The Country Life

11 02 2017

Two years ago I moved home after living an entire life in Phoenix Arizona.  For the most part moving home has been on a historically short list of my good ideas.  Edging out trading my 89 Upper Deck Griffey Jr and buying a home two years prior to the largest real estate collapse in modern history.

Living back home, in the country, and more or less across the street from my dad means having to “adjust” to certain situations. The next couple paragraphs will document one such situation.

Just this past week I was sitting at the table on a Saturday.  I had some music playing, I was properly medicated and working on my writing.  When all the sudden in barges my dad, out of breath, dogs are barking going nuts “Quick, grab the .243 there’s a cougar in the lower field!”

To more accurately set the stage, if we all put our 8th grade history caps on for a moment, it was on par with Paul Revere.  The original one if by land two if by sea guy letting me know the Red Coats were coming, not the much loved Beastie Boys jam.

That said, I’m not really what you would consider a “Call to arms” type guy for every situation.  “Come quick somebody’s life is in danger” and I’m on it.   Cougar in the lower field while I come unannounced and completely destroy the relaxed vibe with large adorable cat murder.  Mehh.. That sounds like more of a you problem while I hopelessly spend ten minutes looking for my other flip flop.



A Prison Without Walls

8 07 2014


I can’t imagine a long-term punishment, from a psychological or mental standpoint, harsher than feeling like your own happiness is going to betray your family and your religious beliefs.  A punishment based on no crime other than being born.

Normally when writing a piece I have some research or data to go off of.  However, this is posed as a question to provoke thought.  The only real basis are several years of observations via Facebook.

So here we go… How difficult is it to be gay in an ultra religious conservative family?

From what I’ve observed it has to be absolutely brutal. How? When everyone else knows you’re gay.. except you.. it’s a problem.   I’m not going out of my way to paint religion in a bad light. However, I think we can all agree for a true believer there’s a much lower threshold for feeling  guilt. That associated guilt then attaches itself to the sin in question. If you’re raised to believe all sin is bad, and being gay is a sin, then etc etc, you see where I’m going with this.

On a personal note, I had the guilt card played on me at a very young age.  I was told that relatives could see me from heaven and would look in on me from time to time. Yikes, if all my deceased loved ones can really see everything I do, I’m sure for them, my death won’t come quick enough.  I can just hear my grandma now.. “Oh hear we go, he’s in the shower again.. and out-of-wedlock.” Luckily I don’t subscribe to this theory and subsequently live a fairly guilt free life.

For the person left dangling in the wind, struggling to understand why God has forsaken them, struggling to understand why all of there friends are married and starting families..There’s no amount of travel, no amount or reading, no Netflix movie marathons, no workaholism (made up word that I love), no endless amount of Spartan Races that are ever going to fill the mysterious void (pun intended) in their life.

As a mother or father how are you content to let your son or daughter meander through life wondering what’s wrong?  Wondering why they can’t seem to find happiness, even when and if they should attempt to participate in a loveless marriage.  How long before you step in and do your job as a parent and provide some tangible guidance? Denial is only creating a stigma of undeserving shame and simply praying on it isn’t going to work.

It’s not God’s responsibility to be a parent, it’s yours.  Time to step in and say, “Listen sweetie, you’re gay and we still love you.”

2012 in review

30 12 2012

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,600 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Fear & Loathing In The Desert

16 12 2012

Awhile back I went on something called a “Moonlight Hike”.  The premise is fairly simple, you go out into the desert and hike at night using the light from the moon.  The full moon unobstructed in the desert is a decent light source… Unless it’s cloudy.

I was invited by a friend who I work with and actually do a lot of hiking with.  The rest of the party consisted of a 50 year old Hippy, a Mormon couple, a female survivalist, some dude who thought he was Davy Crockett, and another co-worker, fresh out of college, with a bottle of Sutter Home in his backpack, and me..

I should have known this was going to be an irritating disaster as soon as I looked up and saw the massive overcast blocking out the light, which was supposed to be provided by the moon…

9:20 P.M.  We started walking from the road to reach the trail head, almost a mile since the trail was closed.  Awesome, big fan of having to hike to the hike.

9:30 P.M.  The survivalist power couple give advice to the Mormons to flip off their headlamps and conserve energy as the moon makes a brief appearance.  Apparently a brand new 9 volt Lithium Ion battery only lasts 20-30 minutes when powering LED lights… I have my first of many eye rolls.

9:40 P.M.  Certified female survivalist punts a Jumping Cholla with her foot while walking.  Apparently is survivalist school they recommend hiking at night with open toes sandals.  I offer up my Leatherman pliers to help pull the needles out, but she opt to go by hand.  Second eye roll ensues… (Jumping Cholla is a nasty barbed cactus)

9:46 P.M. In an effort to salvage her credibility, Survivalist throws this gem out to the group. “Just pay attention to the city lights and you can’t get lost.”  You guessed it.. Eye roll.

9:50 P.M.  Davy Crockett has decided to set some sort of new Alpine record pace to the top.  In addition he’s doing a really annoying “Apache War Cry”  in the dark so we know his location… At this point all I can think about is punching this condescending doucher in the face.

9:55 P.M.  Just out of college guy pops the cork on the Sutter Home as if to give a big F-U to the rest of the group… In this act of defiance, he immediately becomes my favorite person on this hike.  The rest of the hikers are in shock and concern that someone walking at just over 2 mph at night can drink wine and walk at the same time. “Uhh hello??? how do you think homeless get around”   There concern is so great they sprint out in front by a good 10 minutes.

9:56 P.M.  In the silence of the night desert, derogatory comments can be heard as everyone sprints ahead, except for the wino and myself.  Apparently at this point I’m guilty by association and could really care less.

10:15 P.M.  I hear the distinct sound of a mosquito buzzing by my ear… Not happy.  I was not prepared for this, its always been my experience that mosquitoes hang out around areas of stagnant water, not the dry desert.

10:20 P.M.  The trail starts to get vertical, and I realize that you can’t stop or you get swarmed by mosquitoes.  Awesome… It’s like hiking with a gun to my head.

10:55 P.M.  We reach the rest of the group who is discussing making some sort of a run at the top… Couple problems here, One we’re on the wrong trail to attack the summit and two, everyone has depth perception retardation due to it being dark.  The top is easily another 2-3 hours away.   To tired to roll my eyes, so I do it in my mind.

At this point 24 year old wine boy and I decided regardless of what everybody else is doing we’re heading back.  As it turns out we both had grown up navigating through forests as young kids, hiking , paying attention to land marks, and just using common sense.  You can’t teach a lifetime of tracking, camping, hiking and hunting in a class…

I’ll  sum this up by saying we finished at least 15 minutes in front of the “experts” with no flashlights, no cactus barbs in us, and without the use of the Apache War Cry…