Saturday, April 29, 2006


I'm linking to avideo that everyone needs to see. It's a hard video to watch as it's basically a lot of hurt, scared kids. The little girl that put it together has been getting death threats because of this antiwar message, yet another sign that way too many people in this country still have it so fucking wrong. This video really is one of the hardest things I've ever seen, especially knowing that it's our country that has caused so much of this pain.
What Would Jesus Do

where I live

While scurrying around looking for some good Knoxville pictures for my last post, I came across the following showing the inersection of Gay St. and Main St.

Here is the first picture, the one that started this quest, and then look here at a much more recent photograph of the same general area.

I don't know what the point of this is beyond a "yeah, neat." It's what a Google image search can turn into if nothing else. The first picture is actually from a postcard, so it may or may not be extremely accurate, but for 1793, I'm guessing it isn't too far off.

Friday, April 28, 2006


Friday night, Momma's seriously late night at work, the boys are in bed, and I don't hear the sound of Big Brother rolling around fighting bad guys and kicking the wall. It's a pretty common ocurrence with him, as he spends most days fighting bad guys so why not go to sleep fighting them some more? I'm guessing he actually went to sleep fairly quickly tonight.

I'm enjoying a Bridgeport IPA and realizing that it's much too quiet. Momma and I spent last night listening to the different bands that will be playing in a few short hours at Ska Weekend. We're taking the boys and want to be prepared, so we've made a list. The listening though is all on Myspace, so it's one song at a time, then I have to go back there from whatever I'm doing while the song plays and play the next song. What this means is that I hear a song, then realize it's quiet and the cycle just keeps on turning, turning, turning.

But all that work is for "the list." We have a three part list consisting of bands that we are definitely going to see, bands that we may or may not work in depending on the schedule and finally the bands that we don't need to bother to see, as in "Oh-my-fucking-god!!! is this emo ska? Who the fuck thought that would be okay?" With this list and the schedule, we'll be able to navigate the several stages that will be set up in the Old City.

Which brings us to the Old City. I love the Old City, and my best jobs here have been there, though I may not have said so at the time. The whole staying at home thing being how it is, I don't make it out of the house so often these days, but when I do, if I don't have other plans, it's the place I'm drawn to, for better or worse. One of the places I worked is Patrick Sullivans. If your interested, follow the link. Rumor has it that the bullet holes are still in the wall. They could be. Oddly enough, I just realized that the pint glass my beer is in is from Sullivans. Small world?

And another one of those "why's it so quiet?" moments before I'm back to the Myspace page to play the next song. I'm really excited about the show tomorrow. I know I've gone on about it some lately, but it's such a huge deal. It's a really huge show in the world of ska music. It's also showing one of those growing up things for me personally, something I've just realized about this particular show. Not so many years ago I'd already know about many of these bands. As it is now we've had to decide based on 2 to 4 songs how much we want to see many of these bands. There are a couple of bands that I've wanted to see for years, so it's that much more exciting.

Here are some Myspace links to a band or two. If you aren't familiar with Myspace, clicking the link will take you to the band's page and after a few moments, music will begin to make you happier as the sounds of the ska caress your brain in a mixture of Jamaica and America and England.

The Pietasters alone would be a great show for me personally. King Django I've seen once before, in Knoxville oddly enough. He does all kinds of things, sort of a renaissance man. Deals Gone Bad is one of the bands I'm not really familiar with, but the songs I've heard are really good, better than average. I'll take a couple of extra dollars for a cd from them for sure.

And this post has taken me an entire beer to write. I went a little link crazy because it's so damn fun. Maybe I just end the night here with some dub to lull me into a fall sense of sleepiness. I'm stopping here before I get into why I think that ska and dub music were the parents of hip hop/rap music. It's true, but it's not for tonight. Actually, by the time most people read this, both of you, it might already be tomorrow, which is Saturday.

As per usual, more beer, a smoke and thee my love.

new toy

I do in fact own a few records, real vinyl records. Some of them are fairly new, while others certainly predate better technology. I don't often listen to my records as the turntable is kind of a pain to deal with. Okay, it's actually easy, but I'm lazy as shit, so . . .

So this LINK YO will take you to the new USB turntable. It's not that expensive really, certainly not as pricey as buying all these same albums on cd.

So, will I get one? Probably not, sadly enough. My wish list for things that I don't actually need is long enough as it is, and the canoe gets purchased first. Now I should probably start saving some money for that canoe.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Momma was on the telly

A couple of weeks back, at a practice of the Hard Knox Roller Girls, a crew from a local television station did some filming. Another crew was there last week. The stories were finally aired today. I walk by in the background at some point holding The Boy while Momma is the one with the blond in the front of her brown hair. Notice the number of shirt fronts that are blurred. Silly prudes!

Dear UnRev. Jim

I think the Rev. Jim is an absolute jackass. I will call him names here, because I hear he likes that. He likes it so much that he sees it when it doesn't actually exist. And even when it does exist, name calling and cussing do not inherently invalidate an arguement. Just because his virginally christian eyes and ears are so loathe to see/hear cusswords does not negate truth or value of the words around the cuss words.

I give as an example, my version of a passage from the Declaration of Independence.

You bunch of fuckin' Loyalists can all go straight to hell. We in America have decided that we want no more of your bullshit, that each and every one of us has a godamn right to pursue the life that most suit us and the fucking liberty to make ourselves happy. Fuck you King George. If you try to take our rights we'll more than fuck you up as these aren't rights we've decided you can give or take. If you don't like it you can suck it.

Maybe it isn't as pleasant to read. But it makes the point. I'm glad that the founding fathers were as literate as they were because the documents that we hold dear have a certain zing that I probably couldn't have come up with.

We need however to get back to Rev. Jim. He states his arguement, assure us that it's the absolute right arguement and the only real truth. If anyone argues with him, he ignores them. If anyone refutes his point, he ignores them. If a blogger does either, he ignores them. I'm sure he knows who is linking to him and reads as he has mentioned that he's been called a dick and an ass and a motherfucker. I should also add that he doesn't really ignore them, he just doesn't present a reasonable arguement and doesn't involve himself in any meaningful dialogue. Instead he gets fussy that he had to read unpleasantness, attaches all cusswords used to all homeschoolers ever, assigns us the designation of racist, and finally he, without trying to discuss the issue, assures us all that it is we homeschoolers who won't compete in his arena.

Hey, Jim, add mytical superstitious uptight turd on stick to the list of things you've been called. Also add lying closeminded assmonkey. And as a cherry on top, I will also say that you are a big old meany poopoo head.

Note, Rev. Jim, that only I have called you these names. Note also, Rev. Jim, that this post in no way is of or about homeschooling. I'm not bothering to argue that one with you. I will argue however whether you are or are not the aforementioned poopoo head, but that is all I will discuss with you. As well as not about homeschooling, this post is not representative of any opinions other than my own. I do not speak for homeschoolers or homeschooling, so the old "lump 'em all together" trick won't work here.


Myrtle asked for a recipe for etouffee. I basically use the recipe from the Joy of Cooking. That book is generally the first thing I check when searching for a recipe or info about an ingredient. I do have better sources for ingredient checking, mostly online, but I have a certain love for the JoC. I also have a lifelong crush on Julia Child. Because so much of what she did revolves around French food, she isn't as good a general source as the JoC.

You could easily leave out all the meat, increase the overall amount of vegetables and make this vegetarian or even vegan if you omit the butter as well. I can't think of any vegetables to use to substitute for the meat that wouldn't greatly change the dish, but some fake sausage (blech!) may not hurt.

But I eat meat, so we'll start with the chicken. You can cut it into serving pieces or just quarter it. I like to pull the skin off now because it's going to get tossed anyway. This also reduces the amount of chicken fat that ends up in the final dish. Rub you chicken with a mixture of

1 tsp paprika
1 tsp thyme, dry
1/2 tsp basil, dry
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ground red pepper

Dredge the chicken in about 1 cup of flour. Heat a pan on the stove with some olive oil, about medium high, brown it well on both sides. As the chicken is about ready to remove, turn the heat down to a little below medium. You're going to make a roux next and you don't want the pan too hot or the bottom will burn.

A roux is just a mixture of fat and flour. You will want about a 3 Tbs of each. If there is that much fat in the pan, use it. I use a combination of olive oil and butter. Omitting the butter is fine if you want to use olive oil. Keep the heat low enough so that this doesn't burn. You do want it to cook until it's nice and dark brown which could take up to 20 minutes. Note that most cooking that involves a roux will NOT require that you cook it nearly this dark.

As the roux starts to get really dark, add

1 onion diced
1 red pepper diced
1/2 green pepper diced
1/2 cup celery diced
1/2 cup sausage diced
I usually use kielbasa as at's always easy to find. The JoC also suggests smoked ham

cook till the vegetables are a little soft and add

I use 3-5 cloves depending on size because I like a lot of garlic. 2-3 would be more normal.

1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp sage, crumbled
after about a minute add
2 cups liquid
You can use water, but . . .JoC calls for chicken stock. I've used vegetable stock as well as half vegetable stock and half chicken stock. You could use beer. You could use 1/4 to 1/2 cup of wine and some water.

3 Tbs tomato paste
1 Tbs worcestershire sauce
hot sauce to taste

Bring this to a boil and turn heat down to a simmer. Return the chicken to the pan and cover pan with lid. Let it simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken when it finishes cooking. If the sauce is too thick, turn the heat up and reduce it till it's where you want it. Don't thicken it too much as it will thicken as it sits, and it will be especially thick as leftovers the next day. It shouldn't need to much thickening.

Serve over steamed rice. I learned personally that if I pick the chicken, it's a shit ton easier to reheat as leftovers. Reheating chicken on the bone is a pain in the ass. I prefer not to mix the chicken back into the sauce because, if it's cooked well, the chicken with the spice mix cooked onto it really fucking rocks.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

really don't feel like cutting the chicken

I need to cut up a chicken so that I can make supper. I'm making etouffee at some point tonight, and I'm looking forward to it, but that damn chicken sits in the refrigerator waiting. And I really just don't feel like cutting a chicken.

It's not like it's that hard really. Yank her spine out , cut through to the joints, break them and cut. It's a really simple job if a bit messy.

It's much cheaper than buying the already cut up chicken, especially when you add that little bit of stock from all the extra bits you get. If I'd cut the chicken up earlier, I'd have that little bit of stock already to go in the damn etouffee. I didn't, so I don't.

I've got the recycling straightened up, the counters wiped and even washed the pile of knives and the wok. I suck for leaving the wok days at a time after using it. It's tiny pain in the ass to wash versus the pans that CAN go in the dishwasher. I'm just being lazy by doing needed housework to postpone the inevitable chicken demolition. That's extra sad that I have enough housework to do that.

At this point I'm just going to wait a bit more. As soon as 4:00 hits, I can listen to NPR in the kitchen and be happy cutting the chicken. Between now and then I will yell at the boys for no good reason, squeeze out a fart and smoke a cigarette. I also think that I already need a beer.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

one sore sob

Yes, I am indeed one sore son of a bitch. Between playing soccer on Sunday and yesterday's yard work, I'm just about pitiful.

We'll begin with Sunday. We had exactly eleven players show up while the other team had a nice batch of subs. In addition, they had a couple of players who seemed to think this was a professional, international match. I heard a couple of my teammates complain about the elbows, but I thought nothing of it myself. It's one thing to hide the elbow from the ref, but you've got to be good to for the opposing player to not notice till after the play. Or maybe I just play so hard that I don't notice.

Either way, the shot to the hip started hurting pretty quickly after the play, but I thought nothing of it then. I realized later that I'd been privy to one of those elbows, how else to explain it? It quickly turned into a really nasty bruise that will be the envy of Momma's roller derby practice tonight.

As Sunday turned to night and then Monday, I began finding new hurty places that aren't normal soccer wear. These, I'm guessing, are more elbows. They aren't bruising like the hip, but they are random spots, halfway down my right forearm, the back of my left elbow, for instance. Having just checked the elbow, it is bruised, lending the elbow story more credence. These could only have been cheap shots.

The yard work had to be done, and I've finally finished another round of the hellish raking that my procrastination awarded me. We can put yard waste in our ditch in front of the house and know that every other Tuesday, a truck will come by and cart it away. During mostly leaf season, it's a truck with a huge vacuum hose, the sucky truck. During mostly dead stick weather, the truck sports a giant claw.

The vacuum truck sucked up most of the leaves, but plenty more sat at the bottom of the ditch collecting water and worms. My most recent raking episodes, all yard based, were mostly removed from the ditch as well. Yesterday was the day to rake the ditch itself, pulling all the accumulation from one end to the other. I'm leaving next Tuesday's claw truck no reason not to take all the crap this time. After raking the ditch, I mowed all of the front the side and most of the close half of the back.

Then I heard a sound that is more and more familiar each year. First is the kachunk of the blade spinning into something that's not grass followed by the dead silence as the mower quits working. And yes, I've bent yet another mower blade.

So, I can feel each and every muscle in my back as it screams at me to stop getting involved in more activity that my sad body can take. My hands feel deformed from the rake and the mower, but somehow, possibly through magic, there are no new blisters. There's also the place on my ankle, the ever popular soccer play where you and the opponent kick the ball/each other at the same time. I could go on and on.

Monday, April 24, 2006

new picture

I found a new picture of Momma and me. I didn't think I had such an accurate representation of us, so when I saw this, I knew I had to show the world.

this crappy century

Yeah, this is post number 100! whee . . . I give you cake, ice cream and something to drink.

What more could you want from me? I can only give you my best, and if this is my best . . .

Wait, this isn't about me. This is for the people, the little people, the ones who made me what I am today.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

stuff n' things

This will be post number 99 for me. I'm sure that I'll throw a party when I get around to 100, but that's for another time.

Many things suck more, but there is a special sucking involved with knocking your pint glass against your tooth, and it's the same with bottles. I try to stick to glasses though.

Ska Weekend is coming up in now less than a week. We are all kinds of excited. Momma, checking on tickets, got us a really sweet deal. She went to the Ska Weekend message board to ask about kids tickets. Ticket prices are $15 plus 5 cans of food as it is a fundraiser for a local food bank. This is the fourth (I think) year that the show has happened, and it's all thanks to one guy that must seriously bust his ass to put this together. It's big enough, that he obviously has some aid, but it's mostly his deal from what I can tell.

I don't think he had considered young kids when he told Momma that "if you can walk, you need a ticket." I can totally see his point, but I don't think he had reason to even think of our point till Momma brought it up. So he lowered the price for the 10 and under set and assured us of a special ticket price. That's just awesome! We were afraid we'd miss because $60 is a shit ton, and though we missed the very first show, we've attended each one since. This is an amazing day of bands if you like the ska music. And not only do we like the ska, but the fucking Pietasters are playing!

The Cobras, Big Brother's soccer team, played a great game today. It was a little crazy having missed two weeks, one for rain and the next for Easter. Many of them missed some of the practices as well. Then we get that good old deep south steam bath of a day with the sun beating down on the sodden fields.

Depending on the weather, I get mine tomorrow, which is technically now today. I'm going to hurt Monday as I haven't worked out for shit in ages. But I really can't wait to get on the field. It's another interleague game which I only mention to extend this paragraph.

It's late as shit, and The Boy is still up while Big Brother lounges in a tub full of water that is tepid at best. I need to harangue him out or pull the plug while at the same time get The Boy read to and in the bed too.

Monday, April 17, 2006

first day's schedule

Today, I actually tried to implement the vaguest of schedules for the day. I actually can't say that it worked especially well, but there's always tomorrow.

I haven't asked very much of Big Brother is ages, so he's gotten used to not doing much of anything. I don't want to spring all of this on him and further complicate all this. But I can't help feeling I've been way too lax.

I've also been pretty lazy personally, so most of my working on is going to be to get myself to do things, set an example. I did fold some clothes and put them up, but I didn't fold all the laundry yet, and I could easily wash at least two more loads which of course I would then need to fold and put away.

I got some dishes done, but that pretty much had to happen. I don't know how Momma got to the sink this morning, but she managed to get the coffee made. I could possibly do another load of dishes just based on what's collected today.

We did no school anything, though I have some stuff in mind and had actually planned a couple of things. Again, I don't want to overwhelm the poor kid, and I don't want us jumping into too much stuff only to give up because we didn't plan. I have a personal history of great ideas that I didn't keep up.

I guess I need to go for The Boy is "huuuuuuuungry." Of course he knows that he has plenty of Easter candy still, so he wants some of that. I'd say candy may have been half of his diet today. Cereal for breakfast, Easter dinner leftovers for lunch, M&M's, Robins Eggs, jelly beans, a tiny bit of pork fried rice, and now he wants more candy.


Yesterday was Easter, so I stuffed myself full of ham to celebrate a religion that began with the Jews. How proper.

Frankie decided to post about her amazingly well run household just so that the rest of us could see how great she is and how suckful we are. Okay, actually, she has better reasons, and it's pretty funny that she did post about her household. I've been thinking for quite a while that one of my issues is about order and schedules. Her post has pushed me just enough to finally follow through a little.

I'm being totally honest when I explain that most of our days are spent staring into screens. I don't just mean this in number of days but also in amount of each day. I hate it and it's driving me and the boys crazy. They're currently fine with too much television, but we all need to change this before it gets worse.

The house is going straight to hell, and I'm tired of the mess, the confusion, the wrestling match to achieve even making a cup of coffee in the kitchen.

So I'm going to play with some of Frankie's ideas. I kind of like to actually schedule things, when I'm not too lazy to do so, so I won't steal her idea outright. But I do need to list all those things that we want done. Too many things just get forgotten or put off otherwise.

In addition to being tired personally of the mess and the clutter and the lack of motivation, I need to show the boys a better way. I don't want them to think that life is just t.v., nor do I want them to be used to living surrounded by mess. We also need to get back to reasonable bedtimes for everyone so that we can more easily wake up in the mornings.

I've rambled for long enough, and I haven't even touched on education. That's a subject I'm still not sure how I want to approach. But we're going to approach it more than we have lately.

I can hear the boys stirring, and they'll want to wake up and head straight for the t.v. probably. But that's just too bad. Today is the first day of scheduling and accomplishing. Organization and accomplishment are the goals, the buzzwords of the day/week/year.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


Not only do kids say the darnedest things, but they also sometimes say the greatest things. This post is more about those darnedest things.

Example 1 was just moments ago. The boys are eating lunch, peanut butter and orange marmalade sandwiches. Big Brother eats his sandwiches in layers, peeling off the top slice of bread to eat first, then proceeding down through whatever toppings there are. With the pbj, there are no layers of course, so he eats it jelly side first then peanut butter side. I'm a little anal, so the peanut butter has to go on the bottom slice of bread.

Big Brother opened his sandwich and asked if that was honey on the bread. We've eaten a fair amount of pb and honey sandwiches lately because I've been lazy about scraping the multiplying jelly jars. I told him no, that it was orange marmalade, to which he replied with a shout, "OH YES!"

The Boy's humorous utterances lately are all the fault of Thomas the Tank Engine books. We haven't even read the books much lately and haven't had to watch videos several times a day lately either. The track pieces have been put away for some time, though put away just means in a clothes basket off to the side. A few of the engines are always floating about.

Lately, The Boy has been speaking as if life were all one big Thomas book. I asked him one day recently if he was okay, just randomly checking his well being. Me: "How are you doing?" The Boy: "Fine, said Thomas." Earlier today I asked him if he wanted a treat, and he answered, "Yes, said Cranky."

And now to add the freshest, even fewer moments ago. The boys are currently behind me trying to do handstands. Big Brother has been working at this for some time. The Boy wasn't doing well, so Big Brother gave him this advice, "You have to throw your hindquarters in the air."

If you read this and have kids, even if you never comment or seldom comment, you are now required to comment and leave a humorous phrase your child has uttered. Get to it now! All kids say funny things.

the neighbor kid

Our neighbors across the street are a seemingly nice family. I've never had any issue with them or their kids. Their dog is a little noisy and freakish, but that's a dog for you.

The kids, a boy and a girl, are older than my kids. I'd guess that they are probably both in the 12 to 15 range. I'm also not good at guessing ages, but I know neither of them drive yet.

So back to the neighbor kid, the boy, who I'd put at about 12 or 13 years old. He's getting his workout in for the day apparently. He's holding two small hand sized dumb bells above his head and running up and down the street.

I know it's only slightly humorous, and I certainly shouldn't make fun of the kid, even if he looks funny. Mostly it just looks really awkward. It looks like an exercise that someone made up so that he'd look funny as he ran.


Earlier tonight I began writing but got stuck when I tried to use the apostrophe. Each time I pressed the key I got some sort of search bar appearing at the bottom of the screen. I didn't take the time to check it out and figure out what it was. I did check around the Blogger help menu, and I didn't find anything about it. I ended up closing window I think, and I never figured out what the problem was. I'm certain that whatever it was it's now gone. And considering the damn thing now works, I'm quite certain I might never know.

I'm sure whatever I was writing was a rant. Honestly, some days I can start any number of posts that don't end up being finished. I generally start an early proofread and realize that I'm off by a few degrees or am sounding like a jackass.

Don't be fooled here. I'm not at all afraid to sound like a jackass. I'm seriously okay with it. I would however like to at least seem as though I have a clue what I'm talking about. Sometimes I write shit that is actually too twisted and ranty even for me.

And all this now is because of that damn apostrophe. Oh how I now hate it. I can't help but expect the same treatment each time I need to indicate either possessive tense or a contraction, so I'm a little gunshy with my punctuation. And it's not so easy to not use the apostrophe, and you can believe that I spent a good minute and change thinking of ways to rewrite things so as not to need them. And try typing apostrophe a few times. That's about to send me straight into the beer.

But, I got a damn blog out of it. I've created more guilt for myself because I'm so dry and devoid of ideas that I made an entire post of the most ridiculous of topics. I've made a mole hill out of an ant fart. But I've done something.


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Becks in the US?

Found this interesting tidbit at It seems David Beckham is wanting to end his career here in the US. He already has a soccer academy in CA somewhere.

I'd love to see it happen personaly. We're are slowly becoming a real soccer nation which I see as beneficial to us in regards to how we are perceived throughout the world.

The World Series, other than one or two Canadian teams isn't anything more than a national celebration of a game, and the same applies to pretty much every other American sport. Why do we presume to call all of our sport championships world championships when in fact, most of the rest of the world doesn't even care?

Soccer on the other hand is the one truly international sport. With the coming World Cup in Germany, we have a chance to see what is truly a world championship event.

If you'd like to see your men's team, tonight, 4/11/06, they are playing Jamaica. The game will be aired on ESPN2 at 7:00 et. I'm skipping out on roller skating to stay home and watch this.

Monday, April 10, 2006

in their little bow ties

We'll begin today with my reasoning behind why I refer to the Nation of Islam as the bow tie nazis. Having grown up in Atlanta, I'm very familiar with the sight of, on random street corner, the small group of black men, usually in grey suits but always in bow ties. They always look so sharp standing there, ready at a moment's notice to approach the passersby with a copy of The Final Call. I'm guessing it's still the same paper. But why Nazis? Out of dozens of times that I've been sitting at an intersection peopled by NofI members, I have only once in my life been offered my own copy of The Final Call. The one copy I was offered was in Charlotte where Momma and I lived for a while. That was probably the one time I saw them in Charlotte. What made me different from the drivers that do get offered the paper?

I saw some more of the bow tie nazis (btn) yesterday. It was sort of refreshing, escpecially when I got that old look that I remembered so well. All it takes is for them to peak at my white face staring back at them, and they calmly step back onto the sidewalk and turn to each other. These guys were different though.

In Atlanta, I was used to seeing the btn regularly. Growing up in south Dekalb, you get used to being the only white person at the grocery store or the library. The btn were always young adults, possibly college students. Yesterday however, they were all 10-14 in my estimation. They wore the suits and the little bow ties, and they looked so adorable. One little boy held a megaphone, though he didn't use it while we were at the intersection. Additionaly, several of them carried pies in what looked like grocery store type packaging.

It isn't that I mind being snubbed. Honestly, I can take it, especially in light of our country's history regarding race relations. As well, religiously based racism even seems different to me than just outright ignorant asshole racism. Being from the South, I'm well aware of both. And while there is no difference in the evilness of either, the difference isn't there to discern between levels of evil so much as to suggest that some things are different for how they get there. This also gets back to being raised a certain way only to grow up and find that you are fighting with yourself over ideas that clash based on a grown up awareness versus childhood indoctrination.

I digress, so we'll get back to the story.

I was once again snubbed for my whiteness. This time, while still humorous, it was different because these were kids. They haven't yet had a chance to confront life as it is. I imagine the NofI to be similar to any other cult in that the kids don't know any different, are not at all aware of what "the world" truly is and what it truly means and holds for them. Many of these kids may never leave the NofI, just as many kids will never leave the JW's or the Baptist church, though many kids will. And full on indoctrination in the church only prepares kids to stay there and not for a real life in the real world.

I just realized that I'm making the old "S" word arguement against religion, which isn't what I mean to do. I can understand that parents are going to teach their kids their religion and want for their kids to grow up and stay true to that religion. I plan to teach my kids my own views on life. But I can look back to what I thought of "the world" as I grew up only to find myself questioning all I'd ever been taught. When I finally moved out and was really on my own, life wasn't so black and white as I'd been taught. Every didn't fit into either good and christian columns or bad and nonchristian columns. In fact no one person fits in any one column. Some christians lie and some atheist don't.

So as I watched the youngsters, the next gen of btn, I laughed and thought to myself that I was missing one more copy of someone's religious propaganda. That thought was closely followed by the thought that these kids, so young, already knew that if you checked, you wouldn't have to waist the steps if the car held white people. I don't feel hurt or offended nor do I care. I know that if a group of black men or boys occupy a street corner and are wearing neat suits and little bow ties, they don't want my white ass to get a copy of their paper. I'm sure I'm the devil, possibly Jewish and responsible for some of their misery.


The first picture is Big Brother and Momma, while on the sofa are me and The Boy. He doesn't really play guitar, or should I say that he plays as far as he's concerned. I just realized that, though these pictures are a few months old, I'm actually wearing that same tshirt today.


I'm going to have to work to get an early picture of myself. I'm pretty sure that I don't have any, though there are plenty in Atlanta at my parents' house. That means that I will have to either talk my parents into scanning and emailing or sending via snail mail. There is a small chance that I will have some pictures somewhere here, though I really doubt that. I also don't know how to plant pictures in a blog, though I can figure that out with the Help button.

So be patient! Don't go getting all GMALASHEP on me with your persecutin' and all. I'll try to share some pictures!

edited to add: Dumb ass me posted this then went to the help menu and then clicked on "how do I post pictures?" And just so you all know, you push the image button right there above this, next to the spell check. Yeah, a button!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

fooling myself

Watching the weather yesterday, I imagined today's soccer game being cancelled, and I relished the thought of getting some sleep.

Friday is the latest night Momma works, usually getting home sometime after 4:00 Saturday morning. It's hard not to stay up sometimes, thinking I'm waiting for her to get home, but I seldom actually stay up that late, especially if we have 9:30 soccer games Saturday morning.

We didn't get the shitty end of the storms, but we are getting plenty of rain, enough so that the games were cancelled. But did I get back to bed? I suppose I could have after my nine phone calls to tell families not to bother going to the fields. But I didn't, and no amount of wishing I had will get me that sleep I gave up on.

So the clock slowly wends it's way toward 10:00, and I'm the only one awake. I've lied about all the reasons to homeschool, and this is the true reason that you can sleep in. At least you can most days. I'm not saying you should, but you can. I'm a little surprised that neither of the boys are awake. I really expected The Boy to be up and about as this is his usual time. I'm not complaining that he isn't up as I'm actually getting a little peace and quiet, sadly rare and all too shortlived.

It's time to run to the garage. I can get another cigarette in before my shift starts.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Aren't modern times great? Isn't it lovely that we can go from an interesting idea in children's fantasy literature to having the actual thing? And magic has nothing to do with it.

I know, that wordacious first paragraph as filler before I get to the real meat of the deal here.

Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans certainly sounded like fun the first time we read Harry Potter. I certainly didn't want to taste half the flavors, but that didn't matter. Wizard candy would seem difficult to attain in the Muggle world.

Then along comes Jelly Belly, fast becoming my favorite producer of nonchocolate candies. Anyone who can make a jelly bean flavored like buttered popcorn vaults several levels based on that one candy alone.

So what I was told was tutti frutti tasted like bubble gum flavor, which I don't really like so much. I'm certainly not repulsed by it, saving repulsion for the next one. Big Brother checked the bean then checked the guide on the package and declared it was either dirt or earthworm. It was dirt, but not a spitting dry dirt out of your mouth in a soccer game kind of dirt. This was a gummy dirt that still lingers somewhere in my nasal passages. Follow that with sardine which I promptly spit out.

I doubt The Boy notices differences in flavor when eating candy as he generally just attacks it. But Big Brother has to check each individual jelly bean before eating it so that he knows what flavor it is. I'm not sure if that stops him from eating any of them. I'm also not sure how they get the grass flavor to taste like grass. But that's quite okay.

braggin' on Momma

Momma has been practicing for the past few weeks with the Hard Knox Rollergirls, our town's answer to the growing roller derby craze. The practices are held at a fairly local roller skating rink. We aren't the only people there with kids, and several of the other girls bring their kids. During practice, any nonrollergirls are allowed to skate around the outside of the rink.

Big Brother is taking to the skates like a natural. He's made a couple of new friends as well as getting to see some old friends that we haven't seen in a while.

At the first practice I followed The Boy around, ready at a moment to catch him before he fell. Practice number two he didn't want to be followed/helped, so I let him go and did a little skating myself.

Last night I didn't bother with skates. The Boy wasn't making my night easy, and my sore as shit inner thigh muscles didn't need to be worked that way. So I got to pay attention to the girls a bit more.

They are coming along nicely. Many of the girls hadn't really skated before or hadn't skated in a very long time. Momma certainly hadn't skated in a while, though she actually owns her own skates.

On to the brag and the finish.

During time trials, Momma out skated every one there and consistently scored the lowest times. As I watched, I saw where she could get even faster. She needs better wheels if not better skates altogether. Her wheels were slipping as she took the curves, though she controlled her speed and turns well and didn't fall. If she were more stable in the curves at speed, she would easily shave a couple of seconds or more off her time.

They also began splitting into teams last night. I'm not sure exactly what's happening, how it's working, but I'm thinking that all the girls are basically the beginning of the local league, and from the crowd of girls at the practices they will form teams. Momma was offered a position on a team almost immediately.

Other than a message board, the only website I can find for the Hard Knox Roller Girls is their Myspace page. It's linked if anyone cares to check it out.

nothing worse

In a comment to my last post concerning Bush, the unstoppable juggernaut of unable to admit his own evil, friend Bridget left this comment.
Ah, not to worry.

The White House isn't a foreign place to our next President. She's just going to be sitting in a different office.

This comment of course reminded me of a delightful piece of video that the good folks over at Daily Kos were nice enough to point out and link to.

According to Tom Delay, there is nothing worse than a "know it all woman."

Take it for what it is. Hardball really doesn't seem that hard in light of the pandering to Delay that is evident in this clip.

And for the record, so that she can be even with Bill, I'll stand up now and offer my services to perform for Mrs. Clinton from under the desk.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

ancient history, modern lessons

Can Bush learn from ancient Greek history? We are well into a war with no end in sight, and Lioness makes an great observation on this HERE.

Oh how I long for a day when I don't hear the phrase "President Bush" ever again.

guide to dining in a restaurant, the first

Too often customers dining in a restaurant don't quite know how to behave. It isn't that they can't behave in public, but for some reason, entering a restaurant seems to give these people a misplaced sense of themselves as a sort of master of the staff.

This isn't a post I've planned out and thought about in a usual sense. However, though I'm currently a stay at home dad, my work history is almost entirely food service based. I have several years of cooking experience along with a very few in management roles.

This post sprang from an experience that my wife had at work last night. Apparently, she is very often the only person inside Nama with a lighter. Nama, a swanky sushi bar here in the Patch, is one of a very few local places that are voluntarily smoke free. This is a whole other post that I need to write concerning establishment by government of smoke free by legislation. Momma's lighter was making the rounds of people, some staff using it to light tableside candles, some staff and customers taking the lighter outside to smoke.

She was not in possession of her lighter at the time of this occurrence. She had loaned it to a staff member and hadn't yet gotten it back, though she was aware that this staff member had sent it out on a loan train through staff and customers. One particular customer wanted to borrow the traveling lighter and knew that it belonged to her. So how did he request the use of the lighter?

Okay, hours later and at home, upon hearing the story, I nearly flew into a rage. This is something that you should NEVER do to anyone, especially anyone who is in control of how your food arrives for you to eat.

So what did this chump do? He snapped his fingers at her. He didn't utter a single word, didn't say please or anything that reasonable people do. He snapped his fucking fingers at her!!!

You might call a dog by snapping your fingers. You might snap your fingers in time to music. You might even try to get your kids attention with a quick snap of the fingers. But you should never, ever snap your fingers at the staff of any restaurant ever.

It is extremely rude. It is somewhat dehumanizing, especially in an industry so devoted to pleasing customers. Along with all the work it takes to run a restaurant correctly comes the attitudes of people who leave their humaneness at the door. Without having done the job, one cannot have any idea of the extreme stress of doing the job. Add to the unavoidable stresses the shitty attitudes of customers who expect servitude to just increase the stress.

I'll have to readdress this topic of customer behavior somewhat over time. I won't go into anything else here that idiot customers can do to infuriate restaurant staff. I will return to this in future postings and perhaps I'll write a tidy little pile of blogs that will become a book. I've long thought about writing a manual for restaurant diners so that they can be sure of good service and food. I have a store of experiences and anecdotes on which to rely as well as many friends in the business to maintain the flow.

We'll leave the topic for now however. We will reiterate what we've just learned. Do NOT snap your fingers at your server or at the cooks. It isn't appreciated and will only cause the staff to remember you as an asshole. It will reflect poorly on you and it very well might affect the service you can expect.

need to refocus myself

The point of this blog was never to sit idly waiting for me to remember it. I hoped to do more writing here of various kinds. I hoped that this would give me more reason and desire to write, to get back into the habit of writing regularly.

I've let the internet rule most of my days lately. Aside from constantly checking bloglines to see if there are new posts, I find that I keep getting dragged to blogs that I wouldn't normally bother with. I'm proud of some of the writing I've done in some comments to some fools. I can even make decent comments to the smart and nice people that I feel a camaraderie with in this crazy internet/blogging/homeschooling world that's growing so wonderfully.

In addition, and as a shitty excuse, I've let my online time grow to encompass so much of my day that I don't allow myself time for much else. My patience with the boys has diminished because of this as well. I can't blame the internets for my own problem, no matter how much I'd like.

Basically, I need to refocus myself and my energies. Even cooking meals has slid to a place of unimportance that really should embarrass me. I've allowed the boys unending hours of television, and they've proven that they will watch just about any cartoon, even if they saw the exact same episode mere hours ago.

All that to say, I should spend less time fucking off around these parts, but I don't know how likely that is. I really need to get off my ass and do lots of things. The computer aint going to do it for me, so I guess it really is up to me.

Okay, now I've said to much. The computer can hear me I think, and it knows what I'm saying. I don't think I'm making it happy, and I'm afraid it's going to do something. I'm sorry, computer. It's not you; it's me.

Monday, April 03, 2006

crazy weather

Sometime around 8:00 last night, shortly before the sky opened over us, I noticed a weather report. I could have told you it was going to rain, and suddenly it did.

I quickly remembered the car windows and quickly ran to roll them up. The driver's side, into which the rain was ferociously blowing is the hard one. While pushing the button you have to pull the window up. This of course was especially difficult as the window and my fingers were soaked. As I got the windows up the hail started. I waited the hail out in the car then darted inside.

The storms raged on and off all night. The wind was insane, howling around the house, roaring in the tree tops. It was a night to feel small and weak in the face of that tiny taste of what nature can do.

I learned this morning about the tornadoes in the other end of our state. We were under a torndoe watch ourselves for a bit of last night, but I hadn't heard of any touching down at that point. Our largest hail was golf ball size according to my wife. I was retucking The Boy into his bed and heard it, but I wanted him asleep and wasn't willing to get up and check it out. I could hear how bad it was though.

All day today we saw dark clouds hovering, blowing slowly past. The wind was in the tree tops again with it's steady roar. There's something almost hypnotic in watching the trees in the wind. Miyazaki captures that mysteriousness really well in My Neighbor Totoro, especially when Tsatsuki is outside getting firewood and the wind come blasting through and whips the wood pile into the air. I didn't expect this would end with Miyazaki, but it's fitting. Whenever I really notice the wind, I tend to also think of Totoro as the wind is such an interesting facet of the movie.

In addition to the links above, here is the IMDB page about Miyazaki. I wouldn't bother so much, but he deserves every bit of recognition he gets, and all children deserve to watch his movies.

Our weather should be normal and calm by tomorrow. I hope so. I have great plans for mowing grass sometime this week. I'd like for our practice field to be dry for Big Brother's soccer practice tomorrow night.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

using a comment as a blog, with commentary

I'm not sure what exactly Danny was getting at when he posed his comment to me in his blog. I'm not going into the whole story of why the hell I ever bothered with this dumb fuck, but I did. Go see Doc about it if you want any more info. Those that know already already know, and since they are the few people reading this, they already know. Anyway, here is my response to the new Dumbass Danny. Anyway, after my "hitting kids is bad" comment, he accused me of being a spanker. I answered him.

I will admit, Danny, that I have spanked my kids. I have used very flimsy arguements to justify it. I still feel the shame of having hit my kids, and I know that I've done bad and hurtful things to my kids.
I know what it's like to feel that I have so little control that perhaps I should hit my kids and make them do what I want. That is a very powerless situation to put yourself in as a
parent, but that is nothing compared to what it does to our kids.
I also know what it's like to grow up with the dread of the whippings. I grew up being whipped in a manner that doesn't seem too far away from much of what the Pearl family suggests. Did they ever serve their intended function? Not one bit. They certainly hurt like hell. If anything, they served only to frighten and hurt me as a child, confuse me as an adult and to lessen my supply of tools with which to raise my children.
Once you've accepted hitting as acceptable, it lessens the power of every thing you do and it cheapens your role as a parent.
No matter how long it's been since I stopped spanking, I still know that fear in my kids' eyes that their father might hurt them. They certainly know I've hurt them, and I can't even start to think how that might effect them. I still know that I'm a person that has hurt his children.
I think a number of parents are upset at this boycot because it points out their own shortcomings. If you've been spanking, you've conditioned your kids with pain, how can you ever hope to top that as a motivation? How can you admit that what you've done, what you've justified, is actually wrong? How can you admit that you've twisted scripture to justify wanton abuse of kids? It's really hard to do, to admit that you've been hitting your kids. You never even want to call it hitting, because spanking is more acceptable, while hitting is hitting. But spanking is hitting. You can't spank without hitting. And hitting isn't okay.
If you don't believe that hitting kids is okay, then how can you support people who earn money from advocating the hitting of kids? That's foolish to even think it's okay. It's certainly at least selfish to be more concerned about your internet community than the fact that children are being abused by parents who think it's okay because their church or their christian friends suggest that it's okay.
That is the very heart of the matter, and it seems people want to hide it. Hiding child abuse is as bad as abusing the child. If you hide an entire culture of abuse, then you must take responsibility for each and every child hurt by these teachings.

In a sense, it's sort of a coming clean for me. I really wish I'd never spanked my kids. Nothing I say can change that I did it. I was spanked so regularly as a child that it really lost a lot of the horror that should be associated with hitting kids. It was so normal to me, just a part of life.

There's a dark humor for me in all this talk of spanking. I've read some true horror stories from people who were spanked similarly to how I was spanked. So many people carry such hatred and fear and distrust for their parents into adulthood because of the abuse. I certainly have very conflicted feelings, not the least of which is the distinct difference in my lack of belief versus the whole extreme Baptist upbringing.

I was taught that humans were born with a sin nature. Left to themselves, all people would do all day is lay around and sin. If you were taught at a young age to fear god and dad, you would be spared this horrid life of sin and death and hell. So when I sinned, I was supposed to accept that I deserved to feel the pain of the rod and then be remorseful. I was never sorry because of my sin nature, so I had to be taught with pain how to truly feel sorry.

And still it didn't really have a major effect on me that I can point to and say, "Yes, that's because I was spanked." Of course I haven't really had to think about it for several years, and now it's all slowly coming back out. I don't remember the last time I truly considered the whippings I got till the boycot started me thinking. Reading some of the shit from the Pearl's book was just so much like my own experience that it kind of put me back there. I still don't like to think about it, so I may never figure out how those whippings fucked me up.

Between reading at Danny's then answering and having to be lazy about blogging, I need a fucking cigarette and a beer. I'm sinning twice, and it's all because I didn't get punished often enough as a child. Is cussing a sin? The commandments don't say "thou shalt not say fuck or shit or damn or hell or pussy or dick or etc." So what's a bitch to do? Fuck it, I need that goddamn cigarette!