Thursday, December 17, 2009

Leave Tiger Woods the hell alone Media!

Ok, like most regular intelligent common people, I assumed this whole Tiger Woods thing would just flair up and go away in a few days. Having all the fame and money in the world, he really doesn't need another additional 15 minutes of fame, now does he?

Oh no.......the stupid ass news media decided to make this their darling cause of the universe and make believe that all us regular folks really give a shit what some super rich, sports guy does in his private life. Lets see now...on my personal scale of importance, this ranks right up there beside how many enemy terrorists got killed today. I could care less (well, that does give me a little cruel smile).

In my business, no one even brings this subject up as a point of conversation other than commenting on how incredibly stupid those that would care about this kind of crap are. Most people realize it's not even people who are to blame for this news fiasco but the News media itself has to take sole blame for this one. I think it's becoming more clear each day that our news media complex are becoming completely out of hand. Instead of just presenting the regular news that we care to know, they are trying to become like one of those insane junk magazines that puts out innuendoes and lies about the rich and famous. They are trying to lower the standard of our group intelligence to some kind of low denominator. We are more intelligent than they want us to believe and become folks.

Let me make something real clear here folks. I don't mean just the main stream media here. I mean all of them. They're all to blame in the misinformation, innuendoes, flat out lies department, all intended to try and make us believe whatever crap agendas they believe to be true.

With all the super, vitally important issues and wonderful things going on in the world right now, we all still appreciate and enjoy the media letting us all know what's going on but please leave off all the personal spin and rumor garbage. Especially the extremist crap from both sides of the political bullshit aisle. There is far more to life than politics or personal rumors.

What Tiger Woods or any other person on earth does in their private lives is none of anyone else's business at all. Get this straight Mr/Mrs News Media idiots. It's none of your damn business what other adults do in their private lives. We don't need nor want you to drag anyone's privates out in the light of day for us to see. We flat ass don't care.

I wonder if there might be some way to let our true wishes be known to those numskulls. Maybe if we all directly e-mailed/called/wrote whichever television/radio station you generally watch or listen to for your news and reamed their asses out for this kind of crap reporting, maybe they might take notice and back off. Tell them to stop this crap or you're going to shut them off for good. I have a sneaking feeling that money talks with these idiots.

Mmmmmmm, I wonder?

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

We're miracles

We are miracles ya know? We're walking, talking living miracles. For a lot of folks, they're living miracles constantly on a mission of searching for a miracle. That would be called religion or spirituality. The miracle of this thing we call life is most people have no idea at all that the miracle is themselves. In fact this whole thing we call life is plainly one big miracle now isn't it?

So here we are existing on this big old ball in the ether that we've named Earth. It's exactly at a distance from the Sun in our solar system to make the temperatures perfect for our very delicate bodies to not only exist but thrive for millions of years. With just the right combination of gases and oxygen to allow us to breath and live. With the perfect amount of gravity to keep us firmly rooted to the ground, without just floating off into the sky. The Earth is also conveniently a little off center with it's axis to cause and create our seasons, which allows all the crops and food producing plants to go thru their cycles and allow us to live off it's bounty.

Everything on this earth has an exact and perfect reason to exist. Starting with the large animals and plants, down to the smallest life forms. Some so small, we can't even see with our naked eyes. Even these things are all vitally crucial to our existence here on Earth. When one pictures this whole thing from a distance, like our astronauts luckily get to do, it would seem like one big living, breathing, alive, vibrant organism, which of course it is. The heart would be the burning, molten, churning, liquid metals deep within the core. The skin would be the outer layer where we and everything alive call home. The oceans and upper atmosphere would of course be the producer of air and Earths lungs. The Sun out in space would be the heater and giver of life as we know it.

This whole thing I'm calling a miracle is indeed a complex, wondrous mess, that's for sure. It sure would be nice to put a purely positive, loving slant on the whole thing now wouldn't it? But people, animals and all else alive go through terrible pains, diseases, traumas and all eventually die, rot and go back to mother earth, where the worms get to fulfill their destinies. Everything on Earth also has great joys, wondrous life experiences, pure pleasures and get to experience things like love, happiness, brother and sisterhood and greatness also.

The reality is this whole "Life on Earth" thing doesn't have anything to do with our concept's of positivity or negativity at all. It just is.....All of our concepts, philosophies, ideas, opinions and general bullshit mean absolutely nothing to reality. The Earth could so easily just shrug us off in a moment with a cataclysmic event like a earthquake or all encompassing flood. Luckily for us so far, it's decided to let us stay here. Who knows how much longer but here we are.

As far as how we got here? Whether from a divine source, planted by aliens as a test tube project or just grew from the Earth's bowels? Personally, I don't think that matters in the slightest. Just more opinions to add to the crazy mix we call intellect.

So in my humble opinion, all this bullshit adds up to how us humans want to view all this. As a glass half empty, knowing we all are just going to die someday for sure, a glass half full, living each moment as the very cool miracle that it is....

So, dance like no one is watching and make the most of it huh?

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The News

When you tune in the news on the TV or listen to the news on the radio, what are you expecting to see or hear about?

I consider myself to be just a regular common, middle class American with normal (well, maybe higher than many) intelligence. I also know that I'm part of the vast majority of folks. The way I see it, here's what's happening to a minority of Americans right now. What they call news is actually just the "political" news. Nothing else matters to them. They live, breath, discuss, harangue, bitch, moan, scream, have fits, lose friends, gain enemies, fight, slobber, spit, lose sleep and join causes all in the name of "the news", they consider the gospel truth. Now where this minority of people get their news depends on their political leanings. If they lean to the right wing, they get their news exclusively from places like talk radio and FOX NEWS. If they lean to the left, they rely on MSNBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS. For the more middle of the road folks, Public Radio probably fits the bill.

Well folks, us regular folks who could care less about extreme viewpoints with real lives, head for the fridge or the shitter when that right or left leaning crap comes on the tube or radio. What we're interested in is the regular, what's going on with people in the world news. How's the economy right now? Up or down? Not the extremist spin on why. What's being done by other intelligent, creative folks around the country. What's the latest high tech stuff, cars, environmental concerns? What's going on in the educational world? What's the weather going to be, What's happening in the sports world. We are only interested in the facts of these things, not the "spin" crap that the political junkies put on everything. The last thing in the world we're interested in is the left or right extremist and what they think about the other side's ideas and philosophies..I personally can't think of a more boring subject than politics in general and that would certainly include all the extreme political junkies....

It seems to me that this minority of Americans have lost the ability, or desire, to use rational, critical or logical thinking. They forgot how to choose their battles wisely. To keep everything in perspective. Politics in the everyday, common person's lives takes up at most a few moments of reflection a day. We have a whole lot more important and real, I might add, things to spend our time and energy on. At my business, the subject of politics rarely even comes up. Of course me not bringing it up or not contributing to it probably has something to do with that fact. As all that know me can attest to, I'm probably the epitome of the proverbial blabbermouth but there are tons of creative, interesting, intelligent topics of conversation to be had without digging in the shithole of politics.

So........How much of your life is taken up in with serious, ongoing, engaging, all inclusive talking about the subject of politics, especially in a loud pervasive voice? If a lot, have you noticed normal, regular people making excuses that they have to be somewhere else quickly? If so, maybe you have a social problem you might want to give some serious thought about huh? I do know that all the regular folks I ask are clearly getting sick and tired of constantly being bombarded with all this political nonsense and they do try and avoid all the political nut cases running around nowadays.


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Monday, November 16, 2009

The answer is Middle America

The sooner we as a nation reject the extreme right- and left- wing views and bullshit agendas that are so prevalent today and find common ground in the center, the sooner we can get the country back on its feet and maintain - at least for a few more decades - our global lead over the Asian tigers. Hell we might even solve some of the 1,677 or so very, very serious problems here in America. We need to get both extremist sides out of politics and in the gutter where they belong. They all need to shut the hell up and go away!

Try to understand that the world is not black and white, but rather various shades of grey. Personally I have liberal views in some regards ( environment, personal rights, morality, freedom of speech).) but conservative views in other areas (law enforcement, balanced budget, taxation).

Then we need to find people with intelligence (NOT POLITICIANS!!!) who can see all the gray areas of real life and start thinking completely out of the normal box to make some real, intelligent changes to our tax, prison, drugs, social benefits, health care, environment, big business rip offs, immigration systems just to name a few, which in most cases are complete failures. I think the biggest reason we are in our financial mess right now is because of the complete waste of money our approach to these problems causes.

My immediate suggestion is to vote all Republicans and all Democrats out of office as soon as possible. Who to vote for? ANYONE other than them. Look where both sides have gotten us so far.

Have you been satisfied?

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Reality = Change

Listening to all my old as hell friends, customers and especially extremist right wing political people constantly rant on and on about how much better things were in our past got me to thinking (ooooooh, there's that dreaded problem I have again). Thinking back to my own youth, I do have to admit that from the present perspective, everyday life sure did seem to be a lot simpler, more clear cut and easier to understand . There were far less consumables, things to do and see, far less information or choices that seemed important. One basically only had to deal with your immediate surroundings, not the whole country, much less the whole world. All of that stuff "out there", didn't even exist for me in my youth on the farm.

Having admitted all that, I have to face reality here though. The ONLY thing that is truly and forever true and constant is CHANGE. We go thru life, living in each moment not really noticing that everything constantly changes. So slowly that we don't always see it as an ongoing reality but it plainly is. In fact again, it is the ONLY REAL THING.

Okay, lets talk details to put all this in perspective. The price of things.....As time goes on, the price of everything slowly and unfailingly goes up. Picture an old man standing in line at the grocery store saying "Holy shit, a candy bar is now a #$% *#$* whole dollar???, Why when I was a kid, they were only 25 cents, for gods sake!? Now picture a ten year old boy standing in line right behind him. He out of a modicum of respect is not saying this out loud but what he is really thinking is "Jesus, you old grump, that's what candy bars cost. Pay the damn price, quit bitching and get out of my way, I've got more important things to do today than stand here listening to you complain". You see, to that kid, the price is just the price. It's normal to him.

How about some more serious examples of change that us old farts have such problems with. Back when all the emigrants were pouring over to America from Europe and beyond by the thousands, I would bet that the Americans living here then were outraged that these "foreigners" were coming here and taking over "our" country lock, stock and barrel (How's that for a cool old as the hills saying?) Well turns out that those "foreigners" are now "us". Those people pouring over here are our forefathers and foremothers. If they didn't have the courage, need and stamina to come to America, we all would be right now living in who knows where, with far less freedoms or choices. Now plainly the only reality that was going on then for them was the reality of change. Things were changing at a hell of a pace back then but guess what? We all made it! They were wrong thinking that "those" people would ruin America.

In the present time with all the Mexicans, and all the other "foreigners" trying to make a life in America, we again are freaking out that they are "trying to take over our country" lock, stock and barrel. Do I have a problem with all this? Hell yes!. It scares me along with all the other old shits in the country but you know what? It's just change folks. Okay, I know....the original emigrants came here legally, where now we have a lot of illegals. I personally don't like that fact but in 20 years, do you really think that will matter at all? Or just more "change" that we don't at this time understand.

Will there eventually be more people of color than white folks here? Probably...
Will the country then turn into a third world shithole....Most probably not..

Other great examples are the social ones. As time goes on humans naturally and logically become more intelligent, open minded and caring of others and their basic human rights. A perfect example right now would be the whole sexual preferences issue. Ask any young person what they think of gay rights, gay partnerships, gay marriage or gay adoptions and I'm telling you right now that the majority of them will have no problem with it at all. They will tell you that it's none of their personal business what other folks do with their private lives. You see, they live and accept natural change and are not stuck in the same grumpy time zones most of us older people are in.

Whether we like it or not, it's going to happen. It's called CHANGE. All of us old farts will eventually die and then to those left all this will be just normal life. America will keep right on changing with the times and Americans, no matter who they are will all survive just fine because of our creativity, intelligence, bullheadedness and perseverance. We always have and always will.

Now, the reasons or motivations for change are ultimately irrelevant. Even the outcome of change only depends on your personal philosophies. That all depends on whether you see life as a glass half full or half empty. I choose half full, thank you.... The whole point of my bullshit in this blog is that change is the only real thing in life. All the details are just that. They are all subject to change with the times also.

So please don't fall into the trap a lot of people are in right now with believing all the idiot doom and gloom on the news. Don't forget that "only bad news sells". Normal, average people's lives are cruising along just fine. Are there problems in the world? Yup........ but guess what? It WILL change.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sleeping Pilots

The news about the Northwest Airline overshooting their destination by something like 90 minutes hit the front page news all over the world. As usual, it got me thinking (Crap, that bad habit again) about the whole issue of doing well your whole life and then screwing up once. I'm not at all sure that our society handles this with complete logic, compassion, individualism or common sense at all.

Now I completely understand all the standard arguments about their screw up possibly putting hundreds of people's lives on the line because of their line of work. What if their apparent lack of situational awareness (cool words I learned from my pilot daughter) buried the plane in the dirt destroying those poor unsuspecting people's lives and even potentially more on the ground? The other argument running around in the aviation world is that these guys were probably screw-ups before and only just now got caught with their preverbal pants down on this one flight. I'm certainly not sure how we would know that though, now would we?

Ya know? It struck me that these two pilots, whom I know nothing at all about, have ( I heard) thousands of hours of perfect service. Hours and years apparently doing everything by the book and safely doing their jobs. It would seem to me these facts would have to be taken into consideration when trying to judge this one infraction, no matter how grave it is. After thousands of hours of professional, safe flying should their licenses, career and livelihood be taken from them over this one thing?

I think this situation unfortunately happens a lot of times in normal life also. Where good, hardworking, honest folks just plain screw up once in a blue moon after a lifetime of being "perfect". Where people who would normally not do anything wrong or crazy at all go off the deep end for some crazy once in a lifetime reason that cannot be understood. I wonder how many crimes of passion or rage are completely out of character for the people involved. Things they would never think of doing when their lives are on track and normal.

I know this can't be compared with the airline pilots dilemma but I do know I've had weird moments when I thought I was being treated unfairly taking into account my normal reputation. When for instance the power company sends me a "shut off" notice because I forgot or mislaid my bill and it was late. When that happens, I always get super angry with them for not checking my record to see I've paid perfectly on time for years on end with no problems whatsoever. It lets me know I'm just a damn number to them after all these years and they could care less of my record of perfection.

Okay, I'm certainly not the FAA or any other aviation department who has to make these decisions about these two pilot's licenses, lives and career but I sure would hope their entire flying record would be at least as important as this one incident. Personally, I would think when both facts are put on a balance scale, their total service would far outweigh this one screw-up.

What say you?

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bottom up leadership?

Listening to the common workers around my little world through the years always had me thinking (bad habit of mine). I listen to them complaining about idiotic policies, rules, proclamations, changes and procedures constantly coming down the pike from who in the hell knows where at their jobs. Somewhere toward or at the top of the totem pole of whatever big company or government agency they work for. Usually they come from some guy/gal in a fancy suit who got some kind of degree from a collage proclaiming they are way smarter than those little guys out in the field actually doing the work on the ground, or in the air for you pilots. Everything they learned came out of some usually very expensive books having almost nothing to do with the reality of doing things logically or right.

Interestingly, most if not all small businesses don't have these kinds of problems because the decision making processes are still being handled by the owner and he has to run a tight, efficient ship or he doesn't make any money to keep going. He has no desire or the money to hand out vital, important decisions for his company to some collage graduate to analyze.

No, most of these crazy things happen in the big business or even bigger government arenas. These become so large that they completely loose track of the real purpose and mission they started out to do. They lose sight of the fact that the actual worker, laborer and employee doing the work day in and day out is really the only ones who see what's really happening. They are the only ones who know if the work is being done in a logical, reliable, efficient, product producing way. They are the ones who see the waste, inefficiency and just plain stupidity being handed down from up above.

What brought all this to a head was a customer just the other day who works for PG&E. He works in their building and maintenance department. He was complaining up a storm about how these stupid directives come down the pike and eventually get to him. These papers are telling him to do things which he plainly knows are just plain stupid and wasteful in the extreme. He told me of a case where PG&E was setting up a job to put parking and directional stripping on the pavement around one of the buildings he is responsible for. So of course they put out bids to all the giant paving/stripping contractors in the whole state of California. Then bids for 5 or 6 other contractors for various other issues involved with this project. He said this relatively simple little job is going to cost the company some astronomically high amount of money. He told his boss to give him the budget set up for this one job and if he couldn't do it for less than one quarter of the money, they could fire him. He was so disgusted with their insanity that he meant it but alas, they just mumbled some crap and walked off.

Now in PG&E's case, guess where their headquarters is? Guess where the suits sit making these kinds of insane, wasteful decisions? In downtown San Francisco. Yup, these idiot suits have never even seen the job site. They have no need to actually visit the work site in person to know what the best, most cost effective, logical way to get the job done.

What kind of world have we inherited where this kind of foolishness can happen. Shouldn't the first and foremost people big business and government look to for answers be those very peons at the very bottom of the hill. The ones with the shovel, hammer, tape measure, tool kit or sales laptop in hand. The ones who are sweating, trying their damnedest to do the best job they can with the tools, instructions, skill and information they have available. They are the ones to ask, Mr/Mrs stupid CEO, Manager, Stock Holder for the answers you need.

One more thing and I'll try and climb down from my self inflicted soap box for today. These lowly workers, if asked their valuable opinion, should be paid a hell of a bonus (yea, cold hard cash), if and when their ideas are put in place.

So......wherever you work. Do you see waste, ineffective, idiotic policies happening and if asked could probably do it way better with better results, profits and a much better end product?

Then read the next bit and add your bitch to this blog....

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Humans are amazing creatures...

Ok, with all the negative doom and gloom naysayers screaming their insanity's (are you as sick of it as I am?), especially on the political bullshit front, I thought it was about time to point out some amazing positive facts about us humans.

It has always amazed me that in the worst times and situations we find ourselves in, people of every color, ethnicity, age, economic statis and sex always put their best foot forward and do incredibly heroic and brave things for the good of their fellow man.

One of the examples that comes to my mind would be the Earthquake we had in Northern California a few years back. You know...the one where entire freeway bridges collapsed, trapping poor souls in their cars between the layers? If I remember this correctly, a lot of those scenes took place in downtown Oakland. In some of the worst places in that city. Places where crime ran in the streets like greasy liquid. Gangs, drugs, prostitution and killings were an everyday happening. Bars on most every window and where the average person generally lived in fear for their lives.

I watched the news that day in complete fascination and awe with what was taking place. People including those same druggies, robbers and rapist ran out of their homes, risked their lives climbing up into the crumbling cement structures and went to work trying to save anyone they could. They worked for hours with no care of their own safety right beside the emergency personnel who eventually came to help. I saw overweight, out of shape, never exercised in years type folks sweating blood that day putting their lives on the line to try and save complete strangers.

You see on the news all the time where car accidents happen and strangers get out of the safety of their own cars, run up to a burning inferno, break out windows and drag the victims to safety. They suffer severe burns to their arms and more but do it anyway. The other thing that comes to mind is when a heavy weight falls on a person and someone comes along and lifts far, far more than they should be able to in order to save the victim. I'm sure all of us have seen stories like these.

Seems the truth is us humans always shine the brightest in the darkest times imaginable. The more horrible the situation, the more we rise to the occasion and do the right and honorable thing. I would bet these kinds of incredibly heroic acts of bravery have been happening since humans came to this earth. To me one of the most interesting facts about all this is how no matter how noble and brave or not people are in their normal lives, in the right situations all that goes out the window and most everyone becomes like some kind of superman or women and does whatever it takes to help others out.

So, being the incredibly complex creatures we in fact are just makes us more, not less enduring and interesting to be sure. Yes obviously we can be complete monsters, pricks and idiots at times but at the most important times, even those types of people can be angels in drag also. So when the news portrays us with their dark lenses, we should all not forget that we are really like many faceted diamonds, even to the extent that diamonds can be beautiful and at the same time cut the crap out of you.

So, come on folks. Hold your chin up and face this crazy world with a huge helping of hope with a healthy dollop of positiveness. Take a moment to view it as a glass half full and smile once in a while. At least you and I are looking down at the grass. Think of how many people over at the cemeteries are looking up at the roots possibly wishing they had our measly problems.

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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Kick them ALL out?

I think it's time for a little reality check here. Not only all the extremist on both sides of the aisle but most regular Democrats and Republicans who are presently screaming and yelling need to shut the hell up and crawl back in their bomb shelters and freakout chambers and take a self imposed time out.

I've heard of a movement that I'm going to join from now on that asks each of us to never again vote for ANY incumbent from either side ever again. The common fear is that we would lose the experience if we did that. Well, look where that experience has gotten us at this point.

Both sides have their own personal agenda that has nothing whatsoever to do with what's best for the common working, contributing people of America. The only things that matter to the extremist is that their particular bullshit ideas are right and the other side is wrong. What in the hell does that have to do with anything real? How does that divisiveness help solve any of the super pressing problems we are now having. We all need to shut off the super partisan political radio and TV shows blabbing on both sides of the isle and start thinking about what's best for americans in the long run.

Then we need to elect people as far away from normal as possible and see if they can come up with completely new, inventive and creative approaches to almost everything we do here in America. Obviously, our time worn ways are completely worn out and no longer work in this new age we find ourselves in and we need huge, real, out of the normal box thinking to move on ahead.

I'll admit that I thought our new president was presenting just those things but alas, he seems so far to be just more of the same. Of course he has only had a few months, so we need to give his policies a fair amount of time before making rash judgements. We are just now starting to show real and positive economic changes, so lets all hope for the best.

The majority of Americans obviously thought the same thing and desired huge changes also. So unless he can make these changes within his time in the spotlight, out he goes and we'll try someone else. Just not anyone in there right now. Their ALL idiots who could care less about us. Their all just fat, spoiled rotten good old boys who love money, power and sex, probably in that order. We obviously are to blame for this. They make far too much money. Have far too many perks and just sit there year after year in their thousand dollar suits and we just keep right on electing them. How stupid have we become?

The serious questions we have to start asking ourselves is this: Is our present system working for the good of the common people of America in this new high tech age we find ourselves in? Should we just keep on keeping on, the way it has been all these years and somehow expect things to change for the better? Is it time for some kind of completely new "out of the box" kinds of thinking and changes?

So, is it time to consider the idea to NOT vote for ANYONE from either party with "incumbent" next to their names from now on?

As usual, I can only ask questions as I have no answers. Come to me with a hair problem and I just might have some real, concrete ideas on how to solve them. As far as real answers to all the world problems, you would be better served to ask a rock.

As I've said over and over......I'm just a Barber.....the best damn Barber in the entire universe but alas, just a Barber. Oh wait....I almost forgot....I also do Brain Surgery, Leach Application and Blood Letting.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Is life Intelligence, luck or just Timing?

My business, my wife's job and our financial lives in general are doing just fine in these interesting times we find ourselves in right now. Having said that I wonder, is this because we are somehow just plain smarter than those who have lost their jobs, homes and possessions lately or is something else involved? If it were pure intelligence, how could it be possible that people with high scholastic degrees are having some of these same problems that average people are having? How could that be? Doesn't high intelligence with Masters and Doctorate degrees exclude those people from making drastic mistakes with their money and means of employment?

Now my wife and I only have our High School diplomas plus some collage courses through the years. I of course went to Barber Collage, which involved about a year and a half full time with a state test at the end. Another test after a couple of years for my journeymen license (which they don't even required anymore) and like magic, I've been working in the hair hacking world for over 40 years now, making decent money to support my wayward and sometimes questionable ways.

Ok, this pretty much establishes that high scholastic degrees and extreme intelligence plainly don't have much to do with how one comes out in the financially competent, fit world, doesn't it? So that leave us with another possibility. Is it some kind of divine luck that only some people seem to have? Does all the super well off people just have luck on their side to get where they are? Are some people just born with luck? I really doubt that idea because we all know or have heard of folks who seem to be lucky their whole lives and then all of a sudden have super bad luck and lose it all or even lose their lives. All the recent celebrities with their dysfunctional lives comes to mind in that department, don't they?

So......that leaves us with Timing. Could it just be a simple matter of timing most of all that makes some peoples lives stand out as successful, rewarding and enjoyable? Could it be something as simple as when one was born into this crazy world? I was born in 1945. Into a much simpler and less complex world. A world where we were taught the value of being careful and cautious with our money. Our parents were products of the great depression and passed those experiences and lessons on to us. We were taught to only buy things we could afford. Credit was a rare thing indeed in those days. If you could not have something by paying cash then you could not have it. Simple as that. If you desired something you couldn't afford, you had to slowly save your money until you could buy it. Stores even had this thing called "Lay-a-way". Where you could keep putting a little money in an account until you could then pay for the item and finally take it home.

So, Timing.....We bought our house over 20 years ago. Back then there were only regular loans. Banks would only give home loans with payments you could afford long term. You had to prove beyond a shadow of doubt that you could afford the amount of payment. Plus over 20 years ago, homes were relatively cheap, especially compared to the recent past when prices were extremely over-inflated. So, for the last 20+ years our payment has been somewhere along the lines of what one might rent a one room shack or dog house for now.

Timing........I have been a Barber now for over 40 years. I started Barbering in 1964. Developing my hair butchering and bullshitting skills over such a long period of time has served me well. I worked at a shop in Sacramento for years, then came up into the foothills, oh so long ago. I actually have dozens of customers who just followed me up and have been loyal all these years. Plus during all these years in my present shop, I've developed an incredible amount of customers. Loyalty seems to be one of the driving forces in any successful business. I have customers who tell me if anything ever happens to me, they'll just have to start shaving their heads as they have no intention of finding and training a new Barber. So my business is so successful because of the large volume of super loyal customers i've acquired, bullshitted and cajoled through all these years, even in these and other questionable times in the past.

So obviously there are several complex reasons and explanations why some people seem to be in a better place in life than others, even in bad economic times. In my experience timing sure seems to be at the top of that list though. It sure seems that folks just recently born, just bought homes in the short term past and were taught to live on credit are having or will have a hell of a lot more negative financial issues than those of us lucky enough to be born long ago.


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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dysfunctional Artists/Geniuses

Isn't it amazing that everyone you know or have heard of who are geniuses with great creative talents are mostly running around with only one oar in the water? The very recent deaths of Michael Jackson and David Carradine of Kung Foo fame brought all this to the forefront for me. Michael Jackson was probably one of the most creative and successful geniuses in the music industry and his realities and baggage turned out to be so overwhelming and insurmountable that it obviously destroyed him in the end. Other crazy music artist names include: Mozart, Schubert, Rossini, Tchaikovsky, and Beethoven. Modern musical geniuses like James Taylor have been relatively public about battling mental illness and drug addiction.

In my hippy days, all my friends and I would show up at whoever had the largest screen television to watch our hero Kung Foo beat the crap out of the bad guys and loudly and with great gusto cheer him on in the process. We would listen to every word his master told him about reality and try to emulate the philosophies we learned into our daily lives. He was just this side of a god for all of us at that time.

He died HOW???

Holy crap, why doesn't reality just pull the rug out from under our feet?

I can go on and on with examples of great people all throughout history who we all looked up to and revered who turned out to be complete nut-cases in reality. Elvis Presley easily comes to mind for most everyone in that category huh? He might as well have been from a different planet toward the end of his career. Who was the great painter who cut his damn ear off for some reason only he understood? Wasn't his name Vincent Van Gogh?

The truth of my life, having been in the music world most of the time in one way or another, is most everyone I know and care about is half crazy. The most interesting, creative, intelligent people I knew and presently know in life and consider friends are all in that category compared with whatever normal means. I would bet the same is true of most of you. That out of all the people you've known, the crazy ones were the most fun to be around.

Even in my shop at the present time, I LOVE and try my hardest to bring out the nuttiness of my sometimes rather staid customers. My biggest thrill is taking some suited self important man and get him laughing right out loud at some stupid, politically incorrect statement I make. I take great pride in knowing I'm probably the only person in his life who gets away with treating him irreverently and outside his normal box. Now here's the wild part. They keep coming back for more, which tells me they like it. If I ask why, they tell me most everyone else treats them with phony respect and that gets tiresome in the long run. Being treated like normal idiots is refreshing as hell for them. So when they come in and I tell them to "Shut the hell up, sit down and wait they're turn". I know they are finally there when they say back "Oh stick it where the sun doesn't shine Paul".

I really don't think I'm stating a new idea here. I'll bet these facts have been studied and well documented by the mental health field for years now. Isn't this the most interesting thing though? All our lives we are taught to "be normal". "Don't stand out". "Watch how you behave and act". "You don't want society to think you're crazy or something is wrong with you".

And yet........and yet........everyone we love to see, hear, revere and appreciate are clearly a bubble off center aren't they? I suppose this gets back to the idea that if we were all exactly alike, what a boring ass world this would be. Then the world would be a world of robots and no one would want that would they?

Ok, my mission specalist is trying to contact me via my Viscal Assimulater.

Opps, did I say that outloud?
Never mind..........

So......who do you remember with a small smile? Your boring friends or your wild ones? You tell me........

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Don't get old!

I was having lunch the other day at a Produce Deli in our little town and watched a very old couple walk through the door. They were probably in their eighties, maybe late eighties. They were both fairly emancipated, very small people who walked with super small steps to keep their balance, I guess.

I watched them shuffle over and order their lunch, then slowly make their way over to the table area where I was setting. As the little old lady slowly came right close by me, she stopped for a moment, looked me right in the eyes and simply said "Son, don't get old!", then walked on without another word to the table her husband was sitting at. For some reason, those serious, direct words coming from her affected me immensely at that moment and I'll never forget that little kind old ladies words of wisdom.

I'm like a lot of people around my young age......"^) I talk to at the shop. Most times I don't feel old at all. When I'm up and about my day, running around or at work, I feel.....oh, I don't know....maybe in my forties or younger most days. I still can do the hard yard work on the weekends. Cutting trees and limbs with the chain-saw, digging ditches or holes for placing posts in the ground, planting trees, spading up the garden. Any number of hard labor things I've always been able to do. Now of course I have to take a lot more frequent breaks for heavy breathing, complaining and plenty of water. Ok maybe now I have to do those things real early in the morning before it gets too hot. Where I used to be able to do those things all day long, now maybe a few hours and then I'm done for the day but by god, I can still do them.

One thing needs to be said here though. I have a longtime loving wife who has always and without fail jumped right in beside me on all those hard outside plans and chores. I'm certainly not sure how many of them I would have accomplished without her strong back and soul at my side all these years. In fact as one of my earlier blogs admitted, she most times was the one who started the whole thing and deserves all the credit for our beautiful house and yards.

The only times I truly might feel old is certainly when I first get up in the morning, what with all the grunting, groaning, popping noises coming from parts of my body and quiet bitching I do. Then when I first look into that bad ass lying mirror and see that white haired, wrinkly old fart looking back at me pretending to be me. I usually just cuss the old shit out and turn out the lights at least until I can brush my teeth and by then be a little more awake and partially sane.

There are a lot of great parts to getting older too for sure. My body feels the aches and pains but my mind....oh, my mind. I love what has happened to my mind as I get older and I hope wiser. I used to easily become intimidated by most anyone when I was young. I used to easily become embarrassed by the slightest little things and what people said to me in life.

Now, I could care less what people think about my thoughts or opinions about anything. I love being able to be blunt and honest and say what I mean and mean what I say without the slightest pause. I used to hem and haw and try and make up excuses when confronted by a salesman at stores or in my shop when they walked in. NOW.....oh yeah......NOW.....It's like, hell no, I don't want any of that plastic crap your selling and matter of fact, get the hell out of my face and my shop NOW! I LOVE THAT FACT! I even feel like and sometimes do a little jig dance afterward. By the way, I've had times where the customers waiting all broke out into applause after the rude and crude salesmen sulked outside.

So, I certainly don't have any idea how many more wonderful years I have left at this stage of my existence but I'm telling you right now, I'm going to live them out full blast, with all my heart and soul, laughing out loud as much as possible and to hell with what others may think of me.

The Golden Years

The Golden Years have come at last
I cannot see
I cannot pee
I cannot chew
I cannot screw (well, we'll leave that in for the sake of the rhyme)
My memory shrinks
My Body's drooping
Got trouble pooping
The Golden Years have come at last
The Golden Years can kiss my ass

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Monday, June 8, 2009

One man, one vote?

You know what? It hit me one day as I was again setting there with my absentee ballet at the kitchen table, trying to figure out the best way to vote about the issues of the moment. Do I really know anything at all about these issues? The answer unfortunately is hell no!

The really sad part is I never know anything about them. I always feel fairly guilty and plain stupid about just guessing what might be the best thing to vote for. I almost always base my vote on weird things like how much will this cost? When I look down at the cost, if it's in the millions, much less billions then my vote is always NO. Another method I'm using lately is to vote out all incumbents, no matter which side their on or who they are. I figure everyone there at any given time are idiots who never seem to do the right or logical thing about anything.

Watching the news or listening to the radio for real, true knowledge about the issues is like winking in the dark. They all have their own agenda having nothing whatsoever to do with what's right and proper for the masses in America. As I've said in some of my other blogs, their ALL full of bullshit. They act like they care about us and know some kind of truth but their all just stating their own opinions, which are just that and nothing more.

So the conclusion I'm slowly starting to formulate is our system is out of whack to say the least. The whole "one man, one vote" thing is ridiculous to the extreme. Who in the hell thought this up? Did they really imagine that all of the regular, normal folks out there had the intelligence, insight and knowledge to decide what the best course of action is for the many, complicated issues facing us all the time?

Did they envision some way to properly educate the public enough for them to make these decisions intelligently? If so, does that not smack of indoctrination or
lead to just plain lying to us to achieve their particular agendas?
How do any of us know if the information we are getting is anything close to a real and honest truth about anything? So my guess here is no matter how smart and informed you think you are, it's mostly your own self delusions and egos, not any kind of reality.

Ok, here's my own personal truth. I don't know shit about any of the super important issues facing our nation and the world. The only things I do have a fair handle on would be my business, customer/friends, my loving family, gardening and a little music ability. Other than that all I can offer would be fancy, smancy sounding philosophies that in the end don't mean shit.

So is there some other way we could go about choosing leaders and making decisions? Well, as I just made clear. How in the hell should I know. I'm just a Barber, for christ sake.

Do you have any idea to help out mankind with this? The next paragraph will give you a chance to lay them out for others to see. Just follow the instructions.......

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Sunday, June 7, 2009


It has constantly amazed me that no one, the news media included NEVER even bring up probably the biggest problem facing mankind. That being just plain too damn many people on the planet. Overpopulation is beyond a doubt the largest problem the world has at this point in time and no one even mentions it at all. This is unbelievable to say the least. Are all the great thinkers just plain stupid? Are they avoiding this plain as day issue for some reason? Is it just too touchy of a subject for them to discuss? Are they just plain chickenshit because of the delicate nature of trying to tell people about responsible birth control? Is religion somehow holding the subject at bay because of their weird and completely irresponsible precepts about birth control?

I fully understand that its a hell of a complicated issue because we're talking about somehow telling people or even somehow forcing the issue on how many children they can have but does that mean we just keep on pumping out humans until we destroy the earth, without even discussing it?

Overpopulation begins growing very slowly, but over generations the growth rate increases more and more rapidly, similar to a snowball affect. It took the human population thousands of years to reach 1 billion in 1804. However, it took only 123 years for us to double to 2 billion in 1927. The population hit 4 billion in 1974 (only 47 years), and if we continue at our current rate, the human population will reach 8 billion in 2028. Doubling from our present count of 6.8 billion to 13.6 billion will have a much greater impact than our last couple doublings combined.

One thing which must be taken into consideration is the amount of time, money, and effort we have spent toward saving and extending lives. Billions of dollars have been spent in this field, and successfully. However, something that we also must look at is the effect this has had on our own number. How much have we contributed to birth control, family planning, and preservation of the environment? Nature is a balance of existence. In order to coincide with nature, we must balance the saving and extending of lives with controlling the number of lives which we produce. We mustn't use resources any faster than they can be reproduced. We need to respect ourselves by learning to respect the environment which we depend on for our own existence. If not, we will cease to exist.

The super politically incorrect part of this whole subject is all the intelligent, normal, working responsible people of the world try to hold their own birthrate down to something they can be responsible for. They choose to wait until they can afford everything involved with having children. They understand that it is a hell of a lot of work and gladly do that work out of love, respect and just plain trying to bring a contributing member of society into the world who is equipped with the resources and plans to be self reliant.

That leaves the vast majority of ignorant, cave men/women all over the world putting out babies without a second thought. People who barely, if at all even know where babies come from, much less care. People who have no idea how their going to feed, cloth and shelter their children. People who have no education and have no intention of trying to provide their ongoing brood with any real knowledge of the world. The end result is we are obviously headed for a world populated by ignorant idiots.

With our present complete silence on this growing subject, I can see no answers coming up the pike, only more and more ignorant and increasingly dangerous humans inhabiting the earth. The truth is, this whole thing will not implode during my lifetime or even our children's lifetime but implode it will without some kind of real, thoughtfull and intelligent action on our parts.

I'm thinking, even hoping that nature might just handle it for us with famine, disease and natural disasters. I've often pondered that our planet seems to have a kind of destiny and even perhaps an intellegence we can't even imagine. I can only hope those lofty thoughts could be true for the sake our our future.

Luckily so far, it seems nature does those kinds of actions in the backward, third world locations, so I might be right that nature is a lot smarter than us supposedly intelligent humans.

Lets hope so...........

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Opinions and Change

Opinions. We all have them by the truckload on every subject imaginable. Just ask anyone you know what they think about something and they're more than happy to let you know in spades. Everyone from regular folks to famous people, politicians and even criminals have them.

The problem with opinions I'm starting to have is all of us have somehow lost the true meaning of what an opinion really is.

1. a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.
2. a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.

So tells us the truth, I think. It does not say an opinion is some kind of superior truth written in stone on some magical tablet found in a sacred cave in the holy land. It clearly says an opinion is a belief or judgment a person has. A personal view or attitude.

I'm going to add one more definition to this. In my humble "opinion", opinions are nothing more than our attempt at bullshit, my own opinion notwithstanding included....None of us know what we're talking about in most instances at all. Our opinions are just an excuse to sound like we do. They also are the grease that keeps conversations from falling off a cliff. Our opinions and a dollar might get one a cup of coffee.

Especially now in these trying economic times everyone on both sides of our great divide in this country rattle off their bullshit opinions about causes and cures without the slightest inkling of the realities or complexities involved therein. All the Television newscasts and radio personalities get in on this insane game of course. They are just people with opinions but they somehow want us to believe they possess some kind of supreme truth. They especially are guilty of prostitution because they get paid the big bucks to put their bullshit out.

We, the gullible public walk around saying "Well, Rush said, Hanna said, Katy said, Brokaw said and spew the same crap as if it means anything at all. As if there is one iota of truth involved. Now the next logical step in my little opinion bullshit piece would have to be......What is truth? Are there such things as absolute truths? Truths that are always the same forever? I would have to suppose that the only people who lay claim to that would be all the various religions of the world and maybe some of the scientist who believe they know the absolute truth about some subjects.

So that leads me to the second thing in the subject line. That would be change. I propose that the only true, real and forever thing in life is change. If our president actually gets anything right during his term in office, it just might be his emphasis on change. I'm saying that everything we think of as truth is actually a forever changing landscape of opinions. What our forefathers thought was the truth is vastly different than what we think nowadays, to say the least.

Even in the religious realm our decedents from the very distant past believed they would appease the gods by throwing virgins into the mouth of a volcano. In fact it was a great honer to be such a chosen one. They knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the gods would shine their loving light on them for their sacrifices.

In the not so distant past, women and children were possessions of men and they could do onto them whatever they wished. Blacks and American Indians were savages to be killed on sight or turned into slaves for the white mans bidding. All of these truths were only just recently re-examed and found to be wrong.

Change happened, didn't it? We constantly change our minds about what's real and true. What was true and real in 1950 is vastly different than what's true and real today. I know we often times pine for the "good old days" but guess what? They are forever gone. Change comes whether you like it or not.

Just off the top of my feeble brain I can guarantee you that homosexual relationships, gay marriage, marijuana and all drugs for that matter will be legal sometime before you know it. Our prisons will be much smaller when we treat the whole drug thing as medical issues as they should be.

The youth of today look at us hassling those "issues" and just shake their collective heads and roll their eyes in wonder. They wonder why in the hell we are even talking about such trivial things in the first place in the light of such huge social, economic and political problems that we are facing. These changes and many, many more you can't even imagine right now will take place for sure as soon as all of us old codgers with our stuck in the past ideas are dead and gone.

Ok, I've freely given you a hearty helping of my bullshit (oops, I mean my opinions). Now if you add in a smidgen of your bullshit, we can make a fabulous bullshit stew. The next paragraph will tell you how.....

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Being in the Moment

Normally, we do not so much look at things as overlook them. — Alan Watts.

How often have you eaten a meal and not really tasted it, or completed a chore or drove to work without really thinking about it? Maybe even spent a whole day doing things and at the end of it can't even remember most of what you did. I used to watch some late night TV, until one morning I found I couldn't even remember what the show was about. I then made the decision that if I couldn't even remember it, the damn thing was meaningless in my life and a waste of my time.
Our days often pass us by while our minds are elsewhere.

Practicing being in the moment is one of the foundations of Zen Buddhism, of course, (actually all Buddhism, I believe), but it’s not necessarily meditation, per se — it’s more being aware of your actions and thoughts, and what your senses bring in, in your every day routine. No one actually lives in the moment all the time — I don’t think it’s possible. Some, with practice, can learn to live in the moment for longer than most of us, but there will always be times when you’re worried about the future or thinking about the past, and forget to be in the moment. Which brings up a truth that most people don't give much thought about. There really is no reality other than right this exact moment. Right now. The past is a done deal and is gone forever. The future is nothing more than a supposition. Something we assume will come along but there really is no guarantee it will even happen. You could get hit by a car in the next few moments and where would the "future" be then?

Living in the moment is actually quite hard to do. People who try meditation find out in a hurry just how hard it is. You sit down and try to calm your mind and immediately find out our minds have a mind of it's own. Try it sometime and you'll see that our minds are like raving maniacs. Running around in circles. Blabbing incessantly about every little detail in our lives, non-stop. Mostly about things in our past or thinking about what will happen in the future.

Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing — the sensation of the air as it enters your nose or mouth and fills your lungs, and as it goes out again. If other thoughts come up, be aware of them, acknowledge them, let them go (but don’t try to force them away) and then return your focus to your breathing. It’s hard, isn’t it? Being in the moment isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Another method is the use of a word tool, like a mantra. A lot of folks use the OM sound, saying it each time they breath in and again when they breath out. There is no special significance of the word one uses, it's just something to hang onto like an anchor. So each time you catch that wild ass mind running around in a million directions, you can simply start concentrating on saying the word again.

Other examples of when we at least partially achieve that level of concentration would be in any activity where you are completely involved to the exclusion of all else. Sex comes to mind. Also almost anything you really enjoy like sports, playing music, singing, dancing, hobbies ect.

One last thought about all this "living in the moment" and "now" being the only real thing. For most everyone "right now" is actually perfect. Unless you're in some unfortunate circumstance, everything is pretty damn good right this moment. It's probably a very nice day, your stomach is full, you have a roof over your head and you have people who love and appreciate you. Now if we could only shut that monster in our head up, even for a little while.

Pretty damn nice moment huh?.......

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Friday, May 1, 2009

It's all her fault

A subject that has come up numerous times for years in the shop has been about who has the redecorating ideas in our households. Is it the men or the women that come up with all the great home improvement or landscaping ideas? Do the husbands or wives have all the creativity in those departments?

I can tell you right now that all the men reading this blog right now are slowly but surely developing that knowing and embarrassed little smile that comes with excepting the truth is about to be revealed. They all know the answer to those questions plain as day. Just today, I had a full house of customers and that subject came up. Down to the last man in there, the answer was their wives.

All the men in the shop including me had to admit that if it were just ourselves living in our homes, the house and yards would look exactly the same right now as they did when we moved in, no matter how many years ago that happened. Same paint on the walls, same furniture, same appliances, same patch of weeds outside.

When the front door started getting loose and falling off it's hinges, we would just tell everyone who came by to "just lean it back on, it'll be all right". When a window broke, we would just put clear plastic over it with duct tape and call it good. When the roof started leaking.......well, that's what tarps were made for right? When the dishes got too dirty to clean, that's what Goodwill is for right? Just buy some clean ones and off you go for more years.

So, here is how it goes according to all the men I talk to. It all starts with the women in our lives looking at something long and hard, with their hand on their chins saying something like: "mmmmmmmmmmm, you know what? We should fix, change, repair, remodel, move, redo, get a new one" or any number of words to that effect and come up with the beginnings of some outlandishly wild idea for a giant project in our lives. Soon as those words start pouring out of their mouths, our heads hang down, our chins hit our chests and inside of our minds we're saying "Oh shit!, here we go again, a whole shitpot full of money, time and labor".

We mostly then try for a few moments at least to change the subject, put it off to a later date, try to scale back the grand ideas she has or anything but agree that she might just possibly be right about it. After completely failing to change her mind about anything, which is the standard result of trying to change anything about a women's mind, we finally and reluctantly give in and start trying to plan on step one to make it happen.

Then the fun begins. It almost always starts with complete destruction of the existing thing being changed, with all the mess, dirt, grime and junk hidden for years under or around said object. In other words hard, sweating labor for weeks on end before we can even start with the real project she has envisioned. The whole thing always takes three times as long and costs three times as much as you thought it would.

Ok, we finally get the whole thing done and here's the part that's so very hard for the average man, including myself to admit. First of all, ALL of the original idea she had was just this side of genius. It probably needed to be done years ago and it looks gorgeous. It most likely added thousands of dollars to the value of our property. So here's the truth boys. EVERYTHING that's nice and functioning perfectly in our lives and homes, we owe exclusively to our wives or our better halves, more accurately.

So ever since the caveman days, us men went out pounding our chest, killing everything that moved, dragged the bloody meat back to the cave thinking we were the bosses and higher beings, when the truth is and was then that it was our women who actually made life great for everyone. So grunt and yell all you want. The only person your impressing is yourselves.

God, all of this is so hard for us men to admit, soooooooooooooo hard.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Is personal service coming back?

A lot of folks I chat with in my shop are talking about something they are noticing more and more nowadays with the new economic realities we are facing. It seems in the past, businesses and we all created this incredible consumer society. It started seeming like we could have it all. If you didn't have the money right then, just whip out the old credit card and have it anyway. You could always just pay later in small increments. No problems. Life was good.

Of course credit was the devil in the details for this insane, wasteful, stupid path we all got caught up on. The truth is the devil eventually wants and demands his due, which is of course what finally brought this house of cards down to it's knees and damn near destroyed the entire world economy in the process.

The scary part and really the good news about all this is most if not all the stores that came along to sell us all the stupid plastic phony crap we really didn't need in the first place are going to go bankrupt and quit or just close their doors. That would include some big ticket items also. Gas guzzling cars, Giant Trucks, 5,000 square foot McMansions up on the hill, Jet boats and on and on. Buying crap we not only didn't really need but could not afford in the first place.

What we will be left with is regular stores selling things we actually need. Now these stores will all have generally the same items and prices, so how are we to choose which one to make our purchases from? Competition will always exist, so what will make them stand out from each other to get our attention?

What people are noticing coming along now is the fact that an almost lost attribute is slowly but surely sneaking back into the business world. That would be simple humility and gratitude. Those rare attitudes are bringing back a wonderful thing from the past called "Service". You know, where the owners and employees of the stores make it plain that they appreciate you coming in and are ready to help you in any way to make your shopping experience a fruitful and enjoyable one. Where they approach you with a smile and a good attitude, making it clear they are glad you're there.

I was at our new Home Depot store in Auburn Ca. the other day and one of the employees told me about a new policy they just instituted there. I thought whoever thought this up deserves a medal. He said they worked out the most volume of customers is between 10 am and 2 pm. During those hours all the employees are now supposed to ONLY help customers. No stocking, cleaning or anything else. Just find customers who could use some help and stick with them. All I can say is WOW!

I have to admit something here to avoid anyone thinking I might be above all this nonsense. I'm not. Having been barbering for something over 40 years now, I have caught myself becoming a tad crotchety about certain types of customers also. My main problem was the type of person who comes in like once a year and clearly doesn't give a crap about his hair or appearance. In fact, I was thinking in the last couple of years of just telling them to go find someone else to cut their hair. My attitude was becoming "I care exactly as much as you do about your hair. If you don't give a shit, then neither do it".

Well even though my business is actually doing better than ever right now, which I am forever grateful for, this whole economic crash we are experiencing kind of put the fear in my bones too. Now when Mr. "Don't give a shit" walks in, I only have one thing to say to him. "Hello sir, sit right now, How would you like your haircut?".

Humility, thoughtfulness, gratitude and service. I think and hope those wonderful things are coming back into our collective lives.

What do you think?

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Don't you dare retire....

Don't you dare retire! Don't even think about it. You'll have to wait until I die, then you can retire......

People say this to me all the time now and I feel the same way about a whole host of other people in various businesses I deal with on an ongoing basis.

When you spend years dealing with your favorite businesses and service people, something starts to happen. Before you know it, you take them all pretty much for granted. You don't think just how important and vital they have become to your normal everyday life. I'm talking about your Mechanic, Bookkeeper, Butcher, Barber, Baker, Doctor, Dentist, Therapist, Grocer, Boss, co-workers, best friends and on and on....

We reach a point where we really have no desire to find a new copy of any of these irreplaceable people and services in our lives. Can you imagine if any of them were just not there one day. What would you do?

What they say to me is "Don't you dare retire, I have no intention of finding some other haircutter to take care of my hair. If you go, I'll just have to shave my head, because I am NOT going to trust anyone else and I sure don't want to try and find one and then retrain them to my likes and dislikes. It's too damn much trouble."

I feel the same exact way. We've been using the same bookkeeper for instance for something like 25 years now. We can just walk in there and she knows every tiny piece of our financial lives. We basically just sit there, talking about the weather and each other's lives while she completely takes care of our tax needs and we trust her explicitly with our affairs.

Beverly, forget retiring, you're stuck with us for life.

Our Doctor has become a personal friend through the approximately 30 years of our relationship. In fact just the other day, he put his finger where no other man may ever dare and it was a good thing. Because he found with that and other tests that I would live on in health a lot longer. Would I want to find some stranger to perform these wonderfull procedures for me. Nope!

John, forget retiring, you're stuck with us to the end.

Our Dentist has become an irreplaceable part of our life. He is the only one we trust to put his fingers in such an undignified dark place and keep everything in there healthy. Besides, how in the hell would we hear all about his love life if he were to go away.

Walter, forget retirement, your stuck with us for life.

I'll bet everyone reading this rant has lots of folks in their lives who they don't ever want to replace. People who have been doing special things and services for you for years and years and the idea of replacing these fine folks is pretty much out of the question.

Damn, it kind of makes one wonder who is going to start going to all the new, just starting out practitioners of these vital services? Oh that's right, I guess there is a whole new generation coming along after we're gone. I sometimes forget we're really not the center of the universe. Of course they'll have to establish their own "irreplaceable service people" themselves, won't they.

I'm starting to think we all should somehow give these people in our lives who are so important a huge hug and a "Thank you" for all they do for us. That they do matter greatly to our sanity and health.

Well, I took care of my Bookkeeper, Doctor and Dentist with this Blog. Maybe just maybe, I'll get around to thanking all the other fine people on my list someday before too long also.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

With ripening comes wisdom.....finally......

When I asked a very old timer customer (approximately 85-90) how he was doing recently, he had a great answer for me. He said: "Son, when you get my age, there are only two things that matter." "and what would those be sir", I asked? He said: "A good fitting pair of shoes and a good shit". Being called "Son" put a little smile on my face that lasted for hours, by the way. I've heard plenty of these gems through the years in my shop from old timers, some of which had a kernel of genius, with a large dollop of humor and truth involved.

Speaking of old timers, I've had this thought running through my head for years that we should at some agreed upon age allow old timers a pass on ALL social conventions. You know, like kindness, thoughtfulness, manners. All the things we have agreed on that make a person an excepted part of the normal human race. So, when they reach this special time of life (how about 70?), they can do, say or act any way they want at that moment. The rest of society would just learn to take this wild behavior in stride and just say: "Oh well, he/she deserves the pass because they lived this long with all those wonderful attributes intact and now they deserve to just let it all go". So the next time some low life tried to give them a bad time they could just say: "Hey, you low life @$%&^*#, I don't like you. Get out of my face now or I'll kick your ass". Anyone within hearing distance of the exchange would just applaud and smile. Or lean way over in public, let one rip and laugh right out loud with gusto. Again, the only reaction would be a smile, because in the end, we would all be waiting with glee for our turn to drop all the social conventions and have some fun again before it's all over.

Ok, one last thought on my little "getting older" jag. As we all know, there are tons of little things that are not in the least fun about getting older. Making all those disgusting grunting sounds when we get up from bed in the morning or even from a chair after setting too long. All the little pains and sore spots that somehow just started appearing one day without any warning or foreknowledge, thank the stars above. Crossing ones legs while sneezing because we don't want to depend on depends yet. Carefully passing gas incase it's not.

There is however one hugely wonderful thing about our ripening (cool take on aging huh?) in this life. That would be our mind, intelligence and intellect. You know, everything from the neck up. When younger, we are easily and immensely embarrassed by the slightest things. We turn red at the drop of a dime. We stumble and stammer when trying to gather our thoughts about most any subject we have to deal with. When confronted by a salesman for instance trying to talk us into buying his plastic crap we have no need whatsoever for, we lose all ability to form intelligent reasons why we're just not interested. In fact, most of us have bought some piece of crap at some point in our lives just because we didn't have the cayones to say NO THANK YOU!

Well, with age comes this wonderful new ability to say and do whatever you want. We tend to have gotten over our reluctance to hurt idiot's feelings or to suffer fools lightly and are now free to tell it like it is for each of us. Most of us have learned how we really feel about most subjects and can just blurt out our truths unhindered by conventional bullshit. I don't know about you but I'm telling you right now I LOVE THAT FACT! No more beating around the bush, just straight to the point and let the cards fall where they may.

Damn I love that part of life I'm in right now.....

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Age Invisibility Factor

Something I've noticed coming on for quite a few years now is what I call the human Invisibility Factor. You know, when you're young and vital with lots of friends and leading active, vibrant lives you stand out in the crowd and everyone knows your name and you're supremely there and alive at all times. You go through all these cool, active stages of life with incredible energy. You take off on a whim on adventures at the drop of a hat and live life large every waking moment. You take chances and do things just this side of dangerous without giving it a second thought. You feel there is no end to this life and nothing bad will ever happen to you.

You keep doing new and exciting things that are challenging and creative and easily feel bored if not on the run constantly. You spend time dabbling in religion, spirituality, philosophy and all night bullshit sessions with your like minded friends. You love with all your heart, lose your heart deeply with each relationship gone bad, jump into the whole sexual world with all your being and soul, with all it's incredible highs, lows and complications. Living life like there is no tomorrow.

I have to add that these wild times my friends and I lived involved the Sixties. So we also lived relatively cheaply. Rent, utilities, second hand cars and everything else you needed to live were very cheap and easy to come by. We had huge gardens and invited everyone over for these great "eat off the land" parties. This was the opposite of the "consumer society" we just got done with, I'm happy to announce, in the present times. We actually needed very little to be happy then. Mattresses on the floor for couches, bricks and boards for furniture, a wood stove for heat. Even our highs came from the land naturally.

Then slowly but surely, the financial realities of life started creeping in. Things started to cost more and more, forcing most of us to get real jobs (heaven forbid), cut our hair (good for me....."^), wear normal clothes, speak in plain understandable english (verses hippy talk). In other words we had to start looking and acting normal, like all the other robots of the world.

Well, as you start to blend in with the crowd and get older, a funny thing starts to happen. Your adult life starts out just a little transparent to others, especially the new generation coming along. Less and less strangers have any need to talk to you, ask questions of you or interact in any way with you out in public. It all starts to get more intense when you pass your sixties and into your seventies. By this time you become basically invisible to most people, especially strangers. This is what I call the Age Invisibility Factor.

Now there are exceptions to these new truths. The main one being our jobs. There in most cases is where we are still completely alive, vibrant, intelligent and alive. That and the new harsher economy is why most older folks are now staying in the workforce much, much longer. As far as the new economy, the new saying I hear more and more often these days is "I'm on the work until I die plan". For most of us the idea of quitting work, going home and basically dropping out of society is out of the question. In my case my job is my main social outlet. The most important realities of my life would be #1, my wife and life partner and my daughter both of which I owe everything I have and love to and #2 would be a very select few life long friends and #3 would be my long time customers which I consider to be my very good friends indeed and I have no intention of just walking away from them.

So, I guess I'll just have to accept my Invisibility Factor in life and know that I do matter to the people I love and care about and to them I am important, if for no other reason to keep them all from looking like bums.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Time for the News Media to start taking responsiblity?

I think most moderate,intelligent folks are starting to come to the conclusion that our venerable "News Media" has a great of deal of blame for our present economic problems. Just to be clear, I mean ALL the news sources in America. Not just the "Main stream" media, that the extreme right wing always complain about being too "slanted". They all have a certain agenda they believe is the truth.

What I'm talking about now is the extreme negative crap they all continually pump out in the name of "news". Everyone I talk to are starting to get sick and tired of being told over and over again the fact that we are now experiencing a "temporary" economic downturn. The truth is we've had these something like 20 times since the "great depression" so long ago. Guess what folks? Even that one and everyone since eventually resolves itself one way or another. With or without government help, even the supposed experts have not resolved.

What I'm proposing is that the News Media be held liable for their actions. Under the guise of just presenting the news, they are plainly causing people to become and stay afraid much longer than they should. I'm saying that fear they are promoting in every news cast is now a major cause of our problems.

When we the people are afraid because we are told to be afraid by them daily, we all hunker down, pull in our heads like turtles and stop spending money. Even in normal, responsible ways, not just frivolously. So, when we stop taking our families out to eat, the restaurants start laying off employees, until finally they have to close their doors because we no longer give them our business. When we stop buying cloths, appliances, hardware and all the other necessities of life, all those stores go through the same cutting back and eventually closing up because of our actions. Of course the side effect of all this is larger unemployment for the people.

We are the largest percentage of the problem here folks. There are other obvious factors here but the truth is this whole thing is mostly our own fault. Again I think most intelligent moderate thinking people know this fact instinctually but we're all caught up in this giant fear thing the news media is promoting daily.

Some caught up in this same bullshit will say: "but we are all broke right now and can't afford to start spending again". With a 10% jobless rate, that means 90% are doing fine, making the same money as before this whole debacle started, so that's just another fear nonsense we are all falling for.

So my conclusion here is it's time for us to demand the news media take responsibility for their actions and start trying to actually help the situation instead of causing the problems they are creating. I'm mostly talking about the "main stream" media here because all the extreme sources really only have an extreme right or left wing base, which I think are a meaningless, negative, cancer on society, minority in this great country we live in.

How do we do that? How in the hell should I know? I'm just a dumb barber after all. Do any of you reading this know of some way to get their attention with these facts? I just think it's time something happens to wake them up to their very large share of blame right now. They all claim they behave responsibly on our behalf. Well, lets see them prove it with solid actions.

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Monday, March 2, 2009

One hell of a division in our country

I guess it's always been this way but I have to bring up a subject that is glaringly obvious in the last few years. With our two party system, it never ceases to amaze me how incredibly wide the political gap is here in America.

The wild part about that to me is people of both sides are mostly intelligent, caring and thoughtful people who would make wonderful neighbors but how to run and handle our country, they might as well be from Mars on one side and Jupiter on the other, as far as the extremes on both sides act.

Let's sum up the two extremes if I can.

The extreme left side only cares for the poor and the hell with the rich. They're rich for Christ sake, why in the hell should we concern ourselves about people who sure in the hell don't need our help, especially about money. The only things that matter are how can we as a concerned, loving people help the less fortunate among us? How can we raise the standard of living for them to at least livable standards? They would very much love to see some kind of world government, where everyone is equal, with equal rights for all. Also, they welcome everyone from all the poor countries to move to America and receive everything we have here freely. They don't seem to care if they speak english or even work. We should just take care of them out of human compassion. We should pay them welfare and take care of all their medical needs free.

They see a nation where the rich just keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer, with the middle class slowly disappearing until there are just a few super rich living up on the hill and the rest of the super poor living in the gutters and eating from the dumps, like most third world countries now seem to be. They see big business and the rich as the enemies of caring, regular people, with a main focus on greed as their moving force.

Now the extreme right thinks business is everything and can do no wrong. They think we should just leave them completely alone and they will not only take care of themselves but in the process provide our economy with everything it needs and deserves. Never, ever raise taxes on business or impede it in any way. The basic idea was business would never hurt itself so leave it alone. The same thing would apply to all rich people. They got where they are by their own initiative, blood, sweat and tears and deserve everything they earned the hard way.

They think all those "poor people" should just go out and get a job and pull themselves up by the boot straps or they deserve to just starve to death.
Government does not owe anyone anything and should not have to pay one cent to help anyone who doesn't help themselves. All the people asking for our government to help out are communist, socialist pigs and can just go to hell as far as they are concerned. They also espouse a philosophy right now that we are at the end of the road in America and probably will just fail completely, including some kind of civil war to bring the country back to where it belongs. They are staking up supplies, guns and Ammo for just such a scenario. In fact, I think it's safe to say they welcome this with open arms.

I tried to put my limited ideas about both EXTREMES purposely exaggerated here and am probably not portraying them very accurately or fairly at all. The thing that I do notice though in normal intelligent, thoughtful people I meet in my life, is most people by far fall somewhere in the middle of all that garbage and very scary philosophies. They do care for the less fortunate people and do try and help sometimes in ways they can but definitely don't think anyone should just be handed anything on a silver platter. They have to show some desire to help themselves. They realise that the best and probably only real way to help would be to teach them to help themselves.

They also know that business is the backbone and reality behind our financial system here in America but also realize that business has lately turned the whole purpose from one of Pride, Quality and Honor to something that has slipped into pretty much just plain greed. Knowing this truth, they see the need to go back to some rules of the road that our government needs to set up and enforce to keep business on a straight, level and logical path. A path that would at least take into account the needs of regular working, responsible folks. I think it's pretty plain to most regular, intelligent folks that greed by all of us has brought our country TEMPORARILY to it's knees right now.

They also know without a doubt that this whole thing will pass and we will be just fine in the long run, just as we have survived all the other recessions and even the Great Depression of so long ago. They face whatever comes with strength and resolve and above all else a large helping of hope for the future and wish nothing but the best for our new president with all the inherited problems he faces. Most people of the world face the truth that this economic mess is not in any way the new American president's fault. It is a world wide problem, with the entire worlds leaders and economic experts trying their best to solve anyway they can. It's unprecedented nature obviously calls for completely unprecedented fixes and same as our president, they are all trying everything they can, to at least slow the burn before it takes the financial world to a place that is unrecoverable. The nut-case ideas that we need to do nothing is irresponsible to the extreme and no intelligent economist in the world believes that insane philosophy has any place in this new unprecedented financial failure we find ourselves in.

The thing about all this extreme divisiveness is it does nothing whatsoever to help us in any way. It's about as far away from real answers to our many problems as can be. In fact, I would say it is like a cancer eating away at our collective democratic thinking.

These extremist on both sides need to stop watching the extremist news and listening to all the nut-case radio crazies and get a life. These talking heads only react to news in negitive ways and offer nothing whatsoever as far as any real answers. They are all just getting rich off of the extremist philosopies and laughing all the way to the bank for sure. There is far more to life than politics. It is important for sure but it is but a very small portion of what should be important to normal people.

Another important conclusion I've came to lately after listening to all the crap is all of our individual thoughts about all this is plain bullshit. We all have these ideas we think are the truth and it's just opinions folks, not some kind of grand reality. I include all my lofty ideas in that same bullshit soup. Right or wrong, most nations and countries of the world hire or vote in people they believe are capable of handling all the issues. At that point, we all need to trust in whatever system we voted in and let them do their jobs to the best of their ability. When we think their not doing that to our liking, then it's time to fire or vote them out, during the next election.

So play with your children, plant a garden, read books (plural!), fix your home, talk to your mate, take a trip, talk to your neighbors, take dance lessons, volunteer at some good cause, go out to eat, join a club, find something to laugh at. Doctors have made it clear that laughter is good for you and stress could not be worse for you. Stay in the moment, because most of our moments when we're not blabbing about political bullshit could not be more perfect. Beautiful weather, great place to live and love.

I know for sure that I'm going to get a bunch of "Paul, paul, you're living in a dream world". Well, you know what? I choose that willingly and I'll take that dream world with me to my dying days with pride and a healthy helping of happiness it gives me, while all the doom and gloom crowd run around like a bunch of old grumpy nuts, holding a sign that says "The end is near!" as normal folks walk on the other side of the street and protect their children from the nuts.

LET ME MAKE THIS PERFECTLY CLEAR......I'll take my dream world over the Doom and Gloomer's dream world gladly, any day.

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