Hold them tight….

Legend called me today crying…Not for anything I’ve done but because she got promoted at work to district health services coordinator, and as a result she had to watch a documentary on bullying. I’ve caused a lot of pain in her life, I’ve been injured, unable to call her from war zones, bought a new(er) truck, and forgot to unload the dishwasher. None of these things come close to the pain i felt coming through the phone after she watched a DOCUMENTARY about bullying and it’s f*&^ed up effects on our children.

Monkeyhead is going into 5th grade this year, and is constantly bullied, not because she’s “ugly”, or “smelly”, or “dumb”, but because she likes school, and is smart, and reads 3 books a week. Because she doesn’t care what your parents drive, or that your clothes aren’t from the coolest  stores, or that your hair is messed up.  She just wants to do well in school, and be liked.  Again I’m from a small town and I was bullied quite  bit. Taped 10 ft off the ground on a phone pole, beat up or attempted to be beaten up several times, stripped and thrown in a creek, and lord knows what else. I might have even bullied some people in my past and if that is true, I’m sorry.

It is because of that past that I urge you parents out there to get involved, teach your children where their worth truly comes from. Be intrusive in their lives, I don’t mean go through their sock drawer or under their bed, but shut off the damn tv and talk to them. Make them talk about their day, read their eyes, and most importantly hold them accountable for all the good and not-so-good they may or may not do, and show them you love them and what respect and self-respect look like through YOUR actions.

Your children start school soon, be there for them and let us all come together as humans and stop this.

tp://

http://

http://www.thebullyproject.com/

This life is awesome!

English: Jared hitting a jump at a freeride tr...

English: Jared hitting a jump at a freeride trail in Kansas City. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hi Jared here . As I was thinking back about why I was doing my MBA at 42 (43 soon), I reviewed back on my life, quickly realized a couple of things.

I’ve had a great Life!  Great kids, a great divorce and then a great marriage; I’ve been paid to be a pirate for the last 22 years, as well as being able to see things that my small southwest Kansas town of 1200 could never imagine. I love my wife and two kids all four of my dogs, my garden and the pains I feel as I get up every morning, because that pain is always followed by the awesome memories of how I earned them. I’ve ridden bulls, fished off the coast of Africa, seen snow fall of the mountains of Pakistan in July, surfed the Pacific ocean, Atlantic Ocean and the Andaman Sea, see the ancient ruins of Babylon, the Giant Buddha in Hong Kong, and the birth of both my daughters.

I found to late its to easy to blame others and everything else but myself for my mistakes, and I know I  wouldn’t trade a day with no pain and 21 again for anything, it’s not the years that gets us, it’s the miles, please believe if you come to my funeral when I finally decide to leave this planet, there won’t be anything pretty in that box, I’m gonna use it all up and make another 42+ years of memories, devilish grins and bruises–j

Thats how you do it!

Listen, I too got sick of the press and everyone else prying their eyes and cameras into the Prince and duchesses lives. But lets talk about it, this boy is now 3rd and a half in line for the crown of England. His dad and Uncle have been nothing but class in all aspects of their lives, their parents can be proud, the Queen can be proud, forget the damn Halloween costume by his uncle, we have all done dumb stuff. But now for a man of proud lineage who could afford anything he wanted for himself or his family, to A. drive his own family home, 2. take maternity leave to be with his wife and child and 3. to say he is going to help with diapers and all aspects of his new son’s life, my hat is off to you sir, thank you for showing, not just saying, what a true father and parent does.–j

Prince William’s Paternity Leave: A Bold Move?

By  | Royal Baby Buzz – 9 hours ago

Reporting for royal diaper duty!

Prince William is taking a two-week paternity leave following the birth of son George Alexander Louis, Buckingham Palace has confirmed to Yahoo! Shine.

More on Yahoo! Shine: 
The Royal Baby Christening: What to Expect 

Granted, Prince William certainly doesn’t need the paternity pay men receive under British law(which comes out to about $210 a week in his case), but by taking a paid break from his position as a Royal Air Force search-and-rescue helicopter pilot, he’s undoubtedly setting a new precedent for men everywhere.

More on Yahoo!:
 Prince William and Kate Timeline 

Call it the Prince William Effect. Similar to how Kate Middleton’s choices have been known to trigger international frenzies — her cinched Jenny Packham dress proved that it’s perfectly fine for new moms to bear their post-baby bump; her 8-carat sapphire-and-diamond engagement ring spawned dozens of knockoffs; and even thosenude pantyhose evoked a 1980s revival — Prince William’s choice to take paternity leave (he’s the first senior member of the royal family to do so) is generating plenty of social media buzz, too.

Writer Jen Senior tweeted: “Somehow I missed this: Prince William is taking two week’s paid paternity leave. BECAUSE HIS COUNTRY OFFERS IT.” @Jess Pensando tweeted, “2 weeks paternity leave for Prince William. Modern Dad?” @clairecm wrote, “Perfect occasion to re-start the paternity leave debate!” and @Keithlaw joked, “Isn’t his whole life one big paternity leave?”

According to Ken Matos, director of research at the Families and Work Institute, a New York City-based nonprofit organization, the prince’s choice sends a powerful message to the public. “Not only does it seem like William genuinely wants to be a present father, the royal couple knows that everything they do is aspirational,” Matos told Yahoo! Shine. “It’s possible that Prince William may be trying to set an example for fathers to take advantage of any paternity leave their company offers.”

And paternity laws are way more flexible across the pond. “Now, in England, women are eligible for 52 weeks of leave and they can share a portion of that time with their spouse,” said Matos. “For example, the mother can take 26 weeks of maternity leave and if she decides to return to work afterward, her husband can take the remaining 26 weeks to care for their child.”

While the father is on leave, he maintains his right to build his vacation days and may even be eligible for a pay raise. Yet, despite these perks (which were established in the U.K. in 2003), CBS reports that only two-thirds of British men take some paternity leave, and fewer than half take a full two weeks.

“In the United States, it’s very different,” Matos explained. “The only mandate is the Family Medical Leave Act ,which ensures that men and women receive 12 weeks of job-protected unpaid leave, but only under the condition that his or her company employs a certain number of workers who work in close quarters.” And paternity leave isn’t even an option for most American workers. According to a story published in Forbes last month, only 13 percent of employers here offer paternity leave.

Unfortunately, no matter where a man resides, there’s often a social stigma preventing him from accepting time off after the birth of a child — fear of being viewed as uncommitted to his job or even feminine, said Matos. And those fears aren’t necessarily unfounded: One study published in the Journal of Social Issues found that caregiving men get treated more disrespectfully at work than men who adhere to traditional gender roles. Maybe that’s why, following the birth of a child, less than 5 percent of American dads took one month off, and 16 percent took no time at all, according to data released by the Center for Work and Family at Boston College.

That’s a shame because 92 percent of fathers report that paternity leave was a positive experience and that they would have enjoyed even more time off — dirty diapers, sleepless nights, and all.

We are all equal, what we do with that equality is up to us.


American-Gadsden

Please don’t let where you came from, your friend’s opinions, your high school civic teacher’s opinions, or god forbid Facebook opinions, affect what you choose to believe, learn, or support.

Educate yourself before speaking, don’t cave to peer pressure, and live it as best you can for yourself and everyone around you.

http://

Colion Noir

 

 

As much as things change, we still stay the same, except the wrinkles

So tonight I took Monkeyhead to a carnival here in town, and as all my fond memories of my hometown came flooded back I couldn’t wait for her to ride the gravitron, and the octopus, the skat cat and the bumper cars, roll a wooden ball at bowling pins and get some cotton candy the  twice the size of her head.

Cotton Candy

Cotton Candy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The thoughts of all the cool toys, mirrors, belts and toys with the occasional pair of oversized glasses. As we parked I saw the Ferris wheels and the squirrel cages, the giant swings and a midway; walking up the familiar sounds of my childhood blasted from speakers, and as we walked across the park, Jack Blades took me back to Sentimental Street and it felt like any  summer night in the 80’s.

Unfortunately as we got close the rides got smaller, the lights weren’t as bright as I remember them and the cool carnival prizes had been replaced, by inflatable swords, and a cooler full of perch you could win one at a time for 5 bucks.

For Monkeyhead it wasn’t that good of a time, all the big rides were too big and all the small rides were too small, she didn’t have any desire to bring home any inflatable toys, so we headed out.  The howlers and barkers from my youth are still the same as I remember, unshaven, dirty acid washed jeans, and really bad tattoos, although I swear as I left Jamie Pressley was standing on the back of the corn dog trailer talking about being my sister….

SO what does the Train video have to do with this? I’ll tell you, as my girls grow up and I reflect on my past mistakes I  hope to try to keep them from repeating the same ones. Tonight at the carnival made me think of the girls I knew I was going to marry back in the 80s,and how life couldn’t get better than cruising main street and going to the fair. It wasn’t until I left home for the Navy did I realize that Southern California wasn’t Kansas anymore Toto.

We all got bruises over the course of our journey, the trick is to live through them, be glad all we got was bruises, hell, revel in them but love your life, because it has been awesome this far.

And for my mentor,Legend, Monkeyhead and Bubba..

Carpe the F&^*k out of that Diem!!

 

The first Ferris wheel from the 1893 World Col...

The first Ferris wheel from the 1893 World Columbian Exposition in Chicago. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

A piece of my childhood has been burned.

View of Spanish Peaks

View of Spanish Peaks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

chapel healthlodge

mountain

I spent several summers in these mountains, it’s where I learned to hike, climb, camp and first aid. It’s where i met my first and only Queen’s Scout and my first cigarette.

Spanish Peaks Boy Scout camp in Walsenburg Colorado, helped forge me into the man I am today. A man with a love for high places, snow in July, and cold mountain streams.

I can’t say how sad I feel to see mother nature’s need to redecorate, I understand it and know the camp will rebuild, and am thankful for the memories.

To the miner and the Indian, I say thank you for letting me be a boy here and allowing me the opportunity as a staff member to teach boys here, for the bear hunts, mountain lion round ups, and lost campers, cows in my tent, tea on the porch, blisters on my feet and my Eagle Scout badge, thank you.

https://rally.org/rebuildspsr

http://sftcbsa.org/index.php?page=spsr

But to live for others.

To love others for the honor, and not for the want but to serve is our goal.

think of this the next time your wife asks you to take out the trash.

be mindful of him, as your husband complains of his sore back

be present in his focus when your children ask you to play.

and all the while,

be grateful of the opportunity.–j

"A little statue of Buddha."

How lucky am I…

… to have a daughter that asks what “and the rockets red glare” meant. Plus to be able to have her grasp what I meant as  I explained to her the importance of the indomitable spirit of the flag. For it to still be waving after a full day and night of rockets red glaring and bombs bursting in airing; and how that same spirit still holds true today, where we’re from and regardless of counter-political decisions to that spirit, we are still free to work for what’s ours and to keep what we earn. 
     oh, and to blow up stuff for more than 3 hours for less than a 150 bucks and only come out with a few minor 1st and 2nd degree burns.
     Not a bad way to say
          happy birthday ‘Merica!

image

the parable of Rachel

The following is a direct quote from my childhood friend’s news feed.

“Was awakened in the night to the sound of crying. Found Rachel in bed sobbing. Once I got her calmed down, I asked why she wasn’t sleeping. Her reply? “Because I don’t want to miss anything fun.” Really? At 1:37 AM?”

Rachel, we have never met but i believe we are kindred spirits. I’ve been known to say many a time, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” and its true; why sleep when all the good videos don’t come on Night Tracks until after midnight.

Who wants to be the friend who went to bed at a decent hour in Vegas only to hear about the fun you missed out on poolside the next morning?

I don’t want to miss anything fun.

Last year I took my Wahoo into a creek bed and after who knows how long, with a mouth full of dried blood and mud, i woke up to a knee the size of a small child and my cherished Gary Fisher 10 ft behind me, and 3 feet below me in a creek bed.

Gary Fisher Wahoo for sale

Gary Fisher Wahoo

 

English: Bike of All Mountain. Gary Fisher. Mo...

English: Bike of All Mountain. Gary Fisher. Model: Roscoe One. 2010 Español: Bicicleta de enduro. Gary Fisher. Modelo:Roscoe One. 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

5 months later, and much to the very loud and Irish sounding opinions voiced by Legend, I was back in the woods. on the same bike, only with a knee brace this time.

5 days after the wreck

5 days after the wreck

I don’t want to miss anything fun, pure and simple.

a few years prior, I thought it would be a good idea to take Legend to Las Vegas as she’s never been, so i booked the trip. The problem was, I was in Afghanistan, and my flight home was delayed by a week due to weather. So instead of having a week to shave, shower and adjust to the US, Legend picked me and my kit up at one terminal, drove us to another terminal where we barely had enough time to park, and get on our plane to Vegas.

Now it worked out great for me, after 23 hours flying, what’s another 4? I took a little nap, and hit Vegas with both feet. while Legend slept I played poker, and covered the cost of the trip, while I slept she went to the spa, and shopped and made up for the poker…

but we didn’t miss anything fun.

Run through life like someone left the gate open and you’ll have everything in a life worth looking back on with pride.

now true it may be pride for having not gotten caught, but pride nonetheless.

my goal for me and hopes for you all is you never miss anything fun so that when your time comes you never have to ask “what if?”

Rachel, Life is fun and i believe you won’t miss it.

Monkeyhead goes shopping

So my in-laws came into down last night, and insisted on taking Monkeyhead shopping. Needless to say 8 hours after of work and flying 1000 miles to get home, away we went to the home of saggy pants and 80’s resurgence, the mall. The mall today specializes in remnants of my childhood, Day-glow (neon) clothing.

Are you kidding me? man i thought we put that  stuff in a pod with our parachute pants and launched it into outer space in hopes of saving Los Angeles from an alien invasion on the future.  I digress.

I love my in-laws, they are a lot like me, they don’t go shopping, they go buying; i want this, i found this, i buy this, pull your pants up and get out of my way I’m leaving now.

We went to Justice…for those of you lucky enough to not have a girl-child in your house, you will never know the joy of neon colored clothing, which looks as if it were attacked by a monkey with a Bedazzler, being sold to you by a failed member of the mouseketeer club, all with Brittany swift, or Lady Booboo blasting at 11 through the store speakers. Side note, the volume is so loud so your children won’t hear you say “this &*% cost how *&*()#$%# much??”

U Can't Touch This

SO the folks drove here from up north, then we drove another 45  minutes to the mall and were tired, so i took them out to sit in a chair while Monkeyhead and Legend shopped with grandpa, who promptly came out to tell on Legend because she told Monkeyhead no on something, but only after giving his credit card to Monkeyhead and telling Annette behind the register that she (Monkeyhead) could buy whatever she wanted and was authorized to use his card…wth? i couldn’t get a quarter from my grandfather for pinball, she got a platinum card..

Grandma marched in, sent Legend out to me, and proceeded to spend 3 bills on clothes. Clothes which Monkeyhead will outgrow in a day, but everyone was happy, well not Legend, but when Legend’s momma is paying the bills and making the rules…

As much as we change and grow to become in charge of our lives and become productive adults,all while looking back fondly on our youth and the fashion mistakes which were our benchmark; Some things stay the same, mom will always win, bad fashion will always come back, and i will always look good in nylon pants..

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA