Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What is "right?"

I haven't written anything here for quite a while. When I arrived,there were several cobwebs, some dust piles, and something that I swear was gnawing on a bone, huddled in a corner. Upon chasing whatever the Hell that was out, and a little sweeping, I find myself sitting here at a keyboard, with some things to get out and onto virtual pages.

I have to say that first of all, I am depressed. I am a happily married man with a beautiful wife, ambitions of starting a family, and some great friends. Unfortunately, I have some things in my life that simply refuse to catch the wave, and as a result, leave me in depressed state. Knowing that I have those other things in my life that are very positive makes me sure of the fact that I won't stay depressed long, but none the less, I am down. I won't get into any detail about what exactly is the bane of my existence right now, because I don't really think it would do you, or me any good. What I will tell you about, is something that happened to me today that might actually fuel a positive swell, and a ride that if you'd like to, please, jump on.

I went down to the little general store down the street from where I work so that I could get a snack. Our office here has been lacking lately in the snacky-snack department, and I had a craving for some Combos; cheddar cheese wrapped in a cracker barrel shell. I went to the beverage cooler and grabbed a fruit punch Vitamin Water before turning around and selecting my little bag of hunger relief. I waited in line behind two women who were of the same mind as I, while they purchased their snacks and hope and prayer scratch tickets.

Nearly a minute goes by, as I stand patiently in line, while the two women swipe their payment cards and enter some probably poorly chosen pin numbers. Their cards accepted, they obliviously leave the store and make room for me to do some business. My Combos and Vitamin Water are rung up, I'm given a total, and I reach into my wallet and pull out a bill for which I would need change back. As the cashier is occupied meticulously counting out my return, I take a look down at the counter, and the various chewing gums and mints that are available. I don't really know why I looked, but I suppose I always do something like surveying my surroundings at a time like this.

I see to my left some packages of Stride gum, and I chuckle to myself as I remember some of their more clever and humorous commercials. Something was blocking the items to the right of the Stride, and I think nothing of it as I continue down the line, and make eye contact with the Tic Tacs. Their commercials aren't as amusing to me, so I went back left so I could discern what the blockage was over the other items. It was a tri-fold, black leather, man's wallet. It looked like a small tent, as it was folded open with the open side facing down, resting on what I later discovered to be more Stride gum. I picked it up, and the next thing I can see is that this wallet is not empty. There were two rather large wads of cash folded into the wings of the wallet, with perhaps some receipts residing in the middle of the tri-fold. I was speechless. All of this was happening very fast, as you can imagine, since there really is very little time between one giving money and then receiving change.

I'm going to stop here for a minute so that I can ask the question that you read in the title of this blog. What is "right?" What is "the right thing to do" in this small corner of time? I'm sure that everyone has been asked at some point or another, "What would you do if you found a wallet full of cash that wasn't your own?" There are, of course, two very different immediate answers. 1. Keep the damn thing. You found it, right? 2. Return it to its rightful owner. You would want yours back if you lost it, right?

Well, my brain didn't even give me a chance to ask that question of morality to myself. I picked up the wallet, looked at the cashier as she handed me my change, and said, "This was on the gum..." She looked at me like I told her a dirty limerick that she had yet to understand and said, "What do you mean?" I repeated myself and pushed the wallet in her direction. She took the wallet and looked at it for a second while I added, "Someone just left it here on the gum." She put the wallet down behind the counter and said she was sure someone would be making a phone call seeking their lost wallet. I agreed and left the store, heading back to work with snack and drink in hand.

I suppose I am very satisfied with myself, knowing that my first instinct in this scenario was to immediately not assume possession of something wasn't mine. I do believe that everyone wants to be a good person, and I take some pride in knowing that I didn't even have to choose. At the same time, like I said, I am depressed, and debt happens to be a partial contributor. I don't know how much money was in that wallet, but I know that I could have used it. Was the wallet a sign of a higher power helping me in my time of need? Was the wallet there to test my moral fiber in someone else's time of need? Was the money left for me, or was it left for me to return? Was there a better choice than Combos for my snack? I don't expect anyone to be able to answer these questions because no one can. No one knows exactly what was supposed to happen for me at that moment.

Not keeping the wallet did effect my depression in two ways. At first I was more depressed that I didn't hold onto the wallet. I could have counted the money, weighed whether or not to keep it, and wrestled with that whole monster. There was a way to instantly help my situation, and to possibly let me come out on top with a little to spare. Then, I was happy that I didn't keep it. Like I said, I was happy with myself for not even entering into a situation where I had to weigh pros and cons, and ultimately decide between good and bad like some kind of lack-luster after school special. Being the proverbial "good person" really can make a difference on many levels.

After all of this is said and done, and after I have written about it here, I must say that I feel better. For the better part of the day, I had been letting the things that depress me take over. The things that are getting me down are small, miniature in comparison to the greater things in my life that bring me nothing but joy. Thanks for reading, and I hope you've been inspired to focus on what brings you happiness. The weight of the world doesn't have to be too heavy.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Size Matters Not

I got this pic from my good old Friend Travis. Notice the exceptionally small looking right arm on said Friend. I couldn't take my eyes off it! Falling victim to strange lens perception, Travis' right arm has now fallen victim to this odd story. Enjoy!


Depending on the job, it's generally a good idea to work in some type of a team. It doesn't always have to be a large team, but let's face it; at least two heads are better than one. That leaves only the smallest team size, a pair, in most cases. We see it all the time. Beat cops generally patrol with a partner, a sales pairing may head out to take some business' money, and when one arm just isn't enough to pull the weight, it enlists the help of its trusted counterpart on the other side.

Edward "Lefty" Pendleshoes was in the prime of his career. He didn't work for just one outfit, however, and his career has always involved just getting by and finding odd jobs to get the bills paid. The key to his success was actually in his trusted partner, Johan "Righty" Ingersol.

The pair met one fateful day when Lefty was so very young. There was a sparkling bottle of formula dead ahead, and the orders from above were to acquire the bottle, bring it close, and await further instructions. Upon getting the order, Lefty shot into action and went straight for the target. Lefty was new at this, but had an amazing level of determination. He got to the bottle and very quickly realized that he may have bitten off much more than he could chew.

His first attempt simply knocked it over. After a slight pause to survey the new scene, and a quick moment to collect himself, Lefty went back after his mission. This time, he was able to get around the cylinder but was unable to do much more than move it around without actually lifting it up. Nearing the point of exhaustion, Lefty took one look up and witnessed the arrival of his soon to be inseparable partner. With a quick nod of acknowledgement to each other, Lefty and Righty wasted no time in using each other's unique skill set to not only right the fallen bottle, but further the mission to completion by perfectly lifting it to the appropriate altitude, where they rested shortly and awaited further instructions.

From that moment on, Lefty and Righty became legends in their field. Wonderfully spun yarns about their exploits quickly made their way through the community, but they never let the fame cloud their vision. The team motored along for nearly five years before an event took place that would shatter any future dreams of perfection. Lefty began to notice that Righty wasn't always there when he needed him. It wasn't a big deal at first, but it soon became clear to Lefty that he was carrying far more of the load than necessary for a well oiled machine like the team of old.

Lefty got the heartbreaking news at 2:30 in the afternoon one day. Coming from out of nowhere, Lefty found himself in the possession of a very serious piece of documentation from the Front Office. Scouring the document, he discovered why Righty just wasn't the same anymore. Righty had developed a quite severe case of scoliosis, and as a result he would never be able to grow into a full sized and able bodied member of the team, and because of his affliction, Righty was to be medically discharged from service.

Taking the news rather hard, Lefty found himself taking a three week sabbatical and fell into a devastatingly dark and deep depression. His three weeks turned into three months before Lefty had the courage to step out of his pain filled shoes and back into harsh real world that awaited him. He was instantly welcomed back into the fold, and when paperwork came his way about a new partner detail, he didn't even look at it. He told his superiors that he would work with no other partner, and demanded Righty back. Lefty would not leave a brother in arms, and claimed he owed his very existence to the past he and Righty had shared. Upon hearing the news, Righty had no words and shed a single tear, as he and Lefty shared a mighty embrace.

Lefty and Righty would go on to have many more adventures, and became the tightest, and most effective team ever imagined. Their success in spite the odds, should be a deep lesson for us all, and an inspiration never to forget. Godspeed to you, Righty and Lefty.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I'll get the ball rolling......

Ok, so the above picture of 2 lobster traps has given birth to this strange tale. Enjoy!


Andy looked down toward his previous Home for the last 25 years for the last time. He had spent the last 25 years in prison, and he was now headed home. He claims to this day that he did not commit the crime for which he was imprisoned, and will not speak about the actual incident with any detail. Ask him and you always get the same dry, listless answer. "It wasn't me." Andy Dufresne took one long look at Clawshank Prison, and deeply inhaled before letting out a long and free exhale.

The only problem with being out of the joint, was that now he had nowhere to go. His job would most assuredly have gone to the next bright eyed and big clawed lobster with a degree. He was an only child and had no family to speak of. His Mother was taken in the night one cold and wavy November morning back in 1967. His father crawled off afterward in a grief and panic stricken chase, but he was never heard from again. Leaving little Andy to fend for himself at but a mere 13 years old.

Andy persevered against the greatest of odds. He managed to successfully avoid predation and was able to find food in all of the places he remembered following his mother. Andy's success lasted for almost 4 years. After that, Andy's girlfriend at the time, a hot little swimmer with 8 of the sexiest legs on a nephropidae Andy had ever seen, named Jane, turned up missing one day. They found her remains the next day. Andy was instantly accused of kidnapping and murder. Maxillae records of the body came back with a positive identification to Jane, and a piece of Andy's molted skin was found on the tail of the deceased.

Andy showed all the remorse of someone who had just had a Love of their life taken from them by the cursed grip of Lady Death, but it didn't help him any. The judge had an open feud with Andy's father at the time he disappeared. They had been high school buddies, and eventually had a terrible falling out that amounted to Andy's father owing his former friend a rather large sum of money. The judge took his aggressions and former feelings of hatred and turned them on Andy, sentencing him to a life sentence in prison.

But now that was all behind him. Andy actually felt good. His helicopter (yeah I forgot to mention he was being airlifted out of Clawshank. Sorry.) landed and Andy took his first 8 steps of freedom. He crawled away from the helipad and started to actually form a smile. His smile didn't last long however, as thoughts of revenge soon crept into Andy's conscience. He never mentioned his plot to anyone in the big house, but he had spent his quiet time in his cell hatching the brilliant plan. Andy did all he could to have his sentence cut short, and after 25 years and finally a winning appeal, Andy was let free. The judge who had wronged him died years ago, but Andy knew he left behind a son. A son who would pay for his father's mistakes just as Andy had.

The End?

The pic I took in York Beach last...I dunno...a while ago.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Great Debate

The above pictures were ripped off from the website Go there for all news related to anything that is and ever was Van Halen.

The Great Debate has never been about Politics. There has never been a bigger debate than the one that involves Diamond David Lee Roth, The Red Rocker Sammy Hagar, and Van Halen. There probably never will be either. Why am I writing about this topic now, when there really isn't any reason? I dunno. I haven't blogged in a while, and I guess I needed a fix.

Van Halen. A band that at this point in their storied career needs no real introduction. But since it's not a blog without words, here it is. They feature one of the Planet's greatest guitarists, Edward Van Halen. His Brother, Alex pounds the drums. Rounding out the rhythm was Michael Anthony on bass, and the original Frontman was David Lee Roth. From 1978 to 1984 they enjoyed all the success expected of a multiplatinum, hard rocking, band of their time. The music was about partying hard, having fun and looking damn cool doing it. Diamond Dave was the pinnacle of frontmen, providing his audience with high flying acrobatics, flashy clothes, and a huge dose of oozing sexuality. All of this was given at the cost of the actual lyrics! Probably the biggest complaint that anyone would have had of Diamond Dave was that he could not accurately reproduce what as on the record. High notes aside, some said he couldn't even get the lines right. But it didn't matter. He was no less than the greatest Frontman of his time. But in 1984, his time was up. He was given the boot from the band. He didn't like the direction that Edward wanted to take. Exit Dave, and enter the Red Rocker, Sammy Hagar.

Sammy Hagar was not as big a name as Van Halen, but he wasn't a stranger either. People knew him from his early work with Montrose, and his subsiquent solo albums. He was a musician, and that was something Eddie really liked. Dave played the part of frontman/lead singer better than anyone, but how musically talented was he? Sammy was a decent guitarist in his own right, and could sing in a wider range than Dave could. All signs pointed to Van Halen now being complete. Again. The new album sold like crazy and solidified Sammy's place in the band. All was well. It seemed. Die hard Davers did not accept Sammy Hagar, and did not like the new music. They bought it, went to the shows and got just as drunk as they did in 1980, but they didn't like it. What didn't help is that aparently Sammy would find a way to dig at David whenever he could. Probably not the best idea when you're taking over for someone the entire fan base adored, and considered the definition of Van Halen. The Rift had been created. Sammy went on for the next 10 years continuing to write poetic lyrics to Eddie's more pop influenced guitar and synth riffs, while DLR tried to soldier on with a solo career. Van Halen moved on, but some of the fans (a lot of them) wouldn't let the ride go smoothly. Over the years, and even to this day, Sammy gets slammed because he is not David Lee Roth. Dave gets slammed because he's not Sammy. ARGHHH!!! It makes the brain hurt, quite frankly. Both singers (yes, Dave can sing) are different. Sammy is not Dave, and that's where the real crux of the Debate begins. People don't like change. Even when the Change works out, and the realization sets in that without the Change, the greater good would not have come about, people still don't like the change.

Which side am I on? I like the music Van Halen made with Sammy Hagar. I just do. I don't dislike the Original stuff, I just like what I like. But more than anything, I'm an Eddie Van Halen fan. I love guitar, and between Eddie and Jimmy Page, it doesn't get any better than that for me! I don't care who sings. I don't. If I don't care, then why do I bring any of it up? Because Van Halen is trying to get back into the limelight again. They had a wildly successful US tour in 07, that eventually spilled over into dates in 08. I saw it. Eddie was out of this world. Seemingly sober (as compared to the Sammy Reunion tour in 04....oh, God what a mess...) and happy as a clam, Eddie shared the stage with his son on the bass. That's right, Michael Anthony, the original bassist, and the only guy who really just had to shut up and put up with the brothers VH bitching about who they wanted to sing, was ousted in favor of Eddie's teenage kid. The popular story is that he was booted because he spent so much time with Sammy, playing shows with Sammy's band, and Eddie had the audacity to complain about the money Michael was making from the Van Halen name.

Like I said though, Van Halen is trying to get back to form. They swear they have a DVD coming out of the latest tour. Where is it? Eddie swears he has all kinds of new music he has been writing and recording. Where is it? EVH has a new line of signature guitars that go for about the cost of a small car. Those came out on time. He also has his own line of amps, again, they cost about as much as it did to raise a kid in 1989. Those came out on time. My point is that us, the fans, have been chomping at the bit for new music from the band we call Van Halen for years! As much as I love Sammy, the new tracks from 04 aren't enough. Sammy Hagar, minus Van Halen, has been putting out music consistently. The quality is usually hit or miss, again as much as I love Sammy, "Livin It Up" wasn't really that good. His latest though, "Cosmic Universal Fashion" is MUCH better.

So what the Hell is my point? I don't really have one. It's just that when I go to a website like, which is the Van Halen News Desk, every single time they post an article that relates to Sammy Hagar, you wouldn't believe the infantile animosity that ensues within the comment section of each one. It's crazy. I tried reasoning with these cretins long ago, but have since stopped since it seems that part of their brain died in 1984 when Davey was out. Now, since Dave is back, they assume they've won the War. Whatever....I just don't care anymore. If Eddie decides it's time for a new album then you bet your ass I'm going to buy it. He says they're going to wait until after June to really work on it because that's when his kid, Wolfgang (only a musician would name his kid that, right?) graduates High School, and Eddie himself is getting married again. We'll see, I guess. Hopefully by Halloween I can be ripping some serious air guitar to some new Eddie masterpieces. Until then....

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I'm just going to say this....

I should never have clicked on it. I should have just scrolled down and not even paid any attention to it. I didn't. I clicked right on Chris Brown's name on the Google News, and I wish I never had. Does anybody not know what's going on with this grade A pussy? That's right Brown. I called you a pussy. You are one of the biggest pussies I have ever heard of, and I hope that you get your own ass kicked one day very soon.

So here's the deal. This asshole is apparently some kind of pop singer. I don't listen to pop music, so his potential in that category is meaningless to me. He's the boyfriend of Rihanna, little pop starlet who doesn't know how many syllables are in the word umbrella. Three by the way, Rihanna, three. But I don't have a problem with her here. Well, I do, but I'll get to her in a minute.

There was a report a while back putting Chris Brown involved with an assault, and the rumors were that it involved his girlfriend, Rihanna. Well, the rumor mill was full of truth it would seem, and Chris "Super Pussy" Brown did indeed assault Rihanna. While they were in a car. Because she didn't like a text message he got. While they were in the car. Apparently he punched her in the face several times, and bit her as she tried to fight back. She even feigned a call for help and he then told her that she made a "big mistake," and choked her at one point. Chris Brown, you are quite the tough guy. It makes me boil when I hear this now, and all I can think of is back when the story first came out and it was rumor. People were like, "so what if he did it, he sings great," and blah fucking blah. Why does anyone even consider giving a guy like this a pass? You're willing to accept the fact that he would beat up a woman because you like the way he sings??!!! I cannot believe anyone would support this scum bag and buy his records. Anyone defending him and citing his voice as a reason is just perpetuating the problem, and does nothing but tell this shit head, and any other pussy who hits women, that it's ok.

Now Rihanna, my sympathy goes out to you, but you are not much better in this scenario. Apparently you took him back! What the fuck is wrong with you?!?! All you've done now, is tell your tweeny bopping fans that it's cool to have a boyfriend who hits you. He will apologize to your liking when you face him with the possibility of jail, and the fairy tale "love" will go on. Fuck you, Rihanna. There's a huge problem with the way relationships are presented to the youth of this country. This will be old news in about 3 months, Asshole Brown will release an album of sappy love, and Rihanna will release an album saying how tough of a woman she is. Rihanna, to you I just hope you realize that taking him back is wrong, and you dump his ass faster than he can imagine. Then release an album about how strong you are. You might do an inkling of good that way. Chris Brown, you can just go fuck off. I hope some people sharpen their brains and never buy another thing you put out, and that when you fuck up and do something like this again, you do a very long stint of time. There's a seat in Hell for you, asshole.

Are Titles Really Important?

There was a heightened sense of vulnerability in the ship today, and I didn’t want to get caught with my pants down, as it were. Five minutes ago, I heard the alarm go screaming, followed by the Captain’s less than calm warning.

*crackle* “Ah, this is your captain speaking….you may have noticed that the ship is currently…oh shit…I mean, um…*ahem* there’s nothing to- oh shit, they’re coming aboard!” *crackle*

I knew what to do. I extracted the shiny metal weapon given to us before we departed. It was a small pistol looking thing, and I technically had never fired it. I had run the simulator several times, and by simulator, I of course mean playing Goldeneye 007 on my Nintendo for the last ten years. I had beaten everyone I know at that game and I was more than certain that if I ever came across a situation where I needed to shoot my way out, I would be ready.
Now as I said, I didn’t want to get caught with my pants down. So before anyone could catch sight of me, I pulled them up. I then slowly opened the bathroom door. No one seemed to make much notice of it, so I took that to mean that no one had actually boarded the ship yet. I crept closer to the door, and glimpsed my reflection in the mirror. I remember thinking, “Damn, I look good….” Wait…was that a zit on my nose?
“Son of a…” I remarked to myself as I started to lean towards the mirror for a closer examination. I was just about ready to clear the blemish when I heard a very loud crash and smash combination sound. I was jolted back to the task at hand and with my weapon pointed out I jumped out of the bathroom like a rabid animal, and began shouting obscenities in every language I knew. As I go over the security record of the incident, which includes a grainy yet detailed image as well as an audio file, it seemed the only language I knew was English.
After I had finished with my intimidating and swear filled battle cry, I pointed my gun directly at what appeared to be one of the invaders. Our new company didn’t seem to be organic. I only saw metal. I yelled, “Stop right there robotic fiend!” and kept my gun trained on my adversary. He didn’t move. I clearly had the upper hand at this point, and figured I would try to get a little information out of it.
“Who are you?!?!” I yelled madly. No response. “God damn it I said, who the hell are you?!?!” Again, silence from the invader.
“Don’t wanna talk huh? I don’t blame you really. I’m not sure I’d have a lot to say either in your position. I would consider bargaining for my life, however, seeing as how I’m the one with the gun here." From my vantage point, I could see no visible weapons. I was smarter than that though. I’ve seen plenty of robots and know for an immediate fact that they can conceal anything in their millions of empty and hidden compartments. There was no way I was going to underestimate my foe. I stood my ground amidst the uncomfortable silence, and after a few minutes I barked once more at the invader.
“You’d better tell me EXACTLY who you are, WHY you’re here, and if we have time and I don’t end up having to kill you, I’d like to know a little about your civili-“
“CHRIS!!! What the hell are you doing?!” yelled our Captain. At me, no less.
“You know what I’m doing…and don’t distract me damn it! I don’t want to be blindsided…” I answered.
The Captain sighed and said, “You’re holding the dinner cart at gun point. And that’s not a gun,” he said. “That’s a toilet paper roll.”
“You said we were being boarded!” I stammered. “Have they gotten to you already? Is this a trick?!” I asked and flailed what I still thought was my weapon in the Captain’s direction now. I wasn’t going to be taken alive.
“ trick…look, we don’t have a lot of time so you’re going to have to trust me. The ship fuel is still in your system and it seems to be really fucking you up, man. We are about to be boarded, it hasn’t happened yet, and we were on our way to the escape pod. Ok?” said the Captain as though he was talking a mental patient down from the roof. He grabbed my arm and I instinctively followed him and the rest of the crew down towards the escape pod. “If we can get to it in time, we can jettison the ship and probably land on the small moon below. “
We might as well get this part out of the way right now. Yes, I ate the ship fuel, and no I didn’t know it was ship fuel. I thought it was something else. I’m pretty sure I ate it three or four days ago, and it hits me about every four or five hours. Why am I not dead after eating the fuel designed for a starship to travel at light speed across the galaxy? Ship’s doctor couldn’t understand it either. He was already in the escape pod and was waiting for me. He handed me a small pill and a glass of water and said, “I cannot believe you ate the fucking fuel you stupid shit head. We’re gonna run out of these pills you know.”
Well, that's about all I can sit through for now. I don’t have any dates on these, so I don’t know what order they’re going to follow. Looks like I’m no closer to finding out the whole truth, or anywhere close to finding out about my toothy ash tray here. I don't even know if I want to know the truth stands to reason that as long I'm here now, I shouldn't care about what happened while I was gone. Yeah, I think I might just let these things sit for a while. I'll pull one out every now and then, but I'm just glad I'm home. Oh, and by the way....just keep one thing in mind. There is no such thing as Blue Hash. If you ever think you've found any? For God's sake leave it alone.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Still breathing, still alive.

Well, I have finally returned from my Interplanetary African Safari. Oh, I didn't tell you about that? It was fantastic. 3 Months, eight days and twenty nights on the most endearing and difficult trip of my life. Hop-scotching our way over the vast, expansive African lunar surfaces, we discovered and subsequently killed many types of life forms. I remember the first day, and how I had accidentally ingested part of the starship fuel, thinking it was blue hash. Unfortunately, that's all I remember. I've reviewed many of the security and personal recordings, and over the next few entries I will try and piece together what exactly the Hell went on. I can only be certain of 2 things...the trip began, and apparently the trip ended. Join me as I regain my Earthly bearings, search for journalistic integrity, and find out what this weird skull is that I keep ashing my cigar many teeth.....anyway, be here, be there, it's all relative. I'll be right where I need to be.