33 years later….

After putting my mom through 72 hours of labor pains, breaking her breast bone kicking her sister down the stairs from the womb (trust me that sister deserved it), and coming out with the cord wrapped around my neck- finally entered this world 33 years ago (and a day). Always get reflective on birthdays. I’ve changed little yet a lot over the 12054 days of my life. No longer am I always looking to start a fight. Over the past few years have become a lot more positive of a person than I used to be. Still love black metal, but my musical tastes have gone full circle as I find myself listening to more folk and country now a days as I did in my youth. Sports no longer consume my life, they’re an escape but don’t live and die by their success and failure as I once did.

My wife has been through it all. Our friendship started 17 years ago (have now known her over half my life). We were there for each other through the good relationships and the bad. She was the one constant in my life outside my family, and after our last failed relationships 10 years ago we decided to take ours to a new level and the past 5 plus years of my life we have been married. I am very lucky to say I am with my best friend.

Speaking of friends many have come and gone over the years, with some returning after years of non-communication. There are a few who’s friendship go beyond that word, people who are more chosen family. People who I can count on in my worst times to be there. Vaping has brought me some of the most important people into my life. Snow sir, Rocco sir, and Ms. Stephanie being three that stand out. Too many names to mention but you all know who you are and how much you mean to me.

Would be an idiot if I didn’t mention my dogs. The animals who have been friends when I had no one else. Whether they are still with me or taken a break from this existence each have left their mark. Clancy, Jason, Demon, Sovie, Loki, Mario, Jamie, and Biggie.

Looking back am a bit shocked I made it to 33…. Glad I’m here though, and am grateful for the people who have entered into my life. The struggles have shaped me, but they’re all worth it for where I am today.

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It’s always short term thinking….

Yesterday went to the mall for the first time in years. My wife has pretty much banned me from going to them because, well, I can’t behave in public. This week though we are being visited by our good buddy Tyler, which is why I’m on vacation, and he wanted to check out Annapolis mall. I’m not sure if it was because of it being Monday, but there were very few people there. Even more disturbing was the number of empty spaces, you see Annapolis used to be the go to mall in the area. Every store was running a sale, most 40% off or near to it. Pretty much begging people to purchase. Which lead to a discussion about the death of the shopping mall, and how the system is broken….

Technology is ever adapting. New ways are found every day to get us our information quicker, increase efficiency, list goes on. More people shop online than go into stores. More and more stores are going with self checkouts, replacing human employees with computers. Warehouses (like Amazon) are run with the bare minimum of human staff and mainly relies on computers and robots to fulfill your order. In other words technology is removing the human element from jobsites. For CEO’s, stockholders, and other executives this is good thing. Less people you have to employ, the more the profits role in. What they’ve failed to see is the long term ramifications this will have on the economy. They’re pretty much gutting the house while leaving the outside looking like a model home. Remove too many support structures and it all comes collapsing down. The more jobs that go to a non-human, the less jobs there are, meaning at some point there’s no way for people to afford buying from said store (online or brick and mortar).

The economy is a circulatory system. Money is meant to flow through it like oxygen enriched blood to feed the cells then return back to re-oxygenated again (in other words people make money to spend it so others can now make the money to spend it again. Money is supposed to constantly change hands). The current mentality of most businesses is like that of a leech. Suck as much blood as you can, get fat, and don’t care if you kill the host doing it. Remove enough blood from any living thing and they will die. Remove enough money from the economy and put in vaults and sooner or later it will die just the same.

This mentality goes far beyond just that of money though. Look at how humans treat the earth. We take and take and take, but how much do we give back? We have no issue mining for minerals or drilling for oil or destroying forests for our short term needs. There are plenty of alternatives out there. We go back to how technology keeps improving. Our mindset though is still stuck in the same vein as it was in 1920. We still use gasoline burning engine cars to get around just as we did when Henry Ford first introduced the automobile. We still burn coal for energy. We have ways of harnessing the power from a giant battery in the sky and we refuse to make it mainstream. We don’t even let our dead bodies go back to the earth to replenish the nutrients we’ve taken. Instead we put them in air tight metal boxes to preserve a lifeless shell. Why? Goes right back to the mindset that is killing the economy- There’s no money in long term solutions. Greed is killing all aspects of how we live, and most importantly where….

I don’t care if the Hubble telescope has found multiple planets that look to be earth like, there’s no way for us to get there right now. We need to focus on keeping the only home we have inhabitable. We need more long term thinking, stop focusing on individual gains and on communal survival. If not nature will step in… Earth doesn’t need to humans to survive. Through our short term thinking and greed we’ve already raised the CO2 levels to 400ppm (came out last week), plenty of air for plants but not good for humans or any other life form on the planet. We need this planet. My fear is it’s going to take a major catastrophe before we’ll wake up and stop being the parasitic creature we’ve become. The big question is will any humans survive to actually learn the lesson….

5 lessons I learned from my dogs

There’s a reason for the old cliche. Dogs and humans have had a symbiotic relationship that started thousands years ago. The only question left unanswered is which side started it… That will remain one of life’s mysteries. All I know is humans wouldn’t be around if that friendship hadn’t formed. That’s not really point of this though. That which was once the wolf has given us more than just the ability to survive, it’s taught us life lessons which there’s no real way of putting a value on. They truly define certain phrases and words that we over use in our day to day vocabulary….

LokiandMario

Unconditional love- Dogs don’t put stipulations on their feelings towards their humans. They don’t care if you’re poor, what color of skin you have, what you’ve done in your past, they just love you. One of the most heart touching moments in my life was seeing the relationship between a homeless person and his dog. It personafied the term. Here was a man with nothing, and his dog was right beside him. No collar, no leash, choosing to be with his friend through their hardship. He wasn’t even concerned about his own well being, all he was asking for was some food for his dog. That one moment showed not only the best of our four legged friend, but the best of humanity… Which leads to the second lesson.

Loyalty- No animal on earth is as loyal as a dog. It goes beyond the boundaries of life itself. The internet is filled with stories of K9’s who will go to their owner’s grave site after they’ve departed. They will stand guard by your body and mourn, unlike cats. Sadly there is a downside to their loyalty… This has lead to the abuse of many a dog by the awfulness of some humans. They will stand by their person even if they hit them, fight them, neglect them, list goes on. Look no further than the pit bull to see the perfect example of this trait. Their loyalty and want to please their owner gets them the bad reputation they’ve suffered from for going on two decades. Yet it was once the official dog of America. Can’t help but feel we’ve lost something through demonizing of the breed…. I digress.

Loki

To enjoy the little things- Dogs get excited over every day occurrences. Whether it be you coming home, going outside, breakfast, just being alive. Their happiness isn’t dependant on material things. They find joy no matter the situation. It’s almost as if it’s some deep ingrained genetic trait that they live their life to the fullest. Like they know deep down their years are finite and refuse to waste a second of it. Even when they sleep they do so in a way few humans seem to achieve. They are the embodiment of not wasting a moment…

Always use your imagination- Dogs are one of the most creative species on the planet.  Would argue with anyone who thinks dogs lack ingenuity. They can make a toy out of anything. Sticks, old plastic bottles, a forgotten tennis ball, trash, there’s just no limit. They always find new ways to entertain themselves. They’re proof that boredom has to be a human creation. How many people have owned a dog that could escape whatever holding pen you put them in, or any leash for that matter? Loki (the golden dwarf dog in the pics) can and has. We know deep down he’s chosen to stay here. His last escape was in fall, he didn’t run off. Just figured out how to undo the gate on the fence so he could go say hello to the 4 year old kid walking down the street with her family…

Sleeping Mario

The last lesson is the most important… It’s why I believe every kid needs a dog. They teach you that life has a cost. No matter how much you love someone or something, at some point the laws of the world will come into play. Yet the final lesson of death doesn’t erase all the memories and amazing moments you’ve shared. When you look at it from the broad sense you see the value of getting those moments far outweighs the pain of their departure. It’s something (like all the lessons the dog has shown us) applies to every aspect of your life.

No matter what you do things will end. You can try to shelter yourself from life… Do everything you can to push people away and hide from the universe. None of that will stop you from experiencing loss though. You will hold yourself out from living though…. There’s a final invoice for everything. Some things just happen to be more expensive than others… It’s why the greater the moments shared the greater the loss….

Have had this song stuck in my head the entire time I’ve been writing, feel it needs to be included…

For all you cat people out there, don’t get me wrong. I do love cats. We’ve (say we though really both have been Loki’s) had two of the worst felines ever to walk the earth (swear Dany is Smitty returned). But look at this face and tell me she’s not plotting our demise-

Dany

The legend of Little Tommy Two Fingers

This is why I shouldn’t be left alone with my thoughts….

Tommy Myrishkov (pronounced Zim-blob) is 7’8″ 477lbs and lives 2 towns and 13 blocks over from HoeHo Lahgotti. By day he works at a small deli where he specializes in making spiced chicken jelly. His night job is a bouncer at daycare. It was at his 2nd job that he met Suzie from 3 towns over and down the way. She was dropping off her 5 year old niece for their nightly rave and got to talking to Tommy. She was immediately attracted to his purplish green eyes and the fact he was wearing a Pomplamoose jean jacket, her favorite band. This started a 6 week love affair. The problem in all this was she already was seeing HoeHo (he was 5 at the time)…

When HoeHo found out he met up with Lahkakeesor-Bob (A 77 year old one legged half Vietnamese half Zimbabwe gentleman who seeked out HoeHo 4 years prior thinking he was the child spoken in the prophecy), and they waited in the bushes outside Tommy’s 73 room hut. When they saw Suzie leave they enacted their revenge. Lahkakeesor-Bob used the ancient art of pyroashumah to subdue the much larger man. Then HoeHo grabbed the wire snips and removed two of Tommy’s fingers and shoved them up his ass.

And that’s how Little Tommy Two Fingers got his name.