Monthly Archives: February 2013

…Just As I Was Ready To Smack Them…

I simply must share this little scene with you that happened recently.  I was at the grocer, picking up a few items.  When I got in line to check out, I was behind a tired looking mother of an extremely active, highly vocal, and quite insistent child who was letting everyone know that he was “BOOOOOOORRRRRRRREEEEDDDDD!”  Everything was boring. Everyone was boring.

bored

Mom gave him her cellphone so he could play a game, he promptly threw it at her, breaking the cellphone against the wall, and Mom just sighed, picked up the pieces and tried to remain composed.  Which prompted the intrepid young prince to begin his tirade of “Mom….Moooooommmmmm…….Mama…….Mommy…..Mah….” which would have tested the patience of even the most devout saint (of which I am not).

Mom attempted to console this child with candy, promises of a movie on the way home, an entire list of promises of goodies which stunned me to the core.  Honestly, when I was his age (yes, I’m sounding old now) my mother put me in the shopping cart seat and told me “Do NOT move!” And that was that.  Had I engaged in the behaviour I was witnessing, I would probably have gone the way of Jimmy Hoffa (look him up if you don’t know who this is. He disappeared without a trace).

Finally, after about ten minutes into his loud tantrum and continuing increase in pitch and volume, one of the mothers from the other line (who had 5 children with her and each one very quiet), leaned over and whispered something into his ear.  Instantly, he was quiet, still, and very compliant.

And the child’s rampage sparked a thought.  How can we be bored?  Life is an adventure!  Every single day there is something new to learn.  You’re only bored because you choose to be.  You’re only bored because you expect someone else to entertain you.  Think for yourself! Be adventurous.  Life isn’t always about the adrenaline rush of ceaseless adventure; rather, it is about those WOW moments that we see if we look.

Cliff View

Ocean Beach

Sunrise Australia

And as a matter of note, I asked the mother of five what she said to this young noise enthusiast.  She smiled and said, “I have a snake in my car. I left home with six kids, can’t find one, want to take his place?”

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Categories: Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives, Wanderer's Wonderings, Wandering Mind | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Welcome to the Philosophical Cafe

PhilosophicIt’s raining out.  At least where I am it is.  I sit in front of the computer, gazing out of the window as the raindrops tink against the pane, whilst enjoying a nice hot beverage, and my mind begins to wander.  It does tend to toddle off when left to its own devices and when unsupervised for any length of time, and, given the opportunity to wander about, is always discovering something to occupy itself.

kitteh Is Watching Rayn

Today is no different.  My mind has sallied forth once more into the breach and found some things to draw its focus. One of which is the notion that many of the so-called philosophical questions are pure rubbish, if one were to truly consider them:

  • “If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” – Are you DAFT? If a tree falls, of course it makes a sound.  When you fall down, and no one is around to witness it, do you not make a sound?  Albeit some very creative dialogue most probably ensues.  Let me ask you this, if someone trips on that “invisible speed bump” in the pavement, and they don’t know you saw them stumble, does that make you giggle any less?
  • “Why is there air?” – What would you rather breathe?  Methane, perhaps?  Liquid Nitrogen?  Honestly, I don’t care WHY there is air, as long as it is available for breathing.
  • “I think therefore, I am.”  I must pose the hypothesis that “I AM” well before this nugget of information crossed my mind.  Or if this statement were to stand on its own merit, what was I before I thought I was? Merely because I am capable of thought is no guarantee that I will exercise that capability, nor is there any guarantee that my exercise will be fruitful by any stretch of the imagination.
  • “Everyone is a genius.”– Ride with me during rush hour traffic and see if this is true.  Just pointing out, again, that the capacity to think and ponder is no guarantee that the exercise will be engaged or fruitful.

Please don’t get me wrong, I am not against thinking; I have nothing against philosophy; I bear no ill will towards being contemplative.  In fact, I embrace them all.  Yet if one is to fully exercise one’s mental capabilities, one must be able (and willing) to also consider the idiocies as well.

Okay, time for more coffee, so I’ll bid each of you adieu, and saunter off for now.

rainy Day Coffee

Categories: Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives, Wanderer's Wonderings, Wandering Mind | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Road To Tomorrow?

We like putting thing off until the proverbial “tomorrow.” We are procrastinators, for the most part. We enjoy traveling the road to tomorrow. Why? Because if tomorrow never comes then what difference would it make?

Tomorrow

Think about it for a minute ( I like things that make me think), what difference does it make if tomorrow never comes? I hear people frequently, in an effort to be comforting, say “tomorrow will be better.” My question is, “how do you know? Have you already lived my tomorrow and, thus, are able to reassure me that you know for certain that everything will be better?”

We learn from the past. We don’t live there. What may or may not happen tomorrow is anyone’s guess. Think about what you can do today….right now! Make a difference or be a pain in someone’s backside. It’s your choice. If you tomorrow never comes, how will you want to be remembered?

Thoreau

Life is not what we look at, it’s how we see what we look at. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle said it best, “you see, but you do not observe.” Let’s learn to be observant!

Categories: Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives, Wanderer's Wonderings, Wandering Mind | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Thank You And Come Again! (A Slight Rant)

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m all in favor of expecting excellent customer service.  And having been on both sides of the situation, I would like to offer some insight.

Ever wonder why the people who demand that the customer receive the best possible customer service are the people who do not have to deal directly with the customers?  Ever wonder why these same people, when a customer is insistent that they cannot be satisfied with a mere “clerk” smiles smugly when the manager reprimands said “clerk” for doing their job?  I have. 

Ever call a customer service line and are greeted with someone who sounds like they are reading an “I’m sorry I am such a loser” script? They almost sound as if they have “Plastic Person Disorder.”

Plastic Personality

My question is, why would anyone WANT to go into the customer service area in the first place.  Dealing with irritable and demanding people takes far more patience than I could ever hope to have unless I was heavily sedated.

Why do we, as customers, seem to think when we enter an establishment or do business with a company that they are to lean over, pucker up, and start kissing our sacred hindquarters?  I realize not everyone is this way, but I speak from the experience of this happening more times than not when I was working on the customer service side of the transaction. Management seems to expect this from those who deal with the clientele:

anything for the customer

I was invited to lunch with a colleague a while back, who wished to discuss the possibility of my helping with a symposium he was putting together.  We were greeted by a very friendly young man who took the time to not only politely introduce himself but had glasses of water in hand when he approached us.  My colleague, who I thought of as a nice person, and to some degree still think that, was in a tense and unusually obnoxious mood.  He told our server to mind his own business, bring us menus, and leave us alone to talk.  Our server apologized, obviously flustered, and withdrew to attend to my colleague’s demands.  Our meal was ordered, and we discussed the proposal, each time our server came close enough to be within earshot, however, my colleague took the opportunity to loudly criticize him, the meal, the cleanliness of the flatware, etc.  Not only was I stunned by this behavior, but I was appalled.  When the check came, my colleague grabbed it, scrutinized it carefully, and left this pleasant young man a single dollar tip.  As we were leaving, he asked to speak to the manager and began to berate our server to his manager right in front of him.  It was at this point that I had had my fill.  I took my colleague by the elbow and told him to shut up.  I told him that I was embarrassed because of his behavior AND embarrassed that such a polite server in a difficult job was expected to not only tolerate such asses, but expected to grovel and apologize for crimes he had not committed.  I then informed him that because of such asinine behavior, I would be unable to take part in his symposium.  It was at this point that the realization punched in between the eyes: 

Nice Person

Permit me to make one thing perfectly clear: IF You Want Good Customer Service, BE A GOOD CUSTOMER!  Now, I use Instagram. It’s an interesting program. One of the reasons I use it is to begin to openly applaud good customer service.  When I interact with a business, I am going post the name of the company, the name of the person I dealt with, and publicly commend them for doing “their job.”  How about you? Do you applaud good experiences, or merely accept that the person is “doing what they’re paid to do”? Put yourself in their shoes and treat them as you would want to be treated by them.

 

Categories: Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives, Wanderer's Wonderings, Wandering Mind | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Creative Words And Walking On Water

Two of my life long friends, whom I’ve known since Middle School, decided that we should have an adventure during summer break.  So it was decided that we would ride inner tubes down a local river.  Now this trip would take all day because the river isn’t exactly deep most of the way.  And, being that we were young and somewhat foolish, okay, we were idiots, but we were always looking for something to do that wasn’t ordinary. 

Now, I must preface this with…there was alcohol involved.  Therefore, the planning of this venture may not have been exactly thorough.  On the day chosen, we took a car to the end point, so we could get back home, and off we went to the starting point.  Another point that needs to be mentioned, this river is fed by manmade lake. The water comes from the bottom of the lake through an overflow channel.  What this means is, this water is freezing, having not seen the light of day until it whooshes out of the channel.  This is not something we considered when planning the trip.  The weather here in the Deep South during Summer is usually hot and humid enough that it’s known as “The Air You Wear.”  Thus, as we dropped out tubes into the, what we thought would be, cooling water and climbed into them…..let’s just say it took a moment or two for our voices to return to normal having momentarily gone into the realm of “only dogs can hear.”

Once the blood flow restarted, we paddled off to the middle of the river.  None of us would admit defeat so soon (teen machismo is a curse sometimes).  Besides, we decided that the cold water would help keep the ice in the cooler from melting too quickly.  The cooler, by the way, contained our lunch, snacks, and was strapped into its own tube which was tied to the rest of us.

Tubing

One of the things about slow flowing rivers in the South are snakes.  Snakes are curious creatures who tend to want to investigate whatever floats into their territory.  The usually won’t come out to the middle where the current will take them into something else’s territory, so we stayed close to the middle for the most part, only venturing toward shore occasionally.  As we floated along, looking more like upturned turtles, the cooler was beginning to float higher in the water as the contents were consumed. And as the contents were consumed the more boisterous we became and the more bravado was displayed.

Towards the end of our pleasantly spent (or misspent) day, we happened upon what we decided was a rope swing.  It was attached to a tree that leaned over the river and was made of an old fire hose.  The hose had been wound around the branch so that it only hung down a few feet.  Given the teenage testosterone and artificially fueled daring, we dared one of our voyage, who we’ll call “Tex”, to climb the tree and swing from the bank and drop into his tube (which we said we would hold in place for him *wink*).  Tex agreed, calling us various creative names, and climbed the tree to the looped fire hose.  He swung the first loop off.  Then the second loop off.  And as he was looping off the third, he was greeted with this face:

Surprise

Upon being greeted with such an enthusiastic grin, Tex fell from the tree, with many curses to his credit, grabbed the fire hose and swung like Tarzan toward the river, just as we began paddling away frantically yelling “SNAKE!” while Tex was still in mid air.  This is when we learned that Tex could not only form quite the impressive creative vocabulary that would melt medals from any veteran, he also can become buoyant enough to seemingly walk on water back to his tube.  We were laughing like hyenas, Tex was cursing us with every ounce of brainpower he could muster, and such was the passing of the rest of our pleasant afternoon.

The following day, however, was not so pleasant.  Not only were our muscles sore from paddling inner tubes for several hours and laughing hysterically at Tarzan Tex, but having not considered the sun on the water, we were all terribly sunburned but only on one side.  It was at this point we decided that perhaps we should find other ways to amuse ourselves for the rest of the summer. So we got jobs.

 

Categories: Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives, Wanderer's Wonderings, Wandering Mind | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Just A Wee Bit Odd

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I think I have shared before that I have some rather unique friends, and again, yes, I DO have friends.  A wide spectrum of them. Some of them are even quite intelligent.

The other day, a discussion of odd conversation starters seemed to leap from somewhere occupied by drunken trolls.  Here are some of the kinder ones that came to topic:

     *  If a rock falls down the mountainside and no one is there to witness it, can a woman apply mascara with a closed mouth?

     *  Wouldn’t truly evaporated milk be a gas?

     * If a burger was truly made of ham, what would it be called?

     *  Is it possible to be cornered in a rotunda?

     *  Why don’t ghosts fall through the floor if they can pass through walls without effort?

     *  If Pinocchio said, “My nose is about to grow”, what would happen?

     *  Are your hands always so sweaty?

     *  Your earrings are beautiful, may I have one?

     *  Guess what I found in the neighbor’s medicine cabinet?

Some of my friends can come off as a bit on the weird (creepy weird) sort of way, but with a wider spectrum of associates, the more “normal” I appear to be.

Categories: Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives, Wanderer's Wonderings, Wandering Mind | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ah HA! There IS Adventure To Be Had!!!

beach-conch-shells

I’m a coffee drinker.  Well, that might be a bit of an understatement. I am one of those who believe that coffee is it’s own food group and is at the top of the food pyramid glistening hotly on the peak of freshness.  But I digress into daydreams.  Whilst enjoying one of many cups of coffee this morning, a thought blitzed me like a blot of caffeinated lightning. 

Permit me, if you will, Gentle Reader, to pose to you a small detour in the train of thought (feel free to blow the train horn as you will).  What constitutes an adventurous life?  Have you had one thus far?  If so, what?  If not, what’s stopping you?

In my mind, scattered and zinging along as it does, an adventure is anything that is out of the ordinary routine.  Actually, now that I ponder it, that’s not exactly accurate. Adventure is what you do with the out-of-the-routine events that happen to us too.  We tend to avoid adventure and cling to routine.  Rather predictable that.  But it’s fun to have the occasional deviance from the norm. 

Call me dull if you will, but I had an adventure just this morning, as a matter of fact.  Nay, it wasn’t as exciting as bouncing down a runway in a wind-up propeller plane whilst soiling oneself.  Rather, I had the opportunity to go to the dentist for my regular check up. 

Trips to the Dentist can be quite interesting and somewhat uncomfortable.  While I enjoyed the polite, courteous, and friendly banter with the hygienist who would be placing sharp pointy things in my mouth and poking at my teeth with them; and also enjoying the relaxing strains of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” wafting gently through the ceiling speakers, while said hygienist was insistent on inquiring about my life since my last visit, all the while being almost elbow deep in my mouth.  The polishing was pretty adventurous as I got to try the new strawberry flavoured paste (which has the consistency of caulk), which is a break from my usual fare of bubblegum.  Finally, there was the gland check, which include maneuvers similar to various professional wrestling submission holds.  I also discovered that Bill Cosby was absolutely correct, it IS possible to walk using your buttocks if there is pain involved.

By the by, no cavities and I got a lolly. What’s YOUR adventure?

adventure

Categories: Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives, Wanderer's Wonderings, Wandering Mind | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Sourpuss Is NOT A Good Look

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Is there a certain point in life when complaining becomes more of a lifestyle? Some seem to believe it should be an Olympic Event (and, honestly, I would award them the gold, silver and bronze for bitterness).

How do you allow your life to become SO miserable that all you can do is complain, bitch and moan? It’s YOUR life, after all. Why let it be such a miserable existence?

I actually sat in my favorite pub and had another patron bend my ear with their complaining for almost an hour. I finally looked them straight in the eye and said, “I am so sorry that your existence sucks THAT much.” Which led to several minutes of harumphing before this patron turned to another regular to complain that I was not being sympathetic to their complaining.

Do we TRULY have so much time in our lives that we can afford to waste it being bitchy? The truest value of life is in the living. If you are finished living, please have the courtesy to lie down. If you find yourself complaining more than not, it’s time for an adventure. I suggest that you visit http://www.themadtolive.com and read the amazing adventures of Lauren Rains. Or at the very least take a deep breath and step outside.

Categories: Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives, Wanderer's Wonderings, Wandering Mind | Tags: , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

And A BIG Helping Of Stupidity

spectacles

Along life’s pathways, believe it or not, there have been many lessons learned and still others that should have been learned, yet, for some bizarre reason, were not. And still some lessons that were learned, but have long since been forgotten.  Now before you decide that I’m a blithering escapee from the Asylum For The Terminally Idiotic, which I realize that you’ve already decided, allow me to state for the record that I USED to be young and stupid, as evidenced by my last entry.  Thankfully there are some, let’s call them “adventures”, have long become dust bunnies in my mind and every so often will manage to woodle back into the line of memory.

When I was in High School, I played in the band.  Yes, I realize that such an admission immediately ignites the GEEK lamp, but it is what it is.  Three out of the four years it took me to finish High School, the band took an annual trip to Disney World in order to march in one of their parades.  On these trips, many many MANY discoveries were made.

  • Shampoo bottles do not always contain shampoo.  Just sayin’.
  • Bus drivers do not like it when you try to fit 18 people into the bus toilet.  Especially when one of the participants falls into the blue water.
  • It is ALWAYS a bad idea to march behind horses in a parade.
  • Chaperones only present a challenge, they are not a deterrent.
  • The people who work at the Happiest Place On Earth aren’t really happy when you escape your boat on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and attempt to become part of the scenery.
  • It is never a good idea to eat four chili-dogs before riding Space Mountain.
  • Teenage boys are, for the most part, pigs.
  • Leaving your suitcase unlocked will result in the fly of your underwear being sewn shut.
  • For teenaged girls (or females of any age actually), if you are bold enough to show it, we are bold enough to look. So if you don’t want all guys to look, don’t show it.
  • Teenage girls can climb from balcony to balcony like spider monkeys.
  • If you want to have a hot shower, get out of bed earlier than everyone else.
  • If you aren’t attentive, your shoes might get super-glued to the floor.
  • The toilet seat is hinged for a reason. And might I add, if your aim is so bad that you miss that large bowl of water, you’re either lazy, or far too distracted.
  • Yes, farts can ignite.
  • Snow White has quite the creative vocabulary if one is improper towards her.
  • Goofy smoked cigars behind the fence.
  • Amorous chaperones who are vocal will attract a crowd.
  • Hotel security are not fond of having the luggage carriers used as toys.
  • And finally, teenage boys can stink up an elevator in less than three floors.

Since my high school days, there have been innumerable lessons learned which have been invaluable.  Perhaps one of the most important ones: “No one owes you a living, if you need money get out and work for it.  If you are so much smarter than your parents, then you would be paying their way instead of the other way around.”  That one was taught by my parents.

Ah, and thus I shall repair to my recliner, drink my coffee, and reminisce…perchance to actually remember.

 

 

Categories: Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives, Wanderer's Wonderings, Wandering Mind | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Directionally Challenged

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I’m one of those people who would most likely get lost trying to find his way out of a door.  Directionally challenged doesn’t even begin to describe this affliction which frightens those who rely on me and is an endless source of hilarity to those who don’t.

I have a friend (believe it or not) who had finally achieved a dream of acquiring a pilot’s license. As a reward for all the hard work involved in this venture, he offered to fly me to the beach for the day on the condition that I acted as his Navigator.  I readily agreed….I mean, who turns down a free trip to the beach?  Early the next morning, dressed in our shorts and Hawaiian shirts (snort if you will but we were quite handsome), we took our seats as pilot (NOT me) and co-pilot/navigator (me). The flight should have been as easy as following the highway.  Should have been.

About halfway to our destination, we got a call on our radio to “the unidentified aircraft entering military airspace” which we found to be most disturbing. Apparently we had gone off course at some point and had wandered too close to an Air Force base. This became extremely interesting when my friend attempted to respond to the call, only to discover that the mic was not transmitting.  He handed said mic to me with the words “fix it.” I keyed the mic several times to no avail. I looked at it much like a mongoose looks at an invading cobra. And having exhausted my expertise, I used the best tool in the Manly Tool Bag Of Fix It Tricks, I gripped the cord and banged the mic on the dashboard.  This seemed to fix the issue before trouble got too bad.  We came in low and apologized profusely to the tower as we say two jets on the runway ready to take off. The tower graciously accepted our apology and advised us to remove ourselves from military airspace, which we did quickly.

Shortly after this we were back on track and bopping along when the cloud cover became thick enough we couldn’t see the highway any longer. Not wishing another “incident” my friend used the radio (which I fixed, thank you very much) to contact the Grand Strand Airport to give us a fix on our position.  Imagine, if you will, the incredible need to change shorts when the Grand Strand Airport tower informed us that our current position was 10 miles to their South AND 5 miles over the ocean.  Not only were we unable to see the ground but we were headed out to sea!

My friend spotted a small break in the clouds below and to our left, so in a dive bomber maneuver, we threaded that needle, almost colliding with a banner pulling plane.  When our innards caught up with us, sweat was pouring off of us like an industrial sprinkler and we made our way back to the airport, landing in three bounces.

When the craft came to a stop, I jumped from it and lay face first on the tarmac attempting to hug the ground and hoping the heat would dry the accident I had on the way down, which didn’t work, grateful to be once again on terra firma.

The return trip was flown much lower and was without incident except that I was never asked to be the navigator again.  My friend, however, was given the nickname of “Three Bounce” Reid.

Categories: Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives, Wanderer's Wonderings, Wandering Mind | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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