Friday, August 08, 2008

Man Skills II

Q. I used to find "Mark's Musings" in my Inbox first thing every morning. Now it shows up at all manner of odd times during the day. What's up with that?

A. When I can, I write and schedule the post to be delivered around 2:00 a.m., give or take a few minutes, when Internet traffic is generally lighter. And it used to be that no matter how hard or how long my day was, I would still stay up - often into the wee hours of the morning - to make sure your post was there fresh and early every day. But lately I've decided to try and treat myself a little better, in hopes of living longer, and that means getting a little more sleep, and *that* means writing the post when I can find a hole in my schedule. I'll try to get it there for you as soon each day as I can, but there will be some days (like today), when it will come when I finish writing, whenever that may be. Thanks to everyone who wrote to ask about me!

Meanwhile, here's part two of a post that looks like it's written for men, but I have a hunch most women could take these tips to heart, as well.


Part the Second (of Three)

Understand quantum physics - Enough so that you could accept a quarter might, at some point, pass straight through the table when dropped. Read "The Quantum World: Quantum Physics for Everyone" by Kenneth W. Ford.

Feign interest - Good place to start? Quantum physics.

Make a bed.

Describe a glass of wine in one sentence without using the terms "nutty, fruity, oaky, finish, or kick" - I once stood in a wine store in West Hollywood where the owner described a pinot noir he favored as, "a night walk through a wet garden." I bought it. I don't know which was more right, the wine or the vision that he placed in my head.

Shuffle a deck of cards - I play cards with guys who can't shuffle, and they lose. Always.

Tell a joke - Here's one: Two guys are walking down a dark street when a mugger approaches them and, brandishing a gun, demands their money. They both grudgingly pull out their wallets and begin removing their cash. Just then, one guy turns to the other, hands him a bill, and says, "Here's that $20 I owe you." [Or any other joke you've read in Mark's Musings -- MR]

Speak to an eight-year old so they will hear you - Use his first name. Don't use baby talk. Don't crank up your energy to match his. Ask questions and wait for answers. Follow up. Concentrate on seeing the child as a person of his own.

Speak to a waiter so he will hear you - You don't own the restaurant, so don't act like it. You own the transaction. Don't speak into the menu. Make eye contact. Be confident. All restaurants have secrets - let it be known you expect to see some of them.

Speak to a dog so it will hear you - Go ahead, use baby talk.

Ask for help - Guys who refuse to ask for help are the most cursed men of all.

Say no.

Recite one poem from memory - Here's a good one by William Yeats:

When you are old and gray and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

[Abridged for length and family-friendliness by Mark Raymond from an article by Leif Parsons in Esquire magazine; Part the Last next Friday]


Again, sorry the post is so late today ... I've been putting in a ton of overtime at the office, and I have to be there early again Saturday morning, plus our band concert last night sucked up a lot of my time and energy. No excuses, just explanations. I'll try to do better.

And I'll see you on Monday.



WEB SITE of the WEEK: Check out NASA's "virtual tour" through 50 years of space flight history at But drag your mouse around because there are hidden "Easter eggs" of material in each decade.


Mark's Musings is a Habeas-certified spam free mailer. Subscribe, view past issues in the Archives, and help defray publishing costs at my web site. To contact Mark, click here. To keep retail store personnel from asking if you need help, pick up or put at least one thing in your hand or basket. You can forward or reprint "Mark's Musings" freely but please keep the credits attached. The credits should never be given a day off. Original material and commentary © 2008 by Mark Raymond. I update my blog with a copy of this post daily and extra thoughts, the occasional video, and other things that go bump in the night on the weekends. Look for the label that says "Weekend" and you can bring them all up with one click. My personal mission statement is John 3:30. Keep those questions coming, folks!


WORDS for YOUR WEEKEND: "An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it." (Jef Mallett)

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