Category Archives: Personal

Random Thoughts Three

In March 2009 I wrote a post that I called Some Random Thoughts. It was basically a quick hitter of commentary on some current topics and basically rants I had that I just needed to get off my chest. Then last November I had a political rant on health care in America. I’m feeling the need for my third random rants post, thus that’s what this one is. I hope you read and comment; I’m having my say anyway.

In the United States, the political season is upon us. This year it seemed to start earlier, as we started getting hammered with political ads back in July. That’s because then it was the beginning of primary season. I hate political ads, and have never been swayed by any of them. To me, most of the process is fake, and most of what you hear in an ad is a lie. One thing that’s really odd these days is that, unless it’s an ad attacking someone, they never say what party they’re with. If they’re attacking Obama, you know the person is Republican; if you’re not, you’re a Democrat. Frankly, I hate attack ads, and surveys have shown that an overwhelming majority of people say they hate them. Yet they work, and the nastier one can make their ad, the more likely they’re going to be elected. It’s the fault of the people; if more people did their own research into someone instead of deciding based on political ads, these things would go away, or at least temper themselves. We are our own worst enemies; it’s a shame.

It seems that everyone I know says they hate bullying. Yet bullying still continues, and frankly it’s starting to get out of hand. We had bullies back in our day as well, but I don’t know of a single kid who ever committed suicide because of a bully. The thing is, almost no one seems to ever help a kid being bullied. Parents say they don’t know; schools say they’re not allowed to do anything; the police say it’s not their jurisdiction. I’ve always said if I were a parent and my kid was being bullied that I’d have gone to the other parent’s house and threatened to beat that parent up, or gone directly after the kid. Sure, that’s when everyone else gets involved. Even other parents are bullying some kids, and then don’t want to take any responsibility when a kid kills themselves; y’all remember that story, right? Everyone needs to be watching their kids, but the parents of kids being bullied and the parents of potential bullies. The latest girl to kill herself was only 12 years old; neither she nor the kids bullying them were legally old enough to even be on those sites. Hillary Clinton was right; it takes a village to raise a kid. And on this topic, y’all need to go read this post by Holly.

Next, there seems to be too many kids being killed in some fashion by parents these days; what’s all this about? The latest was a pastor down south who “forgot” his 14-month old daughter was in the van and she died of overheating. There has been a rash of these all over the place; what’s wrong with people? In my very first rant I mentioned fathers who were killing their kids to spite the mother; now it seems there’s a lot more mothers killing their kids, and it’s usually because they just decide they don’t want to deal with them anymore or are doing it because they want to be with some man who doesn’t want to have kids. There really needs to be more education and more oversight on young mothers, otherwise this epidemic is going to keep happening, and it has to stop.

And finally, a word about “isms”. I put a question out on my FB business page asking people if they’d ever step in to help someone who they saw was a victim of some kind of “ism”. The only response I got was one guy who said he didn’t understand the question. That tells me that he, and others, have absolutely no understanding of what to do when they see someone being treated badly because of racism, sexism, gayism, etc. There are just too many of us deciding to “mind our own business” instead of stepping forward to help someone when they can. Are there times when you should err on the side of caution? Sure; that doesn’t mean you can’t pick up the phone and call 911 or something, does it? Bad things are going to continue happening to people until someone decides to step forward and offer some kind of support. When Rodney King was beaten, the only support he got was some guy who filmed the whole thing, and the local populace acquitted the police, not believing their own eyes. When it takes the federal government to protect someone’s rights, it shows that the entire system of common sense and decency if flawed. Remember this part of the old axiom; if you don’t stand up for someone else’s rights, when it’s your turn there won’t be anyone to stand up for you.

I think that’s enough. I have more but now I have to go drink something cold and cool down. Just some things to think about; what are your thoughts?

Tolerance






Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Mitch Mitchell

9/11/01 9 Years Later; Never Forget

A relatively short post today. Last Sunday I asked your thoughts about 9/11/01. All week long I thought briefly about it, but wasn’t getting too deep into it because, well, it seemed that life was going on, and people were saying they were ready to move on.

I changed my mind. I’m not really going to dwell on it all day long. However, it’s important to show a few images from that day, some very disturbing things, and then close with something sort of positive, though not exactly what I wanted to show. And this article is posting at the time the first plane hit.

This first clip is of the first tower of the World Trade Center being hit. There’s graphic language, but I believe it can be forgiven this one time:

This next clip is of the second tower of the World Trade Center being hit, with commentary about the first one going on before you see it. Strange thing that there’s not a single clip of anyone on the other side of the WTC getting a real shot of it being hit, but seeing this plane, which I saw live at the time, is still chilling after all these years.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any real clip of the Pentagon after it was hit, and the same obviously goes for the plane that went down in Pennsylvania. The folks who helped take that plane down and giving their lives for many others took a lot of courage, and in my mind they were heroes as well as anyone else.

This next clip was the first large assembly of people in the country after this event took place, and I watched it live because I wondered what they would do. The WWE has always been upfront in its support of the troops of this country, and they didn’t let me down here.

This final clip isn’t the one I wanted to show, but NBC has a lock on the copyright and, to date, has never allowed the clip to be seen by anyone after the first few copies got out. Saturday Night Live did a show 4 days later, which was the opening show of the new season. They asked Paul Simon to come in and sing The Boxer, and had Mayor Rudy Guiliani and a host of police and firemen standing behind him as he performed the song by himself with just his guitar. I thought it was drastically inspiring, and why NBC has kept a lid on it I’ll never know. No matter; here’s a different clip of Paul Simon singing the same song, in an odd way more of what New York City used to be than it is now, or actually was on 9/11/01.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Mitch Mitchell

De-Stressing Life By Not Commenting

Two weeks ago on my business blog, I wrote a post titled Do We Have To Talk To Each Other? The premise of the post was that there are times when it’s probably better not to have interactions with someone else because not every person you encounter has to be deemed as someone you have to have a crucial conversation with. If it’s work related in a company and you need to do business, that’s one thing, but in your personal life, why would you want to consistently go through that type of thing?


Conflict by Rishi S

There are things I normally don’t like to discuss, but every once in a while, in my own space, I’ll get off a bomb here and there. For instance, I don’t like the way the state of politics is in our country right now. Suffice it to say, my politics is totally against the party of “no”, and I don’t like how they’ve consistently lied to the American public about health care and about President Obama personally. I was particularly intrigued by this post on The Slate titled Why Won’t Any Republicans Condemn the “Obama is a Muslim” Myth? And don’t even let me start talking about this thing with the guy who’s going to be burning Quran’s (they keep changing the spelling of this thing; someone needs to decide on it one way or another and leave it be) this weekend, because my overall take wouldn’t be what someone might expect from me.

Having said that, I’ve realized over time that there are some battles you just can’t win, especially online. It’s not necessarily whether you’re correct or not. It has to do with distance and perspective. Back in the early 90’s I was on bulletin board systems, the early versions of forums for those of you too young to remember. There was this particular forum I was in where some people came in just to be naysayers and cause trouble. They weren’t overly interested in the topic or in discussing issues; they just wanted to jam up the works.

This one guy in particular got on my nerves so much that I decided I was going to track him down. And I did, and guess what? It turned out he was only a 90-minute drive away. I got his real name, got his address and phone number, and I was ready to go. But I decided instead to let him know I had his information and that I just might pop down for a “face to face conversation”. So, in the forum, I outed him, with his name and the dorm he lived in; yes, he turned out to be a college student. I didn’t give his phone number or the name of the college, but he knew I had the goods on him. He wrote back saying if I showed up he would call the police and have me arrested for harassment and that he would sue me for everything I had; good thing I had nothing back then. He deleted his account and never bothered any of us again. It didn’t stop anyone else, but I had my proof.

People tend to behave differently in person than they do online. Not everyone of course; I’ve met some wonderful people. But nasty people are a different matter. They’re not trying to be civil; they don’t care about you or your space. It may not always seem to be intentional, but there are patterns that happen, “track record” as I like to call it.

Sometimes, it’s not even that drastic. There are some of us who just can’t get along with someone else. It’s unknown what the reason is, but it happens. I have an interesting track record myself. People who meet me say that if you can’t get along with me, you have a problem. I appreciate that, but I also know I’m not every person’s cup of tea. I’m a bit politically correct for many. I’m also a bit of a hothead when I feel it’s justified, and I go for the throat. I’ve told friends that it’s never good enough to get even; you have to go for the jugular so you never have to deal with it again. That’s a concept the book Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card captured perfectly; it’s a great book and one I’d recommend to anyone who likes science fiction that’s not too far away from the world we could possibly recognize. It’s a reason I’ve only ever had 2 practical jokes pulled on me and why I ended up having few fights as a kid.


Peace by lintmachine

However, I’ve come to an epiphany at this juncture. I’m now 51, and I know that realistically I’ve lived more than 2/3rds of my life. I have the right to decide if I want to spend any of that time arguing with people whose minds I’m never going to change or just leaving it alone and keeping some peace in my life. I’ve decided I’m going to try to go the peaceful route. If I feel that I’m starting to get mad at something, I’m going to leave it be, at least as it pertains to me. I need to work harder on de-stressing my life by not commenting.

If I feel the need to come to someone’s defense, I’m still going to do that; trying to save the world, as my wife says, but my big 3 are loyalty, respect, and trustworthiness. I’m loyal to my friends and people I like; I hope I’ve proven that often enough over the years both online and offline.

So, if you don’t see me respond to a certain post here and there, trust me, it’s probably a good thing. Social media has brought the world closer, but it’s also brought a lot of people together who aren’t really prepared to play well with each other sometimes. On Twitter I’m sometimes more political than I want to be; I think I’ve struck the correct balance on this blog. I tend to think that all of us have to try to take some time to look at what we see when we’re being responded to, but we also have to be ready to defend ourselves as well as try as best we can to get our proper message across. I add a smiley face a lot, or a “lol” to make sure people take what I’m saying as tongue in cheek fun. If you misunderstand that, I’m not giving a second chance anymore. I need to de-stress my life.

Who’s with me on this one?

Kc Chiefs Merchandise: Reebok Kc Chiefs Ladies Red Slouch Adjustable Hat

KC Chiefs ReebokLadies Red Slouch Adjustable Hat


Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010-2018 Mitch Mitchell

Would You Be Missed?

A couple of weekends ago I took a little test on Twitter. I wanted to see if I didn’t start off engaging anyone if I’d be missed. I did know that one of my blog posts was scheduled to post late morning, but I was curious if anyone would pick up on the blog post or send me anything.


photo by By PaDumBumPsh

When I finally looked later in the day I did have messages. A couple of people had retweeted the post. A couple had responded to the post. And one person had written me a welcoming message to the day. I felt pretty good because I think it shows I do have at least a little bit of impact, or influence, online. Of course, my local influence is still nothing, as everyone who wrote me was from somewhere else, but that’s okay; I’ll take what I can get.

Our lives are so much different now than they used to be. In the past, there was some sense of community, of knowing the people who lived in your community. You’d see people in the neighborhood and know everyone’s name. You’d shop at the same stores and see each other there.

Nowadays, we have more ways to communicate with each other, yet instead of spreading the sense of community, for the most part it’s become more restrictive. You only message so many people because you don’t want to pay for extra time if you go over your minutes. We don’t have to leave our homes to go meet people because we can bring people into our homes electronically.

It’s a shame, but that’s pretty much my life. I work from home most of the time, so I don’t have a need to leave the house all that often. I’ve learned that my wife and my elderly neighbors across the street think that I’m getting old before my time because I don’t leave the house. My mind says not to spend money unnecessarily, and that includes gas for my car. It’s less expensive to stay home, so I do. I leave when I have something specific to do; just getting out for the sake of getting out makes no sense anymore.

This leads me to wonder sometimes if I would be missed by many people if something happened to me. If I stopped twittering, left LinkedIn alone, got off Facebook, and pretty much just withdrew would people notice I was gone. Sure, I know a few would; I do luckily have a few friends, and of course my wife, mother and grandmother. I do have my newsletter. But would any of the “masses” really miss me? Would I even have a legacy that someone would say “that was a good guy”. Unless my wife sent something out, and that’s not going to happen, would people reach out and say “hey, where are you”, or would time just move on?

It’s an interesting question. The second question is if you’d want that sort of thing in the first place? As I’ve talked about this concept of influence I’ve thought about the second half of that, which is once you have some influence can you ever have a private life again? Then I came to a resounding “yes”. We had this CEO of Hewitt Packard have to resign and get out of Dodge because of an alleged sex scandal, and I realized that I had absolutely no idea who this guy was, yet one could imagine that his influence had to be pretty high. If it wasn’t for the scandal, he’d have never crossed my mind at all. And yet, because of his influence, his indiscretion (alleged; yeah, right) was big news, and plastered all over the media. Almost Tiger Woods bad, but that kind of thing is hard to top.

Do you think you’d be missed by the masses if you suddenly stopped writing or doing whatever it is you do online? Do you care? Or would you like something mixed, like the treatment Ben Vereen gets from the Muppets in a performance of Mr. Cellophane?

Gravity Bike Rack-Deluxe Wall Bike Rack






Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Mitch Mitchell

CPAP Adventures

I have a CPAP machine next to my bed now. I first mentioned it when I was talking about disasters a few days ago, and then I mentioned it again yesterday when talking about getting healthy.

What is a CPAP? First, it’s that little thing there to the right. I had a CPAP machine 4 years ago, almost to the day when I gave it up, and it was much larger than this thing you see. It was also much heavier; this thing weight almost nothing. And what you’re seeing is the heaviest part of the thing, because it comes with a small tank that holds water to help keep your nose and mouth moist when you’re using it while you’re sleeping.

Okay, more details first. CPAP stands for “continuous positive air pressure”, and basically the machine helps you breathe at night. Sleep apnea means you pretty much stop breathing during the night. It’s a little different from just snoring because when you stop breathing, your body starts to struggle a little bit to get you breathing again. It often starts before you get into the deepest sleep, and what this means is that you kind of wake up many times during the night. I say “kind of” because you probably don’t remember it most of the time. You might snore if you have sleep apnea, but not everyone who snores has it. And it can be life threatening; professional football player and Hall of Famer Reggie White passed away from it; that’s what initially got me thinking about it.

As I said, I had a machine back from near the end of 2005 into July or August of 2006. I kept having problems getting used to the different masks, it was heavy and getting on my nerves traveling with it, and frankly I didn’t feel all that much better after such a long time. The biggest problems I had then were the masks. The first mask I had must have leaked somehow, and it caused massive scarring on my face; couldn’t have that. The second mask kept blowing air into my eyes, and waking up every morning with at least one red eye certainly wasn’t pleasant. The final thing I went to was a nasal cannula type of mask, which you’d think would be nice and easy, but I kept having panic attacks, and thus wouldn’t sleep at all. It reminded me too much of sick people in the hospital; that just wouldn’t do at all. That’s the reason I gave it back.

Unfortunately for y’all, unless I knew you back in 2005 and 2006 you missed the entire story of the sleep test, then the subsequent dumping of the machine, as it went out through email. I can tell you that when I went back to the doctor this year, he had me take another overnight sleep test, and this time it went much smoother. Not as many wires, none wrapped around my neck, and the initial mask the guy put on me was fairly light. I obviously had some issues overnight, as the guy woke me up 5 times, but otherwise I made it through the night unscathed.

This is the mask I have now. It’s much different than previous masks because it covers my mouth and has the two things at the top that go into my nose. They never used to have masks that covered the mouth, and that was a major issue in the past because you’re supposed to keep your mouth closed, and if you don’t your throat can take a beating, and if you’re like me you’re still waking up all the time. They have this strap you can put around the top of your head and under your jaw, but trust me, not many people enjoy that at all. Now, if I open my mouth, the machine will still blow air into me.

Oh yeah, the air. What happens is you get tested to see if you have apnea. Then the doctor looks at all the results and estimates how much air pressure the machine should be blowing into you. If I knew what the pressure part meant I don’t think I could explain it, so I’ll just say that the higher the number, the higher the pressure. The machine starts low, which gives you a chance to get to sleep before it gets to its highest level, which is preset by the people you get the machine from. Get this; you can buy the machine (they’re not cheap), but by law, at least in the U.S., you can’t do anything with the pressure unless you get a prescription. That’s changed, because you used to be able to alter pressure but you weren’t allowed to buy the machines; I wish people would make up their mind. I don’t have to worry about it; seems it’s all covered 100% by insurance. 🙂

Anyway, so far I don’t feel much different. It affects people differently, it seems. Some start feeling great within a week, others it takes 90 days. Since I don’t have air blowing in my eyes anymore, I hope within a month that I can report I’m feeling better. I guess we’ll see. If you have any questions or comments, just talk.

SleePAP CPAP Pillow with Pillowcase






Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Mitch Mitchell