Saturday, October 30, 2010

"Time" to Update

It’s Saturday again, and for a rare occasion, I have the morning off with my boys. That’s great. I enjoy. Screaming baby? Not so much.
Well, tomorrow’s Halloween, so I hope you are all safe and sound tonight and tomorrow. Get lots of candy.

Something that I’ve been spending time with this week is the Back to the Future Trilogy on Blu Ray. Man, is it interesting. All three movies are included and each disc has hours of special features. If you’re a fan I definitely recommend it. The behind the scenes portions discuss what a surprise hit the first movie was and show several cutting edge (in 1985) techniques for their special effects. You should get a college credit for watching all of the extras. They play like a ‘History of Time Travel’ class, which I know we should all be interested in.

Speaking of, here are some interesting links for you.
Interesting “time-traveler” news, no? Maybe someday…


Friday, October 29, 2010

Find Out What It Means To Me

With much certainty, I can tell you that most people living today have no respect for each other. Sure, there’s times where we all falter in that category, but there are people walking our streets and driving our roads who have an absolute disdain for everyone.
Sometimes I can be guilty of this, I make no secret of how I feel about the human race, but I still have a core group of people who have earned my respect no matter the situation. I like to think that there are people who respect me in the same way, but apparently, some people can be sneakier than they let on.
If you notice, I said that people had earned my respect. I don’t give it to them unwarranted. These people are looked up to for who they are and what they have accomplished. Respect is not something I give away lightly and it is something to me with a tremendous value. It’s a currency that trumps dollars, silver, or gold. It is something that, once given, is hard to take away yet so easy to irreparably destroy. Personally speaking, once I lose respect for someone, they never can earn it back.
Now, there are instances in which I have an immediate, minimal respect for people. Like at work. I’m not rude to my employees or my customers and most of them have not done anything that has warranted my respect. Interestingly enough, that is not a two way street.
If you ever take anything from reading this blog, I hope this is it: Always try to be respected and to be respectful. I’m never disrespectful to someone until they have been that way to me, then the gloves are off. I strive to be solid, fair, outspoken, and yet good at what I do, and I hope you can do the same. With more respect in our lives I think we would all be a little better off.

Sorry for the short post today. It’s before work and I have a screaming baby to attend to. Thanks again for reading!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I have no faith in the modern public education system.
Recently, I have decided that I would like to seriously entertain the idea of homeschooling my children. I’m not sure that I will be able to do that given our current financial situation, but man, I feel like I could do a better job than our school systems. There are a lot of terrible teachers out there who are protected because of their teachers union. These jerks should be fired. Just like in any other field, if you’re not doing your job, you should get the little pink slip. Now, let me go on record stating that there are some truly great teachers out there. I never had one, but I firmly believe they exist. My sister is a prime example. My friend, Todd, another. These people are 100% dedicated to their jobs and their job has become more to them than what my job is to me. Not only is it a career and a way to pay their bills, it’s a way to impact lives. Because of people like Sarah and Todd some children who would never have had a chance will make it through school, and as long as another teacher doesn’t screw it up, these kids will graduate and be successful. Some teachers live to teach and thoroughly enjoy the career path they have chosen. Some teachers have burned out and hate every minute they are there and those are the teachers that are systematically destroying the potential of our children.
Some people call me arrogant. I’ve been called a know-it-all on numerous occasions and being named a smart-ass is daily for me. I tell you that, because I want to let you know that I feel like I am smarter than most people I meet. Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot to learn and I am by no means, well educated, but I do pride myself on trying to know a lot of information even if some of it is simply trivial. I never earned good grades in school, but in everything except math, it was due to laziness and apathy toward the instruction I was given rather than not grasping the subject matter. I did especially poorly in college, but that may be in part due to my argumentative nature and trying to pick fights with the teachers and again, laziness. I didn’t know what I wanted to be, so I had no reason to work. There was no goal in sight, so I figured “why waste the time?” There are a ton of people out there who are more educated than I am, but that doesn’t mean they’re smarter.
Now that you know my background, you’re probably asking yourself why I think I would be able to teach my children better than someone with a bachelor’s degree could. The answer, quite simply, is that I know I could because they are my kids and I would make sure that they knew anything and everything they needed to. I wouldn’t give them a passing grade just because I felt sorry for them. I wouldn’t be harder on them or show favoritism because of their popularity level. I could teach all of the subjects they needed to know with more precision and honestly than any state employed teacher in the country. I wouldn’t just lecture from a text books. There are too many things in life to experience to waste them stuck behind desks learning about the civil war when you could be out on the battlefields reading the memorial plaques and really sparking and interest in history. There are better ways of learning about our freedoms than reading them in a book. What if your science class went on field trips every week? You history class? You arts? Literature? Theater and museums are just the tip of the educational iceberg that could be discovered not being confined in concrete walls for eight hours a day.
I truly don’t feel like that any government run or church run school system can give my sons the attention they need. I don’t think that they can learn enough from 7-3, Monday through Friday. Kids should never stop learning and we, as adults and parents and teachers should never stop teaching out children about the way the world actually works and about their place in the past, present, and future of our society.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Election Time

          I have seen very few things in my life that enrage people and separate them as strongly as politics. There’s no room for debate, especially among friends, because everyone strongly believes that they are right.
          Belonging to a party, to me, is the problem with our current system. Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans represent me. (The Independents or Green Party or Libertarians either.) I strongly feel that both main parties are at fault for everything bad in this country. The United States was once a super power in the global community. Hell, we were THE superpower for a long time. The sun is starting to set on that day in American History. Countries like China, Brazil, Australia, South Africa, and India are quickly gaining ground and going through their own cultural and industrial revolutions. These countries are producing more resources than us and they are certainly more fiscally responsible than we have become.
In the 1960s the heads of the United States government decided it was best if we switched to a fiat currency system. In short, a currency system that was no longer based on a gold or silver standard. Before that, every dollar in circulation in this country was backed up by gold or silver. Upon this switch, the government was able to basically print money whenever they felt like it. It’s to the point now that they don’t even print it, it just takes a few keystrokes on a computer terminal and it’s created. This is utter nonsense to me. It’s to the point now that without a complete economic collapse, returning to a commodity based currency is highly unlikely. In 2004 there was an estimate given that if we were to return to a gold based system, with the amount of gold the country has versus the amount of dollars in circulation, gold would be over $2800 an ounce. That was six years ago. I my humble opinion, economically, this country is screwed. We’ve turned into the global equivalent of the middle-class suburban family with 2 kids and dog that has more debt than they will ever pay off. The United States has more debt than we have dollars, which means that if we took every single cent from every single person and organization in the country, we would still be in debt. Who manages money like that?  Morons.
In my estimation, our whole political system needs to be torn down and rebuilt as a new entity. We need to get rid of the party system and elect regular people who lead regular lives. We need term limits and we need to not let being in any sort of office become a full time job – or if it is, only for that term, then back to regular life. Lifetime politicians should become a thing of the past. We shouldn’t pay them the exorbitant salaries that they receive. If they cannot continue in their line of work in office, we should compensate them with a salary along the line of which they are familiar. We need farmers and carpenters and union workers and nurses and teachers representing us. Regular. People. Not just lawyers. Law can be a respected profession, but not when you just use to get elected. Knowing the law is one thing, finding loopholes to get your agenda through is another altogether.
The biggest priority should go to representing and holding true to the Constitution of the United States. There are so many instances in which the document on which our country is founded is ignored or deliberately misinterpreted. This has to stop. This all important document is the lynchpin in our society and if we continue to ignore and take advantage of it, we lose complete touch with who we are and the reason that this country was founded to begin with.
As we go into a new dawn of not being the superpower that we once were, we can continue to feel immense pride in our country as long as we follow through with the intentions of our founding fathers and continue to be the global leaders in Liberty. We are a strong, independent, and extremely resilient people, but if we do not monitor the direction in which our leaders are taking us and affect a national level of change, we are most certainly on our way to being a footnote in world history.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ugh. Pop Music.

Give me the Beatles over the Black Eyed Peas. Kansas over Kanye. Just about anyone over Taylor Swift.
I should just go ahead and admit it I guess. I’m getting old. (“Get off my lawn!”) I can tell this because I can no longer relate to any new music. Really Katy Perry? Singing about “California Girls”? Who cares? I just don’t get it. I know, I know. I’m a bit of a music snob and I always have been, but it just seems like it’s getting ridiculous. When I listen to the local top 40 radio station here in town, (very rare – only when the classic rock station won’t come in on our work receiver) I get bombarded by garbage; and not the good Garbage with Shirley Manson.
Since when does a sixteen year old have anything in his life worth writing or singing about? Get out and live. Come back when you have some real world experience, Justin Beiber. If you don’t have a driver’s license, you should not have a recording contract. No ifs ands or buts. Why do people like this kid? Sure he can sing high-pitched, but I can too and I’m not a millionaire friend of Usher’s. Oh. There it is. He’s a friend of Usher’s. Problem solved.
I miss the music where you actually had to be creative to be successful. There was a time in the 60s and 70s that you had to have talent to be a star. Can you believe that? Listening to the radio now, I cannot. I miss the soaring guitar solos that indicated years of honing and refining a talent. That means sacrifice. What did David Gilmour have to sacrifice to become as good as he is? More than what Eminem has sacrified learning to rhyme, I assure you of that. The rhythms now are all created by synthesizers by people who have never played an instrument and not someone who has lived behind a set of drums perfecting their craft.
I long for something that means something to be popular. The best new song I’ve heard lately is “Life Won’t Wait” by Ozzy Osbourne. I’ve never been and Ozzy fan, but this song is so filling that it will stick to your ribs. There is some really substance to the subject matter. “The Best is Yet to Come” by The Scorpions is another good newer song. Interestingly enough, both of these acts are older. Yes, they’re enjoying success today, but if it wasn’t for the success they enjoyed over the last 30 to 40 years, they wouldn’t be doing what they’re doing. Do you really think that Three Dog Night would get a recording contract today? No. Way.
I’m tired of hearing some urban ass-clown talking about having sex with girls. I bristle up when I hear that nonsense and that is what’s popular! Sure, Foreigner and Bad Company and their ilk are certainly guilty of talking about sex. Most musical acts in history are, unless we’re talking about the Gaithers. Older bands just seemed to do it more tactfully, or at least more politely. It was “I feel like makin’ love” instead “I’ll take you to my house and bend you over.” See the difference?
For now, I’m going to stick to the tried and true. I will listen to “Blue Collar Man” by Styx or “Limelight” by RUSH instead of “Put a Ring on It” by Beyonce or “Take it Off” by Ke$ha. I feel something in my soul when I hear the opening chorus of Queen’sSomebody to Love”. I think that the music industry really needs to have their heads collectively removed from their…well, you know. Right the ship. Get rid of 3 Doors Down and play more .38 Special.
Again, I know I’m old and have old taste, I get it. Please don’t rub it in. I’m getting grey hair in my sideburns too. I just want to know that when I turn the radio on that something that took sweat and tears is going to play instead of some overproduced studio junk by a 9 year old that has absolutely nothing to say or any talent with which to say it. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Preparedness, Part 3

Being prepared is about much more than just amassing supplies. Beans, bullets, and band-aids will certainly help, but there’s a mindset that accompanies preparedness.
You have to be willing to do whatever it takes to protect yourself and your family. If that means not buying a new DVD this week so that you can buy some extra cans of ravioli, then so be it. Understand that the only difference between you and everyone else is that you are part of the equation and that you can make it happen. You have to have the faith that if you have to take a life to defend yourself, you can do it and that you can do it with a clear conscious. Whatever. It. Takes. No one is going to stand in my way when it comes to providing for my wife and children. Preparedness is a state of mind and if you really embrace it, you will truly begin to understand what is important in your life and what is fluff. You’ll also be able to tell who and what things are dragging you down.
Eliminate things in your life that are harmful; whether they are friends, addictions, or debt. These things can really affect you and bring you down and there’s no room for that when you’re trying to make sure that you are ready.
Friends can give you a hard time and call you a nutty survivalist. Move on. If they don’t understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, you don’t need to waste your time.
Addictions take away valuable resources and add too much unneeded stress on the household. Cut them out. Quit cold turkey or get some help, but no matter what you do, stop the self destructive behavior.
In the words of Jack Spirko, debt is cancer. I fully believe this. Pay off your credit cards early and tear them up. You don’t need them. Now, a house, most people will have to go into debt for. Cars too. That’s acceptable. A plasma television? Hell no. Being able to go to the local Applebee’s four nights a week? Stupid. Live within your means. You make a salary, so start budgeting to live by that salary. If it’s not enough to make ends meet, you need to find a way to increase you income either by getting a raise, a new job, or just delivering pizzas on the weekends.
When you truly accept in your heart that you need to make a change for the wellbeing of your family, it’s like a light switch. It’s amazing the things that you can and will change without even realizing it. I prepare so that my boys always have a chance to make. I prepare so that my wife won’t suffer. I prepare because I firmly believe that our government can and will fail us when we truly need them. I prepare because I have faith the Survival of the Fittest is real and that Darwin was right.