Friday, March 31, 2006

I prayed Hard for this Job

When Mrs. Pirate and myself graduated from college we moved to Ephrata, Washington. She had landed a job there in the Middle School as a Special Education teacher and I looked for work. After a month of searching and taking odd jobs I finally was hired by a finance company, a Gulf & Western Company no less. You know the ones. The companies that have lending practices that are barely legal. A couple comes in borrows $2,500 at 25% which takes them fifteen years to pay off.

We eventually moved closer to the office in Moses Lake, Washington. I had prayed for this type of job ever since I was a kid and watched those who had more then us and admired the men in suits. They looked like they had so much more then the "working folk" of which I was part.

I had grown up in a logging community and had worked my way through college in a plywood plant and basically knew nothing but the timber industry. Before working at the finance office I had worn a tie only for church, weddings and funerals. Now I had an office job. A job with a desk, a phone, an expense account and a computer. I was expected to wear a suit and tie every day except Fridays. On Fridays we let go in the office and removed out ties. "No Tie Fridays".

I complained to my friends and family about the attire but secretly I thought I had arrived. No more dirty sweaty work. No more flannel shirts, longjohn underwear, and working boots and gloves. It was high class time for me. You know with a haircut, three-piece suit, dress shoes and a tie I cleaned up pretty good. I was Mr. GQ. The movie "Wall Street" was the hit at the time. A movie that glorified greed and made it clear that all success was measured monetarily. Those who snoozed, winced, worried, cried or hesitated; lost. Plain and simple it was not what you thought, how you treated others, how you felt inside of yourself that ws important. What was important was how you looked and how you ended up with more of the money then the other guy.

I had went from a grubby little logging town imp to a powerbroker, a businessman. A person who could decide the future of others and decide how much I was gonig to charge them for it. And if for some reason the borrower thought they could ignore our arrangement I could be relentless in making them pay back or else.

It wasn't long before I developed a position in the community that allowed me to look down my nose at others. I could walk into a client's restuarant or tavern and they would immediately wait on me and waive the charge for my meal or drink. It wasn't long that some of the local powerbrokers were calling me aside and inviting me to their fraternal clubs and shady dealing.

I began to look at the blue-collar worker as potential profit. I attended community events for commercial purposes. I took every opportunity to make money for my employer and all I wanted in return was good pay, special perks and a pat on the back for doing a good job. Every other month I was awarded the employee of the month for the district. A district that covered Washington, Oregon and Hawaii. I was driven every month to be the "Golden Boy" and I was determined to be the president of the multi-national corporation I was working for someday. I put bonuses in my boss' pocket and his boss' pockets. I had shed my skin as a son of blue-collar workers and had arrived at the "white-collar" party.

When I went home to see my family and friends I had a little different walk. I drove a nicer car. I had more money at my disposal. I had become better then the lowly people I had originated from. The way I spoke, laughed, and treated people had changed. I was simply better then I use to be. It was obvious by looking at my wallet and the type of work I was doing. I was 25 years old and already making more money then my parents ever had.

Then eventually my conscience crept back in. No, it hit me like a ton of bricks.

One Thanksgiving we had went home to visit my family and to introduce our month old son to my family. My father was in the hospital recovering from a heart attack. My parents had recently divorced and what I knew as my past was completely disrupted. I was sitting at a table playing a card game of Uno with my siblings when the phone rang. It was for me. My boss called from Moses Lake, Washington to tell me his son had been shot in a hunting accident and he needed me to call the Vice President of the company and explain how he was not going to be able to open the office the day after Thanksgiving and that the office needed to either not open that day or get someone else over there.

I called the VP at his house in Pullayup, Washington. He got on the phone and listened to what I had to say. He then began to rip into me. Calling me all kinds of names, most beginning with the letter "F" and wanted to know why I had went to Oregon to see my family when there was much to do in the office. Standing in my mother's living room surrounded by my family I listened to this ungratful SOB read me the riot act for doing exactly what he was doing right that very moment. Spending the holidays with his family.

This was a man that I had made financially successful over the last three years. A man that I had given up many of my own morals and time for. And what did I get in return was a smack across the head. He told me that the office better be ready for business by opening time tomorrow morning (8:00 am) or I was fired. It is a 8 to 10 hour drive from Salem, Oregon to Moses Lake, Washington, that's in good weather. At this very moment the Pacific Northwest was experiencing a snow storm.

At 8:00 pm I bundled my wife and new baby up in the car and started for Moses Lake. We drove all night in a blizzard. At times I could barely see the road but I had to make it back. When we made it back to Moses Lake I dropped the family off at home and bolted for the office. Arriving at the office at 7:30 am I had time to spare. The phone rang at 8:00 am sharp. It was Marv Cobal, the VP. All he said was you are lucky, boy and hung up.

I sat in that office all day by myself and not one client called or came in to the office. It was a useless day. I had left my family back in Oregon who needed me. I had driven my wife and child through a snow storm endangering them for what?

From that day forward I began to plot my exit and developed a plan to get back to the Willamette Valley of Oregon on the company's dime and I broke out my old blue-collar.

So be damn careful for what you pray for...


Thursday, March 30, 2006

Pirate sexy?

Someone out there has either went around the bend or has found a new way to do prank phone calls. Apparently someone named "dd" has nominated the Pirate as one of the sexiest males bloggers at

I'll admit there is a little meglamania in me and I have had days I am completely egocentric but sexiest has never been my goal. Oh, maybe when I was in college and trying to get the attention of the cute blonde in my statistics class, sexiest may have worked. But as a 46 year old Pirate?

I have a couple ideas who this "dd" is. It could be the infamous Reverend Doctor Abigambi. He does little on Wednesdays other then sit around his office and grade under-grad's papers, leaving little notes of guidance, encouragement and his personal cell number in the margins. He also has been seen around Portland using my moniker in order to get free drinks at the pubs along the banks of the Willamette. I also think he has had a hard time forgetting about that camping trip in the Olympias we took when we were young coeds. He has never forgiven me when he found out that I participated in a sit-in during the 1980s demanding a nuclear freeze. He agreed with the direction of the protest but he was actually miffed to find out that most of the guys from our college house were only participating because of the free weed, free beer and the potential for free butt.

If it isn't the Rev. Dr. it could be the robotic psycho-tech UB6IB9. Ever since I gave the cyborg his freedom when I was in my mid-20's, he has spent many of his nano-time trying to get back into my social circle. He constantly leaves messages on my telephone recorder and my cell. Messages of beep,beep bip, bip, bift can easily be traced back to him. I caught him talking to my lawn mower the other night and he tried to say he didn't know that the Briggs and Stratton was mine, he thought I would own a Snapper. Yeah, like people never change.

Then it hit me. It could be Sir Von Asswipe and his lovely and gracious wife, Peach. She always had the eye on me and he knew it. Ever since I dissed her on the way she eats red licorice, telling the blogworld that it looked like a wilderbeast kill at a watering hole in Africa. Plus you just know that sawed-off, pip-squeak has had it in for me for some time because I blocked his advances with a knee to the groin. He took the blow as a promise to things to come.

Even Can-O-Corn is not above suspicion. He has never forgiven me for buying an electrical can opener.

Man, you just know it is one of these characters.

I suggest you all go to this blog site and nominate male bloggers who have the tools and the ability to carry such honor for a year. I would encourage nominations of, Hoss, Dale, Big White Hat, or the Stringman and leave this old Pirate out of it.

Go vote and allow you own sexiest blog star baste in the glow of glory.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A Couple Movie Reviews

I had to see what all the hubbub was about this year's Oscar nominated movies so I rented Good Night and Good Luck; Capote and The History of Violence. I couldn't bring my self to rent the Brokeback Mountain movie because there was just too damn much light in the Blockbuster. If they would have had a curtained area like a lot of the other video stores I patronize, maybe. With my luck I would have rented it and one of my manly Pirate crew would have been coming into the store as I was leaving and they could have seen me renting the "Gay Cowboy" movie and my reputation as a Pirate would have been in jeopardy. Hell, my reputation already is in jeopardy after I told the blogworld I liked chick flicks. But I had a response for that one. "I like them (chick flicks) because it allows me to get a better understanding of what women want in a relationship". I don't think I want to use that one for the Brokeback Mountain flick.

As I said I did check out three of the films that had nominations. First, The History of Violence is down right crap. It is poorly done and makes little if any sense. It has a lot of violence, obviously, but it just doesn't cut it as a good movie. I did like William Hurt's character and his rendition of it but I am bias since he has a family connection. I would save your money and rent anything else.

Secondly, Good Night and Good Luck. It is shot in black and white to depict the era. I hate to say that because "era" wasn't all that many years before I was born. It is well written and covers a historical event and its characters as well as any historical film does. I like the performances and the message is strong. We live in a great country and we all should be free to think and believe the way we want to without reservation or threat of imprisonment. I think the witch hunts in anytime in our nation's history reveals a little too much of who we are and where we have been as a country. And its not all pretty.

But I did have a few problems with the movie and the message. Joseph McCarthy was a staunch warrior in the FDR movement. Though he was a Republican only because of the position of the Democratic party in Wisconsin at that time he was always a FDR supporter and ran in close proximity of Joseph Kennedy and his machine. There is some reason the historical movies, documentaries and debates seem to want to leave the Kennedy connection out of it when discussing the Red Hunt. The Kennedy's were as deep in this Red Scare as any political power group in Washington at that time. Furthermore, there was at the time a real effort underway to undermind the United States and there were many in this country's entertainment industry and political industry that were bent on bringing the USA down. This has been proven over and over after the fall of Communist Russia through an array of documents.

That said it was a good movie and very well done. It is worth watching but I would encourage others to do a little research for themselves to fill in the blanks. George Clooney certainly has a political agenda with his rendition of the events at that time.

Capote. It is slow, leaves a lot to imagination, disjointed at times and is very well photographed. I think it also catches the essence of Truman Capote with the outstanding performance by Phillip Seymour Hoffman. He received a well deserved Oscar for his acting.

I am far too bias to write an objective review because I love Capote's work, I love Hoffman's acting and anytime a movie displays the life of a writer I fall into deep admiration borderling on envy. I can not get enough about the writers before our time and I simply love any story about them.

To have a peek at the life of Harper Lee and Truman Capote, life-time friends, considered literary giants by me, I get all wrapped up. When I was watching the movie I saw Dill and Scout following Jem on another adventure to draw Boo Radley out of his dark and dingy house or to get a peek at him sitting in a dark corner of his home. I see the cabbage patch fiasco and hear the long winded tales spun by the summer visiting Dill.

If you like the life of a writer and you will like the idea of developing a novel, which this is what the movie is all about, you will like this movie. If you have never read any of the works by Capote of Harper Lee's infamous book you may find this movie boring.

I would suggest Capote, then Good Night and Good Luck and forget about The History of Violence but that's me.

I would be remiss not to tell my favorite story about Truman Capote. Truman Capote was quit the celebrity about town-type. He spent a lot of his time in the social limelight with many surrounding him and gayly listening to his story telling. He garnered a lot of attention. One night as he was with friends telling another long story he was approached by a bossomly admirer who bared her breast and asked if he would autograph her breasts. Truman the true showman he was, obliged. The admirer quickly shot off to show her table of friends. Her jealous husband not wanting to be out done approached Truman's table and requested that Truman autograph a part of his body. The man then unzipped and displayed his penis to Truman Capote and all those sitting at the table. After seeing the appendage displayed inches from his face, Truman Capote remarked in his gay southern twang, "My sir, you may be too small for me to sign my full name but I would be more than happy to initial it for you".

Don't blame me if you don't like either of these movies or you love them all I am not Roger Ebert.

It is Wednesday and I hope you inspired someone today.


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Spring Break News

Not a lot going on this week since I have a house full of teenagers. I love these guys so much I think it might be a good idea of I go to Borders and just hang out, read and pound coffee.

But I did notice some interesting things going on in the news and thought I should bring them to the attention of my blog and make a comment or two.

In St. Paul, Minnesota the city's Human Rights Director, Tyronne Terrill has ordered the removal of a Easter Bunny and its trappings from the city hall. He claims it represents a Christian holiday and non-Christians could be offended. I do not know if Mr. Tyrone Terrill has ever opened the Bible but I wish someone would let him know that Christians do not worship rabbits, fake grass and those terribly tasting marshmellow candies.

Casper Weinberger passed away the other day. For all you protestors that despise this country and for what it stands for you may want to give old Casper a thought. If it wasn't for the likes of people like Casper Weinberger you probably wouldn't have the right to protest against the USA. Because of his dilligence and unwavering stance as the Secretary of State of the USA against the Soviet Union and their position to hold Europe hostage with their nuclear weapons. Supporting Ronald Reagan, Casper Weinberger ignored all the names hurled at him by the protestors that thought that Reagan and Weinberger's tough stance would lead to the demise of Europe and the USA. Well where is the Berlin Wall today?

We also lost the grinning Buck Owens the other day.

Today is Elbow Macaroni Day.

A man and his wife recently purchased $43,343.33 worth of Whoopers the other day. A cashier at a Burger King over charged the couple when they bought lunch. The couple did not notice the overcharge on their pay stub. And to make matters worse the cashier closing out the till later did not think it was too strange to have done so much business that day. Now I will listen to Mrs. Pirate when she tells me to check the receipt.

A man in New Delhi, India was required to stick to his divorce from his wife for 100 days before he will be allowed to remarry her. Apparently the fellow had mumbled the word "talaq" three times when he was in a heavy sudated sleep. The word is a Muslim word that means "I divorce you". If an Islamic man recites the word three times to his wife he is automatically divorced. According to the authorities it did not matter that he was asleep. He still must abide by the Islamic law.

Now its much more clear to me why these folks get upset over cartoons in a newspaper. I am confident the attorneys of this country are making damn sure we never adopt that law.

In Denver, Colorado a dummy driver is being sold on eBay for $15,000. I hope he doesn't end up driving in Los Angeles or Boston.

Sharon Stone mentioned the other day in an interview that she thought that peace between the Arabs and Israel was only a "breathe" away. While touring the Middle East to promote her new movie "Basic Instinct II" she was asked questions about the Middle East strife. God only knows why.

In other news Sharon Stone claims she is trying to promote oral sex. She was shopping the other day and over heard a discussion between a teenage girl and the girl's mother regarding showing too much belly with the shirt the girl wanted to purchase. When the mother left the area Sharon Stone approached the girl and encouraged her to take up oral sex because it was safer then intercourse and annal sex. Now it is much clearer to me what Sharon Stone meant by a piece is only a breath away.

Today is also breath mint day in Oregon.

Don't go getting all upset with me. This is just the way I found the news.


Monday, March 27, 2006

Spring Break

It ain't easy being a work at home dad during spring break. The morning was easier then usual because I only had to give Mrs. Pirate a ride to work. No taxi work for the teenagers. No they slept in until 9:30. The only reason the boys got up at all was they had track practice. Little Sister who has risen in fame of late decided it was a great day to see what she could pump from dad.

At first she claimed there was nothing to eat in the house and was wondering if we could go through the drive in at McDonalds. "Besides dad don't you want to try their new coffee?". I know darngood and well there was plenty to eat because I personally went to WalMart Superstore and laid out over $200 yesteray for nothing but food. She was relentless. She knows my weaknesses for good coffee and cheap breakfast sandwiches. I threw out everything I could to block her shots to my chinked armor. But eventually she broke me down and we did the drive through thing. McDonald's new coffee was not all that bad. Strong and hot like it should be. I then tried pouring some on my lap but chickened out.

When track practice was over and our home became Grand Central "Hang out". Along with the girlfriends came the best buddies and a few tag alongs. Some friends gathered in the living room to watch "The History of Violence", some crowded into Jock's room to play one of his loud video games and two or three ended up in Slick's room to play on his computer and harrass classmates on "My Space" and play phone tag. Apparently a couple of them decided they needed to take a shower at our house instead of the showers at the school. All pleasant kids they are but a house full when you're trying to write and do research it is not easy.

Eventually most left for the mall to catch a movie and to bother other adults. That left Slick and his buddy Jake at my disposal. I talked them into going to the gas station with me and bribed them with a candy bar and soda. When we got home I showed them how the lawn mower worked. I showed them how cool it was that God made their hands fit the handle so perfectly. I ended up doing the front yard as an example of the joys in lawn mowing and left the two goofs doing the back yard.

When I got back to my computer and the house was empty except for the mowers in the back yard I once again attempted to do some work. Then I heard the lawn mower having troubles. Then I was summond to the back yard to help. The two mowers apparently tipped the lawn mower over too far and got oil in the air filter. Now I am far from a mechanic let alone a small engine repair guy. Hell, I don't even have a shirt with my name on a patch let along know much about repairing things mechanical. I just know a couple basic things like filling it up with gas, checking the spark plug and checking the air filter. Luckily the problem fell within my realm of repair.

Sweaty, bitchy and feeling a little behind nothing, I finally got back to work. I got my headphones on, Emmylou Harris singing about a red road when Slick and his sidekick showed up in my office again. "Dad could you give us a ride to the mall?" I could easily say no, but then they would be nearby, plotting something else. So I loaded the two in the rig and ran them to the mall.

Finally, I sat down to get at least two hours of uninterupted work in. The phone rang, Mrs. Pirate decided to get off early to come home to spend some time with the kids. I told her they were all dead and thrown off a bridge. She said good, come get me and we can have sometime together uninterupted.

Don't you just love Spring Break. I think next year I'll plan a vacation where wet T-shirts are the norm and drunk teens are calling for the shots. It would definately be quieter and easier to work.

At least in ain't raining....


Saturday, March 25, 2006

Busy Saturday

We have the bathroom floor all ripped up and are laying tile this morning. The Mrs. has us doing all kinds of repairs and upgrades to get ready for Jock's and little Sister's graduations in June. Painting, sanding, repairing are definately not my ideas of a good time. It sucks being married to a responsible adult. I would have preferred living in a condo where you pay for all the up keep. Good thing its raining or I'd have to mow the yard too. Calgone take me away!!!

The writin g has ben going along great and I have gotten a lot of advice and assistance as far as research materials and things to think about as you navigate through the jungle of the first. I have recently submitted three of my short stories to a publication so lets hope the pick them up.

The track meet went great the other day. Slick broke his 3,000m personal record by 54 seconds. He went out there and did his best and battled through his own doubt. We are so damn proud of him. He doesn't run the race all that fast but he has potential that is untapped. His time was 11:07. If he can drop it down another minute by the end of the year he will letter as a JV member.

Jock had his usually spectcular showing. He got a second in the 400m with a 51.0 flat he was a little off his best. If he had ran his best time of 50.1 he would have won easily. He got a second in th 200m at 22.1. And the relay teams 4x100m and the 4x400m blew away the competition. Their 4x100m was 42.1 and I forgot the 4x400m. Jock ran the final leg of the 4x400m and recieved the baton in last place. Three second behind the back of the pack. He caght the pack going into the final corner and came out of the corner in the lead and won by at least two seconds. He is currently experiencing celebrity status at school. But he seems to have his head screwed on well. He still is living by our family motto, "Be humble or be humbled".

I was a bit concerned about Slick being in the shadow so I asked him point blank and he asked me if I was kidding. He says dad being Jock's younger brother is the best job a guy could possibly have. He told me he loves Jock so much he is as happy as anyone else for him. Plus it is a great way to meet girls. He told me that a lot of people will come up to him at school and ask if he is Jock's little brother and he gets to baste in the celebrity too. I did notice at the meet he was surrounded by girls all day before his race. He didn't look like he was in any pain.

I was recently asked why I don't have a cute name or a better nickname for Little Sister. Th reason is is because she has such a real name that is so unique it didn't seem right to stretch from it. She also picked Little Sister herself. She has been on me of late for not writing anything about her. It seems my two daughters are the only family members to read the blog. No wonder why they are the smartest people in the family.

Mrs. Pirate and Slick are back from the store so I gotta get back to work. Damn... I'll sprinkle some water on my brow so I look like i've been busting my butt since they were gone..


Friday, March 24, 2006

Seven Songs

My local resident and blogfriend Addict has listed seven songs she plays the most and threw out a hospice tag. Meaning if you want to do it, do it. If not don't.

I am listing seven songs my family will automatically sing along with no matter where these are played. You will see how my influence on these people works.

1. Cheeseburger in Paradise. Jimmy Buffett

2. Jukebox Hero, Foreigner

3. Squeeze Box, The Who

4. Schools Out, Alice Cooper

5. Up Against the Wall You Redneck Mother, Jerry Jeff Walker

6. Let's Get Drunk and Screw, Jimmy Buffett

7. Our God is an Awesome God. Rich Mullins

Honorable mentions:

Joy to the World, Three Dog Night

Never Been to Spain, Three Dog Night

Sweet Home Alabama, Lynard Skynard

Your Cheating Heart, Hank Williams

Rhinestone Cowboy, Glenn Campbell

Folson Prison Blues, Johnny Cash

Please don't call the authorities on me because I have so much more to teach them.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Keeping track

You thought the Pirate family was busy during the basketball season. Track season is here and we are off and running. Both boys are on the track team at their high school and the little sister will be running for her middle school.

Jock is off to a great start for the season. Last week at the Silverton Icebreaker Invitiation he ran the second fastest 400m in the state at 50.9. He tied for first for the 200m at 22.1, which was the second best in the state as well. And another second best in the state the varsity 4x100m relay ran a 42.1. Folks that is some fast times for the first meet of the year that had a strong front wind in the final stretch, hail and rain. Jock has prepared himself for this year. He has been hitting the weight room every morning. He ran cross country which he hated. He went to a running camp this last summer that was located at 9,000 feet elevation in the high desert of the Steens Mountains in Southwest Oregon. He ran on the winter track team where he went to an indoor meet at University of Washington where he finished 15th place out of 60 for the 400m runners. He was the only high school participant. He's ready and I pray for his sake and his super fan, mom's sake, that he stays healthy and keeps up the progress all the way to the state meet at the end of the year.

Slick, who is currenlty only running the 3,000m had an interesting thing happen in his race. The 3,000m is 7.5 trips around the track. The meet officials actually screwed up the count and the 3,000m ended up running 8.5 laps. So their times were not officially acceptable. So Slick has to wait for the meet today to have an official time mark. I kept telling him all week he was my favorite 2 mile and a quarter runner in the state.

Slick is in this for the girls. He already has a cute little girlfriend for the season. In the past he did the pole vault as well as the 1,500m and the 3,000m. but this year one of the other pole vaulters informed Slick at the beginning of the season that he was in love with Slick and Slick's girlfriend.

The young man who did pole vault with Slick last year had decided somewhere along the line he was going to approach Slick with his dilemna. So at the first of the year he told Slick that he was in love with him. Needless to say Slick has focused on other events. I told Slick that he has nothing to worry about. He agreed. He just explained to me he didn't want to be around the other boy when there are 10' poles involved.

Little sister is off an running the 1,500m for her middle school. She also has her first boyfriend. This has been an interesting development in our home. The boys have always had the girls they liked and they have been very open about their feelings about these girls. Now that the little sister has a beau who comes to take her for a walk in the neighborhood every evening the boys are a little uneasy about it. We have known the young man for years through his parents. they are a nice family in our neighborhood. The mother is a principal at a Catholic middle school so the boy doesn't attend my daughter's school. Therefore, all there getting together is after school and under the strict scrutiny of her brothers.

The other night we had our first experience with all three of the kids who are at home with their lovebirds. Mrs. Pirate and I got a kick out of watching and listening to the babes on their way out of the nest. I was wondering where all the gray hair was coming from.

Well, I am off and running today. Mrs. Pirate has a long list of to dos for me today and we have contractors coming tomorrow to remodel the upstairs bathroom. So I have to go get things ready.


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Blogger is messing up

I have noticed several previous posts of late having words of mumble jumble in them that I did not type. I have noticed pictures changing and so forth of late. Keep a good eye on blogger I think its going nuts.

Wednesday is for Inspiring

In the blog world we love to give a day in the week a celebratory meaning. We have Half-Nekked Thursdays, Hump Day Wednesday, Moaning Mondays, Terrible Tuesdays, Thank God its Fridays and so on and so on.

Well I want to start a new weekly practice for Wednesdays. No, I don't want to slight Hump Day Wednesday because for sake of God who doesn't like Hump Day. What I am proposing will not effect Hump Day at all. It may broaden its meaning or make it more exciting.

I propose Inspiration Wednesday. A day we all focus on a specific person or group and try to inspire them. Inspire them to be the best for that day. Inspiring them to keep their heads up and be positive, productive, successful, strong and inspiriational to others.

There are many ways to inspire. There are billions of people to be inspired. As I mentioned in an earlier post that inspiration is a gift that keeps giving. Every time you inspire another their outlook on life improves, your outlook improves and anyone aware of the inspiration has a positive affect on their lives as well.

Some of the ways I like to inspire is to take the time to tell someone that I had observed them doing this or that and I wanted to let them know how impressed I was. A good example was a week or so ago Mrs. Pirate and I were at the dreaded teacher/parent conference at the high school. As we moved from one teacher to other for our two boys and we heard the samething from each. "Mr. & Mrs. Pirate we enjoy having your boy, Slick or Jock in our class and they are very good kids and they get along with everyone and they have leadership skills, they do wll in class but have a problem turning in their homework, blah, blah, blah".

We eventually got to a teacher who was young and he appeared to be exhausted from the day. He began to tell us the same thing about the boys. Believe me I love what they have to say about my boys but it has been the same thing since they were first graders. Nothing changes, there is never anything alarming that needs to be addressed.

So I took the opportunity to tell this young teacher that I thought what he had done the prior track season for a boy who is one of those that practically lives with us was one of the greatest things I have ever seen. This boy I speak of has always been a favorite around our home since he and Jock became best of friends when they were in elementry school. This boy who graduated last year has all the physical skills in the world to be anything he ever wanted to be. He just lacked focus. I've seen him participate in sports over the years and always seen a young man who was disheartened when he participated. With his own God-given abilities he always finished in the top tier of duscus throwers, but he had a hard time taking and deciphering instruction. Instruction that quit possibly could put him over the top and make him a champion. Eventually coaches would grow tired of his inability to grasp and then leave him to compete on his own.

This young teacher did something and I am not quit sure what it was but it changed this boy. I started noticing him parsing his technique. He began to work on every small aspect of his event. All through the year he gradually moved closer to the top of the league. He took pride to hone his skills. He participated as if he had been inspired.

At this particular conference I told the teacher I appreciated everything he had to say about my boys and that Mrs. Pirate and myself are very proud of them. I then asked him if I could be direct with him on another subject. He approved. I told him that I was so impressed with his skills as a teacher and really didn't care what the subject was. I told him how I had seen what he had done with the aforementioned boy and was so impresssed. I thought he was a winner and I was glad he was teaching at our school. He sat there dumbfounded. He thanked me and we left.

The next day this teacher stopped my boys in the hall and pulled them aside. He told them how he had been a little down on teaching and rethinking his career until last night. He told them that my words of inspiration to him have made him proud to be a teacher and that no one, not the administration, not his peers, no one has ever told him that before.

Then my boys came home panicked about what I might have said. I told them what I has said and they agreed. I told them i was going to start approaching the world with a kind word of inspiration and with as much strength that I can muster I will keep my negative side at home.

From now on I am going to make Wednesdays my inspiring day. I am going to tell everyone how impressed I am in how they do such and such. I am going to smile at strangers, I'm going to call make sure that I thank everyone with eye to eye contact. I am going to inspire.

Then just when they least suspect it I'm going to.......


Monday, March 20, 2006

People we meet along the way

First off I want to thank everyone that took the time to read the extremly long story in the previous post. This was a little story that has been rolling around my head for many years. It, like so many others are being compiled for a short story collection. You have probably read Traffic Light, Fifth Grade Hitler and Triangle Trees. The Hang up is from that era and is even more fun to read after you have read the other three. Long winded stories are tough to put on the blog because of the length of time and the effort that is required to read it. I just couldn't think of a way of telling the story in less then 4,500 words, its original version was over 6,000 words.

I have began my journey on writing the novel that will be my quest for the year. I contacted a gentleman, Ron Fowler who had authored four books and self-published them. I was a little interestd in how you self-published so I contacted him via email from the inside cover of his book, "Valsetz Star".

Blaze had given me the book for Christmas and I had shelved it and planned to read it later. The book is about a young elementary-aged girl prior to WWII who published a monthly newsletter from the small logging town, Valsetz. She became an international celebrity. Her subscription list included Eleanor Roosevelt most of the large newspapers around the nation carried excerpts from her monthly publication. Then in December 1941 her family moved from Valsetz and she ceased publication. Interesting thing is she then moved to Salem with her fmily and attended the same school as my children have. I never knew her or any of her family. My grandmother did but no one else I know ever met her. Ron Fowler was not from Valsetz. He had heard of the newsletter and the young girl and decided to write a book about her and the newsletter.

Well anyway I contacted Mr. Fowler and he was overjoyed to meet with me. Since the last book he has since retired and is enjoying the life as a grandparent. But he wanted me to have something. We got together and he gave me a box full of material he used to assist in writing his Valsetz Star book. The material was unbelievable. there were hours and hours of interviews, pictures dating back to the 1920 up until the mid 1980s. I even found a photo of my younger brother when he was 18. There were newspaper clippings and a copy of every Valsetz Star newsletter. He was even nice enough to give me abook he had penned about self-publishing and all the ups and downs you could experience publishing. We spent several hours discussing Valsetz, writing and the art of story telling.

I put this meeting up there with the chicken eating session I had with Hoss. These meetings are so valuable in a life.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Hang Up

When I was growing up in Valsetz, Oregon during the 1960s and 1970s I had no idea at the time how lucky I was. Like most pre-teens and teenagers I remember groaning with my friends how boring it was in Valsetz. How there wasn’t anything to do and how unfortunate we all were for being trapped forty-miles from civilization. We thought of ourselves as living at the end of the world.

Valsetz did not have a movie theater; there was no mall to hangout in after school. There were no video arcades or nowhere that resembled a place where civilized people would hangout; especially teenagers. All we had was a two-lane bowling alley that was most often occupied by the balding, beer-bellied types with their “big hair” ladies in tow. We made efforts to hangout in the café, which we all referred to as the “Rec Hall”. The patience of those who worked at the Rec Hall ran thin after awhile and we were encouraged to go elsewhere.

We had the school yard to hangout at, where it was common to find a couple of basketball games underway on the blacktop or a tennis match at the one court facility. When it was raining and it often rained in Valsetz, the principal of the high school would unlock the gym on the weekends so those of us who lived to be in the NBA one day, could work on our hard court skills. Or turn the gym lights off and swap spit with a few girls you were fancying at the time. If the gym was closed and there was no basketball or tennis being played you could play a game of “touch-that-turned-to-all-out-tackle” football on the lawn in front of the high school. The fact was there was plenty to do but we were the usual kids who didn’t notice the real wealth we were blessed with at the time. As a parent today, I wish my kids had as boring of a place to grow up.

Valsetz was not the type of place people locked their front doors. It was a place that kids and their dogs roamed the dirt streets and wooden sidewalks without a leash or a curfew. It was the type of town where everyone knew everybody and everybody’s dog’s name and more often then not you knew everybody’s middle name as well. Valsetz was such a small, closely-knit town, I can remember what brands of cigarettes the other parents smoked when I was a kid and they were still alive.

Without all the modern conveniences kids have today to assist in their enjoyment, kids in Valsetz were left with their imaginations and bicycles. During the summer months we would ride our bicycles a short way out of town, where several friends and myself had stowed away inflated logging-truck inner-tubes for floating down the Siletz River. We would pack a lunch, take our poles and fishing gear and head for the inner-tubes as soon as we were up and out of the house. We would then hide our bikes where the tubes were hidden and float several miles down the river to the “Hang-up” hole. As we floated we would discuss the current Oakland A’s dynasty or how well our favorite teams would fair in the upcoming NFL football season. We would argue what was better for catching trout; live bait or lures; Metrics or Rooster-tails; eggs or okie-drifters. Essentially we discussed the important things in life. On occasion the subject of girls would come up but it would usually be drowned out by giggles and inappropriate topics of fantasy. Since none of us were experienced with the opposite sex in anything more then our crude fantasies and our sterile imaginations and a few spit swapping sessions we quickly ran out of pertinent things to say about girls and we would then move our discussions back to the importance of a good quarterback or if the designated-hitter rule would eventually be the demise of major league baseball.

The “Hang up” hole was named for the way the river would treat angler’s bait. The hole was located below where Gravel Creek dumped into the Siletz and filled the rapids with loose gravel which gave the rapids a washboard appearance. The river would continue to roll from Gravel Creek then around a large bend and then into the twenty plus foot hole the locals called the “Hang up”. The “Hang up” hole was paralleled on one side with a forty-foot bank where the dirt road was located and on the other side laid a gravel mounded beach. Between the road and the town’s favorite watering hole were at least ten boulders larger then a two-story house that were perfect for diving. In the middle of the swimming hole sat a haystack looking rock we all would immediately swim to after we initially hit the water. It was the best place to sit and observe the action on the bank and in the surrounding water. Just on the other side of the boulders the river took a sharp bend and left a large area where a hundred or more people could set up their grills, throw out there blankets and lawn chairs and begin cooling down for the evening.

We would swim and play on the banks and the large boulders until the mill in town would let out the dayshift and the banks of the “Hang up” would quickly fill up with tired and hard working adults armed with their cold beer and soda, small bar-be-que grills accompanied with their families. Since there was no one in Valsetz with an air conditioner this was the townsfolk’s only means for cooling down from the hot and dusty day.

The particular day that comes to mind for me took place in the summer of ’72 when I was only twelve years old. It was a warm and fairly uneventful day. But it was a day that has had a profound impact on the way I look at life from that day on. More importantly it affected the way I accept people’s differences and attempt to find the beauty in all situations.

Friendly, Bean, Clarence and I had planned a float trip the night before as we slept in my backyard fort. It had been unusually hot that summer forcing us to take advantage of our inner-tubes more then we had in previous summers. On this day we started out around nine o’clock in the morning with a day’s worth of peanut butter and honey sandwiches, apples and sacks of penny candy all tied tightly in plastic bread sacks.

On this morning our goal was to make the float quicker then most trips so we left our poles behind but assured ourselves we would keep our eyes open for snagged lures but nothing else. It was a rule back then when you floated the Siletz. Keep your eyes peeled for shinny metallic reflections in the water. These reflections more often then not were treasures of lost lures that we could refill our tackle boxes.
The float went well as far as we were concerned. We had spotted and retrieved several lures that day. If I remember right Clarence and Bean had had the best day of the summer that day due to their big finds. Clarence, which was a nickname given to him because he resembled the lion on the TV series, Daktari. To further the cat resemblance Clarence passionately spoke with pauses that sounded like a cat clearing a fur ball from his throat then he would inhale with a sloshing sound of air and saliva rushing back to replace the fur ball. When it came to everything Valsetz, the Minnesota Vikings, fishing and hunting Clarence was a debate master. Even if he didn’t have the facts he had the passion to back down most start up debaters, surely the novices were to be shelved. I suspect many debaters ceded to him in order to avoid a shower of saliva.

Bean on the other hand was the most confident person I had met in those days. Besides being the best athlete who was faster, stronger and taller then any of us he also had the looks. Most of the girls our age at the time melted when Bean was present. Later when we were in high school many single and married women made time for Bean to be their pleasure but that’s another story. It was rumored around town that Bean and his family were fair skinned Blacks. Since there were no black people in Valsetz at that time or any time in the future and that Bean’s family had moved to Valsetz from a southern state it was enough to convict. The suspicion was further solidified because of the physical features that Bean possessed. Large lips, broad nose, body structure which gave him athletic superiority along with what attracted some of the aforementioned ladies; we were all convinced of Bean’s ethnicity. We just rarely shared it with him for fear of a good ass-kicking.

The two Clarence and Bean had been arguing all day because that was what the two did; each solicitating support from Friendly and me. Friendly and I kept the humor rolling and they argued. Sometimes I think they took the opposing view on a topic just to rile the other. Whenever a question that required an opinion was put forth you could bet your pump BB-gun they would disagree with each other. This day they were arguing politics of all things. A topic so foreign to the four of us it’s hard to imagine where it came from. It was obvious they were only reciting the opinions of their fathers that day because none of us really knew the difference between George McGovern and Richard Nixon and I can assure you none of really cared, not at twelve years old we didn’t. Politics and news were interruptions to something better on TV as far as we were concern. The only thing we knew about Viet Nam was that Clarence and Beans older brothers were there as was my Uncle Timmy. We knew there were people by the name, Cong, who were the “bad guys” and our country was there to make them leave the “good guys” alone.

Friendly, who was aptly named for the ever present grin on his face and his approach to the world of never meeting a stranger or someone he didn’t like was on his game that day. Every time the debate between Bean and Clarence treaded close to over heating Friendly would get us all focusing on another “traveling salesman” joke or he would begin to mimic one of the many comical characters of our town.
After a few hours of floating, diving for lures, eating too much candy and soaking in the warm sun we approached the “Hang up”. As we floated around the bend between Gravel Creek and the Hang up we noticed a yellow bread truck with the company named crudely blacked out with black paint parked on the road above the "Hang up". Neither of us recognized the vehicle as belonging to anyone from Valsetz. So we pulled up shy of the "Hang up" and decided to proceed cautiously. We pulled our inner-tubes up on the gravel shore keeping our heads lower then the apex of the shore in order to get a view of who was using the "Hang up" as we concealed ourselves. Lying on the hot river rocks that have been carried from the mountains over the last thousands of years that surround the river valley, we gradually lifted our heads ever so slowly as not to draw attention to us, and we caught the sight of a young man standing on the haystack rock in the middle of the "Hang up". With his back to us and his hair hanging down to his naked butt, at first we thought it was a woman. He was standing on the rock completely naked laughingly talking to someone on the other side of the river we could not see. He then lifted his arms out to his side as if to be crucified and with slow and precise movements jumped into the air then seemingly he stopped in mid-air, made his final downward adjustment and enters the water leaving little of a ripple. From the area of the bank we couldn’t see, we could hear a small commotion of cheers and clapping. And we could smell smoke, a sweet smelling smoke none of us could identify. The naked man resurfaced and flipped his hair out of his face. He let out a laugh and mentioned how good and cold the water felt and encouraged who ever he was talking to, to join him. At that time two naked women came running from the blind area and dove into the water and swam out to nude stranger.

Clarence immediately went into survival mode and gathered us into a huddle. “It’s a bunch of hippies”. He sprayed out with a look of confusion on his face. “They’re naked. They are skinny-dipping in our hole.” He continued with his mixture of tirade and curiosity. “We’ve gotta tell ‘em they can’t be here”.

Bean at the time was crawling back up the gravel mound to either come up with a plan or to get a better look at the sirens who had laid claim to our swimming hole. Friendly and I made efforts to convince Clarence that we needed to proceed with caution and with any luck we could get a closer look. Clarence suggested we could bomb them with rocks and hopefully drive them to their converted bread truck on the road above. Wisely we squelched that idea and suggested that Friendly and I would continue to float into the "Hang up" and see if they were friendlies. Bean supported our approach at the descent of Clarence. Being as democratic as we could, we made the decision to leave Clarence with his rocks as the three of us went in as a peace party. Clarence threw the rock attack aside and re-entered the water with us but ever so reluctantly. “What if they rape us or get us hooked on drugs?” was all Clarence’s could spray, as we all shoved off from the shore and descended into the Hang up. Bean made the comment, “We couldn’t be so lucky”.

We floated into the middle of the "Hang up" before we made eye contact with the three naked intruders. The three were now sitting on the opposite shore where a small sand pile had accumulated over the years; they were basking in the sun and smoking what smelled like sweet rope. The two girls noticed us first and let out a welcoming “Hello” with a slight wave of their hands. “Look Evan, travelers”, the two girls said to the man as they pointed us out. Evan, stood up and welcomed us over with a greeting of,”Hey, strangers” and his broad smile.

We paddled our inner-tubes up to the sand bank with hesitation and a slight feeling of embarrassment. Up until this moment I had never seen a naked woman in my whole life. Now in front of me were two of the most beautiful girls I had ever seen and they were completely exposed. I could hear Bean mumble a few thanks to God as we neared the skinny-dipping goddesses and their man Evan. Friendly’s smile only broadened and his stare never phased. Clarence was not at ease one bit.

“Who are you guys? Are you mountain Pirates?” Evan asked us.

“No, we live in town,” Clarence sloshed out. “This is the town’s swimming hole”. He informed them as we all tried to give the impression he did not speak for our contingent.

“Cool” was Evan’s response in a quiet and calming manner. “You Pirates like a bite?” He asked as he pointed toward a wicker picnic basket. “We have some fruit and bread”.

“We already have a lunch”, Clarence responded as he pointed to the small inner-tube we use to pull our supplies in.

Bean who was raised to always be polite and never turn don a free meal, “What kind of fruit do you have?”

Evan invited us to stay and share in their lunch. The two girls introduced themselves as Rain and Rachel. Rain was the shorter of the two. She had long thick curly blonde hair that ran down the back of her to her slightly plump naked bottom. Her breast were larger and whiter then Rachel’s and looked as if she had not exposed them to sun too often. Her demeanor was relaxed even though she stood before us without any effort to conceal herself. Rain was far more talkative then Rachel but as sweet.

Rachel was an angel. It was obvious to me that God had sent a creature of perfection to the Hang up. She was slightly taller then Rain and more slender. Her auburn hair was straight and parted in the middle. It poured down over her shoulders over one breast and the remaining mane cascaded down her smooth back to her petite bottom. Rachel’s smile infectiously brought your eyes back to her delicate face where her green eyes kept you hypnotized with her beauty. I had feelings of confusion within me as I calmly took in what was happening. I felt as if we were breaking some type of law or rule. But I also felt this was where God wanted me to be at that very moment. On one hand I felt that we were intruding, on the other I knew we were well received guest.

After we ate papayas, mangoes and a few other fruits that were completely foreign to the four of us Evan and Rain invited us for a swim. Bean and I instantly dropped our already soaked cut-offs and headed for the water. Friendly and Clarence refused the invite. I was nearly to the haystack rock when it sunk in that I had no business exposing myself to these girls and had no manly means to equate myself with men like Evan. What the hell does it matter I was skinny dipping with a goddess? But they could see me and I had no place to hide.

We climbed the rocks, showed off our patented dives to our new friends that we had perfected over the years of swimming at the Hang up. Evan laughed, swam and dove as well. Rain and Rachel spent most of their time in the water swimming gracefully as to show they had no primal need to prove anything.

We all then sat on the bank drying off in the sun. Evan and Rain asked questions about us and the town and told us they were from California and were traveling to Alaska in their van. And Rachel was hitching a ride to Seattle with them to go and see her grandparents. They told us they had stayed in a County Park along the Siletz the night before and decided to follow the gravel road along the river to see where it took them. They were convinced they had found heaven on Earth and were amazed anyone actually lived out in the bushes like this least not a whole town of folks.

Friendly and Clarence never brought themselves to drop their britches for a swim, they did become more relaxed and contributed more to the conversation. Friendly kept his smile broad and his eyes peeled on Rachel most of the time. Clarence kept his conversation in the mode of an interrogation. It was as if he was taking mental notes so he could report the hippies to the authorities. On the outside he played it as he was just a laid back kind of dude, but knowing him, we all knew he was preparing plausible deniability for himself and already had Bean and myself convicted.

As the breeze picked up and brought more warmth to our nude bodies we mentioned to the free spirited trio that anytime cars and families would be arriving and it might be a good idea to not smoke the stuff they had been smoking when everyone gets here. A little while later the overheated residents of Valsetz began to arrive. And our three new friends wrapped themselves in blankets they had in their basket and gathered their stuff and left in their bread van.

I remember that day many times a year. Often when it is warm or I am swimming in a river. I remember that it was the first time I had ever seen an angel and perfection. I also remember it was the first time I had ever met someone who was so comfortable being themselves. Though completely exposed, never did the trio give the impression that they were vulnerable. Rachel stood naked in front of us and maintained her smile that conveyed beauty and acceptance of the world around her. Rain kept herself as the center of attention and never once ceded to her nakedness. Evan may not have known he was baring himself to anyone. I fell in love with the thought of living so freely, Bean focused the rest of his teen years swimming naked and Clarence and Friendly kept their shorts on.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Is this a man's world or what?

The upcoming April Mrs. Pirate and I have been together for 21 years. April 19, 1985 I was out carousing with the buds, drinking, and smoking and down right being crude men (college kids) and I happened to notice a girl I knew from one of my classes. This girl, unbeknownst to her, had participated in several of my “Day Dreams” during one or two of our professor's long drawnout lines of bull. She was sitting at a table with only herself and another coed, named Charley. After a few more cold beers I mustered up the liquid courage and approached their table. I invited them over to our table. The table I invited them to join was now supporting four, should we say well pickled and flat out inebriated soon to graduate "leaders of the future" who were beyond their limit. To my surprise the two lovely girls accepted the invite.

Escorting the two girls to our table it became obvious the girl who had caught my eye and had unknowingly participated in many of my lustful thoughts was not interested in me. Not one iota. She had noticed my well groomed and dashing friend, Coon-dog who st higher then the rest of us because of his wallet. Coon-dog was an amateur at beer swilling and was well beyond repair. In fact, he was at the time sitting at the table eating my Marlboro lights; one-by-one. For some reason this young beautiful thing was less interested in a real Pirate as much as she was interested in a future tobacco industry official. But I did happen to notice the much cuter and shorter (and incidentally the one with the nicer britches) of the two ladies was laughing at all my jokes. She set next to me and actually seemed to be interested in me. There was something in her eye that said to forget the goddigger and concentrate on this honey. Good thing i listened to that voice i always thought was another personlity.

More brews were consumed and fewer cigarettes were eaten when I finally mumbled something to the fine little lass about dancing. If you know me if I was willing to dance I was drunk and had an inkling I may be heading home with the sweetie. There are few things in this world to get a Pirate as myself to dance. One comes in a bottle the other is much nicer then that.

Suffice it to say the dancing went well and by the night I had her signing the contract and the rest is history. In our relationship we put far less importance on our wedding anniversary as we do the date, April 19th. Unfortuantely so hads Janet Reno at waco and Tim McVeigh but that is a whole different story.

As we have worked through these last 21 years we have been able to overcome a lot. We have certainly had our peaks and valleys. We have had three kids of own and she was without hesitation, able to accept my daughter from my first marriage as one of her own as well. But the most difficult thing for the two of us over the years is the difficulty there is in shaking who you are. I mean who you have become from your childhood.

You see Mrs. Pirate, Charley, is from a female influenced family and I am from a family that was male dominate. Believe me if you doubt it right now, there is a difference. I don’t mean to say there aren’t families of female dominance that don’t watch football on Thanksgiving because there are. I don’t mean to say that a male dominated family wouldn’t join the town choir group; because we know there are many that do. I mean there is a difference flat out and simple from families that are male dominate to families that are female dominate.

The following list of International Rules of Manhood that my younger brother sent me today is an example of this difference. Please read them and let me know if you think I’m nuts about this or know of what I mumble. As read this I can assure you few if any sisters would ever send this to each other with the intent to arouse a smile.

International Rules of Manhood

1: Under no circumstances may two men share an umbrella.

2: It is ok for a man to cry ONLY under the following circumstances:
a. When a heroic dog dies to save its master.
b. The moment Angelina Jolie starts unbuttoning her blouse.
c. After wrecking your boss' car.
d. One hour, 12 minutes, 37 seconds into "The Crying Game".
e. When she is using her teeth.

3: Any Man who brings a camera to a bachelor party may be legally
killed and eaten by his buddies.

4: Unless he murdered someone in your family, you must bail a friend
out of jail within 12 hours.

5: If you've known a guy for more than 24 hours, his sister is off
limits forever unless you actually marry her.

6: Moaning about the brand of free beer in a buddy's fridge forbidden.
However complain at will if the temperature is unsuitable.

7: No man shall ever be required to buy a birthday present for another
man. In fact, even remembering your buddy's birthday is strictly optional.

8: On a road trip, the strongest bladder determines pit stops, not the

9: When stumbling upon other guys watching a sporting event, you may
ask the score of the game in progress, but you may never ask who's playing.

10: You may flatulate in front of a woman only after you have brought
her to climax. If you trap her head under the covers for the purpose of
flatulent entertainment, she's officially your girlfriend.

11: It is permissible to drink a fruity alcohol drink only when you're
sunning on a tropical beach... and it's delivered by a topless model and
only when it's free.

12: Only in situations of moral and/or physical peril are you allowed
to kick another guy in the nuts.

13: Unless you're in prison, never fight naked.

14: Friends don't let friends wear Speedos. Ever. Issue closed.

15: If a man's fly is down, that's his problem, you didn't see

16: Women who claim they "love to watch sports" must be treated as
spies until they demonstrate knowledge of the game and the ability to drink
as much as the other sports watchers.

17: A man in the company of a hot, suggestively dressed woman must
remain sober enough to fight.

18: Never hesitate to reach for the last beer or the last slice of
pizza, but not both, that's just greedy.

19: If you compliment a guy on his six-pack, you'd better be talking
about his choice of beer.

20: Never join your girlfriend or wife in discussing a friend of yours,
except if she's withholding sex pending your response.

21: Phrases that may NOT be uttered to another man while he is lifting
a. Yeah, Baby, Push it!
b. C'mon, give me one more! Harder!
c. Another set and we can hit the showers!

22: Never talk to a man in a bathroom unless you are on equal footing:
i.e. Both urinating, both waiting in line, etc. For all other situations,
an almost imperceptible nod is all the conversation you need.

23: Never allow a telephone conversation with a woman to go on longer
than you are able to have sex with her. Keep a stopwatch by the phone. Hang
up if necessary.

24: The morning after you and a girl who was formerly "just a friend"
have carnal drunken monkey sex, the fact that you're feeling weird and
guilty is no reason for you not to nail her again before the discussion
about what a big mistake it was occurs.

25: It is acceptable for you to drive her car. It is not acceptable for
her to drive yours.

26: Thou shall not buy a car in the colors of brown, pink, lime green,
orange or sky blue.

27: The girl who replies to the question "What do you want for
Christmas?" with "If you loved me, you'd know what I want!" gets an Xbox.
End of story.

28: There is no reason for guys to watch Ice Skating or Men's
Gymnastics. Ever.

We've all heard about people having guts or balls. But do you really
know the difference between them? In an effort to keep you informed, the
definition of each is listed below.
GUTS - is arriving home late after a night out with the guys, being
assaulted by your wife with a broom, and having the guts to ask, "Are you
still cleaning or are you flying somewhere?"
BALLS - is coming home late after a night out with the guys smelling of
perfume and beer, lipstick on your collar, slapping your wife on the ass
and having the balls to say, "You're next!"

Hey, don't blame me. I didn't make the rules.

P.S. A real man will do whatever in the hell he likes. No rules are truely necessary.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Journey Begins

For sometime I have been preparing for a journey. A journey that will not take me far from my home. I may never leave the front door of my abode for this journey but I will no doubt travel. I will travel back into my past. A past prior to my life on this big ball.

The preparation for this journey began many years before my actual birth. The journey began in Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Ireland. From these places of origin they all converged on a small logging community in the Coast Range Mountains in Oregon. This journey will be my attempt to put the evolution of what I know and what I am on paper; a novel. This novel will essentially be a living letter to my children of who they are and how they came to be. The novel will be the telling of two families. Two families so different, yet destine to unite. Two families that would have a difficult time facing each other in one room, two families that would disagree on everything under the moon. Yet, they converge.

I have been working on this for a long time and have shared many aspects of it with the blog readers in many fashions. I have told of the type of people who made up the logging community that I grew up in. I have posted short stories of my relativs, my friends and the characters I have had the opportunity to know. Now I am attempting to put these characters in a novel.

I ask you to bear with me and be there when I least and most need it. I am also asking if anyone would be willing to act as an objective reviewer. I need more then one objective reviewer. I am not looking for a supporter but rather someone who has either traveled this journey themselves and can mentor me through the ups and downs. I am looking for objective assistance who can openly criticize the work but is subjective enough to realize I have no desire to conform to any strict rules of writing.

I currently have three people that already have helped me and one person who has been a friend for 40 years who recently said she would love to help. I have no formal plan or road map to follow and have no idea how this will work but I know it has to be done and I am not smart enough to do it on my own.

I have armed myself with several reference books and books on writing styles. I am re-reading two novels that will help me develop the voice, the pace and the flavor of each stage of the story. I have been reading a non-fiction book that clinically describes the places and the people I intend to draw my compositions from. But I am too new at this and need to have any guidance I can get.

So if you are willing to help in any way please leave a comment or email me.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

In the News

Well its that time again where I skim through the wacky world of news and share what I have found. This allows you to spend your time on more important things instead of delving into the world of news.

From Atascadero, Calfornia John Skinner a retired salesman has reported to the police that he was robbed in his home by a stripper. On his way to Bible study one night he was approached by a Strip-O-Gram girl who informed him that he had won a free Strip-O-Gram. Instead of continuing on his path towards Bible study he decided to take advantage of his winnings. Once in the house the stripper was joined by two others, a man and a woman, who held Mr. Skinner at gun point as they rifled through Mr. Skinner's home for valuables. When the trio was arrested they claimed they were collecting on past sexual favors Mr. Skinner had failed to pay for.

Mr. Skinner claims the robbers were being a little greedy because he did owe them money for sex but not as much as they claimed. According to Mr. Skinner the trio was over charging because on the last sleep-over he had fallen asleep before finishing.

A note to Mr. Skinner, focus on the relationships you can develop at the Bible studies. I think the Bible ladies may be a little less rough and may keep your interest enough so you can stay awake.

Did you know that today is Potato Chip Day?

A man in Pittsburgh claims his use of the middle finger is protected free speech. I thought Lynard Skynard already wrote that song, "Free Bird".

Milosevic's son claims his father was murdered with poison while in his cell awaiting the completion of his trial for atrosities of murdering thousands of his fellow countrymen. That really pulls on your heart strings doesn't it? They most likely were making room for Saddam.

Did you know that the month of March is deemed National Noodle Month?

Speaking of noodles Senator Feingold was a little disappointed after railing against President Bush's apathetic attitude regarding NSA's eavesdropping on international telephone calls between potential terrorists. Feingold called for hearings and a possible censorship of President Bush. His fellow Democrats apethitically supported him by saying they weren't interested in pursuing such antics. I say quit bitchin at W and help us find these dolts who are bent on killing all of us, you included Feingold.

"Watch where you're pointing that thing, Dick."

Speaking of President Bush. The Las Vegas minor-league hockey team, the Wranglers, will be having a Dick Cheney night as a promotional stunt. Fans will be given hunting vests as they enter the arena to watch the game. The word is Senator Ted Kennedy will be driving the visiting team's bus. I'm sensing a forfeit.

Its nice being connected. Hic...

After all the whining about UAE's Dubai purchasing the rights to administor the management of some American port terminals we find out they have already been operating a terminal in Miami. Throughout this debate over the terminals, I wondered why no one dwelled on Communist China's opeartions of the terminals at Long Beach, California.

From Oslo Norway a woman claims her kitchen faucet was drawing beer when she turned it on. Now all you naysayers and atheists try telling me there is no God.

Does anyone understand or speak Chinese? I am looking for an answer for what the word "Dong" stands for. Down the street from my home there is a Chinese market. Its name is "A Dong Market" What the heck is a dong? Do I need to purchase a new dong?

From Hollywood, Jennifer Anniston says she is tired of being part of the "sick Bermuda Triangle" that her ex-husband, Brad Pitt and the lovely and gracious Angeline Jolie have drug her into. Okay, Jennifer you can join mine. We're not as sick.

Isaac Hayes of Shaft fame has quit the cast of voices for South Park. He claims they went too far when they started making fun of religion. More specifically he was upset how the writers were poking fun at Tom Cruise. I guess it fine to poke fun at everyone else but you better not target Tom Cruise.

The new song "Where My Hose At?" is the front runner for next year's original song Oscar.

Hey, don't get mad at me. That's just the way I found it.


Monday, March 13, 2006

Gotta love the mind of kids

Last Friday I took my youngest boy, Slick, to the doctor's office to have a painful wart removed from the bottom of his foot. It has been bothering him since he is a long distance runner on the track team. As we pulled into the parking lot I heard him read the sign to himself. "West Salem Family Medical Practice". He followed the reading with a hmmm and then a lot of silence. As I pulled the car into a parking spot, Slick looked at me and had this very puzzled and rather serious look on his face. "Dad, I thought they were real doctors. Their sign says they are only practicing." Gotta love those future leaders.

This is a picture of Slick and my mother. If she sees this picture she will be pissed.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

On the sixth day

This is a picture of my youngest brother and our dad. Some advice when these two are around, never leave your wallet or sweetie unattended.

I should be really careful about referring to Sunday as the sixth day. If you remember my mother's family is Seventh Day Adventist and they get a little touchy about over looking the Sabbath (Saturday). My own personal view is is that God doesn't use calendars and watches. Those are all human made devises to measure themselves not God's. So any way I don't want to get caught up on a debate about which Christian group is more in tune with the maker. I had a little debate like that this week with a blogger who is anti-God it made me worry debating him. I kept thinking how close do i want to get to this guy (it could have been a woman since they operate without any type of disclosure. I kept thinking if God strikes this guy down now will I be hit; collateral damage.

Well anyway what a gret day. I slept in until 9 am. Mrs. pirate was in the living room watching an old movie. So I headed downstairs to my office with a cup of French roast in hand and watched my favorite Sunday morning program as I did the crossword puzzle. I forget the name of the program but it has Mike Wallace and the rest of the Fox all-stars. Boy did Wallace grill that deadbeat lying senator from New England Chris Dobbs. I wish he had had Senators Clinton, Feingold, Schummer and Kennedy there for the rest of the well deserved butt kicking.

Then I found one of my favorite oldie movies on the History channel; Cool Hand Luke. Man do I love that flick. The egg eating contest and the car washing scenes are great. As is the performance of George Kennedy and Strother Martin.

I worked a little on the book I am writing and then was convinced by Mrs. Pirate to go and do the weekly groceries. So WalMart super store and Costco was how I spent the sixth day resting and I think so did half of the rest of Salem.

On the way to the markets this morning we came across a yard sale. Well there went $9 total for two solid oak nightstands and three 7-foot shelves for the garage. I love gargae shopping looking for treasures to repair and resale. I love finding a summers worth of reading for less then $5. Ilove the warmer weather that comes with yard sales. (do you think there is a connection between the two?)

When I got home I started a large crock pot of beef stew. And plan to read the rest of the day.

Well that's how I spent my day of rest.


Friday, March 10, 2006

Brothers and Sister

Before I became a fat old balding Pirate I lived with these people. My brother Kevin is the goofy looking fellow on the far left. He is 19 months younger then me and a whole lotta inches taller. He lives with his daughters on the Oregon coast. His son is currently in Iraq.

The female in the bunch is our sister Kimber. It appears to me she is turning into our mother. She is a bad-ass redheaded lady who will take absolutely no crap from anyone. When she was in high school she played on the boys basketball team because the school was not able to field a girls team those years. I took joy in watching her put the hurts on some punk when he thought he had picked the easiest assignment. That girl could shoot and she did.

My baby brother, JK, the cop. He thinks he is God's gift to the world. He may be one of my best friends but I have no intention of telling him that. It would go to his head. He's single and has a 12 year old boy. He is the one with the Harley. The rest of us are over 40 and smart enough not to make ourselves so vulnerable.

Then there is the Pirate. I had just wrestled the hat back from my Grandma. Man that old gal sure can put up a good fight. Luckily for me she has lost a step or two and was unable to fend herself from my roundhouse kicks.

They may be ugly but they are my kin.


Thursday, March 09, 2006

I've been tagged by Lucifee

Lucifee of Las Vegas fame has found it in her heart to tag me. Lucifee is a pretty young lady who obviously didn't get the memo. The memo that warns people about getting too close to the Pirate. Lucifee, just because I look like a nice jovial fella doesn't mean that I am. Ask a few that have stepped in myh wake.

Lucifee asked me to five the top four answers to the following questions.

Four things I need each mornng:
1. time
2. space
3. air
4. diet coke and coffee

Four things that turn me off:
1. smugness
2. denials
3. pessimism
4. stupid people

Four things I believe in:
1. God
2. myself
3. ghosts
4. freedom

Four things I am afraid of:
1. the dark
2. horror movies
3. heights
4. flying

Four things I do every day:
1. use the bathroom
2. take a shower
3. live
4. eat

Four things I want to do before I die:
1. live longer
2. see my great-great grandchildren
3. be a meanace to those who have made my days miserable at one time or another
4. publish a novel

Four people I would like to see:
1. Jimmy Buffett
2. Stephen King
3. John Grishom
4. James Patterson

Four numbers that rule my life:
1. #1
2. #2
3. #26
4. #69

Four colors i like:
1. blue
2. black
3. green
4. red

Four characteristics of my heritage
1. Irish
2. Scot
3. Welsh
4. English

Four songs I love:
1. The First Time I Saw Him Run
2. Freebird
3. When Love Came to Town
4. Come Monday

Four Hobbies:
1. reading
2. writing
3. lusting
4. TV watching

Four places I would like to visit:
1. Greece
2. Belize
3. Ireland
4. Scotland

Four ways I am not the stereotypical male:
1. I like chick flicks
2. my college apartment was spotless clean
3. I pick house work over work in the yard or home repairs.
4. I love to cook.

You asked Lucifee. So don't blame me because that's just the way I am.


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Grandma Lucille

It all started when this small town girl, Lucille Mack from Falls City, took up with the youngest of the rowdy Wheeler boys. Her folks owned the local bar and grill and the smoke shop which had the only local pool tables. She was the baby of her family of brothers by fourteen years, allowing her to enjoy the successes of her elder parents after her older brothers had grown and left to work in the woods.

Her eye was caught by Elmer Wheeler a year her junior during their high school years. He came from a family of all boys who for generations had logged and worked in the sawmills in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. His lot was many times rambunctious then her family but she was smitten with him. His family was cut from material that was hard working and even harder playing. Her family owned the local tavern his kept it in business.

When high school was over she enrolled in a local tech school where she learned the the skills to work in an office and being a bookkeeper. Being from rural Oregon where timber was the way of life, office skills were only required by a few.

The two eventually married and moved up the mountain to a local logging camp, Valsetz. The trek home in the valley was many more miles then the twenty that showed on the map. The roads into the mountains in those days were rarely traveled during the rainy months which equated to eight months a year in the coast range. The alternative means of traveling out to the valley was by rail. The local train was best equipped for running logs and lumber to the valley markets and not necessarily passengers. The accommadations for train travel was primative at best.

After ten years of marriage the couple had their first child, a boy, my father. He was named Franklin after her Irish father. Then seven years later they had twins, a boy and a girl. Raising small children in a remote logging camp wasn't the easiest task and having a hard working and harder playing husband didn't make it any easier. Two years after the twins prematurily came into the world Elmer Wheeler was killed in an industrial accident, leaving Lucille a widower with three little children to raise.

She moved back to the valley to her parents farm where she was helped by her mother in raising the children. Lucille was able to find work fairly quick as a mill cafe cook on the evening shift in a neighboring town, Dallas. After a couple years working as a cook at the sawmill a local bachelor, a tall unmarried Indian man from the local Siletz tribe started wooing her. He was known for his roustabout manner and his good looks. He took to courting her and then he eventually convinced her and her parents he was worthy of her hand and the responsibility of raising the three children. They always claimed they were married in local Indian ceremony with drums pounding and braves dancing they went to the top of a cliff and annouced to the indian gods they were one. I have no idea if that was true but it played well for an imaginative boy like myself.

They bought a home in Falls City where her new husband, Clair was hired as the local police chief. She took a job at the high school she had attended as a student as the school secretary. They were married well over twenty years before Clair contracted lung cancer and died in 1977. Lucille continued as the school secretary until her retirement in 1979.

Since her retirement she has traveled a bit. Her most memoriable trip was to Las Vegas with several of her widowed sisters-in-law to see their heart-throb Lawerence Welk. after being retired nearly ten years she went back to work as a live-in aid for several elderly women and eventually as an aid for one of her sister-in-law. In her ealry 80s she took several computer classes in order to figure out how to work with these new gadgets. As she neared her 90s her sight and hearing left her sparingly but her mind to this day is sharp. She can pull memory nuggets out and share with the rest as if all was played out only yesterday. She can discuss the upcoming baseball season better then any avid diamond fan, she can discuss the ups and downs of the last thiry years of the Blazers better then any team historian and dammit don't ever get her started on politics.

As her rural Irish style upbringing would dictate, she is as Democrat as FDR. I don't care is a yellow dog was the Democrat nominee she would vote for him over any damn republican. Another known secret is you never want to sit near her when you are nursing a cold beer. Because when you sit it down and turn to your head its as good as gone. Grandma loved a cold beer with a strong head on it. She gave up her Salem menthols severl years ago when the tax on them got too high for her to buy with her pension money. She blames it on those Republicans in Washington DC.

This last weekend Lucille Lillian Goodell celebrated her 92nd birthday with two of her children and most of her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren and her great-great grandchildren. She celebrated with dignity and grace. She celebrated with the love she has always provided all of us.

This last picture is of my two brothers, my sister, my father and my Pirate grandma who has stolen my hat to look cool and myself.

Monday, March 06, 2006

About last Night

I originally intended to post about my grandmother's 92nd birthday yesterday and how it was a great family get together. One that brought my mom and dad into the same family gathering for the first time in many years. One I could not personally name or match most of my little nieces and nephews with their names and mothers. One I realize that my younger brothers are getting older then me and one where I noticed that my little sister has turned into my mom. I was going to discuss how beautifully angelic my grandmother looks at 92 years old and how several years ago I thought she wouldn't see the next Christmas but since giving up smokes she may keep trucking for several more years. But I can't find the camera-to-laptop cord so I can download the pictures, so the post of the Pirate family gathering will have to wait until tomorrow.

So let's discuss the Oscars. As some of you may know I'm a Hollywood junkie. I love motion pictures, I love story telling and like a weak-kneed autograph seeker, I often can not get enough of those who bring the story-telling to us. I have little patience for the marital status of the celebs and really could careless of their recreational drug use and their galavanting about but I love the award cerimonies. I have watched the Oscars more religiously then the Super Bowl. Though football could be described as my personal religion but I haven't always been interested in the sermon. You take a year where the Rams are eliminated in the late rounds of the playoffs there will not be much desire from me to see who wins beyond there. If the Rams miss the playoffs or are knocked out early I usually follow the round-robin to it's end.

Last nights Oscars, hmmm. Where do I start. First in the spirit of full disclosure, I have never "got" Jon Stewart. I love and appreciate all forms of humor and have found myself laughing my head off to people like Dennis Miller, Dave Letterman and Jay Leno, but I don't think I have ever cracked a smile with Stewart. Heck I have cracked up over comedians like Bill Maher and George Carlin even though I personally could never agree with much of their view of the world. I just have never thought Jon Stewart was talented or relevent. He has poor delivery, he isn't all that articulate, he has no hook or schtick. Personally he comes across to me as a mean unhappy person who isn't all that witty. He just is not funny to me.

So with that said, I thought the program was flat. Flat as a four-day-old opened diet coke sitting on a fence post in the sun. FLAT!!! And unfortunately that falls on the shoulders of the emcee. If it weren't for the collages on the film noir era, the epic motion picture, the salute to Robert Altman and the memorium of recent loses I think the rest of the show could have been better served by just mailing the winner the trophy and photographing the winner as they accepted their trophy at their mansion's front door.

As for the winners. I am satisfied there. The only movie I even saw this year was, "Walk the Line". So seeing the beautiful Reese Witherspoon win for her dipiction of June Carter Cash was cool with me. I haven't seen Crash but according to what I have read I am sure I will like the movie. I know I like Terrance Howard and Matt Dillion. As for George Clooney he has entertained me many times and has proven to be a force in the motion picture business and i look forward to see the two movies he recieved nominations for. Who doesn't think Rachel Weisz may be one of the most beautiful persons in the world?

The highlights besides the collages were slim. I loved seeing Larry McMurtry in his denims on stage encouraging books. Seeing Phillip Seymour Hoffman winning for his role as Truman Capote was great. Whatever you may think about Capote himself he was a great novelist and an interesting character. I also liked the out takes from the old westerns making the implication that more was going on on the range then rasslin' cattle. Especially since most of the oaters they spoofed were my favorites.

I do not understand the desire to elevate pimpness or pimpology to the level of acknowledgment in any social circles. The three songs they had nominated were limp at best and really not note worthy (pun inteneded). Call me an old fuddy-dutty if you'd like but what up with "Its Hard out here for a pimp"? You mean to tell me not one of the songs sang in the Johnny Cash bio wasn't worthy of a nomination. The three that were nominated just do not begin to measure up to "A Ring of Fire".

My favorite moment of the night was the award for the number one motion picture of the year and its presenter, Jack Nicholson. Jack must be the coolest Hollywood celeb to ever walk on an Oscar stage. All night they kept showing him sitting in the front row and I kept asking myself why is he there. He must not have much to do these days since the Lakers suck so much. Then they had him present the last award of the night. He strolled out on the stage with his ever so cool slide. Looking like he just came from taking a draw on a fatty. It took a few mintues of stumbling over a name or two his brain and coolness kicked in. After he made his adjustment caugh to clear the lingering smoke from his throat he was in good form.

Well that's the way I found it.


Friday, March 03, 2006

I'm hurt how can I ever go on?

You know I was happily telling everyone about my love for Condi Rice (and yes she use to let me call her that until yesterday). I've been going around telling everyone how smart I think she is and how desirable she has become since she began her daily workout program. Then yesterday she went in front of congress and totally destroyed my reputation. She impunned me. Or should i say "belittled" me?

When Ted Kennedy and then Barbara Boxer asked her why she no longer wanted to date the Pirate or to be seen in public with him, she told them:

Because he is only this big!

I felt betrayed. All this time I told her I was only going to put just a quarter of myself into the relationship until she got elected. She said she had no problem with that. But my guess someone at NSA heard a few of my two hour long telephone conversations with Rev. Dr. Abagambi and told her what I was saying about not wearing no damn gown at the sweetheart's ball. You gotta worry about these jealous little busybodies that work in DC. They will bring you down just when you least expect it.

So I called her up and gave her my side of the story. In her often considered cute but not if you're on the receiving end butt chewing manner, she also told me she didn't have time to discuss all this drama bull and had better things to do, like help pick another supreme court justice since Ruthy has taken to nodding off during hearings.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Meet the New Boss

Meet the new boss, she's exactly like the old boss...

My sweaty sweety.

She demands safe sex when at sea.

Not only is she smart and cute as a button, she has her own workout video and she's an astronaut. Man am I ready to become a kept man for her. Yes, Condi I'll take the dog for a walk at any hour you want me to.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Don't you just love the blogosphere? Yesterday while cruising the blogosphere I happened upon a blogger with the name Brinton. He had some reviews of movies he had recently seen and had posted about his battle to exclude cheese and chocolate from his life. I found him to be funny and a very good writer, so I began my usual harrassing. Today he had a post about a rock band named AshWednesday. Since it is Ash wednesday and we have nothing better to do I encourage you to check out their website, . Brinton tells me they are a local band from his area in the south. So I gave them a listen. They are pretty good, there is some Matchbox 20 influence among others. On their website they have five songs. I'll recommend two, Sundress and Blue, but the others are good as well.

Has anyone had the opportunity to see the next President, Condi Rice's workout video? I found it on the web today and I am hearing Olivia Newton John in my mind singing, "Let's Get Physical". Condi all sweaty with a headband and her spandex with all that grinding to take off the extra pounds, yum. Hillary if you plan on beating my babe Condi to the podium at the White House you best get your cankles down to the gym.

Did you know its National Pig Day? That's bound to piss off a few Muslims.

Apparently its National Peanut Butter Lover's day too. I have this awful image of peanut butter lover's smearing peanut butter and jelly all over themselves and making human sandwhiches. Man I've got to get out more. Personally I am a peanut butter and honey man myself. Or peanut butter and pickles or mayonaisse or bananas.

I recently read that KFC is fighting back against those of us that hit the remote when a commercial comes on. They have hidden their secret recipe in their new commercials and you need to watch the commercial in order to get the recipe. If you play the commercial backwords you hear Howard Stern praising satan and reciting the recipe. Man if you already have the recipe and I can buy the finished product why in the heck would I want it? Don't you think I'm busy enough? Now if you were to hide more interesting things in your ads, like nude shots of Angelina Jolie or a winning lottery number you may tweak my interest.

How many of you have figured out that Bode Miller is W's illegitimate son? He definately has the old, "Hey, I don't give a flying rat's butt what you think, I'm still going to do what I want" attitude. I know it pisses off the press and those who live and breath through their athletic heros, but it sure is refreshing to see someone tell the world he's only here for the beer party and the butt.

Speaking of W. I see he is visiting what we have bought in the Middle East. In his fly over he noted it sure looks a lot better then New Orleans. I'm seeing a straight across swap coming. I also read that there are thousands of people in New Delhi, India preparing to greet Bush with a protest. They have armed themselves with signs that read, "Kill Bush, Eat Beef". I think they got it backwards. What the hell are these guys all pissed off about? They don't like all those phone bank jobs they got now? I heard one spokesman complaining about the phone bank jobs. He says the jobs only lead to more stereotyping of their culture and the belittling by some asshole who calls himself Pirate.

Michelle Williams of Hollywood who was recently nominated for her role in Brokeback Mountain is getting the scorn from her former Chrisitan school's Headmaster. The Headmaster, Jim Hopson of Chrisitan Youth Theater is upset with the association of his school and Michelle. He claims that Michelle's recent success in no way represents what they are trying to do at their school. He thinks what she does in her movies and the movies she has been involve with do not reflect Christ. This dude couldn't be any more wrong if he tried. God is in all things and he is everywhere. God loves homosexual cowboys as much as he does Pat Robertson or any old tattered Pirate. I don't think he plays favorites. Hey, Jim. Why do they call you the "Headmaster"?

Sticking with the Oscar theme for a second more. I see where a transgender woman or is that shim? Was recently arrested three times over the last six month for using a woman's restroom in Grand Central Terminal in NYC. Shim works there and has to go now and then. Well, a couple of the transit police had an issue with that so they began to harrass shim after shim relieved shimself. Now shim has taken to using a cup in shim's own office. Note to the transit police, do you honestly think someone would put themselves through so much personal agony to cop a peak in a women's restroom? Further is shim offers you a glass of Mountain Dew, please drink up.

In Detroit, Michigan a 12-year old boy stuck some chewing gum on a $1.5 million Helen Frankenthaler painting. It is the abstract painting called, "The Bay". The gum left a stain on the painting. The boy has been suspended from school and his parents apparently beat his butt too. I think he should have to stand in the museum facing a chalkboard and leave his nose in a circle on that chalkboard until I get tired. My question how in the heck do you effect an abstract painting?

Don't blame me because that is the way I found it.