Thursday, August 28, 2014

How to Wear a Ball Cap

The ball cap is made up of two components:

Part A - the cap (sometimes referred to as the lid or the beanie). The primary role of the cap is to cover the head.

Part B - The visor (sometimes referred to as the rim, or the brim). The primary role of the visor is to protect the eyes (and face) from foreign matter and offer protection from the sun.

The figure to the right also illustrates the proper way to wear a ball cap. In fact, it's the only proper way to wear a ball cap.

Somewhere along the way, someone decided to wear the ball cap with the visor at the back of the head. I don't know why, the expression "eyes on the back of your head" is merely a figure of speech and does not imply that there are actual eyes there that need the level of protection offered by the visor of a ball cap. In fact, wearing the visor at the back of the head also leaves your actual eyes and the rest of your face vulnerable to the elements one might wear a ball cap to protect them from. Also, wearing a ball cap with the visor at the back of your head does not look good, it makes you look less smart, less intellectual and far less fashionable that you may actually be.

Please, wear your ball cap properly or don't wear it at all. This has been a public service announcement.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Get the Hell Out of Your Car

There are few things I find more repulsive than people who are so lazy that they can't get out of their car for their donut, burger or coffee.

I'm willing to make a few concessions: handicapped people, a parent with several kids in the car - okay, I know how hard it it to make that all happen to go in an out and the window means one significant less worry.

However, if you just don't feel like getting out of your car, or it's just too hot outside for you, or it's just so convenient are among your excuses - for shame!

Were it my decision, I'd ban drive-thru windows, they not only encourage laziness but they so often screw up traffic and out road infrastructure everywhere in this country is already poor.

Aria-na-na

Sometimes people forget where they came from and how they got to where they are. Young Ariana Grande seems to be among them as she has something to learn about humility, maintaining a fan base, staying humble, and general human decency.

the link below will take you to my friend Dan's blog. Dan writes about his two daughter's unfortunate incident with Ariana Grande. I hope that this story goes viral so perhaps she can see the error of her ways and change while she is still young and has a fan base...or it's going to get ugly when she end up in the eventual and inevitable abyss of has-been-dom.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

10 Books

My friend (and incredible author) Erin Dionne inspired me to post this. For me, these are the first 10 books I could think of that were game changers...books that were so much more than a story or words on paper, these all had some tremendous impact on me.

Invitation to a Beheading - Vladimir Nabokov
A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
Mortal Fear - Greg Isles
Misery - Stephen King
Travels With Charley - John Steinbeck
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
Tuesday's With Morrie - Mitch Albom
A Pilgrim's Way - Walter C. Righter
Intensity - Dean Koontz
Don't Know Much About History - Kenneth C. Davis

I'm not going to go into detail in this post, for at least some of them, I have made mention of them in this space somewhere along the road. Take the time to at least look them up. Oh, and share your list.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Parenting and Other Daily Bits

Today has been all about passing large blocks of time between having to pick up my kid and drive her somewhere.

I just killed a rather large spider then called my cat over to enjoy a little protein snack.

A week and a few days before the official start of the Fall semester, I opened up my online course site to those ambitious students who wish to get an early preview.

There was a real weird thing today, which I shouldn't even mention here because I can't write about it!

The world and national news is so fucking depressing, I just need to tune out as much as I can afford to.

Fair amount of local drama as well, in particular with a local supermarket chain.


The video I posted yesterday, the promotional piece on the local farmer's market, was very well received.

Thanks to those who've reached out and asked about how Oliver is doing. A little over a week on the meds and he's pretty close to himself again. It was hard seeing him wheeze for air like that!

Off to sleep.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Ashland Farmer's Market

I've been an avid supporter of our local farmer's market and decided to make a promotional video for them.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Searching

Search committee work is not easy.

I am serving on the search committee at work for the "End User Services Specialist" position. Going through resumes and cover letters and making decisions that affect the workplace and the applicants is a serious responsibility.

This position is set up pretty tough, it was previously a help desk coordinator position, but my boss want this new employee to also manage the 4 techs. finding someone with both the technical skills and the management skills will be a great challenge. On top of that, in most cases, this person will make less money than the people they manage - that's not easy for most people.

Fight the good fight I guess.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Don't Know Much About...

I know there is a news story involving cops and Ferguson. That's it. Yes, I've managed to not pay attention to this story, partly by intent.

What I have seen is a lot of hash slinging.

I can make some generalizations by what I've read.

I do have respect in general for cops, that is, real cops. What is a real cop? To me, someone who willingly takes on the job fully understanding what it means and despite the potential dangers, is willing to take those risks to uphold the laws of our land, the safety of our citizens and respect the badge.

I have no business speaking about what it must feel like to be a cop, especially on the other side of something gone bad and when weapons and guns are involved.

I would thin that unless the danger perceived leaves no other choice, the decision to pull a trigger for a cop is one of the things that is hardest, takes the most training and despite years of experience and/or training, is still a decision so complex that most humans couldn't even begin to understand or unravel what it means. Yet, that decision has to be made in the blink of an eye.

Is there such a thing as a bad copy? Of course, every good copy would admit to that, I think.
Is it possible that the decision to shoot, and where to shoot has been made incorrectly on purpose? I hate to think so, but if there are bad cops, then I would say it has had to have happened.

That said, I know nothing of this case. I would like to believe that the decisions were made were done so in the honor and respect that a good, honest cop would make that decision.

What I would really like to happen is for all the trash talk to stop, especially by people who weren't there, even all the cops that are commenting - if you were not there, you don't know and your input (that is everyone's input) only makes the matter uglier.

In the end, there's a dead kid; that is sad even if it was warranted that he ended up dead. In the end, we can't save that life but it doesn't have to have been lost for nothing. I hope that when the dust settles, if all the idiots and the press will let it settle, that we can find out what really happened and learn something from it. If not, then society has failed.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Imbalance

Some days, it's way harder than others to count the blessings. I suppose that should be reason enough to force oneself to actually take the time to count them.

There has been an unusual imbalance of bad news the last few weeks. Just today, I learned of an old friend, someone that grew up on my block - last Monday, she went blind in her right eye. She's being treated at one of the best places on the planet, it seems that it is the result of a tumor. Crazy!

I sometimes wish the mysteries we are constantly confronted with in this short existence on earth weren't so hard to conquer.

On a bright and lovely note, my kid has been volunteering this week at a camp type thing. Pretty magical to watch her and to hear her reflect on the days when she was a little kid at camp.

For everyone out there going through a rough time, I am sending my thoughts and prayers out to you. Here's to finding peace and some sense of understanding. Here's to the good times, the laughter and happy moments to carry us all through.

Monday, August 18, 2014

It's Late - ish

Happy Birthday Cuzzup!!!

Apparently, there is lots of commotion going with cops and what have you. I have absolutely no clue as to what it all is and why it is happening. I sort of dropped out of all of it and I just don't want to have to care about it even at the risk of being labeled as irresponsible.

"Emotional Paralysis" - did I just coin that phrase? I hope so.

Things at work are a bit sad. It's hard to deal with because those of us who had been around for a long time have gone through so much turmoil and survived. he current president is someone I truly believe in but we seem to be in a hole that was dug by the previous one (or two) and could take some time to get out of. I am hopeful for a positive outcome and still very grateful that I have a job to go to every day.

Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaatch.

Anyone like me wondering just where the hell the last few months went?

Take care! Special thoughts going out to Elizabeth Vargas and Josh Gracin. I wish you both well, fight the good fight and be healthy!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Tea Time

Oliver seems to be responding positively to his medication, thank God!

Went to the Deluxe Station Diner in Newon Center for brunch with Vickie today. Cool place, good food, a bit pricey. I especially wanted to check it out because they are working on opening a location in Framingham, much closer to where I live. I wonder if they can sustain business long term on downtown Framingham, a different socioeconomic stratosphere than Newton Cebter...that is, if they plan to have the same pricing in Framingham than in Newton. Vickie and I did enjoy the place, just felt $30 for what we ate was about 15%-20% too high considering comparisons to other places we eat.

There is such a thing as a "bacon wallet".

Excited that my daughter has a community service project this week that will get her up at the crack of dawn. She's been seriously sleeping in all summer and school starts the week after next, so this is a good primer to get her back into the proper sleep rhythm.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Oliver is Sick

Oliver, my cat, on at least a few occasions in the last few days, has seemed to be choking on something and retching - as if trying to puke but unable to do so. These episodes are short, and he seems fine after, but are unusual and troubling.

This morning, Oliver seemed a bit lethargic and his breathing seemed a bit labored. Also, he spit out his treat; I knew something was odd. I decided I was going to take him to the vet, just to see if there was anything to be concerned with.

After a long wait, the doctor examined Oliver and took some x-rays to ensure there wasn't a blockage. Turns out he has inflammation in his lungs, which as she said, indicates either pneumonia or asthma. Since there were no other symptoms that are common to the pneumonia diagnosis, it is highly likely that it is asthma. I had to get prescriptions, pills for my cat, that made me sad.

It is not fun administering pills to my little guy but we seem to have a rhythm so far. Treats before and after and all seems okay...first day of meds are in the bank. Hopefully he is going to be ok.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

And He Posted on this Thursday

Comments like this make all the hard parts of teaching worth it, "Thanks for a fair, thought provoking class. You made us work for the grade and that's what we're paying for. While going through it I may have rolled my eyes, huffed and puffed and stressed about meeting the time lines... But in truth it was worth it. Enjoy the rest of your Summer!"

Been an Android user in all my Smartphone days, had an iPhone from work (a real piece of crap comparatively) just ordered a used Windows Phone - gotta check it out.

Even though I did my whole pay-it-forward thing last year, I love the idea of it so much that I wanted to do more of it this year. Today I saw a perfect opportunity and jumped on it. A package will be delivered on Saturday to an unsuspecting person.

Thanks again to all who contributed to my friend Barry's Kickstarter; the project was funded!!!

Take care.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I've Been Through the Dessert...

...on a Post with No Name.

You ever have that point early in the day where your mind is running on overdrive and you've got a bunch of ideas for things and by the time you get home form work or to any place where you finally have a little time to jot down your ideas, they all seem to have disappeared?

It seems I've raised many eyebrows over many topics the last few days but all I do is speak my mind. I am sometimes controversial but I try to be respectful and tasteful, sometimes it's harder than others.

Here's a great statement that My friend Barry posted to his FB page: "I want to address the fact that some people look at suicide as a cowardly and selfish act. Would you label someone who's dying from organ cancer a selfish coward? Of course not. If you can understand that, then think of depression as cancer of the mind (not the brain - the MIND). Imagine it as a type of cancer that spreads not through your cells, but through your thoughts and your emotions. If it's treated, it can be cured, maybe even healed. If allowed to spread, that cancer can take over your mind and your thoughts. Think of the deterioration that happens to cells from cancer. Think of the physical disability that come from cell destruction. Then think of your thoughts and feelings deteriorating and losing function in the same way. What would your thoughts be like? They might be twisted into thinking that killing yourself is a heroic act, that you'll be doing your friends and family a favor by removing yourself from their lives. As upside-down as it may seem, that's the reality of the depressed, suicidal mind. Just like a cancer-riddled body doesn't function in a healthy way, the depressed, suicidal mind doesn't think healthy thoughts. If more people understood this, perhaps the stigma and societal shame of mental illness wouldn't keep people from seeking the help they need."

I will leave it there for tonight.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Reflection on Robin

Obviously, there was a lot of Robin Williams talk today. So many different types of conversations, lots of emotion.

Yesterday evening, I wrote this, "Considering how much I've been entertained by him, the loss alone is very sad. The complete lack of understanding of how his demons got the better of him leaves me shocked. I feel like the only right thing to do, is as his wife asked in her statement, to remember the good, but human curiosity and confusion just has me wondering why and having so many questions." I suspect many of you can relate.

There are so many lessons we can, and really need to learn from all of this - so Robin Williams death was not in vain, despite how sad it was.

This one touched me quite a bit:

Life will go on for the rest of us.

Rest in peace Robin.