Month: June 2013

Ego and Widgets

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I have never met anyone that was puffed up by their ego that could be objective about anything.  When we get a case of the “by gods” we loose ourselves to anger, arrogance, and objectivity.

 

Seeking that which would validate your opinion vs. looking for the truth; no matter what it is, is by nature our folly.  We are so prejudiced by our “feelings” to the point of severing ties with people that we care about who happen to see things differently.  We will go so far as to sever relations with those who think differently than us, because of pride.

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There is strength in diversity.  A bunch of like minded people will convince each other that they are correct and everyone else is a fool.  We see this all over the globe in all sorts of situations.  Once we make up our minds about something, we for the most part stop looking for the truth and will vehemently fight for our particular slant on the facts.  When facts are provided that would disprove our opinion we tend to argue the validity of the facts and even question things like the scientific method.

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The early church did this with Galileo.  They believed that the sun revolved around the earth and the earth was the center of everything.  As the early church was the de-facto authority for any questions about any subject; anyone who dared to disagree with them may very well face the noose or the sword. They were the government, the school and of course the one and only way to heaven. Very prideful people which reminds me of a story…

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There was this fellow that built a business.  He built it by the sweat of his brow, constantly honing it, making gentle course correction to achieve optimal penetration into his particular niche.

 

A lot of the employees were either impressed by him or alienated by his sometime brute force approach to problems.  When the business became too much for one person to manage it was decided to bring in an assistant.  The board members (people who provided the seed money) insisted as they were looking out for their investment.

 

For a while things were rocking along nicely until the two disagreed over policy or procedure.  One person being stogy, and rigid, and self righteous; while the other person wanting to try something new or different. Words were said that should not have been said and the lot was cast when forgiveness was not asked for or offered until it was too late. These facts were not told to the employees but they all knew something was up, as one of them would be gone for long stretches at a time.  The product was not as radiant as it once was, and the customers were really not getting what they were paying for; as the quality was lacking.  The machine in fact was broken because of arrogance and pride.

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The Board of directors, keeping up with the P&L, took stock of these numbers and were very much concerned that their investment was going down the tubes.  Having absolute power over the main players, they decided to get rid of both of the managers, as neither one was capable of getting past the events that had transpired.  While they were there; neither one was doing their jobs with any alacrity, so they were handed their hats and asked to leave.

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The value of the stock was slipping and the competition was picking up new customers as people are not only apathetic but fickle. We are quick to judge and form an opinion and then act on it, with virtually no facts, no truth, just hearsay.

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One of the leaders started over again, and the other just simply left as he knew that his actions had damaged the company, their product and the satisfaction and trust of the customers.

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The Board of directors looked long and hard to replace the leaders but the niche market for these widgets is narrow and hard to find qualified people who understand this particular widget and all of the intricacies that go with it.

 

In the meantime the employees picked sides and when the leaders were let go, many went and looked for other employment with other companies as they did not trust the board of directors or agree with their actions.   Some stayed however as they were not there for the leaders, but the product, and how much the customers needed and enjoyed the product. They were of course saddened to see the managers leave but the true focus of the company was not on the men that started it; but the widget!

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In time the company got production going again.  They hired new employees and found new customers to buy the product.  Some of the old employees were unhappy with this and sent terrible hurtful letters to those that stayed, because those that stayed were not willing to strike and walkout like they were.  The people that stayed were looked upon as “scabs” or strikebreakers.  The employees that left were truly angered by those that crossed the picket line as their battle should be everyone’s call to action (or so they thought).  Those who crossed the picket line cared for the greater good, the customer and the survival of the company.  They did not want to see another Hostess episode after all.

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The widget factory survived because the majority of the people trusted the board of directors and knew that the widgets must be made and sent out on time.

 

The employees that left still had bitter feelings toward the company and those people that stayed behind, relations were severed.  I think that they even took a dislike to the widget which they once were very fond of.  When they saw one another in the street, they snubbed their once fellow co-worker.  Had they trusted in the “board of directors” and not given their allegiance and “faith” to a single human being, the widget factory would never have experienced this loss of production, hence lack of profit and the customers would not have had to go look for widgets of unknown quality elsewhere, and relationships that were built over years and years would not have been destroyed.

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When ones ego gets too inflated, it pops. When it blows up, there is lots of collateral damage, innocent people get hurt.    When you use the nuclear option to settle an argument with your neighbor, you may very well take out the entire city.

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Your perception of the facts may be inaccurate. You were not there when the original “event” went down, so you really don’t have anything but conjecture and hear say to act upon.  For some that is enough.  Before you kill off Little Debbie by your willingness to act on few facts, please keep in mind that like Hostess, that company has been around for years and has graced the lunch box of many children for generations.  What would the world be like without Little Debbie, or the Widget?

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-Best to you and those that you care about.

 

 

 

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Man of Steel

 

Henry C

This film did not disappoint.  The effects were great, best seen in 3D.

Amy Adams is always a thrill to watch, talented young lady. It was also a treat to see Kevin Costner.  I am glad that they found a way to bring Russell Crowe into the movie on several occasions.

Amy adamssuper man 1

The plot was predictable and really no big surprises.  Special effects and cast make this movie worth seeing.  Special kudos to the writer with the sense of humor, regarding the sign with number of days without an accident.

 

I give this movie a thumbs up, if you like lots of action this movie is for you.

The World Today

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As a hiring manager for the best part of the 90’s and well into the 2000’s I could not help but notice a difference in the candidates that would walk through my door.

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I would put on a suit and tie, make sure that my shoes were polished as well as the rest of the personal hygiene in check if I were interviewing. I was surprised by those who did not.  If they did not respect me or the company enough to try and look respectable, what would they look like and or act like if I were to hire them.  There is this whole etiquette thing involved in obtaining a job, and it starts with how you look.  You only have one chance to make a first impression.

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With Mom and Dad both having to work to make ends meet, generation “Y” was most likely raised by “Big Bird,” or an older brother or sister, or possibly some retired family member.  The TV with hundreds of channels made a great baby sitter; and then there was the “game boy.”  This generation is addicted to “screens.” While I appreciate “screens” as well, I also enjoy a good book, a walk in the park, watching the ocean, talking with friends and family on the front porch and going to a baseball game. There is nothing wrong with FaceBook or World of Warcraft, it is simply a matter of balance and not a way of life, or substitute thereof.

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While negative attention is better than no attention, I suspect that many who pushed the envelope did so for attention.  “Look Ma, I am doing drugs!  Don’t you care enough to even slow down to talk to me?”  From drugs they may turn to self-injury, or getting some sort of tattoo, or some of this wonderful body jewelry “through their nose.”

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They in fact must have never heard the words “self effacement.”  “I suspect that Hubris has taken the place Humility.”

We have shows on TV glorifying “INK.”  We have celebrities who have more ink than skin.  Our kid’s role models are broken people.  When your kids look up to “broken people” where do you think that will lead them? Your kids should be looking up to you, not Madonna!

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It is my opinion that many are drawn to “ink” and alike purely for the sake of attention.  If they cannot get the good attention they need at home; mutilating ones body will certainly draw a crowd at school, the mall, and of course with siblings. And it most certainly will draw that negative attention from your guardians or other authoritarian figures…

There is another school of thought; these folks are insecure and again “ink,” mutilate, or act out audaciously, in an effort to get people to leave them alone as “they are bad.”

I also think that there is a subset that does it, purely to spite their family or friends and peers either at work or school or what have you.  These are the folks that are so insecure that they are giving their-selves a rhinectomy.      “I will show you, I will cut off my nose!” In the end they are only really hurting themselves currently and in the future as well as some of these things are really quite permanent!

Once these folks are disfigured, they drastically limit their options for employment and possibly a choice in friends and or spouse.  If you present yourself for employment with visible body jewelry that is “out of the norm” there is a high probability that your “resume” will be trashed the second you hit the door.

I would guess that the same could be said for over the top tattoos.   My thinking and I am certain most hiring managers thinking would be, if they make these types of decisions for themselves, what kinds of decisions are they going to make for me?

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Unless your aspirations for employment are to work your way up to busboy, or maybe become a tattoo artist, I would strongly suggest keeping the ink under cover; at least from 8 to 5.

There is a group which I have not mentioned that may very well be so artistic that they want this “Art” on them to wear into perpetuity.   The problem with that my pet, is simply this; as we age we loose collagen.  Our young looking skin gets wrinkled and becomes thinner and pretty soon the artwork looks like a used painter’s pallet, instead of the masterpiece that you paid for.  Think about it this way, do you own an outfit that you would wear everyday, day in day out for the rest of your life?  I know of no clothing that I would want to wear everyday, and night; forever!

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If you make bad decisions with permanent outcomes in your youth; those will have an effect on you as you mature.  Some if these decisions lead to depression, and eventual suicide as they cannot live with what they have done, and the guilt overcomes them.  Addictions often end in self destruction as they practice the addiction and then deal with the guilt for what they have done.  To get rid of the guilt they do more of the addiction and spiral downward; until they either become outcast and wake up in the gutter or decide to end it all.  Very few “see the light” and decide to choose not to do what they have been doing.  Society tends to let these folks slip away which is probably normal programming.

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If one were to follow the lives of the “rich and famous” they would quickly discern that with their lifestyle comes a price.  When these people admit that they have been strung out on recreational chemistry, why are they not investigated criminally?  Dealers are so bold that they don’t even try to keep their deals under cover.  I was at the gas station the other day.  In the next lane there were two people in a car, motor running taking up one of the spots to purchase gas.  Before I finished a women pulled up behind them, got out and fussed at them for making here come “all the way over here.”  They transacted their business and then both were soon gone their separate ways.  I would imagine that the rich and famous get delivery, much like the Pizza guy delivers food and they don’t have to go to the gas station.

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This culture is invasive to our way of life.  Along with all of the other trappings that seem to come with this entitled generation, recreational chemistry seems to be one of the trimmings that not only effect the rich and famous, but the not so rich and famous.

All addictions are chemical.  What many fail to realize is that all addictions are chemical in nature.  When we smoke or drink, chemicals are released in the brain which we find appealing.  Recreational chemistry is not only externally chemically induced but also causes a release of chemistry in the brain so in fact, one might get a double dose of “feel good” chemistry.  I suspect that is why Cocaine is so addictive.  Pornography can be a chemical addiction just like chocolate or food.  If whatever you enjoy releases these chemicals, you can become addicted to it, and not know why or even know that you are.  One of the most common addictions is adrenalin.  We have rides at amusement parks which cause the release of this chemical as well as speeding or racing a friend, to even fighting in school.  If we were to really study the kleptomaniac, we might learn that is a chemical addiction as well and we might treat the condition differently than simply locking them up.  Other criminal endeavors like car jacking or what have you, may not only serve the purpose of obtaining money; but the perpetrator might very well enjoy the high from the release of adrenalin.  I suspect that many of the “crimes” that people do today like flashing, or being a peeping tom, or simply being an exhibitionist, might very well be because of the release of some hormone or endorphin.

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My guess would be that the BDSM community would also fall into this category.

Criminals are not the only people to enjoy this “high,” as I suspect firefighters, policemen, fighter pilots or even bull fighters might very well do this, because they are adrenalin junkies, and may not even know it.  If you have ever listened to the police scanner when there is a chase going on or perhaps the firefighters when they are fighting a fire, you can hear it in their voice.

If I were to guess why middle school is so tough, it would be that this is typically when (puberty) hormones are released in abundance and young people experience this and really don’t know what to do with it.  Male dominance may break out (and be manifested as fights) as young men try to establish their place as the “alpha” male.  Young ladies also have their chemistry issues and those manifest mostly as sniping, spreading rumors and trying to become the “queen B.”  We are not so different from the animal kingdom and those that think that we are simply are fooling themselves, as they don’t like the idea of being related to “animals.”

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Pain can be an addiction.  Endorphins are released with pain so cutting, burning or other forms of self-injury could not only be a cry for attention, but also feeding an addiction.

Extreme forms of chemical release are also practiced by some but, usually not for long as it kills them.  One form is autoerotic asphyxiation.  David Carradine was most certainly the victim of such an act.  I say victim because he was under the delusion that he could do this safely. There is no safe way to strangle one-self.  I cannot imagine what drove him to do this but I suspect like all drugs, it takes more and more to achieve the same “high.”

There is a saying among the pilot community that states, “There are old pilots and bold pilots, however; there are no old bold pilots.”  I suspect the same could be said with some exceptions for the “addicted among us.”    When a pilot gets into trouble such as flying into a cloud bank without the proper training, he is taught to get on the radio and confess what has happened, so air traffic control can assist him back to clear air.  Without proper training there is this condition called spatial disorientation.  Basically your eyes and senses do not believe the instruments, and more often than not the pilot will fly the plane right into the ground or “auger in.”  If you are reading this, and you happen to be addicted, get help before you too, auger in.  There are few people, if anyone that can handle an addiction without eventual self destruction. We witness this daily with our celebrities as well as their deaths from overdoses etc.  There is no “winning” with addictions.

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The other issue with Generation Y that puzzled me is “sagging,” tell me what the hell satisfaction one gets by wearing their jeans down to their crotch, walking around with one hand holding them up so they don’t fall down the rest of the way?  We all know where the trend started and somehow adopted and glorified by the hip-hop crowd but really, you think that we want to see your underwear?  I watched a young man run across the street to catch his bus.  He tripped over his pants that were falling down the rest of the way and did a face plant in the middle of the road in front of the bus that he was running to catch.  Either this kid was trying to prove that Darwin was correct or he was trying to prove how stupid it actually is to do that.  Does this trend bespeak of letting your peers know how cool you are or the rest of the world know how stupid you are? Had the bus driver had a little slower reaction time, those sagging pants would have cost that person their life. He quite literally would have been thrown-under-the-bus.

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Like “ink” I think that “sagging” is just one more way of young people expressing their objection or rebellion to the main-stream mores of the day.   Instead of getting an education and working to change the system to make it better, it is much easier and simpler to call people’s attention to you underwear.  The trouble here is that most people will not see past how lame you look, and that will be as far as it will go.  And ladies, we really don’t want to see your “wale tail” either..  Underwear is just that, clothing that stays under other clothing.  It can be audacious as you like, but keep it your secret, “really…”

Our youth is mesmerized by shows like American Idol.  Millions of people watch that show.  How many do you think imagine them-selves doing it, winning the top spot?  We have become so egocentric as a people, that narcissism seems to be a way of life.  “I made it through school, now where is my corner office and how much are you going to give me to sit here and look pretty?”  Not really exaggerating too much here.

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You can decide to be one of the leaders of tomorrow, or live in the shadows of society; it really is your choice.  Many will blame their circumstances on where they are in life, but if they were truthful with themselves, they would know and admit that their lot in life in most cases is their own doing.

There are too many rags to riches stories all through history.  Look up how they did it and see if you cannot apply some of their techniques.  Or, you can learn how to stay warm by using discarded newspapers as insulation; it really is up to you.  If you are reading this; you have at your fingertips all of the information that you could ever need to do anything that you want to do.  Any subject that has ever been invented is here.  Knowledge is power, and while that cliche may seem tired, trust me it is more salient today than ever before.

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Figure out where your talents lie, or what you are passionate about and than search through history and see how others that did what you want to do, managed to do it.

I would not have “win the lottery” as my retirement plan, I also would not put all of my eggs in the rock star basket, or country star, or movie star.  The odds are very much against you.

Before you spend your hard earned money on ink, or permanent jewelry, you may want to think about the future just a little bit.  The hiring manager will most probably not be sympathetic to facial jewelry or ink.  There are millions of folks looking for employment.  If you and another are equally qualified but the other person has adorned him or herself with accouterments, most likely you will get the job.  Is that fare?  Nope, life is not fare, get used to it and live with it.  The system is what it is, either work to modify it by legal and moral means, or adjust your way of life into the system.  Rebelling against it by wearing your pants around your ankles, or getting every inch of skin inked or pierced is your problem; and society will pass you by.

-Best to you and those that you care about.

Patriotism 101

Recently I attended a high school graduation.  The person leading the pledge missed a couple of words here and there and the person leading the Texas pledge either froze up or simply did not know it.

The worste part of this is that the audience did not know it either (for the most part.)

So here are both, with an explanation of what the words mean.

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“I pledge allegiance” (I promise to be true)

“to the flag” (to the symbol of our country)

“of the United States of America” (each state that has joined to make our country)

“and to the Republic” (a republic is a country where the people choose others to make laws for them — the government is “of, by and for” the people)

“for which it stands,” (the flag means the country)

“one nation” (a single country)

“under God,” (the people believe in a supreme being)

“indivisible,” (the country cannot be split into parts)

“with Liberty and Justice” (with freedom and fairness)

“for all.” (for each person in the country…you and me!)

The pledge says you are promising to be true to the United States of America!

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“Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God, one and indivisible.”

-Best to you and those that you care about.