Rain + Fire Ants = Are You Kidding Me??

It’s been raining like crazy here in Florida for the past week or so. I know this is normal for the so called ‘rainy season’, but even the meteorologists say that this has been an unusually wet start to the month of August. I personally could give a rat’s ass if it rained 24/7, as my outdoor activities have been severely hampered due to my smashed left foot.

So as I’m laid up, I watch a lot of TV to help pass the time. Flipping around the channels, I stop on the local news. As I’m watching, up comes a segment about the current flooding that is occurring on the gulf coast. They key in on a reporter wearing a polo and khakis, standing in some poor souls yard. He’s knee deep in water, holding a microphone. I personally wouldn’t hold an electronic devise while standing in water, but that’s just me.

Due to a ton of rain, things have been kinda damp here...
Due to a ton of rain, things have been kinda damp here…

He then begins his spiel concerning the dangers of flood waters. Your basic things such as don’t drive in standing water, even if it looks like you can make it. Don’t wade through flood waters because they are a health hazard due to sewage back up. And this one was new to me, be on the lookout for floating alligators and snakes.

The reporter turns back to the flood waters as to hammer home his point, and this blob floats by. He then snaps back , looks straight into the camera and calmly states, “And don’t forget to look out for floating fire ant mounds.

See!! They float!! Shit!!
See!! They float!! Shit!!

OH HELL NO! Did he just say floating fire ant mounds???

I could handle the alligators and snakes. They’re big, bulky and noticeable. They also don’t hang around in biomasses.

But fire ants??

It’s bad enough these little bastards are all over the place and sting like hell, but now they’re MOBILE??? Floating all over the place?? Millions and billions of nasty, stinging ants.

This reminds me of something out of a B horror flick. Let’s call it ‘Floatingvenomousantmass’ or something like that. Huge numbers of pissed off fire ants (They’re pissed off ‘cuz they’re wet, you see) invade the suburbs and attack anything that gets in their path. Soon everyone is covered with nasty welts, screaming in horror….


But wait a sec.

This is real. This isn’t made up. This kinda shit could happen here.

Florida, I really think you’re starting to piss me off.

Let’s Write!!!

So I took a small break from writing. Alright, to some it may be considered small. Seems that some voice in my head said pack it in for a bit. All I know was it was definitely needed. Sometimes I get too wrapped up in things and spread myself thin.

But I feel better now. I’ve sorted some things out. I’m ready to start writing again. And I’m actually excited about it.

To all that supported The Ventilator in the past, thank you. And I hope you enjoy future posts as much, if not more, than past ones.

I guess it’s time to get back to work. Let’s do this.

The Proper Usage of the Motorized Shopping Cart

It’s time to address the ‘Great Motorized Shopping Cart’ debate. I’m very passionate on this subject, and I’m certain that I will piss a few people off regarding my opinion on their proper usage. I don’t care. Chances are, if you become upset over what I write, you are probably one of the ‘offenders’.

Motorized shopping carts were made and implemented in stores to assist people with disabilities in their shopping. They help maintain a certain amount of independence for these people, allowing them to do things they otherwise would need someone to do for them. This would include people with injuries and the elderly.

Motorized Shopping Carts ready for duty, sir!!!
Motorized Shopping Carts ready for duty, sir!!!

It does not include fat people. Fat. Lazy. People.

Yes, there are people who are overweight due to medical issues. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess maybe 1 out of 10 people fall into this category. I’m not talking about them.

I’m talking about the ones who if they did any exercise like, let’s say…pushing a grocery cart, wouldn’t need that handicapped sticker on their minivan.

I know what you’re thinking. You think I’m heartless and cruel. Maybe I am.

But I get to watch these people every day I work. And I have heard the painful wails of a motorized cart as it tries to move forward with a load meant for a forklift. And I have listened to these same people cuss out the cart, store, and anyone within ear shot. “This cart is a piece of shit!” they scream. No. No it’s not. You’re fat. And you’re lazy. And you exceed the load limit. Period.

I can still hear it's cries for mercy.
I can still hear it’s cries for mercy.

Today I saw a woman, who I kid you not, had to be pushing close to 400 pounds. She was weaving in and out of men’s wear while eating a bag of shredded cheese. She couldn’t even go grocery shopping without stuffing her face. You do not have a disease. You have no self-control and you’re fat.

And while you’re busy abusing all these carts, chowin’ down on cheese…and deli food… and chips… and god knows what else, there are elderly people waiting their turn for a cart. It’s not like the store has an unlimited supply of these carts lying around. If I had my way, fat people would not be allowed to use them. They would have to actually burn some calories to do their shopping, and maybe it might help with their weight issue.

Now this is an idea I can get behind.
Now this is an idea I can get behind.

I don’t know. Just thought I’d throw it out there.   k

How Do You Know If You’re An Introvert?

Only about one in three people are introverts. And then there’s ambiverts, the wonderful combination of both introvert and extrovert. Actually most people don’t fall strictly into the three categories, but are a blend of them.

Extrovert vs Introvert Or are do you fall somewhere in between?
Extrovert vs Introvert
Or are do you fall somewhere in between?

So how do you know which trait you resemble the most? I have gathered a few of the top behaviors that introverts possess. The stronger you lean to one, the stronger your ‘inner introvert’. If you don’t relate to any of them, well that would make you an extrovert.

  1. Being around people, especially socializing around many people, exhausts you. Even if you’re enjoying yourself. Introverts lose energy in the company of others, where extroverts gain energy.
  2. You detest small talk. But not because you hate people. You find it a waste of time and find it annoying. If you find the topic interesting though, you can go on for hours.
  3. You need a lot of personal space. Introverts like and need to spend time alone. This is when they recharge. They also like to use this time think and figure out things.
  4. You’re easily distracted. Excess stimulation causes introverts to easily become overwhelmed and distracted.
  5. You start to shut down when you’ve been active for too long. Because introverts lose energy when around others, they begin to shut down when they’ve had too much socialization. This is a way to conserve energy.  Introverts will begin to ‘zone out’ unless they can go find a quiet area to recharge.

These are only five traits that introverts possess. There are many more. And if you’ve been accused of being anti- social, lazy, boring, or depressed you might find this information as a welcome relief. Many introverts are lumped into these groups because they don’t know any better.

I know that I fit all five of these to the letter. And knowing this information explains so much. Which means I can begin trying to find balance. And that will make for a much happier camper, don’t you agree?    k

Why I Hate U Turns

I didn’t have anything against U turns before I moved to Florida. I’m from the Midwest and it’s just something that isn’t all that common there. Here, well that’s a whole new ballgame.

It might have something to do with the landscaping. Streets in Florida are landscaped much more than in the north. And they all have medians. Beautifully landscaped medians.

This is what most of the medians in Lakeland look like.
This is what most of the medians in Lakeland look like.

Yes, they’re pretty. Especially from a tourist standpoint. And we all know what an important commodity tourism is to the state of Florida.

But from a drivers standpoint, they’re a nightmare. And unfortunately many people think that just because they can make a U turn, they should. Even when people can die because of your decision.

Last Friday night I was returning home from work on Memorial Blvd, and rolled up upon an accident. This is an everyday occurrence here. But this was a bad one.

There was twisted metal and plastic all in the east bound lane and atop the median. The only way I could tell it was a motorcycle was by the handlebars. The emergency vehicles had all arrived. There were flashing lights everywhere, yet no sirens.

There was also no sense of urgency as the EMT slowly covered what once was a man with a white sheet. Just looking at scene, you knew there was no way he could of survived.

The next day I found out what happened. Now this is all hearsay, but from what I saw, it appeared very plausible. Seems a large flatbed truck was in the left ‘U turn’ lane, which is cut in the middle of the median, behind another vehicle. He didn’t fit, and part of his truck was extended out into the left driving lane.

The man on the bike, driving in that lane, then hit the truck’s back end. He didn’t stand a chance.

The problem is, this happens constantly around here. Instead of going up a block and turning around, the truck driver sat extended out in the lane to make his U turn because he could. Was it the right decision??? Absolutely not.

Why is everybody always in such a hurry? They then make terrible decisions. And people die. And they have to deal with that for the rest of their lives. Everyone loses. All because of a stupid U turn. I hate stupid U turns.    k


So I Hear 50 is the New 30…

I keep seeing that 50 is now considered the new 30. I personally don’t know what to think about that. I mean this could be a good thing or a bad thing. Just like everything else life throws at us.

I am in my early 50’s.  Do I feel like I’m in my 50’s??? Hell, I don’t know. It’s not like I’ve been here before and am going back for round two. Seriously, how do you even gage that???

Do I feel like I’m in my 30’s??? I don’t think so. Actually, I can’t remember what it felt to be in my 30’s. Same goes for my 40’s for that matter.

We all age. It’s a fact and it is inevitable. The alternative requires a shovel and a pine box. I, for one, am in no mood to hasten the process. Plus I’m not to high on “pine scent”.

Just waitin' for Vlad the Impaler to jump out and scream 'Surprise!!!'
Just waitin’ for Vlad the Impaler to jump out and scream ‘Surprise!!!’

Why can’t 50 be, well just 50??? Why are we so obsessed with youth and all the perceived virtues of it??? Was 30 really all that fun???

Thanks to advances in health care, nutrition, technology and many more innovations, life expectancy has gone way up. In 1900 you were on the average pushing up daisies at 52. Now the average is just under 80 years, and continually rising.

Yes, I’m a few steps slower. Yes, I’m starting to forget little things. Yes, it’s tough to get moving in the morning. But does that mean I want to be 30 again? And go through that fun ‘mid-life crisis’ one more time? Uh….no.

I can't remember when this started happening to me....
I can’t remember when this started happening to me….

I, for one, am going to just sit back and roll with the punches. Why conform to what the world says I should be? I’m in my 50’s, damn it. And I’ve earned every wrinkle, every scar, every grey hair. Don’t you dare tell me that I should be 30 again. I don’t want to.

But if I look and act younger than what a 50 year old should by your standards, I’m doing it because it’s me. Not because of some lame propaganda. And one of the things I have learned over the years is to embrace my differences. I wouldn’t have known that at 30.

I truly believe that aging is a journey. And I’m going to enjoy every step possible.   k


Will You Please Control Your Children…

Why do people have such a difficult time controlling their children??? Am I asking too much by expecting you to monitor your kids when you’re out in public???

Do these children  look familiar??  (Even tho it's obviously staged)
Do these children look familiar?? This is the edited version. Reality is not this orchestrated.

I’m a parent, so I understand that there are times when our little darlings act up. They are children. It’s gonna happen, even to the best parents. But it just seems that lately the rugrats are running wild.

Maybe I’m just getting up there in years. That could be part of it. But I don’t think that’s the only reason my patience is wearing thin. So to test my theory, I did me a little experiment today at work. I just stood back and watched.

This pretty much sums it up.
This pretty much sums it up.

And lo and behold, at least 75% of the children I watched for this short period of time acted like little assholes. And their parents, or guardians, or whatever, ignored them. Just went about their business totally disregarding the fact that their children needed the shit slapped out of them.

And I just stood there in woman’s wear, shook my head, muttering. How did it get this bad???

These children are the future. And we are doing them a huge disservice by letting them run amok. By not disciplining them, we are creating a generation of self-centered, spoiled, disrespectful, losers.

Kid needs his little ass beat.
Kid needs his little ass beat.

Yes, I said losers. A generation that has everything handed to it. A generation that will never know the satisfaction of accomplishing something by their own sweat and ingenuity. A generation that has no respect for authority or any one for that matter.

A generation that breaks the law and could care less. Because they have never had to answer to anyone for their negative behavior. A generation of thugs. A generation that has babies that you’ll get to raise.

Sound like fun??? Yup. Because you refused to discipline your children and teach them to behave responsibly, you get 18 more years of child rearing. Which you sucked at to begin with.

Not that there aren’t many great parents out there. There are. And they’re doing their best. But they’re just as pissed off as I am by the total disinterest these idiots show concerning their children.

So to all the lazy parents out there, when your child and 5 grandchildren are living rent free in your basement with no end in sight, enjoy!! You have only your lousy parenting skills to blame.   k

Keith Emerson, 1944-2016

Keith Emerson is the latest victim of the Grim Reaper.

It’s as if old Grim has put a contract out on aging rock stars. I realize that I’m getting up there in years, so it’s only natural that people that I grew up listening to begin to die. And ’70’s rock stars aren’t notorious for their healthy lifestyles…

Really, with options like these, why Keith???
Really, with options like these, why Keith???


But it just seemed that 2016 had started out as a banner year. I was hoping that it would settle down a bit, but nooooooo….. Still rockin’ out the death sentence, heh Mr. Reaper??? (No pun intended.)

Every member of The Stones needs to be on high alert. Except Keith Richards. I think he might very well be dead already. I can not tell. It’s like ‘Weekend at Bernies’ when you attend a Stones concert.

You be the judge....
You be the judge….

I’m beginning to think I might need to add an obituary category to The Ventilator. I really would rather write about other things. Like tweekers, gators, bad baby names. Anything but this. So cut this shit out. Please.

This being said…

Keith Emerson was an English keyboardist with Emerson, Lake, and Palmer which was one of the supergroups of the early ’70’s. ELP was a critical and commercially successful group throughout this period. He was hailed by many as a keyboard legend.

It was reported that he was found Thursday evening by his wife in the couples bedroom. He had a single gunshot wound to the head.

Keith had been depressed recently, as he was diagnosed with a nerve condition that greatly affected his right hand. This severely impaired his ability to play the keyboards. Even with this condition, he was still slated to perform in Japan next week.

Authorities are treating his death as a suicide. RIP, Keith.    k

When Did the ‘Meth’ Look Become Fashionable???

I’ve never kept up with what’s fashionable and what’s not. Not my thing. Unless it’s athletic shoes and hoodies. Then you might get my attention for a short time.

But today I was walking past the magazine rack, and WHAM!!! I run straight into this cover for the March edition of Porter magazine. And this chick is looking straight at me. I was like whoaaaaa….

I have no idea who this poor girl is. I tried looking for credits in this magazine, but it was all ads. I know, big surprise. Then I stared at her for a moment. And thought to myself, ‘Gee, you look like a textbook shoplifter.’

And the typeface directly under her, ‘The New Seduction.’ WTF??? Are they referring to this poor girl? This girl isn’t seductive. This girl needs a cheeseburger. Desperately.

A nap and a shower would probably work wonders, too. She just looks terrible. And she’s on the cover of a major fashion magazine. At least I think it’s major. I’ve never heard of it.

April's cover. Nah...I'm just yanking your chain...or am I???
April’s cover. Nah…I’m just yanking your chain…or am I???

Porter. All that comes to mind is a porterhouse steak. Which sounds delicious. And this poor thing could use a bite or two. I don’t get it.

Now check out this side by side.

Which cover do you think is more fashionable???
Which cover do you think is more fashionable???

Vogue with Adele?? That’s my choice. That’s a real woman. And she looks healthy. Not like you would get a nasty STD or bugs. Real woman have curves. All the better to snuggle with. Just sayin’.

Check out this real woman rockin' the cover...
Check out this real woman rockin’ the cover…

Take this cover with Christina Hendricks. Not only does she look like she’s eaten this week, she’s beautiful. And has an awesome name, too.

I bet our girl on Porter is beautiful, also. The magazine didn’t give her a fair shake. Whoever told them this look is attractive needs to be looking for a new job. And sweetheart, whoever you are, get a new agent.    k



I Could Care Less If You Wanna Smoke Weed

I honestly could give a rats ass if you want to smoke weed. If you’re a legal adult, and you’re chillin’ in your own home, toke away. It’s none of my business. Period.

I’m not going to get into a debate over the legalization of marijuana. Both sides have many valid points. But this is a blog post, so it’s too complicated a subject to address in approximately 400 words.

I personally don’t like marijuana. The shit makes me hungry and sleepy. I have absolutely no need for a substance that makes me hungrier than I already am. I can sit down and eat a double decker PBJ with potato chips and M&M’s without the need to get baked first. I guess I’m just blessed that way. I also sleep way more than I should (‘cuz it’s awesome), so I don’t need any assistance there, either.

Kris after smoking weed. Pretty damn attractive, don't ya think???
Kris after smoking weed. Pretty damn attractive, don’t ya think???

Ok, that’s not really me, but you get the idea.

The problem I’m having concerns my neighbors. Kids in their early to mid twenties. We say hi when we run into each other. They seem to be nice enough.

They also like to get high. Especially on the weekends.

So why does this concern me, you ask??? As I said, it’s your home and what you do in the privacy of your own home is your business.

But they smoke it outside. On their patio. And it blows over to my patio. This is the problem. Sometimes it’s so bad, I have to resist the urge to stop, drop, and roll.

Incoming smoke...just like a Stephen King novel!!
Incoming smoke…just like a Stephen King novel!!

Ok, it’s not really that bad, but you get the idea.

I explained earlier, I have no need to get high. I’m fat and lazy enough as it is. Thanks for sharing, but I really would prefer to pass.

But my main problem with this is, drumroll please!!!… I hate the way the shit smells. It stinks. Like ass. And now your weed smoking just became my business.

So the equation reads like this: Don’t expose me to your weed and it’s by products = I could care less. Expose me to it = Now we have a problem. Study the material, because there will be a test tomorrow. If your not too stoned, that is.   k