Wednesday, March 23, 2011

How to Tell Your Nation's Leader Needs Relieved of Duty

It's been a while, I know.  I have been busy with work -- yes, I actually do something with my time besides find ways to avoid writing here...

I've never been one to think Hugo Chavez was playing with a full deck.  That El Presidente de Venezuela would think Iran's leader still has full control of his faculties is already sending up warning signs, and that was one of Hugorama's more recent did-he-really-just-say-that? moments.  So it's not like I took to writing this post thinking the man had taken a sudden turn for the dumber.  It's been a long time in coming.

But, Mr. Chavez, please don't take it wrong if one -- or most -- of your constituents ask you kindly to please step out from behind the desk and hand over any of the nation's pens and/or stationery you may have "borrowed" during your years of service.  Really, it would be crazy of them not to.  Of course, in your case, crazy is most decidedly a relative concept, because next to you Tom Cruise looks like Ben Stein.

Hugo, Hugo, Hugo...your disdain for capitalism is well documented.  We know how much you hate America and everything for which this great nation stands.  But if you ever manage to hold a public office find a job for which you are still sane enough again, I would strongly urge you not to claim that capitalism killed life on Mars.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Call to Prayer

Let's take a brief respite from my usually sarcastic self, m'kay?

Today is a day that will live in the world's collective conscience for quite some time, but not fort any good reasons.  This morning, a devastatingly powerful earthquake off the coast of Japan triggered a tsunami.  Chances are pretty good that you already knew that.  Hundreds are dead and countless more are missing in these early stages of rescue and recovery operations.  You already knew that, too.

You can help.  You can, I promise.  You don't need to fly or swim to Japan and start digging out survivors and bodies.  You don't need to give money or set up a Web site to collect donations, although these are all great ideas.

In fact, you shouldn''t do any of these things if you don't feel called to do so.  That's not part of God's plan.  But what is always part of His plan is for you to pray.

Pray unceasingly.  Pray for the safety of those still in peril.  Pray for protection for those who are involved in rescue ops.  Pray for the souls of the deceased.  Pray for healing for the injured.  Pray for comfort and clarity for the family and friends left behind.  Pray for each and every homeowner and shopkeeper as they begin to rebuild their lives from the soggy ground up.  Pray for order to reign supreme in the coming weeks and months.  Pray that those who are believers keep their hearts and minds aligned with God rather than turn from Him in anger.  Pray that those who don't know Him will find him through this disaster and choose to lean entirely on Him.  But, above all else, pray for Christ to return quickly, so that we never have to go through these types of disasters again.

Pray, and don't stop doing it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Like, Literally.

I have a habit of using a lot of colloquialisms when I speak, particularly informally.  I've picked them up over the years and the collection is vast.  In the last several months, watching five seasons of NCIS on DVD, I have picked up a lot of military speak, as well.  So, this evening, I called out that I would have to use the bathroom soon, but in typical Navy-ese.

Never say something figurative in front of a five-year-old.  They really don't get it.  But it can lead to some funny moments if you do, so forget that instruction.  Do it.  Do it often.  You could get things like this gem.

Hilarity ensued when I stated that I needed to "hit the head" in a few minutes.  My daughter exclaimed, "I'll do it!" and proceeded to smack me upside the brain cave.

I Want my Dadgum Coffee.

There is a reason coffee is so prominently featured on this blog.  It makes the whole world better.  It is the drink of many kings, the second- most traded commodity behind oil and, well, really darn good.

Clearly, if coffee's primary goodness -- that would be caffeine, for the uninitiated -- is part of this blog's name, then it must be important to me.

It is.

Water to a fish.

Air to a mammal.

Bacon to almost any meal.

Caffeine to Mike.

It really is that important.  Headaches magically melt away in the presence of caffeine.  I can function after the first cup of Joe.  I am human after two.  It's bliss.

So when I have to start my day without it, things go to crap.  Instantly.  Wholely.

This morning was one of those days.  And it started with needing gas.  All the pumps were occupied and there was a line.  At 7:30am.  And I had a chiropractic appointment at 7:45.  I got in line and waited, knowing that afterward I would be able to rush into the store and get my morning cup.

It's never that simple.

I went inside,  knowing I could still make it if I was done in two minutes.  I should have smelled trouble, though when they were out of 24-ounce cups.  Not that it mattered -- they were out of non-flavored regular.  I don't do decaf before 5:00pm.  In fact, I generally refer to decaf as "Why Bother?".

I grumbled, sat the cup with a few drops in it on the counter, and left.  How could the morning get any worse?

Like this!

I pulled up to the intersection with Capital Blvd. and moved to the right lane to get a clean takeoff around the slowpoke ahead of me when the light turned green, being the first car in line.  That person chose, at the last minute, to move to the turn lane,  nullifying my lane change.  Oh well, no biggie.


The light changed and Capital began moving.  Then they stopped, and the turn lanes on my street went.  Then opposing traffic went.

But my light never changed.  Capital then went again.

Then the entire cycle repeated.  Twice.

Finally I chose to make a right and go down one intersection.  I called the doctor and alerted them to my impending late arrival.  When I arrived the good doc offered me a shot of his organic dark roast from his Thermos, largely saving the day.

The moral of the story though is don't get between me and my dadgum coffee, or my day will go to pot in a fireball's hurry.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I'm Fat

Okay, I'm going to make something public that I have managed to keep under wraps (somewhat literally) for quite some time:

I'm a fat hog with enough love handle for the population of Sri Lanka to grab hold of.  With both hands.  With leftovers for Java t to join in on the blubber-lovin' fun.

"But Mike, you have a rather svelte figure!"  "You carry your weight well!"  "You have something between your teeth!"


Okay, the last one doesn't make any sense in the context -- if anything, it implies I've been scarfing down more calories and have a small reserve between my chompers that I was saving for my four o'clock pig-out.

I've kept it a secret for a while.  I suck in my gut in public and I wear "athletic cut" shirts that make me look slimmer than I am.  But the bottom line is that I am a pig.  A slop-swilling, pink-nosed, stink-making ham-in-waiting.

The last week hasn't helped matters, either.  My sister was in town visiting for her spring break (it really is a great feeling knowing your 21-year-old sibling would rather spend a week with you than slamming down Pabst Blue Ribbons at a quarter a pop in Cancun with 22,691 of her most-distant friends0 and that has resulted in going out to eat far more than I'd like.  I would like to send a special shout-out to m,y brother-in-law, who opted for Chinese food for his birthday dinner last Sunday, allowing me to bring the MSG content of my blood back up to unhealthy levels.

Of course, I share all this with you to announce that I am going on Diet Number nine-thirteen.  Albert Einstein once declared the definition of insanity as, and I paraphrase, "doing the same thing over and over again expecting the result to change."  That makes me quite insane at this point, so I don't have the highest of hopes.

However, the plan is to buy a mountain bike which I will, of course, not take off-road any time in the foreseeable future.  I will ride the bike as often as time allows, which as of now means "every third blue moon or pink flying elephant, whichever comes last."  And the meals need to change size and quantity, which hurts most of all.  If you know me, you know my three favorite things are food, food and anything else that tastes good after the food has run out.

I need your help.  I need you to encourage me and I need you to hold me accountable.  I have actually considered fasting, which is like having God as a diet coach.  Maybe that would work -- who knows?

So help a reforming slob lose weight today.  I want two inches off my belly.  No set time frame beyond "before Jesus comes back" but I think sometime this year would be nice.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Caffeine Speak: Dejadeja-Vuvu

I have a lot of words and phrases that I use to describe things through my eyes, and most of the time they need some (or a lot) of explanation.  So, without further adieu, I give you Caffeine Speak #1.

dejadeja-vuvu: n. - The uneasy feeling that you've had deja-vu about a subject before.