Friday, December 18, 2009

Where Have The Years Gone?

I have to say that this whole getting old thing is getting under my skin.

I was having a conversation with our 14 year old son (big hockey fan) yesterday and I proceeded to tell the story of going to my first hockey game. Bruins vs. Penguins. I continued saying that I was so excited because Bobby Orr was playing and I had seats right behind the bench.

He threw me an odd look and said, “who the heck is Bobby Orr?” I, feeling old, said, “what?! He was like the …Pele of hockey.” Then I got…”and who is Pele?” I said, “OK…he was like the Tiger Woods or Kobi Bryant of hockey.” The response to that was, “Oh…he cheated on his wife with prostitutes?”

This conversation went on for a few more minutes, until I finally got through to him with comparing him to Michael Jordan and Wanye Gretzky.
It is sad to me how many of my sports heroes are not known by today’s youth.

The one good thing about my …aging is that Mariah has a ‘thing’ for little old men. I think that I am going to give in and invest in a walker.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Human Mind Is A Mean Fucker

Now I know that everyone ages differently, but I have to say that I think that the human mind is a devilish little fucker.

As many of you know…today is my birthday. I turned 42. SHIT!!!!

For the most part I feel great…when speaking generally. I can run around with the kids, love roller coasters, camping, acting foolish at the beach, ridding in the cart at the grocery store…you know…a typical man who acts like a kid.

On the other hand, my mind has been playing some god awful tricks on me over the last few months. Maybe it is from all of those stupid commercials that spotlight an aging man with his joint pain, or the ones for Viagra or the Hover-round…maybe it is from watching TV and movies with aging men…who know?

What I do know is that I wake up most mornings with a sore back. I get a stiff neck when the is a chilly breeze. I (even though I live in Southern California) even get literally chilled to the bone when it drops below 55 degrees. I get joint pains. I need to rest and massage my shoulder after throwing a football with the boys…and I am now at the stage where I NEVER pass up an opportunity to go to the bathroom.

I really believe that most of it is in my head (seeing as I had a physical not too long ago where I was told that Cholesterol was the only concern.)

I woke up this morning to find that …one of our kids had taped up notes all over the house, such as: the one on the coffee pot that read, “all old guys need coffee to wake up…” or the one that was in the stairwell the said, “Careful old man…you don’t want to throw a hip coming down the stairs” or the one on my computer asking (in very big letters) if I needed glasses to read it.

Bless the kids for their sense of humor…but F them for reminding me of what is to come…and reminding my brain that this is a great day to make me feel old.

Well…this is a lot of writing…I think I need a nap.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I Am Thankful For...

My Thanksgiving post is gonna be simple…and inspired, in part, by Frosty Heidi and Frank’s apologies.

Today, I am thankful for:

My boys, Jaden and Jack

My love Mariah

Kids; Amanda, Cody, Megan & Christie

Parents; Janet, James, Charles, Margaret, Peggy, Don and Bonnie

Siblings; Whitney (and family), Matt (and family), Becca & Rob, Kaethe (and family) and Jaime

Notorious relatives…on Mariah’s side; Noel, Phil, Rhett, Candy, Uncle Dick & Sheila

Friends; Anna, Cathy, Gavin,

My health



The ocean



Most naked things

Great schools

A great home

Food on the table

Samuel Adams


Quality time



Hula dancers

Hot Dads and Hot Mamas

Prime time TV

Good movies

The US Armed Forces (troops)


The United States

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving and hope that you are able to share it with all those who you love.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cyber datting at its finest

I just now received this email...

What are the odds that she beats Mariah as the woman of my dreams?

Should I mess with her and send her an email?

You make the call.

Greeting my dear,

my name is grace i am a young beautiful girl with full of love and caring also romantic,
well i saw your profile today and i love it,i think we can click together please i will like you to use your email address ( to contact me directly to my email box at the same time i will show you my photo and you also know more about me. thanks for your understanding please contact me with this email address below


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cyber Sociopath

So, as most of you know, I have been going through a shitty time with my ex and her ridiculous behavior. I know that I tweeted a few things last night when she started texting me with .... the following.

Contact: 1323919991X
Date: 11/21/2009 9:47 PM

I'm in Brentwood at a dinner and am hearing that you and mariah can't handle my young boys and give them the attention they need. Should I come get them and bring them to their home where they are loved and appreicated?

Whatever. I am sitting watching a movie with them. Fuck off and don’t text me with this stupid shit anymore.

Contact: 1323919991X
Date: 11/21/2009 9:49 PM

Especially sice Mariah complains about them every time they are there and they hate being there anyway. I'd rather my sons be happy.

Contact: 1323919991X
Date: 11/21/2009 9:57 PM

Really? I heard you're playing poker while jaden sleeps on the couch again. They tell everyone how they hate being with you. Poor Jaden told sarah XXX's husband stu that he wishes he was his dad instead of you because stu actually pays attention to the boys. Michelle XXX listened to the boys complain about how much they hate going to your house the whole way there today. You're a pathetic excuse for a dad. Why bother trying? Just make them happy. It's so easy. All hey want is your attention and love and you are just too selfish.

Contact: 1323919991X
Date: 11/21/2009 9:59 PM

They are happier home withe where they are suurpunded by people that care and pay attention to them. At least let them have that.

Contact: 1323919991X
Date: 11/21/2009 10:03 PM

I'll come get them. Because if they are awake as you say watching a movie, they shouldn't be anyway. It's way past bedtime for kids their age. I'm 10 mins from your house.

Contact: 1323919991X
Date: 11/21/2009 10:14 PM

I'm not drinking. But I hear you've had your share of beer tonight. And I'm keeping a log of the boys complaints and begging to not be with you for court. God knows you haven't gotten anything yet because you're a pathetic human being. I'm just trying to support my boys. You don't deserve them and are harming them every second they are there.

Contact: 1323919991X
Date: 11/21/2009 10:16 PM

At least I have enough respect for my children to keep this private. You care about Twitter more than your sons.

Contact: 1323919991X
Date: 11/21/2009 10:18 PM

Way to go 'dad'! You know that jaden's teachers found your blog? Ok. I'm done. Hopefully, I won't have to dealwith tu again because my boy will he what they want. To not be with you ever again.

Contact: 1323919991X
Date: 11/21/2009 10:19 PM

Hopefully I won't have to deal with you again because my boys will get what they want. To not be with you ever again.

Contact: 1323919991X
Date: 11/21/2009 10:25 PM

Awww. Did it hurt your feelings that your boys prefer other dads to you??? You just slandered me. Judge who already hates you will love that.

Contact: 1323919991X
Date: 11/21/2009 10:27 PM

Funny. Your own mother called you a sociopath.

Am I wrong...or is she out of her freaking mind?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Take the time to shop smart this season

In addition to the festive gift ideas for the holidays, there is another way to get into the spirit of giving this season.

On Cyber Monday and throughout the holiday season, shoppers can help needy pets by shopping online with major retailers including Macy’s, Amazon, Zales, Walmart and iTunes. Consumers can log on to these retail sites through and a portion of the purchase (amount varies by retailer) is automatically donated to shelters nationally or locally, at no additional cost to the shopper.

Additionally, one shopper will be selected and have $5,000 donated to the shelter of their choice and s/he will also win a $5,000 online shopping spree, courtesy of Intervet Schering Plough Animal Health.

For more information visit

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Give a flock of chickens for the holidays!!

So the other day I got the below from a company that wants me to write about them. The company rocks and I think it is a great idea....BUT...when I got to the part where they gave the gift comparisons, I almost peed myself.

Maybe it was just the frame of mind I was in but I am fairly certain that water buffalo and diamonds or HDTVs should not be used in the same document.

Anyway...I'd like for you all to read on and come to your own conclusions.
Hi -

If you are going to include a blog on giving that makes a difference, you could tell readers about alternative gift translations. 2 benefits: it's fast and easy to do, it's green - no driving, shopping, wrapping, mailing, etc.
Here's what it looks like at an organization called Heifer International ( Heifer helps poor families become self-reliant through gifts of farm animals and training. And then recipients "Pass on the Gift" of their animals' offspring and their new knowledge to another family in need. Here's what can happen when you give a gift through Heifer to honor everyone on your gift list, especially those who appreciate this kind of gift or folks who really don't want or need anymore stuff:

By replacing traditional holiday gifts with alternative gifts, you can help struggling farmers escape from poverty:

· Bottle of wine ($40) = 2 flocks of chickens and training to start an egg business

· Dinner for 2 at a nice steakhouse ($150) = 1 pig and a hive of honeybees and training in small biz

· Golf lessons ($500) = 2 water buffalo and training for a rice farmer to increase his yields

· Diamond earring studs ($1000) = 2 dairy cows for an African AIDS orphanage that will provide up to 8 gallons of milk a day to help improve children’s nutrition

· Burberry cashmere scarf ($200) = 1 llama, a trio of rabbits and a flock of chickens (and training!)

· Laptop computer ($800) = 1 cow and 2 goats and training in use of manure for biogas units

· Nintendo Wii game ($50) = Share of 1 dairy cow and community leadership training for women

· 42” HDTV monitor ($1200) = 10 high quality sheep for a women’s wool project business

· Rolex watch ($5000) = a whole “Ark” full of animals, 2x2, 2 cows, 2 sheep, 2 camels, 2 oxen, 2 water buffalo, 2 pigs, 2 beehives, 2 goats, 2 donkeys, 2 trios of ducks, 2 trios of rabbits, 2 trios of guinea pigs, 2 flocks of geese, 2 flocks of chicks, 2 llamas – and lots of values-based training to build strong communities

· Midsize company holiday party for clients ($30,000) = Fund an entire village’s escape from hunger and build a strong, just and equitable community through Heifer’s 12 Cornerstones training.

This year, celebrate your friends, family and colleagues with a gift in their honor to Heifer. It’s smart giving when giving has never been more important. Why not skip the presents this year, and change the world with lasting solutions for a better future.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Learning About Love - The Hard Way - Part 4

Please make sure to read parts one, two and three before you get sucked into this

My teenage boy brain insisted that she was the one. She had never had sex, never drank, never done drugs, never snuck out of her house, never ditched school….and I was the one to show her how it is all done.

Our relationship was good…while it lasted. I taught her that blow jobs on demand were “what people in love do.” I taught her that slinking up to the college guy outside of the liquor store and putting on a cute smile so he’d buy us beer was the greatest gift a girl could give her man. I taught HER that sneaking out of her house late at night, and walking the ¾ miles to my house, to have sex with me in the woods was best, cuz I would have more energy for her. I taught her that …well…I won’t get into the real heavy stuff. I think you all get my drift.

Anyway, I can honestly (and now shamefully) say that I thoroughly corrupted her. Only a few months into our relationship she; smoked cigarettes, drank on a regular basis, smoked pot here and there, coned beer out of unsuspecting college students, ditched school, snuck out of her house at night and put my sexual gratification above anything else.

It was not long after my step father walked in on …her kneeling before me in my mother’s home office, that I broke up with her. Honestly, I think I did it because I was starting to get more attention from a lot of other girls (she had a tendency to discus our sex life with all of the other girls at school). To top everything off…as payback for me breaking up with her, she asked my younger brother out (and he said yes) and proceeded to have sex with him for about 2 weeks before that faded away.

Now…if you have read all of the parts of this series, you’ll understand that I had finally learned a thing or two.

I moved to NYC shortly afterwards and proceeded to spend the next 5 years just being a single (dog) guy in his mid to late teens. I had no serious relationships…but did have a lot of fun. I guess that is why they say that you have to ‘live a little’ before you settle down.

The End…for now.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Learning About Love - The Hard Way, Part 3

Make sure to read Parts One and Two before you read this one

Summer between 9th and 10th grade, I returned home and was going to go back to public school. I lived in a very small town where everyone knew everyone…until a new family moved into our development. The neighborhood guys and I decided that it would be a good Idea for up to stickball games, bikes and skateboards to the street in front of their house…you know, we had to check them out.

As it turned out, the family was a mother, and a girl about our age and a younger son. No more than an hour into our street shenanigans, we saw the screen door on the front of the house open and the mom saying something to the girl as she pushed her out the door towards us. (old school social enabling)

The girl stopped in her front yard, sat down and just watched us. Most of us began showing off and trying outlandish jumps and tricks on our bikes. After she watched us acting like fools for a while, two of my friends and I walked up to her and introduced ourselves. We found out that she was our age and would be starting in our school in September. They had moved here from another state after her parents got divorced.

The girl was a bit homely and did not really have anything special about her looks. Just kind of plain. After inviting her to hang with us, we began just treating her like one of the guys. Not to mention that she was pretty good on a skateboard.

As the summer wore on and we all hung out together, I made it a point to look out for her…I knew better than to burn ‘girl’ bridges. It was not long before I felt as though she kind of liked me. I was unsure about how I felt about that. I mean, it is nice to be liked but I did not know if she were my type. (as a girlfriend) She was not ‘sexy’, hung out with the guys, had previously confided that she’d never even kissed a boy and was all around kind of a goody two shoes. I on the other hand had started drinking, smoked cigarettes here and there, dabbled in smoking pot, went out at night to cause trouble with the boys and expected sex from a girlfriend.

…beginning of dilemma.

I did not know at that time how much she really knew about me or if she’d like what she saw …but a part of me liked the idea of ‘molding’ her to my liking. I could teach her the rope and then she’d be perfect for me.

My friends did not understand what I was doing when I asked her out, but soon after…they did. (I hate to say this now, but she was like a puppy going through training.)

...More to come.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Learning About Love - The Hard Way, Part 2

Make sure to read Part 1 before this one.

On our 15 block walk back home, we exchanged a few “I am the man” nods…but did not say much to one another. Once we got home, our father wanted to know the scoop. We filled him in to the best of our ability and then went into our room. Antsy and pacing around the room, I did not know how long I could put off calling her. I need to know if we were going to see each other again. I needed to know if she really liked me. I needed to know if there was a chance of a long distance relationship. I was dying. After about an hour and a half…I was defeated. I caved and called the number that she wrote on my hand.

After a few short rings, the sound of her sweet voice filled my ear. I struggled for words. A few seconds later I was comfortable speaking again. She had a weird way of calming me. I adored that in her.

We saw each other a few more times before I headed back home to New Hampshire. During these visits we kissed twice, we sat in her room for hours talking and listening to music, we agreed to be boyfriend and girlfriend and we agreed to call and write to each other frequently.

Once home, I bragged to all of my friends (all that would listen) about how "I picked up the hottest girl in New York and now she is my girlfriend." I don’t think many of them believed me…until the day that I got my first letter from her. It was the sweetest love letter I had ever gotten and it had a Polaroid picture of her in front of Tower Records. My friends, after seeing her picture, both believed and, from then on, looked up to me.

After a few weeks, it was time for me to go upstate to my boarding school. I did not like that idea of being that much further away from ‘my love’ but I had no choice. The adjustment to living at school was tough, but was made much easier with the picture of Vanessa on my desk and the letters I received EVERY day from her. I literally got about 40 letters from her in the first 2 months of school.

After a few more months, and as the letters slowed in frequency, I received the letter that I hoped would never come. The Break Up Letter. I was crushed. I know that I had only known her for a handful of months and that I’d only actually seen her in person 5 or 6 times and she lived 10 hours away…but still. I moped around for a week or so hoping that I’d get another letter…which never came.

The next two years I spent flirting and having flings with all of the teachers’ (age appropriate) children and a few girls from neighboring towns. I suppose it was the experimental phase…where I needed to know where I stood as far as picking up girls and handling short term relationships. It was quite fun while it lasted (barring the time I got caught with the headmaster’s daughter in the bathroom of the church.) but I knew that when I got back home, I was ready for something more.

...More to come

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Learning About Love - The Hard Way

Daddy Geek Boy’s recent post really got me thinking…thinking about my childhood and old relationships.

It not only re-hashed memories of my first ‘true love’ (Sydney something) who moved out of state 3 days after we started ‘going together.’ I had liked her for a long time (at least a month) before I got up the nerve to ask her out. Yeah…my timing sucked. We could have had a whole month together. The way that my 7th grade mind processed that badly timed and handled relationship was this: I would no longer fear rejection and if I liked someone…they knew it at the same time as I did.

This led me into quite a difficult to sum up stage.

It was the summer between 7th and 8th grade and 2 of my siblings and I were with our father in NYC and browsing through the aisles at Tower Records. All of the sudden my brother (2 years my junior) rammed his elbow into my ribs. As I raised my fist above my head, ready to open the flood gates upon him I grunted, “What?!...the hell was that for?” Not at all scared of the impending fist in the face…he just pointed. There were two girls a few rows over…looking up at us and giggling.

Holy shit they were hot! I mule kicked my sister so that she would get away from us, and proceeded to shyly look over at them and then smile and look away. This continued for a few minute…until I was brought back to reality by a tap on my shoulder. It was my father. I thought he was going to totally ruin this…a kind of tendency he has. But he didn’t. He handed me $5 and said, “Go buy those cute girls a Coke or something…and meet us at home before dark.”

My brother and I were in shock…starring at one another as our father and sister left the store. We grinned and then continued with our little eye game with the girls. Then it hit me…a flash of Sydney. I was not going to let this opportunity get away. Noticing that we had drifted into the Opera section, we, needing to collect ourselves, headed for the door, looking at the girls over our shoulders a few times before getting out o the street.

Once outside, we propped ourselves against the side of the building and began throwing ideas around as to what we’d say to them when the came out. All of the sudden the emerged from the store, saw us and smiled. As they neared us I could not believe how good looking they were.

After a very awkward greeting and introduction, the two of them agreed to go for a soda with us. While standing in line at the hot dog cart, we exchanged bits and pieces of info about ourselves.

Not thinking about the fact that this was New York and we lived in New Hampshire…or the fact that at the end of the summer I would be going to boarding school about 4 hour further north. We were here and they were interested.

Vanessa (mine) had super long black hair that swayed back and forth across the top of her ass, hazel eyes and a developing body that made me stare a bit more than I should have. Her friend Nancy (my brother’s) was a strawberry blonde with a Brooklyn accent and beautiful blue eyes.

We sat on a nearby bench, talking about what we’d been doing, music that we liked and how long we were going to be here in the city. It was bliss. I remember when Vanessa’s father came over and told them that it was time to go. I was crushed. I sadly watched as she and her friend trailed behind her father…looking back at us. As I sat there thinking of yet another way too short relationship, she came running back and grabbed my hand. Whipping a pen out of her pocket, she wrote down her phone number and whispered in my ear to call her later.

I think I about peed myself. With my mouth gaping open and an odd grimace on my face, I waved as she trotted to catch up with her father. Once out of sight my brother and I turned towards each other and proceeded to give each other a high five followed by the most ridiculous end zone dance imaginable.

...More to come

Monday, October 26, 2009

My Balls

As a stay at home dad, I do have a lot of the same concerns, issues and interactions as many of the mommy bloggers out there….BUT…I also have balls…these balls that sway between my thighs send messages to my brain on a continual basis that help me to realize that things such as shopping, cute baby pictures, shoes, malls, brunch with friends and movies like ‘The Notebook’ or “when Harry Met Sally’ are just NOT what I should be blogging or worrying about.

My Balls tell me to pay a bit more attention to; love, sex, hot women, fast cars, fishing, camping, the NFL, poker, action movies (with lots of guns), being ‘king’ of my world, protecting and caring for my family, ….oh…..and beer!

Twisted as women think men are…we, as parents, strive for the same things (I think). It is just that we travel differing paths to get there. Men, well….shit….I’ll talk for myself. I seem to take the most difficult, but exciting paths…anything to add adventure and adrenaline to my journey. Women on the other hand, generally tend to take that meandering, path that moves slowly past the flowers and the pretty houses.

So, all in all…don’t be haters ladies. Love us for the end goals…not the path that we take to get there. Remember it is not us that chooses the path…it is our balls. The balls that provide you with pleasure and children…I assure you…you would hate us without them!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

OCD Sucks

Due to some technical difficulties…or my ever-present OCD…I had to erase all of the timers for shows set to record on our satellite system. There were some conflicts and things just weren’t working right (as smooth as I’d like them to be.)

As to not forget any shows…and again letting some OCD seep out, I first made a list (I love lists) of everything that we, as a household, wanted recorded on a regular basis.

35 freakin shows!
And 25 of them are shows primarily for Mariah and I.

What the hell are we thinking? How are we supposed to watch 25 hours of TV a week?

That made me think about it in relation to other things in my weekly schedule…fine…It was an excuse for me to make another list.

Here is what I cam up with…In order:
Sleep – 56 Hours
TV – 25
HoursWriting / computer / work – 25 Hours
Homework help – 10 Hours
Laundry/cooking/household chores – 8 Hours
Carpools – 8 Hours
Sex – 6 Hours
Volunteering at the school – 4.5 Hours
Shopping – 3 Hours


Being that there are only 168 hours in the week…I have about 22.5 hours unaccounted for. (I know I do other things so I will not stress about ‘losing time’ or anything.)

Now, looking at this list…I know that I need to move SEX MUCH HIGHER in the list, additionally, I am spending roughly 47% of the hours in the week sleeping and watching TV…WTF!? Like I don’t have better things to do.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Super Powers

I have two simple questions for you all today…

If you were invisible for one 24 hour period…what are the top three things you would do?

I chose invisible because out of all ‘super powers’ that is the one that I would most like to have. (FYI…I am secretly honing my skills and practicing to harness the power of invisibility, so if you ever feel a tap on your shoulder and nobody is there…it might just be me.)

If not invisible…what super power would you most like to have?

If I were invisible, I would; secretly walk onto flights so I could visit all of the cities around the world that I yearn to go to, I’d be on the sets of my favorite TV shows…and maybe mess with people there, I’d have to at least do a walk through of the Playboy mansion and lastly I’d see what REALLY goes on in the Oval Office and the ‘Situation Room’.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Mind, Body and Shit

Well - I think that the majority of you know how I sometimes throw out some major randomness and how speaking my mind is not something that I am worried about doing….so here goes another edition of TentCamper’s Random Thoughts.

I know that it is something that everyone has thought about and even most likely had in depth discussions about….Yawning.

How is yawning so contagious? Why isn’t sneezing, coughing or clearing your throat? It is only yawning. Why does the brain only fuck with us on the yawning thing? I mean, you can see someone across a room yawning and …there you go a big yawn and you are not even tired. It could be someone talking about yawning or yawning right next to you. Even someone writing about yawning can make our dumb-ass brains think that we need to yawn.

What is the point of a yawn anyway? Is there any medical or biological purpose for yawns…or was this our creator’s way of fucking with us?

(How many times did YOU yawn while reading that?)

What about sneezing? Why can’t we sneeze with our eyes open? In follow up…I kind of think that those folks out there with severe allergies, who sneeze a lot….maybe should not be allowed to drive during allergy season.

Lastly, why are women's boobs considered 'privates' and men's are not? I think that my nipples are bust as sensitive as a woman's. If the reasoning is that they are considered a sexual organ....what about mouths? Should we cover those too? Shit...even hands can be quite the sexual organ. I say that we all pe-TIT-ion to have the requirement for women to wear shirt lifted. Men and women....equal! (Fine....some women should remain clothed...but the same goes for men... I guess I think that it should be a person's personal choice.) Let's get this done people!

Why has nobody developed an in the bowl vent for toilets? (I claim this as my idea so back the F up!)

Many (if not most) bathrooms are equipped with exhaust fans in the ceiling. This is indeed a helpful product. BUT what it essentially does is take the looming odor, which is directly under you, and pull it straight up your body, across your face and then up to the vent. Why not have a vent built-in (or even an ‘aftermarket’ product) that would take the emissions from one’s stink pickle and whisk it away…BEFORE one has to hold their breath as the vapors cross the facial area?!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My New Catch 22

So, as you all know I went to the doctor about a week and a half ago and after getting the blood tests back, my doctor told me that to lower my skyrocketing cholesterol and blood pressure I would HAVE to quit smoking, change my diet and exercise regularly.

Now, if any of you know what the diet for high cholesterol is, you’ll know what hell I am going through. I am not a junk food junkie, but not being able to eat 98% of things found in a normal grocery store is…my new HELL.

On top of that, I am a week into weaning down my smoking and am at less than half of what I smoked up until now. If you have quit or know someone who has…you’ll know that the first thing you want to do is EAT! Problem number 1….I can’t fucking eat! Salads and nuts just don’t cut the ‘quit smoking cravings.’ In addition to the food aspect, my loving doc prescribed Wellbutrin (an anti anxiety drug) to help along the weaning process. The thought is good, but after reading the below ‘known’ side effects….What The Fuck?


All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome when using Wellbutrin:

Constipation (everyone knows that a cup of coffee and a cigarette are like bowel draino); dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; headache (the smoker’s cure for any pain or ailment….smoking); increased sweating; loss of appetite(when I am not able to eat anything…I am going to get sick from mal nutrition); nausea; nervousness (again…smoking calms the system); restlessness (for this and the last one….mind you, this is an anti anxiety drug!); taste changes; trouble sleeping(can’t sleep….have a smoke…or eat…WTF?); vomiting (who doesn’t have a smoke after a good puke?); weight changes.

(I will not even get into the following SEVERE side effects.)

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur when using Wellbutrin:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest pain; confusion; dark urine; delusions; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or sore throat; hallucinations; hearing problems; menstrual changes; new or worsening mental or mood changes (eg, concentration problems, panic attacks, aggressiveness, agitation, anxiety, impulsiveness, irritability, hostility, exaggerated feeling of well-being, inability to sit still); red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; seizures; severe headache or dizziness; severe or persistent joint or muscle pain; severe or persistent nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain; severe or persistent nervousness, restlessness, or trouble sleeping; shortness of breath; suicidal thoughts or attempts; tremor; unusual swelling; vision changes; worsening depression; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

So….here I am, smoking less, wanting to eat, not being able to eat, suffering from side effects that make me want to smoke, but can’t smoke more, needing to exercise more, but lacking the nutritional energy to do so….basically making myself nuts.

Lastly…I may be wrong, or it may just be a smoker’s mind trick, but haven’t I heard somewhere that the worst time to quit smoking is when you are under a lot of stress? (i.e. out of work, struggling financially, going through divorce, etc….all of which apply to me at the moment! And my doctor knows this.)

Is my doctor a quack? Or is this my withdrawals from nicotine and fatty foods?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Help Our Children - Cure JM

Kevin of Always Home and Uncool has asked me to post this as part of his effort to raise awareness in the blogosphere of juvenile myositis, a rare autoimmune disease his daughter was diagnosed with on this day seven years ago. The day also happens to be his wife's birthday.

Our pediatrician admitted it early on.

The rash on our 2-year-old daughter's cheeks, joints and legs was something he'd never seen before.

The next doctor wouldn't admit to not knowing.

He rattled off the names of several skins conditions -- none of them seemingly worth his time or bedside manner -- then quickly prescribed antibiotics and showed us the door.

The third doctor admitted she didn't know much.

The biopsy of the chunk of skin she had removed from our daughter's knee showed signs of an "allergic reaction" even though we had ruled out every allergy source -- obvious and otherwise -- that we could.

The fourth doctor had barely closed the door behind her when, looking at the limp blonde cherub in my lap, she admitted she had seen this before. At least one too many times before.

She brought in a gaggle of med students. She pointed out each of the physical symptoms in our daughter:

The rash across her face and temples resembling the silhouette of a butterfly.

The purple-brown spots and smears, called heliotrope, on her eyelids.

The reddish alligator-like skin, known as Gottron papules, covering the knuckles of her hands.

The onset of crippling muscle weakness in her legs and upper body.

She then had an assistant bring in a handful of pages photocopied from an old medical textbook.

She handed them to my wife, whose birthday it happened to be that day.

This was her gift -- a diagnosis for her little girl.

That was seven years ago -- Oct. 2, 2002 -- the day our daughter was found to have juvenile dermatomyositis, one of a family of rare autoimmune diseases that can have debilitating and even fatal consequences when not treated quickly and effectively.

Our daughter's first year with the disease consisted of surgical procedures, intravenous infusions, staph infections, pulmonary treatments and worry. Her muscles were too weak for her to walk or swallow solid food for several months. When not in the hospital, she sat on our living room couch, propped up by pillows so she wouldn't tip over, as medicine or nourishment dripped from a bag into her body.

Our daughter, Thing 1, Megan, now age 9, remembers little of that today when she dances or sings or plays soccer. All that remain with her are scars, six to be exact, and the array of pills she takes twice a day to help keep the disease at bay.

What would have happened if it took us more than two months and four doctors before we lucked into someone who could piece all the symptoms together? I don't know.

I do know that the fourth doctor, the one who brought in others to see our daughter's condition so they could easily recognize it if they ever had the misfortune to be presented with it again, was a step toward making sure other parents also never have to find out.

That, too, is my purpose today.

It is also my birthday gift to my wife, My Love, Rhonda, for all you have done these past seven years to make others aware of juvenile myositis diseases and help find a cure for them once and for all.

To read more about children and families affected by juvenile myositis diseases, visit Cure JM Foundation at

To make a tax-deductible donation toward JM research, go to or

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Annual Physical Update - Lab Results

I don’t know…you tell me…Is there a better way to really fuck up someone’s day than to have the doctor’s office call and leave you a message that the doctor would like you to come in to discuss the lab results in person? (see below for the post about the physical)


The only thing that they hinted about was elevated cholesterol, but that the doc wanted to go over ALL of the results with me. Now…the earliest I can be seen to talk to the doctor is tomorrow morning.

Now I get to sit here and do one of two things….worry all night and be a mess…or…Drink heavily until tomorrow morning.


I had better go get a lot of Sam Adams!...just in case.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Annual Physical Update

So, this morning I woke up at about 7AM to birds squawking outside my bedroom window and the looming memory that I have a physical and can’t have any coffee. Pissed off I slam the window shut and yank the covers back up over my head. I did not want to get up until 15 minutes before seeing the doc.

Per the norm, our 10 year old honored us with a visit every 3 or 4 minutes…for one thing after the next…but 5th grade picture day is a special day….so…I reach under my pillow for the remote and on goes the news. (yes…I sleep with the remote under my pillow…don’t ask)

So there I was, laying there under the blankets, half tuning out both the child and the news, grumpy about not being able to have coffee and anxious about the doctor appointment. I guess my state was obvious because with only a few across the pillow glances, I felt Mariah’s hand moving up my thigh and coming to rest on my…package.

My guess is that the wonderful morning romp in the sheets was an attempt at elevating my mood (I am quite OK with that.) But what may have happened is that while breaking my foulness…she pumped up my blood pressure enough so that the doctor had questions for me.

Now on to my appointment. After filling out all of the stupid and redundant forms I was called in to start the exam. The first stop was height and weight…my weight was about 165ish…normal, but what the fuck is with my height? I made the nurse measure me 3 times…I am fucking shrinking!!!!! A year ago….and since I was like 18 I was 5’9” (borderline 5’10”) TODAY I AM 5 fucking foot 8”.

Ok, then I was shown into the exam room, told to undress, put on a gown and have a seat. After changing, the nurse came back in and took my temp and blood pressure (which was high’ish 138/89 - due to sex, nicotine, anxiety and no coffee.)

Then in comes the doc. Long hair, low cut v-neck top…my kind of doctor. Not good looking…but strides ahead of the fat, wrinkly old men that I’d been used to. Anyway, she proceeds to assault me with health related questions, lashing at me about smoking at every opportunity and then begins her exam.

First was checking the ears, eyes and throat with that little mini magnifying flashlight deal. She made no comments, so I felt safe. Then it was on to breathing. She whipped out her stethoscope and listened to my chest from the front and then the back while instructing me to breathe heavily (sounds kind of …adult – but it was far from that.). Then my heart, a few seconds to listen and she backed away from me.

At that point the gloves went on and she asked me to stand up. Flashes of my late night conversation with Mariah flooded my head. (I’ve been doing some recent ‘manscaping’ ….to the point of …well, I believe that I had about the same amount of hair down there when I was born. Tool and jewels…bare as a babies bottom! I told Mariah last night that I was nervous about that if the doc wanted to do a hernia test…but then I thought about it and had not had a hernia test in like 15 years. Mariah laughed for about 15 minutes, but I felt assured that our secret was safe.) Anyway, the doc grabbed the bottom of my gown and told me to hoist it up. And there it was…my clean shaven manhood dangling about a foot from her face. Luckily the doctor (who is also our kids’ doctor – freaking great) was pretty professional and only shot one inquisitive look up at me.

After coughing as instructed, while she tried to cram my balls up into my stomach, she asked me to turn around. I paused and fearfully looked at her as she squeezed about a third of a tube of KY onto her fingers. I looked at her with my best sad puppy dog eyes and said, “Really? I just had a prostate check last year.” She responded with “You are over 40….it comes with the physical now.” I indicated to her that it would be fine if she wanted to use MORE KY…to no avail. I turned around, leaned over, grabbed the sides of the table and WHAM! No warning, no gentle pat on the back…not even a brief reach around. She pulled out (shit that sounds weird) and told me that things were in order and I could get dressed before the nurse comes back to take blood.


I got dressed, waited for the nurse, quickly filled a few vials with my red man juice and was about to leave when Dr. KY came back and handed me a slip that I was to bring to another office….to get a chest x-ray, then she slipped out the door and out of sight.

Curious if she wanted the chest x-ray because she noticed something that she failed to tell me about or just as a routine part of the physical…I don’t know.

I left, went to get the x-ray and now am sitting home awaiting her call to discus the results of the blood tests and the chest x-ray. OH JOY!!!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pee...for you and me!!!!!!

OK, I am not going to get into any detail about how this conversation got started…or why it lasted so long, but Mariah and I found ourselves talking about pee…and its existent or non-existent health benefits. Although most of you think I am all about the pee…I think it is pretty gross and would only use it in the case of a jelly fish sting.

Anyway, she was telling me that people swear by first morning pee…that they use it to wash their faces, drink it, etc. Just plain foul!!!

I decided to do a bit of research. Here is what I have found.

Urine consists mostly of watern with small amount of urea (a substance that can be harmful if it enters the blood stream) and excreted enzymes, minerals and hormones--which many believe can be beneficial to the body. Urine therapy involves using one's own urine to address a number of illnesses and conditions. In addition to helping maintain general health, urine therapy has been shown to be a beneficial part of skin care.

For best results, allow the urine to dry on your skin as you massage it in….

For larger problem areas or areas that are sore or sensitive to the touch like large acne outbreaks, eczema patches or large scars or blemishes, apply a compress. With a large urine sample, soak a small washcloth or rag in the urine, then lay the rag on the area. Leave it there for up to ten minutes…

…put urine in a clean spray bottle and spray it onto your skin, then let it dry there like a body mist…..

The middle stream of fresh, warm, morning urine is the most potent, and drinking it mixed with freshly squeezed orange juice is probably the fastest way to accomplish this task, although it is best not to mix urine with other foods or drinks or to take it within an hour before or after eating.

Oral drops of fresh urine can be placed directly under the tongue. Urine therapists suggest their patients start with 5 drops of fresh morning urine on the first day, increase to 5 or 10 drops on the second day, and take 10 drops on the morning of the third day and the same amount that evening before going to bed.
Self-urine may be used as eye drops and ear drops, in foot baths and even as effective enemas. Nose drops can help loosen mucus and clear up blocked nasal passages. Gargling with it is helpful for a sore throat, and inhaling it relieves sinus and respiratory congestion. Taken internally, it has a laxative and diuretic effect, as it cleanses the digestive tract.

it also works as an excellent cosmetic for moisturizing and healing skin blemishes, burns and scar tissue. However, for this usage, it is preferable to use urine that is 4 - 8 days old.

Anyway, this is quite disturbing to me. Who the F is gonna sit there, groggily piss into a cup and then rub it on their face, followed by a nice big swig…to get their morning going?!

Absolute shit I say.

Oh, but did you know that eating a pound of carrots can make you see in the dark? And if you masturbate you palms will grow hair? (not sure what happens to women.)

Please be honest and let me know if I am missing the pee boat…cuz you know…pee is what I do.

Do any of you do this? Know anyone who does? Believe in it?

Friday, September 18, 2009

What is a sick child?

I have to say that I feel very lucky when it comes to the health of my kids. Yeah, they get banged up, get colds, toothaches, stomach problems…occasionally some constipation…but never anything serious. I have even posted about me and my unhuman history of making it 41 years and never spending a night in a hospital or even breaking a bone.

Since I started blogging, I have heard some of the most horrendous stories about people’s kids being gravely ill. It is almost unimaginable for me to comprehend what they must be going through as a parent…not to mention the suffering of a child.

In real life, I don’t even know anyone (close to me) that has had a very sick child…I have experience here. The one thing that I can say is that I bet I’d be a mess. I can see myself going over the top and just plain losing it. I’d be like Denzel in that movie John Q.

Much of the time, Mariah will come up to me with a sad, heartbroken look on her face…then I’ll ask her what is wrong. She slump into a chair to tell me the horrors that some other blogging parents are going through with their sick child. I feel bad for them. But it just does not affect me the same was as it does her. Maybe it is because I have never been through or experienced first (or even second) hand what it is like. Maybe it is because I don’t know these people. Maybe it is because I am a cold son of a bitch…I don’t know. But the fact remains; I DO feel for these families and truly care about the health and well being of ALL children.

Now…one of the resident Hot Dads (AlwaysHomeandUncool) has a big date (October 2nd ) coming up that really means a lot to his family (especially Thing1) and many more people throughout the world. Read a bit about what they have been through here and here.

I encourage you all to join him in his efforts to create awareness and raise funds for Cure JM. Cure JM is a 100-percent volunteer organization that funds medical research into the cause, treatment and eventual cure of juvenile myositis, juvenile dermatomyositis and their variants. The group also offers family support opportunities to help JM children, their parents, friends and relatives cope with the disease. To date, we are more than halfway to this year's fundraising goal of $500,000, nearly all of which goes directly to JM doctors to pay for research fellowships, specialized lab equipment and fund studies.

Please do what you can and save some space on your blogs on October 2nd and make sure to even tell your real life friends and family about it. We need to get a hold on these childhood illnesses that cause so much pain!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

To Pee Or Not To Pee

As you may be able to tell from the name of my blog, I have a tendency to pee into the wind. But that is not the only thing about pee that I like….I grew up in the northeast and spent many a winter producing creative ‘art’ on my white snow canvas. I peed on my brother after my other brother and I tied him up. I have (I am man enough to admit it) peed myself …as a grown man. I pee outdoors at every opportunity…bushes, behind trees, alleys, fields, off boats, in streams…you know…pretty much anywhere. In addition to all of that, I have a small bladder, so I go pretty much all the time.

As a 41 year old man, with all of the aforementioned experience, I do consider myself an expert…or urinary master extraordinaire…as I have been referred to from time to time.

With that said, I have considered writing books on the subject…things like Taking the Piss (The History of PEE) for the guys and How to Pee Standing Up for all of you ladies…who want to let loose and pee in the wind with me.

Maybe I am talking about pee too much or maybe just sharing too much about myself personally, but I really don’t care.

I love to pee. You know when you have to pee really bad? when holding it hurts so much that you actually start to laugh. When you finally let go…it is complete ecstasy… A ‘peegasm’ if you will. Or when you (knowing how big or small your own bladder is) pee for so long that you wonder if something is wrong…then you just get that little smile on your face…you’ve actually impressed your own self. What about when ….oh never mind…you get my point.

Lastly, I got a bit upset when I saw this. Who do theses asses think they are anyways?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Vanity - A Nationwide Illness

One of Mariah and my favorite things to do while driving around is …well…besides dissing up people’s outfits and driving skills and pointing out and laughing at the nose pickers, seat dancers and singers…vanity plates. There are tons out there, some foolish and some that make no freaking sense whatsoever.

For the ones that are evident, we read them and then try to get a good look at the driver to see if it is a good fit or not…usually NOT.

Then there are the more difficult ones…the ones that must be vanity plates, but that could just be a coincidence with the mix of letters and numbers.

Anyway, I thought I’d share with you all a few that were quite evident. I would have loved to get a good look at these drivers!!!!

What the hell are people thinking getting shit like this on their cars?!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Love in a Bottle

The following is a letter that I have just sent off to 'my friends' at the Boston Beer Company. I wonder if they will take it to heart and help a brotha out.

Dear Samuel Adams executives,

I am writing this letter to you in an attempt to express to you the extent for my love of your Boston Lager. As I am sure that you have received many such letters, this one I assure you, is straight from the heart.

I first had the pleasure of being introduced to my first Samuel Adams Boston Lager in 1991, whilst living in Boston’s Back Bay. As with some human relationships…it was love at first sight. Our love affair has spanned the past 18 years and its full flavored goodness has been one constant in my life that would always be there for me.

Over the years, I would find myself angered and disgruntled at the fact that everyone does not carry the Sam Adams brand. People just don’t seem to understand the extent to which Sam Adams far exceeds other beers in the realm of quality, taste and …yes…drinkability. Yes…I am the guy with the collection of anything and everything Sam Adams (signs, openers, glasses, bottles and even retail store signage (that I pleaded with owners for.)

Getting to my point, during these times, times in which money is tight and budgets are stretched, I am finding it harder and harder to justify this long time relationship of mine. Currently I am out of work and am a father to 6 children. Besides scouring local stores for sales, the price of Sam Adams is making it like the love a teenage fan would have for a hot celebrity…consistently intense, but unattainable.

As I have written on my blogs about this love affair of mine ( ) I plan to continue passionately writing about the most superb beer in the world, I am asking, right here and right now…for your help.

As a long time HUGE fan, coinsurer and lover of your beer, please help a struggling guy continue on this journey of love. As I cannot fathom my life without your delicious brew, I’d be happy and willing to plaster my blogs and Facebook pages with banners, ads and text links pointing to Samuel Adams. Coupons, website credits, cases (to review), etc. or anything else that you can think of would not only reinforce that yours is the best beer, but the best company in the world.

I eagerly look forward to your response.

Best regards.

Lover of Sam Adams – America’s World Class Beer

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Confucius Vs. Dr. Phil

I don’t know about you but recently I have been having some issues with the sayings like, “Money can’t buy love.” and “Money doesn’t equal happiness."

I know that literally they are true, but at the core of what they mean….I have always thought it to be… without the ‘pad’ of money, it is much easier to feel/experience what love really is.

Now…Philosophers and ‘wise men’ may say these things, while at the same time, psychologists and socioeconomic studies say the complete opposite. “The lack of money and financial hard times are proven to be the root of a great deal of divorce, break ups, and household dysfunction.”


With the economy, lack of work and rising costs of having 6 kids (schools, groceries, movies, ice cream, birthday gifts, etc., etc.) The ‘lack of funds’ is proving to have a devastating effect on our whole house.

Mariah and I worry about ‘making it’ through the month, while the kids, increasingly, need things - and we don't need the kids worrying about our money situation. Continually telling the kids that we can’t afford it or that it will have t wait kind of puts a damper on their day and makes them wonder how stable our family really is. Meanwhile, Mariah and my stress levels rise and it tends to come out in the form of a cold, angry, or unhappy attitude…which then equates to the Gods pissing on our ‘flame.’

I love Mariah. I love all of the kids. I love the time we are able to spend together. I love what we have. But these days it seems that, whether it is Mariah and I or one of us with one of ( or a group of ) the kids…tempers are short, attitudes uneasy and the lovey, cuddly sides of us all are pushed aside from the stress. I feel like at any given time…someone in the house is in a foul mood…and does everyone else have the right to be cheery and happy?

I miss the constant smiles that we all once shared. I miss the spontaneous love making. I miss the luxury of being able to take Mariah out for an evening.

I want it all back!

I know that it is all part of being an adult, being a parent, being out of work and struggling through hard times…but it is plaguing me and I fucking hate it!!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Peeing in a Tornado

OK….What gives?

Let’s just say that reflecting on things…sitting or lying down trying to assess my current situation… has become quite the nightmare of a task.

Basic summary:

I am unemployed.

I have been looking for work for about a year and have literally come up dry. I won’t say that I have been out on the streets banging on doors every day, but I have sent my resume to thousands of people and still….nothing.

I know that the economy and the current job market suck right now…and that huge numbers of people are out of work…which just makes it that much harder.

There seem to be many reasons that I am not finding work:
No experience
Felony record

Now, over the past 25 years, I have done the following for work; Restaurant (dishwasher, server, bar back, assistant manager), Construction (roofer, grunt for wood framing contractor), Mental Health (worker and then manager for 2 different group homes for mentally handicapped adults), Public Relations (in-house for House of Blues, then started a PR firm which I ran for 8 years), Internet/Magazines (co-founded 2 successful online magazines and acted as Executive Editor for another), Professional (General administration and then promoted to Operations Manager for an LA based financial consulting firm.)

When I apply to PR/marketing companies…I usually get, “too qualified” or “we found someone who better matches our needs.”
When I apply to offices for Admin jobs…I did not work in that field long enough or I am over qualified (what the fuck does that mean?...both over and under????)
When I apply at McDonalds and grocery stores (which I have) I get turned away upon them seeing a felony record.
When I apply for general labor jobs, I do not have current experience…15 years ago does not seem to count.
(**if you know of anything…feel free to let me know)

Am I going to have to move to freakin Greece and become a fisherman? Try out for Deadliest Catch, leverage everything I can and give it a shot as a professional poker player?

What? ask what my dream job is? I would start as a crew member and then an owner of a sportfishing charter…fishing the big boys off southern Baja. Shit…I’d take cleaning the docks in Marina Del Rey.

AND THEN…..My (pending) divorce…
This case has been going on for more than 3.5 years. She has a (well she is on her 5th) lawyer and I (since the start) can’t afford one and did not think that there was enough to argue about to really need one. MY BAD! So, I am still not, technically, divorced (although the judge granted the dissolution more than a year ago.) All I want is to have fair / standard time with my boys. I suppose that if I got a job, I could hire an attorney and get this whole thing over with…but scroll back to the top.

With 6 kids – it is hard not to feel like a total fucking loser. The situation is absolutely Maddening!

Well…..enough of this pity / venting shit and back to actually feeling like shit.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Corn and the Mysteries of the World

WARNING! This post might be a bit on the crude side, but it is an honest, random thought that has drifted through my mind a time or two.

*AND I am trying to weed out my sissy-ass, prude and generally boring readers. (PLEASE leave an honest comment...It will help me in the weeding department.)

What is the nutritional value of corn? How much of it is taken in by the body?

I ask because I know that when I have a healthy serving of corn with a meal…pretty much the same amount comes out in my …movements.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not bashing corn…I love corn and will eat it as long as I have teeth.

I am just curious as to its nutritional value and how much of the corn the body ingests.

I know that with one kernel of corn, inside the ‘skin’ is a mushy center…is that all that is consumed by the body? I also know that the outer skin is what is…’left behind.’ What the hell kind of alien food is eaten but the body refuses to or cannot break it down?

Feel free to check out the evidence here if you dare.

If you have crazy Yoda-like corn knowledge and can enlighten the rest of the world…Please do. I’d put this mystery up there with Bigfoot, Amelia Earhart and the Loch Ness Sea Monster.

Normal Childhood - Military Training (part 2)

By the time morning hit, we could hardly wait to see if we’d caught anything (or anyone) in our traps. We ignored the stealth policy as we bolted through the woods to the location of our creations. One by one, we closely inspected them, noticing nothing but a few random piles of animal scat and a small handful of porcupine quills.

Disappointed with having caught nothing we regrouped for a new strategy. After thoroughly discussing the mater in detail, we thought that the best plan was to lure someone into one of the traps. Yes…I was the one with 3 sisters and it was decided that little sisters make great prey.

Upon returning from my neighbor’s house we approached my middle sister, taunting her with a large bag of Twizlers and candy corn, we told her to count to 100 and then if she could find us at our fort that she could have our bag of sweetness. She began counting and we bolted into the forest snickering at our own genius.

A few minutes later, as we had taken up position in eyesight of each of our traps, we began to hear the crunching and twig snapping of a non-trained civilian tromping through the woods. Excited beyond belief, we all sat completely still, awaiting our catch.

A few seconds later, she appeared on the path…only 20 feet or so from our spring snare. Prancing up the path with thoughts of mouthfuls of candy, she neared the hidden danger. All of the sudden, we heard it. She had kicked the trip wire and *swoosh* the slip knot had tightened around her feet and she was hoisted into the air. Screaming and struggling, head bobbing a few feet off the ground we all emerged from the bushes, laughing and impressed with ourselves.

We stood in a circle around he, patting each other on the back, completely ignoring her cries for help. After a few brief comments and a bit more laughing, we decided that it would be best to leave her there for a while. Backing away and heading out on the path towards our house, we peaked over our shoulders just to see her squirming, and tears streaming from her eyes and landing in the cushion of pine needles that lined the forest floor.

We got back to my house and in an attempt not to tip off my mother, we busied ourselves with our bikes and the construction of a jump at the end of the driveway. About an hour later, after one of my friends launched off the jump and crashed into a tree at the edge of the woods, we all looked at one another with a touch of fear in our eyes and we took off into the woods. We had forgotten about my sister who had been hanging upside down in the middle of the porcupine and fox infested woods for close to an hour.

When we arrived, we saw my sister, still crying, but too tired to struggle. It seemed that she had just enough energy to tilt her head enough to see us approaching. Her sobs were faint, but at least she was still alive. We quickly released the knot at the base of a nearby tree and my sister fell with a thud to the ground. As she got up and began to stumble down the path she yelled to us that MOM was going to kill us and that we were going to be in big trouble. Chasing after her, with the bag of candy held out in front of us, we bribed her with the contents of the bag along with mild threats of further violence if she did tell.

As far as I know, our secret lived on and from that point on we re-adjusted out traps to only catch animals…which we did.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Normal Chilhood - Military Training

We gathered at the edge of the woods as the sounds of clanking dishes filled the air. Full from the dinners we had all just finished, we sat and waited for the last two members of our squad.

All dressed in our fatigues (or as close as we could get) we had our briefing. The seven of us agreed that minimal talking/noise …and of course only using our code names would be the only way to keep our top secret mission intact.

We spread out slightly as we entered the woods. For the next ten minutes all we could hear was the faint crackling of pine needles beneath out boots and a random twig snapping as we pushed our way through the trees to our hide-out.

The air was still, breezes blocked by the acres of pine trees on all sides. We entered our 2 story fort one at a time, without making a sound. Once we were all inside, we began planning our day’s activities. In low, but commanding, whispers we discussed the three traps we were going to set along the paths to our hideaway.

*We’d seen enough Vietnam and random other war movies to know the best ones to ensnare the mistaken or intentional intruders.

Over the next 5 hours all seven of us worked diligently to perfect our military works of art. We split up into 3 groups; Pain, Sniper and Grunt worked on the bungee pit, Hammer, Red and Cap worked on the spring snare while Gunny, Top, Nuke and Camo perfected the suspended log (or mace trap).

**I will not tell you which of the above my code name was.

We regrouped as it began to get late in the day and began rounds to check out all of the work that had been done. All of the traps were set…satisfied with our ingenious success, we all headed home for dinner.

Around 8PM, we got back together, armed with flashlights to inspect our newly crafted traps…and to make sure that they were still in place.

The bungee pit was the first that we got to. It was just fine…a 4 foot deep ditch, which spanned the width of the path, covered with branches, twigs and leaves – hiding the bounty of sharpened wooden spikes that were positioned at the bottom, awaiting their first prey.

The spring snare was next. It was set with a young white birch tree, pulled back with a very sensitive network of ropes, a large slip knot and trip wire. We had high hopes for this one. We tripped it a few times and were thoroughly impressed.

Lastly we came to the mace trap. This was the hardest to set as the log, suspended 20 feet in the air, had to have weighed at least 100 pounds. Held in place only by a small stick attached to the rope acting as the trip wire…this was a sensitive one and we were all very careful not to trip it by accident.

Stay tuned to the ending of this story…in my next post.

(until then...go read the first, second and third installments about my childhood)


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