Random Observations on Life

Random Observations on Life

Over time, owners do resemble their dogs!

This is a blog about a dog. Well not really. This is the more about the ramblings of the dog's dutiful owner, Blue's Dad. Although Blue might be the backdrop of this whole experiment, there's no telling where this trail will lead me. I apologize ahead of time for the randomness of my observations. I've always tended to color outside the lines.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Saving Seats-from the archives

I thought it would be fun to pull my first post from the archive. This one was created May 4, 2008.

With the War in Iraq, rising fuel costs, potential recession, and the upcoming elections, I felt the need to rant about something very near and dear to my heart, saving seats!

I put saving seats at events right up there with butting in line in the list of social faux pas and general social retardation . This is on my hot button list right now after attending my son's community play which was performed last Friday.

We arrived 45 mins early to the event because my cute little pixie wife (Blue's Mom) has some sight problems and needed to sit up close. We made the effort to get there early and were pleased when we entered the auditorium and there were no more than 25 people seated in the whole room (of an auditorium that seats maybe 1000).

Much to our chagrin, row after row were occupied by purses, backpacks, jackets, thongs, shoes and sundry articles of clothing in order to save the seats. Sometimes only one person was sitting on an end of a row protecting the row for the 15 family members who were too lazy to come until later. As I passed the rows I felt like Forrest Gump walking down the bus aisle and hearing, "Don't sit here, this seat's takin!"

So here we were, 45 minutes early and had to sit 10 rows back behind an empty seat with a baby carrier (sans baby) in it.

I can understand saving one seat for your partner who is parking the car or who just ran to the bathroom, but not for the whole clan who is still in the bathroom at their own home an hour away.

Now I feel better, I think. Lets get back to the war, gas prices, elections and such.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Defining Heroes

When most people are asked about heroes, they typically reel off a list of names whom we all know as sports figures, celebrities, politicians, etc. It's interesting, though, when their fame fades, we seldom list them much. Their heroics are somehow tied to their time in the limelight.

I want to tell you about a hero of mine, one who the general public doesn't know about. He hasn't been highlighted on ESPN or Entertainment Tonight, but he is a hero just the same. He is my oldest brudder, Darrell.

In his early 20's, he was diagnosed with a back disease which has deteriorated his spine over time. He was told by doctors that he would be in a wheelchair before he was 30. He wasn't. For most of his life, he walked with his pain, bending more and more as time went by.

I never knew a time when Darrell wasn't surrounded by friends, mainly because he was such a good friend himself. He never seemed to want pity, although you could often see the pain in his face.

Last year, his car was hit by another car, which subsequently broke his already weakened back. Surgery was required to take one of his ribs and repair his back. For the past five months, he has been in a hospital bed trying to re-learn to walk. During this time, I never heard of him complaining. He always took the attitude of "What good is complaining going to do?".

Just because a person has a disease doesn't make them a hero, but what makes him a hero is how he has responded to the hand he was dealt, which I am sure has helped him overcome it. His attitude has determined his altitude!

This week I got some pics of him which motivated me to write this post, Darrell walking on his own. The glow in his face shows the pride in his accomplishment.

My hat's off to you big brudder!! Thanks for being my hero and one that won't fade with time.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Coming Out of the Closet

This is one of my previous posts that got lots of feedback. Enjoy and comment!

For many years, I've held a secret. It's a secret that I've only told a few people, people very close to me. I've not been open about it before, for fear of retribution to me or my family. What I am about to confess will not be popular, but I must be true to myself. I hate big pick-up trucks! There I said it, it's in the open! Judge me if you must.

Now I'm not talking about the occasional standard F-150 and maybe even an F-250, but I'm talking about the truck so big, that there can't be a logical, practical use for it. A truck whose front and back bumper are potentially in two different zip codes!

I'm talking about the type of truck that takes up two stalls at the front of the parking lot. The kind of truck that pulls up beside you at an intersection and completely blocks your view and your only hope is to see UNDER it.

I know that someone might need this size of truck....No, I take it back, I can't think of a person who would need this size of truck.

I know I am generalizing, but watch the type of drivers that have these trucks. They generally are short little guys with a mullet who in another time in their life would be driving a Trans-Am. They've usually got their bleached blond Tanya Harding wannabe scrunched up next to them on their bench seat.

Once I pursued having a bumper sticker made for my car that said, "The bigger the truck, the smaller the penis!" I quickly came to my senses, knowing if I did this, one day I would return to find my car crushed with one big tire print all the way along the crumpled piece of metal that used to be my Yugo.

There! I came out! It feels good to come clean about my feelings. I no longer need to pretend I am someone I'm not, but now I need to fear for the retribution. Oh well. History is made of brave people taking a stand, now I can be included in that distinguished list.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Kids and Kars

When a person buys a new car, they usually go to several dealers to find the perfect automobile. There are so many options to choose from: Style, exterior color, interior color, style of wheels, sound system, options, engine, etc. The buyer usually shops for days before they find a car with the perfect combination.

Having a child is NOT like buying a car, although sometimes I think we think it is. Early in our life as a parent, we expect our kids to be just like we order, with all the options WE want. But as life goes on (and if we wise up), we find that our kids are not just our little creations to make into what we want them to be. They are unique children of our Heavenly Father, all with different talents and struggles and amazing highs and lows that make them who they are. Children are not just little versions of us that we can make, mold and shape like a cute clay statue to put on the shelf, they are capable of molding themselves unless we don't give them the opportunity and support. Some children come with seeming defects that turn out to be great opportunities to shine. Some reach their potential easily and sometimes their potential is in places we would've never thought to look.

Instead of going to the dealership, having kids is more like someone dropping a car of their choice at our doorstep. Life and time usually shows that what we were given turns out much better than what we would have picked out ourselves!

I'm thankful for the kars I was given!

What do you think?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

OK, now back to reality!

So I must've been in some sort of layoff induced coma when I wrote that last post.

After reading it again, I pictured everyone going in and giving their boss the 'take this job and shove it' routine, then heading up to the mountains to make a loin cloth and commune with nature. That's not the way I feel on a day to day basis.

First and foremost, we have the obligation to provide for ourselves and our family. It's not always fun and it's not always fullfilling. I'm sure Adam didn't enjoy working by the sweat of his brow everyday with all those thorns, bugs, etc. So we may not always enjoy what we do we just do what it takes.

My point was to those on the front end of their careers who still have many, many choices. When I go to get ice cream, I would much rather go to a place like Coldstone where I have many, many choices even if I end up getting Vanilla in the end. Choices are good.

Now if you believe that studying Ancient Russian Neo Philosophy is what you need to do, you may find your choice may not even include Vanilla.

So first of all, if you've got to work anyway, might as well make it at least in your general arena of liking.

That's all I've got to say abooouuut thaaaat!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Avocation vs. Vocation

Yeah, I know it's been a long time since I've posted! Now shut up and leave me alone.

I had something on my mind tonight and wasn't sure who to share it with except my blog.

I'm older than most of you who follow my blog (except Glen who's remembers when the Dead Sea was just sick) so I wanted to impart some wisdom to all those who still have a choice. So sit back and learn from this bald gray grandpa!

It involves two words: Avocation and Vocation. Avocation is what we like to do (hobbies, interests, etc) and Vocation is what we get paid to do.

If you are still young enough that you have a choice, be very careful of the career path you choose. You will spend probably 45 years working for a living, and if you are in a career that you don't thoroughly enjoy, it won't be fun. I realize when you are in your teens and twenties, money seems like the only reason to have a job and the careers that offer more money are the ones that attract you. But, you may get to a place in life where you would just as soon live in a shack and get to do what you want.

Now, here is a dose of reality. If you choose a career that you'll love, but it pays less, remember that you have chosen the consequences also. You will not be able to have everything your friends may have so don't try. You'll have something much better, you'll love going to work every day. If you try to live above your means (spend more than you have), it really doesn't matter what you do, you'll be miserable in debt the rest of your life. Many people who choose what they want to do end up being very good at what they do and sometimes financial success follows, but if it doesn't that's ok, you're still happy every day.

I used to live across the street from a man who was a 4th grade teacher, and he was a very good 4th grade teacher. He quit for half a year to pursue a sales job that gave him much more money....but he hated it. After he had gone back to teaching, his wife told me, "when he is teaching, he is happy everyday of the month except two (the paydays), but when he was selling, he was unhappy everyday of the month except for two (the paydays). He likes the odds better when he is teaching."

There is an underlying truth that we need to support ourselves and our families even if it means sacrificing what we want to do and there is some integrity in that also, but wouldn't if be great if you love what you do while supporting them. If you're still young enough to make those decisions, choose wisely.

Happy is the person whose avocation and vocation are the same.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Men's Rules

At last a guy has taken the time to write the relationship rules from the man's point of view. These are our rules! Please note, these are all numbered "1" on purpose.

1. Men are NOT mind readers.

1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl If it's up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down.

1. Sunday sports- its like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be.

1. Crying is blackmail.

1. Ask for what your want. Let us be clear on this one; Subtle hints do not work! Strong Hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!

1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

1. Come to us with a problem ONLY if you want help solving it. That's what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

1. If you think you're fat, you probably are, don't ask us. Fact is we probably are too, and you don't see us asking you.

1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the OTHER one.

1. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.

1. Christopher Columbus did not need directions and neither do we.

1. All men see in only 16 colors like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.

1. If it itches, it WILL be scratched. We do that.

1. If we ask what is wrong and you say, "Nothing", we will act like nothings wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.

1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine...REALLY!

1. Don't tell me to get in shape. I am in shape. ROUND is a shape.

1. Thank you for reading this. Yes, I know, I will have to sleep on the couch tonight, but did you know men really don't mind that? It's like camping out.