The Diary of a Nobody – A Novel by Gaylon Kent

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life. 

Wednesday February 18
MY PIC WAS IN THE PAPER!!!…I am not making that up!!!

It’s me and the two players involved in the play we chatted about the yesterday: the train wreck where they collided while one player tried to shoot and I called traveling.

The pic shows me under the basket starting to raise my right hand, which signals I am about to call something…It also shows in that split second the defender appearing to try and tackle the player trying to shoot…Recall I called traveling on this play…Judging solely by the picture in the paper this would not seem to be the best call – assault and battery probably would’ve been more appropriate – but as I point out from time to time I am the only one who had to the call right now. 

There was a funny later in the game, too…After the third quarter Ryan, Shane and I are meeting at half court where Ryan decides to give me some good-natured crap about the call:

Did you really have traveling on that call???…I mean, paramedics were almost called… 

I chuckled…Ryan then got to the point:

If you hadn’t had traveling – he put traveling in air quotes, which was really funny – what in theeee hell would you have called???

I shook my head dismissively.

I don’t know…
We don’t either…

Recall Shane is a newer official, so I ignored Ryan and did some instructing, telling Shane honestly traveling was not a completely unreasonable call and I was spared having to make a call on a train wreck play and to file this lesson away for future reference.

Today’s entry in the Marriage Dictionary:

“Options” really means “A change of Sparrow’s plans”.

I called The Wife, who had the day off, in the morning from work and I mentioned dinner at the local diner tonight, adding it was a nice day and we could probably walk there…When I called her on my lunch break she said:

We have a lot of options for tonight…

I laughed as she detailed those options, all which tended to center around going to the next county so she could go to her fave fabric store for some stuff for her latest project, some pioneer-era dresses and bonnets…It turned out to be a great time, too, because we also went to the retailer for the cat’s fave yummies, which we can only get there and neither of us dismissed the idea of dinner at the Mexican joint there, which is the only decent Mexican joint in the tri-county area.

The downside to the Mexican joint is we always dine in, so everything is straight from the grill so it’s really hot…You want to let it sit for a spell so you don’t blister you’re entire mouth, but that goes against your instincts as a guy which are, of course, to wolf it down as soon as possible.

The Diary of a Nobody is a novel. All elements are either products of Gaylon’s imagination or are used fictitiously. 

The Diary of a Nobody began in October, 2013. Read past entries here

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The Diary of a Nobody – A Novel By Gaylon Kent

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life.

Tuesday February 16
This is the last week of the regular season…A couple of local schools are fighting for league titles, but my games this week don’t involve any of them, mainly because I have the state tournament to look forward to in a couple of weeks and we don’t need to give ‘ol Sparrow – or Ryan for that matter – all the big games.

So Ryan and I, and a new official named Shane, found ourselves just down the street from The Shire, where both teams have been safely out of the playoff race since right after the season opened…In the third quarter I had a call where I am still not entirely sure what happened…Officially, I called traveling before Player A and Player B went full contact on me while A attempted a shot.

This was one of those calls where you have to call something…The pileup was too big…This was also one of those deals where you weren’t entirely sure what you were going to call when you blew your whistle…There was a nice collision as Player A went up for her shot, but  who the hell knew if Player A charged into Player B or Player B blocked Player A???…I sure didn’t…Also, Player A’s drive to the basket wasn’t the most technically precise display of basketball skill in history and I decided to avoid the block/charge fiasco altogether and call Player A for traveling.

This decision making process took about half a second…The call was met with some disappointment because it was a close game and everybody wanted to yell about the call, but the traveling call took all the air out of them, which was a factor in the half-second decision making process don’t think it wasn’t.

A slow day at work…Finally…We had been swamped this past holiday weekend but today was slow…It was slow enough I was able to eavesdrop on a sales pitch that was going on in the clubhouse above the front desk.

As noted, I work at a timeshare and not only is it a resort it is a sales office, too, fully staffed with concierges who are there to get you in for a sales pitch and salespeople – more than one a beautiful young woman – there to close the deal.

Anyway, a salesman named Chad, who’s a guy and not all that hot, frankly, had an older couple upstairs, almost right above me, and he was trying to sell them some more vacation time…Chad spent three hours pretending to be interested in the gentleman’s boring stories about fishing and hunting in Alaska only to be told no…I couldn’t believe it…Three hours!!!

I don’t know Chad too well, but later, another salesman, my main man Dave wandered by the front desk, I asked him about it…Three hours seemed like an awful lot of time to invest, especially to be told no and especially after spending much of that time listening to boring stories.

Dave waved it away…He said that was normal.

– But why would a guy jerk around a commissioned salesman for three hours?

– Maybe Chad was working him, keeping him going???…The longer the prospect’s there the greater the chance of closing.

I hadn’t thought about that, frankly…Dave added his job was mostly being told no and that a salesman who closes 20 percent of the time is doing really good…I told him I have zero sales skills and probably could not sell clemency to a guy on death row, which I why I was supervising the front desk.

I also told Dave I don’t feel too sorry for him…The salesmen make pretty good dough and seldom work more than a few hours a day.

The Diary of a Nobody is a novel. All elements are either products of Gaylon’s imagination or are used fictitiously. 

The Diary of a Nobody began in October, 2013. Read past entries here

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Gaylon’s Thought for the Day – February 17, 2016

They couldn’t understand it and they could…They had their food and water right there, but what was that open space? – Charles Bukowski, Post Office


Charles Bukowski was an American writer, though he was born in Germany. I was introduced to his book Ham on Rye – one hell of a book – at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, where there was a copy of the Ham on Rye manuscript on display, in the same room as the Gutenberg Bible…I was so moved by the page of the manuscript that was on display I bought the book in the gift shop.

Post Office came out about ten years before Ham on Rye and though a novel, it is an autobiographical account chronicling Bukowski’s time working for the post office.

Today’s quote came from a time when Bukowski’s character is shacking up with his girlfriend. He is working graveyards at the post office and his girlfriend’s birds keep him up by chirping when he is trying to sleep. Eventually, Bukowski has enough…He can’t really kill the birds, but he does take their cage outside, opens the door and gives them opportunity to flee. The birds aren’t entirely sure what to do.

…but what was that open space? 

Us humans are faced with this on a daily basis. We have the comfort of our homes, but what’s that open space calling us? That open space is the 24 hours every day that all of us have, the only commodity all of us are issued in equal measure. It is also the talents and ambitions all of us are born with.

The open space can either be feared or embraced. Those that build good lives for themselves embrace the open space, putting their time and their talents to work for them. Those that end up unhappy generally fear the open space, squandering their lives by wasting their time and ignoring their talents.

It’s not easy fleeing the cage and flying into the open space. It takes courage, and no small measure of it, but our lives are happiest and this planet works best when we do. We must make our time on this planet serve us, instead of merely serving time.

 

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More On Empowerment

Every time I sit down to write something for you to read I keep coming back to empowerment. As a candidate for the Libertarian Party’s US Senate nomination, I should probably be chatting about the issues, but specific issues seem secondary right now, and a writer who isn’t writing from the heart isn’t writing, he’s typing.

So today you are reading even more on empowerment.

Our government is in our hands.

I say this every hour on the hour. It may not seem like that sometimes. Between incumbents and lobbyists and the media it sometimes seems our government is so far out of our hands we might never get it back. Nothing, however, is further from the truth. The government we want is there for the taking.

We can only blame the media, incumbents and lobbyists so much. When we sit down at our kitchen table to fill out our ballots or walk into a booth on Election Day, there isn’t the incumbent, or a vacuous baritone TV reporter or a lobbyist there to fill it out for is. We fill it out ourselves. Every election we get the government we elect.

Empowerment and the Libertarian Party must go hand in hand this election season. I was our US Senate nominee in 2014 and I talked empowerment a lot, especially towards the end of the campaign. It worked, too. We earned more than 52,000 votes, more than any third-party candidate ever in a Colorado US Senate election. Probably a bit more than half, and perhaps as many as two-thirds depending on how many Libertarians voted, came from non-Libertarians, a fairly high percentage.

Why? Non-Libertarians thought they could make difference with us. They liked our message and they liked the messenger and our goal for 2016 is clear:

We must make people believe they can make a difference and we must make them believe they can make that difference with us.

I believe, rather firmly, that we are not going to start winning elections until we start doing this. When people start believing they can make a difference and when they know they can make that difference with us, then we still start having success.

When people genuinely feel empowered, they’ll find us, because genuinely empowered voters, a voter who knows the government we want is always as close as the next election, will not vote for the status quo. An empowered voter knows a Republican or a Democrat is not going to change a thing. If they were they would have done so by now.

Friends, the voters we need to make a difference this year are out there. All we have to do is empower them.

Thank you for reading,

Gaylon

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Gaylon’s Thought for the Day – February 16, 2016

It is not possible to run a course aright when the goal itself has not been rightly placed. – Francis Bacon


Francis Bacon was a British philosopher and statesman who flourished at the end of the 1500’s and the first part of the 1600’s. A profound thinker, more than one sculpture of Bacon shows him reclining comfortably in a chair, a man after our own heart.

Long-term planning is key in any endeavor, especially a well-lived life. Anyone who accomplishes anything of substance generally did so after much planning because success seldom happens out of thin air. It must be planned for and worked towards and I’ll tell you what, if something is planned for long enough and worked for hard enough it might well happen. If it doesn’t, it is probably because there were forces outside your control that prevented it. That’s OK, it’s the way the world is built and setting a goal and working towards making that goal happen is oftentimes its own reward.

Generally, though, a good plan and some hard work equals success.

A rightly placed goal has two characteristics. One, it must be achievable. It must be something that is not only possible to do, it must be in line with your talents and goals. For example, me setting a goal of earning an Olympic sprinting medal is not particularly realistic. I do not have the talent of running fast, nor do I particularly care to. No matter how hard I try I will never win an Olympic sprinting medal because that goal is not consistent with what I was meant to do on this planet.

A goal of being a writer who always has something worth your time to read is, on the other hand, a realistic goal.

Two, the goal must be challenging. It must be something that is deserving of the planning and work it takes to make it happen. Something easily achieved is easily forgotten.

All of us, simply because we are human beings passing time on this planet, have an obligation to ourselves and everyone else to have a plan for our life and work to that plan. When we do that we can run a straight course to a well-lived life.

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The Diary of a Nobody – A Novel By Gaylon Kent

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life.

Monday February 15
I walk into the local market this afternoon and I’m greeted by Shelly who’s at one of the check stands…We say hi and I mention I have a list, noting The Wife wants to get a head start on tomorrow’s dinner…Shelly is somehow under the impression I do not like being dispatched to the store with a list, but I say it’s great, I’ve always enjoyed grocery shopping   that we’re actually out of mayonnaise, a circumstance virtually unheard of in Sparrow household.

We haven’t been in town forever, but Shelly knows I’m as useless as any other husband with a shopping list and from time to time when I’m in the vicinity of the check stand she’ll ask if I’m finding everything OK…I do, but when I’m done I have her check my list, just for funsies…She reviews it and then looks at my purchases.

You got the beans wrong.

She shows me the entry: 2 cans Cannellini beans which, it turns out, are white kidney beans…There is a notation that great northern beans would be OK, too, and that’s what I went with because Dad used to make great northern beans and pork from time to time and I was familiar with them. ..Shelly takes me to the canned bean section and I find the Cannellini beans in short order…Shelly said every other part of the order was filled properly gave me an A for effort.

Spent some more quality time with Earl at lunch today…And old TV show from the 70’s, Little House on the Prairie, was on and Earl and I were both enjoying it…I hadn’t seen it since I was a boy and it has aged really well…One of the commercials was for some Easter candy.

– Good gravy, Earl, when the hell’s Easter this year???

– I dunno…It can’t be anytime soon, Valentines was just this f*cking weekend…

I nodded agreement and wondered when we would start seeing the first Christmas commercials, noting they seem to start earlier and earlier every year…Earl appeared to be doing some figuring.

Heck, only 300 shopping days till Christmas.

I checked and it turns out Easter is still six weeks away.

The Diary of a Nobody is a novel. All elements are either products of Gaylon’s imagination or are used fictitiously. 

The Diary of a Nobody began in October, 2013. Read past entries here

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Gaylon’s Thought for the Day – February 15, 2016

In times like these, it helps to remember there have always been times like these. – Paul Harvey


Paul Harvey was an American radio announcer who had a long career in an industry not particularly known for them. He was born in Tulsa in 1918 and lived 90 useful years, though I am biased because, along with others, I listened to Harvey and his influence on a young boy who also wanted to be a radio announcer was not insignificant, though perhaps not as strong as others.

Anyway, Harvey had a knack for homespun wisdom and this isn’t the first time I’ve used this quote, having also hijacked it for the introduction to my book The Liberty Handbook.

Harvey squarely hits the nail with the hammer with this thought. Growing up it was, among other things, war, the economy and the Middle East.

Today it is, among other things, war, the economy and the Middle East.

I don’t think, however, that this shows the inevitability of our existence. I merely think history keeps repeating itself because us humans are too busy fussing over our day-to-day existences that, collectively, we never really bother to learn the lessons History is trying to teach us.

There have always been times like these…

Amid the unchanging landscape of our human experience we have the opportunity to heed history’s greatest lesson: that we have only one chance at this life and what we get out of it is, to a degree that might astonish some of us, dependent on the work we put it into it. We can make our time serve us, or we can serve time while we’re on this planet. We can utilize the talents and ambitions we were born with, or we can fritter away our precious existence. The choice is up to us.

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The Diary of a Nobody – A Novel By Gaylon Kent

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life. 

Sunday February 14
Our planned Valentine’s Day trip to the Mexican joint in the next county was snowed out…It started coming down in the morning and was never too bad, really, but it was steady and there was three inches or so on the car when I knocked off work for the day.

So we got some meatloaf at the deli at the supermarket in town and some mac and cheese and winged Valentine’s Day dinner…It might not have been the dive Mexican joint in the next county, but it was pretty good anyway.

Earl had a funny line at work…Earl is in his 70’s, a nice, quiet man with white hair and a dry sense of humor who all the girls at the resort absolutely adore…He drives one of our shuttle buses that takes guests to the ski area…We were in the break room together over lunch, as we sometimes are, and he told us how some guests from warmer climes were asking about driving in bad weather and how, almost on cue, he slid the bus pulling into the resort’s driveway, noting it slid almost 90 degrees.

The guests asked about the roads…I showed ’em.

We were watching some cop/lawyer show on tee vee, and one began right as Earl announced he was going to try and find some flowers for his wife…The announcer said viewer discretion was advised.

I’m leaving…It’s not suitable for young ones like me.

Work was a complete fiasco…This is a very busy weekend and we had loads of checkouts and loads of check-ins, with the first wanting their room showing up at8am!!!…

8am!!!…I am not making that up…Fortunately, they are not unreasonable enough to think their room will actually be ready, but a lot of guest operate under the illusion that if they show up at dawn their room will be ready by breakfast.

This is false…You’re room will not be ready any earlier…It will probably be ready by the standard check-in time of 4pm, which is really bad for guest’s morale because that means they might be waiting upwards of eight hours.

One guest was even under the impression standing in the lobby looking cross and staring at me would get the Housekeeping Department cracking and get his room done sooner.

The Diary of a Nobody is a novel. All elements are either products of Gaylon’s imagination or are used fictitiously. 

The Diary of a Nobody began in October, 2013. Read past entries here

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Gaylon’s Thought for the Day

All teachings are mere references. The true experience is living your own life. – Deng Ming Dao, 365 Tao


We can depend on formal education and religious training only so much. There comes a time when we must put what we’ve learned to the test. We do this by going out and living and trying things we haven’t done before. We do this by trying to exceed what we have already become and we owe this effort not only to ourselves, but our fellow humans.

Some don’t like to do this, either because they fear their efforts will result in failure or because they feel they are casting aside and dismissing what they were taught. Nothing is further from the truth.

The lessons our institutions – family, school, the church – teach us provide the groundwork for what we are to become. They do not hold us back, but rather propel us forward by providing the foundation for a thoughtful, well-lived life.

We must not be afraid to put these lessons to the test. When our experience shows us something different than what we were taught, we must not be afraid to accept this and apply it to our lives. It is the way us humans grow, how we advance individually and collectively.

We must not cling to the past too tightly. We must always be willing to learn the lessons life offers us

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Our Bickering Government

As if they haven’t shamed themselves enough already, our partisan, fractured and bickering government was at its very best Saturday. The ink on Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death certificate wasn’t even dry yet and already Republicans and Democrats were yapping at each other.

The yapping concerned whether or not President Obama should nominate a replacement. This will surprise you, but Republicans tended to think Obama should leave it to the next president, who might well be a Republican, while Democrats, and this is a shocker, too, said Obama should nominate a successor immediately if not sooner.

This was, as the Chinese like to say, unseemly. Show some respect, for Pete’s sake, and at least wait until rigor mortis sets in before you start bickering at each other and tormenting our country with your mindless arguing about whether or not the current president should appoint a successor in an election year.

For the record, if I’m president and in this position I am probably nominating a successor. Political considerations aside, if it is left to a new president to nominate someone the new justice would not be confirmed until late April, 2017 at the earliest, more than a year from now. That is a long time to have a vacancy on the Supreme Court. If it was after the election and there was an opening, then perhaps I would wait. Or maybe I wouldn’t. If it was the interregnum between election and inauguration I might just nominate someone just for funsies and let the Senate worry about it.

Friends, we get the government we elect. Every single time. We have a petty, bickering fractured government because this is what we keep electing. We deserve better than this most recent display of disrespectful, mindless partisan contention.

We’ve complained about our government enough. It’s time for us to do something. The time has come for us to stop throwing rocks at the castle from across the moat. The time has come for us – you and me, we the people – to cross the moat, enter the castle and join the battle.

Friends, the next election will not be decided by incumbents, or the media or lobbyists. It will be decided by us, and the government we want is there, waiting for us on Election Day. All we need is the courage to go get it.

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