You Can’t Have Green Grass Without a Little Bit of Poop

Good morning! I hope your day is starting off nicely.

You know how you buy something, hoping you’ll never need it, but you think it’s a good idea anyway? Like car insurance. Nobody wants to use car insurance. We hope we’ll never need it. But it’s one of those necessary evils. Too bad the deductible is more expensive than the window some idiot shot out with a BB gun. For that matter, it’s more than the value of the whole car.

Well, I got through the weekend without having to call a claims adjuster. But I do remember telling my wife about a month ago that we should buy a first aid kit for the RV. Because, accidents happen. Especially when a clod like me is walking along, looking down at the ground, completely oblivious to the bedroom slide that’s sticking out right in front of his head. WHAM!!!

I didn’t knock myself out, but I did have to re-level the coach after I picked myself up. It’s not like I hit the corner from not stepping far enough to the side. That would be too easy. No, I walked right into this thing full speed ahead. There’s a gear track along the side that’s used for opening and closing the slide. The top of my head has six perfectly spaced holes to match that gear.

On a positive note, it did get me out of making the bed that morning. Small victory, but that’s a tough job. You’d think somebody would invent some kind of tongs to grab the sheets and blanket and tuck them into a crevice three feet beyond the reach of any normal human being. I’m thinking a fireplace poker may get the job done. But only if she’s not watching.

Right about now, some of you are racing through your brain to come up with some kind of bed-making solution that every RV owner on the planet will pay big bucks to buy. All I ask is that you send me a free prototype since I’m the one who gave you the idea.

The whole purpose of this outing was to simply run the coach through its paces, make sure everything works, and figure out what we still need to buy. I did get it weighed yesterday, and we’ve got another 1200 pounds to go before we start overloading the suspension. I’m not sure how that translates into shopping dollars, but I have a feeling we’ll find out.

One thing I haven’t been able to figure out yet is our dog. He loves to go for a walk, and he marks every tree, shrub, stop sign, fire hydrant, and tall weed along the way. No inhibitions whatsoever. Until it’s time to poop. He still hasn’t figured out that it’s okay to do that on a leash. Well, not ON the leash, but you get the idea. I’m thinking a fireplace poker … never mind.

Yes, with men it all comes down to fires and the implements that allow us to create and exercise dominion over them. With my wife, it’s about placemats and bedspreads and napkins and rugs and vacuum cleaners and how do I manage to track in so much dirt every time I walk inside? Um, because it’s there. Duh!

Every new adventure comes with new challenges, new joys, new heartaches, and apparently, the occasional injury. The alternative, of course, is to never try anything different. But that means never knowing what might have been. Every married couple tried something new. Every parent took a risk. Everybody who has ever been employed gave it a shot.

Life is about opening doors to see what’s on the other side. It’s about setting goals and chasing dreams. And it’s about accepting the risk that things won’t always be just perfect. But it’s in those moments of imperfection that we find a spark of creativity to solve life’s most difficult challenges. Like making a bed that was never intended to be made.

Unless we’re willing to accept those moments of imperfection and the risks they present, we’re destined to stay right where we are for the remainder of our lives. To most of us, that’s a risk we’re not willing to take. We do want more. We want to accomplish more. And the only way to do that is to stretch your boundaries and try something completely new.

You were born to thrive, not just survive. Make the most of every moment, and never let an opportunity slip past. It may not be the opportunity you were hoping for, but it may be just the one you need. And isn’t that what really matters?

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

What Are You Willing to Change?

Good morning! I hope your day is off to a great start.

It’s Friday Eve! It’s also the last day of the month. I think in some ways, this month has dragged on forever. And in other ways, it went by pretty fast. That may have some bearing on the amount of bourbon left in the liquor cabinet, or it may be the reason for how much is left. Sometimes it’s hard to tell, but I’m sure there’s a scientific relationship in there somewhere.

I almost never drink. It’s not really a conscious decision – I just don’t do it very often. Still, when my doctor asks how much I drink, I have to ask how many previous years we’re including in that average. This year? Zero. I may have two or three drinks in a month, sometimes not even that. But in the 70s I made Dean Martin look sober. And let’s not talk about Tommy Chong.

I’ve said this before, but habits are easy to form and hard to break. I don’t think I’ll get much argument there. But the ease of developing a habit is inversely proportional to how good that habit is for you. Crack cocaine, I’m told, is so addictive it can become a habit after just one use. But try going on a healthy diet and see how long that one takes.

And the reverse is true of trying to break a habit. The more destructive it is, the longer it takes. You can fall off that healthy diet in the Taco Bell drive-thru, but it can take several weeks of in-patient rehabilitation to beat a drug habit. I don’t know why that is – it just is. Except running. I broke that habit in six minutes flat. Maybe it’s not so good for you after all.

The thing is, most of what we do every day is a matter of habit. We get up at roughly the same time and follow a familiar routine. We brush our teeth in pretty much the same motion every time. We get dressed in pretty much the same order every day. We usually put the same shoe on first, and I always put my socks on before my shoes. Tell me that’s not a habit.

And if you think we’re creatures of habit, pay attention to your pets. They have a routine that will NOT be disrupted. My dog, at 8:00 every night, gets a treat. Okay, he’s spoiled, and I may have had a hand in that. I did it two nights in a row, and he caught on fast. And he knows when it’s 8:00. Now, if I could just get him to understand the difference between standard time and daylight savings.

Even on the job, where assignments change and the boss is always coming up with new challenges, we have habits. Ever notice that when the boss is about to throw your routine out of whack, it’s never a challenge – it’s an “opportunity.” All that means is you get to fit something else into your day, and he gets to look good to his boss. That’s just how it works.

On the job, the right habits make us worth our weight in gold. And most of us have those habits when somebody is paying us to do it. But what about those things you pay yourself to do? You know, the ones where nobody but you really cares if they get done, and the reward is a little less certain than a weekly paycheck? “I’ll work on that tomorrow – it’s poker night.”

And here’s the thing. Only you can decide if poker night is more important than your other goals. Maybe it is, and that’s okay. But if you want something more out of life, maybe down the road a few years, some of those habits will have to change. And the sooner you start building those new habits, the sooner you’ll achieve those new goals.

As a teen, I always said “I’ll party until the day I die!” Well, somewhere along the way my priorities changed. I still enjoy a raucous night with family & friends, and I occasionally have that second drink just because. But it’s no longer a habit. And that’s simply because there are other things I want more.

Part of dreaming is thinking of ways to make those dreams come true. To have something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done. There’s no getting around that. Form the habits that will let you do those things you’ve never done, and do them consistently, and you’ll be that much closer to your dreams.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Now More Than Ever, Keep Those Dreams Alive!

Good morning, and happy Hump Day! I hope your day is off to a nice start.

I keep reading all these posts on Facebook, asking people what’s the first thing you’re going to do when this is all over. Go shopping? Been there. Take a long walk? Done that. Find the biggest cheeseburger on the planet and eat the whole thing in one bite? Got the tee shirt, and now it doesn’t fit. Guess I should’ve waited until after I ate that big meal.

Those posts are an insight into who we are and where we place our values. After six weeks of being cooped up in the house with the rest of the family, the first thing we can think of is getting out and doing something with the family. So, on the one hand, it’s good that family takes such a high priority. But what have we been doing all this time? Playing hide and seek?

Well, if you work from home, the answer is pretty simple. That’s exactly what you’ve been doing. Just about every day in meetings, we hear dogs barking in the background and see cats climbing on a co-worker’s computer. But rarely do we hear any kids. I’m not judging. I just want to know how that works. There’s a reason I hide in the basement all day.

First of all, the kids aren’t allowed down here. So, in a game of hide and seek, I win. Besides, it’s the only place in this house big enough to hide me. The only way I can hide behind a door is to close it, and there’s not a closet in this house that big. Well, I do have one walk-in closet. It’s in the basement. So here we are, right back to square one. Dave lives in the dungeon.

But still, I dream of a time when I can come out of the bat cave and live among the surface dwellers. I’ve had visions of a laptop sitting on the dining table with real sunlight instead of a desk lamp. Okay, and the view through the window is a lot more appealing than what’s out my back door. Think mountains, beaches, rolling meadows. And any time I get bored, we move.

Can you imagine what it’s like to finally fulfill a lifelong dream and then you can’t enjoy it? Okay, maybe not “lifelong” but it’s been a lot of years. March 13, we bought our first motorhome. March 16, the country shut down and everybody was told to stay home. We got one weekend outing before the campgrounds closed. But it sure looks pretty sitting there in storage.

So, for me, the answer is obvious. As soon as this is over, we’re going camping. As of last week, we’ve paid more money to store the RV than in campground fees. And never mind the monthly payment. My goal is simple. I want to reverse those numbers. I want to get one of those cheesy US maps and start putting stickers all over it. I have the mortgage. Now I want the adventure.

In a meeting with some business associates a few nights ago, we were talking about dreams in terms of the things we want. A bigger house, a nicer car, bills paid off, money in the bank. You know, the typical stuff. And it’s important to have those dreams because, why else are we working so hard? You have to have a reason – a “why.” Otherwise, it’s easier to just sleep.

But it’s important to make the distinction between what we want, and why we want it. In all honesty, an RV isn’t exactly luxurious living. It’s small, it’s expensive to run, it takes a lot of upkeep, and everybody knows if you break wind. So, why an RV? Because of the things it’ll allow us to do. You see, the RV isn’t the dream – it’s the means of achieving that dream.

Hopefully you’ve taken a little time over the past couple of months to focus on your own dreams. I know that’s hard to do when life has been turned completely upside-down, but it’s important. When we lose sight of our dreams, we lose our sense of purpose. And without a sense of purpose, it’s hard to focus on anything. After a while, nothing seems to matter.

Keep those dreams in focus. Take a moment to write them down. What will you do when this is all over? Not just that first night out with the family, but beyond that? Where do you want to be in a year? How do you want your life to change? And most importantly, why? The answers to those questions will bring you back to life just when you need it the most.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Stop Waiting For the Right Moment

Good morning, and happy Friday! I hope your day is off to a great start!

I was thinking the other day of a tee shirt slogan from back in the 70s … “When this crisis is over, I’m gonna have a nervous breakdown!” Social media is loaded with memes about what we’ll all do when this ends. One was particularly funny. It said, “We’ll all come out of this one of three ways – hunk, chunk, or drunk.” That pretty well sums it up.

I don’t drink much these days, but I do have a workout bench literally two feet behind me all day. So, I guess it goes without saying that I won’t come out hunk or drunk. That weight bench is loaded with papers, old mail, and printer supplies. You know, like the treadmill that used to be there. Around here, a treadmill is just a really expensive clothes hanger.

Oh, I had good intentions. I always do. But if you take your intentions into Starbucks with $3.95, they’ll give you a free cup of coffee. I took mine to the dinner table instead. And now I’m paying for it. But I don’t want to talk about weight again. Seems we just did that a couple of days ago.

I always had a set of criteria that would magically drive me into action. “That’s it! If my weight goes up another five pounds, I’m going on a diet!” “If it ever warms up, I’m cleaning the garage!” “If it ever cools off, I’m cleaning the garage!” “If that grass gets a foot taller …” Well, you get the idea. We always seem to let fate decide whether we do the things we need to do.

My post from last year popped up on my feed yesterday, and it was on this very topic. When there’s something we need to do that’ll bring us closer to our goals, we always seem to wait for the perfect moment to get started. It doesn’t really matter if those goals are grand or mundane, getting started is left to some twist of fate over which we have little or no control.

And that twist of fate doesn’t always have to be something good. It’s like sitting on the porch as the river is overflowing into your yard. You’ve got sandbags and a shovel, but you’re waiting for things to get bad enough before you put them to use. “If that water gets a foot higher, we’re shoring up!” No, if that water gets a foot higher, you’re swimming.

A friend confided to me once that he needed more money. The roof was leaking, the car needed repairs, and the bills were falling behind. I suggested he start a side business to supplement his income and he said, “Yeah, I guess if things get bad enough, I may have to consider that.” Excuse me? How bad do they have to get? Would foreclosure do the trick?

It’s easy to make plans when we really don’t intend to do anything about them. And it’s even easier when you put those plans at the mercy of something you can’t control. And then the water rises another foot. “Well, it’s kinda late for sandbags now.”

And the problem is, we do this whether it’s something we really need to do, or just something we’d like to do. “Oh, that’s just a dream. I’ve lived without it this long.” Well, how important was the dream? Was it something you just thought about once or twice? Because that’s not really a dream. It’s a brain fart.

Not taking action on our dreams is no different than not taking action on our needs. The consequences are a little different, but in the end we’re left to wonder what might have been. And friends, that’s one of the worst feelings in the world – knowing you could have at least tried to change the situation, but never did. And for what? Because things never got bad enough?

I’ve heard people say if they lose their job, they’ll change careers. I’ve heard them say if the car breaks down one more time, they’ll fix it. I’ve even heard sick people say if they get any sicker, they’ll do something about their health. Seriously? How bad do things need to get in order for us to do what we should have done in the first place? “Well, it’s kinda late for vitamins now.”

We all know the things we need to be doing. But if we wait for the perfect set of circumstances, we’ll never do it. Instead of waiting for things to get better or worse, forget the circumstances and just do it. Life on the other end may be completely different than anything you’d imagined. You may never get back to where you were. And isn’t that pretty much the idea?

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

What’s Your Enjoyment Factor?

Good morning! I hope your day is off to a nice start.

One of these days, just to see who’s paying attention, I’m going to start my post with something a little less upbeat. Not really. I like wishing you all a good day. Besides, that would be just one more thing I’d have to dream up before I finish my first cup of coffee. I’m not that good.

One day, about a year ago, my grandson called and said, “Hi ‘good morning’ man!” I was touched. Not that he read my posts, but that he actually reads. Oh, he went through a phase with the Wimpy Kid series, but aside from that, getting him to read was like getting him to clean his room. I tried reading Huckleberry Finn with him. He just never got into it.

He was always more into sports. And he was always better at that than I was. Especially basketball. I didn’t mind the shooting hoops part of it, but you had to do a lot of running first. And then again. And again, and again, and again. That was just never my thing. I guess that’s why I liked baseball. The only time you had to run is if you actually hit the ball. I didn’t.

To me, there was always a fascination with drifting down the river on a wooden raft. I had two uncles and a cousin who were tugboat captains. They spent their days gazing across a couple-dozen barges as they inched up the Mississippi River. And all they had to do was bump the rudder, blow the horn, and crank up the throttles. That’s my kind of job.

I was always more into adventure. I spent seven years in the Boy Scouts and loved every minute of it. Waking up in the morning to the smell of bacon, paddling a canoe down the creek to the sounds of nature, going to sleep with a pair of red eyes ten feet offshore … okay, some parts were a little more adventure-filled than others. But those were the best days of my life.

I guess that’s why I miss my time in the Navy. Not all of it. For the first four years, my job was Aviation Buffer’s Mate. I spent my days cleaning toilets and swabbing decks. But after I put on a couple of stripes, that part faded. And I have to be honest – I loved being at sea. I didn’t like the family separation and the food pretty well sucked. But I loved being underway.

My brother was a submariner. We had names for those guys, but I can’t really share them here. That’s okay, they had names for us as well. I remember a bubblehead telling me once that the Navy only had two kinds of ships – submarines, and targets. I guess he had a point. But I just couldn’t go underwater in a tin can with a bunch of other men and stay there for three months.

We all have our passions. And there are things we all do a little better than others. Hopefully, we spend our days doing something that fits into both of those categories. I love my job. There are times when I’d rather not face it, but overall, I love what I do.

A job should be more than just a paycheck. Granted, it would be hard to feel a burst of creative energy as you raise a dumpster over your head and empty it into the compactor behind you, but there should at least be some form of enjoyment in what we do. After all, you’ll be doing it a long time. And if you’re lucky, you get to quit when you’re too old to enjoy much of anything.

Work is a necessary part of life. Hopefully you enjoy what you do, but for far too many people that’s not the way it is. Still, unless your uniform has an inmate number, you probably have at least a few options. Those options may involve going back to school, learning new skills, or even moving to a new location. Only you can decide if the changes are worth the cost.

Beyond that, we can all try a little harder to balance our time with something we really do enjoy. Gardening doesn’t pay much for most people, but it sure does a lot to ease stress. I write. I don’t get paid to do it, but it’s something I enjoy. What’s your passion?

Work/life balance is all about averaging the enjoyable with the not-so-enjoyable. Find something you can enjoy, even if it’s just for an hour a day. That hour can make all the difference in the world for your sanity. Then carve out one more hour – an hour for you and your dreams. Work toward something you really want. You might just amaze yourself.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Got Some Time On Your Hands?

Good morning, and happy Hump Day! I hope your day is off to a great start.


I’ve seen all kinds of things posted on social media about how people are handling this social distancing thing. Most involve an accounting of the number of trips to the refrigerator, a relative lack of daily grooming, and how much fun it is having the kids around all day. In other words, we’re getting fat, lazy, and fed up with family. Sounds like a typical weekend to me.

I think a lot of people are still in shock. When you’re used to going to work every day, it’s hard to sit around the house. Oh, for a week or two it’s great. But that’s about how long most vacations last and after that, our brain says it’s time to go back. Okay, just that part of the brain that doesn’t know any better. It’s the same part that tells you to eat broccoli.

But, if I’m to believe most of what I’ve read, people are pretty much wasting away indoors instead of taking advantage of the opportunity to get some things done. Just what is this tiger king? Has it been that long since the last Lion King movie? Disney is falling asleep at the wheel, so somebody else stepped in to help? I feel like I’m missing something important. (Not really)


I guess it’s good that we can find a little time to catch up on social media and some of the less tragic things happening around the world. If reality is what you want, it’s right there on TV with 24-hour coverage. And just in case you’re too dense to understand traditional reporting, there are dozens of pundits to explain what their bosses want you to think it means.

So, it’s understandable that at some point, we’d shut off the TV and retreat into something a little more enjoyable. There have even been suggestions that, come December, we’ll be welcoming a lot of new babies into the world. Where can I sign up for that activity plan? Not the actual babies, but … you know … the fun part. Again, I seem to have missed out on that one.


When I was in the Navy, it was a common practice that, when a carrier group returned from an extended deployment, nobody working in the hospital was allowed to go on leave nine months later. Ten-thousand sailors home for the first time in several months? You do the math. At that point, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got maternity experience. “Podiatry? Close enough!”

Okay, so when we’re not reading social media, making babies, or watching shows about tigers, what else are we doing with our time? Hopefully some of us are out working in the yard. I’ve seen a few that could use some help. Okay, mine. I didn’t spray for weeds at the first thaw, and apparently they saw that as a sign of encouragement. Okay, welcoming is a better word.


I have seen a lot more people spending time with their kids. Okay, online. Not too many are out and about. I took a walk yesterday and, other than the neighbors’ dogs, I didn’t get to say hi to anyone. I greeted each of them by name. How sad is it that I know all the dogs, but I don’t know any of the kids? On the other hand, dogs don’t throw toilet paper all over the yard. I’m just saying.


I’ve already mentioned the fact that we could all be using this time to build something on the side that can supplement, or even replace, our income. The problem with that is we don’t do these things out of necessity. And even if we do, it’s just to get us over the hump. Unless there’s an overriding dream that motivates us to keep going, we only do what has to be done.


A lot of things have changed over the past several weeks, but hopefully your dreams are still intact. The timing may have changed, and you may be looking for other ways to make things happen. But without dreams, we’re just trudging through life, hoping for something good to happen. Dreams help us focus that energy into making the right things happen.

So, take some of that extra time to rejuvenate your dreams. Odds are, they’ve been pushed aside in favor of things that consume our days without making us feel like we’ve accomplished much of anything. Like cutting the grass. You do it now, and a week later it’s like you were never there. Unless your dream is to cut grass, in which case we need to talk. Seriously.

If you had dreams before this began, hopefully they haven’t changed. Except now you have more time to think about them and try to put things in motion to achieve them. Figure out what’s standing in the way and do something about it. Then, you won’t have to worry about how to spend your time. You’ll know.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

We All Work, But Are You Working Toward Something You Want?

Good morning! I hope your day is off to a nice start.

I’m still trying to figure out this morning routine. You know, the one that starts with getting out of bed and ends with going to work. Those two parts aren’t all that hard to figure out. It’s everything in between that’s all jumbled up. When I was working before, I had a solid routine every day. I need to get back to that routine. I do better when I don’t have a chance to think.

That said, I’m thrilled to be working again. People say if you find a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. Okay, people lie. It’s still work, some days more than others. But it’s work I enjoy. I like being in the thick of things, making something work that wasn’t working when I got there. Sometimes I break stuff just so I can fix it. Oops! Did I say that out loud?

I remember when I took my ASVAB test to enter the Navy. That’s a vocational aptitude test that tells the recruiter what kind of job you’d be good at. Funny thing is, more than forty years later, I’m writing that test. I write questions for different sections of the test and, all told, I’ve written close to 1000. So, if you’ve ever wondered who writes this stuff? The answer would be me.

When I took the test, I wanted to be a photographer or a member of a flight crew. Imagine my surprise when the recruiter said electronics or nuclear power. Excuse me??? Electronics guys are nerds, and nuclear techs glow in the dark! No thank you. Is there anything in there about being a rock star? I can do that!

Well, I went with electronics technician, but only after the recruiter promised I wouldn’t have to wear a pocket protector. I made him put it in writing. Until that day, I’d never had even a remote interest in electronics. But you know, that test did exactly what it was designed to do. It let them take an unsuspecting soul and put him in a job with the greatest amount of openings.

Okay, I’m kidding. The test is designed to measure aptitude, not interest. And, as it turns out, I had an aptitude for electronics. Maybe not so much electronics, but a keen interest in how things are supposed to work, and a fascination with figuring out why they didn’t. And most of the stuff I worked on was broken. Pilots are good at that. I fix it, they break it. Again, and again, and again.

Somewhere along the line, I found my ability to write. I didn’t mean to. Our company had asked us to submit a list of three things they could do better, and I was more than happy to help. A week later, one of the VPs came to me with my submission in hand. Yes, my heart skipped a beat. “This is it,” I thought, as I did a mental inventory of all the personal stuff I’d have to pack.

But he wasn’t there to complain. Okay, he wasn’t there to agree, either. Turns out, none of my suggestions were taken to heart. But I’ll never forget what he said. “I didn’t know we had anybody in the company that could write like this.” A month later I traded in my meter probes for a keyboard and began my career as a technical writer. Funny how things work out.

A few years later, I was asked to write some functional requirements for a software change. Basically, what does it need to do in order to get the job done? People actually write these things. Still, if you’ve ever used any kind of software, you know developers have a mind of their own, and the finished product doesn’t always match the requirements. And on we go.

But in my case, it was the perfect blend of skills. A technical mind, an ability to write, and an inner drive to figure out problems and make things work better. If you want to see me on a bad day, ask me to write a report. I was born to fix stuff, and when I’m in the middle of that, there is no such thing as a long day.

Sometimes, we find our true calling in the last place we’d think to look. We get so focused on the how that we forget the why. And when we do, we find ourselves working really hard toward something we never wanted. “It’s a living,” we say. Yep. So is doing the things that you were born to do. The question is, which would you rather be doing?

Focus on the dream, and the “how” will present itself. It may not be what you’d thought, and it may be the last thing you’d imagined yourself doing. But if what you’re doing hasn’t opened up your dreams, it probably never will. Be open to change. There are a lot of paths to reach your goals. Find one you can enjoy, and the trip will be that much nicer.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved