Friday, November 30, 2007

ARE WE THERE YET?



Remember those trips with the family when you were young and how you constantly asked that question? It always seemed like an eternity when you were stuffed in the back of a station wagon and on a long trip. Well that’s the way we traveled anyway. Your trips may have been different. There were 7 of us so the car was always crowded. Mom and Dad sat in the front with my youngest brother. Then three kids sat in the back seat and I would get way in the back with the luggage. None of us were strapped in either but somehow we lived through it all. Anyway the point is there had to be a destination in mind in order to ask that question. Usually for us it was upstate NY to visit the relatives or Camp JOY (Church camp) in West Virginia. Both were long trips from Florida.


So this morning I was listening to the Steve Harvey show on the radio as I do every morning at 6:00. If you are ever up at that hour, I highly recommend his show. He starts his show each day with an inspirational message and some thoughts for the day. Today’s show was about having a goal or purpose in life. I pondered this as I drove in to work this morning. I have been working on a huge report at work. It is a continuing project and seemingly endless so began thinking about where I am going with it and to tell the truth, I have lost sight of my goal. So before I started typing this morning I reminded myself what my goal for this project really was. Now that I know what it is, I have found that my work is much easier. As long as I keep my final goal in focus, I can stay on track and put to the side anything that is unnecessary in me reaching my goal.


It’s the same with lifelong goals. First you have to have a final goal in mind or you will find yourself just heading out to work day in and day out with no end in sight. I dare say lots of people are in that rut. They go to work each day, living for the weekend but come Monday they start it all over again. No wonder so many people are going crazy these days. With all the stress in the workplace they have nothing to look forward to in life without a bigger goal. When I was young, I had the normal goals of becoming wealthy or famous in life. Now that I am older, my goals are less selfish and on a grander scale. So what are your goals in life? I know there are some good ones out there. And none of those Miss America type goals either. You know the ones “I want to do good things for good people and be a really good good person” :) I will tell mine if you tell me yours.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Where are you going?

Where are you going and why are you in such a big hurry? That is what I would like to ask some of the people that pass me in the morning. Each day I get up and get ready for work then head out and join in the Indy 500 as we all rush to work. Well I am not in a big hurry so I lose the race. I get up 15 minutes earlier than I have to so that I don't have to rush. I like to get ready then sit quietly and meditate for a few moments before getting into the rat race. Once I hit the road, I drive the speed limit and make it to work with lots of time so that I can again relax before starting my work day.

Not everyone is like me though, Every morning someone gets right on my bumper and swirves back and forth waiting for just the right moment to pass and then they head on down the road at high rates of speed. I usually catch up with them at the next light only to see them fly off again trying to get somewhere quickly. I admit it, I do drive what I consider the speed limit. If it is 55, I stay between 55 and 60 depending on the driving conditions. For some reason this makes people around me mad.

You know I really don't care of these people want to break the law (and that is what they are doing) and I can live with them endangering others on the road but think about this for a moment. Why should they be mad at me for obeying the speed limit? I mean just because they waited until the last minute to leave their houses is no reason to be mad at me. They should be mad at themselves for not being able to plan their day properly. That's how I see it.

Ironically some of these same people hate their jobs so here they are rushing to get to a place they hate. Isn't that strange. Now on the way home they stop at the store, the bank for stop in for a beer somewhere instead of rushing home. I think some people need to shuffle their priorities a little. Me I will just keep taking my time and if you happen to be one of those people that passes me and gives me the finger, I will politely wave back and say have a wonderful day and hope you make it to work alive.

I have heard the excuse that it isn't breaking the law because everyone does it. Does that make it right? Am I the only one that drives the speed limit? Why are you mad at me?

Have a great day,
Greg

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Things that scare me

Here are my top three....

Number one in my list is going to the dentist. I have always hated going to the dentist because nothing good has ever happened to me in a dentist office. I mean there are needles, pain, blood, gagging and an occasional throwing up episode and I just can’t get past that sound of the drill. I know I am a grown man and shouldn’t be afraid of it but I am. By the way, I have an appointment this afternoon and am dreading it. I am claustrophobic too and I always feel like I am going to choke with all that stuff in my mouth. When I was young, my dentist was named Dr. Fang. The name alone says it all.

Number two on my list is spiders. There is something scary about a spider. I think they were created by the devil just to scare me. Once when I was very young, I got a big banana spider on my face and to this day I nave nightmares about it. They just look creepy to me and then there is that anticipation of the bite when they get on you.

Number three for me is heights but not just being high. I am afraid of being high and on the edge of something. I can climb to the top of the stack where I work and that doesn’t bother me but let me get on my roof and up to the edge and I get chills. I guess it is the falling that I am really afraid of. You know, the thought of knowing that it is going to hurt when I hit the ground.


The weird thing is I am not afraid of dying I just don’t’ want a lot of pain to go along with it. It is somewhere way down on my list of umpleasent things but way down there.

I associate those three things with pain and I just don’t like it. Any suggestions?

Three hours until my appointment. I am feeling nauseous. Does anyone have a Valium?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Merry Christmas

There I said it. I will say it again "Merry Christmas". How could anyone be offended with that statement? I saw on the news the other day that some town in Colorado is putting some restrictions on Christmas this year so as not to offend anyone. Things like only white lights and no tree visible from the street. I just don't get how it could. I mean the whole reason we celebrate Christmas is the birth of Christ right? So how could someone even think of separating Christmas from religion. This world has gotten so crazy.

In protest, I am putting up extra lights this year. I have my whole driveway lined with lights and a big star up in the air. And none of those silly decorations either like Snoopy or Charley brown holding a candle. I do however have a big frosty the snow man up on the roof. (remember free frosty) If any of the offends anyone, I suggest you drive by quickly and close your eyes.

Pretty soon the churches will have to take down their signs and crosses so that non believers aren't intimidated when they drive by. I can see it now, just a small sign that says "place of worship inside."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I want to help but.......

This morning on my way to work, I stopped for a cup of coffee at a local convenience store. I always stop there as it gives me a few moments to wake up fully before hitting the heavy traffic and they do have great coffee. The place is very clean and bright inside but outside things are not so good. There are usually a few people hanging around having their last few beers for the night or possibly their first few for the day. This is at 5:30 in the morning mind you.

Today I was approached by a woman asking for some change to buy a soda. I would dare say that she has approached me over a hundred times asking for the same thing. She really doesn't want a soda. She just wants money. She probably doesn't even know that she has asked me before. Once she gets enough she heads back to the closest crack house and gets her fix. Soon she is back on the street asking for money again.

A year or so ago in that same general location a man came up and asked me for money. He said he had run out of gas and had no money on him and needed to get home from work. He showed me his ID which showed that he indeed lived a long ways away and he sounded genuine so I gave him the only two dollars I had. Not two weeks later at a different location, the same man came up with the same story and I just said NO.

When I was young, I would help deliver Christmas baskets to the poor with my church group. On one occasion, we left the food with the children in a home because the parents were gone. After we left, we realized that we forgot one bag of groceries so we went back. When we got there, the neighbors had gone in and were taking the food. Stealing from your own neighbors. What a shame.

The other night, we had a discussion about taxes. My son asked why we paid so much and who decided what we had to pay and where it went. I started thinking about all we do pay and all that is waisted on special projects. I wish there was some way to dictate where the taxes I pay go. It is hard for me to understand why we spend billions on things like the space shuttle or other countries when there are people HERE that need help. I don't recall saying that is where I wanted the money to go. What can we do? Where do you want your tax money going? Am I alone?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Time to reflect

Fall colors

We didn't go to the mountains this year to see the leaves change. I really wanted to go but with changing jobs and so many things going on, we just couldn't make it. I don't know if the leaves were as lovely as they were last year when I took this picture, but this is how I remember it. As the weather turns cooler and the days grow shorter at least I have this picture planted in my mind.




A brighter day.

The other night there was a documentary on TV about Thanksgiving. It covered the history of it from the beginning until present time. What it all boils down to is that the holiday has changed throughout the years but there was always a central theme. Taking the time to be thankful for what you have. I do want to thank everyone for the comments on my last two posts. After my two humerus Thanksgiving posts, I wanted to take a moment and reflect on the things I am thankful for. Oh I am sure if I wanted to, I could dwell on the negative things in my life but I choose to look at the bright side. I wish more people would do that. Everyday, I hear people complaining about little things in their lives that are bringing them down. I think it is all how you look at things. I choose to be positive. Here are a few examples:

I am thankful for my job. Lots of people are out of work.

I get to spend Thanksgiving at home. Many years when I was in the Navy I was away during the holidays.

I am thankful for catching a few red lights on my way to work because it gives me a few moments to look around.

I am thankful for life not always being easy because I would become lazy and not appreciate when I have it so good.

I am thankful for the friends in my life and being able to help them when they need a hand.

I have a wonderful family, we are all happy, healthy and living a life I am proud of and I thank God ever day for what I have. Even when things look dark and gloomy I remember that just above the clouds, the sun is shining.








Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Greg

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Gobble-De-Goo

Gobble-De-Goo: That’s Turkey talk for Eat My Stuffing.

Today I was thinking about Thanksgiving and realized there is a lot about it I don’t know. I really have a lot of questions about the entire holiday. I mean I can cook a great turkey and dressing with all the trimmings but some other things baffle me.


For starters, do American Indians celebrate Thanksgiving? I seriously would like to hear from a Native American because I really don’t know the answer to this one. I mean the whole concept is kind of weird to me. It is like celebrating the beginning of the end. I mean this was sort of the kick off meeting before the Pilgrim Executives took over the new world. Several years ago I worked for an American chemical company that was taken over by an English company(sound familiar?). It all started with a big meeting/meal with everyone happy and friendly and then they took over our company. I don’t celebrate that now though.

Question #2. And I am really serious about this, but were there only white people (and Indians of course) at the first thanksgiving? If so then why do other races in America celebrate? Actually weren’t all the Pilgrims English? Although they were here, they weren’t officially detached from England (no passports) and this wasn’t officially America so shouldn’t it be England not America that celebrates Thanksgiving? Back to the original question, I guess it is like celebrating Oktoberfest if you are in Germany. It’s a good reason to celebrate no matter what who started it.


The other day I saw a show on TV where they discussed alternate meals to serve at Thanksgiving. There were things like tofu turkey, unseasoned blanched veggies, and Low fat Jello with low fat whipped topping. I thought Thanksgiving was all about eating. It was the one holiday truly devoted to overeating and feeling miserable. What is happening to America people?

Ok this last thing and is a little off the subject but I have to talk about it. What’s up with all these Mexicans coming in to “our” country? Do they think they can just waltz into a country without being invited, settle down and make it their home? Who do they think they are anyway, the Pilgrims?

Have a nice day.
Greg

Monday, November 12, 2007

Thanksgiving memories


A Thanksgiving Story

I just realized that Thanksgiving is only a week and a half away. Where did this year go? It seems like the older I get, the faster time goes. I wonder when you get near the end, if it will be like warp speed on Star Trek and everything will just be a blur. That would be kind of cool. Well depending on where you end up that is.

Anyway Thanksgiving always reminds me of family and big dinners. The whole family would show up at my Grandmother’s house and it was a great time. I remember one Thanksgiving most of all though. It was back in the 60’s and I was just a youngster. My father was in charge of getting the turkey. I think that was his assignment because they usually gave him free turkeys at work and he would supply it for the meal.

This one year, there were more relatives than usual attending so he had to “buy” a turkey because the one they gave him wasn’t big enough. A few days before Thanksgiving, my Dad and uncle brought home a nice big one. It was a fresh one though and not frozen like we usually had. Of course mom didn’t like it but dad told her that it was the only one he could find large enough so she went along with it.

So there we were at grandma’s house. There were about 30 people there. The turkey was on the table looking golden brown. The house smelled like turkey and dressing. The TV was on and the Thanksgiving parade was almost over. The blessing was said and everyone was busy filling their plates and getting ready to stuff themselves. You can imagine the scene. That’s when the mood changed.

As the parade ended, the news man came on with a local story. “Bob the turkey is missing” Bob was a pet turkey and the owner had left the gate open and he was missing. He had been gone for two days and there was a reward for his return. Things would have been ok if dad hadn’t looked at my uncle and smiled but he did and mom saw him and well you can imagine what happened.

The rest of the story: Dad and my uncle were driving home from a hunting trip and they saw this turkey running across the road so they harvested him. (That is a kind way of saying they shot him) At the time they didn’t know it was someone’s pet but knowing dad and my uncle, that wouldn’t have made a difference. He was the right size needed so they made up the story about buying it. It was like a gift from above. They needed a turkey, here was a turkey, it was meant to be.

Back to the meal: Hearing this, all the women refused to eat. All except grandma that is. She said “Well its already cooked and it looks good so why waste it.” So grandma, the kids and the men all ate that year and the women talked about it for as long as I can remember. Now that was a Thanksgiving to remember.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Just plain wrong


I have read the movie reviews but have to disagree with the masses on this one. Everyone is raving about the movie "Ratatouille". The critics are saying the animation is superb, the voices are wonderfully done and the plot is delightful. Wake up people. This is about a rat in the kitchen of a restaurant. Am I the only one that sees a problem here? This rodent came from the sewers below Paris and who knows what diseases it is carrying not to mention more bugs that one can imagine. Did everyone forget about the black plague that they say was carried by rats?


This is a Pixar film which is a division of Disney. I dare say that if Walt was alive today, he would agree with me. What started out as a cute little Mickey Mouse is now a disease carrying rat in a kitchen. What's next Pixar? Oh I know, how about a roach that wants to be a doctor so he lives in a hospital and crawls all over the medications and such. Yes that is hilarious and wholesome. Yea right. This is why I don't go to movies anymore.
You think this is all ridiculous? Just wait until you little one wants a rat for a pet. Have a nice day.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

My predictions

First of all, my sympathy goes out to all those that lost their houses in the California fires, but the biggest hurdle is still in front of them. As was the case with the hurricane in New Orleans and the one in Charleston, we can expect some changes in insurance coverage. After these hurricanes, the three major insurance companies got together and changed some definitions. For instance now there is a difference between flooding and rain damage. If your roof blows off and rain ruins everything you own that is hurricane damage and not flood damage. If wind damage associated with a major storm is determined to be wind shear then you better have wind damage coverage along with hurricane damage. There are so many loopholes that one really doesn't know what will be covered.

Now that all these wild fires have destroyed so many expensive houses, I see the major insurance companies changing the policies to say that a house fire must start from within the house. In the future you will have to have wildfire coverage in addition to fire coverage to be fully covered. I can also see the policies changing to say that if you live next to a forest you must pay a premium for your insurance because you are in a high risk zone.

I have no evidence to back these theories up except past performance, but I dare to wager that as I write this, corporate executives are working on these changes. I will be amazed if none of this comes true but I would bet money that it does.

They tell you that the purpose of insurance is to protect you if something happens, but the real purpose of insurance is to make money for the insurance executives. Just remember that you heard it here first. Have a nice day,

Greg