Death?

It hangs over us like a giant weight, looming, lurking, waiting in a distant future.  An ominous presence whose shadow is cast upon us all at the most unsuspecting moment.  Many do not fear it, yet most never wish to meet.  Some say it is the gateway to another life while others believe it is a portal to hell.

Death

Death is defined as the action or fact of dying or being killed; the end of the life of a person or organism.

Death is all around us, we see it everyday.  Some may turn their heads from it as though it were a light to bright to see, while others will turn towards it as if looking into a bewildering unknown future. Turn on the television or go to the movies, we are greeted by Hollywood’s many versions of death.  Kind and gentile is the picture of grandpa drifting off to sleep or in your face with blood, gore and dismemberment. Death resonates in our minds and stirs our imaginations.  You can say it doesn’t bother you to watch zombie beheadings while a teenage girl is raped and mutilated.  Tell yourself over and over it’s just make-believe.  Take the dare from a friend and sit through vile evisceration at the hands of a producers sick and twisted vision.  Either way you are still watching death as it erodes your brains sensitive subconscious.

Headline news almost always starts out with a story of life lost.  A dog stolen and thrown out of a moving car.  A child taken from its parents in the middle of the night only to be found months later as an abandoned corps in the woods. Children shot to death by a deranged student, or a family bludgeoned, then left for dead as the house is torched.  News headlines are there for us every second of every minute of everyday. The vile disgusting side of human nature shoved in our faces through our televisions, phones, laptops and I-pads.  Stop just for a moment and think to yourself; since I woke up this morning how many times have I heard the news speak in regards to death?

Now before you think I have gone off the deep end, please hear me out.  I am in no way suggesting we stop watching the news.  I am also not suggesting that we quit watching television or the movies. The message I am trying to get across is why are we allowing these images to happen?  Why are we doing this to ourselves and our children?  Why do we feel the need as a society to always push that outer envelope of emotion?  What drives us to move farther away from moral values into destructive behavior?  There was a time when we sheltered our children from vile images, allowing their brains to develop to a point of being able to understand the consequences of death and its aftermath.  Now I hear through my own children of fellow students who are allowed to watch movies such as SAW, Silence of Lambs, Hostel, and the Hills have Eyes.  At eleven I hardly think they have the ability to process the horror they are witnessing.

Yet death continues to be glorified in our society.  We also glorify death through the use of humor.  Why?  Is it because we fear death so much that humor is the only viable release?  As an adult I have the ability to make that choice.  Having seen death first hand I know its ugliness in all forms.  I have witnessed the disturbing things we as human beings can do to each other out of anger, rage, or mental instability.  I have held the hands of strangers as they passed, and taken charge of corpses so badly mutilated that one is left wondering why would someone do this and how this is humanly possible?

Fear death or laugh at it? Yes I have earned the right to make judgement on how I will handle my emotions on the subject.  Yet as a young child, I don’t feel you should find the sight of death humorous at all.  I know I cant shelter you but I can ensure that you are not bombarded with false images that tear away at your moral fiber.  I also don’t believe one should completely fear death.  Fear is a normal reaction but maybe understanding more about it without Hollywood’s twisted take on the subject would help ease ones mind.

Then there is the remaining questions.  What is death and how do I describe it to my children?  The simple version is the definition printed above.  But being someone who has only experienced the aftermath of death.  How do we really know what happens to ourselves as the moment takes us.  Is there really an afterlife?  Are we so brazen to believe that we are all things in this gigantic universe we call home?  Or do we simply close our eyes and pass into nothing, black, darkness? Some days I find myself sitting on my second story balcony looking out into the fields and pondering; how sad it will be that one day I will no longer be able to see this beauty.  No longer be able to smell the mustard flowers in bloom or the Eucalyptus trees in the spring.  It makes me sad, leaves me worried for my children and I am left wondering why we are given this wonderful gift of life.  This gift that so many waste, with the way they live their lives! Wasting away are those who worry endlessly over irreverent, stupid, petty things.  I am thankful for all that I have in my life, yet selfish due to my reserves about giving it all away, succumbing to deaths inevitable arrival.

So what do we do? What do we do as a society to ease this mental conundrum that lays before us?  Do we continue to propel ourselves forward where before long it will be acceptable to watch the beheadings of small children in a sick and twisted version of Survivor that can only be seen through Pay per Veiw?  Or do we start standing up as parents and say enough is enough, demanding stronger censorship in regards to gore on television and in the movies?  Do we begin to recognize are mortality and quit living as though there will always be a tomorrow? Or do we continue on blindly as though we are immortal? Or am I just completely out in left field with all of this, shrouded by a foggy vision of the world due to the experiences I ‘ve had over a 17 year career?  Imposing my cynical brain upon the weak and unsuspecting? I just dont know…..

Oh by the way in case you were wondering or possibly unsure, I always choose humour to deal with deaths darkness.

Advertisements

Reminiscing about my first car..

My oldest is almost sixteen, although that may be of concern to some parents for me it brings a sense of excitement and joy. The other day we ventured into the DMV so he could take a shot at passing his driver’s license written exam. I am proud to say he is now behind the wheel of any car we allow him drive. My son handles the pressure of driving a vehicle with incredible confidence. He remains calm and relaxed, very aware of his surroundings and for a new driver relatively smooth on the accelerator. The complete opposite of myself at his age. I was nervous. Terrified really, it scared the hell out of me driving down the roadway. I must have looked like a triathelete crossing the finish line when I finally drove on the freeway! Sweat pouring down my face, shirt soaked in perspiration! 55 mph seemed as though we were traveling at light speed! All those vehicles around me while moving fast, I swear looking out the windshield was like peering out the front of the Millenium Falcon at warp factor one! While we are on the subject of reported space junk, I was always relegated to driving my mothers 1972 Pontiac station wagon. Yuck! Major cool points lost! I prayed everyday that none of my friends saw me in that chocolate-brown hunk of poo with wood siding!

Yet my son doesn’t seem to care. Mini-van or truck, scooter or explorer it means nothing to him. As long as it has a steering wheel and motor he’s willing to drive. I don’t know if that means I had higher standards as a kid or he just enjoys the thought of driving so much he doesnt care. I really wanted to drive too! I started daydreaming about it when I was thirteen. I would spend endless hours on a Saturday just sitting behind the wheel of my dads 1963 GMC truck pretending to drive. I would close my eyes and see myself steering through town, waving at my friends, all while applying the clutch and shifting gears. My dream car was a 1966 Chevy Chevelle. Second runner-up was a 1968 Chevy half ton stepside truck. I dreamt about them, prayed I would own one. I knew exactly what they would look like, from color paint, rims, interior and stereo systems to where I would park them in the high school parking lot. I had it all figured out.

So what went wrong? Why doesn’t my son seem to care the way I did? Why doesn’t he have the same love for cars ? Why are his expectations so low? He has no answer to any of my questions when I ask him.

In my day your car was a rite of passage, a step into manhood, it defined who you were as a young male. Today no one seems to care. His friends don’t care! When I pick him up at the high school there isn’t one nice custom car/truck in the parking lot. Even the little Honda’s are bone stock! What the hell!

Anyway I wrote this a while back in regards to a piece about your first vehicle. I entered it and it was chosen as one of the final stories. The whole reason I looked it up and am posting it to my blog is simple. I am left pondering. Will my children have the same memories of their first vehicles as I did? Or have those days gone the way of cruising and eight tracks? Gone forever, replaced by video games and techno geeks?

Anyways here it is….

My Freedom

The day I brought it home I had no way of knowing the effect it would have on my life so many years later. This machine of dreams made of steel, fabric, glass and wood. It was green and had the smell of old vinyl which hit you hard as you opened the door. The body lines curved, rolled and seemed to run on with no end. The glass was large and bulbous, when you sat inside you felt as though you were a fish looking out at the world from a mobile aquarium. There wasn’t much chrome on this metal masterpiece and that was the way I liked it. Anyone could have a flashy ride with a little money and some elbow grease, but it took someone with confidence and grit to pull off the industrialized look that it held when your eyes fell upon its shadowy form.

My 1964 Chevrolet stepside had a three on the tree with a 289 V8 that rumbled at idle. The gas tank was right behind the seat, which left a hint of petrol wafting through the cab on a warm summers day. Right next to the fuel cell I had carefully mounted a motorized windshield wiper container, which I had filled with whiskey. There was small tubing running under the rubber flooring towards my glove box. When you opened the glove box there were three cup rings where whiskey was dispensed through a small metal wiper fluid nozzle into your waiting glass. The entire thing was wired to a marine switch which ironically in today’s age of not drinking and driving was located next to the ignition.

I loved this truck! I hardly slept at night waiting for the morning, just so I could drive it somewhere, anywhere! I made up excuses to run errands for friends or family just so I could be behind the wheel. It rode rough, had a steering wheel the size of a manhole cover, no air conditioning, and drum brakes that didn’t stop worth a darn. It was primitive, but I loved it! Whenever I see one drive by I am flooded with memories of first dates, parties with my friends, drag racing at the end of the boulevard (yes we still cruised back then) and loading up with my closest buddies then traveling where ever and whenever we felt like it.

You see this was my first truck, my first car, rolled into one. It was the epitome of teenage masculinity, my identity, my solace. It opened the door to freedom from my shuttered world and behind its closed doors it held all the secrets of our journeys together.

Maybe he shouldnt have memories of a first vehicle after all. Sounds like trouble waiting to happen. A Honda civic will do nicely thank you….

Its more than a shirt..

This started as a story I wrote for my son.  I felt he needed to understand the importance of staying true to yourself.  That people spend their whole lives wasting time on phony images.  I also felt if he understood who I had become, he would understand we have all been in that awkward position at some point in our lives.  Sometimes the things we try to live up to only bring failure.  Sometimes, remarkably they bring success, but in the end I wanted him to know he will become a wonderful person by using all the tools he has been given by his mother and I.  How he uses them will help him to define who he is and who he wants to become…

So here it is…..

 IT’S MORE THAN A SHIRT

It started when I was in high school. I came from a small rural community and at my high school wrestling, football and basketball were the followed sports of choice. I had friends that were on the wrestling team and during the school week they always wore their wrestling shirts or Letterman jackets.  I would marvel at the way people treated them when we were out in public getting something to eat or just hanging out.  (Joe citizen) So you’re on the wrestling team Huh? How’s the season going? (Followed up with) You boys need something to eat? And; don’t let us down at the next match ok! The questions and admiration from adults never ended.  I used to think; if I could wear a team shirt or Letterman Jacket, people would respect me as well.. 

I went to all the wrestling matches and during one of those matches a friend of mine who wrestled varsity, asked me to hold his Letterman jacket.  I ended up putting it on and instantly I could feel other kids and parents alike staring at me as I walked by! It was strange, like I had been instantly transformed into someone special.  I could hear them talking in my head too.  Saying things like; oh that poor boy must be injured, or look at all the markings on that jacket that kid must be some kind of athlete.  As I strolled around the high school gym I also noticed something else.  It didn’t feel right, it felt fake, a sham, this wasn’t my jacket, I hadn’t earned the right to wear it, and I was a complete fraud.  The feeling I had that day stuck with me as I went into adult hood. I always remembered the feeling of shame whenever I had an opportunities to portray myself as something I wasn’t to gain acceptance and admiration. 

There’s more to this than wearing the shirt. 

As I became an adult, I applied and was accepted to a firefighter academy. After several long weeks of intense training, I had the opportunity to become a firefighter upon completion of the class. I succeeded and so started my probationary period with the department. One of the proudest moments of my life was finally being able to discard my red fire academy t- shirt for an official fire department t- shirt.  I wore the navy blue t-shirt around with confidence and pride.  I always felt when people looked at me they were thinking to themselves; “there goes a fireman “with a smile upon their faces.  I had finally arrived. I was now wearing the equivalent of that Letterman jacket from so many years ago.  The only difference was this fire department t-shirt was mine, I had earned it!  All the long academy hours, training at night and in the rain, I had earned it! It was mine to wear when I wanted, where I wanted and everyone was going to see me as someone special! Just look at the large, block letters printed on the back “FIRE DEPARTMENT”.  I mean that alone must mean I’m someone special!  

The truth; I was still a fraud, still a poser, still a fake.  You see it’s not the t-shirt or Letterman jacket you wear that makes you special. It’s what you do with the responsibility bestowed upon you the minute you wear that t-shirt.  The Letterman jacket from so many years ago was earned with dedication, honor, integrity and sheer will.  Matches were won and matches were lost, my friend had numerous injuries along with a few broken bones.  There were skirmishes that went outside the ring and friendships inside the ring that were forged for life.  He honored the sport by always giving one hundred percent and never letting himself come before his team.  The reason people admired him and the others were because they knew or at least hoped they were upholding the honors and traditions of the great wrestlers who walked the matt before them.  They did…

The fire service is no different.  I thought I was on top of the world the day I donned a fresh new navy blue t-shirt emblazoned with our departments name upon the back.   I felt I had arrived to a place of instant respect.   Like so many other young misled lads and lasses I was wrong.  You see my journey had only just begun. For the only thing I had truly earned that day was the right to purchase my uniform shirt.  I was very quickly going to learn that being a fireman was much more than wearing a cool navy blue t-shirt.

Oh sure I had passed the academy, yes I had been assigned a shift, I now had a Captain an Engineer and a firefighter to work for and alongside.  What I didn’t have, what I didn’t realize after all those years of watching others and thinking “I could do that”, was experience.  I needed to put in the time. Time to prove that I really deserved to wear a department t-shirt, time to honor those that came before me with actions not words, time to show my crew and the department that I could give one hundred percent of myself and always put the team first.  I needed to place my co-workers and my community first, ensuring that I would perform flawlessly each and every time an alarm went off.  Earning my stripes meant, staying calm during emergencies and thinking clearly, it meant not getting angry as a citizen is yelling at you for taking too long to arrive on scene of their emergency.  Keeping a straight face as a drunk driver tells you why he parked his car in the living room of someone else’s residence. Telling a patient its ok they vomited on you for the third time, then afterwards calmly letting them know it happens to you all the time.  It means holding a little kid and comforting them while CPR is being performed on mommy.  Telling that child it’s going to be ok, even though you know mommy is never coming home again. Picking up a homeless man and letting him know that you appreciate the warning he gave you in regards to him contracting AIDS. Knowing the law states he isn’t required to tell you a thing as he is bleeding all over you. Carefully picking up body parts off the freeway at 2 in the morning or unlocking a car on a 104 degree day with an infant in the backseat.  It means coming to work even though you don’t feel good or you hurt because you know someone today is going to hurt much worse than you do now. Spending holidays and birthdays, family occasions and children’s sporting events away from your family. Sometimes 48 hours turns into 96 hours and there is nothing you can do about it.  During the summer or “wildland’ season you may end up spending weeks in other parts of the state as part of the Office of Emergency Services response matrix. Its knowing and I mean knowing, that at any moment in time it could all be over!  That we dont live forever and this job at times seems to take additional seconds away from that clock.

After 17 years there are things I have done and seen that are too unbelievable to even mention.  Events more gruesome than any person should have to endure. Pictures lodged in your mind that sometimes rear their ugly head for no good reason at all. Yet there they are and before long you have transposed other people’s tragedies upon your own families’ day to day operations! I have had the misfortune of burying former colleagues, friends and family members.  I have tried my hardest to pay homage to those that have come before me and instill the simple qualities of honor, dedication, and respect into the “new ones” that arrive every couple of years. 

You can always spot the “new ones” too. I see them; they are in every city, in every firehouse, in every town across our nation.  They have “the look” it gives them away every time.  They stand tall and proud, their shirts are shiny and blue, they walk with a certain step that right away identifies them as a “young firefighter”, they’ll try telling you stories even though you haven’t asked.   They end up walking away frustrated with you if you seem indifferent.  They want your respect, they are yearning for your respect, and the problem is they have to work for that respect. They have a long way to go and many experiences to endure.  Obtaining knowledge from actual hands on work in conjunction with countless hours of training, before they even get a hint that there’s more to being a firefighter than wearing the t-shirt.

When that happens, when they have reached the tipping point of knowledge and experience, something else happens.  They calm down, their shirts aren’t quite so neatly pressed, they talk a little quieter, and they brag a little less, they understand the people they serve are not just faceless images erased with time.  It’s then and only then they obtain a different demeanor.  One of confidence mixed with a hint of exhaustion and humility.  When they go home they will stare at their duty shirt as they put it in the wash with pride.  And they will spend the rest of their careers trying to keep the “new ones” on track by passing down all the same lessons and wisdom they were exposed too.  Then and only then the shirt wont define them and it won’t seem so important after all. 

I still wear an occasional retired job shirt from time to time when I am off duty.  Usually they have been relegated to “work shirt” status because they are too destroyed to be used on duty.  But for the most part it’s only around my property.  I hardly ever wear one into town.  It’s not because I am embarrassed or ashamed of what I do, I love being a firefighter! Being a firefighter to this day is still hands down the greatest job in the world!  I don’t wear them because I have finally earned the respect I was looking for, the funny thing is, the respect I was looking for didn’t come from co-workers or the citizens in our town. It didn’t come from family members who are always interested in my job when I see them, or even the wonderful and not so wonderful people I have helped over the years. 

The respect came from me. I have respect for myself and for that there is no t-shirt.  

Sixth Grade Screw Loose…

 

 

You ever have a series of days where you feel as though you just cant get through to your kid? You are not sure exactly where the problem lies. The communication is good? We both speak the same language.  The dialect is clear and concise, with no obvious stutters or lisp.  Even body language doesn’t appear to be giving off any mixed signals.  Yet for some crazy reason your child is behaving as though he just landed in a foreign country without a translator.  Boppa da boopy???

That’s what is happening with my child and to make matters worse, it appears as though he is having the same problem with his mother, teacher and friends.  Have the zombies arrived and this is only the beginning of a full neural meltdown?  His teacher has told us that he appears to be doing his work and when questioned provides ample intelligence in the responding answers, yet something just isn’t right.  It’s as though the elevator has taken his brain to the top floor,  yet after several attempts the doors refuse to open.  What to do?  When I have questioned him on the matter he looks astounded by the accusations of not paying attention.  Dumbfounded by the mere assertion that he may be acting disrespectful towards his teachers and family! Left in a state of shock and awe by the reprimands that have befallen him upon completion of a nasty comment or look.  Yet nothing I say seems to be getting through….

Diving into my cranium, opening the vast wealth of knowledge I have obtained over the past 15 years in the department of parenting. I have come to the realization that this may in fact be part of something I learned about 4 years ago while fostering my oldest child through his last year of elementary school.  His mother and I at the time were in the same predicament.  Frustrated, astounded and in disbelief we struggled through a year of emotional torment.  And although we fully expected attitude from its latest victim, we didn’t see it coming four years ago with the oldest.  Yet here it is again, messing with our family harmony and leaving countless victims in its wake!  What is it called? I am glad you asked for I have given this affliction a name.

Its called the Sixth Grade Screw loose!

Ladies and gentlemen I am here to tell you it’s like nothing you have ever witnessed before! You cannot believe the transformation that takes place to your child.  It starts out slowly like a semi-truck getting onto the thorough fare, and then before you can grasp what is happening your child has grabbed all 18 gears and their brain is eastbound and down!  Aint no smokey gonna stop em now!  Everybody loves him but the minute you get behind closed doors or out of the spotlight it’s as if another child has inhabited your precious little boys body!  Mean mugging, back talking, smug little quips! He went from one year ago being a fairly responsible, focused child to a kid who will walk out the door with two different colored socks on and a pair of mismatched shoes!  It’s a little frustrating!

Sample of our repartee

Where is your backpack?  I don’t know!  It’s in moms car.  Can you go get it! I can’t.  Why?  I don’t have shoes.  Well put shoes on!  UUHHHGGG maannnn..  march march stomp stomp..

Did you clean your room? I don’t know! So  your room is dirty? I don’t know its my brothers fault!  Its your brothers fault that your room is dirty?  God why are you guys so mean…   Huh?

Do you have home work?  No-I mean yes, but only a little, I did it in class. So where is it?  I don’t know!  The teacher doesn’t tell us anything!  I think he hates me! Geez! Why are you guys yelling at me!  (calmly) We werent yelling at you son we just want a straight answer.  GOSH QUIT YELLING AT ME!!! Tears coming down the face as he marches upstairs!  Once again with a look of disbelief.  HUH????

And so it goes.  Now do understand as very involved parents we know what is going on in every aspect of our childs lives.  My wife works at the school he attends and is in contact with his teacher on a daily basis.  We know his teacher doesnt hate him and we also know that all his assignments are handed out to him in a timely fashion.  He does share a room with a bit of a messy brother but it is never as bad as he makes it seems.  He goes to the barn in the afternoon working horses and hanging out with his friends, so no chance of wacky unmonitored activities going on there!  So what is this craziness that has now entrenched itself into the next son in line.  What is this thing we have coined “The sixth Grade Screw Loose”?

Through exhaustive research we have determined that sometime around the sixth grade a boys hormones begin to emerge!  Some boys have the ability to handle this new-found rush of emotional instability with nothing more than a slow change in voice (over a two-year period)and the occasional field of zits across the face. Yuck!  Other boys go completely off the reservation never to return to a normal state.  Well at least not until they finish their masters program at MIT.  Then there are my boys.  The oldest was a complete hormonal disaster!  A crying, temper tantrum throwing mess!  Dropping grades, the teacher hated him, he couldn’t do anything right.  But with a calm cool head and the perseverance of turtle trying to cross the road.  We rode the tide and landed safely on the shore. 

This child has all the same issues the older one had with a touch of the incredible hulk added in for good measure!  When he starts his slow self-destruction, all at his own hands mind you, I cant help but think to myself. 

Mr. McGee don’t make me angry; You wouldn’t like me when I am angry!  Hulk Smash!!!

I always start to chuckle at this point!  He is after all a cute bugger even if he is being a bit of a toad.  So ride the tide we will!  Like a california surfer on a sunny day at Mavericks!  The waves will come in all different sizes, we may get slammed into the sand a time or two but as long as we can steer clear of the rocks the ride will be worth it in the end.  Right?

Thanks for letting me talk this out with all of you! Now go find your own sixth grader to deal with!!  🙂

Retirement…

What is retirement?

Some view this as a magical time of elderly enchantment! A period of time that is often spoken about in private hush-hush circles. An assumed reward for years of hard work and exasperation resulting from the mounting pressures of day-to-day living both personally and professionally.  I prefer to see it as a magical island where old people go to feel young and appreciated.  Where drinks flow freely and dinner is served promptly a 5pm.  I can wear my finest to dinner and a sport jacket to breakfast! Where daily adventures keep me busy and I can relax in flip-flops and beachwear! Oh wait.. That’s a cruise?

Seriously though, what is retirement? It feels as though retirement is a sunset on the horizon.  It’s there, you know it’s there, you can see it with your eyes, but know matter how hard you try, run as fast as you can, you just cant seem to catch it!

But yet we are told constantly we need to prepare for “retirement”. Like Domesday preppers waiting for the great apocalypse we “elders” need to be prepared for every aspect of being retired (kicked out of the workforce)! What am I supposed to do? I am not some crazy whack a doo with an AK-47 and a five-year supply of yams in my basement!  There are no buried cans in my backyard filled with money and penicillin! I am not hoarding gold, and I don’t carry a money belt with specific details to my estate!

Yet, the sad thing is we are bombarded with commercials letting us know that it is right around the corner! And guess what buddy? You are not prepared sir! With the climbing deficit and poverty/unemployment at an all time high you have not adequately prepared yourself for the twilight of your life.  All of this got me to thinking maybe they are right!

Lifetime healthcare!I don’t have it!  Savings? Kids have it all while they are finishing up college! 401K ? Hey now that’s a dirty word in this household! We have PERS (Public Employee Retirement System)!  Ha ha ha ha ha! I laughed really hard typing that one! Thats ok I have social security to fall back on right?  AH NO!  As a public employee I dont recieve Social Security!  Well thank goodness I have an inheritance to keep me safe and secure right? No mummy and daddy left me nothing of monetary value.  Although I value what they gave me in life lessons learned.

What am I to do? WHAT THE HELL AM I TO DO!!! I am slowly starting to panick! Late night TV is not helping either! It has me watching Robert Wagner divulge the secret to reverse mortgages! Oh God! Wilfred Brimley has me worried about whether or not I am going to have diabetes! Oh Geez! Susan Lucci wants my skin to glow and Dan Marino wants me to eat using Nutri-system! Then there is Chuck Norris, him and Christie Brinkley just want me to stay in shape so I will live longer! Live longer? I apparently can’t afford my elderly pathetic lifestyle the way things sit now! Why would I want to live longer? But its Chuck Norris? I can’t possibly go against anything Chuck Norris says! I am doomed…..

So I am back to the root of my original question.  What is retirement? Lets put all the financial worries aside and focus on the question.  Really think hard now, what is retirement? I know there are many theories about what retirement means, and in todays ever-changing climate it takes on a different connotation depending on the individual.  But after many nights of lying in bed worrying about whether or not I am prepared for the day I “pull the pin” on my career I have come up with this explanation.

Retirement to me is the day I have decided to fulfil my own personal wishes!  The day I say thank you to the wonderful people I have spent the better portion of my life working alongside and walk off into a world where I am the boss.  A place where I report only to me.  (ok my wife too)! After working my entire life for someone else, after keeping my job and excelling at certain aspects of my career over a 25 year period.  I am going to walk away and find out who I really am.  I know it sounds corny, but having never gone to college, having never traveled the world in my early twenties, having always put everyone else first because it was the right thing to do! I don’t believe I know who I really am.  Writing this blog has helped me a lot in that department and I believe going to Haiti is also going to enlighten my thirst for self discovery. But I still feel the need to explore my brain a little deeper and find answers to many of my life’s little mysteries. I am going to work when I want to work and play when I want to play.  I am going to finish building a personal dynasty that says;I am Betty! One that my children and grandchildren can look back upon and say wow! Dad/Grandpa was freaking cool! He did it all and he did it his way!

Maybe it shouldnt be called retirement after all! Retirement is defined as: The act of retiring.  

  1. The state of being retired
  2. Withdrawl from ones occupation, work or office
  3. Withdrawl into privacy or seclusion
  4. The act of going away or retreating

I wish to do absolutely NONE of that! Ok Number 2 is a definite, but the rest of them, NO WAY!

Maybe it should be called: Retrospective rejuvenation?

Yeah! I can see the party now! The chief standing at our distinguished podium, recounting my many years of service, and closing his lengthy humbling speech with; we wish Betty God Speed heading off into the sunset and starting a new life of retrospective rejuvenation! Yeah it has a nice important sounding ring to it!

 

Retrospective: As I look back and recount all I have learned while carrying that knowledge forward into my future.

Rejuvenation: I am born again! It’s a whole new life. One that I will live and love until my untimely passing of exhausted happiness!

So I will no longer stress about retirement! I promise to put my crazy little A.D.D brain to rest knowing that its my life and with a little for sight I can ride of into retrospective rejuvenation land with my head held high, the wind at my back, and my brain shifted into full gear!  The world is my oyster!!!!!

Shoot, I didn’t budget for oysters in my retirement financial planner…..

 

 
 

What makes me happy

 

 

A “Betty” follower got me to thinking this morning.  What does happiness mean to me? We all have good days and bad days, but what makes me; personally happy? What brings a smile to my face? Of course there is the deep down philosophical “true meaning of happiness”, but I am referring to it being on a simpler level. What turns my day around? What makes me smile when it seems the day is done and all is lost?

So here goes, I am going to shoot for 20 things that turn my day around.  Maybe some of them fit into your ideals of a happy day, maybe not.  Hopefully you can at least relate with a few of them.

20.  A structure fire.  Being a firefighter you would think this would rank a little higher up on the “smile” scale.  But the fact is someone is having the worst day of their life because of it.  If we have done our jobs, we will have saved a majority of the house and belongings. Sometimes there are things beyond our control, we can’t save the house, someone is injured or a dear pet is lost and well that just makes for a horrific event all the way around.  But if you see firefighters at the scene of a structure fire and they are smiling, it’s not because they think it is funny. It’s because they have done their jobs very well and are proud they were able to save someones life along with their belongings.

19.  Anything Free.  Nothing makes me happier than receiving something I need for free! It can turn a crappy day into a very happy one quickly.  It also leaves me more inclined to “pay it forward”. Which in turn makes someone elses day “happy”.

18.  10 cents off my fuel at Safeway.  At the price of fuel these days (I drive a diesel) 10 cents is always a nice little surprise.

17.  When someone holds the door for me at the store. It is a simple courtesy that seems to be fading into history.  Gone are the days of being polite in our society out of fear. Fear of being labeled sexist or discriminatory. It is sad really that common courtesy has taken a back seat to societies ideal of being politically correct.

16.  Beer on sale.  Enough said…..

15.  Getting to sleep in.  With our very busy lifestyle, sleeping in is a rarity.  We are up at 5:30 every morning and I can’t seem to fall asleep until after midnight.  My schedule at work is not much better, where I can run two-five calls between the hours of 11 pm and 7 am.

14.  Watching my friends laugh at something stupid I have done.  It doesn’t matter who you are if you can’t laugh at yourself then you need therapy.

13.  Picking my kids up from school.  Some would say this should also rank a little higher, but the fact is, stopping everything you are doing to drive 10 miles into town and pick up one, to then wait 45 minutes to pick up the other three can be tedious. Yet they always greet me with a smile.  I always ask them about their day, and we always end up laughing in the truck as we drive around running errands.

12.  Kids art.  I love, love, love it! When one of my children spends time to draw something just for me!  It shows they were thinking about me while I was gone, and their expression through the almighty crayon never ceases to amaze me.

11.  A clean house. A clean house can completely turn my day around. An hour or two in the morning of hard work and organization feels very rewarding when you are finished.  It doesn’t matter that is will be completely destroyed when everyone gets home. It’s just nice to know it looked that way for a little while.

10.  Fishing.  I used to spend a lot of time and effort tournament fishing.  It is fun and very rewarding! The time spent alone on some of the most beautiful waterways known to man is really quite energizing.  Catching a few fish as well is like icing on the cake!

09.  Attending any school, sport or after school activity that one of my children are participating in.  I love watching my oldest play in the high school band. The middle child amazes me at his horsemanship skills, they are rapidly improving and to see him handle multiple animals with ease has to empowering for him.  The youngest boy and girl are starting baseball/softball this year! There is going to be one proud father in the stands cheering for his littlest people!

08.  That very first hot cup of coffee in the morning.  The second one is never as good as the first.

07.  When my kids tell me dinner was great!  I love to cook and nothing brings a smile to my face faster than four happy little bellies.

05.  My Horse Cassie.  My horse is an extension of me.  She is who I hang out with on my days off. She takes me places and allows me to ride her in competitions! She likes to work hard and play hard too. Our family has five horses I like them all but I look forward to seeing her everyday!  She makes me smile. There’s nothing so good for the inside of a man as the outside of a horse. – Ronald Reagan

04.  My dogs.  Jack, Blitz, Cooper and even my oldest sons dog Cricket.  Dogs are the true goodwill ambassadors for the human race. It doesn’t matter how crappy of a day you have had, your dog is always over the top happy to see you!

03.  A hug.  The power of the hug is highly underrated in my book! If I am having a horrible day a hug almost always turns it around.  I am not talking about one of those patronizing hugs either. I am referring to a good old-fashioned I am there for you my brother type of hug!

02.  Chocolate chip cookies. Oh hell chocolate of any kind! I crave it and when I don’t have any chocolate during the day I can become rather grumpy.  But one cookie or even a piece of chocolate candy and I am singing in the rain like Gene Kelly!

01.  Watching my wife sleep.  There is something primitive about wanting to watch over your spouse.  She doesn’t need the protection, we aren’t out in the wild, but there is something very gratifying about knowing you are there in case she needs you in the middle of the night.

So there it is, 20 things that make me happy.  They may not be in the exact position of importance, but they are close.  Writing this made me happy? HHMMMM where does that fall into line?

 

A fathers rant.

I have had enough! Yep that’s right, Betty’s hackles are up and I am ready for some good old-fashioned butt whooping! I am really at a loss for the ignorance that is placed upon the fathers of this country! Its time that we stand together and put an end to the erroneous labeling that has befallen our hard-working dads.  To expunge these myths or beliefs! To stand tall and say: I’m mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore!

By now I am sure you are wondering what has Betty’s blood pressure up? What could make me so upset, that I would go upon ranting like a loon? Well let me tell you…

Nothing sends me into a tirade faster than full-grown, educated adults falling to stereotypes set forth by the losers in our society.  Let me define “loser’ for you.

 A loser in Betty’s mind is a person of no moral fiber, a person who uses or allows themselves to be used. A person who allows society to label them and then is proud to wear the obvious insult the label has placed upon them like a badge of honor.  A person who has lost themself.  

What I am about to describe may not seem like a big deal to some but for me it is definitely indicative of the many problems that has befallen our parenting society today.

Here we go…..

Babysitting

At no point and time are you to ever refer to me as “babysitting” when you see me with all my kids in the truck! 

example; Hey dude so I see you’re “babysitting” the kids today huh?

I am not babysitting, they are my children! Mine, not the neighbors, not some friends, not my relatives they are mine all mine!  My wife and I created them, we love them and just because my wife is currently not present. Does not mean I am babysitting my own kids! Baby sitting is reserved for 12-17 year old-young adults looking for part-time work in the child care field.

The amazing thing is this comment comes from people I know who have kids! I might expect it from a single person who has no obvious realization or affiliation with children and the responsibilities they entail.  But from a married father of three! Give me a freaking break!

Teacher conferences

Hey teacher I am over here! Yep that’s right, apparently it is such a rarity these days for dad to take an interest in his child’s education that teachers cannot seem to look us in the eye.  Talk to mom all you want but until you take a moment to recognize that I am here, I will do my best to make our encounter uncomfortable.  I will always give you at least three chances to “wake up” and start including me in your conversation, but if you blow all three, the attitude is coming out! I am there during homework, I am present during school activities and I am there when my kids need me, their fore I am there to hear everything you have to tell me about my childs progress or lack there of.

Baby-Daddy 

Never ever refer to the father of you child as baby-daddy!  Yo that my childs baby-daddy! Its disgusting, its degrading and its self loathing. That man is the father of your child and regardless of your beliefs or lack of beliefs he is and always will be more than the genetic fragment you so freely toss about!

Poop-Patrol

No I don’t need you to change a diaper for me! I know what poop looks like, I am pretty sure I know what poop smells like and guess what? Changing diapers is not rocket science! I definitely do not need someone to decipher the magic code of diapers for me! Our childs little package is not the holy grail needing Mother Teresa or one of her busy bodied minions to handle it with holy hands!  And for all you so-called “dads” that instantly pass your child off to your wife when ever there appears to be a loaded diaper on the horizon! You are a candy ass! Yep that’s right, you lazy self absorbed candy ass! Oh sure you can handle a wrench, fix a car, save a life, but apparently changing a poopy diaper is beneath you? Not! You sir are a sorry excuse for a dad and a lazy candy ass! Oh yeah and to you nosy female friends that also believe changing a diaper falls solely upon mom or her selcted few from within the “inner” circle. Quit butting in and trying to take the child when it is his turn to change the diapers! Save the butt kissing for something important like a promotion!

Ummm I have something to tell you...

Last but certainly not least.  My wife and I are on the same page. I am not a fraction in this parenting relationship! We are 50/50! If you have something to say to one, you have something to say to both! If there is a problem with our child you will not wait until you can talk to her! You will tell me, I will deal with it and I will inform my wife 100% about what the problem may be the moment I see her.  We don’t believe in keeping things from each other so if you are worried about what ever punishment my child may receive if you tell me.  Rest assured they will receive the same punishment if you wait and tell only her! Plus what message is that sending? That mean old dad is going to come down on that kid like a ton of bricks? So you will wait and tell gentler softer mom? Got news for you, my mom was way tougher than my dad! So put your crappy stereotype aside and let me know; what is the problem?

There you have it! I have let the proverbial “cat out of the bag”! The cat is angry and a little shaken, but its out! Think I am crazy, or think I am right on target, I just hope I made you think…..

Now go sit in the timeout chair!

Age of Information Overload

I hate starting anything with this line but here goes.

Do you remember when?

I remember a time when the sun came up you were told to be outside all day. You were also reminded to have your butt inside before the sun went down or you were going to bed hungry because you would miss dinner. I remember when breakfast was before school or 8 on the weekends. Lunch was at noon, and dinner was promptly served at 6pm. I remember when a single television was in the house broadcasting three (major network) channels, one public channel and a handful of fuzzy channels. I also remember the house having one telephone, it was in the middle of the kitchen, it hung from the wall and it had a dial. No private sneaky conversations, you better have manners because everyone heard what you were saying. I remember when a stereo was a gigantic piece of furniture. It had am/fm and a phonograph. If I was lucky enough to be left alone that sucker was blaring AC/DC! (insert rebel smile here) And smile you did, not because of the music per say, but because you knew your parents hated you touching this status symbol, and it was so much louder than your mono phonograph. (remember those?) I remember when we played outside in the fields, running through horse crap, cow poop and mud. We drank water from a garden hose and ate fruit straight off the trees if we needed a snack! I remember when you scuffed your knee or shredded your elbow you sucked it up and hid it from mom. Because nothing was worse than having your mom call you a cry baby in front of your friends. That same theory also worked for scuffles with your brothers, sisters or your friends. Yeah I remember when…..

Why am I talking like an old man who just finished walking up a hill both ways in 6 feet of snow barefoot with shorts on because that’s all my parents could afford? Well let me tell you….

Sitting at work today I received a call on my cell phone, it was the middle child. He was highly agitated at the oldest. As I was in the process of diffusing the situation my oldest calls me on the other line (can I say other line with a cell phone?) As I take his call putting the middle child on hold I think to myself, aren’t they in the same room? Before I can ask this question they both begin arguing with each other! A full-blown screaming match, and I am getting it all live through the latest, greatest Apple technology! I calmly handled the situation, sent them on their merry little ways and proceeded to place the phone back into my pocket. Disaster averted! Something my parents couldn’t have done in their day without the use of technology. Yeah! Technology…

Then it dawns on me, technology may be screwing things up in the parenting department as well! Sure we have the ability to know where are kids are at any given time. (Just call them) Sure I have the ability to handle domestic disputes over the phone keeping piece and harmony in the family nucleus. But what I ‘m really doing is disconnecting them from reality! In the “Real” world they need to have skills to handle arguments and disagreements with poise, and control. In the “Real” world they can’t just call their mommy or daddy to handle the situation for them. In the “Real” world you can’t just start ignoring someone by staring at your phone in a trance, like Ghandi is speaking to you through Facetime bringing wisdom and harmony to your universe.

So what is a parent to do? Well I did what any calm, realistic, patient, educated parent would do. I opened up the browser on my phone and began plugging in key words, searching for the answers to my questions on parenting all through the ease of my cell phone or “compuphone” as I prefer to call it. This search of course takes 15 minutes out of my otherwise productive day and before I log off I make sure to check my tweets, my blog, Facebook, the New York times, ESPN, and last but certainly not least my e-mail accounts. It’s then and only then I realize its not technology that’s the problem, its me….

I am on information overload! It’s such a double-edged sword too. I like being able to obtain all the information I need at the touch of a button. Lost? Ask my GPS. Need information ask Google, Firefox, or Ask Jeeves. Want to play video games? Angry Birds and Poker at your finger tips sir! Want to purchase something on the spot? Ebay and Amazon have app’s for that! Need to talk to someone but just don’t feel like the burden of actually having to speak to them? Text baby text, text as fast as your oversized, pudgy little fingers can fly across the virtual keyboard! But something has to give. Sanity must reign supreme at some point. There has to be a tipping point on the scales of social anxiety. In my ability to prioritize and utilize the boundless amounts of information that bombard my pea sized brain everyday!

The reality; I miss being able to go someplace without the urge to “check my computaphone”. I wonder what life will be like in 25 years when technology has surpassed our own ability to process information. I miss walking out the door of our house and traveling through my day without the “need” to check my computaphone every couple of minutes! What happened to conversation, what happened to research, what happened to wanting to know something as opposed to needing to know something. What happened to self exploration, finding things on your own and learning how to process that information. What happened to trial and error. We no longer have trial and error in our lives. Want to know how to do something, look it up on YouTube. It’s there! I mean in hindsight, I guess all those things are still there, but are we saturating ourselves so fast and at such a young age that we may be doing a dis-service to ourselves and our children? Is our ability to absorb and process the information diminishing? Are the things we are seeing, not only as adults but as kids scaring or de-sensitizing us to the point of callousness?

Our children can no longer play outside all day or they are considered “latchkey” kids “troublemakers”. So they stay inside either playing video games ( a completely different topic of disgust I will tackle later) or stuck in front of the computer wandering aimlessly through the web unsupervised. Our knowledge of the creepy boogie man that lurks around every corner has us protecting them 24-7 and in some regards, rightfully so. Our children are bombarded with sensory overload, watching the most inappropriate of things, whether or not you are there, because if you havent purchased them the unlimited data plan, they damn well know a friend who has it! Kids today can’t handle even the smallest of confrontations. They don’t know how! Texting has taken the place of talking. The power of the spoken word is lost. The power of the unspoken or written word is open to translation. Leaving many children with their underdeveloped youth/teenage minds wondering the true meaning in a persons last text. It means bullying is no longer confrontational person/person. It can now be done at anytime day or night. Remember the bully from your school as a child. Nothing made you feel better than the moment you went to class or loaded onto the bus and went home. Whew! Dont have to deal with that jerk till tomorrow. Not anymore, that same jackwagon armed with a computer or cell phone can torment you until you feel cornered, outnumbered and alone. No kid should ever feel that way.

So what is the answer? I don’t think all this glorious technology should disappear. I do miss the days of old, where one had a moment without knowing what was going on in every facet of our lives. I do think technology can be used for good. It does help with research and finishing homework, learning new cultures and expanding our minds, taking our imaginations to places we never dreamed possible. I do believe we need to monitor our children better. This I am entitled mentality that many of our children carry around because we as parents don’t know how to set boundaries and limits needs to end. We as parents need to also get off the cell phone, step away from the computer and engage our children more! Have a time during the evening where you all talk together as a family. Implement a “cell free” zone in your house. For us its the dinner table. No cell phones at the dinner table. Now don’t get me wrong, I am just as guilty as the next guy. I hear my cell phone beep and I am the first to “draw” like a gun fighter at the OK corral! I am just hoping my kids can say I remember when and actually remember, not have it tied to some great new gadget they purchased or received.

My point being, I am afraid one day technology will actually think for us, or out think us, we will no longer have control, and its at that point the Terminators will win. Where is John Connor when you need him…

The Perfect Life?

This morning I woke up asking myself, do I have the perfect life? How many times have we asked ourselves this very question? A solid question on the outset but as I delve into these six well placed words I find it may be much deeper than anticipated.

Do I have the perfect life? To even begin working on dissecting this question, leaves me befuddled as where to start. Leaning back in my chair, gazing out our second story window, I find peace and tranquility in the landscape laid before my eyes. Is this the perfect life? I strain to find an answer. Why? Shouldn’t the answer come easily? Why do I feel guilty that it doesn’t? Am I cold inside because joy and exuberance doesn’t flow from my pores at the mere mention of the question? Hmmmm?

When I think about people proclaiming the perfect life as their existence I find myself envisioning the self proclaimed “elite”. The primarily white, well to do male or female with dual residences, fancy cars, vacations abroad and an endless stream of disposable income. Their children are the products of a lifestyle filled with excess and privilege. Attending the very best schools, wearing the fanciest of clothes and having what they want when they want it regardless their true needs. Why do I envision the so called “perfect life” portrayed this way?

I have come to realization I was immersed in a society begging to make up for the short falls of their own childhoods. As a teenager in the eighties we were surrounded by wealth and privilege. It was in the movies we watched, (Wall Street, the Breakfast Club, Ferris Beulers Day off, Beverly Hills Cop, Big, Secret to my Success, Trading Places) the stores where we were expected to shop for our clothes (Neiman Marcus, Macy’s,Barneys, Bloomingdales, Dillards, Saks) and the nighttime television shows where we longed to be the characters we idolized. (Magnum P.I., Dynasty, Falcon Crest, Dallas) along with the cars they drove. (BMW, Mercedes, Rolls Royce, Ferrari, Lamborghini) We couldn’t help but yearn for that lifestyle and we were brainwashed into thinking we needed all those material things to have or live the perfect life! How many of you remember that one kid who got a brand new BMW, or the latest Toyota 4×4 that none of us could afford? I do! I remember thinking when I grow up Im going to have so much money I will buy an new car every year! My kids will have new cars when they turn sixteen! Brainwashing 101, make them want it and leave them no ability to achieve it, then they will spend the rest of their lives chasing the next best thing, driving retail sales for eternity.

I have spent the better part of my life trying to erase the materialistic damage the 80’s mentality has done to my pocketbook. Some people I know haven’t recognized the problem and are still chasing the elusive “Perfect Life” status associated with those times. I hope they find peace before its too late. I blame no one but myself for this by the way. It takes an open mind and an educated thought to process peer pressure and put in its proper place. I freely made the financial decisions of my past, they did not lead me to the so called “perfect life” I had envisioned, but instead led me to enlightenment about what is being force fed to the public by television and movie producers, news reporters and societies supposed elite. We are sheep, they know we are sheep and as long as we remain sheep (just following the flock) we as a society will continue down this destructive path. (just my opinion)

So what is the “perfect life”?

Here is my take. I believe the “Perfect Life” for me is being a dad, a husband, a provider and a friend. If I can be good at all of those things I will have led the perfect life. Notice I did not say “great” or “perfect” I only want to be “good”. No one is truly “great” I can be a great dad, but only a good friend, I could be a great husband but only a good provider. So using the law of averages, I think it is better to be good any day than believe I am great everyday. Don’t even get me started on “perfect”. I have known or currently know a few people who believe they are “perfect” in every way. Everything they touch turns to gold. They never make a mistake and are the first to point out all of your flaws. And heaven forbid something doesn’t work out as they had planned, it will be everyone else’s fault they were placed into that predicament. Leaving no doubt as to their superiority and your inability to come close to perfection.

I like being a DAD! I believe it is one of the most challenging, frustrating, heartbreaking, mind bending, emotionally draining and yet wonderfully rewarding jobs I will ever have! I am pretty “good” at it too. I never thought I would be, considering the life I led as a teenager and young adult, but it seems to fit me pretty well. Like a comfortable pair of shoes.

I love being a husband! It is also one of the most challenging, frustrating, mind bending and emotionally draining things I have ever participated in! Yet my marriage is filled with love and devotion. My wife has taken a pretty rough stone and help polish me into a pretty decent human being. She has helped me to grow as a friend, father and just created an all around better man. It didnt come easy. I wasn’t always nice, I didn’t always care about the other guy, I usually had a pretty bad temper and I almost always thought of myself before anyone else. It is definitely true in the saying; behind every good man is a better (tired) woman!

My place in life is pretty secure! I accept new challenges and love meeting them head on! My son and I are traveling to Haiti in the spring! We cant wait to tackle this new chapter in our lives. I beleive it will help him to gain some perspective on life I never had as a teenager. I look forward to what every new day will bring. Somedays I feel like I won the lottery others I feel like hiding in a hole! I am lucky to live in a beautiful location with plenty around us to keep us busy as a family. Our friends are genuine and true. I feel as though I am surrounded by an additional family comprised of our very closest friends and allies! Do we have all the money I dreamed of as a kid. Nope. Do I have the marriage and children I dreamed about as a young adult? Nope, I have so much more! I am thankful and feel blessed everyday! Do I have more than most? Yes. Do I have less than others? Yes! That leaves me perfectly inside the law of averages! Its good, its all good!

So after reading over this musing I am left to ask myself once again. Do I have the perfect life?

Answer: YES, I do, it is a perfectly orchastrated combination of ever changing emotions, perspectives, situations and feelings. I thank God for my life everyday, because I wouldn’t change a thing.

Disclaimer: Betty’s definition of a “perfect life” may be different from your personal definition of a “perfect life”. No references have been made to anyone else’s “perfect life” in this story and any perceived similarity is purely a coincidence. And with any written diatribe and or musing created by Betty, the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Purging the think tank…

 

I have decided as of late there are a few things I need to get off my chest.  A few opinions that continue to rattle around in this perplexed brain of mine. Some may find them humorous, some may not agree with them.  I am pretty sure it will not be my best work but I must get them off my chest just the same.

All my opinions and or ramblings stem from good old-fashioned observation.  Observation of family, media, television or just the average individual walking down the street.  Some may say I am judgmental, discriminatory or just plain narrow-minded.  I say poppycock! My observations merely point out what I consider the funnier moments, behaviors of life.  The things we all do and say weaving together the fantastic fabric blanketing our daily lives.

Now that I have justified my temporary existence here goes…

Number 1

I am sorry I feel the need to remind you that when you become over 40 you should dress appropriately!  I know you feel as though “on the inside” you are still 25 but wake up, you’re not! Wife beaters, high tops and hip hop jeans that you hold up with your “free” hand, make you look like a moronic douche!  Dont know who you are trying to impress their “G money” but every time you smile your face wrinkles up like a chinese shar pei! Thats ok though “Dog” the wrinkles hide well under that flat brimmed $60.00 baseball cap that apparently was designed to be worn backwards and over your sagging ear flaps? Being a bit of a baseball cap wearing aficionado, I never realized the creator was such a visionary he recognized the need early on to cover your ears and shade the back of your neck as opposed to your eyes! Oh yeah by the way there “swagger”, that high school girl you just checked out while licking your 40-year-old pursed lips, she just vomited a little bit her mouth.  You basically just eye groped someone who could be your daughter! Trust me when I say, she don’t want to “get” with that! Word up homey, I wont knock you too bad, I mean I fully get the need for the multiple piercings! Where else are you going to store all that fine 3 and 4 carat cubic zirconium you flashing? Bling Bling bitches! Money in the hoooouuuussseee!!!!

Number 2

Valentines Day is coming which means its time for me to pick my advertising company of week! This is the company that most exemplifies what I hate about advertisers and the strange affliction they have with peddling their products at the expense of hard-working parents, husbands and dads!

Papa Murphy’s you are a winner! Ding Ding Ding!  Thank you Papa Murphy’s for taking the low road when it comes to valentines day!  Nothing says world-class, college drop out, slacker loser like a commercial peddling your heart-shaped pizza for Valentines day! A worried man is in the kitchen with a hand-held blender failing miserably at cooking a perfect Valentines day dinner, presumably for the girl he loves! Not only can’t he cook but he is also portrayed as a buffoon!  Poor guy, so pathetic and sad, thank goodness Papa Murphy’s is there to the rescue with a perfect heart-shaped pizza! Just what every woman wants on valentine’s day! And you thought “Jared” had the corner of this market all locked up! Little did you know that instead of spending $500-5000 on jewelry for Valentines Day if you had just spent $7.99 on a pizza you would have won her heart (get it? heart-shaped pizza, won her heart? hee hee)  and been money ahead all in the same night! Well our sad sack, moron did just that and you know what? It wasnt just for his girl, no it was for his wife and their three daughters! (All together now ahhhhhhhhh). He serves the pizza while they laugh at him for being a dork! Papa Murphy’s you suck! Purely from the standpoint I will not tolerate any company portraying hard-working parents like absolute incompetent boobs!

Just my opinion….

Number 3

Dear auto makers, please quit pandering to the public and create a car that is environmentally friendly, stylish with tons of horsepower.  I know you think you are onto something with this “electric” car thing, but has anyone addressed the concerns for what we are going to do with all the batteries when they are finished? Not to mention the fact that unless you are the Tesla sports car, to be electric you must look like a suppository on wheels (Prius)! What continues to astound me is with millions of highly educated people in this world, technology exploding faster than we can keep up with, why don’t we have a decent sized, attractive 50 mpg car? Why? Looking for a simple answer, thanks for listening.

Bye the way it also worries me that if we do flood the market with 50 mpg cars the price of fuel will skyrocket to make up the difference. Either way I think we are screwed.

So there you are, like I stated earlier, not my best work, but I really felt the need to vent. Someone mentioned to me today they were amazed at the things I wrote about, wondering how I came up with so much stuff to say.  I told them it was easy, the secret is to never turn off your brain.  It’s the only one you have so get to using it, you might be amazed at what comes from inside…