My Little Blog

 

Several subscribers to this webpage are genuine English professors.  Yes, it is true.  Often in the wee hours of the morning, I will giggle and snicker to myself when I write something, as I know it is going to raise an eyebrow somewhere for sure.

But that is the way it goes, first your money and then your clothes.

Last year I had one particular person that wrote me constantly to ensure that I realized the placement of an apostrophe was in the correct position.  It never did sink in, and she kind of faded off into the sunset of life, never to be heard from again.

Others have gotten very vocal about it, which I don’t believe is fair, I don’t go over to their house and try and rearrange their furniture.  I know (or hope) they are doing this in my best interests.

Our youngest boy called and checked in this weekend.  He is thirty-nine years old, father of three, a man of the cloth in Houston, Texas.  During the conversation he will always interject “How’s your little blog doing Dad?” which rankles me to some extent, but I never allow him the pleasure of really knowing what effect it has on me.  I consider it a “body of work” something of an accomplishment, and I rate it a lot higher than a “little” anything.

Smiling my toothy smile, I work it over in my mind and I reply, “Oh, it is doing just fine son, how is the family?” and I let it go.  Creative Endeavors is my baby … It isn’t much … But it is all I got.  The material is good, it makes people smile from time to time, often the comments are favorable, outside criticism is no big deal, and I let him know it in short order on most days.

Before I did this, I wrote a union paper that was entitled The Flynn Flyer, ten pages a month, consistently month after month.  It was read mostly by railroad men in 24 states and 3 provinces in Canada.  It never won an award, public recognition, or any kind of notice in the publishing world.  The best we could possibly hope for was maybe, somewhere, someone would take a magnet shaped in the image of a banana or a piece of fruit, and stick it to a refrigerator.  In short … Pulitzer Prize material it was not.

But it got read, it got things done, it made the world a better place, and in the end, that was good enuff.

This was also an exciting period of my life, that I can now look back upon and reflect.  At this time, the boy was in college.  He came to me one day and said, “Dad, would you read my paper and give me your opinion on what it needs or doesn’t need?” So I said, “Sure, give it to me and I will let you know.”

The next day, at breakfast he inquired of me, “What did you think of my paper?” and I replied, “Seriously?  You want to know?” and he said, “Yes.  I have to turn it in soon.” As gently as I could I told him I thought it needed some punching up, it was kind of weak.

This of course did not sit well with the lad, and he said rather tersely “Well, why don’t YOU write it and show ME how it is done.” So I re-wrote the piece and gave it to him the next day, he looked it over and replied, “Hmmmm, I never considered some of this stuff Dad.  This is good.” (Oh my gawd, an actual compliment from the younger generation that knows it all … who would’ve thunk thet?)

A few weeks later, I inquired of him, “Did you ever turn in the paper?” and he said, “Yeah, two weeks ago.”

My curiosity getting the best of me I gave him that careful stare, kind of like a one-eyed cat in a fish market and said, “Who’s paper did you submit, yours or mine?” (Tell me I don’t know my kid) and he weakly replied, “I turned in your paper Dad, it was the best of the two.  I didn’t want to do it all over again.”

So I asked him, flat-out, “What did I get?” He smiled, and then replied, “You got a B+ Dad.”

Now and then, when I get an email ripping me on my site and my abilities, I just sit back in my chair, and I muse this little slice of life over in my mind.  It makes me smile, and to this day I still think about it …. and of course you know the rest don’t-cha … My little blog is doing just fine.

“In order that people may be happy in their work, these three things are needed.  They must be fit for it.  They must not do too much of it. And they must have a sense of success in it.”

John Ruskin, quoted in the New York Post.

Thank you so much for dropping by today and allowing me to share this with you, have a great day.  One last thing in closing, if it is humanly possible try and make this little blog a letter perfect start to your week.  That would really make my day.

OOO

Monday Morning Pick Me Up

 

Munday-Munday-Munday!

Monday morning, I have those get up, wake up, eat your eggs and oatmeal, rush to work blues!

It may be that I have completely lost my mind, but I added a new feature to the website this weekend.  You can now “rate the post” if you wish to do so (and as always, leave a comment if you so desire).

This may or may not be a good thing, I am not all that sure, only time will tell.  Please try and be kind … and by the way there is no this “Really Sucks” button … Sorry.

Just this week someone commented, “I like your posts, they are informative and humorous.”  Did you know that the U.S. Declaration of Independence has a total of 1,337 words?  Words that launched a nation.  The Bible, the Word of God, has about 773,000 words, so I am told.  And the U.S. Tax Code has approximately 7,000,000 and it is still growing.  Now that is incredible to me.

Okay, quick quiz.

What was the name of John Wayne’s horse? Anyone, anyone …. “Duke.”
We all knew Trigger, Roy’s trusty steed, what about Dale’s horse …. Anyone, anyone? …. “Butter Milk.” Don’t forget Pat, the jeep?  C’mon now … “Nelly Belle.” Gotta go, Sky King and Penny are coming on and I haven’t had my cholesterol lowering cereal this morning.

Best remember these little ditties; you never know when you might be called upon to come up with something witty and interesting on the Cocktail Circuit.  You remember that old saying?  “A mind is a terrible thing, and it must be stopped before it kills someone!” … “Have you seen the new bear cub’s at the zoo?”…. And my favorite, without a doubt …. “A watched pot never boils.  But it does get paranoid.”

So, what has been happening?  Earlier in the week while we were on the road, I got this email from a person and it said, “This sounds like the kind of joke you would tell.”  The email went on to explain the joke to me, which I will spare all of you the misery and will NOT pass it on.  The thing that bugs me about the situation, this was an off-color joke, and I don’t tell off color jokes.

I guess what is buggin’ me is this ….What type of image is it that I project to folks that would make them think I enjoy garbage like that?  Well, having said that, I will move on.  It is not often easy being me.  But I cannot be anyone else, you see, “everyone else has been taken, I have to be me.”

Don’t you just hate clicking on an email, and when it opens up you see something like this.  “Dear Mr. Smith, my name is Franklin J. Fenstamacher, I am an Agent with the U.S. Copyright Infringement Division here in Washington D.C.  It has come to our attention that … Now those types of email I read them all the way to the end.  Man!  I hate emails like those; don’t you guys hate emails like that?

You guys get them too, right.

Last week was a pretty good week, all in all.  Most of it was pleasant and positive in nature, and that always helps.  Did get some pretty negative stuff over a couple days about mid-week, but it wasn’t anything that could not be handled.  Especially if you are a kind, generous, and the wonderfully sensitive guy like I is …  A few detractors, I call them “non-fans” but that is no big deal either.  If you chum the waters, you have to expect to find some sharks showing up from time to time.

Just another week, some of it good and some of it, not so good.

On the downside (there is always a downside), I hate receiving negative emails, they drive me up the proverbial wall.  Two in particular really have been weighing heavily on my mind. They addressed the loss of a long time friend, and another was a spouse, these are the types of emails I just cannot bear to read.  Personally I don’t see how some of those folks that are putting a “Memorial Site” together do it.  I am not geared for something like that.

Interesting week … Like they say … Life is not measured by the numbers of breath we take … but rather … By the moments that take our breath away.  I guess it would all be rather boring, slow and mundane, if everything went the way WE wanted it to.

It would be nice to receive something uplifting and positive in nature every now and then, something like:  No two snowflakes are exactly alike.  All snowflakes start out the same: as a hexagonal crystal formed on a single particle of dust.

As it falls through a cloud, the flake begins to change shape dramatically from the cold and moisture inside the cloud, building on itself in a complex pattern.  The only way you could have two identical snowflakes would be if they followed the exact same pattern as they fell through the sky … which they don’t.  It is the same with people.

No two people are exactly the same.  You are totally unique and different from all those folks who surround you each day.  What makes you special is: “When I am around you, I feel more intellectually challenged.  Thank you for that.  When I am around you I come alive, feel inspired, and have fun.  You have that uncanny characteristic that just naturally seems to bring about the best in people; those who you come in contact with definitely are rewarded by your presence.  Thanks for having such a great impact on me.”

Next time you get a “downer email” send something positive and uplifting back …. Something simple and to the point …  Just tell ‘em …. “Thank You for being so dog-gone special” …..  Yeah that would be okay, that would be just fine.

Life …. What happens when you are not looking.

OOO



Mountain Air


SUNRISE IN NEW MEXICO

 

I sip my coffee, hug the cup for its warmth and peer outside the window at the New Mexico morning that is unfolding before me.  Early morning in The Land Of Enchantment, birds sing and the smells, new and unfamiliar refresh my mental issues, which seem to be more than usual. The warmth of the new day seems to signal me to try “my best this day to get with the program.”

Leaving Mama to her covers and the warmth of her bed, I walk across the street to a little cafe for some nourishment and conversation.  Another morning breakfast in a small town cafe on the edge of the horizon somewhere in time.  The waitress inquires if I am ready to order, she looks really tired and on the downside of life.

I nod my head in silent agreement and tell her “two over easy, bacon, whole wheat toast, small OJ, and make the hash browns well cooked.” Knowing full well, that I will most likely get what the recently released prison cook decides is good for me, and it might be close to what I ordered and it might not.

Eating on the road leaves a lot to be desired on most days, and this one, being no different is much the same. You buy your ticket and you take your chances, that kind of deal.

An old man sitting at the counter fishes out his cell phone and starts barking in it like a Carny at the State Fair, we are not in Kansas anymore Toto.  A few more pleasantries, I retire the ticket, reach into my pocket for a four dollar tip and I am out the door.

Briefly I stop to read the headlines in the paper box, even in The Land Of Enchantment, there is no good news.  I consider the cards that life has dealt me this day, and I seem to believe I am playing a winning hand.  The things that are negative and bad are somewhere out of reach, tucked back into some cavity of my mind, and my soul is at rest. I sigh a deep sigh and resign myself to having a good day.

The air outside is crisp and clean smelling, it is good to be here in the American high-desert.  Today will be spent in the big city of Lincoln, New Mexico, one of the last hurrah’s of Billy The Kid, curio shops and small town America.  Hopefully another fine day on the road, which I find, has been my pleasure to share with all of you.

Like the Postcard reads:  “Wish You Were Here.”

OOO

The Day After

Be thankful --- Really thankful.

There is good news and as always … there is the bad.  First the good, we are home, we had a safe trip and enjoyable short week away from it all.  Now the bad …  I am back, we had a safe trip and enjoyable short week of it all.

Here is the take away as Dr. Phil would put it:  “Even as bad as it gets, you can always find someone who has it worse than you.  All you have to do in some cases is just look around.”  This week I saw some poor guy pushing his stolen or borrowed grocery cart full of junk (his treasure) down a sidewalk in Albuquerque New Mexico.  I can only imagine what kind of Thanksgiving feast he was going to sit down to.

Bottom Line:  Be thankful for what you have and remember the good things in life this week.

I remember one year at Thanksgiving, a 72 year old man was sentenced to 18 months in prison by an Oklahoma City Judge.  And it just stuck in my craw, like a two day old pizza, it left a horrible taste in my mouth.  What has gone wrong, terribly wrong, in our society?

The man in question had robbed a bank of $560 in cash with a toy pistol.  The man told the judge that he had just run out viable options, he had reached the end of his string, and he had to do something.  He had been taking care of his 90 year old mother, and the bills kept piling up and he didn’t have any money.

He was trying desperately to keep her out of a nursing home and had been taking care of her for over four years, while he himself, lived in a veteran’s home.  He had applied to 29 jobs only to be rejected and he finally landed employment delivering pizza, only to be fired, when he failed to locate the address on one delivery.  He told the judge, that was the last straw, and that is when he robbed the bank and got apprehended.

You know, it is a sad thing.

We can spend hundreds of billions of dollars oversea’s to keep a bunch of vermin in the middle of what is basically a desert alive and very unhappy.  We can spend $3.2 billion to send a probe to Saturn to take fuzzy pictures and send them back.  But an old man and an old lady in Oklahoma, we allow them to starve too death.

There has to be something wrong here somewhere, y’know what I mean?  If we are to see true change in this country, this would be a good place to start.  Stand up … Be an American … Be as they say in the Army … All you can be.  Correct something wrong if it is in your power to do so, make a difference.

Above all, do this one thing, not for me, but for yourself.

Be thankful for what you have and remember the good things in life in this coming week.  The holidays and the shopping will come later.  It is great to be back, see y’all Monday.

OOO

P.S.A.

We are making a road trip this week, taking a little time to get out on the road, and blow the cobwebs out of my head.  Posts to the web-page may be sporadic at best, I don’t write much when I am out on the road.  But as the files contain over 900 items, it should not be all that difficult to find something to read.

Have at it … We will have something for you when we get back.

(DS)

Unwed And Unloved

Who says “women are the frustrated sex?”  A Taiwanese woman who was unable to find a husband is marrying herself so she can have a wedding.  An office worker from Taipei, has photographs taken of herself in a wedding dress and will marry herself next month in a lavish ceremony before whisking herself off for a honeymoon in Australia.  “Age 30 is a prime period for me” she said.  “your work and experience are in good shape, but I haven’t found a partner, so what can I do”

Uh, pack some batteries for the honeymoon?

Oklahoma for all of you who are blissfully unaware, is one of those “fly-over states” a stronghold of good Republican politics’.  Yesterday while consuming a Western Omelet at the local beanery I had one of them there epiphany things.  (Okie Talk)  We just had a landslide victory (not only here but nationwide) of Republican’s elected back into the system, and effectively changed the balance of power in their favor.

So here it is in a nutshell …. Where the rubber meets the road as they say around here … “Who are they going to blame now, when things do not improve or God forbid, get worse?”

Send The Bums Home

Halfway thru my hash-browns it also occurred to me that Mr. Obama has kept his promise of more jobs …. Freshman Congressman.  Government that works.

One of the recent causalities in the election process was the California Pot Initiative.  It seems that it went up in smoke … Nice play on words eh?  Voters wholeheartedly rejected the proposal.  Proposition 19, which would have allowed adults over 21 to grow their own smoke or purchase up to an ounce of marijuana for personal use, lost by 54%.  Every region of the state voted it down, except for San Francisco of course.  Legal marijuana at this point in California is already a $1 billion business.  It is also believed that people who invest in medical marijuana at this stage of the game, 9 out of 10 will most likely go under within a year.

If you want to make some money, try Gold.

James one of our favorite number crunchers will appreciate this one.   If you were to purchase all the gold that has ever been mined it would give you control of a pretty big block of the precious metal.  But at today’s prices you could instead purchase all the farmland in America and 10 ExxonMobils, and still have about $1 trillion in walking around money.

So you make the call, pot or gold, which one is the smart buy.

Speaka-Da-English?

Oklahoma voted on initiatives to insure that English was the common and unifying language and now all the signs will have to be changed at the entrance to the state.  Instead of reading Oklahoma Welcomes You, it will now read Red People Welcomes You.

Isn’t progress cool boys & girls?

Boo!  I bet I scared you Ha-Ha.  I have a parrot that says that, just cracks me up.  That friends, is about the scariest thing in my house.  I am so glad that all this Ghoulish October Halloween garbage is finally over.  Did you know that 37% of Americans say they believe in ghosts.  23% say a ghost has visited them, and 20% say they’ve seen or heard a ghost.  No Elvis sightings at Walmart this week, but Michael did release a new CD.

One more sad, but newsworthy thing to report.

This is not going to make someones‘ day.  Everyone who bought one of those 2012 books, loosely based on the Mayan Calendar and the end of the world, are going to be somewhat let down.  This is because new research has found an error in the conversion of Mayan to modern calendars, and that the “end of days” predicted by the Mayan calendar is not December 21st, 2012, but may actually be some 50 to 100 years later. Good news for everyone who owns a Time Share, bad news for all those people who print Mayan Calendars.

Never, ever underestimate the power of people to get it wrong.

OOO