Wednesday, May 25, 2016

An open letter to my daughter.

So today was your last “official” day of high school? Your mom and I are very proud of you and know that you have worked hard to get to the end. Maybe you weren’t the best “student” in the school, but I assure you that you were a stellar person. How well you study and how good your grades are don’t make a good person. Your heart, your conscience, and your honor make you who you are. And in those areas of coursework and study, you are an “A” student.

So now that the responsibility of high school is behind you, do you feel any different? Probably not, but I can assure you that things will be different for you from here on out. People will perceive you differently from now on. They will see you as an adult, even if you don’t feel like you are one. Be a good person, be responsible for your own actions, your words and your commitments. Far too many people today feel that there is no bad result from not being responsible for their actions. It is always someone else’s fault. Deadlines, promises, commitments, agreements and more are nothing more that hot air in a desert. Don’t be like them.

There will be no more high school drama to worry about, but there will be drama of a different sort. Drama that only adults (who act like children) can create. Fortunately, you have discovered that life is too short for drama, but sometimes it is not always possible to avoid it. When negative and dramatic people present themselves, hold them at arm’s length. Negativity and drama only breeds more negativity and drama and it will bring you down. Be willing to give advice and assistance them but do not support their negativity. Their drama and negativity will become your own. Don’t be like them.

No one owes you a thing. Get up and earn it. There is a failing in our society that has been the product of too many parents telling too many children that they are “unique” or “special” or something else that sets them far above and apart from others. They have been told that the world owes them something because they are special in some way. They were told that they didn’t deserve to lose, or they deserved a better grade, or rank, or something that has instilled an entire generation that feels it is entitled and the world owes them something. In reality, they are not and probably never were. Yes, your mother and I have told you that you were special. That is because you are. You are special to us. We love and adore you, but want only the best for you, but that does not mean that you are going to be given the world on a silver platter. If you want something, you are going to have to work for it. You are going to have to earn it. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. There are way too many people in society that feel they are entitled. Don’t be like them.

MAKE life happen FOR you. Don’t LET life happen TO you. Make it your own. You only have one life. Make the most of it. Make it fun. You are given the same 24 hours that everyone else has. Make the most of them. Don’t waste it on things you don’t want to do or things that give you no reward or pleasure. I don’t mean that you should not go to work, not go to school, and not take out the trash and other stuff that makes a normal and productive person, but things that take your precious time away from you with no good result. Don’t waste your time. Look at each hour, each minute, as money. Spend it well. You have probably heard me say this more times than you can count, but “Sleep when you’re dead.” What I really mean by this is don’t be lazy. When you are asleep, nothing happens. It is time wasted. Being up, awake, active and involved is time well spent. Many people are awake but do nothing. Like being asleep. Some people don’t live, they just exist. Don’t be like them.

There are a myriad of other things that I could tell you but will only mention them in passing.

Stand for something or you will fall for anything, but don’t stand for everything because then nothing will have meaning.

It okay to be religious and have faith, to practice and to share and talk about it. Remember it is “freedom OF religion” not “freedom FROM religion”.

It is your right to not be offended by things. Not everything in this life will be offensive to you and that is OKAY. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are horrible person if you are not offended by something that offends them. Tell them that *they* offend you and to frak off.

Not everything is black and white, right or left, good and bad. It is more often than not somewhere in the middle and finding your comfort zone, your place in it is totally up to you.

Treat your body well. It is the only one you have and there may come a time when you have to depend on it to do things you didn’t think it could.

Be yourself. Have fun. Love, laugh and live. Be a geeky girl. Be a geeky woman. Make smart decisions but don’t always make the safest decision. It might just be more fun.

No matter what you do in life, make sure it is something you want to do. Succeed or fail, at least it will be your decision.

And finally, whatever happens, always know this; you can always come home again.

Thursday, February 25, 2016


Lenten Photo Challenge: Day 16


As a gamer geek dad, it gives me joy that my daughter was really happy when this little custom made Dungeons & Dragons character miniature came in. It is a representation of her character in the game. She helped design it and so it will mean more to her than some generic mini that most people purchase for the game.

I can chalk that up as a win in the "doing it right" column.

Now to paint it!


Lenten Photo Challenge: Day 15


I know this might sound mean, but I would rather see that a pet have a shelter before a human.

Pets are at the mercy of their owners and in general humans. Humans know better.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Lenten Photo Challenge: Day 14


You might think this word would lead me to talk about a covenant with God, work, county, marriage or something like that. Well, yes, but to be honest, I am went into this challenge to use the words for my own purposes and maybe not the way the creators of the challenge intended. And this is one of those times.

The photo that you see of those ugly buggers is one of the "Covenant" Elite warriors from the game "HALO." When HALO first came out, I would have to say, it was the driving force behind the decision to purchase an XBOX game console. Without it, you could not play this amazing game. So we did and HALO was the first game we bought.

We immediately set to playing it and soon the "Covenant" were our fiercest enemies and very deadly to meet in game.

But what really happened is that I got to play the game cooperatively with my kids and we played the game together for hours on end and enjoyed every minute doing it!

We did this for all the iterations of the HALO game.... until HALO 5.

Some idiot decided to take the co-operative game play out of the newest story-line of the game. What the frak were they thinking? Hundreds of thousands of players have played this game this way for years and now they decide to take it away. Pretty much ruined the game for my kids and I. So much so that I have not even tried to play it and I don't think my kids have bothered much either. Ruined it for us because that is how we have always played this game together. As a team.

So, the "Covenant" will have to wait before I meet them again on the battlefield. Cause that ain't how I play my HALO game. Besides, I am having too much fun playing the MAD MAX game that has its own form of game play "covenant" and it is about keeping promises in the game to make the world a better place.

Monday, February 22, 2016


Lenten Photo Challenge: Day 13


To have "vision", and I don't mean the kind that lets you read books or watch TV, is to be able to see into the future, predict the next big thing or calculate the best way to act, prepare, or plan for the future. But more often I think we forget to have that vision to look back at our lives, our experiences, and see what it has taught us. Hindsight is not 20/20 but it can be if you time the time to look at it with clear vision and understand its lessons. Too often we have our eyes on the prize at the end of the race and when we come up short, maybe it is because we didn't bother to look behind ourselves and see where our path went astray.

Sunday, February 21, 2016


Lenten Photo Challenge: Day 12


Today I am celebrating three things!

First, I took my mom to church today and so I celebrate the fact that the church of my childhood is back after a devastating fire that destroyed everything. Nothing survived from the church that was built in 1875. But now, the church is rebuilt, and services are back in a new building. Things don't look the same. Things don't sound the same. Things don't even smell the same in the new building. Everything is new. Nothing is familiar. It's all sparkly brand new! And to add to that, the pastor of the last 10 years or so has left to take another call in another church so they are looking for a new pastor. Everything is a new start for this old church. But all will be well. They are going through growing pains that they never expected to have to experience, but they will make it through. It is a pleasure to attend with my mom and see the same faces that I remember from my childhood. And I celebrate that they are moving forward.

Secondly, I celebrate this wonderful plate full of comfort. My mom makes this concoction that my family calls "tuna fish and peas." To some it might look like what some in the military call "SOS" or "S#@& On a Shingle" but is anything like that. It is one of my favorite comfort food and my mom is the only one that makes it and for me it is thing to celebrate because my mom made it for me today for lunch!

And third, I celebrate my mom. I love my mom. She is 88 years old and suffers from the aches and pains that you might expect an 88 year old would suffer from. But despite this, she is a very healthy person and all of those pains go away when she can be with her family and friends. I can kind of understand how she feels. I too feel "more alive" and "happier" when my kids are around and I try to keep that in mind when she calls and says she is lonely or not feeling well. So I celebrate that we were able to spend some quality time together today.

Friday, February 19, 2016


Lenten Photo Challenge: Day 10

I LOVE that this happened on my Facebook page. I love that my friends get me. I love that I can be genuine and be a geek with all of them and more. Live Long and Prosper, my friends!

(ya know, I think you could say "Live, Love, and Prosper", and it would be just as meaningful.)

Thursday, February 18, 2016


Lenten Photo Challenge: Day 9

Hopefully we all have, need a place where we can feel safe. A place where we can be comfortable and at ease. For some this is a location, a home, a room, or a vacation spot. For me, I am lucky to be able to take refuge in many places, and not all of them are physical locations. My wife and my family are my most reliable and constant refuge. I have refuge in my own home, and oddly I feel I have refuge in my car. Ofte, however I find my refuge in a room full of people, or maybe just one other person, and playing a game. That might sound silly, but in today's age of technological disconnectedness, sitting down at a game table and playing a game with other players across the game board from you, is the equivalent of sitting around the campfire and telling stories. Whether it is a simple game of cards, a role-playing game, or a in-depth strategy game, I really revel in playing games with family and friends. We can play the game and we can socialize with each other all while competing within the game. It is the act of gaming that allows me to let go of the responsibilities of work and life. Remember when we were kids and our job was to play? We have forgotten how to play as we become adults and I take refuge in the "play" that gaming allows. Gaming is one of my favorite places of refuge.