Tag Archives: Ramdom

– The Process of Living Life –

This process I speak of is really the living of life in its many forms. Initially we kick and scratch our way out of the womb and into the light of day only to be whacked on the butt and told to breathe. Think of it. Our first experience is being held upside down by our ankles, get a spanking and all we did was get born. Our mothers, who just went through the birthing process probably figured we deserved the whack.

“Give the dear little so and so another for good measure.” mom probably said with a grimace.

Then, with any luck at all, we grew to be infants and then toddlers and then we became real pains-in-the-asses. We learned to talk and walk at the same time. Mom and dad had to keep urging us by saying,  “Say mama. Say dada.” Or, like my sister-in-law, “Say shit.” Honest, I heard her saying that over and over to my first daughter while she was changing her diaper.

Once the repeated urging finally produced the desired results. What you had then was a walking, grabbing, human destucto machine that wouldn’t shut-up. It’s too late to wonder what you have done because you’ve created a monster, that’s what. But, it’s your little monster and you love it and you love it, yes, you love it. Well, you do don’t you?

“Oh, what have we done to deserve this?” you think, and hopefully, not out loud. Well, that sex manual that you thought you knew all the answers to. You know the one someone gave you as a wedding present that you all laughed at. Yeah, that’s the one. Well, you should have read the whole thing not just looked at the pictures and chuckled. Too late now though, isn’t it?

So now were on to adolescence and the wonder of school. We have our little problems growing up. The nicks and scrapes and broken bones and sprained ankles but, we survived like our parents survived and their parents before them and theirs before them and so on and so forth. The only difference between now and then is we weren’t so sue happy back then.

Our parents never thought about suing our neighbors if we got hurt on their property. They just gathered us up and took us to the doctor or the hospital or whatever. No one was to blame. It was part of growing up. Regrettable, yes, always, but not something they litigated over. If it was serious, the neighbor would be there to comfort and lend a hand if they could but the thought of suing was never in question. How times and thinking have changed. Not always for the better, I might add.

Kindergarten and the early grades when learning was exciting. It was an adventure because everything was new. Everything including all the other kids. You may have had friends in your neighborhood that you played with but, that was what, four or five maybe six kids at most. Now you have dozens of them. All different ages and a play-ground that’s huge. There’s tether balls and kick balls and basketballs. There’s jump ropes and hop-scotch, swings and teeter-totters. It was marvelous. So many things to try. So many things to fall off of.

Then, for us guys, there were the girls. Cute little girls in pig tails with puffy dresses, shiny shoes and shy smiles. We, on-the-other-hand, ignored them. Or, pretended to ignore them. We were shy as well but we were cool, ya know? We would run by them and poke them and then laugh like we had really done something. Then we would run by them again and pull their pigtail or pony-tail, what have you. This was the mating ritual for the five to six-year-old group. Tormenting as a form of wooing. Sure, we liked them but we couldn’t let them know that or each other, for that matter. We had to act like they were from another planet, ya know? They were different from us guys. We just weren’t sure how they were different or why. We hadn’t progressed that far yet. Everything takes time.

There are some male adults who, to this day, think that the proper way to approach a woman is to be callous, crude and obnoxious. And, I must say, there are some woman who like that sort of man. They promote that kind of behavior by enabling these cretins. They must have a very low opinion of themselves is all I can say.  Woman of all ages deserve better than that and the sooner they stop accepting that behavior from men, the sooner all women will be safer.

Oops! Got too serious there. Didn’t I?

Once we trip and stumble through the elementary levels of life and education we enter what is now called middle school or, the halfway house of life. We are just barely adolescence any more and not barely teenagers. Our hormones are going wacko and nothing seems to fit for very long. Not our clothes. Not our shoes. Not our ages. Not anything. It’s like our bodies have turned against us and the outside world is helping. We are what we are but we can’t figure out what exactly that is. Very awkward indeed.

But, thank goodness that only lasts for four very long years and then we enter our next awkward stage. We’re teenagers. We’re in high school. We know what girls are and we finally figured out why they’re different from us guys. And we like it. Now, we have to figure out what the heck to do about it.

We can’t go back to pulling their pigtail or pony tails. That wouldn’t be appropriate at our age. Standing and giggling like said girls isn’t behavior befitting guys like us so we had to figure out a different approach.

“Let’s ignore them. Yeah, that’s what we’ll do, we’ll ignore them. That will get their attention.”

Sometimes I wonder what we were thinking of back then.

Well, I guess that approach, or lack of approach, worked for some guys but, it never had the desired effects for yours truly. I finally had to go about it the old, old fashion way. Work up the courage and ask her out (whoever that her might have been). As a wise man once said (about sales) every ‘no’ you get brings you one step closer to a ‘yes’. I think the same holds true with dating.

I still have hopes.

We made a lot mistakes and by we, I’m including everyone and especially the ones who claim to have made none. Their mistakes cannot be looked back upon and reviewed for they have none to reflect on. I feel this is sad for we learn from our mistakes, hopefully, and to think yourself so perfect right out of the chute. Well, good for them, I guess.

I, for one, am thankful for my mistakes and treasure them like old friends. They’re something to look back on and laugh about today and for me, a source of inspiration for my never-ending stories. I wish my children to read these stories and see for themselves just how imperfect their dad really was, and is, but how much he enjoyed his growing up and especially, his sharing of those moment with them and with all of you.

“The Process of Living Life” is different for each person yet, remarkably the same. Our paths may take us in quite different directions on our journey’s through life but, eventually, we will all end up at the same place. How we get there, what we do along the way and how or if we are remembered will be the only difference. A big difference, granted but not  a defining difference for, once again, we are all equal. Not one better than the other. Maybe more accomplished but not better. And there is a difference.

I have been blessed with the gift of gab although my daughters might consider it a curse because I almost always insist that they read my ‘stuff’. This one will be no different. I’ll ask them to read it as well. I hope they enjoy it. I hope you enjoyed it and will tell your friends about my site and that you will come back and visit again.

I look forward to hearing from you but, until then….

Have a great day and a Happy New Year!

Ed B.

– Mr. Obama – We Are Hemorrhaging Money We Don’t Have –

It’s time to turn off the tap and start explaining, in terms we all can understand, where in the hell are you getting all of this money you’re spending. You’re like a drunken sailor on leave. My apologies to all sailors everywhere but, that’s what it seems like.

What’s a trillion dollars here and a couple of billion dollars there and oh, we can’t forget that little country over there. They haven’t gotten anything for a while. Let’s throw them a couple million just for grins. Let’s fund this project and that project and let’s get that health care bill through at all costs, by all means. Who cares if it screams of Socialism or not? Who cares if it has already been proven not to be efficient or effective? Who cares? I mean, who cares?

“Change You Can Count On!”  “Change For The Better!”

Has anyone seen anything change? It looks like business as usual to me and a whole lot of other people as well. Where have all of the lobbyist gone? Have they all disappeared like they were supposed to? No! As-matter-of-fact, they have not. They are still comfortably tucked inside the beltway with a number of congressmen and senators neatly tucked under each arm. Which, by-the-way, is a perfect place for them because they are ‘the pits’.

Have you noticed how government has shrunk dramatically under the new administration? No, I don’t believe you have because, well, it’s grown. Now there’s ‘Change You Can Count On!’.

Have you noticed how our enemies fear us since the new administration has taken office? NO?!?! Well, that’s not surprising seeings how terrorist activities have picked up both abroad and (Guess what?) right here at home as well.

Now, you may not have liked “W” (Mr. Bush) very well but on his watch, this would not have happened and didn’t. The enemies of this country knew what he was capable of and that he wouldn’t stand for any of their shenanigans. He’d sooner bomb them into next week as hear any of their lies or cries of capitalist this or Americans that.

Simply put, you don’t mess with a Republican president. You just don’t.

Eisenhower was a proven military leader. Every nation knew what he was capable of. Kennedy was a P.T. boat commander that was truly heroic but, he got us and himself into a situation that almost led to World War III with the Cuban blockade and the Bay of Pigs botched invasion. He left the Cubans, that our military trained and transported to the invasion site, without air support, supplies or a way to retreat, all which were promised to them. Kennedy backed down and left them to die or be captured.

Johnson and McNamara got us into a shooting war in southeast Asia. At first called a police action, Johnson had the Navy make up a torpedo boat attack by the Vietnamese Navy on our picket destroyers that never happened. A way to get us more involved in the war there. Then he and McNamara micro-managed the war from the Oval Office not allowing the field commanders to do their jobs effectively. This resulted in enormous air losses both Navy and Air Force casualties, hundreds of planes shot down and captured pilots, aircrews and ground personnel. Most of which were unnecessary. Nixon came in and resumed bombing up north, removed unnecessary and unreasonable restrictions placed on combat crews and started to fight to win. Soon, the Vietnamese came back to the bargaining tables and the war, for us, ended. Well, for the most part.

When Jimmy Carter was in office for his one term, he got the American Embassy in Iran over-run and captured. He tried an ill conceived and poorly planned rescue mission that resulted in loss of equipment, lives of American servicemen and embarrassment among world leaders. The American personnel were held captive for 444 days until Ronald Reagan was inaugurated. This so frightened the Iranians that they released the captives the next day. No questions asked. They knew what to expect.

Reagan told Gorbachev, the Russian Premier, at the height of the cold war and referring to the Berlin wall dividing East and West Germany for decades, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall.” Gorbachev did just that and for the first time since the end of hostilities during World War II, Germany was once again a single nation. Not a nation divided.

In stead of depleting our military reserves and weakening our defences as was the way of the democrats, Ronald Reagan re-built our military into what it is today, second to none. He then restored the economy and gave small businesses and farmers the boost they needed to get up and running profitably.

George H. W. Bush, Gulf War I. He did just what the United Nations allowed him to do. Did he want to go all the way to Baghdad? I’m sure he did. But he could not. The U.N resolution would not allow it. It would only allow him to secure the territory unlawfully annexed by the Iraqi forces which he did.

George W. Bush, Gulf War II, acted like any president should under the circumstances. When your country is attacked, you retaliate or you perish. Now, maybe that’s a little extreme but, I can just imagine what it would have been like if that other guy, the tree hugger, had gotten into office in stead of Bush. You know the guy I’m referring to, Al Gore, Yeah, him. We would still be in a wait and see posture trying to figure out what all those ‘other’ explosions were all about.

And now, we have Mr. Obama. This guy takes ‘wait and see’ to a whole ‘nother level. Wait and see what the polls say. Wait and see how the election turns out. Wait and see who’s on first. Wait and see if we’re still here after waiting and seeing so much. This wait and see president is going to get us all killed. None of our enemies fear him. None of our allies respect him nor do they trust him. If he can’t figure out how to cure or solve a problem, he throws money at it. “Yeah, that’ll work.”

I’m waiting for one Democrat to be honest with him or herself and, with me of course, and say they are shocked and dismayed at their choice for commander-in-chief. Just one honest democrat, that’s all, and I’ll be happy.
Well, for a while anyway.

That’s MY opinion and you are welcome to it.

Have a great day!

Ed B.

– Writing, Writers & The Written Word –

I am speaking only for myself mind you for I can honestly only do that. I have not been empowered by some supreme writing god to intervene on the behalf of others so any comments made here are strictly my own and relate entirely to myself. If, perhaps, others out there should feel the same way or are experiencing the same things, well, that is totally coincidental I assure you.

One of the first things I published on my very first blog, as-a-matter-of-fact, the very first thing I published was an article titled “Opinions and People”. The first line, if I recall, was “Opinions are like a–holes. Everyone has one and most of them stink.”

What do you think? Any truth to that statement? I’m still thinking that there is a modicum of truth there. It may not apply all the time but the majority of the time, people say things just to hear themselves talk.

I’m as guilty as the next guy when it comes to that. On occasions, I will arbitrarily blurt out something I know not to be true just to keep a good conversation from going dry for the simple lack of stimulus. Come on, anyone who isn’t just a casual observer has done that once or twice (maybe more, truth be known). You would have to have been as disinterested in the conversation as a knot in a piece of wood not to have done it at some point.

So, where is all this leading. Why talk about writing, writers and the written word and, and, the opinions they (we) express? Because they (we) express our opinions not only vocally but in print as well. We don’t just voice our opinions we put them down so people can pass them on. So people can go back and refer to them. Or, so they can go back and point fingers at them and say, “Look at what that idiot just wrote.”

Why is it that we (as writers in our own right) feel our opinions are so much better than everyone else? Because, that is what we are saying, isn’t it? Isn’t that why we feel compelled to put it down on paper? To place our thoughts in print and publish them on the internet for all to see (or ignore, as the case may be).

What is it about our way of thinking or our way of looking at a certain issue or personal bug-a-boo that makes our opinion worth your time to read or listen to? Frankly, I have no idea! But you do and that’s what keeps me and others like me going. Something in what we are saying rings true with you and it keeps you coming back.

I don’t care whether you agree with me or not. As-a-matter-of-fact, it’s much more interesting for me when I get a dissenting view from a reader. In spite of what I have just said, I like to discuss things and, should you show me the light and prove my viewpoint wrong, I will freely admit it. But, let me warn you, I won’t tolerate middle-of-the-roadisms. Don’t just criticize. Have a counter point to offer. And, if it happens to deal with religion, I don’t accept, “You just have to take it on faith.” as an answer to anything.

So, there are the ground rules and I really look forward to your comments. Challenge your intellect. Hell, challenge mine. Challenge your beliefs, if you dare. It can only make them stronger.

I’ve taken up enough of your time for now.

Have a great day and a wonderful New Year!

Ed B.

– TO E-MAIL or NOT TO E-MAIL –

Mr. Shakespeare never had the problem of whether to or not to e-mail someone but I’m sure there were equally perplexing situations that he had to face. As for me, I only e-mail my kids, a few friends and, perhaps my ex-wife now and again, but rarely do I get replies. What am I to deduce from that?

I guess the simplest reason is maybe, just maybe, I e-mail too often and they’re tired of hearing from me. Perhaps what I have to say is boring and not worthy of a reply. No, that couldn’t possibly be it. How foolish of me. Maybe they don’t like me. Well friends I can understand but my kids?? Maybe I just expect too much from others but then, what am I too expect? What are we to expect?

I know, from experience, that it isn’t always possible to reply right-a-way but, it is possible to reply sometime. I admit that I have left replies linger for a couple of days and some, that are harder to reply to, have lingered even longer. I have, in the end, replied to all if not most of them eventually. I figure if the person who wrote to me took time out of their day to write, the least I can do is take a little time to tell them I got it and thank-you.

I don’t mean to criticize those who simply read and delete, read and delete but, I guess I am and, if the shoe fits, well….. Cinderella, you asked for it.

A reply or acknowledgment of some kind is only common courtesy. It’s like saying good morning to someone and having them reply with a ‘hi’ or, even worse, a grunt. Or having someone bump into you on the street or crowded hall and not say anything at all. Just walk on like nothing happened. Maybe you hold the door open for someone and they just walk through without a thank-you or even a smile like you were their personal doorman or something. It’s not just discourteous, it’s down right rude.

Okay, I’m getting a little too wound up here along with getting a bit off track. I do that sometimes. I’m getting older and my mind wanders. All I really want to say is that there is enough time in everyone’s day to be nice, to be courteous, to consider the feelings of others even if you don’t care about how your feelings are treated and I can’t believe there is anyone out there who doesn’t feel something.

Just consider that feeling thing the next-time you receive an e-mail from someone you know. Friend, family, acquaintance, it really doesn’t matter now does it? And especially if you happen to plow into someone by accident. Take the time to say you’re sorry, are you okay, excuse me, even if it wasn’t your fault say it anyway. It’s being courteous. Try it, you just might like it!

As for the e-mail thing, it’s so easy.  Hit Reply …..  “Got your message. Thanx. More later. ”  signed YOU.  ….. Hit Send.

How hard was that?

That’s MY opinion and you are welcome to it.

Have a very nice day!

– The New Guy In Town –

I had only been in Lake Oswego, Oregon a little over three maybe four days. Still trying to get my sea legs, so-to-speak. The reason for me being here at all was do to a friend of mine, who I kept in touch with over the years in a periodic fashion, a favor. She and her husband owned a house in what is called the First Edition part of Lake Oswego and they were having some remodeling done. I guess there was a problem with their original contractor and since I did that kind of work, they asked if I wanted to complete the job.

I was living in Phoenix, Arizona and working in telemarketing to be close to my kids. She knew I hated my job and Phoenix so getting me to leave that miserable place was fairly easy. I had no plans of staying any longer than six months or so. Just enough time to finish the job, look around a bit and return to the dry heat of the desert which I loved so much. Yeah, right! That was thirteen years ago.

After getting re-acquainted with my friend and her family and getting settled in general, I decided to take a walk around town, which was only four or five blocks away, and see where things were. The best way to find your way around is to walk it. Especially when the town is as compact as Lake Oswego.

There are two main streets that comprise the main part of town. Highway 43 or State Street and A Avenue which T-bones right into State Street. B Avenue is a secondary main street that runs parallel to A street has offices, the Fire Station, restaurants, pharmacy and things of that nature. First Street through Fifth Street which run parallel to State Street and across A Avenue also have businesses. Like I said, it’s a very compact little town that thinks it’s a city.

I was actually looking for a place to get a good hamburger and a cold beer. I always say, “If you can find a place that serves a good burger and cold beer, just about anything else you buy there should be good as well.” It doesn’t always hold true but most of the time it does.

I walked from my friends house to State Street and followed it down across A Street until I reached a place called Brazil’s. There was a sign in the window that read Hamburgers $3.95. It was a neighborhood bar, dark as pitch inside but that was normal for most small bars. No one really wanted know what the next person looked like drunk or sober.

I walked in through the open door, through the small dining area and through the swinging cafe’ doors to the bar or lounge part of the bar. I looked around but saw no one. I mean no one. No bartender, no patron no cook, no one. I figured the bartender must be in the bathroom so I sat and waited and waited and waited some more. Nothing. I checked the mens room and, reluctantly, checked the ladies as well. Still nothing.

I tried calling out but no one answered. I walked up the back stairs and checked the alley and saw nothing there either. This place was completely deserted. I guess a more dishonest person could have robbed the place but being me, I locked the back door and closed the front door. I didn’t know what else to do.

Come to find out that the old gal that tended bar there usually started drinking when she clocked in and about the time I got there she would have been asleep on a chair in the kitchen. The regulars would have known to wake her up but me being new, didn’t know to look in the blacked out kitchen. Live and learn, right?

After leaving Brazil’s, I went back toward A Street and crossed to the other side where I saw the Pump House. It was another small local bar that catered to the baseball cap and flannel shirt crowd. Don’t get me wrong, basically I am one of those guys but it wasn’t what I was looking for at all. Besides, they only served beer and wine and no real food to speak of. My search continued.

I walked, again, toward State Street and hung a left. I came upon a place called the Gemini Bar and Grill. I did a quick walk through and noted that they had pool tables in the front along with tables and chairs for customers. In the back were more tables, a dance floor and a large stage that stretched across the whole back wall. The bar was long and L-shaped at the front with well stocked liquor shelves behind.

I sat at one of the tables in the front of the bar near the pool tables and waited for the bartender to come over. I waited while he looked at me and placed an order with the cook. I waited while the cook passed the order over the stainless steel shelf and I waited some more while the bartender looked at me as he started to eat the hamburger.

It was then that I walked to the bar and asked if it would be possible to get some service. The bartender, with a half full mouth said, “That section’s closed.”

I asked him, “Well why didn’t you say so? I’ve been sitting there for twenty minutes waiting for some service. You saw me, right?”

His reply was, “Yeah, but I thought you were just resting.”

I figured this place and, especially this moron bartender, didn’t deserve my business so I left for greener pastures. I hoped.

I was about to give up and head back to my friends house when I spotted a white plaster building that I had walked by earlier not knowing what it was. It was kitty-corner from the pharmacy. Looking at it from this direction I could see it was a restaurant and lounge. Lacey’s of Lake Oswego, to be exact. Steak and seafood it’s specialty. I figured one more chance and that’s it, I go home after this.

I walked through the heavy front door, turned right down a short hall and then left into the bar area. There were few if any people inside so there were plenty of bar stools to choose from. I picked one close to the door just in case.

Walking toward me behind the bar was a good looking blond with a very pleasant smile. She placed her elbows in the stainless steel drip edge on the back of the bar top, smiled an even bigger smile and said, “Hi, what can I get ya?” It was then that I knew I was home. This was going to be my watering hole of choice. My home away from home. My spot.

And so it was for almost ten years. There were blue collars who mixed with business execs who mixed with millionaires who mixed with whoever. For a good number of those years, all pretexts, for the most part, were hung on hooks just inside the front door. There was no class distinction in Lacey’s. The owner, Ed Lacey, wouldn’t allow it. Everyone was equal when they walked in and remained so until they left and even then, many remained friends regardless of there educational or economic status on the outside.

Like everything else, change is inevitable and change came to Lacey’s as well. Ed Lacey sold out to someone who really didn’t care about maintaining the business. It was run into the ground, the new owner evicted and the name of Lacey’s removed once and for all. Even though I was no longer a regular, the thought of Lacey’s being gone leaves an empty spot somewhere in my soul.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times but it was our time, good or bad.

I’ll catch you next time.

Have a really nice day!

– Have You Ever Heard? –

Have you ever heard someone say? ………..

“I’ve got a good mind to ……..  followed by … knock him on his keester or punch him in his nose or something like that?

Is that really displaying a good mind?

How about – “I hope you don’t mind but ………. ” Normally followed by something you really can’t help but minding.

Or then there’s ……. “I’m going to give him a piece of my mind.”

Not really thinking about the fact that there are precious few pieces left in the first place.

Old sayings and colloquialisms are thrown about hap hazardously. Today, many of them aren’t even understood by anyone under the age of, let’s say, fifty-five. So, getting a blank stare from a teenager or young adult shouldn’t really surprise us at all. Yet, it does.

“What planet are you from?” we’ll ask. “Didn’t you ever listen to your parents and grand-parents growing up?”

Well, they did and they had that same blank stare then as well. Nobody bothered to notice it and explain the meaning to them. Consequently, the blank stare remains for all time.

Old sayings and the like are one thing but general knowledge on small things is quite another. When I refer to small things I mean facts about our country that the youth of today take for granted and, we let them. We expect more from an alien taking a citizenship exam than we do from our high school graduates. If given the very same exam most, if not all, would fail miserably and I find that embarrassing and inexcusable. Who do we blame?  Not just the school system and their curriculum alone but the parents for not taking an active interest in their child’s/children’s complete education.

It is a fact, not well known but a fact never-the-less, that the children riding west on the old wagon trains had a higher literacy rate than the children of today. They were riding on covered wagons on the open prairie and mountain passes being taught by whoevers turn it was that day to provide the schoolin’. The kids would listen to stories around the campfires and read any and every book available within the wagon train itself and, be damn glad to have them.

That’s where a real well rounded education started. At least that is my belief. They learned a little about a lot. From farmers, farming. From journalists, journalism. From seamstresses, sewing. From lawyers, the law. From doctors, medicine and so it went. Whoever was on the wagon train passed along their particular specialty as part of the everyday curriculum.

In this day in age, we don’t have the time or the inclination to pass those things on. The days of bring your parents in for show and tell have fallen by the wayside. The days when we would tell our kids about their heritage and their countries honor and struggles through the time of it’s birth as a nation have gone as well.

I saw on one of Jay Leno’s Jaywalking episodes when he asked a young woman, pointing to the American flag blowing in the breeze, how many stars on that flag up there. She answered by saying, “It’s moving too fast to count them.”

It’s not just sayings they don’t understand. It’s so much more that they have never been taught or think is not worth remembering. This is their country and, I’m afraid for it and them. They are taking too much for granted and have forgotten that they may be called upon to defend it themselves someday like their brothers and sisters in arms are doing as we speak.

Freedom is not and never has been free. Someone always has to pay the price. Sometimes that price includes dying. Sacrificing so that others might live free and enjoy all it’s benefits. Others have done it before us and still others will be called upon to do it again.

That’s My opinion and you’re welcome to it.

Have a Nice day!

– It's Probably Just The Weather –

Another Sunday afternoon. There’s a light breeze blowing and it’s cool under overcast skies. The Great Northwest at it’s natural best. I guess you could attribute that to a lot of things but it’s probably just the weather.

It’s a lazy day just because that’s the way it was supposed to be. A great day to drink coffee on the patio or just sit on your front stoop and watch the world go by. Everything and everyone seems to be moving in slow motion. Some days are just like that but, then again, it’s probably just the weather.

I’ve made so many excuses why I can’t do certain things today, vacuum, dust, clean windows, wash the car, build a bookcase and they were all perfectly good excuses mind you but, then again, it’s probably just the weather.

At least that’s my excuse! and

That’s my opinion and you’re welcome to it.

Have a nice day.