Slave Child Labor: Is it really a bad thing?

This is my first blog using Google Docs so I’m not sure if I’ll actually get it right. Today was a great day because I had an awesome visit with my parents on Anderson Island. We had a good time talking and discussing a lot of different issues. I was quite pleased with the visit if I do say so myself.

Upon my return to my lovely home, I managed to get a few more items done on my Yard Project 2011 punch list. I even made my neighborhood demon twins (4 year old twin boys) help me. As previous reported, the twin boys’ parents let them do whatever they want without supervision. They are allowed to play out in the front yard and the upper part of the cul-de-sac (where I live) without anyone watching them. The neighborhood (or God) will watch over them. The neighbors have reported sightings in the next cul-de-sac and up the street. Totally stupid ass parenting in effect and child neglect. Anyone could take these kids.

Anyway, I put the twins to work sorting out the rocks in my driveway. The rocks are part of my landscaping project so they sorted the round rocks from the broken basalt rocks. They are good workers; pretty smart too. I can’t wait until they get older and can do some real heavy lifting. Overall, they aren’t bad kids. Just unsupervised.

After the rock and stone sorting, I had them sweep up the remains of the pile of rocks I had. I must admit child labor turned out in my favor this time. So much for Upton Sinclair’s novel “The Jungle” (a really good read, slightly communist towards the end but I read it 18 years ago so my memory maybe foggy) and child labor and the American Dream.

At least these kids weren’t unsupervised for an hour or so while they worked. Still, very disturbing the parents aren’t around to watch them.

No One Listens to Me

Oh Boo Hoo…no one ever listens to me!

I’ve decided that most people will ask for my advice but then they won’t listen to it. I really don’t think my advice is bad; more that it isn’t the exact answer they were hoping for. Granted, I am no Ann Landers or Dear Abby but I have a good common sense approach to most situations and problems. I can talk about the pros and cons of each course of action and give an honest evaluation.

I don’t like to offer unsolicited advice because no one seems to listen to my solicited advice. So why bother saying anything?

A lot of people don’t like to hear you about the problems in your life because it is construed as “whining”. Is it whining or is it opening up to your friends so they know what is going on your life? Do your friends really cared? Are your problems more important than their problems?

Honestly, your family and friends could care less if your problems exist. Your opening up to them should help to explain the aguish you are going through. But do they listen? No they don’t. They have their own problems to worry about you and on the flip side you have your own problems.

They don’t have time for you to express your opinions or to actively listen to what is going on with your life.

So the best course of action can be summed up as: Keep your mouth shut and your problems to yourself.

Forward Ho! And don’t bother to leave any comments or actually read this last sentence because that might say you actually care.

Texting my Daughter’s Friend’s Parents

I recently had to text my daughter’s friend’s parents to make sure they had the correct address for our home. Not a huge problem…just send them our address via text message.

They were overdue so I sent the following message.

Me: Having problems finding our house? Our address: 1XXXX SE 23X Street Misty Meadows neighborhood (behind the pink mansion).

Them: Who is this?

Me: Hi Mark, it’s K’s dad Kevin

Me: Angie wanted to know where K was. I told her not to worry but I wasn’t sure if Lisa knew how to find our house.

Them: You have the wrong number stop texting me.

Me: Sorry.

See, wasn’t that a pleasant way to end the texting conversation? I really wanted to say:

Me: Maybe if you were better at texting and faster responding to me I wouldn’t be sending you a bunch of texts you dork.

But I didn’t….I was nice because they had my address. Don’t want to upset some crazy like me!

FUIing – Facebooking Under the Influence

FUIing – Facebooking Under the Influence

I’d like to thank my friend Kelly to introducing me to the term “FUIing” and warning me about the dangers of such behavior. I have decided not to be on Facebook while I have a few drinks in me. I have made some hilarious comments after I have had a few drinks….which turn out not to be so hilarious (or the people I wrote to didn’t have a sense of humor).

While many people think they are funny while drinking, we can all agree that they aren’t. Sure, they might do a few funny things or whip off a funny comment here or there but the reality is, they aren’t that funny. They are even worse when they are sober. Or perhaps when you are sober, you realize how stupid drunk people are.

Hold on now…this isn’t an AA commercial, but you should be aware that most likely, you aren’t as funny as you think. Which brings us back to FUIing.

Now, regardless of what you think, FUIing is not acceptable. We all know that it is extremely funny to leave your witty comments on your friend’s wall but nothing good comes of it. Especially when your lame friend doesn’t have a sense of humor. Seriously, why bother having a Facebook page if you aren’t prepared to have your chops busted by your friends? It really is your friend’s fault for not having a good sense of humor and understanding how funny you are.

FUIing can also lead to BUIing (Blogging Under the Influence) and you know that will certainly lead to nothing but trouble.

So, we have established that FUIing and BUIing can be bad things. We shouldn’t post things while we have been drinking because it can lead to misunderstandings and hard feelings. We should understand that our sense of humor might not translate into something funny online. Or your friends might not be as open minded or have a great sense of humor you thought they did.

Be careful out there while you reading about your friend’s awesome lives on Facebook while you wallow in depression over how sad your life really has become. The truth is that your life isn’t that sad. You are just being fooled by the numerous posts of all the good things people have to say. Most people don’t report how they had a bad class of diarrhea from the new restaurant down the street, or how their son is a loser drug user, or how they crashed their car while texting and checking their email.

Thanks for reading my all important blog and my need to be noticed and important in my own mind.

Hope versus Optimism in relationship to Change

What is hope compared to optimism in the context of change? Both are important and should be part of everyday living. Hope is the belief that things will get better while optimism is the belief that things will change and that change will be for the better. These terms are often used interchanged with each other leading to confusion. While very similar, they are not quite the same. You can have hope, but you don’t have be optimistic if you don’t want to be. You can have hope and be a realist as well. And you can also have hope and be a pessimistic (which seems to defeat the purpose of believing in hope it would seem).

I have hope that things will change and I am optimistic they will change. Hope is my underlying belief that things will get better. Optimism is my belief that things will get better without making any changes because optimism believes that when change comes, it will be the favorable outcome I desire. When you are at the bottom, hope is one of the first things that you need to get out of that hole. Which train of thought you choose: optimistic, realistic, or pessimistic, will determine how the outcome will be perceived by you.

Optimism is your belief that things will get better without the changes needed to get better. One could say they are optimistic about making more money yet they continue down the same path of economic ruin. Hope would kick in when they hit rock bottom.

Realism allows us to believe in hope and keep things in perspective. We know we probably aren’t going to win the lottery, yet we also know that hard work will usually bring the results we desire.

Pessimism assumes the worst and hope is just there for something to believe in. Why be pessimistic? Good question!

People might argue that being hopeful and optimistic about the future is a waste of time, people don’t change, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, etc. I have hope that people will change for the better yet I have been too optimism in my belief that they will change. I have leaned towards being too optimism because I haven’t been there to help them make the change for the better.

How can I expect people to change if I don’t make the effort to help them change?

If the change is important to me, why not make the time to help with this change?

If you are like everyone else, your life is busy and you don’t have the time to help other change. I know my life is busy and I don’t have time to do a lot of things I want to do much else do things to help others change. I also don’t what to think of about having to put in the time and effort necessary to help them make the change. I really don’t want to worry about their problems and I don’t want to be bothered.

Seriously, I want to be the person that doesn’t care. My wife probably thinks that I am that person already. I know people need my help, but I honestly don’t want to put the effort into helping them when I know that they should be able to help themselves. I have enough problems in my own life I should be working on without having to add other people’s problems to my own life.

Nevertheless, I am not able to take the head in the sand approach to life. Oh, the burdens of adulthood! Yes, life is hard. You have to do a lot of stuff you don’t want to do. I must accept this and move on. I will do the best I can and use my belief in hope to help solve my problems as well as the others I love help themselves. I will use hope and be optimistic (with a dose of realism added in) in regards to the future.

Hope: the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best: to give up hope.

Optimism: a disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome.

Definitions are from


I’ve decided camping is what middle class America does so they can experience what homeless people do every day. You get to see people dress like bums, not shower for a few days, wandering around, lots of dogs barking and yapping, kids screaming and yelling (much like a school yard), and parents sitting around a campfire drinking and chatting about the world in general which is just like sitting around a 55 gallon steel drum in an abandoned warehouse (just like a homeless bum).

I actually enjoy camping because I’m an Eagle Scout. I’ve done a lot of camping and backpacking. I like cooking with a propane stove and Dutch ovens. However, I’m now getting older so I prefer camping in good weather (which doesn’t happen very often in Western Washington). I now camp over the Cascade Mountains in the beautiful hot deserts of Eastern Washington. I have given up on camping three days in solid rain and have run away to the dry heat of Eastern Washington.

Besides rainy Seattle camping weather, I also don’t like camping in the snow. It really isn’t enjoyable. It’s cold, your body heat melts the snow so then you are wet and cold, and you have to sleep overnight in an igloo or a tent. Now, that is cold. Cold and wet. Yup, not really fun at all.

However, I do enjoy camping in the warmth of Eastern Washington and the sunshine. The kids like camping too (can’t say the same about my wife) so the experience is enjoyable. And it is warm…not cold or wet. You can lie in your inflatable air mattress, safely situated up on a cot, the wind rustling through the leaves of trees, manicured lawns beneath you, the state park watering the lawns at 2 am (thus waking you up with the fear that your tent is getting soaked but it’s not).

What better way to enjoy your family than camping? Sure, you could get a nice condo on Kauai or even at Lake Chelan but is that really going allow you the stress of cooking on a small propane stove, keeping your kids from lighting themselves and each other on fire, wondering if the eggs in your cooler are still good, and whether or not you should kill the campers next door (who though it was hilariously funny to pretend they were cats and meow at 1 am).

Camping is about bonding with the family and picking ashes out of your scrambled eggs. I recommend it to everyone.