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Author: Mike Maples

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Renowned hundredaire, malcontent, and helicopterer. Lesser-renowned writer and comedianSee more at bloodoftheduck.com.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Un-valuable

“Executive orders were proof of Obama’s lawlessness. Now Trump does them and they’re celebrated…  Republicans have two principles: figuring out how to funnel more money to rich people, and ‘If it makes liberals mad, we’re for it.’ That’s it.” -Bill Maher

Bill has summarized what I’ve been thinking and saying for the past year: while the Dems’ message has stayed relatively the same through the years (at least since I’ve been interested in politics), Republicans/conservatives change their position more than a bisexual hooker playing Twister. Trump’s very nomination shows us this. How can you wag your fingers at something one day and embrace it the next and not look like you just wrote a doctoral thesis on hypocrisy? Look to the GOP for a lesson in doing this successfully and with the sheep… oops… I mean constituents’… blessing.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Maples for President 2020

In light of yesterday's election, I wanted to dust off this blog to officially toss my hat into the ring for the presidential race of 2020. 

That's right: Trump's nomination has proven that you don't need any of the following to be President of the United States of America:
  • Experience
  • Maturity
  • A fundamental understanding of basic issues
  • A decidedly American worldview
  • Any appreciation for democracy
  • A firm position on anything
  • Calm temperament
  • Respect for anything other than heterosexual white men (white lesbians are obviously cool, though)
  • Morals
  • Religion (If you're a Republican, religious values are inconsequential. If you're a Democrat, you're probably a Kenyan Muslim)
  • Respect for veterans
  • An economic plan that is anything but disastrous for the middle and lower classes of citizens
  • Recognition of America's enemies
  • The ability to heed the information of those more informed than yourself
  • Restraint
  • Goodwill
  • Sympathy for the nation's needs
  • Patriotism
  • A general base in reality
I CAN DO THIS. I AM THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN DO THIS. YOU ARE ALL FUCKING DOOMED IF YOU DON'T VOTE FOR ME: AMERICA WILL BE REDUCED TO ASHES BY MUSLIM EXTREMISTS WHO HATE CHRISTIANS AND LOVE ABORTIONS, GAY MARRIAGE, AND SOCIALIZED HEALTHCARE.

I KNOW IT. YOU KNOW IT. EVERYBODY KNOWS IT.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

"The City Must Suffer At The Hand of The Chief's Command"

In the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting that took place on 6/12/16 here in Orlando, an event that claimed the lives of 49 people and injured just as many, we as a nation once again mourn the loss of innocent young people at the hands of a madman and look to our leaders for answers. Democratic politicians staged a sit-in on the floor of Congress to try and get the Republican majority to finally, for once, act on behalf of the American people and not their own partisan political careers. Once again, the American people were let down by their leaders as the Republicans adjourned two days early instead of addressing these pressing issues, something we've become all too used to. Rather than seeing ourselves as Americans who need to discuss these things as a group to serve the greater good, we've chosen partisanship over common sense.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

American Homeowner, Part 2

This post a letter that I sent as a reaction to a string of threatening letters that my HOA has sent to my house in regards to an underwhelming front yard. For those with the unfortunate hell of living in a community with an HOA, you already know the score. 

To Whom It May Concern:

As stated in an email sent earlier today, my family has made considerable efforts to correct the issues that the Board of Directors have so graciously been monitoring on our behalf. Unfortunately, it would seem that the Board’s photography personnel/lackey may have missed these efforts on their weekly stalker fly-by, and the Board is making severe threats based on a single out-of-context photograph from a single moment in time, having no insight as to what may have occurred on other days or at other times to address the Board’s vital concerns.

First, I will say that we are very taken aback that the Board seems to assume that it is a governing body with the kind of clout that would allow them to bully regular, law-abiding citizens in the way that we perceive from the language in the letters that we have received (as I hinted in the first paragraph, sometimes having only a little glimpse to go by can lead to some staggering assumptions, if one is so inclined). To send us a “First Violation” letter on 3/30/2016 to make us aware of the issues that the Board has with our yard, and then follow it up exactly 14 days later with a “Final Notice of Violation” letter with weighty threats of litigation is asinine, offensive, falsely entitled, and presumptuous. Also, for the Board to talk out of one side of its mouth about caring for the occupants of Stratford Pointe while vomiting these kinds of threats is the kind of heartless, gutless, broad-brush reaction that I would expect from a soulless organization (or a dictator, come to think of it) than from a group that is supposed to be solely intent on bettering the community and lives of those within.

Waving a lawyer at my family does not hold much water with me, especially when the Board’s bylines offer a lot of interpretive flexibility in their terms:
  • “Mowed on a regular basis” – what is a regular basis to you? To my family’s lawyer, this could mean once a month so long as it is regularly so. 
  • “No dead spots” – how large is a spot? Does the “dead spot” consist of grass only? Meaning, what if all the grass is dead but the weeds are lively and green? It wouldn’t, by this vague definition, be “dead,” would it?
Put yourself in my shoes: does the Board actually think that two weeks is really enough time to resolve the issues that they have with our yard in particular? To receive the first warning, save money, contact vendors, solicit estimates, schedule services, and have fully-complete results in 14 days seems entirely reasonable to the Board? Really? On top of that, according to the threats/letters from the HOA, we’re supposed to submit all “requests for approval of tree/plants removal” to the ARB (what is the ARB?), thus adding to this ticking time bomb that the Board has hung around our necks. How do we do that? What is the ARB’s turn-around time? Does the board consider this when making demands of the prisoners of Stratford Pointe?

Keep in mind that I personally resolved one of the issues (dead/dry plants/trees, which is exactly 50% of the issues that the Board has with our yard) more than a week ago; does this not signal to the Board that we are making efforts to rectify their concerns? Also, keep in mind: my removing these dead plants at the Board’s behest has caused there to be empty “dead” spots in the yard in their absence. Once these plants are replaced, these dead spots will be greatly minimized, hopefully reducing the likely painful collective anal clenching that the Board seems to be experiencing.

In addition to the removal of these dead and/or dying plants, an irrigation vendor has successfully repaired the irrigation system on the property as of today (4/16/2016). On Monday, 4/18/2016, I will be contacting the City of Orlando to turn on the water to the irrigation system and will begin watering at the maximum allowable duration and intervals. Once these steps are carried out, I will personally be installing new plants, as well as seeding, weeding, and fertilizing the lawn. If, after several weeks, the grass seeds do not take and/or the results are underwhelming, we are prepared to re-sod the yard.

Taking this into consideration, I would like to ask when the Board may think it is appropriate to inspect their property that we just happened to have purchased and are currently living on so that we can ensure that the Board receives their full enjoyment from it? Per the threats… sorry, I mean violation letters… I am to notify the Board when the violation has been corrected so that they can come over and cast their hallowed gaze upon the plot that, by their exalted grace and authority, they allow my family to occupy.

I am hoping that the Board will be gracious enough not to toss my modestly-incomed family to their lawyers-in-waiting until the fruits of our recent efforts have been allowed to ripen. Rest assured, we have been jumping at the cracks of the Board’s whip, and have spent a significant amount of our own money (not even from the Board’s coffers, though it apparently causes them so much more alarm that it does us or our neighbors that one would think they would offer to help) since receiving the First Violation letter to repair the yard. Even two days after surgery, I have worked in the yard in a Percocet haze and blood-soaked bandages as best I could to liven up the yard, sparing no expense because my priorities are to the Board and its red right hand. I know now that I cannot be concerned with trivial issues like my own physical or financial well-being.

Please allow us a reasonable amount of time to react to the letters that we have received, a realistic amount of time to allow the brand-new irrigation system (which was severely damaged and neglected by the home’s previous owners) to begin to nourish the yard, and a practical amount of time to allow a home with a newborn, a preschooler, and two working parents to install new plants to replace the ones that we just removed.

Moving forward, it may be prudent for the Board to consider each violation on an individual basis and invest a moment to the needs of the homeowner in addition to the needs of the community, not in spite of it. Though the photo-stalker hasn’t caught me with a shovel or pickax in the yard or the irrigation professionals digging up the yard to repair the system, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t occurring. If need be, we can schedule this photo session so that I am sure to never miss an opportunity to work in the yard for the camera like a dirty girl and prove my worth to the Board.

This recommended additional consideration may also allow the Board to consider realistic time frames for residents to address the Board’s concerns based on the significance of the concern: allowing 14 days for a complete yard redesign and installation seems like a bit much for the average family to swallow, versus 14 days to remove a flamingo lawn ornament or the like.

Your Respectful Peasant,

Mike Maples