Monthly Archives: August 2013

And The Question Is…

Stress ReductionHaving a bit of a mental wander today. Part of my habit includes listening to people. And of all the conversations I have been party to, there are a few things I’ve never heard:

  • Will you hold my kangaroo while I paint the piano?
  • I really don’t have enough stress in my life.
  • I never learned to smile.
  • I like being around crabby and critical people.
  • Love doesn’t exist.
  • If this makes me look fat then I’ll just have to go naked.
  • Would you please pass me that honey badger.
  • I think I’ll start working on becoming an alcoholic today.
  • Why no, my poop really doesn’t stink.
  • Don’t need to turn the light on, the furniture will move out of my way.

There are probably more, but that would require more coffee and another mental wander.

 

 

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Categories: Fortress of Solitude, Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives, Wanderer's Wonderings, Wandering Mind | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Between Here and There

I was reminded of an riddle from my childhood:

“How far can you walk in the woods?”

“One step…then you are walking out.”

Into The Woods

Go ahead and roll your eyes, but it was thought provoking when I was a child. Think about it though, one step can make a difference.

  • Miss one step on a staircase and you can trip or fall or worse. I have the distinction of being able to trip and/or fall without ever missing a step.
  • What happens when you “miss your mouth” when drinking coffee? You get scalded and stained.
  • Miss your exit on the interstate and you have to go WAY out of your way.
  • Miss one step of a recipe…..

One step can make a huge difference.  There was a point to make here, but I missed the step of writing it down first. Go figure.

Categories: Hmmmmm........, Perspectives, Wanderer's Wonderings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

When Life Feels Too Hard

candle light

Of late, life has felt overwhelming. There never seems to be enough time or energy to accomplish all I want, and there is never enough money to help those I want to help. The busier I get, the more I know a difference is being made, but it can be overwhelming.

You see, I am a Law Enforcement Chaplain. Yes, I have theological training and am credentialed by a religious entity to perform the rites and rituals. But, I don’t try to convert anyone or preach to anyone to become part of my way of belief.  My job is to take my training and experience (lifetime of making mistakes) to listen to Officers and their families and offer counsel (if requested).  It’s a lot more difficult to listen and NOT speak than one might think.

When I first began this life adventure, I didn’t think I could possibly make a difference. The best I could do was offer encouragement and perhaps a little different perspective. Then one night after spending an entire 12 hour shift with one of the Officers, I was walking to my car and heard the cruiser back up and get ready to pull away. But then I heard the cruiser stop for several seconds.  I turned to wave to the officer, and the officer rolled down the window, grabbed my hand and said, “Thanks for listening Padre.” And with that, the officer drove off home, leaving me standing in the dark parking lot next to my car.

When I got into my car, I sat there for a minute and just looked at the sky watching the stars flicker.  Then an image came to mind that I hadn’t considered: One can only see the stars when it’s dark.  Hmmmmm….  The more I thought about it, the more I kept remembering some of the lessons I had learned over the course of my life. A single candle doesn’t produce much light, but in the darkest place where there is no light, it’s almost blinding.

From that day, I have remembered that even though I may not understand or even see how my light may help someone else, in their darkest moments, hopefully they will remember.

Watch this video and see what I mean:

Light Up The Sky

 

 

Categories: Fortress of Solitude, Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives, Wanderer's Wonderings, Wandering Mind | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

You Want WHAT?

One of my hobbies is people watching.  I like to observe this creature called “human” going about their daily routines and in the habitats where they feel more at ease.  My efforts have revealed some interesting observations regarding the behaviors of these beasts.

Realy

The first behavior I observed is one-upmanship whereby when a group of these humans gather in a setting, they begin comparing positions with the following inquiry: “What do you do for a living?” Upon receiving the answer, a perceived hierarchy begins to develop.  For example, a business executive will assert his superiority over the administrative assistant or salesperson.  The successful professional will be judged to be superior to the young professional just starting their career.  Social gatherings don’t seem to function until this pecking order has been established.  I question the validity of this need and wonder why a person’s profession is more important than the person.

Another behavior I observed is the customer service ‘I want to punch you in the throat’ look. I find this in restaurants, stores, DMV, and any other place where a worker is required to deal with the public.  I, also, deal with the public and sometimes feel this way. Why do customers, of any kind, somehow believe that they are the center of the universe and are not expected to be courteous, polite, or even nice?

I will limit my examples to two:

  1. A person comes into a restaurant, is seated, is given a menu and a rundown of the specials. Server goes to take care of another table. Instead of deciding what to order, the customer begins a conversation, phone call, check emails, updates Facebook, anything except pick up the menu and make a decision. Upon the return of the Server, the customer says, “I just can’t decide, what’s good?” The Server would be VERY unprofessional should they ‘recommend’ something that appeals to THEIR taste, because it might not be something that appeals to YOUR taste. And if their suggestion is not something you like, your experience will be noted by you as “bad” and you will tell others how “awful that restaurant is” even going so far as to blast the place (and server) in the VERY public forum of Facebook. I’ve seen it too many times for this not to be true.
  2. If you have had a bad day, this in NO WAY is a license for you to vent your anger, frustration, irritation, or just plain obnoxious arrogance on anyone else.  Especially the one providing you with goods and/or services. For example, if you go to a pub to drown your rough day and call for the “BAR WENCH” you can pretty much be guaranteed some sort of revenge will be wrought. Perhaps your beverage will be brought in a dirty glass, or saliva has been added, or a dead roach was drowned in your beverage and removed before you got served.  Rule of thumb: Do NOT irritate those who provide you with immediate goods and/or services.  If you have had a bad day, take a walk or go to the gym or go play in traffic.

The barbershop where I get what’s left of my hair trimmed (“cut” would be far too drastic), the barber knows I am introverted. As a result, she keeps the conversation to three questions or less.  Why? Partly because she knows I dislike chatty people who talk just to fill the silence. But, more importantly, because she has taken the time to observe and remember.  I am a regular. I like to have the same barber. As a result, my gratuity reflects the extra effort she put in to help establish this relationship.

Gratuity, in and of itself, is a tangible way of expressing GRATITUDE for a job well done. Now I do take offense with establishments that put a “tip jar” right next to the cash register, as if a gratuity is an expectation given PRIOR to the service being provided.  A coffee shop I visited recently had such a setup. When I paid for my coffee, I was given my change in singles (as a hint to tip for a job not yet done). I stepped away from the counter to await the delivery of my coffee, and when it was given to me, I provided the tip directly to the person performing the service. Not out of requirement, but because the service was quick and courteous.

There is no reason to be obnoxious, arrogant, or ignorant. THINK! Reverse the roles for a moment, how would YOU wish to be treated?

Categories: Fortress of Solitude, Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives, Wanderer's Wonderings, Wandering Mind | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

What’s That Rattling Noise?

dangerWOW! Work has kept me incredibly busy, but since I LOVE my job, I don’t mind at all.  One thing I’ve learned is that “free time” tends to let my mind wander into things that should probably best be unwandered.

Last time I had a physical, I found it quite disconcerting that the physician seemed to want to carry on a conversation whilst poking about my bits. Perhaps it’s just because I’m an introvert, or perhaps I’d rather this part of the exam be done quickly, quietly, and with as little eye-contact or discussion as possible.

I thoroughly enjoy Shark Week, but have been curious why people would want to see how much annoying a shark will stand before it decides to bite.  Actually this goes for all dangerous critters.  Why would you want to aggravate a beastie just to piss it off?

Stupidity

Part of my job is listening to people and offering counsel.  I would like to point out that it is extremely frustrating, not to mention very rude, to repeat the same issue to me over and over hoping I will offer you the counsel you want to hear. If you’ve already decided what you want to hear…we shouldn’t be talking.

Coffee is wonderful. Yep, that pretty much says it all.

Just a bit of “common sense”:

  • If you want exceptional customer service, BE an exceptional customer!
  • If you see me reading, please do not take that as an invitation to conversation. If I wanted to talk, I wouldn’t be reading.
  • Accept that people are different, as a result, people think differently. With me so far? This means there is usually more than one way to accomplish something other than just your method.
  • If you have any question as to whether the milk has soured, it’s best to go ahead and not drink it.
  • Not everyone likes onions.
  • While we’re on the subject, not everyone wants to hear your cellphone conversation.
  • Life is short. Don’t let things go unsaid, hugs go unshared, or love go unexpressed.
  • That rattling noise you hear are the other thoughts tumbling about in my cranium. I couldn’t catch them today.

 

 

 

Categories: Perspectives | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

My Train of Thought Seems to be a Clown Car

I’ve stopped reading the news or listening to it or watching it.  Not only is it too depressing (when there’s actually news) but most of it seems to be posturing and rantings of some figurehead of some group spewing hatred for some other group and claiming they want “justice.”  Please!

 

There are far too many of us on this rotating orb to spend so much time hating.  I hate you. What does that solve? Nothing. I demand “justice.” Justice for all or slanted toward me? Isn’t justice supposed to be impartial and blind?

 

Isn’t love supposed to be impartial as well?

 

Anyway, I’ve stopped with the “news” because life is too short to be so bogged down in the mire of someone else’s swamp of crap.  If you can’t get along with others, find yourself an island somewhere and live on your own.  Seriously, please do. I’ll help you pack.

 

My Train of Thought

My Train of Thought

How My Mind Really Works

How My Mind Really Works

 

 

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

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