Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wanna Be Bennifer and ANOTHER GIVEAWAY!

Because "Bennifer"
is better than "Jen"
I wanna be Bennifer...

As it is, I'm not, I'm Dot.

Everyone remembers Bennifer, right?  When Ben Afleck and Jennifer Lopez met on the set of Gigli (curses upon my house for even saying the name out loud) they became a couple and so ingrained in the eye of the media became the overnight sensation "Bennifer."

If I have to explain the name, you may just want to stop reading right now. (though I did bring up Gigli!)

IMHO, A Cuter Jennifer
Ben still doesn't look happy?
Now, Bennifer just wasn't meant to be. His uptight Boston and her Latin roots were like Peanut Butter and Pickles with Banana Cream sauce. (this goes out to all my pregnant readers). 

As all good things must come to an end, often making way for the window to be opened to new and exciting ventures and partnerships, like... Bennifer 2 : Electric Bugaloo.  That's right, Ben had met Jennifer Garner while filming Daredevil. (some might say I should stop with Bad Affleck movies, but because some enjoyed this one I feel safe) Ben threw caution to the wind and married this girl.  (I can imagine that JG had some trepidation about letting Ben do any more movies).

So in order to span the globe and bring your the variety of sport, wait...that's Wide World of Sports.  I'm more likely to bring you the constant variety of my mind, which often resembles the skier crash on WWoS. Anyway, I decided to start a list of crummy couple names that might get you laughed at worse than if you starred in *that movie*.

Shawn and Patrick - Pawn or Shatrick
Scott and Dawn - Scawn or Dot
Rick and Debra - Rebra or Dick

Nellie and J-Lo - Jellie or Ellio

Holly and Adam - Hodam or Ally
Jeff and Elaine - Jaine or Eleff.
Kelly and John - Jelly or Kohn
Shandra and PitBull - umm, yeah or Pandra

Leave me a comment (enter the giveaway) and give me some exciting examples of couplehood that should never be combo'd.

Brennifer way better than..


You've been waiting patiently and I said I would do it.  I have already done this once and the FearlessFibroWarrior took home the prize. Recently, I saw the Bloggess at the Gaithersburg Book Festival where I gave her a proper throne to sit upon. During this visit, I was able to have her sign 3 puppets. I had intended to get three different puppets, but it worked out as two Copernicus (of my own making) and 1 Beyonce. I am sure you would love to have these for framing or pasting in your own book.

Here is what you get,
obviously she touched it too!

I am NOT selling these items. I am offering them to those who are loyal readers and who haven't had the opportunity to drink of the awesomesauciness of the Bloggess.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For those of you who are thinking you've done all this before, you can simply click each of the links and you should register a vote. (for instance, Following ItsMynd on Google, click it even if you already follow the blog)
Share this giveaway with your friends

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Which Way Did I Go, George?


I'm not talking about the Alfred Hitchcock movie of the same name featuring Jimmy Stewart. George Bailey goes out on a ledge...this isn't.

I'm talking about the medical condition.

Anyone who has ever been diagnosed can attest to the debilitating qualities of this condition. If looking at the picture on the right makes you even a little nauseous, you might know what it feels like to experience Vertigo.

I was diagnosed in the last year with Benign Proxysmal Positional Vertigo which is a mouthful with no fun acronym (BPPV, really?) and I have a flair up on a semi-routine basis. The severity of these flair ups is the key to the misery.

Explaining what this is like to someone who hasn't experienced it is like telling the Pope about sex. Let's use some more common experiences to give you a general flavor. (Vertigo, not sex)

Being Drunk - ok, it is assumed that my readership is older and has experienced alcohol in their lives. I'm going out on a limb that people who have experienced alcohol, have also likely over indulged in the same. Frankly, if you've never over indulged, how do you kow when to stop indulging? I digress (but I do that). You know that feeling when you have had one or two (or seven) too many and you move your head and it takes a moment for the room to catch up? Now imagine all the room spinning, without the debauchery of enjoying the drinking. Ever have a friend who practiced drunk driving tests? Saying the alphabet backwards and walking a straight line for instance? If you have Vertigo, this practice may come in handy to get you to work.

Hitting your Funny Bone - it's not that funny is it? It feels strange, but I've never heard anyone chuckle. That feeling is because some sort of nerve connection has been disturbed between your elbow and your brain. Imagine now that the same connection has been broken between your eyes and brain.

Spinning under a light or in a merry go round - I can't more strongly warn my adult friends NOT to try this at home! Something happened between the days of my youth and my adult self. I visited a merry go round, not the kind with the horses and carnival I'm referring to the playground toy that spins. As a child, you might have run while holding said apparatus to get it up to speed, then as it was at the threshold of turning back time you would leap aboard and attempt to stay on... As a child, this was great fun and as an adult, such an adventure will result in dizzied walking and possibly a review of lunch. I can't make you imagine anything about this one, this is almost word for word part of the diagnosis.

Going over a hill and feeling your stomach dropping - I never really got the dropping feeling. It was more of a leaping and completely beyond my control...well other than the obvious slowing the hell down. Anyway, (shorthand for 'I digress' but I suppose it isn't short if I keep explaining it) that feeling in the pit of your gut is much like some of the experiences of Vertigo. You lack any control over the feelings.

Know that feeling you get when you Get Up Too Fast? Lightheaded and a bit dizzy, but if you stand there a moment, it gets better. Yeah, stand if you can, Vertigo doesn't pass. It doesn't.

Now, one of the worst parts of Vertigo is the jacked up behavior of your eyes. I only wish I could get a video of my eyes when I am experiencing an attack.

DVDs have just screwed up our lives for understanding Vertigo. I'm about to talk about two things that if you're in school, you wont know anything about... VHS tracking and Reel to Reel. Now with the former, remember when a tape's tracking was off the tape would stutter a little? Anyone remember watching a movie when a loop was created in the reel? You'd get a picture that rolled and hopped and stuttered. Your eyes would want to close until it was fixed. You'd want your money back if you were in a theatre.

Yeah, you aren't getting it back with Vertigo.

Here is a day in the life of Vertigo...

Awaken at 4am, likely not a life changing event, but whether Vertigo has done the waking doesn't matter, you won't sleep again.

Roll over and as your life flashes before you like some silent film on a reel to reel, you wonder how you managed to drink so much and not remember even starting to drink.


Nope, you don't feel better as up stumble sideways back to the bed trying to open your eyes only when absolutely necessary.

Email our boss to say you can't make it into the office. At least that's what you hope you typed because your words make Captcha look legible.

Realize that you aren't going to get to drink ginger ale and catch up on your DVR because having your eyes open is an unspeakable torture.

Get your spouse to drive you to the doctor, only stopping 3 times to puke and thanking the Lord that your doctor isn't more than 3 miles away.


The doctor shows you a picture of your ear and you debate that it's your eyes that are all fouled up. He shows you the following picture which is not helpful because it looks like Patrick from Spongebob with the way your eyes are floating around.


The doctor does the exam and he says "your eyes are kinda bugging out, I wish you could see them..." yeah, I wish I could see.

Turns out there are chunks of stuff where fluid ought to be in some part of my ear that no q-tip can reach and no water-pick can clean out (believe me, I've tried!)

There are to remedies, one involves re-orientation exercises that take about 20 minutes and if those are unsuccessful, it's the little pill. I asked about the pills ability to cure and was told... "it doesn't cure anything, it just let's you sleep through the worst of it!"

Yay me!


read to be read at



Hooking up with Yeah Write...I tasted a little victory last week if only in the eyes of one, I'm hungry for more.


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Orange You Glad I Said Creamsicle?

The Year was 1976, or so my leaky remembrance begins...

I had a beautiful crush on my neighbor...

Ok, It was my neighbor's mom...

OK, REALLY it was my neighbor's mom's Creamsicles. (that isn't code for something you perverts)

And thus, my neighbor's mom and thus her son who I played with regularly, and not just to get the creamsicles.

I'm not sure what it is about the Creamsicle that made my heart go pitter-patter.

  • Perhaps it was the forbidden love, as this was not a snack that my parents would purchase for us. Would I feel this way about all ice cream snacks?
  • Perhaps it was the mom whose love was obvious in her purchase for her son. (this was the same lady who told us she was making "bee soup" and needed us to go catch our hands)
  • It could simply be orangiliciousness of the creamsicle.
If you are like me, I have some really good news...


Arby's has a new Orange Cream Shake!

Oh! Man! You gotta get some of this glorious goodness. Because it is only around for a limited time, you should take that as a sign from the heavens to lay all diets and intolerances for lactose aside and enjoy one each day (twice on Sunday, mostly because Chick-fil-A is closed)

Now, before you get to thinking that I just have an audacious love of the orange and all it is about, ok in fairness I have been known to consume a Dunkin' Donuts Tropicana Coolata, I digress.


Not all things Orange are groovy.
This is AirBorne Formula - in Zesty Orange. Yeah, the stuff you take when you don't want to get sick, or are boarding an airplane, or when there are no oranges left in the entire country.

It is less than delicious. It is a bit gritty and forget EVER using whatever cup you used it in. There is a scuzz that is left over that seems to invade every pore of the vessel it is made in. They say that you shouldn't drink soda because it removes battery corrosion, but this stuff IS battery corrosion. You will NEED a coke just to make your stomach right.

What tastes bring back memories of your youth?
(your true youth, not your late teens, I don't want to hear that Captain Morgan tastes the same coming up as going down...)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

GIVEAWAY #1 oh and If Marijuana Was Like Raw Oysters

I love me some raw oysters...

The Loogie of the Sea! Yes, I've heard all the snide remarks... I don't care. I've had Oysters in so many ways that I sound like Bubba in Forest Gump listing Shrimp recipes.

By far my favorite is the Oyster shooter. The basic recipe is as follows:

1 Oyster, shucked from its shell with the juice
An ounce or so of VodkaLime juice
A Shot or 2 of Tabasco
Now you can do this without the Vodka, you can replace the Tabasco with Cocktail Sauce (the horseradish should be fresh) and Lime or Lemon makes no difference to me.

I actually prefer the no vodka recipe, but with a nice half beer chaser. Something on the darker, Porter-ish side works fine by me.

Now I'm sure that Marijuana is similar to Oysters. WOAH! That's a significant drop of the trannie dude. (Transmission, not cross-dresser).

Think about it, if you've ever been to a reputable raw bar, you can order from a few locations, sometimes far and wide, sometimes just different "necks" of the same body of water. Each will have a different flavor. I love to get the sampler dozen. I'd say the norm is either 2 from 6 different places or 3 from 4 different places.

So can you get the same thing on illegal illicit drugs? What if I was a stoner and I wanted the 12 pack with joints from different blocks? Perhaps just some different growers? I'm pretty sure I'd want the Pineapple Express for sure.

Now how about cocaine? Can you get that from different countries, similar to buying caviar? Could you get a sampler from different sources?


You've been waiting patiently and I said I would do it. Recently, I saw the Bloggess at the Gaithersburg Book Festival where I gave her a proper throne to sit upon. During this visit, I was able to have her sign 3 puppets. I had intended to get three different puppets, but it worked out as two Copernicus (of my own making) and 1 Beyonce. I am sure you would love to have these for framing or pasting in your own book.

Here is what you get,
obviously she touched it too!

I am NOT selling these items. I am offering them to those who are loyal readers and who haven't had the opportunity to drink of the awesomesauciness of the Bloggess.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For those of you who are thinking you've done all this before, you can simply click each of the links and you should register a vote. (for instance, Following ItsMynd on Google, click it even if you already follow the blog)
Share this giveaway with your friends

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

One Terrifying Night

And not for me.

This wasn't a Jason Statham movie!

Well it was terrifying, but because I'm a huge chicken.

But for her... that night haunts me.

I was about 22 I'd guess. It was 1988 or so. The place, Bowie, MD, my hometown.

I almost hit her.

I had been out with my girlfriend and had dropped her back at her house in South Bowie. I was driving north on Rt. 3 or 301 or whatever the road was at the point. I hadn't gone too far up the road when she ran right in front of me. Being that it was fairly late in the evening, probably after midnight, there wasn't a lot of traffic. She ran out from the right shoulder of the road, crossing in front of me on her way to the median strip which was fairly large and grassy. I had just enough of a warning in seeing her that I was able to cross from the left lane over to the right to avoid her.

I didn't lock my brakes but carefully slowed down and pulled over onto the median about 300 yards ahead of her. I was concerned for her safety and wanted to make sure she was all right.

It was at this point that I saw the other vehicle. It was on the right side of the road and as I pulled over, this car moved to the center median ahead of her and a man got out. A brief chase ensued and he grabbed her and put her in his car.

I had no idea what to make of the situation, but as he passed my stopped vehicle I pulled out to follow him.

I'm sure that given the reduced traffic, the other driver was aware of my presence before I began following him. He didn't drive far before turning into a restaurant parking lot and pulling up to the front of the building which was not closed for the evening. I pulled in to a spot closer to the road and then we danced.

I felt as if I was witnessing my first true Evil.

Every fiber of my being screamed that something wasn't right, but my arm refused to open the car door, my legs refused to carry me over to his car, my voice failed me to call out to see if everything was all right. 1988 was a dark, dark time where one did not carry a telephone on their hip, let alone the Internet... thus I was left with no avenue other than to sit in my yellow silence within my car trying to summon the courage to move. No occupant of the other car had left that vehicle either, so I was left to contemplate the situation.

After what seemed like an hour, but likely no more than 10 minutes, the other car started. Taking every precaution, the other driver pulled out slowly and made his way out of the parking lot and back onto Rt. 3 where he slowly made his way onto the ramp for Rt. 50 towards Annapolis.

I chose at that point not to follow, why I will never know, but rather I went to seek out a policeman. As I drove towards my home, luck or fate or God put a policeman in my path. At the intersection of Rt. 450 and Millstream Drive, a policeman sat waiting for the light to turn. As I was directly across from him, I checked the traffic and went through the red light to stop on the opposite side of the street as his car.

Running a red light within obvious sight of a policeman will get their attention for sure.

I ran to his car and breathlessly wove as much of the tale as I could remember including the license plate of the car and his route and direction. The officer took my information and was on the radio making calls.

I didn't sleep that night. I didn't get a call to testify to what I witnessed. I didn't see anything in the newspaper. It was a very long night, week, month with that on my conscience.

To this day, I don't know what the story was, whether I played a role with my action or inaction. This could have been a playful game between two consenting adults and I made it weird for them by being the creepy guy who followed them. It is possible that this was a runaway teen whose father caught up with her. I can't help but feel that it was far more sinister than that though.

I'm writing this because I try very hard to live my life with little regret. I know I will make bad choices and live with the consequences. It is my hope that in some way this story finds the girl who ran and finds her well. I don't need to be the hero, I just want to know that my cowardice and inaction didn't border on villainy.

Perhaps the universe is paying me for my lack of action by a lack knowledge as to the outcome. If this is my penance for cowardice, I will endure it.

Have you ever been involved with something that was so disconcerting and frightening that you were paralyzed?

read to be read at

I'm hooking up with YeahWrite again this week, please take a moment and click the button. I guarantee you will find a few blogs that are worth reading. Come back Thursday and vote for your favorites. I can always use a vote.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Meeting The Bloggess, a First Person Pictorial


Bags are packed, gifts inside, all the necessary signing materials on board.

I'm going to see the Bloggess.




Excitement builds, this is too long a drive.

I'm going to see the Bloggess.



I'm laying on a toilet seat, all the worship, none of the wretch.

I'm going to see the Bloggess.





Wife not as excited, she understand me though,

We're going to see the Bloggess.


Man Voice practiced, there's no 15 year old girl here.

When I'm going to see the Bloggess.



Naughty pink unicorn stowaway discovered,

We're going to see the Bloggess.





The website is wrong the signing is later, I can even buy the author!

They can't deter me from seeing the Bloggess.




So glad I brought the iPad, I can blog about this,

I'm hoping to see the Bloggess.



Tweeting fashion tips to Bloggess herself

I might affect the Bloggess.





She starts to speak, it is suddenly real

I might throw up meeting the Bloggess.



Early to the signing line we go and we're first in line

I'm getting the freshest Bloggess.




I'm meeting her, it's happening, she loves her gift.

I loved meeting the Bloggess.

Pinky totally hit on Copernicus and photo-bombed my moment,

I'm totally mortified with her in front of the Bloggess.


I got a few extra signatures cause she's gracious like that and I'll be doing some giveaways soon for those of you whose town was too small to warrant a visit.

You all can love on the Bloggess.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

You Can't Make Me...

Imagine me stomping my feet, arms crossed, half pout / half sneer on my face.

That's how the kids do it these days right? Back in the day, we would fight the authority of our parents and teachers on a regular basis.

Not much has changed with them, or us.

Here is a short list of the things we couldn't be made to do:

Share - that's my toy and I'd rather break it than let my little brother or sister or that annoying kid from next door play with it.
Fair - was the word used to describe anything done to me or against me.
Pay - was the thing you threatened, as in "you're gonna pay or playing with my toy."
Play - I don't care if he's my cousin, I don't wanna play with him.
Watch - you can watch my tone, but I'm not gonna.

I remember having epic fights with Shaggy when he was much younger. He was the kid who would hear the consequences of an action, weigh the action against the consequences, then proceed with the action. He would often hit his brother and then take himself to timeout. Then he realized we had zero power and that taking on the parents was way more fun than his brother.

He would be told to go to timeout and refuse to go.

When he went, he wouldn't stay.

When he wouldn't stay "worse" punishments ensued.

One day when he was older, we got the brilliant idea to make him write sentences! Good penmanship, pinning him to a chair, and a timeout...BRILLIANT! So, it started with the threat of sentences.

Me: if you do X, you will have to write me 25 sentences.

Shaggy: what do the sentences have to say?
Me: they will be sentences that indicate what you did wrong and that you won't do it again.

Shaggy: I don't want to write sentences.

Me: and that is why it is punishment.

Bad behavior referred to as X ensued.

Me: ok, guess you'll be writing me those sentences.

Shaggy: I'm not writing them.

Now I had already seen this coming and the trick was not to waver, but to add sentences and indicate that the amount of sentences was entirely in his control...

This is more sentences than Shaggy wrote
and with less excitement
Me: so you want to write 50 sentences?

Shaggy: no!

Me: well, you've earned another 25. I suggest that you get to work on them.

Shaggy: that's not fair, I'm not doing the stupid sentences.

Me: I guess you want another 25? You know I took advanced math and can count really high, right?

Shaggy: count as high as you want, I'm not doing them.

Me: so, 100?

Shaggy: I'm not doing them.

Me: so, you want to do 200 then?

I figured escalation would prove my tenacity and seriousness. At this point, I should have realized the folly.

Shaggy: what?! You can't add a hundred!

Me: there are rules?

This witty banter continued and by the time my wife came home, he had earned 1400 sentences. Yes, I didn't put the decimal in the wrong place. Her comment to me was "I haven't been gone that long!" Bless her heart, she went along with it, though now I believe it was more to watch me squirm.

I finally placed Shaggy at the kitchen table with all the necessary writing instruments and none of the distractions. You would be amazed at what a young boy can consider a distraction. It was too bright, then too dark. The chair was too high, too hard, too far away, not in the right spot. He lost the point on his pencil so many times I got him a pen.

Ask me how many he did at the first sitting, though I imagine you can guess. If you guessed less than 10, you were right.

When I went to check on him, he was gone. He had realized that if you are prepared for the worst, there really isn't anything they can make you do. If no reward was ever great enough and no punishment stiff enough, the rules of "make me!" didn't apply.

As an adult, I realize that we play the "you can't make me" game just as much as when we were younger. We have learned a new skill in the form of passive-aggressive behavior. Now we face life with the same words:

Share - this is my money, why should I give it to the government to waste.

Fair -It isn't fair that I have to pay these taxes

Pay - taxes are for the rich to pay, I barely get by.

Play -If I didn't have to pay these taxes, I could afford to get a pool to play in.
Watch -I don't want to watch the news about economic recovery coming to a seriously poor neighborhood near you.

The above may only slightly be my mood based on owing taxes this year and not getting a fantabulous vacation as a result.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Catfish Flambé or How I Burned Down Mom's Kitchen

Addendum: Adding to the FTSF #10, where "I Tried to Cook...."

When last we saw our Crafty Cat, he was struggling against the valiant fisherman in our first episode of this story. If you so desire, please browse back to that post. This next episode will see ole Crafty slipping out of his skin and into something far more comfortable... the frying pan. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll likely vote on Thursday as this is my entry for another day in the life of

Unlike other fish, the catfish has no scales, so "cleaning" a catfish is more about removing the skin which is quite tough and leathery. We don't want to chase off the readership with graphic descriptions and pictures, but if you have the tools to build a birdhouse, you can clean a catfish too.

After successfully removing his winter coat, the remainder of the process is about going all Queen of Hearts "off with his head" and removing all the inedible parts, ewwwww.

Now, at the tender young age of teenager, I can't say that I had a recipe for cooking anything, but I knew that everyone else had always talked about beer battered and deep fried catfish. With that in mind, I set forth to creating a side-dish-less masterpiece of culinary design. With my buddy Mike at my side we set to pouring beer in a dish and putting some flour in another dish and some oil about an inch deep in a pan on the stove. Clearly a well thought out recipe for success.

As I said, I was fairly green in the culinary arts, so I took my time preparing my prep and cooking areas. I knew I wanted some nice hot oil to deep fry the fish and set out to achieve that. I had filled a deep saucepan with about and inch or so of Wesson canola oil. I had it covered and the electric burner on medium. You're convinced now that Julia Child has taken over my blog, I know! I've got you snowed with my cooking acumen for sure.

Before I began to batter the filets, I decided to make final checks of all the cooking bases.

I've got beer, check!

I've got flour, with just a hint of oregano, because everything tastes better with a little bit of the Italian O...check!

I've got filets of catfish, check!

I've got a pan of oil warming on the stove, check!

I've got...Fire?

A check of my pan was my first hint that this day may have been getting a little out of hand. Apparently, boiling oil is not a good thing. Worse yet is when a covered pan of boiling oil is uncovered allowing oxygen to rush in to the pan and the small blue flame that has settled on the top of said oil. Like Kurt Russell discovered in Backdraft, a fire is only as good as the oxygen that is feeding it.

Wow, was I feeding it.

Crap! (*other words may have been used at the time and in the "heat" of the moment.

What do I do now? Stop, drop, and roll? No, that's if I am on fire. Fire Extinguisher, yeah...I don't know if we have one of those.

So I went all primal. Campfires... "Boy scout water" makes them bigger, but you always have a bucket of regular water on hand in case the fire gets out of hand.

Yeah. Water!

Fire.... Water.... And there is a sink conveniently within pivot distance from the stove....

Yeah... Water...

Why don't they teach you about grease fires in the boy scouts? You see there is some sort of molecular bonding that takes place as the fire is fed by the oil and the oxygen and when water is added to it, the water and the oil bond like Katy Perry and Russell Brand on Twitter, and then the fire evaporates the water forming this fiery, oily steam that is no longer trapped by gravity in the pan. I had given my fire wings!

Like the steam in the bathroom, this fiery steam clings to the ceiling and to the cabinets and to the poor hanging plants over the sink.

On. Fire.

So as the blink of an eye passed, my mom's kitchen had been engulfed in flames from the sink, the ceiling, the cabinets, the poor hanging plants, seemingly everything. At that point I did what any rational teenager would do after a split second of thought.

I abandoned ship. Still clutching the pan of flames, I ran through the dining area, the living room and out the front door. I pitched the pan onto the front lawn and made sure that Mike had followed me out.

Why I had taken a route through all the more lived areas and not out the back door or through the garage is a mystery. I'm sure it had a lot to do with doors I could manage with one hand while watching a burning pan of oil. Besides at that point, I was sure I had burned the house down and self-preservation was epically forefront in my mind.  Besides, the garage has cans of gas and stuff, I wasn't stupid!

In a stroke of pure luck, the fire burned as long as there was oil coating the cabinets, ceiling and house plants. By the time I had made the front door, the fire in the kitchen was burning itself out. Though singed and charred a nice black color, the kitchen had survived the onslaught.

The houseplants not so much.

I survived telling my mom.

I never did eat the filets from that catfish.

The reminder burn mark in the lawn lasted almost a year.

As an aside, the following simple solutions were offered as better resolutions to the fire, other than the obvious "don't put water on a grease fire" (thanks to all that weighed in with that one, especially those who felt the need to add "everyone knows that you..." on the front.)

1. Cover the pan again and remove it from the heat.

2. Put baking soda on it. (what? are we making cupcakes?)

3. ALWAYS have a working fire extinguisher on hand.

4. Optionally, don't let teenage boys cook without supervision.

This has been a public service message.

read to be read at

Once again hitting up the YeahWrite since my presence seems to annoy them... I want to win... I think I can win... I love the writing there.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Pick Your Spot to Kick Cancer's Butt


This is John.



Cancer survivor

Married to a Cancer survivor



John is one of "those" guys. Selflessly riding 100 miles on a bicycle because you think he can't or won't, betting you that he will. His goal is to beat Leukemia and Lymphoma. Sounds simple doesn't it? Have you tried riding a bike 10 miles without stopping? Yeah, that's nothing compared to riding 100.

Tragically, a 100 mile bike ride is nothing like living a day with blood cancer.

As if you need reasons to donate, but here they are:

1. It's Cancer and you know you know someone who survived it or didn't, you know?

2. It's tax deductible.

3. You'll make me very happy and I will feature donors in a future post.

4. John is turning himself into a human billboard on race day and will be writing the name of every donor on his exposed flesh, so give in the name of your blog or my blog or a loved one... Heck! Mother's Day is tomorrow! What mom wouldn't want to be all over this hot sweaty man?

Why are you still here? Click the link!


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Lesson of the Reef Tank

I am putting this out as a re-post. I shared it initially in the second month of my blog and though a few of my readers got a chance to read it live, I know that many did not. I thought I would share this with you all.

This was written during a particularly dark time in my life and it carries a number of lessons with it. What I wrote here was born of a simple question asked of me by my dad. Many of you who know me, understand that I struggle with perfection and an often unattainable goal of it. With that in mind, know that I often start a blog post, returning to it several times for many edits prior to its being worthy of your eyes.

This answer was written straight out as an answer to the question. I feel that it was passed through me to the "paper". Call it "inspired" or perhaps God was giving me an answer. Hopefully you will allow me to reprint it here outside my normal snarky cynical posts.

(This was actually the reef that resided in my living room)


For years I had a reef tank.
I made time each night to check its temperature, its salinity.
I cleaned its glass to remove algae.
Once a week I did water changes to keep everything in balance.
I purchased new corals and fish to make it beautiful.
I fed those corals and fish the best food to keep them healthy.
It was the kind of thing that required attention and money.
I loved my reef tank.
It was my most cherished possession.
Its beauty was a reflection of my time, money and energy.
I enjoyed having people over so that would admire the tank.

I began to let other things creep into my life and steal time from my tank.
Often the temperature and salinity would require larger fixes.
The glass became acceptable "a little dirty" and I would promise myself I would fix it the next night.
The once a week, 5 gallon water changes became every other week 10 gallon changes, which became, once a month 10 gallon water changes.
The tank became unhappy with the wild swings in attention.
As the attention waned, the corals and fish began to look unhealthy and some died.
It was no longer beautiful.
The food that was so good for them was overfed in attempts to make up for the lack of attention.
As the tank became less happy and the inhabitants died, my attention became less.
It was still a reflection of the lack of time, lack of money and lack of attention I showed it.
I didn't want people to see it.
I realized that I couldn't fix it in a single long moment, but that it would take consistent, intentional extra time over months to slowly bring it back to the equilibrium that I had achieved before.

I Gave Up. The tank was broken down.


I only wish that I was referring to my tank.




Once again hitting up the YeahWrite since I'm completely in love with the writing there.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

I Killed My House Guests

I poisoned them with the Kool Aid, yeah went all Jim Jones without the cult following.

I'm not proud of it.

This is my letter of confession.

As tragic as this is, it's unlikely that anyone is coming to take me away.

Let me explain.


Ever have one of those weekends when you unknowingly get to throw a party? Guests arrive and start wandering around the place?

There's a sense of entitlement as they drink all your beer, and soda, and Deer Park?

If you had a pool, they'd be in your swimsuit and playing in the water, but since I don't, they just went all naked in the bathtub party time.

Snack food? Forget you ever had any. There isn't a place they won't look to find your secret stash of Twinkies.

And rude? You know the type, they totally drink your beer and then crawl in bed with you as if they just know waking up next to them is going to creep you out.

I had that party on Friday night. It started out small, but one thing leads to another and they're telling friends and soon you're feeling a bit crowded out. I couldn't take it.

Saturday morning came and they're still here partying like its 1999. Thankfully, my daughter spent the night at one of her friends' house and she wasn't subjected to the behavior freak show. My sons were both home and fortunately slept through the whole thing.

Mrs. Mynd was completely perturbed by the whole thing and was complicit in the murders.

It is very difficult to admit all of this, but I needed my faithful readers to know that I love them and will continue writing through the pain of this experience.

I snapped. I should be making my escape in a white bronco, but mama raised me to admit to my transgressions and be a man.

I totally killed them. I killed them so hard and fast, their mama is gonna feel it. I poisoned their Kool Aid and they drank willingly.

I just hope that my confession will make me somehow less of a monster.

I took a photo, but it may be far too gruesome for many of you, so I am giving you a moment to think before scrolling down...





















I warned you, you sick bastards!


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Didn't You Wear That Yesterday?

These are words that you will almost NEVER hear a guy say to another guy.

Only thing a guy will notice is any kind of stain or spot in the front of the pants area.



I could wear the same outfit all week and provided I didn't wet myself, in a workplace of all guys, no words would be spoken, no disapproving looks. Heck, I could probably tell male co-workers that I was saving on laundry by wearing the same pants all week and likely be lauded for my brilliance and frugality.

Women notice all the clothes. I'm confident that the same color socks with a slightly different pattern would be scrutinized and remarked upon at some point during the day.

I'm glad I am not a woman because the pressure to come up with enough outfits to get several weeks worth of clothes would be too much for me. You have to allow enough time for coworkers to forget that an outfit has been worn recently or hear the catty whisperings from two offices away about "omg, she just wore that like 10 days ago!"

This explains a lot of the closet size difference and the need to shop.

Of course, you also won't hear the following either:

"Dude, those khakis look awesome, they totally make your ass look good." or "that crew neck sweater is totally kick ass, you can either wear it, or tie it around your neck all preppy style."

Yeah...No! The only kicked ass will be yours.

Facial Hair on the other hand (wouldn't that be hand hair? from too much of things that make you go blind? wait, what?) is something that guys notice apparently? Its as blatant as the nose on your face, perhaps proximity to the nose is the key?

In hopes of greater aerodynamics and overall youthful sexiness, I shaved the other night (in addition to my regular haircut, because I was becoming a hippy) and the next morning three of my male coworkers noticed and mentioned it. I found this a little curious given the previous point about guys lack of attention to those types of things.

One of my female coworkers struggled and when one of the male coworkers made a reference to the missing facial hair, she said “you had a mustache?”


Now the picture to the left is the same as the one above except for one thing. As the women begin the virtual "Where's Waldo" game, guys are thinking one of two or three things:

1. You couldn't take a picture that I could look at without seeing a dude's backside?

2. Who cares?

3. Seriously, who cares?

Meanwhile the girls have already entertained that the unseen shoelaces are longer in the one picture than the other. They've talked themselves into different hand size.

In reality, one picture is slightly smaller. Like the artist contest in the funny papers, you have to draw the picture in a different scale which means you can't trace it. No seriously, that really is the only difference.

Have you ever worn different color socks on purpose?


Friday, May 4, 2012

If I had a Photography Blog...

The beauty of writing a blog without paid advertisement is that when I give a shout out, it is a proper shout out.

I love unique photography. I love macro photography. I love nature photography. I'm an average photographer. I can live with this...

I am privileged to know some outstanding photographers. I'm not sure what you can hire them for or buy from them, but checking them out is nothing but a rare view of the world...

Kerry Watson is a newer friend of mine from a shared love of the Washington Capitals.
Kerry's Facebook site is called K.R. Watson Photography.

The next photographer I've known a few years more than that. Dana L. Jung Photography is an outstanding collection of photos from someone with a camera continuously in her hand.

Here is a very small sampling of my shots.  I obviously like shooting Salt Water tank shots and Flowers, but I am not limited by those muses.  I am only limited by time and creativity.

Coral Banded Shrimp
Blue Polyps

Pompom Xenia

Red Rose - a bit cliche
I was mesmerized by the pollen

I figured out backlighting
I would really like closer and
so fast the wings appear stopped.

Please take the time to visit my friends sites on Facebook and enjoy their sites.

As always, if you also want to follow and like my blog on Facebook, you can access that here.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Pinky, the Travel Diva

Just another reason to dislike AT&T

Thanks to whatever that company is that had the little girl stow her stuffed animal in daddy's luggage to remind him of her love and her impatience for his return...

Such began the adventures of Pinky, the stuffed pink unicorn.

(because it was obviously a girl unicorn and names like 'Larry' are just not appropriate for GIRL unicorns)

I've been taking Pinky on trips since my little girl, Princess Sassy Pants, saw that ad. Pulling a pink unicorn from your bag while trying to have TSA check your laptop is either exceedingly cute or decidedly creeper, there really isn't a middle ground.

You're totally either "great dad" or "don't take candy from strangers."

Most of the time the pictures don't have to be epic, just the fact that you're thinking about your little girl enough to embarrass yourself by pulling a pink unicorn out of your bag (and folks I'm being literal, not figurative here, so get your minds out of the gutter) is the key.

Many pictures are simply shots of Pinky lounging on hotel beds or primping in the mirror. (she's a bit vain...more on that later)

There are pictures of Pinky at the airport and with various grandmother types. More often than not, the grandmothers are taking the pictures of me holding Pinky.

Occasionally, the scene changes to include the slightly more dramatic poses. Pinky has been to the beach. (the green shirt is for color contrast people!)

I've climbed tall mountains for Pinky.

Fortunately, the climbers around are less likely to think you are a creeper and take your picture... well if they didn't bring kids.


Pinky is a bit of a diva. One might use the B word if one were more of a potty mouthed blogger.

Dealing with her moods is tiring. Take for instance this picture recently snapped from a hotel room with a beautiful scene in the background, it's enough to melt a little girl's heart. What you don't realize is that this is how Pinky who has no hands, let alone fingers, flips you off...


Diva! (spelled with a B)

A risk taker, a total devil-may-careWho does this?
And this one... Nightmares!

Statements that start with "sometimes you ride the buffalo, sometimes the buffalo rides you" never end well.

But, the squeals of joy at both pictures of the adventures of Pinky, as well as Pinky's safe return are well worth the time and effort in the eyes of a young girl.

Yeah...Pinky... It's all about Pinky.

Once again, I'm joining forces with and bringing another fantastic post. I know I promised Arson and to some of you, bunnies, but alas the suspense must build on the one and frankly Pink Unicorns are way cuter than bunnies (until you read this, of course)



All Time Most Read