Monday, November 30, 2009

Curiosity Creative Writing Exercise

The object of this exercise is to creat a short story from a multitude of authors in a semi-fractured style. Write as much or as little as you like to take the original storyline and add your own take on the next events. Copy and Paste the previous chapter(s) and then add your own. Label your chapter number and your name/moniker at the top and then tag 2 people to pass it on to, for them to continue the story and see how it can develop through those different paths. Do NOT tag it back to any previous author of your story's chapters.

Chapter 1- by Mookie

It is summertime in the middle of the day. Moms and dads are at work, so my friend Jay and I, having nothing better to do, go down into the ravine behind my house. We have decided that today we will build a small fort and a campsite we can call our own. This small stretch of creeks running through the woods in the dead center of our town forms our own wilderness frontier.

We set to the task of grabbing fallen branches and sticks to create the walls of our fort at the base of a hill. While Jay begins construction on these walls, I move to my own litle task of creating a dam in the creek that runs through this section of the woods. An older creekbed that is usually dry, except for when the rain comes, has a variety of large rocks and broken concrete. These will be the materials for damming the creek up and creating a small ponding next to our campsite. Back and forth I lug rock after rock and concrete chunks as well. Once I feel I have a sufficient amount of rocks and concrete, I begin to set them into the small and shallow running stream. Soon the water level begins to rise and expand outward away from the bank, as I choke off the streams natural flow. As with any 10 year old, seeing the fruits of my labors, even in the early stages, makes me feel like a god in my own small world. By late afternoon we expect to have a sheltered fort, a bridge over the creek, a pooling of water to soak our feet in, or to use to put out the campfires we set from time to time when our parents don't realize we've stolen a box of matches or a lighter. We even have a designated circle of rocks for our campfire along with some wood, twigs and dead leaves to fuel the fire.

While pushing through some high brush in search for more wood, we spook a doe. She runs off, along the creek, and with a graceful leap she jups down into a culvert pit, ad into the dark tunnel that goes underneath a neighboring road that runs along the top of the east end of the ravine. We followed her to see just where she went. But when we got to the tunnel, we were spooked. Rumors of the tunnel being the spot for Satan Worshippers abound through our heads. This was the one place we had never dared to venture into. Graffiti was scrawled all around the tunnels entrance on the concrete exterior. Older kids had scared us with stories of animal sacrifices, complete with evidence of blood soaked walls that lay within the interior of the tunnel. We look down to one corner and see some scattered small bones, which only further reinforced the validity of these rumors. Then suddenly out of nowhere the doe came running back out the tunnel toward us, veering away as she moved past us, a wild look in her eyes. what had caused her to be so scared and willing to run back in our direction? We had neither heard nor seen anything that might represent danger. The adventure in our little stretch of frontier wilderness was only beginning...

I tag: Renaissance Guy and Scott Erb
Although anyone who reads this is free to paste this chapter to their page along with THEIR next chapter.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Message From The Colonel

From the Desk Of Colonel Beauregard Sterling Lovell:

So today we all gather together and give thanks for all that is good in our lives. Well, most of us. The majority of those living in the Mookified Compound have set out, meanwhile I'm stuck here guarding the compound with the General. That stupid idiot put out self pity messages complaining about only getting to eat a turkey pot pie for the holiday. Meanwhile, I get dry cat food...just like every other damn day of the year. The General may well find himself the victim of my combatives training later on today after he heats that pot pie up, then I can enjoy some delicious turkey meat. I'll let him try the cat food and tehn he can realize just how thankful he can be.

Personally, I'd be more thankful if I was President Obama. He pardoned that turkey, Courage, so that he can live out his days in Disney World. If I were El Presidente, that turkey would be dead, and I'd be burping feathers right about now. Who has time for cooking the bird when you can take him down right away and enjoy a nice meal without the wait?

But overall I'm thankful for my home. Its nice and warm here. And unlike my previous assignment guarding a garage with all my brothers and sisters where its cold, I can lounge about all I want. And, after making the general escort me to my mess hall, I can eat. With a belly full of food, I can return to napping, or shred everything in this apartment. It's great, because the General gets all mad, and yet, can't do a damn thing about it. I'm grateful that his rank doesn't come with any real power over me. Hell, that punk used to be a major. Once I made Colonel, he promoted himself to General just to not be outranked by me. How sad is that. Yeah, way to go Mr Top of the Food Chain!

So today, as you all give thanks for your food and football games, and begrudging your family your time, I shall be staking out the deck, looking for some fresh flying food, and maybe a nice squirrel or two. Little bastards run rampant around here, but I'm gonna get them one of these days.

So, you be sure and thank me for serving my duties here and suffering through dry cat food, while you're all safe and secure this holiday. As a cat and a colonel both, I DESERVE your damn appreciation for all I do for you. My mere existence should please you to no end. But if any one of you sonsabitches tries to pet me...I'll kill you.

Enjoy your day.

Colonel B.S. Lovell
Mookified Feline Division, Commanding

Monday, November 23, 2009

Facebook-Suicide Link

Increased rates in mental illness and the rise of social networking sites appear to go hand in hand. First there was MySpace. Get a bunch of friends, one person says something that offends their 'friend'. Then the blogs, comments, and messages between these parties and their friends goes berserk. It's a virtual snipefest, just like the good old days when I was in school, and little cliques would form, so people could sneer and snarl at each other while attempting to spread rumors and make themselves look like they have the high moral ground with all their friends. But everything was face to face sooner or later. Not some anonymous postings on random internet forums.

Yes, Myspace is just like high school. Populated with 14 year old girls, or at least people with the same mentality as 14 year old girls. Full disclosure notice...I am not ashamed to admit I have a myspace site still. I am still a kid at heart and have no problem with meaningless conversations or blog reading over stuff that is even sillier than this crap I write.

But then came the college level of social networking. Facebook (motto: We have more people than the planet Earth) emerges. Some of us grew up, and can show an ounce of maturity when interacting online. Relationships are more easily tracked and people grow close. Then, some dumb rumor gets floating around, or some snide comment is made and people de-friend each other again. Only, instead of chalking it up to simple high school moronism, it is much harsher on the psyches of these social networking geniuses. They can hide behind their computer screen and pretend to be okay, but honestly, they are emotionally wounded. Just now, unlike back in the school days, you aren't forced to show your emotions. Why? Because you're sitting in your living room, or office or wherever behind a friggin computer screen. you can type anything you want, shielded from the atrocities that your words can cause. But the person on the other end knows the hurt all too well.

Being an ego-controlled heartless bastard, I am immune to these things. I couldn't care less what the people at some other IP address think about what I have to say. Not to say that I don't appreciate the kind comments and intriguing positions of commenters here on this blog, or anywhere else for that matter. But if someone truly has a problem with what I have said, well, that's their problem. They can either deal with, get thicker skin and deal with it that way, or they can just go away and leave me to my own little world over here. Either way, I don't care.

But not everyone is like me. You see, I have this coworker. We'll call him Irish, to protect his real identity which is Trevor McCarthy. Oops, blew that one. Anyways, he gets bored at work and likes to call me to have random discussions about whatever comes up that evening. But last week he had to train a guy for 2 days and then took two days off. He didn't get to talk to me much more than say 5 or 10 minutes. Then, after he finished his days off, it was my turn to take a couple days off. Which meant more time for him to not be able to talk to me. I can see how this would take a toll on his mentality and emotions. For he is a strange individual, and yet extremely in touch with his feminine side, in that he needs to talk on the phone all the time. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate the phone. However, my ego, having sympathy for those who can't help their pathetically inferior lifeforms, entertains his whims so I talk with him. As long as it doesn't interfere with my work, so be it.

Trevor had acquired himself a Facebook profile and had 'friended' me. Everyday a new comment from him would show up. Then a friend of his enjoyed the commentary and decided I was fun and cool or something ridiculous like that. I am not fun, nor cool. I'm merely so mysteriously fascinating, that they couldn't help but be drawn to me and figure out just how such a brilliant mind like mine works. (Hey, it isn't bragging if it's the truth!) So Irish's friend decides to be my Facebook friend as well. Then, less than 48 hours later, I noticed signs that pointed to a life changing emergency.

My email inbox notified me of a comment from Irish. I deleted the notification and would read it when I logged into the Facebook. So I get to Facebook, and look for the comment, but it is nowhere to be found. In fact, Irish is no longer on the Facebook at all. Gone from my friends list, my friends' friend lists, and after doing a search, he was completely erased from the world of Facebook. So I wondered to myself..okay I was talking to myself, all 23 of me...what had happened. Had my brilliance just been so intimidating that he had decided he had to limit his exposure to me merely to our late night phone conversations? Maybe, maybe not. But then I noticed, that my new friend....his friend that thought I was fun...was also no longer on my friend list. Well, this boggles my mind.

I call Irish's phone, to see what had gone wrong. It immediately went to voicemail. I leave a message to call me. He had worked the night before, so maybe he was sleeping. But then later that night when he should've been going to work, I still had not received a call back. Something was clearly wrong. You just do NOT ignore the Mook. The Mook can ignore you, but it doesn't work the other way.

Anyways, I checked published works on social media as found in the James Institute of Medicine's Journal of Faux Medical Conditions, and found a Facebook-Suicide link. You can read more about it right here. It seems, that people with Facebook profiles who become suicidal do things in steps. It starts with erasing their facebook profile. After all, if one does not feel worthy of existing in this world, why would they allow themselves to continue an existence in the virtual world and close knit community of Facebook. The next step, for cellphone users is to shut off their phone. For they have no reason to await any messages from anyone. That, and in their sadistic minds, it gives detectives something else to investigate. All good detectives have to check the phone records in case one of the callers is somehow connected to the suicide...or the murder made to look like a suicide. And also, it may help to determine the timeline of when the person left their mortal world.

So, not having a Facebook page at all, my ego naturally jumped to the conclusion that Irish must've killed himself. As for the other friend, in a petty way of dealing with Irish's sudden death, decided that if she couldn't be his friend, than she couldn't be my friend either. That's just the way things work. Now I know what you're thinking. This guy is off his rocker. That's just not anywhere in the neighborhood of rational thinking. And to that I say, "I never said my ego was rational, it's just all powerful. Just because you don't understand it and find it odd, doesn't mean that my mind isn't functioning properly. I just see the pre-formed conclusions and work my logic back later to make it fit.

Turns out that Irish had not committed suicide. Someone somehow hacked his account, and there was a big mess, and he terminated it, and got himself a new page. Now you're thinking, "But Mook, if your thought process and ego is all powerful, how could it be as wrong as it was?"

Well, it wasn't wrong. You're lucky it doesn't smite you for questioning its grand authority. Clearly Irish did commit suicide of a virtual nature when he killed his Facebook page. He shut off his cellphone. The next step was obvious, but my ego in its infinite wisdom intervened, and made him go take a nap instead of killing himself. It works in mysterious ways, and I can't fully explain it to you. As for the other friend, no longer being my friend, she had assumed the worst between Irish and I and de-friended me as a sign of solidarity with him. Pure defense mechanism stuff, which is all easily explainable in the worlds of psychology and sociology. But he is back and she is back, and my Facebook friends list has been re-populated to its old numbers. Which is a good thing. Had I been a normal person like you, it might have caused me to go get depressed, delete my Facebook page, go shut someone else's cellphone off (I don't own one), and then gone and killed myself....of course, only if my ego didn't interfere and spare my life. I couldn't afford to test the theory out twice in 2 days.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Titles I've Earned or Being Nominated For This Year

1. Rent-a-Cop of the Year 2009 (Nominated)
As the first Rent-a-Cop to have this honor bestowed upon me 2 years in a row, I'm pretty sure I have this one locked in. There are a couple challengers, but as a top notch Rent-a-Cop, I'm not at all threatened by their nominations. After all, they'd have to do something pretty spectacular to unseat a worthy incumbent of this award. Of course it helps to have humility in my job, and I must say I am the most humble person I know.

2. Duck-Duck-Goose Championship of 2009 (WINNER!)
Need I say more? Of course, it was pointed out that as the only participant in the championship round, I easily won because I was able to goose myself, and not able to duck myself in the process. Hard Fought victories are always criticized by those who couldn't achieve such levels of greatness

3. Red Rover Championship of 2009 (Runner Up)
Well, I might have been the champion outright, but due to the fact that I was the victim of a vicious clotheslining on my last run, I had to settle for second me Mr Congeniality. I suppose it also helps to maybe divide the classes of competition by height. The other team was all so tall that every last one of them had their arms as low as they could go....I still couldn't get my head above their arms.

4. 13th Annual Dr James of the Year Award (Nominated)
I have one this very prestigious award within the "internet doctor" community once before, after having my groundbreaking research paper on Cooties published (see short synopsis here) not only within the James Institute of Medicine's Journal of Faux Medical Conditions, but also within the realm of great blogs, such as this one, as well as a few others which were mysteriously erased by the AMA's hit squad of disinformation. I thought my chances were really good on winning this one. Then I read the names and files on the nominees. I still have a chance, however, Dr James II, a clear contender, may end up being the overall winner. In addition to his great medical efforts to create an adoption campaign and process which should conclude in the first half of next year, he also has another distinguishable mark on his record. His efforts in inter-species communication finally saw a breakthrough with this instance. It seems that in an effort to flirt with his wife while driving down the road, he became confused and called her fat. For the full and informative study on this medical miracle go here. The medical miracle here is of course, that he didn't suffer a sudden and violent death. This alone is almost certain to cement him into the winner's circle.
One lucky thing about not being the winner is the fact that the eventual winner has to pay the tab on the banquet ceremony as well as at the pre- and post-ceremony bar gatherings. I shouldn't have to worry about much. My only medical accomplishments this year are my ability to be lazy and sit on my butt, and still lose 17 lbs of bodyweight. Thats fad diets, or exercise programs...I did it all by being lazy.

5. Sexiest Man of the Year- Lovell Household (Nominated)
Being the only adult male in my household, I sure as hell hope I win this one. If not, there are going to be some serious questions to be asked and allegations to be made.

6. Lovell Household Greenthumb Award (Winner)
As the only person in this house to keep a plant alive for over 3 weeks, I was easily declared the winner in this competition.

Assigning Blame For My Son's Sayings

Saying #1: Junk
Culprit: Buggy
Blame: Me
Rate of Saying: Everytime he and his brother fight, or he comes in contact with anyone for contact play purposes.

Unfortunately, it happened once when he headbutted his brother below the belt. My initial reaction was simultaneously trying to hold the laughter back (lets face it, hits to the groin are always funny unless it happens to you) and feeling sympathy. but when I opened my mouth the only thing that emerged was the admonishing statement of telling Buggy "Don't hit your brother in the junk."
And ever since then, the concept of hitting one in the junk, replays in his head over and over again. If he crawls onto my leg to latch onto me, any movement and I hear him state so eloquently, "Oh, Dad, you just hit me in the junk!"
He's overly dramatic, and I believe is actually looking for excuses to just say the word "junk" in reference to his groin. This is of course the boy who would stand outside on the sidewalk, and in an awkward attempt to amuse his father, and punch himself down there and then laugh....repeated several times, because apparently his activity overrides my authority to tell him to stop doing that.

Saying #2: Nipples
Culprit: Buggy
Blame: I HAVE NO IDEA!!! (seriously)

The other evening, prior to supper, Buggy and Josh are wrestling. Josh was getting hot, so he goes to take off his sweatshirt. Buggy, in mirrored emulation starts to take off his single t-shirt, and loudly and boldly proclaims, "OHHHH, So you want to show off our little nipples, huh?!"
He has mentioned his nipples in the past, and continues to occasionally mention them still- again, despite efforts of both myself and his mother to tell him to quit talking like that. And again, his "fun with vocabulary" is still overriding any parental authority.

Saying #3: Payback
Culprit: Buggy (yes again, its always him)
Blame: again, I have no idea where it came from, although this one saying I'm okay with him using.

Everytime Josh gets the better of Buggy when wrestling, or takes the kind of random cheap shot out of nowhere, like siblings do from time to time, Bug is insistent on paying it back. I've heard the statements come forth in various forms:

1. "Oh that's IT, Josh. You're going to get the payback now!"
2. (When Josh is still in wrestling mode and Buggy can't get the upperhand) "You're
NOT playing fair need to come here and turn around so you can get your payback!"
3. "Dad, Josh wont let me give him his payback!!!"
4. (as he and Josh are in the middle of grappling, and it looks more like a bear hugging anywhere on the body contest) "You're gonna get it, you're getting payback! I'm gonna give you the payback you deserve!"
5. "But Dad, after I was going to choke him out, he flipped me and stepped on my arm. He needs Payback!"

Saying: For no reason...
Culprit: Buggy
Blame: I think this preface for any excuse is biologically rooted into the DNA of every kid. Kind of like the answer of "I don't know" whenever asked why they did something.

This particular saying is usually accompanied with my cat, The Esteemed Colonel Beauregard Sterling Lovell, having peeled back ears, wild eyes, and a twitching tail. He gets a little worked up sometimes. And usually right about the time I here the words "for no reason" I also see the Colonel lunging at Buggy and try to dig claws into his torso and eat him.

The cat goes through severe mood swings....sleeping and full on Pscyho Killer Kitty. If Buggy is running through the house, and the cat is in one of his moods, he may well get chased by the cat as he streaks on by. Of course Buggy is encouraged by this, and baits the cat into doing this two or three more times. If the Colonel becomes bored, he does what cats do best: Make it quite clear they aren't going to even bother feigning interest. But then what does Buggy do in return for the snub? He goes up and starts patting the Colonel on the head, or back, or pet his belly. This is a very dangerous maneuver during the Colonel's wild moments of the day. But, since I do it, you know, to TRAIN the attack kitty, apparently buggy thinks he's as much or more of a man than me, so he can do it too. But then the Colonel leaps at Buggy and tries to eat him. Then those words, "Colonel is trying to attack me FOR NO REASON", and thats when it happens. Unfortunately, I never have a video camera ready to go, because it is quite the humorous sight to see.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mythological Jobs Created and Saved in Mythological Places

Some of the mythological places these jobs have been saved and/or created are hidden in some alternate universe that overlays our very own United States. The other mythological places are brought into existence in the real world through a budget line, yet by admission of some in charge of these jobs, the saved jobs were never in danger even without the stimulus. The jobs created were also found to be duplicate jobs in the form of pay raises to current employees. Others yet, are just plain ludicrous no matter what angle you wish to find them. The following two sub-posts here are courtesy of Dan McLaughlin at

Your Tax Dollars At Liesure
Posted by Dan McLaughlin (Profile)

Monday, November 16th at 12:55PM EST

The Washington Examiner spots the pattern from multiple news reports:

More than ten percent of the jobs the Obama administration has claimed were “created or saved” by the $787 billion stimulus package are doubtful or imaginary, according to reports compiled from eleven major newspapers and the Associated Press.

Based only on our analysis of stimulus media coverage in the last two weeks, The Examiner has created this interactive map to document exaggerated stimulus claims. The map, which will be updated as new revelations appear, currently reflects an exaggeration by the Obama administration of about 75,000 jobs, out of the 640,000 jobs supposedly “created or saved.”

Read the whole thing, and don’t miss clicking on the link for the map. Ah, well, it’s only $787 billion, I’m sure there’s more where that came from.

Unicorns, Leprechauns and Jobs Created By the Stimulus
Posted by Dan McLaughlin (Profile)

Monday, November 16th at 4:17PM EST

Somewhere in these 57 states, there exist Congressional Districts between sight and sound, in which Barack Obama is “creating jobs” that do not exist for constituents of Congresspersons who do not exist either,reports Jonathan Karl of ABC News:

Here’s a stimulus success story: In Arizona’s 9th Congressional District, 30 jobs have been saved or created with just $761,420 in federal stimulus spending. At least that’s what the website set up by the Obama Administration to track the $787 billion stimulus says.

There’s one problem, though: There is no 9th Congressional District in Arizona; the state has only eight Congressional Districts.

There’s no 86th Congressional District in Arizona either, but the government’s Web site says $34 million in stimulus money has been spent there.

In fact, lists hundreds of millions spent and hundreds of jobs created in Congressional districts that don’t exist.

Read the whole thing (did you know the Northern Mariana Islands had 99 Congressional Districts? Neither did I.)

I can’t wait for these guys to run the Census, can you?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Birthday and A Beating

All started out well. My Pseudo-brother Jeremiah's son Jaden had his 1st birthday. His wife Holly had the party at her parents' house, as there was more room there than at their place. And good thing, as the turnout was the biggest I had ever seen for a 1 year old's birthday in my life. Good food, good cake and ice cream, good people. Not much more you could ask for in a birthday party.

The presents came, and Jaden was interested at first only in one of the cards, but eventually became enamored with one toy, while other children helped open his presents. Daddy Miah was videotaping the event, while Mommy Holly took care of overseeing the present opening. Holly did a good job, as most mothers do at these sorts of things. Miah on the other hand...very different story. On more than one occasion he almost slipped up and gave away the fact he was watching more of the Iowa-OSU game that started just as the present opening began. I also caught him videotaping me...and I'm pretty sure he was checking out my crotch. Thought I saw a little wink and a nod right after that. He is a weird one.

After the gift opening, the party divided into factions. Most people upstairs, a few of us downstairs watching the game. Then came Buggy downstairs, who decided to pick a fight with uncle Miah. It didn't work out so well for Buggy, but eventually Miah was relieved by my other son Josh. They went back and forth for quite awhile, providing some entertainment in addition to the game on TV. Holly's son, Gary and another girl got in on the action. Aunt Janine's son Austin, a 15 year old boy got in on it. Buggy tagged him in to help out against Josh. Austin proved too much for Josh, but this didn't stop Buggy from splashing in on his brother a few times for god measure. It ended up a bit of a free-for-all for a short period of time. And then before I knew it, I was pulled into the match.

Now, if all information was filtered through the actual truth and common sense channels, this would be the story:

Austin is a kid I haven't seen in quite a long time. In fact during the first say 3 years of his life, I had seen more of him than I had since he started school. The boy is 15, and today was maybe the second time of his school life I had met up with the young lad. Well, we tangled, after he decided to jump up on my back. I found it rather amusing at first. He sort of rested his hands on my shoulders, checked me with a little pressure as if to see if I would tell him no, before jumping up and wrapping me into a half-hearted headlock. Once I laughed him off and walked around with him hanging onto me, he tightened it up a bit. So, I obliged him with some effort of my own. It went back and forth for a while, eventually resulting in me tapping out. Right near the end, we went into a roll, I involuntarily tried to simultaneously eat and nasally inhale some portion of his body, heard some kind of popping noise from my face, and ended up in a well executed supine side headlock. That's when I tapped out.

I could make some excuses that my wife was ready to leave, and would leave me there if I didn't come upstairs to leave very soon. I could say that I wasn't going to actually choke Austin into unconsciousness. Both are very true statements, but in the effort to not make excuses, I was plain out-stubborned. Neither of us, given an indefinite time limit, may have gone until one of passed out, and /or broke a bone. Well, passed out. I have a feeling that even with broken arms, legs and ribs, we still would've attempted to wait the other one out. But, I have to give it to the kid. He was tough, flexible, and as stubborn as anyone I know. So, I tapped out. I now sport some good bruising action. The top front of my nose is one big bruise, I have a bruising striped along the front of my right nostril, and another one on the left side of the bridge of my nose. It doesn't hurt so much, but it looks pretty bad, and is somewhat annoying. The upside is, I think him smashing my nose worked the nostrils into a wider position allowing me to actually breathe easier.

HOWEVER, we all know all information is filtered and geared toward an agenda. Going through the Mook News Network is no different. Here is that version of the truth:

Dateline Altoona Iowa 14November2009

What started off as a calm birthday celebration and a football game for an old man took a turn for the worse. Minding his own business, The Mook suddenly was attacked from behind by some young punk. The old man never stood a chance. Pummelled and pounded repeatedly, The Mook fought the good fight. However, his attacker, being half his age and full of youthful energy that had long since been sapped from the old prize fighter.

The Mook was checked out by doctors at the James Medical Institute, and diagnosed with a deviated septum, severe rhino-contusions, a separated exterior nostril wall, and a broken ego. The Mook was quoted through an overheard conversation that he would've taken the young whippersnapper had it been face to face, instead of this surprise attack from behind loaded with cheap shots. Reportedly stolen was his blind-guy's walking stick thingy, his AARP and Medicare cards, and some random medications.

Current Rent-a-Cop investigations have come up with two possible theories for the attack. It has been narrowed down to a random act of gang violence, or a specific attack for the purpose of stealing identity and drugs. One certain Rent-a-Cop, who chose to remain anonymous had this to say about the day's vicious attack, "Darn kids these days...always out to strike fear into innocent citizens, and all to satisfy their drug habits, make money that other people work hard for. And they're all just crazy, although this one, it seems the insanity runs in the family.

The Mook has decided to put it out there publicly that he wants his rematch at a future time, after his face heals. Despite better judgement, he feels he can hang with this kid. And any other kid half his age for that matter!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Random Observations of Localized Events

First off, Ninja Kitties. Might be an even bigger threat to us than headless chickens. Not sure, but President Obama has personally assured me that he will have a team of researchers look into this. Now I know what you're thinking. President Obama and I don't exactly mesh politically, so why would he have personal conversations with me? Well, there is one really good explanation for that. I am a really really important person. My self-importance was so overflowing that it seeped out into the real world. President Obama realizes this, and has determined, through the use of well placed mobile teleprompters that my input is actually valuable on a global level to the point of conducting useless threat assessments of unverifiable and illusory entities. Anyways, back to ninja kitties...

While on the job, I pulled around to the back of the parking lot at St Luke's, to scan my babysitter strip, which can verify that I actually went to this place instead of just saying I did. I pull up about 5 to 6 feet away from the light pole that the strip is on. As I open the door, a flat-faced, fat but mean looking kitty backs away from the pole itself by about 5 to 6 feet. It stares at me, just licking its chops repeatedly. I approach the pole to scan the strip and I look down and see a lifeless squirrel laying in a depression behind the pole. Neither the evil ninja kitty or the squirrel were there on my previous stop almost 2 hours prior. The ninja kitty gave me my room, but showed no signs of fear. He just stared me down, still licking away at his chops in some sort of OCD-like manner.

Now, being in full Rent-a-Cop battle rattle, I had no fear of this kitty, ninja or not. I turned away and walked the 5 or 6 feet back to my car. I closed the door, and I looked back towards the cat. But Ninja Kitty was GONE!! I walk back to the pole and the squirrel...ALSO GONE. This was by no means a small squirrel, He had been plenty healthy in the girth department, and quite long. I wouldn't call the squirrel fat, but he was definitely husky, maybe big boned. Removing him from sight with no sound or sign of removal is quite a task. Either Ninja Kitty is one helluva ninja, OR....there was an entire squad of ninja kitties waiting in the tree branches above and in the treeline at the edge of the lot. All I know, is I saw a squirrel, and then I didn't see a squirrel. Spooky stuff, those ninja kitties!

THE TALK READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED HERE for mature material and sexual undertones

So my wife has been busy all year bullying me. She wants me to give "the talk" to my 10 year old son. There are a few problems with this. A- My mom of all people attempted to give me the talk. I ignored it in favor of the current sitcom on TV at the moment. Gave her a few "yeah yeah"s and "I know"s. B- I don't have clue one how to give 'the talk', and C- its my son:

God love the boy, but he is definitely still in the "girls have cooties" stage, and he pretty much doesn't notice girls unless they are playing in the game of tag with him. And he definitely doesn't notice girls as anything other than "not boys". but either way, they are going to have the "health class" sometime this school year where they tell boys about the changes and stuff. The girls get their own. I personally back in my day, would have preferred to pay the admission to that show. It has to be clearly more interesting than speaking about my stuff in medical terms. Besides, I had already seen my own stuff. Not much interest in staring at it.

So, my wife takes the youngest to the grocery store and suggests that TODAY WILL BE THE DAY YOU TALK TO THE BOY!...I had very adeptly pushed this talk off since she learned the class was coming and didn't want the school to be the one to introduce him to the subject.

So the talk was pretty bland. "Look, you are gonna get hair in your armpits at some point," I tell him. I am informed he knows that already. Fantastic, one idea down. Tackle the easy stuff first, then move on to the more delicate stuff. "And your stuff," I continue, "You're gonna get hair down there too" His response is "EEEWWWWW". I comforted him in the knowledge that none of us are pleased with that development, but that in fairness, women get hair down there too. Again with the "EWWWW" followed by a bit of cackling. As with most things, it seems the idea of bad stuff happening to other people is funny. Even if it sucks when its you as the victim, you'll still laugh at other people's expenses. Just the way our hideous minds work. I informed him, that as a blond it may not be so bad for him as it is for say, me, a darker haired individual Then I informed him that his stuff would also get a bit bigger. Again with the cackling. Clearly this is still beyond his maturity in comprehension. Hell its well beyond MY maturity in delivering the information. we weren't going into the sex talk yet...thank god...I may have had a stroke and died if I had to go there with a 10 year old. But, I still had to go way further than I wanted to. I had to explain that he will be going through hormone changes...he will begin to get funny feelings about girls where he actually starts to like them. I was greeted with a confused look, another "EWW" and a bit of nervous cackling to boot. Well, I think to least he isn't asking technical in depth questions that will task my abilities here. I would honestly rather be caught in the middle of a gunfight than deal with this. Hell I'd rather explain the technical details of what's going on with a newly lobotomized-by-gunfire brain laying in the street next to us in the middle of said firefight. I proceeded to explain the developing nature that kids his age only know as "the pre-morning pee" phenomenon, and how it would happen randomly from time to time, and not just for peeing. I explained that this is normal, and not to worry about it. He laughs some more.

If I were being graded on my ability to give this lecture, I assure you, not only would I get an "F", but I would be permanently banned from applying for any instructional position again. WOOF! was I glad to get that over with. Anyone want to volunteer to take the BIG talk with the kid for me?

So, on a related note, Buggy, our youngest clearly gets crushes on the pretty women. I'm pretty sure his teacher falls in that category. So, somehow or another, the nature of the conversation gets focused onto the oldest one, you know, "giggle at hair on YOUR private parts, but disgusted by it on his own" boy. Somehow his mom asks him if he likes any girls in his class, or any other class or whatever. He continues to look down and deny things. Oh, we grilled him for the better part of 15minutes as he attempted to deflect the conversation away from him with the ever clever "What question?" when asked to answer a question. It has been determined as I mentioned above, that he barely recognizes a girl as anything other than "not a boy". It turns out, none of he and his other guy friends even talk about the local chicks in the school yard. these kids these days....they are either smarter than we were, or not as mature in the ways of adult life at that age as we were in my generation.

Hell, I had a girlfriend when I was in the 2nd grade. She didn't know it, but yeah, she was my girlfriend. I walked her home from school once in awhile since she was going my way. I of course had to deny liking her when the older boys come around. Don't want to let her think she's got me locked down. I was 8 and a happening dude, gotta keep my options open, ya know. When her family moved away, I was heartbroken. Probably the most devastated guy I knew. Even made me cry in front of my mom. That only made things worse. Heartbroken and humiliated. As a man, crying in front of women, mom or not, was just unacceptable. I'm sure I had to change into superhero underwear to console my manhood after that moment. Either way I survived. And of course, all us guys were talking smack about who we liked, and what we'd do with those girls. Yeah, we really were studs. Strip down to our unds, turn on the 70s porn music and watch a kid who had no idea what to even do if he got there, try to put the sexy moves on some chick.

When I was 6 I had the biggest crush on this lady named Marlee. She was a friend of my aunt and mom. Ran into her at some party or get together or something at my aunt's house while we were out in California. I found Marlee, and then I was just talking my head off, finding ways to impress this older woman. She didn't know it, but she was my girlfriend at that point. She had replaced the babysitter who lived at the end of the block, I had left back in Iowa for a couple weeks. Yeah, I was quite the little Casanova. So good at my game, that I could occupy her time all afternoon and keep her from the rest of the adults...she was enamored with me, I know it, but in the end, I had to tell her t let me go. I had to go back to Iowa and elementary school and stuff. It was definitely better for her that we end it there, and let her find a man 'more deserving' than me. Yeah, I know, who is more deserving than me, but I know how to let a chick down gently. You have to, their gentle hearted creatures, and you never know what kind of psychological things might go on in their head if you mess them up too bad!

Then there was Junior high. I was informing my son, who didn't like any girls in his grade, (after asking him if he liked the 6th graders instead) informing him that its okay to go after the older chicks. Mentioned how I had a junior high English teacher, Ms. Forbes. She was beautiful, and I almost mentioned a highly touted and admired portion of her female anatomy, before I cut myself off realizing I was still talking to my 10 yr old son. My wife was just about ready to cold cock me to keep me from continuing on down the path of THAT story. But yeah, ALL the guys thought she was the hottest teacher we'd ever met. And of course, more stories about how we'd do things to her, and she'd be all flattered by us. Yeah, we were clearly trying to bat way out of our league. Not that it mattered. She was an old fashioned teacher. You know, one that doesn't go around sleeping with her students, like all these young ones do today that keep showing up in the news and on courtroom dockets across the country. Damn shame too. I would've wooed her with perfect grammar, and then know, be a stud and all that stuff....just as soon as I found my superhero underwear.

But yeah, back to the conversation at the table with the boy. I tried all kinds of ways to trip him up in his own words. Now I have broken this boy before, and made him admit to his lying ways. He hates being grilled. I even told him about how we 'tortured' Noriega in Panama before him surrendering to U.S. forces, and how I could adapt that here until he gave up the girl's name that he likes. But he held strong. One of two things is going on here. He is either learning how to use the force properly and withstand my interrogations (not likely) or he really has a bona fide non-interest in the women folk at this point. And as far as I'm concerned, as his dad, I'm okay with that. Let the boy wait longer than I did, and I'll be happy.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Colonel Plans a Coup!

From the Desk of the Enlightened and Immortal General Mook, Supreme Commander of All He Surveys:

It's a new official title. Those who fear their own death through conspiracy often act irrationally. However, since it is me talking, my irrationality becomes rational. Most leaders who fear their being overthrown will act in one of two ways. They will either enhance their powers and eliminate threats through executive orders (up to an including the assassination of key figures), or they will recess into their own world of denial and reclusiveness. I however, being unique (the world is thankful for this) and special (think propeller beanie special) have chosen neither route. I have decided to document the conspiracy in case of an untimely demise, and of course use the occasion to bolster my already unnecessarily large ego. For yes, if I am to be the victim of a whacking, it only signifies just how important I must be.

Thus far, the Colonel has been somewhat passive in his undermining my authority. Forced marches to the food dish, sticking a claw into my lip to wake me up so that I let him out of the bedroom, and occasional attack training with my hands and arms. his "training exercises" have become much more frequent as of late. I'm sure he'll pounce any day now, once he feels he knows all my moves.

Lately however, he has become a bit more irritating. Standing watch from the east observation post (kids' bedroom window), everytime I come home from working out I sense he is taking notes on my activities. Not to be a better executive officer, but merely to gauge how it will all go down in the end. Whenever I come home from work, and just before I leave for work, he is exceptionally squirrelly. He runs back and forth erratically, with a mixture of some sort of low growl, yowl and meowing. It's a rather unnerving sound.

He has also engaged in random, but more frequent, intimate behavior. He will climb onto my lap as I sit here at the computer, and multiple times while I sprawl on the couch watching a game or a movie. He maneuvers his head in a way to encourage more petting. And sometimes now, he has even taken to laying on my bed with me. He seems to be irritated should I make any movement that might disturb his very particular feline decision on how to lay about.

Other times, I awake to see him on my dresser in front of the window. Not looking out the window, but staring me down. As if to say to my barely awake eyes, "I could've killed you in your sleep, but that would be too easy."

The Colonel uses my boots as a place to rub his face against from time to time. I suspect at some point he will just sidle up to them and pee in them just prior to me leaving for work.

Someone once said, "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer."

I suspect the Colonel has taken this to heart and is attempting to buddy up to me, in hopes that I let my guard down. I'm not falling for it. Not even for a minute. But I won't let on that I know what he's up to.

The Colonel may be under some sort of Feline Derangement Syndrome if he even thinks he'll have my seat of power around here. He may have my wife fooled, but sooner or later, once she realizes that the cat really is going to try to kill me she will be an ally of mine that he won't want to reckon with. He can take my skin, but he ain't getting my girl. He may attempt to counter an attack against her flank, but that isn't the wisest move in the world. She'll boot his fat cat butt to the moon in a heartbeat.

I'm sure he'll try to be slicker than that though. He's currently posted up looking out over the deck. A terrrorist squirrel is flaunting his mobility outside, which only taunts the Colonel into a foul mood. I'm fine with this of course. Whenever he is in one of those moods, he can't concentrate on his plans for me.

Which is all the better. No need to enable his portraying Brutus to my Julius Caesar! "Et tu, Kittykat?"

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hawkeye Coach Kirk Ferentz Challenges Media Conspiracy

The Iowa Hawkeye football program is 9-0 this year, and currently holder of the second longest current winning streak in college football. Second only to the ever-popular Florida Gators. Slowly but surely, the Hawks have crept from obscurity to the #4 spot in the BCS rankings. The fan polls from last week, courtesy of ESPN, had them ranked 2nd. All the sportswriter polls had them ranked much lower. Sports commentators constantly speak of the luck Iowa is having in their victories. Other teams, engineering comeback drives, are being credit for their tenacity and persistence in a "strong showing" of why they are winners. Sure, Iowa has had to put together a lot of come from behind wins late in the game, more often than not this season.

Some critics have a few reasons for Iowa not getting the respect they deserve. Some say Iowa hasn't had a strong schedule. To that I say consider this: The Big Ten has more teams in the Top 25 BCS rankings than either the SEC or the Big 12, and as many as the Pac-10 conferences. The Big Ten is, and always has been, one of the most competitive conferences in division 1 football. Take the likes of Ohio State and Michigan, who despite any adveristy, are always tough teams to play for any opponent, and always stand a chance to take the BCS rankings by storm on any given year. Penn State, led by the coaching legend Joe Paterno, have joined them as Big-10 representatives for the BCS. Ranked #3 in the country earlier this year, they found themselves trampled by an explosive Iowa team.

Nonetheless, those "sports gods" we call professional commentators, no matter the network they represent, still play the popularity game. The SEC (think Florida, LSU and Alabama), the PAC-10 (USC and Oregon), the Big East (West Virginia and Cincinnati), the ACC (Miami and Virginia Tech), and the Big-12 (Texas and Oklahoma) always get automatic hype and all the love in the world for being the premier conferences with the best teams week in and week out. Not to take away from these teams and their records, many years, even with losses, they wil outrank other teams with perfect records. Take for instance, Boise State and Utah. The last few years they have put together phenomenal records. Even in their perfect seasons they were snubbed by BCS officials when it came time to talk Championship Games. All because they weren't affiliated with one of the "big 6" premier conferences. And in their sub-Bowl games, they embarassed their opponents from these supposed good conferences.

Back to Iowa. In the past they held the wrap from critics of not being a second half or 4th quarter team, and blowing leads they built in the first half to lose the game in the end. It seems Coach Ferentz gave them the pep talk to correct this. Only problem is, while playing great 2nd halfs, they forgot to include the first half as well. Once they solve this problem and decide to play quality football all 4 quarters, they will be one of THE teams in the nation to beat.

However, the media still has to overcome their preconceived notions. When it comes to Iowa, it is always described as more of a Cinderella season, the exception as opposed to the rule. Nothing short of a couple consecutive BCS championship game appearances, and/or victories will change this in their eyes. Many commentators as I mentioned call Iowa "lucky" with their comeback victories. Others say they aren't showing much for style. In the end, while I love a flashy game with lots of highlights, the mark in the WIN category is all that matters. It doesn't matter if the victory is by 1 point or 100, a win is a win. Iowa and their coach understand this. That being said, I think Coach Ferentz and the Hawkeyes, have specifically engineered a response. It may be subtle, and only certain sports fans with a greater understanding of the game of footbal itself can spot it.

Take these 3 instances:
Against Division II opponents Northern Iowa: UNI has to kick just one field goal to win the game over the Hawkeyes. The Hawks block the field goal attempt, but commit a penalty giving UNI one more chance. The Hawks dial it up and block a SECOND attempt. 2 Blocked field goals in a row to secure a victory???? If that isn't a stylish defense
In Iowa's 28 point 4th quarter against the Indiana Hoosiers, after throwing 5 interceptions (4 of them in the 3rd quarter alone), QB Ricky Stanzi throws back to back TD passes, one for 92 yards the following for 66 yds. Two plays (including one of these touchdown throws- #10, the other an 86 yd pinballed interception return for a touchdown- #1) made it into ESPN's Top Ten plays from Saturday. There's some style for you.
The week before, Stanzi throws a winning touchdown pass as time expires to beat Michigan State. any game that comes down to the last play is a good game, and being a necessary touchdown instead of a field goal, is only more exciting and a display of those "Style" points everyone wants shown.

Calling Iowa's playing style "ugly" may be partially true. But I think Ferentz is cooking up his own conspiracy to counter that of the media's. Screw around for 30-45 minutes, maybe score a a few points, but play half speed, rest up for the second half. Fumble the ball or throw an interception deep in your own territory. Then, show the other team your defense owns them anytime and anywhere. Let them have their field goals. We'll answer with a show of what touchdowns from a lot further away are all about. Wait awhile, then show the media, it isn't about ugly play, but giving the team some hopes and dreams of winning, and then using some style and flare to crush those dreams without mercy at the end. Iowa's opponents go from pure excitement to EPIC FAILURE!

And to answer the charge that the SEC is the conference. The last 4 bowl games Iowa played against an SEC team, Iowa won 3 of them. The hawks are guaranteed a bowl game this year. Just which one it is, is still up for debate. Ferentz isn't looking into his Bag o' Lucky, but his Bag o' Style this year, in hopes that sooner or later those yahoos from ESPN and everywhere else will realize that Iowa is for real. And in a national championship game, if not the victor, Iowa isnt a team that would lay down for any of these "powerhouses" they might face.

Halloween Weekend- The good and the bad

So this Halloween brought a mixture of good and bad in a variety of areas. So, let's take a look at them.

College Football

Good: The Iowa Hawkeyes made an amazing comeback in the 4th quarter to win and maintain their perfect season, allowing them to stay at #4 in the BCS ratings

Bad: Oklahoma State couldn't take down the powerful Texas program, that would've allowed Iowa to move up, and whittle down potential national championship pairings.


Good: The Green Bay Packers lost (I've hated the team for years!)
Bad: Brett Favre won (I've hated him just as much as the Packers, his old team, for years)

Good: My 49ers broke Peyton Manning's streak of games in which he throws a touchdown pass
Bad: Indy still won, because their RUNNING BACK threw the go ahead/winning touchdown pass.


Bad: I had to work a 12 hour shift. A 12 hour shift that was actually 13 hours long, because of the time changing back to standard time. I only get paid for 12.

Good: I didn't have a single disturbance or alarm to screw up my night the entire time, so it was a peaceful shift.


Good: Kids went out for candy here on Friday night, and Sac City at my folks on Saturday night. I reap the rewards without the work, two times! Josh went as Darth Vader, Buggy as Storm Shadow from G.I. Joe (not sure about the kung fu grip on this occasion!)

Bad: No one around to amuse me on Saturday or Sunday. Realization that for the best treat-fare, I have to get access to the small town, and not just down the street.

Friends' Adoption Fundraising

Good: They raised some good cash towards their goal, along with help from friends and family. See here for more information on how that went.

Bad: No one showed up with an extra $5-10,000 to boost their efforts over the top. Oh well.