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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...

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Up From the Ashes

It's been, as happens occasionally, a while since I've posted.  This hiatus was brought about for good reason, however.  I bought a business, and went through my first tax season on my own.

All in all, I'm pleased.  The learning curve was steep this time around, despite being involved in the tax industry for 17 years.  Nothing equals doing it yourself, it seems.

The final tally for the year was 612 clients served, a 1.8% error rate, and enough income to get all the bills paid for the year, which hasn't happened for us in a long time. I believe it's been 3 years since all the wolves at the door got satisfaction.  I'm not pleased with the error rate, though all of the issues were fixable, and fixed.  I want to get that down as close to zero as possible.

Tax prep is a crazy beast...10 weeks of fast, furious, long hours and then POOF.  Normal, or even shortened, work days.  I'm proud of what I accomplished this year, and looking forward to doing better next season.

It's time now to get into some thinking again, and some humor here.  It's time to clear a long, long list of to-do items, including cleaning a house that looks like it's been raided by a Mongolian Horde.  It's time to breathe a bit easier, now that we have feathers again instead of flames. 

For all of you who supported us, rooted for us, I offer a sincere thank you from the bottom of my heart.  We're back. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Bucket List





Well, here it is, in all its splendor.  Such as it is.  I’ll be including a few notes as we go along, and updating the list as it changes and completes.  Strap in, here we go!

As the list is finished, each entry will get a big ol’ DONE.  If something is accomplished, but not as fully as it could be, I’ll give it a lower case entry of done, signifying accomplishment but room to improve upon the experience.  Those that get the DONE stamp will end up getting a blog entry of their own. 

14/100 is the current score.   

1) Degree. 
This was important enough to be #1 on the list when I was far younger.  As I’ve explained elsewhere, it just doesn’t grab me anymore.  I’ve had a lot of fun and success and strife and learning, and the paper just doesn’t mean as much as I thought it would.  40 year old me isn’t 25 year old me, so this one will end up being replaced at some point.

2) Drum with Babatunde  done (as close as could be)
Didn’t get to drum with, but did get to drum for him, and with some other phenomenal drummers.  Expect a blog entry on this at some point.



3) Publicly speak/teach
This is another that will be modified.  It already has, actually.  When I was younger, alternative religions really needed some advocate voices, and I longed to be one.  Now, that cause has done well enough with only minor input from me.  I’ve helped teach theatre for high schoolers, and I’ve taught drum workshops, and maybe that’s enough to mark this one with the DONE stamp…or maybe the slot needs to go to something else. 

4) Fly a Plane

5) Have a 6 digit career

6) Have Children DONE
Stopped at one, for various reasons, not least of which that Little Danger is the best kid in the entire world.  Yes, I’m biased. 


7) Provide for that child.
Obviously, this one may never be done.  It might just be an ongoing way of life.  Providing for him comes in so many ways, and he’ll have to tell me when the done stamp is ready.

8) Master my drums
“Master” is perhaps too lofty a term.  I’m damn good with the djembe, but my technique is weak on conga and doumbek, and I’d like to get better. 

9) Finish fig painting
I have a collection of Necromunda figures; each and every gang produced by Games Workshop.  I zen out when I paint.  It relaxes me.  I intend to finish painting all of them.

10)  Have Poetry Published
Kind of self-explanatory.  I have written, and occasionally still do, some fairly OK poetry, if I say so myself.  I’d love to be published, and not by myelf.

11) Portray Javert  done
I haven’t done the full show of Les Miserables, but I have performed an excerpt.  There’s still time to upgrade this one to full caps-lock glory, and I look forward to it.

12) Catch an 8 lb rainbow trout
Ever since that Bennett Springs trip, I’ve longed to square off with a nice pan-sized fish and pull it out of the water to grace my plate. 

13) Watch a sunset at Sanibel Island with Wifefish   DONE

14) Visit my nephew in Colorado
Wifefish loves Colorado, I’ve got family there.  Seems a natural fit.

15) Ride a Horse DONE

16) Own a large parcel of land DONE
At some point, I intend to have some acreage with a nice barn and woods.((Just picked up a beautiful civil war era house on 16 acres with a 4k sq ft barn.  It's a good day.))

17) Physically touch totem animal(s).
This would include all of those that have entered my life. Tiger being most important to me, I’ll probably save the done stamp for that eventuality.

18) Earn at least a mid level in some martial art
Even though I’m getting older, I still would like to cross this one off the list.  It’s always been a matter of time and discipline, and the time, I think, is drawing near.

19) Ministry license
Easy to do nowadays, and I did long ago formally train for such. 

20) Fence again
I used to fence.  I wasn’t too bad, but I didn’t do it for very long.  I’d like to get back on strip.

21) Learn Rapier/Main Gauche  DONE
In the course of getting pretty heavy into combat choreography in my youth, I learned the style. 

22) Visit Ireland
I wanna go.

23) Brew Mead
“It’s made from honey!”  I’d like to make some batches of my own.

24) Learn Reiki
Some think it bunk, some think it a healing method.  I have enough belief in unexplained sciences to give it a go.

25) Enrolled Agent
Given the career, I may as well go through the hoops to be certified to bust the IRS in the chops. 

26) Contact Hedy
Even though she’s part of my history, the concept of celebrity has gotten less and less important to me as time goes on.  Connecting with a gradeschool friend I haven’t seen since 5th grade could be cool, but I think I wrote this one on the list in youthful ignorance.  Slot may change.

27) Own a House  DONE
I’m on the second one.

28) Writing Published DONE
Brew News articles for the win.

29) Visit West Africa
The land of the djembe, I should love to visit and hear traditional rhythms in traditional settings.

30) Be in Salem at Halloween
I just think this would be an awesome experience. 

31) Swim with Whales  done?
I’ve gone whale watching, I’ve been in the water (and danced with) dolphins…is it done?


32) See Alaska
As all of these travel things might be labeled, I wanna go.

33) See Hawaii
Yep, wanna go.

34) Melee Sparring  DONE
I had intended to do some foam fighting, learn some weapons techniques.  I had no idea how much further I would go than this simple goal.

35) Amtgard  DONE
I had intended to begin attending a foam fighting game, as well.  Instead, we ended up creating Triumph, and making our own entry into the fantasy worlds of LARP.  I’m pretty proud of it. 

36) Drum with Michael Bashaw
Hell of an artist, and glad I got to play with him. 

37) Know my grandchildren
This one is a longevity goal, true.  Guess I’ll have to keep my body in some semblance of temple-hood to get there. 

38) Drum with Mamady Keita  DONE
More than once, I might add. 

39) SCUBA certification
I love to be in the water, and this is another of my “when I have money” items that I should have attended to a long time ago. 

40) Plan and achieve retirement income
Given my current career choices, it would be pretty sad if I don’t get this one done.

41) Attend a BIG LARP
I would so enjoy going to a humongous game, something like Bicolline in Canada or even Mythodea in Europe, where there are true line battles of hundreds of people. 

42) Choreograph or portray Cyrano de Bergerac
The ultimate swordsman.  Wouldn’t it be fun to choreograph those fights?

43) See Scotland
Och Aye Wanna Go, Laddy!

44) Own my own company  DONE
This one gets an oak leaf cluster as well. Two so far.

45) Portray Jekyll/Hyde   done
In the musical of the same name.  Again, I’ve excerpted, but haven’t done the full musical.

46) Hike in the Grand Canyon
Yes, it’s a big hole in the ground.  It’s older than mankind, and I think it needs my footprints in it.

47) Build a decently sized poker bankroll
I, like so many, enjoyed the meteoric rise in popularity of Texas Hold ‘Em.  I would like to continue playing.  The bankroll is the poker money, kept separate from other money…and I’d like to grow it.

48) Taste all the single malt brands
“All” is again difficult, but a list has been assembled that I shall conquer.

49) Play a high dollar poker tourney
Pursuant to #47, once I have it, I want to risk it. 

50) Conquer “The Classics” reading list
A hat tip goes to Hercules and the Umpire here.  I have a pretty impressive list of things to read which, once finished, will be added to again and again.  It’ll get more than one Done stamp. 

51) Sail on a tallship
Aye, ta get in the riggin’.  Ta fire the cannon an’ work the wheel.  It calls ta me, it does.

52) Drum on the rim of Ngorongoro
A place of epic beauty, and I want to stand and look out over it and slap some goatskin.

53) 1 million hits on the blog
This would be a fun one, too, I think. 

54) Multi-day riverboat cruise
I’d love to get onboard a paddlewheeler with the family and enjoy the river.

55) Visit all the National Parks in the US
Yep, all of ‘em.  I intend to get Little Danger a completed Park Passport.

56) Build the Perfect Pyrate Pub
I have a great one, but in true pirate fashion, I want more.  More room to display breweriana and pirate/nautical goodies. 

57) Highlander Trophy Room
You remember that scene in Highlander, where he has all the cool things from his personal history?  Yeah, I want a room like that.  Swords and costumes and armor and tidibits and some fucking-A old Scotch.

58) 100 push ups, and keep it
If George Takei can do it, why can’t I?  This is a yardstick for being in shape, thus the “keep it” portion.

59) Watch a sunset at Sanibel Island with Little Danger
It was so good the first time, I need an excuse to do it again.

60) Preplist
OK, I’m not weird.  Wait, that’s a lie.  OK, I’m not a crazy prepper, but I have a basic list that would be kind of cool to have on hand, and would learn good skills if I checked it off.  So why not be a little crazy?

61) CCW
My state has concealed carry.  I should go ahead and do the training and get the permit.

62) Complete costumes: Commisar, Pyrate, Pioneer, Wild West, Zarkov
I like having cool costumes for specific needs.  The Pioneer outfit, as an example, would be necessary for working at the cabin during events.  These are the 4 I want to do up right.

63) Obtain an authentic piece of Pyrate paraphernalia for the pub
You know, a cannon or belaying pin or something actually from the period, or better, a shipwreck.

64) See New Zealand
Want.  To.  Go.

65) Take Little Danger whale watching
I enjoyed it, and I want to share it with him.

66) Create, and then regularly perform, a weapons “dance” workout (kata)
I hate normal workouts.  Thus, combining things I love would be a good idea.  I want to splice some yoga and sword choreo into a daily routine.

67) Ride in a warbird
I still have that pilot dream.  I’d love to take a ride in a piece of history.  Be it a P-51 or a B-17, there are some awesome planes that still take to the air. 

68) Go on a “throw a dart” adventure
Pull out a map, throw a dart, and go there.  Easy and crazy.

69) Ride in a hot air balloon
I’ll wait until Little Danger is old enough to do this as a family, and then it’s soooo on.

70) Romantic dinner with Wifefish on the Riverwalk
I visit a lot of places on business.  I spent an evening O Solo Mio listening to Mariachi stroll and play, while eating a very, very good steak.  There was one person missing, and I intend to replay that scene correctly at some point in my life.

71) Attend a Pirate Festival
Because YARRRRR., that’s why.

72) Go on a charter cruise
I think it would be pretty cool to live like the uber rich for a bit, and charter a yacht for a few days of Caribbean or Mediterranean goodness.

73) Attend Bledsoe’s Fort Colonial Fair
I’ve got some roots in this location, and thus it’s a place I want to rendezvous, once my gear is ready.

74) Host a sushi party, and be the chef
I love sushi.  I love parties.  I love making food.  I love eating food.  Doesn’t this seem perfect for me?

75) Get debt free
A mortgage doesn’t count, due to tax break.  I want to keep that debt.

76) Get Protectorate up
I’ve been working on another LARP, something creative and futuristic as opposed to high fantasy.  I intend to get it live.

77) Go on a zipline
Wheeeeeee!

78)  Family dinner at Ponce Inlet
Sharing a piece of childhood with my family.

79) Take Little Danger for a day at Discovery Cove
Wifefish and I enjoyed the place so very much, and I think Little Danger would as well.

80) Attend a Whiskyfest
I wanna go!  And my liver will hate me!

81) Pacific Island/on water bungalow trip
You’ve seen the pictures, so you know why I wanna go.

82) Snorkel in the Crystal River
Wanna go.  Manatees.  Clear water.  

83) Busk (drum with a hat out)
I wonder if anyone would put money in that hat?

84) Eat at a Michelin Star restaurant
Since I happen to love food so very much, I want to discover for myself what the fuss is about.

85) Drum at Starwood festival
They have a hell of a drum circle, I’m told.

86) Snorkel Hanauma Bay
#33 got an add-on when I saw the pictures.  This would be a great one.

87) Breakfast at sunrise on the beach, sunset dinner on beach same day
I loves me some beach. 

88) Have a Crazy Vegas Trip
Whereas I’ve been to Vegas many times, I would love to do a true “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” trip of too many shows, too much good food, and too much booze.

89) Wild West trip
Deadwood or Tombstone or some other tourist attraction piece of history. 

90) Go whitewater rafting
I was too chicken, until the in-laws went. If they can do it, I certainly should.

91) Marathon gaming weekend
I want to take a 3 day weekend, a select group of gamers, and a few games and go absolutely crazy immersive fun for a weekend, stopping only for good food and fun breaks and occasional sleep.

92) Make a charity donation/contribution
Either with time or money, I’d like to make a true difference to someone(s) in need.

93) The Top Shelf of Badassdom
A monetary goal, I’d like to have 10 or so bottles of the REALLY good stuff.  Unique, expensive, as long as it’s good.

94) Attend either ComicCon or Dragoncon
Those are the big ones, with the cool people and the neat panels and events.  Iwannago.

95) Earthship or similar dreamhome
Wifefish and I want to put together a nice house, but use as much environmentally intelligent technology as we can.  Having a house that makes best use of water and power and such would be pretty sweet.

96) Visit Great Barrier Reef
Iwannago!

97) England backpack trip
Want.  To.  Go.

98) Canoe Green/Yampa rivers
Wifefish wants to share some childhood with me, too. 

99) See the Aurora Borealis
Gotta go North for this one.  Parka, anyone? 

100) Spaceflight.
If tourist space flights become at any point anywhere near affordable, then Dangerboy is going to earn his fucking astronaut wings. 

There it is, the hot 100.  It’s true, I may come up with more ideas and desires.  Slot 101 and beyond is easy to add, after all.  Wish me luck!  More importantly, wish me fun!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Bucket List Thoughts



 Welcome back!

I have mentioned recently that I’m working on my “bucket list”.  When I first started said list, it was merely called 100 goals, and it was a “key to success” that coach Lou Holtz spoke about.  I haven’t quite gotten the list to 100 yet, having 8 slots open at current. 

In addition to that list, I now keep a second.  It’s my “reverse bucket list”, and I encourage you to keep one as well.  This is a list of things that I probably wouldn’t have put on the first list, either for not having thought of it or having done it already when I started “list prime”, but after having done, would not trade the experience for love of gold. 

You may, in fact, already have a 100 item list completed (or more!), if you’ll just think and reflect.  What awesome things have you done? 

Let me give you an example.  I would likely have never put on my list “Watch someone get married by Elvis”.  I just wouldn’t have thought of that, maybe wouldn’t have gone out of my way to do it.  My wife’s uncle got hitched in Vegas some time ago, and I just happened to be in town at a convention.  It was not to be missed, period. 

From the limo ride with the in-laws to the 20 minute ceremony performed by His Kingness (two songs!), to the names-in-lights at the chapel, to the reception at the Haufbrauhaus, it was a day full of awesome memories.  I even enjoyed walking in the desert heat from the reception to the convention at MGM Grand, stepping onto the floor with 2 minutes to spare from start time.  The day had a glow about it, an epicness that makes smiling easy.

That is entry 38 on my Reverse Bucket List.

It bears mentioning that my RBL is not in any order beyond the crazy order in which I remembered things, and I have no desire to organize it.  You might wish to list chronologically, perhaps.  Me, I’ll take scattered, just like my mind on any given day without coffee. 

As for my initial list, it’s been tweaked a few times.  Pro Tip:  You’re going to change and develop as you get older, and it’s perfectly OK to look at the list and replace something you just don’t see as important anymore. 

I’ll give you an example.  #1 on my list, written over 16 years ago, is “Degree”.  I intended at the time to get a 4 year degree.  Now that I’m 40, have Little Danger, and tuition has skyrocketed, this one is just nowhere near important to me anymore.  At some point in the near future (right after I fill the 8 empty slots), I’ll evaluate that goal and replace it with something else. 

It’s important to note that such a change isn’t a disappointment; the goal simply doesn’t fit me anymore.  I’ve read and studied and learned a great many disparate topics, and will continue to do so.  Do I need a 6 digit sheet of paper to think myself intelligent?  Nope.  Now that I own a business, do I need that sheet of paper to advance?  Nope.  Due to the expense and other negatives, it becomes something in the way of the other 99.  So, it gets scrapped. 

Here’s a second example.  #6 on the list is “have children”, which if you’ve paid attention here you know was a big effing deal for Wifefish and I.  For numerous reasons, not least of which is that Little Danger is like the perfect kid ever, we’ve stopped at 1.  So this one gets checked off, but with a caveat following. 

In complete rambling news, I’ve been productive as I’ve been writing…there are now only 7 slots open.  I promise to post the 100 list once completed, and start telling some stories.    




Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Buckets!!!



I am currently putting the finishing touches on my list of 100 goals, aka the bucket list.  I’m also keeping a “reverse bucket list”, or a list of things that would have gone on the list had I thought of them before doing them, because they have a cool factor of “oh, yes.” 

Where appropriate, I intend to share the stories here.  There are one or two that just aren’t going to be committed to posterity.  Suffice to say they were fun. 

In hearing or reading the word “bucket” more times than a Kardashian checks make up, I was reminded of a story from my youth.

It bears mentioning that I was a geek in my youth.  Big surprise, I know.  I was gangly, had little physical prowess, was constantly nose-in-a-book or eyes-agape-at-a-pretty-girl, and had been in more fights than Mike Tyson.  My win/loss record was, however, roughly the opposite of his.  At zero and all, unfortunately, with 1 draw, my pre-senior year fight stats were pathetic at best.

My dad, wonderful man that he is and was, made many an attempt to put some muscle on my frame, but unsuccessfully.  I have to admit in retrospect that he lectured me in rants that left my butt sore from sitting in the chair through the entire monologues.  He could go on for hours on the topic of my failings, a perhaps universal danger of fatherhood.

Granted, Dad has some room to talk on this topic.  He’d been a first class ass-kicker since his teen years, having been fed the same bully soup I’d been eating regularly at school.  He decided to take the path of most resistance, bulking up and going apeshit on all comers.  At the age of 50, he was still able to bend a 16 penny nail in half with bare hands, and tricep pull an entire 350 pound stack on a universal machine.  Dad’s a fucking gorilla. 

Still, he just didn’t get the fact that I’d far rather swim through eight chapters on paleontology than squeeze out 3 sets of benchpress reps.  Sadly, I’m still in that same boat, though I’ve found some discipline to keep a bit of exercise in my daily routine.

Thus it was that, fresh from an undeserved ass-whomping after school, I found myself at the kitchen table enduring a vociferous, decibel and profanity laden soliloquy on the finer points of making a bully sorry via fisticuffs and dirty fighting techniques.  At what would likely have been the midpoint of the speech, the following was said.

“Son, you just have to have a pair of balls when a motherfucker wants to fight, and I’ve got balls as big as buckets!”  He continued to assail my eardrums.

Mom hid her mouth, eyes alight, got up from the table, and walked into the basement.

Dad continued an f-bomb delivery worthy of a Stratofortress.

Mom came back upstairs, silently, and placed a 5 gallon bucket in front of Dad on the table, and pointedly looked at his crotch.  She shook her head in mock sadness and walked away.

 With an authoritative *clunk*

The lecture came to a screeching halt. 

To this day, mom and I can reduce each other to laughter ending in tears with just one word:  “buckets.” 
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