Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Too damn busy being Happy

I've gotten way behind on my happiness postings. I'm not a big TV person, but one of my favorite daily rituals is watching M*A*S*H. The Hallmark channel shows 4 episodes twice daily. If I miss them in the afternoon, I can catch them late at night. The show ran for 11 years and I bet I've seen the whole series from start to finish about 7 or 8 times. We just restarted season 1 this week, and I couldn't be more excited. Hawkeye and Radar are my two favorite characters, but I also really like the way Hotlips Houlihan turns from a nympho, right-winged maniac, into a strong caring woman - Margaret.

Though I have been sober for quite some time, my favorite line is still that uttered by Hawkeye to Colonel Potter upon his arrival.

Col. Potter - "A pair of colorful officers, I must say. I gather you drink?"
Hawkeye - "Only to excess."

M*A*S*H has not been , and in my opinion can not be, surpassed for its combination of wit, intelligence, and compassion. M*A*S*H makes me happy.

Technorati Tags: [MASH, Happiness Challange]

Monday, August 28, 2006

Told you so!

Terrell Owens is already well on the way to dismantling the Dallas Cowboys in record breaking time. When Owens left the Eagle we knew we were going to get to tell someone I told you so, but we didn't know who. Then Jerry Jones stepped to the plate and made our day.

Is Terrell Owens the biggest "I told you so" in all of sports? I think its definately the biggest in NFL history. T.O. is like a roach motel for NFL teams. Teams go in, but they don't come out. I'm surprised that some crazed right to life group in not protesting T.O.'s repeated abortion of entire teams.

What are some of the other great "I told you so's" of NFL history? One that comes to my mind and has extra significance since it involves one of my beloved Volunteer's greatest players is Peyton Manning. To many in the media, since Peyton didn't beat Florida during his time in Orange, his Vol carerr was pointless. These intellectual midgets said Ryan Leaf would be a far better NFL QB. Peyton turned out to be just a bit better. Told you so!

Another is Bo Jackson, and this got me. When Bo was telling us about all he knows many doubted that he could play both baseball and football. Since I was still hold my hatred of all things Aubrun against him, I joined the course of those calling BULL. Bo went on to greatness in both the NFL and Major League baseball, and I shut the hell up. He also turned out to be a nice guy, and even though he could have and probably should have, Bo never said Told you so!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Government by Rock- Paper-Scissors

Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen has been suffering from an unknown illness that recently required him to travel to the Mayo Clinic for help. The cause is still unknown, but Governor Bredesen's pain is our chance as a state to step into history. As part of our concern for our beloved Governor it has come to the attention of the people of the great state of Tennessee that we have no plan to replace our beloved governor should he be unable to fulfill his duties. Apparently, unlike Miss Tennessee, should the winner be unable to fulfill his responsibilities the runner-up can not just step in. As it stands we would have to wake up 85 year old Lt.. Gov Wilder and get him to fill in should Phil not be able to show up for work. That could require an entirely new bureaucracy. Here is where Tennessee has the chance to make history.

Tennessee could become the first state to govern by Rock-Paper-Scissors. Should Phil have to go on the DL, we get the legislature to appoint one Republican and one Democrat and any decision that the gov would normally make would be settled by them via Rock-Paper-Scissors.

Not only is this potentially the greatest enhancement to governance since the veto, it's also a great way to make money and earn the state much needed PR. You could add a third citizen member to the Rock-Paper-Scissors team and a lottery could be held so that a new citizen is picked each week. That's not even the best part. Can you say reality show?!

Each week a Republican, a Democrat, and a Tennessee citizen "Volunteer" could go through a series of challenges to see who will get to make the governor's decisions via the Rock-Paper-Scissors.

Here's the pitch: Joseph Watson was convicted of killing three people in Manchester, Tennessee in 1997 and the only person that can save him from lethal injection is the governor. This week Republican Tim Burchett from Knoxville, Democrat Harold Ford Jr. of Memphis, and Alice Vittetoe or Etowah will battle it out to see who earns the right to climb Rocky Top and determine Watson's fate with Rock-Paper-Scissors. Tune in Thursday at 9 to see if Watson lives or dies on Rocky Top RPS!

Somebody call Mark Burnett.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Headlines lead to paranoia

I took oldest daughter Hannah to college Saturday, and managed not to cry until half way home. She's lived with her mother most of these last years, but I still saw her several times a week. Besides, its tradition. Something about her being away at school set my paranoia meter into high gear. As though somehow she never faced any danger before, my mind has been racing through all the things that could go wrong now that she is away. Hell, if she only does 1/3 of the stupidity I did her life is in grave danger. Then just as my mind was settling down, I woke up to the incident at VA Tech. I'm going to have to work harder at this whole serenity thing.

Monday, August 14, 2006

We now return to our regularly scheduled Happiness

I was in mid happiness post when I got distracted by Denise. I don't even know how I came across her post, but I'll blame Michael Silence. But it got me thinking about things that make me happy. Today has been a weird day, and I've been all over the map as part of the day's happenings. I had lunch with a Jewish friend, and we actually met at his synagogue, I drove by 843 different churches, and finally took my son to soccer practice right next door to the Hindu community center.

Now I'm trying real hard, with limited success, to be a man of faith, and I love it when God uses the spiritual 2 x 4 to remind me of His presence. As I pulled in next to the Hindu community center Exodus 20:2 came to mind "You shall have no other gods before me." The feeling I got (and it was a feeling similar to what Wesley described "my heart strangely warmed") was not "My God can beat up your god" or "If you don't belong to the right deity country club you're going to hell", but instead "Hey, keep your eyes on me, and I'll take care of the rest." That makes life way easier, and faith simple enough for even me to understand. That makes me happy.

Technorati Tags [Happiness Challenge, Faith, Religion]

Atheist Common Sense

Denise over at Mental Excrements is one pissed off mother! Seems someone at her son’s school gave him a flyer that contained some type of religious information on it. Denise then set out to hold the zealot accountable for their separation of church and state blasphemy. She interviewed three teachers, the principal, and finally the Superintendent himself in an effort to bring the criminal to justice.

My daughter also brought home a flyer for the Good News Club at West Hills Elementary. The club is sponsored by West Hills Presbyterian which is right behind the school. The club is held after school once a week and according to the flyer includes lessons in moral values, respect for authority, character qualities, and Biblical principles. My daughter won’t be attending, for reasons having nothing to do with the fine folks at West Hills Pres, and I threw the flyer away.

To me, common sense dictates that we are far better off when we live and let live. If the Mosque wants to have an after school club, or the Shinto Shrine wants to host a Fall Festival, I’m all for it. And if they would like the opportunity to send information to students, follow the school’s guidelines, and pass out flyers like some churches have chosen to do, great.

Now apparently one of the many teachers that were part of the inquisition “Mrs. B.” implied that atheists are notnice folks. After reading Denise’s Friday post I can’t imagine why –

While looking over various papers I came across a flyer that made my blood boil. It was a fucking flyer for a CHURCH! WHAT THE FUCKKKKKKK?????

Since when do schools distribute flyers for churches? Since when does religion play a part in the public fucking school system? You can can bet that Monday morning I’m going up to that damn school and bitch about this. I WILL put an end to this shit. My children go to school for an EDUCATION not to have this crap shoved in their faces.

To be sure, as Denise herself states, there are plenty of Christians who are jerks. I myself have more often than not failed to live by the very faith I profess.

I’m sure Denise is really a quite charming woman. She is as apostolic in her faith, Atheism, as Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell could ever hope to be. It’s her way or no way, and if she doesn’t get it she and the ACLU will have you in court faster than you can say Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche. Denise's goal is not freedom of religion, but freedom from religion, and if that means doing away with freedom altogether, so be it. Denise joins other great atheist minds like Stalin and Mao in using the ultimate tool to oppress people of faith, regardless of its form - tyranny.

Common sense would say if you don’t want the flyer or its ideas to just throw it away. I guess common sense wasn’t included in Denise’s college education.

Technorati Tags [Faith, Religion, Pissed Off]

World Trade Center Movie

I saw Oliver Stone's World Trade Center yesterday, and it was fantastic! I'm not a big Oliver Stone fan and had even joked prior to seeing the film that I wondered how he would tie in JFK's assassination. For a while there every Oliver Stone film seemed to have something to do with JFK.

But the movie was great all the way around. Through the story of two firemen and their families I found myself thinking about all those that died that day, and those that survived. I was made to think about the WTC disaster in ways I never had. Wonderfully, the movie is almost totally apolitical and our focus is entirely on the lives of the those involved.

Go see it and take your kids that are old enough to see it.

Here are some other reviews.

Technorati Tag: World Trade Center Movie

Thursday, August 10, 2006

And they called it happiness

It's amazing how much happiness the average pig can bring. There is of course Bar-B-Q, pork chops, and ham, but the highest purpose any swine can aspire to is to have his skin cut into four equal diamonds, sown together, filled with air and placed on a gridiron in the fall. This is the greatest act of self sacrifice in all the animal kingdom - that one pig would give his life for football.

Tonight the first pre-season NFL games are on, and I find myself starting to jones for tailgating, Neyland Stadium, and three hours of Rocky Top. I Love football - that's right, with a capital L - and I love it so much that it is the reason fall is my favorite season of the year. Oh sure, the magnificence of God's beautiful creation bursting into color helps, but football is what makes fall sing.

Football makes me happy!

Technorati Tag: Happiness Challenge

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Happiness X 3

Still trying to meet Mike's happiness edict - School is starting!! I always liked the beginning of school, especially high school. Every possiblity was still available. I still had a chance to get an A in every class.

This year my hoodlums are venturing to three different schools - Clara Grace at West Hills Elementry, Quent at Bearden High School, and Hannah will be the fifth generation to challenge the Carson Newman College administration's sanity. Actually, I think she may be the first Willson in three generations not to challenge their sanity.

None the less, each new start brings it's own special joy. We get to find out who Clara Grace's teacher will be, and see her joy at new school supplies, and new class mates. Quent makes the transition this year from having to go to class to getting to go to the classes he loves like photography. Hannah's start brings the joy of independence and a chance to finally make a life as she wishes it to be. But Hannah's new start actually brings with it a bit of trepidation, if not on her part, at least mine. Because Hannah's will require the most of me, since Hannah's requires me to let go. "Let go and let God." - I hate it when my children actually make me practice what I preach.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

State of Everything

David Sifry has brought us up to date on the state of the blogosphere. Apparently there are over 50 million blogs. That makes my Technorati rating of 380,295 not look so bad. The report also points out some really distrubing and weird aspects of the human psyche. The Indian Ocean Tsunami that claimed over 300,000 lives and hurricane Katrina which almost erased New Orleans from the map brought on far less postings than Valentines Day or Cynthia McKinney bitch slapping a Capitol Police officer. And neither of those two events could top the interest in the National Spelling Bee. Never mind, that makes perfect sense.

Hat tip: No Silence Here

Monday, August 07, 2006


Humlarity - The joyous combination of humor and hilarity.

One of the things that makes me happiest of all is to laugh. The only thing greater than laughing myself is finding out that I've actually been able to teach my children the same love of laughter.

My oldest daughter, Hannah, has shown a pension for cerebral humor. When her mother was away, she spent several hours convincing her younger sister that she was merely a figment or her mother's imagination. When her mother returned, Clara Grace ran to her crying "Momma! I'm a figment!" The psychological scares were far out weighed by the fact that it's just plain funny.

Clara Grace herself has developed an excellent sense of humor at only age nine. Tonight I had to pick her up after work (11:30pm) and we stopped at the grocery store on the way home. I asked her what people would think about a little girl being out at the store after midnight. She said "I'll just tell them we're out partying one last time before school starts!" I should be upset at the thought of my 3rd grader being able to grasp the concept of partying, especially with our family and my personal history, but its just too damn funny.

What about Quent you ask? Has my son achieved humlarity? No, not really. Dull as a dusty almanac. The boy's destined to be an actuarial. Though it scares me to admit it, he could end up being the next Mr. Rogers.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Happy, Joyous and Free

Still trying to meet Big Orange Michael's happiness challenge - Today was a hectic day, filled with various trials and traumas each of which to their participants was the end of the world, and each required me to swim a little in those pools of sorrow. Some were even real! But each swim brought with it a surety of being OK, of knowing that I would be alright no matter what. Someone called it serenity, and it may be, but I call it a miracle. Not long ago those pools were mine, and though they were not deep enough to cover even my big toe, drowning seemed inevitable. Today, I know there is nothing that God can not handle if I will just let him. Thank God!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Happy as the other side of the pillow...

I got up this morning and was reminded of how even the simplest thing can bring a sense of happiness. This morning while taking my rollers out, I put in a new set of contacts. Man, they felt great! Having today's post on my mind I thought of all the other ridiculously simple things that help make our day. Flipping over that pillow in the middle of the night to get to the cool side is like getting to fall asleep all over again. Hearing the exact right song at the exact right time - I've always liked Thin Lizzy's The Boys are Back in Town right around the time football practice starts back up.I love a fountain coke on crushed ice. I dig a tomato and chesse sandwich - with really cheap Mayo! Simple.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Happiness is...

Big Orange Michael threw down the happiness gauntlet, and I'm just now picking it up. Mike has asked us spend each day this month discussing things that make us happy. Today, I'll mention two to make up for my absence yesterday.

The Beatles said that happiness is a warm gun. I don't agree, but little have the Beatles produced that hasn't produced a great deal of happiness. They also said all you need is love, and that I can agree with.

Three people that have had a tremendous influence on my life are Scotty Mayfield, and Ben & Jerry. They've influenced me about 75lbs, and ice cream is God's greatest nutritional gift since manna. Scotty use to also be my Sunday school teacher. I was more influenced by his chocolate Sundays than any other.