Skateboards and Trucks Don’t Mix

I haven’t posted anything to this blog in a long, long time.  So I thought I would submit the work of my son Logan.  He wrote this in his 10th grade English class.  I liked it.  So here you go…

Skateboards and Trucks Don’t Mix

“Are you sure the bungee cord will hold?”  That’s what I should’ve said, instead of a crazy “Let’s do this!” and grabbing on to the cord.

It was a late summer night, where I sat with my friends Tanner and Sage at the neighborhood park.  I shot a bored look at the two of them, hoping that they had some idea of what to do, only to get the same look in return.  Suddenly, a pair of headlights blinded the three of us.

Tanner called to him as he jumped up and jogged over to the truck.  I grabbed my skateboard and followed Tanner.  As I peered into the window, I met eyes with Dylan, and saw the ideas forming in his mind.

“Hey, check the bed of the truck for a bungee cord,”  Dylan said in a mischievous voice.

I glanced at my skateboard and back at him and immediately bolted to the bed of the truck, to see a thin, bright orange bungee cord.  “Oh, this is gonna be fun,”  I chuckled to myself.

Five minutes later, the bungee cord was tied to a small knob on the back of the truck, and Sage was holding on for dear life.  The truck could only have been going five MPH, but Sage’s face showed straight terror as he leaped off his board, landing smoothly on his feet.

“Oh c’mon, I could go faster without the truck pulling me,”  Tanner taunted.

I hopped out of the bed of the truck, clutching my skateboard.  I then mumbled the second dumbest sentence I’ve ever said: “I got this,”

I glanced at the three of them in the truck, and verified that Tanner was recording this.  I felt the truck lurch forward and I was off.  Glancing down the road, my eyes widened seeing a turn coming.  This is insane I thought to myself.  I pushed my feet down hard on the board, to regain my balance.  As I skidded around the turn I saw a nice straight away.  Here was the chance to gain some speed.  It was at that point I shouted the dumbest sentence of my life: “Step on it,”

Through the steady sound of wind flying past me, I heard Tanner shout “20 MPH!”  This was too fast, Dylan needed to slow down.

“25!”  I couldn’t think straight, or focus on anything but trying not to fall off.

“Slow down!”  I shouted, but I could tell they couldn’t hear me.  I looked at my surroundings.  House after house flew by, faster than I’ve ever seen before.

“30!”  The cord kept stretching, I was at least 15 feet behind the truck now.  No slack left on the cord.  I glanced at the yards to the side of me.  I could bail, jump towards the lawn.  I could land two large steps before falling, would that be enough?

My thoughts were cut short by a loud snap.  I stole a look away from my board to see the bungee cord in two pieces.  One attached to the truck, the other in my hands, dragging along on the ground.  Barreling down the street, I did the only thing I could think to do, I jumped towards the nearest lawn.  Right as my feet pushed down on the board, I felt a huge bump and a sudden jerk on my hands.  The bungee cord pulled me down and I smashed straight into the ground.  I heard the screech of the truck brakes slamming to a stop.  My vision spiraled as I bounced off the street, onto the sidewalk and into a neighbor’s lawn.

I groaned as I put pressure on my hip.  Pulling my hand away, I couldn’t see any skin on my hand, just the dark red blood from my hip.  “You okay?”  I swiftly stood up hoping to look like I was fine.  That plan immediately backfired as my leg collapsed and I landed back where I started.  

“I’ll live,”  I said with a slight laugh.  My friends laughed and helped me up, into the truck.  I examined my hip, along with my shoulder and my scraped hands.  To my surprise, there were no broken bones, torn ligaments, nothing.  Just a couple scrapes and sore muscles, which would heal up easily.  I felt my heart pounding, almost bursting through my rib cage from adrenaline and excitement.  With a smile, I glanced at my friends.  “Totally worth it.”

Buy his book!  No wait.  He doesn’t have one.  Yet.

Why are you here?

I haven’t updated this blog for more than a year.

So I need an explanation on how am still getting five to ten visitors per week.

Clearly the world is packed full of people that have way too much time on their hands.

So tell me — why are you here?  What were you looking for?  You know I’m not going to pay you, right?

Signing Off

This post is not meant to bring on the “no don’t go” or some other words you might come up with to let me know that you think I am awesome, but here’s the thing—I’m out of gas.  Oh, and I already know how awesome I am.  Honestly, I have way too much going on in my world to continue feeding you wonderful readers the latest crazy voices in my head.  Dishonestly, I hate all of you.

Note: Marcus thinks it weird when people say “honestly” at the beginning of their statement.  Am I suppose to think that you are lying in all the cases where you didn’t say “honestly” first?  Honestly, I think it’s really odd.

I tried to take this blog the route of the “rerun” but even that doesn’t seem to get elevated to the level that you, my wonderful reader, deserve.

So this is what is going to happen.  Soon, the site “” will revert to whatever WordPress spews out for free.  I think the backup name is ““—but I’m too pressed for time to go and verify that for you.

I still maintain my joy of writing humorous thoughts.  For now, my Twitter account is in full swing.  Apparently I can handle kicking out 140 characters here and there.

Things I may or may not be up to now that I’m putting the blog on hold:

  • Another book? No plans, but that might be fun.
  • Doing stand-up at the open mic night. I should try just once.
  • Launching my new Voice Over career. Since you people are just reading, you don’t know that I have the next great advertising voice of the century.  “In a world where Marcus sells product with the sound of his deep voice…”
  • Opening a dog training school. Sorry, that one was just for me.    Never gonna happen.
  • Continue raising two teenage boys with my wonderful wife. Put your money on this one.

I leave you with this short list of blogs worth your time (because of the people write behind them! …I did that on purpose).

The Write Transition : She has another awesome novel coming down the pike and I can’t wait!

Breezy Books Blog : Maddie is on hiatus, but when she returns, I’ll read those words with you.  …and all of her forthcoming stories that she will be publishing too.

Don’t Quote Lily : Lily, too, has slowed down her blogging.  Maybe after she gets her wedding all planned out, she will crank up the randomness again.  I haven’t seen my wedding invite yet.  Odd.

The Sarcastic Boob : An amazing woman on an amazing journey.  Her words rock!

God Bless all of you.


Gooses Season

So this blog story was originally written and published on 7/5/2012.  This is the first entry that I wrote that actually

Before you read the following, you have to promise not to tell anyone involved with PETA that I have the following train of thought.  And if you are actually part of PETA, I suggest you go find some other story to read.  I don’t need the “but that is animal cruelty” responses attached to this story.  If you choose to respond in that fashion anyway, please know that your words will not save even one goose and have no way of changing my feelings in the slightest.

I don’t like geese.  I don’t like anything about them.  You know the ones–those honking, noisy, dirty, hissing, road blocking, vile birds.  Do you have them passing through your neighborhood?  They’re nasty!  I’m declaring right here that if they were to go extinct tomorrow, the world would miss nothing.  If they had some sort of link to curing diseases it would be a shame, but I don’t think you’ll ever read a story of how the goose was used to develop the cure for cancer or botulism.  I don’t even know exactly what you go through with botulism, but if I had it I’m positive that I would not go running to a goose for the cure.

I lived in an apartment about three addresses ago.  The buildings were situated around a manmade lake and there was a walking trail that my wife and I would go strolling along hand in hand.  It was a beautiful picture, as you can imagine.  Beautiful that is, until the geese arrived.  After only a couple hours of them setting up camp, the path was effectively unusable.  Goose crap everywhere.  Everywhere you look you see little green logs of turds.  Holding hands was now completely out of the question.  At this point it was single-file only, keep your eyes downward, and try to find enough space to place your next step without squashing a green log or two.  A simple walk with my wife is what I was looking for, not a game of “walking poop puzzle”.  There aren’t too many winners in that game.

The first time they came to our lake, I remember thinking that the apartment management must have aerated the grass surrounding the pond.  Way to go apartment management–you do care about how our landscaping looks.  Not so much.  The management got a free fertilizer job–a nice thorough job at that.  Good job you slimy group of birds.  Why don’t you do me a favor?  Make your “V”, fly away from here, and don’t come back.

Even the plural form of the word goose kind of bugs me.  Why do we need to swap out the O’s for E’s?  Goose goes to geese.  Why?  The word “gooses” isn’t hard to pronounce.  Say it out loud–try it?  See, it’s no problem.  It’s easy.  How arrogant is that group of birds that they need a special word for “more than one” of them?  Screw you gooses!

Another thing that completely bugs me is how they walk.  Walk!  They walk slowly from one side of the road to the other.  If I’m not mistaken, they do have wings and the ability to fly.  We have all seen them fly, but they insist upon walking ever-so slowly across our streets blocking up traffic.  It irks me that people actually stop for these pompous birds.

“I could use my wings to cross the street, but these stupid humans driving in their very large vehicles will, in fact, stop for me.  I’m a goose.  I own the road.”

You’ve been there.  You’ve done it.  You’ve stopped and waited for the group to pass by.  Consider this: You are perpetuating the problem.  Yeah you!  You goose stopper.  You are training these birds to continue walking across the streets.

I’ll tell you what, I don’t stop any more.  When I’m not trapped behind the goose-stopping drivers, when I’m fortunate enough to be the first car to the pompous goose crossing event, I keep going.  I don’t stop.  You know how many gooses (yeah gooses, not geese) that I have actually run over?  Care to guess?  None!  Because just before I get the chance to flatten that last green log out of its slow-walking existence, it decides that its wings can be used to save its own life.  They actually will fly away when targeted with 2000 pounds of vehicle.  Strange how that works.

I think the best time to not stop for them is when they have that cute little line up of baby birds trailing along.  Let us all train them to fly over our roads when they are young.  This could be a young goose’s thought pattern:  “Mom said that the cars will stop for us as we cross.  So don’t worry about that car coming directly as us.  Oh no, he ain’t stopping!  Hey, did you see mom have to fly out of the way?  Crap, maybe we should learn to fly or simply stay off the roads.  And speaking of crap, have you noticed how the older geese crank out turds bigger than us?”

So forget the mexican border issues.  I think we need to move our resources to the Canadian border.  We should quadruple the number of hunters on the border and give them the green light to take out every single canadian goose that tries to migrate to the United States.  No more slow street crossings and decorated walking paths.  No more.

And then I wrote this response…

So on September 21st I received the following one liner from someone who remained anonymous by using the name “Someone”.

“Someone:  You should be put down for writing this.  I hope your children get hit by a car while crossing the street.”

Wow!  That’s harsh.

This comment was sent to me pertaining to a blog entry I wrote back in early July.  You can read it here for yourself.  The article was an attempt at humor (like almost all of my articles) in which the voices in my head starting yelling at me while I was observing my world.

At the time of me writing this entry (the one you are reading right now), there have been two positive hey-that’s-funny comments attached to the “offensive” article and nine bloggers “liked” it.

I wrote that over two months ago.  This means that you have to dig through my blog archive in order to find it.  Or you have to actually search for the topic specifically.  Perhaps this person was wading through my archive before stumbling upon the entry that caused them mental peril.  I’m guessing that the offended person searched through my archive and read at least two other stories from my voices in my head.  I suspect that “Someone” would not enjoy my articles no matter what the subject.

“Well, those two articles were not funny, but I’ll bet the next one will make me smile.”  Click.  “Oh, now I’m completely pissed off.”

And who says “put down” when referring to a human?  Maybe that is some sort of legal mumbo jumbo to ensure deniable plausibility.  “I didn’t murder him.  I simply put him down.  He was getting heavy and I was growing tired of carrying him around.”

I went back and reread the entry twice.  Not a single bird was hurt during the writing of that entry.  In fact, through humor, I was suggesting that we humans work together in harmony (like that old Coke commercial) to train these creatures to stay off the streets.  Sort of.  Ok, at the end of the article I did suggest that hunting of these animals should be increased at the northern border of my country.  But, as implied in all hunting, the carcasses should be used to feed the needy and hungry.  How about a nice Christmas goose on your table this year?

Pertaining to Someone’s comment that wishes harm upon my children, I’ll say it again: Wow!  I’m raising good, caring boys and I am a loving father and husband.  To wish them harm because I don’t care for a particular type of bird is kind of crazy-go-nuts.  I don’t care for a whole bunch of insects, perhaps we should go after my neighbor’s children too.

Perhaps when I taught my boys street safety rules so long ago, I should have gone about it differently.

“Now boys, when crossing the street don’t bother to look both ways.  Just hiss like you’re completely irritated with the cars existence and then start walking.”

So my question for “Someone” is this:  Do you own a car?  How many ants, spiders, and caterpillars do you “put down” every time you go for a drive?   I wish all of your toenails would fall off.  No wait, I think that would be a good thing.  See here.  Ah, never mind.  Just live your life in peace and may God bless you.

I read the response from “Someone” to my family—including my boys.  One of my sons loves to read my blog and is always looking over my shoulder when I’m typing.  My wife and I have always treated them like actual real live members of this world.  He said, “Dad, you should write a response to that for your next blog entry.”

I said, “The last thing I want is a PETA war on my blog.”

He said, “Do you know how much publicity that will get you?”

Ah, the wisdom of twelve year old (who also knows how to look both ways when crossing the street).

My son says, “Buy my book or I’ll hit you with my car!

Jim the Bacon Man

In keeping with the spirit of this Era of Re-runs, here is a post that was first put up on 7-3-2012, even though I would rank it near the bottom of my amusing posts.

Everyone carries around a list of their ranked blog post based on level of amusement, right?

I bought my tickets to see Jim Gaffigan at the Taft theater in Cincinnati.  His shows are coming up in August.  I’m really looking forward to it.  I bought four tickets, but haven’t actually decided what to do with the third and fourth ticket.  Clearly, the first two are for my wife and I.  Jim’s comedy is not anywhere close to over-the-top with respect to adult material.  But do I bring my kids?  They have seen and heard many of Jim’s shows on television in the past.  Or do I invite a couple of friends?  I don’t know how to make this decision.  My boys already know that I have the tickets.

My wife has suggested that I check the Taft theater web site in order to determine if there is a minimum age requirement.  There sure is–with respect to visiting the bar.  Clearly 21 is the age required.  But the site is not very clear about taking a position on age pertaining to anything else.


I’m a tall guy. I hope you weren’t behind me.

However, there are many other rules written out to clarify many different scenarios and restricted items.  There are typical things like video recording devices or audio recorders that make the “do not bring” list.  This makes sense for some performers that are trying to make additional money on CD/DVD sales and want to limit the boot-legging.   So let me share a few odd ones with you that landed in the “restricted items” list.

“Cameras with long or detachable lenses (cameras small enough to fit in a man’s shirt pocket are allowed)”

This just begs for me to create a pocket the full size of my torso and load it up with the basic inventory of a camera shop.

“Aerosol Spray Cans”

But what if my hair starts to droop in the middle of the performance?


This seems obvious to me, but it helps me finalize the decision to leave my bazooka at home.

“Tools (wrenches, pliers, etc.)”

That is exactly how it is written out on the theater’s website.  What did someone do to make the theater management spell out the examples?  Does “etcetera” cover pipe-wrenches?  Cause I have a fear of dropping my ring into a sink drain, and I usually carry a pipe-wrench to dismantle the plumbing when I do that.


So when I told my inflatable woman that I couldn’t bring her to the show, she had this odd surprised look on her face.  Oh wait a minute, she always has that look.

And at the end of the list: “Any other item deemed unacceptable by Taft Theatre management.  Subject to change at the discretion of Taft Theatre or Tour management at any time.”

So they reserve the right to just look at you and say, “Hey buddy, you have to leave right now because we just added ‘brown hair’ to the list.  Totally unacceptable.  Have a nice night.”

Following the list of restricted items comes the list of behavioral reasons that will get thrown out.  Typical list leaders include intoxication, disruptive behavior, and the use of profanity (not including most of the stand-up comedians).

“Unacceptable or indecent dress”

So I have to wear my pants to the show?  Really?  Jim wouldn’t if he had the option.

“Participating in a fight”

I’ll need a bit of clarity on this one.  Is watching the fight considered ‘participating’?   I’ll need to know how to handle this in advance.  If a fight breaks out, do I need to close my  eyes?  That just seems dangerous to me.

“Entering or attempting to enter the restrooms of the opposite sex”

I’ve been down this road a few times in my life.  Each by accident–honestly.  Someone remind me to write the story of my college days incident of this mistake.  A mistake!  Not on purpose.

“Breaking the law”

This will get you ejected out to the streets where law breaking belongs–not in the theater.

“Any action that, in the opinion of the Taft Theatre management, places other guests in danger or reduces their enjoyment of the event”

There they go again.  “Hey you.  You’re blinking funny and people are starting to complain.  You’re out of here!”

I can’t wait for the show!  Especially now that I am fully aware of the rules.  Oh, and I just realized that the Taft ‘Theater’ is actually the Taft ‘Theatre’ (R before E).  I wonder if I’ll get thrown out for that gross oversight on my behalf.

Buy my book! (or wait for the play)

Dark Humor

This re-run was originally posted on 6/28/2012.

Several years ago I was initially reluctant to put this “out there”.  But this is what makes me tick.  This is the essence of Marcus.

Poop humor makes people smile.

Lights Out

This is one of those iffy subjects.  I am wondering if I can pull this off without offending and bothering you.  By you, I mean specifically you.  You know who you are.  If you don’t, that would be an odd thing.  Perhaps you are in a coma and don’t know you anymore.  Sad really.  But since you are reading this, I would guess that you are alive and well.

The topic pertains to the bathroom which is one of my favorite topics when I am trying to produce something that will make you smile.  Producing humor that is, not anything else that you may or may not have been thinking.

You have to understand that I am a man.  I’m a grown man–someone who is raising a family.  I have my fair share of responsibilities and I am a decent member of society.  However, you also have to understand that before all of my so called maturing happened, I was a little boy.  And after that, I was a male teenager.  And then for a while, I was a guy in college.  Poo-poo jokes and embarrassing situations revolving around the bathroom are something that I embrace.  I can’t not smile when I am confronted by a story that involves gas or someone caught with their pants down.  I have to admit and acknowledge that its part of me.  It makes me, me.  I’m ok with it.

So, that being said and understood, I’m entering a small public restroom the other day.  It’s a nicely constructed with all the newer no-touch devices—lights, toilet flusher, sink water, towel dispenser, etc.  I walk in the lights click on automatically.  I proceed to the stall, to do what people do in a stall.  No details needed there.  You get the picture.  (“Everyone Poops” is a great book.  Look for it if you have never seen it.)

Then some time passes.  I’m not known for being fast at this “particular activity”.  If a book or a magazine is handy, I’ll take in a few stories.  But honestly, who wants to be known for either outcome: fast or slow.

“Hey, isn’t that Marcus over there?”

“Yeah, man it is!  Boy, he can move fast.”

It’s a good compliment for a football player, baseball player, or a track star, but not for someone seeking to relieve their biology.

Anyway, time passes and the sensor and timer controlling the automatic lights conspire against me as they make the decision that there is no longer anyone in the bathroom.  Lights out!  All at once, I am subjected to total darkness.  It’s alarming and very hard to describe the feelings that rush over you in that small moment of time.  In an emergency, the battery back-up lights would kick on, but this is no emergency.  This is simply an energy saving piece of electronics doing its job.

I am an evil device. I can turn Marcus into a blind man!

I think to myself for a plan.  This is a problem I can solve.  I’ll stand up and wave my hands around in order to make the lights click back on.  I do just that.  Nothing.  I’m in the stall with my pants at my ankles flapping my arms so hard I nearly took flight.  Nothing.  Still total darkness—like complete total darkness.  Ok.  I’ll open and close the stall door real fast.  Nothing.  No effect.  Darkness continues.  I can’t believe that the sensor isn’t covering the entire room, but it makes sense.  The sensor is designed to watch the door only, not the entire bathroom.  Despite my situation, I can actually appreciate this design.  I have issues when it comes to devices that “watch” humans in the bathroom.  I’m not a fan of the auto flusher.  First off, it’s watching me sit there.  It sees me.  Creepy.  Secondly, I always cover that “eyeball” with a piece of toilet paper so as to avoid the premature flush.  Nothing worse.

I have a friend on Facebook that posted one of those one-liner jokes that makes its rounds on the internet every so often.  “How does a blind person know when he is done wiping?”  It’s a great question.  Great question.  Well the memory of reading that really hit home just then.

This is the touchy part that might cause you to never return to my reading ever again.  I’ll do my best not to lose you.

I do what I can in total darkness to clean up my… situation.  I am, at this moment, in every aspect of the description, a blind man.  Ok, moving on.  I raise my pants and fix my belt.  I then do the mad dash out of the stall toward the door.  The lights click back on and I reverse the mad dash back into the stall.  In fact, if you had the chance to see me, you would have said, “Wow, that Marcus really moves fast.”

I realize that since no one actually saw me dealing with this whole incident, the story becomes somewhat anti-climatic.  But there I was, back in the stall.  (This is the part where losing you really concerns me).  I return to the seated position in order to check my work.    Let’s just say, as a blind man, I did good work.  Although I still don’t know the answer to that great question—how do they know?

While washing my hands, I had one more flashback.  A long time ago when I was just a little punk, probably somewhere around nine years old, I had a friend named Dave (no last name given in order to protect his identity).  We found it amusing to kill the lights in public bathrooms as we ran out the door when we observed someone’s feet occupying a stall.  We would hear these people’s shocked voices echoing out, “Hey, turn the lights on I’m still in here!” as we were running out the door casting them into total darkness.  We would laugh so hard.

Now, it is so clear that I must apologize to those unknown peoples that we tormented so long ago.  I understand now exactly what they were feeling.  Exactly.  What goes around comes around.

I am sorry.

I wonder if they ever wrote out their story.  Probably not.

Oh, and if I offended any blind people actually reading this story… oh wait, never mind.

Buy my book for the back of your toilet!

Mr. Jetski, I Presume

The original post date of this one was 6/26/2012.  The cool thing about this memory is that my family is scheduled to return to this vacation spot in the very near future.  Every two years?  Oh, yes.  Be jealous.  Be very, very jealous.

…and rerun:

I returned from vacation not too long ago.  My family made it down to Holden Beach, North Carolina.  This particular beach was somewhat secluded and far from the typical tourist trap like you can find in Myrtle Beach.  I found this destination by utilizing my resources in a very effective manner.  We were invited to join three other families in a beach house for the week.  So I basically said, “sure, here is a check.”  I highly recommend planning your vacations in this fashion.  It is a very low stress approach.

One afternoon in the middle of our wonderful vacation, I got to experience riding on a jet ski for the first time ever.  We rented two jet skis for the four of us.  My wife would ride with one of our sons and I would take the other.  My boys are twelve and thirteen and failed to make the requirement of the minimum age to be the driver.  This requirement can be found in the verbiage of a zillion page small book of a legal document that you have to agree to.  There are a thousand places to initial here, sign there, date here, put a thumb print there.  I try my best to read as much as possible whenever signing my life away.  I look for the obvious warnings like: If you scratch the unit, you agree to pay for the repair and buy the rental company a second brand new jet ski as well.

I’ll bet I looked just like this guy…

While reading as carefully as I can while holding off my boys excitement I couldn’t help but notice this warning:  It is highly recommended that riders wear a wet suit.  Water may forcefully enter your rectum and vagina.  Well now that’s an eye opener!  I had to read that one aloud to my entire family.  Three out of four of us don’t have a vagina, so at least that reduces the odds of potential injury significantly.

Anyway, my family is out and about bouncing over each other’s wakes.  Fun was being had. Water spraying and splashing us all over.  Well, not completely all over.  Although I can be sympathetic to the poor soul who sustained that horrible situation that dictated the warning, I’m not sure what position we would need to be in to achieve the forceful salt water enema.  The fun ride completed without incident, unless you count the number of times my son and I shouted, “rectum, hell, it killed him.”

Buy my water logged book!

The Era of the Rerun

Hey, it’s been far too long since I added to this blog.

I know, I know.  You missed me.  I’m awesome.  All that.

Here’s the thing.  Life is busy.  You know it.  Your life is probably busy too.  I know it.

Am I sorry that I haven’t posted for a great time?  Sure.

Am I sorry that I have two teenage boys that chew up all of my time?  Nope.

To be honest here in a vulnerable kind of way, I should report to you that I was in an accident and it left me with only one arm and only three fingers, so it has become a tedious process to type into this blog.

To be even more honest, that previous line is a complete lie.

Look, I’ve been lazy.  There!  I said it!  You happy now?

My original goal for this blog was to promote my book.  I did that.  Success!  And along the way I managed to reach 100 blog entries.  True story.  The entry just before this one was number 100.  So I’m proud of that.

But guess what my new plan is?

Did you even try to guess?


My new plan is to re-run every entry from the very first one all the way back to this one, which will be weird when that actually happens and you are reading this particular explanation again.  Probably one or so per week.

But listen, this isn’t a bad thing.  You didn’t read all 100 of these stories anyway.  And if you did, I’m sure you don’t remember how much awesomeness is contained in each one.

Without further ado.

Actually, if you want to maintain you current level of ado, you have that right.

So without altering you current level of ado, let’s remember how this all started…

10,000 Foot View (Original date 6/23/2012)

I’m flying home from across the country after a week of work away from home.  Flying out of this particular area offers incredible views at a most amazing part of our country.  The scenery is amazing with the rocky mountains standing in the background.  My flight had to circle around after lift off, so everyone on board had the opportunity to observe the incredible landscape all around.  Everyone, that is, except me.  It never fails that I get the seat with the perfect view of the wing. The wing!  It’s beautiful.  The way the sun reflects off of the rows of screws, the way those flaps move in and out, and the way the message “do not walk here” captures your eye and doesn’t let go.  Breathtaking.  Simply breathtaking.

It seems to me that the wing is always just outside my window.  It doesn’t matter which seat is assigned to me, the wing will be there blocking my view.  In previous flights, I have heard people gawking at the splendor of the Grand Canyon, or the view of the Washington monument, and all I can think is how it looks a lot like an airplane wing. My seat can be in row one, five, twenty-two –it does not matter, the wing will be there.  I honestly think that if I were to be the pilot of the aircraft, the wing would still be there obstructing my view, sticking out of the front of the plane.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain, if you look out of left side of the plane you’ll get a great view of Yellowstone National Park, and since we will be turning around in order to correct our flight path, those of you on the right will also have the opportunity.  Oh, except you Marcus, if you’ll notice please, that’s our wing.”

I always lean forward in my seat to note the person across the way on the opposite side of the aircraft with the prime view of the other wing.  I feel a special connection to this other poor soul who shares the equally unimpressive view of the aircraft wing.  On today’s flight, my wing-observing partner is actually a blind man.

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Growing Hair

So sure, I’m a middle-aged man with a forehead that has never been larger.  I find myself at the beginning stages of sporting a bald spot in the age of magic hair growing drugs.  But will you find me using hair drugs, hair foams, or spray on hair?  Nope, because I can grow back my hair anytime I want to.  It’s true.  I am choosing to progress into that middle-aged balding man without a fight.  How could I possibly start my midlife crisis with a full head of hair?  Forty-six states have laws on the books prohibiting middle-aged men from driving convertibles with a full head of hair.  Look it up.

I can grow hair whenever I want to.  In fact, I have developed the power to sprout hair located anywhere on my body.  Every day that goes by I am perfecting this talent.  I am not losing my hair, but rather, I am repositioning it to areas all around my body.

You want to see hair growing on my little finger?  Done.  You want to see hair on my ear lobes?  Done.  You want to see hair coming out of the soles of my feet?  I’ll bet I can pull it off in the next couple of years.

Recently I have been exerting my hair growing powers in an attempt to refill my receding hair-line.  My efforts are starting to pay off because there are a few hairs sprouting out where my hairline used to be.  I currently have these awesome racing stripes of rather smooth skin on both sides of my forehead.  This area once was not only filled with thick brown beautiful hair, but was also altogether closer to my eyebrows.  But now, through the use of my hair growing powers, I have started to grow a handful of hairs where I once had them.  Just a few.  Never more than three to five at a time so far.  It’s a slow start.

I know this is going to sound weird, but along with my hair growing powers I also can hear the thoughts of my new mid-forehead hairs.  I think it is some sort of side effect from my hair growing powers.

“Hey, hairline up there!  Remember when we used to hang out down here?  Man, those were good times.  Hey guys, you should stop being such old farts and come on down here with us.  Remember the time when we were flirting with the eyebrow hairs?  Dude, that was so much fun.  We should do that again.”

“No way.  Get out of here.  We are way too old to be messing around in that part of the forehead.  And besides, have you seen how the eyebrows look these days?  They haven’t had an easy life.  They’ve let themselves go.”

Unfortunately, I had to pluck the renegade forehead hairs when they started harassing the older hairs.  That, and they kept me up at night with all their stories from long ago.

You readers should know that I typed all these paragraphs using only my left eyebrow.

Harry says, “Buy my books.”

PS- That was my 100th post.  I didn’t see it coming.  Self deprecating…go figure.

Laughable Security

The wife and I are considering refinancing our home to save a little cash each month while the rates still remain low.  It’s not the first time we have refinanced.  We have been down this road with success in the past.  When deciding if the cost of refinancing will be worth it, one of the first questions you have to ask is “Do you enjoy banging your head against a brick wall?”

Why yes! Yes I do.

This is the story of very first step of the refinancing process.  In fact, its step zero—maybe even step minus one.

To begin, you’ll need to know how much you owe on your current mortgage so that you can tell the refinance guy how much you’re asking to borrow during this refinancing process.  Simple, right?

I have no idea.  Perhaps that’s foolish of me, but I got nothing.  No clue at all.  I just allow my current bank to auto withdraw from my savings account whatever amount they see fit to pay my bill and not start a foreclosure process.  A hundred dollars you ask for?  Sure.  Two thousand dollars?  Sure.  A half million?  Sure, take it.

You see, I have not received a paper statement for the last several years because I decided to go green.  Somewhere in the distant past, I can picture myself cancelling the paper statements to make a difference in the world.  Do yourself a favor and breathe in real slow and real deep.  Fresh, right?  Yeah, that’s thanks to me.

So I call my bank to determine the current outstanding loan amount.  That’s when the banking operator hits me with the “security” questions.  Which is cool.  I get it.  I don’t need every Tom, Dick, and Harry probing the details of my account.  In fact, I don’t need the three of those guys probing anything.

“What are the last four digits of your social security number?”  Easy one.

“What city where you born in?”  I got this.  Although I have no memory of the event.

“What date did your dog first crap on your carpet?”  Seriously, I have no idea?

“How many fingers am I holding up?”  You’re on the other end of a phone!

Actually, joking aside, the questions were straight forward and easy for me to recall for my ever-so-pleasant banking operator.  That is, until she asked, “What was the original amount of the loan?”

Oh no!  I have no idea.  You see, the wife and I refinanced once already.  I remember the original loan amount from when I originally purchased the home, but the first refinancing amount?  I can’t remember that at all.  I explained that I don’t have that information any more.  She then said, “We cannot give you information about your current loan amount without first answering that particular security question.  However, you can log on to your account from our website to see you current account balance.  Why don’t you try that approach?”

Fine.  I like working with people better, but off to the web I go.

I haven’t logged in since I went “green”.  I think I remember my log in ID, but my password?  No idea.  So I now have to click the “I’m a moron and need to reset my forgotten password” link.  Click.  I feel yucky.

Great news!  The automatic web site people will happy to e-mail me a temporary password to the e-mail address I have on file.

Not so great news!  That e-mail account has been disabled for years.  No help there.

So I had to call back into my bank.  Of course I got a different bank operator this time and I had re-explained to her that I was looking for my current outstanding loan amount and that I am having trouble logging into the web site to retrieve it.

Her next move, you ask?  Security questions.  The exact same ones.

I grit my teeth and say, “I don’t know the original loan amount.  I will never know the original loan amount.  I have no way of learning my original loan amount.  That is, unless you reset my password.”

“I’m sorry.  But without answering all of the security questions, I do not know how I can help you.”

After a brief fruitless debate, I hang up on her—wishing I could slam the phone down, but not doing so, because it’s my cell phone and that destroying it in of spite her would suck.  So, “boop” (the noise of disconnecting the call).  Take that!

I need a new approach.  With my thinking cap firmly in place, I formulate a new plan of attack.  Planning level: Genius.  I feel like one of those Scooby Doo “meddling kids” that always stopped the bad guy from “getting away with it.”  I’m more of the Shaggy type.  Not so much the Fred type because I don’t even own an ascot.  Velma and Daphne?  No, I don’t see me in either of them.  And Scooby, well he’s a dog.  I am not.  Let’s not be silly here.

With my new plan in mind, I called back.  I got yet another different bank operator which is exactly what I needed for my glorious plan.  “Thank you for calling (insert my banks name here).  How may I help you?”  I don’t wish to throw my bank under the bus for this story.  But let’s just say it’s an American bank located in America.  In fact, you could say it is a Bank of America, that is, if you felt like saying that.

“Yes, hello!  I’m calling about my mortgage account that I have with your fine banking establishment.  My social security number is (insert my number here—no clues for you).  My wife and I are considering refinancing and we need to determine the value of the original loan amount of our current mortgage.  Can you give me that value, please?”

And she did!  Just like that.

Now I should have declared victory and hung up, but I couldn’t help myself.  “Do you realize that you just gave me the answer to one of my own security questions?  I’ve been trying to reset my online password and couldn’t do it without knowing the original loan amount!  So can I please have my password reset now?”

She was flustered—probably in some sort of trouble because “this call may be recorded for training purposes”.  Evidently, training that didn’t go far enough.

Without another second of delay, “Umm, ok. Well.  Let me transfer you to our online help department.”


The story ends there.  Finally.  I now know the exact amount of our outstanding balance of our current mortgage.  I can now move to the next step of the refinancing process.

By the way, the lesson I learned is that I probably should fire up the delivery of the monthly paper statements.  Going green simply leads to security breaches.  Breathe in real slow and real deep.  Not as fresh anymore, is it?

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