Sunday, February 28, 2010

Top 10 Unexpected little things that make you feel good

So this blog is about the little things in life that don't necessarily make life worth living, but when they happen, you really do appreciate it.  These are not large things by any means, they are more mundane than all that.  That's why I thought I should mention them.  You really did already forget them, but they are great.

10.  You left the door open.  -  Ever get locked out of your house?  What a horrible feeling.  Your castle has turned against you!!!  Now the security that would keep those would be marauders out are lumping you in with them!!  oh wait...I wonder if that one door in the backyard is still broken and I can open it anyway...SWEET!  That feeling when you first step into your own house that you had to break into is indescribable and fleeting.  I should really fix that, you think to yourself...ehh, Maybe tomorrow.

9.  Exact! - Once in a while as a kid when cash was kind and credit was to be feared (and it still is).  If you happen to live in a State that is long on sales tax and short on young people being able to multiply percentages in their heads you get the ever present mystery of whether or not you will have enough money to buy the zagnuts and Icee's you were hoping to spoil your dinner with.  Every kid back then knew exactly how much cash was rattling around in their pocket, and they could only hope the cash register showed up with a favorable number.  This was the first rather rudimentary slot machine.  When that number showed up on the nose it was like magic.  you could simultaneously empty your pocket and load up on treats at the same time.  There was something that felt like the Universe was in balance when you had the exact change.

8.  I don't think I hit one red light - The work a day world can be characterized like the ocean and not a river.  It is a rhythm that doesn't lead anywhere,  but rather has ebbs and flows as you head to and from the same place day in and day out.  Some people call this a rut.  I call it a good way to measure the minutiae of your life.  When you know roughly how long it takes you to get home or get to work from home, you can measure how well your day is going by the speed at which you get to either location.  The interesting thing is, how you drive will be very much a constant because the people around you will also be a constant.  The only thing that will change is the micro timing of the lights at intersections.  If you can get home with no red lights.  It's really a very special night.

7.  I found x dollars in my pants this morning - Nobody really has a long lost Uncle that wills them his entire Book Paste manufacturing fortune.  They do on the other hand have pockets and sometimes in haste leave things in those pockets.  Most of those things will be bulky enough that they will show up under even the most casual scrutiny.  But one thin paper bill denoted of more than 10 dollars.  Well even though that money went into your pocket with purpose.  It resides in anonymity.  You rarely wear these pants and you won't see that Hamilton again for another couple of months.  The next time you put on those pants, maybe it's because you have a surprise early visitor and you needed something quick to throw on.  As you feel about the pockets in the pants you realize an unfamiliar crinkle.  could it be?  Cool!  I'm 10 dollars richer!!! ( no you're not you dolt, and that's what makes Tax Refund day all the more silly.  They are paying you your money back.  They aren't giving you anything you didn't already have, and yet you feel so 'lucky').  It's still a cool feeling to have a few extra smacks...especially if you didn't really expect that you had that money at all.

6.  No cavities?!  Sweet! - Loads of people go to the dentist.  Most of these people are called KIDS.  Parent's don't go to the Dentist for the same reason that Kids don't want to go.  Fear.  But this fear is just a little greater because not only will you sit down in a chair that will almost assuredly result in pain, but directly after that you will sit in a different chair with checkbook in hand and pay for the privilege.  This one-two punch makes this even more delicious.  If you sit down for you annual cleaning and checkup (did you hear me?...ANNUAL)   and you get up and the dentist says 'Thanks for coming in, only brush and floss the ones you want to keep' (this line comes standard printed on the back of Dental Diplomas).  You are left walking out of the office with the sure knowledge that your teeth are, for the time being, reasonably healthy.  You don't have to worry about those budget busting procedures to protect your glistening smile and the pain that is surely associated with it.  You are scott free.  mmmmmmm.

5.  Caught it...yessssssss.  -  This one happens nearly anywhere, but involves you either being surprised or having your hands full or both.  You are trying to carry all of that stuff into the house in one load, or you want to get your project set up in one trip.  Whatever the situation, it involves you carrying more things than is prudent, OR it involves something falling from a table that was inadvertent and very inopportune.  You stumble a bit, or your elbow knocks over that glass or bowl and you watch in slow motion as whatever it is starts to drop.  And then, you catch it.  You have averted sure disaster by catching whatever it was.  This sounds simple, but nobody could have caught it ever.  Certainly not you.  And yet there you sit with a stupid grin on your face as you grasp that glass or container and look around to see if anyone witnessed your great feat of dexterity.  Of course they didn't.  But you and the Angels around you know it for what it is.  A small scale miracle of physical adroitness that will remind you of the greatness that you could possess.  This feat is worth that much more if there was liquid in the container that didn't get spilled.

4.  That food hit all the right spots exactly. - We eat every day.  Most of us more than we should, but if we go through the exercise of evaluating our hunger or true desire for that food before we eat it.  I daresay that many of us would not have a weight problem at all.  This is the opposite of that moment.  You are somewhat hungry, but you really aren't sure for what.  You go to the pantry and pull out a vapid can of soup.  This is what will fill the hole for the time being.  Then, before your trusty can opener goes to work, a friend invites you to some new eatery that you've not been acquainted with.  You agree and what happens after that is the true magic.  The meal you eat is EXACTLY what you were craving and you didn't even know it.  You are full but not too full.  You are completely and utterly satisfied.  You wish the moment would last forever, and yet you are glad it doesn't.

3.  That snowball totally pegged him! - This is also characterized as a type 3 throw.  I am lifting this from my memory of a readers digest article about the 3 different types of throws.  Throw type 1.  you hit the target you intend to hit in a simple way.  A good example is throwing a wadded up paper into a close garbage can.  Easy shot.  A type 2 is a shot that looks really good, but you had no intention of hitting that target.  Example:  You throw a book onto a couch and it bounces from the couch onto an end table and slides neatly under the lamp.  You had no intention of it going there but it looked great anyway.  Type 3 is a throw that you hope will happen, but you have no hope that it will, and then it does.  These are the 1/2 court shots at the buzzer etc.  Few things are as impressive as shots such as that when they go.  Another example.  You throw a fresh snowball at the bosses car as it heads out of the parking lot.  Not only do you hit it, but you hit it in the sun-roof....and then you run with a grin that you won't be able to wipe off for at least a day.

2.  So THATS where I left my keys! - Becoming more and more poignant, this is when you have given up hope of ever finding those stupid car keys and have resigned yourself to damage control.  Hopefully you don't have any of those expensive key fobs that the car companies are so proud of because replacing most keys will be easy and cheap, except those.  But then, just before you go out the door to something completely unrelated, you open that drawer to get that one thing and there, just under that Chinese menu is your car keys!  Now you remember everything, and exactly how it got there.  Why do our heads play such cruel jokes on us?

1.  There officer...THERE'S YOUR MAN! - You drive down the same two or three stretches of road but at this point a mad man comes zooming down the road in his piece of crap '92 camero driving like he just bought it (in 92).  He cuts you off and then, just to annoy you, he slows down.  You nearly rear-end him but manage to get your breaks on just as he takes off again and over the rise.  As you clear the rise, a warm feeling wells in your heart as you see the local constabulary with full light show a-blazin dishing that Jerk-wad a fresh helping of Karma-Salad with extra dressing.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Top 10 Helpful travelers tips from the American Hotel and Lodging Association

I'm very into the Olympics right now, so I'm phoning this one in.

When you travel if you are observant, you can get this little pamphlet (printed on 30% post consumer fiber) that will tell you the American Hotel and Lodging Association's traveler safety tips.  I didn't even know there was a Hotel and Lodging Association until my last trip. So I checked it out.  Canadians have one, so does Argentina as well as Bulgaria.  In fact, there are so many associations of Hotels and Lodging that there is an International Association that seems to be the umbrella under which all other H&L associations operate.  The Godfathers if you will.

Apparently there are a lot of hazards on your road of travel be it for business or pleasure.  So to mitigate these pitfalls the following advice is given.

Note:  I don't know if these pieces of advice are regionally specific or not.  Please consult your local Hotel and Lodging Association for advice.

1.  Don't answer the door in a hotel or motel room without verifying who it is.  If a person claims to be an employee, call the front desk and ask if someone from their staff is supposed to have access to your room and for what purpose. - Wow, so staying in a Hotel room is an invitation for robbers to just knock on your door and rob you?!  Sheesh, that sounds pretty rough.  Well, there are enough documented cases of people having crimes committed against them with this scam so...I guess it's a good idea.  The only people I hear knock on the door is 'housekeeping'  It's like a little birdcall that tells me I'm out of town and sleeping in.  They have their own key anyway, so if they are coming in, I can't do much to stop them.

2.  When returning to your hotel or motel room late in the evening, use the main entrance of the hotel.  Be observant and look around before entering the parking lots.   -  Hotels have a back way in?!  I didn't know this.  I always go in the front way.  I've heard from movies and TV that the parking lot is a great place to get attacked though.  Never really thought about it.  Maybe they should put up a bunch of those fake cameras in all the parking lots.  At least until they can afford to get real cameras.  It doesn't really tell you what to do if you see some shifty individual skulking around the parking lot using his switch blade to clean his fingernails while he looks at you menacingly.  My guess is you should make loud noises and abrupt sweeping gestures to confuse him.

3.  Close the door securely whenever you are in your room and use all the locking devices provided.  - That door slams shut so fast behind you that normally you have to prop it open just to get your bags in.  The 'locking devices' they are alluding to is that little chain thing on the door.  or sometimes they have that bar lock that is better than the chain.  My guess is if they are coming in after you that little chain hasn't really stopped anyone.  Seems like in the movies, they just blow through that anyway.

4.  Don't needlessly display guest room keys in public or carelessly leave them on restaurant tables, at the swimming pool, or other places where they can be easily stolen. - Needlessly display?  Does anyone display their keycard as a trinket of status? "Hey guys, check out where I'm staying...awwww yeahhhhh, that's right, I'm at the Hampton!  That's RIGHT.  FREE Breakfast!  Check out the key card!'  Yup, no more show-boatin for me.

5. Do not draw attention to yourself by displaying large amounts of cash or expensive jewelry. - My dad was always breaking this rule.  He loved to show a lot of cash and pay for everything in cash.  I NEVER saw him with less than a grand in his pocket.  He always looked like he was ready to play Vegas.  He was the favorite target of pick pockets and there are at least 2 incidents I know of where he was picked.  He didn't like to talk about it so I suspect there were more.  But he didn't stop flashing the cash.  It was like it was a part of who he was.

6.  Don't invite strangers into your room - Well duh.  Don't talk to strangers either.  Don't take candy from them.  And whatever you do, don't let them take your picnic basket and eat your grandmother.  I'm not sure who would invite a stranger into their room, but I guess it bears repeating.

7. Place all valuables in the hotel or motels safe box - Wow, I dunno about this one.  I have a different tip.  No matter what you do, adjust the lock on your hotel room safe.  I've heard that sometimes the housekeeping will put your passports in the safe and lock them up and then after you have paid them a safe keeping fee, they will let you know what the combination is.  Viscous scam, I know.  So if you change the lock on the safe, then at least you are protected from them using YOUR safe.  The other ones in the hotel are of course a different matter

8. Check to see that any sliding glass doors or windows and any connecting room doors are locked - As a kid, I always like that 'other' door.  Who knows who was behind there?  It was this strange mystery door in our hotel room.  Mom and dad never checked it, I never did except as a kid to see if there was another room in our mini house.  Don't all of these doors auto lock?

9.  If you see any suspicious activity, please report your observations to the management - I'll bet they love this.  All these people suspiciously eyeing each other because they all look like they are from out of town.  Who knows what THEY are up to.  So what is management going to do?  check the name in case you wind up dead, then they have a suspect.  Nobody will rescue you, but they will point the finger on your behalf.

10.  Upon arrival please notify the Front Desk if you require special evacuation assistance in the event of an emergency - Yes, I would like to be escorted out FIRST!  I would like a bunch of your complimentary shampoo's and soaps as well. Thanks.

Sorry folks, They can't all be good ;)