Do You Still Beat Your Wife

The original headline to this post was going to be something like “Gini D Broke The Blogosphere. It was tied into a post that she wrote that turned into a stunning example of why people need to read carefully and think before they speak. I think that I found Gini, Lisa and Spin Sucks around January or so of this year. It has quickly become one of my favorite haunts on the net and I was grateful for the opportunity to guest post for them.  One of these days I’ll give it a more thorough endorsement than that, but for now suffice it to say that I read it daily.

Anyhoo, the reason I mentioned that stunning example of the need to read carefully is because some of the commenters did a superb job of proving that they are in need of the reminder. I know, it is not nice for me to call them morons, buffoons or idiots who suffer from illusions of grandeur. But I am not here to be nice and I do so love being able to address them as mutton heads who argue without logic or reason.

Fact is that some of them remind me of the people who try to win debates by making comments like, “do you still beat your wife.” If the goal is to try and anger someone so that they cannot argue effectively this might be one way of doing so, but it is not necessarily something that I would recommend. Nor would I deny using that very technique upon occasion. Call me a hypocrite and I’ll ask if child protective services ruled for or against you.


Last night my pal G and his wife came over and hung out for a bit. We met each other on the first day of kindergarten and have been friends ever since. It was good to see the old man and I appreciated having the opportunity for the kids to see him and his wife. The kids don’t remember that G met them both at the hospital the day that they were born or that he used to be at their birthday parties. If he hadn’t moved over to the right side of the country he’d still be hanging out with us, but the old bastard done hitched up his wagon and moved.

It was good to see him for a host of reasons not the least of which is how happy he is. Not that he wasn’t before, but he and his wife are a great match and it is good to see how comfortable they are together. And it was good to show the kids that old friendships don’t have to die because people move either. Hell, it couldn’t be easier to stay in touch now. When we were kids it was pen and paper- long distance telephone calls cost far too much.

Thirty-seven years later and here we are. Told him last night that since it is summer we ought to grab our bikes and go ride somewhere. Way back during the dawn of time that is what we did. We’d meet at his house or mine, grab our bikes and just go. If we had enough pocket change we’d grab a slurpee at 7-11 and maybe a comic book and then go hit the bike path to find adventure.

It is a little bit different than the lives my kids live now. They get shuttled and chauffeured around more than we did. They don’t get in trouble for showing up after dark or being late for dinner the way we did because life is different now and society suffers from an overactive imagination and a bad case of fear.


I really enjoy Spotify and Google +. I am short on time so I won’t give you the full review of either but for now I’ll say that they are great. Google+ has been especially good and I am really enjoying the hangouts. If you are on Spotify here is a playlist I threw together when I was just messing around.

The picture below is my Twitter avatar. It is from a spot in the Los Padres National Forest. I have been roaming around there for close to 30 years now- it is simply beautiful. Been meaning to scan some more photos in. For now you have the shot below or alternatively click here and gain some insight into places I consider to be among my favorite refuges.


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  1. Diana Stroe November 20, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    ” They don’t get in trouble for showing up after dark or being late for dinner…” – I wasn’t able to experience this before. I am totally happy on how my parents gave me freedom on dealing with my own live. It made me more responsible than those with my age since I was a kid. But of course, they still guide me in my life when things got tough for me.

    • Jack November 20, 2011 at 8:42 pm

      They sound like they were/are great parents. My goal has always been to teach my children how to be productive and independent members of society.

      • Diana Stroe November 23, 2011 at 1:10 am

        I must say that no one is perfect, but I still consider them as the best parents. I really owe a lot from them especially the way how I can manage my life now. At a very young age I was trained to become independent. Now that I’m starting to have my own life, I could say that I’m ready to face the challenges. I do hope that every kid will have the same experience like me.

  2. TheJackB August 11, 2011 at 9:49 am

    @AliceDunn Stealth certainly has its place in the world and in debates.

  3. AliceDunn August 11, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Hey Jack, when you use a statement or question like “do you still beat your wife?” it’s all about being stealthy. If no one realizes you are using such an argument they will come to accept “the fact” that they used to beat their wife.

  4. TheJackB July 24, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    @Leon Hi Leon, I guess I should say Happy Monday to you. I love hearing stories about old friends. I am obviously biased, but there is something special and rewarding about it.

    I get the feeling that there might be some good stories tied into your days in the mining town. it sounds like the sort of setting our friend Mr. Twain could have used to string together one heck of a tale.

    You are indeed correct about old friends. They are priceless.

  5. Leon July 24, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    G’Day Jack,

    Nice post. Thought you might be interested to know that next month we’ll be in Melbourne for an Important event for my wife’s sister. While there, we’ll be having lunch with the bloke who was best man at our weddding, who lived 200 yards up the street when we were kids and who went through grade school with me.

    He and his wife will be joined by my cousin and his wife. We lived a fair distance apart as kids but often spent school holidays together. He was a priest at the time of our wedding and conducted the ceremony.

    We’ll also be seeing some dear friends whom we fist met in the early 1970s when we were thrown together in a mining town in a very remote part of northern Australia.

    Melbourne’s 500+ miles from Sydney and we rarely get down there more than once a year these days. Perhaps I should have mentioned that we’ve been married for over 45 tears.

    Old friends are very, very special . I can assure your readers that they are well worth nurturing

    The great thing about all these people is that they allow us to be completely ourselves. That’s worth waiting for,



  6. ginidietrich July 24, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    @Craig McBreen You don’t have to have a blog to write for us. We just require something thoughtful and engaging….and that you chat with our community. lisagerber is the keeper of all things guest posts so if you really are interested, I suggest reaching out to her.

  7. TheJackB July 23, 2011 at 11:49 am

    @bdorman264 Bill I didn’t want to say anything, but I was thinking about you when I wrote this headline. 😉

    I really wish that my kids understood better what it was like to have that kind of freedom. I am working on trying to make that happen. That freedom is good for them- helps them grow up a little bit and become more independent.

    My latest conversation:

  8. bdorman264 July 23, 2011 at 4:49 am

    Actually, I do still beat my wife…………………….trust me, I lost control as soon as I said ‘I do’ and that was 28+ years ago.

    I grew up in semi-rural central Florida and down the road from the elementary and high school. Our bike adventures would be about town and through the halls of the school when you could do that. I also lived near orange groves and woods. We would spend all day out there and knew when it was time to come home because we were hungry or thirsty. A different time indeed………I too stay in touch w/ a couple of pre-school friends.

    Thanks for sharing this, I better go see if the wife needs another spanking…………….:)

  9. TheJackB July 23, 2011 at 12:20 am

    @ExtremelyAvg Always glad to be of service. We’ll have to hangout again. Hope you have a great weekend.

    My latest conversation:

  10. Craig McBreen July 22, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    @TheJackB Tried that stuff too! And yes, it lost its magic a long time ago. Now something like Jameson Reserve does the trick 😉

  11. Craig McBreen July 22, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    @ginidietrich Hi Gini. I certainly thought there was a thorough vetting process at Club Dietrich 🙂 Maybe one day, if I can actually get this blog up and running and you consider me worthy then … by the way, what are the requirements? 🙂

  12. ExtremelyAvg July 22, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Your story of those long gone days was wonderful. I didn’t read the post where Gini almost broke the internet, but I’m heading there now. Sometimes it is hard to keep up on all the interesting stuff going on. Thanks for keeping me from missing this ‘broken internet’ business.

    My latest conversation:

  13. TheJackB July 22, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    @Billy_Delaney The hardest part to reconcile is that he and I have been raising hell for 37 years now. We can’t be that old yet, but the mirror says different. 😉

    Always good to see you- hope you have a great weekend.

    My latest conversation:

  14. TheJackB July 22, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    @ginidietrich Cool. I look forward to it. Let me know when is good for you and we’ll make it happen.

    My latest conversation:

  15. ginidietrich July 22, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    @Craig McBreen Wait. There’s a cut?! Do you want to make it, too??

    My latest conversation:

  16. ginidietrich July 22, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    @TheJackB Oh we are SO hanging out! And you’re right…it totally got silly and ridiculous.

    My latest conversation:

  17. Billy_Delaney July 22, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Well sir! Friends are like fingers, you only get so many. Glad you have had Mr G for so long. I’ve a couple like that myself. Nice post, sort of rolled along like it was 1960 and I was a kid again. Doing kid stuff, playing, riding a bike. Best times don’t cost money.

    Nice. mellow. Good stuff


  18. TheJackB July 22, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    @Cracking Confidence Coach I wasn’t the author of this particular post- just an interested bystander. But it got to be tiresome and tedious to see so many people demonstrate that they clearly hadn’t read the post or had at best skimmed it.

    The hardest part about friends not living close by is the effort it takes to maintain things. We are all so busy that it has become simple to promise to call/email and then forget to do so. It is not malicious, just a by product of being busy.

  19. TheJackB July 22, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    @Tracie We can never have too many friends- especially the old ones. I am grateful and lucky.

    The hangout feature is a lot of fun and really easy to use.

  20. TheJackB July 22, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    @Craig McBreen Hi Craig, thanks.

    I like your story. For a while we got into chewing tobacco- Skoal mostly. About once every 12 years or so I decide to do it again. Lasts for a few minutes and then I realize that I am not a kid anymore and it loses the magic.

    Spotify and Google+ are truly wonderful. I very much enjoy the interaction and tools that they provide.

    I appreciate you coming by. Hope to see you again soon.

  21. TheJackB July 22, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    @ginidietrich you can always join me on G+ for a hangout and you’ll see if I really am The Phantom of The Opera. 😉

    Old friends are awesome. He is one of those guys who has seen/done it all with me. There is something special about that.

    I don’t have any problem with discourse and have engaged in some of the most heated and fiery that people can make- but I don’t see much of a point in those. I am not really interested in debating people who don’t have an open mind.

    I stand by my statement- many of them are in need of a remedial reading class that includes reading comprehension. It got to be silly and ridiculous.

  22. ginidietrich July 22, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    I don’t trust a guy who doesn’t use his face for his avatar. 🙂

    LOVED the story about your pal G. I smiled at the memory we all likely have of riding our bikes with our friends. For us it was ice cream, but Slurpees works too.

    As for the blog post that nearly broke the Internet. I’m a big, big believer in discourse. But the comments on that post went completely off the rails. I turned off the notifications for two days and didn’t go back to it until last night. You’re right. People need to read more carefully. I was astounded at the words that were put into my mouth, because they scanned or didn’t even read, but made some pretty big assumptions.

    I learned a very valuable lesson.

    My latest conversation:

  23. Craig McBreen July 22, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Hi Jack, I didn’t realize you had guest posted over at Spin Sucks. Congratulations for making the cut 🙂

    Your story brought me back to when my friends and I would venture out on our bikes. The destination. A place called the Winfield Market – a dumpy old mom and pop shop where we would buy red hots, candy cigarettes, and baseball cards. When were a bit older we started buying Red Man chewing tobacco. We hated the taste, but it gave us THAT feeling 😉

    I think kids today are way over-scheduled. George Carlin has a hilarious bit about this and it involves sticks. I’m sure you could find it on You Tube.

    Love to hear more about Spotify and Google+. Haven’t had time to even check them out. I honestly don’t know how the great Gini D finds the time to give us all this info, but I’m on Spin Sucks just about every day now too.

    Always enjoy what you have to write.

  24. Tracie July 21, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    It is wonderful to see those friendships from childhood continue into adulthood. And it definitely is easier to keep in touch now than it was back in the pen and paper days.

    I’ve really been enjoying Google+ and Spotify, too. I haven’t tried the hangout feature yet.

  25. Cracking Confidence Coach July 21, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    That’s an attention grabbing headline!

    It’s nice to have the control to be able to delete comments from people who clearly haven’t read through – presumably as you’re talking about a guest post, you don’t have that luxury!

    I’m not so sure I’d want to directly label someone as a mutton head! Although if they haven’t read your post and made a comment, they’re not likely to come back to see if you’ve been nice to them!

    It’s great that you make an effort to stay in touch with your friend… I have a friend like that and it’s become really tricky to keep in touch. Our other end of the country is only about 180 miles, but it seems like it’s the other side of the world sometimes!

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