Friday, July 18, 2014

You get one life do-over. What would it be?

What was I thinking when I came up with this topic??? I have no earthly idea.

I suppose the obvious answer for me is simply take better care of myself over the years. But with an early 50s family record I simply ignored good sense. There's an old saying - "If I'd known I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself".

I joke about the multiple Xs in front of the L on my "buffalo petite" frame. Clearly I have food issues. It's my addiction. I love to cook and I love to eat. Until just recently there were no other issues but the stress of the last 5-6 years has taken it's toll. That nasty "D" word for older fatties like me has raised its ugly head as has the high blood pressure bugaboo. Not off the charts crazy BP - but still enough to have to watch it. My Docs over the years marveled at how healthy I have stayed. One - good old Dr Tilkin - sat in the examining room with an angry look on her face. She reminds me a bit of the bride of Frankenstein with her hairdo -the Doc's is all silvery gray but the do - well it's close enough.

At any rate, she had a serious glare on her face. The comment was "I hate to tell a ### pound man he is healthy but dammit it's true. But I guarantee it won't last forever (she was right).

There's a direct correlation between something I would NOT change - I have smoked but one cigarette my entire life.  That was under a bridge with a few buddies. Luckily we were busted by one of their dads - so technically I never even finished it but I realized then and there I would never be a smoker. During my college days I became very adept at making special brownies and spaghetti sauce so I rarely even smoked the evil weed although I did get plenty of second-hand smoke at concerts and the like.  But I digress. 

Until my mid forties I  played a very aggressive brand of softball and racquetball.  My knees survived 6 years of football but the softball and racquetball did them in and now I gimp around a lot and working at home the last few years has made me entirely too sedentary.  

So there ya have it.  I should have managed my weight and health better so that's my do-over. But like most of us, I figured I was invincible back in those old days.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Self esteem

Self esteem.  We all need it.  Some folks have an excess of self esteem.

Some have an empty vessel that should be filled with it.

A lot of money is spent by those seeking to raise their self esteem.

Why the disparity? Life gets in the way. Sometimes with good results, sometimes with not-so-good results. I seriously doubt there is a self-esteem gene - IMHO it's a learned experience.  Nurture, not nature. I'll use youth sports in this little ditty to try and make a point..

Some unfortunate folks are beaten down early in life.  Very early.  Mom and/or dad  simply do not understand or care what the ramifications of their constant browbeating on their kids actually are. Destroy a child's confidence and you destroy the child and possibly the adult that child will become. Prevent a child from learning  the disappointment that comes from losing is a disservice to that child and ultimately to society. Kids need to learn to be both good losers and good winners. Positive reinforcement in a negative circumstance is essential. Perhaps it's just my Western Jock mentality but it makes more sense to ground kids in reality than to to ignore it.  Of course we tell so many cultural lies to our kids  (Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Storks deliver babies - etc.)  that a dose of reality just might be refreshing.
I recall from my time as a participant in youth sports feeling like total crap when my team lost a baseball game.  Especially if I pitched. For about 10 minutes I was a real bear.  But as the pizza place was about 15 minutes away I happily put the loss aside and dove into a Pizza Joynt Confusion with both my teammates and the other team.  After all - we went to the same schools, played on the same sandlot teams and were most assuredly pals.  Between bites of pizza we were learning - unbeknownst to us - valuable life lessons. Sometimes the best lessons are learned without knowing they are being learned.

Not everyone is built to be a captain of industry. Not everyone is built to be a world-class athlete. Not everyone is built to be a philosopher - except maybe Ramana.  The trick is to recognize we are built to be ourselves and to be comfortable in our own skins. 

That's a quick shack-take on the weekly topic.  Please check the others in the LBC to see what they think.

Friday, July 4, 2014

But..... LBC post

We've all heard it.  No doubt we've all said it.  It's the trailer to those facts that do not jibe with our point.  It's the exception to our rule.  Or to the statement made by the debater with whom we are engaged.

But what about yickety yack doo dah.  But can be a terrific counter punch to the argument being promoted by your opponent. It's the contrast to the presented argument used to show the argument is not without flaws.  There's wiggle room if the discussion is a negotiation.

But holds the key to many things.

It's the sign of the curiosity of a child.

It's the heart of a poem about things left unsaid or deed left undone.

But You Didn't

By Merrill Glass
Remember the time you lent me your car and I dented it?
I thought you'd kill me…
But you didn't.

Remember the time I forgot to tell you the dance was
formal, and you came in jeans?
I thought you’d hate me…
But you didn't.

Remember the times I'd flirt with
other boys just to make you jealous, and
you were?
I thought you'd drop me…
But you didn't.

There were plenty of things you did to put up with me,
to keep me happy, to love me, and there are
so many things I wanted to tell
you when you returned from
But you didn't.

All these things and more - that's what those 3 letters can do.

Check out the other LBC posters for their take on But...

Friday, June 27, 2014

Much ado about nothing....

Come on.  Admit it.  We've all been there.  There's some moment or situation on our lives that we were guilty of blowing something out of all reasonable proportion.   Nobody is reasonable and sane 100% of the time - at least if you're honest with yourself.

The current political scene here in the USA and in other countries is a prime example of  today's topic in action.  So deep are the lines drawn in the sand that when either side passes gas the other pounces on that fact and blasts the offender as an unpatriotic, society destroying boob. 

Kids are great at making much ado about nothing - especially when it comes to hurting themselves in some minor way.  After long periods of wailing and crying the application of a simple band aid usually solves the matter.  Regardless of the owie - a band aid is typically a fix-all response.

In many cases some folks will blow anther's error out of all proportion - simply to make themselves look better.  Although the result is often completely the opposite it happens regularly in the business world.

As the source of the saying concerned spying and gossiping about others (at least that is what I am led to believe as I am not nor have I ever been a fan of Shakespeare)  an analogous to the NSA and it's obsessive reading of emails and listening to phone calls seems also in order.  And the obsessive use of so-called traffic cameras everywhere - common in the UK and an the rise here -   seems also to be an example of overkill. We are rapidly becoming a society based on spying, snooping, gossip and rumor.  All central themes in Much Ado About Nothing.

Looking for a classic example of the topic in action? Take a look at what right-wing pundit Ann Coulter says about the  World Cup. God forbid you like tacos, curry, bangers and mash or something.  

So it seems there are countless examples of much ado about nothing screaming "Look at me!"  Secrets and secrecy abound.   Gossip is everywhere.  Here's a musical example that does real justice to Much Ado About Nothing.

That's my quick take on today's topic.  Time to see what the other LBC folks have to say.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Unwritten social agreements

Today's topic comes from The Old Fossil. 

Several examples immediately come to mind, some large scale and some not so large.

Individuals in a free society have  the responsibility - it seems to me at least - to take care of themselves, be self sufficient and not a burden to the rest of society.  Sounds good does it not? At least until the fickle finger of fate, karma, god, God, bad luck or whatever  you choose to accept as the cause for an action that derails your train and renders you for whatever reason incapable of keeping that unwritten contract/agreement.  So now you cannot "take care" of yourself/family.  Maybe you lost a job, had a major accident, illness - the reason is irrelevant.  The fact remains you are no longer keeping up your end of the social contract.

The fact you need help then calls into play another set of unwritten social contracts - namely that your family and friends rally to assist you and help you get going again.  Put the train back on the track. Their help may and indeed does come in many forms - perhaps financial and maybe more important - emotional. I recently experienced a huge emotional; lift when 3 of my oldest and dearest friends simply flew to Texas to spend a weekend hanging out with me shortly after Lynn passed away.  It was he subject of a blog entry you may remember - Are we too busy for what really matters. I didn't ask them to come - they simply adjusted their lives and came. 

The most important unwritten social contracts are  those between family and friends.  Loyalty when it matters most.  And honesty.  The truth is always the best antidote - especially when offered in a constructive, positive way when the truth being offerd is particularly painful.

There are many unwritten agreements that are at play in our lives daily.   Our lives are essentially largely series of habits - things we do "automatically" without thought.  Its in our best interests and by extension society's as well.  If we had to actually think about everything we do we'd be thoroughly worn out in a few hours. The unwritten agreement to be a good member of society allows us to  take the pressure off of ourselves.

Then there's the unwritten agreement to have an LBC post up on time so I h-guess it's time to hit send. Time to see what the others have to say on the matter.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Unclehood - LBC topic

Unclehood.  I am Uncle Bubba to a fetching batch of young ladies - Becca, Sammy and Rachel - my brother's kids; Heidi and Nicole - my sister's kids; and Lin - an "adopted" niece and daughter of the late Pete Dintino - one of the best friends I have ever had. The moniker Bubba comes from the fact that my brother and sister - 11 and 10 years younger than I - could not say brother - it came out Bubba.  Still does.  So since they still call me Bubba it is only natural that my nieces all call me Uncle Bubba.

Interesting thing about being an uncle  - on occasion nieces - and I suppose nephews biut of course I have no personal experience there - might on occasion listen to you when they would likely blow off the actual parent.  Or so I've heard.

Truth of the matter is I am on Facebook largely because the nieces find it convenient to keep up with family comings and goings there.



Sister-in-law Margie, Sammy, Becca, my dad, Rachel
The bottom pic was at one of Sammy's softball games - she had a full scholarship to Notre Dame De Amur and it was close enough to home that there were always family members at the games.  Sammy is 6-ft. tall and got the pitching genes I wanted.  Becca is working and going to school.  Truth is she's the hell-raiser of the group.  New mom Rachel is happily at the moment a stay-at-home mom.  Nic is a chef  and Heidi a cosmetologist. Lin just graduated from college and is looking into grad school.  Pete is very proud of her - as am I and her other surrogate uncles - Pete' s posse - she did yeoman work taking care of Pete when he fell ill.  

I am extremely proud of each of my nieces. They have unlimited potential  and are working hard at realizing that potential. They are also very different.  My brother and sister's kids were brought up in the family tradition of athletics and Sammy pushed that envelope along quite nicely.Heidi and Nic were both excellent soccer players and their mom and I were involved as coaches, league officials and the like.Heidi and Nic are from Hawaii and have a special reverence for aunties and uncles because of that.  
Lin is quite independent and not afraid to do whatever it takes to get what she wants.  She spent time recently as a student ion Costa Rica.  It was  a great experience.  Becca and Sammy I think prefer Vegas.  But fear not - I believe what happens in Vegas stays there ladies. I bet the guy Sammy took out in one punch for messing with Becca wishes Sammy had stayed home though.

I've often wondered if the nieces think of me like this - Buck's kind of a roll model.

So that''s a quick shack-take on unclehood.

Friday, June 6, 2014

If I Could Invent One Thing To Make The World A Better Place It Would Be.....

This week's topic is silly.  Clearly the person that offered it was really reaching.  Oh - yeah. It was me.  

OK - here goes.  I'd invent a pill  - watch out big pharma - that gives everyone a sense of humor, patience,  the ability to move on from things they cannot change and that allows them to see the world through the eyes of a child. It might be a big pill but once you get it down I suspect you'd feel better and if everyone feels better wouldn't the world be a better place? Wouldn't the issues of the day be easier to solve with patience, humor and the wisdom of a child?

I think so. And since today's post is so short I've included a couple of tunes to make you smile (hopefully)

Oh what the heck - 3 songs. I just felt like hearing these this AM.

Tune in next week, same Bat time, same Bat channel for the next installment of the LBC saves the world, brought to you by Ramana, Ashok, Maxi and her always full glass, Maria and occasionally the Old Fossil.