Honestly, Truthfully, Trustworthy

I can believe

I can disbelieve

I can act

I can choose not to act

Why must I be protected from truth?

Ignorance is Bliss

It takes my decisions

and makes them impotent.

It takes my perception

and skews it.

“You don’t need to know

“Not now, later

“To protect you

Saying this only

when I NEED to know

when I NEED to know now

when it doesn’t protect me because

I don’t know.

Facts in timely manner

Not emotions

Withhold, Lie

No preparation

No trust

Surprise, and confusion

Tell Me.  Honestly



You find a note


I was in fast food once…ok, 5 years of fast food…

I did everything from back line to front line to management.  I know how the process works.  It’s not supposed to work like this…

It had been a long day and I didn’t want to cook.  I had been teaching, and doing an investment for a nice couple who didn’t have a clue how money works.  I spent nearly 2 weeks explaining how to budget, how much insurance they’d need, how to pay down their debt over a shorter time, and they finally got a glimpse of how their lives could be!  We finished up that night after 2 hours of questions and answers and paperwork.  It was late.  I went to the drive through and sat at the order window.  No one answered.  No, “WelcometoblahblahblahourspecialisblahblahblahcanItakeyourorderplease?” in auctioneerspeak.  No “Hold for a bit, I’ll be right with you.”  I was confused and mad just staring at this screen.  I wanted to go home.

“HEY!  Anyone there?!!!”

Someone whispered urgently, “I have to take the order or someone will get suspicious.”  Then into the mic, “Welcome to Wendy’s!  Can I take your order please?”  I ordered my favorite; she read it back and told me my total and to pay at the 1st window.  I pulled up and got out my money.  The lady at the window was not young.  She was all business.  I recognized her as a manager by her name tag and button down shirt.

Managers do not work the window at that time of night.  They’re busy doing register counts.  I became more suspicious.  I said, “Yeah, I used to be on that side of the window, I don’t have to do that any more.  How’s your night going?”

She looked nervously over her shoulder, smiled and replied, “Good as it could be!  Here’s your food and your Mountain Dew.  You can check your order in the pull in over there.”

?? Why would I pull into a parking spot to check my order?  I mouthed, “Are you ok?” and  saw her shake her head ‘no’ almost imperceptibly. I said “Thanks” as I drove over to the drive-through queue for wait orders and checked my bag.  As I was moving away from the window, I heard her saying that this was policy since there were so many bad orders and complaints at this store.  Ah…she was a substitute that was trying to fix a badly managed store.  I used to do that.  I checked my order and there was a note stuffed inside.

“We’re being robbed!  Call 911!”

Oh crap.  I called 911.  Then I did something stupid.

I drove around to the drive through order board and said, “Hey?  It’s me again.  I’m sorry.  I forgot that I needed to order my fries without salt.  Since I’m the only one in line, can you make me up some fries?”

A boy’s voice said, “We’re Closed.  Go away.”

“Bull!  your sign is still on!  It’s only 8:30 and your hours are until 11:00!  I ain’t leaving until you give me some fries–no salt!”

“What the …?” the woman’s voice chimed in.  “Get away from that mic you idiot!  I’m sorry ma’am, we’ll get some right out to you!”  She left the call button on and said, “You WANT some problems?  You’re not very good at this robbery thing are you!  Roberto drop some fries, small batch, no salt.

I pulled up to the window and whispered,  “I’ll keep you distracted so he can’t do anything stupid.”  Then I put my mad face on.  She nodded and leaned out the window.  I yelled, “What kind of stupid store is this that you have line people answering the drive through?  What’s taking so long?”

“I’m sorry ma’am.  He’s new.  Jorge!  Come here and apologize to the lady!  Yes now!  This is what good service looks like! and GET YOUR HAT ON!”  She through a hat at him and he put it on.

Jorge was wearing a Wendy’s hat but not the shirt and had no badge…trainee or otherwise.  He seemed very young.  “I’m not apologizing to no drive through bitch!  Get away from the window!”  He threw down the hat.  Thank you!  Now I had a clearer view of him.  He hit the manager with the back of his hand, then he leaned out the window and aimed his gun at me.  “Get the hell out of here!”

“Well I NEVER!  I’m going to call corporate about this you can be sure of it!!!!”  I pulled into the exit to block it and got out of the car.  My car is dark, so he couldn’t see what I’d done.  The cops arrived without lights or siren and I told them that protocol was to let him take the money and get out of the store so there would be no hostages and no casualties.  I also told them there were 3 crew members, and a manager, but no customers in the dining room.  Then I indicated where the cameras were.  I didn’t know if he was watching the monitor or not, but if he was, he might panic.  They blocked off the other entrance into the parking lot.  I then moved my car and another patrol car blocked the exit I’d vacated.  I pulled into the parking lot of the box store next door and watched the “show.”  They staged a couple of officers by the dumpster, one by the back door and one at the main entrance.  EXACTLY WHERE I TOLD THEM NOT TO GO.  If he was watching the monitors, that was where the lot cameras pointed.  Oh crap.

Luckily, Jorge was new at this and it never occurred to him to check the lot monitors. He walked out with a carry-out bag.  He got about 1/2 way to his car and the officer came up behind him and very gently said, “I’m with the police.  I’m armed and my gun is aimed at your back.  Stop, drop the bag and the gun and get on your knees.”  He was so close to Jorge when he said it, that Jorge freaked out and froze.  The other officers came out from their hiding places and walked slowly and quietly up to him, guns raised.  The black officer said, calmly, “Boy, you the wrong color to resist.  Do what he said.”  Jorge nodded and went to his knees.  There was no yelling, no panic.  The only tension I could feel was that of the boy on the ground.  This was NOT at ALL like what they did on TV.  They cuffed him and escorted him to the police car, and I think I heard Jorge crying.  The lead cop then went inside to assure the owner that the culprit had been caught and to take statements and such.  So I left.

Of course, my burger was cold…



24 hour permission

I had a strange thing occur to me.  We were doing impromptu speaking, and the questioner posed this:  If you had a 24 hour get-out-of-jail-free card and you could do anything you wanted without negative repercussions, what would you do?

Well I answered the question saying, I wouldn’t do anything that would require a pardon really.  I might change a certain someone’s teleprompter, steal a certain person’s phone so he couldn’t tweet for 24 hours, maybe crash a party or two and substitute light beer…

The questioner was aghast.  “That was the most boring 24 hours I’ve ever heard, and not the least like what I imagined you do.”  Um, thanks?  Sorry?

  1.  Why would he assume that if I could do something illegal, the only reason I don’t is because I don’t want to break the rules and get arrested or punished?  I wouldn’t want to DO anything illegal.  It has no interest for me.
  2.  Why would I do something illegal that would only affect a 24 hour period?

What most people think when confronted by a question of that sort is that they would have the freedom to indulge in a behavior that is restricted in their current lives.  I don’t have that problem.  I go where I want, do what I want, and I don’t have to break any laws or taboos to enjoy this freedom.

On the other hand, one of the other people in the room asked why I wouldn’t go rob someone of $1,000,000.  What’s the appeal of $1,000,000?  Is it the money itself?  Is it the things I could do with the money–like get a fast car and fancy house or go on a fancy vacation?  $1,000,000 is a nice round number, but I would be looking for a way to find an asset that would pay me $100,000/year in passive income.  With the original owner looking for that money, 24 hours would be way too short a time period to effectively launder the money and pick up an asset.  I’m assuming the person I stole from would want me to pay them back.  My enjoyment of the money would then be short-lived.

So yes, it was a boring response.  Sorry.

Our dreams and aspirations should not be hampered by the law, but neither should they require a person to break those laws to be happy.


Jungle Book musings

I had a student tell me this.  He wanted to be like me.  He wanted to have a quick wit, an infectious laugh, an insane imagination.  He wanted to be comfortable in front of people, and be funny at the drop of a hat.  He wanted encyclopedic knowledge so he could riff on any subject.

I was surprised.

Here’s why:  When he says, “Let’s go this way!” crowds of people follow him.  When he inspires people, they go and do stuff.  When he makes suggestions, people listen politely.

When I say, “Let’s go this way!”  I get responses like, “Why?” or no response and I’m by myself.  When I inspire people they’re inspired for about 37 seconds then don’t do anything.  When I make suggestions, I get laughs…they think I’m joking.  I don’t get taken seriously except by people who know me really well.  There aren’t many people that know me that well.

There was a story about a guy who saw this professional golfer on the driving range.  He walked up and said, “MAN!  I wish I could drive like that!  I’d give anything to be as good as you!”  The pro stopped what he was doing and addressed the guy.  “Would you really?  Would you practice your drives until your hands bled?  Would you practice putting for hours at a time?  Would you spend thousands of dollars on coaching, specially made clubs, and greens fees?  Would you spend 180 days on the road touring and competing?  Would you be willing to lose 90% of the competitions you enter?”  The man stammered.  The pro said, “If you want to be like me, you have to work like me, you have to think like me, and you have to desire it like me.”  Then he went back to practicing his drives.

Let me introduce myself.

I am a self improvement junkie.  When you go to a law office, you will see their collection of books–hundreds of them.  I would posit that most lawyers have never read all the books.  I have hundreds of leadership books, tapes (yes the cassette type) CD’s, DVD’s, and workbooks.  I have read and re-read every one of them.  I went to Orlando to be certified in leadership training by John Maxwell.  I have studied Jim Rohn and Zig Ziglar.  I have listened to webinars and watched videos of leaders in my profession (which is finance by the way). I have even written a leadership program with a workbook for use in Churches.

I also have a curiosity about EVERYTHING!  So I read articles about scientific subjects–global warming, physics, conservation, animal behavior, kinesiology, anatomy, acoustics…I’m interested in how things work.  I read and study human behavior like psychology and interpersonal communication.  I am fascinated by economics (thanks to William Snyder from Peru State) and the financial markets, especially investments.  I have 2 bachelor’s degrees–one in music and one in business finance.  I am certified in many financial areas.

I like to connect things that normally aren’t connected…Toastmasters and Ballet for instance.  Choreography is choreography.  Use of the space when speaking is the same as use of the space for dancing.  I adore observational humor–George Carlin and Robin Williams and Jonathan Winters are my favorites.  My friend, George, and I do a bit about driving in Omaha which is observational in manner.

So if my student wanted to be like me, he’d have to read the things I have read, study the things I have studied, travel the places I have traveled, and associate with the people with whom I have associated.  He’d have to develop an observational eye and a curiosity.  But even if he did all that, he’d still be ‘him trying to be like me’ and not a better version of himself.

In order for me to be a leader like he is, I’d have to give up the humor and the impulsiveness that makes me uniquely me.  Would that be a bad thing?  No, actually.  I would like to be taken seriously.  What’s curious is that when people DO take me seriously, I get confused.  “What?  You mean that you DO think I’m intelligent?  That I DO make sense?  That I HAVE changed your perspective and you ARE going to act on it?”  Then I shoot myself in the foot and say something dismissive or silly which makes people doubt my veracity.  Being taken seriously is scary!  At the same time, when I offer some insight or advice to someone that will drastically change their situation in life, and they laugh it off, IT BUGS THE HECK OUT OF ME!

Don’t be like someone, be the best version of you. To do that, you have to work on yourself to mold your mind and body into the person you want to grow into.

Finish Something

Grand Plans

Beautiful visions

Creative need

Cravings of accomplishment

On the drawing board

In the bags of yarn

In the calendar

Honest effort

Inconsistency brings frustration


Self hate

Everything is left undone

1/2 finished


Best Intentions but

No Action

Finish Something!

Just 1 thing

Start the ball rolling

Keep the ball rolling

Finish it.


via Daily Prompt: Thin


In anything else, thin is bad.  Thin walls, thin logic, thin resume.  All indications of insufficiency.  Thinly veiled threats don’t fool anyone.  Thinned paint shows the old color beneath.  “It’s a thin line between ___ and ___…”  Fill in the blanks.  Sanity and Madness, Love and Hate, Order and Chaos.  The thin line represents a precarious balance.  No one talks about the bold line, the thick line, the substantial line.

Thick, substantial walls protect.  Substantial logic has weight in arguments.  A thick resume indicates loads of education and experience.  All these things are considered good.  A bold character gets the leads in movies and plays.

So why do women want to fit into a size 0?  Why are ribs sexy?  Why don’t you want your thighs to touch?  It’s better to be rich and thin?  If I were rich, I would EAT BETTER!  I wouldn’t stay thin for very long–that’s for sure!  When so many are starving to death because they can’t get food, why do we emulate them in a rich country where people can walk into a grocery store and buy ANY food they want?  It makes no sense to me for anyone (male or female) would want to look like they haven’t had a good meal in months when they have access to anything they’d want to eat.

Skinny people exist.  They have high metabolism and cannot gain weight.  They are not half-starved because they eat a tiny piece of lettuce and spit it out.  They are healthy as far as their bodies are concerned.  Can you be healthy and not thin or skinny.  Of course!  Look at the athletes at any Olympics.  They have honed their bodies so that the demands of their sports are met.  They are flexible where they need to be flexible, they are powerful and fast.  Dancers should be the same way, but still some will starve themselves to look good on stage.

It is in my humble opinion that people want to be thin because of whom they think are watching.  If they weren’t on stage, on TV, in the movies, in the magazines, basically ON DISPLAY like a manikin in a store, they would not obsess on how much weight they appear to carry.   You should be comfortable in your skin, able to move and do the things you love without the side effects of too much or too little weight.  Your dance partner shouldn’t wonder if he’ll drop you because you’re too big.  He should also not worry about accidentally throwing you through the ceiling.

Not a big fan of “thin.”

Ren Faire!

Ren Fairs are interesting…

It’s where people may or may not dress up as they think people would have dressed up in the 1200-1700’s.  500 years of fashion stuffed unceremoniously into a market.  Oh and it may be Renaissance or Fantasy.  You’ll see people with horns and wings and feathers.  They’ll wear midriff baring outfits and nun’s robes.  They’ll wear faux pirate gear and costumes that include armor from 4 different countries and 3 different centuries of manufacture.  They’ll wear $400 boots with a “I made this myself” fairy costume.  They’re selling wooden swords, beer steins, and games.  You want a weapon?  There are plastic and aluminum copies of authentic arms, and light sabers.  Tacky jewelry to works of art can be 2 tents from each other.

Turkey legs–smoked and served in aluminum foil and a paper basket or fish ‘n’ chips seem to be the popular food.  Why is this funny?  No turkeys in Europe until 1550’s and then not to common people.

But…I love Ren Fairs!!!  The choreographed fights, the belly dancing, the fake English Accents (because all Renaissance fairs are English) the trolls and creatures and costumes, and those dam turkey legs.

I got to thinking.  Did the people in the Renaissance have 1C Fairs?  Did people dress up in Roman and Greek outfits?  Would the tourists dress up in their favorite apostle garb?  Everyone would have had to speak in a very bad Greek or Latin accent.  They’d have to lose the colorful outfits they wore and choose plain peasant robes.florence-celebrations

(Yes, those are authentic outfits from the Renaissance.  These below were designed by Michelangelo…not the turtle, the guy that did David…)

Ren outfits

Go to the 1C fair!  Wear a sheet!  Might have different pagan gods, fair folk, leprechauns, and other mythical creatures on display and wandering on the midway, and those that still worship those gods waiting for the lightning to strike.  Instead of jousts and such, they could feed the Christians to the Lions at 1:00 3:00 and 5:30 shows.  (No not REAL lions!  They wouldn’t get volunteers that way!)  They could serve Roman Pork and wine and some beer from Goth.  The Goths would wander around the fair and threaten the civilized people dressed as Romans.  It could be fun.

Or you could go REALLY far back and have Ark-Fest!  They could have a large boat on display with all sorts of zoological exhibits.  They could have a rain dance!  They could throw fake rocks at each other!  They could close the Festival every night by having 1 guy at the top of the tower yelling through a megaphone, “Was that Thunder I heard?”

Why Can’t I Bitch About My Non-Flying Car Now?

Quite an insight!

Puppettron's Blog

The other day, my friend Qwill posted a little something to her blog about social networks and work, which got me thinking about a lot of issues with Freedom of Speech lately.  Her little piece on her own experience with social networking and the workplace reminded me that there was a lot of things we are now being restricted from doing for no real good reason anymore.

We’re all well aware of the restrictions to free speech that the vast majority of us were down with immediately after 9/11.  Sure, many of us are still incensed about the whole thing, and most of us thought that Freedom Fries was about the dumbest thing we’d ever seen, but for a good 3 months or so, all but the most hardcore rights activists were

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Democracy is Something We Believe in, for Some Reason

Egad! The boy was born in the wrong decade! Should have been here in the 60’s. The protests of the 60’s cannot happen now. Our voices are being shunted off to the corner of ambivalence and ineffectiveness so our representative government represents no one!

Puppettron's Blog

We spend a lot of our time talking about democracy here in the US, which is hilarious since we’ve never really had one. Sure, we’re a republic, which runs off representative democracy, but even then, we’ve done everything in our power to ensure that we don’t have a democracy and rationalizing our actions against it as necessary to preserve it. It’s like we’re building a house, but deliberately leaving out the foundation and load-bearing walls while insisting that the lean-to that we’ve ended up with is better than the house because the things we’re leaving out can be used to destroy the house we wanted.

For a democracy to work, you need the unfettered voice of the people. That’s something we’ve literally never had though. When the Great Experiment started, they restricted the vote to land owners, and the electoral college was put into place to actually do the voting…

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Offensive vs Offending

Deep stuff here! I love it!

Puppettron's Blog

One of the strange things to come out of the culture wars of the 10s is a weird argument over the sharing of opinions. I mean, other than ideological battles and literal nazis coming back into view. Man, this decade is completely fucked up, isn’t it?

So, a lot of what’s going around, particularly in the pictures-with-words memes is this idea from the ideological right that everyone’s problem with the things they say is that they’re personally offended by those things. It is, in fact, a big part of the culture there that they’re these brave folks who’re speaking their mind in the face of cultural marxism or whatever and that we need to get over our butt-hurt and be real men or whatever. It’s basically a big joke where the whiny liberal SJW can’t change the channel and ignore the things they don’t like, stemming from a real fear…

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Movie Bistro Madness

Come!  Enjoy your movie in the luxury of a recliner!  No sticky floors!  $7 for a ticket!  Unless you order it online to make sure you HAVE a seat when you get there, then it’s $13.  Unless you have our rewards card so you can order on line and get it for $7.  And that’s not all!  In every theater before the previews start, you get an advertisement for the Bistro Theater…4 theaters in the complex where they bring the food TO you!  You want to see an early movie, but you hesitate because you either have to have dinner at 4:00, buy dinner on the way in at 5:00 and hope they’re not so busy that you’re late and cannot get a ticket (unless, of course you already have your ticket…see above) or you wait until 10:00 when the movie gets out and have Taco Bell right before you go to bed.  Taco Bell at 10 pm can have unfortunate consequences.  The Bistro solves all those problems!  TaDAAAA!

“Be sure to get here and order from our chef-inspired menu and have the wait staff bring the food to you in the theater!  You want more to drink or another dessert?  Push the call button and have your payment ready.”  The food on the screen looks like something out of the gourmet chef shows on the food network.  It’s beautifully plated on square plates and artfully drizzled with just the right amount of sauce.  That’s a lot of effort for a chicken sandwich.

When you go to the ticket counter and pick out your seat, the cashier says, “Hey! and you’re in the Bistro so you can skip the concession lines and just order from your seat!  Enjoy your movie!”  Woohoo!  So you go to the theater, find your seat, get comfy and wait for the server to get to you.  Theater is nearly empty because you did arrive 30 min before the show as they suggest when going to a bistro movie.

Dum de dum de dum…no wait staff IN the theater.  7 guys and 2 old ladies are sitting there playing the screen games and they already have their food.  Silly people.  They do not have chef-inspired cuisine to munch on before the movies starts.  Still no wait staff.  Hmmm.  Press the call button.  The theater darkens.  The two actions are not related, but seem ominous.  The server sure enough comes to your chair and pushes your call button so it goes off and asks for your order.  By this time, you’ve forgotten what you wanted to eat and it’s too dark to read the menu.  “I’ll have chef-inspired popcorn with buttery topping please…small, and a bottle of your Blue Mountain Dew.”  “What flavor is the blue mountain dew?”  “I don’t know, it’s blue.  I don’t buy it for the name.  Find the Mountain Dew in your cooler and if it’s blue, that’s it.”  “Do you have your rewards card?” “Yup and here’s my payment,” and I hand him my debit card.  Why debit card?  Because remember it’s dark and I cannot now see my money.  He processes my card, prints out the receipt for me to sign, hands me his pen and runs off, leaving me with the receipt and the pen.

He doesn’t come back.  “Yoo Hoo?”  I must be in an action/adventure movie because all the previews are super heroes and dystopian futures and incredible rescues from disasters.  Dum de dum de dum.  10 min into previews.  Still hasn’t picked up the receipt or his pen.  I hit the call button again.  2 servers walk by me and ignore me with food for other people.  Remember those 7 guys and the 2 little old ladies?  They are looking at me with pity and those eyes that say, “Silly person!  You could have had your chef-inspired popcorn and your drink when you came in and would have consumed most of the popcorn by now…and it would have been HOT popcorn…”  I’m so foolish.  I press the call button again.  He shows up and wants to know if I want to add to my order.  I say no but here’s your pen and the receipt…thought you might need it.

It occurs to me that maybe the servers are on some sort of reality show.  They have to get the orders from the patrons, go to the kitchen, prepare the chef-inspired delicious hamburgers, nachos, and fries to order (there are no substitutions) and get them out to the patrons Gordon Ramsey style.  “You ^(*&%*&( idiot!  You can’t plate that hamburger like that!  Redo that!” and then throws the food on the floor.  “But Gordon!  It’s dark!  They don’t even know if I got their orders right!”  “Oh right then.  Put the sloppy mess back on the plate and get it out of here…scrape off the dirt and such.”  Meanwhile, the previews are over, and it’s last call for orders.  One server in the whole theater, and call buttons lit up all over.  It gives an eerie blue glow about the room.  I have now been in the theater for 40 min.

Once again the screen lights up to tell us that next time we should arrive 30 min before the show so we can have our chef-inspired pizza and beer brought to us and I think, “It really doesn’t take that long to put popcorn in a bag and grab a bottle does it?”  The movie starts.  The ship is blown to smithereens, the bad guys are throwing debris about with a wave of their hands and monstrous mountains with vaguely human features are wielding building-sized weapons to threaten our heroes.  At least I think so.  In the first 15 min of the movie, there have been 8 servers walking between me and the screen delivering food to OTHER customers in the dark.  How can they see the seat numbers?  AHHHH!  Finally!  Here’s my chef-inspired popcorn and dew.  It’s the latest in movie cuisine–like iced coffee and cold soup (Vichyssoise).  Room temperature popcorn.

In a restaurant, 1 server can work with 12-16 customers.  Ideally then, this bistro should have about 5-7 servers.  They should stand near their sections and greet you when you find your seat.  All the orders should be taken while the lights are still on.  If you have a party of 4 with dinner-type orders and a person by himself with a small snack order, you put in the order to the kitchen for the dinners, and grab the snack and the drink on your way back to the theater and serve the single.  As your section fills up, you take orders from the newcomers.  Put in the dinner orders, check on previous orders and pick up the drinks and deliver those to the people who have ordered.  Return to kitchen and pick up any dinner orders that have been completed.  Take orders from recently seated people.  Put in new orders at kitchen, check to see if any orders are filled and ready to deliver.  If not, get the drinks out.  Go back to kitchen grab filled orders and deliver, repeat. And as always, if you have a drink/snack order, get it out immediately.  The only people you should be taking orders from after the lights go out are the latecomers.

If you are going to run 4 bistros in a theater, you’d DAM well better have a big kitchen and plenty of cooks.  You have to serve 240 customers in 30 min or less.

I’m going to order my chef-inspired popcorn and Blue Dew at the counter from now on.