Month: February 2014

48 Million

“So you won the lottery?” Jacob asked.
“Yeah.  Pretty cool huh,” I said.
“Sooo what are you going to do with it?”
“Not really sure.  It hasn’t all sunk in.”
“I know what I’d do,” Jacob offered.
I went back to looking at my computer screen trying to figure out why someone’s e-mail wasn’t working.  When I looked up he wasn’t there.  He’d gotten the hint.
Ever since my name had become public knowledge that I’d won the lottery there had been no shortage of people sending me e-mails, or calling me on the phone asking and pleading for money because of some circumstance beyond their control.  I felt sorry for them, I really did, but it was my money.  I’d won it fair and square.  And if they really wanted to know, I didn’t yet have the money yet.  It was supposed to be deposited to me sometime in the net 7 to 10 business days.
Once the money was mine, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do.  My boss had asked if I was going to continue working and to be truthful I didn’t know.  For the time being I had planned on continuing to work.  I felt as if nothing hand changed, but wherever I turned people thought I had changed. All that had changed was my bank account and it had more zero’s in it.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw my boss rounding the corner.  Him visiting my corner of the building was unusual which usually mean his computer wasn’t working.
“Hey,” He said.
“Morning,” I said.
“How are things going?”
“So far so good.  No fires to put out.”
“That’s good,” He said.  “Say I wanted to ask you about something.”
I knew what was coming next.  Something about my 48 million. I knew what I was going to be doing now.
“Well I’m glad you stopped by. There’s something I wanted to tell you.”
“Oh?” He asked.
“Yeah.  I think it would be best if I moved onto other things.  I feel like I’ve become a distraction and I don’t need to be that.  Also I’m sure someone else could use the money.”
“Well money doesn’t go as far as it used to you know.  Your welcome to keep your job,” He said.
“Nah.  I think I’ll move on.  Figure out something else to do.”

This post, 48 Million, is day 8 (I missed day 7…grrr) in what I hope to be 30 straight days of blogging here. A wide variety of topics will be covered. 

Two and three quarter years old

Everyone tells you about the terrible two’s.  You think it’s not going to happen to you.  It’s not like a switch is flipped on when your young person turns two years old.  It could be two and a half or two and three quarters like ours.

Keeping your cool with a little person isn’t easy and there’s many times I find myself second guessing myself.  The conversation in my head goes something like this.

“Should I have done that?”
“Is that going to be his first memory and is he going to hate me for the rest of his life?”

Stuff like that.  But you’ve got to do your best and move on.  I think even if I’d read every book on the subject of raising a little person I’d still be flopping around like a fish out of water at times.  Take this scenario that happened to my wife yesterday.

She was shopping at our local grocery store.  Just a small trip and she was putting the cart away and was going to carry the groceries out.  When out of now where our little one takes off like a bat out of hell.  Out the front of the store and past a armored truck that blocked the view from anyone seeing him (thankfully no car’s were coming) and down the road.  It was snowing and icy in the parking lot and my wife has already taken one tumble, additionally our boy likes to play chase.  Luckily he stopped before he got hurt, but it was very nerve racking for my wife.  I’m not sure what I would have done in that situation, but I’d probably be nominated for worst dad of the year 2014.  I don’t think those situations are in any books.

If someone is here that’s got the terrible two’s going on I’d like to say it’s going to get better, but I’ve heard it gets worse.  Three’s apparently pretty bad and by the time they get to four they are actually a little human being.  So keep your head up, take an extra patience pill each day and cherish each moment, because they are really only with us for 18 years (18 summers) and then gone.

This post, Two and three quarter years old, is day 6 in what I hope to be 30 straight days of blogging here. A wide variety of topics will be covered. 

Less Complex (simple!)

I deal with a lot of various different pieces of software for the job that pays the bills.  It’s exciting at times, but other times it can be frustrating because you’re looking for that one command to change one little thing and you just can’t find it because it’s buried underneath a lot of different things that you don’t need at that time.

This dilemma got me to thinking awhile back.  Did we really need all of these ‘extra’ things in order to run the business? I’d venture out and say that 90% of these ‘abilities’ built into these programs are not needed or even used.  So why put them there?  Well I think it’s because the customers ask and a company can’t tell their customer no can they?  I think they can if they provide and alternative solution that doesn’t require a ton of extra steps. By simplifying I’d estimate that we could cut down on a lot of expenses and errors.  Would it be perfect?  Probably not out of the box but over time I think it would work for what we needed it to do.  And before you say this is because I work in a brick and mortar company I’d tell you I’ve seen the same thing in internet and software companies.

On the flip side, having never been a business owner, maybe I would be able to say ‘no’ to a customer request.  I think there’s a time to say ‘yes’ and a time to say ‘no’.

This post, Less Complex (simple), is day 5 in what I hope to be 30 straight days of blogging here. A wide variety of topics will be covered. 

Could you live a homestead lifestyle?

Over the last few months we’ve been watching a lot of “Alaska: The Last Frontier” and it’s spurred some of my thoughts about life and living.

When I was growing up I was always fascinated with mountain men and the various different heroic (if you want to call it that) things they did.  I went on a road trip with a pastor friend of ours that was pretty knowledgeable about the topic as well. We made our way to the Battle of the Little Bighorn, down into Wyoming for the site of Fettermans massacre and over to Red Lodge Montana to see the supposed cabin of the mountain man that Jeremiah Johnson was built upon.  It was quite the trip we fit into the weekend plus a day or two.

Over the years I’ve lost touch with that historical information, but at times I’ve longed for a much simpler life and watching Alaska: The Last Frontier has somewhat ignited those thoughts again.  After we got done watching an episode last night I wondered: Could I give up all that I know and go and be a homesteader of sorts?  At this point I can’t really say if I could.  And it would be WAY to easy to head into town to get a burger and fries (what the Kilcher’s can do as well…shooting a bear is not a life and death ordeal like the TV producers want you to think).  But how about money to buy the tractors or the various other things that are needed.  How do you purchase those when your ‘job’ is making sure you’re ready for winter and getting food to feed the family?  We haven’t quite figured out how the Kilchers are able to do it (maybe Jewel gives them some money?!?!?!).

I’m not sure of the answer to all of these questions.  Perhaps growing our own food will help with this desire.  Maybe fishing for some food or shooting a deer will help as well.  I’m not sure, but I suspect that we aren’t the only one’s that have a hankering for a much simpler lifestyle and wonder what exactly it would take to have that type of lifestyle.

This post, Could you live a homestead lifestyle, is day 4 in what I hope to be 30 straight days of blogging here. A wide variety of topics will be covered. 

Snow in May

November

“Ugh.  I can’t believe it’s snowing.  And cold.”
“You’ve lived in Wyoming how long?” I asked.
“I know, but I’m just so tired of snow,” She said.
“I’d rather have it now than say in April or May.”
“I suppose your right,” She said and went outside and got in her vehicle.

December

“Snow again.  I can’t believe it,” He said.
“Not you too.  You’ve lived in Wyoming a hell of a lot longer than me.  This is what happens in December.”
“Yeah. Doesn’t do the bones any good though.”

January

“I wonder if that ice will ever melt back there?  I almost slipped coming in and if we get anymore snow…oh look there’s a snowflake coming down.”
“I agree. That ice is horrible.  I did a loop de loop crossing the street last night and nearly bounced off my ass.  That snow is going to make it even worse.”

February

“Oh that sun is incredible out there.  You should get out if you can,” She said.
“Kind of stuck here working on this virus that someone brought in, so me getting outside won’t be happening anytime soon.”
“You don’t know what your missing. That sun just warms the bones.  Maybe you young one’s don’t need that.”
I was fuming.  I needed the sunlight just as much as the next person, I hadn’t quite turned into a vampire, but instead I was fighting with a nasty virus that was teaching me a lesson or two.

March

“I can’t believe that ice is still out there.  You can see the grass.  How does that ice stay around?” He said.
“Sun can’t get around this building.  Will be there until we can get temperatures hot enough to melt it,” I told him.
“Well I hope that it happens soon because someone’s going to get hurt and you know that Harry isn’t going to pay anyone for that. Workers comp?  Yeah right.”

April

“Finally no more snow,” She said.
I laughed as she had her back to the window.
“What are you laughing at?  I haven’t pressed any bad buttons lately.”
“It’s snowing outside.”
She turned and looked out the window.
“Figures,” She said and left.

May

“So glad it’s May.  No more snow,” He said.
“Me too.  I’m ready to get some golfing in,” I said.
“No more slipping on that ice,” She said.
“Looks like we’ll be getting some rain however.  Clouds are a bit dark. Wind’s picking up,” He said and sat back down in front of his desk.
“Oh hell no,” I said.
“What?” She asked.
“Saw a snowflake coming down,” I said.
“Are you joking with us?” He asked.
“He’s not. There’s another one.  Fuck,” She said.

I started reading Elmore Leonard’s, Fire In the Hole, and was inspired by one of his short stories in there. The dialog was so intriguing.  I’m no where near his ability, probably never will be, but none the less this is practice. 

This post, Snow in May, is day 3 in what I hope to be 30 straight days of blogging here. A wide variety of topics will be covered. 

Growing our own food

As hard as it is to believe, given the weather outside, we just spent $30 on seeds, potting soil and some trays to get them started in (and we’ve still got a few more things to purchase!). The weather in Wyoming, will have it’s say about this process for quite sometime (probably the whole year if I had my guess).  However we are resolute in trying to grow some of our own food.  I get the impression from things that I see in various other places that we are not the only one’s doing this.

It’s not really surprising when you see movies like Super Size Me and Hungry for Change.  Most of what we are eating now days is a mere fraction of what was originally food.  It’s now some substance that has been pushed, prodded, extruded and blended to make these mega companies more money without them really having to produce food with high nutritional value.  We won’t be able to feed ourselves 100% off of what we are growing, but it sure would be nice to get a few baskets of carrots, potatoes and some peppers that we’ve grown.  Without sounding like a total whack job I have wondered, recently, what the population status would be if we continued to eat really food and not this mass produced stuff that is called food?  I think, believe perhaps, that because we are able to mass produce food it has allowed the population to explode to the 7 billion that it is now and I’m very afraid that this world, this earth, can not continue to sustain that type of growth.  Enough about that.

Lastly in our quest to have more natural food I have been contemplating picking up hunting again.  I can hear the gasps now.  “You’re going to kill poor little bambi”.  Well maybe.  I’m still undecided and there’s a lot of money that would need to be spent in order to get to that stage.  I’d have to buy a rifle or a bow, I’m leaning towards the bow, and then actually get proficient in using either instrument.  Maybe we’ll just stick to fishing this spring, summer and fall and put some of those in the freezer.

Long and short of it, I hope others start growing their own food as well. Last thought on this.  If everyone grew their own food or we ate real food I have to wonder if this nation would be as obese. Watch Hungry for Change and let me know what you think?  I think we’d be a lot less obese.  One disadvantage to being the richest nation in the world.

This post, Growing our own food, is day 2 in what I hope to be 30 straight days of blogging here. A wide variety of topics will be covered.

More work…or less work?

Earlier this week I received a phone call from a fellow worker wondering if I could set them up with remote access when they were on vacation.  I paused and laughed a little bit.  They asked why I was laughing.  My response was “you’re going on vacation…take a vacation…don’t work.  They’ll figure it out if you’re not there.”.  I haven’t seen them yet to setup their computer for remote access, so I’m hoping my comment hit home and they are taking their vacation sans any work responsibilities.

I think all of us would agree that less work is better.  But on the flip side how much less work is a detriment to your business or livelihood?  Most of us can’t take a vacation whenever the hell we please because of money issues, but there are those that can due to their position or financial abilities.

Last couple of thoughts here. What if the work week was 5 days at 6 hours each?  What would happen then?  Would we be less stressed and need less ‘vacation’ time?  Would things not get done?  I’d argue that in may cases, for brick and mortar shops (perhaps internet shops as well) that 6 hours is plenty and for the last two hours people are just filling time. Their brain is fried and tired after 6 hours and people are doing all they can to collect those 8 hours.

Thoughts?

This post, More work…or less work, is day 1 in what I hope to be 30 straight days of blogging here. A wide variety of topics will be covered.