@janeson59

Living proof that the Universe has a sense of humor.

Epic Quality Control #Fail: Cheese‑bun misalignment

Posted March 3, 2015 | @BuffyLinux, Photos & Photo Galleries, Products Mentions & Reviews, Random Observations, Welcome to My Life | One Comment

If you’ve ever ordered a Filet-O-Fish sandwich from Mickey D’s, you know that:

  • the cheese sticks the fish and bun together like glue;
  • if the cheese and bun aren’t properly aligned, it’s not pretty; and,
  • there’s no way to fix it. You just have to eat the evidence. Or not.

My favorite on-the-road reporter, @BuffyLinux, caught this epic quality control #fail on digital media, reeled it in and sent it to me, the intrepid reporter of random weirdness.

Cheese-Bun Misalignment

Quite possibly the worst case of cheese/bun misalignment in history.


 
Is the cheese even on that sandwich?

It reminds me of the time he ordered a pecan waffle at Waffle House and got a pecan waffle – if a pecan waffle is a plain waffle with a small clump of pecans on the plate under and in no way connected to it.

Would you like fries with that?
 

Category: @BuffyLinux, Photos & Photo Galleries, Products Mentions & Reviews, Random Observations, Welcome to My Life

Guest blog post: Being Happy: It’s a Choice  by Dan Smith

Posted March 2, 2015 | Guest Posts, Lessons Learned, What Someone Else Said | 2 Comments

Choose to Be HappyYesterday I spent some time with my friend Dan Smith. He was so happy, it was contagious. Figuring that if you want to be happy you should ask a happy person how to do it, I asked him if he’d write a guest post for my blog about being happy.

He did. It’s cool. Thanks, Dan.

A simple dynamic I learned a number of years ago as I was trying to get sober after years of alcoholism set the tone not only for the elimination of booze from my life, but for allowing in the sunshine. My sponsor at the time, the late Tom Shirley, a college professor, gave me the simple instructions:

“You are responsible for everything that happens to you, for everything you feel and for all of your reactions. No exceptions, no excuses. You choose who you will be and then you become that.”

Simple in concept, damn near impossible because we are all basically lawyers looking for loopholes. My first response to Tom’s dictum almost got out of my mouth: “But what if…”

“There’s no ‘but,’ there’s no ‘what if’,” said Tom before I could even finish the sentence.

“This is absolute. If you walk out into the street and get hit by a runaway bus, driven by a child rapist on his way to blow up the Pentagon, you are responsible for what happened to you. You should have been more careful. You can’t control the bus or the speeding rapist/mass murder, but you can control yourself. You could have looked closer, chosen a different route, left home later. Endless choices.”

Oh, that’s harsh, I thought. No excuses. Not a one. What’s a body to do?

This body had to go find a higher power and trust in the guidance of that power “praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.” That’s the last part of the 11th Step of AA’s 12 Steps. The 3rd Step is finding the power, which can be a bitch.

That portion of the 11th Step, though, is basic to my understanding of responsibility. It says the only thing I should pray for is guidance and enough sense to follow it. Anything else is instructing my higher power and I haven’t reached that pay grade. So, I keep it simple.

Dan & Daisy

Daisy & Dan

The question here is how do I keep such a sunny outlook? The simple and direct answer is: I choose to. Things bad happen to me as often as they happen to you. But I look at them as learning experiences, as aberrations along the road to “happy destiny,” as AA’s founders described it. They can be overcome, as a general rule, and if they can’t, I have to accept them and adjust my thinking about them.

Daisy's Daisies

Daisy’s Daisies

The other day, on Facebook, I was celebrating the purchase of a little VW bug that I just adore. It’s yellow, bright and has a place to put daisies on the dashboard (I put them there). Most people responded to my post with glee. One woman whom I’ve known for a couple of years and who tends to look for what can go wrong, offered a list of the things that can break on the VW and the information that she has owned two, so she should know. I responded that I had done my research, knew about the pitfalls and simply chose to enjoy myself. She said I misunderstood, that she was simply a realist.

So, does being a realist mean I can’t be happy? No, it does not. I know the dangers, accept them and choose to concentrate on those things that delight me, to share them and to be happy today, regardless of what happens.

Life is better that way.


Dan Smith

Dan Smith

Dan Smith is a long-time, award-winning journalist living in Roanoke, Virginia. A member of the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame, he is an author, radio essayist, community activist, liberal voice, father of two, and grandfather of two. He’s the co-founder and former co-owner/editor of Valley Business FRONT magazine.

You can read about Dan and what he thinks about everything else on his blog at fromtheeditr.blogspot.com and buy his books (which I highly recommend) by clicking on the links below.

CLOG! in Paperback

CLOG!
Dan Smith
$15.00
Paperback
CreateSpace - An Amazon Company

 

Category: Guest Posts, Lessons Learned, What Someone Else Said

On love, compassion, admiration, spanking, and stalking.

Posted February 10, 2015 | Lessons I've Learned, Welcome to My Life, Writing | 2 Comments

The Definition of LoveIf the frequency of the use of a word in a culture reflects its importance, then it seems our society values love a great deal and accuracy not at all.

We use the verb “love” to describe the positive feeling we have about anything we want or enjoy, but our use of it doesn’t differentiate between degree, object, or duration. We use it to describe how we feel about a pet, a pair of shoes, a child, a sports team, a spouse, a deity, or a car.

We have an entire holiday dedicated to love that encompasses everything from hearts and flowers to diamonds and candy, with cards available for everyone from spouses, children, and friends to pets, teachers, and “all the kids in the class.”

We say we are “in love” – an altered state of consciousness that lasts about 18 months and can also be induced by the consumption of chocolate. After 18 months, do we love differently?

Types of Love

Derived from “Types of Love” art print by ilovedoodle on Etsy

We speak of acts of love in a range that covers everything from giving a diamond to a potential spouse, offering a sympathetic shoulder to a friend, martyring oneself in the name of religion, spanking a child to teach him not to run into traffic, and taking care of an elderly parent.

A parent punishing a child to teach him and an obsessed fan stalking an unwilling victim might both describe what they are doing as acts of love.

Are they?

I’ve been as much a perpetrator of the inaccuracy of love as anyone. I’ve also been a victim, a giver, and a receiver of it. But as my second marriage marches down the legal path toward dissolution, I find that I don’t like the work “love” anymore. It implies both too much and too little, and gives almost no accurate information.

I’ve become more aware of how important it is to accurately describe how I feel and the feelings that motivate my actions.

I enjoy. I admire. I feel compassion. I lust. I desire. I give. I receive.

But if I don’t know what it means, how can I say I love?

. . .

Written for and read at the January 2015 Liminal Reading at Community High School.

Category: Lessons I've Learned, Welcome to My Life, Writing

Perfectionism and the fear of beginnings

Posted January 25, 2015 | Lessons Learned, Welcome to My Brain, Welcome to My Life, Writing | 4 Comments

New Notebook

Perfection

To me a beginning is like a brand new notebook: clean, neat, perfect, and empty. I open it and savor the possibilities, but I hesitate to write anything in it because I know that not long after the beginning comes The First Mistake. Then it’s not perfect anymore.

I get a knot in the pit of my stomach. I desperately want to tear out the page and rewrite it because I don’t want the mistake there reminding me of my imperfections, all the mistakes I’ve ever made, the fact that I’m not perfect. So I tell myself:

“Of course you’re not perfect! You’re human!
Get a grip and move on!”

Usually that works and I can go on, accepting that once something has begun, there will be misspellings, revisionn, and notes written in the margins. But every once in a while I have to tear out the back with the mistake and rewrite it because the reminder is too painful.

I love the hope that lives in a new beginning. But the fear of the first mistake – the first error I make when writing in a new notebook; the first time I break a resolution I’ve made; the first scratch I get on a new car; the first time I upset someone I’ve never upset before; the first time I drop, spill, or break something after I get up and start a new day – those of the things that make beginnings difficult for me.

Mistakes in Amish Quits

Photo Credit: Cookie’s Creek

I like the way the Amish deal with the idea of perfection. In any Amish quilt, there is a deliberate mistake made in the pattern. It’s a reminder that only God is perfect.

Perhaps a beginning is really just an opportunity to make new mistakes.

And, if I deliberately make a mistake first thing, I won’t have to worry about it anymore.

* * *

This was written for and read at the January 2015 Liminal Reading at Community High School.

Category: Lessons Learned, Welcome to My Brain, Welcome to My Life, Writing

Feelings aren’t like parking permits. They don’t need to be validated by anybody else.

Posted January 2, 2015 | Lessons I've Learned, Lessons Learned, Welcome to My Brain, Welcome to My Life, What Someone Else Said | 2 Comments

I ran across a blog post today that reminded me of a couple more things I learned last year.

Validated FeelingsI don’t need anyone else to validate my feelings. I can, and should, do that myself.

I don’t have the right to try to blame someone else for making me feel a certain way or to manipulate him into making me feel better. Even if the other person tries, it doesn’t work because it doesn’t solve the underlying problem.

Some background

When I was a child, I was often told that what I felt was wrong.

  • When I cried when I was sad, my father told me to run around the house three times and wash my face.
  • When I excitedly told him that I wanted to be a graphic artist, my father said, “No, you don’t. You want to be an architect.”
  • When we took a hike and I told him I felt dizzy and nauseous and needed to rest, he told me to keep going; I was fine.

Why is this important?

  • I can now accept my feelings as my own and do what I need to do to take care of myself.
  • I don’t have to blame other people for making me feel a certain way or try to manipulate them into acknowledging them or making me feel better.

What did I gain by learning this?

  • I learned that I can take the time and space I need to take care of myself.
  • I’ve messed up a lot of relationships trying to get my need for validation and comfort from someone else. My relationships are much better now without that pressure.

I wasn’t taught those things. It took me over 50 years to learn them, but I’m grateful that I finally did. My life is better because of it.


Reference:

Tiny Buddha
You Don’t Need Other People to Validate Your Feelings

 

Category: Lessons I've Learned, Lessons Learned, Welcome to My Brain, Welcome to My Life, What Someone Else Said

My 2015 goals; To become the best me I can be.

Posted December 31, 2014 | Lessons Learned, Welcome to My Brain, Welcome to My Life | 2 Comments

GrowthI’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions. Being a contrary sort, saying I’m going to do something specific kicks in a reflexive, “I don’t think so!” response by my psyche, which then points me in a whole different direction.

In the past few days, I’ve written posts about some of the

Lessons I learned in 2014:

  1. When to shut up and why.
  2. Know what “it” is before I go for it.
  3. One way to save time.
  4. What I need before I can tackle a difficult task.
  5. Organization versus procrastination
  6. How to have a good day.
  7. How to make new choices.
  8. How not to start a sentence (unless I want to start a fight).

In 2015

I’ll change because, well, as much as people stay the same, they change because circumstances change.

My goal in 2015 is to grow.

“Change is inevitable.
 Growth is intentional.”

 
— Glenda Cloud

And I want to grow intentionally in the direction of becoming more of the person I was meant to be.

I’m not sure of the specifics yet, but in general, I intend to live more joyfully, work more effectively, use my time more wisely, speak and act more kindly, listen more attentively, think more positively, exercise more regularly, eat more nutritiously, and sleep more restfully.

I’ll work out the details later, but because I plan on sleeping more restfully (and therefore plan to be asleep at midnight), I’ll take this time to wish a Happy New Year to all, and to all a good night!
 

Category: Lessons Learned, Welcome to My Brain, Welcome to My Life

My 2014 year in blogging

Posted December 30, 2014 | Welcome to My Life, Writing | 2 Comments

I use JetPack for WordPress to get easy access to my site stats. At the end of the year it produces a cute animated report on the number of posts I written, the number of views I’ve gotten, the number of comments you’ve made, and the sources of traffic to my humble blog.

I say “humble,” because compared to some bloggers’ stats, I’m just a bug on a windshield on a car on the onformation superhighway. But I do get visitors, and I appreciate every single one of you. The report is fun. Click here to view it, and be sure to scroll down to see the factoids.

@janeson59 Your Site in 2014 Jetpack by WordPress Report

Click to view the report

Thanks to all who have read, liked, shared, and commented on my posts. I’d still be posting here if no one read it, but it’s a lot more fun when you do.
 

Thanks for visiting &
I hope you have wonderful 2015!

Janeson

P.S. You can view my 2013 blogging report card here.

Category: Welcome to My Life, Writing

How not to start a sentence (unless you want to start a fight).

Posted December 30, 2014 | Lessons I've Learned, Lessons Learned, Notes to Self, Welcome to My Brain, Welcome to My Life | 2 Comments

Finger pointing
 
If I want to have a productive conversation, I need to avoid starting a sentence with a provocative word or phrase.

 

Unless you want to start a fight, don’t start a sentence with:

An unanswerable questionWTF?

  • “Why do you…?”
  • “Why don’t you…?”
  • “Why did you…?”
  • “Why didn’t you…?”

An absolute declaration

  • “You never….”
  • “You always….”

A minimizerBoxing

  • “But….”
  • “At least….”

Fightin’ words

  • “There you go again….”
  • “Who do you think you are?”
  • “What the @#$% is wrong with you?”
  • “Whoever told you…?”
  • “Could you be any more…(tactless, mean, insensitive, etc.)?”

Offensive defense

  • “I’m not stupid, you know.”
  • “What did you mean by that?”

 

Why is this important?

  • I hadn’t realized how often I thought I was starting a conversation when I was really starting a fight.
  • How I start a conversation is important. Productive conversation is only possible if the person hears anything past the first few words I say.

 

What did I gain by learning this?

  • If I’m angry enough to start a sentence with any of these, I probably need to take some time out to figure out why I’m so angry before I try to talk about it. I take a lot more time-outs now.
  • I have many fewer fights and many more productive conversations.

 

What have you learned this year?

This is the eighth in my “vacation series” of lessons I learned in 2014.

If you’ve learned something this year that you’d like to share, please email it to me with a short bio and photo, and I’ll be happy to publish it as a guest post.. (You can skip the photo if you prefer.)

Click here to read Amanda’s guest post, “Open Heart, Open Mind” »
 

The New Year

GoalsGoals, Not Resolutions

Now I’m going to turn my mental focus toward what I want to learn and the habits I want to establish in the year to come. I hesitate to call those “New Year’s Resolutions” because I’ve never been good at keeping those. I’m going to think of those as goals, instead.

And if you’d like to share yours, I’ll be happy to publish them, too.
 

Category: Lessons I've Learned, Lessons Learned, Notes to Self, Welcome to My Brain, Welcome to My Life

How to make new choices.

Posted December 29, 2014 | Lessons I've Learned, Lessons Learned, Welcome to My Brain, Welcome to My Life | 2 Comments

What would the person I want to be do?
When I want to change my
behavior, I ask myself:

“What would the person
I want to be do?”

Why is this important?

  • I have a tendency to react quickly and instinctively in set patterns to certain types of events. Many of the habits of thought and behavior I have were functional at one time but no longer serve me well.
  • It’s difficult to break a habit, whether it’s a thought pattern or behavior pattern. If I want to act or react differently, I had to find a way to consider new options.

What did I gain by learning this?

  • When I’m in a situation and feel myself starting to react instinctively, remembering to ask myself this question gives me a way to stop that reaction.
  • I use that time to look at things from a different perspective: that of the person I want to be.
  • I have the opportunity to see what other options I have, and it’s easier to try one of them when I think of making that change as part of becoming more like the person I want to be.
  • I’ve been able to make some significant, positive changes in how I do things and how I react to reactions and events that have been problematic for a long time.
  • I expect there are some people who are very glad of that, and I’m becoming more like the person I want to be. That’s a very nice feeling.

What have you learned this year?

This is the seventh in my “vacation series” of lessons I learned in 2014.

There are more to come, and if you have one you’d like to share, please email it to me with a short bio and photo. (You can skip the photo if you prefer.)

Click here to read Amanda’s guest post, “Open Heart, Open Mind” »

Category: Lessons I've Learned, Lessons Learned, Welcome to My Brain, Welcome to My Life

How to have a good day.

Posted December 29, 2014 | Lessons Learned, Notes to Self, Today I'm Grateful for..., Welcome to My Brain, Welcome to My Life | Leave a Comment

Birthday Celebration - How to have a good day
 
A day will only be as good as
I can visualize it being.

A little explanation:

Yesterday was my 55th birthday. Being an almost-Christmas baby, this has always been a problematic day for me. I usually dread it – quite apart from getting a year older – because I have so often been disappointed for one reason or another. And, because I’ve spent so many years dreading it, it has often met my expectations.

This year I decided I was going to have a wonderful birthday. And I did!

Why is this important?

  • By releasing my preconceived notions about how my birthday was going to be, I left space in my life and my heart for good things to happen. Good things can’t come if I don’t leave room for them.
  • I don’t have to wait for special days to have this mindset. No matter what I have planned, I can wake up believing, “This is going to be a wonderful day.” Seems like a good idea to me!

What did I gain by learning this?

  • I had the best birthday I’ve had in years, and I can use this memory to replace all the memories of birthdays gone wrong in the past. I never have to dread another birthday.
  • In fact, I never have to dread another day again. I can choose to wake up each morning with room in my mind and my heart for good things to happen. I just have to remind myself of this every single day.
  • I don’t have as many preconceived notions about how most days will go as I did about my birthday, but I don’t have to dread another doctor’s appointment, project, phone call, or busy schedule unless I choose to. And why would I want to do that?

What have you learned this year?

This is the sixth in my “vacation series” of lessons I learned in 2014.

There are more to come, and if you have one you’d like to share, please email it to me with a short bio and photo. (You can skip the photo if you prefer.)

Click here to read Amanda’s guest post, “Open Heart, Open Mind” »

Category: Lessons Learned, Notes to Self, Today I'm Grateful for..., Welcome to My Brain, Welcome to My Life

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  • Why am I here?

    JanesonThanksgiving 2014

    You'd think that with all the time I spend working on the computer, I'd pick another way to spend my time. Alas, that is not the case. I've noticed - in my advancing age - that my brain is getting full. Since I don't want to take the chance of forgetting anything interesting (if only to myself), I thought it might be nice to have a place to offload the stories and minutiae that are filling it up so I can make room for more stuff.

    Since you've found your way here, I hope that you find something that's interesting to you, too.

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