Monday, May 21, 2007

Good morning kitten.

OK, so I broke down the other day, I gave in. I agreed to get a cat!

My wife had wanted a cat and after much begging and pleading, I decided that it would be ok. Actually, it was more like she kept talking about it and wouldn’t stop so I agreed. I just felt it best to give her a hard time about it. I grew up with both dogs and cats so it didn’t bother me to get a cat. Growing up with both cats and dogs, I learned a few things. Cats are nice when they don’t have an attitude. Although I must admit that it is great when a tiny little cat can control a Very Big Saint Bernard.

We decided to adopt a kitten from a local animal shelter. We chose Emma because of her beautiful markings. She quickly became a part of the family. She enjoys being held so hopefully that will continue as she grows older, instead of having the standard attitude most cats have. While the wife felt that we should redecorate the Living Room in cat toys, the one she gets the most enjoyment from is a very inexpensive ball of yarn.

However, the most enjoyment I have received from having a kitten came at 6:30 on a Saturday morning. It was then that I woke up to go to the bathroom. Since I was too tired to fight with the kitten, I let her explore the bathroom, while I did what I needed to do. In the middle of my early morning ritual, the kitten decides to jump up on the edge of the toilet and proceeds to fall in, all while I am peeing. She immediately jumped from the toilet and took off!

I hadn’t laughed so hard in a long time. Needless to say, Emma received her first bath later that day. This was an experience in itself and luckily, no injuries from giving her a bath.

They say cats are smarter than dogs but, I don’t ever remember hearing of a dog jumping in a toilet, let alone, getting peed on. I have heard from so many people who say that the cat will remember that experience and won’t ever do that again. But after that, nothing would surprise me.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Dreams of a boring life.

When we were kids growing up, how many of us said, “I want to grow up to be someone who gets up everyday, goes to the same job and do the same boring, repetitive, meaningless task, day after day”?

I could just about bet that none of us ever had a dream like that. But that is exactly how most of our lives end up. Most of us had dreams of being somebody who did something incredibly exciting. Whatever happened to those dreams? Why did we let them go?

We would probably respond that life caught up to us, we began to listen to those who told us we couldn’t do it, we realized that they were dreams and we had bills to pay. While this may be true, why can’t we as adults find those dreams again and live life with some excitement?

While the dreams would have changed from the time we were kids, the idea is the same. Many times, it is just the fear of taking a chance and failing that stops us. Sure we may rationalize it in many ways but this is what it boils down to. So how do we recapture those dreams or more specifically, the dreams which ignite a fire in our heart?

Building passion is the beginning. By starting to focus on the thoughts, feelings and desires of what it is that you want and simply getting excited about it. As you do this, start taking some action towards your desire no matter how small. Now while this may sound somewhat like you’re hanging out in the self help section of the bookstore. What you are doing is changing the repetitive, day to day actions into something you enjoy. The more you increase doing the thing which you enjoy, the more you can decrease that which you don’t. Eventually you will be living your dream.

So if it is so simple, why don’t more of us take the step and begin changing our lives?


Tuesday, May 8, 2007

For Mom

Mom, as the time approaches where we set aside one day out of the 365 in an entire year to honor you, I thought I’d take a few minutes to give you some thoughts on how much everything you have done has been appreciated.

Being the youngest of three boys, I realize that by the time you got around to raising me, you had ‘given up’. Now most people may think that this is a bad thing but, I rather enjoyed it; it allowed me to get away with more. Now when I say you gave up, let me clarify, you didn’t give up as in quit, rather you just had enough and got to your breaking point, things just didn’t seem to bother you quite as much and because of that, I was able to do things that my brothers weren’t able to get away with. So actually, it isn’t you I should be thanking but, instead my brothers, for breaking you in and training you in the right way.

Now that we are ‘adults’, one of the more enjoyable times is when we are sitting around the dinner table, telling stories of our childhood. We can share these stories and tell you about them now just because you can’t ground us or punish us any more. The best part comes when we look over at you and you have this blank stare on your face and you respond with, “I never knew you did that!” Well now you do.

All humor aside, I do enjoy our relationship now. I am so thankful that I was raised with such love and care in such a wonderful family. This family has now grown to not only include children but grandchildren and even great-grandchildren. You have been the guiding force of this family. Thank you for everything you have done for me and for our family. Thank you for such wonderful love and guidance.

I’m proud to be your son!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Regrets of Time

Time travel is a concept which has intrigued people for a while. Even though Einstein theorized that it is possible, it is something we are not capable of proving right now. Although the idea has some interesting possibilities and even some dangers involved.

I watched to movies over the past weekend, both of which dealt with time travel but in different ways. ‘Click’ with Adam Sandler was about a man who has a ‘universal’ remote which allows him to control time by pausing and fast forwarding with the remote. The other movie was ‘The Lake House’ which had a unique spin on time and time travel. Two people communicated with one another yet they were separated by two years. Needless to say, after watching these movies and thinking about it, my brain would hurt a bit, although this has always been a subject I’ve enjoyed.

I wonder, if we were given the opportunity to travel back in time, how many of us really would want to. Memories are there for a reason, I think even if we were able to go back and relive the good times, just being able to watch and re-experience those events, it wouldn’t have the same effect on us. We would probably find our memories dull and boring compared to what they once were.

Everybody has regrets in their life which they wish they could change. It is these choices and our decisions (even the ones we regret) which make us the person we are today. Changing those decisions and correcting the regrets would make us a different person. Since we would be a different person, our lives and how they have turned out would be different. This is one of the paradoxes of time travel. A good example of this is the movie, ‘The Butterfly Effect’. Each time something in the past is changed, the future is changed.

One of the best stories I have read on time travel was a short story. I believe it was even called ‘The Paradox of Time Travel’. It was about a man who has a sex change at some point in his life, goes back in time and as a man, meets himself, as a woman. They create a child, which is he. Yes, it’s a hard concept to understand but, long story short, he is his own Father, Mother and Grandfather in the story. It’s a very interesting and unique story.

There are several paradoxes of time travel but, the question remains; would you really want to change anything? Regrets are there in your life to help you make better decisions the next time you are faced with a situation, it is a learning tool. One life, one time frame is hard enough to navigate; I couldn’t imagine trying to understand more than one. Making the right decisions, even if there are regrets down the line, allow me to become the best person I am capable of becoming.

For now, I think I will just leave time travel as something for the movies and stories. Instead, I think I will go take an asprin.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Common cents?

I watched a video from “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”. Jay did a segment entitled, “Dealing with the Public”. The episode played calls to 911 which included everything from a lady who was locked INSIDE her car, a man who wanted someone to come down and scrape ice off of his car windshield and a lady who wanted help with a taco.

While I laughed at the video, there was once a time when I would have just shook my head in disbelief and think that they just made it all up as a gag for the show. I realize now that they couldn’t make this up, it just wouldn’t be as funny or as original. I don’t laugh at it as much as I once did because, I deal with the public.

I work tech support for an Internet Service Provider. It wasn’t until I began to work at this job that I started to realize that when they handed out common sense, most people got change for theirs.

Sometimes I wonder if it is because it has the word ‘computer’ associated with it that people get overwhelmed and begin to think that everything needs to be confusing and have a scientific sounding name to it. For example, people think that a support technician may refer to one part as a “wired alternating conversion module”, but instead, it is simply called an electrical cord. For those who are short on change in the common sense area and having difficulty understanding this, think of your toaster for a second, an electrical cord (or power cord) is the part you plug into the outlet in the wall to make your toaster work. This is the same thing you plug into the outlet in the wall to make your computer work.

There are some things which you should never mail in the rebates for and common sense is one of them. Using your common sense is in part, simply just thinking about the situation, quit being lazy and figure it out for yourself. However, this is not always the case. I have known some very intelligent people and yet for as smart as they were, they did not have two pennies to rub together in the common sense area.

So the next time someone calls in to tech support, saying their computer isn’t working and wants me to jump through hoops to fix it and I ask them what is on the screen and they tell me they can’t see it because the power is out, I’ll just make a note of it so I can share it on my blog another time and just assume they spent their last penny in the common sense department.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The Big Moving Day

I’m looking for an electrical cord.

Not just your average electrical cord but, one that goes with a rechargeable air pump that I have. Without it, I can’t recharge the air pump and therefore, I can’t put air into my bicycle tires. It’s a horrible catch 22.

Sure, I could not worry about it and just take the bikes to the local gas station to put air in the tires. But then, I would have to load the bikes up and haul them and it would just be so much easier to just use the battery operated air pump to fill them up and before you ask, no I don’t have an old fashioned hand pump.

The whole idea of this article and the point I am trying to make is NOT about an air pump, an electrical cord, bicycles or even the fact that I am too lazy to take the bikes to the gas station. The point I am trying to make is why I can’t find the electrical cord. I can’t find the electrical cord simply because my wife and I just purchased and moved into our first home. I know the cord is actually here somewhere but, the question is where?

We began to pack almost as soon as we put the offer on our house. I thought I would try to make it as easy and as simple on us as we could. I began by labeling everything that was in the boxes and even listed which room they should but put into on ‘The Big Moving Day’. We had more than enough time to pack, clean and throw out garbage while we waited for the offer to be accepted and to settle on a closing date, only to have the closing date pushed back. Then we had more time to pack when the closing date got pushed back further. Needless to say, very few, if any of the labeled boxes made it to the correct room once they were moved. Most of the boxes made their way to MY basement, no matter what label was on the box. The list of items in the box would help, I was sure of it, if only I could remember what I meant by ‘Kitchen Items’ and ‘Bedroom Things’

As we packed, we soon discovered an amazing law of physics. Items packed in a box take up much more room than these same items cluttering up your living space and being strewn about the place. This created a new dilemma, where do we put everything so we have room to pack more boxes? The basement was out of the question, this was its own disaster area by itself. Besides, it needed packed and cleaned too (I didn’t realize how much of an understatement this was until later). Its times like these that you realize what families are for. So we moved our boxes into the garage of a family member, “For just a couple of weeks” (please note above where I mentioned our closing date and what happened to it).

When “The Big Moving Day” Finally arrived, I realized how useless it was to have the boxes labeled. By this point in the whole ordeal, you don’t care where the boxes go, what’s in the boxes or even if you got everything. Those ‘prized possessions’ that you took so much care in wrapping and protecting, you are just TOO willing to just chuck them into the nearest dumpster, just so you don’t have to carry one more box or try to find room for it in the overpriced rental truck you shelled out a weeks hard earned wages for. Of course, you park this truck in your driveway just as your buddies come pulling in with their pick up trucks.

You further discover that the labeling of boxes was by now, a ridiculous idea because on that moving day, you are taking your garbage can and throwing into it anything which is not nailed down, and if you could find a hammer you would get those items too. In your garbage can you find a collection of food from the fridge, telephone books, bathroom plunger and the TV remote. Once you finally have the truck unloaded and get to relax for two seconds, it slowly dawns on you that you still have more boxes in the garage of a family member.

When you have settled into your new home and can take your time opening boxes, trying to figure out what you meant with the strange abbreviations on the boxes, you can take your time looking for something as simple as an electrical cord. Which I am sure was put in a box where I would remember where it was.

But I don’t have the time to look for it now, I need to load the bikes onto the car and go to the gas station to put air in the tires.