Archive for December, 2013

Don’t buy the illusion

Posted: December 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

This morning I listened to an interview on NPR with the artist Pharrell Willams. The artist is an incredible talent, I am (in case you cannot tell a huge fan), he was asked if, he felt that his influence was too strong. He laughed off the question and mentioned that there is a type of illusion the public is sold and that he was more lucky then influential. He told us that anyone can do what he did. I have to say based on what I have read seen and heard people do I have to agree. Ironically two days ago I heard an interview with Enrique Iglesias, he was asked about this huge mansion, he was rumored to have bought. He commented on how the house was not his. The record company bought and staged it for him.

Men and women with hard work determination and a little luck can do anything! We are quick to crown our peers king and queen. This February there will be a Super Bowl football game and the National Football League will crown one team the champions. Competition demands we find a winner but that winner was only the best for that moment that winner did something that everyone else can do. The championship crown is merely an illusion we have been sold.

This new year 2014 will roll in tomorrow and with it we will be pitched at by ad men everyday. Buy these clothes, this car and be like the champions, happy and healthy. Don’t buy it learn who you are and what makes you happy and buy that. Often you may find that you do not need to purchase any item at all to be happy.
And happy new year!



Now I understand.

Posted: December 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

Last night, the sky was clear and you could see hundreds of stars. I pointed it out to my girlfriend, and she responded with, “now I understand, what you are talking about.” She was understanding about my support of, the Dark Skies Iniative. See the dark skies initiative is a group which fights light pollution. With to much light from earth the dark skies will be gone and with them our view of the stars.
Some may say”so.” I say, “there is so much out there to loose it would be awful.” I could go through and let everyone know just how much space exploration has given our society but I encourage you too find a clear night and empty sky. After you have found the clear night and empty sky, go look up. If you can see the star canopy the same one me and my girlfriend did and still say so then that is just sad.
Modern lighting is amazing wonderful and an important tool, but if we do not use it correctly we may loose the stars. Most of the time, when asked to have a dark night, cities will complain about a lack of safety or comfort but with new lighting technology like LED we can get our star covered nights back. There is still hope, for star gazers.





Posted: December 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

Ok, I try hard not to complain about my city council. I and my fellow citizens elected them, and they are in a thankless job. I mean really when the city government works nothing is said when it doesn’t… Well I may blog about it.
This morning on the front page of the paper there is an article about a new city ordinance.the long story short, you cannot leave your trash can curb side for more than one day before or one day after trash pick up. Penalty for the offense is, a warning and then a fine.
The city and mayor state that this is to help waste management and to keep our city beautiful. I call this hogwash and a violation of citizens rights. If we are not careful the city will give you tickets for lawn ornaments.
There is cost associated with legislation and the enforcement of legislation. I wish the city would spend the money and resources on something that really would make it more beautiful like a dog park. Our city has an ordinance at all parks, no dogs allowed, but there is not one dog park. The money spent telling men and women what to do at their homes could have been spent helping.
I don’t think this legislation has anything to do with helping the city out. I think it is purely government for governments sake and I say to the ones who enacted it shame on you and to those of us who believe it really? Because I am not buying it not one bit.


Bring on 2014

Posted: December 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

Christmas has come and gone. The cookies are eaten, the presents open and the tree is out of the house, on the lawn and waiting to be picked up by the trash men. I enjoy Christmas as much as the next man. Celebrating the birth of the savior, the end of winter and understanding the importance of the love and hope the holiday represents, but now Christmas is over. So what do you do on the day after Christmas? In 1776 the American troops were celebrating their victory from the 25th at the Battle of Trenton (by the way, happy Battle of Trenton Day it is going to be a thing!).
Me and my girlfriend usually spend the day after Christmas checking the store for sales (really early in the morning), while at the store I noticed some 2014 paraphernalia on the shelves. I began to think about it. Soon it will be 2014 we will drink champagne kiss our loved ones and sing “old lang syne”, the Scots poem says a lot about kindness relationships, that are gone and ones we have. Kindness love respect, these are what got you through this year and is what will get us all through 2014.
So while we enjoy the traditions we should also remember to be good to ourselves and each other.


How do I do it?

Posted: December 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

You want to be happy, so does everyone else. It is  a simple human thing. For some happiness is intrinsic to security and safety for others happiness means adventure and excitement, for others happiness is wealth and power. Well… not really. I just finished reading an article about scientific methods to improve human beings happiness.

Yeah that is correct. Scientific evidence for ten ways to be happy, and guess what?  Money, security and excitement were nowhere on the list. I don’t know about you but this really blows me away! I mean we wake up get in the car drive into work (a shorter commute did make the list, one thing to improve your happiness is to move closer to work, a long commute does major psychological damage effecting ones happiness.) and then work long hours for what? Money so that we can spend time with our family and friends.

Ahh there it is that was number 3 on the list. Spend more time with family and friends.   A study published in the Journal of Socio-Economics states than your relationships are worth more than $100,000: incredible right?

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Now if you have read the article you will know two things, 1. I cut and pasted that last comment straight from the article and two, that we already know most of the things that make us happy. We knew how to be happy pretty much ever since we were adults. I just think we have been sort of fooled, blinded by whatever you want to call it: consumerism, decadence, opulence. Whatever we call it we know that we cannot buy happiness but, doesn’t that new car look nice and we can buy it and get in it and drive around town and feel good for a while. But the feeling is fleeting. It is the holiday season. You and I have both bought some presents for people we love stuff that they will use and be happy and that is good gifts are good, but really what is more important the gift or the act of giving the gift?

I know they are borrowed cliches like; “it is better to give than receive” but it really is better to give than receive.  There is a wonderful book called “Flourish”, in the book the author, Dr. Seligman explains that

…we scientists have found that doing a kindness produces the single most reliable momentary increase in well-being of any exercise we have tested.


It seems after reading this article (you really should check it out) that, you can be happy and they ways to happiness are rather inexpensive but, they do take some work some effort some going out of our way for others. Some getting out of our comfort zones and finding the local theater or art gallery and then getting a hold of our family and friends and carting them their with us.

You really cannot buy happiness but we can earn it!





So in the morning I have a routine. I enjoy reading the news then writing in this blog and finally I top my mornings off with a brain workout on the website. The games are fun and they tell me that it will make me smarter, god knows I need that. There is one game in some of my workouts that I really enjoy. I am not good at it but it is a challenge and a lot of fun and I like to believe I am getting better at it.

Ok, I am going to try and explain to you, my favorite game. Ready? Imagine a penguin, now imagine two penguins on an iceberg. One on ether side. In between the two penguins there is a maze and a fish at the end of the maze. The gun sounds and the race begins. You can direct your penguin using the arrow keys on your keyboard. As the race continues the ice berg rotates and up can become down, or left or right or back up. So that is my favorite brain workout right now.


I like it because the idea that, up can change when the iceberg rotates is very profound. This feels that way in life sometimes. We have our priorities and we know where are home is but then we leave home for college and with it we create a new home and it can feel like up is down and we can get turned around, unless we focus on the fish. Staying focused on what is important is.. well important.  Some people call it prioritizing, that sounds good. Whatever you want to call it, don’t forget how important it is. Without setting our prioritizes on what really matters, you can feel like up is down or left or right and just get all messed up, then the other penguin will steal your fish, leaving you cold and hungry on an iceberg.



Hey, it’s going to happen.

Posted: December 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

Failure! That’s what it is. That is what is going to happen, you will experience some type of failure in your life. Something is not going to work right for you. You are going to try and not get the results you want. Now I know if you are over the age of 15 and reading this post, you are probably thinking something like, thanks captain obvious, I had no idea I was going to fail because that didn’t happen to me like a million tines already.  So you may know that failure will happen already but did you know this, successful people fail? Yeah, they do they fail a lot. They fail often and they brush it off. Do the failures hurt less? Do they want want they are after less than unsuccessful people? I don’t think so. If that isn’t it than what is it? How do the successful people brush off failure? How can successful people fall a hundred times and get up a hundred and one? How do successful boxers get hit round after round and stay in there through all 13 rounds? What is it? Are they numb? Well there are a few things that keep people going when the going gets tough.

If you have read almost any other post on my blog, you should know that I am a firm believer in the power of an education and knowledge. The chances of success for a fair game are the same for all players involved in the game or event. Now four years ago, before I understood math, I may have typed something about the law of averages here, but that was before I understood math and before I knew that the law of averages in almost every case is hooey.  What no way! The law of averages is gospel it is science. If I get a hundred no’s I am in the position to get a yes, that is how it works. No it is not! The law of averages or “The gamblers fallacy” is not right. There is not a set amount of times something will happen. Every time I flip a coin there is a 1/2 chance for how many times that coin will fall heads up. No matter how many times the coin fell face up. So if it isn’t the law of averages what is it. Well remember earlier on in this post when I used the words, “in a fair game”? Yeah fair is important to keep in mind there. See a successful person knows that life isn’t fair. Someone always enters a situation with an edge. If I were to toss a weighted coin or roll weighted dice the odds would favor one outcome more than the other. Life is weighted and unfair. Men and women learn and do their best to position themselves into an unfair position so that the outcome of the situation will favor them, then they apply hard work and wait for luck.

So when a successful person fails they learn. Why did they fail? Did they lack the edge? If the answer is yes they acquire said edge and try again. Did they not work hard enough? If the answer is yes they try again and apply harder effort. Was luck simply not on there side? That one is easy they just try again.

See what seems like a brush off is more than that. Failure is a learning opportunity, a chance  to get better and know more about who you are.

“I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”

― Albert Einstein

To succeed you have to fail and learn from said failure. If you learned from a failure, I have to ask you was it really a failure after all? I challenge you and me and all of us today get out there and fail, try again and fail and try again and fail whatever you do today never ever give up and never stop learning. That would be true failure, giving up and refusing to learn.