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Gas! October 31, 2007

Posted by rengawman in cars, life, philosophy.
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Now with a title like “Gas!” and knowing me, this blog could just about go anywhere.  Little do you readers know that I actually come up with the title first, and then the rest of the blog just writes itself.  This could be a blog about my car… or Taco Bell, or even the planet Jupiter. (It is a gas giant you know).  The possibilities for such a blog are endless… ENDLESS!!

I miss this little guy…

 OK I am going to write about gasoline. 

I am not an economist by any means, but like most people, I understand that money makes the world go ’round.  The economy is a difficult thing to understand sometimes- as difficult as understanding how to withhold taxes from a paycheck!  I had one economics class in High School (where I did win the fake stock market game we played by the way) where the height of the semester was touring the HQ of Bob Evans, which is apparently located (or was) here in Columbus.

That having been said, I like to gauge how the economy is doing by looking at the price of gas.  Instantly you can tell if things are good or bad by how much the gasoline prices jump or not.  When I lived in Dublin, Ohio, the gas prices were about 10 cents higher than they are in my new neck of the woods, so I guess the economy is better in Dublin.

The price of gas affects everything.  One of the things I miss about Europe is that I could walk everywhere, and the places that I couldn’t walk, public transportation would take me cheaply and efficiently. (You did have to watch out for the gypsy children). (They got a palm pilot of mine once.) (And some french fries at McDonald’s in Rome).

I think probably the price of gas affected things a lot less in Europe than they do here, since if you want to work or get anything done, you have to have a car.  So the commerce that gasoline produces is really an important thing for the economics around here.  I would guess that in some ways it forms the basis and the backbone of our economy, since you need gas and oil to run machines, in addition to fueling the planes, trains, and automobiles that get products to the shelves of Wal-Mart.  That money in turn is put back into the economy by the people who make the gas, the gas companies, and eventually trickles back to us as they spend it.

I realize this is a rather elementary view of how gasoline affects the economy, but I suspect it is a correct one in many ways.

We often complain here about the price of gas by the way.  I would like to point out that last time I was in Europe, which was May, they payed 1 Euro 20 Cents for a LITER of gas.  My friend Emanuela and I figured it out to be about 6 to 8 dollars a gallon!  They have a lot more road taxes and their cars are more efficient and smaller too.

Smartuki - GSXR1000 powered Smart Car

This morning I read an article through www.fark.com(possibly the greatest website ever) about a guy who created a diesel engine in his Hummer H2 that would run efficiently on vegitable oil, without reducing the horsepower.  Here is a link to that article: LINK

Now, of course, we have to take everything on the internet with a grain of salt, but this guy had modified an Impala to run on his new engine, and it smoked a Lamborghini.  Below is the video from an MTV episode of Pimp My Ride.

I am all for cheap, clean, and efficient gas that will bring a Gremlin up to 50000 horse power, and so is the rest of the world, but I think before we jump on this bandwagon, we should understand the economic effects of such a switch, and why the government is looking toward hybrids, and gas alternatives like Ethanol.  I think it would be detrimental to the economy to make a huge switch like that, at least in the short term, simply because gas and oil is so important to the world economy in many ways- and not just economically.  It really drives things politically and socially as well.

I am not saying that a change isn’t coming or shouldn’t come, but in our instant gratification society, we would like to see vegetable Hummers appear tomorrow without understanding the consequences.  I think it would be interesting though to study the effects on politics and economics theoretically, if such a vehicle was mass produced.

I know I can’t make those projections, and I may be way off in my economic theory (remember, one class in economics here folks) but it would be an interesting thing to talk about sometime with someone who is in the know.


So, So Soothing… October 30, 2007

Posted by rengawman in life.
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21 Foot Banana Split October 30, 2007

Posted by rengawman in food, humor, life.
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They say that there are two perfect days in a boat owner’s life: the day he buys the boat, and the day he sells it!  I think grade school was the same way.  There were two great wonderful days: the first day, and the last day of school.  All those days in between I spent trying to convince my mom I had some kind of life threatening disease so I didn’t have to go.  She was a nurse.  It wasn’t easy.  I had only a 5% success rate, and that was probably because she didn’t feel like arguing with me.

The first day of school was a wonderful day indeed.  You had spent the summer reading (yea right) swimming in the community pool (actually when I lived on the farm, it was just a mud hole), and spending time with friends (see this post to find out who my friends were back then.)  The first day of school was a day of happy reunion with my friends that actually existed, and I was happy to hear about their summer trips and adventures since I hadn’t seen most of them over the summer.  You also spent the first day of school getting to know the teacher, and making your first impression.  Little Josh ALWAYS made a good first impression on his teachers.  Plus, rarely did you get homework on the first day of school.  Not that that mattered much, since I hated doing homework anyway.

Um… does this Big Bird creep anyone else out? I imagine that first day of school was unforgettable.

The other great day of school was the last day of school.  Glorious- triumphant- final.  In college we used to play the song “The Strife is O’er,” the battle is won… Every last day of school was great because you had made it through a whole year of math and science and english, and you had spent a lot of time with your teacher, and you were ready not to see some of your classmates for the next few months.  Plus, two wonderful things happened on the last day of school: we were allowed to wear shorts, and there was a big party.

Typical (obligatory) last day of school picture

That big party was always great- armies of room mothers invaded the school with freshly made cupcakes and sugary koolaide drinks made with love and care.  Nothing says fun like a bunch of kids hyped up on sugar.

The Army of Room Mothers

My favorite year end festivity was at the end of 2nd grade.  Mrs. Jackson was my teacher (and a good one at that- still one of my favorites ever!), and I had a kid in my class who later became of one my best friends: Craig Morris.  Craig’s mom was something else- she was sort of the Uber Room Mother.  She always participated in everything- you knew that if Craig’s mother was involved it was going to be over the top, or as the kids these days say: off the chain. (I found the chain, so now it is back on the chain… fear not!)

This particular last day of school, Craig’s mom went above and beyond the call of duty…  somehow she got a long length of pvc pipe- about 8 inches around and had it cut in half … LENGTHWISE.  This half pipe was 21 feet long.  She then lined the PVC pipe with tin foil, and filled it with something I will never forget- a 21 foot banana split.  I believe the secret ingredient was love… and bananas.

Imagine this… just 21 more feet of it…
This thing had all the flavors of ice cream that were available in 1985… red, and vanilla, chocolate.  Um… that was about it back then.  There was no Ben and Jerry’s that I knew of in Lima Ohio, so we were stuck with Neapolitan.  As long as you didn’t get red, you were OK.  It was covered in whipped cream and had cherries down the whole length of the banana split.  It must have been something to see 30 2nd graders attack this thing with all their might.  I took a position near the end of the giant tube and got to work.

It became very clear that the kids were eating around the empty calories of the bananas, and going straight for the ice cream and nuts and cherries.  I stepped up to the plate- I told them to send their bananas to me.  I wasn not going to let anything go to waste.

So I ate as many bananas as I could…  there were a lot of bananas in a 21 ft banana split.  Let me tell you all for future reference, there are limits to how many bananas a 2nd grader can eat.  I would not recommend pushing that envelope.  Ever.

I ate this many bananas. Do not try this at home.

After we cleaned ourselves off, as we were covered in banana split fixin’s, we went home and told our mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters about the wonders of the banana split that was 21 feet long.  Never have I seen such a wonderful confection!

The moral of the story is that as good as bananas are, you can have too much of a good thing!

Guitar Hero… October 29, 2007

Posted by rengawman in humor.
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I went to a movie with a friend the other day at a local dollar theater here in Columbus, a place that I actually worked for a couple of weeks, the Carriage Place Cinemark.  The movie we saw wasn’t worth the dollar by the way.  That is another blog though.

As we were pulling into the parking lot, I saw another friend of mine walking out to his car.  As I am a rather social fellow, I couldn’t just let someone I know pass me by without honking or screaming hello from my car (which sounds a lot like honking) (it’s a Lima thing), so I stopped and asked him how he was, and he told me he was just getting off of work.  I asked him where he worked and it turns out he owned a video game exchange place right beside the movie theater.

We decided to check it out, expecting to find all sorts of xbox games and PlayStation games, just like all the other video game places around town.  My friends, it was a different experience.  This store was like a cool museum of video games- they had Supernintendo, Nintendo 64, original PlayStation, and the list went on and on!  A little tear came to my eye as I relived Jr. High.

I have played my share of video games over the last 25 years of my life, but have recently taken a break (by recently I mean the last 10 years) simply because the video games have all become giant puzzles that takes way to much time to solve.  It was one of the reason I never like the Legend of Zelda.  My first video game system was an Atari 2600- the games were simple, but they were fun.  You could sit yourself down, play a little Chopper Command or Combat, and while away the hours with mindlessly flashing screens and low grade sound effects.  But the games were fun.  If I wanted to solve puzzles I would just go and read some philosophy or something.  Video games should be mindless and fun.

This game is stupid complicated… I don’t play video games to “think.”

Well, welcome back to the past!  Activision did it… they brought back the mindless fun video game!

Last December I had spent a long day at work and had talked for hours and hours to many many people.  My brain was absolutely fried, so in order to reboot a little, I decided to go to the local Best Buy.  I always go to look- to press the buttons- to dream of new gadgets.  Sometimes I even get out of there without buying anything, but I always feel guilty coming in and having to pass the cashiers without buying something… they just look so sad when you do that.

This was my brain that day in December

   By the way, I don’t really like gadgets- I just like the packaging.  You know, that krinkly plastic that electronics come in?  It is like a piece of Mozart or Beethoven… I love the way that stuff sounds.  The smell of new electronics… that is another sensory experience.  I guess that goes back to when I was a kid, and the box was more fun to play with than the toy that came in it…. but I digress.

Ahhh.. crinkly gadget packaging…

That is when I saw it… the greatest video game since Pac-Man.  There was a teenage kid playing it- he had on ripped jeans and a bandanna tied around his leg.  He was rocking a little tiny plastic guitar, staring mindlessly into a screen with flashing lights and sound, fingers flying over multi-colored buttons to the tune of “Sweet Child o’ Mine” by Guns and Roses.  I knew I had found something special.

I believe this constitutes cruelty to animals


He finished a rocking set, and we all raised our lighters into the air… well… I did, and once I assured the manager that I wasn’t crazy, and put my lighter away, (I don’t even know why I had a lighter, as I don’t smoke), I got my first crack at the greatest video game ever:

Guitar Hero.

I played it on Medium at first- Foo Fighters- “Monkey Wrench.”  All of the frustrations melted away like a Calgon bath.  “Guitar Hero take me away!”  And away it took me- at once I was transformed from Josh Wagner, into…. Josh Wagner playing Guitar Hero!  I blanked out for a few minutes- my fingers one with the little plastic guitar.  A crowd gathered to see my fingers of fury run over the frets and strum the virtual strings.  I knew that there was something special there.

 I played the last chord and the virtual crowd on the video game went nuts.  Truly I was a guitar hero… a medium level guitar hero… but the crowd didn’t care- they were programmed to cheer for me no matter what level I played.

I knew I was going to have it, so with some of the Christmas money I had received, I bought a PlayStation 2.  The problem became very clear though- everyone else had the same idea- there were no guitars to be bought, and all the copies of Guitar Hero were sold out.  I had to be happy with WWF wrestling superstars.

I had to drive all the way out to St. Clairsville Ohio to find what I was looking for… a black wireless guitar and copies of both Guitar Hero 1 and 2.  Now when I get stressed out and need a break, I just go and jam for a few thousand of my virtual fans who are always waiting for me to play a few hot licks on my virtual guitar. 

The controller that was packaged with the game, an approximately 3/4 scale reproduction of a Gibson SG.
Mine is wireless…

Rock on!

Not Caturday but…. October 25, 2007

Posted by rengawman in humor.
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Funny cats
I can has Cheeseburger?

Funny cats

Why I Blog… October 25, 2007

Posted by rengawman in Humor with a point, life, Motivation.
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A blog about blogging!  Wait until I write a blog about writing this blog, then it will be a blog about blogging about a blog.  Then you need to take some advil or Tylenol.  you know if you say blog enough the word loses all meaning.  What meaning it had to begin with. (Go ahead… say blog a hundred times… I dare ya!)

 Someone recently asked me why I am doing all this blogging.  The answer is pretty simple: it is my current creative outlet.  It turns out that if I don’t blog I get all shaky and I start to hallucinate because all of the different characters and ideas in my head begin to combat each other.  It is horrible when George Washington begins to dual with the Unicorns.  Not pretty at all.

I have to say that I have, up to this point, been a little skeptical of blogging.  Why anyone would want to read how I fixed my eggs this morning, or why I like Frostesd Mini-wheats vs. Frosted Flakes, or how I met a guy with a giant Buckeye for a head was completely beyond me.  Frankily, it is nice that people read this stuff I am putting down, and I hope some of it helps along the way, even if it makes someone smile, but I have to say that it is truly a cathartic little exercise for me, and has been for the last couple of months that I have been posting.  Got to keep those creative juices flowing you know!

It is fun that I get to share some of my ways of thinking and living with other folks, and it is fun to see the number of visitors grow daily.  It also keeps me in touch with people to let them know that I am OK, and working through a bunch of the different things that brought me to this point in the last few years.  In some ways the last year and a half have been the toughest in my life- in other ways it has been the best because God has freed me from so many fears in my personal life that have been holding me back from being me for the last 25 years!  Fear is a terrible thing.  It really crushes a lot of people.  That is another blog though.

I have learned a lot of things in this life- the first and formost is that life is a very interesting journey- If you trust in God He will lead you, even if it isn’t exactly what you expected.  He does teach you ultimately to let go and trust that he is leading you in the right direction.  The blog is a great way to process through a lot of thoughts, and hopefully it helps someone along the way.

As I have always said, perfection in this life is progress, (if ya ain’t growin’ yer dyin’) and I feel that this is accomplished whether we like it or not.  Sometimes that requires growing pains, but the end result is always better than we started with, no matter what.  That is why Nothing is Lost and Everything is Possible.  Simply put everything, good or bad, change or consistency, is always valuable to our lives just because it shows us where we are and where we are going.  More importantly it shows us WHO we are.  (I am still trying to figure that one out a little myself).  If we can communicate those experiences to others it may help them avoid some of the pitfalls of their own lives.  You can’t love what you don’t know I always say.

Again, I hope what I write here is helpful to someone.  I know it helps me to continue to create and serve, even if it is in a slightly different capacity than I was doing before.  Even if it isn’t it is at least helpful to me!

 By the way: Frosted Flakes… Frosted Mini-wheats takes too much work.

Brutal Brutus (-a -um) October 24, 2007

Posted by rengawman in Events, Humor with a point, life, Motivation, philosophy.
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I had a great experience over the weekend… I got to go to my first Ohio State Football game. 


What an experience!  I mean all around- from fighting traffic all the way to finding tickets, to finally, getting to sit with people and cheer the Buckeyes on to victory against Michigan State.  I have been to big stadium games before for other sports, like hockey and basketball, but never to a big college game like this one.

I went with a buddy of mine, and the first thing we did was to go to a tailgate party that was put on by a friend of mine’s law firm.  I called them to see if they needed anything, and they said that they desperately needed some ice.  So my friend and I did the noble thing and bought two huge bags of ice to take to the party.  Little did we know that the party was right in the heart of campus, and we would have to park on Kenny Rd, about a 20 minute walk away.  So with no coolers, and just our bare hands grasping the huge bags of ice we began our journey to the tailgate party.

It turns out that our noble efforts were not in vein- they were indeed out of ice, and the beer- precious like gold at a tailgate party- was indeed getting warm.  The party threatened to unravel, for, even though I do not drink myself, nothing kills a celebration like warm beer.  I saw the masses huddled around the keg- shivering- afraid- that all they were going to drink was room temperature beer.  Tears were flowing, and the people tried to comfort each other.  I looked into their sad eyes, and I said: “It will be OK.”

That is one cool warm beer.

Like two superheros, my friend and I triumphantly walked into the tailgate, giant blocks of ice on our shoulders, and weary from the trek from our parking spot, and having fought the crowd, tears of fear turned into tears of joy.  Everything would be iced down- soda could be served cold- water was palatable again- and beer drinkers could drink their beers in peace.  A cheer erupted from the crowd as we walked in- we had saved the day.

Having done our service for God and country, my friend and I now had another task on our hands- find tickets into the game.  This would prove to be even a more difficult task than walking 2 miles holding bags of ice in our bare hands.  It would mean doing battle with ticket scalpers.

I know now that buying scalped tickets is an art.  It is an art of waiting- of cunning- of beating out the competition.  So we waited out in front of the stadium until just before the kickoff, along with the other ravenous fans waiting to get a piece of Buckeye glory.

The dance began.

Scalper: Hey buddy, only 5000 bucks… it’s a great deal.

That dance was the dance between scalper and buyer- of scavenger and prey.  Finally, after the kickoff the prices went down to an acceptable level- we got our tickets- we were in.


The stadium itself was filled with fans cheering.  I sat with the students on the edge of a bench, hair blowing in the wind.  I was right by the uprights, standing, cheering, whooping.  I got to watch as the fantastic defense… well… defended, and the adequate offense ate some time up until the defense could get back on the field. 

The first half was a spectacular performance by the buckeyes, stirring the crowd into a frenzy.  The second half, not so much, putting Michigan State within one touchdown of Ohio State.  I was nervous- shaking- tense.  Turns out I just had to go to the bathroom (That is a whole separate adventure.)

Then it happened.  Something I had waited for my whole life- HE came up into the stands.  Brutus Buckeye.  He was just a foot away from me… his giant head swaying in the wind- his giant eyes seemed to stare into my soul as he gave his famous thumbs up.  I am sure it was tough to climb those stairs since his peripheral vision couldn’t have been all that good due to his giant head.  Believe me Brutus- I feel your pain.  I know all to well what it is to have a giant head.

This guy is nuts!  HA! (Um… cause buckeyes are nuts… get it?)

I thought it was a great experience, and it supports something I said in another blog about human nature- that fundamentally we are relational in nature.  We have a need to be social- to gather- to share in an experience.  It is that relational nature that makes us human, as no other creature can interact like human beings can.

If I had stayed home and watched the game, I would have probably seen more.  I would have seen instant replays, how the ball was snapped, and even a closeup of those interceptions in the second half that the quarterback threw.  But there was something magical and energized about being in a crowd of people- sharing the experience with 105,000 strangers, who, for just a couple of hours, were my best friends. (Except for the Michigan State Marching band).  See we need those moments together.

One of my sayings in life is that you can’t love what you don’t know. If you want to get to know someone you have to spend time with them.  You can’t just email or talk on the phone- you have to be in their presence.  That is becoming something that is easier to forget with technology that seems to connect us better with each other.  It is the difference between watching a movie in my house and yours while talking on the phone vs. going to the theater together.  We need REAL social interaction if we are to be fulfilled as humans.

It is hard to meet new people and become friends, simply because we aren’t really good at getting out of our shell.  It is safe to meet them online but you don’t really know someone until you talk to them.  It requires a risk- a risk of rejection- so a lot of people don’t take that risk, and we end up isolated on our myspace page with 10,000 fake friends. The payoff to the risk is a wonderful one- real social interaction- getting to know and love people for real and not in cyberspace.

One of my personal daily goals is to meet someone new- someone real- every day.  I can’t tell you how many great stories there are out there, and how willing people are to tell you if you just get the gumption up to break the ice.  Try it sometime- it is a lot better than any myspace page.  Of course you run the risk of rejection- but it probably won’t happen as much as you think it might.

The Thermostat in my car October 23, 2007

Posted by rengawman in cars, Humor with a point, life, Motivation, philosophy.
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A wise man once said- “Walk right side of road, squished like grape.  Walk left side of road, squished like grape.  Walk middle of road, you safe.”  That wise man:  Mr. Myiagi from the Karate Kid series.  He could also beat up guys half his age and twice his size- AND catch flies with chopsticks.  Which go great, by the way, with a little soy sauce and Cantonese rice.

He could render a man, or a fly, unconscious in 10 seconds with those chopsticks.

 It is funny- I have never been the kind of guy to walk down the middle, although I am certainly learning.  I am a guy that if I do something, I want to do it all the way and absolutely- giving everything I am and have to a particular pursuit.  Sometimes that has worked out for me- like in school or in work, and other times it hasn’t worked out so well for me like eating that has plagued me in my past.

He even makes standing in the street look cool.

A great analogy for who I am, and I suspect who a lot of people are is the thermostat in my car.  If it is hot outside, I always put the air-conditioner on full blast, fan all the way up, knob turned all the way to the cold side of the dial.  I love getting it so cold in my car that you can see your breathe and draw things on the frosted glass of the car.  Personally, I don’t think there is anything better than getting out of a cold car into a hot day. 

Ahhh… summertime.

Once it does get too cold for the yeti (or bigfoot as he is commonly known in West Virgina, according to my friend Doug Ondeck) I don’t merely turn the thermostat down- nope, I turn the fan all the way off.  Then when it gets hot again, I turn the fan all the way on full blast.  There isn’t a lot of middle ground with me.

What the dashboard of my car looks like- it is red like Knight Rider (3rd reference)


 The same thing happens when it is cold outside.  My car, the coolest car ever in the world, has a remote starter on it.  So what I do is I start the car, making sure that the heat is all the way in the red part of the dial, and the fan is on 4.  Then I set a lump of dough on the seat, and by the time I get out there, the car is so hot it can cook the lump of dough into bread.  Who doesn’t like fresh bread on their way to work?  I know I do.  Then I usually turn the heat all the way off.  Not much middle ground there either.

OK I don’t turn up the thermostat quite this high.


I guess Mr. Myagi is right though.  I notice that I have done a lot of things like that in my life.  Some have said that it is an all or none proposition with me.  I suspect that there is a little area in everyone’s life where it is all or none, or there is a lot of excess. 

The greeks defined virtue as the golden mean- walking down the middle of the road, not too much one way, or too much to the other but virtue is found in the middle- in moderation.  That is something I am actually learning about in my life right now.  You can in fact have too much of a good thing.

I think we should take the European view of life.  If you ever eat in France you know that their portions are never big- it is just enough to get a taste, and not enough of anything to fill you up (except for that one Christmas dinner I ate there.  That is another blog).  Here in the States when you go to a restaurant the portions are so big, you usually need to get carried out on a stretcher!  Thanks a lot Cheesecake Factory!

Typical meal at the Cheesecake Factory


That is how life should be I guess.  We should try and set the dial to something that is consistent- not too hot, not too cold.

I am actually trying to do that in my life right now.  I notice that when I am in the car, the fan is on about 2 or 3 (out of 4) and the knob is set at a comfortable quarter point, never too hot or cold.  I am trying to learn how to walk down the middle of the road so I don’t get squashed like a grape.

Maybe you have something that is a little extreme in your life.  The way that we move back into the center is to do it slowly and consistently.  It is funny how when you work on one virtue, they are all connected and when you find the golden mean in one area of your life, you find it in others.

Supersaver Cinema October 19, 2007

Posted by rengawman in Humor with a point, life, Motivation.
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Since I am recounting a bunch of firsts in my life this week, I figure that I would recount my first official, having to fill out a w-2, paying job.  It is funny, when you find that you want a car, you also need to find money to support that car, so after I acquired the keys to my somewhat new 87 Honda (see this blog for further details) I had to get a job to support her.  She was by no means high maintenance beyond gas and oil, but still, that stuff ain’t free!

My first job was at the Supersaver Cinema in Westerville Ohio.  It is still, by far, one of the coolest jobs I ever had!  I was part of the glitz and the glamour of Hollywood itself!  Surrounded by such stars as John Travolta, Babe the Pig, and even Chris Farely of happy memory.  Of course I was at the very bottom rung of the glitz and glamour of Hollywood as Supersaver was a run down second run theater, meaning we got the movies 4 or 5 months after they came out, and tickets were $1.50. (Of course, we did charge 2.12 for a small coke).

It was a neat place- even if it did smell moldy after a rain- there were about 50,000 lights in the whole place- like Christmas lights- lighting the way down a silver sided tunnel.  It was a like some kind of time warp that brought you all the way back to 1983.  I personally changed about 5000 of those stupid lights during my time there.  It ruined Christmas for me. 

The other cool part was that there was a fog machine, and even disco lights!  If they didn’t play Tom Petty and the Heart Breakers over the sound system all the time, it would have been a great place to hold a party. (Actually, after my Senior Prom, I opened up the theater, and my group watched movies and played video games all night long… blasty blast!)

I know all his songs by heart… I heard them a thousand times.

Eventually, I worked my way through the ranks to become middle management there at the old SSC, becoming Chief of Staff.  I made a whopping $4.25 an hour.  NIIIICE…  but I got all the free popcorn I wanted.  Super Saver ruined popcorn for me too by the way.

I was going through some of my things recently after my move, and I found the vest and bow tie that I wore to work there- they brought back fond memories, and even smelled a little like stale popcorn.

Mine was black but you get the point.

Eventually, the time came to leave Supersaver- once I got into the routine, and things began to get old, I had to step away.  I knew that my life was not to be spent running movie theaters, as much fun as it might have been.  So reluctantly, I stepped away to go to college.  It was a tough change to make, but I knew that I had to do something more with my life. 

See that is how motivation works- really motivation is a desire for change.  It was certainly possible for me to stay comfortable at Supersaver, but my desire for change outweighed my desire to stay the same- and I realized something very important back in my youth- that if you aren’t growing, you’re dying.

I think that is what makes change so hard to deal with- we are comfortable in the place that we are- we are used to the surroundings, and even if we aren’t entirely happy, or happy at all, it is simply just easier to stay where we are, and keep doing what we are doing.  I suspect all of us somewhere would like to change something in our lives, but our desire to stay the same outweighs our desire for change.

Sometimes we get too comfortable

How do we change that?  If we are in a rut- if we need to lose weight or switch jobs, or change our lives in any way, how do we accomplish such a feat?  How do we get motivated to change our lives?

Well, motivation has got to be a little like hunger- certainly we can eat junk food all day- and it will satisfy us for the time being, but in the end, it will simply make us weak.  Eating good food, changing our lifestyle isn’t easy, but in the long run will help us to be better and feel better.  The key is to change what we are hungry for.

See, motivation is really about hunger- when we are hungry, we are motivated to eat.  That means going to the store, or cooking something up.  It means we have to change what we are doing to find the sustenance we need.  In terms of other areas of our life, motivation simply becomes a hunger- a hunger which compels us to change our lives.

Even when we are eating junk food, our body is really hungry for good food.  You can’t fool our bodies- likewise if we are living in an unhealthy situation, we really still crave the healthy situation- just not enough to change our lives.

So we have to first look at ourselves and see what we really need and want.  That may be different from what we currently have.  Then we set daily goals to achieve little by little whatever will satisfy that true hunger that we have in ourselves.  In other words, we have to make ourselves hungry for what is better!

I know that a year ago when I gave up sugar it was a tough decision.  I started eating vegitables which I didn’t exactly want or crave.  Now though, I crave vegetables and hate eating sugar.  That sort of analogy is applied to anything we do- be it fitness or profession or relationships.  Motivation is really realizing what we are really hungry for, and going to get it!

Slippin’ and Trippin’ October 18, 2007

Posted by rengawman in Humor with a point, life, Motivation.
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I had the privilege of finishing my High School career at a wonderful public institution, Westerville North High School. I participated in many events there, my favorite being marching band.  Marching band gave me the opportunity to run around for hours at a high pace carrying 50 lbs of tuba on my shoulder while blowing through it.  Talk about character building.  Now you think that all that marching around would have given me the ability to learn how to walk in a straight line, or to at least remain upright.  You would be wrong my dear friends.

This could actually be a picture of me from High School

When I was a Junior in High School, the apex of my career, we had a terrible set of cold days, and even blizzard like conditions which kept us out of school for a few days.  When the weather let up, we knew that the math test we were going to have to take was there waiting for us- it was just a matter of inevitability.

Welcome to inevitablity, Mr. Anderson

Even though the snow had stopped, and the Yeti had again returned to his home, a thick layer of snow covered the ground.  What you have to understand about central Ohio is that the sun will actually melt the snow a little bit during the day, making, of course, water, which in turn freezes at night.  This was only my second winter back since moving back from Texas, so I was still getting my snow shoes acclimated to the climate.

That day back to school I walked out into the frozen tundra which was Baldwin ct, only about a half mile from the school.  I had to walk to school because I lived so close (uphill) (in the snow) (the danger of bobcats constantly lurking)(Westerville is a tough place, man).  So I began my journey being careful not to slip on the sheet of ice that covered the paved parts of the street and sidewalk.  I thought I was on a layer of snow… soft… safe snow, when I realized that the ice was waiting below to claim me.

My left foot went straight ahead.  My right foot went to the right. 


Actual photo from my fall.

I lay in the snow for a couple of seconds assessing what had happened to me.  I certainly remember the snap, but the endorphins were preventing me from feeling pain.  I was determined to get to that math test though, so I stood in the snow, on a broken leg, and took two more steps toward school.  I was a determined young man.  Then I realized my leg was broken and I fell to the snow and crawled back into my house.

I called my mom at that point.  It indeed was a broken leg.

I ended up having a full leg cast for the next 6 weeks or so.  But you know, it was OK after that initial moment of pain because I was able to use the cast to get a lot of girls to go out with me.  I don’t think I ever went out with more girls in high school than when I had a cast on my leg.  From that point on I was always trying to find ways to put myself in traction.

You know, I have heard it said, about 10 times in the last week in fact, that life is what happens while you plan.  It is true.  My best layed plans were to get to school, take the test, and go on with life.  The slip in the ice changed that.

Sometimes that is how life goes as well- sometimes we intend one thing, and something else happens to throw us off of our journey putting us somewhere else than we think we are going to go.

For instance, I grew up on a farm in Lima Ohio.  I pretty much figured that I would stay in Lima and live and work for the rest of my life.  Then we moved to Texas when I was 12.  Sure it was painful- just like the broken leg was painful- but in the end so many great things ended up coming out of an otherwise difficult experience.

That is how life is sometimes- we get detoured by things- sometimes we slip and fall and break something and we think it is all over, only to discover that the pain we had to go through actually helped to form us to be better people in the end.

So we have two choices- we can be bitter about the broken legs- curse the ice- and brood, or we can see opportunity in the midst of any crisis that will strengthen us, and help us to strengthen others.

I remember once in class that I heard that the Chinese word for “crisis” has the dual meaning of “opportunity.”  Maybe the crisises in our lives can and will turn into great opportunities if we let them!

Truly in life, “Nothing is lost, and Everything is possible!”