Your Proctologist Called, They Found Your Head

The Beginning of The End

There are those individuals who pass through your life that were never really meant to be around other human beings. You know the type. Caustic, loud individuals who can make a room turn cold faster than an arctic storm. Interestingly they can be relatively attractive which is extremely disarming and also a very cynical and a cruel trick played by the man above. These individuals tend to be very knowledgeable in usually one subject but pretend to be experts in all.

I was at a small conference in a motel meeting room when one of these walked in. I had to give a short presentation so I positioned myself at a table near the podium. All the chairs at my table were occupied except one. The above referenced individual found that seat. We shook hands and made some small talk which turned into a more heated discussion on the subject matter of my presentation. I knew more about the subject matter, but of course he insisted I didn’t.

When my turn came to give my presentation I left my chair quickly and walked in front of the audience. I was using a power point presentation and the room lights were lowered for better viewing. My seating partner, I’ll call him Jim, let me walk through 5 or 6 points before he started to comment on my presentation. I always appreciate feed-back when I give a presentation as it keeps the audience engaged. Jim, however, was quick to tell me and the rest of the audience that my statements were not accurate and he told me why.

At first I was polite and told him I appreciated his position but my data was factual based on empirical data. Maybe Jim didn’t want to believe me or didn’t know what empirical meant. In any case, Jim went on and on eventually  getting shouts from the audience to sit down and be quiet. Jim stopped talking but did not sit down. I looked at him and said, “Jim, just a second. I just remembered someone gave me a note to pass on to you should I see you at the conference.” I pulled a piece of paper out of my pocket, pretending it was the supposed note. I looked him straight in the eyes and read the words of the title of this blog. The audience erupted in laughter and they gave me a round of applause. Jim never said another word during the entire conference.

I’d Agree With You, But Then We’d Both Be Wrong

Years ago, when I was younger and the earth’s crust was still cooling, you could have a conversation with anyone about anything and the worst case scenario would be that you would “agree to disagree.” Today, it is difficult to find someone that will openly and objectively discuss most subjects. This is especially true when it comes to politics and religion. These two are some of the most divisive topics and often these debates turns into a shouting match. With politics you are either left or right, Democrat or Republican, patriot or pinhead…and I’m not sure about that last one.

When meeting someone for the first time and one of these subjects is mentioned I immediately recuse myself by saying, “I would prefer not to discuss this with you because I like open, objective conversation and it is difficult to do that with these subjects.” Sometimes that works, if it doesn’t then I tell them, “I’d agree with you but then we would both be wrong.”  In truth, I would rather have a nice, objective discussion but those days seem to be in the past…

 

If You Could Have Seen It Then

This particular story was written over 7 months ago and for another blog. I never posted it because the initial review was that the story was too maudlin. I always liked it. It is not typical of what I write but then again I am finding there is nothing typical anymore. Here it is…….

The little girl was walking on the hot asphalt looking at the buildings that lined the shore of the bay. Her grandfather was holding her hand and gently guiding her toward the only area where she could see the water that wasn’t obstructed by a building. As they walked past the buildings they could see a flicker of sun shining on the water for a second or two before the next building blocked their view.

The little girl looked up at her grandfather and asked, “Are we almost there?” The old man looked down at her and said in a low whisper, “Yes.” The little girl thought her grandfather was sad but she couldn’t understand why since they were almost at the place where there were no buildings and they would be able to walk to the water.

When they got to the space where they could walk up to the edge of the water the little girl smiled and looked down at her reflection in the Bay. She could see the reflection of her grandfather standing next to her but he wasn’t smiling. “At one time”….., the old man started to talk but had to clear his throat, “ the parking lot we walked on was a small forest with all types of trees and birds and other animals. My friends and I would walk the trails every weekend and sometimes we would even camp out. We would bring our fishing poles and fish just a little ways from here down the shore.”

The little girl looked back at the asphalt parking lot and notice there were no trees, just some bushes along the road side of the parking lot. And the place where her grandfather said he had fished had a building on stilts sitting out over the shore into the bay. She looked back in the water at their reflections and said, “What happened to the forest?”

The grandfather looked down at her for a few seconds then said, “I don’t know….maybe we took the forest for granted and thought it would always be here. After a while people stopped coming to this area then I think they just stopped caring about it….we all stopped caring about it.”

The little girl was thinking about what her grandfather had said and just then she saw a small ripple in the water, distorting her reflection. It looked like rain drops hitting the water. But the sun was shining and she didn’t notice any clouds. She turned and looked up at her grandfather who had turned away from the water. His head was tilted down and his hands were over his eyes.

“If I were here when they had the forest I would have helped to keep it here.” The little girl looked up at her grandfather hoping her words would help his sadness. The old man looked at her with a weak smile.”If I had thought about this..If I had cared about it…If I had known this was the future…….If you could have seen it then!”

 

 

Ultracrepidarian

 

Learning Them Letters

Sesame Street always starts their programs by singling out one letter of the alphabet. I thought I would do the same thing for this blog…. so the letter for today is “U”. U is an interesting letter. It fronts the words Understand,  University and Undeniable which are all noble words. It also is the first letter in Ugly, Uninvited and Unfocused which are more demeaning words. U is also a vowel. Did you know that? Do you care? Probably not.

U is now used today as its own word. Yes, that is correct. U now stands alone as in, ” R U OK?” or “C U There.”  Our use of  texting  has created an english short-hand of sorts. This is where you will find letters used as a word. Or where  you get the meaning  without adding any more letters. Which is a great way for me to segue to the title of this blog.

Ask Me A Question On Any Subject ..(I’ll give You Any Answer)

Like the letter U used by itself, an Ultracrepidarian can expound on any subject, but with minimal knowledge of that subject. The definition of an Ultracrepidarian ( which is a noun by the way ), is a person who is in the habit of giving opinions and advice outside of one’s knowledge. At first blush you may want to call this person a “know it all,” as in my husband (or wife) is one. No, know it alls really do know it all. Just ask them.

The Ultracrepidarian, on the other hand, knows just enough facts (things you don’t know ) about a subject, or the subject to sound convincing. It’s kind of like asking your best friend or closest relative, other than your Mother or Father, about the  current economic  situation regarding the Euro problem in Europe or the Euro in Greece. They may actually know the current dollar/Euro exchange rate so any other answer regarding the issue must be based on factual knowledge. A little bit of real knowledge can blind you to their total ignorance of the entire issue.

No Distinguishing Marks Or Features

Ultracrepidarians have no special features that provide positive identification. This is what makes them so dangerous. They look like you and me. They have no U tattooed on their forehead and don’t wear pocket protectors. They are usually not people you know well. Because you already know what the people you know well don’t know…if you know what I mean. However, if you do think you have found one,  just keep your smart phone handy and Google the subject matter first and educate yourself before you engage with one.

From a personal point of view. I find those individuals who are known as “Politicians” to be some of the most dangerous of the Ultracrepidarian tribe.  Fortunately they are easy to spot, primarily because they spend all their time telling everybody they are one. Oh! One more thing, if you do find someone wearing a pocket protector please take my advice and walk the other way.

Nu Voh Quiz Een

I thought I would give you a little insight as to the genesis of each blog. The following blog was written for Suite.101. This is a professional gig where I get paid for writing articles.  Go figure. This was my first submission to Suite.101. The Editor loved the concept and thought it was very creative, however, it didn’t meet their SEO requirements and he wanted a rewrite. My first rejection…well maybe second. At any rate I told him I couldn’t do it because it would screw up the intent of the article. So he removed it and let me write a different one…which I submitted today. So…for your enjoyment and review I present to you my first rejected article.”

There is something happening out there in digital text land. A new breed of writer is coming. And all the power in the universe can’t stop them. Well, actually a non-working router could do it.

*You Have the Right to Write..Right?

Now that everyone and their grandmother is using Facebook or Twitter or Google+ or just plain email, people have found the lost art of writing…unfortunately. For all those people who never, ever considered using electronic mail, they have now found they have the world at their disposal. And when I use the word disposal I mean the one in your sink.

Okay, maybe I shouldn’t be so critical. After all this is social media. And the overall intent is to create a kind of digital text “Kumbaya” platform on which anyone can write what they want. And they do. Over and over again. It’s not the quantity but the quality of the text that concerns me. Take the title of this article for example. The funny thing about it is that you know what it means. The sad thing about it is….you know what it means.

*Spell Check, Context Check, Dumb Check

Let’s face it. Spell check was never designed for hooked on phonics. I get emails and postings from people that swear they use spell check all the time. So when I tell them a word was misspelled or used out of context they tell me that is the way they have always used or spelled that word and nobody ever complained about it. Can’t fault that logic!

Yes, I would like to see Dumb Check added to the text writer. Maybe you have another term you prefer but I think this one says it all. Once you hit send it would read the complete text and give it a D value by comparing it to millions of text samples. A rating of 1 means you really don’t want to send this and anything above a 5 is acceptable to most readers’ eyes. Once the D number is given you have the option of hitting send again or canceling it. My guess is a lot of 1’s will go out. I know this because I get them all the time.

*Oi812

I recently read that many school systems in the U.S. will be eliminating cursive writing from their curriculum. I guess nobody writes, as in pen on paper, anymore. The pen is no longer mightier than the sword…it’s been replaced by the iPad. Yes, now you can write more stuff from anywhere, anytime and send it to everyone all the time. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

It used to be that you could always find at least two books in every home; the Bible and Webster’s Dictionary. Today, I would guess they only have one of them. And it’s not the one that is alphabetical.

If there ever was any truth to the saying “he is rolling over in his grave,” it would be appropriate for that person to be Daniel Webster. If Daniel was still alive today he may consider social media to be the quintessential “Pandora’s Box.”  Daniel, we hardly knew ye!

Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys

In The Beginning…..

There is a certain trepidation in beginning a new journey….especially when the destination is unknown. We all do it. Yes, I know some of you will say you should “plan your life and live your plan.” But the truth is, nothing makes you more alive than not really knowing what is around the next corner. It is with this thought in mind that I ask you to take this next journey with me.

This is not my first attempt at writing a blog or article, depending upon what you want to call it. In fact, I currently write blogs for a number of clients and have been doing so for a number of years. I am also  into my 53 rd chapter of LiteWorld, a blog-novella that is under the genre of “Science Faction.” (a link is provided so you can see how the other side of my brain works). However, this blog, LitePapr, is totally and completely mine…my thoughts, my ideas, my take on things real and imagined…it’s mine I tell you its MINE, MINE, MINE…..sorry I got carried away.

This Door Only Opens Sideways

The entry point in life is never when you think it is..it’s never where you think it is..and it surprises you when it happens. Life  is what happens to you while you are making other plans. The amount of control in your life you think you have is directly proportional to the amount of control you allow. Sounds too philosophical?…maybe, but it’s true. What I will attempt to do with LitePapr is have you look at this world through fractions rather than whole numbers. Nothing is black and white…there are always shades of grey.

If Social Media Didn’t Exist….Would You?

Good question?…think about it. This blog is an integral part of the social media pie; as is Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, et.al. I have friends and family members who go to their Facebook page as soon as they wake up to see what is happening in their world. Do you do that? Do you carry your iPhone or smart phone with you everywhere you go? Do you? If someone actually calls you on your cell phone do you think….what do I do now? Ask yourself this, if you had a choice between losing power in your house, losing cable TV, losing your phone land line or losing your internet and/or WIFI connection which one would you not want to loose?…Yeah, I would choose that one too.

Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys

I want to get your attention. There are thousands of blogs posted every day…hell probably ever hour. If the title of this blog post was “My Facebook Page” would you even consider looking at it? Yes, I know the title of my blog is LitePapr and that unto itself should be interesting enough to have you stop and ponder the genius behind that title. Well at least stop and ponder…

This blog post title is indicative of what you can expect here at LitePapr.. usual stories told in an unusual way. I can tell you what you want to hear…or I can tell you what you need to know. Your choice.


About

Don Musilli started his journey as an entrepreneur and businessman. He surveyed the sky above as a private pilot and explored the sea below as a scuba diver. He looked at the future through the words of Asimov, Clark, Heinlein, Herbert and Ellison; learned a new way to write technical blogs and make them readable… and then created LiteWorld, a blog-novella.

LitePapr is a different perspective. Stay with me on the journey.
dmusilli@litepapr.com