Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Top 10 Reasons for Why I Chose to Not Return to Atlanta

10. Too many people, too little time
09. Overcrowded Schools
08. Too many malls, not enough money
07. Too many people, not enough trees
06. Can't buy beer on Sunday
05. Can't get a flight that's ontime, regardless of how far in advance you book
04. Mom would make me do her yardwork
03. I'd get a hernia picking up the Metro-Atlanta Phonebook
02. Braves can't win the big one (again)



Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Walden's Pond Scum

Interesting title, huh? We were driving home from our favorite Mexican restaurant last night and I announced that I wanted to be Walden's Pond Scum. My announcement was received warmly, if laughter is any indication. During the course of the drive to and from dinner, the topic of conversation centered on the so-called Christian, Pat Robertson, and his announcement to the world that the Venezuelan Leader, Chavez, should be assassinated. Pat, you don't speak for me or represent my views in ANY form or fashion.....go away.

I have struggled with Christianity for most of my adult life. The main reason for my decision to jump head first into the faith topic is the bad name that a small few have given to the movement. My first run-in with a fundamentalist Christian (you guessed it-Southern Baptist-those folks really tick me off) was a Sunday School teacher I had in Lithonia, Georgia. I was probably 17 years old. And the Doobie Brothers were coming to town. For you older folks, the Doobies were a pretty talented band that didn't write the "kill yo mama" kind of songs you hear today. Their lyrics were inspiring and the blend of accoustic and electric guitars was impressive. Here's where it gets tricky. They were scheduled to play on a Sunday night. To complicate the issue, there was a youth group coming to our church from North Carolina to also play music. I was asked by my Sunday School teacher if I would be coming to see the youth group perform. I responded that I already had other plans and didn't see any reason to cancel them. He asked what could be more important than hearing youthful Christian music. I informed him that the Doobie Brothers, in my opinion, were more important than the NC group and I had actually paid for my tickets. In fact, I had camped out just to get the tickets. He told me that was a childish thing to do and that people who go to rock concerts were going to hell. I responded with the first thing that came into my head...."I'll see you in hell!"

These days it seems the only view being heard is that of the extremist....not only Christians but extremists from all religions and beliefs. And it is those few that are causing the growing hatred in this world. I consider myself a social liberal and a fiscal conservative. Not a good mix in today's society and I am therefore labeled as a liberal. OK...I can handle that. But what I will no longer accept or remain quiet about is having someone wave their Bible in my face and tell me "this is the only thing you need to rely on.....and let me interpret what is says so you don't even have to think about it.....I'll do the thinking for you." Well bite my ass! I don't need someone thinking for me. I am perfectly capable of thinking. And I also have a voice, so you don't have to speak for me. I have heard people I know say that the only people who are being heard these days are the liberals, the gays and those who don't fall in line with their ultra-conservative views. HELLO! What paper are you reading and what kind of people are being elected to represent us in government? Well, it's not the liberals, the gays or those that don't fall in line with ultra-conservatism. For those who believe as I do, it is time that our voice is heard too.

Just to set the record straight, here are a few things I believe....this should really rattle some cages, but it doesn't really matter to me. They are my views and you can like them or ignore them. I can take it......... can you?

  • I believe the war in Iraq has failed. It's time to bring the troops home.
  • I don't believe that politics and religion is a good mix. Leave your Bible outside of Congress and leave your political party membership card outside of the church.
  • I am not convinced that everything I need to know is in the Bible. Heck, that book has been translated so many times and translated to fit the needs of the society that rewrote it. Who really knows what the original words were when they were first written?
  • I have no attachment to the Confederate flag or what it represents today. For those who wave it in the name of hatred, you really should take another course in the Civil War in America to see what the TRUE reason for going to war was in the first place.
  • I believe it is a woman's right to choose birth or abortion. I do NOT believe abortion should be used as a form of birth control. Think wisely before you crawl into bed with someone. You have options.
  • I believe marriage is a commitment between two loving people.
  • I don't believe marriage should be viewed as deposit, no return type thinking. The things you want in life are not have to work it to make it work.
  • I believe in the 10 Commandments.....not a bad list of rules and they are rules that can work in any society. Very basic and very worthy.
  • I believe there is more than one religion in the world and there should be mutual respect between the religions.
  • I believe there is life beyond our little planet....and they're laughing at us daily.
  • I believe in evolution and not the newly tagged "Inspired Intelligence".
  • I don't believe a virgin can give birth unless she visited a sperm bank 9 months ago and made a withdrawal.
  • On the topic of God.......I'm still struggling with that one.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Turn Around (Life’s Rich Pleasures Continue)

Turn Around (Life’s Rich Pleasures Continue)
For Carly

So many years gone by
So much water under the bridge
Conversations, music, books and poems
Laughter, tears, silence and noise
Life’s rich pleasures continue

Holidays and family
Guitars and presents
Camping and roasting marshmellows
Growing flowers and watching baby birds in their nest
Life’s rich pleasures continue

All are memories now
But memories are what make us who we are
Struggles persist
Strength endures
Life’s rich pleasures continue

I have watched you grow for 18 years
Slowly developing into who you are today
A tremendous milestone is upon you
A day where you walk out the door for the last time
From a place you call home
Life’s rich pleasures continue

The home will always be there
But you will not
You have other things to try
Other experiences that are yet unknown to you
Life’s rich pleasures continue

There are days to come that are unknown to us all
Days of emptiness and days of silence
Days of excitement and days of joy
Days to remember
Life’s rich pleasures continue

So go now into a new world
Go to accomplish what you’ve dreamed of for many years
Go and be the person you desire to be
But always remember where you came from
Life’s rich pleasures continue

Fare thee well, my daughter, my friend

Saturday, August 20, 2005

How To Cut Grass in August-In Tennessee

Arrrggghhhh! High humidity along with mid-90 temperatures at 10AM is not the ideal setting for cutting grass in August...especially in Tennessee! After several years of working through various experiments (I am in a science and engineering town, after all), I believe I have perfected the task. Try to keep up with me. In my opinion, based on scientific experiments and much research, the following are the correct procedures for this crisis:


  1. Ice down your beer the night before the task begins. I personally prefer Molson's, but have taken a liking to Coors (not Coors Lite) lately.
  2. Make sure you have ample quantities of your choice of beer, but by all means it MUST be bottled. Enough of the canned just ain't right.
  3. Make sure you have plenty of gas for the lawn mower. There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for running out of gas before you finish the job. The other issue that could arise from this lack of planning it that you will have to ask your spouse to run to the gas station and get more gas (reference the liquid refreshments above and the guys in cars with flashing lights...just don't do it). This request will likely be met with significant repercussions which may (not) be played out in the bedroom (sorry, Pastor). Better to be prepared. While you're checking, look at your oil inventory.
  4. Check your ice supply in the freezer. Those ice makers tend to overflow and then stop producing. You will likely use the entire amount of produced ice and this could also come back to haunt you (RE: #3).
  5. Make sure your favorite large plastic cup is clean and hasn't been used for dipping cat food or dog food. There is nothing more frustrating than to have to use a cup that will only partially satisfy your thirst on the day of the project. It's a pain to have to go inside for additional water and having to take off your shoes each time so as to NOT track in grass clippings in the house (RE: #3).

The Project

  1. Wake up early. You need to inspect the grass for moisture. This can cause clogging of the mower and is extremely frustrating. Lack of planning COULD result in a project that takes twice as long and could delay or postpone any plans made by your spouse (RE: #3 in Preparation).
  2. Clear the lawn of any obstacles that could force you to turn off the mower to remove (RE: #1 in Project; #3 in Preparation). These items could be toys, sprinklers, passed-out teenagers from the Friday night before, beer cans from those teenagers passing by on the way home from the Friday night before, leftover carcasses of critter wars, etc.
  3. Drink two full cups of ice-water before beginning the project. This may force a trip to the bathroom but your body will appreciate it about 1/4 of the way through the project. IGNORE THE BEER THAT IS ICED DOWN (for now, anyway).
  4. Gentlemen, START YOUR MOWERS!
  5. About an hour into the project, take a break. These are union rules and you MUST abide by this. Replenish your body with additional ice-water, but you may want to look at the iced down beer....this if actually refreshing. Take your shoes off and go inside for additional refreshments (e.g. air-conditioning).
  6. Gentlemen, RESTART YOUR MOWERS!
  7. Upon completion, replenish your body with two cups of ice water and place your hand in the container housing the iced-down beer. Leave the beer in the container (for now, anyway).
  8. After 30 minutes has passed, return to the container housing the iced-down beer and chug-a-lug. Limit yourself to only one beer at this point.
  9. Begin washing the mower for storage. You may, at this point, be in need of a 2nd beer. This acceptable and is actually required (Union Rules again).
  10. Place mower in the approved storage facility. Neglecting to do so may result in unnecessary grief (RE: #3, Preparation).
  11. Replenish your body with all the protein necessary to function (key word is "function"-RE: #3, Preparation).
  12. Remove all clothing prior to entering the house. Be discreet...this could cause serious repercussions (RE: #3, Preparation).
  13. Properly place all wet (usually with sweat) clothing near the washing machine. Should you NOT have a washing machine in your house, burn all clothing using any leftover gasoline.
  14. Shave. You know you didn't shave on Saturday morning, so this is essential, prior to showering. Neglecting to do so WILL result in severe repercussions (RE: #3, Preparation).
  15. Shower. Make sure every inch of your body has been covered in a soapy lather. Don't forget to shampoo what little hair you have left (RE: #3, Preparation).
  16. Dry off and put on clean (this is REALLY important) clothes. (RE: #3, Preparation).
  17. Return to your spouse and ask if there is anything she needs you to do for her. Neglecting to do so WILL result in severe repercussions (RE: #3, Preparation).
  18. Next Thursday or Friday, begin again. Neglecting to do so WILL result in severe Repurcussions (RE: #3, Preparation).

My intention is to formally present this paper to the Congressional Committee on Husbands on August 31st, for submittal to the Budget Committee. Should you have additional proposals, please submit to me, in the form of "comments" so that I can include them in my proposal. The Budget is scheduled to be presented to the full House on September 15th.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Closing Out Summer

Summer is winding down, although you couldn't tell it from the 90+ degree temperatures. Most of the local schools are back in session. My daughters are also winding down. Both worked with Habitat for Humanity in paid positions this summer. The oldest one finished out her job yesterday and plans to travel to South Carolina and Kentucky this weekend before heading back to Salem College next week. My youngest finishes up her time with Habitat next week and will start college the following week at East Tennessee State University.

That just leaves me and da' mamma, along with 3 cats and 2 dogs, to fend for ourselves. This should be interesting. We plan to determine once and for all if the "Empty Nest Syndrome" is reality or myth. I suspect one of us will soon be visited by the men in white suits..."They're coming to take me away, HA-HA."

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Hey Tomorrow

Hey Tomorrow
Jim Croce

Hey tomorrow,
Where are you goin'
Do you have some room for me
'Cause night is fallin' And the dawn is callin'
I'll have a new day
If she'll have me

Hey tomorrow,
I can't show you nothin'
You've seen it all pass by your door
So many times I said I been changin'
Then slipped into patterns
Of what happened before

'Cause I've been wasted
And I've over-tasted
All the things
That life gave to me

And I've been trusted
Abused and busted
And I've been taken by those close to me

Hey tomorrow
You've gotta believe that
I'm through wastin'
What's left of me

'Cause night is fallin'
And the dawn is callin'
I'll have a new day
If she'll have me

Hey tomorrow,
Where are you goin'
Do you have some room for me
'Cause night is fallin'
And the dawn is callin'
I'll have a new day if she'll have me

I'll have a new day if she'll have me

Your Friend (For Terri)

Sitting in a high school English class
Not knowing.....

A high school football game after graduating
Not knowing.....

A heavy rain, so a movie instead of the game
Not knowing.....

A weekend college dance in the mountains of North Georgia
Not knowing.....

A chance letter to a ship, far away in the Mediterranean
Not knowing.....

A missed ride on the Pink Pig
Not knowing.....

A child born to us, a daughter
Not knowing.....

A second child born to us, a daughter
Not knowing.....

Two daughters, raised, grown and off to college
Still loving.....

Saturday, August 06, 2005

In The Days Of A Caveman

In The Days Of A Caveman
Crash Test Dummies

When you go on camping trips
you're stuck right out in nature
Foraging the forests like a primate
Using sharpened tools instead of hotplates

Your thumb and forefinger
supposed to show you're not a wild beast
You can hear their noises at night time
They don't have to keep a certain bedtime

See in the shapes of my body
Leftover parts from apes and monkeys

Sometimes when I lie awake
I hear the rainfall on my tent fly
I think of all the insects that are sleeping
And wonder if the animals are dreaming

See in the shapes of my body
Leftover parts from apes and monkeys

In the days of the caveman
and mammoths
and glaciers
Bugs and trees were your food then;
no pyjamas or doctors

And when I finally get to sleep,
I dream in technicolor
I see creatures come back from the Ice Age
Alive and being fed inside a zoo cage

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Things I Don't Understand-Updated Often (Well DUH!)

  • If eating watermelon seeds will make them grow out your ears, what happens with the banana seeds?
  • How does cheese grow hair so easily and I don't?
  • Why should I care if a tree falls in the middle of a forest and does or does not make a sound?
  • Why are the numbers displayed on a phone different from those on a calculator?
  • What are boogers made of and why do they grow? I mean I'm not feeding them or anything.
  • How does a bell pepper know to NOT get hot?
  • When I drop a hammer on my foot, why does it take so long for me to feel the pain?
  • Who invented this whole idea of working for a living? I want someone to track him down and shoot him.
  • Why doesn't the Earth fall? It's really heavy, you know.
  • How much wood, would a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Ode to Cortisone

My elbow hurts
It hurts like hell
But I know how it fix it

I pour the bourbon
In the Coke
And shake it up to mix it

If that don't work
I call the doc
And meet him in the alley

He pulls the needle
From the pouch
Of his assistant, Sally

It's full of juice
That's really good
I think its name is Cortisone

It makes me better
Later on
But messes up my chromosome

There now, damnit! A poem that almost rhymes.........