Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Course Evaluation

Course Evaluation
* what you learned
I wrote some five paragraph essay’s about ten years ago in High school but had long forgotten the format. I learned the proper structure of the five-grapher and some different types of essays.
* whether the course surprised you in any way
A lot more work than I expected. But after I got going it was manageable.
* whether what you learned was worth your time and money
* what was good in the course
I like the instant feedback. Always within a day or two. Makes it worth putting in the effort.
* what was not good in the course
Nothing really
* things I should change
Really confusing at the start. It may be available at the beginning but make people look at the checklist and respond back to you.
* things that should stay the same
I like the prompts. They give some good ideas on what to write about.
* any miscellaneous advice or suggestions for me

Part 2: Then go back in memory and think about what you’ve written.
Write a graf about something you’ve done you really liked (or hated).

I really like the essay I wrote on living the commuter lifestyle. I think I used it for the division essay. I thought I used some pretty good descriptive sentences like the graveyard on my floorboards, the sunflower seed infestation on the back seat and the black hole inside my tool box. You seemed to share my thoughts by liking that one the best. I also liked writing about some of my military experiences. It was kind of like therapy to get it all out on paper.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Comparison Essay

As I make the hour drive to Bangor for the millionth time, sipping my usual coffee in its Styrofoam container, I can’t help but think how much it’s like a relationship. It always starts out hot as hell, reaches that perfect temperature when I want to drink it all in one glorious chug and of course sometimes, the last quarter of the cup gets forgotten while it sits in the cup holder and turns cold. I know how the story goes every time and yet it never changes.

We all know the paradox. You get that delicious, aromatic coffee first thing in the morning and just can’t wait to throw it down your throat. You know damn well that it’s going to burn your mouth like a hot coal but it’s worth it. Having a new girlfriend is the same way for me. Eyes meet, emotions take over and for a few months, an inferno ensues. I know that most relationships which start out based on the bedroom almost always fail and I get burned. But who can help it. The sweet satisfaction and need takes over all sense of normal reasoning.

So I’ve lived through the scalding of the first sip. Ten minutes go by and the coffee has turned into something perfect. It’s perfectly warm, loving and can do nothing wrong. I just want to hold the cup to my lips and drink it all. The bottom of the cup is nowhere in sight and the only thing in my mind is how perfect the world is. It’s like her and I. Five months goes by and the flames have settled into a nice bed of coals under some glowing birch logs. We call each other honey butt and cupcake while every day is just right. There are no fights, no slamming doors and we are so accepting of everything. Perfect. I want to be with her day and night and can’t seem to get enough. There is no way this could ever end.

The cupholder. The place where coffee gets forgotten and goes to die. The music is blaring. Cars are going by. I am thinking of everything else in my life but that little cup sitting beside me. I am about to pull into my destination as I look down and remember. I grab it but it’s too late. It’s turned cold and the once succulent drink has turned into a nasty, bitter elixir. I toss it out the window and the cup goes on the floorboard graveyard. The relationship has dragged on now. We both forgotten the wonder lust and outside life has taken over. I forgot the excitement and newness of what we had and things have turned cold. It’s time to end it. What was once sweet and invigorating leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

How depressing. Is there a solution? Somewhere out there, does an eternally warm and bottomless cup exist? Sounds crazy but I think I found one. I’ve been drinking it for two years and it still tastes pretty good. It may not be as piping hot as the first couple of months but it seems as though that perfect temperature is holding true. Of course every now and then I spill a couple of drops, a harsh word is said and a sip tastes a little bitter. If it wasn’t for this, would the sips that are just right and leave a little hint of sugar on my tongue taste as good? The secret is the cup holder. Don’t use it. Hold the cup in your hand, feeling the warmth and always paying attention to it. Don’t let the noise of the outside world let you forget what’s really important inside it. Just remember, don’t ever toss it out the window at the first signs of a bad taste because once it’s gone, you can never get it back.

Lost Outro to Example Essay

Apparently when I coppied and pasted this essay I lost the last paragraph. Here it is....

So I can just imagine certain people reading this essay. They are probably thinking about what a cretin I am. I apologize ahead a time if some mud flies off one of my tires and lands on your perfectly cleaned windshield. I do however hope you notice the smiles of everyone on board peering through the blurred windows and wonder what kind of adventures we have had that day. An idea to take away from this little glimpse into the life of a guy born and raised in Maine, USA, is that life is short. If you can’t go out and enjoy it without shedding some of the shells that our culture has imposed then why exist. Go out there. Get cold. Get lost. Get dirty :)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Example Essay

There are people who live in or visit this state who falsely call themselves outdoorsman. They drive their tiny SUV’s with a soccer ball sticker on the back window right below their $1000 Thule rack sitting pretty with a big, fat, un-tippable, tie-died kayak strapped to it and finished off with a shiny, pink master lock like someone would actually steal the eyesore. I can’t help but laugh as I pass them on the highway with my gas-guzzeling, mud covered Chevy truck with fishing poles sticking out the back and an old rusty boat in-tow. Yes I may be a redneck but who has more fun? As I watch them turn into the public boat landing right beside the Wal-mart, I step on my gas pedal a little harder thinking about that secret trout spot my grandfather showed me as a kid. There are many reasons I consider myself an actual Maine-ah, but the time and effort I put into hunting and fishing in the state prove it. Braving the ridiculous weather we have here, the long days of traveling into the wild blue yonder and getting absolutely dirty shows my dedication to holding true to my ancestry and having fun at the same time.

“There’s a Nor’ Easta Comin’”. We hear it from the toothless guy on the corner grasping a brown bag hours before it comes from the educated meteorologist on the nightly news with his LL Bean boots sticking out of his dress slacks. People here in Maine know they live in a wasteland as far as the weather is concerned and most are proud of it. So a little snowstorm is coming. Gram will be out there in her snowmobile suit pushing a snow blower while the kids stay home from school performing 10-point back flips off the garage roof. This is when I throw my old bird dog, a beat up old pack basket full of patched up traps, a Coleman stove, a package of deer meat, and anybody I can coheres into going with me into the truck and head for the lake. Yeah it is snowing to beat hell and half the state is without power but the fishing is hot. A real Maine fisherman doesn’t let god tell him when it’s ok to hit the ice. I’ve caught some of the biggest and ugliest fish during these blizzards and wouldn’t give it up for the world. When I see that fat brook trout pop out of a 10-inch hole, flipping his tail and looking just as beautiful as can be, I tend to forget that my toes are frozen together and I can’t feel my face. Tasting that venison after it has been sautéing with butter and garlic in a tin foil fry pan, the last thought on my mind is the tornado of snow shooting down my collar. Just barely seeing the smile on the face of a six year old through the flakes as he pulls a giant pickerel through the ice makes it all worth it.

The people who print the Gazateer, a topographical map of the state, should put a scale for miles and then one that says pack a lunch sucka. If you want to get to those spots where memories are made and tourists are only found in jokes, you’re gonna have to drive. And drive and drive and drive a little more. I can always tell the folks who know where to go for a true Maine outdoor experience. They come back into town with mud and dust caked on the side of a truck with jagged lines dragged from bumper to bumper by branches. I know this look very well as the best roads are normally half grown in. I have found that these back roads, abandoned by whoever made them in the first place, usually bring me to the golden places where fish jump in my creel and deer cut in front of each other to have a look at me. Yes it takes a toll on my vehicle and might put a couple of scratches in the paint but who gives a rats ass? When I am on my death bed, am I going to think, “geez, if only I could have kept my truck a little more clean, my life would have been so much better.” Probably not.
I don’t care who you ask, even if they are just a weekend redneck, they will tell you that having fun in the outdoors almost always means getting dirty. If you happen see some friends and I after a long four wheeler ride, there will be two clean areas. One is the spot of our faces which was covered by a set of goggles and the other will be a brilliant white, Cheshire grin. For some reason unbeknownst to me, there is nothing more fun than creating a rooster tail of mud through a boggy trail. I just can’t understand the people out in the woods and on the trails wearing some white knickers, a lovely little spring jacket and a sun hat. Don’t they realize just how fun it is to go animalistic? If you haven’t gone out and just not cared about getting dirty and just enjoyed unbridled fun, you haven’t lived. This willingness to put looks and societies idea of proper attire aside makes me fit in with the true Maine outdoorsman crowd.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Effect Essay

My nearly fatal decision to join the Army at 22 years old turned out to be the best one I have ever made. Of course there were endless days of lying in a pool of oil under a tank in the motor pool, a month of training in the 120° Mojave Desert, and two, year-long deployments in the bowels of Iraq, but sometimes the worst experiences in our lives are the ones that shape us into better people. I wished thousands of times that I never signed that paper, handing over my soul to Uncle Sam, never realizing that the hell I was going through might actually be just what I needed. Being part of something outside my own little universe propelled me into the life which I lead now. I gained brothers, lost some and was changed forever. The Army taught me to appreciate teamwork, never settle for the mediocre and also gave me the chance to get out of the rut I was in and have a better life back in the civilian world.
There were times in the service that common sense seemed to be as far away as my family, half a country away. Having a combat job meant that when not deployed; my days were sometimes filled with training but more often than not, meaningless tasks. I can’t count the number of times that my company would report to our motor pool on orders to prepare for an inspection. These inspections entailed emptying the enormous, metal containers which housed our tools and equipment. Being part of a heavy, mechanized unit meant that very few of these pieces were small or light. My soldiers and I would spend the better part of a day lugging each item out of the trailer and laying them perfectly in a neat and organized manner. After doing this through the muggy, Missouri heat and nearly experiencing heat exhaustion, we would sit and wait for our lieutenant to come inspect. The problem was that he rarely showed. This would mean that everything went back into the box to be hauled out the next day. The ignorance and absolute insanity of these days drove me mad. Listening to the privates piss and moan, all I wanted to do was agree with their gripes and flip out, but as their sergeant, I always kept my composure. Looking back I realize that those times were in fact horrible, but to this day, I have yet to find the brotherhood and teamwork that we had. No man ever worked alone and could always count on his fellow soldiers to help. The huge tasks that were given were accomplished no matter what. No one called in sick or just quit. We would roll up our sleeves and do it. If another unit needed help, we were there whether we knew them or not. The crazy inspections are just one example of the machine. Throughout my four years in the Army, I would be reminded time and time again that no matter how seemingly impossible something seemed, it could be accomplished if not by myself, with the help of my brothers.
From the day I entered basic training to my separation from the Army, I was taught to never just settle. If we were camped in a certain spot for longer than an hour, we were expected to somehow improve on the surroundings. Even in Iraq, we would set up temporary operating bases and continually add sandbags, observation points and fortifications. We could be well aware that we were leaving the area the very next day and yet were still busy improving upon the situation. In the states, at the end of a training session, all soldiers would line up in a row and walk the entire training area from end to end. We picked up shell casings, trash, cigarette butts and anything else that wasn’t put there by god rather it came from us or not. It gave new meaning to the term, “carry in, carry out, “ because we always would leave the area better than how we found it. This mindset of constantly improving is rather ingenious of the Army. I believe that somewhere in history, the U.S. government realized that if soldiers were expected to do this in every activity, they would internalize the idea and conduct themselves in this manner all the time. There is no better way to have a strong military than to have one that is concerned with the bettering themselves at all times. Even now as a civilian, I carry this idea with me. I find myself unhappy with just settling for the average life. I look for ways to make life better through education, healthy relationships, and staying motivated.
The third thing that the Army did for me was it gave me the chance to earn a degree. Before the GI Bill there was no way I would have been able to afford the outrageous prices colleges charge for an education. I knew going into the service that I would most likely get out after my first term and get the degree I had always hoped for. Now as I write this, I am just a couple of weeks away from receiving my Civil Engineering degree and could my more elated. Through all the tough times, miserable climates and crazy combat operations I always knew that this day would come and all of that would pay off.
I guess the Army or any other branch of service isn’t for everyone. Some people can graduate high school and move on directly to college without batting an eyelash. I know for me however it was the right choice and would make it again. I could probably go without being shot at and eventually hit but I knew that could happen. I guess I figured if I was going to serve my country, with my personality, I wouldn’t have been happy sitting in the rear with the gear. I knew that I wanted to serve in combat operations and make a difference that I could see instantly. Losing close buddies was horrible but without going through it I never would have gained the ones I still have. If it wasn’t for the Army I might still be driving a delivery truck or working in some factory for minimum wage. I definitely wouldn’t have the perspective on life that I carry with me now. I wouldn’t understand the value of being surrounded by good hard working people and what it means to have absolute trust in another person.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Division Essay (2nd attempt)

Only a fellow commuter could possibly know how I live. I have become a modern gypsy. I eat, conduct business, sometimes sleep and basically live out of my pick-up truck. Traveling an hour inland every day for work and school from a small town on Maine’s coast has proven to be a challenge. I have learned to think ahead and bring anything and everything I may need. If anyone dared to look in my vehicle, the trash, clutter, and other pieces of my existence that gather on my floorboards, seats, and in the truck bed would make my lifestyle obvious. As I park at the local car wash this morning, I pulled the Chevy right up next to the giant vacuum that looks like the robot from lost in space. I begin to remove and vacuum up, all the discarded items that have found their final resting place located on my floor mats and shoved up under the bucket seats. Little shreds off cellophane with the number 5 imprinted on them are scattered across the floor like carcasses. My favorite new gum. Its name is the number 5 and not only is it tasty, but it works great for the unfortunate side-effect of my morning coffee run. This of course leads appropriately to the next discovery. Two thermal coffee cups that never made their way back to my kitchen, and three Styrofoam ones. A vessel for each day of the week. Next to my cylindrical crutches and gum wrappers, crumpled up in the same fashion, are the many receipts. Some are from the bank giving out my unfortunate account balance, but they are mostly from gas stations, thanking me for my purchase of over-priced Arabian gasoline.
As I finish up with the floorboard graveyard, my eyes focus on the back seat. It’s covered with a faded old sheet with a paisley print. The poor guy just didn’t make it in the linen closet anymore and is now damned to its current existence. The make-shift seat cover is anything but form fitting and within in its wrinkles and folds, I can see perhaps hundreds of sunflower seeds hiding like tiny insects. The seed infestation is a sign of my other habit. When I’m not chewing my number 5 I have to keep busy with Planters sunflower seeds. Working on construction sites constantly, I have come across guys who have every habit ranging from cigarettes to chewing tobacco. I think these activities are pretty disgusting but can relate. The seeds are my crutch. They are just as addictive but don’t smell nearly as bad. As I continue to clean I come to the end of the bench seat. Here is the eighth wonder of the world. The leaning tower of text books. Completing my last semester of college, I currently take 22 credits of classes. This basically adds up to 1 ½ metric tons of books, binders, and folders. Living so far from my school, it’s not like I can run home if I need a certain paper so I bring it all with me. These tools of knowledge are necessary but are like carrying around the weight of a toddler. Thank god they don’t need a car seat.
Now that I’ve gutted out the interior, it’s time to head back to the bed. Anyone that has ever owned a pick-up is well aware that keeping the bed free of debris is nearly impossible. It is just too tempting to launch any abandoned object back there. Like I said earlier, I work in construction and have gathered quite a collection of random tools. Never knowing when I may need a certain device, I keep them all with me. Shovels, rakes, and other hand tools are all nestled together. Mixed in here and there are wooden grade stakes, rope, spray paint, and random containers. If a construction emergency goes down, I’ll be the man of the hour. In front of the bed is another back hole known as the tool box. Its chrome, diamond-plated finish gives no indication of the tornado within. Jackets, rain gear, ratchet straps, a chainsaw, a fishing pole, and the list goes on and on. The boy scouts preparedness has nothing on me.
So as embarrassing as it is, I have described the trash can I drive around. At least at this moment, it is clean and organized. It should stay that way for at least a day or two. The funny thing about my situation is that I really hate clutter. It only took a few times of not having the book, tool, or rain jacket for me to get over my need to be basic and bare. Soon enough school will be a memory, I’ll have a cushy supervisor job that doesn’t require carrying a hardware store with me and hopefully I won’t be going through a tank of gas every couple of days. Next time you see a car with crap filling up the back window or someone stepping out of there van, followed by a trail of wrappers, think to yourself, they probably are a complete slob or maybe they’re just one of the poor souls who call themselves a commuter.

Friday, April 3, 2009

division essay

Finally, turkey time is here again. With spring comes the month of April, the time of year when wild turkey hunters dust off their calls and prepare for the pursuit of a giant tom. In Maine, the bag-limit is just one bearded turkey and as of2009, with a boom in the bird population, the whole month of May is set aside to allow hunters success. Whether you are new to the sport and seeking some information or a seasoned veteran that just needs some reminders, here are some ideas to think about when preparing for the spring 2009, Maine wild turkey hunt. A well successful hunter is a prepared hunter who concentrates on their weapon, their equipment, and choosing the right camouflage.
One major part of the turkey hunt is the firearm you choose. The law in Maine states that hunters may only use shotguns, gauges 10-20 or bow and arrow. I myself have not hunted gobblers with a bow but it sounds like a blast and is on the to-do list. I normally use a Remington Express in a 12-gauge and find it perfect. Using this gauge with a good 3 inch turkey shell will lead to success nearly every time. Consumers can find limitless accessories on the market today aimed at more productive hunts. Although one must be cautious when wading through the many products, some can be very helpful. Fiber-optic sights which attach to the barrel with a magnet, adjustable shooting rests that help to hold the gun and pistol grips which take the pounding from a large shell off your shoulder, are all innovative products out there.
As with most sports and hunting in particular, the condition and functionality of your equipment can lead to a very good or a very disastrous day. Like I mentioned before, thousands of accessories can be added to your equipment list but the two major ones are calls and decoys. Turkey hunters have quite a selection of calls to choose from including box calls, slate calls, diaphragms, and even electronic devices. I personally like the natural sound of a slate call to get the toms to come in and then switch to the diaphragm when they get close. A diaphragm call sits in the roof of your mouth allowing you to keep both hands on the gun and call at the same time. The other important piece of equipment is your decoys. When buying a new set, do yourself a favor and spend a little more. The difference between the foam, two dimension cutouts and the nice plastic deluxe models is huge. Turkeys have the best eyesight in the forest and will spot the inexpensive knock-off from a mile away.
The last major focus will be your camouflage. Since turkeys are so well known for amazing eyesight, it is obvious that to be successful, the hunter must be invisible. Many patterns on the market have been developed specifically for spring hunting. They will normally have more green hues and less dark brown colors. Items must be worn so that the hunter is covered literally from head to toe. Always remember that a flash of a wristwatch or exposed, shiny skin will alert you prize turkey way before he’s in the kill zone. Always wear a head net or face make-up, a complete suite, gloves, and even camo boots.
So now you are all set for success. With the right gun (or bow), a few accessories, and some camouflage that will turn you into a part of the forest, your chances of bagging a nice tom and an unforgettable memory are in your future. Maine is a gorgeous state to hunt and with the relatively new sport of wild turkey hunting, sportsmen can finally have something to focus on during the spring season. Just remember when storing all that gear and putting the gun back in the cabinet that there is now a fall, two-week turkey season to dream about over the summer.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Process Essay

“Your call is important to us, thank you for calling today and for your patience. We’ll be with you shortly.” Sound familiar? We’ve all heard it. Every time we have to pay a bill A.S.A.P. and forced to waste our lives listening to broken-record recordings and cheesy elevator music. Recently I was blessed with the opportunity to call the newest and biggest phone and internet provider in the Northeast. I was trying, with some prodding from me girlfriend, to get an Internet connection at our new house. Sitting there with the phone plastered to my ear, staring at the blue wall paper in my kitchen like a zombie, thoughts came to my mind of how one can make it through this modern day torture. I figure there must be a way to prepare ourselves for the battle, keep ourselves entertained through the ordeal and get the telephone operators to actually help us.
The first thing to do when making the painful phone call to a gigantic company is to prepare yourself for what is about to happen. You need to sit down in a chair with you phone set down directly in front of you. Close your eyes and say to yourself “It’s going to be a long battle but we can win. We can be VICTORIOUS!” After recovering, develop a good normal pattern of breathing; gather all your focus and concentrate. Grab the phone and dial without looking back.
The next step is to lighten up a little. You know you’re going to be on hold for a lifetime anyway so do yourself a favor. Find that little speakerphone button that almost every cell phone has and hit it. You may now go about your usual business as long as you can hear that god-awful recording in your peripheral hearing. One may find themselves, bagging the trash, cleaning up some dishes or if the mood strikes just right even writing an English paper, all while listening to the madness unfold through the speaker.
So if you make it through and become one of the lucky few that find an actual human, how do you go about getting them to do your biding? The biggest weapon you have is niceness. Everyone has run into that person on the other end that wasn’t hugged enough as a child. By getting frustrated and angry with t his train wreck we just feed into their negative attitudes and becomes counter-productive. Try next time to do the opposite of what they expect. When you do act overly nice or friendly, some may take it as a sarcastic attack but many will actually change their own attitudes or at least try to help you.
These are a few coping mechanisms to take with you and use when dealing with the dreaded phone calls and annoying telephone operators. Try to remember the futility in getting upset with the process but instead chalk it up to a freight train, progressive culture and accept it. You may get lucky once and awhile and deal someone like Andrew, the surprisingly helpful lad working in the Connecticut office of the fore-mentioned telephone line conglomerate. Even though I waited the expected thirty minutes to reach him, he hooked me up with an install and restored a tiny bit of faith in the system.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Intro #2 for contrast

My present self would be so disappointed in the old me. How could I have been so “young and dumb,” as the saying goes? Could just four years in the Army really change a person so much? How could a person of 28 years be considered a man when just six years earlier many would say he was a juvenile? Could a few drill sergeants and a couple combat tours really change a guy so much that he would completely change his view on school, family, and even life itself? I say yes.

contrast essay

One person who has lived two different lives. This is my world. I was once entitled Sgt. Burke, a much more stoic label than the plain “Mr.”, I sport now. I served four years in the U.S. Army before retiring two years ago and cannot say I don’t miss it. I never would have believed how much I would change after entering the service at 22 years of age. I figured I had been through enough socialization and had enough life experience to be comfortable in my own skin and very set in my ways. I was naive. From the break-down and build-up in basic training to the harsh desert training leading into two tours in Iraq, I experienced the most significant change since adolescence. Now as a civilian once again, I can see a dark contrast between the life I led before the army and the one I lead now. The changes have become obvious in my motivation levels, determination, and zest for life.
In the years following high school, I wasn’t the driven man I am now. I floated around from one meaningless job to another in search of that weekly paycheck that might pay all of my bills. I had no goals; no want to continue my education, and no need for a family. I went from delivering auto parts to delivering electrical supplies to even working in meat factory producing hot dogs (a story I’ll save for later). I lived in several cramped apartments with good time friends never holding a girlfriend for more than a few months. It wasn’t much of a life but it suited my needs at the time. Fast forwarding six years to the present, I find myself in a much different state of mind. Living with my girlfriend of two years and her seven year old son, I have become not only a veteran but a student, a part-time father, and soon to be a construction foreman. I am in my last semester of a civil engineering degree struggling to obtain a balance between work, school, and life at home. The days of binge drinking and the “I don’t give a shit,” attitudes are over. I couldn’t be happier.
Before the service, I was always willing to accept the easier road. Always ready to throw in the towel and say “hey, it wasn’t meant to be... screw it.” This mind set often got me into an even deeper hole and often instead of solving problems it was easier to pull the old ostrich trick, shoving my head into a dark hole to shut out the world. If it was between a twelve pack and a power bill, I rarely ended up thirsty. In 2009 however, things have changed. Maybe it was the military mind set or just maturing over time but I have to come to realize that pushing problems into the shadows only fixes them short term. Of course I bring in a little more money than back than but with that only comes bigger bills. I have become an individual determined to not be that slacker I used to be. The bills roll in while the checks roll out. The piece of mind I get from having all ducks in a row is a whole lot better than letting life’s little problems pile up in the corner.
The sad existence I had years ago consisted of living one day at a time. I never was one to stop and smell the roses or relax and enjoy a purple sunset. I went from one activity to another at a fast pace only worrying about the day in front of me. This way of life changed during my two tours in Iraq, when I was part of dangerous patrols nearly every day. I never really knew if I was even going to make it back to the states at the end of it all. These times of stress and fear turned my priorities in life upside down. Now I still find myself every morning, thinking to myself just how lucky I am to be alive and not crawling off a hard cot in the arid deserts of the Middle East. I’ve learned how to let my bagel toast completely and maybe even allow myself the extra minute to put some butter on it. I’ve realized that the two minutes I might save by speeding around town like Mario Andretti, isn’t worth a hundred dollar ticket and the peace of mind I gain by checking out the view instead is priceless.
So many people in the world think every day, “Oh man, wouldn’t it be great if I just could just go back and live those glory days over again.” I think what these people are remembering is the silver lining on a very dark storm cloud. Yes, of course when I think back to those single days, living in a trailer eating noodles from a plastic package, I remember how nice it was to have zero responsibilities and live only for tomorrow, but I also remember the anxiety of having unpaid bills and no light at the end of the tunnel. Just like the people dreaming a teenage fantasy, I would like to go back to those days of living by the railroad tracks in a dumpy apartment. The only difference being not to have more good times but to slap my younger self upside the head. I would most likely say in my now mostly-mature voice, “Nate...why don’t you get your head on straight and get your life together already.” And of course my previous self would most likely say, “yeah… whatever dude, I have an appointment with Wheel of fortune in fifteen minutes and I think my Ramen noodles are burning!”

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Isearch background

My love for hunting and the outdoors began at birth. My father was never around growing up but thank god I had my grandfather and uncles to teach me the ways of the woods. I have hunted whitetail deer and grouse my entire life in the Maine forests and it has become more of a passion than a hobby. Recently I feel as though I need a new outdoors challenge. Watching shows on TV and talking with friends about duck hunting as shed some light on a new sport I would like to pursue. Not only have I been thinking about hunting waterfowl forever but it just so happens that I now own a beautiful chocolate lab. Cash has become a perfect specimen of a water dog. He is almost two years old now and solid muscle. He still hasn’t lost that eternal puppy exuberance that comes with most labs but his intelligence is incredible. He seems to grab any training I throw at him and run with it. He is a fish in the water and retrieves like a machine. I feel that with some persistent training this spring and summer, Cash and I will be enjoying a bountiful duck season this upcoming fall.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Esay #2 Classification

I load the round, I aim, the gun cracks, the game falls, and I retrieve my prize. If all goes well this is the story. No matter what the designated creature, if the hunt goes well and all work pays off, I’ll be heading back to the lodge with my bounty. Hunting in my family is huge and always has been. With each of Maine’s seasons that come and go, so do the hunting seasons. With the states bountiful hunting opportunities and gorgeous backdrop of mountains and streams, I am faced with a decision. I ask myself which of the available hunts out there is the most desirable. Would it be staring at a whitetail bucks warm breath on a frigid November morning or maybe watching a giant gobbler come into my decoys responding vocally to my hen yelps. Of course there is always the thrill of waterfowl, watching a mallard scream in like a B-52 bomber over my perfect homemade blind. Although all of these outdoor experiences thrill me and many other Mainers on a daily basis, there must be one that stands out above the rest like that favorite rifle sitting high on the mantle.
The elusive and majestic whitetail deer stands out sharply in comparison to other woodland creatures found in Maine. It’s the second largest game found in our state and without a doubt one of the most mysterious. Anyone who has lived here for a couple seasons or more can recount seeing multiple deer or even a small herd feeding in roadside fields during the winter and spring. At the end of summer comes November and that first rifle crack when the deer almost seem to vanish with the morning sun. Now I am not sure what possesses us hunters to crawl out of our sacks during the frigid fall mornings to chase after these brown ghosts but something ingrained in the deer hunter’s DNA fills me with excitement every year when I hear the leaves crunch beneath my boots on opening day. The thought of a freezer full of delicate venison makes my mouth water as I dream of bagging that monster buck lurking through my favorite bog. I scout the area for a year finding the most popular beat down game trail. I pick out a tall beech tree which sits straight as an arrow seemingly waiting to support a deer stand. All of the planning, details and hard work that go into whitetail hunting all pay off when I see the glimmer of antlers coming down my path. It is hard for me to imagine a better feeling than seeing my preparations pay off with a nice healthy buck to bring home.
The next hunt on our safari through Maine is the wild turkey. Many may say that it is merely a hideous bird and one would be better off claiming their prize butterball at the local grocery store but turkey hunting is much more. What I am dealing with here is an eagle-eyed, master of vocal sounds, prehistoric bird. Hunting these 20 to 30 pound gobblers means paying special attention to lifelike decoys, perfect camouflage, and realistic calls. As I sneak out into the edge of a clearing in the prone position, placing the Tom and hen decoys perfectly, I know that any quick movement or flash of shiny metal will tell all turkeys within a mile that I am here. It is a battle of wits whenever hunting these wizards of the forest. I think it is this cat and mouse, Tom and Jerry game that attracts me so much to them. I know that the flawless execution of time tested methods will be the only way I’m going home with a trophy Tom.
The third and possibly least graceful game discussed here is the common duck. Don’t get me wrong here, the duck is well known for its precision eyesight as well as discerning hearing. Using the different duck calls available on the market today take lots of practice. Hunters blowing their brains out on a three hundred dollar duck call sounds basically like an air raid warning to our winged friends. Careful preparation must be taken to construct intricate blinds and hours of practice calling and shooting clays must be performed to be effective in the marsh. Watching a lab retrieve the fowl is amazing. The feeling I get when watching a dog I trained myself perform is hard to match.
With the countless memories gained from trudging through miles of twisted and rugged Maine landscape in pursuit of all sorts of Wiley animals, there is no way I can say any of my hunts have been inferior. I may have liked certain aspects better than others but when all is said and done, all the experiences combined have been woven together to create in me a tapestry of love for Maine’s wilderness. Whether it’s tracking that monster buck through the swamp or sitting motionless, camouflaged in deep green brush watching a huge turkey, it’s not the quarry I’m after but the untouched beauty of the state and the pride of keeping my family tradition alive that makes them all equally priceless.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Outro Classification essay

With the memories I have gained from trudging through miles of twisted and rugged Maine landscape in pursuit of all sorts of Wiley animals, there is no way I can say any of my hunts have been inferior. I may have liked certain aspects better than others but when all is said and done, all the experiences combined have been woven together to create in me a tapestry of love for Maine’s wilderness. Whether it’s tracking that monster buck through the swamp or sitting motionless, camouflaged in deep green brush watching a huge turkey, it’s the untouched beauty of the state and the pride of keeping my family tradition alive that makes them all equally priceless.

Into #2 Classification essay

I load the round, I aim, the gun cracks, the game falls, and I retrieve my prize. If all goes well this is the story. No matter what the designated creature, if the hunt goes well and all work pays off, I’ll be heading back to the lodge with my bounty. Hunting in my family is huge and always has been. With each of Maine’s seasons that come and go, so do the hunting seasons. With the states bountiful hunting opportunities and gorgeous backdrop of mountains and streams, I am faced with a decision. I ask myself which of the available hunts here is the most desirable. Would it be staring at a whitetail bucks warm breath on a frigid November morning or maybe watching a giant gobbler come into my decoys responding vocally to my hen yelps. Of course there is always the thrill of waterfowl, watching a mallard scream in like a B-52 over my perfect homemade blind. Although all of these outdoor experiences and many others thrill Mainers on a daily basis, there must be one that stands out above the rest like that favorite rifle sitting high on the mantle.

Intro #1 Classification essay

For many, growing up in Maine has turned us into outdoor fanatics. From the gorgeous snow capped mountains to our rocky Atlantic shoreline, the state is teeming with wildlife. Love for the bountiful creatures and rugged landscape found in northern New England has driven the sport of hunting here for centuries. Hunting started in early times as not only a hobby or past time but as a way to survive in an unforgiving and sometimes even harsh environment. In more recent times with modern advances and prosperity, hunting has transformed into more of an ancestral right and a way to control animal populations throughout our communities. People still use the meat of course and supplement their families provisions but hunting focuses more on tradition nowadays and enjoying nature. The question I am proposing to answer is which common game here in the state is the most enjoyable to pursue. I have narrowed my list of potential animals to three: the ghostly and unpredictable whitetail deer, the mad bomber known formally as the duck, and holding the third spot is the intelligent but ugliest of the bunch, the turkey.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Metagraf for Essay 1

So there he sits. What a pity. I want to go fishing soooo bad. Another Saturday is here and what a cocker. The sun is out for the first time in ages and the guy is sitting at a plywood laminate computer desk hacking away at a keyboard. There has to be a lake somewhere screaming,“ COME…Catch fish in me!” What the hell is he typing about anyway? Looks like some paper about training me or something like that.Yeah good luck buddy… better bring some treats! I’ve been cooped up in this house all week and want to hit that open lake to run my four legs off. Wish the slacker would hurry up and finish his damn assignments so we can go for a ride in that truck. I think I’ll just continue to lay here and stare at him until he gives up. There is always Sunday! Where’s that bone?


Intro 2 for Essay 1

All of them together had formed a wriggling mass, consisting of various shades of brown and black. I had been giving the opportunity by a friend to have the pick of the litter and was now faced with the BIG decision. I knew I wanted a chocolate and one with the classic blocky lab head. After some observation of the pups tumbling and wrestling around I decided on the perfect one. Since that day two years ago, Cash and I have pretty much figured each other out. We’ve spent many hours in pursuit of Maine grouse and he has proven to be a natural. Nowadays I find myself thinking about getting into duck hunting soon and know he would be great at that too. Cash’s swimming ability, intelligence, and physical features would all make him a great duck hound.

Essay 1 (Cause Essay)

KA-Splash!! A beautiful, blockheaded lab bounces through the cat tails and into the lake. His coat glimmers in the sunny fall afternoon as he retrieves the fallen mallards. To a duck hunter, there is nothing better than watching the lab he trained from a pup, hard at work. People have been training Labrador retrievers as hunting dogs for centuries. Of course they make wonderful family pets and absolutely love children but their one true purpose in life is to retrieve game. I have had the honor of raising Cash, my two year old chocolate lab, since he was five weeks old. Although he has proven himself as a fantastic grouse dog in the woods of Maine, he is ready for another challenge. I believe Cash will make a superb duck retriever for the following reasons: he can swim like a fish, he is extremely intelligent, and his physical attributes suit the sport perfectly.
It is obvious to most people that a good duck dog, has to be a great swimmer. Cash has this area down for sure. Of course labs are a breed well known for their aquatic skills, but my lab is above average. Since he could barely walk on land, he has been in the water as well. From a simple public boat landing on Pushaw Lake, to the rocky oceanfront found at Lamoine state park, Cash will not be kept from the water. He will retrieve anything I throw and even dive (which is somewhat rare) for objects below the surface. Of course sometimes he does get a little distracted and ends up coming back with a mound of green, slimy seaweed hanging from his jowls but for him that’s just too much fun to pass up. During the training for his new endeavor, his prowess in the water will prove to be a huge advantage.
Intelligence in a dog can be viewed in different ways. To me, the intelligence of a dog is shown by his listening capabilities and his ability to contain excitement. Of course like any dog, Cash has moments when he wants to do his own thing but for the most part he listens well. When told to sit and stay, he’ll watch his toys bounce across the ground and birds fall from the sky without moving a muscle. It’s pretty impressive to see his self control since I know the only thing he wants to do is bolt after whatever is out there waiting for him. Another sign of his intelligence is what hunters refer to as, “a soft-mouth.” This means that he knows the difference between play and work. While he doesn’t shy away from ripping a tennis ball to shreds, he will retrieve a bird without harming a single feather, every time. No tug of war, no thrashing around, just the prize dropped at my feet like an offering. I believe that his level of intelligence will make the entire training process go much more smoothly.
The lab has some natural advantages when it comes to retrieving, especially in water. One major feature is their webbed paws. These paws act as flippers, displacing lots of water, making labs powerful swimmers. Another, often overlooked tool labs use for swimming is their tail. Throughout history it has often been referred to as an otter tail and helps the dog steer itself through the water quickly and gracefully. A third physical advantage these amazing animals have is very light bone density. This allows them to stay afloat much easier than other dogs and save on valuable energy. The Labrador retriever is an all around unstoppable hunting machine!
Looking at the sport of duck hunting and what it involves, I feel it would be an injustice to Cash to not let him experience what his ancestors have been doing forever. Not only will it be an interesting challenge for me to train him but the memories created will be priceless. During the past couple of years, not only do I feel that I have taught him countless ways to be a respectable dog but at the same time he has taught me things I didn’t see coming. He helped me with ongoing lessons of responsibility and what it means to have man’s best friend! I’m sure throughout this training we will continue to teach each other.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Graf #8

Reviewing these example essays shed a little more light on the assignment. I thought the valentines day essay was very organized. You could see an obvious hook and nice steps all the way through. The middle of the "sandwich" had three good paragrapghs all focusing on different aspects. The other essay about the Red Sox was obviously great because it was about...the Red Sox.

Isearch Brainstormin '

Isearch brainstorm

Topic: How do I teach my lab to duck hunt?
What do I need to concentrate on?
Well there are the training aids. I could probably go into detail on the best training aids out there on the market as well some stuff around the house I can use.
I’ve looked and the equipment is expensive. I need to talk to some retailers as well as normal people who are familiar with duck hunting to see what is fluff and what I really need. I’m sure just like anything else that these companies pray on people just starting in the sport.

Exercises. My second section of the paper might focus on different activities and exercises I should be performing with my lab. From what I have read already, at least a small amount of time should be spent each day outdoors in a training environment. I need to find out how to send him on one line and then get him to switch lines while swimming or even running. I know from past experience he doesn’t like to listen while swimming. Will I need a whistle or will my voice be sufficient?
Somewhere in here I should include the history of hunting with labs and where it all started. I could relate to the first field trials of hunting dogs and when people first starting showing them off to the public. I could put in there where Labs come from and the vague history that we know about them.

My questions:
Training aids: dummies, whistles, electronic collars, neoprene dog vest, scents.etc…
Exercises: field trials, how much time a day? What is the best type of reward? (Treats, verbal?)

I need to look at the different resources available to me.
I.E. DVD’s, books, internet, experienced duck hunters (family, friends, outfitters), hunting dog training facilities.

Question 1= what are the training aids necessary?
Sub-questions= water or on dry land?
Expensive or home-made?
Accessible or something I need to order?
What is it that I really need? No fluff!
Question 2= what are the activities involved during training?
Sub-questions= How long are the exercises?
How much area do I need?
Does water have to be involved?
How safe are these electronic collars everyone uses?
Question 3 is probably number 1= Where do labs come from and why do they make great hunting dogs?
Sub-questions= Geographical location
Time period they were discovered in New Found land.
What went into their breeding?
What physical attributes helps in their quest?
Any other random history.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

graf #6

What do you want to write about? Training my lab to duck hunt
What do you want to find out about your topic? What sort of activities and training tools do I need to employ in order to turn my lab into a productive duck retriever?
What are your questions about the topic?
1. What are some exercises I should be conducting with my lab?
2. What will I need for training aids and there cost?
3. How will I know if he’s ready?
How does it connect to your life?
I own a beautiful two year old chocolate lab. He is the best family dog one could ask for as well as a great retriever for upland fowl. I believe he could be an awesome duck hound with a little training especially since I am interested in the sport anyway.

Give three reasons you like the topic
1. I love to hunt.
2. I love my dog and spending time with him.
3. It is what he was bred for.
Give three ways your life might change if you answer your questions
1. I may become addicted to duck hunting.
2. My dog will be happier and get out even more.
3. I will get to make more amazing memories in the outdoors with my lab.

Do you already know the answer to your question? Negative

I just got done rummaging through the example Isearch papers. I thought many of them were done quite well and with a great deal of detail. I’m actually excited about my topic and look forward to the research. I probably could have found a more intricate and meaningful topic to hunt down but I think I picked the right one. I have wanted my own lab my entire life and even more wanted to train one to hunt. This research paper gives me the perfect opportunity to get started and fulfill a goal I have had since the day I picked out my pup.

graf #7 person

Sometimes, when someone we first meet comes across as a hard-ass, they permanently take on that persona in our mind. We can’t imagine that person ever being reasonable or even less likely, being friendly. When I met drill Sergeant Fore I never expected the mutual respect that would be earned during our time in Army basic training.
He seemed like the typical drill. His shaved head as clean cut as the creases in his army trousers. He was young to hold the rank of staff sergeant already. Everything was done by the book and according to standard operating procedures. It was very rare to see him crack a smile and if one showed it was usually at the expense of some scared private. His favorite sick game was to sneak around the barracks on a boring Sunday. Sundays were the only day when no training was conducted. Privates spent their time hanging around the barracks cleaning, writing letters home, and anything but falling asleep. Sgt Fore would obviously find snoozing soldiers throughout his rounds. He found all sorts of creative ways to torture the unfortunate guys that were caught. The one time I got caught was a double hit. I remember his words as he poured a 5 gallon wash bucket full of water into the entrance of the room; “YOU LOST YOUR DAMN MINDS PRIVATES!” My roommate and I were on opposite sides of the linoleum floor catching some Z’s when a tsunami of nasty water flooded the room. We spent another couple of hours that afternoon performing push-ups and various exercises. He seemed to get a kick out of catching trainees doing the wrong thing.
Sixteen weeks of yelling, hostility, and re-socialization changed us. We were transformed from unmolded lumps of adolescence coming from every corner of the U.S., to true-blue American soldiers. Above all the abuse and anger during the long training I had gained so much respect for the drills. Drill sergeant Fore in particular had gained my trust and admiration. He had taught us to be steadfast soldiers and instilled in us a sense of honor. One of my final memories of the man was a day or two after we had graduated from the program. Everyone had shipped off for leave or for their first duty station. I was still kicking around the barracks for a few weeks to take part in some specialized training when I found myself playing a round of pool with Sergeant Fore in the formerly off limits lounge. I felt like he accepted me as a soldier and as a man. His demeanor had changed and was actually talking with me on the same level. Don’t ever take a first impression for how somebody is. Many times people are simply taking on the role they have to at the time.

Friday, January 30, 2009

graf #5 Things

It sits on my dresser collecting dust. The blue leather box has a governmental look to it. It obviously contains something important. Looking at is hard sometimes. I think about that day enough it. It’s similar in a way to the physical reminder of my scars. It takes me back to that pitch black night in Baghdad. God it was dark. My title in the Army had the word combat in front of it for a reason. My unit was constantly on missions. It felt like we spent more time patrolling the streets than in the safety of the base. That night in September we were once again on a particular stretch known for violence. Seemed like every time we passed this same checkpoint the bullets were flying and roadside bombs were going off. I was in the lead vehicle of the convoy and hiding my nervousness. I had no other choice. Sergeants are there to lead and install confidence. Our trucks were lit up like the fourth of July. Huge fog lights were mounted on all four corners, top and bottom. The speed was 5 mph. We were pretty much sitting ducks at this point as usual. My guys and I were rolling along laughing and talking to hide the fact that everyone was always scared shitless. It came out of the darkness. A rocket propelled grenade slammed into the front of my truck. This kind of hit had happened before and literally left a black mark on my armor. I didn’t know at the time but this was different. This particular model was equipped with a small warhead on its nose. The scene was a nightmare. The Black Hawk chopper landed in the middle of the street as an Apache gunship circled above watching for insurgents. Myself and another soldier where airlifted to a medical center for immediate surgery. I got lucky. The shrapnel had cleaned off my hip but left most of my leg specifically the arteries. I was hospitalized for a month and healed for six. It’s been two years since that night and it is still there in my mind every day. I wish I could tuck the memory away with that Purple Heart sitting in the blue box but I cannot.

graph #3 Inventory

Here is the inventory of my favorite ice fishing basket from top to bottom:
· an old pack basket made of woven wood
· a liner for the inside made of a sleeping bag cover
· five ice fishing traps (three are heritage lakers and two are some cheapo Marden’s special)
· all traps are set up with new, black line on there reels
· three of the traps are equipped with large # 2 hooks
· two of them with #4’s
· two identical skimmers
· a wind up radio
· a flat football
· a zip-lock baggie with two rolls of fishing line
· a Scooby-doo tackle box containing the following:
· 15 sinkers of multiple sizes
· 6 packages of hooks and leaders (assorted sizes)
· Three large bass hooks
· A razor blade knife
· A rusty lure
· One swivel

So this guy likes to fish apparently. He must if he’s willing to freeze to death in Maine’s frigid winter to catch some crappy fish. That basket has been around for awhile. At least he was taught by his family to take care of stuff. It even has his name written on the rim. Probably something he retained from being in the Army for all those years. It seems odd that the liner is actually a sleeping bag cover. I bet he just got lucky that it fit perfect. I see some new line on the reels. That’s a good way to not lose that huge fish. I see a variety of hooks on there two. This tells me he can’t decide on just one species. He has to go out there and get the full experience. I see two skimmers that look the same. I guess he must have learned they are easy to lose in the snow. I see all the normal tackle for ice fishing. Of course every tackle box has to have that one rusty, useless lure. The thing that isn’t normal is that ridiculous Scooby-doo box. I thought this guy was almost 28 years old. Maybe he just likes to joke around and get a rise out of people. One swivel left, living on the edge buddy.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

graph #4 Unique

I wear my shitty work boots even though one leaks. Its the school I go to . Work boots and pick-ups are like the unspoken code. I spend way to much time making my engineering homework super neat. I know the screw-up next to me does his messy and gets almost the same grades. I look like a 20 year old. I am almost 28 years old. I have a dog named after Johnny Cash. He is a little bastard but I love him. I was awarded the purple heart in Baghdad. People must see my licence plate and think an old man is driving. I never thought I would date someone with a child. Were going on two years now and live together. I wish I had played more sports in high school. Of course I was a little husky back then. My ten year high school reunion is this year. I don't think anybody would even recognize me. I'm taking this online English course for the second time. Never liked a class so much I took it twice :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

graph # 2 Worst Teacher (second attempt)

My worst teacher came into my life at the beginning of my sophomore year in high school. She had transferred from a nearby high school along with a reputation. I had friends who attended the high school where she came from and apparently she wasn't one of the most well liked there either. She had come to teach chemistry, or attempt to. She was a math teacher originally and (this would be an assumption) never taught a science class in her life. The woman and I just never clicked from the start. I had always looked forward to my science class prior to this and almost felt cheated. She basically was a talking head at the front of class reading off of an overhead projector. No questions I had about the curriculum for the day were ever answered. I basically felt that she was teaching herself at the same time as us. Now don't get me wrong. If she was just new at this and struggling I would have definitely cut her a break. The reality she had taught high school for many years and was just mean. Her attitude and demeanor came across as someone who needed more hugs as a child. But I got through the year an went on with my life anyway. I don't know what ever happened to her. Whether she stayed at my school or went on to terrorize children somewhere else. The moral of the story is that there always be that person you have to put up with. Look toward the future and move onwards.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Graph #1 Hands (second attempt)

I have forfeited my chance to be a hand model. These hands are rough and scarred from years of abuse. They have seen the scorching heat of 140 degrees in Iraq and the frigid sub zero temperatures of many Maine winters. They have been transformed from burning shell casings of machine guns and shrapnel from a rocket propelled grenade. They ave been stabbed with razor sharp fishing hooks and fillet knives. One may ask, "Do you have something against these two innocent extremities?" "No," I would have to say they drew the unlucky straw to be born on me.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Graf #2 Worst Teacher

This is one of those subjects that just jumps out at me. I have always gotten along with my teachers whether I excelled or not in his or her class. But and its a big but, my sophomore year chemistry teacher was one hell of a piece of work. We will call her Mrs. Makeup because as the name infers, her face looked like a train wreck. She had worked for a couple of years as a math teacher in the next town over from what I was told she was kicked out of there for incompetence and general disgust from the public. So my high school decided to pick her up for reasons unknown probably desperation. Mrs. Makeup and I clashed from the beginning. It didn't Help that a small amount of attention deficit disorder made paying attention back then somewhat difficult. The thing was this woman armed with her overhead projector could single handedly put twenty energy drink, hormone, and anger filler teenagers to sleep. I was the twenty first student who didn't sleep but chose to whisper and keep my fellow mouths awake. She didn't have a clue about science but and uncanny eye for my lips moving. One day out of the blue she decided to flip out on Mr. Nathan in the front and use him as an example. I Was booted to the hallway and told to report to the dark and dreaded principles office. Of course I had put up with this evil woman for too long as it was so on my way out I had to mutter the giant B word. Well if that wasn't bad enough, in all her wickedness she told everyone including the administrator that I preceded the curse with a worse adjective that begins with a capitol F. Now I am telling you right now.... I may have thought it but that word never came out of my lips. To make a long story short, my mother had to come in for a sit down with Mrs. Makeup dragon face. I ended up with an in school suspension which I probably deserved but for once in my entire life my mother agreed with me... that teacher was a beeyatch.

Graf #1 Hands

I know the name of this assignment is hands assignment but I believe in my case I will stick to just one of them. I think focusing on my right extremity will provide plenty of entertainment. I guess I will start with my pinky finger since it is so often overlooked and probably feels in last place the rest of the time. The poor little guy sports a jagged old scar beginning at its nail and wrapping around almost to the other side. This wound came from a hasty ascension up the stairs at my best friends mothers townhouse. I can't say now what was in the glass but as I neared the top of the stairs I tripped over one of the very last steps. Of course my friends mother had a touch of obsessive compulsive disorder but still had a dwelling covered with very light almost white carpeting. I never would have thought that small and forgotten finger could have become a Mount Rushmore of bright red color. Lets say she was less than impressed.
Traveling down the pinky and on to the round fleshy part of my right palm one will find a nice thick scar. I remember receiving this present when I was 18 and working at an electrical supply company down in Brunswick, Maine. My job there as a delivery boy also included lots of warehouse work around these big steel beamed racks. The first level of racks was about five feet of the concrete. It was close enough to climb up in even though it wasn't the best idea. Well, me in a brave and stupid moment decided to skip the fork lift and move some product around by hand. Everything went as planned until the time came to jump back down. As I planted my hand on the outside beam a jagged piece of metal ripped into my palm. Of course i was already in the downward motion of jumping off and very deep long cut was produced. My boss being the compassionate teddy bear that he was grabbed my hand and pulled the cut wide open to expose some of the meaty flesh inside my hand. “ yep, probably need some stitches,” he said calmly as I tried not retaliate on his pudgy face. Thanks for the advice Bob.
Well if your still reading this I'll finish up the road map of my hand with the pointer finger. This bad boy is pretty beat up. I guess i am lucky to have a scar and not a empty void. To make a long story short i took some major shrapnel while fighting in Iraq. I lost most of my right hip but kept my leg and everything else. I received small fragments all over the right side of my body but most without scarring. Except for a pretty good chunk which landed in the index finger. It was pretty terrible but most people that get close and personal with a rocket propelled grenade are not as lucky.