Fifty Rants by Anthony D. Hubble

Fifty Rants

by Anthony D. Hubble

 

I was born on the same day that Christopher Columbus discovered Puerto Rico in 1493. For all you funny people out there who can’t resist old guy jokes, my year was 1960. It was also my father’s birthday. He would have been 73. It is my 50th birthday and in honor of that august occasion of turning a half century old I’ve decided to write out fifty of the things that I’ve concluded with certainty in my fifty years on the blue marble. Some are tongue in cheek, some are serious, others are frivolous. You can decide which is which. They are listed in no particular order, rather as a result of brainstorming. Feel free to disagree if you’d like, but the experiences that led me to these conclusions are mine alone and therefore have been filtered through my own unique brand of lunacy. Don’t jump in that pool unless you can swim well.

  1. You must be bold in the pursuit of your dreams. They are God’s gift to you and only you can let them die.
  2. Presumptuous stupidity is easy to find because it wears a bell around its neck.
  3. I wish I had a Tiger for a pet. I’d call him Zeus and take him out for walksies every day.
  4. Billy Joel is the best singer songwriter of the 20th century, so I’m quoting him here to keep it clean. “I learned about sex but not enough. Found that the dances still looked tough anyways. Oh yeah.” And that’s all I got to say about that.
  5. I can fail at every endeavor I attempt, but my five children will still be the marker that will measure the sum total of my successes. They are unsurpassable as that marker.
  6. There is one secret to the success of a relationship, and that is that the two parties involved in the relationship have to want that relationship to succeed above all things. Their motivation is irrelevant. Love, passion, honesty, trust, communication, all those things contribute, but so does duty, fear, laziness, resentment and even politeness. The driving desire for it to succeed, on the part of both parties, is the one key ingredient. It will make you do the things necessary for its success.
  7. Telling someone you love them, if you don’t is despicable. Even if you do, it’s not always a good idea. There are clearly situations where it is purely self serving to say those words. Plus, once you let that genie out of the bottle you can’t stuff him back in.
  8. I married the woman of my dreams. I’m still not sure how she made out in that deal.
  9. Few things are cooler than a bull riding monkey and I have a picture that proves it.
  10. The fight you win one hundred percent of the time is the one in which you don’t engage. How you make that decision is contingent upon how much you’re willing to sacrifice or compromise. You should know what that is beforehand. It gives you more control over the decision.
  11. Hitting someone with a padded stick is one of the funnest things you can do. It’s almost as cool as a bull riding monkey. Hitting someone with padded hands and feet is a close second.
  12. The liberal mindset remains a mystery to me. So does most females. I wonder if there’s a correlation.
  13. The naysayers always outnumber the yeasayers. Who you heed is still your choice.
  14. Neil Sedaka is right. When you’re the father of boys you worry, when you’re the father of girls you pray. The good news is that prayer works. So does raising them right. Wearing one of your firearms on your hip in the presence of her potential suitors also helps.
  15. I’m clearly not as good looking, charming or intelligent as I think. This is a very recent discovery. Also I can’t carry a tune. This I’ve known for quite some time though. It doesn’t change my tendency to burst into song at the drop of a dime. Karaoke anyone?
  16. You just cannot regulate human passion. History has shown that people will risk everything they worked for just to have a little strange.
  17. It’s ironic how some people who have contempt for and are inherently suspicious of government workers will default to petitioning that government to solve their problems as if the “government” itself is a separate entity and not run by the very people for whom they have contempt.
  18. I used to think that anyone who had the means and wherewithal would open their own business. I’ve discovered that this is not true. Most people are perfectly happy working for someone else. I don’t mean this as criticism for one or praise for the other. It just is.
  19. I don’t understand people who are afraid of snakes and spiders. How can you fear an animal you can outrun and an insect you can squash with your shoe?
  20. I’ve enjoyed some jobs more than I ever thought I would. Some in particular I had no inkling I was going to do. Being a US Navy Chief was one of those. Being a bodyguard was another.
  21. Conversely, some jobs I thought I would like left me either uninspired or I completely detested. Being a Tech Writer was the former, caring for livestock was the latter.
  22. I love teaching. The subject matter is irrelevant. I once taught cryptography (yeah, zzzzzz!) and still enjoyed the process of teaching that course. Being a martial arts instructor is the best of all. If I weren’t teaching martial arts I suppose I’d enjoy teaching history or political science.
  23. I used to think I had a hundred books in my head I would write. To date I have only completed one. Turns out, to date I have a hundred BEGINNINGS to books in my head. I’m trying to fix that.
  24. Protecting Nahir is a masterpiece of contemporary American literature in the Murder Mystery genre. It’s way more entertaining than One Hundred Years of Solitude. I’m still waiting for my Nobel prize.
  25. I loved being a military sailor and the U.S. Navy saved my life. The sense of adventure I used to get from pulling into a foreign and new port is incomparable. Plus we got to blow stuff up. Beats the heck out of pulling crab from the bottom of the Bering Sea although I think I may have enjoyed that too.
  26. I have never seen as spectacular a night sky on land as I’ve seen at sea. The same goes for sunsets and sunrises. Everyone should go out to sea at least once to experience these. Majestic is one of those words you can rarely use, but it can be used frequently to describe the days and nights at sea.
  27. People who whine about not making enough money annoy me to no end. Particularly when they blame external forces for that paucity. Want more money? Work harder, smarter or longer. One or all of those three are guaranteed to make you more money. It is an undisputable fact.
  28. There are three universal truths about food. If you can bread it and deep fry it, wrap bacon around it, or melt cheese on it, almost everything becomes edible. I had a shipmate who would melt cheese on everything he ate. When you asked him why he did that he would shrug and say “cause it tastes better.” Simple as that. Amen Dusty!
  29. Breaded Fried chicken is the best food on the planet. Colonel Sanders should be canonized by the Vatican.
  30. “I coulda been…” is the most tragic thing a person can say. It’s also very often inaccurate. If you coulda been and are still breathing you can still be. And maybe if you’re not, you just could not have been. Or is that too cryptic? Here’ s an example, I coulda been a Salsa singing star if I had a modicum of musical talent. See what I mean?
  31. Victimhood is an opium pipe many people will suck on first before accepting the stark cold truth of personal responsibility. Society today in many ways fills that pipe and holds a match to it, particularly if you’re a person of color or a woman.
  32. I’ve accepted the fact that I’m not right 100 percent of the time. I’ve accepted it, but I still don’t agree with it. I get this trait honestly. Below my father’s picture in his high school yearbook is the caption in quotes, “I’m not arguing with you, I’m telling you!”
  33. I consider the ability to laugh at myself a precious gift. One of the few pearls of wisdom I learned from my father is to not take myself too seriously since no one else will either.
  34. Faith doesn’t come easily to me. My ability to think critically would lead me to dismiss my strong faith in the existence of God if my faith weren’t so strong. I get it, it’s a dichotomy. I resolve this by simply stating, “There is no God” and then laugh at how ridiculous that sounds. I’ve done lots of research. It is staggering to me that there are people who don’t believe in His existence. I only hope He is merciful enough to forgive them and save them as well. I don’t think He will. In the end however, I can only state with certainty that He exists. What His plans are ultimately will remain a mystery until I face Him. I suspect I’ll be okay with whatever He has planned for me. I have been thus far.
  35. Christianity is the best deal on the planet. There are only two pre-requisites to belong to the club and you can’t “earn” your way in. Good thing too because I clearly could not. Even some Christians don’t get this.

  36. Casablanca is still the best movie I have ever seen. Humphrey Bogart made a lot of bad movies, but he was good in all of them. The same is true for Jack Nicholson.
  37. I watch way too much television. I should be doing other things instead. Even so, I don’t feel guilty about it.
  38. I love to swim. It is one of my favorite physical activities. Funny thing is, I don’t have the body of a swimmer. I have short thick limbs. Lucky for me I don’t have a desire to be a competitive swimmer. I just love to swim. The good thing is that when I’m too old and feeble to do anything else I will still be able to play Tai Chi and swim.
  39. I find just as much enjoyment out of doing fifty things at once as I find doing nothing at all. I’m very impressed with my ability to do nothing at all.
  40. The best place to do nothing at all is on a beach.
  41. I don’t believe in psychic phenomena, although I’ve had two experiences that cannot be explained rationally and by definition would be psychic experiences.
  42. The hardest dessert for me to do without is ice cream. I could eat my weight in butter pecan ice cream. That I rarely eat ice cream is a testament to my will power. Instead I eat fried chicken. It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.
  43. I’m always surprised to see how fat I look in pictures. I’m not blaming the camera, I just don’t see myself that way in the mirror. I get this from my mother. She has no clue how she looks in the clothes she chooses to wear.
  44. I have no fashion sense either. Okay, maybe I do, but it’s not a very good one. This doesn’t improve with age and sophistication either. This discovery came as a surprise to me, but I’ve grown to accept it. Now that I shop for my own clothes this could become a problem as it usually has been when I’ve shopped for my own clothes in the past.
  45. Almost nothing beats that first cup of coffee in the morning. I said ALMOST nothing.
  46. Life is not fair and no one promised you anything. Too many people nowadays think that leveling the playing field means guaranteeing the outcome of a situation rather than making the opportunities equal.

  47. The Declaration of Independence and the U. S. Constitution are the most masterful documents written by man, second only to the Holy Bible. I believe they were both inspired by God. That the framers were fallible men who were able to come together and compose these documents that made us the greatest country on the planet is proof of this.
  48. People who live in this country who believe they’re oppressed have no idea what oppression is. In this country people believe they’re being oppressed if they have no cell phones or basic cable. I’ve seen oppression around the world and we don’t hold a candle to it. True oppression is the inability to change the crappy situation you’re in. In many countries this is the status quo. In our country you are truly free to change your situation. The amount of money Larry Flynt, Mike Tyson, Dog Chapman and 50 Cent have made is proof of this. It’s ironic that many people in this country want to emulate the countries where this is just not possible.
  49. Going through life without a sense of humor is like sliding down a splintered board bare butt naked. It hurts all the way down. I don’t remember where I read this, but it is right as rain even if the imagery is a little disturbing.
  50. I haven’t had a mid-life crisis and I don’t think I will. Mainly because I believe people who have mid-life crisis’ are the ones who live with regret and want to recapture their youth. I have no regrets. I know that’s a bold statement, but here’s the thing, I’ve done most of what I’ve wanted. I haven’t jumped out of an airplane yet (the operative word is yet), but I have cliff dived. I haven’t swam in the Olympics, but I’ve swam in almost every ocean on the planet, and not just from the beach. I’ve been deeply in love and had that love returned. I’m not a rock star, but I sang Billy Joel’s “You May Be Right” in front of hundreds of people in Golcuk, Turkey (and I rocked that house!). I haven’t fought for the PKA World Championship, but I am currently in first place in the state of Arizona, vying to be World Champion in Combat Stick. I haven’t been a boxing or MMA referee, but I get to judge martial arts tournaments several times a year. I’ve never held public office, but I can list as a job accomplishment “assisted President Reagan in expediting the demise of the evil Soviet Empire” (my contribution, albeit much smaller). I’ve published a novel, was a bodyguard for George Benson and Ricky Martin, and have stood in the spot where the Savior of the world was crucified for our sins. Not to mention being partially responsible for the birth of five of the most precious beings on the planet. I’ve lived with the mother of four of those children for almost 30 years. Honestly what is there to regret?

     

    If you have made it this far in my rant you are one of my new favorite people. So I give you one more, for good luck!

     

  51. Turning 50 is a huge deal! Those who trivialize it as “just another number” need to take another look. Some of the most famous and accomplished people never made it to 50. Bruce Lee died at age 33. Bobby Darin and Edgar Allan Poe died at age 40. My father did make it to age 69 despite abusing his body with alcohol, cigarettes and who knows what else for probably 60 of those years (I watched him once light 15 cigarettes in a row, one off the butt of the other). My mother turns 70 this year and she still thinks she’s 25. I don’t know how long I’ll last. I firmly believe that God will call me home when His plan for me is complete. I do not intend to “go quietly into that good night”, but go I will. Hopefully in another 30 or 40 years. Either way, I’m sure the adventure continues on the other side. So, I will conclude by saying that I am an exceptionally lucky man. On the occasion of my 50th birthday on November 19th, 2010 I will have family members and scores of good friends who will wish me a Happy Birthday. Many of them will mean it. I may even get a present and a card or two. Having been in a place in my life when my birthday went pretty much unnoticed I prefer the former. Some people don’t want a big deal made about their birthdays, particularly, the advanced ones. I’m not one of those people. I’d like to stand on some summit at the top of the world and yell in my best Stallone voice,

     

    “Yo, 50! I did it!”