Monday, June 13, 2016

#Orlando

I have not posted anything as of yet because I wanted time to think and process and to cry. But all I found myself becoming was more and more angry. I am angry because of this horrible act of hate. I am angry because in the face of the murder of 50 people we immediately turn on each other. People are passionately proposing solutions and rather than have intelligent discussions, anyone who posts something others disagree with, they are demonized. I am angry because we turn on each other for expressing words of sorrow and grief. I am also angry because there is an immediate urge to put the perpetrator in a little box and label him. As the story comes out we are discovering this was far more of a disturbed individual and not so easily fit into a single description. 

Was this a terrorist act? Absolutely, but so much more. Was this a hate crime? Absolutely, but so much more. Was this a vindication of those who question why individuals need access to military style weapons. Absolutely, but so much more. Was this a response to those who are concerned about the radicalization of unstable individuals? Absolutely, but so much more. Was this the culmination of years of hate spewed by communities and politicians against the gay, lesbian, transgender, and transsexual communities? You bet your ass it is. Was this an attack on those of Hispanic and Latin heritage? Absolutely, but where does that fit into the narrative?

I am angry because to battle this silent but deadly enemy will take a multi-faceted approach. But instead all we do is point fingers, and do nothing. But this doesn't have to be the end of the conversation. Reasonable people can argue and disagree, but they can also come to consensus and actually act. 

The solution demands a willingness to take a good hard look at our gun laws, and requires sensible limitations. It demands we take a good hard look at our own ignorance of Islam. How many people know the difference between a Sunni and a Shia, let alone a liberal Muslim versus a radical Jihadist. And yes, Muslims come in all stripes, just like Christians and Jews. It demands that we change our individual and political discourse and stop demonizing minorities thus justifying the anger of deranged individuals. It demands that we not only strive to stop ISIS access to our citizens. And to work with our allies to build stability in the Middle East. Easier said than done. Lest we forget, ISIS arose in a political and military vacuum. This is not the result of one president, but of many failed policies of multiple administrations. 

It also demands that we recognize that the vast majority of mass shootings and mass murders in this country have not been committed by radicalized Islamists, even if it feels that way. Lest we forget Virginia Tech, New Town, and Aurora and only focus on Boston, San Bernardino, New York, DC, Pennsylvania, and Orlando. We have a violence problem in this country, and we are far too good at giving easy access to weapons of mass murder to determined individuals. 
And these proposals are just the tip of the iceberg. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Snowmageddon 2016 - The Real Story



Beginning on Friday January 22, 2016 through Saturday January 23, 2016, Baltimore and much of the Mid-Atlantic and North East was buried under historic snowfall amounts. To document this record setting event, I kept a daily journal of my snowed-in family on Facebook. Enjoy:

Day 2 Snowmageddon report: cookie supply running low. Children starting to turn feral. Just saw #3 attempt to lick #2. Snow piling higher. Contemplating hiding under bed with last jar of Nutella. Need more spoons. The laughter, the laughter

Parenting tip #4967: do not discuss the possibility of a snow monster kidnapping the children with a gullible 3-year-old in the house

Day 2 Snowmageddon update: the grill is buried. Food options dwindling to only a household full of carbs. Trying teach kids how to tunnel in the snow. Their efforts are weak and lethargic at best. Must resist bingeing on the Sopranos, but Tony is so mesmerizing. The laughter, the laughter

Hey Dominos, how's that whole drone delivery system coming along. I'm asking for a friend

Snowmageddon Day 3 Update: sad to report that the excursion to summit the grill failed. Lost three Sherpas along the way. All three monkeys successfully put on snow clothes and ventured outside. We hope to hear updates from them by April. All is quiet now as snow related insanity sets in. Nutella supply nearly depleted. Bummed Amazon doesn't use drones yet. Pray for us.

Snowmageddon Day 3 Update: Have not heard back from the children's expedition. Not concerned yet. Will check in again after nightfall. Hoping they make it back before snow weasels come for them. Ran out of Nutella. Experimented mixing peanut butter with chocolate sauce. Failed miserably. Thought about learning a foreign language. Turns out Rosetta Stone does not offer a Klingon module. Bummed. Snow boredom has set in. Searched kitchen to see if we have enough equipment to resurrect the dinosaurs. Turns out, we do not. Pray for us.

Snowmageddon Update Day 4: Tragic news struck Camp Sharff, I have lost my sense of humor. We sent out three expeditions to find it. None have returned. Nutella supply is exhausted. Now living off of a container of mini marshmallows and chocolate powder. Starting to hallucinate. I see Paw Patrol everywhere. Whatever you do, do not send Canadian dogs to rescue us. Planning my escape. This may be my last post. Pray for us.

This just in, BCPS officially closed until June.

Snowmageddon Day 4 Update: Re-read Into Thin Air. The snow mountain in the yard silently mocks me. Attempted to build a Snow-Removalanator. I was foiled by a platypus in a fedora. Didn't know they wore hats. Contemplating why fedoras went out of style. Began googling haberdasheries. Did you know you can hide a whole jar of Nutella in a properly sized headpiece? Attempting to make one out of tin foil. Hoping it will keep the voices out. Pray for us.

Snowmageddon Day 5 Update: Escape! Operation Giant was a success! Imagine the Iditarod only with children instead of huskies. No loss of life recorded, though demands for Chex mix were high. Provisions successfully restocked. Mt. Nutella rebuilt. Did not need to resort to eating the other, other white meat. Voices silent for the time being. Now back to the slow decline of sanity. Pray for us.

Snowmageddon Final Update: Freedom! Kids back in school. Roads somewhat clear. Snow monsters vanquished. Booze carefully restocked. Enough Nutella to last until the next ice age. Thank you for your prayers. Urge to kill ... fading...


This is a stock image of what may or may not have transpired
in the Sharff household