Wednesday, August 20, 2014

"Knowing" is a small part of the battle. "Doing" is the battle

You should have asked Davison Cheney
  - On starting over, again -

Dear Prodigal Dad,
How do I start over now that I have made a mess of things? I'm not so old that I am ready to be at the end and have a "devil may care" attitude, but I am too young to have so many people think of me as a knave. How do I get others to forgive me and give me another chance? Also, how do I get blood out of a wool carpet?

Thank you for the question, and let me assure you that you have come to the right place.  I am called Prodigal Dad because I have screwed up so many times that I don't remember where I started.  If I were to telekineticly jump into my own head at ten years old, I don't think I would recognize myself. And others around me have been pretty forgiving -- for the most part.

Messing up and its repercussions are the stuff of life.  Some of us have more stuff.  I am all stuffed out.

That being said, many believe that the first step to making changes in your life is to forgive yourself.  However, that has not been true for me.  It has taken me forty years to figure out that focusing on myself is what got me in trouble in the first place.  The first part of moving on is to forgive others --  for these reasons and several others.

Some mistakes are hard to live down

A-  People who have wronged you in the past may find themselves in the same stage of life that you are in. They may be wondering if you could ever forgive them. 

B- I believe in the religion of "What goes around comes around", and the more you forgive others of their being a jerk, odds are that you will find the forgiveness you are looking for as well.

C- It's the right thing to do. Never underestimate the power of doing the right thing. 

Next thing to do is to make changes in your life because of what you have learned.  Mighty changes are mighty tough, so start with the small ones and aim at consistency. Learn from what you have done, but do not dwell on the sheer awfulness of it.  The more time you think about how badly you screwed up, the less time and power you have to move in a different direction. When you are in a feeling bad about the direction of your your life's groove, go a different direction.  Say to yourself, "what can I do right now to make things better?"  Then do it.

Forgiving yourself will come on it's own time when you are busy making life better for those around you.

"Life is a series of meetings and partings," said Charles Dickens. I just hope that those people I have met are willing to forgive me of my arrogance and stupidity, and love me in spite of everything after we have parted. I will have faith that those who have seen me mess up will be as willing to forgive as I am to dole out forgiveness of my own

And about the second thing: get a throw rug or invest in neutral colored ceramic flooring.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Stupid speaks louder than words OR All Stupid-ed up and no place to go

You should have asked Davison Cheney
 - On stupid people -
Dear Prodigal Dad,

I am tired of dealing with stupid people.  Has there been any legislation passed recently that would allow us to incarcerate these folks?   Also, can you feed domesticated chicken generic dog food?

Sincerely, Bello Zabub

What a good question Mr Bub and thank you for reading. First things first: Yes on the dog food-thing. Do not feed your chickies bananas, however. You will not care for the results.

Secondly -- and toward the end of better understanding -- we should differentiate between those who are acting stupid from those who are intellectually compromised.

I have almost always been vehemently opposed to corporal punishment for stupid people. I sorta feel very strongly about this. My feelings on the matter may be due to my having been mistaken for stupid when I was but a wee lad.  Slapping was involved, or if it wasn't involved it should have been.  It's a horrible thing to be on the cusp of being slapped for most of ones teen years.
Generally, I believe that grounding of the stupid is appropriate and helpful to those of us who are not afflicted.  However, as a society, we can't continue to house  them all in Pocatello as we have been doing for years.  For one thing, there are already many natives who currently qualify and so space is severely limited.

And all that rubbing of shoulders with those who are...similarly challenged can't have positive consequences.

My father believes that the stupid should be free on their own restricted recognizance.  I don't know what that means exactly, but it does not sound good. Of course he is the man that rated me a C- on a scale between one and ten on the innate intelligence.

Age and experience should always be taken into consideration when dealing with the intellectually dull.  Walking away with a smile and a wave is the preferred method, keeping your little ones close to you and your car keys in your hand. 

Should stupid people be put to death?   Certainly not.  Not across the board.  Most of them deserve to live or at least be put on a points system.

Also, gravity of the stupidity should weigh into the equation. Poor spelling or continued use of malapropisms should not be punished to the same degree as, say being a Ute fan.
  • Anyone who needs to axe you something 
  • Those who wear skinny jeans and Mormon underwear. 
  • The directionally challenged.
  • Those who post every stupid thing and then get upset when others comment on the stupidity. 
  • Fashion ineptitude.
  • Those who have to repeat everything they say have to repeat everything.
  • Harry Reid.

We may have to put up with these,  However,  the tediously inane who act stupid so that others do everything for them should bypass Pocatello and be required to register with any agency that has an acronym for a title.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Super hero skivvies in a size 40, please

You should have asked Davison Cheney 
 -- On what women want --

The other day at the car wash  I was asked what I thought women really wanted. This thoughtful question was poised to me by a tall collage boy with an I-pad, dressed in a tee shirt, low-rider pants and very obvious penchant for Captain America boxer-briefs. 

 The reason this was somewhat of a milestone for me was that I had just decided the week before to include an "ask a dude a question" segment on my website and this was my first real question other than "would you like fry sauce with that".

There I was in my 80s cargo shorts sporting my trademark holier than thou legs.  I may have been wearing my faded and  out of shape pink lacrosse polo shirt as well.  And I was there to wash dog puke out of my wife's nice living room rug.  

I informed Captain America skivvies that what women wanted was a tall college boy in superhero underwear.  He just stared at me, which is, probably the response a woman would really want from someone wearing a captain America shield on his tush.

After a brief silence, where dude stared at me with his boxer-brief eyes,  I abbreviated my answer by telling him the second thing that came into my mind:  

Based on my experience, women would like to not have dogs prone to projectile vomiting. 

I am sure dude was looking for some answer like "communication is the key", or "women want to be listened to", or even, "our better halves just want to be loved".  Frankly, I don't know about any of that junk and stuff. Clean carpet, happy dogs with non upset stomachs and clean filters on the air conditioner --  this is what women want.

OK, that is pretty unique and specific to my wife/dog situation. And as long as our dog, Meg, doesn't eat out of the garbage can and finds the living room rug the best place to enjoy a sit-com and a good purge, then I can see where both my wife and my dog are coming from.

Focusing on the positive, I was asked the question while I was doing something for my wife.  I suppose then that that was my answer.  Women want to be thought of and cared for. 

And as sensitive and thoughtful as that answer is, I may still ask dude where he got the underwear. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

You should have asked Davison Cheney - Advise from the underbelly

Do As I'm Doing

Recently a pathetic individual asked me for advise.  I know he was pathetic because, as you may have read, he asked me for advise.  

Capable, handy persons do not ask me for help.  They go to my next door neighbor Nephi who owns a snow blower, a rototiller and a rid-a-mower. Nephi keeps all his tools maintained, cleaned and stored in a shed that is painted the same hue as his home and his dog house which all share the same textured assault shingles. 

Do not get me started on his mufti-level salsa garden and accompanying aquifer.

Nephi next door has a wife named Rachel and two children, Emma and Brigham. All of them are paid for.  He is perfect.  He says perfect things. He wears perfect clothes. He has perfect teeth. When I ask him what he does for a living he makes a joke and asks how my kids are doing, which is the perfect response. 
Hate him

I myself refer people who ask me questions here on my answer column directly to him.  Please leave a comment below and I will send you one of his many cell-phone numbers.  Frankly, his son Brigham has better advise than I do, but neither one of them have an advice column, now do they?  No, they don't.

For those of you who aren't asking Nephi...

With that in mind -- that I win out in the advise column contest by default, let me repeat the question that was recently asked me by a pathetic individual.  The question was, "How do I help my daughter loose weight"? This person asked me that question while he was eating a two pound three cheese enchilada. 

Now Nephi would say something like, "Be kind and gentle and take her to a doctor who will take her hand and together they will develop a healthy and balanced..." blaah blaah blaah.  

That's all well and good.  Doctors, however are the easy answer.  "Refer them to a specialist." Nephi says.  No skin off his nose.  No liability either. You expect that from a man who wears size 12 shoes and pants with a 32 waist.

Speaking of liability, my other neighbor -- the one who lives in a tent trailer in his yard and still has his "Vote for Mitt" signs tied to his mailbox -- would recommend that someone go on a canned tuna and cardboard/skim milk and captain crunch diet.  He is free with his advise because he, for those of you who are paying attention, is living in a  tent trailer in his yard.  No one asks him anything except why he is living in his tent trailer or why he voted for Mitt.

My advise to Mr. Two Pound Three Cheese is different that either Nephi or Tent Trailer would offer. The only real way I have found to help my daughter, were she to need to lose weight -- something I would never write about in such a public forum -- would be to lose weight with her.  I would say that a dad needs to walk the walk as-it-were around the proverbial block.  

A dad needs to drink the same drink that she should be drinking, which is water. A dad needs to not be eating the same food that she should not be eating. Which is a two pound three cheese enchilada.

The only way I will be able to motivate her, were she to need to loose a few pounds, is if I am willing to do what I am asking here to do.  "Do as I'm doing" is the very best dad method for helping anyone to loose weight, or cleaning up one's vocabulary, or getting children to put their snack dishes into the dishwasher.

If that doesn't work, take her over to introduce here to the guy in the tent trailer.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Learning from my Dad

You should have asked Davison Cheney

I can’t claim that I am a great dad, and my relationship with my own father was never like the families I saw around me. But I'm older now, grayer and a little more pudgy. I can look back and see how my dad taught me to be a better dad — and a better person.

My dad introduced me to nature and other things bigger than I. He took us kayaking on the Snake river and camping on the shores of the Mississippi. Though I am not much of a camper today I wouldn’t mind a drive through Star Valley, Jackson Hole or around the Palisades reservoir — frequent haunts of my father.

My dad taught me to appreciate everyday things.

“Look at that!” he’d say.

"It’s a cow," I would respond.

“Yes, but this is an Ida-wilda-cow and all the others we have seen today have been Bonneville Bovine. It’s rare to see an Ida-wilda-cow so far up north.”

“Yes, dad. Please turn up the radio."
I do the same thing with my kids and now my grandkids. They respond in much the same fashion only their music is played on much more sophisticated equipment.

“That’s just a cow — Grandpa. Please plug in my iPad."

My dad taught me to take opportunities when they present themselves. He did this by getting up at three in the morning because that was when our grey water turn began.

At three in the morning.

He took me with him to set the dams so that the field would be heavily soaked and would keep the crops comfy until our next water turn.

My dad taught me that people were important.

He did this by telling me to "let the phone ring" when company was over.
“If it’s important, they’ll call back.” This was in the day of push button phones that had cords that attached them to the wall, which was shortly after phones that had a round plastic spinning dial.

They did call back. And they just kept calling.

Now, of course, I don’t ever answer the phone. We had our house phone discontinued years ago because we all have cell phones. My phone is right over... well, it was there by the... Will someone call my phone?

My father taught me that there are some things we do simply because we have to— like paying the bills and brushing our teeth.

Lawns must be mowed and wood piles must be moved unless you turn the lawn into a flower garden and stack the wood correctly the first time. And the goats need to be fed or they will climb on the shed, jump over the fence and eat all your mother's peonies.

He made me go to church, which I still do. I pay most of my bills and I still brush my teeth — when I can find them.

My dad taught me that you don’t have to eat anything you don’t want to eat.
And if you roll up the cooked zucchini with tomato sauce or pork chops and hide them in the hems of the drapes, someone will find them someday, maybe three years later when the window dressings are dry-cleaned for a family reunion. By that time you can blame it on your little brother.

This he taught me inadvertently by making me sit there until my plate was empty.
My dad taught me that our demeanor affects everyone around us and that you can’t fake sincerity.

He had friends everywhere we went. As children we could count on an extra 15 minutes spent wherever we went because Dad would invariably know the clerk or the clerk's dad, or the clerk's boss. He had a smile and a wave for everyone.

We didn't always see eye to eye, my dad and I. We often still don't. But I know who he is and what he believes by how he lives his life. And I know where he keeps his stash of corn chips.

Written for and originally published by

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

You should have asked Davison Cheney - July 9th

I like music to cook and eat my lovely children and my dog Mr. Wiggles.

Don't be that guy! 
Please use commas and other relevant punctuation.

Monday, July 7, 2014

How to be the worlds worst neighbor

You should have asked Davison Cheney

Love thy neighbor. It’s in the best-selling book.

“How can I best express my affection for my neighbor to my neighbor?” you may ask.
Well… here’s what not to do.

Mow your lawn on Sunday morning. Get a good start on the day by beginning at 8 a.m. And leave your grass clippings in a pile next to the fence. Nothing smells like neighbor more than nature's soil-ent green after a day in the heat.
Make sure to turn the music on full blast when you are washing the car, or sun tanning in the backyard. Hard rock or Banda works well — don’t play anything tasteful, like ABBA or the Judds. And remember that volume is everything. Everybody wants to hear your music.

Speaking of the middle of the night, get yourself a good strong halogen work light. With this incredible fixture you can extend your working hours into the evening and early morning.

Evening is a great time to paint your house, work on the car or burn a few weeds. Remember the fun things you used to do with lamps in the dark? You can fall in love with shadow puppets all over again. Also, dogs love being bathed at night in a tub in the backyard. After all, this is your property, and you can do whatever you want with it.

If you are arguing with your spouse, you may as well let the neighbors know who is really to blame. Men, you will have to be twice as loud as your woman because of the shrill factor, so really belt it out. Open a door or a window. And remember to swear. The bluer the better. How else are the study abroad kids going to learn to speak proper A‘merican.

Don’t feed your pets. It saves on pet food if you let your pets wander to the neighbors for a meal or two. After all, you could use what you save on cat chow for three extra Slurpees a week. And don’t fence your pet in. We live in a free land and so do Bonkers and Mrs. White toes. Let them roam the neighborhood. Free range and freedom for all — especially chicken. There is a land of bugs and more bugs for them in the flower gardens and intricate barked pathways of your cul-de-sac.

Leave your garbage can in the front of the house or right close to the back door for easy disposal. Remember that the more bugs you attract, the happier your chicken will be. And flies are our neighbor in nature, too.

Dandelions are wonderful for sharing. They are a buttery yellow that — in combination with the white of plastic milk cartons left in your yard — represent the very essence of summer. And weren’t they lovely in Belle’s song at the beginning of my favorite Disney animation — seed pods floating by gently as she sang about wanting adventure. Though your neighbors pay to have a guy spray weekly for weeds, they will love the adventure that is a dandelion (or 40) as well.

After all, with our neighbors and in life in general, it's not the love we give that we will regret, it’s the love we didn’t share.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

You should have asked Davison Cheney

Let me start my new advice column by answering the question I frequently have to answer.  No, my wife and I are not interested in being in your MLM/home business down-line. Nothing personal. 
The second question I get is “How do I get my neighbors dogs to stop barking?”

(The third question I get is how I could possibly be a grandpa and look so young, but that is a topic for another day.)

Let me respond to all you readers with a hearty, "thanks for asking“. As it happens, I do have a solution to the barking dog problem -- and many other problems that a man has to face while pretending to be the one running the household.

There is a general order to things as far as hushing a mutt is concerned. First is to try to live with the ruckus by any means you can control, like playing a CD of woodland creatures or running water. (Not that I have had any luck with that tactic. My nature CD sounded way too much like when the downstairs toilet flooded over.)

For peace and quiet, you might try new insulation, or installing sound dampening, efficient windows and doors. Also, hang new curtains or do like I do and staple a sleeping bag around big windows. My neighbors -- the one with out the dog -- have moved their master bedroom to the basement.

Others I know have had luck making use of prescription pharmaceuticals.

Ear plugs are a tool of the proactive, and so is dunking ones Popsicle in a small cup of nighttime cold medicine -- a popular short term solution from what I’ve heard.

If none of these tactics is an option, see if you have a little spare change to donate to your neighborhood ruffians club. In my neighborhood -- which is just up and to the left -- local ruffians are happy to spray paint messages on the sidewalk in front of the offender’s home in the color of my choice -- only a little extra change for the use of an additional hue, shading or a border.

Nothing says "please stop barking" like graffiti.

What you are trying to avoid by all this is face-to-face interaction with the owner of Constantly Barking dog. Never confront Fido’s owner directly. Being frank and up front is for interactions with your analyst or your barber, not your neighbor.

I’m sure you have heard lofty stories about honesty being the best policy. It’s simply not true. Have you read about actual folks and friends who have come to a healthy compromise? No sir, E Bob. These are solutions discussed pleasantly on religious filmstrips of the late seventies/early eighties, or on NPR. Or on a blog. Does anyone respectable blog?

As far as notes, cakes with messages in frosting, candy grams, petitions: Don’t bother. Offending pet owners will just feed your edible confection to their heck hound who will then be encouraged to poop on your lawn.

And you will never get your plate back.

No, no. Honest communication is for the birds. My solution? Send the police over.
When Officers friendly come-a-knocking at the door, everyone says, “Oh Gosh, If I had only known my beloved Fido was being a bother to one of my dear neighbors I would have hopped right on that".
Then they say, “I wish whoever reported this had come to me first." After which, they offer the Officers friendly a piece of the cake you gave them, the one with “please stuff a sock in it” on top written in red string licorice.

Blaa, bla, blaaa. That’s what we all say when confronted, but no one changes their dog’s routine unless they are issued a written warning. So, start by calling the authorities, who are happy to seek out these community building opportunities, and save the friendship with your neighbor.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

... L, M, N, O, __ , Q, R, S...

I checked out the blog just now and I was hit in the face with an add that the advertisement lords have decided is appropriate for my personal blog.  It is concerning ones needing help to Urinate. 

No, not even urinate. Pee.

This has made me sit and reflect upon my life and the choices I have made.  Well, my advanced age made me sit, but the reflection part was directly influenced by the urine advertisement.


Strangely telling, pee.  Today I had to deal with my daughter laughing so hard that she..., well, you know... and had to leave the room quickly.  Not quickly enough to avoid having to shampoo the sofa tomorrow, however.

My grandson has done nothing else all day, both in and not in his diapers -- those marvelous little ingenious spongy, high end, high technological wonders that absorb several gallons at a time and can drain a small swimming pool.

However, today, grandchild was, based on results, situated in such a manner that his plumbing bi passed the diaper completely while my wife and I were enjoying a nice dinner at our friends house -- the only time we have been invited out this year.

Everywhere I turn, natures liquid sunshine greets me.  Today, our Bishop comes over and Meg, the wonder dog,  decides that there has never been a better moment to water the lawn at our feet. My son moved out of the house three days ago, and I wander the basement to see what state it is in, and there in the bathroom sits three weeks of the stuff in the john with an eco system that would qualify as Class M.

My wife tells me that these ads are generated specific for the person who is reading on-line, and that this particular add on my blog is the result of the new science that tailors marketing specifically to the individual viewers tastes and needs.

So, enjoy your ad. And may it not be about pee, ED or male hair loss.  Or defence attorneys.  


Monday, April 28, 2014

Aliens -vs- Disco Inferno

I lost my cell phone the other day. It wasn’t in the places I usually find my phone after it has been lost - my van; the laundry pile; the dogie dish, or my granddaughter's Elsa Queen of Arendelle purse.

So, I had to use my daughters phone to make calls. Standing there with her phone in my hand I realized that I didn’t know the numbers of any of the people I needed to call.  Nor did I recognize any of the ring tones she had listed, with one exception -- mine.  Disco Inferno.

All of the numbers I normally use daily are programmed into my cell, and I have no need to remember them.

Back in the days when I liked to pretend that my life had meaning I used a day planner, and the very same thing happen to me then, only different. I would write down a date or an appointment and having done so, would forget about it entirely. I was handing my brain to a third party.

I now, based on the last three minutes of concentrated thought, believe that these superb latter-day inventions, these incredible devices that certainly assist us in these modern times of real time sports scores and mad cow disease are actually an infestation of a mechanical/technological nature that originate outside of our planet that will certainly bring about the downfall of society.

It’s so low-brow to play the "Aliens from outer space" card, but I’m gonna do it. Think about it:

“Oh my, it looks like that pod plant is growing dangerously close to our bedroom window! I better quickly call the… Now where did I put that cell phone? I don’t remember the 911 number cause it’s programmed into that sleek, modern device I use to communicate with the outside world, and... Oh well, ...looks like Duck Dynasty is on.  I'll just lay here for awhile.”

See what I mean? Or maybe this will ring your bell:

“I have just discovered the cure to cancer, appendicitis and early, pattern ‘A‘ hair loss! It’s all right here in my brain! This will surely save mankind and a few women as well! Before I go to the press and make my announcement so that all the world may know of this miraculous break-through, let me take a moment to update my status on facebook. Oh look! Heather is having problems with her blender again. And it is snowing in South Dakota at the Four Presidents film festival. How interesting. Now, what was I doing?”

Ugly, isn't it. You can just hear the brains quigla-fying into a Jell-O-like substance that oozes, festers, and absorbs knowledge and decent conversational fodder until no one at all will invite you over for fish and chips.

We’re doomed, I'm telling you. And its all due to some rather snazzy modern technological advances of more than dubious origin.

Case in point; small and smaller screens are indicative of inventions from invaders of the short pale variety.  Little and green, you say? The view screens are so small that I, with glasses that have lenses so thick they could be used as shields on the star ship Enterprise, end up handing the phone to my kids so I can see who I;m not going to answer the phone for.

Puny screens may equal aliens.

Now I hope I haven’t alarmed any of you. Just go on about your lives as if all was well and you didn't know that the world is falling into the hands of otherlings. I'm sure that if you memorize your necessary phone numbers and don't include ring tones of anything written after 1985 you will not fall victim to any pods or computer viruses or flesh eating digitally transmitted illnesses. You'll end up just fine.

P.S.  A short message to the government of this fine nation: Please fix Obama care. Also, don’t keep the Star wars security codes in any ones cell phone, laptop, or a small sleek-looking toaster oven unless you know for sure that it was made in the US of A.

P.P.S.  And if you, reader, find a cell phone with a Close Encounters of the Third Kind ring tone, please let me know by calling my daughter Annie who is listed as "Queen Interrupter" whose ring tone is "The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald.