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Showing posts from December, 2010

Goodbye 2010

It is almost 2 am and sleep feels a bit like a mythological creature to me. So for a few moments I'll work on this end of the year post. It won't be what I want. It is not going to be eloquent or comprehensive because I just don't have the time to make that happen. Instead it will be rushed and skewed by the perceptions of late night and a nip of Scotch. So to my dear readers, my friends, lurkers and all others who stumble upon this, I present an incomplete look back at 2010. It was a slower year than many, less than a thousand posts but hopefully the quality improved. The Almost Warrior If I Was a Professional Blogger These Pictures of You   Lightning Strikes Twice What I Dream About Are you There God? It is Me, Jack A Father's Burden   A Father Describes Parenting Some Things I'll Teach My Children (Updated) How Sister's Helped to Train A Father of "Daddy's Girl" Timing It Gets Worse Festival Of The Fathers- A Blog Experience T

I Can't Play The Guitar

There is a long list of things that I can't do. I can't play the guitar nor can I sing. I can't play the piano or use a paintbrush to cover a canvas in colors that you can relate to. And apparently I can't reach your heart. Can't get you to take my call or tell me what it is that you really feel. I see you talking to people. See you interacting with people you say you don't respect. See you act in ways that can only be described as illogical and irrational. It used to make me really angry to see it. I'd wonder when you had taken leave of your senses or if perhaps you had done nothing but lie to me. Sometimes it was hard not to listen the whispers of insecurity and wonder who had taken you from me. It was hard not to wonder if some junky had gotten your attention or if that was just the foolish mumblings of a broken heart. A thousand years ago you pulled me out of the hole that I had been living in and reminded me what it meant to love and be loved. You r

Building The Blog- What's In A Name Edition

Excuse me while I wax rhapsodic and chase my tail around this cyberspace cage I find myself sitting in. Old Jack wishes to break free of the fetters that currently bind him. The man can't stand being shackled, just can't take being trapped in a cage. He was born free, cue guitar and deeply moving song as he stares soulfully into the distance. Ok, I can't go that route because the dear Shmata Queen who probably won't read this hates when the womenfolk pretend I am Tom Jones and start throwing cyber panties at me. You hear that, crazy Texan who used to live in cleveland. Yes, I am talking bout you and there is not a damn thing that you can do about it. Those last two paragraphs my friends are the perfect example of your gracious host using an old trick to stave off Writer's Block.Yes, it is true even I sometimes suffer from that dread disease but when it happens I make a point of distracting myself. More often than not I open my eyes and discover that my muse has

Never Give Up, Never Surrender

" Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy ." Winston Churchill " Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will. "  George Bernard Shaw This is the kind of post that I normally would write at night. There is something about the midnight hour that lends itself to quiet introspection, but given the circumstances I am writing it now. Writing it now because I can't keep living on three hours of sleep. Writing it now because for far too long I have been driving myself into the ground. Writing it now because even the mightiest warrior requires rest. Yes, it is another post where I talk about my unwillingness to give up or give in. There are a host of reasons why I am who I am. Blame

You're Ten Now

And so it begins. The boy is officially ten now. He has entered double digits and I see more glimmers of the teen to come than the toddler, let alone baby he once was. Seventy some pounds of fury he insisted on staying up until midnight so that he could welcome his birthday in proper fashion. Don't ask me to explain what that means because I am not really sure. What I know for certain is that we have a house full of children and that his intention was to have them all participate in this, thing, he had planned. Fortunately they all fell asleep and I found myself having to hug no one but the birthday boy himself. Not that it was a problem, I am very affectionate with all of my children and he is no exception. Two minutes before midnight he wandered out from his room with a huge smile across his face. I looked at him, my own broad smile mirroring his and asked him if he felt older. He said "sort of" and I said, "you're ten now." It really wasn't for hi

Frustrated

Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again) - Kris Kristofferson Back in the days when I was but a wee lad in school I was known for being among the first to finish my exams. It wasn't something that I tried to do nor is it a skill that I have tried to pass along to my children. There are lots of reasons why this is so, but most stem from  just trying to help them avoid making mistakes. All the old saws, "measure twice, cut once" or "haste makes waste" come to mind. But there is a reason why we still hear about them. And the reason is that they make sense. So you would think that by now I would have taken them to heart and made them a part of me. But I haven't because they don't suit me. I want them to. Really, I'd like them to be more substantive in my life but that is not how I roll. While I can say that I have made my share of mistakes I can also say that I was a good student. I didn't have to try very hard to get good gra

Building The Blog- Wordpress Edition

Listen closely and you can hear the silent scream of a man who stands alone and apart. Last night I took the gloves off and stopped pulling my punches. I have had enough of wrestling with technology that fails to recognize me as master. The time for being nice is over and now I will force my adversary to submit. I will make Rome's war against Carthage look like a birthday party...blah, blah, blah. Ok, now that I have overdosed on testosterone I can relax...albeit briefly. Unless you were kidnapped by the Dread Pirate Roberts or trapped beneath a heavy rock you know that I am in the process of setting up a new blog. Unlike this one I intend to spend a little time planning for the move. It makes me laugh a little bit at how seriously I am taking this. Part of me says to just relax because it is just a blog. While that is true, I have decided that I want to pursue writing as more than a part time hobby. Writing is something that is easy and natural for me. There are a million tal

Screw The Midwest

It is too bad that Audioblogger is gone because I lost some great audio posts, this one in particular was a lot of fun. Anyhoo, stay tuned to this bat channel because there is a lot of activity going on and some really good things coming. I am mulling over whether to give the new joint a different name or continue the Random Thoughts brand, because it is ever so powerful. In fact I attribute that power to the incredibly creative name. I am also trying to decide what to do with Fragments of Fiction. There is a series feature on WP that I have been using to tie them all in together, but it is assigning numbers to the post. That would be fine but they  are out of order. So part of my task is to tie them together and then reorder them. As if I didn't have enough work already. Another thing that has come to my attention are the vast number of broken links. There are stories that I linked to from way back when that no longer go anywhere because the sites are gone or the links ha

For A Good Time Call

I have quickly learned that having children who can read presents all sorts of new challenges. My son reads everything and anything he sees. I love it. I love watching the excitement in his eyes as he sounds out new words. I love it when he asks me to what words mean and how to use them. But sometimes it does present challenges. During a recent trip to the mall we had to make a stop at one one of the bathrooms. The interior of the stall was  decorated  in the latest graffiti. This was one of those unforeseen challenges that parenting seems to be chock full of. Son : Who is Julie? Dad : Julie who? Son : I don't know her last name. Dad : Why not? Son : It didn't say. Dad : What didn't say? Son : It just said her first name. Dad : What did. Son : The writing in the bathroom. Dad : It did? Son : Yes. It said "For a good time call Julie." Dad : Oh. Son : Is she fun to play with? Dad : I don't know. Son : Does she have a lot of good toys? D

Packing

In the midst of the chaos that surrounds me I am working on setting up a new blog. Yes, ladies and gentlemen after a thousands years my little shack in cyberspace is getting ready to move on up to a deluxe apartment in the sky. It is with a bit of excitement and some trepidation that I prepare myself to make this move. Not unlike college I am doing most of the heavy lifting on my own. That is not to say that I don't have friends helping out because several of them have been very gracious with their time. But unlike college I can't bribe them with beer and pizza so I find myself burning the midnight oil once again. Hmm...it is long past midnight so perhaps I need to adjust my claim and say that I am working quietly in the darkness. A puppy sleeps at my feet, making me wonder if he isn't smarter than I am. There is no deadline for this, at least none other than that which exists in my own mind. To paraphrase Rocky Horror, time is fleeting and madness is taking control.

Idea #265 for Wooing a Woman

This is idea #265 for wooing a woman and like all ideas here personally tested and proven to be effective. Unfortunately this edition of wooing a woman does not come with video, but perhaps one day it will. Here is the concept: You head down to the office of your lucky lady and serenade her with Kenny Rogers songs, while dressed like Kenny Rogers. If you really want to have fun grab some of the guys from this site and use them as your backup singers.

Moving

Every day I am one step closer to a new beginning and to making changes that will have a significant impact upon my world. I choose to look upon this as an opportunity and not punishment for failure. This blog often serves as a reminder that some of my questions haven't really left me and others have been answered. Some of the evidence that supports this lies in posts like A Look Back To Help Look Forward and Silence- It can be electric . A cursory glance at these brings back memories of time and place. I see opportunities that were staring at me that should never have been passed up and shake my head. Yet, I also see how the decision not to move on some of them have led to better opportunities. It would be wrong of me to say that none of my choices have hurt me because there have been mistakes. But as I tell my children we do our best to make choices based upon the information that we have at that time. It is hard to look back and say that you would do things differently. No

Some Old Posts

Jammed for time on various projects. Feel free to read the posts below or take a look at some of the old stuff I came across today. I expect that some of these will be updated or incorporated into new posts in the not so different future. Blogging With Reckless Abandon Bad Blogging- Also Known As This Stuff Sucks Quotes That I enjoy The Right Thing to Say

A Child's Belief in Magic

The darkness embraces me like an old friend. There is a certain familiarity between us that only comes from years of living together. Once upon a time I was a boy named Jack who both feared and loved the dark. The fertile imagination that inhabits my mind was only too eager to fill the blackness with dreadful monsters and amazing adventures. More than a few nights I lay in bed wondering if tonight would be the moment in which the creatures that lurked outside my door would come for me. I would alternate between fear and the bravery that only children have. If you are a parent you are likely intimately familiar with this bravery. Your sons and daughters haven't been educated through life experience to not believe in magic. Wizards, witches, unicorns and ogres aren't relegated to stories- they are real. Jedi knights roam the galaxy using the Force for good and the Lady of the Lake is just waiting to tell you where to find Excalibur. That imagination and belief in the impossib

I Loved Her Once

I loved her once. She was tall, with dark hair and dark eyes that sparkled. Her smile lit up her face and her laughter was infectious. But I didn't love her because of physical gifts or actions. She was smart and ever so quick. One of the few who got me , who understood me on a different level and in a different place than the others. But I didn't love her because of that either. Nor did I love her because she was the one who I trusted completely and felt safe with. Didn't love her because of soft kisses and sweet whispers. I loved her for all of these things and more. It was complete and consuming this love. Didn't matter that she wasn't as logical, rational or together as she claimed. Nor did I care that sometimes she would flip out and go off about crazy stuff. Damn woman found her way inside my head and heart so I took the good and the bad. We called it a mature love, deeper and more powerful than any we had ever experienced before. But the gods laugh at t

Life Altering Changes

It is almost 1:30 a.m. and I have failed to adhere to a promise I made to myself to go to bed closer to midnight or earlier. For months I have sworn a blood oath to myself, hollered, begged, badgered and practically buggered all in the hope that I would do the right thing and go to bed at a normal time. Yes, I just wrote buggered about myself in my own blog. Give me a break, it is well past the witching hour and I am too freaking tired to care. Ok, I care enough to write about it but so what. The rules of the blog are simple, be real, be honest and be authentic. So in the interest of authenticity I am on the verge of making major changes in my life. A different man who looked an awful lot like me but had a little bit more hair would have been a bit nervous about these. He would have been more cautious and concerned about these things. He would have plotted out a course that provided more opportunities because he didn't want to paint himself into a corner. Well in the parlance

The Hell With The Christmas Spirit

Every year I blog about why I hate hearing about the Christmas spirit. Inevitably these posts generate a variety of emails from my readers ranging from those that politely try to explain why I am wrong to those that suggest I might engage in some sort of anatomically impossible act or better yet...die. Well my friends I suppose that were I flexible enough I might consider the middle option. It would save a lot of time and money. Just think I wouldn't have to engage in small talk, cuddle or try to silently sneak away. The third option isn't quite as interesting to me as I have quite a few things to do and death is really far down the list. However, I would like to address the man who says that I am going to burn in hell because I don't share his beliefs. Yes, I am sure about my own beliefs and I don't need to promote them by engaging in religious terror, but thanks for playing. The real point of this nonsense is to remind everyone that hunger, hopelessness and hurt d

Tuesday Morning Tune Up

Here is a quick rundown of recent posts: Why Mothers Are Overrated Rainy Day Music The Wisdom of Star Wars On Child Rearing Inside the Blogger's Studio- A Dream, Er Nightmare... Children and Blogging She Broke My Penis The Death of a Blogger

Why Mothers Are Overrated

It is long past time to write about why mothers are overrated. The post where we point out that you are all crazy women who send your children to school with mismatched clothes, hair that hasn't been brushed, runny noses and lunches that aren't the epitome of health. Yep, ladies I have your number. You who scream at your children to move because you are going to be late to school, who swore that you would never turn into your mother but are now her clone, I see you. I see your minivans come flying down the street and remember the girl who wouldn't leave her house without looking just so. You swore that you would be different and that you wouldn't be that mom. You vowed to be better because you would plan better, care more and be smarter about it all. I am sure that you didn't mean to be smug about it because you are caring women. Women who knew that you could do it all because you always had. Certain that you would find a way to lose the baby weight quickly an

Rainy Day Music

Music is my companion today. Alone with the dog and the pitter-patter of the rain I have my thoughts and my music: Into The Ocean - Blue October Calling You - Blue October Hate Me - Blue October You Don't Know Me - Ray Charles I Can't Stop Loving You - Ray Charles The Sun is Going to Shine Again - Ray Charles Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand - Ray Charles Killing The Blues - Robert Plant & Alison Krauss Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On) Robert Plant & Alison Krauss When The Levee Breaks -Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

The Wisdom of Star Wars On Child Rearing

I think that the screams woke me up. They were loud and full of raw emotion that fluttered between fear, terror and anger. It took a moment for me to realize where I was and what had happened. Blame it upon the joys of being roused from a deep slumber. Not quite awake I slid out of my bed and stood silently in the dark...listening, but not quite sure for what. I slowly walked out of the bedroom and wandered down the hall to check on the children. My heart was pounding and I could feel the vein on my forehead protruding. Those who know me well can tell you that the appearance of the vein is never good. It is a sign that I am thirsty for blood. My fingers twitch and I continue on my search and destroy mission. Slowly it dawned upon me that the screams that woke me up came from me. I was screaming. I was scared and the survival mechanism inside me flipped on. Fear paralyzes, but anger energizes.  I took a deep breath and walked into the playroom where I came face to face with Lego Yod

Inside the Blogger's Studio- A Dream, Er Nightmare

James Lipton and I were seated inside a dark auditorium. It looked no different than any other interview he had conducted, except that it was me on stage with him. I was being interviewed. Normally I wouldn’t be thrown by such a thing as I am relatively quick on my feet. If you can handle the bad jokes and the non-sequiturs I can usually keep up with anything you throw at me. Or so I have always thought, maybe I was wrong. I did have one reader write me to say that he doesn't think that I am funny . Then again this particular reader is so anal retentive it would take a team of monkeys to remove the impaction. Ok, not funny, but I am tired and allowed to be less funny, as opposed to just funny. Funny garners a smile, less funny get's a smirk and almost funny receives a courtesy laugh. Don't worry if you are unable to keep up, Cliff Notes and a complete transcript will be available following the show. So there I sat, trying to be cool and to not just be

Children and Blogging

Ten years ago I stood in the on-deck circle and waited for my turn at bat to come. The baby was due in January but I knew that there was a possibility that he or she might decide to come earlier. Sometimes I would put my hand on wife's belly and geek out with Vulcan Mind Meld in which I would ask them not to decide to be born while I was stuck on the 405. That little person inside proved to be related to me by completely ignoring my request and showing up unscheduled in the middle of the night. In the decade that has passed I have often told him that love has saved his life on more than one occasion. He laughs at that, this boy who has hands and feet that are identical to my own. In so many ways he is like me but also very much his own person. Last night as he drifted off to sleep he asked me when I was going to let him read my blog. It caught me off guard and I used my Jedi Mind Trick abilities. "I am sorry, your father has left the room." Apparently all this time p

She Broke My Penis

I am jammed for time this morning but wanted to run something lighter than the last post. This post still makes me laugh . "Dad, She Broke My Penis," said the boy. Now there is a line that most men never want to hear. It evokes all sorts of painful and uncomfortable imagery, not to mention that this joint will show up in all sorts of weird Google searches now. "Dad, She Broke My Penis." Don't ask me why I had to repeat that line. It is sort of like an accident on the freeway. You don't really want to look at it, but as you cruise on by you find yourself rubber necking the bloody mess. Lines like that one are part of the joy of being a parent. Besides, as the parent equipped with the same anatomy the responsibility of dealing with this fell into my lap. That is ok, I don't really mind. Mom gets to deal with bodily fluids of all types, especially those labeled projectile. It was early evening when the big boy told me about his newest in

The Death of a Blogger

This is the last post you will ever read here. I have said all that I can say, written all that I can write and the time has come to walk away. It is not something that I do impulsively or easily. I have poured my heart and soul into this place and I am empty. Drained of all energy and devoid of emotion it makes no sense for me to continue writing. I wrote those words and meant them. I typed them into this post and tried to decide if it really was time to hang it all up. There are a plethora of reasons why I prepared to send this ship sailing off into the darkness. Some of them are technical in nature. I am not happy with the design. It doesn't feel quite right to me and I think that it is not serving me as I wish that it would. The community that once lived here doesn't come around in the same way as they used to. Comments are a commodity in blogging and this joint doesn't receive that many. I watched as newer bloggers marched in and received more acclaim and were asked

A Collection of Recent Posts And Then Some: December

Parents Aren't Supposed To Be Sick How Personal Should A Blog Be? Another Post You Won't Read I Hate Coupons and Grocery Store Club Cards Do As I Say Not As I Do Life Before Children Chasing Ghosts Isn't Profitable Ways to Entertain Yourself in Class or an Auditori... The Salvation Army Bell Ringer Doesn't Like Me First Place- There Can Be Only One And your blast from the past: Men Who Wear Pink Decisions and Dilemmas

Parents Aren't Supposed To Be Sick

It is early evening Tuesday night and the house is empty. With the exception of myself and the dog this place is devoid of the clickety-clack clang, clang, clang clang went the trolley chaos of children. But it won't be like this for long so I am trying to take advantage of the silence to write down my thoughts. The theme to The Magnificent Seven is playing in the background and I suppose that it is appropriate in a way. Early tomorrow morning my mother is going to visit the hospital so that they can take care of an unusual issue. There, eema , I was intentionally vague so that no one knows what is happening. Ok, only somewhat vague because whomever reads this will know that you and some doctor(s) are going to spend time together. None of the grandchildren know about this, not because it is such a big deal because we don't really know if it is, but still they don't know because they don't need to know. I kind of like saying need to know because it allows me to say