Bathroom Faux Pas

To be honest I did not like my last post. I thought it was poorly written. It was dark. It jumped all over the place. It is not a mainstream topic. It was not wholesome or funny. It may have some educational value, but most people won’t take it seriously until after the fact.

Having an affair is something two people do on the sly, away from the light. They try to avoid anyone finding out what they are up to. When apart, they are ashamed of themselves and maybe each other. I don’t know, I am only guessing. I never had an affair, and never want to.

I have been thinking about what I haven’t written lately. Ideas that cross my mind, but never end up on electronic paper. Today in a daydreaming moment, I thought about a funny incident about going pee. The story not distasteful or at least I do not think it is. I think it is a funny story.

I am in the bathroom of this serious business type building. Everyone around me is dressed very business like. Ironed shirts, ties, suits, shiny shoes, mostly black.

I make my way to the Men’s <- keyword here, bathroom. When inside I am using a urinal. The urinals on each side of me are full. There may be five or so urinals, all filled with serious looking men in business attire, of which I am not one. It may have been right after lunch, or coffee break or something like that. At any rate, the urinals were all full, and there were a few men who finished their business as it were, at the sinks behind me.

For no reason whatsoever, I remembered being a little boy in the winter time with snow on the ground in the late afternoon or early evening. Those times were kind of magical as a kid. The snow kept everything in a kind of half light even though the sun may be down.

Anyway, I am thinking about when, as a child we kids would try to write our names in the snow with our pee. It was some mark of Kid-Dom, probably northern kids bucket list sort of thing. Something all boys who live in snow needed to try. Stand there with your friends and try to write your name in the snow. Of course some boys never managed the feat. For eight or ten year old boys in the winter it was badge of boyhood honor maybe.

As this thought is passing through my mind, my stream is splashing around the urinal. Kind of an unthinking movement from times long past. Certainly it was not the typical adult sound of a man going pee in a public restroom with other men standing on each side of him. It was not water out of the hose landing in the same place for a number of seconds type of sound.

I realized the Man using the urinal on my right, with a wall between us to our shoulders, was giving me a disapproving look. This was so funny in the moment, I broke what I imagine is a second mens bathroom taboo.

I started chuckling. Well, not really loud, but kind of quietly to myself though I am sure the man with the disapproving look could hear without much trouble.

The man’s sideways glance of disapproval became one of either contempt or hostility as he heard me chuckle and saw me smile. I wasn’t sure which face he was trying to make, they both are serious.

For whatever reason the man on my left also noticed the changing pattern of sounds coming from my stall at the urinal. He too was glancing at me with a surprised look.

Perhaps this second man thought I was mentally challenged, or I had some unknown condition where the garden hose was wavering in its attempt to water the bottom of the urinal. Palsy maybe, or worse.

We Men are sometimes boys in adult bodies.

I didn’t sound very masculine. Probably childish really. You know the sound urine makes on those those almost heart shaped things that look like something you could wipe mud off of your feet if it were on the floor. I didn’t sound like that at all standing at my urinal.

My thoughts collected and back to the present, I thought how amazing. I have broken some male bathroom etiquette I did not even know existed until the moment I committed this horrendous act!

I tried to imagine when the last time the man on my right with the scowl plastered across his face had allowed himself to have something resembling simple mindless fun? Has he ever enjoyed a spontaneous moment of unscheduled funny? Does he even know what fun is?

I have never been a serious person. Though I must say my few seconds of wild abandon standing at a urinal, still brings a smile to my face. Though I doubt I would share this story with just anyone who came along. They probably wouldn’t understand it or see the humor.

With the exception of camping trips, or something of the like, we men pretend to be grown up and mature, when really we are the same kids we always were, only in adult bodies. We trained ourselves to be mature. Upholding certain unspoken values, such as peeing with haught in a public bathroom.

People, as in adults, should learn that no matter how hard we try, we are not really the adults we pretend to be. We put on these masks and try to act as we think we should. Or at least we men do. I think women are in the same quandary too, but I don’t know how women act when around only other women.

The next time you catch yourself daydreaming in a public restroom, be careful, you might offend someone, who never had a childhood.

Having an Affair

Having an affair is a question that almost all married people answer during the course of their marriage. Lets face it. When you met your spouse they seemed to be the only person on earth who understood you and accepted you for what you are.

Your future spouse had this cute habit, special look, or simply made you feel really good. Eventually you were married. You and your spouse also continued to mature. You met socially or worked with all types of new people in different situations.

A few years pass, maybe children arrive. You wake up one day and realize, “The thrill is gone”. There is nothing wrong with your relationship. What is wrong is the transition from a romantic first few years into a long term relationship.

Your faults and the faults of your Spouse faults are painfully obvious. Your spouse in particular isn’t as cute or handsome as they were, and to be truthful, those cute habits are really annoying.

Without warning someone shows up in your life who sparks your interest. They are fun and vibrant. They are mysterious and witty. They are everything your spouse was a few years ago.

They are sexually attractive and appealing to you. You may find yourself harmlessly flirting with each other. They see you the same way.

Soon, your life is upside down. This other person with all this appeal sees the very same excitement in you, which you find in them. Are you ready to jump into an affair? Are you ready to take the leap and throw caution to the wind? Get back into excitement and make life more fun? Forget the dull boring family life for a while?

Affairs have a lot of appeal from a high level. The idea of an affair is everything that led your marrying in the first place. Is there something so wrong with wanting to relive those times in your life when you were so happy, and life was so exciting?

The idea of an affair may feel exciting.

The idea of an affair may feel exciting.

I am not the person who tells you what the right answer is. I am the person who has seen friends and family members enter into an affair. I have seen the outcome of letting loose and recapturing those old feelings once again. Here is what I have observed.

If or when you make the decision to have an affair, the rules of the affair relationship change. You give up your right to say no. The other person wants more from you than a few minutes of sex, and a few brief tests or phone calls. They want more than you were willing to give.

What they want from you varies from person to person. Some people want to see you more than you are able to see them. Some people want a permanent relationship. In worst cases, some people want to destroy you, or your marriage and family.

What happens if you find yourself in one of these situations, where the other person wants more than you can give?  How are you going to manage your marriage, and your life? What will be the long term effect on your future? What will be the effect on your family? Will you have a future after divorce?

Setting everything above aside for a moment, will you like the person you see in the mirror every day? Will your friends and family see you in the same way as they did before your affair became public knowledge? Will they forgive or shun you?

What about your long term future? What will you tell the next person you want to enter into a relationship with? Will they want to be involved with you once they learn the reason you are single and broke?

In the real world, several people over your lifetime will find you attractive. Some will even fall in love with you. Being normal, the same thing will happen to you. Throughout your life you will find many people attractive. You may even fall in love with some of them.

We are people, we are not machines. Anyone who thinks they will never find another person attractive, or possibly fall in love another is fooling themselves. Our lives are made of relationships. How we deal with our relationships is what matters.

It is okay to find someone other than your spouse attractive. It is okay to accept that you have special feelings for someone. This is part of life, and how life works. What is not okay is forgetting your obligations and vows to those people already in your life.

Reality is, very few affairs have happy endings. Sooner or later, the rules change and the affair ends. Some affairs end quietly, and each person goes on living with their infidelity and secrets. More often, the affair becomes public knowledge, and people are hurt. Some people never recover from the experience.

Is an affair something you want to have? It is one thing to have a fantasy of how exciting it would be with this person. Everything would be like it was some years ago, new and exciting. It is quite another thing to give control of your life over to someone you really do not know by crossing a boundary and breaking marital oaths.

As always the phrase, “Look before you leap”, has more meaning than jumping across a puddle of water. What you could be doing is, “Taking a leap of faith”.

Faces we Wear in Public

I recently read a blog post recently by Anastasia titled, “The anxiety monster”. In her post, Anastasia describes what life is like in her shoes. Anastasia lives with some issues that many of us will never face, while others live with them daily. Anastasia is a brave woman who’s heart is in the right place, and wishes to help others as she is able.

Moving from the brevity of Anastasia’s post to reflect on creating and wearing your face as a mask when in public is the point of this post. Anastasia writes, she turns her face into a mask when going out in public. The idea being that no one will be able to decipher her true self or feelings, if she keeps her face set to mask. As I believe Anastasia understands the process, if there are no facial expressions, there is nothing for people to judge or process about her.

While the idea of people turning their faces into a mask when out in public, sounds good on the surface, there are drawbacks to this behavior. Being emotionless has its place in public, but not always, and not for most people.

Being emotionless may let us think we are indecipherable. No one can read our thoughts, see our fears, or determine our mood. We feel we can look at other people while wearing our mask, and they will not judge us, or form an opinion of us, because we are wearing our public mask.

There are some downsides turning our faces into masks. We have been looking at each other since we were born. We are experts at seeing through what wearing a public mask can not hide. These are not obvious things, but they are there all the same if we are looking for them.

One of the first tools foreigners use in a new land is watching facial expressions and body posture. Even without knowing a word of the language, much can be determined simply by posture and facial expression. Even the lack of expression is expression after all.

We can not hide subtle details of our face changing with our momentary flashes of emotion. Namely around our eyes and lips. These are areas of our faces which we have little control over. Eyes in particular flash emotion, caused by subtle changes of the skin around our eyes.

When someone suddenly becomes angry, subtle changes take place around their eyes. From a casual glance we are not aware that we have seen the changes, yet we know that person is suddenly angry. If asked we usually can not describe how we know what we know about another person is feeling in the moment.

Surprise or fear are two other emotions that are apparent even when we try to keep our face under control. When someone is suddenly surprised or becomes fearful, no matter how they try to control that emotion, it flashes across their face. Anyone watching picks up on that surprise or fear because it momentarily flashes across their face like a neon sign.

Other emotions follow suit, flashing across peoples faces, letting the world see what they feel no matter how they try to control their face. There really is little one can do about these facial expressions commonly called “micro expressions“.

No mask here, I'm tired the sun is in my eyes.

No mask here, I’m tired the sun is in my eyes.

A second concern Anastasia writes about is people judging her in public. If her public mask is place, she feels people can not pass judgement on her.  With her face in a neutral expression, what is there to judge? This too is a sound idea in theory, but simply not true.

Human beings continously pass judgement on other human beings. True, if we are treating our face as an emotionless mask, people may form the wrong opinion of us, but they will form opinions of us all the same. This is something we do without thinking.

Forming opinions by watching expressions others is how a salesperson knows when to apply pressure and when to back off. Forming an opinion is how the beggar knows we are an easy mark or not. Forming opinions of interviewed suspects is how police begin to solve cases.

At the very worst, someone may be attracted to our public mask and form an opinion of us that is simply not true. Then we are confronted with someone forming an opinion of us being someone we really are not.

Turning our face into a public mask to hide may feel secure, but we humans are smart. We generally are not fooled by anothers attempt at deception by wearing a public mask. We are well trained and have honed our skills in deciphering faces and the emotions they display.

We prefer to keep our inside or private us partially hidden away unless we are behind closed doors where we can safely be ourselves. To a large extent we all wear masks in public. Only our masks are closer to the real us.  In public we become actors taking on a bit part, representing what we want the world to think of us.

Actors and Actresses do this very well. They take on roles portraying a character that may be nothing like themselves. They adapt the persona they need to use while performing. Which is what we do, only we are not well trained actors. We make more mistakes.

We put on a face we want to be seen with in public. Perhaps we look happy, content, or curious. We may want to look seductive, or aloof. Depending on the level of interaction we want, we make subtle changes to our public face, prehaps pretending to be more than we reallyare. We put our best self forward, and we hope we are not caught acting.

Wearing a blank face is not fooling anyone. People will still judge, forming opinions that may or may not be true because of the face we wear. People are good at seeing through our masks generally. It is simpler to be ourselves. People will form opinions of us anyway, so what does it matter?

Electronics Mimicking Pet Behavior

I use two cell phones during my week. Not that it matters much. One cell phone is for work, and the second cell phone is my personal phone. What does matter is I do not want a pet in my life. I am fairly busy these days and a pet needs more attention than I can give. Hence, no pets.

If you have or had pets, you know they need a lot from you. They need food, water, and bathroom privileges somewhere. Pets also need and want a lot of attention, mostly when they want it. It would be hard to quantify how much time one would spend taking care of their pet each week, but it is more than a few minutes per week.

What does this have to do with cell phones and other electronics? A lot actually. A few phones, tablets, and other electronics have been very crafty in some cases. Especially when it comes to how their OS behaves.

Some Companies have designed their products to act like pets in some respects, mostly in wanting attention. For example, my work phone is a droid and my personal phone is not. My droid continues to shove information down the pipeline to my phone. Ringing and dinging to get my attention all day long.

When electronics mimic pets to keep your attention on it

When electronics mimic pets to keep your attention on it

My droid appears to be ignorant of the idea that I never use my droid for anything not work related. No news, no social, no anything not work related. Daily it rings and dings alerting me of new items that I may be interested in, or something I need to do to it, or with it as the case me be.

Often my phone wants me to stop whatever I am doing to download updates. Often they are updates to software I have yet to use. I can not remove them, as they are declared part of the operating system and removing them may damage the system.

Then there is the but issue for lack of a better word. Not but calls, but  turning on both location services and blue-tooth while in my pocket. Two to three times a day some days. Too often to be coincidence.

My personal phone, not a droid is more reserved. If I choose to not use an application that is part of the system, it is okay with my choice. I do not have the problem of my personal phone changing settings while hiding in my pocket. Location services and blue-tooth have never turned on without my approval.

My droid phone is trying to be a pet, and my other phone is not. If I wanted a pet and all the attention a pet requires I would get another pet. In the moment, I do not wish to give up what little time I have to spend on a pet, or tinker with my phone.

I find the same problems when I use a non Linux computer. All the tinkering they require. Stopping the flow of thinking because something wants attention or needs to be done. Some accuse Linux of not being integrated. If so, I am happy to pay the price to be left alone, to do what I want do do on my computer when I want to do it, or not.

I am sure Pet Behaving Electronics are filling a gap. Perhaps they are more popular than I imagine? SOmeone sure is happy with them, as they are popular. They certainly replace Blue the dog, and Roxie the cat due to the amount of attention they want each hour.

Maybe there should be a disclaimer, or an attention needed rating on electronics. Buyers should not have to find out after the sale, just how much attention their phone wants.

It seems a little below board. Mimicing pet behavior in an electronic feels sort of cheesy to me. I also dislike not having a choice in an operating system to remove or turn off what I do not want. Maybe I should throw my work phone away and get a pet, it may save time.

Does Cup Size Matter?

Every Fast Food Chain I am aware of bundles meals as combo meals. You get main entre, fries, and large soda for so many dollars and cents.

At places that do not sell sandwiches, ordering combo meals you are offered chicken, fish, taco’s, etc, fries, and a soda. Not a bad deal and usually cheaper than ordering ala carte.

Unless you are not a big soda drinker. As I am. When most of a small soda is all I want a large soda cup seems like a waste, not to mention it is bigger to hold. Here is what happens more often than not when I eat a combo meal. I see a meal I want and add up the prices with a small soda instead of the default size soda. The combo of course is generally less expensive.

Not your way, not today

Not your way, not today

The conversation generally goes something like this:

“I would like one number X please.”

“Okay, that is one number X, an entre, fries, and a large soda.”

“Yes, that is correct. I would be happy with a small soda cup as I do not drink much soda.”

“You want a number X combo plus a small soda?”

“No, I would like a number X combo, but I would like to substitue a small soda cup instead of a large soda.”

This makes perfect sense to me. A large cup is a waste as I never fill a large soda cup even half full. This also seems to make sense for the business. Smaller cup = less soda = less money spent on a cup and soda. More profit for the business. Feels like a win, win….

“Sir, the combo only comes with a large soda”

“I understand that, but a small soda cup is all I want in place of a large soda cup. I do not drink much soda so a small cup is fine.”

“I would have to charge you more because you would not be ordering the combo. It would be more expensive”

“Okay, I understand, a large cup is fine.”

Not sure this is an inventory issue, giving away small cups and upsetting the bean count. It may be the store manager refusing to allow any deviation from the menu. Or it may be something totally different. I find it plain old annoying.

Culture or Gender Thinking

I partook in an interesting informal discussion on culture and gender and how it effects our view of ourselves and our world. Afterward I took an informal straw poll. Now my views have changed on why we do what we do when it comes to our gender and culture.

The discussion question was, “Do you think of yourself as your culture first or do you think of yourself as a Woman/Man first?”

On the surface the question seems pretty simple. I was of the opinion that everyone would think of themselves as gender first and culture second. It made sense to me, starting with you and moving out to the world view. What I failed to understand is we are so intertwined in our culture, our culture is is. It is not really all that clear however.

Some people thought of themselves as their culture then gender. Other people thought of themselves as gender then culture. Why this happened in my small informal survey also surprised me.

It appears parental influence, age, and geography play a large part in how we see ourselves and our culture. I found several main differences that set each of us apart from one another once we are away from our home.

If we were raised in a traditional family setting for our culture, and others we have contact with are too, we are more likely to see ourselves as culture first, followed by gender. In many traditional families, gender roles are clearly defined and rarely crossed. The Women tend the home, while the men bring home the money. To someone raised in this type of environment without outside influences, culture and gender are the same thing.

If we live in a rural setting where big city values and culture does not effect us, we are more like to see ourselves as culture and then gender. For example, we may live in a section where our culture is very strong in a big city, so city values have only a minor impact on us. We may be aware that other people like us live in other places differently, but this is how we are.

If we come from a family that has moved from place to place, and perhaps both parents worked, we see ourselves differently again. Other influences that interrupted or disrupted our family structure. We adapted as we changes geography. We are now more likely to see ourselves as gender first and culture second. For example if both Mom and Dad work(ed) outside the home, we are open to the idea that we and our spouse will work outside the home.

Different Cultures

Culture and Gender shape our world and our place in it

Age plays a large role in how we see gender and culture in our world. The older we are, the more likely we are to have lived in a traditional family where Father worked and Mother ran the household. The older we become the less willing we are to change or conform to new ideas. That wasn’t how it was done when we were kids…. We become not so silent rebels.

When I think of situations that previously made little sense to me, it is now easier to understand why this behavior happens. How we perceive our world determines whether culture is first or gender is first. Culture has no gender and between culture and gender, culture binds the largest number of people together.

When I now think of these situations, I understand this is a culture of people who felt they are wronged in some manner. Whether they were male or female is not a concern. They are acting through their cultural beliefs.

Proof Aliens Live Among Us

I have found proof of Alien life here on Earth along with pictures to support my claim! The first picture is of the space ship Aliens used to travel to Earth in. Notice it is subtly disguised so as not to draw attention to the fact is is a real spaceship?

Alien Space Ship hiding in plane sight!

Alien Space Ship hiding in plane sight!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I found not too far away, the outpost these Alien’s  constructed to live in. Obviously our atmosphere is not quite right for them. I am guessing they live where the hands and feet would be and the rest of structure provides energy and other requirements for living on Earth.

Alien are here, this is their outpost

Alien are here, this is their outpost

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am sure there are solar collectors on the Alien habitat because i=the structure is facing partially north, so it gets sun all day long. I am sure this is advanced technology because both the space ship and the alien habitat look so harmless and innocent. Who would guess they are connected?

I am expecting due to the structure of the habitat, that the aliens are an insect type, and are used to tunneling. For whatever reason earth is not totally their liking. Is it possible this habitat is or was a temporary structure?

Could they have they built their real home into the rock bed below, having shafts cut into the earth below the feet. Is the rocl surrounding the structure from the digging operations that have been performed?

Quite brilliant of these aliens to live right amongst us in a leading technology and cultural area accenting alien pretense as a not only plausible but probable.

Aliens migrate by Terra-forming

This is my theory about life landing on Earth from outer space. Pretend for a few moments that we on Earth have resolved all our differences and have learned to live as one people. Quite a stretch I know, but pretend for a few minutes.

The people of Earth want to travel to other planets and perhaps galaxies, but they are so far away, and our technology is still lacking. The closest planets we want to move to are generations away. We haven’t developed the ability to create and launch multi generations space vehicles yet.

Yet is the key word. We may be able to in the future, but we can not do this yet. We can give ourselves a jump on making new planets habitable. We can do this by launching rockets carrying micro sized pellets of material for planet scape. Let’s make our planet closer. Lets think about getting to Mars and setting up a viable colony of people there. Mars is something we can do in the foreseeable future.

We are getting better at creating designer microbes and designer bacteria. How about we identify or create a microbe here on Earth that can eat some substance on Mars we do not care about or need once we get there.

Let’s create, modify or otherwise produce this microbe to create a waste product we do want. The microbial waste product could be one of the basic components of atmosphere for example. We create some custom microbes and launch them on a rocket ship to Mars.

As our discoveries, technology and knowledge grows so does our microbe creation. We can create ever more meaningful microbes that create as a by product something we need on Mars once we get there.

Aliens Not Attacking

No need to kill life on Earth

Eventually we are in the process of terraforming Mars. Making it closer to something we can inhabit easier. Since we have developed and improved on our microbes and bacteria, there is no sense letting them go to waste.

We package them up and send them off to a further planet we want to someday inhabit. We keep picking out planets further and further away from Earth, but not prohibitively far away from the previous planet we plan on inhabiting some day.

At some point in the process our rockets will be hit by asteroids, or other debris, and our microbes will be dispersed in ever new directions, destined to land on other unknown planets.

Is it possible this has been happening for thousands of years? Projectiles from other civilizations sending out pods of microbes and bacteria with the intent of terraforming planets to their needs for future habitation at some distant point in time?

Some of the pods have been damaged and their contents disbursed landing on barren surfaces starting the process of terraforming? Landing on Earth, most of them benign, but a few not so friendly causing disease and pestilence we had not seen previously?

There does not have to be mal-intent in the actions of sending out projectiles and pods with bacteria and microbes. There just has to be a want to terraform a hostile planet into a planet where future inhabitation may be easier thanks to the efforts of those who lived hundreds or maybe even thousands of generations earlier.

These packages of life terra-forming life may have happened so far in the past the civilizations that sent them do not even know they arrived here on earth.

Alien planet hopping intentions may be lost in time. Only their efforts reamin, lost life forms wandering the galaxies until some planet like mass blocks their path. Some arriving life forms survive and thrive, others perish in a hostile environment.  In the end result, it may even have been ourselves who sent life forms into space eons ago.

How Poker Saved My Life

This true story took place years ago in a European metropolitan city….I am probably the only one to remember it even took place.

There are many advantages in every day life learned from playing poker. One quickly learns the value of sound play. One quickly learns the value of money. One quickly learns the value giving away information, and collecting information.

Having a poker face goes a long way in not giving away information. In my case I believe having a poker face once saved my life.

I was visiting a city where English was not the preferred language. I tried to learn a little of the language before arriving, but there was not enough time, and I am a slow learner of languages. I learned just enough to have a semi-intelligent conversation with a three year old, if they do not try to impress me with their command of the language.

As tourists we tend to wander around and go places where the locals fear to tread. I was one of those wandering tourists, wandering around where no one who has any concern for life and limb would be wandering. Poker does take some amount of risk acceptance, but I unknowingly crossed the risk line as a tourist.

I had wandered into a seedy area of town, to a bar where some really bad people hung out. Not only did they hang out there, but they openly discussed business I unfortunately discovered. Business that was not healthy for anyone else to hear.

In my own ignorance, I did not know the place was seedy, nor did I know it was a haunt of some very serious people of criminal intent. All I wanted was a cold beer, and a break from the heat. It was a rather small bar with only five or six tables. I bought a beer at the bar and sat down at a table. Close by were four men who were in guarded, halted conversation. Two of the men had their backs to me.

Sometimes we make poor decisions

Sometimes we make poor decisions

One of the men with his back to me was angry and impatient, I thought by the tone of his speech. I also understood enough to know this was a conversation I should not be hearing. I was becoming nervous. A lone tourist off the beaten path sitting next to serious men talking about a criminal situation.

After a few minutes of back and forth conversation, one of the men with his back to me realized someone was sitting behind him – in hearing range. From hearing the tone of the talk I knew he was in charge. I also knew this could be the last cold beer of my life.

To say I was nervous was to put it mildly. These were hard men. These were serious men. I realized they could take me outside and I would never be heard from again. Some unfortunate tourist disappeared, and no one saw anything.

I did the only thing I could do. I put on my poker face and acted like it was a hot day outside and I was in the bar having a cold beer, ignorant to the conversation I was hearing and partially understanding.

The Leader inspected me for a good twenty or thirty seconds, which in the moment seemed like a good ten minutes. I did my best to act like I did not have a care in the world and only spoke and understood English, oblivious to the men’s presence.

Suddenly he stood up, and asked the men if they thought I understood their talk, while looking at me intently. I calmly took another drink. Two of the men replied to him saying, “no”. The leader walked behind me, stood quietly for a few seconds, turned and walked to the door. The other men got up and followed. I sat still trying to act as if it was a Sunday morning and I was quietly having milk and cookies.

I felt like Jello inside. I calmly took another drink and breathed a silent sigh of relief. A few minutes later I finished my beer, and walked outside, not sure what to expect.

Mine was the only car present in the parking lot. I got in and drove off, thinking to myself, “What a lucky man I am”. I thanked my lucky stars for poker. Without the skills poker taught me, who knows what the outcome of my misadventure may have been.

Thanks to the skills poker taught me, I am able to relate this story, such as it is. Perhaps without poker, I would have let on through facial expression or body posture that I understood enough of the conversation putting myself in danger. I was a serious threat to the men at the table because of what I heard and understood them discussing.

Without my playing time at the poker table, you would not now be reading this story. No matter what you feel about poker in general, poker, once you get past the basics, poker is all about interacting with people and understanding their actions.

If you are in the workforce you interact with people. If you need to make a high dollar purchase you interact with people. Getting groceries you interact with people. You can not get through your day easily without interacting with people.

You may never be in a situation where how you act effects your very survival, but knowing how to act, and how other people are acting around you, is a very important people skill for success in life. Poker is a only game played using money to keep score. The more you practice and learn, the better you may become. Some day you may need the very skills found in a poker game.

Tagging and Self Esteem

This picture is of a tagging in a bathroom at local eatery.

Is this a statement or cry for recognition of existence?

Is this a statement or cry for recognition of existence?

I find it so sad that some young adult wants and needs the world to know they exist bad enough to settle for putting their work on the bottom of a toilet seat. Along with another tagging of someone putting their work on a pipe near the floor.

Do they feel their lives are so trivial that this is the best they can do to make their mark on the world? They can not look up any higher than the bottom of a toilet seat and the bathroom floor?

I have always viewed tagging as a cry out to the world that the tagger exists. They have nothing but the clothes they wear, a marker or a can of paint.

What could they be doing with their lives if they had a better start on life, or could look a little higher?