Monday, May 31, 2010

Thoughts On Memorial Day, 2010

On this Memorial Day 2010, I offer forth some quotes in regards to this subject, along with some narrative.

"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived." — General George S. Patton

Probably the most controversial commander of World War II, Patton was one of the most dedicated commanders to the art of war in modern time. He was a tactical genius whose objective was of one sole purpose: total victory. Often, Patton was considered brash, brazen and arrogant by not only those whom he served, but by those who served him. Even those soldiers who hated the general on a more personal level, as soldiers they respected the man's genius for war. He wasted no efforts with politics or political ramifications of his actions. He made all moves with victory in mind. Not just victory, but complete victory resounding in the crushing of all militaries who might oppose him. He cared not for people skills or political correctness, but despite the demands and sacrifices he made of his soldiers, he cared dearly for all who fought with him. While the first half of this quote leaves room to be misunderstood, one must first understand Patton himself. He made great efforts to know of the men who made the final and ultimate sacrifice, and to personally express the condolences toward those soldiers' families. Yet he also understood the sacrifice that we would all have been made to feel, had these men not answered their call to duty when they did.

"Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations, that we have forgotten, as a people, the cost of a free and undivided Republic." — John A. Logan

While there has always been an element of opposition to war within our country, even since before the War for Independence came about, ultimately we as a nation rallied behind not only our government, but more specifically our soldiers. Our fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, friends and all loved ones who answered the nations call in a time of war. It was ultimately they that found our support, constant and unwavering. After World War II, the landscape of warfare changed dramatically. No longer were we fighting the wars on the side of a seemingly tangible greater good, but by the winds of everchanging political doctrines. These political doctrines did not merely lead us into a war, but dictated the wagings of war as well. And thus the wars, no matter how far away they may be fought, we're brought directly into our living rooms with more constant and more disturbing footage. Every battle, every move was judged with a political eye by politician and citizen alike. At times, opinion dissident to that of the government was in fact so much that support for our soldiers had changed into acts of blind hatred en masse against soldiers themselves.

Especially now with our wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq, no move is made without great speculation from pundits, politicians, and citizens alike. Everyone has their opinions, which in their minds are almost as good as facts. Why a soldier chose to serve his or her country, or what propels them to continue that duty optionally in the face of constant danger and without end in sight, against an essentially faceless enemy can be found in reasons as varied as the soldiers themselves. Many question the soldiers reasons based on their own take, without ever having asked one who has done or is doing their duty. And they have every right to assert their freedom of expression and speech. I just caution them to remember that those rights were granted because of soldiers who answered the call of duty to first allow us to put those freedoms in place and later to help maintain them.

"In the midst of battle, all plans, all thoughts of freedom, and of those back at home go out the window. For in that moment we fight not for any of that but for our brothers next to us. That one day we might be able to remember the battle we fought together rather than being remembered." - Unknown

Today we remember those that gave their lives in battle for us and our country, and each other. Come Veterans' Day, we'll remember those among us who lived through those battles. Why we designate one day here and one day there for the strong warriors among us I will never know. Every day I give thanks for those who have both lived and died in the defense of America.

I was a member of the United States Army back in the late 90s. when some people find this out they thank me for my service. I don't know how to respond to such statements. I never found myself in some great war to define my service. Not that I relish the idea of going into combat. I just don't feel that I ever did anything worthy of being thanked for, no sacrifice to be made by me. I don't want to brush someone off, but I'm always at a lack for words when these moments occasionally come about.

When 9/11 occurred, I was fully entrenched in civilian life, married with one son. When I saw the footage, I as overcome with a lot of emotion. Not outwardly mind you, but there was something welling up inside of me telling me that I should go back and vounteer to fight those who wreaked havoc upon our soil and our citizens. After a talk with my wife, I chose to stay where I was, safe here at home. A part of me was glad to stay here with my family, another voice in my head was talking of my cowardice, that I would let others go fight and die in my stead. It really bothered me for a long time, to the point on a couple occasions where I almost left the house with full plans to re-enlist without my wife's knowledge or permission, the consequences be damned.

I wanted the adventure that would in my own eyes define my entrance into manhood, as well as the camaraderie and the structure the Army would offer me again. Today, an old Army buddy of mine and I ran up to the Post Exchange at Camp Dodge, the Iowa National Guard Headquarters. We grabbed some random supplies for ourselves, and on the way back home we discussed how we missed the life. And how, if we didn't have so much responsibility here at home with children and bills that would surely go unpaid with Army pay, we'd certainly go see a recruiter about getting signed back up, even in our early 30s. It seemed a nice justification, but again part of me saw the reasons as nothing more than hollow excuses we choose to hide behind. Surely there are many serving overseas with the same excuses and more who still answered the call of their country. For better or worse Duty, Honor and Commitment run through their blood to a higher degree than it seems to run through mine. I have a couple old buddies who were killed in action, some wounded, some serving in their respective theaters of war, and others serving stateside who will deploy later this year. Some of them read this, and they know which group they fit in.

All I can do is be thankful for those who made their sacrifice. No matter how small, big or final their sacrifice may be, or what manner they are serving: I thank you.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mook's Allies Put Down Insurrection (AND DENNY'S!!!)

A couple posts ago you got to read about the trip my wife and I got to take together. What was not told was a bigger story that happened at the Mookified Compound while we were away.

For those of you who know the Colonel, you know he has a tendency to be mentally unstable, like any other cat. When creating a relationship with a cat, things don't always go smoothly. The overall situation is often precarious at best. By appointing him as my executive officer, thus giving him some real power in our world, I made the situation even worse.

It's kind of like professional sports. You feed the athlete's ego, you pay him, and he becomes a bitchy millionaire who feels entitled. Well, the same goes for the Colonel. Minus the millions of dollars. He just gets bitchy when things don't go his way. By us leaving him home alone, we robbed him of his opportunity to decide when he would let us pay attention to him. Rather than accepting his responsibilities of guarding the Mookified Compound, he chose to throw a temper tantrum. Or more accurately, he chose to throw his food all over the kitchen. And, unbeknownst to me, there was a head of lettuce left out. It was found on the floor, with holes having been punctured through the plastic bag it came in, quite easily comparable to Cat-Inflicted-Damage (CID) marks.

Luckily for the Colonel, we had our ally in our friend Machelle. She had taken the kids for the weekend so the wife and I could get away alone, and also cleaned up the mess before my wife came home and found it. The Colonel would have surely been skinned alive before being made to meet his demise. And that also made me a lucky one. I would've been put on clean-up and burial details. And then I would have had to go through the long drawn out process of vetting out my next executive officer to take his place. After all, I may be a high ranking official and the supremely powerful Grand Mookatollah, but I can't run this place by myself.

So yes, luckily I had a great ally on my side of things. The grand architects of the Anti-Mookist movement have yet to corrupt her. However....

They may be infecting the citizens within the walls of the Mookified Compound. My wife wears what I see as an official Commie Cap. The appearance is way too close to the type of hat seen worn by many a commie throughout history. Not the big fur Ruskie hats on Soviet guards, but those short billed caps that you'd see someone like Fidel Castro wear.
Like this, only hers is in black

After long reflection to see how my strong willed and independent wife could be wooed by the commies (as a small portion of the Anti-Mookists), I have come down to a couple conclusions. She did receive some college education, and we all know infiltrated Academia is with communist idolaters and their evil ways.

And then there are my hippy parents. As liberals, and grandparents to my kids, I'm sure they have learned to communicate with subliminal messaging techniques in an effort to bring down this great regime of freedom and opportunity which I have produced for all to enjoy. Also, my parents give the kids toys and snacks to corrupt them with their socialist bent while the boys are still too young to know better. Little do they realize that eventually the toys and snacks will end up being regular streams of socks and underwear for gifts. And then there is the fact that when given a choice between me and their mother, the little fruits of my loins choose her...EVERY time! It seems the game is afoot! I may have to move the family somewhere more isolated amongst the hatemongers of our country and away from the evil influences of the far reaching arms of communism. Where I can hide in the mountains where I have built a bunker for official use of the Mookified government, should widespread civil war break out amongst the populace.

Let's see, what else is there to report. Ah yes, the Denny's campaign. Pictures of me at a Denny's have shown themselves onto the Denny's Facebook page, prior to my finding the page and without my knowledge. So it appears I have some, even if accidental, allies in my campaign to be the official face of Denny's.

What I need to do, and I may need help, is writing up the proposal and getting proper face time and respect with Corporate Denny's. I need to convince them that I need a basic salary to cover my time away from home, a official Denny's Guy car to motor around the country touring Denny's restaurants, trying out different dishes every meal and in different regions of the country, giving them Internet advertising through a blog or some other forum. And I'll also need them to cover hotel/motel fare for when I'm a ways away from the Mookified Compound that I call home. I don't think a year of traveling about on their dime, eating their food and publicly shouting their praises (for a fair amount of money)is too much to ask of the great capitalist story that is Denny's Restaurants. So yes, spread the message, tell Denny's that they need to utilize me for such a campaign, and at a cost much lower than most television advertising campaigns go for!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Technology As A Tool Of Anti-Mookism

WARNING!!!! This post may contain some inappropriate language and attitude within the contents. Those who are prone to picking up a stick and beating random people after reading displeasing material should just stop reading now. For the rest of you, well, you've been warned.

As I have mentioned before, I am the target of many conspiracies to hold me back. In fact some of you who read this refuse to add yourselves onto my blog as official followers or to comment openly (there is an option to post comments anonymously without logging in, you know). I can only assume it is because you have heard or know of these conspiracies, and you don't wish to be targeted or have members of your families circumcised merely for your associations with or to me.

I'm pretty sure the UN is part of the grand anti-mookist conspiracy

Well, the grand conspirators have struck at the Mook again!!! Last year there was a fake virus warning that was in fact itself a virus. Clicking on anything pretty much guaranteed your computer was going to be infected and you could do nothing. This happened to my mother's computer. My brother-in-law used his laptop to figure out how to take care of the problem. Then mere weeks later, our computer became infected while I was online. I got into contact with my brother in law, and after 2 to 3 hours we got things fixed. All was good, that is, until yesterday. The bastards struck again while I was online researching information and reading news articles. In fact I didn't even get a warning. Some random pop-up appeared and I merely tried to close it. The computer went into some sort of delay, then a balloon showed up from my task bar saying a virus has been detected, blah blah blah, and then the antivirus window popped up and things went crazy. Just the latest example of a wave of anti-Mookism that has infected the power structure of our world.

Naturally I called down to my sister's place. They don't admit to it, but they are Mookist sympathizers, so I knew I could get help from there. Unfortunately for me, my sister informed me that her husband was at work, so it was going to have to wait. I called my wife and let her know of the situation, and she contacted them last night to get the computer straightened out.

I was informed by my wife after getting up for work that the computer was in fact all fixed up now. I was also told in a frustrated and unjokingly joking manner that if it happens again while I'm online I'll be banned from the computer save when adult supervision is available to monitor my activities. Even with the adult supervision, my activities would be severely curbed. Probably limited to checking but not actually reading my email and getting to play minesweeper or solitaire, games that aren't connected to the Internet.

Of course this is what the grand conspirators are counting on. By curtailing my access to information and being able to disseminate that information along with my own high brow intellect out to the world, they can keep Mookism confined to my household instead of to the masses who deserve to hear sane messages (save these crazy blogs of mine anyways) and have better options for leadership in this world (like mine...remember to write me in for President in 2016!).

For there sake, these anti-Mookist conspirators had better hope I never find them. As a matter of fact let's just go ahead and include anyone who plugs nasty viruses into the cyber world to mess up people's computers and lives. If I do find these people, I have great plans for them.

While I am normally mild mannered, this kind of crap really pisses me off to a degree which none of you can possibly fathom. (Hell, I get overwhelmingly irritated about open cabinets or refrigerator foods being left out. much more so than I should be over something so dumb) Most of you know I'm pretty ardently "anti-electric technology". I hate phones, cell phones, texting, voicemail, ipads, etc, etc. But I do like my computer and what limited things I am able to do with it. I can write my blogs, check and answer my emails, read other blogs, research stuff, write my books, play games and all that. These are the kinds of things I do to entertain myself during the day while being at home alone. I am a man of routine. Ask my wife, interrupting my routine is NOT a good thing. And these conspirators/virus hacking engineers, whatever you call them REALLY ruined my routine.

I just hope someday I run into one of these guys who does this stuff to amuse themselves. I hope he is drunk and just looking for someone to socialize with and blabbers about doing this stuff. And I will be his best friend for the moment. I'll be more than happy to give his drunken ass a ride "home". But when he wakes up, he will find himself tied down to a table. And there will be me, the mad scientist, armed with multiple syringes of adrenaline, a funnel, and a nice vat of corrosive acid.


I will pour the acid all over the evil bastard's daddy parts, starting right down the guy's pee hole, with the funnel, and let it burn in real good, dissolving all the important stuff. I will be injecting the guy with adrenaline to keep him from passing out from the shock of it all. And then I will make sure he lives, so that he will remember it, and he will be made to know exactly why such a fate befell him. If it's a girl that does this hideous crap that messes with people's computers and/or steals their identity ruining their lives and all that, she'll get the same treatment.

Now, full disclosure here, this is all some evil fantasy in my mind. Its the kind of stuff I think these morons deserve, but is in no way the premonition of some criminally insane plot by me. It is however something I obviously wouldn't do in real life, but I'm free to imagine it. And also a legal disclaimer, I do not condone this actual activity in any way shape or form, and furthermore I refuse to be held accountable in the event some complete moron actually goes and does this. We've seen the acid-based disfigurement of people in movies before, so it's not like this is some original idea of mine. You're free to think whatever you want, just don't act upon it.

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Nice Getaway For 2

This last weekend my wife and I took a little time for ourselves. A very gracious friend picked the boys up from the school bus on Friday afternoon and had them until they left for school the following Monday morning.

After I arrived home from work Friday morning, we loaded the car up with our luggage and hit the road for Branson, Missouri. After 7 1/2 hours of on again-off again rain and construction we finally arrived.

We checked in at a resort sales center, who had offered me a 4 day/3night stay at a local hotel for a mere $130 (plus hotel taxes which amounted to an additional $13) all in exchange for going through a 90-minute presentation on the joyous wonders of being a time-share owner. And to boot they threw in 4 tickets to local touristy attractions that Branson is so famous for. I figured 90 minutes wasn't too much to ask to get a weekend alone with my wife and no kids. We had never taken a honeymoon, and we both needed an opportunity to relax from normal everyday life as well as a chance to reconnect with each other since we cross paths more than we live together.

So after we checked in and got all the information we would need for the hotel and the next day's sales presentation, we checked into our room, unpacked, and decided to look about the town for a bit. My wife had never eaten at a Fuddruckers before, so we had an early supper there, purchased a nice little ring for my wife at a jewelry store next door, and then went back to the hotel for the evening.

The next day, Saturday, was breakfast at Denny's. For those of you who don't know me and my past, I have a reputation about eating at Denny's restaurants. Look honey, It's Denny's! Can we go eat here, please? When I was young there was an incident somewhere out west when I embarrassed my mother by pointing out the human equivalent to the Stay-Puft Marshmallow man sitting on a pretty tiny chair. When I was 16 and ran away to the Twin cities, I made a suburban Denny's my little home away from home. When my buddy Jay got married a few years back, I got into town at 3:30am, about 3 1/2 hrs early for the wedding. I went to the Denny's and enjoyed some pie, coffee, and a long conversation with the loan overnight waiter.

Apparently the omelet has hypnotized me

Since then, I have been given a listing of at least one Denny's in every state except Wyoming. I think Wyoming people must be Denny's haters. You'd think they would at least have one, but alas they do not. So it has been my goal to have photographic evidence of myself at every Denny's I eat at from that point forward. I got a long ways to go to hit them all, but I can get there a lot quicker if Denny's would just pony up and sponsor a long road trip to eat at all their locations and write up reviews or something in exchange for it all. So if any of you know a Denny's executive, maybe you can whisper this great idea into their ear?

After that we visited the Ripley's Believe It Or Not center. A lot of interesting things to be found there. My favorite part however was near the beginning they have this exhibit talking about genetically inclined abilities about folding, rolling and curling your tongue. And they have a nice mirror there so you can try to see if you have the correct genes to perform these tasks. I did not attempt these things, and wasn't overly impressed. The thing that was impressive to me about this particular exhibit was later on, when you found yourself on the exact opposite side of that mirror. Only from the backside it was a window. Many brave people started making funny faces in the mirror while manipulating their tongues. Both my wife and I got a good laugh out of watching these people unknowingly make fools of themselves to our delight.

Anyways, so we go to our 1pm appointment, go through the presentation and tour of timeshare ownership, collect our show tickets and go on our way. We went to a local Italian restaurant named Floretina's. Very nice place to eat and not as expensive as it looked. All the food came in the exact right amounts that I wasn't going to leave either hungry or overstuffed. I actually dressed up for this meal, as did my wife. She recently made herself a VERY nice blue dress. And trust me when I say this: She looked stunningly gorgeous. So gorgeous in fact that even though one of the waiters had to wait on the hostess to find us a seat made sure to give her a look over and talk with her the very second we walked into the place. He was not our waiter, but our waiter also stole a glance at her, as well as a few other male patrons. Lucky for me we were already married, otherwise I might have found myself with stiff competition to keep her as my date that evening. You will notice there is no picture of her in full length with that dress. One reason is because I suck at operating her camera, the other is because that is a vision for me. If you really want to see it, you better be lucky enough to grace us with your presence personally on a night she decides to wear it.

At the hotel before dinner

After dinner, we went down to Branson Landing. This is a trendy shopping district along the White River/Lake Taneycomo. It used to be a river, but after some damming up somehow they gave it lake status despite its more stream-like quality. We took a ride on a moonlight cocktail cruise on one of those old paddle wheel river boats. It was a nice time, albeit a bit chilly. We spent about an hour or so on the boat with the final attraction was the fountain and light show. The water fountain they had built cost a few million bucks and was designed by the same guys who did the great fountain at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. This one, in addition to the coordinated fountain stream works featured pillars that emitted fireballs choreographed into the show.
This is how I look while concentrating on working her camera. I had already turned it off once, and switched it over to view pictures once before getting it to actually take a photo. I R intel a jent!
Now she takes the picture instead...much better, and on the first try!

Dani enjoying her Pina Colada on the upper deck during our cruise. Now, quit oggling my wife and continue reading!
On Sunday, we checked out the Hollywood Wax Museum. I was really not impressed with this place. The building was a big skyscraper rendition, with King Kong atop the tower. My wife got a few pictures of this, along with a shot of the big ape's butt, and later one of me appearing to pinch the ape's butt. For the record this was not my idea, but hers. I just decided to oblige since my "special" behaviors are often not exposed to her on purpose. She gets a kick out of me acting like a retard (for those of you offended by the use of the word 'retard'...get over it).
She thought it hilarious to get a picture of me pinching King Kong's butt. As you can see, even the thought of buttplay with an artificial monkey humors me! Inside we saw a variety of movie stars in wax form. While a few looked pretty close, most of them were horribly, and I mean horribly, not anywhere near the likeness of the person they were trying to portray. It's pretty bad when you have to read the little signage with a description of the person and what TV or movie the portrayal was from to know who you are looking at.

After that we went to the historic downtown district, got a couple small gifts. A wallet for my oldest son since he lost his a long time ago, and a t-shirt for the youngest. We also picked up a gift for our friend who watched over the boys for the weekend. Then, after wandering around for a little while, we took a short ride in a horse drawn carriage. I saw Dani look over and get a look on her face that said she wanted to do that while we were on our way elsewhere and someone else was getting in to take a ride. I asked her if she wanted to do that when we came back around. She of course tried to play if off, trying to use me as an excuse saying I wasn't interested in that kind of thing. Of course in reality I had seen it the night before and had been thinking about it. So she got her wish and we took a carriage ride around the downtown area.

After that we hit the hotel pool for a little bit, took a walk, and finished the night with dinner at another hotel. The next morning came way too early. We packed up, checked out and hit the road to come back home to 'real life'. 8 hours on the road, a short time home, and back to work for me that night, and the next morning for her. I had a lot of fun getting away with my wife for a weekend, with no real cares or worries. Just leaving everything behind and existing in the moment with each other was great, and basically allowed us to fall in love with each other all over again. I think that it also caused us to prioritize the important things in life and how we were going to make sure we could live life together as a family rather than just being legally attached and running the hamster wheel of normal everyday boring lives.