Random Firings of Neurons

The rest of your life is going to be spent getting back up after life has knocked you down again. You might as well just get used to it.

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Location: Round Rock, Texas, United States

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Harvey's not my friend anymore

I really need to learn to keep my mouth shut.

It seems that Harvey, of Bad Example, is a meme magnet. I told him to keep his memes to himself, and he didn't listen. So, after I complete this stupid meme, I'm going to follow through on my threat, and mock him.

1. Do you use an alarm clock to wake up in the morning?

Yes. Actually, two alarm clocks.

2. What time do you set it for?

During a normal weekday, the first is set for 5 AM, and the second is set for 6 AM. If I have to unload my truck in the morning, then, the first is set for 4 AM, and the second is set for 5 AM.

On the weekends, the damn things are turned off.

3. Do you hit the snooze button? If so how many times?

Yes. As many times as it takes to get those God-awful alarm clocks to SHUT UP!

I usually only hit the snooze button on the second alarm clock twice. The first one, I hit the snooze button until the next alarm clock goes off.

4. Have you ever abused an alarm clock?

Not on purpose. But, I have found that an alarm clock only lasts for about two years in my household, because I wear the snooze button out.

I'm going to be nice, and not continue the meme any longer. Meme'ing ought to be a crime, and I won't contribute to more meme'ing.

Now, on to the mocking.

Does Harvey have a beard to:

A) hide his prison bitch face?
B) hide the stretch marks from his days in the Navy?
C) keep his face warm during Wisconsin winters?
D) keep his face warm during Wisconsin summers?
E) all of the above?

You want more mocking? Keep sending me memes. I HATE memes.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Time to wake up

Okay, it's time for me to piss off a few friends. In the past couple of months, I've noticed that quite a few people get really touchy when you bring up a certain subject: schools. After quite a bit of prayer and thought, I've figured out why.

The overwhelming majority of parents, in the US today, are selfish fucking brats. Read that sentence one more time, and realize that I know exactly what I just said. Now, at this point, you must also realize that the odds are, I just described YOU. How do you know if I was talking about you? Real simple. You have a child in a school, public OR private. That's right. Putting your child in a school means you are a selfish fucking brat.

When I see people, of all political persuasions, complaining about the state of schools today, I can't help but wonder "Then why do you trust your child to them?". Liberals think schools don't spend enough money, and conservatives think schools are teaching the children to be idiots. The truth is, they're both right, and both wrong. The public schools, and private schools, since they are set up, for the most part, along public school organisation, ARE turning your children into idiots....just like they were supposed to do. AND, the schools don't have nearly enough money to do it properly. So, when the schools finally get enough money, they'll be able to churn out properly indoctrinated idiots, just like they were designed to do.

Don't believe me? Just take a look at the Ninth Circuit Court's most recent publicallly idiotic ruling. In case you missed it, the Ninth Circus ruled that you, as a parent, have NO rights to determine what is or isn't taught to your child, and have NO rights to know what your child is even being taught! So, when your third grade child is given a checklist of sexual activities to try (as was the case in the Ninth Circus ruling), you, as a parent, have no say in it, and don't even have the right to complain about it. Now, as revolting as that may be, to me, I hate to say it, but, the Ninth Circus is right. You don't have any rights to determine what your child is taught in a public school, nor do you have the right to complain about what is taught in those public schools. Why?

Because you sent your child there. YOU did. The gubmint didn't come and take your child by gunpoint to the school. (although, that's in the works...) YOU delegated YOUR parental responsibility, to instruct your child, to another. After you did that, you lost your right to bitch and moan about what that other taught them. All because you can't give up your toys.

That's right. Your toys. Your fucking toys are more important to you than your child. And I can prove it, very easily.

Would you give up your car to save your child? No, you wouldn't. How do I know this? Because YOU.HAVEN'T. Almost every person I have talked to about this says they can't afford to have one parent stay home and teach the children. The facts, though, are quite different.

The average car payment, in the US, is approximately $385 a month. The average American pays $100 a month in interest on consumer debt. That's almost $500 a month you could be saving by not buying your toys. Read those numbers again. Those are just the AVERAGES! If you, as a parent, just eliminated just your car payment and consumer debt, you'd have an additionaly $500 a month to keep your child at home. Add into that the daycare that a lot of you are paying for, so both of you can scurry around at work, pretending you are doing the best for your child, and that's almost another $400 a month saved (that number is off the top of my head....I have a feeling daycare is much more expensive than that). Add those numbers up, and do them for the year, and that's almost $11,000 a year, just to not be home with your children.

That number is even more shocking when you compare it to the average household (NOT individual...household...) income in the US: ~$45,000 per year. That means ONE QUARTER of the average American's income is going to pay for the parents to be out of the home! ONE QUARTER! Add into that the odds that the you own a house that is WAY out of your price range, and it gets even worse. Off the top of my head, without researching it at all, I'd be willing to bet that most of you have a house payment that is close to 40% of your take home pay. Now, we're up to 65% of your income, sucked up by a too expensive house, a too expensive car (or multiple cars) and way too much consumer debt.

I'm not even going to get into how horrid the numbers get, when you add in all the added expenses of having both parents out of the home. I'll just list some of them, and you tell me how much worse it gets. Extra fuel for vehicles, eating out more often, extra insurance on a second vehicle, a second vehicle....

Now, after looking at all those numbers, exactly WHY is it worth it to have both parents out of the home? Hm? I'm waiting....

Now, the reason for all of this number crunching is to show you that you CAN afford to have one parent at home. And if one parent is at home, one parent can be teaching the children while at home.

I've heard one person tell me that they don't know enough to teach their children. Like that's a problem?! Trust me. I know quite a few teachers, and you know just about as much about the subject as they do. They aren't teachers because they are successful in their field of study. They're teachers because they supposedly know how to teach. Think about THAT one.

In addition to that, there is a veritable smorgasborg of home schooling curriculum out there. One of them WILL match what you want to teach your child, and it will be within the amount of money you want to spend. I garauntee it. Sam's Club and Wal-Mart have homeschool curriculum, for goodness' sake! WALMART AND SAMS CLUB! Home schooling curriculum are available in stores! So, there goes that idiotic arguement against homeschooling.

Face it, the ONLY reason you don't want to teach your own children what you think they need to know is that you like your toys. It's a child, damn it. It's a life style change, not an accessory. Given the choice between a nice car, and my child's life (and education WILL affect their life in the future), it's a no brainer to me. I'll walk to work, if I have to.

Too bad most of you can't say the same thing. Sorry.

Friday, November 11, 2005

On my other favorite holiday

Today is Veteran's Day.

You've heard all the stuff about when it started, and why, and why you should care. So, I'm not going to take up your time by just doing an information overload on it.

What I am going to do, though, is allow an unintended guest blogger to have their say about today.

My mother and I don't see eye to eye on a lot of things. Actually, we NEVER see eye to eye, since I'm four inches taller than her, but, that's beside the point. Politically, we couldn't be more opposite of each other if we tried. Well, we could. We're both about the polar opposite of my father, who is aggressively apathetic and cynical. But, if you want to know where I get what little writing ability I have, and my opinionated nature, I'll let you read what my mother sent me, for Veteran's Day.

War is dirty and war is hell. I’ve never been to war, but I don’t know anyone who would disagree with this. However, just about everything else about war is a topic of major contention. Some wars are justified, some are not, though some believe all war is unjustified. Some wars are well planned and executed and others are not. I have opinions on those topics, but I’m not going to share them here.

What I am going to talk about is soldiers (and sailors and airmen and marines). I was born while my father served in Korea, I saw my young husband off to Vietnam, and I saw my young son—who was born during the Vietnam war—off to the first Gulf War. I was a military wife overseas for nearly four years. I have three grandsons and I hope never to see them off to war. None of this makes me qualified to speak for any soldier. But I wish to speak of them and my beliefs about them.

The Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war. Sometimes presidents declare wars anyway and there is a lot of debate about whether that is legal. I don’t even have an opinion on that topic because it’s too confusing. However, what I do know, without a shadow of doubt, is that soldiers do not declare war. They just fight them. They kill in them, they die in them, they suffer and inflict horrible injuries in them. Some soldiers perform extraordinarily heroic deeds, others perform very cowardly deeds (though it is not for me to declare anyone a coward in a situation in which I am not sure I would perform honorably). The vast majority of soldiers serve honorably in situations in which maintaining honor can be quite difficult.

Sometimes it seems that in the military it really is true that Situation Normal [means] All “Fouled” Up. Soldiers may be sent to battle with not enough equipment, the wrong equipment, or equipment that doesn’t work. Somehow they manage to do the job anyway. They are sent into situations that seem insane (does it seem sane to you to get sent out to be shot at?). But they are ordered to go, they are trained to do the job, and they do it.

Soldiers are in an extraordinary position. They are sent to fight for our Constitution and freedom and way of life, but the military is neither a democracy nor a republic. It couldn’t work if it were. So soldiers don’t get to pick their wars. They don’t get to decide if the war they are sent to is justified or not. They don’t get to quit their jobs. They do as they are ordered by the government we elected. They are required to obey every “lawful” order, but whatever decision they make about whether any order is lawful (sometimes while getting shot at) is second-guessed after the fact.

We read about soldiers who have acted dishonorably and who have committed atrocities. That shouldn’t surprise us. Soldiers are human. We send them into situations so inhuman we can’t even begin to comprehend it unless we have been there. Soldiers who commit atrocities must be held accountable—as must their leaders—but I believe it is a triumph of human spirit that, in the midst of war, the majority of soldiers refuse to turn into monsters and even manage in a war zone to coach sports teams for kids and “adopt” schools and orphanages.

Soldiers can be extraordinarily tough and extraordinarily tender. They can cuss like, well, soldiers, they can and do fight like tigers, and they can cry like babies when they see what war has done to themselves and others.

Soldiers do their duty no matter what the cost. They will die for their fellow soldiers. They will die for their country, whether their country appreciates it or not.

This may be an essay better suited to Veteran’s Day than Memorial Day. But for any living veteran or active duty soldier, it may be only luck that his or her day is not this day.

Not what I would have said, nor the way I would have said it. But, that doesn't mean it wasn't said correctly.

Thanks, Mom. Sometimes, it is still nice to actually see that others understand what we did.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

On birthdays

Today is one of the most important days for me. Of all the holidays and reasons to celebrate out there, this is about the third or fourth most important to me. Tomorrow is right behind it.

Don't know what today is? You should.

Today is the 230th birthday of the United States Marine Corps. Formed by an act of the Continental Congress on November the 10th, 1775, recruiting for the Continental Marines started at Tun Tavern, in Phildelphia, Pennsylvania. Many of the initial recruits were former Royal Marines...the only Marine Corps older than Uncle Sam's Misguided Children.

If you are keeping score at home, you will note that the Marine Corps was formed almost 9 months before the Declaration of Independence was signed, making U Suckers Miss Christmas one of two branches of the United States military older than the US. The other being the world's largest taxi-cab service, the United States Navy. Strangely, the United States Army is actually a couple of years younger than the US, simply because the Continental Army was disbanded after the Revolution, with each state providing for its own defense. That silly idea was rectified after the Articles of Confederation bombed miserably, but, because of that, the US Army is actually the Marine Corps' YOUNGER brother.

I'm trying not to gloat too much about that.

Anyway, after you are done celebrating the Muscles Are Required Intelligence Not Essential birthday, tomorrow, you get to do it all over again, and celebrate ALL of the United States veterans. See? Marines aren't total glory hogs! We let all the other branches share in one of our two days of celebration.

At any rate, in years past, these two days usually meant two consecutive mornings with hangovers. I don't do that anymore, but, for these two days, I might just have to do a 12 ounce curl or two, just for old time's sake.

If the Army and the Navy,
Ever look on Heaven's scenes,
They will find the streets are gaurded


Semper Fi, Mac.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Karma ain't so much fun

It seems I am suffering a bit of karmic retribution since my previous gloating about how nice and warm the weather is down here in Texas.

I have heard many of the locals mumbling and grumbling about how unseasonable this weather is, and how they really wish the weather were a bit more autumn-like.

I think I should mention that "autumn-like" down here is, evidently, temperatures in the high 60s and lower 70s. And the locals are complaining that mid to high 80s is too warm for November.


I'm sorry. I shouldn't laugh at the misery of all y'all stuck up north in the cold. In January, I'm sure you'll get your payback, when the temperatures down here plummet to the mid to low 20s, with windchills driving temps to around 0.


I'm really trying....I am!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Yay for doctors!

I went to the surgeon today, for a follow-up to my post-op follow-up.

Have I mentioned just how much I hate doctors?

Anyway, he said that the little signs of improvement I have had are actually good signs. He was quite optimistic about the little progress I have had, because, evidently, nerves take something like millenia to heal. So, I seem to be right on pace for recovery.

Please note, I did not say "full recovery". It seems that the little tidbit of information that he hasn't been real forthcoming with is how bad of a sign the pre-op clawing of my little finger was. Evidently, the clawing that I experienced pre-operation meant that the nerve was so badly pinched that regaining full use of my hand is rather unlikely. The surgery was to stop the loss of use, not to restore full use. So, after nine to twelve months (yes, it is going to take that long), I will have pretty much all of the use of my hand that I will ever get back.

Fuck him. I'm getting the use of my hand back. What the fuck does he know? He's just really handy with a knife. It's my hand. It will do what I tell it to do. And I am going to tell it to fucking heal properly.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Not even gonna bother calling this an "update"

Got a couple of posts brewing in my head. One of them, by popular vote, is the theocracy v. democracy post. The other one, though, is gonna piss off quite a few people. If you have children, you'll probably be one of them. (the odds of being pissed off go up dramatically if I am your child....)

You may be asking yourself "Self? If he's got these wonderful posts in his head, why are they in his head, and not on this site, where they belong?"

Because the past couple of days have been "not good on the progress front" days. Not a lot of feeling in my hand, other than some cramping. The thought of typing for the next hour or two, frankly, makes me a bit nauseous.

So, in the near future, I'll get some wisdom up here for y'all to mock...right after my hand stops throwing this temper tantrum.

Semper Fidelis: Always Faithful, to God, Corps and Country