Man vs. leaves

The battle has begun.

I saw my first squirmish on the north side of Winston-Salem early this week.

Some may say it’s a little late in the year for these battles to begin. Yet, the leaves are still preparing for battle. They are not all quite ready to join in.

The battles are just getting started in every community, city and state across the country.

You can see and often hear the battles going on around you.

At times it appears man is winning the battle, then with no warning, the leaves begin to let go even more and overtake man’s efforts as they collect deeper and wider.

The weapons man uses continue to change, often more sophisticated. Bigger equipment, stronger tools and faster machines. Yet just as often, the weapons can regress back to old school manual tools.

Sometimes man will attack in the early morning or late evening. Sometimes a local battle will go on from sun up to sundown.

Sometimes the leaves let go from their position and unload a massive attack upon man just as the temperature drops and the rains begin.

I’ve seen man retreat, but never for long. Eventually, after a long hard fought battle man will win that battle, but never will man win the war.

The leaves have an advantage. Every year they will return. To start yet another never ending series of battles in a never ending war.

It’s over, we’re finished and I don’t love you any more

How do I say these words to her?

This question had been weighing heavily on his mind for weeks now.

He had finally given up on the relationship but did not know how to tell her.

In the beginning, he felt special.

The conversations, messages, and phone calls were all alluring, often personal and seductive in many different ways. She often shared tantalizing videos with him.

He felt that she could be the one.

He had been tempted to try another for his new relationship.

Some seemed interesting to him, but he felt they were just a little too tawdry, maybe a little bit fake. He steered clear of them.

There were others that were interested in him as well. He found some to be too glamorous, too full of life and zest for him. He thought they might only be interested in his money.

He soon discounted all of these and turned his attention back to her.

She always treated him well. She always met all of his expectations. She even offered him gifts regularly. She never seemed interested in money. She seemed to care for him because of who he was and how he treated her. She regularly told him that their relationship was built on trust and respect. This made him happy.

She was always pleasant when he saw her. Her smile lit up the room and her soft voice was always pleasant to his ears. The other guys were jealous of his relationship with her. “Wow man, you got lucky,” they would say.

Every time they talked, she was eager to hear from him. She wanted to listen to him share his dreams and his plans for the future. She was delighted, often giggling when he talked about “taking their relationship to another level.” He enjoyed making her feel special.

Early in the relationship, he was ecstatic. He was overjoyed that he had found the one for him.

However, relationships don’t always last. In the fifth year of their relationship, the happiness began to deteriorate.

She began treating him with less respect and compassion. She nearly stopped caring about his needs and desires altogether. When he asked her to help him with something, she acted as if he was being unreasonable and pushy.

Yet, her expectations of him never changed. She expected him to spend money on her, just as always. Regardless of how she treated him, she expected him to fulfill all of her needs.

Over time the divide between them grew deeper and wider.

When they talked, she acted as if she pretended there was no problem. However, he could feel the passion was no longer there.

“Our relationship is important to me, I’ll do anything to keep us together,” she would say. Sometimes with emotion, often as if from a script. This hurt him.

She said, “I care for you and want our relationship to grow.” He had heard these words from her so many times. Eventually, he no longer valued them.

Each time she failed to deliver on her promise to do better, they talked. He wanted her to do better in the relationship. It was as important to him, but he could tell it was not important to her.

“Please, trust me. I will do better. I need you,” she would say. These pleadings stung him deeply each time she uttered them.

The conversations slowly turned into only email messages. He no longer wanted to talk with her, yet he still did not know how to tell her it was over.

At times he felt that despite the trouble, he should stay with her. Their relationship had gone on for nearly five years now. This was a long time for him.

He asked some of his friends what to do. Some suggested that he keep trying. Some friends tried to introduce him to others.

Some days he worried about her, while other days he was so upset he just wanted to call her one last time and yell at her, “It’s over! You have ruined our relationship and I never want to hear from you ever again! Go away!” Yet, he was not an angry man and would never say these words to her.

Even while trying to solve the problems she would send him letters and gifts as if their relationship was still alive. This hurt him even more. She did not seem to see their relationship crumbling.

In time it became clear to him that she no longer cared for him at all. She was just desperate to keep a broken, one-sided, relationship alive. Likely her only concern was that he would find another.

Finally, after weeks of her constant failings, with no new commitment to being a better partner, he decided the time had come. He knew how to tell her.

He sat down on the porch of his beach house, the salty mist sticking to his face, the oncoming storm blowing sand across his bare feet. He opened his laptop computer and clicked on compose a new email.

Dear Danica (aka GoDaddy)

It has become quite clear to me that you do not care about my needs any longer. My site has been down far too often over the past few months. Therefore, I have created a new relationship with BlueHost.

I’m sure this new relationship will be much better for me.

Teddy

I wrote this story as a creative writing contest for Writerweekly.com on 4/14/2013.

Hard back, paper back or digital?

A friend told me that she had to do something this morning that she feared to do so, just a little.

She had to go to the Library.

This lady is a psychologist, well educated, smart and not afraid of anything, normally.

She told me that in grad school all she needed to do was write down the list of resource materials she needed and hand the list to the librarian, who then searched and collected the books for her.

This was not going to happen on this trip. She would have to research the books she needed and go find them herself.

We joked about walking into this massive room filled with row after row, after row of shelves. Shelves from the floor to the ceiling, far beyond our reach. Each shelf containing hundreds if not thousands of books.

We joked about wondering where to start. Would there be someone there to support her as she searched for those three or four books that she needed out of millions of choices?

We joked about how she would search. Would there be a micro-fiche available? Did the library still have the card files? Would there be a computer system with all the information? Would she remember how the Dewey Decimal system worked? Would there be someone there to help her when she got overwhelmed or lost in the abyss of books?

Preparing to write this post, I googled Dewey Decimal system. Check out this video – it’s funny.

I’m going to call my friend later today. I hope she found what she was looking for in the library and survived the experience. Not that it’s a new experience, but because it is slowly becoming an adventure of the past.

Maybe she gave up and went to Itunes or Amazon. We’ll see.

 

I need to find the RIGHT Real Estate Agent ABR®AHWD A-REOTM CCIM® CDPE© CDRS CIAS™ CIPS CNHS CRB® CRS® e-PRO® GRI PMN QSC® RCC RSPS SRES® TRC ICREA

I need to hire a Real Estate Agent.

I am not sure what I want to buy or which house I am going to sell.

Real Estate Agents have more certification acronyms than doctors do. I don’t know what Acronym offers the best certification; therefore, I want to find a real estate agent with all of these certifications.

I will not do business with a real estate agent that does not have all of these acronyms on their business card, Facebook Profile, LinkedIn Profile, Twitter Profile, Blog Profile or Google+ Profile. I figure I’ll get the right agent if they have all the certs.

If you know this person, have them contact me.

They must have all of the certifications listed below:

ABR®, AHWD,  A-REOTM,  CCIM®,  CDPE©,  CDRS, CIAS™, CIPS, CNHS, CRB®, CRS®, e-PRO®, GRI, PMN, QSC® , RCC, RSPS, SRES®, TRC, ICREA

Even though I am joking about this, I truly wonder who benefits the most from so many different certifications.

I believe in certifications, to some degree, but I am so confused about all of these certifications and wonder if anyone else is as confused.

Furthermore, I am not a big fan of all of these certification acronyms being smattered all over business cards, & Social Media profiles. It looks so horrible.

Teddy SME, BF, NFME, PSP, CCTC, Freak®

 

For those who are now wondering I am:
SME – Social Media Extraordinaire
BF –Blogging Fanatic
NFME – Networking for Mutual Benefit Extravert
PSP – Public Speaking Professional
CCTC –Certified Career Transition Coach
Freak – yeah, just Freak.

Mass Murder Suicide Pact

This is a serious issue

Deer Mass Murder Suicide Pact

This is a serious national issue.

You may think it’s just a natural thing, but I partnered with the research group of The Animal Planet, NC Animal Control and the editors of Gun & Ammo to uncover the real issue behind this serious threat on mankind.

We have uncovered a national deer Mass Murder Suicide Pact.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation estimates nearly 20,000 auto/deer collisions a year resulting in more than 5,000 injuries and an average property damage of over $3,000. Nationally, there are more than 150 fatalities a year from such accidents.

This is not by accident. Numbers like this can only happen with deliberate planning and detailed preparation.

Every year as our brother-in-laws and neighbors head off into the woods to shoot deer, the deer also assemble and head off to our highways to execute their Murder Suicide plot.

They hide in the thickets and behind signs waiting for unsuspecting drivers to come down the road at which time they leap out into the street hoping to cause an accident that will cause the death of the driver.

Fortunately for us, the deer are not trained very well and their efforts fall far short of the destructive levels they hope for.

Yet, they seem to be getting more creative and cunning.  Often they are working in teams and using their young to distract drivers as larger bucks or does attack from another direction.

Their kamikaze nature and desire to die as they fulfill their pact is very hard to defend against. Bubba Stenagrason, North Carolina Animal Control and Road Kill cleanup specialist suggests that your best defense is to not drive during this hunting season, or, if you must, consider driving a large vehicle that may protect you from this heinous Murder Suicide Pact.

There is legislation pending that would force those involved in this Murder Suicide Pact to get registration before each season. The hope is that the registration fees would reduce the number of participants in this horrible annual event.

Top 10 Rules of Grandfather Club

Another friend of mine joined the GrandFathers Club this week. This club has a specific set of rules that must be followed. I have never failed to follow them myself. If you want to be an honored member of the club, you too must follow these rules. The rules of this club are fairly straightforward and quite easy to follow:

  1. You must change the background picture of your cellPhone to a picture of the kids.
  2. You must tease them about their mother and all the ridiculous baby stuff she did.
  3. You must develop them to be just like you so that their mother will have to say, “Stop being like your grandfather”.
  4. You must teach them all the dumb jokes that your ancestors have said over the past 100 years. (mine is “Rooster, Hen, Pullet”)
  5. You must be able to fall asleep in any chair in the house with one or both of the boys on your lap or chest (recliners work best).
  6. You must be ready to watch SpongeBob Square Pants, Dora the Explorer, and any of the new cartoons that kids love to watch today.
  7. You must want to eat and share candy, popcorn, ice cream, cookies, and cookie dough with the boys, even at 7 am in the morning, despite what their mother says.
  8. You must be willing to stop at a Mcdonald’s, Wendy’s, or Burger King and get 3 Kids’ Meals at a moment’s notice. Yes – you get a Kid’s Toy too.
  9. You must be accepting of going to work, church, a board meeting, or a Rotary with a little baby exhaust on your suit coat.
  10. You must be able to smile like a crazy man any time someone asks you “What’s going on?” Because now you get to say, “I’m a Grandfather!”

97.54% of Statistics are real

97.54% of political season statistics are false & can’t be supported

87.65% of the time statistics are only used to fuel a confrontation

75% of the people polled believe that statistics that written are more likely to be true. 87% of the people polled doubt statistics that aren’t

68% US citizens won’t participate in a telephone poll event unless they are getting paid for the time and information they provide the pollster.

  • Rats destroy an estimated 33% of the worlds food supply each year.
  • The Mall in Washington D.C. is 1.4 times larger than Vatican City
  • You have a greater chance of being hit by falling airplane parts than by being attacked by a shark.
  • 90% of New York cabbies are newly arrived immigrants.
  • American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by eliminating one olive from each salad in first class.
  • A sneeze travels out of your mouth at over 100mph and can kill a fly.
  • Statistics are available for just about any subject. Most of the times statistics are intended to fuel the public opinion about something that is either political

OK – let me clear something up right now. I made up the graph and the first four statistics and the other statistics came from a joke website.

What is the point of this? To make us all think. To make us consider the power of the statistics we are reading and to consider the source of the statistics.

While writing this post I found this question on answers.yahoo.com: “Is there a way to verify statistics given from a website?”

One of the responses asked this follow up question “[….] Are there any government sites that would validate this statistic.”

This is so typical. We are led to believe that our governments (National, State, Local) will provide us with real and honest statistics.  50% of us believe this may or may not be true (OK – I made this up too)

Here are some interesting and humorous quotations about statistics:
(Found on http://www.quotationspage.com & http://www.quotegarden.com/)

  • There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. Benjamin Disraeli (1804 – 1881)
  • USA Today has come out with a new survey – apparently, three out of every four people make up 75% of the population. David Letterman
  • Statistician: A man who believes figures don’t lie but admits that under analysis some of them won’t stand up either. Evan Esar
  • Statistics: The only science that enables different experts using the same figures to draw different conclusions. Evan Esar
  • Smoking is one of the leading causes of statistics. Fletcher Knebel
  • A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic. Joseph Stalin
  • There are two kinds of statistics, those you look up and those you makeup –  Rex Stout
  • Torture numbers and they’ll confess to anything.  ~Gregg Easterbrook
  • 98% of all statistics are made up.  ~Author Unknown
  • Statistics are like bikinis.  What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.  ~Aaron Levenstein
  • Say you were standing with one foot in the oven and one foot in an ice bucket.  According to the percentage people, you should be perfectly comfortable.  ~Bobby Bragan, 1963
  • Statistics can be made to prove anything – even the truth.  ~Author Unknown
  • Statistics are human beings with the tears wiped off.  ~Paul Brodeur, Outrageous Misconduct
  • Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable.  ~Author Unknown
  • Lottery:  A tax on people who are bad at math.  ~Author Unknown
  • He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts – for support rather than for illumination.  ~Andrew Lang
  • One more fagot of these adamantine bandages is the new science of Statistics.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Statistics are like women; mirrors of purest virtue and truth, or like whores to use as one pleases.  ~Theodor Billroth
  • Do not put your faith in what statistics say until you have carefully considered what they do not say.  ~William W. Watt
  • Then there is the man who drowned crossing a stream with an average depth of six inches.  ~W.I.E. Gates
  • There are two kinds of statistics, the kind you look up and the kind you make up.  ~Rex Stout, Death of a Doxy
  • I always find that statistics are hard to swallow and impossible to digest.  The only one I can ever remember is that if all the people who go to sleep in church were laid end to end they would be a lot more comfortable.  ~Mrs. Robert A. Taft
  • Satan delights equally in statistics and in quoting scripture….  ~H.G. Wells, The Undying Fire
  • The average human has one breast and one testicle.  ~Des McHale
  • While the individual man is an insoluble puzzle, in the aggregate he becomes a mathematical certainty.  You can, for example, never foretell what any one man will be up to, but you can say with precision what an average number will be up to.  Individuals vary, but percentages remain constant.  So says the statistician.  ~Arthur Conan Doyle
  • A statistical analysis, properly conducted, is a delicate dissection of uncertainties, a surgery of suppositions.  ~M.J. Moroney
  • Statistics may be defined as “a body of methods for making wise decisions in the face of uncertainty.”  ~W.A. Wallis
  • After all, facts are facts, and although we may quote one to another with a chuckle the words of the Wise Statesman, “Lies – damned lies – and statistics,” still there are some easy figures the simplest must understand, and the astutest cannot wriggle out of.  ~Leonard Courtney, speech
  • Statistics are just a way for the mathematician to evangelize his faith.  ~Hunter Brinkmeier
  • The theory of probabilities is at bottom nothing but common sense reduced to calculus.  ~Laplace, Théorie analytique des probabilités, 1820
  • I abhor averages.  I like the individual case.  A man may have six meals one day and none the next, making an average of three meals per day, but that is not a good way to live.  ~Louis D. Brandeis
  • I could prove God statistically.  Take the human body alone – the chances that all the functions of an individual would just happen is a statistical monstrosity.  ~George Gallup

In summary – Listen to statistics that are important to you – consider the source and if you find them hard to believe – try to validate them.

By the way – 75% of the people who read this entire blog post will wish that I wrote more.

Public Meeting Protocol

Because of all of the Public Speaking engagements, fans, stalkers, groupies and paparazzi, it has become important to publish the Official Manual of Protocol for publicly meeting @NCWiseman

  1. Do not rush @NCWiseman when he enters a venue
  2. Do not touch @NCWiseman unless he touches you first
  3. Do not yell, scream or holler at @NCWiseman when he enters the venue
  4. Do not offer @NCWiseman any items (including but not exclusively t-shirts, hats, CDs, flowers, food, etc)
  5. Do not ask for photography time
  6. Do not ask @NCWiseman for autographs
  7. Do not share any stories with @NCWiseman unless he asks you to tell him something specifically, then keep the story to less than 20 seconds.
  8. Do not push, shove, elbow or otherwise act like a fool to get to the front of the reception line for @NCWiseman
  9. Do not ask @NCWiseman any non-relevant questions (ie. how is your dog or what coffee did you have this morning)
  10. Do not under any situation, ever point at @NCWiseman.

This is an official list.  We will update it as needed to insure that everyone understands the appropriate Protocol for engaging in a public setting with @NCWiseman.

Any questions or comments can be directed to The office of Official Protocol for Meeting @NCWiseman.

Teddy Gets a Sext Message

One afternoon driving up I-81 from North Carolina to Maryland with my wife and kids, my cell phone pinged from a new text message.

I pulled the phone up to see who texted me and got quite a surprise when I saw the message, “Interested in Sex tonight?”

I had just gotten Sexted.

Note the earlier statement, my wife is in the car with me and for further clarity, back then she did not use text messaging, let alone “Sexting”

The cell phone number was not in my phone contacts, so I did not know who it was from. I quietly & joking thought, “This sucks for lots of reason.”

Becky asked me who texted me. “I don’t know,” which was an honest response. “What did they want?” was her next question.

My response of “Nothing important” was followed with another query for more information, mostly to break up the quietness of the ride. “Nothing,” I said again, “Come on, what did they want?” was her next question.

Now, being married for quite some time, I really have nothing to hide from Becky. I showed her the message on the screen.

She looked at me and started cajoling me even more with more questions of doubt to my initial response that I did not know who it was from.

I decided that the best way to put the line of questioning to bed was to call the cell phone back.

I called the number and because of the traffic and cajoling noise from within the car, I could not hear the name of the person when their voice mail answered. So I responded as most people would expect me to respond.

I left the following message, “Hey, I got your text message and appreciate the offer. I am traveling to Maryland with my wife and kids so I will have to take a rain check. Go ahead without me. I hope that you have fun by yourself.”

Fast forward about 1 month. I had a position to fill at one of my clients and I was interviewing a candidate for the position. This is a guy that I have known for years.

After the interview, I told him he had the job. You would have thought that I just given him a Million $$$. He thanked me for giving him the chance to prove he could do the job, especially after the text message he sent me.

I laughed to myself and told the guy that he was really lucky that I was still going to hire him, despite the two mistakes that he had made.

Mistake # 1 – He sexted me and nearly got me in trouble with my wife.
Mistake # 2 – He told me that he sexted me instead of leaving wondering what hot nubile chick had sexted me on purpose.

 

High Five!

How often do you high-five someone for the great thing they did?

How often does someone else high-five you for the great thing you did?

It’s a great way to acknowledge success, excitement and even a really good joke.

More often than not, it’s mandatory to accept a high-five request from a friend.

Here is a story that is somewhat unusual

Yesterday I was riding in the car with my wife. We were joking, laughing and having a good time.

I cracked a joke about something my wife said and the laughter from both of us increased.

My wife used her wit to spin the words I said and turned the joke around on me.

What she said was far funnier than what I said, despite the fact that the joke was not on me.

My wife raised her hand and barked out, “High Five!”

Foolish me, in a knee-jerk response, I accepted her high-five of her witty joke against me.

This made the joke that much more funnier.

Never again, never again will I high-five my wife when she cracks a joke about me.