Monday, October 13, 2014

Getting Old Sucks

So, I've probably used this title before. But this time I mean it. For real this time. Seriously.

As I may or may not have mentioned before, I had some back pain a couple years ago. Went to the chiropractor, and the x-rays showed a nice interesting twist in my spine. Just one vertebrae in my lower back, was twisted left slightly and tilted. It pinches a nerve from time to time and causes a nice pain that travels along my pelvis and down into my right butt cheek. Pretty much a nice case of sciatica, going right along with that hip that pops in and out of place for most of my life. I'm sure its an even bigger deal than I make of it at any given moment when it hurts, but I just go with it as part of living. Although it did curb my going to the park and playing hardcore basketball and football with kids half my age. Figured I didn't want to ruin the rest of my back while I'm still just in my 30s. Now this hasn't stopped me from participating in some touch football from time to time with people of a variety of ages. I love football way too much to give it up.

A few weeks ago, I was coming back across the street with the dog, at full speed mind you while trying to unhook her leash for the rest of the run back to the house. Not paying full attention sometimes causes something to happen that forces you to pay attention. I slammed the big toe in my right foot directly into the curb and subsequently splatted my body out into the grass. I begin grasping my toe in pain, and realizing I literally split my shoe from its sole in the process. While it's nice to know the dog came back to check on me, I wasn't as amused with the fact that she took advantage of my pain and focus on my toe to start licking my face incessantly. It seems dogs are like mom's in that that think they can kiss the boo-boos away. I outgrew that understanding of pain management years ago. Anyways, that was a couple weeks ago. It is getting better, but there are still some moments of discomfort. I figure it will heal soon enough, and it doesn't really impede me from doing anything I wouldn't normally do.

Last Wednesday, I went outside after supper to play football with my 10 year old, his buddy and a neighbor kid. I had to tackle them, but all they had to do was touch me with two hands, since I am too big for them to tackle. Have to pretend to keep things fair at least. And of course, given my natural abilities and winning ways, I was well on my way to embarrassing them a little bit while I showed up. Then the youngest kid's buddy had to go home, and my 15 year old stepped in for him. Now for those that know my 15 year old, you know he isn't much for organized sports, but on occasion he will step in and play some. He is more into Parkour, bouncing and jumping and climbing whatever he can find. And while he probably isn't competition level yet, he is pretty good at it. I've seen him scale trees like a monkey and negotiate rock faces like a mountain goat. At 6 foot tall and 150 or 160 pounds he's wiry and pretty athletic. So with the boost of his big brother, the 10 year old starts showing a little flare, throwing good spiral passes to his brother who is clearly the tallest person in the yard, and almost as fast as me. One skill he has developed is good agility when it comes to cutting back and forth, to negate my speed and experience. He shook me more than once to get open and catch some well placed throws by his brother.

I was however very impressed by his concentration on one play in general. I played behind Josh (the 15 yr old) and when Corwyn (the 10 yr old) threw the ball to him, I broke in front to intercept or knock the ball down. However it was higher than I anticipated, just going over my fingertips, hitting his hands and going up in the air a bit higher. In the past this would've meant incomplete pass, but the boy made his dad (that's me!) very proud when he snagged it out of the air, and he stiff armed me off wrapping him up and turned up field running it in for a touchdown. In that moment I realized I wasn't the top dog anymore that could stop these kids at will anytime I wanted, only letting them score when I chose to let them. He honest to God outplayed me when I was confident I was going to take the ball (first) and then tackle him with ease (second). I was definitely put in my place on that particular play.

Later, Josh caught a pass in front of me. I had the boy dead to rights. Back when we were kids playing at the infamous Witte's Yard in Sac City, he would've been smeared to the ground. But, instead I was a good dad and decided against spearing him into the sidewalk and possibly the house. So I just wrapped him up, turned him and dropped my weight. I brought him down on top of me, and his bony little elbow hit me with his entire weight right between a couple of ribs. Now I've been speared, landed on, thrown to the ground, in the street, into thorny rose bushes, maybe a tree or two...and sometimes that shit hurt. But I have never felt the sting of getting my ribs bruised before. And here I sit, still sore, super stiff in the mornings when I get up. I'm just waiting the days and days it will take for the dull pain to subside, hoping he didn't actually crack a couple ribs. So far in life I've been pretty lucky that I've not broken any bones, and I'm kind of hoping that streak stays alive. Of course I'm not getting x-rays to confirm one way or the other. I'm just going to live with the pain while it's there and keep going like I do. However, I told the boy in no uncertain terms I am not playing tackle football this Wednesday when they come over for supper again, no matter how nice the weather might be. I MAY play touch, but I am still unsure on even doing that. Depends on how I feel I guess.

What scares me most is that I may have to finally retire from my super long career as a semi-pro football player in the Backyard Football League. I've stretched it to just a little under 30 years now, had my moments that created great on field memories. Not sure I'm ready, as a player and competitor, to let it go just yet and hang up my proverbial cleats, but maturity and old age coupled with increasing weird injuries from what seem like pretty non-violent actions may cause me to move on to operating strictly from a coaching perspective, and the occasional game of catch.  I understand the struggle professional athletes looking down the barrel of retirement go through, even without their kind of money.  Football is a game I've loved and lived most of my life.

But my legacy is my two boys.  When Corwyn focuses, he can be a great thrower and a runner, as well as improving on his pass catching ability. Josh is proving to be quite the all-around athlete in his own right like his uncle Josh Burns, the retired great Backyard Football League player from our younger years, despite his lack of participation in the sports to the degree we did as kids at his age. They both make me quite proud as they grow up, even if they have teamed up to take me out of the game! I guess I can only hope we can do some light play together from time to time. Even if neither ever participate in football on an organized level or a regular basis, I'm always glad I have gotten to play the game with them some and have that bonding time with something other than video games, which I hopelessly suck at! My other hope is that maybe I can eventually get nominated into the Hall of Fame for my backyard football antics, like Josh Burns did.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

NO GAY SEX! (unless you have a LOT of cash to fork over)

So here I am, sitting here at the computer wasting time on Facebook, and going back and forth looking at other pages. Along with Google, my spam mail is promising money left and right. Payday loans, bad credit loans worth more than I've ever had at any one time, free grants the government is just going to pay me to sit here on my ass.

So sure, I can definitely use more money. Not at 3500% interest or whatever, and I'm certainly not sending in $45 (normally $245, but I'm getting a special deal! they must know how awesome I am) to get my free information kit on how to make $1000s a day just like this guru with his fancy webpage and video of him driving nice cars. The whole thing on facebook of bill gates or some random ass lottery winner saying they will give you free money if you share the post and just ask for about a joke.

First off, Bill Gates isn't giving me money. Secondly, despite being part of the Giving Pledge thing a bunch of billionaires put together as their own little charitable club they belong to (I suspect mostly to make them feel better about themselves in a public relations sense), these guys aren't giving money away to regular people. They are looking at "legitimate" charities. I suspect they have a hand in running some of those charities to begin with, which is almost ridiculous if you ask me. That's more like a tax write off without actually losing a penny.

I tend to peruse the job ads from time to time, and I've found out hard work often pays less than everything else. A 16 year old ditz in high school speaking on the phone using a pre-written script to work from actually makes more money than most jobs I see where manual labor is actually involved for some guy just trying to support his family. And it's also amazing how many jobs now require a college education just to get some job that pays less than $30,000 a year! What the hell is THAT? Is the state of our public education system so bad that you need college just to get you closer to a simple wage that's high enough to pay the bills of a mediocre lifestyle? And what's with all the staffing companies? Every corporation out there is working with a bunch of $10-$15/hr workers who aren't really working FOR the company. Don't get me wrong, a lot of those people do great work, and for some that's the only way to get work. I guess it's better to float the CEO's pay when you underpay everyone and don't have to offer them perks...

Now, I don't have much in the way of job skills. I was the 16 year old ditz on the phone, I sided houses for awhile, I did security work, and I've worked in restaurants. None of which paid all that well. Sometimes I worked very hard at those jobs, but a lot of the time I kind of slacked off and just did what needed to be done without anything extra. Why? Because it didn't really matter much. Months of hard work resulted in me making no more than some guy who spent his entire day jerking off. Sometimes I made even less than those guys who didn't know their head from their ass, and I was picking up their slack. But it seemed my low wage was barely able to be afforded by the boss, so no raise for me or anyone else. Now don't mind me, I'm just venting, the entire point of this article isn't to complain, I just lost focus for a bit...and I'm too lazy to delete all that wasted effort.

These days I'm still trying to figure out how to make more money. A substantial amount to be exact, not just something to get me by for the next week or so. I'm talking about random ass jobs for good money. And I've decided I have VERY FEW caveats. You pick the job, task, etc- minus the caveats listed below- and we'll talk.

1) I will NOT kill anyone for cash (although I might maim someone for the right price- which also means you footing the lawyer fees). If you want me to be your killing dummy, we do the cash ahead of time of course so I can get the money to the wife and kids first. Then I'll be your huckleberry.

2) I will NOT let a bull charge me and ram me right in the gonads...or take a baseball bat there. Plain and simple: no nut shots that could result in permanent damage!
I mean c'mon, I'm pretty dumb, I'll admit that. But I'm not COMPLETELY insane!

3) NO GAY SEX (unless you're coming with something like a million bucks or more, I'm thinking closer to $10 million, but we can negotiate- AND that gets no publicity- save that for Dallas Cowboy fans)

Other than that I'm pretty much game. I'll drive you around town, do your shopping, you name it. You want your house demolished, re-drywalled or burned down, I'm your guy. You want me to clean your house in some odd looking outfit (or no outfit at all) while you videotape it? You're a special kind of odd, but I'll still do it! You want me to play a real life game of Frogger on the freeway, wrestle wild herds of feral cats, whatever your fetish might be, I'm your man. You tell me what game you want me to play, we'll discuss a price tag and then I'll do whatever it is you want for that price. Proof of funds are required and I get paid that day. Don't get me wrong, I still have every intention of continuing working a job, short of winning a big lottery I just want to raise about $100,000 so I can wipe my debts out and get a good down payment for a house. Although I would definitely take more money than that if the jobs just keep coming. Every man has his price, and I'm no different. It's all a matter of negotiation with me. I CAN be bought!

So pass this on to all your friends that actually have money they are willing to part with in order to be entertained by directing my antics and help me make some real friggin money.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Evil Technology Rears Its Ugly Head Again!

And so it begins again... brought to my attention by a certain infamous radio personality, Eric Stone:

Evil technology is trying to destroy us financially, ruin our infrastructure, recreational and work places, educational foundation, and generally hamper our society as much as possible. All of this under the guise of advancement and bringing the world to our fingertips with ease.

In a top secret document uncovered by the Mookified Compound's Intelligence community the last half of that sentence actually reads as a paraphrasing of Evil Tech's official mission statement To promote the advancement of robots and bringing the world's population to its knees, and decimating them with their own fingertips

I've seen it time and time again... Bot crawlers trying to ruin your online forums for spreading STDs by tricking you into giving your credit card up to porn sites under the promise of "hooking up with a real chick!" In the end- this is what you guys will get:

Back in the old days when the world was entirely real, we just went to bars and whorehouses. While I have been to these places, I am so far unsuccessful at picking up STDs. Now don't feel bad for me..I was just avoiding the need to visit doctors who insist on injecting me with mercury based injections that could cause me or future generations of mes from developing autism. Evil Tech started early with such "life-saving" methods of getting literally under our skin and innoculating us, not against biological hazards, but from seeing the true intention of their brutish evil.
In the past, I've seen technology screw things up. In former employment, Google maps tried to send me to an entirely wrong part of town when seeking directions to an alarm I had to respond to. I've seen the wonderful addictions of cell phone usage replace the whole "putting on makeup while driving" lead to many traffic accidents, some fatal. I've worked in facilities where the lighting system was controlled entirely by computerized electronics. No simple flick of the lightswitch, and at some point, even the central control office losing control over the system. All of this the result of being the next newest most high tech civilization. And Evil Tech spawns little evil minions called hackers who will exploit our weaknesses and destroy us all...starting with our credit, then our identity altogether, and eventually a super hacker will arrive and it will be like the movie, "Live Free or Die Hard". Unfortunately, we wont have some rogue cop action superhero to save us from our own folly...and you know why? He's too busy trying to advance TO THE NEXT LEVEL OF CANDY CRUSH!

Higher, faster running technology means less people are needed to work. Supposedly, just as with the sales pitch for salary, this will free us up for more fun in life. As we've seen with salary, people are now convinced they are happy to get paid for 40 hours of work that they manage to squeeze into 50 or 60 or 70 hours every week! And technology projects... say the building of Facebook server warehouses here in central Iowa... short term there will be a LOT of construction jobs...and then for permanent jobs...few dozen at best. And quite a few million dollars later, and most likely little to no tax revenue coming in for it, we'll pay for the infrastructure we'll have to maintain with millions of more dollars. In the meantime, with less jobs, we'll be left to roam around, a little pissed off that we can't afford to do anything because robots have taken our jobs...we'll resort to stealing copper piping out of houses. some abandoned, others not so much. And yet we wont be happy until we get our next iPhone or iPad or whatever iDontgiveacrap gadget, only to find out that despite buying it after beating up 24 people to be the first in line to get it, we could've waited 6 months, got something 20 times "better" at half the price. And then we'll be pissed off again. But don't worry, we can get gas cheaper now because of technology. Why?
because we turned our food product into fuel for our cars. and TAXPAYERS will subsidize it for you, so its 23 cents a gallon cheaper than that old fossil fuel technology! sure it wont get you as far since it burns hotter and faster, but just think about that whole $3.00 or so you saved on a full tank of gas. That'll make up for your loss of 5-8 miles/gallon mileage. And the lack of cheaper fresher food for people, and the polluted waterways.

So I just looked at my dog. She scratched the inside of her ear with her hind foot. Then she proceeded to sniff that foot and then lick it. Kind of gross, sure...but she's happy, and without a cell phone, or the internet. just a stick, a tennis ball, and the remnants of some stuffed animal the kids gave her to rip the stuffing out of when playing.

So, as long as I am here, at least I can save her from being ruled by all these evil technologies. Unless of course they mandate dogs learning algebra and trigonometry...then she'll need an expensive calculator to figure it out, and on down the road to perdition she goes. And she wont actually learn made math functions easy to perform without actually knowing what the hell your doing. And people can't even count back change properly these days... they already need a machine that showed them pictures to help them punch in what you ordered to show them how much change you get back. Sadly, if those people get that $15/hour I've heard about being protested for... they'll fire a few people at every restaurant to make up the difference. And any new hires will be required to have advanced college degrees in culinary arts, or french fry management or some other new courses that are limited in scope...which you can obtain that degree for something in the neighborhood of $100 Billion (the cost of tenured professors is sky high! We'll nevermind that they are still teaching you the same material since 1986), unless you go the online route and sign up for your University of America Online

(AOL will find its own resurgence to the forefront) Degree of Burgerology for just $100K/year for 2-4 years. And for that expensive piece of paper, you can get yourself one of those highly coveted $15/hour jobs. Of course it'll take one hour of work to afford your Big Mac, with the employee discount. If you want a drink or fries with it...forget it. And then all the employees will secretly be operating as a gang of Hamburglars!

But Evil Tech has that covered...their 24/7 operating security cameras (designed to protect the employees!) will catch them in their scavenging ways and fire them.

And then they'll be forced to find new jobs... luckily they have their GPS to mislead them down the road to the next place, where they will face charges from the police, who will be driving Satellite guided mine sweeping tanks with 4 Bazillion horsepower engines run on 142% Ethanol blend that gives them an astonishing 6 miles to the gallon. But no worries, if they cant catch you before running out of gas... the big huge missile launcher will make up the distance and fry your poor ass worse than the french fries you got caught stealing!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Missing A Great Man


Just a little after midnight last night, Monte Burns passed away.  I'm not sure I've fully gripped the realization of it all just yet.  I was there, along with his 3 sons, Josh, Jed and Jerimiah, all of whom I consider my brothers, during his last moments of life.

This picture is how I, and I think most anyone who ever knew him, will always remember him.  He was a second father to me as I spent almost as much time around him as I did my own dad.  I haven't written anything on here in almost a year, and while I feel compelled to write this now, it is very hard to find the words.  It's hard to write these things in my heart and head, much less say them aloud.

Monte Burns was a fun loving guy.  He valued his family over everything else in life.  He was a great man, a great father to more than just his own sons, a loving grandfather.  He was a mentor to many, and our coach not just in sports but in life.  When you felt you failed at some endeavor, he was always there to lift your spirits, to let you know the bigger picture was more important than that one thing that brought you down.  Monte was also there to put you in your place when you got stupid or a bit too big for your britches, as they say.  I know that he was there to correct me with a stern word or twelve, or a cuff on the butt or back of the head when I got out of line, the same as he was with his sons.  Usually we got our comeuppance as a group since us boys were usually together when we made trouble.  Despite any protest we may have given to the contrary, he always let us know that we were still loved. But if he "ever caught us doing this or that again..."

Monte served in the Navy in his younger years, but mostly he served God and his family throughout his whole life.  God shown through him that anyone could be family to him if they so wished. 

I think that even as we got older and started our own families, we may have taken for granted that good old Monte would always be there, as he always has been.  I for one hadn't seen him in quite some time, even as I had thoughts that I should go visit with him when in town, but always passing it off for "the next time."  To see him laying there in the hospital, hooked up to a medicine pump and in labored breathing was a bit of a shock after not seeing him for quite awhile. I hate crying.  I hate crying in front of people even worse, but I cried in front of my brothers nonetheless.  Hell, I'm crying right now just trying to get through this writing.  And I know Monte is looking down right now telling me there is no need to cry anymore.  He's in a better place and not suffering anymore.

I had visited him in previous years after other health issues had arisen.  I always joked with him that he needed to find better and different reasons to get all his sons together.  He'd of course immediately steer the conversation off any hint of his own mortality towards what was going on in my life and that of my sons, parents and sister.  He always had a way of making things about you and not him.  You were always made to feel that you were the important one.

There are a lot of things that could be said about Monte, and I'm sure a lot of stories about him as well.  Finding the coherency to lay them all out there to be understood is a lot harder to do.

All we can say about Monte is: Thank you for the wonderful memories.  We will all miss you. We Love You!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Superbowl Hangover

Not a real hangover from the beers I imbibed this evening of the Big Game, as I had to be at work at 630am the next morning.  But a hangover from the constant adrenaline dumps my body experienced, culminating in what was almost the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.

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I'm not even sure when this was taken during last nights thriller of a Super Bowl.  Clearly though, my buddy's wife was sneaky with her iPhone in capturing the insanity that football brings out in me.  Any game my beloved San Francisco 49ers can cause such insanity, but the Super Bowl magnifies those crazy outbursts.  She apparently didn't capture me as I got all hyped up and then threw myself to the floor on a dropped pass during the 4th quarter. I was born and bred to love football, especially when its my team, in all its facets.  I sacrificed my body against bigger and better players just to be a part of the game.  I also put as much emotion into a game on TV as I would a game in which I played.  It's just who I am.

Prior to last night, the 49ers had won 5 Super Bowls out of 5 appearances.  I wore my sweatshirt with Snoopy adorned with 49ers gear.  I would've sat in the same seat I was in back when they last won the SB in 1994, but that couch is long gone, and the house doesn't even exist anymore.  While I was hyped up, I believe I fell short in motivating the team through more effective yelling at the team through the TV.  So I have some survivor's guilt associated with such a devastating loss.

We could look at the silver linings found in last night's game.  Last year we made it to the NFC Championship Game before losing.  This year we made it all the way to the Super Bowl.  We have identified a good QB for the franchise in Colin Kaepernick (who happens to be a hometown hero having played high school football in Turlock, CA).  We have a very passionate, very competitive and emotionally involved coach in Jim Harbaugh.


We could also look at a few bad calls and no calls by the officiating crew, questionable ball spots, etc.  We could play the "what-if?" game.  What if Michael LaJames hadn't fumbled? What if we hadn't looked like amateurs when letting Jacoby Jones run back the 2nd half's opening kickoff from the back of his own end zone all the way for a score to put the 49ers at a 22 point deficit?  What if we had chosen to run the ball on the last series for a game-winning touchdown instead of just lobbing incomplete passes 3 plays in a row?  In the end, such things will only eat at our psyche and keep us from focusing on the future.

Ultimately, I see the blemish on our Super Bowl perfection.  (Prior to last night, the 49ers were the only team to make multiple appearances without a loss).  This was my strongest argument against those insane Steeler and Packer fans who boast all their championships.

As a self credentialed doctor, I have now diagnosed myself with Post Super Bowl Loss Depression Syndrome.  The only good news about such a mental illness is that its effects will be short lived... they should clear up around August or whenever the next season starts.

I tried to help out by having a fellow rentacop cut power to the Superdome, which enabled the 49ers to regroup and begin an amazing comeback.  But again I failed to motivate the team, my sole job, to finish the job and win the game.  Unfortunately, the Baltimore Ravens played well enough to stop us when it counted.

From an objective standpoint, this was by far one of the best and most thrilling Super Bowls I have ever watched.  However, from my biased point of view, this loss cut deep and hurt really bad.  Having grown up in the glory days of the San Francisco 49ers, and then spending 18 years without a trip to the Big Game, I was hyped up to the max, to the point of going nearly insane.  The first half looked horrible, but the 2nd half proved to make this a great game.  I was up and down emotionally the entire time. (as noted in short video clip at the top).  I ate a lot a food, had a few beers...and if I were a crier, I would've shed many tears.  I really should've figured out how to get onto the sidelines and helped better coach the team to victory.  And of course I need more 49er apparel to wear.  Its amazing how clothing choices go way down when you get old enough that you have to buy your own clothes!

So if anyone knows how to put me on the 49ers sidelines and get me some gear... please hook me up!  After all, it's always been clear to me that the team depends on me!

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Official un-Official Presidential Announcement

While as of late there seem to be more engaging topics of conversation to discuss, today I officially announce my unofficial announcement that I am seeking to become the President of the United States for the next election in 2016, the first election for which I am eligible to participate. 

Some people have inquired as to my positions which I would take as a candidate.  So to clear the air for those who don't know me, and for those who only think they know how I think, I shall lay out a few major positions to get the ball rolling.  These positions are not laid out in any particular order of importance.

1. Marijuana Legalization:

*I am for the complete legalization of marijuana, both medicinal and recreational usage. 

*This will apply only to natural unadulterated marijuana- spiking it with random chemicals will remain illegal.  I think you can solve your pain, depression/anxiety, or just plain get high enough on the weed alone.  The chemical spiking rule will also be applied to any rolling papers.  None of this "fire safe" or "slow/even burning" chemical additives added to rolling papers.  Half the problem with cigarettes these days is the added chemicals that harm the people far worse than a plain natural tobacco cigarette of way back when.

*DUI will include marijuana use.  I'm not sure how to determine a driver being "legally under the influence" like with alcohol.  I may just decide to leave that up to the police to determine that your driving like a total moron is the result of you being high off your ass.  Get a friggin sober driver if you must leave the house

*All persons incarcerated for mere possession of marijuana will be immediately released, their record cleared of those offenses with immediate expungement of said files.

*Marijuana will be appropriately packaged and sold in licensed retail outlets, with all applicable taxes included.

*For the record: NO, I do not engage in marijuana use.  I experimented when I was young, and it's really not for me.

Immediate impact of this law would lower crime rates, decreased costs on law enforcement and incarceration, increase in tax monies received by the government, and job creation for those who are so smart about farming their product, but seem disinterested in growing corn or beans like regular farmers.  This will lead to an immediate improvement in budgets at all levels of government.

2. Presidential and Congressional Responsibility Act:

*First and foremost Presidential Salary will be reduced from $400,000 to $300,000.  The extra per annums and expense accounts go away.  The taxpayer should not be on the hook for a bunch of extras.  If you can't live on $300,000 a year, then maybe you need to look at your own checkbook and curtail your spending habits.  You already jet set around the world on the taxpayer dime to attend official functions as POTUS

*Congressional Pay will be set at $150,000.  Seniority and being appointed to leadership positions will not receive additional pay for those positions.  Serve because you want to serve and enjoy the power you have.  You got elected based on your ideas and promises, along with a lot of other peoples money. Again, you should be able to live on such a salary- the majority of your constituents have to work a lot harder and longer for a lot less money and still have the same basic expenditures as you.

*Pay raises to any federally-elected office will be subject to a vote of the American people, once every four years coinciding with Presidential elections.  An approval of 67% of the popular vote is required, PER CANDIDATE.  In other words, you can be re-elected to your office, but the vote on your salary can be rejected by the people.

*Laws enacted by Congress will be applied to members of Congress in the exact manner in which they effect the American citizens, any benefits Congress confers to its members will also be extended to the American people.

*Balanced Budget Amendment- A budget will be allocated each and every year.  Failure to pass a budget will result in the prior year's budget continuing minus 10%, with that 10% going toward further reduction in the national debt.  Should there be no current national debt to speak of, then those funds will be allocated to a "rainy day fund" which cannot be moved into the general fund.

3. Foreign Aid:

*All Government-sponsored monetary aid to a foreign state who holds U.S. debt will be offered the same aid, only under the condition that such aid is applied to the debt owed.  Failure of the foreign states' writing down our debt to them, will result in forgoing any aid from the U.S. government.  Privately raised money to aid other countries in need will not be affected by this rule.

4. Ethanol Mandate and Oil Subsidies

*All mandates toward ethanol/biofuels will be eliminated.  The U.S. Government is not to be in the business of propping up companies, never mind entire industries.  We speak of wanting cleaner fuel sources, yet we mandate products that produce less energy than is taken to create them, and use "dirty" fuel sources in order to produce the cleaner sources.  We are wasting energy and creating a lot of pollution in multiple forms to produce the supposed cleaner fuel.  Ethanol production and use will be legal for fuel purposes, but shall not be mandated on a federal level. 

*Should we find a safe and viable fuel source that can overcome such issues, then such an issue can be looked at in the future.

*Oil Subsidies shall also be eliminated.  There is no point in giving money to an already very profitable industry.

*Any subsidies for these fuel industries being sought shall be in the form of non-forgivable loans.  You can borrow what you need according to your abilities as a company.  Any subsequent loans will only be considered after the original loans have been paid off.  You will operate under the same set of rules as any other business.

These are just a few ideas I have.  If you have other areas of concerns, campaign ideas, etc., please add to the comments below so that I might address the issues that are important to you and everyone else, not just my own Pollyanna ideas of how the world should work.  I greatly welcome and appreciate any input you have.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Return of the Prodigal Kitty

Now I know that most of you would expect me to be announcing the triumphant return of Colonel Beauregard Sterling Lovell (pictured below).  Sadly that is not the case.

I have grown up with cats most of my life, starting with the infamous but evil Bobb Bookie, and ending my childhood with the B.C. the Lionface.  Bobb Bookie shredded my sucking thumb at an early age and in my Composition class at Iowa State University he was 90% of the reason I received an A in that class.  B.C. the Lionface managed to last from when I was 8 or 9 until a few years after I moved out.  He's currently buried in my parents backyard underneath a Lion statue. 

There were many cats in between those two.  Most ran off, probably to go back to whoever owned them before we acquired them off the streets. One cat, Spike, my Siamese, died of Feline Leukemia, probably God's punishment for my sinful ways if you were to ask the opinion of Pat Robertson.  His half brother was sent away for continuing to spray about the house.  Another was hit by a car- that was my sister's cat whom she never bothered to name before I had to watch it attempt to wreck a car with its head.

After my first son Josh was born, I was given a kitten by a neighbor.  It was all black, except for a small white patch on its chest.  I dubbed him Damien, and that devil cat lived up to his demonic name. I'm convinced he was the reincarnation of the original sinister black cat, Bobb Bookie.  He was one mean ass SOB, and when we moved to Des Moines he went out to an acreage with my ex-wife's aunt and uncle.  He met his maker at the hand of two dogs, both of whom would probably never forget the damage Damien did to them before they finished him off.

Later, after Corwyn was born, we eventually adopted a cat from the Animal Rescue League.  It was part of a group of cats they dubbed the X-men.  This one was named Rogue.  Now normally, I like to name my animals, but I was voted down by the kids and their mother and rogue retained her name.  In our old apartment we let the cat out onto the deck.  Rogue liked to go down onto the downstairs neighbors' grill and then to the ground to run around. (Unlike the Colonel who would only go up to the upstairs neighbors' deck and refuse to come down except when they brought him down through the inside of the building.)  Anyways, she did this often, chasing around squeenies and squirrels and rabbits.  One day she disappeared and we never saw her again.
And of course there is the Colonel, who has spent his time running about the neighborhood, getting nabbed by the next door kennel once before they got to know who he was and where he lived.  And then a few weeks back he disappeared again.  We haven't seen or heard from him since.

Fast forward to earlier this week.  My mom calls me at work.  They got a call at the veterinary hospital she works at from the West Des Moines Animal Shelter. they had found a cat, and scanned it for a microchip that traced the cat back.  Since I was at work, I had my girlfriend call to find out about getting our cat back.  We were saddened to learn that they did not have the Colonel.  I sort of suspected this because I didn't remember having Colonel chipped. The description they gave sounded oddly familiar to me.  After 6 years, Rogue had been rounded up.

Now, with our dog, Gracie, being a puppy, I don't care to introduce another animal into the house unless of course the Colonel finds his way back.  We do miss him.  I texted my ex-wife and let her know of the news of our old cat having shown back up after all these years.  She grabbed my cat carrier yesterday, and today she brought Rogue to her home.  While a bit thinner, Rogue has turned out to be still cuddly and affectionate upon being reunited with her and the boys.  So, while I did not get my cat back yet, our old cat gets to come back to a loving home.  Her she is sleeping on one of the boys' bed with them faking sleeping with her that their mother sent to me earlier this evening: