Different Is Always Wrong

enemies
People disappoint me and though I am told to forgive them I am not sure that I do it very well.

My mother tells a story about how I went through a phase where I would introduce myself to other children and then hit them.

She says I was around three or four and that I explained the hitting by saying I was getting the other kids first.

Maybe this explains my fondness for preemptive strikes or maybe it is just one of the embarrassing things kids do for no good reason.

I don’t really know but I can also tell you I went through a period of time where I bit other children.

Yeah, little Jack Steiner was the peachy kid who bit and hit other kids.

Today that probably would have gotten me banned and or exiled from playgroups and school but I was born in ’69 and a child of the seventies.

We seventies children are a different breed and frankly tougher than most.

Different Is Always Wrong

I am a fighter and a scrapper by nature.

Though age and maturity have helped to dull the edge of my sword the fire inside burns as brightly now as it ever has.

I am still fearless and willing to wade headlong into fights without much regard for what people will think. I like to blame that upon being a Taurus but today someone told me it is because I am an asshole.

Ask me if I think that is true and I’ll shake my head and say it is not. I can be one but it is not the word most people would use to describe me.

Unless you are speaking about lately and even then I am not entirely certain if it would be accurate.

But old Jack Steiner is a father and that comes with big responsibilities which is why I have taken some time to think about whether this description is true or not.

It is not because I am worried someone will tell my children that their father is a bad guy but because I think about what sort of behavior my children see me exhibit.

I think much of it has to do with the different is always wrong attitude I have seen exhibited from so many different people and how I respond to that.

What Different Is Always Wrong Means

It seems to me like people have become intolerant of being offended and angry about being asked to deal with opinions that are different from their own.

There seems to be an unwillingness to look the world through different eyes and to say others can have a different experience.

I am not a sheep or a Sneetch and I don’t have to agree with you nor do I need for you to always agree with me.

But that seems to chap some hides and I don’t understand it.

One of the greatest gifts blogging has given me is the opportunity to find clarity in my thoughts and ideas.

Sometimes it comes during a letter to my children when I write about life and my thoughts. There is a discovery in which I realize my belief about XYZ isn’t founded upon logic, reason or rational thought.

It is just an arbitrary decision based upon random circumstance and I am forced to consider whether I want to pass it along to my children or reconsider my position.

This is where I appreciate challenging my thoughts and ideas. It is where I don’t mind speaking with someone whose perspective is different because there is an opportunity for learning and growth.

What is funny to me is that some people say it is like I am shopping at some bazaar looking for an opinion to claim as my own.

Sometimes I think about asking them if they are familiar with the Marketplace of Ideas but most of the time I don’t say anything.

Most of the time I don’t tell them how very opinionated I am or explain that I don’t think every idea or group is as moral, reasonable, rational or ethical as others.

I teach my children to be judgmental.

I want them to consider who they spend their time with and why.

Not because we are better than others because we are all human.

But some people get you in to trouble and cause issues and others don’t.

Wrong place, wrong time is a bad idea for all of us and we do our best to avoid it.

It is Ok To Disagree

I talk to the children about it being ok to agree to disagree and explain the benefits of learning how to go along to get along.

Part of me laughs at the hypocrisy because I am not as good at this as I want to be. I am not good at hiding my feelings, if I don’t like you chances are you will know it.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t be civil or that I will only be around people and things that I like.

A Few Random Thoughts

I am reading through The Story Of A House- The Final Days and Nobody Beats The Disease because I am looking for something.

Maybe it is in Generations- They Are All Gone Now but I am not entirely sure.

It is a thought, an unformed idea that is rolling around the back of my mind. It feels like water in the palm of my hand and if I squeeze too tightly it will run between my fingertips and I won’t ever figure out what I am trying to grab.

Those people who came before me they knew who they were and they did their best to live that way.

Maybe it is just a lingering desire to speak with them about that which was and that which is.

Maybe it is to thank them again for all I learned from them and for showing me how to be a father and a man.

Or maybe it something entirely different.

Different is not always wrong

Should You Delete Old Posts?

Principles
It’s not quite 5 PM and I feel like I have gone ten rounds with an angry gorilla. Been a very long day and my heart is heavier than I expected but so it goes and such is life.

When I wrote about the end of the beginning I expected to be able to see more progress than I see now but sometimes people plan and G-d laughs.

Had more time on my hands than I like and not enough energy to do all that needs to be done so I did what I could to distract myself and spent time trying to clean up the blog.

Because there comes a time when you realize your blog is riddled with broken links and though it is not really your fault they exist you need to take care of it anyway.

Broken Links & Broken Blogs

A thousand years ago when I was just a rookie blogger it never occurred to me that one day I would have to worry about broken links.

When I would link to posts, articles and or videos I did so with the idea that those links would be good forever.  I didn’t think about what would happen if the the blogger who wrote that really cool post quit and took down their blog.

Didn’t think about whether a video would disappear because someone took it down for any reason.

Today it feels silly to think such a thing and I look back and wonder why I was so naive. I know the answer to the question but that doesn’t really matter now does it.

Doesn’t matter because you can’t go back in time and change what has been done.

All you can do is live in the present and make the best choices you can based upon the information you have today.

So every now and then I flip through the old posts and pages here and try to clean up the broken links. Every time I do it I find myself reading some of the old posts I wrote and responding with a smile or a head shake.

Some of the old posts like My Father Is A Blogger are pretty good and some of the others are…awful. And no, I am not going to link to any of those right now.

Should You Delete Old Posts?

I go back and forth about this.

Sometimes I am adamantly against it because it defeats the purpose of the blog. This joint is supposed to help provide insight into my thoughts at particular points in time.

It is supposed to chronicle the lives of my children and to serve as a tool for becoming a better writer/storyteller.

Old posts serve as a benchmark I can use to see how I have improved and show snapshots of those moments in time.

But some of them are so damn awful they are embarrassing and I wonder what the hell was wrong with me.

My general rule of thumb is I only delete the ones that are riddled with too many broken links to fix.

A Disruption In The Rhythm Of Life

Today was another disruption in The Rhythm of Life of the sort I wrote about here. I suppose it is a good time to share this video again:

I love that video because it makes perfect sense to me.

Reminds me of a time when I asked my dad for some advice and he laughed because after he finished speaking I asked him if it was his ‘A’ game.

Jack: Damn, I thought you were going to say that.
Dad: Sorry to disappoint you.

Jack: You used to be smarter. What happened to the father who knew everything.
Dad: His dumb son went to school and learned a few things. Now you know the secret life of being an adult.

Jack: You really shouldn’t laugh when you say that.
Dad: Payback is a sweet thing.

Jack: Dad, if we weren’t related I’d be awfully unhappy with you.
Dad: One day you can share this with your kids.

Jack: Thanks, that is ever so helpful.
Dad: I have faith in you. Go figure it out.

I didn’t really expect dad to be able to tell me more than he did. Didn’t expect him to be able to answer questions only I could answer but I would be lying if I said I hoped I was wrong.

Sometimes you reach a place where there are no maps or manuals to follow and you must trust your gut. Sometimes it is all you have.

Spock: Captain, I cannot allow you to do this!
Bones: Jim, you’re not actually going after this guy, are you?
James T. Kirk: I have no idea what I’m supposed to do! I only know what I *can* do!
Star Trek Into Darkness

 

69 Ways To Insult People While Having Sex Or Blogging

genius
My dear Shmata Queen will yell at me if I say a day in cleveland felt like a life sentence so I won’t make any cracks about it but I will say today feels like I was drowning in stupidity and none of it was my own.

Would have been easier to deal with because I would have kicked my own ass and gotten out of my own way. There is nothing more frustrating than knowing than the reason you are covered in shadows is because you are standing in your own sunshine, but that wasn’t the situation today.

It would have been better if I could have blamed it upon the Zombie Apocalypse because zombies aren’t thinking creatures but that wasn’t the case either.

I might not be a super genius but no one is going to describe me as fucking stupid unless they want me to demonstrate the finer side of my Taurus nature. :)

P.S. Sometimes you need to just let loose and write. Try not to take this crap too seriously- thus spaketh Jack, Master Ninja of social media- a guru of all things social. Also known as the rude, base, vulgar and lazy dad blogger. ;) 69 Reasons Why Fathers Make Better Lovers

Got a pair of Bose noise reduction headphones on my head while The Guess Who is singing No Time and I try to decompress.

The headphones were a business purchase I made last year because when you work out of the house you need to find ways to eliminate some of the chaos that kids, dogs and gardeners bring.

There’s no time left for you, No time left for you

When I was 25 I felt like I had an endless amount of time to use. Life felt like one giant gift that was filled with countless boxes I could open and check out.

Twenty some years later I hear the tick-tock of an internal clock and though I can’t see the end of the road I am riding on I know I am closer to it than I once was so I am more determined to focus my efforts on the people and places that mean the most to me.

I hate the idea of wasting time unless it is my choice to do so which probably helps explain why today set me off because it is the second day where I wasn’t as productive as I wanted to be.

Last night at basketball one of the guys told me I play well for a guy who is pushing forty.

It was a compliment.

He had no clue I am closer to 50 than 30. No clue that some days I wonder how long I can maintain it all. I am high energy, but I don’t have all I used to have and I wonder how much is related to stress and how much to age/mileage.

At 25 I didn’t know where I was going but now I have a pretty damn good idea which I suppose is part of the reason I am frustrated.

It is also fair to say I am intolerant now of spending more time with what doesn’t fill my heart and soul than I was then.

Today I make a point of being present in the now but I am raring to charge into my future.

69 Ways To Insult People While Having Sex Or Blogging

That is pure unadulterated linkbait.

Some people tell me that it doesn’t work but experience has proven them wrong. Posts like
Things Bloggers Say During Sex and 69 Reasons Why Fathers Make Better Lovers have been among the most heavily read here and sometimes among those that generated the most comments.

They may not always be as eloquent as Lessons for Being Human or The Silly Versus The Sublime but I had fun writing them and sometimes that is more important than being well written.

I like to read through some of these old posts to see if I am still talking about doing the same things or if I have actually gone and done them.

One of the lessons I want my children to learn is that you are not allowed to complain about things unless you are willing to do something about them.

It drives me crazy to hear people whine about what they won’t try to fix and that is part of why I read the old posts because I don’t want to be a hypocrite.

I want to look back and see that I have made progress and if it turns out I haven’t then that is on me.

The only person I can hold accountable for my life is me.

What I Want From Blogging

Sometimes I read posts other bloggers write and realize I really have become one of the cranky old men of the blogosphere.

I read about how they wish more brands worked with them and how they are jealous of other bloggers and I shake my head because I hate the drivel they put out.

Poorly written drivel about how they used weasel words to convince a brand to give them free crap they would review and or giveaway.

And then I ask myself if I am irritated because they got something I wanted or have done something I hoped to do and didn’t.

I ask myself if it is jealousy.

I ask if people would roll their eyes at my posts.

Sometimes the answer is yes.

That is why I ask myself what I want from blogging because it is how I determine if I am on the right path or not.

*****

Today I remind myself that I am getting most of what I want from blogging. I have a place where I can actively work on my writing and focus on becoming a better storyteller.

A place where I can chronicle important moments and events in my life and my children.

This is where I take stock of my life and say today it is not yet where I want it to be. But one of the nice things about the blog is it’s also a cyber yardstick so I can see where I was and how far I have come.

That future I am raring to go to is much closer than it was.

Progress feels good. Maybe I was more productive than I thought.

Life Doesn’t Cooperate With Blogging

tracks
I have this idea that somewhere at the end of the tracks there is a place that provides sanctuary that isn’t called Terminus.

A belief that somewhere there is a magical rest stop waiting for me to find it, a place where time will stand still just long enough for me to recharge my batteries and prepare for the next stop on my journey.

My personal Rivendell (yeah I am geeking it up today) must be there but my best guess is it is going to be different than I expect but it will still work for me because I’ll make it work.

I’ll make it work because that is what is required and most of the time I am good with that. Most of the time I don’t get irritated that life refuses to cooperate with my plans for blogging and anything else.

What I Intended To Do

What I intended to do was write a post about why I want to share Twenty-Five Links That Will Make You A Better Writer/Blogger with you.

The mental image I had in my head was for a post that could have real potential instead I am stuck with a seven minute brain dump.

Seven minutes to write this post while I wait for the Auto Club to show up so that I can take my car to the shop.

Why do cars only break down when cash is tight.

That last line was rhetorical.

So instead of providing you with the amazing post I pictured in my head you get this and a couple of comments.

When Life Doesn’t Cooperate With Blogging

When life doesn’t cooperate with blogging and it kills the block of the time I had for writing I usually try to do something anyway.

I see merit in training myself to be able to produce content under virtually any circumstances and figure I might as when the opportunity arises I might as well practice.

Some people say you shouldn’t post unless it is perfect but I am not one of them. I say chase perfection but understand you’ll never catch it and that if you only publish what you think is amazing you won’t publish much.

Besides predicting what will or won’t hit can be a rough business. Sometimes the posts you think are the best don’t generate a peep and the stuff you think is fair goes gang busters.

And now I am off to the mechanic where I’ll probably find more fodder for posts and try not to go ballistic if this is more serious than I think.

The benefit of not having my kids around is they won’t interrupt or interject during conversations with the guy but that is a whole different post.

The Condom Broke…

Condom
The condom broke isn’t the opening to a story about a time the condom broke because if I wanted to write a story about sex I’d share the tale of the time a bear interrupted my girlfriend and I (true story) but that is not our topic today.

Those three words come from a discussion about taglines in The Original Dad Blogger- What Is A Tagline Worth?

Flip through it and you’ll get a chance to see what taglines I considered using here and insight into the continued issue with wanting to build a bigger blog without playing the traditional reindeer blog games others do.

I suppose I could share some of those thoughts here and talk about what can happen if you never go to blog conferences or meet other bloggers in person but that is not of particular interest today so we’ll move on.

On The Outside Looking In

My teenager and I talked about what it feels like to be on the outside looking in. When he said it is how he feels sometimes I nodded my head and told him I understood because sometimes I feel that way too.

He was surprised to hear it because he figured it was something that goes away when you get older and I smiled.

“It comes and goes for me. I don’t think about it very often. If I thought about it I’d probably say sometimes it happens because we put ourselves in that situation.”

He nodded his head and listened as to me explain he and I like to do things our way and sometimes it is different from how others do it.

“When you don’t pay much attention to what everyone else is saying or doing sometimes you feel like you missed something. Maybe we did or maybe we didn’t. Bigger question to me is asking whether it matters if we did.”

I ought to add that last line to my next post about blogging.

What Kind Of Father Are You?

Every now and then I ask myself if I am the kind of father I want to be and wonder if I am the kind of father my kids need me to be.

Most of the time I answer affirmatively to the latter and no to the former.

I am a good father but I have spent so much time putting out fires and juggling chainsaws I feel like I am not giving or doing as much as I can.

The reflection in the mirror says I am being too tough on myself and I laugh. That is because I am a stubborn curmudgeon who wants straight answers to questions but not always.

Yeah, it is a contradiction.

Sometimes I want my straight answer served like piping hot black coffee and sometimes I need it to be warm enough to feel good but not burn my throat on the way down.

Sometimes a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.

Ego helps and hurts.

I know what I am capable of. I know what I have been dealing with and it is fair to say I have had my hands full.

When you spend large chunks of time playing Atlas it is natural to feel spent and to want some time to do nothing but handle your own business.

It is natural to want to grab some quiet space and to work on doing things that restore your energy, that fill your heart and soul.

Except we don’t always get those quiet moments and the waves that batter the light house never stop lapping at the walls.

When it feels like you are doing the heavy lifting on your own it is easy to get lost.

Yet ego comes into play and asks why you didn’t find a way to get around and or beyond. Accountability says maybe ego is responsible for not playing nice and maybe ego should have shut up.

Accountability says nothing happens in a vacuum and maybe you share responsibility for burning down the house and juggling chainsaws one handed.

unexamined
The lesson I took from Please Give Me A Second Chance is that I wouldn’t ever be Max.

I refused to live a life where I spent all of my time wishing I could start over but never did anything about it.

You’ll find posts here where I talk about feeling trapped, miserable and or unhappy but you’ll also find posts that show I tried to change things.

And that is what I am going to continue to do.

I don’t like how things are today. I woke up last week and said out loud “this is not what I want” because I wanted my ears to hear my heart speaking what I feel.

There is going to come a day sooner than later where I wake up and know I sailed through the storms and found the calm I was looking for.

Doesn’t mean there won’t be other battles to fight because there always are but every now and then we reach the shore and if we keep our eyes open we recognize what we have earned.

Larceny, Mutiny and Insanity

Every now and then I think about changing the tagline here. I don’t know if anyone gets the sarcasm and snark in “The Original Dad Blogger” and I wonder if it just makes me sound like a bitter blogger.

Larceny, mutiny and insanity feels fun to me. Don’t know if it is quite what I am looking for either but the beauty of blogging lies in the ease with which we can change.

Wouldn’t be hard to change once, twice or even 1,983 times. Of course 1,983 times wouldn’t help me with my branding and it would require unnecessary work but it could be done if I wanted to.

The hardest part of change isn’t change, it is taking that first step.