Monday, November 29, 2010

“How To Make The Most Out Of Your Job”

This was a booklet given by the human research department to all employees during the working years. I don’t remember why the book was handed out. This could have been an inspirational effort to keep workers motivated during salary freezes or job reduction.
Publish by Kirkley Press and written by H.K. Dugdale with all rights reserved. It is not to be copied, quoted or reproduced in any form.
With that said, I wondered why it wasn’t “How To Make The Most Of Your Job”, but read on.
The first line on page 3 (which is really page 1 since you do not count the cover and inside cover as pages) stated, “You are richer than you think!” Ah, it must have been a salary freeze.
According to the author, this little booklet was to help “you” become more successful, in whatever your work happens to be – regardless who you are, what your particular job is, or what company you work for.
The rest of the premise is to take time to succeed. H.K. does acknowledge that there are only 24 hours in every day, so I will only give a synopsis of what the rules are to succeed in those 24 hours.

1. Take time to THINK
2. Take time to BE THOROUGH
3. Take time to COOPERATE
5. Take time to FINISH WHAT OU START
6. Take time to GET THE FACTS
7. Take time to PLAN
8. Take time to KNOW YOUR COMPANY
9. Take time to EXPLAIN
10. Take time to LISTEN
11. Take time to ANSWER QUESTIONS
13. Take time to PRAISE
14. Take time to DO IT NOW
16. Take time to BE ON TIME
18. Take time to BE NEAT
19. Take time to BE COURTEOUS
20. Take time to BE CONCISE
22. Take time to DO YOUR BEST
23. Take time to BE PATIENT
24. Take time to REMEMBER
25. Take time to BE EFFICIENT
27. Take time to AVOID GOSSIP
28. Take time to KEEP YOUR TEMPER
30. Take time to BE TOLERANT
31. Take time to BE CAREFUL
33. Take time to SAY “THANK YOU”
34. Take time to BE ENTHUSIASTIC
37. Take time to BE HUMAN
39. Take time to SMILE
40. Take time for SELF IMPROVEMENT
41. Take time to TAKE CARE OF YOUR HELTH
42. Take time to ACQUIRE A HOBBY
43. Take time to SAVE
44. Take time to RELAX
45. Take time to LEARN
46. Take time to MAKE FRIENDS
47. Take time to ENJOY YOUR FAMILY
48. Take time to BE KIND
49. Take time to READ
50. Take time to BE THANKFUL
51. Take time to UNDERSTAND YOUR JOB
52. Take time to HAVE FAITH

According to the author, using these 52 tips you can and will, succeed in your work and you can help others to succeed in their work, and your life will be a successful, satisfying experience, if you will ‘TAKE TIME”.

H.K. also suggest putting these tips away for 30 days then read again to check if you have acquired the habit of taking time.

Now I like inspiration talks and discussions and have even given some, but in the REAL WORLD, those 24 hours are fleeting in silly emails and stupid questions. Even with the ever connected digital world, staying up late to try and finish what couldn’t be accomplished during the “office hours” cuts into the time for #44, #47, #49….

So I took the time to write this for what purpose? I got the most “out” of my job, so it’s up to YOU.

Take your time.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunny Sunday

Started the day off with a conversation with a hawk.

Was riding by when I saw him sitting on a fence post. I had heard his cry early in the morning and checked outside, but everyone seems to being hiding safe. So when I saw him and quietly swung around and stopped two feet away. We stared at each other for a moment. "Good morning" I said to the magnificent predator enjoy his demeanor of confidence. He turned in another direction and without a sound, flew down the alley, off on another search for survival.

Continuing on my way, catching my breathe in the chill, getting my body reading for the rhythm, I noticed all the leaves have fallen. I had watched as they drifted down to join the others flocking across my path swirling in their dance with the wind and now they are natures carpet.

The hills are not as difficult when the weather cools. The silence is more intense without the rustle. The traffic was light as the church goers were seated and the football players were preparing for the games and the shoppers were already buying. Oh what a season.

It was a rather uneventful ride, a little faster than some Sundays but with a familiar easy feeling. At the Boulevard, I stopped for the traffic to decide directions and a couple walked pass. "They are like my friends" the young woman said. The gentleman in his winter skull hat mumbled and they walked on. Pressing hard on the pedal I got up to speed across the street and continued on my way thinking I had just ease dropped in on their conversation. I had no intention of doing so and they probably didn't even notice I overheard them.

As I rode past the rows of century old houses I saw a home security sign and thought," I don't have that one." Like a fraternity prank, gathering security signs seems to give me some strange joy.
Passing a motorcycle parked by a corner wedge bistro, I think of our conversation yesterday of the number of wreck on a bike. After four times, it is probably a sign that riding two wheels is not good. If I had the same record I would not be on this ride through the city's first suburbs.

Rounding the triangle park, noticing the young mothers still in their styles scarfs and tall boots knowing that look will dissolve into the team chauffeur practically and the attraction of young lions will give way to the family dynamic.

My pocket buzzes and my adventures friends bid farewell before their voyage home. Let the sunshine guide your way and be safe. The message brings a smile.

With that warm feeling, I continue on watching the cars pull out from their rows of frozen movement to forage for libations and food stuffies to partake during the afternoon of staring at a lighted screen thinking this is life.

I pause to watch the hawk fly overhead sailing on the breeze.

Climbing my final hill I pass the remains of a bunny that lost a contact with a mobile machine. "Sorry" I spoke softly to the carcass as I passed, knowing the hawk or the crows would eat well tonight. The circle continues.

So as I park one cycle for another to join the hunt, I consider my options for the day. Continue last night's music entertainment? Spin more seasonal music? Watch large men appall themselves at one another in an effort to move a oblong brown balloon to the cheers of thousands?

time to go. I need a beer.

Just another day in just another life.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

You’ve Made Your Bed, Now Lie In It

Making Up Your Bed

It’s a funny realization of living alone with few guests coming by. The bed does NOT have to be made up. That’s right boys and girls, the sheets and blankets and covers are thrown off in the morning upon awaking and reapplied in the evening upon the evening resting period.

Even when I travel, I often sleep on top of the bedspread wrapping the corners over me then flapping them back without ruffling the sheets.

I remember doing this in my youth so I would not have to go back and make up the bed.

What is making up the bed anyway? Rearranging the rumpled sheets and straightening the covers, folding down the top and placing the floated pillows on top to give the presentation that no one has slept there.

Was this for “Good Housekeeping” or just part of our civilized recreation of culture in our society?

Sure, I know how to make up a bed, even before fitted sheets. Even in summer camp, we were required to make up our bed with military precession of tight blankets checked with dropping a coin on it. I even lived through the “short sheeting” pranks of campers.

But now, with no one around,

And what happens during the night? Looking at the sheets, blankets, quilts, or other covers in the morning, it must have been a wild adventure during the darkness. Everything is twisted and scattered and thrown about as if a tornado had been through.

These are only signs of my restless movements that have been a part of me for decades. As a youth, I would bang my head on the pillow to get to sleep. I’m sure there are initials for this now, but I seemed to be hypertensive. I would bounce on the back seat of our car for hours while traveling.

Now I just have restless legs that have to move and wave and shutter back and forth before sleep calms the beast. It’s not a bad thing unless someone else is in the area and will get abused by the jerky reaction.


This is the reason for having the bed to lie in. The body needs rest and any flat surface will do, but a soft comfortable setting is preferred. Soft fluffy pillows wrapped in linen crowning a smooth cool surface of layers of warmth ready to wrap around and cuddle into slumber.

Without much stress left over from the day, the eyes close and immediately sleep takes over. Sometimes exhaustion brings an early yawn, telling the mind that the body is ready. No clock is needed to let the body know when it needs to rest.

But then, in the middle of the night, a slow awaking takes place. Through blurry eyes the darkness still covers the windows. Sometimes it’s an easy turn of the pillows and back to slumber, other times it brings the thoughts of the upcoming events while other times it requires the scrapping of the drool from the dreams that fill the brain during the dark hours.

Then at the break of morning, as the suns light filters through the night and the birds begin their conversation I awake. Every morning I awake at dawn.


Those strange stories played in your head while the body rest. Some say these are reactions to the brains struggle to comprehend what has happened during the day, a sort of organization of thoughts.

I will not try to comprehend them, but I have realized that I have similar dream patterns now. They were not always this way. I’m sure I had dreams about things I wanted and desired which turned wet. I also had scary dreams when I would awake in a shock and a sweat.

Now the dreams seem to become familiar. There is at least one or two people I know or knew in them. They are always placed in urban settings, usually inside old buildings like warehouses. My dreams are black and white and have no sound, but speaking is not necessary, the meaning is clear. The purpose of the dream is a search for an answer. Sometimes they are old problems from when I was working and I am remembering the struggle to find a solution and other times it is a frantic wandering through unknown areas to find…….? The unknown??

I don’t know what they mean, nor do I care much. They just happen.

But the body tells me it is time to unravel the covers and climb back into the darkness that is sleep.
And perhaps, wake tomorrow for another lighted adventure until it is time to venture into the inner self.

Monday, November 22, 2010


This social networking phenomenon is an interesting statement on our global society.
We join the club of Facebook, or MySpace or some other organzation, set up our profile however we imagaine ourselves, post some silly representation of our likeness for viewing, and then try to make friends, just like moving to a new school.
Some of the people we know from work, some of the people we know from previous events, and some of the people are from wherever they come from. There might be like interest in music, politics, religion, or personal status. There might be a request for friendship over the profile picture. There might be a request over a friend of a friend or just the random acceptance of anybody.
Even though each individual has the opportunity to shelter their remarks and personal expressions, that is the fun of the game. Put it all out there and see what happens.
Like going into a room full of people and shouting out “My mother is coming to visit and I hate it!” or “My baby knows how to make a boom-boom and I’m so proud” or “Work sucks!” and seeing if anyone responds.
The friends in the room will probably take note and maybe a few strangers might chime in with familiar stories, but it is the comments that make this game fun.
Comments, similar to a conversation where you and another talk about some subject, are what makes the viewing of random thoughts interesting. You don’t know how the subject comes up between you, but you say a phrase and the other person responds with a comments.
Comments can be supportive, or abrasives or downright silly. For those who type before they think (and those are the best) with a spontaneous comment reveals a lot about the subject and the thoughts of others.
And as in any conversation, some keep their comments to themselves only to share them later behind closed doors with their confidential companions.
So let your hair down and write out a status that will get “comments”. Isn’t that what social networking should be? Interact with your “friends” and see what happens.
If you have any comments on this, place them in the small box on the right.

Friday, November 19, 2010

How Did I Get Out Of High School?

It is amazing some of the things we save. Going through my treasure trove of "stuff" in an old wooden footlocker, I found this:

My senior year high school English examination. As you can see I did not do very well. This was the final mark against my graduating or being held back.

But yet I had a wonderful kind compassionate teacher named Mister Bennett. That is Bennett. B-E-N-N-E-T-T. Bennett. A small man with a purpose. He'd walk in like a drill Sargent, slam his huge doctor like bag briefcase onto the wood desk, write something on the black board, then turn to the class and start to lecture. No questions, no asides, just facts in a buzz-saw dialect.

As usual in high school, I was not interested with this foreign language so I did not comprehend that I needed to pass this grade to get out of this school and into another school.

But Mr. Bennett, for whatever reason, gave me another chance. A make-up paper given on a Saturday to see if I could squeak by and graduate this fine establishment.

I seemed to pass, even with the comments, and I'll never forget or forgive or be able to thank the short little man who got me out of high school.

I had other things on my mind.

Like taking care of friends.

as they say now..... hehehe.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Geezer Weekend

"Four brothers on the road talking, nonsense to each other understanding, maybe, a little of the storm that surrounds us then, and forever."

The trio met at the station and rest in the open air before their long rail ride up north. Technology has given them paper to board, but the seat Nazi assigns pairs, even with an unused car. The trip doesn't seem to stop as much as last time. The air is cool and the sunshine is bright creating a wonderful panoramic passing movie. Small talk feeds the way to alcohol. Grading students and reading old stories fills the time until arrival.

Even renovation cannot keep us from following the yellow brick road through the catacombs to our awaiting chauffeurs. "Hey old man." the black man says as he steps aside to let our traveling caravan through. A large white chariot awaits our bags and bodies.

Just to make things exciting, one of the Geezers, upon arrival at their bed and bath, decided to do some acrobatics and stumble down the mountain. Graceful yet painful in the darkness, he received the laughter and sympathy of all others.

Since our host are professionals at this, cooling machinery was configured to ease the swelling, while large amounts of alcohol deadened the pain.
Already, we had a common event to discuss and relate to when other conversations were lacking.

Once settled into separate rooms, we gathered for pizza (the prediction was correct again) and more alcohol. The lady of the house departs the "boys night out" and the brothers four settle in to find a common ground. More small talk and laughter sparked by technology issues and old, old tales.

The question for tonight is "What do you regret?" Interesting way to dig down to the core quickly. Now it is truth or dare. Will we answer? Will we be truthful?? Why not? We are all friends, at least acquaintances of times gone past.

GrampsGeezer does not have an acceptable answer, since there is no answer. "Even marrying the first wife?" the question comes. A flash of 1000 meanings in that question rise, but still "No" is the response. "No grandchildren?" maybe the JoJoGeezer answer, but he has no control over it. JimboGeezer missing the college experience for life experience, but has done well without it. "Marrying my second wife" was the regret from the CommissionerGeezer. There was a long explanation which I did not understand, but I never knew his second wife.....?

Yet, marriage is what separated us all from "the group" and made us who we are today. We make mistakes along the way, but that is what LIFE is all about.

A different bed, in scents in the air, even with the window open, yet sleep was hard to find. Perhaps the anticipation of the gathering or the "regret" question kept me awake until early in the morning forcing the body to relax knowing the host awakes early in the day. An so it was, hearing sounds unfamiliar and finding myself in an unknown environment, I dressed and started the day with coffee (real sugar) and electronic stimulation or distraction of television and music.
Once all the Geezers were up and about, it was time for the boys to do what boys do..... travel miles to a manufacturing plant in another state. After months of promotional talk and links, the time had come to view the construction of CommissionerGeezer's latest passion. Play with toys and follow the boys through the tables and machinery. The concrete floor and standing tables reminded me of our old production facilities before the digital automation, but cutting, gluing, sanding and filing wood can not be done on the computer.

After shopping for trinkets and memorabilia, dining on much to much grub, the GeezerMobile is call upon to reverse course back to our haven. Much more traffic clogged our path and the Geezers became restless, but there was nothing to do but watch the sun go down.

Sampling the toys of wealth before smoked fish, the four settled in for alcohol and music. The tunes were easy, even with a new handshake, comfortable. Without a musical spark drawing us together into bonding with strings and wood, old men settled into softness and quiet. Our host Geezer bowed out leaving the trio to their own devices. It's funny the things you notice when the little bass player isn't there and the smoke clears.

Another beautiful day brought another adventure. The GimpGeezer was still hobbling, but keeping up with the tribe that included the mistress of the house. Through flat farm land and race tracks, the tour guide pointed out early remembrances. Hours on the road brought us to the refinery and free alcohol samples. Waiting for a chance to hear the spiel, we browsed t-shirts, backpacks, sweatshirts, and socks with the logo of a fish on it. The tour began on time and the lemmings followed the sound of a voice pointing to large metal and wooden vats sloshing with liquid. Hops, barley, sugars, water mixed together in various amounts to produce more plastic cups of samples.
Since we had not consumed food stuffies in a few hours, we were off to a fish restaurant near the water. JoJoGeezer and Jimbo(now Gimp)Geezer tried variations of samples while we chose the best of what we had already sampled.

For dessert, the ocean was presented. It had been a year, but soft sand and the crashing sound of water, even for brief moments renews the innards with joy and sadness.

After another l o n g r i d e back, even with a new driver and enough Pop, Reggae and Latino trumpeters, the homestead was in sight. Weary Geezers filled their faces with pasta and pesto and conversations that could have been deeper but this time we kept it light. "Harry Potter" filled the room causing a distraction while our host departed. The trio tasted the samples and retired soon after.

Coffee, packed, and off to the station. Other than the show put on by GimpGeezer, the mini-vacation had been uneventful and rather calm. Was I expecting more?

Even without alcohol, the ride home was quiet, reading students notes and watching the landscape. A short frustrated depart from the parking area, JoJoGeezer delivered me back to the point-of-no-return. A "thank you" and a combined Geezer mix, I closed the door, breathing in the coolness of home.

"The storm clouds in the sky and, the tempest, of our lives forgotten for the moment of laughter and pretzels Kids, and our music."

Editors note: Words from music "Riding in the Rain" (cliff&/orJoe) circa 1971


Monday, November 8, 2010

What to Write?

Football is playing on the television in the other room but it is just background noise. The blank screen before me beckons some words, but the thoughts are too jumbled. Piles of references material and sketches are stacked on the floor. Webster's II New Riverside Dictionary awaits the adventure of finding the spelling of words when you don't know how to spell them. Rain brushes the bamboo against the window, then silence. Perhaps some music might help the mood. Without trying to sort or select any particular genre of music, a cardboard cover is released from it's dusty neighborhood and gingerly slide the black plastic from it's paper wrapper. The fragile sweet tones of Joni Mitchell flow from the speakers in a familiar remembrance of the thin striking figure with her pop/jazz band, but this was the simpler time with just a piano or guitar. Sliding back to the desk, the can is tilted and starts to fall. With eye and hand corduation, it is caught and uprighted before disaster. A red bandanna damp with remains of the pool is folded and placed back in the hip pocket. Another swallow, then the clink of cans overflowing the trashcan onto the floor. "And the seasons they go round and round, as the painted ponies go up and down...." the voice is so pure but the message is sad. Maybe food would entice the merry-go-round of ideas to filter out one idea. Food is not the answer. Nothing looks good or appealing and there is no real hunger, so another silver can is selected for the journey back into the chilly room. The single light bulb attracts the remaining insects from the warm afternoon as they will only become spider food. With a deep breathe and a long pause, the fingers touch the keyboard.
"Football is playing on the television in the other room but it is just background noise."

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Shopping is on the bottom of my list of things to do, especially for clothing.

Now don't get me wrong, I go to the grocery store everyday to purchase food stuffies to maintain my living and breathing, but that's just habit now.

No, going out of my daily routine to shop is unappealing to me. I think it started when I was young and my mother would take me downtown to the dual department stores and wander around for hours touching clothes, hats, perfumes, shoes, and the worst of all, trying clothes on. I was not fond of going into the dressing room, taking off my clothes behind a curtain, then walking out in front of a group of mirrors while the salesman ran his hand all over my body while my mother watched smoking a cigarette. Of course, the first set of clothes never fit right, so I had to repeat the process until we either got tired or the salesperson found just the right size. This was not what I wanted to do on a Saturday.

When I started buying my own clothes, I got a list of the sizes I wore and stuffing dollars in my pocket, when to the local mall to find trousers. I don't remember shirts being a problem because they were folded with the size marked so they were easy to select. What I didn't know was the next sizes, so I would pick a blue shirt or a blue strip shirt with the right sleeve length but a collar that was too tight or too loose. Then clothes started to look strange in magazines. My favorite rock groups, which I wanted to imitate, wore clothes that looked like hand-me-downs or thrift clothes, which they were, but I could not find anything similar in the fine men section, so I had to search for a new fashion outlet.

I crossed the main dividing line between the black and white shopping areas and found a new source of clothing that didn't look like anything else I'd ever seen. Wild colors, strange fabrics, and unique designs. I started buying pants that didn't fit right, but looked cool. Patterns that never matched became my wardrobe.

There were still my "conservative" school clothes, but by the time I went to college, they were put to the back of the closet.

Then the work-a-day world made me compromise to ties and jackets, but I still wore black shirts and corduroy and some very loud jackets. Luckily double knit became popular at the same time with the "normals" so I didn't look too out of place.

Now those clothes are in the back of the closet or the trash and I can wear whatever is comfortable. Sweats, sports shoes, t-shirts, and jeans are the uniform of the day. Pile them in a corner and just throw on what isn't too dirty and smelly.

But now and then, I need to replace worn out underwear or shoes that have lost their bounce after 365 days of constant wear or even a new pair of jeans since I wear out their crouch once a year riding my bike.

So it's off to check out the racks. If I can't find my size, I get whatever is close. If there are several items that fit my list, I check prices. Sometimes I check out the products then leave the store to mull over if I really need to buy that or should I rethink the purchase of new clothing until the present pair have worn completely out.

Then I shop like a guy.

Grab a basket, go to the jeans and throw a pair in, go to the socks and throw a pair in, get confused about the underwear, then throw a pack of four in, grab a pair of sweat pants that look like they are long enough for a basketball player and throw them in the basket. The whole operation takes about 30 minutes. I never look at pots and pans or electronics or garden supplies or dog toys or pens and paper or greeting cards or jewelry. I get what I "need" and get out of there.

Phew, now I've done my clothing shopping until spring when I'll "need" some more shorts and white socks, but I'm set for winter.

Glad that's over.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Home Alone

Nice cold rainy cloudy gray day, signs of the approaching winter, and I'm home alone.

Too wet to ride or even go outside except for a breath of air. Limited sunlight requires additional lights be turned on with the illusion of daytime. Open the blinds to dripping branches, then close again.

Shower and shave and change clothes. Not today. There is no real reason to get out of bed.

These are the days when you have to entertain yourself or listen to the rain or the walls crack. Television and food usually take over but their boredom forces the shutdown.

Computer and internet fill the communication void for a brief period, but that too become repetitive and a unfulfillable waste of time.

Projects continue to mount and present themselves, but today is not motivating.

On the wall are squashed bugs from the summer's open window. The tunes of pop "Men At Work" fill the air, but does not start the engine.

Back to television and dull new shows about plane engines exploding or politicians doing what they do or more disaster coming to Haiti or taking the toys out of Happy Meals or some stupid driver running over a school guard while she was trying to direct traffic in the rain or motorcycle gang members getting out of trouble because the lawyers prosecuting them never had a firm case or .....the list goes on and on.

Back to the computer where it is no different. "My baby just threw up" or "I hate work" or "I'm leaving the house it can be burglarizes" or ....some other rubbish.

So how do you spend the day home alone?

There are piles of projects to do. There is cleaning or painting or picking up left over ladders or .....but nothing sparks the mind or body to take action.

Back to the kitchen to eat the rest of the sandwich, but even that doesn't excite.

So it's back to bed.

Tomorrow will be dry and the morning ride will clear the lungs and the brain and get the blood flowing.

Ah that's the reason I do that.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Since I only talk to myself, or sometimes the trees, I hear the conversation more than I ever did when I blattered to someone else.

Most of us, not all, but most talk without thinking. We use phrases heard in other conversations. We pick up words and string them into what should be our own personal thoughts, many times without realizing it.

Sometimes we think our ideas or words are more important that someone else's, so we talk over another conversation. If that doesn't work, we speak louder. Just listen to "The View". (BTW it is very annoying and rude behavior, you know?)

"You know" is a great example. It is used through out conversations as a filler phrase. Sometimes it is a question and some times it is to emphasis an assurance that the other person understands. The phrases could be deleted from the conversation leaving more room for real information or even the art of breathing between lines, you know.

And if the other person already knows.... why say it.

"Like" is another filler word. We can't seem to describe anything unless we refer it to something similar, like "I went to the store and there were like all these people and they were buying like everything I wanted so they just stood in front of the counter and like just stood there like they owned the place. I was like so mad. "

And what is it about doorways? People will walk side-by-side for miles not saying a word, but when they get to a doorway, it sparks a conversation. It is if going through a passage marks the end of a journey and the final thoughts must be provided to each other in a frantic conversation. Many of these long winded doorway conversations take place in public buildings, blocking others who want to pass.

My favorite is the automobile conversation. Miles and miles of silence prevail in the metal mobile machine, but once arriving at the destination, a passenger gets out and a long winded conversation takes place. Did the opening of the door release some sort of hormone in us to start talking? Did we not want to disturb the driver (who is probably already talking on the cell phone) until we stopped?

Oh well, I've got to go for the morning ride and talk to those who do not speak back.

Nice talking to you.