I have had it. I can not take any of the social media sites right now. I have started to really hate looking at all the political stuff that is dominating the feeds. Not because I don’t care, I care a lot. It is because they are all full of crap! I vote, I am informed, I don’t take what the media is trying to spoon feed us, I go look at the real info and sort through all of it to form my own opinion. I hope you are doing the same because if you watch the nightly news or go to the mainstream sites they are all feeding us horse manure. Everybody on all sides is throwing out the most outrageous garbage. It is hard to wade through this junk without getting angry, this morning I found myself talking to the tv and I was not saying nice things. I promised I would not get political or throw bombs on the internet, but I am just about done. After this years horrible season of politics, I think we as a country need to sit down and rethink this whole thing. We better figure out a way to get the best people in our country involved instead of the bottom feeders we have to decide between this year! Otherwise we are just going to continue to feel like we are in need of hand sanitizer for our brain after we pull a voting lever!
Over the last weekend, my wife and I were able to get away and go do some sight seeing in the mountains of Colorado. We got to see some of the most beautiful places in Colorado and take in some wonderful hiking. When you are hiking in the mountains you get to see some things and for that matter people, you don’t normally see in your everyday. It may be that when they are home they wear a suit and tie to work but in the mountains, well some of them are a little different. The first is the prepared, this person has the gear. Their pants probably cost as much as my car. The vest has more pockets than a troop of Kangaroos the boots can take bites from venomous snakes and their hat can be used as a flotation device in an emergency. If they are a mountain biker, the cost of the gear goes up to the cost of the average home. Second, there are the young parents, baby carrying backpack, and a secondary backpack full of kid supplies. They are determined to hike despite having to drag one child up the side of the mountain while carrying another. I admire them, they want to have a good time and expose their children to the outdoors. I just hate to cross their path when the kid has decided it isn’t fun anymore. Third is the unprepared. This is the lady wearing flip-flops white pants and way too much makeup. They read the guide which said the hike was “easy”. They take easy to mean there is an escalator. You pass them on the trail and they ask if they are close to the destination. They are panting heavily and will most likely need an ambulance to make it back to the car. Hopefully, they make it and can get back to town to get the tee shirt or commemorative glass to remember the time when they encountered nature!
To the person who only took half a donut from the lunch room, I would like to say, I hate you! As I lick my fingers from my second donut I can’t help but see the donut half which still remains from your self-controlled display of eating. Well ok, I don’t really hate you, I hate myself for not having that amount of will-power. You walked into the lunch room seeing two dozen glazed donuts sitting there in all their glory and you only walked away with half of one, while I having seen these miracles of modern pastry stood over the box and grabbed one for each hand. Of course, to not let on that I had two I immediately swallow one whole so I can emerge from said breakroom looking like a considerate co-worker who only took the one. I would not want anyone to think I am not a good person however later when the sugar rush wears off and I am looking to nap under my desk, the reality of what I have done will come home to roost. As a reformed fat guy, I can say that just like an alcoholic I have to constantly be on my guard for times when I fall off the wagon.Those fat pills will set me back but I can punish myself tonight with a few miles around the neighborhood. That is unless I pig out at dinner and flop down on the couch for some more self-loathing. Either way I regret my choices now, not a moment ago when I could or should have stopped myself.
Today my self-review is due. This is where I am supposed to turn into my boss a list of all my accomplishments I did this year. I hate it! You can tell how much I like it by the fact that I am writing this blog instead of completing it right now. I took my computer home over the weekend so I would do it but I instead dug up my broken sprinkler system and replaced the valves and timer so they work again. I would rather do manual labor than sit down and type up a self-congratulation list. It isn’t that I didn’t do a lot this year, I did. My team and I rocked it, I just hate writing this whole thing. It asks me whether I think I didn’t meet expectations all the way to far exceeds expectations. I feel it is like those surveys which ask you to rate one to five, sad to say I mostly fill in threes with an occasional two and four to make it not just the same. I think I would rather rate myself low and have my boss say I did better than that than rate myself high and have him tell me I did deserve that high a rating. So I am procrastinating but it won’t change the fact that I have to do it. The other side of this is I have a month to do the manager review for the eleven people who report to me. I subscribe to the old joke about marriage. The husband says I told you I loved you when we married and I will let you know if that ever changes. That doesn’t work for business and I don’t want to do what my old boss would do. He would copy what I wrote in my self-review into his manager review. That told me all I needed to know about the amount he cared about me and the process.
Back up your computer! Today I am giving you a public service message! I can not stress this strongly enough, and even better make sure you have set your computer to backup automatically at least once a week. I also want to say it doesn’t matter Mac or PC. This week I have on our team several computers which have lost everything. The users look at me in disbelief, shocked that everything they have done is gone. All of them had solid state drives and they all failed didn’t matter whether it was a Mac or a PC. One told us he had a backup, his backup had told him it was corrupt but he ignored it, so guess what, he has nothing! So the second message is, don’t ignore messages your computer gives you. Verify that the backup is happening, make sure if your computer tells you it needs help, that it gets it before it is too late. Sometimes it is without warning that your computer fails, but sometimes it is telling it has problems for a while or acting strangely. One of the computers we have we told the user to let us fix it 6 months ago but he was too busy, he is now been down a few days so he apparently has time for us to fix it now. The other thing you need to do is figure out who you will take your computer to if it is broken. Don’t wait until something is broken. If you are lucky to have a company IT staff you are set, if you are on your own, I suggest you find someone you trust now instead of when it is a critical moment of need and you are looking through google for an all night computer repair shop. I looked, there aren’t any local, only the India options are up that late.
Maybe I have not had enough coffee or maybe it is my age catching up to me but today there are some things that are confusing me about life. The list is long but I will only share a few due to the length I try and keep my posts.
1. How do I tell when my tomatillos are ripe? They are green, they are in a little leafy blanket, do they change to a different green or do you have to guess?
2. Why is it I know what I am going to order before I walk into the chain restaurant I have been to before, but if the waitress asks if we are ready to order we have to ask her to come back later?
3. My dog has gas that smells as if something has died inside him. It burns my eyes and sends everyone running away, yet he can sleep right through it?
4. People are running all around trying to find some Pokemon things in the neighbor’s yards and local parks, but if you ask them to go ride bikes or exercise with you they look like you just asked them to jump off a cliff?
Well I guess I better go get another cup of coffee or maybe take a nap. I hear they have a couch in the ladies room, that brings up something else that confuses me, but I am not willing to discuss that one at this time.
Tim Duncan announced his retirement from professional basketball today. He played his entire 19-year career with the same team, unheard of today. You never heard about him getting arrested, you never saw pictures of him on the news getting into a fight or drunk and disorderly in public. No scandals, no contract disputes or wife beatings. He quietly played the game of basketball for which he was well paid and played it very well for a very long time. I am not saying he was perfect, I understand he could be mean to new teammates until the proved themselves, and there could have been some issues I never heard about. I just want to point out that it is possible for a professional athlete to be a terrific athlete and a good person. You don’t hear that enough. What we usually hear is the opposite. I was just looking at the announcement on a news website which has other headlines down the left side, and it shows what has now become too common a headline, other athletes in trouble. I just wanted to point out among all the bad news out there right now that this announcement will probably go mostly unnoticed. I would just like to say to Mr. Duncan, I noticed and I thank you for the wonderful example you have been to others!
When I was in my early twenties, I went with a friend to the local goodwill store to look for some clothes. I was not really looking for anything but I came across a suit jacket that was a very fifties style and I thought it was cool so I bought it. When I walked out of the store I put it on and when I reached into the pocket there was a little smaller pocket inside and in it was two ticket stubs. They were for a play in San Francisco sometime in the early fifties. I kept those ticket stubs in that jacket and would pull them out and try to imagine who it might have been or what the circumstances were around the man who wore that jacket to the play. I wondered if he had planned to keep them to remember the night or if years later he forgot they were in there when he gave the jacket away. That is what I like about ticket stubs, I have a box of them which I can open and look at to remember some of the shows I have gone to and the good times I had. Nowadays I either have my tickets on my phone or a printout from my home printer, how am I supposed to look back at that? I can open my little box of treasures and see the ticket stub from Stevie Ray Vaughn at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium in 1985 and remember how he blew me away! I looked this morning and saw that 1984 thru 1985 I went to a lot of concerts. Now I would probably have to keep the text link on my iPhone for the one I went to last night. It just isn’t the same. I get I am older and more prone to nostalgia but I think it is harder to keep memories like those these days! I guess I could buy a shirt or hat but I already spent the farm on the tickets, I don’t need to also purchase the neighbors farm in merchandise.
Ever have one of those moments at work when someone says something to you so odd or borderline inappropriate that you have no idea how to respond? I am trying to figure out what the right response should be. Depending on how well you know the person it can be difficult to know if you can say something equally odd back to them or run with the joke a little farther. If it is one of your guy friends who you know will take it you can return with a look of disgust or perhaps a “thanks for the awkward moment” comment. When it is a woman, I have no idea how to respond? Dave Barry had a joke about the only response to your wife asking if a particular dress makes her look fat is to fake a heart attack! I can see no way out of this that does not either get me into trouble or makes the situation worse! Stupid looks are all I have while I feel the color of my face change to the color of a very ripe tomato. I feel the same awkwardness watching female comedians who talk about lady things or swear like my old truck driving neighbor. Perhaps it is my upbringing but those things just wish I had the ability to not get all flustered but then again, being traditional in my thinking is what I like about me. Either way, I just don’t have the tools to deal with this in a way that does not turn my brain to jelly. Ladies I would just ask, if you don’t want me to turn into a babbling idiot, don’t toss me a comment or question I have no right way to answer.
Every culture has a food thing that every other culture thinks is gross. I will give some examples. My family comes from Guatemala, my mom has a few things she loves that I won’t touch with a ten-foot pole, Menudo, and pigs feet are her thing, definitely not mine. Others from Nordic backgrounds have things like Lutefisk, a fish and lye combo that does not appeal to me, but hey that is their own tradition so I say, go for it! There are others dishes using squid ink, cow tongue or other animals or parts which I consider non-edible but again, not my culture. The funny thing to me is that most of these grew out on necessity, people did not have the convenience or going to the grocery store to pick out the best little slice of their favorite animal, no they had to survive and so they took the less desirable parts and added some ingredient that was plentiful and cooked it in a way that made it palatable and viola, you ended up with what we now have as a special treat from the old country! The best part is if you order it in a restaurant you now pay top dollar for what was survival instincts food a thousand years ago. I don’t want to damper your enthusiasm for your favorites, I too get nostalgic over some foods which bring back memories of those who are no longer with us, I just find it funny how much we are willing to pay for those memories!