Long Black Train

2196254-crybabywithsadfaceI believe that inherently in all of us, is a embedded DNA code, the God-given right to the pursuit of happiness, and at the same time, there is equally the God-given right to the pursuit of unhappiness. 13th of the month, another week of Mondays.  Don’t go riding on that Long Black Train.

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Strange Medicine … Have A Spoonful.

image001Find Your Happy Place:  Took my HHR to WalMart to have a tire looked at, it turned out it had a nail in it, and had to be pulled off the car and fixed. 

Usually this is no big deal, pull the tire, patch it, and re-mount it on the car.  I was a little bit hesitant when the person they assigned to work on my car turned out to be some new age tweaker with body piercing and a skunk hair do.  

 But I did not say anything.

They really messed up my car, skunk boy shot the tire and rim off the tire machine about six feet into the air and it came down on the concrete and damaged it severely.  This gets us to the part that I really did not like.  Although it was their employee that ruined my wheel, I spent three hours of my time locating a new rim which they paid to replace.  Here is the rub, the rim was paid for, they did not compensate me for any of MY time and they did not even offer so much as an apology for all that took place.  

If you go to WalMart and they try to assign Skunk Boy to work on your stuff, I don’t care if it is PC or not, tell them you want someone else.  In the future, if they look like, or dress like, or sound like, a crack head, I am going to say something first hand about it.  I am tired of dopers messing up my stuff and wasting my time and corporations who do nothing about it.  In this case, I feel as if I was “lucky in one respect” the entire thing only cost me three hours of my time and about $30 to replace the damaged wheel.

It Might Be The Tube:  Having trouble sleeping at night?  Putting on a few pounds?  Studies have show that watching too much television, computers, TV or cellphone screen messages can put you at risk for depression.  Night time exposure to light glow gadgets has already been shown to contribute to insomnia, cancer, obesity, and diabetes.

A new study shows that screen glow can cause mood related changes in the brain.  So it isn’t David Letterman after all, and it isn’t the Jay Walkers on Channel four.  (It might be Jerry Springer who is the ultimate trigger, we are not sure, we will have to get back to you on that one)

But we do know this.

It is your electronic devices you have surrounded yourself with.  If you think about what it represents, it does make sense.  You take a rat, you keep ‘em in the dark and study them for awhile, notice what rat things, rat’s do.  Then you take the same rats, subject them to huge amounts of light, from something resembling a TV screen or a PC.

First thing you notice is that the rats become lethargic and they ignore their favorite sugary treats, which of course suggests that “they are no longer deriving pleasure out of activities they once enjoyed.” (Being a good rat)  The next thing you know, they are auditioning on American Idol and Keith Urban is upset, and the Dawg is amused … What were we talking about here?  Depression, rats (the non politician type), and behavior modification.

How do I know all of this?  Well, if you must know, I stayed in a Holiday Inn in Amarillo last night.  Can we move on?

Same deal with Pepsi, coke, or diet anything …. serve rats fifty to sixty cans a day of the stuff, and sure as hell, they all get cancer.  Here is something we should look into … What if white rats are genetically linked to cancer to begin with (born with it in their genes) … Isn’t this going to screw up the data?  Leaving you with this consideration we will now conclude today’s science lesson for the criminally insane.  Next time we will discuss the problem developing with bears in our population.

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Bad Start To A New Deal:  Last September Apple stock was trading at $700-$800 per day and now it is down in the mid $400‘s.  Cheerio’s, Post Toasties and Cinnamon Buns are going thru the roof!  No more twinkies.  The year isn’t but one month old, and one Moonshiner has been arrested and The Gold Rush boys in Alaska, are still not finding gold.  Things are so bad in New York, the Mafia has laid off ten judges.  

And people wonder why television has a tendency to depress a person. (It isn’t all about the light depravation or glow, let me tell you)  

Think About This One.  If you worked 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, and you lost a million dollars an hour every hour, it would take you almost three years to lose $5.8 billion dollars.  Now the guys on The Street, JP Morgan were able to do it in only a few months.  But if things get really out of hand, they do not worry, because the tax-payers will bail them out.  Pretty neat set up.

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Ahead Of The Curve:  I saved the best for last.  Nothing sweeter than seeing something that you have already covered as a post on your webpage in a national headline or paper.  Yesterday morning I found this article on Feral Cats and as you know, I had written on this very same subject Fluffy Is A Killer on my site prior to this (December).  Pretty cool … Makes me almost want to dance.

Friday, you made it.  I am somewhat surprised that I did too.

One Last Thing In This Brand New Month.  The manager at WalMart just told me via the telephone that they had terminated Skunk Boy because of poor job performance.  If you swing thru McDonalds this weekend and the kid has pimples, jewelry and a Skunk type-do … Hammer down and rush over to Burger King or Taco Bell instead.

I am outta here … Have A Great Weekend.

OOO

What folks have been reading at Creative Endeavors this past week:

Home page / Archives  
He’s Alive!  
More Not Fresh Pressed Baloney  
Bikinis (The reason men are pigs)  
Fluffy Is A Killer  
Take Your Pick  
It’s Your Choice – Not Mine.  
The Worry Tree  
Dinosaurs and Progressive Liberal Democrats  
Clear Blue Sky

It’s Your Choice – Not Mine.

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Most mornings, I will sit at the table, cup of coffee, blinds open, watching the birds hustle to pick up the food I set out for them the night before.  How hard life must be for them and how easy it seems to be for me.  I think about a hot shower and how the water stings the back of my neck, long before the sun comes up.  Slowly I crank up to meet the new day in my own ritual.

Beside’s the shower, this (sitting at the table) is usually the best place for me, early in the morning, to gather up my thoughts, and think about what it is that I am going to post for the day.  On most days, I do not have a clue, as to what it is that I am going to share with you, I have not the faintest hint as to what I might have to freely give you.  At times I often find myself, totally lost in the moment and find no chart, no clear concise course to follow.

On some mornings, I share a bowl of oatmeal with a friend and work out my day.

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I will think about the first time my granddaughter took her little hand, placed it in mine and together, we walked across the parking lot of the truck-stop to the store.  How good it feels to be needed and wanted.  What was it that they used to call that feeling … oh yeah … a warm fuzzy.  How a four year old will exclaim to anyone within earshot … “This is the bestest day of my life” and mean every word of it.

Other times, I will think about a 12 year old boy I know, who has no friends his age, cannot throw a football, is home schooled, and cannot tell you what 4X8 might be.   “57?  Uh 64? …  41” … all good guesses, but not one is even close.  Deep inside it bothers me, because I know that not knowing how to spell a simple word like “cookie” at this age, will eventually lead to an emotionally crippled, ignorant teenager, in a very cold unfeeling world later on.  I think about his limited options, all the time painfully knowing, I have to be quiet about it, because it is a “family thing.”

Even farther back in the cavities of my mind, I will think of walking to the back of a locomotive, on a chilly winter morning, slowly chugging thru the yard for another cut of cars.  Reaching the back of the engine and finding my 47 year old friend Jack, sitting in the stairs, softly crying, because his kid is strung out on methamphetamine, and he doesn’t know what to do about it and I don’t know how to ease his pain.  I think of all the times in my own life where I feel so inadequate and used up.

This kind of thinking, often will make me happy and sometimes, it will make me sad.  Sometimes I will write about it and most often, I usually pass.  You see, most of my choices are limited, some will work out and some will wither up and die on the vine.

My thoughts such as they are, have one common denominator.

This would be that I really don’t have a choice in the matter, I have to work with what it is that I have discovered (within myself) this day.  My only options might be a set of headphones to drown out the noise or something like that.

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You on the other hand, you have a choice.

You can flip off the page and go somewhere else.  You can hit a delete button or escape and you are done.  You can report it to wordpress.com moderators as untasteful or profane, objectionable to your good adult standards or morale code.  You can ignore it completely.

The clock on the wall clicks off fractions of a day.  Often early in the morning, when we sit down to write it and then put it up, another slice of life, a moment in time laid out on the page.  Another offering is there for you to savor, relish and enjoy or to shut it down and walk away.  Some of it good and some of it not all that great.  It is all here, absolutely free.  No baggage to take with you, no promises to make or break.  And it only cost you a small portion of your time.

At times I think, believe it or not, you have the better part of the deal.

Thanks for stoppin by, as usual the comments section is open, take a shot at it if you wish.  Ameliorate the content of the post or just say hello, either one will work.

OOO

Tweaking Your Reality

 

“T’is nothing good or bad, but thinking, makes it so.” 

Shakespeare.

 

Something close to a lightning bolt, a defining moment came to me this week, it happened in the shower of all places.  Here it is:  I spend entirely too much time accentuating the negative and not embracing the positive things in my life.  In other words, “I am constantly at work almost daily making myself into a bad mood or creating inner turmoil.”  My brother-in-law has a word for it, he calls it “Stinkin Thinkin.” and he could very well be right.

Today I thought we might challenge the idea that we’ll be miserable if we don’t get what we want.  That is the idea that is put forth to all of us almost daily in the media, on television, and at some times, the Internet.  So what is it that is the defining edge here?  

How we use that “three pound meatloaf between our ears” has a lot to do with it.  In other words, what we want and what we get in life, can be measured out and accomplished by how it is that we think.  

There is an old saying that suggests, “that if you want to be unhappy for the remainder of your life, just long for or wish for that which is totally out of your reach.”  But then again, society will tell you over and over, “Go for it, shoot for the moon, you have nothing to lose.”

So how do you decide.  Which one is the correct solution to the dilemma.  Do you trust your thinking or do you go with the status quo? 

One thing that enters into play is the frontal lobe of your brain.  Our “psychological immune system” lets us feel truly happy even when things don’t go as planned.  You do not get Fresh Pressed in the span of one year on WordPress.com, but you put up a post and eighteen hundred people view it.  

One makes you sad and disappointed, the other causes joy and elation for a perceived job well done.  A rapid fire-quick shot of whatever you need (dopamine?) to keep you going for a little while longer.

Here is another example;  You go on a date and the guy picks his nose in front of you, you never go out with him again.  You marry some poor slob, and he picks his nose, and you say to yourself, “we need to keep him away from Grandma’s fruit cake.”

Each decision weighed and inspected by your brain, for its respective worth in your life, one gives you happiness and one does not.

Believe it or not, you have the ability to chart your course thru life, you can choose to be happy and of course, you can choose to be very unhappy.  Most of us do not know how to choose between the two, myself included.  

With a New Year on tap, a clean slate, I am determined this year, to search out and find a way to turn it all around.  Which will be far from simple, you see, at my age, nothing comes easy for me any more.  Call it the beginning of wisdom, or clearly seeing things differently, whatever you want, but I am thinking there is a clear cut solution between being happy and feeling sad.  

 It is all in the way you think.  How it is, that you use the decision making processes of your mind. 

Think about this.  The front part of your brain gives you the ability to synthesize happiness, to get a little taste of something beforehand and make your decisions on that reality.  Some of you are chuckling to yourself right about now, most likely saying to yourselves … “what is this guy smoking?”  But it is true, you are capable of thought patterns such as I just said.

Need another example?  If you think it out, liver and onions doesn’t really sound all that appealing, so therefore, you decline the offer.  This done, without ever having to actually taste the liver and onions.  

 This is called synthesized happiness or thinking.  

You put the two together, and then inside your head, you made a conscious decision based on your thought patterns, as to whether this would be a good deal or not.  Then you go with it. (By the way, my mother made me eat it anyway, until I was old enough to refuse, and go to bed hungry as she put it.)

My wife stays relatively happy, not so much because I make it so for her, but because she mentally chooses to steer a course in that direction.  She will quickly tell you that “she is happy with the cards that God has dealt her, and that is fine, it is all that I need in life.”  Which I find amazing, because you see, I am constantly telling myself “this sucks and I want another deal.”  

Seldom do I get a new deal and I often find myself unhappy with the cards that I hold.

Every storm in life, will eventually run out of rain.  If you stop and take a minute to think about it, this makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating a thought system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity and promotes the state of happiness in your life.

Oprah or Dr. Phil didn’t give this to me, and it is certainly not anything close to “New Age” or anything like that.  Just came to me in the shower one morning and stayed with me for a long time afterwords.

Our problem (or in this case MY problem) is … We have the power to synthesize our thoughts into good ideas and happiness, we just seldom use the tools we were given in the beginning.  All we have to do is think about it and then take the shot.  Who knows?  You might find it easier than you thought.  Going shoppin’ makes my wife happy … might work for me too …  Might exercise this new found knowledge and put it and the Credit Card to the test.

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OOO

Pavlov’s Dog

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Not long ago, I had text messaging removed from my telephone, along with internet browsing features, and a host of other unnecessary items.  I only have a telephone now, basic features include a ring tone and that is about it.  It had reached the point in my life, where it was consuming my every waking moment.  And then the government in their infinite wisdom gave telemarketers my number and that just about cinched it for me.

Most of my friends and acquaintances complain about my not paying attention to my telephone and always getting voice mail when they call.  But I feel it is time to just be me, and leave all the other external stuff to those who not only feel they need it, but at the same time, demand it in their lives.  This year, I am going to be one of the few that is slowly trying to pull away from the internet and its trappings that rob me of my time and provide me very little satisfaction.

With smart phones, tablets, and other digital devices reshaping how people work, communicate, and spend their free time, it is time to start to question whether or not our reliance on these items are affecting the way we think.  Next year, for the first time “Internet Use Disorder” will be listed in the appendix of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders.

Our dependence on these electronic devices has grown to almost epidemic proportions.  Some of it can be explained by employers demanding more access to their employee’s 24/7 today.  But let’s face it, there are a few who have a addiction to the information, data, and/or devices plain and simple.  

I cannot remember a time in a cafe, where I have not been bothered by a cellphone conversation.  I was at a funeral and the thing went off.  The movies, the mall, you name it.  We see people texting at stop lights, while driving, entire families sitting around with their nose’s in the devices and not talking to one or another.

I am on the computer daily, and actually feel some guilt or a twinge of anxiety when I am away from it.  It is an addiction sure, but in some strange way, we are reforming our thought processes and the devices are slowly changing the way we think, and that is kind of scary.

Consider this.  

When it comes to electronic devices some of us are exhibiting the same behavior of a cocaine addict, alcoholics, and other social misfits.  We can actually feel depression and in some case, acute psychosis.  The internet and these devices are slowly driving us completely mad.

Every time your phone, tablet, or computer pings with new text, tweet, or email, it triggers a sense of expectation, and the reward centers in your brain receive a pleasurable “squirt of dopamine.”  

Instant gratification.

I am often totally clueless when it comes to the Information age, but I do know this, I can leave the cellphone on the cabinet in the kitchen for a week, and it doesn’t bother me one iota.  I can unplug the computer for only about 72 hours, and I am working on that.  The best thing is to just lay ‘em down, walk outside in the clean air and take deep breaths, it will all be waiting for you when you return.

One reason you won’t see me talking to this guy any time soon.

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 The solution is simple.  Hang it up and shut it down to reclaim your life.

OOO

Stressful Issues

“Find a way to cheer up bucko … If you don’t … Anxiety and Worry will surely kill you.

Worry takes a heavy toll.”

This time of the year, a lot of people suffer from anxiety.  I myself find that I am not immune to it, and that I often feel depression sneaking in to my life to rob me of my joy.  Church goers possibly have a step up on everyone else, as the Bible instructs them to “not be anxious or to worry, for all of their needs shall be met by the Lord.”  Studies have long established that regular church going folk, have fewer problems as prayer lowers the body’s blood pressure and has a calming effect.

Also at this time of the year, the New Year, folks are worrying more about what is to come than at other times of the year, which leads to anxiety, worry.  Even tho we have long established traditions in place, seasons of time, the fear of the unknown seems to creep in and place all of us or at least a few of us, in deep seated worry and anxiety.

Which in turn kills us slowly and surely.

My good friend Ricky used to have a saying it was D.W.A.B.I. (“Doo-wah-bee”) which was his country way of saying … Don’t Worry About It.  Taking the stress of everyday life too much to heart could increase your risk of cardiovascular disease and shorten your life. Ironically, Ricky was sitting at the table in the kitchen, drinking a cup of coffee, and reeled over from a massive heart attack and died, at the ripe old age of 45.

A study of over 65,000 people found that those who reported feeling even “mild anxiety” of the sort that distracted them, depleted their self confidence, or sometimes kept them awake at night, were 16 percent more likely to die over a 10-year period than those with no such worries.

About one and four people experiences mild anxiety, but most remain untreated because don’t have “sufficient symptoms to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder or a depressive illness.”

So, if you are seriously feeling like you are down in the dumps now that the holiday is officially over, all the parties have subsided and it is hard to get back into the groove, if all you have left to snack on is a holiday fruit cake and no one to talk to.

Find a way to cheer up bucko … If you don’t … Anxiety and Worry will surely kill you.

Worry takes a heavy toll.

Have a great weekend, we will see all of you on Monday.

OOO

Possibly Related:  Creative Endeavors D.W.A.B.I.

What folks have been reading this week at Creative Endeavors:

Home page / Archives  
Bikinis (The reason men are pigs)  
Girl Of My Dreams  
8-women-who-auctioned-off-their-virginity  
Wood Ice Chest  
Missed Opportunities  
2013 – Here we go.  
The Worry Tree  
Friday Out-Take  
Fantasy And Reality  
Other posts