Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dealing With Stress

R.a.n.t. of week 09/30/12
Stress is something everyone, at some point in their lives, experiences. As individuals, we all seem to deal with it in our own ways. For some, whatever problem is stressing them, they like to face head-on. Others like to hide the problem, trying to forget, putting it on the 'back burner' so to speak. Lately, I've been dealing with a considerable amount of stress and have been reflecting on how to deal with it all. Currently I've got two children who are just in the teenage years. Talk about stress! I refuse to believe I was this stressful to my parents when I was a teen. Unfortunately, my dad disagrees with me. He says he was pulling his hair out all the time dealing with me. Speaking of my dad, he's currently the main focus of my stress, mostly through worry. He's currently dealing with cancer in the form of lymphoma. If that weren't bad enough, last Friday he fell in the house and broke his hip. Of course there was no one else in the house to help so he did what he could to reach the phone and wait for help. A week later he's got pins in his hip (fortunately he didn't need to get a hip replacement) and is on his way to a rehab centre for a few weeks.

So how do I deal with the stress? Music is a cure-all for me when I'm dealing with mental instabilities; i.e. depression, stress, feelings of worthlessness, you get the idea. But not everyone is aware I deal with all these problems. Mostly because there is another way I deal with my stress and what-not - humour. Again, everyone deals with stress in their own way. I was recently with a friend who is having major house problems. Him and his wife are VERY stressed out as most of the ceilings have to be replaced as well as some of the walls. Asbestos needs to be dealt with additionally. My friend deals with it a lot like me, joking and making light of it. As a person who also uses humour, I know how much it bothers him. Some people seem to think those of us who try to deal with stress by making jokes aren't taking things seriously. But we do, in fact the more we joke, the more it's likely bothering us.

Despite all this, I also have the problem of feeling like I don't deserve these feelings. I see other people dealing with problems much more serious than what I'm going through, so I wonder if it's even fair for me to be stressed. Should I own these feeling? Is it right for me to feel the way I do? Am I just being ridiculous? I'll have to think about this some more tonight as I watch my double feature of Monty Python's Holy Grail and the Three Amigos.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Paying for Nothing

R.a.n.t. of week 09/23/12 
Ever come to the realization you've been paying for nothing? That's happened to me from time to time, I'll sign up for something, forget it's on a monthly renewal, forget to adjust my chequebook, and even forget to take advantage of what I'm paying for. (Anyone remember Columbia Record Club)? The list of things I've done this with are Netflix rentals, Bally's fitness club, Weight Watchers, Support for a favourite podcast and beer of the month club. Wait no, I've never done beer of the month, but I have heard about it and it does sound like something I'd get involved in. 

So what happens? Invariably, life happens. I get involved in one thing or another and forget to take full advantage of what I'm paying for. Then there's the positive and negative side of these payments coming from my cheque account, rather than a credit card account. The positive side is I have a monthly reminder that I'm paying for these items. The negative side is forgetting about these payments till I realize there may not be enough money in the bank to cover these monthly charges. Suddenly I'm frantically searching the couch cushions for loose pocket change.

It wouldn't be so bad if I made full use of these services, but 7 times out of 9 the monthly payments are processed and I try to recall how much I've actually made use of said items. I think it's clear to me now what I must do. I need to start 'trimming the fat' as it were. I need to be more ruthless in what I'm paying for, cutting out what I seldom use, and being more frugal from this point on. I need to make it to the gym or cut that out, I need to curb my podcast support, rethink my Netflix account and above all things; sign up for this beer of the month club I've heard about.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Milwaukee Brewers Vs. New York Mets - 16, September 2012

It was a beautiful day for a ball game on Sunday.

The brew crew were playing the Mets and started off strong.

Bernie Brewer was waiting and hoping for a home-run.

I went with my buddy, Ray, who works for MillerCoors. I was his +1 for the MillerCoors baseball outing. Thanks for the food and the game MillerCoors!

Finally it happened. A HOMERUN! Then ANOTHER homerun! You can see Bernie on the slide in this photo. He barely got up in time for the next homer.

Needless to say, the fans were ecstatic!

Many continued to stand for the rest of this fantastic inning.

Everyone looks forward to the Sausage Race. I always vote on #2; Polish Sausage. Who do you vote for?

It's good to dream. After the 3-0 win over the Mets, we have a good reason to.

A panoramic view of Miller Stadium.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Auto Show - 15, September 2012 (Part Two)






(12). Zoinks! It's like, the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo!

 * Annual Auto Show in the Napa Parking Lot - Just outside my house.
** I'm really not a car expert, so if anyone is able to help me identify what type of cars these are I'd really appreciate it.

Auto Show - 15, September 2012 (Part One)







An overview of the entire auto show.

 * Annual Auto Show in the Napa Parking Lot - Just outside my house.
** I'm really not a car expert, so if anyone is able to help me identify what type of cars these are I'd really appreciate it.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Titan Arum

keep this if you think,'s something to long for.                   
another flower dressed in pink,
.....but wise to forego.                   
rotten flesh, is the stink,
.....fragrant aroma shot.                   
ever waiting for the bloom,
.....hope you like to wait.                   
never décor your room,
.....unless you like to be irate.                   
shadow of your doom,
.....a vile existence of disdain.                    


-  The Titan Arum, otherwise known as the Corpse Flower, gives off a horrid stench similar to rotting flesh.  Additionally, its bloom is sporadic, usually once only every few years.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

It's Nothing Personal, It's Just Business

R.a.n.t. of week 09/09/12
Nothing angers me more than fake sympathy and annoying platitudes. This is especially the case when it comes to business and the decisions they are forced to make. Don't get me wrong, I understand that business is business, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. On top of that, I don't think these said businesses need to release boo-hoo letters of reasoning. You made the decision, fine. Stop trying to sell it to me. No matter how you spin it, I'm NOT going to like it. Remember back in the day when we'd find doggie dumplings, place them in a paper bag and light it on fire on a neighbors porch? We'd wait in anticipation for the irate neighbor to emerge, stomp out the fire and find the hidden treasure within. Errrrrr...... I never did that. I've just heard about it. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. So what does that have to do with anything? I feel like the fire stomping, poo squishing, vein popping neighbor after reading a letter similar to what I was discussing. You see earlier this week a local radio station suddenly switched format. No word in advance, not even a stunt of the station, just a sudden switch. I'm wondering if the DJ's or producers even knew about the switch till the 11th hour.

In their defense, the station posted a letter similar to the one below. (Portions identifying the station have been removed):
   "We regret that we are unable to provide you with the programming you enjoyed and appreciate your loyalty in the past. And we sincerely understand your disappointment.
    "We made the decision to change the format due to a limited interest from the marketplace, advertisers and the need to make a sound business decision for a solid future.
    "Our new station has been developed based on research and market demand, and though we understand you don’t prefer the change, we hope you will understand our business decision."

The funniest part about this letter is they immediately assume the change is not going to be welcome. Actually I've listened to the new station, yea, it rubbish. So they got something right.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Wyalusing - Random Photos

 Hard to capture a decent photo of a hummingbird.

 During one of the trails, several people thought this looked like Abe Lincoln.

 From the top of one of the hills, overlooking the trees below.

 High atop the hill, over the rocks can be seen the Mississippi.

 Cramped and narrow this road is. That's the road for me.

Somewhat an eye-soar in the beautiful landscape. Still, it's impressive.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wyalusing - Sunset Over the Mississippi

 Enjoying a sunset.

 The Mississippi River is calm and beautiful.

The sky has been lit up by the suns final light.

The Sun is super red. Almost looks like another planet.

Slowly the sun dips beneath the trees...

... just before it disappears on the horizon. Good Night Wyalusing!

Bonus Photo!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Wyalusing - Picture Rock Cave Trail

Entering the Picture Rock Cave Trail

 Found a lot of fungus on the way.

 A recent lightening strike hit this tree.

 Lots of different levels on the trail.

 This is Picture Rock Cave

 A small trickling stream from the small trickling waterfall.

 If you look closely enough, you can see the small waterfall.

A few of the recently fallen sand rocks. I was practically watching erosion as it was happening.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Wyalusing - The Thing I Hate About This Vacation

R.a.n.t. of week 09/02/12
 Going on vacation is always a lot of fun. DUH. Yet the last day is usually filled with cleaning or preparing to head back home. Having to leave is always the worst part of the trip, that also goes without saying. The rant of this week is slightly different though. As a precursor to my rant, let me explain what I did this weekend. For the past few years I've been invited to a group camp site. We have dorms and a fully equipped kitchen, so it's kind of a camping "cheat". But at the end of the day, I'm comfortable with that, especially when everything else is essentially done outdoors, and it's in a fantastic state park. What makes the weekend even better is having other families to share the experience with. If someone wanted to go on a trail, usually there were a small group willing to go. If someone wanted to just relax under a tree, or play a lazy board game, there was always someone willing to join you. Certainly there was also the option of going off on your own, which I did several times when I wanted to just go for a quick jog in the morning, or do some photography shooting. At one point I even trailed a group who went out onto a trial without me. It was fun for me as I took pictures to show them later. Well, now that I wrote it, I guess it does sound kind of creep

So what do I have to rant about? Sounds like a great time, right? Maybe it has something to do with currently being single and most of the time alone. Growing up, I came from a large family of two brothers and three sisters. Can it be, now that I'm much older I miss being around people? Obviously, being at work isn't the same thing. But to be with a group of friends as close as family, it's hard to want to leave. I guess what I'm trying to say is I miss being with people, especially while on a vacation where the majority of my closest friends and family are. Doing so likewise brings a lot of happiness and joy. So when it's time to leave, there is a double let-down of the vacation being over, as well as having to leave the group of friends I've been able to associate with for the past few days in a relaxed and beautiful environment. Hopefully we'll do the same thing again next year. I'm already starting to count down the days. Does anyone know the best way to store unused marshmallows for a year?