Sunday, October 29, 2006

As A Man Thinketh

"A man's mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put inot it, then an abundance of useless weed seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind.

Just as a gardener cultivates his plot, keeping it free from weeds, and growing the flowers and fruits which he requires, so may a man tend the garden of his mind, weeding out all of the wrong, useless,
and impure thoughts, and cultivating toward perfection the flowers and fruits of right, useful, and pure thoughts. By pursuing this process, a man sooner or later discovers that he is the master gardener of his soul, the director of his life. He also reveals, whithin himself, the laws of thought, and understands, with ever-increasing accuracy, how the thought forces and mind elements operate in the shaping of his character, circumstances, and destiny."

-from As a Man Thinketh, James Allen

Whoa!!! I have been talking about the power of thought recently - and then this little tome enters my hands. It's funny how things like that work out. James Allen penned this little book back around the beginning of the 20th's hard to tell exactly when. My copy doesn't have dates in it. If you try to order a copy off of Amazon or anywhere, it says 2002 or 2004.....a more recent published date.

Perhaps you will want to stay away from this book - it's short but it's some concentrated power!!! You are either going to feel pretty good once done reading this....or know that you need to step up your thought process.

Where did I land on this? - I'm not even done with the 72 pages and I have already been convicted of lazy thinking....and I AM A THINKER!!!

Yes, you may want to lay off this one - this book is not for the weak or squeamish!!! "You want the can't handle the truth!!!" comes to mind when I think about describing this book.

However...if you want change.....NEEEEEED change - you could go to a lot worse source than this for advice.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Grime

It's October - it's way too early in the year to get "the Grime."

Germ Theory Nutstser style - says that germs have a fairly short life span. They also have unlimited choice as to where they want to live out their limited days here on earth. With that being the case...

Why would they want to live in my swamp - when they can live like a king in your palace. Really...if I had my choice of bodies to live in as a germ, I certainly wouldn't pick mine.

This is why, by and large, the Nutster stays relatively healthy - I'll go a year without a cold or, if I do get one, it usually is of the short variety. And....if I get one cold for the season...

It's one cold for the season - that's it!!! No more are allowed.

This is why it was a little concerning as I sat in an all day meeting yesterday - and started to feel "the grime" come in. You know how it is kind of like fog. First, you feel the sinuses start to swell.....then a little pressure on the head...then, soreness which you think is in the throat when you swallow but really is more like where the sinuses's the beginning of that cold.

Nutster has learned not to be Rambo when this hits - I'll cancel appointments and head home on day one of the grime. Yes, it makes me a bit of a wuss but I don't hang on to germs for weeks on end like some people. When germs are up, I go a hurry. 2 pm....still in the bathrobe - I feel a little guilty for laying on the couch all day watching public television. It's gorgeous outside. There is so much that I could be doing......

....but I have chosen to Nurse the Grime - I'm not counting this as a cold until I feel like crud tomorrow. I don't want to get a cold this early in the easy to get a second cold in the season. I don't do colds....or second colds.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Conversations in My Head...part 1

Welcome to part 1 of what is surely to be a regular feature hear at Nutter's Notes - as it comes on the heels of my previous post.

Let's look at this morning's conversation - but first, I have to set it up. I have a long standing tradition of about 5.5 years of checking my weight on Sunday. Now, to be scientifically correct, I would take it at the same moment every Sunday. I always take some creative license and, over time, it is all going to balance out anyway. For example, if there is an optimal low point this Sunday, this becomes the thing I have to measure against next Sunday so there is no getting away with anything.

This week - began the countdown to the first Sunday of the final quarter of the year. I have been faithfully hitting the gym this year. YOU don't know but, trust me, I have been there more than ever. At last count, I had over 4000 minutes logged on the machines.....that doesn't count drive time or talking or getting a drink or resting. Those are actual workout minutes at the gym.

As I entered the 4th quarter of the year - my weight was the exact same as when I began. Now, here is my thoughts on that little scenario:

Evil Voice - "what is the use. This isn't working. Why do I bother?"

Voice of Reason - "hey, dude, think what your weight would be at if you didn't workout. You are only 5 pounds heavier than you were 10 years ago and 15 pounds lighter than 3 years ago. You still have a quarter to post a net loss for the year. You are in great position to get back down to that 10 years ago weight spot."

.....and that is where I ended it a week ago - with the VoR winning out.

So, as I head to the scale first thing this morning - what do I see? 172....a two pound gain!!!

Evil Voice - "yeah, right. Like you are going to finish the year at 165. You ate like a pig the last few days. You know what Friday and Saturday was like. Who are you kidding? You can't even stay on track for one week. What is going to happen when you have to face.....the holidays? You're toast...stick a fork in you cuz you are done!"

VoR - "hey, dude, remember last Sunday. You were went down to the gym and put in a good workout and were at 170 before noon. You know that you shouldn't count 'first thing when you get up' as your real weight. Let's get down to that gym and see what we can do for you today."

....and off to the gym I went - 90 minutes of aerobics later, I came back to the house for the official weigh in.

VoR observed - "dude, 169!!! dropped a pound over the week. That is 20% of what you are looking to do for the quarter in the very first week....and you didn't even watch the diet. You are the man. I don't know why you even listen to that Evil Voice guy. I can't wait to get you back to that gym tomorrow."

....and, the Evil Voice - was handed a nice can of Shut the Hell Up to choke on the rest of the day.

I was on my way home from Organic Home Church - on Wednesday night. I hadn't had my sugar fix for the day. I had to drive right past a Baskin Robbins......the voices...the voices....the voices.....

"We are stopping in and grabbing a couple of much chocolate do I want in each scoop" - proclaimed the Evil One

"No, there is no need for that" - replied the VoR.

"To hell there is not. We are stopping" - and, with that, the truck began to slow down and head into that left turn lane. The Evil One was being a bit relentless tonight.

"'s late. You won't even remember that cone tomorrow but you may remember the residue" - chimed in the VoR.

With that - the truck sped up and continued home for a non-sugar induced slumber. Most importantly, I gave myself a nice pat on the back for winning another battle with the Evil Voice.

Does the VoR always win? - what do you think? But, it does win.....and, in my case, it wins more often than not. How about for you? Do you celebrate the victories? If you don't, START IMMEDIATELY. This is so critical. Feed that voice of reason. There is no one in this world that is going to hand you gold medals for making the right decisions every day. If you need a happy sticker, go down to the teacher's supply store and by them for yourself.

Why is that celebration so important? - because, on the days that the Evil Voice wins (yes....E.V. will have his victories), you have to remember your other triumphs. You take today's loss as just's loss. It was just a bad day. It wasn't who you really are....remember all those winning times? (this is where the self pat on the back comes gives you something to draw from after a tough, or not so tough, loss. ).

You get right back up - and have at that Evil Voice again. "E.V. snuck one in this time. I wasn't looking. Next time I am in that situation, I am going to hit him with everything I got. I left myself open, too. I know why I left the door open to him and tomorrow, that door is going to close. I don't think he wants to come back and get a real piece of me."

The Evil Voice will beat you up enough - no need to do a video replay and watch his latest victory. You pop back into the game.....ready to win the next round. You can look back for a second to see your mistake....and then looking forward so you can use the skill that you just learned to win the next round.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Moleskine has a pen holder.....NOW!

Someone asked me - "Nutster, where and when do you come up with all of the stuff that you come up with?"

"Anywhere and all the time," is my reply.

"How do you remember it?"

"Well, I really can', never have been. It's not an age thing! I write it down. Mark Twain said, 'the faintest ink is better than the best memory' or something to that effect."

I keep my thoughts in a Moleskine journal these days - for those of you who like to journal, pick up one of these. Yes, they cost a little more but, for some reason, they make you want to write in them. have to get over - not wanting to write in them. The Moleskines are that nice. Trust me, once you break through, you will want to record all kinds of things in them. You'll even learn to conserve space and not just write scattered notes. I mean, it's OK to waste pages but you won't want to. These babies just reek of efficiency!

....but they don't have a pen loop - and a lot of users complain about this lack of a feature. Why don't people do something about it???

And I did - as you can see, I used some of that cool blue painters tape. If I was more of the stylish sort, I would have used black electricians tape. Maybe I will upgrade someday but I come from the form follows function school of thought...

...and blue painters tape is what I had on hand that day.

All you need to do is:

Open your Moleskine to the inside of the back cover

1. Cut yourself a piece of tape that is long enough to go from the middle of the journal to the outside edge to your right and back.

2. Cut yourself another piece of tape that is long enough to be the inside lining of the pen loop. If you make it longer than that, you will be fine....this isn't brain surgery.

3. Cut yourself two more pieces of tape about 2 inches long.

4. Take the long tape that you made in step 1 and lay it just about an inch toward the outside of the journal inside the back cover. I say an inch but you can do less. By moving the tape toward the outside from the center of the journal, you are creating enough slack to make the pen loop. Lay it all out WITH THE STICKY SIDE OF THE TAPE FACING YOU.

5. Take the piece of tape that you made in step 2 and lay it STICKY SIDE DOWN in the tape that you just laid out so it will form an inside lining of the part that will be the pen loop. (This is the part that begins at the outside edge of your journal. You can start this inside liner a little to the inside of the outside don't want sticky tape residue on your pen, right?)

6. Take one of the shorter pieces that you made in step 3 and lay it across your long piece of tape to secure that long piece to the journal.

7. Take your favorite pen. Place it outside the edge of your journal. Wrap the long piece around the pen and bring the long piece back toward the center of the journal. You may want to make the loop a little smaller than you need to so you have to force the pen is later. Doing so will mold the tape to your pen.

8. Take the other short piece of tape that you made in step 3 and lay it across the long piece in the same place that you laid the last cross piece. Keep enough slack on that outside edge for that pen loop you just made!

If you want to add more tape....go right ahead. You can do it with 4 pieces.

Voila!!! - in less than 5 minutes, your pen loop problem is solved!

For more about Moleskine journals and the creative way they are used, visit Moleskinerie.

"Hey, Me! Quiet....I can't hear myself"

It's 4 a.m. in the morning
- the alarm clock goes off.

"I don't want to go to the gym"

...and the reality at that moment is - I am not getting up and going to the gym.

My mind kicks in again - "you will get up and go to the gym. That other voice was lying. After you are done at the gym, you will feel great just like all of the other mornings that you didn't want to go and then you went."

...and a new reality is created - as I go to the gym.

Isn't it amazing - something as intangible and nebulous as a thought can create an entire new reality in just one second.

Why did I go to the gym? - is it self discipline? Maybe. Is it accountability because I know my gym buddy will be at the gym? Maybe. We aren't quite there yet though.

There is a school of thought that says - sometimes we Act (A) our way into Feeling (F) when we do things that we don't feel like doing but do them anyway.

There is another school of thought that says - we Feel (F) our way into Acting (A). This often applies to when we do things that we feel like doing but that we really shouldn't (Hello.....HappyHour and that one too many cocktail).

So is it:

A leads to F
F leads to A

To which I answer - "yes."

But there is something missing from both equations - and that is T.....Thought.

Let's go back to my gym example - my initial thought was that I wasn't going to the gym. The next thought was that I was going...though I still didn't feel like it. At this point, we would be at:

T leads to A which leads to F
(with F being the good Feeling after going to the gym)

I had an additional thought as I got my sweat clothes on- and this made me actually start looking forward to the post workout feeling I would get. I was actually now Feeling like going to the gym. So our equation has now shifted:

T led to F which led to A

Action is the desired outcome - and it doesn't really matter whether it comes before or after the long as it comes.

But what is the constant? - it's Thought (T) which controls everything. It is the quiet conversation that goes on in your brain. Do you see how important the thought process is... is everything!

But stop right now - and answer this: do you ever mentally step back and eavesdrop on yourself? Do you listen to the conversation? Is there one going on? Do you even know if there is?

Here would be a great example of one to listen to - you wake up in the morning, "gotta have my coffee. I am no good without my coffee." Does it end right there?

Now, I am not going to question that you have a caffience addiction - which, for some odd reason, we seem to find socially acceptable and that the tremendously smart people at Starbucks figured out long ago and capitalize on the lack of conversation going on upstairs in your head. Addictions are another subject but, prior to leaving, I will leave you with the thought: what if caffience addiction was socially viewed the same as cocaine, pot, porn, or tobacco addiction? Would you still be "no good without your coffee" long term?

So, there you sit - "I'm no good without my coffee?" Does another voice come in and say, "who told you that? There are a lot of people that never drink a drop of caffiene in the morning. Do you really think that you were born with this physiological need that makes you deficient without caffiene?"

I'm guessing that conversation isn't happening......or isn't being heard - and I would ask, "why?"

Hey, if you like coffee and don't want to end your addiction - it's your life and Starbucks will gladly exploit you until the day you die. All I am asking is that you ask the question.......and then step back and watch your mind go back and forth. Eavesdrop on yourself....on some of your beliefs......the self limiting beliefs.....the ones that keep you from getting from where you are to where you know you should be.

But this isn't just about the gym or caffiene - it's about you getting to wherever you want to get. If you want to do something something will end up changing. The question is how fast do you want to get there?

Yes....change requires pain - I didn't like going to the gym. You don't like skipping your coffee. Neither of us wants to take the time to take that class that may make the difference to prepare (a.k.a. Change) us for the opportunity that waits ahead. Maybe you don't even know what the change ahead is....

...but one thing is for certain - if you can change your thoughts quickly, you will be able to change more quickly. To change your thoughts, you have to know what they are. You have to listen to what is going on upstairs. It governs everything that you do.

Part 2 tomorrow

Sunday, October 01, 2006


(A Special Post for SundayScribblings)

Skin on Skin - ah, the first encounter and then the first date. The innocent first brush of the hand against the other's...

"Excuse me.

"Nothing to be excused for," she replies

The signals all lead to another innocent contact. And then the embrace which includes a cheek upon a cheek...more skin to skin. How much longer until the first shedding of a garment and having it fall to the floor...............

But I'm not here to talk about any of that funny stuff!!! - let's talk about the real thing. Your epidermis!

Or, more importantly, MY epidermis - did you know that your skin is the largest organ that your body has? You never thought about your skin as an organ...but it is. So, if you are ever caught in a trivia question that asks, "what is the largest organ of your body?", you will now be equipped to be all too intelligent.

But, I have a problem - as we age, our skin becomes a bit less efficient in the shedding of itself. In my case, after a lifetime of relatively good skin, I go through these times of year when it seems to dry out in spots. No, it's not just winter when we go inside to dryer environments. It's not the summer when it's the hottest. It seems to happen more when the season's begin to change. I don't know...I don't track the occurrences. I just want the face flakes gone!!!

Sure, I have gone to the occasional moisturizer - but I now need to add skin care to my daily routine and make it a ritual. Exfoliation is becoming a regular part of my vocabulary. Of I go into special stores to find that one wonder product, Dermotologica, which "is just the best" for my situation.

...or, at least, so I am told - until someone tells me about something else and there goes another $20 spent on one of the smallest tubes of stuff that one can imagine.

Oh well, I guess I have now joined the ranks of the female crowd - until a man comes out with "EXFOLIATOR...tell dry skin, 'Ahhhl be baaahk.' "

My skin? - it's been a good one. I have always loved it on the outside and I try to keep the peace with what's inside. It deserves to have a few dollars spent on it.