What It's About

Welcome to my blog! I ruminate on random thoughts rattling around in my brain. Subjects range from reality TV to current events and everything in between. Whether you agree with me or not, I welcome your comments. God gave you the ability to think for yourself, and this country was founded based on the right to have your own opinion. Who am I to question that? Hope you enjoy! And, if you like to shop on the internet, or have always wanted to try, please feel free to click on one of the banners on the left. Do admit I get a small commission for anything you buy through the links. Appreciate it if you do decide to buy something!
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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

50 Ways to Get Unstressed

I get a newsletter from Dr. Alan Zimmerman called "Tuesday Tip." He talks about a wide variety of topics. This week's really spoke to me so I thought I would share since he says you can. His website is http://www.DrZimmerman.com. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Will warn you, though, this one will take a few minutes to read.

Reprinted with permission from Dr. Alan Zimmerman's Internet newsletter, the 'Tuesday Tip.'

DR. ZIMMERMAN'S 50 WAYS TO GET UNSTRESSED IN A STRESSED-OUT WORLD

DE-CLUTTER YOUR ENVIRONMENT. PEACE IS NEVER FOUND IN THE MIDST OF CHAOS.

1. Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.
2. Get a place for everything, and put everything in its place.
3. Have backups: an extra car key in your wallet, an extra house key buried in the garden, extra stamps in the car, whatever will lower your stress.
4. Surround yourself with what you love ... whether it's pets, plants, music, hobbies, or keepsakes. Make your home your refuge.
5. Enjoy the simple things.
6. Take one day at a time.
7. Slow down. You're never going to get it all done anyway.
8. Allow extra time to do things and to get to places.
9. Spread big changes and difficult projects over time. Don't lump all the hard things together.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY. THERE'S NO PLACE ELSE TO LIVE.

10. Eat right.
11. Go to bed on time. Get enough rest.
12. Get up on time. Start your day with calmness.
13. Drive carefully. Cars aren't the only things that can be recalled by their maker.
14. Cherish your health. If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
15. Don't wait for 6 strong men to take you to church.

GUARD YOUR HEART. DON'T LET THE WORLD STEAL YOUR JOY.

16. Laugh. And then laugh some more -- even if you have to fake it til you make it.
17. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.
18. Do something for the kid in you every day.
19. Smile. Peace starts with a smile.
20. Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.
21. Do what is right. Forbidden fruits create jams.
22. Don't let your worries get the best of you. Remember, Moses started out as a basket case.
23. Let the tears come. Endure, grieve, and move on. Be ALIVE while you are alive.
24. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county or a foreign country ... but not to Guilt City.
25. Don't forget ... birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

WATCH YOUR MOUTH. THE POWER OF LIFE AND DEATH ARE FOUND IN THE TONGUE.

26. Talk less. Listen more.
27. Tell your loved ones ... that you love them ... at every opportunity.
28. Keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
29. Be kind to unkind people. They probably need it the most. And if you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
30. Don't put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.
31. Practice KYMS (Keeping Your Mouth Shut). It will prevent an enormous amount of trouble.
32. Forgive. Most people are doing the best they can with what they have.

BUILD YOUR RELATIONSHIPS. THEY DETERMINE THE QUALITY OF YOUR LIFE.

33. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.
34. Build memories. Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.
35. Learn to get along ... just like crayons. Some are sharp. Some are pretty, and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors. But they all have to live in the same box.
36. Let go of grudges. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
37. Refrain from judgment. God Himself does not propose to judge a man until he is dead. So why should you?
38. Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe.

NURTURE YOUR SPIRIT. IT'S THE SOURCE OF HOPE.

39. Take time ... every day ... to be alone ... and relish the power of peace and quiet.
40. Listen to a motivational CD while you're driving ... a CD that will improve your quality of life.
41. Write down every great thought that comes to you. Chances are you won't remember them, and it may take you another 20 years to learn the lesson you just lost.
42. Keep a folder of your favorite sayings on hand.
43. Write down one thing you're grateful for. And then add one more thing to your list each and every day.
44. Make a list of what you want to do, have, experience, and witness before you die. It's a sure way to get a lot more of what you want in your life!
45. Strive for excellence. It is not necessary to be perfect. Excellence will do just fine!
46. Walk your talk. It is easier to preach ten sermons than it is to live one.
47. Remember, when you get to your wit's end, you'll find God lives there.
48. Pray. Then take some time to listen. Many folks want to serve God, but only as advisors.
49. Don't put a question mark where God put a period.
50. Remember ... the Will of God never takes you to where the Grace of God will not protect you.

Action:Circle three tips that you will focus on this week, and then consciously follow those tips for the next seven days. Let them become a habit in your life.

Dr. Zimmerman is primarily a motivational speaker. This newsletter is free to anyone who wants to sign up. Just go to the website http://www.DrZimmerman.com to sign up. It gets delivered to your inbox every Tuesday, 52 weeks a year. It's supposed to be geared towards business folks, but most of it applies to every day life, too. He also has a Tweeter account for those of you who Tweet http://www.Twitter.com/Dr_Zimmerman.

Think this one spoke to me so much this week because I've been thinking a lot about the power of prayer this week. But, that is for another blog...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Random Thoughts

Some things kicking around in me noodle tonight:
  • Sad to see Walter Cronkite died today. 92 years old. Can't say he didn't live a full life. Can remember watching him when I was kid. Don't think polictical views matched, but he was still one of the best. Very sad.
  • "We have to spend money to keep from going bankrupt" - Joe Biden, VP of the USA, explaining to AARP why the health care bill has to pass. So, we have to spend even more money we don't have to keep from losing it all. Do what? And, to think we keep electing these guys (D's and R's) over and over again. Guess we'll get what we deserve eventually. Most likely sooner rather than later.
  • So Tiger Woods missed the cut at the British Open this week. It happens. To hear the media talk, you'd think the world was coming to an end. And, while it might be, don't think Tigger missing the cut will have anything to do with it. Even CNN.com had it as the lead story this afternoon. Geez, Louise. Don't get me wrong. He's a great golfer and I appreciate that kind of talent. Still, not ready to call him the best ever like some others want to.
  • This week's Deadliest Catch was emotionally riveting. We got to see the humane side of Sig. Could always sense it was there somewhere. Hope Jake's family is doing better.
  • For those of you who watch Big Brother but have not found out what Chima said last night, she reminded everyone that Braden had called Kevin a "beaner" and then, "He called you a whore, Julie. Yes, he did." Supposedly, "beaner" is a derogatory word about Mexicans. Never heard it, myself. Funny thing is, Kevin ain't Mexican. Still, as Julie said, it was one of the most memorable speeches in Big Brother history, and few people heard all of it.
  • "Those who hammer their guns into plows are destined to plow for those who do not." Thomas Jefferson. Always knew he was one of the smartest men who ever lived in this great country of ours.
  • "The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." - G.K. Chesterton. Thank you, Veterans, for loving us!

That's all I got for now. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Some of My Travels (Now with photos!)

Part of my job involves travelling across the country. As a result, been able to see some of the wonderful sights our country has to offer. Thought I'd share some of them with you. Have a few photos. Some of these things I saw before I had a digital camera. Will just have to use your imagination for those.

Some of the better places I've been:

Jamestown, VA - Pretty cool seeing one of the first cities of this country. Got on the replicas of two ships people crossed the Atlantic in. Been on bass boats bigger than them. Gives you new respect for the courage they had to come to this country.


Bozeman, MT - Without a doubt, one of the prettiest places I've ever been. Truly a place with purple mountain majesties and amber waves of grain. Went to the Museum of the Rockies, too. Pretty nice little museum. Has complete dinosaur fossils, Native American history, and Montana history. Wish I could have stayed in Bozeman longer.




Mt. Rushmore, SD - The drive to it is pretty nice, too.





Brooklyn, NY - Went to the Brooklyn Tabernacle for church. An amazing experience.


Maker's Mark and Jim Beam distilleries, KY - Interesting to see how bourbon is made. Maker's Mark actually lets you dip your finger in one of the fermenting vats. They also give you a sample of "white lightning" (bourbon before it has aged) and a sample of the finished product.


Coon Dog Cemetery, just outside Red Bay, AL - A whole cemetery devoted to award-winning coon dogs. First one was buried there in 1937. The newest headstone I found was dated 2007. Did a Southern boy's heart good to see that.





Ronald Reagan Library, CA - Got to see a piece of the Berlin Wall, which was pretty neat. Best part was getting to see Reagan himself and being about 10 feet away from him. Now, THAT was cool!


Lincoln Memorial, Wyoming - Seemed like it was in the middle of nowhere. Was actually at a rest stop. Struck me as odd to considering it was barely a territory when he was president.




Pink Hockey Rink, Tri-Cities, WA - Home team (Tri-Cities Americans) was in pink jerseys, the goalie had a pink mask, and the ice was dyed pink. All for breast cancer awareness.




Some of the more interesting things I've seen driving down the road:

Sign in Kentucky - "Used Cows For Sale." Don't know exactly what that means and might not want to.


Literal herds of antelope, mule deer and elk out west.


The Rocky Mountains. We just have hills in the east compared to them.




Autumn in the Smokie Mountains. Talk about life in Technicolor...


Sign to National Bird Dog Museum. Gonna have to stop there next time I go by.


Suds Ur Duds - laundrymat in Corinth, MS. Gotta love it.




Electrical boxes in apartment complex parking lots in Bozeman. Gets so cold there in the wintertime people have to put heater coils on their engine blocks to keep them from freezing. That's cold!

That's just a few of the things I remember. You never really realize how wide open this country is until you drive across it. There are literally miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles in many parts of it. If you ever get the opportunity to drive across the Good Ol' USA, I highly suggest it.

Have e a great day!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

More Thoughts

More thoughts inspired by the iPod:
  • Funny how Van Halen is primarily known for Eddie's awesome guitar skills, but, their two biggest hits on the charts are "Jump" and "Right Now," both which feature Eddie on the keyboard.
  • Apocalyptica's remake of Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" is very haunting in an awesome kind of way. They remade it using nothing but cellos. Pretty awesome, and that's one of my least favorite Metallica songs.
  • Jerry Clower can really tell a tale. Ray Stevens is pretty funny, too.
  • Sting don't sound nowhere near as much like me as he used to. He's about a quarter octave higher now. Used to sound just like me when we sang "Every Move You Make" and "Wrapped Around Your Finger."
  • Hard to believe U2 has been around almost 30 years. "New Year's Day" is just as good as it was when it first came out in the early 80's.
  • Wonder if Extreme's "Hole Hearted" is really about a spiritual journey? The lyrics will make you think.
  • Seems odd to me that the Doobie Brothers opened their concert with "Rockin' Down the Highway" and ended with "Listen to the Music" rather than the other way around.
  • Night Ranger's "Sister Christian" always makes me think of Joel Riggins, a friend who died after a car wreck when we were in high school. He was a big Night Ranger fan and that song was just becoming popular when it happened.
  • Still regret not going to see Living Colour when they came to town. Didn't go cuz could have cared less about the band they were touring with, some band called the Rolling something or anothers.
  • Wonder if the person who wrote "Whiskey In the Jar" almost 300 years ago could have ever imagined a band like Metallica would eventually remake their song?

Still have the blog about some of my travels kicking around in me head. Been having connectivity problems so haven't been able to get it onto paper, so to speak.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Music's Best Of (to me anyway)

Have had the opportunity to do a lot of driving this week, which has led to a lot of iPod time (playing through the stereo, of course). It's made me think of a sort of "best of" list of musicians, and thought I'd share it. These are just my opinion. It would be hard for anyone to come up with "the" absolute list. Anyway, here it is. Oddly enough, most of these folks are on my iPod. Strange indeed...

  • Best Voice - One Elvis Aaron Presley. He had the most pure voice I've ever heard. It's hard to picture him ever hitting a sour note, even if he had the flu.
  • Best Guitarist - Jimi Hendrix. Man's been dead almost 40 years and he's still way ahead of his time. There's never been a sound like his and probably never will.
  • Best Guitar Solo - David Gilmour, "Comfortably Numb."
  • Best Guitar Duet - Joe Walsh and Don Felder, "Hotel California"
  • Most Influential Band - The Beatles. Single-handedly changed music with their lyrics, music producing, and many other things. You can still hear their influence in a wide variety of musical genres today.
  • Second Most Influential - Nirvana. Changed rock forever by introducing grunge to the masses. Can still hear their influence, too, though not as widespread. Hard to believe it's been almost 20 years since Never Mind came out.
  • Best Rock Lyricist - John Lennon. His lyrics were so deep the accompanying music had to be relatively simple so the masses (myself included) could follow them.
  • Best Country Lyricist - Hank Williams, Sr. He could tell a story like no other before or since.
  • Close Second - Alan Jackson. Actually think "Midnight in Montgomery" is more than just a song. Hank must have disappeared onto that bus with him.
  • Best Good Time Band - Van Halen. Just have to rock out whenever you hear one of their old songs. Eddie might not like to admit it, but Dave's wish that they play music he could dance to really helped them rise to the top. Eddie's not bad, either.
  • Best Musician/Composer - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Can't listen to his music without seeing the story in my head, even the ones without lyrics, which I can't understand anyway. Man wrote all of his operas, etc., in his head and then put them down on paper without making hardly any mistakes. Remember one of his manuscripts selling a few years ago. It was about 2 inches think and he only had one measure scratched out in the whole thing. That is simply amazing. Often wondered if it sold for so much because it was his or because of the mistake. Heard that was what made it so rare.
  • Most Eclectic Artist- The Man in Black, Mr. Johnny Cash. How many other 70+ year old men would know a Nine Inch Nails song, much less remake of one of their songs?

With the exception of Mozart and Nirvana, all are on my iPod. Would have Mozart on it, too, but cannot listen to just one of his songs. (Sort of like Lay's potato chips) Have to listen to the whole CD. Since I keep my iPod on shuffle, makes it hard to do that. Can't really explain why I've never purchased anything by Nirvana.

Sometime in the next day or two, I'm gonna talk about some of the things I've seen over the years while driving throughout our vast country. Some have been more interesting than others...to me, anyways.

On a different note, was sad to see Karl Malden died recently. Most of my generation would know him as the American Express guy from the TV commercials he did in the 70's. One of his greatest performances was of Gen. Omar Bradley in Patton. To me, that part summed up Malden's entire career. Bradley was a great general who was so down to earth you just never noticed how great he really was. The same could be said for Karl Malden's acting abilities.

Thanks for indulging me and making it to the end! Talk to you again soon!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Birthday, USA!!!

Happy birthday, America!!!

Hard to imagine the thoughts that were going through the minds of our Founding Fathers back in 1776. We were the first colony that had a chance of seceding from the British Empire. But, they still had to be worrying about a lot of things: Will we succeed? Will we fail? What happens if we fail? Maybe even scarier, what will happen if we win? I certainly thank God they had the courage to strike out on their own.

The Declaration of Independence ranks up there as one of the greatest secular documents ever written. Right up there with the Magna Carta and our own Constitution. If you've never read it, think you should. A lot of men and women have sacrificed everything to make sure we will always have the "right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." If they are willing to do that, feel like I should at least take the time to read what inspired us to become our own nation. As always, many thanks to our veterans and their families!

It would have been difficult for our Founding Fathers to imagine just how great our country has turned out. Yeah, we've got our problems. Many may never be solved completely. But, there are still people doing everything they can to come join us. Must be doing something right.

Hope you have fun this weekend. Enjoy the fireworks, eat good food, and enjoy your beverage of choice. Pray for our soldiers everywhere, especially those in harm's way. Most importantly, be sure to thank God you have the opportunity to live in the greatest nation in the world!

May God bless you, and God bless the United States of America!!!!