A Message to America

I wrote this one four years ago. I guess no one listened.

The World's Common Tater

As election night draws to a close, we will soon officially know who will be our president for the next four years. Half of the country will be the ” winners” and half the country will be the losers”. I fear neither side will do it gracefully. I believe that we will all be losers if we continue to be a country divided. We can not continue to insult those on the other side of the political divide, calling them stupid, corrupt, evil, etc and refuse to try to reach common ground. If we truly want what is best for the country we will stop looking at each other as the enemy. This country won’t be destroyed by one particular candidate. It will be destroyed by the two major parties and their followers caring more about the party and the party line than the country and its residents.

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Monday Morning “I Don’t Want to Clean Bathrooms” Writing

EDIT: I poted this before giving it a title. I’m so good at this blogging stuff.


I keep trying to think of what I want to write this morning. It hasn’t been easy. A lot of what goes through my head is not the direction I want to take. A lot of the stuff in my head right now is not a fun place. There is disappointment and, to be honest, some bitterness that keeps seeping in to join my grief. I’m not going to go in to what this is about. That is the direction I’m trying to avoid. I post a lot about current events, but the news is all election all the time and I’m tired of it. At this point I just want it to be over. So, if I have nothing to write about why am I writing? Because when I finish this I have to clean the bathrooms and anything is better than that. So, what’s on my mind?

Hugs: I am not completely anti-hug. I am not someone who hugs people all the time and, in general, would prefer a handshake or perhaps a head nod in your general direction. This past week I have been hugged more times than I have in the past 10 years. I’m  not necessarily complaining, but I think this week should be the end of it. I’m ready to go back to basic hello’s or to being ignored completely. I’m much more comfortable being invisible.

The Walking Dead: The premiere of The Walking Dead was last night and we finally found out who was killed. Some people apparently knew early, but I was successfully able to avoid the spoilers. I wasn’t shocked. I had guessed it would be one of two people and both of those people were killed. I liked the characters, but I’m not someone who will declare I will never watch a show again because a character I liked is gone. I will stop watching a show if it starts to bore me or if I feel the writers have gone off track on what made me like the show, but not for a random character. I will still be watching TWD and probably will until the final episode.

Sports: At the beginning of the football season it looked like things were back to normal. UK football was bad and the Ravens were 3-0. Now, UK is 4-3 and in second place in the SEC east. A bowl game is within reach and we can even dream of a possible trip to the SEC championship game. It won’t happen, but we can dream. The Ravens have lost 4 in a row and are now 3-4. They fired the OC and the new OC still only calls 8 run play the entire game. I think whoever is making the hiring decisions on coordinators needs to have that responsibility taken from them. Something is broken and I’m not sure they know how to fix it. UK basketball has started and there is an exhibition game this Sunday. I can always count on UK basketball to brighten my sports world.

OK. That’s it. I’ve run out of things to bore you with, I guess I have to go clean bathrooms now.

No Time is a Good Time for Goodbye

Early Sunday morning I got the call I had been dreading. My mom passed away after a 3 and 1/2 year battle with cancer. I knew it was coming. They had stopped treatment and she was in hospice care. This didn’t help at all. It doesn’t matter if you are expecting it, it’s still not easy. I’m having more trouble with it now that I am back home and not surrounded by people or thinking about traveling.

I just deleted two paragraphs I had written that was a weird account of what I did the days following the news. I can sum it up with I tried to do what I could to not dwell on my grief. Travel and getting ready to travel helped. On the visitation and funeral day the constant presence of other people helped even though they were all either random family members I had not seen in years and friends of my siblings. I did know a handful of them, so that also helped. I will admit I spent some time feeling sorry for myself because the side effect of living 700 miles away is that I was the stranger in the room who needed to be introduced to all but the handful mentioned above. I know it is self centered, but that made it harder for me. I felt a little alone. Of course, my mom and sister always joked that the reason why I never see anyone I know when I go home is that when I post that I’m coming they all flee. I’m sure she would have a similar thing to say about this as well.

Living 700 miles away also meant that my relationship with my mom was not as close as her relationship with the rest of my siblings. We didn’t have a lot to talk about. Many times when I would visit, we would sit quietly together and watch TV. I didn’t call her as much as I should have because we both hated talking on the phone. She didn’t know my kids as well as I would have liked because we only were able to visit twice a year. There are a lot of regrets I on which I could focus, but that sounds whiny and I’m sure she wouldn’t like that. So, I will focus on good memories: coming home on a cold day when I was a kid and having coffee or hot chocolate, watching the soaps with her, the times we spent as a family at my brother’s house, her jokes even to the end about how she would take the pills that put her to sleep when she knew my older sister was coming to visit…

It will be weird this year to go home at Christmas and not see her. It will be weird to not get up the next morning and head to the OC to spend the day at her house. I’m sure there will be times that I will think I should call her before I realize I can’t. It will take time. It will be weird and hard, but I will try to focus on the fact that her suffering is over and she is reunited with my dad and maybe soon I won’t feel like crying most of the time.


Tater’s Writer’s Block Friday

I keep saying I have writer’s block, but can you really have writer’s block when you aren’t really a writer? Should if be called blogger’s block? Rambler’s block? I need a more accurate phrase. Anyway, I’ve found it hard to come post something this week. There are a variety of things I think could be the cause of this. Part of it is the stress and worry about my mom. Living every day expecting the phone call that she is gone. It makes it hard to really think too hard about other things. It’s much easier to just veg out in front of the TV than to read or write something. The increasing darkness doesn’t help. It is still completely dark when I get out of bed. It’s getting darker earlier so I have less daylight once I get home. I’m going in to hibernation stage where I just want to go home and sit on the couch under a blanket. I love the cool fall weather but I find it hard to adjust to the darkness. I’m also tired of the news. I take a lot of my blog posts from what I read in the news. The news is all Trump v Clinton all the time and I’m really getting tired of it all. I’m ready for this election to be over so we can get back to fun topics like creepy clowns in the woods. I’m tired, stressed and sad. That does not make for a fun blog post. Now I will move away from the whining above and close out by posting some good stuff that is happening:

I downloaded the new Bowling For Soup album last night so I get to listen to new music from my favorite band on my drive to work today.

The Nationals lost last night. This makes me happy. I don’t believe in the nonsense that you an suddenly cheer for your team’s rivals for any reason. I will always be happy when Louisville, the Steelers and the Nationals lose.

My son is doing well in college and seems to really like his major and career path.

My daughter is doing well in high school and will soon be inducted into the National Honor Society.

The Ravens fired Trestman.

Kentucky basketball season starts with Big Blue Madness tonight.

OK, that’s enough positive from me. I don’t want to confuse people too much.

My 20 Favorite Books of All Time

While my writer’s block hiatus continues, please enjoy this “throwback Thursday” post and make fun of my favorite books.

The World's Common Tater

I was asked by an inmate at the jail to put this together since I won’t be at the jail to recommend books after next week. Things to keep in mind before reading my list:

1. I put this together in a couple of minutes using reminders from my ratings on Shelfari.

2. When I say favorite I don’t necessarily mean well written, classic, etc. Just books I enjoyed and have stuck with me.

3. I cheated and put three series in a spot instead of individual books.

4. I welcome comments, but don’t really care if you didn’t like these books, They are my favorites, not yours.

So, here is my list:

Twenty Favorite Books All Time:


1. The Stand by Stephen KIng

2. Swan Song Robert McCammon

3. Neverwhere Neil Gaiman

4. To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee

5. Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry Mildred Taylor

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Tater’s Friday Off Thoughts on Crime and Punishment and Other Random Things

I was out early on my Friday off to run some errands and to take my phone in to the Apple store because it was having issues charging. All of my other errands went smoothly, but the Apple store did not. I got there a little before 10 and they had someone outside the store checking people in. I was one of the first to  be checked in, but no one called my name while others from the line received help. When I went up to inquire about my spot in line they tried the whole “all those people had appointments” line but stopped when I told them I knew that was not true. They finally admitted that they screwed up and didn’t have me in the queue at all. Even with that, they still didn’t put me at the top of the list when they added me back in. I lost almost an hour at the store for a 10 minute fix and the worst part was I didn’t have a book. That was a rookie mistake.

Crime and Punishment: I saw a post on Facebook recently about the fact that Tex Watson has a parole hearing coming soon. In case you don’t know, Watson was a member of the Manson family and has been in prison for over 40 years. There were comments from people who just couldn’t believe that he would possibly get parole and mention of the fact that Leslie Van Houten was granted parole, bur “thankfully” the governor reversed the decision. This follows all of the recent had wringing over John Hinckley being released from the hospital 35 years after shooting Ronald Reagan. Now. I don’t know any of these people personally so I can’t say for sure that they would not be a danger to society. I do know that any inmate with Van Houten’s crime and record after incarceration, but without Manson’s name attached, would be out of prison already. The same might be true for Tex Watson. Van Houten was 19 when she committed the crime and under the influence of Manson. Since she was incarcerated she has received a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. Tex Watson has been ordained as a minister. I’ve written hereabout redemption for Michael Vick and here https://theycallmetater.com/2015/04/23/redemption-isnt-just-for-coupons/ and now we can add the Manson people to the list. Is it fair to deny them parole just because their cases are famous? Is it fair to decide that prison is not for rehabilitation, but jut a place to lock bad people away and never let them out? I don’t think so.

Crime and Punishment, School Edition: There were several fights at a local high school this week. When reported, people were in the comments(I know I should never read the comments) saying they hoped the people involved were arrested and charged with assault. I’m amazed at this attitude. How many of you who are my age remember the fights at school that didn’t result in arrest and criminal charges? How many people out there were involved in a fight at OCHS and are glad they didn’t result in a criminal record?  There does need to be punishment, but why the rush to add criminal charges to a kid for getting in to a fight? Why can’t we just do suspension, detention, Saturday school, etc and hope to help them mature and reform instead of just branding them as criminals and giving up?

Randomness: The Orioles lost the wild card game because their manager was too stupid to use their bet relief pitcher. I am now moving on to cheering for the Cubs and for the Nationals to be humiliated. Hopefully, we can make it through the rest of the playoffs without a moron throwing a beer can at a player. Watched another new show last night. Timeless was an interesting take on time travel and how changing events can have unintended consequences.

That’s all folks.


Reflections From the Road

I’m sure the 10’s of you who actually read this blog noticed that I have not posted in a few days. Since pretty much all of you are my actual friends in real life, you likely know why. I have been traveling back home to Kentucky more frequently to visit my mom who is ill. It is good to see my family and everything, but it is not a fun reason to get to go home. Please keep my mom and our family in your prayers. It has been a tough time recently and it will not get easier from here. Below are some of my reflections from the road(and air since I flew this time).

The airports this time around were very easy. Both National Airport and Nashville Airport security lines moved smoothly and quickly. I didn’t notice any of the people who tend to slow down the lines because they don’t think about the giant metal jewelry they are wearing or the jumbo size bottle of shampoo in their luggage. Both flights were on time and people seemed to be able to board efficiently without holding up the line while they contemplate luggage placement. I’m sure I will pay for this on my next trip and everything will go wrong, but for one weekend air travel was pleasant, efficient and on time. Well, with the exception of breakfast Tuesday morning. I stopped at Swett’s on the way to the gate to get something to eat and they were out of biscuits. How the heck does a restaurant in the south, even one in an airport, run out of biscuits? They should be shut down on principle.

Speaking of food: We had a grand plan to head to Owensboro to eat at Moonlight BBQ after visiting my mom on Sunday. I was very happy with this plan because I have not been to Moonlite in years. We all headed out to Owensboro from my mom’s house. I decided to check the hours to make sure they were open and discovered they close at 3pm on Sunday. We turned around, headed back to Bowling Green and ended up eating at O’Charley’s. I like O’Charley’s, but it just wasn’t the same. This was likely the worst good meal I’ve ever eaten.

There have been some creepy clown sitings in Bowling Green. I was really hoping to see one.  I really want to get a picture of a creepy clown in the wild. The streets around my brother’s neighborhood is perfect for a creepy clown. I was very disappointed with the lack of clowns there. I don’t think they share my opinion.

Finally, it was very nice to be at my brother’s house the week I crushed him in fantasy football. Winning against him is fun. Almost doubling him in points is more fun. Doing this while at his house is perfect.