Smacktalk, without the Smack!

I am big talk, here on the blog. I throw out all kinds of ideas, the junk drawer of my mind, dumped out on this screen. You know that. I pretend to be steeped in grandiosity, and I look up words, with my spellchecker, and thesaurus, and play like a writer. I do.

It’s kinda like a one way conversation. I do a lot of spewing and spouting. I click, clack, paddywack and give the dog a bone. I don’t even know what all I’ve said here on the blog, or what I will say, until it comes out, line by line. Usually, like tonight, I must play around, avoid, distract and waste away time, until I finally have to get serious. Then action begins.

See, action is a lot different than talking. It does take action, to talk like this. I could skip the whole thing and be sleeping right now, at 2:23a.m.

Still this is allllllll talk. I will admit, that last week’s post, about the wisdom of the Frogleg Lady, was well received. I saw several responses, and felt like I did a good job of typing out a topic that people liked and saw value in. It was my birthday as well. Extra reason, to feel the love of the little audience here at weirdforgood. Truly, much appreciated!

Yet, when at 4:30p.m. last Friday afternoon, THE Frogleg Lady walked into our restaurant with her friendly husband, I greeted them just as normally as I always would. They smiled and talked and joked and requested AGAIN, that we bring in some Froglegs to serve as appetizers, or a meal. It was great to see them both.

I didn’t however, ACTually, Act, and tell them, that they had been the topic of a popular blog I had written. I didn’t tell her, that she had inspired me to be more bold and confident, and make certain requests, so that I too, could begin to ‘get what I want out of life.’

Nope, none of that.

I did think about it, when they first got there. I had baby butterflies in my stomach, wondering what her reaction would be, if I was to tell her. And then, how would I do so. ‘How would I come across?’ These are the very sort of inner-self questions, that she has put aside it seems. I was being just normal ole me, passive and friendly, and yet not 100% honest. I was talking the talk, but not walking the walk…

ACTING on this stuff, I don’t always do. In fact, I wonder sometimes, If I ever do. See really, like a lot of people out there, I must have an inner belief, that Disney’s magic fairy or genie or godmother or millionaire, is going to just show up sometime and grant me wonderful wishes of my dreams, because my poor Cinderella self, has been toiling away so long, with such little celebrity and celebration over my work.

In fact, I even, deeeep down, wish that this blog, had thousands upon thousands of readers, and would throw off profits and packaged products, just from my wild-minded wordplay. Sure! I’ve been at this for years now! Surely it is going to be ‘discovered’ and take off like a rocket! Propelling Lindsay and I into some quasi-form of wealth beyond our dreams. Surely, this success is going to show up from out there in the dark abyss and be felt right here at our newly crafted golden home.


See that little story is pretty honest. Kinda sorta sadly true. Ridiculous in so many ways, but I wonder if I’m not the only one, who thinks their hidden talent will someday be discovered and blessed with fortune and fame? I think I’m not the only one. What is the truth then? Is there value in this moment? Without fortune, without fame, does this moment make sense? Is that the real reason I do this? It cannot be. I cannot only do it for dollars that don’t currently flow. There are none. That is like clocking into work, with no paycheck coming.

I do this and talk like this and type like this, because I want this outlet. My voice likes this place. Although, so often it won’t show up, until the last minute and keeps me groggy the next day through, I must believe that it is an important thing, or else I wouldn’t do it.

So, why wouldn’t I be jumping for joy at the chance to show the Frogleg Lady, the post I wrote about her? Wouldn’t I want to at least spread such a personal message to the one who inspired it? I guess that old ‘should’ word comes to mind. I ‘should’ want to do that, right? I ‘shouldn’t’ be scared to do it, right? Well, I was. I am. I type and click here, in the darkest hour of night, then click publish and go to bed.

I don’t sit with people in person, while they read my words. I don’t watch their eyes and expressions and lack of interest, or excitement or confusion. I especially don’t usually type about someone else so specifically. So these are the chosen excuses for why I didn’t ACT, in that moment.

I may never be an ACTor. I may never ACTually, say the things that begin a risky conversation. I may always slide a tangent, and skip adjacent to the issues at hand. Last week, the ending quote talked about not holding back, and yet I did.

The next day however, I was in a meeting. A meeting of folks I trust and love. I didn’t hold back then. I spoke my mind. I went on and on and on. I did ACTually release the mob of thoughts and opinions I had held back… later on, I regretted and worried. I felt that I had said too much. I pushed too hard. I wore out any chance I had at progress, with my tone, with my words.

These words are funny things my friends. They mean everything. They are all that can translate the eons of time and space. The word is eternal in a way. And yet it’s vapor. It dissipates into invisibility almost as fast as it arrives. Our words can be worthless. They can again and again, point out our lacks.

I am that, I am hardly anything, but words, at times. Will I get up and move, will I extend myself into deliberate action? I don’t know. I hope so. I will always want to, it seems. It seems that I want these words to pave and create pathways for my body to follow. I must want myself to move in the direction that my mouth points me. I must be careful not to follow it to the dark places, of which I speak too often.

There are people tonight out there, who feel and want and wish, a difference in their lives. They want their inside desires to be discovered and developed. They want something quite different from what they see right in front of them. I seem to notice, that some hints show up, as faith, and persistence and never giving up. It doesn’t come from the fairy god-mother millionaire genie. It must come from within ourselves only. All other ideas are fruitless. We must commit, we must decide, to make it happen, decide to act, then follow through. Again, my big talk shows up.

When again tomorrow, I play the same role again, and get the same results again, I ask you to forgive me. I ask you to see my example, as one of the many, the ones who think and talk, but don’t work hard enough, to really make it happen. Then, my story, will have another level of value to you, and for that, I could give thanks, not worry, that all these words are worthless.


Aaron Nichols

In life, “nice and polite” gets trampled by “committed and competent.” – Dusan Djukich

Some people actually think that productivity is a feeling. If you are waiting around to feel the right way, you will never get anything done. You will be in your head forever. 

People hide behind feelings. Feelings cover up fear.

Waiting for the “right” feeling to show up or the “wrong” feeling to go away is a game the timid and unproductive play. It’s a waste of life.

Productivity is actually generated out of commitment and sincerity. Yes, we are talking integrity. Integrity is follow through. 

If you have some type of goal that you say is important to you, you will define the necessary required actions to achieve it. You will also place unmovable deadlines on each action.

Your commitment and sincerity will drive the actions home to completion.

People don’t respect people who won’t choose and then follow through. It looks weak because it is weak.

Ignore feelings or lack of them. 

Stop using feelings as an excuse.

Integrity is the lynchpin of productivity.

Dusan Djukich 
Author: Straight-Line Leadership

‘How to create a Happy Birthday’ by the Frogleg Lady…

I have a gruff 72 year old customer that is quite direct and demanding and I like her. Most of the staff doesn’t appreciate her as much as I do. They prefer people who politely smile and respond in sweetness to the sweetness of questions asked, and food offered. People who just get ‘normal’ stuff and are ‘easy’ to deal with. I find her delightful and yes, insistent.

Last week, she told me that she is now 72 years old, and it’s about time she starts getting things the way she wants them in life.

I like that. I respect that. I want to be like her, more often.

Like I said though, her style isn’t as pedestrian and mild as most of the fine folks who visit our restaurant. Are they getting what they want out of life? Are they getting what they want from us? I suppose most of them are, they continue to come back, week after week. I truly hope they are happy; that is the #1 reason we are there. To serve people well, to delight them, and provide a quality experience of real food and friendly hospitality.

So which way works best? Do we need to demand and push, or can we sit back and hope it all works out, so we don’t have to say anything? As long as things are going good, it is fine to keep peace, and just hold our tongues. But what about when it’s not going good. What about when we want something to be different than it is, or we want to create an outcome, instead of just passively letting it happen?

Today, on my 35th(!) birthday, I want to send myself the message and note from our friend, The Frogleg Lady. She has a great heart, a great sense of humor, and she is asking for what she wants in life. Not just thinking about it, but asking. She is fair, she is logical, she doesn’t express desires that are outlandish or crazy. She is however, looking you right in the eye, and telling you what she wants, and asking if you will do it, or not.

Her question forces me to answer, on the spot. Sometimes, I can say yes, sometimes I have to say no. Either way, I must come clean, and provide resolution, for her, for me.

I’m not as effective of a question asker as she is. I still wallow in my self-pity, after being passive-aggressive, and making ‘funny’ comments instead of really saying what is on my mind. I know that I am conversing in a less mature, a less collected habit of being. I manage people, I manage business, I manage myself, and yet, I have so much to learn.

I do sort of even like, that my friend’s demeanor, doesn’t sit well with all of our staff. We aren’t used everyone being as confident and sure-footed in themselves as she is. I think when we see the opportunity to please someone who is quite particular, we have really done something great. The simple fact that this customer would return, again and again, says a lot. We must have done some things right, in her eyes.

I’m less than half her age today. I usually feel less than half-way developed, in my personal growth, my patience and measured self-responsibility. I have so far to go. I appreciate, that I have made some personal choices and created something unique, here in the last few years. I am not totally discounting the efforts I have put in. I have even been surprised lately, by a few comments from people, saying in effect, ‘that I am much better at keeping calm, and steady, than I used to be.’

I hope I haven’t been trading my true desires, for the desire to ‘not rock the boat.’

We’ll see if this new year, being 35 really changes much for me. Most likely it won’t, I will however, try to remember my friend, from time to time. I want to be like her. I want to truly know that ‘It is okay, to really ask for what you want in life, right now, under these exact circumstances. ‘

I don’t want to wait until I’m 72, to do it, however. I doubt that she waited that long either. When she is really grilling me, with that glint in her eye, I’m sure she didn’t.

It’s Friday, and it’s my birthday, I’d better get going, I’ve got some grilling to do 😉


Aaron Nichols

‘Your greatest regrets will always be sourced from the times in which you held back.’
– Dusan Djukich

Even my EDC Kit is Weird!!

My EDC Kit is only interesting to people who know what EDC is… right? Every Day Carry, is a term that you could look up on YouTube and see thousands of videos about. Just like a lot of topics on there, you can find people totally geeked-out, and crazy-excited about a topic that you have never heard of, or maybe care to… on the world wide interweb.

A lot of guys show the guns and knives and weapons they Every Day Carry, on vidoes on YouTube. They show the clothes they choose to wear, that hides their gear. They tell you tons of detail about the brands and models they choose of almost every item in their pockets. Then they show you the bug-out bags they have in their cars for when the SHTF happens! (Sh!t Hits The Fan) of course…

So here is the contents of my pockets and person on a daily basis. I do switch out to a sleeker more gentlemanly knife on Sundays, this one has screwdriver heads build in, and is a little more bulky, but overall, I Carry these items Every Day…

EDC-kitBelieve it or not, this type of thing is really interesting to some people… So, here is my personal EDC itemized list:

  • Sunglasses
  • Watch
  • Front Pocket Wallet, with a little cash
  • Change
  • House Keys/Bar Keys/Church Keys
  • Car Keys/Fob
  • Memo Pad
  • G2 Pen
  • Leatherman C33T Knife
  • Galaxy S3 Cellphone

And that’s what an EDC Kit is… for a guy like me who doesn’t Conceal and Carry…

Or is it??

What other items do I Every Day Carry??

The idea for this blog post popped up, when I noticed that Every Day, I tend to carry some things around, besides the contents of my pockets, that I may want to take notice of. For instance, I tend to carry surly attitude on many days. I notice other people, seem to carry a brighter one. Some seem to be more dark and negative even than mine.

I notice that I carry a desire to help. I want that in most any situation, and I also usually bring with me an open mind to possibility and think almost any problem can be solved, if we just spend a little time thinking and working on it.

Every day, I carry a part of my past with me. I notice that I seem to always have done this. I can remember, even as a small kid, when someone would ask me, ‘how is it going?’ or ‘how are you doing?’, I would internally want to answer that I was doing crappy, or not well, because, I had lost my Daddy when I was only 4. How could someone be doing okay, without their Dad? That didn’t make sense to me back then. So I suppose, I was carrying the idea that since Dad was gone, I couldn’t be truly happy.

I just carried that Every Day.

Now, I have just opened this conversation, to the fact that we Carry Ideas with us Every Day. Just like I choose what items to fill my pockets every morning, I can see, that I decide what ideas I am also going to arm myself with for each day as well.

Are they good ones? Positive things that leave me open and happy when greeting others? For me, not as much. I tend to grab onto an idea, that I am already behind for the day. I haven’t gotten enough done. I need to do so many things yet. I can talk, but just enough, to get through the conversation, and onto the next thing I need to accomplish. Wow… Good things to EDC??

I notice that sometimes I want be open to the fact of personal choice in these matters. Sometimes I want to pout and complain and point fingers around, that the world at large, has me backed into a corner. I can only see the limitations, since that is what is being thrown at me… the higher self knows better, however.

The higher self is patient. It is sublime in it’s steadiness. It allows me to scurry and worry and fill pockets of my brain each morning with the troubles of the world. I woke up into a day of life, that could go any direction. I must focus myself and dam off the sprouting springs of energy. I can deal with a small grinding day, if that is what I limit myself to. I can comprehend a small town, tasks at hand, two jobs today, a blog to write, designs to create, calls to make, a business to assist. These are just the things I chose to carry today though. What if I chose other things?

I used to do that some, I was wild and ambitious for a couple years. I was completely on the Western tundra, deciding that each day, could be the one that skyrocketed my connection and energy and clients into some other stratosphere, not here, but some imaginary wonderland… Usually, I was sitting at this same computer though.

I don’t do that as much anymore. When people out and about say ‘How are You?’ I say that I am well. They say, ‘Are you busy?’… (a question I used to detest, in it’s pedestrian and overused glib-ness…) I say, Yes I am, very busy.

I have changed my EDC, in the last few months. The Branding Iron has given me back some form of identification, that I tossed to the wayside back in 2010. I wear a shirt with our logo. I talk about The Iron. I have something to conduct conversation with and around again. It is a much easier way for me. I never got the hang of calling myself a Life Coach. Although I desperately wanted it to be true.

That desperation translated like light through clean glass, I’m sure. I carried different stuff then. My EDC kit has changed much over these last few years. Back in the day, the Beer, the Wine, the Scotch, were my calling cards. The RumRunners, the nights out at the Bar, Parties and play toys. Quads, motorcycles, a Jeep too. Bachelor play life. You could see every day, back then, what I was carrying. It was the idea, that we work hard, but play harder, it was a wild time. I did that Every Day.

Until I didn’t anymore. I suppose I still carry that past with me today too. I have a back pocket, where I know all the things I used to be. It is a flipbook of mental pictures and laughter. Good times, Bad Times. It is there, with me all the time. I wouldn’t ever forget to bring it with me, everywhere I go. I forget my pocket-knife sometimes. I have left my phone at home even. I rarely however, forget to bring along, the consciousness of  ‘who’ I think I am today. I color that vision with regrets from the past. I brighten it with tiny sprinkles of glitter, from an imagined future too.

We’ll see, in the long run. What is the truly important stuff I carry with me, and if I can remember that it is my choice, what I load my pockets with, when I set out for my daily adventures. In the physical objects, and mental ones too.

With Love,


Aaron Nichols


I’m a sicko, but we can fix that here…

I was mostly kidding on Tuesday night, when I asked my wife very nicely… to kill me. Good thing she didn’t comply with my request, I am feeling better right now, than I did that night.

So I have had a horrendous cough going on since the weekend, and since I’m not sick often, I don’t enjoy the experience one bit. Deep and overpowering, the coughs would come in uncontrollable waves. The dry ones, the gummy yucky ones, the creeping cruddy cough tortured my abdominal area, and exercised it more than I have in a very loong time.

The headaches would squeeze in, and tears squeak out. I was a big bawling baby, coughing all night, out on the couch, or recliner where I had moved, to keep from waking Lindsay every 20 minutes or so.

All week long, I have not felt like myself, unhealthy, weak and in pain.

And yet, as I learned this morning. It was still, a very First World type of problem.

I don’t use medicine often, taking nothing regularly. I rarely visit the doctor. I generally think I will eventually heal up, if I can be tough for a few days, well not this time.

I woke up again in the living room this morning. Again without enough sleep. Nestled into a soft enveloping pile of pillows on a comfy chair, but still uncomfortably exhausted. I made a decision to try to see a doctor. It was 7:15 a.m.

I then grabbed my laptop from a nearby end table. I punched in the words Ottawa Family Phy… into Google, and the rest came up. I looked at the website, to find a phone number, and maybe to call and make an appointment for today. Instead I saw a sentence, that said Monday – Friday 8:00-9:00 walk-in clinic… Hmmm…. By 7:59 I was in their parking lot, seven miles from my home.

8:15 a.m. (one hour, after waking up) I was in front of Dr. Ojeley. He asked some questions, he used his stethoscope, he did doctor stuff, quickly, efficiently and assigned me some medication. He said that my pills would be available across the street momentarily.

I said “Ack-ah-huuuuhack-hak-hu-hak-hu… Thank yaaaa–aaaack You.”

Then I drove across the street. I walked into the pharmacy and was told I would have a 15 minute wait for the drugs. I walked through the place, grabbing a big jug of orange juice from the cooler, I started sipping, while looking at wonderful AS SEEN ON TV stuff.

Not long after that, I paid for the two white sacks, and sat in the parking lot. Right there, I downed the first taste of hopefulness, and peaceful coughing relief, that I had been looking forward to all week long…. It was 9:30 am.

We are lucky people. The severity of this throat torturing cough of mine, was basically cut in half, and sentenced to death, in a two hour period, after I decided to get the help. The help was there all along. Bronchitis stands no match against a basic doctor visit and your basic drug store. Wow.

From the very moment, that I could use a machine to search the world of information, to driving a car to get anywhere close very quickly, to walking into a professional, well equipped medical facility, and receiving almost instantaneous help, I was beyond blessed.

These are magical moments. We are truly rich. In the context of the world at large today, these First World Problems are so easily and quickly solved. Wow.

Would I be so tough, in another world? The Third World? Places like that, coughs can kill. I wouldn’t be joking with my beautiful wife about it there. It wouldn’t be funny. She wouldn’t say sarcastic things, like quit being such a baby about it, if you’re not going to go to the doctor. There wouldn’t be one. Or he would be days away. The drugs may not exist there at all. My little short week of pain, could be months, or more. Ouch.

Dawn Ferguson, from our church, goes to Guatemala every year, to nurse the local people. She brings students of medicine, she brings the medicine itself. She brings a little bit of the First World into the Third World. I thought of her today. She has seen first-hand, how a package of medication can make a huge difference in the lives of a whole village. I wandered past thousands of those very bottles today at Walgreens…

I want to Thank God, that we are here in the First World, and don’t have to spend most of our time, just surviving. And God’s Blessings to those that do 🙂





Aaron Nichols