Sunday, July 14, 2013

I am moving it all over to Wordpress

I have been reduced to doing all my work on an iPad. Blogger is a massive pain to edit and write when all you have is an iPad.
The last few posts wouldn't even load properly. I surrender.
So. From here on, except for an occasional update, everything goes to Wordpress only.
There are already several new ones that aren't on here.
Go see.....
Erik's Blog

I have also started a second blog about my time in the pro audio world. Some advice and tips for the new guys in live sound and studio work.
The Art of the Soundcheck

I had hoped to post on blogger and Wordpress simultaneously, but blogger is just too aggravating.
Feel free to visit the other sites. Thanks

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The main reason you aren't scoring brownie points

A pastor explained something to me years ago that was pretty simple. Should have figured this out on my own. There's a big difference in doing a good thing versus doing the right thing. Sometimes it's the same. Kinda like they told me in school about squares and rectangles. A rectangle is always a square but a square isn't always a rectangle. Something like that. The right thing is always a good thing but a good thing isn't always the right thing. 
Example. I come home, the family is at the grocery store picking up stuff for dinner. I have the house to myself. The kitchen is a mess. In anticipation of the family returning home soon to cook dinner, I clean the kitchen. Even though email and the sofa and the Xbox are patiently waiting for me, I clean up the kitchen. Then hit the sofa. 
That is an example of doing the right thing and a good thing. Wife comes home, pleasantly surprised. Life is good. Brownie points achieved. Yay me. I could do a good thing and still blow it. If she had asked me to clean the kitchen, and I didn't, that's bad. Ignoring a request from your wife is a bad thing. ( sorry if I sound like a preschool teacher here ) We are going to train our brain to do the right thing. Not just good things. Here's the difference. 
If she asked me to wash the dishes, I could go in there with great intentions and wipe the counters. I could run through the house, grab all the dirty laundry and wash it. I could clean out the refrigerator. I could mop the floor. I could mow the lawn, wash the car, paint the house, cure cancer and save the world from imminent doom. I could do any number of amazing things, worthy of brownie points, and she would not be impressed. Even though we did a lot of GOOD stuff, we didn't do the RIGHT stuff. Most guys still don't understand this. We did something great, where's my pat on the head? 
She comes in with groceries. Walks past all our achievements, and stares at a sink full of dirty dishes. She is not happy. Even though we may have just produced our greatest life's work, she isn't impressed. We sometimes confuse that response with not being appreciated. We sometimes make up pet names to mutter under our breath during those times. We sometimes get stressed enough to vow that we will never do anything for her again. We have those kind of thoughts. We assume we did something good, we should be thanked or rewarded. Yeah, like toddlers or something. 
What does she expect from us? Why isn't she thankful? Because she asked us to wash the dishes. We agreed to wash the dishes. There are still dirty dishes in the sink. She is not happy. How is it possible that a few dirty dishes can cause so much stress in the house? Because it proves we aren't listening. It tells her that she isn't our priority. It tells her we will be good husbands, but on our own terms. We will do things that we choose or that benefit us. Not just because she asked or to be good to her. Doing good stuff is still good, but if it's not the right stuff, it's kinds the wrong stuff. 
Does that make us bad husbands, monsters, for not washing dishes? Nope. It just means that we aren't listening. It means that we still have work to do, if we are going to become the man of her dreams. It means that we still haven't put her into the proper place in our world. She is that important. Every little thing we do tells her how we feel about her. Make it count. Watch for opportunities to do the good stuff. Make sure it's the right stuff. 

You might want to read this one, too.No expectations

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A night on the town with Bozo the clown

Just a quick observation. Recently went back through some old photos. Yeah. Photo albums. Not on a computer. In fact, before we really knew what a computer was. I noticed something. I dressed like a clown. I actually found a picture of myself wearing zigzag striped, yellow and blue Bermuda shorts with half a black mesh shirt. That was scary looking when I was 175 pounds. Can't imagine what I would look like in those at 225. 
Through all those pictures, I looked like a four year old boy picked out my clothes. Even when my clothes weren't ridiculous, my hair or beard still ruined it. Even my tuxedo at the wedding was goofy. I intentionally picked the same one John Lennon wore on the Abbey Road album cover. Fortunately, they talked me into wearing shoes. But. Have you ever seen someone wear size 13, white, leather shoes? If they had been red, they would have been clown shoes. 
Even farther back, I found high school pictures. Wow. We have tried to convince our children that there was a time when we were cool. If they find these pictures, that argument is dead. We were 80's kids then. Just like now, influenced by movies and music. Pick random music and movies produced between 1983 and 1989, then find pictures from a mall the same year. ( try here. <a href="">80's mall photos</a> ) Looks like the cast of Fast times at ridgemont high. 
Yes, there's a point. Bozo. Not the classic sharp dressed man. I took my wife on dates dressed like an idiot. I married her looking like a dork. We visited relatives while I dresses like a toddler. I have been seen in public, on hundreds of occasions, looking like I robbed a clown and took his clothes. Dang. Even now. I realized I am wearing the same worn out shirt and basketball shorts I wear around the house constantly. I used to go out in public with this on. As recent as last week. What kind of logic pushes us, as men, to choose our appearance? Why do Hollywood celebrities hire people to dress them? Because they don't want to look like a clown. 
And what's up with the clothing choices as we age? Young guys emulate the actors and singers in their clothes. Middle age guys wear work clothes or pajamas all day. The old guys wear whatever is comfortable. Nobody seems very concerned about how they look to anyone but themselves. Honestly, I still have work to do in this area. A lot of work. But, I understand it now. I see what she has been living with. 
I live in Florida. The standard dress code for men here is this: partially unbuttoned printed shirt, random shorts, sandals, five o'clock shadow and the aroma of someone who ran out of deodorant several days ago. These guys are in public with their wives. The wives apparently surrender and quit caring about their appearance at some point, too. I guess they got tired of resisting and let themselves go. 
Not trying to make a big, life changing commentary on this one. Just an observation. Our wives have given themselves to us. We are their "prize." They have to be seen with us sooner or later. For most women, their whole identity is wrapped around their husband and kids. They deserve to have a better looking husband than what we have given them. We shouldn't be an embarrassment to them. Not in our words and actions, or appearance. Our wives shouldn't feel the need to apologize to everyone they meet in public. ( "You will have to excuse him. He's really a good man. He's just trapped at the emotional level of a three year old and dresses like people on 80's tv shows. He should grow out of it in 30-40 years. ) 
The only suggestion here is to ask her opinion. If you have been a butthead to her for years, she will hesitate to give it. After she sees you actually listen a few times, you might get her honest opinion. When you get a haircut, ask her what she thinks BEFORE you get the mullet again. When you pick out clothes, ask her opinion BEFORE you get the striped shirt and plaid shorts. When you pick out a car, house, neighborhood, etc., ask her opinion. Make it easy on yourself. Ask her BEFORE you have made up your mind. Let her be part of the process. Then listen. If it has to be your way, your choice, your logic, your decision or whatever, it's probably your funeral. Her opinion is worth as much as yours. Her life is as valuable. Every minute of her life is valuable. Don't make her waste it on time with a clown that won't listen to her opinion.