Thursday, October 4, 2007

Friday Flash 55-The big news!

I got married for the first time in December of 1979. In December of 1980 my wife graced me with a bright and precocious daughter. Over the years she excelled at academics and track-going to the State tourney 2 times. She graduated from Edinboro University in 2003-Summa Cum Laude. Come next June, she will be making me a Grandpa for the first time. I love ya, Jen.

This may not be my best 55-but it's true.

If you ask a man who's honest,
he'll say "I want a son".
Someone to carry on the name,
to play and go have fun.

As that man gets ever older,
and learns a thing or two,
and if still he's honest,
This is what he'll do:

Value the depth and grace of daughters...

Jen, you've always made me proud. The good things I see in me, I see in you. Not so much with my bad qualities! Congrats to you and Matt.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Flash 55-On Saturday!

Ok guys, its been a rough week-sometimes the personal life gets in the way of the creative life (Mrs. Mike says that the other way around!) Anyway-here goes...

I look into your eyes and see...
Great passion.

I look into your eyes and see...
My home.

I look into your eyes and see...
My life.

I look into your eyes and see...
All of me, living, dying, loving, children...and one giant pain in the ass!

Why don't we get drunk and screw?

(If you aren't aquainted with him-that's a Jimmy Buffet song and I'm a bit of a parrothead...)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Flash 55-some serious questions(now THAT'S a litle different for me!)

What does it mean to "make a difference"? How does it affect your worth as a human being? Do you need support from those that are supposed to love and support you, and if they don't, does that worth diminish? I want to do a long post on this and I'm looking for your input.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A couple of slightly naughty limericks...

There was an old man from Kent,
Who's manhood was quite oddly bent.
When out for a whirl,
Remarked a young girl,
"Now that is an oddly shaped tent!"

Or this variant if you prefer:

There was an old man from Kent,
Who's manhood was quite oddly bent.
Then said a young girl,
When he gave her a whirl,
I knew not if I was coming or went!

Missy told me she was going camping at Beaver Bend. I remarked that it sounded like a limerick to me. She didn't think that I could, but;

A young lady in need did intend,
To earn money she needed to send.
So she put on a show,
An internet video,
"My God,"said he,"how that Beaver could Bend!"

Feel free to post yours in the comments!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Friday Flash 55! Once more unto the breech...

Joe liked working with people. He had a great style with customers and all loved him. He never failed to satisfy even the toughest customer. Sid came in and was impossible. Sid was unsatisfied no matter what Joe tried to do to help him. Joe punched Sid square in the nose. It felt really good!

I work with people all day, and every now and then, you meet this guy! My 55 is an ode to the fantasy all of us in a service profession have!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

By request: Differences between Men and Women

Ambre and Missy have both made similar topic suggestions, Ambre asks why men can't understand women and Missy inquired as to why men watch halftime of football games. These questions would lead one to believe that I can speak for all men! We haven't actually held an election recently and, frankly, none of us is sure who is in charge right now, but I'll do my best.

Here's my problem with the question(s), they are over-generalizations. All men don't like football. All women don't want roses on Valentines day. I know some women who think camping in a remote wilderness would be the ideal vacation. My wife doesn't travel anywhere there isn't room service. Besides the obvious physical differences (and I say "Vive la differance!) there are some emotional differences between the sexes. Science tells us our brains are wired a little differently and we percieve things on different levels.

Is this a question of understanding between sexes or should we look at it from the one on one perspective? I, for one, do not try to understand women as a group. I prefer to get to know an individual. I don't care to be judged in a group of millions and I doubt most women would like that either. It is possible that the attempt to understand a gender instead of the object of one's attentions is where the conflict lies...

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Friday Flash 55-my sensitive, poetic side...

I'm Daddy's little helper,
Its just Him and Me.
I make Daddy's life
As hard as a tree.

We work together
To make Momma smile.
She smiles so much more
Than she has for a while.

She's just as happy now
As a bride in Niagara.
Thank you dear Pfizer ,
And your pill named Viagra!

(Mike the Poet bows deeply to his audience, picks up his Scotch from a conveniently placed stool and exits....stage right!)

Monday, September 3, 2007

This Blog's Identity

OK folks, its being insinuated that I am not putting enough content on this here blog o' mine! I agree. Since a blog should reflect the person who posts it, this one should be full of commentary on societal, national and international issues. Here's what I need from you folks: ideas. Whats on your mind? Post it in the comments and I'll try to write something on the issue that makes sense. You all can then disagree at length and maybe we'll all come up with something substantial.

Tonight's subject? Flag burning! (sound like fun?) More specifically, should the US Constitution be amended to make Flag Burning a crime? This is a topic that provokes a lot of emotional reactions from folks, but I submit that this subject, or any consideration of constitutional amending, must be examined dispassionately. Let me tell you right up front that I am very patriotic. I Love the USA and the Flag that symbolizes it. I get angry whenever Americans mistreat the Flag be it due to ignorance or indifference. I know when it is supposed to be lowered, how to lower and fold it and how to properly dispose of a damaged one. I have a deep love for all who put on the uniform of its Nation and risk great sacrifices in its name. It angers me when someone burns it to make a statement.

But that's what it is. A statement, political in nature. And completely protected by the Bill of Rights. Didn't our military personnel who have sacrificed so much, sacrifice for the ideal of America and the Flag that it represents? Is our national identity so fragile that we are threatened by this act? I hope not. Our strength lies in our freedom, freedom like the ability to write on blogs or in newspapers on whatever we choose. Someone is going to tell me that you can't yell Fire! in a crowded theater. Inciting a panic isn't political speech. So for all of you amendment endorsers out there, whats next? Natalie Maines was castigated for the statement she made in London while we were at war. I didn't agree with it and I felt it was in poor taste under the circumstances, but I certainly wasn't against her right to say it. Should we make it a crime to express unsupportive thoughts about the Commander-in-Chief in wartime?

You can't love the flag and stand against what it truly symbolizes. I love it and stand ready to defend the Nation that it represents. And the driving principle behind its birth. God Bless America!

Your comments are welcomed both pro and con, along with suggestions on the next topic. All comments posted are available to anyone and may be reprinted. Make it interesting!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Labor Day Weekend Flash 55

He labored for over 40 years of his life.

His hands are gnarled, his knees and back complain.

He only sleeps five hours a night, but naps every afternoon.

His yard is always neatly trimmed, his hedges clipped.

His flag waves in the breeze from the pole on his front porch.

Happy Labor Day, Sir.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Friday Flash 55-one day early!

First-the disclaimer-This is a work of fiction! The events described here never happened! Any similarity to persons living or dead (or about to die...) is strictly coincidental!

Ambre and Mike were walking on a quiet country lane. Not hand in hand or arm in arm, but discussing thoughts and ideas. Sometimes they agreed. Sometimes they debated. Ambre stopped and made an observation of the flora. Mike made a flattering observation of Ambre's "attributes". Ambre poked Mike in the eye. A sad story.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Flash Friday 55 (on Sunday, some of us work, ya know..)

I just had a slice of pie.

I love pie, it's my favorite dessert.

Pie is going to the orchard on a brisk October weekend.

Pie is my favorite Aunt's house on Thanksgiving with all my extended family.

Pie is the diner my Father stopped at on our way home from camping.

I love pie.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Once more for Jadey

Jadey strikes yet again...

1. You have to post these rules before you give the facts.
2. Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of their middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.
3. When you are tagged you need to write your own blog-post containing your own middle name game facts.
4. At the end of your blog-post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Bear in mind that we are a dichotomous species, so all of these are true.....sometimes!

H-honest, honorable
W-wise, wistful
A-aiding, a**hole
R-remarkable, redundant
D-devoted, defensive

Take it for whats its worth!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

40 Questions that you have to read thanks to Jadey

Jadey keeps roping me into these goes..........

Okay, here's the deal: you've been hand picked by someone who likes you to fill out this survey. It's a great boredom buster and at the end you get to pick your own 5 people to fill it out. If you don't fill it out, the person that sent this to you will hunt you down and kill you -- not really, but it's fun so keep it going! Once you post your answers, pick 5 people of your own to do it. Have fun!

1. What is your middle name? Howard, after my maternal Grandfather.
2. what color pants are you wearing- Who says I'm wearing pants?
3. What are you listening to now- Backdraft is on the TV.
4. What was the last thing you had to drink- Green Tea .
5. Do you wish on Stars?- No, but oddly enough, I've heard they occasionally wish on me...
6. If you were a crayon what color would you be?- Blue-very, very blue.
7. How is the weather today? Very hot and humid (ick)
8. Last person you spoke to on the phone?- My daughter Cait, who was complaining that her mother is crazy, while her mother was in the background making the same complaint about her! I live in an interesting home...
9. Do you like the person that sent this to you- Absolutely.
10. Favorite drink- Single malt scotch.
11. Favorite sport- FOOTBALL!!!!!!
12. Hair Color -What hair???
13. Siblings? One sister(younger) .
14. Favorite month- October, cooler weather and fall foliage.
15. Favorite Food?- Typical male-STEAK!
16. What was the last movie you saw in theaters? I rarely go to the theater, but I believe it would have been Spiderman II with Cait, she's a huge Spidey fan.
17. Favorite day of the year-First day of Fall.
18. what do you do to vent anger- Rant and rave, of course...and curse a lot.
19. What was your favorite toy as a child- I loved board games.
20. Summer or Winter- Both in their time.
21. Hugs or kisses- Depends, from whom and under what circumstance.
22. Car or motorcycle- Wrangler
23. Chocolate or vanilla- Really don't have a preference.
24. Do you want your friends to do this survey?- Most of em already have.
25. Who is most likely to do this survey? -obviously me.
26. Who is least likely to respond-?
27. When was the last time you cried-When my Father died in 1998.
28. What is under your bed?- I'll never tell and you can't prove anything.
29. Who is the friend that you have had the longest? Caryn.
30. What did you do last night? Ask Caryn.
31. What are you afraid of- Being afraid.
32. Plain, buttered, or salted popcorn- Extra butter and salt ( I am a real heath food nut!) .
33. Favorite car- Jeep Wrangler.
34. Favorite Flower- Symbolically the Rose.
35. how many keys on your keyring-5
36. How many years at your job- I'll let you know when I start one! (nice question there Jadey).
37. What did you do on your last birthday?-Worked ( I had a job, then).
38. how many states have you lived in? Just good ole PA!
39. Did you have fun doing this?- Some yes and some no.
40. Who are you going to send this to? Most of the bloggers I know have already done this.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

What's a boy to do?

I have recently faced some adversity when the dealership I was working for closed unexpectedly. Plans that I had made were suddenly cancelled or changed and the household budget was becoming a big question mark. I am the sole wage earner in my household. The savings are slim since my daughter got married last year and my wife has been unable to work for the last year due to a disability she is working through. When a dealership closes abruptly, they don't write out the month end bonuses, and this is how most of us pay our monthly bills.

We are all, by and large, held captive by our upbringing, whether we conform to those values and beliefs or rebel against them. I was raised in a single earner household and my Dad was the man. He made all of the major spending decisions and could fix almost anything. Most of my views are influenced by that childhood and I constantly compare myself against that standard. My very masculinity is validated based on those standards. The question of the day is "How do you define 'a good man' and how is that definition shaped by your life experiences"?

You can't separate the opinion from the background experiences that shape them. I started my post educational life in a Western Pennsylvania steel plant. We made pipe and tubing from raw steel while wearing our hardhats and steel-toe shoes. I eventually moved into a shipping/receiving supervisor's position and stayed there for 21 years. At various times times during that employment, I had part time jobs in law enforcement and high school football coaching. Definitely all high testosterone environments! For me, a good man provides for and protects his family. He's a tough guy that takes charge when needed. If he pops the hood on a car, he knows what he's looking at. He isn't aggressive, but he never takes any shit. Ask him what he is and he'll tell you how he makes his living.

Do I really believe all of that? Not really. Human Beings are far too complex to boil them down to a few short sentences, but there is this little guy in my head that nods in agreement with those sentiments. He was born when I was and was fully formed by the time I was ten. You have someone like that in your head, too. We all argue with them but we can't ever really ignore them. I also believe that a "good man" is a thinker. Someone who has opinions well thought out and formed and who can express those ideas coherently. He should have a high degree of compassion and empathy for others. He helps when he can. Oh, by the way, he also holds doors for and offers his seat to women.

Why am I writing this now? Unemployment is as emasculating as an unfaithful spouse. In my case, there is nothing I did that caused this situation. My family has been very supportive and no one has said or done anything to insinuate that I am any less for this experience. I know because I watch for it. Intellectually, I know that I didn't cause any of this. The department I supervised was making money, and a lot more than they did before I took over. There is nothing here to make me feel like I didn't produce. But that little SOB in my head keeps giving me funny looks....

As an update, I did accept a job with another dealership. It is a step backward (the little guy REALLY hates that!) but not terribly far back. I got knocked down hard, but I stood back up, dusted myself off, and kept on going. I hope I always will.

I look forward to any debate on this subject in the comments!

mhk 08/01/2007

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Jadey Interview

Well, I foolishly consented to this interview and being a man of my word, here goes...

Here are you interview questions.

1. What is one thing that you have NOT accomplished but, that is a must for you and why?

A-This is a question that has changable answers depending on exactly where you are in life. For today, I'd have to say to write something worth publishing and see it published somewhere because I feel the need to be creative and have that creativity recognized by someone other than my Mom!

2. If you could be anyone or anything who or what would you be?

A-I would probably be Mike Kilgore, but a better husband, father and provider. With a full head of hair! (Helium Cafe joke!)

3. Even if you don't believe in the afterlife, for this question pretend you do. Who would you have been? Doesn't have to be someone famous. Why?

A-Ernest Hemmingway-he was a great writer and lived a life of adventure.

4. Most embarassing moment at work details please?

A-While working the night shift, I was awakened by a corporate VP and 3 other execs returning from a conference.

5. Person you want to meet and why? How would you spend the day with this person?

A-Friends from Helium so we could spend the day talking about writing.....and stuff!

Interview rules: Leave me a comment saying “Interview me next" or "Hit me with your best shot" or something along those lines letting me know you're down to be questioned. I’ll respond by commenting back on your blog with your five questions. I get to pick the questions.You will then update your blog with a post containing your the answers to the questions.You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.So, who wants to give it a go? Leave a comment and let me know if you're down to let me do you next. At least one of you has to let me do an interview with ya. It'll be easy, fun, virtually painless and you'll enjoy it. Anyone else up for an interview? See my blog and leave a comment!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Getting started........

Well, I was looking for some time to start this thing and , voila!, my employer closed the doors on Friday without any notice, so here I am! Time being less of a factor for now, I hope to post here daily. Stephen King said in one of his books that "writers write" so I hope to post 1500 or so words a day here. Feel free to leave any comments here as I will read them all daily. If you're one of my new Helium friends-Welcome! If you haven't been there you should definately check it out-tell 'em Mike sent you! Its a great site to start writing at and there's lots of support and help there. There will be a number of opinion pieces so feel free to argue with me, I love a good fight!