Ok, listen…

Simply because you “believe” a certain way it does not mean that you should belittle others who “believe“ a different way. I do post funny sayings or memes from time to time, but does that mean that I am trying to belittle those who think a different way? No.

Just remember that we are all humans, and those who have “power“ over us like pushing buttons to make us hate one another. Whether that is playing games with our emotions or our passions or our lifestyles, do not let those people fill you with resentment or hate. That’s how they win, and that is how we lose.

Go check out the picture below. If we all start there we can start to break the chains that hold us down.

Semper Fortis.

Veterans Evaluation Center Fun

Okay…

For those who don’t know, I had a TBI/stroke in September 2014. Since that time I have learned what my triggers are, like loud noises, people being impatient, etc. It took a few months for me to understand why I was getting so upset so easily, but I got most of my issues handled, but it’s still a challenge daily for me.

Sssssoooooo… I just got back from a shrink appointment and let me tell you, he was not the brightest bulb in the pack. I tried to be inviting and compliant with his wishes, but after two minutes of him just talking AT me I knew it was going to be a fun time….ehem. Here we go.

(Using my best Droopy voice, and I am paraphrasing): OK, Mr. Frasier, let me start off with a letter from the VA about why you are having this appointment and why this is not a time for you to attempt to have your rating increased or decreased but rather an opportunity to see if you are eligible for a rating increase, which is not to say that either one of those things could happen, but rather to add more documentation for your record to see if you’re eligible for that said increase. Any questions?

Me: Ummm…ok. Let’s do it.

Droopy: Again, this is not just to get a rating increase but to add any pertinent information for your claim. Will you please tell me, in your own words, why do you think, with all the things that went to happened to you, makes you qualified for that rating increase and how do you feel about your time with the VA, ergo, do you think that come out with all pertinent information available, you should need, or want, this ratings increase?

Me: Um…Sir, if you could just ask me a direct question and give me time to contemplate my answer before you ask the next question, I would appreciate it. Could you ask that question again more directly, please?

Droopy: (ssiiiiigghhhh) Ok…(basically, and he said the same thing for a second time, so I won’t make you read the entire thing again, but if you want to experience the full effect, you can read the thing again.)

Me: Sir, I cannot handle too much information at one time because my brain will get overloaded and I will shut down. Could you please pick one question let me think about it and give you a direct answer, please?

Droopy: 😐 😑 OK…(it was at this point that he caught my drift and started asking me specific questions for the examination. Things were going really really well until he turned the page of the questionnaire…) OK, Mr. Frasier, let’s move on. Now a bit earlier I told you that this is not about a ratings increase but is about something you want on the record for your claim. Vis-à-vis, if you could whittle down your needs and, or wants, for your claim so we can give you the best I can for your claim,  I would make this process go much more smoothly. So, of the conditions you are suffering from, will you please give me a more clear picture of both your family life, your friendships, and, or other relationships in your sphere of influence, which you are finding challenges on a daily, or monthly, basis? And please include friendships, other relationships, and, or, any other process through which you find yourself dealing with other people, and or friendships, and how that makes you feel on a daily/monthly basis?

Me: 😐😠 Sir, (but spelled “cur”) I told you earlier that if you put too much information into my brain I will forget the first three things you asked me because I can only focus on one thing at a time. Imagine a funnel, like a car oil funnel filled with rice, and if you put too much information into my brain, or you have too many questions, I cannot process all that information at one time and I will shut down because I would rather shut down instead of get angry at you. So, PLEASE, one question at a time, because you are stressing me out. SIR.

Droopy: (scoots his chair away from his desk) OK, Mr. Frasier, why don’t we take a break. Because you are, apparently and obviously, very angry at me right now, and I don’t feel safe being in the same room with you.

Me: Wow. I need to leave because you’re upsetting me. Have a good day, sir. (and I left the office.)

(AS I AM WALKING DOWN THE HALL!!) Yes, Mr. Frasier, I think you have problems and it doesn’t look good that you are walking away from this process and (I had left the office at this point but I could still hear him talking AT me through two walls) and this will go on your record for leaving a medical appointment without (and that’s when I couldn’t hear him anymore.)

So, yeah, that was my day from 2 PM to 2:09 PM. 🤦‍♂️

Music and Guns

I am conversing with one of my shooting lessons students, and she asked me how I can focus on the target with both eyes open. I told her it’s because I was a percussionist in college. “What?”, she asked. Allow me to explain.

Reading music while playing four mallet marimba trains a specific spot in our brains. (I’m sure that applies to most any musical instrument, but I am biased.) I’m sure everyone has seen videos or read articles on how music affects our brain/hauser group, but I don’t think they know how beneficial music can heal the human brain.

After my stroke I realized that I couldn’t read music anymore. I couldn’t enjoy the thrill of a crescendo because that part of my brain hadn’t healed yet. It was just a group of sounds. I knew that I should understand the dark thrill of Shostakovich or Berlioz, but it just wasn’t there anymore. But after about 18 months, I felt that part of my brain healing itself. That’s how I knew I was getting better. A few months later I realized that I could understand the inner workings of a gun. And that also made me elated. The two things that brought me joy were finally coming back into focus.

Yes, most of my musician friends hate the idea of guns, but usually that’s because they typically don’t understand them. Most of my friends don’t like the idea of violence, even though the only reason they exist is because half of their DNA won the Battle of the Birth Canal because they defeated their potential brothers and sisters. (yes, I know, there was no gender as a spermatazoa, but I’m telling a story, so chill. [lol… that’s the name of my next percussion piece. 🤣🤣🤣 Battle of the Birth Canal, I crack me up.])

So, yeah, I was a musician since age 4 when I got a tiny, 18-key toy piano and it just spoke to me. I joined the military because I wanted to defeat those bad “terrorists” and then I realized that every war we fight is simply a war of greed. (Most all wars are all about greed. Don’t get me started.) So now I keep doing the things that I love to do, and two of those three things are music and shooting. (The third thing is nunya.)

Maybe some of my life choices upset some of you.

Don’t care.

Maybe some of you don’t like the fact that I’d be willing to lay my life on the line for yours even though you may enjoy being a dick.

Don’t care.

Why?

There are three types of people in the world. Wolves (bullies), sheep (civilians), and sheepdogs (military, police, firefighters). (See: Tim Larkin – https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewBook?id=1191260626.) Everyone is born as a sheep, but there are some who find fulfillment in protecting the herd so the sheep can continue to frolic and play with no care in the world. (And there is nothing wrong with being a sheep in this context. Just know that it’s OK to not be one of those three protectors. Totally cool.) And know that those protectors have flaws just like the rest of us. (Typically because of greed, but that’s for another post.) And because of these protectors, my fellow human beings can carry on with their lives and continue to strive for happiness with the understanding that, with every breath they take, those protectors are keeping the wolves at bay.

So, how can I focus on my surroundings and the target and the sounds of the range and the potential dangers therein? Because being a musician opens up more possibilities of improvisation and tactile awareness in every facet of my life. Everyone should take some sort of self-defense class, and everyone should take a fine art class, (in my almost always correct and well-informed, humble opinion.)

Finally, be patient with your fellow human beings, and don’t be a dick (wolf).

—–

P.S. The fine arts are a necessary aspect of the human experience. Go watch a play or go to an art exhibit or a symphony concert. Open up your mind to new experiences that can help you experience life through others’ creativity, and then create something yourself. It will be one of the most fulfilling experiences of your life.

Take care of this planet.

(Taken from a blog post from three years ago.)

I finally have time to spout my opinions on this winter vortex, so please enjoy. Or move on. Especially if you still believe the earth galaxy and universe are all less than 100,000 years old. This won’t be for you unless you’d like to learn a little real science. 🙂

So, the earth has been through four or five ice ages, (depending on the scientific community to which one subscribes), and it was supposed to start its latest one about 10,000-25,000 years ago, (see first parenthetical). What’s causing the earth to delay the latest ice age? In my humble, unassailable, highly-informed opinion: two things could be causing it.

  1. After each peak of ice coverage in each ice age as the ice started to melt away, CO2 levels peaked [relatively] shortly thereafter, then receded. After the last ice age one major thing sticks out: Us. We started farming, cutting down trees, etc. which released all of the CO2, that plants normally hold inside, into the atmosphere. Core samples show that after the last ice age CO2 levels rose to the [relatively] same peak, but haven’t yet receded and have trended up and down over the past 40,000 years depending on population density and such. Could this be playing a factor in the delay of the tardy ice age? Possibly. Could the recent and sudden cold snaps be a precursor to its coming? Perhaps. But we don’t know, because we’ve never been able to study an ice age first hand and carbon dating has a wicked margin of error. So we shall have to wait and see if the Earth will compensate and follow its normal cycle, which leads me to option 2.
  2. Now then…the earth is a really big place and has maintained an equilibrium with its passengers for a reallllllly really long time. Up to 25 different species of animals die off every day due to environments constantly changing and adjusting to the constant changing and adjusting in every single facet of this planet. Things that determine just the temperatures on our home include the axis of the earth (intensity of direct sunlight), the earth’s orbit (which isn’t a perfect elliptic but more like a drunken sailor running around a race track) the cycle of the sun (about every 11 years it goes through varying degrees of hot and not-as-hot) and a few other things I cannot remember off the top of my shiny head. The “optimum” combination of these variables led to the previous ice ages, and the internal things like CO2 levels were a by-product.

So with all of these things that humans cannot affect, is it possible that when the next ice age comes it will be more of a body slam instead of a gradual process because of humans keeping CO2 levels from decreasing like they historically have done? Possibly.

Do any of us know for sure? Nope.

Should we make drastic decisions about trying to control nature and bend it to our will? Nope.

Should we squander resources and be wasteful all in the name of profit or trying to be the “best?” Nope.

Basically what I’m trying to say here, is that we really are super young as a species and really pretty much don’t know jack about jack in the big scheme of things. But we should still be mindful of how our actions affect our home, while understanding that our home doesn’t care about us and is going to do whatever it’s going to do regardless of our wishes/beliefs/tactics/etc.

So stop with the “global warming” crap because if we hadn’t created global warming there’d be no New York City or Green Bay Packers or or or because the ice would be covering the majority of the northern hemisphere and you wouldn’t be here to complain. So be grateful. 😉

And understand that whether or not we reduce CO2 levels in our lifetimes or the next, eventually this planet is going to do what it normally does: float around the sun and not care about anything. It’s our job to care for our home if we’d like it to not turn into a barren wasteland due to our poor housekeeping. Aside from that, you should all move south of the Nebraska-Kansas border’s parallel eventually. Like…within the next 1,000 years or so.