Sometimes it is just dumb luck.

June 28, 2010 on 12:16 am | In Uncategorized | 33 Comments

I have heard the expression “Yeah but for the grace of god go I” but so I do not actually believe in divine intervention I guess I have to call it luck.

I was watching 60 Minutes and they were doing a story about Epilepsy and it made me realize how lucky I am. Epilepsy can be a devastating and debilitating illness that robs a person of a normal life. I was diagnosed with Epilepsy at the age of two after having a seizure while on vacation with my family in Niagara Falls.

My earliest memories are having to take four pills of phenobarbitol a day, every day. The medication controlled my seizures and as far as that goes I was lucky. The medication also made me a zombie throughout my childhood. I did poorly in school and even though I loved sports I was not very good at them. I even wet the bed late into childhood as I just could not wake up to go to the bathroom. It amazes me now that the adults in my life were unable to connect the dots from the medicine to my lethargic attitude.

Just before I graduated High School my guidance counselor gave me a box full of comments teachers had made about me through the years. I read things like I would always be just an average student and that I was lazy and would not finish my work. All of these teachers new I was taking medicine but I guess no one knew what it did to me. I guess I proved all of these people wrong, after I got off the pills.

When I was about 12 my EEG’s were normal and the doctors determined that I had outgrown the Epilepsy, it took another two years to get me off of the phenobarbitol. It was like flipping a switch, all of the sudden I became a good student and a better than average athlete. I graduated fairly high in my high school class and went on to college where I played football and was a pre-med major. Being as I was accepted to some pretty good schools and I started my freshman year in football I guess the lazy and average labels were a little incorrect.

Epilepsy still causes trouble for me today as I cannot get health insurance as this is still considered a pre-existing condition even though I outgrew it over thirty years ago. Of course this is nothing compared to the trouble it would be causing me today had I not outgrown it. I make a point to listen to or read what I can about Epilepsy and the things that can happen to people with Epilepsy is just plain scary.

In the 60 Minutes piece they mentioned that as many people die each year from Epilepsy as they do Breast Cancer and that Breast Cancer Research gets much more funding. I believe they said five times the amount. I guess it has to do with everyone knows someone with cancer but people with Epilepsy often cannot function enough to be in the mainstream of life and remain hidden. I do not do this very often but 60 Minutes mentioned an organization and I looked up their web site and would like to post it here. I have gone on this site and as of yet I have not gotten any viruses so it should be safe to click on this link so please do, Cure

Happy Father’s Day

June 20, 2010 on 2:32 pm | In Uncategorized | 62 Comments

Of course if you are not a Father then I guess this is just another day but for fathers this is a day that is pretty much just like any other day.

I have been a father for eighteen years now and I have not noticed a difference between this day and most other days of the year. Maybe that is because I really do not understand why we need special days to show we care about someone that should never doubt the way others feel about them.

I feel the same way about Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day etc. If people cannot show their love all year long it may be because their love is not true. My father and I never exchanged the words but the feeling was understood. The last few months of my father’s life it became stronger than it ever was. It was more than love, it was a respect and understanding that kept our relationship strong even after events strained and tested that relationship.

I went a couple of years not talking to my parents but when we were ready to resume the relationship it was as if we never grew apart. There were times that my father and I really got into some good arguments but when it was over we never held bad feelings towards one another.

My son’s mother and I split up when my son was still an infant and I was unable to see my son for several years. When I did get to see my son he did not know who I was and it was difficult to begin that father son relationship, but I am so very happy that we did.

The time I have spent with my son has been sporadic but it has always been quality time. The past few years my son comes down to Florida and works for me. I tell everyone it is so that he understands how hard his life will be if he drops out of college like his father. That is part of it but I want to pass on some of the work ethic that my father instilled within me.

Painting is a great trade to learn certain things that should benefit my son in his chosen profession. He is going to college as a chemistry major and this is a field where little details make a huge difference. There seem to be fewer painters that pay attention to details but I am a perfectionist at work and the small details are very important to me.

To date I believe my son and I have a great relationship. I wish we got to do more together but I know as he grows up the less I will be a part of his life. I just hope that the time we have spent together ensures that I will always be an influence on his life.

I do not need any gifts or sentiments to know my son loves me, I just know that it is true.

Did you know that today was a holiday?

June 4, 2010 on 4:26 pm | In Uncategorized | 27 Comments

Today (June 4) is National Doughnut Day, one of the most underappreciated hole-e-days (holidays) we have. The best way to celebrate this wonderful day is by going down to the local doughnut shop and getting a dozen of their finest.

In today’s world of diet and exercise the doughnut has become quite the villain. In my opinion this is just wrong. Doughnuts are the world’s most perfect food. I like them for breakfast with my morning cappuccino but they also go great as a late night snack with a cold beer.

There used to be a place in North Carolina that made the bestest doughnuts I have ever stuffed in my face. I swear they were made in heaven, they were so good. My brother used to work right next door and once a week when he had to unload the truck early in the morning the owner would come over with some fresh, hot doughnuts. My brother always was lucky like that.

The old man that owned that store sold it to some young lady and doughnuts have never tasted the same to me. In my travels I still stop at local mom and pop doughnut shops in search of the world’s most perfect food only to be disappointed even when they are very good but not quite good enough. There are some things that can never be as good as the memory of the way something was.

In America today we can go from one coast to the other and eat the same food at the same restaurants no matter what city we are in. Regional tastes seem to have gone by the wayside in this franchise world. In many ways this is great, we know what we are getting when we go to our favorite franchise no matter where it is. It is great that these franchises have taken regional flavors and taken them nationwide. We can get great North Carolina Bar-B-Que all over and Seafood far inland but it just isn’t quite the same. The flavors are toned down so as to not insult the palate of those not raised on the true flavors of the food genre.

It goes beyond just food, even the clothes we wear, the furniture we sit in and the houses we buy are all provided to us by franchises. We now all dress the same and eat the same and live the same as everybody else. Twenty some years ago when I first moved my Yankee Ass down South everyone knew I was from someplace else. Today, no one cares. At least I do not have to fight the Civil War every time I walk into a bar anymore but I kind of enjoyed those arguments.

Life will go on changing whether I like it or not. I just cannot make up my mind if the changes are good or bad. I guess they are both.

Who would have thought it?

June 4, 2010 on 12:36 am | In Uncategorized | 20 Comments

I was reading The Huffington Post earlier today and as it turns out Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) agrees with me about religion, sort of.

Sen. Hatch says that Republicans need to get the money flowing the way the gay community does for Democrats — though it helps, he said, that gay people aren’t distracted by things like religion. He then goes on to say, “Gays and lesbians don’t pay tithing, their religion is politics,”. Hatch was talking to 300 + people at Dixie State University Tuesday night, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

A few things that I would change about Mr. Hatch’s statements is that I do not like to refer to “gay people” I prefer people that are gay. We are all people first and any sub group we happen to be a part of is a secondary description of us.

For some people politics is the religion that they choose to participate in and some of these people are gay and some are not, the fact that these people may not tithe to a church does not mean they do not give money to worthy causes. Of course there are quite a few people that claim to be christians that do not give money to a church.

I guess the only thing I really agree with Mr. Hatch about is that a person’s religion does not have to be a belief in a god. I doubt there are very many things that Mr. Hatch and I would agree upon and I bet we will never get together to discuss our differences and that is a shame. I enjoy discussing religion and politics with opinionated people that lack the knowledge to back-up their opinions.

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