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Facial Hair and Roses, the List Continues

The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu

Image via Wikipedia

Today I’m taking a look at items sixteen through twenty on the list. With a name like, “100 Things to do before you die” you would think the list would be comprised of exciting, once in a lifetime events. Surprisingly, not so much.

Number sixteen on the list is “Brew your own beer”. I’m a firm believer in not trying to do something someone else is doing really, really well. Why would I brew my own beer when I can run down to the nearest convenience store and pick up a six pack that would most likely meet all my needs? I have to be upfront here, I’m not really a beer drinker. I guess I owe that to my strict religious upbringing. When I have a thirst that needs to be quenched I usually reach for a soda or water. Beer looks good but tastes like  . . . . .  well, I’d rather not say because then someone will ask how I know what that tastes like and suddenly I’m in a conversation I really don’t want to be in because I should have said it tastes like what I think something vile would taste like. So to clarify, I don’t like the taste.

Next on the list is “Learn to take a compliment”. Really? If I don’t learn to take a compliment what’s the worst that could happen? Someone might get their feelings hurt. All you really have to do is reply with thank you. It’s not rocket science and not something that will turn a person’s life around. Let’s face it, if you’re not saying thank you to a compliment you might have bigger problems. Possibly you’re just impolite or even a crabby person. Just try to be nice to the people who share your life. Trust me; things will go much smoother if you do.

Eighteen on the list is “Buy a round-the-world air ticket and a rucksack and run away. When I first read this one I believe I scratched my head and stared off into space. If I possessed unlimited funds and didn’t care what my family thought or felt then maybe this would be an option. I would be lying if I said the thought of running away never crossed my mind in the past. I’m sure everyone has felt that at one time or another. Most folks, however, let their common sense kick in and realize that’s not the answer. Besides that, I wouldn’t have enough money to buy a bus ticket to Cleveland.

Coming in at number nineteen on the list is “Grow a beard and leave it for at least a month”. I had a gym coach in high school that used to say, “If you leave something lay around long enough it will grow hair”. He was right. I’m sure every high school boy, at one time or another has tried to grow a beard. If their parents won’t allow it then they will do it after they leave home. I’ve had a mustache since the day I left high school and only shaved it once for a pesky mole removal. No it wasn’t the kind of mole that tears up your yard.  I’ve also played around with beards of different shapes, a soul patch, Fu Manchu, and whatever the current facial hair craze might have been at the time. In other words, growing a beard is something done be almost every boy/man during their lifetimes.

Item number twenty is “Give your mother a dozen red roses and tell her you love her”. I’ve given my mom flowers before but never roses. Those flowers are reserved for my wife. I’ve always thought roses meant love for a spouse while any other flower would be fine for your mother. This may just be me but I don’t think I will ever purchase roses for my mother. I actually tell her I love her almost every day. This is probably the most important piece of this to-do item.

As you can tell from this group of five the list contains some very mundane items. In this group we’ve discussed beer, being nice to others when they compliment you, spending all your money on a plane ticket and abandoning your family, growing a beard, giving your mom flowers and telling her you love her. There’s only one way to spice up this group of five items. You must do all of them at the same time. So, the next time you grow a beard and someone compliments you don’t forget to say thanks just before you give your mom that bouquet of roses and tell her you love her. Then you can hop on that plane with your rucksack and head for Germany on your way around the world. While there you can learn to make world class beer that doesn’t taste like … well, you know.

Until I belly up to the laptop again, aloha.

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The Gift of Anti Social Skills

A streetsweeper makes its way through the crow...

Image via Wikipedia

I’m taking a break today from the “List” to talk about something that is near and dear to me. My family calls it my “anti-social skills”. I discovered a blog today, “Unearthly Musings”, where the author revealed her longing for privacy. This struck a note with me. I’ve always been uncomfortable in crowds. Whether it is small settings where ten people fill a room or thousands of people filling city streets.

My lack of comfort also spills over to include any interaction with strangers and people I barely know or knew a long time ago. My wife, who is a social butterfly and moves through a crowd with ease, can’t understand my discomfort. I’ve been like this for most of my adult life. So what’s the big deal? It’s not like I’ve changed overnight. Or is it?

Four years ago I had two strokes in a two month period. I’m lucky in that the only physical evidence left is diminished feeling on my left side and balance issues along with neuropathy in both legs. It could have been much worse. On the other hand I now sometimes feel what the doctors call sensory overload. This is when everything around me seems to be converging in my head at the same time. This wonderful (read sarcasm) repeating experience combined with my already existing “anti-social” skills makes me an extremely (again, read sarcasm) fun party guest.

So, whether it’s avoiding crowds or the talkative neighbor, I continue to practice and develop my”anti-social” skills. Believe me, it’s not all bad. I’m a whiz at dealing with Jehovah’s Witnesses and Door to Door Salesman.

Until I belly up to the laptop again, aloha.

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Trains, Forrests, and an Extremely Regretful Squirrel

Grizzly Grouse Mountain

Image by MarkyBon via Flickr

Today I’ll tackle items eleven through fifteen on the “List of 100 Things to do Before You Die”. This is a list that I sometimes think may have been put together by a chimp wrestling with an ostrich on top of a keyboard. Skinny-dipping at midnight in the South of France, really?

Number eleven on the list is “Tell someone the story of your life, sparing no details”. Come on, if I did that then I wouldn’t have any friends to invite to the “huge party” mentioned in item number two. Not even my closest friends and relatives would want to hear every detail of my life. I’m pretty sure even I would fall asleep or through myself off the nearest bridge, high building or cliff. I’m sure you get the picture. Life stories are best written down so those around you can make the choice of picking it up to read or not.

Coming in at number twelve is, “Make love on a forest floor.” In theory this may sound good until you start thinking about sticks and stones. And then there are the numerous bugs and creepy crawly things that inhabit the forest floor. What would you do if a bear or mountain lion decided to visit your little soiree in the woods? There would be more pulled muscles than on the first day of spring in your hometown gym. What do you do about the occasional hiker that happens by? To me this sounds more like making love in a minefield, too many things could explode.

Item thirteen is, “Make love on a train”. Let me mention conductors, other passengers, children, and uncomfortable surroundings. I’ll also refer you back to the above paragraph and the comparison to a minefield. Although after reading this I do believe the next time I ride a train I’ll take some spray disinfectant for the seat and hand sanitizer just in case.

The fourteenth item on the list is, “Learn to rollerblade”. I tried this back when I was much younger. The sore knees, road rash covered arms, and bruised gluteus-maximus are now things I associate with rollerblading. My ankles probably took the most abuse. If you are going to learn to rollerblade, do while you’re young.

Rounding out the top fifteen is “Own a room with a view”.  A view of what? I know that usually this phrase is used for rooms that are offered for rent, in other words, a view of the ocean instead of the parking-lot. There are several rooms in my home that I consider have great views. From my family room and bedroom I can look out over my back yard. It is lined with trees and full of wildlife. From the living room and dining room I can see my daughter’s house. This, to me, is a great view. So, this item is all a matter of perspective.  I can say, without a doubt, I own a room with a view.

This group of five contains some items that are definitely interesting but also dangerous. Anytime you take your clothes off outside of your home you are just asking for trouble. I can hear the emergency room conversation now

    “Sir, how did this happen?” the nurse asks.

    “Well, it’s really hard to explain”, you answer.

    “Everyone is waiting for you answer. It’s not every day we have to remove a squirrel from someone’s butthole.”

Until I belly up to the laptop again, aloha.

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A Closer Look at Items Six through Ten on the List

Today we’ll take a look at items six through ten on the list of “100 Things to do Before You Die”. I’m still a little baffled that “call 911” isn’t number one on this list. Maybe the author wanted to save that for use after skydiving and swimming with dolphins. If you don’t understand that reference take a look at my blog posting for August 30, 2010.

Item number six on the list is “Learn to speak a foreign language and make sure you use it”. Unless you want to sound like an idiot I would suggest first going to a region where they speak that particular foreign language. I’m sure your family and friends would appreciate your not speaking a language they can’t understand. Imagine the problem you would have if Uncle Ned’s pants caught on fire because he cuddled up a little too close to the fondue warmer.  No matter how hard you try to explain that his pants are on fire, Uncle Ned is not going to understand until things start to smoke. What’s even worse is that Uncle Ned may end up convalescing at your house.

Next on the list, “Go skinny-dipping at midnight in the South of France”.  What?? First of all, why would I want to go to France? Once there, in a place I don’t want to be, why would I strip butt-naked and jump into the water? As much as I don’t like the French I wouldn’t do that to them.  An episode like that could give a whole new meaning to the phrase, Ugly American.

Number eight on the list is, “Watch the launch of the space shuttle”. Finally, something I would like to do. I’ve seen it on television but never in person. I once saw an Air Force jet buzz a runway and then shoot straight up and out of sight. That was awesome but a space launch would be even better.

“Spend a whole day eating junk food without feeling guilty”, is next on the list. This is stupid. I’ve done this more than once and there is nothing at all satisfying about it. I would like to see something like, eat steak every meal for a week. I could dive headfirst into a challenge like that. You could probably hear every cow in Texas scream when they heard the news.

This brings us to item number ten, “Be an extra on a film”. At first this sounds like a winner until you think about the time you would have to invest in it. I’m also pretty sure the pay isn’t very good. It would be my luck that the film would end up being on par with Ben Affleck’s “Gigli”. Forever I would be known to friends and family as the guy who tanked a big star’s movie. I think I’ll maintain my position as the guy behind the camera at all family functions.

That rounds out the first ten items on the list. Next time I’ll dive into items eleven through fifteen. If you’ve seen the list you’ll know there are a couple of items in this group that deal with, whispers . . . . sex. I’ll try to handle these items with a modicum of dignity, if that’s possible. Until I belly up to the laptop again, aloha.

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I’m Back with a List

After a much needed break, I’m back.  Too many virtual tequilas and a harsh dose of reality moved this blog onto the back burner for awhile. Whether it’s for the good or bad I guess I’m back. As in the past I’ve got plenty to say. I know that doesn’t mean it will be of much interest to anyone but here goes.

If you’ve read this blog in the past you’ll know that I’ve mentioned the “List of 100 Things to do Before You Die” a few times. Today I’m going to take a closer look at the first 10 items on that list. Will this be entertaining in any way? I have no idea. You be the judge.

The first item is, “Attend at least one major sporting event: the Super Bowl, the Olympics, or the U.S. Open.”  First of all, who was the author of this list? I’m guessing a member of the Rockefeller family, Steve Jobs or possibly Bill Gates. Who can afford a ticket to one of events not to mention the luck you would need just to find a ticket. Sure, it would be great to be able to say, “I attended Super Bowl XXXI or whatever number they’re up to.” I would hope that if I had that opportunity and the ticket wasn’t free I would make the correct decision and buy a second car for the family or maybe even take an “Obama style” vacation.

Item two is, “Throw a huge party and invite every one of your friends.” Unless the author is talking about Facebook friends the party really wouldn’t be huge, at least for me.  Maybe if I were still in school or a CEO who employed a “huge” number of people this might happen. More than likely the party would turn out to be a small, intimate, dinner party. After all, true friends are hard to find and even harder to hold on to.

Item three is, “Swim with a dolphin.” Is this person serious? Dolphins are fine when at a distance. I’d just as soon keep them there. I’ve heard stories; I’m just sayin’.

The fourth item is “Skydive.” The only way I would consider this is if the plane were on fire. This is one of those things that could turn out to be the thing you did just before you died. No thanks; I’d rather swim with a dolphin.

Fifth on the list is, “Have your portrait painted.” The closest I would ever come to doing this is having a caricature drawing done at a fair. To be truthful the caricature drawing would never happen either. There are plenty of people around me who can make fun of me every day. Why give someone else the chance?

These are but the first five items on a list of 100. So far I haven’t found one item I’ve either done or wanted to do. Maybe that will change with the next five entries. Until I decide to belly up to the laptop again, aloha. (No, I’m not Hawaiian but aloha sounds so much better than goodbye.)

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The RNC and the Sex Club


The following blog is not for young readers. I know I have a few that are too young for the content following. If you have any doubt about reading it, check with your parents. Thanks

Who noticed the news story this morning about the Republican National Committee’s monthly financial report? I’ll bet somebody is saying, “Why are they making such a big deal over spending $1,946 at a sex themed Hollywood club?” The club was Voyeur in West Hollywood. It is a sex themed club that features topless dancers and bondage outfits.

RNC spokesman Doug Heye said the committee doesn’t know the details of how the money was spent, all who may have attended or the nature of the outing, except to say it was an unauthorized event and the expenditure was inappropriate. Heye went on to say the RNC will be reimbursed by Erik Brown of Orange, California, the donor-vendor who billed the committee for the club visit

My question is can just anybody charge things to the RNC? It seems this Erik Brown had donated a few thousand dollars to the RNC. That evidently gives him the right to charge outings back to them. Again, this is politics at work in America. We can complain all we want to about the current administration and the decisions they are making but what good does it do when we can’t even control how donated funds are spent. I’m sure anyone who has donated to the RNC expected their donation to be used to promote the message of the Republican Party. How many of those donating do you think wanted their money spent at a sex club? Let’s complain about tax dollars being spent to fund abortions. We can also moan about the woes that a National Healthcare Bill will bring to this country. Let’s organize those Tea Parties to let the Democrats know we won’t stand for their foolishness. All the while this is happening the governing body of the Republican Party is having a good ole time at the donor’s expense.

Why would we spend donated money to have a convention in Hawaii when it has always been held in Washington? Sure folks would rather go to Hawaii than Washington but is that the point? I think it’s time for a change. Somebody in leadership at the RNC is way off base. Whether it be Heye or Michael Steele changes need to be made. With this kind of leadership it’s easy to see why the Republican Party can’t find a viable individual to run for President. When you’re spending time in a sex club it’s going to be hard to find what the Republican voters really want in a candidate.

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