Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving In A House That Doesn't Give a Shit

Well, yet another holiday comes and goes in my house and though I wasn't going to write about it I have decided otherwise. Did anybody ever notice that as a family ages the holidays become more of a chore? This seems to be especially true with mi familia. All of my grandparents have passed away except my father's father at this point. They seemed to be the last generation who gave a fuck. My mom has several sisters around, who for the most part only outwardly restrain the hostility left over from some incident that occurred several months ago. The rest of us just try to remain neutral and try not to laugh when they tell inappropriate stories about the relative who isn't present.

Let me first outline my family so you understand what a momentous occasion this was. I'll start with myself and my brother. Next there is our mother and father. On my dad's side there is a brother and sister who are both married, and their dad. We do not associate with my aunt's husband's family on that side. On my mom's side she has 3 sisters and one brother. Both of their parents have passed away a couple years ago now. One of my mom's sisters is married and so is her brother. Mom's brother lives in California and doesn't associate with us really although we get something in the mail yearly for Christmas which is all things considered, usually fairly nice, that's about it though. That's pretty much it for our family. I have a couple cousins but I couldn't even tell you who exactly they are or what the hell they look like or might be doing nowadays. We're not a large family or real close.

So anyhow, my mom took over Thanksgiving duties when her mother died and has done it ever since. Not really because she likes the job but because my aunts can't cook anything that requires more than removing it from the outer box, adding a slit, a time, and hitting start on the microwave. So anyhow, the meal was to start at noon which in our family means 1 ish by the time everybody gets around to showing up. I myself only woke up approximately 45 minutes before go time because it's the holiday and that's how I roll. The congregation included 2 aunts, mom, dad, and brother and that was it this year. I have no idea where my moms other sister was, I think they're mad at her for something. My other aunt on dad's side has her own deal and grandpa went to that. We avoid them because her husband is redneck douchebag who was probably out poaching some thing or another for the better part of the day. Their kids are also little rednecks just fuck shit up when they're around so it's best to keep them away from anything fragile... actually it really doesn't even need to be fragile. It's very difficult to idiot proof things because idiots are so ingenious.

So anyhow, the family showed up eventually, each bringing something that was baked with great amounts of care and love at the Giant Eagle bakery and scooped up off the shelf for $3.99 by my anti-cooking aunts as their submission to the home cooked meal. Anyhow, eventually everybody showed up and we all ate our meal. I barely ate anything because I never do. I'm so used to living on protein shakes and a collection of random vitamins and other supplements that I almost don't need to eat. I know this is probably not great but I have other things to do. During the normal week I don't eat breakfast or lunch and just eat dinner. This means when a large meal comes around I eat about the equivalent portion that would be allotted to a small child and I'm done for hours. So we all finished our meal and sat around for several minutes talking but mostly I talked, interrupting the rest who were desperately trying not to talk and instead to concentrate on some football game that was on. Everybody knows that football requires great amounts of concentration. To my delight it only took about 12 minutes before the electric went out.

This pretty much put an end to family time. When the electric went out my aunts decided it was time to go. When it's time to leave the bags are unpacked and anywhere from 18 to 64 tupperware containers are placed out in an orderly fashion onto the counter and opened to receive the handouts. Anything that may have been left over is hastily and ungratefully scooped up and placed into the containers for removal. The usual fight ensues where my brother defends the remnants of the apple pie from the jackals who are trying to get it. He will fight to the death to save every last peace for himself, even if there were 12 of them sitting there. I find this hilarious because he usually wins and will resort to verbal abuse if necessary. After the pie is saved and the containers sealed and placed back in bags, the family is off to do whatever the hell it is they'll do the rest of the day. All of this probably occurred in under an hour.

Once everybody has left my brother and I usually end up in a political debate, my dad joins in intermittently adding a point here and there. My mom usually stands by and rolls her eyes and makes noises of annoyance for a while as we go at it. My dad and I tend to agree while my brother preaches peace and love and tells us that Muslims wouldn't blow shit up if they weren't poor and my dad and I preach that they wouldn't blow shit up if we would just blow them up first. This eventually brings us to the point where my mom snaps and throws a temper tantrum about not wanting to hear it. At this point my brother goes off to his room, my mom turns on some lameass movie and my dad sits indifferently and watches it. It's official, Thanksgiving is over for the year and surely everybody simply cannot wait until Christmas comes. I don't know about you, but I need a drink, Vodka makes all the holidays better!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


It means thank you Jesus for this awesome land in which we live...

And thank you for giving it first to the Natives who were easy to steal it from...


And thank you to those who built this once great nation and who's memories we piss on daily...


We had a damn good run, kicked some ass & took some names!


And thank you for the new start and h... h... h... hope for our once great nation


And here's to a our new nation and what we've become in the new age.


And here's to our future of getting ass raped by the world like we did to the Indians. I hope we get a sweet reservation in the desert or the swamp and a cool casino as well!


Whoever steals our land next... or just takes control because of our pussy liberal policies give them more rights than the rest of us have... I hope you can fit thanksgiving in sometime between Allah's birthday and Ramadan!

Hap Hap Happy Thanksfuckinggiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lets Make More Regulations... Hell Lets All Live In Padded Rooms

Some of you may have heard about this Abraham Briggs person. I missed this one until I accidentally ran across it today. I find this simply fascinating because I consider it proof of how idiotic American society has become and how generally retarded people are in general. Now you can read about it many places but this just happens to be the particular story that introduced me to this guy.

Aaaanywho. I guess this guy decided to off himself on this thing with which I’m not familiar. I suggest you just read the article before you continue reading my own rant because I’m going to bitch right along with the order in which the points came up. First of all why in the name of Jesus H. Christ is this news. Has Abraham Briggs ever done anything? Did he invent a cure for cancer or play baseball for the Dodgers? Did he jump a skateboard over something? Nope, it would appear that he didn’t, he didn’t do anything of note until he offed himself. That makes this officially not news, not worthy of any controversy at all right there hands down!

Unfortunately many other citizens of this fine gossip nation in which we live feel the need to crusade. What kind of crusade? Well young squire, it’s a holy crusade! Not for a grail, and not to save a damsel. No children, this is a crusade to fuck Everyman. Everyman is the name I’ll use for “The Average Joe,” you and I and aunt Peggy with the wooden leg. “Why” you ask? “Let me tell you” says I.

Why is it that every time some random fucktard does something stupid it brings out every bleeding heart within 1,000 miles. Why is it that these people smell blood. The chance to get in the news maybe, to get something banned or to get money in a lawsuit. Mostly this is all just a chance for monetary gain.

It’s always the same. Stupid questions get asked. What could push a college student to commit suicide with people watching? Oh I don’t know, he’s got a web cam and nothing better to do with his spare time? Do we really need any more reason than this? Maybe he caught the herp from some skankterrific one night stand. Maybe God told him to do it. Sometimes those extra special types can talk to God you know! It doesn’t matter but you want an answer so I’ll go with he was bat shit crazy and that’s my final fucking answer! I win! That means I get to continue.

One of these geniuses came up with the conclusion that the web cam stunt was a cry for help, hoping people would notice and… help… I guess. Does anybody really think so, I don’t. Nobody with the ability to reason that exceeds that of the volume of a tic tac would even think about making such a claim. There is shit like this on the internet?

And I’m supposed to believe a goddamn thing I see on the net… Nooooo.

We don’t need to know why this occurred and we know why nobody helped. The boy who cried wolf. All society does is cry wolf and most of us don’t give a flying fuck. There are bigger fish to fry than some crazy fuckass we’ve never heard of. Although some people tuned in and watch and didn’t help! Some even encouraged him! Oh the humanity! I kid you not when I say “so what?” There are people starving to death in the world daily. There are terrorists blowing up innocent people daily. There are women being kidnapped, deported, and forced into prostitution daily. There are people like P-Diddy being allowed to sing daily! The point is that there are plenty of other disasters and atrocities that people would also watch if it were put in front of them. How the fuck do they know it’s real and why should they care, really, why? I didn’t know that crying-ass retard defending Britney was just playing until a couple days after I saw the video. I once saw a video of a dude cutting off his own leg with a goddamn hacksaw and it turns out that was fake too! The Blair Witch Project… damnit! Fox News… Jesus Christ is anything real? What the hell do I believe!

Whether anybody knew he was really killing himself or not is largely irrelevant. Why the fuck should they do anything. I can honestly tell you that when I lived in San Fransisco, if I had walked up on a potential jumper on the Golden Gate… and that was highly probable… I would have walked right by, unless he jumped while I was there then I would have stopped to look down. I don’t know him I don’t care really, I don’t, I have other concerns rather than one less crazy person who’s rehab I’ll likely end up paying for in one way or another. It is honestly cheaper to just bury them after they off themselves. The only thing we should be concerned about and happy about is the fact that he did not first shoot up 15 or 20 fellow college students. People have been crazy since always and we haven’t managed to fix it. There will always be crazy people. Even when old school kings and such used to chop off their heads they still couldn’t get rid of the crazy. Don’t worry people, we’ll never run out, there will always be enough even if we let them kill themselves. Why the hell do we have such a need to attempt (and fail) at fixing every crazy bastard that walks the earth. We are better off without some people I assure you.

What really chaps my ass is the fact that the creator of captain crazy and his grand suicide web circus, his dad, is blaming others. I realize his son just died and we’ve established that I don’t give a shit even though some may feel sad. That aside lets remember who might have been in the best position to know what the fuck his kid was doing… That’s right, it’s DADDIOOOO!! So let me tell you a secret Mr. Briggs Sr., it isn’t the internet that fucked up. It is in fact, you, my main man, are a failure as a father and you have a box of Abraham to prove it. Yeah yeah I know I’m a dick. The point is that I’m not going to stand by like a slack jawed yokel at a parade while some cocksucker tries to regulate shit that effects me simply because his son was too fucked up to handle it. That’s like saying that somebody drank alcohol, got drunk and died so nobody can have it. Yeah plenty do but the vast majority of them manage to live through it. This is survival of the fittest in the internet age. If Mr. Briggs thinks we need regulations it just so happens that I think he needs a flying kneecap to the face. How the hell would that be any more wrong. Regulations would make him happy but not me, kneecap to face would make me happy but not he. Same goddamn thing!

The web site owner is partly at fault he says? The audience is partly at fault he says? Well, maybe the audience but truly how many people would not fuck with the dude honestly? No I mean really, not what you want to think you would do if you were the person you think you want to be! I mean what would you really do? Put yourself in that situation. I know some of you are nosey and do-gooder types but most would assume it’s a prank and fuck with him or at least watch quietly.

This is the attitude Americans have that I cannot express enough how violently angry it makes me when somebody else’s stupidity is constantly not any fault of their own. When will people learn to take some fucking responsibility for themselves? He killed himself and maybe his dad failed him and nobody else is to blame. Not a single person, place or website. This is no goddamn different than if I buy a knife to cut some shit with and cut my damn arm off and sue. Well what the fuck else is the knife for, the mother is sharp so be the fuck careful asshole! If I spill hot coffee on junk in McDonalds’ it’s their fault I mean who the fuck serves hot coffee “I said Iced Frappuccino you fuckers!” If slip in an icy parking lot in the winter at the grocery store then why did somebody not go outside with 37 extension cords and a hair dryer! How dare they think they can put slippy ices on the floor outside their store and bring me down, I’ll sue!

Here’s the thing… if you buy a pack of screwdrivers (Exhibit A)

Because you think not, “I’ll finally fix them glasses.” Instead you think, “damn, that would fit well into my penis and then maybe I’ll clean out my ears with it.” You DESERVE to be impotent and deaf. It’s very simple, VERY SIMPLE! Judges that award these people money should have their homes burned down and be themselves tossed in the slam. It needs to be a rule that when you walk outside you are just going to have to take some chances or you’re going to have to stay the fuck in your house. We don’t give a shit which it is, but you’re going to have to choose. If you fall down and you try to sue we deport you! If you have a problem still with the conditions and must take it up with somebody, take it up with God, whichever one you like, but not the grocery store. You fucking litigious assholes, this is just another one of the things that is wrong with our society. This is why crap that was once a joke is now (like below) becoming necessary

Maybe it was cyber bullies, they’re so mean and they always make people want to kill themselves. Let me tell you something. When I was a kid bullies would grab the back of your tighty whities and yank yank YANK those fuckers up and over your head until your anus was bleeding and you couldn’t walk. Then they would kick you in the ass (literally) when you weren’t looking or corner you in a locker room and dunk your head in a toilet. If the worst you get is some snot nosed little zit faced bastard saying “your gay” over the goddamn instant messenger and you can’t manage to bounce back from it, you my friend fail the draft. The Draft For Life… You Fail… You Do Not Pass Go and Do Not Collect $200. No teams wanted you and therefore we’ll be better off in the long run without you.

Darwin is seriously rolling over in his grave and probably gnawing and gnashing his way out as I type to try to explain why his theory no longer applies. What we need to do is legalize suicide and have help lines. These lines would help you commit suicide. Like tell you how many parts sleeping pills you need to parts of vodka so there are no silly muck-it-ups. This way we quickly weed out those family trees just are not thriving in modern society and we do it by their own means. Stop trying to regulate crap because stupid people can’t manage to keep from getting hurt by it because the rest of us are managing just fine! The problem is not the medium!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday At The Zoo

Today is Saturday, I absolutely love Saturdays. Today is the one day of the week that I can truly relax. I can stay up on Friday until all hours of the morning which usually translates to somewhere between 3 and 4 am. Not for any good reason other than there are things on tv worth watching and I have been a vampire my entire life. Not a vampire as in walking around in all black clothes looking like a goth + a cheap pair of plastic fangs, just as in a night person. I love the night, I love being up at night and staying in bed until half way through the day. For my entire last year of college a few of us were nearly nocturnal in fact, other than having to venture out to attend classes. Anyhow, Saturday is also a gym day. Most days I work out at home doing cardio on my elliptical or something of that sort. When I lift every odd day I use my own home gym to avoid having to go out and what not. Anyhow I enjoy the days I go out to gym because there is such a wide selection of things I can do there. I get an efficient workout at home but I get a good one at the gym. On top of the workout there are so many things to amuse myself with at a public gym.

The thing with the gym is that there are distractions, some good, some bad, many worth writing about and many not so much. Today was really no exception. As routine dictates I ventured out and made the trip to the gym. When I got there I went about my business and started my workout. The place was actually rather desolate for the most part, there were only 15 or 20 people there and that's really not many for a university gym. The usual characters seemed to be sadly absent from the place which was a disappointment. None of the typical juiced-up roid gorillas walking around grunting and staring at themselves in the mirrors, knuckles dragging while they shamelessly flex for themselves in the mirrors. None of the square jawed bodybuilder girls and their overly buff boyfriend/trainers who are less manly than their women. No male cheerleaders roaming in packs and wearing chopped up sweatshirts with laughable slogans that exude lameness in a failed attempt at making male cheerleading seem cool instead of a way for modern Neanderthal men to look up the skirts of women who otherwise would pay no attention to them. Even for the chance to hang out with the cheerleaders I couldn't stoop to that level. Not even the token fat girls are here with their abnormally high self esteem.

The place isn't the same without a 5'2" 175 pound girl in a pair of size 3 shorts and a child x-small tank top with a belly that looks like she's storing a lumpy 60 pound turkey in there while she runs on the treadmill with that turkey bouncing free of her shirt but in no particular direction. It is simply not logical that a girl who looks like an Oompah Loompah with down syndrome in her 9th month of a triple pregnancy can have the self esteem of a Hollywood A-Lister. I'm all about people feeling good about themselves and all but there's a point when we must say "ok, you're huge, put it away because even though you're at the gym and trying, you're still blinding the men and making the children cry." There is another girl who's a little punk or goth-light, and I find her terribly intriguing. She's actually really hot and I'm not sure what it is about these girls but I find it fascinating and even a bit of a weakness. There are also two nerdy looking girls who have that combination intelligent and cute look going for them. I don't mean nerdy in the way many people think, I mean it like studious generally aloof from the usual college popularity contest sort of way.

This led me to the conclusion once again that I have very different taste in women. My epiphany was in fact that these types of girls are my favorite types. I'm totally sure why I like this kind of girl but I know I don't like the types who are supermodel wannabes and wear as much makeup to the gym as they would to the club. I prefer that type who's obviously different that most in one way or another. Punk types of sorts and those cute but slightly nerdy girls. I guess maybe experience has shown they are the most interesting, there's more to them than just trying to be more beautiful than everybody else. I found myself pondering this question and what exactly it was that I found so attractive but to no avail. I don't go to the gym for this reason but it's one of those good distractions I mentioned. I actually make it a point not to be like every other jackass perving on everything that walks into his line of site. I know that the gym is not the place for this, at least for most people, and I avoid it most of the time for that reason. I really try very hard not to be that guy.

Anyhow, I eventually finished my workout and went the locker room which is my least favorite place because of those who just can't manage to be normal. The urinals are the first thing you see on your way in and I'll be damned if I didn't walk in and there is a big white ass staring gleaming at me. Some people might think this isn't that abnormal in a locker room but I assure you it is. There is a grown-ass man standing there with this pants pulled down around his thighs like a six-year-old taking a leak. What the hell is wrong with this guy? Who does that? It's not like he was retarded or something because he came into the locker room and in fact he had kids with him. Does his wife know he does this, probably not. How did this guy never manage to look around and realize that big people piss with their asses covered... at least the male version does. This guy had his social development stunted at age 5 or something and never picked up this little matter of etiquette. Somebody should tell him, I thought about telling him but I really felt that it would be in fact better if I didn't tell him. I felt it would be more fun to let him continue to make a reputation for himself with other people who had to see his ass and for that reason will never forget his face, pointing him out in public to friends and what not.

Next there are the people who walk around the locker room naked. I understand the need to get naked at some point in this room, that is in fact what it's for. What I don't understand is this. When has it ever been more important to comb your hair, or brush your teeth, before putting on your pants, underwear, or even a towel. Usually it's old dudes who want to do this stuff, never the college crowd. Why are old people, with the physique that makes one want to cry always the ones most willing to show it off by prancing around naked as though they're modeling for an art class. I once heard a statement that 95% of people look far better with their clothes on than vice versa and this is very true.

The locker room is not a nudist camp and nobody in there goes in there to view the merchandise so unless somebody has stolen your clothes and there aren't any paper towels to cover that atrocity you call a body, there is no excuse not to put something on before you begin to shave. I do not want to walk in and have you attempt to carry on a conversation with me or witness your conversation you are already in the midst of, while you're sitting bare assed on the benches that the rest of us must use. Under no circumstances is it appropriate for you to slap-powder your junk with handfuls of gold bond while you stand with one foot on the bench in a public place, locker room or not. If your saggy old berries need a powder job I assure you that you will in fact live until you get home and then you can throw around all the anti-chafing powder you like, in your own home!

After the horror show I witnessed in the locker room I proceeded to leave, half blind, feeling as though I just had my pupils dilated and wondering if the trauma will haunt me for mere days or will it be weeks, I decided to go buy something. I needed a pair of shoes. Actually I didn't need them, I probably have more than 20 pairs which I'm told is abnormal for a straight guy but I wanted them so I went. I have a problem, what can I say. Sunglasses and shoes happen to be things I tend to collect. I love the outlet mall in grove city because it's a great place for people watching. Everybody goes out on Saturday to spend their money. Anyhow I went to Aldo to get those shoes I thought I should have and then I decided to walk around for a while. I realized my patience was running short when, like always, every 30 steps bring me on a group of people standing in the middle of the sidewalk talking and not moving.

When will people learn that if you feel the need to stop and talk you need to move your big ass off to the side so others can use the sidewalk for what it was intended for. It isn't a sidestand people. It's always somebody with a triple child economy sized stroller with 2 screaming brats and 3,527 pounds of garbage from the food court and the Levis outlet piled in it, a group of several pensioners pushing their late 100's, 14 foreigners with anime haircuts while speaking Japanese and wearing the latest euro-trends, or 2 morbidly obese couples sucking on 19 gallon cups of soda between turns talking about where they'd like to eat for this hours meal. How idiotic or just obnoxiously inconsiderate must you be to stand there and make people walk around you into the snow. It's not like the hundreds of people who are having to walk around you are inconfuckingspicuous. Nobody can say maybe they didn't notice they were in the way because they do, they're just assholes who don't care and this drives me insane. It makes me want to slap that soda out of their hands and stiff arm them through a window as I pass but I don't because I'm sure the low-rent security personnel and back-woods police around the area would view this as excessive. Maybe it is a little excessive but I'm willing to bet that a lesson would be learned.

I'm also amazed at the amount of people who are willing to go into public, let alone shopping, in a torn up old steelers sweat shirt, a pair of faded gray sweatpants, jogging shoes with a hole in one toe, and a camouflage hat with a saying on it to to the tune of "git er done" or "let's kill somethin'." Americans truly have no concept of style and it's no wonder people from other countries make fun of us. I'm not sure whether I would actually be better off staying at home, my blood pressure would probably stay lower that way. On the bright side, without these people around for me to laugh at life would probably be rather boring.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Safe Haven Laws

I was sitting here trying to decide what to do with myself on this tropical Western Pennsylvania afternoon during a lul in the snowstorms and came across an article that peaked my interest. This is actually not the first time I've seen this particular issue pop up in the news and have previously come to my own conclusions on the matter. For anybody who knows my ideas this one is in fact completely devoid of any political correctness just like most of my others. "What is it?" you may be wondering, and if you're not and just thinking "would you get to the point already" I shall. Safe Haven laws are my current annoyance. I'm not aware of whether this is limited to certain states or just limited to the ones that should be expelled from the union anyhow but I find this issue stupid and hilarious and terrifying all in the same jumbled emotion. Apparently

LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman has signed a bill that adds a 30-day age limit to a safe-haven law led to the abandonment of nearly three dozen children, including some teenagers as old as 17. The law goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

Heineman signed the bill on Friday afternoon without fanfare and did not immediately issue a statement on the law.

The Legislature, meeting in special session, gave its final approval earlier Friday.

Nebraska has been the only safe-haven law in the country without an age limit. Designed to prevent newborns from being dumped in trash bins or worse, the law instead led to the drop-off of 35 children since September, none of them infants.

They have mostly been preteens and teenagers as old as 17.

My thoughts on this matter lead me back to my beliefs that some people probably should just be fixed, you know, like so they can't physically have children. I'm quite confident that there are prominent indicators of ability to care for children and that people who are likely to abandon their children could easily be profiled long before they even have children. When will America learn that having kids is not a right people should be born with but a privilege they should be forced to earn. For example, public assistance "welfare" checks should not only require passed drug tests weekly but should also require birth control shots for those recipients of said assistance until they can take care of themselves, let along offspring, without our help. Giving people a free run at reproduction without consequences is obviously not working. Abortion is just another one of the issues I'm with the democrats on. I actually go above and beyond the democrats in my support for abortion. I'm actually not sure that allowing it up until the fetus hits age 17. Before you decide how wrong I am let me show you some examples of why I feel this way.

Maybe I'm mistaken but I don't think there's a better argument for my theory than this. If there's any more proof out there that evolution is in reverse and moving full speed then I'm at a loss to find it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Small Town Home Town News

I couldn't resist putting this in here because it is my home town... unfortunately. Oh well, there are morons in every town and here is no different from any backwoods Western Pennsylvania community in this country. Check out the "News Herald" in Franklin Pennsylvania police report 35 seconds into this video.

Leave it to Franklin to get on the news for stupidity. The scary part is that the lady who used the bill probably had no more idea than the person who took it. In fact the thing probably circulated for several months in this area without a single person noticing. I can tell you for sure that I would go buy a pack of Pall Mall Lights and a box of Little Debbie snack cakes with this bad boy.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Very sad, truly, incredibly sad.

Just a short thought on something I saw today and how it effected me. Alright, so a little background before I get to my main point for those of you who may read this and aren't from this area or may not know me. I'm obsessive when it comes to working out, not in an anorexic sort of way, more of the opposite. I'm obsessive in a bodybuilder who just can't manage to get big enough kind of way. Normally I lift at home in my own pseudo gym where I won't be bothered by a crowd of after-work social gym goers. Those people who have been going to the gym for years and still look like they've never been in a gym. This is a symptom of one thing, attending the gym to talk to people rather than to get something done. These people sit on machines they aren't using for ten minutes at a time while they talk, or stand in front of them, or even worse they talk and distract me. Anyhow, this is why I usually work out at home, between at least 8 hours in the office and a two hour daily commute, I don't feel like another 40 minutes of driving and the wasted time in the gym. On Saturdays I go to Slippery Rock (the university from which I graduated) to work out in the gym there. It's about a 45 minute drive or so but the gym is huge and by far the best around. Gives me something useful to do and time to think and college people in the gym are far more like me in their reason for going to the gym. Long story short the parking lot was packed, in fact all the nearby ones were. Not a problem, I'm here for a workout I'll walk a little extra distance to get there. It was my kind of day anyhow, not too cold, reasonable, could have been warmer, as well as overcast and dreary but not wet or raining. I'm messed up like that, it's my favorite type of weather. So as I walk I realize that there are a lot of extra spots marked off for handicap vans. As I walk up they're disabled veteran's vans. I didn't really think a lot about it I just kept walking. Well it turns out that they were having some sort of basketball tournament or something of the sort for just that, disabled Iraq veterans. Now I am a political and history nut so I have countless opinions about Iraq and war in general but this is not about that. I've read any book I can get my hands on about Iraq, WWII, Vietnam, and others, especially ones written by vets. I have a fairly good handle on opinions of many people who have served and earned my respect. Some might consider mine sick fascination with the sick tendencies of human nature to send others to fight for their own purposes. I don't know these individuals personally who were in attendance today but I stopped to watch for a few minutes not actually able to attain the balls to talk to any of these people. I'm not sure if it would have been considered disrespectful or just the opposite had I done so. Why should they have any reason to talk to me? I regard each of them as heroic whether heroes or otherwise, for their sacrifices no matter how they view the war or the circumstances which caused them to get tangled in it. I never served in the armed forces though I've often regretted that choice for various reasons and those who know me best probably know what I'm talking about, for those others it's unimportant. The thing is, as I stood there watching there were all sorts of things going through my head. All the books that I've read, all the accounts of fire fights and IED's, destruction and loss, feelings and emotions portrayed in writing. Each of these individuals has a story, each of these people were there and lived something that even those of us most educated on this subject can only attempt to imagine. As I looked around and watched them play, looking at the faces, male and female, my respect and admiration grew ten-fold past the already lofty heights at which it previously stood. I don't know what their struggle must be like. I don't know what might be going through their heads, their stories of war and the life they lived before their injuries confined them to wheel chairs. I realized I'll never know, the best I can ever do is the feelings like those I felt this day. All these faces of regular people, most of were so very young. Nearly all of them were younger than me as far as I could tell. I would bet that 90% of them were under 23 years old. These people were in many cases not any older than the college students who walked around seemingly oblivious to what was going on. College kids content in their day to day life an largely unaware of the world around them and outside of their own circles. I don't know what it must be like to be sent to a place half way around the world to "liberate" people you don't know anything about. Not only that but to lose the ability to do something so simple, something we take so for granted as to simply walk around and go about our business without a thought about how good we have it to be able to actually stand in the restroom or reach the sink without extra effort. Each one of these people woke up each day up until the incident that caused this in one condition, the one they were born in, just like we do every day. One day, one minute, one second changed all of that for each of them forever. Maybe they cope well, maybe they don't, I'll never know in many cases, but I'll always wonder. Another thing I wonder to myself is how would I cope. What would I do if this were me, if I could no longer do the things that I can do now. Do they wonder why it had to be them and suffer from the what ifs? Are they just happy it wasn't worse and happy that this is all that happened. I don't think I would be, I'm quite sure I would be extremely angry. I'm not quite sure how one does deal with such a thing. All I could do was stand and wonder. I've known many people who were in various branches of military and some quite well but I've never known anybody who sacrificed so much, who lived through such tragic circumstances. I've always felt the same way I do today about all of this, but never having seen the actual faces of those who've lived through the worst of war left me without something. I'm not exactly sure what that something was but I left today with a whole series of additional thoughts on the matter. I have a better understanding and yet a higher level of confusion. All things considered, whether right or wrong, I don't think it's worth it. Even if the war happens to not be solely for misguided monetary or political gain I don't think it's worth it. There is no way that such young people should be asked to leave their lives and sacrifice life or limb for a country that has not helped itself since the beginning of written history. The "freedom" of 50 Iraqis to me is not worth the life or even the ability to walk of one of these people I saw today. These are our own people, our own neighbors, the bravest and best our country has to offer. They picked up and left on the order of politicians they may or may not have helped to elect and went to "defend" a country that is not their own. Their lives changed forever in an instant for a cause that was not theirs. How many more must be forced to make the same sacrifice before this all ends. Now I'm not a member of the Cult of Obama by any means. I don't think this man is our savior, I don't think this man is anything less than just another politician with his own agendas. I agree with a lot of what he claims he'll do and disagree with just as many of this plans. The one thing I hope is that Obama does what John McCain and his moronic partner Mrs. Palin would not do and that is let Iraq and Afghanistan sort out their own mess and bring our people home. We've given them more than enough of our time, our man-power, and lives of people who barely spent time living before being sent. The middle east has proven time and again to be a rats nest in hell and it's people have proven that what they say they want and what they're willing to do to help get it don't match. It's time we give them a final time frame to stand up or shut up and stick to it. Let's just hope that Obama truly does stand for change and gets on top of it. I'm really not sure what else to say on this matter. I'm curious what anybody who may read this has to say on the subject so if you agree or if you disagree or just have something to say, please feel free. I appreciate your sitting and reading my rant. Have a good night.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Can I Tell You About My Food Poisoning?

The title may be slightly misleading but only ever so much so. I really did get something that that could be food poisoning, I don't know, I've never actually had food poisoning. Anyhow, I'm sitting in a Ramada Inn in Cleveland, Ohio because I had to do a hazard assessment for a company here today. This should have been my first clue because this Ramada Inn is supposed to be a Holiday Inn. This was a Holiday Inn the last time I was here, a Holiday Inn with an Irish pub for a restaurant. Now it's a Ramada Inn with the torn off remnants of the Irish name and only the word pub left above the door, this should have been clue number two. I'm also quite distraught over the fact that the Holiday Inn was staffed by a large number of very good looking eastern european women who were actually friendly and helpful. This Ramada Inn is staffed by a group of half-ass Americans who don't give a good goddamn what the guests are doing as long as the guests don't want them to get off the fucking phone and assist with something. I called the restaurant for food and they put me on hold for 10 minutes so I hung up and called back and they put me on hold for another 10 minutes. This translates to 20 minutes of waiting just for food that sucked in the end anyhow. Once I ordered it was another half hour so nearly an hour. When I walked down to pick up my food there were 4 people in the pub including 2 employees. It's nice to know they only put you on hold when they're terribly busy and not simply because there's a hold button on the phone that they know how to and are willing to use because their conversation is stimulating. Anyhow I only bothered because I didn't really want to venture out into the town which is like 20 feet from the projects and I'm a long haired blonde guy with an Irish flag on the front of his Honda Civic which tends to draw unwanted attention. I'm still waiting to see if my crappy club sandwich nearly kills me like the food did yesterday. Now for the food poisoning. Like I said I'm not sure technically what constitutes a case of food poisoning but I'm guessing that it is this. Imagine eating a heaping spoonful of thumb-tacks, several broken razor blades, three rusty nails, a broken glass vase, a tablespoon of salt, and a quarter gallon of habanero pepper sauce just prior to being stabbed in the abdomen. This is the feeling I had the entire night after eating the meal last night. Now, moving on. On top of the bad food you can't close the curtains in this place. When I laid down to sleep I get lights blaring in my window like somebody is searching a darkened prison yard for an escapee. It's kinda hard to sleep when there are parking lot search lights in your eyes. So after a good night sleep of something like 1 hour I had to go to said facility and work. They were not very helpful but on the bright side I got to breathe toxic air for 5 hours. They use a lot of acid which is evident in the smoking residue eating volkswagon sized holes in the floors and the burning sensation in my respiratory system the entire time I was there. I've actually been coughing ever since I got back which is quite pleasant. The sad part is that people have to work in these conditions. I guess it's a job and most of them appear happy to have said job but I'm quite sure that despite the fact that I train them on potential hazards every year, they fail to understand the importance of this. I really like most of these guys who work here too. Maybe they're just friendly to me because they think I'm OSHA but I'm pretty sure that's not the case. They say hi to me, stop and talk to me, ask questions, they're quite friendly and helpful as much so as they can be. I had several guys stop what they were doing to answer my questions and explain to me how this process or that process works, without a second thought and they were quite busy. The problem came about when trying to ask them about working around corrosive materials, if they ever had symptoms of exposure. I get the impression that admitting that at the end of the day one has a headache or nausea is unacceptable because it would be like admitting weakness for them. At least one guy indicated in a not so subtle manner, that despite the in depth hazard communication / toxicology training I do with them every year, he still thinks that one can build an immunity to the ill effects of breathing toxic materials. This guy tells me he's been doing this for 30 years and he's very strong. It is possible this is true and he isn't getting enough exposure to cause anything bad to occur but the way he said it was not that. The way he said it lead me to believe that from time to time he notices uncomfortable feelings related to exposure while doing his job but he doesn't want to tell me about it. Oh well, I guess there's nothing I can do about that. I guess the fact that they have to replace their boots every 3 months because the corrosives dissolve them doesn't worry anybody too much. This is the joy of having any job in a shitty economy and it is why I feel bad for those who need to do these types of things to get by. Most of them are from other countries as well. Is this the American dream? Is this what somebody dreams of doing when they come here from Greece, Romania, Italy, Mexico, wherever it be? I think, sadly, this probably is what the American dream has come to, scraping by in a job that will kill you before your time, working 12 hour shifts 6 or 7 days a week, in a place far from home, all just in the name of existence. I guess this makes my food poisoning issue seem like a minor thing and yet I'll go on and continue with my own existence tomorrow when I wake up in a new day and return home to my own job sitting in an office writing my assessment. I will always wish I could help but I can only try to educate and attempt to give the company an idea of what they should be protecting employees against and then move on to the next, hoping each year to see the same friendly faces sitting in my training instead of being replaced by somebody who isn't yet sick from corroded lungs.