Time Flies

It seems like just a few minutes ago I woke up. Yet here it is almost noon, and I am just getting to my desk to write something. Time is important to me, and at this age I relish every moment the Lord grants me. It is my opinion that when time “flies” everything is going well, and my happiness index is high. It is when time slows to a “crawl’ that I believe something is seriously wrong.

An example of what I mean when I say time is at a “crawl” is when I am in severe pain as when I had a kidney stone traversing my plumbing last year. It seemed like eternity to get to where it was headed, and I thank God it was a small stone which kept moving. Had it stopped along the way time would have stopped for me, and my happiness index would have dropped to zero. As it was my happiness was almost non-existent. I guess that is what Einstein meant when he postulated his theory that time is relative.

The planet earth is a mere 4.6 billion years old, and the universe is calculated to be 13.7 billion years. When we look at an average life span of man on earth of 78 years we are but a tiny drop in the bucket.

Take an average human who is 78 years old and divide by 4,600,000,000 years then multiply by 100 equals 0.00001695 percent of the total time we exist. I don’t think we can measure things that small using normal devices. Given such a short life span we have to really put our lives into high gear to amount to anything. I guess that might be why it bothers me when I lose a morning to mundane activities instead of amazing, exciting, meaningful actions. What is more surprising is that even with all of the time I waste, that I can count my accomplishments with pride. What scares me is that the time I have ahead of me is far shorter than that which I have lived. It tells me to get off my ass and accomplish something before the last grain of sand passes through the orifice of life’s hour glass. It tells me to take those baby steps, and to take them very fast.

Imagine

Why I don’t know, but this idea came to me in a dream. Maybe it was the result to a fruitful board meeting with my Lions Club, or maybe it was the cookie I had before going to bed. I dreamed that I stood before my Lions Club and asked them to close their eyes and visualize a scene that our tiny club just completed a fund raising drive and we raised a million ($1,000,000.00) dollars. We’d be so happy, jumping up and down happy. Now begin to see all the things you would use that money to serve our community. What would we do? Now visualize yourself writing down all the possibilities.

The dream wouldn’t end. I just kept looking for answers to my question, how would we use the million to serve our community? Frankfort is a small town (20,000). It is not by any means poor, but there are folks among us that can use help. Nevertheless, we have social network systems in place, we have school districts flush with cash, we have a park district with twenty-eight separate parks scattered throughout the town. Our roads are in good condition, we have street signs and street lights, a public library, several urgent care centers, and get this, four supermarkets, four pharmacies, four fire houses, a 38 man police department and the list goes on. Push harder, you have to dream up how to serve the community with the million dollar treasury.

In my dream, I struck out of any ideas. That is until I began to see new immigrants coming into town. In the past year the USA has allowed two million new immigrants to enter, half of them legally, the other half just walk in and get lost. They will need housing, but there is no low cost housing in Frankfort, perhaps we should develop a tiny house community, or a free eye clinic for vision problems, or a Lions re-sale shop to compete with Goodwill, the Resale Shoppe, and Evelinas’s Red Dresser. Probably the most realistic idea is to build a not for profit business which would serve the club, and the community as a meeting or party venue. You know, a dance hall with a bar and kitchen.

Actually, I am going to present this exercise to the Frankfort Lions Club, and this post is the first draft of a script that I will use. Let me know if you have any ideas to add.

Better Than Puns-Churchillisms

A favorite story about Churchill is when at a dinner party a member of the Labor Party’s (the opposition) wife said, “Mr. Churchill, you are despicable.  If I were your wife I’d put poison in your whiskey. ”His reply, “Madam, if you were my wife, I’d drink it.”  He always had an appropriate come-back.

Hundred Dollar Mistake

Last week during a project to get my homemade Christmas card finished I panicked. One of the last steps was to print mailing labels. Over the years I have become very comfortable with Microsoft Word as my word processor. Ten years ago when I switched over to Apple computers I embraced Apple’s word processor called “Pages.” I learned that pages was a neat program, and I really liked it until it came to mailing documents via USPS. I spent hours trying to print labels using Pages but failed. It was clear to me that Steve Jobs at Apple never mailed a letter or Christmas card in his life.

Apple’s rival, Bill Gates saw an opportunity so he invented Word for Apple, and I switched over immediately to Microsoft Word which had ready made buttons designed specifically for mass mailings. I wouldn’t necessarily categorize my Christmas card list as a mass mailing, but there are 200 names on it.

Having Been Summoned By GOD, Morty Angel Arrives In Heaven

A week ago whenever I opened a document from Word that I needed help with I got a notice stating that Office 2016 is retired and you must upgrade. I thought that’s a bunch of BS. I’ll show them. Every time I tried to link my Apple contact list into the Word mailing program, the computer went to sleep. No matter what I did, or how I tried to make the link it didn’t happen. Every time I searched the help screen I got the same message that Office 2016 was retired.

Frustrated, I decided to use a comma separated value scheme and somehow was able to export my contact list as a CSV file. The problem is that I ran into the same message when I opened Excel to establish the file. All this time I am burning up hours and building my frustration level. With my deadline approaching I decided to give in and to buy the upgrade. Bill Gates must have needed a bonus to keep up his lifestyle and Microsoft decided to invent the way to give it to him. I opened my Microsoft account page and hit the button to buy the software which is now called Office 365. Ka-ching $100, and I downloaded and installed it. The installation failed, but left me a love note “this version requires macOS Version 10.15.5. My computer is macOS Version 10.13.6. There was nothing I could do. I checked to see if I could upgrade my machine to a higher level. Nope, not in the cards, my machine is one of the last 32 bit processors sold before Bill needed another raise and invented the 64 bit processor and everyone would have to not only buy the new software they would have to buy a new machine too.

I quickly looked for a way to get a refund. There is nothing I can find in any of the screens that mentions the word refund, or a phone number for customer support. I think Microsoft is a company that is in a big empty building with only a computer inside using artificial intelligence without any living breathing, naturally intelligent people, except for the janitor who rules over an army of Roombas.

So here I sit with a new computer program that I cannot install, nor can I find a way to transfer it to another computer because I lack the intelligence to understand the hundreds of pages of computerese that portend to give the instructions to do so.

After sleeping on the problem for a couple of days I went back to the basics of using the mailing section of Word. Instead of selecting the Apple contact list I selected “New List.” A miracle happened, a drop down menu appeared and there at the very top of the list was the CSV file I made two days ago. Don’t question it I told myself just keep going. I finished the process and printed the labels. My cards are out and in the mail. Next, how do I get a refund?

Time

This week I am experiencing a time slowdown. I believe that when life is moving fast you are in good shape. Better for time to appear to be moving at the speed of light than for it to be dragging like like a glacier moving down field. Of course time doesn’t change how it moves, it is a constant. What changes is one’s perspective. When we live in uninteresting times, time seems to stand still. Our minds are not being stimulated properly and the net effect is boredom.

Why have I been bored all week? Beats me, but I have to change my attitude if I want time to speed up again.

In the few nano-second analysis I performed since making the above statement I concluded that I need to review my goals. In the few nano-seconds since I realized I should review my goals, it occurred to me that maybe I should have some goals to review.

Problem solved.

When I have lots of goals the amount of time I can dedicate to each is less than normal. The result is that I tend to focus on accomplishment, and the activity conducted during that focused period is what makes time speed up. Make sense? Me neither, but it sounds good.

Life is a goal. Using it productively is another goal. When we abandon goals our lives seem not to matter as much. No matter what age we are the amount of time we have is fixed. It is up to us as individuals to decide how much we want to accomplish within our lifetime. If we do things right, time will speed by and leave us wanting more. Some people call this process time-management. What I have learned is that time management is merely a method we can use to break our goals into baby steps which we can schedule to accomplish more easily because they are smaller. The trick is to get the goal defined in such a manner that the micro-steps are readily recognized and scheduled for accomplishment.

One of the most crucial steps to setting goals is the simple act of writing them down. Too many of us ignore the one step that will allow our minds to keep focused on the target. The problem is that we are never religiously focused enough to stay on target. Having written goals allows us to review them frequently. The very act of committing a goal in writing sets it up in our brain as something important to us. Yet, this step is probably the most ignored step in the process of goal accomplishment.

Seven steps of goals:

  1. What benefit will you derive by accomplishing this goal
  2. Write the goal down
  3. Make it measurable and specific
  4. What obstacles are in the way of achieving the goal
  5. List all the knowledge and help you will need to accomplish the goal
  6. Make a detailed plan of accomplishment
  7. Set a date for achieving the goal.