Monday, December 31, 2012

Funny Bone Results #9

On December 29, I posted the following picture and asked my readers to give me their funniest captions for it. Their answers immediately follow the picture.



Vinnie C of As Vinnie C's It - "You come to me saying you do not have my juice box. You come here empty handed and ask me for more time. I must ask you, do you want me to release the chicken? DO YOU WANT ME TO RELEASE THE CHICKEN!?!"

Shannon of The Squeaky Wheel Blog - When dad said I was getting a little cocky, this ain't what I thought he meant...smartass...

Red of Doesn't Speak Klingon - Victorian children aren't as wimpy as you think. Not only is this kid smoking with panache, he's posing with his opponent in the upcoming cock-fight....like a champ!

Stephen Hayes of The Chubby Chatterbox - Hen peck me all you want; you ain't getting a puff!

Becky Wall - Henny Penny and Johnny Cool. It's a story you just wouldn't believe.

Marianne of We Band of Mothers - Cut scene from "The Others":

"They say this hen house is theirs! They say we don't belong."

"What else are they saying?"

"Cock-a-doodle-BOO."

Sorry. Couldn't help myself.




Sunday, December 30, 2012

Tattooed Preacher

Click picture for Shane's blog
This post is a response to one of the questions I received on my November 27th post when I asked my readers for things they would like me to write about. This question comes from Shane Morgan of In Shane's Brain.

What was the motorcycle ministry really like?

I have only very briefly even mentioned this on my blog before, but approximately five years ago while I was senior minister at a church, I started working as a professional piercer in a tattoo shop. This happened slowly over the course of several months.

I met the owner of this tattoo shop in my bowling league. At that point, I had only been in a tattoo shop once in my entire life and that was just to look around out of curiosity. After getting to know him, I dropped by his shop once to check it out. I quickly discovered that his clientele was a totally different kind of people than I normally crossed paths with in my minister job.

I started hanging out there more during the day to talk with people and built a few relationships with his regulars. It suddenly became apparent to me that this was a mission field not being reached in our area. I was daily talking with a lot of people who would never go seeking out a preacher. I felt drawn to reach out to these people. I soon learned that hanging out in the shop would not be enough to have a real impact.

In order to get to spend real time with them, I needed full access, so I started apprenticing as a body piercer. Piercing was only meant to be the tool I used to evangelize, but it turned out that I was actually pretty good at it. Within the next year, I resigned from my position at the church and bought the shop to do this as my full time ministry. It was amazing the credibility and respect I gained as a preacher just by walking into and living in their world. These same people would not have given me the time of day had I approached them on the street. In the first six months, we had over a dozen baptisms, saw two marriages healed, reunited a child with her parents and I counseled with several people every week. It was the most exciting and successful ministry I had even been a part of.

Since so much of our customer base was made of up of bikers, it was suggested we start a motorcycle ministry. Within a few months, I bought a Harley-Davidson Dyna Wide Glide and no longer looked like a preacher. We founded a club called SONS OF CHRIST and started recruiting members. I was the chaplain and vice president.

We were very intentional in our presentation. We did not want to be known as a Christian group who likes to ride. We decided it was very important to be recognized as bikers first. We went to all the biker events we could get to. We regularly rubbed elbows with several 1% clubs, their support clubs and affiliates. In fact, our associations got us into some pretty hairy situations at times.

We began hosting our own events and the membership started to grow. We had a great group of guys and I loved every minute of it, but trying to build the club and running the shop at the same time was a lot of work and all the members were feeling the pressure. Pressure not only from the work required to maintain and build a new club, but pressure from other clubs that were beginning to take notice of ours.

We had already been forced to change the patch on the back of our vests because it originally gave the impression that we were claiming a territory despite the word HEAVEN rather than a city. These patches and their meanings are taken very seriously by clubs. I, personally, had received several death threats after an interview I had done for the local paper about our club and several of our members reported being followed by rival clubs when out riding while wearing their colors.

Eventually, we were approached by another club, who offered to absorb us into their club. I was not interested for a variety of reasons. The main one being that it was not a Christian club and there was a whole lot going on in that first meeting with them that I wanted nothing to do with. Being around when certain things are happening is one thing, but being part of a club involved in those activities gives me more association than I am comfortable with. I did still value my reputation. However, not everyone held the same opinion as me.

Debauchery aside, there were several advantages to being absorbed into an established club. There was a sense of protection. We would become part of a larger group making it harder to intimidate us. Another big draw was the fact that it was already established. It was not a brand new club that would require as much work. After several meetings and lots of discussion, our club decided to merge with theirs, despite my objections. In a matter of moments, the club I had co-founded no longer existed.

The club changing hands seemed to be the pivotal moment for the entire ministry. Almost immediately, overwhelming financial crises hit the shop, my partnerships dissolved, my customer base died off and I had to walk away completely.

Despite the abrupt halt and apparent crash n' burn, I still consider the experience to have been my most successful ministry. I saw a lot of lives changed and was blessed to get to help a lot of people. I still have many close friends from that adventure and don't regret resigning from the church position to follow this path.

"And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
Acts 2:21 (NIV)

Everyone includes bikers, metalheads, punks, skaters, emo kids, scene kids, headbangers or any other group that would not stereotypically be associated with faith.



Saturday, December 29, 2012

Test Your Funny Bone #9

It's time once again for my weekly feature when I test the humor of my readers. It is very simple. I provide the picture and you leave your funniest caption in the comment section below. Here is this week's picture.


Leave your caption in the comment section and I will post all the responses later in the week.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Let the Music Play

Click picture for Shane's blog
In my November 27th post, I asked my readers to submit questions for me to answer. Today's question comes from Shane Morgan of In Shane's Brain. His question:
Have you ever ever been in a band or played a musical instrument?
He said that I was not allowed to count being a roadie in my son's band as having been in a band. Even taking that out of consideration, the answer to this question is still 'YES.' I was in a band for several years.

Waltonville High School band - Freshman year 85-86



I had started playing the alto saxophone when I was in the 4th grade. It was your average grade school band for the first couple of years. Then we got a new music teacher. The band that we had been happy with for the last couple of years was suddenly not good enough. I remember once after months of her strict instruction, we played better than I had ever heard us play before and it was a complicated piece. At the last note, I lowered my instrument with a big smile on my face. The teacher took a deep breath and blew a raspberry at all of us.

Despite how great I thought it was, she knew how good we could be and pushed us further. By the end of the year, she was getting compliments from instructors at other schools about how we were the best high school band they had ever heard. She proudly informed them that we were junior high students.

Under her tutelage, I received 1st place at several state competitions. I enjoyed my saxophone and I was good at it. My 7th and 8th grade years, when we had to go over to the high school last period for shop class or Ag, I would skip class to go to band. I don't know how I got a away with it, but no one ever called me out on it.

As evidenced by the above picture, I joined the band when I reached high school. However, I can find no pictures of me in band after that first year. I have racked my brain and do not remember why I quit. I have a lot of high school memories, but can't remember this one. I was in band faithfully for six years and it just stopped for some reason.

Looking through my yearbooks, I do find evidence that I was involved with several other school organizations. Whether these interfered with the band or whether I just lost interest, I don't know.

Scholastic Bowl - Front right

Spanish Club - almost hidden in back row

If you look at these pictures and the organizations that I was involved with and wonder if I had to struggle to not be considered a nerd, I can assure you, there was no struggle at all. I was a nerd. I had earned that label years before and still wore it. Nerds are a bit more popular today than they were in the 80's. I guess we weren't that enlightened yet...well, I was, but no one else. I always knew I was cool.

I would show you pictures of myself from the sports pages of my yearbook if it weren't for the fact that I am not in any of them. There is a reason for that.

Freshman - 14 y/o
I did gain a little more popularity in my high school years and a lot more self-assurance. I started out as this guy freshman year. I was just starting high school and had no idea what I was getting into.

I couldn't talk to anyone, especially girls. I did my best to live in the shadows and not draw attention to myself. I had poor social skills due to a lack of confidence and just wanted to get through each day without being noticed by an upperclassman.

However, over the next couple of years, things began to change for me. I began to open myself up more. I put myself out there. I learned that if I wasn't as timid, I was taken a little more seriously. My junior year, I even got up the nerve to ask a cheerleader to the Prom…and she said yes (which was the really amazing part). Incidentally, she was the first redhead I ever went out with.

Voted MOST TALENTED
I finished as this ← guy. No less a nerd than when I started, but I had come out of my shell quite a bit. I was even still in the stereotypical nerd clubs. I was on the Scholastic Bowl team, had joined the Journalism staff, was still in Spanish Club and was one of the leads in the school play/variety show. The only thing I was quit was band.

It seems that it was the saxophone that was holding me back. Once I put it down, my life began to change. Do girls like a guy in a band? Well, maybe if you play guitar. However, the saxophone is not so sexy. Just don't tell Ron Swanson.





Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Funny Bone Results #8 - Christmas

For last weekends caption contest, I used a Christmas theme and posted the following picture asking my readers to leave their funniest caption in the comment section.


Following are the responses I received.

Peachy1 of Being Peachy - blink: blink: blink: therapy... won't be enough.

Stephen Hayes of Chubby Chatterbox -  When the Witness Protection agents told me they had a perfect job for me, I was expecting something different.

Vinnie C of As Vinnie C's It -  The bunny's on standby in case the child's been naughty all year.

Rachel of When a Lion Sleeps -  There are some things that you just can't unsee, even with the help of therapy.

Becky Wall - Celebrating Halloween and Christmas at the same time.

Shane Morgan of In Shane's Brain -

WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE

THE MYTHOLOGICAL GANG

UNIBROW SCRAGGLES

KLAN BUNNY

BOZO the ELF-CLOWN

and mastermind

BOY ANGEL

Hestia - After 20 years of therapy, Klaus discovered the reason behind his deep seated fear of clowns and mythological creatures while going through his mother's old pictures.

Red of Doesn't Speak Klingon -  Yaan knew that money was tight, but couldn't hide his disappointment when the mall combined ALL major holidays in one.

A Beer of the Shower -  In Yugoslavia, eye don't shop for Christmas presents. Eye browse.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Funny Bone #8 - Christmas Addition

It is time for my readers to show off how funny they are. I provide the picture and you provide the caption in the comment section. I will post the responses later in the week.

All I will tell you about this picture is that it was taken in Yugoslavia. I don't know what their traditions for Christmas are over there, why they seem to have an Easter bunny, or who the clown is supposed to be. I will leave all that up to you. Leave your caption in the comment section, have fun with it and Merry Christmas.



Friday, December 21, 2012

Fortune Cookie #5 - Mayan Apocalyptic Debacle

Yesterday, I allowed my daughter to talk me into driving an hour to a shopping area for Christmas. I didn't see the point of shopping for Christmas since the world would be ending in less than 24 hours anyway. She countered that argument with pointing out that since we would all be dead soon, it really didn't matter what we did. Once you're dead, you really don't have the opportunity to contemplate any regrets about how you spent your last remaining hours. I couldn't argue with that logic.

We drove to one of those super malls that sells everything, braved the crowds who didn't seem to be concerned about the impending doom and I even bought a couple of things "just in case." It was a fairly pleasant morning despite my disdain for shopping and people.

Before heading out of town, we decided to get something to eat. After several disappointing conversations with retail clerks informing us that there were no pizza buffets in the area, we settled on a Chinese buffet place. After a wonderful meal (one I would be proud to have as my last), the bill arrived and Kirsten cracked open her fortune cookie.


ME:  That's a little outdated.

KIRSTEN: What are you talking about? This is actually a good one.

ME: First, there is only one person you could call a 'long time' friend and she never has anything to say that isn't outrageously racist. Second, since school just let out for Christmas vacation, you won't be seeing any of your friends this week, and third, the world only has about 18 hours left in existence, so there is no coming week.

KIRSTEN: That's what social media is for.

ME: Racism?

KIRSTEN: A little bit, but I meant communicating. I could get advice from any of them as soon as I sit down at my computer.

ME: If you upload any of today's purchases, you'll probably get some needed advice about the shoes you just bought.

She rolled her eyes and left to visit with General Tso again. Finding myself alone, I opened my cookie.


It was quickly becoming apparent that the Mayans and Chinese had not collaborated on the future of the planet or how it might affect mankind…specifically, me.

I have a miracle handed to me and I'm not going to get to enjoy it. I'm not even going to get to find out what it is. I'm curious what wonders the miracle would bring if we had the time to see them. Would peace finally break out in the Middle East? Would a long lost relative die and leave me enough money to pay off my student loans? Would Nickelback break up? Would my beloved childhood dog Snoopy return from the dead? It could be anything.

What had slowly evolved into a fairly enjoyable day became tedious once again. My big break finally came, but the timing would keep it from being beneficial. I lumbered through the rest of the day and sank into bed that night after hugging my daughter for possibly the last time, despite her being mad at me for making her be home by curfew. World ending or not, the rules are there for a reason.

Much to my surprise, I woke the next morning. As most of you know by now, the world had not ended. It hadn't even gotten warmer. In fact, nothing happened. This means that I get to see the miracle. I brought this wonderful news to my daughter so we could await the miracle together.

KIRSTEN: Dad, I think the miracle was that the world was kept from ending. We're still here. That's it.

ME: You suck the fun out of EVERYTHING!!!



Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Funny Bone Results #7

On Saturday, I posted my weekly picture and asked my readers to supply their funniest caption. Following the picture are the caption I received.


Peachy1 of Being Peachy
  • OMG it's like a melon, but full of water.. there is noooooo SUGARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.........
  • Here at Camp, we help our former pageant Toddlers over come their addiction to Mt Dew and Pixie straws with healthy choices that they enjoy just as much....
  • Steeeeelllllllllllaaaaaaa !!!!

Rachel of When a Lion Sleeps
  • THIS IS THE BEST WATERMELON EVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEER
  • WHAT DO YOU MEAN, SWALLOWING A WATERMELON SEED WILL MAKE A WATERMELON GROW IN MY STOMACH? IT COMES OUT WHERE!? 

Kevin of Who Woulda Thought?
  •  Daaaaammmnnnm! Mom told me to stop swallowing the seeds!
  • Kaaaaaahhhhnnnnn! Oh look, watermelon. 

Stephen Hayes of The Chubby Chatterbox
  •  "How did I get stuck with such a tiny slice?"

Shane Morgan of In Shane's Brain
  •  WHYYYY? Why would Amy make this block of cheese look like watermelon? WHYYYYYYYY? (intense sobbing occurs) 
  • The gift of pooping golden watermelon slices turns out not to be such a gift.

Neal of Raised By My Daughter
  •  Why you bigger than my mouth?! How I eat you?!!!

Red of Doesn't Speak Klingon
  •  Help! I'm being eaten by a slice of watermelon!

Mrs. Luttrell of The Coffee Blogs
  •  WAHHHHHHH!!! But I wanted THE WHOLE watermelon!
  • Although the picnic started out friendly, that quickly changed when the picnic goers had to pick seeds out of their coleslaw from little Joey's allergic reaction to watermelon.

A Beer For The Shower
  •  This is not a cake, this is a lie!!!!

Alex Ferguson
  • That kid just found out eating intense amounts of watermelon would not, in fact, make him black.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Test Your Funny Bone #7

It is time once again to test the comedic skills of my readers. The rules are very simple. I provide a picture and you give me your funniest caption in the comment section. I will post all the responses later in the week (usually Monday). Have fun.


There you go. Leave your funniest caption in the comment section. Feel free to leave more than one if you have them.

Friday, December 14, 2012

SNOWPOCALYPSE - Redux

I am down to my last week of class for the semester and have a huge assignment looming over me. When I sat down to write tonight's post, I couldn't concentrate, so here is a post from two years ago. I wrote this in the midst of the huge snow storm two years ago not knowing if we were going to survive.



For the last few days the National Weather Service has been warning us that the largest storm to hit the area since weather started being recorded in 1886 is coming to kill us all.  The forecast was a few days of ice with up to an inch of accumulation and then 12 to 18 inches of snow.  Since history is about to be made and I knew about it ahead of time, I started chronicling the events for future generations.

January 30, 2011
7:28pm        Arrive at Wal-Mart to stock up for the impending doom.  I get everything on my list, but know there is something I haven’t thought of.

January 31, 2011
12:43pm      Right on time, the ice starts falling from the sky and coating everything.
1:30pm        Central A&M (Kirsten’s school) calls it a day and sends the students home.  Ice continues to fall.
6:30pm        Receive text that Central A&M is cancelled for the following day.
6:32pm        The ice storm stops.


February 1, 2011
5:59am        Receive text that LCU (Lincoln Christian University – my school) is closing for the day.
6:03am        It occurs to me that I take online classes so the closure does not really affect me.
11:18am      The ice starts falling again, but much harder and accompanied by 35 m.p.h. gusts of wind.
12:30pm      Receive text telling me not to come to work that day.
4:25:17pm   The power goes out
4:25:19pm   Hear cursing from next apartment and loud exclamation, “NO!!!  I WAS RIGHT AT THE END OF THE LEVEL!!!  I HAVEN’T SAVED IT!!!”
4:26pm        Locate a flashlight and establish martial law in the apartment.  Do not open the fridge or the front door.
5:05pm        Receive text to not go to work the next day.
5:08pm        Without television, decided to watch the storm out the window.
5:12pm        Observed unprepared neighbor trying to chip the ice off his windshield with a hatchet.
5:19pm        Observed neighbor give up and go back inside.
5:26:03pm   Alex (Kirsten’s boyfriend) offers for us to ride out the outage at his house with his parents.
5:26:12pm    I tell Kirsten I am staying to keep the pipes from freezing and the python since his heat lamp was out and he is cold-blooded.
5:26:17pm   Kirsten leaves me alone in the apartment.
5:48pm        Receive text that Central A&M is canceled for next day.
5:54pm        The sun sets and the apartment is in total darkness.
5:56pm        I stub my toe on kitchen table.
6:03pm        I remember the thing I forgot when I was stocking up for this storm: candles.
6:08pm        I speak to my parents in Florida to let them know what is going on.  They tell me about their new shorts and the fish they caught that day.
6:14pm        I decide not to talk to my parents again until June.
6:18pm        The wind picks up and the trees start breaking off.
6:23pm        I step out into the stairwell to converse with the neighbors about the declaration that people are not allowed to leave town.  Road travel has been forbidden.
6:29pm        The neighbors start drawing straws to determine who has to make a cigarette run.
8:09pm        Our python wakes up and comes out of his resting place to seek out heat.  Since the heat lamp is out, I put him in my sweatshirt.
8:12pm        An ungrateful reptile bites me on the nipple.
8:19pm        I stub my toe in the bathroom.
8:35pm        Receive text from Kirsten that she is ready to come home.  Apparently, she was just going to visit for a while.
8:37pm        Begin scraping windshield.
8:43pm        Wishing I had a hatchet.
8:56pm        Decided that the 2 foot square section I cleared would have to be enough. Started van.
9:03pm        Finally got maneuvered out of parking lot.
9:04pm        Stopped a half-block from the apartment.  Windshield was frozen again.
9:06pm        Discover that I am stuck in the middle of the road.
9:09pm        Got loose in time to have to clean the windshield again.
9:12pm        Used my memory to guess where I was going since I gave up trying to see.
9:17pm        Retrieved Kirsten and battled our way back home.
9:32pm        Arrive at home after this 30 minute adventure.  (Kirsten was only 4 blocks away.)  I should have just walked.
9:54pm        Power comes back on.
9:56pm        While putting flashlight away I find a box of candles.

After 4 hours and 29 minutes, the power is back on and hope is restored.  I pray that my records serve as a guiding light for future generations as they reflect on this dark period.

February 2, 2011
7:08am        Punxsutawney Phil predicts early spring.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sibling Perceptions

Deep in thought
This post is a response to some of the questions I received on my November 27th post asking readers to submit questions. This series of questions came from my brother Kyle.
There are a few questions I like to ask everyone I run into, at some point.
  1. Have you ever eaten a grasshopper?
  2. Have you ever eaten anything, while it was still alive?
  3. Do you have a fear of picnic tables? If so why?
  4. When and what was your feelings, when you realized your younger siblings could take you down.
  5. Have you ever been so considerate of your neighbors, that you asked them to leave for the weekend, because you didn't want your party to disturb them?
  6. Have you ever gone to Six Flags while your brother sat in a hospital room awaiting surgery... on his birthday?
  7. Has your hair ever resembled the tsunami wave that hit the cost of Japan?
  8. Have you ever come home and found your household cabinets rearranged?
  9. What is your favorite family memory from your childhood?
At first, I thought about skipping over these, but then decided that I better tackle them. Whether they were meant to be a joke or not, he would call me out on it. So here goes...


Have you ever eaten a grasshopper?

Yes, I have eaten several. I've had chocolate covered grasshoppers and grasshoppers coated with a nacho powder similar to the coating of a Doritos chip. However, I believe Kyle is referring to one specific instance that my mother loves to tell about.

When I was very young (I don't know the exact age), I was bugging my mother for some food. She was preparing me something, but I did not let up in asking. I must have been very hungry...OR a whiny, difficult child. I don't know which. Once she had fixed my plate, she found that I was already chewing on something. As she got closer, she saw the leg sticking out of my mouth. Apparently, she was not filling my belly fast enough and I had found a dead grasshopper in a windowsill.


Have you ever eaten anything, while it was still alive?

The answer to this question (like most of the others) is 'YES.' I have written before about the time I ate live octopus, but I didn't have to leave the country to eat live food.

I was in high school when I heard about goldfish swallowing and just had to try it. It really wasn't a big deal. Pop it in your mouth and wash it down with some water. I did use fresh tap water and not water from the fish tank. I have also eaten live earthworms a few times. They were pretty slimy, and I will still choose the worms over okra every time. The fish was better.


Do you have a fear of picnic tables? If so why?

I don't fear them, but I do keep a close eye on them. The worst accident I ever had involved a bicycle, a picnic table and a poorly constructed ramp. Due to the events of that day, I was knocked unconscious, missed weeks of school and still have back problems 30 years later. I will tell the entire story in a future post.


When and what was your feelings, when you realized your younger siblings could take you down?

You should ask him about
the time he tried to fly.
I expect that when that day comes, I probably won't be too happy about it.


Have you ever been so considerate of your neighbors, that you asked them to leave for the weekend, because you didn't want your party to disturb them?

Yes, again! Always mindful of my surroundings and never wanting to be a hassle to anyone, I try to be considerate.

About 15 years ago, I lived way out in the country and had a small* gathering planned.

*For this 'small' gathering I had rented port-o-potties and had a stage constructed in my backyard for the evening's entertainment.

As the stage was being built and the bands started to arrive, it occurred to me that I did have one neighbor. It was my brother Kyle and his wife. They lived close enough that we shared a yard.  Never one to be rude, I informed them (with a proper 4 hours notice) that there may be some revelry lasting past nine o' clock. They were welcome to attend, but might be more comfortable spending the night some place else. They chose to leave for the night.

Which was a shame, because they missed a great party.


Have you ever gone to Six Flags while your brother sat in a hospital room awaiting surgery... on his birthday?

I almost wonder if some of these questions were designed to make me look bad. Nah! I'm sure it's just me.

The answer to this one is 'YES!'

I did do this, but made great sacrifices to make it happen. Our church youth group was going to Six Flags for a summer trip. We had purchased tickets weeks in advance.

Six months
of lugging him around
Kyle, without thinking, has a massive bicycle accident during his birthday party days before this trip. He is hospitalized and enjoying some great drugs while I am left holding his ticket for Six Flags. While Kyle was getting to enjoy the wonderful psychedelic world of medical grade hallucinogens, I have to find another person to use his  non-refundable ticket. I had to make two phone calls before I found someone to use it. It was awful.

In all honesty, I don't even remember the events of that day, but Kyle has six titanium rods in his knee as souvenirs to help him remember. I have nothing.


Has your hair ever resembled the tsunami wave that hit the cost of Japan?

Hey, I looked good.
Although, I get the feeling this is not
the picture Kyle had in mind.

Have you ever come home and found your household cabinets rearranged?

I have written about how some of my pranks involved breaking into someone's house. Growing up in the same house as Kyle, he tends to think the same way on some things and this is one of them. He and a friend broke into my house once and rearranged the contents of all my kitchen cabinets.

I had no idea anyone had been in my house until it was time for dinner. Nothing was where it was supposed to be. I ended up just leaving it that way.


What is your favorite family memory from your childhood?

I honestly don't think I could pick one. I am not someone who can complain about my childhood. It was great. I have tons of memories of running around in the woods with my brothers, exploring the countryside on our bikes, hanging out with friends, coming up with and trying out new stunts and lots of other things. My parents provided a wonderful house to grow up in.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Test Results #6

A few days ago I submitted the following picture in a post and asked my readers for their funniest captions to go with it. Their captions follow the picture.


Rachel of When a Lion Sleeps - After the party game of "Catch the Octopus", the girls had to pose for a picture. Unfortunately, nobody told little Susie that squeezing the octopus too hard would cause it to squirt out vomit like ink all over her friends.

Kevin of Who Woulda Thought? - Wow! If you squeeze an octopus too hard it explodes like a tube of toothpaste! Who knew!

Addman of Muppets for Justice and Sinquiry - The town's annual Calamari Cake Bake ended in disaster. You could say it blew up in their faces.

Shane Morgan of In Shane's Brain - This group of Cereal Killers soon moved on to Cephalopods.

A Beer for the Shower - The repercussions of duck face.

Hestia - The new wave in anti aging!
These middle-aged ladies are showing their appreciation after an yogurt facial (with cereal exfoliant) followed by octopus suction.


Rusty of Swinging Like a Rusty Gate submitted several
  1. Proposed clown gang for gritty Batman and Joker reboot: Rejected
  2. You mean you squeeze your own pimples?
  3. Aquaman origin story
  4. I can't play this octopus, it's in the wrong key!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Test Your Funny Bone #6

It's that time of the week when I check to see how funny my readers are. Leave a caption in the comment section for the picture below. Everyone's answer will be posted later in the week and linked to your blog if you have one.


I don't know if this was a slumber party game I am not aware of or the result of a science experiment that exploded, but they seem to be enjoying themselves. I welcome your take and humor on what this picture is. Leave your caption in the comments.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

In The Beginning...

In my November 27th post, when I asked my readers to submit questions, I received a one about writing from Brandi Boddie of Penning Praises.


Her Question:
I've been reading your blog for a little over a year, but I wanted to know how you got started writing.
At first, I had a simple, quick answer for this question, but then it occurred to me that it is not as simple as I first thought. Honestly, my answer would have to be 'I don't know.'

My original answer was only going to address this blog. My daughter had just started dating a boy who showed me his blog. He had one as a result of a school assignment, but still maintained it because he enjoyed doing it. In his blog, he critiqued events that happened in pop culture. He gave his take on recent songs, dance crazes, movies, etc.

After he showed me around his site, he said, "You should start one. It's really a lot of fun."

So I did...it really was that simple. It was something to do. Why not?

That was October of 2010. It took me a little while to discover my voice, but once I did my readership started to grow. However, upon further reflection, I can't really say that was the beginning of my writing.

Everyone writes in school. There are pages and pages of things I wrote in elementary and high school that no longer exist. I don't even remember them. I really don't remember writing until my senior year of high school. That year I took Journalism. I didn't take it because I was interested in writing. I needed four English credits and really didn't want to take English IV. I had heard it was a horrible class and hoped to avoid it. Journalism would give me the last credit that I needed.

The class was awesome. There were only twelve of us in the class and we ran the school newspaper. It published once every two weeks. We were each responsible for filling two pages worth of material. That was it! There were no tests, nothing to study for, and no real assignments. Just write.

Tipping your hat to a lady:
What if it's a man in drag?
We each had our specialties. One person covered sports. Another paid attention to the various clubs. I was the entertainment editor. Which basically meant I did a movie review in every issue. Beyond that, I could write whatever I wanted and I did. Most of it was humor based, like the stuff I write now. I created one recurring feature similar to Dear Abby where I answered questions about proper etiquette, however I was also the person writing the letters. The questions posed to me were always some incredible, bizarre situation asking my advice on how to properly handle it. For a different article about how to convincingly feign sickness in order to stay home from school, I won a state journalism award.

I loved that class, but never really considered myself a writer. I put my pen down as soon as I graduated. My first semester of college, I was in a creative writing class. I didn't choose this class. It was required.

The professor made us keep a writing journal. On top of any other assignments we may have, we had to make an entry in that journal every time we had class. It was a totally open assignment. We could write a poem, tell a story, log what we had for breakfast, anything. I wish I still had that journal. I was really proud of some of the stuff that was in there. I lost it during one of my moves about 10 years later.

I loved that class as well, but for some reason never pursued an interest in writing. Once the class was over, I stopped writing. That was 1989 and other than the occasional letter from the mission field years later or required college papers, I never wrote again until I started this blog.

Now that I am writing all the time, I love it. I wish I had never stopped. I even have a few book ideas in mind. I don't know if I will ever get published, but at least one of the books will be written. We'll just have to see where it goes from here.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Is It Too Soon?

I am still working my way through the questions submitted from the November 27 post. Today's question comes from Misty of Misty's Laws. Click picture to visit her blog.

Misty's Question:
My question: What was the exact moment you knew you were in love with Red? When and in what circumstance did it happen?

Ok, another: If you found out you had 1 week to live, what events would you fill those remaining 7 days with?
I will answer the second question first since it is simpler. I really don't believe there would be any events that I would want to pursue. I would want to spend the time with family. I would want to see my parents, brothers, children, Red, and whoever else I may have time to visit with that have been prominent parts of my life. That's it.

As for the first question, I know exactly when that moment was. I don't recall the date, but I remember the conversation. I didn't say it during that conversation because I thought it was too soon and didn't want to scare her off, but I knew.

Red and I had only met face to face twice at this moment. That may seem extremely fast, but we had been in communication for a few months. Despite having only been in her physical presence a couple of times, I had a very good grasp of who she was.

When I proposed to Red in the comment section of her blog about Valentine's Day as a joke and having no idea it would ever become anything more, it sparked some conversation and playful back and forth. Knowing the girl in question was all the way in Delaware and there was no chance I would actually meet her, I was free to just be myself and flirt openly. What's the harm? She is clear on the other side of the country.

After weeks of commenting back and forth in the blog comments, we finally started emailing. That's when it got more interesting because we were having private conversations. We could open up even more. There was no love yet, but the interest was growing. The great part about this was that I hadn't even seen a picture of her yet. I was beginning to fall for someone I had never laid eyes on. It was all based upon her and who she was. Soon afterward, the phone conversations began and the swoon effect was beginning to take shape.

We finally meet face to face in May. It was a little awkward at first, but we got through it and decided to meet again. More relaxed this time, we were much more able to enjoy each other's company. A few days later, we were talking on the phone and the conversation shifted to what must be wrong with each other.

We were intentionally trying to come up with 'red flags' about each other - warning signs that could signal future problems. It was during this call that I brought up a concern I had. I have been divorced twice. I have mentioned it on my blog a couple of times and at that point, Red had been through my entire archive. I was aware that she knew this, but had never asked about it.

Now, I will not reveal the details of her response because it gives away more than I am comfortable sharing, but she explained her outlook on my divorces. I got choked up and the words "I love you" almost escaped from my lips. I held back for fear that it was way too soon to say those serious words despite knowing that it was true.

The next time we saw each other, she said the words. I smiled and dropped my eyes and she began to explain. She knew it may be too soon to say it and she hoped I wasn't freaked out by hearing it, but it was true and just had to be said. I cut her off and explained my reaction. She had just said it before me.

Misty, I hope that answers your question. It didn't take long once we actually got to meet, but we had plenty of time to build it up before then.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Fear Factor

I am still working my way through the reader submitted questions resulting from my November 27 post. Today's question comes from Kianwi of Simply She Goes. Kianwi asked,
I would like to know what you are afraid of, big and small. Also, have you conquered any fears in your life?
I really didn't have to think about this one. I know exactly what my biggest fear is.

In a recent post, I addressed my views on death and explained that I am not afraid of dying. However, my biggest fear is related to this topic. Actual death is of no concern to me, but the process involved to get there I find very scary.

I mentioned in that previous post that I obviously would not want to experience a painful or prolonged death. That would not be fun and I am sure would be quite miserable, but the specific thing I am scared of is death by old age.

Get outta my yard!!!
I am not scared of aging. I look forward to getting gray hair. I think it makes a man look distinguished. I am not disturbed when I find a new wrinkle in my face. I am old enough that I can start to feel my body break down and I joke about it. I have many good years ahead of me and I fully believe I will be an awesome old man. However, one day my body will be spent. That is what I am scared of.

I am terrified at the idea of spending the last few years of my life stuck in a bed hooked up to machines keeping me alive. I fear slowly withering away in a nursing home. I am scared that I will not be able to communicate my thoughts to my loved ones or caretakers. The idea of existing and not being healthy enough to do anything is the scariest thing I can imagine, especially if my mind has gone. I pray that I will have at least enough presence of mind to be able to refuse treatments that will just prolong the inevitable. Once I have reached that point, I will be ready to go.

I watched my grandmother slowly degenerate as her mind slipped further and further away. She was miserable and even expressed that until she was no longer able to communicate intelligibly, but she held on for several years. I remember the huge sense of relief I felt when she finally passed away. It was difficult to lose her. I loved my grandmother, but it was finally over for her.

I do not want to experience that. At least, not for a prolonged period of time. My children have been instructed that when the time comes that it is known there will be no recovery to let me go. They are not to authorize treatments that will just prolong my time in a bed. Hopefully, when my time comes, it just happens. Heart attack, car accident, alien invasion, something that will just end it.

That is my big fear. My smaller ones are harder to identify. I am not scared of physical things (except a praying mantis). I cannot point to something and say that I am scared of that. I am not scared of public speaking, snakes, heights, water, clowns, spiders, midgets or anything else I can think of. I'm just not a fearful person. I travel into parts of cities I have been told to stay away from. I can walk down dark alleys despite the obvious dangers. I just don't fear much.

I am not trying to suggest that I am fearless and just don't get scared. If a bear came after me in the woods, I would be terrified. However, that does not mean I am scared of bears. It is just recognition that I am in danger. When I got mugged in San Juan, I was scared, but it didn't keep me in the house the next night or even off that same street.

As for fears I have conquered, they are mostly social. I was an awkward nerd in high school and was scared of things like girls, crowds, jocks, girls, being spoken to, people my age, people older than me, girls, etc.

I just didn't interact well with other people, mostly because I owned the labels (nerd, dweeb, geek, loser) that I had picked up years earlier. I allowed it to define me and became more comfortable in the shadows, especially at school where they understood my place as well as I did. My senior year I began to come out of my shell a bit and soon realized that some people might actually like me if I took the effort to show them who I was. I also learned that if someone didn't like me, that was OK. Fast forward to today when I have fully embraced this philosophy and just don't care what anyone thinks and there are even more who don't like me.

Fortunately, most* people seem to like me so it works out.
Most means most (not all). Because of how wonderful and perfect Red seems to think I am, I have trouble convincing her that there are some people out there that do not like me.