Sunday, July 18, 2010

Clueless and Unaccountable

First off to my readers, I apologize for the following rant.. Thanks for reading and please don't hold me accountable!!!

I will be the first to agree with anyone if they told me that we cannot be responsible for offending anyone by sharing our opinions or beliefs. I agree with that statement. We, after all live in a country built on differences. America is a melting pot and when you bring together people of different cultures, backgrounds, races, and beliefs we will have different opinions and beliefs about everything from what is acceptable on our dinner plates to who and how we worship God. This, I think it one of the most beautiful things about America. We not only should strive to learn about other people but to also be OK, and secure enough in who we are to have differing views on life. So having said all that, we should not be offended nor take things personal when someone has an opinion different than ours.

However, I am sick and tired of people using "differing opinions" as an excuse to offend someone without accountability. Just because I lean right and you may prefer the left; should not give anyone the right to be blatantly rude. Let me see if I can paint a picture to share what i'm trying to convey...

Let's just say that I suffer from low self esteem because i'm underweight and couldn't fight myself out of a paper bag. (Not that I struggle with low weight problems and I think I could get out of the bag; though I haven't tried recently, i'm making an assumption here.) Now, my best friend comes over to my place to hang out and brings along his new work out buddy; that looks somewhat like a young Arnold Schwarzenegger. (BTW, I think it's amazing that Schwarzenegger is listed in spell check!) Now, Arnold shakes my hand and senses a slight tremor as his hand engulfs mine. "Nice to meet you wimpy!! HAHAHAHA."

Now my best friend knowing that i'm not already self conscious makes the statement, "uh, that's not ok"; and Arnie just ignores it with a chuckle and moves on with his life. HMMMM...

So you may be saying "gee Nathan you should get over it and be ok with you are and not get so easily offended." And I would say "You are right." However where i'm at in my journey called life hasn't gotten me over my insecurities yet. I'm not saying I won't get over them, but i'm at a different point in life than Arnie. He is obviously ok about his physical stature; but what about his penis size?? What if I called him stubby? How would this story look different? Besides the obvious of me being smashed into the wall and dialing 9-1-1.

Anyway, all i'm saying is as human beings we should use our skills of observation and when we unintentionally offend or hurt someone we should apologize. For the record I have been known to offend people with my sarcastic humor; when I accidentally push someones button I have had to step back and apologize. The only other option would be to justify it away because they are "too sensitive" or "take things too personal"; really neither of those things matter, the only thing that really counts is that I accidentally found someones button and inadvertently pushed it. I'm at a point in my life now where I am not offended by this, I'd rather help fix the button if it's in my power to do so. We don't know where each other is at in our journeys but we shouldn't justify our offensiveness away just because we feel we are superior. Instead if in fact we are further down the road wouldn't it be better to the human race if we helped each other instead of hold each other back? Also as a side note if we are offended by them getting offended isn't that the same thing, only different button?

So in closing I want to make sure i've made my point loud and clear...

When you offend someone by the words you use whether intentional or not, (and you know when you do it,) try and apologize and make it right, immediately; instead of justifying it away due to your superiority complex and/or ignorance. You might just find yourself making a friend instead of alienating one.

Please remember if you enjoy reading my View From the Middle please subscribe by filling out the form on the right and/or following my blog through blogger. Also, I always enjoy hearing your comments. Thanks for stopping by!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Barter System

I think I would like the Barter system. I can't ever seem to make enough money to satisfy my desires; but i'll bet I could make more chickens than i'd ever want!

The problem is that I would probably still feel overworked and underpaid; I can see it now...

"Nathan, I need a light installed over my sink."

"OK..." I proceed to crawl through his dingy hot attic cause the guy didn't want to throw in the extra goat to get proper ventilation installed. I cut in the hole, pull the wire hook it up to and old style screw type fuse box and get shocked in the process (two bales of hay would have upgraded to a breaker box). I cut in the switch and put it on a nice dimmer control, just because I can! I stand there dusty, sweating with electrical burns on my hand; "There you go Mister Finster, what do you think."

"Well you tracked old insulation all over my floor and I was trying to read when my lights flickered while something was making a strange grunting noise, and it doesn't quite seem like the dimmer dims the light to romantic enough levels... You can have my three legged dog and that old gas can out back. I'll call you next week when i'm ready to hook up my pool"!!

Yeah, never mind. I'll stick to good ol' green backs!!!!

Have a good weekend everyone, it's payday!

Please remember if you enjoy reading my View From the Middle please subscribe by filling out the form on the right and I always enjoy hearing your comments. Thanks for stopping by!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Probloggers 7 Link Challenge!!

Alright so here goes; over at Darren Rowse posed a challenge to all bloggers. It was to post seven links to blog posts that you and/or others have created following 7 categories.

Now as this version of View From the Middle is a new one for me I may have to link to my other blog; here goes...

  1. My first post. So my first post in this blog is here; I believe this belongs to you;  and my first post on my other blog is here...My Genealogy Begins... 
  2. A post you enjoyed writing the most... is about our beautiful, bad dog Chloe! I enjoy this post because I do love our dog Chloe; even though she still is bad!!
  3. A post which had a great discussion; unfortunately none yet. I either am not as good a writer as i'd like to imagine or I haven't been effective in getting the word out about my blog. So as pathetic as it is here's the post with the most discussion; which isn't much... :( 
  4. A post on someone elses blog that you wish you'd written... this ones tough; i've read a lot of great blog articles lately so to choose one... The nine month wait by Tom Coffee 
  5. Your most helpful post... has to be The Ultimate Spider  because it teaches everyone the real dangers of spider killing!! and A Season of Thanksgiving because it's just a reminder to be thankful for what and who we have in our lives. 
  6. A post with a title you are proud of... Teenage Hall of Fame! 
  7. A post you wish more people have read... All of them? Of course... but I like to believe I was pretty clever with I slept like a baby!!

So I hope everyone enjoys and thanks to you Darren for the challenge and idea!!

Please remember if you enjoy reading my View From the Middle please subscribe by filling out the form on the right and I always enjoy hearing your comments. Thanks for stopping by!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ultimate Spider?

Being an electrician i've seen a lot of spiders and I really don't have a fear of them. Just the other day I was taking the trash out to our garage and saw the grand-daddy spider of em all! It was the biggest spider i'd ever seen in Colorado.

In our household I am the provider, the handyman (though not very handy), and the resident spider killer. So upon seeing the gargantuan arachnoid I did what any man in this position would do. I yelled to my wife, "baby you have to come out here and check this out!"

"It better not be a spider." She hates spiders, and she knows me.

"No, it's cool you have to see this." Reluctantly she came out and looked and even she was impressed as she tossed me a boot; following is the sequence of events that transpired...

Swat #1; MISS, I didn't want to get too close!
Swat #2; Hit! Holy Crap it's still alive; I back up slightly in disbelief!
Swat #3; Final Hit; what the hell is that!?; I inched closer to the crumpled lifeless body...

I kid you not there were at least 1,000 babies scurrying in every direction; I believe I whimpered. My wife screamed!! The next few moments are a slight blur I reached into our chemical cabinet and grabbed wasp spray and bug killing powder. My garage floor became a war zone soon to be covered in powder and coated with wasp spray which combined to make a sort of toxic paste. I know I killed hundreds of these tiny spiders but i'm also convinced hundreds escaped in the chaos.

At any rate, we survived for now; and though we apparently won that battle i'm not so convinced the war is over...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Teenage Hall of Fame!

Thanks to Amy and her blog about the Ice Cream Truck (
I began to reminisce about my child hood...

For much of my youth we lived in a campground... Yes you heard me right and no it's not a typo or some nick-name for a quaint "trailer park". No It was a Campground; as a matter of fact if you still have your doubts you can check it out for yourself; it's called Riverview Campground in Loveland, CO and if you're a Good Sam Member you can get a discount if you stay there!!

Anyway, living in a campground wasn't bad for a pre-adolescent boy; however it does provide a hint at our financial status as a family. We actually upgraded from a tent to a Silver Streak trailer in the summer of 1980.
My parents room was the dining room and my room was on the left side of the main hall and my sisters was on the right. We weren't the only ones that lived in the campground year round; no believe it or not there were several families that called Riverview Campground home. One day myself and one of my friends, Michael decided to go hang out in the arcade. No we didn't have any money to play the games but we had very good imaginations and pretended to play the Zaxxon. Then our wandering, youthful minds discovered that our skinny prepubescent arms could fit under the air hockey table and into the change box, which didn't get emptied too often apparently. CHA-CHING!! The gates of  Ms. Pacman and Zaxxon had been opened and were mine!! Muwahahahaha!!!

Things were going along just great and I was slowly inching my way towards getting my initials on the High Score list. Which up until today was reserved for the rich tourist kids that could throw away $20 worth of quarters without blinking an eye. Michael walked up behind me chewing on a slim jim; I hadn't noticed but he decided to use his new found wealth in a different way; in the campground store.

Unfortunately for me, i'll never know what it's like to have my initials brandished in lights for all passer-throughs to see and gawk at in total amazement. Just on the cusp of gaining near deity-like status a cold, bony hand grabbed my shoulder and yanked me away from the machine without warning!! Apparently Michael didn't think it would raise a flag when he paid for his candy bars, and slim jims, and soda pops all in quarters!! Oh did I mention that the store was attached to the arcade and when the cashiers (who coincidentally was the manager and owner) curiosity was peeked just needed to watch us through the window. She also knew our parents and also knew that we lived on a budget of pennies not quarters!!

So for the summer we were banished from the Arcade and sentenced to pick up rocks in a large open field on the "undeveloped" part of the grounds. For the record upon us completing out punishment of hand picking rocks and stacking them onto a flat bed trailer, we witnessed the managers son drive the trailer to the other side of the field and dump them; apparently in preparation for our next punishment.

I never picked up rocks at Riverview Campground again and I never got to see "NES" flashing like a Legend in the Teenage Hall of Fame!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pancakes Suck!!

Can someone give me WHOOP WHOOP!!??

Because yes, pancakes really do suck. Let me paint the picture for you, my wife and I had a new born son. We were flat broke. I worked during the day as a paid slave a.k.a. an electrical apprentice; and she worked at night as an unpaid slave a.k.a. waitress. We lived in a duplex we really couldn't afford and our cute adorable first born son didn't understand the fact that we had no money; can you believe he still expected to eat!!!??? The nerve of some peoples children.

Wait a minute... he's my child.

So in desperation we semi-reluctantly accepted a food basket from my wifes aunt. At the time we really thought she was being nice; but as they say hindsight is 20/20. I now believe she was trying to kill us. Beyond the standard mac and cheese and few other quick to disappear "meals" all that remained in a few days was a 10 lb bag of pancake mix. Yes the kind you don't even need milk and eggs to mix with. "Simply add water". Which implied that even the makers of the pancake mix knew just how poor we really were. Now that I think about it, "simply add water" was written in a font that sort of mocked you while reading it. Huh?!

Pancakes in the morning, pancakes in the evening, pancakes in my lunch box. Oh how I loved pancakes...
Yeah that feeling didn't last. Even my son's pureed squash started to look appealing after a few days. Than came the day I almost got divorced. As I was sitting there at the breakfast table preparing to leave for work, eating my pancakes; my beautiful wife pulled up into the drive way. She came into the kitchen and sat down next to me with a smile on her face. "Oh Nathan you're not going to believe it. It was so awesome, so this guy last night sent his bacon cheeseburger back and it is our policy that if something gets sent back to the grill it needs to be re-cooked completely. So I got the bacon cheeseburger. It was so good the burger was cooked perfectly with tomato and lettuce on it and I even got to eat the fries. Oh Nathan it was like heaven!!"

I, like you could hardly believe what was coming out of her mouth. After all I didn't see one of those styrofoam take-out boxes in her hand. I was also quickly losing hope that she had left it in the car. No she ate it all; and to top it off she came home and rubbed it into my pancake stuffed face!!! Oh i'll show her! Oh who was I kidding? I didn't have a leg to stand on or two pennies to rub together, so I did what anyone in my position would do, I whined. "I can't believe you wouldn't save me even a bite to share with me!"

Than came the excuses, "i'm not allowed to take food home." Yeah, just the very existence of the styrofoam doggie bag screams liar!!

Anyway, I lived through my pancake eating years; and to be totally truthful with you I didn't touch a pancake for about ten years. I am just now considering going to the local fireman's pancake breakfast on Memorial Day; which should prove that no matter what trauma you may have faced in your past, you too can recover!

PS: Just for the record the actual events in this story were slightly modified; though very slightly there may have been some exaggeration at the expense of my wife.

PPS: I put in the previous PS only for the simple fact that my wife might read this and I don't like sleeping on my couch.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Mormons are taking over!

So as some of you may know, I love to go up to the mountains and spend time riding atv's. Well there are these one cabins that we stay at near Gould,CO that was pretty over-run by marmots. For those of you that don't know a Marmot is the mountains equivelent to a Prairie dog. Yes a pest! And no not to be confused with a Mormon.

You see, a friend of mine went up to the cabins with us once and was fasinated with the little creatures; so much so he came home and told his girlfriend about the cute Mormons that were running around everywhere!!

The next time my wife and I went up to the cabins we told the owner this story; he smiled as he leaned in closer to us and in a hushed voice said "I had to get rid of the Mormons! Remember the 3 s's?"

And Shut up!!

Of course as a disclaimer I must say that no Mormons were harmed in the writing of this blog!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

I've Got a Coupon

Let me first state that i've been out of the "dating game" for a very long time so i'm sending this out to all of you single men and women that might be reading this blog for your input...

Imagine it ladies; you go out to a nice dinner with a good looking guy for a first date. The conversation is decent, between the normal awkward silent moments. You think there might be possibility for future meetings. The check is delivered and after reviewing it your date flags the waitress down to hand over his credit card; than as she's walking away he stops her;

"MISS!!, I almost forgot, I've got a COUPON!"

Ladies, I pose the question; Is is alright for a guy to pay for your first date meal with a coupon?

Guys, Is it ok for you to swallow your pride in todays economic state to present a coupon with your payment?

Beyond that let's take it one step more; what if not only a coupon is going to be brandished but what if your date requested you only order from a choice of one or two items on the menu because that is all that the coupon will cover?

How about if it was for a free appetizer?

Does this show class or economic savvy? Or is it just a prequel to how cheap he is and any future relationship will be nickel and dimed to death?

Final thoughts; would it be more acceptable to go "dutch" than to use a coupon? And in the natural progression of a relationship is there ever a time when it's ok to use a coupon to pay for a date?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I Slept Like a Baby!

We've got rain today in Colorado; one of those misty drizzling rains that stick around all day and make everything a little dreary. You have to understand that we are just not used to days like this. We live in Colorado partly because it's the ADD state.

Hey look a shiny object... I'll be right back...

Yes, the entire state of Colorado has a short attention span; haven't you ever heard the saying, "if you don't like the weather in Colorado wait five minutes"? Well it's true; even the weathermen here in Colorado have a very high success average. It's easy because pretty much any day they can say "it'll be partly sunny." And it will be. According to we get 300 days of sunshine per year;  interspersed in those days we get wind, rain, snow, cold, heat, and every other form of weather possible. 

Oh yeah, i'm getting off track, need to refocus here. (See, I told you we have ADD).

What was this blog about? Sleeping...

So here it is a dreary morning, i've got my Americano in hand and everyone else on my crew has barely dragged themselves into work half awake because no one knows how to react to the climate change probably caused either by global warming or the oil spill in the gulf. All of us that is except one young man...

Our well slept apprentice made the statement, "Ah, I slept like a baby last night", with an evil wide smile on his face.  Even his "chipperness" was annoying to everyone in the room. Jerry obviously doesn't have kids because if he did he would have never made that most annoying statement known to parents. Of course I knew that he was implying that he slept sound and pleasant and peacefully. But as a parent of two; one of which had colic I know that a baby sleeps sound for oh about... 2 HOURS!! Which in turn means that us, the precious creatures' parents also only sleep in two hour spurts. I don't know about you but to me that isn't peaceful, restful or pleasant. So please from now on if you feel you absolutely must make a statement about having a restful nights sleep and rub it into everyones nose, make sure it's accurate.

How about "I slept like a teenage boy", or a "BP executive". Either one of those can sleep through a day of yard work, test taking and alleged oil spilling; where any other human being would feel slightly guilty to the point of wanting to help in some way!! 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Excuse me but I believe this belongs to you...

"View From the Middle" has seen many different formats and has been resurrected several times using different formats on several different blog hosting sites. This is my next attempt to resurrect and keep alive My View From the Middle. I hope you all enjoy it and ask that if you do to please subscribe, pass on the address and leave comments. Thank you all for stopping by and I look forward to hearing from you...

Living in  a middle class neighborhood I have developed many pet peeves, and to the best of my knowledge everyone shares the same ones. This gets me thinking though that if everyone hates the same thing, why do we still have to deal with it?

There used to be a dog in our neighborhood that every morning the owners, who apparently hated picking up dog poop more than every other dog owner on the block, would let their sweet little mop dog out to roam the neighborhood in search of the perfect toilet. It just so happens that our yard had that sort of Charmin appeal that left our neighborhood wandering dog with that spring clean fresh feeling. Our yard became his habit and though he was a small dog you wouldn't know it by the size of his daily deposits.

One day my wife in perfect Nancy Drewish style caught the little offender in the act and instead of simply chasing him off; as became the tradition she followed him. With brown paper lunch bag in hand my sweet wife picked up the daily poop and proceeded to follow him back to his owners home. She than rang the doorbell handed the paper bag over and simply said...

"I believe this belongs to you!"

Without another word she turned around and came home with a smile on her face!!

Aint' the smell of justice sweet !? Or I guess in some cases...