Weapons of Mass Blog Destruction

 

On lots of blogs. Weapons of Mass Blog Destruction

It is probably better not to write about Weapons of Mass Blog Destruction when you are listening  to a Robin Williams interview.

He is not doing comedy the whole time so there are serious moments and some of his comments about being a father resonate with me. I relate to them and I wonder what life was like for his kids and if they were ever embarrassed by the things he said or did.

That is because when I go through my blog and I see posts like She Broke My Penis I laugh and smile. Laugh because it is a good memory and honestly I think some of it is funny and smile because it brings back fond memories.

The boy the post was/is about is gone. That child is almost twice as old as he was when the story was first written and I am far more careful about what sorts of things I write about. I do my best to mask his identity but we always leave crumbs online and should it be discovered I would hate for him to be teased about something I did.

And the girl who questioned reproduction and said that we can’t come from eggs because we aren’t chickens, well she is much older now too.

Weapons of Mass Blog Destruction

I turned off CommentLuv  and moved back to Livefyre again.

Did it because I grew tired of being asked to approve comments for sites I didn’t want to link to or promote. Did it because there are a boatload of broken links from comments that were made by CommentLuv users who let their blogs die.

I try to catch those and weed them out but it is time consuming and I have other things to focus upon. Several people have recently moved to DISQUS and have spoken highly about it but I didn’t do it. It takes a chunk of time to move over and import all the comments and I didn’t want to give that time up right now.

This is the side of blogging that is less attractive to me. It is the ticky-tack, knicky -knack take care of all of these tiny detail so everything works that sometimes wears me out.

The comment section here is very quiet these days and I suspect that given the current situation that won’t change unless I make a concerted effort to comment on more blogs and or work the content here so that people feel like they need to engage.

Not to mention I have tried to remember to ask people to join my community.

I have also been making a point to link to more of the old and recent posts here with the hope that those who haven’t read them will decide to do so the second time they see them.

About Those Boundaries Again

My son told me he heard about a journalist who was beheaded and wondered if it is true the video is online. I told him it is and I thought about James Foley and Daniel Pearl.

Daniel Pearl has always had a profound impact upon me. He was a few years older me, grew up in the same area and went to the same high school.

I have friends whose older siblings knew him. There was a time when I thought I would be a journalist so it wasn’t hard to see how with a few twists that could have been me.

Anyhoo, I didn’t mention Daniel Pearl to my son but I did mention James Foley by name because I thought it was important to make sure he understood we were talking about a person.

And then I told him I didn’t want him to watch the video. I didn’t want him to be upset by it and I want to hurt the terrorists ability to terrorize.

If no one watches their videos and or hears/reads their proclamations it will cut down on some of their influence. It might not be as effective as saying hello with a Hellfire missile but I’ll do what I can with what I have.

Tie it into a question of dignity and the things I wrote about in Grandma Didn’t Listen To This Music.

And there you have it, what do you think?

Misanthropy Is An Under Appreciated Art

wisdom 0512 Misanthropy Is An Under Appreciated Art
The Dale Carnegie Institute would probably recommend against using a headline like Misanthropy Is An Under Appreciated Art because it doesn’t sound like a useful way to win friends and influence people.

They might be surprised to learn just how many people are interested in a career based upon misanthropy or maybe not. I haven’t asked them so I can’t say for certain.

I wonder what they would say if I told them that age doesn’t bring wisdom and that you can increase it with the roll of a 20 sided die.

Maybe they would ask me to explain How To Make Time For Blogging and I could respond by telling them about The Excuses We Make.

Time Is Short

Things are changing now and I am still in this period of extended transition. I have been trying to use the blog to get a sense of how long I have been saying this and to figure out if I have made progress.

I keep coming across stuff like this:

There are other days. There will be other days. There have always been other days and there always will be until there aren’t.

It is a lesson that I have learned the hard way. I have stood graveside and buried friends and relatives. I have said goodbye to relationships and jobs that I thought would always be there and then they weren’t.

These words sting a bit because they make me sound foolish and naive, but I can’t hide from them. We only have so much control about the people, places and things in our lives.

It is bittersweet to read those words because in some ways I have made so much progress and moved so far away from where I was at but it doesn’t prevent me from feeling like it is not enough.

I made a decision a while back not to be stuck in the same place I was when I wrote this:

Ok universe, you all powerful, mystical and mighty something or other– stop saying ‘so what.’ Stop rolling your eyes and asking me to climb mountains so that some scraggly bearded yogi can give me some sort of wise sounding answer to the mysteries of the cosmos.

I asked you before and I am asking you again to give me a straight answer as to what you expect/want me to do. Yeah I know I don’t listen to anyone and that I march to the beat of a drummer who has no rhythm but trust me when I say it will be better for both of us.

That is because I have decided the best thing I can do is surrender to the current and to use its energy to move me instead of fighting it. I may be better than most at swimming upstream but that has’t proven to be as profitable way to make things happen.

Dad Is a Role Model

What I want is for my children to see how it benefits them to not rely upon one approach to solving problems. It is something we have discussed many times but action is almost always more important and effective than words.

Sometimes they hear the snarky comments about bad customer service, “THE STUPID, IT BURNS” but I don’t know if they always see the other side.

The side where I smile and thank people for their help because experience has proven that is usually much more effective than making a scene.

You can blame attribute that to my response to people who have tried to create a scene to force me to do things. And that response has been to find a quiet way to become less responsive and more difficult. Treat me like dirt and you’ll wear mud but if it goes as I wish you won’t be able to hang the blame on me.

Perhaps it is juvenile but I kind of like working things that way. While you are screaming and I am nodding my head and smiling at you what I am really doing is finding a way to express my true appreciation for you.

I do try to avoid those situations but lately I have found myself reliving my own Groundhog Day. Almost everything has felt like an unnecessary struggle and I have wondered if I am just lucky.

This past May I signed my kids up to play soccer again. We’re at about 11 years or so of playing at the same park so I am very familiar with how the system works.

The league runs almost exclusively on volunteers so every year I try to make a point to do something. I have been a coach many times but didn’t want to do it this year because I am not sure if my schedule will allow me to keep that commitment and I am loathe to break that sort of promise.

We received an email this weekend in which we were told that the coach for my daughter’s team had pulled out and that if no one signed up the girls on her team wouldn’t get to play.

Long story longer I was forced to sign up to coach. It is not the first time it has happened but I am unwilling to be so selfish with my time that the kids can’t play.

It annoys me to no end to hear/read people tell me about how busy they are as if no one in the world could possibly be so busy.

We all have the same 24 hours in a day and it just irks me to listen to people suggest they are special at the expense of others.

We Do What is Required

When the proverbial push comes to shove I want my children to understand if we want to live our dreams and not dream our lives we have to do what is required.

So I guess I’ll be a coach again as best I can and we’ll just swim with the current and see where it takes us.

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I Am The Bruce Lee Of Dad Bloggers

bruce lee statue on the avenue of stars in hong kong I Am The Bruce Lee Of Dad Bloggers

I Am The Bruce Lee Of Dad Bloggers is probably only slightly less obnoxious than calling myself The Original Dad blogger, but not much.

But if you want to win the magical game of building your blog you have to market yourself. You can’t rely upon your love of writing to make it work because they won’t come just because you write it.

I know, we want to believe If You Write It They Will Come because it makes us feel better but unrealistic expectations kill blogs, businesses and championships. It doesn’t matter how many times you read 500 Ways To Have Better Sex & Earn Money From Blogging because your expectations or should I say ability to manage your expectations dictates more than you know here.

Ask me how I know these things?

Ready?

Here comes a response from some jackass who has written about these issues before.

And this idea of “if you write it they will come” is Internet Mythology.

Very few new bloggers or online businesses will see the sort of immediate success that is suggested by this mythology that so many promote.

I suppose that you could say this mythology plays a role in my creating  some of my more colorful headlines. Posts like Cheaper Than A $5 Whore With Less Risk of InfectionThings Bloggers Say During Sex and 69 Reasons Why Fathers Make Better Lovers are all suggestive but they are not as lurid and lascivious as they sound.

Of course that same jackass has written posts about many topics besides parenting, dad blogging, sex, music, writing, reading, brake jobs, tune ups, history, politics and humor.

Sometimes the jackass goes after grammar snobs and those who don’t know about a self deprecating sense of humor. When you ask him if he can write a funny post he gets a little nuttier than normal.

Yes grammar people, I hear your cries. You want to know why I didn’t point out that I was referring to a person’s ass and not a person in their entirety. Maybe it is because I wanted to circle back to our headline and write the following:

  1. Can You Write a Funny Post.
  2. Can You Write a Funny Post?
  3. Can You Write a Funny Post!

If you asked nicely I could write three separate posts based upon those three punctuation marks. At least I could if my juvenile sense of humor wasn’t stuck in the land of scatological humor.

Does This Post Have To Make Sense?

No. It doesn’t have to make sense and you don’t have to read it, but you will. You have already invested this much time here so you might as well go the distance. Who knows, maybe there will be a giveaway. Maybe there will be a prize.

Maybe the author called up some company and said to give him free stuff or risk having a bad review written about your product because the Bruce Lee of Dad bloggers is so damn powerful.

Or maybe he just wishes he was. Maybe he feels like life has been more challenging than normal and he is trying to catch his breath, Maybe he feels like he is encircled by enemies and he is trying to figure out where he put his nunchucks because it would make life a bit easier.

That crazy old guy man has never had a problem using his fists when necessary, but dammit, these days it takes much longer to recover from the battles, even the ones he has won and at last count it was most.

Hell, ask him to tell you how many bad days he hasn’t survived and he’ll laugh because he has survived them all, maybe a bit worse for wear but still standing.

Better yet ask him why he is referring to himself in the third person.

Life Lessons Learned From The Soccer Field

My kids are playing soccer again. They love playing and we love watching them. There is so much joy and so many good teaching moments that come from it.

But right now I am less than pleased with some of it. The whole operation runs off of volunteers and always has.

In concept that shouldn’t be a problem but there is a dearth of coaches and the guy who was supposed to coach my daughter’s team has resigned.

I want to take over but there is a good chance work will take me out of town or at least make it impossible for me to guarantee I can make the practices and the games.

This irks me in multiple ways.

I don’t want my daughter to be screwed because we can’t find another coach. There have been a 100 parents so it is hard for me to believe that everyone of them is in the same position as I am.

Those of you who know me well know it is hard to pin me down but that is because I work very hard not to make promises I can’t keep. I am reluctant to step up when I cannot guarantee I will be available for the majority of the practices and games.

But if they can’t find anyone and the girls aren’t reassigned to a different team I might volunteer anyway. I don’t like that idea much because I really don’t know what will happen with my work situation, but perhaps it is better to make sure she gets to play than not.

Would be nice if this one area wasn’t so damn complicated but life doesn’t always cooperate as we wish it would.

What do you think?

Top Ten Bruce Lee Moments

0 I Am The Bruce Lee Of Dad Bloggers
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The Shackled Writer Part II

mystery door The Shackled Writer Part II
The Shackled Writer didn’t have to search for mysterious doors or draw circles on the ground to create magic portholes to other places.

And he still doesn’t but he looks for those places everywhere he goes, even when he is talking in third person and not using words like you and I.

So let’s correct that have a conversation about this and that.

When I was a kid I watched some movie whose name I cannot remember and was fascinated when the kids in it discovered the castle they were living in had secret rooms and passages.

Ever since then I have wanted to live in a place like that because I knew I was born to have adventures and I figured what better way to have them then in your own castle.

I have been part of a few adventures both as a child and as an adult and have been thinking about writing about some of them.  But when I looked at some of the words I put down on the page I grew frustrated because what I had written didn’t measure up.

And then I remembered the words from the first Shackled Writer post.

Good Writing Is Scary

Good writing is scary and great writing is so fucking frightening the sweat drips off of your forehead and onto the keyboard.

I don’t believe that to be an exaggeration either nor is it a necessity, but sometimes it helps.

If I could sing in the manner I want to you would hear a voice that could make you weep or make your heart sing. That is what I want from my words. I want them to make you smile and think.

And sometimes I want you to read them and feel gutted. Sometimes I want to reach inside your chest and make your heart ache in a way that leaves you breathless and amazed.

When I don’t pour my heart out or bleed at the keyboard I get frustrated because I feel like I didn’t put enough into my work. That is the source of some of my frustration.

I realized I had been holding back listening to the whispers of that internal editor and that had stolen some of the joy I normally find in writing.

So I spent some time reading and thinking about what had led me to the place where I wrote the first post about the Shackled Writer and I remembered the feeling.

And then I realized that part of my frustration is tied into the changes that are coming and this feeling that some of them are going to be major.

It doesn’t mean that I fear to make them because fear is the wrong word but the anticipation is getting old. The image in my head is what I have heard the beginning of a tsunami looks like.

The tide is out and the water is being pulled into a massive wave that is just starting to form.

I am staring at the wet sand and looking at the shiny objects that were left behind but I sense the monster wave that is going to come crashing down.

But I do not intend to let it catch me unaware.

It will not crash down upon my head. I am going to ride this one all the way back in.

Anticipation

What has me wound up now is anticipation. I feel like I have a pretty damn good idea what is going to happen and I am growing anxious waiting for the wave to break because I can’t take the next steps until it does.

Ask me what door I intend to choose and I won’t answer, not because I am wrestling with intuition and desire but because there are some boundaries in blogging.

You don’t need to know every thought but I will tell you that what I do will be based upon doing the best I can to help my kids and myself.

Or maybe what I am saying is that I am in the midst of an adventure and that I am excited, maybe even a little frightened.  But I’ll do my best to remember what Mark Twain had to say about fear.

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.

Got to run, the next part of this adventure is calling my name.

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What Door Will You Choose?

crossroads of the confederacy  the civil war railroad crossroads at corinth ms 2013 What Door Will You Choose?

“Standing at the crossroads, trying to read the signs
To tell me which way I should go to find the answer,
And all the time I know,
Plant your love and let it grow.”
Let It Grow- Eric Clapton

A parade of images flow through my mind and as they do I remember people and places and think about the choices I have made and those I haven’t.

Standing on the top of Masada, staring out into the desert listening to the echoes of the past touch my present I think about where I want to be down the road and I know it is here.

One day I’ll live in Israel, get married, raise a family and live this incredible, exceptional and amazing life. There is no doubt in my mind because at 16 you are invincible and all the world is yours for the taking.

Things happen and I don’t move as soon as I expect to, there will be no college experience in Israel for me. It is ok, I’ll roll with it.

It is midnight now and I am sitting at a pub in Jerusalem drinking a beer and listening to the Scottish girl tell me I have a funny American accent. She wants to know why I am wearing my baseball cap backwards.

I tell her that she is the one with the funny accent and her friends laugh and tell me “I am so American.”

Some hours later my roommate complains when I wake him up and asks me if I am drunk or happy. I tell him neither and he asks me how I blew the deal.

“I wasn’t trying to close it. I was just enjoying myself. I plan on moving here soon and I want to be free of all attachments.”

But it doesn’t happen then either. I go back to the states and in a bit more than a year I am married.

Third Time Is The Trick

It’s the summer of ’98 and it is my wife’s first trip to Israel. We are hanging out with some friends who live in Jerusalem and watching their kids run around the hotel.

I stare at these little girls and wonder when someone is going to call me dad. It will only be two years but I am having trouble imagining where they will be born, the kids I don’t have.

Later on we’ll swim in the Mediterranean and I’ll tell my wife that I still want to move to Israel. She asks me if I intend on joining the army and I nod my head.

“If I am going to do it, I am going to go all the way. This is a place that calls to me. It owns a piece of me and every time I leave I notice its absence.

The third time is not the trick but I can’t say exactly why.  That was the summer D died and that changed many things. Don’t know that it really had an impact on moving or not moving but it is when I started to recognize how fast time can move.

I was 29 and I had discovered mortality.

“Time is getting shorter and there’s much for you to do.
Only ask and you will get what you are needing,
The rest is up to you.
Plant your love and let it grow.”

What Door Will You Choose?

I am standing at the crossroads again but this time it is different. Life experience has provided me with an awareness that didn’t exist before and a level of maturity that changes everything.

Who I am and what I am willing to do now is different than it was then.

I have a far better sense of what I want and what I need now. It would be easy to look back and moan about mistakes I have made but maybe they weren’t mistakes.

Maybe they were things I needed to do to become who I am now.

That might sound like a bunch of woo woo nonsense. It might sound ridiculous but it works for me and ultimately that is what is important.

When night falls and you close your eyes you need to be able to feel good about the door you chose to open and the one you didn’t.

People say you can’t ever step in the same river twice because the current is always moving and it is always changing but that doesn’t mean you can’t ever cross it or that the door you passed upon is permanently locked.

I don’t have to close my eyes to see where I want to go or who I want to become.

I planted the seeds and I am letting them grow.

moonshine What Door Will You Choose?

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