Be Brave, Be Yourself, Scars and All

scarsThere is this quote, from John Green and it goes “Almost everyone is obsessed with leaving their mark on the world, but the marks that humans leave are too often scars.” People try so hard to fit in, all the time, doing different things, going against the “status quo” that they become just like everyone else. How do you become different? How do you leave your mark on the world? Be yourself. Being yourself is over-rated  isn’t it? All of those self help books say, “just be you!” or “you’re great! don’t change, just improve!” But, maybe we don’t need to improve, we just need to accept ourselves for who we actually are. Or maybe the problem is, we don’t want to know who we are yet. We might not like it. That’s when you have to be brave. There is no better time than the present to find out who you are. Continue reading

The Satchel

093014_0118_TheSatchel1.jpgI’ve never been good at taking work home but lately it’s been unavoidable. Lucky for me I have a satchel my wife bought me last year. I was going to go back to school and study psychology but decided against it. As a result, Sarah got me an awesome satchel. I had another one years ago when I was in college. I had a sort of system. Instead of bulky three ring notebooks, I used manila file folders for my subjects and a clipboard for using the one at hand. It worked really well but after college I lost the need for it and pretty much forgot about it. This new satchel was like a new beginning for me even though the new beginning was not a second MA in psychology. Continue reading

Knock my Diploma, Go Ahead

IMG_2521.JPGRemember back in the 70’s when Robert Conrad would dare the viewer to knock the battery off his shoulder? I want to say that to the people who scoff at academics. Even if you knocked my degrees down and put them through a wood chipper they would still be earned. They would still be recreateable. Unlike other monetary pursuits, you can’t spend or lose a degree. I am all for the unschooled maverick becoming successful. My favorite show on tv is Shark Tank and all those are not college educated (as far as I know). Continue reading

This Mop in The Backyard Cleans Up

IMG_6588I think it was at my job at Round Table pizza where I first encountered industrial cleaning supplies. I remember getting a yellow heavy duty plastic bucket on wheels and filling it with SCALDING hot water. I got it spilled on me a few times so I can attest to the heat. Some sort of cleaning solution was added and a huge sponge mop was inserted and the fun began. There was a satisfaction in seeing the red tile floor sanitized and dry. Pizza places have a lot of grease coming and going so industrial mops are a must. In the many years that would follow in other jobs, I would use industrial mops quite a bit. I trained a lot of people to use them as well. That’s why I can’t figure out why it took me about 35 years of life to buy one for my home. Continue reading

Almost Missed Posting Today, My Apologies to Argentina and Japan (and remnants of Ireland where I hope they still read my blog)

IMG_2502-0.JPGI know I disappointed some fans in Timbuktu today when I missed my usual crack of dawn posting. Sorry Hepsmoothelah and all of your house. At any rate I didn’t forget I am here to entertain the teeming scourge. Usually I am way ahead of the game on publishing daily but today I guess I failed to have one in the dugout, as I like to call it. To you WordPress bloggers it’s called scheduled posts.

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A Chronological Listing of Jobs I’ve Had (Infographic)

A Chronological Listing of Some Jobs I've had (Infographic)
This infographic represents hundreds of key takeaways and character building items I have gained from jobs. My working life has been a dream, though not always easy. My apologies to the smaller in between jobs I haven’t included. I’m getting better at creating these infographics. Watch for more at my blog. What kind of jobs have you had? Let me know in the comments.

No One Can Fathom How Much Technology is Available

ifttt.pngSometimes I sit back and marvel at the advances humankind has made. I think of the internet and how it has evolved in my lifetime. From a dialup network that enabled searching of a university library to Evernote, an amazing personal notebook service that revolutionizes productivity and memory. There are too many more to mention. I will however type the word WordPress which is the software that makes my blogs possible. Would you care to list one or more in the comments? I think you’ll agree all the services we have today are mesmerizing in their useful complexity. It’s important to reflect on all the technology we have today. We aren’t much more humane as a race. We still see hate crimes at an all high and women and children are still being abused. Of course, we still have war. But we are a much more sophisticated people that share content with one another at a breakneck pace. It is munites before we know what is happening in the world.

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Chugging Forward, Making Tracks

I love the idea of tracks. They represent a beginning and a continuation. Folk singers like Woody Guthrie sand about tracks. They extend forward into the horizon. I like this notion of tracks going forward but unfortunately, going forward isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes we want to stop in Willoughby and enjoy the scenery. But life stops for no man, get used to the notion of tracks. Tracks can also represent our history. We lay down tracks as we live our years. Today I was opening an account on some productivity service and had to select my birthday from a scroll on my iphone. I noticed it was a long way from the present year, 1969 to be exact. Continue reading

A Simple, Clean, Well Lighted Place

Hemingway wrote about a clean well-lighted place. That’s what we need to create, and all we need really. It’s easy to get bogged down with the extras of life and lose perspective on our art. I love what this photo says about creativity. The only thing I would change is the chair. It doesn’t look comfortable in the slightest. I’d get a $100 chair that was comfortable but everything else I am good with. Wallpaper is highly overrated. I think the spackled, primered walls are perfect for raw creation and producing quality work.

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Hey U2 It’s Not October Yet

tumblr_mor4iqtRnW1qzleu4o1_500.jpgI just listened to the first song on U2’s latest album that went out free to approximately 500 million itunes users. After half the song I looked up how to delete the album from my iTunes. Bono has a good voice but I’d rather hear REM sing “I Rember California.” I think U2 should call it quits. There’s nothing new or innovative going on. I like it that Billboard has banned this album from the charts until it goes on sale for real. Who’s gonna buy it then? The people who don’t have iPhones? Continue reading

I Created a Creature that Comes to See Me

IMG_2488-2.JPGI can’t believe that 9 years ago I held a little bundle in my arms that was Isabella. I have gone through so much growth, some painful but all productive, since she came into my life. I’m surprised though I still don’t have the answers for all her questions. She came out the slider just now “to say hi to me.” I was sure she wanted something but after a brief interrogation I believed her. Very sweet. She helped me with the chlorine floaters and told me about her friend. Priceless times. Continue reading

The Mellow Goal

Someone said, “Tread lightly through this life.” I think that’s good advice. As an intense person, I sometimes take things way too hard. I can’t blame myself for that though, Shouldn’t we strive to feel this life and all it offers us? Woody Guthrie said, “Take it easy or take it hard, but TAKE IT!” I think that’s great advice. I would rather feel depression sometimes and good times mixed in than never feel anything at all. I do think though that you can lessen the intensity and make life a more temperate and still very enjoyable experience. That is the way I’m living my mid forties. I try to weed out the little stressors I once let run my life. It’s not worth it making a post perfect or a date with my wife perfect. Instead of hanging on the phone the tickets to Catalina, I might do just as well to take her down the street to get some spicy chicken, and we might have a better time for less money and less stress!

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Be Tenacious and Have Patience

be tenacious When you’re young, everyone tells you the good stuff is worth waiting for. Of course, no one wants to hear that while young, we want the good stuff now! It’s a law of nature: easy come, easy go. Take vitamins for instance. You can take vitamins for weeks without noticing a difference. In fact, they may be making a difference you aren’t ever able to notice by the way you feel. I started a vitamin regimen about 6 months ago that was pretty ambitious. In includes a multi as well as some additional supplements based on the USRDA that I self-diagnosed myself as needing. When I set out to buy them at CVS I was overjoyed to find that all vitamins and supplements were buy one/get one free! I made out like a bandit. Continue reading

What I Learned from the Old Couple Fighting in Front of Me

cute-old-couple (1)I was driving down a main highway when I stopped at a red light with an old couple apparently fighting in front of me. I saw the man waving his hands while the woman was shaking her fist at him. I was glad to not be in that car but as close as I was, I felt it. Fighting sucks. My parents used to fight quite a bit and my wife and I carry on the tradition on occasion. Nobody likes a fight, unless it’s a vent. I’ve learned through the years in my work with children, in my marriage, and in my everyday dealings in life that sometimes people are just venting. Continue reading

Somewhere Only We Go

tumblr_n8s3nfIIW21qi73s5o1_1280Vacations are overrated. Sometimes we think if we don’t get away, we’ll burst! The truth is, while vacations have their place, mental vacations can happen new every day for very minimal cost. We are entering into a time when there is a constant threat of disaster. Whether it’s a tornado, an earthquake, or even just the real final stages of a drought. You may not be able to get away for a much needed vacation. Furthermore, the economy is ever uncertain. Where do you find your sense of assurance? If you’re smart, you’ll develop a mental getaway in your mind. Feel free to use places around you that you enjoy but base the experience in your imagination. If you were captured and put in a cell, how would you keep your sanity? What if you had a mental getaway fostered in your mind? No prison bars can hold you. Continue reading