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