Desert

Standing like a statue of ash
And the wind is picking up
Flaking away in the breeze
Fading to a faceless memory
Of someone who made nothing
But an effort against forever

Hot desert skies cloud to gray
I smell the scent of rain
My burned face yearns for the wet
But the winds shift again
Tearing the clouds apart
And I’m scorched in the spotlight

All these times my heart has broken
And healed back together in pieces
I feel those scars with every beat
Reminding me what I’ve done wrong
At any moment it could come apart
Do not lose sight of what I love

Some of my smiles are fake
I don’t want to be rude
Because I was taught to share
But some of this pain shouldn’t be
Shared with those who don’t understand
Just wanting something to condemn

Back in the desert, trying to escape
The clouds circle and crowd each other
A single rain drop falls like a tear
The wind sighs and it is weeping on me
I am lost and dissolve into nothing
Like I was never here, never anywhere

~ Original Work, 9-28-2015

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Non-related Stuff

sj
So Steve Jobs of Apple / iPhone fame who was born in 1955 with German ancestry and passed away in 2011 was driven to create the superior phone.
Adolf_Hitler
In an unrelated stream, the infamous Adolf Hitler, who was born in April 1889 of German ancestry and died in April 1945, was driven (mad) to create the superior race of humans.
reincarnation
Some people believe in reincarnation. The reincarnation process could be once you die, your soul floats around for a period of time before being returned to Earth (or some other plane of existence with living beings) and the soul flows into a new vessel aka body. So say in the afterlife time moves at a different rate of speed. Maybe the reincarnation process takes like roughly 10 earth years.
applenets
Did you know around the Apple factories they have installed ‘Suicide Nets’ to keep their workers from going to the roof and plunging to their deaths? What must go on inside to make someone want to do that as opposed to just looking for another Jobs…er, job.
hellfire
None of these things are intertwined or possibly have a linear connection. I am just typing in tangents. Some people believe people go to Hell for crimes against humanity in this life.
why
Anyway – have a great week and if you are in a building and see safety nets outside, ask yourself why they are there.
the-saddest-thing-you-will-see-8
Peace.

KARMA

karma
What is karma? Some mythical energy in the universe that swings back and forth like a pendulum keeping a balance to right all the wrongs? Perhaps.
upsidedpown
It would be nice if karma was like a video on demand service. Someone rudely cuts you off in traffic without using their blinker…push the karma button…and presto they run over a board with nails causing their vehicle to fish-tail off the shoulder of the road, down an embankment where their car/truck flips over and all of the beverages in the vehicle spill on the driver before the air bag deploys and hopefully gives them a concussion.
karma-symbol-23
That is the way I would like for karma to work but it seems to be an eventual non-linear comeuppance that occurs some time later if at all. Since later on seems to be the rule I would like to propose something out to the Universal Karma to consider (if it hasn’t already thought of this).
netflix
In today’s American society (since I live here and am not 100% oblivious), it seems that monogamy and dedication to one person is dead or at least in a coma. I have ranted before about the aggressive (sexual) nature of courtship and ‘dating’ if you want to call it that nowadays. Every one is hurried and on-the-go so speed of delivery from food, to entertain, to companionship is heightened. Everyone wants everything now if not sooner. There is no build up to anything anymore. Who has time for that? Read a summary of the movie you are going to watch online before you see it (either on Netflix or in the theater). Check out Yelp reviews of a potential restaurant to know the parking, menu, price range, etc before you leave the house. Click the link to read a walk-through of the murder mystery dinner so there are no surprises when you go.

The overall vibe is that no one wants to be surprised or take a chance anymore. Surf and scroll, everything is just a Google search away. I get it and I am guilty of this as well, after all no one wants to waste money or their time when both of which are constantly in short supply.
grasshopper
Where am I going with this in relation to karma? Excellent question grasshopper.
keep-calm-and-swipe-right-14
Today everyone has access to so many more avenues of meeting a person of the opposite sex or of their same sex if that is their preference than say just twenty years ago. You obviously have hangout places such as sporting events, the gym or bars where you could scope out people in person. The less obvious places like grocery stores, church, public laundry and the workplace have potential to put two people together at the same time also. But an overwhelming major of people today meet online – whether they are single or not single but still looking for something else on the down-low.
tinder
I am not going to target the legitimately single who are just looking to play the field, regardless of looking for something long term or just to get the friction on and run. There are those people of both genders and you take your chances by playing that (sexual) roulette. But the ones who are in a relationship or downright married and are looking to step out without the other party in their relationship knowing – I propose some harsh cosmic karma for them and their children. #SinsOfTheFather

For the cheaters who sneak around and lie to ‘get some’ on the side (virtually or physically) behind their spouse’s or dedicated partner’s back (betraying their trust and faithfulness), I hope that if they have a child and when their child comes of age that someone they are looking to forge a meaningful relationship with…absolutely tears their child’s heart out and they have a front row seat to the agony and are unable to console them.
niagraj
Seem a little harsh? Maybe but as I often say, go big or go home. So many things in today’s world seem to have no consequences. So much is swept under the rug or shrugged off as a sign of the times and it is only getting worse. If I can call upon the mighty powers of karma (unlike the mighty Lotto Gods who have forsaken me) to at least consider this punishment. It may dole out some decency back into this world that is sliding down the slippery slope of morality and family values. I am not a prude by any stretch but I believe that the breeding line of good people is dwindling to a tortured trickle while the tsunami of a-holes is expanding like the falls of Niagara.
drDeath
Just thought I would drop that in the imaginary suggestion box and from there who knows? I tend to be silly and laid back but at my core I have deeply passionate views on what is right and wrong. Dr Jack Kevorkian did the right thing for people dying and suffering but was ostracized. The world needs more Dr Death and less RomeoHotBody1991 looking for a hottie for a 30 minute ‘hang session’ before he gets back to his Lexus, 3 kids and high school sweetheart wife who have no clue who he really is.
Hashtag-meme
#ScumbagsGonnaScumbag #BlogHashTagsForFun #LiarsAndCheatersRuinLives

Okay down off the soapbox and hope you are having a great mid month.

Peace!

Grampa Tom

springfield
Good day to the faithful readers or accidental Google searchers, whichever banner you prefer to gather under. This past weekend I took a little trek to play some softball as I often times do in the spring, summer and fall. This time the destination was Lebanon, Missouri. Traveling from near St Louis the highways take you in a somewhat southwest direction. Leaving Interstate 270 you hook onto highway 44 for a good long stretch to get to Lebanon. The route along highway 44 got me feeling a bit nostalgic as it was a similar route that I traveled every summer as a kid to Springfield where my grandparents lived for a time.
I-44-Sign
Me and my brother would get ushered into their car or van and head south for about 4 hours which included stopping at multiple rest stops along the way. I loved my Grampa Tom for his bluntness and off-color stories. He would normally drive and keep us kids entertained (since there were no iPads or Smartphones or real handheld devices for kids back then). During the drive he would talk some baseball or about his job as an over the road truck driver. Occasionally he would turn on his CB radio (never mind the explanation kids, you will have to Google it) and chat up some of the other truckers in the area.
Doolittle-City-limit-sign-200
The part of my drive that got me missing my grampa the most was when I passed two signs – going to Lebanon and also coming back. One was for the town of Doolittle named after a lieutenant general from World War II (Jimmy Doolittle). Whenever we made our annual summer trip down 44, grampa would crow, “Look! It’s DOOOOOOOLITTLE!” and we would all get a little chuckle at him. Also, the name I think he liked the best was on a sign before a bridge that said Roubidoux Creek (named after French explorer Joseph Rodidoux – why spelled different, I do not know). He would say the name to rhyme with Scooby Doo.
roubidoux
Those summers seem like eons ago and based on my age I guess you could go ahead and make that crack that thirty years ago is pretty close.
roland
My Grampa Tom has been gone for many years now. My brother and grandmother too. As Stephen King’s Gunslinger Roland Deschain would say, the world has moved on since then. Regardless, I miss him but at least I have the memories of him, among which was playing horseshoes with him and the other adults when I was barely tall enough to throw them more than 15-20 feet (including the roll after it landed lol). In life, little things sneak up on you when you least expect them. The big stuff steam rolls you but the little things are what keeps you connected I think. I guess I took an off-ramp somewhere and should head back to the story.

My Grampa Tom I think recognized how much everyone overcompensated with my brother, who had special needs to put things in a politically correct format. Back then he was just mentally retarded. Different era. Can’t call them that anymore but that’s what he was called back then. As a consequence, most everyone went out of their way for him and my grampa did too. However, Grampa Tom also made sure to carve out some me and him time to balance all the attention and such that my brother garnered. I guess that’s why he was my favorite grandparent, and relative for that matter outside of my mom.
HandsUpDontShoot_FergusonMo_ProtestSign_081414
I know my mom misses him too (he was her dad after all). Much of what he taught me and told me, I cannot repeat in civilized company and that brings a big smile to my face. I’m sure he would have had some ‘spicy’ things to say about all the riots and unrest in Ferguson but alas that is a conversation I will never get to have. I miss you grampa. Hope you are golfing somewhere in the afterlife.

Hopefully you have a good throwback memory that floats to you unexpectedly sometime soon. Drop me an email or leave me a comment if you would like.

Have a great day!

Peace.

Monday – The Blog Movie!!

fall
OK so I fibbed. There is no movie or even Youtube shenanigans. Just a well rationed amount of purposefully chosen words to have you scrolling until your fingers bleed! Aaaahhhhh!

Sorry felt I bit like going on the melodramatic side this morning here state side. A wonky weekend of great weather and softball has me feeling a bit enthused about the onset of fall even if the temperatures are projected this week to climb near 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius).
Toto
Interestingly enough the band Toto from the 70’s had an album release in 1986 called Fahrenheit. One of my favorites from the band. Mellow and yet fun. Next summer will be the 30 year anniversary of that classic. Check out their extensive discography for more great lyrics and time withstanding tunes.
Atchley_leb
So to hop on the softball train for a second – I played softball on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I played each day respectively: 4 games, 3 games and 2 games. In that time span (to toot my own horn) I collected five home runs. Granted all of it was slow pitch softball and only two games were men’s games – but on Saturday it was Missouri USSSA Coed State in Lebanon, MO. I played with Team Ramrod and we took 5th (out of 8 teams). I consider it a successful weekend when I play ball and have no facial bruising or healing gashes from taking bad hops to the face. Yay me!
mohickbbq
As a plus, we finished off the night on Saturday at a great little BBQ place called Missouri Hick BBQ in Cuba, MO. Second time eating there, second time leaving stuffed and very satisfied.
Nahla
To rewind a little bit more, on Friday I spent the morning and early afternoon volunteering at the Stray Rescue of St Louis again. I saw a few familiar faces from the doggy ranks but a few of the ones I personally walked had been either fostered out or outright adopted so that was great. Of the new doggies, my favorite was Nalah. A little black and brown shepherd mix – she was a spitfire and very affectionate. This time around there was a huge group from my employer plus another smaller group was there too so the dogs got out early and often. This isn’t always the case as one of the other volunteers said they only had four volunteers the day before which means the staff has a lot more work to do with walking the dogs and cleaning the kennels which naturally takes longer which means more of the dogs don’t get out until later to do their business which in turn means more accidents which in turns means more to clean. It’s a vicious cycle. I did a search on my girl Kool-Aid from my first visit and she is still available for adoption but is not at the shelter but with a foster family presently. Here’s to hoping she gets her forever home soon.
randy
Right around lunch time, the founder Randy Grim stopped in and thanked us for our time and efforts walking and helping with the cleaning chores. He also laid out some philosophy about how forgiving the animals can be even when they have been repeated abused or neglected. So many of the animals arrive in bad shape but in the cleaning and treatment process, they still will nuzzle a palm or lick someone or wag their tail. Most of these animals just want what all of us want deep inside: someone to love them and treat them well and in return they have affection and faithfulness that knows no bounds. Again I cannot adequately express the admiration I have for Randy and his entire staff for the service they provide these animals. Everyday, 24/7, they are there feeding, watering, cleaning and interacting with these animals who have all been dealt a hard hand to play. Holidays, weekends and late nights – doesn’t matter – they are there for these dogs and cats. Most of us have a set amount of hours at our jobs and then we switch off and don’t think about it. These people associated with the Stray Rescue pretty much live it nonstop and for them, I tip my hat and cannot wait to volunteer again. Cheers to each and every one of them.
lab
A special wish for the dog Whitey Herzog (white lab mix) that was there on Friday. He is a boy dog that resembles my girl Ginger (best dog in the world) that we had to have put down with medical issues last summer. I hope he heals up and finds a loving family and they feed him almost until he is fat and he has a very comfy, fluffy bed to sleep in. That’s all I wish for him.

So overall I really enjoyed my weekend of softball, spending time with friends, my girlfriend and the furry quadrupeds. I hope each and every one of you finds a happy wave and enjoys your week.

Peace.

7 Totally Random Things

So I am sitting here listening to Katy Perry’s Last Friday Night thinking random thoughts ranging from “how am I going to float the next 10 days until payday” all the way to “should I really think of a plan to unearth my abs from 1992”. So in that jovial duh-duh-duh spirit here are seven image searches from my unofficial search engine sponsor Google.

On with the show…

Warner Brothers Duckface

duckface
Chicken Soup to Drown Your Soul
soul
Awful and Free Calendars
badday
An Ink Pen Exploded in My Mouth
inkpen
Football Players Fighting Over a Banana (should’ve specified American football)
banana
Rebecca Black is a Nice Girl

Rebecca Black dances at Delta Air Lines, the official airline of the GRAMMYS, Celebration of LAís Music Industry at the Getty House on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Invision/AP)
Two Apples and Big Bird
birds
Have a terrific and potentially spectacular Thursday.
thursday
Peace.

Whatever it takes

Some days you do whatever it takes
To get through the day
To get the job done
To live with yourself
To keep the faith
And have a little faith

Every day I want a little truth
To believe in myself
To believe in the future
To see down the road
To give myself some hope
And have someone believe in me

I do whatever it takes
To get up in the morning
To be to seen smiling
To let the haters know
To go to Hell. Try,try again
And tomorrow I’ll come back again

Do whatever and whatever will do
That’s what it takes to be me
I’m joking, I’m fighting
Caged and enraged
I will do whatever it takes
Bet on me, whatever it takes

All ways that I can see
To screw everything up
To the world, no big deal
To me, I’ve failed again
To me, I’ll never get it right
But I keep trying, whatever it takes

If those days end in darkness
To wait for the sunrise
To pray for another chance
To offer my apologies
To make amends until my end
And hope for forgiveness, whatever it takes

Do whatever and whatever will do
That’s what it takes to be me
I’m choking, I’m drowning
Scared and afraid
I will do whatever it takes
Bet on me, whatever it takes

 

(Original work 09/08/2015)

More than clean socks

Good morning, noon, evening or dead of the night depending on where upon planet Earth you are accessing the web and in turn my writing (if you are reading this).

I am going to get into a potentially sensitive and explosive topic but hear me out until the end before you slam down the lid of your laptop or close out the browser page on your smart phone or computer. I know there are tons of daytime talk shows with females as their targeted demographic and also a boatload of women’s magazines (in print and online). The majority of these segments and pieces is to empower and support women – married or single. I get that. Now to jump out of the plane with my homemade parachute and hope I do not splat to ground at an incredible rate of speed.
oprah-thumb
In these format outlets, there are varying pieces (usually from the female perspective) on how to find a good man, how to stretch your budget, how to give yourself (or friends) a winning makeover and on and on. I am going to take a spin at one very specific topic deep in the vein.

Dating a single mom.

A hush has fallen and the tension level has risen. Most of the pieces on dating a single mom are very informative and are firmly up on the high horse for the single mom’s side. The single mom has to provide enough love for her child(ren) as compensation for two parents. In addition, she has to balance her life while trying to cover all the bases for her child(ren). So any guy coming into her life better be the best of Prince Charmings with nothing but the most honorable of intentions (few guys do, let’s be honest).

Single moms are basically regular women with alot on their plate plus another plate or two spinning while standing on one foot. A mom first, a provider/protector next and then everything else afterwards. So any guys who edge into the picture are either wolves trying to butter her up for a potential hit and run or are decent guys wanting to try to see if they can break into all those mother/child(ren) selfies.
dragon-wind-chime
What am I talking about? Look at her phone or social media account. Check out how many pictures she has with her son or daughter. What does that have to do with the prices of wind chimes in Northern Japan? That little person is number one in their life. If they have multiple children, then they are #1, 2, 3, etc or all co-number ones. Still not follow?

In most traditional boy and girl relationships (sorry gay couples I am not excluding you intentionally, I am just making a generalized point) the girl and boy fall in love and possibly start a family. In a perfect world, for the boy the girl is number one (priority) and vice-versa. Once a child is born, sometimes the dynamic changes and child may usurp the number one standing for one or both of the parents. In those couples, they can experience some loss of intimacy and the relationship is altered. OK so this is my hack take on why so many marriages change and erode over time.
Wendy-Williams
So what does this have to do with dating a single mom? Putting aside all the old fashioned do’s and don’t’s for dating that seem to not exist anymore – when a guy engages a single mom for dating, seeking friends with benefits or to build a long-term relationship – he is walking in looking at the number two spot in her heart (at best).

I am sensing some hackles raising. Please let me finish. In the traditional relationship (without kids on either side), generally the woman may have strong emotional ties with a friend or parent that eventually gets surpassed by the (different) love shared by a man and woman (just my opinion and experience). Obviously that does not mean that their feelings in those other arenas are inconsequential, but that new, raw feeling forges a very strong connection. But with dating a single mom, her first priority (as it should be) lies with her child(ren). So it takes a strong and dedicated kind of guy to open up and try to make the single mom and her child(ren) part of his family. It takes a tremendous amount of humility to walk into that situation knowing you are not that person’s emotional universe but just a portion.

Typically another pitfall walking into a relationship with a single mom is her ultra-thick defenses. She is typically on her guard (for BS) as she is not only trying to protect herself but also her child(ren).

In this world of on-line cheating sites, secret chatting apps and network of hook-up options – the single mom and women in general are being preyed upon by single (and not so single) guys looking to work some game and get some pix or hook-ups under false pretenses. Admittedly I am from a different generation and take some pause about the lengths guys will go to when trying to manipulate women into sexual conversations and the exchange of explicit images and ultimately hook-ups.

I know I delved a bit into the pitfalls a single mom has to navigate when looking for a partner in life but I was really trying to give a bit of the good guy perspective. When he (the good guy) is being bombarded by all these articles: 21 Ways for a single mom to see if he really is a keeper or a sneaker; or 10 Things every guy wanting to date a single mom must do before the first date; or The Bill of Rights when it comes to dating a single mom. Yes we should value the single mom, but if she is really worth dating you should value her whether she has a child or not.

I am not going to get into a checklist of things for the single mom to look for in a guy because there are so many players out there using so many angles to ‘get what they want’. Instead, I would just say to trust your gut and pay attention. If the (new) guy you are talking to does nothing but turn everything into a come on or an angling for sexual activity especially only really late at night then he is probably looking for something flitting and not long term.
bedtime
So tying this in back to my current situation, I have been dating and living with a single mom for almost two years now. Her son is a sweet kid and obviously the heart of her universe. Like any relationship there have been peaks and valleys. Sometimes the issues involve him and our dynamic and sometimes not. But over the course of time, she has lowered the castle defenses and we are a decent little pseudo family unit. I didn’t need any Wendy Williams help or Cosmo slick pages to find my way to this point. I just relied upon the upbringing my mother instilled in me. My mom is pretty amazing. She didn’t raise a perfect son by any means but I think she did a nice job making me into a decent human that a single mom would like to share her life with and help raise her son.

Unless I get hit by a bus later today, there’s more to this story and I am excited to see how it unfolds.

Have a great week and enjoy whomever in your life makes you happy.

Peace.

…utri…

track
(Here is an original Blog I had written two months ago before I switched tracks to route to a different theme)
fiberone_
What does it mean to you? Ponder that for a moment while I systematically consume my Fiber One Oats and Chocolate Chewy (granola) Bar.
mixed-bag
OK so what did you come up with? To me utri means I ripped the wrapper in two places and the word nutrition was truncated. A bit of a let down perhaps and I apologize. If I try to reach out into the universe for a deeper meaning, perhaps it means more. Phonetically utri could sound like you-tree or you-try. Since I do not wish to be a casualty of the logging industry, I will opt for the second pronunciation of you-try. This seems more fitting for me and my persona. I do try. I really really do. The results may be a mixed bag and sometimes a downright failure but the bottom line is I do try. Whether it be at my job, softball, my personal relationships, encouraging a willful 4 (almost 5) year old in the right direction or just doing things outside of my bubble (read comfort zone) I make the effort and try.
sarcastic
So with each day’s struggles and challenges it is good to step back and find a second or two of nonsense to make you giggle out loud. Yes some people will think you are crazy but hey, that’s just a bonus!

Peace.