Ramblings of Charles Prier – Writer-Insomniac-General Know-it-All

Archive for May, 2010

Makes You Want to Quit

I recently had new gravel placed on my driveway. When I called I was careful to ask if they would spread the gravel. The answer was “sure, we spread it out on the driveway.” It cost $295. Seemed a bit high but I had asked for small gravels and figured it cost more, so I agreed.

The driver arrived with a large dump truck full of gravel. I didn’t see anything to spread it out with so I asked what would be used to spread the gravel. The driver said nothing else would be needed. I learned the plan was to open the tailgate on the truck and speed down the driveway dumping the gravel out along the way.

The driver made several passes resulting in a very wavy surface along with several piles of gravel and areas with no new gravel at all.

“You can rake those piles out and smooth it up, you have a rake don’t you? It’ll give you something to do. If you want us to tractor blade it, that’ll be extra,” said the driver.

“How much?” I asked.

“I think it’s $125. I’ll have to check.”

Realizing the bait and switch, I wrote a $295 check. Meanwhile, the driver received a cell phone call and discussed how bad  President Obama was, the fact that he was not a Christian but a Muslim and shouldn’t be president anyway because he wasn’t born in the United States – his Hawaiian birth certificate is a fake.

I gave the driver my card along with the check and suggested that reading my blog might clear up some of the misinformation about our president.

I learned that the driver believes that the all Justices on the Supreme Court that are responsible for legalizing abortion were appointed by Democrats and Obama will appoint another one so inclined. And that anyone who supports Obama could not be a Christian because he believes in abortion and caters to homosexuals. Much of this person’s political information comes from listening to Focus on the Family and watching Fox News. This person did not know how many Justices are on the Supreme Court or any of their names.

…Some people just shouldn’t vote. –CP

Magic Magic

There was a time long ago when people believed they were controlled by magic. The world was an enchanted place. Individuals were connected to a cosmos from which, no mortal could escape. Personal good fortune could only be achieved through the influence of charms, chants, potions, and spells. And everyday life was controlled by sorcerers, wizards, and shamans whose powerful magic often determined the destinies of men.

 Many are still shackled with beliefs in the controlling magic of astrology, lucky charms, and such. But, for the most part, we now realize that our destiny is pretty much determined by the day-to-day decisions we make throughout our life.

Unfortunately, in realizing our individualism we have abandoned the thought of a personal connection to our universe. We think that what we do, or do not do, has no impact on anyone else. We have neglected our responsibility for preserving our family heritage and the influence our family traditions may have on future generations.

Since September 11, 2001 patriotism seems to be in fashion. In my opinion the slogans and symbols of patriotism being proudly displayed throughout our country are but meaningless chants and charms, unless accompanied by an active interest in our heritage. True patriotism is demonstrated by keeping in touch with our heritage, continuing the good traditions and making amends for old transgressions.-CP

Daydreams and Dreamers

A recent conversation with my sister reminded me of the pleasures of daydreaming and my neglect of the practice. When I was a youngster I used to daydream a lot. Somewhere along the line my daydreaming time became consumed with anxiety, worries, and often daymares.

Daydreams are a magical mixture of ideas, beliefs, and memories combined in varying proportions, all the while spinning streams of pleasant thought until slowed by realism or overcome by cynicism.  Daymares are an unpleasant sibling of daydreams and the product of the same mind wandering process. It’s said that wandering is the default mode for our minds; when your mind is not focused on something specific, it wanders. Sometimes even if I want to focus, my mind tries to escape.

We most often daydream about others in our life; memories are relived with interactions and “what ifs” are played out. Sis said she daydreamed about winning the lottery and sharing the windfall with those she loves. She considers how positively their lives would be impacted and that perhaps  some of the disappointments and hardship they face would be lightened.

Many speculate that our minds can’t distinguish between real and imagined events. I’m not suggesting that if we daydream about winning the lottery that we should go out and spend it. I am, however, advocating that leaving the world behind and imagining it as it might be for a few moments is a good thing. I’ll probably never actually sip an umbrella covered beverage while sunning on the beach with a group of admirers in the Caribbean; but please don’t tell my mind. –CP

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