Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tuesday Brain Dump.

This is my first and possibly last brain dump. Since my wife regularly states "How can I not be thinking anything???" Honey this one is for you.

  1. American Idol- Huge disappointment
  2. It is impossible to unlock an open door. God has opened it... No keys necessary just walk through it.
  3. 24 won't be back until January 2009----:(
  4. Unleash 2008 Looking for great things from this conference.
  5. Tired of Presidential politics and its only February.
  6. Spring Practice for the 3 time defending National Champion Appalachian State Mountaineers started yesterday. Looking for number 4!
  7. Bud Light commercial.... Man talking with his dog and all the dog wants is sausage- truly funny... at least to me.
  8. Working on a project and work. Upgrading the existing computers with new machines. Lots of lifting and moving etc.... Not as young as I once was.
  9. I am not very good on the Wii..... Very disappointing. My girls school me at bowling.
  10. If you aim at nothing you will hit it EVERY time.
  11. My in-laws have collie puppies.... Guess who is getting one????
  12. Back to American Idol.... I don't think Paula could criticize poop.
  13. Doughnuts and french fries... is there anything better.
  14. If you like subs... I recommend Fire House subs.... HMMMM tasty.
  15. Ear ring or Tattoo
  16. Goat Tee or Flavor Saver (soul patch)

That's enough

MUSA out!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

How do you eat an elephant????

Answer: One bite at a time.

This has been a busy weekend, what with Helen and Kennedy being out of town and all. I had alot going on. Almost to the point where I could have let it overwhelm me. Yeah I know Helen is starting to rub off on me. :) But I figured out a way to deal with it. I did not focus on all my events at once, instead I decided to take them all in slices. A sort of check list if you will. I just worried about what was directly in front of me and focused in on it. And once it was done I disgarded it out of my mind. I am happy to report that I got all my tasks done today and I was even early for all my events and enjoyed each one. Now that I am home I can focus on what I love to do the best during the weekends.... NOTHING!!!!

P.S. Cleaning the house was not on the list... Sorry Helen!

Friday, February 15, 2008

What was I thinking???

The wife is away in Nashville with Kennedy, Courtney is at Grandma's house and I am at home with Caleb and 3 of his closest friends. They have just settled in for what appears to be a long night of playing the Wii (especially Guitar Hero 3). What was I thinking??? Don't get me wrong they are great kids but man I sure do love my Friday nights relaxing on the couch. Looks like I am going to miss it this week. Oh well there is always next week.

Short Story -Final Part 4

Aaron could do nothing but prepare himself for the worst. Damon held out the strap and yelled!
“I bind you, Aaron, speak no more! You are cut off from him now and forevermore!” The strap disappeared from Damon’s hand and found its place on Aaron’s mouth. A single tear rolled down Aaron’s cheek as he could only watch Chester’s destruction. How Aaron longed to go to Chester’s defense but he was powerless to do so, especially when Chester was a willing accomplice to Damon’s schemes. With Aaron silenced Damon was now free to assault Chester with scenarios and fantasies as the images flickered on the screen.
Damon began the cruelest twist of all, when he placed a suggestion of boredom in Chester’s ear and suggested that they “surf” the net for more appealing and fulfilling things. Chester, like a lamb being led to slaughter, obeyed his master. As Chester disappeared into the bedroom, Damon held out his hand in Aaron’s direction and said. “Come on.” Instantly the chains that bound Aaron levitated off the floor and moved in Damon’s direction. Aaron had no choice but to go where the chains led him. Aaron shuffled along as fast as he could down the hall following Damon into the bedroom.
As Aaron entered the room he found Chester seated at in front of the computer already beginning his internet surfing. Damon directed Aaron to stand in the corner like some first grader being sentenced to time out for bad behavior.
In Damon’s mind this was a sure thing and he enjoyed the drama and build up to Chester’s demise as much, if not more than actually landing the death blow. Damon began with suggesting that they “check the email account first before heading out on another surfing adventure on the net.”
Chester, doing as he was told, obeyed him. Nothing new; the usual spam and other random emails from people he knew. But one email caught his eye and he decided on his own to open this one. Damon, seeing no harm in it decided, “What can it hurt?” Upon opening the email Chester, with Damon close by, began to read. Aaron noticed that Damon’s facial expressions began to change. Damon began to try and plant more suggestions in Chet’s mind, but he was focused and determined to finish what he was reading. Aaron removed himself from the corner, made his way over to them and began to read it for himself.
It was a letter from some pastor that Chester had apparently met earlier that evening, hence the reason for his late return home. It was filled with the usual things that a thank you letter would contain, complete with the phrase “I am praying for you.” This development seemed to give Aaron and glimmer of hope, but in reality it would mean nothing unless Chester wanted it too. Damon was not without his counter punches and he began to put them to use.
“Yeah, that was a nice letter and all, but he doesn’t really care about me.” Damon suggested. “He only wrote it because that is what he is supposed to do.”
Chester wasn’t biting.
Damon continued, “I bet if I were to call him right now he wouldn’t even remember my name and I’ll bet this is some form letter they send to all their visitors”
Chester seemed to soften at that suggestion.
Damon, feeling that he was back on course, began to plant more suggestions about were to surf and googling the key words and phrases that would produce the desired results.
Damon turned to Aaron briefly and commanded that he return to his corner. Aaron obliged him.
As Chester began his internet surfing, Damon dropped thoughts into his mind about girlfriends from his past and the physical nature of those relationships. His suggestions had served to sink Chester deeper into depravity and seal Aaron’s fate.
Damon, fully satisfied with himself sat back on the bed with a wide smile and proclaimed his victory.
It would be short lived, as the phone rang and broke Chester’s concentration on his internet activities. Aaron mumbled to himself, “Please answer that phone!”
Chester paused and reached for the phone on the desk. “Hello,” he said.
Damon, not appearing phased by this interruption, continued with his victory chant.
Aaron, however, was paying particular attention to the nature and mood of this phone call. Chester seemed confused and uncertain. This suggested that he was not familiar with the person on the other end of the line. But when the mystery caller identified himself, all doubt quickly dissipated.
“Yes Sir.” stated Chet. Thank you for calling and following up on me.
“No Sir, you are not bothering me, I was just finishing up some work from the office.” (An obvious lie) “What can I do for you Pastor Thompson?”
“Call me Jeff,” said the voice on the other end.
“Ok Jeff, what’s up?”
Upon hearing that statement Damon leaped to his feet in a moment of panic trying to decide what his next move should be. He decided to play it cool and merely suggest: “Man, why is he calling me? I just left his church! Doesn’t he realize that he is being a huge inconvenience to me right now?” Chester seemed to agree and he attempted to cut the call short by pretending to need to get back to work.
Apparently Pastor Thompson realized his window of opportunity was closing because he cut straight to the reason for his call. He told Chet that the Lord had put him on his heart ever since they left church and that he felt led to call him. Chet tried to cut him off but the pastor wouldn’t let him. Chester fell silent as Jeff continued.
Damon figured, if he couldn’t get this intrusion off the phone that he would at least suggest that Chet continue surfing the web. Chester was unfazed by this suggestion and Damon was not at all pleased. Damon would try for the entire duration of the conversation to wrestle control back from that pastor, but to no avail. Damon finally accepted it when Chet turned off the computer all together and continued to listen to Jeff Thompson. Toward the end of the call Chet mumbled the words, “I can’t. It’s too hard.” Followed by, “I have been this way for a long time.”
More one sided conversation continued from Jeff and he told Chet to write something down before they ended the call.
Chester did so and said goodnight to Jeff.
Damon, not wanting to waste a moment, suggested a return to their previous activities, but that did not sit well with Chet. He was not interested in the computer at that time. He was captivated by his phone call and he poured it over in his mind. Aaron knew exactly where this was going and he was eager to help it get there. Damon on the other hand decided to switch tactics and he began to heap mounds of guilt on Chet. Chet began to buckle. It was his Achilles heel and Damon knew it. Aaron, having no active part, except that of a spectator, wanted Chet to remember that note that he scribbled down. As Damon heaped more guilt, Chester buckled all the more. Even though the lights were on in the room, an eerie darkness began to creep out of the corners and surround Chet. Damon could only laugh as he found a new and exciting way to condemn Chester actions, basically nullifying the earlier conversation.
Chester was stilled seated at the desk when he looked once again at the note he had written down. He began to mumble something under his breath. At first neither Aaron nor Damon could make out what he was saying. Damon assumed that it was the weight of guilt that lay heavy on Chester’ heart, so he began to taunt Chet. But with each taunt, Chester’s words became clearer. It was two words: SHUT UP!
It caught Damon by complete surprise and he fell back onto the floor. Chester repeated himself, as if he was actually talking directly to Damon, SHUT UP!
Damon demanded that he not be spoken to in such a manner, but Chester continued, “SHUT UP!”
With that the leather strap disappeared from Aaron and found its home firmly around Damon’s mouth. He was flabbergasted. Aaron couldn’t help but laugh as he watched Damon shake his finger at Chet demanding, by virtue of his body language, that he stop.
Chester refused.
Through the remainder of the night Chester continued on his new found course and with each command of his voice, Aaron grew larger and Damon shrank. The chains that once bound Aaron, suddenly found a new home on Damon. When Chet had finally gone off to sleep, Damon and Aaron stood in front of the desk staring at the note. It simply said: Do not let your flesh rule over you! DEMAND DISCIPLINE! It was followed by Jeff’s phone number.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Short Story Part 3

Aaron broke his gaze and looked through Damon when he said. “We plan on using our opponent’s over confidence against him.”
Sensing the fun was gone Damon turned serious. “OVER CONFIDENT! You’re damn right! That’s it; I am going to be all over you like a fat man on doughnuts!”
As Damon marched out of the bedroom, Aaron sat there, knowing that he had struck a cord.
It was 8:30 and Aaron had not spoken since their exchange over an hour ago. Damon was getting a little anxious, ready to deliver his death blow to Aaron. Aaron was also anxious, but for very different reasons. He pondered what he could do to help Chester be free from his addiction. He also knew that Chester had gotten himself into his present situation and that Chester would have to make the first move to get himself out.
Aaron tried to convince himself that tonight would be different, but existing in that fantasy was not long lived when Aaron looked down and saw his chains. Aaron refused to believe that there was no hope, but the situation was becoming all the more desperate, at least from his perspective.
Like a father, waiting for the birth of his first child, Damon paced the floor, wringing his hands and flexing his fingers. He also mumbled something under his breath almost as if getting ready to deliver some grand speech or take part in some major sporting event. Aaron just watched as Damon paced, but the look was unmistakable. Damon had his game face on and he meant business.
Finally the headlights from Chester’s car lit up the living room, and Damon began to bounce around and shake his arms like a boxer preparing to answer the first bell.
“Here we go, here we go” shouted Damon and pointing at Aaron. “You are done, do you hear me? DONE!”
Aaron didn’t move, much less respond.
“Yes sir! I am gonna show you ‘over confident’. You just wait.”
It seemed like an eternity before Chester entered the house. His arms were full of the items from his day, each telling their own story of the places Chester had been and the things he had done. He sat his things on the kitchen table and then proceeded to check his messages. No calls. Hungry, he decided to rummage through the fridge for a snack. He found some leftover spaghetti and a bottle of water. Not bothering to heat the food, Chester strolled from the kitchen and into the living room where he plopped down on the couch, turned on the TV and began to devour his meal.
If one word could describe Chester, it would be average. Not to be construed in a negative way, but he was just that, average. Average height and weight, average build and average looks. Nothing too flashy about his personality or the way he conducted his every day life. He was very out-going and he rarely had trouble making friends. As he sat channel surfing and finishing his meal Chester seemed a million miles away, as if something heavy lay on his mind. Aaron knew this look all too well. It was an internal interrogation that Chester would work through most nights after arriving home. Aaron only hoped that Chester would reach the right conclusions once the session was over. Suddenly, as if the opening bell had been sounded for a prize fight Damon started bouncing around the room even more. As per his usual custom Damon addressed Aaron only once to say, “Here I go!”
Aaron looked on with impatience.
Damon, now slowing his bounce, moved around behind Chester to begin his “suggestions”. “Man, I am bored tonight.” Damon whispered into Chester’s ear. Just like clock work Chester repeated the phrase word for word, seeming to forget the things that were on his mind 30 seconds ago. “Man what a day I had.” Chester repeated this phrase as well. As minutes passed like seconds, Damon continued in this vein trying to ease Chester into his trap. Damon then proceeded to escalate the suggestions by saying: “Gee I wonder what’s on HBO?” Chester obliged him.
Damon had used this doorway numerous times before and he figured, “if it’s not broken why fix it.” It was at this point usually that Aaron would try to interject a slice of reality by suggesting that: “Maybe I shouldn’t be watching this stuff, again.”
But Damon would always have a quick retort in return to thwart any effort Aaron might put forth. Thus the war was on, and as per their usual, Damon would fire the first shot and send Aaron reeling.
With the channel selected, Damon began to toy with Chester’s mind as the images on the screen rolled past his eyes. Chester’s thoughts and imagination became focused on what he was viewing and thus consumed by them. While Chester was occupied with the TV, Damon turned his attention to Aaron who was trying to contemplate his next move. Damon’s words were stern and direct. “You are finished, Little Man!” And with that Damon produced the leather strap once again and he moved in Aaron’s direction.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Short Story Part 2

Aaron’s response, “Can’t you just leave him alone for once? You don’t care what happens to him.”
Damon, with sarcastic surprise: “What do you mean I don’t care? I care more than you know,” thumping his chest for emphasis. “I mean, what would his life be like without me.” (Pausing for effect) “BORING!”
“Why are you so Hell bent on Chester’s destruction?” demanded Aaron.
Refusing to acknowledge the question, Damon shot back. “Why are you so determined to help him? You can’t win.”
“You know Damon; things aren’t always what they seem. Eventually, they will change.”
“Things aren’t what they seem,” mocked Damon. “Man, that is a tired line, don’t you have any new material for me rip to apart.”
“It’s true,” stated Aaron flatly.
“Oh yeah how’s this for truth, I have Big Chet wrapped around my little finger and soon you won’t be around to proclaim your ‘truths’ to him. Which reminds me, how are those chains feeling? Any heavier today? I hope you noticed the new links I added the other day. I think they do a lot for your ‘Personality’, don’t you?” in his feminine interior decorator voice.
Determined to remain stoic, Aaron tried some sarcasm of his own. “What these old things? I hadn’t noticed the new additions.”
“Liar” rebuffed Damon. “But it doesn’t matter, because after tonight I won’t have to hear your whining little voice anymore.”
“What are you babbling about now Damon?”
“Oh I forgot to tell you about my surprise gift for you, didn’t I?”
“Gift, what gift?”
“Hold on a sec, Aaron I have it here somewhere”, Pretending to look through his pockets yet knowing were it was the whole time. “Ahh, here it is” proclaimed Damon. “Now close your eyes because you are in for a big surprise”
Aaron had no intentions of closing his eyes and stated so flatly. “What is it Damon?”

“Why, I am glad you asked, because here it is.” From his pocket Damon produced a leather strap about two and half inches wide and eighteen inches long. The strap was worn and weathered which made it very flexible, but quite sturdy.
“What do you plan to do with that?” asked Aaron.
“Well little man I plan on binding those loose lips of yours of course.” You see I have grown increasingly tired of our partnership.”
“Partnership, what partnership?" Aaron looked confused
Damon narrowed his focus. “This little arrangement we have, this joint venture. It’s going to be a one man show after tonight.”
“YOU CAN’T DO THAT! You don’t have that kind of power!”
“Aaron, Aaron, shame on you… You know very well that I do and it’s only a matter of time before I shut you out all together.”
Aaron was beginning to see Damon’s plan all too clearly now. It was true and there was no denying it. He was running out of time. Aaron shuttered to think what would become of Chester if Damon succeeded in shutting him out completely.
Perplexed, Aaron could only wonder how things had unraveled so quickly. Yet in reality, this point had been coming for some time and deep in his heart Aaron knew it.
As Aaron sat down on the foot of the bed, Damon finally removed himself from the mirror and walked around the bed directly in front of Aaron. It was here that Damon began his sadistic sermon.
Using his best southern fire and brimstone preaching voice, Damon thundered off loudly! “You see what we have here, is a failure to communicate” pointing his finger directly at Aaron. “This poor boy has just run out of gas, come up against a superior adversary. Face it boy you LOST!”
Now switching into his sports reporter mode… Damon continued. “Thanks Chuck, I’m sitting here with Aaron, the Little Man. He has been humiliated and defeated time and time again. As a matter of fact he is riding, what a 10, no, 15 game losing streak! Aaron, do you have anything to say to our viewers?”
He did not look in Damon’s direction. So Damon continued with his one man play.
“ Hmmm no response.” Damon pretended to be puzzled. “Well, Aaron, can you tell the viewers out there what your plan is for breaking this more than modest losing streak? I mean, do you plan to make some changes to your staff? Perhaps firing a coach or two would help right the ship.” As he held out his imaginary microphone.
Still no response from Aaron, so Damon continued, looking into his imaginary camera. “Well ladies and gentlemen; this has to be one of the toughest interviews yours truly has ever done, but not to worry ‘because I am determined to get the story.”
Damon, now with his arm around Aaron, “Come on buddy, can you throw us a bone? I mean you are out-weighed and over matched against your opponent. Can’t you give us some insight on how you plan to WIN this time? Not that we believe it or anything. It’s just that we want to be able to follow your story line to know what’s going on.”