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Archive for August, 2016

Today’s outlook…

Will today be fair and mostly sunny?  Or, are we dreading that test or that big presentation that we know we are not properly prepared for?  Are we Olympians ready to run our personal best today?  Is today’s outlook one of accomplishment or disappointment?

Depending on the context, “outlook” has a variety of meanings for us, true?  For those of you on an airplane your pilot might have this outlook:

Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with broken clouds; but they’ll try to have them fixed before we arrive. 

Unknown Sage

Some might be girding for a disagreement with our spouse during breakfast and if we’re of European descent we may have a different outlook:

Old Scottish Prayer

O Lord, grant that we may always be right, for Thou knowest we will never change our minds.

Some of us fear the day; some are excited to see what adventures lie ahead.  Some are working out.  Some will sleep in.  Some will simply and mindlessly go about our routine robotically.  How will you face the day?  And what outlook will you bring for yourself and share with the others around you?

On the “for our self” side, I think Guy R. Ratti offers stellar advice:

I carry a picture of myself as a child (about six years old) to remind me of two things:

  1. To remember to always look at the world as a child does, with wonder and excitement of what I can become.
  2. To remember to forgive and love myself just as would that innocent child in the picture. Too many grown-ups live their lives feeling guilty over mistakes made or lose time blaming themselves for things that could have been. I remember what it is like to be a child and know that in many ways I am not much different from that boy in the picture

When I wrote this little ditty, this passage stimulated me to go through my family album and find that childhood picture.  And that picture stimulated my memory of a world filled with wonder and excitement.  The love I felt from my family; the carefree feeling each new day brought; the adventure of exploring the neighborhood.  That child-like outlook – let’s all regain that peaceful feeling today, deal?

OK, not everyone had a magnificent childhood.  But I bet you can remember a friend, family member, teacher, preacher, coach, or mentor that encouraged you to be all that is possible to be.  I bet you have a memory of a past, pleasant time that today, would be a good day to dust off that memory and use it to reset your outlook.

For those around us, they might appreciate the effort too:

You will be happier if you will give people a bit of your heart rather than a piece of your mind. 

Unknown Sage

We’ve all been there; life beats on us until we capitulate and our attitudes give-in to the “dark side”.  Stress and anger replace innocence and optimism.  We become the recipients (or worse, the originators) of the sentiment seen by Captain Bligh in the movie Mutiny on the Bounty:

The beatings will continue until morale improves.

Well, it doesn’t have to be that way.  Our day can be whatever we chose to make of it.  Today’s outlook is under our command – and from the movie Midway we might heed the line from Robert Mitchum’s role:

When you’re in command – command!

So what will you command your outlook to be today?

GAP

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Olympians all…

Whatever your favorite sport is today, I doubt anything can top the continuing string of Olympic popularity.  According to Wikipedia:

The Olympic Games (Ancient Greek: Ὀλύμπια Olympia, “the Olympics”) were a series of athletic competitions among representatives of city-states … They were held in honor of Zeus, and the Greeks gave them a mythological origin. The first Olympics is traditionally dated to 776 BC.

That’s 2,792 years (and counting)!  Yes, the ancient Games became a setting for collusion, conniving, and political control (just like the 21st century I suppose).  Its popularity continues nonetheless.

Are you watching the 2016 Summer Games held in Rio de Jeneiro?  What iss your favorite part?  What will be your most long-lasting memory?  The winners – Michael Phelps; Simone Biles; Ladislav Škantár and Peter Škantár – the Slovakian Gold Medalists of the Men’s Canoe Double event?  The Slovaks were able to overcome Mother Nature I think:

Andrew’s Canoeing Postulate

No matter which direction you start, it’s always against the wind coming back.

Perhaps you were more enthralled with the drama surrounding the big upsets – Colorado’s Missy Franklin; Chris Froome; the water pollution that seemed to engulf the entire city?  Yes, the television cameras (and reporters) are there in droves; up front; personal; shoving microphones and cameras in the competitors’ faces even before they caught their breath after their event.  High drama to us – I wonder what the ancient Greeks would think.

Over the centuries the purpose of the Games seems to have morphed IMHO.  The original intent was religious in nature; intended to honor the Greek Gods.  Back to Wikipedia:

In the ancient Greek religion and Greek mythology, the Twelve Olympians are the major deities of the Greek pantheon, commonly considered to be Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Hermes, and either Hestia or Dionysus.  Hades and Persephone were sometimes included as part of the twelve Olympians (primarily due to the influence of the Eleusinian Mysteries), although in general Hades was excluded, because he resided permanently in the underworld and never visited Olympus.

I didn’t know that.

Well, here’s what I do know – Olympians are not limited to the Olympic Games.  There are Olympians among us all, true?  For many of us, just facing our daily challenges requires an Olympian effort.  For many of us, just making ends meet is as strenuous as an Olympic Marathon.

And for many of us, we start each day by setting our mind for victory in order to avoid defeat:

If you think you are beaten, you are,

If you think you dare not, you don’t.

If you like to win, but you think you can’t,

It is almost certain you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost,

For out in the world we find,

Success begins with a fellow’s will –

It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are,

You’ve got to think high to rise,

You’ve got to be sure of yourself before

You can ever win a prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go

To the stronger or faster man,

But soon or later that man who wins

Is the man who thinks he can. 

Unknown Sage

Olympians will reconvene in 2020 at the Tokyo Summer Games. For the winter sports, theirs will be 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The rest of us?  We’ll rise tomorrow morning; set our mind for the competition; meet the demands of our day head-on; thinking (believing) “we can”.  Not something we refer to as “games”.

GAP

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Plumbers…

“Pokorn, you are a plumber!”  That’s what my high school basketball coach would bark at me.  Our sophomore team went 20-1 that year; I was the team co-captain and leading scorer.

So when Coach Wyllie would constantly critique me during practice and called me a plumber, I interpreted that term as a derogatory inference.  That might have been his context, but when it comes to plumbers my appreciation (and respect) has certainly changed over the years.

I was leaving for the airport recently; running late; and glanced down by the kitchen sink where a small pool of water had accumulated on the floor.  Rut row!  I opened the cabinet and sure enough, something was leaking.  I only had enough time to empty the cabinet and detect that the leak was coming from my garbage disposal.  Been there yourself, you say?

Returning from my trip, I put my plumber’s hat on – you know the one that says “Clueless”?  Anyway, I knew that this leaking disposal was a Badger 500 I had purchased at Home Depot.  (It seemed I had just replaced this thing a short while ago – but of course, I didn’t keep the receipt to see if it was still under warranty).  And I remembered when I installed it back then it was an all-day ordeal.

Have you ever noticed that plumbers don’t carry hammers?  In every other trade, the tradesman can “get it close” then pull out their hammer and “tap it the rest of the way”.  Tradesmen “tap”; hackers “bang on it”, true?  But plumbers?  Well, H2O doesn’t appreciate this man-made concept of “getting it close”.  That’s how leaks start – H2O’s sense of humor I suppose.

Now I’m no plumber, but this time I thought I could out-smart the disposal.  I’ll simply buy another Badger 500 at Home Depot; pop the old one out; pop the new one in and it won’t require any “plumbing” at all.  That’s when Naeser surfaced:

Naeser’s Law:

You can make it foolproof, but you can’t make it damn-fool-proof. 

Unknown Sage

With my new disposal in hand, the connection to the sink bottom worked out perfectly, just as I planned.  The hook-up to the dishwasher waste hose too.  I was even able to reuse the electric cord from the broken disposal.  But the drain pipe connection?  They changed the design!  Was that Murphy in the background?

Murphy’s Eighth Corollary:

It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.

Unknown Sage

So, it was back to Home Depot for me – where’s a plumber when you need one?  I brought the parts and pictures of the piping from under my sink, hoping I would find a helpful plumber in the plumbing parts aisle.  But no luck; no one was around; old Clueless was on his own.

Amazingly, I found a connecting pipe that looked like it would do the trick (fingers crossed).  $2.38 later I was back home hooking things up just like I knew what I was doing.  What’s that you say, “…even a blind squirrel…?”  And to my amazement – no leaks!

I headed to the shower planning my victory dance for my wife who had just returned.  That’s when she said, “the dishwasher isn’t draining”.

Just when you think you’ve graduated from the school of experience, someone thinks up a new course. 

Mary H. Waldrip

Back to Home Depot – looks like an all-day ordeal was lining up.  The $2.38?  Not even close.  Coach Wyllie, if only you were right about me being a plumber.

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my past posts too: www.TheQuoteGuys.com