Think About This: Them as ha’ never had a cushion don’t miss it.

Jan 5, 2011 by

Today’s thing to thing about is quite simple and straight forward: You don’t miss what you’ve never had.  

It was said long ago by George Elliot.  He more poignantly stated it as: Them as ha’ never had a cushion don’t miss it. For some reason, I’ve always thought it was “He who hath never had a cushion doesn’t miss it,” and for some reason I’ve been going about since my high school days thinking it was Benjamin Franklin who had copied it, I mean, adapted it.

In the 1990s song I Wish by a band called, “King Missile,”  (Their best known song wasDetachable Penis.“)  in a random series of lyrics that mostly make no sense at all, the singer laments that he wishes he could “Return to the life I never knew.”

But that’s the paradox of it all, and I think that was mainly the point of the song, you can’t long for something you don’t know exists.  Or can you?

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Think About This: The Value of Sketchbooks

Jan 4, 2011 by

I have about a dozen sketchbooks around the apartment now.  In them my imagination runs wild.  My hand draws images of what is and what could be.  I draw word maps.  I sketch.  I do SWOT analysis.  I learn a lot by actively thinking and writing this way.  It’s great to be able to instantly see what you’re thinking about with a few strokes of a pen.

I’ve had one with me most of the time since probably the middle of 2009. One day my girls are going to go through them and get a better idea of who Dad really is/was/etc.  At least that’s my hope and so sometimes I do leave them Easter Egg-type thoughts and notes.

My favorite sketchbooks right now are ones you can buy at Half Price Books.  They’re hardcover with a spiral and have a good 100-200 sheets of the prettiest, most inviting white space one can imagine.  They’re only about $8 and one of my greatest fears is that they’re going to quit carrying them. (If you’re ever in there and want to pick me one up, I’d be happy to fill it up for you, though, I’d also encourage you to keep it for yourself and go exploring.) I’ve tried the ones for my Mac, or the iPhone, and thought about the one for the iPad, but to me there’s nothing like writing in one in pen, or pencil or marker, or pastel, or charcoal.  Yes, you can do that on a computer now, too, but I think I’m going to stay Old School; at least on this one thing.

A Gift From My Mom

One of the things my mom gave me for Christmas was another sketchbook.  It wasn’t like my HPB books, but it has something I’m left to ponder.

And as I sat dining this morning over my bowl of Life cereal and eating an English muffin, I looked at the cover and began to ponder what’s written, actually pressed, into the cover of this one.

It says:  Some people dream of success, while others wake up and work hard at it.

What Does That Mean? 

Ok, so here’s the question. In a sketchbook, where I share my dreams, aspirations and often strategic thinking, am I actually working hard at it, too?

Or is it commenting about dreamers who sit idly by and write something down in the book instead of going and doing something about it?

All I Know About Everything

Once one of my uncles at Christmas gave my late grandfather, Andrew Sheptak, a similar book.  (Grandpa was an artist.  He was born in Czechoslovakia and had emigrated to America before WWII, I think. And oh, was he ever opinionated.) The title on it was: All I Know About Everything.  The family joke was this: when it came to what all grandpa knew, the book appropriately was filled with blank pages. (I can still hear Grandma telling me about it over the phone.) The corollary to the first book was a second book, this one entitled, “More About What I Know About Everything.” And yes, it was blank, too!

Of course, Grandpa Sheptak thought where ever he was was a sketchbook.  In my youth I watched him sketch scenes on the bark of Birch trees in Northern Michigan, and write on the walls of the garage and basement of their house about what the temperature was that day, that my mom had come to visit, or that he’d seen the first bright red cardinal of the season contrasted by the white of the snow still on the ground.

His notes are in dozens of art books I still keep on my shelves.  I may never get to some of the art work in the books, but I have made a point to scan through them to learn more about what Grandpa “knew about everything.”  Because it’s in a sketchbook, that answer often becomes quite apparent–the person writing in them oft confesses more about what they do not know than what they presently or maybe ever will understand.

Maybe I should write a one act, one sketchbook play on such.   Now what would be the most appropriate thing to call it?  Sketchbook? Or All I Know About Everything?

Time to get out my sketchbook.  Enjoy.

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Did Your iPhone Get Wet? Apple Genius’ will know in 10 seconds or less

Jan 2, 2011 by

Thankfully, and I’m sincerely not trying to tempt you Fate, but I have yet to get any of my iPhones/iPod/iPad wet and need to take it in to the Genius Bar at my local Apple Store and ask them for help, I mean mercy.  I’ve seen it happen to others though.  Depending on the age of the phone, and how wet you got it, there are options.  So if this has happened to you, all is not totally lost–most likely.

A friend of mine this morning was talking about a glitch she’s been having with her iPhone.  I’m not sure if it’s a 3GS or a 4, but it’s not a 3.  Nonetheless, what I’m about to explain and show you applies to all versions of an iPhone–Apple built in four sensors to know if your phone has taken a bath, gone swimming, fell into the toilet, or off the couch arm and into a cup of water, tea, coke or milk below in what would seem to be an odds defying feat. (In my friend’s case, the phone hadn’t gotten wet, it just needed a restore via iTunes.)

Once a family member of mine took their iPhone into the Genius Bar and I attended the visit.  I love to go to an Apple Store.  It’s like being in a candy store.  And to boot, nearly every time I go into one, I learn something new.  Trips to the Genius Bar, whether for my Mac Book Pro or iPhones or iPads, all bring about cool lessons and tricks most people don’t know about. Okay, so I’m an Apple Geek.  I wear that title with pride. Thank God I moved away from Windoze.

Here’s One–The Water Sensors

I took a brief look in Google this morning and didn’t see any other posts, at least ones with pictures, that show the three outer sensors that an Apple Genius is going to look for immediately upon handing him or her your precious piece of iProduct.  So here they are:

Point number 1: The Earphone Jack:

Now there are differing accounts of what they’re looking for.  Some sites say it’s the color of the plate at the bottom of the jack.  It should be silver/white-ish.  But it was explained to me they’re looking at this white-ish/silver dot signified by the arrow in the frame to the right.   It’s pretty small, so you kind of have to be looking for it to see it, but once it’s pointed out to you, well, I can’t look at an earphone jack any more and not see it.  Know what I mean?

If your phone has gotten wet from the various reasons enumerated above: taken a bath, gone swimming, fell into the toilet, or off the couch arm and into a cup of water, tea, coke or milk below in what would seem to be an odds defying feat–this white-ish/silver button should be PINK.

(BTW: The piece on the iPad is almost opposite of the location in the photo for iPhone 4.  PS: I don’t have a Touch and still fail to see it’s use and functional relevance so I can’t tell you where it’s goods are but since it’s practically an iPhone with no phone part, again, why the hell would anyone want that?)

Point number 2: (you could call it 2 & 3 if you wanted to): The Plugin

The second place a Genius is going to look at your iPhone to see if it’s gotten wet is at the bottom in the place where you plug it in.

In the bay where you plug in the charging cord, or the one plugged into your computer to sync it with iTunes, there are two more white-ish/silver dots.  If you lay the phone flat, front side up, with the bottom end toward you, they’re not really that hard to spot.

The photo to the right is a little small, but if you click on it, it will enlarge and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

The Apple Genius who showed these to me said the these are the ones that most often get wet as people will be plugging in chargers in their car that got coffee spilled on them, or there’s condensation around from bring the phone outside from the warm comforts of your home, apartment, flat or castle depending on where you live, and hopping into the chill of your car, truck, whatever.

Points 4 and 5–Inside the iPhone/iPod/Touch/iPad

You don’t have to worry about checking out these two spots.  They’re inside the phone and if any of the outer ones have been set off, the only real reason Apple is going to care about the inside ones is if they “buy your phone back from you,” at a set fee–the time a family member went in it was $199, which is a lot cheaper than buying a new phone when you’re contract for the wet one doesn’t expire for months, and better than going without one–and they’re going to refurb it for someone else to use.

So if one or all of these indicators is PINK, fret not.  Apple Genius’ most likely are going to find you a way to get back in business in no time and walking out the Apple Store door feeling somewhat relieved, if not totally relieved.


The key then is to not go swimming with your iPhone.  Guys, take it out of your front right pocket before going to pee.   Ladies, forget about playing Words With Friends in the bath.  Teens, as incredible as it might be to sing to Britney, Holiday by Vampire WeekendMaroon 5, or 30 Seconds to Mars in the shower with your earbuds in, don’t.  And if you’re dripping wet in your birthday suit and you get that call from the guy or gal who you’ve been dying to hear from, get out of the shower and dry off–don’t forget your hair and ears, or simply let your cool voicemail feature catch the call and return it in a few minutes when you’re dry again.

Oh, and when you’re sitting on the couch, don’t leave the phone on the arm of it when you’ve also got a cup of water, soda, beer, liquor, milk, tea or anything else that pools in a cup sitting in what would be a million-to-one shot for the phone to accidentally fall off the sofa arm and directly into the liquid below.  Trust me, you’ll be that one in a million, and in this case, you won’t be the winner you always hoped you would be. I’ve seen this happen and thankfully, for once it was glad that the glass wasn’t half full!

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Think About This: Be comfortable and dead, or risky and possibly rich

Dec 30, 2010 by

Don Draper (played by Jon Hamm in Mad Men) of ...
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I’m a Mad Men Fan.  Often it is I regret that I didn’t just sell off what I had when I finished my days at Auburn and head to NYC to make it or break it.  But alas, with that mental fool’s errand I come to the reality that I’d not have my three biological girls and my lovely 6-year-old daughter who thinks of me as her dad.  I would not have had the rich, rewarding experiences, nor would I have endured 2010 as it has been going.  Maybe the lessons I’ve learned this year would have manifested themselves earlier, but each day I thank God more and more for the way things are  and the delicious air I deeply breathe.

One of the best lines I got from season IV of Mad Men, (and as I’ve so noted, there was a lot in Season IV that I related to) was the message Don Draper (John Hamm) gave to the swimsuit company fearful in 1965 of showing the girl in the bikini top with the slogan–“Built so well, we can’t show you the second floor!” As the men were balking, Draper gave them this solid words of advice:  “You have two choices: Be comfortable and dead, or risky and possibly rich.”

So today’s thing to thing about is simple.  I’m in the midst of wrapping up my seven-day Treatise on Life in 2010.  How will it end?  Well, I need you to read three more days of material to answer that.  But here’s what to ponder:

In your present day life, are you being too comfortable?  Are you taking ANY risks?  Is your idea of life still all about working in a job and hoping some day for a gold watch?  What bold actions have you taken today?  Yesterday?  The past week?  Okay, the past month?

Go ahead.  Take a few seconds to answer.

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Think about this: As cool as the other side of a pillow

Dec 28, 2010 by

It’s not a deep muse to spend hours pondering, but I thought this was brilliant the moment I read it one of the sections of Readers Digest back in December 1982.  Now, almost 30 years later, the concept is just as relaxing.  Quite simply, there are few things better.

As cool as the other side of a pillow.Angelo DiBernardo


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Think About This: The gull sees farthest who flies highest.

Dec 27, 2010 by

I scarcely remember the book or even seeing the movie Jonathan Livingston Seagull from the 1970s, (I saw the movie at the Base Theater on KI Sawyer AFB), but Dad had the Neil Diamond soundtrack for the film, (I’ll confess, I have it, too–Flight of the Gull is one of my favorites still–reminds me of seeing the USAF Thunderbirds–the last time I saw them they still played it while flying over crowds) and so the concept of it all remains familiar.   My assumption is that this was the Who Moved My Cheese book of the ’70s.  But here’s today’s quote to think about:

The gull sees farthest who flies highest.—Jonathan Livingston Seagull

It doesn’t just apply to seagulls, you know.  There are so many things in modern life that can serve to weigh us down, to hold us back.  Dad used to also have a figurine with a quote: “It’s hard to soar like an eagle when you fly with a bunch of turkeys.”

Who in your life is a role model who is seeking to fly the highest?  Who do you know whose wings you could give a little lift to so that they might rise up?

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