Friday, June 18, 2010

A Time to Rant (not gonna be pretty)

Dear reader,

I am not here to offend, ridicule, or offer shallow opinion. Well, maybe two out of the three.

Some things are happening around me. I don't like them. Not at all. May I share?

1) This whole BP/Oil spill/Obama/Barton thing has got me a little uptight. For all we know, the spill was on purpose. How can a major petroleum company with major safety protocols in place "accidentally" spill tons of oil? I am not a conspiracy theorist, but you have to admit, this stinks. Then Joe Barton of the GOP apologizes to BP for us holding them accountable. Who elects these idiots, really? Are we being PUNK'd? Is that it?

2) South Carolina politics has gone too far. Hey, bad press is still press, right? NOT! Jake Knotts, if you won't retire, at least let us give you a beatdown. It is long overdue, Mr., "I'm proud to be a redneck." You know what really chaps my hindquarters? People like Senator Kneck, errr...Knotts, claim to be Christians also. Do you morons know that Jesus was a "raghead" too? I bet He shore ess prah-yawd of yew! Yuck yuck yuck and a-fiddle dee dee! Yeeee haw! I say instead of laying off teachers and hard working Americans, we should start laying off loose-lipped Senators and Congressman. Or at the very least, make their positions voluntary instead of paid. That ought to shake things up in the honky tonks, eh Jake? Next time you go on TV, wear that Budweiser t-shirt you used to wear to the diner all the time.

I have lived in SC for almost my entire life. I love it here, and I still believe it is a great place to raise a family. These loose-lipped politicians need to shut the hell up or get the hell out. Seriously. Otherwise Stewart, Colbert, Leno, et al, are going to have comedy material at the expense of our pride for years to come. As a sidenote, for every Jake Red Kneck there are a lot of good men and women in politics trying to make a difference in SC. Kudos to them, middle fingers to the rest.

3) My 1997 Chevy S-10 finally kicked the bucket. I need wheels, so I went to my bank, and applied for an auto loan. I was promptly declined for some credit hiccups that happened almost 6 years ago. I didn't apply for much. I have been a customer of this bank for 5 years. I am working 3 jobs. Does loyalty count for anything anymore? I would look for a new bank, but they all suck.

4) For the last several years, my oldest has gone on a beach trip with one of his favorite churches. They leave every year at around 1:00, on Father's Day. I may seem a bit selfish here, but where is the spirituality in this? "Honor thy Father, while we snatch you away from him for a church sponsored activity?" After a church service that will inevitably be focused on Father's Day, why allow the youth to leave right afterward and miss time with their Dads? When I was a pastor, I NEVER would have condoned this kind of stuff. I would have insisted that the youth leader re-schedule the trip. Family always came before church. Ask anyone who ever served with me. I'm serious!  I have written emails to the pastor of this particular church for the last 3 years asking that very question (and I was nice about it). I have yet to get a reply. I am not sure why that surprises me. I let my son go because it makes him happy, but I am not happy about it. I missed many a Father's Day with my absentee father, and I determined early on that I would celebrate this special day with those who made me a Father. Call me a grumpy old man if you like.

Thus endeth the rant...for now. Do you feel better?

Friday, June 04, 2010


I have been facing some realities lately. I am a "forty-something." I have good days and bad days. Most of the time, I feel great. I feel like the world is yet mine to conquer. Then I got a phone call from an old high school friend the other day. It went something like this:

Me: Hey, man! How long has it been?

Him: Ummm...about 25 years.

Me: No way.

Him: Yeah, that's about right.

Me: That is not possible!

Him: Yeah it is. It's been awhile since you were blowing on the tuba.

Me: Wow...

Then I saw another lifelong pal today and we were talking about how much fun our 20 year reunion party was, and then it occurred to both of us that number 25 is coming up...soon. year.


A couple more realities have begun to settle in:
  • My son is graduating next year.
  • My stepdaughter is graduating next year.
  • My nephew and nice are graduating next year.
  • Most of the people I work with were born AFTER I graduated high school.
  • Most of our customers were born AFTER I graduated high school.
  • Everything I like is now referred to as "old school."
  • I am forty-something.
Okay, so here's the deal. I am not depressed about being in my 40's. As I said, most days I feel like the world is yet mine to conquer. But sometimes I do get a bit overwhelmed when I realize how much water under the bridge there actually is.

When I stop to really think about it, I have had a pretty decent life. I have met and (hopefully) positively impacted a lot of people. I have nearly 800 Facebook friends. I haven't made many enemies, and closest friends are people who have shared a good chunk of my forty-something years with me.

But, oh, to be 25 again and know what I know now...

How utterly cliche'.