Quote of the Week

"One cool judgment is worth a thousand hasty councils."
- Woodrow Wilson

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Just when I was hitting my stride, technology happened

Just when I was hitting my stride with this daily blog challenge I gave myself, technology happened. Or more accurately, didn't happen. For roughly a 24 hour stretch I had lost my internet access.

Thursday evening I was getting ready to make my daily post and....... no internet. I didn't worry too much. The internet goes out every once in a while, then it restores. It's not a game stopper for most of us. We can still live a few hours at a time without being online. Well, as long as we still have a cell phone signal of course.

I live out in the woods and in this remote area we pretty much have no options for internet providers. My options are the rural telephone company, a satellite provider, or a small local wireless service provider.

Since  don't have satellite TV anymore and have no interest in having it ever again, not bundling services makes the satellite option way too expensive. I really like the idea of working with the small local wireless provider. Even if they're a little more expensive, I'd like to see them succeed. But looking at the coverage map on their website, I'm not sure how good the speeds would actually be. I may have to have them out for a demo sometime for fully vet out that option.

Like most around here, by default the rural telephone company is the only viable option. While priced a little high for what you get, what you get it is a fairly reliable connection and pretty good consumer service.

But it is pretty comical when people do have problems. It truly is Midwest small town humor at it's best. Since us (mostly) Scandinavian linage Midwesterner country folks don't want to make a fuss, when we can't get online at home we follow these steps:

1) Wait for about five minutes to see if the connection fixes itself
2) Reboot the computer
3) Reboot the computer again and swear a little under your breathe
4) Reboot the modem and wireless router
5) Reboot the modem and wireless router again and swear a little under your breathe
6) Turn everything off for ten minutes and turn it all back on, then swear out loud
7) Run the diagnostic tool of your computer (optional beyond the skill sets of many)
8) Call or text a neighbor and ask if they have problems
9) Post on Facebook if anyone else is having problems
10) Give up and call tech support

Step 9 is where the small town humor kicks into high gear. Since I live where pretty much everyone knows everyone, when someone posts to Facebook asking if anyone else it having problem; roughly half the time an employee of the local phone company will comment that everything is fine on their end.

It's a running joke around here that whenever someone has a connection problem all they have to post about the connection problem on Facebook. Then within a half hour someone from the phone company will comment that everything it working and presto! The connection will miraculously be restored. Of course the timing of that is purely a coincidence, but it has sparked a humorous tongue-in-cheek local conspiracy theory.

Now the whole point of this (hopefully) funny small town first world problems story about internet service is not to complain about my service options. Nor is it to make an excuse for the break in my daily blogs. The point of this post is to highlight an area of self improvement for myself that this break in internet service brought to my attention.

Going with a "just in time delivery" model for a daily blog is not realistic. At least not for me. Besides the occasional outage of internet service (which I've found out is kind of important to posting a daily blog on the internet), life throws a  few curve balls and change ups at me. Much like everyone else, my day to day often strays from the plan. And I need to plan for my plans falling apart.

One feature the blog template I use has, along with all of them I'm sure, is the option to schedule when a post is published. There is absolutely no reason for me not have several posts written ahead of schedule, just waiting in queue to be posted automatically.

Planning ahead and using all, or at least more, of the tools at your disposal will help you be more successful at your goals. whatever they are. Plan your work, work your plan, and plan ahead for reworking you plan.

So, as I'm waiting for the sun to raise this Saturday morning, I'm writing a few posts and outlining a few other ideas so I can stay ahead of the game and be more productive and efficient with this blog.

I'm also doing my laundry while I write. Multitasking, baby, multitasking.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Two Americas - Target Christmas Shirt Edition

There can no longer be any denying it anymore. We live in two very distinct Americas now. Those who now go out of their way to be offended, or an opportunity for attention getting self pity. And those who live once was considered a normal life, but are now considered offensive (at the least) by the other America. 

The above meme shows what I'm talking about. A stereotypical self absorbed millennial seeking attention for her, in all likelihood self diagnosed, "condition." Pointing out how hurtful Target is for selling such an inappropriate, insensitive shirt.

And yes the irony of me giving my blog post from just yesterday the title EDC OCD is not lost on me. I still think it's a funny catchy title.

Then there is the guy on the right side of the meme. A guy with a dark sense of humor, despite having a real injury, being funny. The kind of person I wouldn't mind seeing more of.

One last thing. Note the offended one's name. This backs my "Boy Named Sue" theory. I named my theory after the Johnny Cash song. Basically it is: give a kid a messed up name and the kid will grow up being a messed up adult.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Two Great Attributes of Life

Have you ever re-read a favorite book and a line from it seems to pop out and grab you? That just happened to me. I'm reading Atlas Shrugged again. The classic written by Ayn Rand. If you've never read it before, it is will worth your time reading it. There is a link to where you can find it on Amazon below.

Funny thing is, the line was nothing that ever caught my attention before but it floored me when I read it tonight. I've just a little ways into the 2nd part of the book and tonight I read this line:

"A train has the two great attributes of life, she thought, motion and purpose...."

How brilliant is that?! Think about it. A train with motion and without a purpose, such as a train with empty cars, is just a waste. Burning fuel while moving nothing along the tracks, just being in the way of anything useful coming down the tracks. Then a train with a purpose and without motion, such as a train with loaded cars but a broken engine is also a waste. Full of useful items unable to get where they are needed.

Motion and purpose are really the two great attributes of life. Your personal life, your professional life, just life in general. Many of us are nothing more than "empty trains" running down the track at full speed. Also many of us are "loaded trains" full of potential, yet not getting anywhere.

This newly discovered passage in a favorite book seems to have hit me at the right time. As I'm a few days into my personal challenge to blog daily to find some motivation to get a few things moving in a better direction; I see I'm a "loaded train" lacking motion.

Starting to think it's time to switch tracks.


The above items remained on the top of my dresser all day yesterday. Yesterday was a long day. I have EDC OCD.

EDC is a buzzword of late. Well words. EDC stands for Every Day Carry. There are Facebook groups, blogs, websites, newsletters and even a niche industry devoted to crap one carries in their pockets or on their bodies everyday. Fancy pocket knives, sleek wallets, tiny high power flashlights. Solar powered smartphone chargers the size of a credit card. The coolest stuff has to be made from titanium or carbon fiber composites. Aircraft grade aluminum isn't cool enough anymore.

The EDC embraces many lifestyles and demographics. Business men, techies, prepper type mall ninjas, hipsters, and even normal people. Not to sound like a hipster, but I've been doing this long before it was cool. In all fairness, I still don't do it as cool as the hipsters, techies and the mall ninjas do. I just carry stuff in my pants that I find handy enough to carry them all the time.

Wallet, pocket knife, sharpie marker, multi tool, lighter, flashlight and chapstick. I use all pretty much daily. Many of the above items since I was a little kid. A trait I picked up from my dad. I can remember from my youth that at night on a the kitchen counter, in a neat pile he'd have the items that were always on him when he left the house. Almost the same items as I have zhown above.

And I left most of those items on my dresser yesterday.....

This is where my OCD kicked in. I didn't realize I left the above items behind until I got to work yesterday, an hour from home. I was tempted to turn around and go back home to retrieve the items, wasting two hours of my life doing so.

I survived the day without the above items. But thanks to my OCD I reached into my pockets just to check to see if items magically appeared during the day. It was a lot of times. If I didn't leave my Sharpie pen at home, I would have kept a tally.

Monday, December 5, 2016

I can't wait to see what's wrong with Dr. Ben Carson

I woke up this morning to see that Trump is going to nominate Dr. Ben Carson for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. While HUD is a Department of our Federal government I'd prefer see eliminated all together (along with Dept. of Homeland Security, Dept. of Education, Dept. of Energy and many others), I think Dr. Carson will be a good pick for that position.

Overall I like Dr. Carson and I think he should have done better in the Republican Presidential debates. A very smart man who's biggest weakness seemed to be being too soft spoken for the circus that the elections have become.

Dr. Benson started his path to being a neurosurgeon from humble beginnings in Detroit, MI. I'm sure his experiences with living in the inner city will be useful to help improve things.

I can't wait to see what's wrong with Dr. Ben Carson in the eyes of those who refuse to work to together getting out Nation on the right path. The excuses should be pretty entertaining.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

What gets my attention when I'm late for a wedding

This afternoon I attended a wedding at a small very old country church. Got there a little on the late side and ended up sitting in the very back of the church behind a soundboard.

The soundboard of discussion is not the one pictured here. This one is just an image I pulled from the internet. I thought it might be a little awkward standing up to take a picture of a church's soundboard in the middle of a wedding when I started thinking about it.

Why I started to think about it was because it looked so out of place. Inside a little century plus old country church was a cluster of sound equipment that looked like it came from a recording studio. A big soundboard. Several wireless receivers. Three computer monitors that were off the whole time. Plus a bunch of other equipment all constantly being adjusted and fiddled with by a guy wearing very big headphones.

I imagine the service sounded outstanding to the guy wearing the headphones. But to me, it sounded like a service in a little century plus old country church. Maybe the church needs enough headphones for everyone.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Procrastinators Having Problems Finishing Too

Does this picture look familiar? Does you laundry room or bedroom look like this? A basket of laundry, all clean and ready to be put away; but has been sitting like this for a few days? How about a dishwasher half loaded with clean dishes?

It's another type of procrastination.
Procrastinators like me have two main problems. One, we struggle getting started on a project. Two, we also struggle finishing a project, and don't mean we can't stop and just keep on working. I mean we stop with out finishing up the small things at the end.

Good example? A basket of washed, dried, and folded laundry sitting in a basket next to a dresser that's been there for three or four days. Got it all washed. Got it all dried. Got is all folded up nice. Just didn't quite get it into it's final place in the dresser.

If you're like this too, let's work on this together. Look around your house and/or office. See something almost done that's just sitting there. Finish it. Note it. Watch out for it in the future. But don't go over board running around the place looking for things to finish, for there is a good chance you'll get overwhelm with the amount of almost done projects and start pacing around in a mild panic and not get anything done. Speaking from experience here, and my Fitbit watch has the data to back me up.

Pick one, two, or maybe three items and work on them. Put your laundry away. When you get into the habit into doing that every time, move on to unloading the dishwasher. Then find the next thing.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Alarm Snooze Button Conspiracy Theory

I have a conspiracy theory, and its a good one if I don't say so myself. I call it the Alarm Snooze Button Conspiracy Theory.

Ever notice that on every alarm clock, or phone or watch with an alarm, that the snooze button is the largest button? Just look at the screen shot I took this morning of my phone. The snooze button is big and right smack dab in the middle of the phone's screen, while the stop button is barely noticeable at the bottom edge. Most table table alarms have the snooze button taking up about half the top of the dang things. This is done by design.

Some might argue that it is simply because it is easier for a half awake person who needs 10 more minutes of rest to blindly smack at the source of noise that awoke them too early. But I think it is a plot to make us all lazy. And it's working. Since the snooze button as become common place, few people get up on the first sounding of the alarm. I didn't take the time to research any actual data on this, but in this day and age no one fact checks anyways. So I feel it's safe to say only about 139 people in our once great punctual nation actually still wake up on time.

It's obviously a master plan of some elitist, globalist movement secret society who is hell bent on reducing America's world leading productively.  And they are doing it one 10 minute snooze at a time.

Whoever this shadow power is, they have every clock, phone and watch company in their pocket like a... like a....  in their pocket like a... drawing a blank. Dang it. Wish I could think of something that a watch maker made that would fit in a pocket. That would have been an epic way to end this blog post with.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Secretary of Defense Mattis has a nice ring to it

While I am not not a fan for Trump; his pick for Secretary of Defense is certainly a step in the right direction to win me over. General James Mattis is a true leader I've admired for a long time. He is a Marine's Marine. No nonsense, tell it like it is kind of guy who has integrity along with intensity.

 A strong proven leader who truly cares about our troops is exactly what we should be looking for in a Secretary of Defense.

It strikes me funny how some of my liberal friends are already up in arms over Trump's nomination pick for Secretary of Defense. One was ranting that the Department of Defense should be ran by a life long civilian, so there is no conflict of interest or "personal bias based on career background" as one friend put it. The same friend, who by the way, was up in arms over Trump's pick of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education for NOT having a stronger background with the public school system.

Safe to say my friend will come up with a reason why every pick Trumps make is a bad one.....

Some who are up in arms over General Mattis do have one valid point. There is a requirement that a Secretary of Defense must be retired from the military for at least seven years and General Mattis has not been retired from the Marine Corps that long yet. But that can be overcame. That condition was waived for General Marshall in 1950 to be our nations 3rd Secretary of Defense.

Two Side Notes:
1) General Marshall was one of our nations five start generals during World War II. That rank was created due to the size our Army and Navy grew to for the war effort. That rank was going to be given the name Marshall, but General George Marshall raised a fuss about being call Marshall Marshall, So the legend goes anyway.
2) One of the early stages of our path down the horrible road of political correctness is after Word War II when the War Department was reorganized into the Defense Department. 

Like with Marshall, I think it will be safe to say Mattis will be approved by Senate to become our next Secretary of Defense. The man is a great fit for the position. Secretary of Defense Mattis has a nice ring to it.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

I would like to talk you about about how there is no Jesus

Over the top religious types can get on my nerves, including atheists. Yes I meant to imply that atheists are a religious type.

I really don't care what your personal beliefs are. If they bring happiness and a sense of purpose to you, great. But there is no need to rub them in my face. Now the above example is really not that big of a deal for me. It's not like the owner of the car is knocking on my door to talk to me about how there is no Jesus. Or asking me to sign a petition to have some religious symbol removed from public view because they find it offensive to their beliefs.

But it really is amusing that someone would spend the time and money for vanity plates to show all drivers around them that they don't believe in God. And that they are bad at spelling.