Categories
Information Life

How’s Your Attitude?

How’s your attitude? Is it good, bad, or somewhere in between? Do you have a “Can-do attitude?”

I wonder about things like this.

What percentage of “success” does a positive attitude bring? What is the relationship of your attitude to successfulness? Does a positive attitude mean I’m happy and cheerful? Or is it a measure of meeting my own goals. Must you always be upbeat, friendly, and bubbly to become successful?

How important to success is a great attitude?

The experts say a good, positive mental attitude is essential to a person’s success. However, we all know a lot of grumpy people that appear successful from the outside looking in.

Then that brings up the question, what is success? How do we measure attitudes and success?

We are told success is defined individually. Each person defines their own flavor of what is success.

What is your definition of success? I’m interested.

Categories
Business Life Sales

That’s Not Fair

That’s Not Fair!

Fair. What is fair? Is there a requirement for fairness in the workplace? Does it exist in the world?

The definition of “Fair” is not very informative.

in accordance with the rules or standards; legitimate.
“the group has achieved fair and equal representation for all its members”

In accordance with the rules or standards; legitimate.  What does that mean?

And the synonyms are nothing if not interesting—just, equitable, fair-minded, open-minded, upright, honest, honorable, trustworthy.

Let me ask you this, what rules or standards? Who makes the rules? Who defines the standards? And then there is “legitimate” thrown in. How exactly does that fit with the definition?

If I set a standard height requirement of 6’0″ for entrance, is that fair? It is the standard I have set for admitance, so it must be fair.

Why Do I Ask the Question?

It seems the rally cry of the last few years is that “things” aren’t fair. Jobs, education, and finally life is not fair to expectations.

Is Fairness the Goal?

From my viewpoint, fairness is not the ultimate goal. They want special treatment, extra privileges,

Am I off base or right on?

Categories
Business Information Life Sales

Yeti Sighting in College Station, Texas

A Yeti walked in the door, continuing to the parts department in the auto dealership. Seven feet tall with long dirty, matted hair all over its body. AND NO ONE SAW IT.

Lately, several cartoons have depicted big happenings surrounding people who don’t notice because their heads were looking down at their phones. This was a brief experience I had last week at a car dealer.

Back Story

My son and his family were on vacation and spending time with us. My son was actively looking for additional transportation since the oldest granddaughter is now sixteen.

He spotted a car of interest while perusing CarGurus.com less than an hour away. Since the next day was his birthday, I said I would drive him over and back. This accomplished two things. He got to see and test drive a car on his list and I got to spend time with him.

We saw the car in the huge lot and walked around it to get a feel. Since he was interested in a test drive, we went to the showroom and consulted with a salesman. He found the keys, they climbed into the car and drove off into the sunrise. Since the back seat was all but non-existent, I declined and went back into the showroom to enjoy the air conditioning.

Then, as happens when you’ve finished several cups of coffee, … well, you get the idea. I walked to the front counter to ask the location of the restroom.

Cell Phones Everywhere

I approached the desk and the receptionist was on her cell phone. It was several moments before she noticed me standing there. Embarrassed, she looked up, and with my question, pointed me through the parts department to the last hallway. “Then take a left,” she said. I thanked her and headed back.

When I was returning to the showroom I noticed that the lady in the first office was on her cell phone. Then passing the second office, she was too.

Looking to my left, I noticed both Service Writers were busy checking their phones.

The Battle is Lost

The battle is lost and the war is not far behind. Here is what I remember from my work experience before the ubiquitous cell phone.

When there were no customers that needed help, we found work to do. Filing, sweeping, cleaning, sorting, whatever. Obviously, the options are different at different types of workplaces. Now the time is filled with heads down looking at social media. I’ve never worked anywhere there was not work that needed doing when the calm hit. Sometimes even preparing for the next onslaught.

I would like to see a study on how many million man-hours we lose daily to these devices.

My personal experience is no different. When I would walk into the warehouse, several people would scramble to put their phones away, while trying to look innocent. Speaking to them didn’t make a difference, neither did scolding them of writing them up. Addictions are hard to overcome.

Sadly, the only solution I found was firing people. That would help all workers in the short term but not for long.

Categories
Life Life Lessons

Remembering Dad

The chemotherapy caused his death. I was sure of it. One day we were talking normally in the hospital, and the next day, after the treatment, he couldn’t even speak. He seemed scared and lost. Then the doctors decided to send him home to die. And he did.

RIP Ray Edward “Dink” Hendrick Jr. Born August 18, 1931, in Shamrock, Texas. Died January 24, 1990, in Wheeler, Texas. Both are in Wheeler County. However, there were many miles and many places between the two events.

In thinking about events to share, I decided to cut the hundreds down to two. These were in the first five that popped into my head and seemed appropriate.

Scout Camping Trip

The Boy Scout week-long camping trip to New Mexico was a great example. The boys ranged from age 11 to about 17 at that time. I was the Scoutmaster, and my Dad and several other dads accompanied us on this memorable trip. We worked on many merit badges from cooking to wilderness survival. All the dads were great, but one story stands out in my brain.

We were cooking breakfast one morning and one of the younger boys, on his first trip, was horseplaying around the fire. All was fine until he kicked up dirt into the cooking food. Dad quickly made it known that horseplay was fine, but not around the food. He made sure the boy got the message and as a result, the running and jumping around took place far away from the food after that.

My First Hunting Trip

Hunting was one of Dad’s passions, especially quail. I remember my first time hunting with him.

The car was loaded, and we were heading from Spearman, Texas to Wheeler County. I was about twelve at the time. Leaving the house, Dad drove through downtown and pulled in at the Western Auto store and went in by himself.

When he came out, he was carrying a long, narrow box. Getting into the car, he handed me the box and said, “Don’t mess with it now. We’ll go over what you need to know when we get to Shamrock. In the box was a Springfield Model 18 410 shotgun. It was a beauty with a bolt action and perfectly sized for a twelve-year-old boy. I was in heaven.

Gun and hunting safety was first and foremost with Dad, and I learned from him. I don’t remember if I shot any birds that first trip, but I had a great time with Dad in the field that weekend.

Finishing Up

Then there was the trip in the big truck and trailer full of equipment. It was the summer of 1961, and Dad invited me to go along. The story revolves around me, refusing to eat anything but pancakes and hamburgers.

And the time he bought me a set of junior golf clubs and asked me to play with him on a real golf course.

And the baseball saga, or skateboard crashes, and the time my bicycle handlebars came off mid-jump and Dad welded the pieces back together. 

I could tell dozens of more stories about him that shaped my life, but I will refrain for now.

Categories
Life

Crossroad Confusion

I’ve been thinking about crossroads today.

Have you ever …

  • arrived at the crossroads and didn’t know which way to go?
  • came to the fork in the road and couldn’t tell which road was the less traveled?
  • turned right on red only to realize you needed to go left?
  • looked at the pretty girl and completely missed your turn?
  • wandered into a store only to realize it was Victoria’s Secret and you were alone?
  • pulled out of the parking lot only to spot the store you needed in your rear view mirror?

Yeah?

Me Too.

Categories
Cars Life Life Lessons

A 1956 Plymouth Wagon

Dad called it a Hippiwampus. I’m not sure where that name was birthed, but it seemed to fit. What started as a typical 1956 Plymouth Suburban Station Wagon was now a full blown hunting buggy, with no resemblance to the former station wagon.

Dad was a serious, quail hunter. I don’t think he ever missed opening day of hunting season. Once he even quit a job because they wouldn’t let him off. It was that big a deal to him.

In the early sixties, he bought a 1956 Plymouth Station Wagon for Mom to drive. Later he bought her a 1960 Ford Wagon, and he took over the Plymouth. It became his daily driver, but he had plans. Plans that would forever change the look of this car.

The modifications took place in Amarillo, Texas in the mid to late nineteen sixties. Dad worked at a big welding shop in town, and over many weekends, he transformed the vehicle to something else. I wish I had pictures.

The Beginnings

Dad bought the wagon when we lived in Aurora, Colorado. He and mom were planning, to my knowledge, our first big two-week family vacation. I was nine, and my sister was four.

It was two-tone silver/gray and blue with four doors, a V-8 (272 ci. I believe) and a three-speed standard transmission with a column shifter. It was roomy, and the four of us headed out by the northern route ending in Oregon. Then down to California and eventually back through Texas by the southern way. Returning to Colorado two weeks later with five of us. We picked up a cousin in California who came to stay part of the summer.

Mom’s Car

Mom drove the car for years afterward. First in Colorado, then in Spearman, Texas, and finally in Amarillo. By then, it was a high-mileage car by the standard of the day, and Dad, in about 1965, decided to move Mom up to a1960 Ford Wagon. That’s when he took over the Plymouth. It was a back-and-forth to work car for a few years.

Modification Begins

His first move was to shorten the wheelbase. He cut the body off immediately behind the front doors and chopped the frame and drive shaft to match. Dad found a wrecked mid-fifties pickup cab that he cut apart at the back in order to keep the rear window glass. Then he welded it to the back of the cut off wagon. The old cab had black paint, and he didn’t bother to change anything.

Now the car was shortened where the drive shaft was less than a foot long, and Dad continued to drive it back and forth to work. But this was only the beginning.

He built a small bed to cover the rear frame in front of the rear wheels. He carried a chain and a tire tool in it, though I don’t remember a spare tire,

Next Steps, More Mods

A good friend of Dad’s spent a weekend each month in Little Sahara, Oklahoma. Dad decided it would be fun to take the Plymouth along and see how it did in the sand. It turns out regular street tires aren’t that good in the loose sand.

Back home, Dad gathered a set of wheels, and after cutting them apart, he added a 4″ spacer to the front wheels and a 6″ spacer to the back rims. With some bigger, wider tires, the buggy was taking shape.

We took it on several hunting trips after that, and it was an excellent quail hunting buggy.

By this time, I had my license, and I got to drive it some. It was fun because of two things: the short wheelbase made it quick handling, and with all the weight off the back, it would really burn rubber. Hey, I was fifteen.

But Wait, There’s More

Dad spied a 1954 Ford Pickup a buddy at work was selling. The price was reasonable, so Dad bought it. He’d been without a pickup for a few years and was ready for another. By the way, it was an awesome pickup, but more on that another time.

He decided the roof and cab on the ’56 Plymouth buggy was no longer needed so the cutting torch came out again and off they came. Now it was a short wheel-based convertible buggy. That lasted about six months.

On a particular hunting trip, Dad was feeling bad, so we were cutting across a field, driving the hunting buggy, to get to a tree row. Suddenly, we spooked a covey of quail and Dad slammed on the brakes, grabbed his shotgun and in getting out of the buggy, the shotgun barrel hit the A-pillar and kept him from getting out of the driver’s seat.

That was the day, using his 12 gauge shotgun, the windshield was removed. Honestly, he shot it off with four or five shots.

Don’t believe the cop shows on television showing the police hiding behind the car door and remaining safe from all the flying bullets. Pure nonsense. Bullets will pierce the metal quicker than you can believe.

We kept the buggy for a couple more years, and then Dad sold it to someone who wanted a project. It was definitely that.

Categories
Information Life Web Applications

I Tried to Move from Evernote to Onenote

I tried to move from Evernote to Onenote. I really did.
I rearranged notes, exported them into Onenote, and spent an entire month working only in Onenote. It was a struggle.

Not a Onenote Newbie

I first used Onenote when Microsoft released it in 2003. It was different than any software available and made organizing easy and fun. Organizing was effortless, and finding pertinent information was easy.

It was part of the Office suite in 2003 and allowed complete control and creativity. It was super.

As a salesman, it was a great way to keep notes together about a particular customer: Notes, documents, emails … all of it. I loved Onenote.

Evernote released their application in 2008 in a public beta. It made an immediate impact on the note-taking community. The buzz in the tech community was loud and clear, “you have to try this software.” So I did.

I joined the Crowd in 2009

I opened my account with Evernote in October 2009. I admit I didn’t get it. I searched for articles and information on how to set up and use Evernote. I found a lot of information on the ways people were using Evernote. Soon, it became my “go to” application for information storage.

Along with many others, I became upset with Evernote when they changed up the plans. I had been a “free” user for years, and they removed the one feature I used all the time … email to Evernote.

So what did I do? I upgraded to the lowest paid plan. Then later to the highest personal plan. Why? I finally got it.

Still an Amateur

I’m still an amateur user compared to most with only 3300 notes, but it grows every day.

Have you switched from one to the other? I’d like to hear about your experience.

Categories
Information Life

Writing for Business and Pleasure

Many have said that to be a writer, one must write. Write every day. Write, write, write.

In 2006, one of the goals I set was to write every day. Not necessarily to publish, but to write. And for that year and even beyond, I did. Then life interrupted, and I fell off. Funny how that seems to happen.

Goals are good

With the beginning of June 2019, I think it is time to set a new writing goal. I’m not sure how it will evolve or what the specific goal will be, but I’m working on it. I’m not sure whether it will be a daily goal or a per week/month goal or a word count goal, but I am considering all possibilities.

I wrote an article on June 1 and set it to publish on Monday the 3rd. I am writing this on June 2. I’m not even sure I will post this or if it will be an act of thinking through the keyboard about the proper goal to set.

To Write Daily

Daily writing isn’t hard, but it does take time to think through an idea and begin to flesh it out. For me, it takes a bit of quiet. I don’t seem to think well with the television or radio on. There is one exception, though. I can work in a crowded coffee shop by tuning out the noise and focusing on the people and their interactions. I get ideas for articles by observing.

A Book Idea

I am working on an idea for a book. I started thinking and making notes years ago and even build a considerable mindmap around the idea. At this point, it might just be a series of articles to work out.

I have written a draft of some of the ideas which I reviewed yesterday. It is rough, but it’s supposed to be. Reading it through again though re-affirmed the ide in my head as being valid. I can’t find anything on the subject at all. No books, no articles, nothing. That is encouraging and frightening at the same time.

Thank you for letting me ramble a bit as I think about the book and a new goal. I will let you know in the future how it went.