I have a phone in my office cube. I, however, do not ever answer it. It is only calls from vendors who want to sell me something so I just let it go to voicemail. The other cool thing is it then sends me an email with the message attached so I can listen to it on my cellphone. The problem is, even thou it deletes the message off the phone it still leaves the message waiting light flashing in the corner of my phone. So as I sit at my desk and out of the corner of my eye is this red flashing light. I can pick up the phone dial the message center and listen to the message which tells me I have no messages and then hang up to get the light to go off, but I end up having to do that every few hours. I know I could put tape over the light but I know it is still there. I know, first world problem, but it bugs my short attention span guys brain. The good news is that I am not in my cube all day because of all the meetings I go to, but it is like a little gnat flying around your head while you try and sleep, it is just irksome. perhaps horse style blinders would be of use, or maybe I should just get over it.
There are days when I think, there is nothing new under the sun. I mean come on, everything has been done before. And just about the time I think that someone does something original. Take the pancake printer. https://youtu.be/hHmfQMr8l_g Now you don’t have to eat boring round pancakes which are functional, no, now you can have a rocketship shaped pancake. I get it, this is something fun, most of your homes are not running out to buy one. My wonder is, with all the big issues out there that need fixing, clean water, starvation, housing, why pancake printing gets solved and these others go on. Engineers have the capacity to change the world and design life changing things, like the group at Letourneau university who have designed a prosthetic limb that can be made for a few dollars and are teaching people in Africa to make them locally. Instead, we get the pancake printer which solves the age old problem of not being able to entertain yourself with your breakfast. We have to make a choice, are we are going to make the world a better place or just amuse ourselves to death.
My work has graciously put me into a training class for something we are hoping will help us get better organized as a department. IT isn’t bad training or anything but I always find myself having a hard time sitting in a class for eight hours over a couple of days. They could have given us the most comfortable chairs I would still be having the back issues I have right now. So to keep myself awake, I have to do little things like stand in the back of the room when I can’t take the chair anymore. Other things include spending my lunch break writing this or checking in on my team. I look around the room and I see the same waves of sleepiness and sometimes loopiness overtaking others as well. I don’t know if these kinds of things happen to you in these all day things but trying to take in all the information and pass the test at the end is a challenge for me. My favorite part of training is when the teacher says, “now this isn’t on the test”. I know the training isn’t all about the test but trying to fill my brain with the things I need for the test is hard enough without giving me information I won’t need later today. In between the moments of jello brain and attention I only have a few facts that get stored, don’t waste them on me!
My wife and I went to Walmart the other day to buy a few things. We also had a return so my wife stood in line for the return while I went and picked up the few things I needed. When we met back up at the register she told me the lady in front of her in the return line was returning about $50 of milk and eggs and cheese. This seemed weird to us and we were talking about it when the lady checking us out also chimed in about other weird returns. She said people will buy a giant sheet cake eat less than half then return it. Because they have the receipt Walmart will refund their purchase. So I said, you could throw a birthday party and return the uneaten cake for a full refund? Yep, she said, and that is a tip for your next birthday! Look I like easy return policies and I don’t want to be hassled about why I am returning something, but doesn’t that seem dishonest? As we walked away from the store I then realized why the lady was returning the dairy products. Those are things you buy with Government assistance, which if you have a receipt you can get cash back for. The worst part is that all of those items are perishable and can’t be restocked. So the food stamp program got ripped off and so did Walmart. I walked away feeling really good about our country and our future!
Well, I see we are all still at work or, at least, looking on the internet, so this means we didn’t win the lottery. This weeks frenzy was all about the 1.5 billion dollars up for grabs. By up for grabs, I mean none of us were going to win we were just going to throw all our collective money into a pot and watch it walk off with someone else who will probably end up living in a trailer park due to blowing all the money on lama races. The three times I have played the lottery I have always had these high hopes until the results, then I feel like a dope! It seems only the really stupid or the already rich, perhaps even the illegal alien can be winners, but not the responsible or the gifted who would use the money to better the world. Instead, the money goes to further the decline of western civilization and makes for great where are they now episodes of cable TV. I have to remember the next time the money grows to another unbelievable number that putting my cash in will only contribute the delinquency of someone who will have no idea how to use it wisely. Kind of like having an alcoholic owning a liquor store.
I am not a big conspiracy theory kind of guy, but I believe that the manufacturers of vacuum cleaners are all in cahoots to make us buy new ones every few years. I go to the store and buy the one which says it will pick up your dog and remove all the hair from his body. I get it home and for the first few times I use it, I am impressed. The dog still has his hair but, every few strokes I have to empty the container of spinning hair and other familiars from my carpet. But then it starts, there on the floor is a small piece of what looks like wadded up kleenex. I run over it, it is still there, I run over it again, it remains. I take the vacuum to the garage and disassemble it, check every part not really finding anything but knowing that soon I will be cursing this thing and looking longingly at the newer model I pass on the shelf at Walmart. All of this is part of the plan to make me get another one which makes greater claims of sucking power but get closer to the cost of my kids college tuition. But like the cheaper model, this one will start to disappoint me within a few months and I will again watch the small sliver of paper reappear from under the vacuum, as I run over it, again and again, hoping for a miracle to occur, that is that the vacuum sucks like it should!
This morning’s news was sad, with the passing of David Bowie. I really enjoy his music and he is definitely one of the icons of my youth. The thing that made me ponder thou was not his passing but why more have not? Most of the rock world have abused everything you can abuse and seem to keep on touring. Bands like the Rollings Stones or Aerosmith seem like they should have been found gone in a hotel room years ago. Yet on they live. People keep saying that we need to take care of ourselves, you know to eat right, exercise, but it is hard to take it seriously when these life thrashers seem to get away with hard living. I know some have passed, some have just faded but others keep flaunting their lack of healthy lifestyle well into their seventies. I am not asking for payback or some sort of justice, I just want to be able to use them as a cautionary kind of Grimm Fairytale. You know just to keep the next generation from following them!
The New York public library has released a treasure trove of pictures and documents for free use on their website. When I saw the article about it I decided to go browse the collection. the first thing I brought up was a signed document of a guy who was entering into an apprenticeship under to other men. This was a signed contract to be an indentured apprentice. Each man signed it and put what looked like a thumbprint of blood next to the signature. When I was eighteen years old I started an apprenticeship in the printing industry, and I can tell you it was not the same as what this guy did more than 100 years ago. Times have really changed, that guy probably worked his rear off and didn’t get paid much to learn a trade and hopefully be able to earn a living. It was a signed contract which probably meant he did all the nasty and hard parts of the job hoping to learn the rest of it along the way. Mine set me on a path to a great job and increased my pay about 300% over the three and a half years I was in it. Never in my program was the word indentured ever appear. I worked hard but I can only speculate that it was never as hard as the guy in this contract. To that I say, thank goodness for not being born a hundred years ago!
Have you seen those posting on Facebook where the ask what character you are from your favorite movie? Where it is Starwars or Lord of the Rings and even some more cult classics. The problem with those is I never end up who I wanted to be. I don’t want to be R2-D2, I want to Luke or even Darth Vader. I can be thankful that I am not Jar-Jar but I never seem to be who I think I want to be. Isn’t that life thou? One of my co-workers said his goal was to build a death star, not a lego one, a real one. I guess you could say he is dreaming big! The problem is none of us is really in a position to actually get some of those big dreams done. I have a giant dream which I have carried around for about ten years now and I am determined that this is the year. I have no idea how but it is “go big” or go home time for this dream. By God’s grace, I will be able to get this off the ground but I need to take a few small steps first. Do you have a big dream? Let’s all agree this is the year to make it happen!