A New Beginning

Every end brings a new beginning. I had dinner with the wife last night. It was a bad sight. I slowly ate and sobbed, not able to really say anything. After about 15 minutes of that, we eventually started talking, and I slowly got angry. I quit crying, which was good. Then, I started to think about how this heartache only frees me up to fight in a way commensurate with my abilities and skill set.

I did the post 9/11 thing, and never got deployed. Now, it feels like deployment time, and my wife won’t be waiting for me when I get back. It’s her call. I can’t make her do shit, nor would I want to. I try to treat others the way I want to be treated. I don’t take kindly to people telling me much, especially with the use of imperatives.

This time has been hard because I miss all of my NORML friends and family. Thanks for being normal. If we aren’t normal, then at least we are normal together. Colorado has lots of normal people, and I am excited about that. I want to thank all the parting wishes, gifts, and talk of visits. It’s hard sometimes, but I know that some of you are going to do it, and I take comfort in that.

I am headed up to Colorado with my truck, snake, and shotgun to learn how to be a farmer. Not just cannabis, but everything. I need to brush up on my armory skills, too. War may never come, but I need to be ready.

Always ready.

Jen still wears her ring. I think it’s sweet, but I don’t. Even now, it’s a reminder that I don’t have to worry about anyone but myself, and those with me. Everytime I come back without having to talk someone out of shooting or fighting, then it’s a win. I can go to Colorado not worried about how to placate/appease my wife while I wage war with my brothers and sisters.

I’m ready.

Put me in, coach.

I’ve waited for years for my chance to play, and I am taking it. Don’t worry, there are always phone calls, social media, and the mail…you know…for Christmas cards and stuff. There will be an occasional trip back, but don’t count on one anytime soon.

I have a spare bedroom.

Come see me.

You will meet the good side of Motha Fukin Wagen, and I will introduce you to others like him.

I’ve already found some cool people. Thanks to my family and friends that are getting me connected with awesome people!

For those that are bound to stay behind enemy lines for various reasons, keep doing your thing. Stay cool, stay polite, stay cordial, but stay vigilant. It only takes that one dedicated traffic cop or that one undercover to fuck it all up.

Wagen, over and out.

 

Advertisements

War. What Is It Good For?

The time for graduating had come and gone. I was shipped out a short 3 weeks later.

The moment of swear-in was of great significance and impact. I don’t remember much, but I do remember these lines:

“I, Kevin Charles Wagenseller, do solemnly swear to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America from all threats, foreign and domestic.”

This is an oath I was serious about, and I haven’t stopped simply because I have been discharged. The Constitution and upholding and defending it from all threats…foreign AND domestic…this is something that remains close to my heart, and consumes my soul.

You see, the War on Terror was of great concern to me. If there was anything I could do to stop the terrorists from destroying more lives, then I was going to do it. I was a 15-year-old sophomore in high school when 9/11 happened, and it wasn’t until I was 22 and out of the Navy that I found out that the real terrorists were sitting in the “Executive Mansion,” as it was once called.

So, I find out the first war I train and fight in is a sham and use of power demonstrated by the ruling elite to gain banking, gold, and oil interests in the Middle East. It was never about people’s safety.

Now, I find myself entangled in a second war. The War on Drugs. The truth, I have been in this war for many years, but I did not see it as a war until the last two or three years, the seriousness of it escalating with each passing year.

There is a huge burden on my shoulders.

It’s like I can feel the pain of all the dying soldiers suffering from PTSD, chronic pain, or other serious disorders.

I feel for all the cops that are “just doing their jobs,” some in ignorance, and some in the “know.” Either way, they are in a tough spot, and they shouldn’t have to be.

Pain consumes me watching my minority friends get hauled off to jail over and over again for petty, victim-less crimes. Sure, I am thankful that I am ________ enough not to have much difficulty with law enforcement, but I couldn’t imagine feeling so oppressed that I would be driven to join a gang just for protection from racist and abusive law enforcement. This is a problem, and it needs to be addressed.

On top of it all, I am losing my wife, dogs, and home to this war, and I feel powerless to stop it. After 30 years, a car accident, two wars, and a troubled marriage later, I find myself having to accept that sometimes we are dealt bad hands, and we just have to play them.

I take hope that eventually this turn will pass, the deck will be shuffled, and I get another chance.

Life can be like that, if we let it.

Wagen, over and out.

The Art of Research

We live in a world of over-educated people that do not know how to research or think for themselves. School does not equate an ability to research. I had good research strategy even before high school, thanks in part to some awesome English AND Science teachers. I will spare you the scientific method, but that IS a form of research.

First, develop an idea or question.

It could be:

  1. What is the meaning of life?
  2. Christianity was partially responsible for the collapse of the Roman Empire.
  3. How do I move a pet snake?
  4. The government is lying about cannabis.
  5. Could the Earth be flat if we missed something in quantum physics?
  6. The impending revolution will take many off-guard, despite all the warnings.
  7. Which routing protocol works better for X scenario?

You get the idea.

Then, it is important to find articles from as many different sources as possible. Depending on how deep I want to go, I will read anywhere from 5 – 500 sources. I usually aim for primary sources or someone with first-hand experience if I can.

Once you take in all this information, it’s time to discourse internally and externally. Frequently, I will call someone that works in the field or has the knowledge and/or expertise to answer my question or help me “unpack” a concept, especially if I get the sense that it is way outside my skill set.

Finally, I weigh out the probabilities of each scenario or perspective, and I tend to lean toward the one that is most logical to me, or, if it is outside my expertise, I will go with the strongest source, and/or go with the most popular opinions as the necessities, and with the peripheral stuff, I just experiment.

Of course, I keep an open mind. Even if I have my mind made up on a topic, I often keep in the back of my mind that there are others with way more knowledge than me. This gets me excited, because I love to learn. So, I take my new foundation of knowledge and use it to research other areas, grow in the subject, and spur others on as much as I can.

Either way, good research ethics are this: assume you know nothing until you have put in a significant amount of research. Even then, stay open. It’s important.

People’s lives are actually counting on it.

Wagen, over and out.

Colorado Trip: New Year’s 2017

Luckily, I was able to convince the wife to let me go alone to Colorado on a real trip for New Year’s. I was able to find a room to rent for the long weekend, and I had many delightful items on the agenda.

The trip was uneventful. It wasn’t like a saw a UFO or anything cool like that…

Obviously, the goal was to get my hands on some quality, legal wax. While perusing at a local dispensary, I found some wax extracted by CO2 rather than butane or a rosin press. I had to have it. The taste is excellent, and the use of the wax is interesting. You just squeeze it out. No dab tool required.

You got to try it!

The next morning I get a phone call:

“KC.” The mortgage guy said.

“Yes?”

“You don’t make enough money to keep the house by yourself. Neither you or your wife do.”

I was devastated. I wanted to keep the house for many reasons, but one of them is that the address starts with 7107. If read right to left, numerically, says “Holy Oil.”

No joke. Just try it.

But that’s a silly reason to stay shackled to such a big responsibility, so I can let it go.

About that time, my host showed me some paperwork. Texas wants $2 million dollars for a license to sell CBD oil.

A license.

It’s never going to be about helping the sick for them. They are going to crush the industry before it gets started and then blame the industry for failing.

Texas IS big oil.

Texas IS the private prison system.

Texas doesn’t want to change. Even if they pass a law, the medicine will never be affordable, and the use of cannabis will never be accepted by family and doctors. Texas has too much riding on cannabis’ failure to let it succeed.

Get out while you still can.

Due to all of this information, New Year’s Eve morning, I went looking for apartments in Colorado Springs. I was able to get a tour of one of the two units left at one of the only apartment complexes in town that had any availabilities. Apparently, everyone wants to move to Colorado. I found a 3 bedroom, 2 bath for an affordable rate. It wasn’t impressive, but it had all the essentials, and it was an apartment in Colorado. I signed the papers and paid them.

The apartment is mine. I’m doing it. I’m moving to Colorado!

This decision is not easy. In addition to most of my family disowning me, my wife has decided not to follow me to a safe place. It makes me sad, but there isn’t really anything I can do about it. She has to make her own decisions and live with the consequences, as do I.

I am excited about the move. This was the best trip, yet, and I think it’s neat I finally found a town to land in. For those that are shocked by this, don’t be. I have been talking about moving to Colorado for the past six months. Nobody listened. Nobody. Even some of my friends needed to be reminded. I guess everyone thought I was kidding or just crazy.

Fuck all that noise.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy new year. You may not be moving to Colorado, but stay strong. Maybe your day will come soon.

Soon, I will be writing to you from the free zone. Hopefully I remain an encouragement to those stuck behind enemy lines.

Wagen, over and out.

 

 

My New Pet

I have been wanting a new pet lately. I thought about getting a big German shepherd, but I have owned dogs my whole life, much like driving cars. So, while I am going through a mid-life crisis, I decided to get a ball python.

How it all got started:

I was asking around about dogs and an acquaintance of mine asked, “Have you ever thought about getting a snake?”

I’m fairly open-minded, so I said, “No, but convince me.”

I was almost sold at, “They only eat once a week, but they can go two to three weeks if you need to travel or something. They are extremely low maintenance, and they still have personalities, it’s just different from cats and dogs because it’s a snake.”

Then we started talking about breeding and all sorts of other fun stuff. Breeding can be a supplemental income once you have a mature male and female.

After about two hours of exploring the pros and cons, I decided to go for it. I started looking on Craigslist and at online vendors.

I am buying a ball python from a breeder for $35. From the shopping I have done, that is a good deal. Sure, it may not be exotic or anything, but it’s my first snake.

The habitat is what cost the most. I got a 10 gallon reptile aquarium with a half-log to hide under and a small pool to bathe in. I also bought about a month’s worth of food.

I am headed to pick up the snake this evening, and the excitement is exhilarating! Meeting and raising my new pet will be fun! Also, I really enjoy learning new things, and getting to have new experiences.

Wish me luck as I become a reptile owner. It will be a new journey, for sure!

Wagen, over and out.

My First Truck (Sort of)

I have been wanting a truck for a while. My first vehicle was an ’89 Chevy S-10. It was a good truck, but it was my dad’s hand-me-down. Either way, it was all good, until it was totaled after a short 3-month ownership. I have own cars ever since.

About a year ago, I hopped in a friend’s truck to go to the store on an errand. We left the women at the house. He turned the music up loud, let me hear the pipes, and he had a Republic of Texas sticker on the back. When we got back, I told my wife, “I’ve never wanted another truck until I rode in Eric’s.”

She wasn’t about that life. I am not sure what’s wrong with a truck, but that country/hoodrat/farmer/hunting/camping/mudding life ain’t for her. Fair enough. You can’t force people to have a good time.

I didn’t have anything to do yesterday, so I went to the local Nissan dealer (they have always been nice and treated me fairly) and said, “I want a truck.”

“Do you know what make and model?”

“I have a few I am interested in looking at, but I am a 30 year old veteran from Texas that has never bought a truck. I plan to change that soon.”

“Cool.” My salesman (Isaac) said.

He went and grabbed some paperwork, and sat next to me.

“Before I let you drive a few, I need to know what you are looking for.”

“Well, if I am going to get a truck, I want 4 doors, the ability to tow, go offroad, and I want bluetooth.”

“Cool. Let me see what we have.”

They put me in a smaller truck. It was ok. It was cheap, but it wasn’t that impressive. Next, he brought out the $55K Titan. I loved it, but $700 a month for 6 years was just a bit too much.

“Look man, this has been fun, but I am going to go to a few other dealerships to see some different models. This is my first truck and I want to make the right decision.” I was still interested in seeing some Chevys and Dodges.

“I understand. What if we looked at some used trucks? Do you have another hour or so?”

I was really tired, but I didn’t have anywhere to be. Plus, this meant I got to test drive more trucks.

“Sure. Let’s do it.”

We went to the used lot. He explained the pros and cons of buying used and new trucks. I was shocked at some of the stuff I learned.

“The good thing about buying used is that we are just going to go out on the lot, and if a truck catches your eye, let me know.”

“Cool.”

I walked toward the trucks, and almost immediately spotted a 4-door, Z-71, 4×4 Chevy Silverado with a small lift. I didn’t know much about trucks, but I have yet to hear anyone say anything bad about a Z-71.

“Let’s take a look at this one.” I said, calmly.

He had to jump it, but we were able to get in and fire it up. I immediately heard the pipes and the engine. It sounded nice. It felt like a truck.

As soon as I turned out of the driveway, the truck just felt like an extension of me. I could tell that the previous owner had WAY too much fun in this truck, and I felt like it was my turn.

We got back to the shop.

“What do you think?” He asked.

“Let’s look at financing options.”

They had trouble getting more than a 48 month loan because the truck had 95K miles on it. I didn’t like that it almost had 100K, but I was assured by the salesman that trucks don’t really break down like cars. That’s one of the reasons they are more expensive. They are work-horses.

After about 45 minutes of waiting, I went to the salesman and said,”Whatever comes back, I’ll take it. I have never wanted a vehicle as much as I wanted that truck.”

He said, “Come with me, really quick.”

He asked me to clarify, so we discussed it.

“I won’t tell finance that. I am hoping they can get you a 60 or 72 month term to bring your payment down. I am glad you like the truck, but let’s see if we can get them to come down on the monthly.”

“Cool.”

About 15 minutes later, he came back and said, “We were able to get a 60 month loan.” He slid a paper to me. “How does that look for a payment.”

“It’s more than my car, but doable. I will just stay in and cook more. I want this truck.”

“Cool. Let’s sign the papers and get you down the road.”

We did. It was a good experience. I left the dealer, pipes and radio blaring. Sitting up high in a V8 Silverado with nothing but me, the road, and my dreams. I felt like a true Texas boy.

#Texas

Oh, and who the fuck wants to go mudding?

Wagen, over and out.

 

 

 

 

“Obsessed” with Weed #OpenYourEyes #TheyLive #YouDontFuckingKnowMe

I have received several critiques over the last year or two. One that particularly troubles me is that I am “obsessed” with weed, or that I am allowing it to destroy my life.

Now, I can understand how one could draw that conclusion just by taking a casual glance at my life. However, I am the only one that has attended all my doctor’s appointments, considered the different medical and therapeutic treatments, lived with the torture, and made an informed decision.

Guess what?

I have been doing this since I was little. I ask everybody lots of questions, especially doctors…especially when I have like 10 disorders.

Guess what?

I also read alot of books, on many topics — medical, historical, war strategies, languages, electronics, finances, religion, philosophy, and the list goes on. I am not saying I know everything, but I did my homework, and continue to do so, so don’t think you know more or better than me about my life. It’s not complicated. I wouldn’t pretend to know more about your life.

I just expect the same courtesy in return.

Living with all of these disorders is tough. Even as I write this, I wonder if it is “out-of-line” or “wildly appropriate.” Either way, I wrote it, and you can fucking deal with it.

Wagen, over and out.