Everyone is just so awesome and special and unique

This isn't entirely an original idea, Louis CK and Mark Manson have both talked about this in one form or another, and I will try not to plagiarize their take on it (not too much at least).

But after being around random bits of TV, reality shows, airport news channels, people streaming various things on phones and generally speaking passively being forced to watch our current plethora of over the top reality TV for the last month or so, all I know is everyone is awesome and special and unique and no one is ordinary or boring.

Does anyone work a day job anymore, or does everyone sing and dance and play sports ball?

Cosmopolitan and vogue

Have you ever actually looked at the covers for cosmopolitan and vogue?

They send mixed messages.

First off, you are beautiful just the way you are, but just in case, here is a diet that you can lose 42 pounds by tomorrow by only eating cheesecake and watching Ellen.

And your smile lights up a room, take this test and we will guarantee you are perfect.  And as long as we are talking abut your teeth, damn, you need to whiten them.  What is wrong with you.

And of course this is the SEX, SEX AND SEX issue.  But we aren't allowed to go into detail about SEX. But if you look at page 69, we will tell you how to drive him / her wild in bed. Because of SEX. Because we know that sells so we print it a few times on every cover. SEX.

Vienna

'Vienna" - An original work ~ 12/18/15

 Chapter one:

The prior October my 50th birthday had come and gone with little to no fanfare.  Honestly I was alone in many regards of my life already and my career now afforded me the ability to leave the material world behind.  I had been a mergers and acquisitions consultant for several large European banks and felt it time to look outside of the corporate world and find myself. After years of traveling in Europe and Asia I decided to make one final business trip before my unannounced early retirement.  In essence I was walking away.

I didn't know what that meant and it didn't really matter. I had time and I had money.  What I lacked was the right woman to join me on a journey to fill our souls and hearts with love. 

I had been in Vienna for a merger with Deutsch Bank and a Russian oil consortium finalizing some minute details that I didn't technically need to oversee, but I volunteered because of my love of Vienna and the opera house.

Following or being lost

If I slow enough, time doesn't matter.

It maintains its rhythm like a river of melted snow.

Ever downward. To what end it matters not.

Watching the movement of people between the line segments that represent their life seems to flow into a motion and a pattern of predictability.

That river follows what it knows. And what it has become over time  

It's purpose is to exist. Nothing else.

The smugness of atheism

I was driving to the Sacramento airport for my return trip from Fort Bragg when I saw one of those road side sponsor signs that read. "Atheists and other free thinkers"

Now before you react, this isn't about religion, it's about being smug and condescending for no particular reason.

Which is my reaction to this particular road sign.

I find people that label themselves atheists are similar to people that label themself a vegan.  That is, they have some deep seeded need to tell you their belief as though you are less than they are, unenlightened or basically an idiot.

For the most part, I share a few beliefs with both atheists and vegans, just a few however.

"What do you mean, he don't no eat meat... fine, I make him lamb."

Uniquely Qualifed

I was on an interview for a senior revenue cycle director opportunity last week when the person on the other end of the phone said to me “…We are looking for someone uniquely qualified for this position…”

As soon as she said that I laughed a little. I knew what was coming next.

I asked what did she mean by the phrase “Uniquely Qualified”?

Her response was they wanted someone that had a wider knowledge of the revenue cycle; more understanding of their patient centric focus; a better grasp of how their revenue cycle is experienced from the patient’s perspective and then a few more buzz word phrases.  She finished the sentence with a comment that my résumé didn't reflect their current patient focus.

Dumbnosity - A Definition

A word to help how we look at things in the new politically correct world.  

Yes, this is sarcastic and true too often. 

Abstract noun - dum nos·i·ty \ˈdəm-ˈnä-sə-tē\

Definition of dumbnosity

1 The threshold of stupid decisions being reached. 

2 Decisions based on being politically correct that are poorly thought through.

3 The calculated and complete lack of logical forethought related to choosing a next step in a course of action.

4 The opposite of using common sense when making sweeping decisions in a corporate culture.

The Art of Social Media Pandering

There has become a social justice prevalence to pander to anyone that claims they have been wronged or are victims that began around 2008 in the US.

It is finally starting to fade and it couldn't happen too soon.

Most days I ignore it, but some days it's just funny, or sad, or pathetic, same thing I guess.

Some synonyms of the verb pandering could be; Indulge, Gratify, Cater To or Play Up To.

This is usually going hand in hand with a very vocal and very minor aspect of society.

How I see this most often is someone acknowledging another person with a level of mindless social media drool to some obscure event compared to substantially more important things going on in the grand scheme of things; and not doing the same to other people that have not claimed they are special or entitled.

Uncertaintheist

I get asked on occasion about my religious beliefs.  I usually say I don't have any belief on religion.  

This usually results in way more explanation than I want to give.

The short version is religion is man made and controlled by men.  Believing in god or a higher power is personal.  So to this date, I don't think I have ever actually told anyone what I actually believe.

Instead, I came up with a word that works for me  

"uncertaintheist"

phonetic - [uhn-sur-tn-thee-ist]

Synonym, (but not a very good one); Agnostic, but less maudlin.

Horrible bosses and Great leaders - A real life story - part one

This is the first in a series of stories about some Great Leaders and Horrible Bosses I have run into during my time out on the world.

I see a lot of memes with pictures of horrible bosses whipping their staff and great leaders harkening down the angels and rays of sunshine glowing from their jeweled crowns.  While those are fun to look at, they lack context.

In this series I am going to give some real world examples to provide a greater level of context to those memes.  Some of these examples you may cringe as you read because it is just like your boss or someone you worked with.  Some of them you will smile as it is like the leader you follow and you can appreciate all the more how great they really are.

All of the stories are true, albeit the names have been changed to protect me, because face it, people don't like the truth unless it makes them look better.

Horrible boss number one.

We shall call her Dairy Queen, or DQ for short.

Chester Bennington and Suicide

Chester Bennington, the lead singer for Linkin Park committed suicide this week.

It is a loss.  On many levels, more than can be explained.

I really enjoyed their music and especially their lyrics.

He sang with emotion and expressed pain in a way that I had not heard before.

It is hard for me to imagine a depression so bad that someone with money, freedom and the adoration of the masses chooses to kill themselves.

Then again, what do I know.

I understand the debilitating nature of depression however.  I understand it very well actually. I would not call it a friend by any stretch.

Depression is this stranger that follows you and silently taunts you.

How you deal with that stranger is the struggle I would imagine.

Filter, filter and filters...

Shocking news.  The photos I take are all adjusted.  

All of them.  

It isn't actually hard to figure that out, but in case you lived under a rock or recently left your Amish lifestyle, I wanted to clear things up. 

Now with that said, I don't use filters.  This could be semantics, but allow me to explain, or summarize.  

A filter is commonly thought of with Snapchat, or Instagram or other things like that.  It's a button you hit and a bunch of preset changes are made to your image, or maybe it adds bunny ears.   But the filter does the same thing, the same way, every time.  

When I used to take snapshots with my phone I would use the Instagram filters because it was easy.  I would also layer them on top of each other to keep pushing the image into the abstract.  It was fun and it was a way to kill time in airports when I traveled more. 

Accepting disappointment

We will have good things happen to us in life and we will have bad things happen. 

It is an inevitability that we should accept because it is part of life.  

Now how you accept this is likely a great measure of your character.  

How you deny this is also telling of who you are.  

Denying problems, challenges or burying your head in the sand all the while chanting a positive mantra may make you feel better in the moment but it isn't growth.  

It is denial, it could even be called structured and well organized denial to prevent personal growth.  It is your choice either way. 

Our acceptance and coping of disappointment and problems is how we grow and move forward.  

Unfortunately the self-help crowd doesn't want you to actually do this. It cuts into their sales.  As a great philosopher once said "Be the ball Danny."

The Zen of Problem Solving

I get asked a fair amount to comment on various problems with companies I work with. 

It appears I have some level of experience with things that work, don't work, are completely broken and in some cases no one knows this and there are no steps in place to address it. 

In many of these cases, I am not even that familiar with what the processes are.  Conceptually I am, but empirically, not so much. 

What I found out is it does not always matter what specific things I know or don't know.  What matters in this case is I can help guide them through the process of fixing it. 

I am going to use the word "Problem".  I know that isn't a great word to use and some people want to sterilize the actual problem and call it an issue or a challenge or an opportunity, but let's cut to the chase, it's a problem. And it needs to be fixed.   The iceberg in front of the Titanic was not an opportunity, it was a problem.  Stepping into the rattlesnake den is not a challenge, it's a problem. 

Invisible light

There are those days where I can see into the infinity, see out of the abyss that I once dove into, and it's a thing of beauty.

The simplicity is overwhelmingly wonderful.  It is bliss personified.

Knowing the darkness faded when I once believed it would exist for eternity and a day.

Feeling past the light at the end of a tunnel that was once only a wish.

Letting go of the noise and the drama; accepting.

Seeing past linear time has been a freeing experience.

Aliens with big heads and long skinny necks

No one wants to face the ugly truth, or be in denial any longer.

But it's time to just get this out there.

Aliens with big heads and long skinny necks don't exist.

I know, I ruined your day... 

Forget the part where you accept or deny evolution.

Just think to yourself, there is no one with a really big head and a long skinny neck on the planet (with homage to the movie, So I Married and Axe Murderer).

The reason is simple, well actually it is complicated, but for the purposes of this post, it's simple, it's gravity.

The purity of getting your car washed

It seems every fifth post on social media that isn't about politics or a picture of food is some positive affirmation about life and how to chant like a frog, do the flying goat yoga pose or do some thing that cleanses the soul and shines the chakras.

And if that works for you, not the politics or food part, but the healthy thing about trying to reinforce some positive element in your life than I am all for it. 

I won't even be cynical and laugh at some of them.  But I really want to... 

For me, it's the car wash.  I love driving through the car wash and spending the minute or two with the sights and sounds of high pressure water and multi-colored soap spraying all over my car. 

Snow on the Sahara

Only tell me that you still want me here

When you wander off out there
To those hills of dust and hard winds that blow
In that dry white ocean alone

Lost out in the desert
You are lost out in the desert

To stand with you in a ring of fire
I'll forget the days gone by
I'll protect your body and guard your soul
From mirages in your sight