Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Cable TV

I sit here and laugh about CABLE.  When I was a kid in the Osage cable was something we used to build fence or hang a water gap.  I am sure you have seen cable fencing so I will not explain but you probably don't know what a I mean by a water gap.  We lived on Beaver Creek and where water or the creek ran from our land to Aunt Helen Conner's place or the McConaghy's or from the Harris family or the Kelly's place we had to build something across the creek that could withstand flooding and ultimately keep the cattle and other livestock on our place.  Well I remember hanging cable from one giant oak tree on one side of the creek to another oak on the other side.  We used the tractor and pickup both to pull the cable tight.  I bet that cable weighed 1000 pounds or more so there was not an option.  Then we hung old farm implements in the middle to block the crossing.  The way it worked was that trees that died up the creek would wash into the water gap we built and create a barrier to the animals from getting out of the pasture.  Hopefully that was a clear picture of a water-gap.

Alright, back to CABLE as you know it.  Basically there was NO cable TV or Internet but only a hard wire for telephone and it hung overhead attached to the same poles as the electric line.  We had a TV antenna we called rabbit ears to connect the non-HD TV stations (we had 2 channels)  we had available in Grainola.  Now those Shidler and city kids from Grainola got at least 3 stations with their rabbit ears.  Another cool thing was the TV itself.  It was about 100 pounds and at least 3 feet deep and the face was about 20 inches before it got to be 29.  Also the back was filled with tubes not chips and either Uncle Bill Lane or Uncle Bill Heath or Joe Rash (Shidler TV and Appliance) had to come out and replace a tube on occasion.  The one thing I can say is it was always fun because they would typically come in the evening and it was fun to visit with them and watch the repairs and testing of those tubes.

Somewhere or sometime after I started college we got something really fancy called coax cable.  It was one copper wire inside some kind of shielding material and wrapped in black plastic.  You might still have some today at your house typically installed by Cox or AT&T.  Now we have a satellite called dish which brings it into the house using some of the coax cable but that is now old technology and we are getting our TV channels on an antenna for local stations, about 38 stations and it is HD.  We are in the process of getting rid of the satellite on the roof as we have a ROKU and Apple TV and all kinds of options beyond that.  We were actually paying over $150 per month to watch about 1 hour of TV a week and that was for spring storms/weather.  Come to think of it when I was in college I was paying $60 a month for Shouna and my first apartment rent.  I think that included utilities.


So, we went from paying nothing to almost $150 per month back to nothing.  We do pay $8.50 per month for Netflix and of course Amazon Prime which is $100 per year but includes tens of thousands of movies and other shows and FREE shipping for anything ordered on Amazon which is typically delivered in less than 2 days from anywhere in America.  WOW!!!!!!!  I love these wacky names but here is another which I have not done.  I am looking at SLING so I can get all of ESPN and FOX News for $20 per month.  I have not decided, yet.

I should also mention I still have a home phone number which 38% of Americans have discontinued.  I pay less than $4 per month and get it over the Internet using OOMA which includes all the cool features.

OK, that gets me to the real point of all of this.  Why if technology makes things better and cheaper am I paying $185 per month for two cell phones plus the new IPHONE is going to be $1000 or the Samsung which is about $750?  I think something is screwy when a commodity and a necessity like this is so pricey and it keeps going up.  I think we have a legalized monopoly and I thought that was against the law.  And why does the government GIVE 38,000,000 free phones to folks? At tax payers expense!  In case you did not know it the government does not pay for anything with its money but with yours if you pay your fair share or unfair share of taxes!

CABLE has come and gone just like the land line for telephone and 8 tracks and cassettes and desk top computers and floppy drives (who thought up that name?) and the list goes on and on.

So what do you learn in the Osage?
  • Life is full of change and we have to adapt
  • Spending can get out of control so you have to stay on top of it
  • Embrace the future and get over the past and enjoy life 
Love ya'll,
gary@thepioneerman.com

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Everybody has dreams, but HOPE?

A famous person once said, "dreams are not goals but when you turn dreams into goals you create HOPE".

 I have always been a dreamer or at least a visionary as my wife would say.  Actually I do not know what I would call myself but I do agree that I think of a lot of possibilities.  Perhaps I am a possibility thinker?  I like that.  One of my pet-peeves is talking about things and not doing anything about it.  Let me give you a few examples:

I don't dance and everyone from Grainola, Shidler and college can verify this is true especially my wife.  However, several years back I got tired of folks always (including Shouna) saying we should go ballroom dancing.  I guess the Dancing with the Stars is what started this but it seems like the comments started long before the show.  Anyway, I decided to start a ballroom dance club.  Boy was that stupid.  Well it went pretty well except that shortly after we started I had a motorcycle wreck and spent almost the entire year on crutches.  Shouna danced with Richard who was nearly a professional for that time.  I just set up each week and played the music.  It really was fun and we peaked out at around 65 folks.  Summers were devastating and after about a year or two we stopped plus the building got sold.

For years I talked about the stories my dad told plus the experiences I had in growing up in the Osage and of course the famous One Arm Bandit, pre-one arm, stories that I had collected in my desk.  Actually I wrote several stories about folks I grew up with and put in that folder including Julian Codding who was and is the smartest guy you will meet.  Well, it took the passing of Don Kelsey to get me started but that is when I started blogging.  The truth is I did not start this for you but for my children and grandchildren of which I have one so far.  She is Perfect!  I also started filming my parents telling stories and history about their past.  All of this is to tell you that a friend, Chris Johnson, and I have developed an APP for YOU to write your stories to pass to your children.  It should go live in two weeks 06-09-2017 assuming everything gets finished.  It is free.  Now I should assume you don't know what an APP is.  First it is NOT an appaloosa horse (spotted rear-end).  It is not a test like an aptitude test.  It is an application which you can load on these dad-gum cell phones.  So it is another one of those things I got tired of talking about and decided to do something.  I hope you get fed up with not doing something you know you need to do.  Anyway, search the APP-store for MyLifeLegacy in a couple of weeks or sign up on Facebook by looking up MyLifeLegacy or go to the web page www.mylifelegacycoach.com .  Boy that was a mouthful.

Oh ya, that quote at the beginning was mine.  I just thought it funny to say it was someone famous.

So what do you learn in the Osage?
  • If you put off doing something it will never get done.
  • As my dad use to say, "let's do something, even if it is wrong"
  • If you try, try, and try again you will win.
  • Never, Never give up!
Thanks for listening,
gary@thepioneerman.com



Thursday, May 4, 2017

Take a look at yourself

Well, we all have to take a look at ourselves sometimes and what we see can be good and it can be bad but how we react is the most important.  For myself I think one of my biggest struggles in life is pride.  I am very proud of growing up in the Osage and Grainola and going to Shidler High School and graduating from SWOSU and working for EDS and then there is my family and my career and the jobs I have had and the companies I started or help start.  But and I do mean but or however, it is fun telling all the good side of what I have accomplished but (there goes that word again) it seems that about the time things are going really great and folks (including self) start putting you (me) on a pedestal I get WHACKED.  Now let me explain WHACKED.  That is also called humbled and I think it comes about more as we get older and realize that God has something to teach us(me).  Now if you are like me, I get tired of the lessons and just want to get some clarity on what God is doing my life.

So lets set this up in an example so you can see what I learned.

In fact let's do it with a little time line of life:

For whatever reason I always wanted to be great at something and early in life it was baseball and I was probably about 10 or 11.  I felt like I was one of the best on our Grainola team which was coached by Jim Olsen, Jack Heath and my dad (Cliff Olson) and I think Cack Harrington but not sure.  What I thought was really great was somewhat of a disaster.  We had to play those Shidler teams where Steve Chrisco threw blazing fast balls which I literally never hit and AJ and about everyone on their team got a hit every time they got up to bat.  All that means we lost every game with maybe one win per year.  Humility is my summary.

In high school and college I wanted to be the smartest in my classes since as it turned out I was not particularly athletic even though I got to play every sport and literally almost every minute and every inning of each sport.  But then I spent my time and effort comparing myself to everyone else rather than just trying to be the best me.  Again I was humbled by the brilliance of those in my classes to find myself still wondering what was I going to be great at.  Humbled again by brilliant folks or at least I hoped they were brilliant because that would at least say I was average.

I was always in awe of those who were so spiritually mature and especially those who could articulate the Bible.  I was challenged to figure out why I was a Methodist and why I thought I was a Christian.  The reality was I knew lots of stories and lived a good moral life but I really did not know why I believed what I believed about Christ and the Bible.  I spent a year studying and I would admit I was pretty poor at those studies but I did get the basics.  Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose on the third day and there were plenty of witnesses and lots of documentation of the life of Christ outside of the Bible (read: Evidence that demands a verdict and Archeology of the Bible).  I finally realized that I knew Christ but I had never trusted Him so I did the thing I thought Becky Sharp (another story)  was so ridiculous about and I trusted Jesus without reservation.  I again was humbled to know that I was just a sinner and no better than anyone else.  I just had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and that was the difference maker.  Humbled again.

Then there comes about 42 years of business and I have had some winners and some losers but overall I came out OK.  Recently one of my most prideful endeavors was making me so proud only to find that someone, somehow and someway screwed up and now I feel like a prideful idiot.  I just scratch my head and wonder how in the world can something doing so well get so messed up?  Well, I am here to tell you it is a function of PRIDE.  I think when we get to the point we are thinking, "look at what we have accomplished" and don't give credit to the blessings of God and how other folks contributed to the success we have missed the mark.  Now I am not saying that folks cannot be highly successful but I am saying that we all have to recognize that it is not because of our personal brilliance or vision or hard work but that it takes a lot of talents from a lot of folks to make something successful.  YEP, I am humbled again and boy am I tired Lord of learning these lessons.  So Lord if you don't mind just give me the answers and not make me go through any more humbling experiences.

So what do you learn in the Osage?
  • Pride is the wrecking ball of success
  • Humble ourselves and ask for God's direction
  • Don't compare yourself to others as you will always find someone better than you
  • Life is like a box of chocolates, you just don't know what you are gonna get
thanks for blessing me with your reading,
gary@thepioneerman.com












Fullamanure #4: Everyone needs to be in a multi-level marketing company at some time in their life

Just to back up a few years, Shouna and I moved to Chicago in 1976 as I was transferred by EDS to work on a facilities management contract...