Saturday, August 26, 2006

Yeah......right! Like this is gonna happen anytime soon

Signs sure can be helpful - can't they? Let's look at our friend over to your left. It seems like fairly solid advice, doesn't it?

...and if you happen to be a bit unstable yourself - and lack a degree of common sense, heeding it's warnings is probably a good idea.

You'll see what everybody else sees that has ever embarked on the trail - which, if you never have seen anything like what is on the trail, is better than nothing.

But, what is the tradeoff? - what happens when you take this sign, remove it from this very specific and strategic place that it has been assigned to and transform it from being a sign into a banner that hangs over your life's highway?

You will have travelled the same highway - every single day. You know the scenery so well that you can't even describe it anymore. You started by not knowing the path, you learned it, you memorized it, and then you forgot about it to the point that you can't even recall it.

I noodle around on the guitar - many times, I will think of one of the simplest songs that I used to play and, for the life of me, I can't even figure it out. It's well below my skill level. I had it down pat. Now, I can't even remember it.

On a broader scale, do we do the same thing with our journey? - trails are safe. They are well worn. They lead in a direction toward a destination......the same destination that everyone travels to. If someone doesn't wander a little on occasion, we all end up with similar stories to tell at the end of the day.

Now, do you wander off the trail - just for the sake of wandering off the trail? Perhaps you do if you are an adrenaline junkie. The danger in that routine is a tendency to ignore the Fragile Areas and actually see them as stable enough to support your need for a rush.

How do you progressively wander off the trail? - first, stop looking at the dang trail!!! Your head has a swiveling mechanism. It is called your neck. It moves from side to side. It doesn't always need to be looking down at the trail or straight ahead at the horizon.

You also have the ability to STOP when you are on the trail - don't worry. No major pileups will occur.

What interests you that is not on your trail? - it may be crazy. According to "popular thought," there really is no reason that a guy like me should have the remotest interest in buttons. I am not talking about the kind that hold a garment together......though there are certain buttons on certain people's clothing that may catch my momentary attention more than others (SLAP!!! There, ladies, I did it for you.....besides, I did say "momentary attention"...hey, last I checked, I am still a guy).

I am talking about the buttons that one pins on - you know, the ones that "only a nerd would wear." Yet, I actually not only wear buttons, I sometimes make them. When I do either, I actually enjoy it.

I know...I know - they're goofy, stupid, silly, gaudy, unfashionable, etc.........."they" say.

Well, "they" aren't me - how did I find this silly little hobby? Afterall, I probably was in the "they" camp as it goes to my outlook toward buttons.

I inherited a button maker - from my eccentric late brother. It was the only thing of value worth inheriting (unless I ever decide to go through that box of baseball cards that he left behind.......having a little trouble adding that to my "happy things to do list"...though some people do get into it.)

I stopped on the trail - of busy business executive. Rather than saying, "what use has an important person like me have for such a thing," I literally stopped and looked over at the side of the road and said, "hey, what's this? How does it work? What could I do with this that would be fun?"

Look at that last sentence - All over a seemingly stupid little item like a button making machine.

But first.....I had to stop, turn my head, and look - are you stopping, looking, wandering off the trail into those fragile areas on occasion? It may be as simple as driving a new way at work. It may mean putting together your "to do" list for today............and then leaving it behind to waste an entire day.....or a week....
but let's take babysteps and start with a moment. Just a few minutes.

The still, small voice is still speaking to you - it has never shut up. You are focusing on something else with such laser precision that you can't even hear it. You have your son's travelling soccer could never miss a game, could you? The stories are legendary about the dad that missed every one of his boy's little league games and the damage caused. You don't want to be that so you make sure that you attend every single one. You would never want the dreaded "absent parent" label tagged on you. Maybe you focus on how unfocused you are. Religion does this to some under the justification that there is nothing more important than God. Maybe you are honed in on the "career is everything" trail....

The trail is fine - it will take you somewhere different than where you are right now. Moving along does prevent atrophy.....but a couple of steps off this trail may lead you to thee trail...the one that you want to travel on and that God wants you to find.......until you see something else that is hiding to most just off of that trail that you switched too. is the journey - not the destination that is important. May my carcass be found off on a trail that may not have been totally of my creation but one that also has not been worn down, paved over, patched, and repaved due to too much traffic.

Hey, I can get the story of what happened on that safe trail from just about anyone.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Our Hero vs The Monster (or when the Nut-ster meets aNut-eater)

(A Special Post for Sunday Scribblings)

Our story begins with Our Hero out to inspect His kingdom with all of it's average views.

Just one average view.....

.....after another.....

Little did he know his average day with his average views would turn into an assault by a demon who would assail him from out of nowhere.

"Get back," he said, "Away!!!"

But the creature was relentless in it's mission to overtake Our Hero. The struggle ensues...

Having physically subdued Our Hero, the satanic monster now mentally casts it's spell using it's mysterious Evil Eye. "You are getting sleepy....very sleepy."

And the creature shows it's merciless nature and turns around and applies the coup de grace....a blast from the Evil Butt

It comes back to inspect it's helpless prey. "Yes, he is dead. My work here is done," it hearkens with satisfaction

It goes into a strange post-sacrifice ritual and it prays to it's gods of the netherworld. All the while gloating over it's conquest over that which was good.

But wait!! our story over?

"Must drink....must get drink," he hoarsely groans

Dazed, mesmerized, and gassed, Our Hero gathers all of his strength and courageously crawls to the pristine pools that only he knows of. They flow with the magical elixirs to break the spell that has been cast upon him.

"Where is it?!?," Our Hero exclaims after amazingly recovering all of his supernatural strength

"Drats!!&*$#@...Foiled again," the now spineless intruder mutters as it scurries away. It knows full well that it had better run or the full wrath of Our Hero will bear down upon it.

It runs off to hide in it's Sinister Cave where it will live out the rest of it's days.....forever fearful of coming out and encountering Our Hero again!!!

And Our Hero's average world with it's average views are once again returned to peace and freedom from such unwanted predators as The Monster.

The End


Our Hero - played by the Nutster himself
The Monster - played by an intrepid little chipmunk that popped out of nowhere and made my day

All photos taken this day, August 25, 2006 in the setting of Emerald Bay State Park, Lake Tahoe, California. This tale is dedicated to the wonder and marvel of God's creations and the blessings that He has bestowed upon us.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

August 24 ....The Most Important Day of the Year

I am officially rescuing August - poor August.

When the holidays were doled out - it got left behind. August did get the benefit of being given the coolest name. It's one of only three months that has a name that is used in everyday language...."Nutter's Notes is one of the more august blogs in the blogosphere"....and, let's face it, "march" and "may" don't compare when you think of word quality.

Yet - no holiday.

Sure, the people at Hallmark probably have created one - let's see, what would a possible one be? "National Water Your Plant Day" would be a possibility of something that the huge card company churned out to create more sales. .....Wait!...No!...who would buy a card for their plant to honor NWYPD?

Anyway - there is nothing official for August.

Well....there wasn't - until today.

Haven't I as much right as anyone to declare a holiday? - all it takes is enough people to save up their Paid Time Off (PTO) days from work and take the day off. It's not about a government sanction. It's about people taking action to be inactive and observe something for a common reason...

Oooooooh - there is the key! We do have to have something to observe. Hang on, dear reader. Let me step away from the keyboard and ponder upon what a good reason would be....

(Insert Final Jeopardy music here)

I've got it!!!!! - I knew that I would come up with something. I always do. While it is going to cause quite a bit of inconvenience to myself, I have decided to make the sacrifice in the name of giving all of you a global holiday.

August 24....Nutster Day - let's all put August 24 in our calenders and celebrate it as the official holiday for August. You take the day off and do any crazy thing that you want to do (please keep the thoughts of legal and moral and not hurting others in mind, however).

It's not too late - dial up the office and call in well. Tell your boss that you have an eye problem, "Hey boss, I won't be there today. I have an eye problem. I woke up this morning and I can't see. That's right....I can't see coming into work today."

........and, while you are having all the fun and crazy times of Nutster Day - remember to shoot cards, gifts, money, sacrifices (please NO burnt animals), alms, tithings, etc over my way for being the one to put this on the calender and for being so unselfish as to have shared my birthday with all of you. Hey, being famous isn't all it's cracked up to be. Just think of all of the paparazzi that I am now going to have to deal with once a year!

HappyUP!!! It's August 24....Nutster Day! - make it the most memorable one ever!!!

Monday, August 21, 2006


Knee Burns - flippin knee burns!!! I thought, at my advanced age I was done with knee burns.

To be more precise - they're rug burns!!!

Here's your helpful hint of the day - Don't ever put Liquid Bandage on a fresh rug burn!!! Bactine...tolerable. Liquid Bandage....only if you also like the idea of your dentist giving you a root canal sans anasthetic!!!

Unless, of course, you like to scream!!! - which had nothing to do with how I got the rug burn so get those thoughts out of your mind!!!!

I am officially too old to be out playing with those youngsters - my Arena Baseball career is almost over.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Who Else Might I Be?......SugarFree...Part 2 here we are - just like I said.

Last Saturday - it was 10 a.m. and I said, "in about 7 days, it's going to be Saturday at 10 a.m. again. Guess what? I was happened!!! It's like I am some kind of sage or seer.

The point was -What will have been different when next Saturday rolls around?

And I made a DE-cision - I decided that I would not give in to my intense sugar cravings for 7 full days. Now, to some of you, that would be no big deal. To others, you are saying, "there ain't no way that would happen."

I would be closer - to the "ain't no way crowd." I live about 5 minutes from the local Dairy Queen. Sometimes, there is nothing better than an 8 or 9 pm run through the drive through for a quick Blizzard. To those of you not familiar with the DQ Blizzard, let's call it a ice cream frostie in a cup in various different flavors. It's so thick that a spoon is required to digest it. You can even turn the cup upside down and it won't fall out (well, don't try it after it has melted a bit). Cookie dough, Heath Bar, Oreo Cookie, Strawberry Cheesecake, get the idea.

Then - we have the vending machine at work. Hey, there is nothing like chocolate to take the edge of the stress when you are trying to "herd the cats" at work.

I had all of my managers in for a meeting - and, as usual, we have snacky little chocolate bars to keep that blood sugar running.

The list goes on and on and on - the mindfields were plentiful and the potholes steep that I could have fallen into.

How did I do? - I screwed up....once. It wasn't temptation. It was pure mindlessness. At the above stated meeting, we had brought in Chinese food for lunch. Now, remember, I said, "no sugar," not "no salt" for a week...that would be an entirely different program! What is the natural thing to reach for after you have pounded down the egg roll, the crispy pan fried noodles, and the sweet and sour vegetables???......yes, a Fortune Cookie!

You aren't even that interested in the cookie - you need to see what the future is going to bring. In my case, I wanted three fortunes!!!

As I was about ready to share a fortune with my group - I looked down at the remains of the cookies....some plastic wrappers, crumbs, and the little slips that held my future upon them...and I said, "Dang! Fortune cookies are a COOKIE. Cookie=sugar!!!"

Well...I still declare it a sugar free week - if I had been thinking, I wouldn't have had the fortune cookies at all. It was pure oversight.

The point of the story - what do you need to cut out for a week, a month, a year, or for your life that would make a difference? What do you need to get under control? Is there something that would scare you to go without for a week (yes, it could be THE INTERNET)? Bingo....the one that you think you can't do is the one that you MUST do. I'm not saying stop forever. Just to make sure that you are in control of it and it's not in control of you.

Feel free to leave me your item that you need to take a break from - and if you want to commit to doing it....and when you will start. I'll be right here in your corner....cheering you on.

Trust me - if I can go without sugar for a week......and without drinking for over 3 can do anything once you DECIDE (cut off all other options) to do it.

The week went by easily and quickly - (a bit too quickly) but, when the opportunity to sugarize came up, it was no opportunity at all as the decision had already been made. Look forward to hearing from you.

The Inner Life of Pets

(A Special Post for SundayScribblings)

"What? You are waking me up to do what? To put me in your stupid blog?"

"Well, Mr Photojournalist, I have a better

"In case I don't have your full attention, I believe this is your toe that I am macking into!!!"

Photojournalist: "OUCH!!! Knock that sh-- off!!!"

"OK, here is how it works. I get what I want. Once that happens, I will consider giving you what you want....capeche?"

"...And what I want right now is some lovin!!!! Bring it on, big boy!!! You've been holding out on me all week. 'I'm tired. I had a tough day at work.' Blah.. blah..blah.. blah..blah! Well, you weren't too tired to go to the driving range....or play softball....or stop and have a drink with your friends!!! It's makeup time and I want it.......NOW!!!!"

"OK...that was nice! Thank you. If you don't mind, I think that I need to go clean up now."

"There's nothing like a warm bath after a good rolling around with my friend"

"Gotta make sure that I get my back......'singin in the rain..I'm just singin in the rain..'"

"Gotta get this part too.....hey! Hey!!! Put that camera down!!! What are you some kind of weirdo!! You better not be taking a picture of this! A girl needs her privacy!!! I swear, if you put this on the internet, the next time you put me on your lap, I'll be doing a little extra KNEADING and you'll be Pleading and Bleeding, you pervert!!!"

"How does my makeup look? How many times have I told you? We have to change the light in this bathroom. It's just not flattering."

"OK...I'm done with you. I have to get to work. Make sure there is food in the dish when I get, where's that bluejay?"

Editors note: we would like to thank the queen for making herself available so that we could bring you a day in the life of a royal.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Hope Amidst Tragedy

You have all been getting a good dose - of my gardening stories as I wind my way through my first year of tending to a full patch of vegetables, herbs, and fruit.

The watermelon vine - has been one of the most fascinating things. It's like an octopus. There were times when I know that it was growing a foot a day. It was spreading out in all different directions....

...but it only produced two melons! - yet, two is better than none.

You can imagine my shock - a couple of weeks ago during our heat wave when I came home to see both of them in thecondition depicted here. They looked like those big yellow balls we used to play kickball with on the playground.....after someone had taken a knife and punctured them.

They had literally exploded!!! - they were even black on the bottom. There was so much water and sugar in these babes that the heat combusted them and POOF...they were gone.

I went out this morning - to dig up the vine. Sure, it was still growing but I didn't want to look at the sad reminder of the two infant melons that didn't make it to the picnic this year. As I was about ready to pull the the plant up, for some reason.......

I followed one of the vines over to the corner of the garden - behind the wheelbarrow and under the shade of the neighbor's evergreen tree. Look what I found.........

I think there is a picnic in my future after all!!!....and my little garden keeps teaching me things every single day.

HappyUP!!!...Gush it UP!!!

The women know this - and it is time for you guys to learn this to.

You are looking at this in the privacy of your own place - no need to hold back.

Isn't this the cutest lil guy - that you ever did see!!!!

Gushing - is a pure form of HappyUP!!!

Who Else Might I Be?......SugarFree

(A Special Post for SundayScribblings)

OK Gang - I have to come clean with you. This is hard. This is painful. I would say that it is shameful but there are enough of you out there that share this situation with me that I know I am not alone.

I have an addiction - it's to the white powder. I get it from any dealer that will sell it to me....even this notorious character in the picture. I take it in it's pure form. I take it baked into brownies. If I thought snorting it would be satisfying, I would do that too.

No, I don't think that I would inject it - while I don't have any morbid fear of needles, I just don't have enough affinity for them to indulge my excess in this manner.

When I don't have any of my drug available - I will get in my car at night and go to the nearest pusher so I can get my fix. Baskin Robbins.....Dairy doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is that I get my jones taken care

Even the office has it's methods of distribution - I have actually borrowed the 75 cents from a coworker when I didn't have the quarters to feed the machine so I could get my hands on that Twix bar that is luciously stored behind that glass. I don't think I would go so far as to shatter the window that seperates me from the luscious treat that can take me to the momentary nirvana that only my drug of choice can provide......but I have always been able to put my hands on those quarters so you never know.

Some peope choose crank and crystal meth as their white powder - the tell tale sign for them is that they eventually get gaunt and skinny. My drug works just the opposite.

I try to hide my addiction and the signs - I go to the gym most mornings so that I can work off the aftereffects before anyone can detect my abuse.

Where, oh where, is the local SA meeting - "I am Nutster. I am a Sugaraholic."

What else might I be? - Sugar Free.

It's 10 a.m. on this Saturday morning - I just got back from the gas station. I couldn't leave it at just filling my tank. I had to go inside while the car was fueling. I chose this gas station for a specific reason. Ah.........a coffee machine that really isn't a coffee machine. It dispenses my favorite liquid drug. I mix it with the same care that a crack addict heats the spoon that cradles his lethal concotion. I carefully fill the 20 oz cup 5/8th's full of English Toffee....I then fill to the brim with the Nestle Double Mocha. The heat....the sugar....the floats across my lips and frees me of the shakes that I have acquired since the last ingestion of the processed powder.

No, my addiction doesn't come from exotic locales - like the poppy fields of Afghanistan or other third world country. The cane fields of Hawaii is where my drug of choice is grown.

It's 10 a.m. on Saturday morning - in 7 days, it will be 10 a.m. next Saturday morning. Will I be able to say that I have been "clean" for a week as I sit down in front of this keyboard? Sure, my willpower is high right am I. The Toffee Mocha elixir has it's hold on me. I can feel the power of the toxins coarsing through my veins.

What will happen an hour from now.....this afternoon.....this evening - oh, how I will be looking for a little desert after my evening repast. All I can say is that I shall do my best....

And, failure or not, I will report back to you on my progress - it will be one day at a time. No, I am not going to throw out my ketchup.....unless I find myself sucking on a bottle of Heinz so I can huff the particles of sugar from the processed tomato mixture. If my salad dressing has some of "the cane" in it, so be it. I only vow to make every attempt to stay clear of the dreaded confectionary and superfulous items that feed my habit.

One day at a time.......One day at a time.....One day at a time.......One day at a time.

Friday, August 11, 2006


(possibly the most important post of all time on the Internet)

I think that I would qualify as having a fairly high stress job - some think that doctors, police, and fireman and the like are at the top of the list because they are dealing with lives being on the line. While I appreciate them all for putting themselves in that position, it really comes with the territory. For many, it's why they do what they do. This is a key to enduring stress in any position. If there isn't an intrinsic "why" to what you do, the stress will bear down on you like nobody's business.

Not everyone can derive that deep sense of meaning - even if I met with them and said, "do you know what you are doing for this city by picking up this garbage everyday. You are keeping rats away. You are making this the place it is to live for the residents here. It's all on you," there are some that just couldn't internalize that.

So, the job becomes a thing that pays the bills - and....oh my.....THE BILLS!!! I have been in the credit industry for 20 years. Honestly, I don't know how people can live with the pressure that I see from the credit reports compared to what is coming in on the cash flow side. If it were me, I'd go fetal......complete with thumb firmly inserted in mouth as I mumbled, "maaahma."

Enter "The Go To He- - Fund" - back when I was scraping by just to feed myself and building my business, I found that I had fell slightly into debt. I hated it. As the tide began to turn and I found that there were rather unsavory aspects to my job, I came up with a plan.

I would start putting 10% of what I made aside - heck, I had been living on less than what I was making. As I made more, why did I have to live on more? There really isn't a rule that says just because you make more, you HAVE to immediately spend more. There's not! Really!!! I looked it up in the rulebook.

I realized that - I had an actual employment agreement at work that I had signed. It was written by my employer. It had all of these conditions and things that I could and couldn't do and my employer had the permission to change the rules when desired.

I needed an employment agreement that was written from my side of the desk - so I wrote one. Now, I know the employer would never sign it so mine had to take on a different form. It went something like this:

"You need someone to do the job that I do but it doesn't necessarily have to be me. I need someone to employ me but it doesn't necessarily have to be you. As long as we live by these conditions, we'll get along fine. If either of us becomes dependent on each other, I think we are going to have a problem. "

Trust me - after 19 years with the same place of employment, the great company that I work for has lived up to their side. They'll let you know that you are replaceable (most of the time in a nice way, of course).

How have I made my end of the agreement stick? - the caveat of knowing that if my employer ever crosses the line and totally violates my principles, I tell them to "Go To He- -" and I leave. Hence, the importance of that little "Go To He- -" fund that started so many years ago.

Word of Caution - it's not easy living with a "Go To He- -" fund. You want that kind of freedom.....I don't know if you could handle that kind of freedom. If you "push the button" too quickly, you are going to deplete the GTH fund and then be beholden to the next job to replete the GTH fund. It takes discernment over what a violation to your real principles are......the real principles. Remember, your employer is like a different person than you are...and how many people are there that you know that have your exact same princiles? Not many. Hence, you are going to have some clashes.......unless, of course, you are a laydown panzie all of the time.

My GTH fund has been in place for a lot of years - there were times that I had to borrow from it...but I always paid it back. The company has tested me in ways that I didn't want to be tested. I have been pushed to the brink where I wanted to push the GTH button....

....but I never have - and I have changed due to the pressures in ways that I never thought that I would. Has it made me better? That would be a judgement call. I can tell you that I have learned a different perspective than the one that I walked in the door with years ago. Being able to see multiple perspectives is nice. It puts you in the "Seek first to understand and then to be understood" camp of life.

You can live on less - as to the current status of the GTH fund? It's probably about due for a new name. Let's call it the.....

Thanks For Providing Me the Ability to Retire Fund - while the GTH served it's purpose and I highly recommend establishing one today, I think the new name is a bit more in line with the nature of gratitude......even toward a company that still does "stuff" that, at times, makes me want to tell know.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


So, I pull into the Sacramento International Airport - (I think it has one flight to Canada to earn that "international" status). I am there the required two hours early. As I stand in the first line to check my bags, the guy next to me is radiating bad juju. It appears that he is some kind of coach. From the way that he is looking around, he may be in charge of getting a bunch of the females from the team that he is coaching on different flights early in the morning.....

First....that sounds like a bad job - rousting a bunch of young gals early in the morning to get on flights. To make matters worse, it's a Monday morning so he is battling the commuters as well. The airport is jammed.

I'm feeling pretty good - which I always should because I am me (though I forget that once in awhile). In this case, I had the added benefit of being darn glad that I wasn't him. Even if the team took first place, it is a distant memory as I visibly saw this guy adding miles to his tires right there in the airport.

I proceed to through the line - and I get to the counter. There appears to be more counters open than counter people because, though open, no one is at my counter. All of the counters that were open had prospective passengers standing in front of them. Have you got the picture?

Now, because I just arrived at the counter - I have to think that all of the people that were in front of their counters were there before me. I thought that this would be a good time to do a little experiment. I think that experiencing the bad juju guy put me on to this. I decided to actually be a HappyUP Traveller. As one of the counter people was walking by, I looked at her and I smiled.

That's it! That's all I did!!! - and guess what? She stopped and waited on me first. For about half a second, I felt a little guilty for taking cuts but, somehow, I recovered immediately and got over that. I don't like guilt much so I try to get rid of it in those very rare times when I do something regrettable.

Hmmmmm.....a the midst of chaos - is that all it takes? I think I'll start trying it more often.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Today is Saturday. There is work looming that I really need to pop over to the office and catch up on......I'll get there....I'll get there. In the meantime, I have diverted myself by pondering a few quotes that have come across my eyeballs today. Here is another:

"Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option"

Whoa!!! That's a good one to chew on - note, I didn't say accept or make a part of your doctrine. I'm not going to tell you how to live. I suggested that you put your bicuspids to it and move it around a little bit and decide where you ring in.

As a previous quote that I explored - this one sounds pretty palatable, albeit a touch harsh, when you look at it at face value. It's edgy. There's a hint of "I am woman, hear me roar" embedded though a jilted guy could gravitate to it as well.

It seems like if you throw too tight a noose on this thought - it would be mighty difficult for love to squeeze into your life. There seems like a bit too much negotiating involved. Me thinks that there is a bit too much negotiating around love and relational issues already: "what? You want to engage in hanky panky with me......when you didn't take out the trash?" (NOTE: I've never understood what hanky panky has to do with a non-event like taking out the trash that occurred hours ago but I have heard that this kind of bartering goes on. Then again, I'm a guy so it is almost my job NOT to understand the concept even if I want to...pardon me...I just cracked myself up).

I'll be brief in summation - watch yourself whenever you see or hear absolutes like "never." It's why such pithy cliches like "never say never" NEVER go out of style. (Wow...that last sentence was a triple entendre or something like that. Did you see it...."never say never never goes out of style. If you know the right description when something like that happens......other than a confused mind.....let me know).

Where do I ring in? - we shouldn't be doormats..........but there is little value in being a doorpost either.

What Else I Might Have Been

(A Special Post for Sunday Scribblings)

Where does a thought like "what else I might have been" take you?

Does it take you into regret? "If only I had done that.....that would have made the difference in my life"

Does it take you into guilt? "If only I hadn't done that...that would have made the difference in my life."
Initially, this was a tough topic for me. My philosophy is that I did what I did at the time with the best information that I had and, unless there is something that I can change now, there isn't much point of going back. You can learn from the past to effect the future but what's done is done. I don't have the above two emotions to feed off of.
I scanned through the things that I thought I would be growing up as a child......race car driver, sports announcer, songwriter, writer, professional golfer, etc. Maybe the answer to this assignment would come from there. It seems that it would have been forced, however.

Then it hit me...

What Else I Might Have Been...............a Father.

Back when I was married, this actually almost happened- It wasn't planned but we were "with child" before the life was taken in a first tri-mester miscarriage. Upon hearing the initial news that I would become a parent, honestly, "thrilled" would not be the best description to describe my emotions.
Yet, with a little bit of time, I began to accept - this new found responsibility. I moved through "accept"rather quickly to "looking forward to." Hey, another life was coming along. I was half the cause of it. It was now time to figure out what I was going to do to live up to my responsibility and maximize this wonderful opportunity that had drifted into my life.
It was about this time - that the opportunity was taken away from us. Yes, there was sadness. There was not an overabundance of grief. God didn't want this to happen. He always knows what is best even when we can't figure it out and it goes against our wishes.
Noah Nutter would have been about 15 or 16 right now - I probably wouldn't be blogging this moment. I'd probably be white knuckling it in the passenger seat as I taught him to drive a stick shift automobile. (Yes......children should be taught on a manual transmission!!! Let me count the reasons why.....)
Yes, life would have been much different - Noah's mother and I may not have divorced....we may have anyway. If we still had, the divorce would have looked a lot different than it did. I can't believe it would have been as civil and as pleasant as our dissolution was and has been.
Would life have been better? - Heck no!!! Not automatically! It would have been different. I would probably be feeling much the same way that I do now.....I'd just have different distractions.
"But parenthood really changes you..."- and, I suppose that is true. I can't speak to that. You, as a parent, can't speak to how you would have changed without children. Do you think time that is not forced serving the needs of one's child doesn't change you too? It's just a different kind of change.
No, we never got back onboard the train to create the next super-race - and I won't experience the joys of fatherhood or of grandfatherhood. I'm OK with that. Will I regret this when I am 60 or 70 or 80? I'll let you know when I get there. I'm not regretting it 15 years later. I'm not celebrating that I didn't have the child either.
Things are as they are - if you don't like them, change them. Because this philosophy has been a part of me for so long, I have no reason to think that this one won't still be there as I age. (Well....I guess if Alzheimer's creeps in, my philosophy leaks out....but then so does thinking about what might have been)
"But, Nutster, who is going to take care of you when you are old? Who is going to visit you?" - well, you may have a point. I can only offer this. Kids may have better things to do than take care of their own elders. Perhaps I should live a life where people other than my own children should want to take care of me should I be unable to do so. Perhaps I should earn this degree of respect in the world rather than just within the family. Also, I have a late-brother that didn't complete the trip into my parent's old age. Obviously, he's not much help in that department to my aging father. Life offers no guarantees. Having children does increase your odds for some old age companionship but look around. How much time do we spend with our aged? It appears that, as a whole, the East does a better job of this. The concept of extended family living in the West is almost non-existent. I am blessed that my surviving brother and his wife take such good care of my father in their home.
I'm glad I took a moment today - to think about "what else I might have been." I might have been different.....yet, I think, much the same.


I stumbled across this quote the other day on the net:

The best way to waste your by taking notes. The easiest way to avoid living is to
just watch. Look for details. Report. Don't participate.

Now, on face value, you could see how this could quickly make it up on to someone's refridgerator. This is classic "Go For It" thinking and, especially here in the West, we have made it a mantra. It sounds pretty good, right?

.... not so fast!

Let's do a bit of analyzing:

"The best way to waste your life" - well, right off the bat, the author has said, "Nutster, whenever you read this, I am going to try to get you to stop reading this right before the first set of" Who is anyone that walks this earth to tell anyone how to waste their life...let alone the very best way to do it.

Yet, being of open mind, I pressed on in my reading:

"is by taking notes" - OK, not only has this person told me the best way for me to waste my life but he is now hitting on one of my favorite things to do. I love to take notes. They aren't meticulous. Sometimes they are doodles. Sometimes they are multi-colored. Sometimes they are notes of my own mind dribbling down through my arm, to my fingeres, into the ink well and out the nib. I glean nuggets and pearls from my notes and throw out the vast majority of the rest. Without notes, how could you journal? Journaling is nothing but notes. If you blog, you are writing notes.....and you may have taken the notes you wrote, rearranged them, to create the notes you deliver to someone else.

Yet, I take few things personally. Onward:

"The easiest way to avoid living is to just watch" -, I am starting to get it. This guy is from the adrenalin school. It may not be Xtreme sports adeno rush variety but it runs along the same lines. He is now mandating people to "do." There is nothing wrong with that. Is it for everybody, however? You tell me. People probably ought to make sure that they have given that a try before they make some decisions for themselves.

And then, the author brings out the everyone's favorite: Sarcasm

"Look for details. Report. Don't Participate" - personally, sarcasm is not my favorite tool of persuasion. Sure, I'll throw it out there to be funny on occasion. Everytime I do, however, I know that I run the risk of alienating someone. Sarcasm is a dangerous explosive and should be handled with care. Looking beyond the sarcasm, details contain fascination for some. Most of our medical advances surround looking into the most minute of details. you aren't a nuclear physicist or research scientist...can you get value out of details? Yes. Look closer to the details of the world around you.....artists are known for their free thinking but much of their free thinking is that they are more sentient of the details that surround them. Can you get bogged down and draw rubbish out of worthless details, too? Of course.

The key - discernment.

The point of the post - mindlessly follow no advice whether it be the quote listed above...or the advice I have listed in this sentence. Think....discern...act (or don't)

John Lennon had it right - "whatever gets YOU through the night, is's alright."

What is it that "gets you through the night"?- What does "getting you through the night" mean to you? Does it mean literally just waking up the next day? Does it mean waking up with a smile? Does it mean getting up and jumping out of bed and jumping for joy to help others in the world? Does it mean exploring things that aren't part of your life now that may make you feel like you are upgrading or is you feeling that you are optimally living according to your standards? Do you have standards? Do you know what they are? Do they need to be changed? Are your standards so low that you don't feel they challenge you? Are some of your standards so high that they hold you back because they aren't your standards...they belong to someone else?

("Wow......did Nutster just say that it was OK to think about actually "downgrading" my standards? That's some crazy thinking.")

It's all good - you decide...whether you make the conscious decision or not. I love the word, "Decide". It literally means to "cut off all other possibilities." Decide to watch...decide to report...decide to actually be part of the game....decide to play a mix of the three. Decide whatever you want

Just don't not decide - and let me hear you complain about how life is working in a different way than you want or that it should if you never made a decision in the first place.

Think about it.....answer those questions I posed...decide - whatever gets you through the night, is's alright.