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Friday, November 30, 2018

Five Things I Think, Nov 30

Well, dear readers, it seems maybe I have some more thoughts rattling around in this head of mine.  Here they come.

1) I think I am avoiding the scale this week, like so many of us.  I dove headfirst into Turkey Day, and the Friendsgiving that followed.  Since Wifefish makes one of the best turkey wine-lemon-herb rubs known to mankind, I enjoyed it liberally.  And often.  Then the gaming charcuterie just put the coffin nail in me.  Roll me out the door, boys, I'm ready to get at 'er.

2) I think that sometimes, the only solution to your woes is a run of antibiotics.  I recently suffered my way through a head cold that decided it wanted to become a sinus infection of epic proportions.  My nose was producing so much mucus I thought about putting a seashell on it and calling it a snail.  Today, I'm 3 days into said antibiotics, and it's funny how you can feel reunited with oxygen freely entering your lungs without gasping like a landed carp.  I am enjoying life after emigrating back out of East Snotmucustan.

3) I think this is going to be a very, very challenging year professionally.  The changes to the tax laws have produced an absolutely fucking stupid overhaul to the forms which does absolutely fucking nothing except make it a talking point that some dipshit can point to and call "simpler" because of the way the first fucking page looks. 
It invalidates the mental map in my head...for years I have been able to quickly scan the first two pages of a return and spot anything irregular at a literal glance.  Now, just so some chucklefuck can crow into a microphone that it is the size of a postcard, I will have to scan 6 additional schedules.  So your Schedule C (small business) used to flow right onto your return...now it takes a useless fucking detour into a new schedule before it gets there.  Simpler, my ass. 
What this means for me this year is a whole lot of new stress and late nights as I plow through the learning curve and re-map some neurons to memorize the new "simpler" forms.  I have never actually kept a bottle of scotch in the office, but I am considering it for this year.

4) I think I'm geekily excited to start family RPG night.  Little Danger has chosen the Star Wars RPG, and wants to play a smuggler who becomes a rebel spy.  I have had a lifetime of rewarding adventures around a game table with good friends, and I am happy to continue this for him.  Also, Star Wars is inherently cool, so...  
via GIPHY

I plan to set our campaign in the Legends universe (where the books and such were before the Disney takeover), a few days after the destruction of the first Death Star.  There's a lot of room to play in a galaxy far, far away.  And since the old expanded universe was shot down by the new movies with a proton torpedo in its exhaust port, I have a huge, ready-made pile of stories I can farm for plots.  It will be interesting to see how he leaves his mark on the galaxy.  I bet when all is said and done, that Little Danger shoots first.   

5)  I think the absolute most annoying thing about Continuing Education in my profession, and probably in a lot of others, is the goddamn bullshit test questions.  More specifically, the answers.  2 wrong answers, 1 right answer, and 1 almost right answer.  The almost right answer is the specific bullshit that annoys. 
I think that we either know the answer or don't, and I personally cannot fucking stand it when I have to carefully parse through each option just to make sure that what I am selecting as the right answer is in fact the right answer.  I know the shit, or I don't know it, and trying to trick me into answering wrong is not effective testing.  I have hated this shit since I was 8 years old.  I will likely hate it when I am 78. 

A few more expletives this time around, it seems.  Well, that's what happens when I come across things that grind my gears.  I hope your day/week/month/holiday season is freaking excellent. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Five Things I Think, Nov 21



I have, of course, become a most infrequent writer. Here are my thoughts today.

  1. I think I am one proud papa. In the last post, I discussed Little Danger's football season as it started. Well, here we are at the finish. He played almost every down this year, on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Tight End on O-Line, and DE/DT at various times on defense, depending on whether they wanted him in the backfield or neutralizing a blocker. There's pride point one...
    A quick aside is necessary, I feel. Pride has become a lazy word in modern English. We use it for several feelings, several types of pride. Personal accomplishment, hubris, joy in another's accomplishments...I wish to point out that I am in category 3 here. This is that kind of pride that we should have in great measure, that feeling you get for someone else when they achieve, learn, and influence.
    By my unofficial count, he finished the season with only 2 games with no sacks. In those two, he helped cause sacks by being double, even triple teamed. He's a goddamn wrecking ball to the opponent backfield. Same with pancakes on the offensive side, I think he had just one game without putting a player on the turf. I lost count on tackles, and tackles for loss. He had 2 receptions on 2 point conversions. He played his heart out most of the time, in short. There's pride point two...


    The team pulled off two last minute miracle wins in the playoffs, which I may detail at another time. They were truly crazy plays, and I avoided cardiac arrest narrowly. They went to the Super Bowl, and though they did not win said Super Bowl, they fought their way into the history books for their league. They lost in double overtime, the first time in this league that a game had finished in 2ndOT. Double. Goddamn. Overtime. I mean, if you're gonna lose, that's the way to do it. They went down swinging, to mix sports metaphors. That would be pride point three...
    While Little Danger was appropriately wrecked emotionally after the game, it faded to a feeling of, if not happiness, then pride (category 1) in his team and his play by the end of the day. “We made history”, he said. Many parents were disappointed but honestly, for me, I couldn't even be upset...it was a hell of a game, and I watched my boy make some amazing key plays...a couple huge blocks to open holes, a moment where he parted the two double teaming him like Moses and the Red Sea, and a massive TD saving tackle in the first OT period that got him so amped he jumped into one of his coaches arm's like Baby coming out of the corner. And yes, I had the time of my life watching.
    It was a hell of a season, and now we have a break of about a minute and a half before basketball games start. Raising a jock is not for the weak.
     

  2. I think it is quite strange living in 2018 (for another month or so). The level of importance people ascribe to the weirdest, most petty shit reaffirms in my mind that even though we have evolved and developed, our biology just hasn't caught up to the “first world” social strata. We need to think of things, due to biological imperatives, in survival mode, and it makes a lot of otherwise OK human beings do some really questionable shit as they become territorial over some of the stupidest things. For a robust example, see modern politics or anything blown up into social media drama in the last ten minutes. 

  3. I think Fleetwood Mac is fucking amazing. We had the opportunity to see them in concert recently, and we carpe'd that diem like your very own Dangerboy at a beer buffet. Little Danger lit up like a Christmas Tree, and enjoyed the crap out of it. Wifefish got to cross a thing off her bucket list, always a happy thing. I soaked it in and squealed like a group of adolescent girls sitting on a pile of squeaky toys in a 70s car chase.
    As a drummer, watching Mick Fleetwood behind that drum set is a special treat. The absolute, sheer, childlike joy he takes in making music is a gift I hope he never stops giving. I smiled every time he made Drum Face. And I am still smiling long after, and reflecting on the way I make music. And damn, but he has fun. The obligatory drum solo was interactive and hilarious, as he asked the audience why you should never leave a drummer alone on stage...because “He will unleash the hoooouuuuuuunnnnddddssss!!!”  Dude then went on a drum rampage with their current hand percussionist.  Tasty, tasty stuff.  

    The new lineup is pretty good, too. Yeah, I could go all sentimental about the lack of Lindsey, but let's face it: Fleetwood Mac is an ode to what people who get on each other's nerves can create together...great music, yes, but also great drama.

  1. I think Ford motor company can kiss my ass. We have a Ford Focus that has problems with its car alarm. At any random time, if locked, it may decide it wants to sing us the song of its people. 4 trips to the service department have not fixed this problem.
    We had to go to arbitration over this thing.  I prepared heavily, discussing the case with my very favorite attorney, and had my case ready to lay out.  Their position looked like it had been written by an intern, and we were pleased to show up to a situation where it appeared the arbitrator was tired of their shit before we even began.  
    The ruling is a fun read, at least for one who went toe to toe vs big company lawyer and won.  It basically says in legalese, "Well, your points are interesting but ultimately full of shit."  I find it pretty goddamn annoying that they decided to fight us on this, rather than just fix the goddamn car.  So now, thanks to the lemon law, they must repurchase the vehicle, plus all interest and incidental charges.  
    We will, of course, not be buying another fucking Ford.  This annoys me; my first vehicle was a badass Ford van.  My next vehicle will be anything but a fucking Ford, as their attempt to let us twist in the wind with a schizophrenic car alarm left far more than a bad taste in my mouth. 

  2. I think it's crazy that we are already staring down the barrel of holiday season. One thing I will say for a football schedule, it makes the days fly. I'm girding my loins to get my shopping done, and loosening my belt in anticipation of the ridiculous amounts of badass food in my future.

And that's what I think.

Monday, August 27, 2018

The Nature of Pride, vol 1

In case you don't know, Little Danger has decided his goal in life is to be a Pro Football Player.  Once upon a time this was cute, like when he watched the OSU Buckeyes championship game while very young, and decided he wanted to be a "Buckleguy".

As time has gone on, it appears this is a true calling.  He loves the foosballs.  Loves it.  Can't get enough.  The boy asked Santa for a tackle dummy.  Santa brought him a blocking pad too.  If this is his dream, well, I guess my face will have some cleat marks as I work to lift him to it.

Fortunately for him, the kid has talent.  This is year 2 of playing wee football, and he is tearing it up.  This post, in case you need a warning label, is not just humor but bragging.  I am about to engage in that most parental of things, bragging on the kid.

I am in love with how much Little Danger cares.  I've been watching him at practice, helping the other kids who don't get it yet (they are combined 1st and 2nd graders, and he helps the younger ones.)  I've watched when a teammate falls down, or feels like they can't make the long run to the tree across the field and back.  He is right there, helping them up, running with one arm on a teammate's back, pushing them without giving them shit.  Convincing a kid that just doesn't want to run to go ahead and sprint the last 20 yards.  He may be future team captain material, and I didn't teach him how to do that, at least not directly. 

The summer saw him at multiple football camps, because Wifefish believes as I do that we CAN spoil a kid, but not with stuff.  We are spoiling him with experiences and love, and that's just the way it's going to be.  He worked skill drills with NFL players, Buckeye players, and UD players before he showed up to his first practice.

The boys put down a good, solid game 1 last week.  The O-line, on which Little Danger features as tight end, allowed zero sacks.  At the bantam level, that's pretty impressive.  Watching 1st and 2nd graders play football should often be set to Yakity Sax, and yet they managed a solid game.  The boys served up pancakes like they were the griddle chefs at IHOP, and treated the opposing defense like Gandalf treated the Balrog on the bridge.

via GIPHY

It was exciting, to say the least.

Saturday, we attended game 2 of the season.  This was an away game against a historically tough opponent.  This opponent's system has produced more than one NFL player.  Little Danger was, of course, psyched and ready to rock.

I have to admit, his first half was not his best play.  He missed three blocks that he should have made, for losses on each.  Maybe he wasn't awake, maybe he wasn't focused, but where he had been a goddamn human wall the previous week, tying up two players at a time, he had become a turnstile. And I don't mean he got beat by the opposing DE, I mean he just one handed it and turned his body the wrong way and watched the guy go by, like he was bullfighting instead of blocking.  Wifefish and I both commented that he needed to wake up. 

I don't know what the coaches said to him at halftime.  Little Danger tells me he decided to show them what they wanted.  His second half, he lit up like a radioactive Christmas tree.  He started serving up the pancakes and holding the line.  No one would go past him for the rest of the game.  He fired off a key lead block for a massive gain up the left side.

Where he really lit it off, though, was at defensive tackle.  Suddenly, his beast was out of the cage.  It was time for Little Danger to give out some free hugs.

via GIPHY

He blasted through the line, and I remember saying "Oh my dear word."  Which might strike many of you as odd, but you must recall that parents are not allowed our full range of expression at kid's games, so I couldn't scream out "FUCK YEAH!!!!" as I might ordinarily do.  Hot on the QB's heels, he was there for the hand off to the running back and, well, let's just say he escorted that young man to the ground for his appointment with the turf.

Thus began a spree of tackles for loss.  Three sacks joined his 4 pancakes, and a couple more tackles for loss sprinkled on top.  Coaches were high fiving him.  Hell, one coach ran over and high fived ME, and parents around us started sharing in the frivolity.

"Watch number 5!" the opposing coaches yelled.  I said "Now here's where they start double teaming him."  Indeed, that's exactly what they did.  One of the parents mentioned that I must be disappointed by this, as LD wouldn't be scoring any more sacks.

"Nope," I said, "This means somebody else gets to make a play."  Evidently I was waxing prophetic, as the two kids driving my boy backwards left a hole for one of his teammates to go render their QB horizontal.  "They can double team him all day," I continued, "That just makes him happy."

So, a hard fought defensive battle came to a close, and the boys scored their second win, just 6-0.
"What did you feed him today?" The coach asked.  A banana and a granola bar.

He feeds himself on his dreams, though.  I am proud of him.  Not just because he has talent, and not in any way for me, excepting perhaps the elation of that pride.  I am proud that he overcame a rough start and found his motivation.  I am proud that he still gets team play, and is perfectly happy to make a hole for someone else to make a play...he beams when he high fives you for doing something good.

This of course, makes me beam the light of the Proud Pappa forth unto the world as well.  So, forgive me if I just can't shut up about him.  It's just the nature of pride. 



Thursday, November 30, 2017

Five Things I Think, Nov. 30

With only a tiny preamble, let's think.

1) I think that I hate being sick.  This is a no-brainer, really, but true nonetheless.  I am the stereotypical wimpstick male when ill.  I lament the weakness of my virus-violated frame while staring at a water glass not 7 inches out of my reach for minutes on end before finally breaking the magnified inertia to reach out, via Herculean effort, and grasp the object of my desire to slake a building fever thirst.
I fell ill on Sunday, and it is this weird cold that started about dead center of the bronchitis spots, where usually colds have to migrate to over a couple of painful weeks.  A fever arrived in short order after, and it was a will-sapping shiver fest of a fever indeed.  Until I looked at my thermometer and realized it only read 100.8.  Betrayed by reality.
To be fair, this one was (and lingers a bit for an is today) kind of brutal to me.  I broke out in a sweat I haven't encountered since the last time I tried to lie to my Mom so many years ago.  Under a pile of blankets, feeling so cold it was as if the emptiness of the void were calling through my extremities, I woke from a fitful sleep to find...well, I thought I'd pissed the bed, actually.  Fortunately for my dignity and the laundry I hadn't; I was merely experiencing the joy of quite literally dripping with sweat.
This is not the way to find the wet spot.  Nor to make one.  Fever is done, but man it would be nice to feel like I'd slept this week.  On the plus side, I finished Punisher on Netflix at about 4am a couple days back.

2) I think I've been a ball of stress lately, which may have helped #1 up there happen.  Selling an old house is a pain in the armpit. 
The previous house was built in 1920, and as such, has a few dated features.  We are on buyer #2, as the previous attempt fell apart like an overstuffed burrito supreme on the first bite, and was just as sloppy.  They had a friend of the family do their home inspection, and their first time realtor just gave us the whole list of things that weren't just totally perfect and said "fix this stuff."  That's...that's not how this works, gang.
Current buyer is asking for modernization updates out the wazoo, and waiting on estimates is only slightly less stressful than being tied to a bamboo cage while a live weasel slowly chews off an ear.  I would love to not lose money selling a perfectly wonderful domicile to someone who wants to buy it. I would also not like to tote mortgage and utilities on a house I don't live in over the winter. 
Still, I am glad we moved before marketing it.  Beats the heck out of living in a hotel between closings like the bro and sis in law had to.  They are made of sterner stuff perhaps than I. 

3) I think the holidays approach, like the Death Star to Yavin 4.  It seems that gift shopping has snuck up on me again, and it's time to find a day to get out there and launch torpedoes at the exhaust port of Christmas yet to come.  I might also be ready for a certain movie release coming up.  Maybe.

4) I think I enjoy a good movie.  I've seen two very different films recently: the new Thor movie and Murder on the Orient Express.  I enjoyed both for very different reasons.  I have heard people poopoo and boohoo them, and that's fine for them.  I liked 'em.  So there. 
It was, however, hard to get Little Danger to go to bed after Ragnarok, as he was running around the house with his foam Mjolnir blasting bad guys like crazy.  I may have smiled.  I may have thought about grabbing my Tony Stark shirt and blasting with him, but I was le tired. 

5) I think my wallet is in trouble.  Games Workshop has come back around to Necromunda, releasing new figures and weapons and an updated version of the game and...damn them.  Damn them all. 
So, Little Danger and I will spend some time I am sure going over the new stuff and playing games and I have to paint more and...well, I don't know if this is good or bad or both yet. 


Time will tell if there are more adventures in the Underhive of Hive Primus for LD and I and friends...and if his dice still love him so very, very much.  (He routinely slaughters my gangs despite my experience and his...interesting tactical choices.)

Well, there's my thinkin', amongst my coughin' and wheezin'.  What do you think?


Friday, November 17, 2017

Asking Why

The most important lesson Dad ever taught me was this: “Always ask why.”
Of course, I wasn't supposed to ask Mom that question when she told me to sit the hell down for dinner, but it was intellectual armor. Pardon me while I strap on a good ol'-fashioned Dangerboy Rant.

In today's 24 hour news cycle of being bombarded by everything from everywhere, the question of Why has protected me from a great deal of the ills commensurate with such a barrage of bullshit. Why do they want me to be afraid of so much stuff? So I will watch their show breathlessly, read their words, and support them through supporting their advertisers.

This is, of course, only my opinion. It is the answer I have deduced from the input. It is a way of understanding why friends who are otherwise intelligent human beings seem reduced to expletive spitting troglodytes when a hot button issue comes up.

It's an opinion that bears thought. If you are informed politely, you'll watch the thing, note the thing, and move on. But if you are inflamed and provoked by buzzwords darting about like goddamn hatedarts of doom, then you will watch the thing, talk about the thing, share the thing, watch more about the thing, and start ignoring the competing thing. It's human nature. It's the way our animal brain evolved for survival, and it's sketchy at best in the modern world.

Needless to say, I am passing the lesson of Why on to Little Danger. I am adding another layer, however. “Always challenge your own opinion.” Just because I think I am right, even if I am thoroughly convinced, doesn't mean that I am right (and certainly not righteous), and my opinion could use a hearty work out.

It is a lost skill to be able to hold both sides of a debate (or, heaven forfend, the myriad shades of nuance available to a complex issue) in one's brainpan without blowing grey matter right out one's earholes. Social media, I find, makes this worse. The algorithms of what you like may well create an echo chamber from which one can't escape. Couple that with clickbait farmers that write articles screeching from both ends of the spectrum and then publish opposing views meant to be spread virally, spewing crap like a diarrhea laden goose held up to wind generator, and you have a perfect recipe for programming human minds to conflate “commonly seen but bullshit” with “truth.”

Frankly, it drives me fucking crazy.

Common does not equal true. Commonly spoken of does not equal common in occurrence. Outrageous is an outlier that triggers outrage.

I am beyond happy to live out in the country now. The level of bullshit has dropped, despite the level of bulls being more abundant out in farmland. I do not, in fact, need to feel outrage all the time, no matter what shrill bloggers and pundits would have us believe.

At home, the most violent thing we've been exposed to is the abduction of a mole by a hawk. I understand there is bad shit happening in the world, but I vehemently disagree that I have to be outraged to change it. I happen to think that reasonable thought, understanding why, and challenging my beliefs to make sure I can think reasonably about how things really are will take me much, much farther than blindly following the leader of the outrage lemmings.

I cordially invite you to join my revolution. For one week, hell even one day, think about every article before you click “share” and ask WHY. Check to see if there is a VERY similarly worded article in direct opposition available...you will have avoided being that sucker born every minute. Fact check. Hell, go full bore like I have, and start hiding every one of the articles with a picture of a political face, and start liking every status on social media that is actually written by a friend of yours, telling their friends what they are up to in their life. You know, be social, and ignore the shrill “news”.

What you may find is that by doing so, your stress level starts to drop.  You may find you don't miss the outrage at all.  Of course, I'm just one dude on the internet, sharing his frustration.  That's my Why.  

Friday, November 10, 2017

Five Things I Think, Nov 10

Needless to say, it's been something akin to the life span of a tortoise since I've written here. It may be that parts of my brain have been working at that tortoise's pace, and it may be that I have perceived myself to be busy. It may also be that I choked on too much to say, and misplaced the eloquence with which to say it. I hit a few personal bumps and decided privacy was temporarily important to my process.

Well, at least temporarily, I'm back. So let's think.


  1. I think I had fun being a sportsball Dad this football season. Little Danger spent his first season playing mostly defensive end, with a bit of offensive line thrown in as well. He did well. He didn't score a ton of tackles, but he caused quite a few. He's in their backfield constantly, but he needs to work on hitting lower and wrapping up. A few times a game he would bounce off somebody's pads like a deranged bumper car. It's to be forgiven, though, because we all have to learn basics of whatever it is we do. It doesn't come overnight. 

    I ask him, “Where's your office?” He replies “In the backfield.” He was back there disrupting plays, pressuring the QB like a loan shark asking for the vig, which is what he should be doing in that position. I'm proud of him. I'm even more proud that he learned basics and teamwork. DE is not a star player position, and he understood that he was working for and with the team. That's all a parent can ask for in a season.

  2. I think I am going to seriously enjoy living in the country. It's been just over a month, and whereas this joint is a bit of work to keep up with, there are some things missing. I haven't heard sirens in a month. There have been zero Jerry Springer episodes on the front lawn. There has been no trash thrown into my yard by passers-by. I have not had to yell at the neighbor's shitbrick kids, because the current neighbors seem to have much better behaved young 'uns. No bumpin' subs. No cops called on the neighbors, in fact one of our neighbors is in law enforcement. 

    There is a sound of dogs barking, but those are German Shepherds at a breeder, not pit bulls scattered about the 'hood. There are about a gazillion tree frogs peeping, some bats squeaking, and birds with their various calls. There is deer shit in my meadow. It's a very, very different way of life. It appears I am in love with it. 

  3. I think that this year is about transition. Between dealing with the loss of my father in law, learning aspects of the business he was unable to teach me before that happened, moving to a new house, friends having kids, and just normal life changes, the year feels like a slow-turning maelstrom. For the most part this has brought peace. In some areas, it has brought fear, if I'm being honest. I hadn't actually quantified it as such until now, but the word is accurate.
    Fear is natural, (and let's not forget it is the fucking mindkiller) but this is an odd fear born of circumstance, one that I am striving to overcome both logically and through action. It is the fear of not being good enough, of not being adequate. A fear of making mistakes, though I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I must make them and learn from them. This is the price of transition, a series of new learning curves. I think this bears more thinking, and then a bit of doing.

  4. I think I'm about to get more carpentry experience in the next couple of months than I've had in my lifetime. Building Pyrate Pub 3.0 is going to be a task, gang. I am not sure how many times I will flatten a thumb or screw up a piece of lumber, but I am certain it is a non-zero integer. I intend to build in stages, getting basic structure up and then moving into embellishments as time and materials permit. Eventually, I plan on going full Disney on this sumbitch, complete with theatre style lighting and such.
    But I'm going to start small, with a simple bar and back bar, though they will be Man 'O War in proportion. This will be fun. (Except, of course, for the frustration and knuckle busting and bleeding and cursing and...well, at least it's a pirate pub, salty language will be perfectly in theme.)

  5. I think I might get a salt lick, or some cracked corn. We have deer track, and deer poop, in the back fields. Since we have no crops to be molested by deer, we may well put out the invitation for them to start hanging out on our land a bit.
    It's all about the nature out in the sticks. I've handled some salamanders, rescued a few errant tree frogs from the pool skimmer, and enjoyed the birds and yes, even the bees. We have bats in the barn. We also have a 5 and a half foot long black rat snake that I have facetiously named Barncat, as he or she (I haven't Steve Irwin'd it) is surely putting a dent in the potential mouse population. It's a plethora of critters, and I love it.
    We will see if I still love it in the spring when the wasps start nesting, and those little hate missiles are buzzing about in the barn. (Spoiler alert: I have cans with pictures of their dead bodies on it.)

Well, that's what I think gang. What do you think?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Five Things I Think, May 27th

It's been a little while since we've done any serious thinking together. For that matter, it's been a while since we've done any non-serious thinking, too. Let's knock the dust off the ol' thinkbox and forge ahead, shall we?

1) I think we had a great visit with my parents. Mom's down to 88 lbs again, and just finished an ICU stay for breathing issues. She's down, but not out. Little Danger managed to have her giggling by the end of the visit, something I hadn't heard in a while. He's powerful like that.

For his part, it was educational and awesome. Whereas his favorite part of the trip was seeing Grandma and Grandpa, a truly rare treat thanks to the distance and my mom's health, the location afforded him some awesome wildlife encounters too. Lots of zebra swallowtails, two bald eagles, a small herd of deer, even a wild turkey were spotted.

We stayed at Pere Marquette Lodge, which was also pretty darn cool if I do say so myself. And I just did.

Racist moment of the trip: running into a group of VERY stereotypical Japanese tourists on the trail at Pere Marquette park, gathered around a box turtle and snapping away with the cameras like it was Gamera. I cannot be held responsible for my reaction if you're going to perfectly embody the stereotype.

2) I think kids do really say the darnedest things. During the aforementioned visit, my dad dropped one of his expletive laden sentences, as he is wont to do. I am the son of a sailor, after all, and a riverman at that. My mom dug her elbow into his ribs, telling him to watch his language.

“It's OK, “ I said, “he knows those are adult words, and he has his own special word. His word is 'Fooey', and that's the one he gets to use.”

My parents nodded sagely. Little Danger walked in, and very seriously said “You know what else would be a good word? SEX.”

I facepalmed. Dad laughed. Mom immediately dug into me, “What are you teaching this child? What are you teaching my grandson?” I slowly turned a shade of candy apple red only previously seen on a '78 Corvette. Mom kept giving me the business, a mirthful yet malicious gleam in her eye.

Little Danger then interrupted her. “You know what else would be a good word? SEVEN.” We all paused for a moment, realizing that sex and six are, in fact, different words. The relief radiating from me was palpable, and Little Danger couldn't figure out why we are all laughing suddenly. Mom didn't even pause.

“Well don't YOU people have dirty minds,” she exclaimed. We laughed until tears came.

3) I think I inherited some of my dad's skill with big boats. The fam got a new houseboat, measuring at 86 and a half feet in length. Some people get condos, they got a big damn houseboat. Somebody had to bring it from the previous owner's slip and stick it into the 89 and a half foot slip into which it will be berthed. That someone got to be me.

There was some trepidation, but I am happy to report I slid that sucker in there with no injuries, no damage, no consternation on the first try. It's a tight fit, but it worked out. I couldn't help myself, and did allow one “Like a BOSS!” afterward. I'm looking forward to spending some time on board this summer to celebrate with 16 oz libations and general laziness, once we get her cleaned and washed and all the rest.

4) I think I'm a proud papa. Little Danger has experienced a heck of a couple of weeks. Allow me to gush for a moment, or perhaps longer.

He ran his first race, a 1 mile “fun run” at the Air Force Base, all on his own. The kid has a stride that devours ground...at 4 (granted, almost 5) his running step covers almost the same distance as his mom's. His first mile finish was in just over 10 ½ minutes.

He went with us to a festival, again with the drumming and living in a tent for 6 days. I am proud to report, with beaming pride, that he drummed with me, danced with the gang, made friends aplenty, helped an injured rabbit, jumped into a cold stream, threw rocks in said cold stream, and helped me tend the big fire by “woodchucking”.

He swam through a sea of awesome experiences, all the while managing to get every bit as dirty as a little boy should. He never once mentioned TV or video games.

I find nearly every thing I do more enjoyable sharing it with him. Nearly. He's still a Captain, after all.

5) I think I had a great festival myself. I was asked to put the red suspenders back on and do some firetending. Whereas I didn't work a whole lot of hours, I had a good time when I did. There's something about getting my hands into some big chimney logs and having fun burning things that just tickles me

My muscles are sore, and that's a combination of drum, dance, and log hauling that leaves my spirit happy. I also never fail to enjoy time out I nature, despite the presence of mosquitoes.  The incredible itching right foot is very upset about the presence of mosquitoes. 

That's the update this time around.  I have more thoughts, but those are for next time...
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