Tuesday, March 22, 2011

At a Crossroad

I have been a Boy Scout all my life. I joined when i was 8 yrs old, advanced through the ranks, became an Eagle Scout, joined a scouting related fraternity in college, volunteered my time as a childless adult leader, and naturally became a cub scout leader when my son was old enough to join.

My desire for him is and has been to experience the adventures that i had as a youth, see the things and visit the places I did as a youth, and earn his Eagle Scout badge as I did. I realize that the eras in which we each grew up are completely different as is the geographic setting. I grew up in a small town in the Ozarks where the sidewalks rolled up at 6pm every night and everyone in town knew your name, your parents and business.

My son grows up in a large urban area where we all live in our own little microcosm of the community, venturing out into the big city for special events. But the fact that there is 24 hour options in everything is worlds apart from my upbringing.

I have urged my son to stay in scout, earn Eagle Scout and then if he feels that it is still not fun or cool, then he can stop going. I have fought hard to keep the activities in the troop fun, educational, and active. This despite the fact that i am only an asst leader and the actual scoutmaster if an idiot of the first order. On top of fighting his imbecilic management of the troop, my son has also had to put up with the total lack of youth leadership in the troop. First from the scoutmasters equally idiotic son and then from another youth who, well lets just say he is a few bubbles from plumb.

In December the adults of the scouts got together and made a conscience decision to begin the process of disbanding the troop and merging it into another, in hopes of finding older scouts to mentor our boys and provide them with the type of program that we all remembered and want for our sons.

We researched area troops, paid visit to them to evaluate their programs, and to determine which would be the best fit for our boys. We came to a decision and as we were about to pull the trigger on things, something happened which we haven't quite gotten to the bottom of yet.

At about the same time as all this was happening, some new boys started coming to our meetings with their parents. Reportedly, they said their troop leader was leaving, they weren't happy with the new direction of their troop, and were looking for a smaller more active troop to join. We were open with them about our intentions and plans and they gave every indication that they were OK with our decision.

Fast forward to last week. At a meeting of the adults, it came to be that the idiot scoutmaster and his son had politicked the new folks into recruiting more people from the same troop to come over and the decision was made not to dissolve the troop. OK.. i get democracy. Majority rules and i was willing to go along with it as along as they could prove to me that their wasn't some hidden agenda or motive driving them.

On Saturday, they effectively took over the leadership of the troop, voting in their boys into every leadership position available and leaving our boys to take up the scraps and the pass-overs.

I have spend the last 6 years of mine and my sons life devoting my time and energy to this pack and troop, giving it my all. Now to be caste aside like we are no longer needed is just too much to put up with. I am angry, and I will have my revenge.

So I ask you dear readers. You know me, I don't pull any punches or sugar-coat anything.

  1. Do i resign from the troop, along with my son, and keep my thoughts and opinions to myself and let them fester and die the slow death that i know they will?
  2. Do i resign from the troop along with my son and go out in a blaze of glory, calling them out on their shit and making it known to all who will listen that they are conniving POSs that can not be trusted?
  3. Do resign from the troop along with my son and stealthily, work to destroy what they have tried to build?

Let me know your thoughts.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

So Shoot Me; After lunch

OK, i know i have once again been missing in action... SO SHOOT ME.

Life has gotten in the way of lots of things this past 4 months and too much has happened to relate to here, but suffice it to say, not much has really changed except I am poorer and just as frustrated with ungrateful, dumb ass kids and stepkids.

So in the interest of a clean break from my usual ranting and raving about the irresponsibilities of today's generation. I am not going to go there today and may not go there ever again, unless prompted to by an act of stupidity, so profound, that i want to world to know about it and to assist me in ridiculing them into submission.

Now for something completely different.

It was my birthday last month. My diamond anniversary. Work was hectic and we didn't get to do the customary lunch in my honor, so we ended up doing that today. My choice for lunch, so i let them off cheap and we went to McAlisters Deli. My choice conjured up memories of my youth and my first real experience in the big city as a child, so I thought i would pass along this moment.

When I was a kid (6-8 y.o.), we lived in Illinois, just across the river from St Louis. Now having been born in southeast Missouri and grown up on or near the farms, I was fascinated by the big city and all the wonders it had to offer. But the most memorable experiences came when we would make our annual pilgrimage to downtown St Louis to the big department stores for Christmas shopping and sightseeing.

These trips always included a trip the department store restaurant for those unique and one of a kind (or at least I thought so) dishes that you could only get there. It was on one of those trips that i discovered the dish that is "French Onion Soup".

Now I know your thinking, what 7 year old kid in their right mind would want to eat that.....well me. I guess even at that early age i was a gourmand and enjoyed eating new and exotic dishes.

So in honor of my lunch today and the memories of my childhood experiences; i leave you with the recipe from that trip.

The Famous Barr (store) French Onion Soup.

Yields: 16 servings

5 lbs onions, unpeeled

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper, freshly ground
2 tablespoons paprika
1 bay leaf
7 (16 ounce) cans beef broth, divided (recommended Swanson's)
1 cup dry white wine (optional)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour or instant flour (such as Wondra)
caramel coloring (optional) or Kitchen Bouquet (optional)
2 teaspoons salt
French baguette (optional)
swiss cheese (optional) or gruyere cheese (optional)

Peel onions and slice 1/8 inch thick, preferably in a food processor. Melt butter in a 6-quart (or larger) stockpot. Add onions; cook, uncovered, over low heat for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. (The long cooking time makes the onions mellow and sweet.) Stir in pepper, paprika and bay leaf; saute over low heat 10 minutes more, stirring frequently. Pour in 6 cans broth and wine. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Dissolve flour in remaining 1 can broth. Stir into boiling soup. Reduce heat and simmer slowly for 2 hours. Adjust color to a rich brown with caramel coloring, season with salt. Refrigerate overnight. To serve, heat soup in microwave or on stove top. If desired, pour into ovenproof crocks or bowls. Top with a slice of bread and a sprinkling of grated cheese. Heat under the broiler until cheese melts and bubbles, about 5 minutes. Leftover soup can be frozen.

ENJOY and let me know what you think.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Now It Begins

I have to admit the title of this post is from a novel I recently finished. In the novel, The Secret Generations by John Gardner, a family of spy's is rocked by the death of the patriarch of the family. Following the death, they must follow the trail left by him to uncover one or more family members who, for years, have been traitors to the family and the cause.

It is almost surreal that, after finishing the book, a similar circumstance has fallen on my own little world. No we aren't looking for double agents or traitors, but the impending death of a family member brings out the vultures and other carreon to circle, waiting for that moment to pounce and begin picking at the carcass (in this case, estate) for anything they can get their greedy and undeserving hands on.

This will probably end up being a series of posts as there is a bit of history that must be told. But the history defines certain individuals, so as those individuals are introduced, so to will be the history.

Last Thursday, L's mom and her uncle were in an auto accident. It first appeared like it would be a very bad one. We were called and told that they were being airlifted to a hospital and nothing more. We went to the said hospital and waited as patiently as possible. They finally told us that, "no they were not coming in by helicopter, but by ambulance." When Mom arrived, the paramedics told us that the other ambulance, with Uncle, had been diverted along the way to a smaller hospital due to him having a possible heart episode.

I left L and her sister at the hospital with Mom and went to the other hospital to check on Uncle. When I got there, he was still in a neck brace, but according to the Dr, was OK other than some bumps, bruises, and a nasty friction burn on his neck from the seat belt. They wanted to keep him for observation to insure that the seat belt had not damaged his coratid artery.

Uncle is 87 yo and lost his wife over a year ago. He has been living with Mom, his sister, since last fall. Now while they get along like any brother and sister, couple that with his age and hers (81 yo) and you have a pretty good picture of the dynamics of the relationship.

Meanwhile, Mom has a severe laceration on her left arm that has peeled back the skin at the elbow. The Dr's are concerned about the cause of the accident and the fact that Mom may have blacked out, thus causing the accident. So they elect to keep her in the hospital overnight for observation. Uncle is throwing a fit because he doesn't want to stay in the hospital, but is finally convinced that it is for his own good.

Fast forward to Saturday morning. Mom has been given the all clear (meaning the Dr's cant find anything wrong with her) and she goes to the other hospital to visit her brother. Upon arrival, she is told that his condition is not good. They have determined that he has pneumonia and has had it for several months. He is also showing signs of diminished kidney function. At the same time, Uncle is becoming more and more lethargic and addled with the combination of his condition and the meds that they are giving him. He is weak, and virtually incapable of standing or moving himself, without someone practically holding him up.

Now it begins...... Part 2 tomorrow

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Priceless Moments in History

In honor of Cary at List of the Day, I offer another priceless moment in history.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Cant Win for Losing

It started out innocent enough. L had been to the dentist and after 2 hrs in the chair and a new temporary crown, and two new fillings, she was home on the couch, resting and nursing a sore jaw. I came home with every intention of nursing her, fixing dinner, and enjoying a quiet evening.

I went shopping, bought groceries, came home, unloaded and loaded the dishwasher, fixed her a pineapple, banana, and strawberry smoothie, and sat down to catch up on DVR programs. Then the phone rang. I could tell by the half of the conversation that i was hearing that she was committing us to watching the spawn, just not sure of the details. I lost it. I got up and stormed into the kitchen.

She asked what was wrong and I said nothing and proceeded to unload and load the dishwasher. I fumed around for a bit and then finally, she forced me to give her and answer and I said; "I am tired of your kids always planning our lives for us" . Needless to say that pissed her off and she tried to throw it back into my face that my kids have just as much if not more to do with our life schedule than hers do. I proceeded to tell her that yet again, she doesn't get the subtle difference that my kids are younger and thereby dependent on me where as her kids are all old enough to be taking care of their own shit.

We danced around the issue for a few more minutes and i decided that it was time for me to go. I left the house. Drove around for a bit, stopped by a friends house and visited with him and his wife, and caught up on life with them. Now this is my old college roommate, we live about 2 miles from one another and we have seen each other about 2 time since the first of the year. We are both busy with kids, family commitments and work, so i don't begrudge that time missed, but last night brought back alot of memories of good times past.

When i got home, i unloaded the dishwasher, loaded it again, and went to bed. She came to the room about 10PM and didn't say a word. Climbed into bed and we both attempted to sleep. At 11PM, I got up and asked her is she was going to talk to me and she said she had nothing to say. I asked her if she even knew why i got upset and she said that it was because we had to watch Spawn. I said no that was not the reason. The real reason was and still is that her kids take advantage of her and by default me. They call at the last minute and expect us to drop everything we have planned or even have remotely discussed on doing to bail them out of their child care dilemma or their current transportation issue. I am sick and tired of being responsible for everyone else's kids and their irresponsibility. I told her this last night.

Needless to say, our plan to drive into work together this morning and then go to my daughters softball game is now in the fucking trash heap because L has to pick up the spawn from daycare and then watch him to his dumbass mother gets off work.

I cant win for losing.....

Monday, April 26, 2010

POS of the Week

I have decided to start a new feature on this blog. Not only does it give me something easy to write about, but it also provides a venue of me to vent my frustrations on today's societal ills that the media seem to have a feeding frenzy over. So sports fans, enjoy this little clip about our first POS of the Week

This POS is only in if for the money and he continues to do whatever he can to live off the earnings of his children. The mom isn't much better and I am surprised she hasn't turned up in some rehab stint. I just wish the news media would quit enabling this POS and his daughters to stay in the limelight. Maybe then, we wouldn't have to see these assholes anymore


Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Rut

We all have those times in our lives where we seem to hit a low point, a rut if you want to call it that. Those periods where nothing you do or say seems appropriate. And no matter how hard you try to say it in a diplomatic and nice way, you just end up sticking your foot further into your mouth.

Not only does the rut affect your everyday interpersonal actions and reactions with others, it also affects your most intimate interactions with your loved ones. You want to tell them something, but your either afraid that you will exacerbate the situation even more, or that you will regret giving in. This seems to be where I am. I am tired of all the unnecessary drama in our lives and when i try to impart this to my wife, i get glares and looks of disdain. When i do my best to explain my frustrations to her, she refuses to acknowledge my opinion and chooses to ignore me.

That in and of itself doesn't bother me. What does bother me is that 99 times out of 100 I am right on the money with my insight and analysis and she refuses to accept the fact that I am usually right. Secondly, this makes her even more reticent to open up to me and tell me things about our life. So it compounds the issue by now adding feelings of inadequacy and suspicion to the mix.

I am at the point where i am ready to tell all of them to go F themselves, leave us alone, and if they end up on the street, with no place to go and no money, don't come crying to mommy.

Sorry for being such a heartless bastard, but live in my shoes for a few months and tell me you wouldn't do the same thing.