Tag Archives: Happiness

No Thinking Tonight

StumbleUpon is a great way to find those corners of the internet you haven’t yet discovered. Or a great way to find out how desperate affiliate marketers really are for their slice of the internet pie (hint: it’s a really REALLY small slice of pie).

Here are a few recent jewels StumbleUpon shared with me:

It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and then to loosen up. Inevitably though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker.

A useful tool for IT professionals to help users understand a basic yet fundamental state of their computer: ComputerPowerTest.com

I began to think alone —”to relax,” I told myself — but I knew it wasn’t true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time.

I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don’t mix, but I couldn’t stop myself.

See how far we've come

Things weren’t going so great at home either. One evening I had turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that night at her mother’s.

I soon had a reputation as a heavy thinker. One day the boss called me in. He said, “Skippy, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don’t stop thinking on the job, you’ll have to find another job.” This gave me a lot to think about.

I came home early after my conversation with the boss. “Honey,” I confessed … “I’ve been thinking…”

I know I’m a happy guy. I’m a very happy guy. I tend to retain a relatively rosy outlook on life, a tune on my lips (or running incessantly through my head), and spring in my step. Maybe it’s because I spend my lunch times exploring philosophical arguments for the spheres of responsibility between church and state, and discussing the finer points of social and cultural issues with friends, family, and foes alike.

NYTimes; Talk Deeply, Be Happy?

I am tempted to say it’s the deepness of the conversation that is the primary corollary between that and happiness, but it is more likely the fact you have people in your life with which you can have deep conversations. Humans, after all, are social creatures, and without friends and family and close-knit circles in which to spend our lives, we hang loose in the winds of time flailing pointlessly about.

“I know you’ve been thinking,” she said, “and I want a divorce!” “But Honey, surely it’s not that serious.”

“It is serious,” she said, lower lip aquiver. “You think as much as college professors, and college professors don’t make any money, so if you keep on thinking we won’t have any money!”

“That’s a faulty syllogism,” I said impatiently, and she began to cry. I’d had enough. “I’m going to the library,” I snarled as I stomped out the door.

I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche, with an AM station on the radio. I roared into the parking lot and ran up to the big glass doors … they didn’t open. The library was closed.

To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night.

(Finish this tale here)

Groucho Marx came up at work the other day. He came up here too:

From the moment I picked up your book until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it.

Sliding Into Socialism & Smile

Some mornings I wish I didn’t peruse the news. Today was one of those mornings.

The stories were thick of people expecting things from the government, wanting the government to reach down and touch them, trying to get things through misuse of government power and responsibility.

The “big 3” are back in Washington, driving this time apparently for PR purposes, asking for more money. The proposed solutions generally include the government taking some significant stake in the companies. Everything from a “Car Czar” to enforced restructuring (which I would agree with IF I agreed with a bailout at all).

Then there are the world markets. Asian markets are quite happy the US government will step into the big brother mode again and prop up weak parts of the US economy.

And if you bail out the big guy, the little guy wants his piece of the pie too. In a small story blown big, Barack Obama has proven he really does care about the little guy and each individual American by themselves. He says the workers staging a ‘sit-in’ at a Chicago-area manufacturer are “absolutely right” in demanding not just their owed wages and normal severance pay but also pay for accrued vacation as that manufacturer has declared bankruptcy and is currently in liquidation proceedings.

Apparently Bank of America held the business credit lines for the company and refused to offer more credit as it saw the sales of the company plummetting.

The issues here, expounded upon by John and Cisco on the morning show on Chicago’s AM560, are these: What responsibility does BoA have after their own bailout and largess received from the government? And at what point should a bailed-out bank still be able to protect it’s assets by allowing truly faulty companies to fail.

The whole failure and bailout cycle is ferocious in that it is, more often than not, better to allow a company to die naturally than to prop up failed and faulty business models and management/labor relations.

My opinion? Because we’ve already got ourselves into this mess. The workers are justified in expecting a little bit of this themselves, but only what is justly owed. BoA should be admonished to extend enough credit to cover immediate owed wages to the workers with collateral being the amount the bank will recoup from the liquidation of the companies assets (I agree with John and Cisco here).

Jesse Jackson has likened the plight of these workers to that of the blacks during the civil rights movement.

That man has no shame. Willing to sell even his own birthright for another 15 minutes in the spotlight.

And both Obama and Jackson find an ally in the Socialist Worker, the newspaper of the International Socialist Organization.

Socialist Worker has strived to be a source of information like no other, presenting a socialist analysis of the events and forces that have shaped today’s world and sharing the voices of those involved in the many efforts to try to change that world. As a result, SW has always gravitated to the stories of struggle that rarely, if ever, appear in the mainstream media–the coal miners in Kentucky fighting for their rights, the South African workers and students who toppled apartheid, the young women and men who stood up to corporate globalization in the streets of Seattle, the veterans and active-duty soldiers resisting the U.S. war for oil and empire in Iraq.

Strange bed-fellows indeed. Not that it would surprise anybody who bothered researching and learning the truth prior to Election day.

But you can smile, and mean it, and affect more people than you know. If you know me you know I like to smile. A lot. It’s just so much more fun to smile than otherwise.

So when studies are showing that being happy affects more than your immediate circle of acquaintances, but can affect people up to 3 degrees removed from the original happy person, I became very happy.

Are you happier now? It’s because I am. And so are your friends.