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.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Nerd Attitude

Sorry I haven't posted in a few days, I'm back in Hawaii in meetings and keeping very busy. ("Poor Bluesdad, trying to make us feel bad for him that he's back in Hawaii for the second time in a month, boo-hoo")

Two nights ago, I was coerced into going to a theme party. By nature, I am not a 'dress-up' person. I feel too conspicuous. The theme was 1950's so I bought a bow tie and glasses with tape and went as a nerd.

My costume seemed to be a big hit as I got lots of compliments. One of my co-workers complimented on my costume the next day. I told her that I was a little concerned that I was able to become a good nerd with only two small pieces of wardrobe. She said, "Oh no, the two things helped, but it was all in your attitude." Aside from the two adornments, I had slumped a little and took on countenance reminiscent of Carl from Sling Blade.

Her comments certainly got me thinking. Attitude is not only a big part of who we are, it can often be the defining part of who we are. If we have the attitude of a nerd, we become a nerd. If he have the attitude of a jerk, we become a jerk. If we have the attitude of a compassionate being, we become that compassionate person. If we have the attitude of success, then success can follow.

Much of this blog has been spent lamenting over the lack of common courtesies and social stupidity I see. I wondered how much of what I perceive is because of my own attitudes. Do I go out of my way to be offended? Would I find just as many kind, considerate people, if I had an attitude of looking for them? Its certainly something to think about.

By the way, in my attempt to dress like a nerd, I thought I was dressing up. After all, we've certainly learned since high school that the nerds had it right. We should've been more like them all along.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Air Travel

I was flying home from Portland yesterday (and boy are my arms tired, sorry, I couldn't resist), sitting next to a man who didn't think the rules applied to him. He didn't turn off his cell phone when they told him to, he didn't put up his tray table when the announcement said to. If you've been following my blog, you won't be surprised that I turned to the man and said, "I bet your mama told you that your were special, didn't she?" Well, I really didn't say that, but it got me thinking about some of my pet peeves I haven't shared before; those involving flying.

Earlier in the week, I was up in Montana for a meeting. I really enjoy Montana especially in summer. Whenever I go to Helena (pronounced hel-uh-nuh, not huh-lay-nuh) I always look for that handbasket store I have heard about all my life. No one in the town seems to know about it even though for years I have heard about things going to Helena Handbasket....get it? Hel-in...?Yeah, the people there didn't laugh about it either.

Security is the first place where I get frustrated. I have traveled enough over the years that I think I know the routine; computer out of its bag, shoes off revealing my holy socks, take all metal off, etc. But quite often, the security personnel are taking their jobs waaaaaay too seriously. Just a few weeks ago, in the Honolulu airport, a TSA agent made me go back through the metal detector four different times. Each time I would take a few more things off my person. Finally, out of frustration, I asked her, "have you got a hospital gown for me? If you do, I'll just strip down." This obviously didn't set well with her. I was very luck that this Barney Fife wannabee didn't have a gun or I would've been lying in a pool of my own blood as businessmen and women stepped over me on their way to their flights. She just yelled a little louder and eventually took it out on Bluesmom too, telling her, "stand on the mat, that's what it's for". Even though Bluesmom was just inches away to start with.

I also get frustrated with passengers and cell phones on planes. Invariably on a flight, you'll get someone calling while still on the plane after landing, who things she's talking through a tin can with a string. She'll be yelling into the device loud enough for the rest of the plane to hear and always includes the phrase, "I'm on the plane", like it's a new ability that wasn't available back in Podunk, West Virginia.

Crying babies on planes actually don't bother me. I know they can't help it and they don't understand whats happening. What bothers me are the people around the child who are all put out. What do they expect, that the flight attendant is going to pull out a syringe of horse tranquilizer and put the little one into dreamland. Put up with it folks, I put up with your annoying phone calls and idle conversation about how terrible airlines are.

Although I could go on, talking about flight attendants and their lack of customer service, or airlines overbooking, or being so bored that you re actually like an excited little puppy wagging its tale when the peanuts come around, but I won't. Instead, I'll go back to trying to do a google search for Helena Handbaskets, get it Hel-in-a...oh, never mind.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Answer this question quick! What Color is a Yield Sign?

For a few years now, I've been asking that question to groups I train. I first learned it from a motivational speaker and it got me thinking.

The answer is Red and White, but about 90% of my trainees say yellow even though it hasen't been yellow since 1971. If you were one of those who said red and white (the correct answer), try it out on other people. I'm even surprised how many people born after 1971 still say, "yellow" although it's never been yellow for them.

I think this really gives us a chance to do introspection. How many times do we assume things are going to be the way they are because that is how they've always been.

This same speaker, Brian Biro, says, "The past should not be a predictor of the future, unless it serves you."

Think about your own life. How many times are you guilty of saying things like: I am not good at sports, I always mess up on things, I've always been too shy, I am not a good public speaker.

Just because we've always done something, doesn't mean that the things that caused us to be that way in the first place should still be adhered to. Recently, my sister-in-law accepted an invitation to run in a long distance relay even though she had never run competetively. Her portion was over 17 miles and she did it! Way to go Lisa!

Think about the yield sign. It hasn't been yellow for 37 years yet that is still a part of so many people's paradigm.

Are the things that are holding us back still based in old root causes?