Posted by: lylescott89 | September 7, 2018

Looking Ahead to Next Week

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Hey kids,

I have exciting news for you.  Next week the one and only Sir Griffin Stromboli will be here to share his insights and opinions on the upcoming fall TV season.  That’s right kids, direct from England, Sir Griffin will have previews of all the new shows just for you.  Can you feel the excitement in the air?  I know I can!

Just a couple of quick items today; one is to let you know that I had forgotten how incredibly boring and horrible the commercials are during NFL games.  For the most part they are stupid and patronizing.  It’s like the advertisers think that everyone watching is a dopey guy that just wants trucks and beer 24 hours a day.  I don’t want either.  Seriosuly, the Nike ad was a welcome respite from all that other nonsense and quite frankly, it was a lovely advertisement.

Speaking of which, I just read the definitive blog post on the whole Nike thing and I wanted you to read it as well.  I was going to just put a link, but who knows if you kids will really read that.  I also tried to actually share it from one blog to another, but when I attempted to share all I got was this.  So I am copying and pasting it here since I cannot share properly.  It was written by Annie Reneau on her blog called Motherhood and More.  I ask you to please read this and pass it on.

Namaste

Nike, Colin Kaepernick, and the Respect Inherent in Taking a Knee

by Annie Reneau

So, Nike made Colin Kaepernick a face of their Just Do It campaign, and people are losing their everlovin’ minds. They’re cutting the Nike swoosh off their clothing, burning their Nike gear, pledging to boycott, and otherwise throwing a hissy fit because this company gave a man they despise a job.

Let’s start with a brief recap of how we got here:

Kaepernick sat on the bench during the national anthem at a game on August 26, 2016. He did this because he saw the issues of racial disparities in our legal and justice systems and felt that his country—the one that our flag and anthem represent—was not living up to its ideals of “liberty and justice for all.”

That simple action created an uproar among people who took it as disrespect for the flag and for the veterans who sacrificed for our freedoms. Controversy ensued.

Another football player and veteran—former Seahawk and Green Beret, Nate Boyer—saw all of this go down. He wrote an open letter to Kaepernick, sharing support for the basis of his protest but explaining why sitting during the anthem created such a visceral response in some people, including himself.

Kaepernick invited Boyer to meet with him. They spoke for 90 minutes, sharing their different perspectives.

Kap said he wanted to make his statement without being disrespectful to the military. Boyer suggested that instead of sitting, Kap could kneel during the anthem. Soldiers take a knee when one is wounded. They take a knee at a fellow soldier’s gravesite. They take a knee to pray. Taking a knee is a sign of respect and reverence.

Again, Kaepernick wanted to stage his peaceful demonstration while still showing respect for the military, so he talked to a veteran about how to do that. And that veteran suggested he take a knee instead of sitting **because taking a knee is always a sign of respect and reverence.**

I don’t know how people keep missing this and complaining that Kap and others who have knelt during the anthem are disrespecting the military.

We kneel to pray. We kneel to propose marriage. We kneel before royalty. Taking a knee in those instances is a sign of respect and reverence.

Soldiers kneel in solidarity with the wounded. Football players themselves kneel when a player is injured and carried off the field. Taking a knee says, “I see you and acknowledge your suffering.” It is always a sign of respect and reverence. Always.

Can you think of a situation in which consciously getting down on one knee is not a sign of respect? I can’t.

It’s not like Kap flipped a middle finger to the flag or dropped his pants and mooned it. It’s not like he even turned his back on it. He simply didn’t stand, and when he realized that was being misinterpreted, he knelt — at the suggestion of a veteran.

Taking a knee during the anthem as a form of protest is NOT a statement AGAINST what the flag stands for in any way, shape, or form. Taking a knee is a statement that says America is wounded by racism and injured by injustice. It says to the people of color in our nation, who are still not experiencing true liberty and justice, “I see you and acknowledge your suffering.”

And it says all of that while ALSO saying, “I respect the sacrifices made by those who fight to protect our freedoms”— because, once again, taking a knee is a sign of respect.

The flag and anthem belong to all of us. They are symbols of our ideals of “liberty and justice for all.” If some of our citizens are still not experiencing true liberty and real justice, then our flag and our anthem are not representing the nation we think they are — and that is why these protests are happening.

None of this is new information, and yet so many people still insist that these protests are disrespectful. I think there are several reasons for this:

Some people haven’t bothered to learn this story or sought to understand the hows and whys of this protest.
Some people place more importance on a symbol than on whether or not the country that symbol represents is living up to its ideals.
Some people are more concerned with order than with justice.
Some people simply don’t believe such injustices exist.
Some people simply can’t handle a black American sitting in a time and place they don’t approve of (see Rosa Parks, the Greensboro sit-ins, etc.).
But largely, I think many Americans just don’t want to talk about racism. They are content to pretend it doesn’t exist or that it will just magically go away if we ignore the topic long enough. So rather than address the actual issues that these protests are pointing to, they pour their energy into ranting about disrespecting the flag — though I’d bet dollars to donuts that they’ve never chastised the people buying hot dogs and popcorn during the anthem at a football game.

I know some people will continue misinterpreting kneeling as disrespectful and blame the players for that misunderstanding, despite the fact that they’ve been crystal clear about their intent. And that’s fine. People did the same thing to Martin Luther King, Jr. The “I Have a Dream Speech” that everyone loves to quote was delivered during an event that the majority of Americans disapproved of. “Five months before the March on Washington, 60 percent of the country had a negative view of the event and 57 percent thought that peaceful sit-ins hurt the civil rights movement. Even a year later, in 1964, 73 percent of Americans believed ‘Negroes should stop mass demonstrations.’”

That being said, I know that some people will never be comfortable with this form of protest for various reasons. What I don’t understand, though, is the fierce anger and vitriol that it has brought about in people. Burning the Nike shoes on your own feet because the company showed you Kaepernick’s face? The man exercised his constitutional right by quietly, peacefully kneeling during the anthem to bring attention to an issue that should concern all Americans who believe in justice — and you respond by throwing a fit and destroying property and calling that man unAmerican? Who is on the right side of history here?

We need to acknowledge that there’s more than one way to fight for your country, and stop questioning the patriotism of a man who has sacrificed his career and reputation trying to make America a more just place for all.

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Posted by: lylescott89 | September 6, 2018

The 99th NFL Season Begins

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Hey kids,

First I want to thank you all for the incredible response to my last post.  I tend to write less when I get no feedback, which is probably why you kids give me so little feedback, but nonetheless my inbox was overflowing with positive comments.  The comments were so positive that they inspired me to do something.  I was already in need of a new pair of shoes so I checked to see if any Nike’s were on sale.  By golly they were.  And, to top it off, I had $20.00 in rewards at JCPenney that I had forgotten about!  So now I am the proud owner of these marvelous and incredibly comfortable shoes.

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So now we can get to the real business at hand and that is the 99th season of the NFL which begins in Philadelphia this evening.  As always, I am extremely excited.  No, I do not expect a lot out of the Buccaneers.  I expect nothing less than them winning every game and scoring thousands of points.  Again, I also expect reality to sneak in sometime around 2 PM on Sunday when they have a meager field goal and are looking at yet another three and out.  Still, I’ll be watching each and every game and cheering them on.

Allow me to once again get this out of the way; I am sick and freaking tired of the damn Patriots.  Ugh.  Can Tom Brady just go home, snuggle the wife, play with the kids and eat some of those shitty “performance meals” he promotes?  Stay home Tom.  Please.  Alas, Tom will not stay home and once again we will see the Pats win that division because, and I do not say this lightly, the Bills suck, the Jets suck and the Dolphins suck.  Oh sure, the Bills snuck into the playoffs last year, but no one is getting fooled to the point that they think they will win the division.  Maybe some drunk guy in Orchard Park, but that’s about it.

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In other news, it was great to see the Eagles stick it to the Pats in the Super Bowl last year.  What was not great was Adam deciding to show me the video on YouTube of some Philly fan eating horse manure off the ground during the celebration.  Frankly, that is not how I celebrate.  Call me boring if you must, but I am good with a pizza and some wings.

I really think the Eagles were hitting on all rotator cuffs last year and really just got rolling at the right time.  Everything fell into place perfectly and they took advantage.  We’ve seen it before and we will see it again.  I don’t think we will see the Eagles repeat as Super Bowl Champs nor as NFC Champs, but as I am always wrong with my predictions, I would not put money on my guesses.

So who do I think will be playing in the…hang on, I have to check the proper name of the stadium.  It’s the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta as opposed to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans or any of the three Mercedes-Benz Arenas in Stuttgart, Berlin or Shanghai.  Nope, it’s the one in Atlanta.  And it’s Super Bowl LIII for those wondering.  Who will be playing?  Well, if you go by my picks you will only know who will not be there.

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But, before I get to that I want to mention that I was looking at the so-called expert’s picks and I have to say that they have little to no ability to make picks that are out of the ordinary.  Several offered a rematch of last year with the exact same results.  Several picked the Pats and many went with the Packers.  All viable choices, but I felt like going a bit wild this year so without further ado (and seriously, how much ado does one really need) here are my picks for Super Bowl LIII:

Cincinnati Bengals vs Atlanta Falcons

Now, I am just realizing that will mean the Falcons will not only be playing in their home stadium, but they will be the designated home team as well.  Huh.  Now I know that is really stepping out, but with my picks always going so horribly wrong I figured I had nothing to lose.

Enjoy the season kids.

Namaste

Posted by: lylescott89 | September 4, 2018

I Told You not to be Stupid You Moron

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Hey Kids,

I have always loved music and I know I am criticized for it a lot (ask me if I care) but I tend to listen to the same songs now as I did when I was growing up.  I know absolutely nothing about the music that is current and essentially very little about anything after Nirvana released Nevermind in 1991.  I am old enough that I can recall when John Lennon’s “Imagine” was in heavy rotation on the radio.  Yes, I am that old.  That song was, and is still, one of my favorites.  I was always struck by the sound of the piano and the beautiful lyrics that John composed.  From Wikipedia:

“The best-selling single of his solo career, its lyrics encourage the listener to imagine a world at peace without the barriers of borders or the divisions of religion and nationality and to consider the possibility that the whole of humanity would live unattached to material possessions.”

I have never understood why John’s vision was such a difficult thing to achieve, but as I see the world today I can tell you that we are as far away from that now as we have ever been and it continues to get worse.

The latest in a series of false patriotism, hatred, racism and a complete lack of concern for the well-being of our fellow citizens comes to us in the form of what is now known as the Nike boycott.  If you don’t know about it, I am shocked.  It started with this now infamous advertisement:

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For the uniformed that is Colin Kaepernick, the man who was essentially ostracized by the NFL for believing in something greater than himself and using his platform, as well as his 1st Amendment rights, to peacefully protest the suffering and injustices that happen every day to people of color.

This angered many white people; the same white people that claimed that such things as “white privilege” did not exist.  The same white people that voted for a draft dodger that ridiculed an American war hero, while at the same time telling us that Kaepernick was the one disrespecting veterans.  The same white people that call themselves Christians, yet think they are oppressed for being the majority in the country.  The same white people that insist on saying “Merry Christmas” to celebrate the birth of a dark skinned, Jewish, Socialist, while vilifying anyone who dare say “Happy Holidays”.  The same white people who continued to purchase Nike apparel when they were accused of using sweatshops in South Korea, China and Taiwan.  Sure, forced child labor is fine, but god forbid an African-American man do something that’s actually protected by the US Constitution.

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Now those same people are up our asses once again and I might add, it is not pretty up there.  They have taken to Twitter, YouTube, Facebook or whatever place they can find to draw more attention to themselves in an effort to show Nike who is the boss.  Yes, they are burning shoes they have bought and paid for as well as socks, shirts and anything else with a Nike swoosh logo on it for three reasons:

  1. To bring attention to themselves (look at me, look at me!)
  2. To show us all how incredibly stupid they are
  3. To prove to all of us that Colin Kaepernick was right from the very beginning

You all go batshit crazy over a song that supposedly is about expressing your own freedom.  You go bonkers over a flag that, quite simply, is a piece of cloth or a picture on a wall.  Yet, it supposedly represents freedom; something you do not want Kaepernick and anyone else that protests to have.  You’re worshipping a flag and a song as opposed to caring for your fellow citizens.  You fake patriots have essentially created a false idol and, if I my, let me remind you that the worship of false idols is strictly prohibited in the bible; the book that you hold so dearly and the one that your fearful, overweight, orange leader likes to call his favorite book, despite the fact that he’s about as Christian as sea slug (and way less intelligent) and refers to one book as “Two Corinthians”.  From the King James version:

Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the Lord your God. Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary. – Leviticus 26:1-2

I have mentioned before of a friend I had in elementary and junior high school.  His name was David.  He and his family were Jehovah’s Witnesses.  They did not celebrate birthdays or holidays.  When we had a class party he excused himself and sat in the principal’s office.  In the mornings when the anthem was played and the pledge was recited he sat quietly at his desk.  We all knew why and we understood.  No one that I can recall made fun of him.  No one ever accused him of not supporting the troops in Vietnam.  (Damn I am old) No one cared.  Not the students, not the teachers and certainly not his friends.  What we did care about was the fact that he ate peanut butter and ketchup sandwiches for lunch.  That was gross.  However, no one cared about his remaining seated.  Why?  Were we smarter back then?  I doubt it.  Were we less patriotic as a nation?  Perhaps, but during the Bicentennial (Google it kids or ask your parents) I saw an awful lot of patriotism on display so again, probably not.  Maybe, just maybe we had respect for people other than ourselves.  Maybe we decided that we cared enough that we wanted our friends to be as happy as we were.  Maybe we knew that we were taught about Freedom of Speech and the Freedom of Religion and we understood that.  Somewhere along the line we have lost that.

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If you want to burn your Nike apparel, have fun.  You bought it and you have every right to do it.  I will not stand in your way.  But if you want to do that, how about having some respect for my rights or Kaepernick’s rights or the rights of every other citizen in this country to protest as they wish?  Do your thing and let him do his thing.  That’s the whole point about freedom; you can protest, you can burn your shoes and you can eat peanut butter and ketchup sandwiches.

But instead of burning your shoes and apparel, how about donating them to someone who needs them.  Perhaps a group that distributes clothes to homeless veterans.  I mean, seriously, you seem to think it is offensive to veterans when someone takes a knee, but it was a veteran who recommended that to Kaepernick in the first place.  I am more offended by seeing homeless veterans (or anyone homeless for that matter) than a man kneeling for two minutes during a song that’s “meh” at best.  If you are so concerned about honoring the military how about donating some clothes that you don’t want to them?  I mean, Nike’s are expensive.  I can’t afford them.  I buy cheap shoes so if you have a size 12, let me know.  I’ll donate them for you.

Please consider making a veteran’s donation by going to Veteran’s Donation Pickup and making arrangements instead of burning your things.  You paid for them, let them go to good use.  Think about someone other than yourself.

Imagine there’s no countries, It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for, And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace – John Lennon

Namaste

Posted by: lylescott89 | August 15, 2018

My Tears are Real

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Hey kids,

I think that before I get too far in my bitch session today I want to share a brief little story and a fun game.  Today as I was listening to the radio this question was posed to the listeners; if you were tasked with introducing a stranger to the music of Duran Duran and could only choose five songs, which five would you choose.  Now I normally hate this kind of nonsense because it is just that; nonsense.  However, I thought it would be entertaining for all of us before I berate the deplorable assholes that have turned our country into a shithole.  So, I quickly came up my my five songs:

  1. Hungry Like the Wolf
  2. Rio
  3. Save a Prayer
  4. Union of the Snake
  5. New Moon On Monday

Now I realize that you kids would probably pick something different and that is perfectly fine.  It’s okay to have a different opinion about Duran Duran songs.  It is not, however, okay to have a differing opinion on what is right and wrong when it comes to how a human with a soul should act towards other humans.

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I feel I am at the end of my rope.  I am so disheartened and disgusted by my own country that I seriously do not know how much more I can take.  How did we let this happen?  How did we get to this moment in time in which the hatred and racism is now socially acceptable?  How did we digress so much?  I watched Don Lemon and I really want you all to watch this clip as well, so please indulge me and watch the whole thing.  Then maybe you can help me out and explain to me how such a buffoon has degraded the highest office in the land and how we continue to allow this to happen.  Please watch and I’ll be waiting.

It never should have gotten to this point.  It should have ended 10 seconds after he announced he would run.  It should have ended when he made fun of a disabled person or when he called Mexicans rapists, but you idiots out there ate this shit up and I just don’t get it.

I really want some honesty from all of my friends and family members and I ask this because this is beyond the make or break time for me.  In full disclosure, I am way past the time of laughing off his garbage.  I am past the time of shrugging off those who support him and spew hatred at his rallies.  I am in tears at times for what used to be my country.  Like it or not, America is now one of the Shithole Countries that he once complained about.  I will say it loud and proud.  America is the Shithole Country and we have got to turn this around now, although I fear it is already too late.

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Call me a liberal.  I wear that as a badge of honor.  Call me a snowflake.  Again, I take that as a compliment because snowflakes are all unique and beautiful.  Call me whatever you like because I am not changing.  I stand firmly against this administration and all who support it.

And for the love of Christ can we put the damn bitching and moaning about NFL players kneeling for that stupid ass song to rest once and for all?  Sit, stand, kneel, do jumping jacks, juggle, fart, scratch your ass, eat nachos or chug a beer for all I fucking care.  It’s a god damned song.  I want all of you white folks to go out and be black for a while and see how you are treated and then tell me everything is okay.  What?  you can’t do that?  Then shut the fuck up, allow the people who choose to exercise their first amendment rights to peacefully protest and either watch the damn game or go play your racist, patriotic bingo or whatever the hell it is you people do, but just allow them their rights as we allow you to rant and rave about how much you love your country, but at the same time don’t want hungry children to eat, homeless people to have a place to live or everyone to have health insurance.  You go right ahead and express your rights and let everyone else express theirs.  Savvy?

Am I angry?  Hell yes I am angry and if you are not angry there is something seriously wrong with you.  I’ll burn every bridge, lose every friend (truly not that many) and I’ll say goodbye to people I care about over this.  I can’t take the tears and I can’t take the way this makes me feel.  No more.

Namaste

Posted by: lylescott89 | August 7, 2018

Taking that First Step

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Hey kids,

I had an interesting weekend.  Not as interesting as dragging a dead guy around and pretending we were having a party so that hit men wouldn’t come after me, but interesting nonetheless.  Allow me to share, if you will.

I was preparing to go to work Saturday evening when I received and alert on my phone.  Someone named John had sent a friend request to me on Facebook.  I did not recognize the name, so I decided I would look at his profile to confirm whether or not I actually knew him.  Perhaps he was someone I went to high school or college with that I have long since forgotten.  When I went to his page I was immediately struck by a confederate flag banner with a skull in the middle.  This instantly indicated two things to me; I do not know this guy and he’s probably a racist.  I looked down on his page and sure enough, both my indications were proven to be accurate.  I deleted the request and instantly blocked the guy as to avoid him trying to add or contact me in the future.  I intensely despise racists and have unfriended several alleged friends in the past for posting racist garbage.  I just won’t tolerate that shit.  I mentioned the story to some people at work that night and they all said they would have done the exact same thing.  I work with good people.

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The next morning I was in church doing my AV work in the back.  I really enjoy sitting in the back and working because I am rarely bothered by anyone and I can just sit there quietly and do what needs to be done so the show can progress as intended.  There is a women that I know and I will not mention her name, but she is a very nice person and while we have very differing views on what makes good television, we tend to agree on many other things.  Well there is this one guy and he kind of said something stupid and I could tell it upset her.  Normally I would just do nothing other than roll my eyes, make fun of the guy that said the stupid thing and send a text to someone letting them know that the guy said something stupid.   I still did all of that, but when I looked over I could she was really hurt.  So instead of just sitting there I got up, walked over and told her that I appreciated her.  She looked at me as if I was an alien speaking to her, mostly because I rarely speak, and then she smiled and said thank you.  I like to be nice to people even though I generally do not want to be around them.  So that was odd and I really don’t know what came over me.  Sometimes when I crawl out of my shell, people can see that I am just a nice person.

Then on the way home I needed to fill the car up with gas.  It’s one of those necessities that you kind of have to do unless you enjoy sitting on the side of the road in the intense Florida heat.  I always pay at the pump, however after I filled up I wanted a lovely beverage.  I will say it again; there is not a man, woman or child alive today that does not enjoy a lovely beverage.  So I pulled my car away from the pump, parked and went inside.

There were a plethora of choices, but I went with a sweet tea and proceeded to counter to pay.  As is my custom whenever I am in any sort of business establishment, I tend to look at the ground while I walk past people and say to myself “please don’t talk to me”.  I had succeeded, but naturally I had to pay for my lovely beverage.

I saw the woman out the counter and she did not look happy.  Of course if I was working at a gas station on a Sunday morning I would not be happy either so I figured I understood.  The woman at the counter was an African-American woman and she was staring at me.  When I get stared at I think one of two things:

  1. I have done something bad or
  2. There is a bee on me

I got to the counter and she asked me if that was all I wanted.  I said yes and she continued to stare.  Then I figured it out when she told me that she liked my shirt.  For the record, this was the shirt I was wearing at the time:

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I told her thank you and then we had a nice, but too brief conversation.  She told me that she wished that all people thought the way I did about people of color, people from different countries and people that are not white.  I said to her that this was not my country.  This land belonged to the indigenous people long before any white person set foot here (Do not get me started on that) and that unless we are descended from those people we are all immigrants.  My family came here by their own choice from Eastern Europe (according to Ancestry.com) while hers came by force.  It was clear that we both felt hurt.  That we both felt contempt for he who shall not be named and his hideous followers.  I told her that there are more people out there like me than you realize and that I hoped she would find them.

There is no use trying to talk to the followers of a cult leader.  They were here last week and we chatted about how angry and full of hatred they were.  How they screamed and raised their fists and middle fingers.  How rallies are being held for no other reason than to stroke a fragile ego and make the weak minded even more afraid of the things they do not understand.  This is no different than any cult.  It could be Jim Jones or David Koresh.  A crazy person says stupid shit, gains followers and they do his bidding.

 
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A line was forming behind me so I bid her adieu and told her that love will win because love always wins.  She smiled and said thank you.  What I did and what I said will never  solve racism, but maybe someone in that line heard me and just maybe they are thinking differently today.

Then came yesterday morning and I was looking through Twitter.  I saw someone I followed, Kassandra, post something that I felt was intriguing so I responded to it.  This is what she tweeted…

I liked her tweet and I responded with the following as I began my 12 step recovery program and joined the fight to eradicate racism.

So now I am on my own 12 step program and I suppose Kassandra is my unofficial sponsor.  I am excited to see what happens when I get to step nine.

Namaste

 

Posted by: lylescott89 | July 16, 2018

They Call me Queso Blanco

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Hey kids,

Anyone that knows me at all knows I am an introvert.  And anyone that knows me also knows that I have struggled with this for many, many years.  I thought there was something horribly wrong with me for a long time.  I never liked parties.  I never liked going out with groups of people.  I hated small talk for as long as I could remember and more than anything I liked to be left alone.  That doesn’t mean I am lonely or bored or anything else.  It also doesn’t mean that I do not enjoy spending time with Donna or Adam or with my sisters.  What it means is that I need a certain amount of time to myself each day in order to process.  It means that I’d rather have a few, very close and meaningful conversations rather than be the social butterfly at en event.  It means I am happy just the way I am.

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It also means that I can’t stand it when I hear people tell me things such as these lovely gems:

You need to…

You should really…

Why don’t you try to…

You should get out and…

If you had more friends…

Yeesh!

On Friday I stepped out onto a limb, so to speak.  I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook.  It is very handy for this coming week when I have an event to attend and I can keep in touch with all the other attendees as well as get the latest news and information.  Other times it is just a burden.  However, I do like it as a way to promote my business and if anyone feels the need to get in touch with me, they can easily use the messenger app to do so.  But back to Friday.

I opened my business page over three years ago and invited essentially all my friends and family members to like it.  A simple task or so I thought.  You see, whenever I get a request from someone to like their page I almost always do so immediately because I want to support my friends.  I am funny that way.  There have been exceptions, of course.  I will not like something that I am vehemently against, such as smoking/vaping.  My father once told me if he ever caught me smoking he would kill me and although he has been gone for many years, I have no doubt he would find a way to kill me if I even supported smoking.  Once, when I was 12 or 13, he told me that one of the stupidest things I could do would be to voluntarily put smoke in my lungs.  Probably the best advice he ever gave me other than “try not to be stupid”.

I noticed that I had well over 100 friends and family members that I had sent an invitation to back when I opened the page that still were listed as “invitation sent” and had not responded.  Being an introvert I hardly wanted to make waves, but I am sick and tired of being ignored when it comes to things like that.  My likes are rarely reciprocated so I decided to experiment.

I chose five people on Friday and sent them a link and a polite note through messenger asking them to please take two seconds out of their busy day and like my page.  24 hours later I checked and all five had read the message.  My response?

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Yes.  Crickets.  Though not this cute.  No replies, no new likes, no apologies, no “sorry, I hate photography”, no “fuck you”, no “I don’t have two seconds”, nothing.  Bupkus.  Zip.  So on Sunday I tried again.  I chose five more friends at random and sent the same thing.  Literally they had to do nothing except for click the like button and they’d be finished and they could go back to ignoring me just like they did in high school or just like they did in college.  This morning after my walk and delicious breakfast I checked again.  All of the Sunday Five had read the message.  Great, although not one of them replied to me.  I went to check the likes and I had hoped that perhaps some of the Friday Five had decided to make a move too.  And remember, I was not asking for money, time, help or anything else.  All I was asking was for my friends to support me by clicking like.  It seemed so simple.  So I checked and out of the 10 friends I asked to support me I had this many click like:

I spent the morning dejected and depressed.  Then I got pissed and then I opted for of a “to hell with you all” attitude.  Now that I have vented I am pretty much over it and have the “I just don’t give a shit attitude” and reminded myself that the Cubs are in first place here at the All Star Break.

So where do I go from here?  Do I keep asking?  Do I just ignore future requests or am I still the nice guy?  I know, I am still the nice guy.  Do I unfriend these people?  Of course not.  I am not an asshole.  I just would like it if people would support what I am doing.  A lot of my friends have done so and a lot of my family members have done so as well.  And for those of you that have, I thank you.  It means the world to me.

Namaste

Posted by: lylescott89 | July 7, 2018

Please Stop Asking if I’m Okay

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“I am not impressed by money, social status or job title.  I am impressed by the way someone treats other human beings.”

Hey kids,

I understand that people are concerned.  I understand that people care.  I understand that people are naturally curious.  That said, I hate being constantly asked if I am okay.  I’m fine, but I am not okay.  I will not be okay again until we get rid of the lunatics that have taken over the asylum.

To be brutally honest, I really hate being asked if I am okay.  I mean, what am I supposed to say to that?  Am I supposed to give an honest answer and tell someone what I am really thinking or just say yes and move on?  How can I tell if someone genuinely cares if I am okay?  I suppose I really should just be appreciative of the sentiment that someone took the time to ask me if I am okay, but depending on who does the asking, generally that’s not my reaction.

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People seem to think because I am quiet that I am not okay.  No.  I am quiet because I am extremely introverted and uncomfortable in most, if not all, social situations.

My last post had someone asking me if I was okay as they thought I was suicidal.  Oh dear god no.   I am not now, nor have I ever been suicidal.  You know how people get a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order?  Well, I have something that is known as an RRR; (Resuscitate! Resuscitate! Resuscitate!)  So I am obviously not suicidal.

But again, I am not okay.  People are not nice and it’s making me tired and cranky.  People who are not the least bit civil are asking for civility.  It makes me shake my head.  I saw a woman last week putting ketchup on hot dogs.  It made me cringe.

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Allow me to share one more quote:

“If you still consider yourself a tRump supporter, my problem with you isn’t that we have differing political opinions; it’s that you’re a horrible fucking person.” – John Zal US Army MP Veteran

Namaste

 

 

Posted by: lylescott89 | July 5, 2018

Families Belong Together & I Was There

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“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment” –  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hey kids,

Over the years I have spent a lot of time trying to be something I am not.  I am unique, I am different and I always hated that.  I tried so hard to fit in with other groups and no matter how much I tried I was never happy.  I tried with school, church groups, work and all manner of things.  If someone said something I would often agree with it just to avoid making waves.  I desperately wanted people to like me.  Then something happened.  I don’t exactly know when it happened and in reality I think it was more of a gradual thing than an “a-ha” moment.  I realized that it did not matter at all what anyone thought of me.  It did not matter if anyone liked me or not.  I absolutely did not care if my opinions made me lose friends or family members.  I don’t care if people hate me.  I decided that I needed to be me.  I needed to fight for what I believed in and damn the consequences.  If I lost business, so be it.  If I was shunned for my beliefs, so what?  I could not live my life any longer being something I was not.

Keep Families Together March (17)So this past weekend I took another step in my road to being who I want to be.  As most everyone knows by now, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets across the country to protest the atrocities that our government has committed.  Donna and I were just two of those people telling the world that we believed in keeping families together.

We were in North Carolina at the time as we had a wedding to attend that evening.  Thanks to Google I was able to find a local march.  Since we were in a small, conservative town I did not expect much of a crowd, however there were well over 100 people in attendance.  I took a few photos, two of which can be seen on this blog and the rest on my flickr page.  I talked with several people as well.  The ones I spoke with felt out of place in their own town.  Many of them experienced hatred and some said they felt ostracized.  Several said they were ridiculed for thinking that children did not belong in cages.  No one should be made to feel that way, but I knew exactly where they were coming from.

I listened to those making speeches.  One woman said that she could possibly lose her job as a teacher for speaking out, but she didn’t care.  She knew in her heart that speaking out was more important.  It was more important to her for families that she has never met and will likely never meet to be reunited than to continue getting a paycheck.

Another woman, an African-American woman, spoke out about how she has been treated, how her family has been treated and how she is no less of an American citizen than anyone else, yet gets none of the same privilege that her white co-workers are allowed.  And though I do not know her personally, I have seen exactly what she was speaking about.  If we are all honest, we all have.

Keep Families Together March (20)

When it was all said and done I felt pretty darn good.  I was hot, sweaty and desperately in need of more water than I had brought with me, but I was so glad I went.  It was an experience I will never forget.  Am I an activist now?  Perhaps.  But whatever I am I will not be lying to people any longer.  If someone asks my opinion, I will speak up.  I have never held back my opinions here in writing, but with a readership of about 50 people it hardly matters what I say on here.  It matters what I say in public.  Sitting idly by is no longer an option.  Will there be those louder than me?  Sure, it’s a semi-free country and I am naturally a quiet person so yes, there will be screamers out there shouting racist crap all while claiming they are the civil ones.  But I won’t play pretend just so I can fit in with a group.  Not happening.

A month or so ago Donna asked me to fill in at the last minute as worship leader at church.  I did and I spoke about something very important to me.  My friend Jeff filmed it and put it online for all to see.  So far it has 14 views.  If you want to hear how I have spoken out publicly, click this link and watch.  If not, whatever.

Someone once said to me “Personal growth is so important.  You should never feel like the same person you were a year ago.”  I truly believe she knew what she was talking about because I don’t even feel like the same person I was a week ago.

Namaste

Posted by: lylescott89 | June 23, 2018

Sometimes I Can’t Even Breathe

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Hey kids,

The majority of this post was not written by me. I have no idea who wrote it, but it was shared with me by an old friend of mine, Denise. I will say this about Denise; despite the fact that it has been years since we have seen each other, I still consider her a close friend. She is a compassionate woman and, from everything I know, a very caring parent. I choose my friends carefully and I do not allow myself to get close to people that I don’t trust. True, I have made some poor choices, but Denise was clearly a wise choice.

Choose-Wisely

I was not going to post anything about all the horror that has been going on, but I was feeling so awful I felt it would be therapeutic. I saw Rachel Maddow break down the other night and I couldn’t breathe. The thought of what this administration has been doing is just unbelievable. I thought about the scene in Schindler’s List when the Nazi’s were taking the children away from their mothers. I thought about the scene in X-Men: First Class when a young Magneto was being separated (noted the proper spelling) from his mother. I even thought about the time when Adam was a baby and he was in the hospital. Even though I knew he was in good hands with the doctors and nurses I was a complete mess knowing that I could not be with him. But what really set me off was a completely ignorant and uncaring post I saw when I signed into Twitter earlier today. It had to be posted by a man because no woman could be that heartless, or at least I would hope not. (That’s the feminist inside me speaking I suppose) Anyway it was a picture defending the practice of separating (again, spelled correctly) children from parents by comparing it to people in the military being separated (Okay, you get the idea by now) from their children. You son of a bitch! For one thing, the men and women in the military are joining VOLUNTARILY! They know they will be going away from their children and they make that choice. Now how the hell they can make such a choice I have no clue, but they do. They are not escaping a country in order to give their children a better life, they are joining the military to do whatever it is they are assigned to do. They are taking a job and will, most likely, see their kids again. They are not fleeing war, famine or drug lords. How stupid are you?

This administration is going to kill me. I wake up some mornings thinking it’s a normal day and then I remember…and then I am brought to tears. Some days are better than others, but seeing so much ignorance, lies and racism in the name of Christianity is incredibly painful to watch. Seeing so many people lie on a daily basis to feed their fuhrer disgusts me to no end.

Honestly I could not care less who comes into this country and I totally don’t give a shit why they come here. They are humans. Biologically they are just the same as every single person born in America, a nation built by immigrants and lest we forget, a nation torn away from Native Americans. If people are coming here and risking their lives to do so they deserve to be fed, clothed and be given the opportunity for asylum. It may not be much longer when the human rights violations of this country will force many of us to seek asylum in other countries. They sure as hell don’t deserve to be locked up in cages. Do you really think terrorists are entering the country this way? Sorry, they’re coming in on airplanes, boats and obviously by spaceship since we are in so desperate need of a space force.

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In any case, this is what Denise posted and I added one thing at the end. It sums up everything for me perfectly. Oh and if you do not agree, I don’t give a shit. Go away.

Warning: Politics Ahead!

“Let’s break it down, shall we? Because quite frankly, I’m getting more than a little tired of being told what I believe and what I stand for. SPOILER ALERT: Not every Liberal is the same, though the majority of Liberals I know think along roughly these same lines:

1. I believe a country should take care of its weakest members. A country cannot call itself civilized when its children, disabled, sick, and elderly are neglected. Period.

2. I believe healthcare is a right, not a privilege. Somehow that’s interpreted as “I believe Obamacare is the end-all, be-all.” This is not the case. I’m fully aware that the ACA has problems, that a national healthcare system would require everyone to chip in, and that it’s impossible to create one that is devoid of flaws, but I have yet to hear an argument against it that makes ‘let people die because they can’t afford healthcare’ a better alternative. I believe healthcare should be far cheaper than it is, and that everyone should have access to it. And no, I’m not opposed to paying higher taxes in the name of making that happen.

3. I believe education should be affordable and accessible to everyone. It doesn’t necessarily have to be free (though it works in other countries so I’m mystified as to why it can’t work in the US), but at the end of the day, there is no excuse for students graduating college saddled with five- or six-figure debt.

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4. I don’t believe your money should be taken from you and given to people who don’t want to work. I have literally never encountered anyone who believes this. Ever. I just have a massive moral problem with a society where a handful of people can possess the majority of the wealth while there are people literally starving to death, freezing to death, or dying because they can’t afford to go to the doctor. Fair wages, lower housing costs, universal healthcare, affordable education, and the wealthy actually paying their share would go a long way toward alleviating this. Somehow believing that makes me a communist.

5. I don’t throw around ‘I’m willing to pay higher taxes’ lightly. I’m retired and on a fixed income, but I still pay taxes. If I’m suggesting something that involves paying more, well, it’s because I’m fine with paying my share as long as it’s actually going to something besides lining corporate pockets or bombing other countries while Americans die without healthcare.

6. I believe companies should be required to pay their employees a decent, livable wage. Somehow this is always interpreted as me wanting burger flippers to be able to afford a penthouse apartment and a Mercedes. What it actually means is that no one should have to work three full-time jobs just to keep their head above water. Restaurant servers should not have to rely on tips, multibillion dollar companies should not have employees on food stamps, workers shouldn’t have to work themselves into the ground just to barely make ends meet, and minimum wage should be enough for someone to work 40 hours and live.

7. I am not anti-Christian. I have no desire to stop Christians from being Christians, to close churches, to ban the Bible, to forbid prayer in school, etc. (BTW, prayer in school is NOT illegal; *compulsory* prayer in school is – and should be – illegal). All I ask is that Christians recognize *my* right to live according to *my* beliefs. When I get pissed off that a politician is trying to legislate Scripture into law, I’m not ‘offended by Christianity’ — I’m offended that you’re trying to force me to live by your religion’s rules. You know how you get really upset at the thought of Muslims imposing Sharia law on you? That’s how I feel about Christians trying to impose biblical law on me. Be a Christian. Do your thing. Just don’t force it on me or mine.

8. I don’t believe LGBT people should have more rights than you. I just believe they should have the *same* rights as you.

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9. I don’t believe illegal immigrants should come to America and have the world at their feet, especially since THIS ISN’T WHAT THEY DO (spoiler: undocumented immigrants are ineligible for all those programs they’re supposed to be abusing, and if they’re ‘stealing’ your job it’s because your employer is hiring illegally). I’m not opposed to deporting people who are here illegally, but I believe there are far more humane ways to handle undocumented immigration than our current practices (i.e., detaining children, splitting up families, ending DACA, etc).

10. I don’t believe the government should regulate everything, but since greed is such a driving force in our country, we NEED regulations to prevent cut corners, environmental destruction, tainted food/water, unsafe materials in consumable goods or medical equipment, etc. It’s not that I want the government’s hands in everything — I just don’t trust people trying to make money to ensure that their products/practices/etc. are actually SAFE. Is the government devoid of shadiness? Of course not. But with those regulations in place, consumers have recourse if they’re harmed and companies are liable for medical bills, environmental cleanup, etc. Just kind of seems like common sense when the alternative to government regulation is letting companies bring their bottom line into the equation.

11. I believe our current administration is fascist. Not because I dislike them or because I can’t get over an election, but because I’ve spent too many years reading and learning about the Third Reich to miss the similarities. Not because any administration I dislike must be Nazis, but because things are actually mirroring authoritarian and fascist regimes of the past.

12. I believe the systemic racism and misogyny in our society is much worse than many people think, and desperately needs to be addressed. Which means those with privilege — white, straight, male, economic, etc. — need to start listening, even if you don’t like what you’re hearing, so we can start dismantling everything that’s causing people to be marginalized.

No More (1)

13. I am not interested in coming after your blessed guns, nor is anyone serving in government. What I am interested in is sensible policies, including background checks, that just MIGHT save one person’s, perhaps a toddler’s, life by the hand of someone who should not have a gun. (Got another opinion? Put it on your page, not mine).

14. I believe in so-called political correctness. I prefer to think it’s social politeness. If I call you Chuck and you say you prefer to be called Charles I’ll call you Charles. It’s the polite thing to do. Not because everyone is a delicate snowflake, but because as Maya Angelou put it, when we know better, we do better. When someone tells you that a term or phrase is more accurate/less hurtful than the one you’re using, you now know better. So why not do better? How does it hurt you to NOT hurt another person?

15. I believe in funding sustainable energy, including offering education to people currently working in coal or oil so they can change jobs. There are too many sustainable options available for us to continue with coal and oil. Sorry, billionaires. Maybe try investing in something else.

16. I believe that women should not be treated as a separate class of human. They should be paid the same as men who do the same work, should have the same rights as men and should be free from abuse. Why on earth shouldn’t they be?

17. I believe women should always have the right to choose. We love to tell the government they cannot infringe on our individual rights, unless it comes to a uterus. Then the pro-life nut bags want the government to step right in and take control.

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I think that about covers it. Bottom line is that I’m a liberal because I think we should take care of each other. That doesn’t mean you should work 80 hours a week so your lazy neighbor can get all your money. It just means I don’t believe there is any scenario in which preventable suffering is an acceptable outcome as long as money is saved.”

That’s all she wrote. One day every single one of us will be dead and absolutely nothing will matter except how we treated our fellow humans.

Namaste

Posted by: lylescott89 | May 31, 2018

Don’t Know Much About…Cars

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Hey kids,

Many of you think I am an expert on everything.  Not so.  I am starting a new series today entitled “Don’t Know Much About” in which I will thrill you with my vast amounts of ignorance when it comes to certain subjects.  Since I have spoken before on my complete and utter lack of knowledge when it comes to cars or any motorized vehicle for that matter, I figured that was as good a place to start as any.

As a guy I am expected to know certain things.  I should know how to tie a tie, I should know how to properly tip that weird guy that hands you the towel in fancy bathrooms and I should know everything there is to know about cars.  Well, I can barely tie a tie, I try and pretend that the bathroom attendant is not there because I can see no reason why I should tip a guy for doing something I clearly could have done myself and then there are the cars.  Not the Ric Ocasek led Cars, but the motorized ones.

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OMG Ric Ocasek!

Back when I was a freshman in high school I was alone at lunch quite often.  Yes, I know this is shocking.  I was also bullied throughout my tenure in grade school, junior high and high school.  Again, shocking.  (Please note that while I was bullied and turned down by many, many, many girls that I asked out on dates, I never once brought a gun to school and shot anyone.  It is worth noting that all of my schools had ample entrances and exits as well)

Anyway one day in high school as I was sitting in the cafeteria reading a book after finishing my delicious country fried steak, I could hear the conversation at the table next to me getting louder.  It was a group of cool kids or so I thought.  I kind of made the assumption that the guys with the varsity jackets that had girlfriends and picked on me were all considered the cool kids.  I was wrong, but whatever.  In any case they were discussing cars so I tuned them out.  Suddenly I heard one of them speak up and say “let’s ask Lyle, he’ll know”.  Oh shit.  I had no idea what was about to happen.  One of the bigger and burlier guys came over to me.  He was the type that was already shaving twice a day at the age of 16, yet going bald at the same time.  He looked at me and said they needed me to break the tie.  I said okay and  he proceeded to ask me this question:

Mags or Kreggers?

Now to this day I have no idea what the fuck mags or kreggers are and I don’t care, but I do know that they were discussing cars so I figured it had something to do with that.  (I also realize I could Google this, but again, I totally don’t give a shit)  Heck, and I even spelling it right?  Spell check said nothing so…I guess I am.

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I didn’t wear glasses back then.

I felt myself getting weak thinking that if I gave the wrong answer I’d be physically crushed to death or shoved into a locker.  (Frankly I was way too  tall for that, but they would still try) On the other hand if I gave the right answer I could use that as a stepping stone to becoming one of the cool kids  (Spoiler alert:  I never became a cool kid nor am I a cool adult) So I looked him in the eyes and calmly stated “Kreggers, of course”.

He then turned to the rest of them and said “See, I told you so.  If Lyle says it’s Kreggers then it’s Kreggers because he knows”.  Phew!  Dodged a big one there!

Cars just never interested me.  Many times I would end up in a conversation someplace and the talk would turn to cars and I would just be lost and confused.  Could I have tried to learn something?  Sure, but I had no interest then and I have no interest now so why bother?  But to this day people expect me, as a guy, to know about these things.  Case in point:

Back in April I was at one of my IBMS shoots and it was getting late and I wanted to get back to my place so I could get some sleep.  And by getting late I mean that it was getting close to 9 PM.  I finished up with the model I was working with, packed up my stuff, said goodbye and headed to my car.  I was blocked in.  Now a normal person would have looked at the license plate or something so they’d be able to go inside and ask that person to please move.  However, I am not now nor have I ever been a normal person.

Amber Nova (1)

Yes, the real live Amber!

I went back in the house and upstairs and said that someone was blocking my way out.  A model asked me if it was a Chevy Nova.  I looked at her and I was confused.  I told her I had no idea because I didn’t know what a Chevy Nova looked like.

I swear to god that if you put three cars in front of me and asked me to label each one I would not be able to do it.  Donna once asked me if I knew what a carburetor looked like and of course I said no.  She asked me if I knew what spark plugs did and I said yes, they made sparks.  Now why they made sparks I don’t know.  That seemed a bit dangerous, but again, whatever.

In any case I went back downstairs, back outside looked at the car and saw that, according to the labels on the back, it was indeed a Chevy Nova.  So back in the house, back upstairs and back to Amber to inform her that it was indeed a Chevy Nova.  She moved, I left and got to read and get some sleep.  I love to sleep.

One last story, though there are probably a hundred more.  When I purchased my current vehicle it came with lifetime oil changes as long as I brought it in every three months.  So once every three months I make an appointment with Dani, I go in, she has me sign something and then I go sit down, watch TV on my tablet and eat a complimentary donut.  I keep my headphones in at all times lest anyone else in the waiting area suddenly get the urge to speak to me.  Once, a sales guy there ignored the headphones rule and made a comment about my Li’l Sebastian t-shirt.  I said that my son and I had matching shirts.  He said that he and his son had matching shirts of someone named Maverick and someone else whose name I cannot recall.  I said I had no idea who they were and asked if they were cartoon characters.  He gave me a funny look, said no and walked away.  I figured they were car logos or something.  Again, I don’t care enough to Google it.

lilsebastian

You’re 5000 Candles in the Wind

Earlier this month I took my car in for its oil change.  I had made my appointment online with Dani as I always do, but when I arrived she was not there.  Some guy named Bill was there.  Bill had a soul patch which immediately told me that Bill had issues.  I said I had an appointment with Dani.  Bill said she was in the bathroom (gee thanks for the privacy Bill) and said he’d check me in.  I reluctantly agreed.

Let me say this.  I have no idea what is covered under the lifetime oil changes rule.  All II know is that Dani knows and that she takes care of me.  She never offers me any add ons and she knows of my car limitations.  So when I see her she never asks questions, she just does everything for me.

Back to Bill.  Bill is a dumbfuck and I hate him.  Bill says to me “looks like we are doing synthetic oil”.

Um, okay.  I did not know there was such a thing, but okay.

And then Bill then says “looks like it’s been well over 10000 miles since you have had your tires rotated, we’ll do that today as well”.

Um, okay.  Again, no clue that tires were rotated, but I suppose they enjoy a change of scenery now and again.

I signed the thing, went and got settled in with my tablet and donut.  A full hour of peace and quiet.  And TV of course.

After a while Dani comes in to get me and she gives me a funny look.  Having been used to getting funny looks from women for the past 50+ years I thought nothing of it.  Dani asked my why I got synthetic oil.  I told her that Bill implied that I always get synthetic oil.  Do I not?  Dani replied “no hun, you don’t”

Dani-Behr

Literally the first photo that came up when I Googled Dani

“Oh my gosh does that cost extra?” I asked.

“Yes, hun” Dani replied.  Then Dani said “and why exactly did you get your tires rotated?”

I explained “well Bill said it was time and I am now guessing that tire rotation costs extra as well”.

“Yes, Hun” she said (I love it that she always calls me Hun. I feel like I am in a diner) “I told you to always speak to me, didn’t I?”

“Yes, yes you did”

“Well, don’t worry about it Hun, I’ll take care of it.  Just give me a few minutes”

I finished my show and walked back to the counter.  Dani had taken everything off the bill and all I had to pay was the $2.31 throw the oil away fee.  Dani said she was really sorry that Bill did that to me and she was going to have a talk with him.  Then she gave me an extra donut to take home to Adam.

I love Dani and my incredible lack of automobile knowledge.

Namaste

 

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