Do not take this blog seriously, and don't drive and read!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Pac

I’ll be forming an “Exploratory Committee” to assimilate the facts about exploring the best avenues to understand the enhancing journey, if I so choose, to absorb an examination into the possibilities of traversing to assume a board heading up the possibilities of running for President of these here United States.  In my exploratory examination I will consider fund raising, fund raising, and fund raising as part of the obligatory conclusion and procurement of a committee that will be instrumental in my decision to make a decision to run for President of these here United States.
Now that I know of my decision to commit to a committee it is vital to get the word out. I need your money. I need it now. I need lots of it.
The simple fact is, a Pac (Political Action Committee) has never been investigated to the point where anyone ever went to jail. SO, let me reemphasis the point. I need you money now! 
How will I ever know if I am going to be President of these here United States unless you don’t send me some money? Let my committee and the other four committees that I have formed KNOW that you want me to be your next President of these here United States of the Americas. That’s just the way thangs is done now-a-days.
If you choose not to send money to one of my committees, then it is your fault that the family dog ate my leg off because I had not the means to support it -- on the count of… I was spending all my energy and money to run for President of these here United States of the Americas!!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Hokiescopes (Week of April 2- Aril 8, 2011)

Since the WorLD WiDe wEb is full of predictions and horoscopes, then I must declare my piece of the “MOON-PIE!”
This web-log will prove its lack of awareness about the future by posting a drowsy consciousness pertaining to hold the keys to the future. Unlock the secrets of your sign as we peer skyward through the eyes of this week’s Hokiescopes  
(And you don’t even have to sign up for anything!)

Week of April 2–April 8, 2011)

Aquarium (Jan 21-Feb. 19)
  The more extroverted Aquarium has a magnetic personality.  The more introverted Aquarium has refrigerator magnets.
  Figure out which one you are this week and either re-decorate your frig or take out a restraining order on your stalker.
Fish, Blue Gill, Pisces and such (Feb. 20-March 20)
 You may be popular and have generous qualities, but that doesn’t mean your going to give up your hamburger to the neighbor’s dog. But you don’t have to kick the dog... come on! Stop kicking the dog!  Just stop it! Cut it out!
NAries (March 21-April 20)
  You’re spirited and must have the freedom to act rather than just thinking about it.
  Buy that new Harley you’ve always wanted or learn how to stitch a quilt. After you’ve mastered both hobbies, satisfy your “dangerous side.”  Have some fun. Stitch a quilt while riding a Harley.
Tires (April 21-May 21)
  You love to exhibit your fun side, especially in public.
  This week, you may be asked to leave a Pay-Per View Wrestling event FOR  DISRUPTIVE behavior. That would be a “first” (for anyone else)... it will be a “fourth” for you.
Jim & I (May 22-June 21)
  You can be successful at anything you do, but sometimes you’re unreliable. For instance, being a JEDI is just not in the cards for you—ever.
   You would never make it to the planet Dagobah to find Yoda. However, your reasoning makes sense. Who wants to go to a “swamp planet” for some schooling; when you have “hyperdrive” and a “Jedi- Starfighter,” and the whole universe at your disposal?  
Canker(June 22-July 22)
  Your love for personal hobbies and romantic endeavors coincide with irresistible charming behavior sure to bring out your magnetic persona to the “right” person this week. You will impress that “special someone.”
  Don’t even put any thought into it.
  In fact, present yourself as a “singing telegram.”  Show up wearing a bee-keeper’s outfit. She or he will fall in love with you… no questions asked. And they’ll call you “honey.” – Sweeeeet!!
Cle-O (July 23-Aug. 22)
 One of the faults of your sign is your tendency toward favoritism, but that’s not all bad. It’s not your fault.
  Sometimes, folks you know don’t deserve as much love as other folks you know.  .
Vertigo (Aug. 23-Sept. 23)
 You’re very studious and teachable. But much like “Jim & I,” you will NOT become a JEDI – ever.
  Not because you won’t go the planet Dogabah to find Yoda, but because you already know more than Yoda .
Libra kadabra (Sept. 24-Oct. 23)
  You always make someone feel better for having known you.
  The only problem is… those people you meet along the way can’t ever reach you because you keep changing jobs, or your address or phone number or PO Box, or NAME, etc.
Crawdad (Oct. 24-Nov. 22)
  You hate flattery or being flattered or flattering or whatever the heck it’s called. This week, you do not mind telling someone how good you are at your job.
  But try not to be so sarcastic when you explain how bad they are their job!
  Your lucky color this week is crimson.  Your lucky numbers are not letters.
Satch-YOU-Terry-Us (Nov. 23-Dec. 22)
  You love to initiate new projects.
  This week, you may figure out a way to make agri-business development more successful in Tajikistan or Bangladesh.
  You may rush right out to tell everyone in the country about your plan. The only problem is… you don’t live in either of those countries.
  And if you start telling folks in Cherry Creek about your strategy for better farming in Bangladesh, they’re just going to look at you funny!  You could also be shot while standing next to a “No Trespassing” sign.  You don’t want lots of giggling at your funeral do you?
Capricorny (Dec. 23-Jan. 20)
  You love being a professional in the workplace. This week-- even if you hate your job & you hate baseball-- you may buy an umpire’s uniform and pretend you’re a professional umpire.
 Just don’t toss your boss out of the game.
 Your boss just doesn’t understand your enthusiasm, or your creativity, or you screaming at him/her and having soil kicked on to his/her shoes.

Last time & the time before that and so on, I think we said we might discuss what each sign means.  You never can tell what the future holds… SO Just Hang in There!  Maybe it will happen next week!  Next week, we’ll plan something… and write it down. Typing the future is sometimes misinterpreted. Where as, writing strange verses with a quill pen under dim, candle light shadows is much more intriguing. AND Accurate!
The sign for Tires (April 21-May 21) is a Bull.  What would a bull have to do with tires?  Tune in next week for the answer—OR NOT… Tires are more like the shape of “tumbleweeds”

TO: The Undiscovered Sign:
(The sign the stars refuse to shine on… just yet)
You’re a mogul. “Mogul” spelled backwards is “Lugom.”  How ‘bout that eh? Wow!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Hokiescopes (Week of March 28 –April 2, 2011)

Since the WorLD WiDe wEb is full of predictions and horoscopes, then I must declare my piece of the “MOON-PIE!”
This web-log will prove its lack of awareness about the future by posting a drowsy consciousness pertaining to hold the keys to the future. Unlock the secrets of your sign as we peer skyward through the eyes of this week’s Hokiescopes  
(And you don’t even have to sign up for anything!)

Week of March 28–April 2, 2011)

Aquarium (Jan 21-Feb. 19)
  Your sign is known for psychic healing abilities. The only problem is: All the crazies seem to come out of the woodwork asking you for help.
   This week, forget the healing part and get in touch with you psychic talent. Make yourself conveniently unavailable when someone shows up on your doorstep.
   Also, don’t tell people about that end of the world thing that’s supposed happen –‘you know when’- It could cause a global panic.
Fish, Blue Gill, Pisces and such (Feb. 20-March 20)
  Don’t be afraid to fail. In a crises, you can be counted. Take that management job... YOU CAN DO IT! 
  But if you do get nervous and can’t pull off the “big Deal,” just blame it on the stars. Be prepared to beg for your old job back. After all, you are well liked by others. And you can beg better than an old loyal dog!
NAries (March 21-April 20)
 You make it hard for others to relate to you. But don’t let that get in the way of building that community “frog gigging” palace you’ve always dreamed of...
  Just because the idea failed in Wisconsin, doesn’t mean it won’t work here. Maybe it just needs a name change; turn “Favre’s Frog Gigging Complex” into “Fred’s Frog Giggin’ Single Saloon Pond-(slogan)-Bring the Youngins and Gig Ye Some.
Tires (April 21-May 21)
  Beauty cannot be owned, only appreciated. You subscribe to this theory. Your neighbors may know you subscribe to this theory.
  It has nothing to do with your internet practices... It could have something to do with a certain magazine delivered (in a black plastic sleeve) to your doorstep each month.
Jim & I (May 22-June 21)
  You’re able to control the world around you with your ingenuity and cleverness. 
  This makes you a perfect passenger when your friend gets pulled over this week. Plus, it helps that you’ve seen every episode of COPS. You know exactly how not to respond to certain questions; after all, you’re “just a passenger,” right?  
Canker(June 22-July 22)
   You don’t like “aggravating situations,” and “being told what to do.” Best advice; don’t go riding around with a Jim & I this week.
Cle-O (July 23-Aug. 22)
  Your inclination to deceive outweighs your better judgment sometimes.
  This week, however, just like Mrs. Frisby, you will save the day. And you won’t need any assistance from of the Rats of NIMH.
Vertigo (Aug. 23-Sept. 23)
  You are outwardly cheerful, but deep inside you may be hurting. You ran for President once and nobody even noticed.
  All you need is about 700,000 signatures to get on the ballot in all 50 states. You were about 699,998 shy last time. Oh! And you are not allowed to sign for your dog.
  It’s time to take a nice vacation to Narnia.
Libra kadabra (Sept. 24-Oct. 23)
  The symbol associated with your sign is the scales of balance.  That’s the only reason you can balance a banana on your nose. 
  This week, try balancing two bananas on your nose.
Crawdad (Oct. 24-Nov. 22)
  You are energetic and have intense feelings. 
  This week, back down on the energy drinks. Your boss will yell at you. When this happens, say, “Snuggle my inner-self,”-- ten times fast!
Satch-YOU-Terry-Us (Nov. 23-Dec. 22)
  You may demand too much of your colleagues. This is more evident than usual this week.
  Suggestion: Wear a shirt with a picture of a house on it... and pretend you are a snail.  
   In your “mind’s eye,” this will make you as non-productive as your co-workers!
Capricorny (Dec. 23-Jan. 20)
  You have a wit and flippancy that makes you a good entertainer.
  This week, entertain the thought of taking your job seriously.
  Ok… take a deep breath.  Now that you’ve entertained the thought, take a vacation.

Last time & the time before that and so on, I think we said we might discuss what each sign means.  You never can tell what the future holds… SO Just Hang in There!  Maybe it will happen next week!
For instance the sign for Tires (April 21-May 21) is a Bull.  What would a bull have to do with tires?  Tune in next week for the answer—OR NOT….

TO: The Undiscovered Sign:
(The sign the stars refuse to shine on… just yet)
The United States has over 300 million people. We have almost two toilets per person. That is why your species decided to settle in the U.S.  That Roswell thing… genius! Put up a sign and say, “Sit your space butt down here!” Your alien species is so novel to think of settling in a place where toilets will outnumber your population for a while…

MY BROTHER’S CONTRIBUTION-  Some extra reading for you… because this is great!
The Greatest Invention Ever- By My Brother…

 “What’s the greatest invention ever?”
  I pondered and pondered and put my two cents worth in, but I may need at least a nickel to solve this one.
  I was watching ESPN- Sportscenter and a Viagra commercial came on, so I started thinking 'bout medicine.   
  Candidates from the medical community include:  penicillin-pretty good stuff.  Helped stop a lot of infections.  
  Pasteurization?  Good idea-helped milk last a whole lot longer, but then again, so did the refrigerator.
  Vaccinations?  Yeah, they helped us avoid a lot of nasty bugs that would have killed a lot of folks. 
  Chemo-therapy?  Sure… saves lives while causing a significant amount of discomfort.  But it really is only applicable to a small population.
  Engineers are proud of their unique, albeit unknown, heritage. 
  The vast majority of true inventions came from an obscure corner of some engineer's brain-the auto, the cotton gin, electricity, the Pez dispenser, the light bulb, oh…our list could go on and on. 
  Well.. I may not be an engineer, but I know some and that qualifies me to establish the criteria for identifying what the greatest invention ever really is. 
  Very simply-I would boil it down to the following:
  What has had the most positive impact on the most people in the world?

  Well… I'm delaying again, so it is now time to reveal what the greatest invention ever really is.

  The Greatest Invention ever is the "Toilet" - Now before you start laughing and thinking "Gee, that knucklehead must have thought of that while sitting on the porcelain throne," which is true, that's where I realized it. Just think for a second. 
  The genius involved in the design of the toilet is absolutely brilliant.  The sheer simplicity and almost non-existent need for moving parts virtually assures a reliable system that rarely fails.   
  Failures of the toilet are most often a direct result of Operator Error-yep, system overload.
  The toilet is an oft overlooked luxury of modern life.  I know-many of you reading this are thinking, "That's a bunch of malarkey-there are lots of things more important than the toilet." 
  Or you are saying "Jeeez louis-I've got by just fine with my outhouse for 40 years." 
  True-maybe you have, but for those of you out there who actually do leave the Hill Country on occasion and wonder down to the city, you may have never thought about it, but you are sure glad all them folks in the "City" don't get by with an outhouse.
  Let's think about it-a typical farm family of 5-7 has a one or two-seater outhouse. 
  On any given summer day, ya can't walk within 30 yards of it without holding ya nose. 
  Now, think of a city the size of Nashville (65,000 people) with NO Toilets???? Think about it folks…. Ugh.
  What makes America so much better and more powerful than all them little wannabe countries? 
  It ain't the nuclear warheads or the 1 million fighting men and women that are ready to totally flatten enemies on short notice.   
  Nope, it's cause 99% of us have at least one indoor toilet.
  In fact, with 285 million people in the country, we have almost two Toilets per person---much better than anybody else.
  So-the next time you are perched on your porcelain throne, boys and girls, stop and think about the amazing invention that you are at that moment the sole operator of….
  And give thanks to John Harrington, J.F. Brondel-inventors of the water closet and modern valve-type toilet and also to Thomas Crapper-the man that made many improvements and brought us the modern day porcelain throne.
    Applause sign please!
  Also, what if Crapper had invented the “clapper?” It would never even be necessary to touch the toilet when you’re done.
   Just clap and woosh!
   Clap, and woooosh!
   Clap, and wooooooosh!
  Sure would make truck stop restrooms more appealing huh?  Of course, it would also sound like an ESPN ballgame was playing in the restroom.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Floor Number 8 - at Vanderbilt

   The year was 1996, and I was a thriving young 25 year old with my eyes on big aspirations at a small television station in Monterey, TN. That station later became the WB Network and moved to Nashville.  But at one time, I was Program Director and we did a 30 minute daily news cast for Cookeville and the surrounding area. At a small station, one wears many hats. Not only was I responsible for meeting with the G.M. and making our programming schedule, but I also had to make “run-date,” mail programs back to the distributor after airing, and physically make sure all the day’s shows & commercials were identified and categorized. But my favorite part of the job was the news.
   I was mainly out shooting and editing stories while occasionally directing the news as well as filling in part-time as the sports anchor.
   That year was a tumultuous one with me working up to 60 or 70 hours a week. Not to mention a personal life that seemed to “hurt so good” as John Cougar Mellencamp might sing.
   I was truly under a lot of stress, but I really liked all aspects of my job. The stress, however, I believe, finally caught up with me.  
   IN June of that year, I was diagnosed with a “little touch of cancer.” Apparently they caught it just in time for me to catch a lifeflight to Vanderbilt. By the time I got there, my neck was swollen (I looked like the Pillsbury Doughboy –on steroids) and the tumor had wrapped itself around my heart and was beginning to SQUA--WEEEEZE! I was getting very little oxygen to my brain. Under normal circumstances, for me, that might not be considered unusual.
  BUT That first evening at Vanderbilt, I didn’t think I was going to live through the night. I couldn’t breathe.  If you’ve ever played sports, you may have experienced what is known as having the “breath knocked out of you.” I had that sensation the entire night.  I thought it was something they were giving me... a drug that was “somehow” making me sicker and unable to breathe.
   But there wasn’t any unusual drug in the needles sticking out of my arms. The simple fact was: I was BAD SICK.
   The next day, two different biopsies were performed. The first one was done with a big ‘ol needle that was pushed into my chest cavity. The doctors had to extract tissue to determine what kind of tumor they were dealing with. I was awake the entire time and was told to remain calm and breathe easy, or the needle pushing into my chest cavity “might” hit my heart. This procedure made me so nervous; but I was not jittery. In fact, you would have thought I was a corpse. I didn’t move a muscle. I don’t even think I took a breath.
The diagnosis came back and-- yes, it was a cancerous tumor, and it was centrally located in my chest, wrapped around my heart.  The doctors were baffled by the first biopsy, so they decided to do a second one.
   I was put to sleep this time, and the experts cut into an area of my neck in order to go deeper and obtain a larger tissue sample. This time the results came back as 99.9% Seminoma; meaning it was a germ-cell tumor centrally located in the chest cavity. It had not spread to other regions in the body. When a tumor is that large, it’s extremely rare that cancer cells have not divided, spreading to other vital organs in the body. But, this was an uncommon form of cancer, and like the unique person that I am, only about 380 people a year are hit with this variety of the disease. Mom always told everyone I had to be different. I guess she was right.
   Recently the Country Giant was raising money for the “Kids of St. Jude” and it made me think back to my own experience with the dreaded “C” word.
   I remember my last “post-cancer” “check-up visit” like it was yesterday. I also made a huge mistake that day. I went to Vanderbilt to have my blood drawn and get my final chest X-ray; having gone over ten years since finishing treatments.
   The mistake I’m talking about didn’t really hurt anyone, but to this day I feel guilty. I completed my regular check-up that was always performed on the first floor. I glanced at the elevators and all I had to do was press the “up” button. I didn’t do that. I didn’t go up to where I had my treatments. Now I wish I’d taken time to visit some of the folks on that floor.
   I had my treatments on the 8th floor. After completing a few treatments, I got to venture out a bit. Being on floor number 8 at Vanderbilt, I walked the halls dragging my little IV bag behind me. What I saw had nothing to do with me and my condition.
    What I saw were children-- children who had been through a lot more rounds of Chemo than me-- children who were stronger than I will ever be-- many children who probably never made it off the 8th floor at Vanderbilt. There were children there from ages 2 to 16 and up. They were bald like me. But they were a lot more innocent than I. It’s almost as if I was supposed to be there. But I couldn’t figure out why they had to be there. Maybe they were only there to show me that. Maybe they were there so that one day someone who’s having a bad day would read this and think: “I ain’t got it so bad after all.”
    If you ever do get down in the dumps, I recommend a visit to floor number 8 of Vanderbilt Medical Center. You can find cancer patients in any hospital, but I am well aware of the ones on that floor.  The “C” word- Cancer- is one thing, but for some reason it just doesn’t make sense to associate it with the other “C” word- Children.
   So, God Bless the children. The good Lord said, “A little Child shall lead,” and I think the good Lord knew exactly what he was talking about. Children placed in dire circumstances are stronger than anything you can ever imagine. They’ll always say a prayer for you even when you forget to say one for them.
    I was able to make it off the 8th floor at Vanderbilt. I’m not sure what God had in store for those inspirational kids I had the priviledge to meet. I’m not even sure what he has in store for me.  But I’ll just take it a day at a time and won’t EVEN try to figure out what’s on HIS mind.
   I was able to make a few nurses and doctors laugh and even brought a few smiles to some kids when I wrote and sang a little parody song about my experience…
(sing it to the tune of Jimmy Buffet’s “Come Monday.”)

G                     C                             D                                G
  Headin’ up to Vandy, Nashville… to get my Labor Day CHEMO Fill…
              C                               D                                 G
I put my blue gown on and in another five days, I’ll be going home…
Am                 C                     D                   D7          
Hey Doctors, just say it’s so, this Cancer is just about gone,

         C                   G                          C                     D
Come Tuesday, I’ll be real tired, Come Tuesday, my veins will be on fire
            G                 Bm           C               D             C                    D                          G
Ain’t  a  Penthouse suite up at Vanderbilt neat, what a strange way to lose my blonde hair. Yeah ain’t penthouse suite up at Vanderbilt neat, what a strange way to lose my spare tire…

Yes, in June of this summer, took a chopper rider with a lump on my neck
And worry consumed those around me, but me I just said what the heck.
A badly needed vacation I’ve found, has kept my spirits up and not down …

Come Tuesday, I’ll be real tired…

Amaj7     Dmaj7                       Amaj7                  Dmaj7   
The doctors all think I’m funny, And Vandy has worn me quite thin.
Amaj7                    Dmaj7
Are they conspiring against me
             C               C     D      F   C    G
Because I’m a big U.T. fan

Side note: I’m not making light of cancer, but those around me always told me: “Keep your spirits high, and the better chance you’ll have.”
Laughter is the best medicine even if it brings a tear to your eye thinking of someone you know who may have lost a spirited battle against this disease. Life is precious, so live it, love it and taste it!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hokiescopes (Week of March 21 –March 26, 2011)

Since the WorLD WiDe wEb is full of predictions and horoscopes, then I must declare my piece of the “MOON-PIE!”
This web-log will prove its lack of awareness about the future by posting a drowsy consciousness pertaining to hold the keys to the future. Unlock the secrets of your sign as we peer skyward through the eyes of this week’s Hokiescopes  
(And you don’t even have to sign up for anything!)

Week of March 21–March 26, 2011)

Aquarium (Jan 21-Feb. 19)
 Your sign is ruled by the Planet, Uranus.  It takes that planet 84 earth years to complete the cycle of the Zodiac.
  It takes you just about as long to get ready for a special occasion, but this week you will be faster than a frightened walrus and able to leap small, man made structures in a quadruple bound, so your getting quicker.
Fish, Blue Gill, Pisces and such (Feb. 20-March 20)
  Your indecisiveness in most affairs will work to your advantage this week. 
  You will not have to pay for an expensive meal. After all, you can't decide where to go eat.  And “Dutch-Treat” is awesome when you ain't got no cash.
   You can always tell when Donald Trump decides to go “Dutch-Treat” to a meal because at the end of the main course he looks at his date and says, “You’re fired!”
NAries (March 21-April 20)
   Your sign is too often associated with anger and violence, but you've never been a featured guest on the television show COPS. 
   Your luck is about to change this week.
Tires (April 21-May 21)
   Katherine Hepburn is a Tires and so is Carol Burnett, so if your name has a "ka" sound or a "ca" sound in it… brag a little bit this week. 
  But just remember: a "ca" sound or the "ka" sound is not what makes you popular. It may have to do with the end of your name… for instance, the “urn” or “ett” sound might be influential when the stars determine a Tires fate.
   Either way, certain sounds have become key elements to human language. Remember when Haas, on Bonanza used to ask, “Hey Pa, where’s little Joe?”  Remember that? Yeah, that was pretty cool.
   Remember when Laura, on Little House on the Prairie, would say, “But Pa, it was Nelly’s fault!” and Michael Landon (her Pa) would say, “Don’t worry half-pint; we’ll get to the bottom of it.” Remember that?
   And remember in the movie, The Outlaw Josey Wales, when that guy looked down at the red headed kid and yelled, “I ain’t your Pa !” AND then Josey pulled his pistol and shot that guy between the eyes… Yup! Remember that?
    Good thing Hoss Cartwright and Laura Ingalls never met Josey Wales. It’s hard to believe you can set a man off just by saying the word, “Pa.
Jim & I (May 22-June 21)
   You are in constant need of new interests in your life. And you can be quite creative.
   You would love to snorkel.  You would also love to take a hot-air balloon ride.
  But please restrain yourself from getting creative. DON’T fill the “balloon basket” with water snorkel while riding in the hot-air balloon.  
Canker(June 22-July 22)
   You may be a little more moody this week than normal. 
   Only you and your first dog know why you hate a certain make and model car.  Others don't need to hear the story… again.
Cle-O (July 23-Aug. 22)
  You are an extrovert to the max!
  But today solitude is your best friend.  
  Take time to relax and enjoy a nice, big Hershey’s chocolate bar.  If you accidentally fall into a vat of chocolate, yell “FIRE!” -Because no one will save you if you yell, “Chocolate.”- Good advice from the Smother’s Brothers!
   It would be just like falling into a water tower filled with lemonade. No one would save you if you yelled, “Lemonade!”  It would be like the boy who cried, “Wolf.” Who’s going to believe someone would fill a water tower with lemonade? That’d be silly.
Vertigo (Aug. 23-Sept. 23)
  Virtigos start more projects they never finish than just about any other sign.   
  This week you may surprise yourself, and finish that special…  (Insert finished sentence here).
Libra kadabra (Sept. 24-Oct. 23)
  You hate losing! When someone beats you at something you're truly good at, it really frustrates you. 
  Frustration this week is inevitable.  Ever tried yoga? It might work better than payback. The usual (tired) old criminal mischief you normally embrace actually counts as a felony in most states.
Crawdad (Oct. 24-Nov. 22)
  If you dislike someone, you can be blunt almost to the point of cruelty. But today try to send a nice greeting card to one of your least favorite persons.
  When they “thank you” for it, just say, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
   Your emotional rollercoaster will include: righteous decency on your behalf, comedic relief on your behalf, obvious cruelty on your behalf, and detached reckless disregard of sympathy on your behalf.
   You will be a neon beacon of your sign enjoying the spoils of what the stars foretold. Now, don’t feel bad. Remember, the stars may fib, but they never lie!
Satch-YOU-Terry-Us (Nov. 23-Dec. 22)
   Sometimes you're careless and lawless, but sometimes you're jovial and generous…
   Try to split the difference of your earnings this week. Divide your wages evenly among the Church and State – After paying off the tickets, STOP SPEEDING!
Capricorny (Dec. 23-Jan. 20)
  You always thought camels were cool looking creatures. 
  The movie Star Wars had camels dressed up like some other creature and you always thought that was cool…   These thoughts have nothing to do with getting a loan from your banker this week!
   There is also a prevailing wind – I’m sensing something you should not do in the enclosed room with your banker.  I can’t see it… and my nose is stopped up so I can only guess that it has something to do with farting.

Last time, I think we said we might discuss what each sign means.  You never can tell what the future holds… SO Just Hang in There!  Maybe it will happen next week!
For instance the sign for Tires (April 21-May 21) is a Bull.  What would a bull have to do with tires?  Tune in next week for the answer—OR NOT….

TO: The Undiscovered Sign:
(The sign the stars refuse to shine on… just yet)
You will actually try and get arrested this week to break your friend-- or relative out of jail. My vision is fuzzy – kind of like your thought process. I see you standing on a corner imitating a dog a barking loudly. An officer is there but I can’t make out what he is saying.  All I see is a sign that says, “No Parking.” 

Friday, March 18, 2011


            Times had become so bad there was only one profession that was universally hated- the profession of tax collector. Even in difficult times the government still needed money to operate.  The people were fed up with its own government policing the world and involving itself in affairs citizens deemed unnecessary.  Taxes had become more than just an annoyance. Paying taxes was like holding a second job.  Society and government was nothing like we know today.
            Matt was a revenue officer trained by the best. He was smart, reserved and keenly aware of his surroundings. He seemed to instinctively know what others were thinking. You could not cheat Matt.  If you tried, you would surely hear from the authorities.
            For most people, times were so bad that transportation requirements were simply how far your feet would take you. If you were lucky, you might own an animal like a horse or in some regions of the world, a camel. 
            Criminals had almost taken over in the countryside and most intelligent people did not even attempt to venture out at night. However, Matt was a large man and fluent in many languages. He was confident if unlawful residents crossed him, he could protect himself not only in the physical sense but with his silver tongue.  Those who knew him were afraid of him. Behind his back some called him the “silver tongued devil.”
            One day when Matt was sitting outside in a chair near his office, he was surprised by a face he had not seen before. The man spoke to him. At first Matt thought he might be talking to someone else. Then the man spoke again.
            The man said, “Arise and follow me.”
            Matt was taken aback, yet he felt an imposing company about him. It was a sense of calm like nothing he had ever experienced. A serene breeze crossed his face. A composed hush silenced the crowd surrounding Matt. A tranquil tone was heard. It was not perceived by others. Matt looked around and without hesitation, he pulled some money out of his lock box and handed it to a stranger.
            Then Matt said, “I must follow this man.”
            Matt later wrote about his travels with a man named Jesus. If he had not left his table and followed Jesus, no one would even know that Matthew wrote the first book of the New Testament. 
            Today, Matt is a part of the most popular book ever written. Working for a higher power and being a part of the Bible sure trounces being just another government employee.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Bully No More

    We were all standing around to see what would happen next. I remember the air had a chill with light from a full moon resting on a row of cars parked on the hill. It was close to Halloween and I believe neither of the two adversaries really wanted to be there.  But the spectators had come to see a brawl. The crowd wouldn’t have to feel the pain, so they had nothing to lose. The pack of onlookers had blood in their eyes; longing to witness a hyped up high school clash between two long-time rivals. I despise violence. As a high school senior, I wondered how a group of teens could even get away with this meaningless mêlée’.  Today, we might capture it on video and post it on the internet. But this tragic night is forever locked in the crevasses’ of my mind.
    With testosterone induced frenzy accompanying the crowd, we never expected to witness a death resulting from a fight at the local fairgrounds.  My friend, Johnny Wade, was one of the fighters. He had been challenged by an idiot who was always starting trouble with “someone” at school.
    The plan was to take care of it once and for all. There would be a gathering at the fairground sanctioned by the County Sheriff, who happened to be the father of one of the more popular students on hand to watch the fight.
    You wouldn’t be able to get away with this kind of behavior today, but in a small town back in the early 80’s it was not uncommon. It was a way for students who did not get along to settle their differences once and for all.
    There was actually a safety concern among parents and the sheriff’s office. The premise was:  allow the kids to fight until it looks like one could be in serious trouble. That’s when the fight is halted. A winner is declared and the “unwritten rule” is that no further skirmishes between the two rivals will happen on campus or outside of school. If the heated hatred between the two teens continues and it comes down to more physical fights, the consequences include expulsion from school and or a trip to jail with charges of assault against the disgraced agitator.
    And believe me, our county sheriff had so many reliable sources that he would not assume the “troublemaker” was the first one to throw a punch. NO, SIR. The first negative word or words instigating a rivals’ reprise automatically made that person the guilty party. Then there was an iron fisted rebuttal from the Sheriff.  
    You may not be familiar with where I’m coming from, but this is just an unspoken code.  It’s an institution growing up in my small town. You may not understand it, but in our community this is how things were done.  This had been the “norm” since post WWII- 1950’s.
    The fights were consistent. We had between two and five fights a year. The only thing missing was a ring and boxing gloves.  However, that may have been for the best. After all, this kept fights short and usually wound up with students taking home some body bruises, a bloody nose and maybe black eyes. 

    That’s a brief history of how we did things!
    Now… back to the tragedy. 
    As you might expect, in a competition like this, a tragedy should involve two fighters and perhaps something going terribly wrong; conceivably a blow to the head that kills one of the teens or maybe sends one to the hospital.
    This did not happen.
    In fact, the fight lasted only about 3 or 4 minutes. The “proud” kid playing the role of “bully’ ended up on the hood of the car and appeared to be mumbling like a 2 year old. He was out cold without really being unconscious.—odd. The skinny kid who laid out our “bully” was crying at the beginning of the fight and his tears were still going at the end of the battle. He had won but an even more important lesson was learned. If you ever decide to fight someone who is so angry he is crying, don’t do it! If he has an empty gaze and yet focused stare, he is filled with adrenaline. When a teenager is scared out of their wits, and what I call “puffed up” ( adrenaline filled), that’s not the best time to pick a fight. It’s kind of like trying to corner a wolverine in a barn- not a good idea.
    My buddy, Johnny, was congratulated and everyone went home thinking things were over.
    Two nights later, the “bully” was found in a field outside his home. Apparently, he had been plowing in his pumpkin patch, and according to initial reports, he fell off his tractor and was split in half by the disc he was pulling while farming. His death was swift. A neighbor had located the body.
    The investigation, however, was never even considered an accident. Police skipped right to exploring possibilities of a homicide. They didn’t give any information detailing why it was considered a homicide.
    There was shocking surprise among the locals. Finger pointing immediately began. My friend Johnny Wade was the prime suspect. He couldn’t believe what people were saying about him.  I, myself, was in awe. He didn’t even want to fight this now deceased “bully” in the first place.
    Reports began to surface that there was overwhelming evidence against Johnny.  My friends began to question whether Johnny did commit the murder. Maybe he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life looking over his shoulder consumed with worry over vengeful enemies. Rumors spread that a plan had been hatched to ambush Johnny by friends of the “intimidator.” I had known this “bully” all my life and I knew he might not follow the “unwritten rule” of the community—‘the rule that says, you lost, don’t start anything.’
    A buddy of mine told me that maybe human survival instinct kicked in and Johnny could not help himself. It’s a human characteristic known as self preservation.
    However, it was easy for me to put those crazy thoughts out of my mind. I knew Johnny didn’t do this. I went to see him and he was distraught. He told me he did not have an alibi and he was alone in his car just riding around on the evening of the murder.
    He said, “I just wanted to clear my head.”
    He admitted to me that during the fight, he thought his final punch was a death blow.  He was still anxious and nervous about all that had gone down in the last couple of days.
     I was trying to console him and told him that I knew our school’s famous “bully’ was OK after the fight.  There was a reason for my confidence in his good health. When his eyes rolled back in his head, but he was still mumbling incoherently I knew he was fading and about to go unconscious. But I could NOT see him “knocking” on death’s door.
    My father was a paramedic and I had a chance to see him at work in an emergency situation. We drove right into a traffic jam where a brutal auto accident had taken numerous lives. I helped Dad work on the dazed and confused. I knew how a patient’s eyes tell a story. I remembered that experience.  From that point forward, I had a knack for gauging how significant an injury was in terms of “Life & Death” situations.
    I’m no medic, but I am a good listener. I have an uncanny photographic memory. I can still perform a tracheotomy, and I can perform the “eye test” to do quick checks of brain function. It has to do with lethargy, eye discoloration, & pupil dilation. That gives a doctor a general overview before using proper  computer assessments to gauge how close your diagnosis is to solving the problem.
    Once I was pulled aside by an emergency room doctor who told me, “Your mind soaks up everything. You could easily become a doctor. You would be a great asset in helping others. If you ever decide you want to go to med school, I will help pay your tuition. You have a letter of recommendation anytime you ask.”  
     I was humbled. I know that if a subject peaks my interest I tend to remember it much better. Like an elephant, I never forget.

    That’s why I never forgot the things that Kelson Frost did to me. Kelson was the name of our school’s most notorious “bully.” I was so proud of how my friend Johnny stood up to Kelson. Johnny was still in a panic thinking he might be charged with the murder. The police were nowhere near having enough evidence to convict Johnny.  But they were determined to attach him to it. They wanted him bad on murder but they would take him down with manslaughter if necessary. 
    Johnny and I went back a long way. In fact, Johnny Wade was the first person I met in kindergarten and we were always hanging out together. We looked out for one another.
    It had been over a month, but police now theorized that Kelson, our malevolent bully friend, had definitely been murdered. I still didn’t think they had enough evidence against Johnny. It was all hearsay.
    But one morning they called Johnny down to the police station. I went along telling them that I too had something to share about Johnny and his whereabouts. I coached him, telling him not to give any information. 
    I said just keep saying, “I didn’t do this. I had no reason to do this. After I won the fight, I wasn’t afraid of Kelson. Why are you blaming me?  He (Kelson) had a lot of enemies.”
    And if they asked where he was when Kelson was murdered, I told Johnny to just say,
“I have a witness who can verify where I was.”
    And if they persisted, I told him to immediately ask for a lawyer.  They sat me in the next room, but my hearing is superb.  Maybe they didn’t realize “air vents” echo the conversation in the interrogation room. I could hear everything being said.
    Had Johnny listened to my advice, things would have turned out great. But he didn’t. 
It’s par for the course. Johnny is as honest as the day is long. He began telling them how he took a ride to clear his mind. This puts him nowhere except where the officers say he is. And they proceed to tell him he murdered Kelson.  They even explain how he murdered the bully.  The officers explained that Johnny was still scared and that he would have to kill Kelson to ever be free from his grasp.
    Then, from the other room, I could hear detectives getting louder and louder, saying things like, “If you just cooperate, we can get you a lighter sentence.”
     I knew then they were going to keep him overnight or at least until they procured a confession. Johnny would break.  Something had to give! He would not be able to hold out and he obviously did not do as I had advised him.  He should have asked for a lawyer.
    If I had known the torment Johnny was going to be subjected to, I never would have killed Kelson.
    Looking back, I should have made sure no one would have found his body, but they did.  I guess it’s true what they say: “Hindsight is twenty-twenty.” 
   I had a moral dilemma. I knew they couldn’t pin the crime on me, but I couldn’t let them pin it on Johnny.  I thought about giving investigators some “false leads.” I had already planned for this and had my ticket out of this mess. But that would also be wrong.
   Here was my original game plan. I had studied Kelson’s father and had his schedule down. I could have easily blamed him for the murder of his own son. After all, I killed Kelson with his father’s own pocket knife. I picked-pocketed the knife from his father in a parking lot.
   The evening of  Kelson’s death, I  made it a point to “bump” into his father in the parking lot of the liquor store. It was getting dark and the store closed at 6pm.  He and I were the only ones in the parking lot. I had bought some bags of wine and whiskey a week before the scheduled fight between Kelson and Johnny. My plan was simple.  
    I was anticipating what had to be done to Kelson. I knew I would have to set up Kelson’s own father for the crime if worse came to worse.  For instance, if Kelson beat my buddy Johnny into a coma or worse, then he would have to be killed.
    The night his father and I “bumped into each other,” he was right on time. He made his usual late night stop at the liquor store where I was laying in wait.  No one could put me inside the store that night because I had bought the liquor there over a week ago. I was just hiding in the parking lot shadows.  I had three full bags (of bottles) on the back of my car. We had a brief conversation as I asked how Kelson was feeling after the fight. Then I lied and told him how much everyone likes his son. I asked his father if he would help me load “these fragile bags” (filled with bottles of liquor) into my car. He gladly obliged and smiled saying, " Aren’t you too young to drink? "
    I smiled and said, “Yes sir, but I think this will help relax Johnny. He has never been in a fight and he’s still shaking a bit, I reckin’”
    “Touché,” he said.
    As he got the last bag in the car, I strategically located the top frame of the door. As he started to stand up all I had to do was slam the door pretty hard hoping to put a gash in the side of his head, cheek, or neck (any part of the side of his face or shoulder).  Earlier that day, I had filed the top edge of the door down to the metal to make it sharper than the point on knife.
     The plan worked. I elbowed the door as Kelson’s father started to stand. There was a thump, and in pain he let out a curse word.  I dropped my bottles and they shattered. I began to apologize and claimed I accidentally bumped the door when I was picking up the last bag.  He was dazed for a minute and then told me, “I’m OK. Don’t worry. I’m just sorry you busted that bag of drinks.”
  “No, that’s OK,” I reassured him.
  “Are you sure?” He asked. “Let me give you some money…”
  “No.” I interrupted.  “It was my fault. I hope you’re OK.”
   “I’m fine.”
   And after that exchange, we both exited the parking lot.
   He had a large scratch down the side of his cheek.
   That would raise suspicion for detectives.
   You have to understand the timeline here. People in the liquor store had seen the prominent councilman without a “scar” on his cheek at 5:50pm that evening. 
    SO, Now It was time to go kill Kelson. 
    Earlier that afternoon, I had pretended to make amends in the form of sharing free whiskey. He wasn’t very friendly but he certainly drank the crap out of it.  After sneaking into his room, it was obvious he was passed out. I tossed him out the window and with a thud sound I heard him grumble. Kelson started to wake up. He was groggy.
   That’s when I grabbed the burlap sack I had left outside. I sliced his throat with his dad’s pocket knife and covered his head with the sack. He made some gurgling sounds but they didn’t last long.  I wrapped another blanket around him and dragged him out into the former pumpkin patch. They had been plowing and were setting out either greens or something to germinate of the winter months.
    I started the tractor sitting nearby.  I quickly pulled off the burlap sack and blanket.  I slowly rolled the tractor over top of the body.  I quickly ran the disc blades over the body a couple of times and shut it down.  Jumping off the tractor I ran across the field to where I left my car near the woods. I hot-footed it over to Johnny’s house and picked up beer at a drive through market along the way.  Of course Johnny wasn’t home, but I helped myself into his room and waited. I sipped beer and tried calling him a couple of time.
    Eventually, with my help Kelson’s dad became the prime suspect, but I felt guilty.
    So I went ahead and confessed. OH well!
    I did get a chance to vent a little bit.  I told investigators how Kelson had killed two of my dogs when I was a child. It was never proven, but we suspected he started the fire that killed my little sister who was sleeping in the attic while we were supposed to be on vacation. He probably thought no one was home and the little “Pyro” burned down the house. The problem was: my sister was sick and my aunt was house-sitting. My aunt would have seen what happened, but she was gone to the store to pick up chicken noodle soup.
   I guess I was planning to kill him regardless. A little over a week before I put the world out of his misery, he killed ten pet rabbits owned by Johnny’s little sister. I’ve never seen her cry like that. That is what led up to the fight between Kelson and Johnny.
   Looking back, I made a mistake taking the law into my own hands when I did-
I waited too long!
   But it sure felt good to rid the earth of the pure evil known as Kelson Frost. Good riddance- you repulsive, wicked, depraved, vile, loathsome, diabolic, sinister, cruel cast on society. Die long-- And wither!