Tag: Thoughts

12 Proposed Common Sense Airline Rules

12 Proposed Common Sense Airline Rules

I have what might be best described as a love/hate relationship with flying.  I love to travel and see new places – I hate the ridiculous amount of regulations and “theater of the absurd” rules.  I’ve written about many of my adventures on airplanes and in airports in the past.  This week, I hit a new level of the absurd.  It would be laugh out loud funny if it weren’t true.

On a flight to Los Angeles this week, I had taken my seat and was getting settled in for the trip.  I’m a quirky traveler, but I have a system that works for me.  I pulled out my iPhone and headphones and dialed up my “Plane Music” playlist.  I took my book and a thermos of hot tea (brewed after the security checkpoint, of course), and put them in the seat pocket in front of me.  I checked my Blackberry, answered a few messages, and then turned it off for the flight.  All systems checked out – I was ready to go.

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Remembering My Grandfather

Remembering My Grandfather

The phone rang at 6:02 on Tuesday morning.  Before I could even open my eyes I thought, “It’s not good news”.  It’s never good news when the phone rings that early in the morning. As I struggled to come fully awake, I heard my Mom’s voice telling me my grandfather had passed away.  He had lost his battle with liver cancer.  They say, sometimes, when you know it’s coming, bad news like this is easier to hear and process.  They’re wrong.

 

My grandfather was Kenneth Bailey, although he was always Papa (“pa-paw”) to me.  He was born in 1928 and lived his entire life in Buford, Ga.  He was married to my grandmother (Mema) for 61 years.  He has two daughters, four grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.  And while all of those things are true, they really don’t get to the heart of the man that Papa was.

 

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My First 40 Trips Around The Sun

My First 40 Trips Around The Sun

Birthdays are a time for celebration.  Once a year your family and friends come together to celebrate the simple fact that you exist.  Gifts are given, food is eaten, candles are lit and blown out, and of course, there is cake.  It’s a special day, no matter who you are or how old.

For me, birthdays are also a time of reflection, a time to think about the prior year and speculate on the year to come.  This year is no different, but it also marks a milestone for me.  This is the year I complete my 40th trip around the sun.  As the old saying goes, “40 is just a number”, and it’s true; but society still places a premium on each decade we mark off on this earth, so I feel I should, at least in some small way, do the same.

I am, by no means, a wise man.  I’ve made my way through these 40 years the best I could.  I’ve made my fair share of mistakes, but I’ve also had my fair share of moments in the sun.  Through it all, I’ve learned a lot of things – many, the hard way.  To mark today’s passing, I’ve decided to share some of those things with you – the 40 most important lessons in my life.  I can only hope they help my children navigate the way through their first 40 trips around the sun, to a place as good as I have.

  1. Your first love is not the same as your true love.  Both will linger with you your entire life, but true love is the only thing capable of filling the hole in your heart.

  2. Mascara doesn’t come easily out of hair that’s been teased and shellacked with Aquanet hairspray.

  3. Process is the last refuge of a weak mind.  It has its place and purpose, but action with thought is wasteful and lazy.

  4. Family is forever – no matter where you go; they’re always with you.

  5. Any man who can’t share his love of “Star Wars” with his children is a poor parent.

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My own personal “7 Circles of Hell”

My own personal “7 Circles of Hell”

It’s been a really long week.  One of those weeks were it’s easy to sit back and focus on just how stressful and infuriating life can be sometimes.  I had to fly cross-country, so I had plenty of time to sit on planes and think.  I was crammed into seat 37E between a morbidly obese Panamanian woman and a John Waters look-alike who smelled like Doritos and Band-Aids, when I had an epiphany somewhere over New Mexico.  As trying as my week had been, it could have been far worse.  I could have had to deal with some of the things that really annoy me.  I could have been put in one of those situations that really set my teeth on edge.  I could have been trapped in one of what I call, “My Own Personal 7 Circles of Hell”.


#1:  Having a cashier ask for my credit card after I’ve already swiped it through the reader

Automation can be a good thing (just don’t tell Obama…).  It allows companies and businesses to be more efficient.  It can speed up simple transactions and save you valuable time during your day.  It can also drive you crazy.

One of the biggest changes at retail in the last few years has been the ubiquitous addition of credit card terminals at the register.  They’re everwhere – Walmart, Kmart, Carmart, Stuffyoudontneedmart – everyone has added the ability for you to swipe your credit card and pay your bill.  Put like that, it sounds great  – and in most cases it is.  Most, but not all.

Here’s what chaps my recently slimmed down posterior.  If they are going to give you an automated machine to swipe your card through, why do they still insist you then hand them your card for inspection.  If I’m going to hand it to Skippy the cashier anyway, shouldn’t he just go ahead and swipe it himself?  Why even give me the illusion of control over my own destiny?  It’s like a cruel joke: he allows me to swipe my card, put it back in my wallet, put my wallet back in my pocket, and THEN Skippy needs to see the card – or I can’t buy my fresh vine ripened tomatoes, can of turpentine, and Kittens with Mittens sticker book.

Really?  You just have to see the card? You just have to let me have one brief moment of retail freedom, then bring it all crashing down on my head like a twig house under the onslaught of Ye Olde Big Bad Wolf?  Thanks for nothing.  Just keep your credit card machines and false promises of manifest destiny in the hair care products aisle.  It’s almost enough to make me start using cash…

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Everything I needed to know about love, I learned from 80’s Hair Metal

Everything I needed to know about love, I learned from 80’s Hair Metal

I was sitting on a plane the other day and a thought hit me like like a ton of bricks – someday, someone is going to break my son’s heart.  I sat up straight in my seat and had a moment of pure, unadulterated pain.  I don’t know who she is going to be, or how she is going to do it, but someone is going to make my son feel the same way I felt many times growing up – alone.

It took me a minute to gather my thoughts and while I did, my iPod continued to play.  I was listening to a playlist my wife had put together to listen to in the car with the kids.  We’ve tried to instill a love of music into our children, and I’m happy to report that they are both fans of rock music.  It was then that another thought snuck up on me – I needed to share what I learned about love with my son – a bit of advice on just how to navigate the murky waters of love and infatuation.  And, as crazy as it sounds, the perfect way to do it was in the same way that I learned it – through the music of my youth.  So here it is, an open letter to my son about the highs and lows of love.

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