Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The hero that is Chris Kyle

Dear Chris Kyle and American Sniper,
Hello, I would like to start off with a little word association (You can play along at home):
Michael Moore: Idiot
Jane Fonda: Idiot
Seth Rogan: Canadian Idiot (I should have just said idiot twice)
The aforementioned trio are allowed to state their views and opinions along with myself and my thoughts concerning them because of the freedom of speech that the 1st Amendment affords us.
One more for you:
Chris Kyle: Hero.
The reason we are allowed to say and do the things that we do on a daily basis are because of heroes like Chris Kyle and members of the United States military both past and present who defend and keep this country safe. While the 1st Amendment grants us all the freedom to say what we want, it doesn’t have the ability to make those thoughts intelligent or tactful. Recent commentary by the likes of Michael Moore and Seth Rogan concerning Chris Kyle and the movie “American Sniper” can attest to this. Since we are on the topic of freedom of speech, I would like to exercise some of my own. Chris Kyle is better than you and I. Putting your life on the line to defend another’s can have this effect. Chris Kyle did things defending this country most of us could never fathom. Having to make the decision to pull the trigger on men, women and children to save American lives really makes me question why I worry sometimes over the choices I make. Chris Kyle had demons. 160 confirmed kills will do this to a human being. I like most can’t begin to know the toll it took on him and his mind and soul. Above all this, Chris Kyle is a hero. From the acts of valor demonstrated for our country to helping veterans like himself upon returning to civilian life and ultimately losing his own at the hands of someone he was attempting to help allows this honor that is all to many times throwing around loosely to be bestowed upon him. The audacity that some have to question Chris Kyle and his actions make me sick. I would say the phrase “walk a mile in somebody else’s shoes” would be relevant here but then again, being that the perpetrators are from that bastion that is Hollywood, they would surely have a stunt double do the real work them. Supporting our troops abroad and home doesn’t make you a redneck, racist, hillbilly, tea party activist or republican. It makes you an American and should be practiced by every citizen who calls the United States home. I dream of a world where we shouldn’t have to defend our military and those who serve this country like Chris Kyle to keep it safe and allow us the freedom to do what we do every day. War isn’t about puppy dogs and ice cream. War is all the bad things in the world that we don’t have to be a part of because the men and women of our armed forces stand guard on that fence on the reg to keep our way of life safe.
OK, last one:
160 confirmed enemy kills, 4 tours of duty in Iraq, 5 Bronze Star Medals, 2 Silver Star Medals and 2 Purple Hearts, proud Texan, husband, father and hero: Chris Kyle.
I’m pretty good at this…Merica.
Ps. Happy hump day peeps and go see American Sniper and max out that red, white and blue while you’re at it and remember….If she doesn’t scare the hell out of you a little, she’s not the one.
#Chriskyle #Americansniper #Navyseals #sethrogan #empireliving

Monday, January 12, 2015

My life according to me

Dear Birthday,
A chronological look back on my so called life to date…..
1st to 3rd: My first few years were filled with many challenges. Diapers were something that I was not familiar with. They seemed like a good idea at the time until I had to go to the bathroom. My mother and father I believed weren’t educated or failed to decipher my grunts and screams when it came time for me to go. I would attempt to hold it in but a diet of Gerber carrots and the green stuff would always get the better of me. I feel though that this in a way prepared me for late night trips to Tacos De later in college.
4th to 7th: With my early years behind me and having mastered the game changing art of potty training which opened life up to many new adventures. Being raised in the country I was free to roam with the dogs and other animals at the ranch. I was still trying to master this language my parent’s spoke which was referred to as “English” but at the same time I was still speaking “baby gibberish” and picking up “dog”. As I ran around the yard with the dogs I noticed that when they had to pee, they would find a tree or bush and go. I said to myself, “hey! What a great idea!” I still emulate this lesson to this day.
8th to 12th: As I moved into adolescence new things became front and center in my life. Up until this point my life revolved around 3 things: my roommates who I referred to as “mom and dad” (very traditional), my love of the outdoors and of course farming. It was around this era that sports were introduced to me. Baseball, football and the Cowboys became my passion. It was at this time that I learned what disappointment was.
13th to 18th: The one main rule in my father’s household was that if you weren’t playing sports you were working. Because of this my teen years were filled with many hours on the athletic field. The NFL needed a 5’9” white free safety with subpar speed, they just didn’t know it yet. The last few years of this time frame was also the time I experienced what living alone was like. You see, I was Dylan McKay before there was a 90210. Coming home to random friends at your house and waking up to people asleep on your couches prepared me for life in the AGR house later on.
19th to 25th: These were my college years spent first at Cuesta College in SLO and then on to Chico State which is more commonly known as “The Harvard of the West”. This was a very hazy time in my life. I do know at some point I joined a fraternity, played rugby, had the first black dog come into my life and graduated with a degree in Ag. Business.
26th to late 20’s: Work became the dominate force in my life. I still waited by the phone though everyday eagerly awaiting that call from the NFL. I purchased my first home along with my second later on. I also got engaged at this time. Yes peeps, I was almost transformed to a life of children, minivans and golf at an early age. Luckily I escaped that trap unscathed and have become what people like to refer to as a “unicorn” today.
30’s to 40’s: At this time I made my return to the mecca that is Chico. Bars rejoiced and my liver quivered at the thought of re-releasing me back into the wild that is Chico’s Downtown armed with a much higher income level then I possessed in college. No more White Wolf or Canadian Mist for this guy!
Late 40’s to present: Life is good. Rice, hunting, travel, great friends, fun and Tres Hombres dictate my life. The black dog with a love of pudding pops and ugly sweaters first came into my world along with the paparazzi that has accompanied his rise to fame. I discovered that I could write again and that I’m good at it in a confident not cocky way. I became a home owner again, and the color of the trim is amazing. The people in my life make me smile constantly. I’m am still that unicorn.
It has been an amazing run thus far, and throughout this journey I have learned to be positive towards it all. I’m a big believer in “everything happens for a reason”, God made it that way so life wouldn’t be boring and predictable. Remember to keep the good ones in it that you come across (you will know who they are), don’t overthink things and continue to take breaths away. Thank you all for being a part of this and can’t wait to see where the next adventure takes me! Cheers! I am still a unicorn….
PS. Happy start of the work week peeps, hope the weekend was amazing and remember…..Dinner is best served in a glass, with ice, some vodka and a slice of lemon.

#mylife #empireliving

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Islam vs. All of us

Dear Charlie Hebdo Newspaper killers, “extremists” and Islam,
Islam is a religion of hate…..There, I said it. Call me a racist, bigot, redneck, white trash, etc. Every time an act of terror occurs involving followers of the Islamic religion we are quick to label them as “extremists” and that the actions of a few are not the opinion or views of the religion as a whole. The media parades out numerous “leaders” of the Islam faith who preach that it is a religion of love and understanding, not of hate and violence. Let’s go to the scoreboard concerning this…..The current example of Islam not being a hateful religion involves the senseless murders of 12 people at a French newspaper because they had the audacity to print a series of satirical cartoons depicting Muhammad and Islam. As this slaughter of innocent lives took place the shouts of “Allah Akbar!” and “We avenged the prophet Muhammad!” can be heard in surveillance videos and confirmed by witness to this act of terror. This along with the beheading of kidnapped westerners, suicide bombings, killing of innocent people, deplorable treatment of women and its overall demeanor when it comes to the rest of the world all screams to me a religion not based on hate and violence. Continuing to refer to this as acts of “extremists” has worn thin with the majority of our planet. Now I’m not a scholar when it comes to religion but I’ve never heard anyone utter the term “extreme Catholic” or “extreme Sikh” or “extreme Mormon” at any point in my life. You know why? Because these examples of organized religion and others like them do not consider a bombed strapped your body as proper casual Friday attire or that it’s appropriate to turn journalists into human pez dispensers because they have a belief other than your own. The world is tired of excuses that are made by yourself and the media. If you aren’t a religion based on hate then your leaders need to step up and denounce these heinous crimes against innocent people and seek out and make an example of the quote “extremists”. Continuing to do nothing only reaffirms the growing opinion and thoughts that the general public has towards Islam. When an event happens once it can be chalked up as a “random act”. When this same event occurs numerous times it becomes a pattern. Muslims, the ball is in your court once again. With each passing moment you lose the rest of us in your attempt save face over each act of terror and hate you bring against people with beliefs other than your own. It’s only a matter of time before the rest of the 5.4 billion of us on the planet start thinking like the few. The clock is ticking…..
PS. Happy Thursday peeps on this gorgeous Thursday in January. Please forgive me for my absence, but the holidays, my recent move and a case of writer’s block have kept me from keeping you entertained and thinking. Big things ahead and promise to step up my game and remember….Brunch without booze is just a sad late breakfast.
#Charliehebdo #France #terror #Islam #empireliving