Tag: yup

This is just another day in my life…

Picture a small suburbian corner store.

Most of the people living in and around the area may not know each other, but we’ve seen each other before. We say hi or at least nod to each other in passing. It’s a pretty friendly day. I have an incredible addiction to TruMoo that draws me to the corner store almost daily.

As I approach the entrance, another patron approaches the same door and I open it for her. She seems surprised and looks at me like I just did something unheard of. I say, “After you.” I go and grab my Trumoo and as it happens end up in line behind that same woman.

As we’re in line we both seem to be cutting joke with the staff there (this is a regular thing) and the woman seems incredibly familiar, or maybe it’s the other voice yelling inside my head “GET HER NUMBER YOU MORON!” …there’s no doubt – she’s cute, outgoing and I place her at around 30(ish).

Still **something** stops me…it was totally subconscious. No rings, no ring marks, no indications that she’s an axe murderer…so why am I not engaging the conversation?!

She gets through with her purchases and the internal conflict in my subconscious is totally becoming audible to me.

I get through with my purchases just as she reaches the door and I am STILL not pulling the trigger. This simply isn’t me. I may not always make a move or engage someone that is interested, but it’s always a pretty conscious choice…yet still here I am and I can already tell. I’m not going to talk to her.

It turns into slow motion. She’s stopped at her car and is just leaning against it now smiling. I smile at her, she smiles back…

…and I get into my car and start driving away.

Yup. Not only did I not take advantage of the chance…I am getting the distinct impression I just totally choked…and THAT is not how it works in TonyTown. I may be a big dork, but striking up conversation isn’t usually a problem.

…I drive about ten feet forward. What the hell?! Am I turning into THAT guy?! The one that can’t approach someone on a dime? It’s not like I’m Don Juan or anything, but approaching and talking…lol…I’ve been doing that since I was born! She had a great personality and I am obviously interested…why not ask?!

At this point my brain does its thing and I manage to rummage through a gazillion years of memories to find the few that my subconscious had access to that apparently weren’t connecting with me.

That attractive and compelling woman and I had met before…and now I know why I was holding back. She was an ex of one of my oldest friends and undeniably one of the centerpoints of absolute psychotic behavior I and a number of my friends had ever encountered. She was the center of a number of trashed friendships and for a couple of those friends the crux of trashed relationships.

Now it was clear. Man…it’d been 10 maybe 15 years…I honestly don’t know if she’s still the same person. I just remember the windfall of crazy shit that happened to me at her hands.

I stopped the car for a sec and looked back her direction. Yup…there she was.

I move on and remember that my brain is incredibly functional and will sometimes look out for me even when I might be thinking about (or with) something else.

Yep. Just another day. πŸ˜‰

-Tony




Yearning for Learning…

We all have those points we reach where we re-evaluate where we are and what we want. I honestly think that it’s part of the process by which we make sure we’re not repeating mistakes and are on the path we want to be on.

As you all know, I started my own consulting business about a year ago, and it’s been a learning experience to say the least. I’ve learned more about the business world and finance and taxes in the last year than I had in decades prior.

It occurred to me that one thing I truly love to do is learn…be it people…trees…the wind…math…okay…maybe not math much anymore, but you know what I mean? My spark is still there…in scenarios where I have to immerse myself into an environments where I have no bearing, and no experience. While I am hardly getting rich by becoming my own boss, but I am enjoying a level of freedom that I didn’t even know when I was a kid. Part of that freedom has been having the time to take on learning TONS of subject matter I didn’t have time for beforehand, and recently, I’ve even started inquiring about tuition costs for school because unfortunately, some of the world I want to know lays buried in the books and lectures of professors I normally wouldn’t have access to otherwise.

The bottom line, I miss learning, I miss that feeling where I’m entering a completely new arena and have to soak in absolutely everything. It keeps my mind from getting too bored, which unfortunately is very easy for me if I don’t have a conversation going on…or a book to read…or the internet to soak in and learn about…well…everything. Well, as I’ve learned recently, an undergraduate degree acquired online costs over $70k. Yup.

That is what I said. HOLY CHRIST ON A POGO STICK…SEVENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS…

…and that is 100% do it yourself computer based training.

Unfortunately, as I stated above, I have time – but money like that – not readily available, especially considering my health problems and trying to buy a house this year…I know it’s simply not an option at rates like that.

So here comes that spark…

I’ve been a TED subscriber for quite some time, and the messages you hear on it are incredible…there are soooooo many people out there trying to broaden our horizons and make this world a far better place, it’s pretty inspiring. So much that I’ve tried to make sure I watch at least a few TED video’s every week or two so that I know what they know, or at the very lest can draw some ideas or inspiration.

And earlier today I saw this article on free courses offered online…

TED Blog – Completely free online classes? Coursera.org now offering courses from 16 top colleges

TED.com - Ideas Worth Spreading

And after that I checked out Coursera.org and found that t wasn’t the degree I longed for…it was the education, thee information, and the opportunity to soak more of the world or turn my brain to jello trying.

I went on to find a number of other organizations that offer free education and courses. I realized that some people and organization were finally trying to improve the world, by allowing the mind to grow. In a society that puts a price on access to virtually any information, there are finally a number of organization that are trying to share that wealth instead of profiteering from it.

Again. Me. Inspired!

So where did all that take me?

I have the time, I am going to take it and learn as much as I can while I still have it. There are already more courses out there than I could finish in the next decade, and I think that within the next few years the amount of curricula available will grow exponentially.

You’re probably reading this and thinking Jeez Tony you could have just said, “I’m going back to school.”

True, I could have, but then I wouldn’t have shared all these nifty links to all these places online that provide free education.

The Khan Academy – TONS of video and stuff…LOADS…I also found these guys from TED.

OpenLearn– I haven’t tried these guys yet but they have a huge course selection.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health – Open Coursework from a great Medical School. Prize material for med students!

Tufts University – More Med school offerings


Stanford University
– That’s right, Stanford has buku lectures free via iTunes!!!!

UC Berkeley – More from UC Berkeley, available via iTunes!

OpenCulture – Has a FEKTON of courses listed available online.

Education Portal – Good information regarding online coursework.

What did I find for myself? A sustainability class, some newer Philosophy classes, loads of history classes I might actually like learning from…bottom line…enough for me to really enjoy regardless of where I learn it.

πŸ˜‰

-Tony