Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Thank You...Let's Start At The Beginning

First, I would like to say Thank You for all of your positive comments. It felt surprisingly good and was quite unexpected. Next I want to apologize for the font size. I’m afraid old habits die-hard. In my previous life as a Financial Analyst, I would often times be called upon by “Senior Management” (those are sarcastic “”’s) to put together large quantities of data. This would happen most of the time, with little or no notice and would now become my freakin’ emergency. After putting together said information on the metric Du jour, I would drop the font to 8 and resolution to 75%, fire the workbook off as printer friendly (Senior Mgmt. has trouble if not PF) and sit back at my desk giggling like a school girl. You have to picture a room full of grown ups hunched over the workbook grabbing glasses, magnifying lenses, rulers and whatever else to view this material. Then, before they could come running down the hall, I would head downstairs for a Latte or Chai grinning from ear to ear. So anyway it won’t happen again. I guess since I skipped the initial “about” post and jumped right up on my soapbox, maybe I should back it up and try to paint a picture of myself. A cyber fill in the blanks if you will…. I was born at Ft. Jackson in Columbia, SC in the Year of our Lord 1968. My father was an Army Infantryman who was headed to Vietnam. Let’s just say he didn’t make it to Nam and the marriage didn’t make it to 4 years. This doesn’t make me a military brat does it?? By the way, I’m of Scotch-Irish descent. After quite a bit of moving, my mother met the strongest, nicest, hardest working man I’ve ever know. He would become my stepfather. Oh yeah, did I mention I have a younger brother? More on him later…My stepfather was in his 30’s during the 70’s and decided to take on my mom, brother and me. That took courage and for all intents and purposes, this man molded me. Life was pretty good growing up. We lived in Columbia, SC and were decidedly middle-class. The only strange part was that during this time, both mom and pop were going through a hippie phase of sorts. It didn’t really bother my brother and I because we got to meet lots of really interesting “Aunts” and “Uncles” and everybody was generally happy and laughing. I always wondered what that smell was……….. During this time I developed a love of sports and books. Some of my fondest memories involve playing catch with pop when he came home from work and reading to my mom at the dinner table while she cooked. Bear in mind that my father was a Master Plumber and was working at the Savannah River Nuclear Plant at this time. He would leave the house at 4:00 AM everyday and wouldn’t get home until 7-8 PM. I’m sure the last thing he wanted to do was play catch. But you know what? He built a pitcher’s mound and backstop with lights so we wouldn’t have to worry about it being dark. I was always pretty good in school and didn’t really have to try too hard. A 70’s version of Ferris Bueller comes to mind. School was where I began to develop my smart-ass ways I believe. Trust me, it was easier to be a smart-ass at school than at home. We were never abused, but both mom and pop would bust your ass if you got out of line. Come to think of it, back then, every parent in the neighborhood had a sort of pro-forma right to bust your ass if you were acting up. Many times I received I whipping from a neighbor, was passed off to my mother for another whipping and was told to wait until my father got home for the Grand Finale beating. (We didn’t play catch on those nights) Hell, there was even a spanking room at my Middle School and Junior High. I bet that would go over like a fart in a Space Suit in today’s society. Which brings us to the question, does Corporal Punishment work? Talk amongst yourselves……… I would’ve given anything for “Time Out” back in the day. Ultimately I believe the whippings taught me respect and that there were always going to be consequences for my actions. I admit to not having kids but my nieces and nephews think I’m the best. That said, the kids in my family who get spankings are way better behaved than the non-spanking, time-out kids. Well, I think I’ll leave it at that for now. Spurs- Never raise your hands to your kids. It leaves your groin unprotected. --Red Buttons