Using Jedi mind trick to get up in the morning

When you are the parent of an 8-month-old sleep is the last thing you get to do. And getting up in the morning can be harder than ever before.Luckily I have a unique trick that helps me get up and start my day.


Sleeping. Photo by Vera Kratochvil

As I get into bed I actually tell myself, “I’m going to get up, get out of bed and be in a good mood.”

In a way I am preparing myself for the inevitable and undulating task of waking up, especially when I work evenings and only get five to six hours of sleep.

The next morning my wife wakes me so I can take care of baby Jaydon and she can head off to work. A little groggy, the words I said to myself come back to me and the next thing I know I am out of bed. Within a couple of minutes I am feeling good and awake.

I’ve actually used this trick hundreds of times in the past even before we had Jaydon.

Another trick that surprises me and my wife every time is setting a mental alarm clock. I tell myself I want to get up at certain time, for example 6:00 a.m. and sure enough I wake up within ten minutes of 6:00. It’s gotten to the point where I do not even have to set an alarm. Although if I have to get up for something very important I will set a conventional alarm.

Now this does not mean I can go indefinitely on five to six hours of sleep. I do drink coffee usually about a hour after getting up and take naps when Jaydon does.

I‘m not a follower of holistic or dharma beliefs but I have discovered that a little Jedi mind control helps me get up in the morning so I can start the day with my son.

Cold weather, no problem for outdoor cat


For most of the winter, Charleston has been unseasonably warm with daytime highs of 70° and nights at 58°. Our average winter temps should be 55° day, 35° night. Then overnight, just as the new year begins, the weather changes and the temperature drops. A lot! All of a sudden we experience temps dropping to 19° at night.

We have two small fruit trees, one orange and one lemon. Both are still in their post so we dragged them as well as a few other plants under the porch. Then rapped the pots with a big blanket.

The next morning we looked out the window and saw Salem, our black cat, curled up and sleeping in the pot of the orange tree and surrounded by the blanket.

Is your bill payment stuck in the mail?

Recently I mailed a bill using one of the curb side mailboxes. As I placed my bill into the slot I could feel another envelope. It was at an angle and stuck just inside the opening.


I reached in, loosened it and let the letter slide into the box. Then I dropped mine in making sure it too slid down the gullet of the mailbox.

This is not the first nor the second time I have come across letters stuck this way.

This past Christmas as I started to insert several Christmas cards into the mailbox I could feel three or four envelopes lodged in there. Several people had gone ahead of me in their vehicles and dropped off their mail. I’m not sure if the envelopes were there’s or not because there was still plenty of room for letters to pass over the stuck ones and slide into the mailbox.

This obviously happens all the time and it’s not hard to guess that some people could take the stuck envelopes out and keep them. Imagine someone getting your checks and personal information or even gift cards.

Note, taking someone else’s mail is a federal offense.

So the next time you drop a letter in a mailbox be sure it slides all the way down. Otherwise that bill payment or Christmas card may not make it to its destination.

That’s no moon, and it’s not a space station either

Star Wars

In the movie “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” Obi-Wan Kenobi is quoted as saying, “That’s no moon. It’s a space station.” He was correcting Luke Skywalker, who saw a small sphere in the distance in space and assumed it was a moon.

I refer to this moment in the movie to make a point. In real life some people are prone to make assumptions without really knowing what they are looking at. This can lead to misinformation especially when it comes to American history.

The item in question is the white object at the top left hand corner of the South Carolina state flag. People mistakenly refer to this as a crescent moon.

South Carolina State Flag

A Little History
In 1775 Colonel William Moultrie was asked by the Revolutionary Council of Safety to design a flag for the South Carolina troops to be use during the American Revolutionary War. Moultrie’s design had the blue of the militia’s uniforms and a crescent-shaped gorget from the emblem on their caps. The palmetto tree was added later in 1861 to honor Moultrie’s heroic defense of the palmetto log fort on Sullivan’s Island against the attack of the British fleet on June 28, 1776.

Personally I can see how people can get confused. A flag with a dark blue background, a white palmetto tree in the center and gorget that looks like it could be a crescent moon in the night sky.

Although it’s been a matter of controversy for some on whether or not the object is a gorget or moon, the Fort Moultrie National Monument in South Carolina insists the crescent is a gorget.

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Hats: Are trilby’s and fedora’s making a comeback?

Over the last few years Hollywood has been incorporating hats, most notably the trilby and the fedora into popular TV shows.

Both the trilby and fedora hats originated from plays. The Trilby came from the play based on George du Maurier’s 1894 novel “Trilby.” And the Fedora hat originated from an 1882 French play “Fedora.”

Jane Timoney (Maria Bello) of Prime Suspect - trilby

The trilby and fedora ended up replacing the bowler and the homburg as the men’s hat in the early 1900’s. But by the mid-1960’s people started to lose interest in the hats. They were seen as stuffy, a hat your grandfather would wear, by teens and twenty-year-olds who were trying to break away from early 20th Century traditions.

Neal Caffrey (Matthew Bomer) of White Collar - fedora

Today baseball style hats have been the most common for the last fifty years especially in the United States.

But old has a way of becoming new again.

People like to follow celebrities and their favorite TV and movie characters, where they eat, what they drive and what they are wearing.

Nathan Ford (Timothy Hutton) of Leverage - fedora

In recent years shows to include trilby and fedora hats into their characters wardrobe have been, Prime Suspect, White Collar, Leverage, Caprica and Homicide: Life on the Street.

If you search online for either of the two hats as worn by the characters you will discover blogs and Facebook pages of people asking where they can find these hats for themselves.

On Facebook the “Neal Caffrey’s Hat Appreciation Society” page allows people to post comments and ask where they can buy a fedora like the one Matthew Bomer’s character wears.

Joseph Adama (Esai Morales) and Samuel Adama (Sasha Roiz) of Caprica - trilby

Just recently I came across an 11-year-old wearing a Trilby. I asked him about the hat and he said he thought it look cool on him. He’s mother told me, her son has been wearing the hat nonstop for almost a year. As the boy rolled off on his inline skateboard joined by his mother I actually thought to myself, he looked like a young version of Neal Caffrey, from the TV show White Collar.

I’ve thought about wearing a hat a time or two, but ball caps never looked good on me. Maybe I should give a trilby or fedora a try.

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