Monday, May 28, 2007


When I first moved into my house almost four years ago, I remember performing one of my perpetual outdoor chores of pulling weeds. I was working on the side yard near the brick of the house when I saw an eyeball staring up at me, flat with the ground, between the tall grass. I looked at it a bit trying to decide what kind of dead animal was attached to it. Although it seemed a little too large, I decided it must have been a bird. I found a still weed stem to use to flip it over before picking it up to dispose of.

As I reached toward it, only a few inches away, I was startled when it jumped up and moved a foot away, toward the street and almost against the wall. It was the tiniest bunny I’ve ever seen, surely smaller than my fist if you took all the fur away, and so cute! It had done exactly as its mother and nature had trained it to do—be perfectly still for its own safety. The brown bunny with a white underbelly and tail had moved only when in imminent danger. The reason I couldn’t identify it before was because it was crouched in a divot in the grass.

Since I didn’t want to scare it into the street, I moved in a wide arc to the street side before I closed the distance between us, and proceeded to shoo it into the back yard for its escape.

A few nights ago I carried some bills to my mailbox. It wasn’t pitch dark, nor were any bright lights shining, but I noticed something between my neighbor’s yard and mine. It was a brown rabbit sitting perfectly still as I walked to and from the street, all the time talking to it, clicking my tongue, and making kissy noises. It never moved. I have seen a single rabbit only three or four other times while out at night, and like to think it’s the same baby I had found a few years back.

It couldn’t possibly be one of the probable seven hundred thirty eight other rabbits that must be frequenting the neighborhood!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Best

I've always considered my self generally good at most things I try, but have never had a desire to be "the best." Mostly because I'm not sure there actually is a "best", even at a particular moment in time. The reason—someone declared the best in things like Olympic competition, other sporting events, spelling bees, math contest, etc. are really only the best of those who chose to participate in the competition. I suspect there are many who feel no need to prove them self and one of them might be better than "the best".

Friday, May 25, 2007


If you had all the money you ever needed or wanted, what would you do? There’s a game based on that premise. Invariably, the consensus of those I’ve played with, after paying off bills is to travel...with friends.

Throughout life, I’ve normally traveled with family. Mine can be grouped within the term “friends”. And, although I don’t have unlimited funds, I’ve been expanding my experience to include others since 2000. I’m not surprised that people I’ve worked with, former high school classmates, and friends and spouses of these people make excellent traveling buddies. Touring with people you “know” allows you to partner for experiences you want rather than always doing what a single pal wants to do.

Reasons for going include vacations, holidays, and reunions. A desire to see something grand. Checking off something from your list of live goals. Fulfilling a need to get away from the daily grind. Experiencing thrills that aren’t available where you live. Traveling to every state in the U.S. All are excellent reasons. My trips have included driving places, flying, and mostly cruising. To date, the mix of group traveling companions has been fantastic and the destinations awesome.

Even on a shoestring budget I’d encourage you to be creative enough to plan a get together that could change your life. The key is to do it now, while you are healthy enough and able to enjoy it.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Pillow Crunching

I have several types of pillows on my bed, ranging from all down feathers, to down on the surface and feathers in the middle, to poly fiberfill, all in various degrees of firmness. I’ve avoided crumbled and formed sponge just because it seems creepy to me. I’m a bed-sitter. I sit on my bed to do paperwork, to read, to do Sudoku and crossword puzzles, and to tat. So, I have a variety of pillows to lean on and others to sleep on, or intermingle them. No matter what kind of pillow it is (except maybe the sponge type), they all eventually compress, so I have some cases containing two pillows that act as one. Including those in pillow shams, I have eight regular and king size pillows on my bed. I sleep on two down-type pillows to help me breathe. Occasionally one of the fiberfill ends up on the bottom of my two-pile stack.

In the past, I’ve never had my current problem of loud pillows. I’ve noticed I can hear the fiberfill “crunching” when I lie on it or lean against it. It’s loud enough to be annoying and keep me awake and I was wondering why it never bothered me in the past. Could it be that today’s fibers just make more noise? Or is it because I live in a quieter house now? Then I thought maybe some of my prescriptions make my hearing supersensitive.

In any case, it doesn’t bother me any more. Now that I’m up all-night and sleeping during the usually louder daytime, I use earplugs. Now, how do I mask the 24-hour, intermittent swishing and whooshing sounds from my jugular just below my ear? Chop off my head?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Perseverance or Stupidity?

How is it that many couples from my high school class have been married 35+ years, while others have tried and tried again, without success?

Contrary to vows of commitment to marriage matter how strongly you believe in it...staying together is the decision of two people. Parting company takes only one decision. All marriages have bumpy times. Some couples grow together along the same path becoming closer as the years go by, while others start out close together, but end on separate paths.

While “paying dues to matrimony”, I never let go of my individuality and independence nor have I expected my spouse to change in that respect. I believe that in the perfect relationship, we should each feel free to be ourselves. We’d be able to do a lot of what we wanted to, but I assumed much of that would be together as a couple...that we would want to do things as companions, and at least take turns doing what the other wanted. But, it didn’t work that way.

I realize I’m not an easy person to live with. Yes, I get tired of being “nice”. And I expect to be able to say exactly what I think and express how I be least with my spouse and best friends. This “politically correct” thing, in all aspects, infringes on my freedom of speech.

Having struck out with my hallucination of marital bliss, I wondered, “Why have the 'long timers' lasted?” I came up with the following reasons.

1. They do and always will love each other and are happy with their choices and circumstances.
2. They "honor the commitment" to each other on principle, for moral or religious standards, or other reasons instead of continuing to look for what they really want or need.
3. It never registers that they made a lousy choice in the beginning.
4. They marry and settle for what they have.
5. They aren't capable of taking care of them self.
6. They aren’t smart enough to know they aren’t happy!
7. Some stayed together for financial reasons.
8. Some stayed together for the sake (?) of the children.
9. They’re afraid they’ll be alone the rest of their life if they leave.
10. They are too lazy or comfortable to divorce and start over.

So, I’m not sure I should envy those long-term marriages, not knowing the reality of them. But from a distance, they do look good to the outsider.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Did you know roly-poly bugs (pill bugs) are like elephants? It has been raining here every other day, if not daily for the past three weeks, many times with severe thunderstorm, flooding, and tornado warnings. So I have not been able to do my regular spring spraying around the house to keep the bugs out. Strange as it seems, the roly-poly bugs are the first to invade.

This doesn’t bother me much, as sometimes it’s entertaining to watch the speed at which they circle around a wide perimeter of the family room. It’s not like they’re going to bite me if they catch up with me and they can’t climb up on the countertops to make nuisances of themselves, so I mostly just watch to make sure I don’t step on them and grind them into the carpet. You’d think as they expire, I’d be finding rolled up bodies all over, but instead, there are definitely two corners in my kitchen where I find piles of them. Like sick elephants that try to go to one spot to die, I think these corners must be roly-poly graveyards.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


How can I live a life without regrets if I already have many uncorrectable regrets queued up by the time I decide to turn a new leaf? I’m attempting to figure this out for myself and have researched some ideas.

There is no such thing as a life without any regrets, but suggestions are available to help me move on.

1. Determine what the regret really is.
2. Analyze the regret and how it is viewed.
3. Accept the circumstances, as well as the consequences of holding onto the regret.
4. Grieve for the regret.
5. Forgive self or others, and make amends. "Fix" whatever can be changed.
6. Recognize what has been learned or gained. Look for the lesson and focus on it instead of what might have been.

I’ve been stuck on number 6 for a while, and may never get past it.

But there are certain actions that might help to accomplish these steps.
1. Write about the regrets.
2. Talk to a trusted friend or family member who can help identify fallacies in my thinking.
3. Visualize myself acting and doing things as I move forward and leave my regrets behind.
4. Seek out groups or a coach in order to modify behavioral patterns.
5. Do not minimize the regret. Accept it as it is and do not make it bigger or more powerful by dwelling on it.

I’m also trapped by the second half of number 5.

Just because I can’t let go doesn’t mean I can’t move forward. Suggestions to accomplish this include some or all of the following actions and thoughts.

1. Commit Yourself — Right now is the only life you have. Make an agreement with yourself to commit to being a participant, not an observer. Commit yourself to the process of finding and following your dreams, wants and desires. Live with intention. Live in gratitude. Live in the moment.

2. Make A List of Goals/Aspirations — It’s easier to focus on something tangible. Write out all the big and small action items. Start small with little steps. Make a solid plan for your future endeavors, such as travel, getting a raise at work, or finish writing that book you’ve been intending to write. Post the list somewhere visible or somewhere you can review the items often. Select the easier goals to accomplish first, to build some success momentum for the more difficult ones. Living a great life on your own terms is an enviable goal.

Cross listed items off as they are done, but do not remove the items. Being able to look at them together will be proof and a reminder of your accomplishments.

3. Break It Down — As you pin down each long-term goal, break it into smaller units. Completing one small task at a time will get you moving forward and on your way to that huge goal you thought you’d never meet.

4. Try New Things — List the things you would like to do. Add to the list everyday. Try something new each week. Try everything you want to try. Keep one eye on what you’re doing, and the other on your future self. Think about how you want your story to go in the future.

5. Remember Past Accomplishments — Keep a list of all the moments in your life you feel were accomplishments. What made you feel that way: the adventure, the opportunity to educate others, to help shape a community, learning about another culture, doing something new, achieving a goal, or working with technology.

Each experience should teach you something as both accomplishments and failures carry their own lessons. Keep a journal and notice when you feel the most proactive. Note these things and see if there are any common threads or directions that need further investigation. Keep track of the actions that further your goals and those that hinder them. Don’t let a nasty experience discourage you; learn from it. Note things you could have avoided.

6. Mark Your Calendar — Take charge and plan your social occasions. The way to make memories is to do stuff. The way to ensure you’re doing stuff is to plan your own social calendar. Be proactive.

7. Identify Proactive People — Make a list of proactive people you know. Spend time, collaborate, pioneer, and play with them. Make a vow to keep in touch with people who are important to you. Drop your dead weight. Some people just are not good for you. Don’t waste your time with toxic people.

8. Tolerate Nothing — What are you tolerating in your life? Is there a health challenge you are not addressing, a relationship you have long outgrown, or a home full of paraphernalia that is crowding you? If you are not being proactive in life you are being reactive. Take responsibility.

9. Build Yourself Up — Remind yourself of what you’ve done and what you’re capable of in the future. Relish in what you’ve accomplished to make your life fuller and less regretful. As you see yourself accomplishing your own goals, you’ll be motivated to tackle even more. You can accomplish great things with your life. Pump up your introspection.

10. Anchor Yourself — Keep little reminders of what you want all around you to remind you of your and powerful quotes that remind you of what’s important. Life is lived in the everyday, so use your anchors to help you aim high in all that you do.

What is regrettable varies from person to person, and some things that cause regret are beyond control. There’s nothing that causes more regret than letting the good times slip by. Keep your eyes open to the world around you and immediately use the opportunities that come your way. Never lose sight of your goals and remember that balance is the key to success. Balance the accomplishments against the “what ifs”, the regrets. Most have heard and should reconsider the following.

1. ‘Tis better to have love and lost...
2. Dance like nobody’s watching
3. Live without excuses and love without regret

Do what you want to do. Go where you want to go. Be who you want to be.

I have my list. Now I just need to start.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Throughout my life I’ve considered myself a B+. My first and last names both start with B. My grades in school averaged from an A- to a B+. My blood type is B+. My daughter’s name starts with B. The street I live on starts with B. My favorite color is Blue.

I love the Beach. I like Bubble Baths. I like to play Bridge. I used to look okay in a Bikini. Maybe that’s carrying it a little too far. I’m bigger than a Bread Box. I think I'm Brave, Bold, Beautiful on the inside, and occasionally Brainy.

I almost feel sorry for people whose names start with any letter after “F”. Well, maybe after “C”. And I know plenty of people whose names start with “A”, who aren’t...”A”s, at all.

But, that’s least that’s what I’ve thought for a long time.

Friday, May 04, 2007

The Failure

One of the advantages of being an early-on computer geek was catching the crest of the email wave. Combine this with a 30th high school class reunion in the mid '90s and I had the potential to virtually reconstruct our class that was by that time scattered over the world.

The limitations included finding an initial contact method for those whose locations were known, along with the time constraint for classmates having a computer and an email address.

As each was added to the group, there was the potential that they knew the whereabouts of someone who was "missing". The idea was, when each person wrote an email, everyone in the group was copied, to create a kind of electronic round robin correspondence that I designated Elogs.

It was fantastic during those early years because, as each person contributed, they related their high school experiences and told about their families. That triggered discussions from others. It was very exciting in those early days of electronic communication. I worked very hard to get the group to this point.

By the turn of the millennium, we had collected email addresses for about 90 classmates out of somewhere round 475 graduates. That's really not bad after all these years. Our chatter, information exchange, and newly developed friendships enhanced our meeting at our 35th reunion.

Being the aforementioned geek, I never felt part of the high school "in crowd". I learned there were many in our group who felt like outsiders during those formative years. So, I thought the email group was a fantastic equalizer that allowed us all to start over. Be mature. Be friends without the clicks. What a great experiment this see if everyone would remain friends even if they weren't in high school.

The general rule was that anyone could express their opinions as long as they made no personal attacks against someone else. Unfortunately, topics of religion and politics evolved into heated debates and name calling among a handful of participants. Rather than moving their arguments to side discussions, their public conflicts caused several classmates to drop out of the group and created hard feelings between others.

On the flip-side of the over analyzers were the listeners...the non-participants. Without their contributions of new topics and information, conversation became stale. Some were shy and the conflicts gave them reason to withdraw further.

The result of the angst is that, now, rarely does anyone address the whole group for conversation, and if someone does, responses are not sent to all...just returned to the sender. Many small groups have now's clicks.

So after 10 years of trial, we have come full circle, back to the immaturity of high school. My hope of friendship that included everyone is dashed. My experiment a failure.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


Am I the only one who has cordless push button home phones with nearly worn out button number 1? With all the 800 numbers (actually 1+800) and the recorded answering and information systems (press 1 for English), used in my personal life, my #1 on a couple of my handsets must now be pressed especially hard for it to register the push button tone. And, if I push too hard, then I get two ones in a row and have to start over. Does anyone have a cure for this problem, short of purchasing new handsets? This is just one of the things that pushes my buttons.