Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tuesday Afternoon Post

I'm sitting here relaxing a bit in the middle of the afternoon so I thought I'd write about a mix of random things today. 

First of all, I think that DVRs or TV networks should develop some kind of system to automatically delay the start of the recording of a program if it starts late due to a sports or news event. 

Last Sunday night I tried to DVR "Unforgettable" on CBS and got "60 Minutes." 

I intended to watch a drama about a detective, who has a highly superior memory, solving a crime. But instead I got Morley Safer interviewing a guy telling how he injected PEDs into Alex Rodriguez's buttocks. Not exactly an equal trade off.  

So anyone who reads this that has a connection in the TV industry either on the service provider or production sides get to work on that, okay?

And while you're at it how about something to make a DVR keep recording if a program goes over it's scheduled time slot, even if it's not set up that way. That's for all the sports fans. 

I'm currently reading a book called "The Traveler's Gift" by Andy Andrews. It's about a desperate man's spiritual journey through time encountering historical figures. These infamous people each give him advice on principal for living successfully. 

I'm having a little bit of difficulty buying into the complete message the book is trying to convey. I do agree with parts of it though. Maybe it will take me some time to digest it all and apply it to my life. 

However one of the principals has already struck a chord with me: "I am a person of action." Let me explain why. 

A good portion of the way I measure success in my life is through accomplishments. I can't stand the feeling of disappointment at the end of the day when I realize that I have gotten nothing done. On the other side of the same coin is the sense of satisfaction I get when I can see the results of something I've put effort into. This explains my enjoyment of building Lego models and recording my "Rewind" programs. 

Because I don't have a job to go to everyday, right now, I don't have that steady source of satisfaction of putting in 8 hours each day. Whether you are happy at your job or not, if you go and put in your time every day you have something to be proud of. I don't have that right now. 

Because of that it's been very easy to get into a rut, distracted by TV or the internet or a variety of other things and let time get away from you on a daily basis. 

That's what was happening to me over the last couple of months. I have routinely stayed up until the wee hours of the morning and slept late the next day. I would not develop any ambition until the later part of the afternoon. At the end of each day I would find myself frustrated over the feeling that I've wasted the day away. As you might guess it's a very stagnating routine.

When my wife would come home from her 12 hour day at the office, and simply ask "What did you do today?" I was embarrassed when I struggled to respond with something I was proud of.

I went through a bout of depression stemming from my realization that I was accomplishing nothing in my life right now. Recently I decided to pull myself out of my emotional hole and realized that it was time to take some action. 

Over the last couple of weeks I've been setting a daily goal for accomplishments each day. Since my favorite number is 9 that's where I set the bar for taking actions. 

I include daily tasks such as doing the dishes, feeding my dog, Angel, or making dinner for my wife, as part of my accomplishments after all they are things that need to be done. I include anything I do that accomplishes something or is progressive. 

So far this seems to be working. In the past just having things listed on my "to do" list was enough to motivate me to get them done. But now I find myself needing my "actions list" every day to keep me focused. 

I still have my "to do" list but the action of moving the task from the list for that day to the "9" list, because I've finished it, gives me that sense of accomplishment.

I guess because of the way my mind works I need to do this "9 things" list. It's not the solution to all the problems in my life. In many ways I am not the man God wants me to be. Nor am I the person I aspire to be. But having a goal each day up gives me a direct sense of purpose. 

My faith as a Christian makes me certain of where I will ultimately be one day but what I'm having trouble with is finding the path to the end of the journey. 

Keeping track of the things I accomplish every day helps me to expand my vision and gives me the confidence that I can achieve my long term goals.  So far the "Daily 9" is working for me. 

My prayer is that it will be one of the tools that will help me reach the things that have, up to now, been just beyond my grasp.  

Before I wrap up this post I need to mention how sad I was to hear about the death of Robin Williams. 

For more than 4 decades he was an important a part of the American entertainment scene. He touched millions of lives in throughout the many facets of his career.

For me personally, his movie, Patch Adams, was the first film Paula and I ever saw together at the theater. We were watching "Bicentennial Man" when the clock struck midnight at the turn of the century; our first New Year's Eve together. 

His performance as the genie in Disney's Aladdin makes the character one my all time favorites. 
Williams ran the gambit of show business success. He went from stand up comic, to TV star, to Oscar winning film actor. 

I was one of the few people who really enjoyed his TV series from last season, "The Crazy Ones." It had potential. Unfortunately in today's market shows have to be successful out of the gate. They aren't given time to find their stride. I can't help but wonder how much the cancellation of that show played in Williams battle with depression and his ultimate decision. 

He was a show business superstar. His wit and improv skills were as quick and sharp as anyone I've ever seen. He was a dream guest for a talk show host. All the host had to do was ask one question and, like a wound top, Williams would spin out quips and improvisations that would get the audience howling with laughter.  

Williams is probably the iconic representative of the stars that were born out of the great comedy universe created in the late 1970's (think of Saturday Night Live as it's "Big Bang). The only other performers who comes close to William's degree of success and longevity would be Steve Martin and Bill Murray.

I'm more a fan of Martin than Murray or Williams. But nonetheless there is no denying that Robin Williams, even though troubled on a personal level, was an entertainment icon spawned from the first generation of Americans to grow up with TV. 

I could go on but my accolades pale in comparison to the millions already sent out on social media.

So let me take one last opportunity not to say "good-bye" to Robin Williams; but like his infamous character, Mork from Ork would do each week on his show, I'll simply say "Nanoo Nanoo."  

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