Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Can You Recommend a Good Whine?

When I was a little kid I employed a lot of tactics to get my way. I failed most of the time, but was often given a hand print on my butt to remember the occasion by.

Whining was a tool I used when I was very young. I was very good at whining. So good that I would annoy the hell out of myself more often than the person I was performing for. I can still whine today, but haven't in a long time. After all, I'm a grown up now. Whining looks bad.

Tantrums are a good way for kids to try to get their way. Foot stomping, breath holding, head shaking tantrums, very loud tantrums are like a nuclear attack if planned right. I never did the tantrum thing right. I was usually knocked silly, so my memory of those events is not clear.

Another tactic was to use another kid to get what I wanted. This often worked. It was like having your little sister ask your dad the same question you just asked your mom and got refused. Another way to employ this one is have some new kid ask the question that you know if you brought up would get you in a lot of trouble.

"Mrs. Jones, can your son go to the carnival with my family tonight. I know it's a school night, but we'll be home by eight? Can he please?"

Add a dorky smile and it may just go over for you. A polite dorky new kid most always would score high on the "Get 'er Done" scale.

We all used the Tools of Deception & Manipulation as kids. Everyone of us, and if you deny using them, then you are from Saturn. When we are kids, it is expected. It is a way we experiment with the different ways to get our environment to conform to our needs. As we grow, we learn things like manners, patience, the art of debate, the value of expressing a good argument, and compromise.

Well, some of us learn.

We also learn not revisit the same issue more than once, unless we have totally new information that may influence the first decision. Otherwise it is whining, and unfortunately, a lot of us don't learn this. And, when a new kid whines, it is the worst. We want to put our hands over our ears and yell, "Lalalalalalalaalala, I don't hear you! Lalalalalalalala".

Last night confirmed that we are living in "Lala Land".

I like Sturbridge better.


  1. Dear TOL:

    I always enjoy reading your posts because most of the time, they take me back. It's great!

    Then this comment near the end: "Last night confirmed that we are living in "Lala Land"...clarified what you were really writing about.

    Are you referring to last night's Sturbridge selectmen's meeting? If so, I watched it also.

    Yeah, when Scott Garieri brought up Tree 25 AGAIN, I wanted to pull a Jim Carrey in "Liar Liar" and cover my ears exclaiming lalalalalalalala!

    I tuned in hoping to see the selectboard working together. Fat, beerbelly ugly, chance. Thank you Selectman Goodwin for stating the obvious: "they" do not want to work together - they want what they want, period. And while they're getting what they want, they'll belittle, humiliate and antagonize.

    To paraphrase Scott Garieri: "well since Chairman Halterman brought up the plastic bag issue at the last meeting on May 5th, and that was voted down at town meeting, I'm bringing up Tree 25 again."

    The plastic bag issue is not over. It was voted down, yes, but as most everyone who can use logic and maturity in their writings has been indicating (blogs, newspapers, meetings), that vote sent a message that it's not acceptable as written (same as the INLAW BYLAW), so more discussion is needed to focus on a good starting point. What does the plastic bag issue have to do with Tree 25? NOTHING. It was a poor excuse to bring up Tree 25 again, used by an immature, spoiled individual who has an elected seat of power in Sturbridge.

    Saying "cut down the tree" once was not good enough. No, Scott Garieri repeated it 4 or 5 times: "just cut the tree down" in his antagonistic manner. Then he sauntered around the room during Ask the Selectmen like he owned the place.

    I'm disgusted by your actions Mr. Garieri, though I'm sure it's just the beginning. There have got to be some attachments for strings on your backside somewhere.

    As an elected official, you are supposed to be objective, look at all town matters from all angles, and make informed decisions based on the facts. Yet you used a lie about the petition to try to get your way - it had roughly over 100 valid signatures, not 400. Did you acknowledge that and admit your error? Course not - because you were FED that information.

    That's what this town needs: more disgruntled, unhappy bullies in elected seats!

  2. TOL:

    One last thing: did you happen to watch the last Planning Board meeting? Near the end of that meeting, this happened:

    Planning Board member Russ Chamberland brings to light the fact that the Comfort Inn on Route 20 changed out their business sign on the street recently, resulting in an incorrect street number on the sign. PB members postulate then Ms. Morrison (filling in for the MIA Chairman Creamer) brings up the pertinent issue of safety, but then they end the discussion with Planning Board member Jim Cuniffe saying what Comfort Inn did was “STUPID”. Vice Chair Jennifer Morrison agrees and says, “I was going to say that too”. What an embarrassing moment for their planning board colleagues.

    Arrogance, Stupidity and Condescension are alive and well in our duly elected and appointed officials: Garieri, Morrison, Cuniffe and Creamer.

  3. it could have been a error in writing down the number by the sign company or something. saying stupid is not a good thing to say when you don't know what hapened for sure. they need to just talk about things that matter without judging others, right?

  4. Dear Thinking Out Loud:

    Love your Dilbert post at the bottom!


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