Posts Tagged With: miscellaneous

I’m Just Weird That Way

Bacony Bacon

I have tried.  I have tried many times, and have failed miserably each time.  I like to eat. I’m just weird that way.  I like to eat and I’m not ashamed to say it.

The issue I have with so called “nutrition plans” is that I am a simple guy.  The plans I have seen require that you calculate more equations than a physicist trying to define string theory!

  • How many carbs did you have?
  • Were they good carbs or bad carbs?
  • How many good carbs versus bad carbs?
  • Did you exercise today?
  • How many steps did you take?
  • How fast were you stepping?
  • How much protein is in that salad?
  • Did you have cheese on that salad?
  • Thank you for posting the picture of the salad.  Is that BACON I see on your salad?
  • Did you eat it?
  • Did you eat ALL of it?
  • Did it make you feel dirty?
  • How dirty?
  • What were you wearing?

You see how these things can degrade into something other than helpful.

As I said, I am a simple guy, and I like simple food.  I eat salad.  No onions, peppers, or dressing.  I like cheeseburgers without condiments or vegetables added.  The only condiment I use with any regularity is black pepper.  I like rice, most beans, lentils, barley, beef, most pork, chicken, and some fish.  I am from the Southern United States and, yes, buttery grits, eggs and bacon with biscuits are staples.  I don’t mind oatmeal though.

The difficulty I have with changing my eating habits is everyone has a different plan and they are all “easy” (like hemorrhoids) and want me to STOP eating most of the things I like and START eating things I wouldn’t feed a pig.  Let me be very blunt: If I don’t like it, I will NOT be putting it in my mouth! End of story.

Why can’t someone come up with an eating plan that actually takes inventory of what I like to eat, and make a plan from that list?  Is that REALLY so hard?

Cookie-cutter eating plans do NOT work for me and the Energizer Bunny types who push their plans or “Eating Systems” annoy me enough to want to see them fall into a hole liked with barbed wire!

Keep it simple or shut up!

 

 

Rant over for now.

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Resolutions? Really!

resolutions

It’s that time of year again.  That time when we take a look at our lives and decide to make changes in the coming year.  It is a pointless exercise for most of us because we very quickly lose momentum, get distracted, or just forget what we resolved to accomplish altogether.

So why do we resolve to make changes when we have failed again and again to the point that we just shrug our shoulder, laugh and say “Well, there’s always next year”?

Here is a bit of wisdom that I have garnered regarding Resolutions:

  1. Change cannot be contradictory. If you are determined to lose weight, go to the gym, stress less, and spend more time with family, then, while all these SOUND wonderful in and of themselves, they are really quite self-defeating.  Losing weight requires dietary changes and exercise changes.  Change CREATES stress!  And stress tends to cause us to isolate ourselves from our families.  Not to mention you will have the fitness gurus screaming at you that “It’s EASY IF YOU JUST TRY!” or the ever famous “If I can do it, YOU can do it!”.  Ever notice that most of the fitness gurus who do most of the screaming and wielding of the guilt stick are the ones who are thin and have the energy of the Eveready Bunny?  Very seldom do you have people who are just as out of shape as you are asking to become part of a team so you can lose weight together.  Hmmmmm….
  2. Change must be achievable.  Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that one of my resolutions is to eat healthier.  Sounds good, but what does “healthier” really look like?  Does that mean I go from eating cheeseburgers every day to nibbling on celery instead?  Yeah, THAT resolution will last.  Set goals that are achievable.  Healthier eating might mean you have salad instead of fries and drink two bottles of water for every soda you consume.
  3. Change must be enjoyable. I have people in my life who are dead set on setting my changes for me.  Not only that, but they never miss an opportunity to remind me of the changes THEY have “encouraged” me to make.  Here’s the way change works for me, if I don’t like it, I won’t do it.  This applies to eating habits, exercise habits, work habits, any change I need to make.  If it feels like slavery, that change will not last long and I will become resentful of those pushing me.
  4. Change works best as a team.  This is true in pretty much any format.  Get a bunch of people who are pretty much in the same situation and you have a team.  If the team sets a goal, then the team can make the goal a reality.  Encouraging each other, being accountable to each other, working together, pretty much any goal can be realized.
  5. Change will only happen when I make a plan I can stick to. I am NOT a morning person by ANY stretch of the imagination.  I have absolutely NO inclination to drag myself out of bed before daylight so I can go to the gym and torture myself while my brain is trying to make my body die so rest can be had.  So if my resolution is to get to the gym, then I must make a plan to do it.  Therefore, I can go to the gym instead of stuffing pizza in my face at lunch, or I can go when I hit that mid afternoon slump and just need a think.  If I make a plan that my mind can work with, the resolution can become a reality.
  6. Change can only work if you are willing to forgive yourself.  When we start making changes, we’re going to slip up!  We’re going to miss a day at the gym.  We’re going to indulge our craving for meat once in a while.  But if we beat ourselves up over these slip-ups, or worse let others beat us up over them, the guilt will destroy any hope of lasting change.  If we mess up, okay, we messed up….get back on track and try to make the time a little longer before we mess up again.
  7. Change can only happen if it is realistic.  We’ve all heard the fantastic claims by the “Healthy Eating/Exercise” companies who peddle their powders and machines and supplements and “systems.”  They all claim that you can have the body you always wanted in just a few months if you will only go broke, sign over your life, and surrender everything to them (and if you help generate more followers of their cult, you can “get rich” too).  Listen, the body I have always wanted is currently being occupied by someone else who doesn’t know I exist, so let’s just put that puppy to rest.  The body I currently have could use a bit of renovation, but nothing drastic.  After all, Rome wasn’t rebuilt in a day or a month or even a year.

Hopefully you will join me in welcoming the new year with realistic, achievable resolutions!

Categories: Hmmmmm........, Perspectives | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Encourage Me…Don’t Tick Me Off!

Better Motivation

I need to lose some weight. And I need to move more…I get it.  Way back when I was in the Army, I didn’t have a problem with weight loss or moving more because we all moved as a squad.  Rather an “All for one and one for all” arrangement.  We encouraged each other and if one needed something we ALL took the burden on.

That was then.  I honestly miss those days quite a bit because that tight-knit group of comrades has long since gone their ways, have their own families, and lives.  So here I am trying to go it alone with the moving and the weightloss without their support.

I have begun changing some of my eating habits, mainly because I like simple foods.  By simple, I mean, as little effort as possible.  I eat my salads without dressing because I discovered that most of the fat content in the salads is found in the dressing, but mainly because I just don’t like salad dressing.  I opt not to use condiments, except for a pinch of salt or pepper, because I want to actually taste the FOOD not just have a mouthful of condiment guck!

I do have friends and family members who believe they are being helpful in their methods of “encouragement.”  While I do appreciate their desire to help me become healthier, their methods are reminiscent of Drill Sergeant Hartman from ‘Full Metal Jacket’ or they nag continuously.  Neither approach is what I consider encouraging because the only motivation I get from that is to let my stubborn bull-headedness dig in its heals and tune them out.

When I was with my Squadmates, we all started in the same basic shape of, in military terms: “out of.”  Together, we began from basically the same starting point, and together we worked our weight down and our shape in.  And it worked perfectly, like a greased herd of hogs through the arms of the catchers at a County Fair were we.

Now I am older and my job requires little movement because it involves mostly brain work and listening.  And I honestly admit that I have become “comfortable” with my life.  I like SIMPLE!

I have people trying to show me how to count calories and then count the calories of proteins, carbs, fats, sugars, measure cholesterol intake, waste output, multiply it by .247 times the distance from the Sun to Uranus, swing that flaming mossy branch over the smelly shoe inserts……you get how my mind finds this quite overly complicated.  I like SIMPLE!  By “SIMPLE” I mean: I like it, I eat it, I’m done!  Don’t complicate things, just fix it and be done!

This is why I am NOT a nutritionist.  Nor am I an exercise nut.  I am willing to walk as long as I enjoy doing it.  When it becomes a chore, I stop.  NO! I’m not all gung-ho about pushing myself.  Yes, I realize I am going to die, at some point, because we ALL do.  So guilt no longer works on me; pushing no longer works on me; nagging no longer works on me.

If I like it, I will eat it.  If I like it, I will do it.  It’s JUST THAT SIMPLE!

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Time….It’s What You Make Of It

clocks

Truly it is an amazing, and often astounding, sight to see people rushing through their lives completely oblivious to everything except their electronic devices and their schedules.  You see, time is a continuum whilst our lives are momentary snapshots of that continuum.

This is a lesson I learned many years ago when I chose to spend my time reading a book, and one of my professors happened by and commented on my “wasting time” in reading a tome that sparked my brain to think.  I like to think.  I embrace it wholeheartedly.  Never have I thought that thinking was a waste of time because time does not change or alter its stream for me or anything I am doing.

Granted, there are scenes in life’s grand play where time seems to stand still….like waiting to be called from the big waiting room in the doctor’s office to the little waiting room (which is also called the “exam room”).  Then what happens?  Time goes into warp drive when the doctor comes him, spends a total of 4 minutes diagnosing you and off you go back into the stream of time.

As a child, I thought Christmas Eve made time stand still so Santa could make all of his deliveries by Christmas morning.  I didn’t, for one moment, believe Santa could go all over the world in a single night, so time HAD to stand still for him to accomplish such a Herculean Task.

There are those who say that Time is relative.  Well, I can assure you that time is no relative of mine.  My relatives are a rather gregarious mob, with a couple of introverted members, who enjoy raucous laughter and stories to embarrass the rest of us.

But think about this, why do we wear watches?  So we know what time it is.  Why do we need to know what time it is?  Because we have very busy schedules.  Sadly, those schedules have not slowed in the least, despite advances in technology.  And why do those people who can afford the latest technological gadgets always smile?  Also, what do they do that they can always afford the latest technological marvel?

But, you see, time never speeds up nor does it slow down.  Time always moves forward.

Illusion

My question to you is this, Gentle Reader, during your time swimming in the stream of time, what shall you do to make it memorable?

Categories: Hmmmmm........, Wanderer's Wonderings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Being A Server IS Challenging

Server

Let me begin by stating the glaring truth: BEING A SERVER IS CHALLENGING!  Customers can be the most graceless, arrogant, idiotic, selfish, obnoxious, rude creatures that ever crawled out from under the swamp.  I understand that.  I have heard many horror stories about rotten customers who think the world revolves around them.

On the other hand, I have also heard many horror stories about horrible servers who think they are above doing their job of serving.  And I understand that perspective as well.

I hope you will allow me to point out a few things which might help reach a place of mutual toleration between the sides.

I’ll start with those who are the Customer:

  • When you come into the restaurant, put your cellphone away, especially if you wish to hear the specials or if you wish your server to clearly understand your order.
  • Understand that your server is there to make your dining experience one you will want to have again.  However, that does not entitle you to act like you are the ONLY person in the world and demand all the server’s attention.
  • If you want your server to smile at you, then smile at them.  If you want courtesy shown, be courteous.  If you want your server to be polite, then be polite to them.  The Golden Rule applies.
  • PLEASE avoid wearing strong scents.
  • Berating the server, manager, staff, bartender, because something was not to your liking or because some error was made merely proves you weren’t worth being served in the first place.
  • Children…….please keep control of them and keep them quiet.  This means you need to teach your children from day one how they are to behave in public.  You have come to a restaurant, not a playground or zoo.  Keep your little monsters contained!

 

Now, a few practical points for the Servers:

  • I came to spend my money at the establishment where you work.  I chose to come here when I could have gone elsewhere.  Please appreciate that fact by at least acting like you are happy I came to your place.
  • Ladies…..if you are wearing short sleeves or a tank top, please have the courtesy to SHAVE!
  • Remember, older customers usually have more expendable income.  NOT a group you want to ignore and then complain about getting bad tips from the younger crowd.
  • Please do not wear strong scents.
  • If I show you courtesy, please be courteous.
  • Please stop saying “No Problem” when I ask you for something.  If I thought it would be a problem, I would not have come to where you are to dine.
  • Please be aware that if you show me your breasts, I will look but that will not alter the amount of your gratuity.  Gratuity is based on SERVICE not the view!  If I wanted a view, I would have gone to a strip club.

And here’s my final tip for both sides of this battlefield:  If you want good customer service, BE A GOOD CUSTOMER!  If you want a good customer, BE A GOOD SERVER!

Here’s my normal mode of operation, when my server greets me the gratuity starts at 75%.  It will be adjusted according to how I am treated.  I am not difficult, but I do have some expectations.  For example, I like just plain food (not drowning in sauces or condiments), I realize the server does not prepare the food, but they DO communicate with those who do.

If you remember my name and greet me warmly, your gratuity has just increased to 90%.  If you remember my name, greet me warmly, AND remember my drink of choice, you are entering the 125% range, because this means you have taken the time to get to know me, accept me, and want me to be a regular in your section.

Ignore me because I am older and no longer athletic looking and you have lost my respect, my patronage, and your gratuity!

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Contemplative Contemplations

I recently performed the funeral for a wonderful friend.  Less than two weeks earlier I had performed his daughter’s wedding. So this has been an extremely emotionally month to say the least.  It is never easy to say “goodbye” to a friend.  How does one do that and remain sane?

You never say “goodbye” to a true friend.  They are part of you and they have touched your life in ways you never realize until you see their personality spring forth from yours or you see their family as yours or you notice things you do as being things you picked up from them.

It is never easy to say “fare thee well” to a friend. But it did spark my mind and heart to think. My friend was never one to be considered “religious” because of the sheer callousness reputation of “religious” people.  We had many chances to discuss the matter and we were in complete agreement: “Religious” people are complete assholes!  The whole concept of “What Would Jesus Do?” is answered in a simple “Probably Not What You Think.”  Jesus was NOT afraid to meet people where they were. He went TO the people, He never waited for people to come to Him.  He was NOT afraid to be seen with people the “religious” thought to be inferior.  He did not hide His disdain for the “religious” and wasn’t afraid to call them what they were: “Bunch of SNAKES.”

It is never easy to say “fare thee well” to a friend.  It is never easy to discuss the end of life with someone. But it IS worth the emotional pain to know they are at peace.

Just as a matter of note: when my time comes…I want this to be played on a loop at my memorial: Memorial Music

 

 

Categories: Hmmmmm........ | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

It Just Doesn’t Seem Like Christmas Anymore

Norman Rockwell Christmas

The Holidays are here again. Seems like the shopping ads begin earlier and earlier every year, I guess the holidays are no longer about spending time with family and enjoying one another. Now the holidays seem to only be about spending, end of story.  The more you spend, the more you show people how much you “love” them.  It’s as if the old adage, “You can’t buy love” has never met the shallow materialistic world we live in.

 I asked one of six-year-old at church what he wanted for Christmas, and his response was “A new iPhone 5s AT LEAST! This iphone 4 I got last Christmas just sucks!” This darling angel went on to list more devices from than I had ever considered.  My mind reeled and faded back to my own childhood when for my 6th Christmas I got a bicycle and was THRILLED.  I also got excited because that was the year my Mom got a new refrigerator AND a new stove, so every kid in our neighborhood came over to play in the boxes! That was a WONDERFUL Christmas.  We laughed and had a ball playing with cardboard boxes and riding bicycles.  Now, it’s all about the latest electronic goodie. Not to mention, what on earth does a six-year-old need a high-end cellphone for anyway?

Christmas just doesn’t seem to be Christmas anymore. 

 I used to love the smells of Christmas.  Mom baking batch after batch of homemade Chex Mix (she called Boat Trash).  Now you can buy it ready made in a bag although it doesn’t taste anywhere as good as Mom’s. 

 I also remember going to my grandparents house, the smell of Grandpa’s pipe, Grandma’s chocolate goodies she baked, the sounds of laughter as my cousins and I ran outside to play in the snow until we couldn’t feel our fingers, toes, or nose anymore, then we would come back inside for hot cocoa made with real milk.

 On Christmas Eve, we would walk the three blocks to church to hear the Christmas story (same person read us the story since I could remember), then we would have communion, and as we walked home, we would sing Christmas Carols.

On Christmas Morning, We would dash into the front room (where the fireplace was) and find our stockings stuffed with Lifesavers candy, bags of homemade buttered pecans, oranges and apples. And we were happy!

Christmas just doesn’t seem to be Christmas anymore.

I remember the only places that were open on Christmas Day were the gas stations, hospitals, fire and police departments, and one diner where the workers in these occupations would eat.  My Grandpa took me there a few times.  We would walk in, the bell on the door would ring, and everyone would turn and wish us a Merry Christmas. 

We would sit at the counter and have pie. I had hot chocolate while Grandpa had coffee. The fireman let me pet the firedog, who had been allowed inside just this one day out of the year. The policeman let me admire the badge on his hat that he kept shined with great pride.  The nurses and doctors would let me listen to my heart or remind me to eat lots of popsicles during the summer so they would have enough tongue depressors next year.

Christmas just doesn’t seem to be Christmas anymore.

 

Categories: Hmmmmm........ | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

And, TAD DAH, My 300th Post

Normally, or abnormally, I’m not exactly a list type person, except sometimes.  I’m usually pretty decisive, kinda, most of the time, okay every so often.

If you have been a reader of these thoughts for any length of time, you will know that I do enjoy looking through the lens of perspective.  One of my favorite books (and movies) is “The Dead Poet Society” because I can identify with the character of John Keating.  Keating looks at life from a different perspective and challenged his students to do likewise.  True, his methods got him fired in the end, but his students did, even for a brief time, see life differently.

For example, I once thought a statue had no value to a blind person. Then I saw a blind woman touching the marble with tears running down her face because what she “saw” with her touch.

There are some who would say that every story has three sides: My side, Your side, and the Truth.  But I contend there are many sides to every story: My side, Your side, My perception of Your side, Your perception of My side, My perception of My side, Your perception of Your side, My perception of the Truth, Your perception of the Truth, and so many more ending with The Absolute Truth.

We tend to perceive in light of our experiences.  I have a strong dislike of snakes and believe the only good snake is one that has been made into a wallet, belt, or shoes.  Although, I have caught, killed, cooked and enjoyed eating rattlesnake.  But that in no way should indicate that I like snakes.  However, I have friends who keep snakes as pets (which is why I don’t visit them in their homes very often).  Also had a friend who had several snakes, scorpions, spiders and lizards she kept as pets (she was, to say the least, quite a character). But some people have the perception of such reptilian critters as cute and cuddly. I leave those people alone to their own devices.

Never underestimate the power of perception. Not everyone who dances hears the music, some feel the music.  And some of us simply have music blaring in our brains that only we can hear and we dance anyway causing people to think our meds are no longer effective.Nietzsche

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Never Fall Asleep At The Barbershop

Surprise!

Categories: Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Special Orders Don’t Upset Us”…Oh But They DO!

Fast FoodI remember those lyrics from my youth, and would sing along with the commercial, thinking what a wonderful utopia this must be that doesn’t get upset when I place my order of a burger without condiments.  You see, I am one of THOSE people who like to actually taste my burger instead of gobs of goo and gunk passed off as condiments touching my supposed meat. But I digress.

My job is one where I must, on some occasions, grab a meal on the go. Today was one such day, so I pulled into the wonderful advance in fast food technology otherwise known as….the drive-thru.  You pull up to this little speaker, speak clearly into the speaker, pull around, pay, receive your order, and off you go to toddle on with your day.  That is how it is SUPPOSED to work. That is the concept.

Today……my utopian dream was shattered, ground into dust, and blown in my face with a lawnmower!  There were only two cars ahead of me in line. I was stoked to be so close. I rolled down my window so I might better render thoughts of encouragement to those passing before me.  And then…the speaker said, “May I take your order?” and what followed was a long pause before an elderly gentleman leaned out of the window to shout back… “WAT? YOO SAY SOMETHING?” and the voice from the passenger side…”WHAT DID THEY SAY?”

This exchange went on for several minutes before an employee stepped out of the back door and acted as the interpreter between patron and mechanical speaker.  Lots of loud questions, shouting to each other, and finally the conclusion of this part of the transaction.  Please pull ahead to pay for your meal, accept your food, and have a nice day (somewhere else please).

The line moved ahead, the employee went back inside, and I was only one car away from the speaker! The work van ahead of me slowly pulled to the speaker, as noxious clouds of toxins freely billowed from the place that once contained an exhaust pipe.  The driver leaned out, and proudly stated that he had six orders, each to be rung up separately, and each to be paid separately.

I considered parking and going inside, but when I looked in my mirror, 7 cars had already lined up behind. I had no escape. So I rolled up my window, turned off my ventilation, and honestly fumed. After another 17 minutes, all of the work vans orders had been registered, and they pulled forward.

MY TURN!!!  I was elated!  Finally, I could get a bite to eat and only be 10 minutes late to the session I was to conduct.  I rolled up, placed my single order, heard the weary voice give me the price and to please pull forward.  I enthusiastically told the speaker box “THANK YOU” and drove around the corner of the building to see the van waiting for the elderly man (who had gotten out of his car) counting out EXACT CHANGE for his order

Serenity Now

Categories: Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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