Things I’ve Learned

  1. Some random things I’ve learned at the ripe old age of 42.
  2. Rent the smallest car they offer, then when you arrive, ask what they’ve got.  Sometimes they’ll upgrade you.  Sometimes not.
  3. Unless you normally drive a crappy car, that is.  Then, shoot the works.  Rent a convertible, rent a Cadillac.  Go nuts.
  4. Every rental car drives basically like every other rental car drives like pretty much every car on the road today.  If your car has four doors and an automatic and front wheel drive…your rental will drive pretty much the same.
  5. Learn how to fix your own car.  Oil changes, spark plugs, tire changes…belt changes, hose changes, radio wiring, brake jobs.  You’ll not just know how to fix your car, but learn how it works, and when you’re older you’ll know when a repair shop is trying to screw you.
  6. Learn how to cook, even if you’re a dude.  Because eating is awesome.  Also because cooking dinner for a possible girlfriend should involve more than chicken and mushroom soup over noodles.  And crepes in the morning will go a darn sight farther than Rice Krispies in the morning for her, too.
  7. Always notice sunrises and sunsets.  They’re free, they’re beautiful, and the only person in the world who can take them away from you…is you.  When you stop noticing nature’s twice-daily fireworks show…you’ve stopped noticing the world’s beauty.
  8. It is far easier to get forgiveness than permission.  That’s not my creation…but it’s darn good advice.
  9. Consider the source.  When someone says something that pisses you off…stop and consider who’s saying it before you throw down.  If someone criticizes something you’re proud of…stop and remember if they criticize everything before taking it to heart.  Always consider whether someone is a credible source before acting on what they say.
  10. The internet is full of trolls.  Stupid ones.  Stupid ones who live to bait people into frothing at the mouth and keyboard.  Arguments on forums over trivial details have no winners.  You will not convince someone that they’re wrong, no matter how wrong they are.  So laugh at them, call them stupid and then move on.  You’re not a wuss for just blocking them, either.
  11. You will never convince a conservative to be a liberal, nor a democrat to be a republican, nor an atheist to be a Christian.  When you talk with someone whose values are opposite to yours, just talk about neutral subjects.  Trying to convert people will just frustrate you and them.
  12. When dealing with someone who Just. Doesn’t. Get. It…just smile and nod.  When you really don’t hear someone, even after they’ve repeated themself…just smile and nod.  When told by your incompetent boss to do something you know won’t work…just smile and nod, then do what you know DOES work.  Just smiling and nodding, then doing what you know is right, will get you fairly far in life.
  13. Never e-mail anything that you don’t want the world to read.  It is so freaking easy to forward and resend an e-mail, that it can and will make it to everyone you don’t want it to.
  14. Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or Foursquare or any social media site) is NOT a friendly place.
  15. If you’re not paying for some service, you’re not the customer…you’re the product.  This is especially true with things like Facebook.   Everything you do, read, click on or like is collected, packaged and sold.  Be careful what you put there…it WILL be shared with the world and make someone else rich.
  16. Blogs are a great way to get something off your chest, but don’t assume anyone reads them or heeds anything you say…

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