Out of the Closet And Up Against A Jumbo Package

In a recent chapter of the gay-guy-playing-pro-football saga, an online article actually supplied me with so much material to write about, I barely knew where to start.

First, ex-football coach and Skeletor look-alike Tony Dungy said he would not have drafted Michael Sam, the NFL’s first openly gay player.  Dungy said that he would not have wanted to have to deal with the complexities which Sam’s impeccably stylish, matching personal baggage might contain.  I haven’t spoken with Mr. Dungy personally, but I think I understand his logic.  Also, he didn’t actually talk about Mr. Sam’s luggage, that was just me using a cute metaphor.

He doesn't look too much like Dungy in this pic and in an ironic twist, Skeletor looks kind of effeminate here.  (Image from Cracked dot com)

He doesn’t look too much like Dungy in this pic.  In an ironic twist, Skeletor looks kind of fem in his signature lavender tights…and girlfriend, those nails! (Image from Cracked dot com)

The NFL is a tough place to do business, and potential players are put under intense scrutiny.  Teams want to avoid drafting anyone whose off-field behavior might sully the league’s reputation or distract fellow players from remembering blocking assignments and locker combinations.  Sports psychology experts will tell you that all it takes is one accused murderer, wife beater, dog fighter or date-rapist to disrupt the delicate balance of locker room morale.  Drafting a guy who already “plays for the other team” is just asking for trouble.

It appeared during the draft that many of the NFL’s talent scouts may have agreed with Dungy’s assessment of Michael Sam.  After all, it’s one thing to have pink accessories to show support for breast cancer awareness (and then donate pennies to the actual cause), but damn it man, the NFL doesn’t need players to start pushing for rainbows too!  You let gay men into the league and the next thing you know they’ll be having “Say Yes To The Dress” marathons on the jumbo-tron!

Boobies – 7  Judy Garland worship – 3

Oh hell no girl!  It's gonna take more than some pink ribbons to fix that dress.  Get your ass back in the limo!  (Image from xoxobook dot com)

Oh hell no girl! It’s gonna take more than some pink ribbons and wrist bands to fix that look!  (Image from xoxobook dot com)

Dungy’s quote did not get past sports commentator and arbiter of all-things politically correct Keith Olbermann, who promptly labelled  him “The Worst Person in the World“.  I’m not a close follower of Mr. Olbermann.  I’m hoping that he names a new worst person in the world every week or two and this is not a one-time thing.  While Dungy’s comment could certainly be construed as prejudicial, it’s hard to imagine that he beats out Adolf Hitler, Charles Manson or Donald Rumsfeld, just for uttering a few words.  In Olbermann’s defense, if he just labelled Dungy a jerk, he wouldn’t have likely gotten much mileage out of it.

If you let zee homos into zee league, zoon zee schwartzas vill follow, und before vee know it, zee Juden vill own zee teams und have access to zee zuperboxes und bunkers" (Image from dot net)

“If you let zee homos into zee league, zoon zee schwartzas vill follow, und before vee know it, zee Juden vill own zee teams mit access to zee zuperboxes und bunkers” (Image from taringa dot net)

 

Next in line was Tim Wildmon, the CEO of the American Family Association.  Wildmon discussed the PC media’s fervor over Dungy’s remark.  In addition, Wildmon volunteered that having spent quite a bit of time in locker rooms as a sports reporter himself, he felt that surrounding Michael Sam with all that naked “beefcake” was unfair to the players (Insert cheap “illegal contact”, “holding” or “too many men on the field” penalty joke here).  I’m reserving my opinion on anything else Wildmon wrote, and just taking some perverse thrill in his use of the term “beefcake” in discussing naked manly men.

 

Brutus the Barber Beefcake.  Honey, those stripes are just not working...and those tights!?  You need a make-over!  First, let's put some shoulder pads on you.  (Image from cakechooser dot com)

Honey, those stripes are just not working…and those tights!? You need a make-over! First, let’s put a jock strap and some shoulder pads on you. We’ll finish the look with a snazzy visor! (Image of Brutus The Barber Beefcake from cakechooser dot com)

As the keeper of my own blog, I’m entitled to give my two cents on this whole issue.  The thought of a gay man being anywhere around the hallowed ground of America’s most prized gladiators is simply too much for many of us to wrap our narrow minds around.  Clearly doing elaborate celebratory dances while wearing tight, colorful pants and eye make-up is no place for some kind of Nancy-boy.  If openly homosexual men are able to infiltrate the league, it’s only a matter of time before the F in NFL will stand for “Flaming”.  Players will start patting one another on the backside, displaying fancy footwork, wearing knee socks and gathering in “huddles” to talk about their plans.

Tony Dungy didn’t really elaborate on the risks of hiring a gay guy to do a straight man’s job.  Had he done so, he might have pondered how on earth anyone could expect a homosexual to use a spin move on a tight end while trying to get his hands on the ball.  In any case, the deed is done, and Sam is here to stay, at least for now.  It’s only a matter of time before homosexual men start showing up in other sports like figure skating and drag racing.  At least purists of heterosexuality in professional athletics can take comfort in the lack of any lesbians in women’s sports.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’d Better Have A Good Excuse!

1pointperspective:

Time flies when your deadline approaches! Luckily, people can be counted upon to do stupid things and give me something to scribble about. Make sure you eat your vegetables and try not poke your eye out!

Originally posted on The Nudge Wink Report:

A 68 year old man named Ronald Avers in East St. Louis, Illinois, has been accused of sticking sewing needles into packages of meat at a local supermarket.  There’s absolutely no plausible reason for doing something so awful.  No excuse could possibly make this alright.  When questioned by the FBI, Mr. Avers said he did it “just for the hell of it“.  Just for the hell of it?!  That’s his excuse for sticking pointy things into food products?!  Also, what’s with East St. Louis, Illinois?  That sounds as bad as West New York, New Jersey.  City planners and public relations people should take a lesson from Californians, who long ago changed the name of North Tijuana to San Diego.

Warning!  Eating sewing needles which are still encased in plastic packaging may be even more dangerous than just eating plain needles.  Don't eat needles, they are sharp and not particularly tasty.  The Nudge Wink Report does not condone eating needles - illustration for comedic purposes only. WARNING! Eating sewing needles which are still encased in plastic packaging may be even more dangerous than just eating plain needles. Don’t eat needles, they are sharp and not…

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The Mütter of All Ütterances

You struggle for half an hour trying to put together a bookcase from a Scandinavian superstore, only to discover the instruction sheet you’ve been following is for a wine rack.  In another scenario, you see the police car light up in the rear view mirror and suddenly realize your car inspection sticker expired two months ago.

Tutankamen in a tutu!  You should have known it was a wine rack, since there were on twelve of the parts instead of the sixteen listed on the box.  (Image from this-pic dot com)

Tutankhamun in a tutu!!! You should have known it was a wine rack, since there were on sixteen of the fluted wood dowels instead of the twenty-two listed on the box. (Image from this-pic dot com)

These types of situations are as unavoidable as potholes in March or a humongous nose-zit on the day of your big interview.  It’s called life, people.  We’re adults here; we deal with it and move forward.  If you’re like many people, these moments of unpleasant surprise are worthy of some sort of verbal acknowledgement to the fates who are responsible for dealing you such a crappy hand.

One of my father’s favorite things to grumble at such times was, “Jesus Christ on a crutch!”  We weren’t an especially religious family, so my brothers and I had little fear of lightning strikes or plague-of-locusts type retributions for his blasphemy.  We just knew that Dad was fed up and we’d be well advised to steer clear of him.

An acquaintance I met much later in life used a similar phrase but put the Savior on a Harley instead of a crutch.  Others have been known to put the Son of God on a pogo stick.

Crutch, Harley, hey, whatever man, I'm cool with it.  (Image from buntology dot com).

Crutch, Harley, hey, whatever man, I’m cool with it.  All is forgiven, bro! (Image from buntology dot com).

Each of these utterances is colorful in its own way.  Christ on a crutch strikes me as more alliterative than visual, though I can picture Him spraining an ankle tripping on an Easter egg when He rose from the dead.  Putting the Number One Son on a motorcycle, on the other hand, is purely visual.  The comical image of His robes and long locks flowing in the breeze is trumped only by Him kick starting that hog in a pair of ratty sandals.  In an effort to avoid upsetting the more pious readers any further, I’ll skip discussion of the pogo stick entirely.

As amusing as the thought of the Son of God cruising on an Electro-Glide may be, it’s got a definite time stamp on it.  Biblical scholars among you might point out that my Dad’s saying is not exactly timeless either, as J.C. only walked or limped the earth a couple of thousand years ago.  So an ancient Egyptian, when faced with the lack of Brown-Out© correction fluid for fixing the errors on his papyrus scroll, would have had to utter something else.  On a side note, who would’ve guessed that biblical scholars read this blog?

You can't tell from this picture, but the original text of the third column was supposed to read, "beetle, sun, lotus, beetle, zig-zag"  I screwed it up, but there was no way to correct it, so the Pharaoh ended up having to enter the next world through the back door.  Man was he pissed.

You can’t tell from this picture, but the original text of the eighth column was supposed to read, “beetle, sun, lotus, beetle, zig-zag” I screwed it up, but there was no way to correct it.  The Pharaoh ended up having to enter the next world through the back door. Man was he pissed! (Image from roadrunner dot com)

The mütter of all ütterances* has to be free of references to a given era, or the gadgets of the day.  It’s got to be composed of only the most elemental components.  It should be just as applicable to today’s suburban Dad dropping his iPhone in the urinal at the strip club**, as it would have been to a Neanderthal man stubbing his toe while dragging his newly found mate by her hair.

For those of you who haven’t already guessed it, the original saying for man during moments of frustration and/or dismay is none other than the classic; “Shit on a stick!

The roots of this gem of an utterance can be traced further back to the single syllable cry of “Shit!”  Linguistics experts agree that after creating words to describe fire, cave, hunger and constipation, early man likely named excrement next.  Shortly after our ancient ancestors came up with a name for poop, they discovered that saying “Shit!” sometimes just wasn’t enough.

Putting the shit on a stick was a natural choice.  Shit on the ground was hardly worth noting.  Shit in the sky was a fairly rare phenomenon despite the sizable number of pterodactyls dropping six pound deuces all over the Greater Pangaea metropolitan area.  This is not to say that airborne feces didn’t have a place in the vocabulary – but the use of the term “shit-storm” was developed much later and usually employed for more disastrous situations.

According to the caption, Justin left this poop-on-a-stick on the plane.  Behavior like that is a good example why I'm not a big fan of buying my kids souvenirs.  (Image from photobucket dot com)

According to the caption, Justin left this poop-on-a-stick on the plane. Behavior like that is a good example why I’ve never been a big fan of buying my kids souvenirs. (Image from photobucket dot com)

Shit on a stick has it all, linguists can only marvel at the catchy rhythm of the words strung together in simple-yet-elegant single syllables.  Its practicality is excellent, as the phrase can easily fit into one exasperated exhalation.  From a content standpoint, it harkens back to a simpler time, when our ancestors valued a nice stick, and lamented the wasting of a perfectly good one because it had doo-doo on it.

*For all you smart-assed experts in Teutonic grammar who want to point out that “mütter” is the plural form of mother, and that “ütterance” isn’t a word at all, save your breath.  I wanted to use some umlauts for comedic effect, and by golly I did.  It’s unlikely I succeeded however, as funny letter symbols from foreign languages seldom amüse people and are more likely to scare them away from a post.  One can only hope I’ll lëarn from my mistäkes.

**Putting the iPhone in a container of uncooked rice is often effective for getting it to work again.  As for getting it to smell better, you’re on yoür own.

What Do I Want? Glad You Asked!

A friend of mine posted this thing on Facebook.  It’s a shining example of one of those passive-aggressive/feel-good/one-upsmanship things that show up there.  My interpretation of the message is “Look at me and how selfless and wonderful I am!  You can try to show how great you are by re-posting it, but you’ll never be as great as me, because I posted it first.  If you don’t re-post it, we can all just accept how horrible a person you must be.”  (Your interpretation may vary, it’s a free world).  Here it is:

Someone or something on Facebook calling itself "The Mind Unleashed" came up with this, and people have been reposting it ever since.

Someone or something on Facebook calling itself “The Mind Unleashed” came up with this, and sheep people have been re-posting it ever since.

Since it’s posted here and not on my Facebook page, readers are permitted to not feel guilty if they are okay with orphans remaining alone or for sick people staying ill.  As a rule, my Facebook page seldom shows much more than my blog links.  I try to avoid posting any sort of “happy horse-shit/pray for my cancer riddled Dachshund/what-the-world-needs-now-is-love-sweet-love” types of things.  Ironically, since there will be a link to this post, the above message will end up showing up on my Facebook wall, albeit in a roundabout sort of way.

Faithful readers may recall my earlier attempts at creating my own stuff to post on Facebook.  In one blog post I came up with several inspirational posters, and in another I developed a yet to be patented decoder ring for FB posts.  Sadly none of them have taken off and been re-posted hundreds of thousands of times.  The lack of a meteoric rise in success of posters like the one below may be due to a paucity of wit among readers*, a lack of readers in general, or the fact there are no kittens in any of the photos.

(* Not you, Darling, those other readers – you know who I mean!)

Put this on your Facebook page, and I won't shoot this dog (Quasi-inspirational poster by the author)

Put this on your Facebook page, and I won’t shoot this dog. (Quasi-inspirational poster by the author)

Despite my previous failures, the post that my friend passed along like an emotional flu bug has inspired me to try one more time.  I’ve developed my own “I Want I Want I Want” poster, which is brutally honest and not designed to make anyone feel crappy for not posting it.  That being said, if you don’t post it on your Facebook wall, I’ll mope around the house and wish I’d never gone to all this trouble.

I apologize if I come across as kind of demanding, but as long as we're on the subject, I forgot to add that I want to have my cake and eat it too - because really, what good is it having cake if you can't eat it, right? (List of what I want by the author, but feel free to post it on your Facebook page - if you can't save the image, drop me an email and I'll send you one)

I apologize if I come across as kind of demanding, but as long as we’re on the subject, I forgot to add that I want to have my cake and eat it too – because really, what good is having cake if you can’t eat it, right? (List of What I Want by the author – feel free to post it on your Facebook page – if you can’t save the image, drop me an email and I’ll send you one)

Tickling The Ribs

1pointperspective:

Here’s my latest post over at The Nudge Wink Report. It includes social commentary, me whining and shameless self promotion. What else would you expect? Now be a good little reader and go over there to see it. Also, send me a pic of the tattoo once it’s not scabby anymore.

Originally posted on The Nudge Wink Report:

I went to the beach the other day.  As a temporarily disabled person, I thought a day trip might help me forget all the paychecks I’m not earning.  In addition, my Robo-Cop brace will undoubtedly result in a bitching-cool tan pattern on my otherwise withering arm.

I've never seen the movie, but I hear this one is even cooler than the one Karl Urban wore.

Nothing accentuates a cool scar like a bitching tan.

The trip served its intended purposes and then some; I’ve got a decent base coat on my lame wing and my rapidly dwindling cash reserves are no longer the star of my every thought.  As it happens, my brain has a new focus.  Having spent several hours staring at hundreds of scantily clad strangers while my wife slept nearby under the umbrella, I’ve developed a new fascination with what I’ll lovingly describe as rib tickler tattoos.

As a non-tatted sort of fellow, I have an outsider’s view on any body ink.  I’ve written about…

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One Man’s Cave is Another Man’s Rumpus Room

I know it's not Tartan Plaid.  Stop splitting hairs - it's not a very manly thing to do! (Image from shopcurated dot com)

I know it’s not Tartan Plaid. Stop splitting hairs – it’s not a very manly thing to do! (Image from shopcurated dot com)

Three things have struck me during my recent viewing of entirely too many real-estate themed reality shows.  First, why hasn’t anyone coined the phrase “realty reality TV” or “reality realty TV”?  Seems like a natural.  Second, why does everyone on these shows say “price point” when they really just mean “price”?  Finally, why is it so important for many of these guys to have a “man cave” in their home?

If these shows are any indication, a man’s home is not his castle after all.  The most guys can hope for is a finished space just off the laundry room where they can burp, scratch themselves and generally be men without fear of being judged – they call this space a man cave.  Historians of the male experience will point out that in bygone eras, the place where a man could act this way was called “anywhere he damn-well pleased“.

Those historians may be a little bitter.  They might also be tempted to dismiss the man cave as nothing more than the modern equivalent of the mid-century phenomenon known as the rumpus room.

Since we’re talking guy stuff, it’s inevitable that things will end up getting competitive.  Bragging rights are at stake, so I’m daring to ask the question; Which one’s better, your neighbor’s man cave, or my Uncle Walt’s rumpus room?  We’ll look at several key components to any architectural space and put the rumpus room head to head with the man cave and see which wins.

Decor

 

Rumpus – Tartan plaid polyester-blend upholstery

vs.

Cave – Neutral microfiber with tasteful accent pillows

Winner – Cave: That plaid upholstery wasn’t comfortable when it was new, and the passage of time has done little to change that.

-

Rumpus – Console stereo complete with record changer and Scandinavian wood cabinetry

vs.

Cave – MP3 Dock with wireless speakers and sub-woofer

Winner – Cave: The retro appeal of a stereo which is larger than a casket on legs is all well and good, but my Iron Butterfly and Strawberry Alarm Clock albums are hopelessly scratched.

-

Rumpus – Shag carpeting

vs.

Cave – Pastel tile left over from the kitchen remodel

Winner – Rumpus: That tile might pass muster in your wife’s fancy kitchen, but it doesn’t work for a cave.  Any leftover scraps of shag can be used to give that minivan a make-over

-

Rumpus -Set of three Vargas girls carefully cut out of old Playboy magazines and framed

vs.

Cave – Digital picture frame from Radio Shack uploaded with several images of Kate Upton

Winner – Cave: Vargas girls are impossibly leggy and really classy, but cutting them out of a magazine is not exactly high brow.

(Image from foodtruckfestivalsofne dot com)

(Image from foodtruckfestivalsofne dot com)

-

 

Accessories/Entertainment

 

Rumpus – Pocket billiard table

vs.

Cave – video game system

Winner – Rumpus: Your kids will tire of billiards within a few weeks, but they’ll own the video game system.  They’ll beat your ass in any game you choose and claim the room as theirs.  If you don’t have kids, your man cave is located in the master bedroom.  Go breed, Tarzan – we can revisit the rumpus room topic once you’ve got some crumb-snatchers to escape from.

-

Rumpus – Antique Barber Shop Pole

vs.

Cave – Stripper Pole

Winner – Rumpus: Stop pouting, there’s a logical reason for this.  A barber shop pole is kind of decorative.  A stripper pole is only a chrome pipe, unless there’s a stripper on it.  Whose absence would be more noticeable, Luigi from The Clip Joint, or Kandii Krush from the Playtime Lounge out by the airport?

Maybe if you had a long enough barber's pole, Kandii could use that.  (Image from Etsy dot com)

Maybe if you had a long enough barber’s pole, Kandii could come spin on it. (Image from Etsy dot com)

-

Rumpus – Dart board

vs.

Cave – Beer pong table

Winner – Rumpus: I realize you may have spent years perfecting the art of throwing ping pong balls into cups of flat beer, but essentially, this is a drinking game popular with young guys who shave once a week whether they need it or not.  Darts is a time honored game for grown-assed men, involving sharp flying objects and a bit of math.  If you’re old enough to have a rumpus room or man cave, you’re old enough to risk losing an eye.

-

Rumpus – Statue of drunk against lamp post which plays “How Dry I Am”

vs.

Cave –   “Parking Reserved For (Insert Local NFL Team Here) Fans” street sign

Winner – Rumpus: The statue of the drunk is a collectible piece of kitsch.  I wouldn’t be surprised if some Fancy Dan on “The Antiques Roadshow” got himself in a lather over one of them and told the owner it was worth $300 or something.

Few things speak to the essence of maleness more than drunk statuary with music boxes inside.  (Image from ebay dot com)

Few things speak to the essence of maleness more than drunk statuary with music boxes inside. (Image from ebay dot com)

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Refreshments

 

Rumpus – Wet bar with tufted leatherette front, butcher block top with assorted beer labels and a few coins sealed beneath 10 coats of polyurethane

vs.

Cave – Wet bar with brushed stainless front and granite top purchased at discount during the kitchen remodeling project

Winner – Rumpus: Tufted leatherette just screams “Manly steakhouse!”  Also, watching guys try to pick up the coins never gets old.

-

Rumpus – 1958 Kelvinator refrigerator in Bel Aire Blue finish retrofitted into early keg-a-rator complete with partial keg of Rheingold Extra Dry

vs.

Cave – Frigidaire refrigerator in Almond finish, left over from kitchen remodel, stocked with several varieties of micro brews, each with edgy names and artsy labels, plus bottles of mineral water, peach wine coolers and Coors Light

Winner – Cave: That Kelvinator has always had a smell to it and the sheet metal work to convert it into a draft beer dispenser is not exactly shop grade.  Even though that Rheingold is likely flat by now, this one was still close, largely due to the presence of water, wine coolers and beer flavored water in the Frigidaire

-

Rumpus – Six bottles, including blended scotch, bourbon, Canadian whiskey, gin, vodka, and white creme de menthe

vs.

Cave – Multiple varieties of single malt scotches, boutique bourbons, and triple-filtered ice-distilled vodkas in frosted glass bottles

Winner – Cave: Standard issue booze might’ve been okay for those lushes on Mad Men, but this is 2014.  Spending three times more for spirits aged in French oak and distilled by virgins is worth every penny.  Besides, using the leftover tiles from the kitchen and the old fridge freed up some serious cash

Gimme a Sidecar, two Gibsons, straight up, and a Rusty Nail for the lady.  (Image from fiveoclockcocktails dot com)

Gimme a Sidecar, a Gibson, a Dirty Mohican with extra capers, and a Rusty Nail for the lady in red. (Image from fiveoclockcocktails dot com)

-

For those of you keeping score (probably the dart players), Rumpus Room has squeezed out a one point victory.  Please stay tuned for more of this exciting hair-splitting in upcoming posts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gentry

Back in the days of semi-adulthood, after college but before having kids of our own, quite a few of my peers went to “therapy”.  Maybe it was a New York or an L.A. thing, or perhaps it was a rite of passage.  For whatever reasons, I never partook.

From what I heard about it, the big breakthrough that these people got from the therapists’ couches wasn’t particularly shocking.  The young women learned that the seeds of all their “issues” were sown by their mothers.  The men found out that all of their baggage came from dear old Dad.

I’m sure that my naive synopsis shortchanged the practitioners of psycho-therapy by quite a few doubloons.  At the time though, it seemed silly to hire some therapist to give me a pearl of wisdom which my friends had already paid for and leaked to me for free.  Besides, even without the second-hand head-shrinking, I would have likely named my father as the prime suspect. He’d been there from the start, after all, and I’d watched his every move.  Regardless, I didn’t need therapy, because I was certain that I was a well adjusted, sane person – or so I thought.

You could dress us up, but...

You could dress us up, but…

When he’d wrestle on the floor with my three brothers and me, Dad was hopelessly outnumbered but still tried to trap us as we squealed and screamed.  My mother would stand to the side wringing her hands, frightened and mystified by these displays of male rough housing.  No matter how hard he seemed to try to hold onto us, we’d wriggle loose.  After a moment of relishing our freedom, we’d jump back into the fray, hoping he’d grab us again.

Dad was there somewhere on the crowded sidelines in the seasons of the games we played.  He might not have been the loudest parent, but we’d often find out after the game how closely he’d watched.  He was never the parent who badgered coaches or campaigned for more playing time.  He let us find our roles on the field without interfering.

Our family was different then others.  My parents have always been “theater folk”.  While other Moms and Dads listened to Sinatra or The New Christy Minstrels, my parents preferred original cast recordings of “Brigadoon” or “Man of La Mancha”.  I don’t recall any efforts on their parts to be like other parents, no matter how much we might have wished they would.  My mother was prone to belting out a show tune a’ la Ethel Merman, at the drop of a hat.  This isn’t a Mothers Day post however, so I’ll put that topic on a back burner.

It’s difficult to write about my father without including my mother. To this day, they are so intertwined in my mind that they seem to be a single entity.  As I type these words, they’re likely finishing up their sleep and ready to start another day together – caring for their latest dog and communicating telepathically from one recliner to the other.  For some reason, I just recalled a period when they used to kiss every night as we all sat down to dinner.   My brothers and I would recoil in revulsion at this icky display of affection, but they did it anyway.

He taught in the high school we attended, and my brothers and I got to experience him at work.  I didn’t appreciate at the time how few children get to see their fathers in their work environments.  For many of my peers, the occasional company picnic was about the extent of seeing Dad at work.

Rose colored recollections are all well and good on Fathers Day, but as I noted earlier, I am not without my issues.

As a father myself for nearly three decades, I have no shortage of things which gnaw at me.  Did I love my children outwardlyly enough for them to know?  Did I do everything I could for them?  Did I put too much effort into providing for them at the cost of being present?  Did I set bad examples or no example at all?  Did I do a good job?

I can’t say for certain what the answers are.  If I’ve failed in some regard as a parent, I don’t suppose there’s much I can do to rewrite any chapters of ancient history.

I think again of my own Dad, and I wonder if he ever had questions and doubts like mine.  I don’t see any shortcomings in him.  I was lucky enough to have been one of his sons, and blessed to be able to tell him so as I wish him a happy Fathers Day.

I guess that’s therapy enough for me.

lovetts - Copy

Livin’ La Vida Lefty

I screwed up my arm at work.  After soldiering on for weeks like some kind of optimistic martyr, I finally got the diagnosis and a very quick surgery date.  The nice thing about the surgery being scheduled so suddenly was that it barely gave me time to convince myself that I would die on the operating table, or slip into a coma and wake up to find the world overrun with zombies with no sign of my wife or best friend Shane (Please excuse the Walking Dead reference, there won’t be any more, I promise).

If you've been under general anesthesia and never considered the possibility that you'd wake up weeks later to a world filled with zombies, maybe you'll consider the possibility next time.  (Image from dailymotion dot com)

If you’ve been under general anesthesia and never considered the liklihood that you’d wake up weeks later to a world filled with flesh eating ghouls, maybe you’ll consider the possibility next time. (Image from dailymotion dot com)

In any case, the surgical repair of my distal bicep rupture has left me down a hand for the summer.  My right arm has turned into an aching, worthless piece of  luggage filled with mismatched socks and tightey whiteys with the elastic shot out.  Much as I’d like to abandon it on the baggage carousel, I’m sure I’ll need it eventually.

No need to tie ribbons on the handle to recognize this beast at the luggage claim.  It won't fit in the overhead compartment either.  (Image from community dot autoclubsouth dot aaa dot com)

No need to tie ribbons on the handle to recognize this beast at the luggage claim, and no, it won’t fit in the overhead compartment. (Image from community dot autoclubsouth dot aaa dot com)

I managed to avoid wasting precious pre-surgical time fretting about my potential adverse reactions to anesthesia by scrambling to get as many two handed jobs done around the house as possible.  I moved a bunch of furniture, fixed some drywall, caulked the tub and cleaned out the gutters (Handymen and -women might point out that caulking a tub is a job which can be done one handed, but in my case, I can barely manage it with two hands and 3 or 4 rolls of paper towels).

Caulk gun, you are my nemesis!  I smite thee and thy wretched tubes of goo.  (Image from ehow dot com)

Caulk gun, you are my nemesis! I smite thee and thy wretched tubes of goo. (Image from ehow dot com)

Luckily the surgery date was so soon that I was spared cleaning out the basement or alphabetizing the garage.

The novelty of my one-handed reality wore off nearly as rapidly as the pain meds.  I quickly discovered that nearly every pair of shorts I own have drawstrings.  I also realized that my selection of slip-on shoes is severely limited.  There’s a possibility that I could tie a bow one handed, but it would not likely be a very good one, and could take hours.

I realize that most six year olds can ties their shoes, but to be fair, the vast majority of them have two hands and lots of unused brain cells.  (Image from efficientlifeskills dot com)

I realize that most six year olds can ties their shoes, but to be fair, the vast majority of them have two hands and an abundance of unused brain cells. (Image from efficientlifeskills dot com)

Brushing my teeth is not difficult, and floss sticks work great one handed.  The rest of my bathroom activities however, are more of an adventure.  In the spirit of discretion, I’ll spare you gentle readers any specifics (Unless you read the caption for the photo below).

I explained to my wife, who should already know me better than this, that I draw left handed, but do athletic things right handed.  After she stopped laughing, she demanded to know how I could classify wiping my ass as an athletic feat. (Image from en dot wikipedia dot org

I explained to my wife, who should already know me better than this, that I draw left handed, but do athletic things right handed. After she stopped laughing, she demanded to know how I could classify wiping my ass as an athletic feat. (Image from en dot wikipedia dot org

For the time being, I’m still in the ace-wrap, rigid splint and sling ensemble I wore as I left the surgery center.  Fashion critics agree the basic little black sling is accented perfectly with the ecru bandage – it’s  elegant without being pretentious.  Soon, I go back for the dressing change and possible wardrobe upgrade.  I’m tingling with anticipation, or maybe it’s just nerve damage.

 

Under-Estimating The Labradoodle

If you want dogs to pay attention to your silly signs, you better orient them properly.  Also, you should make sure they can read.  (Image from barksentry dot com)

If you want dogs to pay attention, you better orient your silly signs properly. Also, you should make sure the dogs can read. (Image from barksentry dot com)

I recently stumbled upon an article which described the scientific finding that dogs align their bodies in a north/south orientation while pooping.  This illustrates yet another instance of why being a scientist isn’t all that glamorous.  On a side note, I conducted a brief poll at a rest stop on the southbound side of the New Jersey Turnpike which revealed that the majority of people surveyed had no idea which way was south.  On a possibly related issue, most of them could not speak English, so they may not have understood the question.

Mocking people in lab coats and those who speak foreign languages is all well and good, but the bigger point here is that dogs know more than they’ve been letting on.  This confirms the suspicions many of us have long held about our canine friends.  I looked at my dog lying nearby on the kitchen floor as she tried in vain to look simple-minded and innocent.  At first, I was tempted to grill her about a certain missing shoe and the mysterious stain on the carpet in the upstairs hallway, but I decided to play it cool and watch her closely instead.

After hours of careful observation, I’ve come to some startling conclusions about other secrets of dog behavior.

True to form, the tail chasing is in a clockwise direction.  (Image from candiebeever dot wordpess dot com)

True to form, the tail chasing is in a clockwise direction. (Image from candicebeever dot wordpess dot com)

Turning around three times before lying down – This odd ritual was long believed to be carried over from the days when dogs slept outdoors and needed to trample down grass to make a bed for themselves.  In fact, this is the dogs’ method for winding themselves up for chasing their tails at some later point.  My study showed that my dog turns around slowly 2.7 counter-clockwise rotations each time she lays down.  She will then chase her tail rapidly in a clockwise direction once every few days.  Once the tail is caught and chewed, or the dog runs out of stored spin-energy, it’s time for a nap, which will require 2.7 rotations and the cycle can repeat itself.  The rotational directions may be reversed south of the equator.

I guess you could switch "Johnson" and "Balls" and it would still be funny.  (Image from viewsfromthecouch dot com)

I guess you could switch “Johnson” and “Balls” and it would still be funny. (Image from memeanimals dot com)

Licking their genitals – Contrary to conventional beliefs, this practice has no correlation to hygiene.  Nor is it, as pundits point out “because they can”.  Dogs lick their not-so-private parts for the nutritional value.  Before any of  you health nuts get any ideas, it’s not nutritional for humans.  Stick with your kale salads and protein shakes, you sickos!

If you want to complain about gravity, try telling it to a basset hound (Image from commons dot wikimedia dot jpg

If you think gravity sucks, try living a few days as a basset hound. (Image from commons dot wikimedia dot jpg

Walking on four legs – Dogs are effected more than humans by the earth’s gravitational pull.  In addition, their low position gives them unparalleled access to lost tennis balls and food dropped by toddlers.

The odds are improving for finding that ball.  (Image from cracked dot com)

The odds are improving for finding that ball. (Image from cracked dot com)

Sniffing each other’s butts – This is not the dog’s version of a handshake which many have supposed.  Seriously?  We humans are pretty full of ourselves to  just assign our own odd customs to what dogs do.  In fact the sniffing of butts is the dog’s way of checking one more place for that missing tennis ball.

One day they bring you sales circulars and the next thing you know they're taking your assault rifles and freedom. (Image from petsit dot com)

One day they’re bringing you sales circulars and the next thing you know they’re taking your assault rifles and freedom. (Image from petsit dot com)

Barking at the mailman - Dogs were Tea Party members long before the thought ever occurred to Sarah Palin.   Dogs have a deep distrust of the government inserting itself into our private lives six days a week bringing us “mail”.  There are even dogs working undercover in the military and police organizations around the world.  The original undercover operatives were Dalmations, who pretended to be the loyal sidekicks of firefighters as they gathered important information about batch cooking and the mystery of why man would slide down a pole when there are stairs available.

This photo has been cropped to spare you the grisly sight of dead opossum, but you can tell from the dog's face how much he's loving this. (Image from pets dot webmd dot com)

This photo has been cropped to spare you the grisly sight of dead opossum, but you can tell from the dog’s face how much he’s loving this. (Image from pets dot webmd dot com)

Rolling in dead animals – A highly spiritual event, the dog is attempting to bond with the departed life-force of the creature in an effort to understand the meaning of his or her existence.

 

I love the composition of this photo.  Too bad the subject matter is a dog dragging his butt.  (Image from emlabradors dot com)

I love the composition of this photo. Too bad the subject matter is a dog dragging his butt. (Image from emlabradors dot com)

Dragging their butts on the floor – Spring is coming – it’s time to fertilize the carpet.

For a good belly scratch, some dogs even wear sweaters.  (Image from ilovedogs dot com)

For a good belly scratch, some dogs even wear sweaters. (Image from ilovedogs dot com)

Kicking their legs when being scratched – Dogs get a great deal of pleasure from having their bellies scratched.  They have learned that we humans have short attention spans, particularly when providing happiness to any creature other than ourselves.  Dogs added the leg kicking as a clever way to amuse us, thereby prolonging their belly scratches.  On a related topic, they also figured out that licking their chops to excess will often result in them getting more peanut butter smeared on the roofs of their mouths.

"What's that Lassie?  Timmy fell down a well?" (Image from dogster dot com)

“What’s that Lassie? Timmy fell down a well?” (Image from dogster dot com)

Being surprised by the sound of their own flatulence – This is another classic example of human misinterpretation.  The dogs’ sudden attention to their own rear ends is not surprise, but careful listening.  The sound of a dog’s fart is actually telling the animal secret clues about the planned take-over of the planet – usually the farts are silent for the sake of secrecy.

I encourage you gentle reader, to take a good long look at man’s best friend and see for yourself.  The take-over could happen any day, we’ve got to spread the word before it’s too late.  On second thought, after checking recent headlines, I’m thinking that dogs taking over the planet may not be such a bad thing after all.

 

Any creature who can find happiness in a bed of pachysandra should get a crack at running the show.  (Image by the author, with permission from Lucy)

Any creature who can find happiness lying in a bed of pachysandra should get a crack at running the show. (Image by the author, with permission from Lucy)

 

 

 

Like An Oven But Hotter

1pointperspective:

It’s my week again over at The Nudge Wink Report. Already?! I scribbled this mess out before my coffee was done, and my lack of preparation or deep thought really shows! On the bright side, I won’t have to do another one of these gems until several weeks from now. Maybe I should write myself a reminder note or something.

Originally posted on The Nudge Wink Report:

I'm going to be so over this horrible heatwave once it starts.  (Image from startribune dot com)

I’m going to be so over this horrible heatwave once it starts. (Image from startribune dot com)

Many of us have had that dream: We stroll into class without a care in the world, ready to sit through another boring lecture and maybe catch a nap, and we suddenly realize that this is the day with the giant exam.  Everyone is sitting there, fresh from studying, their number 2 pencils sharp and ready to write the mother of all essays.  Everyone except you.

I just strolled into The Nudge Wink Report lecture hall here on the WordPress campus, idly wondering which of my esteemed colleagues would be amusing me today with some clever writing.  Alas, there was no new post, despite it being 8 AM on Saturday morning.  Well, you know these creative types, they might not hit “publish” until  9 or even 10.  No big deal, I’ll check back…

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