May All Your Guesses Be Educated

Look before you leap.

When I have time to kill, I often rely on my Sudoku phone app to keep me from twitching with boredom. Sudoku puzzles can be quite addictive. They challenge my mind, and yet allow me to shut off big parts of it at the same time. It’s hard to explain. You kind of have to be there.

Now that I’m playing at the “expert” level, I occasionally have to rely on guesses to get past a numerical log jam. I wouldn’t have to do this if I bothered to educate myself on the higher level Sudoku strategies. You can read up on them all over the internet. I could probably figure them out if I cared enough. But to me, it’s a time killing game, and I don’t want to waste too much energy climbing up to the next dimension.

But when I do make a guess, I do my best to make sure that guess is an educated one. I calculate the odds that one number should be placed in a particular box, as opposed to another. This quite often serves me well. Until, of course, it doesn’t.

When you think about it, isn’t that how the majority of us get through life? We take chances. We guess. The more intelligent people among us learn as much as they can before making a choice, but in the end, a choice has got to be made.

Don’t be impulsive. Learn what you can, and then go from there. Do your best. Look before you leap, so that you can get a better sense of where you might land. Of course, there are no guarantees, but at the very least you can increase your odds. Therein lies a more successful path through life.

May all your guesses be educated, dear reader.

Sudoku

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A Modest Bucket List

An interesting text conversation with a dear friend, shared with her permission.

Friend: Did something on my bucket list that I hope won’t shock you too much.

          Me: Been trying to call. WHAT DID YOU DO?

Expect the worst and it won’t be so bad.

           Last time you did a bucket list thing, you bungee jumped out of a perfectly good hot air balloon.

You can guess and I promise I will tell you if you get it right. It’s nothing like the balloon stunt.

          Ran off to join the circus? Posed nude with a boa constrictor?

Neither of those. And not fond of tight hugs.

          Not fond of tight hugs… Boob job? Something medical?

Still braless. Nothing medical.

           Nothing medical. Nothing death-defying or snake-related. Are you a blonde?

No way.

          Tattoo? Some alteration of appearance? A new purchase of some sort? An experience?

Very slight alteration in appearance. (This is soooo much fun.)

          Nails? Teeth? Something above the waist or below? Did you shave your hoo hoo?

One of those. Darn you are good.

          YOU SHAVED YOUR HOO HOO?

Guess again.

          Teeth? Details.

It’s not teeth.

          Nails?

Yes. They are blue.

          Child, please. Why would that shock me?

Hey, it’s the most exciting thing on my bucket list. Maybe I will do my coochie pop next.

          I bet it would itch.

I got nothin’.

          And having a boring bucket list means you are satisfied with life. That’s enviable.

Do you have anything on yours?

          Mine is 5 pages long. Mostly travel related. Remind me to show you.

Sounds exciting.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Predictions

The day I wrote this, it was a sunny Saturday here in Seattle. It was probably one of the last ones we’ll have until May. And yet, all shift long I hadn’t had a single request to open my drawbridge. Not one sailboat. I could have phoned it in. If I had a boat and the day off, I’d have been out there! Where was everybody?

I’ve long since given up trying to predict how busy my work day will be. Sometimes it’s cold, rainy, and raw, and the sailboats are out in force, demanding bridge openings every 10 minutes. And that could be on a Wednesday. Go figure.

Anyone who followed the last presidential election can tell you what a monumental waste of time predictions can be. Polls? No one ever asks my opinion. And yet, we spend an inordinate amount of time trying to guess the future.

It’s only natural to want to know where you’re going to land when you jump into an abyss. Looking before you leap only makes sense. And if we were all forced to face up to the fact that, for the most part, we are fumbling in the dark, the world would be a scary place indeed. I totally get why people are comforted by the concept of a higher power.

But I often wonder how much time is wasted anticipating things that never come to pass. Worrying. Agonizing. Wondering. Altering one’s behavior based on… what, exactly?

Not that I’m different than anyone else in these situations. I’m not some enlightened being who lives in the now. I wish I were. The fact is, I grew up in such an unpredictable atmosphere that I learned to plan ahead to an almost obsessive degree just so I could survive.

I have no solutions. But I feel the need to point out that perhaps we are all so focused on what we see through our figurative binoculars that we are missing those wonderful people, places, and things that are right under our noses. Don’t forget to pause and look about you every now and then. Beauty is in the present tense.

binoculars

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Lying with Confidence

A lot of guys do this thing that drives me absolutely up a wall. You ask a question. They answer without hesitation. They seem so sure of themselves. So you make a decision based on the information that was provided.

Later when everything blows up in your face, you find out that they didn’t know what the hell they were talking about. It wasn’t that they were convinced that they were right and they turned out to be wrong. No. They knew darned well that they were making a wild guess and they didn’t have a clue, but they still responded with aplomb.

Why, why, WHY would you do that? What is so wrong with saying, “I have no idea”? Do they have no concept of consequences? Or worse yet, do they get away with it often enough that it’s worth the risk? I don’t get it.

I know that men in general are raised to act with confidence, but is it so important to do so that it’s worth making a fool of yourself and losing the trust of those closest to you? I promise you that I have much more respect for someone who says “I don’t know” than for someone who bullshits his way through life causing no end of inconvenience to the people around him.

End of rant.

Confident-full

[Image credit: urban-fox.com]