Flying The ‘Friendly’ Skies

People say you shouldn’t write when you are jammed for time because you might make some silly errors but I don’t follow that advice.

Mostly because I think there is a certain beauty that comes from not having time to question your muse and his/her idea for the words you’ll put on paper.

I am jammed now because I have to finish packing so I can catch a flight in a couple of hours.  Got to build in time to toss the clothes in a bag, drive to the airport, park and then walk through security.

It is not high on my list of desires, flying, that is.

I don’t like it very much anymore but I do it often enough I am pretty good with the drill. Still, post 9/11 flying is a task and it is not made any more enjoyable by seeing videos like that one from United.

Flying The ‘Friendly’ Skies

I often remind my children that our attitude has a big impact upon how our days go and am doing my best to just smile and stay loose today.

The more relaxed I am the easier it becomes or so I tell myself.

It works most of the time, but not all.

Have I mentioned how happy I am not to be flying United today. Can’t say I am interested in paying for food, blanket, ticket and a beating.

****

I didn’t get as much sleep last night as I wanted to because I had to make sure I talked to the kids before my flight today.

Since they are two hours behind me and were busy until quite late it meant I didn’t finish speaking with them until after midnight.

Most of the time I don’t think twice about that because I am good at sleeping on planes but this flight is all of an hour so I am not sure if I’ll be able to catch as long a nap as I might like.

But I’ll do my best and maybe some lucky person will get to hear me snore. 😉

I kind of feel badly about it because no one wants to listen to someone snoring and yet I need the rest. Since I am unlikely to see these people again I’ll just let it go I suppose.

That reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend who asked how many social conventions are lifted if we are with strangers.

The answer for me is not many.

You won’t catch me clipping my toenails on a plane or engaging in other personal behavior like that, especially since I have seen it on flights before.

I don’t gross out easily, but that just makes me go yuck.

Reading Material

Been a while since I provided links to other posts here and since I won’t be able to update for a few days I’ll provide a list you can dig into if you so choose.

Here is a short selection of posts to get you started:

An Uncertain Certainty
Words Are The Death Of A Blogger
A Father Describes Parenting
A Father’s Burden
How Sister’s Helped to Train A Father of “Daddy’s Girl”
Inside the Blogger’s Studio- A Dream, Er Nightmare
The GermoPhobe
What I Dream About
I am In Love
Becoming a Dad
Dad’s Most Important Job
A Decade of Dad
Grandpa
Donuts
Why Your Post Sucks and Everyone Hates Your Blog
Of Dads and Daughters

See you in the comments. Back with new material later this week.

P.S. The post before this isn’t bad, try giving it a read.

The Great Social Media Crash Of 2017

I shouldn’t be writing this blog post of taking time to read Facebook, pin things on Pinterest or Tweet at the Conman-In-Chief.

That is because Old Jack Steiner has to finish packing for a business trip and this blogging thing isn’t going to help him finish the job.

The thing is that Old Jack Steiner has one hell of a stomach ache which may or may not be related to the trip.

Blame the uncertainty on the beauty of having a dysfunctional digestive system, sometimes you just don’t know.

The Great Social Media Crash Of 2017

Given the enormous anger and rage surrounding the US and much of the world I am wondering if 2017 might mark the year the social media crash.

In other words, will it be the year we run out of energy and time to be outraged and or outrageous on social media.

You might wonder if I am mean that to be tongue-in-cheek and the answer is, sort of.

If I take some of the comments friends and family are making there is some truth to the question of whether it has become exhausting to hang out on some platforms.

As a father I find myself wondering how much of the anger is spilling over and into the platforms my kids use.

Are they seeing/feeling it and if so, what sort of impact is it having upon them?

****

When my kids were really little we were very careful about what we said around them because we didn’t want them to be exposed to certain things before they had to be.

That changed as they got older, especially once they got cellphones and computers because once the barn door opened we knew the horses would go running.

That is not to say we stopped monitoring because that never happens but our and your ability is limited, especially in the middle and high school where it is common for kids to have easy access to the ‘Net.

Fight Or Flight

The kids and I have had multiple conversations about when to stand and when to run.

We have talked about figuring out the value of winning the battle and losing the war and vice versa. I have always thought about it as being important, but lately it has increased in value.

That is because when people tell me they find social media to be exhausting I ask why they are still there and what they hope to accomplish.

If you are not paid to be online then your presence is a choice and if that choice hurts you, well you know where this is going.

Anyhoo some have told me they think it is important to keep pushing out certain messages and fear what happens if they take time away from the platforms they reside upon.

My response is always the same, we’re in a marathon and not a sprint. If you want to last you have to find a way to take care of yourself.

It is really not any different from the conversation I have with the kids.

Don’t mistake that to sound like I am saying I am better or smarter than the next guy because that isn’t it.

Hell, I am the guy who likes to argue and will fight for months but as I have grown older I have learned to be more judicious in who gets my time.

*****

Speaking of flight I have to go finish getting ready for mine.

I used to love flying but it is not something that I particularly enjoy anymore. We’ll save the how and why for a later date and say I hope the plane isn’t stuffed to the gills.

Be good to each other and I’ll see you around the comments.

Did You Sleep With My Mother?

There is a teenage boy who woke me up many years ago and asked if I had slept with his mother.

It was an innocent question born of having grown accustomed to finding both of his parents asleep in the really big bed and was the definition of innocence.

At the time he had no idea or understanding about how dad had pulled an all nighter trying to finish a project for work and that this is why he found him drooling upon the keyboard.

Dear old dad smiled at his son and tried not to freak about how exhaustion had forced his eyes shut and robbed him of precious work time.

Many years later the situation would be reversed and dear old dad would suggest sleeping in bed as opposed to upon the computer.

“A pillow would be more comfortable.”

The next day dad would have an argument with another parent about what constitutes excessive homework and demand proof that the assignments led to an improvement in critical reasoning and logical thought.

Fallout From A Nasty Election

I have a bad taste in my mouth from this election and it is refusing to leave not because I think Trump is dumber than a broken clock but because of other people.

Because the fallout from a nasty election has led to a loss of compassion and decorum among certain people who used to exhibit it and the lack of civility saddens me.

I am someone who likes and appreciates a good debate and discussion but that seems harder to find.

We have more disputes and disagreements than conversation and that is too bad. More friendships have been killed because of this and more seem to be on the way out.

There seems to be a refusal to listen and or share reasons why we have done as we have chosen to do.

That makes me sad too.

I might vehemently disagree with your choice but sometimes we could find common ground through discussion.

Sometimes we could come to a place where we could civilly agree to disagree feeling that we both made our choices for reasons we could respect.

But respect doesn’t get to play as bigger role and that saddens me too.

****

I remember when the other parent told me I was crippling our children by saying they had too much homework and how he was angry when I questioned him.

“There is a point at which repetition is not longer instructive and just becomes busy work. I am not interested in busy work, I want my children to be thinkers.

Fake News

That is another piece of the pre and post election fallout.

If you don’t like the news and believe it shows your side in a bad light you call it fake and expect everyone to nod their head.

It is a way to dismiss discussion and demean those who present information you disagree with.

Without a doubt some news is fake, but not all and we shouldn’t be so quick to label what we dislike, but then again we shouldn’t just like everything either.

Smart people spend time being careful consumers of information.

Time To Go

Got more to say and little time to do it, especially since I am tired enough to fear falling asleep at the computer and this time there is no one to wake me.

That is a temporary situation but the kink in my neck and sore body that would come with falling asleep aren’t so I’ll say good night and see you a little later.

Daughter Stumps Father: Hard Questions

I am rarely at a loss for words and even if I don’t know the real answer to a question I am fast on my feet and easily capable of providing something that sounds like it might be right.

But there was a moment in time in which my daughter caught me with a question that I didn’t have the foggiest idea how to answer.

It wasn’t something I had ever thought about having to discuss in the sort of detail she wanted so I punted.

You probably should ask your mother.”

P.S. If you want specific details click on the link above and then come back to read the rest of the post.

We’ll wait.

Daughter Stumps Father: Hard Questions

I thought about it because my darling girl asked me today to share the hardest question she ever asked me and I decided I didn’t feel like having that particular talk with her.

Don’t mistake that to mean I haven’t or won’t talk to her about boys because I have and I will.

But I am certain the “halfway through 7th grader can’t wait to be older” would be horrified if I told her exactly what she said when she was 6.5.

So I redirected the conversation and asked how many boys she is talking to on the school chat and how many she interacts with on Instgram and Snapchat.

“Dad, were you listening to me talk to Kathy?”

I shook my head no and asked why.

“Because I gave her advice for how to deal with Dylan. Are you sure you weren’t listening?”

I smiled and told her no but she said she didn’t believe me.

“You hear everything, even when you don’t look like you are listening, you usually are.”

“Dad has superpowers and super hearing. Don’t forget that.”

She rolled her eyes at me, gave me a hug and asked me to leave her room.

“I want to have girl time with my friends. You can go now.”

Things Are Different Now

Girl time doesn’t mean that she had friends over because in the modern world technology means you can have friends over via Facetime or any number of other video chatting services.

I hadn’t gotten out of the room before the giggling started and muted voices called after me, “Ask her about James” followed by my daughter telling her friend to hush because I might actually ask.

His name is one I haven’t heard before which makes me wonder if maybe there is something to him, at least in her eyes.

I made a point not to react, nor did I ask her about him later. Better to make a mental note to follow up later on.

Too much attention to these things might cause her to shy away, just as no attention might make it awkward later on.

****

I have worked hard to make sure she knows she can ask me questions about anything and have promised to be honest with my answers, and I have been.

But there are moments now where it feels like I am winging it more than ever. That is not a bad thing, just a part of how it goes.

Still if you asked my darling girl, she would tell you it is because things are different now.

All Things In Their Time

I used the quote to prove to my daughter that some things never change.

She sort of rolled her eyes at me, but smiled and I smiled back.

It is a little game she and I sometimes play. She likes to tease me about being old and I like to pretend to fall asleep while she does it because you know us old men need our naps.

****

One of the other old men in my group of old friends called the other day to catch up and to ask a favor.

“Do you want to beat up a 17-year-old boy for me? If I see him I think I might have to run him over with my car..”

“Is death too good for him or will a simple beating with rubber hoses and hammers work?”

He laughed and told me to just wait.

“One day your daughter will have a boyfriend and you’ll be subject to all sorts of fun. She’ll have you on the roller coaster. Heart break to happiness to heart break to happiness and it won’t just be her because her mom will use that as an opportunity to practice her future mother-in-law skills.”

I laughed and told him all things in their time.

“You think you have control, but hormones don’t care what parents think.”

I said he was right because I remember what it was like to be the kid with raging hormones but I figure there is plenty to worry about without being concerned about dating.

The unofficial rule is that it can’t start before 16 but that is sort of a fast and loose decision that was made without any real thought.

Can’t say yet whether it will be enforced or if it will need to be. I just know that as of this moment in time, I still have time and I am going to take advantage of it.

Email Scam Artists Are Fun To Play With

Ten years ago I met a colorful character who called himself Shola Rhodes.

He sent me an email suggesting I work with him on a venture to make some serious money and I said I was interested.

Because when some stranger writes you out of the blue and offers you money you always say yes. Mama Steiner didn’t raise a fool, opportunity knocks and I enter.

I chronicled the adventure in a series of posts:

  1. I am Rich Again- How Much Luck Do I Deserve
  2. More About My Good Fortune
  3. Give Me Time and I will Be Rich, Rich, Rich
  4. My Application for Shola
  5. For Shola
  6. No Love From Shola- Goodbye Fortune

I had a lot of fun messing with that guy and that experience led to multiple new adventures, some of which I chronicled here and some of which I didn’t.

Speaking of which I need to take a look at some of those older posts because when they were imported from my old Blogger blog there were some formatting issues.

It is not hard to read, but it could look better. Chalk it up as another blogging task I need to get to.

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Email Scam Artists Are Fun To Play With

I received a new scam email today and I have been playing around with sending a silly response back to it complete with a picture of me wearing a scary clown mask.

 

Dear Concern,

I am Talent Scout For BLUE SKY FILM STUDIO, Present Blue sky Studio a
Film Corporation Located in the United State, is Soliciting for the
Right to use Your Photo/Face and Personality as One of the Semi -Major
Role/ Character in our Upcoming ANIMATED Stereoscope 3D Movie-The Story
of Ferdinand (Ferdinand 2017) The Movie is Currently Filming (In
Production) Please Note That There Will Be No Auditions, Traveling or
Any Special / Professional Acting Skills, Since the Production of This
Movie Will Be Done with our State of Art Computer -Generating Imagery
Equipment. We Are Prepared to Pay the Total Sum of $620,000.00 USD. For
More Information/Understanding, Please Write us on the E-Mail Below.
CONTACT EMAIL: blueskyfilms@usa.com
All Reply to: blueskyfilms@usa.com
Note: Only the Response send to this mail will be Given a Prior
Consideration.

Talent Scout

I mean who wouldn’t want to engage with a talent scout so that you could make a quick $620k.

Funny thing to me is to think about how much has changed in 10 years and how in some ways I am far more relaxed and far more cautious than I was then.

Maybe it is because I have heard many more stories about ransomware and identity theft so my antennae go up with this sort of thing.

I tell my kids it is smart to be cautious but you can’t let fear dictate all that you do.

So I am sitting here mulling over not whether I could play with this talent scout but whether it is worth the time.

After all every time I read silly letters that are taken seriously like the one below it makes me laugh and I think about coming up with something new.

Hi Shola,I am trying to decide which bank we should use for this as I bank with several.

Cleveland Bank of Plunder and Spoil
1313 Mockingbird Lane
Cleveland, Ohio 44102
Personal Agent: Herman Munster

Barnacle Bob Bank of Mistrust
4 Is the Square Root of 16 Lane
Toledo, Ohio 44104
Personal Agent: Barney Fife

Dinah Mite Financial
69 Comelickmeclean Road
Bustedtuchus, Ohio 44018
Personal Agent: Hawkeye Pierce

Do you have any thoughts or suggestions as to which one you think would be easiest to work with? I have had many interactions with Mr. Munster as when I was young I used to watch him. So perhaps it might make sense to work with his institution of deceit, deception, distrust and dismay.

-Jack