Friday, December 30, 2005

Why Teenagers Can't Vote

Florida teen heads home from Iraq

Teen skipped school for experiment in 'immersion journalism'.

Uh huh. This is why teenagers can't vote. This is why what teenagers say in polls taken at their high schools don't matter. This is why parents need to supervise their teenagers, even the "good" kids.

And, one last question: how in the heck did a 16-year-old buy international tickets on several flights, without any parents knowing, or the airlines checking with his parents?

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

NSA Wiretapping

Ok, so this isn't about the NSA or wiretapping, but about how hilarious it would be IF the NSA tapped a phone call I got last night.

This is a bit adult, so if any of you are younger readers, go here for now, and check back when I'm done telling the story.

So, I walk into my apartment last night, about 10pm, and get a call on my celphone. I don't have a land-line in the apartment, so my celphone is the only phone I have. The caller ID says, "private call". Normally I don't answer those: if you want to talk to me, unleash your caller ID and I'll answer, otherwise, leave a message. BUT it was late, and if someone from work calls on the county phone line it shows "private call", or, I thought, possibly one of my kids was out someplace and needed to call dad, so I went ahead and answered it.


Mutter mutter mumble mutter mutter.....

It sounded like a bad connection so I extended the antenna and tried again... "Hello?"

Mutter mumble gonna come and mutter mutter mumble your skinny little mutter mumble...

Ha!!! Did I just hear what I thought I heard? Skinny? Me??

"Hello? I can't hear you.... speak up..."

I'm gonna come and f*** you up, I'm gonna (yadda yadda, fill in all the expletives regarding homosexual rape you want, quite a little rant, really)....

I laughed. Honestly, I laughed. I have over 15 years experience talking to people on the phone, day in and day out, reading their moods and understanding how they think. This was probably a white guy, early 20s, not real bright, nervous as heck, trying really hard to disguise his voice and sound scary by talking as deep as he could.

So, bad, bad me, I thought, What an ass. I'm gonna play with him.

"You like boys, do you?" I asked in a high voice.

I'm gonna hurt you so bad, (put his penis places and all sorts of things, yadda yadda yadda), you're gonna love it....

"Oooh I'd like that... bring it on over, big fella.... maybe I can do you too....I bet you'd like that..." Ok, I know that was bad, but jeez!

Now, you have to understand, I'm not all THAT fast of a thinker on my feet. To be honest, I'm surprised I didn't just sputter at the first words out of this guys mouth and hang up the phone. But, when I DO try to think on my feet, for whatever reason, I affect a southern accent. I think its because it helps me think like someone who ISN'T me. Anyway.....

You sound like a southern boy.....

"You like southern boys, do ya? I bet you do.... I bet you like all kinds of boys, don't you... just love the boys...."

Silence a minute. This wasn't going at all the way the guy had figured it would. I know he was hoping to scare someone. He never once used my name, or anything about where I live, what I do, what I look like, anything.... it was clearly a random prank, and it wasn't going his way.

I'm gonna do you with some Louisiana hotsauce, little southern boy....

WTF? Louisiana hotsauce???

Mind you, I've left a lot of the conversation out, but I'm sure you can fill it in with your own imagination. But at this point, I just had to break.

"Your momma didn't breast feed you, did she, sonny?"

I'm gonna rip your blah blah blah....!

I interrupted him, and he actually stopped yelling. "Mmmm hmmm, whatever sonny... You are a sick, sad little man, and I feel sorry for you. I gotta go now... buh bye."

So I hung up. Naturally he called back about 30 seconds later, at which I simply answered the phone and hung up without saying a word. That way, he gets no fun by talking to me and trying to jack me up, OR leaving a message on voicemail. He didn't call back a third time.

At first I was amused and slightly agitated at the phone call. SOB. But then I got mad: what if that were one of my daughters that answered the phone. The sick SOB would have started going off on one of them, and damn it, that's just unacceptable.

Perverts on that level need to have their heads examined.... with a spoon.

Now, imagine the NSA putting that call into my file!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Music musings

I'm a big fan of music, and what with my new fangled computer speakers my daughter got me (Logitech 5.1.... very sweet), I had to get on my favorite music vehicle, Winamp, and search for some good streaming music.

I found, which I must say, I highly reccommend. Good quality stream, good songs, good sound!

Anyway, Merry After Christmas!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

A Fine Christmas

I have had what I must consider one of the finest Christmases I've ever had.

Yes, I had to work Christmas eve. Yes, I had to work Christmas day. But it's all good when the story is finally told. Lemme grab a beer and sit down a spell and tell ya about it.

See, my church, First Baptist Church of Fair Oaks, most always has a special Christmas Eve service. It's usually filled with carols, and bells, and candles, and all kinds of special Christmas music and Christmas eve type stuff. It's a beautiful service. But this year, things are different.

What with Christmas day being on a Sunday this year, church leaders were cognizant of the fact that they would be competing with family events and presents and dinners and... well, face it, they're competing with CHRISTMAS DAY on Sunday morning. The church decided to do things a little different, and have two, identical weekend services, one Saturday night on Christmas Eve, and the other Sunday morning for those that still wanted to attend church like a regular Sunday. That way the faithful could all attend the service of their choice, and not miss out on the special Christmas service.

So, about a week ago the music director at my church sends me an e-mail, asking if I would be available to sing for the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day church service.

Are you kidding? I thought, I'd love to sing!

Well, being as that I'm working on Sunday mornings, I told her I'd be happy to be a part of Saturday night's service, but I would have to work Christmas morning. She replied she'd love me to do Saturday night. So, she got me a copy of the song she wanted me to sing, and I set to work this past week learning "What A Strange Way To Save The World", by 4Him, I think.

After a very hectic week of work, helping my parents prepare their home for being tented and treated for termites, Christmas shopping and gift wrapping, Saturday night - Christmas eve - finally came. I picked up my girls at their mom's house (bless them for coming with me!) and we went to church. Normally I like to show up a few minutes early and go through a sound check for the music, but Saturday I was a little late for that, so I told the sound guy that I trusted him, and let's just do it when it's time! (He's done the sound for me enough times to know how I sing, and I was certain he'd adjust things just fine.)

I was so nervous at the start of the service, but as things got going and the carols rang out, and I felt God's presence among so many people, I became less and less nervous. When the time came to sing, after the reading of the Christmas story from Matthew, I'd given all the nerves to God. I find that, when I place my heart in the right attitude, and go up and sing for the purpose of ministry, God has ALWAYS been faithful. I haven't forgotten the words to a song in I don't know how long, and it's not my preparedness or my skill or my desire that makes me remember: I'm convinced God works things out for His will.

Well, the song went off without a hitch. The entire service was a blast, and I so enjoyed singing. My kids enjoy hearing me sing, and my kids telling me they liked it is just about the ultimate compliment for me.

After the service I took the kids home to their mom's house where we all (me, their mom, her boyfriend, my girls and their new baby brother) had a nice Christmas eve dinner.

Today, I woke up early. I had intentions to wake up early, but did so quite by accident. See, I set my alarm with the desire to awake at 4am, so I could get to work early. Too bad I set my alarm for 4pm. Dang glad the cat started scratching in the litter box at 4:03am and woke me up!

Gooooood kitty, kitty.

I got to work at hour early, at 5am, and let one of my co-workers from the graveyard shift go home early. About 10 minutes after I showed up, another of my dayshift coworkers, to whom I'd been talking the day before, also showed up, and she let another graveyard staffer leave. Merry Christmas to my co-workers.

The day was nice and slow with no major problems, save a fatal vehicle accident. What a day to lose a family member, huh?

Anyway, I got my kid's mom's house about 5pm with my gifts for the kids and everyone. I walked in the house and was just blown away! Seems my oldest daughter, Emily, had gone darn near hog-wild with Christmas gift-buying, and there were gifts EVERYWHERE! Half the living room was covered with wrapped presents, and a good half of them were from Emily! She bought her sister a 27" TV and TV stand! She bought me NICE new speakers for my computer! She got her little sister an IPOD shuffle! I'm telling ya, the girl just went gift-buying crazy!! I was just amazed at her generosity. She played Santa and just giggled and grinned as she handed out gift after gift to everyone.

After the gift unwrapping orgy, we settled in for ANOTHER nice dinner, of fresh pot roast, and left overs from the previous night's ham, potatoes, stuffing, etc... then the kids all retreated to unbox, cut open, put together, and otherwise try to utilize the new gifts.

All in all, I'm just dazzled, thrilled, proud, humbled, and joyous at the blessings I've had today. The material blessings are great, and I'd be lying if I said they meant nothing to me. I'm not that pious. But, I'm even more humbled by the family blessings, and the emotional blessings, and the spiritual blessings that have come out of this Christmas.

To see my shattered family, torn up by separation and the strife that comes with it, forge from that an unconventional family unit that gets along and works with each other, and even likes each other, and strives to make things the best they can for the children in that unconventional family unit, is a blessing I will cherish forever.

Yeah... I think this unconventional Christmas has been one of my best Christmases ever.