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More Music and More Tolerance, Please

Some days it’s really easy to be a good person – you wake up feeling good, your coffee is just the right temperature and your eggs are neither overcooked nor undercooked, and you always dress right for the weather that day. Sounds familiar, right?

But do you pick yourself up on the days when you wake up and just feel lousy? I, personally, do my best to do something positive that day and improve my mood so I’m not a downer on everyone I meet, because other people shouldn’t be the target of my own torrent of personal feelings that day. That’s why it bothers me when other people are being negative and intolerant sometimes, and don’t move an inch towards a better direction in their lives or do anything for the benefit of their community.

My wife often tells me that I can’t change the way people behave and should just let them be, and I know she’s right, it’s just that I get caught up in thoughts about these things that it’s hard to be objective about it sometimes. The other day at work two guys got into a fight in the men’s room. I’m not exactly sure what happened, they’re not really on my floor, but I heard the bathroom was a total mess and they had to replace the toilets, took them ages to find the right ones online. Everyone’s been talking about them all week, and almost every day on lunch break they’re the hot topic.

Whatever it was, it wasn’t fair to act that way, especially when you’re at work. In my opinion, people should always strive to be their best selves, even when they’re not feeling their best. I mean, I see so much impatience around me, no wonder those two ended up fighting. People are shouting at each other, being disrespectful, and not only in person, but on social media too. This is part of the reasons why I started this blog, so I can freely write whatever is on my mind.

Luckily I have a couple of colleagues at work that are good people and a couple of friends, and of course, my lovely wife, all of whom give me hope for humanity. I’m actually trying to get myself into the habit of listening to music more often. I find it relaxes me and helps me feel better when I’m feeling disheartened. When I was a teenager I used to listen to a lot more music, but as I got older my enthusiasm waned. But now I’m back at it and fully enjoy it!

Having said that, I would recommend more music and a lot more tolerance, please!

Criticism and Compliments

One of the things I dislike the most is how unbalanced online reviews are, and how people intentionally malign honest sellers trying to eke out a living on the internet. It is a real pet peeve. Why do they always want to write about bad experiences instead of seeking redress and maybe a refund first. Customer service is vitally important but seldom mentioned. When I was looking for a new tankless water heater, I found few helpful reviews at Tankless Center. I want an honest opinion and not a tirade. Just tell me that it works properly and meets your demands. When it comes to criticism versus compliments, it pays to read between the lines. Look at the average rating for a product. Eliminate the bottom five or so—those from bitchy people. I am amazed at one-star reviews for some of the most well-known and praised items. This is my proof of the problem.

I like long reviews because I know the purchaser took the time to tell the whole story, good and bad. If price is an issue, the reader understands, but also tell us what it does for the money. Does it look and work as expected? Did it malfunction too soon? When it comes to a tankless system, I want to know how much space you need, how easy is the installation, and does it save on electricity bills.  Does a manual come with the water heater and is it easy to use, especially the new computer models?

Navigating the net is an art and it helps to know when and how to separate the wheat from the chaff. Shopping on line is so prevalent (Amazon thanks for carrying everything in the universe) that judging reviews is a daily task.

Driving MINI: A Small Car in an Oversized World

I don’t really know why I wanted a MINI Cooper. It’s not big (obviously) and it doesn’t have a whole lot of room, but it is just so cool. First of all, they look great. You recognize them immediately. They just look like little racecars with their bonnet stripes and roof colors. Mine’s blue and it has a white top and mirrors – named Alice (Alice Cooper, get it?). You get to pick the colors and there is so much customizing involved, I felt like I built the car myself by the time I was done choosing options.

For the price, I’m sure I could have gotten a lot more car. But it is fun to drive, so I don’t really care. It is really hard to explain without using words like fun and awesome. It drives like no other car I’ve ever been in, and that’s a good thing.

You do have to get used to driving it. In addition to it being a lot of fun to drive, there is a size issue. When you’re on the highway and everybody else is towering over you, you sort of feel like a bug about to be squashed under someone’s shoe. I have been driving since I was 16 years old and I don’t think I was ever afraid behind the wheel, but the first time I came up on a tractor trailer, I thought he was going to drive right over me or slam me into the guardrail. It’s a safe car, with some great safety features (thanks, Cornering Brake Control!); that’s not the problem at all. It’s that everybody else is in these giant cars. But the more I drive it, the more used to it I’m getting and the more comfortable I feel passing huge vehicles on the road. Because I’m in a little race car, and they aren’t!

I will say that the MINI is bigger than it looks when you’re inside it. It’s like magic that way. You don’t realize it when you’re just looking at the car, but the wheels are all the way on the end of the car. It both adds room and makes the car easier to handle. There’s no wasted space (case in point: the engine is sideways) so you can use the room you have. It’s very efficient that way. I’ve met some other people who drive MINIs, and some of them are surprisingly tall. Others have kids and fit car seats in the back and everything.

Anyway, if you’re in the market for a new car, you should really check out the MINI. It’s safe, it’s got all kinds of technology packed inside, it’s surprisingly roomy, and it drives amazing. Plus, you will be the coolest looking car on the road, no question!

What a Nice Day!

I try to stay on the positive side of things, even when things aren’t working out in my favor. I tend to handle things better when I am in a positive mindset, regardless of what is being thrown at me. It is not always easy, because getting angry or frustrated is a much more satisfying (at least in the moment) way to be. However, today was not one of those days.

I had a really good night’s sleep, which probably helped. My alarm woke me up and one of my favorite songs was on the radio. I stayed in bed to hear the rest of the song, which is a great way to start the morning. I had breakfast at home. My wife and I had just gone shopping yesterday and I love having that first bowl of cereal from a fresh box. It’s just so good! I took a shower and got ready for work. The drive in was surprisingly uneventful – no accidents, nobody driving twenty miles below the speed limit in front of me and nobody tailgating the crap out of me either. Just the usual traffic and nothing more.

I got in to work and settled down at my desk. I had a few things to do straight away, so I started in on that stuff. Sometimes things are like a big snarl at work and it takes me forever to untangle the mess: who is doing what, where is this thing, who has that piece? It can take me all day sometimes to get just a few questions answered. Not today! I miraculously had all the information I needed to complete my to-do list. And my boss didn’t send me any of those annoying “drop everything you’re doing and do this for me right this second because it was due yesterday” kind of projects. It was somebody’s birthday at work, so we had a party in the break room with pizza and cake for lunch. Getting paid to eat cake is my idea of a great time.

My ride home was the same as my ride in: not a whole lot going on. I listened to the satellite radio in the car and got to hear some songs I had nearly forgotten completely about, the last time I heard them was so long ago. It was a nice change from hearing the same few songs over and over again on the radio. I came home and my wife and I made some dinner – hooray again for grocery shopping! – watched a few episodes of a show we like and are behind on, and then I decided to blog. Some people might call this kind of a day boring at worst or uneventful at best. I just call it nice. A couple more days just like this would be great! OK, since the day started so good because I had a good night’s sleep, I’m going to stop here. Goodnight!