I consolidated the stories about Fred.


...long live, Hill Blocks View. I miss writing. But the thought of one more round of "welcome backs", or obsessing over stats, or thinking of the clever response to a comment, or the obligation to read everyone else's blog... not so much. So I'll try and write. No pressure. If you feel the need to respond, you can email me. I like email. flipaul@yahoo.com

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mutual Disdain. (But We Can Get Through This.)

I don't like you, you don't like me. I think you're stupid, entitled idiots. You probably think I'm just some old dude, with a superiority complex. But that just means that I have experience. Listen to me. I'm the boss. We can work together towards a common goal. If you guys just listen up to what I say, and jump when I say jump, we might survive this... ALIVE!

   No, Jack. You stop it. No crying. This is not the time to cry. There will be time to cry later, but not now. Now you must be strong. Don't look at me like that you weak little punk. Man up. What is with this generation? So damn whiny. I've never seem so many frickin' sissies in my entire life.
   We just have to make it for a little while longer. It's almost over. Stop crying, all of you. Holy crap! You guys are a bunch of damn babies! What?! What?! Do you want your Mommy. Is that it? You all want your Mommies and your bwankie and your pacifier? Is that it? You all make me sick. We don't deserve to make it! Ah dammit! Did somebody just wet themselves? I quit! You morons can just babysit yourselves!

   Or that's what the video tape from the nursery at church supposedly "irrefutably" claims I said. Whatever. They don't know what it was like, nobody does, only the ones who were there, know. They were weak. Weak, I tell you. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Dirty Underbelly Of The Blogging Universe.

A man stumbles out into a crowded train station and collapses melodramatically, while proclaiming in a raspy semi-shout, "Blogs are people."
   Sadly, this reenactment of an entirely fictional event is true. Blogs are people. Even HILL BLOCKS VIEW, that paragon of all that is good and holy, is made up of people. Not actual people, mind you. Pretend people and concepts, that wander around in my brain, until they get lost and end up on a computer screen. I rarely say anything remotely resembling the truth. At the very most I will take a concept from real life and take it to it's most illogical conclusion; what would happen if everybody acted in a completely idiotic way.
   Like everybody else, my kids say funny stuff and they make me laugh. I also get pissed at the morons that I am inhabiting planet Earth with. For some odd reason, I have little desire to write about this stuff. Instead, I pathologically lie about stupid imaginary crap. I have lost readers because my alter ego is a misogynistic thoughtless drunkard. I'm really not. I am a mostly boring hard-working happily married christian guy that dotes on my kids. But that isn't funny. A guy that hates pants and gets drunk at inappropriate times, that's funny. If I really was that knucklehead I pretend to be, I would barely be able to breathe, much less write.
   Why am I pulling back the curtain? I dunno. One because I rarely discuss the actual process of blogging and two because I am often asked why I don't write about this situation or that. Why don't I write about being a christian or about that funny thing that my kid said? Because I don't. I write what makes me laugh in my head. And I laugh a lot. So rest assured, you are not supporting a serial killer, child abuser, philanderer, fall down drunk, tin foil wearing crazy or anything else unsavory. Just a wannabe writer.
   Speaking of writing. I want to thank Violet http://gratuitousviolet.blogspot.com/, Addman http://muppetsforjustice.blogspot.com/ and Shay http://shannan-afterwife.blogspot.com for bequeathing, not a boot to the head, but blogging awards to me. The rules of these things generally state that you publicly thank the person that gave you the award; check. Next that you link back to their sites; I'm assuming by the time I post this this will be in the affirmative category. Often you are supposed to say some stuff about yourself; check and check. And lastly you are supposed to nominate other people for awards. Here we go. In no particular order.

http://muppetsforjustice.blogspot.com/ Addman wins again. With reason. He is funny. And original.
http://art-poems-stories.blogspot.com/ Young Alex is creative and introspective and sweet.
http://joshmeares.blogspot.com/ Musings Of The "Stupidest Smart Guy I know" Christian. Smart. Real.
http://www.troytown.org/ My cousin. Living abroad for a year. Wants to be a writer. He's good.
http://scoopsrant.blogspot.com/ My all time favorite blogger. He disappeared. He might be back. I hope.
http://gratuitousviolet.blogspot.com/ Vulgar and funny and authentic. Been super supportive of me.
http://dronetalker.blogspot.com/ Everything I don't like. But he did sarcastic better than most. Smart too.
http://dirtycowgirl.blogspot.com/ Foulmouthed and inappropriate. Good storyteller. Always supported me.
http://tryst-with-the-shutter-bug.blogspot.com/ Interesting guy who travels a lot and takes fantastic pics.
http://greg-scott.blogspot.com/ Greg is weird. That's high praise in my book. A tad sacrilegious. Just a tad.
http://psychobabblingbasher2.blogspot.com/ Intelligent and empathetic. Always been great to me.
http://kevinrouthpoetry.blogspot.com/ Shards. Creative prose and well written poetry.
http://thewordthoughtsblog.blogspot.com/ Expounds on one word per post. Always fun.
http://hyperthetically.blogspot.com/ Creative and artistic and weird and pessimistic and smart.
http://shannan-afterwife.blogspot.com/  Shay has given me two awards already. But, she's good too.
http://aarongiesler.com/ Personal friend. Pastor. Trying to be a real person and serve God. Funny. Real.

Monday, March 19, 2012

My Kids Suck At Sports, But Show Great Promise In A Related Field.

I encourage my children to participate in after school extracurricular activities. Partially because I want them to be well rounded individuals who blah, blah, blah; but mostly so they get off the computer and TV... so I can get on. 'Cause, when I get home from work, (Shut-up! Community service is considered work!) I just want to open up my beers and sit down on the couch and watch my shows or play my video games without having to share. I mean, really! Nobody told me you had to give up so much when you became a parent. I never get to do anything I want anymo... oh, oops. Sorry, I was talking about my children.

   So I convinced my children to try out for some sports. First they tried football (the American version, you pinko commies!) but my children are kinda tiny for their age and the helmet made them look like an orange on a toothpick or little evil bobblehead dolls. To make up for their lack of size, they started punching players in the groinal region to tackle them. Which was pretty effective, but highly illegal. And they even did it to players (and coaches) on their own team during practice. And speaking of practice, ughhh, they were supposed to practice all the time. What crap that is. They wanted me to pick them up and drop them off, like every day! If I wanted to spend that much time with them I wouldn't be trying to get them out of the house!

   So we tried baseball. But again with the oversized helmet. But least this time there was no crotch punching. They didn't have to get that close. They could hit a crotch from 90 feet away.  And bats. They gave them bats. I could've told the coach that one wasn't going to end well. In short order, there were twenty bruised and frightened children huddled in the dug-out as my boys chased the coaches and umpires around the baseball diamond shouting, "Warriors! Come out and play-ay." The baseball experiment was a short one.

   Basketball was a little better. There wasn't any weapons or helmets. And the very fact that there are only ten people on the court at a time kept the sheer mayhem to a minimum. But my boys are spectacularly uncoordinated and can barely walk and chew gum at the same time, much less dribble and run and shoot baskets. Being terrible at something makes them frustrated, and when they get frustrated they get mean, and when they get mean people are going to pay. You have never seen so many Atomic Wedgies, Purple Nurples and Charlie Horses in your whole life. The local police and the parents of the other children (well mainly the police) convinced my children to give up basketball.

   We were at our wits end. The kids didn't seem to be good at anything but had too much energy, and I desperately wanted them out of the house. Then one day it struck me as I was flipping through the channels. I stumbled across a soccer match. Of course. The answer was right in front of me all along. Instead of trying to force my children into the mold of sports that didn't suit them, my children needed to do something they were prodigies at.

   So I created a league especially for my children and children like them. I formally announce the creation of, and invite your children to join in the inaugural season of, HIT YOU. The Hooligans In Training Youth Organized Union. At HIT YOU your kids will learn the finer points of Hooliganism; bottle throwing, lighting random things on fire, throwing objects (on fire and not) through store windows, pummeling panhandlers, derisive chants, kicking 'em while they're down, turning everyday items into projectile weapons, advanced lighting random things on fire, and MORE! For only $500, your child will learn these valuable lessons and come home with a jersey from his (or her) favorite team, a pair of black boots and a pool ball in a sock. Sign up now, space is limited.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Rocky The Movies: The Criterion Collection.

Over The Top wasn't Sly's only movie classic. Far from it. In fact, he deserves his own wing in the Criterion Museum. Here are the movies that put him on the map.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Worlds Worst Inventor 2.0.

I have always looked at cars with deeply tinted windows, with envy. Especially Limousines. In my minds eye I always picture some awesome scene out an eighties hair metal band's video or a Cinemax movie featuring any combination of the words Bikini, Spring Break, Bachelor and Party.

   So I invented a pair of glasses that allowed me to see through tinted glass as though it weren't there. Unfortunately, I discovered nothing fun ever really happens in the back of a Limo. It is always a boring businessman on his way to a corporate event. Or a bunch of awkward teenagers on their way to homeschool prom. Or the most boringest of all, a wedding (or it's ugly cousin, the funeral.)

   So I threw those stupid glasses in the trash and bought a pair of video-glasses that play an endless loop of Warrant's Cherry Pie and Poison's Unskinny Bop. Now every tinted window I see is a nonstop Mega-party. The one unfortunate side effect is that my crashing to arriving-safely-at-my-destination ratio has gone way up.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Not Many People Realize How Many Scientists James Bond Went Through Before Q.

Q has been made famous in the James Bond movies and books, he is well known for creating super-secret spy weapons. What isn't common knowledge is that there was a string of abject failures before reaching Q. Sixteen to be exact (A-P). Here are some of the the lowlights of British Secret Service scientist-dom.

A- The first, but not certainly not the brightest, was removed after his inventions caused the deaths of several agents. Namely the knife that was cleverly disguised as a pistol. Which led to some unfortunate deaths where the agents unknowingly brought a knife to a gunfight. (Never a good idea.)

B- Considering B is the first letter in booze, beer and bourbon, perhaps it is no coincidence that B's main contribution were several clever flasks. Allowing the agent to imbibe at virtually any event, there was the pencil flask, the shoe flask, the belt flask, the gun flask (again, a problem), and the flask flask - a small flask not quite so ingeniously concealed in a larger flask. It wasn't a complete surprise when B died of liver failure outside of a local pub.

C- Who created a small atomic weapon cleverly disguised as cufflinks. Unfortunately for the 00-agent who wore them, there was no escape delay and the agent was incinerated along with the the evil mastermind, his evil lair, his evil henchman and a good chunk of a positively sinister pacific atoll.

G- Seemed actually more concerned with making the agents look "sharp" and "sassy"and less concerned with gadgetry. He instituted a work-out program (which he spent a good time in the gym personally overseeing), and spent most of the spy gear budget on designer clothes. He later relocated to Germany and opened an all-male gymnasium with his "roommate" Klaus.

J- Replaced the smoke screen on the Astin Martin with old lady perfume, he claimed it was the most repellent smell known to man. The only problem is it didn't actually deter any bad guys, and made the agents easy to track because the smell was impossible to get out of their clothes.

K-Traded the Walther PPK's for tomes of 16th century French poetry. The pen is mightier than the sword he claimed. Which while might be accurate, ruminations of love, and loss, and the loss of love, and losing that loving feeling, is terribly ineffective when it comes to fighting evil henchmen and their knife wielding chimpanzee sidekicks.

L- Thought that pharmaceutical mind altering drugs were the ultimate weapon, and as a result most of his inventions involved glow sticks and trippy music. He often sent his agents out into the field with prosthetic limbs that made their arms seem impossibly long and their hands appear oversized. He claimed this would cause the enemy agents to have a meltdown.

O- Was one of the few females who served as head scientist. She was a brilliant inventor who was overqualified for the position. Unfortunately she had round heels and daddy issues. Consequently she was easily seduced by the agents and not many inventions were produced during this particular period of time.

James Bond was positively giddy when Q arrived on the scene. He was a clever inventor and scientist,  plus was a brilliant composer who came up with a catchy little theme song for James. And the rest is history.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Larch, A Larch, The Fifth Of March.

Yesterday my family and I gathered together to celebrate our yearly, first annual Fifth of March celebration. And I was shocked to learn that nobody else celebrates this holiday, that we just made up. Appalled even. So I decided I would take a little time to share the origins of this special day, so that you also may share it with your loved ones.
   It all started back a hundred years ago in 1935 or 1622 or something like that, but the important thing is that it occurred on March 5th (probably). The New Mexicans and the Regular Old Mexicans were having a border dispute. The New Mexicans were upset that the  Regular Old Mexicans were wearing white after labor day and that they loved soccer. The Regular Old Mexicans were furious that the USA was going to create Reality TV and not embrace the metric system.

This tortilla is burning my nether regions!
   So one day the tensions boiled over and there was a Mexican standoff. A New Mexican/Regular Old Mexican standoff. They just stood there on the border, standing there. Standing and standing. Looking at each other while they stood. And then somebody said, "Hey, this is stupid." And that somebody was probably American because it came out in English. So it was decided that instead of a standoff they would do something more decisive. A battle was in order.
   The thing was, nobody really had time to die right at the moment, what with income taxes nearly due and the price of tequila skyrocketing. Guns and swords were right out. luckily both sides had brought lunch, so it was decided that a food battle would be used to settle their differences. The new Mexicans started the offensive with a furious attack of chilis, red and green they came down. The sky literally rained chilis. (Well not literally. Kinda more in the figurative way, but there was a lot. At least like 30.) And one of them hit a little Mexican kid. Or more like grazed him. But man was he pissed. Or perturbed maybe. Mildly annoyed. He noticed it, that's for sure.
   The Regular Old Mexicans launched a counter attack of Tortilla de Muerte de Fuego (or something like that).  Which roughly translates as Tortillas of Death of Fire. This consisted of throwing individual tortillas one at a time like frisbees, at the enemy. Oddly enough the tortillas were not on fire and didn't cause any fatalities or even reach their intended targets, as tortillas are famously non-aerodynamic, and floppy. Perhaps if they threw them in a bundle or fried them first there would have been some terrific collateral damage, but as it was they mostly just landed harmlessly inches away from where they were launched.
   Except for one that got caught in a gust of the infamous New Mexico wind and landed on a follicly challenged gentleman, who wasn't part of the conflict but had coincidentally, and unfortunately picked this very spot to nude sunbathe. The tortilla landed right on top of this gringo's naughty bits and caused him to jump up and run around screaming, "Don't touch me where my bathing suit covers! If I ever wore a bathing suit!" This caused the Mexicans, New and Old, to laugh. Then the naked bald man ran into the table where the Ladies Auxiliary was holding their inaugural Rumble on the Border Bake Sale. Which sent the ladies, their cakes, the bald guy and his loin tortilla flying ass over tea kettle. And that's when the March 5th Miracle happened.
   As the man flew though the air, he's indecent tortilla fell off and began to magically spin around and slice the Lady Auxiliary's baked goods into perfectly equal slices, one piece for everybody at the border conflict soirée. And then each pie, cake and fruited bread landed safely back on the bake sale table, sliced but otherwise unharmed. Both the Mexicans and the New Mexicans gathered around the table in wonderment, and as the magical crotch tortilla gently settled on the table amongst the baked goods they noticed that it bore the uncanny resemblance to one of the greatest men to ever walk the earth;  Elvis Aaron Presley. The crowd shared the baked goods and decided to put their differences aside.

   Later they realized they had just been party to something miraculous and pure and decided that they would commemorate March 5th each year. With feasts of chilis and tortillas and other Mexican foods. And they decreed that a bald man would perform the ritual cutting of the baked goods and that tortillas would be worn as underwear and there would be much rejoicing. And everyone vowed that they would keep the miracle of Elvis and Mexican food in their hearts throughout the coming year.
   And that is the story of Cinco de March-O. I hope that you find it inspiring and decide to celebrate March the 5th with your family next year. Just a tip; it's best not to fry the tortillas before putting them down your pants. If you must, at least wait until the oil cools. Talk about a hunka hunka burning emergency room visit.

Friday, March 2, 2012

If You Don't Have Empathy You Can Just Suck It!

We are a selfish lot, this current batch of humanity. We all only think of what effects us, what makes us happy, and we don't stop to consider what other people are feeling. That's why I think we should all stop to consider what another person might be going through. And I think the next positive step would be to vocalize that understanding and try to reassure others that we empathize with them.

   For instance, when I was a waiter, I would often inform the customer that I had in fact not spit in their food, and at no time during the day did their meal spend any time inside of my pants. I would also assure them that it would be safe for them to give me a gratuity after the meal because I wasn't planning on using my tip money to buy monkeys and force them to have knife fights in my basement.

   I also have always thought that if you meet a homeless person or a toddler, it is perfectly acceptable, nay socially responsible, to urinate on yourself to make them feel more at ease. Because we all know that those type of people frequently have urine soaked clothes. *Sometimes it is hard to tell if someone is a toddler or a bum, so I assume if they don't come up to my shoulder or they have holes in their clothes they are probably a toddler or a bum, or saddest of all, a homeless baby-bum, and I go ahead and wet myself. Better to err on the side of compassion I always say.
   I will frequently roll down my window on the freeway and let my fellow motorists know that I am not getting ready to flip out and start ramming my vehicle into theirs causing violent and explodey mayhem. I assure them they are in no danger of me turning the roadway into a bloodbath of twisted metal and broken bodies. I try my best to convince them at the top of my lungs that I will not use my 3/4 ton van as a weapon of death and destruction in a deadly round of bumper cars.

   And I find it important to inform the clerks and my fellow patrons in the local bank when I enter that I have no intention of pulling out a weapon and demanding all of the money, and that it is not necessary for everyone to get down on the floor. They all appreciate my kind thoughtfulness.

   Here are several more ways I show empathy to my fellow man. At the grocery store I frequently feel it is my obligation to tell all the shoppers that I am not a cannibal and that they should have no fear that I will subdue them and eat them for supper. When I am at the playground with my kids, I loudly inform the other parents that I haven't come to abduct their children. And random women at restaurants should know, I will not attempt to slip anything into their drinks and have my way with them.

   I hope you will use these pointers to become a better person.