Feb 05

Just Watched A Guy Build The Millenium Falcon with LEGOS

I hate people that build fancy stuff with LEGOS. There, I said it. Like, seriously, who do they think they are? I played with legos as a kid like most kids of the 70’s. Kids today have no idea how spoiled they are. With their smart phones and Candy Crush level 954. I hate to be the “walked uphill in the snow both ways” old man here, but dadblammit, I walked uphill both ways as a kid. We literally had two toys growing up boys and girls. LEGOS and Lincoln Logs. The fact that you don’t even know what Lincoln Logs are kinda makes my point.

I could build exactly jack shit with Legos. Like a four walled symmetrical house was about the most advanced thing I ever produced. The crazy fancy prefabbed kits didn’t exist back then. You had like four different shaped blocks. We pretty much just plugged pieces together and tried to imagine them as cool things. Like you look at clouds. It was sad. You should mourn. When Minecraft became popular a few years ago, I checked it out. It took me about 2 minutes to realize what it was and I ran screaming from my computer “IT’S F&%$$ING LEGOS”.

My childhood wasn’t totally devoid of cool toys. I had a Stretch Armstrong doll. It was a superhero that would actually stretch out all over the place. Yes, it was probably filled with asbestos but let’s not rain on my memory parade. I also had a motorized game that had a spinning wheel at the bottom and you manually released little bombs from a plane hovering over the surface. That may have been the coolest game I ever owned. I am pretty sure Ted Cruz had one as a child. There was also the coolest football game ever made, Mattel Electronic Football. With all its little green lines. Then Atari came out and I was the #1 defender of the Earth against Space Invaders. Along with Pong and the tank battle game.

I also got many hundreds of hours of entertainment out of a magnifying glass. I literally burned every insect in the general vicinity of Edgewood Ave and 14th Street. I still remember getting in big time trouble for holding a 4 inch magnet to the tv. Which left a permanent 4 inch magnet shape in the television tube. I also used to cut the comics out of the newspaper. Peanuts and Garfield and all the rest. I actually had big paper grocery bags filled with them at my grandparents house. I suppose I thought they would someday be worth money.

I just wonder if today’s kids, being dumb as stumps as they are, will look back on their childhood toys with such nostalgia. Or if we have become so immune to everything that they won’t at all.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2016/02/just-watched-a-guy-build-the-millenium-falcon-with-legos/

Jan 23

I Don’t Watch Sports

If it wasn’t for facebook with it’s various stories and statuses, I would be blissfully unaware that the NFL is still playing football. Seems insane I am sure to many but I have never given much of a crap about sports. College football is about the only one I pay close attention to. Hail State baby!

I used to watch the NFL closely. Thought about getting that dish channel thing with all the games broadcast every Sunday. This was when I used to bet on football. I would have $100 a game riding on the outcome. This probably also seems insane to a bunch of y’all but let me just say, when you bet ten games, you’re not generally betting as much as it sounds like. Unless you get extraordinarily lucky or unlucky one way or the other, you can bank on losing as many as you win. This is how Vegas and your local bookie make their money, btw. Might as well give y’all a lesson on the human underbelly while I am in a writing mood. The bookie wants the exact same amount of money bet on one team as the team they are playing. That is because the bookies collect what they call a “vig” on the losing bets. 10%. So if the Vikings are playing the Bears in the Superbowl (I don’t even know if this is possible with the conferences and shit, don’t really care), and the bookies have $1000 bet on both teams to win, they will end up making $100 no matter who wins. They will pay the winners $1000 for their bets and collect $1100 from the losers, no matter who they are. If you still don’t understand, don’t ever gamble and stay away from those games at the county fair.

Anywho, I quit betting on football about 10 years ago I guess. But Fantasy Football had come along so I had a reason to pay attention. Of course, this was because we could win money playing it. Everyone chipped in an entry fee and the top two finishers at the end of the year split the pot. Well, I got tired of that a couple of years ago so now I don’t have any money riding on the outcome of NFL games. Which, in my world, translates into I don’t give a rats ass who wins on any given Sunday.

This applies to all sports except college football. I used to be a pretty avid NASCAR fan. My guy was ole #2 potty mouthed Rusty Wallace. I would watch every race… because we had a pool at the fire department. $5 a chance back then and everyone would blind draw two drivers for the race. Whoever’s driver finished highest that week won the pot. Once we stopped doing the pool, I quit watching NASCAR.

I guess this diatribe has digressed into what a habitual gambler I am. I should probably excuse myself from jury pools. But the problem is, I am not a habitual gambler. If I have some extra coin, and by “extra” I mean money that will be missed by anyone, especially my family, then by all means I am going to go toss some dice at the casino. I like it. A lot. But I don’t go often (I don’t have as much free money these days). I am definitely not spending the rent over there.

I guess my meandering point is that if I am going to watch or enjoy sports, I have to have some skin in the game. Remove that skin and I would rather watch a rerun of the Outlaw Josey Wales on TBS. Does TBS still exist?

Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2016/01/i-dont-watch-sports/

Jan 09

Leonard Dies

Leonard laid on the table and thought briefly “Is this it?”

After all, he was 89.

Most would think “He has had a good life.”

Leonard mostly thought “Goddamn. I am glad this shit is over.”

The first 60 years were pretty plush. Growing up. With all those shining golden moments. Does anyone remember their young child years in anything but rose colored glasses? I suppose those that got bad touched by an Uncle may not. But everyone else? Nothing but rock star memories through about 13 years of age. Chasing the ice cream trucks through the neighborhood. Or, for millennials, doing whatever the hell you useless jackasses did for fun. After 60 though, that shit goes to hell people.

Your friends start dying off. In the beginning it was just the drug head losers. Now it’s ACTUAL friends. “Damn it to hell, what happened to Tom?” It’s when you’re your normal friends start dying that you really start thinking about mortality. Before that it is a glamorous fucking game.

No one ever thinks they are going to die. Well, most people. Soldiers taking heavy fire from the enemy probably think they are going to die. But for most of us coddled Americans, there isn’t much of a possibility.

The last 30 years have pretty much sucked elephant dick. People gradually getting used to the idea that I don’t exist anymore. I start getting ignored more and more as I age. It is a very gradual ass fucking. I don’t see it coming. As I have grown closer to the end game, I have hardened. Most folks tend more to the glory of god as they age. “Tickets to heaven” is what I have always called it. “I was a complete shit-heel for my whole life but now that I am staring the cloaked one in the face, I take all that shit back.”

Leonard is at his death. He looks back with zero regret. Because he has finally realized that none of it meant a goddamn thing.

Leonard dies. There is nothing, just as much as Leonard knew before his birth. It is in this moment, when he is incapable of knowing anything, that he is sure of the true meaning of life.

That there was no meaning. You simply existed. And now you don’t.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2016/01/leonard-dies/

Dec 30

I’m retiring. Get off my lawn.

I started cutting grass for money when I was around 10 years of age. We lived on Edgewood Drive in Pascagoula Mississippi. My grandparents lived around the corner. I didn’t know how poor we were until I went back after Katrina and saw the concrete footprint of my grandparents house. It was, literally, the size of my garage now.
* Getting the digression out early in this post.*

Anyway, the first yard I cut for money was our neighbor directly across the street. He had a normal sized neighborhood yard. Maybe a little bigger. I used a push mower and it probably took me a couple of hours. He also had carpet grass. Like that thick tundra that mowers bog down in like quicksand. He was (not related to the story) a bleeder. I don’t remember why but he cut himself one day but I thought he was going to die, he bled so much. I charged the guy $8 to cut his yard. Seems like nothing but I will remind you that this was approximately 1983 and it was more than minimum wage today in 2016. (ignore the political aside)

I started adding a few yards at a time. Then dad got a SNAPPER riding mower. “I done hit the big time.” I started expanding my yards. I used to ride down the road with a push mower and weedeater tied to the riding mower to other neighborhoods. I would pull up to the yard and untie everything. When it came time to weedeat, I had to take one of my dads big 70’s brown belts and tie the weedeater to the fence to crank it. I wasn’t big enough to hold it and crank it at the same time.I used to stop every day by the local 7-11 and buy a Big Gulp when I was finished cutting. It was a little overboard but I rolled large for a 10 year old.

My dad told me a long time ago that if you wanted to make money “You just need to find something people don’t want to do themselves and do it faster and cheaper than the next guy.”

I built my lawncare company into a business that would end up making me more per year than my chosen profession of a firefighter. It never got “huge” but it did me well. I was always proud that I built it from scratch and didn’t just buy a plug and play franchise. That seemed like the lazy idiots way out.

I tell you all that to tell you this. I am retiring. I brought on a fellow firefighter as a full partner a couple of years ago and, as of immediately, he is the sole owner of Southern Style Lawncare and Landscape LLC. I hope it does as well for him as it did for me through the years. If you find yourself in need of some lawncare or bed maintenance, call Steve Samples at 228-282-4308.

I am off to better things and probably death. Seeing as I am old as dirt and all.

I will leave you with a couple of things to think about. An average neighborhood yard today will cost you $35 to have cut. That big zero-turn mower your yard boy is on? It costs 10 thousand dollars. Show your yard folks a little respect. They are making your life easier. And for that, you should be thankful.

Finally, let me say sincerely, DON’T CALL ME!

Love y’all and thanks for the memories.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2015/12/im-retiring-get-off-my-lawn/

Dec 18

Star Wars…Bitch

In the attitude of full disclosure, I threatened everyone on facebook with defriending if they shared any spoilers to the new movie. I will try my best not to disclose anything pertinent but I have to share this story. I went to see Star Wars.

One of the local radio stations made a post on facebook. The dude’s name is Danger or something. He is the evening “edgy” disc jokey. Digression ahead. I find radio shenanigans to be among the funniest things ever. Been awhile but the one where the disc jockey locks himself in the control room is my absolute fav. Like no one can get in and he has hijacked the airwaves immune to any control. It’s like wrasslin’. An American favorite.

Anyway, the edgy disc jockey in his hilarious attempt to be the next Howard Stern, posted a video asking for suggested titles for Yoda’s new sex tape. I commented on it (probably intoxicated). “Yoda and the Clone Whores” was my contribution. Well, I won. This may have been due to my overwhelming cleverness (the story I am going with) or the fact that only about 8 people submitted entries. I am not as good as I think, but I’ll be damned if I am not better than 8 random people. Y’all should take that one straight to the bank. I will kick your ass in the first round of Jeopardy. Respect.

So I won two tickets to the midnight premiere. What I thought was the premiere. When we got there I realized that people were coming out of like a 10:30 showing, so I don’t know.

This movie is a complete and utter hand job to true Star Wars fans. Like seriously, now we have a mess that we need to clean up. Overall, I was happy with the movie. But I am a Star Wars fan. There are PLENTY of nods to the first film. And the storyline copies so many things out of the first three films that it is astounding.
When you go see it, these similarities will become glaringly apparent to you. If you are a fan. JJ Abrams, obviously, was throwing a gift to the Star Wars purists in this film. All those folks that hated the 3 prequels will be crapping themselves over this film. Mark it down. Set records, it will.

As for my very first movie premiere experience, it was pretty uneventful. There were just a few people dressed up in costume and we didn’t get shot by Islamic jihadists (high fives self). The theatre was only about 75% full. We were in the theatre with all the local radio station winners. Take what I am about to say with a grain of salt. I am a geek. I know this. Embrace it. But this Star Wars crowd took it to another level. I would have taken these people’s lunch money.

Anyway, I am way drunk at this point, and less importantly, you have better things to do. Go forth and even though I know the dark side is enticing (limitless sex and free drugs), let me try to entice you over here to the light side. It really tells you everything you ever need to know that the good side doesn’t really have a name. But reject all that bullshit. Love the films for what they are. Mindless entertainment that ties you unfairly to your tragic childhood.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2015/12/star-wars-bitch/

Dec 11

Gender Reveal Parties

I can’t take it anymore. Gender reveal parties are the lamest thing I have ever seen. I really need y’all to stop if it’s not too much trouble. For anyone who doesn’t know, a gender reveal party is where they parents don’t know the sex of their still brewing child and they have a small gathering of family and friends to surprise everyone with the sex of the kid. Usually one person is privy to the info and bakes a cake with either blue or pink cake mix. The color can’t be seen until the parents slice through the icing. Then everyone is excited for like 5 seconds. It’s just me being an old man but every time I see one of these, I want to vomit.

I ALWAYS try to talk prospective parents into waiting until the birth to find out the sex. We did on my second child and it was one of the coolest things I ever did. I can’t even explain the build up of anticipation for a Dad by the time that little booger makes his/her emergence from the six week ruined vagina. Imagine the most excitement you can remember waiting on a Christmas present under the tree and times that by 1000. Seriously, if we would have had 10 more kids, we would have waited on every single one of them. My wife is in 100% agreement for anyone wondering.

But, literally, no one ever listens. I have not been successful with even one couple in the last decade in talking them into waiting. I guess it goes to the general impatience of people today. Everyone wants everything right now. The most common thing I hear is “We need to know what color (blah blah blah) to buy.” Horseshit. Especially if this is your first kid. Believe me, your last worry is going to be what color Junior’s curtains are. Your thought processes are going to be more like “Why is this thing projectile vomiting across the living room” and “What is sleep”.

While I am on the subject of child birth, let me add this handy tip for you expectant fathers. When it comes go time, there are going to be a lot of crazy things going on at once. You should just be there for your wife. That means getting her whatever she wants. Once you are in the delivery room, there will be a lot of nurses and a doctor giving you bad advice. They will try and talk you into heading down south to check out the action. Plying you with promises of “miracles of birth” and “Seeing your child enter this Earth”. You listen to General Mac on this one soldier. Stay North of that boundary line. Do the best you can in that Northern area and steer clear of the southern region. There are atrocities going on down there not suitable for a normal man’s eyes. If you do ignore my advice and consider yourself some sort of Jason Bourne, God speed my child. It will, in the very least, give you a new found respect for your wife. Here is the example I always give in real life. Do y’all remember in the movie Terminator where Arnold has just crashed into the apartment and is doing the self surgery on his eye? Well in one frame it’s Arnold. It cuts away and when it comes back, he obviously has all the movie make up on (so he can dig out his eye). It’s like that. What you are viewing looks fake. You will feel an overwhelming sense of doom at this point. Like your favorite playground is being bulldozed for another condominium. But have no fear. Your wife is the strongest person you know. And quite elastic.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2015/12/gender-reveal-parties/

Dec 10

Do you even game bruh?

Do you enjoy gaming? I do. Have always owned game consoles. It started early with Atari. Space Invaders for the win. Mattel Electronic football is still the greatest handheld gaming device ever created.

I was talking to a friend the other day about games. I bought myself a Playstation 4 for Christmas and it’s sitting under the tree. We got to talking about certain games we had played and kind of where we are in the gaming industry currently. You see, I am an A to B gamer. Meaning I like specific missions. Go here and kill this guy. Now go collect the virus specimens at the warehouse. Save the Princess. Usually I will be hot and heavy on a game for a few weeks, finish the storyline and never play it again. But the direction of games for the last decade or so has been these real world, large games. They have a storyline but you are also free to explore around New York City or Middle Earth etc. I HATE these games.

This does not keep me from making the same mistakes over and over. I went and bought Skyrim for the Xbox. It looked great on the commercials. Crazy good graphics and dragons. I played it for approximately an hour. I just don’t see the fun in wandering around the forest until I happen upon a village. Trade some villager some carrots that I grew in my garden for an ingot of silver. Make a knife. Just not my cup of tea. Which you can get from Mary over at the trading post.

Same thing happened with the last Grand Theft Auto I purchased. I was able to do a few cool things but it was mostly just me wandering up and down the streets of New York or whatever city it was in. Oh here’s a supermarket. Let’s go inside and buy some bread. Look, I don’t need games to emulate everyday life. The real one is mind numbing enough. I also don’t need pull down screens with a million choices on how to grow my character. I’m not a complex gamer. I don’t want to live a whole other life in the game and spend 6 hours a day pretending I am someone else. I just want to race a car and/or kill some stuff.

Which brings me to online gaming. I never do that either. Games like HALO where thousands of people from across the globe battle each other while talking about your opponents mother. Who, from what I have seen online, has some very loose morals and apparently a drinking problem. My beef with online gaming is that the people out there are just sooo good. It’s like they don’t have anything else to do all day in their parents basement but play Black Ops and drink Red Bull. Every time I stick my head out from behind some cover, some gaming ninja does a triple backflip over a semi truck while simultaneously drilling me in the jugular with a throwing star. No thanks.

Saying all that, I am really looking forward to playing the new Playstation. I got the bundle that comes with the Star Wars characters for Disney Infinity. By the way, they call it Infinity because you are literally never finished buying new characters to play in the game. Disney is the devil but I digress. The squirrels enjoyed Infinity on the Xbox so I am hoping we can get some quality time together before I kick them off to save Gotham and kill the Joker.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2015/12/do-you-even-game-bruh/

Dec 03

Thursday Pickin’ Season VIII, Week 14

It’s time for the at-least-annual version of the two week catch-up post and there’s some good news coming for those of you who count on the MTGU to make a season’s worth of picks you can rely upon.

In Week 12 we went a collective 12-3 in POTWs and 19-18 on bonus picks. Week 13 resulted in a 10-4 record, 24-16 in the bonus, and that means we are now 106-89 on Picks of the Week for the year, making this the 8th consecutive season we have had a winning record, regardless of this week’s outcomes. On bonus picks we now sit at 236-206. Honestly, the pros in Vegas and on TV have nothing on us.

TB went 1-1 over the last two weeks and 8-2 on bonus picks moving my season records to 8-5, 28-26. I won Week 12 and there was a 4-way tie for Week 13 between BW Buzz, Kitchen P, Mac and MD. Smily won Dog o’the Week honors both weeks. Musical bonus for Week 13 goes to Tiny D.

And ps, where in the hell did Fish and BW Buzz come from? What a late season run! But it’s still an open question on who will bring home the hardware. This is the closest race we’ve ever seen. Even TB still has a chance to win.

Here are the Season Standings with one abbreviated session left to play:

  1. Fish                      539
  2. BW Buzz              534
  3. Sweet                   531
  4. Nelson                  525
  5. TB                        513
  6. Kitchen P             489
  7. MD                       488
  8. Flyin’ J                  485
  9. RJ                         485
  10. SDog                     475
  11. Tiny D                   447
  12. Mac                      398
  13. Smily                    380
  14. JLou                     340
  15. Harmony              323
  16. Irvine Redd          250
  17. BR                       230
  18. RSR                     203

Here are my Final Picks of the Week and your HandyDandy Link to the Odds:

  • Southern Miss  +7′
  • Houston    -6
  • Stanford     -4′
  • North Carolina  +4′
  • Alabama  -17′

POTW  Michigan State  -3′

And your Final Installment of Good Tunes as the Clock runs out on 2015 TP:

  • In the Midnight Hour — Wilson Pickett
  • End of the Night — Dropkick Murphys
  • End of the Day — Night Ranger
  • End of the Line — Travelin’ Wilbury’s

SOTW:  Turn Out the Lights — Dandy Don


Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2015/12/thursday-pickin-season-viii-week-14/

Nov 27

Thursday Pickin’ Season VIII, Week 13

Happy Thanksgiving Friends,

TB hopes your bellies are as full as mine, your family convos are all about the good old days and that all your teams are winning, unless your team’s name rhymes with bole-biss.

I’ve got a family full of house right now so I can’t score last week or do much of anything else right now.

I will give you an update on “Be Excellent to a Stranger” though. One of our regular donors upped his game this year and sent in a check for $150. Seriously, words sometimes fail me and the way those of you who are touched by this idea have responded to it continually amazes. I can tell you that with gifts and pledges we will pass out over $700 this year to strangers. If you have a person in mind we should consider, please drop me an email or let me know in the comments to get in touch with you about it.

Again I ask (as you are able) to pitch in if, as they used to say in my childhood church, you feel so led.

I’ll try to post the updated scores when I can–maybe tonight, and I’ll add my picks later today.

In the meantime, go ahead and make your selections if you are ready–I know there are a lot of Friday games.


Well, it’s 10:30 Friday night now and I’m definitely not getting to last week’s scoring for a few more days.

But here’s your HandyDandy Link to the Odds and here are my picks of the Week.

  • North Carolina  -4
  • Florida State  -2′
  • Georgia  -4
  • Texas A&M  +5′
  • Southern Miss +5

POTY–THE Mississippi State Bulldogs +1


And of course, Go to Hell Ole Miss!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2015/11/thursday-pickin-season-viii-week-13/

Nov 24

Holiday Musings

I have been in a pleasant mood for the last week. I know exactly what I did to put myself in jollier spirits. I quit watching the news and tried staying away from political posts on social media. The Paris attacks sent everyone into overdrive. It seems when tragedies occur, people start reacting viscerally. Reacting with emotion and unapologetically so. Suddenly it is ok to group entire nationalities and people running for President can talk about putting people into databases while their constituents applaud. I wonder these same good folks would have been ok if we started kicking out white Christian Antiguvment Republicans after Tim McVeigh killed 168 people at the Alfred P. Murrow building in Oklahoma? Probably not, I imagine.

Anyway, I just needed to get away. It helps that my favorite Holiday is Thursday. A celebration, as chance would have it, of the last time a militant group of refugees came to the United States and started killing people and took over the country. I digress. Again.

I really dig Thanksgiving food. Casseroles, succulent juicy turkey and ham, and my wife’s stuffing. It is actually her Grandmothers recipe but my wife finally started nailing it a couple of years ago. I think it would win stuffing competitions if such things exist. Gathering the family together and hopefully avoiding politics. The annual overeating and required hand in pants nap on the recliner as football plays on the TV. My paw in law enjoys this tradition as well. Not his hand in my pants, you sicko. I really do love Thanksgiving. Christmas, on the other hand, is a pain in the ass.

We still do the Santa thing. Staying up late putting together toys on Christmas Eve. No possible way my kids still believe in Santa. They just like being able to play the Kris Kringle card. “Oh, it’s too expensive? No problem. I will ask Santa for it because he doesn’t have to pay for it.” It’s like some perverse holiday welfare program. My kids are con men. Then we have the 13ft fake tree that we have had for 10 years. I have to drag it down from the attic and straighten out all the limbs and thistles. Pull out the Clark Griswold ball of lights and put them on the dang thing. My wife trailing me around the tree listening to me grumble and cuss, smelling of holiday whiskey. Ahh, traditions. I stopped by Lowes the other day to buy a replacement tree. One of the ones that already has the lights on it. But none of their trees were tall enough or fat enough. Being married over 19 years, I have become finely attuned to what will and will not fly and bringing home one of these skinny, poser trees would only result in a return trip to Lowes for me. So I resigned myself to wrestling with Big Bertha for one more year.

I will leave you with this. A Saturday Night Live skit dealing with family squabbles during Thanksgiving. Better have that Adele cd ready!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone and enjoy your families. They won’t let you trade any of them in.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2015/11/holiday-musings/

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