Monday, August 24, 2009

Yesterday in History.

Yesterday in history...08/23

1973: I was born in a little hospital in Bessemer, AL. 8 lbs 6 oz, 21" long and man was it hot in there.

1978: I turned 5. I had some crazy notion that I was going to be a big boy when I turned 5. The image I had of me as a big boy was same size body but with a neck long enough that I would be as tall as my father. I woke up that morning relieved and dissapointed at the same time.

1983: Had a birthday party at Putt-Putt golf in Hoover, AL. I was in love with Christy Hugeley. She was at my party. I got a BB gun from my father. A Red Rider BB gun. Life was looking freaking sweet as I entered double digits.

1989: Got my drivers liscence on the 2nd try. Going into the 10th grade at West Blocton High School. I freaking hated that place. I looked like this. It is a wonder that more girls did not find me attractive. My grandmother bought me a 1965 AMC Rambler. I was the king of the world.

1991: This was the first time I had to go to school on my birthday. I started what would be a trend on that first day of my senior year and skipped school to register to vote and register with the selective service. I had to drive to Montgomery to get a real birth certificate to make me eligible to play football that year. The fate of the team rested on me being eligible. I was the star tailback on the team. By that I mean I would get my helmet and try to run on the field and Coach Carrol would yell, "KINNAIRD! GET YOUR TAILBACK ON THE BENCH!!" I was a senior at West Blocton High School. I freaking loved that place.

1993: I was in love with Kara Fowler. She took me to Outback. Life was looking freaking sweet as I entered my 3rd decade.

1999: 25. Been married to the little philly in the picture to the left for 4 months. She was just beginning to realize the mistake she made. I counted myself fortunate to fool her long enough to get her to marry me. I had been out of college for 2 years and was drilling water wells at golf courses with my dad. Who says a BA in History/English wasn't going to pay off.

2003: Entered my 4th decade. On May 13th of that year my mom died of cancer. It was horrible and there is not a birthday that goes by that I don't miss her. Feeling my own mortality I conviced Kara that it was time to make a baby. And make a baby we did. Kara told me at Camp Booth in Bibb County, AL that she was ready to have a baby. With me. This was on a Saturday. Good thing she was ready because we found out she was knocked up the next Monday. I started this beard soon after that.

2009: Celebrated the 36th anniversary of being alive. Got two kids, a wife that gets more beautiful as the days go by, pushing 250 lbs, got a bad back and too many greys in my hair to count, students that I adore to work with at Westwood Baptist Church, a full tank of gas and a half a pack of cigarettes (just kidding about the cigarettes). Life is looking pretty freaking sweet right now.

Friday, August 21, 2009

God Don't Make Junk

I refuse to cave in to the unrealistic image that women have of what the perfect man should look like. Men are plagued by unrealistic expections and feel the pressure to have the perfect body and perfect hair and cave under the weight of these expectations.

I have gone to church with women who have no inhibitions whatsoever about telling me how I should dress or groom. Here are a few quotes I have heard over the years:

"I can tolererate the beard but its starting to get a little thick."
"Why are you wearing that shirt with those shoes?"
"You could look good every Sunday if you would just try."
"At least shave your throat."

Even as I write this my lovely wife is picking at me like one of those grooming monkeys at the zoo. This is how the conversation (one sided) is going:

Kara: You've got to let me do something about that neck. Boys come at look at this long hair growing out of your dad's forehead.

Billy: Dad, I think you're going to get bigger.
(And I think to myself, "But you might not.")

So I say this: Large and hairy men of the world unite. Refuse to succumb to unrealistic expectations laid on us by magazines (GQ and Esquire) and soap operas (General Hospital). Be glorious in the way your maker made you. Grow that beard thick. And under no cirumstance shave, wax, or pluck any part of your body. You're a fur bearing mammal. That is how God made you and God don't make junk. Psalm 139:14

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Never underestimate...

...the stupidity of the electorate." Joseph Kinnaird.

I think I came up with that one on my own. Or maybe I heard it somewhere. Either way I'll claim it.

When George W. Bush (the inventor of happy hour, blessed be his name) was running against Al Gore (the inventor of the interwebs, blessed be his name) I saw something that shook me to my core. Both candidates went on Oprah (the inventor of philanthropy, blessed be her name) to sit down and talk about stuff that might interest people. Not policy or philosophy of government but really interesting things like what cereal they like, what kind of music they like, and many other things that might be interesting but have very little to do with the kind of leader of the free world they might be. They came and sat down with Oprah during different weeks.

Both received significant positive bumps in the polls. Who are the people swayed by these sit-downs with O. I think the following would be safe assumptions:

1. Women. Home-makers and the like that are more likely to be at home when the Great and Terrible Oprah comes on.
2. Unemployed people.
3. Small Children. They can't vote. Unless they are from Chicago and signed up by ACORN. Or dead. Then they get to vote twice.

Think about this for a minute. These are most likely the people who have decided the past three Presidential elections. And their decisions are based on mundane things. Appearance, preference of music, and things that do not matter one little bit.

If you cast a vote based on the race of the person running then you are a racist. Don't go putting on your hoods just yet but the seeds of ugliness are there.

I know people who are socialists. They wouldn't name themselves such but socialist they are. I can respect people who disagree with me as long as they know why. There some who disagree with me on principle. If you are in that group you can bite me.

I worry that elections hinge on people who make their decisions based on Oprah.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


There has been a lot of debate about health care reform. There are a lot of conflicting statistics. My good friend Jamie Golden likes to ask for statistics when talking about this issue. This is usually good for shutting down debate because most people do not like looking up stats and compiling references for this issue. Why should I have to come up with a stat if our elected officials don't have to? But that is beside the point here. Here is a stat that I think should be part of the debate. I may be a billion dollars off either way on this but I think I am close enough for horseshoes, hand-grenades, and government work.

11 trillion.

Look at this with zeroes and commas. 11,000,000,000,000. I think this is right although I am unsure. Numbers in the trillions really don't register in my mind. I could be off a few zeroes either way.

11 trillion is going to be the national debt at the end of 2009 for the United States of America. It might only be 9 trillion or it could be as high as 13 trillion. Either way it doesn't freaking matter. We are trillions of dollars in the red. Our government has spent more than it makes. We have to borrow the difference. Learn to speak Chinese is the best advice I have for you.

By the way these are the last two cats who have been able to balance a budget.

Health care is an very important privilege (it is not a right, it is a privilege) that I have worked hard to get for my family. It costs a lot of money to make sure the Kinnairds are healthy. But it is not a right. It is not something I am owed by my government or my creator. But it is pretty important. Duh.

Health care is a huge part of our economy. I don't know the exact percentage but it is significant. Insurance companies make profits. If they fail to make a profit they go out of business. Hospitals make profits (unless they are Cooper Green). If they don't make a profit they go out of business.

Here is the point nobody seems to be making. The people who have run the government 11 trillion dollars (give or take a few trillion) in the hole are going to be the people running health care. This is the stat I fear. If businesses ran the way the federal government runs there would be no business. I do not want the federal government in charge of this aspect of my life.

Forget about liberal or conservative philosophies concerning the scope and power of the federal government. Just use a little common sense. Judging by the 11 trillion dollar number (give or take a few trillion) I think it is clear the federal government couldn't run a McDonald's if they couldn't print their own money.

And while I am at it who wrote the legislation that had to be voted on before August recess? Certainly not our congress persons. They haven't even read it. Someone has to know the answer to this. This would probably scare me a little too.

Monday, August 10, 2009

You see us as you want to see us... the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions.

John Hughes died.

Don't know John Hughes? Maybe you've seen one of his movies.

Mr. Mom
National Lampoons Vacation (the first one with Wally World)
Cousin Vicki: I’m going steady, and I French kiss.
Audrey Griswold: So, everybody does that.
Cousin Vicki: Yeah, but Daddy says I’m the best at it.
16 Candles
Do you know how many times a week I go without lunch because some (girl) borrows my lunch money? Y'know, any halfway decent girl can rob me blind, because I'm too torqued up to say no. The Breakfast Club
Dick Vernon: False alarms are really funny, aren’t they? What if your home, what if your family…what if you dope was on fire?
John Bender: Impossible sir. It’s in Johnson’s underwear.
Weird Science
So... what would you little maniacs like to do first?
Pretty in Pink
Duckie: You know what an older woman does for me?
Iona: Changes your diapers?
Duckie: Touche.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
The key to faking out the parents is the clammy hands. It's a good non-specific symptom. I'm a big believer in it. A lot of people will tell you a good phoney fever is a deadlock, but you get a nervous mother, you could wind up in a doctor's office--that's worse than school. You fake a stomach cramp, and when you're bent over, moaning and wailing, you lick your palms. It's a little childish and stupid, but then so is high school.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
How do they know where we're going?
Uncle Buck
I don't think I want to know a six-year-old who isn't a dreamer, or a sillyheart. And I sure don't want to know one who takes their student career seriously. I don't have a college degree. I don't even have a job. But I know a good kid when I see one. Because they're ALL good kids, until dried-out, brain-dead skags like you drag them down and convince them they're no good. You so much as scowl at my niece, or any other kid in this school, and I hear about it, I'm coming looking for you! Take this quarter, go downtown, and have a rat gnaw that thing off your face! Good day to you, madam.
Home Alone
When I grow up and get married I'm living alone! Did you hear me! I'm living alone! I'm living alone! I'm living alone.

Yeah maybe you've seen one of these movies.

I wanted his teen movies of the '80's to define my teenage years. I wanted to be Bender and Ferris. Sadly I was more Ducky Dale. With a mullet. But I found that high school was nothing like these movies. There are no similarities whatsoever between John Hughes High School and West Blocton High School. None. John Hughes High was new and smelled good. West Blocton High was old and it smelled like it looked. One word describes the smell of West Blocton High School. Mullet.

Who didn't cheer when Ducky beat the crap out of James Spader's character? If you don't like Simple Minds Don't You (Forget About Me) then there is something wrong with you.

What was your favorite John Hughes movie and why? Are there any other quotes from his movies you liked?

If you don't know any of these movies you should immediately rent them and watch them.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

That's President Obama.

Something happened the other day I was not prepared for. My 5 year old knows who the President of the United States is. We were watching the TV and Obama's face popped up for some reason or the other (he was probably talking about new and exciting ways he was going to spend every dime we have on something, then print more) and I asked Billy:

Hey Bill.

Yeah Dad?

Do you know who that is?

Yeah. That's President Obama.

This is the first time I have noticed that he has shown an awareness of the real world outside of Sponge Bob and Phineas and Ferb. Who told him who Obama was? Did they learn about it in pre-school. That seems most likely. But my little man knew who he was.

1st Step: Awareness of a world outside of your own.

2nd Step: Get a freaking job.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Robert Pattinson? Really?

I have not blogged as faithfully over the summer for several reasons. All of those reasons translate into busy. On top of being a parts monkey for Bagby Elevator (speaking of which if any of you are interested in buying an elevator give us a call, we’re good to the last drop) I am also a Student Minister at Westwood Baptist Church in Forestdale, Alabama (speaking of which if any of you are looking for a church to call home Westwood is a good place to start as they have a fabulous staff). Being a Student Minister means that the summer is my busy season. Between retreats and hanging out with students my 35 year old mind and body are nearing the ends of their endurance. I had to let something fall by the way and this blog was one of those things. But as I promised August was going to be the month of the blog. And so it shall be.

Many things have happened this summer that would have been worthy of a blog. Our President is pushing for radical healthcare reform. The county in which I live is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. I have seen for quite some time a disconnect between those who govern and common sense. All of these things are worthy of my thought and time. But I was at Wal-Mart tonight buying deodorant and other things that keep me from smelling like the monkey house at the zoo and I saw something on the cover of a magazine that brought to mind something that has been nagging at me for some time. Robert Pattinson. Or more specifically the appeal of Robert Pattinson.

I don’t get it. I see homeless people all the time in Birmingham that look cleaner than this guy and I am quite sure that they have not bathed or groomed in quite some time. And they look cleaner than this guy. They have a better complexion. And let’s not forget his hair. Ridiculous.
There are some of you that may think my dismay comes from a place of insecurity and jealousy. And you could not be wronger. Yeah that’s right, wronger. I’m 35 and married. I quit grooming for the sake of finding a mate some time ago. I really don’t care that women and men alike find this guy to be attractive. Seriously, this does not bother me in the slightest.

From time to time I will ask my lovely if she thinks some dude on TV is pretty. She thinks that Brad Pitt is pretty. She thinks that Johnny Depp is beautiful. She is a fan of Val Kilmer. She even finds old guys to be really attractive. Dudes like Ed Harris, Harrison Ford, and Sting.

She is not so enamored with George Clooney. With this we disagree (my man crush on Clooney is well documented). But most of the time we agree. Except on the issue of Robert Pattinson.

I have seen what this dude is going to look like when he gets old. And the vision I have of his future is Keith Richards. Beetlejuice has a better complexion for the love of all that is holy.

So I ask you this question Constant Reader (I have stolen this term for you from Stephen King without reservation or apology). What is the deal with this guy? I heard someone say that pale and pasty was the new tan as far as complexion goes. They said that since the Twilight series came out this is the reason this is now attractive and sought after. Great. My skin hue is now vogue because it is the hue of the undead. What’s next, Zombie chic? Please respond coherently and in a manner that might make me understand the appeal of someone who looks like they have given shampoo the heave ho. This inquiring mind wants to know. What is the deal?