Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New (and exciting) Developments

Well, a few things have been happening in my life as of recent.

Number One: I have increased my subscribers to this blog up to a whopping 8, yes I said EIGHT!, readers! I have doubled in just one year. Now many bloggers would say 8 is a pretty puny number, but for me, its something of note. There are millions of blogs on the internet, some are news sites with dedicated readership and professional development, others are company based, celebrity based, and of course your content bloggers who stay pretty specific to singular causes. For me, the blog gives me a chance to just throw my thoughts out into the wind on whatever random subject comes up. So, to have 8 people willing to subscribe, not just readers passing through in cyberspace, and regularly read what I, an essential nobody in terms of an already established broad popularity, have to say as at least semi-important, is kind of a big deal to me. I don't really care what any detractors might have to say about it.

Number Two: As I have noted in some forums, I have become increasingly despondent about my job. The hours always worked while we were a one car household, but now my wife has a car, which opens up more opportunity for me to get a daytime job, which would suck a lot less than the overnight thing. It will give me more time to spend with my family as opposed to being a bump on a log they occasionally meet from time to time. Plus, a different job might actually offer me perks such as paid vacation, so I don't have to figure out how to pay the bills if and when I take any time off. Along with maybe a decent livable salary? So I've compiled something resembling a resume, and applied for a few jobs in the area that offer decent wages and preferable daytime hours.
In addition to this, some of you know about my affinity for Denny's restaurants, a smaller number know my history with Denny's. I have recently sent in an advertising proposal to them, that might allow myself and a potential business partner gain more exposure through TV commercials. Of course that is ultimately up to Denny's marketing and corporate people. Most of the ideas are currently conceptual at this point, and this would be really stretching myself beyond my comfort zone. I don't even care to talk in front of small groups of people without having an urge to pee my pants as I run away and hide. Makes me feel like I'm throwing myself into a den of sharks, but hey...Gotta sell myself somewhere if I'm going to take control of my own future, and take care of my family better than I have up to this point. Might as well slap my mug onto television screens across America and on the internet!

Number Three: In about two weeks I get to meet my two new 'nieces' that my buddy Jed and his wife, Naomi, have recently adopted from a Christian orphanage in Ethiopia. It has been a long road for them, but they made it, and I am proud of them for reaching their goal to be parents. I have spoken with Jed recently, who is quite ecstatic about being a dad. I don't blame him. I used to hate kids, and then I had my own, and they are amazing little creatures to watch grow up before your very eyes. They do really funny and crazy stuff all the time, usually far weirder than anything WE ever did growing up.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

At A Loss For A Title

I thought I might title this one, Last Words Of The Year, but as many of my readers know, I'm a little sporadic in how often I decide to post.

Today will be a more serious topic than many of my posts, maybe a little philosophical.

Winter has officially arrived. While other areas have been hit a lot harder, we still received the snow, the icy roads, the blowing wind, and the cold temps. The landscape looks more or less dead.

The seasons and our calendar look a lot like life from the right perspective. They begin, they progress, they end...only to start over again. The new year and the new cycle of life don't really coincide with each other, and yet they do in a certain sense.

Spring to us almost represents the new life being created or birthed, with all the plants coming alive, animals coming out of hibernation, people venturing out with greater frequency as a whole. Eventually spring merges into summer. Almost like adolescence and the early adult life. We go out, we explore our world, often in the form of vacations, we have fun. Soon things cool off as autumn sets in. We go back to school and work, and prepare for later when the holidays come around. Autumn fully engulfs us, almost like midlife where we begin to assess how our year (or life) has gone thus far. The holiday season begins in autumn, and we begin to re-connect with our families. Sure, commercialism and shopping and sales are always there, but we stress the important things in life: our families and friends, that which really matters in our lives. Autumn turns to winter, the holidays still in full swing, we continue to cling to the activities that keep us connected to our loved ones. Winter is almost like our senior years, the twilight of our lives. We again take a look at how our lives/years have gone overall.

The winter doesn't end with the calendar year, but continues on. The new year arrives, often including our new plans, or resolutions of what we will do with our new year, and hopefully our new life. We plant the seeds of our ideas into our brains, but with anything, the fruition doesn't immediately show itself, in the dead of winter. It must take time to germinate, along with careful tending, for us to bring everything back to its new life. Then after a few months into the new year, Spring comes along again. We have our second chance at life. We begin the spring cleaning, ridding ourselves of the older and unwanted portions from our old life, to make room for the new things we intend to add and improve our lives. Almost instinctively we crave and try to usher in change to our lives, in order to feel more alive.

Now in real life it doesn't always manifest itself that way. We don't always change but maintain our routines. We don't put forth the new ideas, but merely try to survive in the way we always have. Life passes us by as we just exist. Events, activities and people come and go, but we remain steadfast in our mere stagnant existence. We cling to our ideas of how things should be, occasionally dreaming of what could be, but rarely acting on it. Other times we will stretch ourselves to do things, to say that we are moving forward, even if there is little evidence that it will actually change anything, just for the sake of doing 'something'.

Eventually as we move through our lives, the end of the year/seasons/life comes along. Almost automatically we assess it all again. Did we do this, did we do that, why did we or did we not do the other? For some the answers come easily, knowing they lived a full year or a full life, without regrets of any sort. For others, the questions often beget more questions, along with regrets, wondering where the time went. What could I have done/said differently to have created a better outcome for myself? Things of that nature.

For those who merely existed and survived life, without risk of losing it reminds me of a bible passage. Now some take the bible at its literal word, others as a metaphorical collection on how to live life. To a degree both are right. The passage "Any man who tries to save his life shall surely lose it." Now many Christians will tell you that you must give yourself to the Lord to receive your blessings in Heaven. And yet, it has real world implications at the same time. Those who risk nothing, those who just survive, they will have those questions. they will have realized that they lost the luster of what life and the world has to offer them. It could be a lifestyle, happiness in their jobs, people in their lives, any number of things.

As winter has arrived I find myself wondering what the hell I did with my year. What could I have done differently? Have my relationships with other people grown stronger, weaker. or remained as merely existing relationships over the time? Am I any different now than I was before? Is my family stronger and more loving than a year ago? Or less so? Have I lived a life worth being proud of over this last year, or one that has kept me from true happiness? Will the new year bring better plans, better actions, better words, and ultimately a better life?

Being a guy, we are often stereotyped as having to maintain a macho image. To actually discuss serious topics out loud with someone may leave us challenging our masculinity, and with some guys, our sexual orientation is called into question, usually with a phrase from one of our guy friends that sounds a little like "Dude, why are you acting so gay?"

They say communication is key to building and maintaining relationships. However such statements as the one ending the last paragraph can easily stop us dead in our tracks, and make us shy away from such talk. It's a whole lot easier to sit on our couch in silence staring at the ball game with one hand in a bag of chips the other one clutching either the TV remote or our crotches. We find it hard to expose ourselves, emotionally speaking, for some odd fear of being rejected, or dismissed out of hand by those around us (which sometimes does happen). And yet, if the very people we care about drift away from us, we sit there wondering what happened to our friends or loved ones that we do not see as much of as we did previously. We have had falsehoods built into our lives, and over time we believe them as much as age-old wisdom. We often spread those very same lies to those around us, leading them down the same paths. We lie, and lie, until a big part of our life may be that of a false self. Of course, being human, if we're called on it, we go into psychological self defense, deflecting blame and finding fault with our accusers. Anything to save losing face in our own mind, as well as in the eyes of others, because being wrong is not an option. We will make decisions in life to protect ourselves...and stick by those decisions in the face of everything, good or bad.

And then the next spring and new life comes. The question then is are we still living our old life as we always have? Or maybe we are embarking upon a new one entirely? Or maybe we will take the good part of the old life and add new adaptations to bring those around us along in your new life? Do we clutch onto the ways we've been wronged, while wanting our wrongs to be forgiven? Or will we start anew, forgiving those trespasses against us, while hoping the same courtesy is extended to us? Do we work out our issues with others with whom we may have problems, or keep to ourselves not caring about the people or the circumstances?

Is the new life going to be another set of lies where we insist we're fine no matter what, or will truth be shown the light of day and we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and loved/loving?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Terrorists Return!

Stupid bats! They set off an alarm at the Hoyt Sherman for the 2nd shift guy, then an hour later, they did it again, so I, along with supervisor Casey spent the first hour of my shift in that place chasing 1 bat, then 2...

They out flew our artillery, consisting of orange cones and a phone book. They took full advantage of the wide open air in the theater. Eventually they exhausted us and our timeline to be able to complete our other duties for the evening. We had to set the perimeter alarms to avoid being called back and wasting more time. We really should be allowed to use automatic firearms indoors. More accurate at a distance,and easier to propel the bullets than big ass cones and a floppy phonebook!

After an hour of being teased and dive-bombed, we had had enough for the evening. Maybe another night we'll get our shot at eliminating them before they decide to steal the limelight during one of the plays that are put on there.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bats Attack!!!!

Well, as the single digit temps descended over Iowa, the bat problem is striking again. And again, it is the terrorists' favorite target, the Hoyt Sherman Place. This old mansion seems to be a clearinghouse of nooks and crannies for bats to hide out. And every now and then, they take a few flights in front of the motion detectors, which means I get called to go see what the hell is going on. As usual, I call up my supervisor and make him go there with me. The place is too creepy at night to not have someone there to hold your hand.

This time, we get there, I turn off the alarm system, and no sooner than I hit the lights in the lobby area, the winged terrorist comes flying at us, unleashing the possibility of a rabies-laden attack upon the Mookist general, and his compadre. It's time to go to work eliminating these terrorist sumbitches. Last night,, we were armed with the most primitive of weaponry, the dreaded orange cones (think traffic cones). We finally convinced this monstrous and EFFING HUGE bat to roost in his normal terrorist-trained upside down position at the top of a door across the room. I wheeled around to the left with my cone and my GI Joe-like ninja skills avoiding the bats detection, while my supervisor Casey held the middle ground to the entry vestibule in check. A quick toss, and BAT DOWN, BAT DOWN!!! We placed the cone over him, and I moved to go write up the alarm response sheet at a nearby desk. The bat was sliding underneath the cone towards the door he had previously hung from, trying to escape underneath the locked door that I did not possess a key for. WE stopped him as he was 3/4 of the way through in his backstroke maneuver to freedom. The next step was to fully retrieve the little rat faced bastard from underneath the door. Ever cautious of possible rabies infections from bites or scratches, we searched for something to get a grip on the terrorist and bring him back into the light and under our guard. (The next moment gets a bit gruesome, so weak stomached people stop reading here, and go to your happy place.)

Casey did NOT hand me his pocketknife, and I did NOT use it to stab the winged terrorist in a pinning hold to drag him out. Right after we did NOT do those things, I hear Casey yell out some unsavory words, and mentioned something about another bat. Apparently our NOT piercing the first terrorists skin did NOT release pheromones and a rescue signal to his terrorist partner, who then began to dive bomb us all over the lobby. We placed a nicely weighted bucket over Bat #1, grabbed our cones, and proceeded to go after the 2nd insurgent. After a few strafing runs, the 2nd bat went up the stairwell to the main theater entry hall, strafed us a couple more times, then went up another level, where we lost him in the dark.

We were both disappointed in that result. 1- We enjoy the bat calls, as they are one of the most exciting, and scary moments on the job. 2- We don't necessarily want to be called back if another bat sets off the alarm system, which takes time away from our other duties. And 3- Losing a live terrorist only serves to degradate our reputation as elite rentacops turned combat commandos.

Surely we will be back again, as these winged marauders will start trouble again, trying to dissuade us of our nightly missions, and cause us to give up and go home, allowing the terrorists to claim victory over rentacops and more notably, the Mookist forces. WE will never EVER give in to these terrorists if it takes our entire lifetime to rid our alarm response accounts of these rabies-harboring little (and sometimes not so little) rat-faced bastards. WE intend to NOT kill them all, because killing them would be considered illegal, depending on the species anyways, and I'm no bat-ologist (yes this is a technical term meaning studier of bats), so I can't tell which ones are fair game or not. All I'm saying is if they just happen to have sudden cardiac arrest at the exact moment they tangle with us, well, that's either God or Darwin speaking.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Today Is A Wonderful Day!

First off, my mother was gracious enough to loan us her laptop until Christmas, when we get a desktop computer to replace the old one. This allows me more time to contemplate any blogs, emails etc, beyond the 2 hour limit set at the library up the road. It also allows my wife time to practice her pre-tests for work without having to leave home after getting home from work.

It's also snowing out. Usually this is not something that thrills me, but I have tonight off so far. Still trying to figure out how to work tonight if at all possible. Wednesday night marks the first time I've called off sick from work, so I lost 8 hours of time. I haven't been sick in almost 11 years, and I got hit hard by some sinus/head/chest cold business that hit me in the face like a bag of bricks. I was definitely not expecting it to happen. I avoid all the colds and flus, normally. However, while I'm not quite back to 100%, I have realized a couple things. One, this marks the moment I am getting better, and my immune system has one more set of antibodies to help defend me. I expect nothing short of 30 years without illness now, minimum. Also, I have had a lot of stress I have been mulling over, and I think this was God's way of telling me I'm not superhuman, to quit acting like I am, stick my faith more in Him than me, and now that I've hit sort of a bottom in my life, everything is looking up.

I think the fact that I actually called in sick, rather than try to tough it out at work for a few measly bucks shows I may actually be learning. And of course with that learning, I also realize that if I had been thinking more clearly and not just about money and bills, I would've called off on a few occasions just to spend time with my wife when she asked me to do so in the past.

I spent way too much time worrying about such trivial things, and not about the more important things in life, like my wife and kids and spending time with them instead of working so damn much. I remember once my 2nd dad once said he "works to live, not live to work." in reference to a conversation with his boss about not participating in overtime so he could go to the kids ballgame. I sort of let life get in the way, and forgot that little nugget of a life lesson.

However all being said and done, I am reminded by something the Reverend Tim Storey said:

"All of us experience setbacks in life at one point or another. Maybe one of your children is in trouble, our finances are in crisis or your marriage is falling apart. But, just because your dreams are currently a nightmare does not mean it's over! God is in the business of resurrecting dead visions. It does not matter how big a mess your life may be- don't take a step back- because God has already prepared your comeback."

I spent way too much time examining my past and the wrongs within it, my limitations and all the excuses in the world. Now it has come time to just drop them and do what needs to be done, no matter what anyone else has to say about it, since its my life to decide instead of using it as I had: a life to default.

Friday, November 26, 2010

After The Turkey Tried To Kill Me In My Sleep

So last night, as I embarked on a 12 hour workshift for the holiday, I was looking forward to a homecooked meal provided by my boss's wife. Turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie, and a few other sides. I ate too much. This usually happens whenever I'm served copious amounts of food. I feel the need to eat and appreciate it all til the last bite is swallowed down. Savoring it, or saving any for later is not in my vocabulary. However, when it comes to the turkey, this feast is followed by a much more devious enemy...turkey coma. I spent the final 8 hours of my shift trying to fight off the urge to sleep continuously. When you're behind the wheel, that is not necessarily a good thing. But I have managed to fight it off, and am still up in the middle of the following afternoon, hopped up on coffee.

My wife and kids spent their day with my parents and other family friends, and tomorrow will set off to go to her parents' place. I will be left home alone apparently, again. Peace and quiet, save the occasional psychotic episodes by The Colonel, and the inevitable ringing of the phone. Time for some book reading, maybe some writing (with actual pen and paper since the computer is trashed), time to think and all that stuff.

I have a lot of stuff on my mind, so I suppose the time left alone would be good to get that all out of my system, even if that is all that can be done about most any of it. I'd like to go up to my in-laws, but somehow I don't see that happening, since I work at 8pm on Sunday night and would limit the wife's time in visiting with her family. So, I'll just hold out for any possible leftovers being sent back for me. I like food, especially good food, which seems to be a specialty from my wife's family tree.

Let's see, what else? Oh, Buggy wrote his own book, added front and back covers (all torn out lined notebook paper), stapled it together...both sides. Josh is as active as ever, and while he'll come in when he gets cold (has more sense than I did as a kid), he still goes out when its too cold for me (apparently cold weather sucks more when you get older as compared to childhood). Wife has her new car, and is getting acquainted with her new job day by day. Um, computer is still dead as I mentioned before, however, I'm being sent a laptop on loan by my mother to hold us over until a new desktop is acquired, so I wont always have to use up the gas in my car or expose myself to the weather just to come to the library to get online. So that's always good. And of course, now with the wife having her car, I'm free to go anywhere I want for job searches, not just within foot or bicycle distance. Maybe I can get more money, and possibly better hours eventually for fulltime work. Then I can hang out with my family a little more often...well, that is if they don't go into shock from seeing me and send me away so as not to disturb their peaceful surroundings!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Eve

Okay, so for those of you who don't know, my home computer crashed this past weekend. I am thankful for this opportunity in a not so enthused manner, that it might teach me to quit thinking about hard drive backup systems, and actually get the stuff backed up! Too many photos over the last 10 years on there that are too precious and memory filled to be losing! So I am currently at the public library up the road, and will continue to check in occasionally from here, until more suitable arrangements can be taken care of. That's also why this post will come today and not tomorrow...since the library will be closed and all.

So today, I get to be thankful for a lot of things. I am thankful first and foremost for my wife, who has put up with me for close to 14 years, just over 10 of them as my wife. I am also thankful to her for giving me two beautiful and exciting boys! I am thankful for those boys, for the joy and the little life lessons they teach me everyday (mostly patience! just kidding). I'm also thankful for her new vehicle...I now have permission to drive myself to and from work, and anywhere else I'd like to go! Luv ya honey!

I am thankful, that after a long wait, my best friend from childhood, Jed, and his wife, Naomi, have finally come to realize their dream of parenthood. Oh, the joys and newfound ways to become completely exhausted mentally and physically shall be great. Mostly to those of us who get to see/hear about it! So you two better be thankful for any nap you can squeeze in.

I am thankful that my cat will be around to keep me company over the holiday and guard the apartment while I sleep between shifts.

I am thankful to my parents, our family friend Doc, and to her parents, for providing a place for my wife and kids to experience some real Thanksgiving get togethers.

I am thankful for Swanson, or Banquet, or whoever provides me with a delectable imitation Thanksgiving meal that takes approximately 22-28 minutes to prepare in the oven, or a total of 5-6 1/2 minutes in the microwave. And also to Anderson-Erickson daireis, for the egg nog they put out each year that I will enjoy with the aforementioned meal. And no worries, I will remember to give thanks to the Lord before I dig into this meal. Partially for seeing to it that I get somethign to eat, as well as the thankfulness for not having blown myself, the oven, and/or the food up before I could eat it (the food not the oven).

I am thankful for the troops serving, especially my buddies Trevor and Gerry who are pre-deployed and deployed, may God look over them and bring them all back home safe.

I am also thankful for my readers and their occasional comments. While I write this stuff mostly for my own amusement, it is nice to see people read my writing and think well enough of some of it to say something.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Meaning of Names

So on Facebook I saw my sister had posted that she looked up her and her husband's names on Urbandictionary.com to get a definition.

I thought I'd do the same thing. I found two close definition entries for me and wasn't sure which one worked, and which parts of each really seemed to match up

Definition #1: A very cool guy who makes everyone laugh. Once you meet him, you will want to be his friend right away. He is super cute and very good-looking. He has amazing taste...in music, clothes, food, everything. Every girl secretly wishes that he could be her boyfriend...mainly because he recently broke up with his girlfriend...mainly because everyone knows that he likes commitment...mainly because he is sweet and knows how to treat a girl...mainly because however strange and wierd he may be, he's perfect. In his own little way, he is perfect.

Breaking this one down. I make everyone laugh. The question there is how many are laughing with me, at my antics, and at me? The middle fluff I'll skip over. Then you get to the last parts. 'however strange and weird he may be, he's perfect. In his own little way, he is perfect.' Do they mean I'm perfectly strange and weird or what?

Definition #2: a handsome and intelligent man, michael is very grounded and knows what he wants. Michael has the ideal person in mind and won't fall for someone fake. ambition and goals to take over the world is what he dreams up. give him his perfect partner and he will become complete like no other time in his life. Michael is like the sun and is legendary.

Breaking this one down. handsome and intelligent? Check! Grounded and knows what he wants? check and 'workin on it'. Won't fall for someone fake? got my bases covered there. Goals to take over the world? Check...my plans are all falling into place quicker than you all realize. Like the sun and legendary? Yes I like the sun, just not too much of it, cuz I don't tan well, just fry like a lobster. As for the legendary part...I am a legend in my own mind. I'm working on everyone else's minds as we speak. More than just you poor already-conquered readers will know my name soon enough!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Coming Developments

Well, I have a completed one goal for the month of November, and am awaiting a new development coming shortly.

I have finished the preliminary writings of my book about the adventures of growing up in a small town in the middle of nowhere. I have combed thru all the real names I've used and have compiled a list of replacement names for all the characters. I'm sure I'll have to send out legal forms getting permission from some for using their likeness and/or names. I'm not sure, so I wonder, will getting their permission allow me to just leave their names 'as-is' or is that specified in each waiver form that they have the option to use their name or a pseudonym? hmmm.

Anyways, Still waiting on a soft edit from one of the most voracious readers I know to see what tweaks might be made to make it a better read (and therefor more publish-worthy), and then I will be ready to start sending off queries for a literary agent, hopefully getting through the rejection letters quickly to an agent willing to represent me and find me a decent publishing deal on the book.

In other news, and just as important, my best friend Jed, and his wife Naomi, will be leaving today to fly over to Ethiopia to formally adopt and bring back two beautiful little girls they will be calling daughter. It has been quite the long wait for them. I know they are both excited about the prospects, and as usual with new parents, probably very nervous at the same time. But, it will be quite the adventure for them, and I suspect they will do very well as parents as they love kids very much. When my family stayed with them a few days over vacation during the summer of last year, they treated our sons almost like their very own. So I know the girls will be very loved and well taken care of with their new parents. I am officially and biologically an uncle of one little girl, and a pseudo-uncle of a few boys and girls that call me Uncle Mikey. I must say I am definitely looking forward to meeting my two newest 'nieces' here sometime soon. I pray, and hope you all will too, for a safe flight for Jed and Naomi on their way to Ethiopia as well as on the way back for a safe return home where they begin a new chapter in their lives together.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Kid Note To Mommy


So I get home this morning and as I sit down at this desk, I look over to a stack of papers that are my future book. On top is a plain white paper with a note on it

Dear mom Im happy
for your new job I
hope you like lise
from corwyn
I Love You
Mom
by

As I read this I wonder a couple things when seeing notes from kids who aren't up to the task of using punctuation. The middle part particularly intrigues me. Is he hoping his mom "likes lice"? Or is he hoping his mom "likes lice from Corwyn"? Both are disturbing to me, especially if he actually means lice, and especially especially if he means lice from him. Which means I have to get a million quarters to do all the laundry, and we have to powerwash everything with acid or something drastic. Can a cat get lice from humans? Will the flea bath take care of that, or do I have to get a special bath for the lice and something else for the fleas? Do I need to dip the cat in acid to cure him of this and just hope he survives the cleansing?

I sure hope 'lise' was meant to be Lisa or something NOT LICE. Then I wonder who Lisa is and why Corwyn would want mom to like Lisa. Is Lisa a new boss? Does Bug have a girlfriend named Lisa that he thinks he has fallen in love with and wants mom to approve his plans for a young kids wedding? If the latter is the manner in which he means, I'm almost ready to accept lice as a better alternative.

When kids write notes everything is so innocent in their minds (at least I like to pretend that), and yet my mind is always looking for just what they mean. Most certainly when he 'hopes you like lise'. Wierd.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sample Chapter From Future Book

Just a note: I just wrote this chapter today for a book I've been writing about random events from growing up in Sac City Iowa. I started this project a couple years back doing small occasional essays for thesacnews.com back when it was a fledgling organization on myspace. Eventually I discontinued it from public view, started and stopped writing on it repeatedly. Have been editing some, and am preparing to start submitting to literary agents for representation in the hopes of getting a book published. So for those of you who used to follow the series, and those of you who are just curious, please enjoy one of my latests essays.

Urination and Lifesavers


Let’s just face facts right off the bat here. Boys find potty humor of all sorts funny. Well, basically we find anything the body can excrete highly interesting and amusing. Its funny when we do it, say it, read it, or write it. Snot, poop, pee, farts, blood. It’s all fair game to our strange sense of humor. We may be absolutely disgusted to the core when someone lets a nasty fart rip, and yet still amused. VERY amused. When someone steps in dog poop, again we are disgusted by it, especially if we are the ones to step in it, and yet we can’t help but laugh our heads off about it, especially when it’s someone else stepping in it. For the next couple short anecdotes, if you are a girl or highly sensitive to disgusting things, I’d suggest you skip this next part altogether because it gets pretty bad. What’s it all about? In one word, Pee.
Little boys and dogs are more alike than different. Dogs will wander about the neighborhood lifting a leg and peeing on everything in sight that they find to be valuable real estate. Growing up in Sac City, I knew a particular young boy we’ll call Miah, who acted just like this. Although to be honest, I don’t think he cared about the real estate he was marking. When he decided he had to go pee, he just went pee. On a bush, a fire hydrant, the sidewalk, on the tires of a parked car, on a moving car for that matter, your leg, his own leg, behind a tree, next to a tree, from up in a tree, or on your house, your cat, or your dog; you name it, Miah peed on it at least once. I think that if Miah found himself in the midst of a busy intersection and felt the need to go pee, even if it meant being squished by a semi truck, he was going to whip it out and go pee RIGHT there and RIGHT now. I’m pretty sure the only thing safe from getting peed on by Miah was an actual toilet. I don’t know if he had an allergy to porcelain or an affinity for peeing on everything else, but like a dog, he marked his territory wherever we went.
Little boys and packs of dogs also have something in common. There must be in any pack, an established Alpha male. One day while playing in the ravine with my friend Sonny, he was standing on the wall while I was below on the ground. I was busying myself with something or another when he called my name. I looked up in just in time to see a golden stream headed in my direction. An as though I was paralyzed I stood there while my t-shirt got soaked with Sonny’s pee. Clearly Sonny had established himself as the alpha male. He got in trouble as I did what any good young fighting warrior of a boy would do- I tattled to my mom. And while he was in trouble and stuck sitting on the couch until his mom came to pick him up, he still had a stupid grin on his face knowing he had marked me as his territory, and himself as the top dog.
Now everyone knows that dogs love to chase mail carriers. In Sac City we had one particular mail carrier that handed out lifesavers to the kids. Any kid who asked received a tasty fruity Lifesaver once a day. I managed to find out that by helping the mailman deliver mail to some of the houses on one side of the street while he walked down the other earned me one more Lifesaver for every stop back to the mail truck. On days when I was bored, I would spend a couple hours with the mailman, earning my lifesavers. My mom, realizing how much of his candy I was consuming, always made sure to buy him a big box of Lifesavers every Christmas just so other kids could have some as well.
One day, my best friend Jed and his little brother Miah caught me in the middle of doing important mail delivery. They wanted to play, but I blew them off, saying I would come over after I was done following the mailman around. When I finished I grabbed my sister and went over to where my friends were hanging out. Since I had blown them off they hatched a very evil plan to get me back. I found my friends, and they informed me that they had just gotten brand new released flavors of Mr. Juicy drinks. This time it came in lemon flavored. However, they said, it had been in the sun for a bit, so it was warm. Being my gullible and naïve 8 year-old self, I had no problem trusting my wonderful friends without any suspicions. Both my sister and myself began to sample the lemon flavored Mr. Juicy. My sister was thirsty and started to guzzle it down. The Mr. Juicy concoction entered my mouth, hit my taste buds, and I immediately knew I had been tricked.
“AUGH!” I cried out after spitting the nastiness onto the ground. “This tastes like piss!” To which my sister started gagging and trying to spit out the remainder that was in her mouth. She had clearly swallowed some already. My friends were laughing hysterically.
Hey! I warned you this was going to be disgusting! If you read this far and are sorry you did, fearing you may have just thrown up a little bit in your mouth, you only have yourself to blame. Don’t say I didn’t give you fair warning to skip ahead.
Thanks to my friends, I now had Miah’s pee inside of me! He literally gets it everywhere. After a few words were exchanged, I joined in and helped prepare more nasty drinks to see whom else we could trick. See what I mean? Yes, it’s definitely disgusting beyond belief, and yet still leads to the funny! Why does it lead to the funny do you ask? Because, we made it happen to somebody else too!

Legislating From The Bench or Doing Their Job

Here in Iowa, our election day was not only for representatives, senators and a governor. In fact, a huge issue getting a lot of the play was on the retention or rejection of 3 Iowa Supreme Court justices. After all was said and done, Marsha K. Ternus, the chief justice; Michael J. Streit; and David L. Baker — received about 45 percent of the vote, making this the first time members of the state’s high court had been rejected by voters.

“I think it will send a message across the country that the power resides with the people,” said Bob Vander Plaats, an unsuccessful Republican candidate for governor who led the campaign. “It’s we the people, not we the courts.”


“What is so disturbing about this is that it really might cause judges in the future to be less willing to protect minorities out of fear that they might be voted out of office,” said Erwin Chemerinsky, the dean of the University of California, Irvine, School of Law. “Something like this really does chill other judges.”


A massive portion of the campaign to oust the judges was funded by out of state groups, helping to support the efforts led by Vander Plaats, and heralded by Representative Steve King.

A lot of the arguments put forth by pundits and regular citizens alike was that the ouster was the result of Iowans being displeased with the state Supreme Court legislating from the bench. Now I may be a conservative, but this is one area where I break ranks with our so-called standard bearers.

For one, I personally think the idea of gay marriage is a non-issue and therefor irrelevant in regards to government oversight, save the license issuing process that heterosexual couples go through. Secondly, I personally believe the process behind letting citizens decide to stop homosexuals from being allowed to marry or not is ludicrous. Since the state Supreme Court said the legislation was essentially flawed and struck down as unconstitutional, gay marriage opponents and politicians have taken to their soapboxes to proclaim the injustice of an opinion differing from theirs. Boo-friggin-hoo!

I believe when allowing citizens to vote on the rights of other people's lives you have to look at a couple things. One- does there allowance to participate in some activity truly harm you? Two- Is the vote on an amendment to allow a freedom or restrict a freedom.

Personally, I know gay people, and have some people related to me who have chosen (or are naturally?) the homosexual lifestyle. Am I for gay activities? Not really. I have always and will always prefer women for romantic relations. But in regards to homosexuality I don't have to participate in, condone, or suffer from their lifestyle, or choose to associate myself with anyone who does. Whether or not two gay people decide to get married will ultimately never affect me personally, and I highly doubt it will affect any of the other straight people living around here.

Conservatives are always bitching about how they want the government to stay out of their personal lives and let them live and operate freely as they see fit. But then all of a sudden, hoards of queers appear on the horizon, in full war paint ready to charge on in and ruin their idea of civilization, and now they want to use our system of governance to prohibit the activities of individuals.

Look I get the God-fearing church crowd being dismayed at homosexual activities and lifestyle, I really do. Say what you want, let your heart be filled with all that hate you wish to hold, but remember a couple teachings from the Good Book. Do not judge, for that is the role of God. Hate the sin, love the sinner. Pull the plank out of your own eye before removing the speck from your brother's.

In other words, you aren't perfect, so who the hell are you to tell other people how wrong they are. Fix up your own house and let others fix their own house as they see fit. Again, you don't have to hang out with homosexuals or people who accept homosexuals as friends for that matter. You don't have to engage in homosexual behavior or gay marriage. Your church does not have to recognize anything related to homosexuals. In the same moment, keep your government out of it as well.

Quit pissing and moaning about how the government is trying to legislate your activities, and then turn around and do the same thing to someone you disagree with. That only makes you a hypocrite. And while everyone is entitled to their own wrong opinions, the rest of those around you are equally entitled to disagree with you and tell you to stuff it where the sun don't shine.

So, unlike many of my conservative friends, I voted to retain the three judges. I voted for the losing side. That doesn't make me wrong, just makes me in the minority at the polls. The judges did NOT legislate from the bench, contrary to popular opinion, but merely did their job in not restricting the freedoms of citizens under their jurisdiction.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Rent-A-Cop of the Year Award

Well, it's that time again... time for you to nominate yourself or someone else for Rent-A-Cop of the Year 2010!

Just send a photo -preferably a cheesily posed one- along with your name, rentacop company name, (or whatever company you work for- you dont have to be an actual rentacop, just participated in something or another that made things safer), and brief description of why you should be 2010s Rent-A-Cop of the Year. You can list out your accomplishments, a good funny story, or whatever you want to submit. While we do allow serious embellishments on any of these, they have to be true events. Kind of like how someone writes up their resume for the job hunt.

Unlike most years, I think this year we have a prize for the winner, besides a mention here on this page. A real tangible (that means you can see it and touch it...smelling or licking it might be taking things a bit far) prize just for the eventual winner.

Send all info to my email: mookie369@yahoo.com
be sure to put rentacop2010 in the subject line...and dont forget to send your goofy ass picture

Thursday, November 4, 2010

State Of The Cat Address- Nov2010


From the desk of: Colonel Beauregard Sterling Lovell



Well, this time around, we'll get through the nitty-gritty details, then onto my diaboloical plans for the future.

Economy:
So far the economy is going well. The lady in the house has just accepted a job that pays better. I've heard rumors of the General preparing for as second job, or replacing it altogether with something more akin to daytime hours. I'm not sure how I feel about everyone being gone all day, as I will have to do my own bidding during that time. I've been eating pretty heartily, but I expect more posh snacking with more money to circulate around here. I've also done very well in making sure my fiber intake is being supplemented well enough to keep up my fecal matter production. This industry is one of hard work but great rewards, as I make the humans clean out my litter box at a more frequent pace. With a growing obesity index amongst humans, they need the exercise.

Quality of life:

Things here are so-so. I'm still getting plenty of exercise as I run rampantly throughout the compound, jumping on all the furniture, on counters and into cupboards when people leave them open for me. I have been receiving lots of good training time by attacking the little people around here, and one of them even falls for my luring him into a little hand to paw combat from time to time. He tastes a bit funny with that 11 yr old boy smell he has going on, but the taste of his blood mostly makes up for it. However, that being said, I think the political atmosphere around here is a bit tyrranical. Yes, I own this place and these people, but the official balance of power leaves much to be desired. they also have worked hard to contain me within the walls of the compound, and not letting me out onto the deck to oversee the perimeter.

Onto my rant:
Keeping with the balance of power, election tuesday came and went. I voted for myself to become supreme leader in this Mookified Compound, and being feline I get a vote for each and everyone of my claws, and the rest get their normal 1 vote. However, somehow I still lost. I'm not sure who to blame, and I'm not naming names here, but it rhymes with dookie. Which is what this election farce smells like. It's worse than my litter box when they ignore it!

I think, much like the General defected from the Branch Duanians, I too will defect and startup my own compound, where I run the show actively, not just behind the scenes business. The General's tyrranical hand has shown itself, as you can see in the picture above, and I don't need to take that abuse. I'll probably stick around for the rest of the year, then after collecting any Christmas loot, I may well just move on out. For a coup de grace, I may work to convince the lady and the two little people to come with me, leaving the General to be the ruler of only himself. And he'll have to actually provide his own compound security. I know what he does for a living, so I doubt he'll be able to contract outside help. Should prove to be very interesting, and he wil then realize where the true power in this place lies: With me...King Supreme Emperor Lord Almighty Colonel Beauregard Sterling Lovell has a nice ring to it. Don't you agree? You'd better or I'll fleece your naughty parts with my claws of death!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pics of the Boys From Halloween

Here we have the boys posing in their costumes at their Nana and Grandpa's house, prior to heading out for the candy looting...err, Trick-or-treating.




And here us boys are at the start of our trek.



And now once all the trick-or-treating is done for the evening, the boys are showing off the evening's haul of candy!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween And Fun With The Boys

Halloween this year for us ended up leaving our suburban neighborhood and took a two plus hour drive up to rural Sac City, Iowa, my old home town. The boys got a chance to see their Nana and Grandpa, and go out trick-or-treating in the small town.

After the drive up Saturday morning, the boys committed to their usual routine. Josh did not waste any time in getting himself onto Nana's computer to play video games, and Buggy was quickly out the door to go play with Jack, the neighbor kid.

After awhile, that all subsided and they went down to play in the mythical wilderness of my childhood known as The Ravine. Most of this year, the ravine was off limits as the city was re-doing the storm/sewage water drainage system. I noticed as we drove by The Ravine before bending the corner to my parents that the entire valley looked a lot different than in years past. The lower valley was filled in with lush green grass, and the creek bed walls were now lined in most parts with rocks to prevent erosion. The surrounding hills however were still pretty much the same as I remember them; lots of trees and brush with dead limbs and leaves all over the ground. The boys spent a considerable amount of time down there this weekend, just enjoying exploring the area. At one point I was asked if they were allowed to go through The Tunnel (also known to some of us older people as the devil worshipper's hangout). Unfortunately for the boys, I know the water runs right through there as it passes underneath 9th street, and now being a parent, I didn't want them to soak their shoes. However, I did allow them to go over the road to the continuation of the ravine on the other side.

Turns out, in the case of Buggy, anyways, I might as well have let them go through the tunnel. Buggy slipped at some point and ended up in the creek, soaking his shoes, socks and partway up the legs of his pants. Oh well I guess. All part of being a kid.

Sunday came along, and there was more time in The Ravine. I sent the boys down. Soon Buggy came back. He was bored because "All you can do down there is play." Well geez...Didn't realize that playing was so uncool these days. He wanted to play on the computer inside. I asked him what the difference was since inside all he could do was play. He informed me with all the authority a 6 year-old can muster up that there is a huge difference between inside and outside play. Well, okay solves that issue. I still kicked him back out. As I helped him get his shoes back on, he then proceeds to tell me that "Josh did his homework three nights last week instead of doing it during the day like he was supposed to."

"Are you being a tattle tale I," I asked.
"No"
"Well then," I queried, "What is it you're doing, if you're not being a tattle tale?"
"I'm just telling on him!"

I guess the difference is in how you say it, not the intent. I must've forgot that childhood lesson over the years!

But I sent him back out to the Ravine to play with his brother, and shortly thereafter I attempted to go in their and sneak up on them. Unfortunately for me, they knew I was coming anyways, and instead of occupy themselves, they put themselves up on the area known as "Lookout Hill" and waited for my arrival, so they could come and shoot me with their toy guns. Josh being Josh, had actually scaled a small tree to get even more height to scan the territory for the rebel invader known as 'Dad.' Like father like son. I attempted to go in around the other side of the ravine, but all the leaves on the ground wouldn't cooperate, and rustled as loudly as a freight train as far as I was concerned. they quickly came down from their position and scaled up the side of Death Mountain to take me out. I knew they were coming from me, I just didn't realize how fast Josh was able to come up the steep side of the hill, and he was on top of me pretty quickly. I'm either losing my edge, or he's coming into his own as a scout.

After I was taken out by my boys, we moved back to Lookout Hill, and began to make improvements to the old campfire spot I had as a kid. We repaired and improved the old fire pit spot, and began constructing a few blinds with dead saplings, other branches and sticks, and leaves. We also carved out a few paths on the hill by clearing out the leaves so we could move about in a quieter manner. The 'campsite' wasn't anything you'll find in a high end construction innovation magazine, or outdoorsman type publication. We just used the bare bones and no real method to our madness. We just kept plugging away at it, and pretty soon my dad was yelling down into the ravine from his backyard to let us know it was time to come back up as supper was being made.

"Oh man, the parents are ruining my fun time!" Was the all I thought when I heard him yell down to us. Just like the old days, when I was the boys' age. So we came up, cleaned up and had some supper.

Then 6pm rolled around and it was time to take them out trick-or-treating. Both the boys did very well, with both of their buckets getting filled up, despite the fact that we covered a LOT less ground than I did during my years of trick-or-treating in that town. After we got back to my parents house, I tossed Buggy's still-wet shoes and socks in the dryer, and they hung out with some kids of family friends who stopped over for awhile, and around 9pm I had everything packed up, loaded up the candy-inhaling boys, and hit the road for a dark ride back home, getting in around 1130 or so. the boys were woken up long enough to get inside, grab a drink of water and go right back to sleep, this time in their own beds.

I don't have any pictures of the boys in costume yet, as I'm waiting on my mom to send the pictures via email. So when I get them, I'll put up a real quick picture blog.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Memories In Photo- Part 2

Dani in a self picture on the car ride down to Branson
Here's the whole family at a stop in Yellowstone. Dani takes wonderfully great photos, but it's even better to see her grace a few!
Mom with her boys at Rushmore, and one of her and Josh at our campsite outside Custer SD.

Nice shot of my wife, myself and our oldest out for a horseride up a mountain. It was my first time riding a horse. Dani was quite amused by me this day.
And of course, the obligatory old time photo of the family. Dani was looking a bit too sizzling for a family photo here, but hey, I don't mind checking her out in this outfit.

Here's my wife on the boat for a cocktail cruise before the fountain light show at the Landing in Branson. And a nice picture of us in the Hotel prior to dinner, where she dazzled in this self-made dress. The waiters fell over themselves, the men in the restaurant whiplashed themselves taking longer looks, and their women got a bit jealous. I was one proud man to have this Lady on my arm for the evening.

Memories In Photo Part 1

It was 14 years ago this week that I first laid eyes on my wife.

Here she is when we first started dating, in the middle of two of her friends wearing my jacket. Who knew what the future would hold?
Oh Yeah, here is what it held...her hanging out with some guy who refuses to take a normal photograph!
And here she is, posing with Buggy, our youngest.
and here's Buggy, probably trying to choke out his older brother Josh!
Then she decided to catch me at some point around my naptime, just to capture a photo of us together. Very rare since she's usually on the other end of the camera!
Here's Daddy unsuccessfully trying to intimidate one of his little goobers!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Thoughts On Life For The Day

I'm a mere two days away from taking an adult education class on getting into the world of publishing. I'm excited for it, as this is the first time in a long time that I am attending something more in the formal education realm to actually learn something. Even though it is just one night for two hours, its almost like when I was young, and waiting for the first day of school to arrive.

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When I was young, adventure came daily and cost me nothing but my time, and the allowance of my imagination to flow freely. As an adult, it seems like adventure is tied to money, whether it is to pay for gas to get there, a place to stay, or a fee to participate. Real life seems to get in the way and only allows so much time off to take advantage of, which is never enough time to do what you want to do. But maybe I'm missing a major point. Maybe, just maybe, certain aspects of real life are the adventure that we miss because we focus too much on the mundane activities, rather than enjoying the interactions with those people in our lives and those that occupy the spaces around us. Sort of 'failing to see the forest for all the trees in the way' kind of thing.

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Growing up, I used to build forts in the ravine behind my old place. By even the worst of construction standards, it was crappily constructed. I'm sure the little pig-built house made out of straw was far more stable and pleasant to look upon. But it was my fortress or cabin in the wild frontier that I had conquered. The nearby creek was my fishing hole and a place to soak my feet, and the source of my fire fighting abilities. My firepit was built to occupy my need for playing with fire, to absorb the warmth it put off, and to ward off the evil things that lurked around after dark. If you wandered by, you probably saw nothing more than a mess. But if you asked me then, I could share my world and the imagination that built it with you.

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When I was young, we used to dream of the day when our phone wasn't connected to the wall or a base by a short cord. We would be able to walk around whereever we went and hold our conversations with friends, be it in another room, to pay attention to our food cooking on the stove, be able to wash the dishes, or out walking the dog and not have to do that whole "I'll call ya back in a minute/hour" thing. Now that we have all that, I almost wish it back to the way it was. I find myself in the company of people with cell phones. We may be talking about important things, or just talking about the weather. Then their phone notifies them of a text, an email or an incoming call. Without hesitation or thought, their attention goes directly to the phone. It must be checked out and attended to. While they may get back to me afterwards, it always made me feel like I was merely filler material between the important things to them. The text must be acknowledged immediately, and possibly responded to even, before their attention would turn back to me. Or if it were a phone call, suddenly the personon the other end became more important, even if it was a conversation about nothing. It always made me feel like I wasn't good enough to be a priority in anyone's life, even if we were the only two people physically present. Rather than being a tool, the cell phone became an addiction, a dependency- for how many people's lives are ruined for the moment when they forget or lose use of their cell phone? Whatever happened to unplugging for a moment and ignoring the damn thing, especially in the presence of actual people right in front of you?

I once mentioned this to someone, and right afterwards their phone rang. They looked for a moment at the phone laying on the table, and then back up to me. I could see it in their eyes that they really wanted to answer the phone, HAD to answer it. I told them to just answer it, as they're not answering it was merely trying to prove a point, since they had already done this a few times prior in the same conversation to me before I talked about it. And so they did. I took the moment to get more coffee and get rid of the previously drank coffee in my system. Hell, I've had my wife do this multiple times here at home, as well as when she and I are out and about somewhere together. It's not an indictment of her, or the other people for that matter, but rather of the societal/cultural addiction to the damn devices. However, I feel, and I'm sure others have felt this about me at the same time, that if and when I might demand they ignore it and pay attention to me, that I'm merely being selfish and quite frankly annoying the hell out of them. And of course that means they'll avoid the annoyance and focus on someone or something else instead. It seems like I'm in some kind of catch-22 situation, that I either put up with it and feel like a 2nd class citizen or say something and alienate myself altogether, but maybe I'm just overthinking things.

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I have always loved to go out and observe nature. To enjoy the pure beauty of a river or lake, the mountains, a large forest or small wooded ravine, the animals in the air, on the ground and in the water. But now, I like to watch certain people around me as well. Not just any people. I find beauty in seeing my kids asleep, or watching them play with each other and/or their friends and hear them laugh their little kid laughs as they enjoy themselves. I love to peek in on my wife when she is taking a nap on a saturday afternoon, or when she is going through her closet looking for something to wear, or just looking the stuff over to see what she's keeping or giving away to Goodwill. I like watching her cooking or cleaning...not because those things may benefit me, but to see her move about with purpose and grace. I find these things beautiful.

Photos and video of these things just do not have the capability to truly capture these small moments in life. They are something that are truly more enjoyable and fully appreciated when you see them in person. And I think that we, well me specifically, take them for granted and don't appreciate them as fully and as often as we should. I think if we did, life would be a lot more enjoyable than we make it out to be, especially if we remember those moments when we're doing the stuff we don't care to do, like cleaning up the litter box or paying bills.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Extending My Reach, Expanding My Realm

So recently I have posted a bit on my journey into and through manhood. I have spent a lot of time reading on the subject, and reflecting on my own life, seeing what matches up between the two; what matches up with my ideas or not.

When I was growing up, I was often out away from the house, away from my parents. Most of the time by my own volition, other times at their behest. Turns out that I could be a bit of an annoying pest from time to time- go figure. I longed for adventure as a kid, but was always told to play it safe. Do this, don't do that, blah blah blah. Most often I would do the do list in public. Conforming to those around me. Rather than be me, I tried to please people. Out of sight, I often participated in the don't list, occasionally with my best friend, but many times on my own. I was told be a boy, but be a good boy. The times I was told to be a man, was when I complained of a perceived injustice or at a moment of injury. Beyond that, I never really knew what a man actually is. I saw the loner in John Wayne, Mr all-American heroic cowboy who could do anything. I liked that idea and set it into my brain. Well, I achieved the loner part pretty easily. For when I was alone, I could do things, and if I failed, it was only me who knew. When I tried and failed at something in front of others, the message was quite clear that I was not good enough. When I would express my dreams to do something, like be a pro ballplayer, I was often confronted with the stats on how little chance there is, and how I should think more realistically, more practically. I liked my dreams, but they were just illusions in my head. The real world just didn't have a part for me in that dreamworld. Rather than push myself, I bought into all the hype entering my ears and eyes, and slowly resigned myself to a life of dull necessity.

I remember once, when I was older and I was making my car payments through my dad who had cosigned the loan for me. I had worked many hours day after day, and I walked into my dad's work while I was in town to give him the money to write a check to the bank. I gave him well over a thousand dollars in cash to cover my $100/month expense as well as a huge payment on my car loan. I didn't say anything, but I still had $600 in my pocket and another $900 in a bank account. I was quite pleased with myself. And my dad commented to his co-worker who was standing nearby about how responsible I was being, and that he was quite proud of me in my dealings. I'm sure he had mentioned being proud of me about other things at points along the way, but that was the first time I really truly realized he was saying this. So in my mind, the job of a man was to go to work, and pay his bills. In a nutshell, that's what it took; all it took. Dad and I never really talked about what it is to be a man, and I never bothered to ask. I just watched, and went with what my eyes saw and my ears heard in the public realm.

Then I got married, already with one child, and later we would have a 2nd son born to us. So, it was time to man up. I had a job, I worked hard to pay the bills, and make sure we had a roof over our head and food in our belly, along with a little extra money to help cover incurred debts along the way. I got up, kissed the wife goodbye, went to work, came home, ate food, watched TV, played with the boy for awhile, went to bed, and repeated it the next day. Here I was, Mr Provider, Man of the House, doing my duties of work and paying bills. We would do family oriented things from time to time, but mostly my life was centered around work and bills. My wife and I would get into arguments over little things. Me being me, would argue that this cant be done, or we cant go do that, because I need that money to pay this bill or that bill. My life had literally become centered not around my family and living life, but around what bill was due next, what problem came up that I was going to have to pay for now, how many hours could I be allowed to work to make up for this new discrepancy in my financial outlook.

In essence, I became what I thought I saw my dad to be. A man works and pays his bills. I never saw the other side of him, the side that drew my mother in and makes her love him to this day. (I can't see it; he's always got a bit of stubble going on, and in my estimation a bit ugly. Just kidding, Dad!) My wife struggled in her life as well, especially with the marriage. As a guy, I hunted her down, I pursued her, and eventually I was able to persuade her to be mine. And then, it just slowly died out. I made the compliments here and there, I tried to do things for her, get her gifts, take her places, whatever. But the hunt was over, and I was drunkenly complacent, not unlike a guy right after a healthy sized Thanksgiving meal. I just sat about wasting away, waiting for my belly to be unstuffed. I basically 'took a nap' in regards to her, focusing mostly on the man things of going to work and paying the bills.

While I did those things, I left her home to take care of the kids, clean the house, and just be the good domesticated wife. Of course my wife was never really built for that role alone. Don't get me wrong, when it comes to cooking, and mothering and just about any task, my wife is at the top of her game. Even in the work world, my wife sets the standards for herself well above that of her coworkers and even the expectations of her superiors. She learns, adapts and applies knowledge quickly, as though she has known it all along. In fact over the past couple years, instead of just bitching about her 'promotions' that came with pay cuts and increased responsibilities, she merely took ownership of her role, expanded her knowledge base, and was probably more adept at her job than anyone there, including her superiors, who were merely personnel managers as far as action goes.

With the absence of my emotions in the form of communication and support (I seemed more worried about how much her paycheck was and when it came in, and what bills needed paid), she turned to her work as a major focus. She turned more to the support of her friend instead of me, who could be counted on mostly to just do the same crap I was doing every other day. My complacency wasn't just a self-identity killer (as I hid myself behind my job), but it was killing my wife's femininity in regards to me. I had realized, only well after the fact, that I had slipped from actively loving my wife to merely taking her for granted. I have since learned that this is the quickest way to kill any sense of romance in a marriage. My wife just settled into her routine, patiently waiting for me to hear her, actually hear her, and to correct my mistakes in regards to how I live my life, as well as how I treat her, but one saying comes to mind: Abused patience turns to fury. - Thomas Fuller

She has felt that she was no longer the adventure, not inspiring enough, and not worth my efforts, but just too much trouble for my self-absorbed lifestyle and mindset to deal with. In other words, she didn't feel that she was the beauty to be loved wholly. In response to this, it is only natural that a woman puts up her self-defenses towards men in general, and especially the men in her life that can still hurt her, like her husband.

To a certain degree, I recognized this on an intellectual level, but I wasn't truly learning it. As I have done my reading, I have extended my reach of reading into the world of women. I'm new at it, and by no means an expert. In fact, I'm scared beyond my ability to fathom such fear. Men are simple and easy to figure out. Women are a bit more complex. Yet I press on, because if I am ever to be able to get it, I am going to have to expand myself into the realm of a woman, to understand her mind, her heart and her soul. This is the part of true manhood, which I never really knew about. I grew up knowing only a few things about girls: they have cooties (we all learned this early on), they are nothing but trouble (I learned this from DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince as well as shows like Jerry Springer), and as guys we just like them for some damn reason we can't figure out (and sex-ed class never answered that question)...which goes back to the trouble part. We know we want them, whether or not we know why, and once we have conquered them so to speak, we look around for the next one to conquer. Essentially most guys are bastards at some point in their life, with some of them eventually figuring out that isn't the way to go. Some guys remain just guys, and not men. Just because you turned 18, or moved out of your parents' house does not mean you're a man, in the true sense. Trust me, I've done both, and at the age of 31, I'm just beginning to fully realize that maybe I wasn't truly a man, but a still a lot more so a boy, or just a guy.

Most guys prefer to look at life as a series of puzzles and problems to be solved, and this applies to our attitude as women as well. Rather than looking at a woman as a problem to be solved, we forget that a woman is a vast wonder to be explored. An adventure to be had everyday of our lives, using our strength as men to tackle the adventure that is a woman. Not to conquer her and move on, but to get to really know her at the innermost intimate levels (not just sex). But to fully expose yourself to her, and allow her to feel safe in secure in making herself naked to you (again, in the proverbial sense). But to take a woman for granted, over a long period of time, can result in her building walls around her, that she feels she has to protect herself, control her world, to avoid the pain that a guy can bring her, to avoid the painful vulnerability and broken trusts that are the risk of any real relationship. In essence, by being just guys instead of men, we steal a woman's femininity, her very core, forcing her to replace it with something else a little less natural. Many of of guys act like we listen, but often we just hear the noises associated with Charlie Brown's teacher, and never get to understand the women in our life. And when they suddenly shoot lightning bolts out their eyes at you, or worse yet display apathy towards you, as guys we stand (or sit) there completely dumbfounded, as to why this might be. We run through our head what we have done. We went to work, we paid the bills, we took out the trash, we didn't cheat on her. What in God's name could be wrong?

Well, maybe that's the problem. We forgot about God. We forgot the true name that God gave us as men made in his image, instead bearing and living out the name the world gave us. We forgot that our wives or girlfriends are essentially the daughters of Eve, the mother of all mankind. That we are to continually seek and pursue her as much as we are expected to do with God. We are to seek true beauty, and true love with all our heart, in a never ending journey. For God really is both love and beauty, and a woman is the bearer of that image of God. Now, I see why we feel this natural inclination towards women. there is, no matter deeply buried, something in us that tells us to go after the woman. But as with most things, we always think we have the next day, or the next week, or year, or whatever to accomplish whatever project or mission in life we have slated for 'later'. But we really don't know, if you really think about it, if any of that will come to pass. We take today for granted, and thusly our women for granted. I know I have, and as I have been reading and seeing the truths for the first time in my adult life, I feel as though I'm being hit by a brick from Heaven. That brick is full of knowledge, but it hurts like hell when it smacks you. Like a spanking to a child, it sometimes requires a little bit of hurt, or a lot (my dad could really pack a wallop), to make the message clear. Taking a time-out doesn't always cut it, but rather the issue needs to be addressed swiftly and directly. Maybe then the lesson will take, and the mistake won't be repeated anymore.

Also as I read, and I have seen communications from friends or words spoken to me from a friend about situations they have had, and I hear, see, and feel the beauty they bespeak, and it pains me to hear it. It feels like hell, because what they write or say sounds wonderful, and romantic, and like the perfection of a dream world encapsulated in the small moments, and I realize that I didn't necessarily give enough of myself to provide my wife with more of a love story to such a high degree that she deserves. I realize life on earth and in relationships isn't going to be always perfect, but it could be more perfect than what it is now with even just the slightest efforts, of which I have withheld. I hold many good memories, many great thoughts and affections for my wife, but inside of me. I rarely let them out. I don't know if I'm just subconsciously trying to be the strong silent type, or if I'm scared of being told off or rebuffed in anyway to avoid my own pains.

I remember first seeing my wife in October of 1996 at our place of work. She was a vision of beauty to beheld. She had on jeans and this deep blue sweater. When I met her outside, she had on a heavy coat, and the hood was pulled tight around her face that only her eyes, her cute button of a nose, and her small mouth could be seen. I was very smitten with her. I didn't care who she was dating, married to, or whatever, I had to know this one girl; this beautiful woman who made my stomach churn, my legs weak, and not just my heart, but my mind skip a beat. I had to be careful and slow down my speech in order to sound like I had things 'together' and be impressive and all that manly macho bullshit I was convinced was the way to be.
And after 14 years since I first saw her, she still turns me on as much now as she did then. I just found a way, to my own detriment as well as demeaning to her, to hide it better.

I regret that beyond almost anything I have ever done in my life. And yet, I know that before I can repair us, I must first retool and build myself up to where I'm supposed to be, to be my true self, before she can accept my overtures in the same manner she did in our more innocent first days of teenage love. I think my lesson is one that many guys need to learn, and the quicker the better. For if one is truly honest, it's much easier to build up a happy woman than it is to heal her hurts that you inflicted.

And yes, even the thought of such a journey, to explore our own emotions, much less those of a woman, is one of the scarist ideas we can have. Acting on it as a mission is even scarier. Yet, regardless of the outcome in our personal life, we can draw upon the strength of God to enhance the warrior, the adventurer that lives within our soul, to make this journey into the unknown realms. We shall come out stronger in the end, should we see ourselves through it. And if we have a significant other in our lives, maybe that relationship, even if all seems to be lost and over, can become stronger and fuller than we could only imagine it to be in our dreams.

You just have to make yourself vulnerable, no matter how scary or hurtful the idea may be, and give everything an open-minded and honest chance. To go about it any other way is both unfair to yourself and those you love, but dead wrong in the approach.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Going It Alone

I'm sure the title of this post has some of my reader's a bit curious, wondering if I'm alluding to something in my personal life. Well, yes and no.

It is my personal life since I'm involved, but it's also more of a general plan. Some readers may be aware that today is technically my wife's last day at her job. She left a little while ago to her office, where at some point she will be conducting her exit interview with her boss, who is in Texas, over the phone. As of the moment she doesn't have a next job lined up.

However, as stressful and scary as that may seem (and believe you me, there is a certain amount of stress, as my wife prefers to be active and moving forward), she did quite well for herself. She has 2 months of salary continuation and benefits lined up, which will get us to just about Christmas. She was also good enough to have secured herself a retention bonus. She intends on using that to purchase a second vehicle. This will enable the both of us with a bit more freedom to pursue our options. It will open up the hours of availability to work without necessarily having to worry ourselves about who's giving who a ride to work, or if alternate transportation needs to procured just to get to and from our respective work places. Also, in the event of a family function (which is always out of town)on either side, time won't need to be cut short for all, just because one of us needs the vehicle for work purposes.

It will also allow me the opportunity to expand my area of job searching to procure myself a second temporary part or full time job. As of the moment, I'm basically limited to my feet and/or a bike. With winter coming up, here in Iowa, that is not a pleasant option. I already work out in that crap with my current patrol job. Let me tell you, it is not the least bit fun. Well, okay, maybe the occasional fishtailing of the patrol car gets my adrenaline going and offers me a moment of feeling alive while performing mundane tasks.

Now, my wife is currently pursuing all avenues of employment opportunities, so as to make her salary continuation go that much further, be it for Christmas, paying off a bill or two, getting a little more car than her bonus can provide for, or to invest in her business. Either way, I'm not too worried about her employment prospects. She has worked very hard in her current job to advance to her managerial position, and has used the last couple weeks to learn more and further her training certifications to make her even more valuable to any prospective employer. I suspect she will end up with an even better job with more money, despite the economy doing its best to tank every one's bank account. She is a strong woman, with a strong will and desire to succeed at anything she puts her mind to. And believe me when I tell you, despite a lack of college degrees, she can easily learn, take on tasks, and excel beyond all expectations at any opportunity you give her a shot at. She really is that good. It can be quite intimidating at times to be in the company of such a strong woman. For a long time I subdued myself to her natural born leadership abilities, and have spent the last few years more or less hiding in my job, not progressing as I should be, preferring security (financially, not my job title) over success and any risk involved in attaining it. But to see how she has risen from temporary employees right up through the ranks of a major company, taking on the jobs of her superiors who were unwilling or unable to handle their own jobs, to eventually ending up in their position...well it's rather inspiring. I never took enough time to say these things to her face as standalone comments. When I did mention them, it was often couched between other subjects or me ranting on about something or another that wasn't that important, so she often missed me saying it when I did. So, Dani, let me be clear now as I have not been before: You are all these things and more!

And it took me quite a while, and a lot of introspection to get over the envy I had of her, but I too see myself moving forward one day at a time. I have a few old, long-ingrained, bad habits to rid myself of, but day by day, I get a little closer to that.

So now, in addition to regaining a second vehicle we are pursuing a path in which the both of us can financially sustain the family on our own. while she will maintain a full time job, she will also be pursuing her business goals to achieve the dreams she has for her family- financial security, the ability to help family as well as charitable giving, traveling, etc.

As I gain traction and secure that second job for myself, I will also be able to fulfill a few of my dreams- ridding myself of old debt (and avoiding any new debt that I can), fixing my teeth up so that I might have a more permanent and pretty smile to match this award winning face for radio that I possess. I can also afford to pay someone to workout with me and keep me motivated towards getting back my old body (except even better), and it will also open up the military option for me. All of that along with the book writing, will help move me toward the position to know that I could take care of my family if some freak accident left me alone to care for the family all by myself.

Now, we're not entirely alone in this as the title and thus far the body of this post might construe. My wife has been putting forth effort to help me with my writing, in technical terms as well as keeping me motivated to keep going even when I have those days where I just don't want to do anything more at the moment, along with advice on future projects I'm already looking at. And of course, as my side of the financial equation rises as well, it will also allow me to help her in her personal endeavor by providing more investment and revenue streaming through her business lines (I'm not sure if I'm allowed to give out her affiliations or not- if she gives me the go ahead, I'll re post and add it in later, as well as hit on it in the comment section for your updating pleasures).

Combined, not only will our efforts help us out financially, but it will give us the opportunity to help our kids participate in more of the activities, sports and otherwise, that often times have seemed cost-prohibitive to us. In addition to that, when we see someone in need, be it my buddy and his wife raising money to adopt their two daughters, or a local charity or just a stranger in need. If our hearts are moved, the decision to give or not won't be so easily influenced by the almighty (well, maybe not so mighty these days) dollar bill.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A New Accolade for The Mind of Mookie


After years of hearing the legal fine print voiced over in commercials on TV, and reading it in advertisements for contests, I have come to the conclusion that Rhode Island is filled with nothing but very, VERY boring people.

You can't participate in any contests that might garner you a little extra cash, special vacation cruises, or vacations period. I have deemed that this blog, The Mind of Mookie, shall join the extremely extensive list of items banned of voided in the Commonwealth that is Rhode Island.

I may not be the smartest or the funniest guy within my small circle of the vast blogosphere, but I'm pretty sure that I have had enough funny moments provided to me by the cat or my kids, that the content has exceeded the allowable levels of fun set by the powers that be in Rhode Island. Thusly, if you look up, you will see that I have made this distinction in the subtitle.

Yes, like most other awards I have, I made it up and have done nothing of importance to earn them. I have not received an official letter from the State/Commonwealth of Rhode Island. However, if anyone can pull the right strings, I'd appreciate a nice framed copy of an official resolution from their legislators declaring this blog and/or me void in their state. There's really two parts as to the why I want this to happen. One, it gives me a superficial feeling of false importance. And two, if I'm void there, I think it might hold up in the right courtroom if they try to nab me for excessively speeding through that tiny little dominion. After all, if I'm void, then clearly I don't legally exist...so that mailbox that got hit by a car, and the other car that got sideswiped a couple blocks later while the police gave chase... literally all happened over NOTHING! Although I suppose that technically I'd need a lawyer to craft a change of venue to California for the trial, since that may be the only place in this great country of ours with an insane enough judicial system that such an argument could work.

Of course I shouldn't have to worry too much about it anyways. I'm not exactly as puritanical as those people, and for all I know they have a toll booth to get into the state where you are also given a morality exam prior to admittance. For residents leaving, they probably hand out free King James Bible's to any persons not carrying there own copy while traveling outside to the heathen states. "

"Must resist the temptation to play the New Jersey Lotto. Must resist signing up for a free barbecue grill and accessories kit at an out of state supermarket. Must resist pulling up the internet and visiting the Mind of Mookie blog. Please Dear Holy God O Lord, give me the strength to resist the evil temptations that might make life worth living that I might again return to this Holy Sanctuary of a state where I can again learn to love the joys of boredom and smacking my head with a ball-peen hammer repeatedly to end my want for physical life and any jopy it might actually bring so that I might come and rejoin You in Your Glory...Amen"

I'm not sure, but does this mockery of ultra puritans count against me at the Pearly Gates?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Writing To Write

So, its been a couple of weeks since I've written anything down on this blog. Most of my writing during this time has been either notes to my wife, or adding more writings to one of my books.

At count yesterday, formatting the book to a smaller size than the standard Word document of 8.5" x 11", I had 150 pages typed out. I have since added a few more chapters. Obviously it is all rough draft at this point, and I expect once I move forward with the publishing aspect, that an editor will start eviscerating my works and paring it down to a much smaller number. So the more I write now, the closer I'll be towards having a book of decent length when I go into my rewrites.

I have also used some of my weekend to hang out with my boys. The youngest boy, Buggy, recently learned how to ride his bike. Last weekend all four of us took a short ride around our part of town. Since then I took the boys onto a nearby walking/bike trail for some more experience off the streets. The oldest boy, Josh, has just been speeding along on his bike, getting out ahead of myself and Buggy, before stopping and waiting for us to catch up, and then continuing on his merry little way. Josh was sick this weekend, and is in fact on the couch behind me right now, home from school. So Buggy and I went for a nice little ride father-son ride by ourselves while Josh hung out at home and my wife was baking pies and cleaning the house. I don't get any of the pie. this is a bit of a disappointment to a pie lover like me, but it is the going exchange rate for our friend Trevor coming over and helping me fix the brakes on my car. Pretty sweet deal I'd say.

Anyways, Buggy got to decide which way to go, which he took great delight in. We road through a small residential subdivision to the west of us that is a pretty hilly terrain. He had mixed feelings about the downhill treks at times, worrying he was going too fast and might wreck himself, but he soldiered on and even managed to use his little legs to pedal himself right up some fairly long hills. There was only one moment in which he scared the bejeezus out of me. We were going on a downward slope, and as we traveled down the sidewalk he was out in the lead, pedaling away instead of coasting. I saw the car beginning to back out of the drive. I yelled at him to stop, but sometimes his own panic causes him to seize up and not hit the brakes. Luckily the car stopped and he steered himself right around it. I had the girl in the car apologizing to me for not seeing him, and him apologizing to me for not stopping in time. I was just glad he was okay, and did not relish the idea of having to tell his mother to meet us at the emergency room because he got smacked by a car! From there, we went and road on the bike trail once again, stopping for a few moments for him to play at a playground that abuts the trail, before coming home. I'm not used to the biking after so many years that I was getting tuckered out, and eventually he too was getting tired in the legs, as he opted to walk the bike up a few hills not nearly as steep as the ones he had pedaled up before.

I've also spent a considerable amount of time just reading. Mostly on the subject of manhood, and how to be a more considerate, participating, and loving husband and father. I've come to realize that I've spent most of my adult life, more as a guy than an actual man. So, while its taken me some time to wake up from the me-centric self I have been, I'm working on improving that aspect of my life, so that I might be a better person all around as God intended for me to be. And to play my part as leader and scout and provisionary for my family that He also intended for me.

Right now I'm reading the book Tender Warrior by Stu Weber, a former Special Forces guy turned Pastor. Once I'm done with that I will be diving into Wild At Heart and its sequel by John Eldredge during my time of personal and spiritual development. Now I just have to learn how to loosen up some more around people in public instead of being the frumpy, keep-to-myself jackass I've turned into over the years.

That's really all I have to say at this point in time. So welcome to October I guess...

Monday, September 20, 2010

ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT!!



Sunday nights are always the longest (a 12 hour shift instead of an 8) and the slowest as well. So often I am left with plenty of time to get everything done and have some time to kill. However, someone else in the area decided to use their time to kill me!!!

The attempt appeared to most to be random, but after consulting my security counsel, headed by the esteemed Colonel Beauregard Sterling Lovell, it has been determined that this was in fact a very real and present danger aimed at destroying the last hope of the free world by eliminating the head of the Mookist Regime (That'd be me, people, pay attention!).

Of course the attack on me was only another plot in a series of recent events designed to take down the Mookist Regime. First, the fleas were sent in to bring down the Colonel. However, having been on post, I was able to douse, soap, scrub, and re-douse the feline. The Colonel was not happy, and didn't come around me for almost 24 hours for fear of getting it again. I have, over the years of his pitiful life, become almost violently and deadly efficient with my flea bath tactics. Instead of a long drawn out regurgitation of the War On Pests, this battle lasted a matter of minutes before the flea army was vanquished in one fell swoop, and about 25 gallons of water. Not one scout flea has been seen since the initial discovery of the insurgent bastards. Mookist Regime: 1, Enemies: 0

Then last night, at almost the stroke of midnight, a bigger, much more determined enemy decided to take their crack at the Mook, this time in human form. Clearly they knew that I am bulletproof with my soft gelatinous outer crust, and opted not to spray me down in a drive by, or hit me with a rooftop sniper. Nope, they did it the way they like to take out freedom loving Mookamaniacs the world around: Improvised explosive devices, or IED's for short. Most of you have heard of these deadly devices throughout the news as al-Qaeda has been known to use them all over the place to take out American soldiers in their various combat zones.

Well, my friends, it's clear that al-Qaeda has decided to step up their attacks, not overseas, but right here at home, in the good old U.S. of A.

That's right, despite what the White house or the Pentagon may or may not tell you, al-Qaeda has sent operatives right here to the Heartland! They may try to spin this off as just some random act perpetrated by pranksters, or some right-wing nutcase riled up by the likes of Rush, Hannity or Glenn Beck himself, or maybe just some poor soul who lost their house to the evil banks, but I assure you, after much research and maybe some enhanced interrogation techniques (but don't hold us to that, we will deny, deny deny!), that this was an orchestrated attack, hours, maybe even DAYS into the planning stages before they decided to unleash their evil plot.

Clearly they had infiltrated the Rentacop Headquarters, and gotten hold of the scheduling. They saw that I would be working, and that Supervisor Stew would be on duty. Once the suspicious device had been seen being delivered, it would be reported to Supervisor Stew. And Stew, always trusting in the Mook, would call me up to get me involved in the situation. One of the oldest tricks in a terrorists playbook: The Lure. You see, they purposely are seen dropping a package off, in an effort to bring in the command forces (like Stew) and any super duper tactical specialists (like myself). Usually the tactical specialist would go in for a close look and KABOOM, nothing but specialist krispies going snap crackle and pop in a smoldering mess of blood and guts. However, since I'm a SUPER DUPER (that's a technical designation) tactical specialist, I'm not easily fooled like that. Nope, instead we did the smart responsible thing and called in the local authorities bomb squad. It was either that or get into a big hissy fit over who had ultimate authority (clearly me), and that would've just made things a lot more difficult, and of course we're all about action around here. So anyways, the local authorities brings in the big fat bomb squad truck, also known as Natasha. Due to the damp conditions, they did not bring out the cool remote controlled robot, also known as Frank. So, one of the bomb techs suited up in the big EOD blast suit. If you haven't seen the movie The Hurt Locker you may not know what I'm talking about. But basically it turns you into some kind of martian looking guy, only way more bad ass. He has to walk in the x-ray equipment, to get an idea of what is in this small box we have discovered. After getting the pic and taking the equipment back to the truck, they are able to determine that there is "something" in the box, but not likely to be explosive. So the both of them take the long walk back to the box. Just as Tech 1 reaches the box to probe the edge, Tech 2 holds a cover position about 25 yards back. Tech 1 removes the paper cover (adorned with the word surprise,only with letter written backwards on it), and then proceeds to lift the box top off. Then it happened...


No one else saw it, but banana shaped missiles came flying out, under the cover of stealth cloak directly towards me. If I hadn't knelt down to light up my cigarette, I surely would've been decapitated. Luckily for the bomb techs it was rigged to go in one precise trajectory instead of full spread, or they would've been dead before they knew what they had found.

What they found instead was really weird. A couple banana peels, rubber banded together, with some crumpled paper inside them and a pen inserted thru the middle. Definitely something done on purpose and not just some random throwing trash out the window, thats for sure. I'm beginning to think al-qaeda must have some issues descrambling their Netflix account to get the MacGuyver episodes to play all the way through. Clearly they missed something, or they watched MacGruber instead of MacGuyver....hard to say, but either way, it was a near miss!


However, it turns out the War Chests are a bit depleted right now. But just think, you can change a life, and maybe even the world, if you adopt a poor little mook like (well, insert whatever picture of a poor starving lil child that makes you want to give money). Remember, 100% of all donations go towards fixing up the mooks, so they can go out and change the world. All for just a few dollars a day (Man, I really wish one of those adopt-a-kid commercials would come on, so I could make this even better!) you can change a lil mook's life, so that he can go arm himself to the hilt heavier than an AC-130 gunship and end all these wars by killing the bad guys, while still winning the hearts and minds of everyone else...even if he has to do a public version of the Carlton Dance to get that done!