TMCG: MYH is KHV

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I am not sure if the latest episode of Curious George is empowering for women, or humiliating for men.

Porque no los dos?

I fully expect to see MYH posting on /r9k/ this very evening, two-fisting Code Reds and weeping into a bag of spicy Cheetos. Normies beware—there is a deep sadness in the Man in the Yellow Hat, a higher loneliness, the kind of desperate self-loathing that accelerates the emergence of the Reticulated American Douchebag, compels him to join with his kind in the friendzone, and there recite together a kaddish for the pisghetti that flowed from their pockets.

The Yellow Hat is not a fedora, but it is close enough.

Bless Dr. Wiseman. She has no idea what has been wrought. She is a good, kind, intelligent woman who no doubt finds MYH both capable and charming in a dorky sort of way. He is helpful. He is kind to animals. He has the patience of Garrison Keillor munching Quaaludes while attempting to translate the Voynich Manuscript into Yankee Lutheran.

But he is not her type, alas.

MYH and Curious George visited Dr. Wiseman at the museum. She was answering phones and stacking papers and basically being a whirling dervish of a competent professor. MYH saw his chance. He screwed his courage to the sticking place and said, “Dr. Wiseman, you need to relax. Wanna come with George and me and do something relaxing on Saturday?”

Perfect opening gambit. It’s a group thing, no weird “just you and me” schtick. I could see it in his eyes. He had been hoping for this moment for months.

She accepted! Oh frabjous day! Caillou! Callay!

MYH and Curious George went back to the apartment to plan the…date? Was it a date? Why, yes, I do believe it might be a date! No George, she won’t want to jumprope.

A picnic seems like a great idea, despite the horrible fake etymology the internet has bestowed on the word.

And so it came to pass that MYH, Dr. Wiseman and Curious George had a picnic in the park. Dr. Wiseman was wearing jeans. She said she had been practicing reclining at a 45 degree angle, which was the most relaxing angle. In short, she made herself absolutely nerd-adorable without even trying. Just so awkwardly cute. Waifu material. They shared a brief, giggly moment.

Then the day imploded. MYH cannot be trusted with himself. As an aside, I know this feel. I know how it is to love with pock-marked teenage ardor the achingly desirable girl who does not even know how desirable she is. I also know how it feels to f*ck it up in a way I had heretofore believed to be unpossible, by out-dorking even the dorkiest of dorks.

“Dr. Wiseman, you want a pickle? They are very relaxing.”

(Freud)

Dr. Wiseman DID want a pickle, one of the big ones, but MYH could not get the jar open. Neither could Curious George, though I suspect he was only pretending he couldn’t open it in order to be a good wingman to MYH and not embarrass him. Wiseman helps George open the jar, and he accidentally dumps all the pickles all over MYH.

“Well,” MYH says, “maybe pickles aren’t THAT relaxing.”

MYH’s next attempt is a hammock. Yes, a hammock strung between two trees in the park. He suggests that she should lay in it. But he doesn’t want to be creepy, so he doesn’t say they should lie in it together. He does not tell George to go away. Again I see the gears turning—how to convince Dr. Wiseman to lay in the hammock without sounding geeky, weird, or desperate.

But then he says—I sh*t you not—

“What could be more relaxing than hanging from a tree?”

ohshitoshitdudewhatareyouDOING?

Yes. He did that. George scrambles up the tree and hangs by his feet to show Dr. Wiseman what MYH was TRYING to say and oh my God I didn’t mean it like that dear Lord just let the ground swallow me up.

The hammock swallows him up instead, and then Dr. Wiseman picks up a baseball bat. She says she will help get him out of the hammock. MYH laughs nervously and asks if she will get him out like she gets candy out of a piñata.

For that is what he deserves.

But no, she uses the bat to lever the strings apart. Dare MYH hope that things will now improve?

No. The damage is done. Dr. Wiseman says she has to go soon.

MYH panics. He starts blubbering about how she needs to relax and they’ve been there all day and she’s had to do stuff for them and has not been RELAXING. Um, let’s feed the ducks, Dr. Wiseman, wanna feed the ducks?

George does, but somehow, in the midst of duck-feeding, MYH’s yellow hat ends up in the middle of the pond.

His essence. That which makes him, him. Dr. Wiseman fashions a hook and line out of a paperclip and some yarn, but cannot retrieve the hat.

“We need more weight,” says Dr. Wiseman. This phrase destroyed MYH as easily as it did Giles Corey, but in this case a little more Freudian symbolism was called for.

Dr. Wiseman looks around for something with which to weight the makeshift hook. She discovers a small pickle in MYH’s pocket, pulls it out, snaps it in half, and uses one half to weight the hook.

The hat is now retrieved.

Dr. Wiseman says not to worry—the day was relaxing after all. MYH says he’s going home to take a nap.

But he won’t be napping.

 

-Professor Zac Showers

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If you’re reading this…

I am somewhere over the Pacific Ocean in an airplane. You betcha I am uncomfortable and pissed off. I hate flying. I realize there hasn’t been many blogs go up lately, sorry. It has been a busy couple of months. I have been planning a wedding, working a lot, trying to fix up an old truck, buying a house and getting ready for this trip. I am currently flying to Hawaii, specifically the island of Oahu. It will be my first trip to Hawaii even though for my entire life, up until this past July, I thought that the reason I was brown-skinned was because I was Hawaiian. It’s a long story, filled with ironic commonalities and the kind but formidable passing of time. This blog will mark the beginning of my story (title pending) about how – at the age of 27 – I came to know and meet my biological father and grandfather and my true ethnicity. I have a camcorder and I’m going to film a bunch and edit it down into 5 parts maybe, with some writing for explanation and some video. So, stay tuned and subscribe to the blog via email so you don’t miss anything.

Young Fat Stupid Cops are Poor

 

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The standards to become a Law Enforcement officer are entirely too low. This is a problem in my opinion. The dangerous nature of the job makes it an unappealing one to most people who are qualified to do it. Although being higher in rank within the chain of command at any specific agency brings a more desired salary, the demanding schedule and workload of a rookie officer comes with sub-par wages and benefits. There is a clear correlation between standards and pay. There is a problem, at least locally, where departments are understaffed, because no one wants to be a cop. People don’t want to become a police officer because they don’t get paid enough, but I don’t know what to do about it.

 

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Maybe cops should get paid more. I’ve heard it said that military, law enforcement, teachers etc. should be paid like football players. Essentially swapping income between public servants/first responders and professional athletes. That would be dope. I’d love to make as much as Russell Westbrook, just cruising around arresting people. I’d get sued more often that’s for sure. Meth heads would be lining up to sue me for “violating their constitutional rights”. A more logical thing would just be to raise the pay in a way that is proper reciprocation for putting your life in danger. Maybe make all law enforcement a federal or state job with a pay scale like the GS (General Schedule). For sure needs to be a universal pay, regardless of location. I know cops who make $10/hr. and that is SAD. Those cops could get hurt or killed doing their job, obviously the chances are lower in less densely populated areas, but it doesn’t matter. The job we do is dangerous.

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Until the standards are raised to become a police officer the low pay will probably not change. Most police departments in the US have a minimum education requirement of a diploma or GED. I have a diploma and some college, and I sometimes still have trouble with constitutional law. Further education would obviously only help you in any career, but maybe the minimum requirement should be higher. As far as the fitness requirements those should absolutely be raised. In the state of Alabama the standard is a 1.5 mile run in 15:28 or faster, 22 push-ups in a minute, and 25 sit-ups in a minute. I am certain that my 3 year old niece could complete that with ease. There is also an agility portion of the test that involves; pushing a car, climbing a 6ft fence, walking on a balance beam, climbing through a window, and dragging a 165lb dummy. Most agencies don’t even test yearly to make sure that those standards are being kept up with after completing your certification. Some people think of cops as fat doughnut eating slobs who sit around and BS, only working when they are ruining your day by writing you a speeding ticket. I’ll tell you that there are absolutely some cops who fit that description perfectly. That will always be the case though, but the physical fitness part can be changed by raising the standards. Most agencies require a minimum age of 21 by the time you complete your POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training) certification. Maybe make that age 25? I became a police officer when I was 23 and will admit that I wasn’t mature enough for the job, but thanks to competent and caring supervisors I quickly changed.

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I don’t know how to change the standards, but they need to be higher that’s for sure. Until then I’ll keep doing my job, trying to affect change in people’s heart to do better, for less than desired wages.

 

getting better

wow

hmm

Life in the Kingdom: Instagram While They Pray

 

As I write this, it’s a little after 6:30 pm on a Friday evening in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The first day of the weekend is winding down and the Isha’a prayer can be heard outside from local mosque loud speakers.

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Photo of downtown Riyadh, taken from land mark building; Kingdom Centre

 

For the past thirteen months I’ve been living in the capitol city of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I work for a company contracted by the U.S. Army to work on the “Modernization of the Ministry of the National Guard” project. This project is only a small part of Saudi Arabia’s “Vision 2030”, in which the new government hopes to stand up several modernization projects across the country. I hope to talk about “Vision 2030” in more depth at a later date.

 

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Street view of Kingdom Centre, downtown Riyadh

 

As I’m sure you can imagine, the cultural differences from the United States to Saudi Arabia are endless. To start, as you may have noticed at the beginning of this post, I referred to Friday as the first day of the weekend. Although you may start your weekend on Friday after work, the work week here is Sunday through Thursday. Friday is the Muslim holy day, and Saturday rounds out the weekend. This, coupled with a seven to eight hour time difference from your friends and family, really throws a kink in many aspects of life I consider normal.

 

The hardest thing for me to get used to, by far, are prayer times. Throughout the day you can hear the Muslim call to prayer ring out from the many mosques scattered across the city. Without fail, anywhere from ten to thirty minutes before prayer time, all businesses close. They open back up about ten minutes after the end of the prayer and this happens five times a day, seven days a week. It begins with Fajr, the dawn prayer, continues throughout the day with; Dhuhr, Asr and Maghrib, and ends with Isha’a, the night prayer I mentioned in the beginning. Other forms of salat (ritual Islamic prayers) occur as well, either weekly or for special occasions like Ramadan and Islamic festivals. You must plan all of your daily activities around these prayers. I’ve been caught many times, on my way to run errands or visit a restaurant, seeing stores dropping their blinds and locking their doors. You learn quickly to check prayer times before leaving home or work to prevent sitting in a parking lot for forty-five minutes. Unfortunately, due to many factors, sometimes you still end up browsing Instagram to kill the time until you can get your tacos.

 

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Nearby restaurants and grocery store closed for Dhuhr prayer on a Friday

 

Then there are differing religious laws, which are enforced by both police officers and religious authorities, that prohibit things that we as Americans can do freely every day. Like meeting your Tinder match (for you single folk) for a drink after work. Yeah, you just broke multiple laws doing that, if you were here. First off, alcohol of any sort is illegal here. My boss and I can’t even order isopropyl alcohol to use as a cleaning agent. Secondly, you aren’t allowed to be in the company of a female in public without being related to her or having a male member of her family being present. Both crimes are cause for being immediately arrested, which comes with prison time and/or harsh physical public punishment. Those punishments are comprised of; lashings, stoning, and extremity amputations including beheadings if it’s deemed a severe enough crime. All of those take place downtown in a spot us Westerners have nicknamed “Chop-chop Square,”. Yes, you read that last sentence correctly! Now these aren’t open to the general public, at least not anymore from what I’m told. Such events are by invitation only to Muslims of status in high political and religious standing, and those somehow linked to the criminal. Personally, I just stay away from that part of downtown no matter if it’s choppin’ day or not. Really puts being single in the USA into perspective, huh? Obviously both drinking and single men and women getting together still happens, and we may get into that when I’m a little surer that every keystroke isn’t being watched. Trust, me these guys will give the NSA a run for their money…. Oops!

 

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All in all, I haven’t felt threatened while being here which is good. Mostly because I make sure to respect their customs and abide by the directives my company security division issues. At the end of this I have no doubt that I will return home to my wife with a great new-found appreciation of the basic freedoms that we Americans have. Until then, I will try to learn what I can about this different culture and find things to enrich my time here and share with all of you.

 

-Author: David Cannon Follow David on Twitter

Thank You for MY Service.

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Well the day is upon us again, where all the veterans on Facebook change their profile pictures to them, in their respective uniform, holding a machine gun (or spatula and tongs for our special 92G’s) or standing in formation or saluting. I’ll be honest, I’ve done it too.  I am no veteran though. At least by my own definition. There are better men that have done much more than I and deserve the veteran name. My time in the military was short and uneventful, but I am proud of it.

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I signed a contract in August of 2011 for the Army National Guard. My family had a pretty average ratio of people in the military, my father was in the Navy as well as both of his brothers, and my grandfather served in the Air Force. Plenty of other extended family as well, so it’s safe to say that I knew about the military. I considered joining active duty straight out of high school and I had a buddy who did the split option, where you go between your junior and senior year of high school for boot camp, and he made it look easy. I decided to go to community college instead, seeing if I could get a scholarship, which I did, and subsequently wasted both my time and their money. When I dropped out of community college I knew that I had to change my attitude and just my overall way of thinking. Two of my best friends, from high school and my brief stint in college, were in the National Guard and told me all about it and it seemed appealing to me.

 

Basic Training, or “OSUT” for me was 14 weeks in Ft. Benning, GA on sand-hill. Personally, it was physically demanding, I had never run more than a mile and had an addiction to carbohydrates. Mentally it was a breeze because I was accustomed to being yelled at by my pops, which I appreciate. As far as the being away from home part, I missed home but, it didn’t hinder my general mood or motivation from day to day. Looking back, I realize that it was easy compared to what I was told prior, and I hear its hella easier now. Sad. Anyways, I completed that and went to airborne school which I was booted from because of a shoulder injury I received during boot camp. So I flew back to ‘Bama and began training with my first duty station; 1st Squadron, 131st Cavalry Regiment, Troop C, LRS ABN Infantry (AL ARNG) in Geneva, Alabama.

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For those of you not familiar with the National Guard let me enlighten you; essentially, instead of being a full-time job, your duty is to “drill” once a month and during the summer time you go somewhere for 2 weeks, it’s called “AT” (annual training, often called anal training as a joke). Drills consist of 50% training and 50% sitting around talking about football, drunk stories, or guns waiting to go home. That training includes rucking, which is just walking at a fast pace in a tactical formation (sometimes) with a heavy bag on your back for several miles. We also trained with all kinds of firearms, most often the M-4 Carbine which is a shorter and lighter version of the M16A2 assault rifle chambered in 5.56x45mm. My MOS, the only one that matters, is 11B which is an Infantryman, so we also got to train with crew served weapons like the M240B and M249 which civilians mostly know as machine guns. We often stayed in the woods and did field training. Before my Squadron switched to Light Infantry, it was Calvary and I was in Charlie Troop, which was an Infantry LRS unit. We did reconnaissance and surveillance which I very much enjoyed. I did not think I would like it to begin with, I am a very loud and hyper person so when I was told I would have to travel 17 klicks and get buried in a hole to watch a bridge or building for 24 hours all while being completely silent and unseen, I scoffed. I did it though, because the army said so, and it turned out to be somewhat therapeutic. We trained in other ways as well including; combat lifesaving first aid, military vehicle operation, night operation, tactical maneuvers, room and building clearing, radio communications, land navigation, and many more.

There is a nickname for people in the National Guard, “weekend warrior”, its meant to be an insult I think. People in the military kind of look down on it in the mindset that if you’re not full-time you’re not good enough, or couldn’t cut it in an active duty unit. While that may be true with some NG units and some soldiers, it certainly isn’t the case for all. There are “shit bags” in both active duty and reserve/national guard components of the military. For the beginning part of my time in I could have been considered one of those people, I had sub-par PT scores and wasn’t invested the way I should’ve been. That changed, I reached the rank of Sergeant before getting out and that is because I began to take it seriously and became more responsible and disciplined. The National Guard is unique because you are a part-time soldier. On the civilian side you have a full-time job and responsibilities, then once a month and two weeks out of the summer you become a soldier. There are doctors, lawyers, cops, mechanics, EMT, personal trainers, truck drivers, lineman, and every other occupation you could imagine that serve in the National Guard. A lot of guys have families as well with an added responsibility of being a parent. Overseas deployments for the National Guard are less frequent than Active Duty of course, but as a state entity the guard can be activated by the governor for natural disasters all over as well. My first unit was activated for the tornadoes that hit Tuscaloosa and Birmingham in 2011 and provided relief after the fact. I’m not saying one is better than the other, I’m simply saying that they are both vital in this nation’s defense. I am proud to have served in the National Guard and will represent that “Nasty Girl/Weekend Warrior” name till the day I die.

While I was in, I was exposed to a vast assortment of people. That is one part of the military that I think many people over look. Without going on a 9,000+ word tangent about diversity and racial issues, which believe me I could, I’ll say that I am the person I am today mostly because of my experience in the military and the men I served with. I served with people from all walks of life that taught me about varying cultures and lifestyles that I will cherish and apply to my life forever. I met people that I hated and people that I loved. For all those people, I would have, and still will take a bullet, and I’m a better person because of it.

Overall, I enjoyed my time in the military. There certainly were times I wanted to quit and hated everyone and everything in my general vicinity. Like the time I was moving with my team during an AT in the woods of Eglin AFB for a 72-hour recon training mission. I wanna say it was my 2nd Annual Training with that unit. We were like 14K into a 24K movement, it was probably 175 degrees, and I was basically carrying an apartment in my ruck sack. I sucked down most of my food and water because I was a half-witted dough goat. Everyone else was in the same general mindset as I; “Screw this, I’m over it, I wanna go home, my feet hurt, I’m tired, hungry, thirsty, and if I had an actual grenade I would end this terrible misery”. That is probably an exaggeration looking back, but we were in “the suck” if you will. At a certain point in time I called it… I remember a mosquito or fly wouldn’t leave me TF alone and my straps on my ruck sack just couldn’t get comfortable. I broke. I would compare the beginning of my episode to an inaudible “Operation Meetinghouse”, the single most destructive bombing raid in human history. I started to spaz out violently, my being was filled with rage trying to escape like a freshly shaken bottle of champagne. I was on a recon mission, so I didn’t yell or make a sound because, sound discipline, duh. I imagine it was quite the show. At that point my Team Leader sharply whispered, “Cooke, what is your problem man?”. My reply was full of expletives, comparisons to hell, wishes for the sweet release of death and, by the account of others on my team, tears, which I can neither confirm or deny. After the dust settled, I was fine, don’t get me wrong I still wanted to eat a cheeseburger, drink a beer or serval, and go home, but I was finished with my toddler like tantrum. We decided as a team that it would be silly of us to continue seeing as everyone else was also black on ammo, water, food, and give a damn. It turned out that the grid points for our objectives given to us by our LT. were incorrect and the route we planned was 3x longer than everyone else’s because of that incompetent butter bar. That was the Army sometimes though; unnecessary tasks, planned by literal babies, through impossible terrain, in undesired conditions, carried out by grunts like myself.

Today I am thankful that I was lazy in college and quit, because if I hadn’t I probably wouldn’t have experienced the military and its many benefits. Without it I wouldn’t be the man I am today, and would probably be dead or in jail. I learned what it takes to be successful. I learned about compassion. I learned many skills and tactics that help me in my civilian job. I learned the importance of brotherhood and camaraderie. Finally, I learned about people, and today I’d like to say, to all you people, civilians and veterans alike; Thank you for my service.