Saturday, April 21, 2018

Things That Irk Me

I am normally an up beat positive type of a guy. I do my best to keep a positive attitude even under the most stressful situations, but there are certain things that people do that will never fail to irk me. Some people call these things “pet peeves”, but I prefer to call them “things that irk me” (I just think ‘irk' is a great, underused word). So here it is, Mike’s official list of “Things That Irk Me”.
1) Push handles on pull doors.
2) People who just have to pull out in front of you, when there are no cars behind you, then make a left hand turn 100 ft. down the road.
3) Loud mouths
4) Greedy people
5) Hooray for me, and f#&k you, type of people
6) Drivers waiting to make a left hand turn in front of you that won’t move into the center of the intersection.
7) Power driven policemen who forget that they are being paid to serve and protect.
8) Warm beer
9) Cigarette smokers who complain when I light up a cigar.
10)People who love to tease and, dish out verbal abuse, but get indignant, and offended when you do the same to them.
11)People talking on cell phones when they are paying for their groceries.
12)People sending text messages on cell phones while they are (supposedly) driving.
13)Tailgaters
14)Wet cigars
15)Guys who can’t lift the toilet seat to piss
16)People who steal your lunch at work
17)Nosy, gossiping people
18)A bed that smells like “dog”
19)Slow golfers
20)Shoppers that block the whole aisle with their shopping carts
21)Cars that won’t start
22)Anything that won’t work, when I want it to
23)Flat tires
24)Beautiful women, that know that they are beautiful
25)Spam
26)Telemarketers calling at suppertime
27)Commercials that insult my manhood and, intelligence
28)Dead cell phone batteries
29)Racists
30)Varmints, flies, and cockroaches
31)Neighborhood cats in heat
32)Potholes
33)Not being able to find my car keys at 3:45 AM, because they weren’t hung up.
34)Pull handles on push doors

Wow, I never realized there are so many things that irk me! What was that I was saying before about being positive and upbeat? Forget that!

Friday, April 13, 2018

It Was a Crappy Day

Today was kind of a crappy day. You all know what I mean, it was cold, it rained, and nothing at work went right. It was the kind of day you just want to bitch about. We all have these kinds of days, and we all like to bitch about them.
A guy on my crew was in just this kind of mood, when he commented to me that today was a crappy day. Just then a thought occurred to me that I voiced out loud to him. “There are a lot of people in the ground, that wish they had a crappy day like this.”
So, it is, we all have crappy days, interspersed with good ones; but the fact is, we have days, and we should enjoy them all. So, life is not a bed of roses, but it is better than having no life at all.
I believe my comment, as morbid as it was, helped brighten the day of my co-worker, and made him think.
I hope I did the same for you.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

I've Got Work To Do

After reading "The Easter Egg Eating Contest", and "A Transcendental State Of Gullibility", I'm sure many folks are thinking that I am a cruel person. How could I do something like that to my own brother?
In my own defense, I must say, that I did pull some cruel practical jokes on Albert, but not one of them was premeditated. I honestly did not lay awake at night thinking of ways to get him. I would just find myself in a situation, and ad-lib it from there. They were very funny at the time (except to Albert).
Now over 40 years later, I do feel bad that I was such a bad brother to him, and I have been trying to atone to him.
I have written before that I believe this world is one big school, where soul learns how to be a mature soul, mostly through trial and error. Fortunately, for me, as I got older, I got to be more of a free thinker. I learned that humor should not be derived at someone else's expense. I have also learned many other lessons, some which came easily, while others have taken much effort on my part.
There is an old saying "only the good die young" that I believe to be true. If you have learned all the lessons you came here to learn, there is no reason to hang around. Well, I can say with some degree of certainty, that you will be able to read my dribble for many years to come, because I have many more lessons to learn.
I've got work to do.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

A Transcendental State Of Gullibility

This was my next nefarious scheme after "The Easter Egg Eating Contest"
When I was a young teen there was this girl that everyone had the hots for; her name was Pam Prue. Pam was a gorgeous girl for a fifteen year old. She had long flowing hair, a pretty face, and a big set of knockers; all of these things were rare for a fifteen year old girl in my school. All of the boys in school had the hots for her. One of these boys was my older brother Albert. Pam used to ride the same bus as Albert and I, and Albert was always drooling over her. The problem for Albert was that since she was so beautiful, she had her pick of any guy she wanted to go out with. Albert was over weight, and obnoxious, so he never really had any chance with her, and he knew it.
Shortly after the end of my freshman year during the summer vacation I was hanging around at my friend Doug’s house. Doug’s parents both worked during the day so Doug’s house was the logical place for us kids to hang out at during the day. Doug and I were bored, very bored and we didn’t know what to do for kicks. We were so bored that I finally said to Doug “I’m going to call Albert to see what he’s up to.” This shocked Doug because we NEVER wanted Albert to hang around with us.
I called my house and Albert picked up the phone “Hello” he said. I really don’t know what came over me, but I said in as high a voice as I could muster “Hello, Albert, this is Pam Prue.” Albert replied “Really?” I figured Albert would recognize my voice immediately but he didn’t, he really thought it was Pam Prue on the phone! Since I had Albert on the line (both literally and figuratively) I kept going using bashful sounding pauses to figure out what I was going to say. “Yes” I said, “Since school has ended I have missed not seeing you on the bus. I was wondering if maybe you could come by and see me?” Albert, noticeably taken by surprise said “Really?” I said “Yes really. I have been noticing you a lot lately and I think you are kind of cute. Can you come to my house and spend some time with me?” Albert said, I would like to but I have to mow the back yard right now.” “Well can you come over after you finish? I really would like to see you.” Albert replied, “I’ll be over as soon as I get done.” I said “Please hurry, I really want to see you!” Albert said “I’ll be there in an hour.” Then he hung up.
I hung up the phone and looked at Doug who was sitting at the table agape not believing what just happened. I said, “Let’s wait ten minutes then walk down to my house.” We waited ten minutes then made the short walk to my house. Out in the back yard was Albert sprinting back and forth across the back yard with the lawn mower! It took all of our self control not to bust out laughing until we got in the garage where Albert couldn't see us. We weren't laughing very long because here came Albert. Albert threw the lawn mower in the corner of the garage, jumped on my little sister’s banana bike that he was two sizes too big for and started peddling off. “Where are you going in such a hurry?” I shouted to him as he left. “Never mind you turkeys!” was all he said as he peddled away on the three mile trip to Pam’s house. Doug and I continued laughing our butts off until our sides were sore. Albert had once again reached a transcendental state of gullibility.
About an hour later I went home for lunch. My mother had various cold cuts and bread on the kitchen table so we could make sandwiches. Albert was making a sandwich so I strategically went on the other side of the table to make mine. I casually mentioned to Albert, “So Albert, how is Pam Prue?” Albert burst out “You son of a bitch!” and started chasing me around the table to a chorus of “Stop! Stop!” by my mother. I made a dash for the door and away I went.
Forty years have come and gone since that day. I have never found out what happened when Albert showed up at Pam’s front door. To this day Albert maintains he figured out my scheme before he got to her house, and turned around.
I know Albert better than that.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

The Easter Egg Eating Contest

I grew up in a family of five kids. Albert, was the oldest, followed closely (ten months), by me. The fact that we were so close of age is probably what led to his downfall. Albert was really a pretty good brother, especially as big brothers go. However he had committed a sin for which I could never forgive him. He was born before me. I was always a motivated individual, and a schemer. Albert was overweight, and pretty laid back. He was also very gullible. This made him perfect for my schemes.
My best friend Doug's parents both worked during the day, so we often hung out at his place. Doug was the muse for my schemes. One Good Friday, we were off from school, so that meant I was hanging out at Doug's house. Doug said to me "hey, I colored a bunch of Easter eggs." I said "so what?" Then he went on to explain that he colored four raw eggs, besides the hard boiled ones. "I colored all the raw eggs red so I would know which ones they were. But I haven't figured out what to do with them." I said to Doug, "grab two good eggs, and one red egg, and let's walk down to my house and see if Albert is home." Doug said "what ya gonna do?" I said "I don't know but I'll figure out something."
We walked down the street to my house with the eggs. Outside my house,in the side yard, was Albert. The situation was perfect. I walked up to Albert, and said "Albert, Doug and I officially challenge you to an Easter egg eating contest!" Doug then showed Albert the colored eggs. Albert said "ok turkeys! I'll kick your asses!" "Doug officially present Albert with the official Easter egg" I said as officially as I could. Doug handed Albert the red egg. "Albert, these are the official rules to the Easter egg eating contest. On the count of three you will crack the egg on your forehead, shell it, eat it,and the first one to whistle wins. Got it?" Albert said "you turkeys, I'll kick your asses!" Meanwhile Doug is shooting me sideways glances, not believing what was happening.
What happened next was what you would see in some TV sit-com. I counted to three, Albert splattered his red egg all over his face, and I some how managed to elude his grabbing me for the next hour while laughing as hard as I could.
Albert had reached a transcendental state of gullibility, not to be matched, until my next nefarious scheme.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Spring Is Here


Spring has sprung. Spring is everyone’s favorite time of the year. Everything that was brown, or white, is now green. The trees that were barren now have new leaves and blossoms. The robins are back singing their songs of happiness, and the world is filled with love.
Spring is not only a time of renewal, but it is also mating season. The birds are building their nests in preparation of their new arrivals, and the critters are getting together in order to propagate.
After a long cold winter of being cooped up indoors, people are happy to venture back outside. Joggers litter the sidewalks, golfers are gleefully chasing their little white balls around, and softball, and soccer players are filling up the parks. Springtime is filled with plants, animals, and people rejoicing.
Perhaps not everything about spring is positive; the flies and mosquitoes are back as nasty as ever, and sun burns are on the rise. Most people though will gladly put up with these trifles in order to get as far away from winter as possible.
Since everyone is enjoying spring with a skip in their step, and a song in their heart; I thought I would like to share my favorite song of spring with you. It is by Dr. Tom Lehrer, who happens to be a mathematics professor at Harvard. Enjoy! (This post will not be complete unless you click on the link and listen to this great song of spring.)
Happy Spring to you and yours!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks

When I was in college back in the 70's, computer science was a new subject that had been recently introduced. My roommate was a computer science major. I never saw the guy without a big stack of computer cards bound tightly with rubber bands. There were no PC's, Apple, or Microsoft at that time; computers were programmed by punching a card for each instruction you wanted the computer to perform. To run even the simplest program you needed to punch 500- 1000 cards with no mistakes, and you had to keep all of the cards in the correct order. Just one typo, or misplaced card would ruin all of the hard work you put into the program.
Needless to say I wanted nothing to do with Computer Science, or all of those punch cards. When I graduated in the late 70's I took pride in the fact that I was probably the last student to graduate college without ever taking a Computer Science course.
Five years after I graduated the first personal computers were introduced to the public. These computers did not run on punch cards, but instead you simply typed your instructions into the computer by writing them on a monitor screen. This, of course was much easier than punching a thousand cards; but the user still needed to understand computer language, and programming. Since I never learned either one, I shied away from these new PC's.
By the mid 90's computers had got so powerful and so simplified that your average twelve year old could work them with no problem. It was about this time that I decided that I too should become computer literate.
I bought a computer and started fiddling around with it. It normally did not take too long before I encountered a problem, or the computer would freeze up on me. My solution to these problems was to call my thirteen year old son to come and fix them. I was a complete and total pain in the butt for my young son; but what was I to do? In the last ten years I have become a little better on the computer, but compared to a normal nine year old I am still a computer moron.
Computers have taught me a lot about humility. My wife just bought me a new lap top computer that I am trying to figure out.
Thank God I have grand kids!

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Battling the Blues

Many people these days are struggling with depression in one form or another. This depression is often compounded in the winter time when there is less sunshine. Many people seek relief using prescription anti-depressants; and others seek it with alcohol, and other recreational drugs.
Most people who are taking antidepressants, and recreational drugs do not need to medicate themselves to feel better. Most people can find a way out of depression through natural means. We will discuss a few of these methods in a minute, but first, what is depression?
Most doctors believe that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. While this is true in some cases such as manic-depressives, and psychotics, who need medication; most depressives can be helped without antidepressants. Antidepressants tend to suppress the emotions which makes most users feel like robots that are incapable of feeling; they seldom help as intended, and leave the user feeling empty as well as depressed. These drugs are also responsible for violent outbreaks, and suicides.
If you are one of these folks, put down your Prozac and try some of these remedies.
Cut back on your sugar intake. We all know what sugar does to children; well adults are no different. Sugar provides a lift for a short time but also induces a mood crash after it burns off.
Find ways to externalize your thoughts. Many people suffering from depression spend too much time thinking about themselves. This is the breeding ground for all sorts of negative thoughts and feelings such as worry, feelings of inferiority, and stress. The cure for this is to find things to do to get you to think of something besides yourself. This could be a hobby, volunteer work, painting, writing, or any number of things. The important thing is to find something that you really like to do, and go do it.
Get some exercise. This really ties in with externalizing your thoughts, but also provides other benefits such as producing endorphins, and other mood lifting chemicals in the brain. You don't have to be a workout warrior to get the benefits. Go for a walk, or light jog every other day, that will do wonders for your over all feeling of well being.
If you live in a northern climate take extra vitamin D during the winter time. In the winter very few people get the amount of vitamin D they need. Less sun means less vitamin D production in your body, so you need to account for this. In the winter people should be taking 2,000 - 5,000 iu's of vitamin D daily. If you have a job where you get very little sun you should also be taking vitamin D supplements daily.
Open the spiritual channels to your higher self. Man is a spiritual being living in a physical body. If the ego becomes too distant from the spiritual self, depression is often the result. Try to take a few minutes each day to open yourself to spirit. This can be done in any number of ways such as meditation, contemplation, and prayer. I personally like to take a few moments to sing the HU during the course of the day, and before bed. HU is the secret and powerful name of God which makes a marvelous mantra to reconnect with spirit. Just fill yourself with love by thinking about someone you love, and sing HU (pronounced Hugh).
As I said there are many ways to open yourself to spirit, you just need to find the best one for you.
If you are suffering from the blues, or a clinical depressive, you will find that many of these techniques will help and improve your quality of life.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

The First Amendment Is a Two Edged Sword

All of this hoopla in Charlottesville, VA has got me thinking.
Basically it all started with this favorite radio/podcast host I have. This gentleman and his wife were driving up in Maine when a pickup truck drove past them with Confederate flags flying from the rear of their truck. This host, and his wife were offended by the flying of the Confederate flags, and pulled into a store parking lot to confront the folks in the truck. The radio/podcast host and his wife told the couple in the truck that they were offended by their flying of the Confederate flag which they saw as being racist in nature. They were summarily flipped off by the couple in the truck, and a short verbal confrontation occurred, fortunately no was hurt or worse.
As I listened to this tale, I was thinking to myself "Well the Confederate flag is a symbol, and symbols mean different things to different people. Their anger may be justified, but maybe my radio host and his wife were a little out of line."
But then I thought some more, "What if they were flying a Nazi flag instead of a Confederate flag from the back of their pickup truck?" This flag has definite racial meanings to it. Should I, or anyone else confront them to say that they are offended? Should there be a LAW that states that the Nazi flag not be flown by anyone in public?
This censorship of offensive material is a very slippery slope. The First Amendment to the Constitution states that no laws shall be passed to restrict the right of free speech of American citizens. Citizens also have a right to disagree with what others say. There is a right to express yourself, whether it be a Nazi Flag, Confederate Flag, or whether you have a Christmas tree. The Constitution does not give you the right to bash, pummel, or kill anyone who you disagree with, or who you feel offended by.
If you give the government, or anyone the power to censor Nazi Flags, Confederate Flags, statues of Robert E. Lee, etc. you are opening a Pandora's box. This is opening a door to anything, and everything being censored that someone, (or the government, who the Constitution is really protecting us from) finds offensive.
We all need to grow a thicker skin. Dumb asses fly Confederate flags in Maine, or wear Nazi gear for one reason; to piss people off. These dumb asses get off on doing that. Don't play into their game and add more anger which they feed off of. The best way to handle dumb asses is simply to ignore them
Allow dumb asses to be dumb asses as long as they are not violent dumb asses. The Constitution allows everyone who wants to be a dumb ass to be one.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

It Was a Crappy Day.

Today was kind of a crappy day. You all know what I mean, it was cold, it rained, and nothing at work went right. It was the kind of day you just want to bitch about. We all have these kinds of days, and we all like to bitch about them.
A guy on my crew was in just this kind of mood, when he commented to me that today was a crappy day. Just then a thought occurred to me that I voiced out loud to him. “There are a lot of people in the ground, that wish they had a crappy day like this.”
So, it is, we all have crappy days, interspersed with good ones; but the fact is, we have days, and we should enjoy them all. So, life is not a bed of roses, but it is better than having no life at all. I believe my comment, as morbid as it was, helped brighten the day of my co-worker, and made him think.
I hope I did the same for you.

About Me

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This site is more a column than a blog. I write humorous, spiritual, and political articles. Everything I write is designed to make you think; what you think is up to you.