November 27, 2009

If you would please.......

Some of you are probably up already as I write this, at 230 in the morning, getting ready to attack the stores for "Black Friday". I have not yet gone to sleep, as is my normal routine. So if you are going, please be careful, there are always lunatics that will stop at NOTHING to get that gift they just HAVE to have.

I'm going on a little trip later on today, going down to my brother-in-law's house to pick up his car and bring it back home to keep for him while he goes on his fourth deployment to Iraq for a year. I would appreciate everyone keeping him in their thoughts, and maybe offering up a prayer for his safety. The shrew and I will continue to take care of his son and daughter for him while he is gone. They have been with us for several years, ever since his LAST deployment. He has only visited them sporadically in the year and a half or so since he returned from that one, and has not taken them home with him. So they will not really miss him any more than usual, but this means he will really HAVE a reason for not showing up to visit, or for not coming to get them and take them home. I am praying he will return safe and sound, and decide when he gets back that he wants to take them. While I agree with him in some respects that the environment they are in with us may be "better", I firmly believe children should be with their own parents. I understand it would be difficult for him being a single dad, as his ex-wife has no parental rights(hence why the kids are with us), but it's not like he is the only single dad in the Army. There are others, probably in his own unit, and I'm sure if he decided to accept his responsibility as a father, I believe he would find there would be people able to help him and provide support. His daughter, who will turn 5 a few weeks, has for some time now decided she is going to call the wife and I "Mommy and Daddy". Not when he is around fortunately, but I find that disturbing. What else does she have to go on though? We have provided all of the care for her for the greater part of her life. All I'm saying is, a person cannot be considered a parent in a child's eye when they only visit 2 or 3 times a year, and only call on the phone sporadically at best. I'm sure most of you know by now that I have 3 daughters of my own, and I just can't see myself going as long as he does(on purpose) not seeing or talking with his children. They are missing out on so much already not having their own mother around, it's just so unfair to them. Please let him return safe........

The other person who needs your thoughts and prayers is his mother, my mother-in-law. If something were to happen to him, I believe she would literally go insane. As a father, I understand the fear of losing one's child, but I don't have the fear she does, as mine are not yet grown, and are obviously NOT in the military. While she and I don't always get along, and she's a real pain in the ass a lot of the time, I truly love her like she was my own mother; hell, she's done loads more to help me whenever she could, which is more than I can say for my own mother. 

So if you would pray to whatever god you believe in for my brother-in-law's safety, his children, and for my mother-in-law's sanity, I would be forever grateful. Thank you.

November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving, and some NOT so random rants

I CANNOT believe it is 1 in the morning already! Feels much much earlier.

I want to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving, and hope everyone has a great time with their family.

I got outside today, and cut up some wood for the grill/smoker, which we used to smoke one of the turkeys we are having, and also a ham. I used a saw at first, but there is just something about swinging an axe, so I got the double headed one out we have and went to town. I can't explain the feeling I get using an axe, it's like something natural, like I was meant to do it. Maybe I was a woodsman in a former life.

Anyway, thought I'd bring ya'll a couple of not so random rants for the holiday, and here they are.

I am a big fan of stuffing, and true to it's name, you stuff the turkey with it. But dressing? What do you "dress" with it?

What about cranberry "sauce"? You eat it all by itself, so how does that make it a sauce?

The President "pardoned" a turkey, and he gets a trip to Disney World to live in a petting zoo. Unbeknowst  to everyone, the turkey is thinking: "Get my head lopped off and end it quickly, or send me to a theme park to get manhandled by 5 year olds for the rest of my days; hmmm, let me see....................The union is sooooooo gonna hear from my lawyer!"

One last thing....

The consistency of pumpkin pie and cheesecake are almost identical, so why do we call one pie and the other cake? Is it because cheese pie just doesn't have the same ring to it? Try it, say it out loud both ways.

November 24, 2009

The call, or the pull

I've been getting a call lately, a pull if you will. I feel like there's a job in my very near future. I've put in the applications, but it's not that. No one has called, no pun intended. No, the "call" I am getting is the feeling like it's time I started my own business, one doing what I love the most, fixing laptops. I can potentially make a crapload of money with that, once I build up a clientele.

I will still need to have a regular job until that happens, but I think eventually that is going to be the only job I will have. I know I'm just talking sheer speculation here, but it's just this feeling I have. It could end up totally different than that of course.

My posts lately have been very unRaydenlike. They are that way by design. I feel different. As is inevitable in life, changes happen. I can't tell you why, and to me, it's a good change. There has always been too much unbridled emotion in my life, too much fear, being afraid of how I am received. Rest assured, at my core, I am still the same person, but those feelings no longer rule my life, I am not nearly as afraid.

I started this blog with the intention of "bringing the house down" in one aspect, and to chronicle my development mentally, emotionally, and spiritually in another. One part of me wanted this blog to be entertaining, or interesting, so much so that people would be on the edge of their seats waiting for the next post. That is one of the major changes that have occurred in the time I have written here. I no longer have much of a concern for writing something that I think people will go "gaga" over. Now I feel better just writing what I think on any given day, interesting, fascinating, dull and boring, whatever. I am fortunate at this point to say that there are 43 people who at the very least have a passing interest in what I have to say, and for that, I would like to say that I'm grateful. It helps to know that someone is listening.

The other part of why I started this blog is the one that intrigues me the most however. I started writing down my thoughts here in late July, and now it is late November. It hasn't been a cut and dry "step by step" process, but there has definitely been change. I'm happy about it, I have a clearer sense of self; for this has really been a journey of self discovery, one that is still ongoing. A learning process if you will. I love to learn.

I made a decision. I decided to write what I thought, not so much what I feel. This is the result. Oh, the feelings are still there, but I threw a tarp over them and bungee corded it down real tight, to keep them a little more in control. There are more changes in the air, but you know, there is ALWAYS change in the air. That's not profound, or dramatic, it's just a fact. Sure, I can "feel" if there is a major change coming, but in all actuality, the feeling is there all the time. So it's not something I should see as profound, at least not EVERY time. Or maybe I should focus on the change itself, not the fact that there is a "big spooky change coming!" Whoooooooo!

It's funny how life is so much better, and yet nothing in my mundane world has changed at all. Attitude is everything. I still post about my feelings, but not always the bad ones. Tomorrow is another day, the first day of the rest of my life, so I'm going to make it a good one.

Talk to you tomorrow!

November 21, 2009

How is everyone tonight?

Hello blog world, how are you tonight? Good? Great!

To those of you who are sick, I hope you feel better soon, seems there are many colds and flu bugs running around.

I just decided to write tonight as I am just about to watch a movie and then retire myself. Night at the Museum 2, I've watched about an hour of it already, and it's been a good one so far.

I've had a lot going on in my mind lately, not much in the real world. I've been really up and down emotionally, but I have again learned something about myself. I'd like to say it's been nice to have this blog to write things down in, to let them out to the world as it were, whatever world this is.

Seems like there's a lot of buzz about Oprah ending her show, and is it 2011 I hear? Does anyone else NOT care about this? Did everyone think she was going to do it forever or something? Just my opinion.

Kids are selfish brats. Only a kid makes a birthday card for their grandmother and cries because they don't get to use the same stuff the other kids do, I mean really, grandma isn't going to love it any less just because it doesn't look like all the others' stuff. It occurred to me that kids don't make cards for birthdays and other holidays for the grownups to tell them they love them, instead, it's yet another opportunity to grab the attention, a way to make themselves feel "special" somehow. I had to tell the kid that his self worth does not hinge on foamy sticky backed letters. Grandma will love him anyhow. Jeez. He did get to use them of course, but still, the lesson is there. How selfish are we as humans to allow ourselves to get upset over something that is supposed to be a completely selfless act? I know I shouldn't expect a kid to understand that, but I mean, why not? Maybe if we learned as kids that our self worth has nothing to do with what others think, but it is in ourselves, we would not grow up to be selfish, needy, and spineless adults. I'm one that knows from experience, my whole life until very recently was just like this, and 98% of it was because of feeling inadequate, I was so worried about what others thought of me. I let others determine my self worth.

Well enough of that, I'll get off my soapbox now. Hell what's a soapbox anyway? Why can't I just say I'm done preaching and that be good enough? Interesting isn't it? I said that because it's what I thought people would want to read. But it's not about that. So, done preaching, end of story.

This is something. I went to the kitchen to make something to eat just a minute ago, and while I was doing that, I went out to the den to check out the Star Trek Enterprise rerun on tv, then came back to the kitchen. I heard a noise coming from the bathroom (it's adjacent to the kitchen)that sounded like the shower running. I decided to go see who in the world is taking a shower at 2 in the morning, and to my surprise, the cold water line going to the sink had turned into a geyser! I caught it before it made a major mess, but what if I hadn't gone to make something to eat, and had gone to bed instead? Holy moley! It may have been hours before anyone noticed, and what a mess that would have been. That's just amazing to me. The timing could not have been better. I got the valve turned off, and will deal with fixing it tomorrow, but wow, that was just cool.

I'm going to turn on that movie now, and then go to bed, but when I have something else to say I'll be back.

November 20, 2009

The post that almost wasn't

I almost didn't do this post.

Every time I post, it's about my feelings. Even a post I do that I swear up and down won't be about feelings, it will always end up being about them anyway.

I just don't want to do it. I have been mulling over my feelings for 3 days now, and I've come to no conclusions. I saw my brothers yesterday, they stopped to drop off some of my stuff. To make a long story short, they were traveling out west to take my parent's stuff from one house to another, and since they had some of my stuff from when I was a kid, they stopped by here to drop it off. Well they would have had their rental truck not broken down an hour down the road. So we (meaning myself, the shrew, and the kids) went to go meet them while the truck was being repaired. I got 8 boxes of stuff.

Well I got home too late last night to really look through it all, so I did most of the looking through today. As you can imagine it was quite a stroll down memory lane. High school yearbooks, pictures from grade school, every scrap of art I ever did, oh and that drum I mentioned a few posts back, the one from the '76 fourth of July parade. That was quite a thing to behold, still in excellent condition, and now it is in my possession, amazing, after 33 years. There were some things I had forgotten about, like two marionettes I played with as a child, a battery powered boat, and assorted odds and ends like my baseball glove, and some books and magazines.

The things that brought back the most memories by far were the 3 yearbooks, well 4 if you count the one from basic training for the Navy. Two of the books were from the high school I graduated from, and the other was from the Christian school I went to in the 4th and 5th grades. 1989, 1988, and 1981. I saw pictures of those I saw in classes every day, most of whom I had forgotten, but it all came flooding back just leafing through those books for the first time in 20 years. Then, I started reading the "autographs". There was a recurring theme. "You are a good friend." "You are the nicest guy." "You are so sweet, don't ever change, and don't be so down on yourself". Oh and my personal favorite, "Good luck with all the girls". See, I was a bit of a nerd in school, always the teacher's pet, getting the A's and B's, but had no luck with women. You might say I had no clue how to land a date. Not that my mother would have let me go on one, but at least I was making the attempt at procuring a girlfriend. And I liked EVERY girl it seemed. When one would shoot me down, I would just move along to the next one that struck my fancy, or more likely the one who showed even the slightest bit of interest in me. Ridiculous behavior, deplorable, and a little psychotic, if I do say so myself, it's a wonder ANY of the girls ever talked to me.

But I digress. It made me realize that when it came to women, I tended to be a little obsessive, and possessive; if there was a girl I thought I could "acquire", she was all I thought about, and for all intents and purposes, she was MINE. I was jealous of ANYONE who talked to her, or showed any interest in her. I'm sad to say that this thought process did carry over into my adult life, but only through seeing it with those adult eyes and looking back at the fool I was was I able to see that it was something I have done all my life.

The thing is, now I have a completely different idea as to what "love" is, and not just as in the differences from a child to an adult, but a really different way to approach how I feel the emotion. What I felt before, what I thought was love, was nothing more than infatuation, even lust. Not to mention the dire need I had for love and affection from the opposite sex to feel "complete", to feel "validated". I'm not going to go into it right now, I just don't have the words for it. Suffice it to say I have felt love, real love, and it's nothing like what I thought before, or what I ever thought it could be.

I don't want to talk about feelings. Logic has it's place, alongside the emotions. The memories I re-lived today and just my state of mind in the last few days, maybe a week or so, has me thinking I'm ready to move on. I have never felt before like I do now.

I guess I know now that I can let go. Yes it will be sad, I will be upset, I may even cry. But I can let it go. This isn't one of those 'I'm losing everything I ever loved, holy crap what am I gonna do' feelings. It's a sense of nothing lasts forever, and change is inevitable. Those that love me still will, and those that don't probably never did, but regardless of what others feel, it's about how I feel about myself that really counts. I no longer have a desperate need to be loved, for I have embraced who and what I am, and that alone gives me the thought process to let things go.

There is no need for the excessive flood of emotion. The obsessions and out of control way I dealt with my feelings was wrong, and if I had not seen it before, I do now. If I had one way to describe it, the words would read something like "man discovers inner adult, and puts him in charge, and puts the child to bed." That's really been the thought process for so long, one that has been very juvenile. I don't even think I had a clue what that was up until recently. I have had an epiphany or two along the way, and maybe this is one too, but either way, as I think about it more and more, ( a counterproductive operation in itself) I sense a change taking place, something profound yet so simple.

And that's what brings me back to the post that almost wasn't. I didn't really want to post about my feelings, but I just need to purge them from time to time, and so this was what happened. I've always been dramatic in my writing, and a little preachy, always wanting to make a point, give everyone that "bang" that hits 'em right between the eyes. Sorry about that folks. Sometimes you just want to read something because you want to read about someone, not get a "moral to the story" every single time. I actually had the audacity to say I know how everyone feels, that we are all the same. Oh we ARE the same all right. We know whether we want to read something that is self righteous, or go to the next blog with something more entertaining. Now that's not to say I'm putting what I wrote before in the garbage heap, it's what I felt like writing that day. I just read my own stuff later sometimes and say "what the heck was I thinking?"; "but you know, it's pretty good for that day". Cause I change every day, little things, details, I learn new things that change me.

So here I am, just writing. The weather has been good, a little rain here and there, the temperatures dropping a bit, but it's been good. My brothers seemed to be in good spirits, and the stuff they brought was amazing. The older I get it seems we look less and less alike. The kids had fun spending time with them, however brief it was, after all, one of them had not even met my youngest brother. The last time I saw him was 10 years ago, before she was born. So I was happy they finally met face to face.

I guess I should end this now, it's getting late/early. 7 o'clock comes pretty early.

November 16, 2009

Another song

This is another song by the group Shinedown I came across called "Call Me". The lyrics are pretty close to how I feel in my current situation, which many of you know about. If not, read some of my earlier posts about the "shrew". There are some parts that are not at all how I feel about that, but they do apply to how I felt at other times in my life, oddly enough. This song has so much more meaning than just the lyrics, I mean without the music or the presentation as it is, it doesn't pack the same punch. Every time I hear it I just about cry. That's saying something too, as even in private I am not emotionally moved to tears very often. Anyone surprised to hear me say that?

Wrap me in a bolt of lightning
Send me on my way still smiling
Maybe that's the way I should go,
Straight into the mouth of the unknown
I left the spare key on the table
Never really thought I'd be able to say
I merely visit on the weekends
I lost my whole life and a dear friend

I've said it so many times
I would change my ways
No, nevermind
God knows I've tried

Call me a sinner, call me a saint
Tell me it's over I'll still love you the same
Call me your favorite, call me the worst
Tell me it's over I don't want you to hurt
It's all that I can say. So, I'll be on my way

I finally put it all together,
But nothing really lasts forever
I had to make a choice that was not mine,
I had to say goodbye for the last time
I kept my whole life in suitcase,
Never really stayed in one place
Maybe that's the way it should be,
You know I live my life like a gypsy

I've said it so many times
I would change my ways
No, nevermind
God knows I've tried

Call me a sinner, call me a saint
Tell me it's over I'll still love you the same
Call me your favorite, call me the worst
Tell me it's over I don't want you to hurt
It's all that I can say. So, I'll be on my way

I'll always keep you inside, you healed my
Heart and my life... And you know I try.

Call me a sinner, call me a saint
Tell me it's over I'll still love you the same
Call me your favorite, call me the worst
Tell me it's over I don't want you to hurt
It's all that I can say. So, I'll be on my way
So, I'll be on my way
So, I'll be on my way

November 15, 2009

I don't know

Tonight I feel like I am moving through the middle of the transition of this change that's taking place, you know, the one a lot of people have been feeling lately. The energy of the universe is constantly changing, but at this particular moment, it seems to be a bigger change than "normal".

Right now it feels like the eye of the storm. Nothing really changing, or just subtlety so, but the knowledge that the "rest" of the big shift is on the horizon is very prevalent.

I'm really getting upset about not having a job. Frustrated is probably a better word. Now I don't want to go off on some "oh woe is me" tangent, as that would just do nothing but put everyone in a bad mood, and be counterproductive for me, but I just wanted to put that out there. I just need to try harder, and I'm sure it will happen. At least that's what the cards say. The cards never lie, so for me, I know there is a job in my near future, and I'll be sure to give you all the excruciating details when it happens.

There's not much going on in my mundane world at all right now, other than the usual hustle and bustle of having five kids in the house. I've had a lot of time to think, which in and of itself has been an amazing thing. I've been noticing an increase in my awareness. The "vibes" in a room, the emotional state of someone I'm around, I don't know how to explain it, but it feels like I can "hear" everything. I told you in my last post about a song I found for raising incredible amounts of energy. I have noticed as I have practiced doing it knowing what I was actually doing, it feels different. I have always had my "power" songs, ever since I was a teen. I have always felt that shiver down my spine while listening to one, but now, it's my whole body. I can feel it in my hands, I can really feel the energy, it's an awesome feeling, and so humbling at the same time. It's a feeling of knowing I have been given a gift, and I am honored and privileged to pass it along to others who might need it. I want to heal others, and I want to take negative energy they have and turn it into positive. I hope that no one reading this thinks I'm bat shit crazy now, because this is real. I feel like I was born to be an energy "processing plant", intuitively sensing it, and moving it where it needs to go. That's what a channeler is, right? I plan to meditate on this, and see what the universe has to say about it.

I've also really tried to dive right into my studies on the tarot, trouble is, I haven't got a deck. So I am improvising for the moment with a regular deck of playing cards, and we seem to be getting along well. It's like they understand, and are doing the best they can, just as I am. It is my understanding that it was meant to happen for me this way, to help me to better understand that it's not so much the cards' magic, but my own magickal energy and intuition that is what I'm utilizing. The human condition has always been something I've felt I had a sort of intuition about, somehow I just "know" how things are going to progress, how people feel. I feel like it's a "coming home" of sorts that I started learning about the tarot, like it was what I was meant to do. Not sure where that comes from, but it's a strong feeling I have.

Wait I can't be a channeler AND a tarot card reader can I?

I don't know.

Any ideas anyone?

November 14, 2009

A Song

I came across a song I hadn't heard in a long time last night, and the lyrics are just incredible to me. The song is called "Burning Bright" by the group Shinedown. It's songs like this that I use if I want to raise a lot of energy, and the reference to the light and dark, it's just "me".

This is the best "vid" I could find on Youtube, most are of live performances and have very poor sound quality.

I feel like there is no need for conversation
Some questions are better left without a reason
And I would rather reveal myself than my situation
Now and then I consider, my hesitation

The more the light shines through me
I pretend to close my eyes
The more the dark consumes me
I pretend I'm burning, burning bright

I wonder if the things I did were just to be different
To spare myself of the constant shame of my existence
And I would surely redeem myself in my desperation
Here and now I'll express, my situation

The more the light shines through me
I pretend to close my eyes
The more the dark consumes me
I pretend I'm burning bright

The more the light shines through me
I pretend to close my eyes
The more the dark consumes me
I pretend I'm burning

There's nothing ever wrong but nothing's ever right
Such a cruel contradiction
I know I cross the lines its not easy to define
I'm born to indecision
There's always something new some path I'm supposed to choose
With no particular rhyme or reason

The more the light shines through me
I pretend to close my eyes
The more the dark consumes me
I pretend I'm burning bright
The more the light shines through me
I pretend to close my eyes
The more the dark consumes me
I pretend I'm burning

I feel like there is no need for conversation

November 12, 2009

Veteran's Day

I went to my kid's elementary school yesterday for the veteran's day lunch. We vets get to eat with our kid. Nothing special. We could do that any day. I mean yeah, if you get there at the right time there may be a class that's singing or something, but for the most part it's just a time for the vet to sit and eat lunch with their child or grandchild. 

Every year since my kids started at this school I have done this. Every year. I did serve in Desert Storm in the Navy, so I am in fact a veteran, but for me, it's so anticlimactic. You've heard the saying "If you like your freedom, thank a vet". Well I can tell you with all assuredness that you have very little to thank ME for in having your freedom. I was a lowly peon on a lowly ship that did very little in the cause for freedom. It was our job to escort ships, look for mines, and generally just be a military presence in the Persian Gulf in case the bad guys decided to start anything with a merchant vessel. However, if someone DID start something, we were only armed with a pitiful 3 inch gun, so the damage we could dish out would in fact be less than spectacular if we hit anything at all. We had a missile launcher, but even at that time the missiles we carried were quickly becoming obsolete, and were rarely used. Besides, with the boats the Iraqi forces were using, and yes I said boats, a missile would be ineffective. Well actually if it hit one it would be major overkill, but as they were not designed for such small targets I doubt they would have even come close. The gun too, therefore, would be overkill at best. The Navy designates any craft longer than 100 feet as a ship, and anything shorter as a boat. Most of the stuff the Iraqis were using probably didn't reach 50 feet, at least the stuff I saw. So the best weapons we had at our disposal were a couple of 50 caliber machine guns and a 25 mm cannon. Makes one feel REALLY safe, lemme tell you. That's what happens when you take a ship originally designed to be a Coast Guard vessel and turn it into a fairly decent antisubmarine warfare platform. It sucks as a surface combatant. Got great sonar, some torpedo tubes, and the ability to launch a helicopter with a torpedo attached, but little else in the way of weaponry or armor. Oh yeah, the hull was only about a half an inch thick. Great armor. So someone explain to me why we needed to "escort" the Iowa class battleship Wisconsin (BB-64) with its 16 inch thick armor? Oh yeah, I forgot, they had really crappy sonar, and couldn't have found a mine unless they hit it first. Not the greatest way to minesweep.

This was the ship I was stationed on, the USS McInerney (FFG-8) The missile launcher is up there in the front, the gun is up on the uppermost deck about in the middle.

This is a pic of the gun firing, this one is on the USS Boone (FFG-28).

This is a pic of the missile launcher firing a missile, this one is onboard the USS George Philip (FFG-12). Well was, she's been decommissioned.

This is the battleship Wisconsin (BB-64). I have no idea what the contraption is on the front there, but you can see the massive guns these ships were armed with.

This is a photo of both classes of ships next to each other so you can see the tremendous difference in size. The ships are the USS Halyburton (FFG-40) and the USS Iowa (BB-61). The FFG's, or Fast Frigate Guided Missile, are 450 feet long, whereas the battleship is almost 890 feet.

So anyhow, we were out there doing our duty for God and Country, and you know what my job was? To keep the diesel generators wiped down, watch and make sure all the guages read where they were supposed to, and keep a watch on all the other "auxiliary" equipment to make sure it was running properly. Now on a Navy ship, "auxiliary" equipment pretty much means everything that isn't the main engines. With the exception of the waste treatment equipment. Thankless job for the poor bastards that had to deal with that. Sewage, yeeesh. Anyway, for me this meant that I had to assist in monitoring the air conditioning equipment, refrigeration equipment, air compressors (both low and high pressure), the hydraulic steering gear and fin stabilizers (needed as the ship was not designed to be on the open ocean originally, see above), and my personal favorite, the desalinization plants. Making fresh water was a neverending task while underway. It got used up in a hurry, and we could never seem to keep up with the demand. I was the guy that stood that watch on occasion, but for the most part, I was standing watch on everything else. And that's my point, folks, to me, it was just me doing my job. The ship required a lot of equipment to keep running, and it was my job along with about 30 other guys to make sure the ship was supplied with electricity and water, no small task, but like I said, to me, and a lot of the other guys, it was just a job we did each and every day, just like everyone back home.

I don't think the soldiers on the front lines in the myriad of wars in the history of the United States could say that it was "just a job". These guys were and are in the line of fire, really in danger. I never once got shot at, never once felt like I could die at any moment. Well there were the mines, I mean yeah, we could have hit one, and because I was working in engineering, I would probably been the first one to "buy it", so I guess I was in danger, but that was such an "IF". For soldiers on the front lines, it's more of a "when" in my opinion. For me, veterans are people who put themselves in harms way to bring freedom to those who don't have it, get shot at and killed doing their "job".

So I am a "veteran", but I'm thanking the soldiers today and every day for giving me MY freedom.

Oh and one last photo, to show you the amazing firepower of a battleship compared to a frigate. This is just ONE of the guns firing!

*all pics courtesy of*

Post coming

Just a note to say I am working on a post I had hoped to be finished before now, involving veteran's day.

I have a lot to say on that, and I am including pictures, but it is taking longer than I'd hoped to finish.

I apologize and hope everyone will enjoy it when it IS complete.

Oh and look for Random Rants again soon.

Have a great day everyone! Brightest blessings and love and light to you all!


November 10, 2009

The post of a lifetime, my lifetime

I've had this post rolling around in my head for quite some time now, and I hope I can get it all down.

My last post was just the beginning rantings on how I see the world and the people in it, and I'd like to thank Jupiter for mentioning it in her last post, and for helping to inspire this one. I'd also like to thank Bella for her constructive criticism and her constant support. You both have my gratitude and love.

The thing is folks, I WAS really scared to even broach the subject, because in a lot of ways I don't think everyone feels like me. It has been brought to my attention lately through some pretty heated arguments with family members that I had a pretty fouled up childhood. The way I view life and people is very possibly different than that of most of you. And then again, maybe, just maybe, it's pretty much the same.

My parents were very devout Christians, still are, especially my mother. Any conversation we have will inevitably come back to something to do with God and what he says I ought to be doing. My entire childhood was based on the idea that "God's" way was the only way, and that anything else was straight from the devil. She even called me the "antichrist" one time because of something I did, or maybe it was because of the attitude I had with her, I don't know, but anyway, that was the general "vibe" of things.

Now I don't want this to turn into a whinefest of how bad my childhood was for me, but I need to explain and tell this stuff just so you can understand my thought process.

Many, and I do mean many, of my childhood memories are of the "bad" things that happened to me. I remember some of the good, but the greater majority of the stuff I remember really vividly were times I would call traumatic for me. Not your death and destruction kind of trauma, just the kinds of things that scare the pants off of you when you are a kid. Fear, yeah, that's it. That was a recurring theme for me growing up. My parents seemed to have a knack for making me be afraid of them, and of life in general.

Here's the breakdown:

Approx. 3 years old, after coming home from day care with the lady that lived behind us: I had had breakfast at home, and had then gone to her house and eaten again. My mother found out about this, and became furious with me, saying something about "she's going to think I don't feed you, don't you ever do that again!" I was 3! How the hell was I supposed to know that eating food I was offered was wrong?

5 years old, 4th of July parade, 1976, the Bicentennial year(yeah I know, I'm so dating myself): I was dressed in colonial garb, carrying a drum, beating on it as my parents dragged a homemade float that looked like a birthday cake behind them. We had saved toilet paper roll tubes for months before that so they could be used as "candles" on the float. I had wandered too far ahead of them pulling this float, and my mom yelled out my first AND middle name to me in this blood curdling scream I had never heard from her before. I got so scared I ran back to her quickly so as to not bear too much of the brunt of whatever wrath she was to bestow upon me for doing something so terrible as to get too far ahead. I knew by this point that when she used my middle name I was in deep doo doo. And speaking of doo doo..........

Again, 5 years old, after a trip to Kmart in which I didn't make it to the bathroom in time and did a number 2 in my pants: I am placed in the shower with my underwear still on while my mother berates me as she has been doing the whole way home from Kmart, and then she proceeds to take the soiled undergarments off of me and rubs them in my face. Yes, folks, disgusting, and traumatic as hell to this already scared kid, and to this day she denies she did it. This is the incident that when I have discussed my childhood with others I have been told I was abused, mentally if nothing else. But as a child, what did I know about abuse? To me this was mom's normal behavior. Needless to say I still have issues with knowing where the bathrooms are in Kmart.

These are just the first 3 of many other occasions in my childhood that I remember being scared of my parents, especially my mother. My dad wasn't much better. There was this one time I got kicked from behind into a cupboard full of pots and pans because of something I did, don't remember what it was, but that one at least I find to be a little funny. At any rate, as you have probably already surmised, I was brought up in a VERY strict environment, but not only that, I was expected to be the brainiac among my siblings, as I had shown a certain skill with academics.

I guess at this point I should back up and mention that I have an older sister and two younger brothers. Now of course to my mother this meant that for me being the eldest son that I had responsibilities according to the bible to be better, more prepared, the one that ultimately will inherit the job of patriarch of the family (and to get the lion's share of the inheritance too mind you, don't know yet how that's going to work out). So when I was tested at a young age to be placed in the "gifted" classes at school, and I "failed" the maturity part of the test, and was not placed with the gifted kids, it meant of course that I was a complete failure and I had made her and dad look like they had not raised me right. You tell me what 5 or 6 year old boy is "mature". Anyhow, from that day onward, for the duration of my schooling up to and including high school, I was still expected to achieve straight A's in all of my classes, regardless of the subject matter. As far as I knew, the test results had shown me to have a superior intellect to my peers, and I was expected to use it. But what to my surprise happens when I DO use my "gift", and get the A, and the other children don't, and I act proud of myself, even a little arrogant? I again get in trouble. And the real kicker? Those test results showed me to be above average, sure, but not exceedingly so. And not a whisper on there about any "maturity" testing. I know, as I have finally seen the actual results. Just got the paper about it a few weeks ago from my parents as they were cleaning out some stuff and they thought I might like to have it along with a bunch of other paperwork from that time period (report cards and the like). Imagine learning 33 years later that you are not in fact a genius, but only mildly advanced. Well I take that back, I have taken IQ tests since that time and found that it was in the 145-150 range, so I DID know, but that was just the icing on the proverbial cake.

Anyway, so there I am, at the young age of 6, already with self esteem issues. I'm damned if i do, and damned if I don't. You want me to do these things, but it's wrong of me to be proud of myself. Every little move I make is somehow a problem. My mom berated me and hounded me constantly for how I ate, how I talked, even for how I breathed on one occasion. What was I supposed to think? I still had no clue that this behavior from a parent might be considered abuse. I was afraid to be around her and dad, but mostly her. I didn't want to move, was too scared to do anything, for fear of her coming down on me. And what made matters worse was that as "biblical" as she was, she believed that dad was the head of the household, and therefore the responsibility to administer discipline fell to him. So if I got in trouble for something, it meant hearing it from her, the lectures for two hours, and then waiting fearfully for dad to come home and hear it from him and to get the subsequent spanking. I can't tell you how many hours as a child I spent just sitting in fear waiting for dad to come home knowing how mad he'd be, and how bad the spanking would hurt.

As you can see, fear was a very big part of life for me, and to make matters worse, I was taught by my parents to be afraid of everything and everybody in the "world" as well. Oh they were evil, from the devil, God forbid we eat or speak or play with the heathens that plagued the planet. If they did not go to church, or the activity was not church related, I wasn't going to be present. I guess that's why I missed out on Boy Scouts, or sports. Mom said football was too violent, so that was a no go, heck the only sports they watched on tv was the Olympics when they came around. Of course I had no "natural" athletic talent either, so what was the point in me even trying? Couldn't swing a bat, or kick a ball, practicing and doing it with my peers would not have improved my skill at all. Another thing was clothes. Just because Jimmy wears this, doesn't mean that I should too. Cool? I don't need to look "cool". God says we should be in the world, but not "of" it. Oh and don't forget, you might step on something and hurt your foot, so you have to wear shoes at ALL times, even at home, indoors. And music? Only classical, not a whisper of another tune except for maybe Neil Diamond. They apparently had "their" song by him, so on occasion that record would go on the turntable. The radio however was always and only tuned to the local public radio/classical music station for us to listen to during dinner. I missed out on SO many things growing up because of their very completely narrowminded view of what was acceptable for their children to be exposed to.

Now I ask you, had you been me, and were already deathly afraid to even move around your parents, do you think it would have entered your mind to try to sneak out and do the things you really wanted to do? Oh sure, I thought about it, but I was just to paralyzed by the fear of what would happen to me if caught that I simply did nothing, and took whatever they dished out.

What I am getting at in all of this is that most of you did not have a childhood like this, but you did have one, and did a lot of the same things I did, and felt a lot of the same way I did too, right? No? Okay, so I was "sheltered" as a child. Does that mean that now I don't have any idea of what goes on? Of what  people are like? Quite the contrary. I spent the greater part of my childhood observing, unable to participate. Watching others while they did what I wanted so badly to do, and observed as they succeeded or failed, and how they reacted to it. And when my father wasn't angry at me for something, he was doing a bang up job of teaching me stuff about how he saw people, and what he thought life was about. He is and was to me a good judge of character, he had a job that required him to be one. The president of the local chapter of the union in the chemical plant. AFL-CIO or something. He was the guy that had to get the management of the company and the representatives of the members of the union to sit down and agree on plans of action to deal with grievances from folks on either side. He was an kind of arbiter. Of course he was also one of those union members, a common worker in the plant, so it was in his best interest to make things work. So I did find out a thing or two about how people settle arguments, how to use logic instead of worrying about how you feel about something, and how to determine that this guy or that guy is lying through his teeth, he has no intention of doing what he says. I gained a lot of knowledge on basic human emotions, and how people deal with them, especially in a perceived "volatile" environment.

Oh and we did go camping as a family every summer, so I was taught how to fish and build a fire and basically live without technology (well most of it anyway). And we went to all the historical monuments and tourist attractions up and down the east coast it seemed and went to Niagara Falls, so I did get out and "see the world" in some respects. Sheltered, yes, maybe, but there were lots of places I went, and things I saw and did that the other kids surely didn't see or do, not all of them at least.

It has been 20 years since I left home, but of course the memories are still there, and the upbringing I had has shaped me into what I am today. I have lived another lifetime since then, and probably learned double what I did in that time. My ideas about how people in general will behave under certain circumstances has not changed very much, but has been augmented by 20 more years of life experience.

All this talking and I still haven't said what I meant to say in the beginning. I believe that each of us is the same, we all have the same basic emotions and the same desires for our lives. What is different is which of those emotions we have decided to make as the core of who we are. Even someone who appears to be unemotional has in fact decided to be apathetic, which IS an emotion. Mine for most of my life was fear. Now it's more love than anything else, but until very recently I was even fearful about that. Either way, in reading blogs, or observing and listening to people as I go through life, I find myself more and more realizing that I am not that much different than everyone else, except in the way I have chosen to take my experiences and incorporate them into my interactions with others. My feelings are much the same. So before I judge someone for showing a feeling I think is "wrong" for a situation, I'm going to sit back and think if I were them, with their life, would I not do the same? My reactions internally say I feel one feeling, but I've been taught to show something else. Or maybe I've been taught to show exactly the emotion I feel, and to show it to the extreme. Feelings are never wrong or right, they are what we are, and we are just a product of our experiences. My experiences might be different, but my feelings are the same, and I think I might just feel the same way as you.

November 9, 2009

There's this post.......

There's this post going around in my head.

It's about the way I see the world, what I've observed in people. I want it to be concise, and be in order, so no one gets confused. The timetable needs to be linear.

Some things I can't get out. They just are thoughts that rattle around in my head from day to day, random observations, feelings really. I've been alive for 38 years, and done a lot of observing. I'm also very good at recognizing patterns. And people have patterns. Patterns of attitude, of actions, reactions in a given situation.

My dad told me once that times change but people don't. People, whether it be the 21st century, or the 16th, have the same desires, the same emotions, the same attitudes. Only the date has changed, and maybe a little technology.

So armed with this knowledge, and having studied history, and from my own observations, I have a catalogue in my head of sorts of different types of people.

You know, the loud obnoxious ones, the quiet but oh so deep ones, the ones that seem to be friends with everyone and have a great life on the surface but behind closed doors they are a psychopath? The drama queen, the guy who thinks he's some kind of gift to women, the nerdy dude who has NO clue he could be with women if he would just loosen his tie.

I meet new people, and within 5 or 10 minutes of talking to them, I have them in one of these boxes in my head. Oh he's one of those guys, better watch I don't act too overly concerned with him. She's such a ditz, bet she can't even get around her house without a GPS. I do this stuff a lot, put things in boxes. It's the way my brain processes information.

I really wish I could post about it. I feel like I need to get my thoughts on paper, or at least electronic paper, but I just can't seem to get started on it.

People just piss me off sometimes. I'm nice and sweet on the outside, but on the inside I am just as selfish as anyone else. I want stuff to go my way too. I have a duality to me, kind and caring, but inside cruel and completely uncaring.

I'm like everyone else, show my nice side to the world, but inside, I'm saying "What the f--- do I care?" 

I've studied humans my whole life, and we go through this life never thinking that others may have the same problems and feelings as us. We are always alone in our own minds. Trouble is, every damned one of us is in the same boat. Ok, so you have had different experiences than me. Does that mean I can't possibly know how you may be feeling? So even if I had a different experience but found I had the same emotion means I don't understand where you are? "No, you don't understand, you just have to go through that to know."

Pfft. Whatever. Why do we have to even be selfish about our emotions? Just let me feel it with you, let me care, or not care, but don't shut me out. I bet there is another guy right now, maybe next door, or on the other side of the world, having the same problem I have right now. Who am I to say, "No, you can't be feeling like me!"? "You don't know how it feels."

I really wish I could get the post started. I have the need to tell someone how I feel.

I've been rolling it around in my head for a long time now, but it seems I'm not able to get the thoughts together enough to make a good post about it.

No one is immune to this. No one. I don't care how f---ing emotional you think you are or not, you are like this. The voice in your head that is right now saying either "wow he's saying exactly what I feel" or "this dude is so fake, he's made us think he's so sweet and look at him, I knew it!" Admit it, it may not be the exact words, but something along those lines has crossed your mind while reading this. Which is exactly my point. Every single one of us has the same attitudes and emotions, no matter how old or young we are. Some of you are in your 20s, just starting out in life. Some of you are a little older, looking at more days behind than there are ahead. But all of us get angry, get scared, get bored, we love, we hate, and sometimes, just feel like "blah".

Man I really wish I could get this in a post. This is some really good stuff.

How many times do I have to hear about someone falling in love before it becomes the same as my love? Oh but no, the love I have for my significant other is somehow different. No one has this feeling but us! Oh I bet you don't feel like we do, there is NO way you could. 

Same goes for the "bad" emotions. I've never been so scared in my life! I can't write about this, what if everyone hates me, and I lose all my followers? Everyone will think I'm such an a--hole! You can't possibly know how it feels to be me! 

Well guess what people. You DO know how I feel. Every time you set out to write a post, you feel just like I do. You are scared. You do think you will lose people. Oh sure, to varying degrees it may seem different, but the raw emotion is the same.

Sometimes you don't care. You don't say it, but you are just like me. You just don't want to hear it. Right now, if you are reading this, and you feel that way, go ahead, stop reading! How am I ever going to know it? BUT, if you are like me, and I know you ARE if you are human, you won't stop. Morbid curiosity overrides any and all other emotions. Gotcha there too don't I? You just can't stop reading, you want to know how it ends, because (and I could say deep down right now because that's what you expect but it's really not that deep is it?) you are just like me and you want to see if I feel like you do.

Man why can't I just start a post about this?

All day long, every day, I see and read and hear about what people are going through and how they feel. So what's wrong with me feeling the same way too? What if I don't want to hear it today? What if I love you more than anyone I've ever loved and I can't tell you? What if I'm scared to death, or want to cry, or don't want to cry, is that so wrong? You and I are more alike than you know, and I mean you. Yeah, you, the one staring at the computer screen. Do you think because your life is different you don't feel the emotions I feel? Well think again. Do I think you are reading this and for the first time in your life are realizing we are all the same? Truth is, I don't care. I felt like writing and this is what came out. Tell me you haven't ever done it. Oh and feel free to beat me up in the comments, there's lots I haven't said here. Of course you could also tell me you loved it too, or if you like, don't comment at all, because you just don't care either way.

Well I tell you, maybe someday I'll get this in a post. It's so hard to write about this, I just hope that someday I find the words.

November 8, 2009

I had a post

I had a post, but now it's gone, I guess it will wait till morn.

All the words were in my head, but now I must go on to bed.

Maybe next time I won't wait, but write my thoughts all neat and straight.

If ever I come up with what I had, I'm really hoping it will make you glad.

And so my note shall end like this, I hope your night is filled with bliss.

November 7, 2009

Whispers of gods

Another night, or is it morning?

The sounds, the whispers of the gods

They sound like dreams, they come to tell me

Hear our call, the world is changing

Every action, thought, and feeling

Is all connected, it all has meaning

Keep yourself quiet, keep aware

And you will see why you should care

Each word, each feeling, all has its purpose

Has links to present, past, future; I'm seeing

I know not what thread am I

In the tapestry of life ever weaving

Change is constant, change is certain

Some brings comfort, some brings pain

The darkness comes; lightning, rain

I feel a loss, I feel a gain, what is this feeling?


November 6, 2009

The elements; and, more randomness

Well here I am again, writing in the wee hours of the morning.

I was pleasantly surprised this morning by all the comments I had on my "Randomization" post. Seems I shall have to try that again. Thanks everyone for your continued support!

I've been thinking a lot lately about how the four elements (air, fire, earth, and water)work together in nature, or in everyday life, and what happens if all 4 are combined.

I realized just a few minutes ago how simple it could be.

Try boiling a pot of water.

The pot can be thought of as earth, as it is made of metals from the earth.

The water is of course self explanatory.

The fire is as well, even if you are using an electric stove.

The air is also evident, as the water reaches boiling point.

All four elements, all present at the same time.

Not unlike the planet "Earth" itself.

The earth or crust is the "vessel" that holds the vast oceans of water that bring life to this planet.

The fires of lava underneath that warm and bring energy and movement to the earth above, for without this, the planet would die.

The air above, and within the earth, giving us protection from the bleakness of space, and providing key elements to the continuation of life.

All four elements, constantly working together, mixing, churning, being.

What are we, other than part of this entity that is "Earth"? All of us made of the four elements the same as she, and so she must be like us, just as conscious, just as alive.

It's funny that with all of our "technology" in the 21st century that we have forgotten the most basic of all truths that our ancestors took for granted. The earth is alive, she is conscious, every part of her, just as we are. We are parts of the whole, and when a part of her is destroyed, part of us will suffer as well.

I think the next time I boil water I will say a few words to the earth to thank her for giving me this insight, and tell her I will do my part to take care of her, for in doing so, I will be taking care of myself, and vice versa.

So ends the philosophical portion of my post.

Now on to more random things.

Has anyone ever figured out WHY we drive on a parkway, and park on a driveway?

I sleep with a blanket with penguins on it.

My daughter's conferences turned up half good, half bad results out of 6 classes.

I think daffodils are pretty.

Our dog eats more from the garbage and drinks from the toilet more than his food and water bowls.

I think this is going to become a routine on my blog, and I'll call it Random Rants.

Perhaps I will start to capitalize every word that starts in "R".

If you use a boomerang as a weapon, and you actually hit someone, what do you use for your second shot for the next guy?

Death by chocolate ice cream sounds like a great way to go. Oh wait, that's the name of the flavor? Either way, I am so on that.

Right now I am not wearing a shirt.

Ever heard the joke "If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?"


Ok, one more.

I survived a collision with a truck while Riding my bike as a child, but only because the bike had a banana seat; the little bar securing the seat to the Rear wheel hub absorbed most of the impact.

If you want to see more of Random Rants, show me some comment love and I'll see about making it a Regular part of my Ranting Repertoire.


November 5, 2009


I have been thinking all day about posting, but I have had no idea what to post about.

I think I'll just say what I want to say, whatever comes to mind.

I still don't have a job, and the prospects don't look good.

And yet, I'm happy.

Life is going exactly as it should be.

Dogs don't know it's not bacon.

I am feeling the effects of advancing towards the age of 40.

When mowing around a garden, remember that watermelon plants crawl out of the bed.

Disturbed is one of the greatest bands in the history of music.

Snow is just frozen water.

Mac and PC are only different in their software, the hardware is almost identical.

I am learning every day that I know much less than I did when I was 20.

Tomato plants need LOTS of water.

Anyone else think that blogging at four in the morning is insane?

I need to clean my computer desk again.

There is a conference to go to at my seventh grader's school tomorrow, well tonight actually.

I want to go see the ocean, go out on a boat.

I miss Florida.

I had a dream about doing a tarot card reading last night.

I knew at one time what the capital of every state was by heart.

Yellow and blue DO in fact make green, just check out a toilet with one of those blue pellets in it.

The sink in the kitchen clogged up yesterday, the first time it's done that since it was put in two years ago.

My love life is not as important to me as it once was, and besides, it would help a whole lot if I got out of the relationship (if you can call it that) that I'm already in.

It gets dark so early now, I mean 4:30? Are you kidding?

I wonder if anyone will comment with the words "Great post!"?

Where in the world IS Carmen Sandiego?

If I go to a 5 star hotel, can I ask for fun size Snickers bars on my pillow instead of mints?

How many licks DOES it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll pop?

If I go to bed now, will I get enough sleep to be alert at 8 a.m.?

I'm going to go find out.

November 2, 2009

New Look!

Hey everyone out in blogland!

I've got a new look!

What do you think?

Feel free to post some comments for me, I'm considering this as my permanent layout aside from seasonal stuff.

I hope everyone had a safe and blessed Samhain!