Attack of the holiday hugs!

by Mike Aux-Tinee

This is the season of joy, happiness and light. We are supposed to be filled with holiday cheer. You know what I am talking about. It’s the most wonderful time of year (or so the song says). And yet… people are just not acting and more importantly feeling that way.

As the holiday season moves along listen to people complain about getting everything ready for the holidays. From decorating the house, buying that just right gift (working tirelessly to keep it a secret and wrapping it in a closed off section of the house!). Hitting the grocery store to buy EVERYTHING absolutely required to ensure a wonderful meal. Then, let’s not even mention some of those other ‘must have’ items such as the perfect outfit or worse one of those damn awful and ugly Christmas sweaters.

It’s no wonder people are angry, frustrated and just down right not in the holiday spirit!

Well, I think, it’s time for me to come along and turn the ship around… To become an ambassador of holiday spirit, joy and happiness. Then go about and share it with everyone I come across. The question you may be asking yourself, “How can one person undo so much negativity, in so many people and in such as short time?”

Alright… It’s very simple. I am going to give the gift of hugs. And doing so is going to take nearly everyone I bestow one of my hugs to completely off guard! Think about it for just a moment. When is the last time you got and gave a hug? Very likely it’s been a while. But when you get one, how do you feel? It does make you feel better…

And that is what the holiday season should really be about!

Peace Dudes!

Mike

(And you know, you can do this too!)

Has anyone seen the ice cream man?

By Mike Aux-Tinee

Each summer I look forward to the semi-weekly visits by the ice cream man. As a kid, I believed he possessed higher mental powers that told him it was time to come through the neighborhood. When I would hear his bell I would drop everything and make the mad dash out the door, (I would not slobber like Pavlov’s dogs). My mother would  encourage me to try something different this time around. When I caught up to him I would trade the money I saved for my favorite ice cream. It was the most beautiful arrangement I knew at the time.

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That arrangement has continued to this very day. Well, that is not really true. It has lasted until his last visit LAST YEAR! I have not seen his truck nor heard the bell ringing since.

I do not know why he has not come back. Things were going along pretty good, we would meet and trade for what the other had. There are other substitutes and I do suffer with them through the lean times  (when he stops coming around for the year). I know the world will not end and a little less whining might make this a better place. 

In a vain attempt to get my tasty frozen treet, I went as far as to visit the company’s website to try and locate another ‘supplier‘ to fill the void. I put the product locator through the motions and I was successful! There is a grocery store that carries my beloved treat and this store is just…96 miles away and in a smaller town! What in the world? Why do I need to travel almost 100 miles and to a smaller town?  I thought there were benefits living in the concrete jungle; this is where the good stuff should be, right?? Things are not looking so hot for us home gamers.

I need to find a way to resolve this perplexing problem or it will be a long summer. Here is what I came up with:

1. Figure out another way to get the goodies sent to me. I thought about calling up Mr. Warren Buffett and working out a deal where some of the ice cream treats could be shipped to me on his new railroad. I know his railroad has refrigerated cars and one box would not take up that much space. I would not even mind waiting for the train to pass by so the conductor could hand them off.

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2. Start a letter writing campaign. It could not hurt to start writing letters again; as this is becoming a lost skill. People really like getting mail and if someone in a cube farm somewhere gets a nice-nice letter they might be more inclined to help. A letter might come back with an apology and maybe coupons for some of their other products. 

The first thing you need to before you start sending off letters is to evaluate your writing skills. It is embarrassing to send off a letter full of spelling and grammatical errors (just as an F.Y.I, spell check does not exist on paper). If you would rather be more daring you can start your own blog.  It is very exciting to write a post, click the publish buttonand have someone ‘out there’ read it.  Before you mail the letter or click the publish button put it away and come back to it later. What I thought was funny or earth-shaking one day was not all that great once it had time to simmer on the back burner. No sense is sending along something that does not help your case.

3. Listen to your mother and try something new. This is not the same as throwing in the towel and giving up. You should never give up on something you really want so easily. Following her advice could payoff in HUGE dividends for you. It is exciting to try something new, you could find a new favorite or at the very least look like you are making the effort.  Which would make your mother very happy.

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This is how far life can take you and return you full circle.

Peace dudes!

Do you have a theme song or sound track to your life?

by Mike Aux-Tinee

Some time ago a friend of mine asked me the question, “If you were stranded on a tropical island, what three CD’s would you like to have with you”? She should have known better to ask me this. I tried really hard to play along and I asked her if a greatest hits or box set count as one CD? I got a disappointed look from her, I was not taking her question seriously enough. I loved getting her to do that (her boyfriend at the time did not appreciate my attempts to annoy her).

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So, to protect the peace and prevent WWIII from breaking out, I came up with my three choices only to be quizzed, “Why would you pick those three?” I tried to explain my three choices to her. Luckily, it was time to leave and I avoided further torture and torment by heading out the door.

I read somewhere a person’s musical interests change over time. Could it be possible that I would not pick the same three CD’s? If I did not pick the same three again, what would I like to have with me? Giving it more thought (but not too much to detract from any higher order functioning), I came up with the following answers to serve as a guide through these deep and philosophical questions:

If you please, a drum roll…

 If I went with a practical approach here are my three choices:

  • Motley Crue: Shout at the Devil/Black Sabbath: Heaven and Hell
  • Fleetwood Mac’s greatest hits
  • Something by Cheap Trick, Van Halen or Led Zeppelin

I look at it like this, there are wild and crazy jungle critters on this island and playing one of the first two could scare them off. I would not get eaten and avoid an early demise.

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If the island was located in the South Pacific, there could be exotic islanders who have never seen someone like me before and would want to (insert imagination here)… the reason for wanting Fleetwood Mac.

Then, for the third choice I would need something to make a fast getaway. I just discovered I am to be the main course. I would want something peppy and upbeat as I was paddling like a madman out into the ocean and back to the safety of my island. Again, avoiding an early demise.

If I wanted to make contact with my inner touchy-feely, I would bring these three along:

  • One of those all sound CD’s: (the kind that mixed in soft music with a thunder-storm, a flowing stream or Tibetan monks chanting)
  • Just about anything by Taylor Swift
  • Something by Cheap Trick, Van Halen or Led Zeppelin

Having the sounds of a thunder-storm on hand could be very beneficial. I could turn up the volume on the radio to convince those wild and crazy jungle critters that a hurricane was coming. They would panic and head for the hills more concerned about saving their own hides. Again, I would avoid being eaten and extend my lifespan.

Another added bonus to having this CD, when they heard the Tibetan monks chanting it would convince them there are too many humans around. It may not be a good idea to attack them while the pack is together and they might whip out sticks to whack us with. So how about we look for food some other place. I would avoid another early demise.

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As for Taylor Swift, I would use her music to lull those wild and crazy jungle critters and distract them. Once distracted by her gentle and angelic voice, I would whack them over the head. (They were right, I do have a stock pile of sticks to whack them with). Thus elevating myself to King of the Jungle, I would dance around the huge bonfire and have a bar-b-que. What? I need to eat too!

But just in case, if not all of them were duped by my ploy, I would need something peppy and upbeat to help me make a fast getaway. There is nothing like making a mad dash through the jungle to Van Halen playing “Running with the Devil“. I can see it all now, me running and screaming bloody murder while being chased by a horde of ticked off wild and crazy jungle critters bent on elevating themselves to my once desired position.

I know they have to eat too, but why can’t they just be happy eating coconuts and wild berries? I was not really that serious about doing that to them anyway. Once I successfully made it back to my jungle fort, I would turn on the Tibetan monks chanting CD, thus turning back the angry horde. I would avoid yet another close call and early demise.

If I wanted to accept my fate of being stranded on this tropical island, I would ask for these three:

  • Any thing by Jimmy Buffett
  • Anything by Bob Marley
  • Something by Cheap Trick, Van Halen or Led Zeppelin

I would build a huge bonfire and invite everyone over to my place for a HUGE party. Hey, just like Jimmy Buffett said, “It’s five o’clock somewhere”. I do not have a clock or a watch and would not have to worry about going to work the next day.

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Later that night when everyone was crashed out, I would stuff  them into the pacific islander’s canoes and shove them out to sea. I know it would be difficult after hosting a HUGE party and I would try not to laugh and wake them up. I love pulling practical jokes.

Once everyone woke up the next morning, they would need something peppy and upbeat to paddle their butts off to. It is hurricane season and they better get to the nearest tropical island before the canoe gets swamped and those crazy sharks and other ocean critters come around for a snack. 

I hope they make it somewhere safe. I would hate to get a bad reputation throughout the South Pacific as someone who throws crappy parties. On reflection of my friends’ question and my thoughts about musical tastes changing over time:

I would like to add this into evidence, your honor, and state that YES, our interests DO change over time. We may not voluntarily change, but we are forced to change by some environmental factor. After all, we do need something peppy and upbeat to get us through while we try to avoid an early demise.

Peace Dudes!

Do not kick a buffalo.

By Mike Aux-Tinee

I like to make people laugh. It is something I have always been able to do. I create my gems and dole them out like candy at Halloween. I would not say I have a comedic gift. I think its more along the lines of good timing and what I said is just what the other person needed and they laughed.

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Quite often I am making fun of myself – or another animal, vegetable or mineral. Many of my jokes do require a little thought, which means the person currently residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington D.C. would not get too many of my jokes. That is alright, I do not get him either all that much. So, it is a draw.

I am a passive observer of the human condition. I take mental notes of what I see and log them away. I never know when something I have come across may come to good use down the road. There are years and years worth of material crammed away in the dark and damp places of my mind. The difficult part is accessing the material. Maybe this is a result of an out dated filing system and getting someone to leave the lights on after hours.  Oh well.

If I ever came across a lamp with a genie inside, I would ask for people to have more laughter in their lives, ( I am holding onto the other two, just in case something does not go as planned). I do not want every human walking around laughing at everything. That would put me out of work. Not that I am currently being paid for my, (ahem) talent.

I like to try my new lines on the unsuspecting souls that come across my path. My best work is done on all days ending in ‘Y’, yesterday was great, today same thing but tomorrow, I’m not so sure about.

Why am I picking to use this metaphor in this post? The buffalo represents something that we should leave alone and if we continue to poke and prod it, doing so may cause us some problems. Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should.There is a point when we should just cut our losses and move along.

It’s difficult to admit defeat or to say that we’ve made a mistake. But let’s be realistic, there is so much more out there to see, to learn about and to experience. If we remain stuck in the current rut and never get on with it, we are going to miss out on some very cool things.

One of the things I am very happy I’ve done is become debt free. Doing so has given me the opportunity to travel and see the world. If I would have never eliminated my debt, I would have never seen The Eiffel Tower, The Roman Coliseum, or Buckingham Palace (on the inside too!).

Staying where I was, was keeping me stranded in the middle of the desert with no hope of ever finding water or getting out. I had to make a very difficult decision and sacrifice a great deal to reach this point. Now that I see how different things are, it is my plan to keep moving forward.

I am not sure what my life will be like around the next bend in the road, but what ever happens, I still have two more genie wishes to help me along. Just in case…

If you are looking to change your life, trek off and live a life worth living, there is no better time than right now to start! And I really hope you do!

Peace Dudes.

Oh yea, about them buffaloes. Here are some other reasons you should not kick them:

Buffaloes can grow up to 6 feet 6 inches tall and 11 feet 6 inches  long. They can weigh up to 2,200 pounds. The biggest buffalo on record  weighed as much as 2,500 pounds. They can also reach a running speed of 35 miles per hour which means they will catch us in a foot race. Plus they ram each other in the head, just to get a date! Yea, how about we leave these big critters alone!

The almighty nap! Take one and regain your sanity!

By Mike Aux-Tinee

I came across this photo of these cool dogs crashed out on a couch. I wonder, what do they know that we humans don’t? 

That the almighty nap is a good thing!

I think it is about time, that we reclaim the lost art of taking a nap!

Of course, you are going to chastise me for wanting to take a nap.

You will say, naps are for little children and senior citizens with extra time on their hands.

But why are you giving me grief? There are many, many reasons for taking a nap at any age. If you do not want to take one, that is fine. I am not going to make you do anything you do not want to do. But make way, I have to grab some couch space before those pooches take the best spots!

But just in case you were wondering, here are some of the many, many reasons to take a nap.

Taking a nap can improve your health. When you are tired, your body produces a chemical called cortisol. When your body produces too much of this chemical, you are more likely to gain weight, handicap your immune systems ability to fight off germs and reduce the brain to a mushy goo. Actually, you start having trouble with learning and memory. Just ask any college student to do simple tasks after an all night cramming session.

Taking a nap can improve your mood. Have you ever come across someone some time after lunch, say between 1:30-4:30? They are grouchy, cranky or just a complete pain in the assets? Well, if that person was able to take a nap, they may not be this way!

From personal experience, this is my wheel house for taking a nap. If I am able to take one during this time, I am much more likely to play nice-nice with the other children on the play ground.

Taking a nap can improve productivity. This is especially important if you are doing something over and over again. If you are tired, you are more likely to experience errors in judgement, make mistakes and be less productive. 

I feel much better and my productivity is much higher if I am able to take a 30-60 minute nap.

Alright, what will it take? What do you need for a successful nap to occur? Well, that depends on what kind of person you are. What does it take for you to fall asleep? Then replicate those conditions! Except one thing, set an alarm. This is very important if you have a  60 minute lunch and you want to take a 30 minute nap. Also, make sure it is loud enough to wake you up!

I am able to fall asleep just about anywhere. As long as I can cover my eyes, I am out like a light.  Of course, I do prefer to take a longer nap. But anything to recharge my batteries will help me cope with the remainder of the work day will do.

If you are not convinced that taking a nap is beneficial, just try taking one. I hope you feel better.

If you are already taking naps, share your story with the others!

Peace Dudes!