They Said It Better Than I Ever Could...


These words that I write, they keep me from total insanity. -Charles Bukowski

Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived, or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? -Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Jun 11, 2015

A Son's Wish For His Dying Mother...

I saw you in the nursing home again today. They keep telling me it's a rehabilitation facility but I don't see any drunks around. You were sleeping when we walked through the door.

Your other son, your granddaughter and I.

It is so very painful to see you like this. I remember you when I was a kid, so strong, so vital, such a royal pain in my ass. I remember you chasing me down the block at a full sprint and catching me to boot. I remember you hitting me so hard that I had welts on my back for a month. I remember you constantly doing this and cleaning that and driving here and working there and now all you do is lay in bed and watch Fox News. (Which isn't healthy for anyone)

Your liver has failed. Which causes your ammonia levels to rise. Which turns you into a shell of a person. When your ammonia goes high you can't talk, you can't reason, you can't do much of anything but shake your head yes and no. They can keep the levels down with whatever the hell they do for you, but it's still a matter of time. New liver or prepare to evacuate soul.

You tell us that you're going to try. You tell us that you're going to give it your best shot. For chrissakes your granddaughter hasn't even turned 1 yet, and I can see it in your eyes and I can hear it in your voice...you'd rather this all be over.

I'm going to be 37 here in a couple of weeks, and I don't want to be an orphan. There's too much that I still need you for. Check that, there's so much that I still want you here for.

The baby is going to need her grammy to spoil her. There's only so much spoiling a kid can get from one set of grandparents. Ya need two to get the full effect.

I've never been in a world that didn't have you in it, and it's pretty well impossible for me to wrap my pea brain around the thought of you being gone. But it's coming. It's definitely on it's way. I'm pretty sure I saw the grim reaper reading a magazine in the waiting room, but in that place there's no way to tell who he's there for.

All I want is for you to be happy and at peace. I don't want you to have to struggle and hurt. I just want you to be at peace. Whether that's alive or dead, I want you to have peace.

There's never been much of that in our family. Some goofy shit is always going on that disrupts any semblance of calm we ever had, but that's between you and I.

When the time comes, I want to be able to put the baby on the bed with you for a few moments so you can tell her how much you love her and feel the soft touch of her hand and if we're real lucky she'll say "grammy" prior to check out time.

I want my wife to sit down next to you, so you can thank her again for being there since I'm going to need her that much more after you're gone. I want to see her kiss you and tell you she loves you. And when you thank her for the baby and tell her what a good job she did, I hope she tells you not to worry about it, she'd be happy to do it again.

I want to be able to see my brother tell you that he loves you and is going to miss you, and that he promises he'll try to do better after you're gone and make you proud of him. Then he can kiss your forehead and say goodbye.

Then I want to sit down beside the bed and hold your hand, I want to be able to tell you not to worry I'll take good care of the family and I'll make sure the baby goes to college and that she makes it to church every week (actually the wife will do that, but it'll get done.) I'll tell you I love you and I'm gonna miss you too. Ya know all the usual stuff.

Then I hope I can just hold your hand, I hope you fall asleep, and I hope sometime after that you squeeze my hand, smile just a little and then go.

No pain. No heartache (for you anyway) and no struggle.

Just calm and peace...that is all I wish.

I love you Mom...

Mar 29, 2015

500 Words A Day...

Alright, mo-frackis.

I'm trying to create a new habit to get back to writing.

500 words per day.

Help me out with comments and chides.

Begins tomorrow...

May 27, 2014

Dear Charlie,

Note: I've got a baby girl on the way. The wife is 4 months or so along and we've got a little bundle of joy coming around November 7, 2014. My wife has been pestering me to write her a letter for a couple days so here goes...

Dear Charlie,

I don't really know where to begin with this. I found out that you were coming one day after having worked 16 hours at work. I came home and your mother had a little jewelry box waiting for me, ya know like the ones that bracelets or watches come in. I peeled it open and there was a little stick letting me know that you weren't a glimmer in my eye anymore.

Once my mind was able to process rational thoughts again, which took about 4 minutes or so, I hugged your mom just as hard as I had ever hugged her and thanked the Lord above and whatever God may be that you were coming.

Then I immediately started to worry. Was I gonna be a good dad, were you gonna like me, were you going to be healthy, and on and on and on...My mom, your grandma was nice enough to inform me that that was never going to go away.

Then it was on to the parade of doctor's appointments and reading pregnancy books and listening to everyone and their brother give you advice on how this or that should be or how it should go. I'm certain that by the time you can read this you'll have figured out that anyone who tells me what to do can kiss my...can't swear anymore. I've got a baby girl now.

The fact is, I've made my peace with the fact that I am not going to have any freaking clue what I am doing when you show up in a few months. I'm looking forward to it. I'm gonna learn, and you're going to teach me. It's just the next adventure that this life has for me, and you, your mom and I are going to go on this one together.

I'm going to screw up, there's no doubt about it and I hope you can forgive me. Whatever it is, it doesn't matter because I found out what love at first sight was the first time I saw you go all ninja on the uterus wall when they were trying to get a good picture of you in the womb. Shortly thereafter I heard your heartbeat, and that little sound became my everything.

Now sooner or later you're going to start to hate me, which is fine. If you didn't, I wouldn't have done my job. But you'll come around sooner or later, and always remember that no matter what it is, no matter what happens, no matter what you do, no matter where you go, I'll always be there for you. I'm not going to be easy on you, sometimes I am going to be downright hard on you, but everything I do I do for you.

By the time I'm done with you, you'll be able to shoot a gun, catch a fish, mount a door, change your oil, change a tire, skate, tackle, throw a punch, and everything else I can teach you. You'll know how to think for yourself and question everything and everyone.  Your mom will be in charge of teaching you all the lady stuff. It's just as important but I can barely match my pants and my shirt, and 95% of my shirts are black so...

I'm dedicating my life to making sure that you can stand on your own two feet and don't need anyone to do for you. I want all your decisions to be made for love, not for necessity.

Needless to say, you're about the size of an avocado right now and you've been kicking your mom's butt since we found out you were in there. If you wouldn't mind taking it easy on her from here on out that'd be great, she gets a bit cranky.

I've got a few months before you get here, and a few years before you can read, so I'm going to keep writing to you. I like to write about my adventures, and I think you're going to be the greatest adventure I've ever been on. Luckily, I've got your mom to come with us. I love her more each day, she gets bigger and I love her more. All I can think of anymore is what it's going to feel like the first time I hold you, the first time I look into your eyes, and the first time you wrap your little fingers around my finger...

So here's to you kid, I'll talk to you again soon.

I love you Charlie...

...Dad



Feb 27, 2014

It's Funny...

How much we can put into one thing to the point that we think the entire world is going to come screeching to a halt if it doesn't work out the way that we want.

In my case, that's a job. A new job at the same place that I'm working now.

I started working a day or two a week in another department.

I started getting a master's degree in the discipline in which I was working a day or two a week in.

I went almost all the way through when they announced a full time position in that department.

I wrote and rewrote my resume probably 25 times in the span of a week.

I applied to the job.

I sent in every piece of paperwork required and I even went so far as to get dual consideration for the job.

I was considered competitively and I was considered as a veteran.

NOw I'm sitting here waiting, and about 3 days ago they announced a list of names from which the CEO can choose for this job.

I'm one of the names.

I've been literally driving myself insane thinking about who they're going to pick, when they're going to pick them and will it be me, will it be someone else. And on and on and on.

Like I said though, its funny how much we can put into one thing. To the detriment and disregard of everything else.

The sun's gonna come up tomorrow. Job or no job.

Marcus Aurelius once said, "You have power over your own mind - not outside events. Realize this and you will find strength.

This is the words I've been pondering all day today. And I'll say this, it's gotten me to forget about that damn job for a little while.

More to come.

Later,

I love you Mom.

Feb 18, 2014

Nobility...

So sayeth the Huffington Post.

Is it our number 1 problem? In my eyes yeah it has to be. There's really no way around it. Our labor force participation rate is at its lowest point since the great depression.

63% of working age Americans are working or looking for work.

Personally, I would've found it utterly depressing if 63% of the working population were employed, but that's also counting the ones who are looking. Now that my friends truly sucks.

Where do I feel the problem lies? Like so many things...pretty much every thing, this problem is coming from both directions.

This is why America is in such a pickle lately, we can't seem to come to the middle on anything anymore.

Republicans vs. Democrats, Old v. Young, Male v. Female, Gay v. Straight, Rich v. Poor and whatever other polar opposites you can think of  just about every American would be more than happy to stand up and take one side or the other and for some reason nobody wants to give a little to get a little or to compromise in any way, shape or form.

Everything gets done in the middle people. Nothing gets done on either side because when you are on the right and doing things on the right, you are working directly against those on the left who are doing things on the left and you smash into one another and nobody moves a fucking inch.

Now if the right comes up to the center line, and the left comes up to the center line and both start pushing in the same direction instead of right into one another then something might actually get accomplished. Seems pretty simple to me, but what do we do? I'd like to introduce you to the most ineffectual congress in the history of this great land...and its you and I who elected these do nothing, worthless cock knockers!

The old don't want to give up any of their wonderful old fart benefits (social security, medicare, early bird specials), but they also don't want to get the fuck out of the labor force so that the youngins could have a job!

The young want to work, no really, but they don't want to earn anything or wait their turn. You don't walk through the door and become the CEO.

The rich want to make more and more profits off of everything they do and sell, but they don't want to pay the wages to their employees so that they could afford to buy the shit they make!

Women want equality of well everything...and damn you if you don't open the door for them you're rude, and damn you if you do open it for them, you're a sexist.

Gays want all their rights, which is whatever. I feel quite simply that gay should be exactly the same as straight in everyone's eyes. I don't give a flying rat shit what you put where when you go to bed. I don't wander around telling everyone that I'm straight, would you please get over this nonsense. And all the bigoted people out there who think that homosexuality is wrong, you keep your yap shut too, nobody gives a shit what you think.

Republicans want there to be no social safety net, or minimum wage or anything that helps anyone ever. Democrats want cradle to the grave government cheese for all.

Ya see what I'm getting at?

One of the best quotes from Braveheart is something that people will never remember because pragmatism and the ability to actually get shit done isn't celebrated, as opposed to gallantly smashing your head against the wall (Ted Cruz) is considered heroic by certain sections of the electorate.

You admire this man, this William Wallace. Uncompromising men are easy to admire. He has courage; so does a dog. But it is exactly the ability to compromise that makes a man noble.

Jan 6, 2014

I've Been Reading a Lot of Motivational Nonsense Lately...

I've always had a problem with motivation. The problem being that I am not very motivated. Never have been. I'd go so far as to call myself lazy. Yeah, that's pretty accurate. Lazy.

Now I've learned a lot about visualization of your goals. Which cracks me up, because visualizing myself as a a Roman emperor with a harem laid out at my feet is pretty funny all by itself.

I've learned about goal setting. Which is simply making a list of the shit you aren't going to do. I take that back, the list thing actually works kind of. I mean there is something very psychologically satisfying about checking things off the list.

And I've learned a whole bunch of other shit about time waiting for no man, and bank deposits and work, and in a year you'll wish you had started today and all that yada yada yada.

And not one bit of that shit really got my ass in gear. The funny thing is I think that I'm motivated by inertia. Inertia is the only thing that'll get me moving. Ya know, an object in motion tends to stay in motion. And motion if you ask me, is life.

When you stop moving you stop living. And I've done my very best to stop moving in the past. Now luckily for me I've got a princess that loves me that has grabbed me by my flipping ears and dragged me into motion for the past few years which has worked out famously for me.

The only way I can describe her is thus, somebody at our wedding asked me if she got lucky with me. To which I replied, "She did alright...I did better."

Now for whatever reason, and I haven't even been able to put my finger on it just yet, I'm hoping to though. Over the past two days I've finally gotten my ass into first gear. I'm writing again, I may be writing about complete bullshit but I'm writing which is better than not. And I've spent a few minutes on the treadmill and I've gone to work, done some homework and I've managed to actually use damn near every minute of the day that I've been given.

Has it been perfect, nope not even close. I still fall down and spend some time watching the Vanilla Ice Project and poking around tumblr checking out all those bodybuilder chicks, don't ask me I have no idea.

But I feel like I'm a huge boulder and I just started rolling down the hill. I haven't got that much speed going yet, but it's in the mail and when it gets here, whoa baby get the fuck out of the way this isn't going to be pretty.

So that's what I've taken out of that past two days.

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.

Dale Carnegie was apparently a pretty smart dude.

Once you get your ass moving, everything else will follow. Feels pretty damn good.


Jan 5, 2014

Starting 2014 Off Right...

Am I making a bunch of resolutions that will last approximately as long as it takes me to write this sentence? Nope.

Am I going to shed a few pounds? Probably a good idea but also probably not going to happen.

So what am I going to do?

I think that this generation and our access to social media and the internet and all that comes with that (to include nonsensical blogs such as this.) has stripped us of one thing that previous generations did have.

We don't actually do much anymore. We don't actually produce much anymore. And this dear friends is a problem. I mean, what I'm writing here is called in internet jargon "content" it is the content of my blog. The shit that you read and comment on and love me for or want to have me castrated with a cattle prod for.

That's content. It doesn't take me much to produce it. Just a few hundred key strokes and there it is. Hell, a lot of the time my best writing is done without having put one iota of thought into it ahead of time. I don't understand, nor could I tell you the mechanics behind the wifi internet that I am currently using. I mean how the hell does this shit get transmitted through the air and come out on the internet?\

Then there's the computer. I have no idea how it actually works, and I mean at a component level. What connects to what exactly to make tetris work on the screen. Then to think there are millions upon millions of lines of code that are present just to make that goofy picture with the quotes appear on the top of the screen.

When I was a kid, my grandfather was a Mr. Fix-it. And he had a radio that he was constantly repairing in the basement. He took it down there, took it apart, found what was wrong with it, fixed it, put it back together and made it work. Then it broke again (normally myself or my brother were responsible for that). He did the same thing with my toy trucks. He did the same thing with the lawnmower, the snowblower, the car, the blender, the furnace and whatever else you could possible think of.

Now if our computer won't download porn at light speed we hit Best Buy for a new one.

You see, my grandfather and to a point my parents generation, and a few notables in my generation actually interacted with this world in a very real, nuts and bolts way. Whereas for the most part, me and mine are just using the shining little tools and flashing light gadgets put into our hands in a very superficial way, and if they don't work we simply throw them out and get a new one.

So that's what I'm going to do this year. I want to dive in and learn how the world around me works, what the components are, what each does, how they fit together and how to fix them. I'm going to have meaningful interactions with the world around me and the people around me, not just 140 character tweets, how about a conversation?

That's how I'm going to start this year off.

Nov 4, 2013

It's Nobody's Fault But Your Own, Richie...

So by now I'm sure everyone has heard about the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin nonsense in the NFL.

I couldn't pass this one up. It's completely ridiculous and Richie Incognito has only himself to blame for all this dumb shit.

Some call it bullying, some call it harassment, some call it threatening. I call it the epitome of stupid.

Incognito makes $3.3 million dollars per year to play football.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that his brain has been turned to soup by a few decades of smashing in to other 300 lb men. So that's not something he should be giving up, and a "high ranking source" said he will never play another game in Miami.

Now I don't care if Richie Incognito is a racist or if he's a bully, or if he's a fascist anarchist for that matter. I don't give a flying shit one way or the other.

What this is, is a teachable moment for the world we live in today.

People are sensitive and people will not stand up to their adversaries and those people will run to the powers that be (in this case the Dolphins and the NFL) to get their problems handled.

I can't quite understand how two NFL linemen could bully one another. These are two men who have spent their entire lives in violent situations. I can't really understand how one of them could have any real fear of the other, but what the hell do I know, I wasn't there.

However, whether your Richie Incognito or anyone else for that matter. Stop opening yourself up to all this nonsense by sending tweets, and text messages and leaving voice mails for the people who would do you harm.

I'm not condoning Incognito or Martin. Their football players. Who really cares if they didn't get along? I don't. But this is a moment to show all of you kids out there that every word you say, every letter you type, and (ask Riley Cooper) every move you make is all being recorded.

Choose your words carefully. And if you want to threaten or bully someone, you're going to need to make sure that its your word against theirs, because once they get you on tape or recorded some kind a way, you're done.

You lose your ridiculous salary. You are turned in to a laughingstock in the media. Your target becomes a martyr. So basically, your entire plan blew right up in your face because you couldn't resist the urge to call someone dirty names on their voicemail.

Someone gave me some advice a long time ago, and you all (especially you Richie) should heed it.

Everyone walks around with a gun. It's up to you whether or not you give them the bullets to shoot you with.

Richie Incognito handed Jonathan Martin, the Dolphins, and the NFL a magazine full of bullets to ventilate him with, and they're going to do it. I'd be surprised if he plays another down in the NFL, and if he does it'll be for league minimum.

All that over a few text messages and a couple voicemails. Just doesn't seem worth it to me.

Oct 24, 2013

16 Pot Plants And A Pissed Off Ex Got This Guy Killed...

So first things first, the disclaimers. I'm the son of a police officer. I was a military police soldier in the US Army and I currently work in corrections as a zoo keeper.

Those things being said, my sympathy for law enforcement should go without saying. I think they should have every tool constitutionally available to them, and taxpayers should pay for it. I think they should be paid well. I personally think that their pensions are completely out of control, but that's just me. (C'mon, nobody deserves 90% of their pay at 25 or 30 years, NO ONE.)

Now, here's what got my engine running for this post.

There was a drug raid. The cops busted into this dude's house. Between him and the cops somewhere between 130 and 250 bullets were fired.

One cop got killed.

Five cops got wounded.

And Matthew Stewart (the suspect) died as well. He killed himself. The media calls him Matthew David Stewart which to me is just their way of equating him with a serial killer. I swear you only get a middle name if you've killed at least two people.

It's kind of ridiculous that all that blood had to be shed over a few marijuana plants and a pissed off ex-girlfriend.

Not a whole lot of this convoluted story is particularly clear. What is clear is that these cops decided that the best way to blow this whole case wide open was to raid this guy's house, with guns drawn.

Now I'll tell you one thing for absolute fucking certain. If you know a guy is an former Army paratrooper. I would think twice about how you are going to go about arresting him. You walk into the home of a combat veteran (not sure if this guy was or not) and you pull out a gun, I would certainly expect a swift and violent response.

Just saying.

But that's what they did. They could've waited for him to go to the Redbox. They could've got him when he stepped out to go to BK. They could've grabbed him when he came out to get the newspaper. Or any of the million other random reasons I'm sure this guy came out of his house for every day.

Sometimes I wonder. Because throughout my entire life working in the military as a combat soldier or in a police capacity the one thing that was always right in the front of my head at any given moment was the safety of my soldiers and my safety.

I remember a time when violence and battle appealed to me. It was right before I encountered my first truly violent experience.

I don't know what kind of people are becoming cops nowadays but it seems (I could be wrong) that they are more and more militaristic and they are looking at the public with more and more of a military friendly vs. enemy frame of mind. They all wear bullet proof body armor, which in Chicago I can understand but the suburban and the rural guys are doing it too. They've all got M-4's which sorry folks is a military assault rifle designed to...get this...assault people. It is a weapon of death. That's all its for. Killing people.

Whatever your opinion of this case is, its not really the point. The point is that no cogent argument can be made that this guy posed any threat to society other than to buy the 7-11's out of peanut butter cups. He was a pot head, and he pissed off his ex-girlfriend.

Instead of choosing a low risk method of arrest, the police chose to bulldoze their way into his house. I'm sorry but you break down somebody's door waving guns around you had better be ready for some action Jack!

It's a tragedy that 16 pot plants and a vindictive ex caused all this bloodshed.

And why didn't the police at least do their due diligence and check all this shit out ahead of time?

This is the kind of thing that soldiers do. In foreign lands. In defense of this nation.

This is not the kind of thing that cops should be doing in fucking Utah...

Will there be times when cops would need to do things like this? Absolutely. However, it should be extremely rare and it should be done by the specially trained units that every police department including Mayberry seems to have nowadays.

It should obviously not be done by The Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force.

With a name like that, could you expect anything less?


Oct 16, 2013

We've Got a Deal...

Thankfully, it only took a damn near apocalyptic event to motivate congress to get its collective shit together and pass a bill to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling for...a couple months.

Good call Congress. Everyone have a beer and start talking about how your side won.

You're still a bunch of ineffectual squabbling children not worthy of the air and food it takes to keep you alive, much less the huge salaries you are paid from constitutionally protected funds.

I've never been able to figure out why you can be such a bunch of idiots. The only thing I've been able to come up with is the fact that you don't live in the same world as the rest of us.

We all live in a world where bills actually come due. We all live in a world where sooner or later your ability to borrow runs out. We all live in a world where we work. We compromise, We think, We worry, but most importantly we WORK.

We have to. Somebody has to pay your ridiculous salary. I still can't believe as a country we allow you fucks to vote on your own pay rates and raises. But you see that's why you exist. Because your average citizen doesn't have time for all this political nonsense. They are too busy living their lives and trying to keep the roof over their head and food in their bellies.

Now, we have to find a way to fix you. Throwing you all out. While certainly enjoyable this won't solve anything because another crop of assholes just like you will rise up to take your place. I do wholeheartedly believe that to be a politician, first one must be an asshole.

So how do we force you to live in the real world. How do we convince you that your actions actually have consequences in real life. Not your lovely, sheltered existence in Washington.

Thankfully, there is at least a framework for us to bring you back to earth, at least the same earth that the rest of us inhabit.

That being said, I know that the following is a chain letter and will probably by my very promulgation of it will destroy any credibility that I've got. Think about what it says...there are some holes, and there are some arguments to be made to change it. But imagine the difference if all these cocksuckers could only hope to leave a legacy of good done, as opposed to a seat or job or speaker-ship protected...its a helluva thought.

Anyway, here goes. I wonder if the country is capable of actually amending the constitution without destroying itself? Before you answer, remember we damn near sent the world into economic Armageddon over a few lines in a healthcare law...

Congressional Reform Act of 2011

1. TERM LIMITS
12 years only, one of the possible options below.

A. Two Six-year Senate terms
B. Six Two-year House terms
C. One Six-year Senate term and three Two-Year House terms

2. NO TENURE/NO PENSION
A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

3. CONGRESS (past, present & future) PARTICIPATES in SOCIAL SECURITY
All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system and Congress participates with the American people.

4. CONGRESS CAN PURCHASE THEIR OWN RETIREMENT PLAN
Just like each and every other American.

5. CONGRESS WILL NO LONGER VOTE THEMSELVES a PAY RAISE
Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 2.5%.

6. CONGRESS LOSES THEIR CURRENT HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
Congress will participate in the same health care system as the American people.

7. CONGRESS MUST EQUALLY ABIDE by ALL LAWS
No special exemptions or treatment.

8. ALL CONTRACTS WITH PAST AND PRESENT CONGRESSMEN ARE VOID
Effective 1/1/12.

Read more Here

It's all horseshit, but I can dream...can't I?