Archive for October, 2015

Roofing Lessons From Santa Fe; Stimulational Motivators Off Target

Monday, October 26th, 2015

So.  The last days of summer sizzled until noon Wednesday—a summer this year of many late sizzles—when a cold, wet frontal air mass moved through and shredded the peaceful complacencies hereabout.  As Santa Fe is a city of flat roofs, a full twenty-four hours of wind-driven rain can put fear in the hearts of homeowners, and dollar signs in the eyes of roofers.

For my part I had one, hopefully small, leak that I, and here and again let me say, “I hope,” I remedied Saturday morn with a five-gallon bucket of plastic cement wall flashing compound, one-hundred-thirty-feet of plastic netting, seven Carta Blanca beers, two relatively fat doobies,  and six hours of bitching from the dogs.

“Why,” you might ask, “did it take all that time and materials to patch one small leak?”

“Well,” the start of my reply to your perfectly legitimate question, “for starters I was already two beers and a small dose of my Gram’s mushroom potion she labeled ‘Summer’s Done Done So Put Yer Long Johnnies On Yer Skinny Ass’, and the morning had warmed to maybe fifty-five degrees.”  As fifty-five degrees is just about my favorite working outside temperature, I felt motivated to get ‘er done.

Which said brings something to mind. I’ve long held a belief—a philosophy, maybe—that flies in the face of every motivational speaker ever to charge gigantic fees for teaching mostly silly shit at seminars featuring snappy catch phrases. As a businessman having fallen prey to several pitches from those snake oil sales shits, I feel that I possess both the experience and studied information to make at least a partially smart comment on the subject.

The first of those “motivators” I encountered was the one, the only, Zig Zigler. Ziggy was the original motivator of modern ilk and the tall, thin and affable man had a funny way to convey his snappy catch phrase.

Streaker Jones and I had purchased two tickets to one of the bowl games our beloved Longhorns played—my befuddled brain is thinking it was 1973, the year the fucking Nebraska Corn Cobbers beat us in the Cotton Bowl—and we decided that rather fly straight on back to Austin, we’d instead make a little pass at the Big Easy. We were seated in the first row behind First Class which I can specifically remember as Row Nine, and the fact that I can remember that info and not what I had for dinner last night is testament to something.

As soon as the seatbelt light went out, the man in the seat in front of mine on the aisle got up, and with the toothy-smiled, complacent face of an undertaker he stuck his hand out to grab mine and then placed a small wooden nickel into it. He turned his eyes to Streaker Jones with another wooden disc to plant, paused long enough for the complacent face to turn pale, then backed off, looked at me and said, face back to undertaker’s, he told me, “That’s to help you get around to it.”

As he moved his way to Row Ten, I looked at the wooden disc. “Round Tuit” was printed in block letters in as large a typeface as would fit the curvatures. “That’s pretty clever,” I told Streaker Jones. “Now I have no excuses because I got around to it.”

“He’s sellin’ sumthin’,” my best buddy told me. “Pitch is comin’ on his return trip.”

The pitch came, I managed to not swing at it, and maybe I can make my actual point before this deteriorates any further into ADHD babble. Here’s my point about these pitchpersons.

I don’t think anybody can “motivate” anyone else. I think that motivation can only come from within. If you Googlate the definition of motivation, you get:

“The general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

“keep staff up to date and maintain interest and motivation”

synonyms: enthusiasmdriveambitioninitiativedeterminationenterprise;”

 

 

 

Motivation is, by definition, internal. Some fuckbrain’s got no personal motivations, his train will definitely stay there to the station regardless of another’s actions. What I think you can do is “stimulate” another’s internal motivations, as stimulated is defines as:

 

“verb (used with object), stimulated, stimulating.

1.

to rouse to action or effort, as by encouragement or pressure; spur on;incite:

to stimulate his interest in mathematics.

2.

Physiology, Medicine/Medical. to excite (a nerve, gland, etc.) to its functional activity.

  1. To invigorate (a person) by a food or beverage containing a stimulant,as coffee, tea, or alcoholic liquor.”

 

Having found, copied, pasted and spent a full half-hour fucking around with Word to get the two definitions placed, half-assedly, to the pages herein, I find myself wondering who might really give a shit what I think about snake oil sales folks.

As the Squirt is afraid of heights, and the goat dog might not be smart enough to not fall off the roof, the dogs stayed on the ground while I worked on my leak. Planning ahead, I made three trips up the ladder with first, my twelve-pack cooler of iced Carta Blancas, second, the five-gallon bucket of roofing patch, and third, tools for patching and smoking weed.

“You’re gonna get wasted and fall on your head, asshole. Then what are Yoda and I going to do? I know you willed us to Sister and Anna the Amazon and there’re nice and all, but if you’re dead in the backyard who’s gonna save us? There’s nobody to answer our pleas.”

She had a point, my tiny brown puppy had a point. “You have a point, Squirty girl. Maybe you should shut up and stop badgering me and allow me to focus on my work.”

What happened next was that the Squirt spoke about me to Yoda for three hours, and I got mellowed enough to bypass most of my ADD-addled brain malfunctions to concentrate on roofing, and I patched any spots that even suggested a roof failure. Patched a couple places twice, and managed to miss the entire Texas football game, a fact I realized when Mother called me at two-thirty to ask me where I was.

“Where are you, Mooner?” Mother’s first words to my “Hello”.

“On the roof and still in Santa Fe.”

“Well,” Mother told me, “Texas won,” and the dial tone hit my ear.

“Huh? What time is it?”

It was two-thirty-one. “Fuck a buffalo. Squirt, why didn’t you notify me. You were supposed to let me know when the game was starting. You are the timekeeper today.”

Squirt walked from flagstone to grass, squatted her adorable hind end to pee, and flipped over her shoulder, she asked, “Permission to speak, shithead?”

Anyway, I missed a Texas win, a rare thing these days, but did manage to fix my roof. Maybe a fair trade, maybe not. My team has a stretch of tough opponents coming and will need to win most games to get into a bowl.

Maybe this win will stimulate Texas football motivations.

Fuck Walmart in its weakened state!

 

The Originating Question; Misleading Keywords Lead To Misantrophy

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

So.  I’m sitting here to my desk at four am, wondering what, inthefuck, is wrong with humans?  Are we so afraid of death that we feel obligated to wreck our civilizations, our species, our planet?  Are we so brainwashed that we cannot distinguish between right, and terribly—oh, so very terribly—wrong? Why do so many of us—even the best of us—need to believe there is more than there actually is?

OK, those were silly questions because of course we are willing to kill the golden goose that is humanity. We’re marching our way to extinction at an alarming rate of progress.  Mayhaps I’d better communicate by stating “The Originating Question”, tell you the queries that kept me awake last night, elucidate my thoughts thereon, and elicit ideas from you guys.  I, for my part, find myself unable to provide a succinct answer to The Originating Question as I can find numerous answers, several of which are in direct conflict with other answers.  Before I ask you The Originating Question, allow me to provide some background.

I’ve been thinking on religions for several weeks now, wondering why they even exist. Then last week I was in conversation with a very pleasant Christian woman, a woman I call my friend.  Deeply Christian of the evangelical variety, this woman spends considerable time in Bible study and seems to live her life to the answers she finds therein.  She’s kind and considerate and never presses her religion at others.  She is thoughtful and charitable, honest and solid. I like her in spite of her devotion to a fairy tale I see as a danger to humanity.

We were discussing something or another, and my cancer and attendant treatment entered the discourse.  Turns out her friend has prostate cancer, newly diagnosed, and we had a discussion about my experiences.  That discussion led to her telling the friend what I said, and he (him?) getting a positive outcome based upon a lead provided by me.  When I ran into her a few days later, she said to me, she says, “I want to thank you for providing me with that prostate info.  I passed it on, he had a good outcome.”

I told her I was pleased to be of some help and glad to do it.  Then she says to me, she looks Heavenward with her left hand held skyward to the heavens, her right hand—fingers closed in a loose fist held palm down over her heart—and she says to me, “I prayed on it and felt the hand of God as He sent you to me so He could intervene and save Mr. X from the cancer the Devil placed in his prostate.”

While I was almost vibrating with desire to tell her that I have one: felt the actual hand of God, and; two: begged God to make my cancer go away, and; three: been told by God—right to my face while looking Her eye-to-eye as She lay beside me in bed—that it wasn’t Her job to worry about one man’s predetermined propensity to get ill, and die, my God told me She had no interest in altering the natural progressions of things; then I fourth: held my water, smiled and said to my friend, I told her, “Glad I could help.”

ADHD-fueled, grammatically awkward run-on sentence aside, where did “Hold your water” originate, as a phrase, and why do I seem to be writing so many complex, run-on sentences? I know that soldiers and the general populace living in high-walled castles under siege back to the days of burning oil dumps and using The Pear of Anguish for interrogations,  would pour hot oil and likewise pee, and crap, down on the heads of the siegers.  While Microsoft Word has just informed me that “siegers” is not an actual word and for my part I don’t really give a shit, maybe “Hold your water” originated thereat. Therewhen, maybe. You know, “Hang on to that hot oil and enema, soldier, hold them until you see the whites of their eyes.”

Maybe, and maybe not the origins.  If not, this side car is off the rails and totally unrelated to The Original Question, which is stated as follows:

Why did we invent Gods?  That, dear friends, is the question.

Why are we not happy enough simply existing that we feel compelled to imaginate ourselves these powerful deities? Why can we not be satisfied to live our lives in the natural order of things—grow from seed, prosper, procreate, wizen, fall ill and die? Why do we have the need to make ourselves more than the organisms we are? Why can’t we celebrate the simple fact that we’ve evolved—through some lucky spin of the Protoplasm Jackpot Wheel—to be the biggest brains of all species? We dominate every other species on the planet, why is that not enough?

Why do some religious followers speak of the hand of God as some super-freakish intervention into issues which no real god would concern themselves?  Me, I’ve felt the hand of God and it can be a soft as Montana Wildhack’s as She held my face in Her palms to tell me that my sister’s death wasn’t my fault in any way, and it can be as rough as when God showed to hold both of my hands with the guitar-picking callouses and pot-stained fingers of Willie Nelson. The hands of God are actual hands that are not used to answer prayers. God’s hands are for holding, comforting in time of need. At least my God is happy to hold my hand for comfort when I need it.

This one time I questioned my God about prayers, as I see praying as a silly, wasteful substitute for personal effort.  “Prayers are wishes, Mooner,” God told me with the leathery lips of the grapefruit-sized Amazonian sweat toad It used as visage to me.  “People find comfort in counting on their imaginations to work magic, son, so let it go. Let them have their hopes and you move on.”

When I tried to lick God’s back in an effort to revisit a college weekend when Streaker Jones and I met this weird guy from Colombia who had this aquarium stocked with a pair of hallucinogenic sweat toads, I found myself licking the nasty tongue of the Cheshire Cat my God had transmuted into.

Ever accidently licked a cat’s tongue? “Disconcerting” would be the word, and not the least hallucinogenic.

Which reminds me. Have I ever mentioned that I’m crazy? I have all these quite good buddies with whom I love to communicate, and, likewise, love. People with high moral standards, real and true standards. Moral standards not born from selective application of the teachings of some silly cult, but standards developed from the essence of character. Morals with a foundation of fairness to all.

I love their writings and I love to comment thereupon. But for some crazy reason I haven’t been able to pull the trigger in response to their writings for days. I get ready to punch buttons here to my keyboard, and my brain goes all discombobulated and freezes in a swill of words and thoughts. I feel as though I have nothing interesting to say.

It’s weird and is the main subject of my therapy sessions, and when I get it figured out I’ll let you know.

So fuck Walmart in the meantime.