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Saturday, February 07, 2015

Saturday Surprises

This has been a fascinating week.  I was able to get quite a bit accomplished in spite of how some of the new meds I'm on just suck much of the life plum out of me.  Of course, there's always the trusty coffee to offset it.  I love my coffee...but I digress.  I thought I'd share some of the silliness that happened to me this week with you! 

I have some interesting neighbors.  I ran into one of them on the way to taking the trash out to the dumpster and he noticed that I was wearing my Black Label Society beanie and apparently, he is a big fan as well.  Very nice gentleman and from the looks of the guy, life has been rough.  Probably in his late thirties or early forties, he has a tired look behind his eyes.  I understand that gaze, I've been guilty of it myself.  We chatted for a few minutes about some of the concerts coming to town and apparently, we have a lot in common.  At least where music tastes are concerned.  Maybe next time I run into the guy, we'll talk some football.  In the meantime, we hide in our own little worlds, pretending all is well.

I have another set of neighbors and for the life of me, I just can't even begin to estimate how many people actually live there.  I know there is a toddler because I can hear the little bugger screaming her head off as soon as she wakes up.  Which is sometime around 3am.  Bless her little pea-picking heart.  Her mom lives there as well, and maybe the father as well.  I know this because starting at around 11pm, they all hang outside talking and smoking cigarettes.  It's special to hear them jibber jabbering into the night.  Their conversations, however, aren't exactly intellectually stimulating.  Unless you're a 15 year old girl.  Boyfriend this, girlfriend that.  It's hard to keep up because only around 2/3 of the time, they are loud enough for the everyone around to hear.  But I'm sure they're nice.

I always thought that when receiving a diagnosis from a doctor, they typically called on the phone and explained stuff to you.  Or at least there used to be nurses available to explain those massive words that sound like one giant vowel movement.  I looked it up, had a friend with a background in medical terminology research it, and then finally, I kinda sorta understood.  Yeah.  And it is just one more damned thing.  I do have to admit that I have been thankful for receiving care at the VA.  While the VA doesn't have the greatest reputation in the world, but I'll say that a few of my docs are absolutely amazing. 


I had always wanted to write some short stories, a couple books and sure enough, I've done it.  I wrote a series of books that are rather dark, but are a fun read.  The Absolution for the Average Joe series follows a man named Samuel whose life is turned upside down by a chance meeting at a convenience store.  The series of events that follow end up consuming Samuel, and he loves every second of it.  It was a blast to write and I look forward to writing a few more.

I'm also doing some freelance ghostwriting and that has been an interesting endeavor.  I've written on topics ranging from advanced survival techniques to mason jar gifts to Tantric sex.  Doesn't really pay a lot, but it sure as hell has been therapeutic.  When I write, I can just kind of get lost in the topic, learn different angles and perspectives.  Admittedly, I'm a marginally talented writer who tries to find humor in just about everything, but, it's better than some of the crap I've seen out there in newspapers, magazines and even on various blogs.  I love it.

This next week will be as exciting as this past one was, I pray. 


Friday, February 06, 2015

Seriously, Mr. President?

Over the last few years since President Obama was elected, I've tried my level best to be fair.  I've not disparaged his name, have been respectful to the office of President because that's what veterans do.  We understand chain of command and the office of President is at the top of the food chain.  Yet, some of the President's most recent comments about Islamic terrorism is so ridiculous as to cause the listener to lose IQ points just by listening.  It's time to stop and speak up.

First, ISIS is a radical Muslim group of dirtbags who are terrorists.  Period.  They aren't just misunderstood schoolchildren whose Mommy didn't pay enough attention to.  They are fear-mongering bottom feeders who need to be exterminated with prejudice.  The President needs to get that and he needs to understand that the American people are pissed off and nervous about those bastards.

Second, the Crusades were, admittedly pretty darned bad.  However, remember that the first crusade was designed to do what?  To remove Islamic terrorists from Jerusalem and recover it for the Jewish inhabitants.  Read some history, Mr. President.  The rest of the crusades were too much and unnecessary.  In no way, however, is it to be used to justify what radical Islam is doing to people all over the globe.  Enough is enough, Mr. President.

Third, it is true that the President has mentioned "push-back" against terrorists.  Personally, I don't think that the language is strong enough.

It's easy to forget what happened when those planes crashed into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and that Pennsylvania field.  It's not in our faces every day, it's not something that comes to mind while we're at the grocery store or at Best Buy snagging that wide screen television to get ready for baseball season.  Americans died a needless death that day and it was at the hands of radical Muslims.  And when we bagged Osama, that was just the tip of the iceberg.  There are hundreds more of these parasites out there right now.

The conventional wisdom is that since there were the horrid crimes of the crusades, the crimes of radical Islam are excused.  When most Christians hear the argument about the crusades, immediately heads are bowed in shame.  That's not the same when radical Islam murders the innocent - it's almost as though it's a point of pride.  It's as though they feel it is just recompense. 

Look, I don't care if the President is Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, or a Scientologist.  Religion and politics is a point of douchebaggery anyway. The so-called Christian elected officials are pushing their agenda to create a different, discriminatory set of rules to label the LGBT community as "unclean!"  Both extremes are ludicrous and people suffer as a result. 

It's time to stop the madness, but it's doubtful that it will stop anytime soon.

Of course, that's just my opinion and I could be wrong...but I seriously doubt it.


Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Interesting Stuff Under the Methane Gas Filled Dome

There can be no question that I am, at best, cynical where legislation in the state of Oklahoma is concerned.  From the asinine "cock boxing" bill (remember that one?), to the latest round of unconstitutional tripe that Sally Kern tried to push down our throats, it's a big exercise in legislative masturbation - it may feel good, but it just doesn't provide any results.  My cynicism is often well-placed and damned well deserved, but every now and again, there are bills that pique my interest and what's even more fascinating is that these morsels of good legislation actually have push back from the status quo.

State Senator Kyle Loveless and I have worked together on a few projects in the past and I've always really considered him to be a straight shooter.  He doesn't have an agenda, but rather just wants to do the right thing.  He's penned three bills that I think you should consider and contact your state legislator and get him/her off their asses to support these bills.

SB 264-  If a vet is not happy with a VA home they are in, they will get a debit card that their funds that the state would give them go to a private long term housing - retirement home. 
Someone please explain to me why in the hell this would be considered a bad bill.  It isn't - it finally puts some power back into the hands of our veterans and takes it away from the governmental slum lords that have been these VA homes in the past. 

SB 588- Basically the oversight board over the ODVA is the Veterans War Commission- an unelected body that is responsible for the health and care of  vets that we are duty bound to take care of in our VA homes.   The goal is to streamline those responsible make the War Commission an advisory board only and give the ability to hire and fire and oversee the VA homes - to the governors sec of veterans affairs.

There is push back on this one and you can see why.  Whenever there is a bill that takes power from the people who have been screwing up for decades and provide real, tangible oversight, the old guard gets pissed off and has a hissy fit.  The reality is that this type of bill SHOULD be passed and it should become the law of the land.  There's definite blowback on this one, but if our veterans were being taken care of properly, a bill like this wouldn't be necessary, now would it?

SB 422- On the federal, level government contracts are required to maintain a percentage to qualified veteran-owned businesses.  This bill creates a state government contract preference for veteran owned businesses.
Wow.  Just, wow.  What in the hell is wrong with that?  I could see the Libertarians pissing themselves over the fact that anyone would get preferential treatment of any kind, but if they pulled their noses out of Ayn Rand's ass long enough to see the reality of what we're dealing with here, they would just shut up and deal with it.  I hate to say it, but the truth of the matter is that there are point preferences for government jobs as it is now - like when you take the postal exam, if you're a veteran, you receive additional points.  As Ronald Reagan said, "Sometimes, it's just the right thing to do."  This bill is the right thing to do.

I make no pretense that I'm a veteran who has been, and still is, under the care of the VAMC.  Sometimes the experiences are marvelous, sometimes they are like a trip through Dante's Inferno.  The increase of veterans who are eligible for VA care now has not been funded - just more patients for an already overburdened health care staff. 

Whomever is responsible for holding up these bills should be ashamed of themselves.  Finally, we see a breakthrough for veteran's care, but some asshat is holding it up because change is scary to him/her.  Sometimes, change is bloody necessary to get the job done.

Get involved and click here to reach your legislator.

Hat-tip to Senator Loveless.  It's good to see that at least one State Senator has entered the methane gas filled dome with his balls intact. 


Monday, February 02, 2015

Sunday Night Lights

Well, my Seahawks blew it at the end of the game by calling a pass rather than giving the ball to Marshawn Lynch to run it up the middle for the game-winning score.  Wilson was intercepted and, as you all know by now, the Patriots are now Super Bowl Champions or the fourth time.  Now all the jokes will be coming about, calling the Seahawks "one hit wonders" - the problem with that analogy is that the reality of the situation is that they played a good game and will be back.  Congrats to the New England Patriots and their fan base because they deserve the win.

Revelation:  Had a bit of a revelation this weekend and it startled quite a few people apparently.  I wrote a blog about a suicide by going through a journal of events leading up to the suicide.  A few people thought that I was talking of myself, that I may be suicidal.  They contacted me, expressed their thoughts and concerns and it was quite moving.  Then the revelation slapped me in the face:  One can never have too many of the right kind of friends.  As ridiculous as that may sound, it's the truth.  And there should be a couple of people in our lives to whom we hold ourselves accountable.  I don't mean babysitting our silly asses, but rather people who know us intimately, not ashamed of you and want to be a part of your life.  It's a big deal.  It really is.

Oh, look at the shiny thing:  I also learned this weekend that there are desires we have that seem to consume us at times.  It could be the cravings for more money, more sex, and even more attention.  Often, these desires and cravings are perfectly normal, absolutely healthy.  Other times, they are just wicked distractions that take us off the beaten path of our destiny.  Personally, I've been like a 230lb Chihuahua; nervous, anxious, quick to bark and even snap sometimes.  The small critters are easily distracted by any little shiny thing that crosses their paths.  I too am like that, easily taken off course, frustrated with by the littlest of things, and unfortunately, prone to forgetting what really matters at times.  I've spent way too much time in my life searching my past for solutions to today's problems.  I'm a big, dumb animal folks.

The dumb stuff:  Okay, so my stomach has been bothering me and often, eating hearty foods makes me sicker and the pain increased.  So what did I do Saturday evening?  I made a pan of pasta with Italian sausage and topped with about a pound of mozzarella cheese.  Brilliant move, I tell you.  To be honest, I actually forgot that I was not supposed to eat that type of crap but once I got started cooking, I lost my damned mind.   That was pretty dumb even for me.

What the week may bring:  First, we'll be hearing from hungover Patriot fans, letting us know that their team is the greatest thing since perforated toilet tissue.  Of course if my Seahawks would have won, I'd be one of those annoying, loud mouthed bastards as well.  Second, the unknown variable in our lives.  That one thing that will happen to each of us that will either piss us off royally, or tickle us to the point of almost piddling in our britches.  Either way, that unknown variable is what truly separates us from the rest of the primates - that and the ability to use cutlery.  It's in those exciting, unforeseen moments that make us truly human and if we have our eyes fully open, we will be sensitive to those around us struggling with their unknown variable. 

So, let's gather together this week in one mind and spirit to be servants of one another.  Let's try and be kind to someone whom we would normally want to gut like a fish and eat their entrails.  It won't be easy, but it is completely attainable.  Good luck!