Saturday, August 2, 2008


The OFG continues to comment on topics picked as randomly as one can pick them. Such as...


Some say life is short. I disagree; life is tall, and we are all challenged to grow into it, just as the third son in a financially strapped family must grow into his hand-me-downs.


We all start with one, and most of us end up with two or three as we move through our lives. There is no such thing as too many moms, while, at the same time, there can be too much mothering. Moms are smarter than that--they become as much trusted adviser as mom later in our lives. Those guilty of over-mothering are not aware that a little "s" on the front of 'mothering' turns their best intentions into something no one is excited about.


There is nowhere to be which is better than being with one's dad. If you are willing to be with him in his own element, it is even better still. You don't have to fish, hunt, play golf, or love to watch sports on TV. Just express willingness to be with him while he enjoys whichever of his passions he loves the most. This says to him, more clearly than words can express, how much you care.

Old folks

If you know someone who you consider to be old, pause the next time you are with them to really hear what they have to say. I'm not talking about the mundane discussion of ailments, but the casual expression of wisdom which experience offers up from their mouths. Seriously. Listen.


We all will spend years and years of our lives working (please skip to the next snippet, all you trust-fund babies...I know you are lurking). The investment we make of ourselves is the largest, by far, of any we make during our 80 or so years. If you hate your job, what does it say about how you value your own contribution?


When I was a kid, we (my siblings and myself) all had chores to complete as a means of earning an allowance. I never learned to like my chores, but I really liked my allowance. Somehow, that lesson serves me to this day. I still don't like my chores, but I love the results: the freshly mowed lawn, the newly watered garden, the fresh-smelling laundered clothes, the grocery list with every item checked off and brought home from my shopping trips in the sun-barely-up hours of Saturday morning.


Please remember the difference between being intense, and being irritable. One inspires, the other precipitates.


Never belittle the turner of phrases, as he will cut you into little multi-syllabic pieces and leave you with nothing but confusion to hide your nakedness.


It's not the ones you get wrong that make your reputation. It is the ability to publicize your correct ones which make you a living.


I try to include this topic, in one way or another, every time I complete a little collection of wisdom. Quick advice: buy into it, or run away. There really is no half-stepping which works in this arena. Whether you are in or out is your choice, of course. I am out.

Quick and not dead

Never cross a busy street at a certain age while jaywalking with the sense of your speed from decades earlier. I tried it years ago, and I have yet to recover fully from my folly.


If you can walk to where you need to be, do so. If you are able to move even more quickly while still afoot, expand your list of destinations reachable in that fashion. If you are like me, don't be embarrassed to take the car. Just take the little car. Mother Earth will smile upon you.


We are all served by the obstreperously inclined, but only in certain circumstances. Bless them, but please ban them from our peace meditation.

Confoundedly certain

There is little more difficult to deal with than those who are absolutely certain of their correctness on an issue who are exactly, completely wrong. No advice, here. Only commiseration.

X marks the spot

No, it never has and probably never will. What marks the spot is usually dog poop unless the dog decided that peeing on the spot was marking enough.

While you were out...

Have you ever wondered what goes on in your humble abode while you are gone? Does your ex sneak in and read all your private IMs to your new favorite honey? Do your pets run around advertising "HUMANS GONE! PARTY ON!" on whatever forum their buddies share with them? Does the air conditioning crank itself up as some sort of conspiracy with the utility company to hike your bill? Oh. I guess that was just me, then. Never mind.

Not really

Is my imagination the only one which conjures up stuff while I am sleeping which no one wants to ever confess in polite company? I mean, it is night after night of bizarre dreams which I cannot shake even if I get up at 3 a.m. to go to the bathroom. I spend the trip to pee shaking my head, wondering where the heck that last dream came from, and after the necessary process is completed in the bathroom, I fall back asleep right into the same crazy place, none the wiser.

I either want more control over my dreams or, at the least, the right of rejection of the subject matter while peeing in the middle of the night, to take effect immediately upon the resumption of slumber. Is that too much to ask?

Know what I mean?

Is it true that we can completely change how our lives are playing out by simply changing our thought patterns? If it is, I want to get credit and special dispensation for dreams involving women who would have fit perfectly into my thought patterns when I was 14. Trust me: I did all I knew how to do to manifest those amazingly beautiful young ladies as my friends, but I failed. I know they are now 65, those same beauties, but it's okay. 65 is, for me, the new 25 I envisioned when I was 14. If the math proves daunting, just will make sense in a few decades.


If you are wondering when it is appropriate to confess to your mate some huge mistake you made many years earlier, you have two choices: today (meaning before the wedding) or never (meaning, well, never). If it were me, and it once was, I have to recommend airing all dirty laundry prior to the nuptials. For some reason, laundry doesn't come clean after that.

Giant-sized wishes

We all have really huge wishes, and most of us grow up to pretend that they are some kind of fantasy, not a real-world possibility.
If you are willing to dive into the deep end, you will discover that the water is fine, the results are wonderful, and the dreams really do come true. Not to repeat myself as I repeat, yet again: it is your choice.

Baby steps

A really wonderful friend of mine is dealing with the consequences of depression right now. By that I mean, she feels badly for no better reason than the fact that her body is processing the various inputs it is receiving in such a fashion that she is left feeling like crap.

What to do? Take little steps, as there is no depression capable of defeating one who is willing to accept the smallest of victories.


It's a word I use too often, actually (oops). And when I use it, it is often to subtly one-up someone who has asked a question in a fashion which indicates ignorance of the topic, although they do know they need something which is not available at present. Okay, be plainspoken about it, it is those vaguely worded requests for help which an IT staff can poke fun at, a groups which relishes the chance to point out when someone doesn't know the magic phrases for things all techno-geekish. You know: "My interwebbie whatchathingy is not giving me the numbers I need to gather for my boss." IT guy responds: "Actually, if you reset your bit configuration table and modulate the gamdizzle, all will be fine."


When I was growing up, I had a buzz haircut until I was about nine, at which point I graduated to the slightly less uncool flattop. All this time, the haircut was administered by my dad, in the kitchen, with a towel as barber cape around my shoulders. Thankfully, I was finally allowed to have hair longer than an inch in 9th grade and start visiting a barber who seemed to be better at the job than my dad. It was great! Then came the frizz. A year or so after my hair was allowed to be wild, free, and two inches long, the area right around my face started turning frizzy. No, not 'the teenager was imagining it' frizzy, but insanely, pubic-hair-like frizzy, or kinky. If I had a copy of my senior picture, I would include it here. No I wouldn't...who am I kidding?? The only solution was the passage of time. Now, 35 years later, my hair is wavy as can be all over my head, but the frizz has moved on to a new generation.


This may not even be a word (it is an acronym in the software world and in Macedonian politics, neither being part of this story), but it sure is in my household. Many times, my dear wife awakens in the morning with what she has come to term, "a neck uck." This is not good, yet she has known and proven remedies. She intuits the right one, applies it, and usually she is much better by noon...or has returned to bed to allow the magic to work on her by the time I get home from work. It is not clear if the derivation is from our youngest, who would often claim a "head uck" (read: headache mispronounced) when her services were desired to help with some task.


If you are not startled enough to cause a serious adrenaline dump into your system at least once a week, you are either dead or not a parent.

Happy times

Are you like me, sometimes wondering what in the world you are doing which is delaying the happy times from arriving in your life? It is such a silly place to be, that place in your head which seems convinced TODAY is not the right day for happy times.

It is the perfect day, and right now is the perfect time. Shall we?


I'm an IT guy by profession and passion, but I seem unable to get iTunes to cooperate with me. I'm also a person who was born during the Eisenhower administration. There may be some connection.


Don't we already have enough terrestrials? Why would we be interested in extra ones??

Radical politics

As a high-school kid, it was so easy to be opposed to the establishment. I mean, how hard is it to dislike Richard Nixon while also being 16? My girlfriend's parents were members of the John Birch Society, a group I still consider to be laughably out of touch with anything even bordering on common sense. Because I love to stir up trouble, I invited a friend from school, a really radical guy (not blowing-things-up radical, but willing to hear how others justified it), to a meeting at my girlfriend's house. To his credit, he was polite and never made a scene at all. His appearance, though--a really big pile of unruly hair, an unkempt beard, and pretty sloppy overly-casual clothing--created enough unrest that my scheme worked out fine.

Jury duty

I have been called to jury duty one time in all my years as a registered voter, and that's a lot of years. I was called a couple of years ago, and I ended up on the jury for a trial of a young man accused of possession of drugs. It was fascinating, and also a pretty silly case for the prosecution to ever have brought. They did not have the defendant tied to the drugs except that, after they booked him on a curfew charge, the police officer came back out to his patrol car and discovered a baggie of cocaine on the floor of the back seat.

As much as the prosecutor tried to cement that gap, the fact that no one ever saw the young man with the drugs, the young public defender was able to crack the gap wide open again.

We deliberated for less than two hours, and most of that was going through the formalities of choosing a foreman and letting everyone have their say. Not Guilty, unanimously and on the first ballot.

What was just as memorable for me was my later exchange with the public defender. I discovered his email address after a little research--he had a name which was not common--and I emailed him just to thank him for his service and point out he did a great job getting the truth on the table. He, in turn, let me know how critical the verdict was for the young man. Two weeks after the trial, he started his first day at college. He had been in some trouble in his life (for all I know, the drugs were his), but he knew what a golden opportunity he had been granted, and he was set to take advantage. I never heard anything after that, but I imagine that same young man now a year or two from finishing college and becoming a solid provider for his family (he was already a father and engaged to his son's mother at the time of the trial) and a good citizen his kids can look up to.

The point? It is all about unabashedly doing what is right for your community, is jury duty. Do it with an open heart and mind, and you will learn a great deal about how the wheels of justice turn, even when some of the wheels could use new bearings.


There is no substitute I know of for simply being kind to others. The crazy thing is, it is so easy to be kind, and yet so hard to get some folks to let go of their predilection and belief in their victimization. Note: victims are never kind. They demand kindness, and they do so in this whiny voice which makes one have imaginings of not-nice actions taken which include the whiner on the business end of a big stick.

I am blessed to know many kind people, and I do the best I can to learn from them.


GreenishLady said...

Ah-ha! Thank you for elucidating. I think, in fact, having read this batch that you are actually a WAFO(F)G... That's a Wise and Funny Old (I can't call anyone fat. Pots, Kettles, etc.) Guy.

Olivia said...

I too like WAFOG better. Ditto my last comment!! xxoo, O

Rick Hamrick said...

Imelda--I do appreciate the offered improvement. It is only those who come of their own volition who can call these wise and funny. I'm not sure I can get away with it myself.

O--I don't know where this is headed, but I am having lots of fun on the train.

Thanks so much to both of you for brightening my day with your visits!