Sunday, November 30, 2008

Walking In Their Boots: The Bad Driver

Another important step in my self-improvement project was suggested to me by a friend. Actually, it was mentioned a long time ago, but it took some time to sink in.

One of the ways to achieve peace with enemies is to learn to understand them, see things from their point of view, right? So, this is what I will do. I will live as they do, act as they do, think as they do. Since I seem to have many peeves, this will have to be done in a few step at a time, so to speak.

One of my biggest teeth-grinders is the Bad Driver. I often rail against this human obstacle, but this hasn't made BD go away, or improve. So maybe it's time to see life through his eyes. That will be my first project. I will drive as he does, act as he does and see how it goes. (by the way, how come "does" doesn't rhyme with "goes"?)

Anyway, I'm going to use the first day of the week to see how it feels to be that person. I'll let you know how it plays out (if I survive). Maybe I will grow to understand him; maybe I will take on a different point of view. Maybe I will drive off a cliff. Who knows?

While I'm out doing that, maybe you can suggest other experiments I can engage in. I have a few more up my own sleeve, but I'm open to your ideas.

Friday, November 28, 2008

So This Is Christmas...

I was sitting around today, recovering from Thanksgiving, which was quite good, by the way. The news came on and a story was breaking.

A Walmart store in Valley Stream, NY was the scene of the latest piece of evidence showing the demise of civilization as we know it. To leave me speechless, you know something has to be pretty awful.

A crowd waiting for the 5 AM opening of Walmart on "Black Friday" decided 5 AM wasn't early enough, I guess. They ripped the doors of the store off the hinges and a stampede ensued. The herd didn't even stop to look at the man as they rumbled along in their pursuit of the prey otherwise known as "Christmas presents". And what's worse is, one of the people interviewed after insinuated that this was somehow the fault of the store.

So you trample a man to death, and get your booty. How precious that moment will be, Christmas morning, when one presents a gift to a loved one, knowing that, in order to actually get that gift, you had to help stomp the life out of an innocent man.

So if someone has the audacity to hang a "Christmas" decoration, or display a Nativity scene on public property, you can hear the screaming of the morally outraged for miles. I just wonder if people will decry this act of Christmas spirit as loudly?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Logging In

While there are definitely time constraints on my life, due to starting my own business and doing what it needs to get it moving, there's something else that holds me back.

I wrote a little entry recently, commenting about how you can become monotonous and boring if you're one of those people who seem to live a life that's nothing more than a series of dramas, crises and episodes. And I think I was pointing that at myself more than anyone.

I don't write a lot about what's going on here. I tend to go "journalist" or "columnist" when I hit these phases. I love to write. I just don't like to write about the "waaah, my life sucks" thing, day after day after day.

Truth is, life does suck a whole lot here lately. I do recognize the good that I kids, my family, my partial health (heh heh). And I know that money doesn't buy happiness.

But neither does poverty, ya know?

I have responsibilities that I absolutely have to live up to. I just had to find a different way to do it. And I'm working on that.

But for the time being, it's a soul-sucking, pride-swallowing process I'm going through. It's not fun, not interesting, and not enjoyable. But maybe it will make a good back-story some day.

Just not now, ya know?

I hope to bring my own brand of nonsense to my new business, so that I can share the idiocy with you here. Hope that it's sooner than later.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bloggity Blog Blog

I just wonder about something, and want to see what you think?

I don't spend nearly as much time on Blogs as I had in the last couple of years. Time has gotten ridiculously tight lately, but Blogging/Journaling was a pastime that I enjoyed so very much.

So I consider a lot of Bloggers/Journalers my friends, even though I haven't met a lot of them. Real friends. "Real" friends. Do you?

I miss the people I would connect to daily. I don't get there every day anymore. But do you think they know I miss them and think of them? Do you miss your Blog friends if you don't see them daily?

Is that weird?

Do you think it's ok to write and not read?

Do you think I think too much?

Monday, November 24, 2008


I have to say, I think I got my widdle feelings hurt recently. A woman I worked with asked me if I had any pictures of my kids. As luck would have it, I had a little folder with one picture of each of my three kids. They'd just had their school portraits done.

I gave the folder to the Lady, and she looked at my kids one by one, but didn't say a word. Not one. Gave the pics back to me. That was that.

Makes you think a lot of things. It just seemed unusual to not say a single word. I don't think my kids are ugly or anything, but I was definitely waiting for something.



Made me a little bit sad. Who knows, right?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

More and More...

I have kinda had it. And I just wanted to vent this out so I can sleep.

It seems that I've encountered a whole lot of people who, at one time or another, loudly declared that they were going to live their lives their own way, by their own rules, and without caring one damn bit about what the rest of us thought.

So then why do we have to carry their butts when that whole gameplan goes sour?


I'm onto something so very, very cool. I'm really excited about someone launching a Blog, so I just had to share it with you all. (Although I'm just a little bit mad that I had to find it on my own!!!)

The blog is called "Women Doing More", and if I said a whole lot more here, it would only ruin it for you because I just can't do this justice. You have to see it for yourself.

Click here: "Women Doing More"


When men get angry, they all react differently. But there is one moment all we guys have in common, that one moment when, in our minds, we go back to our caveman roots. We want to smash what makes us angry, make it go away.

Evolution has taught us that those ways aren't the best. And usually we get past those Neanderthal moments pretty quickly and deal with the problem at hand in the most rational way we can.

For me, part of that process, getting past the pre-historic, is having my friends involved. They talk sense to me, and make me see that I have to act responsibly. It's good for me to always have at least one good friend to talk to, because I know they'll always act in my best interests, and get me behaving in a way that has the best interests of those around me at heart.

Tonight I had a Neanderthal moment. My oldest girl had her heart crushed by a boy. It isn't the first time, and I know it won't be the last. Only this boy is a bad guy, and it isn't the first time he's done this. There have been other boys, and other heartbreaks, but this boy does it because he is a control freak, and I couldn't sit silently and just "offer support". I was angry, very angry, because he keeps coming back, solely for the purpose of making her cry. He tries to keep others from her as well, and he tries to control her life.

I know what has to be done. I know how these boys think. I know because there was a time when I behaved that way, albeit a short time, thankfully. But I know what's in his mind. He wants to do whatever he wants, but he wants to make sure that she is always there, ready for him to come back when playtime is over.

I can't have that. But I also know that simply forbidding contact with him will work against me. She has to come to realize that he is a bad guy all on her own, but there is nothing wrong with helping her to clear her vision.

In the meantime, though, I had that moment that I wanted to make this boy go away, my way. And while my daughter was talking to her Mom, I used that time to get hold of my rational self. I did have my Caveman moment, with visions of clubs over the head, etc. And I had a good friend to talk to. She let me rant and rave, and then delivered a solid dose of good common sense to bring me around to reality.

I smile when I think of that conversation now, because I don't think she's seen that side of me. I rarely get that way, but someone hurting my kid tends to bring that out in me. But she stuck to her gameplan, and got me thinking rationally again.

I do tend to be long-winded, it's just the way I am. But my girl and me sat for better than an hour once I wasn't a Neanderthal anymore. And she went to bed feeling a lot better. I told her that we can do a lot of things, get her around the other people in her life. I reminded her that the world is a big place, to take chances, to meet other people to just have fun with. I think it worked.

I needed a friend, and she was around tonight, and that's a good thing. Good sense is always better than nonsense. I'm blessed in that regard, because I have plenty of good friends who are ready to penetrate my thick skull. I'm lucky because there always seems to be a never-ending supply of their love to keep me going in the right direction.

It was a long night, for sure. But it ended a lot better than it began, and I think that's a good thing. A father's love for his children is an unstoppable force, but that doesn't mean it can't be channeled in a positive direction. I love all my friends, because they always seem to know what's right for me.

I think my daughter would love them all too.

Goodnight now.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Little Hint...

If I may be so rotten as to say this, I just think it's helpful. And since we're all so into being "honest" these days, I don't even have to be sorry for saying it I guess.

Ok the point is, if you're one of those people for whom life is one never-ending series of personal crises, for whom life is one giant "bail-out" after another, who always "needs" someone, or "tests" the friendships of others, here's a flash:

You will become boring and monotonous, and will drive away the very people you're looking to manipulate with your drama.

Like they say, I'm just sayin'...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Follow-up to Financial Services

I just wanted to say thank you for anyone who participated in that little survey.

The discussion stemmed from a recent transaction I was involved in. My focus is, was and always will be doing what my clients want when they want it. I will always give sound advice, to the best of my ability. If I think someone is making a mistake, I'll simply point out all options and risks, but in the end, the client's will is law.

I firmly believe that there is a need for life insurance, particularly when none is in place. A lot of people get life insurance through work, etc, so purchasing their own policies isn't always a priority.

Some of my clients do not have the luxury of having both retirement savings in place along with life insurance. In fact, in that is the case with many of them. When they decide they want to implement an IRA or other savings plan, I am only too happy to oblige. As I said, I go with the clients' wishes, and while offering advice, I don't like to try and "strong-arm" anyone into doing things they don't agree with.

I made the statement in the office that most people would probably prefer a savings plan if forced to make a choice between that and life insurance. I would say that our little survey agreed with that statement.

The best service is the kind that provides what my clients want. Not what I want.

Would you agree?


Well there you are, you're driving along on a rainy day, maybe the windows start to get a little foggy, so you hit the defroster and WHAM.

The whole windshield blasts over and now it's like looking through cement! Gotta love it.

Oh yeah, I survived.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I sometimes wonder if these maniacal reactions we see from people, when they're faced with disappointment, really are an indication of some sort of mental disability, or just another sign that we're doing a really lousy job raising our offspring.

When people aren't equipped to handle situations, they either fight or flee. Maybe we can add "totally freak out" to the occasion. There have been a slew of movies like "Fatal Attraction" the past few years, but they don't have the same appeal or attraction because a lot of us know people like that. Still scary, just not so unusual.

They had a series of raffle drawings for the kids the other night at my church. Just pulling tickets for a bunch of toys, etc, no big. But when they finished and announced the last prize, I saw three different examples of just what I'm talking about. There was one boy, big enough to know better, who absolutely threw a fit because he hadn't won anything. He began flinging the folding chairs as he stormed out of the gym. Another girl, also big enough to know better, began to scream and cry that she "wanted something", refused to leave or quiet down, and essentially had to be dragged out by he mother. The last one was another boy who was a little young, so I'm going to pass on that one. Future psycho will suffice.

Life disappoints sometimes. We don't always get first prize. It might be a good idea to stop the BS of the last 20 years and start informing our little charmers that no, not everyone wins every times. It sounds like common-sense thinking, but I'm starting to believe common sense isn't so common anymore.

The "better" we get as people, the worse off we seem to be. Unrealistic expectations only increase the bad feelings that come about when disappointment hits. Soft-soaping, sugar-coating, rationalizing, it all sucks in my opinion, because the first time these charmers get hit, they're down for the count, and it's up to the rest of us to pick up the slack.

That's ungood, to say the least, huh?

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Financial Service

Hi me settle a discussion. Over on the sidebar I've placed a poll. Really simple question.

If you HAD to choose from one of the following, which would you prefer:

I would contribute $50 per month into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) in your name, for the next 40 years or,

I would pay $50 per month for a $250,000 term life insurance policy in your name for the next 40 years.

You can only have one, and can't change your mind once we start. Which one would it be?

OK go over and vote your choice on the poll.

And for my friends who are dummies, that means votes don't count in the comment section. You know who you are, too!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


The bad thing about good days is that they never last long enough. People wish us a good day quite often, but if we had that many, we'd never really appreciate them, that's for sure.

For me, the "good" in my "good day" was really enjoying the connection that I've had with my kids, as well as a bunch of my nieces, recently.

I get these little "flash-floods" in my eyes on days like that. It's not crying or anything like that, it's just that momentary rush that happens when my heart takes a snapshot of a moment to make sure it goes into my memory forever. My oldest knows when I hold a camera to my eyes for a bit longer than normal, it's because I'm having a "flash-flood" moment. It's what happens when your heart melts, ya know?

I think I'm pretty lucky. I'm not a greedy person by nature (cheeseburgers aside, that is) so I've developed a pretty good skill for recognizing moments I'll really want to cherish forever.

I'm so glad I had kids. Even when they break my stuff.

A Chapter Closes

Funny thing about's that gorilla in the room that we can't ignore. It's a bad thing in some ways, but it can sure be good. After all, what else would we measure success against?

Failure is also not permanent. Imagine that?

Technically, we have to fail if we're ever going to make a "comeback", ya know?

Of course, anytime we cite "failure" in our lives, our supporters are quick to remind us of how much good we have going for us. And I'm really not going to delve into that philosophical debate now because I'm not calling myself a failure. I'm definitely not that. I'm just talking about looking directly at an aspect of my life where I am a failure.

And now it's time to do something about that.

I am saying gooodbye to some things in my life that I've done badly. I still have to do them, of course, but I'm now declaring it time to do it right. The three most important people in my life are dependent on me doing just that. I can't think of a better motivation than the well-being of the very reason I wake up in the morning.

I wasn't screwing up, so to speak. I was just doing things wrong, and now I've come to grip with the fact that simply doing something the same way for a very long time will not make one successful.

I know this is a little vague in regard to what I'm talking about. The specifics aren't important. I just need to make myself accountable, and there isn't a better group of people to hold myself accountable to than the folks who are kind enough to share their time with me here.

I'm going to turn things around. I have to. I have the brains to do it, and I most definitely have the will to do it.

Now I have a lot more people to answer to. That's a good thing.

More details will follow.

Wish me luck, and hold me accountable. I'm counting on that.

Monday, November 03, 2008

In My Humble...

There are few absolutes in life that I can think of, offhand, but one that I'm relatively sure about concerns opinions.

The way I understand it, an opinion is a personal belief or judgment that is not founded on proof or certainty. A feeling. We're all wayyyy up to speed on feelings, at least in this country, right?

My opinions doesn't have to be your opinion. Me telling you my opinion is simply that: telling you. I'm usually not of the opinion that opinions can be right or wrong.

I just don't understand how one person can get angry at another based on said person's opinion. (by the way, is it bad sytnax to italicize a period at the end of a sentence?)unless maybe that person's opinion is that you are an idiot maybe. Then your feelings are hurt, and well, I just don't want to get into that circle of hell, ok?

Anyway, I just don't get it. We ask people to express their feelings, and then get mad at them for those feelings if they don't fit our profile too well. (is welly an adverb?)

My opinion for tonight is that "Sex and the City" sucks as much in the re-runs as it did in the first run. Oh, and Ron Paul will never, ever be the President of the United States.

Bye now.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

A Fun Blog

This blog is a new favorite of mine. I think you'll get a few smiles here. A Penny For My Thoughts

Saturday, November 01, 2008


A while back, I was carrying on about how they make commercials with the camera shoved in people's faces. And I complain about everyone talking in scratchy bedroom voices too.

Here's an example that covers both: (by the way, I'm not commenting about the product being advertised...just the means with which it's advertised, ok? No preaching thanks!)