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Good Sunday morning everyone!  

I have good news.  It has been 3 days since either Todd or Lila has received a check mark for behaving poorly!  That is pretty dag gum good!  In fact, it's about an 11 on the snaz-o-meter!  In fact, Lila told me as I was leaving for work yesterday: "Don't worry Daddy.  We won't get any check marks today."  Thursday night Todd said that he was going to make good choices so he wouldn't get in trouble!  I am aware that only a fool would break out the bomber jacket, cod piece, and Mission Accomplished banner at this point.  Raising children who exhibit good behavior and, more importantly, who habitually make good decisions takes constant effort and maintenance.  Lessons must be reinforced and reviewed where necessary.  Not having been raised on a diet of paint chips during the great Connecticut cattle drive of the 1940s and 50s, I understand this.  Still, as I have said before, a person who fails to recognize and celebrate small victories, positive adjustments made, and milestones passed has very little probability of enjoying much happiness in this life.

Movement toward a goal is positive and should be recognized as such.  As my wife and I remind each other all of the time.  We don't mind if our lives aren't exactly perfect in every way.  What we do mind is if we aren't making any progress at making things more to our liking.  

I know so many people who function as if there is a state of zero maintenance, lasting nervana to be reached as though it were a place on a map, a geographical or psychological location to be reached and all they have to do is get there and then put down roots.  I find such a mindset to be tragic.  In my view, it is a fools errand every bit as much as Ponce DeLeon's hunt for the fountain of youth was.  Such a place doe not exist.  It is an all or nothing mindset which conflates pleasure with contentment.  That is a mistake.  Sure, we should never stagnate in a less then perfect world; but we should learn to recognize that happiness is in the achievement of progress.  To eschew celebration, or at least pleasing acknowledgement short of arriving at a nonexistent fountain of youth is to never experience any pleasure at all.  It is to demotivate and it is , eventually, to fall into the trap of dismal stagnation.  It is to be our own biggest obstacle on the path of constant improvement.  It is to push aside the happiness in search of... well... happiness.  

“I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.” - Groucho Marx

I don't agree with just how absolute that Groucho quote seems to be, but I think that he had a point.  Sure, sometimes negative events will be of such a magnitude that we cannot keep them from making us sad, frustrated, or angry.  Still, life is multi-facted.  One or more aspect of life may be a source of discontent (in fact, it is likely that no facet will be perfect: see above), but other facets will likely provide opportunities to experience rewarding progress.  We must learn to allow ourselves to take joy from those facets even as we put our efforts into improvement of the problem areas.  That, dear friends, is where the true happiness in life is.  It is my sincerest hope that you can have some of it.  You need only to permit yourself.

Now, after having used my children's minor improvement in the field of good behavior as an excuse to make you endure my preaching, let's have a song about disobedience with a video featuring those very same rug rats.

Hound Dog:

Guitar Shorty:

The root of all evil:

Something a little spunkier:

From my stash of live recordings:

This guy will be here in December:

His little brother could play a little bit too.

So could the dude he was playing with in that last video.

Lastly, a little updated Robert Johnson stuff:

Thank you very much for the time that you have spent with us this morning.  We hope that you can find yourself something to pleased about today and everyday.  Please remember how much good doing something really nice for someone else can do for your own self image and please consider how much the world needs it.

As always we hope that you will join us in the comments section for discussion, sharing of whatever videos you feel like sharing, and for the company of some damn fine people.

Remember, Todd and Lila love you.

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Originally posted to lockewasright on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 07:34 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

    by lockewasright on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 07:34:21 AM PST

  •  Here's a little ditty (3+ / 0-)

    my son helped me put together for the Baja Kossacks. I know you're not in Tucson, but you're still in cactus country and if you're south of the Gila you're in Baja AZ. Enjoy.

  •  No video but... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lockewasright, belinda ridgewood

    How 'bout Grieg's March of the Trolls for "git er done" music?

  •  Awesome sermon, lockewasright! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jwinIL14, lockewasright

    It's what I think, but sometimes we all need a little pep talk to adjust our feelings in line with our beliefs.

    This morning I have no heat, and as you know, I am not in a region of the country where that is okay in November. I have a very old house (like, lateish 19th century). The heating system is certainly not as old as the house, but it's no spring chicken. I have long known that it has a slow leak somewhere that no one can readily locate -- probably in the crawl space under the kitchen -- so every fall, it has not nearly enough water in it. My dad has trained me not to leave the fill valve open all the time, to avoid flooding in case of a big leak, so every fall the system has to be filled with water and the radiators bled. This took place Thursday, and I was warm until sometime Friday. My sad conclusion, since I hear the furnace running, is that the leak has probably gone wild and an expensive plumbing bill will ensue.

    But, as is my wont this time of year, I have no time to deal with it now. I'm working on two shows, and one of them needs its props today at 2; the other needs its script by Wednesday. I was away for two weeks, so I'm way behind at my actual paying job, I had someplace I had to go every evening this past week, plus somewhere this evening, so it's about 50 degrees in the house and I'm painting props with three sweaters on.

    I am working on things I love to do, but because I can never say no to my friends, I get overcommitted like this and my life gets out of control. So I appreciate the cheering up, and the reminder that everything I do is progress in a direction I want to go, and I just need to keep moving and not give up and everything will get done eventually.

    My theme for today, since I am so cold I can hardly type, is Winter, specifically, Johnny Winter. May his fingers long be warm enough to play!

    Also: very cute little Batpeople!

    What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other? - George Eliot

    by belinda ridgewood on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 08:34:02 AM PST

    •  Wow! That's a bummer about the impending (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jwinIL14, belinda ridgewood

      plumbing expense.  I hope that it turns out to cost as little as possible.  I certainly understand about the over committing out of love of friends.  We value our friends and make decisions accordingly.  

      I just got a recording of Johnny Winter in concert with The Allman Brothers band.  You may have heard once or twice that I am quite fond of The Allmans' music. /snark  Maybe I will see about uploading some to share.

      I am glad to learn that my message is timely, but I hope that you have less need for such a message next week.

      Todd is working too:
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      Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

      by lockewasright on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 08:47:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks! I bought this money pit (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lockewasright

        knowing how it would be in terms of needing repairs, but I did forget that it would toy with me like this. It's my own fault for pretending that the tiny leak would just stay like that year after year, but there is really no good time for a big plumbing bill and, what is worse for me, trying to figure out who is an honest plumber.

        Todd is doing really well on his writing! I think next year I will just hire him to write the script. Surely his ideas will be just as reasonable as those of my scriptwriting committee, and he will probably have fewer excuses why he's too busy to help write.

        Okay, going to the hardware store now. They probably have heat there, so I might just stay...

        What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other? - George Eliot

        by belinda ridgewood on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 08:57:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Good Sunday Morning ALL! (3+ / 0-)

    I am so sorry to hear one of our Sunday Morning friends is cold.  I am in SoCal and very sensitive to cold weather.  BR, I hope you are able to fix the situation without it costing too too much.  Happy to hear of Todd and Lila's three days of good behavior.  That is certainly something to celebrate.  I was just chatting with my friend telling him that between the two of us (I being an only girl in my family and he being the only boy among five sisters), we were always in trouble...not serious legal trouble..but into everything-doing stupid stuff type of trouble.  I wonder what we would do if we had a kid like us.  Anyway, everone have a great day and week, looking forward to hear from you next Sunday with good songs and stories.

    •  My stubborn temper as a child is the stuff of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      belinda ridgewood

      legend.  I was (and remain) argumentative and willing to suffer consequences if I believed something.  I am extremely mischievous and playful still.  The apple didn't fall far from the tree with my son.  I have no right to complain.

      Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

      by lockewasright on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 09:47:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks, jojothecat! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lockewasright

      I actually deal better with cold than heat, so I don't mind the winter, but I do like the inside of the house to be, you know, above 65 when I'm awake and about. I am shy about 10 degrees right now. Not that I have not visited southern CA in the winter and enjoyed it very much! Have a nice warm day. The fact is, it will sadden me to pay for this repair but I am able to, so I have no right at all to complain, and I thank my friends here for listening to me whine.

      Heh, now I am reading lockewasright's reply to you, and apparently this is "I have no right to complain" day on the Sunday morning music diary. I am stubborn, but my dad was legendary as you describe yourself, lwr. He's famous for getting into a fight with his mom when he was a kid and sitting all day in the car while everyone else had delicious Sunday dinner at grandma's, including pie (not as a punishment, but because he refused to come in).

      I'm off again, but I will return tonight and enjoy the rest of the videos! Have a great afternoon, everyone!

      What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other? - George Eliot

      by belinda ridgewood on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 09:56:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  : 0 ) smiles, giggles and rasberries to all (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lockewasright, belinda ridgewood

    I think we were separated at birth.  I am told that I am stubborn and argummentative all the time by my fella...I will never tell him I agree with him, but I must confess, he's right.  I am thankful he understands this is just one minor character flaw compared to all my many many good qualities.

    Anytime, BR...I know how it is.  I bought an older townhome and everytime something breaks all I see are $$$'s.  Whenever a repair is under $200 or I can do it myself, I do my happy dance.

    •  I am in my first home and I grew up in a house (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      belinda ridgewood

      where... let's just say that my dad would have hired somebody to change lightbulbs if he thought my mom wouldn't have objected.  I have done a few basic repairs, but it's always a first time for me and it's always outside of my comfort zone.  I am learning.  I haven't needed a trip to the ER yet.  I suppose that someday I may throw out my shoulder patting myself on the back for patching a hole in the wall put there by a door knob.

      Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

      by lockewasright on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 10:20:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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