Last week I was lucky enough to travel back in time to gather with 35 people who all graduated high school 27 years ago. Reunions are always so interesting because we realize some 17 year old was actually in charge of one of the most important times of our lives. That’s when most of us head straight to the bar and order a stiff one. As the fog of life sweeps us onto the treadmill of kids, pets, lovers, spouses and experiences.....we sometimes pause to look back at the innocent and sweet years that shaped us before we stepped into reality. Central Illinois has some of the blackest top-soil you'll ever see or smell. It is powerful and reeks of life and death and how the two are intertwined. My mind loves the orderly pattern of the rows of crops as opposed to the palm trees and lack of order I find where I live now in Hawaii. A reunion. But this wasn't just any reunion or "get together".....it was a beauty pageant. And although this may sound strange, I swear to you it was true. And the winner was a girl whom I remember by her laugh and smile. She always wore that smile in school and after that June night in 1982, I never saw her again. I went one way and really never thought of her again until a few short months ago. Now I always prided myself on two things: knowing beautiful women and having an opinion on just about everything. I was born to be the kind of judge Simon Cowell has made a fortune being. Provide me with a choice and I'll tell you why one is better than the other. I don’t get wishy-washy, I give it the straight poop. No one knew there was a beauty pageant that cool eve in the prairie state, but afterwards as I drove home late that night to my mother's home....I saw that there was and I knew who won. She has that same smile and laugh. She has a husband and beautiful children. There she was, Miss America! And she was clearly the winner. By the way, she also has no hair now. The winner that night is battling cancer. Somehow I had never been touched by cancer either in my own life or anyone around me. I was that guy who found the pink ribbons somewhat annoying as I really didn't know their meaning. I do now. The Queen of the Class of 1982 has made me very aware of it and of life. I have done a lot of soul-searching in the last seven days and I have read up on breast cancer and now I have a pink ribbon too. I stand ashamed of my earlier thoughts but am so very glad I now know the power of smiles and know that a 45 year old friend with no hair won my heart and a beauty pageant I never knew I would be judging. Thank you for your strength, your smile, your laugh and your example. Others from that special evening may face our own beauty pageant someday and I pray we battle it as you have and come out the winner. Keep smilin' Terri.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
There are dog people and cat people. I love dogs. We always had one back in Illinois. I love cats too. I grew up with a 28 lb behemoth named Hercules who was raised by a raccoon after his mother died and preferred mac and cheese and cherry tomatoes. He lived until he was a ripe 14 years old. But as I moved out into the world, I found it easier to deal with felines. (that's what she said, I know) Before I entered the Navy, I had a big orange tabby male, Satchmo, that went to live with my mother whilst I protected the free world. When Cris and I began living together in Seattle in 2000, we went to the shelter and got a brother/sister combo. They have been awesome cats and dealt with kids and everything great. Now, after his sister passed last year, we are left with Smokey. He is a very shy and lovable, grouchy 22 lb. grey tabby. At night, he settles down to the immediate corner of our California king bed. He takes up a lot of space, but it's better than two toddlers to those of you with kids! Now....when I sleep I have two major positions. I begin and spend most of my time on my right side as I once read that Buddha recommended it as it doesn't put a lot of pressure on your heart. When I switch to the left side, I do it rather quickly and "sweep" my right hand to hug the pillow. So....last Friday, sometime in the early hours of Saturday, I did my quick move to the right and as my right hand swept upward, trying to acquire the pillow...my middle finger slightly entered the sphincter of my very shocked and surprised cat. He bolted and I awoke immediately and by this time (we're talking Mission Impossible slow) my index and 4th finger are encountering a few crusties on the left and right side of the anal opening. I jump up and head to the bathroom carrying my hand in front of me life a surgeon heading into the OP room. Smokey has scurried off and thank God he doesn't have too much reasoning skills to think about what just occurred to him. i wash my hands three-four times and return to bed with a weird feeling that never allows me to gain peaceful sleep. I laid there and had the thoughts of a cat molester bouncing around my head. I finally fell asleep and my adventure began to become funny somewhere in my subconscious.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Let us go back to simpler times..the summer of 1978 when I first was introduced to the french kiss. Doing the math I was 13 at the time.....late even by the standards back then...now there are fathers who are that old. Anyway, as Jimmy Carter was president and the Yankees were heading toward another World Series, I was preparing for the best week of my then life......a week without parental control in Charleston, Illinois at the Eastern Illinois University jazz band camp. Yep, I was so excited. This was to be my 4th year in a row there and that gives one a bit of status at a geeky band camp. My mom and grandmother dropped me off after meeting my roommate and getting settled in. I was an above average trumpet player and was looking to be the lead trumpet of at least the 2nd band, if not the 1st band. There was an older trumpet player from Taylorville, Il there who was tall, had groovy long hair and immediately became my "running" pal. We chatted up girls and I used his smoothness with the ladies to hide my complete lack of maturity in that area. Mark made lead trumpet in the 1st jazz band and I made 2nd chair, also known as the solo chair. I was happy and immediately noticed a pretty girl playing 4th chair trombone in my band. She was gorgeous and thin and wore her Sergio Valenti jeans just right. Mark soon hooked up with the hottest chick at camp who was friends with the trombone player. One thing lead to another and we started hanging out, holding hands and spending all out time together. On the 3rd night there, we got dressed up in suits and escorted our dates to see EIU's theater team perform, "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown". I was in my blue three piece suit, tie and for some insane reason was wearing my orange Alice Chalmers farm baseball hat.....(all the guys wore them, all the time back then in the "country"). My date looked so hot in her dress and we held hands like pros during the 1st act. As the lights went to black after the act, she suddenly leaned in, grabbed my jaw and kissed my whole on the mouth and inserted her beautiful 13 year old tongue into mine! The feeling was 100% better than Coke or any other drug I have had the pleasure to have known. Never again would I experience such primal excitement and wonder lust. I had done it!, my internal thoughts screamed. Then the fear of what to do next came! How could I pull off the "lean in"? It was not a practiced move. I was in uncharted territory. Whilst walking back to the dorms after the play with her sweet taste still swirling in my mouth...Mark suggested we go back to the "TV ROOM". Now the TV room was in the basement of the dorm we stayed in was called the TV room only because there was a tv and it was on. But in reality, that was 1978 codewords for MAKE OUT ROOM. Now I just got my first french kiss and here I was going to make out room. It was like catching a practice pass at the school yard and then heading into the Superbowl! I was terrified! What was I supposed to do? Well I knew kinda what to do but I was afraid of failure. As soon as we got there, there were couples everywhere making out as some idiotic late show was on the tele. Mark and his date settled in and began smooching. My girl looked at me and........and........and......then I.....I.........I excused myself to go the bathroom. I had freaked out. LOSER my right brain sceamed! I went to my room in shame and went to bed leaving some pretty trombone player wondering what happened to me. The next day I lied and said I had an upset stomach.....within 24 hours she had moved on to a sax player with much more experience in the kissing game and I was out in the cold. Embarrassed, I shock it off and nailed the solos and trumpet parts that summer but never forgot that kind, pretty girl who introduced me to the art of the kiss. Thanks to whoever you were.....it was me, not you. Hopefully you tell the story too and hopefully I don't come out as some nerdy trumpet player with irritable bowl syndrome.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
A 20 year police officer was shot dead in his patrol car by IRA terrorists making it three in two days. Over the weekend, two British soldiers on patrol were ambushed and slaughtered by these animals. WHY do terrorists like bullies act like COWARDS? Real men face each other and do not resort to pussy tactics to further their agenda. You're parents are shamed by your deeds and your efforts in Ireland will not stop the peace that had been there for a while. Bored, young punks with no ethics and no parenting are the #1 reason for this violence. Family values work! If unemployment continues to rise here in the USA, look for increased violence from the youth. If Mr. Obama continues his socialist agenda, look for a 2nd American revolution. Don't laugh at this, there are more unhappy citizens than you may personally know. Don't Tread on Me.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Summer of 1972. I was 7 years old and full of wonder at the world. Before Nintendo or Pokemon or DVR’s or more than 7 TV channels….there was only sports that would keep us in the house instead of playing stick or running around the neighborhood inventing games. That summer the Olympics were being hosted in Munich, West Germany. I was glued to the tube as we watched Mark Spitz set a now-broken record for 7 gold medals in the swimming events and the Russian basketball team literally steal the gold medal from the Americans in basketball. And then as my family and I tuned on to the morning’s greeting from the TV team, I remember my first taste of terrorism…..Jim McKay, usually so upbeat and excited looked sick and gloomy. His next few sentences changed my life forever. Terrorist had got into the athlete's compound and taken the Israeli team hostage. They had guns and hid their cowardly faces with scarves. Life would never be the same for the world as well as me. I remember crying at the loss of 11 athletes and the 18 hour standoff with the world. Palestine was now a word I would forever associate with as ruthless, cowards who would stoop to any level to seek revenge against Israel. As I grew older….I never forgot that morning. In 1985, I watched TWA flight 847 hijacked and a US Navy sailor murdered and pushed out on the tarmac. I later went and listened to the pilot talk about this hijack at a church with my mother. In 1989 I began working for TWA as a flight attendant and actually flew on that same Boeing 727 and saw the knife marks on the ceiling. It has now since been retired from service as has TWA. In 1993, I worked on the World Trade Center’s twin towers after the bombing by the same bunch of cowards. I helped restore the towers and spent the next 10 months working downtown on the almost all floors of those shinning symbols of US power. In 2001, I was living in Everett, WA after being honorably discharged from the US Navy where I was stationed aboard the destroyer USS FIFE (DD-991). I remember watching that beautiful, normal Sept. 11th morning as the second plane hit the towers. I still carry rage about it. My son, who is 7 will grow up in a world that probably will see it’s share of horror and cowardness. He will read stories about heros but never know the real feeling of "change" that can take a summer morning and turn it all black. I spit at the cowards who hide behind their women and send suicide bombers in where warriors should. I hate them and wish them Hell. There is NO talking to “them”. "They" won't sign peace treaties. "They" are cowards and by "them" I mean Iran, Syrian and the groups associated with the freedom of Palestine. You have made me an enemy that summer day in ’72 and I will never forgive or forget you. Given the chance, I would kill them as easy as they killed a seven year old’s summer of innocence.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
You know the story.......so does it really matter if he took a bong hit? I am sure his sponsors will drop out and the will vilify him as the Devil. We will hear the terms image, sports role-model and gateway drug. Crap. So what, he took a bong hit....I've taken a few in my day and I am not robbing Best Buys for heroin now. In fact, I have never been in jail, arrested or been a burden on society for my drug use. I liked it and didn't go down the Darth Vader path to all the drugs with alphabet sounding names that the kids use nowadays. In fact, never got on coke because of it. So this physical specimen who can swim like a fish got stoned. Good for him. There's a lot of hard work involved in preparing for that type of life and rewards. And it's not like pot was a performance-enhancing drug. It doesn't make you swim faster...(not for me), run faster (although the pain of running does not seem so bad) or make you have better endurance in any sport (but it did make mountain biking and roller-blading more fun..it seemed). So Mr. Phelps....I am sorry that you are about to be crucified for this photo.....it will be a character-builder and hopefully you will endure as you have on the world's stage of sport. Oh....and remember it's "puff-puff give".
Monday, January 19, 2009
Western intel sources say that at least 40 al-Qaeda fanatics died due to the Plague and they internally fear it is spreading through their training camps. Although we did one earlier for the US Border agents.....it's a Hip hip hooray for the Middle Ages!!!! It worked for the cylons, maybe it will clear out all these rats too.
Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. I won't tell you the whole story....I will give Google some business. Just know that these two American heroes were doing their job and trying to stop Mexican sleazebag drug runners from crossing our border when the Dept of Justice turned on them and put them in federal prison for the past two years. Hip Hip hooray for the both of them. It's disgusting how the Federal prosecutors can turn like rabid dogs on true American patriots.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Bush is considered the devil by most democrats and even a few right-wingers ( I will never forgive him for NOT securing the borders on 9-12-01 and keeping them closed). But now that "W" is moving on to private life....how did he do? There were no more large-scale attacks like 9-11, but some say our world standing suffered. There was GITMO and interrogation problems. There was the bail-out of insurance companies and for a conservative he spent like a central Florida lottery winner at a corvette dealership. Big government? We got it, but most of that blame went to establishing a new department, Homeland Defense. We did have to spend after 9-11 and I had no problem with that BUT the bailouts of late 2008 set a poor precedent that now haseveryone holding out their hands for the governments money. What will Obama bring us? He says change, but never clearly defined exactly what that change was to be. Either way, we got him for four years or at least two years when he we will again begin the election process. And that process.....is it just TOO MUCH MONEY wasted on the TV ads instead of paying down the national debt? What did the past do for you and what will the future hold?
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
So we got Rockband 2 and an XBOX from Santa. Now my four year old son, Duncan, holds the guitar and plays like Angus Young from the Aussie legend, AC/DC. What will become of him in later years? He is playing on medium level and nailing solos much to my surprise. He picked it up lightyears faster than I did. My wife and I crack up as he and his six year old brother (a brooding mic hog who is a Jim Morrison in training) rock out to 80's and 90's rock and metal hits. Will I be able to retire and live a life of luxury whilst he is on tour? Time will tell.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Patrick Swayze is in the hospital with pneumonia and is fighting for his life as his body has been weakened by inoperable pancreatic cancer and shooting 12 hour days for a new A &E show. Last year he announced that he had the deadly disease and vowed to fight on as Dalton would in a good bar fight. While receiving treatment for it he shocked Hollywood by working 12 hour days in brutally cold weather shooting the new A & E series, "The Beast". It may have taken too much out of him and now may suffer the consequences of the demanding schedule. The younger readers will not understand the Dalton reference because the media would have you believe that Swayze and "Dirty Dancing" (aka Chick Flick) are the memory you should have of this man of a man actor. But, 1989's "Road House" tells the story of a new head bouncer at a rough bar and how he kicks ass and, well.....great guy flick. Ladies, there are also some beefcake scenes too, so go and rent this classic Swayze movie and think of Patrick and wish him well. Here is some sage advice from Dalton's character:
"All you have to do is follow three simple rules. One, never underestimate your opponent. Expect the unexpected. Two, take it outside. Never start anything inside the bar unless it's absolutely necessary. And three, be nice."
"If somebody gets in your face and calls you a cocksucker, I want you to be nice. Ask him to walk. Be nice. If he won't walk, walk him. But be nice. If you can't walk him, one of the others will help you, and you'll both be nice. I want you to remember that it's a job. It's nothing personal."
All the best Patrick, fight on.
Friday, January 9, 2009
Why didn't any of the reporters heckle HOT ROD today in Chicago? They sat there like sheep! What a loser this guy is and the lack of giblets between the legs of those reporters was horrible! BLOGO is taking CLINTONISM lying to a new level!!!! DENY, DENY, DENY, DENY, A new news story will take your place soon!!!!
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Back in 1979....at this time of year, I prepared for my science project. At the time, I was not so keen on science. I am much more keen on it now. Anyway, I was el Lameo and choose something about apples. I grew up on a 500 tree apple orchard and apple science was an easy choice. I had lame story boards and a lame theme. The ONLY saving grace was a huge basket of very polished red delicious apples that I give-away. I received a C on it and considering the time I spent on it....it's exactly what I deserved. So.....how about you? Can you remember back then....some of you won't have to back to 1979....maybe for you it's 1989 or 1999. I want the theme of your project, lameness quotient and grade. Aloha, Alex
Friday, January 2, 2009
I always get into a fight with the wife at this time of year. She always asks when are we going to take down the Christmas tree and I always say why? I think that the ornaments can come off Dec 26th......but the light that graces my living room....that mellow glow of little white lights on a tree inside my house is cool to me. Am I the only one who says we should keep it year-round? When our first child was born in 2002.....I skirted the issue and avoided her stares while she contended with delivering Payton in mid February. That year we kept the tree and just the white lights on until.....[gulp]....April. I loved having just the tree on while watching TV or reading. It was so neat having a darn tree in the house. But, marriage is all about choosing which battles to fight and which ones not to. So I am going to the garage this afternoon and bringing up all the boxes and put it away. But if I EVER win the lottery...I will have a room in my big house where the Christmas tree will be lit 12 months a year!
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Times are tough folks. Bank failings. Home foreclosures. Auto giants offering 40% off MSRP. Global warming giving us freezing temps. And so we must remember the little guy. Ones not as lucky as most of us. ( a moment of silence) And then there’s the guy in Cheeseland who decided that the holidays were a time to celebrate with a little free surf and turf. Racine police report that a 43-year-old attempted to steal $365 in lobster and $213 in ribeye and beef roasts from a local market. His cart also contained smoked ham, apple pie and fruit platter. He told police, when asked, that the reason he shoplifted was, “times are tough”.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Seventy-five years ago, Americans were preparing for their first legal “wet” New Years Eve in over 13 years. The 21st Amendment allowed the legalization of liquor after the strange prohibition movement against the spirits. Although I wasn’t there….I am sure that they partied like it was 1999. This year, please be careful when out celebrating. Most of my peers are, like me, in their 40’s and have figured out how to have a good time without driving. But…remember that the young ones are out there. Recall our days in the 20’s and after the shivering stops….you might say a prayer that we made it and say another that all of us will make it this year too. A most happy New Year to all of you and my prayers are with each of you and your loved ones to have a wonderful and joyous 2009 - Alex
Monday, December 29, 2008
Quick! What do Bozo the Clown and Iran’s Supreme Ruler Ayatollah Ali Khameini have in common? Answer: Both make me laugh. Sunday, in a speech, Iran’s clown-boy issued a fatwa for Muslims to stand up and defend their poor Palestinian brothers against Israel. Don't be fooled, Israel is not the big bully portrayed in the world press. Look for select Iranian commandos (QUDS) and other elements to begin OPS against Israel. Israeli SPECIAL OPS teams are already in-country and operating against Hamas from behind the lines. The only reasonable voice in the Arab world is Egypt who lays the blame squarely on Hamas for the current violence and Iran for the manipulation of using the Palestinian cause for it’s own selfish reasons. Russia will back Iran and the US will back Israel. Watch Putin as he further pushes the envelope against the American position of transference of power from Bush to Obama. Barry ain’t ready for the skilled power plays of Russia’s Putin. Beware the Russian bear!
It is apparent to this writer that the education one receives affects the path on which one builds their lives. Barack Hussein Obama was educated at Harvard and yet when you hear the Great One speak....his comments are littered with..."uhm"...."uhhh" and other mental voicings. Caroline Kennedy, whose attempts at US Senate work is being de-railed due to her love for the phrase, "you know", hails from Columbia. She said that phrase something like 12 times in :49 seconds!! What is it with these Ivy League types who the media glorify as above intelligent, yet cannot frickin' speak properly? English is our official language, even if the illegal Mexicans and Californians think differently. Kennedy, you've already lost any chance to political office......Obama....please stop using the phrase "uhhh" when you are trying to figure out what we want to hear.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Least you feel sorry for or believe the liberal press that poor Palestine civilians are the target of the Israeli Defense Force's (IDF) recent attacks on the Gaza rocket batteries......remember that these cowards put their rocket and military staging areas inside neighborhoods. These so-called men hide behind the curtain of homes and the dresses of their women. 154 Hamas security men have been killed in the strikes and to that we praise the IDF for being so precise. War is hell and civilian losses are sad but that's how the cookie crumbles when you fire from the hood and hide there too. I am again shocked at the wussies who command the European countries for not recognizing the act of self-defense. There reaction would be a little different if the rocket attacks came from the hills outside of Rome or the Forest of Montmoreny near Paris. As the Israeli PM said yesterday....there is a time for Peace and and a time to fight. This is the time to fight.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Hamas is playing a dangerous game with Israel and will likely incur a Hanuka wrath instead of a wreath. The continuing barrage of missiles and rockets fired into Israel’s Gaza strip is intolerable for any nation and we at this blog recommend a strong response from the Israelis. Peace is a hope all good men desire, but the protection of one’s home field is of vital importance. Russia is aiding Iran and Syria and indirectly Hamas and the other Islam-o-fascist-towel-loving idiots out there and the Israeli air force will soon be defending it’s title as the 2nd best air force in the world once again. Israel will benefit soon from a leadership change as Olmert will be replaced by stronger factions in the Israeli government. Russia and especially the shirtless wonder take note….stay out of a fight you do not want….let the Israelis defend themselves or deal with us….even Obama will have to honor prior, historical obligations.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Ask any carpenter or construction worker and they’ll tell you that using the right tool for the job is one of the most important elements to building something successfully. This picture shows a bolt with nut threaded onto it. When used in this combination it secures and strengthens. But what would happen if we tried to use two bolts to do the same thing? It will not work. A carpenter would look you in the eye and furrow their brow as to what you were trying to do. But there are many in this country who would like to build using two nuts or two bolts….they want to build unstable structures that will not stand. The voters in California rejected gay marriage and then the California Supreme Court overturned that ruling because they knew better than the people. So, a proposition was put again before the voters and they rejected it again. Did the liberal Hollywood and Gay groups accept the vote. No, like children they ran around screaming it wasn’t fair and mocked the church’s and groups affiliated with the opposition to it; they blacklisted individuals and “outed” them. Now that same California Supreme Court is reviewing.....Atty General Gerry Brown supports the review and AGAIN the decision of the people seems not to mater to the powerful gay lobbying groups. Pope Benedict said Monday that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behavior was just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction. He also said humanity needed to "listen to the language of creation" to understand the intended roles of man and woman. Just like nuts and bolts! I add that the world needs to listen to the language of constructions workers and carpenters too……especially one certain carpenter in particular.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
“You've obviously never been neck deep in nuns.” - The Bells of St. Mary's
“My mom's boyfriend says Christmas is the time of year when Frosty fights the Devil.” - Unaccompanied Minors
“Next to me in the blackness lay my oiled blue steel beauty. The greatest Christmas gift I had ever received, or would ever receive. Gradually, I drifted off to sleep, pringing ducks on the wing and getting off spectacular hip shots.” – A Christmas Story
“Let's face it, most of us are scoffers. But moments before zero hour, it did not pay to take chances.” !”– A Christmas Story
“Nora Krank, we're here for Frosty” – Christmas With the Kranks
“This is your basic yoga, I learned it in prison. It's good for stressful situations like this bank robbery, or if you're ever in prison and you're surrounded by ten men, helps relax you.” – Trapped in Paradise
“Folks, my firm's done a tremendous amount of marketing research and we've discovered two critical things, one; most Americans feel that Christmas is a time for family. Two; most Americans feel that in order to stand being around their family, for even one or two days, they need to swill as much alcohol as humanly possible.” – Surviving Christmas
“I want to see her nipples. But this is a CHRISTMAS show. Well, I'm sure Charles Dickens would have wanted to see her nipples. You can barely see them nipples. See? And these guys are REALLY looking.” – Scrooged
“I can't get the antlers glued to this little guy. We tried Crazy Glue, but it don't work. Did you try staples?”– Scrooged
“It's Christmas Eve. It's-it's the one night of the year when we all act a little nicer, we-we-we smile a little easier, we-w-w-we-we-we cheer a little more. For a couple of hours out of the whole year we are the people that we always hoped we would be.” – Scrooged
“What is your favorite Christmas memory? You know what it is. Tell me. I was 7, my dad and I moved to Alabama... and Christmas morning we ate on the floor, ate French fries and drank chocolate milk. That's what Christmas memories are made from, they're not planned, they're not scheduled, nobody puts them in their Blackberry, they just happen.” – Deck the Halls
“We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.”
“I'm a cotton-headed ninny-muggins. “ – Elf
“Scott, what was the last thing you and Charlie did, before you went to bed Christmas Eve? We shared a bowl of sugar, did some shots of brown liqour, played with my shot guns, field-dressed a cat, looked for women...”– The Santa Clause
“Who gave you permission to tell Charlie there was no Santa Claus? I think if we're going to destroy our son's delusions, I should be a part of it.” – The Santa Clause
“Damn. How can you give Kris Kringle a parking ticket on Christmas Eve? What's next, rabies shots for the Easter Bunny?” – Home Alone
“Santa Claus: What would you like for Christmas? Little girl on his lap: My own credit card.” – Brazil
“You throw quite a party. I didn't realize they celebrated Christmas in Japan. Hey, we're flexible. Pearl Harbor didn't work out so we got you with tape decks.” – Die Hard
“'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except... the four assholes coming in the rear in standard two-by-two cover formation.”- – Die Hard
“The worst thing that ever happened to me was on Christmas. Oh, God. It was so horrible. It was Christmas Eve. I was 9 years old. Me and Mom were decorating the tree, waiting for Dad to come home from work. A couple hours went by. Dad wasn't home. So Mom called the office. No answer. Christmas Day came and went, and still nothing. So the police began a search. Four or five days went by. Neither one of us could eat or sleep. Everything was falling apart. It was snowing outside. The house was freezing, so I went to try to light up the fire. That's when I noticed the smell. The firemen came and broke through the chimney top. And me and Mom were expecting them to pull out a dead cat or a bird. And instead they pulled out my father. He was dressed in a Santa Claus suit. He'd been climbing down the chimney... his arms loaded with presents. He was gonna surprise us. He slipped and broke his neck. He died instantly. And that's how I found out there was no Santa Claus.” - Gremlins
"The most enjoying traditions of the season are best enjoyed in the warm embrace of kith and kin. Thith tree is a thymbol of the thpirit of the Griswold family Chrithmath." - Christmas Vacation
"Our holidays were always such a mess. Oh, yeah. How'd you get through it? I had a lot of help from Jack Daniels." - Christmas Vacation
"Do you sleep with your brother? Do you know how sick and twisted that is? Well, I'm sleeping with your father. Don't be so dramatic."- Christmas Vacation
"We're kicking off our fun old fashion family Christmas by heading out into the country in the old front-wheel drive sleigh to embrace the frosty majesty of the winter landscape and select that most important of Christmas symbols.
We're not coming all the way out here just to get one of those stupid ties with Santa Clauses on it are we? No, I have one of those at home."- Christmas Vacation
"Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, kiss my ass. Kiss his ass. Kiss your ass. Happy Hanukkah."- Christmas Vacation
Saturday, December 20, 2008
The wife was out of town. My gig fell through and the kids were already excited about the sleepover with their friends. I played Rockband 2 with their parents for a bit.....nailed Dixie Chick's "Sin Wagon" guitar part and said good-bye to my boys. Alone, I felt the need for a stress relief that didn't involve asking some dude on the corner for some illegal substances. As a 44 year old man...with needs....I pulled into a very nice steak place and ordered a very, very dry martini (i don't drink much anymore....not since the sailor days in Japan!) and watched ESPN at the bar. The martini went down really nice and I felt that warm glow at the bottom of my spine. I beat the crap out of their salad bar by eating at least 4 avocados (priced those beauties lately) and then ate a gorgeous 13oz NY Strip, medium rare, with steamed veggies and baked potato smothered in butter. I went with a water in place of the 2nd drink and walked out feeling like a human again. At this stressful time in our country.....I recommend trying this therapy for you and your loved ones. Oh....and don't forget the buttered mushrooms!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
If you are one of those people who believe in global warming, I feel sorry for ya. I mean seriously....it snowed in Las Vegas yesterday! It's been 30 years since there was this much snow in Vegas (except for the 1980's when there was a LOT OF WHITE POWDER there!). Aghhh......1978....the first year for "Mork & Mindy" and the original "Battlestar Galactica"......and Tom Petty gave us an "American Girl"....but back to global warming. I, for one, say humans are hubristic to believe that we can affect the world's climate since the Industrial Revolution....I will even give you nuts until Christ's birth and we still haven't made a dent in the world climate! The pic is from another time in Vegas when what happened there really did stay there and it was cool and hip and people actually wore suits to sin in.
Monday, December 15, 2008
33 years ago my cousin, who lived with us and was the eternal bachelor / electrical gadget guy, bought the Atari PONG home game console for our 1975 Christmas. I remember we hooked it up to the 3000 lb Magnavox super-wooden console (which harbored a record turntable, cassette deck and quad speakers). If Chris Matthews gets a tingle up his leg at the speeches of Obama, then what I felt was pure sex before I knew what the feeling was at age 11. We played that game for hours and, as men, knew our lives would never be the same again. Christmas 1975 turned out to be a banner season for Sears and PONG with customers lined up for new shipments of the game to arrive. The first consoles retailed at $100. We soon moved onto Mattel’s Intellivision in 1978, the Sinclair ZX81, Nintendo's NES, Super NES and N64 to satisfy our jones. Between 1996 and 2008 I did not buy video game consoles. I routinely played TETRIS on the NES system throughout my adult life as that is the true and love of my life video game. But this year my wife and I purchased the Xbox 360 with Rockband 2 for our family…….the feeling is the same, but the experience is a whole lot different. This year I will be jamming to Oasis and Journey and Boston and Van Halen as I pound massive guitar licks and watch my 5 year old beat the drums and my 7 year old weave the magic on the microphone like the Lizard King himself. Cool.
So the editoristas of the Mexican edition of Playboy magazine claim that their holiday edition’s cover of a scantily clad model standing in front of stained glass with the title, " We love you, Mary" is not meant to be a veiled (sorry) reference to the Virgin Mary and specifically Our Lady of Guadalupe, also called the Virgin of Guadalupe. It is Mexico's (and Northern Mexico’s aka SOCAL) most popular religious and cultural image. The powers at Mexi-Playboy additionally dropped the issue the day before the feast of above-mentioned Mom de God, celebrated on December 12th. If you have the audacity to do a deed (even one done dirt cheap!) then have the cojones to admit to it! No one likes a coward senor! If there is an HOV lane to Hell, then you have just purchased a FastPass.
Another reason the USA is the top dog on the block. Throw shoes at our Prez and try to insult him? He's no slouch and all those miles on the mountain bike paid off as W dodges both size 10's yesterday.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
We have all been dumped. Or we were the dumper. Either way our reactions to those events helped shaped who we were, how we approached relationships in the future and how much whisky is too much. Consider the case of one Edward Leedskalnin, a Latvian immigrant, who in 1913 was all set to marry the girl of his dreams. One day before the wedding, she cancelled. Copious amount of booze for Eddie? Nope. He took out his grief by cutting and moving HUGE masses of coral rock into a tribute to his long-lost love. He did this for the next 28 years! Alone! Some of the pieces he was working with weighed 28 tons! And he used ONLY HAND TOOLS! Ed’s unusual creation is called the Coral Castle. He carved and sculpted over 1,100 tons of coral rock as a testimony to his lost love, Agnes.
But wait there’s more…..Ed weighed as much as Nicole Richie during her fat days (100 lbs) and was just over 5 feet tall. In 1936, a subdivision was being built near his Florida City home and Ed decided to move his monuments 10-miles to Homestead. Many people have seen the coral carvings being moved along the Dixie Highway, but no one has actually ever seen Ed loading or unloading the trailer. Four years later in 1940 he finished erecting the 8 feet tall, 4 feet wide, 3 foot thick, and 58 tons walls which weighed approximately weigh 125 pounds per cubic foot. When questioned how he moved the blocks of coral, Ed would only reply that he understood the laws of weight and leverage well. He has baffled engineers and scientists alike and some have compared Ed’s secret method of construction to Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids. Ed died in 1951. The woman who plagued his mind for 28 years? Well in 1980, Agnes Scuffs was 86 and still alive. A formal invitation to see the Castle was extended her; she declined. "I wasn't interested then, and I'm not interested now."
28655 South Dixie Highway
Homestead, FL 33033
This 9 ton gate baffles engineers today; 9 tons of coral rock is mounted on the wheel bearings of a 1920 Ford Model A truck. It is so perfectly balanced, a child can push it open with one finger.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
from "The Sporanos"?
My 5 year old son Duncan?
Is there finally substantial proof that aliens exist and that we have bribed them not to take over the Earth.....with acorns? Those who study trees are perplexed by the fact that more than 90% of the acorn "crop" this year is GONE. Vanished. Over 20 different varieties of oak trees have failed to produce acorns this year or they have been STOLEN by the same guys who crashed their craft in the New Mexico desert back in 1957. The pros say it may be weather related (oh no....not the global warming madness again!!) or it may be some kind of cycle of these wooden structures who can live up to 200 years. But I say Bush has shown his hand and finalized some promise made to the alien powers by placating them with one of our national treasures...our country's acorn production. What's next? Plums? Avocados? Dill weeds?
Mark this day on your calenders.....because today is another example that the United States is no longer a superpower; If it were a man, I would slap a glove across it's snout and call it a sissy. The Pentagon announced on Friday that force will not solve the piracy issue now occurring off the coast of the under-utilized tourist beaches of beautiful Somalia. Are you serious? Let me correct the eggheads.....force and I do mean overwhelming force is exactly what will solve the problem with modern-day pirates! The POTUS (President Of The United States) sits in the most powerful office in the history of the world and uses less than 20% of that power. Those carriers and cruisers aren't just for show....they are raw power projection! We alone could throttle the pirates...but wait, I hear the screams of the whirled peas idiots....."where shall we hold them whilst awaiting trial?" Trial? There should be no trial for piracy! "But we can't just kill them, it's 2008!" Yes we can kill them, they're doing something very wrong. Pirates should be shot on sight. No trial, no cell, no GITMO and no lawyers. In the early 1780's, the Barbary pirates exacted tributes from America in return from them not stealing our cargo and crews form the high seas. By 1785, our country disbanded the US Navy due to budget constraints. And the piracy continued. But in 1801, President Jefferson said "no mas". He ordered the Navy up and sailing again and sent a fleet over and bombed their cities and went hand to hand (thanks Marines!) and cut a few throats of those pirates. Look up leathernecks and see where it came from. And guess what.....in the face of that extreme violence and force, the pirates backed down. History is not old news but a compass to guide our future. I, for one, am disgusted by the upper chain of command this great country has to offer. Bold times demand bold men.....step up gentlemen. Here is the wisdom though....extreme force is the only thing that will "win" this GWOT (Global War On Terror). The heathens we face don't want a truce. They don't want terms. They want to destroy our way of life. They are winning too! Crosses are gone from our schools...Christmas has turned into a dirty word in some districts as we let our students study the Koran so we can "understand those poor people Bush is killing"! I moan about the liberals and Hollywood.....but brother, I would drip my blood to defend their right to do whatever the heck the Constitution allows them. And by the way......I went to my kid's CHRISTMAS PAGEANT last night and it was cool and I felt better afterwards. I wonder how the Pentagon guys and dolls felt after their diversity seasonal dinner with a bare green, winter tree and non-traditional treats? I can tell ya that the gingerbread cookies in the shape of a Christmas tree were delicious!
Friday, December 12, 2008
In college, I was part of a group of people who were the best and the brightest of our time.....we were the Right Stuff, Top Gun and Fist Full of Dollars all rolled up into one. This was circa 1986-1988 and long before "youts" walked around aimlessly listening to iPods and iPhones and chatted on their Blackberry's....we fought hand to hand with UNO cards....not silly Texas Hold'em or Halo3...no this was smelling your opponent and utilizing tactics only used till then by Defense Department officials holding off the Ruskies!! We enforced a rule-set that allowed the Draw 4 and Draw 2 cards to be run consecutive to each other. e.g. If your mean-spirited fellow threw down a Draw 4 on you and you had one.....pass it on! Draw 8 to your neighbor.....if HE had a Draw 4, then Draw 12 to his neighbor....you see where this could lead with cheap Natural Light beer and liquor? And yes...I once lost a game by the score of 500 something to 1 to Kareem (I forgot your nickname, sorry)...but and here's the kicker....now with children.....I find they don't exactly like that rule set. I must simply smile and laugh now when my 6 year old "Draw 4's" me.......although in my head.....I long to pull the reverse card and SLAM it back into his face. Aghh....college games are hard to play again with grey hair.....but maybe someday I will teach him the TRUE game with all it's possibilities. Or maybe I will fall into league and teach him Texas Hold'em at age 6 and let the next 14 years serve as practice before I push him to the Pro circuit and reap the retirement that UNO never gave me.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Once we were warriors....goes the title from a great film out of New Zealand. But what about us? What about the United States? Where did we falter along the path? Are the Islam-O-Fascists correct? Did our culture undo us? The video games that are advertised on TV certainly aren't what I asked for. We were given Pong and silly games to take us away from reality....not into a world where we are tasked with weapon systems and special forces tactics. How about the ones where you can car-jack, kill civilians and rape all in the name of fun? Where is Tetris when we need her? They say, "Rated M for mature".....really? Thanks for the insight, but you already got the visuals and themes into my 7 year old you morons. The world is turning downward like the Titantic before she slipped into the cold Atlantic. Bribes, payoffs, random killings, web suicides, reality TV.....it's all telling us something if we listen. We were once the leader on this rock, three clicks away from the sun. Now we are at the mercy of the world for money and greenhouse emissions. We should have sealed....fricking SEALED the borders of this country September 12, 2001. No one in and no one out until we sort out what the heck took place. Yes I too dislike Bush....but not for what most of you do. I find him a weak soul who didn't do what was needed after 9/11. We should have cleaned house, brother. Do you recall that beautiful September morning? Did life change for you that day? It did for me.....though I wonder what it will take for all of us to remember. And, if we do.....what will we do about it? Save the banks? Save the Auto industry? Save the environment from oil drilling? We're thinking too small; We should save ourselves and our country. And we should do it quick......before "they" get here in great numbers and slit our throats.
Today many musicians are whining about their music...their art...being used as a torture technique at Guantanamo Bay naval Base, Cuba. I say shut up and enjoy the publicity and buzz in an age of downloads and diminishing record sales. Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez authorized it back in 2003, "to create fear, disorient ... and prolong capture shock." Forget that....I have two kids who love LEGO toys......ever stepped on one of those really, really tiny bastards in bare feet? I have! I stepped on one such piece and was carrying a large box which prohibited me from immediately lifting my foot and thus I had to keep pressing downward and twisting it in as I balanced the load in my arms......it didn't break the skin (maybe those dude who walk on nails are legit) but the pain was ranked #5 on my all-time list of pains. It wouldn't even some out of my foot when I did lift it up....it just embedded itself in the arch.....I say toss 1000 tiny LEGO pieces on the floor of their cell and let the terrorist dance! I obviously am for keeping GITMO open for business as we aren't done with those bad guys for a while. BTW, LEGO toys were first unveiled to the world in 1973 at the Toy Fair in Europe.