I just saw a clip of the Ryder cup golf tournament from yesterday and it was one of the best things I have seen in a while. A pro golfer missed a putt, and someone in the crowd heckled him about it. So the golfer calls the guy out onto the green, even pulls out some money and puts it next to the ball and has the guy attempt the same shot. He makes it! This is great on so many levels, first I get what the pro is doing, he is trying to prove that it isn’t as easy as it looks. I play golf from time to time and I always walk away frustrated because the ball rarely goes where I want it to go. I am sure I would get better if I spent a lot of time practicing but until I am retired that isn’t going to happen. From the heckler’s standpoint, this guy is a pro and he should be able to do things he can’t. The only thing he proved is, everyone gets lucky once! I bet if you lined him up ten times he would miss it nine times out of ten, the good news for him was his one for ten was the first one. It made for a great moment. I hope as we all keep trying to accomplish whatever it is we are trying to do in this world, that it doesn’t take you all ten to get your hole in one!
My birthday is December 24th. Yes, that is right Christmas eve. It was really a big thing for me as a kid. My extended family was together for Christmas everyone was eating and drinking enjoying being together and let’s just say my birthday was not on anyone’s mind. After dinner, my mom would break out a cake and then I would see all the “oh yeah” looks on everyone’s faces. I was annoyed because others had birthday parties or separate days and my day was an after thought. Now that I have fifty-plus years it is now a blessing to have the distractions of the day. I don’t want the special day anymore, actually, I wish they would stop! Funny how perspective changes over the years. Things I would have never imagined to be good, things I really, really wanted are now past memories which just are not important. I am hoping that in another ten years what is going on today becomes the hidden blessing I would never have expected. It isn’t what I planned, little in my life has been, but so far all the turns and twists have worked out so I am going to have to trust God that he knows what is going on even if I can’t see it.
You know these shows where they come on and tell you of the horrors of everything you do? They test the water and tell you what is in it or that the company that cleans your carpets is using chemicals that will kill you? They are supposed to be consumer watchdogs and some of the things they uncover are scary and it is good that they tell you about those things, sometimes they are just out of ideas and the things they are telling us to worry about are ridiculous! For example this morning they went to an elementary school classroom and rooted through all the kid’s lunches and told of the horrors! When I was in elementary school, lunch was the highlight of the day! If you had a good lunch or even a bad lunch everything would be OK if you had a sugary snack to finish it off with. Tuna sandwich, meh, ding-dong, score! If you had some food you just could not eat you could use the snack as a bargaining chip to trade up to something better. Now the consumer watchdogs want to get rid of anything good in kids lunch so everyone suffers. PBJ, an apple, and a juice box should not cause school-wide hysteria. Look, I don’t think we should be eating a ton of sugar but give school kids a break, they shouldn’t have to eat kale at every meal either. A little common sense says a lunch with a sugary snack in it will not ruin the kid, in my day we ate a lot of sugar and we even rode bicycles without helmets and we turned out OK!
I feel a rant coming on! Watching the news this morning is making me warm up my soapbox. It isn’t just one thing, it is a multitude of issues that seem to be going in the wrong direction in this country. The election, riots, corruption, we are going to hell in a hand basket and the leading story is the divorce of two people who’s lives are of no value to society. We are a nation of distraction, which is what our leaders want. If we are distracted and not paying attention to what they are doing they can continue to get away with stealing our country! We have left the fox in charge of the hen house. The worst part is we are doing it to ourselves. We elect these people, we let them stay in charge for thirty plus years, and they take us to the cleaners. California is in so much debt as a state that they can’t even pay the electric bills but instead of dealing with it, they are passing bills to regulate cow farts! they are not the only ones doing stupid stuff but I can not start the conversation about the federal government stupidity here because my blog post would be the size of a bloated congressional bill, which is to say, like all of the garbage they are producing. and don’t get me started with executive orders! I would apologize to you readers if I wasn’t hoping that you feel the same way and are prepared to storm the castle with me. But I fear we will be few to get anyone to listen, as the rest of the country is too busy wondering if Brad will get visitation rights or who the worst dressed celebrity at the Oscars was!
This morning as I got out of bed I looked at my emails to see if anything needed my attention. One caught my eye, the title was “Terrible misfortune”. Apparently, someone I have never heard of was robbed while on a trip to Europe with his family. The email goes on to say how he now has no money and needs my help! Obviously, this is a fishing email hoping to scam me out of money. Usually, they come from someone you know so it at least looks somewhat legit. So I was curious to see if I could find the link between me and the person. First I looked a Facebook and three profiles with that name came up two looked legit, one was in a foreign language the third was a picture of Tom Cruise with no information. Second I googled the name to find one person in the state of Colorado who lives too far away to be associated with me. He did, however, go on mission trips from 2005 through 2015 and had a father in law pass away. Thinking this through I found more information than probably this person wants anyone to know but I also learned that he might be a twin of Tom Cruise. It is amazing to me the amount of information and disinformation on the internet. The old saying that there are lies and damn lies and statistics, should be changed to, lies, damn lies and the internet! Be careful out there!
So the bathroom remodeling project is right in the thick of it now. I took everything down to the studs and am attempting to put new stuff in. The problem is that so far nothing has gone smooth. The window had water damage around it so I had to replace some of the framing and it turned out that the window hole was once a bigger size so they had done some creative construction around it to get it to fit. The shower is a non-standard size so I have to do something special to make it work. The floor around the toilet was not lining up so I have to figure something else out. I had dreams of tearing everything out and it all going back together easily. That is my life, I am just not able to make plans that come out just like I want. Instead, it has been a constant recalculating exercise. After some event throws a monkey wrench in the way, I try something else. I don’t want to say it has been all bad, on the contrary, even the not so good has made me smarter. I was reading the other day about successful people and how most of them have had crazy paths to success. If I take that to heart I should probably look at my life as a means to the end. Like the bathroom, at some point, I will finish it, and it won’t be perfect, but I will look on it with pride knowing it took some miracles, but if I did half of what I want to accomplish it will look pretty good!
I don’t know if this is a trend where you live but around where I live the new thing for all the streets is to put in roundabouts. You know these things were a bunch of roads converge and require everyone to navigate around to the place where you need to get off. It reminds me of the old boardwalk carousel and some of the people who are using them act the same. If they are on a quite street they are not a big deal you just get around it, yes it slows me down and I avoid them, but it is not complicated. Now when it comes to busy streets I will say that some of my fellow drivers need a refresher course in how to drive. They act as if the were on the carousel and got dizzy and disoriented. Yes, the sign says yield, that does not mean you have to stop every time merely that you slow down till the others cars go by then you can go. It is also not a good idea to stop in the middle of the roundabout when you have the right of way. It is possible for all of us to make it in and out of this without a fender bender and it does not have to cause that much stress. I get that things are moving at you from a few directions when in them but generally you can make it to the other side and continue on to your destination without all the exasperation you are having and causing.
Last week I was off of work. I took a vacation but it was really working around the house, so not a real vacation. I did my best not to look at work email but every once and a while I would peek as the number of unread kept climbing. This was a mistake, as the number grew to two hundred over the week I would see things that I was going to have to deal with when I got back which only made me worry and think about them more. When I did get back this week most of them had worked themselves out, some still had to be handled but for the most part, nobody died, nobody was even injured! Yeah, I had to look through a lot of emails but life went on. I don’t know why I dread being gone so much, I always think that the world is going to blow up or some crisis that only I can handle will happen. That is not the truth, I have a great team and they take care of business, nothing is going to happen that can’t be solved without me. Maybe that is what I worry about more, that I am not needed or that the world can go on without me. Then I remember the book “Good to Great” and realize that my job is to hire good people who can go on without me, my job is to empower them. Maybe I should actually take that vacation time I have stored up!
I took this week off from work to get a jump on the projects I wanted to get done. These are the ones we have been planning for a while. I am taking out a bathroom that looked like the seventies had never left us. The problem is it continues to expand into other rooms. Now that I look at the bathroom the bedroom really needs so love as well. So we move out of our room but using the kid’s bathroom has shown me how messed up that one is as well. So I guess after I finish this project that one needs to start. I also have banged up some of the walls moving stuff around so I will have to fix those after I finish. It just keeps growing, this is why I hate starting projects around the house. It never is just one thing, they aways grow and grow as you find things that are wrong or done poorly. What I figure what I have started won’t end until I am dead. The best news is that I do not have unlimited time or funds to work with so at some point it will have to stop or at least it will stop with something unfinished. Which will stay that way until I am backed into a corner and need to start it up again.