Nov 13

Is anyone going to argue with that?  How can they?  Getting old sucks and, the really crappy thing is, there isn’t a thing you can do to stop it.  As long as you are alive, you will get older.  And no matter how well you take care of yourself, time will not be kind to you.  Your once supple young body will become a fragile hindrance to a joyful life.  No one can really avoid aging, and aging means you will get old (at least older than you were).

 

I went on a camping trip recently with a bunch of scouts.  One of the other adults on the campout took some pictures and posted them on Facebook.  In one of the pictures, there was some old piece of crap holding my coffee mug and wearing my jacket?  When did this SOB sneak into my tent and steal my stuff?  Then I realized, the old SOB was me… I wanted to cry.  Is that really what I look like to others?  I’m even more hideous than I originally suspected!  Was I always like this?

So I went looking at some pictures of me when I was younger.  I found the following:

.

.

.

 photo young_zps42ca1148.jpg

.

.

.

Yes, I was a goober.  Yes, I was a dork.  This picture was taken when I was most likely a sophomore in high school.  I was around 15-years-old.  I was the age my oldest son is now.  Even though I was a tool, look at how young I appeared!  My smile was sincere, my freckles were fresh, my eyes sparkled.  I looked like the kind of guy who would be fun to hang out with.  I could see me being friends with this guy.  He seems to have a certain amount of, oh, I don’t know, joy?

… and then I go back to the recent picture of me on the camp out…

.

.

.

 photo old_zps99074b4d.jpg

This is what 44 looks like, boys and girls. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

.

.

.

There doesn’t appear to be any joy in this face.  The smile seems forced, only there because someone is shoving a camera in his face.  The freckles have long since faded into the abyss of age.  The eyes are sunken, dead, no sign of spark.  It almost appears that someone, at some point, may have smacked him in the face with a shovel a few times.  Wrinkles everywhere.  His eyes are strangely off, again going back to the smacked with a shovel theory.  This does not look like someone I would want to hang out with.  This looks like someone who is going to start every conversation with, “Back in my day…”  Good gravy, how did this happen to me?  When did I become this !?!

Life.

Life did this to me.

You can sugar coat it any way you want, but life tends to… well… suck the life right out of you.  Those wrinkles aren’t from smiling too much.  The eyes aren’t dead because of some deeper gained understanding of some critical knowledge.  The beard isn’t gray because of some sort of wisdom nonsense.  I look the way I do because life takes a toll.  Dreams aren’t realized and goals aren’t met and hairs go gray and wrinkles appear.  You start to be more realistic about what you are actually going to accomplish with your life and your eyes lose most of their sparkle.  You swear that you are never going to look as old as the people that you thought of as old when you were young, and some jerk hits you in the face repeatedly with a shovel…

Life’s tough, kiddos.  Enjoy your youth while you have it.  Do the right things with it…

Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth,
Before the difficult days come,
And the years draw near when you say,
“I have no pleasure in them”

Ecclesiastes 12:1 (NKJV)

Tagged with:
Jun 02

A friend of mine recently lost his father-in-law.  Well… he didn’t actually lose his father-in-law.  He knew exactly where his father-in-law was, which happened to be at home dying of cancer.  It’s funny how cancer ravages an individual and leaves tattered survivors behind.  No… not really funny, but, you know, devastating.  Kind of strange how some of our ways of stating things make absolutely no sense, isn’t it?  Why yes — yes it is.  Stinking English language.

So anyway, my friend’s father-in-law retired not that long ago.  Shortly after retiring, he was diagnosed with cancer.  Shortly after being diagnosed, it looked like treatment was working.  Shortly after the prognosis looked positive, the cancer got worse.  Shortly after the cancer got worse, my friend’s father-in-law was given two weeks to live.  A couple of days after being given two weeks to live, the father-in-law died.

The end.

… but this entire scenario has been playing with my head for the weeks that have passed since the father-in-law passed.  And then this week, a nice lady who was not that much older than me had a relatively routine surgery and, due to complications from that surgery, she passed away.  She left behind a loving husband and grown children who now need to find a way to their futures without her.  Of course, she was warned about the dangers of the procedure before she underwent it, but there didn’t seem to be a lot of available options.  Can anyone say, “Life bites”?  She was actually someone outside of my immediate family who had read this blog and thanked me for doing what I do.  She enjoyed it and got a chuckle or two from the experience… and now she is gone.  Well, looks like my dad and my brother are, once again, my sole readers…

I’ve been thinking to myself about what I would do if I knew I had a determined amount of time left.  Would I continue working if I knew I only had a month left to live?  I’d dare say I would not continue working.  I would want to enjoy as much of the last of life as possible.  I’d quit my job and sell as much of my stuff as possible to make my final days an enjoyable memory for the family I’d be leaving behind.  But then… people who are in the end-stages of life-ending disease rarely want to do little more than be as comfortable as possible and die in a timely manner, right?  These people aren’t usually in any shape to tackle that European adventure that they kept saying “some day” to.  So fantasizing about what one would or would not do during the final stages of life is a sick little game that will lead to nothing more than severe disappointment, I’m sure.  And this really got me to thinking.  Aren’t we all, in one form or another, in the final stages of life?  For some of us, the prognosis is decades, for others, weeks, days, hours?  And something can always come along and screw everything up, right?  I wonder how many people who are given weeks to live due to disease die in automobile accidents every day…

We are all dying.

Period.

Dying is the only thing we are assured of in this life.  Death is the only goal that will be reached by every individual on the planet, regardless of race, gender, creed, social status… or whatever.  From the moment we are born, our bodies begin the various functions that will end up using us up and spitting us out.

We are all dying.

So why don’t we act like we are dying?  We have precious little time on this planet, yet most of us still are avoiding the things that we really want to do; the things that, on our deathbeds, will end up being missed opportunities and fill us with regret.  We keep telling ourselves, “Someday, when I have more time,” or, “Someday, when I have more money.”  Wake up, folks.  More time and money are things we may never have.  If you have stuff you want to get done, you better get to getting after it.  You could be dead tomorrow, so don’t delay.  Think of all of the wonderful things we as a species could accomplish if we started living like our time here is limited.  Think of how few people would be in a job or a relationship that wasn’t fulfilling to them if they started living like they didn’t have eternity to do something with this life… because no one does.  What we accomplish in our short time here is the only shot we get.

Of course, realism always sets in when I start thinking like this.  Gotta put food on the table, right?  Gotta pay them bills.  Gotta put gas in the car.  You can’t just try to do whatever you want with your life without being destroyed by the consequences.  My mind always quickly changes back to: maybe someday when I have more time and money… maybe then I can try to accomplish something enjoyable with my life.  I can make the boredom of everyday life disappear once I have a little more time and money…  Well, I’m coming to the realization that I need to say…

Screw that noise!

This is my life.  Your life is your life.  I have a deep desire to do something I am passionate about with my life… to figure out my purpose and pursue it.

When I was a kid, I used to think that when I grew up and started making money and got a family, that would be when life really began.  Well, having a family is great and gets me through from day to day, but I soon realized that not everyone can make good money.  So, I started thinking that once I can get to retirement, that’s when life really begins.  Of course, to get to retirement at a decent age, you have to make good money (or sacrifice much of the comfort from current life to stick it all away for retirement)… and “good money” isn’t easy to find.  So retirement (if I live to see it…we are all dying, after all), is close to half a lifetime away, and half a lifetime (when you are 42) is way too long to wait for life to begin.

I know that I need to appreciate the little things, or I will prove to the world that I can’t comprehend a platitude.  But focusing on the little things, as fulfilling as that can be, does not seem like a very redeeming purpose.  I know that our purpose is supposed to be God’s purpose for us, but I highly doubt that God’s sole purpose for me on this planet is to appreciate the little things… that just sounds too boring; I would hope that God has given me more talent than that.

The only non-family activity that I do that feels rewarding is volunteering.  Boy Scouts, church, whatever.  Time spent volunteering (as much as I usually dread actually going to do the work) always leaves me feeling fulfilled.  You know, like a job has been well done (whether it actually has or not).  It feels good.  I do not, nor have I ever, felt the same kind of satisfaction working a job.  It’s this whole big Catch-22.  If I could actually make enough money to meet my needs by volunteering, I would probably be semi-satisfied with life.  But if I made money, it wouldn’t be volunteering… it would be a job… and like most jobs, it would probably suck.  So maybe I just need to volunteer more of my free time to find more satisfaction and purpose, but I am usually so drained after 8+ hours of working a job that the last thing I want to do is take more time away from my family than my current level of volunteering already takes.

See… damn it… this is why I should win the stinking lottery:

  • I enjoy volunteering; it leaves me feeling fulfilled.
  • I have financial needs.
  • If I win the lottery, my financial needs would go away.
  • If my financial needs went away, I could spend 8+ hours a day volunteering.
  • By spending 8+ hours of my day volunteering, I would be helping causes that need help and I would feel fulfilled at the end of the day (instead of just too tired to fulfill my current obligations to family and the organizations I volunteer time to).
  • This is a win/win situation.  Nobody loses… so why can’t I win the freaking lottery?!?

I can’t win the lottery because God’s purpose for me isn’t to volunteer all of my free time.  I can dig that.  But if my purpose involves a future of life-draining 8-5s, I most definitely cannot dig that.

“Well, nobody said it was going to be fair!”

Yeah, and nobody asked my opinion before putting me here, so that doesn’t fly.  Thus, the search for purpose continues.

I actually recently read “The On-purpose Person” by Kevin W. McCarthy… and I got excited.  It’s a narrative about a guy (who sounds a lot like me… but who makes a crapload more money than me) who feels purposeless.  Through a series of referrals, the man in the story visits various on-purpose people who volunteers their time to help the man find his purpose and start living his life on-purpose.  Whoa… that sounds pretty cool.  So, I check out an introduction to Kevin McCarthy’s web-based program that helps people find their purposes.  The first lesson was free and didn’t really provide too much useful info.  In order to get the good stuff, you need to pay for the seminar series… and it’s like 200 bucks.  And it sounds like you have to stop having a lot of fun and grow up and stuff, so I’m not exactly sure this program is for me.

“But… in the story, all of those on-purpose people gave their time and advice for free to the man,” I point out.

“But that was a story,” says the voice of reason.

“So, in real life, people aren’t willing to give their time to help others find their purpose?” I ask.

“Of course not,” says the voice of reason.  “In real life, people, including Kevin W. McCarthy have mortgages and life insurance policies and the need to eat.”

“Well,” I say, “real life kinds of sucks when compared to the story.”

“Nobody ever said it was going to be fair,” says the voice of reason.

Sometimes, I hate the voice of reason.  So the search continues.

I’m kind of thinking a more self-sustaining lifestyle may have some rewards…

Tagged with:
Sep 13

So about six months ago, I go to our Quick Care clinic to get a referral for a sleep study.  I leave the appointment with the referral… and a brand-spanking new prescription for blood pressure medication.  Stinking people looking out for my health.  Anyway, so I had a six-month prescription, and that prescription was about to run out, so I figured that I better go see a real doctor about my blood pressure.

Now, when I went to Quick Care, my blood pressure was like 170/130.  I’ve been tracking it ever since, and although there are times when it spikes in the 160/110 range (which is pretty much any time I get pissed off… which, as you can imagine, is almost daily), it’s usually in the 140s/90s.  Still high, but better, no?

I make an appointment with an actual real doctor (figure I’m about at the age where I need a family physician).  The appointment comes, I go to see the doctor, and my stupid blood pressure is still high.  It’s 148/98.  So, the doctor wants to double the dosage of the lisinopril that I’m on, and I’m fine with that.  Aside from a constant nagging cough, I don’t really suffer any side-effects.  Then the doctor tells me that he wants to check my cholesterol.  Crap.  I have no doubt that my cholesterol is high, and I’m sure that I’m going to have to fork out money for a prescription for that crap every month too.  The nurse sticks a needle in my arm and draws a couple of vials of blood.  I’m amazed at how dark the blood is… almost black… and I’m thinking to myself that may be part of my problem.  With all of the tons of fat that I have eaten in my 41-years of life (’cause, damn it, it tastes good), the crap has actually morphed into actual oil in my system.  Of course my blood pressure is going to be high with Pennzoil 10w30 running through my veins, and I’m way past the 3 month/3000 mile mark.  Can’t I just get a stinking oil change and a lube job?.

I heard from the doctor’s office today.  Low and behold, I have high cholesterol.  SURPRISE!  They called in a prescription for some statin-thingie to Walgreens, and as of tomorrow, I’ll be medicated for my condition.  Possible side effects are muscle cramps, drowsiness, and liver damage.  They recommend taking it before bed so that the side effects are less noticeable.  The drowsiness thing happening while I’m sleeping makes sense.  However, being awoken in the middle of the night with a charlie horse doesn’t sound very pleasant, and I’m sure my wife would agree with me on that.  As far as the liver damage part goes, I’m kind of hoping to avoid that.  I guess if I have liver failure or something, having that happen while I’m asleep might be a plus?!?

Why is everything that tastes good bad for you (and if someone tries to tell me that steamed broccoli or broiled fish “tastes good”… I may punch him or her in the lying, filthy little mouth)?  “Everything in moderation,” you may say, but I would reply that moderation sucks.  Stupid common sense.  If I’m stuck in the Craphandle of Nebraska with nothing to do and no real future worth caring about, I want to be able to eat what I want when I want.  Eating is one of the very few pleasures I have… and now it just happens to be killing me.

AARGH!

Apparently, high cholesterol makes one very pirate-like?

With the history of high blood pressure and heart disease that infests my family tree, I figured all of this was coming.  I just hoped that maybe I was going to be the branch that could remain healthy.  I’m telling you, optimism in all shapes, colors and sizes, leads to nothing but disappointment, which is why I usually do such a wonderful job of avoiding it.

Okay, so here’s the Catch-22.   The potential side effects of the statin-thingie don’t sound very pleasant.  So, I figure I need to lose about 20 to 30 pounds and start eating gross crap, which doesn’t sound very fun.  Then, when I’m all sickly skinny and eating leaves and twigs, there is still a chance that I will need to remain on cholesterol medication.  Stupid genetics.  So, do I just let the doctor medicate the hell out of me and potentially destroy my liver (a problem that may never come to be… look at me, the stinking optimist) while I continue to enjoy one of the few simple pleasures I have in life: eating good food?  Or, do I give up one of the few simple pleasures that I can experience in the Craphandle of Nebraska in an effort to extend my life so that I can potentially live out an extended life in the Craphandle of Nebraska with no simple pleasures?  And even if I give up the simple pleasure, there is still the chance that I will need to remain on the liver-destroying medication, so I may actually give up the simple pleasure and still die of liver failure.  Sounds pretty much like a lose-lose-lose situation to me.  There… now I’m sounding a little more like the pessimist that I know and dislike an awful lot of the time.

So, now I have a doctor.  He wants to see me again after about 30 days on the current medications to measure my progress.  I should be proud of myself for taking some responsibility for my health and trying to be there for my family’s future, right?  But all I can think about is how I’m 41… and it is just going to be a matter of time before Mr. Dr. is going to be thinking that he needs to be sticking his finger up my butt.  Seriously… if I’m falling apart this much in my 40s, what bright, shiny stars can I expect in my 50s… and beyond?  Well, with the Dr. seemingly intent on destroying my liver, I may not have to worry about it at all…

Tagged with:
May 24

In my last post, I pointed out how both high school and college graduates are often (usually) unrealistically optimistic. That’s me, destroyer of young dreams… but I only tell them for their own good.  Better to have no dreams or to know that your dreams are probably unachievable than to dream and have those dreams shredded and left on the compost pile of life.  Did I just quote Shakespeare?  Wasn’t that in Hamlet?  … maybe not…

I felt kind of bad for presenting the future of most of these graduates as the miserable abyss that, for most of them, their lives are going to become.  I wanted to make a modest attempt, in my own very special and unique way, at letting them know that everything is gonna be alright.  Here we go…

Sometimes, my family worries about the level of pessimism (or, as I like to think of it, “realism”) that I display on my blog.  I spoke to my dad on the phone shortly after he read the last graduation post. He seemed slightly concerned.

Dad:  “Son, I bet people who don’t really know you think you’re very bitter.”

Me:  “Ya think?”

Dad:  “You’re really not that bitter , are you?”

Me:  “I thought you knew me.”

Dad:  “I do, I just have a hard time believing you’re that bitter.”

Me:  “Yeah, me sometimes too.”

Dad:  “I mean… you’re really not that bitter… are you?”

Me:  “Not always.  Sometimes, I sleep.”

Dad:  “… oh…”

Hahaha!

Nothing says “good times” like making your parents believe that they somehow failed you in your childhood and your current level of life-misery is all their fault.  No worries, Dad.  All of my pessimism is self-induced.  Life has taught me that it often sucks without any help from you… although the short-gene that you have passed on to me hasn’t helped.  How was I ever supposed to live out my dream of playing in the NBA when I come from short European stock?  But, you just passed on what was passed to you, so not really your fault  (I don’t want to piss off my dad… he’s one of 3 people who read this blog regularly.)

Ok, back to encouraging high school graduates.  I think part of the problem I see with the whole free education system is that, by the time you are finished with it, you are still way too young to have a decent idea what you want to do with the rest of your life.  “I’m going to be a doctor” or “I’m going to be a lawyer” you may say if you are one of them real smarty-pants-types… or you actually have parents with enough cash to help you get through medical or law school.  But, do you really want to be a doctor?  Do you really want to be a lawyer?  You’re 18-years old.  How can you really know what you want to do with the rest of your life?

You can’t.

When you are 18-years-old, you know you want an attractive person of the opposite sex to pay attention to you, you know you like hanging out with your friends, and you know that you like to eat food that, a couple of  years in the future, is going to end up straight on either your gut or your butt; this is what you know about life.  I’m 41-years-old, and I only really figured out what would have been pretty cool to do with my life a few years ago… and by then it was too late.

For my college education, I went the business route.  4-years and a lot of money went to Montana State University and the Bozeman community while I earned a bachelor of science in marketing.  Now, I knew I could make more money if I chose something like engineering, but I always had issues with science.  I didn’t enjoy it, so why would I want to apply it to my career for the rest of my life?  Teaching sounded okay, but kids who took the teaching path seemed to be looking for the easy route.  Besides, teachers don’t make squat, right?  Business… no crappy science, and good money, right?  Oh, how wrong I was.

There needs to be a large disclaimer when someone enrolls in a business program at the university level.  That disclaimer would read:

This degree does not guarantee any kind of future success.  This degree will most likely lead to some crappy job in sales or retail management.  If sales and/or retail management aren’t what you are looking for, chose another program of study!

Of course, this disclaimer does not exist… until now.  I am warning you, if you get a business degree (unless it is very specialized, like accounting) you will most likely wind up as an assistant manager at Walmart or trying to sell computer software to companies that don’t need it and who cringe every time they see you come through the door.  This is a proven fact… well, I don’t have proof, but I’m pretty sure it’s true, which is almost the same as fact, isn’t it?

So, I went through college, got a crappy retail management job, and jumped from crappy job to crappy job every couple years.  A few years ago, I realized that an education in literature would be more up my alley.  I’ve always liked reading and writing.  Maybe that teaching thing wouldn’t have been so bad.  Besides, as crappy as I perceived teacher pay to be at the time I was making career decisions… in reality, I’d be making a hell of a lot more if I had been teaching for the past 20 years than I am now… and I’d have my summers off.  Hindsight… it’ll kick your ass every time.

A few years ago, I figured, heck, why not try pursuing something that would be a little better fit with my personality.  I enrolled in an online graduate program through Fort Hays State University in Kansas.  I was gonna get me a Master of Liberal Studies with an emphasis in English.

“What could you do with that?” you may have asked.  Well, boy howdy, I could have taught English at a community college.

“How does that pay?” you may have asked.

“Like crap,” would have been my response, but I was going through a brief period of insanity in my life where I thought maybe money wasn’t everything.

I enrolled, took a couple of classes, loved the classes, started to get a fresh perspective on life, and then reality smacked me upside the head.  First of all, I stopped working for a company that had a really good tuition reimbursement plan, and college classes are not cheap.  Second, I realized that taking these classes was interfering with family time (and my kids aren’t going to be around forever… they will get out of high school and, I’m assuming, move as far away from the panhandle of Nebraska as possible).  Third, I realized that the odds of getting an actual job teaching English at a community college were pretty slim, and, even if I did, I wouldn’t be able to support a family on that kind of crappy pay.

See, even a seasoned pessimist like me can let stinking dreams and hope and all of that other positive garbage creep back in every once in awhile.  I’m just glad that dream got smacked down before it grew too large.  I was in my mid-30s when that one snuck in.  I’m in my 40s now and any silly hope of getting an education that would lead to some sort of life-happiness is a thing of the past.  Once you get family obligations and mortgages and car loans piled on you and once you get accustomed to a certain quality of life and start thinking about the prospect of being able to retire some day, going backwards financially to make silly dreams come true becomes what it really was all along… a pipe dream.

So, you may be wondering how these words can be construed as “encouragement” for recent high school graduates.  I’m not exactly sure.  I guess my words of encouragement would have to be:

DON’T STRESS IT!

Don’t stress the fact that everyone expects you to plan out the rest of your life through the choices you make at age 18.  Plans change.  Dreams change.  Hopes change.  And most importantly… YOU change.  You will not be the same person at age 28 that you are at age 18, and 38 is going to make 28 look like a total stranger.  You will see the world differently, you will value different things, and your passions may change hundreds of times before you leave life in this realm.  Very few choices that don’t involve death are permanent, and any wound that doesn’t kill you will heal.  Scars are badges of effort,  and it takes effort to survive.  Whether you accomplish your goals or realize your dreams, or if you end up living the disappointing life of the average mortal, you will get some scars along the way.  Wear them with pride.  They show that you made the effort.

Now, if you end up bitter and pissed at the world like me, I’m thinking I’m probably going to be looking for a protege to take over this blog in about 20 years (if I ain’t dead by then).  If you are 18 now, you’ll be 38 then (which is how old I was when I started this bad boy) and we may have to get together and discuss you taking over old Happy Stinking Joy.  See, even when your dreams are dead, you may still have something to look forward to… or not…

Tagged with:
May 18
Graduation

Every year, thousands of small birds are inexplicably killed near commencement ceremonies :(

WARNING!!!

Recent high school or college graduates, please don’t read this post.  I don’t want to be held responsible for harshing your mellow at this time of great accomplishment in your lives.  As you travel the road of life ahead, you will have plenty of time to discover the truths held in my words for yourself.

The wife and I took our boys to our niece’s high school graduation this past weekend in North Platte, NE.  So, we spent a weekend watching young people being recognized for their accomplishments. This all got me to thinking… thinking how much people could accomplish with their lives if the stinking real-world didn’t have to come along and jack everything up.

I remember graduating from high school feeling like the whole world was out there waiting for me to conquer it. I remember having the same delusions at my graduation from college. At my niece’s graduation, I could read the same thoughts in the faces of all of those graduates. They were imagining their futures filled with limitless opportunities. Give them a few years. They will find the limits. Actually, the limits will hunt them down and stomp many of them into the ground.  I know.  The graduating class speaker was a well spoken young woman who reminded the graduates that they were solely responsible for their own futures. Graduates and school administrators say that kind of stuff at graduations. Graduates and school administrators believe that kind of stuff at graduations.  Now, with graduates being young and naive, such dreams are expected.  School administrators, on the other hand, should know better but are extremely biased in their perception of the true value of “education.”  Aside from the field of education, I can’t think of a single line of work in the United States of America where further education guarantees higher earnings, seniority, and advancement.  A large percentage of people employed in the field of education seem to have lost touch with what it is actually like outside of the field of education, and those people probably should not be allowed to speak at commencement ceremonies; they paint an unrealistically-rosy picture.
.
.
.
Photobucket
.
.
.
Photobucket
.
.
.
Photobucket
.
.
.
Photobucket
.
.
.

Well, I guess we want to give these young people hope for the future, right?  No need having them give up when a very small percentage of them are going to accomplish those dreams.  As for those who will not accomplish their dreams, they will have plenty of time to figure out what their futures hold.

.
.
.
Photobucket
.
.
.
Photobucket
.
.
.
Photobucket
.
.
.
Photobucket
.
.
.
Photobucket
.
.
.
Photobucket
.
.
.

Soon enough, most of these optimistic young people will be just like the rest of us… wondering why everyone misled us about how bright our futures were.  For the kiddos, when someone tells you that you may need to set “new goals” or dream “new dreams”, this is them gently telling your dreams and goals are unrealistic (see, they lied to you at graduation… you can’t accomplish anything you want).  Pick something less-hard to accomplish, or maybe just settle for what you have.  Less hard and settling are what most of us do on a daily basis…

Tagged with:
Mar 24

Ahhh… remember back to the days of your youth.  These were magical years where your future seemed so bright.  Remember?  From the end of August to mid-May, you learned and played sports and hung out with your friends all day.  But summer was when the true magic happened.  Summers were a seemingly endless period of long, hot days and cool, enchanted nights.  You could ride your bike with your friends day after day and it never got old.  As young boys, my friends and I would ride bikes and play catch and start a pick-up game of kickball of football and hike paths and climb trees and hang-out at our favorite stores (… uh… it was Fort Peck, Montana, so there was only one) and swim at the pool or at the lake and, as we got older, appreciate the way our rapidly-maturing female friends were filling out their bathing suits in spectacular new ways… and the summers seemed to last an eternity.

As we got older, some of us started getting summer jobs, and some of us got jobs year-round.  School got harder, and we had to start really thinking about our futures.  Then, college called to some of us, and some of us went straight to full-time, real-world work; but we still held tight to our dreams.  Those of us who went to college soon joined our working friends.  During these years, many of us fell in love, got married, started families; the dreams were still there.

Our kids started to grow up.  Soon, we could see our kids enjoying many of the same things we enjoyed in our youth, and we were starting to feel a little old.  The dreams were still hanging on, but we began to wonder how we were going to accomplish them with a full family life.  Oh well, maybe after the kids are grown and on their own.

Soon, we start living vicariously through our kids. Maybe we want our kid to be that great sports star we never were.  Or maybe we want our kid to be the genius we were never smart enough to be.  Or perhaps we want our kid to be the singer or actor or musician we never had the confidence to attempt to find within ourselves.  Our dreams migrate to the purgatory of our consciousness, awaiting the day when they will either realize the joyous fruition of heavenly accomplishment or be cast to the inescapable torment of hellish failure.  We start trying to help our children with their dreams, which are merely extensions of the dreams we had in our youth.  We start to realize that our age is actually catching up with us.

We become obnoxiously proud parents, praising the accomplishments of our children as if they were our own… often to the major annoyance of most other adults around us.  Soon, we find that other adults begin to avoid us because they really don’t care how good little Jimmy’s baseball team did… or how excellent little Susie’s dance recital went.  We become monsters who seem intent at driving everyone away from us… everyone except our families.  We scream at the umpires or referees at a game because their calls made our kid’s team lose.  We badmouth the teacher who doesn’t truly see our child’s intelligence.  We harbor ill-will toward the second-chair trumpet player who screwed up during the concert and made our first-chair child look bad.  We become bearers of vehement hate toward every single person or thing that interferes with our child’s success.  Our age is no longer catching up with us; it has caught us and is a driving force in our lives.

Our children, meanwhile, are oblivious.  They are focusing on having fun and creating their own dreams.

Soon, the kids are off to college or work, and we have the houses to ourselves again.  We are still focusing on the dreams of our kids.  We give career advice.  We warn them of the mistakes we made along the way.  We tell them what they should do to be happy, which is really what we should have done to be happy.  Our hindsight is, for the most part, ignored by our children.

Our kids are now adults, they are working full-time, many of them are happily married… and before you know it, we’re grandparents.  Our kids seem to have put their dreams on hold in an attempt to help their kids create new dreams.  Finally, there is time for us to focus on our dreams once again, so we search.  We search our consciousness for those dreams of our youth.  We search for the motivation to once again bring them to the front of our minds.  Funny thing is, when we search for our dreams, the smell of brimstone becomes overpowering, and just the thought of trying to accomplish those dreams makes us very tired.  We have moved beyond old and are now ancient.

Ahhh… it was nice to have dreams.  Too bad we never found the time or will to accomplish them.  What to do now?  Ooooh… looks like the grand kids could use some help with their dreams…

Tagged with:
Feb 14

My snore has been likened to the thunderous growl of a Tyrannosaurus rex. Now, I know that no living person is exactly sure what a T. Rex growl really sounds like, but I have been told that my snore has to be in the ballpark.

T-Rex

Of course, I have never heard my snore. My snoring has woke me up in the middle of the night on thousands of occasions, but by the time I’m actually awake, I’m done snoring. Funny how that works.

Anyway, my wife and I have been married for over 16 years.  My wife has complained about my snoring for, well, a little over 16 years.  I finally decided that maybe it was time to do something about it.  See what a great guy I am?

Why would I avoid going to the doctor to have something done about my snoring?  Well, the reasons are multiple:

1st:  I hate doctors.  I don’t hate them on a personal level, I just don’t like the fact that I have to rely on someone who makes a buttload of money for my physical well being.  I also don’t like the fact that I have to pay said person a buttload of money for services rendered.  Yeah… it’s all about the Benjamins.

Benjamins

I couldn’t be a doctor because I’m really not smart enough, and the thought of messing with someone’s other than my own bodily fluids makes me slightly light-headed.  Just another of the “life isn’t fair” deals that pisses me off.  Okay, so maybe I do hate them on a personal level…

2nd:  When you go to the doctor, he or she always ends up finding a bunch of crap wrong that has nothing to do with the reason for your visit.  It’s kind of like when you take your car in for an oil change, you know.  All of a sudden, you’re needing new brake pads and a front-end alignment and your head-gasket is leaking… you, at the doctor… your car, at the mechanic… it’s all the same.  Now that I am “in my forties”, I know that crap is going to start breaking down at an alarming rate.  I’d really rather just not know about it.  After all, maybe I can get another 2000 miles out of the car without fixing the problem, right?  Besides, it seems like when they start trying to fix one problem, everything else starts to go to hell.  You know, like the 35-year-old lady who goes in because she sprains her ankle, and they discover she has pancreatic cancer, so they cut her open to get to the cancer, and they find out that it is EVERYWHERE, and she is dead within a couple of weeks… because of a stinking sprained ankle.  If she hadn’t gone in for the stupid sprained ankle, she would probably be alive today!

3rd:  Uh… I don’t take exactly the best care of myself.  I know this.  I don’t need some yahoo driving a BMW to point this out and talk down to me while doing so, because when he or she does, my level of class-envy goes through the stinking roof!

Okay, so I don’t like going to the doctor.  In fact, I don’t even have a doctor.  I go to a local urgent care clinic (Quick Care) for all of my medical needs… which are few and far between.  You’d think that, seeing as how I’m getting to the point where annual visits are looming on the horizon, I should probably find a doctor.  I don’t like shopping for shoes… and I like shoes… so why would I spend time shopping for a doctor?

So, back to the snoring.  I call one of them “sleep centers” (Western Sleep Medicine, I believe it is called) to see how I go about getting fitted with one of those Darth Vader masks to make me stop snoring.

Darth Vader snores?

They say I have to be referred by a doctor.  I say I don’t have a doctor.  They say I can use Quick Care to refer me.   I call Quick Care and make sure that they can refer me, which they reassure me that they can.  I ask, “So, uh, I’m wanting a referral for a sleep study… and that’s it.  You aren’t going to test me for a bunch of other crap, are you?”  And I am reassured that I will only be tested for the condition that I am visiting about.  Great!  So I drive on over to Quick Care.  Never believe medical people.

I get to Quick Care and they make me fill out the stinking form that all medical places make you fill out when you first arrive.  I get done filling the stupid form out and I realize that right beside the line where I fill-out my date of birth, there is a line for me to fill-out my age.  I ask the receptionist, “So, why is there a line right beside my date of birth for my age.  Wouldn’t just my date of birth be sufficient?  Can’t you figure out my age?”  Of course, I’m being a little smart-assy, but in a good-natured way.  The receptionists at Quick Care are not exactly “good natured”.

“It’s there so we don’t have to figure it out,” the receptionist says, and I can tell by the look on her face that I’m pissing her off by breathing her air, so I let it drop.

So now I’m thinking to myself that I may be making a mistake by not actually having an actual doctor.  I’m thinking that using Quick Care for a referral may not have been the swiftest of my most recent decisions.  Did I have to list my age beside my date of birth so they didn’t have to figure it out… or because they couldn’t figure it out?  I know, I should assume that the receptionist (or anyone else who touches my chart) would be able to figure out my age from my date of birth.  However, before I entered Quick Care, I assumed that a receptionist in a place where people are going to have medical issues addressed and are looking for a little comfort would be able to smile… or at least be partially pleasant.  I have learned to never trust my assumptions.

After a short wait, I am led into an examination room.  The nurse tells me that the first thing she needs to do is check my blood pressure.  Crap!  This is exactly what I don’t want.  This is why I called before I came… to make sure unnecessary crap wasn’t going to be tested.  What does my blood pressure have to do with my snoring?  But I’m already thinking I need to keep my mouth shut because of the whole receptionist encounter, so I sit down and let her test it.

170 over 130.

She looks at me like I should already be dead.

“Uh, is your blood pressure always this high?” she asked.

“No, these places freak me out,” I said.  “It’s usually more like 150 over 100.” Of course my blood pressure is high.  Everyone and their dog stresses me out.  I hate any sort of confrontation and life is full of it… confrontation that is.  The older I get, the less I am able to deal with the basic BS that every person on the planet seems intent on dishing out.  If I could hole-up in a dark room and not have to ever deal with anyone or their problems, I bet my blood pressure would be just fine.  I pray to God to let me not get stressed out, but stress is still there around every single stinking corner in this road of life… and God just looks down from heaven and laughs.  I think jacking around with me is how God deals with His own stress.

Again… she looks at me like I should already be dead.

“I’m going to get the P.A.,” she said and disappeared out the door.

P.A. stands for “physician’s assistant”.  A P.A. is like a doctor, except they didn’t have to go to school as long as a doctor, and instead of BMWs, they usually drive Audis.  I don’t hate P.A.s quite as much as I hate doctors.

The P.A. comes in and he talks about getting me a referral for the sleep test, he fills out the necessary paperwork, and then he starts talking about what we are going to do about my blood pressure.  He has the nurse run a ECG, and then she sticks me with a needle and red crap comes out my arm into a little vial.  I’m ready to pass out as he tells me about the blood pressure medication that I’m going to be put on.

Crap!

So, I leave, I go and get my blood pressure medication, and I go home.

The next day, I take the first of the pills.  It’s Lisinopril.  It’s supposed to have very few side-effects.  I notice nothing and think I’m golden.

I take my second pill the following morning.  All is well… until I get out of the shower, reach for the hair gel (it’s Sunday, and I gel my hair up on Sunday to keep from looking like such a hippie freak), and I fall to the floor with chest pain.  I can’t even stand up.  The wife and kids are already gone, because the wife takes the kids to Sunday school.

Crap!

Okay, so I figure I’m having a heart attack.  Figures, right?  I mean, if I hadn’t gone in for the stupid snoring issue, I would have been fine.  Anyway, I’m downstairs, and I need to find a way to get upstairs.  I figure out that if I bend over and do not stand straight up, I can walk without a ton of pain.   So I hunch it upstairs and sit down at the dining room table.  I start weighing my options.

I can call the wife and freak the crap out of her.  Yeah… not going to happen.

I can call 911 and get an ambulance coming.  That would, however, be expensive.  I’m all about the Benjamins.

Benjamins

Then, I start thinking that I really don’t feel like I’m going to die.  You know how people who have heart attacks claim that they get all freaked out because they can tell that they are dying?  Well, I’m not freaking out.  I’m just pissed because my chest hurts.  There is no pain shooting through my shoulder or up my arm, just a sharp pain under my left man-boob.  Feels more like something is pulled than I’m dying.  I think to myself, “If this cramp in my chest gets worse, do I feel like my heart is going to stop?”  I answer myself, “No.”  So, I sit there and wait for the pain to go away.

Western Sleep Medicine is supposed to call me to schedule a sleep study.  I haven’t heard from them yet.  I may not have to worry about it.  After all, I went to medical people for one problem and they discovered another.  I give myself two weeks, tops.  Damn it…  I swear, I could have got another 2000 miles out of this s.o.b.

Tagged with:
Feb 12

So I watched The Social Network last night.  My oldest son just turned 13, and he really wanted to see this movie, and this movie is PG-13, so we got it for him for his birthday.  If you live in a cave, you might not know that The Social Network is the story of how Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook.

Facebook Mark Z

We all enjoyed the movie.  I thought they were only able to drop one F-bomb in a PG-13 movie, but it looks like this one was able to get away with a couple.  The language and some of the implied sexual content made me a little uncomfortable watching this with my son (The Suite Life of Zack & Cody’s Brenda Song goes all Monica Lewinski in a bathroom stall… which was odd to watch with a boy who has grown up watching that particular show).

Brenda Song

Overall, however, this was a good flick.  It was kind of cool to see how one of the world’s most addictive on-line presences got its start.  It’s kind of funny, the Mark Zuckerberg character is not very likeable, but you just can’t hate him.  He is emotionally immature, self-centered, egotistical, arrogant… highly intelligent and hard not to kind of like.  He screws over his girlfriend, his best friend, and a group of preppies that are counting on him.  In fact, he appears to only have his interests in mind with almost every decision he makes.  Still, you can’t help but root for the dorky little jerk.  Whether or not the real Mark Zuckerberg is anything like the character played by Jesse Eisenberg, who knows.  Not me, for sure.  I am neither in the same social strata as young billionaire geniuses nor successful Hollywood actors.

I bet that a lot of people who have not seen this movie (or who haven’t gone to a prestigious college in the last few years) will not know that Facebook was started as an ultra-exclusive, Harvard-student-only website.  Quickly, Zuckerberg let it spread to other prestigious universities, and then less prestigious universities, and then, when the true monetary potential of Facebook came into focus… the world.  In the original plans for Facebook, us average folks weren’t included.

I remember a few years ago, I had a recent college graduate as a coworker. He had graduated from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.  I had recently started a Facebook account, and I was talking to him about it.  He made a comment about how “Facebook just isn’t the same since it isn’t exclusively college students anymore.”  I took offense at his statement.  I felt he was saying that us old timers and regular Joes were ruining something that had once been “hip” and “fun”. How dare we reconnect with relatives and old friends.  How dare we stay in contact with people who would have normally faded silently into our pasts.  If I had known then what I know now, I may have said something like, “Yeah, I bet that’s the same thing the preppies at Harvard thought when they started to let a bunch of cornhusker hicks from UNL join Facebook.”  Hahaha… sometimes hindsight makes me feel kind of good.

Watching a good movie should do one of two things:

1. let you escape from reality, or

2. make you think.

The Social Network , for me, did both.  I enjoyed watching the snotty people get what was coming to them.  I enjoyed seeing how Facebook got its slightly-shady start.  As far as the thinking goes, it made me wonder why , in the grand scheme of things, some people are smarter than others, thus giving them an unfair advantage in the ability to come up with cool ideas and make a crapload of money.  Why am I not one of those brilliant people?  I know… I know… anyone can learn anything and you are only limited by your ability to sacrifice and learn and blah blah blah blah… that’s a load of phooey.

**SEE, look at ME, I’m all old using words like PHOOEY, for crying out loud.**

Some people are just naturally smarter than other.  Some people have a definite advantage in the race to success.  Of course, in the case of the movie versionof Mark Zuckerberg, he kind of screwed over a lot of people to get there.  Part of me thinks his sacrifice is not something I could bring myself to do.  The other part of me… the sane, rational part… thinks that for a net worth of that is now probably in the tens of billions of dollars, I may have screwed over a friend or two along the way as well :) But since I ain’t real smart or nothin’, I’ll just keep tryin’ the way I have been tryin’ most my life…

Filthy Rich

Tagged with:
Feb 08

Okay, so I’m reading through the local paper, the Scottsbluff Star-Herald, when I come across the wonderful advice column of Dr. Joyce Brothers.  Now, I’m a few days behind on reading the newspaper because… well, I just am.  So this is actually the paper from January 29th of this year.  I usually read Dr. Brothers’ column, think to myself how silly her advice is, and go on my merry way.  Her column in this particular paper, however, just seemed to rub me the wrong way.

The question to Dr. Brothers is from a high-school senior who wants to get a job.  The kid refers to herself (or himself) as P.A.  P.A.’s  dad does not want P.A. to get a job.  The reasoning P.A. gives is, “I am planning on working at a beauty salon after I graduate, and my dad says that is soon enough to join the ‘rat race.’  His only reason seems to be that he wants me to have fun while I can.  Is this normal?”

Dr. Brothers gives a response and answer to the question, part of which is as follows:

“It may be normal for your dad, because he’s operating from his unique worldview and trying hard to keep within that comfort zone that he has set up for himself.  Without knowing more about him, I can only guess that he has had to struggle in his life, and that he views work as something that isn’t very pleasant, just a means to an end.  He sounds like a conscientious guy who has sacrificed for his family.  He can’t imagine you being all grown up and wanting to take on the responsibilities of a job just yet.  He’s definitely got some issues.”

Seriously… what the crap… huh?  I guess all of this seems to make sense… until you get to that last sentence.  “He’s definitely got some issues.”  Is that a typo?  Was that supposed to be “He’s definitely got a point”?  I don’t think it was.  I think Dr. Joyce is casting judgement on this father because of his view of “work”.  Do most people in our society not at least somewhat share the worldview of this father?  After all, it’s called “work”, not “playtime in LaLa Land”.

I don’t think most people wake up every morning and think to themselves, “Ah, another wonderful day of work!”  Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am.  I really believe that most people view work as a means to an end… hopefully it has something to do with retirement.  This doesn’t mean that everyone absolutely hates their jobs; but given the choice, I think most people could find something more enjoyable to do with their time than work a job.  Dr. Brothers apparently does not fall into the category of “most people”.

I understand that there are people out there who absolutely love what they do for a living.  Those people are few and far between.  I think most of us can remember back to the days before we had to work a job.  Those were, for the most part, less stressful and more enjoyable than time spent in the work-a-day world.  Why would the father, remembering back to his pre-work days and wanting his child to enjoy those days in the child’s life, have “issues”?  What a judgmental opinion to express!  How dare she!

Dr. Brothers needs to wake up and smell the we-don’t-all-get-to-make-a-living-handing-out-our-opinions-as-advice-coffee.  There are those of us who have slight trepidation at the thought of how our children will be forced to change when they enter the work-a-day world.  It’s not about not wanting our children to grow up.  It’s all about how so many of us become cynical, bitter old farts because of the crap we are forced to deal with in life, a large portion of which comes from dealing with “work”, and we don’t want our children to go through what we have gone through.

That’s not an “issue”.  That is a point… and a damn good one.

Besides, the kid is planning on a career at a beauty salon.  You can’t tell me that working with other people’s stinky heads all day is going to be pleasant?  This father is really just trying to look out for the kid :)

Tagged with:
Dec 18

We had to replace our dryer.  Our old dryer just pooped-out.  She had been in a state of deteriorating health for quite some time, but we have put up with her “quirks” because… well… she was our dryer.  When the wife and I were married over 16 years ago, one of the first major purchases we made was a washer and dryer.

I can remember shopping for her (the dryer… not the wife… although I vaguely remember that as well).  We went to every place in town, trying to get a good deal.  We looked at all sorts of off-name brands, but we ended up going with Kenmore from Sears.  I don’t remember the exact reasoning behind why we purchased this particular brand, but I know I have felt confident that we made the right choice.  I have never looked at our washer and dryer and thought, ‘We made a mistake by going cheap.’  We considered buying our washer at one store and our dryer at another.  “Matching appliances” that were to end up in the basement or the laundry room or the spare bedroom were never a big concern for us.  However, the particular washer and dryer that we purchased in our first year of marriage just… well… they just seemed to go together, kind of like a newly-wed couple.
.
.
.

Happy Washer

Happy Dryer
.
.
.

Mr. Washer and Mrs. Dryer have been with the wife and me through thick and thin.  Whether they were cleaning the bedding and lingerie of a newly-wed couple, sitting in storage while the wife and I hopped apartments in Denver, cleaning the tiny clothes of our firstborn, cleaning dog hair off of everything after we received our family’s first dog, cleaning up the spit-up of our second-born, cleaning up the spit-up of our second-born, cleaning up the spit-up of our second-born (oh, the joys of a RSV-prone and mucous-filled child), or preparing the daily garb of a laundry-producing family of four people and one dog in present day; Mr. Washer and Mrs. Dryer have always tried to be good to us.  I have spent many a late night sitting downstairs watching T.V. or pecking on the computer, while Mr. Washer scrubs the whites and Mrs. Dryer fluffs the darks.

Listening to the two of them in harmony could be quite … err… interesting?!?  While Mr. Washer went into spin cycle and Mrs. Dryer tumbled her load round-and-round, there unison motions often caught my attention.  Mr. Washer would spin, slowly at first, and then faster and faster, shaking the stillness of the basement with his urgency.  Mrs. Dryer kept the same unison pace throughout, yet I sensed that they were working toward a common goal.  Finally, Mr. Washer, at a frenzied speed in search of some extraordinary outcome… stopped spinning.  I could tell he was spent.  Mrs. Dryer usually continued on, searching for her own “mission complete” banner.  Every once in awhile, the two of them would reach their goal at the same time: Mr. Washer’s final spin cycle quickly grinding to a halt as Mrs. Dryer’s buzzing high-pitched alarm screamed that her load was complete.  It was kind of exotic and erotic, in a very blue-collar and… uh…  pervy kind of way… probably like the erotic encounters of most married couples :)

Mr. Washer started having issues a little over a year ago.  He really wobbled when he went into the spin cycle, and we knew that something was wrong.  Finally, he just gave out.  Every time I tried to start a new load, he would just hum.  I tried my best to get him working on my own… which, with my mechanical expertise, resulted in several swift kicks to his nether-regions.
.
.
.
Sick Washer
.
.
.
Mrs. Washer did not seem to approve.
.
.
.
Mad Dryer
.
.
.

Nothing I did (i.e. no matter how hard I kicked) worked.  We finally called an appliance repairman.  Like $50 later, some doohickey was replaced and Mr. Washer has been working like a champ ever since!
.
.
.
Happy Washer
.
.
.

Mrs. Dryer has been in a state of decline ever since we moved into our new house over two years ago.  It seems her heating element has been going out… or something.  It used to be that we could throw a wet load into her and, within a multitude of mere minutes, she would have it dry.  Recently, it would take a second, and sometimes third, cycle to actually remove all moisture from a load of clothes.  Apparently, she had come down with something… something terminal.  Finally, a few nights ago, she wouldn’t work at all.  I threw a load of wet mass into her, closed her door, pushed the “start” button, and… nothing.
.
.
.
Sick Dryer
.
.
.

Crap!

I figured, initially, that this was something I could fix… given my exemplary track-record with fixing major appliances and all.  I gave her several swift kicks.  Although the kicks did nothing to spur her into action, I did seem to notice several sever looks-of-reproach from Mr. Washer.
.
.
.
Mad Washer
.
.
.

Ignoring the ire of her spouse, I decided to perform a little surgery.

I think I’ve already mentioned this, but my mechanical skills are a little lacking.  I blame my lack of ability on the fact that I don’t have the proper tools.  Convincing the wife that I needed to add to my haphazard tool collection, I headed to… Walmart… and bought a multimeter.  Armed with the necessary tool to assess Mrs. Washer’s condition, I started the procedure.

First, I tested the actual outlet she plugged into.  As the multimeter’s needle sprung to action with the insertion of the red thingie and the black thingie into  the slots that we are taught from early childhood not to stick anything into, my heart raced.  I realized that between my fingers raced enough electricity to kill the average mortal.  Feeling slightly immortal through my discovery, I proceeded to the removing-of-the-screws on the back of Mrs. Dryer.  Leaving the appliance plugged in, I proceeded to test this and that… not knowing exactly what I was testing, but feeling exilerated that I was playing with something with which I shouldn’t.  Not finding a clue as to the current condition plaguing Mrs. Washer, I unplugged her, turned the multimeter device to the “ohm” setting, and continued with my examination.

The ohm setting apparently tests the connection through different electrical components of a system without the necessity of outside electricity… or something.  The multimeter’s AA battery provides everything one needs.  All of a sudden, I’m not a general surgeon… I’m a “specialist”, as I test this component and that.  I become increasingly disheartened as my search proves more and more futile.  The wife recommends that we just purchase a new dryer.  I remind the wife that Mr. Washer was fixed for next-to-nothing and recommend that we try the same with Mrs. Dryer.  The wife points out that the average appliance lasts about 15 years, Mrs. Dryer is over said 15 years, and that we could really use a dryer with a little more capacity to dry our increasing quantity of clothes and linen-type-stuff as our boys grow.  Feeling like I had let Mrs. Dryer (and Mr. Washer as well) down, I somberly agree.  Mrs. Washer has fulfilled her purpose and her time had past…
.
.
.
Dryer... Done
.
.
.

Mr. Dryer was devastated…
.
.
.
Sad Washer
.
.
.

After quick visits to all of the major local appliance places, we settle on a nice Maytag that Home Depot was offering at clearance prices.  We brought her home, plugged her in, and tried her out.  She works great.  She gets hotter than Mrs. Dryer ever did.  The new dryer is sleek, shiny, and has great capacity.  We like her a lot. She may have been “cheap”, but you could never tell that from her appearance!
.
.
.
Hot, young Dryer
.
.
.

Okay, maybe her appearance screams “cheap”… but only in the softest of screams.

At first, I was afraid that Mr. Washer would hold some contempt towards our newest appliance.  However, I think he’s coming around :)
.
.
.
JOYOUS Washer
.
.
.
In fact, this is the happiest I have seen Mr. Washer in a long time. His spin cycle seems to be a little faster and he cleans better than he has in years… and I can’t quite seem to figure out why…
.
.
.
uh... unfit couple?
.
.
.
Appliances… go figure?

Tagged with:
preload preload preload