Friday, July 20, 2012

Who, Exactly, Is Raising This Baby?

While The Spouse and I were traveling around in Peoria, IL. We were stopped at a light waiting to turn. I looked over to my right and this is what I saw:
Yes, you read that correctly.

I'm not saying that I haven't had moments when I was driving that I didn't have the same thought. I guess I just never thought to write it on my back windshield in yellow shoe polish. Silly me...

This raises all kinds of questions in my mind. You know, ridiculous questions like:
"Do you speak like this in front of your children?"
"Do you speak like this in front of your mother?"
"Were you raised by a mother or a biker gang?"

I must say that I'm rather pleased to see that there are no misused apostrophes or misspelled words. It's kinda refreshing.

I wonder what happened to make this person put that on their back windshield. Did someone ride their bumper to the point of road rage? Did someone rear-end them at some point? Are they just rude, crude and socially unacceptable people?

I'm amazed that this is considered acceptable. Drivers around me were taking pictures, too. That tells me it's not "normal", but still, no one seemed outraged or stunned by it. Even The Spouse and I laughed about it...a little.

I'm not a prude and I'm not into censorship. That being said, I am in to socially acceptable standards. I'm a bit worried that this has become socially acceptable. I don't want my kids seeing this and thinking that it's okay. It's not.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Do You or I Really Matter?

The Beautiful Spouse and I traveled through Peoria, IL recently.  I like Peoria.  I do some business there and I have always found the trip there to be nice.  I especially love the point on I-74 West where you round the curve, top a hill and you are looking at the Peoria skyline (such as it is).

I have a favorite hotel when I stay there.  It's called The Mark Twain Hotel and it is wonderful.  The rooms are old with just a touch of modern and industrial.  The service is wonderful, the rates are good and it places you smack in the middle of the downtown area. 

The hotel boasts a fabulous restaurant called Two25.  The pizza is absolutely incredible.  It's a paper thin crisp crust and all of the ingredients are fresh and delicious. 

I had a bit of businesss to do while there but we also found time for some shopping and I took my Hunny Bunny on a little tour of the schools I do business with.  We found a great little outdoor shopping area called The Shoppes at Grand Prairie.  It's quaint without being too cutesy.  The Spouse enjoyed the shops (or shoppes) and we both think someone should develop something like this in our town. 

I think the most suprising thing about this little shopping area was the Peoria Holocaust Memorial that is smack in the middle of it.  
The Memorial Marker that explains the project. It's very moving to think that the 6 million Jews and 5 million other "enemies" of Hitler are memorialized here. The Spouse and I both got a bit teary-eyed.
There are five of these triangular shaped glass cases that represent the 5 million "enemies" who were not Jewish but were murdered because of Hitler's hatred.
There are two rows of these glass cases.  Each case is in the form of the Star of David.  They contain 6,000,000 buttons.  Each button represents one Jew who died because of Hitler's evil.
Each button is different from the other, just as each of us is different from the other. 
Take a look at those pictures again.  Take a close look at the buttons.  Those are individual lives destroyed by the evil intentions and actions of one man.  One man did this to 11,000,000 people.  One man did this and much more to an entire civilized world.

The next time you begin to doubt whether you matter or whether you can make a difference in anything, go back and look at this. 

One man did this. 

You, as one person, are capable of doing so much good.  What if five of us banded together for a cause that we felt united in?  If one man can do this much evil, how much good could one man do?  Two? Three? 

You matter.  What you do has repercussions.  For good or for evil. 

What will you do?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Why I Don't Camp

I don't camp.  I loathe the very idea of camping.  Camping, for me, includes any instance where one sleeps in anything called a tent, camper, trailer, R.V., pop-up, pull-along or whatever name.  I do not consider it "camping" if I am in a cabin that includes: hot and cold running water, a private shower, beds with real mattresses, covers and blankets, a television with satellite or cable and a locking door.

Here's my favorite camping slogan:

The Girl Child recently experienced her first church camping experience.  She was excited and nervous about going.  I was fretting over Lyme's disease, Dysentery, Malaria, Cholera, eColi, Swamp Fever, Zombie Apocalypses and other such natural things.  The whole recent outbreak of face-eating zombies has me on edge anyway.  I certainly didn't want me sweet, delicate, beautiful Girl Child turning into a face-eating zombie!

The Spouse and her father took The Girl Child to the camp.  It is literally in the middle of nowhere.  You can't get there from here and, if you do, you can't leave.  It's one of those places.  It reminds me of a place where Jason, Freddy and Chuckie would gather for a reunion.  The Spouse came back home visibly shaken at having left her baby at this place.  She never mentioned the zombies or cholera but I'm sure they were going through her mind. 

There was no means of communication.  We had to trust and believe that she was okay...for five days.

I took off work to go get her.  The Spouse and I picked up a friend whose daughter was there and we headed off to Zombie Apocalypse Park (AKA:  Church Camp) to retrieve our baby girls. 

Here's what I found when I got there:
Yes, that's The Girl Child in front of her "cabin".  Yes, that's bird poop on the window eaves.  Are those eaves?  I think that's what they are called.  Because there's no glass or screens, you put those down when it's raining or when you want to "secure" the building.  Oh yeah, nothing's getting in there if you just latch down those bird poop stained window coverings. 

The Girl Child did not appear to be suffering from any Zombie-like afflictions and she made no sudden movements toward my face or other fleshy parts.

I asked her if I could see inside her "cabin".  She took me in and this is what I saw:
Sweet Baby Jesus!  My baby girl slept on plywood box springs and a mattress that would have been better used as a home for wayward ticks and chiggers.  Notice the beautiful "curtains" that cover the windows.  Note the "natural" wood floors and walls. 
That's my sweet baby girl showing me her plan for an escape in case of Zombie invasion or whatever.  I got a little teary-eyed with pride over her planning.  She's a survivor, that's for sure!

I love my church and I love my faith.  However, I've got to wonder what type of indoctrination happened here?  This is straight up some Jim Jones Kool-Aid Farm living. 

It's been a couple of weeks and I've been watching her for signs of Zombieism, Dysentery, Cholera, Malaria, etc.  Nothing to far. 

If she decides to go back next year, I'm buying her a shankin' knife to take with her.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Beware The Spouse...She'll Shank You If She Has To! (With an Update)

So, it's been a while since I last posted.  I will only tell you that things have been very busy with work and family.  There's a really long story in there but it's not exciting or funny. 

Moving on...The Spouse and I had the opportunity to be riding in the same vehicle without The Boy Child and The Girl Child recently.  That's always an awkward time for us.  We tend to sit in silence for a bit and try to remember why we're not telling the godless heathen to be quiet, stop picking at each other, quit kicking the back of the seat, and saying things like, "No, you can't see my iPhone to check the weather.  You've checked the radar 14 times in the last 10 minutes.  Nothing's changed!"

We were having a wonderful time together just driving along.  We had just spent some quality time together.  She was shopping, I was complaining.  It's really the little things in life that make marriage most enjoyable. 

As we were driving around St. Louis, MO to our next destination, The Spouse said to me:  "Would you hand me my little knife.  I want to cut this tag off."

I turned my head to look at her and said, "What knife?  You have a knife in here?"

The Spouse looked at me with the look that says "My God you really are a blithering idiot!" and said, "Ummm...yes, I have a pocket knife in the little cubby under the door handle."

So, I felt in the little cubby (sheesh, it's not a cubby, it's a compartment) and picked up the knife.  As I reached across to hand it to her, she said, and I swear this is the gospel truth, "Not that one!  That's my shankin' knife!  I need the cute little Swiss Army knife with the scissors on it."

As I regained control of the vehicle, I turned to her and said, "What the hell do you mean "that's my shankin' knife?!  Why do you have a shankin' knife?  Why do you need a shankin' knife?!" 

This time, I received the look that says, "Do I really have to explain this to you?  Isn't this self-evident?"  Instead of saying that, she said, "That's my shankin' knife.  You case I'm alone and someone tries to attack me.  I'll shank 'em and get away." 

"I can see you've thought this through pretty thoroughly.  I just see a few flaws in your plan.  If someone attacks you, they probably aren't going to do it while you are in the car.  I'm fairly certain the attacker isn't going to be some very understanding attacker who will allow you to take a break from the attack so you can unlock your door, open it and reach in to find the shankin' knife.  Call me crazy, but I think you're pretty defenseless outside of the car."

The Spouse paused for a moment, let out a deep breath of exasperation, and said, "I'll use it if I'm like at an intersection and someone tries to carjack me or attacks me while I'm waiting for the light to change."

She completely ignored the whole argument about being attacked outside of the car. 

"That's a great plan.  However, and feel free to call me stupid here, you are going to have to fumble around and spend some time reaching for your shankin' knife, opening the blade and then cutting someone.  Not to mention, the blade on this thing is about two inches long.  Most likely you are just going to piss the dude off if you "shank" him with it.  And, what happens if you grab the "cute little Swiss Army Knife" instead?  Are you going to put it back because it's not your "shankin'" knife?"

Again with one of her looks that speaks without using words, "As I shank or cut him, I'm going to gun my accelerator and he'll fall away.  Or, he'll hang on and then I'll make swervy motions and try to get him to fall off and/or run over him."

I thought for a moment about continuing the conversation.  Sometimes, however, things are better left alone.  So, I simply said, "Well, that's one way to deal with it."

Lest you shake your head in disbelief...

UPDATE:  The Spouse read this and just said, "Two inches is all you need to cut the jugular or the carotid!"  Who am I living with?