Tuesday, December 31

Metamorphasis


If I were to describe this past two years it was like "transforming" From a ugly green caterpillar who eats toxic leaves and spews brown crud ... To a much more appealing creature that floats above all that, flutters away from it and sees things in a whole new way.

I won't bore you with life as that green slug, the were lots of great moments, but a lot of toxins ingested crawling slowly along the way.

This past year started off with a wonderful awakening of a spirit that I had shunned for various reasons for decades. It brought with is a peace and calmness that I have never experienced before, like walking into the eye of a hurricane where all around you there is chaos, but your area is awash in sunshine and calm.

I have been blessed with many tools to help me carry that calm with me, wherever I go. From that brightly lit center, I now see many things a lot different. I look at what is "normal" around me, and discover that it is not normal at all.

I have changed my self centered focus inside out to a focus on those around me. I am aware of so much need now in this world that I could not see as that green slug chewing toxic leaves from within a single tree. Now I see the forest, the valleys and mountains beyond.

In helping others, getting involved, I have found rewards that I never dreamed of. I have re ignited passion for things like music, and been given a tool to share in a positive way with others my calmness, my serenity, in a very loud way! lol

The Bills Blend coffee company I started will keeps me 'grounded' (did I just type that?) in reality, meeting with people in prisons and rehab clinics, helping me remember my days in the trees.

A new thing I am working on is an  educational movement called SoberWorld.org. This will bring to light the "things that other people choose not to see" to quote the the movie Patch Adams. The goal of this is to simply educate, and allow people to make better informed decision. Millions dying, billions of lives affected, and we permit and endorse it.

My flight has really just begun. So many positive changes, so much joy and hope to spread. Every day except one is a Happy un-Thanksgiving. I give thanks and humbly remember my gratitude list. I glance at the forest often, stop by a branch to rest up, and remember when.

As I fly off, I know not my destination yet, but as in the Hobbit movie, the journey is much more exciting than the destination. So many wonderful people and lessons and courage learned along the way.

A very safe and happy and joyous New Year to you all.

pf

Friday, November 29

Plenty of Parking



left the Windsor Recovery Club about one in the afternoon on Thanksgiving day to go visit with family, friends, and my kids for a few hours.

The Club had just launched over 150 meals out to three senior housing facilities in town. Individually prepared fresh hot meals  of turkey, all the sides, and gravy that I saw being carefully crafted for hours.

Many people loading up lots of boxes of meals, weilding carefully prepared lists and teams of delivery people, to ensure a hot meal, delivered on time.

Next 'in-line' - literally, were many dozens of people at the facility itself. Many of whom had not slept hardly at all in the past 24-36 hours. Attending meeting, helping be of support in many ways. A wonderful mix of young and old, men and women, backgrounds of all kinds. They were all there to give thanks, most were there to help others, some very much needed companionship. The holiday season can be very traumatic. It was a wonderful atmosphere.

I left feeling the warmth of God. That didn't last long ...

I left the parking lot, and saw the Church across the street, their parking lot was empty. It was unusual for me to be on the road at 1PM on Thanksgiving day, so I went for a tour around town.

   The two churches downtown, their parking lots were empty.
   The two churches on Park Ave, their parking lots were empty.
   The two churches in Poquonock, their parking lots were empty.

In ten minutes, I went from feeling God's love, to being enraged that the only spiritual facility in town that was open on this critical holiday serving food, was run by a bunch of alcoholics. I had visions of a social media rant... and so much more.

Then I remembered the serenity prayer. I smiled. I needed to accept the fact I could not change THAT day, that I needed to accept it. I reflected again on the one spot that was doing so much good. All with volunteers. I am humbled to be a part of those wonderful people, I have learned so much from them. I have so much more to learn. I will do what I can to maybe change next year. get a few more facilities open if needed. 

I pushed God out of my life decades ago because of activities I resented by Churches. Since then, I have come to know that Religion was created by Men for Men -  Spirituality was created by God for All. Churches can do a lot of great things, but a lot has been done over the ages in the name of religion - guided by man that was not do great. God is always right, he points me in the right direction, when I let him.

    Hey God, thanks for the tour of town ... got it.
    More help needed for next year - and in between.  I'm on it.

Wednesday, November 27

Happy UN-Thanksgiving

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving.

I have a Brother in Germany who gets about six weeks vacation and half a month of government holidays. So today is one of the only times of the year where I can gloat for a few moments. He is working today, I am not.  However, that moment is very short lived. It's not in my nature to do that. I miss him and his family for over fifty weeks of the year. I wish they could share in the festivities of today. 

This is a great holiday. One of reflection, humility, grateful thanks. It's loosely about the story of two vastly diverse cultures and peoples long ago who got together to share their food and their spiritualism. That honeymoon day didn't last though. The Indians got the Casinos and the Pilgrims got everything else, and now the pilgrims go to the Casinos and give it all back.

This has always been a holiday of a stressful roll-up of a mandated short week (unless you work in retail). Everything "needs" to be done by 2PM on Wednesday, so that we can all leave for four days. What was completed at 2pm is still there on Monday, but at least it got done. We come back to work a little fatter and more relaxed to start again, over and over.

Thursday morning traditions are great. The parades, 4 hours of football analysis to watch for 3 hours a gave that takes 1 to actually play. Let's not forget the wonderful vast food prep, the great smells. For those few families that are not torn apart by divorce, Dad comes in and becomes a cook for a few moments. guiding a large bird into the oven. Lots of real butter, sugar and salt. This is not a day for those who normally diet.

But this year, I don't really care ... I used to set aside this day, and get all emotional, reflect on the day, the month, the year. I used to wait for this day to let the gratitude flow in, connect with God. Not any more. This year - and today, I will care no more than any other day.

Why? I just can't possibly do it. After last year and going through many months of intense physical recovery. Having finally found God; after living in a void for decades. After undergoing a wonderful spiritual awakening, seeing things so different today than ever before, reflecting every day of my life now on what I need to do to help other people, it's too much to ask!

Every day I am full of thanksgiving: for my kids who are starting to see beyond the anger. For family and friends who have been with me through this all. For all those with experience that have inspired and guided me in my learning months. For the band I am in, being able to share this positive growth with countless hundreds so far. For my BillsBlend coffee journey, which will keep me close to Hell, lest I forget. For providing me with just enough, not too fast, helping me learn patience. For allowing me to be of service, to help others. And for one soul in particular, the ember still burns, I am nurturing it slowly.

If I try to be any more thankful today, I will implode.

Thanksgiving for me this year means my normal daily routine of checking in with my God. I give him grief about being away for so long, and then thank him for everything I have. Everything. This day this year means helping those who feel trauma during the holidays.

Friday will come, and aside from the huge crowds being gone, having received their support, they are off to the malls to get more things to be thankful for. I will do what I do every un-Thanksgiving. Wake up, and say a prayer of thanks, and get to work helping. Don't go looking for me a WalMart on Friday.

I look forward to celebrating 364 Happy Un-Thanksgivings with you!

Saturday, November 9

Perspective

Like a trail of ants.
I have a nice view from the 14th floor in my new office. All day long I see a stream of traffic ... heading somewhere.  I can't help but look at the lines of movement ... a steady flow of creatures, some larger, some smaller, but all following a trail somewhere.

Like the little tiny ants I used to watch with fascination as a young kid; I see the same lines of tens of thousands traversing somewhere, knowing that each feels important in their own way, each has their own needs, their own lives, their own happiness, their own sorrows.

Viewed from the 14th floor, you lose that perspective. You see only masses of motion. You forget that each vehicle, or human, or even the animals riding along; carry so many experiences, dreams and hopes ... from their perspective.

It's all about me ...
One of the great life lessons learned recently is that it IS all about me when it comes to interacting with other people. I have learned that if someone else upsets me, affects me in a negative way or distracts me ... it's all MY fault. I have the choice in my head in how to react to something. I also need to check my thinking.

When you pull yourself out of the situation, and say .. so what. So what if you don't agree... do you need to argue about it? Will their having a different view affect me? So the sky IS a wonderful shade of purple in your opinion? OK. Perfect. It's blue here. That is MY perspective.

The only wrong answer is not trying to understand the other persons perspective.

50 ways to leave your...
...own inadequate thoughts at the door - and listen to others.  Like the old song goes, there are many ways to do things. There are many ways to interpret the same few sentences based on your personal experiences.

I have listened to people discuss the same concept, the same exact words, that I read 4 times. Invariably, someone will hone in on a word that I completely missed, or overlooked. It was very important to them, from their perspective. Once they shared,,, I understood. It may not affect me the same way ... but I understood them better.

From my perspective?
I try to see past peoples actions, and understand them. Their world, their hopes, their struggles. I have seen Hell recently -  that gave me a wonderful new perspective on a lot of things.

Looking at things a little different  :-)



Sunday, October 20

What I've learned



Oh sure, I've got lots of great dramatic details about drinking, my medical miracle, how I'm alive today. That's old news.

October 20th, 2012 was a turning point in my life. I didn't know it then, I had no idea the tremendous things to come.

I'd like to first thank all the wonderful medical staff who worked tirelessly with this old carcass, and breathed some life back into it. They nurtured an ember that has grown into a strong flame.

Below are some random bullets of things I've learned over the past year, just thought I'd share for fun:

• Sobriety has little to do with stopping drinking. It is a calm, highly lucid, caring and sensitive state of mind.

• A Chinese emperor tried enacting prohibition about 4,000 years ago. This is not a new problem.

• 80,000 people die each year from alcohol related medical issues. Liver failure, cancers. This is more than twice the amount killed by Breast Cancer. (Maybe the NFL players can start wearing little pink thigh flasks).

• Religion was created by men for men (and now women too). Spirituality is created by God for all.

• Only one step in the AA program mentions alcohol.

• The Windsor Recovery Club has the highest by far annual attendance of any spiritually based non profit organization in town. Over 1,000 AA meetings a year, 365 days a week. estimated 30-50k annual attendance.

• If I tell you you can't have a drink for the next 6 Months ... and you flinch and protest. You are addicted at some level. Most can manage this addiction fine. Over 15 Million are affected by those who cannot in the US alone.

• When you stop eating proteins, your body traps fluids and your stomach swells (this is why starving kids have swollen guts and look fat). It looks a lot like green anti-freeze when drained. A gallon weighs 10 Lbs. A quick way to lose weight!  10lbs an hour!

• The serenity prayer works wonders when reading e-mails from ex-spouses.

• Alcohol disturbs your sleep, prevents you from getting proper complete rest and exacerbates sleep disorders.

• NH can afford to not have a state sales tax, because it runs the liquor stores. It has one of the highest rates of alcoholism, the per capita consumption in New Hampshire is 43.0 gallons. (I went to college there - I know).

• I know people personally under 25 and over 60, just entering AA. I have met many wonderful grandparents with loving families, suddenly became wildly addicted and lost everything.

• It's not easy to get recovery books into a maximum security prison. No matte how good your intentions are.

• Many professionals (psychiatrists etc) give up on people ... and tell them to go to AA for help.

• AA doesn't care about your religion, ethnicity, race, social status, sexual orientation. Any and all are welcome to this loving and caring organization, full of people who honestly just want to help.

• Your spirituality goes with you  24/7. It's not something you discuss at 'church for a few hours a week.

A spiritual awakening is a wonderful feeling. It flows all through you. You learn humility, serenity, inner peace and calm anongst life's turmoil. 

I am blessed to be alive this morning, and every morning. I have a lot to do, but I do so with a guide that I shunned a long time ago. May you find him now also.

pf

Note:  If you choose to drink or smoke, or whatever ... those are YOUR personal choices. I don't care what you do unless I see it affecting you or others around you in a very serious manner. I'm just sharing MY world. MY perception.  We each experience life very differently.

Wednesday, September 25

Hi - my name is Bob ...

Taken from my Blackberry

So I was out riding my bike along a remote trail the other day .. and an alien materialized out of nowhere ... - I stopped. A little startled, I didn't say anything.  He said, "Hey there ... nice day for a ride eh?".

It was a beautiful day, I agreed with him, introduced myself, he told me his name was Bob.  So, not to be rude, I asked him "how can I help you?"

He explained that physically, his species was almost identical. He could consume the same foods as us and metabolize proteins, and minerals and nutrients the same as us... that he liked Pizza and he also had an affinity for M&M's. (must be an ET thing).

I shared my love of pizza and suggested he try Heath Toffee Bars ...

Then he started asking about some items he saw people ingesting in various ways, inhaling, injecting and consuming in liquid form, that seemed to have no benefit to the body at all. Little or no nutritional value, in fact, many contained serious toxins that affected central nervous systems, altered cells so that they became cancerous, and killed many thousands of people.

He shared his observations about how much these toxic items are promoted at large events, where tens of thousands would gather to ingest large quantities. He asked why things like this were placed in so many locations near where we live, and why people went so often to obtain these various products.

"Good questions" I said ...

I told Bob that as far as I knew -  that's just the way it is, and it was all driven by a flaw called 'greed' in our character. Some people a long time ago figured out that they could make a lot of money selling these addictive toxins everywhere. A small percentage of us figured it out, and don't follow, but most do.

Bob said "OK...I've observed greed, I understand now. That makes sense."

I told him it was great to meet him, but that I had to run ...
He promised to email me once in a while.  Nice guy.  He gets it.

pf


Thursday, September 19

The History of C2H6O


After minutes of intense and exhaustive research, I have prepared this summary of the complete and thorough history of the compound C2H6O ... sometimes abbreviated as EtOH, using the common organic chemistry notation of representing the ethyl group (C2H5) with Et.

It was discovered by a caveman named Eddie 10,479 years ago who ate some rotting fruit. In his notes posted on his blog, he noted it "affected every organ in the body. It is a central nervous system depressant that is rapidly absorbed from the stomach and small intestine into the bloodstream."

But it felt really good. So he opened a store ... Open M-S 10-8, closed on Sundays according to the "Beige Laws" (Blue was not invented yet).

After Franchising, the word spread, Egyptian chemists a few thousand years later were able to extract enhanced variations of the compound C2H6O from a variety of fruits, with various affects on the central nervous system. Some causing seizure like walking episodes, hence the "Walk Like an Egyptian" terminology.

The ancient Greeks saw a fruit based version of C2H6O as a staple of domestic life and a viable economic trade commodity, their settlements were encouraged to plant vineyards for local use and trade with the Greek city-states.

In Christianity, the transformation of H2O into C2H6O ... at the Marriage at Cana or Wedding at Cana is the first miracle of Jesus in the Gospel of John. (This practice continues today, in reverse at the Gallo Corporation).

The use of C2H6O .continued to flourish globally through the middle ages, despite the chronic diseases such as liver cirrhosis (damage to liver cells); pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas); various cancers, including liver, mouth, throat, larynx (the voice box), and esophagus; high blood pressure; and psychological disorders. These were blamed on demons and bad Lute playing.

During the annexation of the new territories known today as the United States C2H6O and it's addictive traits were used on the native inhabitants, rendering them ineffective in battle, where they often ran their horses into trees or passed out before battle.

This strategy subsequently backfired and the new residents of these territories began excessive use of C2H6O, this led to attempt prohibiting the sale and distribution of of C2H6O. (An old concept, prohibition of C2H6O dating back to the Xia Dynasty (ca. 2070 BC–ca. 1600 BC in China. Yu the Great, the first ruler of the Xia Dynasty, prohibited C2H6O throughout the kingdom).

This was tried again in the United States in the late 20's and 30's (interrsting the Stock Market Crashed as people got coherent) ... and failed miserably, there were millions addicted at this point. Mayhem, chaos, street battles ensued ... eventually the Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution on December 5, 1933. By its terms, states were allowed to set their own laws for the control of C2H6O.

Not long afterward, there was a book published to help people deal with the addictive nature of C2H6O . first published in 1939 which promotes a spiritual solution to the chemical problem. The formula widely used for this equation is G1O1D > H2H6O

Use of C2H6O Today

• Per the 21st amendment, State regulated / taxed, a tremendous revenue stream; the State of NH manages all sales and is able to operate without an Income Tax because of it. Most other states use outsourced distributors, so they can tax the C2H6O and the business, and the employees.

• Other addictive elements like gambling and Tobacco are sold along with the C2H6O, to provide a complete revenue stream.

•  C2H6O is the primary revenue driver in most restaurants, where the total bill may often include more than 50% C2H6O  expenses.

• In the US alone, 80,000 people a year die from the medical affects alone. 15 Million people are also affected by the social and economic affects.

• The industry for C2H6O political lobby spends well in excess of $10 Million annually

• Absolute or anhydrous C2H6O refers to a low water content. There are various grades with maximum water contents ranging from 1% to a few parts per million (ppm) levels. Absolute C2H6O s not intended for human consumption.

• The largest single use of C2H6O is as a motor fuel and fuel additive. More than any other major country, Brazil relies on C2H6O as a motor fuel. Gasoline sold in Brazil contains at least 25% anhydrous C2H6O .

Gas up - or Drink Up - C2H6O is here to stay!

Footnote:  C2H6O Human consumption and the resulting intoxication can
be harmful for a variety of reasons, including:

• Impaired brain function resulting in poor judgment, reduced reaction time, loss of balance and motor  skills, or slurred speech.

• Dilation of blood vessels causing a feeling of warmth but resulting in rapid loss of body heat

• Increased risk of certain cancers, stroke, and liver diseases (e.g., cirrhosis), particularly when excessive  amounts of C2H6O are consumed over extended periods of time


References: The Internet

Thursday, September 5

Sustainability

What is sustainability? This little visual I found on the web tries to explain it all ... in my opinion it may be just a teeny tiny bit confusing? Maybe a candidate for that "Death by PowerPoint Presentation?

For me it's a great buzz word for what should be simple common sense and doing the right thing.

For example, in starting up my coffee business, the first question I heard was are you going to do K-Cups? My first thought was sure! Simple, easy to use, clean, efficient ... but then I thought about, expensive, wasteful of resources, huge additional carbon footprint and a recycling and waste management disaster.

I can only imagine people excavating our trash a thousand years from now and seeing tens of millions of those little things and saying 'what the hell were they thinking ... were they that lazy and ADD that they couldn't make a pot of coffee, and recycle a paper filter?

Sustainability is everywhere, it's not just a business buzz. It's your health ... mental and physical. It's your relationships, personal, work, spiritual and more. It's your environment ... physical things, noise, clutter, waste. And yes, renewable energy, recycling ... all good things too.

An easy way to integrate this? Just ask yourself constantly ... should I really be doing this? Is it a good thing? How can I help change it, if it's not.

I will be blogging again in about a week - that's a sustainable level of activity, it's a fun creative way for me to share, I hope you think it's a good thing! pf

Thursday, August 29

The Band ...


The Band .... The BAND ... THE BAND!!!

What a great scene from a fun movie about a couple of guys trying to do some good for something they believed in. 

I've been blessed recently with being brought into a fun Band that has a similar mission -  to have fun playing music, and do it to help benefit local causes and charitable events, family style for the most part. 

This breaks tradition a bit with what I learned growing up on the 70's and 80's, where as a Bass player, partying was pretty much expected, selfish behavior was promoted and wild chemically influenced antics were laughed at and encouraged. I guess my last band of 25 years ago called "Drunken Stupor" didn't quite make the Top 40 hit list.

The Band T.I.M.E. that I'm in is great -  but how I got there is even better.

This year has been an education for me in the value of helping others. I've finally figured it out that all the great stuff I did for so many companies and in life, I did not do alone, I had help - lots of it.. 

Soooo...   lavish dose of humility and a few servings of humble pie later ... I find myself donating time flipping burgers for a local charity. It was there another volunteer blurted out a concern about a friend ... who has a band ... needs a Bass payer ... I blurted back ... I play Bass ... and off it went.

But it's the fact that I was there, that I decided to help ... that I looked on the web site -  that I saw a need -  that I sent an e-mail -  that I went there and cooked for weeks, having fun - learning, meeting people... then came the opportunity.

So without the effort, the caring, the giving, I would not be receiving the blessing of this group and all the fun we've just started to have, and so much more we want to do.

It's about in helping and giving in which we receive; so on my site - I ask ..  "How can I help?



Sunday, July 14

Just Thanks


I'd like to take a quick moment to give some thanks and express gratitude to a few companies. I am launching a company, the first one I have ever done. The goal of this company is to help others, specifically those entering into recovery from alcohol.

Along the way I have met many new people, and when they learned of this new idea, the outpouring of help was rather humbling, encouraging and I am grateful for it all.

I won't divulge names here, but I will identify services and support ...

My technology company - always within moments - a human pick up the phone, and they do whatever it takes to resolve my technology issues.

My lawyer - called me for the first time after 6pm at night - we spoke for nearly half an hour. He shared some personal experiences within the firm related to my cause. He is being very thorough and getting me accounting support too.

My bank - The local branch took over an hour with me, reviewing the business plan, the opportunities, helped me acquire my EIN tax number. After that I was connected with a small business consultant, they are helping me in many ways to this day.

My Coffee Vendor - just great - I met with the owners on the first day, they are very supportive in every way and as a business give back to other causes already.

Also SCORE for taking the time to review my business plan, the Chamber for guiding me a bit .. and friends and family who listen to my blabber about 42/2 packs, merchant accounts and watch me spend long hours hunched over my laptop -  writing and re-writing my business plan about fifteen times.

We are in Beta this week - and I am quietly pushing the ship from the dock on July 20th - my business launch date. My personal 9th month of recovery. It has all been a wonderful experience.

Lots more to do -  but off to a good start, thanks to all that helped and will help.

www.BillsBlend.com


pf

Friday, July 5

Full Ride


I'm not sure what happened this morning. I woke early, in mild pain from a long bike ride from yesterday, and I decided to do more this morning. Sunglasses on, music set to randomly entertain me from over 800 selections ... I'm on my way.

Let me preface the rest of this -  I have a wide variety of musical tastes ....

I started the ride by welling up in tears. The first song was Peter Gabriel - Wallflower. It's about being incarcerated - I think in war, but basically being held against ones will, and the physical and mental cost, and a message to hold on. I spoke of recovery at a prison earlier this week, my first time ever speaking ... locked up with about two dozen long term convicts, maximum security. I thought of them, their struggles, and said a little prayer for them to 'hold on'.

Then Garth Brooks comes on and is reminding me to tell those that you love - to do so, say I love you, for tomorrow may never come. Morbid thought, typical dramatic Country western, how that got into my playlist I don't know, but it is great advice that I will follow.

Then STYX, Fooling Yourself comes on. I've heard this song hundreds of times, but lately I've been doing more than hearing songs and the Bass lines (I'm a Bass player). I not only hear the music, but I also see the meaning and the messages in music more lately. I've stopped focusing on what bass notes are being played, and started focusing on the bigger meanings of why the song was written. Less focus on what is important to me, more about what is important to the writer, and why they needed to share. I received quite a few messages this morning from that song, most important was a little inspiration .... "Get up, get back on your feet - You're the one they can't beat and you know it".

And then - suddenly the music stopped. I may have received an email or something, but it was odd -  the music does not stop. I looked where I was, and I was in front of a Veterans memorial Cemetery, the day after the 4th of July. I love to pay respects to the dead on the off holidays. They are just as dead every other day, for all the good reasons and memories and things that they shared. I like to do that alone. With sincerity and no crowds ... no music. I did just that. I stopped my ride for a few moments.

Getting back on, I decided to enjoy the music of the wind whistling past my ears instead of the random teachings. I thought I had had enough to absorb for one day. But my brain had other ideas.

Struggling up a steep hill, I had to stand and pump hard to keep going, and in my twisted head, an analogy occured. "You have to get off your seat and work hard to get to the top of the steepest hills". I got to the top and thought -  well, that was random ... but true to my character flaws -  I could not stop there - I had to take it further.

I thought about my personal struggles, how in my Life I have climbed a big hill recently, but it was on my own bike, and a hill I alone needed to climb, and now that I have climbed it -  I am looking around for everyone else to share it with ... and no one else is there (they are still in bed - lol). True to my character flaw again -  I thought about people on adjoining roads, when will we meet, will they ever catch up -  on and on. Worthy of a small sermon, all over riding up one small hill.

I will end with this, at some point I passed an elderly black man, riding in an electric wheelchair downtown, on his way for a morning coffee. I slowed way down, and said "good morning ... it's a beautiful day for a ride". He replied simply. "Yes it is, it is a beautiful day for a ride."

Tuesday, June 25

Finding the Good People

great ones enter here
Once a year, my local Chamber of Commerce takes the time to recognize a few people that have served the community in different ways with fun awards.

These are the people that have quietly and humbly done the right thing over their careers, always focused on the people, great events and especially pitching in to help others whenever they could.

The event itself is no small feat, a group of people work hard on a theme, and fulfilling that theme with props, content, signage and even fun songs to support the roasting of the awards winners. the people who put this great evening on deserve awards themselves.

And the recipients of all the top awards all tend to have one thing in common ... they don't want it.

They don't want the recognition, the glory, the accolades, the spotlight. Their first instinct is when will this damn dinner be over and when can I get back to work. Quite frankly, the event is more for those in the audience, to aspire to a greater level.

I won't mention the names of the awards winners, they are already embarrassed enough.

I will say that there are many many more in line for these awards, the people quietly working in your community every day, one day at a time, to make where we all live a better place.

Thanks to the Chamber for hauling them out into the light and making their lives miserable for a few moments as the spotlight shines on them. Their lives ruined forever by being immortalized into a group of previous recipients. All chances of humility are lost forever, you are on 'the list' now.

So, sorry to the award winners for the attention, but you deserve it. There is a price to pay for being who you are, great citizens and mentors in the community.

Well done. Now get back to work.

Saturday, June 15

Learning from Cats

My dad has been taking care of some 'wild' cats for years now. He enjoys a few moments daily, feeding them, watching them play. He justifies the expense by saying that they take care of the mice, of which he has never had a problem before. We all know that's a farce, and smile when he says that. He loves his cats.

Once in a while, I get the opportunity to feed them. Recently, one of the cats had kittens, so I got to feed the mother and four kitties.

     I learned a lot that morning.

I approached the feed bowls, the kittens scampered, the mother stayed, crouching, growling and hissing at me as I prepared their food. I decided to sit nearby and watch them eat. Mom continued to make noises at me, but eventually settled down. A few of the kittens bounded in willingly, unsure as to why mom was upset, and readily willing to have a morning meal.

I sat quietly as they all calmed down. They ate, played a little near me eventually, and then ran off to find better and more exciting things.

How often do we do good deeds for others, only to be greeted with growling and mistrust. And what of the kittens who had no preconceived notions of threats, where they willingly ran to the bowls, and accepted the offering that had been there every day before.

Yes, there was something new there, bit wasn't he the person who just put out the food for me?

There are many loving and caring people in life who want to help. Like the mother cat, proceed with caution, but accept the help, advice and support if you need it. We are better in groups by nature, and the individual ego can get in the way of making things better for everyone. Give and accept help often if you can.

Anyone need a kitten? They are great teachers!

pf



Saturday, May 25

Touched by a Wall



I hadn't thought too much about wars, the consequences, the numbers. I was detached from them, being born in-between most active major conflicts. I had seen the movies, read about the horrific events in books, seen the photo's ... to the point where I became numb.

Then the traveling Vietnam Wall Memorial came to my home town.

As a budding photography enthusiast, I grabbed my camera on the way to work, with the expectation of catching some images of this exciting event. I arrived early in the morning, there were dozens milling around. I didn't say a word, because I could not speak.

The lens cap stayed on, the trigger finger never flinched on my camera. I walked around in the morning dew, felt the sun on my back and read the names, so many names.

The experience was overwhelming. The magnitude of the wall, the veterans crying, relatives leaving flowers and notes for those long passed. I left the first day without a photo, and I repeated the event the next day. No pictures, only more emotions too complex to describe.

I eventually came back, late at night, to attempt to capture this larger than life visitor to our little town. The images captured I was able to share with those who helped get this moving monument here, and at a ceremony for the burial of artifacts left at the wall, held a year later.

The most moving photo's I feel, are the ones I did not take, on the first days I visited this wall. The magnitude of this relatively small conflict gave me a better respect for all of the conflicts held, and a deep gratitude for our active service people and veterans of all ages.

Please use memorial day for what it is. Attend a service dedicated to the veterans. Say a prayer of thanks, for those who served.

For the POW's

Tuesday, May 21

The "TIDES" of Venus and Mars

I had a random encounter with two bottles of laundry detergent recently. Made by the same company, mostly the same stuff inside, some sort of a soapy mixture the removes crud from your clothes.

But these were two VERY different bottles of soap ....

One designed for people from Venus, (you women know who you are), and the other for us less intelligent folk from Mars. I will point them out for you.

COLOR -  Venus is crisp white, and pale blue, sensitive and caring colors, representing purity and cleanliness. Mars is Denver Bronco kick ass, in your face, don't mess with me friggin dirt  orange.

TOUCH - Venus is "gentle on the skin" - soft caress,  a pleasure, to glide your soft cottons over your tender shoulders. Mars is  'clean the NFL trusts, meaning it will get caked blood and ground in mud and grass stains from working in the yard out of your denim, which we guys air dry so they are crusty.

FRAGRANCE - Venus is "free and gentle" so it won't contrast with body lotions or delicate perfumes. Mars doesn't care what the crap smells like - so long as it stinks a bit better than before you washed it.

GRAPHICS - Venus bottle is clean, serene, gentle vignettes, the word 'free' appears a few times. Mars has women in football caps getting rowdy at games. Messaging is about how many "loads" you'll get, and the word 'original' in upper case, to indicate this isn't some sort of fake crap soap, it's the real thing.

SIZE - Venus - I noticed the Venus bottle was a bit larger, for carefully applied amounts of this gentle lotion. The Mars bottle was smaller, just enough to get some suds, and save money, for more Bratwurst for the afternoon cookout.

So thanks to the Tide marketing team for pointing out our vast differences. Remember the next time you go shopping with someone from another planet, you may want to get separate baskets for the soap aisle.

Saturday, May 11

Fake Death, Real Death

Many thanks to all involved with the production at Windsor High School yesterday. the "Broken Promises" school group produced a very realistic reenactment of a crash between two High School cars, filled with kids headed to the prom. I will let the below video speak for itself, it was no small effort.

Just a note. Many of those 'responding' to this fake accident had to miss the rehearsal, responding to a real fatal  accident instead. A young woman rear ended a truck nearby, and was killed. No skid marks, apparently a distracted driver for some reason. The truck's real axle was near her rear seat. I talked with one of the teen aged volunteer fire fighters, first on the scene, his only comment was that he hoped this event would prevent other drunk and distracted accidents. I was amazed at this young mans poise after just witnessing a horrific death just a few hours earlier.

Please take time to watch the below video and thank the school and all the professionals involved with this production. Please drive safe in every way.


video


May 10th Accident Scene re-enactment at Windsor High School.


YouTube Video LINK


LINK TO DROP BOX OF ALL PHOTO's


Sunday, May 5

Blinded by the dollars

If you were a traveling businessperson, looking for a fun  place to go for food and an evening of drinks and possible entertainment with local flair, I would suggest the Tavern downtown, or the Bar and Grill farther north near the airport. Both have great food, excellent wine lists and full bars. They have local 'regulars' who make the evenings fun, Windsor's version of 'Cheers'.

I bring these up, because they were both promoted in a local fundraiser for the High School. Spend an evening out and these establishments, and they will donate a percentage of the revenues to the school to help with Graduation expenses.

A mailer was sent out, but there was a problem.

Contained in the envelope from the school was a letter from the High School Principal announcing an event to raise awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving. It talked of the thousands of deaths and what the school was doing to educate the students.

The following four pages were fundraisers, two for jewelry, and two promoting an evening out at these establishments for 'dinner'.

I think it would be interesting to have local law enforcement there with breathalyzers at these establishments testing the drivers of those who 'supported' the schools, and offering rides home to those who fail. I bet you the results would be very sobering.

Next time, may I suggest more family oriented restaurants like Friendly's or Bart's? Just a thought.

Thursday, April 25

Three for Fore


I'm using this spot this week to give a shameless plug to three worthwhile Golf Tournaments (if there is such a thing) I'm helping out with. I just love these shameless excuses to go for a long walk and write it off.

In chronological order they are ...

June 2nd -  Sunday  - The Clubs Open - supporting the Windsor Recovery Club, a place for those struggling with Alcohol to go to learn how to overcome this disease for a better life. Go to www.TheClubsOpen.org  for more information.I created the web site and other print marketing materials for this event. I'll be at Oak Ridge come golf day with Camera in hand.

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June 17th -  Monday  - The WCC/Rotary Golf Tournament - supporting the Windsor Chamber of Commerce where I have volunteered my services over the years and also the Windsor/Windsor Locks Rotary. Both great groups that do so much for the region. Go to the web site at WindsorCC.org  for more information.I'll be doing a bit of peripheral work and photography for this event. Maybe a video like I did for the Chamber back in 2009 -  its fun - Golf Rehab

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June 20th -  Thursday  - The Rivals Series - supporting the the Susan G. Komen effort for raising funds to fight Breast Cancer. This is a fun event featuring alumni from the Boston and New York famous baseball teams I can't mention.  Go to www.RivalsSeries.org  for more information.I created the web site and other marketing materials for this event. I'll be at The Lake of Isles  come golf day with Camera in hand and Red Sox Hat on!

This last event caught us off guard - and reminded me that this is VERY real. We were approved to use the below video for the Web site, but I had to pull it. Bridget died recently from complications from her cancer. My prayers for her family. I think she would want this video shared. RIP Bridget. You are still inspiring.





Sunday, April 14

Hold that note ...


I had a few hours of enjoyment last night, listening to an amazing group of young men. They are all members of a singing group called Ithacappella, students of Ithaca College, located  somewhere, in nowhere New York.

The room was amazingly electric with energy, the music was phenomenal; from there it only got even better.

This night was the farewell show for four of the Seniors of the group. There were musical roasts from the underclassmen, done with flair, fun and frivolity, and retorts from the upperclassmen which started somber and smooth and finished in a barber shop style quartet that did nothing less than kick some butt musically. They sounded like a full ensemble coming from just four mouths.

Sprinkled through the evening were emotional and tender stories of leaving, remembering the effort put in,  sharing of long hours, new friendships, sweat, and for one senior, even overcoming a traumatic injury from an accident along the process.

This group is a testament to what a few young men can do to make their lives, and the lives around them better. They shared their talent, gratitude and emotions, and the only regret from one senior was that he didn't audition for the group earlier in his academic life.

I applaud off of the gentleman, from my feet and wish them well.  Below is their signature closing song which I think is perfect. It is a Good Bye that shows how they did, and will, have fun with life and love of friends. Their wonderful music will always go with them, along with these memories, one day at a time. Enjoy Gentlemen. Job well done.



Monday, April 8

Simple Ways


The pile of newspapers is almost a foot deep now. Headlines missed, urgent news passed by, articles not read.

I was gathering the daily newspapers for my vacationing parents, I call them the "daily dose of death and destruction delivered to you doorstep". 


They sit in a recycling bin, ready to be made into more news ready not to read.
Daily the news flows into our lives from papers delivered o our homes, cables connected to visual interfaces and mobile devices where we can connect to everything we don't really need to know.

We struggle to balance the normal life of fun daily routines of meals, children, social activities with the onslaught of bad news from all media venues. I found this constant reminder even at a small local fall fair a few years ago.

The below video I created from the titled song "Simple Ways" from a local band "Bus13". It shows all of the fun activities of a beautiful fall afternoon with children enjoying a seasonal fair, when in the middle if this event was an interesting, yet seemingly out of place demonstration of a beautiful and talented police dog.

Suddenly you go from pumpkin decorating and pie eating contests to showing how this dog can sniff out drugs and take down criminals.

Like the song, I yearn for Simple Ways and Simple Days every day. I focus on my ambit (sphere of influence) and try to bring into it only the information I need to be a better person every day, one day at a time.





Saturday, March 30

Awww, Cmon - no way ...



It's too good to be true.

Right?  Maybe?
C'mon!! ... or Come on 


I received a phone call the other day, someone I didn't know wanted to talk to me about an opportunity. I personally am never one for passing up on new things, but I excepted this call with a mild degree of skepticism.

I've talked with many people about many different opportunities, I've worked with many dozens of companies, helping them market and convey their branded message in different ways. Just when you think you've seen it all, good and bad, someone comes up with something a little different that makes you stop and think.

My meeting took place in my stocking feet, in a rather elegant house along the Connecticut River, with a gentleman in his later years, and was obviously not in need of additional revenue. He was soft-spoken, low key, but he had a passion about what he was talking about, a new and different opportunity. If this were Star Wars. I would refer to it as a "convergence of the force"


All of the elements in this opportunity where there, the right product, the right time, and an inelastic consumer need, something you can't live without these days. So what was the catch?

The only catch, was having the ability to open my mind to a different way of doing things, looking at things that were changing in front of me differently, because I had looked at them the same way for decades. As the book says, the cheese was moving, and it was growing… Growing very fast, but it was in a different part of the maze. I just needed to look around the corner from a different angle to see it.

I guess the lesson learned is within reason, don't pass by opportunities that are reaching out to you, because you don't understand them. Don't let the past guide your future, because the past stays the same, and your future can change. I'm changing my future for the better, in my family and my career, by looking differently at the future, one day at a time.

PF



Monday, March 25

Two slices please - with whipped cream


On Sunday, I spent about 3 1/2 hours, having lunch, dessert, casual conversation, a few laughs in a relaxing time with my ex-wife and kids.

Yes, with my ex-wife… And kids.

To say that my ex and I have under communicated in the past few years is an understatement. I can point a finger at her, but then 3 fingers point right back towards me, and the thumb… You know where that's been.

For those of you who missed the memo, I'm an alcoholic, and quite frankly I love it! In the past few months I have learned so much about myself, gained such serenity, calmness, comfort in my own skin, understanding, and so much more, it's been great. Humble pie never tasted so good.

Don't get me wrong, I know I have a lot of work to do to rebuild trust in relationships, only having been sober, not just dry… But truly sober for a little over 5 months, in every sense of the word. The way I look at it, I spent the last 3 decades, impeding my progress with alcohol, I'd like to spend the next 3 decades enhancing my progress without it.

In just a few short months, I've learned serenity, how to manage my expectations do not develop any anger in the first place, and how to truly listen, understand and care about others, and their feelings.

It's amazing how much more you can see and hear when you get your head out of your ass.

I just thought I'd share this little snippet of my life, it's all good. I'm focusing now on rebuilding wealth with a new opportunity I found last week…  But like everyone else, I'm just taking it all in, and dealing with living life... one day at a time. PF


Friday, March 22

Blue Male - Check


Did they miss the memo?

I'm pretty sure, that the rules today are that all men and women, regardless of race, color, height, baldness, amount of hair on back (men and women) are to be treated as equals when it comes to employment opportunities.

Why is it that at the end of every job application they want to know your ethnic background? Do we actually count how many Eskimos and Native Americans are applying for jobs? And if so, why. I am a white male, Irish? French? German? Italian? Russian? Slavic? Israeli?… They don't ask that question. Why not?

We also feel compelled to track gender, why is that? The nature of my genitalia won't affect my ability to perform that office job. Whether you have man breasts, or woman breasts shouldn't matter at work (however, some men, quite frankly, could use a little underwire help, especially in IT). I think that's one question we could do without.

If they're going after gender, why not just ask them what their sexual preferences are? Or maybe the next logical sequence would be religion. I think we need a few more government agencies to track all of these new numbers.

It seems to me that if we spent all the time and energy we waste on tracking these numbers on fixing the problem of any quality, we'd be better off.

I guess my point is, there are many flavors of human beings, we really don't need to count them all, just enjoy the variety.

Wednesday, March 20

Fastener your Customer Service Belts!


Working on a signage project recently, I needed some clips to hold components together. I remembered a company I used to work with years ago called Fasteners for Retail, they carry all those cool gadgets you see in retail land, holding signs, dangling and making you buy things you don't need.

It was a Saturday, normal office hours were closed, so I hit the web. I found what I needed and ordered a sample quantity of 10 for about $13. Order was processed, received, clips worked great, until. I noticed my credit card was it for 2 charges, one for the $13 and another for almost $15. I sent an email to the customer service person, Heather,  who explained the latter charge was for freight.

When I ordered the clips, I had requested a catalog also. Their catalog weighs about 3 pounds (a great bathroom reader, by the way). My clips weighed about 3 ounces, so being shipped with a catalog. My assumption was that they were billing the freight for their catalog, which didn't seem right.

I sent an email questioning the bill, received a response saying it was freight, I replied. It didn't seem fair that I was paying for distribution of their marketing. Then I received a phone call. Heather, a customer service person apologized for calling 1st, explaining that after rwo  emails she feels the compulsion to pick up the phone and deal with the problem directly… Great idea. She explained to me that the web was more for bulk ordering, the freight charge was a minimum, and that they had a great sample department that was very liberal with supplying what I needed for testing, for free. She then proceeded to credit out the freight on my order and apologized again.

At that point I stopped her, it was 9 o'clock on a Monday morning. I told her I really appreciated her picking up the phone and we had a great conversation, and I learned a few things. I appreciated her efforts on behalf of her company. She replied, it's what I do. She then further explained that she has a passion for keeping your customers happy, and email is good for some things, but talking with people directly, hearing their tone, their inflection and attitude was critical.

I told her I couldn't agree more. I thank Heather very much for her efforts, and her great attitude, she made my day. I hope to repeat this story, and remember it with the people I deal with, my customers, every day, one day, at a time.

Monday, March 18

Golf Tournament Sponsors

Looking for Sponsors for Non-Profit Golf Tournament

Businesses in the Windsor, CT Area

Corporate Sponsors and Local Businesses, levels from Gifts of $5 to Title Sponsor of $5,000. For more info contact:

PeterFaulk@gmail.com
860.573.0720

A great cause that helps tens of thousands of local residents annually.

www.theclubsopen.org




Sunday, March 17

Good ISMs and Bad ISMs



I recently discovered that alcoholism has been a part of me, and will be a part of me for my entire life. Like diabetes or cancer, it’s just something you live with and do your best to control it. This is a bad “ism” that can lead to a lot of family pain, great losses and death.

One of the cures for this ism is another called spiritualism. The teachings of AA focus a lot on this, making a part of your everyday life. From this, I personally have found great serenity, humility, and a heightened awareness of self and others.

I wish there were more isms, like TV ism, Facebook ism, work ism, text ism, coffee ism and more. All of those activities and habits that can at times be taken to excessive levels, distracting you from important isms like family ism or health ism.

Most times, managing your isms can be quite easy once you identify them. I start my day with a little bit of spiritualism, then I float that into my thoughts for the activities that I need to do, make sure that everything I plan to do aligns with the good isms that I want to be part of my life. When you break it down like that, it’s not that hard, just take care of your isms, one day at a time.

Sunday, March 10

So many clocks, so little time


Well, it's that time of year again. The hunt for clocks is on, and time is running against us.I estimate that I spend about an hour a year moving clocks in my life back-and-forth. If I live to be 80, that's almost 2 weeks worth of work vacation I wasted on changing clocks. Time well spent?

It's amazing the amount of clocks and time pressure that we put on ourselves. Clocks in the bathroom, clocks in the kitchen, clocks in the family room, clocks in your car, clock on your wrist, clock in your phone, clock in your computer… Does anyone know what time it is? I do, it's time to get rid of some of these damn clocks.
Why is a there a clock on a coffee maker? If it's time to make coffee, you know it. You don't need an LED readout of what the real-time is, it's coffee time. Someone along the way.it would be a good idea to put a wake-up timer and have the coffee maker be an alarm clock and start making coffee for you in the morning. Dumb idea. Half the fun of making coffee is walking out half awake, and going through the motions of filters, scoops, water and waiting. Then the aroma…, The fruit of your 1st morning's labor begins to permeate the room, and the anticipation of the 1st brew. Do we need a clock to help with that?
Don't get me wrong, I'm all about being on time, time management, budgeting time, quality time, personal time and time well spent. That's why I'm an a mission to eliminate every superfluous clock that I own.
I am going to set my clock's ahead 1 hour as mandated by law once again. This Spring, I am also  going to set my personal timer even further ahead, an extra  30 minutes. This time will be spent every morning organizing my day, my thoughts, my priorities, and reminding myself that time is precious and how to best use the time wisely for that day.
So,  to save time, eliminate all those clocks with the annoying tick tock, those that add stress like the one next to your bathroom mirror, reminding you you're running late. Enjoy your hours and  days, make the best of your time, one day at a time.

Thursday, March 7

Where's the damn bread?


Last week, I was traveling back from some errands with my father, about ready to have lunch with both my parents. We decided to grab some fresh bread on the way and stopped at a grocery store that neither of us was familiar with.

We walked in, to our right were bagels and donuts… Close, but not a loaf of fresh bread like we were looking for. My dad thought the bread was at the other end of the front of the store, so we walked over there (this was a large grocery store. We found only prepackaged breads, no fresh bakery bread.
Deciding to hold true to mail tradition, we refused to admit defeat, refused to ask for direction, and proceeded to walk the whole perimeter of the store in a quest for bread.
We eventually found in the back right corner a wonderful selection of fresh baked loaves, made our selection and headed to the checkout. Being near lunchtime, this area was very busy, and that the 15 and under item aisle was well attended. The woman in front of us had a card with 14 1/2 items in it, she looked at us with her one loaf of bread and motioned for us to get in front of her. Before we could move, a cashier lunged into motion in the very next aisle and like a quarterback signaled for us, loaf of bread talked like a football in my father's arms for a speedy checkout.

In recounting the store episode to my mother over lunch, I noticed my fathers main story focused only on the frustrations of having traversed the whole store and search for bread. My thoughts were on the unselfish woman in line with the 14 1/2 items who was first, aware of her surroundings, not focused on herself, and willing to put others ahead of her. I also noticed the cashier who recognized a need, and quickly offered her services to help.
Same experiences, same time, same situation, with different perceptions of the event. It's not the frustrations in getting your loaves of bread, but rather the people that helped you along the way, with awareness and willingness to put others before themselves.
And yes, maybe asking someone where the bread was in the store would've been a great idea. But that's a 'guy thing', not likely to change any time soon.

Wednesday, February 27

The Operation Failed


Microsoft is known for giving error messages that are at best useless. I was greeted by one of these messages this morning as I tried to launch the program Outlook. A split moment after clicking the icon that worked fine last night, I was greeted with a message saying"the operation failed". No explanation, reason or solution, only that it had failed.

I knew the reason it failed, I have another program that synchronizes with Outlook and it was locking up the data tables Outlook uses. I knew that it would finish in a few moments, and all would be fine.

These error messages might be a lot like the soundbites you get in life. Like co-workers who simply announce that something didn't work and walk away, or news headlines from various media that deliver  you a ten second soundbite with no real understanding behind the issue. They just bring you bad news, lots of it, every moment, of every day, and they smile while doing it.

Too often, like this error message, the focus is on what is not working, what is wrong, even when the solution may be simple. All too often I have seen operator error as the root cause, in computers, and am life. I am guilty of making my share of error messages, I just hope to do more than Microsoft in explaining them and doing something about them.

So my lesson is learned from this morning, on my computer and in my life, I often try to do too many things at the same time. Sometimes it's better to slow down, wait a few moments, make sure that everything is complete, before moving on.

Sunday, February 24

Graceland


I like to call him the little man with a big smile made a dent in the world of music and international relations.

Paul Simon at one point in his life was experiencing multiple setbacks. He was involved in a relationship and was married while touring, with no time to spend cultivating the marriage, it suffered.. Overworked and under pressure he at the same time produced an album that he did not have the drive to promote and it also failed. His personal and professional life both plummeted at the same time.

Taking some time off, he drove often to Long Island, listening to a tape given to him by a friend. Soon it became his favorite, but it had no label.. Curious, he did some research and found it was from an African band. Paul was longing for a change from Folk Rock and had a desire to broaden his scope. A spark ignited in his mind.

Something on that tape spoke to him and he traveled to South Africa and immersed himself in all that was good and positive in the nation under such terrible oppression. According to Paul he "learned to listen on a level you never experienced before".

From professional and personal failures grew a tremendous cross-cultural education album called "Graceland". Countless millions of albums sold. People globally shared in African music and learned respect of a people who through such poverty and pain could still have such joy. The music was a common language that is Paul said "created an unusual degree of understanding among people who just met".

That was nearly 3 decades ago, and the message still shines like the diamonds in the soles of her shoes. Thanks Paul.


Watch the whole song HERE


Monday, February 18

No baggage? you're funny


A few ago I professed online that I had"no baggage" on some website. Some time after that the woman I was dating, who had great insight and a way with words said:"you don't have baggage, you have a freight train".

Well, it may have not been quite that bad, but she was right of my overly optimistic self assessment of traveling through life with the mental equivalent of only sandals and a Hawaiian shirt.

The visualization I came up with was a series of on matched bags, all overflowing and strewn about the bed, each needing varying levels of attention to get them organized. There was luggage for careers, relationships, missed opportunities, mistakes, successes and more. Mentally, I carried all these bags everywhere.

I did find a nice organizing tool has helped me out recently, it was in the form of prayer, that simply says you can affect change to some things, others you cannot, and you may need a little help from somebody a bit wiser than you to figure out which is which.

Having applied that rule, I now have only 2 bags. First, I have a large check on bag, for things I may want to remember or need, but if it was permanently lost, I could move on easily. This bag will travel with me, but now that it's checked in, I don't authority about it. It just follows me to my destination.

My other mental luggage bag is a carry-on, with only a laptop  in it . In this are files that I need to deal with life.  such as exciting items as taxes, budgets, legal documents and other exciting items.

But more important, there is a special folder right on the desktop for quick access. This folder is full of images of my children growing up, fun times at amusement parks, vacations. It contains videos of dancing, events and laughter and moments, and songs of life and love I've been able to share with them and others who matter most. 

I love this device because it allows me to carry around what is important in the here and now. I carry it everywhere and access it often. It even helps remind me of things I need to do to get to my destination safe and on time, on a daily basis.


Pack Wisely and Safe Travels 


Saturday, February 16

Overcoming Cancer


I have a very close friend who has struggled with cancer for nearly three decades. For the most part he had been able to live a normal life; wife, house, career, kids.

The cancer would come and go in waves, but he was able to fight it off many times through willpower and some home medications and exercise for the longest time.

However, as time wore on, cancer got the better of him. It dragged on his career, affected his marriage to the point of divorce, and the cancer began to affect all around him.

Last year, just after the joyous occasion getting engaged, cancer hit him hard for some reason. He became unable to hold a job, unable to take care of his kids, his bride to be left him, he would eventually lose most everything.

Depression was overwhelming, sleepless nights caused him near insanity. And then the cancer also indirectly caused a legal blindness and made him unable to read or drive. Due to cancer, he hit bottom.

Losing all will to live, the  cancer nearly killed him. Lying on the floor of his living room, unable to move due to massive malnutrition, he was hospitalized. After about a month of visits to the hospital, many treatments, scans, medications,  procedures and medical bills in the tens of thousands of dollars, all indications are the cancer is under control.

He will have to live with the threat of cancer for the rest of his life ( a few decades to go hopefully), but he is coping through the support of cancer survivor groups who encourage his mind and spirit stay strong and always fight against cancer.

As of this writing,a  short four months since his first hospital visit, he has regained much of the strength and eyesight. He is rebuilding his career, family and his whole life one day at a time, hopefully never again having to be a victim to cancer.

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Now - replace the word Cancer with Alcoholism and  does your perception change? For so many, Cancer=Empathy and Alcoholism=Apathy.

They are both diseases that affect many millions of people every day, and kills many of them. There is a club in my home town called the Windsor Recovery Club, if you are feeling like alcohol is becoming a problem in your life, stop in and listen for a while. Meeting Schedule HERE.

Sunday, February 10

Incarcerated by snowflakes

A local traffic reporter posted on FB on Friday night that she felt"trapped" in her house due to the storm. I suppose if you're claustrophobic you can be a bit unnerving knowing that you cannot really go anywhere.


The television is pretty much useless, by the time the storm hits you're sick of hearing about it. All of the reporters get sent to the same locations they go to during every storm. Just once I'd like to hear someone from the DOT respond to reporter "were going to salt the roads, pepper the highways and sprinkle some garlic on the exit ramps".


I prefer to use this time for focusing on organizing thoughts, goals in life. TV off, music on, candle or fireplace if you have one, something good to read and a cup of tea. Relax and enjoy the time. Make a few phone calls to friends, and check in on those who may need help.

Relax, rest up, the storm was a great excuse not to rush out anywhere, but rather to reflect inward and enjoy the peaceful beauty the snow.

The shoveling of life can wait till tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 5

Give a little bit of


OK -  gotta comment on Superbowl Ads - I liked the Samsung pitch ad's clever, the Wishes car ad, ok - I got confused by the Oreo Ad.

Coke has the knack for the soft sell, bringing together life, people community, hope. Like the old "I'd like to teach the world to sing" ads.

This one was a clever use of technology - and another Great song by Supertramp.  Enjoy again or for the first time if you were away on a bio break when it played.



Saturday, February 2

Fathers and Football


I'll start this by saying AD's pizza has been a fixture in my life since I was very VERY little. Sunday nights back then consisted of Disney (UHF Channel 30), Rootbeer Soda ... and an AD's Pizza

Zoom forward a few decades, I'm a long time Steelers fan, AD's is starting a Steelers Fan Club (1995) in their new facility. My fav Team and Food, all in one location.

But why?

What was the link?  The original owners son is a huge Steelers fan and now current owner there, OK that make sense.Brings in business, that makes sense. But there was something more.

It wasn't until a few days ago when I read the BlittzburghCT fan club write up when it all fell together for me. John, the original owner who started AD's in the 50's would spend lots of time with his son Joe watching the football games when he was growing up. Their history together.

Now, the family is carrying on the business, and also the memories of Father and Football time spent together.

So when Joe, his sister and their mom all show up for work, it's more than Pizza and Ziti, It's about remembering John the father every day, through his portraits on the wall and the roar of "Touchdown" coming from the lounge.

I'm having AD's Pizza this Superbowl Sunday with my Kids and some RootBeer!

www.ADsPizzeria.com

Monday, January 28

Don't Judge a book ...

OK, guilty ... guilty ... guilty.

I almost missed a great opportunity this week, here's why.

I saw an ad posted recently for an opportunity that seemed to fit really well with my offerings. I contacted the company, and received a near immediate response from them in a very positive manner. That sent up the first red flag.

I was granted a meeting with the president of the company within about a day. That's like hitting the lottery, it just doesn't happen normally. Now, there were two red flags flapping in the breeze.

I read the company's website, over and over again. I never read so many words and learned so little (except for emails from my ex-wife).  There was great pages of growth, teams, customer service… but nothing about what they did, either product or service. With enough red flags now to mast the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria, I almost called the meeting off.

Curiosity got the better of me, now I just had to know what the heck this company did, and why they were seemingly growing so fast. I didn't care any more if they fit any revenue for me anymore.

All suited up, ready for my disappointing meeting, I was met by a gentleman in jeans and a nice pullover sweatshirt and sneakers. Casual Friday, I surmised as we headed for his corner office, keeping track of the way to the exit door.

The next 40 minutes I spent hauling down my flags then emptying out all of my head trash about this company.

Follow-up meetings this week. I keep reminding myself that not all great books have pretty covers or coherent websites to promote them. It is what is on the pages that counts.

Monday, January 21

Caught in my own game


I was making a quick trip to drop off a few items in my newly acquired storage unit here in town. I had sold a few other  items in the past few days, and also wanted to stop in and pay for next month a bit early.

The woman who talked with me initially, was very  friendly and saved me a unit and even incorporated a discount when I didn't even ask about it. When I went in to do the paperwork she wasn't there,  but I did stop him about a week ago briefly just to say hi and introduce myself and thank her.

When I went in topay for next month, I was sure she wouldn't remember my name, and I was going to act all disappointed.Within about 15 seconds, she told me the amount due. I was impressed! I thought to myself not only is her systems prowess phenomenal, but she also remembered my name!

I said, Hey, you remembered me! That she confessed. When I punched in my code and drove through the gate it automatically brings up my account and name. So not only was she not truly computer savvy, that I know of, but she admitted she didn't remember my name.

Oh well Heather, I remembered your name, and kudos to a clean efficient use of technology that if they don't confess how it works, makes the customer feel right at home… Except for the no till getting parties at your storage unit rule Peter