Month: December 2008

“Maybe it’s Just Me”… is Coming to an End.

The  “Maybe It’s Just Me” Blog is coming to a end. It was a wonderful and enlightening experiment. My last post will be on December 31, 2008.

I have had over 2700 visitors in the the four months since I switched my writing from a private blog to a public site.  I have learned much and I will always appreciate the kind and not-so-kind comments and observations that people have shared.  Most on them I never approved to be seen on the site itself.  It seemed to me to be a little self-serving to post comments about something I wrote.  But in times of weakness I gave in and approved a few over the past few months.

Some observations that I have learned about a public blog site.

  • Bloggers are all about controversy.  The more radical your position the better, or least the more attention your blog gets.  I guess that is good if that is what you are looking for…attention.
  • I write for me.  I write so that my family…particularly my kids Crystal, Nathan, Adamm and Cassidy will one day be able to look back and read some stories that made up my life.  Something I feel like I was  cheated from because I now struggle to remember stories my Grandfather told me.  I wish I would have written them down or recorded them so I could enjoy them now some 20 plus years after his death.  SO… my writing is not really for anyone else.
  • My vain attempts over the past few months at writing to get responses was futile. I simply am not good at writing about something that garnishes that much attention.
  • I love to write  about things that actually happened to me personally.  That, in of itself, is not what public blogging is all about.  No one wants to read about my sad/happy little stories of my life, they want a place where they can comment and give an opinion.  No offense…but your opinion does not matter to me.
  • I am an independent political person.  Registered  as a Democrat but have voted far more times Republican.  I tried the political world of blogging and to be honest…it sucks.  Most of it sounded like spoiled little brats screaming louder than someone else to get more attention. Most everything I read was only written to get a response.  More importantly…MOST OF IT WAS CRAP…  On both sides of the aisle.   I will leave the political comments to Ben Stein, which by the way, is the best in political satire and positions that I read during the entire election process.  I will continue to read his stuff, but the rest is not worth my time… nor yours.
  • Most of what I read on many blogs  was a  re-posting…meaning someone else wrote it.  Not really a whole lot of independent thinking/writing going on in the public blogging world.  I, in fact, intentionally copied and re-posted a story to see what kind of response I would get.  The response were interesting. I even had people re-posting and taking credit for something  that I wrote.  It’s a cynical world.
  • There are some good sites out there.  Many people have excellent perspective on the world and are able to convey it in a way that reads well.  More power to them.

It is time for me to focus on other endeavors, like finishing my MBA. I start back to school to finish my Master’s degree on January 12th and I need to focus on that for awhile.  I will still post to my private blog site and anyone who would like to subscribe or would like to read occasionally, please write to my email account  thelegacybuilder@aol.com.

I love to write…I never said I was good.   Thank you to those of you that played along.

I love to write more than I have ever expressed to anyone growing up.  It is probably something that most people missed about me.  I am not what most people think I was or have become.  The experiences that I have lived have made me who I am…the good and the bad.   I have had success in life and I have failed in life.   I have picked myself off the the floor (in times of failure) when there was no one to lend a hand to help me up.  I have re-invented myself in a successful new career and occupation.  Something that many people said I couldn’t do. I have made my way in spite of the detractors and ney-sayers.

Make no mistake, however, I do understand that all things that I have been given has only been allowed because of the Grace of God. I understand the importance of God’s grace and I am thankful for what He has allowed me to do with my life.

No…most people do not KNOW me…they only know what they choose to believe.  I only care about what the Lord knows to be true about me.

In closing… this is the truth when it comes to describing me…

I love my GOD, my WIFE and my CHILDREN.  They are what I live for today.

Anything else…really doesn’t matter.

But then again…maybe it’s just me.


Ten Ways to Kill Christmas Joy.

Maybe it’s just me…

But this is how I feel at Christmas…

  • I hate the shopping.
  • I hate the crowds.
  • I hate the Fa-la-las, and the la-te-dahs.
  • Hate, hate, hate. Hate, hate, hate. Double Hate. LOATHE ENTIRELY!
  • I NEVER dream about a WHITE CHRISTMAS.
  • Chestnuts roasting on an open fire – Are you kidding me?
  • Frosty the Snowman? Yeah, you’re fat, get over it – it’s hot in the sun, so stay clear of direct sunlight – and two eyes made out of coal – give me a break.
  • Santa Claus is Coming to Town would also be a stupid song, but Springsteen sang the crap out of that song so it gets a free pass.
  • When did parenting skills start becoming ranked by how large and how expensive a Christmas a parent could give their Kid? Am I a BAD parent because I am not willing to risk life and limb to buy my kid the latest, greatest, hottest toy?
  • I knew we were in for it when I saw Reindeer Table linens in Target in AUGUST.
  • I hate  SNOW. For the love of all that is pure and holy…please don’t let it snow.
  • I feel like I just put the decorations in storage why do I have to get them out again?
  • What’s the point of all of these decorations?
  • I would love to have made fun of Rudolph and I would have called him names for sure.
  • Jack Frost can nip my…Ahhh sorry… insert your own word there.
  • Are Christmas Carols really necessary? And why do they start playing them in OCTOBER?
  • I’ll never understand why we have to have a “real” tree.
  • When I watch “The Grinch” I see way too much of myself in him.
  • If Christmas is about giving…how come the day after Christmas is the day for taking back?
  • Life is never better than when I take the tree and decorations down.

Do any of these gloomy Christmas thoughts sound familiar? It’s likely they do. In my opinion, the occasional case of the Christmas blues is perfectly normal, but what I have is something  different.  Something a little more sinister.  I have a serious case of Christmasmonomialdisplexiatoltolticism (Christ’-mas-mon-o-mial-a dis-plex-ial-tol- tolt-i- cism).

I know…

…it’s serious.

There is no known cure.  It is definitely terminal.  But all hope is not lost.  I have tried to soften the affects of this terrible disease. I think I have come up with some ideas to help.  These suggestions won’t eliminate your problems, but they can help you break a negative thought pattern and stop feeling like you want to throw all things Christmas out in the front yard on that blessed morning.

1. Embrace the Christmas Emotional Cycle – Christmas Time is an emotional roller coaster.  A few of the days you feel like nothing can stop you.  Most days you feel utterly hopeless. Some of the time you’re somewhere in between. Understanding the pattern of positive and negative Christmas emotions will help you put your feelings in perspective. Next time you feel a “good” Christmas feeling…hang on…the comforting distain for all things Christmas will come back soon.  So just hold on to those negative feelings as long as you can.  It will make those difficult “good” times pass quickly. The good feelings about Christmas is just a natural emotion that will inevitably pass.  Knowing that a feeling of Christmas Joy is only temporary, makes it less dreadful.

2. Spend time with Negative Christmas People – Nothing affects the way you think and feel more than the people you interact with.  Thoughts (both positive and negative) are contagious.  If you are surrounded by positive Christmas people, it’s only natural that you’ll start to think and feel the same way.  To improve your outlook on life, spend time with negative Christmas people.  Chances are their unhappiness will rub off.  Search them out, embrace them  and try to understand the way of error of those positive Christmas people.

3. Reflect on past Negative Christmas Success – In the wake of a colossal failure, it’s easy to forget everything you’ve ever done right.  We all have  had our times of weaknesses in experiencing  Christmas joy.  That can be fixed by taking a few minutes to remember your past accomplishments in spreading Christmas negativity.  This will build yourself up. What made you successful before? What are your strengths? Frequently, this exercise will build self confidence, help you figure out what went wrong, and generate ideas for success in spreading Christmas Negativity in the future.

4. Focus on Christmas Loathing – It’s human nature to measure ourselves against those ahead of us on the social ladder.  Studies have shown that people care more about being richer (getting) than giving Christmas Joy.  That being said…It is indeed better to receive than to give.  So when you consider everything good in your life and compare it to the problems of less fortunate people, the issue of Christmas Joy that is making you happy won’t seem as serious…Again… it will pass and you will be back your old self in a few minutes.

5. Change Christmas Scenery – One of the best ways to change the way you feel is to change your Christmas environment. When you get in a slump, you start to associate your problems with everything around you.  It can get to the point where your Christmas environment is a constant reminder of your problems (Christmas Joy).  This can be a dangerous cycle.  The solution is to change things.  Change doesn’t have to be radical.  Here are some suggestions: Remove some  lights off the tree.  Take some of the ornaments down and take few of the Candles and box them up before Christmas Day.   Remove all evidence of Santa and his nasty little reindeer.  Removing unpleasant  Christmas decorations can completely change the mood of a room and brighten your day.

6. Break your Christmas Routine – Going through the same Christmas routine, day after day, can be monotonous and depressing.  It often leads to getting caught in a rut.  To get out of it you need to temporarily change your Christmas routine. If you can, celebrate Christmas day on December 1st.  That way you will not let the Christmas carols or the  Christmas joy spread too far into your personal life.  I say, get it over as soon as you can after Thanksgiving. That way you will not have time to build up the Christmas spirit.  In the long run, taking a day to celebrate Christmas early will make you happier and more productive.

7. Interact with Animals and Nature – It’s funny when you consider how humans put so much importance on Christmas.  Animals don’t think this way. A little bird doesn’t mope around and want to take all his presents back the day after Christmas.  Animals live in the present moment and they show love unconditionally. Regardless if they received what they wanted or not.  Observing and interacting with them will help you get over your problems of Christmas Joy.

8. Get Moving – As Johnny Cash famously suggested, “Get a rhythm, when you get the blues.” Moving to a beat makes everyone feel better. The same is true for Christmas in general.  Taking down Christmas decorations will help you shed the lethargy that comes with feeling depressed.  The more enthusiastic you approach your negative Christmas moments, the better you will start to feel.

9. Think about the Big Christmas Picture – As Carl Sagan made evident with the Pale Blue Dot, we’re insignificant creatures living in a vast universe on a tiny planet.  In the long run, everything we do will probably be forgotten.  Some might find this depressing, but it shouldn’t be.  It means that all our problems are illusory. In a million years no one will remember what you did or didn’t do. What matters is the present moment and enjoying every second of life that we’re blessed with…even if that means tolerating a brief moment of Christmas Joy.

10. Do Something to Help Yourself – Above all, the best way to stop feeling Christmas Joy is to take action. What is your biggest problem? How can you alleviate it? Once you decide to stop moping about Christmas and start moving forward you won’t have time to feel depressed.  Action will occupy your mind and give you something to look forward to.  Plan now for your Christmas perspective.  Once you get some results, you’ll build momentum and positive thinking will keep you packing up a little Christmas Cheer everyday.  Before you know it…Christmas will be here and gone and you can get back to complaining without using Christmas as an excuse for your bad attitude.

But then again…   maybe it’s just me.

Ben Stein…Nobody says it Better.

Who is Ben Stein?

Ben Stein (Benjamin J. Stein) was born November 25, 1944 in Washington, D.C., (He is the son of the economist and writer Herbert Stein) grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland, and attended Montgomery Blair High School. He graduated from Columbia University in 1966 with honors in economics. He graduated from Yale Law School in 1970 as valedictorian of his class by election of his classmates. He also studied in the graduate school of economics at Yale.

In 1973 and 1974, he was a speech writer and lawyer for Richard Nixon at The White House and then for Gerald Ford. (He did NOT write the line, “I am not a crook.”)
He is also an extremely well known actor in movies, TV, and commercials. His part of the boring teacher in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was recently ranked as one of the fifty most famous scenes in American film. From 1997 to 2002, he was the host of the Comedy Central quiz show, “Win Ben Stein’s Money.” The show has won seven Emmies. He was a judge on CBS’s Star Search, and on VH-1’s “America’s Most Smartest Model.”
The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

Profound and one of the best perspectives I have ever heard…Nobody says it better than this…
My confession:

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees.. I don’t feel threatened. I don’t feel discriminated against. That’s what they are: Christmas trees.

It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, ‘Merry Christmas’ to me. I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu . If people want a creche, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her ‘How could God let something like this happen?’ (regarding Katrina) Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, ‘I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?’

In light of recent events… terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school… The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr Spock’s son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he’s talking about. And we said OK.

Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves. Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

The Invention that Killed America

Can you name the one invention that changed the world more than any other?  No…it wasn’t the television.  It wasn’t nuclear technology…the bomb or otherwise. It wasn’t the computer nor was it the cell phone.  Agreed that these fine inventions had their impact and do continue to evolve and change the world as we know it.  But what was the one invention that changed the world immediately and it was like Pandora’s Box…once it was let loose it would never be put back nor would it ever go away. That invention was the microwave oven.

Maybe it’s just me…

But I think that the Microwave oven ruined society and the American Family.

First a history lesson…

Like many of today’s great inventions, the microwave oven was a by-product of another technology. It was during a radar-related research project around 1946 that Dr. Percy Spencer, a self-taught engineer with the Raytheon Corporation, noticed something very unusual. He was testing a new vacuum tube called a magnetron, when he discovered that the candy bar in his pocket had melted. This intrigued Dr. Spencer, so he tried another experiment. This time he placed some popcorn kernels near the tube and, perhaps standing a little farther away (duh…), he watched with an inventive sparkle in his eye as the popcorn sputtered, cracked and popped all over his lab.

The next morning, Scientist Spencer decided to put the magnetron tube near an egg. Spencer was joined by a curious colleague, and they both watched as the egg began to tremor and quake. The rapid temperature rise within the egg was causing tremendous internal pressure. Evidently the curious colleague moved in for a closer look just as the egg exploded and splattered hot yoke all over his amazed face. The face of Spencer lit up with a logical scientific conclusion: the melted candy bar, the popcorn, and now the exploding egg, were all attributable to exposure to low-density microwave energy. Thus, if an egg can be cooked that quickly, why not other foods? Experimentation began…

Dr. Spencer fashioned a metal box with an opening into which he fed microwave power. The energy entering the box was unable to escape, thereby creating a higher density electromagnetic field. When food was placed in the box and microwave energy fed in, the temperature of the food rose very rapidly. Dr. Spencer had invented what was to revolutionize cooking, and form the basis of a multimillion dollar industry, the microwave oven.

Now on to my point that it was the microwave that killed society and the American family…

This week I was on my trek to get my drug of choice… the “Whopper” from Burger King. To me the “Whopper” is like crack to a junkie.  It is my fix.  I mean I can go a few days without but then I need, it’s just something that I have to have. I pulled my car up to the speaker to order my delicious morsel of burger, my mouth salivating like a dog waiting to be fed.

With my hands shaking with anticipation, I place my order. I then proceed to the window to pick up my flame broiled trophy.  I rolled my window down to reach up to get my prize and much to my dismay…IT WASN”T DONE!!! I mean it was at least 30 seconds after I ordered it.  I mean this wasn’t rocket science…it’s a burger.  How could they not have it done in the time it took me to order it and pull my car around to pick it up?  What has our society come to? I mean we put men on the moon and we can’t have a burger ready.

I was about to give the minimum wage earning , high school girl attending the window a piece of my mind, when it hit me.  How did I become so impatient?  Why do I believe that I have to have something ready in 1.2 seconds or I give a big sigh of disgust?  I will tell you what caused me to be an impatient idiot…it was the microwave oven.

Now I know that Burger King doesn’t “microwave” their burgers…but the principle is the same. The microwave has turned us into a society of impatient imbeciles. We have to have it “HOT and NOW”.  We cannot wait, it must happen immediately.  Remember when we first started using computer?  We could not believe how fast you could look up information.  It took a few minuets and we thought it was great.  Today if we click on a file or window and it doesn’t come up at the precise moment we lift our finger off the mouse we want to throw that piece of crap out the window.  We are a sick society.

Another thing that the microwave did to ruin society as we know it is that it killed the American family. How?  It created an atmosphere where families no longer had to sit down and eat dinner together. Each member of the family can have their own schedule and not worry about missing dinner.  Leftovers…no problem, simply…pop it in the microwave and dinner is served.

The one time of the day when all members of the family came together as a unit in one place was now over.  It was a time of not just eating, but a time of sharing and fellowship. It was time where we learned about what was going on in the life of our family. Those days are sadly over.

So, for me, it wasn’t the television, the computer or the cell phone that changed society…it was the microwave oven. 

I think I should have pitched it out with that slow computer I threw away the other day.