Monday, April 29, 2013

Take the Corner

Hi All!

Hope you had a great weekend -- I spent much of mine catching up on sleep!  My flight out of Vegas Thursday night was delayed four times -- finally got home about 4:30 AM!  Didn't get much sleep Friday (4 year old jumping jack (jumping jill?) grand-daughter made sure of that!  Both Saturday and Sunday looked kinda bleary to me (well, the rain didn't help any either).

Still glad to get home -- I'm just not a Las Vegas person ... at least not the new Las Vegas.  The new one is kind of like a Disneyland for young adults -- LOUD music blaring everywhere (even on the streets and walkways), controlled limited-access walkways that direct crowds from one place to the other, smokey casinos where the rap music is even louder than it is when someone pulls up next to you at a stop light.  Emphasis is on gaudy special effects rather than on real stuff. 

Even the street musicians are terrible (completely blitzed, can barely play their guitar, but can blare out profanities at top volume)!  Oh well, on the other hand, maybe I'm just a party poop?

Wow -- I didn't mean to start off such a downer -- let's pick things up a bit! 

How about the reading -- we'll start with our first card -- the Nine of Swords.

Well darn -- I wanted to pick things up a bit and this card rarely helps!  This Nine suggests worry -- maybe even all-consuming worry.  Ever had something bother you so much you kept thinking about it and couldn't get to sleep?  That's the idea of this Nine.

Not all the way negative, though.  Those times when you worried -- did things really turn out as bad as you might have thought?  Did you find you might have "over-worried"?  That even if the worst happened, there were opportunities and alternatives you might not have been able to see because you were spending all your time worrying about "what-if" instead of planning "what-if"?

Okay, there's a positive way to look at this; let's grab our next card.  And ... it's the Ten of Swords!

Well, if I were a real Negative Nancy (like I sounded in my Vegas rant), I'd get kinda depressed about this.  This fellow on the Ten doesn't look like he's having a good day.  He's bleeding out on the ground, the sky is dark, with 10 Swords stuck in his back!  Sounds like all his worry during the Nine of Swords all came true, doesn't it?

Actually, there's a very positive take on this.  This Ten suggests that when things seem as bad as they could possibly be, then the only way to go from there is UP!  It suggests reaching the corner, not necessarily reaching the bottom.  All you need to do is turn that corner and you'll find the opportunities you need to pull yourself up .  In other words, a new day is dawning!

So -- when confronted with the concerns of the Nine, you can huddle up in a shell and become stagnated by worry -- or you can move on to the Ten and look to turn the corner and make things better!  Look for the positives -- they exist and you'll find them if you seek them out!  Keep your eyes up -- not down!

Hope you have a great week -- and look for those opportunities!


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Expect the Best

Good Morning Everyone!

Well, at least it's morning when I'm writing this.  First night in Vegas -- wake up at midnight when someone sets off the hotel's fire alarm.  Second night -- wake up at 1:00AM when someone starts playing loud-shake-the-room jungle music (BUMP-BUMP-BUMP-BUMP-BUMP-and-so-on-for-at-least-half-an-hour!).  I'd be pretty fried except that I'm getting to bed real early.

By the way, my definition of jungle music is any tune whose only melodic purpose is to go BUMP-BUMP-BUMP-BUMP.

I had a good weekend -- fun gun show and great gem show.  Most gun purchasers I noticed were women.  Well, so were most gem purchasers, too!

I'm off to a day of conference stuff in a bit -- thought I'd try to slip in a reading before I left.

Our first card is: The Ace of Swords

Aces in general suggest starting something new.  Swords in particular suggest mental stimulation or new intellectual endeavors -- things like reading a new book, working puzzles, learning a new language, etc.  The scale isn't that important -- it's the act of diving into something new that counts.

Learning is fun -- so why do so many people shy away from it?  I think the reason is that people are concerned they won't be any good at it.  Frankly, that's not such a great reason (although it's understandable).  So what if you're not good at it -- it's the fact that you tried that counts, not whether or not you succeed.

What can help us feel comfortable about beginning something new?  How about our second card -- the King of Wands.

This king can suggest a lot of things -- but most of all, he is CONFIDENT!  He knows he's going to do well in any endeavor he undertakes -- simply becase that's what he expects of himself.  This expectation is what makes him eager to take on new projects.

So, be confident about any projects you may begin.  Expect the best of yourself -- and that's likely what you'll receive!

Have a great week!


Friday, April 19, 2013

Count to Ten ...

Hello All!

Hope this week's been good to you -- I've been busy busy busy.  Guess that's better than the alternative.

Some fun this weekend -- there's a huge gem show twice a year in Houston.  It normally coincides with a huge gun show (they're held in different halls of the same convention center).  I really enjoy both of them.  The gun show is more of a historic show rather than the conventional gun show (although they have the normal stuff).  Lots of historic uniforms, vehicles, gear, etc.  They even have historical celebrities -- a few years ago, they had one of the crew of the Enola Gay.  I get off on that kind of stuff (I'm a big History Channel and Military Channel buff), so really look forward to this show.

The Gem show is just about as much fun -- they have stuff ranging from a couple of dollars to thousands of dollars.  You can pick out rare stones from one dealer, then go to another booth to pick settings -- they'll then set your stones for you.  Really enjoy talking to the dealers and learning the story behind the sources of the stones -- some gems are only found in one particular mine in the world!  Best part is that once you purchase something, the dealers will then send you coupons good for free admission to the next show!

The food is pretty terrible at both shows, though.  Can't have everything!

Let's get on to the reading -- and then on to the weekend!

Our first card this week is ... The Devil!

As I tell everyone, this isn't the guy in the red suit with horns and a pitchfork.  This is that little Devil each one of us has inside ... the one that tempts us to do things we know are wrong -- but we do them anyway!  These things normally reflect poorly on us -- and might even get us in some trouble.  It's kind of a situation where we're own own worst enemy.

Maybe we're feeling short-tempered, so we snap at our spouse or a co-worker.  Maybe we're late, so we drive a little faster than we know is appropriate.  Maybe while we're driving, we answer our cell phone when we really should be paying attention to the road.  Maybe something doesn't work out -- and we blame someone else rather than taking responsbility ourselves.  Things like that -- if we reflect on them later, we'd probably honestly say "I shouldn't have done that -- that's not me".

So not a whole lot of positivity comes with the Devil -- but it's really easy to become ensnared!  What might help us avoid these situations?

Our second card is .. the Four of Swords.
This is an interesting combination -- the Four of Swords suggests taking time to rest, recharge, and revitalize yourself.  I think the key phrase here is "taking time" -- not reacting spontaneously, but waiting a moment, taking a breath, and then calmly reacting.  Remember the old saw about "count to ten before you act"?  That's something we can do whenever we're tempted by our Devil to react inappropriately.

Waiting a little bit gives our responsible self a chance to take over -- and that's who we need to be making decisions!

Have a great weekend -- I'm off to Las Vegas next week and will talk to you then!


Monday, April 15, 2013

It's a Big Boat With Airplanes

Hello All!

Sorry I missed Friday's reading -- I had to go and pay some traffic tickets.

No, these weren't my tickets -- they were my son's.  He's in the Navy and is off on deployment somewhere in the Persian Gulf area.  He wanted to pay some old tickets he received when he was in town ... but the court wouldn't let him do it remotely.  They allowed that someone else could show up at the ticket window and pay it for him, though.

I told him I'd do it for him.  Got the necessary cash, went to the courthouse, waited in line for about and hour-and-a-half.  Finally, get to the window:

"I'd like to pay these tickets for my son."

"Well, he has to pay them in person. Where is he?"

"He's in the Navy; he's on an aircraft carrier somewhere."

"He's what?"

"He's on an aircraft carrier."


"An aircraft carrier.  It's like a big boat with airplanes."

"Oh -- well, he can't pay them here anyway.  You're at the wrong courthouse -- you can tell from the ticket number that you need to go to Precinct Five."

"Oh, sorry -- I guessed I missed class the day we studied ticket numbers.  Can you tell me where Precinct Five is?"

"I don't know."

"I don't know either.  Do have you a phone number or any other information about it?"


(Fortunately, the couple in back of me knew where Precinct Five was -- so I thanked them and got in the car.  Drive across town (driving across town in Houston is not a trivial matter!), get in another line, wait another hour-and-a-half.)

"I'd like to pay these tickets for my son."

(we go through the whole aircraft carrier thing again)

"Okay, that's $614.00 (I have no idea what he did to get the tickets!)"

"Alright."  I start counting out cash.

"Oh no sir.  We don't take cash, only money orders."

I look up at the sign next to the window.  "But your sign says you take cash."

"We do.  But we don't take cash for this."

"But don't the bills say "Legal Tender for all Debts"?"

"Yes, but we only take money orders."

I think one benefit of getting older is realizing when you're not going to win the argument, so you quit before you get frustrated.

Not winning this one, so I leave, find a money oder place, convert cash to money orders, come back.  Wait in line another hour and a half.

"I'd like to pay these tickets for my son.  I have the money orders."

"Alright, let me get your paperwork."

(No aircraft carrier story; darn, I was enjoying telling it.)

"Okay, I'm back.  We just need your son to sign these two forms."

(Cool -- I get to do the aircraft carrier story again after all!)

"Well, I'm sorry, but he has to sign these forms or I can't complete the transaction."

"There's no way that can happen -- my son's off on deployment; with this Korean thing, I have no idea if he's even coming home.  Is there anything we can do?"

(Now, here's where my faith in people and public servants gets renewed.)

"Well, I tell you what.  I need to leave this counter and go stand on the other side of the office for about two minutes.  Perhaps when I get back your son will have managed to sign these two forms?"

Clerk leaves and I grab a pen.  Sure enough, when the clerk returns, my son has managed to sign both of the forms!

All's well that ends -- even if it takes all day!

Let's get on to this week's reading!

Our first card is the Knight of Pentacles.

This cards suggests being solid and steady -- someone you can count on every time to get the job done.  Not necessarily the flashiest or fastest ... but sure and steady wins the race after all.

My problem trying to be the Knight of Pentacles is that I get impatient -- if I don't see immediate results, I get frustrated.  Let's check our next card for some help

Our next card is ... the Ten of Wands.

Okay, this make sense.  The Ten of Wandss is busy plodding away at his task.  He was plodding away yesterday, and plodding away the day before, and the day before, etc.  This Ten doesn't get impatient, though.  He knows (he KNOWS) that he's going to accomplish his task.  He knows that it may be a slow process, but if he keeps at it and doesn't give or or get frustrated, he'll manage to complete his task.

And sometimes that's the way we have to solve problems -- just keep hacking away at them, one step at a time.  Just cause we don't close the loop right away doesn't mean we're never going to manage to do so.  Success is waiting for us -- as long as we take the time to see it through!

And that's what it looks like this week!  Hope you have a good one!


Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Dive Right In

Hi All,

Hope your weekend was fine -- I stayed home sick yesterday (feeling much better today), so fell behind on the reading.

Uneventful weekend for me -- cleared up my space at the Renfest, did some yardwork and gardening, nothing fancy.  A very easy, low pressure weekend (first in several months)!

Let's jump into that reading, shall we?

First card is the Page of Wands.

Pages tend to suggest the beginning of something new -- new tasks, new projects, new schooling, new friends ... things like that.  Pages are still at the development stage -- you're considering a new project, getting excited about it, beginning to think about what may be involved, maybe even some pre-planning.

Including the point where you think about what go wrong!  Sometimes, when you consider this side of it, you get scared off the project.  After all, if you might fail, then why start it in the first place.  When you think of failure, it saps away your energy and excitement for the project (and the Page of Wands is particularly involved in energy and excitement).

This isn't good -- how can you restore your energy and interest level?

How about using our second card -- The Fool!

This card is really about new beginnings, new journeys.  Things might go bad?  Who cares -- not The Fool!  He's so involved in thinking about a new process that he's oblivious to problems.

Does that mean he won't encounter problems along the way?  No, not at all -- but it does mean he'll wait till that point to deal with the problems and won't let the fact that they may occur stop him from charging ahead!

If something new grabs your interest -- then maybe it's worth it to dive right in.  Don't "think" yourself away from a project -- jump in and learn for real what's going on.

Hope your week's a good one -- talk to you later!


Friday, April 05, 2013

Consider Changes


Hope your week's been going well -- things here in Houston have been ... well, okay I guess.  A front moved through and it's turned kind of chilly (in the 50's -- that's chilly for Texas).  That's not so bad -- but my hot water heater decided to flake out this week at the same time!  I can light it, but it's not always staying lit.  Don't find that out till I try that morning shower -- brrrr!  Had a couple of unpleasant surprises this week!

Seems to be working now; I'm sure it's just the thermocouple getting fritzy.  I remember you used to be able to change those out yourself with a 50 cent part from the hardware store.  Now it takes a plumber and a $75 house visit.  Progress?

My daughter and grand-daughter moved back in the house -- the entire household is now being ruled by a 4 year old!  It's kind of fun -- life is now measured in terms of tea parties and kittens.  Pretty refreshing!

How about our weekend reading ...

Our first card is the Four of Wands.

I see this as a celebration card -- and it also suggests the acknowledgement of others in the course of celebration.  It's not so much you saying "I did good", it's more like other people saying "You did good".  It always feels better when you hear it from someone else!

So what should we consider if we'd like to achieve this celebratory state?  Our second card, the Eight of Cups, offers a suggestion.

The Eight of Cups suggests a change of direction.  It's kind of like reaching a point where you say "It's not that I'm disatisfied with what I've been doing -- but I think I might have more success trying this different route instead".  In the card, we see someone literally "turning their back" on the path they had been following in order to strike out in a new direction.

So -- if what you've been doing isn't getting you to where you want to be -- you might consider changing things up a bit.  Even if you're satisfied with what you've been doing -- you might find another tack a little more promising.  Or you might not -- but it doesn't hurt to at least consider the possibilities!

And that's it for now -- have a great weekend and I'll see you again next week!


Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Audit Time!

Hi All!

Hope you had a good weekend and a good April Fool's start to the week!  I always forget about April Fool's day and someone always gets me.

This was the last weekend this season for Sherwood Forest Faire -- I get weekends back again for a while!

BTW -- to Courtney in California:  I met your friend this weekend at faire -- she says you really need to come down to visit next year and come to Sherwood.  Come by and say hello when you do!

Let's see what cards we have to start the week ...

We'll start with The Hermit.

This is the wise-old hermit -- he knows things!  His knowledge comes not only from training and learning skills, but also from experience.  When you put book smarts and street smarts together -- you get wisdom.  Knowing to do the right thing at the right time for the right reasons -- that kind of wisdom.

So -- where should we direct this wisdom.  What kinds of questions should we be looking to answer?

Our second card suggests something to consider-- the Seven of Pentacles.

To me, the Seven of Pentacles is an accomplishment card -- especially a career or professional accomplishment.  We took on a hard task and were successful -- hence the sense of accomplishment.

So -- maybe we might consider using our wisdom for a bit of internal career counseling -- a "self audit" if you will.  There are always a number of things going on in our lives -- but maybe we'll spend just a little bit of time thinking about our professional choices.

How's the job?  Going well?  If so, then why?  If not, then why not?  What can you do to make it even better?  Are you doing what you want to do?  Why not? 

Use the wisdom from your wise hermit -- if you have trouble applying this to yourself, then imagine you're giving career advice to someone else in your same position.  What would you say to them?

It's good to "audit" phases of our lives from time to time -- otherwise, we're just going along for the ride and hoping the right things will happen.  If we take a moment for a little review and evaluation, we'll likely discover things we can do to "guide" ourselves in order to better guarantee success.

And that's it for this week -- I'll be back later with more.  Till then, have a great week!