Sunday, October 5, 2008


It's becoming so effing cliche'd anymore. Some celebrity or another standing up their on TV encouraging everyone to vote.

"Whatever your stand on the issues may be, vote!"

Ever seen any of them get up their and talk about what a citizen's responsibilities to their society and their government might be? Duty, responsibility, accountability. None of these things are sexy or entertaining. But they're vital to the health of our nation.

Pay your taxes, find a job, don't be a drag on the economy or your culture. Get an education, and go be useful with it.

Better yet, raise your right hand and put your own precious body between your home and war's desolation. Fewer and fewer people are doing it, and so the necessity becomes greater than ever.

Whatever you do, don't just vote, don't just stand something!


Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Barbarian Looks at 40

David Byrne famously asked "Well, how did I get here?" I know exactly what he meant.

Oddly enough forty isn't as frightening as I thought it would be. I'm as healthy as I've ever been, although my fitness has declined a bit that's due to post-war laziness. Financially I'm in good shape despite a turbulent economy. I have lots of friends and they are, without exception, some of the finest people there could be.

You live your life each day, it would be nice to say that each day you'd done your best, but most days I try not to screw up, and make an honest effort not to let down the people who depend on me. Maybe I'm pacing myself? Either way, one day you look at the calendar and see that a milestone is approaching. They sneak up on a person. Milestones carry only what importance each individual chooses to attach to them. I've always believed that the way you live each day is more important than the manner in which you commemorate milestones. But, to quote Ferris Bueller "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around, you might miss it."

So friends, family, acquaintances and admirers. Tip back a glass of your favorite whatever on the 7th. Murf is 40 and still going strong!

For those of you who haven't received an e-vite for the fiesta on the 25th drop me an e-mail and I'll make sure you get put on the list.

Oh, and whatever wealthy benefactors might like to enhance my celebration, here's my My Wish List

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Why are you still single?

I didn't know it, but apparently this is a commonly asked question. Especially when a guy gets to be my age. One of the first things a woman asks about him, or asks him directly, is 'Why are you still single?'

Where does this come from? Why is being married the default condition, the departure from which we must explain? WTF is wrong with you people?

Maybe I should start asking why someone is divorced or a single parent? Maybe I should inquire why someone is continuing in a loveless relationship? Oh, wait. I shouldn't. Why shouldn't I? Because it's rude as hell!

OK, thanks for that rant. Move along, nothing to see here.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

This is Maryana. She's on her way from the Ukraine right now. After buying the house I had a bit of spare cash left over, so I thought..."What else do I really need? New TV? New pipes on the Ducati? New optics on my rifle? Hmmmm, why not a wife?" I called this company in New Jersey and ordered up Maryana.

Apparently we've got to get married within 30 days of her arrival or they ship her back, so we'll be heading to the courthouse probably a day or two after she arrives.

We're regsitered at Macy's, Wal-Mart, and Dollar General!

Monday, March 17, 2008

St Patty's Day in Nebraska?

Nebraska is a great place. There's a work ethic, a respect for learning, and a sense of family that when combined build a capable, resilient populace.

Southeast Nebraska, where I live, was settled primarily by Germans and Czechs. They're a hard working, hard drinking people. I'm mostly of Irish descent, with a bit of German and Dutch thrown in to make things confusing. I mostly fit in here, but I suppose I identify most with my Irish heritage. The Germans had Hitler, and the Dutch had William of Orange, while the Irish have James Joyce, Patrick O'Brien, and lots of novels by Leon Uris celebrating their heritage.

This is all preamble to describing my first St. Patrick's Day back in Nebraska after a two year hiatus. Two years ago we were in New Orleans with too much money in our pockets, and too much time in the field in our psyches. Last year we were in Iraq.

Now, I'm moving into my new house this coming weekend, so I decided not to travel anywhere and instead enjoyed a quiet St Patty's Day in Lincoln, Nebraska.

After work I boxed up a couple of book cases, and washed two loads of towels (they fold quickly), then headed up the road to my local sports bar. It's not a bad place, but outside of Nebraska football Saturdays it has nothing particular to recommend it besides Guinness on tap.

The atmosphere just wasn't that festive. A rueben (no corned beef and cabbage available), some french fries, and Guinness. Of course I'm surrounded by yuppy wannabes drinking green beer and listening to Metallica on the jukebox. No Dropkick Murphys, no drunken singing, no beads, not much fun at all.

Next year I'm traveling. Chicago, Boston, or New Orleans. Just not here. Not until Lincoln gets a real Irish pub, anyway.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Home Construction

Today was supposed to be the day I closed on my new house. No foreshadowing here, everything's fine, my loan processed painlessly with a happy-making interest rate, and the house is in good shape, just a week behind schedule.

It looks awesome, so far. My friend Scott and I went and checked it out tonight after work. It's painted, the hardwood floor and tile is in on the first floor, still no carpet on the 2nd. They finally poured the garage floor, but haven't drywalled the garage yet.

I'm taking off five days around next weekend to finish packing, close on the house, and move. With any luck in ten days I'll be sleeping happily in my brand new home! How cool is that?

Monday, March 10, 2008

More from the bowels of the 'Nice Guy'

I'm a frequent poster on a dating website/forum. One of the constantly reoccurring laments is that of the 'nice guy'. "Why don't girls like nice guys?" the shout into the wind, "The always go for the bad boys instead!"

It gets old fast. Here's my latest reply to a whiny 'nice guy'.

Another nice guy thread? Seriously?

I'm beginning to believe the true 'nice guy' is as mythical as the mothman or sasquatch.

If you are truly a 'nice guy' then you would offer a woman friendship with no expectations of anything in return, and therefor wouldn't be angry or disappointed by any lack of success in this area. If you're a 'nice guy' who's pissed that he's not getting any action then I submit that you actually are NOT a nice guy, but are instead a passive/aggressive player wannabe who doesn't have to confidence to actually play the game.

The 'bad boy' is often the true nice guy. He's out there being his own person with no expectations or demands. He enjoys the company of the woman that he's with for her own worth. He's not playing a game.

Have confidence in yourself, go out in the world and be who you are with a smile and no expectations. You might be very surprised how women respond.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Day 2? Ugh

Day 2? Ugh

Did a bit more last night, started with some light calesthenics, then 20 minutes on the eliptical machine. It hurt, way more than this kind of stuff did when I was in my 20's or even early 30's. I still refuse to admit that I'm fast approaching 40 though.

And what did I receive as a reward for my effort when I stepped on the scale this morning? 205...that's right, I gained four pounds in one day. WTF?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Working out again, Day 1

Last night I started hitting the gym again. I pretty much gave up back in September and I've been pretty static since then.

No point in bragging on my results, but just like we train in the Army...crawl, walk, run. Last night was day 1 of crawl. We'll see how tonight goes.

The scale said 201 this morning. 31 pounds to go!