Friday, November 28, 2008

what I am thankful for

The first "Thanksgiving" was from the settlers who invented dirt here in North America for a good harvest. God had provided, as He always does.
I'm thankful for a lot this year. I think of all of the things on the list, I'm most thankful for the growth in my life. I feel like my eyes have been opened a bit further in how much I have at my fingertips. That in and of itself seems huge. Over the past couple of years, I've been through a couple of tough things. I feel like I can see attacks and support now. I'm in an office where I can CONTINUE to grow too! In my previous employment, that wasn't really an option. I feel very lucky that I was thrown into the office that I'm in. The staff is awesome and I already feel at home here. I'm even getting hell from my counterpart in the IT dept in G-town! Yes, I'm even thankful for YOU!!! (even if you don't like eggnog) We've had a social where I met the important people to my job. I'm supposed to have lunch with another big dog in a week or two. The agents, the staff, and the management seem to like me (by giving me crap about this or that or the back desktop!). I feel accepted and more importantly respected. It seems a very dynamic office that I'm currently working in. There are a lot of major changes happening. And guess who is supposed to help things move along smoothly? Hah! If the ladies in my office are not old enough to be my mom, they're old enough to be my grandma! I think this has helped me so much. They seem to treat me like someone who is a bit like an adopted adult son. That is another thing I'm thankful for. I can make lots of mistakes and they will show me how to do things with patience. I'm not slow, but I'm not brilliant all of the time either. Every few days I ride the short bus to work and they keep me laughing while helping me keep the office going.
I'm also very thankful for a particular young lady that came into my life almost a year ago. I know that we will never be together for a couple of reasons, but you have helped me grow in more ways than you know. You hold so much of my respect. And I'll be keeping my eye out for a good man for you.
The last thing I'd like to mention is all of the encouragement that people, some more than others, have given me over this past year. It's kept me sane and able.
That is what I'm thankful for.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

oh yeah

And happy dead bird day

More thought provokers on the economy

I've been poking around in the news a little more of late and I've found a couple more good articles.

When the big dogs from the Detroit auto makers showed up to Congress in their private jet, Congress asked if they would take a pay cut. LOL So Congress sent them back to their factories. Just a thought here:

Monday, November 24, 2008

biggest encouragement I've had in a while

"it doesn't matter how many women want to have children - you only need ONE that doesn't"

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Am I crazy?

So, I had a drink with a good friend of mine this evening. He helped me get a job and so I promised a drink. Along the course of the conversation, we encountered a couple of people. The topic came up about dating and how hard it was so I went into my rant/whine. I don't want kids. I just don't. I love kids. They are awesome. They have such a positive attitude about everything. I just don't see myself changing my mind any time soon. So, I'm having trouble finding a date. Of the 132, as of tonight, women that I have asked, all but three want kids. One of them is a young adult in college. One is happily married. The third is married to her job. 1/132 is roughly 0.75%. That is less than 1%.
Am I crazy for not wanting kids? I've been struggling with the thought that I might never find a good girl that I can fall into. I'm not real sure where I should be going.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What does it take to be a king?

Kings come in many forms - managers, fathers, coaches, presidents, directors, judges, elected officials. What makes you ready for the position of king?
I don't know a man, nor have I ever heard of one, who was not completely blown away when he became a father. What would make you ready?
To me, it seems that all the kings of this world are supposed to do is give. They give their time on our behalf to take care of the formalities of having a society. They make us dinner when we are having a tough week. They negotiate on our behalf when we buy our first car. They help us work through things when they are not the easier day-to-day stuff. They organize events and oversee them for us. They show us how to do things and how to grow in it all.
In today's world, they are not always the people that they should be. They take millions and beg for billions. They hop around our planet in Lears and give presentations on how we can and should save the planet.
What would prepare a man to live a life of giving?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"What matters is what you do with what you have"

I just glanced at this quote the other day when I tore it out of my quote-a-day calendar on my desk and I wish I could find it now.
I remember a couple many years ago. They drove a suburban and a civic. The licenses were CMMM on the suburban and CJSMM on the civic. They stood for see Mike make money and see Jane spend Mike's money. I remember that they had to be pointed out to me by our "new girl" Laurie in the office where I worked on computers. She said that they were millionaires with investments worldwide. I would have been about 18. That seems so long ago.
The time that I observed them was right after Laurie mentioned it to me. The gal got out of her car right across the street to walk a brown paper bag and a 7up to the driver's side of a rusty old blue suburban.
It seems that the really wealthy just don't live crazy or lavish lives. They don't "live it up." They are sensible and caring. They get things that last; good investments. I remember hearing (I don't know if this is true) that Warren Buffett owned a simple Honda Civic until just a few years ago when he "splurged" on a Buick or Caddy. How many old caddies do you see still running around?
I have a friend that spends so much time thinking about how she can save more and more of her pathetic paychecks. She has investments, savings, NO debt and probably spends something like 8k/year. Most of her spending goes to living expenses and trips to see her friends and family.
At the bottom end of the spectrum, I know people who live on the interest rates. By that I mean that if the market takes a tumble, their home is repossessed. They live off of credit. They live larger than life, literally. They spend so much of their credit that to make bigger than the min would cause them to miss a payment on something else. Going on a vacation means that they get a new credit card to finance it. They don't know what it is like to KEEP money in a savings, because they have never had one.
Which end of the spectrum are you at? (This Q is just for you, not me.)

Monday, November 17, 2008

warms my heart

A new york steak
a good brew in front of a fire
the smell of the pinetrees in Vedawuoo
quad threes when everything gets there and a check/minraise FTW!!!
more than 3 people AIPF
the taste of chalk
being so pumped that I can't untie my knot
the final "Click!" of the anchors
ruined fingertips (which mine are right now)
a great cognac/scotch with company that appreciates it
the breeze on my cheek on any summit
the burn in my thighs at the bottom of a mogul run
good people
shared wisdom
respect among opposite ideas
respect for differing approaches
miles before me and behind me with only what I can carry on my back

hmmmm part 3

So, update on the little battle. *sigh* This is so huge. I know I don't have to take it on, but I have this curse called a heart. Right after a short convo about how we don't believe that anyone should throw free will to the wayside, Jon does exactly that. I'm not usually about talking about politics or religion, etc. But it seems to keep coming up in my conversations more and more.
When God created us, he instituted this awesome little thing called "free will" and I believe in keeping that idea. I don't think any philosophy or idea should be forced on anyone.
Then he proceeded to tell me more about how polygamy is such a great thing and how today's society just isn't built for marriage anymore. Marriage was a "religion" thing that Mormons started to keep their religion alive because of something that was wiping out their people. blah blah blah. He continued shoving it down my throat and telling me that "religion" has lied to me and that marriage will only keep a woman's heart until she can take you for everything you are worth.
That is Jon's religion/social philosophy. I don't care if he doesn't serve a god of some sort. I'm not looking forward to the next conversation where I tell him that we cannot talk about his religion any more. I hope that I can say it in a way that doesn't offend him.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

a few thoughts on the economy

Once in a while, I run across some interesting, and what I consider good, articles that talk about the economy. Here are some scraps for you all.
While I agree that Alan Greenspan helped the growth of the internet, he certainly did not destroy the economy. The topic is discussed here.
I think that checks and balances are generally good. With the introduction of a balance called Fannie Mae, the economy was held from the extreme variance of a purely open free-enterprise form of business. The downside is that the economy has paid for that security. Again, things must be balanced. If people are allowed to trade freely with no checks, everyone must pay attention to what is happening. A mistake here would collapse the whole market. The billion dollar question is how much should the markets pay for that luxury?
Things will be tough to sort out for our world leaders. But there is hope for sure!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

rule of 20 and how to keep a woman

I'm finding myself more and more defining my thoughts on how to love a woman. The past few months have been... an experience. I'm learning so much. Anyway, on topic! I have re-read the post on the rule of 20 and I'd like to add a few thoughts...

In the new version of the story, the wife was awesome and handed her guy a drink and went back to continue prepping a meal for him. She did this because she cared about him and wanted to do something special for him. It was not required of her. It was not her job. She did it because she wanted to. Whenever a lady does this for you, show some appreciation. Things like a word of praise over her efforts or a hug and a thank you/I love you, etc. She will react so well to it. Most men probably have no idea how many miles they would cover doing this.
Now, this isn't to say that you should just pander all of your attention on her from the moment you get home. This is about helping people get along and maybe even love each other. Take your 20 minutes. Let your mind relax and break for a few. That's more than okay, it is appropriate. When you "wake," wander in and offer to help. I find a great reaction in this even if there is jack to do because she is basically finished. That part is irrelevant. The point that is relevant is to offer some help and possibly take care of a simple task. She is more than likely to take into account that we are tired and our lack (I can't cook to save my life) of cooking ability. She'll probably give you something you can do that requires little to no cognitive ability. So you don't have to worry about mixing things or measuring things or ANYTHING that requires thought.

You should never be afraid to care. EVER. If you keep yourself from caring or trying, you will be doomed to singledom. You know what the worst part is? A woman will ALSO be doomed to that same curse. Once you've offered to buy that pretty girl a drink; once you've asked her out; once you've met her parents, make her day. And don't do it once or twice every month. Do it every other day or a couple of times each week. If her heart is fed, everyone will eat well.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

hmmmm part 2

"True politeness consists in making everyone as easy and comfortable as one can."

So, I had a short talk with Jon last night. I prayed a lot before, during, and afterward. I asked for wisdom several times. As we got into our talk, I realized I needed a lot more than just wisdom. I needed patience and courage too. You see, Jon has seen some tough times. I would guess that he's seen a lot more than most. I fought hard to keep myself from thinking that my ideas were better than his. It wasn't about what was better; it was about what was right.
Jon has a tough time hanging back and just listening to anything. If he feels attacked, he will launch an assault. I felt I was on a pretty fine line as I spoke. I wanted to focus on the problem. He had hurt me with a couple of things he said and then he proceeded to insult me and other people as well. I needed to bring this up to him in a way that he wouldn't feel as an attack.
I feel like I brought up to him the part where I was hurt in his calling me a chauvinist. I don't know how well I did with the other part. Maybe it will just take time. I feel like I got my first point across. I have worked very hard to understand people, specifically women, but men too. And when he called me that, it was basically telling me that I had gone in the opposite direction.
I feel better about it, but I feel like I've got a long way to go. until later...

Monday, November 10, 2008


I'm looking at a quote that I'm going to change a bit.
"A boy at home is safe, but that is not what boys are built for." Original credit to John Shedd.
I feel like I'm learning to become a warrior. My current battle exists in a relationship with a friend of mine that I've known for a couple of years now. In the past few weeks, he has started to express his thoughts on relationships, love, and women. He has spoken of "their place" in society. I feel like I'm being tossed a small challenge. I didn't realize it until last night though. I think that it wasn't a challenge until it hit me closer to home.
To be frank, I find myself in the company of degerates and low-lifes on what I feel is an all too regular basis. Anyway, this friend of mine, I'll call him Jon, has taken an interest in moving on from his relationship. I think his ex is not completely unjustified, but she broke his heart. That's not an easy thing. Well, Jon was feeling a little bit better about himself and found a girl to talk to the other night. He was all sorts of excited to tell me about it. And I was happy for him. Then he started asking what I knew about this particular girl. I've known her for a few years (4 I think) and have a decent idea of what she's about. I feel like she's a good girl who is a bit misguided. Anyway, she's seeing another guy I know a bit less. He has expressed to me that women "are things. The drink in my hand: a thing. The keys in my pocket: a thing. The couch and pillows on it: things. That girl: a thing." He told me this right after my crush at the time kind of dropped me and I was a bit down for it. So, he's seeing 4ish different girls right now.
When I told Jon about this, I mentioned that the guy was kind of a chauvinist. Now, I wasn't sure at the time, but this is a direct definition of the word male chauvinist: "noun. activity indicative of belief in the superiority of men over women."
He immediately shot back, "Oh you're a chauvinitst too! We wrote a paper about how women should just stay in the kitchen and leave you alone when you get home from work!" The "paper" he talked about was here. That was explained to me by a woman who's wisdom I will never begin to comprehend. I wrote the "paper" to help guys and girls get along better. I also wrote it with the idea of showing guys that once you take your time, you need to go after your girl and pursue her. Decompress, SURE! But once you are "normal" again, appreciate her for taking care of you; reciprocate things to her. That is not chauvinistic. It is merely asking for a little space. Then it is taking care of the girl.
My battle is to encourage him in his quest for a girlfriend and show him a little bit about being a leader (you have to be a servant!). And I don't know how to approach it yet. So, if you have any words of wisdom....

Friday, November 7, 2008

for the best education

"The best classroom is at the feet of an old person."

Privatization of government

I have a question: How many departments in our government would function more efficiently if they were handed over to a private firm? What if the issue of simple border patrol was handed over to a company? What if they were given half of our current budget to take care of illegal boats, airplanes, even customs? How efficient would that be? Well, if I were them, I would want to make the most money! That is what a company does! So, I'm going to get the job done while spending the least amount of money, so I can keep the rest and throw a nice Christmas party! What if the government gave them an extra 5% if they did a better job than last year? This would be something akin to a bonus! There could be several companies going after a given section of our border! Competition! Better companies might even offer a lower price to do the job! And for what? 50-55% of the current budget? I think I could be a Presidential Budget Adviser! I just saved 45%! This money could go to the national debt! WOOHOO!

The best thing we can do as a country (a bit long)

The United States loves to help other countries. We've spewed billions into foreign aid to countries that are stupid poor. Columbia, Tanzania, South Africa, etc. We have drained our economy so much with the war in Iraq, supporting illegal immigrants' kids for life, and waste still more by funneling into the black hole some people call the "Federal Government."
I'd like to share my thoughts.
As a libertarian, my philosophy is often skipped over for the more popular "right or left" syndrome. The truth of the matter is, everyone has parts of both left and right in their thoughts. So, on to point!
Foreign policy! There is a big world out there! Lots of people are working and building and living in very beautiful places. Some people live in huts, some in bars, still more live in poverty. The poverty line in the United States is pretty high compared to other countries. Last time I checked, it was somewhere around $12,000 a year as income. $12k won't go very far here. That's $1,000 per month! However, $12k will go miles in places like China, Argentina, and any third-world country. What you give up for that will be more costly than you might imagine though. To give you an example, $12k in China would be something like $150,000 here. That's a good income. So, we have things VERY well off here.
We keep on giving money to these countries... as a federal government! I have a question to any Chinese citizen: What have western companies done for your town? The answer might surprise you. They bring jobs. They bring incomes. They bring advancements to society. "Isn't that the government's job?" I hear that all too often. The answer? NO! It is not the government's job to give you everything you want. The government is to encourage economic growth, not give you a job. Companies can give you a job. That is their job - to make money. The government is to make that easier to do. I'm not sure how else I can say it.
So, leave the companies to give jobs. What SHOULD the government do? The government SHOULD be a good steward and stop wasting it's resources. It SHOULD spend money on things like debt. I can personally vouch that having debt is not a good thing. Debt is like disease. Many people CAN get rid of it, but it is very difficult. Some people never recover, because they don't try. It takes counsel (maybe from a doctor/financial adviser), elbow grease to figure things out, and plain old hard work to get things done.
The government SHOULD focus on providing the BEST education to our citizens. I'm not a fan of the Dept of Education. If teachers want a union, they will organize one. For now, re-write the purpose of the DOE to evaluate where EVERY school in north America and the world is making progress. Not just teaching the same stuff the same way it has for 20 years. Where are teachers finding newer and more effective ways of teaching? What works? What doesn't? Do private schools educate people better than public? If so, why not give everyone the voucher? Encourage competition among teachers! Encourage schools to go after the best teachers and to pay them well! I would bet that most teachers would love a new job offer out of the blue just because they did a good job the year before. If public schools are better, find the leaks! Where are they spewing money? Plug those leaks! Reward progress! Reward consistent efficiency!
I'm a big fan of working on our economy and I believe that education comes first in this endeavor. I believe that education has some of the bigger leaks in our society too, but I may save that for another blog.
What about the little guys? What about local businesses? Let's take them and encourage them to focus on hiring people who are not educated! People who have a high school diploma or less can work simple jobs! They can make those jobs better. Let's encourage small business owners to be teachers and mentors. Maybe even expand their business overseas to "help" foreigners. That can be our version of foreign aid. They can grow to be bigger companies. (I'm sure the owner will love the word "bigger!") This isn't taking jobs and income from our country. This is encouraging so much growth that the companies see foreign markets as investment opportunities. They WANT other countries to grow too! Just imagine what the communist Chinese government would say if a company told them that their GDP was about to balloon by $300 billion! China would fling it's doors open to western society so fast that we wouldn't be able to expand fast enough! What about Africa? There are thousands, maybe millions that just want a home again. They will work at Lowe's and Wal-Mart and appreciate the opportunity. Companies will jump at the chance.
Alright, so long rant! To knock it down, I believe that if we focus on education in schools and businesses, the economy shall grow. Then a strong economy will expand through borders into countries where marginal growth can begin.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

uhm, no?

So I read today that Colorado State University's President Larry Penley is resigning. There are lots of yadda yaddas and blah blahs, but one of the points really gets to me. As part of his "severance" or whatever, he is going to continue receiving his salary for an ENTIRE year! His salary is $389,000! As an alumni, this makes me rather livid. I've seen some of the current college students and nobody needs to be making that for a year after they leave a post.
'Most' people try to build up something of a savings that we call an "emergency fund." This fund is for when we lose our job and need to pay bills. This is not right at all. This should be 3 months just like the rest of us.

Monday, November 3, 2008

"Life is the Point"

I've been reading through The Way of the Wild Heart. I feel so much better as I'm reading about what boyhood was is I imagined it. I really enjoyed building forts and playing essentially cowboys and Indians. I too received the wound that most men receive. "You're on your own." My dad tried, but he didn't know what it was about. I have a couple of fond memories I'd like to share.
I must have been about 5 or 6. Dad and I jumped into his blue truck and drove. After passing my grandfather's ranch over an hour away, we continued into the mountains. The road got worse and worse until we were on something of an old road resembling a miner or scout's road. When we descended to the bottom of the canyon, he shut the truck off. There was a cabin there that he was checking on or something to that effect. We walked down to the creek and he fixed a rod for me to fish with. I loved it.
After a little while, he came back from the cabin and we hiked up the canyon. This canyon is mostly flat on the bottom, but with jagged boulders that have fallen from the narrow walls climbing to the sky. It was so cool! I got to climb over rocks! And Dad was taking me up this huge canyon! And I was probably going to do more fishing! And I DID! Nobody was telling me to get down and that I was going to hurt myself. I was free to be a kid!
Some years later, I had graduated from high school and taken up climbing. I was about 20. I had been going to bouldering competitions. Bouldering is where you climb up a little way (usually 15-20 feet) and then jump down or climb down. There are no ropes or harnesses. It's easier to put a comp together like this. Then your top 5 most difficult problems (particular route up the wall) are counted to your score.
Well, there was a series of these comps over the winter. I tried to go to all 6. I kept track of the standings on my own computer. I climbed hard. I wanted to be called a champion. I had a training schedule. I had a friend I called a coach who made me climb harder. I just wanted to win my measly category. I have what is called a "non-essential tremor" so I shake all of the time. If a muscle in my body is tensed, it is shaking. Makes it a little tougher to climb!
Anyway, I won a couple of comps in my division and it was looking good going into the last comp. I was pretty sure that the one climber would not overtake me, but I wanted to turn in a good score to seal the deal. Of the series, they took your best three comp scores and that made up your series score. I wasn't sure who the guy was, but he was within a few thousand points.
Out of the blue, Dad called me and told me he had decided to drive me down and take me! It was so cool to have him there watching me! I pulled so hard too! I believe I upped my score enough to make the difference between the #2 guy and I more than 10,000. That is more than any climber in my division could overtake in one night. The after party/awards ceremony was held at a local pub. He was there to see me receive my clear-glass trophy. I still have a picture of me that he took in his car after wards. I had a special place in his heart.
These stories touch my soul. They help remind me that there was a man who tried to raise me in manhood. My dad took pride in me.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

New Job et al

So I started my new job with Keller Williams this week. I wasn't really looking forward to having that regular work or whatever again, but I need it. Poker is grand, but I'm not playing the stakes I need to be making a good living... yet. But either way, I have a job. I work for a real estate firm. They are very focused on their employees. Their bottom wrung employees are the customers. The customers are all but irrelevant to the company. They belong to their specific agent and they are called leads. I've been blasting my old company so hard about their management policies. They believe that the main focus should be on sales. They don't care about the "peons" at all. At KW, the peons are agents. KW's main focus is on supporting the agents so that they can focus on taking care of THEIR customers! What a concept!