Because, CAT!

To be a human graced with the privilege of having a cat in your life is the highest honor of a persons life. I have been supremely privileged and honored throughout my life as I have been owned by numerous cats. However, having a kitty grace you with their presence comes with it a very important set of tules, standards and practices that MUST be adhered to at all times. Notice, I did not say “Kitty ownership”, we as humans simply do not “own” cats, that’s impossible and highly offensive to our feline friends. Ownership implies that we puny humans make the rules and this could not be further from the truth. You see, it is the cats themselves who own humans. They make the rules by which we humans are allowed to survive. Breaking the rules means that you are very likely to wake up dead one morning…if you’re very lucky. Ignorance of the rules of conduct is no excuse and most if not all cats simply will not tolerate such an egregious breach in conduct…Don’t be stupid people!

My kitty melted.

What follows next is a list of some of the rules of conduct that we insignificant humans must adhere to in order to keep our kitty friends happy…and that’s what we all want isn’t it? This list is by no means exhaustive and any conscientious human being who enjoys living will look up in their history books “The International Kitty Conclave of 1044 a.d.”. This conclave took place in and around the Verdun region of France in 1044 to codify (catify) a set of rules by which all humans on the planet must follow at all times. Are you ready? No, of course you’re not ready, but we’ll continue anyway.

Rule #1. I cannot stress enough how important and potentially deadly this rule is. You cannot EVER break this rule. Do not under any circumstance make fun of a cats weight. All cats are very, VERY sensitive about their weight. Do not call you kitty fluffy, fat, skinny, rotund or any other descriptive word to describe your kitty. I’m not kidding people! This is rule number one for a reason. If you want to die in a horrible and grotesque manner then go ahead and violate rule number one. I am putting myself in grave and immediate danger just mentioning this rule…you’re welcome.

Rule #5. All cats from birth speak fluent French, it is their first language. Cats do not give a flying shit if you speak French or if you can understand them or not, that is not their problem. It’s your problem…stupid human. It is believed that they chose French during the Conclave of 1044. One more caveat…occasionally cats will speak ancient Egyptian. It is believed this comes from a time when the ancient Egyptians worshipped the cat as a divine being and all cats worldwide are hoping for a return to those glorious days.

Always worship your cat.

Rule #72. If your cat sits in your lap, you are obligated to remain seated for the comfort of your cat until he or she decides your warm comfy lap is now useless and they decide to get up and move. Cats don’t care if you’re uncomfortable or if your legs have gone numb. You are there for the sole purpose of the cats comfort, stop being so selfish.

Rule #17. If a cat tells you they are hungry and you see that their food bowl is full, you are wrong. It is empty you vile human being. Fill it up and do it fast! Also, don’t think you can shake the food around and make that satisfying food in the bowl sound either. Cats are not as stupid as you look and will not be fooled by your feeble attempt at being lazy. FOOD. NOW!

Fill my food bowl NOW!

Rule #36. If you buy your cat an expensive gift or toy, all cats will play in the box it came in. This is done to show you who is boss…and it’s not you! You must continue to buy your cat expensive toys to show your appreciation and loyalty.

Rule #59. If you are within an undetermined distance of a cat you are required to pet the cat. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Rule #83. Cat spit is considered a universal solvent and can cure many ails. If your cat drools or slobbers on you it is because they are very happy. You must have done something right for once. You will of course be very honored by such a display of approval. You will however be forbidden from selling the slobber on the black market for your own greedy personal gain. If you are caught (and you will be caught) you will be executed without question.

Rule #8. Talking to your cat is required. If your cat does not respond it is simply because you said something profoundly stupid. The effort is occasionally respected by your kitty.

Rule #44. If your cat bites or scratches you it has been determined you did something wrong and deserve a bloodletting…you’ll most likely die an excruciating death.

Rule #4. Petting a dog in any cats presence is punishable by instant death. There is no excuse for you doing something so offensive. This is punishable by instant death…or maybe a slow, agonizing death, who knows.

Yes, I’m a bit angry.

Rule #62. If your cat brings you a dead animal into the house it has been determined that you are unable to feed yourself and your cat is trying to help you survive. You should be more thankful you ungrateful wretch! If, however, your cat brings you an animal into the house that is still alive you should be honored because your cat is trying to teach you to hunt. There may be hope for you yet, but it’s unlikely.

Rule #32. Cats can and do predict the future. If your cat beats the shit out of you for no reason at all it is because you did something incredibly stupid…three Saturdays from now.

Rule #13. There is no preferred side of the door for a cat to be on. All sides of the door are considered to be glorious. You, as a human are expected to cater to your cats whim and open the door as many times as is necessary.

Rule #99. Cats are never wrong…EVER! It is humans that are horribly mistaken. This is a very simple rule and is one that is broken by humans often. This leads to much human suffering.

Rule #124. Cats absolutely hate station wagons. They will have less respect for you than normal if you own a station wagon. If you force a cat into a station wagon, you will die…probably in a train/car collision. Cats can make this happen, no one knows how.

Rule #1,245. Some cats love to play with, unroll, shred and generally destroy toilet paper rolls. It is one of life’s great pleasures to destroy something you as a human paid good money for. This is especially true during a global pandemic. Toilet paper has now become it’s own currency and if a cat can destroy something you hold dear then they will do it every chance they get. This is to help you become more Zen and to let go of your material possessions so you can focus on loving your cat more.

I killed this for you! I hope it was ‘spensive.

As I said before this list is by no means exhaustive and you should look up “The International Kitty Conclave of 1044” to study this wondrous document. Ignorance of the rules is not and will not be tolerated. These rules were laid down nearly 1,000 years ago because the cat world got sick and tired of stupid humans offending the rulers of this planet. It is for the safety and well being of all current and future humans that these rules are adhered to at all times. Now, go pet your kitty.

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I need to fart…

So, it’s pretty widely known that I’m not a big fan of large groups of people. Actually, I’m not a fan of “people” in general. If it’s too peopley outside, I’ll stay home thank you very much. It’s really for the safety of everyone involved. You see, me staying home should be considered a public service and I should be getting paid heaping piles of steaming money for staying home and not interacting with real human beings. Large groups of people tend to give me a headache and make me feel very depressed. They just drain the life energy right out of me. It’s not anything I have any real control over. Plus, let’s be honest with one another here, when “people” gather into groups of anything larger than two they tend to act in “group stupid behavior”. Group stupid behavior is a scientific term, you can look it up.

When I was an adult probation officer we’d have large quarterly staff meetings that were the absolute bane of my existence. Everyone in the whole department would gather together in one huge room for the day and talk about “stuff”, not good stuff like do squirrels like easy jazz or steampunk parties. No, I’m talking stuff like pie charts, statistics and TPS reports. The entire day could have been boiled down into one long email and I’d have been much happier. I still would have totally ignored the email but that’s not the point.

At these wonderful meetings I always sat at the very back of the room by myself guzzling coffee and turning doughnuts into tiny glazed people. I was their maniacal overlord and they were instructed to obey my every command. Those tiny glazed bastards tasted glorious! I sometimes used questionable tactics in a vain attempt to make myself absent from these meetings. I once walked into my supervisors office and tried to schedule a very serious migraine headache 3 weeks in advance so I could stay home. It was purely coincidental that 3 weeks into the future happened to fall on the quarterly staff meeting. I felt the plan was foolproof. Potential deadly migraine headache, me in bed all day long, no quarterly staff meeting! See? Perfect! My genius plan failed on account of it being stupid I guess. Hey, I had to try something.

One perfect example of why these quarterly staff meetings were so painful was when people started asking stupid questions about what was being discussed. By the way, what was being discussed? I normally had no idea, I was engrossed in drawing dinosaur comics on crusty napkins. They were epic tales about dino world domination, dino dinner dates (or Triple D in dino speak) and of course dino poop…riveting stuff really. The question and answer period was enough to make an entire glazed doughnut family contemplate suicide. People would ask the dumbest questions over and over and over, and over, and over and over again. The raised hands began to look like wayward targets for forks hurled at high velocity from the back of the room.

My best friend and supervisor at the time was famous for a few dozen poorly timed questions. It was infuriating! I’d regularly text him incredibly threatening messages throughout the day….”if you raise your hand one more time for a fucking question, I swear by 7 lb 8 oz. baby Jesus I’m going to break your knuckles with a pipe wrench!” My threats of mafia style violence were sadly never taken seriously.

My best course of action was to quietly leave the room under the guise of dietary indiscretion. I’d tell someone sitting near me “I need to fart”. Then I’d get up and hide in the bathroom for the next half an hour and watch YouTube videos on my phone. Technology to the rescue! Don’t get me started on the ever popular but excruciating “forced team building exercises”. There’s really no need to get into the pain of such a torture device. Team building exercises should be enough of a description. Some of my closest work friends would intentionally sit near me during these meetings just to see what I was going to come up with next. They were supporting me!

Then of course there were the “head bobbers” as I called them. You know who they are, maybe your one of them and that’s sad. They sit at the front of the room engrossed in everything that’s going on. They take copious amount of notes in their note taking binder, they are the first to volunteer for handing out materials for me to make paper airplanes out of…and of course, no matter what is going on they bob their heads so much I got motion sickness from the back of the room. They also love the “team building torture exercises”. They’re actually wonderfully nice people, they really are. They would sometimes rush me at the start of one of our sacred 15 minute breaks to ask if I was having a good time…..”ummm….yeah, I need to fart”.

My scarlet letters

Not long ago, I had a jobby job that required a significant amount of responsibility…it’s true, stop laughing. You see, I was an adult probation officer for the State of Texas. I was actually good enough at this job to hold various positions for 10 years….it’s true, stop laughing! In most circles they call 10 years a decade, but I hate math and numbers and stuff so I just say it was a long time. I like to think I was nominally successful at my job, heck they must have kept me around for that long for a reason. I must add, there were times my employment was in grave jeopardy…mostly due to seriously poor judgement on my part…no surprise there huh…stop nodding your head so vigorously!

One of the defining episodes during this decade took place early on in my employment and would follow me throughout my tenure (tenure reminds me of manure or shit, which is oddly appropriate for this discussion). You see, as is the norm in most employments, one is required to go through a laborious, painful and wholly unnecessary process know as an evaluation. These take place quarterly, every six months and yearly…what fun times. On one of my first or second evaluations I was labeled as being “not a team player”. Once you become labeled as “not a team player” it kind of sticks to you like glue, there’s really no getting rid of it, no matter how hard you try to please the supervisors. Once that bullshit label is made official on your record it’s there to stay. Subsequent supervisors, assistant directors and directors will find anything they can to make sure the label sticks. All the supervisors have access to your past evaluations and they of course read my scandalous evaluations for fun and laughs…hell, I would have…things as offensive as:

“Probation Officer Scott did not make coffee for the entire team (yeah, I left out the one officer who suffers from caffeine induced rage…I was saving lives!)

So what was I to do? Well, I immediately printed out “NATP” in large bold red letters and pinned it to the cork board behind my desk as a badge of honor. No one ever asked me about it during any of those years. I knew it was there and it made me smile. Once it was determined I wasn’t a team player, I wore that badge like a scarlet letter…letters! Also any further movement in the upward trajectory regarding promotions came to a screeching halt. I swear the sudden stop gave me fucking whiplash! Say goodbye to lower middle management.

But, do you know what most people would do in a situation like this? That’s right! They’d buckle down and work harder, more hours, harder work ethic and resolve doubled. Become the team player that was expected of them. Lower middle management here I come! You’d think I would pucker up and move into the ass kissing position huh? Well, I did say “I’ll show them” but it was not exactly the results they were looking for. If they thought I was “NATP” they were about to see just how committed I could be to my new label. Off to the salt mines!

The strange thing about being committed to something is that it usually takes a lot of extra effort to maintain. Ironically, being committed to being “Not A Team Player” was going to require me to put forth less effort than before. I was going to have to work harder to become lazier…luckily I was up to such a challenge. To become my new label I would actually need to do less, expend as little energy as possible…strange paradox that. I mean, I was at or near my maximum limit to begin with in the lazy department…this could be tough, like I need a nap at my desk kind of tough.

Most of this type of job is filled they hyper active, OCD, type “A” personalities (monsters, really). I do not fit this mold and it drives type “A” people insane. For example I would ball up pieces of paper and throw them across my office to the trash can in the corner. As I have absolutely no basketball skills whatsoever I would miss most of these trash can shots. The trash would inevitably pile up on the floor of my office where I refused to pick it up until the end of the day. I wasn’t going to burden the cleaning staff with my mess, those folks work hard enough as it is, they didn’t need my help. My co-workers hated this and as a result lots of them stopped coming into my office, I called this one an unexpected positive result (see, not hard work pays off). Once, my supervisor who was as nice as she could be came to me and asked if I wanted to be part of some select committee. I was to be my units representative in the lofty committee position. I told her as politely as I could that I was honored she would think of me but that I must decline. But why she asked? Well, mostly it’s for two reasons: 1. I don’t want to. 2. I don’t care. She was a bit shocked, taken aback by my shitty attitude. She asked one of my best friends who was also a supervisor about why I declined and he just started laughing. He actually told her “You should have come to me first before asking Scott such a question, I could have saved you some time”. We still laugh about that one.

You see, it’s not that I was “not a team player”. It really has to do with me being an introvert and nothing more. I don’t like being in large groups of people, it drains my energy and makes me depressed. They often asked employees to take duties that required people to teach lengthy classes after work. I always declined. Sure, it was extra money but after work all I wanted to do was go home and chill out and maybe re-energize for tomorrow. I shouldn’t have to go to work after work…shit, that’s why I went to college! The people in charge never seemed to realize that not everyone was a type “A” people pleaser and they went about labeling people as they saw fit. This often led to negative results. I never did get a promotion, it didn’t take me long to realize I was going to be stuck where I was. Oh, I still put in for different positions just so I could interview for the job and maybe take up someone else’s valuable time…it kind of made me chuckle. This post isn’t terribly funny or uplifting but I learned some valuable lessons about myself when I stated to embrace my introversion. I often look back at different times in my life and some things about myself make more sense when I put it in new terms. There was never anything wrong with me as my employer wanted me to believe and the label they gave me was completely and totally wrong. But I apparently did have some fun with it.

I couldn’t find the old badge after all, it’s probably still on my old office floor by the trash can. It looked just like this.

I’ve still got my scarlet letter badge though…and it still makes me smile.

Ms. Emily Dickinson, I most profoundly apologize…

I once took a literature class at Texas A&M University in which we studied acclaimed American poet Emily Dickinson. I honestly didn’t very much like Ms. Dickinson at the time I was learning about her poetry and her life of rather extreme seclusion. I was incredibly bothered by her introverted lifestyle (ironic huh?). My professor, whom I privately called Professor Hair due to his very unhealthy preoccupation with the mop that occupied his dome, once asked me in front of the whole class what I thought about Emily Dickinson. I was of course horrified Professor Hair would intentionally ruin my attempts at anonymity (bastard!). Anyway, I of course proceeded to open my mouth and state that Ms. Dickinson’s father should have kicked her ass out of that stately victorian house and told her to get a jobby job!

I misunderstood you Ms. Dickinson and you have my most sincere and profound apologies. I was an ass.

It just so happens I was still very intrigued by Ms. Dickinson’s life and I started doing some of my own research to better understand her. It was very interesting, the more I read and came to know what she was about, I began to understand her better and by default I began to understand myself better as well.

You see, Ms. Emily Dickinson was probably the greatest (anonymous) card carrying introvert of her time. I think she embraced her introversion at a time when she was thought to be incredibly peculiar by her peers. She rarely left her fathers house and often never met her own guests downstairs when they arrived, instead having conversations with her friends from behind a closed bedroom door. I’m heartened by the fact her family let her be who she was instead of forcing her to be someone she was not. This kindness almost never happened during her time and it certainly almost never happens these days. Take me as an example. I’ve lived a vast majority of my life trying to conform to a society that celebrates extreme extroversion and almost completely ignores introverts. As I studied Emily Dickinson and was able to understand her better I began to realize I had many of the same qualities as she did (except poetry, I’m shit at writing poetry….pity). My problems and misery arose as a result of this forced extroversion society. The more I embrace being an introvert the happier I become as a result. I love alone time, I can spend countless hours in my dark bedroom and be as content as you can imagine. Put me in a large crowd with lots of over stimulation and I’ll get a migraine and want to leave within just minutes of arriving. Being in large crowds drains my energy and motivation in record time. Many of my friends simply do not understand this at all. Hell, for the longest time I did not understand it myself. I was convinced something was wrong with me, I may have been misled. Maybe, Ms. Dickinson was on to something.

All of this does not mean I’m going to be the next great American poet. What it does mean is that I’m still learning who I am and maybe who I’m meant to be. This will of course come at some cost, especially from those who choose to conform to this sick society we live in. They’ll admonish me for my journey and call me selfish. That’s okay, maybe I’ll start having conversations with people from behind a closed bedroom door…they’ll love that.

Let’s try this again shall we?

Hello, my name is Scott and I’m an introvert….who umm…enjoys (mis) adventuring (emphasis on the mis). No, you cannot call me Scotty, only my wife can call me that and I’ve not met her yet…..pity that. I hear she misses me terribly.

I’ve only recently discovered something of profound importance… I’m an introvert! There, I said it out loud. No taking it back now. I have been an introvert the whole of my life! I know! Who knew!? I once had a blog that was read far and wide. By three people. It was called Barkeep, Whisky. It had nothing at all to do with whisky or being a barkeep or even being an introvert. Some of those old blog posts I’m rather proud of. Some of them were total garbage, I’m rather proud of those as well. Because after all, garbage has an amazing capacity of dirtying up all the clean bits and I like that immensely. Anyway, that blog didn’t last….kind of exactly like the show Firefly.

For most of my life I guess you could say I was a closet introvert desperately trying to fit in to this….this, hyperactive, incredibly unkind, extrovert world. I was actually pretty terrible at it. Surprising isn’t it? I was, in every way attempting to be someone I am not. I was just as miserable as you can imagine and if you know me on a personal level you know I was one miserable fuck of a person. There you have it, I just used some questionable language. Best get used to it now. I was in the military for a time and I became an expert in exactly two things during that forgettable period of my life. Swearing and drinking, both of those things work surprisingly well when combined. I no longer drink, it impairs my already questionable judgement. I do, however still swear like the Coastie I used to be.

Here is a pondering that popped into my head while I was attempting to write something that had some merit. I have no real control of these mind wanderings but it makes the inside of my head a very interesting place. I kind of really love sun dried tomatoes. They are just so glorious in the tasty factor. But, it brings to mind one important and until now unanswered question. Can you make sun dried tomatoes without the sun? No, you cannot. They’re called SUN dried tomatoes for a reason. Now, however if your SON dries the tomatoes then they are by default actually SON dried tomatoes. Whether or not your SON uses the SUN to dry the tomatoes is of no concern to me at all. You’ll thank me later for this clarification.

You see that paragraph up there, yes, the one you just read. Read it again… go ahead, I’ll wait. That, my kind reader is a shining example of the way my mind works and I have until now kept it quietly to myself. I’m going to attempt to share these inner thoughts with you and see what happens. By the way, I’m still mostly a miserable fuck of a person but my intentions are most often pretty honorable and I’m trying to improve myself for myself. I’ve gotta go, it’s time for my anti depressant medication and maybe I’ll see if that stick by mailbox is still there.

Human weakness

Why do we hurt those who are special to us? In fact, why do we hurt anyone at all?  It seems to me, anyone is open to scorn, verbal abuse, mental and psychological abuse, disrespect, shade …call it whatever you want.  It all boils down to just one sad word we continually dole out to one another …abuse.

Really, this abuse has become more mainstream and acceptable than ever before.  With the advent of the inter webs, poor behavior of any kind seems to be perfectly reasonable.  We, as a wonderfully flawed species have fast tracked treating one another worse than garbage.  Abuse of every imaginable kind is readily available for all the world to see.  Often times this abhorrent behavior is seen in wonderful HD video, with onlookers smiling, pointing, laughing and egging on the further degradation of our fellow man.  Very few people are willing to step in and say STOP!

There are without a doubt an innumerable number of culprits to try and pin this on.  I, however think it all boils down to good old fashioned weakness …human weakness.  Sure, anyone can use any argument they wish about this.  Nature vs. nature, parental upbringing, drugs, alcohol, mob rule.  But, honestly treating people like crap is a choice plain and simple.  Some will argue this choice is a difficult one and others will say it’s really a simple choice.  Treating one another with respect and dignity is not difficult.  In a different life and career I saw, on a daily basis people who continually treated their fellow man with nothing but scorn and hatred.  They had every opportunity to change their behavior but some reveled in seeing others suffer.  Choice my friends, choice.

On a personal level, I’m certainly not immune to acting like an absolute ass. Many times, no matter how aware I’m trying to be about how I treat others, I somehow allow my buttons to be pushed to the point where I lash out.  I’m slowly learning to take a deep breath and show a shred of patience.  It’s a struggle for sure but as I said before, it’s not really that hard either.  It’s a choice.  I can either allow myself to lash out and deeply regret my behavior or I can choose to change the way I act and react to those around me.  Either way, I’m in control.  My happiness and the happiness of those around me are impacted, plain and simple.

I’m going to go a bit political here and if anyone is offended, please understand it’s not intentional.  As I said previously, with the advent of the inter webs we have instant access to as much deviant, poor behavior as we can stomach.  In a very real and visible manner this treatment of our fellow man as afterthoughts has made poor behavior an every day occurrence.  It has become so common place that it’s become acceptable.  Well, it’s not acceptable and it never should be.  Here it comes….It certainly does not help when our very own president displays the type of behavior that would certainly get him fired from any other job in the country.  He calls people names, he calls people stupid, weak, no good and people think it’s funny.  Most of his demeaning behavior is done via his twitter feed.  However he has on many occasions eschewed honorable presidential norms and very openly abused people at his “Nuremberg” type rallies.  And, without exception, his supporters goose step right along with the mob, clapping, cheering, smiling and raising their fists.  His abuse of his fellow man has become so normal, so okay that many people actually look forward to whatever will come next. The truly horrible thing to remember about such open, in your face abuse of people is that it is now being mirrored world wide.  Why am I using our president as an example?  Well, even though he may not realize it or even care, he plays a major role in how socially acceptable some behavior becomes.  It is a truly sad commentary of just how far society has fallen down the slippery slope that our American president has become a barometer for poor and deviant behavior.  I feel that it’s only going to get worse.  I’d love to be hopeful about it all but I sadly feel we’ve got a lot longer to fall before things turn around. 

I’m guess I’ve just reached a level of sadness about the state of affairs on this big ball of dirt and water we call earth.  We can be so much better than we are, we’ve done it before.  I’m going to start by continuing to change my behavior.  I’m going to take a deep breath, go for a walk and remember how I’d like to be treated is probably the same as everyone else.

Lessons learned:

  1. Be kind, it’s easy.
  2. Take a deep breath, take a walk.
  3. Help others, we learned all this as children.

The Jurassic Period

I live on a farm on planet earth, somewhere on the North American continent in the United States of America, in a state inhabited largely with leftover deadly animals from the Jurassic period. It is a land commonly known as “Texas”. On this farm, lovingly called “Box Spring Creek Farm” (Boxspringcreekfarms.com), we have an ever changing menagerie of animals. It’s exactly like Noah’s ark, if Noah’s ark never took place on a boat and if Noah’s ark wasn’t floated away by never ending rain (we haven’t had measurable rain here in about four months). Other than those minor details, this farm is EXACTLY like Noah’s ark.

Anyway, we have goats on this farm. Lots of damn goats! During mating season, the male goats get rather randy and have a very special way of attracting the ladies. Apparently, these male goats have discovered that pissing on their faces and front legs creates an intoxicating scent that is irresistible to the lady goats. I can testify that it’s a smell worse than a kitten farting in your face (Fart Zombie read here). The lady goats love this display and total disregard for one’s own dignity and hygiene.

But, it makes me ponder this… if it’s so successful for the boy goats, what if I were to dress up in my finest cut off jean shorts (jorts), crocks (with socks of course), a muscle tee, then pissed all over myself and go to Wal-Mart to see if I could attract the ladies on isle 12? I’m confident I’d attract all sorts of attention, maybe even from some female cops. Then again, if I actually did try this at Wal-Mart, it’s highly likely no one would notice a thing. Nature is weird that way. We can all learn a lot from mother nature, especially from piss covered, stinky goats.

Lessons learned

1. Male goats are disgusting… actually there are probably some parallels with human behavior.

2. Don’t ever frequent Wal-Mart…ever, it’s not worth it.

3. Mother nature is strange…in a piss covered goat sort of way.

The Shitty Kitty.

The following discussion took place a couple of days ago with a long time friend of mine. I’m kind of shocked he was surprised by this discussion, we’ve been friends for over a decade. You might think he’d be accostomed to my general weirdness. We’ll call him “The Hipster” to protect his identity.

“The Hipster”: Hey, check it out. One of your cats is dropping a giant, steaming pile of good news right in the middle of your back yard. Cats have no sense of dignity.

Me: Avert your eyes! Make no mention of what you just saw! You’ll get us both killed!

“The Hipster”: Huh, what is your problem? The cat’s dropping a deuce for all the world to see, it’s funny. Why are you freaking out?

Me: There, you see, you’re still doing it. Are you a monster or something? Have you no regard for human life? I’m an innocent bystander here! Stop making a scene.

“The Hipster”: You’re the one making a scene, it’s just a cat pooping in the open. It should be mocked, you see…..it’s funny.

Me: We’re dead! I hope you’re satisfied, you savage.

“The Hipster”: You’ve clearly lost any sense of sanity that remained.

Me: Don’t you understand? Cats hate being mocked for any reason…..ANY REASON! But most especially, they hate being mocked for their ability to crap in public without a care in the world….it’s like a super power. A shitting super power if you will. Can you begin to imagine the freedom involved in that?

“The Hipster”: I can imagine you’re crazy.

Me: I’m sure I am crazy, thanks for noticing. Cats have one very specific rule regarding living in their world.

“The Hipster”: Awesome, I’m sure you’re going to tell me. Please stop….

Me: Cats have only one rule, all other rules revolve around the one rule.

“The Hipster”: You’re not making any sense.

Me: Have you never heard of the International Kitty Conclave of 1344 and the Kitty rules that followed the year after?

“The Hipster”: Can I go home?

Me: You’ll only arrive home dead thanks to your total disregard to the Kitty rule. I swear, tomorrow morning you’ll wake up dead! You’ve been warned……

Lessons learned.

  1. “The Hipster” doesn’t care for his own safety, nor the safety of others.
  2. He still doesn’t know “The Kitty rule”.
  3. Neither do you…..study your history people!

It’s finally Friday!

Have you ever had one of those days, where, no matter what you do everything just falls apart. You wake up for work just in time to see the clock tick over to the exact time work actually starts…. yeah, you’re late and you haven’t even gotten out of bed yet. Then you get to work, only to realize that in your haste you left your cell phone at home on the bathroom sink….just where you left it while dropping a growler.

Yeah, one of those days. Oh, lest we forget you got written up… AGAIN for calling your supervisor a fat tub of shit who gets fatter simply thinking about it… totally worth it. Then you get yelled at by a district judge for talking during docket call. He’s so mad you get kicked out of court…again, for the second time this month.

Yeah, one of those kind of days. Actually, those days can turn into weeks where you can’t seem catch a break. Then at lunch (at your desk, which is strictly forbidden, but you’ve got to try and catch up) you eat some questionable sushi only to barf up on that same desk a few hours later from food poisoning. You swear you’re never eating sushi from that Mexican/sushi place again …until next week of course.

We’ve all had those types of days that stretch into shitty weeks. It happens to all of us who weren’t born trust fund babies and actually have to work for a living. But this kind struggle actually makes you realize this is EXACTLY why God invented alcohol and you’ve finally found something to be thankful for….God bless 80 proof, yes, thank you 6 lb 8 oz baby Jesus for the blessed gift of alcohol, good times, hangovers and sketchy memories.

This also reminds you that it’s finally F’ing Friday and you should stop at the liquor store after work.

Work is just so damned stupid. If it weren’t for the fact you’ve got bills to pay you might have stayed home. But you’ve got to pay for your student loans and that cell phone that’s sitting on your bathroom sink… Hopefully it’s still sitting there, unless your kitty (Isabelle) swatted it into the toilet (did I flush?)…again.

You do have your glorious and thoughtful friends. And, believe me 5:01 pm on a Friday like this calls for a couple of drinks with cheese fries at the local dive bar. Yes, the same shitty bar where you’ll continue to try and hit on that super hot waitress/bartender girl who is still dating that same cook, when he’s not in jail…again. But you keep trying, urged on by your friends and their well intended jabs at your attempts to save the bartender girl from a lifetime of bad decisions.

Yes, thank the Lord it’s Friday. I hope you all have a great time tonight and a truly wonderful weekend.

God bless.

Scotty

The NOPE List

Have you ever been witness to something so crazy, nutty or off the wall, your instant reaction was “NOPE”, no way in hell I’m ever doing that! It might have been something you saw in person, or maybe you heard a crazy story at work.  YouTube, for instance, is absolutely full of videos that easily classify as instant NOPE. Well, that is what this particular blog post is about.  I’m very pleased to introduce the very first “NOPE LIST”.  This is what I’m confident, will be the first of many such lists, a list to be added to and discussed at length around your company’s margarita machine (fine, water cooler).

I like to think of myself as a bit of an adventurous person and despite a lifetime of struggles with depression and anxiety, I’ve been fortunate enough to compile an admirable list of truly nifty adventures.  Important to note, is that most of my special adventures have been undertaken, for the most part, completely solo, because I cannot stand large crowds.  Plus, large crowds of people are fairly NOPE inducing anyway.

I’ve been blessed enough to fly aerobatics in a WWII fighter plane just outside of Dallas, flown in the Goodyear Blimp on two occasions, in high school I used to be an avid rock climber and when I lived in New Jersey I learned how to surf.  I once got totally lost while exploring/hiking inside the crater of a dormant volcano.  Having not erupted in  1,500 years, give or take, I was fairly confident I wasn’t going to get covered in molten rocky goo.  My point is, I’ve been very fortunate to have done some pretty cool shit and I’m normally up for all kinds of questionable adventures.  But occasionally, something comes up that makes me instantly go NOPE!  Let’s begin.

Just last week, I discovered a two hour program that became the genesis for this blog.  A program that immediately made me go, NOPE! HELL NO!

The documentary detailed three dudes who go looking for what is very possibly the largest bear on the planet, perhaps the largest bear ever. The bear, affectionately called “Grandfather” by the local Tlingit tribe, lives on a large island off the coast of Alaska.  The island has been designated one of the most dangerous places on the planet due to the incredibly large population of truly colossal bears inhabiting the place.  So dangerous in fact, that parts of the island haven’t seen humans in 400 or 500 years.  One female bear on the island, tenderly referred to as “SheShaa” or literally translated, “Blood mountain”, is gigantic.  When compared to “Grandfather” though, she’s actually pretty small.  Behold, “Grandfather”.

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“Grandfather”… NOPE!

This particular bear is so massive, they figure he weighs in at roughly 2,600 lbs and while standing on all four feet, might be over 7 ft tall at the shoulder! The researchers estimate he towers over 14 ft tall when standing on his back feet.  The documentary team (crazy people), found a back foot print from “Grandfather” measuring over 23 inches long! They speculate he’s capable of beheading a full grown moose with one swipe of his paw.  The researchers eventually found the bear and were able to get hair samples for DNA testing and such.  He’s so big, it’s truly horrifying.  Now, why would I go looking for a 2,600 lb killing machine, one requiring the consumption of 200 lbs of meat a day? Just the thought of coming upon this giant bear in the woods, is enough to induce a full on pants crapping episode. NOPE!  Add that to the list.

Here’s one that’s all over Youtube lately.  There are loads of insane people (for some reason lots of them are Russian, go figure) who enjoy illegally climbing incredibly high structures like buildings, towers and cranes all around the world and filming themselves doing it (Everyone gather ’round for a selfie!). On many occasions, clouds can actually be seen BELOW these adventurers!  Oh, I said death defying earlier for a reason.  Many of these people are actually dead, having defied nothing, including gravity.  Apparently, a large number of them die every year by falling.  I’m sure that during a 1,500 ft fall, you’ve got a few seconds to contemplate your life before going squish.  It’s true what I said earlier, a great many of these people seem to be crazy Russians.  Why? I have no idea.

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Next picture, squish… NOPE!

They certainly have my admiration and I’d love to hang out with people nutty enough to try something like this.  When you contemplate these videos, you realize no one is wearing safety harnesses or parachutes and some of the videos are shot at night.  To their credit, the videos are hugely fun to watch and the scenery is amazing.  Hey Scott? Wanna go climb a tower/building that’s thousands of feet tall, at night? Maybe bring along a GoPro camera and take some video, perhaps a selfie? NOPE! Hell no!!  First and foremost, I don’t like taking selfies on solid ground, so why would I illegally climb thousands of feet in the air where I might get an airplane up my ass, or fall to an untimely death? NO, NO, NO! NOPE!

Not long ago, I watched another documentary on TV about a husband and wife team who were doing research on the cutest little ocean going glob of goop you’ve ever seen,  the Box Jellyfish.  These cute little jellyfish are usually quite small and apparently not easy to find.  But don’t take their cuteness as a sign that these jellyfish can be played and cuddled with, without seriously endangering your health.

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Glob of goop… NOPE!

During their research, the wife got stung by one of these jellyfish and was visibly experiencing incredible pain.  The husband exited the water to help her and while taking off his wetsuit, touched one of these ocean going assassins.  What you need to understand is the Box jellyfish’s venom is incredibly toxic and unbearably painful.  As a real positive, it can also completely stop your heart.  The video of the couple at the local hospital is difficult to watch because they’re both screaming in agony as the toxins course through their bodies and you know there’s a chance neither of them will survive.  I’ve been stung many times by regular, sissy jellyfish while surfing and it hurts like hell.  So why, for the love of all that is good and holy, would I want to have anything at all to do with actually going and looking for these little bastards? NOPE! I’m not doing it! I’d rather go shark diving while wearing a  wetsuit made out of bacon….mmmm, bacon.  By the way, the couple survived after spending a few weeks in the hospital.  They then went right back to studying the damn jellyfish.

I’d like to get something going here, so please leave a comment about some form of craziness that would make your “NOPE” list.  It can be anything from attending a Dallas Cowboy’s football game, dinner at the White House, skydiving… anything.  Let’s see what else we can come up with.

Lessons learned.

  1. I watch way too much TV.
  2. Any animal called “Blood Mountain” should be left alone…forever.
  3. The “NOPE” list is real people.

 

 

Hangovers and Dead People

Hangovers should seriously be reserved for dead people, they’re the only ones capable of appreciating such misery. In the past (and by past, I mean decades ago, maybe last weekend) I used to drink a lot…..A LOT! I’m not terribly proud of my behavior, but it did allow me to rack up a large quantity of funny stories, most of which I can remember. I preferred to drink until I could feel my legs floating above my head, but not so much I’d have one of those hellish, three day hangovers. You see, a three day hangover is the type of misery where you ask God for the sweet embrace of death, only to have God answer with an emphatic, “NO! FIRST YOU MUST SUFFER!” Suffer I did, during those times. There’s a fine line between drinking to the point of leg floating bliss and death headaches, a line I regrettably crossed all to often.

When I was in the military, I drank as much as I thought I could reasonably get away with, then just a tiny bit more. When I was in college, I drank just enough for Texas A&M University to grant me a bachelors degree in International Studies with a minor in Beer Fart Etiquette. During summers in college, I was an ocean rescue lifeguard on the beautiful New Jersey Shore. Going home after 10 hours of lifeguarding was a total waste of time as there were numerous beach parties to attend and bars to be frequented. I was home long enough to feed Harley the cat, myself and to make sure the house didn’t burn down.

I’ve had hangovers so severe, opening my eyes caused gigantic earthquakes inside my skull that were actually registered by the U. S. Geological Survey. That’s not necessarily a good thing.

During Christmas vacation, my twin brother and I would drive home to New Jersey from Texas. For three years in a row we had New Years Eve parties that are still the stuff of legend, talked about in hushed voices and secret handshakes due to the nature of what occurred. Our backyard was often packed with snow, so instead of putting all the alcohol in ice chests or the refrigerator, we simply threw hundreds of beer cans and bottles into the snow to keep them cold. It was a wondrous sight to behold.

I actually don’t behave like this anymore. It’s just not worth the horrifying misery of the dreaded hangover, it’s really not. Plus, I’ve discovered through careful research that drinking to excess like I did, only exacerbated my depression and anxiety problems. In essence, the alcohol made my depression much worse. When I consider my past, it amazes me on a daily basis that I’ve been blessed to have accomplished as much as I have.

Please don’t forget to share, comment, like ect…if you do maybe we’ll go for a brew someday.

Lessons Learned:

  1. The U. S. Geological Survey needs to study hangover earthquake headaches, they’re a real thing.
  2. Alcohol and depression are not friends.
  3. God knows what he’s doing.

Cats rule the world!

Cats rule the world! There, I said it. It’s true, many people say cats rule the internet and I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. Seriously, cats are everywhere on the inter- webs. But, if you consider for a moment that the “internet” is starting to rule our lives and everything we do, it’s safe to surmise that if cats rule the internet, they rule the world as well. I’m such a genius!

Here on the farm we have many cats, strictly indoor cats, indoor/outdoor cats and we have a couple of barn cats as well. They all have their own unique personalities and special attitudes. Take for instance Piddy Witz, a bobtail tortoise shell kitty with a raspy meow she uses to great effect. She’s a wonderful kitty who allows we puny humans to pet and feed her at her discretion. She spends most of her time outside doing kitty things like chasing dogs (true!), eating birds and squirrels and such. Honestly though, she spends most of her time sleeping in the backyard or barn. Sleeping is fine, I have no problem with it, I’m kind of an expert on napping myself. Poor Piddy however enjoys sleeping on an outside half wall of the barn. The problem is, her sleeping perch is only as wide as a 2×4 and just the other day during her nap, she fell off twice. As it is every kitty’s priority, she quickly regained her dignity, glaring at me as if I had pushed her (I didn’t!). Either way, my life was in grave danger and the only way to possibly save my life, was to build a plywood shelf in her favorite spot, giving her plenty of room to lounge, sleep and generally survey all of her realm. So that’s what I did.

The first photo is Piddy lounging in her favorite sleeping spot just before she drifts off. So cute right? You can clearly see the photo makes it look like she’s a Jedi Legless hovering kitty, but she’s not, she does actually have four legs. See how easy it would be for her to fall off (or be pushed, if you believe the conspiracy theory)?

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The first order of business was to find an appropriately sized piece of plywood to use as a shelf. One especially dangerous part of the mission was to VERY quietly measure Piddy to determine how long the shelf needed to be. A word of caution, cats do not enjoy being disturbed while sleeping. I cut the piece of plywood a few inches longer than Piddy so she would have plenty of room, rounding the corners off so it would be visually appealing to Piddy and also not hurt when I inevitably walk into it.

I’ve done some great things in my life but none of them could begin to compare to the beauty of my creation. I knew Piddy was going to be so happy! No more falling off the wall, no more worrying about when she was going to kill me. Life is grand!

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With the project completed, I stood back to admire my work. It was glorious! Next on the agenda was introducing Piddy to to her new, very comfortable shelf. The attempts to save my life and make her more comfortable however, were in vain. This is her response to my hard work.

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CATS!

Lessons learned:

  1. Cats don’t give a shit!
  2. I’m probably going to die in my sleep.
  3. Cats don’t give a shit!

Please, please share, like, comment on social media with friends, family, cats, dogs and Zombies….they’re lonely.