Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Confederate Flag Debacle

Recently in the news, there's been an alarming amount of craziness concerning the confederate flag.

You know that my mantra in life is, "walk a mile in their shoes".

If I'm over at a friends house and I'm wearing a yellow shirt and my friend says, "I don't like yellow shirts because it reminds me of the time my favorite dog got killed by a yellow car," I don't wear my yellow shirt any more. In fact, next time I visit, I try to make sure sure I don't represent the color yellow in any way! Because I love my friends and it's easy for me to not offend them.

It's just a flag folks. However, there are some people that it spawns strong emotions for. It's not their fault. It's just the way it is. It's not that big a deal. Take it down and do away with it. It's not that important. Grow some balls and be considerate of your fellow Americans. Love one another.

Peace and love.

I'm on a yellow kick.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Yellow Polka Dot Bikini

Things lately irritate me so much that I can't put my thoughts into rational words. The McKinney Pool Party Debacle is one such event. I mostly blame the media.

People on both sides of the pool are holding up their race cards. On this matter, I've got one cliche to apply to all: "Have you walked a mile in their shoes?" Take race out of it. It's dislike of people for the way they were born. It happens all the time and it'll never stop; until we all have enough empathy to sympathize what other people might be going through.

Since we can't trust the media to tell us the whole truth, we have to take what's given to us. I believe people are fabricating on both sides, but I don't know the truth and I never will. When I watched the video, there were a few things that immediately caught my attention.
  1. I've always been told not to pull out my gun unless I intend to use it. In this case he used it to get two teenagers to back off so he could tackle a girl who was crying for her mom. I wasn't impressed.
  2. If I were in law enforcement (but I'm not because I'm a chicken shit), my reaction to this chaotic scene would have been to find the smallest threat wearing the tiniest bikini and sit on her (with my knees) to try and get things under control. Because that makes all the sense in the world.
  3. Two other policemen walk up and seem to try and calm this cop down. We should be saying thanks.
  4. People are mostly good. Don't let the media fool you.
  5. This cop should not be fired for pulling his gun.

I figure everyone will go off on number 5. I think he learned his lesson without killing anyone which is a miracle. We don't want to discourage good people from being policemen. This guy might have been having a very bad day (have to walk in his shoes). He was in a stressful situation and temporarily lost control. Here again, all hypothetical because I don't know him at all. He may be a complete ass. He certainly appeared that way in the video.

If he gets fired he should get fired for ignoring the athletic boys in their surf shorts who were too big, too fast, and too scary. He instead went after the little girl who may have weighed a buck ten in her little bikini. I'm sure he was scared for his life and trying to defuse a hostile polka dot.

Monday, April 20, 2015

I Think I Work Too Hard

In an effort to increase my blogging and, by accident, my writing skills, I've decided not to think so hard about what I want to blog about.

It's actually kind of funny. I've never quite grasped the usage of the word ironic so I just don't use it. Is it ironic that the reason it's hard for me to come up with blogging ideas is because too many people read my blog? There are some people I don't want reading certain things about my life so I have to carefully pick and choose what I can write about and what I mustn't. So, I just don't write.

At what age is it too late to have a midlife crisis? I'm considering having my second one at the age of 48. Is it okay to have two midlife crisis's? How do you spell crisis's? It's actually crises. That's the word that went thru my head as I was writing, but it looked wrong. I had go look it up. All my life people have been telling me that your initial instincts are usually correct. The Internet has made my ability to double-check myself a debilitating curse. Add that to my list of crises. Check.

The other day I cruised the Durango blogs and realized he's removed the link to my humble page. This is good information. I realize now that 6+ months is too long to go without invoking the Nix of Durango. I'm a little sad. Ghost (Musings From the Lion City) still has me linked though. He's apparently more patient.

The problem with not having ideas is not knowing when to end.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Poignant Ponderings (Ode to Allen)

I haven't written in this thing for so long no one reads it anymore. I still look at it as writing practice.

It's also a bit like a diary. A place to write down my thoughts and help me to get over some of my strange mental imaginative mitosis.

About 5 years ago, I told someone, "Man, if you had a vagina, I'd marry you!" It's a bit crude, but crude things happen when you hit the big four oh. I don't have a lot of friends. I have a rather large number of acquaintances through one means or another, but not many friends.

About 4.5 years ago, I met someone who made me feel as comfortable as the above referenced friend and she had a vagina! Really! We talk about everything. We're best friends. We have the same tastes in how to spend quiet evenings. We even listen to the same kind of music (mostly). We love the same vacation spots!

About 1.5 years ago, I married her. Which is probably why my blogging has become scarce. I don't need to write down my thoughts anymore. I finally have someone I can share them with on a daily basis.

Since I met Lisa, we've been talking about opening a bar: "GarLisa's" (I've already purchased the domain name so don't even bother). We always have excuses. A plethora of them: We have to wait for the kids to graduate high school, We have to wait for the kids to graduate college, We have to wait for the next solar eclipse, etc.

It's always something.

Durango first talked me into blogging. He writes a couple of the blogs referenced on the right of this page. Durango kind of "saved" me after my first divorce back in the early 2000 era. It's strange being a socially awkward geek and how certain people come into your life and do some freakishly psycho mumbo jumbo on your tender psyche (like convincing you to get your lovely locks trimmed back from their 80's magnificence). I believe it was from Durango's blog that I found a link to The Whited Sepulchre. I'm not 100% sure of that last fact, but it makes for a slightly more entertaining story (I can't lie -- even in prose).

It was also around this time that I joined the Libertarian Party. I literally paid monthly dues to have my voice in politics. I even ran in an election for a Texas Representative position from Northeast Tarrant County (I got 995 votes which was 5 away from my goal). I'm not cut out to be a politician. My ability to lie is non-existent and I don't even come close to agreeing with the majority of voters. Although I believe I'd do a swell job if given the chance.

It was at my first Libertarian meetup (at Rahr & Sons Brewery) that I met Allen Patterson. He was just one of those "approachable" people. That doesn't sound like much, but when you're as socially awkward and shy as yours truly, people like this are very few and far between. I can count the number I've met on one hand. They are a rare breed. Allen is a rare breed.

According to medical professionals this rare individual has about 18 months to live. If I believed in prayer, I'd pray it's not true. He wrote his "last blog" the other day and it was entitled, "Don't Be Safe". Maybe it's time to try "GarLisa's" on for size. Fuck being safe.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Legalize and Sterilize

When you make something illegal, you make it where people do it in secret because they don't want to get caught. I believe, oddly enough, that to handle a substance or item you believe should be illegal, you must legalize it.

Once it's legal, it can be controlled. A person addicted to meth is much more likely to buy from a local drug store where their product is guaranteed, than to get their addictions calmed by someone who overcharges, is shady, dangerous and can likely barely speak English.

It all started with the Tennessee mom for being the first charged with prenatal drug use.

I abhor parents who don't take care of themselves and therefore don't take care of their kids. But, there are a slew of things I don't like about this law.

Any law that is harder on one sex than the other is wrong in my book. I suppose they could have written it without mentioning gender, but we all know men can't get pregnant. It still takes two to tango. They should at least punish the sperm donor who managed to impregnate the addict.

Then I thought about abortion. Abortion has been debated for decades and we will never agree on it. It would be nice if everyone just agreed that we will never agree on it, but it'll never happen.

So you take a meth addict. She gets pregnant. She can't afford an abortion because it's so expensive and "frowned upon". She is addicted to meth. She didn't mean to get pregnant. She spends the next nine months waiting to give birth so she can be convicted.

You could argue more in favor of convicting the mom if you say she wanted to have the kid and did meth anyway. Kind of makes you nauseous, but there you go. I've certainly seen worse people in the world.

Anyway, in my keep it simple, political view of the world, I came up with an exciting new law. The Legalize and Sterilize law.

We legalize drugs, but regulate them with side effects. Drugs like meth will be available for purchase at your local drug store, but they have the side effect of sterilization. Problem solved. No more meth babies because we legalized and sterilized.

I used to blog regularly. Most of my writings are not entertaining to anyone but myself, but I look at it as practice. Unfortunately, after a few years of blogging I quickly ran out of quirky ideas to write about. Now, I'm out of practice because I blog irregularly. I wrote this one just because I thought the "Legalize and Sterilize" was a wonderful campaign slogan!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Top 5 Things I've Learned in the Last Three Months

In no particular order.

Pins are Cheaper Than Pens
Unless you are a bank giving out credit cards in America.

I travel to Europe quite often. When I'm there, they have the same "automatic" amenities as we do here in the states except I can't use them because they require a credit card with a pin.

We live in a modern world with old technology credit cards. At least in the good old capitalistic land of the free.

In Europe their credit cards have a chip on them. This chip contains all your pertinent information. Your account balance, your name, what you look like, the birthday of your firstborn child and your pin (I may have made some of that up). This is because, in some countries, the Internet/communications system isn't as vast as in the USA so when they can't validate the sale via the Internet they can just read the information off of the chip. But, the chip can't be accessed without the appropriate PIN (personal identification number).

When you go get gas at a 24/7 pay at the pump station in Europe, they don't ask for your zip code when you slide your card (in fact a lot of them don't have a magnetic strip reader). They ask for your PIN. In Europe there are a large majority of gas station attendants who don't speak English. So when I'm out of gas in Italy, I have to park my car, go into the station, find an attendant who can speak a bit of English, try to explain to them that I don't have a chip on my card and that I'll be requiring a pen because I have no pin.

When you go to a restaurant in Germany, they bring a little chip reading device to your table. You put your card in and then guess what? It asks for a PIN. This comes as some embarrassment to we technologically advanced Americans. You have to ask them pathetically if they have the dumb down credit card machines. Then, if they do and are able to run your card, they ask for your PIN. Then, we pathetic Americans have to ask for a PEN.

That's not entirely true, their credit card machine almost always have a magnetic strip reader, but they don't carry pens with them. And I can't write anyway.

Texting and Driving is Not Just Dangerous
It's also annoying as hell. I am starting to enjoy the people who say, "I only text when I'm at a stop light."

They are the ones who make me miss the green light because they are too busy playing with their phones to notice that the light changed.

Then there are the ones who "can safely text and drive". They are the ones you come up on driving 15 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone so that they can safely weave between the white lines without crossing them.

I saw a guy the other day texting at a four way stop -- because it wasn't his turn. Of course, when it was his turn, he had no clue. People get stupid at four way stop signs anyway. Texting at a four way stop is like stirring up the kettle of stupidity.

I've Only Got Two
I feel kind of guilty for leading you on.

You Can Plant Plants 
It's a good thing you don't pee peas. That would hurt!

Obamacare is Not That Bad
But only if you are intelligent. I wish Obama would have done away with health insurance all together. Sick people are not happy and we all should have a right to the pursuit of happiness. 

However, all the horror stories you've been hearing are just not true. If you have a  brain, read this.  You have a couple of more days to sign up. If I had had access to Obamacare when I graduated college, life would have been much different for me.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Target's Botched Breach Apology

I shop at Target. Not because I'm a diehard Target fan, but because it is the most convenient store to go to on my way home from work.

Therefore, when Target's servers were hacked into near the end of 2013, I was one of the ones notified. Luckily, I was using my wife's credit card. Yay me!

They hacked like 40 million accounts or something of that nature, so I figure I have a better chance of winning the lottery than someone actually stealing my identity, but better safe than sorry and all of that kind of thing.

Anyway, they sent me an email today telling me I can get free ID Protection from Experian. In this "unsolicited" email sent to an address that is no longer used, they provided a link to get started...

I don't know if you can understand the subtlety of this, but let me see if I can come up with an analogy. It would be like Kellog's sending out samples of their peanut butter crackers after doing the salmonella recall because of possible peanut contamination.

Anyway, I looked at the link and it looked valid so I opened up a browser and typed in the link by hand. It was for those of you following along. Being that it ended in, I probably could have just clicked on the link.

The funny thing about this website (you can go there if you want) is on the right side it warns us to "be wary of calls or email scams that may appear to offer protection..."

Kind of like saying, "you're here so we know you didn't follow rule number one, but we'll point it out just in case". But, alas, being the adventurous soul that I am, I went ahead with the registration process which involves entering your name and email address to get instructions from Target (within 72 hours). It is super fast technology after all. It may take 72 hours for their super computers to look you up in their system and send you an email. Maybe they should have let their hackers take care of it?

I got the email within 30 minutes with further instructions. These instructions take you to an Experian page where you enter more personal information. After diligently entering all the information, Experian presents me with this:

Basically telling me I've wasted my time. It all seemed legit though. There was no bad grammar or English subtitles. I'd like to thank Target for trying and I am hoping they and their apparent Experian partners didn't join on the Obama bashing bandwagon about the Healthcare Website.