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Friday, December 2, 2016
Ok, I really wasn't going to write about this. I told myself repeatedly, "don't do it, man. It'll get ugly if you go there." Then the day wore on and stories started circulating and, so, typing happened.
What's life without a bit of ugly sometimes anyway, right? So here goes. Just a couple little observations. Mostly painless ones. Well, sorta. I mean, I'm using words so there's a strong chance some people are going to scream in agony.
So let's kick this off gently, shall we? See, there was this election the other night. Apparently it was some big to do about some presidency. To hear some people it was the announcement of Armageddon. Woohoo! Finally, Armageddon!
Wait. No? No end of world? Oh well, there's always next time. Let's take a look at some of the celebrations of the good news the world isn't ending.
I happened to be traveling from liberal, tolerant, progressive Oregon when the election results came in. They announce Trump won and I listened to his victory speech finish as I pull into a truck stop. The truck stops are limited up in Bigfoot country so it's the same Pilot where I'd discussed alligators before.
I saunter inside, (sauntering, by the way, takes a lot of practice. I nearly moseyed instead), to get coffee. In my haste for warm bean nectar I nearly collided with 2 millennial chicks. They weren't paying attention because they were crying hysterically.
Oh no! Something horrible must've happened! Didn't take long to figure out what. They were lamenting to one of the cashiers there, presumably someone they knew, that Hillary Clinton had lost the election. Then they started going on about how horrible people were for supporting the monster that ruined her. Oh, monsters! Exciting!
So you simpering sods are literally sobbing hysterically over this? Kids. I swear. It took me deliberate effort not to laugh out loud. Granted, the presidency is important, sure. Very serious business. However, it was what their reaction reaffirmed to me that I found comical (yet worrisome). I'll get to that in a bit but first I'd like to lead you to the path where you can see it too.
First, let's check out the stories of protests and riots that ensued the next day. Riots are always ridiculous to me. Yeah, I mean you California and Oregon folks. You're upset over who gets elected, by your fellow citizens (I won't call them your peers because peer means equal and I can't insult everyone else by calling you their equal), voted into office. So you protest, you riot, you destroy your communities as a show of disapproval.
Is that really what they're protesting? Nah. We've spent the last couple of decades creating an entitled yet divided society. These groups that riot? They really just want to riot so they'll seize on whatever reason is handy. Those rioters aren't doing it for political reasons. They're doing it because they can. Because that kind of behavior has been encouraged. Sadly. Which is ironic in this case. Many people's argument for disliking Trump is because of "his behavior". Pot, meet kettle.
So we can discount the rioting crowd as nothing more than idiots. I mean, really, you wreck your own neighborhood? That's like SUPER well thought-out. You're mad that employment will improve and you may have to work instead of living off the doll queue so you create unnecessary expenses for yourself and your neighbors. Yeah, that'll teach the government! You dolts.
So let's talk about the real problem here. Let's talk about the other stories. The stories of celebrities who've said they'll leave the country if Trump is elected. Maybe that's why those girls were crying, because Miley Cyrus and a bunch of other celebrities are leaving. Some great actors and entertainers like Samuel L Jackson. He said he's moving to South Africa. I'd be almost mildly bothered because I don't think they have the same level of movies we do here. Trust me, that move will hurt his career much more than it hurts my feelings.
Don't cry, though, they aren't going anywhere. They were just saying things they didn't mean. They were speaking from emotion. Hollow words from people who get paid to lie convincingly. They were emotionally charged.
Besides, they're actors. These are people who literally get paid to lie convincingly.
You know who else reacted emotionally? All these college kids protesting in Austin. All these college kids in Virginia, Portland and Texas who need "safe places" to deal with the "trauma of this loss". No, seriously, those are words they use.
And that, folks, is the emotionally stunted, thin-skinned generation that's going to be the future of our country. In other words: if you guys think our country has been in trouble up to this point, just wait another 20 years.
There's the rub. America is, at this point, a company who is deeply in debt and failing. There were 2 primary options for running it. The emotionally driven Democratic voters or the logic and reason driven Republican voters. The emotionally driven, "let's make everyone feel good" party has run the country for 8 years and it's been interesting. Racial divide, unemployment and welfare have grown.
You can't effectively run a business with emotion based management for long. It simply won't work in the long run. It's a sweet sentiment but you'll end up going bankrupt. Especially when employees (citizens in this case) are having to work harder for less so that those working less can have more.
The logical, reasoning Republican party hasn't really fared much better. I don't know that either party can really pave the road to recovery. We've spent decades deliberately weakening our own society.
In the guise of "progressiveness" we are causing our own nation to implode. Granted, the politicians love it. They thrive on it. As long as we fight amongst ourselves then we can't focus on them.
It's been a slow "progression" of decline.
Dr Spock with his "don't spank your kids because it wounds their little psyche." An atheist who didn't want her kid to pray so they removed God from school for everyone to make her happy. Participation awards so kids don't "feel inferior".
We are so worried about coddling and kissing ass as the "feel good" nation. It's self defeating. Our system has grown so soft it's broken. It's been steadily getting worse and now there simply is very little chance it can be fixed.
Hopefully this presidency will be a step in the right direction. Sadly, I think it's just too late. So you might wonder, "so why are you laughing, Christian?" And that's a fair question. Here's why; here's something to think about:
All these college kids that need therapy dogs, coloring books and play-do because they're so "distraught"... Those are the future leaders of this country. The millennials who need "safe spaces" because their feelings are hurt, among them is possibly a future president. I laugh because some emo goth kid getting a worthless Liberal Arts degree who is sniffing play-doh right now to deal with grown-up disappointment is going to run this country some day. I laugh at the absurdity of these rioters who are essentially the same as 3 year olds destroying their room because they wanted pancakes and got waffles instead.
Look, I'm pragmatic. I'm logical. Watching these disappointed millennials? I feel like a Vulcan trying to understand a daycare facility.
What's funny? What's funny is I see the crying, the hypocrisy of "not accepting the outcome of an election is unamerican" then rioting over the outcome of the election, the way liberals react so strongly. I see the way all these people act and carry on and I laugh because they call US "deplorable".
Monday, October 24, 2016
So unemployment is at a record low now, eh? That's what Emperor Obama says and his supporters parrot him. I'm a little curious about something though. Where's everyone working and why aren't they at work today?! Middle of the day on most weekdays and traffic is thick and heavy. Congestion starts at like noon. Rush hour is now "stop and go 4 hours".
People going on vacation in the middle of the damn week or something? Who's paying for all this gas? Why don't these people know how to drive?! Why are all these people on my bloody ROAD?! Go home!
Arrrrgh! Buncha non-driving turd jockeys! Just drifting from lane to lane with no turn signals, speeding up to cut each other off, clogging up my highway. Oh! And can we please, please, PLEASE quit making vanity plates?! Good grief, I hate those things.
I bet some of these guys crack themselves up with how "clever" they are. Rarely are they actually all that great. Some are so cryptic they're pretty much pointless. Like what is "I LUV BON"?? You love good?? Good what?! Good FOOD?! Just good fun? Are you trying to prep for Mardi Gras? Why not "I LUV BON TEMPE"? Good WHAT already?! I was waiting for them to have "Jovi" written on the damn bumper.
Speaking of bumpers, the things I've seen on bumper stickers makes me terrified of the future. These Coexist bumper stickers? Cute sentiment. Makes people think you're just a big ole soft hearted trail mix eating flower child. All "peace and love". Liars. I've seen some of those "Coexist" people drive like they just HOPED they could run someone over. Talk about aggressive driving. Honking and screaming as they tore through traffic; I was positive they'd push a carload of nuns off a cliff to get 10 feet farther down the road.
Sigh. I realize not everyone rides around looking at cars and I understand not everyone knows cars. Well thank god some folks were kind enough to put the make of their car across the windows in giant letters. Chopper pilots are looking down going "that's an impala.", from a mile up. Yeah, yeah, I know it's "cool" but I can't help but think to myself "how stupid is this person that they bought a car but can't remember what they bought?"
Is this how they tell people to find them at the mall? "I'm in the Honda Civic. It's the one that says Honda Civic across the windshield." Or is it more like "so, Billy, what kind of car do you have?" I dunno. Let me go look at my windows.
Ya know what I don't get? In order to drive a large vehicle pulling a trailer I had to get a CDL. Yet I see the friggin Griswalds out here pulling a trailer with a rental RV or U haul. Really?!
Here I am with special training I paid for, all kinds of ridiculous rules and regulations I've gotta learn and remember, and there's Betsy Homemaker with her gardening hat, chihuahua in her lap, driving a 40 foot U-Haul with a car and a trailer bouncing around behind it. She's totally oblivious of things like clearance, traffic or mirrors but she gave the rental company her credit card so she's "good to go".
I'm subject to laws regarding weight restrictions on roads or how many hours I can drive in a day. Then there's companies out there who literally rent RV's for cruising across America. I've gotta worry about stopping for a mandatory 30 minute break every eight hours but Grandpa Jones can bebop down the motorway sipping his Metamucil laced Shirley Temple all day.
Meanwhile the fuel paradox remains: if all these people are driving around in cars all day then they obviously aren't at work. So how do they keep buying gas to joy ride to the mall all damn day?!
Sunday, October 9, 2016
Turning your sunny disposition into one of sadness
As a lifetime of bad decisions strike their mark
Voices of negativity thundering into madness
You feel the downpour beating you down by the minute
Flooding you and washing your self confidence away
You're fighting the storm but you're caught up in it
The tempestuousness of life overwhelming every day
The storm clouds of life will consume you if you let them
But you can turn to the shelter of my arms when they form
For we can weather this life together my friend
And rejoice in the calm that always follows that storm
Monday, September 19, 2016
So it's becoming a thing to disrespect the flag and country in protest. The same flag that represents a society of freedom. The flag that countless men and women of every race, color and creed have died defending. This kid, Colin Kaepernick gets on tv and says he's protesting the National Anthem. His words are "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color."
Hhmm. Colin, Colin, Colin. Are you suffering from a concussion? Weren't you fined for insulting another player by calling him that hateful "N" word? Weren't you fined something to the tune of $11,000? Which dipped into the 14 million dollars you were paid to play a game high schoolers play for fun? Because you're so oppressed and shit. Just barely being allowed to survive, aren't ya?
Among your freedom of speech you also have the freedom to leave this country you dislike so much. So let me ask, if he's so worried about inequity, why hasn't he given all his money to the oppressed people he's trying to raise up? I mean, if all these millionaire athletes and celebrities are worried about social and economic oppression and inequality, couldn't they help solve the issue by pooling all their money together and giving it to the poor who struggle so badly? Wouldn't that solve at least one of the problems? Seems they're awful content to hold onto their riches while speaking out against oppression. Newsflash, fucktards, if you were oppressed you wouldn't be millionaires. You wouldn't have had opportunities to excel. Oppressed? These rich bastards think they're oppressed. Apparently they've never opened a history book. Remember the period before and during the 1960's? THOSE people were oppressed and laws were passed and enforced to prevent that. Now what we have are people who aren't given unfair advantages and they have to work for what they have; work to excel. And they feel that burden to earn or be held accountable for criminal acts is oppressive.
Look, I'm a truck driver. When I get calls about freight they don't ask what color my skin or even my truck is. They just quote the rate. Skin color doesn't factor in. They don't say "but with your white privilege card you get a better rate."
Because, you know, "white privilege" and shit. We even need a group to tell us that Black Lives Matter because we'd gotten careless and just lumped all lives into the same basket. Silly us, thinking all lives are equal. Let's look at some of this oppression and inequity.
Black people kill more black people than cops do. The "violence" that people claim the police commit is not racially motivated. If people of ANY color want to avoid any risk of violence from the police they should quit breaking the law.
Kaepernick says that black people and people of color are "oppressed". I fully support his desire to end this prejudicial oppression. I hope that some day black people are allowed to go to the same schools as the rest of us, be allowed the same financial aid as the rest of us. I pray that some day the oppression will end and black people will be allowed to work, own property or even businesses. Hopefully some day the oppression will end and people of all races and colors will be allowed to be doctors, lawyers, millionaire pro athletes or even run for public office. Can you imagine when everyone is protected by the same rights to free speech, assembly and freedoms afforded everyone else.
But, no, because of "oppression", blacks are stuck with segregation like the NAACP, BET, Jet Magazine, Miss Black America and so on and so forth. If only we could end the segregation and let them be equals. Oh wait...
Just using the word "Oppression" doesn't entitle you preferential treatment. It doesn't mean breaking the law with impunity. You aren't "oppressed" if you just don't try to better yourself. If you apply yourself and put in maximum effort and still fail to succeed, it's not a flag or country oppressing you, it's life oppressing you. Poor decision making isn't oppression.
Just because a millionaire pro athlete raised by a white family isn't smart enough to know what actual "oppression" is, doesn't make his lack of patriotism any more noble. Because he ISN'T oppressed and has the freedom of speech granted ALL citizens, regardless of race, color, creed or religion, he can say whatever he wants. That right was given him by true patriots who paid dearly for it.
We live in a nation where we have a black man as president and a society who says black people are "oppressed". Seriously? Am I the only sane person here?!
Ya know, the other night I was watching a video on Facebook of Terry Crews talking about cooking. I thought to myself then "ya know, he and I aren't too far apart in age. If I'd not been irresponsible during my youth, how much different could my life have been?" I didn't think anyone held me back except myself. I didn't think his greater success was oppressing me.
Did Colin Kaepernick rise to the level of second string, has-been quarterback in the NFL through "oppression"? Or did he apply himself? Did Michael Jordan become the great that he was through oppression? You ever see the movie, The Blindside? It's a true story of a homeless kid who is adopted by a family and he goes on to become a fantastic pro football player. Seems to me that's the exact opposite of oppression. Guess what that guy ISN'T doing. He isn't complaining about being held down by oppression. Instead he's thankful for the opportunities he was given. He isn't running around being disrespectful and complaining about how unfair this country is.
Now that I'm in my 40's I'm informed that this whole time I had a "white privilege" card. I checked my wallet and the mail. Still haven't received it yet. You know what I HAVE received? Struggle. A fight to go from homeless to successful. A struggle every step of the way. You know what "white privilege" is? It's getting blamed for shit. Woohoo! Like I haven't made my own share of mistakes to get blamed for?
Commit a crime, fail to comply with the directions from the cops, pull a gun and get shot... Police brutality. No. It's "criminal stupidity". There's a difference. I hate having to quote a movie in my blog but, as Jim Carey said in Liar,Liar... "quit breaking the law, asshole!"
"But...but... It's society that puts people in the position they've gotta steal to live..." Ya, I've heard that one. Really? In a country where the government encourages everyone, legal citizen and illegal immigrant alike, to live off welfare and food stamps you're telling me we have to steal to survive? To SURVIVE? I think not. This isn't Burundi. This isn't Sherwood Forest and none of us are Robin Hood.
Take some responsibility. Get a job. Quit breaking the damn law. Quit segregating yourselves. Apply yourself, always strive to improve and push. Just like all the successful athletes, actors, musicians, and so on that are succeeding on their own merit.
So people like Colin can use their freedoms to say what they want. Ironic, though, that he has all this freedom to speak out about how oppressed he is. MY right to free speech means I can say he's an overpaid, undereducated, ignorant piece of shit.
Namaste and shit.
Friday, September 9, 2016
So I'm in Oregon the other weekend. Tolerant, liberal Oregon. I decided to stop for the night at a truck stop about 100 miles from Portland. This one has a McDonald's in it. Ok, cool, I've been kinda wanting a milkshake. I've been good, I deserve a milkshake.
Then I went inside and it didn't take long before I got myself in a conversation. Shoulda just kept my mouth shut but we all know that's not gonna happen. So it started.
I made a random statement to no one in particular about how incredibly busy this place was. I was really just talking to myself but a nearby patron responded that the place was full of travelers and truck drivers. (Really? A truck stop full of travelers and truck drivers?! Astounding grasp of the obvious).
"I belong to the category of the latter." Hey, they wanted to chat, I'll chat.
'Oh really? Are you a long haul driver? Where are you from?'
"I live in Florida."
'Where that alligator ate that kid?'
"Well, that's Orlando. I live closer to Saint Augustine. But, yes, same state."
Then a lady joins in to let us know how horrible it was that the poor kid was eaten by an alligator. She went on to say that she hopes they kill all those horrible creatures and the family should "sue the daylights out of Disney for letting that happen."
Yep, you can probably guess my reaction to that. Things just turned bad from there when I rolled out the logic train. "All abooooard! Next stop, 'peoplepissedoffville' ".
So let's just jump right to it. First off, yes, it's tragic. The needless, senseless, avoidable death of anyone is tragic. I'm beginning to feel like a broken record here. I understand the father fought valiantly in an attempt to save his young but he's no real match for a gator.
However, killing so much as one alligator was stupid. Let's start there. See, I'm a bit of a nerd and animal lover. I've raised reptiles before and studied animals for a long time. So the first thing the Parks and Wildlife officers should've explained was that alligators generally don't eat anything that big right away. They take it under, drown it, then stuff it under rocks or structures for a few days or so so that the water tenderizes the meat. So the odds of finding the remains in a gator's stomach that soon were pretty much zilch. A week or so later? Maybe.
Even then... To just grab random alligators seems pretty stupid. People do the same shit with shark attacks. Like what are the odds you're going to find that EXACT animal? With sharks, they actually do this thing where they swim around. I know it's weird, fishing SWIMMING. With gators, yes, they're a bit more territorial and hang out but why kill a bunch?
If there's a hit and run accident we don't just start grabbing random drivers and killing them. "Humanitarians" would be all kinds of up in arms if random innocent people were just gassed down for looking similar to someone else. Plus, even the alligator that got that kid was innocent. It was doing what alligators do.
There are signs up telling people not to play in the water and that alligators may be present. THEY ignored the warnings, that's not the alligator's fault. If they want to blame the gators they should put up signs telling the gators to stay away. Apparently that'd be just as effective as expecting humans to follow the signs.
Nor is it Disney's fault. Which is my next issue with this. Should Disney be sued? Nope.
I know I'm gonna sound harsh here and I'd like to apologize but let's be fair. If you live in America and you don't know there are alligators in Florida then no amount of money will make you smarter.
Some people have argued that there should've been signs telling them there was a risk of alligator attack. Let's look at that logically.
There were signs up telling them not to swim there. Those warnings were ignored. So warning them the specific risk involved would be the game changer here? We really need to specify WHY you're supposed to follow rules?
Is it tragic that a child died? Yes. Of course I hate that it happened. However, that child counted on his parents to make good choices for him. They didn't. Financially rewarding them for their own negligence would seem to me to set a terrible precedent. Unfortunately, that's the America we are creating. The America where people lack accountability.
Me? I'm the asshole for not being more "compassionate and humanitarian". The rest of America is compassionate and humanitarian for applauding the senseless killing of innocent animals and caged gorillas because we humans can't take care of our offspring as well as most other animals on this planet.
Saturday, August 20, 2016
So this weekend my son had his first sleepover. Hunter's friend, Isaiah is spending the night. As a single dad I thought I could handle this easily. It's just kids. How hard could it be, right?
I met the boy's parents when they dropped him off. Nice folks with a good sense of humor. And they're leaving their child in my care. Clearly they're clinically insane.
I mean... Seriously! Who in their right mind leaves their kid with me and expects me to adult?!
Who was really more irresponsible here? I have to question their judgment.
I ordered pizza, picked up soda and grabbed some movies from redbox. Then I got some survival aids for myself. I thought "ha. I've got this. Piece of cake".
They ate a large pizza as they played Minecraft. I hate that game but if it keeps them occupied and happy then I'm all for it. The soda was probably a bad idea though. My kids almost never get soda or real sugary stuff. Maybe that's why I've experienced a medical miracle and they've never been diagnosed as hyperactive. Coincidence? I think not.
But this time they did have soda. I might as well have given them meth. They went from being my calm little angels to hellions. Running, screaming, calling upon demons and shit. I'd just created a situation over which I no longer had control.
For my own safety I just put in my ear buds and tried to focus on watching Netflix. At this point my only hope for survival is keeping their margaritas topped off.
Me: ear buds and Netflix..
Them: aaaaaaaahhhh! Aaaaaaahhhh!!
Sounded like a damn Apache war party in here.
By 9:30 I was thinking "I bought Benadryl and rum. In an hour I'll figure out which one to start giving them." Drugging them may be better than the rum. They're already running around like miniature Charlie Sheens throwing a bachelor party. Last think I need is to throw a little Jack Sparrow into the mix.
So at 10:00 I send them all to Hunter's room. There's a tv, bluray DVD player, Roku and stuff in his room so I'm clearly not torturing them with this sequestration. Don't think this is a punishment. It's just a step towards hopefully calming them down. It took all of about 10 minutes before I was reminded of the drum set I'd bought Hunter and set up in his room. Uh oh. Ever see the movie Gremlins? Those were apparently just kids hopped up on Mountain Dew and wearing green paint.
Isaiah said on the weekends he has no bedtime and I want to be the cool guy and stuff so I let them stay up.
At midnight it still sounded like a pterodactyl breeding ground in there. No worries, aye?
One in the morning they're still going. I could swear I heard them singing "Viva Las Vegas" and playing lacrosse. So I go in there fully intending to use a tranquilizer gun and what do I see? Isaiah is completely passed out in bed. "Good on ya, little fella".
Mine? Watching YouTube and running around screaming like meth heads. At this point I start wondering if CVS sells Thorazine.
Two in the morning and I'm begging my own kids for mercy. I'm rocking in the corner in the fetal position. Mercifully they finally succumbed to the lunar cycle. Or the soda finally wore off. Either way, they finally fell out.
6:30 this morning Hunter wakes me up. 6-effing-30. My own kid. This is a kid who I've gotta drag out of bed by his feet at 7:30 on school days when he goes to bed at 9:00. I felt so betrayed. But what's he wake me up for? Just to give me a hug and tell me he loves me. I've learned that's usually kid code for "when you get up and see what we've done, try to remember I was sweet." This instantly causes panic in my mind and I spring out of bed.
Bleary-eyed I zombie walk myself to the living room to find they've already got the tv on and it's back to partying. Since I'm awake ish and they're already going full tilt they place their breakfast order. So I get to making the pancakes I've been instructed to produce.
Ever try measuring and cooking when you're so tired you can't even figure out how to operate a Keurig? I was thinking it was going to be a long day.
As it turns out, I was just off my game last night. By lunch today I'd woken up enough to figure out solutions. I had a talk with the demonic creatures who used to be my children.
See, I've got a treadmill type machine in my living room. We've worked it out so that when they start to feel hyper they run. I've now witnessed each of them run while simultaneously playing video games.
I think I figured out the secret to sleepovers. This was our first one so it took a little trial and error. I've got this now. I spent 2 hours earlier giving them redbull and chocolate cookies. Since then I've gotten my car washed and so far one side of the house has been power washed. My only regret at this point is that I mowed the yard myself yesterday. I may be going up to Sears to pick up a weed eater since the sleepover is a weekend stay now.
I'm thinking I'll try to arrange a sleepover again but invite like 4 more kids. My house would look good with mulched flowerbeds lining it. Maybe monthly sleepovers even. My bar is empty. Maybe I can set it up with sewing machines. See? I've got this.
Friday, July 29, 2016
I'd heard about ab rollers and how effective they could be. Well, I'm not thrilled with my waistline so I figured I'd give in and buy one. Off I went to the store to get the solution to my one remaining problem area.
There they were on the shelf. Two different models captured my attention. The first was basically just a training wheel with handles. Pretty straight forward design. It's definitely the "no frills" variety and therefore low priced. (What is a "frill" anyway?).
The second model was a bit more high tech. It looked like a Dyson roller ball with form-fitted handles. It says on the box that it was designed by a Navy SEAL (I have a different theory I'll get into later) and using it will result in "ripped abs and sculpted arms". Another item we will discuss shortly.
So I get that one, the high dollar one that offers "resistance on the way out and assistance on the way back". I get the device back to my truck and there's some assembly required. Nothing big, just put the handles on. I get it put together and notice the handles are labeled "L" and "R". How nifty. I try rolling it out and it's a no-go. So I open the instructions.
Sure enough, with a 50/50 shot, I'd just put it together backwards. They labeled the handles because the whole thing has specific sides. Who knew? Boy, I'm off to a stellar start already. Now it's all put together, ready for tomorrow morning's first use. The maiden voyage and shit.
I get up in the morning, pull out my yoga mat because I don't want my clothes or person in contact with the ground at truck stops. That's a whole new level of nasty. I fold the mat into a decent pad for my knees, grab the handles and I'm ready to start. Now, since I'm in shape (or so I thought until this wretched contraption came into my life) I figured I'd start off easy: 3 sets of 10. I'm all excited to get "ripped abs".
Yeeeeah... 3 sets of 10 was a bit ambitious. After 1 set of 2 I was pretty sure I'd ripped my guts open. Oh, you'll get "ripped abs" alright. They just don't tell you you'll need to be stitched back up. And that "assistance" on the way up? I looked and there's no "Life Alert" button. There should be. After 2 reps I was half expecting an alien to finish popping out of my stomach like a stripper in a cake. I couldn't go anymore and figured maybe I'm just not used to it so I just laid there for an hour trying to figure out how to stand back up.
I finally struggled to my feet, yoga mat in one hand, "ab destroyer" in the other. Knowing I couldn't handle lifting them into the truck I put them in my side box then contemplated the 2 steps up into my driver's seat. Maybe tomorrow would be better.
Day two of my torture I get up, still a little sore, and determined "today is the day". I'll show that thing! So I get my mat and my ball o'death and set my mind to doing a few sets of at least 5.
After the first one I'm already in pain. The second one isn't any easier and I'm hoping I can reach my phone to dial 911 if necessary. As I stretch out for the third one I'm thinking "so this is what a C section feels like without anesthesia?! Dear God, make the hurt stop!" Ok. Just one more and I'll take a break. I finish stretching out for number 4 and just let go of the handles and fall over. There's no return on this rep. Instead I just lay there for a bit, reconsidering my life choices.
At this point I'm thinking I should just leave the mat and the cursed roller on the ground because just standing is looking nearly impossible. A Navy SEAL created this? I think not. I'm fairly certain it's a holdover from the Spanish Inquisition. I mumble and cuss as I put away my equipment and look at the steps to my truck wishing it came with an elevator.
The whole time I'm driving I can feel my stomach. Rather than becoming steel I'm fairly certain I've made the muscles mush. But I keep telling myself it's worth it. By the time I'm done I'll have a flat, sexy stomach. Sure.
That night I bend over to take take my shoes off and the pain from my exercise reminds me how human I am. I want to curl up in the fetal position but, thanks to my ab carver, I can't.
Day three: I think I openly sobbed as I set out my yoga mat. With the way it's folded for padding it makes a convenient prayer mat. That's handy as I'm pretty sure I'm finding religion somewhere in these exercises. I've uttered "oh god" more than an overacting porn star.
After the first one I start to draw a crowd while I'm screaming like a yeti caught in a bear trap. People are standing around watching as I start speaking in tongues. This thing should've come with a warning: "do not operate until you've bought a walker. You're gonna NEED one!"
I'm 4 reps into it when I start to realize there's no one watching, I'm just lapsing into hallucinations brought on by pain. I'm thinking about random shit like "well, I guess I'll just be sleeping with my shoes on from now on. No way can I bend over to take them off or put them on ever again. They really should've put flip flops in the package with this damned thing."
I'm laying in my bunk as I write this. My gear is still outside. I couldn't drag it with me as I crawled back into my truck. There's a good chance I'm going to just call off sick for the rest of the week while I heal. I can't even bear to walk into the truck stop because I'm sure I'm walking like I was just used as a piñata for a group of lowland gorillas. I don't have a washboard stomach yet but I'm pretty sure I'm a couple inches taller now.
Saturday, July 2, 2016
It's Independence Day weekend. A weekend of drinking ourselves stupid and eating obscene amounts of grilled items in celebration of America winning its freedom from England after a bloody revolt. It all started off with a tea party and we've progressed to liquor.
Hurray for our ancestors, they rebelled against a tyrannical government and taxation without representation. Do you know how high that tax was that finally crossed the line? Zero. It was actually a corporate tax break. However, it was the principle of the laws being passed regarding our governance without our input.
So there was a revolt. We wanted a system in place in which we could have a voice and not be manipulated. Now, 240 years later, we have a system in place in which we have law makers passing laws without regard to what the populace wants. And they're sitting around getting rich off selling our rights and laws to the highest bidder. Passing laws that don't apply to the law makers. Well done, us, right?
Don't worry, we didn't forget the manipulation part. We just took that away from the politicians and gave that power to the media. We didn't have cable tv back then but we had the Loyalists Papers who condemned the actions of those who would later be known as Patriots. In fact, even George Washington found it to be vandalism and felt the East India Tea Company should've been compensated.
So why the tax break? It was a government bailout. The British government was trying to save a large company that was failing. Fortunately, we would never do anything like that now, right? Wait. Crap. Suddenly America's auto industry comes to mind. Ironically, the Treasury Department essentially bought shares with the tax payers' money and ended up turning a $2.4Billion profit off its initial $17.2Billion investment. My money, your money, everyone who's paid taxes. The government made billions of dollars yet none of us received a dividend off the deal. They just pocketed it. Politicians got pay increases. Corporate big wigs got large bonuses and golden parachutes. You and me? Nothing. Not even a thank you from the millionaires we just saved.
Well that's weird. So our government, without consulting us, invested our money in a private business, turned a profit, and didn't share any of that money with the people it took it from? And the revolution in the 1700's started just because of a tax break. Imagine how those guys would've felt today. Even though the majority of citizens didn't want it, the Affordable Health Care Act passed which forces citizens to purchase products from private companies or be penalized. Both of which are acts directly similar to what caused a war for independence.
Every day lobbyists are up in Washington greasing palms of greedy politicians so that their agendas can be met. Buying votes and purchasing laws that benefit themselves while not caring what the populace wants or thinks. Bribery, extortion, buying votes. Yep, we've established the very government we rebelled against.
So we now light fireworks as a symbol of cannon fire and musket fire that were daily occurrences during this battle for independence. We sing the Star Spangled Banner. We grill, drink and party to celebrate the day we "won our independence from a tyrannical government". Provided we get permits and permission from the government we've established who is exponentially more tyrannical that the one we fought against. We fought to govern ourselves rather than be governed by people who were profiting by establishing laws that didn't apply to themselves. Isn't it weird that over time we've slowly allowed a system that is against the very things we fought to establish?
Anyway, go enjoy your weekend. Have a beer and blow up a mailbox or two. Let's not think about the situation we're creating for ourselves. Maybe Tuesday we will get back to thinking about the fact our government doesn't make money, the people do. The government spends our money as it sees fit. We don't need the government, it needs us. Though they take our money to pay their salaries, we don't need politicians in order for us to survive. We could do so much better for ourselves if we allowed less corruption of our government. We all them to make us feel that we are dependent on our politicians because we forget we fought for Independence not Codependence.
Monday, June 20, 2016
I know I said I'd never love again and I meant it at the time. Love can be painful. Unfortunately, however, things happen we can't control. So, though I still say I won't love, it seems Grog has. Which means I'm stuck too. For me it's not love but a good bit of like. Typical of Grog, he chose a non-human which may be the only reason I'm allowing it.
Now, I knew I'd probably be the one stuck taking care of the critter most of the time just like I do with Grog. But maybe they could keep each other occupied. If he didn't end up trying to eat it when I wasn't paying attention.
Right away Grog was a little unsure. "Fuzzy cat thing is tiny. It has bitey things on it. Grog need groom it." He was right, though, this thing was covered in fleas. Turns out it also had worms and, at 8 weeks old, they'd made it a mostly outdoor cat. Being the runt of the litter it probably had to fight for every bit of food it got but I think the fleas and worms ate all the nutrients so the poor thing was constantly starving.
First order of business: get the tiny feline free of parasites. A pretty quick and easy undertaking.
It climbed up in my lap right away and fell asleep. Grog just shrugged "we eat it now?" No, monkey man, we aren't going to eat it today. Maybe later. "Ok. Grog make fuzzy cat thing fat first." Good plan. I could only hope he'd change his mind about eating it eventually.
So we got it a box and litter because cats have us trained to bring the outside indoors and give them shitboxes for us to clean. Crafty little devils. Food, box, brush, toy and treats. We went shopping.
I think Grog was already starting to enjoy himself. If he'd had his way we'd have spent an hour playing with cat toys before we picked one out. He's a doofus sometimes but he's my doofus.
Thus began life on the road with a tiny kitten. Grog plays with it and lets it practice its hunting and fighting skills. Ever have a kitten "attack" your hands with impunity? From fingertips to elbow my right arm now looks like Helen Keller used it to write her autobiography. Seriously, it's horrible. My arm is so shredded it's ridiculous. And Grog just laughs and laughs the whole time. "Grog teach kitty thing to be warrior!" Thanks, Grog. Ugh.
We've learned a few things about cats. Like they're manipulative. We have this game that Miss Demeanor started. I pretend I'm a truck driver trying to safely drive an 80,000 pound vehicle and she pretends she doesn't care. Instead she hops up in my lap then slowly claws her way up my shirt to the collar. Then she hangs there and lets her hind legs dangle. I reach out and support her weight so she doesn't tear my shirt to shreds. Once she feels my hand touch her she releases the claws, collapses into my hands and goes to sleep instantly.
Since she's self-centered, if I set her in my lap so I can use that hand she just sits there and stares at me for a few minutes. Then she'll climb back up and we repeat her little game.
I did get to laugh at her once for it. As soon as she started to collapse into my palm I moved my hand. As she landed in my lap she gave me a "hey, asshole, that wasn't funny" type meow. Even Grog chuckled though.
Another fun lesson I learned: cats must be related to squirrels. They'll climb anything. I drive in jeans most of the time now. My legs look like I waded through a briar patch. I'm fairly certain I've lost enough blood to qualify me among the undead.
This little Velcro gymnast does laps sometimes while I'm driving. Fun to watch? Sorta. Except when I'm part of the course. She's started at my ankle and climbed to my shoulder. At a breakneck pace. Countless times. While I'm hurtling us down the highway at 70 mph.
However, I was smart enough to take pictures of her when she's being cute. I did that for her protection. See, that's why kittens are cute to begin with: so you don't kill them. So far so good. Grog doesn't want to cook her up anymore. He actually likes her. She shares our pillow.
Grog was pretty sure his kitten was broken the first time she used the shitbox. Nothing living should ever put off odors like that. "Grog need bury cat." No. Easy fella, she's just going potty. "Kitty thing eat zombie?! Grog see buzzards circle when cat thing poop." Yes, I know. But she will bury it and we got special odor control litter. "Litter is poop covering dirt? Grog think it broken. Grog's eyes leak from smell." It'll be alright. Here, I'll roll the passenger side window down. "Aaaahh! Now it stink AND Grog hot! Kitty trying to kill Grog!"
And so we started the ritual of cleaning the litter box three times a day at minimum. She's cute and cuddly but something is rotten inside her. The good news is she's not food aggressive in the least. She's not aggressive in any way until Grog gets her riled up. I've found he enjoys brushing her two or three times a day though. It relaxes him.
We get up, exercise and get all pumped up then brush the kitten. After we exercise at lunch and dinner we usually follow up with me doing busy work in my head while Grog brushes his little friend. I think things are going to work out well.
Monday, June 13, 2016
I had planned on posting something lighthearted and fun today. Had it all written up and everything. I wanted to be that "fun guy" but, nope, now I've gotta be the asshole again.
It's been a while since I've actually offended someone, I think. So I guess I'm overdue. You guys ready to be mad, call me names and cancel your subscriptions? Let's go then.
I'm going to start off by saying that any senseless death is tragic. I offer my deepest condolences to the families of those killed in that club in Orlando over the weekend. It was needless, tragic and inexcusable. A deplorable act perpetrated by a misguided zealot.
That being said, here's where I start making people mad. See.... I saw postings all over the internet where people weighed in. I saw speeches made by Emperor Nobama. I read and heard a lot of things that were just tremendously STUPID.
First off, the Obama speech: he feels "gun control laws" are the issue. This Idiot in the Oval Office thinks we should blame guns. Hmm. Gun control. Well, let's see, if the folks in that club had had guns then a lot less of them would've perished, I'm sure. He was able to shoot as many people as he did because no one could defend themselves.
However, "gun control" will not keep people with murderous intent from killing. Quick to cry for gun control we forget several factors. Don't worry, we'll get back to the rest of this post afterward. I doubt there'll be a good segue because there's nothing humorous about this level of stupidity so bear with me.
Factor one: the bad guys don't give two shits about gun laws. Period. Paris has pretty strict gun laws. Did that deter the terrorists in the slightest? Didn't appear to.
Chicago is a "gun free zone" yet people get shot there pretty frequently. New York City also has shootings despite being "gun free". Apparently the bad guys there also just don't care about the gun laws.
If people want to kill they simply will whether they're using planes (World Trade Center), trucks full of fertilizer (Oklahoma City Bombing), pressure cookers (Boston Marathon), knives, hammers, rocks, etc. When Cain slew Able do you think he cared that killing was bad? And he certainly didn't use a gun.
Factor two: guns aren't the problem. People are. For millennia people have killed one another. Long before the advent of guns. You simply can't prevent extreme behavior and you usually can't predict it either.
Factor three: stricter gun laws will only serve to keep people from being able to protect themselves. The best way to stop an active shooter is to shoot him back. Period. How did SWAT stop him? They shot his ass dead.
Now, back to the story. I saw someone post that they blame Donald Trump because "he said things that promote hate and fear." Seriously?! This is Trump's fault now?! How asinine can you get? The ONLY person to blame for this was the radical Islamist who did the shooting. No one else is responsible for his actions.
This goes hand in hand with me reading the other day about a girl who committed suicide because she was "bullied". The family says the kids who bullied the girl were to blame for her death. False. SHE killed herself, they didn't kill her. Though it's tragic to lose a loved one, she was responsible for her own actions.
Accountability. We lack it sorely. Everything that happens we have to find someone to blame. (This prompts me to tell you that there will be another inflammatory post soon).
Next up. I'm kinda curious about something here. People keep clamoring for "equality" and shit. "We need to quit labeling people..." I've seen this fun little gem in posts about transgender, LGBT, color, etc.
So why was it necessary to immediately tell everyone it was a gay club? Is that supposed to raise the level of severity? I felt I was appropriately sympathetic for the families then I found out it was a gay bar. So does that mean now I've gotta be even more upset?
Thinking back, I remember there being plenty of violence in a few of the bars I've worked in but I don't remember the papers or news saying anything about a "stabbing in a straight/heterosexual bar". Did we really need to differentiate what type of bar it was? "Don't label us but make sure you draw attention to our sexual preference when appropriate." What the hell?
Same thing with the girl who committed suicide. "She was a promising young black woman." Couldn't she have just been "a promising young woman"? I'm unsure what skin color had to do with her level of promise or with her killing herself.
There will always be separation of color and sexual orientation as long as BOTH sides are quick to point it out. Yes, I feel bad that someone radical thinking shithead killed those people. No, their color, age, gender or sexual preference didn't make me feel any more or less bad. When we can simply address each other as people instead of our sexuality or color THEN we will have made progress towards change. Until then it's just different levels of segregation.
No, I'm not done. There's another thing about this that pisses me off. I saw several posts and pictures of tweets wherein people say variations of "I'm glad he killed perverts and not innocent people." That is an exact quote. Look, these were innocent victims. Have respect for them and their families. I know that there are Christian extremists who claim homosexuality is "an abomination to God".
Let's set the record straight here. Christian extremists are no better than extremists from other religions. Religious extremism is wrong no matter your religion.
Remember, it was Christians who slaughtered people in the Crusades, who tortured people during the Spanish Inquisition, that burned people alive at the Salem Witch trials, who slaughtered Native American men women and children wholesale, who drove Aborigines off cliffs... The list goes on.
I subscribe to no religion and don't believe ANY religion should be an excuse for committing atrocities or being stupid. So you can call me whatever names you want but, before you go telling me how great your religion is, make sure you know your history because the most powerful weapons are knowledge and reason.
Friday, June 10, 2016
I'm a polyglot. That means I speak multiple languages. Three of them are European though I'm not quite fluent in German or Italian yet. But I'm working on it. I went to school for one European language, the other two are kinda "self taught". I've got this nifty app called Duolingo and I greatly enjoy it.
Among the languages I know, several aren't taught online or in the classroom. Life and experience has helped me master "snark", "sarcasm" and "asshole" to a level far above "scholar". These, in addition to just plain English, have become my most common forms of communication. Unfortunately, however, I haven't learned to speak "dumbass" yet. Which led to yesterday's miscommunication.
See, there's a new Petro truck stop in Illinois and I had to stop there for fuel. Nice, big place with pleasant employees. Inside things were great. When I walked back out, however, things went not great. There was a guy outside with a sign advocating getting trucks off the road.
My first thought was, "is this some radical new form for committing suicide??" I couldn't help myself. Target acquired and locked. Prepare to engage!
"Um, excuse me, what's with the sign?"
We are a group supporting Bernie Sanders' proposal to get trucks off our roads.
"Hmm. You're a Sanders supporter AND you're at a truck stop advocating putting trucks out of business. So that already tells me what I need to know about you but I'll play along. This could fun for a minute." That was my internal thought. What I said aloud was "you know you're at a truck stop with this, right? That's about like a rabbit hopping into a wolf den.
"So why're you wanting trucks off the road?"
"Because they cause too many deaths and accidents."
"Hhmm. Ok. How many deaths and accidents a year are trucks responsible for?"
"Wow. A lot, eh? Is that an official number? Try this number out: the department of transportation states that in accidents between cars and trucks, the car is at fault for 86% of those accidents. 86%. That's an actual number.
"So maybe we should advocate to get 86% of the cars off the road and the roads would be much safer. Whatcha think, Sparky?"
"Well trucks go too slow and clog up traffic too."
"Hmm. Let's explore that. Most companies govern, that's limit the speed of, their trucks for insurance purposes. My truck isn't governed. Should I run around driving as fast as you guys do? Let's also remember most cities restrict trucks to certain lanes but not cars. So you guys are free to get around us slow rolling wildebeests of the road.
"Since we're here, though, let's talk some more. Let me ask you, how long can you be up and driving before you're required by law to stop?"
"That's absurd. No one tells me when I can and can't drive. But at least I'm smart enough to get off the road when I'm tired. You guys aren't. You drive tired all the time."
"Ok. So you can drive as much as you want. Do you know that the department of transportation limits us to no more than 14 hours on duty, meaning 'up and doing stuff', with no more than 11 hours of those being drive time? And, of those 11, we can't be on duty for more than 8 hours before being required to take a break.
"Look around, Tiger, you see all those trucks in the parking lot? Those guys are sleeping or taking their required break. Our choices for places to stop are more limited because of the size of our vehicle but we do stop when needed.
"Now, what's your solution to trucks? People need stuff. We bring stuff. It seems to work that way."
"We could just move everything by train. It's better for the environment and won't cause so much trouble on the roads."
"Capital idea, my man! Capital idea. Wait. You seem to be wearing store bought clothes. So let me ask you, if I may, when you went to the mall to get your clothes did you happen to see... Oh, I don't know, a TRAIN STATION there? Get your car at a dealership? See a train depot on the lot? At the gas station? The grocery store? Should I continue or are you getting the general idea here?"
"We could build more railways. It would create more jobs."
"Oh. You mean jobs for the 650,000 plus people you're looking to put out of a job? You ever pick up one piece of railroad rail? It's heavy. How do you plan on getting that rail everywhere? Got a train that doesn't need rail? Yep. It's called a truck.
"Look, killer, right up until I saw your sign and you started speaking I assumed you were brighter than your shoes. After that I rapidly changed my mind. I recommend Tony Chachere's."
"Tony Chachere's. It's a seasoning. We like our food seasoned. Good luck out here, you're gonna need it. I've gotta run. But, before I go, consider this:
You want trucks off the road in your county, imagine when you've gotta drive to the next county for pretty much everything you need that you can't grow. Welcome to the Wild West, pardner"
Now, as it turns out, the website he mentioned (yes, I've omitted their website because I simply don't promote their cause) was founded by a woman who lost her 8 year old grandson due to a "collision with an 18 wheeler". Let's process that. Not "was hit by", but collided into.
In other words, THEY ran into the truck. The loss of a loved one is tragic, I understand that. However, to fault trucks for people in cars not knowing how to drive is idiotic.
We (truck drivers) deliver products that everyone needs. Just like the rest of you, we are simply trying to do a job. We don't run around looking to cause problems for cars. More often than not, cars are the ones causing the accidents. Think long and hard about what life would be like if you couldn't just go to the store to get what you want. What life would be like if you couldn't just stop in and fill up your car at the gas station. Even what it would be like if there were no lumber stores or buildings to get materials needed to build or run your home.
People hate that our giant vehicles get in the way and slow them down. They blame us every time they cut us off and cause an accident. They want us off the roads but they fail to realize how much we drive the economy. Highway usage taxes and fees in the billions yearly that help support construction of new roads and repair of old ones. They fail to realize how post apocalyptic the world would be within a week if we all just stopped.
Saturday, June 4, 2016
Lovely how we humans do things. We invade animals' habitats, build our homes where theirs used to be, then we get upset that those animals are invading "our space" because, you know, we live there now. Living next to a forest I get bears, cranes, turkeys and snakes aplenty running around. I don't want them exterminated or locked away; I just enjoy watching them. They were here first. WE are invading THEIR space but humans are arrogant as well as destructive.
We push animals into endangered status, hunt them nearly into extinction and then cage them for "conservation of the species". Unless they're creatures that frighten us or we deem useless. Then we just keep killing them. Too bad we can't do that with humans. We'd need a lot less of those invasive homes.
Instead we end up with zoos. That's where we take animals out of their natural habitat, lock them up and put them on display. So people can see the nature we are destroying. Maybe it'll help us appreciate how good we destructive creatures have it.
Most days I think it should be humans caged up instead.
Do I think things could've been handled differently? Eh. Maybe. Shoot that sorry excuse for a mom and toss her in there to distract the gorilla.
Now, here's the thing, we took these gorillas out of the wild for "conservation purposes". We built them a fun little enclosure/home. This kid deliberately climbed into it. He basically broke into their home. So we kill the gorilla. For having his home broken into. Only in America.
Look, I'm not saying the kid was solely at fault here. He wasn't. I blame his "mother". She works at a daycare facility? And her response is "accidents happen"?!
Seriously?! People trust her with their kids?! Well it's obvious she's never taken her class on a field trip. Leave with 20, come back with 3. "Where'd the rest of the kids go?" Eh. Accidents happen, I guess.
Accidents like people like her being allowed to watch kids. That seems a pretty terrible accident. With fatal results for a gorilla after her neglect allowed her child to break into said gorilla's home.
Surprisingly, I've seen people post in her defense. "She did the best she could. You can't watch a kid 24/7...." True. But, c'mon, how about at least long enough for a trip to the zoo? How's that for a start??
I know, I know, I may be asking too much. I must be like world's strictest parent. "Let's go to the zoo, kids, but I expect you to not wander into the animals' homes..." But daaaaad! "Nope. Im going to actually stay with you guys and watch you. We will stay together during the whole trip. Like a family." Daaaad. You're no fun!
Some of the comments are like "this poor lady is punishing herself.." Blah blah blah. "How would you feel if that were your kid?" Yada yada yada. Simple: she's not punishing herself. Her attitude about it says it all. "Accidents happen". Translation: "it's not my fault." Bullshit, lady. It IS your fault. You're the parent so when stuff like this happens on your watch it's entirely YOUR FAULT.
As for if it were my kid... Simple. It wouldn't be. I actually watch my kids. That's kinda my job as a parent. Hell, I'm sure my kids would be more scared of me catching them trying some stupid stuff like that than they would be of the gorilla hurting them.
But I'll play the hypothetical game. Let's say that somehow one of my boys did do something like that. You can bet that I'd be in that enclosure right behind them in a hurry. Not to fight off the gorilla but to light that kid's ass up. They'd be begging the gorilla "please don't let my dad find me..."
We lack accountability these days. I've seen it in many places, not just in this zoo situation. Go to the mall and you'll see kids acting like wild animals. Or Walmart. Dear lord, the people I've seen there! Kids running amuck to the point you want to run them over with a cart and sometimes their parents are just laughing at how shitty their kids are behaving. Makes me want to slap the parents in the head with a bottle of Ajax. "Clean up your damn parenting skills!"
Since that's frowned upon or labeled assault all you can do is try to avoid the monkey house that is retail stores. I'm a hermit when I'm home and I'm sure my friends sometimes think I'm borderline agoraphobic because I cringe when they invite me places. Outdoors doesn't scare me, modern society does.
The other day I saw a video on Facebook of some little kid relentlessly beating on his mom. And she's siting on the couch trying to cover her face. I call bullshit. Smack that kid until he's seeing stars.
That behavior wasn't just something he suddenly started either and you know it. That's years of failing to discipline. To me it's just like with pets. There are no bad dogs, just bad owners. Same with kids. It's the parents' fault.
Are my kids perfect? No. They're kids. But they're well-behaved kids who should turn into well-behaved adults. That's how child ownership works.