Who Am I and Why I’m Here

Who I Am and Why I’m Here

polarbearBear with me my “blends.” [blog friends] if you are still out there. At one time I think there were 50 of you. Those of you that have been my faithful followers know that in the past I have sworn off statistics. I may have to take back my swear and revisit those damn statistics.

And here is why:

I am going back to school.   Oops, maybe I shouldn’t have just thrown that out there. Some of you are thinking “OMG, she is really going to do it. She is selling her house in Dickinson, North Dakota (where it is currently 19 degrees Fahrenheit) and going to go to the University of Hawaii and get her degree in “Advanced Sun Tanning.”   [I would have to get the Advanced degree since my skin age is, well let’s just say over 50] To clarify my new education adventure; I am going back to school for Blogging. WordPress offers a free on-line course called Blogging 101. I am so excited!   I need something to kick start my Blog writing at this time. The “teacher” in me says. “If you get an assignment, you must do it.” The “old” in me says, “if you get a writing idea, you must first take a nap and think about it.”

Here is my first assignment: “Who I am and why I’m here”

With these two assignment questions in mind, I again ask my “blends” to bear with me. They already know who I am and why I write. So my dear friends, throughout the course of this course if any of the structured assignments result in boring, tedious, repetitive reading , please stop reading. Otherwise, feel free to read on. Blogging 101 is my own personal journal journey but you are welcome to come along for the ride.

 

Question One: Who I am

This is actually not a simple question.   I am assuming that at this time it is acceptable classroom etiquette to ask the teacher a question.   My question to this question is “Does anybody really know who they are?” I am Mickey Renner. Actually legally I am not Mickey Renner. Mickey Renner is the name I write under. It isn’t technically a pseudonym either because both of these names really do belong to me. When I was born my mother gave me a perfectly beautiful, feminine first name: Michelle.  .  My grandfather nicknamed me Mickey.  Nobody seems to have asked my grandfather why he gave me this nickname. I have a couple of my own theories.  Maybe my grandfather wanted another grandson even though he had lots already, so when I was born he nicknamed me Mickey. Or when I was born I looked like such a drowned rat he named me after the most famous Mouse ever. [Unfortunately I still have a few of those drowned rat features] Anyway,  the nickname stuck and I never was called Michelle.  Wait, I was called Michelle when I went to Catholic School and not having a saint name was sacrilegious.  After Vatican II, even the nuns conceded to my nickname. I know that my grandfather (God rest his soul) never considered that with this nickname I was doomed to receive countless numbers of “performance enhancing drug” offers in my e-mail each and every day. Some of these e-mails get past my junk mail filter. I am assuming that at this time it is acceptable classroom etiquette to ask my classmates a question. Here is my question: Should I take it as a bad sign if my first assignment e-mail ended up in the junk e-mail box?” I am somewhat superstitious . ( I got this from the same Grandfather) I got the first “kick off” email that introduced me to the Commons Community and the directives that the introduction directions and the first assignment would be appearing in a couple of hours.   Many, many hours later after not receiving either e-mail it finally occurred to me to check my junk email box. When I found the very important emails “junked” I thought that maybe this was a sign from the blogging gods that I should not be doing this. But here I am anyway.   I guess if smoke starts to pour out of my computer I will take the sign more seriously and “clog the blog” and become the first blogger dropout.

 

Question Two: Why am I here?
This question is easy.   I want to write. However, my self-discipline and self-motivation skills suck. I have 3 sisters and 4 brothers who can attest to this fact.   But I am also here for one other reason. I seriously want to brighten another person’s day by hopefully providing them with the opportunity to smile.  If my writing makes just one person smile or even laugh my heart is filled with happiness. My personal observation is that there is not one person on this planet that couldn’t use more humor or more happiness in the their life.

Thank you Word press for this opportunity to be a part of Blogging 101.

I hope my first assignment is Write on!

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Father’s Day 2015

Dear Dad:

On this Father’s Day I want to thank you for teaching me the rules to drive a car

And then by your example showing me the important life lessons they really are

Rule 1: Think to fasten your seat belt even if the distance you are traveling is short

Lesson: Think of the seat belt as angel wings wrapped around you for support

Rule 2: Choose the right key for the ignition, turn the key and listen for the engine to start

Lesson: Choose the key things in your life that ignite your purpose and bring joy to your heart

Rule 3: Check the dashboard lights for anything that my need attention

Lesson: Check in on your loved ones often, even the ones that cause you tension

Rule 4: Adjust the mirrors so that everything you need to see is in plain sight

Lesson: Adjust your attitude so that your life mirrors what is good and right

Rule 5: Note the gas gauge and if it indicates that you have enough fuel to get to your destination

Lesson: Note your gratitude gauge and never miss a chance to show your appreciation

Rule 6: Put the car gear in “D”rive, press slowly on the gas pedal and turn carefully onto the street

Lesson: Put drive into your life’s goals and don’t be afraid of any dips, bumps, or detours you might meet

There are many more ways you have taught me to navigate through life that I did not mention

And I bet you anything; you thought I wasn’t paying attention

Happy Father’s Day, Dad

Best Dad Ever [Thank you Jodi, for the perfect caption]

Best Dad Ever
[Thank you Jodi, for the perfect caption]

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i-Padders

i-Padders

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Who are these people and what are they doing?

These are my parents, Marie and Ted Renner.

They are playing on their i-pad

They belong to a new generation of i-Padders

(Parents Are Defining Different Entertainment Rules)

In October my mom announced that she wanted an i-Pad for her birthday. Woman to woman I would never reveal her real age but she was born during the Great Depression.  I was shocked when she asked for an i-Pad.  I didn’t even think she knew what one was.  But evidently all her friends have an i-Pad and she wanted one too.  I remember telling her that just because everyone else had one it didn’t mean she had to have one too.  But she argued that Lucy, Loretta, JoAnne, Jan, and Gisela all had an i-Pad and she was the only one in the whole group that didn’t have one. (Somehow the whole conversation sounded familiar)

All of us kids (there are 8 of us) chipped together to buy my mom and i-Pad for her birthday.

After she opened her gift and acted surprised my brother and I asked what she wanted to learn first on the i-Pad. Her answer was that she wanted to play slots.

MY BROTHER, JAYME:  “We bought you an expensive complex, computing system so you can play slots?”
MOM:  Yes, and you should be glad.  It isn’t real money.

ME:  And let’s keep it that way.  NEVER (do you hear me) NEVER put your credit card number into this machine no matter how nicely it asks you to or how many times it asks you.  Do you understand what I am saying?  This is important! (Again the conversation sounded familiar)

Thus, the “slots-fest” began and my dad even joined in.  At Christmas time my mom cornered each and every one of the grandchildren and asked them to download new slot games for her.  My parents are having the time of their life.   I confess, at first I was skeptical.  One day I called my mom to tell her about an incident that happened at work.  I was rambling on when I realized I heard clinging and clanging slot machine noises in the background.

ME: Mom are listening to me?

MOM:  Yes dear.

Me:  But you are playing on your i-Pad aren’t you?

MOM:  Yes, but I can do both.

ME:  Ok, what did I just tell you?

MOM:  You were whining about something.

ME:  That is just a guess.

MOM.  An easy guess, you are always whining about something.

ME:  Mom, could you please turn off that i-pad and listen to me.

MOM:  Not now dear, I just won 135 free spins and am only $200 away from your Dad’s all time record high of $19,350 dollars.  Can I call you back when it is your Dad’s turn to play on the i-Pad?  (Again, the whole conversation sounded so familiar)

I hung up the phone.  My first reaction was hurt and disappointment.  But then I thought about it for awhile.  Here are two people that grew up having to play with sticks, rocks, and little pieces of discarded twine.  That is if they had the chance to play at all.  My parents (like their friends) mostly worked hard all their life.  At a very young age they worked hard doing chores on the farm.  Then they had to work hard to provide for their own families.  They worked hard to provide us kids with food, clothing, shelter, and to put that one special toy under the Christmas tree that we wished for all year long.   No, this generation has earned the right to play.  And only this generation would have the ingenuity to take such a complicated device and turn it simply into a toy that brings them some joy.

I say i-Padders Unite!   Don’t let anyone (especially your kids) define your entertainment.  If free spins, bonus rounds and the clinking of imaginary coins collecting in your imaginary bank brings you the fun and happiness you so much deserve, I am all for it!

And truthfully, I much prefer you asking for a fifty dollar Apps gift card, then a condo in Florida where STD’s are running ramped among Senior Citizens.

To my mom, dad and all their friends I say:  Generation i-Padders, You Rule!

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I Meant

Hello all my blends! [Blog Friends]   Did you give up on me?  I apologize for the absence of new blog alerts showing up in your e-mail.

I would first like to thank each and every person who reads my blog.   A bloggers words are meaningless until someone reads them and they spark thoughts and emotions.  In my case I hope that my words bring you humor and happiness.  Two things I believe this world can use more of on any given day.  I would especially like to thank all of the wonderful people who have complimented me on the articles.  Your comments bring me happiness and encouragement.  Two things I believe any writer can use more of on any given day.

The last two months of 2013 I have been living a Lemony Snicket life: a serious of unfortunate events.  Let me just say:  airplane travel, anarchy, and antibiotics.  With 15 days into the New Year of 2014 I am still hanging on to new hopes.  Just for your information I let go of any resolutions I made for the New Year by 7:00 am on the 1st when I ate 2 chocolate sprinkle donuts and hot chocolate (not low fat ) for breakfast.  Those extra pounds I ate my way through the series of unfortunate events are here to stay.   One resolution I wish everyone would make and keep is t NOT to TEXT and DRIVE. I actually would prefer if people didn’t talk on their cell phones and drive, but that is now so common and out of control there is no turning the clock back on that one.  As you are driving to work or to exercise or to your morning coffee group just count the number of people on their cell phones that are driving.  I guess I have to be thankful that most of the people are just talking on their cell phones.  They could be talking on their cell phones, eating a breakfast burrito with their other hand, and steering their vehicle with one knee on snow packed, ice covered roads in the now famous Dickinson traffic.   But let’s get back to texting.  I personally do not text and drive because I can’t sit perfectly still at the table and pound out a coherent text message.  I am pathetic.  My whole family is learning to decipher a “Mickey-text”.  My son was home for Christmas and he was appalled that I was still punching out texts with my single right index finger. With the texts he has received from me he was positive that I was texting with my toes.

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Here is the conversation we had:

Nik:  Have you tried texting with your two thumbs?

Me:  Nik, I constantly hit the wrong letters with my one skinny index finger.  If  I use my 2 thumbs which are twice as fat as my finger, I  would have 4 times the errors or in my case basically gibberish.

Nik:   I hate to be the one to tell you mom, but most of your texts are gibberish. I have no choice but to practice tough-love texting on you.

Me:  What is that suppose to mean?

Nik:  From now on I will respond to your tests literally from what you typed instead of trying to decipher what you really meant to type.

Me: Geez isn’t that sort of over the top?

Nik : It may seem harsh, but mom it is for your own good.  How else are you ever going to learn to proof read before you hit send.  One of these times you may text something to your boss that could get you fired.

Me:   You are right.  My boss wasn’t very happy when I texted to everyone that she had a really good staff infection that she wanted to share with everyone.  I actually meant staff in-service.

Nik:  That is my point.  It doesn’t matter what you meant to send.  What counts is what is being read after you hit send.

Talk about role reversal .  I rolled my eyes and said, “Whatever”

Here are some of the snippets from my tough- love texting lessons:

Nik:  Mom, now would be a good time to tell me who my real father is.

Me:  What are you talking about?

Nik:  You just texted me and said I was the most wonderful “sin”

Me:  Son, Son, I meant, Son

Nik:  Mom, I have 150 test papers to grade, a business lunch meeting with the Business Fraternity, class from 3-7 and a 5 page reaction paper to write.  There is obviously no time for “lust” today and even if there was what in your wildest dreams makes you think I would tell you.

Me:  What are you talking about?

Nik”  You just texted me what is on your “lust” today?

Me:   List, List, I meant  List

Nik:  Goodnight mom, I guess some deciphering does have to be done with your texting skills.  You just wished me goodnight and sewer dreams.  As my mother I am guessing you were wishing me Ninja Turtle dreams and you aren’t wishing me to dredge up dreams of filth and stench.

Me:  Sweet dreams, Sweet dream, I meant Sweet dreams.

The next day I was totally frustrated with my dumb phone.  The time was 23 minutes off.  I texted my son.

Me:  My “Fri King” phone is 23 minutes off.  How can that be?

Nik:  “Fri King” What is a “Fri King”

Me:  Fricking, Fricking, I meant Fricking

Nik:  With the gibberish you send out over the cell towers your phone is probably being monitored by some KGB base in Siberia.

Me:  OMG.  Can they do that?   Are you “kicking” me

Nik:  No I am too far away to actually “kick” you.

Me:  Kidding, Kidding, I meant Kidding

Nik:  Seriously, maybe your phone is receiving signals from the Star Wars planet Naboo and any day now you might get a text from Jar Jar Binks.

Me:  Sin, U R  Fri King hilarious

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Beyond Be-Leaf

leavesleavesleaves

Ah, Autumn, that awesome time of the year.  Some people even proclaim Fall as their most favorite season.  They love the smell of cool, clean, crisp air as opposed to the dusty, dry, stale air of summer.  I have to agree it is pretty amazing that Mother Nature actually lets all the drab trees change into more blazing dresses of color.  Staying to the true nature of a mother, a mother that just has to retain that last bit of control, only reds, oranges, and yellows are allowed.  No blues, pinks, or periwinkles unless you are a tree in a Dr. Seuss book.  Sadly, the trees only get to show off their golden wardrobe additions for such a short time.  It seems overnight Mother Nature strips the trees down to their bare branches and the next morning the elegant leaves lay tattered and torn in a withered brown heap at their feet.  Those poor trees have to stand outside bare branched all winter long.  Man that is some harsh parenting skills.  If trees could talk, I think I would have gone into tree psychology.  There is bound to be some deep rooted problems out there.  Wait, my topic seems to be branching out on me.   What was I talking about?  Oh yeah, a lawn full of leaves that now become a problem I have to address. Because of Mother Nature my entire front lawn is an ocean of leaves.  But a special thanks to our City Father’s who passed an ordinance that allows the citizens of Dickinson to rake the leaves from their yards into the street.  This makes the whole fall raking leaves job a whole lot easier.  You can just grab one of them broom rakes and sweep all the leaves into the street.  Better yet, you can blow the leaves into the street with one of those neat leaf blowers. I actually got a really neat one this last summer at a garage sale.  But now, as I am looking at it in the back corner of my garage I realize it is too neat for me.  What I mean, is it is too complicated for me.  I see a handle that is attached to a cord which probably implies pulling the handle hard and fast in order to start a motor.  To me, motor means gas, which may or may not be a mixture with something else.  I am trying to remember what the guy at the garage sale said about the gas.  If I am remembering correctly he started up this fantastic leaf blower which was so loud it scared away all the small animals living on the east side of Dickinson.  Plus I didn’t hear another word he said about the gas or how to safely use this mean looking leaf blowing machine.  Now looking down at this complicated, dangerous, monstrosity, I wonder why I bought it in the first place.    Oh yeah, I remember he told me I would never again come across this much machine for such a small amount of money.  I stood staring at my deal-of-a-lifetime leaf blower playing out in my mind the Murphy’s Law scenario. Here is how that would go.  I would drag the leaf blower out onto the lawn.  I would pull the handle to start the motor but nothing would happen.  So then, I would pull the handle much harder and much faster three times in a row.  The fourth time the motor would spark, literally.  It wouldn’t start, but a spark would fly up and land on a whole pile of dry brown leaves.  It would take the flame about 2 seconds to find the path of gas I spilled when I drug the leaf blower out of the garage and onto the lawn.  It would ignite a path of fire across the lawn, into the garage to the spot where the blower was sitting next to the lawn mower.  I would hear the explosion before I could dial 9-1-1. Nope, me and Murphy and mixed gas and motors is just too risky.  I would have to use the broom rake, old fashion muscle power and later on plenty of Bengay.   Ah, then I remembered that my Dad had a much simpler leaf blower that you just plug in.  I drove over to my Dad’s and was thrilled to see that his leaf blower was light and uncomplicated.  I took it over to my house, plugged that baby in and started blowing leaves like the Old North Wind.  Truthfully, it was more work than that.  I had to laboriously and methodically blow rows and layers of leaves towards the street.  I never imagined my front yard being so immense.  I was knee deep in leaves, ready to blow them into the street when I realized the extension cord was just not quite long enough.  Lucky for me I had another longer cord in the garage.  I got the other cord and plugged it into the blower.  I pushed the “on” switch and nothing happened.  There was complete silence and no more air flowing out of the blower.  I looked back to the house to see if the plug fell out there, but it hadn’t.  I tried the “on” button five more times thinking that it just had to work.  I was just at the point of getting to blow a ton of leaves into the street.  I was so disappointed.  I so wanted the satisfaction of blowing a bunch of leaves into the street.   Plus I was calculating in my head how much a new leaf blower would cost and that doesn’t this always happen when you borrow something.  The worst thing was that now I had to use the broom rake to finish the job.   As I stomped back to the garage to get the rake, I noticed that I now had two extension cords lying out and a glimmer of hope passed through my mind.  Yup, you guessed it.  I plugged in the wrong extension cord!  With much joy and satisfaction I plugged in the correct cord and blew the leaves off my lawn and into the street.  However, it was late by the time I finished.  I knew that the chances of the city’s leaf vacuuming vehicle driving by before tomorrow morning was slim.  I begged Mother Nature not to blow up an East wind that night so that the next morning I wouldn’t have to see all the leaves blown back onto my lawn.  That would suck! Which by the way, I think my fancy garage sale leaf blower can “suck” up leaves too, but I don’t plan on finding out for sure any time soon.

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Veterans Day 2013

Veterans

November 11:   A Day of Patriotism and Honor

All the decisions and choices

That I will be allowed to make today

All the thoughts and ideas

That I want to share or say

All the prayers to the God of my choice

That I want to pray

All the words I want to write

That will not be changed in any way:

Will be because of all our enlisted soldiers

Who will be working tirelessly this day

To make sure these valued freedoms are here to stay

Just as the millions of military veterans before them

Sacrificed everything for the greater good of the USA

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you

For the dedication, courage and patriotism you always display,

And know that I honor each and everyone

On this special Nov. 11th  Veterans Day.

A Special Salute to my heroes:   Lt. Col. Theodore F. Renner USAF (Retired)

Master Sergeant Mary C. Mercado  USAF (Retired)

Sergeant Major Jodi R. Renner   Army National Guard (Active)

Please feel free to add in the comments section your loved ones who deserve special recognition today.

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Barkkin in the Bakken

Barkkin in the Bakken

 

There are so many issues of living in a Boom Town other than the obvious.  I feel obligated to inform the general public of these little annoyances.  I feel this way mostly because of the whole “misery loves company” aspect. When we think of the influx of people we don’t automatically think of the influx of dogs that they are bringing with them.  Many of the oil field workers have a dog to keep them company.  Because of the nature of their work every day is “bring your dog to work day.” All these dogs are BIG dogs.  I am talking about dogs that you could put a saddle on and the ones that when the let their tongues hang out of their mouth it is about the size of an elephant’s liver.  While their master is in buying groceries, Mr. Man’s BFF is hanging his head out of the window and his slobbering tongue is hanging out of his mouth.  All the while the dog is thinking, “Please, please, please buy me a package of hotdogs for lunch.”   Meanwhile a fair size pool of dog dribble is collecting in the parking lot. This is one of those subtle annoyances that we wouldn’t have thought about BTB [Before The Boom].  We would swing into the parking lot and jump out of the car with no worries.  Now it is highly important that before you step out of the car that you open the door and look before you leap.  You need to do a very thorough visual scan for tobacco spit, coughed up phlegm, upchucked chimichangas, puddles of dog drool or a dump of doggie do-do resulting from eating a whole pack of hot dogs for lunch.  The other day I was in the grocery store parking lot and sure enough there was a BIG dog waiting in a BIG white oilfield pickup.  This particular dog was not drooling out the window, but was actually sitting very stately on the driver’s side with a paw on the steering wheel. It was creepy how the dog was looking around as if he was studying the parking lot traffic.  When he caught me looking at him I swear his eyes told me that of course he was the designated driver and he winked at me.  I so wanted to march over to that pickup, stick my finger in that dog’s snout and tell him his BFF was inside the grocery store eating free brats and a banana split.  But I didn’t do that.  I would like to keep my pointer finger if at all possible. 

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Besides the BIG oilfield dogs there are also lots of families that have moved in with their cute little dogs.  In fact if I do some quick guesstamation math, Dickinson probably is home to 4000 additional pooches.  When I think of such statistics my next thought is that these precious pouches have to poop someplace and you can bet it is not in their own yard.  I would wager to guess they are doing their business in your yard.  If you don’t own a dog and you go to mow the lawn you don’t think to do a doggie doo-doo check.  After you blade through a couple of fresh canine clumps the whole lawn cutting chore turns into a crappy experience. 

Many years ago my ex and I were traveling from Germany to Davos Switzerland.  A couple hours into the trip I had to pee.  My ex told me we would stop at the very next rest area.  The very next rest area ended up being 3 hours away.  By the time we pulled in my eyeballs were floating and everything I saw had a yellow tinge to it.  I got out of the car and bolted to the restroom. I didn’t get very far when I noticed there was no building.

ME:  Hey, where is the building?

EX:  What building?

ME:  The one that would house the toilets.

EX:   This is a Bio-rest area. You just walk back into those bushes and squat.

ME:  You have to be kidding me.

EX:   Nope, the Europeans don’t kid about the ecology, especially if the Green Party is in power.

          Besides “IT” is all biodegradable.

ME:  Biodegradable my ass.  I can guarantee that anyone who was her 10 minutes ago and took a

        dump IT is still in its disgusting unbiodegradable form.

EX:  Yeah, you just have to pick your way carefully through the bushes watching where you

          step.  Oh and watch for Kleenexes.  They are usually a good sign that you maybe want to

           avoid that spot.

I tip toed around hundreds of Kleenexes until I found a spot where all of the Kleenexes were at least still white.  Not knowing any better I took my position a little too close to a huge leaf of some kind.  The leaf ended up acting as a deflector so I successfully soaked my right shoe and sock.  The whole experience was the most stressful, unrestful rest-stop I ever made in my life. Needless to say one shoe and one sock had to ride the rest of the way in the trunk of the car. Ironically, when we got to Davos we took a walk among some of the most gorgeous scenery in the world. 

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At first I didn’t notice but at one point I saw a woman with her dog pull something out of a little box mounted on a pole with a small garbage can attached. 

ME:  What is that lady doing?

EX:   She is taking a plastic bag.

ME:  Isn’t it against some law to take wild flowers and plant them back at home like it is in our

         National Parks?

EX:  The plastic bad isn’t for flower samples.  It is for cleaning up after her dog. 

ME:  You mean to say that there are stations that has everything you need to clean up after your

         dog, but your rest areas area an excrement mine field?

EX:  Yeah, it is only polite that people clean up after their dogs so other people don’t have to

         constantly watch their step but can confidently look around and enjoy the scenery.

ME:  I am impressed.  That is a great idea.  We should have those things in North Dakota so we

         could enjoy the scenery

EX:  What scenery?

ME:  Oh come on.  There are many beautiful areas of scenery in North Dakota.

EX:  Yeah, but a lot of the exceptionally nice trails are also the ones that people tend to ride their

         horses on.  If people are going to be cleaning up after their horses they are going to need

         one hell-of -a plastic bag.

ME:  Good point.  Besides we would still have to watch the ground for rattlesnakes. 

 

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Rooster At Large

When I wrote about Birds in the Bakken, I certainly did not have this in mind.  Driving into the mall parking lot this weekend this is what I saw:

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My garbage eating feathered fouls paled in comparison. Amidst all these dark, elegant, impressive and decorative lawn ornaments was this giant white rooster.  Talk about sticking out like a sore cockerel. Even the bright pink flamingos blended in better than this monster rooster.  I confess I laughed out loud.  If only I could have just laughed it off.  But I could not get this enormous rooster out of my mind.  Once I saw it, all these thoughts and questions kept tumbling through my mind.  Thoughts would lead to questions; questions would lead to answers; [some of which are not printable] and answers lead to more questions.

The first question of course was:

Who would want such a massive rooster as a lawn ornament?

I came up with two answers:

1)      Someone who’s religious beliefs involves worshiping a rooster deity that represents fertility and prosperity.

2)      Someone who really loves roosters A LOT.

Next question:

Who really loves roosters that much?

I had a difficult time coming up with an answer to this question.  I mean who doesn’t love baby chicks and mother hens.  Remember when you could get baby chicks in various Easter colors?  Seeing tiny blue, green, pink and purple chicks running around in a box was like watching a 3-D Easter Kaleidoscope.  It was a sight that thrilled and amazed young and old alike.  Any mother that is compared to a “mother hen” takes this as a compliment and a statement of endearment.  I cannot think of one endearing quality of a rooster.

First : Roosters are noisy and the noise they make is annoying.  They obviously don’t just crow when the sun comes up.  I think we can all safely say that we have heard a rooster crow and how many of us have been on a chicken farm at sunup. I have heard many roosters doe their “cock-a-doodle-do” thing. Speaking of which, who came up with the term “cock-a-doodle-do” and how does it really relate to the crowing of a rooster?  Unfortunately, I have a sneaky suspicion that the answer to this question is also unprintable.  But back to their crowing, you have to admit they are not quiet about it.  A person would think that all roosters had the lungs the size of an elephants.  Talk about the need to draw attention to themselves.  I think we are talking about some serious deep psychological issues here.

Second: Roosters just ooze of conceit. They strut around the farmyard and you know what they are thinking in that bird brain of theirs.  They want you to know how many hens are in their harem.  Not only that, all the hens are basically complaisant (they are chickens after all) and mostly quiet.  When a rooster looks at you with one eye you know he is asking if you are capable of establishing such a controlled female flock.  Obviously even Kody Brown from Sister Wives doesn’t have that sort of control. [Now that I think about it, maybe Kody would be one person in this world in the market for a Rooster lawn ornament of that size.]

Plus, I think that besides God, only a rooster knows which came first: the chicken or the egg.

Third: Roosters are so aggressive.  Yeah, I get the whole protecting their flock thing and that is commendable.  But I am talking about the deeper aggression issues that go way beyond your average angry bird.  I am talking about the existence of a multi-billion dollar gaming industry of cockfighting that exists all around the world.  One would think that a rooster with that many hens at his controllable disposal would be mellower or at least more tired

As my thoughts of giant rooster continue I realize I must put aside my prejudices. My thoughts have led me to the realization that roosters are pretty darn important.  Without roosters there would be no baby chicks. Without baby chicks there would be no hens.  Without hens there would be no eggs.  And really, what would life be like with no eggs.  I personally cannot imagine breakfast without eggs-over-easy, omelets or French toast.  What would 1.34 billion people in China eat for lunch if there wasn’t any egg drop soup?  Personally, I shudder to think of a life without cake, cookies, and caramel rolls.  And just one more “food for thought;” where would Buddy, the Cake Boss be without eggs?  Not vacationing in Italy that is for sure.

I will be beyond surprised if I drive by the mall parking lot and the colossal rooster is gone.

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Birds in The Bakken

With the Boom in the Bakken, one comes to expect the obvious growing pains.  There is the pain of waiting through 3 red lights because of all the traffic and road construction. There is the pain of waiting 30 minutes in the slow line at the fast food restaurants.  The pain your pocket book suffers as the cost of everything climbs by dimes from week to week.  It is a sad day when a hundred dollars worth of groceries fits in one bag. But besides the obvious there are other subtle changes that might be disturbing to some people.  One change that I have noticed that disturbs me is the influx of birds.  I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but in my opinion I think the bird population has grown directly proportional with the people population.  Okay, so maybe more birds isn’t a big of a problem as 10% inflation every week, but the birds bother me.  Personally I don’t trust birds.  I haven’t trusted them since my cousin Patty took me to see Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds in the theater when I was a kid.  Mr. Hitchcock would be glad to know I was scared out of my mind.  I remember when I heard on the news about the birds that mysteriously fell dead out of the sky.  Even after all those years my first thought was, “That’s what you dumb birds get for chasing and attacking innocent little girls running home from  school.”  But let me say more about the trust issue.  You can’t trust birds because you can’t look into their eyes and see trust like you can with a puppy, a baby deer or a koala bar.  I think the problem is you can’t look into both of the bird’s eyes at the same time. The whole way they have to jerk their heads sideways to look at you with one eye is creepy.  I always wonder what the other eye on the other side of their head is looking at.  It is probably scooping out the perfect tree branch for them to perch themselves on so they can crap on your head. 

If there are indeed more birds taking up residence in Dickinson than ever before, I know why.  The birds have sent communications through their migration lines that there is tons of food up here in Dickinson to eat.  I personally have not seen the signs, but somewhere there must be signs posted that say:

            “This parking lot may also be used as a garbage dump”

Finding a parking spot at Walmart involves trying to find one that isn’t littered with French fries, hamburgers that have been driven over and puddles of the remains of a sticky chocolate shake.  And that is just for starters.  There are apple cores, banana peels, grapes that have been stepped on, and the top leaves from whole pineapples.  There are crumbs from every flavor of potato chips imaginable, Doritos, Fritos, and Cheetos.  The rest of the food groups can be found in the remains of a wide variety of sub sandwiches with the works.  I have to admit that I have watched birds peck at the remains of a burrito and wondered if later in the day the jalapeño peppers have given them extra propulsion as they fly to the next parking lot looking for supper. If there happens to be any angry birds looking to support bad habits there is enough chewing tobacco, cigarette butts and spilled beer to supply more than one fraternal organization.  Sadly it is not just the parking lots either.  I have driven down 8th Avenue West when I have had to dodge discarded take out boxes, plastic bottles of Gatorade, broken glass beer bottles and large cups from every fast food chain that exists in Dickinson.  Once I couldn’t avoid driving over a slice of pizza because of oncoming traffic.  When I got to work I had to pick pepperonis out of my left front tire. 

   But let’s get back to birds and the fact that they can fly.   Why is it that stupid birds get the privilege of being able to fly?  Ever since man came into existence and saw a bird take flight and soar so gracefully over the earth he has thought to himself; “I want to be able to do that.”  From that day on man made it his mission to conquer the skies until air flight became a reality.  But where has it really gotten us?  I will tell you.  It has gotten us strip searches, 5 free peanuts, $6.00 apples and hundreds of thousands of incubators for…..you guessed it……Bird Flu.  

Image

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Photomurphyism

Good morning all my wonderful Blends.[Blog Friends}

“You all” [see this is what happens when every other person you wait on at the library is from the South and every out of state license plate is Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Georgia] Let me start over.

All my readers know my close, crass, and convoluted relationship with Murphy.  [From Murphy’s Law]  Fortunately the guy is invisible.  Otherwise I would be waiting for my court date for an Assault and Battery charges.  Last week Tuesday I woke up.  You know how when you wake up you have to try and think what day it is? Remember you are trying to do this in a sleep stupor.  It took me awhile to realize it was a day to get up and go to work.  Since my alarm hadn’t gone off I figured I had more time to sleep.  I glanced at the clock to see how much more time I had to sleep before I had to get up and get ready for work. This is what I saw:

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I jumped out of bed as fast as possible.  I have to be to work by 8:00 am.  [BTW this is the infamous alarm clock that Murphy made me step on last summer, break a foot bone, wear a cast for two months, stumble around with crutches for 3 months and a wear a boot for 4 months.]   I don’t even have to ask myself why the alarm didn’t go off.  Murphy changes my wake up time from am to pm while I am sleeping.  He knows I am an even easier target when I am in a huge panic trying to get ready for work.  So now the rush is on. I only have time to splash some water on my face.  I go to grab a towel from the linen closet and this is what happens:

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I actually keep the Swiffer mop propped up in the other corner of the closet by the door.  Murphy likes to put it her next to the towels.  It isn’t hard to remove my thumb and reach over the mop to get a towel.  It is just so irritating and takes extra precious seconds that I don’t have.  Meanwhile, I am imaging Murphy patting himself on the back for coming up with such creative ideas to simply annoy me.  It is a good thing that I set out my clothes the night before, so I can easily grab them and get dressed in record time.  It is a bad thing that Murphy put a spot of grease on the butt side of my pants.  I swear the spot was not there the night before.  You may wonder how I knew it was even there.  To be truthful, out of habit I do the Tinkerbell thing.  Not that I stand on a mirror, but I do twist myself around in front of the mirror to see if my butt looks fat.

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So now with precious little time left I have to find a new outfit to wear.  This drives me absolutely crazy.  Even so I know Murphy can be on the prowl while I sleep I never have in mind a second set of clothes.  In the evening when I decide what I am going to wear the next day I consider that decision done and over with and is not something I have to deal with in the morning.  Having to pick out a new outfit totally throws me off.  It doesn’t matter what I pull out of the closet.  It wasn’t what I had picked out in the first place, so nothing I pick out satisfies me because I wanted to wear what I picked out. I resent Murphy for forcing me to make a different decision.  Eventually my time is up and I have to go with whatever I had on when I realize how late it is getting.  Usually I end up with an outfit that makes me look frumpy and my butt look fat.  I don’t know about you but I can’t do my best at work when I feel like a frumpazoid with a fat butt.   Plus this is what I have to come home to after a long fumpy, grumpy day at work:

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I don’t even think I need to tell you that it is going to be an extremely bad hair day.  Here is where the mousse ends up:

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And here is me stepping into it, of course.

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The last thing I do before I leave for work is pee.  That is something I brought with me from my childhood.  Not that there is any rationality to the action.  It takes me about 7 minutes to get to work and we have a really nice and always spotless bathroom.  However, it is ingrained in my mind and in my routine.  So I need to make one more trip to the bathroom before I go.  I really thought Murphy by now went to bug someone else getting ready for work.  But as if I would be so lucky.   I walked into the bathroom with my shoes untied since I didn’t have time to tie them yet and this is what happened:

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What are the chances of a shoelace getting caught under the door?  Of course in my rush I didn’t realize this happened.  When I tried to more my stuck foot my shoe stayed put and I fell to the floor.  Good thing I landed on a soft pile of clothes.  My knee did land on that hanger and that really hurt.  I so would have kicked Murphy if he was visible.   As I limped to the toilet, I noticed that I hadn’t  put my earrings on as they are still setting on the bathroom counter.  Certainly I can put earrings on while I am on the pot.  That thinking was over optimism Murphyism  While attempting to put on my earrings one earring feel into my pants.

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Did the earring catch on my underwear? Of course it didn’t.  It fell all the way down my pant leg.  Did it fall out of my pant leg?  Of course not.  I was wearing skinny jeans and the earring was stuck somewhere in the middle area of my calf.  This means I had to take off one shoe [Remember the other one is still stuck under the door] and take off my pants to retrieve the earring.  At this point I call my boss and apologize that I am going to be at least 10 minutes late for work.  I simply tell her my alarm clock failed to go off.  I have the most understanding boss in the world.  She simply thanked me for letting her know and that such things happen to all of us.  I didn’t tell her that I was being terrorized by Murphy for the last half hour.  Who would believe that?

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