Pavlov’s New Dogs

I’m beginning to liken the hardcore second amendment folks with Pavlov’s dogs. But instead of a bell causing them to drool at the thought of food, it’s the NRA saying Democrats want to take their guns away and they froth at the mouth and lose their collective shit. I’ve done my best to stay on the sidelines in this instance. What happened in Orlando was truly horrific, but the conventional wisdom appears to be just ignore it and it’ll go away. Something else will hit the news and the nation will get distracted. Why would this situation be any different? If 20 adolescent kids getting mowed down in their school can’t get folks to talk rationally about gun legislation, what are the chances that over a hundred gay people (and their allies) being maimed and murdered would be any different? I know that sounds callous and uncaring, but show me where I’m wrong about the apparent lack of conscience of the country.

Over the past few days, I’ve sat back. For the most part anyway. I’ve been reading what others have to say. But what is absolutely stunning to me is the apparently inability for second amendment folks to listen to the other side and comprehend what they’re saying. This isn’t to say the opposite isn’t true, but I simply haven’t seen that as often. What’s more amazing are the literal fields of straw men being constructed by those who like the gun situation as it is. In an effort to offer a peace pipe, with every fiber of my being trying to avoid sounding condescending or snarky, let me explain what most of us want. Along the way I’ll try to dispel some myths so that you folks can at least try to calm down a bit.

Let me start with this: If you’re a law abiding citizen, I don’t give a shit if you have a gun. Seriously. Don’t fucking care. I hope you find great enjoyment in your hobby. Got that? Good. Let’s continue. Continue reading Pavlov’s New Dogs

A Father’s Words To His Sons

My sons were born three months premature. Each of them came in just a hair over two pounds each and by the time they came home, each of them already had more extensive surgery than I had. I suppose it was the monumental stress caused by needed procedures and the closeness each of them came to leaving this world that kicked my protective dad brain into overdrive. I was simply amazed that such fragile little beings could be so resilient. In short, they had my immediate respect and awe.

One of the most continually frustrating things about having twins is how inexorable they were from one another. On principle, it’s very easy to consider them one great being instead of two. I fought the idea of dressing them alike because I wanted them to be their own persons. But it became increasingly difficult because all life events were celebrated in tandem with one another. Birthdays, holidays, rites of passage; everything was done together. Despite all of this, they both managed to establish their own identity which simultaneously contrasted and complimented who they were as individuals. But as they clearly are their own persons, they are still the nigh inseparable daring duo who instinctively know that they have one another’s back. In the spirit of always wanting to express them as individuals, I wanted to take a few minutes to demonstrate how unique and wonderful they truly are. Continue reading A Father’s Words To His Sons

Assuming Game

I’ve done my best to put some distance between myself and the current Presidential election here in the US. Having been fully invested in the 2004 and 2008 campaigns, I saw what it did to my usual easy-going humor and turned me into a nasty little troll on the internets. It affected the way I interacted with people and overall affected my mood in general. It really wasn’t a pleasant feeling and was not the person I wanted to be. Since then I’ve lived with the concept that it’s all well and good to be informed, and I highly encourage doing so, but live and let live. Above all else, if someone is going to vote for a candidate who I believe fundamentally will legislate against their interests, it’s their business — and there’s fuck all I can say that will make them change their minds. Hakuna fuckoffa.

When candidates starting lining up for the job, I was a bit perturbed that everyone on the Democrats’ side seemed to be stepping out of the way for Hillary. On a fundamental level, sure, she’s got the experience and knowledge for the job. But she also has a rather distinguished history of changing her viewpoints when it best benefits her political goals. It’s the kind of trait that is usually pointed out by any voter as something that disgusts them with all politicians. Oddly enough, when it’s their own candidate, they don their blinders and become very vocal in their defense of them. But it’s also the reason why I became a Bernie Sanders supporter. The man has been espousing the same political rhetoric for the better part of forty years. Agree with him or not, you have to admire that kind of dedication and integrity.

The one that shocked me, and indeed continues to shock me, is the popularity of one Donald Trump. I’m actually loathe to write anything about him because the man thrives off of negative publicity, and has gotten 99% of election coverage on all major news outlets. Of course he is — he’s a reality TV star and knows how to manipulate the American public. It’s said public that inspired this post. Continue reading Assuming Game

Raven

Oh, I updated the background again. If you’ve ever searched for “raven” on Pintrest or tumblr, you’ve no doubt seen it. Therefore, finding its original artist has proven to be rather difficult. If anyone knows, hit the comment section.
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Into (And Out Of) The Pit

My daughter is a Netflix junkie. While I’m sure, in her quick and more than likely loud defense, she’d point out that I’m just as bad as she is. My only retort is that, one, we’re talking about her, and two, Netflix junkies probably outnumber the population of Belgium. Seriously. Someone should just make a flag and draft a constitution already. Although we’d more than likely be wholly dependent on other nations for our military defense — that first season of Luke Cage isn’t going to watch itself and even small arms combat is enough to drown out the dialogue.

Anyway, my daughter’s latest Netflix binge has been How I Met Your Mother, a show I’ve only watched in bits and pieces. But it’s very watchable. Who doesn’t love Neil Patrick Harris? But like most sitcoms, it can be entirely unrealistic. Family crises cannot be solved in 30 minutes or even the occasional two-part episode. But it’s fun to watch anyway, the plots mostly consisting of situations with about as much depth as a kiddie pool and plenty of cute moments that could no doubt have Generation X watching with a certain sense of nostalgia through their respective rose-colored memories. Continue reading Into (And Out Of) The Pit

My Personal Music Industry

When I was younger — back when woolly mammoths walked the glacier fields — I wanted to be musician. I suppose everyone entertained that fantasy at one point or another in their lives, but I was willing to go a step further. I actually purchased guitars and amplifiers and bass guitars and drums for, from my family’s perspective, the purposes of making their lives rich with music or at the very least incredibly loud and annoying. Around the time I graduated high school, it was my father calling the local police on his son’s band that was playing in our garage. A few years and several band lineup and instrument changes later, it was my band, Medium, playing at full volume in the basement of my house with my infant daughter napping just above us in her room. Yes, both of these things happened. I’m not making anything up.

At present I play guitar, bass, piano, drums and noodle around on nearly anything musical that other folks let me touch. I even sing, depending on who you ask. I listen to an incredibly wide range of musical styles because various sounds and melodies serve such a purpose as to resonate in different parts of my psyche. Rock, pop, thrash, rap, techno, cathedral chorale, progressive metal, reggae, grindcore, classical, deep trance, bluegrass, Broadway, and even a few country songs sprinkled in; music can convey emotions and ideas that simple words cannot. Music is the thread that holds the diversity of myself together and forms unspoken bonds with other people, be they friend or stranger. Continue reading My Personal Music Industry

Too Busy To Enjoy It

We’re now in the final weeks of May, and I’ve been busy trying to keep up with all that is involved with graduating seniors. Perhaps that isn’t the best choice in phasing; more like watching time fly by like the Time Traveller in H G Wells’ The Time Machine when he jumps into the future. At least that’s what it feels like. My twin boys graduate high school in a scant 18 days. Emotionally, I can’t put how I’m feeling into words. Perhaps it’s overwhelming, perhaps I’m numb. Probably both. Whoever said life flashes before your eyes when you’re dying probably had kids that became adults before they noticed.

Last night all three of mine went to prom. It’s a bit odd that my daughter, who is now encroaching drinking age, attended this event. But she was invited and it’s simple luck that they all get dolled up for this occasion. As is my duty as a parent, I armed myself with a camera and went all annoying parent on them before they left. Upon reviewing these photos, I was struck with how old and simultaneously young they all looked. Much to my surprise, and perhaps this is the numbness factor, I didn’t feel emotionally overwhelmed by it. You know, the whole, “My babies are all grown up” maudlin experience common to the parental species. The fact of the matter is that I have too much to think about and too many time constraints to get caught up in the moment. It may be a guy thing — trapped by the logistics and the mechanics of events — but I haven’t made time to have a proper emotional meltdown. There’s simply too much other shit to worry about right now. Continue reading Too Busy To Enjoy It

Mid-Life Crisis Candidate

Ever since I was younger I wanted a motorcycle. It wasn’t a need, but more of an passing interest. I have had a long history of those and have been prudent, I think, in if/how I indulge them. Having a motorcycle always took the back seat, so to speak — especially when I had children and kissed anything resembling discretionary spending goodbye. I didn’t have time or money.

Last year I finally decided that I had waited long enough. I enrolled for a motorcycle learning course and passed my written exam a mere two days before it started. I rode a bicycle when I was a kid (equipped with playing cards to simulate the engine sound more than once), and I even had a four-wheeler when I was a teenager, so it wasn’t much of a jump to get the hang of things. By the time I had passed my license test, it was a matter of weeks before I had managed to get my very own little Honda Shadow Spirit VT1100C. I named it Caboose after a favorite Red vs. Blue character. Last summer I put on about 1900 miles on Caboose. To my great joy, I’ve found that being on a motorcycle can be a very zen experience. Also, you simply cannot beat the unspoken camaraderie that exists between fellow riders. Continue reading Mid-Life Crisis Candidate

About the Background

You may have noticed that I’ve spruced up the site a bit. I’ve never been great at making websites pretty, but I do have a knack for having desktop backgrounds that I like. It’s simple — I pick something I want and throw it on my desktop until I get sick of it. My plan is to treat the background image on the site very much the same way.

Well, because this is a website people will occasionally wonder about them. I’m also a big proponent of giving credit where it’s due. I’m artistically gifted enough to make some pretty bitchin’ stick figures, but nowhere near as talented as the stuff that ends up behind my workspace. That said, the current art is a digital print of Princess Mononoke by Barrett Biggers. Clicky the linky if you want more information. His collective work is pretty awesome.

PS: I’m making no money off of this site. So I hope Barrett, and soon to be others, won’t mind that I’m flashing their work.