Happy Birthday to me.

Good Morning peeps. One year wiser. Jo asked me what i needed for my birthday. Pay close attention, she said needed and not wanted. The plan i think is to go out and buy me my needs, like underwear and t-shirts etc, annual maintence, replace the old. She said i should make a list.

Well i did.

When i was a kid, early teens, I read a book called ‘think and grow rich’, im not exactly rich, like millions, although i did follow some of the advise in the book.

The trick is to dream it, write it down, visualize…..

I decided to copy a page from that book when i make up my list. Think big.

Mustang Shelby
House on the beach in the Caribbean.

Why do i ‘need’ these things? I will enjoy them, simple as that.

Just in case my wish is too big for this year, ill just have a second list.

Undetwear
Tshirt
New runners.

Thats about it.

Al always,

Dont forget to greet a total stranger today.

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So people ask, how do you manage to greet strangers

Good Morning peeps. People are always asking if i do greet total strangers daily. Yes I do.

I also chat with strangers all the time, totally embarasses my family when they are with me. I always get the question, ‘ do you know that person?’

Its always in fun.

Now many strangers i met on my morning walk are now ‘friends’ , ‘good morning’ friends.

Yes i like people.

So how do I greet strangers. Actually there is a trick to it. Ever wanted to greet someone but by the time you make eye contact it was too late? They had just zipped by.

The trick is to have your cheeks in the right position, you know like a half smile, its almost a dumb look but keep them that way as you walk. Easy peasy so far.

When people looked at you with your silly grin, they take a closer look because to them it looks like you know something. They are thinking that maybe their shirt is on backwards or even worse. At that moment they are vulnerable, that extra split second longer to look at you and whammo, you raise up your cheeks and out come the ‘good morning’. You got them because they now no that you are not just looking because something is out of place.

There is a sense of relief, they are happy to reply.

Works like magic.

On the other hand if they look at you like you are a weirdo, its easy to lower your cheeks, no biggie.

As always

Dont forget to greet a total stranger today

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The birds do it, the bees do it, humans complicate it…

Good Morning peeps. Its amazing how many things you see when you just sit and be quiet.

Warning.

This is my first x rated story, be forewarned, I called it, ‘the birds do it, the bees do it, humans complicate it’

Two days ago i was sitting on my porch, just looking. There is a tree in front of the house. I was looking in that direction when two birds landed, flipping from branch to branch and right before my eyes and without a care in the world they did it, 5 or 6 seconds, wham bamm, then they flew away.

In different directions.

What was interesting is that the female started flying before they had seperated. I was thinking:

‘Maybe she didnt like it and didnt want to waste anymore of her time with the dude.’

Well it didnt take long for these two gnats to appear on the side of the house, stuck together. They stayed there for a good 10 minutes. I didnt have to guess what they were doing, but why was it taking so long.

Were they enjoying the act or had she found a way way to keep him attached?

They actually flew off together intact.

Horny chick, in broad daylight for anyone to see.

Then there are the wasps. Last summer i was tired of these wasps living under the porch so i blocked their way in. It was intesting how they just sat on the ground and died. It was sad but i had to end the annual visits.

As i sat on my porch i noticed wasps approaching an area on the lawn not to far from the the old entrance. They disappeared in the grass. I went to investigate and sure enough they had dug a hole under the patio stones. They are amazing.

I had never seen wasps do it but i heard there is a queen and she does it with a whole bunch of males.

She does it in privacy under the porch away from gawking eyes and with god knows how many partners.

All of which got me thinking about humans and how different we are.

I think.

Maybe i should have called it, ‘its a woman’s world’, it would not have been rated.

As always,

Dont forget to greet a total stranger today.

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Talking to a Jumbie machine

Good Morning peeps. Yesterday I told you about my love affair with a machine, my cell phone, today ill lament my running with a Jumbie machine..

Earlier last week, I made two calls to the telephone company, both times i spoke with a customer service rep, answered all the question then i was put on hold so i can be transferred to someone else. I wanted to cancel my service on two phones.

On both occasions i was cut off. It could have been my phone but they cant prove that. Anyway shortly afterwards I received the following text message:

Phone company.
“Free Msg: Thanks for calling (phone company). Your feedback is important to us. Shortly you’ll receive 4 questions.”

Too bad there is no middle finger sign on my phone.Then a few minutes later:

Phone company.
“How satisfied are you with the service from the last Rep you spoke with? Reply 5-if Completely, 4-Very, 3-Somewhat, 2-Not very, 1-Not at all”

Now under normal circumstances i would have simply ignored it, afterall i did not receive any servive, but i was pissed. So i responded.

Me texting.
“1

I called twice both times i was disconnected, still have to make the call. Why are you sending me surveys asking about service i did not receive ”

I know, i know, sounds a little crazy,  it was a machine i was communicating with. I was thinking, what if it was a person. I remember one of my nieces told me that she worked for a service that relayed text messages. They would retype your message and relay it. Yes, you send a message it was intercepted and retyped and sent on its way. All the juicy stuff too.

Yes a third party know all your secrets.

Another message from the mother ship:

Phone company.
“Sorry to hear that. Do you feel your inquiry was resolved?
5. Absolutely
4. Yes
3. Somewhat
2. Not really
1. Not at all”

I told you. How could a machine be sorry. Now i have  human.

Me texting.
“I waited and waited spoke with a CSR got transferred then the line went dead twice..”

Phone company.
“Thanks. Based on your recent experience how likely are you to recommend (phone company)?
5.Definitely
4.Probably
3.Maybe
2.Not likely
1.Not at all”

That was cold. It was obviously not a person, just an autoresponder. Hate machines sometimes.

As always,

Dont forget to greet a total stranger today.

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Who need a cell phone anyway.

Good Morning peeps. We have 5 cell phones, two that have expired contracts,  they are just voice phones and 3 on data plans. I have kids. Actually we have 8 working phone, 3 without service.

Where do unwanted phones go to die when they are not ready to let go?

Earlier in the week i decided to cancel one of the active phones with an expired contract, so i called the phone company and explained that i no longer needed the phone and would like to cancel the service.

The young lady on the other end of the phone explained to me that they have a retention program and for $20 monthly i can continue to have the service with even more features than i am currently paying for on the expired plan. She said i could keep the phone as a spare.

The deal even got sweeter, when she said I could upgrade for a new phone (iphone 4) at 0$ and a $35 credit. What a smoocher, she was good, I was sold. I had to go to the nearest store to complete the deal.

Well you know me I move like a tortoise since way back growing up in the hot tropical sun. Rather then rushed to the store which is just around the corner i decided to sleep on it.

That night in bed i was reflecting on all the cell phones i’ve had over the years and wondered how i ever did without them.

I remember back in the late 1980’s I won a fully paid trip to Barbados. I believe it stayed in the Hilton on the beach. It happened to coincide with a Test Cricket Match, England vs WI. What a great opportunity. I met the great Sir Gary Sobers, that is for cricket fans only.

The trip was scheduled at the same time I was in the middle of a big project.

What to do. My boss and I decided that i should take a cell phone with me, ‘just in case im needed’. No harm in that. In those days you needed an extra suitcase to carry the phone it was so huge. But a deal is a deal, right.

Here is what my boss didn’t know. The chances of that thing working on the beach on the island was slim to none. This was in the late 80’s

I was wrong. The first day i trotted down to the beach with my phone. In those days although the phone was humongous, you would still want to be seen with it.It separated you from the crowd. Like a badge of honour.

The office called that day. Do you want to know how I knew that? The phone worked on the beach. Oh and they called every day after that.

What a boat anchor, a tether, a noose, literally.

Some vacation, at least i didn’t have to pay for it.

That was my introduction to the cell, the beginning of my new friend. Today I live with it, FB and Twitter on the GO, I blog on it, my favourite Camera, Pinterest and Instagram, a new favourite is Flipboard, Bank, weather network, Kindle and my goodness the list goes on an on. Have you tried Nike Running, wow.

Sometimes i even use it to call people.

My only complaint, the damn thinks are getting soooooo big, makes it hard to hold in one hand and type.

Can you remember the days without cell phones? How did we manage without them?

As always

Dont forget to greet a total stranger today.

ps.

I did cancel that phone by the way, although it was quite an experience. I am not sure if it was just coincidence but i had to call three times, twice when they transferred me to the retention folks the line went dead.

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Does money grow on trees?

Good Morning peeps. “In the summer time when the weather is fine you can reach right up and touch the sky….” I love that song.

Im aware that its not summer as yet, but what a great day we had yesterday, spent a lot of it lazing around day dreaming.

When your mind is idle, you have thoughts and ideas just lead to more thoughts and ideas, pretty soon you may have a good one or can be completely lost.

On a nice lazy sunny day, your mind can take you places that you dont really want to go.

After the next paycheck then what? (you have to read yesterday post).

Ever wonder where the money you get paid with comes from?

The company you work for either provide a service or sell stuff or maybe it you work for the government, hmmmn never mind ill be respectful. They always have their hand in your pocket.

Anyway your employer pay you maybe every couple of weeks.

The person that started the business may have gotten lucky and inherited the Seed money or in the cement shoe business, but chances are they went to the bank and borrowed it. So now they owe the bank money.

They say money does not grow on trees yet they call start up money Seed money. Makes you pause to wonder.

The company pay you whether you do a good job or not and in turn you do the same and pay a whole bunch of companies for goods and services that you consume,  like mortgage, car payments, utilities etc. Whether or not they provided good products or services.

Remember how it started? Those companies that you paid also started the same way, bank loans, Seed money.

Oh i forgot, the government. When you get paid they take their share first. They also owe the bank, not to start up but to continue, they spend more than they take from your pocket.

Ever notice when a government or company start a project they always break ground or plant trees. I wonder when all the fuss is over and everyone left someone goes back and plant seeds.

Just as an aside. When the government owe the bank guess who is on the hook?

Where am I, lets see, money goes from one hand to another, businesses always start from seed, the government take a portion, plant trees, but eventually the money always end up in the bank.

Oh yea, the bank then takes the money that we paid them and lend it back to us so we can buy something from a company that then gives it back to the bank so they can lend you again. Vicious cycle and diabolical

I like the part where although its the bank money they pretend its yours and charge you convenience fees to use it.

Are you following me? What a web we weave and it all may have started with a little Seed money.

After being in the sun for a while it dawned on me, what happens if you no longer wanted to play the game, you know, opt out, is that an option?

Life can be so complicated when you let your mind wonder even on lovely sunny day.

The song continues….. “when the weather is fine you got women, you got women on your mind”. I can only wish.

As  always,

Dont forget to greet a total stranger today.

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I live from paycheck to paycheck.

Good Morning peeps. I have the urge to tell you a secret.

Here is a routine i am not proud of. Jo and I live from paycheque to paycheque. I know its private, i remember my mom use to say, I can count on Tony to tell me whats going on. Thats me, im a open book.

We get paid, we save a % of it then the rest go mostly to pay our bills: mortgage, house insurance, life insurance, car insurance, kids, insurance on appliances, car payments, credit cards (food, fuel, all kinds of stuff), gas, Kids, heat, cable for TV, kids, internet, telephone, Kids, cell phones and more, if I remember others ill add them.

Don’t get me wrong im not complaining, well not to you, I’m telling you about my life.

Ok lets start over before you get the wrong impression. We get paid on the 15th and the 31st. Jo and I both have great jobs. Jo lives life to the fullest, she pretty much take things as they come, she laughs a lot and has lots of friends. She spends most of her money on her kids, yes they are my kids too but I more frugal.

LOL that’s funny, she thinks that way about me, says she is the frugal one, all lies.

If you ask her how much money she has in her current account she pulls out her credit cards, she has two of them i think, haha kidding she just never answers because she has no clue.

Wait until she reads this, its a good thing our dog is small. Small dog, small dog house.

I just explained Jo, me, i am the bills payer and i take it seriously, I even have a schedule. Some of my bills are auto pay they are scheduled to be paid on the 15th and 31st, I set them up on the computer.

Jo does not get involved with the bills. When we fight about it, she says, ‘OK leave the banking to me”, then she does nothing. Did i mention she has She has 3 CC’s.

haha Just cant help myself or is it two? Cant keep track.

On the 1st to 15th I check the bank once a day, you can never be too secure with this online banking thing. I have a spreadsheet and I adjust, thank god for Cloud Computing, i can do this on my smart phone. I have a column for incidentals where I add or subtract based on what’s going on my life, you know the surprises. On the 15th, I pay, pay, pay, pay, figure out the number of days to the next paycheque, allocate funds in the special columns, for unexpected needs, the ones that never come to fruition. I always keep some money in case, then on the 16th I start all over again, special column, add subtract, incidentals…

Thank god for Excel spreadsheet.

I have one bill that comes out every two weeks, i hate those kinds especially when there are three payments in one month.

Countdown to payday, 16th 17th……..

I must tell you another secret, my kids know i cant say no to them, so i send them to their mom. Good one eh.

As i am writing this, a song just popped into my head.

Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full of rye.
Four and twenty blackbirds,
Baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened,
The birds began to sing;
Wasn’t that a dainty dish,
To set before the king?
The king was in his counting house,
Counting out his money;
The queen was in the parlour,
Eating bread and honey………

This obsession with paying bills is becoming a problem for me, I literally live from paycheque to paycheque, hoping that ill get to the next one without any major surprises.

Sometimes a bill does slip through the crack. I am not proud of that.

Jo likes to be tidy. If I have a bill, i leave it where i can see it. Not Jo, she puts it away. The other day i got a all from this company asking to be paid. Embarrassment. Jo had put the bill where it belongs, in the ‘to pay’ thingy, I never look there.

Someone told me it explains my obsession with birds and flowers; I am trying to figure it out.

I truly believe that if you want something in life, you write it down, you focus, plan and execute, but for some reason I can’t seem to apply it to fixing this part of my life.

Life is good otherwise.

As always

Dont forget to greet a total stranger today.

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OK i’m cute, now back off

Good Morning peeps. I wrote this story last September. Today the weather is so beautiful, i decided to post it. Dont get the connection? Me neither.

We are having the greatest September ever since we have been in Calgary weather wise. Today another great day, can’t complain.

As I sit here enjoying my coffee and having my eggs, ( Jo is not home, she thinks I’m dieting, she keeps asking why I not losing weight), I was remembering an incident that happen to me when I was a kid probably 2 years old. This lady came to our shop and pinched my cheek and said ‘he is so cute, I can just eat it’. Yepppers i was a cute baby.

I recalled I was so angry, I twisted away from her with such force, I fell off the counter, I’m guesstimating 4 feet down to the floor. I got hurt, but I didn’t have to endure a sloppy kiss. Sometime we don’t like people doting over us. You can look at me just dont touch.

I know what you are thinking, where is he going with this?

Well as you know I like to look at people and although I try to be discrete i sometimes feel silly. Maybe i should get some sun glasses.

Female Humans are my favorite subject, they are so nice to look at. Nature at its finest. I like looking at birds also in case you were wondering.

Which poses a dilemma in this age of social media.

I have over 1100 FB friends, I must admit I don’t really most of them although I am working on it.

Here is my dilemma. Is it ok to look at pictures of the female human on FB for more than one or two seconds? You know just a glance.

If the person you are admiring knew you were looking at them would they be upset?

If they post a picture and you ‘Like’ it, do they appreciate it or not?

Is ok to say, ‘nice picture’ if you don’t really know them too well?

When a female post a picture and no one “Like” is that upsetting?

Do people look at my picture and want to ‘Like’ but dont know how i would react? Haha thats a easy one Like away.

So many questions, someone must write a user guide, I’m confused and want to do the right thing.

Today….Im going outside to enjoy the sun, im sure some strangers will go by.

As always.

Don’t forget to greet a total stranger today.

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Its Friday night and i have no complaints

Good Morning  peeps. It is just after midnight. Yesterdsy  I received a message from my niece telling me that her dad, my brother was doing much better, he is in the hospital.

He is the third of three older brothers that are currently experiencing deterating health. Normally i would keep this ‘in the family’, but as i sit here in a special place, i begin to reflect on my own health and realize how fragile life really is.

I ask myself how much can i really control?

If you read my jabberings you may be aware that ive been on a healthy living quest. Jo my wife, had been after me to eat right and get exercise. She is a great example.  It didnt hit home until after i had a conversation with this lady at work several months ago who told me that she could not make a meeting that day because she had to leave early to go be with her 85 year old dad who is in a nursing home. I am a curious person so i asked questions about her dad.

It was during the conversation she said, ‘thank god my dad has me to visit, id hate to think what his life would be like if he was alone.’ My antena went up of course.

What on earth did she mean.

She told me a story about the mistreatment of residents who had no family visiting them. Made me want to be healthy for a long time.

I disgressed.

As i sit here on a bench that my son made is High School shop, it has special significance, I began to reflect on my own life.

I asked myself, do we really have a say in what happens in our life or are we pre programmed on a certain path?

Is it just me or does everyone ask these questions?

Here is what my life has been like.

When I have a need, a solution generally present itself and generally not the way i would have resolved it and when i have extra an opportunity appear out of nowhere to share. It has been like that all my life, thank god Jo and i are kindread spirits, we are very much alike.

I have been so lucky.

As always,

Dont forget to greet a total stranger today.

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