Archive for August, 2006

Summer Heat

Thursday, August 10th, 2006

I’ve been thinking…. I complain a lot about the prolonged heat in the summer. Yes, it does get on me, the constant high of 95 and low of 75 with little variation, and never even belwo 70 at night all summer long. In most years there are also the frequent afternoon showers, though they seem to be somewhat lacking this year. Still, I think I complain too much.

In a few months, it’ll be cooler again, and the people “up north” will be shivvering and trying to stay warm while I lolligag in the mild temperatures.  So I figure I need to complain a bit less about the summer heat–I chose to live here, so I have to pay the price for the great winters.

Now, maybe when I retire I can spend my summers “up north” or at least in the mountains somewhere, a place where the summers are a bit cooler and a bit more varied. I’d like that. But in the meantime, I may as well make the best of what I have. And, we always have the anticipation of a tropical event to break the monotony. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not–I guess it depends on whether or not that “tropical event” becomes a bad hurricane, or just is some rainy and we weather.

No matter, Florida is still a great place to live, as evidenced by the droves of people who move here every day. Just a little bit of paradise, and I plan to spend more time enjoying it, and less time complaining about it! Amen.

Can you count to 10?

Wednesday, August 9th, 2006

Apparently the person in line ahead of me at the express checkout lane at Publix was not able to. Or, perhaps she didn’t care, and thought she was too good too have to wait in a regular line with her 15 or so items. Or perhaps she was just a real egotist who does not care about others.

I think that Publix should enforce the express lane restrictions, and either charge a premium for each item over 10, or announce it over the loudspeaker–“another one who can’t count is in the express lane””–or just refuse to let them purchase any item over 10.

This is only an indication (another one if you’ve been reading my blog) of the “me”-centric mentality that’s become all to pervasive in society today. Me first. I’m important. It’s all about me. Sheesh!  Get a grip, people, it’s not about you….

If you think this blog is about you, then you need to think on these things…..

Being Authentic

Tuesday, August 8th, 2006

What does it mean to be authentic? It means to be who you are and accepting it, while putting others first and realizing that you alone are not the center of the universe. It means to not put on airs, to be honest, to look at life from the 10,000 foot view. It means to be honest with yourself. It probably also means to let the little annoyances in life slide past without notice, focusing on the big picture.

It sure can be annoying when people around you focus on little things, pick at each other, engage in “I’m better than you” contests, talk about others behind their back, and the like. Or then there’s the “poor me” mentality that some people adopt, feeling like all things that happen in life are directed towards them in some negative fashion, even when the events may be far away and have no link to them at all. You know, I really don’t have the time and energy in my life to put up with that sort of negative energy. I don’t think any of us should.
I guess it’s a “me” thing at times, too.  I get so tired of people that are focused on themselves that they fail to look at the big picture. They fail to focus on the 10,000 foot view of life. If the focus of a person’s life is only themself and/or their own little world, then what are they contributing to society?  Are they making the world a better place?  Are they going to leave behind a better world when they pass on?  I don’t know–perhaps they are in some small manner, but that’s probably a by-product of their life, an afterthought. But I do know that being authentic–being yourself and focusing on the big picture and trying in some small manner to make the world a better place is a good thing, and that is what it takes to be authentic.

So, the next time I hear someone engaging in me-focused talk, I’m just going to tune out and keep in mind what’s important in life to me. They can feel free to focus on what gives them inward personal (and mostly selfish) satisfaction, I’ll continue to try to look at the big picture in life, to focus on more than myself, and to try to maintain a 10,000 foot view of life.

Hmm….isn’t that what lots of religions teach us, anyhow?

“Be Prepared” — not only for Boy Scouts

Monday, August 7th, 2006

I am reminded the importance of being prepared for important–but sometimes unpredictable–events that can happen in life.

An Orlando police officer, attempting to stop a car, was run over and killed last week. Certainly a tragic event, and my heart goes out to his family. But I heard his wife on TV shortly after he was removed from life support. She said that they realized the dangers of his job, but it was a job he loved. They had extensively discussed the “what if” such a job brings, and they had discussed how to handle his untimely death if it should happen. Unfortunately, it did happen. But they had planned for it, they were prepared. This may not alleviate any grief, but sure did make it easier on his wife to “pull the plug” when it was known there was no chance of recovery, and made it easier for her and his family to deal with his untimely death.

Of course, my question to myself is “am I prepared?” I have to admit my answer is no. But this tragic event is a chance for me to learn and to get prepared. I need to do that. I hope you’ve already done it!

Everyday heroes

Thursday, August 3rd, 2006

I hear a lot of “me” talk all around me at work. Me. What I’ve done. What’ I’m doing. What I’m going to do. “I’m going fishing this weekend.” “I’m going to play golf.” “My kids did this.” “I did this.” “We did that.” Me, me, me.

But, once in a while, I hear some “our” talk, and I heard some this week. I asked a coworker what he did over the weekend (of course opening the door for “me” talk), and heard quite the story: about what his church and neighbor churches had done. It seems that there’s a need here in Seminole County to help kids get the school supplies they need. Even in this somewhat well-do-do area, there are families that struggle, parents that can’t afford backpacks, notebooks, and the like for their kids. So this guy’s church and neighbor churches all got together and solicited donations for school supplies. They handed out well over 1500 backpacks filled with school supplies last weekend. They had a somewhat festive, carnival-like atmosphere with food and games, even. Talk about really making a contribution to the community.

In all the conversation with this coworker, we’ll call him Bob, not once did I hear about what Bob had done. It was all “we” and “our church” and the like. I have no idea if Bob handed out backpacks, or grilled burgers, or emptied the trash. It was not a “me” event to Bob, it was “us.” It was “our church” and “our group.”

So here we have an everyday “real” person. Not focused on himself. Rather, focused on helping others. Isn’t that the way life is supposed to be led? So for all the “me” talk I hear all the time, well, if you think I’m listening and really care, you’re wrong. I’m looking for the “us” and “they” talk, for the substantive things that people do with their lives, not the self-centered, self-serving everday things a person does to feed their own ego. I’m looking for those who help others, and those are the people who really matter in life, those who help others…..

A big “get rich quick scam”

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006

Want to get rich quick?  It’s easy–become a lawyer, find some piddly little issue, hold it over a company, make it a class action lawsuit, come up with a settlement where the “injured” parties (the actual clients) get diddly-squat, and walk away with $3 million in “lawyer fees.”

Yes, I am a part of such class action lawsuit, and those are basically the terms. Apparently my car insurance company, Progressive, may have pulled my credit report and used it in a way that was not technically legal. Whatever. They should not have done that. But as a result, what do I get? A free credit report. Well, I have news for you: I get one free credit report each year from each of the major credit companies, regardless. So what do I really get out of this settlement? Nothing. Actually, I get less than nothing.

What do the lawyers get? The ones who sued and made this a class action lawsuit? They get $3-fucking-million dollars (pardon my French). That’s absolutely highway robbery, because guess who’s gonna pay for that settlement? Me!  Yep, since I have insurance with Progressive, do you thing the board is gonna pull it out of their pockets? No way. They’ll pass the cost on to me.

So I get screwed twice, and it’s due to some high-paid, get rich quick lawyers, scum of the earth. This is the problem with our legal system. People suing for every little thing. What we really need is a loser pays system, where the loser pays the laywer fees on both sides. You’d see a lot less people suing Target for a  “slip and fall” if they had to pay if they lost.

What do YOU call 3,000 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? I call it a good start!