So how is everyone doing today? I sometimes get caught up in the leaving tide of weird thoughts. During the prolonged minutes leading up to my slumber one night, somehow, I found myself thinking about Shakespeare – William of course. In years gone by, I remember reading somewhere that William Shakespeare knew about 30,000 words. That’s pretty darn impressive I do says. As I lie there flopping about on the mattress, I wondered how they knew this? Then I deduced that the powers that be must have logically come about this figure based on his published works and the words included therein. Open and closed case. Or is it?
Good afternoon! Welcome to my blog. For reasons unknown, my brain woke me up in the middle of the night last night. After bouncing around some other trivial topics, it locked onto this meme I have seen on Facebook about a dozen times. The meme shows a nice-looking log cabin surrounded by trees or adjacent to a lake surrounded by trees with the caption:
Could you stay here for one month with no phone or internet for $100,000?
Hello! I hope your February is going a lot better than my month and year is so far.
In my Freak Show Podcast this morning I acknowledged that I have been super lazy on the blog front here in recent weeks; whereas on the podcast side I have been fairly consistent. The reason? It’s so much easier to talk in free form and just roll with your thoughts. On the blog side there is more editing and sifting the finer points of the topic. The finished product for my blog most times I think is superior to my podcast (you don’t have to listen to my voice for starters).
But like most people, I take the shortcuts where I can and that means that the content for my blog isn’t as full this year in relation to my ever-expanding podcast universe on Soundcloud. Here at my blog I use WordPress and I’m fairly pleased with the free set up. I don’t include a ton of photos or videos so I don’t come close to touching their data limits. Plus I get to see the worldwide stats for my specific posts (regardless of post age) and I like that a lot.
For those that frequent this site or those other social media hubs with the intent to read or listen to my offerings, I thank you. I forever try to do better. Coming up, I will probably post a few sports related pieces here soon as we are on the cusp of another baseball season (hellulujeah!).
Everyone have a great week and please check back soon or hit me up with topics you liked or would like my two cents worth on…
— 02/27/2020 –
Hello and good Cinco De Mayo! (May 5th)
Hello and spiffy Monday morning to everyone!
As a long suffering Indians fan, I am here to put my spin on the start to the season and my brutally honest assessment of my team’s chances in 2019. Today is April 1st…April Fools Day and as of this morning, the Cleveland Indians are in last place in their division sitting at 1 win and 2 losses. The silver lining is that the season is just begun and the team is only a game out of first place. Continue reading “Waaay too early panic bus edition of Cleveland Indians Baseball 2019”
So apparently Freddie Mercury really liked cats…this was my take away from the Queen inspired movie Bohemian Rhapsody. Just kidding. Bazinga.
Happy Hump Day e-travelers! Hope your surfing experience is hitch and glitch free. Sometimes when I have ideas in my head that knock on the inner door asking for entry, there is a bit of a tangent that occurs. I can usually see a bit of a silly path or a serious path to write about in flushing out the idea. Today in a random moment while washing my hands (yes people, you can do that after going #1 or #2 in a public restroom! Ugh!), I spied the restroom attendant’s cart of cleaning supplies. One such item was a sheathed toilet brush. From there the tangent process just flowed (sorry for the pun).
Bathroom Attendant Dory (BAD): Hi there. Are you having a great day?
ME: (Washing hands) Yeah it’s OK.
BAD: Mind if I ask you a question?
ME: (Hesitantly) Sure.
BAD: (Reaches into her cart and pulls out a toilet brush) Does this smell like fresh apple blossoms?
ME: (Visibly grimacing) I’d rather not.
BAD: (Pulls the toilet brush close, closes her eyes and smells it like a flower) I smell a meadow and a summer breeze.
ME: (Finishes washing hands and activates auto-paper towel dispenser) OK, well I have to get back to work now.
BAD: (Unceremoniously whips brush to within inches of my nose) Can’t you just smell the grass and breeze?
ME: In all honesty, it smells like mildew, boiled eggs and purification.
BAD: (Looking more than slightly offended and facially saddened) That’s not very nice. Wandy has been with me six years as of today. She has helped me clean up some pretty nasty messes. (She starts waving the toilet brush around like a child with a 4th of July sparkler.)
ME: Alright, sorry to offend Wandy but I have to go now.
BAD: It’s OK. Maybe I will take her bowl-ling later to celebrate our six years together! Get it, bowl-ling?
ME: Alrightey then, take care, bye bye now.
This took about a minute to play out in my head between washing my hands and waiting for the elevator. I forgot to mention BAD was wearing long, oven-cleaning-yellow, rubber gloves and a protective apron like Dexter used to wear on his show.
Hope your day before the day before Friday is going well.
Today is Thursday morning and I am surfing online trying to find a reasonably cheap but long term writing computer. No gaming, just something to plug away with to type up my stories (in Microsoft Word) and maybe have a browser window open in the background if I need to research something quickly. Continue reading “Laptop for writing needed”
Hi to you. I am assuming you found my site and are starting to scroll through it with the intention of reading something of mine or at least to look for a post with funny pictures. On that last, I’m sure I can accommodate you somehow. But for now let me state the reason for this post. Continue reading “Tattoo Day After “
…piss people off.
Hi, good morning. Hope you are enjoining some coffee or your preferred beverage of choice.
OK so let me explain my thought process on this. No, not the beverage thing…my stance on pissing people off. Don’t get me wrong, I am not just indiscriminately looking for people to piss off with mindless personal attacks. I’m just saying I am not scared to speak my mind and when I see something I perceive as wrong or a debatable topic, I don’t hold back. I may temper my opinions in a diplomatic turn of phrase but you can usually tell where my point/opinion is going.
Some of you in your minds are saying: here we go pointless drama. Nope. No ma’am, no sir. I am not here to spread gossip to pile on someone having a bad day just to be a bully. Everyone running around or wheeling around today has positive and negative aspects of their lives. Some are great parents, some lavish love and attention on their animals while others run businesses that provide incomes and purposes for others to provide for their families and loved ones. While I can try to find the silver lining in many different human clouds, there is always the ying to their yang.
I’m guessing at this point you are trying to discern a point that may take shape coming from the above fog. I am flawed and at times I am an internal mess. But aint we all? The important thing is not to take yourself too seriously and be true with your actions and words. If you see something that emotionally or mentally goes against your grain, you can do a couple of things. First you can ignore it and remove yourself from the situation and go binge watch GOT episodes. If you feel you must have your voice be heard (either literally or figuratively), think first.
Sometimes another human or an issue can cause such a visceral response that we lash out without thinking. Like when I’m on the highway and I see aggressive drivers switching lanes without blinkers or cutting people off when they could have just as easily have slowed down and settled in behind another car. My list of hated traffic grievances is about on par with the proverbial list of naughty boys and girls Santa has to deal with.
Animal abuse, child punishments, softball drama, social media, my Cleveland Indians and long car trips are just a handful of things I have a strong opinion on and my views may not be all unicorns, cotton candy and smiley emoji’s to the casual reader. Is my position the end all be all of opinions? Certainly not but I will do my best to state my case as to why I think that way about a topic. Have I launched into a tirade before about my opinion only to have someone chime in later with some bit of information I wasn’t privy to? Guilty. Did it radically change my stance? Not really but I filed that addition information away to be digested and further flavor my viewpoint.
Most everyone is so wrapped up in being ‘right’ that they lose sight of the spirit of exchanging ideas. Most people when they express their opinions, whether in the majority or minority, are on the razor’s edge for rebuttals. Expressing a dissenting opinion is on par with attacking that person’s most cherished loved one. One of my most favorite quotes I saw on Twitter said: “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” This quote is attributed to Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change. That quote is an ugly truth. I myself am guilty of this about half of the time. It happens when I argue with Kristi or Ayden or a co-worker or a softball friend or on my Sports Stalkers podcast partner Jeremy. We as a society are conditioned to be put on the spot and come up with a quip or an answer to prove our wittiness or competency. So much in our daily lives is submerged in self-doubt and competition, so we must be seen as competent at the bare minimum. And in the panic of the moment when we might possibly lose, we resort to snarkyness and name-calling in lieu of stopping and thinking about the basis of our opinions and how it may be colored by our life experiences as opposed to someone from a completely different background.
Take racism and discrimination for example. And no they are not exclusively the same thing. Discrimination is denying someone or a group based on extraneous circumstances that have no bearing on the criteria needed. Some of the biggest racists I know are the ones who play the race card. In my life I have known some people of color who have been the perpetrators of discrimination. There are no absolutes in this world when it comes to discrimination and racism. There are black people who are racist against white people and vice versa. Just as there are people of all ages who are discriminatory against other age groups.
See no name calling, no gross stereo-types and a note that I myself am not 100% above reproach here (see the listening quote). There is nothing wrong with absorbing and dissecting someone else’s opinion or view. The sticky-wicket is when we start questioning that person’s view and instead of listening to understand what we are asking, they are loading up mentally to respond based on a basal reaction to a perceived challenge.
Enough psychology for one day. I was just trying to simply offer up my ‘excuse’ on why I feel OK about sounding off with my thoughts and opinions even if you do not care. We all have a back story on our opinions. Did your parents instill that view in you? Perhaps your church? Or just life experiences? That is for each of us to carry around with us every day and decide if we are comfortable enough to share and if need be, defend as needed.
As usual, thank you for surfing in and reading some bits and pieces that migrated from my brain to my fingers. I hope you found something amusing, thought provoking or at least something that caused you to stop for a moment to at least consider.
Haffy Hump Day! That is a cross breed of Happy and Taffy just so you don’t think I am a horrible speller!
Alrightey then…let’s imagine ourselves in the guidance counselor’s office and he/she is asking some innocuous and totally inane questions to try and lead us to a big picture question. Where do you see yourself in five years? What do you really enjoy doing? How do you see your career path unfolding? Do you have any spare yarn for my cats to play with? Do you prefer Sodoku or cross-word puzzles? How many presidents of the United States have used the “F” word in public? Who would win in a virtual fight between Alexa and Siri?
Most kidding aside, everyone has a personal agenda. Granted some people choose very minimal baselines (I just want to stay with my parents forever while playing video games and never having a steady job) while others get ridiculously ambitious (I anticipate holding a Hitler-sized rally for my disciples by the time I graduate high school with the intentions of beginning my work to create a colony on the former dwarf planet Pluto). For the rest of us, we generally have aspirations that most people would tend to classify as goals and hopes and dreams.
When I was nine years old in the fourth grade at Grandview Elementary School, which was right behind the Charles A Fassen Middle School building, we had just taken a social studies quiz. The entire class failed this quiz or received a D as their grade…except for me. I aced the quiz 100% literally. This is one of those odd memories that no matter how long I live, it just sticks with me for no apparent reason. So when the rest of the class was forced to re-take the quiz and I didn’t have to, it was a nice feeling on that chilly spring day in 1982. I turned 10 a little over three months later. My birthday always fell in the summer after school was out. As a result, I was usually one of the younger students in my classes.
Was this (quiz) a huge turning point in my life? Did I right there and then decide to pursue a career in accounts receivables? No, not hardly. I just wanted to brag about a single academic point in my life where I was in a room full of my peers and for once I was the smartest kid/person in the room – even if just for a hot minute. Hold on, still savoring it. Don’t rush me.
With this anecdote put aside, I think back to the summer of 1982 (after my June birthday). I was grounded for the majority of it and did not get to play video games or go outside to play ball or even leave my room with the caveats being: bath-time, restroom visits and meals. As I may have intimated in previous pieces, my father was quite strict and more a less a control freak who didn’t like kids or people in general. Any who, during that summer I had more or less nothing to do but read and read some more. I can point to this as the genesis of where my writing ambitions grew from. I would read all sorts of novels my mom had lying around I really enjoyed the dark images and scenes my mind painted from the various author’s words. Sometimes I would read a 300-500 page novel and think: I could do better than this schmuck. Jotting down bits and pieces from the stories, I would outline where I think the story could have been better. Hey, when you’re ten years old on house arrest and stuck in your room, what else are ya going to do?
My personal history aside, what events or themes in your life sparked an interest or put you on course to chase some of your dreams? Did you give your Barbie a Mohawk and decide to become a cosmetologist? Maybe you were forced to walk dogs for extra cash on the weekends and you pursued that into opening a kennel or taxi service for dogs? Perhaps you spent hours memorizing the stats on the backs of baseball cards and decided the accounting arts were for you? Or maybe you saw the movie The Natural and saw how Robert Redford’s character Roy Hobb’s made his own baseball bat. Right there you were curious to see if you had creative hands that could create furniture or sculptures or something else artistic?
Each and every one of our brains (or brians for those who may be partially dyslexic) is wired radically different. Five people can stand right next to each other and witness a car accident and each one will have a slightly different take on the event. One will first notice the sound the impact made. Another will be struck by the driver’s body movements upon the moment of crash. Another will notice the gleam of the tires from the slick payment as the driver tried to stop. The fourth will recall how the moment before impact that the accident almost seemed to happen in slow motion. And the fifth person will be recalling how a friend or relative had a similar car once upon a time. Slight variations can make all the difference.
Two people can do the same activities (i.e. a job) all day long. The one person may be enjoying the tasks and interactions and the other person may be absolutely miserable and hating their existence. Same job, same environment but two totally different reactions. Same principal with a movie or a sporting event or a concert or just sitting on a bench looking out over the water of a pond on a still evening right at dusk with a storm brewing on the horizon.
In today’s world we are bombarded with technology and everyone trying to sell us on what we want and need. But when it comes down to it, in our heart of hearts sometimes we don’t even know what we want. Sometimes we are scared to try to find out because we don’t want to waste time on something that may not pan out. But even in failure we discover things. If you are still undecided about your future, that is OK. As Natasha Beddingfield sang more than once “The Rest is Still Unwritten” or at least I think she was the one singing that (besides me singing along – badly). The point I’m trying to convey in a roundabout way is this, never be afraid or embarrassed to try. You never know what will spark your interest and lead you to something that may be the best thing of your life.
Happy Hump Day.
Good morning! Today is my first March post! Technically today is March 2nd but this is my first post in March so it is March’s first post! And Happy March 2nd BTW!
New jobs are in the air! Pregnancies are in the air! Spring training baseball games are underway! And with March comes more and more (outdoor) softball! Woot Woot! I’m still playing the indoor variety for the next five weeks but let’s be frank here (nice to meet you Frank): INDOOR SOFTBALL < OUTDOOR SOFTBALL. This year from a scheduling standpoint could get interesting.
With Kristi’s floating schedule as a nurse and Ayden wanting to get ‘involved’ in soccer – I say ‘involved’ because I don’t think he really understands the concept of playing a sport yet. The practicing, the strategy…and the spending more than two minutes doing something that doesn’t involve a video game console controller. But we shall see. Maybe this mob mentality of belonging to a sports team (loosely interpreted obviously) will lasso him into a 5-10 minute attention span. Baby steps, always baby steps.
Living under roof of a two cat household, broken into two spheres, is nice. Sadie is confined to the lower realm with the barrier being the basement level door and little Miss Candy is ruler of the upper floor. Both cats have similar colors as they are both tortoiseshell but vastly different social skills. Candy is the social butterfly and craves attention. Sadie on the other hand wants none of that…or sudden noises or vague movements twenty feet away or to be out in the open with nothing to hide under. Oh well, I still love them both despite their polar oppositity. Don’t think that is a legit word per se but I’m going to roll with it.
The Sports Stalkers podcast on the Podbean app rolls on. We recorded our 11th show on Sunday, February 26th and have almost 400 cumulative downloads of the program since the inception at the beginning of December 2016. So if you get a chance to check that out, please do so and let me know your thoughts. I haven’t recorded a personal podcast recently because my phone storage is almost wiped out and I am trying to figure out what to remove to alleviate that problem or perhaps upgrade to the iPhone 7 for more storage. This latter solution probably makes the most sense anyway since my lower screen is cracked but I’m putting off spending more $$$ for the acquisition.
To my mom and my friends whom I have been lax on conversing with, I apologize. Hopefully with the new job and set schedule, I can get into more of a routine and be ‘better’.
My goal for the month of March is to post 12 or more items on my blog to get the people reading my stuff and increase the traffic so this fall I can possibly branch out into a paying gig for my writing. Everything is a process and repetition will lead me to bigger and better things on the publishing front or so I am inclined to believe.
Hope this first (post) of March finds you happy and healthy…and if not, may you make decisions that put you stepping in the right direction.
Whether you put brush to canvas, chalk to sidewalk, pen to paper, ink to skin or words to paper, you are an artist. The depth of your artistry is subjective depending upon who is judging your work. Your most stout critic should always be yourself and also, your most supportive supporter should also be you. The outside world is another can of beans.
A poet who only writes poems for his/her mom, that only his/her mom reads; therefore subjectively to that mom, her child is probably the most gifted poet of all time. To a neutral English professor who has studied the various forms of poetry for three decades, he may be more inclined to say those same poems are hot garbage based on numerous flaws, least of which is poor spelling, followed closely by being written on used toilet paper.
One of the vital lynchpins of artistic expression is the experience each person who encounters it has. A man and a woman will look at a charcoal rendering of a sunrise over a lake surrounded by woods. Each person will have a primal reaction to the piece. The guy may relate, hey that looks like a great place to go fishing. The gal may look at the same piece and start planning her honeymoon for a man (or woman) she hasn’t even met yet. These are basic first impressions and something in the piece may have tapped into a memory or a fantasy for each of them.
I can see that beauty in the pieces I write. Not all of them are stellar works, but while I am relaying a point of view on a topic of interest to me, it may strike a different chord across the board with my readers. When I write about baseball some of my readers may shut down and scroll on; unless I have cool images stolen from the internet that have some sort of appeal or interest. Others still have no real interest in my baseball view but read anyway to feel the flow of the point I am trying to make. Not every thing is black and white in a story. A baseball story (or a hockey story) may really have an undercurrent speaking to loyalty and having a side of the fence – regardless whether it is right or wrong.
One of the tougher things about being an artist or having artistic expression, is knowing what your art is missing and when too much is overkill. When you draw a picture of a face, you add the eyes, a nose and a mouth. But what about stepping back and drawing the curves and contours of the face? Adding well-plucked eyebrows. Delicately adding fine eyelashes. Does the expression of the mouth change the light and shadows around the eyes and cheeks? Are there any distinguishing scars or freckles? Now you must add hair and note the direction(s) it flows. The proportion of the hair needs to be examined. With the addition of hair, you now need to sketch the neck and throat area. With all of these things accounted for, what are the intangibles missing from your picture? Are you happy with it? Does it need facial hair, jewelry, something else entirely? You can go so deep and add so many bells and whistles and still not feel finished. Before you add your signature or initials to your ‘finished’ piece, how does it feel to you? Will someone who sees this piece recognize this person if they know them? If so, does it do them justice?
This thought process crosses all mediums. Then the process may only take a few minutes or can drag on for hours or days or longer if you creatively get stuck…or afraid to complete it. Fear of messing something up has stalled many a project. You have the genesis for what you think is an inspiring or compelling piece. The whirlwind romance of you and the idea start out hot and heavy. Then about mid-way through you consider something new or have another layer that could make your work better or it could completely drown your start in potty fodder. Sometimes it takes a few hyperventilating breaths to go on…because no one wants to fail. There are many things in my life I have started and not finished. I think most of us can honestly say this. Being judged is hard. Being judged inferior is even harder – whether it is reality or not – and can feel like a cork screw to the gut or the heart. At some point you just have to have resolute confidence in yourself – almost to a maniacal point. Some of the best artists of all-time and even modern times have had crisis of confidence and sanity. Look at 2007 Britney Spears. Not everyone can pull off the crazy and come out the other side successful. And no I’m not saying she is an all-time great, just noting an ‘artist’ who put herself out there for better or worse and survived.
So whatever you do to express yourself, keep doing it and push yourself to reinvent your vision and passion. Every day is a blank canvas and you can splash some you on it.
Have a great hump day. Peace.
Good day! It is very crisp and chilly here in the Show Me state. My complaints about the cold are legendary among my friends…yet I still end up doing ridiculous things (outdoors) like playing softball when the temperatures are in the 20’s and the like. That scenario seems likely for this Saturday unless the forecast has a radical realignment (C’mon southern jet-stream!!)
So the title of this post is Essential Tremor and the condition is also known as kinetic tremor. Below is a brief synopsis.
Shaking occurs with simple tasks such as tying shoelaces, writing, or shaving. Symptoms may be aggravated by stress, fatigue, caffeine, and temperature extremes.
The reason I bring this topic up is; a good friend of mine, that I have played ball with and against for years, recently broke through the pleasantries of hey how are ya doing and other small talk between games of a tourney to ask about my hands. He said I noticed for awhile that your hands shake and I always wanted to ask about it but I didn’t want to pry. Do you have Parkinson’s (disease)?
I only really started playing softball with any regularity in 2004. But for the majority of that time I have been affected by essential tremor. The symptoms really do not affect my ‘ability’ to play softball. I can minimize the shaking in my hands by holding a bat or putting my hands in my pockets or holding a heavy camera. Luckily my camera has a built-in mechanism to offset the shakiness so the majority of pictures I take turn out clear. Occasionally, in between innings, someone will comment, “dude you are shaking.” I usually just play it off by saying yeah I always shake. Most people I have played around a long time are aware of the phenomenon and don’t make a big deal about it.
So back to my friend’s concerned inquiry. I informed him I do not have Parkinson’s but instead I have Essential Tremor. I’ve had multiple discussions with my last two doctors and they have assured me that I do not have Parkinson’s and based on my family history I should be OK. As far as the Essential Tremor symptoms and treatments (there is no cure) – there really isn’t much that can be done except some experimental medications that like most treatments – the side effects tend to be worse that the condition itself with no guarantee of improvement.
But I was genuinely touched by his concern. In this world of pseudo friends, it was nice that someone whom I do not see all that often expressed some concern for my well being. The shaking in my hands can be minimized by reducing stress, limiting caffeine, getting plenty of sleep and not smoking. Well one out four is something right? lol
Luckily I am on the lesser end of the spectrum for symptoms. I do not suffer from facial twitches, neck spasms, speech variations or leg twitches. In my professional life, it does tend to present challenges when being in front of a group or in interview situations where your demeanor and actions are scrutinized. In these situations, I try to keep my movements fluid or keep my hands clasped to keep the shaking from being as noticeable. Because in a professional environment, someone seeing your hands shaking could interpret that as you being nervous or un-confident. In turn your employer or potential employer may lack faith in your ability to do your job – no matter how well you may perform the duties necessary.
But never fear my faithful readers, I will forge ahead with my blog pieces no matter how jittery my fingers get (currently drinking a Full Throttle Energy Drink after a long irritating drive into the office on top of getting three or so hours of sleep).
I hope this piece was a bit insightful and a tiny glimpse into my daily life for you. Everyone has their obstacles in everyday life, but you keep climbing to get over them.
Until the next time, Happy Hump Day and peace to you.
Hello mid-December. You definitively seemed to have exceeded the speed limit to arrive here so swiftly. The couple of weeks after Thanksgiving and just before the onset of Christmas is kind of a stressful time, at least it has always felt that way to me. I usually am finishing up my Christmas shopping or about to complete the bulk of it and money is always tight. I know that monetary and physical gifts are not the end all be all of everything but I do try to show my innermost circle a little consumer love to show I put at least a little thought into what they might like based on my shoestring and pocket lint budget.
This year I am buying for my girlfriend, her son, my mother and her husband. I would like to buy about 15-20 more people gifts to show my appreciation but alas those Powerball numbers have me on their naughty list once again. I guess I may be on a few other people’s naughty list as well so I should see what the exchange rate for coal is these days.
It is a week and a half until Christmas and most of what I am looking forward to is the time off from work. Hopefully I can devise a plan to channel my creativity into the outlets I have been contemplating for several years now. Because personally I do not know if I can take another year trapped in limbo at a job that does not value people or expect any real input or feedback.
So I guess it’s time to put out a New Year’s resolution to be more dedicated to myself and the pursuit of something better; Healthy mind and body in 2016 or bust…that’s the goal.
Hope you are having a low stress holiday season.