Attempted Escape!


Today as I was working to diminish my mountainous pile of homework, I decided I would “take a break” and mow my lawn.


As I traversed my lawn I noticed something out of the ordinary. I don’t mean the usual, intermittently dropped “dog bombs” that our beagle strategically places around my yard that my 11 year old (who “promised” to clean up if we got the dog) always finds something better to do than pick up… it wasn’t the wind blown candy wrappers from the neighborhood… it wasn’t even the leaves from my special tree that all turn brown in the fall and die, but hang onto the tree as if cuffed to it until the fresh growth of spring tosses them to the ground…



In what I can only expect was an escape attempt from the clutches of one of the small armies of young children that surrounded my castle, I found a kitchen escapee. He was laying among the grass and was initially difficult to locate as the grass was excessively tall (this was the first cutting of the year, I avoided it as long as I could!), but his camouflage skills are lacking slightly and I was able to locate him with relative ease once I cleared my castles perimeter of debris.



I captured the intruder after a very brief chase and brought him into the keep for questioning.

“Who are you? To which army do you belong?”
No response.
“What are you doing here… are you a spy?”
Silence

I almost immediately lost my composure with this trespasser and exclaimed, “I have ways to make you talk!”

Even under the bright lights of interrogation, this customer kept his cool.



After what seemed like seconds, I noticed I wasn’t getting anywhere with this tactic. I decided it was best to switch to “Chinese Water Torture.” Surely that would get me the information I was after!



The water slowly trickled down his face but to no avail… he wasn’t gonna crack.
Perhaps I needed to go to the extreme of water boarding…



After nearly 47 seconds of torture I decided that I had met my match and am now looking for his commander to conduct a prisoner exchange. Whoever you are, you have one tough cookie here… speaking of cookies.. that’s what I want in exchange for this extraordinarily brave member of your army.

So here’s the deal.
You bring me a batch of chocolate chip cookies (or one bag of Double Stuff Oreos), place them at my door by 2100 hours (ahem, that’s 9pm) tonight. Ring my doorbell twice and then hide behind the bushes (I can’t run the risk of being photographed with the “enemy” and accused of subversion). Once I am satisfied that the terms of this agreement have been satisfied, I will release the prisoner.

Should you not meet the terms of my agreement, I will be forced to add this mighty “soldier” to my army of kitchen items and give him the particularly disgraceful position of “cereal holding vessel.”

The choice is yours…

Update!

The opposing army has been identified and an accord has been reached. We agreed to slightly alter the terms of the agreement as that army is now one nerf bowling pin weaker as it succumbed to my mighty fighters, Sergeant Briggs and Private Stratton. We’ll call this duel a draw!

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Really… dangerous applesauce?!?


This is not a story of my own writing, but the ridiculousness is so only because it is true. The TSA is a mockery of security, having NEVER caught anyone themselves (people are caught by aircrews), but insist on “randomly” groping people (I ALWAYS show my military ID and I get felt up by some 65 year old security guard just about every time I pass through the “security” check points.

These morons have actually taken applesauce from me. Really?!? The cockpit doors on our aircraft all lock these days, and these days but the file on my nail clippers is dangerous? Am I am going to take over a plane by forcfully giving someone a manicure?
Anyway, here’s the point of this post…


True story.
FYI – from Sgt. Mad Dog Tracy – As the Chalk Leader for my flight home from Afghanistan, I witnessed the following:
When we were on our way back from Afghanistan, we flew out of Baghram Air Field. We went through customs at BAF, full body scanners (no groping), had all of our bags searched, the whole nine yards. Our first stop was Shannon, Ireland to refuel. After that, we had to stop at Indianapolis, Indiana to drop off about 100 folks from the Indiana National Guard. That’s where the stupid started.
First, everyone was forced to get off the plane-even though the plane wasn’t refueling again. All 330 people got off that plane, rather than let the 100 people from the ING get off. We were filed from the plane to a holding area. No vending machines, no means of escape. Only a male/female latrine.
It’s probably important to mention that we were ALL carrying weapons. Everyone was carrying an M4 Carbine (rifle) and some, like me, were also carrying an M9 pistol. Oh, and our gunners had M-240B machine guns. Of course, the weapons weren’t loaded. And we had been cleared of all ammo well before we even got to customs at Baghram, then AGAIN at customs.
The TSA personnel at the airport seriously considered making us unload all of the baggage from the SECURE cargo hold to have it re-inspected. Keep in mind, this cargo had been unpacked, inspected piece by piece by U.S. Customs officials, resealed and had bomb-sniffing dogs give it a one-hour run through. After two hours of sitting in this holding area, the TSA decided not to re-inspect our Cargo-just to inspect us again: Soldiers on the way home from war, who had already been inspected, re-inspected and kept in a SECURE holding area for 2 hours. Ok, whatever. So we lined up to go through security AGAIN.
This is probably another good time to remind you all that all of us were carrying actual assault rifles, and some of us were also carrying pistols.
So we’re in line, going through one at a time. One of our Soldiers had his Gerber multi-tool. TSA confiscated it. Kind of ridiculous, but it gets better. A few minutes later, a guy empties his pockets and has a pair of nail clippers. Nail clippers. TSA informs the Soldier that they’re going to confiscate his nail clippers.
The conversation went something like this:
TSA Guy: You can’t take those on the plane.
Soldier: What? I’ve had them since we left country.
TSA Guy: You’re not suppose to have them.
Soldier: Why?
TSA Guy: They can be used as a weapon.
Soldier: [touches butt stock of the rifle] But this actually is a weapon. And I’m allowed to take it on.
TSA Guy: Yeah but you can’t use it to take over the plane. You don’t have bullets.
Soldier: And I can take over the plane with nail clippers?
TSA Guy: [awkward silence]
Me: Dude, just give him your F**K**G nail clippers so we can get the F**K out of here. I’ll buy you a new set.
Soldier: [hands nail clippers to TSA guy, makes it through security]
To top it off, the TSA demanded we all be swabbed for “explosive residue” detection. Everyone failed, [go figure, we just came home from a war zone], because we tested positive for “Gun Powder Residue”. Who the Hell is hiring these people?
This might be a good time to remind everyone that approximately 233 people re-boarded that plane with assault rifles, pistols, and machine guns-but nothing that could have been used as a weapon.
Can someone please tell me What the hell happened to OUR country while we were gone?

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Dear Dad


As I lay awake in bed this morning, staring at a dark ceiling in my lonely room, I realized that in just a few weeks it will be 10 years since you’ve left us. I can’t believe that it’s already been ten years. I can remember that day in the hospital like it was yesterday, and yet it seems so long since we’ve shared our chicken wings, beer, and laughs.

The last few years have been a whirlwind for me. On many occasion’s have I needed your counsel on events in my life. I’ve had to make some very difficult choices and desperately needed your commentary and opinion. In the end, I am sure I’ve made good choices but you are one of the people that I could talk to about absolutely anything… when I did something stupid you’d laugh at me, but then you would help me. We didn’t share sports like many fathers share with their sons, we shared stories… and I miss them tremendously. I’ve told some of those same types of stories to other people, and they just don’t get it, or they don’t appreciate it fully like you always did.

Chicken wings… that had become, through no deliberate intent, “our thing.” It seems every time I came home to visit we would go have a beer and some wings, buying the hottest ones possible and laughing at each other as we would sweat profusely trying to consume the order… and we would talk. These days, I go to a local restaurant on Sundays to watcch football, and they have chicken wings. Often, Caleb will come with me… but if I a particularly broke and can’t afford wings, he doesn’t come with me. Clearly, what you and I shared isn’t what I share with him.

Caleb is now a senior in High School and will be graduating in just 4 months. He had a son on Halloween last year, and he’s now facing a very tough decision to leave his son in order to best take care of him… I’m not sure he can do it. He seems to be leaning towards trying to stay in this little town we live in so he won’t miss Connor so tremendously, and I’ve tried to speak with him about it, but he’s 17 and just doesn’t want to hear it. He seems to take after his dad in that regard. I remember how it was to be 17 and “know everything,” and I try to keep that in mind as I deal with Caleb. I’m hopeful that I can eventually get through to him. Anyway, you’d love Connor. He’s a beautiful litle boy, always very happy and smiling. His mom is a wonderful young lady too. She continues to do great in school while caring for Connor. She has impressed me greatly.

Zoe is a beautiful 11 year old now. She’s ever “bouncy” and happy. Her red hair has lightened slightly over the years, but it’s still definately red and she’s just growing like a weed. She’s ever the friend to the underdog, taking “special” children under her wing at school to make sure they have at least one good friend. I couldn’t be more proud. Through elementary school she did a good job, but it was an eternal struggle to get her to do her homework; once she started middle school this year that all changed. Last year when she had her tonsils removed she was very interested in what the anesthesiologist did, and he decided that’s what she wants to do with her life. She and I talked about what that would require of her in school, and ever since then she has a new vigor for school. Now she comes home from school, grabs a snack and heads straight into her room to get her homework done, and her grades have improved greatly. I couldn’t be more proud of the young lady she’s becoming.

Well, I just wanted to get you caught up. It seems a lifetime since we’ve talked, and I miss it tremendously. I can’t eat hot wings without thinking of you, and the thoughts are both happy and sad. Someday, maybe my children and I can have something like that… they are a bit young yet as that didn’t happen until after I moved out but I am ever hopeful.

I’ve got big plans for the future, plans which I am sure you’d pick on me for (insert numerous lawyer jokes here) but I have no doubt you’d be proud. This is something I want badly, and I’ve decided that I am no longer going to “settle” for things as I’ve done before. I thought I always lived by the mantra “just good enough, isn’t” but I wasn’t… now I am.

I miss you dad, love you.
Dann

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20 Things to Share with your High School and Middle School Student


This post was found at theahaconnection.com and I thought I would share it here. It’s worth reading.
———————————-
January 21st, 2012
Funny little ditty forwarded from an Aha! Subscriber and friend….(Thanks for sharing EJ!)

1. Yes, your freshman year counts towards your GPA for college entrance. Screw it up and you’ll work for crap wages your whole life.
2. No means NO. In every possible circumstance.
3. Join every sport, every club, every after school activity no matter what the cost. It’s cheaper than bail.
4. Repeat after me: I am never in that much of a hurry…I am never in that much of a hurry. Now say that every time you get behind the wheel. It will save your life and that of your best friend in the seat next to you.
5. Don’t smoke pot. It ruins your short term memory. (Did I already say that?)
6. Don’t ever get a credit card and go into debt. Ever. You earn it or you live without it.
7. If I yell at you, it’s because I love you. And also, because you pissed me off. To avoid the latter, stop being an idiot.
8. Make a vivid picture inside your head of every great moment of your childhood. You’ll need those to get through adulthood.
9. Make snow angels as often as possible.
10. Stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves.
11. Be always benevolent. Yes, that’s a word. Look it up.
12. Call me for a ride even if you are so drunk you barely know my number. I’ll probably be mad for a while but I’ll respect you for calling and I won’t kill you. Riding with someone who is drinking will.
13. Be a leader, not a follower. Unless you are doing stupid things, then follow the kid with the highest GPA.
14. Love your siblings, even when you don’t like them. Some day you will be trying to get them to take care of me in my old age. If they are mad at you, you are stuck with me.
15. I’ve been there, done that on more things than you can imagine. I’m not stupid and I know what you are doing. I was once you (times ten).
16. Work hard at everything you do. Anything worth doing is worth doing your best.
17. Cover it. (Enough said.)
18. When I tell you to clean your room, do not point at my messy room and raise your eyebrows. I’m trying to raise you to be better than me.
19. Learn to type; to budget; and to pray. All are very important.
20. Never be sedentary. Someday soon you will no longer be able to move like that. Enjoy it.

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Genesis – Chapter 6.1


 

 

Intermission

<<< Chapter 6 Chapter 7 >>>
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Genesis – Chapter 6


Through a very painful process that GOD no longer allows men to suffer from, men began to have any sons and populate the world.

GOD decided that some children should be women too, and gave unto them the burden of childbirth.

GOD then determined that a thousand years was way too long for a man to be nagged now that women were plentiful, so he decided that man shall only live 120 years, thus limiting the “crapping themselves” years to about 40.

From the earliest years of the world, there was a basketball team.  They played in the area known today as Croatia, and were very evil men.  GOD saw that no matter how many goats the team was paid with, they always felt entitled to more as there was evil in their heart.

One day, during a pick-up game, GOD and Noah were playing a couple of guys from the team, and GOD got embarrassed.  The shorter of the guys on the other team did a little cross-over and then around the back move and took GOD straight to the hole.  GOD tried his best, but was left standing under the hoop as a thunderous two handed dunk was slammed in.

“That’s it!  I’ve had it with these arrogant asses.  I am gonna drown you pompous fucks, all of you!”

“Hey man, it’s just a game GOD, chill out,” responded Noah.

The other team laughed and pointed as GOD and Noah walked off the court and through the garden.  “Check it out Noah.  You’ve got a week and I’m gonna flood this place and start again.  You’re pretty cool though, so I tell ya what… build a giant boat and put your family in it and a couple of pets.. you guys can start this thing again after I’ve cleaned it all up.”

“Uh, ok…”

So Noah tricked the teamsters into working around the clock, promising to pay them double-time in two weeks, and they built a giant ship.  Noah assigned his sons Shem, Ham and Japeth the job of gathering a male and female of each animal.  They were each given a list of animals they were responsible for and went off on their own to gather the animals on their lists.  On the morning of day 7, Shem was running a little behind and was having trouble measuring unicorn horns and everyone knows that’s the only way to tell what sex a unicorn is.  He already had a female unicorn, but was having trouble locating a male and in his haste he just grabbed one and hoped for the best.  Both unicorns were female.

So Noah and his family filled the boat with the animals and all the foods required… and it started to rain…

<<< Chapter 5 Chapter 6.1 >>>
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Continuing Education


Wow!  What a daunting task this is turning out to be.

I endeavor to attend law school upon retiring from the Army, and the application process is just ridiculous.  I need letters, transcripts (of course), test scores, they all have to be sent through a specific service I have to pay for…

During the next 8 weeks, I am taking 2x under level classes and studying for the LSAT and a CLEP I need so I can graduate in June.  That being the case, this blog, and specifically the re-write of Genesis, is going onto the back burner.  I am gonna have 100’s of pages to read each week, numerous assignments and must study for the test that is on February 11th.

I will return to my writing with vigor upon completion of my classes.

See you then!

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