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.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Should I feel guilty for sitting on my apathy?

I was lounging in the back yard with Blue's mom the other night. It was a beautiful early summer evening and I was expounding on my dream of opening a store that sells just footstools which I would proudly call The Ottoman Empire. As I was astounding her with my ambitions, I started thinking about current events, politics, and how my passion for these things had changed over the last 15 years.

During the 1990's, I followed current events closely. I was politically astute and had an opinion on about anything. I started listening to talk shows as I traveled for work and was one of the early followers of Rush Limbaugh, G. Gordan Liddy, etc. I sometimes even listened to the conspiracy theorists who monologued about one world government.

Somewhere along the line, though, I discovered my constant awareness of all things political were obscuring my enjoyment of the here and now. None of my frustrations and worrying about the current affairs of the country were within my immediate realm of influence. Unless I got actively involved in a campaign or ran for office myself, my aggravation did nothing but gave me heartburn.

Since 2000, I have pretty much checked out of the political arena. Oh, I follow the presidential campaigns and am aware of their platforms and I will vote, but if my candidate doesn't win, I won't lose too much sleep.

I don't even get overly exercised over gas prices, since I am not sure what I can do about them anyway and my next door neighbor usually leaves his truck outside at night (and his gas cap is on my side).

I don't worry about global warming too much. I keep waiting for someone to ask the experts about the areas that will benefit from climate change. After all, change might mean the deserts of Utah and Arizona become green and tropical and can grow bounteous crops. And isn't it a little presumptous to think we as humans are so powerful that we can change the earth?

So my question to you is: "Is my apathy toward current events hurting me in the long run or is my energy better spent focusing on things where I can make a difference?" Please leave a comment or vote on the right. As they used to say in Chicago, "Vote early and vote often!"

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

BBQ and First Impressions

I think my first mistake that night was wearing Khaki pants.

Someone told me (after that night's event) that fat guys should not wear light colors. I guess that's because it makes us look bigger by causing shadows and accentuating the negatives. But I had not yet been given that fashion advice. Besides, my issues that night were not fashion related.

I was attending the semi-formal dinner that night with my new boss and a Senior Vice President of my company.

As I sat down at the fully set table, I skillfully took the linen napkin out of the wine glass and laid it accross my lap.

As the dinner proceeded, this boy who grew up in the Ozarks was doing a great job of holding his own socially. I even knew which fork to use and when. It wasn't very smart of me to order ribs in such a situation as they became messy to eat and I had to wipe my hands quietly on my lap napkin without making a fuss.

I was pretty sure I had made the right impressions. We cruised through the courses and past dessert without a hitch.

As the waiter was clearing our table, he knelt down and picked up something beside me, "Sir, you've dropped your napkin, would you like another?"

With bright eyes, I stared straight ahead, not daring to look down. The aching pit in my stomach developed as I remembered how many times I had wiped the rib juice on my lap napkin (or what I thought was my lap napkin).

Looking down, I could see that my khaki pants had been smudged with BBQ sauce as if a kindergartner had been finger painting beneath the table. Internally, I panicked. Outwardly, I fidgeted. How could I walk out without them noticing? With family or friends, I could just laugh it off, but with these two heavy hitters I would've come off as Dufas J. Nimrod!

Luckily, the lighting was dim and I was able to escape the embarrassment by holding my briefcase in front of me.

Note to self: Neither BBQ or Khaki, should be worn by a fat guy!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Blue as a Security System

A couple of salesmen came to my door recently selling security systems.

I listened patiently to their pitch (I haven't got my No Soliciting sign up yet). As they started asking their sales questions assesing my needs, the conversation went something like this:

"Do you currently have a security system?"


"Do you mind if we ask which security system it is?"

"It's BLUE"

"I don't believe I ever heard of that system, how long have you had it?"

"I've had BLUE about ten years."

"Well, it might be time to update your security system."

"Naw, BLUE works just fine"

"How much do you pay for BLUE?"

"It varies"

"Well I'm sure our system is more up to date."

"BLUE let me know when you two guys were walking up the sidewalk. Can your system do that?"

"Well, no....... BLUE can do that?"

"Yep, so if you fellows don't mind, I think I'll just stay with BLUE."

As they were leaving Blue slipped out the door and followed behind them. I called to him, "Come on, Blue".

As my dog came back in the house, one of the men looked back at me as if to say, Now I get it, you idiot.

Good dog, Blue.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Is it that hard to smile?

For the most part, I think I have hope.

Even though I can come off as gruff, I wish that we could live in a world where people smile at each other and say,"excuse me" when they need to get by and "thank you" when you hold the door open for them. Now, I know I'm a dreamer, but I sort of remember a time ( a generation ago ) when this happened. I don't know why it's so hard. Every now and then, if you look real hard, you can catch a wisp of it.

The other day at Lowes, I got a glimpse of what it could be like. The sun was shining, the flowers were blooming, and I noticed people were friendlier than usual. Other shoppers weren't afraid to look at me. They made eye contact and smiled. old people, little kids, men, women. The majority of people made eye contact with me and smiled.

It made me feel great. I felt happy to be a part of this society, happy to be sharing the planet with these people. Was it the sunshine? Was it beautiful spring day in the 70's?

When I got to my car, I couldn't wait to share my experience with Bluesmom as she gets irritated at the rudeness of the world too.

As I looked in the rear-view mirror to back out, my euphoria turned to anguish. There on my chin, were the mustardy remains of my Sam's Club polish dog. As I wiped the mustard off of my face, I also wiped away the jubilation I had felt a few minutes earlier.

Alas, the world was back as I had known it before so I sneered at the pedestrian innocently crossing the street. No mustard, no smile.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Saving Seats

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.