Ten Years of Nonsense


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Ten years. That’s how long I’ve been dumping my brain droppings onto the Interwebs with this here blog.

And through it all, The Blog Formerly Known As SickSenseOfHumor.net has seen its share of cosmetic changes yet one thing remains the same, at least for the most part: the content.

Yes, I started off rather brash with my opinion of local television coverage of wildfires. And for what it’s worth, my opinion of the coverage has not changed. I still find it unnecessary.

I’ve also let it loose on a certain church founder who believed that his church needed more money because attendance was down. Ahem.


Then for a long time, nothing of major significance happened – at least that I can recall off of the top of my head. Well, in 2013 tried to blog each and every day for a solid year and was pretty committed to it…
for 75 days at least.

I stopped there and took a little break. In fact, I even “retired” from blogging back in 2009.

It lasted two days.

tenThen, on a personal note, I decided that studying the way of the Buddha was probably the best thing for me since I won’t and still can’t commit myself to any one Christian belief. I did my best to keep that going and still dabble on occasion but figured that it’s just best to be good to people while you can. Buddhism can get complex if you’re not ready for it.

So as you can see, I’m like a bad penny: I always seem to come back, and I intend to keep it that way.

But enough about me. Let’s go over some blog stats.

  • Number of posts: 1,196 including this one. That’s an average of 119.6 every year or the equivalent of blogging around 1/3 of the year.
  • Total number of views: 105,583 as of this post. That’s pretty weak.
  • Best Day: 1,120 views. There is no link to the post as I deleted it once I felt that I had been duped on the information I was given, and by following links to the message board where my traffic was coming from that day. Let’s just say that it was on that day when I decided to trust my brother a little less on, well, everything he says.
  • Facebook followers: 20. Again, pretty lame.
  • Other followers and subscribers: 244 via WordPress and some more on Gravatar. I have no idea how to check.
  • Total comments: 1,429 and most of them are me replying to people.

So there you go. Ten years of blogging in the books. And yes, I intend to keep it going for however long I think I need to.

And now, if you don’t mind, it’s time to celebrate the only way us old(er) people know how.

Goodnight. I’m heading over to my Barcalounger and catching some zees.

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Twenty Years Ago


180924_495738254117_7000895_nAh, 1993. Grunge was slowly taking over the airwaves, Prince made a huge marketing blunder my changing his name to a symbol and most importantly, I meet a then-teenager by the name of Ann.

She sort of came out of nowhere when I think about it. While driving home from work, I happened to come across Bonnie, the mom of an old friend by the name of Bill who had moved away a few years earlier. In his haste, Bill departed without much fanfare and didn’t call me with his new contact info. He was pretty much gone without a trace as was Bonnie.

But I wanted to stay in touch with him so seeing Bonnie zooming down the street, I followed her burgundy VW Beetle with the white paint spots on the hood (or trunk, if you please) to the next stop. Remember that this was a time before the Internet was commonplace and obviously way before social networking, which meant that getting in touch with that long, lost someone meant that you had to have a connection with one of their friends/relatives.

I pulled into the space next to her and called her name. Not knowing what to think after witnessing some stranger trail her into a parking lot, she was surprised to see me standing there smiling at her. We spoke for a few minutes and then she asked the following question.

“So are you seeing anybody?”

I was taken aback as it seemed like an unlikely question, especially coming from someone’s mom. I said I wasn’t and without hesitation, she spoke again.

“I’ve got the perfect girl for you. She works with me at House of Fabrics in the mall and her name is Ann. If you want, I can let her know you are interested and give you her phone number.”

“Uh…okay,” I said stupidly, not knowing what in the world was going on just yet. Rather sudden, I thought.

Note: In this whirlwind of a conversation, I never got Bill’s number from Bonnie. I did, however, recently contact him via LinkedIn and he didn’t seem interested in taking the conversation beyond his confirmation that he was who I had been looking for. Oh well. I guess his not giving me his number was intentional.

A few days later there was a message on my bed taken by Mom. It read “Ann 555-1212. Call after 3 pm.” And that’s exactly what I did.

While I don’t remember the nuances of our first conversation, I do know that Ann was every ounce a shy teenager but not quite introverted, if that makes any sense. We had arranged our first date that night: miniature golf at Golf N Stuff where The Karate Kid was filmed, and dinner at her restaurant of choice.

The date was awkward to say the least. I hadn’t been on the dating scene since, well, who knows when and my dates never amounted to anything other than the usual “Let’s be friends” ending at the end of the night on the front porch. But this one seemed different.

As we played our round of miniature golf, there were moments of affection: gentle hugging after a good shot, high-fives that led to hand-holding, the simply looking directly into each other’s eyes and having them dart the other way. Awkward, yes.

But something more, definitely.

At the end of our games, I asked Ann where she wanted to have dinner.

“We can just go to McDonald’s if you want to,” she said. And as I’ve told many, it was under the romantic glow of the Golden Arches that I knew I had made the right choice. (The McDonald’s we went to is down the street from Golf N Stuff and is the oldest operating location in the world.)

The dating continued for months – 6 in total. And then, while leaning against my red 1991 Nissan Sentra under a full moon in the driveway of her parent’s house, I asked for her hand in marriage.

The ring I gave her wasn’t fancy but she loved it – and said “yes.”

Within a month, we had made plans to go to Las Vegas and become a couple for life.

I arranged for the date of June 19, 1993 at 2:30 pm at the Silver Bell Wedding Chapel. Russ, a friend from high school whose parents were already living in Las Vegas, was the only witness to the event aside from the minister.

Before the ceremony, we had to go downtown to get a license which were being issued like hot Krispy Kreme doughnuts on a Sunday morning. I remember seeing men — more like teenagers — in uniform, standing with their girlfriends and blank looks on their faces as they waited in line. It was such a powerful moment because you know that these couples were taking the plunge right before deployment, with them not knowing if they would ever see each other again.

With license in hand, we went to the chapel. The ceremony was quick and all I can remember is standing there, looking through welled-up eyes at Ann’s smiling face and holding her hands, knowing that this was the woman I was promising to spend the rest of my life with.

By the way, what’s with men fainting at their wedding? I see it all the time on AFV was just wondering. Man, if you can’t handle it, don’t go through with it!

Sadly, the memories of the get-them-in-and-get-them-out ceremony are all we have: an audio recording of it has somehow gotten lost as have our original wedding certificate and license, and worst of all, the Silver Bell Wedding Chapel was destroyed in a fire about 10 years after we exchanged our vows. While it was in the process of being rebuilt, it caught fire again and was shelved altogether. And while Russ did take a few photos of us, finding them has been next to impossible.

Also memorable: seeing an Elvis impersonator and a showgirl enter the chapel after us. Whether they were getting married or were part of another ceremony was anyone’s guess but I do know this: only in Las Vegas…

We began a new life that day and since then, we’ve had our share of challenges, wonderful moments, ups and downs. I’m pretty sure we’ve endured sickness, health, better and worse. And despite it all, we’ve come through alright.

Then in 2004, after nearly 10 years of trying, the gift of a child was given to us and our roles as parents began. While a child definitely added to the stress of our daily lives, like everything else, we’ve pulled ourselves through and have discovered ways to get by.

Oh, and there’s also this: Ann and I have never fought. We may have disagreements but we have never raised our voices at each other, except perhaps when one couldn’t hear what the other one had said. Getting old will do that to you.

So after 20 years of wedded bliss, things are great. We have our health, a fantastic son who is as funny as he is smart (as well as one heck of a golfer), and it appears we finally have our finances in the best shape they’ve been in a very long time.

We are by no means The Cleavers nor do we have a white picket fence around our house, but what we do have is our commitment to each other and a houseful of love, a love that is as strong today as it was when we first looked into each other’s eyes and shared our first kiss.

Mushy, I know. But it’s something I’m very proud to share with anyone who listens. We’ve outlasted the marriages of many friends and relatives (sometimes two of theirs) as well as celebrities (not shocking). And it’s always a treat to brag about it, especially when we could potentially reach 60 years of marriage.

Granted, I’ll be 84 and Ann 79 by then but no matter what, she’ll always be my one love.

Happy Anniversary, Ann. Here’s to many, many more years of fun that can’t be measured.

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This song is one of my favorites. I want this played at our 25th anniversary. That or I will sing it and embarrass her 🙂

UPDATE: While cleaning in preparation for our garage sale, I found pictures from our wedding day. Here we are, age 19 and 25. Nothing has changed, eh?

wedding day

Blogging 365, Day 47: After 20 Years…


Come June, Ann and I will have been joined in wedded bliss for 20 years.

And up to now we’ve done just small things for our anniversary, like buying each other jewelry (for her) and watches (for me) since those are the things we enjoy the most*.

But this year we decided to go a bit further just for the sake of doing it.

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Anthony took this picture which is why I had to crop it so weird. Hey, he’s only 8.

That’s right. This year, since it’s the Big 2-0, we went ahead and traded in my Kia Rio for something a little bit bigger since we were concerned about everyone’s safety in the Rio and Ann’s Yaris, both small cars. We are now owners – fingers crossed that financing is approved** – of a 2013 Kia Optima and let me tell you, it’s quite an upgrade from the Rio.

This thing has power everything where the Rio had power nothing. The trunk is huge (space was also a concern with Ann’s Yaris) and it’s got the UOV Infotainment System which features Bluetooth, voice commands for radio, and even a backup camera.

Because you never know who or what you might run into.

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We can even stream music from any device with Bluetooth. Really nuts. And it drives and handles incredibly. We’re very happy with it and we’ve only had it for hours. In fact it was so new that it was still wrapped in the protective plastic wraps when we first saw it and it only had 5 miles on the odometer when we left the lot.

So there you go. Happy Anniversary to both of us.

Well, I must head off to bed. I plan on cycling tomorrow morning since my 30-mile bike tour through the streets of L.A. and Chinatown is next Saturday and I haven’t gone riding in a long time. I don’t want Saturday to be the first time I’ve been on a long ride, so tomorrow I’ll try to do at least 15 miles. Gotta get ready for this.

Oh, and I went to a fitness boot camp this morning at a local park. And not to toot my own horn or anything but this old guy not only kept up with the trainers but also left younger people in the dust. I’m a bit sore but the pride I got from it was well worth the effort.

I just hope I can walk tomorrow morning…

* I’m kind of out of my watch phase but Ann still likes her jewelry
** It’s never been a problem but it’s always a nervous time after you leave the dealership

5


Demuth-Figure5InGoldA few posts ago I wrote about a creepy-cool shirt I bought at the Marukai store, and that I would send the image to my buddy in Japan for a explanation of what it all means.

Never being the one to disappoint (for the most part), I thought I’d share what the shirt says with all of you. Here is what he told me:

Well, your shirt is a parody of a temple in Nikko.

Basically, it’s word-play as Japanese has few phonetics compared to most languages. Miwazu, kikazu, Iwazu equates to don’t look, don’t listen, don’t speak AKA hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil y’know. So instead of miwazu it becomes mizaru and saru/zaru is monkey hence the word-play in the zu and za. I guess the last one if funny because ‘touch’ in Japanese is sawaru and if you take out the middle sound, you get saru… (my girlfriend) liked it so I guess it’s safe.

So, um…yeah, there you go. I think that makes me feel slightly better about wearing the shirt in public, which I did today and didn’t have anybody pointing and either laughing or beating my ass to a bloody pulp.

This brings us full circle for you see, this friend of mine was the first one to leave a comment on my first post at my old blog over 5 years ago. The only problem with all of this is that for some reason, I thought today was the anniversary of my first blog post. Well, as you can tell by the date of my first post, I’m a little late.

So at any rate, here’s to 5 years of blogging at this URL and my former, sicksenseofhumor.net. It’s been fun and I don’t see any reason to quit any time soon. You all have been a blast and I always enjoy hearing from you. Hope you stick around 🙂

The thumbnail image is Charles Demuth’s “The Figure 5 In Gold” which is one of my favorite pieces of art and the reason I chose it for this post. The background image for the new banner is an image I took this last 4th of July. I just thought it looked cool, so there.

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Now playing: Eddie Boyd – Five Long Years
via FoxyTunes

It Started Today


July 16, 2004 was a day much like today, save for the fact that I was 35 and Anthony was still in diapers. Oh, and I was about 80 pounds heavier and had more hair.

The summer sun shone brightly and the weather was just right. Well, it was right for those of us that live in the city.

For those few that call the mountains and hills their home, it was the middle of the so-called “fire season,” a time when the media whips up their usual pointless frenzy and begins to report on what the fires are doing.

And as is always the case, the fires were burning. Duh. Fire Watch 2004 had begun!

So it was at that point I decided to do two things: first, I needed to stop watching so much TV news. The talking heads no longer did it for me. Second, I chose to start a blog to voice my opinion on the fires and the media’s coverage of them. I signed up at Blogger (because I didn’t know any better) and wrote my first blog post, entitled “Fire, Fire Everywhere.”

In the post I attacked the media’s coverage of the fires because frankly, it’s pointless. If you read the original post you’ll see what I’m getting at. They make it sound like the entire state of California is on fire when nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I had people e-mailing me asking how I’m doing when I’m nowhere near any of the fires. That’s like me e-mailing my friend in Japan to see how he is after watching a Godzilla movie.

But I digress. Four years, over 400 posts, 10,000+ hits, two domains and two blog hosts later, I’m still at it but with seemingly less frequency than before. This could be due to the fact that I now have two blogs, which…I seem to have less and less time for these days.

Either way, I’d like to take a moment to thank those loyal visitors—all two of you—for making my efforts seem worthwhile. Barring death, injury or severe beatings at the hands of rabid Steve Perry fans, here’s to many, many more years of blogging.

Cheers!

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