The American Dream

There’s a scene in the film, “Dave,” where the President, I mean the guy pretending to be the President, whose name is “Dave (played by Kevin Kline but Costner would have been better),” asks the real Vice President (played by Ben Kingsley) how he got started. He says to Dave:

Vice-President Nance

Vice-President Nance

“I was a shoe salesman. Not very happy about it. One day, my wife says to me, “why don’t you try running for office? You know, you talk about it all the time. Why don’t you just go do it?”

For at least three years, probably more, I have been talking about the great American Dream for myself, that is, to be my own boss and run my own business. And now that the proper opportunity has come along, I panicked and thought that I should do something else, anything else, until my wonderful wife reminded me that if I don’t take this chance, it may never come along again. Then I’ll spend the rest of my life wondering what might have been and whether or not I should have taken a chance and given it a shot. Read the rest of this entry

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Lone Pine

At the Lone Pine Fim Musuem

At the Lone Pine Fim Musuem

You never know what you can find and see until you go and look. I used to do a lot of driving across the country, and I made a point of getting off the Interstate system as often as I reasonably could to do just that – see what I could see. I found one of my favorite places on Earth doing that, Little Piney Creek WY. Go see it, you’ll understand.

At any rate, channeling my Dad again, I convinced him, Mom, my baby sister and my wife and son to take a day trip to Lone Pine, CA. This is a place I have wanted to go for many years, since I first saw the film “High Sierra” followed by my parents moving close to US395 in Eastern Kern County of California. I have long wanted to trace the route Roy “Mad Dog” Earle (Humphrey Bogart) takes as he runs from the Cops to the base of Mt. Whitney. The film is famous for its fantastic cinematography, and the beauty of the Eastern Sierras come through even in glorious Black & White. Read the rest of this entry

My Books -vs- My Office

KT-slate-03-lg-v2._V370656498_So the house is a mess as I started building my Home Office/Studio late yesterday. I have rearranged my various homes and apartments numerous times in my life, but this time it’s proving to be a challenge. With a four year old who is NOT at all happy with change, and with the idea that the other half of the space will now be his “bedroom,” to my knees and fifty-one year old back not remembering why I started getting rid of so many books a few years back, and it was not just because of the invention of the Kindle! By the by, the Kindle has now been declared bad. By bad, I mean that the Main Stream Media has decided that the device is both “uncool” and environmentally unfriendly. I’m serious. You can READ IT HERE Read the rest of this entry

Unemployment Begins

So it’s been a week since I quit my job as a Talk Radio Show Host. There were reasons why I quit that would be pretty obvious to anybody who has ever worked at a creative enterprise managed by disconnected and micro-management folks. Needless to say, it’s been an odd week, with moments of great stress and moments that feel like I dumped an 800lbs gorilla off my back. Its weird, since technically today is my first day unemployed. I have never been unemployed before, and frankly, it’s a weird feeling.

10628240_10205769696631766_511544609929551225_nI had originally decided that I was going to spend “a few weeks” – however that is defined – going Mr. Mom, which would be great. Ben and I have spent the time doing things like going to Kanga Zoom, getting haircuts, and even going to Wendy’s to get chocolate Frosty’s.

I have a couple of writing projects and a home office/studio to get set up so that some projects, like CONSTITUTION THURSDAY can continue. I have been asked by some to do a regular podcast, and I have a plan for a few months from now to go into business for myself. But for now, I am going to actually relax a bit. Read the rest of this entry

Losing Control

My prized annual pass

My prized annual pass

2014 was a year of learning to let go of things I cannot control any longer. So it was fitting that on the second to the last day of the year, we made our way to my favorite place, Yosemite National Park. I even bought an annual pass, since I figured that if I go just two more times in the next year it will pay for itself.

This place is just indescribably beautiful and interesting and fun. I lived here for nearly 15 years before I ever went, and now I wonder what was wrong with me? The very first time, in May of last year, we went over Tioga Pass on the way to Reno, after getting lost and ending up on the Valley Floor for an hour or so too. We went back two weeks later for a family picnic at the Cathedral Picnic grounds, where Ben threw rocks in the river and the ducks quacked for him. It was fantastic, and I have been waiting for an reason to go back. Read the rest of this entry

Wargamer

Not to put to fine a point on the matter, but when I was in High School and on into the Navy, I was a Wargamer.

Along with my best friends, Lee, Mike and Mick, we recreated every major battle and war you can name, and even a few imaginary ones. We even had our own FRPG that involved a Wizard who was to teach us our needed skills who had a bladder control problem. It’s a long story, and basically it involved the fact that we thought ourselves “too cool for school,” as it were. We did learn a valuable lesson, but frankly I have forgotten whether it dealt with the fact that he (the wizard) managed to take a leak on all of us while laughing at us or whether or not we ever got our revenge. Which now that I am in my 50’s with the standard issue enlarged prostate I am uncertain that I would be able to help much if we ever did decide to take him on again.

Anyway, back to my point which was not to demonstrate once again how much of a nerd and geek I was at Ogden High School from 1979-1981, but that I still have a trunk full of these games which, despite the prices that some of them fetch on eBay (example), I cannot bring myself to part with because (wait for it…) the last time we were all together (circa 1984?) we had a long discussion about “getting together” in the future, renting a big hotel room and spending a vacation playing all of our old favorites.

So naturally, I have to keep them all. Read the rest of this entry

Video Killed the Radio Star

Like most boys, my son has a healthy and constantly shifting set of interests that includes, believe it or not, old MTV music videos. Luckily, we live in the 21st Century, the Age of YouTube. Since MTV no longer actually plays any videos, we can still find them on the interwebs, and there is nothing to compare to hearing my three year old son singing songs  used to sing along with back when MTV actually did play music. Like me back then, he will sit here for an hour singing and watching. It’s amazing.

And like everybody else who listens to pop music, he gets one song in his head and watches it over and again, learning more and more words each time through. Eventually he is sing-shouting at the top of his lungs that Video Killed that Radio Star.

Buggles-MTV-007Which is oddly appropriate given that the famous Buggles hit and first video ever aired on MTV is all about how technology will eventually take over the world and instead of using our imaginations we will sit at the kitchen table and watch moving pictures of the story the artist wants to tell. We can’t rewind, we’ve gone too far. Read the rest of this entry

Senor Don Gato

By way of explanation, I attended two different schools in the 5th Grade. Not because we moved or anything like that, I was “bussed” as a result of Court ordered desegregation of Denver’s public schools. So for half a day I left Doull Elementary School and rode a bus to downtown Denver to Eagleton Elementary, which – at that time – still resided in a building built in the 1890s. It might have been one of the coolest things ever. Not only did we spend half the year in the original building, but we also got to break in the new building.

Yes, I went to school in this very building

Yes, I went to school in this very building

We formed the “Wolves of America” Club, but only for those of us that had winter coats with that bit of fake fur around the edge of the hood, and after the move to the new building, we were allowed to throw rocks and break windows in the old building. Stuff they’d never allow today – exclusionary clubs and rock throwing. School was great! Plus, we got to meet the legendary Pat Haggerty, who came to visit on  career day, which was funny in that we were 5th Graders, and the only idea we had of “career” was that someday there would be a time when we would not be able to howl at each other like wolves or throw rocks at eighty-three year old windows.

I don’t say this lightly, it was probably my favorite year of school. Read the rest of this entry

1-5-7-6-2-2

The story of grandchildren of Holocaust survivors getting tattooed was one of those that I approached rather cautiously at first. Whether you approve of tattoos or not (and for the record, I don’t) the survivor tattoos are different. They aren’t so much “body art” as they are a mark of… not honor, not even of something special. They are a mark of survival in the face of pure evil. An evil that my generation has never faced.

That’s really the crux of the matter. The reason some young people are getting these tattoos is because they know nothing of the Holocaust. As one said, “It’s like the Exodus to us.” Something that happened, but of which they were not really a part. Read the rest of this entry

First and Last

So the first day of 2014 is the last day of my vacation. The great thing about this time off has been that Ben and I have spent so much time together having fun, sharing the events of the Holidays and just flat out playing.

I think that he knows that it’s almost over, this morning it was as if he was trying to pack every game we’ve played into the morning. I started writing down all the things he was asking me to be and I kept saying, “No, I’m just your Daddy.”

About ten minutes before Cami got home and just as the Parade was ending, he climbed up in my lap and said, “You’re my Daddy.”

Daddy

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