Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Where everybody knows your name

The desire to belong is a strong motivator. Highschool is a good example. I can’t possibly count the number of times I humiliated myself to impress my peers. You know, I’m still not above doing that to this day. Some things just won’t change. We want to belong no matter our age. So, why wouldn’t you want to go where you would fit in? The idea of having a place where “everybody knows your name” seems ideal. But don’t dare allow this ideal be painted in such a way that you believe that it’s true. It’s actually a thorn. It may look pretty, but it comes with a price.
I take my lunch break each day at either Panera Bread or Barnes and Noble. I ,go in, I order a coffee and sit down with my Bible. Routine breeds familiarity, they say. When the guy at Barnes and Noble sees me in line he asks me, “Grande Verona today”? He sees me everyday so it’s pretty much a no-brainer. Besides, Verona is pretty much all they have to offer. Everything else is at least six dollars. I feel obligated to chit chat him up because of this thing between us. In turn, he offers to sell me a Barnes and Noble membership card that that’s good for 10% off any purchase. So, basically I’d be paying them to offer me a discount. I tell him maybe next time. He takes that to heart. He’ll make the same pitch tomorrow.The girls at Panera Bread stamp my card twice. The eighth one is free. They stamp it twice, they say, because I’m always in there. They come and clean my table while I’m reading. They take my plate and sweep off the crumbs from my table. I look up and smile. They know me. They all know me. They don’t know my name, but something more intimate. They know what I like. They know my routine. Some would call this good service. I call it annoying. It creeps me out and bursts by beloved bubble of anonymity. I just want to disappear with my thoughts.
Tomorrow, I think I’ll go to McDonalds. They don’t know me there yet. They ignore me. And I usually end up sitting in a booth that hasn’t been cleaned since their morning rush. I just want to go where no one cares about your name.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Our advancement will mark our end.

We are currently entering into a world wide data storage shortage. We are running out of memory. There is only so much data storage that this world can hold and we are speeding towards that limit. Scientists predict that we will reach maximum data capacity about the same time that Social Security runs out, strange coincidence, but unrelated. Some experts maintain that we will run out of storable knowledge well before we run on of memory. Experts theorize that we have learned all that there is to learn and we know almost all there is to know. Humankind will have reached its Everest once we learn to create life. The mapping of the human genenome has brought us to within a half century of that ultimate goal. Government officials will meet this week to discuss the useful of human existence once we run out of memory. Law makers from around the world will meet in Paris for the worlds’ first caucus on Human Value. Humankind will have no value once all life experience and knowledge is tagged and filed away in digital storage and we can reproduce life in the labs. It is vital, then that we get all the valuable knowledge stored before we run out of memory. To do this, lawmakers will decide which lives aren’t of value and which are. The result will be compiled in a Human Worth list. It is assumed that the sick and elderly will be put at the top of this list followed by the homeless. The worthless data in these categories consume data in the form of hospital records, court documents, and social work backlogs. Getting rid of this burden will greatly prolog the time remaining before we ultimately run out of memory. Those in these categories will be herded together in communal camps and humanly starved to death. The Caucus will set up guidelines for this mass deletion of redundant data. Life on this planet will continue to store data of all kinds in memory. This mass deletion will only delay the inevitable. We are still on the slippery slope. Our advancement will ultimately make us obsolete. The Human Worth list will continue listing each additional level of human worth. The last tier to be deleted will be scientist, politicians, those in the media, celebrities, and doctors. The value of worth will be weighed primary on ones’ the financial worth.

There is always a tinge of truth in every fable. You’ll find it just below the fantastic.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Easter with my Peeps

Easter will begin officially in about 10 minutes. I await it like I await the Hale-Bopp comet. Easter is my least favorite Judeo-Christian holiday and it consistently falls on my least favorite day of the week………Sunday. I have put my faith in an email I sent to the U.S. Postal Service in hopes that they would just change the date of this holiday to a more doable Monday or Tuesday. They are the guardians of all things "holiday", right? If Easter was a stamp, it would change twice a year! The Postal folks could change it if they wanted to.

I’m not a big fan of Peeps either, those gelatinous renditions of bunny rabbits, birds, and other barnyard domesticates that are made from puffed sugar. They tend to lodge in my windpipe. Candy companies usually bring them back around this time. I find them dangerous. I found myself, on several occasions, with one stuck flat down on my esophagus. Fortunately for me the dissolve rate is pretty quick. They are all sugar, you know, plus the foam that was building up in my lungs helped dissolve it to. I am alive today!!!!

It’s late now and I have a busy day planned: church, eating dinner with the folks and esophagus massages to work loose those Peeps. So, here’s to blue lips, collapsed lungs, and a slow brain death. Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

KARMA: The other white meat.

I had to call Dell's tech support a couple nights ago. My computer is always on the very cusp of self destruction due to spyware, viruses, and my propensity for deleting files at random. I waited in the call que for 45 minutes for my first misroute. You just have to plan to be routed into the wrong que at least twice,just plan on it. Don’t start getting frustrated until you’ve been transferred three times or more. I did finally get connected to a technical representative; he was Pakistani. My general rule is that in this situation one could justify being angry, furious even. You wouldn’t understand until it actually happens to you but technical problems are hard enough to resolve without out having to wade through a Quickie Mart accent. His name was Adeel Baasim which loosely translates to Steve. Steve berated me throughout our discussion for not understanding his directions. “Why did you type the back slash? I said forward slash. Huh? I’m asking you why, sir, did you type in the back slash when I so clearly said forward slash? Why? Why? I do not understand. I will say it one more time for you”, he said. Now, I did my best to bolster my patience with love and understanding. I had to by necessity; he was my computer’s only hope. I do hope that in some way I was able to put a damper on Steve’s day because he really put the cherry on top of mine. It would only be fair if he could walk away from our brief meeting with a dull throb in his temple. Yes, I would hope that or that he be reincarnated in another life as the control+alt+delete buttons on someone’s Dell.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Never let'em see ya think!

Never let’em see you think. I’ll stand by this maxim. It’s one I live by. My job requires that I, at times, must deliver bad news to customers. I’m a cell phone technician and I deal with manufacturers’ defects as well as defective customers. Customer abuse voids our products’ warranty and they don’t like hearing this as you would imagine when they bring their expensive cell phone and it's dripping wet. They demand I replace it with no cost to them. It’s times like this that I must deliver the "bad" news. They typically have a quick rebuttal and excuse which requires a quick and confident reply. Here’s the rub. If I stagger, stutter, or in any way hesitate……my credibility is shot. In the case of my job, I expose myself to a verbal attack and relinquish my “Alpha” status in the eyes of the customer. Basically,…..I expose my jugular. I still have the final word, but I have lost face and I appear dishonest. My body language has betrayed me. Where you look while you think says a lot about what you say and how you arrived at your conclusion. Click here to learn about eye movements and the cognitive process. It’s interesting stuff. You’ll understand my aversion to conversational confrontation after reading this. I'm afraid of being misread. I’m typically a fidgety mess on a good day anyway, so I appear shifty in confrontational situations. That’s why I prefer to get my thinking done in the privacy of my own head behind closed eyelids. And more importantly, behind closed doors. Never let’em see you think!

Go ahead, question God, sucka!

Did you know that arguing or bargaining with God is a biblical practice?  You are probably saying, "Ya, but those folks are fire fodder, swallowed up by the earth or pelted with burning sulfur".  It's not always the case check Joe's spin on the touchy subject of questioning God.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Mind Mapping

I dabbled in Mind Mapping in College back in 1997. It was a tremendous help and my grades received the full benefit. The premise is that we are visual learners. I visually drew my notes in college with lines and scribbles connecting thoughts. All the other students were basically dictating every word the professor would utter and spending hours after class deciphering it. That method is inefficient. Think of a bear. Go ahead think of a bear. Did you see the word bear in your mind or did you see an actual bear in you mind. You really have to struggle to picture the word bear. Most, if not all of us, see a picture of a bear in our mind's eye. Humans interpret things visually. Is it a coincidence that that the eyes sit just below our brains and the largest nerve in the body is the optical nerve? Check this link out below. It explains the basics.

Mind Mapping

Other userful links.
The buzan Mind Map website
Free Mind Map software

World Water Day

In honor of this Earth's first World Water Day....... I propose a toast! Grab a Super Slam Mug and fill that 40 oz. beast to the rim with pure sparkling tap! Today we drink like soldiers! Today we honor all things water! Today we celebrate ourselves and the large percentage that water composes. Today we honor the earth and the 70% of it that the fish call their toilet! So here's to you World Water Day and your 15 minutes of recognition. I will buy your bumper sticker for a dollar donation and I will proudly affix in a place of honor next to my Free Tibet sticker. Today we pour one out for homies gone by. The people have spoken! Cheers!

Is my Blue your Blue?

I remember I was in pre-school when I learned what red was. My teacher held up an apple and very deliberately said, "this is an apple and it is red". I was enlightened. Red is the color of apples. It wasn't until a little while later my world came crashing down on me. Granny Smiths are apples but they aren't red. Anyhow, for argument sake, lets consider the apple to be red. I took my teacher's word as gospel fact and I learned a valuable lesson. I now knew what red was because of the association with the apple.

Now let's consider for a moment, my classmates. They were at the same time being told what the color red was and how to identify it. My question now, after 25 years, is what if they didn't see the same red that I was seeing? I'm not talking about different shades but different colors altogether. What if little Johnny was actually seeing blue? He has been told that the name for what he is seeing is red. So, he calls it red. He sees, what I would say is, a blue apple, but he doesn't know it's not the same color as I'm seeing because he was taught that it is red. So the question would be, who can prove that we all see colors the same? The stop light is red and we go on green. What is green? Would you be shocked at what you were seeing if you were in my head looking out through my eyes. Ok, it can be measured to a certain degree because of what we know about the frequency of light and color and how our eyes detect them. But ponder for a moment what I've said. Take this same idea and apply it to other things. Smell? Sound? Dreams? Birth defects? Please don't blame me if you can't sleep at nights.

My Buddy Chris

Chris Etling!!!!! How are you doing?Your name forever immortalized in a blog.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

This is how baby Frankenstein started.

This website has given me some ideas on a fun outing with the kids from church:
You take spare toy parts and build new toys with them. It's sort of like Mad Max meets Playschool.

Monday, March 21, 2005

What is Spurgeon Blues?

Spurgeon Blues is a recurring column on the Worried Man Blues blog of quotes from "The Prince of Preachers", Charles Spurgeon. The commentary which sometimes follows is my own.

What is Today's Random Thought?

Today’s Random Thought is a recurring column on the Worried Man Blues blog. Each thought, I can only guess, must've fallen from the sky and into to my conscientiousness. I just happen to be in the way. They are important enough to me to write down and disturbing enough not to voice. This is my only outlet. Enjoy.

What is Today's Free Flow?

Today’s Free Flow is a recurring column on the Worried Man Blues blog. My Free Flows are poems, lyrics, or rhythmic progressions of ideas. Each Free Flow is my own creation to which I own all intellectual rights. I invite you to quote me; all I ask is that you give due credit in whatever form is appropriate. Please post links of your use on the Worried Man Blues blog. Thanks and enjoy!

What’s the deal with Today’s Invention?

Today’s Invention is a recurring column on the Worried Man Blues blog. Each invention is my own creation to which I own all intellectual rights. I invite you prototype any of these inventions. Have some fun with it. All I ask is that you give due credit in whatever form is appropriate. Please post your progress on the Worried Man Blues. I love to see my ideas come to fruition. Enjoy!

What is Today's Scene?

Today’s Scene is a recurring column on the Worried Man Blues blog. Each brief scene is my own creation and depicts the world through my mind’s eye. Let me warn you, however, my mind’s eye is crossed. The scene was designed with myself being the main character. Read them as if you are the main character. The ether is so full of strange thoughts, it's hard to predict what is going to stick in my head. These scenes remind me of the sketch comedy shows so prevalent these days on television. Each scene can stand alone much like a scene in a play. The difference being that there is no continuity between scenes. Enjoy what you read but don’t take any of it seriously. That’s today’s scene.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

What is The Quotable E?

The Quotable E is a column on the Worried Man Blues blog which lists off the wall quotes that I've penned. Each quote is my own creation to the best of my knowlege. Please, let me know if I take credit where credit is not due. I will credit quotes that are not my own or known quotes that I tweaked into my own words. I invite you to quote me; all I ask is that you give due credit in whatever form is appropriate. Please post links of your use on the Worried Man Blues blog. Thanks and enjoy!