Saturday, November 27, 2010

Saturday Update

          It’s Saturday again, so a bit more casual of a post for you.

          Thanksgiving was busy this year. We started off at my parent’s house for my mom’s famous breakfast casserole and that completely ruined me for our actual Thanksgiving meal at my Great Aunt’s house. We had a good time and besides the weather, it was fun.
          Then we stopped by the hospital to see Stacey’s grandfather and her family. They had a feast there which was a major relief to us. He’s doing okay, but still in ICU. Hopefully he’ll be out and in a regular room today.
          After the hospital Stace and I went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. Very good. We both enjoyed it and I can’t wait until part 2. My favorite part of the movie was the fricking GREEN LANTERN TRAILER at the beginning!
          That movie looks amazing and appears very true to the comic book source material. It had, of course, Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan, but also had brief glimpses of Abin Sur, Sinestro, Killowog, and Tomar-Re. This movie is going to melt my face off. Watch the trailer. Twice.

Happy Saturday!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Scouting Ahead

          The Boyscouts of America is an organization that I fully support. I truly believe that everything they teach prepares young men for the world outside of their parent’s homes. Not only that, I feel like it helps us get more in touch with our roots and helps get our heads out of the suburbs.
          From Tiger Cubs to Eagle Scout I was a member. I learned a ton and made relationships with people that will last a lifetime. I’ve done merit badge weekends, community service Eagle projects, below zero campouts, and summer camps. I earned merit badges from shotgun and rifle, to orienteering and swimming and everything in between. The BSA is a strong organization and I don’t regret a second that I was a member and I plan on guiding both of my boys through their ranks as well.
          The Boyscouts taught me to Be Prepared. The taught me to be Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent. (I didn’t even have to look that up.) These are the pillars of being a good scout and a good human being. I have never met someone that I thought was too trustworthy. You? I didn’t think so. These are traits that our young men desperately need to have so that they can grow to mold our country’s future; not to mention the various skills that you learn and come in handy. I think a lot of my jack-of-all-trades mentality is due to scouts. I know a little bit about a lot of things – a good majority I learned from being involved with this organization.
          The Boyscouts is also a place to be around positive male role models. It’s a time to be around adults and learn the respect that goes along with that. It’s a time for fathers and sons to bond while fishing or while building a lean-to shelter in the middle of the forest. Mothers definitely have their place too though. Without all of the dedicated mothers there would be drastically fewer Eagle Scouts and the boys who would make it, would most definitely not have pressed shirts and their patches sewn on. Mothers do more than that though. Throughout my experience in Cubscouts, it was predominantly the mothers who were leading and teaching.
          I had an immensely positive experience growing up in scouting and I am so very proud to have hit Eagle Scout. Less than 3% of boys who start Boyscouts (around age 10) ever make it to see Eagle Scout. It’s a big honor, and it’s one I am glad to share with some great men throughout history, great men who I went through scouts with, and even a great man that I shared a room with until I was 13.

Give Thanks

          Today is a day set aside for our country to give thanks for the things that we have. The United States is one of the wealthiest countries in the world and, truly, we have no idea how good we have it.
          We were founded because of religious persecution. We rebelled because of taxation. We tore ourselves apart because of states’ rights. We survived an economic meltdown. We helped the allies to a stunning victory. We put men on the moon. We have rallied and become stronger during our darkest times.
          Be proud of what this country is and what it has done in its short history. Be proud of our ancestors for blazing the trail to freedom, independence, and wealth. Be proud of the granite resolve of the American people. I give thanks for this country and those who have molded it and fought for it for over 200 years. We have our faults and our missteps, but we’re still the greatest country on this planet.
          I give thanks to my family. My parents and grandparents for creating a moral and ethical basis for everything I believe. Without Frances and Bernard, my father wouldn’t be who he is. Without Thomas and Pearl, my mother wouldn’t be who she is. These ingredients were thrown into a genetic cauldron and mixed; my sister, my brother, and myself being the result. I wouldn’t be who I am if it wasn’t for the strong influence of my parents and theirs. Without my siblings, I would’ve grown up lonely and quiet. I wouldn’t have had anyone to play blocks with in that old trailer. I wouldn’t have had anyone to make up goofy roleplaying games with on long car rides. Sarah and Matthew deserve a great deal of gratitude from me for not only sticking by me even when I’ve been a complete ass, but keeping me grounded and centered.
          Most importantly, I give thanks for my wife. Stacey, without you I wouldn’t have my two boys that are the light of my life.  Without you I would still be floating around lost. You’ve saved me from going down a true spiral of madness and your ability to put up with me and everything that comes along with me is nothing less than astonishing. I know I’m not an easy person to be around some days, but I want you to know that I appreciate you and I thank you for everything that you have done for me and our family. I love you more than words.
          Take a minute today and really think about what you’re thankful for and, if it’s people, let them know. Take in all the turkey you can, but before you slip into that tryptophan induced nap, consider all of the things great and small that have made you who you are and be truly thankful.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Too Much Time On My Hands

          Sometimes having so many interests is a real pain. This dilemma may be quite foreign to some of you, but for me it’s a routine problem.
          For instance: right now I’ve found myself with an odd bit of down time. This never happens. I’m not spitting hyperbole at you. Literally, I never have the house to myself without some sort of something that I need to be doing. I guess that tonight the stars have aligned. The boys are spending the night with my in-laws (which they do every Monday night) and Stacey is visiting her grandfather at the hospital. Laundry is reasonably caught up and the dishwasher is loaded and ready to go.
          My conundrum is this: What do I do with this meager free time? Here’s a list of things that I want/need to do.
·        Work on writing my comic
·        Work on writing my novel
·        Practice my guitar
·        Learn to use my amp better than what I do
·        Clean my guns
·        Do research on guns
·        Surf my preparedness forums
·        Listen to podcasts
·        Clean my office
·        Catch up on my reading
·        Work on my Dungeons and Dragons: Dark Sun campaign
·        Figure out schematics to build my amp case
·        Watch one of my library of unwatched movies
·        Play some Xbox

This is just what I could ramble off the top of my head. I’m sure there are more things I could/should be doing, but here I sit. The house is empty. The lights are off and for the first time in three years I can fully hear my own thoughts. For November, it’s oddly warm so the windows are all open and it’s steadily raining.
          There are so many things that I should be doing. Sitting here on a Monday night and writing Wednesday’s blog apparently has topped the list. It’s approaching 11 now so I’m going to wrap it up and head to bed.
I have no kids to bathe and get into bed tonight. No wife to entertain. This is a very peaceful scenario for me. Just me and the dogs. Hanging out.

I might actually lose my mind.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Yesterday I got a really detailed comment on my blog about 2nd Amendment rights. It’s definitely good to see that the things I write can make some people think, and I really do enjoy knowing that there are people reading. So, what I’m going to do today is repost that comment as a blog, but add in my own take on a few things. Jennifer is very intelligent and very well informed on things, so this is by no way trying to throw her under the bus.
          Well, here we go: (Jennifer's original comment is in the smaller font with my two cents in the normal font.)

I agree - it is the right of every law-abiding citizen to arm themselves (with proper training and certification). I have no problem keeping guns in my home as long as I know gun and bullets are not within reach of anyone not old enough or smart enough to know not to touch them. I admit that I don't like handguns. I've never been around them, my dad never had one and I'd prefer not to have one in my house, let alone carry one around. But again, that's my preference. Doesn't bother me at all if you do. And I too wouldn't have any problem ending the life of someone who is trying to break into my home and get me or my family. Good riddance. HOWEVER- Can we please do a better job in this country of keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals.
-That’s a tough one. Criminals by nature do not uphold the law. Any gun control statutes will be ignored by the people who are obtaining the guns to commit crimes with. If you’re going to murder someone, why would you be scared of an unlawful possession charge. Gun control only hurts the law abiding citizens.

 I believe the right to bear arms should ONLY apply to those citizens who have not committed crimes. I think if you break the law and commit certain crimes (theft, murder, rape, selling serious drugs, etc.)you should lose your right to bear arms. Period.
-Technically, those rights can be taken away. Certain felons for instance are not allowed to own any sort of firearms. Also, a background check must be run for a person to qualify to carry a concealed weapon.

And I don't know if everyone should get and carry a gun around just because they can. I know you've met some of these morons that walk the earth - I personally don't want to encourage all of them to walk around with a gun. ;)
-This is an extremely valid point but, I think that if you can carry you should. I definitely agree with making sure people who carry have at least some formal training. I also feel that there are people who may be as dumb as a rock, but still know how to handle a weapon and treat it responsibly. If you knew that 90% of the population carried a firearm, how likely would you be to commit a crime? If you were a robber and you knew that the family on the left side of the street was a gun toting household and the family on the right was not, which house would you target? Criminals are not, generally, as dumb as we think they are.

And, I think guns are something that you really should grow up around, learn to handle properly at a young age (not just starting in adulthood) to really be comfortable with and know how to handle. Maybe some people can learn later, but I got my hunting license when I was about 12 - and I'd plan to do the same if I had kids. Sounds bad to some people to be teaching a 12 year old how to handle a firearm, but that may be the best time to teach them the proper respect for them. Jennifer C.
-I very much agree with the sentiment that we should teach our children as soon as you feel they are mature enough to responsibly handle a weapon. I do not that that 12 years old is too young. I would love to take my 8 year old nephew out the .22 sometime. It’s definitely a maturity thing. Also, make it so that you family feels safe around guns. The instructor for my concealed class let his children see his guns anytime they asked to. He taught them the rules and safety measures of course but by removing that taboo factor from firearms makes children a lot less curious. If they know all they have to do is ask, why would they go after it without asking?

Up until 2006 I could count on my hands how many times I hand fired a gun. Most of my experience was in the form of a .22 rifle, but I did earn my Shotgun and my Rifle merit badges in Boyscouts. It’s absolutely something that can be learned later in life. I don’t even think that would be a disadvantage at all because as you get older you really understand mortality more in depth and you’re less likely to make a stupid mistake.

Jennifer, thank you so much for reading and for the input. I really appreciate your comments. You and I have some different views on things, but that’s what makes it interesting. Hopefully I’ve made you think about things as much as you have me.

I like this mailbag idea. I’m definitely going to try to do it more often so keep the comments coming in and you can see me discuss in more detail the subject on which you commented.

Thanks again for reading!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Keep and Bear

When the founders of our nation wrote the pivotal documents on which this country was formed, the 2nd amendment (not the 3rd or 4th – the 2nd) states that we as citizens would maintain the right to keep and bear arms. This right shall not be infringed. It says that. Shall. Not. Be. Infringed.
          If you have seen me somewhere besides my workplace in the past two years, know and understand that I have been armed. More often than not, it’s a .40 Glock 27 strapped to my hip equipped with a Crimson Trace laser, Gold Dot hollow points, and a small laser etched Batman insignia. Don’t be afraid of this. It is my right as an American citizen to carry this wherever I go; and I do it legally. Not only is it my right, to me, I view it as a responsibility. I need to be armed so that I can protect myself and my family. I refuse to be a victim – at least an easy one. As the saying goes, “When seconds matter, police are only minutes away.” That is not a risk I am willing to accept.
          I took my concealed carry class at Eagle Outdoor in 2006. It was 2008 before I finally got my permit because I never quite understood why I was doing it. I look at the aftermath of hurricane Katrina in New Orleans where people were armed and taking whatever they please from wherever they wanted. That’s not something I will allow to happen to me. People are mugged daily. I’m prepared. I do not go out looking for a fight, nor do I relish the idea of having to use my weapon to protect myself, but I have come to the realization that if it’s me or them, I’m going to be the one left standing.
          As citizens of the great country we should all take the opportunity to arm and train ourselves. We have a unique freedom in the United States and we need to take responsibility for it and for our own safety. Any law abiding citizen should be able to carry a firearm. That’s not true in all states, but it is in Kentucky, so to any of you in Kentucky; you should go get the training and carry to protect you and yours.
          Don’t misunderstand my statements; I firmly believe in our police forces. They are there to do a job and most of them do it well, but when it comes down to my life, I’m the only one qualified to act. I’m not out there trying to be a hero. If I come home and someone is in my house robbing it, as long as my family is safe, I’m calling the cops instead of going in to force a confrontation – but I am prepared for a confrontation.
          Being armed is a right, a privilege, and a responsibility that I take great comfort in. I know that not matter what comes my way, I am more prepared to deal with it and if you’ve been reading my blog since the beginning, you know what preparedness means to me.