It’s that time of year again. People are out shopping even at this hour to find a last minute present for their dad. I was probably one of the few today who did not buy anything. No, not even a card. The best gift I can offer this moment are my own words, despite the flaws in writing from time to time. The entire theme of this post can be summed up in three words:
Thank You Dad.
My whole life, I’ve been trying to figure it out all out. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do, because I felt that I was good at nothing. I felt lost, confused, and useless. The attempts to become one of the cool kids in high school didn’t pan out. I felt so alone in a sense, and it took me over a decade to finally figure out what I wanted to do in life. Some say that you do not choose, but are chosen instead. In a sense, both paths are correct. Allow me to explain.
When I was younger, my Dad had finally been stationed at an Air Force Base that was not overseas. It was a little bit closer to home in Leeton, Missouri. He had been stationed at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. He wrote us letters, and my sister and I would occasionally write back. I came up with a very goofy idea: create a fake Newspaper to amuse him with. It was all stupid back then, even the title (Newsie News…. I laugh at it even today). That should have been the first hint as to where I should be in life.
Another hint, which came later in my life, was during all the big news of the Microsoft Anti-Trust suit. The Justice Department appeared to be going after them, and like the naive fool I was, thought that the Government didn’t like them, because they got too big for their liking. Then my Dad threw a monkeywrench (some call it reasoning) into my thought processes. It wouldn’t happen for the next several years, but the gears were turning in a very slow manner. He pointed out that Microsoft was not allowing for a level playing field for true competition occur. They were using unfair tactics, and he had a computer that ran Windows 95 at the time. He used some of their software, but he was far from stupid. He recognized when a corporation was no longer playing fair, and in many cases, when a corporation never played fair at all.
In the later years of high school, I gave Mandrake a try on my HP Pavilion N5310 notebook computer only to find that I was simply not ready yet. This was during the hoopla with Windows XP and the horrid Product Activation. I eventually got a Dell Inspiron 8100 notebook with a full gigabyte of RAM in it. It had XP Professional on it, and I liked it quite a bit. However, my curiosity got the best of me, and I bought a copy of SuSE 8.1 Personal, which worked surprisingly well. Future versions were problematic, but for the first time, I realized that it was in fact possible to use an alternative Operating System. I ran the Mandrake 9 series to find out that it was pretty decent, as well as Fedora Core 1 and 2 (later running 4, and I think 5 and 6, but my memory is a bit muddy at this point) before my angry sister proved that after the one year warranty expired, problems would magically appear (she smashed the LCD screen, rendering it useless, causing me to convert the system to a Desktop). I later replaced that Dell with a Compaq Presario R3000 series notebook, which wasn’t as good, but it did the job. That was when I joined the Alternative Media after watching OutFoxed and realizing that FOX was not the only problem (hint: all major news corporations are the problem with the mainstream media today… they don’t serve the needs of local communities). I ran into the wrong sort of people who gave me false praise, but I recovered a year later and realized that they were never really friends in the first place (please don’t ask… I’d rather not get into it, except with this: when the FBI becomes involved over an Internet radio show that happened several states to the south of the person who had the complaint, you start realizing that at the very least, both sides of the story should be had, because involving a federal agency was a bit much). After months and months of delay, I finally brought the first issue of THE *NIXED REPORT online magazine. I’m gathering stuff for the second issue, and look very much forward to a more polished magazine.
It’s all thanks to my Dad, who ultimately got me to think for myself. He was the one when after getting mad at me and yelling at me, would discuss the situation later, and calmly I might. When he took my sister and I grocery shopping while we were visiting, he asked us what we wanted. He valued our opinions, and even when he wasn’t interested, he still listened when we talked to him and would offer insights and advice. While at times a prankster, he was also very brilliant, and still is to this day. You know you’ve done something right in your life when you’re hired by Boeing after retiring from the Air Force. Of course he works for a different company now, but he’s doing pretty well. He had dedication and most importantly, discipline.
Dad, it took me all these years to realize that it were it not for you, I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing now. I wouldn’t be doing a radio talk show for TruthNet Radio, nor would I have a new co-host starting this Tuesday. I wouldn’t have an online magazine that catered to a wide audience. I wouldn’t be useful to this country and this world.
Thank you Dad, and may your Father’s Day be a happy one, even if it doesn’t render you a million dollar ticket.