Skateboarding an Old Man

Dad’s senior high school yearbook contained a photograph of him with a saying next to it: “Never trouble trouble, till trouble troubles you.” As for me, I seem to have been born in trouble and as of yet I’m uncertain which follows the other around – me or it.

While in town, I happened upon a man in his 70s as he was being harassed by a couple of older teens with skateboards. As a rule, I don’t tolerate bullying – more so if it involves a child, an elderly person or an animal –so I knew I had to put a stop to what they were doing to the man.

As I parked my truck and got out, I saw the taller of the two, slam his skateboard into the man’s head, knocking him down. Without much forethought, I stepped between the teen and the man as he sat on the sidewalk.

That’s when the kid swung the board at my head. Much to my surprise as well as his, I blocked it, allowing it to bounce off of my left forearm.

It left the kid stunned and a little slow to react as he step towards me, ready to swing the board at me again. That small pause gave me a chance to do more than defend myself.

As the board bounced off my arm again, I kicked the teen in the groin and grabbed the board as he and it toppled to the cement. That gave me the upper hand as his friend moved in with his board to take a swing at me.

Instead of having to suffer another blow to my forearm, I raised the skateboard, deflecting the strike. As fortune would have it, the wheels on the board I was holding snagged the edge of his board and I was able to jerk it from his hands.

The second kid backed away, unsure of what to do next. As for me, I set both skateboards on the sidewalk and using my full weight, jumped on each, snapping them in half, followed by walking over to the nearby public garbage can and dropped all four halves in the can.

By this time, the second teen had help his partner in crime to his feet and they took off across the nearby four lanes road. That’s where they stood yelling and taunting me as well as the older man, who was now on his feet.

The kid I kicked in the nuts shouted, “Fuck you!”

I responded, “You wouldn’t like it, I’d jus’ lay there and bleed!”

The pair became of a chorus of eff-bombs and threats. Finally, having had enough, I shouted, “Go home you little Homos and come back with your mother!”

By this time they were retreating across parking lot of the mall they’d entered. I started for my truck to get my first-aid kit to clean the bleeding cut on the man’s head, when I was suddenly stopped by a woman yelling and screaming at me.

“How dare you call anyone a homosexual!” she cut loose.

“I didn’t call anyone a homosexual,” I replied in my defense. “I called the little fuckers, ‘Homos,’ which is Latin for man.”

“Oh…” she responded.

Having got my kit from my truck, I walked back over to the man. And as I did, I looked her up and down and stated, “If you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about keep your effing mouth shut.”

“But I…” she started.

“Don’t tell me you thought,” I cut her off, “had you been thinking you’d have stepped in to stop this fellow here from getting beat on.”

As I applied a couple of four-by-fours to his scalp wound, two police cars pulled up to take control of the situation. After dressing the cut, I filled out a report and headed for home.

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Obama Steals More of Nevada

President Barack Obama designated another national monuments Wednesday in Nevada. The 300,000-acre Gold Butte National Monument outside Las Vegas will supposedly-protect a scenic and ecologically fragile area near where rancher Cliven Bundy led in an armed standoff with government agents in 2014, that includes rock art, artifacts, rare fossils and recently discovered dinosaur tracks.

Retiring Nevada Democratic U.S. Senator Harry Reid pushed for the federal protections at Gold Butte. This should make the designation suspect enough as he’s known to want the tract for himself, his family and all their cronies.

This latest designation makes a total of 553 million acres of land and water that Obama has repurposed protection using the 1906 Antiquities Act, more than any other president. Nearly 86 percent of Nevada is now owned by the federal government.

Since November, the Obama administration has rushed to ‘safeguard vulnerable areas’ ahead of President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration by blocking new mining claims outside Yellowstone National Park and new oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean. As all of this occurs, we’re being treated to live-feed video via social media of a Bald Eagle giving birth by our Progressive media.

It’s all smoke and mirrors, dust and pollen.

Hell’s Half Acre

Shortly after going to bed last night, I thought about my Grandpa Jack, who was Mom’s real father. The thought led to long forgotten memory of the two of us going for a walk along the logging road in the woods above our home.

He and I were talking about how he had lost three bars in the township of Klamath, California due to flooding and one tsunami between 1955 and 1964. After the third loss, the packed up himself and his wife and moved to Salem, Oregon.

In Salem, he took over the Hof Brau Bar and that impressed me. Most folks, including me, I believed would have called it a day and gone looking for something else to do to make a living.

As we walked, I told him this and how I’d like to open a bar one day – maybe with him – when I was old enough. Surprisingly, he didn’t poo-poo the idea, and in fact, said he like the idea.

Being 13 and very naive, I also told him I wanted it to be a ‘cowboy bar,’ and that I even had a name selected; “Hell’s Half Acre.” Grandpa Jack wasn’t too thrilled with the idea of a themed bar or the name and he eventually changed the subject.

Later, after he had headed south to visit my cousin’s in Fortuna, Mom asked what we had talked about on our walk. Once I told her, she was livid, saying, “There is no way you are opening a bar. You’re too young to be thinking about that sort of stuff. You’re jus’ a kid!”

Admittedly wounded, I wandered off to my room to sulk for a while. However, she was right and I promptly forgot about my idea and it was never brought up again.

The Hellhounds of Hypocrisy

This is me, calling the hell-hounds of hypocrisy down on myself as I berate me and others after falling for Lucifer’s little trick yet again when it came to the death of pop-music idol George Michael. If you haven’t heard, Michael died early this Christmas morning and his passing spread like a wildfire across all media platforms.

While the day of his passing is not Michael’s fault, the fact that I allowed it to overshadow Christ Jesus’ birthday is further proof that Satan uses events in our lives to ‘temporarily forget’ the one who saved us from the fires of Hell. And while, I am not the only one, I haven’t seen anyone else step out and state the obvious: we got played.

This realization struck me as I read a comment from a friend, who stated, “His death plays right into the media’s narrative of the loss of so many well-known musicians in 2016.”

It was one straightforward and truthful sentence and it caused me to think on it all day long before I understood the deeper implications of what was really being said. My delayed understanding caused me to ask and answer this one question: Who is in control of a dishonest media?

You know the answer: Beelzebub. As I wrote before — he played you and I.

Yes, while Michael’s dead is sad and it left many, including myself, stunned, the day should have remained reserved for celebrating the birth of Jesus. He should have been the number one focus of our day, not the sensational news of a pop idol’s death and the social media platforms that help spread that news.

We’re warned, and quite vigorously, I might add, about idol worship as Exodus 20: 3-6 clearly states: “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

Idol worship, whether in the form of a golden calf or a pop-star, is dangerous and the above warning not only for certain days like Christmas. It is a warning for everyday – an instruction directly from Jesus’ father, God, that we must obey daily or risk the Father’s love.

The Christmas Bowl

This is a very short-short story I’ve been crafting for the past week with hopes of completing it in time for the holidays. With that said, I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas, may you receive all that you wish for and all that you need.

Shopping for Christmas gifts has always felt like a chore, especially when I was a kid. While in 8th grade, I was stuck for an idea about what I should get Mom.

It was on a trip to town, and a visit to the Ben Franklin store that I saw, what I believed was the perfect gift for her; a large bowl decorated with Christmas trees. I thought it would be great for holding Mom’s dinner biscuits, breakfast muffins or perhaps her family famous mashed potatoes.

On Christmas day, she opened my gift to her and thanked me with a kiss on the forehead, saying, “I really need this Christmas bowl.”

Unfortunately, Mom didn’t need it all that badly. She placed it a top of her china cabinet, in the corner of the dining room – never once using it.

When she and Dad divorced some seven-years later, the Christmas bowl, as it had come to be known, moved with her. I was surprised to see it resting on top of her china cabinet once again after she settled into a rental.

Twenty-one years later, and having long since gotten beyond the hurt of her never having used it for anything other than decoration, I finally asked her why. I could tell my question left a sense of sadness in her as she sat across from me at her dining table.

“I thought you knew,” she answered. “That’s not jus’ a Christmas bowl to me, that’s my ‘need’ bowl.”

“I don’t understand,” I interrupted.

Smiling now, Mom explained, “As long as it’s empty – all my needs are met.”

That was one of our last face-to-face conversations, and ironically it was also at Christmastime; Mom died six months later. After she passed away, the Christmas bowl was handed down to me.

And now it sits — unused — atop my wife’s china-hutch, because all of our needs are met.

My Bath Mat’s Bad Intent

It isn’t very often that I have a truly bizarre nightmare, but last night was one for the record book. And I can honestly say I know where this one started – I jus’ can’t explain why it happened or what it means – if it means anything at all.

Prior to turning out the light last night, my wife asked that along with the regular Friday laundry, I wash our anti-slip shower mat. It has been a couple of weeks since being cleaned and it does grow mold on its underside from being continually used and wet.

So in my dream, I was washing the towels and I had jus’ put them in the dryer, when I returned to the bathroom to pull the mat up from bottom of the tub. As I did this the damned mat appeared to come to life and began wrapping my left arm up in its moldy suckers.

Even though I had myself leveraged against the tiled wall with one foot and the other on the edge of the tub, I was still losing to the mat. And before long, the tug-of-war turned one-sided and I found myself yanked inside the tub.

My battle with the mat didn’t end there, as the tub suddenly seemed to be as large as a small backyard swimming pool. Off-balance and with nothing to grab onto, the mat dragged me from where I had originally fallen into the tub towards the tub’s drain.

As I drew closer to the drain, I realized, much to my panic, that the drain’s opening was as wide as a 50-gallon oil drum and that the mat intended to pull me down it. By this time I was slashing, stabbing and cutting at the mat with my lock-blade knife – but without result.

In a last desperate attempt to get loose from the mat-turned-multi-suckered monster, I began slicing and sawing at my arm, hoping to cut myself free. I remember screaming as the tub filled with my blood and I began to slip down the drain.

Fortunately, I awoke, sitting up right in bed with one of the dog’s standing over my legs, looking at me. I’m not sure which of us seemed more confused at the time – him or me.

It took me a few minutes to calm down, wipe away the cold sweat that clung to my body, get a drink of water, and lay back and fall asleep again. The rest of the night passed with no other nightmares or even a dream.

This morning I find myself baffled by the fact that my top-left forearm aches as if I had beat it to death with a club. And worse yet — I’m more than a little apprehensive about retrieving the bath mat for its appointment with the washing machine.

The Genesis of a Daydreaming Future

When I was a kid, I was a hopeless day-dreamer. Often alone and often lonely, I constantly found myself thinking of a bright future and as silly as it might seem now, but as a child, I latched on to Genesis 12: 1-3 which reads:

“The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’”

This became a blueprint of sorts for me for about three years, from about the ages of 10 or 11. As a kid I was dying to get away from my small town life, get out into the world to do something big – something that might bring me money and fame.

While I never really expected to be made into a ‘great nation,’ I always thought that maybe I’d have a super-close network of friends and co-workers who’d back me up in whatever effort I under took. I did, however, expect my name to become ‘great’ and that I would always do my best to be a ‘blessing’ to everyone around me.

My belief in this bible verse came back to me shortly before my discharge from the service as I sat on the rocks looking out at the Pacific Ocean, day after day, for a month because I had nothing else better to do at the time. It was here that I came to know that I had to move away from my home and head for Reno, Nevada.

I had been through the ‘Biggest Little City’ several times and I had always found it comfortable to be in.

Unfortunately, I allowed myself to become waylaid as I took up residence in Arcata, California – only 90 miles at the time from Crescent City and by then a life-time away from Klamath. I went further off track by moving to Las Vegas, Nevada for a couple of very hard and hungry months before I packed up and headed north.

Because I ‘failed to keep my end of the bargain,’ at 25-years old I found myself living in my VW in the parking lot of a casino in Reno, Nevada. Looking back, I think that is where my daydream and imaginings really took a left-turn and I faltered in my faith, concluding that the verse I’d put my heart and soul into in Genesis would not come true.

Perhaps, that’s what the Old Russian proverb, “We plan, God laughs,’ means. I took it upon my self to alter my destination and therefore God’s promise for me has not come about to its fullest.

Yesterday morning, I woke up to this long-forgotten memory. This morning, I’m putting it into play again and I think you should do the same: dream the biggest dream you can and then stand on God’s promise to make it happen.