Saturday, July 29, 2006

This That and the Other Thing

My son got back from scout camp today after being gone a week. He had a lot of fun, and as usual talked nonstop for a couple of hours. I'm glad he had fun and made it back ok... it was just so peaceful while he was gone. lol

Well son # 2 is mad at mom and dad. He had planned to go to Cedar Point Amusement Park with his friends today. The plan was that he was going to drive and take two of his buddies along. I was hesitant about that because he's never driven that far before, and at seventeen doesn't have the experience to deal with any emergency that might come up, but I agreed that he could go. Then, yesterday, he found out that he had overdrawn his bank account three times and his account was charged $96. Since his Taco Bell paycheck was only $112 this left him with no spending money to go to Cedar Point. He asked to borrow some so he could go, but we decided he needed to learn a lesson and told him he couldn't go. He blew up and threw a fit, throwing, kicking, hitting and yelling. I'm sure the whole neighborhood heard everything. We're going to let him go next week... if he can hold on to his money.

Speaking of holding onto money (and I'm going to vent here) my mother-in-law called today, of course. To see if Ryan had gotten home from camp yet, and to borrow more money. This angers me to no end! My parents never had any extra money and had to scratch out enough to feed 9 kids. My dad worked two jobs most of his life plus doing the farm work. We were well below the poverty level, I'm sure, but dad would never think of going on welfare or asking other people for money. It was a question of honor with him. So when someone who lives alone and receives a monthly income blows it all in the first few days of the month, then borrows from me the rest of the month so she can afford her cigarettes it really leaves me fuming. And when I say she BORROWS money, that's money that I'll never see again because it's like this: First of the month; MIL - "Here's that $80 I owe you from last month(it was closer to $150). That leaves me with $11 after I pay my rent(sighs heavily). Me - "Do you need some of this back?" MIL- "Well I don't have any food and Ryan will be coming over to stay won't he?" I give her $20 of the $80 back. Tenth of the month; MIL- " Could you possibly lend me $60 to pay for my phone bill? It was more than I thought it would be". We give her the sixty.Thirteenth of the month; MIL- "Do you think you could get me a gallon of milk and two packs of smokes. I think I have some dried bread crusts that I can eat but I need some milk to wash them down... and a thing of Coke too please." Seventeenth; MIL - " I want to ask you something and you can talk it over with Wife, but can I borrow $100 until payday? Me - " I'll have to see, we have a lot of bills right now." MIL - "Oh, ok well just if you can because I'm just out of everything(voice quavers) and if I get that much then I'll pay you back on the third when I get my check." We give her the money. The next day Ryan stays at her place and comes home with $30 worth of crap toys from the Dollar Store that get thrown away within two days. Also she gave him $10 to put in his piggy bank. He loses the ten bucks within twelve minutes... literally loses it. Also she spends $25 at a yard sale. Twenty First of the month; MIL to wife - "Are you going to the store today?" Wife- " I have to get a couple of things at Wal-Mart, why?" MIL- "I was wondering if you could get me a pack of smokes and maybe some coke and laundry detergent. They have it on sale this week. And maybe one of those roasts they have. Ryan likes those, and he'll probably be coming over sometime this week." Wife takes her and ends up getting her $42 of stuff. Twentyfifth; MIL approaches me at work with tears in her eyes -"I'm out of everything, do you think you have $5 I could borrow?" Twentyseventh; MIL - " If you can spare it, could I have $10 to get some bread and milk?" Twentyninth; MIL - "Could you possibly lend me $20 until I get paid the third?" Thirtieth of the month;MIL is pushing a cart of groceries past me at work with about $30 worth of stuff in it. She stops, pulls out sixty eight cents from her purse and says "Do you think this is enough to get this? This is all the money I have until payday." ME - "Probably not". MIL- "Could you loan me just enough to pay for these?" Third of the month, payday for MIL; MIL - "Here's what I owe you, you know, that $100 that I borrowed last month. But can I keep $40 of it just to see if I need it for my phone bill?'.....................And that's the way it is. Ok, thus endeth my venting session. Thank you to anyone who read through all that. And believe me, none of that is exaggeration. Hopefully you can understand why I'm feeling a little PO'd right about now. And if you're thinking "Why not just tell her no" well you have to understand that she's just not entirely sane. She freely and without reservation will spread tales about anybody she doesn't like, including her own family if they don't give her any money. As an example, she came to my store and, in front of the cash registers on a busy day with tons of people in line, she started yelling loudly about my wife - her daughter - because she hadn't bought her the cigarettes like she wanted her to do. Yes, she can be an embarrassment.

All right, so maybe I wasn't quite through ranting but I'm done now.... really.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Still Got It

When I was younger one of my loves was shooting. I was a crack shot with a rifle and pretty fair with a shotgun too. But I hadn't fired a gun in about 12 years so I figured I had lost some of my sharpness. I inherited a .22 rifle that dad owned and have had it in the closet for the last 10 or 11 years until my oldest son got into shooting, then I let him take it to shoot with, but hadn't shot it myself since I really had no place to go to shoot. Last week I took my youngest out to our land and brought the rifle along so we could shoot a little bit. We went out again today with my oldest son along too and did a lot more target shooting. I surprised myself, blasting cans, targets, and bottle caps like I knew what I was doing. It felt great to be out doing that after so many years, and even better to know that even though my eyesight isn't what it used to be it didn't affect me that much. I also got to see what a great shot my oldest son has become. He took the Law Enforcement program in the career center he went to and always got the highest scores when they went out shooting, so I knew he was pretty good but he might even be better than the old man. He was blowing away targets shooting his assault rifle from the hip.

In other news, my youngest leaves for Boy Scout Camp tomorrow for a week. It's his first year going as a Boy Scout, so it'll be a little tougher for him but I hope he has fun. I'm worried, of course, that something will happen. Bears, cougars, rattlesnakes and the occasional Sasquatch roam around that camp preying on first-year scouts that stray away from the pack. Well maybe not, but there are a lot of other things for a parent to worry about. Right now I'm worried that he has everything packed. There's always something that the kids forget when they go.

Still other news; I've been going to add a deck to my house for the last year or so, but still haven't done it. Every time I think I'll get started on it I see something else that I need to do before I get started. They changed the building codes where I live, so now I need a detailed outline of my plans so I can get a permit. I also found out that I need a permit to make a driveway on my land, along with a permit to do just about anything else I can think of. I can tell that building a house is going to involve a lot of paperwork. When did things get so complicated?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Does God Really Care?

Too much of the fighting in the world has been done because of differences in religious beliefs. This is the cause of almost all of the wars in the Middle East, although the religion issue is often clouded by other happenings. I'm sure that God didn't have an all-out brawl over petty differences in mind when he told mankind to worship Him. Power, Control, Wealth...These are the things that are really sought when one group wages war against another to "glorify" their God. I was never sure about end-of-the-world prophesies , but considering that mankind has lost its humanity I'm certain we are all headed for an abrupt and probably horrifying end to our reign as caretakers of Mother Earth. Even an atheist would have to agree that the human race cannot continue to exist for long, as our society structures are rapidly breaking down, leading to chaos and eventual destruction.

I think the closest we will ever be to being like God is when we were young. We had not yet learned that others who looked different or worshipped differently than us were treated in a different manner. We didn't think about going to war against them because they weren't the same as us because at that age the differences that you saw didn't make them any less of a person, they were just different and you played with them because they were just another kid...Another human being, just like you.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Slow Going

I had mentioned previously that I wanted to see if I could find someone with a brush hog to clear my land for me. So far no luck. I've been using my weedeater and have a good sized chunk of the flat part of the land cleared, but it takes so long doing it that way. Plus I've had to go back over what I did because it's starting to grow high again. But I'm still loving it. :)

We went to the movies last night and saw "Click", the Adam Sandler movie. It was ok, but I'm not a big fan of Sandler. I don't think he's as funny as everyone else thinks he is. There was a lot of sexual humor in the movie, which I don't care for, especially since we had our 10 year old along. Speaking of movies I was right in my wonderings on the movie "Eight Below". I guess the producers figured it would be too hard to film in darkness and still have the audience able to follow the plot.

Friday, July 14, 2006

A Bit Lighter

Last night we watched the movie "Eight Below" which is about a dogsled team in the Antarctic. I won't say more than that and give anything away to anyone who wants to see it but hasn't yet, but I do have to ask... Did I miss something? Am I stupid? Unlearned? Or could it be that no one else has noticed such an obvious, glaring error in the movie? I noticed it right off the bat but maybe I'm wrong. I mean, I've never been to Antarctica so I could be wrong. Here's what I'm talking about: The main part of the movie is set in the dead of winter. It takes you from the start of winter to the end of winter ... in Antarctica. I, perhaps erroneously, though that when winter set in in that region of the world there was about three months of total darkness. However, in the movie the sun was shining brightly directly overhead. And they were showing dates to help you keep track of things. The one date was July 10, which is just about three weeks past the winter solstice... and it was bright daylight... not even a dim twilight. The bulk of the show should have been set in darkness... or am I wrong? I would really like to know if I'm missing something, or if I'm just incorrect in my understanding of the polar seasons. Will someone please clarify this for me? I just can't believe they would produce the movie and not realize such an obvious blunder.

In other news it's hot, humid and stormy off and on. Luckily we had central air put in when we got the furnace. HA HA!! Yes, we had it put in, but they never came back to hook it up and turn it on. I've seen the guy several times and he always says "I think we'll get to that next week". Then a few weeks later "Next week for sure". Well, the furnace was installed in February, and here it is, July and still no air conditioning. Good thing we kept the window air conditioners we thought we wouldn't need.

I just realized that soon there will be a mountain of bills coming our way, thanks to the fact that we have a son who will be a senior this year. There are expenses all the time for the last year of school, plus so much to keep track of for when he starts college. The pictures will be the first expense and that will be soon. I need to win the lottery.

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Name of the Beast

Depression, Despair, Fear, Anxiety. Things we all go through at one time or another and for the most part we have an inner knowledge that we will come through these things and emerge as the person we were before. Once in awhile, however, the roots of these evils will take hold in our psyche and grow, feeding off other negative feelings that, on their own, might have passed quietly in our normal routine. For those unlucky souls who are possessed by this type of emotional darkness there seems to be no way back to normalcy. Days come and go, some a little better than others, but always there is a foreboding that just ahead a catastrophic relapse is waiting, like thunderheads on the horizon during a calm summer afternoon. After existing for a long period of time in this less-than-human state a person may be inclined to take drastic measures to rid himself of his Beast.

Therapeutic measures are often the answer. Persons trained to recognize the Beast, call out his name, and help do battle have helped to win many their freedom. Others who are strong enough make the decision to face their adversary one-on-one, risking a slide further into the abyss which is already pulling them in. A lot of people simply decide to let this existence be their own personal standard of life. And then there are those who see no light at the end of the tunnel and decide that a life in that state is no life at all, so they take the road to whatever dimension waits for us all - just a little sooner than the rest of us.

I'm starting to wonder if my Beast, which long ago took control and molded my life, is unshakeable at all, or if I should try another avenue to finally rid myself of him. I'm very close to making a decision, but I'm weighing the risks of each one that I'm considering. There is no easy way out. Had I known how strongly the Beast desired me I would have fought long ago and not waited for him to pass through. Hindsight, as they say, is 20-20.

Monday, July 03, 2006

July 3rd 1978

That is a date I remember well. In our backyard at my childhood home we had an apple tree. Every year at this time there would be loads of little green apples which had fallen off the tree before they reached maturity. These were a great source of fun for me, as they were perfect for someone who liked to throw things. I spent hours throwing them at selected targets, the side of a shed, trees, birds, and other kids. Mostly my nephews. We would get into apple fights all the time. We would duck behind trees and bushes, usually we'd end up picking teams or just ganging up on someone - a lot of times I was the one ganged up on since I was older than they were. It was all great fun until that day - July 3rd, 1978.

My nephew and I were pinging each other when I turned around and caught an apple full force in my open right eye. It felt like my head exploded and I couldn't see anything. I wasn't sure if my eye was still there or not, and I ran yelling into the house. Mom took a look at my eye and reassured me that it was still intact. After several minutes my sight started to return. My nephew was more scared than I was, and kept apologizing, but it was just an accident and I should have known it would happen sooner or later. Well, that day lives in my memory as the day the apple fights ended, because my mom put a stop to them that day.

My eye was a target that year because around the same time (I think it was after the apple incident) I was struck in the same eye when a nail I was hammering chipped off and cut my eyeball. I've had trouble with my sight in that eye ever since. Wonder why? lol

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Birthday Blues

Well not really blue, but should I be? I turned 47 day before yesterday, and although most people think that's 'getting on in years' I don't feel old. I find that I still want to do all the things I did 20 years ago. Ok, so maybe there are a lot more aches and pains, but does that mean it's too late to try out for the majors? Yes, sadly, even though I still have some of the desires of a younger man I'm old enough to realize that I'm not young anymore. A mere three years ago I was in the best shape of my life, and I'm not that unsatisfied with me now, but there are limitations my body places on me once in a while when I start doing something an older man shouldn't. Overall I guess I'm just trying to act my age............. no not really.... not yet anyway. I'll still do as much "young person" stuff as I can until I embarrass myself or die of a heart attack. Actually I embarrass myself quite a bit so it might take a heart attack to slow me down. Maybe I'll start checking out nursing homes for the 'not so distant' future.