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Showing posts from November, 2011

The Holiday Spirit

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I'm trying to get into the holiday spirit.  Music usually helps.  This is my favorite Christmas song (although my 2nd or 3rd favorite version - but his recording is the most famous version).  Merry Christmas.  Happy Holidays.

16 Puns

Timing is everything and maybe so is laughter. I was in a bad mood at work this afternoon, took a break to check personal email and found a note from a friend that contained a list of puns. These are the ones I laughed at and that laughter pulled me out of the bad mood. Enjoy. And laugh.

1. The fattest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

3. She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.

4. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.

5. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

6. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

7. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

8. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

9. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall.…

Random or Fate

Friendships are often random and “just happen” but sometimes you get an opportunity to actually design a friendship. Meeting this person might start as a mix of randomness and fate but when it becomes obvious that a genuine friendship connection has been made, two people can determine exactly what defines that friendship. Some of it might still be a natural evolving process but it is shaped by communication and mutual agreement.

Can a real friendship develop online? I believe some of that growth can happen in the cloud but real friendship usually involves at least some in-person time and a sharing of experiences unique to those two people.

Some of my best friendships began in person and the internet has enabled them to continue across time and distance. I’m mostly thinking about my closest friends from my teens and twenties. I am currently in touch with most of the ones that really mattered.

Funny thing is that one of my closest friends is someone who I met online, eventually in pers…

Ignoring the Obvious

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The ‘politically correct’ mentality that leads businesses and local governments to avoid using the word Christmas annoys the crap out of me. Those who say that saying the word Christmas in connection with this time of year because it might offend somebody completely miss the point.

No matter what you believe or do not believe, Christmas is obviously named for a person, a very influential and well-known person. Whether Jesus Christ is your lord and savior, a messiah, a prophet, a historical figure or some random eloquent speaker from two thousand years ago with a good public relations agent, you can’t ignore the fact that his birthday is celebrated all around the world and that day is named for him.

Christians believe Christmas is a celebration of the widely-agreed-upon day of his birth (no existing document verifies an exact date). A large number of non-Christians acknowledge Christmas Day and the Christmas season as a time to celebrate peace, love, family and friends, things they all …

Black Friday Randomness

Macy’s opened at midnight last night/this morning. I was asked to be the driver on a little ride to the nearest one, a request which I initially turned down. After looking on their web site, however, I decided to go, partly because there were some sale items I wanted, partly because the crowds would probably be less than the middle of today and partly out of curiosity.

My observations:

The crowds were less than they probably are as I’m writing this at noon, but by 1:00 a.m. the store was definitely crowded.

The stuff on sale looked better online than in the store, so I only bought two things: flannel sleep pants that I’ll probably use a lot and a Jerry Garcia tie that I might only wear a couple of times a year (but it was half price).

For the first half of my sixty minutes in the store I was sure we were the only shoppers over the age of twenty. It was apparently teen date night.

Five other stores in that mall were also open, including Radio Shack and Victoria’s Secret – which both ap…

Looks Fake but ...

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Clouds are amazing things, aren't they?  I took this yesterday with my iPhone, while in my car at a stop sign.  The clouds look fake but they are real.  The only enhancing on this shot is a little bit of added contrast thanks to Photoshop.  The little crescent shaped black thing in the middle-right is a smudge on my windshield.

Happy

Happy Thanksgiving Day !!

Outlet Mall Randomness

Yesterday I visited a “snooty” mall and a “normal generic” mall. Today’s little shopping adventure involved going to a nearby outlet mall.

I shop here several times a year, always visiting Eddie Bauer and Reebok/Rockport and usually buying something at one or the other.

All I wanted today was shoes, specifically casual shoes in some shade of brown with a sole that might not be slippery on wet pavement like the shoes I am about to throw away because they are slippery.

Reebok and Rockport did not have what I wanted, which is a first. I’ve always been able to find what I’m looking for there.

Nike, Bass and one or two others did not either, not in my size anyway. Am I too picky?

Last time I tried on Timberlands was ten years ago. They never fit right. But I walked into their outlet store anyway, just to see what they had. I walked out with two pairs of casual shoes in shades of brown. Maybe I found a new brand today. Maybe I was duped. I’ll let you know in a few months or the first time …

Mall Randomness

Like many people, I have brand preferences in certain product categories. For clothes, I usually buy Eddie Bauer and Dockers and if I go to a typical mall I usually shop at Macy’s. My first stop at a local outlet mall is the Eddie Bauer store. Those choices probably put me one or two notches above the very middle of middle class, but I am just as much at home in Wal-mart as I am in Macy’s.

All of that is a setup for these random observations about two malls I visited today:

First stop was a “high end” mall I hadn’t visited in years and I entered through Bloomingdales, probably the most “common” of the stores there. Every sales clerk who said “can I help you” seemed snooty; maybe it was obvious I was wearing Bauer.

I immediately checked out the “sale” rack of men’s shirts. Regular price: $135. WTF?!?! Even at 30% off, the price was still $95. No way. I don’t pay even half that much for ordinary shirts.

Bloomingdales oozes elegance, yet there was a stock clerk hauling boxes of stuff th…

This Day in History

Do you know what November 22nd means to some boomers? Those who know might remember details of that day in the past. Some won’t remember or care. Gen X or Gen Y might think it means Thanksgiving is coming.

I remember my parents talking about the day President Franklin Roosevelt died. His death was tragic but not caused by a person. He died from a stroke on April 12, 1945. I don’t know if my parents remembered that date or not.

November 22, 1963 is a day I remember surprisingly well. I didn’t understand what it meant at the time, or why so many adults were crying and nervous. Teachers were having hushed conversations in the hallways at lunch time. An announcement was made that school would be closing early, which seems like happy news because it was Friday and that meant an early start to the weekend. But why were the adults so sad?

At 12:30 p.m. on Friday, November 22, 1963 United States President John Kennedy was shot and killed on the streets of Dallas, Texas. People loved Kennedy, …

Eyes

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If the eyes are the windows to the soul, what happens when the window gets foggy?

I have been thinking about my eyes a lot lately. Why? Because I am fifty days away from cataract surgery. That makes me feel a lot older than I am. Medical treatments like that are more often associated with 80-somethings than with 50-somethings.

I first wore glasses in 7th grade and began wearing them nearly every day fifteen years ago. For the past year I have worn them nearly every waking hour of every day. My vision is rapidly deteriorating, which is what led to the decision to finally have this surgery.

Loss is the biggest single issue we face as we age. Loss of friends and family through death, loss of youth, loss of various body and mind functions. We start losing brain cells in our late teens, so this should come as no surprise as we reach 40, 50 or more, but acceptance doesn’t equal liking it.

Loss of vision scares me more than loss of mobility, hearing, money or libido. Fortunately, of those f…

Who Are You?

Have you ever seen those self-help books or web sites that ask you to define who you are? If you’re like most people, you instinctively answer with a description of what you do. That is probably the point of those self-help queries … you are not ‘what you do’ you are ‘who you are’.


In our American society, however, we are often defined by what we do for a living or by our primary hobbies or interests. I am a radio commercial producer, talk-show interviewer, former DJ working for the biggest owner of radio stations on earth who is also an avid photographer, traveler, car enthusiast, blogger and would-be musician. But that is not really who I am, it is what I do.

So who are you?

I have a life-long friend who if asked that question, might say she is a teacher, mother, wife, female gear head and music enthusiast. But that is what she does or is interested in. My take on who she is: an adventurous, moderately risk-taking, caring educator who is passionate about life, love and music, an ide…

Saturday Morning TV Randomness

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Watching cartoons and old cowboy movies on television was a Saturday morning childhood ritual for me. There were only three or four channels at the time, so there weren’t many choices. This morning I made a partial list of viewing options on the hundred or more channels I currently have.

- Grease 2 (Michelle Pfeiffer – yummy)

- A History Channel show about salvaging a giant B25 World War II bomber sunk in 300 feet of water in a South Carolina lake.

- Countless news channels, two of which seem more like infomercials for left and right wing political interests.

- A Law & Order episode from 2008.

- College football previews and an interview with the LSU coach talking about his 10 – 0 record so far this season … and how they will beat the crap out of Arkansas next week. (OK, I made up that last part – I have a friendly bet riding on the game).

- Deer hunting tips

- A 30-minute program about a vacuum cleaner

- Celebrity hair-styling tips.

- Paula Dean making Thanksgiving cupcakes

- A Jo…

Not Bragging, but ...

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Nothing new to say today.  I'm in the middle of writing a couple of posts, but meanwhile here is a little gem relating to my Italian heritage.  Caio.

Job Stuff

I wonder what it's like to have a 9 to 5 job in a business that is only open during those hours. Or a job that is mostly in the moment, one that stops when you leave for the day and doesn't have work that has to be done in advance of vacation, like retail sales clerk or burger flipper I've rarely had a job like that.

My business, media, is alive 24/7. My duties continue whether I'm there or not, so much of what I do has to be done ahead when I'm going to be out of the office. I'm not complaining; I love my job. But I hate the week before a vacation because I have to do two weeks work in one.

I go through this angst every time I'm coming up on a week off. I'll be fine as soon as vacay begins. I'll say this again: I do love my job.

I Was One Too But Don't Thank Me

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When I see the tributes and thank you messages to vets around Veteran’s Day each year, I usually embrace the message and in some way add to the salutes. I want to praise “them” for their service. Then in the middle of it all, I remember that I am a military veteran too. I do not usually include myself in the praise.

I have served my country in many positive ways over the years but my military service is not one of them. I hated the military at the time and most of what I thought they stood for then. I enlisted in the Army but only because I thought I lost my college deferment because of bad grades and I mistakenly believed I would have more choice if I joined rather than being drafted. The draft ended soon after and I would never have had to go. Fate works in mysterious ways, doesn’t it?

My three-year enlistment lasted only one year. The details are my business and I’ve only shared them with a few friends. Let me just say that it was perfectly legal and I was honorably discharged with…

Blame It On the Asteroid

An asteroid flew by Earth earlier this evening, coming closer than the moon. Even though it was “only” the size of a city block, and not nearly as large as planets or the moon, it did have some influence on human and environmental activity on our planet. Or at least some people think so. I heard about a coastal flood watch on the Chesapeake, for example, even though there has been no rain in the area for days. That could be blamed on the gravitational pull of the asteroid.

I wonder what else we can blame on this potent little astronomical body.

Today was an odd day for me, with some normally predictable behaviors just slightly askew. For one thing, I didn’t have lunch till just past 3pm. I am obsessed with having lunch around Noon or 1pm, but I had to record an interview at Noon, this session is usually 30 minutes but today it went 50, which kicked it up next to my 1pm meeting, which is usually 45minutes but went a full hour, followed by my completing two more overdue projects, taking…

My Aging Prayer

Dear Lord, when I'm 75 please don't let me be one of those people who is so interested in that thing across the hotel lobby that they stand up from their chair and walk across to get a closer look without realizing they just walked right in front of three other people. Just sayin'

Amen

Cool Quote

Nothing is impossible. The word itself says "I'm possible."

- Audrey Hepburn

Kids and A Learning Op

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A work friend is going through a rough patch right now. He has finally convinced his mother that she needs more help than the family can provide, and they are shopping for assisted living or a nursing home. I am a long way from that for myself but listening to his story reminds me of what my sister and I went through when faced with similar choices for our parents; and that puts an image of my own possible future in my head. I don’t like the image, in part because I don’t have children, which means I probably won’t have the type of support my parents had from us or my friend’s mother has from him and his siblings.

It seems like everybody I know who is over 30 has kids, but when I think that through, I realize there are several people in my friend circle who do not. Sometimes I ask them if they regret that. Some are childless by choice, some by circumstance. My situation began because of circumstances, mostly short-term failed marriages, and eventually by choice. I don’t regret it but …

The Big Bucks

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Lottery fever is in the news this week because the Powerball jackpot is $245 million tonight. The odds of winning are ridiculously small (1 in 195 million) but everybody suddenly plays anyway. Why not play when the local jackpot is only a million? That’s a lot of money to most people too, isn’t it?

So what would you do if you won $245 million?

My plan is funny because very few people would know I won, at least not at first. I'd tell my sister, a couple of very close friends and my accountant. I'd keep my job but eventually cut back to just the parts I like. I wouldn't buy crazy expensive stuff but I would buy several properties, one here as my primary residence, one on a beach, one on the river in New Orleans and a couple in other places I like to visit. I'd pay off all of my sister’s debts and some big bills for a few close friends. I’d probably buy a 2nd or 3rd car. And take quiet but insanely expensive vacations. Fly 1st class, of course. Buy box seats at concerts an…

Who Has Time to Read

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A friend had a great idea a couple of years ago – a travelling book. She sent me a book with instructions to write my name, town and the date inside, and then send it along to someone else who might want to read it. Her plan was to try and keep track of it to see where it travelled, hoping it would eventually find its way back to her. It travelled from her in North Carolina to me in Maryland to two friends of mine in Wisconsin, back to me in Maryland, back to her in North Carolina. I inquired about its whereabouts yesterday and she told me it was travelling around … in the back of her car, mostly because she hasn’t had much time to even send it along to another destination. Meanwhile I sent her a book with the same instructions. That went to a co-worker of hers who is now a former co-worker and she doesn’t know its whereabouts.

The point is this: Who has time to read anymore?

She and I are avid readers but neither of us have time to read these days. I love to read and almost always ha…