Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I wrote about Riverssance a while back. It is Sioux Towns' Renaissance fair. I think it is the best family event taking place in the area. It is an opportunity for people young and old to see what life may have been like in the 17th century. There are fun activities for everyone. You can see jousting, jugglers, dancers, a blacksmith, a seamstress, even Queen Elizabeth and her court!

One of the featured groups of entertainers at Riverssance, is a touring troupe of pirates known as the "Blue Griphon Pirates". They put on shows all day long and they are a featured group at the King's Smoker. The Smoker can get a little bawdy from time to time, so you must be 21-years-old to enter. They add a great deal to the 2 day event, wowing kids of all ages.

At the Smoker this year, one of the "lady" pirates was dancing on a table. She was not dressed provocatively. Her dance was appropriate with the 17th century. This lady is a school teacher. Someone from her school apparently saw pictures of her on a Riverssance website and did not like what they saw. She was asked to have them removed from the website to avoid jeopardizing her job. What bullshit!!! None of the children she teaches can even get in the hall.

It is unfortunate that some people take a holier-than-thou attitude. This lady wasn't dancing in the nude on a table in a back alley at 3:00 am. She was doing it in the middle of a room full of men and women in the middle of the afternoon. There was no flesh showing. She was wearing a long flowing blouse, a full-length coat and a skirt that went to her ankles. The dance was not risque! I bet the person who complained about the photo was not at the event. If they would have been, they would have understood.

The world needs more events like Riverssance, where kids and adults can have a good time and learn something along the way. I guess there will always be fun-haters out there. I feel sorry for people who see things this way, how boring their lives must be. They are missing life...how sad.

Monday, October 29, 2007

I have said many times, "if you can't trust a man's word, he isn't worth much." Being trustworthy is one of the most important traits a person can possess. Betraying a person's trust is worse than causing them bodily harm because it reaches into their heart and soul. It can happen without even realizing the damage you are doing. When you do finally realize, it's too late, the damage is done.

I have made many mistakes in my lifetime. The biggest mistakes I have made are a result of not thinking about the consequences of my actions. I become blinded by my own indulgences. I have mentioned in previous blogs that I don't relate to people on a very personal level. I have always thought that taking things too seriously or worrying what others think about you is wrong. Now I'm not so sure I was right. It might be a weak way to get through life. It seemed to be safe. If you don't get too involved with people it will be easier to move on without them. It's easier to get over them hurting you. Unfortunately it's also easier to hurt them.

It has only been within the last few months that I have realized these things about myself. My mother has been like this as long as I can remember. My wife and I have commented different times about how heartless my mother can be. At the same time my mother goes above and beyond to help friends and family. She just keeps her emotional distance.

I've never thought of myself as heartless, but maybe I am.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

There was an incident in Sioux Town recently that ended with a 13-year-old girl being tasered by a uniformed police officer. Apparently two 14-year-old girls were fighting and the police officer tried to break it up. One of the girls heeded the policemans' direction while the other resisted. Then the 13-year-old sister jumps on the cops back and starts biting and scratching him. After several failed attempts to stop this young girl, he gave her a little zap with a taser. This ended the rumble.

Now, I'm not in favor of police brutality, but this little hell-raiser had it coming. Nothing the cop could have done at this point would have looked good. What would the public think if he had cracked her over the bean with a night stick, or much less slapped her? What if he would have wrestled her to the ground and held her there? The guy was in a no-win situation. Now of course the mother of the 13-year-old has gone to the authorities about the cruel and unusal punishment doled out to her "defenseless 85 pound daughter". Wah, Wah, Wah! Teach your daughter to respect others, especially someone in a position of authority and something like this won't happen. The jolt from the taser might be the best thing to happen to this young lady.

Many young people today are lacking respect. It begins with their lack of respect for themselves. If they had more respect for themselves, the rest would fall in line. People with self-respect don't put themselves in awkward and embarassing public situations. Ever since any lick of authority was taken from the schools, youngsters have continually slid downhill. It also dropped the veil on the general lack of discipline in the home. When teachers and administrators could discipline little Johnny, or Janey in this case, parents could take credit for their children's behavior. Now if a child is having problems, there is no one to blame but the parents.

All of that being said, I want to acknowledge the many great young people out there. I am happy to say I know many young boys and girls who make their families proud everyday. And the parents and grandparents deserve a big slap on the back for doing a great job raising their children.

Unfortunately, there will always be one bad apple to spoil the barrel. Maybe if the bad apples see their fellow apple getting a little buzz from the taser, they'll change their ways. NAH!

Friday, October 19, 2007

It's Friiiday!!! I've been reading other blogs lately and I enjoy some of the social commentary. It's cool to read what other bloggers think about everything from fixing potholes to Britney. I have never thought current events had much to do with me so I haven't written much about them. There are some very clever wordsmiths out there who do an awesome job covering the days events. I believe I'll leave it to the experts.

I met with a young lady today who is involved with promotions in the events venues in Sioux Town. We were discussing the general state of live music in America. Hannah Montana is selling out arenas across the land. Too bad 12-year-old girls can't drink alcohol. John Mellencamp is coming to the Tyson Events Center and the promoters are struggling to sell half of the available seats. Let's see, a legendary rocker with 30-plus years of writing and performing to his credit or a newbie created by a Disney sitcom with little if any noticeable talent. Has the American public had their senses sucked through their nostrils by Simon Cowell?

Will Hannah Montana be fighting for the right to visit her children in 10 years? Will she be tabloid fodder with her ass-cheeks hanging from her skirt as she juggles a toddler while trying not to spill her margarita? The fate of these over-exposed "stars" is unfortunate. In a twisted way, I feel sorry for them. These young "stars" are thrust into the spotlight with no preparation or true talent to lean on. The stars of the 60's and 70's earned their way to the top. They were slowly prepared for the lifestyle. The Stones and Streisands of yesterday "paid their dues". They had to prove to the general public that they were talented. They earned respect.

The media sweethearts of today are simply sat upon a throne and appointed king or queen. They are forced down our throats as we are brainwashed by endless radioplay and fast-food merchandising. And when all else fails, and they've survived the drug overdose or shoplifting a thong from Victoria's Secret, they don't have any real talent to revive their career. Think about it. Many of the stars from the 60's and 70's had social shortcomings, but after the pot smoke cleared, they had talent. Real talent that the fans and the media could not deny.

I hope I never see the day that real talent is only a fond memory.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I was on a walk last night, and I started thinking about how many times I'd walked these streets. When you live in one town for so long, things become very familiar. Maybe too familiar. I was away from this little town for 4 or 5 years in my early twenties, but other than that I've spent my life walking, running, biking or driving these streets. I recalled walks to and from school, and the walks to the theater on Saturday afternoons when I was only 5 years old. It makes me realize how simple life was then. Parents wouldn't consider letting a young child walk around town like that today. What a shame. The youth of today are being robbed of some very special moments by our society.

As I walked, I also thought that I may have missed out on something. My life in Sioux town has been great, but, I could've experienced so much more. I could've lived anywhere in the world. It may not have made any difference. Would I be the same guy? I'm sure millions of people think this way. It appears to me that most people spend their lives within a short distance of their birth place. It makes sense to live where you are the most comfortable. Hey, someone out there is probably thinking, I wish I would've lived in Sioux town...nah!

As a result of my life-long residency, I have made life-long friends. This is the thing that has kept me here for all of these years. I've been with the same woman for almost 33 years. I have friends that I went to first grade with. I hang with 3 generations in certain families. Now my children and grandchildren are part of this brotherhood. It is comforting to know that other people are looking out for your family members as well. It has taken almost 50 years to create this life, and all of these streets, buildings and most importantly the people are part of it. I look forward to adding to my life for the better.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I spent some time this week working around my house. In fact I stayed home all day yesterday and trimmed bushes, cleaned the garage and general winter-prep stuff. It feels really good! I think getting things in your life in order, no matter how small, is great brain therapy. Since I'm grounded without wheels, I plan to get more things done around the house this month. The feeling of accomplishment is cool. It is an added bonus to have the yard and the garage look so nice too!

My inability to legally drive is starting to infringe on the people around me as well. I wonder if the authorities think about the damage they do to someones life with their punishments. If I had caused some real damage to someone or something, I would agree with the punishment. I didn't break any other law. I was not even charged with a traffic violation. Yet, I am treated like a common criminal. In fact, drunk driving penalties are worse than those a child molester receives. They don't lose their license, which impacts your ability to earn a living. Their insurance doesn't increase which puts a family in serious financial stress. Think about it, a guy does no harm to another person and has their day-to-day life turned upside down and another guy destroys a young child's hopes and dreams forever and they are released with the same amount of probation. INSANITY!!! I just read in the local newspaper about a convicted child molester who received a 3 year suspended prison term and 6 months probation. I got 6 months of probation. INSANITY!!!

Enough. I will pay my dues and move on. Thankfully, I can still sleep nights. I hope child molesters never sleep a wink...ever!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sioux Towns' very own ren fest was last weekend and it was a rousing success! The crowds were great, the entertainment was cool and the atmosphere was awesome. We spent all weekend at the Kingdom of Riverssance. No cell phones, no watches, no television and no problems. It was like stepping into another world...I guess that's the whole idea. When everything started to wind down Sunday evening, I had very mixed feelings. I wanted to hang on to the spirit of it all. But, only a couple of days away, and reality has already slipped back in to my life. I wish we could keep life that simple. Unfortunately I don't think it's possible.

Well, I'm doing OK as a passenger. It's giving me a new perspective on things. I have to bite my tongue sometimes to stop myself from directing my driver every step of the way. How long will it take for me to stop instinctively pulling my keys from my pocket on the way to the car? I am enjoying certain aspects of being a passenger. I'm trying to relax and look closer at the world around me. There are things that I've been missing. It has made me think about relaxing and looking at my life from a different angle. I should stop trying to "drive" my life and sit back and go along for the ride. I might find out that there are things that I've been missing in my life as well.

Where would my life go if I truly became a passenger? This is a very confusing concept to me. Does it mean that I follow the little voices in my head? I have always tried to do what I thought was the "right thing". But, if I'm not driving, who decides what the right thing is? Do I just follow my heart? That sounds like trouble to me. One of my favorite sayings is "Let go and let God". I'm not sure I know how to, but I'm willing to keep learning.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


That was my plea in court today. I had to practice saying that. I instinctively believe that I'm not guilty. I guess we all think we're not guilty. I think we all hate to admit we're wrong. Even though I didn't hurt anyone or anything, I was over the legal blood alcohol limit of .08. The law is the law, and I broke it, so I'll pay the price. I experienced another first today...a piss test. I've said many times..."I ain't gonna piss in no jar." Well, that changes when you're faced with jail time for refusal. It's a provision of my probation. I have to submit to a UA whenever the man (or woman in this case) asks me to, or I'll be violating my probation and I could face jail time. What a deal! I feel like a common criminal, and I really didn't do anything wrong.

I don't have any feelings of guilt over this DUI. I don't have any reason to feel guilty, but I plead guilty. Weird! I regret what happened because of the expense and the hassle. I regret putting my wife through all of this. She doesn't deserve this. I hope that I can make up for all of this.

I read about all of the celebrities that get busted for various drug and alcohol related events. It's no big thang to them. They have the money, they have the attorneys, they just keep doing whatever they want. Hell, jail time for them is nothing more than increased face time in the media. I was a little disappointed. I showed up for court today and there wasn't a single news channel there. I guess I should have spit on the officer or juggled a 2-year-old. Then I might have made the 10 o'clock news.

This too will pass...

Monday, October 01, 2007

At what point does looking out for number one become selfish? I have always believed that you should stand up for yourself. I have strived to do what "makes me feels good". I'm beginning to think that I have been wrong. I've tried not to say or do things that knowingly hurt someone else. I have done things hoping to make others feel better about their lives. But, I have to admit, I've done many things to please me. Is that wrong?

I have also found myself in situations that regardless of what I do, someone is going to be hurt. I struggle with this. Who deserves to be hurt? Of course the answer is nobody. Can you measure who will hurt the most? NO! There is no good solution. It is one of those life deals, that make you question everything you've always believed. I look at myself and ask, "what kind of person are you to put people in this situation?" It's like jumping from a tree and hoping you land on the rock instead of the spear. They're both going to hurt, but one might kill you. I'll have more on this another time. My head is becoming very cloudy with these thoughts. I'm soooo confused.

My passenger status has begun. I'm only about 7 hours into this 30-day ordeal and I'm already feeling edgy. This whole thing made me think about driving as opposed to riding. It is a great comparison to life. Some people are good drivers, some are bad drivers, others are passengers. Most passengers don't want to step up and drive. I am definitely not a good passenger. I'm a "driver"...a good driver for the most part. I like to be the one making the decisions. I try to keep the "passengers" in mind when I make those decisions. I'm sure that I have taken a selfish position and just "driven" where I wanted. Lately, I have become more aware of the importance of "driving" in life.

This is a very cool way to think of our lives. I guess in some terms we are all passengers. After all, there is a stronger force than any of us who has the wheel. But, we end up steering our lives, when the supreme being says, "you drive, I'll sit back and watch." It's these times that the wheel has been passed to us that are so important. You know, like the first time you're cruising down the highway about 75 mph and your buddy says, "grab the wheel, I gotta open another beer." It's important to think about everyone affected by your "driving". I know there have been times in my life when I have "driven" down the selfish highway.