Friday, November 28, 2008

Double Dose of Turkey

Got lot's o' Turkey on Tap— want some…

For the past few years, my wife and I have been hosting two Thanksgivings— one on Sunday for the kids, and one on the day for family and other friends. One would think that because we just hosted two Thanksgiving dinners this year, there would be tons of stories— but this year was quite uneventful.

Unlike last year when I was outside the butcher's (cell phone in hand) trying to get a hold of the butcher who wasn't there on Sunday to pick up the Turkey— we decided to get a turkey from the grocery store for Sunday's dinner. Considering that we went to church, this put a dent into the amount of time spent prepping for dinner. Fortunately, we had help in the form of our Grandson who helped peel potatoes, arranging the crudité platter, and setting the table.

My grandson peeling potatoes

Luckily my Step-Daughter was getting off work late that day, so we could put the turkey in the oven after we got back from church. Call my wife Martha if you like, but she always tries to have some sort of theme when we give a meal— and this one was no exception. We got some wood trivets from our Rummage Sale this year and incorporated them along with our many squirrels into a "Fall and Squirrel Theme".

Sunday's Spread (Fall and Squirrel Theme)

On Thursday, because we wanted to be different— as well as use the China my wife inherited from her mother, we set the table differently. We tried to be more formal, but still wanted a fall feel. We got extra help from our nephew who stayed overnight to help make two pies, stuff the bird, peel the potatoes, cut and arrange the crudité platter, and help set the table.

Thursday's Spread

This year I think that we played it safe. My wife and I keep thinking that we should mix it up a bit and perhaps have the Sunday dinner more experimental and the Thursday dinner more traditional— but we forgot to brainstorm enough this year and didn't feel comfortable going too far outside the box… there's always next year. Now… time to get working on those leftovers.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Coffee me silly

I must admit I love coffee. Unlike most people, I can have a cup before I go to bed and I am not effected. I used to have my own pot at my desk and sometimes had to say— "looks like it's a two pot day" after I finished off the first by myself. If anyone is familiar with Radiskull they can appreciate the affection that I have to the stuff— in fact I'm usually saying in a Radiskull voice: "Ahhh, hot brown liquid that makes my heart beat faster" whenever I see a new pot being made in the break room.

Much like the year I gave up soda, one year I decided to give up caffeine— not because… but just because I could. One would think that giving up caffeine I would go through withdrawal symptoms, but I didn't. I did falter unknowingly while drinking a Barq's Root Beer only to read the label and see that it had caffeine in it. Interestingly that same year was the year that Jolt Cola came out— so instead of toasting with champagne, we toasted with Jolt.

I never got much into energy drinks and the like, I just am a traditionalist and I stick to coffee. There is something I like about the bitterness in the taste that I find unique to coffee. However, there are those times when you get that burnt coffee taste when the pot has been left on too long— Yuck. And perhaps it is a Cardinal rule that church coffee never taste good— I never remember there being a time I just sat there during fellowship and commented "boy, this is a great cup of coffee".

I fear the day my doctor decides to tell me to stop drinking coffee… but until that time I'll just have to enjoy my two cups.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Follicle Holiday

When I was a sophomore in high school, I started to grow facial hair. Being an October child, I was younger than my class so I knew of the inevitable a year a head of time. I opted to go into theater that next winter instead of being on the wrestling team— not because I did not want to shave, but because I was better at it than wrestling… though I did tell some people that was the reason. When I did finally shave, I never touched my mustache and goatee because I liked the look. I managed to not have to be fully shaven for rolls that I played until I was nineteen and was playing Tony in West Side Story.

One could argue that because I was the same age as the character that I did not need to shave— but the director would not have it, he insisted that I be clean shaven. I held off as long as I could until dress rehearsal at which time I shaved off my goatee and half of my mustache to see if anybody noticed— nobody did. It felt very strange… mostly because my upper lip was sensitive— but it also made me think that my cheeks looked bigger.

After that point, I decided that I should grow a beard during the winter months. I opted to start growing my beard during Thanksgiving break so that I would not be looking like my (fictitious) long lost uncle Don, and would have a noticeable beard by the time I returned to class. I then decided to shave everything off on Valentines day— mostly because it is about the same distance from the new year as Thanksgiving, but also to be kind to the "ladies". I then start growing my mustache starting around Saint Patrick's Day and keep it until the cycle repeated itself in November.

I kept this cycle up for many years, even after I met my wife. I do not know why I decided to do a full shave on my birthday and be fully shaven until Thanksgiving— probably to look younger… but I do that as well. It must be very confusing to my wife, because many times when I forget to shave she inquires of me… "what follicle holiday is this?"— to which I must confess to her that I just neglected to shave.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Anonymity through Commonality

Given the Tyranny of Numbers in which more and more information is being added to the Internet, it made me wonder how that effects my Sphere of Influence.

I think that many of the search engines out there use some sort of formula in order to determine how to display their results. It is unclear to me why something makes it to the top of the list, but I would guess that it is based upon popularity. So, when you "Google" my name, you find an Alaskan hiker… or a Football Player.

Because of the commonality of my name, it makes it very difficult to find "me"… unless you know what to look for. This is either good or bad depending on what you want.

  • It is good in that people cannot find you based strictly on your given name. You have to know more about my Name—Category to know you truly found "me".
  • It is bad when I want people to actually find "me". You have to scroll through a lot of irrelevant stuff in order to find "me".

Much like your Carbon Footprint your Internet Footprint grows the more you add to it. So, hopefully I can add to my Internet Footprint and work my way up the results ladder by sheer numbers.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tyranny of Numbers

Even though the phrase Tyranny of Numbers was originally coined to describe an engineering problem with computer design, I tend to use it to describe the ever expanding Internet.

I do not have any statistics, but I know that the amount of information being placed on the Internet is always growing. For example, the fact that I am posting this blog adds more words to the Internet and makes it even larger. Since the amount of information is ever expanding— it is difficult to find what you are looking for, because there is more to go through to in order to find it.

Even though it may be difficult to find something, the fact alone that there is something to find will impact your sphere of influence when someone actually finds you. So, I do not feel as lonely because there is that possible chance that someone will find my work.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Sphere of Influence

"How big is your bubble?"

During the course of your life you will be around people. If you could add up the number of people that you have ever been around– even those that you never even met– it gets to be a pretty big number. For example, if you went to a professional football game, all of the people in the stadium, the football players, and even the people watching the game on TV when the camera pans past you count. You do not even have to be see the other person in order to influence someone (the fact alone that you are reading this and may have never met me proves it).

Any time you come in contact with someone, you will influence them. Influence can be conscious, unconscious, or even subconscious in nature. If you notice someone, talk to them, or even read something they wrote– most likely it is conscious because you are aware of their influence. If you are not aware of the influence by someone it is most likely unconscious because you are employing unconscious communication to relate to something even though the person is not around. If you are unaware of the persons presence but are still influenced by them, then it is subconscious.

Because of the fact that you can influence people through many different levels, and the number influenced is very large— if you could quantify those numbers you should be able to see how big your sphere of influence truly is.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Home Remedies

Since this is the cold and flu season– and since I just got over a cold– I figured that I should reveal some of my techniques for fighting a cold. I must admit that I am extremely aggressive when it comes to my own prescriptions, and many times I may not always stick to my regimen as faithfully as I describe. Because of this, do not think that these are tried and true methods. They are, however, methods that I have found work best for myself whenever I get sick.

  • Drink lots of liquids. Try to avoid diuretics such as coffee that contain caffeine as it will pull out more liquids than you put in (you don't want that). I do find that tea is a good exception because most of the time it does not have as much caffeine as coffe, and I can put a cough drop in it– especially if the cough drop contains menthol (helps the nose).
  • Have a regimen of medicine that you take on a routine basis. I typically take an antihistamine during the day as it does not make me sleepy– then take a decongestant in the evenings so that I don't have to worry about things dripping down my throat when I sleep. If I have a cough, I will take an expectorant during the day so I can clear out my lungs– then take a suppressant during the evening so that I do not have coughing fits that keep me up all night.
  • Suck on a cough drop and candy. Many times either my nose is stuffed up, or I have a cough, so sucking on a cough drop helps. I have found that after many cough drops my mouth is either dry, or it tastes funny… so I switch from time to time to a hard candy such as a watermellon Jolly Rancher.
  • Gargle, brush gargle. There are two types of gargling that I do nasal and throat. Mix up your warm salt water in a cup. For the nasal gargle, take a straw and cyphon some into it and drain it into your nose. Don't swallow the salt water, but try and keep it in your nasal cavety. Blow your nose when you are finished. Then do the throat gargle as you normally do. Once you are done gargleing, brush your teeth. When rinsing after brushing, swish some salt water in your mouth. Repeat the throat gargle to complete.
  • Take vitamin A. This is good for the mucus membranes. Don't take too much as this vitamin is fat soluble.
  • Eat fruit. This gives you vitamin C as well as puts something other than liquid in your belly.
  • Take a hot bath. I always say: "Feed a fever and Kill a cold"… so raising your temperature actually helps (me anyway). After your bath, wrap yourself up to stay warm (you don't want a chill).
  • Drink Soup. This adds the necessary salt to your system as well as keeps you warm.
  • Keep a positive attitude. It is said that if you are not emotionally well, it is harder to get physically well. So, be positive you'll get better soon.

My colds typically last about five days (though this last one lasted twice as long). Day one is when I notice I have a cold. Day two is when I have a stuffy nose. Day three is when I have a cough. Day four is when I am finally clearing my lungs and nose. And day five I am just exhausted from the ordeal. Since I have not really neglected my own home remedies, I never know if what I do makes my colds shorter or longer in length.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

From the mind, heart, and soul

I have found that I tend to describe my opinions beginning with the following statements: "I think…", "I know…", and "I believe…". After pondering this through, I found that each statement carries a particular weight based upon my understanding of that opinion and where it originates.

This is based upon observation. So often we observe something and make an immediate comment about it. This type of opinion or comment does not hold much weight because it may be considered reactionary in nature. The phase… "Thinking off the top of your head" comes to mind.
This is based upon conclusion. After pondering something long enough, you tend to draw a conclusion. These conclusions are emotionally derived, which make these opinions considered more heart-felt rather than head-strong in nature. The phrase… "Speaking from the heart" comes to mind.
This is based upon integration. The things that you know can be grouped together into a belief. Opinions like these carry a lot more weight than thinking or knowing because they have been ingrained into your belief system. These beliefs— in turn— touch your soul because they are so deeply integrated, and also reflect your soul whenever you express those opinions.

Given these definitions, the following statements now hold a different perspective to me:

  • "I think I know what I believe"
  • "I know I believe what I am thinking"
  • "I believe I know I think"

I know that there are others, so feel free to add your own statements if you think you can.

Web Analytics