Thank you

Veteran’s Day makes me think of my father. To say he fought in a war doesn’t really describe his experience. He served his country proudly, and in doing so, endured horrors that visited him from time to time for the rest of his life.

I remember asking him about his time in the service. One story that I’ll never forget was about his time in the Corps of Engineers when he was responsible for making sure his unit had the ammunition they needed to fight. More than once, he had to collect munitions from the dead – men he served with and called friends, so he could supply the ones still fighting.

He stepped over bodies on ground soaked in blood. He was in hostile territory recovering arms and ammo.

I could see the pain in his eyes as he told me this story. In reliving that moment, he gave me a unique insight into war that had never occurred to me before. I’d always thought of war in general terms: people fight, people die, it’s all terrible. But this was specific. His friends fought. His friends died, and it was more than terrible. It was something no one should have to experience. He was in the middle of it, and although he was happy to survive, part of him died that day and never returned when they shipped him home.

He was just a kid of 18 or 20. So very young, but not too young to die.

We see men in their 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, and recognize them as veterans. But that title isn’t limited to old men. Young men and women continue to come home destroyed by things they’ve seen in conflict. They all bear scars. We see the physical ones. Some of those scars are in place of limbs. Some are completely debilitating. We don’t see the mental ones. The soul-crushing ones. The ones tattooed inside their eyelids that visit them when they try to sleep.

We need to turn the spotlight on the real heroes. Not the people in Hollywood. Not the men on the gridiron. Those people get paid to do what they love. The true heroes made a sacrifice, and often many sacrifices, to keep our country free.

From the depths of my heart, thank you to all who served.

Brainwashing of the Innocent and Naive

If you are not following Insane in the Mom-Brain on Facebook, stop right now and go over to Facebook and follow her. While you are there, read her latest post about the church she went to as a child. I’ll wait.

Welcome back. Now I’ll tell you my story.

When I was a little kid, we were dropped off for Sunday School every week so mom could go back home and sleep off her hangover. Then she went to a Billy Graham Crusade (if you remember them, say Hallelujah!) and got all saintly and shit. From then on we had to go to church on Sunday morning, evening, and Wednesday night. That church didn’t suck too bad, except for the obligatory church summer camp that had none of the good stuff of a real summer camp, except I did get to make a macaroni necklace once. That’s when I discovered that raw pasta is nice and crunchy. Of course, years later I found out it’s not really good for you, but by then I could afford to buy my own potato chips.

I was so afraid of committing The Unforgivable Sin, because I didn’t know what it was, so there was a chance I could do it accidentally and end up in Hell, which WASN’T REALLY MY FAULT if nobody told me, right? That’s when I decided God was just as big an asshole as my stepfather, without all the actual abuse.

And then someone said The Unforgivable Sin was blasphemy, and I wasn’t sure if that was swearing, or if it was something worse because again NOBODY EXPLAINED EXACTLY WHAT IT WAS. It’s kind of like going to a foreign country, breaking one of their stupid laws, and ending up in prison for the rest of your life, which could have avoided it if someone would have just told you it’s a crime to eat cheese on Sunday.

I was also afraid of being possessed by a demon, but then I saw the Exorcist, which convinced me that only Catholics get possessed, so that calmed me down a bit.

When I was 13, we moved (in a very stealthy way so our Dad didn’t know where we went, but that’s a whole ‘nother story of abuse) and Mom started dragging us to a Pentecostal church just as crazy as the one she describes. People would shout “Amen” and “Hallelujah” and all kinds of stuff while the preacher would be speaking so passionately they’d be spitting all over the damn place, and by the end of the service, had practically no voice at all. There was dancing and screaming, speaking in tongues, and laying on of hands. And lots of prayer. Loud praying. Totally freaky shit.

I tried to fit in. I really did. But I just couldn’t take it all too seriously. Probably why I was sent away for awhile to join my Aunt & Uncle at their Moonie-light church. Mom must have thought they could strip me of the last of my stubborn self-identity. It didn’t work. At least there I got to play the tambourine, which if anyone asks is the extent of my musical talent.

Back home again, I eventually called bullshit enough times that I noped out of the whole thing entirely.

Thankfully, I was able to escape with minimal psychological scarring that only took several years and many hundreds of dollars of therapy to resolve. I’ve found my own small tribe of church refugees, and we’re doing just fine. Or going to Hell. I guess we’ll find out in the end.

We are all doomed

In an attempt to encourage/coerce/beg people to just give up and get vaccinated, pretty please, UCHealth linked to this article in the newsletter they sent me today.Delta variant

First, I must say I’m absolutely stunned that only 52% of Coloradoans are fully vaccinated. Being a very left-leaning, becoming more blue every day, let’s-be-another-California state, I thought the percentage would be much higher.

Although the title of the aforementioned article sounds positive, it’s filled with gloom and doom because they really, really want everyone to get vaccinated, and can’t keep doing million dollar giveaways forever:
If you’re older than 12 and haven’t been vaccinated, buckle up: The Delta variant is sweeping the planet. It is roughly 50% more contagious than the Alpha variant, which itself was roughly 50% more contagious than the “original” coronavirus strains. Multiply that out and we face a variant that spreads more than twice as easily as the coronavirus that burned around the world a year ago. To extend a baseball analogy, if the original coronavirus threw a 100 mph fastball, Alpha hits 150 mph and Delta 225 mph. That sort of competitive advantage is overwhelming.

So, here’s the skinny: Either get vaccinated, or when this virus reaches Gamma level, we’ll all be dead and the planet will be nothing but scorched earth.


Happy New Year!

Quoting Neil Gaiman here, because I couldn’t say it better.

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art – write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. May your coming year be a wonderful thing in which you dream both dangerously and outrageously.

I hope you will make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and you will be liked and you will have people to love and to like in return. And most importantly, because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now – I hope that you will, when you need to, be wise and that you will always be kind. And I hope that somewhere in the next year you surprise yourself.

If you’re as big a fan as I am, you’ll enjoy these Neil Gaiman short stories.

Happy New Year image


The coronavirus is everywhere, including here in Colorado. Although we are not to gather in large groups, our governor really likes to hear himself speak, so he has no problem with assembling the media hordes daily to make announcements and rehash what he’s been saying all along.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock decided the governor isn’t doing enough, so today he announced a stay-at-home decree, closing non-essential businesses and banning people from congregating in parks and other public places. Among the non-essential businesses: liquor stores and recreational marijuana shops.

In a panic, people dropped everything to rush to liquor stores and marijuana shops to get the essentials before hunkering down at home.

Long lines form outside liquor and marijuana stores

In order to keep the peace, in less than three hours, liquor stores and recreational dispensaries were removed from the non-essential list.

Mayor reverses order to close liquor stores and dispensaries

This is grassroots activism, Colorado-style. Because, here in Colorado, we gotta fight for the right to party in quarantine.