I’m a bad person . . .

I know there are a lot of people who will think that of me, after they read what I’m about to write.

I don’t care.

Almost exactly 21 years ago, my mother tried to kill me.  My step-father, who was an ordained minister of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), stood by her side and used religion to justify her actions.  That was the day my faith in organized religion of any form died.

Today I got a phone call.  The caller was informing me that my step-father had passed on.

I feel no sense of loss.  I’m not sorry he’s gone.  I intend to hold a mostly private party, with my wife, tonight – to celebrate the first step to the end of a 21 year long trial.

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Do Not Call – broken . . .

Way back when Missouri was one of the first states to implement a Do Not Call law, my wife and I put our phones (at the time we both had a cell phone, and we had a home phone) on the list.  When the law went national, we were on the list even before the law was enforced.

We have never let our phones not be protected by the Do Not Call list, since.  However, I’ve noticed that the last few years have seen a dramatic spike in calls coming in anyway.   When I request to be removed from the contact list the caller is using, they sometimes laugh.  Sometimes they are belligerent, sometimes argumentative, and sometimes they hang up on me before I finish stating the request.  One thing they all have in common – the person I actually talk to has a very pronounced accent – like they are calling from India or somewhere in that area.

The Federal Do Not Call law is wonderful – but it is broken because it does not stop a call center from calling if the physical location of the call center is outside of the United States.  I’m a daytime sleeper – every telemarketing call I get interrupts my sleep.  Some days I get so many calls that I get no sleep at all (like today).  I got at least 4 calls that all had the exact same female voice trying to entice me to explore getting credit cards with a lower rate – today alone!

The Do Not Call law needs to be strengthened to force telephone service providers to block ALL international robot-calls – AT NO EXPENSE TO US.  No extra fees, no inflated values of existing fees – just block the calls.  It can be done with their computers.

Going . . . going . . . gone!

I think I’ve written a few times about the challenges we’ve had keeping our 1998 Mitsubishi Diamante’ running while saving up to replace it.  We finally managed to get a newer car about 2 weeks ago, but the dealership we bought it from didn’t want the old car as a trade in.  Something about it being over 20 years old, and discontinued by the manufacturer made it unlikely they would be able to re-sell it.

There was one obvious solution to having it clog up our driveway – a salvage yard.  When we first moved to this town, there was a salvage yard about 2 miles from our house.  However, the city counsel decided that having the town look pretty was more important than having a salvage yard that could easily dispose of such problems.  They forced the business to close down, and now the closest salvage we could find is over an hour drive away.  Still, they were willing to come get the car, as long as we understood that they couldn’t afford to BUY it due to the long drive.

We agreed.  Then the weather started causing trouble.  Due to the long drive, the yard wouldn’t send out the driver in bad weather, and it’s been sleeting/snowing/freezing every other day since we got the new car.

Well, we got a little bit of a break today, warm enough to just be normal rain, and they drove over.

The old car is GONE!

20 years . . .

Today is the 20th Anniversary of the day my wife and I began our relationship as more than friends.  Shortly after we started dating, I bought her a plaque for the wall that still hangs in our bedroom. It reads:

I Love You, More today than yesterday

And only half as much as tomorrow.

But, after 20 years, I’d like to make a slight adjustment to that.  It’s not because that is wrong, but because I want to emphasize one thing I believe to be true.  Love is not fate, or unavoidable – it is a choice.  So, today, I want to tell my wife this:

I choose to love you more today than yesterday,

And it’s only half as much as I’ll love you tomorrow.

Happy Valentine’s Day, my dear wife.