Thursday, August 9, 2012

Are you invisible?

I am amazed at how people think that once they are within the bounds of their car they perceive themselves as invisible to the people around them. 
I have examples of situations where drivers must have thought that they were in private.

One early morning I was driving south on Highway 121 south of Denver and noticed a car in the right lane that was driving erratically.  I pulled alongside the car and noticed the woman driver within changing her clothing.  She had her top off and was trying to put on a pullover shirt.  I was amazed and almost ran off the road.  She noticed me and realized she was not invisible.  Next she commenced with application of her mascara, and finally she sped away to avoid me staring at her.

The next example is not limited to only the car, but many people in public.  I finally understand why people have such big nostrils is because they have such big forefingers.  I am amazed at the level of concentration afforded to extracting that last little bit of gold lodged just beyond the reach of that index finger.  Then success… what shall I do with this little golden wonder?  I could rub it under the side of the seat, or maybe just flick it onto the floor.

Distracted drivers are dangerous.  I was a distracted driver when I was a teenager.  I was gawking at a pedestrian in Alamosa Colorado when the person in front of me stopped at a crosswalk.  I did not notice him and … Boom!, I wrecked my brother’s car.

Distractions are dangerous and may cause deadly damage.  Don’t be distracted as it is detrimental.

As I was driving along I-35 South toward Austin I noticed that the traffic was starting to queue behind a pair of cars driving side by side.  After a long delay I managed to slip through the slow section of traffic.  As I passed the lead car I noticed the driver had a book open and resting on the steering wheel, reading and turning pages as he paced himself with the car in the next lane.  I was rather annoyed, amazed, and anxious that someone would choose to endanger himself and others with such distracted driving habits.

I wonder if automobiles and elevators have a common influence on people and their behavior.  Elevator etiquette does not include wearing a heavy perfume that has coconut as a base.  I worked at a facility in Denver Colorado where there was a woman that liked her silk scarves and her coconut perfume.  It was obvious at times she had been on the elevator.  But, the worst is when someone is alone on the elevator and thinks it a perfect opportunity to expel that malodorous melee of mixed gases.  As the elevator door opens and you realize that several people see you and know what you did then you review your situation and suppose that you are no longer invisible, even though the odor is not visually detected, it is detected.

Athletic events afford athletes the apparent aura of being invisible.  Not all of that scratching and adjustment of the uniform is for the sake of sending signals to the pitcher.  DON’T THEY REALIZE THE CAMERA IS SHOWING THE WHOLE TV AUDIENCE WHAT THEY ARE DOING?  Why do the camera operators zoom in at such opportune times?

I would suppose that we just don’t realize that we are not invisible.  Perception is a precept that perhaps is not appreciated by people.

I heard this joke that accentuates this principle of personal perception.
An elderly lady went to the doctor seeking help with a serious case of intestinal gas buildup.  She explained to her doctor that she had a horrible case of gas, but it was not too serious because the discharges were silent and the odor was benign.  The doctor gave her some green pills and asked her to take 4 a day and come back in 2 days.  During the second visit she complained to the doctor about the pills, complaining that they had caused her gas to smell awful.  The doctor retorted, “Now that we have your sinuses cleared, let’s work on your hearing”.

Remember, your personal perception does not make you invisible.

Friday, July 13, 2012

We are in this together

Bridge Gappers manual speech CC#3

When planning for a year plant corn.
When planning for a decade plant trees.
When planning for a lifetime train and educate the people.
(Chinese proverb)

There are basically two kinds of people in the world.  There are givers and there are takers.  We toggle between these two modes.

All of us depend on others at times.  Others depend on us at times.

This past year this club (Bridge Gappers) was able to fulfil the requirements for President's Distinguished in the DCP program for Toastmasters International.  This was possible because there were people that were willing to be givers.

The reasons we do things vary.  Motives are important.

We are the masters of our own destiny.
We decide whether we are in the giving mode or the taking mode.

You might ask how we control our destiny.

Preparation met by demand is opportunity.

We start by determining where we focus.

We set goals.

Goals are achieved by a simple process.

Your thoughts determine your actions.
Your actions determine your habits.
Your habits determine your character.
Your character determines your destiny.

You need to keep in mind the things that you hold most important.

When your goals are value driven you have more chance to be successful in your endeavours.

When I was in high school I had great potential.  I could have had scholarships to college, but I determined that was not for me.  I wasted my time in high school with partying and menial labor jobs to pay for my partying.

I drifted between living with friends and at home until I turned 23.  I evaluated my life and determined that I was on the slow boat to nowhere.  I re-evaluated my life and what I had been taught.  My parents had given me good teaching as a youth.  I decided to repent of my wayward way and serve a proselyting mission for my church.

That decision changed my life.

The last item I was asked to do while serving in Argentina as a missionary was to write out my goals for the rest of my life.  In those goals I delineated things I wanted to achieve, get a college degree, get married, have a family, and I made goals pertaining to my practice of my religion.

Toastmasters International’s core values are integrity, dedication to excellence, service to the member, and respect for the individual.

The purpose of a club is to provide a friendly environment where each member has the opportunity to learn effective oral communication skills and leadership skills. in order to give the member more confidence and self-esteem, and thereby improving our society.

Goals for the club should reflect these values and purposes.

What is your balance of being a giver versus taker?  Remember that we are in this together.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Summer Vacation 2011

Hello BLOGGER friends.

It has been a long year so far.

We took our vacation this year at the end of July and spent a week in the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado.

The Dictionary

As our 7 children grew and learned, one of the things that we did with consistency was to have our meals together and sometimes have conversations at the table.  When one of the children would use a word that I thought was used incorrectly or I estimated that they did not know what the word meant I would ask for a definition for the word before they could use it in their conversations.

STOP!  What is the definition of that word?

Frequently they did not know the real definition of the word.  If they did not know the definition of the word or were shy in presenting what they thought was the definition then I would instruct that child to retrieve the dictionary and read the definition aloud to all the family.  As you can see, the dictionary is tattered and worn.  This wear is a direct consequence of the use induced by dad.


I was sometimes not pleased with the definitions in the Collegiate dictionary and would make them reference the unabridged dictionary. There were times that I was at odds with what was in both dictionaries.  English is definitely a living language, where words are added to the dictionary every year.  If you throw in a few acronyms with the moving target of words then things are even more interesting.  There are some words I have objected to the children using in their vocabulary.

SNAFU, FUBAR, and dork are three "words" that were not permitted to be used.  Interestingly, these "words" are used with impunity in daily conversation and I suppose that most people do not know the etymology or meaning of these words. 

Communication is very difficult without having different conceptions of the meanings of a word.  Some words in our vocabulary have changed over time because people used a word to connotate something other than the dictionary definition of the word.  Even the use of euphemisms to blunt the acute nature of a phrase that may be disturbing eventually becomes as acute as the original phrase and destroys the ability of using some words to convey their original meaning.

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.  Our visual dictionary is also rather tattered.  Not all of our children have used the visual dictionary like Eric.


Julie, our oldest daughter, was delighted when she received as a gift an Oxford dictionary.  Her dictionary came in a two volume set.  I presume that Julie still uses her dictionaries and that she, and the rest of our family, is more able to communicate accurately because of our tradition of using the dictionary at the dinner table.

What is in your dictionary?

April 22 at Garcias: Bowling

(By Debra)

The Grandparents and Uncle Eric came two hours to visit their grand-baby.  It was fun for us all.  We talked, watched Tangled on my computer, ate lunch, fed water to Elaine in a teacup, and we WENT BOWLING.

Dad entertained, looked after and was entertained by Elaine while Mom Eric and I bowled.