Kick The Tires & Light The Fires

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I would like to say that I’ve been itching to get back here to The Sting Of The Scorpion Blog, but there would only be about 3% truth in that statement, and I would like for everyone to know that my year or so vacation has been just that, without one single withdrawal symptom to count. I know some of y’all are asking how could I not miss blogging about whatever crossed my mind at a given moment of a given day, and I would say it was actually easier to walk away from than I first thought because I was pretty addicted to doing as I pleased how I wanted to and when I wanted to. So, with that being said let’s kick the tires and light the fires. Yes, I will probably still misspell words, use improper grammar, cuss allot, and give my unwanted opinions. And no, I will not be announcing any kind of fucking format changes, I like the fringe too much to charge ahead changing shit that doesn’t need changing. I do, however, want to thank everyone for visiting over the past months, when I was posting I averaged 1200+ visitors a day and when I stopped that dropped to an average of 800+ visitors. Come to find out older material was still being re-blogged and commented on, people were still using links from other blogs and searching the world-wide web to find this blog. I would have to guess that 90% or better of the searched terms landed y’all here by accident because I tag the shit out of my posts and have something like 30,000+ tags in the cloud. Before I get started I would like to reach out to thank everyone who has continued to email me, text me, comment here, or just flat-out call me. It has been a constant reminder that I have left y’all hanging, that I abandoned my blog along with friends and followers, and that even though I may have been finished with one part that I wasn’t even close to being done yet.

Which is where we begin, deciding whether one is finished or one is done. I see your face already, giving me the looks of a disappointed parent before even giving me a chance to explain. But some of y’all already know the difference, some of y’all even use it on a daily basis, but the rest of y’all may think you’re learning something new, only to find out that it has a purpose in life. Most things I teach my children are lessons taught to me over the years, of course I’ve had the luxury of picking and choosing what works for me, but I have a nice collection of “tools” in this weathered shed that have come in handy over the years. The best example of all of this nonsense we call living out our lives is knowing without fail if I am finished or if I am done. While i find it super simple, I will explain. Imagine if you will, for those who can, that you picked up a great book to read, a thick book with many chapters, a book which will probably take weeks if not months to get to the end. You’ve set aside a few hours to read and decide at the end of the first chapter that you need a break. Now ask yourself, are you finished or are you done. For those playing along, you are merely finished for the time being. To be done one needs to make it to the end, signifying being done. Being finished or done applies to everything, yes I said everything, from conversations and conflicts, from getting dressed to showering, from going on a trip to doing your daily routine, it applies everywhere. Just think how much simpler life would be if everyone on the planet applied being finished or being done to everything they do. It simplifies my life to say the very least.

Is is hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that it really has been an entire year. A year without blogging? A year without any social media? My calendar says it’s true, so it must be true, right? Getting back into gear has proven to be rather challenging to say the very least about the matter. Anyway, I think the vacation has done me well, as well as well can be, it’s been a crazy busy year with many twisted turns, some expected and some real surprises.

Before I get into the past year let’s look at the present, today is a great day to discuss. So, it appears my blogcatalog account is still up but I can’t get into because I don’t have the password so I’m trying to get it resolved or reset. Same goes for Twitter and Google+, I can see the pages but can’t get logged in. As far as Facebook and the Facebook fan page, same scenario, with the exception that they want me to update my information with proof of photo identification to show I’m a real human or something to that extent. Personally, I say piss on it all because in reality it was the chore up updating social media which was one of my biggest problems, leaving me very out of focus doing my blog. For what I ask? To promote something that nobody cares about, that’s the answer we’re going for. I knew since day one that this blog was merely one in billions or more. So, my decision has been made, if I’m to give this shit a go again then it’s going to be on my terms alone. I’m taking it back to basics, taking it back to my boring ass life and lifestyle, and writing about the shit that matters to me personally and what might be in or around my life.

Now, as I mentioned above, many people have continued to email and text me and for some reason it has convinced me to try again. I know, I’m trying to figure out what it is that they or y’all are missing, but thanks for the encouragement and the poking and prodding and general enthusiasm, I really do appreciate it, so we can see how it goes. I guess the next thing to do is bring everyone up to speed and then I will get into some really deep shit in coming posts.

Well, I recall mentioning that I became a “minister” so I could fulfill the request of my oldest daughter to officiate her wedding up in South Dakota. And, last summer I did exactly that. In all, the ceremony was easy, it was the whole marrying off my daughter that proved to be the challenge. It was an eventful trip to say the very least, but that will be the next post, because we had the wedding, but we also had a very life altering medical emergency with my wife as well. Just know everyone is well now. So, speaking of marriage ceremonies, something I figured I would not be doing again until probably my son’s marriage if that would be what they wanted, but I found out that plan had quite a few holes in it as it would happen. Therefore, to date, not counting my daughter’s wedding, I’ve officiated 6 other marriages and 3 same sex marriages (female to female). Not that the kinds of marriage ceremonies actually matter, but there are still a few of y’all out there that have the idea that I’m anti-gay, a racist, anti-religion, and against so much other shit. All I can say is live your life as you see fit. Anyway, all the weddings mentioned approached me personally through word of mouth. This is not why i was ordained, but I considered everything and moved forward. Let’s just say I was given the opportunity to witness the other sides of people as they prepared for the big day. We’ll discuss more later in regards to weddings, trust me.

So, a quick review. I’m still married, just celebrated 18 years last month. I’m still working at the same place doing the same thing on the same shift, more to come on that topic too. I’ve just started parent taught driver’s education with my soon to be 16 y/o son. We, as a family, as a whole, are just living life one day at a time. In one of the next posts I will elaborate on my medical health.

But I think for now this can end as a post since I actually do know how boring I really am. So, I guess this is my way of saying that upon my return I don’t really care if the haters have their big girl panties on or not. My opinions have not changed much, if any, there are still too many fucktards out roaming around out of control that I come in to contact with more often than not. With that being said, remember boys and girls to eat it every day.

Since The Dust Has Settled

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After some time of reflection, after some time “away” from blogging, after some time to get my collective shit together, I have seen and reviewed some interesting opinions with some interesting points of view, being somewhat responsible for me even doing a written post today, I had no intention, but here we are again. I will begin by saying I do not owe a single motherfucker an apology, as I will not apologize because my opinions differ from someone else. If that were the damn case, then I would be sitting here, in silence and protest, waiting for many apologies. But I’m not, I support your will and right to have opinions which doesn’t mean they won’t differ from my own or mean I like them, but they are yours, and mine are mine. When does passion for something, anything really, get lost in “translation”? When does a simple speech turn into a sermon?

Y’all are probably thinking I will be taking about more emails in this post, but I’m not going to mention the good, the bad, or even the ugly ones. Not today, not this time, not that they actually matter anyway. This post here is merely an observational exploration into what I can statically know, which means it is truly like starting from the first floor, I would say, under the basement, but all is not lost and I’m not actually starting over since the close to 3000 posts are still available to view or read. However, fans, followers, passers by, casual readers, and yes of course, even the haters have made an overall impact on my blog statistics. Meaning that my blog went from an average of 3500 visitors per day, not views, but unique visitors, to an average of 7 per day. Quite a drop, on average, in one week’s time, if you’re to be asking me, I’m just saying. Unfortunately, having an unpopular opinion has led be back to where I once started. Which, in all actuality, is where it was nice for me. I would write, post pictures, criticize shit I don’t like, validate who I do like, and worried only about one critic, me. But, here I sit another day, still breathing, still with a will and want to post whatever in the fuck I want to post, saying whatever in the fuck I want, and not giving in to anyone except myself. If this means getting blocked or shutdown on social media like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or on Blogcatalog, then so be it. My plans are not to “publicize” my posts any longer, which means it will only show up, besides my blog, on the WordPress Reader or on other people’s blog that show live feed updates who still have my link active. Meaning? I’m not informing anywhere with updates, I’m no longer inviting people to visit or share, unless it otherwise happens automatically I will no longer be making the effort. End of story. If you want to see what is happening here you will visit on your own accord, not mine. I guess the blame would be on the visitors then, for making poor choices.

What will change here? Minor things mostly, but more freedom on my end to post what in the fuck I want to post how in the fuck I want to post it, a simple yet complicated gesture on my part. No longer will photos be edited or censored, fuck self censorship, we will now be a come as you are blog and a blog where I post whatever in the hell I’m in the mood to post. And, y’all are right, my choices in format and censorship do not mean shit to nobody except me, but I like to inform people in advance so fewer people get butthurt down the road. Ah, the road, the path in which I still enjoy my freedom to choose which direction I will travel at any given moment in time.

Anyway, if you are reading this post then you are here, you are at The Sting Of The Scorpion Blog, my home away from home, a place that is mine to decorate as I see fit. Stay as long as you like, there is no bar or buffet, no stools or places to sit, there is no live entertainment for you to see, a simple place to visit with simple ideas. The Sting Of The Scorpion Blog isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it is my tequila laden margarita that I enjoy and it entertains me, so problem solved.

When There Is No End In Sight

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I understand that many people on this planet rely heavily on stories they see on social media (I.e., Facebook, Twitter, Google+, ect.) as being actual news and that people choose their “side” on an issue based on the opinions of others. Unfortunately, y’all, not all, but many, will agree with me that social media has ruined everyone’s collective perspective on the world around us, a social choice has been made to remain being led by their noses. I did not nor will I superimpose anything French on any profile picture I have anywhere for any reason. This does not mean I do not feel sympathy for the dead or the survivors as many claim, it means I choose not to give in to games people play or the pressure people feel from the presence of “friends” not wanting to be left out. I rarely speak out about my political or religious opinions because, like many, I feel it falls on deaf ears.

But, now I will, now I will jump on my soapbox, now I will say the unpopular things, the insensitive things, the un-fuckingpolitically correct things, and the things that many are thinking but are afraid to say outloud. We, the people of the United States of America, have big problems that no politicians want to solve with already having an open borders policy. I personally live in a city where our homeless, many of which are our veterans, go dismissed on a daily basis because there is no money to support them. Yet, I watch as people flood across our borders get everything they need to survive because they are some sort of “refugee”, a term I will use very loosely here, and have little or nothing to go back to if they are turned away. For some reason it makes me less of a human being when I say enough is enough. There has and always will be some form of some kind of crisis in the world which makes people want to flee their nation, whether it be political, social, financial, natural disasters, or war. In every corner of the globe there are reasons to flee, to start over some place new, and to bring their problems with them. We don’t live in a world where everyone wants to be friends, holding hands by the campfire, and singing kumbaya. We live in a world of conquest, a world where the weak are preyed upon for one of thousands of reasons. We as Americans cannot stop this globally, but we damn sure should give it a shot here on U.S. soil. But we don’t, we reach out to the world to give it a tight hug eventhough we know we will be stabbed in the back. Reading this morning I see even more states have decided to go against the President and refuse to allow refugees, I applaud them, they should have been doing this long ago, we have our own people in need right here and right now. No, not every single refugee is a terrorist, but why take chances, why not be fearful of a sheep in wolves clothing, why not worry about our problems first? I’ll tell you why, fear. The United States of America has some pretty fucked up foreign and domestic policies that the government rams down our throats daily and most people thank them asking, “sir may I have another?”. Why? Fear, that’s why, fear. We are not the world’s police force, our military is a very misused tool eventhough our military took an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States of America. I’m getting off base here, so let me touch back a moment, allowing more displaced refugees to enter the United States of America is a mistake, it invites everything everyone says we are fighting against into our backyard. Why? Go ahead, ask yourself why, ask yourself why it is a fantastic idea, and then sit back and watch.

The world is full of terror and terrible people, there is no collective place of safety anywhere, but this is our world to live upon and we need to start standing up and taking back what doesn’t belong to anyone else. But we won’t, its not politically correct, its not the christian thing to do, its not the politicians point of view, and its just plain wrong to sit back and watch. Bullshit. But your wrong if you think I don’t care, because I do, but I have my priorities in place, I put my families survival first, I see no reason at all, not one, why I should put my family at risk. Call me selfish, but their safety comes first, being able to feed them comes first, assuring their livelihood comes first, and seeing that I have others to battle for those things already I have no room in my life for more problems. Yes, I’m a cold hearted motherfucker because I personally don’t want or see the purpose of putting myself, my family, or other Americans further down the food chain because our President thinks it’s a grand plan. We have far too much domestic garbage on our plates, we need not invite more. With that being said, I do feel pain and sorrow for the people of France, for the lives lost and changed forever, and also that now they are forced to rely on the world to help reap their revenge. When will it stop? Where will the line be drawn this time? Your right, it will never end, somewhere there is always war, somewhere there is a government out of control, and the world will continue to lose lives, money, resources as she continues to grow and evolve. But you don’t give a shit about the future, your compassion is called upon once again to guilt you into the belief that we must stop our own lives to accept the problems others in the world have created. But wait, why is the United States of America getting involved to begin with? Asked yourself that yet? The United States of America doesn’t do shit ever unless they there is something politically to gain from it. Not you and I gain something, but the government gaining something. What is it they hope to gain now? Shall they write more checks from our checking account to cover the expenses? There is no end in sight. Let’s now look at what is happening, let’s look at the road we are being led down today, so let’s look internationally a moment at France’s use of Article 42.7 of the Treaty on European Union.

Article 42.7… Much like NATO’s Article 5 Defense Clause, France has chosen to rely on its European neighbors and followed through with Article 42.7 of the Treaty on European Union. So what does this mean? Since Article 42.7 is consistent with commitments under NATO; the only conclusion would be France doesn’t want American involvement; considering Article 222 of the Treaty specifies; “the union and its member states shall act jointly in a spirit of solidarity if a member state is the object of a terrorist attack or the victim of a natural or man-made disaster. The union shall mobilize all the instruments at its disposal, including the military resources made available by the member states.” And understand this, France was attacked by ISIS and American involvement in Syria hasn’t REMOVED ISIS; why? Because the Obama Administration isn’t interested in removing ISIS, this Administration is only focused on a Regime change in Syria; i.e. removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. And this Administrations involvement HAS and WILL make things worse. Consider this, the 5,000 “Moderate” Syrian Fighters being trained in Saudi Arabia will only become the NEW ISIS fighters in Syria within a few months. All at the cost of U.S. Taxpayers to the tune of 15 Billion Dollars. Look at it like this, British Survivor of the Terrorist Attack at the Bataclan Theatre, France, witnessed ISIS terrorist using knives to torture their mortally wounded victims by slitting their stomachs as they lay on the floor. Think about that for a minute… Allow that to sink in a fucking minute. This Administration is continuing to develop the fighters that will fill the ranks of ISIS and WE ARE PAYING FOR IT TO HAPPEN… And you think it ends there? Ask yourself this, how come 2,098 Syrian Muslims are allowed to FLEE Syria and come into the United States but only 53 Syrian Christians have been allowed in? But the President, OUR ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES said this at the G20 Summit, “We don’t have religious tests to our compassion. We do not close our hearts to these victims of such violence and somehow start equating the issue of refugees with the issue of terrorism.” And if you TRULY BELIEVE it’s all Obama’s fault, THEN WHY IS HE STILL IN OFFICE? Why hasn’t your State Representative in D.C. filled for impeachment? Why? Because they too DO NOT CARE about you or I. It’s time to wake up and see that Americans are not who they are interested in, because if they were, the United States of America would be a different place right now. Believe me, I don’t blame a certain President, he is not the blame for the state of the Union, but he is responsible for his policies and the continuation of policies from decades of other corrupted politicians. Daily we are asked to put our lives in the hands of people who don’t care about you and I, I only am asking why we still do it, why do we trust people who do not have our interests in mind, and why do we continue to elect people who keep fucking us all over?

In the end, I’m very fucking displeased with people, in general, right now. The United States of America is being jammed down the toilet politically and financially already, perhaps if the politicians and the people of this great Nation keep flushing it hard enough we will become a place nobody wants to come to legally, or flee to, and we will continue to evolve into a nation of politics and policies which has fucked it’s people into poverty unable to ever recover. Yes I’m fucking pissed, yes I’m done, and yes, if we as a Nation are not willing to unfuck generations of corruption in our government and big businesses then we will never see the end of the greed which we so proudly support. The decision is yours to want to lead or to follow, that choice cannot be made for you, the mistakes we are making as a Nation makes us appear as fools to our enemies. Every breath you take is being watched right now, history books are being written right now, and when we look back we can all hang our heads in shame together.

I’m done posting my normal day to day stuff here for a while, I’m tired of this whole pointless blogging thing, but before I stopped for a bit on the regular shit I had the above to say. I’m not here on this planet for the politicians to decide my fate in life and I have a feeling this post may raise more than one fucking eyebrow, but it all needed to be said, it all needed to be heard, and I stand behind it 100%. If you feel this is the end of our relationship I understand. If you feel that you must bitch at me for “keeping it fucking real” don’t bother. In my opinion, one way or another we are fucked because most people just don’t care anymore. I don’t know if I’m ready to put my soapbox away yet, there is much more I wish to discuss which I have stayed silent about for far too long. It’s all fun and games until the scorpion is backed into a corner. Live well my friends, live well while you still can, and if you read this and you are mad, merely thank me because you are fucking welcome.

Try To Understand My Point Of View

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Through many, many private messages, text messages, and emails today I have been asked why I’m not falling in ranks by updating my profile picture everywhere with a picture of myself in the military. Hmmm, well, today is no different than any other day that I enjoy a fair amount of anonymity since my blog, my personal life, and professional lives usually only cross because words are spoken. If it helps, I’m a 6’8″, 230#, white, going gray, dark brown eyes, prior military service, Texan, 47 year old of the male species of the human race. Now you should be able to pick me out of a crowd, right? So, all y’all get is a mental picture unless you were lucky in the past and actually saw 2 I posted before. If not, you’re sincerely shit out of luck. With all of that being said, I cannot apologize for my lack of personal pictures, they just don’t exist on the internet, I’ve tried hard to keep it that way. To tell y’all the truth, there aren’t that many pictures of me in existence for one reason or another.

I Was Walking In A Circle

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I realized that my feet felt as if they weighed a ton a piece, looking down I see that I’m wading through a foot of thick mud, going towards what appeared to be the direction I was drawn to head. The closer it seemed I would get to my destination I would notice the distance increase. I was carrying a bag which seemed to get heavier by the step, I wonder what I could be carrying that could weigh so much, I wanted to open the bag but in the darkness I don’t know how I would see inside. Hearing the loud crashes of thunder I wanted to move faster, I wanted to find shelter, as I watched the flashes of lightning in the distance I wanted to get away from the tall trees, but the flashes got brighter and the thickness of trees only increased, the more I pushed the more trees I can see. Hours seem to pass before my surroundings begin to seem familiar, I’ve been here before, and before that I was here also, but where is here, why do I keep coming back, I keep finding the same path, leading me to the same damn place, I’ve been here but this place is not familiar, it’s darkness reminds me of having my eyes closed, unable to see, only being able to hear, to feel, and smell the rot in the humid air. What is that familiar smell, why do I know the soothing scent, it is pleasing to me, it makes me feel secure in a place I should know but don’t recognize. As I rest I feel each drop of the rain touch my face, rolling down the skin like warm tears. In my mind I hear Freebird, it’s loud and I hear it echo in the trees, I need to start moving now, I need to get to a safer place, this place smells of death, it smells of rotting corpses, there are thousands of them. As the light of day breaks I can see the bodies I’m walking on, wading through like mud, the blood is over the top of my boots, it’s weight is increasing with every step, I look down and see the faces, faces that didn’t see what had killed them, I know what killed them, I know what the thunder is, I know the lightning flashes, I know what has happened.

As I sit in my recliner with my eyes closed shut, telling my wife for the first time ever what it was like to see the destruction as a result of what I did while in the Air Force. The reality of it is that it isn’t a forest, it is a desert, it is a place I never want to return to, and rarely, if never, talk about it. I’ve been married for 16 years, to a wife that came along after the Air Force, she just doesn’t want to understand, and I’m okay with that. The mere fact that I’m writing about it amazes me, it still hurts, it is still fresh when I close my eyes, and I fear there are not enough pleasant memories ahead to knock it the fuck out. I spent years detached from the reality that the weapons I helped build destroyed life and property, it wasn’t me pulling the trigger, it wasn’t me hitting the target, but a simple walk down a deserted street after a carpet bombing the night before let reality set in, no longer was I detached, no longer was I innocent, and I knew then changes needed to happen or I would lose my mind. Like a good soldier I pressed forward, putting behind me horrors that cannot be unseen or forgotten. What gets seen cannot be unseen, unfortunately it is very true. My wife wants me to talk to a headshrinker, I opted out. And now I see, once again, talking about it isn’t worth a fuck, I just leave more out each time. I hope that in time, preferably before my wife has me cremated, that I just forgot about the shit and everyone else forgets it as well.

When I talk about Desert Storm and later The Liberation of Kuwait it is to educate myself and others about how the real world is, beyond the news, beyond the media, beyond what the politicians think they know. There is zero reasons I should feel guilty for being a part of the machine which is called the military. I took responsibility for my personal contributions while in the Air Force, I do not blame others, there was no gun to my head, I served, fuck it, I’m a proud veteran, I can’t ever take it back. Some of y’all understand my pain, the rest of all will never have a fucking clue, y’all are the lucky ones, the innocent ones, the ones who close their eyes without fear. Anyway, to my wife who is reading this post, I hope this has helped you, at least a little. I never asked to be anyone’s hero, I never asked for people to thank me, I never asked for people to want to take a picture with me if they find out I’m a disabled veteran, I just joined the Air Force because I wanted to serve my country because I thought I could and would make a difference. But, I can’t fix stupid and stupid wanted a robot who didn’t care, that person is not me.

Before I go, let me tell you about the one and only time my ex-wife was able to pry out of me what I didn’t want open. Y’all see, she was studying to become a sociologist and well on her way to being a social worker, she thought we could talk about it, that I would be comfortable knowing that she, of all people, would not pass judgment. When I was done talking she was in tears, she was appalled that I was part of the organization which promotes peace through the use of violence, she told me she was ashamed to be in the same room with me, ashamed to share a last name with me in marriage, and that one day I will pay for my sins of being a baby killer in the deepest, darkest parts of hell, a place reserved for rapists and paedophiles. At first I believed she was right, it matches how I feel, but soon I realized that I am a simple person who was not looking for redemption or forgiveness, I wasn’t even looking for understanding, I just wanted to know if the words I would speak would or could sound like the thoughts in my head or the memories I have or how I feel deep down in that part of me nobody gets to witness, ever. Shit goes there to be buried and forgotten, it takes time to dig it up, nobody quite understands that, scratch that, some do understand, those are the people who don’t have physical scarring but are somewhat fucked in every other way, we know what each other are thinking, not even we understand so we don’t expect others to either. We don’t look for eyes or words if pity, we do appreciate it when others respect us enough as human beings just to let things be.

My wife hugged me, long and tight, not a word spoken, with tears down her face, she told me I’m home, I’m with people whom I love and that love me, support me, and care about me. That was the best hug I have had to this day in my life, a memory I will forever cherish. My message to my wife and to my son who will read this post later is that life happens every minute of every day, take time to see the scenery, smell the rain in the distance, we only have one shot at this life so we better live it to the fullest. My daughters give me their support as well, still I wonder if they really understand or if I just get the nod. This, unless something snaps again, will probably be the last time I discuss any of this on a personal level, this shit sucks to remember, to relive, and to talk about. Some call blogging “therapy”, and it is, but not today, today is more like anger management for me. Remember, no pictures please, ever, for any reason.

Even I Get Shocked Occasionally

wpid-20150831_145108.jpgAs a parent there are just things I don’t worry about my children doing. As a parent there are things that I would be shocked if I knew my children are doing it. We live in a much different time than when I was 19, it was “simple” then, social media and texting consisted of passing notes, gossiping, and telephone calls from the living room family phone. Today everything is digital, as fast as hitting the send/post button. Yes, it makes “sharing” life’s little details quick and effortless, but at what cost to us personally, because once it’s on the internet it is there forever, and forever is a fucking long time. So, where am I getting with all of this information? Well, quite honestly, I got the shock of a lifetime a few weeks ago and I’m just getting the time (making the time) to tell this little story that hits real close to home.

My social media circle of “friends” differs a great deal from my kids, eventhough they follow me, I do not follow them, I don’t even look at their pages unless I get forwarded something one of them thinks I need to know for the humor aspect or ideas for me to write about here, it’s rare, trust me. But, a few weeks ago I get an invitation to see a friend of my 19 year old daughter’s page with a all caps OMG added in for good measure. I actually didn’t look at it the same day, I was asked if I saw it a few days later, so I went and checked it out, and yes, OMG fit, more like OMFG I don’t believe what I’m seeing was more appropriate. I was full on shocked, no doubt about it, my fucking jaw dropped in one second flat because I never expected to see what I was looking at. Of course, Facebook has strict rules, so I saw only some blurred out images, but I followed the link, something I still regret to this day, since there are things, as a parent, I don’t need or want to see, ever.

We have lived in basically the name area for the last 16 years, meaning my kids have had friends for a long time that all spent a great deal of time at my house, I’ve watched most of them grow into young adults. For many years my middle daughter (19) had a best friend, more like sister, she was raised by her aunt and uncle since age 5 when her parents were hit by a drunk driver and killed instantly. She spent allot of time at my house as the years went by and when she wasn’t, she was dearly missed. About a year ago, she moved away to North Carolina and the distance really caused a falling out in their friendship, reduced mostly to stalking each other’s life on Facebook. Which is where I got dragged into it. It was her wall I got the link to, it was what I saw there that shocked me, I mean really, really shocked. As I mentioned, there are things left better unseen. I know, ok, let’s get to it.

Upon arrival at her wall I see pictures of her, in the nude, blurred out of course, but one could still get the jist of the obscured pictures. Like a dumbass I followed the link to the full sets of pictures. It would appear that she had posed for a very popular men’s magazine, which I won’t name by name, hope ol’ Hef won’t be pissed, a few months ago. Now, with that being said, who am I to judge her for her own personal decisions? She’s an adult and entitled to make her own mind up what she will do in her life. It really caught me by surprise though, it was not what I was expecting to be seeing. What will make life interesting is the fact that she will be in town visiting her family in late September and I was recently informed that she will be stopping by to say “hi”.

Now, as a father, I have many questions and/or statements to make. Taking my past experiences into consideration we can all say I’m not necessarily innocent when it comes to the adult entertainment industry and lifestyle, I’ve been around the block more than once. My wife asked me how it would make me feel if that was either one of my daughters. Honestly, I don’t know the answer. I really don’t. I would be shocked, of course, but hopefully I would be supporting of the decisions. How does one answer that question under hypothetical conditions? I know one thing for sure, as I mentioned before, as soon as it is on the internet it’s going to be on the internet forever. Of course, what she has done is also available in print, still being sold in a local store near you and I. This is all I know, we make choices, we make changes, and we live our lives as we see fit. In more ways than I will lay out here, I’m proud of her and support her, not just because she’s like family, but because she deserves to have what she wants in life. So many people don’t follow dreams and aspirations, they jump into the line with the rest of the conformists and just muddle through life, not knowing if they are happy or not unless someone tells them so. And, like so many other things, this post is over. Hopefully it has given y’all something to think about, to consider, and that you realize that EVERY picture of a naked female you ever see is somebody’s daughter, think about it.

Those Damn Teenage Years

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In a recent conversation with my soon to be fourteen year old son, I was reminded of my youth, the choices I was forced to make, and how rough it really is being that age. I like to think I’m taking a different approach to parenting than the approach my parents took with me, I was raised in a wrath of God house by two very devout Catholics with closet human tendencies. Of course, my wife and my style differs from many parents as I’m told. I also get told I’m doing it wrong, the parents are the boss. Before you assume way to much here, I’m not the “friend” parent type. I am the type of parent who has instilled justifiable fear into his children, after all they live in my house, sleep in my house, and scary shit happens when you least expect it. Anyway, I’ve tried very hard to not raise quitters in a society where quitting has become the norm. I believe in self esteem because without it you have little control of your inward or outward emotions. But, we all get to the point where we start asking when is enough going to be enough, when will the madness end, and why can’t this be easier.

We all have given up at some point. All of us at a certain point have stopped believing that we’ll be able to make it. Some of us have done it often, some just very few times, but all of us know how it feels.The  sad fact is that most of us give up far too soon.My son explained to me that he was thinking the other day, why does he actually give up? What are his most common reasons and are there any ways to get around those reasons for giving up?

He thinks discouragement is the biggest reason for quitting and failure. No matter what you have decided to do, as soon as you share it with people there will be at least few who will tell you that YOU Can’t Do it and come up with different reasons about why it can’t be done. At that point you may decide to give up the idea even before giving it a try.  Instead of thinking about giving up think about how are you going to prove all those people wrong.  In fact proving those who doubt me wrong has been pretty good motivation for me so far, I have spent a lifetime trying to stay on top of my game. As well, if you don’t believe in yourself you will always be tempted to give up because you won’t believe in your success. The self-doubt will be keeping you from pushing forward.

I somehow thought that I was not strong enough to make my dreams come true, but then there was a shift in mindset which sort of set me free. And it was one simple realization. The realization that none of the people who have succeeded are better than me. They worked harder, they were persistent and they believed in their dreams, but they were not actually better, just approached life differently, as most of us do. These days there are so many distractions… Social media, TV series, and different smart phone notifications not letting you focus on the important things. If you don’t keep focus on your goal you will end up with insufficient results and that will discourage you even further. But, as I discussed with my son, social media didn’t exist when I was growing up, none of this shit did. My social media was friends and family. My internet was called “the outdoors”, I earned my allowance by being a part of the family unit team. Unlike today, parents give their children money to just leave them alone. As it is, in our house we are pretty tight, we do allot together on a very regular basis. On top of it all we have dinner together, every night, without fail. Also, no television is on, no cell phones are allowed at the table, and we talk or play games while we eat, there is fun and laughter, and it is also a time to gather to discuss more serious matters, if any.

That reminds me of yet another reason we, as humans, give up, we give up when we don’t get the immediate results. We all want things to happen fast and it is hard to realize that there are things that actually takes time. One can not have instant on and instant off like the flick of a light switch each and every time. Some things, to include pets and people, are more challenging, they take more time, things like trust and value in a person have to be developed and earned, which takes time. There is no such thing as overnight success so we have to keep in mind that it takes time and to be prepared not to give up.

When I am starting something new I am on fire. I am full of enthusiasm and I am motivated. But with the time things may start cooling off and at some point the self-motivation may not be enough to keep me moving. That is when I may think about giving up, that is when I need to go back to beginning and try to recall the big why. Why did I start that project in first place and what was initially motivating me? That brings me back on track most of the time. But still we need motivation, we still need the allure that there is a prize waiting for us at the end. No matter what kind of life you had, you are used to your own personal comfort zone and that brings you great comfort. Now when you have initiated changes you entered the stage of uncertainty and struggle, which by no means is comfortable. What makes me not giving up in those cases is the thought that once I get where I wanna be my new comfort zone will be a much better one. But, what I’ve learned over the years cannot be taught, it has to be experienced. This is my son’s struggle know, the learning curve, stepping out of the comfort zone, finding new experiences doing new things or with new people. Plus, he is at the beautiful age where he has really realized he really likes boobs. One more thing we have in common.

Anything worth achieving is hard. Yes the easiest option is to just give up, but then, will it be easy living with the regret that you gave up midway? On the other hand I would not say that giving up is something terrible and wrong. Sometimes you may end up having too many things on your plate and that may make you overwhelmed. Sometimes you may need to give up certain things because they may not be a priority at that point. I find myself looking at the details in my own life on a regular basis, there is never room for bullshit, it is always the first into the fuckbucket. What is important that you don’t give up your dreams and the things you want really bad. Don’t give up your passion and never give up on life. I understand living with a person like me is challenging, being a sarcastic jackass is a fine art and we all don’t appreciate fine art. We all have given up at some point. All of us at a certain point have stopped believing that we’ll be able to make it. Some of us have done it often, some just very few times, but all of us know how it feels. The  sad fact is that most of us give up far too soon.

Where does all this leave the conversation I was having with my son? Well, he was never actually clear as to what he was thinking about quitting. And, I’m not altogether sure we were even talking about the same thing. Later, while talking with my wife I was informed that a girl he knew in school, friends but not inner circle friends, had committed suicide last week. There was no clear reason why, she left no note, gave the parents no inkling that she was distressed, same with her two sisters, teachers, and friends. Except for one person, who came forward to “confess” to her parents that he knew why. You see, they were boyfriend and girlfriend. She wanted an exclusive relationship (at 14) and he wanted to play the field. She took it had, it killed her self esteem and self worth, and according to him, as she told him, she didn’t feel she was worth the effort of having his love if he was not willing to commit to her. Granted, this is the opinion of a 14 year old boy, and this story was also posted up on Facebook, so I don’t really know if it actually ever happened. But, after going back to my son to talk, he said that I did answer his question of “why people quit” without even knowing that was what I was doing. We talked more, we talked about the cruelty of emotions, especially in a teenager. But suicide is not an easy subject, simply because there isn’t an actual answer to give. The only person who knows is dead.

I don’t know if this makes me angry or sad. I do know that I have been in my sons shoes before, knowing a person who has had her self esteem crushed on a daily basis for “fun” by others. But, that is another topic altogether, since bullying seems to have become so evermore popular these days, or its just more in the public eye these days. As a parent I try to teach my children to hope for the best and prepare for the worst because the two survive together hand in hand. One may think they are just words, but others take those words to heart. As uncomfortable as I was talking with my son about suicide and how I personally believe it should never be the answer for anyone, I was also proud of my son for wanting to sit and talk to me about life, emotions, feelings, relationships, and family with me. It takes courage to begin a conversation with your father when you don’t know what the outcome will be. Both of us feeling a little bummed, we invited the rest of the family to go out for ice cream. Ice cream? Yes, the one thing on the planet stronger than any drug, stronger than and alcohol, stronger than any words, stronger than any bond, it is a time of peace for a troubled mind or a troubled soul. Its a time to take a break from the crap life offers and just enjoy a bite of ice cream.

Yes, I know, ice cream doesn’t solve all problems, but it does give the opportunity to step away from them, not to quit them, but to take a break from them. Everyone needs a break, we all take breaks or celebrate in our own ways. In the end I learned from my son that I should keep my past close so it can be accessed and shared. I never knew my life, in general, would be an education tool for the youth in my family. But then again, we do learn most of what we know from our parents and family. Having children has been the best challenge I never quit. Try something new, get in your child’s head today, give them a nice tight hug, a big smile, and a peck on the cheek. When they ask why just tell them it is because you were thinking about them. It scares the crap out of them. I know from experience that life isn’t easy. It wasn’t designed to be easy. We don’t evolve within ourselves if we are not constantly challenged. Don’t let life discourage you, leave that to the people around you, you know, the people who don’t want you to succeed because they don’t care about succeeding. Until we “meet” again, remember to eat it everyday!