31 days of randomness – Personal Inspiration 26 – Premonitions



In continuation of my 31 days of randomness  – Day 26,27,29 – Give it a rest!!!

I’ve committed myself to writing on one topic and staying only on that one topic for at least 31 days.  As mentioned in previous posts, I have very succinctly stated that focus is not my forte.  I’ve been quite distracted over the past couple of weeks and I have mostly stayed on track.  Somehow I did fall behind on this 31 day quest so today I’m simply catching up.  That and…

More importantly, I have lost some of my interest in this topic and like at any other point in my life when I lose interest in something or just plainly become confused I seek guidance from a person, place or thing that has a way more in depth understanding of life’s twists and turns.

As a child I would use the “magic 8 ball” that many remember from childhood.  You simply pose a “yes” or “no” question and it will resolve the dilemma with a simple shake and flip.  Life was easy back then.  Every question asked would receive answers such as the following.


As an adult I still enjoy a little guidance from the magic 8 ball, but I usually don’t have it handy so most of the time I have to make decisions all by my self.  Several years ago my sister bought a book called “The Oracle” which operates quite a bit like this magical childhood toy.

I loved it so much I rushed out and got it as well.  Why wouldn’t I?  The book description states in very bold letters “The Oracle Book KNOWS YOUR FUTURE” (This mysterious book is a do-it-yourself divination tool. Ask it a yes-or-no question, and find your answer within…”  How could I resist you ask.. I couldn’t.  So I have been packing this book around for several years now and will randomly pull it out when I am faced with a difficult situation.. like continuing to blog on this one word for nearly 6 more days.   Here is a spattering of a few of the answers you might receive when asking this book a question..



All very good advice when someone is struggling with a burning yes or no question.  However, as of late when I ask a question the only answer I seem to arrive at is “You’ve rolled AN ELEVEN:  give it a rest.

So for today that is my inspiration…

This all started from a random site I found called thenester.com.  Apparently there is a group of people who have committed to posting a topical theme a day for 31 days.  31 Dayers 2012



31 days of randomness – Personal Inspiration 25 – Slacker

In continuation of my 31 days of randomness  – Day 25 – Short-timer’s syndrome and how you can Increase attention span and relieve some of your boredom.

I have just over a month left at my current job in Venezuela and I swore it would not happen to me but it has.. I have short-timer’s fever.  This is a disease (if you don’t know) that usually affects military members, government or humanitarian workers and virtually ANYONE who knows that they have very little time left in the position and place they are in.

Symptoms may include: lack of focus on tasks that still must be done, daydreaming about what you have planned, slackened punctuality or blatant tardiness, disinterest in office politics, a happier-than-should-be-allowed disposition, and any other traits that signify that someone’s time is short at a place or activity.

Now, right up with sense of humor and honesty I value work ethics. For this I am a little disturbed with myself.  Though I have only been experiencing a few of the more minor  symptoms I can certainly feel myself sliding towards all of them.  Sliding fast and sliding hard.  So my new inspiration is to avoid slacking and find a few things to amuse myself for short periods of time.  Times when I am in meetings and need to at least appear engaged.  Times when I am being forced to attend some random social event when I would rather be vegging on the couch or watching TV or anything but being at this event.  Times when I know I have something else that needs to be done but can’t focus long enough to get it done.

I actually found a great site which gives you great little 1-3 minute activities meant to relieve boredom and occupy your mind enough to re-engage yourself with the things you are supposed to be doing.  I’m including some of my favorite ideas with a link to all of the others.  Some of these ideas really do work.  We’ll have to see what happens when I am down to my last couple of weeks.  Wish me luck.

1. THINGS YOU CAN DO WITH ABSOLUTELY NOTHING                                        (Click here, I mean up there- those orange words)

Blink wildly and then close your eyes really tight for an interesting light show
(Amusement Potential: 1-5 minutes)
See a variety of blobs, stars and flashes. Try to make out shapes and see if your subconscious is trying to send you a message

See how long you can hold a note
(Amusement Potential: 4-20 minutes)
Not that much fun, but it sure passes the time. Play with a friend, or try to beat your own personal best. Inhale deeply and then try and make a noise for as long as you can. Earn extra points for making your partner laugh or ending on an amusing note.

Make prank phone calls
(Amusement Potential: 20-60 minutes)
Very entertaining, but requires discipline. Remember – vulgarities don’t make a call funny, but getting the other person to believe a ridiculous story will. Try seeing if you can get them to make noises to ‘test’ the line. One to get you started off: Call McDonalds with weird complaints about their food.

Try to not think about penguins
(Amusement Potential: 1-5 minutes)
This is especially hard, because by trying too much, you remember what you were trying to avoid thinking of. If you try too little, you end up thinking about penguins anyway.

Use your secret mind power
(Amusement Potential: 5-10 minutes)
Pick a passing by and try to use your mind power to command them do something, like drop their bag or knock into someone. The law of averages dictates that sooner or later one of your mind commands will come true, so you can convince yourself that you really have super human powers and waste even more time trying them out.

Scratch yourself
(Amusement Potential: 1-3 minutes)
Go ahead, scratch yourself now. Even if nothing itches, go ahead. Doesn’t that feel pretty good?

Pinch yourself
(Amusement Potential: 1-3 minutes)
What is pain? Why is it unpleasant? There’s nothing physical about it – it’s all in your mind. Plus, after pinching yourself for awhile, boredom will seem nice next to being in pain.

Try to swallow your tongue
(Amusement Potential: 1-2 minutes)
There’s not much to say about this one. It is possible, but really stupid.

Look at something for awhile, shut eyes, study after image
(Amusement Potential: 2-5 minutes)
Another great time waster. It takes about 30 seconds of staring to create an after image, and the image is then viewable for about the same length of time. Fun to combine this one with pushing on your eyes.

Get yourself as nauseated as possible
(Amusement Potential: 5-10 minutes)
Best achieved by looking straight up and spinning around. Try to be so dizzy you can’t even stand up. This is also entertaining due to the “makes boredom seem a lot better” effect (see “Hurt Yourself”).

Send spooky emails
(Amusement Potential: 15-60 minutes)
Look up someone’s CV on the web, do some research on them via Google and then send them an email full of personal references claiming to be an ex-work colleague who fell in love with their shoes. Or something.

See what’s in your neighbour’s rubbish/trash
(Amusement Potential: 20-30 minutes)
You can learn a lot about people by what they throw out. You might uncover some dark secret about them. Plus, they might be throwing out something with value that still works, like a VCR or some porn mags.

Now if none of these ideas appeal to you this website has more of these awesome ideas.  Now if none of the ideas appeal to you then look below and click on some of the related articles.. or lastly just leave this page quietly, shut the door quietly behind you and don’t look back.

This all started from a random site I found called thenester.com.  Apparently there is a group of people who have committed to posting a topical theme a day for 31 days.  31 Dayers 2012

31 days of randomness Personal Inspiration 14 – Freakn’ through

In continuation of my 31 days of randomness – Day 14 – Push it

With no internet for a day and not getting back from the airport until about 3 am.  I am very low in motivation to go to work.  Actually getting out of bed was a struggle. My inclination is to complain or call in sick.. I did in fact just write an inspirational blog about playing hookie.. but you see I don’t like being by myself when I’m cranky and tired.  I don’t like staying home if I’m sick.  Hookie is meant for special days.  Days of fun. This is not one of them so far. I have to options.  Complain and make my day ridiculous and probably ruin someone else’s day or just get through the day. Sometimes the only personal inspiration out there is “suck it up and freak through”.  I’m sure you all remember that post – Freakn through is just pushing it to get from one place to another.  I used to just call it pushing through until I read Beyond Paisley’s post explaining “Freaking Through”.

In order for me to Freak through today I needed a sound track.  I usually just turn on “Jango” an internet web-based personal music station.  It chooses songs based on your thumb up/thumb down responses.  I will share with you the first several songs on my soundtrack that just put me back in a good push through mood.  Enjoy.

This all started from a random site I found called thenester.com.  Apparently there is a group of people who have committed to posting a topical theme a day for 31 days.  31 Dayers 2012


Closer to 50 than to 40 – I wish I had known Tacky

After reading John’s blog You Really Ought to Shut Up I was reminded of a time very long ago when I just got tired of myself.  I got tired of my voice, of the negative self-talk, of the drama that I would create in my own mind about everything and everyone around me.  I never felt good enough I always felt like I didn’t fit in.  My life really seemed to suck.

In my own defense I was about 15 years old and was probably no more self-absorbed than anyone else in my age group but it really felt like the world was out to get me.

One day I had just had enough and I was tired of feeling the way I did and was confused about why I felt the way I did and so I decided to conduct a little experiment.  I decided to become invisible.  I decided I would pretend that I didn’t exist and try for once in my life to actually see how other people acted and re-acted without me in the picture.  To basically “shut up” that inner voice inside my head that refused to let me believe that I was as ok as everyone else out there.

It started slowly.. I would softly and quietly fade into the background in social situations.  I would not comment on things or express opinions (as much as was possible for someone like me).  I would dress in a non-visible way.. in things that would not catch the eye of anyone.

I stopped talking myself into frenzies or in disrespecting ways.  What began to happen was that in my quietness I began to listen more, observe more, take in more and also I began to realize just a little more about what was really going on in my world.  Things I should have been noticing before, listening to before and acknowledging more before.

First thing I realized was that SOOOOOO many people sort of felt bad about something about themselves or wanted to change something about themselves.  Everyone had insecurities, dysfunctions, obsessions and possibly a multitude of other discrepancies that never shown themselves as blazingly as mine and yet they were O.K.  I wouldn’t have even noticed the problems of others if I hadn’t become invisible enough to see them.

I began to see that when a person made a mistake or embarrassed themselves people would notice more often than not but would get over it in an amazingly short amount of time.  NO ONE focused on the problems of others or the mistakes of others as much as the person themself did.

It dawned on me that NO ONE even remembered the time 5 years before when I tripped down a set of stairs and bit through my lip while at the same time dropping a tray of food I had been carrying which ended up spilling all over this very nice lady and ruining her dress.  NO ONE.  NOT ONE.   No one could recall the time I was giving a presentation in class and through nervousness burped and slightly farted at the same time.  I felt I could never live THAT one down.  The only time anyone even thought about it is when I brought it up.

My invisibility increased and slowly I began to realize that I was actually a decent person, or at least no worse than anyone else and without all of my personal insecurities and hang-ups people actually seemed to like me.  I was O.K.  I began to be less concerned with how others perceived me and slowly began to realize that my social awkwardness, misunderstanding of gravity and lack of coordination were just a part of who I was.  I had other “mad” skills in many other areas.  Still, this was not an instant recovery, it took years.  Even now I sometimes just have to tell myself:

At some point in my life, either through raising children or teaching, I happened on a children’s book who’s primary character was a penguin named Tacky.

Tacky is an odd bird who marches to the beat of his own drummer. He’s socially awkward, clumsy and eccentric.  He never actually fits in anywhere but he’s oblivious to that fact.   I like Tacky.

Some examples of Tacky’s situations:

Tacky, the penguin, and his friends, perform a play for the little penguins in Mrs. Beakly’s class, but with Tacky in the lead role, things do not go exactly as planned.

tacky_and_the_winter_games.jpg tacky_looked_mighty_tacky.png
Tacky and his fellow penguins on Team Nice Icy Land train hard for the Winter Games, but Tacky’s antics make their chances of winning a medal seem slim.

tacky_goes_to_camp.jpgTacky the penguin and his friends go to Camp Whoopihaha, where they scare each other by telling ghost stories around the campfire, never expecting that one of the frightening stories will come true.

The great thing is.. in every situation.. everything works out and usually Tacky becomes even more loved or at least more tolerated.

I wish I had known of Tacky when I was a bit younger.  Now that I am closer to 50 than to 40, my eccentricities (craziness), clumsiness and social awkwardness seem to be a little more accepted by others or maybe just more accepted by myself.  I personally wish there were more Tacky’s in the world.  Actually, the more I think about it, the more I think there are.

Be yourself, don’t take anyone’s shit, and never let them take you alive.

 Gerard Way 

“Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Albert Einstein

Sandy- My ducks are in a Row – Finally

I’m not going to premise this topic with too many details, but a slight history is the only way you might understand what I am about to say.  Let’s just say I’ve had a multitude of careers in my life.  (legal field, teaching, carpentry, plumbing, meat department, flag-waving, flower sales, vacuum cleaner sales, police work, life-student, ponderer, cheer-leader, volunteer…and I am positive there are a few things I have missed and yes, I realize not all of these are legitimate occupations).  As you might recall from my past post Freakn Thru, even I am not sure how I ended up in most of these jobs.   Now I am in a different job which is VERY different..

Going back in time…..(imagine dreamy music followed by a dizzying blend of backwards movement)

My last boss, for some unknown reason, gave everyone in the office a duck for every holiday.  So everyone pretty much had every holiday duck imaginable.  I really had only been under this boss’s supervision long enough to collect about 3 seasons of ducks.

Well, two weeks ago I noticed a strange phenomena on my desk…Notice there are 4 ducks not 3.

I didn’t give it much thought.  I mean who would.  Especially due to the turned reindeer duck.. hmmm.. interesting.

About a week ago, I noticed a change.  There was a slight increase in the number of ducks.  I asked around and no one could really explain to me what was happening.

Suddenly I remembered an incident from about a year ago when there had apparently been a duck-napping.  The alarm had been sounded, people were up in arms, angry notes were passed back and forth requesting the release of the napped ducks.  One eventually turned up with a missing head but for the most part they were never recovered.  Could there be a connection? Refer to duck-napping story..

The Universe

Police Beat 11/28/11: Ducknapping


Nov. 20: A female reported seeing two individuals feeding ducks while standing very close to the water. One approached and grabbed a duck while the other recorded the event on his cell phone. They put the duck in a bag and ran to an older model pickup truck and drove west down 800 North.

Then a few days ago..

What the freak is going on?  I have no answers at this point… Which is not that uncommon in my life… then it hit me..

Back to the present.. (dreamy music again — only — fade forward)

I sat there pondering the multitude of jobs I have had in the past and it dawned on me, there was one job in particular that I will never forget and that is largely due to my life mentor (Yes Sandy that would be you) who was always prepared to give me sage advice, a little chastisement and occasionally a long, sad eye-roll followed by the statement, “Sam, you really need to get your ducks in a row!”

It all came together this morning when I entered the office and saw this..

Is it possible?  Could it be?  Can I make that phone call I’ve been waiting forever to make and say those words I’ve been waiting to say, “Sandy – My ducks are in a row – Finally!!!

Thank you Sandy –

Pope Sandy Duck

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