Friday, December 19, 2014

Comfort Zone

Maxi and Ramana joined forces to give us this week's topic - Comfort Zone. You know that place - it's where you feel like you are in control and can accomplish the task at hand  quickly and efficiently with a minimum of stress. We all have one - in fact we all undoubtedly have many.

Take my job for example. When I have to write copy for computers, tablets or network products the words flow freely.  With digital cameras not so much. That's because I have been involved in the home computer industry since its inception and have written about those products regularly for the last 10 years.  Digital cameras on the other hand are the bailiwick of my buddy Robert and he is as comfortable writing about those cameras as I am about computer stuff.  If he has to write about computer stuff he struggles a bit.

Musically it will come as no surprise that my comfort zone is pop music, especially that of the sixties and seventies - though I have a degree of proficiency  in most decades. But I occasionally step out of my zone to listen to classical music - the complexity is fascinating and oh yeah - much of it sounds pretty darn good.  In fact my fave piece of music is a Baroque ditty - give it a listen. It's widely played this time of the year in many places.

Comfort zones and anxiety go hand-in-hand. It's good to expand your zones - step out of the box a bit. That lets us grow as people. Managing your anxiety is a critical element in life and - and it can in many cases be learned.  Try doing things differently.  Change some habits. Expand your zone. Enhance your life.

That's my quick shack-take on today's exercise.  Check out what the other LBC folk have to say - and I'll see ya next week, same bat time, same bat channel

Friday, December 12, 2014

Love's Labours Lost

Good old Wil again.   As I have stated in the past I am not a Shakespear fan, I'll approach this as a lost love commentary instead.  One that for whatever reason fell into the unrequited love column - like the one this song addresses -

We've all been there - at least I suspect if we are being honest.  Some more than once.

Of course the optimist would suggest that a broken heart is simply one more mistake to be cast aside on the way to finding the RIGHT ONE.  Hmm - that sounds oddly salesman like - ya gotta wade through the NOs to get to the one that says YES.  Some of us are lucky enough to have that experience in love. And also to encounter an aggressive salesperson.  Door knocking religions immediately spring to  mind.  But that's a discussion for another day.

Press on if you have a failed relationship.  After all, it's all just a game

The stakes may be high but the quest is certainly fun and the end result very much worthwhile.  Unless of course you're the solitary type. And that is fine too although it's not for me. There's just something about having someone who gets you - understands you completely and still cares about you. These days that task falls to my basset hound/collie mix - Ginger.

That's a quick shack take on this weeks topic, submitted by Gaelika in India.  We also have a new member joining the LBC this week - Lin from Germany. She's an old high school acquaintance of mine and she can be found at Dun Na Sead Rising so be sure to check her out along with the other LBC posters.  See ya next week - same bat time, same bat channel!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Emotional Alchemy

Emotional alchemy. That's a typical Old Fossil subject  - designed to make you think before you speak. Or not - I suppose it depends upon one's level of comfort seaking about personal chemistry and such.

I am essentially a shy, dumb jock gone to seed. Now I fancy myself something of an old curmudgeon. But - through the years there have been a few people with whom I had an almost instant connection. I'll briefly discuss a couple of them.

First up, of course, is my late wife Lynn. Love at first sight?  Well if not that then it was certainly something very similar. The first time we met there was an instant connection. We were both jocks - me a football player and Lynn a gymnast at BYU. Unlike with other young ladies, conversation between us flowed like a river. There was genuine interest there and it lasted for 45 years.  Not bad if I do say so myself.

The other person I want to briefly discuss is none other than the sage of Pune - Ramana.  We have enjoyed an easy rapport from the time we met.  Though coming from two very different cultures, Ramana and I hit it off immediately. We are somewhat similar in background - educated, widowed, we love music and movies and we both fancy a heated discussion.  Though we handle discussions a bit differently, we love them.  Ramana is ever the cool, calm rational fellow whilst I am more easily excitable. It makes for some interesting, fun times.

Emotional alchemy.  Magic?  Alchemy might imply that but it's really - to me - a matter of wanting to learn and a willingness to listen. At times logic dictates the emotions be ignored and reason  take the lead.  It might be nice if that were always the case but then we are people after all. Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory is much more common than one would hope.

Emotional alchemy. The chemistry class of life.

That's this weeks off-the-cuff shack take on the weekly LBC topic,  See ya next week - same bat time, same bat channel.

Sunday, November 30, 2014


There are times in one's life when the stress seems unbearable and simply placing one foot in front of the other seems almost impossible. The next time that happens,  click on these, close your eyes and sit back and relax.

Feel better??? It worked for me..

Friday, November 21, 2014

Most over rated artist

This weeks less than thrilling topic comes via - drum roll please - me. Oh well.

It's pretty simple to me - any celebrity that comes from the reality TV world - the duck dumbasses, the real housewives from anywhere and do on are vastly overrated.  Most if the stuff is scripted so it's as fake as the stars.  But the queen of all IMHO is that fabulously bubble-butted bimbo Kim Kardashian.

Her so-called career is based on a homemade porn tape.  For a time she was in competition with an heir to the Hilton fortune  but little Kimmy has pulled away from Paris and the pack.  Much to the chagrin of her sister Khloe and the Queen Mother Kris Jenner and rising hopeful Kendell. What an amazing family.  OJ's ex-lawyer is probably turning over in his grave.

In a somewhat more serious turn, I personally think  the authors of the so-called classics in literature are somewhat over rated. Not for the quality or lack thereof of their work but because of the attitudes of their fandom.  I suspect they ( their fanboys & fangirls) even resent being called fans  since they undoubtedly feel superior to the rest of the reading world.  Those authors spoke to and about their own times and culture. I prefer reading about those more relevant to my time. I'd much rather read about the goings on on the Busted Flush, tooling around Florida in miss Agnes or consulting with Milan Jacovich on good places to eat in Cleveland. And Kate Shugak has great tales of  life in Alaska and Tres Navarre really knows the Texas hill country. Walt Longmire is the best lawman around.  I do confess though to really enjoying a SherlocK Holmes tale or two along with Jules Verne.  See - it's all relative.

On a final note, even a great artist can lay an egg.  Can there be a more pretentious peace of musical crap than Imagine by John Lennon? Well - possibly Hey Jude, written to John's son Julian by hjis erstwhile bandmate Sir Paul..  They both make me cringe when I hear them played for the bazillionth time.

That's a quick shack-take on today's admittedly lightweight topic. Time to see what the others think. It might be interesting.

Friday, November 14, 2014


Todays topic  comes from Ramana. I wonder what his expectations for the topic may be.
Mine? Today has begun as a typical Friday here in Shackland.

Woke up. Got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head, Hm - where have I heard that before? :-) My expectations were simple - let the dog out, make some toast and coffee and sit down at the computer.  Check Ramana's blog for todays topic, ponder said topic for a minute or two and begin writing. Fairly simple, routine stuff. No task too difficult.

Tasks though - those are the things that give expectations some meat. The greater the task the greater the expectation for success or failure. Failing at a dask when expectations of success were very high can be extremely depressing. Expectations often need to be managed - the temptation to be over confident should be resisted at all cost.  Sounds good but we've all suffered at some point when our results have not met our expectations.

My expectations? Of my friends I expect honesty and a degree of loyalty. Of my work? At this point in time I expect nothing more than a paycheck and a fair amount of tsuris. Of life in general?  Since February not much if any.

So that's a quick shack-take on this weeks topic.  Now I'll see what the others have to say.

Friday, November 7, 2014


This weeks topic comes from the sage of Pune, India  - Ramana and Maxi from Florida so it's not my fault if you don't like it.

Blame.  Is it sheer irony that Ramana chose it as the weekly topic the same week as the great American blame game known as a national election? Arms are in agony across this land from waving fingers in disapproval and blame over the state of the nation. Things haven't been this ugly since the days of John Adams. And it is the other guy's fault.  The other party's fault. A collective breath of fresh air known as acceptance of responsibility is long over due. Why are things like this?

Really now people.  Everything in life we do not like simply cannot be the fault of someone else.  How about  the things we do that may not make sense??

To many people it's simply easier to pass the blame than to take responsibility for their actions.Admit it dear reader - you're no saint. Neither am I - I confess to have passed the buck a time or twoo over the years.  That doesn't make it right. Not when doing it right includes - and is especially true - when no one is watching.  Do the right thing - in spite of the influences of others. Right is right. Unless it's wrong.  Ahem.

By now I assume you've figured out the theme of this little ditty. Be tresponsible for your actions. There's always a choice.  The options may not be wholly attractive but there are choices to be made none the less. Make the choice. Don't blame someone or something else for the bad ones and don't give credit where it's not due forthe good ones - you did the work, put forth the effort and made it happen - often with the help and support of others.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I'm shackman and I approve this message. Check out what the other LBC folk have to say on the matter.