a week but normally she is regular as can be (hope everything is ok Ms. Anthropy). Give yourself a treat and check her out.

Super Cop...well ok maybe not super cop, but definitely my kind of cop...Momma Fargo has quickly become one of my favorites. The Boogie Man Is My Friend ...That's somewhere you wanna be. She can write in bunches too, so if you want to hear some hilarious tales of a woman on the "beat" this the place for you. I promise that you will enjoy her straight forward writing style. While you are there definitely read the story about the fat kid errr..andrew...I think this blog should be turned into a sitcom..Great stuff within check it out.

I have one more that I'm going to share with you...I have to confess that I like one particular part of this guy's blog especially...Jerry at My thoughts brought to the light has a pretty unique blog in my opinion. There is a little bit of everything in there for you. Definitely check out the enter the caption blogs they are great. I enjoy his take on things, and I promise they will always make you laugh or stuff check him out..

Now I follow a ton more blogs, some are not all that regular so I felt that I should share those that post often so you can get the chance to enjoy these great bloggers as much as I do..check them out and you will be glad you stopped in...

What's the Draw? 3  

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So have you checked out those blogs yet? I've sort of been giving you the chronological version of when I found these great blogs. Although the first ones I mentioned absolutely kept me coming back for more, the others have been icing on the cake.

One day I was reading Plainolbob and he mentioned a blogger that had a great impact on him. He suggested (strongly) that we check this amazing woman out. I figured that since I was only following about 75 blogs at the time (yeah not kidding) I could surely fit one more in the group. That's when I found Rae. Weather Vane is a must read. I remember the first time I checked it out after the suggestion from bob. I was totally blown away. Rae has a wonderful writing style. She gives you insight into her adventures as a grandmother, her past as a nurse and she has a great way of putting you into a differnt time when she tells about a little piece of her past. Very uplifting blog, and I always come away feeling better for reading her post.
If you don't follow Rae yet, I would highly suggest it...

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live an adventurous life? I often felt that I had enjoyed some adventure in my short life until I started reading Rambling Russ. This guy has done it, seen it, or watched it. If you want some excitement this post is a great example. Russ gets bonus points from me because my son absolutely loves his stories. We read them together and he has told me that they are much better than any history lesson he has received at school so far. Check this gifted writer out and you will be pleasantly surprised.

I was a huge tv fanatic growing up. I loved all the old shows, like Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Leave it to Beaver. The list goes on and on. Imagine my delight to one day be jumping around checking out blogs and finding one that wanted me to guess a theme song....I was unfortunately too late because the answer had already been given. In fact almost everytime now I'm too late but I don't care I just listen to it and guess before checking the comments :) These are those theme posts I'm talking about here.

I Think It's Interesting written by none other than ASBLACKASOBAMA. Or as we like to call him ABAO. Great posts about a ton of differnt stuff. If you check back a few posts you will see some really cool pics from the recent earthquake (check the post to figure out which earthquake I'm talking about). He has an interesting take on so many things and if you like pics then check it out. Lots of good stuff and more importantly quality writing.

Did you ever watch soap operas? I confess that when I was a young teenager I stayed at my grandparents house during the summer a lot. I got hooked on a couple that I watched with my grandmother. The thing I enjoyed the most was coming up with a name for them. Some of them were pretty good. I think I found a great name for a new soap opera...The Shadow of my Life. This is a great story...It's about a father named Cappy Joey and..oh wait...that's just his name when he is scamming the scammers. Joe at The Shadow of my Life is a newer blog for me. I found that I really like his writing style. He has a very natural way about his writing that just puts you at ease. Lately he has been giving a little back to some scammers that are trying to pull one over on him. You can find the latest installment here. Along with some great Dad and daughter stories and some really cool pics you will have a great time at this blog. So do yourself a favor and check him out.

I will have one more group for you guys tomorrow....Stay tuned :)

There's No Waiting at Register 3  

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We are all aware of the economic crisis. It's affected pretty much everybody everywhere. The lower than average employment leads my little pea brain to think that maybe there are a whole lot of pretty qualified people out there looking for work. With things the way they are people are not all the picky about the salary. They want employment, which allows them beneifts. Hell even part time work gets you part time benefits in many areas.

Which leads me to wonder this.....If there are indeed that many people looking for work and I'm quite sure that a number of them are qualified. Why oh why does my local dollar tree insist upon hiring the absolute epitome of moron for their cashier positions??? I will give you a little example and you decided for yourself.

I went into the dollar tree for soda. They offer these HUGE 3 ltr. bottles of off brand soda for yep you guessed it $1. That's a pretty good deal, and even though I don't drink soda, my kids like to have a root beer with dinner on occasion (every chance they get). So while there I get a few items and head on up to the register. Now there to greet me is.....Well nobody...The "cashier" wasn't at the register. I figured maybe she was busy with other duties, until I realized that there are 4 employees in the store and I'm the only customer. So we can mark off other things to do. She finally comes dragging her fat A#@ up to the register. (I'm not sure if it was fat, just a figure of speech mind you).

She proceeds to check me out (my items not my fat old ass). I had a total of 7 items. Not exactly weekly shopping at the grocery store. While she was slowly scanning my meager items across the scanner her friend walked into the store with a small child. The girl stopped what she was doing to holler at her friend and start talking to the child in baby talk. I was thinking she was slow, but at least she was moving, but now she stopped all together just to talk to friend and kid. I'm about 3 seconds away from an aneyurism or embolism or some friggin kind of ism. She takes another few minutes to finish my items and then tells me the price. I give her money and she sat there...YES SAT THERE trying to figure out how much change to give me. It turns out that the register was on the fritz and was telling her the wrong amount. Now normally I would help out. I have 14 years experience as a cashier and I come from a time that we didn't have registers telling us what the change was. We had to actually do some form of math to figure it out. This time I let her figure it out all by herself. Then I told her that she didn't give me enough back, and without checking she handed me another $10. I just stared at her. She didn't even look twice at me. I threw (yes threw) the money back at her and walked out the store. I didn't get the wrong change, but I felt like being irritating and was hoping for some response. Since she just took me at face value and gave me what amounted to more money than I originally gave her in the first place, I decided it wasn't worth my time.

This girl was dumb, lazy, unkempt (real word?), unprofessional, dumb, rude, dumb, ignorant, and oh yeah DUMB! Why an establishment would offer this waste of my oxygen a job is beyond me. She has no business working anywhere that money or humans are involved. She would do much better collecting cans. I have a feeling before long she will indeed be self-employed doing exactly that job.

So to you dollar tree, don't be surprised if you get a Get A Life! award sent to you in the mail. Because that winner of a cashier has made you now eligible for the coveted award.

What's the Draw 2?  

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I told ya I was going to put out some of those blogs that kept me here, and also some of those great ones I've found since. I figure this is a good time for part 2.

I kept reading because of those that I've mentioned, BUT...There were a few others that really caught my eye.

Writersoup;fuel for the mind and more importantly that particular post got me sucked in to the world of Desertson. This guy is a Farmer, a father, and a writer...He has stories on top of stories...If you get digging around his blog you will find some stories from his childhood that are just priceless (you will laugh till it hurts). AND his daughter sings like an angel..Just check out some of his youtube links to his daughter singing..

Tina at The Clean White Page drew me in with stories like that one. If you want to be scared out of your mind, creeped out, jumping at shadows, then go check her blog out. She is a truly talented writer with an amazing gift. I can't do her justice with my feeble words, just go read a few stories...And while you are there say a prayer for her... She has had some tragedy in her life...We Love you Tina!

So have you ever had that home project? You want to do it, but you don't know if you have the money or know how to accomplish it. Well lucky for you I have an answer...You just need to jump over to Jan @ bobbypinsboardwalk and make sure you check out that do it yourself project she accomplished..WOW!! I get more ideas than I can possibly do from this site...She is awesome and you should check it out..Great ideas!

Ever wonder what Ian would be like as a woman (no I don't mean the pics of him in fishnets)? Well I have your answer...Just go check out Lisa Marie at The Domestication of a Party Girl She is a tell it like it is kinda girl. She's a proud mom, and she puts up some hilarious stuff and don't forget a really good rant....I started reading her not long after Daily Dose and the similarities are amazing. I think these two were separated at birth...Great stuff!

I have two more groups of bloggers that you really need to hear about and I'll put them up real soon. I'm sorta going in chronological order of when I found these great check back (If anybody is still reading)

Get a Life! New and improved awards  


I see all these nice awards going around the blogosphere. They are a great way to show another blogger how much we think about their post, or their blog in general and many times in the type of person they have presented themselves.

I have decided that there are others that deserve some recognition too. These are the total losers of the world. They don't need to be on a blog to receive this award though. This is the Get a Life! award. This is for that person or agency that has nothing better to do than make life difficult for those of us trying to live life. They are bitter or possibly on a power trip. Regardless of the why, they are generally a horse's ass and deserve all the bad luck that I can muster.

So without further ado I present the first official Get a Life! award.

This goes to my local neighborhod revitalization agency. These fine people are supposed to make sure that nobody has junk cars parked in their yard up on blocks or on the street. They are supposed to ensure that the neighborhood looks well neighborly. Sounds good in theory..BUT... These jerks put a notice on my 2002 Windstar. Now I don't have a picture at this time, but my Van is in perfect shape on the outside. It has a bad transmission, and my wife and I hadn't decided if we wanted to spend the money to fix it. So we put a non-op on it and parked it in our driveway. Now the only thing that leads you to believe this car is not being used is the fact that the tags are outdated. It doesn't have that pretty white non-op tag on it. It turns out that it doesn't matter. If we have a non-op on the car according to this agency we still have to park it in the garage where nobody can be bothered with having to see this eyesore. I've decided that either this group has done such a good job of clearing out the bad cars that they are now at the point where they are just bothersome, OR they are so incompetent that they would rather harass me then go to the rougher neighborhoods and tell the gang bangers to get rid of their crap cars.

Either way here's to you Neighborhood Revitalization Agency...You so totally suck and deserve nothing more than to be disbanded...

Linkin' up The Monday Minute  

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Monday Minute

Well I have to admit this one is a bit more "extreme" than the norm even for Ian.

That said...Here are the questions for the Monday Minute...I sure hope my kid doesn't read my blog... lol

You can find Ian's answers here.

At what age did you lose your virginity?
Well that depends on your definition of losing virginity. If you mean actual sex 18, if you mean well other things closely related to actual sex 13...

Any good sex tips or advice?
My advice for the guys....You are not a stud if you are done in 3 minutes and snoring in 4. There's somebody else in the dance...

Lights on or off when you have sex?
Lights??? Like I really think about the damn light at that time...

Have you ever been caught in the act of having sex?
Well actually, right after the act, but never during that I can recall.

Ever catch your parents (or kids) having sex?
Well sort of...(parents not kids). I'm considering some therapy or maybe a lot of Jack Daniels to work through that.

What's the Draw?  

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I am the first to admit I'm a relative newbie to blogging. I enjoy it and at times even obsess about it (personality flaw). There are some pretty great blogs out there, and some that are just not my cup of tea. Doesn't mean they aren't good, they just aren't good for me.

I started out reading Plain ol' Bob, and was able to get my laugh for the day. I followed a couple of people that don't even blog anymore, but the posts I read were great. Maybe they just lost interest. Then I found Kristy, well I actually found her website and got sucked into her story. That's when my perception about the blogosphere changed.

I always read articles in the news and then went down to the comments section to begin arguing with somebody else about what the author had posted. Never had I considered just reading someones blog. Between Bob and Kristy I found that I could get to like this stuff.

Others came into my scope soon after, and I'm going to tell you about a few of them. These are the blogs that got me hooked, and even though there are so many more that now keep my attention as well, these are the few that made me want to stick round and read.

I mentioned Kristy and if you haven't ever read her blog you are really missing out on a treat. She has the ability to go from organized and proper to random in .3 seconds. It's truly amazing, how quickly I can get sucked into her thoughts. Great stuff at every turn. Kristy will take you on a trip through her world. Not just her cool employer (well it sounds cool), but her exercise battles, relationship quirks, her kitty, freaky neighbor...The list goes on and on. She is also a great commenter. If you don't follow you need to check her blog out. It's definitely worth reading.
This Train of Thought has been Derailed in case you missed the link up top.

Can't get too far without mentioning Ian can you? Ian one day commented on a post of mine. I saw the pic on his profile and being the Superman fan that I am (insert sarcastic facial expression here) I decided to check out the blog. I was amazed that he had a spattering of followers. The guy writes some real world stuff. If you don't like it, too bad. He writes what he thinks and doesn't apologize. He suddenly has found a huge following after all the time he has been blogging. It couldn't have happened to a more deserving blogger. Ian is a friend indeed. We have never met in person, but I am quite sure that he would treat me like he's known me forever should we ever meet. Daily Dose of Reality If you don't follow I highly recommend you do.

Sarah Landry Writer in Making is a must read if you don't already. This is an honest upfront blog from a very intelligent young woman who is wise beyond her years. She is a bit shy at times, and doesn't see what those of us that read her blog see. She offers up perspective like very few people I know. The greatest thing about Sarah's blog it's so dang honest. She really tells you what she feels. If you are lucky enough to catch a 3 am post you will absolutely love it (keep doin those sarah). She gives us a taste of her life, the good the bad and the ugly ( check out her dentist fiasco). Great read and always worth your time. Check her out here.

Coach your Mind. Do you read Dayne Gingrich? If you don't you are missing out. This is somebody that gets it. More important he puts it into words so you can get it to. The guy is a true Life Coach... I have printed out posts of his and taped them on my desk. Yeah I catch flack from some co-workers, but they also read em too :) I can't describe all he has to say in this little summary. Just go read and decide for yourself..Find Dayne here.

There are a ton more that I read regular now. These few are the reason I continued to peruse the blog community though. Without these few blogs to keep me interested I would have never found some of the great blogs I read now.

I'm going to take the next few days and give you guys a glimpse of some of the great blogs I read. I hope you take a few minutes and check them out as we go.

Who's This Pay it Forward Friday LINK IT UP!!!!  


Alright, if you are dead then you might not know that Ian is having his weekly contest. There are tons of questions for you to answer...go check it out here ....Basically what you need to do is figure out who is who and I promise you it isn't gonna be easy. I follow and read Ian ALL THE TIME...but there are some that I just don't know because I can't possibly follow all his readers as well as my norms (The Tribe is getting larger). Do yourself a favor and check it out. the prize this week is actually two prizes and they come from Mimi's Etsy shop Just so you know cool blog and great stuff...Check it will have a little fun for sure.

so why are you still here again??? go to Daily Dose of Reality and get crackalackin......

Family Ties 4  


Family Ties 3

The young man was a father and nothing could make him happier. He realized that he truly loved having someone to care for. His wife was in a good mood most of the time. In fact he thought she had never been happier than she was during those first couple of years. The young child began to walk and talk. He found a way to get things off the tables and counters. The young man realized that "baby proof" isn't really all that it's cracked up to be. He even overlooked the fact that the girl would blame him everytime the toddler did something. He knew that she was just having a bad day, or was just tired. He never blamed her for her actions he simply ignored the anger in her voice and took care of the problem. Finally one night his wife came to him and said "I want another baby." He hesitated only a second before agreeing. After all one child had done wonders for his family. Another would make it only better.

She had to have the same surgery to repair the problems she had conceiving. After a few months she was indeed pregnant again. With a small child and morning sickness, the girl was not quite the happy camper she had been during the first pregnancy. She was often moody. At those times, the young man knew to stay out of sight and out of mind. He would often take his son for walks or out front to look at flowers and bugs. That didn't usually last long as she would be at the door to complain about him letting their boy get dirty, and catch all manner of sicknesses that those dirty bugs must have. He would agree and bring the boy inside to clean him up. Often they would just sit and look at picture books until she found some other reason to tell the young man what he was doing that was wrong.

Fortunately for the young family, this pregnancy was on time and without complication. They had a second healthy baby boy. A mirror image of the first child. The young man was happy again, because she was happy again. He always sensed that as long as she remained content everybody else in the family would be ok. He either failed or refused to notice that while she loved the children, she could never say anything good about them without first saying something critical. the oldest received the worst of it. She would always tell him what a messy, rude child he was and then in the next breath tell him how much she loved her little boy.
As the younger child began to grow, he received the same treatment. She loved her children she just didn't understand how to tell them. She even believed that she still loved her husband, although when she was honest with herself she blamed him for her moody personality. She never considered the possibility that she was depressed.

The next few years were ok, but there were many arguments. The young man had become tired of taking the blame for all things in the house. He began to fight back. He would bring up her shortcomings when she would criticize him. It didn't take long before he was working more and more. His small business began to grow with him so engrossed in work. They began to see the benefits of his hard work and moved to a larger home. She never once considered complimenting him for the hard work he did. After all it was his job as far as she was concerned. She took care of the children, and he was expected to take care of making the money. That was how it worked for her parents and they had done ok.

The next year she was ready to move again. The young man was constantly at work now. He told her that wherever she wanted to go was fine with him. She found the next house and he moved them in. So began the cycle. The young man would work from morning to night, sometimes not getting home until early morning hours. He wasn't being unfaithful to his wife, he just traded his family for his work. He saw the kids on weekends and he made sure to make their school events. As they began to enter youth sports he always made sure to attend every game. He would cheer them on quietly from the side of the bleachers or out behind a fence. He never got to be the dad shouting in the bleachers "That's my Boy!". Mom was proud when her children did well but couldn't understand why she couldn't offer them a single compliment at those times.

The years began to pass him by and they moved. Every year they moved, and he questioned her once on it. It turned out that she liked the feeling of starting over with a clean slate. A new house offered her that opportunity. The children never complained about moving any longer. They knew what it meant when mom got the plastic bins out of the garage. They had learned not to get too attached to neighborhood kids because it wouldn't be long before they had to start again.

There were two brothers separated by 3 years. They grew up moving around a little bit...

Quick note...This is based loosely on a number of people I know or have known over the years. My wife went through the terrible labor, a really good friend of mine once used to drive 4 hours to see his girlfriend on the weekends (and she did meet another guy during that time). I got to thinking about some kids I've dealt with and this seemed to be a common theme amongst those with problems. A broken family. Not just a divorced one, but a broken one. I thought I'd maybe bring a little glimpse of what a broken family looks like from my perspective. Sorry for the grammar but I felt that I should leave the characters without a name, because they are anybody who has been in this situation... Anyway I hope you enjoyed my little tale..

Family Ties 3  


Family Ties 2

Months went by and everything seemed to calm down a bit. The boy found out the name of this "friend" and was given a little more information from his girlfriend. It turned out that he had a girlfriend and they had broken up, he wanted to get back together with her, and was just looking for someone to talk to. The boy thought this was pretty convenient, but his girlfriend promised not to keep anything else from him. She told him she knew they had to be able to trust each other. so every time this boy talked with her she let him know. She told him just enough to keep him satisfied. On Valentines Day he was there with a promise ring, and flowers. Ready to take her out for a nice dinner, and a show. She told him that she loved the gift, but didn't seem really into the evening. He came to find out later that her "friend" had indeed gotten back together with his girlfriend. It seems his girlfriend didn't think it was such a hot idea for him to hang around with another girl. So he told her goodbye and that was it. The boy felt bad for his girlfriend in some strange way. Although the immediate threat was gone, he realized that this was one of the things that kept her in a decent mood. He knew that depression was a real possibility for her, if she didn't find friends. It turns out that a few of his friends had been around the girl enough to realize that she was ok. They began to hang out and the girl had finally managed some friends. It was all coming together for her in a small way. The prom was left, and she knew she had a date to that if her boyfriend would consider hanging out with High School kids again. It turns out she didn't have a worry he wanted to do anything to make the girl happy and that was a small price to pay for a smile.

Prom night came and went. As it came to pass so did her virginity, later that night under the stars on a blanket in the sand. In that moment he knew that she had been at least that faithful to him. Years later he would look back at that moment and realize that was the moment he knew they didn't have a chance. He realized that when he thought of her being only partially faithful is when he should have known he couldn't be with somebody that he couldn't trust. She never did believe that he waited for her. She assumed that he was like every other boy. He would get it where he could when he could. That night opened more problems than it ever solved with that one act.

They continued to see each other and she was soon graduated. At this time she found out that her father had been unfaithful. He had been cheating on her mother for years and finally came clean and moved out. The girl was devastated once again. Every time her life seemed to be falling in order, something else came along to smash it. She found out that he only bought the business to be closer to his girlfriend. For the first time the girl realized that her father had used the family as a tool to gain what he desired.

Her mother decided to move away. She would go back to that town with her familiar friends and a job waiting for her. The oldest daughter wanted desperately to move back. She finally talked her mom into letting her. They would share in the expenses until her mom got back on her feet. The younger daughter wanted to stay with her father. she liked where she lived and had all of her new friends close by. The parents decided that it was probably best if she stayed. That was the beginning of the end for the family. Without the facade of a family the mother didn't know how to act. She didn't like the pitiful looks she got, and she didn't like the concerned questions either. She decided the best way to avoid all of it was to find another man. She didn't understand that you don't find a good man at a bar. It took her a few years to finally realize that simple lesson, unfortunately what she didn't learn was that you don't get a man that has a wife either. She forgot too quickly how devastating an affair could be on a relationship. Not just the adults, but the kids and the extended family that are affected as well. She became the same as the woman whom she blamed for ruining her life.

The girl moved back and soon after moved in with the boy. They had an apartment and for a brief time were happy. They decided that it was time to get married. A big wedding at a big church, followed by a huge reception at a beautiful banquet hall. All of their family and friends were there. The boy was in heaven. This was what he had wanted his whole life. To start his own family. To be a husband and work in the yard, having his wife come out with iced tea and watch him work. Quiet evenings, just the two of them having a nice dinner and discussing their day and what plans they would make for the weekend. They were nice visions, unfortunately real life doesn't always work that way.

Arguments began to rule the household. The girl figured that her husband wouldn't be happy with her and her alone. She figured that he would be just like her father and find somebody else. She didn't realize that she was constantly pushing him away. That young girl that needed somebody was gone. A bitter young woman, mad at the world is what remained. The boy felt trapped. His friends had all given up trying to come around. She ran them off, always professing they had things to do. The house was miserable most of the time. That was when she came to him and said "I want to have a child."

Foolishly the boy thought that was a great idea. They would have a child and complete the image he had made of what the family should be. A young strapping son to carry on the family name. To go hunting, and fishing. He would play sports and the young man would be the proud father in the stands telling everyone "That's my boy!" It would be perfect. Try as they would they couldn't get pregnant. Now some people would say that was a sign. The young couple didn't think so. The young woman was convinced it was her husband's fault. He was probably unable to have children. She was quick to blame him for most things, and he had learned to not argue too much about most of it. It turned out that it was her, not him. There was a surgery that would fix the problem. Immediately she agreed. The procedure was done, and 3 months later she was pregnant.

Things seemed better when the girl was pregnant. She seemed happier than she had been in a long time. The boy started to think that maybe this would be the turning point. This would be when all things came together and the pieces of the puzzle that were her heart would fit together. Whatever she wanted she got. Whenever she wanted it he would get it. Fast food, was a constant demand. All the late night workers at the fast food restaurants knew the young man well by the time 9 months and 2 weeks had passed. As she was a little late, the doctors decided to help it along. So finally two weeks past her due date they showed up at the hospital to begin what turned out to be 1 1/2 days of pure hell. A hard pregnancy is what the nurse called it. Sheer hell is what the young man called it. He had to watch the woman he loved going through such misery, and he didn't know if he could take it. Finally the young man was the father of a healthy baby boy. Perfect in every way. He couldn't believe that he was half the reason for this young life.

To be continued..............

Family Ties 2  


Family Ties

With only 2 weeks before school starting it was difficult to make many friends. The oldest girl was a senior and she only knew 2 people at the school. One was her sister and one was a friend of her sister's. The first few weeks were brutal. A naturally withdrawn girl anyway, it wasn't easy for her to make friends. The one thing she had going for her was that she was very attractive. That also turned out to be a drawback. The boys were attracted to her, and the girls were jealous. In the end not many people approached her. She was either pretty enough that a girlfriend would be threatened, or pretty enough that a boyfriend was afraid his girlfriend would get mad. The one nice surprise for her was that her boyfriend showed up every weekend. He borrowed a car that he could trust for the trip and made sure he was packed and left as soon as he was off work on Friday. He loved the girl, and more importantly he wanted to protect her. She started to realize that this guy might be for real after all.

The younger sister didn't have nearly as much trouble making friends. In all fairness she had an advantage. She was only a freshman, and she was outgoing. She would befriend anybody, just to have someone nearby. This girl cared about appearances and not much else. It was actually sad that a girl so young could be so vain. It turns out that a good portion of that was insecurity. She NEEDED to have attention. Older sister, took it like everything else in stride on the outside, but she was depressed. She found herself looking forward to those weekends, when the one familiar thing would be in her life. She managed to keep in touch with a few people "back home", but only a couple of them had time for writing letters that much. This was before cell phones, so a call was long distance, and you paid a pretty penny to make it. It turns out that not many 16 and 17 year olds have that kind of cash.

Things changed for her one afternoon, when she met a boy at school. He seemed nice and was just trying to be friendly with her. She finally ended up talking to him a bit but, she felt guilty afterwards. She was attracted to this boy. He told her that he understood she had a boyfriend but he wanted to help her make some friends at the new school. She was afraid to tell her boyfriend about this new guy, so she just mentioned him in passing. "Met a boy in school today, finally somebody who isn't so stuck up." She left it at that and hoped not many questions would follow. The boyfriend was happy for her, but he too felt a little tinge of something. Maybe it was jealousy. He realized that this boy would get to spend 5 days a week with his girlfriend and whether she like him or not, that is enough time to develop some feelings. He understood how the mind of a teenage boy works, and he also knew that a pretty girl in a new school is a prime target for some boys. Nothing else was said about it, as he didn't want to upset her. That was the first clue if he would have been paying more attention.

The boyfriend continued to show up every weekend, but something was different. The girl didn't seem to be there all the time. Her mind was wandering somewhere else, and he couldn't figure it out. The other boy didn't come into his mind, because she hadn't mentioned anything else about him. One day while he was getting ready to go visit, he got a phone call. The girl told him that she couldn't see him this weekend, because the family was going to the beach "as a family". She would talk to him when she got home on Sunday. He said ok, and for the first time in months had a free weekend at home. He spent it catching up with his friends, and found that most of them didn't have a whole lot to say about his girlfriend. They almost seemed to be avoiding the subject. Finally a good friend of his told him, "Sounds like maybe she found somebody else." The boy was shocked and angry, but he simply made an excuse and went home. He needed some time to think and couldn't do it around a bunch of loud obnoxious teenage boys. He got home and his mom told him that he had a message from the younger sister. Now why would she want to talk to him, they didn't even get along that well.

The younger sister simply wanted to tell him that there was somebody else in the picture. She did it, not to help out, but to hurt the boy. It worked wonders as all manner of images ran through his mind. Anger and betrayal were the first thoughts, then came sadness and finally, an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness. He had thought this was the girl for him. Within hours he had made up his mind. He was going to fight for this girl. One way or another he would get to the botom of this. In the car and down the road. Speed limit signs were a blur. 100 mph through mountain passes that shouldn't be traveled over 50 or 55. He made it to the house in record time. Everybody was there.....Except his girlfriend. The mother was a bit smug as she explained that her daughter was out with a friend and she wasn't sure when they would be back. The father took a more measured approach. He took the boy outside and explained to him, that maybe their time was done. He told the boy that he appreciated how much he had done for his daughter, but some things aren't meant to be. "Just let her decide what she wants to do." That was the last thing the boy heard before he went back to his car. He drove down the street and sat in the convenience store parking lot. He wasn't going anywhere. She was going to answer some questions and they would get to the bottom of this NOW!

A few hours later he saw them drive by. He didn't immediately follow he waited a good ten minutes and then he drove back over. She was in the front yard crying when he pulled up. She came running to the car crying and apologizing. Telling him that nothing happened and they were just friends. She didn't want him to be upset because the only friend she had made was a boy. She loved him, would never cheat on him. He meant everything to her. He heard the words and wanted to believe her, but something down deep inside told him that she lied. She was telling him what she thought he wanted to hear. His better judgement left him when he saw those tears continue to roll down her face. "I understand, and I love you. Whatever makes you happy is all I care about." She had him hook line and sinker. She didn't even realize she had manipulated him. It was something that came so natural to her, that she didn't see it for what it really was. Her father had taught her something after all.

to be continued

Family Ties  

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There were two daughters, separated by 3 years. They grew up moving around a little bit. Never in the same place all that long. Maybe not moving out of town, but house to house was the order of the day. It didn't seem to hurt the children on the outside, but on the inside where it mattered there were changes. Those girls learned to never make really good friends, because after all they would just move away and that hurt too much. So their childhood was spent entertaining each other more than other children. you would think that these 2 sisters would be thicker than thieves.

The teen years hit, and of course things changed a little bit. One was a teen the other still pre and everybody knows that puberty does some funny things to the mind (as well as the body). The girls would still hang out, but maybe not so much as before. The oldest had discovered boys, and that opened a whole new world. Her dad was too busy making a living to pay all that much attention to what the girls did. he was usually only around on the weekends. They found out later, that making a living wasn't necessarily working, he had other "interests" that didn't include making money. They did include other women though.

Their mom tried in the best way she could to make a normal home for the girls, but she was ill-equipped to handle anything that required that much emotional involvement. It seems the whole family had a pretty huge emotional detachment. The girls continued to grow up learning to be cordial without getting attached. Eventually both girls were teens and that's where the headaches began.

The youngest of them thought that boys were just objects to be used for whatever she could make them do. She was a pretty girl, and when she wanted to she could be oh so sweet. Not many would guess that she was a borderline sociopath. This girl was basically without conscience. The oldest tried harder to be the kind of person she thought was expected. besides that she wanted so much to be praised by her parents. She did well in school, never got in trouble, and did her chores. Funny thing, how parents are automatically drawn to the troublemakers, they think they need to fix what's wrong. They don't understand that sometimes, all they need to do is pay some more attention to their child. That younger daughter was making waves, not big ones, just enough to get her on the radar with her parents. She figured out that the best way to get attention from them was to get into a little bit of trouble. Then they would come running in to try and fix the problem.

A few more years ran by and the older girl was in a relationship. She was serious about this, or so she thought. Soon to be a senior in high school, she looked forward to being with him. He had defended her against everybody and everything that stood in front of her. For the first time in her life, she understood what it meant to have somebody love her unconditionally. It scared her though, because deep down she knew this couldn't last. She had learned that lesson a long time ago. As soon as you start to really care about somebody, that was when everything went bad and either they would move or the object of her affection would. Sure enough her father came home one afternoon, just as summer vacation had started. "We are moving." It turns out that he had a chance to buy a business and they just couldn't pass up the opportunity. Once again her theory was proven correct. Fall in love and get hurt. What was the point really.

She knew she had to tell her boyfriend the bad news. He took it in stride, never complained or got bitter that she could see. She just figured he was already figuring other girls he could get. So they enjoyed their summer, but she always remembered that it would be only a matter of weeks until her life would have to start over yet again. The hot months flew by, and they had a great time. He had graduated that year, and although he worked much of the time he would always find time to get to her house, or write her a letter (that's when people write down words on paper). Before she knew it August was over. Summer had come to and end.

The family moved about 3 1/2 hours away. The boyfriend helped move them into the new house, and told her that he would visit often. She knew he was just being nice. After all how could he drive 3 1/2 hours that often while he was working. Plus she had one more year of school. Things couldn't look worse for her. She hated her family, she hated her life, and she hated her boyfriend for trying to be nice. She wanted everybody and everything to go away. So many times she had secretly wished that she was brave enough to just end it all. She realized that she didn't have that courage to take her life though. She was resigned to the fact that she would have to endure yet another new town, and another new school. Somehow she would have to find people to at least hang around with for the year. After all she would be a senior and she was coming into a school where everybody had known each other for at least 6 years, and in many cases much longer. She knew that this would be a year to forget. Why couldn't her dad just find work in town, and she could try to be normal and get to be with her friends for her last year of high school. She thought him a bastard, but just as quickly was guilty for thinking such a thing. She loved him so much that she didn't say a word. She was convinced that Dad was doing this for the family. She didn't realize at that young age that her dad was indeed a bastard. He was selfish and narrow minded. He destroyed his children's youth for his gain, and thought nothing of it.

To be continued..............

The Monday Minute recycled! Linkin' it Up  

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Monday Minute

Well it's that time again...If you haven't been to Ian's Daily Dose then now is the time... I'll offer up my take on these oh so thought provoking questions....

What's wrong with fake breasts?
Well....I don't like em, but hey I wouldn't be the one that had em either...If my wife wanted them I would say okie dokie (or something similar)..The only thing "wrong" with them from my perspective is they feel well......fake...

List your latest run-in with the Carnival of Idiocy.
I could make a post of this..oh yeah I did...child support services in the state of California (KALEEFOHNEEA if you listen to the govenator). Morons!

Name one thing you'd like to tell your ten year ago self.
Quit that damn job...They are killing you and don't give a damn...There are better things out there GO FIND EM!

What's your favorite word that's not in the dictionary?
Butt Munch

Why do fools fall in love?
The only people calling them fools are the ones not in love ....

Go check out Ian and make sure you read his answers..(they are always friggin' great)...Also make sure you check him out the rest of the week..He is going to give us the inside scoop on him and the wife :)

Controversy Anyone?  

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I have been reading too much from Ian I think. I normally don't make too many issues on here to cause any offense BUT I figured that today could be one of those days that maybe I will. So be warned now that I'm not gonna talk about butterflies and rainbows, but something with a little more bite to it.

Gay marriage is a huge controversy right now. Gay rights and civil rights in general seem to be coming to the front of the news more and more. My view on Gay marriage.....I'm against it...OK did you guys get done cussing at me yet? Let me also say that I'm against the idea of the Government sanctioning any marriage and that means heterosexual marriage as well. I don't think it's the right venue for marriage.

Marriage in my opinion is between you and the person you love and, if you so believe, in your God PERIOD......... I was raised to believe certain things and as I get older I question some of them, and make up my own mind whether I agree with it or not. I don't need a priest or a politician or a school teacher for that matter making those decisions for me. I don't think it's the place of the school to tell my child whether it's ok either. That's MY job.

I am gonna get pulled away from the point here (yet again). In my humble opinion if 2 people want to be together and recognized by the state as a couple it should indeed be a union. Don't call it a marriage, that one word seems to cause more damage than most. The purpose of people wanting this equality with marriage is for the benefits that come from the marriage. Marriage is a predominantly religious ceremony. A civil union on the other hand is not. It's what it suggests. That's the only place the state and our personal lives, who we love, who we live with, who we will leave our belongings with should come together.

I know people that are gay. It turns out I know a lot more gay people than I realized. Those that I've talked to don't care if it's the M for marriage tag they get as long as they get the same considerations from the Government that a heterosexual couple gets. In so far as that is concerned I agree. I don't have to agree with a homosexual lifestyle to agree that people should be treated the same.

For the record I'm conservative. I'm not Republican, but I am definitely conservative. I'm not an extremist, I don't care about BO's birth certificate, I don't believe in killing abortion doctors (I don't agree with abortion either BTW). So don't believe that all conservatives are crazy gun toting(nothing wrong with gun toting) bible thumping (or thumping the occasional bible) backward ass rednecks (ok maybe something wrong with that) that live in the hills and shoot every stranger that walks up to the militia HQ. Some of us are sensible thinking normal people that happen to believe that some things about our country are right. Don't get me wrong a bunch of things are not so good, but there isn't anything that we can't fix if we work at it a little bit.

I have come to notice there is a pretty diverse line of thinking in the blogosphere. I have also happened to notice that just because we don't all agree on everything doesn't mean that we don't still read stuff that others are writing and even find some common ground on so many issues. I think that gay marriage is the same as any other issue facing us, it just needs people with a level way of thinking to realize that there is a solution. The solution is not to yell at each other and resort to childish name calling. That's unfortunately the phase we seem to be in right now...

So holler and scream all you want, but just remember that the only way we get any of this resolved is to realize that everybody has the right to their own beliefs, but nobody has the right to force those beliefs down our throats. Both sides of this argument need to wise up (grow up) and realize that. Nobody is completely innocent or guilty in this argument. We just need to find a way to meet in the middle.

My 2 cents.... Your 2 cents are also most welcome :)