Author Archives: jlinton77

20 Life Tips all Graduates Should Remember

The end of another school year, and a new batch of graduates are ready to take on the world.  Ready or not, they are about to collide with reality.  The biggest collision for most graduates will occur in accepting responsibility.  For most graduates, during thirteen years of K-12 school, responsibility has primarily floated precariously on the backs of family, friends, and teachers, who enabled them to taste and play at responsibility, but never really commit to it.  That will change dramatically after graduation.  Graduates will learn quickly the world is big, robust, and wonderful, but contrary to high school lore, it does not revolve around them.  Unlike high school, they will learn they are not the center of the universe.  They will come to understand that responsibility is not optional, but a prerequisite for everything of worth in life.  Along with learning to love and respect one another, it is the center piece that provides balance to the world in which they live.

Keeping life in balance is a full time job; therefore, to all graduates, I have a few tips I would like to offer.  Tips from an old guy who has been there is about as fair as it gets in life, so listen up:

20 Life Tips all Graduates Should Remember. . . .

  1. Life isn’t always fair, but it is still good;
  2. Don’t take yourself so seriously; no one else does;
  3. Make peace with your past, or it will screw up your present;
  4. If a relationship must be secret, you shouldn’t be in it;
  5. You are either living, or you are dying; the choice is yours;
  6. If you want to be a writer, write! Don’t talk about it;
  7. Don’t save the good stuff for a special tomorrow; today is special;
  8. Responsibility for your happiness begins with you;
  9. What other people think of you is none of your business, so leave it alone;
  10. Believe in Santa Claus and miracles;
  11. All that really matters in the end is that you loved;
  12. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up;
  13. If you don’t ask, you don’t get; if you don’t play, you don’t win;
  14. Life is not tied with a bow, but it is still a gift;
  15. Try as hard as you like, but the past cannot be changed – move on;
  16. A good cry is okay if you move on after it is over;
  17. The opinions of others do not define your reality;
  18. You miss every shot you don’t take;
  19. Surround yourself with people smarter than you; and
  20. Your most valuable asset is you; invest in yourself.

Congratulations graduates!  Your greatest journey is just beginning.

JL

©Jack Linton, May 21, 2017

100 Days of Madness

Over the past eight years, many people blamed President Obama for the growing divide in the United States, and there is little doubt he was a party to the problem.  However, he has been gone for over 100 days, and we are more divided than ever.  In the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s madness, the nation has been besieged with riots in the streets, claims of fake news, outright lies and twists on the truth, growing threats of nuclear war, continuous Presidential tweets that reek of schoolboy bullying and narcissism, and White House jockeying that appears cloaked in scandal and coverup.  As a nation, we have watched as a once proud political party jerked the power of the Presidency from the hands of their political adversary only to become mired in madness and drown in its own vomit.

This past week, President Trump continued to pile coals on an already blazing fire when he fired FBI Director James Comey.  Whether the firing was justified or not is debatable, but the timing and how it was handled was amateurish.  In what seems to be the norm with this President, he makes decisions on the fly, loosely coordinates a cover story with his staff, and later kicks their feet out from under them when the story begins to unravel.  For example, in an interview after firing the FBI director, he acknowledged his people had not been one-hundred percent accurate in their initial portrayal of the events surrounding the dismissal.  He said he is such an active President that there is no way his people can keep one-hundred percent up to date on everything going on with his Presidency.  If that is true, he has serious communication and logistical problems with his staff; however, it is more likely his staff cannot keep up because the President’s stories keep changing.

Look at the the story behind James Comey’s firing as originally reported by the President’s spokespeople to the news media.  They initially reported the Russian investigation had no bearing on the firing whatsoever.  However, the President later contradicted them when he admitted Director Comey’s investigation into Russian interference in the Presidential election and possible White House collusion played a key role in his decision to fire the director.  We also learned the President took issue with Director Comey’s refusal to pledge his loyalty to him.  Bravo for Director Comey!  Such a request was not only unethical, but in direct conflict with the Constitution of the United States.  Like the President’s oath of office, the FBI Director takes an oath of loyalty to the Constitution of the United States and not to any individual, including the President of the United States.

The White House madness has now escalated from Russians to pledges to possible taped conversations with President Trump’s tweet to ex-Director Comey threatening the possible existence of secret tapes made of their conversations.  Maybe the President needs to study history!  In 1973, President Richard Nixon got into a hell of mess with secretly taped conversations, which led ultimately to his resignation in 1974.  Maybe the tweet was simply the President making up garbage once again – who knows!  Made up garbage certainly fits the bill for the madness surrounding a President who says whatever he feels his supporters what to hear regardless of authenticity, shrugs it off when called to task, and moves on without an ounce of accountability.  That is madness!

Some people say such madness would have never occurred under a Hillary Clinton Presidency, but I am not so sure.  If she had been elected President, I believe things in Washington would be much quieter, but I don’t believe she would have accomplished any more in her first 100 days than President Trump.  I am afraid, she would have consumed her first 100 days sitting in front of the mirror admiring the new President of the United States.  That would be madness of a different kind, but nevertheless madness.  Of course, everyone knew when Clinton and Trump became nominees for the Presidency we were in for a long maddening four years regardless of which one was elected.

JL

©Jack Linton, May 15, 2017

Jimmy Kimmel Stands Tall!

After David Letterman and Jay Leno retired from late night television, I thought the end had come for quality late night talk shows.  However, I have been pleasantly surprised by three of the four new late night hosts.  Jimmy Fallon with his boyish charm, sappy games, and decent interview skills emerged as my favorite, but to their credit Jimmy Kimmel and Steven Colbert are close on his heels.   The only miscast has been Seth Myers.  Poor Seth can’t seem to shake himself free of his old Saturday Night Live routines.  His show comes across as a SNL rerun, especially the first half of the show when his skits are often little more than SNL rip-offs down to the writing style and intonation of the delivery.

Up until a week ago, my order of preference for watching late night television was . . . .

  1. Jimmy Fallon: Fallon is a multi-talented host who comes across as extremely likeable.  He is the best interviewer of the four.  His biggest flaw is he plays it too safe, and has hit on a formula that with time is likely to grow old.  His house band, The Roots, is by far the best late night band on television;
  2. Jimmy Kimmel: Like Fallon, Kimmel comes across as approachable and likeable, which makes him a perfect late night host.  His video challenges are fast becoming legendary although at times controversial.  Unlike Fallon, he does not always play it safe.  He has been known to joust in murky waters with needle tongued jabs at politicians, but almost always with a mischievous little boy smirk on his face;
  3. Steven Colbert: Unlike Fallon and Kimmel, Colbert’s commentary can sometimes be down in the dirt mean.  He is not above outright attacks against those in the public he personally finds despicable and in need of having their faces rubbed in the mud.  Although I enjoy watching Colbert, he can sometimes go too far and pummel his audience with his personal politics.  However, there is no denying he is awfully good, especially when he is so often “point on” with his views; and
  4. Seth Myers: Seth Myers is by far the weakest of the four hosts.  His interviews are extremely thin, and as an added distraction every interview is saturated with his silly school girl giggles.  Myer’s biggest handicap is he can’t seem to shake Saturday Night Live from his system.  That is unfortunate since it is obvious the man has standalone talent.

However, that was my list several days ago.  Recently something happened that made me rethink my rank order.  No, Seth Myers was not fired.  Actually, Seth has shown some improvement, or maybe he is growing on me.  Lately, he seems to be wittier and more in tune to with his subject matter.  He is no longer simply reading jokes someone wrote for him, he is delivering his lines with authority and an underlying message that is not only funny but scary as hell.  He is still a little too much SNL, but he is growing.

However, Seth Meyer’s improvement did not cause me to rethink my list.  Jimmy Kimmel’s heart-felt message about the medical problems faced by his new born son was the catalyst behind rethinking the list.  Although critics, primarily Republicans, screamed he used his son to make a liberal political statement about Obamacare, nothing could be further from the truth.  It takes courage to put potential harm to your ratings aside and lay yourself open like Jimmy Kimmel did a few days ago on his show.  He spoke from his heart, and spoke a message that any father – any human being – can understand.  He was not speaking for The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and trying to sway political winds in favor of the embattled healthcare act!  He was not taking a political stand!  Jimmy Kimmel was speaking with the heart and voice of a father and with the passion of a human being pleading for all human beings to have compassion for those less fortunate.  He said no parent should have to watch their child die because the parent cannot afford to save their child’s life.  If that plea was political, in the name of God on High, we desperately need more such politics!

Jimmy Kimmel spoke from the heart.  Politics speaks from the pocketbook.  Jimmy Kimmel did not have to worry about paying for his son’s operation; his pockets are deep.  His plea was for those without deep pockets.  His tears were not only for his son, but for the realization that all children are not as privileged as his child.  His heart was breaking for the parents who without proper health care might have no choice but to watch their child die.  In the greatest most affluent nation on earth the health of a child – the life or death of a child – should not depend on the wealth or lack of wealth of the parents or guardians.  Thank you, Mr. Kimmel, for having the courage to publicly show your humanity.  You, Sir, are my new number one late night host!

JL

©Jack Linton, May 9, 2017

Five New Pet Products Every Pet Owner must Have

Recently I was introduced to Lickibrush, a rubber brush shaped like a large tongue that is used by cat owners to bond with their pet.  Picture this – the cat owner grips the Lickibrush in his teeth and combs it through the cat’s fur with long grooming licking strokes.  Most cats do this for themselves, but somewhere along the way some smart and crafty cat decided it would be easier to train their human to lick for them.  As a result, the enterprising cat marketed Lickibrush as a tool for humans to bond with Frisky (or whatever their cat’s name might be).  Think about it; who is smarter – the cat getting a massage and groom without lifting a paw, or the silly human with a rubber tongue protruding from his face?

I like cats, and over the years, I bonded with several, but not once did it occur to me to strengthen that bond by licking them.  Whether it is a cat or a human, there are consequences for cat licking.  HAIRBALLS!  A cat choking, gagging, and throwing up hairballs is a disgusting sight to behold and even worse to clean up.  So, why in the name of all that is sane, would a cat owner want to engage in a process that will ultimately lead to convulsive heaving and expulsion of nasty human size hairballs?  Who wants to clean up that mess?  Bonding with my cat or any animal is just not that important to me!

I hope animal loving fanatics will forgive me, but I must politely and emphatically say, “NO!” to Lickibrush.  The product simply does not make sense.  However, I have several products I am preparing to market that not only make sense but are practical and beneficial in the world of animal lovers.  Like Lickibrush, these products may appear to be a bit peculiar, but I can assure you unlike Lickibrush each one makes perfect sense and lends itself to practical application in the world of pet mania.

Five New Pet Products Every Pet Owner has to Have

PooShootSniffer

This device is the ultimate gadget for getting into you dog’s head.  Dog owners wear the rubber dog snout with a soft pliable wet nose (simply moisten with water before each use) over their nose.  When wearing the PooShootSniffer, dog owners can bond with Rover in ways never imaginable.  The instructions are extremely simple – while wearing PooShootSniffer, the owner drops to his hands and knees behind their pet and sniffs.  That is all there is to it!  By sniffing Rover’s butt, the owner says “I care,” “I am here for you,” and “You are special.”   PooShootSniffer is the perfect remedy for dogs that are depressed or lonely.  WARNING:  If your dog growls when you are using PooShootSniffer, back off!  Rover is letting you know that he is uncomfortable, and you are violating his personal space.

Babelshit

This device is designed expressly for pet owners with talking parrots.  However, it could just as easily be used with children to prepare them for watching movies, riding the school bus, or hanging out at the mall.  Babelshit is an electronic device that is mounted on the side of Polly’s cage.  When switched on, it produces profanity in up to 64 languages.  It audibly feeds Polly a steady stream of intoxicating four letter words.  With Babelshit, your pet parrot as well as your kids can learn to curse like all the cool folks do these days.  Now, how cool and classy is that?

Crapsteppers

Have you ever been away from home on business or a vacation and missed your pets?  That can be a real bummer, and make the trip almost unbearable.  However, Crapsteppers can help remedy that lonely displaced feeling.  Crapsteppers are rubber shoe soles that smell like dog crap.  Although it is sometimes impossible to bring your dog with you when out of town, with Crapsteppers, you can always bring the pungent smell of dog crap with you regardless of how far from home you travel.  Simply slip Crapsteppers rubber soles on your shoes, and instantly it smells as though you have been wallowing in dog poo.  The scented rubber soles can be worn on any shoe – casual or formal.  Imagine yourself sitting in your next boring business meeting wearing a pair of Crapsteppers.  While those around you are gagging, you can relax and almost feel Rover between your toes.

For those dog owners with limited room to pack, Crapsteppers also comes in a convenient travel size spray as well as sensible towelette packets.  The great news is the rubber slip ons, the travel spray, and towelettes come in three nose titillating fragrances:  Outdoorsy – a classic mixture of doggy poo and fresh cut grass; OopsyFresh – the warm fragrance of fresh doggy poo in an enclosed area (such as a living room or kitchen) mixed with elegant touches of morning bacon and coffee; and LingeringHeaven – the faint yet distinctive fragrance of well cured and forgotten or lost doggy poo.

Can’t bring your best friend with you? Take along Crapsteppers!  With Crapsteppers, you will never escape the lingering overpowering spice of dog poo that pet owners know and love so well.

DoggySee/DoggyRun

This unique device is for the pet owner who is too busy or too lazy to take his dog for a walk, or the pet owner lives in an apartment with no space for Rover to run and play.  The 3D device straps around Rover’s head over his eyes, so he can have the sensation of going on long walks or running free in vast open fields of daises (watch where you step!).  It is also ideal for overweight couch potato dogs.   The truly smart dog owner will buy two DoggySEE/DoggyRUN devices, so he can share long leisurely walks in the park and runs through mountain meadows with Rover.  For the thoughtful dog owner, DoggySEE/DoggyRUN is all about taking an active interest in the life of your pet.

HumanDoggyDoor

The HumanDoggyDoor comes directly from the why didn’t I think about this department!  This ingenious structure is attached to and around a doggy door.  It expands the opening so humans can also enter and leave the house or apartment at will.  It comes complete with frame, door panels, and hardware to attach to Rover’s door, and it has doorknobs the human can be trained to turn to enter or leave the house or apartment.  The structure also comes with locks as part of the doorknob assembly, so Rover can lock his owner in or out of the house/apartment at his discretion.

 

There is nothing fancy about any of these products.  They are products that are long overdue on the pet market.  Therefore, the next time you are in the car, house, or movie theater and smell dog poo, don’t ask who stepped in the poo, look for someone wearing rubber Crapsteppers instead.

JL

©Jack Linton, May 2, 2017

Facebook is People Being People

Sometimes people get upset and bent out of shape over posts on Facebook – sometimes for good reasons, and sometimes for reasons not so good.  There are times when you laugh with people on Facebook and times when you want to wring their necks.  If you choose to be a part of social media, you will experience both.  Why?  It is simple.  Facebook is people being people, and if you can’t accept that, you have no business being on Facebook.

At the end of the day, there is one given with social media – people will post just about anything for just about any reason.  That means the odds are excellent you can find something to offend you if you look hard enough, or you are in the right frame of mind to be offended.  There are offenses to meet every taste on Facebook from really rotten truly offensive stuff to petty, silly, downright ridiculous stuff.  At times, people even get their panties in a wad over innocent things that were never intended to offend anyone, but what is sad is when the offended person refuses to let it go regardless how many apologies are forth coming.

Please, let me repeat!  Facebook is people being people, and if you can’t accept that, you have no business being on Facebook.  People post for a variety of reasons, and other than holding a stinky rotten cheese stick to their head, there is little anyone can do about it.  If a person owns a computer, tablet, or smart phone, with a Facebook app, they can post whatever they please.  If it offends, you can laugh it off, you can ignore it, you can lash out, you can hold a grudge, you can act like a blooming idiot and make a fool of yourself, you can offend them back, you can dig up dirty laundry you know about the offender and post it, or you can unfriend the offender, but that is about all you can do.  As of now, offending someone – intentionally or unintentionally – is not punishable by prison time or the death chamber, so move on – let it go, especially if the offending person offers an apology.  Remember, Facebook is people being people, so accept it, or go do something more constructive with your time like read a book.

People being People on Facebook:

  1. People who post to witness and share their religious status;
  2. People who post because they are lonely and seek human contact;
  3. People who post to be funny or humorous (at least they try);
  4. People who post to share something that makes them happy or excited;
  5. People who post to affirm their existence;
  6. People who post to share a political or social view or rant;
  7. People who post because they are on Facebook and don’t want to be perceived as lurking in the background;
  8. People who post to provoke a rise out of people or get their goat;
  9. People who post to Facebook as a family scrap book;
  10. People who post because it is easier to post to Facebook than actually talk to people;
  11. People who post because they like noise of any kind in their lives;
  12. People who post because they don’t have a life;
  13. People who post because deep down they really like people and like being around them;
  14. People who post on Facebook because they have a short attention span and cannot read or write anything beyond a handful of sentences;
  15. People who post because Facebook is the only family they have;
  16. People who post to share their pity party;
  17. People who post to keep up with friends;
  18. People who post because it gives them a sense of being somebody;
  19. People who post to simply inform; and
  20. People who post because they can.

Facebook is people being people!

JL

©Jack Linton, April 27, 2017

Lessons We Learned from Our Kids

Parents teach their children valuable lessons to take with them through life.  Lessons about family and building relationships usually top the list, and countless hours are spent teaching, modelling, and reinforcing those lessons until they become embedded in the child.  Many parents turn to articles and books to guide them through the parenting maze, but even then, raising children is trial and error at best.  Teaching lessons that will carry children to success throughout their lives is not an easy task, but with perseverance, most parents succeed in giving their children the foundation and confidence they need to be successful in life.

However, life lessons are not just for kids.  Kids are quite adept at teaching their parents a few lessons of their own.  The first lesson, which parents are often oblivious to until too late, is kids are always in control.  Parents may think otherwise, but they are only deceiving themselves.  They are under the thumb of their children, and they remain there for a lifetime.  From an early age, kids sell the idea that “kids come first,” and “the world revolves around them.”  Since parents are more eager to please their children than their children are to please them, they buy into the “kids first” mentality hook, line, and sinker.  As a result, they are defenseless against being brainwashed.  They are at the mercy of master manipulators – their children.

My wife and I are no different; we were thoroughly brainwashed, manipulated, and trained by our three children.  They made us unwavering disciples of “our kids come first” and “our world revolves around our kids.”  In our home, there has never been any doubt who “ruled the roost” – the kids!   Our two sons and daughter taught us how to run errands for them at the drop of a hat and cater to their every need.  Their dear old mom slaved over a stove and oven eight hours a day to cook their favorite meals, and what did she get?  Turned up noses and squeals of “Ewww, there’s an onion in my potato salad;” “Gross there’s tomato pieces in the spaghetti sauce;” and “I’m not eating anything green.”  How that poor woman made it through the child bearing years only to be bushwhacked by kids with the palate of a McDonald’s junky, I will never know!  Nevertheless, like most parents, we were and are bound within a system of labor (service to our kids) for a fixed period of time (from birth to forever) in which our lives are exclusively the property of our children.  In fact, we have been named “Indentured Servants” of the year more than once since the births of our children.  However, if you ask my wife, she will tell you we would not have it any other way, especially now that our children are parents.

We are having the time of our lives watching our grandkids wrap our daughter and sons around their sticky little fingers.  Like us, our kids have become “Indentured Servants” to their children – baseball, softball, football, golf, cheerleading, band, show choir, church youth events, sleepovers, cooking their meals with special attention to personal diets and preferences, washing their clothes, money for movies, keys to the car, and waiting to 11:00 a.m. to cut the grass on Saturday morning so as not to interrupt the little darlings’ sleep are just a few of the concessions they along with countless other parents make for their children!  It’s all fun though, and when their children are thirty, our kids will most likely agree as well.  Our kids keep us smiling and young, and my wife and I would not change any of it for any treasure in this world. The good news is we are confident the lessons are not over.  With six grandchildren, we still have a lot to learn, but the grandkids will have to work hard if they expect to top the following list of lessons their parents taught us.

 Lessons We Learned from Our Three Kids

  • It is not wise to jump out of a swing backwards;
  • Dancing can break bones;
  • You really don’t want to know what the odor in your sons’ bedroom is;
  • Towel capes cannot make you fly, but they are good for cleaning up the blood before mom gets home;
  • One daughter is more than a match for two sons;
  • Sharpies will write on anything including floors, walls, and ceilings as well as act as the perfect touch-up paint for everything that does not need painting;
  • A clothes dryer does not make a good hamster’s wheel – RIP Herman;
  • Lost underpants during potty training means ransacking the house to find those underpants;
  • Boiled Easter eggs will spoil if kept under the bed until the following Easter;
  • Parents should be extra suspicious when their children are quite;
  • Do not drink after your kids;
  • “Uh oh” after the toilet flushes means “watch out,” but it is probably too late.

JL

©Jack Linton, April 20, 2017

People I Find Hard to Handle!

Nine people I find hard to handle, yet at times I may be guilty of acting like them:

  • People who blow their nose in public and then open the tissue or handkerchief to take a look! If you need to blow your nose in public, please do so, but do you really need to look at it afterwards?  What do you expect to find – brain residue?
  • People who text and drive! Thank the good Lord, I am not very good at texting, so texting and driving is not a problem for me!  People who text and drive should drive with a revolver with one bullet in the cylinder next to them on the seat.  That way just before they text, they can pick up the gun, spin the cylinder, put the gun to their head, and pull the trigger.  The odds are the same that sooner or later the gun will fire and texting while driving will lead to a deadly accident.  Every time I see a person texting while driving, I always think, “There goes a funeral waiting to happen;”
  • Fat guys who wear a Speedo on the beach! I have never been guilty of this, but if I ever find myself alone in the world with no family or friends, this will be my way of getting even with the world!
  • People who think a “Yield” sign means they have the right-of-way! We’ve all been there. We are driving down the highway when from the corner of our eye we see some bozo merging from a side ramp without bothering to look to see if a car is the lane.  The result, we slam on brakes to let him in to prevent an accident.  Bozo continues along his merry way never aware that his failure to adhere to the yield sign and merge properly almost caused an accident;
  • Overweight women who wear a two piece on the beach! There are certain things that are simply unbecoming on a woman wearing a two piece bathing suit at the beach:  a cigarette in her mouth; dried out leathery skin; a stretched out boat anchor tattoo on her belly; boobs she kicks when she walks; and bikini bottoms that read, “Danger, wide load!”
  • People who smoke! There are few things in this world nastier than cigarette smoke.  Tried it one time, but thank God, it made me sicker than a dog, so I never tried it again.  If a person wants to commit suicide by smoking, that is his/her choice, but they should do it in the privacy of their home away from people who enjoy living;
  • People who cannot express themselves without the use of profanity. Unfortunately, when frustrated or I smash my thumb with a hammer, I have been known to use words I later regretted and made me ashamed of myself.  However, outside those times, I try my best to avoid thinking with my brain stem and using “hardcore profanity.”  Heck, it bothers me to hear just about everyone these days say, “I gotta go pee.”  Whatever happened to “I gotta go to the bathroom,” or “I gotta go to the restroom?”  I really don’t understand why it is so important for folks to broadcast which bodily excretion they need to discharge;
  • People who cannot accept others for who they are! Most people have been guilty of pushing their agendas on others at one time or another.  People feel comfortable when the world around them conforms to them.  However, not everyone is like me or you, and that is okay.  Unfortunately, far too many people in our society don’t feel that way.  If people do not think like them, believe like them, or live like them, some folks cannot rest until those people are converted into a “mini me.”  If conversion is not possible, therein lies the underlying current of tension in our society; and
  • People who are offended by everything! Most people, including me, have been offended at some point in their lives.  However, most sane people do not make it a habit to look for things to offend them, which is too often the case in our world today.  If something offends you, it’s okay to address it, but in the name of Bozo the Clown, don’t park your insecurities on the offense and make your life and the lives of everyone around you miserable – MOVE ON!  Therefore, if I offended you with this blog, MOVE ON!  I can assure you I was not thinking of you personally when I wrote the blog unless you are one of the people mentioned above in which case I am the one offended, so I shall now MOVE ON!

JL

©Jack Linton, April 9, 2017