Monday, December 5, 2011

General Mook, Overlord Award Winner

So today I see that my influence in this world has not gone unnoticed. Selena from herMotherhood Sucks blog, and it is a very infamous set of articles followed all over the place by smart people, as well as us leaders who strain to grasp the insanity of those we lead, has now officially awarded me the much coveted Overlord Award.

This award allows me to change ANY 3 things I want to, IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. It appears my need to rule the Universe is still being debated, and I'm sure we'll end up having to divvy up the sectors sooner or later once real life catches up with all that Star Trekky and Star Wars business. After much careful consideration, I have settled upon the following things (note to readers, I tried hard to narrow down my vast needs to three things):

1. Football season will be year round, and Nascar will be dropped to a total of 10 weeks a year. Sorry to all my redneck racecar loving friends, but you can race anyday you want out on the streets and bet your own damn money to the winners. Football is still clearly, in my not so humble opinion (the only opinion of which matters to me anyways), the king of all sports.

2. Above the waist nudity will be allowed worldwide. However the permit to do so must be cleared directly through me. In some cases, I will require it for some women. Like Cindy Crawford (my all time love), and certain other women who I deem it to be so. For others it will be deemed that they never participate in this for the entirety of their lives... There will be harsh sanctions for violators! (Hey, I'm a 32 year old guy hiding an adolescent soul...did you expect me to gloss over this aspect of life)

3. Bitching and whining to me verbally, as well as outright temper tantrums that are used to stifle the bitching and whining, will be ceasing about 3 seconds before they start. Failure to do so will result in your entire wealth being transferred to me, as well as copious sessions of my cat, the esteemed Colonel Beauregard Sterling Lovell. He's gotten plenty of baths, and he's looking to dish out some retribution

I have other rules as well, but apparently this award only entitles me to 3 official changes. The rest will be carried out, Geneva Convention be damned! I could've gone with more worldly ideas to solve today's political issues, but gthat would seem so selfless....and by God, I havent been selfish enough in my benevolent leadership up to this point.

Also apparently I have to nominate other people (bloggers) for this auspicious award. Those that I would nominate generally dont condone being put on the spot like this. Personally I think Selena just got tired of me not writing and thrust this award upon me, all the way from upstate New York just to make me show SOME direction with my life and give her new reading material... I believe she finds her Overlord status a little higher than mine... women! sheesh!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I'm An Uncle Again

This is my new niece, Elliana.

It's weird, I talk about how how long a day can be, but how fast the month and years can go by. Of course, I'm sure my sister has thought the last few months went by excruciatingly slow. As a guy, when pregnancy hits, we keep thinking we need it to keep going for awhile. First we want to make sure the bun in the oven is baked long enough to come out just right. Secondly we want to hold off on the expenses of new babies as long as possible. However, the women want to get it over with, and get that rib-jarring, bladder-pressing baby out into the world so they can get on with life and motherhood.

I guess the doctor wanted that baby out quicker than she was ready to come out into the world. I suppose he wanted to make sure he got credit and paid for the baby before squeezing in some time at the golf course while on vacation. As for me, it seems like just yesterday that her first little girl had just come into the world, and now here she is with little girl number 2. The first one, Sophie, looks like a miniature clone of my sister. There is really no difference between the two except for size and age. I'm sure my brother-in-law's parents are hoping Elliana gets some of her looks from their side of the family. Hard to tell at this point, since all babies come out red/pinkish. And of course, our family seems to have pretty strong genes to be overcome.

Hopefully they will come up to Iowa to visit next summer or the following Christmas, so I can meet my new niece... and of course get to hang out with my brother-in-law. I think Becky keeps him down there in Florida just to keep us from getting together, since he and I are like peas in a pod. That and now that Sophie is old enough to understand things, there is always risk of me telling her how Becky got away with everything at that age. She needs to have stories to throw back in her mother's face whenever being chastised for the same kinds of things.

Luckily, being an angelic child like I was, Becky can't do that to me with my boys. They already know what a well behaved and good little boy I was growing up. And if they ever get the idea to question that line of thinking, they can just ask me and I'll set them straight.

Anyways, congrats to my sister and her husband. They only had to have another baby to get Mom and Dad to go down and visit them!

State of the Cat Address

From the Desk of Colonel Beauregard Sterling Lovell

The State of the Cat is improving in this last week. After escaping a harrowing session of torture, things are beginning to return to as normal as they can be.

Two weeks ago, I was trapped into a a portable cell, and transported to a man they call "Doc". Some call him a vet, others call him other things. Without a doubt he is a veteran in the underworld of the dark practices of torture. I remember being let free from my cell only to be stuck with needles. When I came too, and after what was most likely an intense session of questioning and further torture, I found my fingernails yanked from their rightful place. They had attempted to extract more information from me while keeping me heavily drugged.

However, being a Cat and an Officer, I have a much sharper mind, and while withholding any sensitive information, Planned my daring escape. They tried to thwart me with newspaper in my latrine instead of my usual sandbox that I have become accustomed to. It took a little while to get my legs back, having been so heavily doped up on their drugs, however began to get my balance back. I convinced a weaker minded human being to replace the sand in my latrine, and feed me heartily while I nursed backed to health. We have seen a return to increased fecal output, however our ability to invade the upper deck has been nullified without use of my climbing paws. Keeping the small child that runs around the Mookified Compound in line has proven an upward battle. I intend to use a nighttime attack to put him back in his place in the pecking order around here.

I still suffer tenderness and some soreness in my left front paw, for which revenge will be exacted at a later time. I will be holding full investigations on this Rendition program, the methods of torture/enhanced interrogation that have been employed on me personally, and other such matters... hopefully I can get them televised to the public through C-Span 9. I believe the greater public awareness will help bring "Doc" to justice on the international level. In the meantime, I prepare to bring the General down for his part in this dastardly plot. I have taken over his chair, antagonize him during his "meetings on the throne", and prepare to stalk his sleeping quarters to allow for him to suffer from sleep deprivation and greater levels of paranoia. Then maybe I'll rip out his fingernails...

Col. B.S. Lovell
Feline Combat Div., Commanding

Friday, October 14, 2011

Writer's Block

Writer's Block... The manifestation of creative constipation.

Constipation in its regular form can be a really painful thing to deal with. I've been through it a few times, but with the help of a product by FLEET, it can go away, often hitting you at the worst possible time in the fully opposite direction before you get to feeling normal again. I once had an issue with partial blockage, so that I did get to go #2, but wasn't getting rid of all of it. I eventually succumbed to visiting an emergency room, getting xrays and blood/urine tests to figure out what was wrong with me. When the nurse showed up with a box of Fleet enema stuff, I felt a sense of embarassment and stupidity. Instead of spending $1100 on quality American healthcare in a small town, I could've gone to the store and spent about $15 getting my own box of Fleet and a box of raisin bran to complete the homemade detoxification.

As a guy who enjoys writing, and enjoys being able to have a creative outlet, when I get this mental constipation going on, its almost worse because it isn't physical pain, but more like a feeling of depressive soul sucking depriving me of my outlet to vent whatever life incident I find humorous enough to share, or merely pandering my own ego and pushing my own brand of weirdness onto you readers.

Whether it's something the kids said or did that I found intriguing or downright hilarious, or the cat's antics for that matter, or merely some random gripe or observation about life, I like to put it out there with a little bit of the Mookified perspective. For the last couple weeks, I get some hint of inspiration to write about whatever may have happened that day, almost daily and usually at the most inconvenient times, and by the time I get in front of the computer.... it's gone. The anecdote or full blown story might be great, but I can't seem to get it from my head onto paper (or do you call this electronic paper?).

I'm not as smart and extremely adept at going after politics or social issues like some of my counterparts I follow on here (this is the one and only time I will admit to this. If you ask me face to face, I will tell you that I am the smartest person I know), I just stick with what I know, which is just basically observation of people and things around me, ocassionally being able to expound on them further as though I know what I'm talking about. Other times, its just a bunch of "Grade A" American Baloney (which I am an expert at this), as the whims bounce off my brainpan and onto this blog.

Today I'm blogging about this, just to blog, hoping that writing down SOMEthing will get my brain fired up to relieve the cerebral pressure and I can squeeze out a few more things that I actually get into for long enough to make this blog worth visiting.

Something I've noticed about this new blogger format when typing up a convenient spellcheck, and I've had to come back and re-edit, searching the tools just to keep these paragraphs separate, instead of one big block jumble of words.... The problem with technology, is nothing ever seems to be good enough. And if you find something easy to use and it works for you, the companies WILL change it up and make whatever you did obsolete or non-operational. As long as they are changing, you have to change with them and do it the way THEY want you to do things, or you have to become some sort of misanthrope and miss out altogether.

And since blogging is kind of an egotistical thing for most of us- face it, this is about ego to a degree in that we actually think what we have to say matters to other people and that they should read it and follow whatever we tell them- I think they (the technology companies) have the biggest egos and get off on making us change our ways to conform to their wants, or be crushed in self defeat. I told you these bastards were evil!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Being Shortchanged By My Own Brain!

I've noticed that when I'm extra tired, the dreams I have are much more interesting and sometimes so active I wake up exhausted... and pissed!

I don't really remember what I was dreaming about, even moments after waking up, but I know my dreams are stifling my growth. Not growth like having sipped some of my mom's coffee stunted my ability to be tall, but in life. Not sure if I was shortchanged economically, emotionally or otherwise, but I just KNOW, that my dreams ability to draw things out way too long are really irritating me.

I know that whatever is going on in the dream is interesting, and it keeps leading to some magical golden point. But the dreams keeps elaborating on and on, beating a dead horse. Kind of like those online copy ads that keep telling you what a great product/service/opportunity you can have if you respond now.... oh but wait let us tell you more, by merely expounding on what we just said, but with different word orders and sentence structures, followed with some vaguely written "testimonials". YEAH YEAH YEAH, JUST GET TO THE G%$$@&^* POINT ALREADY!

Yeah, my dreams are kind of annoying like that. Yes, I've been sucked in, I'm interested in your story, but more so, I'm interested in what the point is, what golden nugget of information is going to hit my hears, bounce around my brain and make me better off for knowing it.

And you know what? Every time I think I am right at that point where I'm gonna hear it... I wake up! That stupid alarm clock, or my stupid bladder complaining about how it needs to be emptied right now or it will wet my bed, is always interrupting my dreams just when they are getting to the good and juicy part of the story.

I keep thinking that I'm going to learn the secret of life, or how to make my first billion dollars, by merely HEARING the next utterances of whoever is talking to me in my respective dreams. And I can FEEL it with every fiber of my being. Then that clock goes off or my bladder wakes me up, and I find myself thoroughly disappointed and irritated that I had my chances shot to hell because of having to wake up.

I'll let the rest of you take it from here... I'm sure I had something really important to tell all of you to conclude this blog post, but I can't seem to remember what it is...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

God Versus Nature

So just a bit of disgusting guy humor to chew on for a few minutes. Now I know you all usually come here for up to date serious discussions that I introduce which will inevitably change the world, but I figured I'd lighten things up from my usual all-business-all-the-time posts...

So I had some greasy foods and some fiber loaded foods over the course of a few days. Eventually they came back to haunt me while I was working. Before you ask, no I did NOT soil myself while driving the patrol car. I did however go to a familiar facility that I am comfortable using. It also happened to be a church, an episcopalian one at that, that I lock up and do security checks at. I had a copy of the Sunday paper and took it in with me. 20 minutes and 10 pounds later, I ran out of that bathroom. You know its pretty bad when your own stuff frightens your sense of smell to the very core.

Surely I thought I will burn in hell for having destroyed the facilities. So naturally I asked a female friend. She assured me that "Jesus always forgives." That's nice, but also one opinion from someone who doesn't exactly regularly attend church, and keep up to date on the Sin/Not a Sin list.

So I asked a male coworker. He assured me that "Blowing up a Sh***** in the House of God is one of those unforgivable sins like suicide and that surely you will burn."

So, in order to break the tie I went to my lovely sister for her opinion. I told her the basic story and the answers I received from my two friends. She then informed me most assuredly that "God is an angry God. The New Testament and Jesus love stuff was just to co opt the tenderhearted people into worshipping God. And that you will definitely burn in hell." Again this opinion is from a non churchgoing person....but awfully harsh coming from a new age hippie liberal type. That and she is my sister... she probably relishes the day to find out whether I burn in hell or not, hoping for the former. Lot of love between her and I.

I asked her that if I destroyed an Episcopalian bathroom with all their tender loving God ways being a falsity in the name of the true angry God, that I might get leniency for helping to take down his false church. She said I'd be lucky if that were the case... she's probably still hoping for the hellfire and brimstone option for me.

Then I began to wonder... Angry god or not, he made me and he made the stuff to make the food I ate, and he should've foreseen the problem of the nature of my body reacting to this stuff and known that sooner or later, a church would be bombed out by my #2 stinky business. So ultimately this is God's fault (this is purely satire...don't go getting in a huff over this statement, you religious fanatics!) for making me this way...after all He created me in His image....So maybe I'm just trying to achieve His goal of becoming more like him. Maybe this production of Smoke On The (Holy Toilet) Water, is more of an homage of His greatness? Has God destroyed a few spiritual toilets in an effort to exalt Himself in front of the angels as an All-Powerful God among Gods?

Discuss amongst yourselves, and proffer your opinions.... Was it a Holy Sh*t, or a fast track to Hell?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

American Healthcare Issues

First off, let me say this isn't an argument for why we should leave health care in America the way it is, or pushing for universal coverage. I'm just doing a little nit-picking and general complaining over a few things.

One of the things I intend to bitch about came up on a blog by Renaissance Guy about a guy with an infected tooth who ended up dying. He went to the local emergency room and they gave him a prescription for some pain meds and an antibiotic and told to go get his tooth pulled. He was uninsured.

The big thing I wondered is why they couldn't have had some doctor come on in and just yank the infected tooth out and go from there with the pain meds and prescription.

One commenter, who goes by the moniker Plainly Spoken, said:
I would suspect that is because ER’s are not equipped for dental work and do not have dentists on staff. I would further think this is because there are not significant numbers of people going to ER’s for dental issues. Also, I would suspect that the large majority of dental emergencies occur because so many people ignore dental issues until forced to deal with them (which may well come from a lack of dental insurance and/or ability to afford dental care).

Fair enough opinion, but still I have to disagree that the people who work in the hospital aren't capable of pulling out a friggin tooth. They have local anesthetics, they have scalpels to cut away the gum if necessary, they have clamps to hold things out the way, and I'm sure something resembling a pair of pliers. Add some gauze to the hole when your done and give the guy some pain meds.

To which another commenter going by Spherical Time replied to my solution:
I think doctors are unlikely to attempt surgery that they haven’t trained for, especially with as few preparations as getting a scalpel, clamps, and a pair of pliers (and the gauze and painkiller).

That’s a good way to kill a patient

As to ST's first paragraph I agree. Although one caveat I might add is how many ER doctors got formal training treating gunshot wounds? Sooner or later it has to be figured out. As for removing a tooth, it isn't exactly rocket science. Yes, it is better to be trained in the professional manner, however, its still pulling a tooth. Take an X-ray to see what the tooth looks like altogether, then yank that puppy out of the guy's mouth. I would assume the reluctance of a doctor in an ER to do such a thing would be more insurance/malpractice/lawsuit related than the ability to do minor in house surgery.

As to removing the tooth killing a patient, I disagree. I've had a few teeth forcibly removed without the help of a trained professional, and I never died from it. I felt like I'd rather have died than deal with that kind of pain, since when it comes to my mouth I'm a big wimp, but somehow I survived it okay.

The stories we were given as kids, and some people may have actually experienced, about tying string to a loose tooth and a doorknob, or pulling a bad tooth out with pliers, they aren't just stories. That kind of thing actually happened... in one's own home, by the babysitter, or whomever.

Heck, for decades, if not centuries, both dental and medical care were administered where ever it was needed. They didn't require a big fancy building and a staff of specialists for every possible scenario in order to do the job. If a guy needed a big gash cleaned and stitched, the old saw bones (doctor) would do it right in his own house which sometimes doubled as his office, or at the patients place. If a guy needed a tooth removed, they removed the dag-blamed tooth.

Who needs big fancy buildings, a board of directors, insurance executives and legal departments to fix minor issues before they become major ones that might require all of the above? Hell, I have known quite a few elderly people who made a trip to the hospital for some reason or another and refused to stay, after the doctor made the decision to keep them, because they knew damn good and well that staying in the constantly sterilized environment might actually be more dangerous in the form of getting a bad antibiotic-resistant staph infection or pneumonia, than going home to heal up from whatever ailment they suffered from. They can check in by phone, or visit the clinic to be followed up with or monitored, and only choosing to stay in the hospital if things get really really bad that they actually physically REQUIRE hospitalization.

But then again, thanks to lawyers, if the doctors don't toe the line and something goes wrong, the patients family can sue the pants off of them. Whether it happened in the hospital or because the doctor didn't make them stay. I do argue for tort reform in the medical field. Not a full on "you can't sue the doctors for shit" kind of tort reform, but for putting a little common sense back into the system. If the doctor fucks something up, sure sue him. Get the cost of the medical requirements covered by the doctor, hospital, and/or their insurance companies. Get the lost wages to the family in the event of death or permanent disability. Even get your mental anguish and pain and suffering payments if you want...not $10 million dollars worth of pain and suffering by any means, but some smaller, more reasonable figure would be fine in my eyes.

I know life is precious and priceless, especially if it is yours or a loved one's, but some of these lawsuits that award millions in damages on top of the economic scope are ludicrous. I don't care if the guy is a $5 million dollar a year CEO of some corporation or some barely making handyman. Cover the health care costs for life for screwing him up, a reasonable wage recovery amount (in the event of the little guy, give him his last 20 years of work he would have done if it hadn't been for this medical "mistake"; as for the CEO, he can do with less than 20 years at $5 million per), and some capped compensation for your pain and suffering.

I'm not a big fan of lawyers and their ability to make a ton of money from your lawsuit while you get a pittance when something goes wrong in the medical business. I'm not a big fan of the insurance and hospital execs who get big pay for essentially "running" a corporation already tracking to succeed regardless of him being a member of the board. I'm not a big fan of the big pharmaceutical companies who insist on pushing their drugs onto everyone at a steep price, and working their damnedest to keep the generic versions from being available, or their working with insurance companies to keep erectile dysfunction drugs covered while not covering other types of more relevant lifesaving drugs and forcing the customer to pony up every penny for them.

I mean look, I'm not anti-regulation. I believe there has to be some regulations to protect all parties involved, but often times we over regulate things, and use too broad of a brush with those that exist that actually stymie the process in some instances.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Frogs, Bats, Wasps and FAIL!

This year Iowa has seen a ton of tree frogs doing their wall and window hanging impressions. Like little green mimes, they just stick there silently mocking us humans who need to invent crap to stick to walls in such a way.

The other night I had the animal kingdom out in full force for my viewing pleasure while working. I saw a fox run down and then slaughter a little bunny rabbit. As I watched this spectacle occurring alongside me as I creeped through a residential neighborhood in my patrol vehicle, I was doing my best to mimic a combination of the National Geographic narrators combined with the guy who does the commentary at horse races. I found myself very amused by me, but then again, those of you who know me, know that isn't a hard thing to accomplish.

Cicadas have been out in full force this summer as well. With their little camouflage thoraxes these things seem to believe they are soldiers, or rather the live embodiment of attack choppers, with all their loud noises and their flying about haphazardly. While most keep their distance from me, this particular night I disturbed one that was on the edge of a door frame near a scan strip I have to swipe in an effort to let the boss know I was in fact there. As son as my hand got near the unseen bug, it swooped up in the air and then proceeded to dive bomb me, repeatedly, for about 10 feet. I'm not sure what the goal of this attack was on the Mookified Leader was, but it was kind of annoying and did make me jump and swipe. Luckily no one was around to witness this spectacle I was putting on, other than a billion flying insects that swarm the lights at the facility I was checking. He finally gave up after hitting the ten foot mark, and lucky for him... I was about to kill the little flying bastard, instead I found a few making due on the concrete below some ground lights and killed them instead as a warning that the Mook does not take kindly to acts of terrorism, especially from insects.

Then I crossed the street to a group of 3 buildings I check nightly, and the place where I most commonly find my little tree frogs. As I pulled up alongside the first building, I saw something hanging alongside the door on the cement/stucco wall of the building. It was rather large in comparison tot he frogs I usually see hanging about. As I got closer, I realized it was awfully furry to be a frog. Then I got right up on this intruder and realized this furry thing was definitely no frog but a God-forsaken BAT!!!!

Just hanging out on the wall about a foot above the sidewalk, I was not only being Marcel Marceau-d by frogs, but also a fucking bat! Those little sonsabitches usually only confronted me inside old buildings, schools and some houses, and now they were brave enough to come at me, a trained professional bat killer, errr bat remover, outside in the open air? Luckily for him, I had my blood lust satisfied by watching the fox and rabbit massacre as well as the killing of a few misguided cicadas... oh and the praying mantis that tried to go toe to toe with me (pretty much literally)outside the local medical school earlier that evening. I left this rabies infested scourge of the night alone to sleep against his warm wall, vowing his um, removal, should he be there the next time I returned.

Anyways, back to the frogs. The boys and I went camping the other weekend at Lake Ahquabi, which features a load of trails, bathroom facilities- some of which are loaded with wasp nests galore (more on that later)-, and a nice little lake that also happens to be home to a lot of frogs. One guy was jigging frogs out of one end of the lake, playing with the bullfrogs and then letting them go back to their homes. My oldest son had found a new friend on the campgrounds and they spent hours out hunting for salamanders and frogs. They had a good time.

One thing that struck me dumb was at night while the boys were sleeping in the tent. I was watching my little campfire burn, adding a few logs to it when necessary to keep the fire going so I could stare at and be lost in the flames that much longer. I heard stirring from the tent, and my oldest Joshua is talking in his sleep. Mostly mumbles then suddenly and very loudly I hear him exclaim, "FAIL, FAIL, FAIL!"

I'm not sure what that was about. It could be that since he didn't get video games at all for the weekend, they invaded his dreams for a bit and he was yelling at the TV screen while playing, or trash talking some friend playing against him in a video game. I don't really know, but it was funny as hell, and again, amused me greatly. I never heard another peep out of him the entire night.

This year has been an odd one for flying stinging insects for me. It was just 2 weekends ago that I literally saw my first honey bee all year. Growing up, I would see them all the time as they hit the dandelions and other flowers from early morning til early evening. Now I rarely see them at all. I had heard of mysterious drops in honey bee populations, and of course I have seen more than my fair share of wasps and hornets. And this little video tells me all I need to know about that:

I really really like honey... So I find it in my heart to ally myself with honeybees and do in their predatorial cousins any chance I get.

Once it warmed up we had wasps and hornets flying all around my apartment building. I armed myself with enough spray to poison the entire fresh water supply in central Iowa. Did I mention I hate flying stingy bugs? I don't care much for bugs at all as it is, especially itch-making mosquitoes and chiggers, but the things that can fly great distances and change direction in mid flight to avoid a swatting and still come sting me??? Forget that noise. They can all die!

And die they did. One steady stream of non-electrically conducting liquid wasp & hornet death juice at a time brought to you by RAID! I even nailed a bumblebee out on my deck, drenching him with approximately 3 cups (4 quarts Canadian) of the stuff.

But I still had an elusive enemy lurking about the property. This thing was big and black with a few very thin yellow half stripes. It's body gleamed in the sunlight showing its true body armor. It started out hanging out near the drainage coil underneath the sidewalk that led up to the south end of our building. Occasionally it would buzz up near the doorsteps, but rarely. Then one day the shiny knight of the Hornet kingdom buzzed my deck, hovering a bit as if to challenge me to battle before dropping down to a dirt patch where some bushes once stood. It would fly up quickly to the trees along the west edge of the property going after the cicadas I presume, and then shortly it would return to the dirt patch, hovering about, never landing. I don't know if it was a Cicada Killer, or a giant effing hornet, but I wasn't about to ask it face to face. The Mookified Army had to mobilize at this new threat to its leader's peace.

Armed with my previously aforementioned can of hornet death juice, I went outside to the sidewalk to confront my enemy, with a spotter on my deck to keep an eye on its whereabouts. When I landed below, the Hornet Knight was still hovering about the dirt patch. I drew my trusty can of death juice and fired away from a safe distance. The can stated to have a 22 foot range, however had finally giving out... white gaseous clouds emitted from the nozzle, essentially gassing the area around the Hornet Knight! GASP! I began the quick retreat of fear that little kids exhibit when they get spooked. But the Hornet Knight just buzzed about his happy little existence, surely laughing his little buzzy laugh at me as I went inside, thwarted once again by the failings of technology.

Then the other evening, the Hornet Knight reappeared as I sat on the south stoop having a cigarette and enjoying a nice cold refreshing Barley Soda. He zipped in close, hovered near the legs of myself and a friend. I moved slowly and proceeded indoors. My friend asked me if I was scared and running away. To this, I, General Mook, proclaimed that I was not afraid, but must secure my weapons of war and deal with the evil invader that flies and stings stuff. You see, I had since procured more flying stinging insect death juice in a can!!! I left my friend to keep an eye on it. Of course when I returned, the Hornet Knight must've smelled the scent of its one weakness that comes in a can. He had disappeared. I boldly stated how he must be scared of the deadly Mookist military machine, to which I received in response a small and sarcastic sounding chuckle. but then, back to the stoop the Hornet Knight came a calling. He had been querying a spot between the bricks underneath a layer of steps. I told my friend to back off and let a professional warrior handle this business. I too stepped back about 5 feet from the stoop. The Hornet Knight then settled in and landed on the steps, preparing to crawl into the crevasse.

SHWOOOOOSHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I hit that bad boy with everything I had for about 10 seconds straight. The Hornet Knight's own body armor could not withstand the heavy onslaught of flying stinging bug death juice in a can. It quickly curled up almost appearing to have stung itself in the face to get its death over with quickly and avoid suffering the burny sensation that must be caused by my aerosol technology.

The previous few nights of work, about 8 miles away just outside of downtown, I had found a nest of little yellow jackets or wasps or some such thing that had built a nest in front of a boarded up window on the backside of an abandon tenement that I patrol. Teeming over the nest and keeping an eye on my once the beam of my flashlight illuminated it, I knew they too were preparing to deal with the Mookist leader while he played rentacop. However, after the death of the Hornet Knight, these wasps had disappeared, leaving nothing but a dry nest behind them. Some might say the falling temperatures made them abandon the nest for a more desirably insulated location, but I know it was because I had eliminated the regional warlord that I had dubbed the Hornet Knight...however he was no knight, but a Hornet King!!!

And I single-handedly squashed any flying stinging bug uprising that may have been about to occur by taking out their leader!!!

So hopefully next spring and summer, the honey bees return and make my precious product that I crave so much. If not, I may have to start a new career as the Great White Wasp Hunter!!! And I will bring virulent death to all that fly and sting, besides the honey bees, until they are no more!!!

And then they will make a new and improved Starship Troopers, where Instead of Johnny Rico going after some kind of friggin arachnid threat from outer space, Chuck Norris (Playing former Texas Ranger turned Mookist Emperor) will be the lone savior of humanity as he roundhouse kicks hornets and wasps and bumblebees of all varieties, in an inter-species war of attrition (they sacrifice themselves in huge numbers, Chuck Norris sacrifices midget babies as bait) and extinction- on earth AND in outer space!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Camping With The Boys

This last weekend was my weekend with the boys. I decided to take a trip out to Thomas Mitchell Park, a little ways outside the Des Moines Metro area. One of my best friends and his wife were completing moving into my building and cleaning up their old place, so I took along their son, one of my pseudo-nephews. It started off as a nice little day trip, to get the boys out of the apartment and out of the city into nature for a few hours.

Josh and Buggy love this kind of stuff, where they get to run around freely without worries of traffic, and do whatever comes to their imaginations. My nephew on the other hand, was mostly confined to the city, and not exposed much to the more natural world. At first he was scared to leave the adult company too far behind while we went along one of the walking trails. It took awhile but soon he found himself confident and comfortable enough to keep up with my boys, playing in the creek and building a rock dam across the waterway along with some other kids who were out there.

At this point in my writing I find myself frustrated. Some of what I intended to write here would make more sense or have some context of hilarity with accompanying pictures. However either my computer or blogger is being stupid and uploading photos seems to be an impossibility. I'm a bit on the special side and need (more than just prefer) visual aids to go along with my writing. Kind of like a kindergartner, I like illustrations to go with the story, whether I'm reading it or being read to.

Anyways, after walking the trails, we came upon the creek that runs through the park, and across the creek is the campgrounds. Kids were in the creek playing, building a dam of rocks across the stream. It took no time or encouragement for my kids to strip their shoes and socks off and join in on the engineering project. My nephew was a little hesitant, and soon came out of the creek saying it was too slippery in the creek bed for his liking. After some coaxing, he went back in and soon found it pleasing to have the sand and mud and rocks under his feet in the water. He and Buggy also discovered natural clay. It didn't take long to have their hands covered in the stuff as they grabbed it up out of the water squished it through their fingers! Josh seemed quite at home moving rocks with the other kids from one part of the creek to the new dam they were building. Although he found that being the biggest kid there (he's 12 years old, almost as tall as me, and wears men's 9 1/2 shoes), he got volunteered to grab some of the bigger rocks to lug over to what would be the rocks new home along with the others that helped block up the waterway. Or rather, created a very short shallow set of rapids as the water rushed in between and over some of the rocks.

After a few hours of romping around in the creek, we headed back to the city, bringing my nephew back home, and had decided, thanks in part to a family friend I had with me, that we would return to the park and camp out over night.

We stopped at the grocery store to pick up some food supplies, and grabbed sleeping bags, blankets, and clothes from home to take with us. Being the manly man that I am, I opted to do the sleeping under the stars version of camping. We're no sissies! We don't need no stinking tents!

I bought some firewood from the camp hosts. (apparently, they pay people to camp out at these parks, and assist the visitors... what a job to have!) They delivered it, and the man asked if we were just sleeping on the ground and no tent. I let him know that yes, in fact we were. He made some reference to me having had to be military in the past. Also true. And they went on their way leaving us to cook our hot dogs and smores over the campfire. Sometime after it got dark, the local park cop, the DNR's version of a rentacop (even the government can't hold such a high standard of rentacoppin like the private industry- and mainly me- can), comes by and asks where our tent is. I inform him of our non-sissy standards, and he informs me that "we don't really permit sleeping under the stars."

REALLY? It's friggin Iowa. It's not like I have to worry about venomous ducks wandering through, or wild dingos coming to eat my children. In which case, a measly tent isn't going to stop either. There is absolutely no rain in the forecast. I paid the $13 for the night's stay. Who cares if I sleep in a sleeping bag only, or inside a sleeping bag located inside a tent? Apparently the county park authorities do. I'm not really sure why, but at after 9pm, I don't see it wise to have a pissing match with the park cop and getting us all kicked out. I would've satisfied my ego having stood up to the park cop, but disappointed the kids when we got banned for life or something. So it didn't really seem worth the hassle.

I decided to drive into town to grab my friend's tent. It is freaking huge and has a lot of parts. Putting that thing together in the dark was not my idea of fun. So on the way, I detoured to Walmart and bought a $60 tent that was big enough to serve our needs, gives me a tent of my own, and best of all, easy to assemble. Even in the dark it was no more than 10 minutes from opening the kit to having the ten up and ready to go.

In the midst of the night, a raccoon invaded our campsite. I was sitting on the picnic table bench with my friend watching the fire when we hear somnething. We both thought I had knocked over my Pepsi. As I shifted, out skitters a raccoon from under the table. The raccoon and I eyeballed each other from a distance of about 5 feet, both quite surprised to see each other. I guess I sat by the fire so still he wandered in not noticing me, and me not noticing him.

Once I get a fire going, I can sit there for hours just watching it. When I go visit my parents, Dad and I can do that in his backyard, and just lose all track of time. And so, here I was doing that very same thing as my boys slept in their new tent. Eventually I let the fire die down and retired to go to sleep.

The next morning was a slow start, but plenty early as most camping trips I always wake up way early for some reason. Josh wandered off to play some basketball with a couple kids he met there, and is now friends with, as they too live in Des Moines. Later on, my two boys and this brother and sister went exploring as much of the trail and the creek as possible. They managed to catch frogs and minnows with their bare hands, and generally just ran around like kids. I spent a little bit of time in the creek, but kept to the dry areas, never removing my socks and shoes. I got to see some frogs and tadpoles, some butterflies and moths...and of course spy on the kids a bit as they waded up and down the creek doing their thing.

As I mentioned, Josh is 12. He isn't quite tot he point of liking girls yet. Although at one point as they all waded through the creek in their swimsuits, I noticed the 13 year old sister and he close together a few times, but as soon as he noticed he was being seen, he made definite separation. Subconciously he likes her, it just hasnt made it to the part of his brain where he actually realizes it yet. As the Mook, I would've teased him for it. However as his father, I left it alone.

This last week I recieve multiple missed calls from strange numbers. On Wednesday I actually answered a call (I almost never answer numbers I dont recognize). It was the 11 year old boy calling to hang out. So I went to pick the boy up, and upon further discovery I found out the other strange but close phone number was his sister... the girl in the story. MULTIPLE missed calls.... I see Josh using his friend to get to the sister some years from now. Kids! sheesh.

Anyways, back to the campsite. At one point, Bug was enjoying himself and was up near me. He made the comment that he wished he lived there. He has said this before about spots where he's had woods to run through and a creek to play in, so it didn't surprise me much. He's only 7 1/2 years old, and as long as he has a fun spot to play in like this, he's more than content, and wouldn't ever miss the conveniences of the city. Personally I don't blame him, but the city is where we live. But it was definitely a fun time getting out in the "sticks" with the boys to run around in more than just a city park. And of course, not having to worry about crossing heavy traffic to go from one place to the next is always nice.

All in all, it was a great time. We already have another trip lined up for our next weekend together.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Citizen's Message To Those In Washington D.C.

WARNING: VERY ADULT LANGUAGE, Listen at your own risk.

Here's a guy with a simple, non-partisan message regarding our budget issues as a nation. He basically says to hell with social decorum and playing nice here. I think he says what a lot of people are thinking in their minds while talking with a lot less expletive language. Enjoy:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Ego Has Turned Me Into A Superhero

Well, sort of. Let's see where to start. This year I've changed out my first ever electrical outlet in a friend's apartment as well as assisted in car repair duties. I've moved heavy stuff up to 3rd floor apartments for 3 different sets of friends this year already (it seems none of my friends can do the whole 1st floor thing, they want me to work waaay too hard I guess). I even mowed a friends lawn for them while they were at work. You know, MANLY stuff.

I recently returned to my blog, having been given access to the internet within my compound from a friend's WIFI access. While I regard this as a laudable achievement to be greeted with much fanfare, it's not just me boosting my ego. Below is a comment from another blogger who's site I have always been a regular visitor prior to "unplugging" from this interweb thingy for a few months:


Welcome back!!! I can’t tell you how good it is to hear from you. I’m just getting back to writing on something resembling a regular basis myself. June and July were pretty dismal but I just didn’t have the need to say anything. By the time I started writing again I lost so many regulars. I thought I lost you as well. It’s really good to see you back. My world is saved already!


Comment by brotherpeacemaker

See, even in suburban Des Moines, Iowa, I am saving some people's world by merely being back on the internet. Mookism has extended its power to reach all the way to St Louis, Missouri. On top of that, it has stretched the other way all the way across the Pacific Ocean to Taiwan, where a cousin of mine lives. She has stated her quality of life improved now that she doesn't have to rely strictly on email (we used to Skype with each other regularly prior to my internet-less world) and me getting my lazy butt up the road to the library every once in a great while (also read as RARELY).

So you see, it is not me just praising myself. But there really are other people in the world who think highly of me. My oldest kid is 12, So in about a year or so, I'm sure his opinion of me will go down dramatically as he goes through his teenage years. The youngest, still finds me amusing in a good way. But he's 7, so I can only enjoy that about another 5 years or so before he turns to the dark side as well.

Now in the meantime I need to figure out how to capitalize on this popularity. Politics is not the route I intend to go. I'm eligible for the Presidency for the 2016 elections, when I expect to garner enough support to get myself elected to El Dictator for 4 years, when I shall relinquish my dictatorship having solved the world's problems by telling everybody how it is, in between a few ego-crushing butt kickings from my father... They'll be scheduled for Thursdays at 3pm, and available on pay per view for $29.99 where all proceeds go toward our national debt. I'm sure he'll throw in a few extra whoopings just because he's my dad, and a few more because he thinks I'm being a bit too much of a jerk about things. I'd threaten to cut out his retirement package entirely and donate it to someone else, but he'd probably find a way to ground me anyways, and take away my allowance. And he'd make me believe it really was for my own good, rather than his own sadistic amusement at having more power than the duly elected Dictator Mookie.

In the meantime, I have ideas and plans for an economic experiment on a micro scale to ensure real job creation and economic stimulus, including debt reduction across the nation. So SCOTT ERB...if you're reading this, you need to email me so I can fill you in and ask for some help on this secret issue. (you'll be compensated handsomely) If it works, I see no reason why I wont be made Dictator of the United States (DOTUS) for 4 years.

If it doesn't work, then I need to come up with a plan to make the Powerball Lotto people cooperate with me so I win a big jackpot! Those damn retailers keep selling me faulty tickets!

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Return With Less Cowbell Than Thought

So... Been quite awhile since I graced you people with my presence. Yeah well, I've been busy, and the whole lack of internet at home kind of slowed things down some. We'll see how much my presence works out here again. I now have internet access, courtesy of some wifi action my friend has helped out with greatly. I can't even remember the last time I logged myself into this whole interweb thingy while sitting in a comfortable seat.

I'm still trying to get used to this, so if u find yourself behind a slow moving internet user, well sorry, but just remember this: I may be going slow, but I'm still in front of you!

That and I was assuming my return would come automatically with a parade of some sort. I'm looking around and I neither see nor hear the fire trucks, the Shriner's in their crazy cars, or a few politicians trying to keep their names and faces remembered for voting day. Of course I'm sure the politicians will find a way to hack their rhetoric right into this blog somehow, any moment... Oh crap, I now see them coming this way already. Steve King, Michelle Bachmann, John Boehner and President Obama are running this way!!! This is clearly not going to end well...

I can only hope Christopher Walken will show up any moment with more Cowbell and shoo them away and lead them to someone else's page like some modern day pied piper business. I've already gotten the political calls on my phone...I do not need them on my blog!!!! HELP ME!!

Anyways, I'm now going to have to contemplate this renewed option and unclog the information traffic jam in my brain to maybe bring more interesting posts back to your lives.

P.S.- I thought absence made the heart grow fonder... I'm not seeing a huge wave of followers who joined vigiliantly to see my return... I mean for pete sakes this is almost as important as MacArthur returning to Korea like he said he would!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I'm 32 Friggin Years Old

So, I have cut off my internet connection at my place, which is why some of you have not seen more blogs from me, or seen me lurking about your blogs and leaving comments.

I stopped in at the local public library for one main purpose. To print off my Free Grand Slam breakfast from Denny's coupon they emailed me as a member of their rewards club.

So today I turned 32 years old... not really a milestone marker, but hey, I'm actually bothering to celebrate this year with some friends. And since it's my birthday, my gift to you, the outside world that is still plugged into the grid, is to let you see that I still haven't managed to die.

I tried to die on Easter Sunday. Not really on purpose. I went and played on the basketball courts that afternoon before going to work. While I suffered no contact induced injuries, I seem to have forgotten in my senile old age to stretch ahead of time, and to maybe take it a bit easier than I did when I was 16. I ended up with a knot in my thigh, and strained something in my lower calf (all in my right leg), resulting in me limping thru the entirety of my work shift that night, and only today feeling 100% again. I was sure they were going to have to haul me off and put me down, like a horse with a broken leg. I also destroyed my $20 walmart special shoes. Not entirely, but when I took the shoes off I had some light greenish foamy powder residue all over my socks, all over my feet underneath the socks, and even more inside the shoes themselves. I don't know what it was, but something inside disintegrated into a fine powder. I'm sure my mom will blame my nasty feet and their odor for killing the shoes...she may be right, I really don't know. Anyways, the birthday celebration is set for this upcoming Saturday night. If you can't make it, you may send cash in the amount of $50 in your stead. I'll be sure to make sure the money feels right at home with me.

Not much else to say at this I'll shove off and go get my Denny's for breakfast.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Congratulations Abound!!

In spectacular fashion, The Mookist Regime has proven itself victorious yet again. After attempting a peaceful resolution with entities wishing to encroach upon the sovereignty and air space of the Mookified Compound failed, we were left with no choice but to respond militarily.

The Feline Brigade, led by the brilliant Colonel Beauregard Sterling Lovell, responded successfully to a dual threat posed by both a squirrel infantry faction and an aerial attack by birds.

Having been nicer weather, General Mook had decided to allow freedom of movement between the interior compound and the area known as The Deck. The first assault came at 0930 hours this morning with a squirrel sapper attack, harassing the Colonel's good sensibilities. The Colonel swiftly moved into action from a distance of 6 feet within the compound towards the squirrel, who immediately shifted gears to get away. A bird attempted to strafe the Colonel as he entered the Deck area. In a blindingly fast moment, the Colonel took to the air, knocking the aerial intruder out of the airspace. There was a moment of confusion as the Colonel left the marked boundaries of the Mookified Compound, as he took the enemy over the railing of the deck out into the Occupied Territory that most people know as "The Yard." An amazing leap, and a death defying drop to the lower level. It was an intense moment, but quickly we saw that The Colonel had not only taken the enemy out of our airspace, but out of his ill-willed existence.

Even at the risk of life and paw, The Colonel showed the military might of the Mookified Regime, and the effectiveness of its training regimen to turn out super soldiers. A hero's welcome followed, including some kitty treats for The Colonel, as they are his favorite. After a brief medical checkup, the Colonel was found to be in good health despite the non-parachute assisted jump. Squirrels run off, Bird flying has retreated to a safe distance that no longer threatens the Mookified Compound. April 7th has already been officially declared a holiday within the Mookified Compound and shall be henceforth celebrated heartily, with milk flowing and kitty treats being downed in amounts to surely lead to long catnaps everywhere!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spring Has Arrived, and Life Is Still Here.

Spring is finally rearing its head back around. FINALLY! While this last winter has been much easier than the winter before, and I should be thankful for that, I still, as a matter of principle have to complain. I hate the cold weather, The fact that snow soaks my boots and makes my socks wet and thus my feet are long term grape-ified from a night of work walking around businesses and houses that weren't kind enough to ensure me a dry manageable route to traverse at all times. But finally the snow has melted and the temperatures have gone up somewhat. It still gets cold at night, and during the day while it is considerably warmer, the moderate spring breeze keeps it too chilly for me to go out and about in a t-shirt and shorts. I have a heck of an issue with holding body heat apparently, since I have other friends who complain that they get hot in their apartments, even though the windows are open and the breeze is blowing thru and I feel like I have to put my coat back on just to be comfortable.

But, that will all come to an end soon enough. I now have rain and thunderstorms to complain about coming soon, and once those quit, I'll have the high humidity levels to complain about that make me sweat profusely and cause me, a guy who will sweat like Richard Simmons at the very thought of physical activity, to take 2 showers a day, just to avoid being as smelly as the landfill. But I much prefer the heat of summer to the cold of winter. Much more that can be done outside, whether its a game of football or basketball, walking or biking the trails, hiking through the woods with the kids, or taking them to the lake to watch them have fun in the water. I'm not much of a water person...and for some reason the local authorities have not seen fit to heat the natural waterways to a comfortable 75 or 80 degrees as of yet for my swimming comfort.

As spring represents a new beginning, I got some bad news this weekend that I have to stat a lot of things over. The computer we had last fall crashed and burned. SO bad that a computer genius was unable to pull the 7000+ photos we had amassed over the years, nor my book writings. Now many people might ask why I didn't have them backed up. Well, I intended to back them up, but never got around to it. So now, with the exception of what photos I have posted on previous blog entries and elsewhere online, pictures from holiday events, family get togethers, and vacations are all lost, never to be seen again. This was quite disappointing, given all the years of memories encapsulated in those photos are gone forever. My electronic form of my book writings was also gone. This, I considered less important than the photos, since I can always rewrite anything, and I had the majority of the book printed out. I only have to manually re-copy all that, and rewrite the few chapters I hadn't finished and/or printed out prior to the computer dying on us.

Since I have cancelled my netflix, deactivated my facebook and will soon rely on the public library for my Internet, I will have time to get on with my writing without the excuse of distractions such as facebook. As of Monday April 11, I will be devoting 2 hours a day to rewriting everything until it is done. Then I will work on submission to some agents I looked up and think might be favorable to my writing style for representation. Then maybe I can sell some books and make some money. I don't expect to be able to retire on that kind of money, but it would be nice for an unknown author to set some sort of sales record, and be able to concentrate on either more writing, or whatever whim catches my fancy on any given day. It's a dream to keep in mind I suppose. And since I doubt I can convince the government or taxpayers to beginning allotting 1-2% of their income to supporting me and whatever lifestyle I choose to lead, I guess I'll have to keep plugging away until I figure out what's going to work best for me. This overnight work as a rentacop has served a basic purpose providing something resembling 'making a living', but just as I am, its getting old, and BORING.

There has got to be way more to life than going to work, coming home, eating and sleeping. And I don't mean all the things you see in luxury magazines, but even the simplest lifestyle where one can find the fun activities to participate in (such as skydiving, family vacations without worry of having enough money to do anything AND pay the rent) or observe (like live sporting events, without worrying if I'm going to have to sacrifice sleep before work time arrives). I remember growing up, I had all kinds of plans for life. I was going to make life my bitch essentially. Life was going to be your average sitcom. Nice house, family pets, money to go on vacation or get gifts for people, all your problems solved in a half hour with simple fatherly wisdom, or an hour if you couldn't fit the script in a particular week's episode. I would have all the great perks in life, including the well paying job I loved to go do in between well balanced meals served to me by my loving spouse and getting to eat it with the family, while they tell me the tales of their adventures throughout the day while I was away.

I also was going to be some sort of real life action hero. My plans included the military life. I was going to be like a one man wrecking machine. The guy the President and Pentagon requested whenever something went wrong in the world and some bad guys needed killing. What's this? Libya is acting up. Quick, call up Mook, apprise him of the situation and give him whatever he needs. WE need this taken care of now, for the good of the country and the rest of the world. And then I would go parachuting into some far off land loaded down with twice my body weight in weapons and ammo. Who knows, maybe I'd just get into a tank and have it air-dropped in while I was at it. I'd have all the know how of MacGyver and the ability to drop my enemies with deadly Chuck Norris like moves (I am a ninja after all), in the eventual happenstance of my weapons all jamming up. I figure no war would outlast a single week. Then I'd go back home, get the ticker tape parade, commercial endorsements for GI MOOK action figures, free sandwiches at Subway or Jimmy Johns. More official visits to the White Forrest Gump said: AGAIN! Eventually I'd probably end up being elected President of the United States, and all the fun that comes with that business. Of course being a one man walking army, I'd abolish the Secret Service... after all, when you're as awesome as I am, the few crazies who might want to harm me needn't put up with amateurs like those guys.

You know, all that crap that only screenwriters can come up with. But, with any luck, I can chase down my own piece of the American Dream, where I can at least have a nice house and some dogs to terrorize The Colonel. Maybe go catch a few MLB games, and if they still play in the future some NFL games (Maybe I can catch a 49ers game where they actually win!), drive back and forth across the country checking out a few of the major touristy spots, but mostly the lesser known local haunts that make each place interesting in its own way. Or just get up at 0-dark-thirty with a thermos of coffee and go fishing. Wouldn't matter if I caught anything. The supermarket has fish that I don't have to gut and clean!

As for right now, I'm just happy that I have Scentsy stuff and a new brand of cat litter that seem to be doing the job keeping the smell of The Colonel's latrine and his acid pee from overtaking the apartment. And I get to hammer my kids over doing their homework and then going outside to play for a couple hours. Even if they find me boring and decide they'd rather play with their friends and not their dear old dad.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Abercrombie Encourages Infantile Sluttiness?

The "padded" bikini top for little girls. Just one item in a list of many on the web page, which I'm not going to allow their link to be graced on my blog.

So I logged onto my facebook account this morning as I usually do after getting home from work. A friend of mine has a post about Abercrombie now marketing swimwear with padded bikini tops towards the 7-8 year old girl. Many of you readers already know that I am a bit "out there" with where my mind wanders and some of my actions in life. Some of you who really know me, know it takes a lot for me to become suddenly morally outraged. I may not be thrilled with some things on a moral level personally, but generally abide by the old adage, "To each their own." But this really kind of irritated me on a level I am not even sure I can fully comprehend.

I only have young boys for children, so one might think I would be less concerned with such things. But my mind actually wandered into the realm of WHAT IF. What if I had a little girl? Well if I did, she sure as hell would never be getting the opportunity to wear one of these abominations of swimwear. And if anyone bought one for wouldn't even be returned, it would be burned, and videotaped to be put on YouTube shortly thereafter. I don't care how well the marketers may craft it into some "must have" item for little girls. Even if it ruined my imaginary little girl's fragile little self esteem and social standing with all the other little girls whose mothers chose to get them the edgy fashionable slutty swimwear, then so be it. I'd gladly pay for the counseling later, rather than let her wear this kind of garbage.

Now some of you may be asking just whats wrong with a padded bikini top? Well, where to start? For one, the entire premise behind a padded bikini top in its previous forms was to give a little extra oomph in the breast department. It wasn't made for protection, it was made to show of the boobs.

As a former teenager, I didn't mind seeing this on girls my age at the time, or 'older' women either for that matter. At least they had reached puberty and were growing something that may or may not have needed a little extra help showing off. At the same time, I'm sure their dads were all groaning and plotting slow painful deaths to guys like me who took great pleasure in "boobie watching", as it were. Now there was a limit to our watching and admiring, and 7 and 8 year olds were definitely not in the watchable category. As morally questionable as teenage boys are, we (at least the people I knew growing up) knew better than to think it was okay to go oggling some little kid, nevermind the fact that we had no interest in little girls in such a way. Even when we were little, we knew little girls had cooties, and even if we found ourselves "liking" one of these creatures, it was an innocent puppy love that didn't trigger anything sexual whatsoever.

Now clothes makers have always been pushing edgy and fashionable to different new horizons. The midriff shirts, the pants designed to show off your thong and half your ass crack... the thong itself. Bikinis actually as well, when they replaced the one piecers all the adult ladies I knew wore to the pool or beach. They eventually expanded the bikini to little girls... even then I pretty much didn't care. It's a little girl, whatever. But now you're pushing breast enhancing pads into these things to throw on little girls who presumably don't even have breasts?? I mean c'mon! At some point you have to realize just how sick things have gotten. I thought reality TV was the height of moral decadence in our country, but this pretty much just went right up to the number one slot in about 5 seconds of me finding out about it. Sure, the pads are "removable", but so the fuck what? Why are they there in the first place? Protection??? On a 7 to 8 year old girl?? I think not. There are far more spots on a little girls body that would require protection before her chest did.

I'm not sure who deserves to be fired and shot, and not necessarily in that order, The moron who designed this stuff, the boss who approved it because it was a such a "great idea", and edgy and all that mumbo jumbo, or the friggin marketers who, lacking much in the way of morals and ethics once money is waved in their face.

Now I'm all about the free market and making products that people need and want, but I think at this point they are trying to artificially create a market where none existed and are now going to push it down our throats as much as possible until the idea of a 7 or 8 year old girl with the swimwear equivalent of a pushup bra is so mainstream we don't even think about it. What's next, edible thongs for kids??? I mean for fucks sake, go design whatever the hell ya want in the privacy of your own little office, but there does come a point where you need to consider that not every one of your little ideas is worthy of being shown off to the world.

With all the news of pedophiles out and about in the world all around us, why would you even bother with such nonsense. It's like you're trying to offer up your little girl with a target on her for these nutjobs, just so you can look like a "cool" mom who's hip and trendy and has her daughter wearing the "latest" thing, that other mom's will be envious of you and adore you for your progressive forward thinking ways.

SO to the guys who designed, made and marketed this idea, and to any parent who considers getting this for their kid to actually wear..., I hope you get chased into a pit full of Duckbill Platypi and feel the wrath of its venomous stinger and the subsequent issues that come along with it, even after treatment, you pieces of fucking TRASH! And after that, if you would be so kind as to douse yourselves in gasoline and light yourselves on fire for a little rendition of "hell on earth", that'd be great.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sex Studies Good For Heart Health

Ripped from the headlines: Irregular physical activity, including sex, can trigger heart attacks.

The idea that is found out to be true, and supported by this study from Tufts and Harvard University, is that "regular" exercise can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and death associated with it. We must be a bunch of dumbasses to have had some Ivy Leaguer scientists conduct a study to tell us something we've pretty much known for quite a few decades now.

More or less, it turns out that people who are out of shape or lead more sedentary lifestyles are more than 2 1/2 times more likely to suffer a heart attack in the midst of "sporadic activity" or the once in awhile occurrence of sexual escapades, than those who get regular physical exercise, which it turns out, sex can qualify as your exercise, as long as you do it regularly.

As one of the cofounders and head resident doctor at the James Medical Institute's Midwestern Regional Campus, let me be clear on one thing. When they say sex as exercise, they mean sex involving another person (full disclosure: some regions of the country allow for the other party to be a herding animal, preferably your own). Masturbation, no matter how frequent or frenzied it may be, does NOT qualify in the same realm, and has its own set of benefits (a healthy prostate in males, state law barred us from researching female tendencies), and risks (mainly a bad case of 'tennis elbow').

Often, you hear stories of old guys collapsing from a heart attack while outside shoveling snow during the winter. Or at least you used to. With the advent of wonder drugs like Viagra or Cialis, the old men have overcome their decreasing ability to maintain sex-drive and get plenty of practice attempting to keep up with their wives' seemingly endless rise towards peak sexual overdrive. Which in turn has created two new situations...increased STDs in nursing homes, and new employment of young kids to scoop the old geezer's driveway and sidewalks because the old man is still resting from last nights 3 hour romp with the Mrs, sponsored by Viagra. For the manly old men, who still choose to scoop their drives and walks, they don't fall over dead nearly so often anymore, due to that increase in their sexercise routine.

However, thanks to technology that has brought us things like blogging and facebook and email, the rest of us, who don't have medicare paying for our sexual stimulation yet, have become lazy and fat. For some reason, the fast food and high fat content foods we eat now no longer get absorbed and released quite like it did when we were kids. As a rentacop, I am especially prone to this, because only craptastic food is available at 3am when I get hungry, and as a rentacop, I am essentially a non-exercising blob of lard all night long. I really don't have to work all that hard, and everywhere I have to go to, I drive there. Now some might suggest that I could solve the food issue, by buying foods to make my own lunches and bring them with me for when I get hungry at work. To you people I say: Look up a few lines where I mentioned the part about us being lazy. You also say, take some time out of your day to exercise, and that will help. Again: LAAAAZYYYYY. Besides that, when I get home, it takes every ounce of energy I have just to put this blog out for you to read, and to peruse my facebook making snarky comments everywhere.

So, as a self-made doctor, I have come up with a solution to solve my problems. All you female peoples are just going to have to sacrifice yourselves for the greater good, and have sex with me. Its as easy as that. You get something, I stay healthy and continue doing what I do to enrich the world by just being me. And, I'll save money by not having to go thru expensive carpal tunnel or tennis elbow surgeries. And just to be on the safe side, let me stress that this "Health Study" is only accepting (human)FEMALE participants.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Unfound Variable In Math Is My Brain

Yesterday when the boys came over after school... that sounds funny to me. Before the split between their mother and I, it was "the boys came home", but they live with her, so that's home now. So I wonder is my place still home to them as well, or just their dad's place (even though its the same place they called home for 7 years)?

Anyways, after they came here they whipped out their homework to do. It was a math day. For Corwyn, being in the first grade, things are pretty simple. Low numbers, adding and subtracting, counting money and the whole less than (<) greater than (>) and equal to (=) business. Yesterday, what he had to do was counting up money, and figuring out which coins shown on the page were needed to buy the illustrated picture with a price tag on it. Simple stuff, like I said. However, after going over one he was having issues. Two problems shown themselves to me, the first one I didn't fully understand, and that was his wanting to keep confusing quarters as nickels...but only some of the quarters. I'm not sure if we have solidified in his little brain that the bigger "nickel" is actually a quarter and worth 25 cents every single time, while the little nickel is in fact a nickel and worth a measly 5 cents. The other problem I fully understood. Right as the boys were getting started on their homework, another little boy came by wanting to play. Which of course means to little kids, most especially hyperactive little boys such as mine, that the brain has now been reprogrammed to think almost entirely about going outside to play. Math, even that involving money, is not only not that interesting, but hard to comprehend even in the simplest of circumstances. But with a little help focusing on the homework from good ol Dad, he managed to get through his worksheet for the day, and as soon as it was done he was out the door. He didn't bother to put it in his book bag to take home with him so he'd have it to turn into his teacher the next day, it literally floated slowly down onto the end table next to the couch, landing sometime shortly after he was already a good 25 feet outside with his little buddy. I would say I've been there, but I was the type of kid who ran out of school so fast at the end of the day, that not only did any unfinished schoolwork not get taken home, but I had actually arrived home 3 to 4 minutes prior to the bell ringing that signified the end of the school day. I defy any physics teacher or those guys running CERN to figure out the possibility of how I performed this amazing feat.

And then it was on to reviewing one of the older boy's (JOSH) math test. Now Josh is in the 6th grade, and compared to 1st grade, the difficulty level has exponentially increased. No easy A's counting money. No we're talking about long division, fractions, algebraic equations and all that other fun horseshit...most of which will never again be used beyond the halls of Academia. I did a LOT of math growing up, and I passed those classes, and true to form never used them again. Until yesterday, when I looked over Josh's test. He had gotten a 78% on the test, which I was expected to sign and have him return it to the teacher. SO naturally I looked it over, and we went over the mistakes he had made, and figured out what he had done wrong, which basically boils down to he doesn't really care, so he doesn't focus too hard on it, and I believe he already understands that he isn't going to be using this stuff later in life. Part of me is confused, because he is so good at his science class, which is basically word problem math put into action. But whatever, I guess he's going to have to figure that out on his own sooner or later.

So then we go to the extra credit portion of the test, which has 5 or 6 questions of its own. The first section asked questions in relation to a Venn Diagram. He got some questions right, and a couple wrong...of which I couldn't see how he got any of them wrong, until I noticed that what I thought was a right answer was indeed wrong, due to the Venn diagram being in a box, with an extra figure in the corner. Apparently Dad needs to focus as well. So we got that figured out. Then we had to figure out probability of a coin landing in a circle on a square mat, figuring out the area of each. Much to my dismay, they represented PI as a fraction (22/7) instead of the commonly used, and much easier to use number (3.14) we all learned growing up. So we had to figure out this probability with the fractions. It took a bit of figuring out, but we got the right answer. Or rather I figured it out after showing him how to make serious mistakes first. Because I'm a math idiot.

And then finally it was onto finding variables to solve equations. He answered one, and left the other blank. The one he answered, I saw absolutely no work done on it, but somehow he decided "7" was a good answer. I asked about scratch paper, or calculators, none of which they had been allowed to use. For a boy whose mind is constantly moving from one thing to the next, he believed he had the ability, and that I had the wool pulled over my eyes far enough to believe, that he could solve the problem entirely in his head. Turns out, while Dad did not know how to figure out the problem correctly, he could figure out that 7 was a bad answer with a simple glance, and that there was no way in hell Josh did all that algebra in his head. Math is not Josh's strong suit, which is fine as long as he tries, but staring aimlessly about and deciding the answer to a complicated formula would come to him out of thin air was not going to cut the mustard. So we looked over the one he left blank, and in an attempt to show him that I had retained my school math knowledge (which once we got into the higher math consisted of someone else doing my daily work in exchange for me doing their chemistry lab projects- which the only math I involved there was calculating how much I owed the school for destroying their equipment regularly), I have begun to understand that because I no longer participate in math classes, I have forgotten what little bit I learned.

SO I was subtracting from one side of the equation, adding to the other side, and trying to get the variable figured out, so we could solve the problem...then erasing what I did, adding on one side, adding on the other, ERASE ERASE ERASE, subtracting on one side, subtracting on the other, and AHA, I have found the number. "You see, Josh?" I asked, "If you do it like that, it will work out neatly." Then I plugged the number in, and my equations didn't line up. This elicited a small chuckle at my very apparent algebraic incompetence. I wanted to say something about how its much funnier that he's actually being told how to do the stuff and he doesn't get it, than his dad not knowing how to do something right that he hasn't even contemplated in 15 years or so. But, I left the thought in my head, mostly because if I was going to put him and his laughing at me in their rightful place, I'd probably better have half an idea what the hell I am talking about first. As it turns out, I didn't even begin to have half a clue. So on the notebook paper we were using I left a note to the teacher that she's going to have to send example work home on how to do equations, because Josh's Dad is a moron who can't even help out with much of the 6th grade math without much difficulty. We'll see if she follows through with that, or leave me wondering if her and the other math teachers get together in the teacher lounge laughing hysterically at the fact that an almost 32 year old man can't do 6th grade level math.

Here's the best way to find your friggin variable!!!:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Tale of Two Friendships

WARNING: this may be a long post. To my friends with ADHD, try to follow along, and if you can't well, I love you anyways.

As we go through life, we often find ourselves with different sets of friends through each phase of life. You have the friends you went to school with, the friends you work with, the friends who grew up with you in the same neighborhood. Old friends, new friends, lost friends, ex-friends, and acquaintances. If you look at any given person's facebook profile, or email contact list, you may very well find hundreds of different friends. Along with family, that list probably contains a cross-section of people from every one of those categories. How you made friends with, or ended friendships with them varies as much as each individual person. I've had a lot of friends over the years, some I still see from time to time, others I haven't seen in years, and others yet that are friends almost strictly through the internet. You know the kind, people you interact with constantly online and get along well with. Enough so that if you actually met in person, you could go have a beer with, or coffee or soda for you non-drinkers, and carry on a conversation with them that would make onlookers assume you've been friends all your lives.

If you're lucky, you find yourself a friend or two in life that stick with you for life. No matter where you go, what you do, how long you may have been apart, that bond of friendship endures it all. Differences of opinion make no difference to the friendship. Honesty will always come out, especially when your friend thinks what ever you said or did was quite possibly the stupidest thing imaginable. And while a dose of that honesty may irritate the hell out of you, the very fact that they weren't afraid to tell you that you were wrong is always appreciated, and only further serves to strengthen your friendship. It builds the loyalty between you, and shows the commitment towards each other, despite any differences, because you see the integrity and credibility your friend displays.

Honesty, Loyalty, and Commitment. These words used to mean something across the broad spectrum, and adhering to these qualities would earn you respect, even among your adversaries, but especially amongst your friends. Now these terms are more likely to apply to a dog rather than a human. To display these qualities may make you the nice guy everyone likes, but it wont necessarily get you anywhere in the world in a material success sort of way. I try to live these qualities as best as I can, towards not only my good friends, but to even the most casual of friends. Some days I feel more like an old soul born into a soulless generation, who view these terms as mere words and cliches, and will ditch them as qualities if it means getting whatever they may be after in the moment.

I've been lucky enough in my life to have two people in my life who have reciprocated these characteristics when it comes to me. One is a man, one is a woman. They have been with me for a long time, through a variety of situations.

The man, is my lifelong friend, Jed. We've literally been together since the diaper years. When my family moved out to Iowa from California shortly after my younger sister was born, they somehow hooked up with his parents, who are basically a second set of parents to me and have been all my life. For Jed and I, when it seemed life at home sucked, we went to the other one's place. It was a small town, the doors were always unlocked, and for us, there was no need for knocking before entering. Now that could be scary for our young minds walking into a possible nude parent in the open kind of situation, but I think the frequency of our visits encouraged our parents to keep their clothes on. Well, during the day, anyways. Jed's dad, at night when we would be sleeping over, didn't much care. With a house full of nothing but boys, when he got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, he wasn't covering up for anybody. And the path to the bathroom always seemed to go right in front of the TV we were watching. I've seen way more of Dad #2 than I ever cared to see.

When Jed's parents went through divorce, he came to me. This was my first real exposure to the idea, at least in real life and that close to home. Being maybe a teenager, it's not like I had any words of wisdom to make up for my lack of experience in that arena. But as his friend, I was there to let him vent, re-direct his mind, whatever, I was just there. Later in life as adults, when I went through a rough patch in my married life, I went to him. He could relate, and offer advice to me, let me vent my frustrations out on him, and just be there for me, making sure I didn't go take a dive off the deep end and do something stupid and permanent that I may or may not live to regret down the road. He gave me a safe zone to stay while I worked things out in my own mind. He definitely kept me centered, and did his best to make sure I stayed on the straight and narrow. He lives two states away from me now, has a beautiful wife and soul mate, and they recently adopted two beautiful little girls to make their family complete. We still talk, and see each other on visits from time to time, picking up where we left off, as though we'd just been together the day before. He has never been afraid to be honest with me and tell me when I'm being stupid. His loyalty shown through brightly when we were teenagers and I ran away for a few days, leaving him hanging with a paper route to do by himself, with no car (and I cashed out our collected money..oops), and at the mercy of both our dads. I never told him what I was up to, but when questioned, not only did he not give me up (because he couldn't), he went a step further and made sure they knew, at risk to his own life, that even if he knew anything he wasn't going to rat his friend out. His only really serious beef with me over the entire deal was that I didn't bring him along. He's my best friend, my brother for life. I love the guy- and before you use your words against me later- that love is in an entirely non-homosexual way.

The woman friend, we'll call her "Sara". This part is going to be a doozy. My thoughts will be honest, but a lot will be withheld for reasons of both privacy and decorum. I guess I should start at the beginning with her. We met at a park in Sac City, while she was in town visiting her relatives. My initial interest wasn't even with her, but a friend she had brought along for the trip. I, on one very rare occasion made the approach to the girls. Sort of. I used my buddy Jed's bike, because I didn't want to embarrass myself the first go around by showing off my mom's old John Deere bike I was using until I could get my new bike. I rode past the girls, eyeing them a on a swing set, with full intention of hitting them up. However, they saved my scared bacon, when they called me to quit chickening out and come over and talk to them. Have I ever mentioned I'm a bit on the shy side, especially when it comes to girls? So I took interest in her darker haired friend, because well, I prefer darker haired ladies over the blonds (which she denies she was, but I know what my eyes saw). They lived a few hours away, so a normal courtship was clearly out of the picture, but when you're 14 or 15, who really cares.

The letter writing (which was the extent of our relationship) between Sara's friend and I fizzled out pretty quickly. then one day out of the blue I get a letter from Sara. I didn't actually know her last name, so I was a bit confused as to who was sending me a letter, but not having much in the way of mail coming to the house in my name, I was all too glad to have something to read. Instead of me seeking out her as my friend, she sought me out on her own terms. And I'm really glad she did. Before I knew it, Sara and I exchanged a flurry of letters, quite possibly being responsible for keeping the United States Postal Service profitable all by ourselves. We exchanged letter so often, that when we ran out of things to say about the events in our lives, or our thoughts, I would occasionally find myself with a portion of a letter dated for one day that was a repeat of the same sentence "This is my new (insert color here) pen I'm trying out." She had 7 new pens she used, a couple were duplicate colors. But she was committed to making sure I got mail, which always made me feel important. Dad got bills in the mail from people committed to taking his money. I got letters from someone who didn't want my money (well maybe she did, but I didn't have much washing dishes for $3/hr after spending it on stamps and phone calls), but just wanted my friendship. I felt pretty friggin special. One major problem for our little pen-pal relationship we had going on was that her mother did not like me back then (I couldn't tell you her opinion of me now, some 15 years later). But Sara, being Sara, wrote me even though I couldn't write her back because her mom would confiscate the letters I sent. Eventually her loyalty to our friendship led her through the repeated process of setting me up with her friends' addresses (this changed from time to time), so that I could respond to her letters and she'd have something to read. To hand write out 8 pages per letter was nothing, and occasionally some would hit almost 20 pages. These of course were written over multiple days and sent out together. Otherwise, I think we'd both be suffering from permanent hand cramps from all that writing. Eventually her mother relented after finding out she was still communicating with me, and the fact that I was in Oklahoma attending Basic Training at Ft. Sill. The postal stamp confirmed where the letters were coming from, so apparently she thought her daughter safe from my evil boy ways with a few states between us.

We had a running commentary on our family life and parental woes, reasons why the world is a stupid place, the fact that I was (in my opinion) an athletic god among men (if you compared me to babies that haven't learned to crawl yet anyways), while she was unable to even do a single pull up. She really was such a girl about it. We'd discuss our plans for the future. I had deluded my own mind into thinking my future was this life of grand design. We discussed our flings and romances with other people. You see, she and I were kind of like the couple that never was. We were very close in that aspect. While respecting our right to date other people we could actually see, we often didn't much care for each others' significant others of the moment. She was the girl, I never dated, but still put her up on a pedestal to measure all other girls to the level of standards I assigned to Sara. But eventually, while Sara was always there for me, and would always in my mind be "my girl", I found another girl, who would eventually become my wife and the mother of my children. And true to nature, Sara eventually found herself a man to marry and they now have a new baby. He's a cute baby too.

The other day, while visiting my parents, my mom brought me down a box I had given her to keep a LONG time ago. It contained letters from people to me from when I lived in California and in the military. It contained a collection of notes and letters from my (soon to be ex-) wife. And then there were a couple of envelopes that contained the majority of letters Sara had written me over the years. I poured over those letters in no particular order. I was transported back all those years to before my marriage, remembering what life used to be with fond memories of that little girl I met at the park who stole my mailing address from her friend just to write me. I also found a reminder of her honesty in dealing with me. After I had a quick rendezvous the night before I was sworn into the National Guard, that resulted in my losing my virginity, she cussed me out in one of those letters, and swore hideous things about the girl that took my v-card away from me the only night I knew her.

We've met up from time to time throughout the years. I once even stayed at her place over a weekend to visit after we hadn't seen each other in a few years, as she showed me around her town and the wonders of living in frigid ass Minnesota (where people don't drink for fun, but to help stay warm). Even though our lives took so many different turns and paths, we remained loyal to the friendship we started a little more than half our lives ago. She's met my family, and maybe someday I'll get to meet her husband and their baby. Her husband is obviously a really good guy, considering she actually decided to marry him. He also has a rare spot that most men in her life never held: I never pre-judged him. Which is probably a good thing. I'd hate to think she married someone I didn't like, especially over something as dumb as he's another guy in her life. I'm not so sure I can say the same thing in reverse. But she never let our friendship go, even when I was being a jerkwad and concentrated only on my own life. And for that I love her, like always (and again, in a non-homosexual way...I am after all a lesbian trapped in a man's body). She really does embody what it means to be a best friend.

I'm sure I had other ways of going on and in conclusion to this post, but, I doubt I can really improve upon what I have written down. So I'll leave it at that.