Welcome to the Future…

Did you know, it used to cost tens of thousands of dollars to get a device that could speak for you? Really it did, and it wasn’t that long ago. A few year ago Apple introduced the iPad and the follow-up devices like the Android based tablets have turned an entire industry on its nose! Overnight what was inaccessible to many became the norm. Now I see articles daily on how these devices have changed lives! I worked in the printing industry as a young man. We would charge large fees just to scan pictures. Of course the equipment we used to do it, cost a lot of money back then, but now I can get a scanner at Walmart. The things that get smaller and cheaper keeps growing and it seems to not be ending any time soon. I saw an article today about an add-on to your smart phone that will analyze your urine for cancer and other things! While I don’t look forward to the calls our tech support company will get to repair the now wet phones, I can’t believe that the next is not a X-ray or MRI attachment so you can look for tumors in the comfort of your own home.   How about a phone that scans you while you sleep to detect apnea or other problems? It seem endless or at least until somebody finds out it makes us obese. Then they will outlaw it.

The great Pope retirement!

I have to congratulate the Pope! He did what no other Pope has done for the last 600 plus years, he retired. If you are older than thirty you have seen these guys get older and older until it takes twenty people to prop them up just to stand. And what can the poor guys do when they get like that? Do you think they are really leading the catholic church at that stage? No, what this guy is doing is allowing the next guy to serve his time and then retire before he is a living relic! I know to some it is unheard of, but every once in a while we get stuck in a rut. Both as people and as organizations. Someone has to come along and bust the long-standing traditions that are holding it from growing. Traditions are nice but they can also get in the way. Seeing someone challenge those traditions is refreshing, especially a guy who has spent his whole life in them! So I applaud his decision and I know the next guy won’t have to feel any pressure to spend the rest of his life as Pope. Maybe that will let him concentrate on everything else that is wrong!

Waiting for a classic.

Why do companies have to keep changing their products? I started running this last year. I started by going to the running store in our town and asking them to evaluate my running style and tell me what shoes I should buy. I took their advice and bought the first pair from them because they hooked me up. Since then any new ones I have bought online, because they are half the price. They gave me good advice and I loved the shoes and was happy with them. Then it happened, I went online to get a new pair and they were discontinued, and all I could buy was the version 2 of the shoes. I don’t care that it comes in new colors. I don’t care that it now has a V2 on the side. I want to know that they didn’t change anything! They say they are new and improved, but what if they are not? They keep doing this to me, I have had to stop buying stuff just because they “New and improved” something I loved and I no longer liked it. I know they can’t just sit back and sell the same products for ever. The public is fickled and they have to chase after all of us to get us to but what ever it is they are selling. At some point whatever they make turns a corner and becomes a classic, which everybody wants. Look at the old converse shoes or Twinkie’s. Now that you can’t get them, everybody wants them!

Avant-Garde your own ice cream!

I love food! Not just like, I love it. That is why I have spent most of my life over weight.  I also like to talk about food, and I love to watch the Iron Chef show. If you are not familiar with the show. They start off pitting two Chefs against each other using one ingredient as the theme. The Chefs don’t know a head of time so it makes it interesting to see what they will do with it. The American version is ok but the Japanese version is my favorite. They use the craziest ingredients! I saw one where the theme was squid, and one of the Chefs made squid ink ice cream! Of course I would never eat anything these guys make. I have never understood why someone would create something called mango salsa? I like my food to be a little more straight forward. I have tried new things but some combos just don’t sound right, like the above mentioned ice cream. Just like avant-garde paintings and music i can appreciate someone experimenting to come up with something new. I just think I want to eat it! Unless you plan on deep-frying it, I plan on sticking to the ordinary!

Babies on a plane!

Yeah! You know when you heard about the man who slapped the eighteen month old kid on the plane last week, it was only by the grace of God it wasn’t you. You’ve been stuck in the big sausage in the sky when some poor child decides his ears are hurting too bad to not share. Is it that we just don’t feel comfortable on a plane? Is it a subconscious fear that we are flying at over five hundred miles per hour in a sardine can? Whatever the reason, we are just off a little when we are on them and it makes things like babies crying ten times more challenging. I WOULD NEVER SLAP A CHILD ON A PLANE! But I can understand how it happens. If anything could make it worse it is alcohol. Maybe the only alcohol allowed on an airplane should be to children under five!

Difference #1088

To those who don’t think there are differences between men and women need only look to the soap tray in the shower to know better. To men the greatest invention was the shampoo and body wash combo. It can’t get any better than only having to buy one product to take care of everything. Squeeze a little on your hand or wash cloth and your shower is over. Except for rinsing one pass head to toe will “getter done!”. But one look at the multitude of products in my shower proves that women do not share our simplistic view of the process. Three different kinds of hair products alone, baffle the mind as to how all of them can be applied in one shower without running the water heater out. Heaven forbid I use the body soap on my face! Really? If it were up to me I would take all the bars of soap and the little pieces that always get stuck in the drain or molded into the tray and mash them into one all-purpose bar. Don’t get me wrong, we appreciate all the hard work you women put into looking so marvelous. You just won’t get us to give the same amount of effort. Lets face it ,clean underwear was as far as our mothers could get us to go!

To cover or not to cover?

There are somethings I feel I am getting ripped off every time I buy them. Tires for my car is one. Others include gas and insurance. I saw an article that said extended warranties are one of the biggest rip offs. Most of the time I agree, that is until I am making a big purchase and the barely eighteen year old sales person asks me if I want it. I have heard the stories, my friend dropped his new iPhone in the toilet and took it back and got a brand new one. I have also bought it on a few things and never used it. With technology the tendency is for failure to happen within a few months, that is any manufacture defects. The curve is a large  U shape, many failures in the beginning and failures at the end. The problem is us! I had a VP of a company I worked for run over her phone. She couldn’t find it in the car so she pulled over and opened the door to look under the seat. didn’t see it. When she took off in the car she heard a large crunch, which turned out to be the phone which had fallen out of the door. Bottom line if you are a person who has silly things like this happen to you with electronics it may actually be a good thing. If you are a Otterbox covering, never plastic removing kind. I would skip it.


How are you about learning new things? I got a new position which will require me to learn a bunch on new stuff. Computers, backup more things I have never had to do before. Last night I woke up in the middle of the night and my head was racing with all the things I had to get done. Learn how to do that, look up the directions for that server and other things. I couldn’t go back to bed for a while just because I couldn’t shut off my brain. I was half excited and the other half worried I wouldn’t be able to do what it is the new job entails. That is me fifty percent loving new challenges and the other half dreading it. It is a risk isn’t it? Trusting that you will figure it out. Having enough faith in yourself to take the plunge? The question we don’t want to ask or answer is, What if I fail? So far I have only had a few jobs where I felt I was the wrong guy. I knew it even if other around me didn’t. None of them came down to them asking me to leave. I decided it was time and moved on. Maybe that is the key? Being able to see your strengths and weaknesses in a position and knowing when you’re not right, in time to seek other opportunities. Of course the other side is my buddy who gets a new job every year or two. I can’t stand that much change.

Man I feel old!

My oldest turned twenty-one on Saturday. Man I feel old! I can remember the emergency around him being born. He was two months premature so as you can imagine there was a lot of drama and worrying going on. We have three all of which had complications so each was a an emotional roller coaster when they were born. Thinking back on each of them, I don’t think today I would have the stamina to go through all that. I see in the news all sorts of people having children later and later. Tony Randell was in his seventies or eighties i think when he had his first child. Granted, with him and his wife it was a true love story. She was unable to have children so he waited till after her death to marry a 29-year-old who could. Yesterday I read Steve Martin’s wife just had a child. Steve is no spring chicken, and I don’t think his wife is all that young as well. Of course if I had the money to have someone else raise my children it would be different. I have run these kids to Church events and School Band programs for years. I volunteer to help set up for band competitions and was an Awana leader at church while they were involved. Today, I look at all they are doing and sigh! No way do I want to do that now. I would rather have a cup of tea and listen as they tell us all about the Band Camp or what ever else they just returned from. I am still involved in some of the stuff but I can’t do what I did when I was younger. Maybe I could hire whoever Steve Martin will use for the weekend, but I doubt I could afford it.

Men and Cars!

So I have taken one for the team. My wife needed a more economical car for all the driving she does for her job and I couldn’t exactly justify driving our old Ford F-350 diesel (12 miles to the gallon) around for mine. So we got her a little Subaru and I started driving the Grand Caravan. Yes me, the guy who dreams of a Toyota land cruiser with giant tires is driving around in a minivan! It isn’t like it is a Prius but lets face it, it isn’t very manly! I didn’t get too many comments about it but every once in a while someone would take a jab at the  old manhood. You know the jokes. Where is your man purse? Does your wife let you drive? Is that shirt pink or salmon? These don’t really affect me but you know if I could I would at least put some big tires on the van or paint flames or something to man it up. There are only a few things that say surrender more than a minivan, the above mentioned Prius or a purse size dog, but a minivan is hard to hide. I had taken it for the team till recently, when the kids car died. I got to hand the minivan down to them and went and bought a 1990 jeep wrangler. It is a project car, but I would rather drive a car that the doors are falling off that says “Man”. As long as it has 4 wheel drive I can live with the rest!