The Journey Starts Here

Welcome to my odd sense of humor. Not always for the faint of heart.

Friday, February 10, 2012

When Things Go Too Far.

It’s inevitable I guess, that turn of events that happens from one degree to it’s furthest polar opposite.  I think that is a situation that is currently happening with our kids, and our school systems.

Bullying, drug abuse, sexual abuse, and violence.

It all has to stop. Everyone, I believe, agrees with that score.

For the threat of violence, the polar opposite was to ban any type of weapon, and by weapon I mean plastic knives.

For sexual abuse, the polar opposite seems to be to fire all the teachers in a school (and perhaps that was the right move). It also means accusing 8 year olds of sexual harassment when they tell their teacher they are cute (and perhaps that most definitely was NOT the right move).

For drug abuse, the polar opposite was to ban any drug, even Tylenol (which I think is going a little far).

But for bullying, the polar opposite seems a sticky point.

Case in point: A Virginia school district is considering a ban on cross dressing. They wish to do this for the protection of the students, avoiding distraction, that kind of thing.

The Virginia ACLU is threatening to sue. They, as well as members of the community say that it’s not right to ban cross dressing and that more efforts should be put into curbing bullying.

Well, this has made me think long and hard on who might be right and who might be wrong.

Even kids have rights.  Kids should be allowed to express themselves. But I am a firm believer that kids rights are not the same rights as adults. Why? Because, hey, they aren’t adults. That’s why they aren’t allowed to make a lot of their own decisions. Like drive a car until they reach a certain age, drink until they reach a certain age, or live on their own until a certain age. They also shouldn’t be allowed to do anything that endangers the welfare of others.

I think that this ban should be allowed.

As for the ACLU, well, how are we supposed to put more concentration on eradicating bullying?  Putting peace officers or guards in the schools? Who is going to pay for that? Movies and programs on anti-bullying? Do you really think kids are going to watch and be indoctrinated when their friends and family have a lot more influence on them and.. who is going to pay for these movies and programs? What happens when a kid loses control and gains hold of a peace officers gun, or a guards taser? Could there be another Columbine waiting, just as we wonder the same due to bullying?

I find all this humorous in a sad way.

The simple answer is this. We need to remember that kids are kids. They have rights, up to a certain point. They the right to be treated well by their parents, be educated so they can become responsible citizens (we hope) and the right not to be hurt. They have the right to a home, food, and healthcare (although plenty of kids go without the last). But as for their right to express themselves, there should be RULES.

What is up with these kid’s parents anyway? I wouldn’t let my kid cross dress at school anymore than I would let my daughter dress like a hooker at school. It really does boil down to that.

Look, if a kid wants to cross dress? Fine. If they want to be a cross dresser when they are at home, out of school and away from the school environment? Fine. If, when they reach 18 and graduate, they want to cross dress 24/7, more power to them. It’s their business at that point.

Allowing kids to express themselves in such a manner that brings such attention to themselves and puts them in danger is plain wrong. Allowing them to do so in a school setting is not only wrong, but you aren’t doing these kids any favors.

I can imagine what would happen if I decided to dress up as Batman and go to work every day in an office. Can you? Let me fill you in.

It would go something like this:

Mr. Jones, what do you think you are doing?

What do you mean?

Why are dressed up as Batman at the office today?

Because, well, I love Batman, and I think I look rather fetching in this costume.

Mr. Jones, go home and change. Now.

No way dude! I’m expressing myself!

Mr. Jones, you’re fired. SECURITY!

That’s right, I would be fired if I refused to quit. What if I decided to dress as a knight and carry a sword? I would probably be arrested. As an adult, I know there are rules that I must follow. We need to teach our kids that when they are grown and on their own, there will be rules that they must follow. It doesn’t matter if we agree with them, or if we like them. If we want to survive in the world, then we have to follow rules. Some of these rules are in the form of laws. By allowing kids to ignore rules in their formative years, we are setting them up for thinking they can disregard rules as adults.

Please tell me I’m not the only one to see this.

Again, understand me. If someone wants to cross dress, no matter if it’s a girl or a boy, fine. But do on their own time, away from school (which should be regarded as a training ground for what the world will be like when they grow up and get out of school).

I say let them pass the ban. There is nothing wrong with a little order and discipline and perhaps, just perhaps, they will be one step closer to being prepared for the future.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Differnce Between Men and Women? Psshhht.

Men usually get a bad rap. I will admit, that sometimes, we deserve it. But there are times when women use this “bad rap” deal to their advantage.

Such was the case tonight.

We were watching TV. A commercial for Fairly Legal, the show on USA staring Sarah Shahi, came on.

My wife says: “I hater her”

My response?: “Why, because she is this big?” (making a tiny circle with my two hands)

Her response?” “Mhm”

I said: “what you need to understand is that there are a lot of guys who would climb on that. But there are plenty who wouldn’t for fear of hurting her, or getting hurt.”

Hey, don’t judge me, I was trying to make my wife feel better. I think she looks great. She looks like a WOMAN. She doesn’t look like an adolescent boy. She has curves. She is beautiful. She is WOMAN (and she frequently roars).

This is where men get in trouble. First, I should have just kept my mouth shut. I should have known better. I mean come ON, I’ve been married for almost 23 years!  I’ve learned a thing or two. Or three. But my only defense in opening my stupid trap is that.. well I was tired. The brain was not functioning. The lights were on, but no one was home. Someone stole a few crayons from my box. You know, I spoke without THINKING.

So of course, being a woman, she had to say SOMETHING.

Now she could have gone off one me. A lot of women might have. I might have had awkward questions like, “Then why do you like that show so much”. Or, “you only say that because you know that I know you think she is hot”. Or any other number of questions or accusations. Not to mention she had to go and write about it on her blog: The Difference Between Men and Women

Yeah, I’m man enough to admit that the actress in this show is attractive. But truthfully, she happens to be painfully thin. Attractive, but hey, so what?

Now before you women who might be reading this climb all over me, let me tell you the rest of the story.

My wife turned to me, and said: “You know, this is the difference between men and women. Men look at that and think about climbing on top of her and women look at that and think how much easier it would be to shop” (Obviously meaning if they were as thin as the actress).

Then not two minutes later, previews for next’s week White Collar came on and the Actor who plays Alcide on True Blood is going to quest staring. The actors name is Joe Manganiello. Apparently, a lot of women think he is hot.

My wife? She sighs in pleasure and says “that is one fine piece of real estate.”

So why do men get the bad rap I ask?  No justice I tell ya. None.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

So you took naked pictures of yourself

It’s a free country. I know this. I know people will be people and will do what they want. Even against their own better judgment.  But there comes a time when you really have to start wondering, when will people ever learn?

Over the past year, there have been so many stupid important news stories of girls (and a smaller number of guys) having their nude body shared with the world. All because they took pictures of themselves in the buff with their cell phone.

Oh I know it all starts innocently enough. Someone says, hey, this person loves me, I love them, so I’ll send them a naked picture of myself to brighten their day. What could, after all, go wrong? They wouldn’t shame my by sharing it, nor is there any reason under the sun that would cause someone to see these pictures. Therefore, not only will I take the picture, send it to the love of my life, but I will keep it on my phone where obviously it’s super safe from any prying eyes.

My first statement, that people will do what they want applies to both the person taking the picture, and the one receiving the picture, and while we are at it to hackers, friends who pick up your phone while you are out of the room, and yes, even the police.

Look, I’ve been married for 23 years now. At no time would I ever take a naked picture of myself and send it to my wife. Because I know her. She would be horrified at first, then she would share with her friends so they could all get a good laugh. Believe me, there is plenty to laugh at. My wife would never send me a naked picture, not because I would show it someone, but apparently, she has some common sense that seeing her naked is reserved for our bedroom. Not to mention my wife is a lady.

I’m not trying to be critical against women who DO take naked pictures of themselves. Well not exactly. I don’t think of them as not being a lady, but I do question not only their morals, but their common sense.

We all know that relationships go bad. When they do, you gotta expect that someone is going to be so angry that they are going to exact revenge is the worst possible way. Meaning if they have naked pictures of you, then they might end up sending those pictures out to their friends. And yours. And your family for good measure. Probably even your boss and co-workers.

Then there are those awkward situations you get into. Like you get questioned by the police and they confiscate your phone. Of COURSE they are going to see the naked pictures of yourself. Such a thing happened to a women in New York whose boyfriend was arrested for suspicion of stabbing someone. Now she is mad, and upset because when they returned the phone to her, there was one of her naked pictures on the screen.  I mean come one, did she REALLY think they wouldn’t look at the pictures?

I will admit it here and now, I have old fashion morals. I will also admit that I have Biblical morals. So I take a pretty harsh view of people who take naked pictures of themselves then get mad when people see them who shouldn’t. Call me old fashioned, go ahead. It won’t hurt my feelings at all. Don’t get it twisted, I believe people deserve their privacy. I really do. But taking naked pictures of yourself on your phone? That isn’t private. Never has been, never will be. So as far as I’m concerned, if you do it, you must EXPECT them to be seen by people who shouldn’t or that you don’t want to.

You really only have to look at the headlines to realize how dangerous this behavior is. Weinergate anyone?  Not only was it gross, but embarrassing. Not only to Mr. Weiner, but also to the young lady he TWITTER the now infamous picture of himself to.

Women, girls, ladies. Grow up. Respect yourself. Respect the fact that in this day and age, anything you do that that is captured by picture, video or is placed on-line, is anything BUT private. If you fail to follow that rule, then expect the worst. If you have pictures that are R-Rated or worse, then for all that is holy, delete them. Make the person you sent them to delete them. Either that, then don’t come crying when your naked body is seen by the masses. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My Wife and The Food Network

Being a man, I obviously do that annoying thing (at least as far as women are concerned) of channel surfing on the TV.  Because I do it, I knew there was this channel called The Food Network, but I had never checked it out. I mean why would I? I figured it was filed with shows about cooking, most of it fancy high dollar restaurant quality meals. Well, I never get to eat at places like that. You know, the restaurants that have names for courses that sound like a foreign language (or IS a foreign language) and where you are forced to eat ridiculously small portions in a tie.

A TIE for sweet heaven’s sake.

So my man-dar (you know, my male radar) would go off in the register of “Snotty Fine Cooking for the Rich” and I skipped over that channel as fast as possible.

Also being a man, I am not picky about food. If it’s food I can eat without indigestion or an allergic reaction, and if you put it in front of me, it gets eaten with a smile. Hey, I’m just grateful my wife will cook for me.  And yes ladies, before you ask, I HAVE been known to cook. I’m not that bad. I can even boil water. With salt in it. I make a mean gumbo and I love making Mexican Corn Bread. Nothing fancy mind you, I’m a man after all and I kinda fall into that standard of meat and potatoes kind of guy.

Also, because I’m a man, my home is my castle. I’m not a harsh king, even letting my daughter take over the TV to play her playstation, and I even let my wife watch some questionable content that sets of my man-dar. You know, chick flicks, shows with men who all the women swoon over, and try to ignore her sighs of pleasure over the likes of Gerard Butler.

But there are still moments when it’s football, hockey, science-fiction blasting movies, action movies, comedies, documentaries, and other content that most men watch.

Lately though, there has been a bit of an insurrection in my castle.

It all started the day I came home from work, walked in, and didn’t even get a hello from my lovely wife. Why? She was staring in rapt fascination at the TV. So naturally, I looked at the TV to see what she was looking at, figuring it was Gerard Butler again. But no. It was…. The Food Network.

My first response was to scream in horror and ask her what she thought she was doing. But she was IGNORING ME. Again, I’m a fairly nice king in my castle so I muttered under my breath and moved on. Things to do you know. After all, whatever she was watching would go off eventually, and then when I finished what I was doing, I figured we could catch some classic we had seen before. Like the Fifth Element or something (that movie seems to be on every other day). But to my surprise, my wife CONTINUED watching The Food Network. All night long. My curiosity got the best of me so I figured I better check into what she was watching. I didn’t want her getting any snotty food ideas. She was watching some show called Chopped. In it, chefs get a basket of weird ingredients (most that I have never even HEARD of) and had to make a dish with it. I immediately saw how challenging it was and it pleased my man-dar enough for me to watch it and I had to admit later, it was actually not that bad.

So my wife now had a fascination with this show. Not so bad right?  Oh, but that wasn’t all. Things quickly got out of control. She moved on to other Food Network shows. Like The Great Food Truck Race and Restaurant Impossible. And a few more as well. She stayed up late, and watched it during the day. It was all Food Network, all the time.

Football? Nope.

Hockey? Nope.

Action flicks? Nope.

Butwhat really made me realize there might be a problem was when on one Sunday evening, realizing one of her Food Network shows came on at the same time as Game of Thrones (something we both really enjoy), she asked me to DVR her Food Network program. When I did, I noticed the hard drive on it was almost full. I was quite surprised because the week before there was only one or two shows on it. So I naturally scrolled though the listings on the DVR, only to discover it was full and I mean FULL of recorded Food Network shows. She had been recording these shows ALL WEEKEND LONG.

Then she went and asked my parents for a food processor for Christmas, and now, well, you can’t even imagine. The other night she  made chicken meatballs with spinach pesto linguine. Good? Yes. But not the usual fare coming from our kitchen.

That was probably the point when I realized my wife had a problem. An addiction, to The Food Network Channel.  Anyone know of any 12 step programs for it? I mean really, I need to get my TV back sometime soon. The Super Bowl is fast approaching.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sick Cat Creature

I’ve spoken a lot about cats on my blog.  It’s due to the fact my wife is a crazy cat lady.  I’m going to write about yet another cat situation, but surprisingly it’s one not brought on by my Dr. Doolittle wife.

Last weekend, her mother’s cat had a serious problem. At 11 PM. It was serious enough that we had to take the cat to the 24 hour emergency vet.  The cat couldn’t move her back legs.

Her name is puddin, but that’s not what I call her.  I call her Satan.  Why?  Because this cat would make a lion cry.  How come? Because the cat is evil personified.  Seriously.  When you look at the cat? It growls. Not hisses, growls.  Like a demon on vacation from Hell.  If you stare to long, the cat will attack you. Like a demon on vacation from Hell that sees you as a Hawaiian all you can eat buffet.  When I say this cat is evil, I mean E-V-I-L.  If this cat was a James Bond Villain, James Bond would die.  Jason Bourne?  Wouldn’t even see what hit him.  This cat is so evil it would stand over Gandolf’s dead, bloody body, and use his staff as a tooth pick.

I would like to say I sat there and pointed at the evil creature disguised as a cat and pointed my finger at it and laughed, saying “yeah, that’s what being evil gets you”. But alas, I have a big heart and I felt sorry for the old girl.  Well, not old, unless she really is Satan.  Then she is old.  Worried, I took the poor suffering cat to this vet, listening to her cries of pain.

Normally, when this cat goes to the vet, the Doctor will come in dressed in a metal suit similar to Iron Man’s, just to survive the encounter.  But none of that was necessary this time.  She didn’t even bother to hiss at anyone.

The prognosis was not good.  Blood clot, down near her legs.  It’s apparently fairly common in cats because cat’s get heart disease just like people.  The problem is, they can’t go in and fix it like a blood clot in a human.

It was sad.  What I did not find sad was what they wanted to do for the cat.  A week of staying in hospital at the tune of $ 500.00 a night.  Add to that an echocardiogram to see if the cat had heart disease. Why? Because there was always the chance that it wasn’t a blood clot, despite the Doctor being pretty sure it was. It could have been a sudden tumor on the spine, or something else.  Oh, and the echocardiogram? That was going to run $ 800.00.

All I could say was WOW.  Now my wife’s parents are on a fixed income and there was no way they could afford something like this.  So what to do?  Sure, the cat could have been put down, but my wife’s mother couldn’t stand to do that.  Shortly after we got there, the pain she was feeling stopped and that was only partly to do with the pain meds they gave her.  Turns out, only one back leg is completely affected.  She can use her other back leg somewhat.

So my lovely wife, who can be pretty assertive when she needs to be, in no uncertain terms explained to the Doctor we were taking the cat home.  Which we did.  Now the cat lays in one place, drinks water, but doesn’t really want to eat.  So we (meaning me, the sucker) has to give her a liquid medication to increase her appetite.  It is somewhat successful, and the cat has not shredded me into a thousand pieces yet, despite the fact that she does everything she can to avoid the medication.  Apparently it tastes like something really, really awful.  It takes two of us to hold her, despite her condition, to give her this medication.  I’m just hoping that she will forgive me, because if she suddenly recovers, I’m pretty sure she is going to kill me.  And eat the remains while purring.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I’ve got an idea about Mobile Devices.

My wife likes to tell me that I’m a techno nerd. I would deny it if I could.  Oh wait, this is my blog, so I CAN deny it.  I’m not a techno nerd.  I just appreciate good hardware.

Now that we have that handled, I wanted to share a few thoughts on some technology that apparently has become so crucial that we can no longer live without it.

I’m talking about cell phones of course.

Yeah, there have been lots of posts about cell phones.  It used to be that people complained about how rude it was for those who couldn’t shut their mouths walking around everywhere talking on their cell phones loudly.  Now, it seems that people are usually walking around texting everyone, and running into things.  If they aren’t texting, ther’re walking around updating their facebook status, or sharing with the world where they are by “checking in”.

Although I’ve done this all, a few times at least, the fact remains that the device you are walking around with is a cell phone.  With the emphasis on PHONE.  You know, that thing that used to hang on the walls of our kitchen, had a round dial, and you used it to call your family and friends? 

I fondly remember the days of getting in trouble for listening in on my sister’s conversations with her boyfriends, or getting yelled at for spending to much time on the phone.  Why?  Because there was no such thing as call waiting.  You may not remember this, but if you were on your phone, and someone tried to call you, you would get a “busy signal”.  Busy signals caused a lot of frustration, especially when you really needed to contact someone with important news.  Like needing to be bailed out of jail.  Thankfully, this has never happened to me.  Or to spread gossip about family or friends.  You know, Very Important News Stuff.

Because “busy signals” were so frustrating, the phone companies, who were viewed on the same level as satan, because of all their fees and hard to read bills, came up with a cool idea.  Call waiting.  This was a feature that allowed someone to call you while you were on the phone and instead of a “busy signal”, they would hear the familiar ringing like they weren’t on the phone. Of course, everyone had to have call waiting.  And of course, people being people, they simply ignored the other person calling, which lead to more aggravation.

So someone somewhere got the idea that we just didn’t have enough time to talk on the phone because hey, we work all day long, run errands on the weekend, and basically, didn’t spend enough time at our homes to answer the phone, and hear all the gossip.  So that person invented a device called a cell phone.  It was a phone you carried around with you, so you could listen to your gossip no matter where you were. Like in the movie theatre.  Or the line at the bank.

Of course, that wasn’t enough.  Because soon people were spreading gossip in other ways. It was called e-mail and the internet.  So naturally, it was soon discovered that we weren’t home enough to be on our computers so the cell phone involved into a device that connected to the internet, as well as being able to take phone calls.   This lead to people spreading gossip by text, calls, and social media.  Oh yeah, and telling the world what they were doing every minute of the day, because everyone knows that what YOU are doing is the most interesting thing in the world to everyone else.  Even when you announce that you have to go to the bathroom.  Or even putting everyone’s life around you in danger because you have to do all this while driving.

Personally, I think that this has led to most of us to become sincerely self absorbed.  But that’s not why I’m sitting at my computer, ignoring Facebook and Twitter, typing out this post.

I still want to talk about cell phones.

You see, we have come so far with these devices, in our mad dash to be “connected” that someone missed a step.

The one where cell phones actually work very well as….. a phone.

Oh come on, you know what I’m talking about. Dropped calls, voices cutting in and out, cell phones that don’t work for very long before breaking down, that sort of thing.  In the old days, when you had a phone hanging on your wall, the thing could be used to beat your children with, and the only time you couldn’t understand what the person on the phone with you was saying was when the kids were running around causing havoc in the house, which of course is how it was discovered your could use the hand held part of the phone to beat your children with, without breaking the thing.  Those phone were almost indestructible. I think they indestructibility of these phone is what led Timex to come out with their line: “Timex, it takes a licking, but keeps on ticking”.

Maybe it’s just me, but is it really to much to ask to have a phone that actually can make a phone call without worrying about missing half the conversation, or dropping a call? Or suddenly deciding to break down on you after only owning it for three months?  Especially when you consider how much I pay you every month and the trouble I have deciphering your cryptic bills.

So how about it Mobile Device Manufacturers?  How about stop putting out new devices every month that bring exciting new options for connecting to social media, surfing the web, and fast download speeds, and come out with a phone that worked as well as the one that hung on my kitchen wall back in the 90’s.  Some of us still use these mobile devices for TALKING, for business, that sort of thing.

I don’t care if it’s the device manufacturers fault or the fault of the network they are operating on (because I think it’s both because I have had a number of cell phones over the years).

I want a mobile device that will make a call and be able to have an actual phone conversation without missing words or dropping a call.  Seriously.

Please, and thank you.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The new age of spanking

Perhaps this post will upset some people.  Maybe not.  I debated posting it because I truly have a hard time with how people react over things today.

When I was growing up, I was a kinda small.  Not like today, where I am overweight.  Being born two months early left me sickly and small until I hit puberty.  My first day of school, I was to small to climb the steps of the bus.  When I hit puberty, I outgrew more than three sizes in one summer.  Regardless of the fact that I was a small child, one of the things I lived in fear of was getting a spanking.

I was to very different, despite being small, than most boys.  I did things I wasn’t supposed to do.  Some of those things were pretty stupid and I could have gotten hurt, or hurt someone else.  When I got caught, depending on what I had done, I would get spanked.  Nothing put the fear of God into me more than my mother saying, “wait until your father got home”.  With those words, I knew I was in deep doo.

At the time, I hated that.  But now that I’m grown, and adult (on some days), with a child of my own, I realize that those spanking taught me A LOT.  Like, depending on what I did, there could be some very real HARD consequences to my actions.

Recently, a woman in Texas was charged with a felony of charge… for spanking her two year old.  I have no idea what the child did, but the woman spanking her hard enough to leave “red marks” and her grandmother took the child to the hospital to be checked out.  The grandmother then turned in the mother (her daughter-in-law) to the police.

I’m not here to judge this woman’s actions.  Could it have been overblown? Sure.  Could the woman have beaten her child to hard? Sure.

But what the judge had to say shocked me deeply.  His words were, and I quote:

You don’t spank children today. In the old days, maybe we got spanked but that was a different world. You don’t spank children — you understand?” the judge told the defendant.

Really?  WOW!

I am a believer in discipline for children.  How else will they really learn right from wrong?  How else will they learn that there are consequences to their actions?  Simply saying “No, no Johnny, that is something you don’t do” is not enough.

So after thinking about his for awhile, I think I can understand what a kids future will be like with no TRUE discipline.

“Little Mike, having only ever been grounded or told “No, No” during his formative years, enters High School.  He is told to do something by his teacher that he doesn’t want to do.  So the throws a tantrum, much like he did when he was two, because after all, that most often led to him getting his way.  But this is a different world, not the world of his overly doting parents so the teacher tells him to go to the principals office.  Of course, this makes him even more angry, so he hits the teacher and is arrested.

Of course, he does a little time in Juvie and gets out, and goes home.

Mike’s parents urge him to do something with his life now, he is an adult.  He refuses because he would rather play video games and drink and do drugs.  It’s not like his parents are going to do anything right?  Sure, they might ground him, but that’s all good, because he has a TV in his room and his game systems.  If they try to take that away, he will throw a tantrum.  And get his way.

Finally, one day, Mike gets a job.  Finally.  Everyone is happy.  Mike is happy, because now his stupid parents are yelling at him and threatening to kick him out, and his parents are happy that he is finally doing something with his life.

Mike moves out.

One day at work, Mike’s boss yells at him for screwing up something that will now cost the company money.  Instead of apologizing and learning from his mistake, he throws a tantrum.   He is promptly fired.

Now Mike can’t pay his bills.  He loses his place and his parents won’t take him back because honestly?  He is a pain in the butt to deal with.  So he ends up on the street, homeless, hooked on drugs and alcohol.

He gets high or drunk and kills someone in a fight.

Now he is in jail, on the tax payer’s dime.

When in court, the judge asks him “why did you kill this man Mike?”

His answer, because he has no clue, having never been taught that there can be HARD consequences to his actions, answers  “because I wanted to”.

So the judge gives him the maximum jail time.  Life in prison.

The judge can’t understand how this could happen, the parents can’t understand, and society can’t understand.

I understand.  Spank your kids when they need it, ok?  Teach the little beauties that if you do something wrong, there could be serious consequences to their actions.  Don’t teach them that a tantrum will get them their way, and hey, don’t let this go to prison on the tax payer’s dime.