My Communications Degree

Farmhouse Phone

I realize now I should have gotten a Communications degree. Maybe then I could communicate better with Ironman and the Littles. It seems lines get crossed easily in our house. I feel like my lips are moving and sounds are coming out, but the outcome is frequently the same. As I’ve mentioned before, Little J has numerous toys that are, to put it politely, obnoxiously loud. He likes to play with them all. At the same time. So at any given moment there could be trucks backing up, buzzers going off, balls rolling, all to the melodic background of lullaby machines and Sesame Street. I’ll calmly ask him to turn one down. The volume goes up. I’ll kindly ask him to turn one off. A ringing sound is added. My best guess is perhaps the space-time continuum somehow distorts my message. Something is keeping my words from penetrating his ears. I’ll have to mention it at the next checkup. At night, I tell dear Little J to sleep well and I’ll see him in the morning. Now this one may be my fault. I don’t specify a time or send him a calendar invite. So when he awakes at 2:30 am, technically he is in the right. Ironman, however, is an entirely different story. I don’t think the sound actually ever reaches his ears. I often tell him of plans I’ve made for us (post Ironman authorization, of course). A couple of days ahead, I even mimic the doctor’s office and remind him of our impending plans. On game day, Ironman has no recollection of these plans or the reminder. It’s as if time actually stops and rewinds itself. This fully supports his favorite statement which is “If I don’t remember it, it never happened.”. In all fairness, there may have been checks that went unsigned for several days, prohibiting deposit or pictures not timely printed and sent to grandma. But those are different-I heard him, I just forgot. It’s the non-audible side of the house I don’t understand. Ironman’s premature need for a hearing aid isn’t our only communication error. Sometimes our gender differences muddle things up. For example, when I say “This house has so much character!” He hears “Work.” When I say “I have an idea!” He hears “Work.” And when I say “I saw something on HGTV…” He hears “Way too much work.” Conversely, when he says “My Garmin watch got water in it.” I hear “I want to buy the latest Garmin watch.” When he says “I got a flat tire.” I hear “I want to buy wheels that are more expensive than my bike.” And when he says “The bike store is having a sale.” I hear “I want to buy the bike store.” I guess it’s never too late to go back and get that degree.

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The Power Struggle

I blame the power company for all arguments with Ironman. We have a difference in opinion in how cool or not cool the house should be. Every month the almighty power house emails us. Like we’re friends of theirs. Most companies who email share helpful tips or fun facts. And they do. But sandwiched in between this friendly advice is a beautiful illustration.

Power Bill
The answer is yes. The “You” bar is ALWAYS double that of our neighbors. And if that’s not bad enough, I get to hear about the fancy efficient neighbors, who are probably dining by candlelight in clothesline-dried clothes, eating off of hand washed plates. Someone at the table is humming softly as they don’t own a tv or radio. Little Johnny is in the corner riding a Rock the Bike bicycle, graciously mixing up a desert smoothie in the attached blender for my beloved, perfect green neighbors. They snuggle in for the night, gazing at the starlit sky, tucked in under what I can only imagine is a solar paneled roof. I don’t know why the power company likes to get me in trouble. I obviously keep them well funded and secure in employment. You’d think they’d spend their time targeting those pesky save-the-planeters who clearly don’t contribute to the power company’s bulging pockets. I know you’re dying to hear how the argument discussion with Ironman goes:

Ironman: Look at this!
Me: I know.
Ironman: Have you seen this energy email?
Me: Yes, I can’t believe our neighbors use so little power.
Ironman: No, we use too much!
Me: They must not have little kids who need their clothes washed every other day.
Ironman: (provides long list of all immediate neighbors who have young children)
Me: Ah. They must not be married to a triathlete who works out twice a day and needs HIS clothes washed every other day.
Ironman: (silence)

The struggle continues.

How to be a Successful Blogger

Keyboard

I am not a successful blogger. I say that because I’m pretty sure my dad is the only one following me. Hi Dad. Oh and Ironman, who doesn’t so much follow me as get forced to read every post before it’s published, which is usually in the middle of the night when he gets up to use the restroom and can’t fall back asleep. So, a follower and an insomniac. But I assure you, I’ve read several articles on how to be a successful blogger, so I know my stuff. And I think I know what my followers would ask me if I had any.

1. Why don’t you have any eye-grabbing images?
If I give my fans everything up front, I won’t be able to dazzle you later. (The truth – the Littles haven’t granted me the time to upload my creative shots yet)

2. Why don’t you have giveaways?
See the introduction to this post. I don’t have any followers. If companies give me free stuff, I keep it.

3. At the end of your posts, why don’t you ask a thought-provoking question?
If you’re anything like me you have to make 1,000 decisions daily and one more question might throw you over the edge. I’m just looking out for you. You’re welcome.

4. Some of your posts seem short.
This is not a question. This is a statement, but since this is a totally fictitious interview, I’ll go ahead and answer. Or respond. To keep readers engaged you should keep your posts around 400 – 600 words. Also, my former boss (we’ll call him Undercover Boss for anonymity) used to call me out on my somewhat verbose emails. I suppose I could have been more succinct in my point making. So you can thank him. If you knew who he was.

5. Why don’t you have any social media accounts for this blog?

See #1. And a confession. Most of the time I write this blog one handed on my phone while someone drools on it or is trying to drive a truck up my arm. As I write this, however, I realize I actually could use a new friend or two, even if they are virtual. Check back for an update on a cry for help social media fan page for this blog.

Oh, and thanks for reading. Dad.

All By Myselfie

I’m sure you’re aware by now that teens today have a big problem. They have a photographer shortage. That’s right, all of the baby boomers are retiring. And since none of our youth is studying photography, it leaves them with no other option than…the selfie.

Cannon

Profiles everywhere are littered with these solitary masterpieces. Phones are now handheld mirrors to the soul. Arms are strained as they reach high overhead to get the perfect chinless shot. And bathroom mirrors across the nation gleam as they claim the #1 slot for the self-portrait backdrop. Sources even report a high number of family vacations are going undocumented, with no empirical evidence the rest of the family was ever there. This is a growing problem. In a world that has become increasingly connected, these kids are dangling out there like astronauts untethered from their mother ship. Some say it’s just vanity. But teenagers aren’t the only ones affected. This selfie disorder is widespread, reaching celebrities and presidents. Leaders of nations, folks. This is clearly the result of a photographic reduction in force. Why else would expensive photo shoots of diplomats and A-listers be replaced by one-handed celebrity amateurs? And people continue to compulsively click the photo button. Daily, the masses are not smiling for the camera as mom so persistently directed. Their somber expression is contagious and these selfies are multiplying rapidly like gremlins exposed to water. Soon newspaper headliners will turn into the Sunday Selfies. Wedding photos will be mere tributes to their former single life. And baby Bjorns will come equipped with an extendable phone holster so a drooly finger can catch just the right moment for mom. Professional photographers, this is a call to action. We need you to rescue this generation in need. Mentor them with your Canons, your Nikons, your Sonys. Show them that there can be someone on the other side of the lens. With your help, someday pictures may even showcase multiple people again. I know together we can end this epidemic of solo snapping if we can just get back to basics. So ditch your smartphone and grab a lens cap, this one might take a while.