A Moment of Zen

There a few things in life where I truly feel like I am one with the universe (I am one with the force, the force is with me.) Wood working is one of the few instances. In specific when I am sanding.

There is a little bit of prep work when it comes to sanding. One can not just grab a piece of sand paper or sanding tool and go to work. I won’t get into all the specifics as I  don’t want people falling asleep, but once that prep work is done the task is fairly simple. Bring the wood to a plain smooth surface.

There is something about the repeated motion and noise that provides a calming effect for me. Sanding even with the aid of a sanding tool can be one of the most laborious parts of and kind of working, but I enjoy it immensely.

When I was remodeling my house and I saw how much work the stair banister was going to need I was secretly excited on the inside, There was at least 3 evenings worth of surface prep sanding.

Appropriate Cold Weather Dress

As we head further into winter and slowly inch into colder weather let me break down a few things. To be honest here, it saddens me that I have to spell any of this out, but since I haven’t figured out how to bottle common sense and sell it I’ll break it down.

Dress in layers for starters. Indoors or outdoors you should dress in layers. That way as the temperature fluctuates throughout the day you can remove or add to help regulate body temperature and keep yourself at a comfortably warm temperature and also keep yourself from any unnecessary sweating. One of the quickest ways to become cold is to have moisture of any kind on your skin or soaked into your clothing and sweating will do just that. Here’s a clutch tip from scouting. Always have an extra pair socks at hand.

Speaking of socks, can someone explain to me socks with crocs or sandals? If you are one of those people that thinks this is an ok fashion choice I hope you roll an ankle. (Side note: if you allow your signification other to walk out in public dressed as such it’s time to re-evaluate the relationship.) As for that being your excuse that allows you to wear them in colder weather that makes you an even bigger idiot. Please don’t send me links showing these new “outdoor socks” either. They are garbage and as I stated before. Moisture will be your undoing.

Let me pontificate on one more point. Ladies, if you are going to wear a skirt in cold weather so be it. Your dress choice is your own, but I beg of you some common sense please. Get the thick thermal tights. Helps retain body heat better. Props to my wife on that one. (Honestly hate hearing about how cold someone is and then realizing underdressed they are. I have no sympathy for self inflected problems.) secondly if you opt for the mini/micro skirt there’s no a pair of thermal tights that are going to help you but me thinks that if that was go to choice I doubt tights of any kind were a thought.

I could go on about other proper cold weather attire for hours but since I have better thoughts to get down I’ll stop here. These are just some general thoughts I have and the two most egresses problems I have noticed since the temperatures have started dropping.

Grandparents

I consider grandparents a pivotal and essential part of the family. Growing up I had the great fortune of having both my maternal and fraternal grandparents alive. I wouldn’t lose one until late in my teenage years. The way I see it my children will also have their grandparents be in their life for a large portion of their formative years.

My grandparents are one of the primary factors of why I am the person that I am. Not really sure where I would have ended up in life without their care, knowledge, and affection.

I know this is cliché, but I do subscribe to one of a grandparents primary jobs is to spoil their grandchildren, even to the chagrin of the parent. I know my parents will and already do to some degree even though my daughter is barely only 3 months old. It’s one of the many ways in which they show their love.

Another primary responsibility of  any grandparent is to pass on knowledge. There are two major knowledge areas in which grandparents are best to contribute at. The first of which is family history, I fully expect both mine and my wife’s parents to share stories of when we were younger with our children.

The second of which is life skills. Granted my wife and I will be imparting lots of them to our children as they grow, but there are some things we won’t know or think of. That’s where the grandparents come in. To give a specific example, I gained from my maternal grandfather, I learned about vegetable gardening, in specific tomatoes. This extended into other parts of gardening, accented by grandmothers, mothers, and scout learned skills. Needless to say I have acquired a green thumb.

While I expect that my children will gain some of those same gardening skills I’m more interested to see what they will gain from my father. By trade, he is a carpenter. He has passed more knowledge onto to me than I could hope to ever absorb. Needless to say I won’t be shelling out money to a repair person for basic and moderate level home repair things.

A Full Nights Sleep

Last night for the first time in over two months I actually got a full nights sleep. That’s right people, my two month old stayed asleep for slightly more than a continuous 7 hours and both myself and wife got a complete nights sleep. Let me break it down for you.

Once we both got over how awesome it was a slight bit of panic set in. Although it was the noise of our daughter coming over the monitor that woke us up for the day the thought that something was wrong crept into my head and stayed there until I saw her and realized she was fine. Just as much as children don’t like drastic change all that much it bugged us as adults in this instance.

As my night draws to a close this evening I am hoping for a repeat of yesterdays prolonged slumber of our little one. A return to pre-baby sleeping patterns for myself anyway is much sought after,

 

How Low Can You Go?

While watching one of my favorite vloggers  , Phlip Defranco , he said something that struck a cord with me. To paraphrase, ” Maybe its because I expect so little from people.” My brain stalled for a second when he said that and then I realized that I have that same mindset. I  promptly decided that was bullshit and I should be able to expect more from people.

It was a long time ago that I understood that for the most part I shouldn’t expect much from people in general. This unfortunately includes some family members and previous co-workers. However, I still think that is complete bullshit. I shouldn’t have my expectations bar set so low that anyone and their cousin Leroy could trip over.

Yes, there should always be a minimum expectation that is relevant to the task at hand, but I have always tried to expect a little more from people. The only reason I believe I can expect a little more form people is because I always expect that little bit more from myself. I don’t think I’m being unreasonable here to expect at least the minimum.

 

Learn Something New Everyday

I forget where I heard those words long ago, but it struck a cord in me and I have done just that. I make it one of my personal daily goals to learn some new tid bit of information. I don’t go so far as to go digging up some factoid and then committing it to memory. There’s to much information out in the either for that and I normally only hang onto things that are significant or important to me.

When instructing one of my students or scouts I make that the minimum barrier. I may not be able to convey the entire concept or skill, but so help me the student/scout(s) before me will have learned at least one thing before they leave me for the day.

The point I am trying to make is that everyone should be striving to learn something new everyday. I’m not saying run out and sign up for a college course or sign up for basket weaving classes, but take a second and read the paper, have a more meaningful conversation with a friend or co-worker, go for a walk in your neighborhood and be more observant. You never know what might be gleaned that could improve your life even just a little.

A Series of First’s

Since June 4th I have been on a roller coaster ride of first’s and some lasts as well. Incase you missed it I got married back on June 4th. This is my first marriage and as far as I am concerned my last as well. To quote Luke Dane, “The 0nly way out now is in a body bag.”

Fast forwarding to a couple of weeks ago we purchased our first home. Short of a major promotion this will be our only home that we purchase as well. Full disclosure it was not our first attempt at purchasing our first home. That saga is a story for another time.

For the final first we have to rewind back to the tail end of January when my wife and I found out that we will be having our first child in September. This will not be our only child. Plans are to expand the clan out by at least 2 younglings.

When experiencing each of these first’s it was always a mixed feeling of sheer terror and boundless joy. Imagine Homer Simpson’s patented scream and “woo hoo” back to back if you will. I’m sure everyone that was or will be in my position can sympathize. Still trying to figure out how to “adult”, but soon will also have to figure out how to parent as well.

Last Man Standing

Since Christmas Eve one family member after another has taken ill for at least 24 hours or more. This includes my work family. One by one I have watched some ailment put them out of commission for an extended period of time. Everyone that is except me.

I am an island on to my own. When some sickness makes the rounds I can normally weather the storm and at worse only have to deal with some of the minor annoying symptoms associated with whatever the affliction is. I’ll have to attribute this to my robust immune system.

Through the pharmacy I have the “pleasure”  of interacting with hundreds of patients in a week and as a result of that their illnesses as well. I’m also exposed to many a students through my teaching endeavors and the illnesses they bring with them to the classroom. I would say my immune system is always working over time combating and adapting to the various illnesses that are hurled my way.

I also never bought into the constant use of hand sanitizer. If memory serves me the CDC and other federal health agencies put out studies saying that people were over doing it. To put a fine point on this I make sure I’m clean and sterile when I need to be, but the rest of the humans on the continent I share with need to calm down with the scrubs and the lotions. Your body does need a certain level or bacteria on it and in it anyway.

It’s like I tell my coworkers and cohorts all the time. Just lick the counter/keyboard and get it over with. The illness is going to claim you anyway just get it over with now. Unless your me and the New York City sewer rats.

Waiting In Line

There are a lot of things I will wait in line for. The bathroom, midnight showing of a movie, medication if  needed bad enough. However, waiting in line for a toy doesn’t even crack my top 100 reasons to wait in line. Don’t get me wrong I have waited in line for a midnight release of a video game back in the day, but that was for myself and I promptly went to bed when I got home shortly after midnight. I also don’t think it equates to what I witnessed earlier this evening.

While shopping for a toy for my friends son for Christmas I decided to head to the local big box toy store with my wife. There happened to be a short line formed outside. I thought that to be really odd as we are well past black Friday at this point and there wasn’t some hot toy making headlines on the daily news as there had been in years past.

Apparently I would be wrong in this instance. The cashier enlightened us that the people in the line outside were waiting for a “Hatchimal”. To help clarify for those confused by that word the closet thing I could come up with is a Furby in an egg. I guess it’s nice to see that there are parents out there who think enough of their children to wait in line through the night in 30 degree weather to get that special toy of the year for them.

I will not be one of those parents. (I say this now and that may change between now and then, but I’m going to draw the line in the sand any way.) This will be one of the few times in my future child(rens) life that they may be to actually throw me under the bus when talking to their therapist. I will place the need for sleep and the comfort of my own bed over the need for this years hot new toy which will most likely be broken or lost by the time we are looking to see if the groundhog sees his shadow.

Lost & Found

So for the better part of 2 weeks I had lost the “Lock n Lock” container that I take my work snack in. Amazingly enough it resurfaced a few days ago. My wife was briefly annoyed, but that quickly passed. However the next item I had TEMPORARILY MISPLACED may not go so well.

A couple of days ago while getting myself ready for the day I went to put on my rings
(there are three that I normally wear) and my wedding band was MIA. For a second I thought I was going to have to change my name, get plastic surgery, and move to New Zealand. Then sanity took a hold again and I began to back track myself to figure out where I had misplaced it.

I have the (bad?) habit of removing my rings when I eat something that will make my hands dirty and/or greasy. So as I normally do I removed them and put them in my pocket at dinner time. When it became time to get ready for bed I emptied my pockets (at least I thought I did) placing the rings in the catch all dish my wife got me.

Coming back around to the morning and I am getting ready and then have my panic attack and realize I may not have completely emptied my work shirt pocket. Low and behold there was my wedding band. Crisis averted, all hands stand down, return to DEFCON 5. Moral of the story is not to do that again, but as I am a creature of habit and most likely wont listen to myself.