An Interesting Weekend

Well, I had an interesting weekend.

 Perhaps “interesting” is too strong a word, here.  A lot of people think their lives are interesting, and I certainly don’t think other people find my life interesting.  But I’ll relate the events of Saturday evening anyhow.

 For the protection (and enjoyment) of those involved, I’m only going to use first initials.  You know who you are.

 Saturday: About 11:00 PM

 As is usual for a Saturday, I found myself sitting at one of my favorite places of business (a gaming store) playing cards.  The store is regularly open until midnight or later, so this in itself isn’t anything unusual.  Anyhow, I was hanging out with D, S, M, M2 and B.  We were playing cards and talking about things in general when M and S decided they wanted to head over to the local Sonic for some food.

 About 10 minutes later, they returned, saying that some kids were on the side of the building, and when M and S pulled up, they hid something and took off.  When I say “take off” it means they went back to the hookah lounge located in the same building as the gaming store.  So D and B go outside with S and M, and return a moment later with a small baggie of weed. (Pot, Dope, Weed, Mary Jane)  D says he found it under a rock around the side of the building where the kids were.

 As he’s explaining this, four of the kids from the hookah lounge next door walk by the front door around to the side of the building.  D, B, S and I go out, and I shine my flashlight on them, saying that they can’t be back there.  This is mostly because the landlord rents out an apartment in the back of the building, and the side alley is off limits.  The second reason we don’t want anyone back there is the excuse they use:

 “Oh, we didn’t know, we had to take a leak.”

 Wow!  Is that the best excuse he could use?  Actually, it was an accurate description of the activities of one of the four, because he was “taking a leak” on the side of the building.  He zipped up and the four of them began walking back to the hookah lounge.  I told them not to go back there anymore, and when S told me that one of the boys was the one who hid the stuff, I called out, “and if you’re gonna hide your weed, hide it on the other side of the building.”

 Uh-oh, the cat was out of the bag.  The four of them looked back, knowing we had found their little stash.

 At this point, it was very late, and M left.  He had half an hour drive to get home and had been up since before 6:00 that morning.  So that left me there with M2, S, B and D.

 We went back into the game shop, and D was wondering what we should do with it.  I said, “Throw it on the roof.”  Then there was the idea of flushing it down the toilet.  The last idea was probably the best.  D called the non-emergency police number.

 Shortly thereafter, a police cruiser arrived and the police officer walked straight into the hookah lounge.  I want to say that this was the FIRST TIME in three years of being at that location that the game store has asked for the police to come.  Why did they go into the hookah lounge?  Probably because they make stops there 2 or 3 times a week, at least.  Personally, I’ve watched ambulances haul away overdoses twice now.  I didn’t know you could overdose on “hookah.”  I guess it depends on what you put in your pipe.

 Anyhow, the officer goes into the hookah lounge, then returns to his car, sits there for a few minutes, and leaves.  We sat there confused as to why the officer didn’t come to US.  Good thing we weren’t being robbed.  So D calls the dispatch back, explaining that an officer just showed up next door, and asked if that was the one who had been dispatched for the call he had made about 10 minutes earlier.  Several minutes later, the officer returned.

 The bag of weed remained on the table by the door, in plain sight.  D shows it to the officer, who checks it, determines that it is weed, and asks to see where it was found.  D and the officer go out and the officer looks around for a few minutes, finally finding a backpack.  Upon opening the backpack, there are even more baggies, with lots of drugs in them.  The officer took all of the drugs, left the backpack, and went back to his car.  He then left, driving by every few minutes hoping to catch the owner trying to collect his things.

 After about 10 minutes, the officer stopped driving by.  That’s when the kid goes over to collect his backpack.  B steps outside as the kid grabs the backpack and runs down the street with it.  B comes back in and tells us the kid took off.  As he is telling us about the kid taking off, the kid (having realized there wasn’t anything left in the backpack) comes walking back by the front of the shop.

 He apparently went back to the hookah lounge to discuss the matters with his friends.  They may not have believed them, because first 4 of them walked by the door, then a few more, followed by still more, and then a few more… S counted 15 in all.

 So 15 kids (I call them kids because they ranged from 16 to 22 or so) all walk around the side of the building, then come back to the front, where they stand directly in front of the doors to the game shop.  One kid right in the middle decides that flipping us the bird is a good idea.  We all laughed.  The rest of the gang behind him, he got a bit of courage and made an angry face.  I just sat in my chair and pointed upward and to the corner, telling them to smile.  In unison, the kids turned and stared directly into the security camera.  Bird flipper decided he needed to have one on record, so he flipped a bird to the camera too.

 By now, the mob mentality had begun to take over, as there were 15 of them outside the front doors, and only 5 of us in the game store that they could see.  With 3 to one odds, and no way to get to us because of the locked door, they were growing increasingly more brave.  That’s when it happened.

 One of the kids decided to rattle the doors, trying to intimidate us no doubt, and found that the door WASN’T locked.  He immediately released the door and it closed, with his eyes growing wide and him taking a step back.

 So now it was 15 kids outside the game shop, the 5 of us inside laughing, and an unlocked door between us.  The kids didn’t know what to do.  They didn’t have a good excuse for NOT coming in and teaching us a lesson any more!

 Perhaps it was lucky for them that the manager of the hookah lounge came out and told them to get back into the hookah lounge or leave, since he didn’t want any trouble.  (Apparently the “Fund-Raising” Rave they threw a few weeks ago was still fresh in his mind, when the owner found the “Fund-Raisee” sitting in his vehicle snorting some fresh white powder, and cancelled the “Fund-Raiser.” Which, coincidentally, was for the organizer of the event.  I guess coke is an expensive habit after all.)

 We waited around for another half hour, until about midnight, and left.  D, M2 and I left last, making sure nobody from the hookah lounge followed anybody.  B gave S a ride home, and we watched as they drove off, then maybe 10 minutes later, we left.  We drove by several minutes later, making sure the store wasn’t under assault, but found that the hookah lounge had closed up for the night.

 Interesting?  Not really.  Funny, oh yes!  The youngest in our group was S, who’s comment of the evening was along the lines of, “I don’t fight, but I can run really fast and hide really well.”  M2 thought the evening was probably a bit more exciting than he liked, but he laughed with us when it was all over.

 If there are any young kids out there reading this, I want you to know something about us older guys. (I’m in my mid 40s, I’m not exactly old, and D is in his late 30s, but we’re older than you.)  There were 15 kids outside our door that night who came pretty close to learning one very important thing:

 Before you pick a fight with an old guy, make sure he wants to fight, because if he doesn’t, he’ll just kill you.

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Reposted from Old Blog: March 26th, 2011

I don’t want my first post to be awe inspiring. Personally, I’m not the awe inspiring kind of guy.

I am Dan, who is Dan, of being Dan. That’s what I’m good at.

People in general, I believe, are very good at being who they are. Not so good at being something or someone they are not. So I’m not going to try to be awe inspiring. I’m going to do what I do best. I’m going to be me.

I get a kick out of reading people’s “deep thoughts” about how they are going to stop dreaming about the future, and start taking control of their lives, and blah blah blah.

Nothing wrong with dreaming. Just do it while you’re asleep, that’s all.

As for being in control, you’re already there. The band RUSH says it well in Freewill, “If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice.”

Now before I get all “deep” and “meaningful” I’m going to finish eating my pizza before it gets cold, then get back to cleaning out the garage.

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Reposted from Old Blog: March 28th, 2011

Howdy again,

I’m sitting behind the desk of the karate school where I teach. My kids are getting ready for class to start. My 4 year old has managed to get her gi full of mud and pizza sauce.

If you leave a 4 year old alone for more than a few seconds, they seem to find the messiest thing around, or the wettest thing around, and take advantage of their unmonitored status. Sad part is my 4 year old is a girl. Not a tomboy girl, but a girlie girl. She plays princess and plays with dolls. She has tea parties.

She also has a knack for getting messy. She takes after me in that respect. She hasn’t quite mastered the art of making a mess just by thinking of doing something yet, but some day, I’m sure she’ll be as good as me.

Now I’m going to clean up the mess I’ve made here while typing, and help my wife with her karate practice.

I hope I don’t make a mess out of it.

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Reposted from Old Blog: April 8th, 2011

It’s Friday.

That means it’s time to put your work away and get ready for the weekend. Break out the cards and beer and invite your friends over for poker night. Sleep late and go crazy.

Or not.

Crazy is a relative term. Most of my relatives are crazy. I figure that with so many of them being crazy, the odds of me being crazy are astronomically low. Then again, the nuts don’t fall far from the tree, right?

I could be like my brother, who spends his free time turning over rocks looking for bugs and spiders. (Any creepy crawly will do, so long as he has fun identifying it.) And I’ve seen his kids right there with him. I have a video of his oldest with a snail crawling across his face. That isn’t a quick journey, by any means, but it crawls from one side of the kids face to the other, right under his nose.

I could be like my sister and her husband, who have 2 horses and 4 dogs and 8 cats and an ungodly number of turtles (all with names, no less) who spend their weekends doing who knows what but with that many animals (pets?) I can’t imagine there is much time for anything else.

I have a cat. Actually, my wife and I have a cat, because we got it after we got married. The cat’s name is Raven. Raven Underfoot actually. She got that name because she was always there, and not because I read “The Hobbit” too many times.

Of course, we only have the one pet, so we have times for other things. That’s why we have two kids. And my kids, being 6 and 4 years old, already understand the concept of weekend. To them, it’s a time when they can watch some of their DVDs. They really don’t get to watch them during the week.

Of course, I could be crazy like my other brother and not even have a TV. He lives in the middle of nowhere on a 20 acre “farm” in Missouri. I’m pretty sure if he had a TV, he would have an old 12” black and white screen that only picked up Andy Griffith reruns. No TV, but he has high speed internet. I think that’s so he can post anti-government and anti-latest-cause material on Facebook in as little time as possible.

Me, I don’t have a cause. I’m just teaching my kids to be responsible (as best I can, with my wife’s help) and trying to explain to them that punching and kicking other children isn’t acceptable unless the other children are trying to punch and kick you.

And isn’t that what life is all about? Passing your own unique brand of crazy on to your kids?

So have a great weekend everybody, and perpetuate the insanity. Bro, have a great time looking for creepy crawlies this weekend. Sis, count your turtles before any more hatch. Other bro, well, you probably don’t read my blog anyhow, so post some more stuff about the government.

I’m going to enjoy the weekend the same way I enjoy most weekends, by doing what I do the rest of the week, and taking a little extra time to sit with my crazy kids and watch the latest Disney movie or Barbie movie one more time. That, and maybe read “Horton Hatches the Egg” again.

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Reposted from Old Blog: April 14th, 2011

I just got a telephone call from Sandia National Labs Federal Credit Union. More accurately, I got a call from their computer. Even more accurately, I got a call from somebody else’s computer pretending to be S.N.L.F.C.U.

Apparently, my credit card account had to be suspended for some reason, and in order to unlock the account, I had to verify that I am who I think I am by entering my account number and PIN.

So, here I am, without access to my credit card account, because I have no idea what my account number is, and I don’t believe I ever got my PIN.

Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned the BEST part! The computer spoke in the old Sound Blaster Dr. SBAITSO cheesy computer sounding voice. You know, the one from that movie, “War Games.”

Seems to me, if they really want me to give them my account number and PIN, they should get a live person to call me. Or at least record a live person and have the computer use that to call me.

I can’t help but wonder if ANYBODY falls for this. I get calls like this probably twice a month. I apparently have accounts in several banks, some of which don’t even exist. “The Bank of Sandia National America Credit Union?” Can you imagine THOSE checks?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to e-mail all of my REAL account information to the Federal Ministry of Finance in Lagos-Nigeria. It says that some criminals have stolen large amounts of money from me, and that they have been caught and are in jail. All that remains is for me to give them the account information and they will return the $3,500,000,000 to me. Who knew I was that rich?

Now where is that “send” button???

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